Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Cave

I turn 30 in T-minus 53 days (but I'm not counting). For a long time now I have been dreading it- like this black hole I am going to fall into and everything just goes down hill after it. BUT my 29th year has not been the best so I have decided to change my attitude and make 30 the best year yet... The Lord has been showing me a lot about myself lately - obviously - and He really revealed something so beautiful to me today in the midst of struggle that I have just got to share. Above you see a picture of a view from the inside of the cave of Adullum (thank you Dodd!). This is the cave David fled to - when everything around him was falling apart. This is the psalm he wrote while in it:

1 I cry aloud to the LORD;
I lift up my voice to the LORD for mercy.
2 I pour out before him my complaint;
before him I tell my trouble.

3 When my spirit grows faint within me,
it is you who watch over my way.
In the path where I walk
people have hidden a snare for me.
4 Look and see, there is no one at my right hand;
no one is concerned for me.
I have no refuge;
no one cares for my life.

5 I cry to you, LORD;
I say, “You are my refuge,
my portion in the land of the living.”

6 Listen to my cry,
for I am in desperate need;
rescue me from those who pursue me,
for they are too strong for me.
7 Set me free from my prison,
that I may praise your name.
Then the righteous will gather about me
because of your goodness to me.

As men and women were sharing in our body today what the Lord was teaching them/showing them in the midst of struggle "having the crutches knocked out from under them." I just kept thinking and listening to Dodd say- how sweet your time can be with the Lord during these dark, dark places in our lives. Then I looked up on the screen and saw this picture from inside the cave and it hit me. What better place is there then in this small, confined, dark place to meet the Lord almighty and have Him speak to me. I spend so much time looking "toward the light" and wondering how the heck am I ever going to get out, where it is bright, loud, and there are so many distractions- oh, that's why He has me in here, He wants my full, undivided attention. Again, what better place than this tiny hole to meet the Lord. I am in my second trimester with my fourth child and the one thing that still amazes me is that the Lord is in that tiny little place with my baby, speaking to him or her loving on him or her knitting their every fiber together- what better place to be met than this little, dark place- its where we first hear from the Lord and where he meets us when He needs our full attention. I cannot tell you enough how sweet my time has been with him through losing a baby, and other hard things life has thrown at me in the last few months. Now of course I would not ask for more pain, but I have so loved my time with Him lately. We went and saw the movie Courageous tonight and I balled my way through it again because I thought - it could be so much worse than what I have gone through- look at people who have lost a child, a parent a loved one... A pastor in the movie challenges a father who has lost his daughter and tells him he has a choice- he can be angry for the time with his daughter that was taken away or he can be thankful for the time that he had with her. What an amazing perspective much like the cave- I can spend my time angry that I am there and try to figure out how to get out or I can be thankful for the time I had in there and that it could be so much much worse. So, 30 may not get me out of this dang cave, but I am going to make the most of it and have a party in there- and thank God for all He has revealed to me, and my prayer is the same for you- if you are there in that lonely dark place - try your hardest to enjoy the Lord- His presence is so sweet and fulfilling.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

What's in a Word?

It is hard for me to admit this at the risk of sounding like a moron and a jerk but I will take a chance. The word "missional" totally used to scare me. I used to associate words like evangelism, foreign country, seeker with the word missional... I had pictures in my head of a mission in the middle of a village somewhere - I would not want to go. I played the role of Elizabeth Elliot in the "Bridge of Blood" play for a few years in high school and when I think of "missional" that is what I think of- the Auca Indians, being somewhere far away, sacrificing a "normal" life to take Christ to the unreached. The name of the book "The Missional Mom" came across my email and facebook and had been mentioned to by by several people- and I wanted nothing to do with it. "Missional Mom" to me sounded like something... well... not me. But, I finally gave in, ordered the book and have now become borderline obsessed with it. How ridiculous and stupid was I? I would now suggest to every mom I know, READ IT. For me it has just confirmed and reaffirmed what God has been trying to pound in my head these last few weeks of my life. (For a good article on the word Missional look at this

I have never had such extreme prodding, pinching, pulling, and pushing from the Lord as I have the last month of my life. I have never been filled with as much anger, hurt, hate, and pain- pretty much any negative emotion you can feel I have had this last month.. It is funny how these two things coincided as well as me reading this dang book. God and Hurt and being a missional mom- interesting? As our pastor Dodd pointed out this morning in church- I have been staring my giant (Goliath) right in the face and have so been focused on him (or the problems/challenges in my life) I have totally missed the "bigger giant." The Lord. I have felt the Lord calling me to something bigger- not at all necessarily something fantastic for me to accomplish like writing a book, winning a race, creating something superb... But something bigger like get my butt in gear, focus on my family and how I am daily bringing the Lord into their lives so that they can bring His love to others as well...

