Obedient Fear

Obedient Fear

Do the thing that scares you

Look into the eyes of grace

And go where you dreamed on your darkest night

Do the thing that you haven’t been able to hear

For fears heartbeat pounding loudly in your ear

Are you where you want to be

Or sitting on your hands

Afraid of the clenched fist that they might become

Do the thing that scares you

Learn to love, with grace and forgiveness and trust

Do the thing that scares you.

And He who breathes heavenly hope into our hearts will not deceive or fail us when we press forward toward its realization. ~Streams in the Desert 3.26.~

Let me just say that 2015 has started off weird, not bad, just weird.  Namely I am sensing change is needed and realizing that most times that requires that I get up and do something about whatever is going on in my life.  Granted there are times life changes everything for you and there is very little you can do but hold on and enjoy the ride, but sometimes, sometimes the change most certainly starts when you confront that part of you that’s been scared of the great big what if sitting in the room.  And the following thought has been my diving board to the deep end of the pool.

Do the thing that scares you, the thing you look at wish could be apart of your resume of life.

I do not know how to quilt or really sew for that matter. Up until two weeks ago the last thing I had sewn of significance was a placemat project with my Aunt Ardene. I was trying to raise money for basketball trip overseas and hiring myself out for odd jobs. She decided it was time for me to learn to sew and that my first project would be learning the Lincoln log quilting pattern (it is every bit as ridiculous as it sounds).

(photo credit http://madlibster.blogspot.com/2013/05/alphabet-quilt.html)

Yup, that is it right there, each of those is a separate piece of fabric that has been cut out and then sewn together. I am pretty sure I heard brain cells exploding when she sat me down in front of the machine to start the whole thing.

Anyhow for each one of the completed squares (the above pattern is one square and mine were a little bigger) she would pay me $0.25, so basically it was the beginning of indentured servitude. I finished 4 squares, enough for one placemat (you are welcome Thompson family reunion) and then begged her for anything else to do, like scrubbing toilets. So she cut me loose and Melissa somehow got roped into doing the project and I decided that I would never ever sew again… ever.

Flash forward 15 years, I decided to try something that scared me quit frankly. You see Aunt Ardene was something of an artist, she painted with fabric, yes it was a blanket, a quilt, by all logical definitions, but art tends to defy both logic and definition, because it tugs at emotions that you were unaware of running beneath the still and silent surface. In the back of my mind I didn’t want to mess with memories happy, sad, or otherwise but I looked at my Mom and showed her some pictures of patchwork couches and said ‘Do you think we could do this?’

Do the thing that scares you.

What’s the worse thing that could happen, it wouldn’t look good? At least I could say I tried.

It is so easy to guard myself by the boundaries of things that scare me, it’s safe, I don’t get scars, you know those pesky emotional ones, especially when I stick only with what I know.

Do the thing that scares you.

It keeps echoing in my head, like a mantra I have been unaware of up until now because the pounding of my heart has been hiding this very simple truth, I am made of much more than I know.

::Zach&Betsy::

I don’t know that this day could have been much more fun.  This bride and groom were clearly surrounded by people they loved and those people in return loved them back just as fiercely.  It was a day full of fun memories, from the flower girl ‘being in charge’, to the dj’s computer dyeing momentarily leaving the brides sister to sing an impromptu version of the Beaches hit ‘Wind beneath My Wings’ for the first dance (though she may have changed the lyrics to ‘did you ever know that I’m your hero’ because older sisters are prone to such silliness), to the best man letting us all know that Batman and Betsy really are the best.

So Zach and Betsy, congrats, may the years only season your love and your friendships only become sweeter.

