Soul Tending + Unearthing Feminine Longing

This book is a reminder that in order to receive Truth, we must be ready and willing to receive it…

I’ve picked it up twice in my life- different stages and ages.

The first, I couldn’t relate. The second, it made me angry- triggering things inside me.

So, I put I down. I said it wasn’t for me.

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Now two years later, my hand caresses it on the library shelf and I know it’s time to try again….

I was stalking up- my max allowance 100 books- during our small town library’s closure: three months for renovations.

The little girl inside me swooned at the frivolousness of 100 books!

It felt romantic and scandalous.

Never could I read that many books in such a timeframe, but permission was enough.

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Permission: something my soul’s been craving of late.

Permission to expand.

Permission to explore.

Permission to be curious and re-investigate life- the things I’ve thought, believed, put aside and forgotten.

The things I once loved and longed for.

The hidden passions and dormant dreams.

The sites and sounds that have captured my heart since childhood. 

…. that’s what my soul is hungry for.

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Permission to re-embrace the parts of me I’ve suppressed for various reasons: pain, fear, shame, religious conditioning.

Permission to dream dreams without accusing it a power plight.

Permission to create without a care for productivity or purpose.

Permission to enjoy and feel and delight in, without labelling it frivolous or selfish or secular.

And then the day came, when the risk to remain tight in a bud, was greater than the risk it took to bloom. – Anais Nin

I read it in my birthday card.

My mom and I grinned.

How apropos.

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The more I embrace permission, the more I feel myself opening up, blooming into the woman I was created to be-

the woman God imprinted on my heart and in my soul, when He created me in The Hidden place- The Sacred Place: the womb

…. life force, vitality and creativity- creation birthed from Love. 

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My femininity is wooing me back to her; gentle, gracious and tender.

I feel myself in a dance with Divinity, hidden within my feminine being. And that feels scandalous… wild… scary even.

I find myself praying regularly: “God, hedge me in. Do not let me be led astray.”

But the more I give in and let go- surrender to my own desires and inner longings- the more Radiant and Light and At Home I feel.

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Joy.

It’s joy I’m rediscovering.

Not from an external place or in hot pursuit or running away or filling a void or covering my pain, but

from a place of inquisition and unearthing- of retuning Home to myself.

Like a pilgrimage of sorts.

I am learning, yet again, how to be a soft and tender place to land- a safe and sacred refuge for my own soul. 

God chose it- to make my body his home and my soul his respite.

Why shouldn’t I?

This feels magical and romantic and somewhat forbidden.

At least that’s what I’ve told myself these last number of years- sacrificing myself  on the altar of “selfless service”…

giving myself away until there’s nothing left- for the sake of Good and Others.

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I’ve landed on this truth a zillion times:

“Love your neighbour as yourself.

… as yourself, you say?
That means I must love myself first.

I’ve been telling myself that for years:  I can only give away what I’ve first been given [and received] myself.

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Like the Eternal Child I am, I’m learning what this means practically, as well as, spiritually, in my faith and in my life: as a mother, wife, friend, speaker, leader, writer…

most profoundly, as a woman.

And it’s surprising me.

With every unearthed finding, a new longing appears- and while new, it feels oddly Ancient and Sacred.

Like I’ve stumbled upon old ruins- a sisterhood of femininity.

I’m finding fossils everywhere. 

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It’s with fresh curiosity, I give myself permission- grace soaked and swimming- to ask [forbidden] questions and explore Answers of Old.

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The silent scream that slapped me into now

A two year old almost drowned… right in front of me, today.

She wasn’t my own; nor was I looking after her. But she was still right in front of me- in my direct line of eyesight.

I could have- should have– seen it. I could have- should have– caught it. But I didn’t….

Her mom did, thankfully in time.

As her mother gasped, I looked down. I could see her there, sitting under the water, paralyzed and unable to move. Her eyes were bug-eyed wide and open- staring back at me.

They had a desperate plea about them, silently screaming “Help me. Do you see me?!”

But I didn’t.

