Month: April 2017

PROVISION & PRAISE

“Mom, I don’t feel good,” my son said on Friday afternoon.

Not the run of the mill, I don’t feel good so I can avoid taking out the garbage or drying the dishes. No, this wasn’t the boy crying wolf.

It really wasn’t even the comment that concerned me but the look. All mother’s know that look.

It told me what my son didn’t even need to.

I saw that look and heard those words dozens of times each day throughout the weekend, only they intensified. After an urgent care visit, a trip to his physician’s office, and a second phone consultation with his doctor we found ourselves rushing to the emergency room. The same children’s hospital where his brothers had spent the beginning of their lives. Where Joshua spent more than 2 months and Isaiah 7 months.

The temptation for anxiety was high. Fighting rush hour traffic to get there, the sounds of, I don’t feel good were replaced with a pale faced grunt every time I squeezed his hand.

I knew I couldn’t make that look go away. No silly jokes or goofy mommy dances could change it. No high pitched attempt at singing his favorite song in opera fashion would do or I would have tried them all.

Simultaneously if necessary.

Grabbing my son’s hand, I prayed, petitioning God for 2 things:

  • His wisdom and favor with the medical team, and

  • Grace for Elijah to deal with this painful situation

We were ushered right back to a room where he was treated like the king of the children’s castle. On the way to the room I heard a shriek and was quickly caught up in an embrace. Working in the E. R. that morning happened to be the very same member of Isaiah’s medial team from the NICU more than 8 years ago!

What a precious answer to prayer before we even made it to the room! Turns out the doctor working that day was a believer as well. Just a coincidence, huh?

Favor with the medical team: Check! Thank you Father!

 

They were thorough, gentle, found the problem and treated it. Although it resulted in terrible pain for Elijah, it turned out to the be the best possible diagnosis!

Wisdom with the medical team: Check! Thank you Father!

 

When the pressure is on us, what’s inside will come out. I’m always proud of my children but I was blown away by his composure given the amount of pain he was in. On the happy to sad face scale he was a nine! A big ole wincing frown face with tears. After two doses of morphine he was still the wincing frown face. You know, this one:

When the nurse put in his IV, he said thank you! Who says thank you after an IV? My son did. She had what appeared to be a busted blood vessel in her eye. After he began to feel some relief, he looked at her and said,

“I hope you eye feels better.” She told him her eye had been that way for several days and not one person had asked her about it. “Thank you, Elijah, that was very sweet,” she told him.

He was being squeezed, literally and figuratively, and what came out made this Mama’s heart beam.

Grace for Elijah to deal with this painful situation: Check! Thank you Father!

 

I’m reminded in times like these that,

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1

And what a very present help he is.

Whatever pain you may find yourself in today please reach out to Christ. Reach out to me if I can help you, encourage you or pray for you.

LOOK UP

Someone I know and love is hurting today. I am sure you can think of such a friend too. Hurting people are all around us aren’t they?

She’s a sweet sister in Christ. She’s a mother of rough and tumble boys – just like mine! Her heart is the size of Texas. She gives until it hurts and never asks for anything in return. Many aspects of her well structured life are up in the air and now out of her control.

I sure can relate to a lack of control can’t you?

I’m reminded of my tiny twins who weighed little more than a pineapple, lying side by side in their iscoletts. I think of the time after Isaiah’s surgery for necrotizing enterocolitis when the surgeon left us with these words,

“Every hour Isaiah survives is a good hour.”

A knot wells up in my heart when I think of such times. I often visit the hospital where Isaiah nearly lost his battle. The doors slide open and the smell that rushes through brings me back to those dark days.

Can you think of one?

By God’s grace, it’s not just the darkness I remember. I remember the light that flooded the scene even when I couldn’t see it. When I couldn’t feel it. I remind my friend today that she is not alone. I remind you today of the same.

Luke Smallbone of For King & Country wrote this song while enduring his own period of darkness. Enjoy this video and be reminded of how God carries our burdens!

 

 

 

THE COURAGEOUS COLT

“Why are you untying my colt,” the village owner asked.

The two disciples replied as Jesus had commanded, “The Lord needs him.”

As if fully aware of either their colt’s significance or their Lord’s, they put up no argument and let them take him. He was no ordinary colt for never had any man sat upon him nor was just any man about to.

Who are these men and where are they taking me, the colt wondered as they led him further away from the security of his home, his owners and his friends. The thought of a journey did sound exciting but not like this.

Why did my master let them take me now? All my life I’ve been tied up. Waiting, longing to be noticed. Longing to be used. Always watching, watching every other colt in the village get to carry load after load on their backs. Not mine though, never was I chosen to carry anything or anyone.

“It’s not your time yet,” they’d always tell me.

It never would be and that’s why he let them take me. He knew what I’ve always known. I’m too different from everyone else. I’m too small. I’m not fast enough, not strong enough.

