Thursday, August 4, 2011

don't miss the answer to your prayers

  have you ever prayed for healing? a physical healing? an emotional healing? a healing in a relationship?
  while praying for healing do you have the tendency to ask God to do it your way?
  "Lord i really need _______ to get better because _________"
  "Lord  have been wounded by ______ and it feel so _______. please heal my heart so that i can __________"
 "Lord i would really like for this relationship to be healed because ________"
  does the Lord listen to my earthly asking and shake His head wondering why my worldly comprehension of this life is asking in His name for so little?
  earlier today i was asking for the Lord to heal a relationship that i know could use it. seeing it from the outside looking in, loving all involved, i pleaded with the Lord for a healing. a restoration.
  He asked me, "do you want me to make this relationship like it was before?"
  thinking for a moment i replied, "no Lord, that is just not good enough."
  the words escaped my mind in all truth and honesty, tumbling out of a heart that saw with eyes bigger then all the pain involved. in true humility and pure in my response i asked the Lord, "why should i pray for a healing? why pray for restoration? why not elevate it even higher to a place in which no one would have imagined today? made better then before? made better then just healed? made better then just restored? i don't want to pray for a healing in this relationship, and i don't want to see a restoration. i want to see a new beginning, a new relationship. one that surpasses just getting along. one that surpasses setting aside differences. one that is built on the fact that their is an enemy who seeks to destroy the family. prowling around the earth like a hungry lion and Your children, our family who love You and want to exalt Your name, are his ugly prime focus of destruction. make our love for one another be knit together in the knowledge of this horrific desire  from an enemy and patch it together with a Love that covers a multitude of sins. may the Love of Jesus and who He is and what He did bubbly over and into all our endeavors to love one another. if even it's original desire is just to defeat the enemy may it be our encouragement to rule over our tongues, minds and hearts with Your love thereafter - always."
  i didn't know how else to answer Him. i didn't know how better to pray for these loved ones who needed more then restoration.
  i was reminded that a long time ago, people, who loved the Lord, who sought after the promised Messiah, prayed for decades after decades, for an answer to all their pain, suffering and sin but didn't even recognize the answer to their prayers, because it didn't look they way they expected it to look.
  the answer to the sin problem of the world didn't come in fabulous robes and crown decked out in gems and gold, but came in a stable. didn't fulfill the earthly vision of Sabbath day observances and "work." wasn't dinning with other righteous people but cheaters and prostitutes. didn't die comfortably in a bed of fine linen's but was brutally beaten, scoffed, crucified and pierced.
  the answer to all our pain, suffering and sin didn't come in the way it was expected. no, it looked very different.
 so when i pray i must remember to look for an answer to my prayers everywhere - especially in places that i least expect them to be. and when i pray i must also be reminded that as i ask in His name, i must also remember the to ask big. ask beyond what i want and ask into the infinite realm far beyond my wildest dreams here on earth. ask God, for holy miracles. asking humbly, sincerely, from a pure heart, for us to have more reasons to proclaim His greatness and His mercies and His mighty power even in this too, a simply request of healing. of restoration. of relationships made new, built in Love, beyond any earthly comprehension.

hebrews 4:16 let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.


Monday, August 1, 2011

coffee with the king revisited

 so remember that post coffee with the king? if not, here it is from the archives of march: otherwise, it's a post that i wrote to remind myself how wonderful quiet time with my Heavenly Father really is. how important it really is. to encourage myself to get back to it. to share how wonderful it was for me and to encourage you to try it. over at it's my big challenge for the whole week. i'll be sharing how i get back to it, how it effects the rest of my day and how it effects my family too. i know for sure that it has a wonderful trickle down effect because i've experienced it first hand before.
  i just wanted to take a moment to give this blog a little attention, and send you over there if your at all in need of some good encouragement and/or truths about the importance of spending early time alone with the One who really wants us to fall deeply, madly and crazily in love with Him. let's court Him this week together, yes? 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

striving for intention

  so lately i've noticed how unintentional i can be. how i think an awful lot about things i should do, or say, and just simply don't do it, or say it. weather i second guess myself or i'm just lazy - it's not good.
  i've decided to challenge myself to be intentional about at least one thing specifically each day and i'm writing about it over at
  this doesn't mean the sunny side of life at the villa villekulla is going down, but for right now, i'm gonna really focus on this daily challenge of striving for intention. i'm really desiring a stretching, a growing, a ...  something, and perhaps this is it? if you feel so inclined, i'd like to personally take this time to invite you over there with me. let's just see what God has in store.

Monday, June 13, 2011

counting the ways He loves

   spawned on by ann voskamp's book one thousand gifts i am on a hunt, counting the many things throughout my days that i am thankful for; counting the many ways in which He loves me...
#42. long drives north in the spring.
#48. sleepless nights cuddling baby girl who is growing sooo fast
#49. a young son who wants to be held more
#79. flower sprouts that push up dirt
#93. children waking with a desire for morning devotions
#99. peace that lands in my heart when prayer is whispered to dark threatening clouds
#106. creaking wheels of tricycle ridden by generations of young children
#108. the sound of new leaves shifting against one another on a cool breeze
#111. smiles that infect the corners of eyes
#121. garlic bulbs round and fragrant kept protected by their own grown paper
#124. sisters in Christ who share and love and listen and encourage and help to grow me
#125. bright orange carrots, crunchy, fresh fully fragrant of earth and sweetness
#129. fresh cut roses bunched in narrow bottle, fragrant and color deepening on kitchen table
#133. quiet moments full of gratitude
#134. kitchen clean and waiting for another adventure with food, school, coffee, tea, dancing, stolen kisses with husband...with all that spills over with life
#140. house quiet and filling with lite, early, morning rays; expectation heavy in the air
#150. noticing a morning dove enjoying bird seed loving placed by one who loves morning doves
#151. crunchy garlic rubbed bread dressed with oil, basil and tomato
#152. hugs given and hugs received by tiny hands yet mighty hands and arms

