Archive | Uncategorized RSS feed for this section

It Might Be Time to Change the Channel!

27 Aug

God tells us flat out in the book of Jeremiah that we will begin to look like the things we pursue. The things we exalt and make the goal of life move from being the thing we desire to possess, to the thing that possesses us. That makes such sense because the things that we love, that we chase after, and I’ll be so bold as to say lust after, control us.

                         This is what the Lord says:

“What fault did your ancestors find in me,
    that they strayed so far from me?
They followed worthless idols
    and became worthless themselves. . . . Jeremiah 2:5

Our pursuit shapes the way we use our time, where we invest our resources, and even our friend circle. Not one area of life goes unscathed or escapes the tentacles of our pursuit.

Do not run until your feet are bare
    and your throat is dry.
But you said, ‘It’s no use!
    I love foreign gods,
    and I must go after them. . . . Jeremiah 2:25

Rolling all of this over in my mind and asking myself what I pursue with everything I am and praying in the back of my brain that my pursuit is of the Who and not a what, made me remember a Shel Silverstein poem I used to read to my Sweet Girl when she was little . . . Jimmy Jet and the TV Set.

I’ll tell you the story of Jimmy Jet–
    And you know what I tell you is true.
He loved to watch his TV set
    Almost as much as you.

He watched all day, he watched all night
    Till he grew pale and lean,
From ‘The Early Show’ to ‘The Late Show’
    And all the shows in between.

He watched till his eyes were frozen wide,
     And his bottom grew into his chair.
And his chin turned into a tuning dial,
    And antennae grew out of his hair.

And his brains turned into TV tubes,
    And his face to a TV screen.
And two knobs saying ‘vert.’ and ‘horiz.’
    Grew where his ears had been.

And he grew a plug that looked like a tail
    So we plugged in little Jim.
And now instead of him watching TV
    We all sit around and watch him.

   Shel Silverstein

Quite the cautionary tale! Full of wisdom if we’re willing to take it in. I can’t expect to be consumed with the temporal things of this world and not look like I belong here.  Like this is my country and my home.

Sister, we will be changed by what we run after and where we fix our eyes. We will resemble what we pursue and our pursuit will shape who we become.

creation swap useless tvn ribbet

Lord,
     Let me fix my eyes on Jesus.
     Let me pursue you with everything I am.
     Give me the desire to look like you.
     To be holy because you are holy.

     Influence who I am in the here and now.
     Shape me to be who you want me to be.
     In Jesus Name Amen.

JESUS HAD STORMS . . . WE HAVE JESUS!

25 Aug

John 12:22-28

22-23 Philip went and told Andrew. Andrew and Philip together told Jesus. Jesus answered, “Time’s up. The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.

24-25 “Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.

26 “If any of you wants to serve me, then follow me. Then you’ll be where I am, ready to serve at a moment’s notice. The Father will honor and reward anyone who serves me.

27-28 “Right now I am storm-tossed. And what am I going to say? ‘Father, get me out of this’? No, this is why I came in the first place. I’ll say, ‘Father, put your glory on display.’”  The Message

Sisters, these were the words of Jesus as He contemplated the Cross. “Storm-tossed” seems a small term to describe the agony He was about to endure but is it not one we can identify with? The storm of sickness, loss, disappointment? We encounter what we often see as the less-than moments in life and we feel tossed about by our situation.  The water may calm briefly but before we know it the waves have crashed over us again and the tide is rising around our necks.

How often do you and I react with nothing but a strong desire to get out from under the waves and crawl up on the beach?  How often do we long to pop open a beach umbrella and simply sit with our toes in the warm sand, to just be done with the thing rather than ache to fulfill the purpose for which He has sent us . . . especially when our purpose might require suffering?

Do I have what it takes to remain in the water even when I can’t see why in the world I needed to leave my comfortable spot in the sand?  Will you and I stay put, no matter how dark the sky becomes or how choppy the waves, and trust Him to be our Rescuer?

Do we have the courage to live with the pain and strain this temporal world so often dishes out to be part of the kingdom story, the better story, the love story of God?  The answer to this question is absolutely YES! with Jesus

The same Jesus who uttered these words, who stood firm in the face of every life storm . . . lives within us. It is He who will provide the ache, the courage, and the holy desire to fulfill our purpose. He will never leave us to face the waves or stormy waters alone.

God held the water back and led His people through without a single foot slipping.  He’ll do the same for you.  He’ll do the same for me. He will hold despair to the left and sorrow to the right; guiding us through on solid ground straight into the arms of Jesus.

