Curious…but Content

Tonight we were called “downstairs” for a little meeting with our landlords, to discuss some changes in the future. We kinda knew what this meant… a move is upon us. There are many, many good things about this, including the fact that they’re giving us 5+ months notice!

As I lay down next to Angel and Braylon individually when it was time for bed, and asked them both to pray, they both did. And they both thanked God genuinely for the time we’ve had here at 1528 Hess Creek Ct. in Newberg. By the time we move, around July 1, I assume, it will be 5 years in this gorgeous home and quaint little town together.

I wrapped up each of their prayers with a declaration of faith and thanksgiving, to God, for preparing the way ahead for us. And as we delight in Him, and seek His Kingdom, our desires will be met ~ and even more. This is not a hope or a hunch. It is a promise.

And I am curious… but content.

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To Let Out the Great Power

At the preschool where I work, during “nap time”, I sat by one of my little students who had a rough morning. As I draped my fingers lightly down her face and rubbed her blanket covered tummy until she fell asleep, my eyes wandered to another little one 2 nap mats away.
This one is special to me as I believe her mom is struggling with addiction and/or relapses since a rehab experience in September. 2 months ago, as nap time approached, this little girl would say repeatedly in a state of absolute panic,

“Will I wake up?!”

But this day, just a few days ago, she was wired. Not necessarily anxious that I could tell, just flopping around like a fish out of water, trying all kinds of positions to get comfortable. 


I got up as I sensed the Lord nudging me her way. As I began to walk,

I envisioned myself

blessing her with peace, with my hand on her forehead…& her just falling right to sleep.

peacefulsleep

Simple. But highly improbable. Here’s the thing. I had nothing to lose. Some thoughts are our own. Some are straight from the enemy of our soul. And some are from God’s Spirit. I do not believe that thought, or vision was my own.

It was the Lord’s thought in MY mind.

Imagine! It’s got to happen so much more than we realize. For the Word of God says:

We have the mind of Christ himself. We have boldness and access to the Father.

So I walked over and did just what I (He) thought to do. I bent down, pressed my hand against her head and said, I bless you with peace in the Name of Jesus. May you have peace and comfort not just here and now, but at home as well. May you sleep …”
and even before I finished this declaration, she laid flat on her back, of her own volition, positioned both arms by her sides, and closed her eyes.  This was just as encouraging as it was surprising to me. As I continued for just a bit longer, I watched her face. She was completely motionless. Relaxed. Not even her eyelids were moving. Within those maybe 2 short minutes of declaring, her body came under submission to the words of God.

I believe it, because I saw it. She was out. I am believing still, for more peace to manifest in her home.

We have a Great Power at work within us.

How incredible and humbling this is. Ephesians 3:20 gives us this promise.

We have it…at work…already within us. My next question then would be,

What if we let it out more?

Lord Jesus, keep speaking – we want to hear your voice, we want to recognize it as YOURS, and see your beloved ones as you see them. Treat them as you treat them.

Love them as you love them.

AngeLingo – Prayer for a Friend’s Leg

Tonight she randomly broke the silence on the couch and told me that her close friend, Katia has had pain in her leg all week. She even had to wear a special kind of sock that compresses her muscle – and she was walking stiff-legged up until yesterday. Then Angel said she prayed for her. She didn’t want Katia going on vacation to Hawaii (today) with so much pain and discomfort in her leg. So she said that she prayed – from across the gym – as Katia was talking with Lila.

And today, she came to school with no compression sock, and she was better! Her leg was healed.

I love that she used the terms better and healed.

I love that she prayed…even if from across the gym, and I love that she told us about it, excitedly.   It seems so small…but just that little story showed us her heart of compassion. The heart of God for his children, for their restoration and health. Even if it’s to be able to enjoy a vacation! Love wants the best.

I’m so proud of you, Angel. Keep praying for people. No matter what happens. Keep praying.

What is Soul Rest?

One thing that puts a little smile on my face on any given day, is when I see a hummingbird fly over to my feeder and take a drink. I usually think the words, “Drink Up!” which makes me think of drinking in the things of the Spirit. Maybe that’s why I don’t like it empty for too long.

3-hummingbird-suren-nersisyan

Today I realized when watching one little guy sip to his heart’s content, that his wings never stopped. Did you know a hummingbird’s wings beat between 50 and 200 flaps per second depending on the direction of flight, the purpose of their flight and the surrounding air conditions? After thinking about it, only one in about four will actually stop flying when they drink at my glass feeder. They get enough food to last them a while, and they’re off. They’re fed… sustained, and then they resume their busy little schedule of whatever it is hummingbirds do.

