Sunday, March 24, 2013


I am going to admit something here.  It is going to make me sound a little crazy, but I am going to hope that at some point in time you may have been crazy like me too, or if not you won't judge.  Promise.  You can't read any further without accepting that term of agreement.

___ accept.

I've had insomnia this past week.  It is so unfortunate, because this week we did sleep training with Flint. He now sleeps for 11 hours, only waking up once to eat.  This is AMAZING compared to the three times a night he woke up before.  Finally, mommy can get some sleep.  Except I don't, because I can't sleep.

What is keeping me up at night?  This strange sense that something is going to go terribly- I mean off the charts- wrong.  I've just had the strangest sensation that we are on the brink of our family getting knocked over- like someone dying.  My mind also started to play with severe earthquake and end of the world disaster scenarios.  I was having a hard time turning it off, even during the day.  When we left the house a part of me was getting nervous that we didn't have gallons of water in the trunk.

I am not normally like this.

I could explain why, but it would take too long.  Let's just say this time of year has anniversaries of sad, insecure, grieving times and it feels like even now, in the present, people around me are having their worlds rocked on an almost daily basis.

But it's Easter.  Almost.  Today is Palm Sunday, and today I was reminded (in a great message) that next week is about the resurrection, but this week is all about God's kingdom.

Last week I just wasn't living in the kingdom of God.  I was anxious.  I was obsessed with safety.  I was preoccupied with where my 2 year old would go to kindergarten.  I was trying to make God speak to me specifically, to give me a vision for how to serve Him.  "Speak, God.  Speak!  Tell me how to obey, I will do it. [because I am so amazing]"

He has already spoken.

He wants me to love Him, to love everyone I look at in a humble, compassionate, unselfish way (Matthew 22:37-39).  He wants me to not be anxious, to trust Him and worry more about loving Him and this world than about having 5 gallons of bottled water in my trunk (Matthew 6:25-27).  He wants me to love my neighbors and my neighborhood instead of fantasizing about a bigger house in a better school district (Mark 12:33). If this week happens to hold the zombie apocalypse, I want to love those zombies, share my water, and praise God through the flames.  There is nothing to fear, wherever I am, He is already there (Psalm 139:7-12).

I was missing the point this week.  I was wrapped up in my own little world, which quite frankly was a sleepless, anxious, malcontent little place.  I don't want to live there any more.

It's Palm Sunday.  Welcome to Campbell, King Jesus.  My coat is on the ground, I'm waving my palm branch like crazy!!!  I get it.  Your kingdom come, YOUR will be done.  I want to follow you, I want to live in your kingdom.  It's transcendent.  It's not dependent on my health, my family's safety, or the absence of anything going wrong.  It's just following you, loving others, and not personally being the center of my own universe.  I'm in.

Hebrews 12:28 "Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe."

Romans 14:17 "for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit."

Psalm 139:7-12 (The Message)
Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit?
to be out of your sight?
If I climb to the sky, you’re there!
If I go underground, you’re there!
If I flew on morning’s wings
to the far western horizon,
You’d find me in a minute—
you’re already there waiting!
Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark!
At night I’m immersed in the light!”
It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you;
night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you.

Well, Lord. Wasn't I so Holy, demanding you to speak to me? To give me a vision for your kingdom?  Your kingdom, which you have already so plainly explained.  All in the midst of my perspective being so far off of your reality, I could not even hear your most simple words.  Bring me back.  Not to your power to protect me, bless me, guide me, comfort me, grow me...simply to your power.  Simply to you.  You are sovereign God.  I hand my anxieties, my fears, my expectations all to you.  Not to deal with each in a godly manner, but to surrender them all to your kingdom, your plan, YOUR vision for the world.  I do not need a powerful vision, God, for my place in your plan.  I will wait humbly, love, trust, and obey.  I will seek your face, your kingdom, and all that transcends my simple and sometimes dark reality.  All for you, Jesus.  King Jesus.  Hosanna in the highest.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Last night while taking a bath I noticed a little scratch on Olivia's arm. Little. As in small. Maybe her brother had swiped her with a fingernail? It was already almost healed.

Olivia noticed it at the same time I did. She pointed and looked up at me and said "Ow." All day today she has been pointing at her arm and saying "Ow." Considering she knows less than 20 words I just took this as her deciding to practice one of her favorite sounds. Well, I did, and then she kept doing it and then, honestly it started to get a little annoying.

Suddenly, for the millionth time, my child became my mirror. How many times have I obsessed over a wound that was insignificant or already healed?

We all have spiritual, emotional, heart wounds that we walk around with in our souls. Some are gaping holes, many have become battle scars. Some are raw, and we need to pray through the pain and ask God to heal us.