And if we stand at the water’s edge and it seems those stormy seas are refusing to part, then we know and we believe with everything we are that our Jesus is going to pull us to the very top of those murky depths and place our precious feet on top of every wave.

Girlfriend, you hang on to Him as that water rises.  And you know, to the marrow of your bones that if that water doesn’t part, if He doesn’t calm that storm with His hand or speak a word to send those waves away, then your Jesus plans to swoop from heaven straight into your circumstance and lead you through in a blaze of glory because Sister, no life storm can take us where the hand of Jesus cannot reach us!

creation swap storm hand Danielle Hartland 1374

#HeismyLifeGuard

 

Hearts of Love . . . Just for You

8 May

Our beauty is different from one another. Our personalities set us apart and our stories, our moments in time, are distinctly ours.

Sunday we will set some of those moments apart to celebrate Mother’s Day. Our celebrations will be as unique as we are. Some will reflect and remember with great affection as they gaze at an empty chair. Others will consider an unknown bloodline but rejoice in the life they were given by a woman they’ve never known.

My celebration will be with my Mom and my Baby Girl. The two women who more than any others on the planet have my heart. One of the greatest joys in my life is being the one God chose to connect their hearts to one another.

Individually God has done amazing things in, about and through each one of us.

AR-71

But when I slide my hand into my Momma’s and my Baby Girl grabs hold of mine, we move past solitary wonder and with our hands and hearts intertwined we are the holders of a faith legacy and a redeemed heritage that moves beyond the temporal blood flowing through our veins.

Beloved, if you are one who will spend some of your Mother’s Day moments looking at an empty chair or wondering about your beginning, don’t you believe for one moment that your God has left you alone. His plan for you surpasses biological ties and He desires to absolutely surround you with LOVE.

See no matter how different our lives may be or how divergent our beginnings, every single woman who walks this earth shares the unchanging and unfailing love of God. 

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
    you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
    Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
    I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
    how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
    all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
    before I’d even lived one day.

Psalm 139:14-16 (The MSG)

He knows this life is tough. He knows we need to have a heart beside us in the journey that mothers us. He knows we need someone to pour ourselves into and build up along the way. He knows the importance of being surrounded by people who love us when the ground is crumbling beneath our feet and He knows we need voices to join with ours when we are rejoicing in our mountain top moments.

God knows we need family.

And based on the authority of His word Beloved, I can tell you without a doubt that before time began the God of Glory planned to meet that need.

How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.  Ephesians 1:3-6 (The MSG)

He sent His one and only Son, the Firstborn of All Creation, to plant a new family tree and establish a greater bloodline. Jesus, our Messiah, and our Savior, has welcomed you and I to be daughters of the King with outstretched arms.

The heart of God longs to embrace you as His beloved Child and gift you with Sisters who have eternal blood pumping through their spirits. He offers us the way into His family through His blessed Son Jesus Christ. The very One who gave you your unique beauty, your individual personality, and has watched over your every moment has hand-picked a family just for you.

On your own Sweet One, you are beautiful in His sight.

But when you slide your hand into the Sister’s on one side and hold tight, palm-to-palm, with the Sister on the other, when we raise our hands and lift our voices to declare that our family tree is the Cross of Christ, when we rejoice in the Eternal Blood that is our shared heritage, well Girlfriend, we leave beautiful in the rearview mirror and in the unity of the spirit we walk straight into absolutely stunning!

four hands sisters ribbet

Our different lives and varied beginnings knit us together in His Name. We rejoice and we mourn with one another. We laugh and we cry together. We remember with thankfulness, we reflect with sorrow, and we celebrate the here and now.

We radiate the beauty of His strength and we walk through every circumstance shoulder-to-shoulder. We applaud one another’s successes and we lament our losses. We link arms and we stand strong in the love of Jesus and the hearts of the women He has given us.

We trust in His plan, lay down roots at the foot of the Cross and with our hand in His follow Him straight into hearts of Love.

sisters at britt's shower 2 ribbet

The Miracle is YOU!

27 Mar

As I read in the Gospel of John on this Resurrection Sunday, the Love of Jesus and His desire to bring the children of God home has overwhelmed me. I am in awe of the lengths our Savior will go to in order to show Himself to us.

Mary Magdalene sees and hears the voice of angels announce the Good News that He is Risen and then Messiah stands before her confirming what her eyes have seen and her ears have heard. She doesn’t recognize the Man but when the Shepherd King speaks her name . . . her heart recognizes Him and rejoices!

