“I want to go home”

It was only 9:30 in the morning, but we were all already tired.

For the last month, we’ve been traveling for a good bit of the summer, in and out of towns, hotels, friends’ homes, and we are showing some wear.

We stood in the line to order. Through tears of frustration, exhaustion, and hunger, my son told his daddy, “I want to go home.”

Steaming coffee sat on our table, untouched, as we sympathized with our son.

The kind waitress placed our meal on the table in front of us – fresh blue berry waffles, hot, topped with fresh whipped cream.

We dipped our waffle in the warm syrup, each bite filling our mouths with the delicious gift.

I rubbed his back. I began.

“You know,baby, sometimes momma gets homesick too. I want to go home. Did you know – that longing is our hearts heavy for heaven?”

I asked him what he loves about home. We talked as we ate.  His own bed. Playing with his own toys. The sunshine on the wooden floors. The back yard freedom. Riding with daddy + brother through the neighborhood on his bike.

“All of those Good things you love about home – heaven will hold those things. God who is all Good will have all Good things in His Home, in the home He’s readying for all who are His.”

— I’m not talking ‘take your stuff behind the hearse.’ When you ready your home for your child, you make his bed, complete with his favorite candy on the pillow. You cook his favorite meal. For your daughter you might set out a new dress for her or have special gifts waiting in her chair.

So just think…”How much more will your Heavenly Daddy…” —

“Baby, when you’re homesick, your heart is heavy with heaven. Let the hope of Heaven heal your heart. Let heaven satisfy your sickness.”

All of the good gifts here point to the Good Gift in Heaven.

We finished our waffles. We finished our talk. Our tummies were full, our hearts filled with dreams of Reality, of longing for Home.

‘He’s preparing a home, a special place for all of those who are His’

Afterward, we drove over to the park. Playing and running did a world of wonders. It’s amazing how our great God gives us small tangibles – waffles and playground sand – to show us just how much He loves us, and just a little glimpse of what Home is like.

for your leaking, cracked soul

I want to chronicle for myself and encourage you with these precious, life-giving Words of Truth. —

Daily Light on the Daily Path : December 31

Evening

(LINK)

“A great deal of land remains to be conquered.” — Josh 13:1 NET

Not that I have already attained this – that is, I have not already been perfected – but I strive to lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus also laid hold of me.

“So then, be perfect.”—Make every effort to add to your faith excellence, to excellence, knowledge; to knowledge, self-control; to self-control, perseverance; to perseverance, godliness; to godliness, brotherly affection; to brotherly affection, unselfish love.

And I pray this, that your love may abound even more and more in knowledge and every kind of insight.

“Things that no eye has seen, or ear heard, or mind imagined, are the things God has prepared for those who love him.” God has revealed these to us by the Spirit.

Consequently a Sabbath rest remains for the people of God.—You will see a king in his splendor; you will see a wide land.

Phil 3:12, Matt 5:48, 2 Pet 1:5-7, Phil 1:9, 1 Cor 2:9-10, Heb 4:9, Isa 33:17

He is the Come Through God.

* “Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the LORD.”

Psalm 31.24

* “Waiting with hope is very difficult, but true patience is expressed when we must even wait for hope. I will have reached the point of greatest strength once I have learned to wait for hope.” -George Matheson

* “We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon is, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you.” Psalm 33:20-22

We wait IN hope. 

We wait FOR the Lord. 

We are helped and protected BY the Lord. 

We rejoice IN the Lord. 

We trust IN His name. 

And as we hope in God, may his unfailing love rest on us. 

Circumstances will fail. People will fail. Dreams will fail. We will fail.

But Love?” Love never fails.” – 1 Corinthians 13:8

Praying that simple, yet utterly profound truth – Love never fails- would sink down into all the cracks and crevices of my life and yours.

AMEN.

two excellent articles on leaky souls :

the glory of God in the sight of eternity

the rest is not our business 

Love Comes from God

I love February – it’s short and it’s sweet and it’s the connection to spring – and it’s the month in which we celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Now, I know sometimes V-Day get’s a bad rap : it’s the holiday that digs up the dregs of love gone by, love gone wrong, love gone gone gone. It’s a Hallmark-holiday – one created by the card company to get consumers to, well, consume, and feel guilty and loveless if they do not participate. It’s a holiday that has everyone going around measuring how much they love and how much they are loved, and often, the measurement comes up short.