Z&B Wedding (3 of 363) Z&B Wedding (5 of 363) Z&B Wedding (7 of 363) Z&B Wedding (11 of 363) Z&B Wedding (19 of 363) Z&B Wedding (22 of 363) Z&B Wedding (23 of 363) Z&B Wedding (32 of 363) Z&B Wedding (61 of 104) Z&B Wedding (64 of 363) Z&B Wedding (65 of 104)

Z&B Wedding (52 of 363) Z&B Wedding (43 of 363) Z&B Wedding (58 of 363) Z&B Wedding (93 of 104)

Z&B Wedding (1 of 1)-2 Z&B Wedding (76 of 363) Z&B Wedding (81 of 363) Z&B Wedding (85 of 363) Z&B Wedding (86 of 363) Z&B Wedding (89 of 363) Z&B Wedding (94 of 363) Z&B Wedding (103 of 363) Z&B Wedding (112 of 363) Z&B Wedding (115 of 363) Z&B Wedding (149 of 363)

Z&B Wedding (190 of 363) Z&B Wedding (216 of 363) Z&B Wedding (218 of 363) Z&B Wedding (220 of 363) Z&B Wedding (225 of 363) Z&B Wedding (360 of 363) Z&B Wedding (277 of 363) Z&B Wedding (229 of 363) Z&B Wedding (227 of 363)Z&B Wedding (5 of 5) Z&B Wedding (1 of 1)-8

::K&A Family::

Little kids are a bit dodgy sometimes and sometimes its a bit of a guessing game as to what they will do and when they will do it.  However this afternoon with little M and his parents was blast; there was the random dog that showed up, and the couple with the amazing walking sticks and then the see-saw and between all those things we got some real grins out of the little dude.  It also helps when you have awesome good looking parents to work with as well.  Thanks again for letting me document part of the day for you guys, enjoy.K&A (1 of 92) K&A (3 of 92) K&A (20 of 92) K&A (27 of 92) K&A (33 of 92) K&A (35 of 92) K&A (44 of 92) K&A (48 of 92) K&A (50 of 92) K&A (51 of 92) K&A (55 of 92) K&A (56 of 92) K&A (64 of 92) K&A (67 of 92) K&A (68 of 92) K&A (79 of 92) K&A (82 of 92)

Through the Trees

Image

My gramma sighed and stared out the window through the cottonwood branches and said to me, ‘Somedays I have to choose to love that man.’  I had been sitting next to the bed for about an hour, semi-oblivious to any tension and it caught me off guard.  They had been married for 40+ years, seen good years, lean years, family filled years, years of watching their own child fade in front of them.  I had never known them to be anything but a cohesive unit, yet here she lay her own body beginning to deny her continuation of an earthly existence and she tells me love is a choice.

This conversation replayed in my mind while listening to my friends discuss what it looks like to glorify God in everything not just those two hours at church.  When I’m driving, mowing the lawn, washing the dishes, in everything what does that even look like. 

Glorifying God, it’s a complicated thought with a terribly beautiful answer and it returns me to that one word I  as a human have struggled with from the first moment I realized I had a free will, obediance.  My obediance to his commands glorifies my God, its the christian four letter word with 9 letters.

But what command, the first 10?  I am left thinking that those are all encompassed in the new command Christ gave us before, dieing for us

John 13:34-35

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.  By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

Seems simple enough, until you look at what he is really saying, the Creator washing creations feet.  Stepping into that gap where the loving of the unlovable is as honest of a response as breathing, yet the problem lies in the fact that I am inheritantly selfish.

Looking back at that moment and at that conversation with my gramma, I am finally realizing what she was saying.  She was apologizing for her own selfish love in that moment stepping out of herself and understanding there was a greater love here, because Christ came for us all.  And though I believe and though she believed, the truth is I make idols of my own love and Christ will break me of myself until the new commandment can be breathed out fully of me because it is soley of him.

Love one another, just as I have loved you.

It is the kind of love that is a visible result of an unseen power.

I have grown up most of my life watching the effects of the wind on the northern plains.  You can never see her, but you are always aware of the change she brings.  I have watched knee high wheat be laid flat, an eagle soar never beating his wings, the snow drift and be carved into temporary white dunes, the clouds move and dance to the a melody I will never hear.

Yes I am very aware of the wind and can scientfically explain it, but I can never see it, just the effect that it has on the world around me.

It is how Jesus explained the Holy Spirit to Nicademous, when reborn in the Holy Spirit change will happen, irreversable change, change that I will never be able to explain but will be there none the less, change that glorifies the creator.

