Beauty, Depth and Height

Why did the Lord create such beauty, depth and height in our world?  I refuse to believe it is just because He can.  I believe it is because every molecule of nature lines up to teach us of the Creator and lead us into the desire to praise Him. Each small portion of creation teaches us how greatly He loves us and how He delights in surprising us with the works of His hands.

Beauty:IMG_4182

Depth: Mammoth cave- Kentucky 

Height: Colorado mountainsFullSizeRender (24)

Ephesians 3:14-21

A Prayer for the Ephesians

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (NIV)

 

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, continue to unveil to us the fullness of Your love. Help us to put on and walk out our identity in Christ. We can do nothing apart from You and desire a deeper understanding of Your greatness. Thank You, for Your presence in our lives. Let every molecule of our beings praise Your glory.  Amen.

Truth

Truth

            I wince as high heeled strappy shoes bite my heels.  I kneel to rub and find relief.  As I straighten I see my old friend’s husband he stands frozen as wedding guests whizz past him oblivious to the gaiety around.

“Hi, how’s it going?” I inquire. He startles; recognition uncurls. The weight of his 6 foot- 4- inch frame crashes into mine. Unaware of the awkwardness of the embrace, he remains motionless.

“Where’s your wife?” I probe.  Composure crumbles.  Reeling, my held breathe escapes as I prop him onto a high stool.  The moment his body touches the support, he spews forth his daughter’s neuro-psychologist report. It’s devastating.  Number after number daggers of 40 and 45 pierce him as he spoke, his face contorted with pain.  He manages to say his wife left them unable to deal with “such” a damaged child.  He was left to stand in the wake.

Silent, I unfold a scrap of well-worn paper with a simple drawing which had brought profound relief and healing to me.

His eyes transfix on the picture as I smooth it against the crisp white table cloth.

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Time stops, my voice a whisper. All the while, the celebration continues around us.

“Your child and the fullness of her beauty did not change upon the addition of a number given to you by some human paid to quantify and qualify life.  No where in creation is there a number written on a child.  Numbers and labels spoken to you are not to be written into her heart or, yours.

You will see but a glimpse of the beauty she possesses here on earth. The depths of her is yet to be revealed.

Each person is created before time, knit together in love and sent to fulfill their own purpose.  Her purposes are not your own.  Do not be confused; your daughter does not belong to you; she is a gift given only for a moment by a great and glorious God for His perfect will.

I unfold the rest of the picture.  It’s edges crackle, reluctant to expose its treasure.

flower-2-for-truth

“Consider the rest of the picture she is not left alone to drift. The stem travels down strong and steady with one purpose to find strength rooted and grounded in Christ.  See the roots, as she withstands adversity; they grow deeper.  I tell you there are not many on this earth who will have as strong of roots as hers.”

Do you see a place on this flower for a number?  Would you damage its flawlessness to etch into its delicate petals?  No, let her beauty stand as a testimony to the great God who gave you her.” I implore.

His red eyes scraped mine, searching “What purposes- what are you talking about?  Did you not hear her IQ scores; 40, 45, 50? What can God do with that?” His arms fall in defeat, they crash against the table, the paper stands.

I push on as I recall the discovery of this truth for my own life, it unfolds as I speak- a crackle of pain emerges.

“Each person is sent to their own specific people group only they can reach.  Can you touch the hearts of all the therapist and evaluators with your courage?  Can you lift up someone with a flash of your smile?  Why are you remarkable?  Her very existence and valor to conquer each and every challenge is an inspiration.   Can you reach other people who are mentally challenged- will they trust you and know your common struggle?”

“She can do that and more.  Your wife will miss out on daily miracles; you will be gifted to see.  Your daughter will reach many, not despite her numbers but because of them.  There was no mistake made, only a miracle.  Receive the miracle and participate in the joy.”

