Looking for life under winter’s cover

It’s snowing outside right now.  Again.  I love the snow and the clean feeling as it falls on the earth.  All of spring is in a holding pattern with a white insulated layer covering nature’s spring-energy ready to bust forth on the next warm winter day.  I just think of all the life laying bare before our eyes under winter’s cover. “The trees are getting thick,” my mom would say.  All of nature anticipates the eventual birthing of blooms, beauty and all things life-giving.

An earth’s mantra declares its spring creation proclamation soon.  Imagine a seed declaring its value based on its perfection. How flawless its edges. How unbreakable its exterior.  How to the seed itself it must look lifeless, but to the planter the dormant life lies just on the inside, under a hard shell cover.

The real value of the seed lies on what’s hidden. The internal green marrow under a seasoned layer of bark.  The burrowing of roots while covered with snow for the continuous process in the sending of tendrils in search of some essence of nourishment.  All growth has to go through is it’s own burial, the drench of water, and the crushing weight of pushing through the dirt…
…just to be broken open.

Then there is the real process in germinating, growing, bursting forth with courage, and boldness to begin something new.   So it is with our faith under winter’s cover of life.  We are waking seeds much afraid of brokenness and mess. When, in reality, embracing the dirt that covers us is what bursts forth life.  Seeds broken wide open become soft, pliable, moldable, and breakable so that new life is revealed.

If it wasn’t for the pushing, the courage to move forward through storms, the faithfulness of God who imparts His essence in hope, our faith wouldn’t grow to bloom in just the right season.  Perfection is an illusion that locks away the potential within us.  It keeps our fears at bay to make us never even look in the direction of change.  Perfection keeps us from starting, from dreaming, and from uncovering the divine DNA that lies dormant with each of us.

Awaken our souls under the Spirit’s cover.

I want to be planted. I want to dive deep into the dirt. I want to let the rains wash over me. Let the snow cover me with winter’s clean fresh blanket.  Knowing that it is in this place of vulnerability of searching for God’s essence, is a place that I want to dwell.  The season of transformation, confirmation, and authentication occurs under the cover of growth in perfect Love and that casts out all fears and morphs my inner seed to fruit.

For when I break, I open up. The raw within that was once hidden will now be visible and blooming soon. And it turns out to be more tender and lovely than the shell I was trying to perfect and make shiny.  New life rises up from the dirt. Different. More whole. Reaching for the light of the Son.

Imagine if you would let God get a hold of your hard coated heart and breath a little Holy breath of fire into it.  What would happen if the Holy Spirit breathed some new life into your cold places while the winter of life is covering thick?

There are dark places in all of our hearts that we hide from the Planter, and don’t to give into the Light.  Only the Gardner can make all things new in you.  When you bust open, there is such freedom in knowing, seeking, and searching.  There’s a newness to life, full promises that brings forth an alive feeling, like a force of a wildly glorious imprint of the Gardner’s hand that just invaded and touched our soul’s marrow…and it breaks…open…bursts…spills.  Such…transformation happens.

Yes, the trees are mighty thick as the old will soon be gone and the new is here, continuous by God’s goodness.  For at the proper time, we as seeds of faith, will grow, strong and anchored, with uncovered blooms, full blossoms, bearing the Spirit’s fruit as it was borne in us under winter’s cover.

Let God’s winter-white cover touch your deep places, your old past wounds, your messy life, your dirt that you won’t let go of.  Let the Healer in.  Let Him plant truth deep into those lifeless seeds.  You have to let the Planter put His holy hands on the lifeless parts, crack open some shells, for a breakthrough to your dormant soul.  God wants to perfect, make stronger and prepare your soul for further faith.  In the process, His love seeds germinate His essence.

Beauty is birthed in so many broken open places…letting go to life under winter’s cover.

The place of Love

On any given day I am this child in my mind.  Hungry.

Hungry for more of God and His Spirit than ever before.

I ask.

I seek.

I knock.

I wait upon the Lord as He renews my strength.

