Free

Poetry

How free would I be if worth wasn’t measured in friendship

My value wasn’t defined by other’s views

My fulfillment not met by earthly dreams

My heart’s needs met by only You

How clear would my vision be if I erased the clutter

How light the load if I let the weights go

How patient the wait if I fully surrendered

How complete the path if I trusted all You told

Matthew 11:29-30

“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

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He Gives Freedom

Poetry

My sin is not greater

My gifts are not lesser

Than all those who

have gone before

Equal in measure

For the standard of Christ

Is the only judgement

That matters any more

Galatians 3:28

There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

James 2: 12-13

12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the Law that gives freedom. 13 For judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

 

 

 

His Love Never Fails

Poetry

Grateful no matter where I go

You’re with me

No matter what stage, what season

You are there

Running into Your arms

I see all You teach me

Through these storms

My stubbornness gets shattered

My treasures all tattered

My humility is deepened

My sins are forgiven

Because …

“Your Love never fails, it never gives up, it never runs out on me.”

(One Thing Remains)

Romans 8:38-39

38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord

Struggle 

Poetry

There’s a little extra pain in my tears

A little more sorrow in my heart

The struggle is getting the best of me 

Each day I’m not sure how to start

One breath at a time

I slowly move forward and pray

That I’ll see something, hear a word

That sounds different than it did yesterday

Doubt, Faith, Possibilities

Poetry

What if…

I never discover a solution

My battles never find resolution

My actions never match my words

My thoughts are always disturbed

I never write a famous song

I never find a place to belong

My worry doesn’t cease

My soul never finds peace

What if…

Promises are fulfilled

I perfect the art of being still

I continue to grow and gain

I find purpose in the pain

I gain insight and faith

I discover new strength

I hold fast to the truth

I stay beside You

What if…

Treasures

Poetry

I give you my treasures

All tattered and torn

They’ve lost all their luster

They’re long over worn

At first I couldn’t see it

I didn’t have a clue

How worthless they were

Until I saw You

Philippians 3:8

Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ

Your Will Be Done

Poetry

 I desire immediate gratification.

But often Your timing is different than mine.

Please help me to remember in my struggle for pleasure,

That Your will be done, not mine.

In my need, I surrender my heart to You.

One broken area at a time.

In Your grace, I offer my thanks to You.

For being patient when I am so stubborn and blind.

May I trust You enough to ask every day that Your will be done, not mine. 

I’ll Wait

Poetry

I’ll wait for you, I’ll wait

Won’t do it as in the past

Won’t go my own way

Won’t jump in too fast

Your eyes see ahead

Your hand holds all the cards

You’ve made and erased all the rules

You’ve let me taste your heart

So I’ll wait, I’ll wait for you

Lest I err in my own way

I’ll take it slowly, let it unfold

And keep waiting on you today

Turn to Me

Poetry

People will let you down

They’ll disappoint you, fail you, 

misunderstand, mistreat and leave you.

And when they do, turn to Me.

Turn to me in your hurt, 

your sadness, disappointment and fear.

Turn to Me to learn forgiveness

To gain understanding

Turn to Me to be healed.

I forgive and love like no one else

I’ll teach you to do the same

It won’t always make sense 

but My way is the best

not just for you 

but for everyone here. 

Your Thoughts

Poetry

When it comes to things

 I don’t understand

I give them to You 

and trust what You say

When worry is tempting me

To care what others think

I remember your thoughts

Are all that matter anyway

Isaiah 55:8-9

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”

declares the Lord.

“As the heavens are higher than the earth,

    so are my ways higher than your ways

    and my thoughts than your thoughts.

