Summer is here, let the classes and camps begin! This year the summer activities we signed our boys up for all happen to fall on the same two weeks. Coordinating all of the pick ups and drop offs has taken quite a bit of concentration and effort. Band for one kid at 10:20, Basketball for another at 1, basketball for the other at 2:20, Ninja training at 4 and carpooling a group of kids to drama rehearsal at 5 and 10 pm, and a partridge in a pear tree.
As I was preparing to let the boy’s dad know which pick ups and drop offs he could help with on Wednesday, my mind jumped to thinking about the details of Thursday. That thought felt quite overwhelming as each day this week has it’s own specific minute details. So, I decided we would just go over the details one day at a time. Let us get through the details of Wednesday and help that run as smooth as possible before we start working out and discussing the details for Thursday. Otherwise, our minds may explode.
And it dawned on me that God probably has that same desire for me when giving me direction. Each day has it’s own challenges, it’s own details, it’s own decisions to be made and acted on. Yet, when I seek direction from Him, I want to know my entire future. Rarely do I stop and just ask for what directions He has for me for that one day. No, I want to know exactly what the directions will be for the next and the next and the next instead of trusting Him for the big picture and walking with Him one day at a time.
Lord, You know the details and needs of this day. You know the challenges and decisions I will face. You see down the road and know what direction You would have me take today. When I turn to the left or the right, let me hear You say “this is the way, now walk in it”.
“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Matthew 6:34
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21
The song in my heart
keeps calling for freedom
It’s beating to a different tune
This melody inside of me
Keeps chasing after You
I went in with the lions
And yet came out alive
Unscathed to tell the story
Of how and by Whom I survived
Clearly not by strength
Not by my wit nor guile
But because the Lord, He fought for me
And always wins the battle
“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14
19At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. 20When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?” Daniel 6:19-20
The wounds inflicted
have reached their end
The nightmare had purpose
Before it began
The darkness there
I may not comprehend
But yesterday is gone
And will not come again.
Rejoice in that which can’t be taken away
His promises for each new day
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
Still it’s there
One glimmer of hope
That comes to me when I sing
No matter what surrounds
My joy is found
When I offer praise
To my King
Religion says I have the answers
But You say I have your heart
Religion tries to simplify
You continue to mystify
And set Your love apart
I’m walking on invisible ground
Unseen by those around
But it’s proven sturdy
A faithful friend
I’ll choose it again
— Read on todancewithyou.com/2017/05/05/my-choice/
I can’t tell you what to do
or what direction to go
Only Who will be there along the way
I can’t tell you
how to atone for your sin
The price has already been paid.
1 John 2:2 “And He is the propitiation for our sings; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”
No matter how diligent
No matter how sincere
Our attempts are
at cleansing our own hearts
We still will fall short
But if His grace covers one,
It covers all.
10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. James 2:10
The current carried me away
Until I could no longer see the shore
Drifting about without enough strength
To fight the sea’s pull anymore
Reach for Him
When the sky begins to fall
When you can’t understand His hand
Trust His heart
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Broken and defeated
Crumbling to the ground
My hands reached out
And felt His feet
My tears streamed down
Succumbing to pain’s sting
But anguish turned to praise
As I trusted this lowly King
“As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.” Luke 7:38
He sifted me until I was no more
Every ounce of rebellion gone
He tested me and closed every door
Until despair chased away all my wrong
He brings us face to face
with our depravity
To understand our humanity
Until we learn to declare
It is for His purpose we are here
And we confess and believe
It is by His grace we live and breathe
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Elevating my beliefs to your truths requires turning away from lies
Lies that say life’s goal is reaching self satisfaction
That all must be well around me before following through with godly action
Earthly troubles are my perimeter, the plain I clearly see.
Looking beyond to the heavenly is what You are asking of me.
Don’t forget the Lord
When you face hopelessness
Don’t forget the Lord
When you lose sight of the light
Don’t forget the Lord
When you look at probability
Don’t forget the Lord
When you feel you’re losing the fight.
Have you ever noticed the phrase ‘But God’ in your Bible? Chances are: you have – and skated right past it. Take a closer look. From Genesis to 1 Samuel and Acts to Ephesians, almost every time the phrase occurs, it is to signal a change of scene. And each time, it is God stepping into the picture to powerfully upend a messed-up world again.https://butgod.net
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ — by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5
Lord, I don’t have much
but what I have is Yours
I’ll give You all I have
How could I give more?