With each day, each passing moment, I am this child coming to her Father, a loving parent, most loving Pappa, who listens to my whines, my heart cries, my tears, my language of praise, my heart’s love for her Daddy.

God lavishes His love and mercy upon those who seek Him.  He reminds me that He is with me still, that He has never left me nor forsaken me.  The Spirit reminds me of His abiding presence.

I will remain in this place of hunger.  That’s were my heart takes me content.

My heaviness turns into song.

My worries turn into trust.

My faith is enlarged.

The Impossible happens as I take His heart and let it be mine.

His greatest of these is Love.  As I remain in His love, I am remaining in the width, the strength, the depth, the wisdom of His mercy, His grace, His name for the beloved.  His character displayed…

the joy,

the peace,

the patience,

the kindness,

the goodness,

the faithfulness,

the gentleness,

and

the self-control

of God Himself, His character, His Spirit, His Presence, His Being in me and through me.

Remain in His love like a hungry child.  With God, only His grace satisfies.

Photo credit:  Paul Chasusa, brilliant photographer capturing life on the other side of the globe.

When you need a little more peace

I wanted what he had but I didn’t know how to get it.  I wanted the peace and his calm demeanor that he walked in with.  I wanted that so badly, and my soul craved a tear-free day.  Just once….

I prayed again for God to calm my nerves.  On the inside I was an emotional wreck.  On the outside I was the concerned dutiful wife.  I didn’t know how to be a just a wife anymore, nor a loving caregiver, and forget the idea of filling those “Nurse Nightingale shoes.”  Forget that, my emotions had run the gambit from one extreme to another, and never landed in the middle of peace that my husband had.

Never… until that day he showed me his peace.

I needed some peace of mind, and needed it desperately in soul and spirit, you know that kind of peace that smiles knowing that God has today held tight in the palm of His hand.  I longed for that kind of peace that passed, by my wondering questions and left them in God’s holy dust trail.

I longed for that kind of peace where my heart could rest and find refuge.

It was a day we all land in at one time or another.  We had been in this place before, and for some of you maybe today is the first of a long journey that is cancer-led.  Could it be a day of wondering if your teenager will come home again?  Perhaps you just lost someone that has left a void in your heart.  There are those seasons in life when we can only respond with tears and those ever present “why” questions.  Those days, where just a calm peace needs to flood your soul, with a constant reminder that God’s knows your conflicts, strife or continious list loaded with problems.

Just some days you need an extra dose of God’s presence and peace to overwhelm you.

Especially today.  My husband and I walked into the surgeon’s exam room, again, to get some surgery staples removed.  My gut tightened.  I knew from experience that this was tender time for my husband, the patient.  From the way he describes it, the feeling of removing tiny staples from an incision site doesn’t tickle.

We wait for the attending nurse to come in as we sat in silence together.  He lays back on the exam table in the face up position.  I watched, perched from my supportive chair, with my finger bookmarking my faith in my journal.

We both close our eyes, resolved to our own private thoughts and silent words.  There are days of marriage, when saying “I do” surprises you with the “worse” parts of your vows.  Those days are when the silence just falls hard.  I know all to well the depression that runs deep from a life of pain. My lids were a welcome dam to the pent up the emotions.  It was safe to say we both walked in worn and emotionally exhausted.

“God, here we are again.” I prayed.  I wondered how many people were uttering my same tired words.  This was not the first time around for either of us, years of recovery have left us both a little spiritually exhausted.  Cancer and it’s after effects have gnawed at our strength.   We both know it can rear it’s ugly head like a pre-teen pimple, ready to bust open, spewing worry.

What I needed in that exam room was a reminder that God’s got his recovery too.

We both believe the Good Shepherd healed this disease from our lives forever.  But the reality is that cancer is pernicious, presumptuous, and unpredictable.  When you are handed a pink-slip of fears, God’s comfort is your only anchor.  Without it, a peace slips to the depths of an unknown abyss, fear wisps in and out of a burdened soul like a vapor.

My husband quietly reminded me of his Healer’s peace as he silently breathed his prayer of Psalm 23.  He knew it by memory, it had calmed many a family storm.  “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want.”  He only mouthed the words.