If this post is jumbled and doesn't make sense that because that is how my mind has been working these last few weeks. So many wonderful things have come across my plate stemming from something painful. In the book Helen Lee talks about our Primary and Secondary Calling. Our primary is that we are "called to be with God. "The Primary calling for Christians is to be with God, in whatever circumstances He has placed us, As we reside in those circumstances with Him it becomes clearer how we are to serve God in those circumstances. Doing things for God becomes an outflow of our connectedness with Him." The secondary calling flows out of the first and that is to love others. "loving others is not something we do out of obligation but as a natural response to the love that God has shown for us....Loving our neighbor is the natural outpouring that results from being with God as we pursue Him as our central calling."
Had I been truly "with" God instead of just doing things for Him and to honor him I believe the outflow of my heart would have been a lot different. Instead of looking at my own heart and seeing the dullness of it, I have looked at others and compared and judged. Instead of loving others because I am "With" God and that is just what I naturally want to do, I have loved others because I want to be a better person, be THE better, bigger person. I have felt so different in doing things this last week even because it has flowed out of feeling connected with the Lord, I feel like He is walking with me- really not just walking with me, walking under me holding me up keeping my pieces together and have had such joy flow out of it. Joy with my family, friends, work... When I am physically tired and feel a surge of selfishness coming on thoughts from this book and of the Lord honestly have brought me through. Helen Lee says "Missional moms have taught me that we are responsible for everyday faithfulness, and when we act in faith God turns our ordinary offerings of obedience into the extraordinary." I so so believe that with everything in me- I so want to be more responsible for my everyday faithfulness! This book is full of moms who have truly done some extraordinary things and some of them have formed from very ordinary things.... I am praying God reveals to me something to do for Him that will impact His kingdom... That may just be being a mom to my soon to be four babies!

All this to say- don't let a word or something small scare you out of something spectacular the Lord wants to reveal to you as I have- His timing is impeccable. You may think you are doing "well" spiritually and the Lord can show you something, you may think you are not going to make it and the Lord will show you something, you may be somewhere in between and the Lord will challenge you to not be gray. I am excited about growth again- as I was in March the last time I blogged!

My prayer for you today is that you become missional in all you do- in home, at work, anywhere - that you remain open to what the Lord can do with you and through you...

PS I have ordered 3 or 4 books that were mentioned in "The Missional Mom" I will let you know how they are!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I have been dreading this blog for some reason. I haven't wanted to share, haven't wanted to let anyone in or show anyone any side of me that is vulnerable at all for the last few months now. I officially am NOT a good blogger but I figure the Lord did have some purpose in it- only He knows though for sure! All of the dates are mixed up in my head for the moment but in January we found out we were pregnant with our fourth baby- WOW... babies are a blessing anytime and I got to the point where my thinking was we are "in it" why not stay "in it" and have 4! People think we are crazy anyways! I was excited and just new it was going to be a boy, was picking out names, trying to figure out how we were going to fit in our house, how to arrange the kiddos... and then we went to the doctor to have an ultrasound to see when we were due- August 18th (almost exactly the same age difference and LG and Tripp). And we were also told that the heart beat was low. A week later we went back and there was nothing the baby was just gone- It had "reabsorbed" we went back yet again a few days later and saw the "fetal pole" the baby had actually gotten smaller and there was zero heartbeat. I have an ultrasound picture from my first appointment and there is a little peanut there- and I saw its little heart blinking away. And then it was just gone. I was so totally unprepared for it. We have had three amazing pregnancies, no problems, healthy babies- wonderful deliveries and I was just sure this would be the same. I always do that- take so much for granted every time I look at my children now I see the miracle- the gift God has given to me. What the heck was he thinking...
There are two things I have started to grasp in this process. One is that my heart is the place where God and I meet- if it is in crappy condition how will that meeting occur? I shut down, turn off, shut out everything and everyone when I ache and God showed me in so many ways- when you open up, soften up- He will provide The second is in an email I sent out not long after this process and it had this verse in it

2 Corinthians 7: 10-12
"Distress that drives us to God does that. It turns us around. It gets us in the way of salvation. We never regret that kind of pain. But those who let distress drive them away from God are full of regrets, end up on a deathbed of regrets. And now, isn't it wonderful all the ways in which this distress has goaded you closer to God? Your more alive, more concerned more sensitive, more reverent, more human, more passionate, more responsible. Looked at from any angle, you've come out of this with purity of heart."

"Growth is a natural part of life, both physically and spiritually. But this 'naturalness' doesn't mean that growth is painless. Growth calls into action new parts of of our minds, our emotions, our bodies. What we experience at these times often feels like pain, We aren't used to stretching ourselves in these ways. But the pain shouldn't surprise us- our muscles ache whenever we take up new activities, and they're stretched in ways they aren't used to. Athletes get sore muscles when they begin their training. Similarly, as we're in training in the Christian life, it stretches us beyond ourselves, and that hurts. But this kind of pain is very different from the kind that's inflicted by torture. Growing pains are the kinds we don't regret, because they lead to a fuller life, not a diminished one." -EP

I get it now- You do not get it unless you have gone through it and I get it now... anyone that really really knows me can tell you my biggest fear of all is death- I have never had to face it and want nothing to do with it. This was a taste of it. My mom has given baby #4 a nickname of "spark" she saw what I saw that first ultrasound that little spark of life and I cannot wait to meet he or she in glory and I know in the mean time, my kingdom work is better because of this distress, this hurt, this ache I have. I want to understand what women go through, I want to be more alive, concerned, reverent, and thankful for these miracles I hold every day- I want to say and know and feel that God is good- all the time...

You always here the worst thing to ask God to teach you is patience- I agree I hate it dont want it- I think growth is right up there with it. I know you can grow without pain but it sure does speed up the process. I hate the process but have loved the growth. I have learned so much about myself and how much I want to change and do. My encouragement to you is just to remember you are being stretched and it is for a marvelous purpose and that stretching is not for when you get to heaven or for down the road- it is for now, so that you can do kingdom work NOW_ be relevant and alive and active for His kingdom now- we are so blessed to be able to be a part of it!!

Thank you again for all of you who kept us in your prayers - they were heard! xoxo