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Posts Tagged ‘joy’

I drop my head between my hands, tears well in the corners of my eyes, heart, and sighs.

Everything in me wants to fight, to scream, to defend, and to show that I am more than who people think they know.

When my voice feels silenced and my life unseen- I push, I pull, I fight in the tug of war of wanting so much more. I chase and pursue every opportunity that comes into view; Frustrated, wondering what else am I supposed to do!?

Only He is the defender of the weak, father to the fatherless, home to the lonely, lifter of my head, and one who knows my name.

He fights for those who are still. So I sit, still, in quiet desperation. Still is my posture when waiting is all I have.

The illusion of control is surrendered. Knees are buckled, and the bruises of this reed are bowed.

Self-sufficient strength is exhausted, leaving the only option of faith. And I sit in the dark night of quiet desperation.

God, do you hear, do you see? Where is the exhale, the reprieve? When will it be my turn to do the thing I yearn most to glorify you?

Quiet desperation

It’s the deep place below the surface where the waves rise and the water is stirred.

Quiet desperation speaks of the heart’s tension between wrestling and waiting on what only He can do.

Choosing faith in the midst of waiting ignites the heart of quiet desperation.

It sits and waits through the longing and the ache. It chooses joy and celebration even when it feels fake.

Quiet desperation happens within the places only He can reach. We have wounds only He can speak..truth into the lies only He can reach. And dreams which only His steps can make.

Quiet desperation waits in humility and obedience in the hope that the other side of “someday” will be proved true.

So my hope for me and you, is that we see the face and the hands of the one who is making all things new.

Quiet desperation is not forever.

Maybe you’re wondering about the how of what to do with “right now.”

Be still and know that He is God.

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Read this blessing in a book that my roommate, Stephanie Dole is reading, and it has been rocking my world.

May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, hard hearts, half-truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live from deep within your heart where God’s spirit dwells.

May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world and in your neighborhood, so that you will courageously try what you don’t think you can do, but in Jesus Christ you will have the strength necessary to do.

May God bless you that you remember we are called to continue God’s redemptive work of love and healing in God’s place, in and through God’s name, in God’s spirit continually creating and breathing new life in grace into everything and everyone we touch.

Dang! now that is praying!

 

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I am going to out on a limb here and making a stretch of a connection, but this has been a good visual for me.

I have loved getting to know people through the world of twitter and blogging. There are some great people I have not seen or met “in real life” yet, but that does not stop the connection of doing life with people. I have had the privileged of spending face to face time with people from these worlds. I also have a great list of “one-day” people I can’t wait to meet.

These worlds have brought life to a scripture that I have read a lot. There is a verse in 1 Peter that I stopped on in a new way today. Peter is talking about faith in the unseen. He states, “though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you are filed with an inexpressable and glorious joy.

I have grown to know and love people I don’t even know face to face from hanging out online. I am filled with joy when interacting with these friends. It has made the world seem smaller.

My online friend experience, has fostered a great new way of making this verse pop to me. Even though I have not seen God, I love him. Even though I do not see God, I believe he is there and that fills me with joy.

Online community has increased my faith in an unseen God. I know with friends I have made online, I love them and know joy because of them. Thank you for that.

It just makes it easier to believe in a God who requires somewhat of the same faith.

Just thinking out loud.

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There is just something to hope. She gets me every time. Hope deferred makes a heart sick, but hope experienced enables momentum and joy.

Today I experienced some needed hope. Today, I experienced that kind of hope that gets your heart pumping with, “are you kidding me!?” kind of flavor. It was honey to my soul.

As these hopes unfolded, I was reminded that I do not want a life that I can just manage. I want to always look for the impossible. I want to think big or go home kinda thoughts.

Dreams are powerful. Faith is even more illogical.

My friend prayed Ephesians 3:20-21 for me today. I got a glimpse!

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

Why am I even surprised that God shows up? Why do I even get all “OOOOOH!” when he shows up in ways that are natural to him, and out of my league for me?

God is big. God desires us to just ask for the big. Be direct. Be specific. Be real with him. I am all about that right now.

Dream big or go home!

What are you dreaming about?

How have you seen him show up lately?

