Monday, January 31, 2011

Multitudes on Mondays

One Thousand Gifts
Multitudes on Mondays

“…and giving joyful thanks to the Father…” (Col 1:12).
It moves my soul,
Green square to orange, like pieces in Candyland
Sweetly coming closer to the Courts of our Father.
This is what giving thanks does.

Beginning today, I join a community of believers who give thanks, joyfully, on Mondays. Please see Ann Voskamp’s blog for the blessings beginnings. Hoping to reach 1,000 gifts of thanks, I begin today with a few.


for four best friends, roommates, legs wrapped, cuddling
for spontaneous prayer times
maple soy lattes
your Word, when I drink it in deep and savor
bunny trails in conversations, that leave you at the end searching for the beginning,
random eye contact with strangers
everyone in Minnesota wearing scarves

My little wallpaper house

I’ve been thinking lately that when things are unknown and scary, we naturally build a fear surrounding it. For me, something is unknown I fear I will fail, so I attempt to control the situation. This control manifests itself in expectation. If only I know what this situation MAY hold, then I can prepare myself with the plausible outcomes.

I walk into a darkened house and I imagine what the wallpaper will look like. I imagine the fixings in the kitchen, the upholstery, the layout. I even dream of the day I can turn on the switch, how great will that day be? Every girl has done this one: pick out what the guy of our dreams. He will have a great heart for the Lord; he will tell me I’m beautiful every half hour; he will love to run with me; he will tell great jokes sending my mother laughing. Then I beg God to let me turn on the switch, “C’mon, Lord, haven’t I waited long enough?”
The day comes when I turn on the light, flipping the switch.
Reality takes its form, overlaying my expectation. I see both. I see where the couch didn’t line up with my imagination; it’s off by three inches. Oh no!
The wallpaper is way too busy, the furniture too dark, he is too short, he doesn’t shower enough, etc.
What comes next is the thing that I think God is teaching me in this season.
Do I start to tear down the wallpaper? Or adapt? (a better word may be surrender).

A serious question for myself may be, “if you don’t meet what you’ve designed as God’s expectation for how you should live, you fail, do you still believe God will love you? Or do you feel you’ve stepped outside of His will for your life? And can you return? Or how many times will He let you return?”

He promises to cast our sins into the depths of the sea (Micah 7:19).
He says he will gather me from exile (Ps 147:2)
He runs to me while I’m and has compassion and runs to embrace me and kiss me (Luke 15:11-32).

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Lord, I don’t accept your love. When you say it, I don’t hear it. I refuse my heart to listen for fear-it will undo me. When you share that I’m beautiful, I’m embarrassed, looking away. If I believe that, I’ll prove myself a liar.
Scared, I pray: let me be naked and a liar.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Drive From Bismarck

Snow blowing, eye following
Right to left
Grip harder to the steering wheel
Right to left
Only white, blank filled perspective
Right to left
Three feet of road, black in contrast
Right to left
Following the wind, veer left, pull back
Right to left
Hope rises, sign posts appear every thirty feet
Right to left
Vision doesn’t clear, but stability finds itself
Signpost right
Sign post right
Sign post right

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Though the Olive Fails

"Though the fig tree does not blossom and there is no fruit on the vines, [though] the product of the olive fails and the fields yield no food, though the flock is cut off from the fold and there are no cattle in the stalls,

Yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the [victorious] God of my salvation!E)">(E)

The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds' feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]!"

Habakkuk 3:17-19

I'm sitting at my desk with the chubbiest, cutest baby on my lap. How could I not hope in God. But, boy it can be difficult. The last week has been a journey-one I can't seem to put into words. Only that, I've seemed to have lost my joy. by

,m ?

Baby wrote the above.

Today, I'm choosing to walk by faith. Though I see no fruit in my ministry. Though I feel cut off from the flock. Though relationships seem barren of cattle. Yet, I will rejoice in the Lord. I will exult the God of my Salvation. By faith.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

"Though the fig tree does not blossom and there is no fruit on the vines,

though the product of the olive fails and the fields yield no food, though the flock is cut off from the fold and there are no cattle in the stalls,

YET I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the victorious God of my Salvation!

The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army;

He makes my feet like hinds' feet and will make me to walk

-not to stand in terror, but to walk-

and make spiritual progress upon my high places

-of trouble, suffering, or responsibility."

