Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Sing Your Song

A couple of years ago for Christmas I received this beautiful, soft green leather journal with a bird on it embossed with shiny, gold words that read, "Sing Your Song".  I've picked up that journal a number of times and written in it but for the most part it only contains a few special things, unlike my every day journal.

The phrase on the front, "Sing Your Song" has been a source of angst to some degree.  As a young girl I didn't have anything that I did really well.  I could do lots of things but I didn't seem to excel in one area to the degree of excellence that brought accolades or applause.  My mom would occasionally say, "you just haven't found your niche' yet".  As I grew up I wondered what my "niche" was.

When I picked up that journal a few months ago and read those gold words strewn across the front, my heart knew I had a song, and I would gladly sing it, but I wasn't sure I knew the words.  I want my song to be special, something beautiful and excellent, honestly something that would give my life legitimate purpose.  We all want to be thought of as special and in my mind and heart at times I believe if I can find that one thing, THEN I'll be important or have something special to offer.   The lie I am tempted to believe? That being valuable to God and others revolves around what I do, something I can accomplish, something with a legitimate outcome to be measured.  For years I've believed this lie.

Listen to what Sally Lloyd Jones writes in The Jesus Storybook Bible:


Jesus knew that God would always love and watch over the world he had made ---everything in it---birds, flowers, trees, animals, everything!  And, most of all, his children.

Even though people had forgotten, the birds and the flowers hadn't forgotten -- they still knew their song.  It was the song all of God's creation had sung to him from the very beginning.  It was the song people's hearts were made to sing: 
 "God made us.  He loves us.  He is very pleased with us."

As I held that green journal and read the words Sing Your Song, I wondered what MY song was. Today, as I read these words, my heart melts into tears that run down my cheeks.  I was made to sing the same song as the birds, flowers, trees, animals and every other good thing God created. My life is a song of God's love for me and the pleasure he finds in me.  As I am filled up with this truth, that I'm loved no matter what, there is a shift happening in my heart.  I'm remembering that God created me as a human BEING not a human doing.  My value is safe and secure simply because I am created in the image of God.  Nothing I do can give my heart the legitimacy it craves.  I don't need a niche', I just need to stay tethered to Jesus, my brother, savior, friend and live in the reality that I am enough, because Jesus is Enough.

As God continues to heal my broken heart so I can receive His love, He will continue as well to point me to the truth about my identity.  I don't have to fret about what I do.  I can "do" whatever He leads me to do, because doing from that perspective changes everything. Instead of the doing telling me who I am, I can BE who I am and everything will flow from a place of  rest.  Until we take a good look into our hearts and become aware of where we are striving, as long as we are living for approval, no one will see Jesus, they'll only see our performance.  

If you're wondering about what your life is supposed to be singing to this world, you're welcome to join me and simply sing Jesus Loves Me.  As we believe the words of that song, like little children who trust their Papa, we will begin to be filled up with love so that it spills out all over the people God brings into our lives.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Celebrate LOVE!

February 14th, Valentine's Day.

Will I receive a card or flowers or candy this year?
Possibly from my children or grand children or my mother.

I delight in receiving those gifts but let's be honest, they just don't hold the same type of  sentiment as a gift or special dinner date with the "love of your life".

Three years ago, as I contemplated the stage of life I found myself, I was prompted to write a love note.  As I sat at the computer, the words bubbled up into my heart and spilled out with little thought on my part.  It was as if God whispered how much he adored spending time with me, asserting that no other human's affection would ever come close to the way he loved me.

Our journey to understand and feel the love of God is sometimes lived out faithfully to us by human beings.  
And there are also times when it is not.

 For years the love I sought was a self-serving, consumer love that never satisfied the deep longings in my heart.

As I have allowed access to my heart by the only One who truly knows me, 
He has tenderly cut away the foreskin of my heart
promulgating a healing I wasn't even aware was keeping me from receiving his pure love for me.

I'm wondering if there aren't more women who might need to be reminded of how they are loved.  Here's a letter from God's heart to yours.