So, I get it. And that seems pretty pitiful to me, too.

However, I like to see the big 1-4 as a day – and February as an entire month – where we celebrate the lavish love of the Lord. for us, to us, on us, over us… His steadfast love that has endured for generations and will extend throughout all of eternity. I think the minute we will our minds to turn from ourselves and to turn to the Lord we will fall head over heels in love with Him. And He is Love.

God is Love.

Love is from God.

God loves us.

Girlfriend, (because I am thinking if you’re reading my blog, you’re most likely a girl), this reality is stunning.

God is Love – not, sometimes He loves. But He is Love – Love is His very nature. He cannot help Himself but exude Love. And for all of creation, He defines, describes, and demonstrates Love.

Love is from God. – All of the love we have, all of the love we give, all of the love we experience and express is from and through God.

God loves us. – Ok, this is just so crazy! God. Creator, Sustainer, Sovereign is also Loving Savior, Father, and Redeemer. His loves bends towards us. His love is directed to His creation, the crown of His creation, us – little humans! and little sinners, at that! And He loves US. So much so and in this great way that He died for us. And then was raised, and now intercedes on our behalf as He sits at the right hand of the Throne of God.

I mean, this is too much!

So, this February – this Valentine’s Day – let’s lift our eyes and look to the Lover of our Souls and live in His love for us, live out His love from Him.

the end of january is (finally) here

so i have heard some place that this week of january is the most depressing week of the year. and you might say, huh? or heck yeh it is… because you know. for me it’s been like any other week, and mostly good, thank the Lord.

one reason i speculate that this week can be depressing is because so many people left the holidays in a huff, said see you folks later! (family, friends, all of the people that are so close to us, close enough to send us into a temper tantrum like a 2 year old with their glances and responses against whatever we are for), packed up, and with a pen and paper, made mighty high resolutions for yourself. not all out spite, and some honest to goodness good resolutions, but then it’s cold and dark and well – January – and you realize that you’re only 3 weeks into the new year and have already failed in all of your high and mighty. OR you made great resolutions and you have kept them. Shoot, you’re already five pounds lighter. But, you’re not any happier or any more satisfied.

Now, like I said, for me, it’s been a pretty good week -we’ve had some fun; we’ve had some not so fun, and I recently sliced open the top of my middle finger on my right hand, so it’s funny and it’s seriously annoying – but I started this new year about half way through January without any resolutions, so maybe that’s why. I was sort of “meh” to the whole hype of 2015, which maybe isn’t good, or maybe it is… I was just happy for a new day, cold as it was, and happy that the Lord had gotten me to the day, and beyond that His mercies are new for the day. And I also feel like I’m in a holding pattern in my life – diligence is what is required, a steadfastness, a holding firm – and in that way, I don’t exactly know what or how to feel….

but I don’t take depression lightly, so here are a few links to a few beloved blog posts that I pray encourage your soul… because depressed or not, we all need encouragement.

 

http://solideogloria-emily.blogspot.com/2015/01/let-us-hope.html – y’all, this is my favorite blog that I actually consistenly read right now, and this is a fabulous post on HOPE.

http://www.toshowthemjesus.com/2015/why-we-must-read-like-bereans/ – read. if you have one resolution, read. and she tells you how and why. and that the Bible is to be your book of books, because it is THE book of books.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Lamentations+3&version=MSG – Lamentations 3 in the Message. Need some encouragement; this will do it for you.

Also the film and book, Unbroken.

“It is this deep confidence about your future that frees you from the fear and greed that kill love and make you into a cookie-cutter human who has to have security and safety and ease and comfort….Our confidence comes from Christ–what He did perfectly on the cross and at the resurrection, what He is doing now for us in heaven, and what He will do for us at the 2nd coming and to all eternity…All we ever hope for is owing to Christ.  We receive it not by earning it or meriting it, but by banking on it…We need to ponder the superiority of Christ as our great reward over all that the world has to offer.  If we don’t, we will love the world like everyone else and live like everyone else.  Everything the world has to offer, God is better and more abiding.  There is no comparison.  God wins–every time.”  – also this quote from a good ole man, John Piper. Take that to heart!

The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.