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

friends? check yes or no

   remember when it was as easy as taking your seat on the bus or in class, or asking the other girls at the slide for your own turn, then BAM! instantly, friends were made. now at 32 years of age i am floundering. it's easy to ask myself why? what is wrong with me? am i too boring? but i have to be quick to cast away the enemy. some times i am quick, sometimes i am not.
   of coarse when i am invited out, in all my excitement and anxious nerves, i forget how to behave. my appetite flees, i run at the mouth with nothing to say, or i am so worried that i will say or do the something "wrong," that i do nothing at all, say nothing at all, and leave. what has happened to me? i am child of the King! created in His image, injected with the personality He desired for me, and still, i flounder. 
   today i received a call. tired and unable to communicate at any proper level i listened to someone tell me what a disappointment i was as a friend. that i didn't reciprocate our friendship in the manner that was expected. i think i might have even laughed a little, between sobs, and i know i said, "well i guess i just don't understand how the world works."
    it is a fear of mine that i am now fully quite excited to embrace. here it is: the fear that staying home with my children, no car during the day, only traveling to church and the grocery store and the occasional farmers market and local hard wear store, that i won't remember the ways of the world. that i will loose whatever culture i ever had (being raised in a quite plain community, really?).
   after this phone call i felt horrible. my guts would have felt better had i been able to loose them and my head would have stopped pounding, maybe, had it been severed. i prayed. i sang, "what a friend we have in Jesus." i prayed. i got angry and i prayed some more. i even made a quick phone call somewhere in the midst of all that, and was told i was "sweet." i almost corrected this person, "no, in fact i am quite terrible friend." i don't remember what i said to that "sweet" comment but i am sure i made it awkward.
   in a fit of clenched teeth prayer, tears rolling down hot cheeks, here is what i was reminded , "i am a child of the King. given this personality, heart, soul, by He who formed the earth God Himself. He loves me. He loves me the way i am. i am the way He designed me, He even understands my flesh better then i, or an enemy who seeks to destroy. where my heart has scars are now fresh bruises, but in there, on top of the mess, is room for grace. not only grace for me from Him, but grace for the first caller of the day. for the one who slung words of a friendship that did not return what was given. no way, were those words spoken out of a desire for blood. they came from another place. a place that too had been used to be treated badly, rotten and ugly. the accusations came from a heart also unsure how to behave in this world. because really, we who are Loved and Blessed are not of this world (romans 2:12) and this is not our home. and in this world with it's many wounds are just tons and tons of others who are fumbling through, trying to find their way, trying figure it all out. and perhaps we never will. perhaps that is all okay?
   perhaps, just perhaps, if we all treded a little lighter, slowed down the pace, just a little more, took the time to look and see and reflect, we would see that we are all in this together, bruised and scarred. that everyone really needs a good friend. that being an acquaintance of many, and having not just one friend, tried and true, is better by far because how much more easier, sweeter is the song then sung?
 what a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
 what a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
 o what peace we often forfeit, o what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer!
 have we trials and temptations? is there trouble anywhere? we should never be discouraged, take it to the Lord in prayer. can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share? Jesus knows our every weakness, take it to the Lord in prayer.
 are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care? Precious Saviour, still our refuge - take it to the Lord in prayer. do thy friends despise forsake thee? take it to the Lord in prayer; in His arms He'll take and shield thee, thou wilt find a solace there.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

out of the dark

  the clock ticks and seconds turn into minutes. mintues turn into days. days into weeks and weeks give birth to months. children grow at the speed of life and life moves faster then sound and i am all a wonder. how fast it all seems, even though, in each indiviual second, presently, they seem, to tick by, so slowley.
 winter was long, dark often and cold. watching icicles freeze a valley that i once watched bloom with color and fragrance, it seemed to never thaw. thankfully it did, and just when it seemed that spring was embracing the winter in a warm hug good-bye, my heart, once longing, eagerly awaiting, was so used to spring not showing up, had buried itself in a deep hole. climbed right in and chose to stay. april showers rained and rained and rained and my heart sprouted nothing green, nothing colorful, nothing fragrant.
 why does this happen? setting my heart on spring to bring the hope of something new and exciting and different. when it arrives, as it does every year, my heart did not rejoice but burrowed deeper in a familiar winter hibernation den.
 depression has been my on-again-off-again for more years then i can remember. even as a young girl. the only reason i could give mommy for my tears (that would rest her heart anyway) was that i had a belly ache. the belly ache never exhausted. ever. but that pink thick liquid was kept in the fridge and i'd drink it and mommy would relax and i would feel bad for not knowing why my heart was heavy. for not understanding why the tears would not stop. i grew and life would happen. some good and some not so good. depression would come and depression would go. brought on by loss, brought on by nothing at all.
   i share because the more i do, the more i find that others feel the same. that others go through the same. that others are afraid to share, and that others don't know, that a lot of others, feel the same.
   i share to remind myself that God is big. bigger then i can comprehend. God is conqueror, over this whole entire world. to remind myself that tasting the dark, seeing it through, is expecting to taste the light. to feel it again on my face, my shoulders, my back, and in my heart. that if i can stand firm in the dark short days of winter, i can stand firm in the light long days of summer. that feeling the negative days of life, like counting numbers in the negative, helps me to appreciate the positive days of life, like counting numbers in the positive.  
   does all this make life a deeper experience?  is all this the tasting of how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ (ephesians 3:17niv) am i not building a life abundant? am i not blessed because of all the mourning?
 either way, i am glad i am coming out of the dark. thankful to be marking my minutes, hours, days and weeks by choosing joy, purposefully. by counting all the ways He loves by penning all the things i love, that He has gifted.
 i am reading ann voskamp's book one thousand gifts and choosing to take ink to paper and writing my way - His way, out of the dark by practicing eucharisteo. he who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that i may show him the salvation of God. psalm 50:23
 because even in the dark, their is much to be thankful for, and the more i see it, the brighter it becomes. now this is not a prescription for depression and some may in fact need a 'script, but how much more helpful is it to note, literally, script a running list of blessings. like that old hymn says count our blessings, naming them one by one. count our many blessings to see what God has done for you and for me and what He has gifted. for how many of us can add another day to our lives by thinking on the worst of it? i am glad to be coming out of the dark. i am glad for a thankful heart, for their is much to give thanks for.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