But when he does heal me, or when the hurt is really quite small, there is no reason for me to be dramatic. Why re-open it? Why complain about it? Why not let it be a scar- sexy and mostly unnoticed.

Hosea 6:1-3
“Come, let us return to the Lord.
For He has torn us, but He will heal us;
He has wounded us, but He will bandage us.
2 “He will revive us after two days;
He will raise us up on the third day,
That we may live before Him.
3 “So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord.
His going forth is as certain as the dawn;
And He will come to us like the rain,
Like the spring rain watering the earth.”

God thank you for the ways that you heal me, have healed me, will heal me. Only you truly understand my deepest hurts and disappointments. Let me accept your love and healing, and not dwell on the pain. Let me move past the hurts that are too small to slow me down or distract me from living for you. Jehovah Rophi. You and no other heal my heart.

Olivia loves to show off her scratch. Can you see it? You'll have to work really hard...but she ripped off her pj arm the next morning to show it off again. "Owie".  Ohhh the DRAMA.  

Monday, March 18, 2013

Don't ask questions you don't want to know the answers to

Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
- Psalm 139:23-24 

Last year there were two themes in my conversations with God, hope and forgiveness. This year new themes are emerging- humility and obedience.

I prayed a prayer on Ash Wednesday this year:
Search me, God. As I feel the comfort of your voice and the closeness of your presence, even now, unsettle me. I'm taking down the "off limits" signs I've hung in my heart without even realizing it. I want to be filled with your Spirit and I know there are still corners of my soul that need to be scraped clean. Grungy spaces. Show me the dirt. Empty me. Shine your light in me, and lead me in your way everlasting. Empty my mess. Fill me with you.

That sounds like such a godly prayer, doesn't it?

Earlier this week I stepped into the laundry room to curse so that Olivia's first 20 words wouldn't include "shit". Turns out there are some unclaimed corners (or whole sections) of my heart still, and unsettling those attitudes can get ugly.

First order of heart business: Control.

In the Spirit, being out of control makes me humble and yielding and submissive to God. Obedience almost always involves me giving up control of my plans, dreams, or selfishness.

In my own mind, apart from the Spirit, being out of control makes me angry, frustrated, overwhelmed, and hopeless.

The truth about control: I don't actually have any. In case I had any delusions on that, this week was FULL of reminders. I just deleted 4 paragraphs of venting. Detailed descriptions of all my plans that were frustrated or turned upside down. You can thank me later. The truth is, I don't think it's hard for anyone to imagine. We all have weeks like that, right?

Being out of control is not a bad thing.

I'm not going to tell you about the beautiful things that happen when we are out of control. It hasn't been that kind of a week. But it does turn out that "control" is a God size job and I don't want it.

My life (and inconsequential vacation plans, sleep training, etc.) is not at the center of the universe this week. In fact, a lot of other things were going on. A sweet friend had a young daughter in major surgery, a godly woman shared with me the journey her adult child had taken through addiction- and out the other end, a close family member got a negative result on a cancer screen and another is anxiously awaiting a surgery date after their positive scan.

I can't even keep my kitchen island clear for 48 hours. So the truth is I DEFINITELY cannot control the life choices, health or happiness of my kids, myself, or anyone I love. But there is good news.

God IS in control. And I trust Him.

Job 26:6-14 (The Message)
He spreads the skies over unformed space,
hangs the earth out in empty space.
He pours water into cumulus cloud-bags
and the bags don’t burst.
He makes the moon wax and wane,
putting it through its phases.
He draws the horizon out over the ocean,
sets a boundary between light and darkness.
Thunder crashes and rumbles in the skies.
Listen! It’s God raising his voice!
By his power he stills sea storms,
by his wisdom he tames sea monsters.
With one breath he clears the sky,
with one finger he crushes the sea serpent.
And this is only the beginning,
a mere whisper of his rule.
Whatever would we do if he really raised his voice!”

God I'm sorry.  I'm obsessed.  Somehow it feels like grabbing on to some small corner of my world and trying to control it will make up for all the vast expanses that are wildly out of my control.  It doesn't.  Teach me to let go.  The only control I want in my life is self control.  Fill me with your spirit so that what I do and what I say overflow out of my heart in a beautiful way that looks and sounds like you.  The rest is up to you.  I give you my insecurities.  My kids.  My everything.  Help me live a life of obedience and surrender.  I want to serve, not be served and I want to follow, not to lead...even though every bit of me without you wants to lead and be served.  Take me, conflicted and broken.  Help me learn, help me love, help me grow.