Sunday, July 19, 2015

Steady as it goes

Steady as it goes. This phrase popped into my head and keeps going round and round. Like it wants me to notice it, grasp it. I couldn't help but search it out.

What does this mean... I don't know. But I think Jesus is teaching it to my heart a little at a time.

I looked up the definition of "steady". The meanings surprised me, at how clearly it is described.
-- Firmly fixed, supported, or balanced; not shaking or moving.

Firmly fixed, on Jesus.
Supported, by Jesus.
Balanced, through Jesus.

Not shaking or moving, because my feet are firmly planted on the Rock.

It's not a steady life or appearance or steady job or steady in the physical, natural sense.
What He's getting at in me is a steady heart.

"His heart is *steady; he will not be afraid, until he looks in triumph on his adversaries." 
-Psalm 112:8 (ESV)

Other versions use other words, but they all tie back to the meaning of steady. 

Lord Jesus, I want a steady heart!
Keeping my gaze firmly fixed on Jesus, unwavering, it is then it shall be steady.
And a steady heart, is a heart at rest. Tying back to my previous blog post, I cannot do it myself. I cannot muster up the courage to be all those definitions of what steady is. I am the opposite inside. I am afraid, I am blown to and fro with the waves, I am insecure, doubtful, weak, full of fear. 
If someone were to look into my heart and life right now, and describe it to you, not in a million words would they use the word steady.
Ask my family, my close friends... I am a wreck, tossed by each whim. I say things I shouldn't, think things I shouldn't, find joy in wrongdoing, entertain fear of the future. I don't have a very balanced life, certainly not consistent.
I'm not the steady person. And on my own, I never can be.
Only Jesus can steady my heart upon Him. 
And nothing else. So many other voices call out to me, fantasize me, taunt me.
But they do not satisfy. They are only loud, and restless and fearful. 
Only Jesus. Only Jesus can steady my heart.
Because He will satisfy me.

"Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation." -Isaiah 12:2

And when I come to the place of gazing upon HimHe steadies myself as I rest in Him, trust Him. When all I'm concerned about is Him, He'll take care of the rest.

...The rest. What's the rest of the phrase? Steady as it goes.
As what goes? Life. Life keeps going. I can rest and stop and wish life would stop and slow down (how many times in my day do I just want life to slow down, let me grasp it).
But resting in God and trusting and a steady heart... all that doesn't mean life will slow.
No, life goes on. Life a river rushing, always running, never stopping. When I try to swim against the current it only wears me down, returns me to the place of restlessness. I am no longer steady, at rest in my heart. I am striving on my own. I reach and try to hold onto the water as it rushes by me, around me, through me. I try to capture the droplets, but in vain.
Life goes on.
And oh, how well I know this. Change, and so little time, and finding purpose and.... how fast I beginning to worry about life.
I'm the one called to a steady heart. Not to try to steady life. 
He'll lead, I'll follow.
And when I do, oh how sweet the water as it carries me. And I drink of the River of Life: Jesus.

Steady my heart, Jesus, upon you alone. So that I can say as the Psalmist:
"God, my heart is steady. I will sing and praise you with all my being." (Psalm 108:1)

Steady as it goes.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Change, life, and my brain unwinding

So much in life has been changing. The past year has been full of change.
From one thing to the next.
Some change is harder than other, while some is gladly welcomed.
Sometimes change means growing, though the goodbyes involved can be hard.

Learning to accept. Therein lies the peace.

"In acceptance lieth peace."

I'm a pretty slow learner of this. 
But grateful for a Father who is full of grace.

But accepting what? Change? Yes, but not just the physical.
Accepting the emotions, the waves, myself, my way of thinking...

Through this season, though it can be hard, I've been learning that God is all about grace. He's all about love. He's all about just taking pleasure in us. 
He's not out to get us, to beat us into perfection, to thump us with the Bible.
He's there with open,  loving arms, to pick us up and dust us off when we make mistakes. 
To hold us when we weep, when we laugh, when we walk through life. 
He's there for me, not against me.

But here's the catch, the newbie for me:
He's always for me. Always, as in, not just when I do right, when I do good, when I'm seeking Him.
This life's a journey, and He's there in the ups and downs, mountains and valleys.
My light-bulb moments and my dark moments.

Those moments of doubt? Yes, He's there. 
And He's not judging me, He's actually holding me, keeping me, loving me.
Sunday it was said this way, and it was as if I were the only one in the room at this moment,
"It's okay to not be okay. But its not okay to stay that way."

Bing! It's okay! But don't stay there forever.

He cries when I cry.
How profound.

A heart of wandering isn't wrong. Questions about life, about truth, about God Himself aren't wrong.
Because He created us to ask, seek. He lets us find Him and rest.

He's holding me, and there's nothing I can do to change that
Can a baby hold itself? Neither can I. No matter what I do, I cannot keep myself in Him.
But He is. He's doing all the work.

And all I have to really do is rest.

And one more thing, He's not out to make all Christians the same!
He's not wanting us to all fit into a box, to all do the same thing, act the same way,
talk the same way, dress the same way, believe the same way....
He created each individual so very different from the rest, on purpose.
Look around, the Creator loves creativity. It's so obvious.
Let's learn to embrace it, embrace ourselves, embrace the diversity in others.
Let's not conform to each other, but each individual conform Himself to Jesus.

There's no formula.

I hope you can articulate a little bit of my scattered thoughts here.
And that you can take away some encouragement.

