Thursday, March 29, 2007

Need for Honesty

" 'Your job is the relentless pursuit of who God has made you to be. And anything else you do is sin and you need to repent of it.' " (Quoted by Rob Bell in his book Velvet Elvis)

Back in November, I was on the phone with a dear friend talking about life. She said something that has stuck firmly with me. She said, "Kristi, you need to do all you can to fall madly in love with God and find all of your dependence on him. Everything else will simply be the icing on the cake."

I need to be extremely honest in this blog. I may even need to post more than once along this topic as my mind makes sense of all that I am laying out before you. So, here it goes:

I long to fall in love. I am a romantic female with all kinds of fairy-tale notions. Thankfully, I have a healthy perspective on true love and romance, but I still long to fall in love. I want to be chased. I want to be someone's princess. I want the handsome knight on the white horse (as imperfect as he may be...he'll still be mine), and I want to be "rescued."

But, here I sit...a 25 year old single woman in a scary world aching for Prince Charming. However, when my friend spoke those words to me in November, I began to realize that I had no idea what it meant to be "in love" with God. Of course, I loved him, but in love with him? Can He really fulfill that need in me?

When that question entered my head, God said to me, "Just watch, Princess. I will fill you with such a sense of love that you will no more long for an earthly love with the same intensity. Beloved, you will find such romance in my love that you will no longer need the love of a man to fill your empty places. I will be your White Knight, and I AM perfect. My love will never fail. I will always understand you, and I will always love you. You will be my sweetheart, and I will court you with a love that only comes from knowing the woman I created you to be. I love you."

Do the desires of my heart change? Yes and no. They change in that I am no longer searching for a husband more than I search for God. They don't change because I believe my longing for a husband and children is given to me by God. The focus I place on the desires of my heart is changing (notice I said is changing, cause, by takes a lot of mental energy to keep up with this).

My friend was right. All else He gives me will be the icing on the cake!

"My lover spoke and said to me,
'Arise, my darling,
my beautiful one, and come with me.
See! The winter is past;
the rains are over and gone.
Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come...
Arise, come, my darling;
my beautiful one, come with me.'"
Song of Songs 2:10-12a, 13b

Monday, March 26, 2007

What I Know

My time yesterday spent in silence before the Lord was refreshing (see yesterday's blog). I took a wonderful nap with lullaby praise and worship music playing in the background. There is nothing like having those uplifting songs flowing through my spirit while I am unconscious. I woke up feeling comforted and at peace.

I was thinking some more about the state of my emotions yesterday--feeling lonely and full of questions. And, here is what I've learned in these last few months of embracing my singlehood: sometimes I will feel that way and that is okay. Sometimes my emotions won't get the better of me, and that's okay too. But, no matter what my emotions end up doing, these things I know with all of my being:

1. God is WHO He says He is!!!
2. God can do WHAT He says He can do!!!
3. I am who God says I am!
4. I can do ALL things through Christ!
5. God's Word is alive and active in ME!
(Taken from Believing God by Beth Moore)

Because I know these things, I can deal with an emotionally blah day. Because I know these things deep inside of me, then I can take a day like yesterday and set aside my questions and longings and just sit in His presence because all of the things listed above are true. I am realizing more and more the need to have days like yesterday. Because when I take the time to absorb what I know, then I am able to face what I don't know.

Thank you, most gracious Heavenly Father, thank you for giving me opportunities to dig and question and learn even when it is tough. Because, I am learning Father, that the tough times are what make the times of joy that much more inexpressibly amazing. I also thank you, Abba, for the times that I can just sit and be...that I can just rest. Thank you for being who you said you are. Thank you for doing what you said you would do. Thank you for making Your Word alive in me. I am not worthy, but you are so gracious. Praise Your name, Lord Jesus. Amen.

"The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." John 14:26

Sunday, March 25, 2007


Today I am lonely. Today I am yearning for a family of my own. Today I am tired of the constant questions about life. Today I am frustrated that good arguments can be made on opposite sides of an issue, and sometimes I can't figure out which one is right.

So, today I don't want to think; I don't want to ask questions. Today I just simply want to be. Today I want peace and rest. Today I long to sit (or nap) in my Father's presence and let Him fill my lonely places. Today I will sit in the presence of the Lord and let Him handle the big questions of life. Today my Lord is in His holy temple, and I will keep silent in His presence.

"But the Lord is in his holy temple;
let all the earth be silent before him."
Habakkuk 2:20

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Morning Surprise

Yesterday morning as the bell rang at 7:50 for the children to bombard our classrooms, I noticed that my neighboring teacher wasn't there yet. While she sometimes comes in at the last minute, there is usually a call that proceeds the late arrival informing us of a family situation or car trouble. Yesterday, however, there was no call. For some reason, I went a little into panic mode. I picked up my phone to call her cell and make sure she was alright, when in she walked. I went on and on about how grateful I was to see her cause my mind had already jumped to all measures of things that could have happened. She thanked me for being concerned, and we both jumped into our busy days.

This morning upon arriving at school, I came into my room to discover a present on my desk. My co-teacher had bought me a CD I had been longing to have for my classroom. She left me a note thanking me for being concerned for her. I found her and thanked her, but I told her she didn't need to buy me a gift just for making sure she was okay. She went into a story about what an awful night and morning she had had, and how wonderful it felt to come into school and have someone concerned that she was okay. I was floored, because I had no idea that life had been rough on her the last 12 hours. I just simply wanted to know if she was safe. Walking in this morning to discover her thoughtful gift was a bright start to my day. Sometimes God just provides us with little things to help us get through our days. I love it when He does that!!!

"Rejoice in the Lord, always. I will say it again, Rejoice!"