I had no idea a child was drowning right in front of me- less than a foot away.

I’ve held this notion for a while now – that we hear danger and accidents as they happen. That if anything should happen to my daughter, I’d be aware of it, because I’d hear it.

But today proved otherwise. 

It happened in an instance- in silence and I was completely unaware.

So was her mother, for a time.

I couldn’t shake the thought all day. I tried not to personalize the experience – to make it about me– but the whole thing spoke clear:

Kailey, wake up. Be alert. Things happen in an instant and if you’re not paying attention – if you’re distracted by your phone or even your thoughts- you’ll miss it.

All love begins with the act of paying attention. Stay here. Remain in the present moment.

I’ve watched social experiment videos, where people stage child abductions … many times, right in front of their parents eyes. I’ve read blog posts about children who drown or run into traffic… many times, right in front of their parents eyes.

And I’ve judged.

I’ve made sweeping assumptions about what kind of parents they were or how they were choosing to spent their time, rather than watching their children. [insert exaggerated huffing sounds of disapproval]

Then today, I was that person! 

I wasn’t on my phone. I wasn’t even having a conversation. There was no multi-tasking happening! I was sitting quietly on a pool step, observing my thoughts, when I failed to see a child drowning- right in front of my eyes.

It was far too easy and quick.

Evil may have had it’s way with her, but praise God, it didn’t. Her mom caught it in time. She is safe and very much OK.

But the fact remains: her story could have ended differently- perhaps, in just a few more seconds.

I’m one week into a four week sabbatical – a break from all work – plus, a digital detox. And so far, I’ve realized how often I’m tempted to pick up my phone; to numb out and distract. Without my phone, I see too, how tempting it is to numb out and distract- to instead, choose my day dreams and my thoughts, rather than my present moment… especially when I’m angry, worried, in shame or simply bored with what’s in front of me.

Time and again I’ve caught myself.

This present moment thing is harder than I thought!

But I want it- I want to make a habit of it….not only for joy’s sake, but for prevention’s sake, as today taught me.

It’s not my responsibility to save every child. I also can’t protect my own from everything. But it is my job to be responsible – to do what I can, to hedge her from protection. And that includes being present: not just with my hands. Not just with my eyes, but with my thoughts and my attention.

My intention, this present moment. 

Lord, Help me.

 

 

When you’re defeated and desperately want to quit

 

I took this photo going into my counsellors office last year.

I felt hopeless and desperately wanted to give up and call it quits. I thought things would never change. Settling felt easier.

Then I walked in and settled on the couch.

In her own words, She said something like this- and friend, it changed everything…

Courage isn’t found in comfort, strength isn’t build in easy places. Both are cultivated in messy, hard soil, which if you persevere, become holy ground: anointed and set apart with purpose and great intent.

They lead us to transformation.

Don’t give up.

Don’t short change yourself because it feels easier.

Push through.

New life is waiting on the other side.

I decided right then and there, that whatever had come to me, had to go through God.

And therefor, it came FOR GOOD.

And I don’t say that lightly- I say that from the most suckered punched part of my heart-made-whole.

What the enemy meant for evil, God used for good: to bring a newness of life and transformation, I never could have imagined– or seen then! It would take months, until I caught a glimpse.

But for the time being, her words were a gift of hope – what I needed to carry on and push through to the other side.

Today, they’re my gift to you.

Carry on, Warrior.

#justkeepswimming #thedifferenceayearmakes #littlebylittle #newlifeiscoming

Letter to self | When you need to hear well done

I’ve prayed when I didn’t want to.

I’ve stayed when I wanted to go. 

I’ve fought when I wanted to leave.

I’ve kept quiet when I wanted to point fault. 

I’ve forgiven when deeply offended.

I’ve sought forgiveness when I’ve wounded and hurt. 

I’ve trusted when all things point otherwise.

I’ve believed when it made no sense at all. 

I’ve spoken life when death’s all around me.

I’ve died to be born to new life. 

I’ve sung praise in the midst of destruction.

I’ve grieved for lives not my own. 