As his face was prostrate, my heart laid prostrate to lean into his unspoken words.  God spoke to my concerned heart and asked if He could be my peace that day.  “My daughter, will you let me lead you by my healing waters that flow deep?”  I couldn’t stop the waterworks.  My bursting heart leaked into my open hands as I realized Jesus, my Shepherd, was the only One who could lead me out of “what ifs and what’s next” questions.

“Be still my little lamb and be stilled by My silent and peaceful waters that flow deep.”  Yes, God you do have this.  I quietly spoke the words.

I felt like I was the patient on the table now.  God’s peace flooded my soul.

The Lord watches over us in the better and the worse, and the many vows in-between.  He is never far away and like a good Shepherd, He constantly looks after those in His care.  I know today that when the next wave roars, God will faithfully and patiently anchor my peace.  Waves of anxiety will come and go, ebb and flow like the days tide, but in the stillness, in the silence, I will hear His comforting voice.

“This is the way, walk in it.  I am the Lord, your Shepherd.  I will not leave you in want.”  My response to His way of peace was to make His peace my priority.  That can only be done in my silence, as I wade through the wedded worry headed to His green pastures, dabbling my toes in the River of comfort that only He can give.

Yes, Lord you patiently lead me, to your still waters, the waters of Life that calm my fears and still my storms, anchoring deep in what I know about you.   You are my keeper and caretaker, my peace and patience, my love and may I linger in your green pasture.  You are found on the mountains and in the valleys.  I am never alone.  Amen.

Grass at the lake

Disturb me, Lord

Sir Francis Drake wrote these famous words in 1577.

“Disturb us, Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves;

When our dreams have come true, because we have dreamed too little;

When we arrived safely, because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when with the abundance of things we possess

We have lost our thirst for the waters of life;

Having fallen in love with life, we have ceased to dream  of eternity;

And in our efforts to build a new earth,

We have allowed our vision of the new heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly, to venture on wider seas

Where storms will show Your mastery;

Where losing sight of land, We shall find the stars.

We ask You to push back the horizons of our hopes;

And to push us into the future in strength, courage, hope, and love.

This we ask in the name of our Captain, Who is Jesus Christ.”

Bold prayers are the gateway that will take our trust to the high heavenly courts, to God’s places that have no borders.  Disturb us Lord so that we may depend totally on Your Grace instead ourselves.

Disturb us, indeed, Lord.  Do these words speak to you?

Why watching the nightly news keeps my dreams in check

“We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.” ~ Proverbs 16:9

The look on my husbands face was priceless.  It was a look of confusion as if what I had just proclaimed had been said in another language.  In an effort to make sense of my thoughts, I often run the one million ideas by him to bring some sanity to what feels insane in my membrane.

“I’m so frustrated today.”  I blurted out loud and proudly.

As if my own frustration would bring justice to my fuming past him as he rested in his recliner.  I had an agenda for today that wasn’t checking off my “to-do” list fast enough.  Honestly, the lists are long and unending.

When I declared my frustration in my non-accomplishments, I realized I spend a lot of time talking about the things I want to do but then get distracted in the “not-actually-doing” them or I run away from the work in the completing of projects.

Until today, I watched the nightly news.

I don’t have one of those empty “boxes” in my mind like you guys do.  Think of the brain divided in about 10 (at least) compartments.  Now multiply that times 1000.  That’s me, my brain, my thought processes, my to-do lists and the way I am wired mentally.  Now add 100 emoticons to each box for all of the above.  I have a lot of spinning plates in the air like one of those spinner-guys who travel with the circus.

There are no empty spins here people, there are no empty boxes, there isn’t a list that doesn’t have at least five things on it.  This isn’t a multiple choice question where I can just focus on one answer.  It’s “all of the above.”  Can I get a witness ladies?

So back to today, I was frustrated in that I wanted to accomplish so much today.  All I could see were messes in my writing room, on my desk, in my kitchen, in my closet, in my journal, in my prayers, in my emotions, in my “to-do” list, in my personal planner planning the “Best Year Ever”.  So far, today didn’t have the look of being successful or completely accomplishing one thing.