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Arms of The Answer

Comfort zone stretched
Heartache healed
Pain comforted
Coping with the past
New beginnings towards a future
Strange and exciting opportunities with each new day
Finding contentment
Grasping satisfaction
Love given and received
Open doors
Big leaps of faith
Fear is present
Love abounds
Spirit aches with questions and concerns
Spirit rests in the arms of The Answer

"For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle
and set me high upon a rock."
Ps. 27:5
"You are my hiding place;
you will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance."
Ps. 32:7

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Holy Burdens

Have you ever carried a burden for someone that you simply did not want to carry? I guess we never really want to carry a burden, but sometimes for good friends or in particular situations we are prone to gladly carry the burden anyway. So, have you ever been called to carry a burden that you would much rather have ignored? Maybe it caused too much pain? Maybe the burden-bearer was someone you just did not like? Did it make you feel like you would rather disobey the call than put up with the extra weight of an unnecessary burden?

I am currently finding myself in a situation much like the one I just described to you. I have recently become burdened to lift someone up in prayer on a continual (almost-constant) basis. I truly feel that this burden is holy and of the Lord. But, due to the situation surrounding this burden, I would much rather leave it alone. Because, by obeying, I am having to sift through and clean out the dirt that is prohibiting certain wounds to heal. By being obedient, I am having to subject myself to pain that I would rather be rid of.

You see, I have been thinking that by ignoring the calling (by disobeying my conviction), then I will be able to heal. However, as a mentor pointed out to me tonight, maybe I have been given this burden as a way of moving past the past (so to speak). In other words, by being obedient, I am humbling myself enough to really, truly learn how to be more Christ-like. When Jesus was on the cross, He hurt. It was definitely a burden He probably would have chosen to do without had that been an option. But, as He carried the weight of our sins (physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually), He asked the Lord to forgive those who were hurting Him because they didn't know what they were doing. Christ did not ignore his calling simply because it hurt. And, you know what? God glorified Him!!!!! The Father blessed His Son because Jesus obeyed the calling to carry a HUGE burden for the world!

Wow!! As I write this, I find myself strengthened with the confidence that God will provide me the power and support I need to heal even though my obedience will hurt. May God bless me in this by brightening the light of Christ that shines out of me.

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death--
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father."
Phil 2:3-11

Monday, March 12, 2007

Spring Cleaning

We have all heard of the phrase, "cleanliness is next to Godliness." While I do not think this is at all true, I must confess something to you:

I am going to do some Spring cleaning tomorrow. EVERYTHING is going to be cleaned. My closets are going to get a good "going-through." I'm sure there will be things thrown out and reorganized. There will be lots of washing, scrubbing, dusting, and vacuuming. And, I'm going to love every minute of it!! I'll be gross and exhausted when it's over, but it will feel so good when it is done!

Here's the big confession, though: When I clean like this, there is some kind of spiritual cleansing that takes place in me as well. Something about rolling up my sleeves and cleaning up all of the grime in my physical life helps me sort through and clean out some of the grime in my spiritual life. Reorganizing gives me a chance to throw out the crud I don't need anymore. This is the stuff that I may be holding on to for sentimental reasons that really don't matter anymore. These things are taking up space that could be used for something much more useful. Cleaning gives me a chance to wipe away the grime from the past and leave things ready for what is to come.

Our spiritual lives need cleaning and reorganizing from time to time as well...probably even more often. Tomorrow while I am ransacking my apartment, my mind and heart will be joining in the Spring cleaning project. Hopefully at the end of tomorrow, even if I feel exhausted, I will feel refreshed, clean, and ready to move forward both physically AND spiritually!

How do you clean up your grime?

"Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow." Ps. 51:7
"First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside will be clean."
Matt. 23:26

Sunday, March 4, 2007


Do you ever wonder about the healing process???

For the last six months I have been healing. My heart was wounded in a way that I was not prepared for. Once the wound appeared, the healing process began. I use the word "process" because that is exactly what it is-a process. It does not happen overnight. Healing happens slowly. And sometimes there are setbacks along the way.

This weekend the scabs on my heart were scratched, and the bleeding began again. I thought the healing process was almost done, but, come to find out, if picked at hard enough my wounds could hurt again.

Thankfully even though it hurts again I realize the wound is not as deep this time. It will heal more quickly than the initial would, and then I will be back on track towards final healing. All of this is only true, however, because I have a Great Physician. He is the Lord of my healing-not me. He is closing up my wounds in a way that draws me closer to Him. What a blessing to have such a compassionate, loving Physician who gives me just the medicine I need. Thank you, Lord. Bring healing quickly-but bring healing to Your glory!

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."
Ps. 147:3

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Memory Lane

Yesterday, having been relegated to my couch due to a virus, I decided to take a little trip down memory lane. I pulled out all my photo albums and simply relished in the past. It was delightful. I found myself sighing, smiling, and laughing out loud at the memories held in the still-frames in my hands.

There is something to be said for taking a trip to the past. Yes, it can be dangerous to "live in the past," so to speak, but it can also be refreshing. To me, every so often it is rejuvenating to take a look at where I have been while contemplating where I am going. Going through my pictures gave me a chance to really meditate on the changes that have taken place in my life. I was given the opportunity to say, "Wow, that was a stinky time in my life, but look at how God has blessed it." Or, to say, "What a fun day that was...I'm so glad the joy of that day can bless me again."

My challenge to you, as a reader, would be to sit back and contemplate where God has been in your life and where He is leading you. Dig out your old pictures and keepsakes if you need to, and let yourself journey to the past. In this journey, let yourself become aware of the Great I AM: who was, and is, and is to come. He was there in the old pictures; He is sitting with you as you reminisce; and He is going before you preparing for the snapshots of your future.

" 'I am the Alpha and the Omega,' says the Lord God, 'who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.' "
Rev. 1:8