She lingered at the Tomb, aching to be with Him, and was blessed to be the first to hear Him say “tell of Me!” She saw the Miracle, she heard His voice, and she obeyed.

John and Peter had seen the Empty Tomb but they went away, returned home, wondering what had happened. But Jesus never gives up and there isn’t a place that exists that He won’t come after us! He went where the disciples were. He spoke peace to them. He showed them His hands and His side. They believed what their eyes saw and their ears heard . . .and they rejoiced.

Though they left the empty tomb with uncertainty they responded with joy as they heard Him entrust the news of the Miracle to them, “I am sending you! Tell of Me!”

And Sweet Sister, it isn’t just the wandering that Jesus pursues. He goes after the doubting and the demanding. Thomas wasn’t with the other disciples when Jesus spoke peace over them the evening of the Resurrection but they exploded with the good news as soon as he rejoined them . . . “We have seen the Lord!” But Thomas hadn’t witnessed it and wanted personal proof of the Risen King. Until he put his fingers where the nails were and his hand into the side of Christ, he refused to believe. Thomas doubted and Thomas demanded but Jesus was not dissuaded. He came after Thomas. He held out His nail-scarred hands and offered His pierced side to him.

Jesus showed Himself to Thomas. He peeled the doubt away for him in a real and personal way and Thomas responded with belief declaring Him to be the Lord.

The Author of Life called to the lingerer, met the ones who left, and showed Himself to the doubter. Wherever they found themselves . . . HE FOUND THEM and the One who is the Miracle produced a miracle . . . He stirred their souls to believe.

And this is where my heart really starts to race—He did not stop with those blessed to encounter Him as He wore flesh . . .John 20:29-31

Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed, blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book.  But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. 

Beloved, those blessed ones, those who may believe and have life, are us!

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.  1 Peter 1:8-9

See no matter who we are, the one who aches to be near Him, the one who leaves and goes home or the one who doubts and demands . . . the Savior will find us! He will show Himself to us. He will summon us by name. He will come after us and stir our hearts in real and personal ways.

Our Jesus who is the same yesterday, today and forever still does miracles! Girlfriend, if you have confessed Him as your Savior . . . YOU ARE ONE!

If you haven’t, as long as you draw breath . . . it is not too late to BE ONE!

The stirring of hearts has not ceased. The Miracle story is still unfolding. The glorious conclusion will not be written until the joy of true beginning—faith becoming sight, glory taking shape—is before us. Until then, the pages will continue to be inked with the blood of the Lamb and we who are the miracles will be filled with the joy of the Risen King.  We will go forth in His Name, we will shout His praise, we will rejoice and with every miracle heart beat of new life we will TELL OF HIM!

Jesus did many other miracles AS WELL. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.  John 21:25creation swap heart in bible Marian Trinidad 7896 ribbet

The Carb Queen: My Glimpse of Glory

17 Nov

Nothing else in all of life is quite like looking into the face of my baby girl.  Nothing else produces that beautiful mix of ferocious tenderness I feel as I watch her navigating life and making her way one brave step at a time.  She doesn’t let life simply go by . . . she pulls it up close and lives all the minutes with everything she has.  Time with her Jesus is no exception.  She steps into every syllable of His Word and fully expects Him to the be the God who shows her great and unsearchable things she does not know . . . to be the Savior who will show Himself to her and the Spirit that will lead her into all truth.  True to His promise to be found by those who seek Him, He consistently reveals Himself to be the God of More to her and my heart is never more full than when I receive the 6 a.m. or the midnight text saying, “Mom, you won’t believe what He has let me see!”  Those moments for me are truly a glimpse of His glory and I thank my God for the gift of her every time.

Glimpsed Glory Welcomes

The Carb Queen: Filling up on the Bread of LifeMother and Daughter

 

Tom & Jerry Is Just a Cartoon

(Or What Delilah Taught Me about Perspective, Forgiveness, and Life)

By Britt Biddinger Stechly (carbohydratequeen.blogspot.com)

(To really understand this post, I’d recommend reading Judges 16 – the account of Samson and Delilah – but no pressure)

In ninth grade, my teacher (the regular author of this blog/my mom) had me do an exercise for Language Arts; in it, we read the same story twice. In the first version a starving cat chased down an interloping mouse. In the second, a mouse sought shelter from a harsh world only to be scared away by a cruel feline.

I think the story of Samson and Delilah has always been a cat and mouse story to me. The mean seductress (cat) lures the simple strong-man (mouse) into her arms, only to betray him at a moment’s notice!

