Thursday, September 24, 2015

A Morning's Musing at the Sky...

Because sometimes all I can do is ask why?

Why does He so faithfully do this every morning?
Why does He let me see it and enjoy it for what it is; His glory?
Why does He keep loving me? 

These questions are good.
 They are the stuff of a soul running up against Big Glory!

Bold colors layered hazily together on this day's first horizon.
It was a view that promised a beautiful unfolding, and one that I tried to absorb through my windows while moving about inside.

Mister and I had overslept our usual alarm.... on purpose. It was good.
A shower and coffee were postponed in favor of the ruffled sleepy-eyed kiddos emerging with all sorts of planning, laughter, and even a little fighting over the bathroom.

All of the three breakfasts, teeth brushings, lunch packings, homework checkings, hair tamings later, we emerged from the garage out into the morning's slow but sure advance.
The unfolding was indeed beautiful, as I had just known it would be.
They asked me to take some pictures.

All was soft and bright and full of the sky's layers reaching down to touch earth.
Whisps and shafts of cloud giving way for the still-rising sun to meet the earth in gentle color.
We talked about the glory; about how it is different each morning;
about how we never tire of seeing it.
We talked about the why of God's display and love for this lost world,
of His faithful mercies present in every dawn for His people.
We talked of the declaration of His name over, in and throughout all of creation....
how very short and tiny we really are; a breath.

We did not talk about these things because of some good quality in their hearts or in mine,
but because God's glory all around us simply required it; drove us to it.
Because, designed to seek, respond to, and reflect glory, sometimes all we can do is ask why? 
His love so deep? 
His power so great? 
His glory so beautiful?

And there in that asking, 
His name is declared all over again across our souls in resounding grace! 

"The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork. 

Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. 

There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard.

Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.

In them He has set a tent for the sun, which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber. 
and,like a strong man, runs it's course with joy. 

It's rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them, and there is nothing hidden from it's heat." 

Psalm 19:1-6

Monday, September 21, 2015

Filled to Hunger On...

I am hungry. In a soul-deep, pressing-on-to-reach-sort of way.
I have been for some time... 16 years to be exact;
Ever since The Living Father grabbed a hold of my heart and soul, but I am only just recently learning to know this hunger for what it is, and for where it comes from, and for where it takes me.


from Him, for Him, through Him, and to Him....

Sometimes this hunger has tricked me into feeling and believing that I lack something, that God has forgotten me or is displeased with me. 
Because of Jesus, this will never be true!

Other times, I have foolishly tried to trick the hunger away by turning to something of God's making rather than to His presence. 
Those wells always run empty and dry! 

It is this new thing I am finding, learning and stretching my muscles into...
and then re-finding, re-learning, and re-stretching my soul around...

...that in the meeting up of my own limitations and the way they leave me desperate for more of Him,

this is where Jesus fills.

One day last week, the churnings of this hunger in my soul literally drove me out my back door.
I needed to get quiet and still and alone with Him,
{because sometimes you have to leave a place to refill yourself for it.}

The kiddos were at school.
There was plenty of quiet and still and alone in the house, but something deep in my heart wanted to be where there was nothing between the top of my head and the great sky dome of His creation.

That sky dome was heavy with gray clouds and releasing a gentle mist, so I pulled on a rain jacket and stuffed my pocket with camera, journal and pen.

I had decided on the path less chosen across the fields behind our home, and mud from recent rain was sucking at my boots.
I could feel my heart settling into each soggy step as the busy stuff of daily life stilled behind me.

I thought about the hunger I was feeling and about where it was taking me.
I thought about how deeply I desire for more of Him to fill more of my doing, saying, being, and becoming with each passing day.
I so very much long for more of my anything to be filled with more of His everything!

I talked to Him about this.

I asked Him about being out in that muddy drizzly field together.
I looked for His hand, because I knew I would see His voice all over everything around me.

It was there as I took in the wild prairie grasses and flowers, some bravely holding onto their color, most bowing over with the onset of Fall's brown.

It was there in the trees with leaves still green but unable to hide the tell-tale spots of mold that will soon advance their change into a bright display.

It was on the thistles - some taller than I am- clutching tightly to their clusters of seeds which will break free and scatter on the harvest wind to next year's growing spot.

All of this emptying to be filled, this drying-out death to provide fresh new life after Winter passes.

I started to see again; was reminded afresh, to press into my soul-hunger, not seeking to satiate it, but allowing it's rhythms of seeking and filling to pull me deeper and deeper into His likeness.

I saw anew that I am filled up, not in the filling itself, but in the hungering for more, because it is the very nature of my created purpose to find satisfaction in a Limitless, All-Glorious God.

I was made for, and redeemed to, this glorious tension;
to be always both perfectly filled and yet hungering for more of Him!

And this is where it was that day in a muddy field walk; where it is today, and will be tomorrow.

In the wanting, the needing, the leaning in for more of Him,
this is where the feast of His presence is received!

and I am filled to hunger on....

Psalm 16::2
"I say to the Lord, 'You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you."

John 6:57-58
"As the Living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven...
Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever."

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Soul's Kalidescope::identity & season::

This morning I dropped my three kiddos of at school, trailing each one in for the annual desk photo, rushing back out before anyone saw my tears. This was the first 1st day of school that I drove home with an empty car. 

I settled in at our life-scratched table and read the latest email update on friends who are on day 12 of their 15 yr old's fight against Leukemia. 
Checking up on a sweet family praying for healing of their hubby/daddy's brain cancer, I saw their strong faith in smiling faces. 
Facebook shows radiant images of a sweet couple that covenanted marriage love yesterday.
Another happy shot, this one of a beautiful sweet momma whose body stretches tight over waiting and readiness and anticipation. 
A poster with running feet and information about our upcoming community service project, and I'm reminded to stop and pray for this community we're seeking to love. 

