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Posts Tagged ‘peace’

Lately, I have been feeling busy. Too busy. I really don’t like being “busy.” For me, busy feels like a chaotic lifestyle. Busy seems to be the alternative answer to “how are you?” right after fine. We are a culture who is growing in busy. We like our busy. It has almost become a comfort zone.

Busy has taken on a status symbol in our culture. It seems that the more busy we are the more important we seem to be.

When did we start to value chaos?

This chaotic comfort zone reminds me of when I worked in foster care. I used to counsel kids, as well as  parents, about the comfort zone of chaos. Kids who had been removed from very unhealthy, and chaotic environments, would start to stir stuff up when placed in a calm home. You see when all you know is chaos, calm seems foreign and stressful. My kids would not know how to act in a loving home that provided stability and peace.

By nature we want comfort. We seek out our comfort zones. What if your comfort zone is unhealthy and chaotic?

It took a long time for my foster kids to make the transition to accepting that peace was okay. I feel like we are stuck in the same place of knowing chaos more than peace, and we are okay with that. We are tired more so than not. Stress owns more hours of our day then what is healthy.

I think today’s busy equals status and value. I think people feel like they a someone if they are busy. For some reason we have equated busy with important. If you find yourself overwhelmed with over commitments, or talk about your over flowing inbox, you might be “busy.” Do your relationships suffer from your busy-ness?

Yesterday, I spent the whole day in my PJ’s watching movies. Some would say that’s a waste of a day. I know some people who would not be able to sit through an entire movie before they felt like they had to be doing something. Anxiety starts to build as the sense of relaxation sets in.

It is hard to listen and hear what is important if we enable life to be filled with noise just for the sense of feeling purposeful.

How do you hear God in the midst of chaos?

Why is “busy” so valued and so important to you?

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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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I love me some peace. Who doesn’t, right?

But how often do we know it and feel it?

Peace seems to be a rarity. I don’t think I have ever talked to someone who has said that they were rocking the peace.

We are filled with messes and mixyness of heart. Thousands of things catch our breath and make us anxious, and this happens all in one day.

Our battles are constant.

Peace can seem impossible.

I have been realizing just how much Jesus talked about peace. Jesus was bombarded with people pleading for him all day long; people who craved his touch, words, direction, and healing. I think the undercurrent of it all is that we crave his peace.

Jesus greeted people in peace, “peace be with you.” When he left the earth, Jesus stated, “my peace I leave with you.

Why did Jesus talk about peace so much?

Let’s be honest, peace did not accompany Jesus. He was constantly being questioned and ridiculed. People were constantly coming to him with demands.

I think that one misconception we have with peace is that it absolves the circumstance as if instantly all is well when we have peace. We can tend to think that peace only happens in the absence of stress and hardship.

This weekend, I heard about peace in a new way. Justin Davis talked about “peace not being the absence of our circumstances, but the presence of confidence and quietness.”

Jesus was never without circumstances. Neither are we. However, Jesus knew how to rest in confidence and quietness in the midst.

Peace is choosing to believe God is enough and present even though…

Peace is responding to our life in confidence and quietness even though it does not make any sense to do so.

Peace is a choice.

In what ways can you view your circumstances through the lenses of peace? 

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Sometimes all I’ve got are prayers….Sometimes all there is to be done with your heart is praying.

My model for prayer comes from John 17. In this chapter Jesus prays for himself, his disciples, and all believers.

Pray with me if you want to, or take some space on here and pray for your heart.

Father, I have so many words to give you, but no articulation is coming. My heart has been losing breath over heaviness. Waves of fear and insecurity have bombared my heart. I am sick of my anxious thoughts. I am sick of feeling the my blood rise up and down in the pit of my stomach. My clenched fists are tired of gripping. I thank you for patience as I exhaust myself. Father, I give you my weary heart to redeem. I give you my tears as I sit still waiting. I give you my hope that feels like an illusion. I give you my tired heart. Please open your arms so I can crawl through my tears onto your lap.

Find rest, my soul, in him alone. Forgive me for my tantrums. Forgive me for my demands of timing and control. Forgive me for doubting that you are for me. Forgive me for treating you like a sticky on the wall and not the intimate God of my deep. You are the only lifter of my head. Breath life back into me. Rush over me with you as peace in all of my tension filled places. Help me to exhale.

Father, I pray for my friends. I pray that you would be more real to them right now then they have known. I pray that you would be the lifter of their exhausted and fear filled heads. I pray, more than anything, that we would be good for each other. Teach us how to keep you bigger than one another. Keep us honest in our lack of knowledge and direct each other to you. I ask that you would bless our relationships. Thank you for my friends. Thank you for how much more I know you because of those you have given me. Keep me open handed with them. Thank you for how they make my life rich. I am so grateful for your gifts. Thank you that you are so much more real through relationships.

Father, I pray for all of those who are trying to figure out how to keep you as God in their lives. Give your followers strength to stand confident in looking foolish for you. Give strength to perservere as your people make decisions to go deeper with you this year. You are the God of relationships. Teach us how to be your community, your voice, your reflection, your different than the world. Give us all a starvation to know you more. Change our lives. Change this world through us. I pray this year would be a different year for your name in this world.

It’s in your sons name that I have hope to say any of this at all. Thank you father. Amen.

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Lately, I have been feeling busy. Too busy. I really don’t like being “busy.” For me, busy feels like a chaotic lifestyle. Busy seems to be the alternative answer to “how are you?” right after fine. We are a culture who is growing in busy. We like our busy. It has almost become a comfort zone.

