The Same Spirit

RememberTrees
While listening to a song the other day, it said, “I’ve got angels over my head.” This made me think: Yes, I really do, and I have the same Holy Spirit as the disciples and Jesus. So why do I have days filled with stress or feeling defeated? For me, I forget. I forget that I am a child of the King. I forget that this life is temporary and that I have 24/7 access to the Creator of the world. I forget that He wants me to come to Him and bring Him my thoughts, emotions, and worries. I forget that He wants to give me peace, joy, and love.


I forget that this life is temporary and that I have 24/7 access to the Creator of the world.


These last couple of weeks, I have been more intentional with my prayers. I’ve spent time telling God all my yuck and He keeps replacing it with good. I’ve been telling Him of individuals who are suffering right now with heartbreak due to sickness, disease and just being lied to. As I try and intercede for these and reach out to them with a text, dinner, or a phone call, my spirit is recharged and growing stronger and stronger. When we put others before ourselves and Christ before all, the same Holy Spirit grows even stronger. This encourages me more and more to become more sensitive to His promptings.


The world doesn’t want us to know who we belong to.


It is a daily thing to remember. We carry the same Spirit as Jesus. The world doesn’t want us to know who we belong to. God’s economy always blows me away. Everything is backward or upside down. Less of me is actually more like me than I ever could imagine. Less of me is when the Holy Spirit is allowed to use me more. I’m thankful for the persistent pursuit of the Holy Spirit. It changes me and keeps changing me for His good.

Walks With My Grandfather

WalksWithMyGrandfather_Resized

When I was younger I would walk and the pain in my feet would make me have to stop. I would make it less than a block and have to sit on the side of the road and wait for the throbbing to cease. My grandfather would sit next to me and wait for me to feel better, and then we would walk along. It was him on the outside and me on the balance beam of the curb as he caught me when I slipped. I was happy when I walked with him. The pain was worth it to walk and talk to my grandfather and I always knew that when I needed to sit down, he would always sit with me.

There are days I wish I could walk that neighborhood loop, sit down on that curb and look on the smiling face of my grandfather as he waits for me, but those days are gone now. I’m far from that neighborhood loop and the road I walk now is unfamiliar. It is much harder and filled with trip-ups, snares, and traps, and the number of people I’m walking with dwindles daily. There’s no curb on this road, and it goes against the flow of the majority making it far less popular than the nicely-paved, easy road of the majority.

This way is the way of God. He called me off the paved road and onto the rough path while I was still walking with my grandfather. Some days I try to walk in the right way, but it feels more like I’m in the way. God has tried to call me to walk with Him on His path, but I want to stay where I’m comfortable. I want to stay where I am; in the loop that I know in my neighborhood. I know what the snares look like and I am pretty good at overcoming them. I know the people who are walking here with me, but I cannot move forward because I am in the way and not on the way.

The paved road looks good and feels nice to walk on every now and then. The paths are smooth and the grade is easy. I can walk in any direction I want and there are a lot of people on it. No one tells you what to do or where to go. The more I walk on these paths, the more I want to stay on them. Something inside me feels wrong about this though. The knot in my stomach grows and the voice in my head telling me to move off this road gets louder and louder. Something is wrong about this path and I am told where it leads.


God walks alongside me through His Holy Spirit, living and active with me.


Today, I am walking on a new path. One that is unfamiliar. One that leads in and out of the wilderness, leading me to a small oasis to fill up when I’m running dry. There are new snares,  but on this road, I do not walk alone. The road is narrow and cliffs rest on either side. When my feet begin to hurt, my body breaks down and I need to sit on the ledge, my God sits next to me and smiles as He waits for me to feel better and then we walk along. It’s Him on the outside and me on the balance beam of the narrow way as He catches me when I slip. He is happy when I walk with Him. The pain is worth it to walk and talk with my God, as I see less and less of the paved road, and more and more of the adventure that happens on the narrow road.

