Sunday, April 24, 2016


The Lord has more to teach me about His constancy in spite of changing circumstances, and He made truth so clear this morning when He directed me to read in Isaiah 32:

"Upon the land of my people shall come up thorns and briers; yea, upon all the houses of joy in the joyous city: because the palaces shall be forsaken; the multitude of the city shall be left; the forts and towers shall be dens for ever, a joy of wild asses, a pasture of flocks;
until the Spirit be poured upon us from on high
and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest." (vs. 13 - 15)

I'm amazed at the contrast between verses 13/14 and verse 15. The author so vividly describes the desolation that is life without Christ, and then the refreshing that is life in Christ. The only difference between the two? The outpouring of the Spirit.

"Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field. And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever." (vs. 16-17)

With the outpouring of the Spirit, He promises righteousness not only in the fruitful field, but also in the wilderness. "Assurance for ever".

"And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places; when it shall hail, coming down on the forest; and the city shall be low in a low place." (vs. 18-19)

We are promised rest and peace. Even when there is hail coming down on our fruitful forest, when we lift up our head and lightning strikes... we are promised sure dwellings.

We were eating out last night and sitting close enough to another table to catch quite a bit of their conversation. As I listened to them talk, the emptiness was almost overwhelming. The nights of worthless activities. The lack of fulfillment. The complete absence of living for any greater purpose at all. And my guilt set in, as it always does when I think too long about how much I've been given, how much I've been saved from, and how unbelievably beautiful it is to live life hand in hand with Christ.

And that's just it... when I recognize that it is Him - that I've been blessed with these things, there's no room for guilt. Because in Christ, there is justice, and righteousness - and "blessed are ye that sow beside all waters" (vs. 20)

Thursday, April 21, 2016


I decided this week that it would be a poor decision to ever buy a new house in February or March. By about that time this year, our four walls were closing in on me and I was feeling like something needed to change. But after a few evenings of debates about moving around walls and rearranging furniture, Grant made the comment to me - "Honey, just remember - if you're feeling discontent or restless right now - its still cold out." The implication was that things will all look better once warmer weather comes. And he was right. Today, we're sitting out back and playing with dolls and riding bikes and pushing the Cozy Coupe, and life does seem so much more open, alive, and manageable. We didn't move around any walls. Admittedly, we did rearrange the furniture. But mostly - the weather changed.

Circumstances impact us like that.

A year ago, I was in a circumstance, a situation, where I wasn't thriving. There was undoubtedly a lot of growing taking place, but not a lot of blooming. It's kind of like these daffodils I have that I should get around to planting. They won't bloom this year. They'll just be underground... not sure when they'll ever see the light. This year God has allowed me to begin to bloom - something that I'd hoped and prayed for. And it's been beautiful to see His hand at work - to watch Him go before me and gently, lovingly carve out circumstances and opportunities where He knew I could succeed. Sunshine has replaced storms.

The circumstances have changed.

But the lightning still strikes sometimes. I start to hold my head up, to feel Him and focus on Him, to drink from the rain He's sending - and suddenly I'm on my knees again, wondering who I am and what I'm supposed to be. I don't like everything I see in myself. I don't like how I respond to the lightning.

Circumstances do not have to control me. I have to be honest with myself about how they're affecting me, realizing that they're making life harder, or easier, or whatever. But when the lightning comes, His call is clear: "Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing instant in prayer... be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." (Romans 12)

In fact, as I'm sitting here right now at my kitchen table, a storm is rolling... dark, cloudy, rainy, and electric.. and I love being able to watch it all through this beautiful picture window and give thanks that I'm in here instead. :)

"Praise the Lord of hosts: for the Lord is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord." (Jeremiah 33:11)