Habakkuk 3:17-19

Monday, January 10, 2011

Pumpkin Series

this one is sad

A prayer after a horrible day....
Is this all for naught, Lord? Have I wasted my life pouring into these girls?
I just spent the last two hours listening to words of death. Listening to nothing that has the aroma of Christ. Like a tomb of rot.
Curse this, "Oh, my god!" that, stabbing insults at every person under the sun. Over and over again. Singing lyrics of songs that promote inventing ways to sin. Trying to figure out ways to mess with the mind of boys. If there's a lull in the conversation, fill it with hateful words about their teachers.
I couldn't even speak today, no word would move out of my mouth.
I just sat there begging for your Spirit.
Help Lord.
We drove through the streets of St. Paul and the tension rose in my soul.
Maneuvering around snow mounds, a car honks, I'm in their way.
Sliding between two cars, each parked on one side of the street. Another car approaches as I begin to make my way between. He won't stop, I break. Inches between us, we both squeeze through, not before giving me the bird.
One thought on their mind, themselves.
I don't know, honestly, how the world manages to get anything done when the only thing we can possibly think about is ourselves. That is our sole thought, our motive, our conversation.
"Why are we here?" "Why did God create us?"
So we could be happy. One might believe.
Because God needs us. Another apostates.
We've lost our first love.
I just want to scream at the world, at the church, and look in the stupid mirror at myself,
"It's not about YOU!"

Instead, I sit in my car and feel sorry for myself that I can't seem to see any fruit in the lives of these girls. I'm defeated. I'm of little faith.

Lord, I pray for these girls, give them a heart of flesh and eyes to see your Kingdom. Drop the scales from their eyes that they may behold the Christ. And be forever changed. Give me faith.
World, see the Christ. He is long awaited and now celebrated. See his humility. All nations be moved in your hearts, be torn. Rend them, Lord. How great is the love of your Son. On the sweet cheeks of a baby, red with birth, the very blood pumps that would rescue my soul. That rescues yours, O peoples. See the wrapped hands that grasp virgin mother, these same hands would touch the eyes of the blind and give sight! World, see! Behold!


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Going Limp

Anyone else feel like January hits and there drops your disposition?
I’m tired
I’m cold
I’m really crabby
My co-worker and I have a game we play when we get emotionally overloaded and really want to scream and yell; we fall out of our chairs onto the floor. We fake cry, sometimes it’s a real cry, and then giggling begins. You look ridiculous, laying on the floor in the fetal position, whining. Who wouldn’t laugh?
Today, I began my day on the floor.
I’ve been thinking, how do I get up off the floor? How do I speak to my soul as David does in the Psalms, to speak truth to myself?
“Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.” Psalm 43:5

I’m moved to set firm the Word of the Lord in my heart, by memorizing scripture. My goal is to memorize the book of Ephesians by Easter. If you would like to join me, here is a link to a weekly guide to memorizing the book of Ephesians.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Please pass the F & S

Two words circle my thoughts and peer at me through sermons, scripture, and books.
Human logic would say that God must be planning some painful time of suffering requiring much faith. I don’t feel this truth.
But I will share with you my musings on the two words.
this gift. The more I understand it, I don’t understand it. It seems impossible for humans to conjure up faith and then have enough of it to last and not run out. As I read scripture-I see that God strengthens us in faith (Rom 4:20) that it is a gift not of ourselves (Eph 2:8).
Faith is imperative in the abundant life. I have a friend who is in a theological battle. He wonders at God’s character. A God who created man with the weakness to sin and in foreknowledge knew man would fall. He planned redemption, but not before knowing His justifying wrath. Millions damned to Hell with a chosen few to be saved by the blood of His son.
This thought sucks. There is not enough known about the Lord to satisfy an answer. This battle causes me to look up at God and know that his ways are not my ways (Isa 55:8). With faith, I move on. But my friend cannot.
What is faith?
a blessing. I view suffering through the lens of economics. If I suffer for a season, God will reward me and reveal wisdom as to why I suffered. We say things like this all the time when our friends are going through hard times. “God has a reason…you’re learning from this…it will pass…” It’s like paying God five dollars, he owes us something for it. This begs me to look at the opposite. Perhaps God never reveals a reason, perhaps you never learn anything from it, or you never leave that suffering, will you still love God? Will I?
so we come back to faith.