This is the way God has called me and I know where this road goes. The more I walk on it, the more I desire to walk with God. The more I walk on it the more I desire to be more like Him and bring others with me, helping them see the dangers of the paved and easy path. I slip and fall but God graciously catches me and puts me back on the right way. God walks alongside me through His Holy Spirit, living and active with me. This is the road Jesus calls us to walk on and He has shown us it is worth it.

Mommin’ Ain’t Easy

Newborn

“I will lead them down a new path, guiding them along an unfamiliar way. I will brighten the darkness before them and smooth out the road ahead of them. Yes, I will indeed do these things; I will not forsake them.” – Isaiah‬ ‭42:16‬

I will be the first mom to say that mommin’ ain’t easy. I have been blessed to be able to be a step mom for almost three years and now have the privilege of raising one of my own as well. Both roles are difficult in different ways but both are beautiful as well. They don’t tell you about the difficult times and the sleepless nights. Maybe they do but in your mind you imagine different. They don’t tell you about being so worried about either of them or praying for their future. They don’t tell you how deeply and completely your heart will belong to them.

If there is one thing I’ve learned these last three years and these last two weeks, it’s that being a mom should be hard because being a mom means sacrifice. It means giving when you are empty. Loving when you are hurt. Praying when you don’t know what to say. And hoping that through it all you can be a light in the darkness and a refuge from the storms in this world. God has reminded me that it is a blessing to be walked out with Him. Time with Him is crucial to not lose your sanity and patience. Prayer is our biggest weapon against the enemy and love covers all.

So while there are many days I have cried over these last few years, there are many prayers that have been answered. God continues to guide and show me how to walk along this mom path. Sometimes it’s beautiful and sometimes it’s just really hard. But at all times, He is God and He is with us. He gives us the strength we need for each day if we let Him.

Loving Him Despite It All

GuySunset

God was there in the beginning and God is Love, but I wasn’t there in the beginning…and I don’t feel that love right now. There are days when it’s hard to love others, but God says that those are the most important days to do just that. I stand with this reality in front of me on those days, and it’s difficult to say yes to a love that I do not see in action in others. I do not exist seeing the fullness of time knowing the eternal insignificance of my anger and the importance of love. I don’t want to see the fullness of time because the momentary affliction is too strong for me to wrap around my mind.

It is not easy to be the one sitting on the inside trying to look out at these issues. When the ones that I am called to love are fighting me at every opportunity they get, how can I be expected to love then? Sometimes I sit and wonder if it wouldn’t just be easier to not love at all. I wonder if I could exist in a world of solitude knowing that I don’t have to be hurt when my brother in Christ turns to me and looks me in the eye and lies. I wonder if it’s easier to exist in a world without commitment and accountability when he takes that advice I give him and spits it in my face. I wonder if it’s easier to love without covenant when my loved ones and I fight to the point where it gets too personal and too direct. When the resistance gets so strong I can’t stand, where is God’s teaching of love?


When the resistance gets so strong I can’t stand, where is God’s teaching of love?


What exactly am I expected to do? I turn to the books and I re-read them, but what I’m reading has lost its meaning long ago. I flip through the pages of my bible looking for the answer but the Spirit sends me back only with the commandment to, “love as I loved first.” These words sting in my ears because they are the very reality I am fighting against. Love. What a word to come from someone I have cursed out in my prayers and yet He stays there. Am I expected to understand the depths of love from Someone who knew my every action while sitting on the outside of time and said yes? How can I stand in between the pain of my brother and the ones I love with this knowledge in my brain and say nothing?

I come back to the depths of my mind and ask, “Where am I to go?” God sends me back to the beginning and asks me where I am. I look into the depths of Him and see myself there. In the beginning of time. When God was love, and I was on His mind. He loved me first, and I chose to fight Him every opportunity I got. He loved me first, and I looked Him in His all-seeing eyes and I lied. He loved me first when I cursed His Spirit as He called my life and made it personal and direct. He loved me first when the resistance got so strong and I said no to the forgiveness of His Son, and yet He still called me back with those three words. Love Me first.