God

Poetry

May I never be so high That I fail to look up

May I never be so content

That I stop asking You to fill me up

May this world never answer

all of my questions

That I would stop bringing

all of my wondering to You

May my heart always long,

my hands ever reach,

my eyes always search

To experience You

Matthew 6:33

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

His Name

Poetry

Seek purity

Rest in His security

You won’t be put to shame

If You trust in His good name

Psalm 22:5
To you they cried out and were saved; in you they trusted and were not put to shame.
Psalm 71:1-3
In you, Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame. In your righteousness, rescue me and deliver me; turn your ear to me and save me. Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go;

Here with You

Poetry

Here I am safe

Keep me in your arms

As I clean out the messes

That cause me nothing but harm

Here I am loved

Let me never forget

As I keep walking further away 

From a broken past and regret

Here I am hopeful

Fix my gaze on You

As I search to know You more

Align my thoughts with Your truth

Luke 4:32

They were amazed at his teaching, because his words had authority.

Psalm 37:4

Take delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. 

Paddle boarding – Be Still

Analogies

We rented a paddle board. I put my 4 year old in front, my 7 year old on the back and I stood in the middle paddling us out into the deeper water. Just around the side of the mountain the water opens up to a larger part of the lake and it’s beautiful and serene and most importantly (for a home full of 3 boys) quiet. The boys had never been on a paddle board before. They had been playing with their friends close to shore most of the day and I really wanted to get a chance and show them what it was like to go out deeper and see the calmer, even more beautiful parts of the lake on the other side. So off we went. Noah, my youngest, is scared of anything that’s not a perfectly solid ground. So he was hanging on for dear life to the roping on the board. Caleb who is rambunctious and cannot sit still was turning around, sticking his feet in the water and dipping his water gun in the lake to fill it up. My main goal was not to fall. But every time Caleb moved, he’d rock the board. So I finally said “look, I want to show y’all something really beautiful and the only way we’re going to get there is if you sit still and let me paddle.” And they did! And it was such a wonderful time with my boys. Of course as soon as I said it, I thought I bet God has asked me to do the same thing but I keep squirming and rocking the board. And if I would just sit still and be patient and let Him do the paddling, I could experience a blessed ride and see the beauty on the other side of the mountain. 
“Be still, my soul,

The Lord is on your side.

Bear patiently, the cross of grief or pain.

Leave to your God, to order and provide.

In every change He faithful will remain.

Be still, my soul,

Your best your heavenly friend, 

Through thorny waves leads to a joyful end.”
-Be still my soul song lyrics 

(This version by Ginny Owens)

When Faith & Feelings Collide

Thoughts

Journal entry from years past…

The first 10 years of my growing relationship with Christ was spent learning and absorbing.  I absorbed everything there was to hear or read about the Bible.  I learned lessons, I was fed spiritually, I grew in my faith by seeing prayers answered and I came to trust in God’s love and grace.  It was the time when every sermon on the radio filled my heart and head with joy and peace and my sustenance each day was hearing from the Lord.  I was blessed.  I was blessed with an abundance of answered prayers.  I was blessed with marriage and children and church and friends.  Sin still caused disturbances from time to time but God’s grace always prevailed.  I was forgiven, I was cleansed and I was held in his arms.

The next season began to creep in.  This next season didn’t feel quite as pleasant.  I became aware of 2 distinct parts of my life.  The one and most important part of my life rested in this bubble above my head.  This bubble contained everything I had absorbed in the last 10 years.  It was filled with biblical truths and godly wisdom.  I’d reach in the bubble and grab ideas out to use when appropriate.  I’d reach in there to remember God’s grace when it was needed.  It was an awesome and useful bubble.  But down below, I walked the plain of life in another category.  I walked in my emotions.  I saw life’s circumstances through my emotions.  I acted on them and looked to them for truth and for guidance.  The two bubbles, I thought, had always been aligned pretty well, co-existing in harmony until some differences began to appear.

My emotions began to lead me one direction while my Christian knowledge was leading me in another.  How could this be?  Can I no longer trust my instinct or emotion?  “Serve your neighbor” but “I don’t like my neighbor”.  “Be patient with your husband” but “he’s wrong!” and the list goes on…and on….and on.  My growing awareness of these two spheres of influence brought forth the question “which one do I now follow?”  Will I surrender all and follow Him no matter where He leads even if it is against my own desires?  Will I allow my faith to become victorious over my feelings?