I’ve cared even though it costs me.

I’ve loved to the point that it hurts. 

I’ve pressed on when I wanted to drop out.

I’ve quit because I knew it was best. 


I’ve lived far from perfection, but friend, I’ve lived this life well.

So for now, I’m saying, “Well done. My dear, you’re doing swell.”

My living rooms open | Join the party

If you haven’t joined the party yet, this here is my personal invitation…

We’re talking:

  • Faith

  • Motherhood

  • Relationships

  • Freedom

And we’re missing your voice!

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Afraid you won’t fit in?! Impossible..

Grace Clingers, Deep Feelers, Love Warriors WELCOME.

That’s YOU and you know how I know?  Because you’re here now.

The same honesty and rawness you’ve come to know about me here, is there too.

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As I work to complete two NEW and exciting PROJECTS- my book, “Bleeding Hearts” and my e-course, “Know Jesus; Receive God’s love,” – my blog posts are fewer and far between as I channel my creative energies there.

That’s why I want to invite you to my living room floor on instagram. 

I’m sharing parts of my personal faith story never told before, encouragement that works for me when my faith feels hard, lessons from the mundane of motherhood, and the books that are messing with me.

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That thing you’re facing…

This season of life you’re in right now…

The yuck you’re struggling with…

I promise you, you’re not alone!

There’s a tribe of people waiting to prove it to you too, including me!

Come join us, will you? 

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–//

 

Here’s a peek at what we’re wrestling with:

“I wanted to be cool and if I’m really honest, envied. I thought in order to be liked + accepted, people had to want what I had to offer. They couldn’t possibly just like me for me. And that lie, extended into every area of my life: my work, my body, my house, my relationships, my money + my success. I had to be the best. I tried + tried until I almost died. Quite literally…

Anxiety + panic attacks held me hostage. An eating disorder ravaged my body, my moods + my every thought for 15 years. My need for acceptance kept me running every minute of the day trying to prove my worth + please everyone. And I mastered the art quite well! I was good at it. Proud of it even + fooled people into thinking I had life “figured out”. But I didn’t. I was enslaved- chained to my insecurities + fuelled by my fear of rejection. Until I decided to”… [READ THE REST]

 

“You will always regret something. You will always disappoint someone. But it isn’t going to be my husband and our kids.
It has been, but I’m learning. And I’m making things right. And so this morning, I sent the email- afraid I’d be seen as weak or irresponsible, afraid I’d be pulling the ripcord on a career I’d spend a decade building, praying for opportunities like this one… Do I mean all the things I’ve been saying about worth and rest and what matters most, or don’t I?...” [READ THE REST]

 

“I used to run a million miles a minute. I did everything that had to be done and more. I checked off every box and I finished every goal. The thing was, I was still empty inside. Around every next bend I’d find my true identity and my worth- the joy and meaning I was seeking. But it never came. With every new chapter and every new accomplishment I felt more and more frustrated, desperate for something to change. Why was I not truly happy? I had everything I ever wanted… and more.
Slowly but surely, God showed me the culprit. It was” … 
[READ THE REST]

 

 

When You’re Feeling Empty and Need to Be Filled… with Joy

You’re asleep now and my heart bubbles over with moments we shared this morning as a family:

cuddles and cartoons on the couch,

playing blocks and colouring on the floor,

dancing and singing to worship music turned loud,

jumping and bum drops on the bed,

an hour long tub party that ended with daddy rocking you amidst the suds, while you nestled in the nape of his neck and asked for lullabies on repeat.

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These simple moments of connection- the everyday ordinary moments- are so full of grace we scarcely miss them them if we’re not careful.

Life can beckon us to move, to do and to go, when The Lord calls us to draw near, to be still and linger a little longer.

But for too long I didn’t listen. I missed my vary life ; that is until

you came along and turned my life –my heart– inside out.

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You showed me where life is truly found.

Where joy, peace and love are hiding.

But they aren’t really hiding. They’re right there for the taking; we must just choose to be present to receive them.