I press the folded paper reduced to a 4 by 2 inch rectangle into his hand and walk away, praying it would expand to cover his heart and hers.  I do not look back I no longer need the paper, the truth is etched within me.©

Empty…

Gratefulness= a great fullness, complete, over-flowing, without angst or ache for anything more.file9431246807003

Rejoice in all things, my ears received that Truth but my heart has not fully developed the understanding of the need for thankfulness to experience the joy.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things” (Philippians 4:6-8).

Somehow I missed the word thankful, my shallow eyes sadden me.   I had always concentrated on the part that I have to do, not the part that I have to be.  The doing part is the guarding of our hearts and the taking our thoughts captive.  The being part is the thankfulness.

Some of you may be wondering about the depravity of my soul.  Questions such as what has she done or how dark and deluded is her heart?  This depth of conviction was activated as I listened to myself in the simple act of complaining.  Complaining is a deadly past time that should not be endured. It eats at our hearts and burns out our joy.

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Cast it out and embrace- Gratefulness=Great Fullness.

Prayer: I trust You Lord Jesus. Take me where I must go and I will entrust the fullness of me, to Your care.  So that I might witness and see with renewed eyes the gifts You have given.  Thank you Father God I am grateful for Your friendship and kindness, but most of all during this sliver of time Your faithfulness.  Love, your daughter Heather.

 

GRATEFUL

ADJECTIVE:

  1. feeling or showing an appreciation of kindness; thankful:

Synonyms: thankful · appreciative · indebted · obliged · obligated ·

in someone’s debt · beholden

Powered by Oxford Dictionaries · © Oxford University Press

When I read this definition it brought home the absurdity of my state of being- ungrateful.  There can be no doubt that I am indebted, obligated and beholden to the Lord Jesus Christ for all things.  I somehow forgot along the way to let my thankfulness penetrate to my heart.  So that out of the overflow of my heart- thankfulness would be spoken.

Gratefulness is the only logical state of being for a Christ follower.

‘Stand in’

ABBBY SICK

The ER nurse turned to my husband and said “You are her Savior” as my husband held my youngest daughter down, while they jabbed at her with the second attempt at an IV. Her pathetic screams easily penetrated the hallway where I waited with my sons. He quickly replied, “No, I am not her Savior, Jesus Christ is but I will be His stand in”.

My God has provided me with such a wonderful earthly father to my children. He is a great ‘stand in’ or representation of Christ to my children. They experience their father’s sacrifice and love in his daily interactions with them.

John provides stability, a sense of self, protection and fierce love to our children. Just as Christ does. This weekend John was with me every moment as we woke up our youngest daughter, every two hours to get two ounces of fluid down her with a syringe. I could not love John more than I do when I see his self- sacrifice for our children. He provides for them as their father what I cannot and I am eternally grateful. He gives them an understanding of what a father’s love is, and this understanding frees them to run into the arms of Christ without reservations of the consequence.

In prayer for a friend’s daughter that she might experience stability I received a gift far greater than the prayer I was providing her. I received a greater revelation of what my identity as God’s daughter does for me, now on this earth. You cannot fully integrate a sense of peace and stability into your life until you accept and acknowledge that you are Christ’s daughter or son. In prayer  I began to realize that my understanding of my identity was not fully developed. God is faithful to provide what we need, when we humble ourselves and ask for help in prayer.

 

Prayer: I pray for stability. For Christ’s love to surround me and penetrate to the depths of my understanding of self. Provide for Me a cocoon of protection so that you might transform my life of doubt into a triumph of obedience. Provide stability not as the world provides it but as You do My conquering, Savior. Thank you, Jesus Amen.

Shadow of a doubt.

candle-no shadow

Shadow of a doubt

A flame does not create a shadow. Light is incapable of tolerating darkness it only knows how to dispel it. John 8:12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” (NKJV). We cannot tolerate a shadow of a doubt.