So I declared it a pajama day.  Then I changed clothes to painfully do some Pilates.  Then I washed my sheets on my bed.  One task done.

Next, I started to write something today.  Jeff Goins writes every day with ease, Jon Acuff posted about fears today, I need to be posting everyday to call myself a full time writer.  Oh yeah about that book project?  I had a messy pile of papers on the corner of my desk that were calling for some much needed sorting and organizing too.  And then there is that chapter three that’s weighing heavy on my heart.  I can’t eeek out those words just yet.

Next, I started hanging clothes and folding underwear.  Then I put them away.  It was time for a snack.  Ever think about how many calories you burn while just thinking about exercise?  Not as many as you would like…

Next, I made an SOS phone call to my mentor friend and writer-encourager buddy to catch up.  She helps me get over my self-imposed separation anxiety.  I needed to connect with someone who “gets me” and my way of thinking.  I also needed someone to validate my frustration of all those plates I was trying to keep up on my billion tiny spinning dowel sticks.  (Those really exist!)

Next, it’s time to make the bed, I just heard the dryer buzz telling me so.  Then I get hungry.  Broccoli time!  (Turns out steamed broccoli is kind of delicious!) and I still have piles of mess everywhere.  Then my phone starts blowing up with texts over something happened last week.  Then I open another emotional box to put more lists into.  Oh and did I tell you this morning I spent an entire hour taking a test online about what my emotional IQ was?

Yeah, I spent an hour doing nothing but finding out that I have emotions.

Guess what?  I have emotions!  The results don’t lie because I scored high!  Now the trick is to use them properly.  Which leads me to talking about how I have been praying through Galatians 5:22-23 to learn the fruit of the Spirit, today was a lesson on self-control.  Then my friend suggested another prayer idea.

“Let God order your day.”  Oh yeah, I learned that once while running.  So when did I drop the baton on that reminder?  Seriously.

Then I watched the nightly news and saw the heartbreaking news about Christians being martyred for their faith.  I thought about how we are all one breath away from meeting Jesus, if you know Him as Savior, and then I thought about all my spinning plates.  All of a sudden, I heard the sound of crashing.

The sound of the Spirit’s voice came in like a swoosh and cleared my agenda.  Lists for the busy things we tend to focus on only distract us.  Cancer steals our joy and steals our hope.  Chronic illnesses suck the life right out of our sails.  Smiles are erased with the pain and suffering of others.  Happiness becomes harder and harder to achieve.

But yet I have hope when I watch the nightly news.  God never promised easy, but He promised His presence, His goodness, and He promised to never leave us alone.  So when I see the messes, the messiness, the merciless acts of others, it’s all I can do to bend a knee to plead for those who are hurting in SO many ways that I may never know.

My dreams don’t even make the agenda now at this point.  I’m not sure but some days I tend to take on the world and it’s entire wealth of heavy problems.  Surely I’m not the only one who has a 1000 mental boxes that are overflowing and overwhelmed with tasks that need to be accomplished.  What I know and believe though is that God’s power comes to earth to shape our faith in the days like this and weeks we all have had.  It’s my calling to beg the mercy of Heaven, if just for one more day so that someone might know God more and more today.

If you need to get a reality check on what’s important or maybe just one glorious thing you need to accomplish today to make yourself feel good about your day, just turn on the nightly news and look outside yourself to see how the world around us is a hurting world, and how hurt people are still hurting people.

That did it for me.  Dreams box?  It’s been checked.  There’s no tidiness there.  That’s okay to let one day slip by when feeling a little underwhelmed.  Give yourself permission to just eek out a frustration or two.  When it comes to accomplishments, it’s God’s will at work that conforms with my agenda as my heart transforms to His spoken Word.

Why taking time for the important things matters

Ever get into the new year and feel like you are playing catch-up from last year? Um….me too!

Ever since my trip to Africa last December, the very next thing was Christmas.
Ever since I rang in 2015, the very next thing was resolving to make changes.