43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” Mark 12:43-44
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3
You will make a way through this uncertain road
You’ll clear a path and illuminate my stepping stones.
Where will you take me? You will not say.
Only that you love me and you know the way.
Along the path my Lord leads me, whispering as we go.
Invisible safety embraces me disguised as a “not now” or a “no”.
Holding me to say “wait”, releasing me when it’s time to go.
Where he is leading me, I don’t yet need to know.
May Your will be done
Whether it leaves me
wanting or satisfied
May Your will be done
Whether it finds me alone
or with loved ones by my side
May Your will be done
Whether full of pain or jubilee
May Your will be done
As I draw near to Thee
11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Phillipians 4: 11-13)
No human device suffices
nor heals my pride
No dark corner provides
a safe place to hide
By Your hand, I will not
overcome this suffering
Until bowing my knee
is the only place left for me
And I learn to live
humbly at Your throne
As Your presence surpasses
all other known.
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16
May the blessings You place
right in front of me
Not be dimmed by the sorrow
of unmet dreams
Nor disregarded or ignored
because I was searching for another door.
In Your will, there is hope of a future
Apart from my own thoughts or plans
May I not miss Your blessing or calling
Because “No” my heart would not understand.
I can forgive every wrong to keep my heart clean.
I can evaluate my failures to make changes I need.
I can not let the things around me make me bitter or lose my sense of peace.
I can keep writing about it all and hope that someone who needs a new perspective sees.
I can only control me.
“If you learn self-control, you can master anything.” – Anonymous
Gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
“He who angers you conquers you.” – Elizabeth Kenny
“The first and best victory is to conquer self. To be conquered by self is, of all things, the most shameful and objectionable.” – Plato
I have been a wild and tempest rage
Unstable as the sea
Letting the waves of my emotions carry me.
This is not the way to be.
Emotions not founded on truth
Nor evidence of a lie
Just reactions on which I shouldn’t rely.
Emotions are blind, foolish guides.
You are the warmth I feel
when driving at night
The hope I find
when nothing is right
The melody in my song
When I don’t have a tune
The vision in my head
When I don’t know what to do
My reservoir is empty
All I can do is pray
Coming to you humbled
Lord have your way
My shield is broken
My defenses fallen down
I’ve given up fighting
Its Yours to win or lose now
“The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14
When my feelings are blinding me
And I can’t see the truth
I’ll choose to trust in You
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
You calm me and bring hope
You are steady and sturdy
You are larger than what I see
You whisper truth to me
I see this is by Your hand.
Though not all will understand
How You’ve led me into
Your promised land
The pasture is green
The waters so wide
A land flowing with honey
You there by my side
My soul is refreshed
My heart so content
Each labored step led
By divine Providence
Years in the storm
Now worth the wait
The desires that were born
The mistakes that were made
The changes that occurred
All through grace
Ushering me here
To this moment, this place
1The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4Even though I walk
through the darkest valley, a
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Discomfort causes me to stop and listen
What is it you’re trying to say?
My normal devices are saying nothing
So I’ve got to look your way
He’s the hope for the broken
The light in the dark
when we can no longer see
where we are
He’s the producer of miracles
The way out of our storms
Bringing heaven’s power
To our fading earthly forms
Revelation 19: 11-13, 16
I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. …. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:
KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
Will You do it for me
Will You be my strength
Will You face my enemies
And counsel me at length
Will You bring redemption
And hold me safely there
Will You offer forgiveness
Will You hear my prayer?
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
I have a seed of faith
And oh how small it feels some days
But You say a seed is all I need
To move mountains as I pray
So here we go little seed
Show me the way
He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
The trial I want You to remove
Is the one You’re asking me to face
The longing I’m trying to fill
You want to suffice by Your grace
I see You up ahead
Asking me to carry my cross
Telling me Your burden is light
And Your joy surpasses all loss
28“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Your eyes see ahead
Your hands hold all the cards
You’ve made and erased all the rules
You’ve let me taste your heart
So when You ask me to be still, I will
Lest I err in my own way
I’ll take life slowly, let it unfold
And keep waiting with you today
“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” Aristotle
So let me embrace the difficulties
that feel unending
Until in me their full work is done.
