Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Show Me How To Die...

"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit." ~ John 12:24 (NASB)

"Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you'll have it forever, real and eternal." ~ John 12:24 (The Message)

 Show Me by Audrey Assad

You could plant me like a tree beside a river
You could tangle me in soil and let my roots run wild
And I would blossom like a flower in the desert
But for now just let me cry

You could raise me like a banner in the battle

Put victory like fire behind my shining eyes
And I would drift like falling snow over the embers
But for now just let me lie

Bind up these broken bones

Mercy burn and bring me back to life
But not before you show me how to die

Set me like a star before the morning

Like a sun that steals the darkness from a world asleep
And I'll illuminate the path You've laid before me
But for now just let me be

Bind up these broken bones

Mercy burn and bring me back to life
But not before You show me how to die
No, not before You show me how to die

So let me go like a leaf upon the water

Let me brave the wild currents flowing to the sea
And I will disappear into a deeper beauty
But for now just stay with me
God, for now just stay with me

I long to die to this world, to this life here on earth so that I might live in Christ alone. To die to the distractions that pull me every way but towards Christ. To live IN Christ. To be aware of Him living in me. Longing to mold me like only He can. But I pull and struggle to take back "my life" as soon as I lay it at His feet. Why? Because I am sinful, and I lose sight of the wonder, the glory. I lose sight of Christ displayed in His creation all around me because I won't sit, be still, and let Him be God. As soon as I give up my desires, as soon as I utter the words "not my will but Yours be done", Satan jumps in to distract me before I live in that attitude too long. Before I settle into the peace, into the grace, into the wonder, into the LIFE of Jesus Christ. But no matter how many times I get distracted. I will always come back to my Father, and He will always take me back. He will lead me beside quiet waters, He will calm the storm around me...or He will calm His child in the midst of the storm, He will take my burdens upon Himself and grant me rest. So here I am Jesus. Show me how to die to myself, and grow in You. For that is the only LIFE that is worth living.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Tired and yet Alive

This past week has been wise at least. For those of you who don't know I have Lyme disease so my life is a little different than most, though I try to hide it. I am tired, though that is normal for me. It is not often that I don't feel tired, but those days do come and I try my best to make the most of them without pushing myself over my breaking point. And when I don't feel well it is very easy for me to become discouraged. Like I have been over this past week. I focus so much on the negative things, what I am unable to get done rather than what I am able to get done. It is a hard place to be. I long so desperately to seek Him in all my ways and to find my satisfaction and purpose in Him rather than in the things of this world, but that is very hard and I fail often. Though I do find myself sitting at the feet of Jesus and pouring out my heart to Him, it doesn't happen as often as it should, though I always feel much brighter and more alive once I have given over my burdens. I can be very prideful and stubborn, and I like everything to be done to perfection. Which of course everything is not so it is a losing battle, but for some reason I choose to fight it anyway. But I am weary of this fight. Of this fight to be perfect in the midst of my imperfections. I will never be perfect, not until I stand in Glory when my Father calls me Home. Oh how I long for that day! No more guilt, no more shame, no more trying to measure up, no more trying to be perfect.

I found a link the other day that brought tears to my eyes and a smile to my face all at the same time. I found that I am not alone in my struggle for perfection. I hope you will take the time to read through this link, it spoke peace and encouragement to my tired and weary soul.

I will forever struggle with being perfect, but when I think of perfect, so often I think of the mundane, everyday life things that I would like to be perfect. I want my house to always be clean, I want my dishes always washed and put away, I want my floors clean and everything organized, I want plenty of money in the bank for "security". I want. I want. I want. Why is it always about what I want and not about what He wants? So, in my desire for perfection I long to think of Christ rather than this world. Why not focus on humility (Philippians 2:3-11), on hospitality (even when the house isn't clean), on love (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a), on patience (even when everything isn't organized), on trusting in Christ for my security and not in a bank account? That is the life that I am called too and yet one that I so often get distracted from. I focus on the here and now, the things that are right in front of me, the things of this world that will fade away and not the things eternal that will last forever and ever. Jesus gave a higher calling than the everyday, mundane life. His calling is one of eternity, of security that will never end, of peace, of joy, of love, of LIFE. I want to choose every day to strive to His LIFE. In the midst of my failings, of my yearnings for perfection, I want to choose Christ. I want to lay down my desires, my wants, my "needs" and place them at the feet of my Heavenly Father who loves me more than I could ever dream and He has a plan for me. A plan that is perfect in the midst of imperfection, a plan that is good in the midst of the bad, a plan that is pleasing to Him. What more security could I ever hope to find than that promise? I want to focus on what I am able to do rather than what I am unable to do. To take life one step and one day at a time and to trust in the Lord to take care of the rest.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


I love the book of Ruth. It is probably one of my favorite Old Testament books.

