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Insider Information: Grief and Year of Jubilee

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I can handle this
My childhood home was demolished last October. That image has become a metaphor for me in this process of grief and loss. It was a great home, but its season has passed. Now, something new and more useful for this season is being built. The process is hard, ugly, painful, lonely and messy; but, extremely necessary. 
I've always been independent. I was raised to be. So, I'm not the best at taking advice, or easily believing what others say is true. Six years ago, I took a course on Grief, Trauma and Loss. I learned a lot of great information, but deep down thought, it can't be that big of deal. The teacher kept talking about the hard work of grief. It's not something you get over, it's something you go through. It's work, it's complicated. I dismissed those words and put them in the category of: yeah, for the poor, weak, and emotional ones! Poor things.
Most chapters in life can't really be understood, until you've lived them. Like stu…

Exciting News! A GIFT for YOU

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Low Self Esteem

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I love this paragraph taken from Henri Nouwen's book, Return of the Prodigal. I hope it encourages you today, as it did me. Commenting on the parable of Laborers in the vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16) he writes,

"Here lies hidden the great call to conversion: to look not with the eyes of my own low self-esteem, but with the eyes of God's love. As long as I keep looking at God as a landowner, as a father who wants to get the most out of me for the least cost, I cannot but become jealous, bitter, and resentful toward my fellow workers or my brothers and sisters. But if I am able to look at the world with the eyes of God's love and discover that God's vision is not that of a stereotypical landowner or patriarch but rather that of an all-giving and forgiving father who does not measure out his love to his children according to how well they behave, then I quickly see that my only true response can be deep gratitude."


White Space

Color affects our moods.

Color transforms spaces.

I'm thinking about color a lot these days as we are painting our new fixer-upper. My old home had a lot of deep color, dark color, warm color. I loved it, but I don't want it again. Perhaps it's the season I'm in, or the simplicity I'm seeking, but for now, we're going all WHITE. Boring? Maybe. Trendy? I have no idea. For me, it reflects the longing of my soul for room to breathe. These last 2 years have been the most intense yet, and I am crying out for space to breathe. White space. For now, my home will reflect that desire. (I changed the colors on this blog too!)

I wish it were that easy for my mind, heart and soul. Maybe it is?

A zinger comes and all of a sudden we feel out of control. Dark, scary, hurtful. What do we do?

"Come to Me." There He is, again.

I was driving across town the other day when suddenly, despairing feelings (birthed from a simple question by a loving friend) began wrapping th…

Contentment Helps

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A woman named Ella worked with the pygmies in Africa for 52 years in the scorching heat of the African bush. This list was found in an old diary of hers. It was her prescription for contentment:

Never allow yourself to complain about anything---not even the weather.Never picture yourself in any other circumstance or someplace else.Never compare your lot with another's.Never allow yourself to wish this or that had been otherwise.Never dwell on tomorrow---remember that tomorrow is God's, not ours. I'm training my mind in line with this advice because it is in line with Paul's letters advising us to submit our minds to Christ. It all goes back to awareness of His Presence of grace in every moment. Remain!

"This will be a test of your joyful confidence in God."

Read that statement again: "This will be a test of your joyful confidence in God."

John Ortberg mentioned this comment he received from Dallas Willard when he was facing a difficult time. Depending on where you are at today, this quote will either bore you, or grab you. For me, today, it grabbed me.

In many ways, I sense real transformation down deep as far as the true experience of joy in my soul. The fruit of clinging to the Vine, our sustaining Presence of grace. Truly miraculous.

However, I'm being intensely tested again. My dad (83) broke and shattered his ankle last Saturday. After surgery he is not allowed to put weight on his right leg for 8 weeks. Wow. Nurse Grace is called to the front again.

You may be saying, "how wonderful to be able to take care of your father." That's true. But, it's not my first reaction. My first reaction is selfishness which leads to despair, not joy. That's reality. Sometimes truth and reality don't integrate.…

Burst!

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When's the last time you burst out of bed radiantly because it's a new day?  Rejoicing like an athlete eager to run the race?  This is how God describes the sun rising each day (Psalm 19). 
"God made a home in the heavens for the sun. It bursts forth like a radiant bridegroom after his wedding. It rejoices like a great athlete eager to run the race. The sun rises at one end of the heavens and follows its course to the other end.  Nothing can hide from its heat."
He made a home for it and every day it follows its course from one end to the other and  nothing can hide from its heat.
I hate to admit it, but most mornings I drag myself out of the bed and look forward to returning to it. I am not facing the day with radiance nor am I eager to start running!

Something's gotta change. A new practice must begin so my 'start' can be transformed. My mind needs to be renewed. I want to live in anticipation like a great athlete ready to run.

How? David makes it clea…