The wheat of my heart will be laid flat, the clouds of my soul will dance, and change I am completely incapable of on my own will take fruit because of the Holy Spirit residing in my being.  A part of the tri-une God living and working and changing me.  The Kingdom is here, the Glory is His, the time has always been now.

He left me with a command to cover it all, love one another, just as I have loved you.

Heart Truth

Sunset over Lake Managua

Sunset over Lake Managua

John 19:10-11 10 So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” 11 Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”

If I truly believe I am his child, trusting in His good and perfect plans for me, then anything and everything I face, even when perceived as painful or unreasonable, is for my refinement and his glory; how quickly I forget that nothing I face has not gone through God.

I didn’t want to come on this trip to Nicaragua this year, or more clearly put I didn’t give a rip about what would happen on this trip this time. I was mad at a friend and frustrated by what I viewed as a failure of leadership. I didn’t know why I was even bothering. I felt empty, used up, tired, spent, and exhausted not physically but rather, spiritually and emotionally.

Why bother???

But less than 24 hours into the trip, while stepping under a trickle of cold water trying to attempt to rinse the shampoo from my hair without swallowing any random amebae, God reminded me and had me sit down. He told me, “Is there room for improvement, yes.” But it is up to him ALONE to decide when and what that will look like. He asked me to sit with my friend when they were hurting and semi-destroyed and while I did obey that, I had allowed my expectations of other humans to become something only God could be.

If I believe all things that happen in my life because I am his child, only come through him, then I have to trust that even if I don’t like how it looks, that it is indeed good, even when it looks painful and especially when it is painful.

However, the feelings of being empty, being at a place of feeling completely drained were allowed because God knows me well. If I felt in any capacity that I could back some of this on my own I wouldn’t come to him crawling on my knees begging for his grace, presence, and love to flow through me. I would think that I didn’t need him.

Needless to say, I was off the mark and I am glad I was. My truth, my heart truth is this, I do not take my God at His word because I see how I fail myself and how the world fails me and I think the same of Him.

Thankfully the Creator is steadfast in His love, a keeper of all His covenants and a lover of my soul, and He loves me too much to allow me to get away with a disobedient heart.

Which lead me into yet another lesson, praying not just what I think or want for my life or those around me but to truly believe that my God’s will is right and perfect and holy. If I believe that my God is the Creator of the universe known and unknown then I need to trust, in His faith, that all is right and good in Him.

This means  prayer, even for others in my life needs to begin with my face to the ground, acknowledging His will is perfect and best but boldly asking for His power to move mightily and with healing and for miracles to become blatant and apparent in all of His people.  I don’t get to decide when and how I am used by Him but I need to be more purposeful in seeking His face and knowing His truth imprinted on my heart.

This means I need to be purposeful about being in community where tough questions can be asked like, “Why do I still hold people away from my heart? “,  if my Father brings people into my life and my life belongs to Him and my heart knows His truth.  Then, when He asks me to step into life with them, it should be in such a way that His life blood is fully reflected into theirs and I can do that without fear because He is what I need and it is enough.

Life is not guaranteed to be free of pain and hurt; in fact, my body dies a little more every day.   But in some way, I sense my soul becomes a little more aware of His life, love, beauty, and salvation because my truth lies in this

 The Heart That Beats

 the visceral cut

                where the bleeding begins

                                my truth ends

                beneath the shadows of the

                                Almighty’s eagle wings

i sense the understanding

                of the refugees’ heart in

                                their new foreign land

where the roads intersect

                and I sit in the dust

where my tears mix with dirt

                and I find my Maker’s mud

where my bones were breathed

                into creation

where my heart heard His song

                and found daylight’s beat with the rising sun

where my soul stilled and was filled with the sound

                of His steadfast love

Be & know my beloved child

                Be & know

Damage

Is not your name

Abused

Is not your title

Pain

Is not your cloak to wear

                Be & know

                                I AM the almighty

                                                Creation and un-creation know my name

                                I AM the covenant keeper

                                I AM the unexplainable peace

                                I AM the mercy balm your heart craves when the light

                                   is dim

But beloved child

                I know your true name

                                It is

                                                Whole

                                It is

                                                Healed

                                It is

                                                Daughter of the King

Remember who you are & know

                                I AM