Lately I’ve been getting pretty frustrated with TV shows and movies that feature characters who are being left in the dark about what’s going on around them. “I can’t tell you that now,” their fellow characters say. “You’re on a need-to-know basis.” Or, “I can’t explain now, we don’t have time. We’ve got to go!”
As my husband will attest, I often look up from my crochet project and yell, “Just tell them already!”
Today I want to share with you these words that I wrote a couple of months ago with a really heavy heart. I wasn’t sure I was going to post it… it’s a little longer than my normal post, a story within a story, but I think the end is worth it. Already Jesus is healing my soul, and I feel better than I did when I wrote this. But I’m still asking for the song…
One of my dreams died today. Not with a big bang, but with the small “Pfhut” of a candle being blown out by a soft breath. My spirit is cluttered with disappointment and heartache.
But before I get into that, let me tell you a cute little story. (I always try to be positive.)
I like to entertain Oliver while I do boring things, like wipe the kitchen counters or run errands with him, by singing. Now that he’s reached the wise old age of 6, he’s becoming less than enthused about this. Recently I decided to impress him by singing one of his favorite songs with a lot of gusto, really belting it out and hamming it up as he ate his lunch and I folded laundry on our kitchen table.
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
Our church is moving into a Small Group model (also known as Life Groups, Home Groups, Fellowship Groups, or Community Groups). In these groups, we’ll support one another. We’ll challenge one another to grow—iron sharpens iron. I know these things, and I miss being a part of a group at church… but I’m hesitant to jump on in.
I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.
For the last couple of years, my little family has been making fun of all the hash-tagging.
This began when these symbol-led phrases started popping up on the bottom of our TV screen. I think I noticed it first on shows like Survivor and The Amazing Race. (Yes, we still love those two!) #TribalCouncil #Blindside #UTurn
It was just too easy to roll our eyes at those. Soon we were joking in hashtags.
I have a huge praise to share with you—after almost five years of going it alone on the ministry front, God brought me an amazing new friend named Amy who’s almost as invested in this ministry as I am! (In fact, for all I know, it’s a tie.) I’ve enjoyed getting to know her at church, but it wasn’t until I received a nudge from a mutual friend that I reached out to see if she’d be willing to help me get the word out about Building Your House. She has been nothing short of a tremendous blessing to me since that moment.
You can read Amy’s side of this story on her wonderful blog. It’s really amazing what God has done for both of us. Plus, she wrote that I’m quiet and meek and that I seep, all things that crack me up. Now don’t you want to read it? (While you’re there, take a look around—I love all of her stories and I bet you will, too!)
Amy’s hard work has brought me several opportunities to share on the blogs of fellow sisters in Christ.
Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
Think it through
I love Peter. Peter who walked on the water toward Jesus, told Jesus exactly what he was thinking, and jumped out of the fishing boat to swim to Jesus even faster. Poor Peter who’s frequently documented as getting it wrong.
Even after Jesus says, “You don’t understand what I’m doing, but it will be clear enough to you later,” (that’s The Message version, very direct), Peter says, “You’re not going to wash my feet—ever!” Passionate Peter.
He meant well, but he wasn’t listening. He saw the Lord with a towel around his waist, kneeling at his feet, and closed his ears. He closed himself to the perspective Jesus was trying to give him, a perspective of trust in The Master.
So often I see the “messy” areas of my life and I think I know better. Like Peter, I’m passionate for the Lord, jumping into the deep water of this ministry and telling the Lord exactly what’s on my mind. But also like Peter, I get it wrong. I want things to move faster and go differently—it seems so obvious to me how things should be!
I imagine that Jesus is patiently saying, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.
Think it through
At least that’s the version I’ve always read. As an old-school NIV girl, I’ve read over and over that Jesus was “deeply moved in spirit and troubled” and assumed it meant he was incredibly sad, grieved. The NKJV reads similarly: “…he groaned in the spirit and was troubled.”
But I was surprised to find that two of the other versions in my side-by-side Bible (the NLT and The Message) used different words: “a deep anger welled up within him.” Both versions describe him as angry when he arrived at Lazarus’s tomb, as well.
I never intended to write books. That was God’s request. (Or maybe order? No, call).
I never intended to be on social media, either—yet it’s what you have to do, right? I can blame my publisher for the Facebook posts and tweets… but I give my sister-in-law Kristen full credit for the happy time I’ve spent on Pinterest!
I certainly never, ever intended to blog. My publisher made me do it. Honestly, I thought I would hate it. And now here I am with one full year of blogging under my belt, thinking, Hey, I don’t hate this!