I believe that the most lawless and inordinate loves are less contrary to God’s will than a self-invited and self-protective lovelessness. It is like hiding the talent in a napkin and for much the same reason ‘I knew thee that thou wert a hard man.’  Christ did not teach and suffer that we might become, even in the natural loves, more careful of our own happiness. If a man is not uncalculating towards the earthly beloveds whom he has seen, he is none the more likely to be so towards God whom he has not. We shall draw nearer to God, not by trying to avoid the sufferings inherent in all loves, but by accepting them and offering them to Him; throwing away all defensive armour. If our hearts need to be broken, and if He chooses this as the way in which they should break, so be it.

and one more, a hymn, and as if that was not enough download for you, all of the above links, quotes, and scripture, let this hymn sink deep into your soul.

He Giveth More Grace by Annie J. Flint

  1. He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater,
    He sendeth more strength as our labors increase;
    To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
    To multiplied trials He multiplies peace.
  2. When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
    When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
    When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
    Our Father’s full giving is only begun.
  3. Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
    Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
    Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;
    The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.
  4. His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
    His power no boundary known unto men;
    For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
    He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.

He gives and gives and gives again…. so this year, depressed, or meh, or happy happy happy, open your hands, sweet child, lift your face to your Daddy, and receive His good gifts.

a quiet Monday

Last week I realized that perhaps Monday is a good day to write. Now, perhaps it is not… sort of James 4:15-ish, which reads, “…you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will do this or that.'”

Tyler tells me that to write, I have got to write – good point. And to be a writer, I have got to write consistently – the reps have to be done. Conditioning is important for the sport. Ok. So, blogging is my reps for writing. I take it as seriously as the Lord and my day lets me. Which to be honest is not very seriously much of the time, in the sense that I do not consistently write on my blog.

(Sometimes it seems I feel the same way about working out, which also includes reps, and to be fit, to be worked out, you have to consistently work out. Though I want to work out, goodness knows that working out is also the first thing that I do not want to do.)

Not so with writing… I do want to write, but space – time to think – time to meditate, to soak in what the Lord is pouring over me – is needed. So I thought, well perhaps Monday can be that time. Sunday I soak, Monday I write. Monday is reps day. Maybe.

And this Monday is a quiet day. Rainy, cold, inside, quiet. I have the same view I did last week, except everything outside is cloaked in wet gray, glistening with raindrops.

And as I think to write – just doing my reps -, here is what is on my heart:

Psalm 131:2

But I have calmed and quieted my soul,

like a weaned child with its mother;

like a weaned child is my soul within me.

Isaiah 30:15

In returning and rest you shall be saved;

in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”

Psalm 46:10

Be still and know that I am God.

In the quiet of the day, I pray these Scriptures, Lord, will quiet my heart.

And when I return to work, I pray I will commit my work to Him, trusting Him, acknowledging Him, for He is the Path-maker.

Psalm 37:5

Commit my way to the Lord; trust in Him.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord will all my heart, and lean not on my own understanding, in all my ways, acknowledge Him, and He makes my path straight.

— amen. 

along the road

almost three years ago, i remember driving – heart racing – down the road, down six forks, onto 440, too early in the morning, mom in the passenger seat, water broken. tyler’s in the matt papa van, flying down the road, he’s going to meet me at the hospital. he doesn’t sleep until the next day.

baby is coming. coming soon… coming today. and leland tyler was born.

another year and almost 12 more months, tyler and i take a sunday drive, – oh this is what it’s like, husband with you, a little more slowly, contractions quickening – down capital, onto 440, another life soon on this side of the womb,…

son is coming. grafton raleigh, welcome, little love.

not yet another year, down six forks, onto 440, tyler and i drive to the doctor. though this time, the road is unfamiliar…

we learn …. i carried twins, …. and the Lord carried them to heaven, with Jesus.

I’ve driven down capital and six forks, along 440, and even to Rex again and again. I was born at Rex, in Raleigh, and I’ve lived here all of my life.

We soon move to a new house, a bit bigger, with a fenced in green back yard on a cul-de-sac, off of six forks road, and we are staying in Raleigh.
it’s familiar, and it’s where the Lord has kept us.

And even though I have lived here my whole life, and watched Raleigh grow up as I have grown, the Lord has time and time again taken me to new places, places that are unfamiliar and scary, hard places and sad places and places that remind me, Raleigh is not Home.