be still and know that I am God

   this past week areas of our country were touched by torrents of wind, rain, golf ball size hail. an angry sky fierce with tremendous power. my kids and i were out in the worst part of it that touched our area. driving and trying to see through rain drops thick as milk in a wind that wanted to push the car into the field we drove past. the radio making that horrible sound that screams "pay attention now!!!" and my my daughter repeating "uh-oh music" and my son asking where is the tornado noah is talking about?" my prayers were answered and we arrived home safely as i wondered 'why in the world did i think it necessary to be at wallmart at 7:00am?' up early it had felt like 11:30 but we reached our home safely and i was full of praise for the tremendous display of only a tiny bit of what God is capable of.
   later in the day i hear how very easy we had it. we still had each other, over 300 dead in the south. we still had our health, how many were hurt and wounded down there? we played in a warm, dry home that stood right where we bought. right where it was built. a very comfortable living position of upright. my stomach in knots most of the day, wondering how many souls were taken from this world who may have not been ready. how many souls were rejoicing with Jesus this dark stormy day.
   again driving down a long bending road past fields, unusually under water, my eyes drifted up. the clouds hoovered low and were bumpy. like the under side of a hand. the palm side. and i heard it, "be still and know that I am God." (psalm 46:10a) and my eyes rained down much like the sky did earlier, only this a quiet, peace filled, thankful rain.
   no matter the storm. no matter the tornado. no matter who is taken. who is missing. where my house stands or if my house stands at all. no matter if my health is good or...gulp, weather my children sit in the back seat peaceful and fine with me or not. He is God. He is good, all the time. He doesn't change. ever. it is He who holds this world in the palm of His hands. maybe those bumpy low clouds were His hands. maybe, just maybe this stormy day could have been worse up north. maybe just maybe we could have had it like they did in the south. maybe? .... maybe. 
   His hands. bumpy and low. soft and bubbly. He spins this world and brings what we can handle through His Son and i am reminded each time i let Him remind me, that it is He that is in control. that no matter how hard i squinted, i wasn't going to see clear threw that milk thick rain. no matter how tightly i gripped the steering wheel we weren't going to be any safer. if He wanted us, we'd be there with Him. He wants us here, and so we are. no matter how much i worry, or fear it will not change that He can and will do what He will do. that today i will not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself and that each day has enough trouble of its own (matthew 6:34)
   "be still and know that I am God," i heard it every time i looked up at those low bumpy clouds. each time seeing huge-gigantic hands. 'He's got this," i think to myself. 'it's His world. i'm His gal.' and i was still, and i knew, that He was and is God. mighty. powerful. still, i have yet to see just how much.
   later i look up the verse i kept hearing, psalm 46:10b says I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth. i smile and cannot wait for this to come. in the mean time i decide to get a jump start on this and i exalted Him here in my small part of this nation. my stomach relaxed i praise Him who is worthy to be praised and i start counting my blessings that i can be still, and know that He is God. that i can rest peaceful knowing, having seen Him, holding this world in the palm of His hands.

