Sunday Selah

The clouds linger a bit, easing in the sunshine.  There is a gentle breeze keeping the air crisp.  It is perfect for our Sunday morning, holding us close.  I have missed them, their giggles and cuddles, their smiles and detailed dreamy chatter.

School is back in session and having them gone all day may afford me time to “get things done” but truly having them snuggle a bit in the early morning or linger longer at the table fills me more than the accomplished to do list.

I am learning to be really present with my smalls.  In our world of hustle and check lists its easy to get caught in the cycle of fix and satisfy.  Instead I want to be here with them, dreaming and savoring.

Aliza Latta at (in)courage reminded me of my role in the lives of those around me – it’s not to save or fix but instead to love.

May your Sunday be full of savory moments of love.

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Reach {Five Minute Friday}

It is Friday! I love Friday’s, a day to savor a week’s worth of “to-do’s” done. A start to an open space to breathe. Friday’s are the best, and they are day to connect with Kate Motaung and a seriously amazing group of dedicated writers and practice this fun craft. (Its like icing on Gingerbread… perfect addition to an already fun day). We would love to have you join us click here for all the details.

~ Reach ~

Experiment ; The crowd in Praha

I find myself walking amongst very large crowds this weekend. The sheer numbers wandering in and out, up and down, stagger my mind. They come and go and seem to all have a destination in mind. Yet in all of their wanderings they seem lost.

I have tried offering smiles and sincere eye contact. Very few have reacted at all, let alone smiled back. These masses are consumed by gluttony. And with each next consumption comes a deep craving for another. It overwhelms you; it engross you.

Who will reach them? Who will reach across the threshold of selfish desire and touch the hungry to say “I know”? Who will break the bonds of shame to say “I see”? Who will stand next to them and hold the brokenness too to say “I care”?

I will, Lord. I will. Send me.

Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?”I said, “Here I am. Send me.” ~ Isaiah 6:8

Through the dust {Abide Series}

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The dust lies thick and heavy in the air. Each breath questions its ability to sustain. The light is a murky red deceiving not only direction but perception. Tenderly you step forward, eyes squinting and arms roaming, grasping for solidarity. The panic of blindness propels you forward but where do you go, which direction are you facing, which direction should you step?

Like being lost in a heavy dust storm, the pull of this world will bury you. The constant barrage of titles, labels, characteristics, and status threatens to cloud your vision and choke your very breath. There is a false sense of identity in the labels we seek. We want to be beautiful, skinny, fit, strong, healthy, smart, wealthy, funny, loving, organized, talented, recognized, acknowledged, valued, skilled, creative, a leader, vital, …. We want these things to be said about us, we seek to be known for them, we want to believe it about ourselves.

In this world of branding, marketing, and sensationalism we are bombarded with the message that what you are called or labeled is essential to your survival. Or so we think. When you are caught in the cycle of being “in” the latest and greatest you fill find yourself trapped by the suffocating weight of dust. There is not freedom in those names we seek. The cloud of dust has blinded us, we are lost, groping for truth.

C.S. Lewis’s so powerfully says:
“When the author walks on to the stage the play is over. God is going to invade, all right: but what is the good of saying you are on His side then, when you see the whole natural universe melting away like a dream and something else – something it never entered your head to conceive – comes crashing in; something so beautiful to some of us and so terrible to others that none of us will have any choice left? For this time it will be God without disguise; something so overwhelming that it will strike either irresistible love or irresistible horror into every creature. It will be too late then to choose your side. There is no use saying you choose to lie down when it has become impossible to stand up. That will not be the time for choosing; it will be the time when we discover which side we really have chosen, whether we realized it before or not. Now, today, this moment, is our chance to choose the right side. God is holding back to give us that chance. It will not last for ever. We must take it or leave it.”

What if. What if all of this, ALL OF THIS, disappeared – could you praise Him there, in the empty and the barren? If the world was stripped from you, if your flesh was left shredded, could you praise Him? Would you call Him holy? Would you crash to your knees in unabashed abandon to Him – if you had nothing but the skin of your wrecked soul? If your body was ugly and failing, your family less than desirable, your home not even a cardboard box, – if your reputation was destroyed and your legacy all but smoke – would you worship? Would you declare Him holy?
It will all fade away. It will all collapse. My accolades of pretentious faith will crumble in His presence. My striving for excellence in character, physique, status, will mean nothing.

But as I worship the Lord for His beauty, His glory, His fame, I am filled. As I choose to pour out my soul before His throne and lift His name high above all other accolades and titles the dust clears and light breaks through. Vision becomes crisp with true beauty. As the dissipating dust filters out, a shower of glory fills the horizon and I abandon the struggle; a sure and all-consuming love settles in piecing all of my broken parts back together. In this abandon I find a confident place to stand, not on my own, but in the radiance of His being.

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That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and

on earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus is Lord, the glory of God the Father.

Phil. 2:11

Linking up today with the amazing Meredith Bernard!

Sunday Selah

The sun dances in and out of the sailing clouds.  Songs of summer still harmonize from within the shady trees and just now the crickets are chiming in their melody.  The neighbors are finishing their weekend chores of mowing lawns and washing cars and the kids are settling in to their once-again school night rhythms.

There isn’t anything like a Sunday afternoon.  It offers a chance to breathe, a place to pause and we are better for savoring its moments.  Here on the back deck, bathed in summer memories, I reflect on one season coming to an end and I anticipate the one ahead.

May the Lord bless you and protect you.

May the Lord smile on you

and be gracious to you. 

May the Lord show you his favor

and give you his peace. 

Numbers 6:24-26

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Change {Five Minute Friday}

If only you could see the really big grin on the other side of this screen!  I a little fun money, stayed up late, and rearranged!!  What do you think?!!  There may be a few kinks to still work out but I am thrilled with the changes here on Faith2Shine!!!  I hope you like it too!  (seriously- I want your feedback!)

It is Friday!!  And I thought today’s word was absolutely fitting – I mean really – I laughed outloud when I got the tweet about this weeks prompt!  So with an extra skip in my step I am jumping in with my favorite crew for Five Minute Friday!!  You are absolutely welcome to join in too – there’s always an extra seat!!  (get the low-down here)

Change

Deep breath in and slow breath out.  It was work and your hands got dusty but pat them clean and then put them on your hips.  Take a step back and look around.

You made some changes.  You rearragned, cleaned out, and reorganized.  And it feels good!

Change is hard sometimes.  It takes risk and a lump of courage.  There is a season in the middle where the mess is overwhelming, suffocating almost.  The sorting, the sifting, the evaluating, all force hard decisions.  This process hurts.  This process brings sweat and tears, maybe even blood.  But then, the dust begins to settle and the chaos shifts into calm; the satisfaction that soon follows showers in like a spring rain.

There is something about taking a fresh approach to an old space that rejuvinates the life held within.  Like the tilling of a garden or the re-staining of an heirloom chair; change offers new perspective on old visions.  If we didn’t press through the pain of change we would never see the beauty of second chances.

Don't be afraid of change because it's leading you to a new beginning

Happy Friday my friends and may any changes you face be met with bravery and some good work boots. I’ll bring the pizza!

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