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I love the 4th of July. It is seriously one of my favorite holidays. I love the crowds of downtown DC! I don’t even consider hanging out with thousands of people “braving it.” It is so fun for me!

I was thinking about the celebration of freedom yesterday. Freedom is worth all the fireworks, booms, crackles, lights, oooh’s, and awe’s. There is so much joy in knowing freedom. So many people had smiles and laughter on their face yesterday. I love seeing that. It was a great reminder that freedom is what we are made for.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.

Powerful words that come with a big exhale. Freedom is amazing. I don’t know if you have ever felt freedom, but it is so worth the fireworks!

We are all meant to know freedom. We are all meant to know freedom in powerful ways. Not just freedom from small things, but freedom from sin and death! That is something to celebrate.

In light of freedom’s joy of yesterday, I was also made aware of what still has a hold on me. I was hopeful as the sun set and the celebration started. In the midst of the loud booms and the cheers, I heard is small whisper pierce my heart and say, “freedom is meant for me.”

Have you known the exhale of freedom?

Where are some areas you still need the celebration?

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Adventure makes my heart soar high! I don’t really have to think twice about saying yes to adventure. Any chance to do something crazy, I’m in.

Traveling is one of those things that taps into some place deep down in me. Traveling adventures make me feel alive in a way I can’t explain. Maybe it’s the newness of everything and everyone that makes the extrovert in me perk up. Maybe it’s the fact that anything can happen. It’s as if the illogical part of my brain becomes my normal thinking. Faith seems to feel real when I am able to step out of all things familiar and routines set aside. Traveling adventures enable an open door to new experiences and new possibilities.

To me, I live for experiences. Experience is how I understand life. I will always choose to spend my money on an experience rather than any “thing.”

In fact! As you are reading this, I am experiencing life in the midst of my traveling adventure. My passport has been stamped, and I am loving life. Right now, I am probably trying to capture some great Kodak moment or recording my experience through flip video. There is also a strong possibility that I am trespassing somewhere I am not “supposed” to be. Eek!

This week could not have come soon enough. My tank has been on reserve and my patience less than existent. Going to bed early just taunted my need for more sleep. I am overjoyed that for a week I am not unavailable. For a week, I get to sit among people where I have no idea what is being said, but where a smile and laughter always translate. I have been ready to experience new food, new drink, new skies, new sunrises and sunsets, and new scenery that solidifies that God is so much bigger than I can comprehend.

Exhale……..

How do you best experience life?

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Being found

There is a familiar story in bible about the redemption for one lost sheep. I have read this story many times. This time I have been captured by redemption and the shepherd’s joyful grace.

In this story, Jesus is talking to a crowd about the value he has for people who have wandered off from their relationship with God. Some of the people are complaining that Jesus is speaking with those who are considered to be sinners. Jesus challenges their complaints by telling a story illustrating a shepherd who leaves his ninety-nine sheep to go after the one who has wandered off from the pack.

The story reminds me of a moment of joy and redemption that took place at the end of the movie “Taken.” I won’t spoil the whole ending if you have not seen the movie, but I will describe the embrace between a father and his lost daughter.

Through focused desire to find his lost daughter, as well as some good fighting scenes, a father finally finds his daughter. When the daughter realizes her father was the one who saves her, she exhales, and through sobs embraces her father. Her words to him were, “Daddy, you came for me.” The father responds by saying, “I told you, I would.” A promise kept and a daughter saved.

I have found myself in some pits of miry weakness. I have had times of wandering. The more I try and dig myself out it seems like my hole becomes bigger and deeper. Right in the midst of my hole of weakness, I look up to see the smiling, tear filled face of the one who had been looking for me. I have experienced  moments of exhale in relief that I have been found. I have also found relief not only that I have been found, but that someone was looking for me.

My savior pulls me out and places me on his shoulders. I have endured some pain and wounds through my wandering, as they are natural consequences for my choosing to wander. In the midst of my messiness, He places me up on his shoulders to heal and remain in his love. His shoulders provide a place where I question why I ever wandered from him in the first place. I remain on his shoulders until I am strong enough to walk again. Now, I really understand more the verse that states, “the joy of the Lord is my strength.

I am so grateful to be able to say, “you found me” to one who responds with “I told you, I would.

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