For You know the plans You have for me
And the blessings will come
once the battle is won.
I got a new toothbrush. It’s a very good Power toothbrush with a pressure sensor, timer and 2 intensity settings. I can feel such a difference with my teeth using this one compared to a cheapy store bought standard toothbrush. But, there was a learning curve when I first started using it. I was so used to doing all of the “heavy lifting” with my old toothbrush, I found myself still asserting a lot of pressure. I was used to using my own force to scrub hard and get those teeth sparkly clean. But, with this new toothbrush, if you push too hard on it, it vibrates to warn you the pressure is too hard. So, I let up to not wear down the bristles and let the rotating toothbrush head do it’s work. The power behind the toothbrush does not need my added pressure. Angle the toothbrush right and glide it along all four quadrants and wah-lah, super clean teeth!
This process, of course, led me to think isn’t that like learning to trust in God? We get so used to working out of our own efforts and power, that when we are given God’s limitless and effective power, we still don’t know (or have to learn) how to let go and trust in the sufficiency of His power. If we continue trying to exert too much of our own pressure, it wears down our faith the same way it wears down the bristles on my toothbrush. Instead, we can hold on with a comfortable grip and trust in His design to love and care for His children. We can trust Him to get into the crevices that need cleaning and polish us until we are shining. And He does all of this as we put our trust in Him, His unmatched power, sufficiency and grace.
2 Corinthians 12:9 “But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
Can I believe what You say to me in the midst of my brokenness?
Will I believe Your promises when life feels like one big mess?
Can I trust your plans for me to fulfill a holy destiny
When trials get the best of me and everything looks different than it ought to be?
James: 1: 2-4, ESV
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Our joy turned to mourning
Our passion to regret
The unspoken words now burning
Into the wounds we won’t forget
Lord heal us from the shrapnel left behind
from the war that waged in our lives
The cuts were deep. Alone, we can’t go on.
Lord teach us the lessons we refused to see
But continued on in our stubbornness
We battled for way too long.
Lord carry us into your loving light
Through the brokenness of this night
Awaken us to a new dawn.
There was only one way out
I had to get stronger
No other way would do.
There were no exits
Available to the current me
I had to become something new.
We’re getting closer to the sea
Torrential waves and armies surround
Our hearts now feeling the fear
That Your promises will not be found
Were our steps not led
By Your Sovereign hand?
Was our destruction
The goal of Your plan?
Oh, why bring us this far
Just to watch us fall?
But a voice reassures us
That’s not You at all.
So we take a step in faith
Our last option before defeat
And before us appears dry land
Where once was only rough sea.
“Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.” Exodus 14:21
Certain things I’ll never understand
And some of them cause me pain
But when I place them in Your hand
They never quite feel the same
The sting is dulled, hope gets brighter
Faith feels renewed and restored.
So I’ll keep placing life in Your hands
And keep my torn heart at Your door
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
My name is discernment
Trust what I reveal and know
I show you the hidden things
You’d otherwise never be told
I show you opportunities for blessing
And how to count sorrow as joy
I whisper God’s wisdom
Amid this world’s noise
I sense when something new is brewing
When it is time to block an attack
I sense calmness and times to be still
When to move on and when to hold back
I’m a gift, don’t ignore me
Shut me out or throw me away
Embrace me and listen
Trust what I say
It’s taken me captive
Been ruthless and cold
Gripping my heart
Unwilling to let go
I’ve pressed on despite it
Used it to grow
Gotten used to its presence
And welcomed it home
It’s had purpose, made gains
Inspired me to change
Been my friend, left me slain
My daily reminder, my pain
2 Corinthians 12: 8-10
8Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9But 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. 10That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
You steered me into the storm
On my trusty boat I went
But the winds picked up
Soon flailing overboard
All my senses spent
This was the way to go?
Why on such a rough sea?
Isn’t there a smoother path
Somewhere designed for me?
But the wind against my sails
Taught me a lesson or two
Gave me new strength and courage
And pointed me straight to you
I’ve laid myself down
Raw and exposed
No safety net laid out
Fully vulnerable I suppose
Trusting You to do as You say
Believing in Your love
And even more so in Your grace
As You walk me safely through this place