There’s nothing like doubt to crush faith. It never starts out as a crushing pain but more as a subtle inkling. A minor itch of the mind that begs for scratching. The itching of the deviant named ‘doubt’ is what starts that crack in our shield of faith. Hindering our ability to grab a hold of the promises of God. Casting out doubt is a daily necessity. We must diligently tend to this chore.

Pray: Lord Jesus I cast out doubt in Your precious name and authority. Let me live in your boldness of faith, so that I might reach out and grab hold of the lost. Establish within me Your dwelling place, a tower of refuge from which to draw strength. Grant me wave after wave of Your love so that I might sit in the stillness of Your truth and rest. Thank you, Jesus. Amen.

Despair revoked, Hope revealed! Part two: Being Present

 

Being Present

The simple message I am about to relay from a dear new friend, a happen stance encounter left me breathless.  Both humbled and awed.  How could I take what she said, and make it into a reality in my life?  Was that possible.

I asked Zoe’s mother, Jen Stolz, what was the one thing that most helped her through the fatal diagnosis and later death of her child?  This was her response.  Choosing to be in the present.  Whatever that present was.  Enjoying every moment of her pregnancy and the few hours she had with Zoe.  She states, “Being present allowed me to experience all my emotions, the good and the hard and allowed me to feel God’s love and presence”.

I read these words and was stunned, they rocked me to my core and left me breathless. Did I ever do that, could I ever do that?  Did I know how to do that?  Maybe there’s a class I can take on that.  Literally all day long I stopped in mid-movement held by the thought of being present. I would go to pull the milk out and be hit in the Spirit.  These thwacks to the gut were simultaneously uplifting and convicting. Being present is a gift we can all receive. Some are better at possessing the gift than others.  I have little to no practice with it. I am always rightfully being told, to be still and sit quietly in anticipation.

Zoe-Faith-anencephaly-3- dads awe

I read one of her husband’s blogs that describes their combined journey of learning the value of being present.  They knew they would never be able to teach Zoe to read, or to ride a bike.  So pregnant Jen took Zoe on a bike ride and read and sang to her.  Jen’s intentional actions of “being present” are quite inspiring.  It leaves me wondering how can I be more present?  Less consumed with what is coming next.  How can I stop playing the “what if” game, tormented with planning and attempting to control life instead of living it?  I declare, that I am going to intentionally live in the present, but I am going to need help.

Lord Jesus, You know how you created me.  I have a difficult time being still and living in the moment.  Lord Jesus I surrender my life to you.  Help me to live in the present and presence of You, in the moments of my everyday life.  Tenderly teach me what you would have me know.  I acknowledge that my children are a gift from you, help me to enjoy that gift. Thank you, Amen.

Please send in comments about how you live in the present, or how you are learning to do so.

Jen writes about the loss of her daughter and her journey in http://www.livinglifelovingit.com/anencephaly-infant-loss-sorrow/

Zoe-Faith-anencephaly-19- family pic smile

Courage and Trust

pic of family praying

Great is the glory of the Lord. You grow in might and stature within my heart with every breathe I receive from You.

Cleanse our speech and purify our words to impart Your truth to those we love. Break apart anything within us that blocks our union with You.

Grant us the knowledge of who we are, so that we might face all challenges with courage and walk upright with integrity.

Lord God, merciful God it is our deepest desire to be filled with the fullness of God, that we may have the richest measure of the divine Presence. For we are convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither this present age nor the future, nor any power, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Help us to sit in the stillness of Your peace and let Your love become fully realized in us. Let our trust in You be complete so that we run beneath your wings to find refuge. We declare His faithfulness will be our shield and rampart at every storm.

Your joy gives us strength to be the fulfillment of Your love to our family and friends. Pour Your favor and anointing out upon us and our families so that we might carry out Your will.

We lift up our voices to praise You our living God. Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, holy, holy, holy is the Lord, God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come. All blessing and praise and honor to our King.

Amen.

Romans 8:38-39, Psalm 91:4, Rev. 5:12