When I was at Capernwray, the week of Thanksgiving, Christine spoke on Ruth and Lawrence spoke on Colossians. It was probably one of my favorite weeks of teaching while at Capernwray. Those two books flowed together so well in my heart and at times I didn't feel like I could take notes fast enough to write down everything the Lord was revealing to me through the them.

But back to Ruth. I have times when I sit down to read my Bible, flip to where my book mark is and think "I would like to read somewhere else today". Do you ever feel that way? I like to keep things interesting and not get into a rut with my quiet times, so whenever that happens I just start flipping through my Bible and start reading when something catches my eye. Sometimes it's a place I am very familiar with and other times not so much, but I stop anyway and begin reading. Well today was one of those days, and as I began flipping through my Bible I ended up in Ruth. Now I have read Ruth many, many times so this time I decided to get out my study Bible and read it in The Message. As a I read I referenced back to my notes from Capernwray and my NASB Bible to keep track of where I was and how these scripture verses had spoken to me in the past. This time as I was reading I spent a lot of time in chapter 2. You see when Ruth arrived in a foreign country with her mother-in-law after both their husbands had died and they didn't seem to have much at all, she went out to find work. Are we called to wait upon the Lord? Yes. Does that mean sitting around being lazy? No. I often times struggle with the "being active in the waiting". What does that look like? What if I'm doing something that will distract me from hearing God's direction and guidance? I used to be very concerned about being "in His will". I am slowly learning that if I am in constant communion with Him, if I am seeking Him in what I am doing, than I will know when something isn't right or if I am out of His will. I remember sitting around worrying about if I was doing things the way that God wanted and worrying about if I was living my life the way that He wanted. Then I was reminded of Matthew 6:25-34 and Philippians 4:6, where the Lord clearly says that we are not to worry. So I have decided that I will pray, I will seek the Lord, and I will wait on His leading. But I will do my best to remember to not worry and to trust Him, because He loves me, He is faithful, and His plan is perfect. With promises like that, why should I worry? (Feel free to remind of not this decision when I begin again because I'm sure I will!)

And again, back to Ruth :) Have you ever thought about the parallels in Ruth? When Christine was going through Ruth she listed off a few and I love to be reminded of them as I read, a few of them are...Ruth:Boaz...Me:Jehovah (LORD, LIFE). As I read I think about the words that that Boaz says and I imagine them coming from God. In Ruth 2:15&16 coming from The Message, Boaz (or God), speaking of Ruth (or me) says "When she (Ruth) got up to go back to work, Boaz ordered his servants: 'Let her glean where there's still plenty of grain on the ground - make it easy for her. Better yet, pull some of the good stuff out and leave for her to glean. Give her special treatment.'" What a beautiful picture of God's provision and faithfulness! I know that things are not always easy, but I also know that the Lord will never give us more than we can handle (1 Corinthians 10:13). I am so grateful that the Word is living and breathing. That every time I read it I learn something new and see Him in new light. Though He never changes, and neither do the words, I change, and therefore I read words differently depending on my circumstances. And He never fails to meet me right where I am. It is amazing the peace and encouragement that I feel when I finally put aside the craziness of life and sit down and have time with my Heavenly Father. I wonder why it always seems to take me so long...sometimes "so long" is only a couple days, but unfortunately "so long" many times turns out to be much longer than a couple days. Why is it that He's my last resort? I long for Him to be my first resort. It seems that I take two steps forward but then take three steps back. Though I guess no one ever "arrives", right? I will never be perfect. I will never always turn to Him first, because I am a sinner. But I am grateful that He knows my heart, and that He is willing to take me just as I am. I don't ever have to be "good enough", because Jesus took care of that when He died on the cross, and that alone is more than I could ever hope or wish for. I love you Abba, thank You so much for being who You are, for being I AM, and for taking me as I am.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sweaters in September... September? Yes, it is true, I am already breaking out my winter sweaters and almost wore my winter coat the other day but decided to refrain so that I wouldn't have to explain the fact that we're getting into North Carolina winterish weather right now, but for Canada this is nothing! Yeesh! What have I gotten myself into! Well I've gotten myself hitched and I'm very grateful to be with that lovely person, it's just a bit cold in this part of the world...who knew? Well most people...except me I guess...