Friday, April 22, 2011

life abundant

   sitting deep in a puddle of grief, i bow my head in whispered prayer, and i hear it, "life abundant" whispered back to me. i ignore it. "life abundant" i keep praying because i don't understand it. "life abundant" and it wouldn't make sense to me if i asked, right? "life abundant" and there it is again, "life abundant" and so i am quiet. sitting still. "life abundant"
   "okay Lord, what does that mean?" i ask Him in a tone that is clearly punishable.
   silence. i ask, "a full life? ...full of what? grief?" still i am short tempered and He is so gracious.
   "abundant grief."
   and i know that blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted ( matthew 5:4 ) and a women asked me, "where's the blessing in this?" her son taken in a car wreck. i had no proper words to speak back to her. floundering i tried, "the blessing in the grief we feel is the deep comfort that comes only from He who is Comfort." and i know it's not what she wants to hear and that this and all it's painful blisters upon our hearts is part of life abundant? a life full of Grace? 
   death was not part of His plan but we've been tasting it since the fall. for if, by the trespass of the one man [adam], death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in the life through the one man, Jesus Christ. ( romans 5:17) still, He has mercy and extends His comfort so deeply for those who mourn that we are blessed. to taste death and to feel it's bitterness melting into my tongue and its tight grief-grip around my heart, and if i let Him get close enough He'll comfort me to the point of a blessing. and i will emerge lighter and closer to Him for it.
   life abundant. full life. that kind of "drinking from my saucer" kind of full and my lap is wet with an abundant tidal wave of tears. and compassion. and love. and i except the good with the bad from a God who is good all the time and more faithful then i could ever be at my best.
   later this day i reach for my bible in a strange almost-drop-it kind of reach because i don't want to get up out of my warm bed. it's quite a reach. bible opens funny on my lap to jeremiah 33. i look down and my eyes rest on it; and i know this was a Divine strange almost-drop-it kind of reach because it speaks to me affirmations of how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge that i may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God (ephesians 3:18) and my eyes cloud over as i read the words and i have to squeeze out the love tears so that i can read the verse to the end: jeremiah 33:6 nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security. knowing full well this is no way to study my bible, i just can't help but think, this is part of that life abundant i was hearing earlier today. a healing to His people. peace! and security! in abundance! and that His plans are declared to prosper me and not to harm me but to give me hope and a future (jeremiah 29:11) and doesn't all this tangle in abundance? fullness?
   life abundant. even in my abundant grief. and i am blessed.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

nesting on the Rock

   yesterday it rained. it drizzled. it poured. it drizzled and poored some more. it was mucky and dreary and mostly dark. out the back window, i saw often, a busy red breasted feathered flyer. busy. flittering this way and fluttering that way. twigs long and short. thick and flimsy. mostly scrappy. one at a time, several times in minutes. she, busy building, nesting somewhere very near my kitchen window. i would hear her chipper song through pounding droplets beating the roof over my head and i wondered if she knew how joyful she sounded. i wondered if she was praising the God that i was grumbling at? i wondered if she too went silent, would i hear a chorus of praise echo from the rocks i'd dug from the garden?
   today too started dreary. i stepped onto the deck and immediately looked to the window from where i saw the robin flying and there it was. a nest. all put together in less then one short 24 hour day. how in the world? this bird with tiny brain and hollow bones, has put together a master piece of wood and grass and jigsawed them into a cradle of shelter strong and safe enough to train up another legacy, another generation. snuggled in behind a light and before the house, one of the most uniquely beautiful reminders of all that is stored up for a treasure that she will one soon day birth and train up.    treasure stored up.

   my eyes rest on the deck below and catch sight of another nest. she has made two. perhaps a decoy? one that appears to be her home so as to lure the sparrow and blue jay away from her young? her home insurance? her health insurance for her babies? she has made two nest. stored up treasures of wood and grass and build for her family and safe haven.  

   stored up treasure.
   what am i storing up? where do i lay my twigs and grass and for whom do i weave security as strong as hers? my own young running through my own nest and i am wondering how often do they hear me whistle praise as i go about my day?  how often to do i remember they are not my young but His. given me to point to Him on high. do i store up for myself and provide purses that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. for where my treasure is, there my heart will be also. (luke 12:33b-34)
   knowing i try and trying is not enough, i am reminded that i will never be enough and grace is deep and i am drowning. what am i storing and for whom? for what do i toil? for whom do i toil for? do i sing throughout my day praising He who is to be praised as i go about my work given me, by He who ask for my all? a work set to the soundtrack of praise. work given me by He who says that i must die so that i may live. a daily dying. a moment by moment death of oneself and i am strong and my will full flesh is more then i should ever let it be. it's almost enough to be discouraged but i remember that early i must rise so that early i must fall into the grave to be covered by Grace and blood that washes the dirtiest clean.  
   not once did i see the robin stop to sigh. she didn't stop to chat with a feathered sister, another whose belly is growing with offspring, to talk about all the building she had to do today before the sun went down. she went about her work of building. singing all the way, and through the rain! 
   i wonder... why is my heart not light as her small frail body that flies between pounding droplets thrown from a heavy sky and she is not tired? she is not weary? she, who sleeps standing up? 
    it's as if she has no inner struggle. no earthly flesh. no desire of her own to drag her in another direction. is she not part of this fallen world? is it not true that to this day the lion cannot lay by the lamb?  though i want to do good, evil is right there with me. for in my inner being i delight in God's law; but i see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. what a wretch i am! who will rescue me from the body of death? thanks be to God-through Jesus Christ our Lord! (romans 7:23-25) 
   swimming in Grace like the busy robin flying through a down poor, i remember that i am led by the Spirit of God and i am a daughter of God. for i did not receive a spirit that makes me a slave again to fear, but i received the Spirit of daughtership. and by Him i cry, Abba! Father! the Spirit himself testifies with my spirit that i am God's child, now if i am a child, then an  heir-heir of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed i share in his sufferings in order that i may also share in his glory. (roman 8: 13-17)
   for once i see this nest as not the reminder of all that i fail in. not a reminder of storing up treasure and where and what do i store and for whom? no longer do i hear her joyful singing and feel bad that it wasn't me too, singing in the rain. i see her nest and it looks like a crown of victory over my failures and my struggles and unworthiness. a rough a messy crown, much like my rough and messy life, but round and strong nonetheless. royal and poised, built behind the light and it is He that goes before me, to prepare a place for me. she built that nest because the Creator has spoken in into the her ear and she simply obeyed without worry she'd fail. she simply obeyed and went about her business. her business for the King. 
    i stand tall on my feet now, for i am daughter of the King who will reign victorious over all that i fail at, over all that i triumph over through Him. her nest on the back deck, a royal reminder that one day i will have crowns to throw at His feet and that this day, while very imperfect and full of pain will one day melt into an eternity of days full of His Glorious reign over all that is imperfect and painful and all my tears are wiped away. then all my tears are wiped away. and i hear chirping from the back deck, a song of praise that i too sing. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