Ever since Groundhog’s Day, the very next thing is the very next day.  There’s a good six weeks under our New Year’s waist line for those new resolutions to settle in and honestly I’m still running to catch up with myself and just catch my breath!

If you are like me you automatically hit the first of the year at full steam to catch up with all those things you didn’t get accomplished last year.  I have tried to catch up with myself but often shift into busy mode that I, myself, have created. A seamless cycle of busy, busy, and more busy.

It’s time to be laser-focused on what’s important in this year. I was reminded of focus today from a story that my mom shared about gathering eggs.

As a girl she was honored to gather the eggs from her grandmother’s chicken house. She was excited when it was her day to go egg hunting. I’m sure some days were bigger egg days than others. Wouldn’t that be the way chickens would lay eggs? All at once or not at all?

On this one particular day, it was her turn and there was a basket full! She gathered them up and filled her basket, putting all her eggs in the one basket she had. In her excitement to show her grandmother the spoils, she ran back to the house, in a hurry.  She ran so fast, that the very next thing…

…she fell down spilling every last egg out of the basket.  Every one of the fresh eggs cracked and were unusable. She picked herself up and slowly walked to the house.  Her mom with all the love she could gather, didn’t scold my mom but used it as a teaching moment.

“Stop, slow down, and do the important things.” she said.

Yes, let’s stop, slow down and do the important things.  Life’s too short NOT to take time to enjoy the simple yet important things in life. Recently, God has reminded me of those important things involve the matters He has placed on my heart to accomplish.

One of those important things for me is spending time gathering stories.

God’s important things, doing the things that matter, involving God in the words my hands produce, are the things that matter to me. What matters to me, are important matters to God too. He’s created in us the things that matter the most to us and He has placed us in the creative spirit from His image, so when we focus on the things that matter, those matters are the matters of most importance.

Hope you are truly are slowing down, enjoying life, and bringing heaven to earth with the works of your hands and displaying God’s grace in your life. Most of all I hope for you is that you take time to enjoy God today, the simple things in life that bring joy, and finding joy in the things that do matter to you.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. You might fall and crack them all.  My mom learned that the hard way and I try to learn from others.

It’s important to let time teach what matters because no one is guaranteed more of it.

Why I can’t give up

It wasn’t supposed to be like this.  I was supposed to write rainbows and fancy swirls.  When I set off to own this, it worked perfectly in my mind.

As easy as the words flowed through my journal.

My fear of being someone who wasn’t heard in words was real and massive.  I grappled but now you finally convinced me that the world needs my story.  Thank you for believing in this cause, I’m so grateful.

From the heart flows the life in which God gives.

Proverbs 4:23 “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”

I thought this would be different in some odd sense of the word.

When I dreamed of it all, I became paralyzed.  Nothing made sense and I struggled in words that used to flow so freely.

Who doesn’t need help in overcoming barriers that your heart has settled on?  I needed a leg up on some time that would help me over the obstacles.  I need time to learn, to heal, and to peel back another heart layer.

“The story we are telling the world isn’t half as endearing as the one that lives inside of us.”  ~ Donald Miller.

I need more time.

I hate that I have more time and yet can’t assimilate my thoughts into words.  I only need to be still and continue.  There is always time for the things that you want to do.

Instead of writing about this or that idea of writing I should be penning chapter 3.

Instead of just dreaming about doing the dream I just need to let my mind show up and do.

Instead of talking about it constantly, I just need to do what I am talking about.

My life depends on it.  My heart as already aspired to go there, I just need to give permission to it.

The other day, one of my mentors asked if I only had two hours a day, what would I do?

I knew the answer.

If you only you had two hours a week?

If you only you had 30 days to live?

If only I had something to say.

If only, I had the words to wrap around my heart.

If only, I had the words to capture all my thoughts.

If only, then….

Then, I could scale this wall of words.

Then, I could let the words flow out

Then, I could…rest my heart on what I know.

Then, I can share well in words and thoughts.

Then, I must help myself to accomplish what I must do.

I’ve come to far to give up now.

So what now?

Quit Facebook.  Period.

Train for the race.