All of these snapshots of real life moving, pulsing, and converging in with where my heart has been pondering and praying lately. 

There was this time when I took a decorated cardboard cylinder in my hand, holding it to my right eye and shutting the other so that the only light I see was channeled through the tube that I was twisting slowly.
The bits of colored glass inside shifted and fell into new arrangements with each turn, reflecting off mirrors within to create different arrangements of pretty design, one after another. 
We were standing in a Children's gift shop nestled into a shopping mall.  It was a simple kaleidoscope I held in my hands, a simplicity that fascinated my soul with a visual image that God used to show me His love and tender leading. 

Identity and Season:
Two parts of my soul; separate in their essence, but nested together inseparablely in their presence. 
Where I engage with one, I engage with the other, yet they are not the same. 
The one always changing, the other unchanging; both always connected, and if engaged with in truth, together they equal glory and big joy!
I know this because Abba has been tenderly teaching me; lifting the cylinders to my soul's eye and teaching me to see the turn....

Like the twisting and turning of a kaleidoscope, my seasons shift with ebb and flow, and are frequently affected by circumstances very much outside of my control. 
As God does His perfect ordaining thing over my life, He turns the cylinder of circumstance, people, situations, needs, and things are constantly shifting, falling, and resorting into a new season. 

Little pieces of colored glass, emptying, but never falling out; creating new spaces and molding themselves into new patterns but always remaining present within the view; the truths of my identity. This stuff of who and what I am; 
who and what I am always becoming. 
These are not hindered, removed or destroyed by the turning changes in circumstance, emotion, or knowledge. They are truths dictated by One beyond myself, untouchable, going with me wherever I go, and in whatever I do. 

To enjoy a kaleidoscope fully, I must twist the nested tubes and watch the pieces fall into a new beauty, and then twist again.

My healthy, peaceful, and hope-filled soul; my gospel-charged soul, must know my identity, and I must know my season. 
I must allow these two to nest and turn with the unfolding of life. 
I must give myself the freedom to acknowledge a season's hard, fruitfulness, struggle, or success without fear because I knows that while the pieces shift together in new ways, 
my identity stays secure. 

Two mornings ago, I sat in an early quiet before the house woke, and scratched out a list. 
Ephesians was open in front of me, the first 14 verses piling into my heart and out through my pen in a long gathering of truths about who I am in Christ.  
I had limped to this place seeking and asking for help. 
I felt dry and tired and so very much not enough for what seemed to be before me. 
I still wasn't sure I had processed all that has already come and gone, not to mention what is right under my feet, as my life kaleidoscope feels to be turning at break-neck speeds. 

A church change, ministry change, revival of focus... wonderful and so very vulnerable. 

An unexpected personal grieving as my momma status moved {overnight} from the little years to the family much to miss and treasure up. 

The process of positioning ourselves to simplify in housing investment/location... uprooting, waiting, and just plain old hard work. 

Our oldest man-child's move into new struggles as his little self takes on the whirling roller-coaster of growing up... embracing a new dependence in parenting with it's death to self.

Leaning into this particular school year with it's changes for me as a SAHM.... alone and feeling out new boundaries.

All of these little pieces of my unchanging identity falling into new places, leaving new spaces and the old familiar behind. 
It can all be such a scary mess...

Abba drew me to bring all of my reshaping discomfort to Him and ask one simple question:
"Remind me of who I am in You?" 

As my scribbles began to fill up a journal page, my heart grabbed with reminder of that moment in the children's gift shop nestled into a shopping cardboard and plastic in my hand, head upturned to the light over the checkout counter....twisting with my hands, watching the patterns merge, fall and empty into new beauty. 

I realized that my weariness came from an exchange that was happening in my soul; the clinging to season for identity. 

Trying to reach and to grab at aspects of old passing away seasons as though they were part of my identity; fearing that to see them empty out into something new, I would see myself empty out into nothing. 

Isn't this how it so often goes with us?

We take the callings we're given, and so pour ourselves into them that we begin to believe that they are the measure of who we are. 
We grab at season, rather than identity, for a validation-flag to wave, and oh the big freak-out when we're asked to lay it down. 

Reaching into a kaleidoscope and trying to hold a few colored beads in place as it turns will only cause the new pattern to break and eventually jam. 
All beauty stunted and lost. 

Refusing to let the nested cylinders and mirrors turn at all might leave me comfortable, but I would be spiritually stunted and anemic. 

I will not fear new empty spaces, 
or the resorting of my life's pieces.  
The new pattern promises to be more beautiful than the last, and the next even more so, as He moves me from one degree of glory to the next. 
My seasons turn, twist, and resort into new views...
sometimes surprisingly complex, 
sometimes breathtakingly beautiful, always -every single one- 
defined by His grace and love.

I might have to squint and let Him readjust my perspective.
I might fight and balk against the turn until He gently releases my grip,
but when He does, 
{and Praise Jesus HE DOES}
all the pieces, the anchors of my soul, 
are always there:

fully known, 
rich in grace, 
forever and ever...

I put down my pen on that quiet morning.
My soul-kaleidoscope was back in play with a renewed excitement and courage to embrace the whirling colors...

And I knew then it's about the light....
always The Light; 
shining down through the twisting cylinders causing the colors of His love over me to dance in the beautiful whirl of this life, and after that, there will be Jesus forever!!! 

I can just hold it all up to The Light and watch His Glory cascade!