Now, I’m not so sure. Maybe the cat isn’t wicked, maybe the mouse isn’t scared, maybe things aren’t as black and white as they once appeared and our characters are all dressed in layers of gray.

Delilah was, likely, a prostitute. Samson was “in love.”

Delilah isn’t Samson’s wife and she’s never recorded as having said, “Samson, I love you so much! Tell me how you can be bound so that I can help you guard against it, darling!” Nope.

Samson just keeps falling asleep at her place, likely after sex he paid for; despite the fact that he’s leaving himself pretty much defenseless. Delilah doesn’t seem like she’s even trying to be particularly sneaky.

He tells her how to bind him.

He wakes up bound exactly that way.

He keeps coming back to her.

I don’t think he returns out of love, but arrogance – I believe he forgot where his strength came from and thought no one could take him down, particularly not some random girl.

According to the Word, Samson had never known a life void of blessing. Literally, from the womb he was called and celebrated. I think it went to his head; he thought he was strong, but the truth is (ready? I’m about to blow your mind)

Samson was never strong – GOD is strong.

Delilah repeatedly asks Samson, “Why do you mock me?” but the only one Samson mocked is God. Samson continues spitting in the face of his calling over and over, utterly unafraid of the consequences.

In Samson’s story, Delilah is surely the living embodiment of the Woman Folly Proverbs warns against (Proverbs 9),

but she is not the villain – Samson’s pride is.

In her story, Delilah was almost certainly not a prostitute by choice. She was most likely sold into sex trafficking by her own family, to pay off their debt. She was in a horrible situation that wasn’t her design, in a godless country, and suddenly an opportunity to make so much money off just another dopey John falls into her lap and she takes it – maybe it was even enough money that she got to go home afterward. We’re not told that.

But one thing is for sure: Delilah was shown that money is the most important thing – certainly more important than her life – so why wouldn’t it be more important than some random guy? Sure he “loved” her, but it isn’t unlikely that a lot of men had “loved” her. She probably didn’t even know about his calling – he wasn’t acting like a Judge set apart to lead God’s people and she clearly didn’t know the Nazarite Vows. All she definitely knew about him was that he was freakishly strong and, if she could be responsible for his capture, he was her meal ticket.

She’s more than a prop in Samson’s story; she’s Rahab if God hadn’t intervened. She’s a poor, scared, probably teenaged girl who desperately wants out of a life that she didn’t choose.

Delilah is RahabDelilah isn’t a villain; she’s a victim.

She was taken advantage of by countless men – including one who was world renowned for his strength – so she took advantage right back.

I’m not saying Delilah did a good thing, but I truly believe that she wasn’t the one outside the will of God; Samson was.

In fact, if she were the “hero” of the story, it might even have been said that God used a sinful, wayward man to lift her out of a life of slavery and poverty. But she’s the “villain” so we don’t get to know what happens to her.

Maybe she was an evil temptress; but no one is born that way. Maybe she was a corrupt opportunist; but can someone who is a victim of a corrupted system, trapped at the whim of any man with enough money, ruined in the eyes of her society, really be blamed for this particular situation?

Or should it be the Judge of Israel, anointed by God and blessed with greater physical strength than any man, be held accountable for his arrogance, stupidity, and weakness of character?

In any case, God loves “Delilahs” and “Samsons”.

He loves all mess-ups and ragamuffins. We can place blame anywhere we like, but Christ covered it all with forgiveness.

So pray for the Delilahs in your life because with God’s healing they can become Rahabs. Never forget that no one but the Devil is a villain; everyone else is a soul God wants to see saved and

He can and will redeem any story.

Even Delilah. Even Samson. Even me. Even you.

But never let the Devil trick you, my love – you are not a Delilah. If you are a victim of circumstances far outside your control or have done things you are not proud of, you are still a Rahab!

You are chosen.

You are loved.

You are called.

I’m going to say this again,

God’s faithfulness CAN and WILL redeem ANY story.

Lean into that.

Let Him love you, rather than take advantage of you. Let Him take care of you, rather than use you. Let Him redeem you, instead of defile you.

You are worthy & you are loved & you are beautiful & you are enough & God has a plan for YOUR good, sweet lady. Let that sink into your very bones; allow it to fill you up and comfort you like a really good latte.

The world isn’t black and white, you’re not a cat or a mouse, you’re a complex and wild creation of the Author who longs to lavish you with a plotline far beyond your dreams or fantasies. It might not be easy but, because of God’s faithfulness, you can be assured of a happily ever after.

