Tuesday, September 3, 2019

invite


For the longest time I confused hospitality for activity and invitation for obligation. Hospitality in its truest sense is making space. It is allowing our space to be shared and to share, we invite.

We invite a friend for tea.
We invite a child to read.
We invite different ideas.
We invite different perspective.
We open our homes but really, we are opening our hearts.

When we invite Jesus and actually we fling open wide the soul to share space. We allow our thoughts to be brave and our hearts to be bare. And we lift off what felt heavy because it is now carried.

It is held. It is hoped. It is sent to heaven to surround it with healing. Open and we see glory. Invite and we surround ourselves with grace.
~

Thursday, August 22, 2019

adversity

In the last few days...
I have purchased 7 dozen school supplies.
I have pulled 900 weeds.
I have cooked and cleaned, prepped clothes and mated socks.
I felt for about one second I might be slightly ahead of this school year.
Then I saw this dad-gum leaking gutter and I knew, behind those school supplies comes 500 homework assignments and more than a handful of teary nights. Behind those weeds come 5000 more and after those meals come a thousand dishes along with more socks that can’t stay married to their mates.
And instead of done, I felt undone. I looked at that gutter and debated finding tape but realized my stock of scotch would do nothing but irritate the life out of me. I watched how every living thing around that leak looked happy and healthy, healthier than most of the plants in my yard.

I realized that what seemed completely broken in my eyes seemed to find function and purpose. 
Perhaps that is the way with broken. As Job wondered, shall we only accept good from God? Good is so much easier. It feels like blessing and fun and abundance and joy.
Adversity feels empty and hard and compels me to push back and pull in. I talk to God a lot more when my eyes leak tears and my heart lacks faith. Leaking gutters. Gutted hearts. Sometimes being empty brings the grace of broken and the glory of surrender.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

stunned

  This little old robin, obviously grazed by a car and trying to get her feet under her from the shock of it all. I was wishing I had water, or seed. I was wishing I could hold her and tell her it was all going to be okay.  I was sure one day her wings would fly again but her eyes, they looked dazed and a bit confused.
  She finally settled and I soft spoke to her. I was already planning to carry her, take her home and release her as soon as she felt strong again.  She had other plans. As I drew closer, she hopped under the hedge. She breathed easier there.
  I can relate. We are all stunned, confused, perhaps dazed. Evil in every news cast; death on every shore. We want someone to say it’s okay, to hold us for a little while, to keep us from the harm and to help us understand that even in the shadow of death, we have hope.
  He says our place of rest is under His wing. We will still see, hear and know evil, but we can be confident of the ever present help of the One who tells us we do not have to fear it.
  He alone is our Hope.   Stunned, but not lost. Confused, but not abandoned. Dazed, but not desolate. Heartbroken, but not forsaken. Held and absolutely never alone.

Monday, July 29, 2019

someone

We all …. everyone has their something.
Pain.
Loss.
Heartache.

The secret something that no one sees but sears like fire.
The beautiful have their hidden blemishes.
The plain, their buried pain.

The person that looks to have it all together is more often falling apart.

We all with our somethings. Wishing we could give our something to someone for some peace, some joy, some rest.

Our Someone is able. Our Someone is faithful. Our Someone never disappoints. He is never late nor early. Our Someone restores. Our Someone replenishes. Our Someone recreates.  Our Someone knows our somethings are the tools of our redemption. The process, our path to surrender and our finish is His beginning of beautiful.

Monday, July 15, 2019

pruning

Mom used to call it deadheading. I remember she never failed to tend to my plants and hers. The little dead flowers would be pinched away by her gentle fingers. One of a thousand things about which she was right. Plants can’t grow well without pruning. Turns out we are the exact same.

I am not fond of the analogy. I love a blooming pot of geraniums. I am pretty sure my geraniums miss my mom as much as I do. I am terrible at pruning.  I am terrible at being pruned. I am not fond of dispensing with old. I am comfortable in old slippers and sloppy chairs and same old same old. I am constantly reminded a same God is not a static God. He is not content leaving us alone. The loving Father in Him insists on seeing potential in even the most stubborn or stationary of people. 

I love this in Him. I just hate the pain of it. He removes the destruction of sin. He revives the sleepiest of souls. He recovers the most broken of hearts. He rejoices in the beauty within; He sees what we cannot and makes what we cannot imagine.

Monday, July 8, 2019

end game


Weary? Me too. 

It seems the more we get to do the more there is to do. And I get sideways on what is important, what can wait and what simply has no significance in the kingdom. When He met the Samaritan at the well, He knew she was much the same. She was doing the same old, same old, not enjoying it and sensing there was something more. If we scale our days around eternity; they form a shape of something holy instead of hurried. I am ready to trade. I am ready to give up going to the well a dozen times with my list for that one time with my Lord.

I am ready to fill up with Him in exchange for the world that empties me of my peace.  He is crazy good at simplifying. I have mastered in multitasking. My race needs to see Heaven in the distance. My pace needs to be full of passion. My attitude needs to be reflective of what He is instead of what I am not. My end game should be less of me and a whole lot more of Him. He promises to carry the heaviest load and His grace shines in the deepest water. 

Weary? Yes.  
Full of hope? Yes, again.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Reaching

We are all reaching for something. We reach for the next lowest number on the scale. We buy the new formula for beauty. We strive towards success. We outpace time hoping for rest. We reach for hearts hoping for love. And we wonder where we can reach to find peace.

I put a plant on the table to bring a bit of summer into my house.   But the little bit of something had big plans. It reached. It saw the sun and it went for it, stretching beyond what its girth seemed to have capacity for and flowering just to add a bit of glory to its already extraordinary path.

This is us.
Pulled like taffy, we feel thin and worn and tired. But in the hands of an almighty God who does all things incredibly well, we too can be a thing of beauty. Our weary is His invitation and our wore out is His place of wonder.
I am convinced He lets us get here. This place where we are at the end of ourselves. Our posture shifts to looking up instead of pushing or pulling.
He is the gap filler. He drenches when we are drained. He imagines when we cannot see. And He infuses beauty when we have adopted ugly as our middle name. I forget it is not just getting through; it is finding Him. It is reaching for righteous.