fear, trust and the laundry room

    i stand in the laundry room. i separate. i pour liquids. i fold. i hang. i cry out to the Creator of heaven and earth and Knower of all that is in me. i am pouring. raw. exposed. freshly ripped open. i tell Him of a  hurt that He knew of before it occurred. i ask of Him, why? i ask for my lesson in this to be learned quickly. knowing my tears are humble and He is faithful to examine them and wipe them away. hanging up shirts i refuse to sit on the concrete floor, although i am no less dirty then the laundry piled high on it's cold surface. He meets me where i stand. in all of my frustration of question after question after question. 
   weariness. loneliness. self doubt. searing fright. ....fright...fear...and He places a gentle hand under my chin, lifts it high and at once i am shown that this ugliness of fear has been created by my lack of trust, and my willingness to believe lies from a belly crawler. that this fear is the root of all my weariness, loneliness and self doubt. He drops His hand from under my chin and my face, my body, the shirt and the hanger fall to the cold concrete floor.
   fear. "do you fear what i have in store for you?" a gentle, warm question that needs no response. "do you not remember that I desire life abundant for you? a life to prosper you and not to harm you?"
   He hears the quickening of my heart. 'their is so much harm in this world to fear.' i need not say it aloud to Him.
   "can I not heal all wounds? is not our relationship made stronger when you walk with me by faith, not by sight? when I carry you through struggle? does it not hurt to be refined by a blazing fire but feel relieving to shine once refined? to be comforted through the fire?"
   and my heart is aching by the hurt i have caused my Heavenly Father by holding hands with fear. by not remembering that it is He who brings the rain and the sun and the swelling of the ocean tides.  that it is He who can bring me through anything and it is He who will only hand to me what i can handle through His Son. it is He that i belong to and it is He who i can trust, and not the face of fear. that fearing anything in this whole wide world is fearing what He has in store for me and my family. that by holding hands with the demon of fear is not trusting His perfect plans for myself and my family. 
    now looking boldly into the face of fear and seeing it  for what it is; a lack of trust of what God is going to hand me, i am reminded of the chorus that sings 'where the spirit of the Lord is there is freedom!' and i fling wide my arms and throw my fear freely into an abyss of no return and except the spirit of freedom from the One who is quick to give it to all who wish to receive it. 
   the rest of the laundry is finished as he gently shows me all the areas of my life that i need to now step out in faith with His spirit of discernment and not be held captive to fright. He reminds me that 365 times in the Bible are the words fear not and/or, do not be afraid. a fear not and/or, do not be afraid for every single day of the year, for every single year of my life, and the life given to my family. and at one point i choose to seek them out and hold them all close to my heart. i make a mental note of continuing that search as i cling the feelings of freedom and love and renewal and a walk of communion all filling in the holes that weariness, loneliness and self doubt had previously dug deep.  
   in stand in the laundry room. i separate. i poor liquids. i fold. i hang. i am made new. i have been washed free of the grime that this world tried to stain into the fabric of me. i look forward, from this day on, to doing laundry, to checking myself for worldly stains that can be cleaned by the purest, brightest cleanser of All.

Friday, April 1, 2011

the crocus doesn't mind, why should i?

   this morning i awoke to my clock, turned it off and pressed brew on my one cup coffee pot at my bedside table. the coffee pot perked and puffed and the smell of coffee lured me to open my eyes again. i sat up and noticed that it seemed brighter outside. i squinted and peered through the sheers hanging above the windows. reaching for my glasses, "nooo" i whisper to a coffee fragrant steam. placing my glasses on top of my nose i see it. snow. my stomach instantly clenched. my breathing become shallow and i got up from my bed and moved aside the curtain to see the soft white blanket of fluff. suddenly i remember their was a chance for some snow and i am relieved it is but an inch.
   "okay Lord?" i whisper in a questioning tone. a selfish tone. selfish because i'm craving warm breezes, sunshine and tuffs of green grass. selfish because i have plans of my own. plans of riding bike with my kids. using sidewalk chalk and running through sprinklers. digging in the dirt and harvesting fresh fruits and veggies. my own plans. my own selfish desires. i am quickly repenting to Him who told the snow to fall fresh as i enter my prayer closet.
   He reminds me of the crocus. a sign that winter is coming to an end. tiny yet mighty. the blooms still tightly closed but standing tall in the freshly fallen tiny ice crystals. they don't complain. they don't even shiver. they stand tall in their small yet majestic way. reaching for the heavens as if in perpetual praise and thanksgiving to their great Creator.
   after our quiet time together i step outside and pay them a visit. one is bent low. its tightly wrapped bloom down in the snow. i pick it up and let it flop back down and remember it was this way yesterday, even before the snow. the rest of the blooms stand strong. purple. royal. a gift. a reminder. i. daughter of the King. having just finished sweet communion with the maker of heaven and earth, all that is seen and unseen, He who gives my body breath without my even asking it of Him, and again, with heartfelt repentance, i thank Him for this snow that i did not want. that i did not first receive with joy and gladness. for this is the day that the Lord hath made. i will rejoice and be glad in it. whatever it holds. be it sun or be it snow.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