Have deep discipline.

Delete the distracting apps from my phone.

Watch television only on the weekend.

Turn off notifications and internet access while I create.

Protect my time.

Concentrate on developing the art of words.

Trust God.

Speak my inside voice.

Write compelling words.

Show up every day.

Leap the procrastination barrier.

Draft the impossible.

Create art and resist the enemy.

Stay confident and remain.

Believe still.

Drop perfectionism and stop comparing.

Continue to persevere.

Finish well with excellence.

Commit to the art no matter what.

Do the hustle.

Be authentic.

Grow in the good.

Push forward.

Hope bigger.

If you had only two hours a day, what thing could you not give up?

Never give up.

When your heart needs surgery

It’s heart health month according to the American Heart Association. Appropriate that we think about the condition of our hearts and improvements to our tickers that makes all internal systems click together well.  When it comes to spiritual heart health though a healty dose of grace brings major improvements.

Recently, God has brought some health to my spiritual heart in ways that only He can.  He performed some much needed heart surgery on a very open wound within a major sore spot.  I can’t describe the feeling of healing except to say, what was missing is now full.

I feel more complete than I can remember.  There is such satisfaction in knowing that God is perfecting you every step of the way in becoming more like Him.  The hard part is the overcoming of yourself to get to that place of healing.  The first step in changing to be more like Him is to let go of what hasn’t worked in the past.  The hard part is letting go of what has caused the damage, the lies that dwell within and have taken root, and let His grace come into wash and overwhelm you.

What you will find in this journey towards home is many barriers that distance you from God’s heart.  The world is full of those reminders or barriers.  Those barriers fester lies in our lives.  The lies feeds infection and skews our view of God.  We limp along in state that just gets us by, yes, but doesn’t really get to the heart of the matter until you put your heart on the altar.

We must give God our whole heart, not just the pieces we want Him to fix.

So when the Holy Spirit points to a wound in your life that needs healing you can only do one thing, that is let yourself be healed in ways that only God can.  After all, my useless efforts to fix myself have only benefited in more lies I have swallowed about myself.

You see, lies are like a infection and God’s Word is the cure.  I admitted to God that something was missing, He showed me a place that needed healing, and then I let His Spirit do some spiritual surgery which brought healing to my heart, a place that only God grace’s could fill.  It was that easy, but yet so hard and teary.

Because I was willing to put my whole heart on the line, I am so full in my heart that had a sore place and had some love pieces missing.  When there are missing pieces in your soul you have to let your heart do the listening with an obedient ear.  His healing is what your heart is longing for as it’s the perfect kind of balm for our lives.

When you experience this kind of spiritual fix, it’s like God’s love is washing over you like a waterfall of grace.  It’s a healing in your most inmost parts of how He has designed.  In the divine halls of your heart, do you need a little fixing today?  Can you say that a little spiritual heart surgery might be needed in your life?

The point I’m making is not to highlight my healing but it’s to point to the healing that is needed in all of us, under the same waterfall of God’s grace and mercy.

Our DNA is divine.  When we look to the world to comfort us, or fix us or fill us it will fail us in the ways that matter the most to us.

The divine indwelling is never earned by any natural behavior whatsoever or any religious ritual, but only recognized and realized (Romans 11:6, Ephesians 2:1-10), and fallen in love with God’s pure grace, His unending forgiveness, and His boundless Love.

To put is simply, you must simply be ready to receive all that God has for you in places that you are trying to fix yourself.  In doing so, you will be both underwhelmed and overwhelmed at the boundless mystery of your own humanity.  What increases is the wonder of God in your transformation and healing.

You too can stand under the same waterfall of mercy to receive God’s undeserved radical grace, which waters the “roots” of everything, our souls, hearts and minds.

Without that underlying experience of God as our cleansing source, it’s almost impossible to live in the now, in the fullness of who we are, to view God’s mercy and enjoy His presence.  His healing keeps us near the waterfall of Grace and heals the sore places that the world inflicts on us.  This type of surgery takes divine intervention.  It takes diving into His healing to bring your divine DNA to a healed place.