Anyways, enough griping about the cold weather (imagine what it's going to be like in January...oh deary me, lets not and say we did, k? k.). But honestly, the cooler weather isn't really all that bad, it's just taking some getting used too. I'm actually enjoying the chances that it gives me to take walks around town and to get to know my surroundings. I walked to the post office the other day. How cool is that? I mean in Charlotte, I drove everywhere and never thought twice about it. Now I can walk to lots of places and I'm loving it! I really do love the "small town life". I love being able to walk to a friends house and have a cup of tea together. The fact that I can walk to the library or to Coffee Culture which is the lovely coffee shop in downtown Ingersoll that I love so much, or that we can walk to church, that all amazes me so much!

When I left Charlotte I was really looking forward to making good use of my time while I am unable to work and really learn how to cook on my own. It's just different when mom isn't always around to help whenever I need her. Now don't get me wrong, I still call her all the time with questions and stuff, but I'm more inclined to try things on my own first when she isn't sitting in the other room. I've really been enjoying figuring out what I want to cook and then trying things out. Though cooking hasn't exactly been easy with Matthew's schedule the way it is. You see I never know when he will get home, it could be anywhere from 3:30pm to 9:30pm or anything in between. So yes, planning has been a bit of a challenge, but I've decided to try and do as many meals as possible in the crock pot so I can just keep them warm that way. Tonight I'm making Hawaiian BBQ Chicken and we'll have to see how the time line works out, but hopefully it will go well. And then, sometime this weekend I'm attempting chicken pot pie. I'm not sure if that's a good idea or not, and I have no idea how it's going to turn out, but I've been craving it so I'm gonna try, and hopefully I won't fail miserably! But you never know, it could turn out to be the most amazing thing ever...and if not thankfully my husband will love me anyway and will have no trouble scrounging through the freezer in search of something edible :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


I'm sitting here in our living room drinking my first cup of tea made with my beautiful red tea kettle and I am content :) It's just a little thing, but so often, I find it's the little things that matter most.

Yesterday, Matthew and I rearranged the furniture in our apartment. It was fun to work around the house together and try and figure out what we liked the best. I'm still trying to organize everything that we have, from appointing certain pictures to particular pictures frames, to trying to figure out where everything in our kitchen is going to seems that we have too few cabinets to hold all of our stuff. Soon we'll be going to the store trying to find some sort of stand alone pantry to hold all of our food since right now it's just kind of all over the kitchen trying to find a home in the midst of the chaos. But I am making headway. The living room and dining room are looking much more put together and organized and I am looking forward to the day when we are able to have friends over and there will actually be somewhere for all of us to sit and relax! The thought of entertaining excites me and scares me all at the same time. I have a great desire to have people over to our home, to spend time and to get to know the people around me here in Ingersoll. But I am very intimidated at the thought of only being a home maker for a short time and that I'm going to invite someone over to, it seems, inspect my abilities and my failings. But, despite my fears, I still look forward to the day when Matthew and I will invite our friends and family over to enjoy a meal together, to play games and to laugh together. The thought of it brings a smile to my face :)

Over the last few days I have been reading through Proverbs and Colossians. Colossians is probably one of my all time favorite books. I could read Colossians 3 over and over, and I sometimes do! Today while I was reading these verses really stood out to me:

"So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patients; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father."     ~ Colossions 3:12-17

When in life would these verses not be applicable? When do I not need to be reminded that whatever I do I should do it unto the Lord? When do I not need to be reminded of the Lord's forgiveness towards me and therefore how I should forgive others? How easy it is to just "live life" and to leave God out of it. I pray that I don't. I pray that I remember Him, that I remember what He has done for me and that that affects how I live the life that He has given to me.