My dearest~
You may not receive candy or flowers or be invited out to a fancy dinner by a handsome human this year on Valentine’s Day, and then again you might. Either way, this little note is a reminder that you are infinitely and eternally LOVED and VALUED by the BEST HUSBAND EVER, Jesus Christ your redeemer and the lover of your soul!!
I passionately pursue relationship with you in various unseen ways, wooing you and loving you well, giving you gifts of my love that are perfectly fitted to your unique personality.  

I invite you to spend time with me, 
to enjoy passionate conversation and genuine care in my presence.
 
I promise to give you infinitely more satisfaction and pleasure 
than the most handsome gentleman you have ever known or could ever imagine.  

I love you with a love that is faithful and true, 
unconditional and everlasting, 
WHO could love you better?  

You are a priceless treasure! 

I created you for myself and you are perfected in me!! 

Come out with me tonight, spend time with me, 
allow me tell you how I love you.

Happy Valentine’s Day my love!
Jesus

My prayer is you revel in the deep deep love of Jesus knowing that his never stopping, never giving up, always and forever love is enough!


Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.  
Psalm 36:5


Saturday, February 11, 2017

Five Minute Friday {SAFE}


Linking up with Kate Motaung at Five Minute Friday where a group of writers free write for five minutes with no revisions, no corrections, no edits. This week's word, SAFE

Setting the timer, Go:

When I think of the word safe, it describes the way I’ve lived my entire Christian life.  I haven’t taken a risk, not really.  I go to the prescribed place to sit in the pew and listen to the Word preached, talk with some people who look just like me for the most part and go home.  I live in a neighborhood that is diverse but I come and go back and forth from my car to my house in the safest way possible.  I lock doors and keep to myself in order to be “safe”.

This has been a conviction to my heart recently.  I don’t want to live “safe”.  I want to be dangerous for the kingdom of Jesus.  But what does that look like.  How do I move forward into places that don’t feel “safe”.  How do I befriend and connect with the people in my neighborhood that others would consider to be UNsafe.

I say I want to live the way Jesus lived but I don’t actually do it most of the time.  My every day looks pretty much the same as all the people I rub shoulders with on a regular basis.

What would it look like to really trust God with myself, with my time, with my money.  What would it look like if I actually took a risk and walked into the life of someone who wasn’t just like me.  

I know in my head Holy Spirit would meet me there, would enter into that place and time.  Oh that I would begin to live in a way that resembled Jesus more and more.


Oh that I would move from desiring safety to desiring more of Jesus, more of the way he lived and moved while he walked the same earth I’m walking today.  

That I would live reckless abandoned to his love, knowing I am loved and giving that love away to the people who would never walk into my local church.

STOP.

The picture above is part of a journal entry from March 2016. God has moved in my heart over and over this past year to leave the comfort and safety of religious practices and move into relationship with people who look and live differently. I don't do this perfectly or completely but the small changes I'm making as Holy Spirit prompts my heart will add up to something different in a year or two or ten. God works in the small everyday steps to take us from one place to another. He is ordering my steps and I will continue to follow Him.

Are you taking risks or living a safe and comfortable American Dream Gospel life? I'd love to hear how God is moving your heart from safety and comfort into the world around you that might seem unsafe.







Thursday, February 2, 2017

Five Minute Friday {Control}

This is my first time posting to Five Minute Friday.  And I'm almost too late due to untimely circumstances in my family but I made it, just under the wire, I think.

The premise, use the word prompt for the week and write for five minutes without edits or revamping.  This is what I wrote in five minutes about the word Control~

There is no formula with God.  We cannot control how things will go, whether he shows up or speaks to us.  I find myself at times trying to do "just the right thing" to get God to meet me, to earn his favor, to garner a place at his table, to be included in his special chosen few.  When my desire for control shows up here, I cringe every time.  Me Control God?  How ridiculous!

But when my desire to control my adult children comes, I brush that right under the rug of Mother knows best and proceed to take my place on the throne.  All of our efforts to grasp control are feeble attempts to be God.  When I can see with the eyes of my heart in this way, it is easier to open up my hands and receive what the one true God intends for my day, my week, my life and for the lives of those around me.  

Control is an issue for all of us.  It's our attempt to be God. We just aren't always aware of how that desire to be God over ourselves and others manifests itself.

My prayer for me and for you is that we see how, when and where we are clinching our fists in an attempt to control and loosen our grip, ushering in freedom and life.


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