Carbohydrate Queen

*Thank you to BibleGateway for making the word accessible from one generation to another!

Unresolved Anger and Unhindered Grace . . .Which will you wear on your sleeve?

23 Oct

Ephesians 4:26-27

26 Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and do not give the devil an opportunity.

Monday Nights with Ann . . . #3 . . . The Red Sea Moment

8 Oct

creation swap monday nights with ann couch 8345_Couch_Pictures

Periodically over the next few weeks there will be blog posts entitled, “Monday Nights with Ann” – they will contain Scripture and an opportunity to interact with the Word of God. Each of the “Monday Nights with Ann” posts will include an audio recording that ties the Scripture together. I pray you’ll take a few minutes and listen in. Blessings to you Sweet Sister!

clickbelow

↓ The Red Sea Moment ↓

None of us wants a stagnant faith. We want to grow from the moment we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior until we walk into Glory and realize the reality of grace in its fullest measure. That’s going to be an eternal moment Sisters when in the twinkling of an eye we are raised imperishable, dressed in the fine white linen of the Bride of Christ and we take our first steps into the New Jerusalem. – You and I have to move on from the waters’ edge. We have to face the fear and know, in this Red Sea moment, that LOVE is bigger.

creation swap move on watersedge

We may have all manner of circumstance piled to the right and every fiery trial piled to the left but God will lead us through. Freedom is not easy but He will provide the dry ground and our feet will not slip because the spirit of God has not come so that we may simply survive –He has come so that we may thrive.

And what I need for you to know is that since the arrival of our great Messiah and our Savior Jesus Christ we no longer only walk between the water of despair on the right and the wall of destruction on the left – you and I place our beautiful feet smack dab on the top of every wave!

We abide in Him and we abound in thankfulness that in the Matchless Name of He who saves every snake and every scorpion is under our Luke 10:18-19 feet and we declare for all the heavenlies to hear that we are free and no harm will come to us! We fix our eyes on Jesus, look at the Red Sea and we step out in His Mighty Name!

He has crushed the head of our enemy with His holy heel and not one obstacle stands between us and the Father.  Jesus Christ has overcome them all so that you and I, those who believe in their hearts and confess with their mouths that Jesus is Lord, can not only approach the throne of grace with confidence – we are welcome to live there!

The boundary lines have fallen for us in pleasant places, indeed we have a beautiful inheritance! Changed from death to life!

Changed from hiding from our God to Hiding in our Savior!

How much more abundant can it get for those who were once slaves to sin than to now be welcome in the Holy of Holies? The very dwelling place of the Living God.  Does it overflow more than that? Girlfriend, that’s what we were made for, life in His Presence—His overflowing, to the full, abundant Presence.

He is a jealous God who will not share you with the enemy nor your own flesh. He has come to set the captives free and He will deliver you safely into Glory. Drop your chains – abide and abound – and follow Him with everything you are!

God is Resolved to Speak My Language . . .and Yours

11 Jul

The Sweet Sister who walked through this trial and heard her God whisper peace over needs to revisit this tangible example of His faithfulness and love. He is still working miracles today Sweet Girl! #onteamvusich

glimpsedglory

I have made much of God’s faithfulness to Himself in these first few posts because God has made much of His faithfulness to Himself to me over the last year and a half.  Really, God has been preparing my heart to begin grabbing hold of that foundational truth forever.  That’s one of the wonderful things about Him.  He doesn’t care how thick-headed or dull you are, He’ll just keep repeating Himself until He sees the flame of comprehension begin to flicker.

I have to tell you that as I wrote that last sentence I felt a smile spread across my face because I had never realized before that “thick-headed” is my love language.  Let me explain.  The thing that God uses, more than anything else, to romance my soul and woo my heart is the revelation of the connections that flow between the Old and the New Testament.  I love…

View original post 1,465 more words

The Evermore of Glory . . . the Nevermore of Tears

16 Jun

Life is such a funny thing. Periods of great joy and deep grief run parallel with one another. Elation and loss side-by-side, each one demanding your full attention – neither receiving it because you find yourself incapable of fully committing to the experience of either. Instead, you find yourself vacillating between the two. Moments of great happiness followed by times of overwhelming melancholy . . . and the life events that lead us there are as different as the feelings themselves.