the beautiful mess

   someone asked me, "so how does it feel to be 32 years old?"
   "umm," i reply, "hold on while i short through the mess." suddenly i am a mime. eyes closed. hands in front of my body searching through an invisible file folder. the familiar sound of social laughter is outside my head and inside i stand in a hallway in my mind. it's dim and leads only to rooms with signs on the doors that say things like feelings, emotions, insecurities etc etc. each one the mess of an extreme hoarder.
    i  hear the voice. the familiar, loving, warm voice. "that's not your mess to short through." the doors in the hallway swing wide open revealing years of mess on top of mess. in a blink the rooms are clean. in another blink, it all returns.
   it seems hours have past and it hasn't even been many seconds. looking back at someone, my "filing hands" now folded in my lap, i smile. a real smile. a warm and genuine smile, i give my answer, "it feels really good." knowing later i will have to chat with Him who calls me beloved and ask Him to search me. to show me how to hand it all to Him. the beautiful mess which is not me but somehow i paste it on my face and then try to hide it. 
   why do i allow myself to jump through hoops for an enemy who wants nothing but my destruction? get thee behind me! for my Savior stands near. 
   later that day, in a room full of many, i see all the beautiful messes. standing around chatting with one another. eating. i wonder, why do we pretend? when everyone is suffering, everyone is full of junk. weather we know it or not. my chest heavy with burden for all of the messes standing in the room who do not know the Savior. where do they turn? who will clean them up and set them free? my gratitude feels as deep as forever and with no end. my humble new beginning fourteens years ago. their needs to be more beginnings. more, here in this room. with much all around i cry a silent prayer to the only One who is master of fixing all messes.  'Lord, may they see You. really truly see You. may they desire You. really truly chase after You.' and then, i am handed a slice of birthday cake.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

coffee with the king

   their was once a time i had coffee with the King every morning. it wasn't easy waking up before the kids, the husband, the chickens and yes, even the sun. i was coaxed out of bed before dawn by the lure of a small one cup coffee maker on my bedside table. the clock would scream its usual "GET UP! IT'S TIME! GET UP! SLEEP IS DONE!" and i trained myself to turn it off and press brew. the tiny one cup coffee maker would brew, perk a little and steam almost like an apology for the annoyance of the clock and gently remind me that i had a coffee date to wake up for.  every morning, for the longest time i would wake up like this and enjoy my first cup in the quiet of my prayer closet. sipping between repenting. sipping between giving thanks. sipping between asking for help in this and in that, and for him or for her. sipping between sobbing for those who don't yet know the sweet fragrance of the love song that plays in the background of coffee dates such as these.
   early morning coffee with my heavenly Father.
   so what happened you ask? obviously i'm not keeping this date as of late. no. i am not. i have been standing Him up. standing up the One who calls me beloved and blessed and desires nothing short of communion in spirit and to love on this broken child of His. one who needs desperately to be fixed of all the messy world-wounds, most of which i create myself. mind you, i am not totally neglecting my first Love, but i am reminded that my tithing time away from my comfortable bed, tithing my precious sleep, has been lost and forgotten and even accepted in my desire for more sleep. 
   not okay. not acceptable.
   forgotten in sickness. forgotten in depression. lost in my selfishness. all of which are just the things that close communion with He who is the Creator of all that is seen and unseen, can heal me from and set me forever free from.
   standing Him up. ouch! i am sure it hurts His heart by far more than mine and my desire is enlarged 10 fold for morning coffees with my heavenly Father again. for i know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He has been waiting for me. maybe not with coffee in hand at a set destination, but He always desires for us to go deeper with Him. deeper in Him. fall more madly, wildly, passionately in love with He who is Love. waiting and deserving more of me then my meal time prayers. then my while driving prayers. then my doing dishes prayers. then my cry for sanity prayers. a time, set aside for He who is the Great I am. 
   funny thing is, after a few weeks of waking up this way, i started waking up on my own not even needing the coffee or the alarm clock. surprisingly not even noticing a loss of sleep. as if He enjoyed our time together so well that He just gave me the inner wake up call and enough energy to spare to make it through my day on less sleep. gifted me the urge to wake up and be with Him alone, in the early hours of day. what a wonder...and i am reminded that every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. james 1:17 shifting shadows. am i a shifting shadow? ever changing? not in this. i cannot be.
      excuse me, i have an alarm clock and small one cup coffee pot to go set up, for tomorrow i am having coffee with the King.   

Thursday, March 10, 2011

rx: stop smiling

   the other day while holding my daughter she bumped her head against my lower lip crushing it against my teeth. it split and bled. ever since i've been trying to keep either vaseline or chap stick on it. it seems to reopen otherwise.
   when my husband came home from work the next day he asked me what was going on with my lip. yes it was swollen and i was sliding it under the top lip, slippery in grease. i told him, "i keep smiling and opening it back up again."
    "you gotta stop smiling so it can heal," was his response.
   stop smiling so it can heal. i know he was talking about my lip but it spans the mess of who i am. i'd rather smile and forget. it gets me nowhere good.
   stop smiling so it can heal. stop smiling so that i can heal. stop smiling and let my face relax a little. let my eyes well up. allow the over flow of sadness, loss, hurt and whatever else needs to surface just be free. just simply be in the moment of who i might be if i let me be myself.  stop smiling and heal. it sounds like a good prescription. it sounds like a job for the Great Physician...