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Seasons change and so do our circumstances but these things remain.

Rooted in Christ and found with eyes wide open to the people and the moments right in front of us, peace, joy and love remain: always, unchanging.

Love mom.

 

When you need a reminder that prayer works and how best to pray

Line after line I furiously wrote. With a new hunger and passion for the scriptures, my heart beat faster with ever one written.

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“It’s amazing.” I told my husband. ” It’s like I’m reading it with new eyes, as if for the very first time!

…. the very longings of my heart – the things I can’t put words to half the time-  right there for me to read and pray back to him!

And the amazing thing is, it tells me right here that He watches over his word to perform it! That when I pray according to his will,  I can consider it heard and done. Answered now, already and in advance!!”

I am alert and active, watching over My word to perform it. ~ Jeremiah 1:12

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.And if we know that he hears us–whatever we ask–we know that we have what we asked of him. ~ 1 John 5:14-15

This isn’t new to me, friend. In truth, I’ve heard those very statement umpteen times before but like a fresh revelation, they’ve finally entered my heart.

Their truth has moved from my head to my heart, where true knowledge and wisdom are learnt and housed; and ultimately lived out of.

For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. ~ Luke 6:45

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. ~ Matthew 6:21

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.~ Proverbs 23:7

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Not the first time, I’ve been reading “The Power of a Praying Parent.” Chapter after chapter I’m convinced again of the saving, healing power of prayer.

How prayer is the greatest gift, aside from love, that we can offer our children.

Prayers for love, faith, friendship, purpose, even protection… The one I wrote out and prayed this morning: Psalm 91.

Say this: “God, you’re my refuge.
    I trust in you and I’m safe!”
That’s right—he rescues you from hidden traps,
    shields you from deadly hazards.
His huge outstretched arms protect you—
    under them you’re perfectly safe;
    his arms fend off all harm.
Fear nothing—not wild wolves in the night,
    not flying arrows in the day,
Not disease that prowls through the darkness,
    not disaster that erupts at high noon.
Even though others succumb all around,
    drop like flies right and left,
    no harm will even graze you.
You’ll stand untouched, watch it all from a distance,
    watch the wicked turn into corpses.
Yes, because God’s your refuge. 

As we walked the trails with friends, I had no idea a lesson was coming; that God would show me just how powerful my prayers really are. And he did in a simple yet profound way.

As the kids frolicked and played, they found their way to a cut-out patch of forest. They stomped and jumped and gigged and laughed.

Until she screamed….

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My girlfriend’s three year old daughter.

A deafening scream that radiated every cell of my being.

We quickly discovered she was stung by a bee and my daughter was still tromping in the area! So caught up in the moment, it took me minutes to pull her out….

and that’s when I saw it; the bee swarming her.

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As we walked home, I couldn’t help but utter thank you’s that she hadn’t been stung also. But it wasn’t until later that I realized the truth.

God had protected her.

It could just have easily been her! She should have been stung too! And yet she wasn’t….

She played in the same area, doing the same things, even stomping around minutes after, while the bee continued to circle her.

But God had protected her, a direct answer to my morning prayer for protection.

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–//

If you haven’t yet read through Stormie Omartian’s “Power of a Praying Wife/Husband/Parent/Woman/Marriage” series, check them out! They take the guesswork out of prayer. If you want to save the cash or prefer to write out your own prayers, just open up The Psalms! 

–//

I do not believe God caused the bee sting to teach me a lesson. I believe he used the situation and brought good out of it.

I say this because in my own faith journey, God’s role in pain and suffering has been a deep and hard wrestle. And it’s taken me a long time to come to a place of peace and confidence in my stance. I want to be sensitive to those who are wrestling with this themselves. I empathize with you and understand. Press on, friend. God will reveal his heart when you seek answers from him directly. 

When you feel scared and you wanna run anywhere but here

We were a mere 24 hours into our trip before the text came in.

“He’s gone.”

…..and then the phone calls one after the other, after the other.

Having left my phone at home to charge, I’d missed ever last one of them.