I watched, hesitant to move, waiting for his wings to stop. But they never did.

An average hummingbird’s heart rate is more than 1,200 beats per minute (compared to the average human heart rate of 60-100 beats per minute). A hummingbird takes an average of 250 breaths in that one minute – and that is when they’re at rest. Their breathing pace naturally increases when they are in flight.

A moment later, I heard through the kitchen window glass, the hum of those wings as my tiny friend flew away and disappeared through a hole in the hedge. I squinted for a last glimpse of him – and wondered if God ever watches us like I do hummingbirds… waiting for our wings to stop. Waiting for us to actually rest while we take in what He’s left for us take in. We sip on our Sunday morning message. We “drink up” our devotional, and I wonder if it matters to Him how often we drink a little at a time, “on the go”.

There must be more value to rest than we can consciously grasp. This world values the opposite. It overwhelmingly values busyness, often equating busyness with productivity. “If I can just keep flapping my wings while getting this food, I can get more accomplished. Carve some seconds off.” “If I can just soak in some decent lyrics while I’m driving…” “If I can cook dinner while I get one more chapter read from my audiobook…”

But either I’m lazy, or I’m wise to think it doesn’t necessarily mean we’re more productive. At least in God’s eyes. So…what is “productive”, what is “accomplished” in God’s eyes?

Am I lazy, or am I wise to think that resting is crucial? Even Godly. That as upside-down as it might seem, resting in Him – in his presence – in the faithfulness of his words – without a scheduled start and finish time – is probably the most productive thing we’ll do all day – or all week.

But rest is not a given. It’s not something that is transmitted to us if we slow down, sit in front of the fire or have a screen off for long enough. I mean, doesn’t even the term “long enough” change from day to day, depending on a dozen variables? True rest, from what I’m noticing, is more of an opportunity that comes to people as a direct result of their obedience to what God is telling them to do. It’s not even non-scheduled chill time with Him. Although non-scheduled chill time with Him is some underestimated gooood stuff, that I am valuing more and more with each year.

Soul-rest is a gift from God Himself, written about in Hebrews 4. Read that whole thing – it’s only 16 verses long. And the last 3 give hope to the weary and busy of us – the weak and tempted of us. Please – keep reading till the end!

I want to be intentional this year, to stay “rested” in Him. Meaning, not just not busy or multi-tasking. Because neither one of those is wrong. But to stay rested by checking myself – and asking, “God, am I walking out what you’re asking of me in this season?” And the inverse – if I notice I’m not at rest, asking Him, “Ok, Dad… I feel stress. I know something’s off-balance. Am I not obeying? Is it as simple as not believing a promise you gave me a long time ago? What is it? Would you help me pinpoint it?”

Every single child of God has access to a special kind of rest that no one else in the world has access to, because of Christ. Soul rest. He makes it possible. And obedience makes it ours. Let’s drink up.


https://www.thespruce.com/fun-facts-about-hummingbirds-387106

 

Opportunity Surge

When God is faithful to my husband, he is faithful to me. I am an extension, and I feel privileged to be connected to the blessing. Tonight, Ricky and I got to go on a little date – we tried out the new sushi bar in town, Momiji’s. On the way there, he told me casually that he gets a bonus (a Christmas bonus… a little late?) from the boss he just resigned from! He resigns and his boss not only gives him a bonus but a solid lead for a freelance project for a wealth management firm! This new lead might even end up as a year-long retainer – what an incredible answer to prayer that would be!!
Then he told me about some of the recent encounters he’s had with inmates, as the new representative for the Freedom Through Faith program for the Washington County Jail. His title is Professional Visitor – such a strange thing to see in print inside a plastic lanyard. He has been given the honor of visiting inmates every week – many a week – to talk, to spend some time, to discuss how they’d like to connect with a faith community from the outside, maybe have a pastor from their preferred kind of church visit them. The fact that he has 3 past convictions of felonies in that same county makes it really hard to believe he’s allowed in there, let alone appointed to help the inmates in this way. The head Chaplain who offered him the volunteer position said he’s never seen it before. But here he is. Tonight, he said that one man told him from behind the glass, “I guess your prayer for me worked last time you were here. I didn’t think about slitting my throat once this week.” And today, an inmate looking at 12 years in prison soon, offered to pray for him.  It completely took Ricky off guard and blessed him to pieces.
Then we get home, and Ricky says – I didn’t want to firehose you with all kinds of news, but today when I was leaving the jail, I got a call from an old friend I used to work with, and he’s now working with John Maxwell and asked me if I’m freelancing again, and if I’d have time to help them with some projects. He offered to fly me to Atlanta to talk over everything. He even mentioned flying to a few countries to work on projects with movie clips or interviews or something…asking if he has a valid passport.
WHAT in the World!? No, he doesn’t! He’s never needed one!
This is all happening within weeks of resigning a job he knew that he knew that knew was not a good fit for him.  It seems so crazy – all kinds of opportunity (there are 2-3 other ones, too) showering down on him at once. But this has happened to us before – so we recognize it now – we are saying OK, Lord, we just want to be open. We want to keep trusting you. So bring it on, whatever you have for us. Whatever you think we can handle. Help us to walk in your wisdom and make choices that reflect boldness and faith. Help us to seek always and first, your kingdom. Your righteousness. It’s as if the moment things would seem wobbly and unsure in the world’s eyes, God swoops in and says, “Pick a Hand.” and then He starts pulling out hand after hand after hand after hand after hand from behind his back. And we watch them open and so often they are things of eternal value. Opportunities. Influence. Joy. Peace… They open and we look at each other like, Really?! Is He serious? Take it!