Sunday, March 6, 2011

burning the china cabinet

   the china cabinet shakes. from a once thought to be familiar source of hope for loose ribbons to be tied tighter, it grabs the top, the middle and even reaches the bottom where the delicate feet are carved in fine, rare, wood, and the whole cabinet is rocked. dishes once held dearly close to my heart were thrown from the shelves and their shattering can be heard echoing in my head over and over and over. every tiny piece of bone china that once gave purpose to the cabinet sang in a crescendo as slivers of glass nestled themselves in my skin because, of coarse, i was standing too close.
   a slow, deep breath of  fresh new oxygen replenishes my lungs and i am relieved of the duty of carrying these dishes any more. these delicately painted, reminders of waiting for something that will never arrive. i am able to sweep it all up, bag it and throw it into the trash receptacle; experiencing the shatter again when i toss it all in. each broken piece shifting in the bag as it settles into a resting place until "trash day".
   i feel heavy although relieved as i stare at the empty cabinet which now has no purpose. my fingers slide across the empty shelves and run smoothly over the carvings of a crafty man. i wonder how well it would be received by my husband and children if i took a hammer to it? making that lovely cabinet into nothing more then splinters to carry to the burn pile.
proverbs 13:12 says hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. what happens when that hope that has been deferred is suddenly extinguished? when the heart is already so sick with deferral, can it survive or is it impending doom? what about the longing fulfilled? the tree of life?
   i am the cabinet. shaken and now splintered. heading for the burn pile. those dishes i carried in the recesses of my mind, they looked so pretty from far away. once examined it looked as if they'd been used several times during a muddy picnic, with no washing after the flee of wind and rain. dirt i never had to display and only did by choice, sharing it with few. now handing it back to it's source. laying the messy pile in the lap of selfishness and guilt desguised as love.
   in the burn pile i am refined. the Lord sends dry winds and the flames burn hotter and lick the sky. they singe away all that has hurt my heart. in the fire i am repaired. refined. a burnt sacrifice.  i offer my brokeness up to Him that is the Great I am knowing He alone can heal my world-wounds with a comfort and love that no earthly father could ever provide. i will burn carved up, fine. rare wood and pray with all that is in me that i am to He who loves me most a fragrant sin offering making atonment for the sins of my father and his father and the ones before him as well. the hurt will stop here in Jesus name. 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Your Hands - JJ Heller

 while the sun is always shinny this side of the villa villekulla sometimes their are clouds in my vision, making it harder for me to see it. this song is a good reminder to brush those clouds away and dance in His perfect presence. thank you j j heller for this beautiful reminder =)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

barefoot in the snow

   the snow falls quietly and blankets the brown grass, dirty fields and all that is left out in the cold. i am reminded of the Lord washing my heart clean, white as snow. suddenly the desire to step out in it is overwhelming. i am barefoot. it burns. a cold burn. i lift my foot and see my print, clean and white. just an impression of me in the white, cold, fluff.       my step of faith. my walk in the spirit. 
    had i worn boots my impression would have been left dirty. and it wouldn't have been my impression but the boots.   dirty boot prints in the snow. much like my walk before being washed by the blood. my impressions of stepping out, in myself and not in faith. each one stained with dirt. stained with sin. stained with a dirty, sin film on each and every one of them.
   is my every step, through every day, a step in faith or am i more prone to wear my boots? prone to shield my feet from the cold burn. prone to shield my heart of the hurts slung around this stained world? prone to shield my bruised body so as not to accrue more wounds. prone to be quick to defend my actions and words to those who do not know where i'm coming from? to those who do not know where i'm so pleased to be heading?  yes. prone to wear my boots.
   i step into the snow again. this time both feet. promising to take off my boots more often, especially when i know hurtful words have a tendency to be slung. take off my boots and walk in the snow more often especially when my bruises are tender to the touch and i am near the fists that pound. take off my boots more often and duct tape my mouth closed especially when in the presence of those who will point out differences in my actions my words and thiers.
   another cold burning step and i'm reminded that i am not my own and yes, i am indeed an alien, alive and living, walking amongst the dead and dying. another cold and burning step and i am reminded that it's by fire that i am refined and made new. another cold and burning step and i am noticing two pairs of young eyes staring out the window curious as to why mommy is walking out in the snow. in her bare feet.  
   i turn and walk back in the house. "what are you doing mommy?" a small boy with wide, wondering eyes asks. "asking the Lord to refine me. trying to step out more in faith." i kiss the top of his head and run down the hall before i'm asked the inevitable question of 'may i step in the snow too?' because i know, just know, that i will, in fact, have to encourage it.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