Where do you need a divine healing today?

What we want needs to change

I can’t even begin to describe how God is working in my life recently.  In one word…BIG!  I tweeted the other day that we needed to “live our lives in such a way that God is big IN us so that others may meet God BIG in theirs.”  Because God is working big in me, I strive to lean forward by remaining in God.

Sometimes His “big” comes in the smallest of ways.  Many times His holy shifting comes in the smallest of siftings.

I think about a baker who has to sift flour for a homemade cake.  Flour, for example, is put through a sieve in order to separate the fine flour from the course particles that might have settled in the flour canister.  Employers sift through their stack of applications to find the best candidate for the job.  A detective examines and sifts through the evidence at a crime scene or lab to bring an arresting conclusion.

Examination of the smallest of habits or patterns benefit in some of the most impacting ways.  And sometimes a different perspective can add to our understanding of the situation as a whole.  A closer look can be most beneficial in getting to a positive result over a negative spiral.

When looking at our own individual places in the world, we have to remember God’s vision for our lives, instead of our limited point of view.  We have to remember this is not about us, it’s about God.  It’s about living our lives in such a way that we are the Jesus that others meet first.  We all have a part in His plans for the world to know Him and to make His name known.  It is about God’s pruning and bearing patterns and about us being fruitful and letting God’s fruit bear through our lives.

But I know how you feel….it feels obscure out here.  It feels lonely out there…it feels like you are the only one who is growing in God and the weight of ministry is heaving and sometimes suffocating.  It’s feels like it’s unsuccessful and unproductive. That’s when I know I just need to get sifted and remain in a place for God to get a closer look at my responses to what He is doing in the small places.  “The key to change is more of the same.”  ~ Steven Furtick.

“Remain in Me” says Jesus in John 15.

When I let God put my habits through His sifting then I must endure the process because I know the results are far worth it.  If I’m not willing to endure the small I won’t be in position to receive the big, however God defines the “big” in my life.  As God prunes the “me” parts, or cuts back at where growth is needed, I will be in position to see His fruit bearing in my branches, or being a place to bear even more fruit.  So even in the way I use my time can come under His microscope for further examination.

I let God take an inward look at me to give me a better outlook about where He is leading.

This kind of sifting I can get behind.  I have learned that whenever I let God align my heart and mind with His, then the divine assignments come along side the gifts that He has created me with.  I have to be honest with you.  Some days look very different and feel very mundane.  I believe that God is bearing fruit in me that I can’t see right now for reasons I don’t need to understand, but for seasons He has already prepared for me.

“So when you ask me what I have been up to lately?” I might pause before I can answer you.  God is into the small shifts of “me” thinking to prepare for bigger shifts in the “better” thinking.    Facebook, Twitter, Instagram all boast about your latest nail polish color, the most meaningful quote, or the latest appetite craze.  What is missing in those latest posts?  The small stuff about the spiritual passion, purpose and potential of our souls.

Sifting through God’s Word and letting His inspiration shift through me brings an element of what’s missing to the “me” generation.  God has great plans for us, but indeed I have to submit to His greatness before I can see His greatness through me.

The “me” inside becomes small and the sifting shifts the inside of me to reflect God’s BIG changes.

It requires letting God take a closer look at the heart, mind and soul through His holy microscope and putting myself under His examination.  Interesting that the only scrutiny that matters to me these days is from God who could never be scrutinized.  That’s a shift in thinking that has benefited large by letting God change my appetite from man’s opinion to His loving opinion of me.

It is a travesty when our lives post about us to a world that needs to know Him.  It is shameful when our words give credit to humans.  Tragic when the world looks at us and only sees us. Instead of being the supporting actors and Jesus being the star, we often get the roles reversed.

“We want to be co-stars instead of co-laborers with the one Bright Shinning Star.” ~ Christine Caine.

Every day habits now include this simple prayer…Lord, You become greater; and let your grace be more becoming through me.  What the Bible doesn’t mention is more fields to work in, but Jesus only asks for more workers for the harvest that is waiting for co-laborers instead of co-stars.