Lost in thought, he was startled by something he’d never felt. People surrounded him and suddenly something was being slung onto his back. It felt light at first and then without warning someone sat on him.

This can’t be happening. What’s going on?

I thought I was going to be left somewhere to die since I was of no use to anyone. I took a step and my knees nearly buckled under the weight. Then a hand, a strong but gentle hand rubbed my side and as if by magic my knees straightened.

Distant shouts filled the air as we kept moving. I could see something on the ground ahead of me. Yes, it’s leaves. Palm leaves and garments like I’ve seen my owners wear but why were they on the ground? I strained to hear as a multitude of people gathered. They surrounded me on all sides, “Hosanna!”

“Hosanna in the highest,” they called out. I didn’t know what was going on or what that meant but I was exhilarated. There was a celebration happening and I was carrying someone on my back. It seemed too good to be true.

And then I heard another word. A word I knew. “King!” “Blessed is the King of Israel that comes in the name of the Lord.”

Could it be true? Could I really be carrying a king?

Created for a Purpose

 

This courageous colt had a purpose. In fact, it had been foretold that this King, Jesus, would come, meek and sitting upon a colt. When Jesus ordered his two disciples to retrieve the animal, He knew exactly where to find him. At times, I am sure we all feel like him. Unusable. Not good enough. How much more important are we than animals? God used this colt to fulfill His purpose and rest assured that you have one too. And when you are ready, when that time comes whether in big ways or small, Jesus knows right where you are.

A Holy Week

As holy week begins may this story spur your thoughts about our King who triumphantly entered sitting on a colt. The same King who will soon return in the clouds and like they shouted for him over two thousand years ago, He will shout for us.

An Invitation

 

If you have stumbled upon this post and you do not know this King, truly know him intimately and personally, I invite you to meet him. Like he must have gently rubbed a scared and inexperienced colt then, he will do the same for you now.

This is the week of all weeks to investigate this King. Who was Jesus? Who is He? What did He come here for? Is He real? I am convinced that God is not put off by our questions. In fact, Jesus says in the book of Matthew 7:7 “Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you shall find, knock and the door shall be opened.”

If you don’t know Him please won’t you at least look for Him? Ask the questions you’d like to ask. There are answers and you can find them. I’d love to introduce you to Him if you’ll let me. Feel free to use the contact form to reach out to me directly.

Hosanna (ὡσαννά-Greek): Save, we pray

 

I’d love to hear your comments about this story!

FOR THE RECORD

I often notice and secretly envy those who seem to have it all together – all the time. You know who I’m talking about.

For starters there’s the mother who speaks patiently to her children and never seems to raise her voice. The beautiful woman next to you in fitness class who holds a plank for 3 minutes and never breaks a sweat. After 30 seconds you cave and give her the evil eye.  Then there’s the one who is always dressed to impress. She walks into a room and suddenly no one else exists. Every hair is in place and her makeup is a work of art. Her nicely dressed children sit quietly beside her and never interrupt when she speaks.

IS WHAT YOU SEE WHAT YOU GET?

Perhaps for some what you see is what you get. Or, could it be that what preceded your encounter with said angelic being of perfection looked a little different?

Lady #1 – Had a screaming match with her disobedient child and she either lost her voice in the process and is only capable of speaking softly or she feels absolutely miserable that she let herself get out of control and is genuinely trying to do it right this time.

Lady #2 – Has worked tirelessly and lost the weight of an entire person. She is dedicated, disciplined and works extremely hard to keep her diet healthy and her weight under control.

Lady #3 – Despite being beautiful feels like the ugliest person in the room. Her makeup is her mask. Her clothes are her mask. Her children are her mask. Behind each of them she hides the real her, terrified that no one would like who she really is.

I write from a heart deeply burdened over the masks I once wore and with a longing and earnest pray that God will help me to keep them off. I long to be real. I am honestly so tired of pretending.

So, I write this entry to set the record straight! As you visit, read and share in this blog with me I need you to know that I am not at all like the beings of perfection who seem to constantly cross my path. I don’t have it all together. I am a Christ follower, a wife, a mother, a daughter and a friend who longs to seek God with her whole heart.

I desperately want to leave my masks behind.

I want to know what it is to love Christ and to really know Him.

BROKEN STILL? YES! IMPERFECT STILL? YOU BET!

I long to die…to selfish ambition and selfish gain.

I long to die…to my way of thinking and reasoning.

I long to die…that what might remain and be seen in me is not me at all but Christ.

Eva Kroon Pike, a Christian recording artist and dear friend wrote a song that describes me in just two words, Perfectly Imperfect.

May the Holy Spirit draw us to Himself and do His beautiful work in our hearts.

What are some masks you find yourself putting on? What are some you see in the church? Let me know in your comments!