I was two hours too late. 

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I called him back. “What do you mean he’s gone?! What happened?”

“We were out walking and things were going great! He was off leash for over an hour and then suddenly, he took off… And he was gone.

He ran across the highway and before I could do anything he disappeared. I have no idea where he is! I’m so sorry!”

We had left our city dwelling labradooddle with extended family and while they loved dogs dearly, he didn’t know them too well.

I had told myself countless times he’d be fine, but to be quite honest, I had my suspicions. 

Our dog Guinness was abused and neglected as a pup, and when we got him, his behaviour was nothing short of timid, skittish and afraid. It took us months to get him to come out from behind our feet and even longer to mingle with other people or dogs. But with persistence and a patience love, Guinness transformed into the worlds best dog.

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He was so loyal and well behaved and never did he need a leash. I could leave him outside a store to roam while I picked up groceries. The idea of running away did not allure him because he’d found home and a love he could trust. 

That is until we dropped him off, reminiscent of the times before he’s been neglected and given up by former owners. He knew he was far from home, that we were gone and and he didn’t recognize his new caretakers. And he spooked. 

Not knowing the whole story- that we were only gone a few days and would return to pick him up- he got scared and ran for his life. Except that where he ran was so much worse.

… onto the highway, into the mountains and far off the beaten path! He was out of our will and so far from our plans for him- our plans to protect him and to love him; plans for his good! 

Hours later in the pitch black some family picked him. He was just sitting there exhausted, they said, on the side of the highway, like he’d given up hope all together.

“If we hadn’t stopped, he would never have made it through the night! It’s bear and cougar country on that mountain pass!”

A cuddly, scared, suburban pup; certainly he wouldn’t have made it home… If it wasn’t for that family!

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In his love and mercy, God gave Guinness [our dog] a way out of his own foolishness, and led him back to the safety of our arms. But it wasn’t without a long detour- a 6 hour car ride and an overnight stay in a land and with people he didn’t know; all the while, leashed and restrained – something he wasn’t used to even on his worse days!

And while I sat there shaking my head, I couldn’t help but think of myself;  that I too- perhaps you- have done the very same thing, time and again. 

While I know God loves me and he’ll never forsake me, I don’t always trust his plan. Because let’s be honest, a lot of the time, I can’t quite figure it out! 

In my limited understanding, my fear and my discomfort, I spook and run…. to anywhere but here!

….running in an attempt to take back “control” of my life.

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Like Guinness, when I run from the centre of Gods will, I run head on into the wilderness ; to territory that’s far more dangerous and unknown then where I was!

And yet, the same way God rescued Guinness, our Father rescues us.

Ever faithful in his pursuit of bringing us home, he relentlessly chases after us regardless of where we’ve run. And sure, it’s not alway painless coming home – coming back to the centre of God will and his path for us – and it may require we take the long way home and spend some time in places were uncomfortable…

But eventually we’ll get back. 

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The same way we were coming for Guinness but our return took shy of 12 hours, so too does our walk with God require us to be patient and to trust that he’s working to get us- to save us, to heal us, to change us and our circumstances- even when we can’t see it or feel it. 

Because regardless of the effort and inconvenience we’ve caused God, in spite of our naivety and our tendency to wander,  he always welcomes us home with open arms and a grateful heart…. the same way we welcomed Guinness home.

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He does not look at us disapprovingly, shaming us for our behaviour. He does not question how, after all this time and after all the ways He’s loved us, we’d could still doubt him. He does not get angry at us out of sheer frustration of the inconveniences we’ve caused him. And He doesn’t give up on us, leaving us to fend for ourselves with the bears. 

He cradles us in his arms and rocks us like a baby, for as long as it takes for us to trust again, knowing in our heart that we are indeed safe and loved, unconditionally.

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If you love something let it go. If it comes back it’s forever yours.

‘Cause what stood before was never yours…

 This is the unmaking; beauty in the breaking. Had to loose myself to find out who you are. Before each beginning there must be an ending. Sitting in the rubble I can see the stars. –The Unmaking | Nichole Nordeman

I read it: That my desire to use my gifts for God’s Glory wasn’t enough.