I have Sisters walking through such grief as they come to terms with doing a portion of this temporal life without their Mommas. . . without their children . . .they simultaneously ache with the reality of their daily absence and rejoice that the ones they loved so well are now free of pain and worry, standing hand-in-hand with Jesus. They delight that their faith has become sight but the apartness of it all is so heavy sometimes. So they find themselves living in a place of both joy and emptiness, hearts etched by separation and spirits anticipating sweet reunions . . .knowing the reality of the Apostle Paul’s statement that we do not grieve as those who have no hope.

blog scrabble words1b ribbet

I have Sweet Friends in soul combat as their “adult-children” begin navigating life on this decaying planet in a new way. They beam with pride at the accomplishments of their babies as their high school days are left behind and they pray with ferocity for their futures. They put together picture boards in commemoration of milestones and try to imagine the new images that will be part of their children’s monumental moments in the days to come. They are standing between the mountain-top of triumph and the fresh climb into the unknown that looms just ahead for their young people. Young people who head toward new destinations on their life journeys and take with them very real and very large chunks of their Momma’s hearts. Hearts that at once celebrate what lies ahead and remember the sweetness of what is behind. Hearts that hear the Voice of Love whisper . . . “train a child up” . . . and cling to it with everything they are.

blog scrabble words1aribbet

God opened my eyes to this strange linking of emotional arms this morning as I set about the business of continuing to sort and pack away my daughter’s things. I pack a little and I cry a little. I do heavy sighs as if my heart can’t get enough air as I look from thing to thing and the memories flood through my mind and onto my cheeks. The wedding is over. The new life in a new state has begun for her. My emotions flow back and forth between great happiness over her new experiences and powerful waves of what I can only describe as heart blues.

And I’m sure she is encountering some version of that same ebb and flow as she makes her new home. Unpacking boxes that speak to the security of a time now passed and choosing new things to create a sense of belonging in this place of fresh beginning. New wife, new life . . . joy and anticipation colliding head on with a peculiar mixture of mourning and melancholy.

No matter where you are reading from, you have a similar experience. A time when it seemed that your heart argued with itself about what you should be feeling. A dear friend reminded me years ago when my Sweet Girl left for college on the opposite end of the country and I walked through the same dichotomy of emotions that we were never meant to experience painful separation from one another. Might that be why it is so difficult to nail down the way we feel about being apart?

I confess that this upheaval in my emotions, while unpleasant at times, has served a beautiful purpose. It has opened my eyes and allowed me a glimpse of the eternity I will spend in Glory. It has made me marvel at what Jesus was willing to endure when He experienced the ultimate separation on the Cross so we could spend eternity in glorious togetherness.

There will be no farewells in heaven. Glory wasn’t designed for clashing emotions. Loss will have no place in eternity and its fraternal twin loneliness will never draw a breath.   Mourning and melancholy simply won’t be part of the equation. Sadness and sorrow will never make their way past the Gate called Beautiful.

The ransomed of God will delight in the absence of mixed emotion and savor the full presence of one another . . .not a tear will be shed and everlasting joy will crown the head of the redeemed. Gladness and joy will overtake us and sorrow and sighing—the kind we do when we feel like our hearts can’t get enough air—they will flee away.

Beloved, that’s our reality – our certain outcome – because He is our reality and He will not change His mind concerning us. We won’t be visited by loss and the pain of grief will not find a home. There will be no more life transitions or waiting for blessed reunions. No more intermingling of elation and melancholy. Never again will we utter the goodbye. Sweet Sister, if you find yourself with a fractured spirit—part of you celebrating while the other part grieves—you take heart Precious Believer . . .our complete joy is guaranteed and the Nevermore of separation will be ours when our feet are firmly planted in the Evermore of Glory.

blog scrabble words ribbet

She Loves Me More: An Open Letter to my Mom

10 May

In honor of Mother’s Day I’d like to sing my Momma’s praises again! I am so grateful that she will always love me more! Love you Mom!

glimpsedglory

I feel God is prompting me to write a book and in response to that I have begun the process of sifting through all the spiral notebooks I have written in over the years. It’s a little bit like the process of revisiting the memories and the people when you’re sorting pictures. You can’t just drop it onto the top of a pile until you’ve looked it over, fingered the edges of it, smiled at it or cried with it, and let the “all of it” wash over your heart one more time. I realize as I am reading over that description that I am very much dating myself chatting about the mounds of unsorted pictures I have tucked away in totes, so for the younger sisters that I pray are reading and will be spurred toward love and good deeds as a result of being here—replace the words that…

View original post 1,592 more words

%d bloggers like this: