Quit limping

You know those moments when a Pastor’s sermon hits you between the eyes, out of nowhere, and the more you try to hide the tears welling up in your eyes, the more obvious those tears become? Not tears of sadness, but tears of “Oh wow, that’s so true!” My butt could’ve melded to the seat for the settle-in-and-let-this-hit-impact his message had on me.

The pastor, in our new hometown, recently preached on the God of our hearts and idolatry, from 1 Kings 18, where Elijah confronts the prophets of Baal on their idol worship.

According to the dictionary, an idol is: “any person or thing regarded with blind admiration, adoration, or devotion.”

limp walkingIt is something the Lord has been talking to me about in increasing measure. Even good things, when taken out of priority and made greatest in my heart, can become idols. And while the Lord is good and kind and love itself, He is also a jealous and just God. There is a reason why one of the ten commandments is, “you shall have no other gods before Me”. It’s not because God wants to ruin ‘fun’, it’s because God wants to purify our hearts to the point where nothing else rules or pleases the way He does.

It. Is. Always. For. Our. Good.

Period.

Anyway, back to the text, back to the moment.

In 1 Kings 18, Elijah confronts Ahab and the 450 prophets by asking them a very pointed question, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions?”

This nation had, at one time, served the one true God. They had prayed, and He had answered. But over time, they had lost their fear of the Lord (reverence), and began to look for something else to tickle them; something else to satisfy. The Lord was no longer enough. And it caused a limp in their step. Elijah was essentially telling them, “just decide!”

Any time we look for something else, other than Jesus, to satisfy,

we will limp through life.

I always try to ensure I am walking what I am writing, as whatever I write here on the blog is usually something that my heart is also working through. This message hit me hard because it confirmed a dream I recently had where (in reader’s digest form) I was worshipping at an altar, and the idols in front of me came crashing to the ground, one by one.

In our day and age, an idol is rarely the golden calf that we erect on our coffee table and bow before three times a day. It could be our concern for the future that leads to distrust in the Lord. It could be our family and its ranking priority over the Lord, or it could be our careers, food, identity, or an addiction. For me, I can try and get my peace out of things that can never really promise lasting comfort. Some of them can even be good or neutral things in and of themselves, but if they consume our hearts more than Jesus, the sweetness of it can sour.

In the text, Elijah confronts the prophets, and they try to call on their god of Baal to answer them with fire, but he doesn’t come. And they continue to limp around the altar they built; because, as our new Pastor stated, “false gods (idols) only promise what God can fully provide”. Immediately following this scene before the altar, Elijah steps up to prove that God hears when we call. And God shows up in a mighty way.

You see, God contests for our hearts. He longs to be the God of our heart, end of story. And it is never to poo-poo something we enjoy; it is actually to increase and fulfill our joy to a level where it can only come from Him.

For me, the Sunday message and my dream hit hard. But God is so kind to show me His way to life!

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to limp through life.

How long will you keep limping?

On a giggle note, here’s a good kind of limping ;)

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Purpose in process

He breathes. Peace. I receive. And then continue to shuffle restlessly.

Just wait. Wait to see what I am doing.

I pray. Give it to Him. Then take it back. Then count the minutes until He answers.

Wait. I’ve got this.

But I like progress now. Change, now.

Can anyone else relate to this internal dialogue with the Lord? When we know the Lord is at work, yet so want to determine the timing and details of what it looks like.

Did you know that a caterpillar sheds several skins before its made new? And the size of the caterpillar apparently determines the length of time in the cocoon. It’s different for all of them. Yet in order to be made new, something has to be shed. Let go of. And sometimes, several times over.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetIn setting up home, I have seen how my husband and I work on projects differently. He takes his time. With a love for quality and detail, Troy will let the process take its time until beauty is restored. When he brought in our kitchen table-top (gorgeous!) that he restored I said, “I hope that rubs off on me!” Patience in beauty. Letting it take time to get to the finished project, rather than rushing out of impatience and having a lesser product in the end.

Processes. Never fun. But we can be confident that the Lord is in them.

Yesterday as I was reading I felt Jesus whisper, “I do My best work when you are weak.” Romans 5:6 promises us of that – that while we were still weak, He died for us.

So take joy in weak moments (grace!), wait through the process, shed and let go. Something new is in the works. And perhaps like the caterpillar, in the waiting, He is really just showing us how to… be still. 

I leave you with this…. Shepherd, by Bethel worship.

In the process, in the waiting, You are singing melodies over me…

 

The year for …

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May this year be the year that you let go. Let go of all that trips you, offends you, binds you and taunts you.

May you turn off the lies you tell yourself. And embrace all that you can’t change, to appreciate what is.

May this be the year that you revel in creation, and learn to create in new ways.

May this be the year that you stop to think about what you’re thinking about, and ask God for a fresh revelation.

May this be the year you try. Whatever that looks like for you.

May this be the year that your mantra is less about what you do, and more about who you are.

May this be the year that simplicity calls out your name with its sweet kiss; both tender and firm.

May you edit less of life, and enjoy more ‘writing’.

May this be the year that the Lord unravels the knots and shows His love with clarity, in only the way that He truly can. May He satisfy you like nothing else.

May this be the year.

For me, my word is brave. Over the past couple of years the Lord has been rewiring a lot of old thinking and releasing a new trust in His gospel, His love. For me, being brave this year will mean starting a new job as the contract I’ve had with a company I’ve been with for 8 years draws to a close. Being brave in making new friends in a new church and community. Stepping out of my comfort zones, in so many ways! Being brave enough to be real with myself about mine and my husband’s dreams, and sticking it out with accountability and discipline.

For me, ‘brave’ symbolizes all that can be, if I let go of my way just a little bit more.

Happy new year all! xo

Making Room: Beginning of Advent

822a5380957f4b043861df588a209120Micro-apartments are on the up-and-up in American cities like New York and San Francisco. As people move to the urban centres for opportunity, school, and careers, space unfortunately, has to grow up (the European way to build up, not the Albertan way to build bigger). People need to become more and more inventive with what they do with the space they have. 300 sq ft and smaller is not at all uncommon in metro living, with a 450sq ft studio recently going for $340,000 in NYC. The micro-apartments appeal to people looking for lifestyle, over, well, stuff.

People create home and make room out of whatever space works for them at the season of life they are in. Whether it is 300sq ft or 2,000 sq ft, you can work with what you have, and make it homey. You move things around, purge unneccesary items, and make room for what is really important.

The concept of ‘making room’ is one that has been on my heart for a couple of years. It’s something that can thread into almost every area of our lives really. From fashion to time management to my relationship with the Lord – I felt a need to simplify. Make room for something else, so to speak. And in order to do so, in means letting go of one thing to make room for something else.

When I moved and got married this summer, I purged a lot. It was a good opportunity to ask myself, “Does this need to come with me into this next stage of life?” For me, ‘making room’ has meant saying yes to things only out of a desire to be involved, rather than obligation. Buying things that I love, rather than just because they’re on sale (that is STILL a work in progress for sure! And it’s a bonus when it’s something I love AND on sale!). And letting my time with Jesus be less about a program or system, and just making time, and letting Him speak and lead me. Sometimes being silent is harder than finding the words to pray ;)

As advent has begun and we begin to prepare our hearts for Christmas and celebrating Jesus, it can be so easy to get caught up in ticking things off the shopping list and filling our social calendar. All good things! But just as someone can make a 300sq ft space beautiful, let’s take the time to let the Lord meet with us, and make our hearts beautiful; whether we are a micro-apartment or mansion at heart.

Wherever we are at, whatever stage of life or hurt we come to Him with, I am certain that if we make room, Jesus can fill it.

“Let every heart, prepare Him room…”

{ on the topic of making room and creating beauty out of what space you have (metaphorical or literal), this weekend I took a stab at making these sheet music stars that you can hang or use as tree decorations. our little space needed something Christmassy even though we move in about 10 days. here’s the tutorial if you’d like to try them too!}

music star