His little onion

   fifteen years ago today, my mom was welcomed into the heavens by the hands of Jesus. her battle was over. her eternal life had begun. their was, in my heart, a relief of her ending pain and suffering. a rejoicing in her home going. i have been able to tell her story through my eyes, dry. "how strange that you can reflect with no tears." are words i have been told and have heard behind my back. strange. yes. no tears. no time. nope. their was high school to finish. then trade school, work, work, work, classes at the community college and more work, and more work, and more work. no time. nope. happy go lucky and too busy to cry. to think. to feel her loss. until suddenly, it all stopped.
  i was married, pregnant and sick. nauseous was an understatement. head in the toilet always. hormones at a maximum capacity of low. i was not glowing. i was not the jovial pregnant women who wanted to let every single stranger touch her growing belly, or answer the question "how far along are you?" while standing in line for groceries. often wordy. easily talkative. in my chest was the weight of the world and my throat held captive the words that i didn't even know existed. silence. nothing. 
   after having our first child, a boy, their was this sense of newness. beginnings. my chance to do this my way with the guidance of the Most High. that baby boy is what i poured myself into. then came pregnancy number two. the same thing happened. i was sick. nauseous was an understatement. head in the toilet always. hormones at a maximum capacity of low. i was not glowing. i was not jovial. i was worse this go round because i then had guilt for not being able to be the mommy to baby number one that i was used to being. the he was used to me being.
   she was born. very grey with a tight cord around her neck but she was would be fine. a girl. a beautiful girl. a chance to teach this wee one all the fun little lady like things that i had been taught by my mommy. again my world crumbled. another reminder of all that she isn't here to witness. isn't here to help me with. all the more that i will have to do alone.  still, i push on. no time for tears, i now have two babies to bringing up. my way, with the guidance of the Most High.
   He reminds me of my nick name. as a child my mommy called me her "little onion in the petunia patch". said ever-so endearingly, i thought nothing of it, until i was a teenager. i would then cringe at it's sound. her little onion? another, more beloved nickname, bestowed upon me by my mommy was gracie. i felt better about this one.
   her little onion. i've often given this nickname more thought as i have grown. i was, in fact, inconveniently born into a previously dissolving marriage, only days after my half brother was born to a women who was thought to be my moms best friend. now that is quite the onion in the petunia patch. i have no idea if one has any relationship to the other, but i've often wondered. that said,i never went with a lack of love, we were, in fact, the cuddliest of all families, professing our love for one another often. 
   her little onion. with all these layers of sadness, frustration, anger, loneliness. i am currently sitting in the hands of the Most High. Creator of all the is seen and unseen. i have decided to hand these layers to Him. one layer at a time. it is time. better late then never. i will let Him peel me. much like when i peel an onion, the tears will surely flow, though i know He will catch each and every one of them. examine them through and through and keep them in jars on the selves of His store house. He will peel me down to someone else. create me anew. "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" - 2 Corinthians 5:17 whatever will i be when He is through? i cannot even imagine. i know it will be good. better then what i have done with me. perhaps a little less pungent in smell? prayerfully, with the a sweeter fragrance? one that is sweet like His. so now, i am His little onion.

Monday, February 21, 2011

dancing in His robes

   it was morning. it was early. and the question after question, the request after request in my early  foggy morning head, was a lot.
   by noon i was breathing deeply every breath. this morning was no different then most, but for some reason i was fraying. like a fast paced scene in an action movie, pit after pit, after pit, kept zooming before my feet, and i was hopscotching through the first half of the day. those pits. dark. deep. dirty. full of snakes.
   i was being followed not by one, but two precious small souls encased in earthly flesh. i did not want to disappoint the One who entrusted them to me. so in the middle of a narrow hallway, one small embodied soul on either side of me, asking and requesting at the same time, i stopped. closed my eyes, let my head fall back and reach for the heavens, "Lord!" was my cry.
  the inside of my eyelids flashed and there i saw myself at the forefront of a battle. front lines. enemy snarling and foaming and beckoning me forward. one more step and it was into a pit. before i could feel any fear, He stepped to my side. white, warm garments. my rampart. "this is not your battle" says a familiar voice. "i have better plans for you today"
   the pits were no more. what battle field? no front line to stand in. only white, warm robes. my hands still in the air, i danced. eyes still closed, head still dropped back, i laughed a laugh of rejoicing and thanks. twirling and twirling and twirling, i danced in may Savior's white, warm robes. for the enemy has no place here. He is my rampart.
   in a cloth that moves like chiffon, layered in something like linen, glowing white like i've never before seen, i just danced. for the rest of the day. i danced in His glorious robes. questions were answered. request fulfilled. but mostly, that day was full of dancing. dancing in His robes.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

this little light of mine

   i am transparent. you can pretty much see right through me all the time. i wear my heart on one sleeve and on the other is my expectancy for something great. however, i am learning to expect nothing from anyone and everything of God. He is my steadfast friend, lover of my soul and true companion everywhere i go. weather i go low or high, side to side or even round and round. He is always there. my tried and true forever friend. closer then a brother. closer then a sister.
   i used to say that i had tissue paper thin skin. i do not say this anymore. although at times i do. most times i just feel sorry for those who don't know how hurtful they can be. how sad to know not the beauty of loving kindness so as to share it with look upon this world and not see the potential for something great in it all. it is everywhere. how great is our God! so rich in mercy and full of love for His people.
   i am blunt. my tongue is a sword that must be tamed at every single second of the day. otherwise i will have to fill my mouth with loads of bubble gum. this is my defense mechanism for you. i am not mean. i try to be sure that even harsh truth is handed to you on the fluffiest belly of a previously warmed-by-a-hug teddy bear who holds a kitten. i will always tell the truth if even it's not what you want to hear. honesty is always the best policy. i wish i could say, that i won't say so, unless you ask, but that just wouldn't be true. probably, i will say so. 
   and so their is no searching within me. if it has its place amongst this little light of mine, you will see it. you will know it. and i will be at a ready for anything that comes my way.  for i know i can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. and if am me, and i am who you see, i pray this is the sight of Christ.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

the sunny side is getting an over haul...

the sunny side will be back up and running in a short amount of time, thank you for your patience while the construction is at hand :) if you are in need of a little pick me up type of story please head over to
this is where i write about my family and either how much i love and appreciate them or how crazy we are =)