The road He leads me along doesn’t take me simply through Raleigh, it’s taking me to the lasting city… the heavenly one that will be more real than any place familiar.

This road that seems like a detour is the straight path the Lord prepared and purposed for me before the beginning of time.
I cannot see what’s in front of me… yet I acknowledge Him, the Path Maker. Still I will trust Him, not my own understanding. A mystery, one day revealed. And I will see Him face to face.

So, lead me on. Please, God, please lead me on. all the way Home.

He will never leave me nor forsake me. Darkness covers, but Dawn wins. The Light is breaking. Breaking the sadness, the darkness, Light has broken Death. the Way walked all over Death. Life conquered Death. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Though my heart aches at death’s carnage, my heart does not break – Life wins. and holds me together. Life holds my littles. and every little jot and title of our lives, through all of eternity.
Christ is Life, the Hope of Glory. Life is our Glory and our Good.

and one day, on that Day, The Day, when the sun rises once and for all, Son Shining, in an open space, His green space full of grace, exactly where He has led me this entire road, I will behold Jesus. My All in All. and I will hold my littles, living, and I’ll be more alive than I have ever experienced.

… Grace is both the road and the driver. and when I turn my eyes from the blind way of seeing, and when I let my eyes of faith truly see the world, when I fix fix fix fix my eyes on Jesus, I see grace – grace everywhere. And He is my Strength and my Eyes. He is my Provision, my Driver, my Way, my All in all. And I see He created the World, He sustains the World, He saved the World, and one day, there will be a new heaven and a new earth, a new world,… grace.

And I give thanks. sacrifices of praise. through my fear, I hold onto Love. and Love dashes my fear to pieces. remnants, but not Reality. And the reality is, Love holds onto me, leading me all the way.

As I give thanks, as I pray for strength and grace, He gives immeasurably more than I could have ever imagined… friends and family and faith enveloping me, holding my hand, walking with me…

I go forward, on the road, to the lasting city, to the most-real Real, to heaven, to Jesus, face to face, I pray, take me… lead me… road steep and long, rocky and dark, death’s carnage, fears remnants, conquered by Christ on the Cross… I count it a privilege to share in the sufferings of Christ, a tender glimpse into the pain Jesus endured with joy for my good and His Glory… so that I could be welcomed “Come in, darling love” through heaven’s light-filled doors, into wide open spaces…

and we named them Strength and Grace.

and on that Day, I will hold Strength and Grace, the Sovereign Good, as He holds me even now. and I will hold Strength and Grace, our littles…

and in a similar way when I look at the Cross which was supposed only to bring death and see Life, as I drive along six forks which was only supposed to be a road home, I remember heaven, Home.

common for Christ

A woman’s job. And maybe they didn’t complain. Perhaps they simply acquiesced and that’s in part why Jesus asked these two men to make preparations for the Last Supper, because He knew they would say yes. So Peter and John were paired together, looking for a man carrying a water jug, supposed to ask him for a room in which they could observe Passover.

Whether or not these two men acquiesced or grumbled, walked steadily or stomped off, Jesus asked Peter and John to complete a pretty common task, and a task that a woman usually took care of.

*

How often do I miss hearing Jesus ask me to do something because I get caught up in the fact that it’s common? It seems insignificant or trivial. Someone else should be doing it. Many times, it is in these very moments that I miss the Lord’s voice, – I miss enjoying hearing Him speak personally to me, – and I miss the significant, intentional work that He is doing through me.

*

So these two disciples entered the town, identified the man, entered into the guest room, and prepared the Passover. Roasting the lamb, setting the table … perhaps at the time they did not understand the significance of the upcoming events; the Passover was tradition… but after Christ’s ascension in Peter’s letter and in John’s Revelation, we learn that they understood Jesus was the Lamb of God, our Passover Lamb, the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world.

*

Remember, even as you prepare supper, it is through the common and every day, the traditions and tasks, that the Lord is working to reveal Himself to you and through you. Take up the task of cooking supper with thanksgiving, recognizing its significance. Let us in everything pray and give thanks to the Lord.

*

1 Peter 1:18-20
“knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you…”

Revelation 5:6-8, 12-13
“And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.”

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
and honor and glory and blessing!”

And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying,

“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”