Busy has taken on a status symbol in our culture. It seems that the more busy we are the more important we seem to be.

When did we start to value chaos?

This chaotic comfort zone reminds me of when I worked in foster care. I used to counsel kids, as well as  parents, about the comfort zone of chaos. Kids who had been removed from very unhealthy, and chaotic environments, would start to stir stuff up when placed in a calm home. You see when all you know is chaos, calm seems foreign and stressful. My kids would not know how to act in a loving home that provided stability and peace.

By nature we want comfort. We seek out our comfort zones. What if your comfort zone is unhealthy and chaotic?

It took a long time for my foster kids to make the transition to accepting that peace was okay. I feel like we are stuck in the same place of knowing chaos more than peace, and we are okay with that. We are tired more so than not. Stress owns more hours of our day then what is healthy.

Yesterday, I spent the whole day in my PJ’s watching movies. Some would say that’s a waste of a day. I know some people who would not be able to sit through an entire movie before they felt like they had to be doing something. Anxiety starts to build as the sense of relaxation sets in.

It is hard to listen and hear what is important if we enable life to be filled with noise just for the sense of feeling purposeful.

How do you hear God in the midst of chaos?

Why is “busy” so valued and so important to you?

 

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My mind feels like mush these days. I feel like I am in this fuzzy space of life this month. Why this month? I don’t know. Call it burn out. Call it still recovering from a whirl wind-not-so-relaxing vacation. I don’t know what it is. I just feel blah.

I feel like my energy level is next to nil. I catch myself staring at nothing more often then not. Slow gear makes for no gear. Grr.

I am so anti this feeling. I know I need rest. I need rest from everything it feels like. I need rest from being needed. I need rest from a job that sucks the life out of me. I need ______. My body is doing great at telling me I am in need. But what is the real issue? They say that you crave the foods of the nutrients your body needs, right? What does that look like for me?

My outside has no change coming in the foreseeable future. So what can I do in the meantime?

I spent a lot of time jumping around in scripture this weekend. (Sometimes I feel like the bible is like a refrigerator when you don’t know what you are in the mood for. You know when you stand there with the door open, and nothing looks good?) That was me and the bible. I landed on Romans 12:2. Oddly enough this was the first verse I ever memorized. (Shocking, not John 3:16, I know.) It was such a refreshing verse for me.

Renew your mind.” Those words have been honey to my soul. As my soul feels like jello, I am in desperate need of some renewing. I want new thoughts. I crave new inspiration and ways of thinking. I love thinking about truth, but have slacked on thinking about it.

There is such joy that I get when the truth of scripture just rolls off my mind and into my life. I need more of that. Renewing of my mind is what this appetite wants. The rejuvenation I am looking for will start there.

What kind of renewing do you need?

What’s in your fridge?

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Sometimes you just need a place to pray and talk to God. My model for talking to God is from John 17.

I would love for this to be  a place where you can talk freely to God. if you want to listen to the prayers and thoughts of others, please do.

Here is my heart. Pray with me.

Father, I sit at your feet today blessed with the chance for a break from “normal” life. Thank you for your grace that leaves me quiet. I am learning the reality of not taking your forgiveness and grace lightly. Forgive me that I have treated those values flippantly. I dismiss you too much in my life. I am trying to sit in my emptiness and exhaustion to leave space for your peace. I know that my self-sufficiency has enabled my exhaustion. Forgive me for leaving you out of my life too much. I am so quick to think I can handle this life on my own. But father, I don’t want the life that I can manage. I want to experience a life where I have to depend on your logic and ways. I want to be bold enough to look foolish to this world and culture. My heart has an ache of a dream that seems to be of you. I ask that you would lead me I your way of understanding so that I can move toward your dream for me. Fears affect my steps as well as my faith too much. I hate that. I am sorry for the one step forward and the two steps back of trust. Thank you for your patience. Thank you for your gentleness with my heart. Thank you that you love me and take on my debt every day. Help me not to take that lightly. Be with me on this vacation and lead my smile and laughter.

Father, be with my friends who desire you as well. Be with my friends who are also exhausted and need your larger than life presence. Strengthen the bruised reeds of their heart. Love on my friends so deeply. Grow our friendship together in a way that shows your face and your character. Help us to learn how to lay our selfish wants and desires down. Help us to place the other person above ourselves. Please help us to always move towards healthy goodness in you. Please help us to know how to celebrate one another more and more as our friendships grow more intimate. We desire intimacy with you. I pray that we would find that in you first. I pray that we would pursue you first for the sake of a right friendship. Father, thank you for how I know you more because of my friends. I am so grateful for the ones I know face to face and the ones I know by heart. I am so grateful for the richness of these great friends. They are yours. Help me to keep them that way. Help me to love friends with open hands to you. Thank you for friendship. Thank you for the chance to experience life with my great friends. I praise you for that.

And father I pray for all those who need your peace today. I pray for the hearts that are struggling to find your voice and presence. Be father in a real way to those who know you, as well as, those who are curious about you. Provide places of comfort for those who need it. Provide wisdom for those who are seeking understanding. Provide your name for those who are in need of your power. You know all hearts. You know all things. I pray for those who are tired and slow to bounce back. Provide your place of rest.

This culture needs your name. This culture is desperately seeking something of value and power. You are the one who is good. You are the one hope for life in this world. Apart from you, we are nothing. I pray that you would remind this culture of your desire for us. You desperately want intimacy with your children. Rise up community and real authentic people to provide your voice and name. Not just this culture, but all cultures known and unknown. You are known, and claim all by name. I hope for change.

It’s in your illogical name I pray these thoughts and words. Amen.

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