That desire alone isn’t enough, but for years I believed it was.

According to Andrew Murray, in “Abiding in Christ,” in and of itself, our gifts (and our life) are dominated by the flesh; they are steered by our sinful motives. The only way for them to be used for pure good- His good – is for them to be surrendered to him and given back. To lay them down for a time, for God to take back and claim them as his own.

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If indeed God designed for us to use them, he’ll gift them back in his time and in his way, when our faith is more mature; when we’ve become painfully aware of our ever constant need to abide in Christ and be lead by the Holy Spirit; when our grieving of being self-led is stronger than our desire for do our things, our way and in our own strength. 

I thought about it.

There have been countless things I’ve felt God call me to put down; good things even. Things I believe he gave me or wired me for and ways in which I thought I was worshiping and glorifying him!  

… things like my work, my writing, social media, speaking out, running and working out, my weight, appearance, food, friendships, my marriage, my desire to have another child, even reading my bible!

Each of these things he’s called me to surrender over the years- to lay down, give up or let go of.

At the time, I thought for forever, but in reality, it was a season.

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In an act of trust I obeyed, largely without understanding why. That’s no coincidence though. It’s the way of wisdom:

We must first experience and live out truths before we acquire the knowledge and understanding of it.

And I’m beginning to see it now. 

While yes, before God asked me to lay those things down there was much good coming from them. But the truth is, they were still vastly being operated by my selfish motives and vain conceit, even though I didn’t see it. 

Sure I invited God into them, but they weren’t his. They were mine.

I hadn’t yet given them to him to be claimed and cleansed.

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In his mercy, God saved me from myself.  He knew my heart was for him- to be like him and closer to him. And through obedience, he’s taught me things I never knew. And he’s transformed me because of it! 

Slowly but surely he’s given me back the things I laid down but they hold entirely new meaning. I see them differently. And if I’m honest, they somewhat scare me now, because I see how easily it is for my flesh to creep back in and get in the way!

But it’s that fear that keeps me close to The Lord, constantly seeking him and asking for wisdom and discernment; intentionally choosing to stay tethered to Jesus and asking Holy Spirit to lead and guide me in everything I do, say and choose to engage in.

I pray that my spirit will be grieved each time I steer off course or do something that offends him. I want to run back into his loving arms asking for forgiveness and thanking him that he’ll finish the work he’s started in me. 

Because repentance is sweet, friend and conviction is oh, so gentle. It’s like a loving remark that makes you want to do better and be a better person; to correct your wrong immediately! There is no shame in it, nor is there guilt. And when there is, I know it’s not from God.

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But it’s only in my surrender and embracing my flailing, that I’ve discovered that.  I can only say that having walked through it and out the other side- the other side of obedience and laying down the things he’s called me to.

And it’s not something anyone can convince you of, so I won’t even try. 

But I can pray

–// 

Father, you are a good God who relentlessly pursues us with your love,  patience, goodness, gentleness, kindness and discipline. But I confess our eyes are blinded and our hearts hardened. Would you do what only you can do by the power of your Holy Spirit: prepare us and or hearts to receive whatever it is you have for us today. Tune our eyes to see you, our ears to hear you and or hearts to trust you in and out of obedience. Reveal yourself and your will in the ways you know we can’t deny you. Don’t let us miss it and give us the courage to respond! Let your will be done on earth, in our lives, as it is in heaven. 

All the toil
All in vain
Every image of ourselves that we create
Every dream
Built on sand

Let not any passion be for kingdoms we have fashioned in our own name
For our own fame

Let us not be fooled
And let us not be disillusioned
Let our eyes see You clearly

Not to us
But to Your name be glory

-Not to Us | Nichole Nordeman

When true love requires risk and a sacrifice that feels too hard

We finished watching The Longest Ride and it took everything in me to hold back the tears. It was my second time watching it and twice, I’d read the book; which says a lot. I never read books twice…

But it’s not just the sappy love story that gets me; [albeit that does do my mushy rom-com loving heart good] it’s the story of true love and faith that pulls so strongly at my heart strings.