The Unusual Hero

scriptureshoes

Thus says the Lord: ‘Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.’  Jeremiah 9:23-24

I toed the line at the annual Toronto Marathon that I had trained many months for. I wrote verses on my shoes, prayed about my upcoming race and goals I had set and gave it all over to the Lord as we made our way to the start line the morning of. Some people don’t understand running, and that is ok. But for me, running is a way that brings me closer to God. I feel His love and heartbeat for me in moments of pain and find His joy and protection in the moments of simplistic beauty that surround me on each run. To me, running is my unique time spent with Jesus. My own special way to worship Him.

On this particular day, I felt complete peace about this race. Usually, I am very nervous and can’t seem to keep food in my system. But this race felt different. I knew I had given the long months of training my all. I had worked hard, struggled with injury and enjoyed every moment. Even if I didn’t meet my goal, I had peace.

Every one of us longs to be a hero. God has engraved this in us. We know that we are made for more and long to accomplish the biggest of feats for Him and for His glory. Sometimes along the way we lose sight of the One who we are serving. It feels good to succeed and to do it all “for His glory.” As we begin to excel, flattery can so easily creep in and seeds of pride can be planted. But what about losing for His glory? What about not accomplishing what you hoped you would, for His glory?

Continue reading “The Unusual Hero”

Wanting More

i-want-more_purple_blog

I hear people say, and confess I have said it myself, “I want more out of life”. Where and how do I find more? Is it more money, more meetings, more stuff, doing more? Yet, do I understand what will fulfill the hole of “more”? I know my heart now tells me that “more” is Jesus and His Spirit.

So…maybe “more” is less?

Continue reading “Wanting More”

Gaining Strength Through Vulnerability

A few Sundays ago I was really struggling. The week before had been awful with long days at work, unpleasant drama in some close relationships, and unforeseen and unbudgeted expenses. Think of all the things that drain your energy, and they were probably a part of my week. The weekend hadn’t brought any more rest with it either, so by Sunday morning I pulled into the church parking lot with my emotional tank on E.

I sat through the sermon, and I tried not to cry.

I didn’t tell anyone how down I felt. How hard things were. How in need of prayer I was.

Because I didn’t want anyone to know that I was a hot mess. Continue reading “Gaining Strength Through Vulnerability”

Orlando: June 2016

Orlando_shooting_dc_160612_4x3_992ORLANDO, FL – JUNE 12: Orlando Police officers direct family members away from a fatal shooting at Pulse Orlando nightclub in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)

In the aftermath of the shooting in Orlando, my heart grieved for the men and women who in their final moments of life experienced the kind of terror that is of nightmares. I cried looking at the faces of every person who won’t be home for the holidays, the voices that won’t ever again wish a “happy Mother’s Day” or “happy birthday.”

It made me wonder if I was ever to find myself in a situation where a shooter was on the hunt for me and for my friends, if I could hear him coming, if I knew my life was moments away from ending, whose voice would I want to hear? What would I say? What would my parting words be?

In asking the questions, the humanity of each face came into focus. The people who died in the shooting in Orlando were sons and daughters. They had inside jokes with their friends and insurance payments to make. They liked spaghetti and sunsets and going on fast rollercoasters. They had favorite colors and bad days. They wanted to be loved and to grow old. Continue reading “Orlando: June 2016”

Sprouting Seed

sprouting seed

“Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how.” Mark 4:27


One of my dearest friends and I have known each other for going on 20 years now. We’ve seen each other through a lot of different stages and seasons of life. Bad boyfriends and breakups, new jobs and HR moments, haircuts we never should have had, even weddings and a divorce. Now for the first time in nearly two decades of friendship, we’ve started talking about Jesus.

For a long time, I was skittish to talk about my faith. She’s the friend who has seen me at my ugliest and my lowest. She knows the path I was on before Jesus came into my life. She has also seen how even now with Jesus as my savior I struggle to be obedient, still fall and skin my knees, and at times behave in ways that defy the faith I profess and the Jesus whom I love. Knowing that I’m a poor follower, I’ve let that fact keep me from talking about Jesus too loudly or too much.

Continue reading “Sprouting Seed”