Peace for the Week/Weak

Peace

Dear Hurting Soul,

It has been an emotionally gut wrenching week. Everything that seemed to be good and right has been toppled and turned. The letting go of things you weren’t ready to say good-bye to causes a deep gnawing pain in your belly. The betrayed trust at the hands of those you loved. Old wounds opened.

In only been a week…and I feel nothing but weak.

How quickly and easily I trade what I know for what I feel. How easily I let the truth of His word be drowned in the barrage of worldly words. I trade my first love for the approval and acceptance of the world. And my heart breaks, because this world just cannot fill those cracks that bleed or soothe the bruises that hurt.

The world, in spite of the all-inclusive rhetoric never really just accepts… it just judges and dictates what should have, could have, or ought to have been… and it’s never good enough, never strong enough, never right enough. Just never enough.

But it’s spring. And that glorious Good Friday will be here soon with the celebration of the Son’s resurrection and overcoming of all things toppled and turned and the true all-inclusive bread of life and the water that will satisfy. The relentless pain will ease and I will bask in the truth that by His stripes, my cracks and wounds and bruises are healed.

Is your soul aching? Parched and dry by the constant struggle to keep up, to be enough. Take rest today dear tender soul and let the healer soothe with the balm of His love and the sweet, sweet truth that you are enough.

I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart! And the peace I give isn’t fragile like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid. John 14:27

Spring Thaw

The earth breathed a collective sigh today. Spring made a peak from behind the clouds and brought sunshine and warmth to the cold, hard ground. Winter has seemed especially long and cold this year, and I know I have had it easy living here in the south compared to my more northern friends.

Does your heart ever feel that way? Like it has been living in a perpetual winter and it seems that the storms and clouds won’t go away long enough to thaw.

And then you exhale. Like someone who has been holding her breath too long for fear of the next cloud that will burst, you exhale. And you feel it… the warmth of spring. The warmth of the yellow rays of sunshine and the sweet scent of new blooms and buds in the air. And there is hope. And joy. And peace.  Remember this moment, this feeling of life being breathed back into you.

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Winter came that year when everything changed way too and way much too fast. The year of the diagnosis and hospitals and doctors. The year of going back to work full time. The year of having three teenagers all at the same time, and life… life just fell apart. And that year… well it just kept going into the next and before I knew it, there I was in a place I didn’t know my heart could go. Frostbitten, so cold and burned, and knowing I couldn’t take another step further or I might never find my way back.  So I breathed deeply and turned around.

Exhale. A deep breath and a pleading sigh.

In the same way the Spirit also joins to help in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with unspoken groanings. Romans 8:26

And God answers. The storms subside and you take a breath. Just for today. And again tomorrow, God answers and you take a breath and it is enough for that day. Until your days turn to weeks, then to months and you find yourself warm and the sun is on your face and the cold wintery places in your heart are thawed. You know that winter will come again, but next time…next time you won’t hold your breath. You will breathe deep and exhale, because next time you will remember this warmth and know that spring is around the corner and the warmth of The Son is still there, just behind the clouds.

Whatever it is you are facing today my sweet friend, take comfort in the knowledge that spring is coming. Exhale deeply tonight and hear the whispers of the Father warming your heart.

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Chasing Joy

I remember when we lived near the ocean and spent most of our free time on the beach. The kids would run back and forth along the shoreline, dodging in and out of the water. They would build their sand castles high with thick walls to hold back the water and protect their creation. They would often run straight out with their boards, chasing the waves and then wait expectantly to catch the perfect wave to ride back to shore.

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But the greatest thrill, the greatest wave of joy and happiness, was not really in them catching that wave, but in letting that wave catch them. When they let go of control and joined the wave in its chosen path.  When they allowed the motion and driving forces of the water to lift them up and carry them along.  That is when the feeling they had been searching for the whole time came. Exhilaration. Euphoria. Total abandonment and freedom.

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I see our (my) pursuit of happiness and joy that same way. We chase it down in buying things. We try to contain it with what we do. We go after the big job, the title, the house in just the right neighborhood, the right clothes, and the perfect kids. We perform our charitable acts because we know it’s what we ought to do… and we are left still feeling empty, still searching, and wondering when it will ever be good enough.

But it’s there, just waiting… waiting for the big exhale of expectation and the letting go of control.

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Left to my own plan, I’m going to drown.

My wall can’t be built high enough and my acts, on their own, will never be enough and my own efforts will never measure up. But God.

Yes, but God has a plan that will lift me above all of that and send me soaring. Sit still and listen. Stop being so busy. Stop talking and making noise so you can hear His whispers. Feel His breath upon your ear exhaling His grace into your heart. Because His grace… it’s good enough. It is more than enough.

 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV

aloha

Stay on the Train

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Wow!  Can you even imagine? Imprisoned in Nazi concentration camps for aiding many Jews in escaping the Holocaust (some estimates say she was part of saving the lives of over 800 people), Corrie ten Boom never wavered in her faith and trust in God.

Surviving her time in the camps, Corrie went on after the war to set up rehabilitation centers and refuge housing for concentration-camp survivors.  So after surviving such an horrific ordeal herself, she still continued to reach out and help others.  How many of us would do that?  She didn’t cower in fear and she didn’t sit around and feel sorry for herself.  She got back up and got back to work doing what she was called to do.

Her story is an inspiration to me showing that even through the most horrible circumstances, good people are still there, and God will always be an unwavering constant.  I’ve just got to stay on the train and keep trusting.

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My first post for Writer’s Quote Wednesday.  What a great idea! http://silverthreading.com/2015/02/25/writers-quote-wednesdaya-silver-quote-2015-9/

Regrets and Do Overs

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Do Over!

Jeremiah 18:3-4 “So I went to the potter’s house, and sure enough, the potter was there, working away at his wheel. Whenever the pot the potter was working on turned out badly, as sometimes happens when you are working with clay, the potter would simply start over and use the same clay to make another pot.”

As kids playing games you would often hear “Do Over!” when the outcome was not what the vocal party had anticipated. As a forty-something or other, I often want to raise my voice and cry out so all can hear…” DO OVER!” THIS is really not how I had planned things to turn out. THIS is not what I pictured in my head. THIS was not part of my dream. Can I just start again? Please?

Don’t get me wrong. I love my husband, I love my kids, I love my family, friends and my life. But there are those moments…those times I look back and shake my head and wish I could take them back. Re-do them and do them right. Fix the hurt, undo the wrong, and press on to a better ending. Do over. But life doesn’t work that way. So if we can’t do over, what can we do? The do over is an opportunity to try or perform something a second time; to do something again from the beginning, especially because you did it badly the first time. Now, I certainly don’t wish to go back to elementary school (although the mandatory naps would be nice); the thought of re-doing the teen years, ummm, no thanks. While there are moments I wish I would have done differently, handled with more kindness and grace, made a better choice, all of those experiences have shaped who I am now.

So now what about do over moments? I have truly spent years letting guilt, shame and regret drag me down and storm over my life. But I’m telling you this, I know that God has so much more planned for me than to let me wallow in that place. And my friend, He has those same grace filled plans for you. To think, for even a moment, that in not sparing His own son that He would want us to stay in those dark places is just not the truth. Maybe there are some things that need to be made right with someone else. Maybe you need to make it right with yourself. Ultimately though, it has to be made right with your Creator, allowing Him room to re-mold the clay and make it into something new.

Philippians 3:12-14  “I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.”