Because true love requires risk and risk always requires faith…

Faith that what you’re risking is worth the potential of what lies ahead.

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In the story, Sophia gives up her dream job at an art museum in New York City for the chance at love with Luke, a cowboy living in rural North Carolina on a ranch- a lifestyle she doesn’t know the first thingy about. Luke, a professional bull rider, now number one in the world, gives up his career for Sophie because of the danger it puts him in each day.

They gives up everything they know and everything they’ve worked their whole life to achieve, for the potential of a life of love.

Neither of them know what the future holds or how they’re going to make it work. And For Luke, the reality of loosing the family ranch is real with the loss of income from bull riding, but still he does it. 

Fate intervenes and through a series of happenstance, Luke finds himself at an art auction seeking Sophia and bids on a “worthless” painting that lands him the new owner of an entire prestigious art collection worth millions. Luke and Sophia end up using that money to create a life together- to save Luke’s family ranch and to open up an art museum for Sophia to run with pieces that have a story and meaning to her.

Neither of them could have imagined this life for themselves and it FAR surpasses the greatest one they could have built in their own strength!

To me, it could only be divinely orchestrated. 

Because that’s the thing with God: He calls us to lay our life down and surrender everything – our dreams, our work, our plans, our understanding- and instead lean on him. He invites us to trust him because his plans are for our good, always. He tells us that it is his desire to bless his children and to give us abundantly, far greater than we could ever ask or imagine! He promises to give us our hearts desire, if we will seek him first!

But we must be willing to hold nothing back, to trust, and to wait.

He begs us to reach out our palm wide,  holding everything in it – everything we hold dear – loosely; to be willing and ready at any moment to lay it down for love- his love- and to where his love will send us. We must have open and unclenched fists to be ready to receive what’s next.  

I can’t promise to know where he will send us – you or me- but I can promise this:

What’s waiting on the other side of our surrender will far, far outweigh the risk and the sacrifice of what we lay down. 

 Because sometimes when it looks like our world is falling apart, the pieces are just finally falling together. 

And when it feels like we’re giving up everything we have, everything and more is waiting on the other side. 

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His plans are always for good  – the best good – and so I cling to that as I close one chapter of my life and wait patiently for God to write the next.

As I finished my final wedding last night, the echoes of people’s remarks stirred inside me:

“It’s such a shame to see you stop doing this!”

“Why are you retiring? You’re so good at it!”

” Your were made to do this.”

“I don’t understand why you’d give this up, especially at the top of your game.”

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And it’s true. Logically and to the world it doesn’t make sense. In the natural, it doesn’t all together make sense to me either. I asked for confirmation, yet again, on the drive home. “God, affirm that I’m doing the right thing.” This movie was it. 

When I first felt God call me to lay it all down- to close my business- I thought I had heard wrong. It was everything I’d worked towards, more than I’d dreamed off achieving and the thing I’d given the best of me to for nearly a decade! My business was my baby. And I had just hit a point where I felt I could finally celebrate hitting “my pinnacle.” Couldn’t I coast for a time and ride the wave of my success for a while? 

Yes, I could and the choice is mine. But God had made it clear: If I continued down this path, then I would be going it alone; doing it in my own strength. I would be settling for a life that I could build in my own efforts, without God. His anointing had been on my business for a time and he had blessed it immensely, but he was calling me else ware now; where, I had no idea and I still don’t quite know if I’m honest. But I do know this: 

The reward will far outweigh the risk and what’s waiting for me on the other side is SO much greater than anything I’ve even dared to dream before. And I want that… so much more than anything I could muster on my own. 

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God, I’m trusting you. I want the story only you can write. I want what you’ve got in store, so I lay it all down. Lead me where my faith is without borders. 

Photo Credit: [Last set] Nadia Hung, Studio Jeanie, Matt Kennedy