Thank you, God! All I can say is Thank you. For blessing my little family, often times by blessing my amazing husband. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

 

 

 

Highest and Lowest

When worshiping tonight, I had the urge to lay down on the floor. I’ve never done that before, at home, in my kitchen. The rest of the family was out and I had a long, random Youtube video playing through my speaker – a One Thing conference worship session. After The Lord met me in a precious way as I interceded for some people, I dropped to the floor and stayed there for awhile. Not thinking of the dirt or crumbs. Arms out. I did wonder what my kids would say if they walked in. But they didn’t.

I noticed some things when I got low to the ground. I didn’t want to get up. I felt almost weighted. I just wanted to be silent, not move, and soak in the words. Or sing. Or yell them. My poor neighbors. Then be silent again and think about Him. All kinds of things about Him. I asked Him if He would give me a vision, but He didn’t. I am realizing I don’t really know how to be still for long. I don’t know how to quiet my thoughts…or let my mind go blank for Him to write on. But I’ve heard it’s possible and it sounds awesome. So I’m going to practice it. See what happens.

I remember this thought I had as I lay: It is right for me to be down here. So low.

Not like, “I’m nothin’ but a lowly worm” off-base humility kind of thought, but like, “Jesus, you are higher than all. And I cannot get physically any lower than this. How are we close tonight? How is it that I can feel you here with me like this?”

There was a rightness about it, this is difficult to explain.

The song ended. I wiped my tears with my sweater, got up a little weak, and started making myself a tasty fajita. All was well with the world.

If You Say So

If you say so.

We say to God, Let your will be done.  Lord, have your way. Whatever you want to do, I want it done – if you say so. And that is wonderful. Even Christlike.

But I hear him saying today, the first day of 2018, I will not work and impose my will on you unless and until I hear your invitation for me to. I say to you today, “if YOU say so”.  I will change your heart. If you say so. I will expose the things shrouded in darkness that need to go. If you are willing to see them as I do. If you ask me to shine my glory on them so bright that the holy glare of my presence obscures, even obliterates them. Are you ok with that? I will not force my will on you. I am not a controller. I never have been. I am Love and will not demand my own way.  I am a Co-laborer, as you are. I created you like me, to work alongside me. I don’t prefer to work alone. I wait and am patient to hear you ask for my help. My guidance. My presence close by. My shame-free conviction. Even if it takes half a lifetime. Your will in alignment with mine – this is a priceless, joyful event that is worth the wait, every time. Every day.  So today, January 1st, 2018, for this year that has 364 days yet to unfold, I wait like a Golden Retriever waiting for you to throw that tennis ball… again. I wait for you to ask me. To seek me. And I say, Yes. I see your heart and intent is to align with mine. It reminds me of my Son’s, as he knelt, that sorrowful night in the garden. Your heart is not for my will to adjust and be molded and somehow align with yours. No offense, but yours is too limited anyway.

If you want my input in your life, if you want my restoration power to work in deep layers previously untouched, if you want my peace to infiltrate the busyness, and my wisdom to interrupt your penciling in of the unnecessary… if you want me to highlight by my gentle Spirit, all the lies you have been believing, and to speak life and truth over you instead, and if you want my stripes to heal the wounds you’ve been bandaging up with your cheap, temporary fixes, just say the word. I know how tired of them you are. I know it’s exhausting. Let’s do this together. It will take some getting used to – this mutual submission thing. And it doesn’t make sense to the human mind. But I give you the microphone, and I say, Yes. It would be my absolute pleasure to work with you to do these things. I will.

If YOU say so.