Dear Lord,

You are Lord of the heavens and the earth and over this heart and life of mine.  I pray that You would wash away the parts of me that still fight You and oppose your leading.  I pray I would be surrendered completely to your guidance and your will.  Thank You for never giving up on me and always loving me passionately.  Thank You for making me your child, forgiven and free.  Thank You for having a plan for my life and the means to carry it out.  Thank you that your plan is so much better than mine.  Strengthen me to choose You every day.  Amen    

At Your Door

Poetry

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

Hebrews 4:16

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.

Above

Poetry

You are above my emotions, above all that I think or feel.

My future is not dictated by my circumstances, but by your will.

Elevating my beliefs to your truths requires turning away from lies

Lies that say life’s only goal is reaching self satisfaction

That all must be well around me before following through with godly action

Earthly troubles are my perimeter, all that my earthly eyes can see

Looking beyond to the heavenly is what You are asking of me.

Scripture says your ways are above mine and your thoughts are not as my own

That You surpass all understanding, that You sit on your royal, heavenly throne.

This earthly plain I so clearly see.

Let me leave it behind to rest beside Thee.

Within the Waiting

Poetry

He stirs everything within me

Answers fade away leaving me with nothing

I look up, You are there, watching and knowing

My old ways aren’t working, my methods useless

So, I let You work.

Working away in this heart and head

To Produce fruit, Spirit-led

My selfish nature will not be fed

I cling to Your spirit for life

To journey with You is not to arrive

But to watch, to trust and

To find peace within the waiting.

The Heart

Poetry

I was following my heart

And my heart was deceived

Truth that was staring at me

Was still hard to see

I tried to piece it together

Tried to satisfy this heart

But it kept leading me wrong

Deeper into the dark

Heart, what have you done?

I thought I could trust you

But you are wavering and selfish

Your guidance will no longer do

I need a higher guide

One not tainted by sin and desire

One who will lead me right

And keep me safe through this mire

Jeremiah 17:9

“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”

Hebrews 4:15

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin.”

Trust You not Me

Poetry

There are times we come to a place

Where a decision needs to be made

Our natural self leans a certain way

But You tell us to stop and wait

Past my inklings

Past instinct

Past impulsiveness

There’s your voice I think
When I don’t follow me

But I wait and trust in You

You give me the answers

And show me what to do
Psalm 23:1-6
1  The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

2  He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,

3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.

4  Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

5  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

6  Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Blind Spots

Poetry

I have a few blind spots

Where my vision’s unclear

I look and I squint

Still clarity is not there

Strength here is gone

Self will won’t heal my sight

These are the places 

I must surrender the fight
I must surrender my will

In the places I can’t see

And trust there’s a Savior

Looking out and caring for me
John 9:10-11

10 “How then were your eyes opened?” they asked. 11 He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.”

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.

To Trust or Not to Trust

Poetry

I’ve been here before

And I know which way to go

So how come everytime I step my foot out

The rest of me doesn’t want to follow

Hindered by self

And the desire to be filled

Doubting Your promises

And fearing Your will

What if it is not what I want

What if it’s full of sacrifice

What if I’m never happy

What if I could create a better life

Do I choose trust

in this uncertainty

Do I trust 

You love me abundantly?

 

Jeremiah 29:11

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.

 

Sanctification

Poetry

Grace consumes me

Strength always finds me

Hope keeps being rebuilt

Pushing and pulling

Renewing my frame

Preparing my heart for this hill

 

Sanctification

The generic meaning of sanctification is “the state of proper functioning.” To sanctify someone or something is to set that person or thing apart for the use intended by its designer. A pen is “sanctified” when used to write. Eyeglasses are “sanctified” when used to improve sight. In the theological sense, things are sanctified when they are used for the purpose God intends. A human being is sanctified, therefore, when he or she lives according to God’s design and purpose.

Definition taken from: http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/sanctification/

“…But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:11