Saturday, December 31, 2011

the relief in failure

"For many, the deepest growth in humble, joyful reliance on God will be in the context of the most bloody battles, which appear to be tragic losses, and not glorious victories.”
- Dan Allender, Bold Love

And that right there, my friend, pretty much sums up the final six weeks, or so, of my 2011.

Bloody battles in my heart and mind that are downright overwhelming.
Battles of my expectations that constantly vie to snuff out the warm glow of grace.
Expectations of life. Expectations of God.
Discontentment emerging from unmet expectations of what I think God should do for me – rather than reveling in the wonder of who He is.

Battles against the temptation to be self absorbed. Usually lost.
Battles with feelings of entitlement that leave trails of relational destruction.
The steady assault of self-centered thoughts.

In my estimation, tragic losses for sure.
And in most battles, the enemy is me.

I haven’t even been able to figure out the right strategy for combat . . . Do I need to adjust my thinking? Or simply receive God’s comfort amidst the challenges? How do I overcome my feelings with healthy perspective? And how do I walk by faith – when I feel like I can’t conjure it?

Amidst the chaos on the battleground and the noise of clanking armor on this awkward soldier, there is a still, small voice.

Bring it to Me. Bring it ALL to Me.

Your confusion.
Your chaos.
Your sorrow.
Your defeats.

Because you can’t win these battles.

But I already have.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

just one more time

even though i've been slowly regaining strengh from my health adventure that began last fall, i still struggle hard to see the forest through the trees many days. especially when it comes to missing out on opportunities with my husband or son because of my limitations.

but the other night, God, in His mercy, enabled me to see the captivating forest that surrounds me amidst the trees of my desires.

i was dropping off my first-grade son at a weekly church program. and after we entered the gym together, we exchanged a hug and a kiss before he ran off to dive into the night’s activities. but after he began to run, he paused.

and he looked back at me.

and smiled.

as if to say good-bye and i love you — just one more time.

at that moment in time, the Lord blessed us with yet another relational gift when our eyes and our smiles confirmed our deep love and appreciation for the other. a very simple and ordinary moment in time – that became extraordinary.

because i beheld it.

in God’s tender mercy as my Father, He enabled my mommy heart to recognize that i was receiving a precious treasure in that moment. a gift not to be taken for granted.

admittedly, my heart bled a little (okay, a lot!) at the thought that there will likely come a time when my son doesn’t stop to pause and look back at mommy like that. but i also can’t help but think that if that’s how my heart felt in that moment, how much more must it bless our Father’s heart when we pause?
and look into His tender eyes.

and amidst our running from here to there,
express to Him that we love Him.

just one more time.
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