It helps to have a place to just dump thoughts out, 
and maybe sort them out.

Everyone has such a beautiful mind and soul and heart. 
I pray that we each learn to love one another for who each individual is, 
and all our unique differences.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Let The Light In

Let the springtime enter, oh soul
Like the dawn of a brand new day

Let it wash away the winter of thy cold and darkened heart
Let the sun melt the sorrow of yesterday
Give thyself anew to thy Creator
Start afresh and turn the next page

Stop going over what has already been done
Learn thy lesson, child
and move on

Open up thy heart, 
and do not hide from the sun any more

Treasure each moment you've been given
The here, the now.

Thy sorrows have lasted the night
But joy always comes in the morning
Stop denying the fact that the sun is rising
For He is opening to thyself His loving heart

Arise, and shine,
for thy Light has come,
and the glory of the Lord has risen upon Thee

Be not afraid to open the window of thy soul
To let the spring breezes blow in and cleanse thee

Be not afraid to be made new.

Just as each year the flowers appear once more
after winter,
So too, thy heart has not died, only slept.

Give thyself to thy Maker, oh my soul
Be not afraid
For it is He that causes the sun to rise and set
The wind to blow and be still
The flower to thrive and fall off

Trust, my soul.
And do not be afraid to thrive.

Here dawns a new day.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

the year of 2014

What a year, 2014! What a year.
I feel I stepped out of a whirlwind, and whoosh! The year is gone!
But when I look back on it, I can see the Lord's guiding hand through it all.
It was a good year.
I learned His faithfulness; that when we don't see how a situation can work for good,
He always comes through.
I learned to trust Him a little bit more; 
when the way is dark, He carries His own. We have no need for fear!

It is good to go back and see all the Lord has done.
It reminds me of His goodness.
Here are some of the highlights from my year.
(The italics below are journal entries corresponding with the month of the year)

"I remember the days of old;
I meditate on all that You have done;
I ponder the works of your hands.
I stretch out my hands to You;
My soul thirsts for You like a parched land."
Psalm 143:5


"And in this place where it was said to them, 'You are not my people', it shall be said to them, 'children of the Living God.'" - Hosea 1:10


Oh, but then forgiveness comes
A grace that I cannot resist
And I just want to thank Someone
I just want to thank Someone for this.

Now I can see the world has chnaged
it's glimmering with promises
written in a script of stars
dripping form the prophets' lips

I just want to thank Someone for this

To be more than merely innocent
but to be broken then redeemed by love
Maybe this old world is bent
but it's waking up
and I'm waking up

Cause I can hear the voice of One 
He's crying in the wilderness
"Make ready for the kingdom come"
Don't you want to thank Someone for this?



(may - my brothers Elijah and William were baptized!)

It has been one of the most trial-filled years of my life, I think. 
So many ups and downs. 
So many valleys, yet so many mountains.
He's opened my eyes in so many ways, taken me places that even I wouldn't ask to go.
But through it all, He is faithful.

...Thank you, Lord, for this year.I didn't think I'd be thankful for it all.
But I am. You are so good.
Please don't stop your molding, though I cry out in pain.
For you, of all, know all pain. 
You know the beauty of the gold after the fire.
(journal entry, april 2014)



(july - Honduras)

"Joy does not simply happen to us.
We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every single day."
Henri JM Nouwen

Spirit, lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
wherever you would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
and my faith would be made stronger 
in the presence of my Savior

Show me how to breath deep,
how to capture each small moment.
Show me how to love the dirt beneath my feet,
see You in the faces of these children.
How to praise You in the skies above.
For You are love - undefined.
(july 2014)


Lord, strip it all away
until only You remain

That CHRIST may have preeminence!

(RLCF Youth Conference 2014)

God's unfailing love for us is an objective fact affirmed over and over in the scriptures.
It is true whether we believe it or not.
Our doubts do not destroy God's love, nor does our faith create it.
It originates in the very nature of God, who is love,
and it flows to us through our union with His Beloved Son.
Jerry Bridges 


 (WA - august)


Am I willing to trust an unknown future to a known God? 
...I can be scared to follow where He leads and pull back,
or I can willingly go where he is leading, with joy,
knowing that HE knows the way.

I am never alone. 
He will never leave me in the dark.
(journal entry, august 2014)

Restlessness and impatience change nothing except our peace and joy.
Peace does not dwell in outward things,
but in the heart prepared to wait trustfully and quietly on 
Him who has all things safely in His hands
Elizabeth Elliot


"Who am I to complain in losses--
when what I lost wasn't mine anyway?"
Ann Voskamp

What if Your blessings come through raindrops?
What if Your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near?
What if trials of this life
are Your mercies in disguise?

"The car will get you there. 
But you have to stay IN the car. Trust and rest."


"Measure thy life by loss instead of gain;
not by the wine drunk but by the wine poured forth;
For love's strength standeth in love's sacrifice,
and whoso suffers most hath most to give"


 (SOS ministries mission trip - Honduras) 

Pray audacious prayers.
Don't stop. Don't stop. Don't stop.

(El Salvador)

He brought me into a broad place;
He rescued me, because he delighted in me.
Psalm 18:19

Be assured, if you walk with Him
and look to Him and expect help from Him,
He will never fail you.
George Mueller

"Let us know, let us press on to know the Lord;
His going out is sure as the dawn;
He will come to us as the showers,
as the spring rains that water the earth."
Hosea 6:3