when God’s love letter appears unexpectedly

I have searched the whole world to find you. You are My Beloved. The one I have chosen. The one I love.

I have a deep seeded cry I have left unspoken for a very long time.

It is possible to appear normal on the outside but to have a  broken piece within crying out for healing.

I know, because God showed up in the service today and read my mail.

I have struggled with a deep sense of loneliness for several years now.

Unshared.
Unspoken.
Unseen.

Or so I thought.

God knew.
God heard.
God saw.

Following a time of intimate worship this morning, our pastor shared what He had placed on his heart.

The first piece of mail was mine.

Just like the woman who had been bleeding for years, desperate for healing, I too was shocked that Jesus shared my most intimate need in public.

But I know why He did.

Just as that woman who touched His hem and was instantly healed, something needed to shift beyond what was touched within me.

I needed to hear He loved me, outloud.

That He passionately pursues me.

That I am His, and He is mine.

That I do not need to be lonely anymore within His love.

My heart is safe in His hands, and all my broken and restored pieces matter to Him.

Everything about me matters to Him.

And the same is true about you.

Today, let the lover of your soul in.

You too will be changed beyond imagination, and loved beyond measure.

Whether you are heart broken, single, married, widowed, on your own, in the family you were born in or welcomed into: you are loved.

Deeply.

Faithfully.

Eternally.

May His love be the best Valentine’s gift you too receive again today.

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King of the lost and found

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God is the King of the lost and found.

That may be astonishingly obvious to some, and completely oblivious to others, but our belief in that truth does not mke it any less true.

God came to find the lost.

Those of us who are able to admit our desperate need for Him who He has come to save.

He also came for those who have it all together.

For when we have it all together, we have a tendency not to need anyone or anything outside of ourselves, don’t we?

And that can sometime be when we need Him the most….when we are so focused on keeping it all together in an attempt to keep our real selves hidden.

As I have been reminded so often in the Word, there is no place we can hide or run off to where God isn’t already waiting there with open arms. His love is

The lost become found, was & is, His design for each of us, whether we think we are lost or not!

Love is waiting to be found when we are ready to lose ourselves in His embrace.

#weekendrambling
#thelostarefoundinHim

in Your eyes

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My best is just that.
Mine.
My best effort, filled with all the passion, skill and gifts I have to back it.

I have a hard time letting myself down, let alone people.

And God.

But I know myself. I have the tendency to see if I am pleasing those around me, family, friends & coworkers with my offerings.

While it is important to get feed back when I miss the boat, I am not to base my best upon their view point.

I am to do my best as an offering to the God I serve, in appreciation for who He is, all He has done & continues to do for me, and because it honors how He made me.

God put His best into our creation.
He doesn’t make second rate, its not in His character.

If I am made by Him, as the Word reminds me, I was well made. One of a kind, uniquely me, handcrafted with care.

His best.

And when, like all of us, I strayed and needed a shepherd to bring me back to safe luscious pastures to feed & grow, He gave His best to us in Jesus to make that happen.

Only the best will do when it comes to defeating evil.

God wins, every time.

I had a very long unexpected few work days. Technical glitches hit right after my weekend away, and I have been catching up ever since.

This time, however, I am not stressing about it.

I am doing my best.

I love all the hats I wear, but they are just that, temporary wares.

Who I am matters more than what I do.

My best is listening for what God has to say to me, who He says I am, what He has to teach me, the guidance and love I have longed for in the secret place from even before words.

When He gets my best, the rest becomes the best I am capable of.

Keeping my eyes fixed on the Best that has ever happened to me?

I see my reflection in His eyes.

I find rest, so I can offer my best.

And I am complete.

­čÖé

In Your Eyes: Peter Gabriel
(awesomely sung by either Peter Gabriel, or Nichole Nordeman)

love I get so lost, sometimes
days pass and this emptiness fills my heart
when I want to run away
I drive off in my car
but whichever way I go
I come back to the place you are

all my instincts, they return
and the grand facade, so soon will burn
without a noise, without my pride
I reach out from the inside

in your eyes the light the heat
in your eyes I am complete
in your eyes I see the doorway to a thousand churches
in your eyes
the resolution of all the fruitless searches
in your eyes
I see the light and the heat
in your eyes
oh, I want to be that complete
I want to touch the light
the heat I see in your eyes

love, I don’t like to see so much pain
so much wasted and this moment keeps slipping away
I get so tired of working so hard for our survival
I look to the time with you to keep me awake and alive

and all my instincts, they return
and the grand facade,
so soon will burn
without a noise, without my pride
I reach out from the inside

in your eyes the light the heat
in your eyes I am complete
in your eyes I see the doorway to a thousand churches
in your eyes
the resolution of all the fruitless searches
in your eyes
I see the light and the heat
in your eyes
oh, I want to be that complete
I want to touch the light
the heat I see in your eyes

never beyond reach

Because maybe Jesus wants us to know there is no place we can find ourselves where His presence cannot reach us.

Bonnie Gray, Finding Spiritual Whitespace

Sometimes there are lines you can read that reach out to squeeze your heart so tightly, it becomes hard to breathe.

The quote above just did so to me a few moments ago.

I am still trying to catch my breath.

There are also times when God orchestrates the internet going down, and having some unexpected time to read when I would usually be working.

These past few weeks, I have been struggling to hold onto the hope I have in Him.

There, I put it out there in black and white.

And I have pressed in to read up on hope and write about hope, all the time hoping this low season would pass.

I am eating well, sleeping well, exercising, working well, connecting with my hubby, kids & friends…

But deep inside, part of me has been lonely for more of Him.

Except until I read that line above, I thought my feeling low was jot worth bringing to Him.  You know, the ‘this too shall pass’ mentality we all slip into from time to time.

With all the horrors and war and brokenness out there in the world, why bother God with a few blue days strung together?

Because He is with me.
Always.

He has brought me to this exact moment to show me He is with me in this. 

He is enough for me.

He is here for me to press into, to snuggle up to, and rest in His presence.

There is no place in this world, or hidden within me, where He cannot reach me.

My part? 
Be honest, and open myself up to Him.
Spend time soaking, worshipping, resting in the knowledge, the truth, that God IS with me.

The ember of hope I have kept close to my heart is igniting again.

My day no longer looks so blue.

If you too need to be encouraged and reignite your hope today, Psalm 139 is a wonderful journey to walk through.

Join me as we find our hope renewed in His Presence.
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cry of the broken

Can you hear it?

The cry of the broken.

It comes in two variations.

The wail of those who cannot take any more, many who have reached the end of their strength and do not know where to turn.

The hurting hearts.

The lonely.

The ones who didn’t quite earn enough to cover all their needs, so are going hungry for a meal to make sure they have heat at night.

Those who grieve over losing a loved one, loss of job, loss of home, loss of innocence.

The abandoned, cast aside for a younger model.

The discarded, as they no longer serving a purpose.

Those suffering with illnesses and physical pain, almost unbearably so.

The ones longing to be noticed, appreciated, loved.

They live among us.

Our coworkers.
Our neighbors.
Our family members.
Us.

We are the broken.

We are the ones crying out, in desperate need of somebody to notice us.

And God does.

He hears the cry of the broken.

He stretches out loving arms, waiting:

To embrace all who come to Him.

To call them by their true names

To reveal His overflowing love to them.

To bind their wounds, heal their hurts.

To move in with them, so they will never be alone again.

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There is another kind of broken God responds to as well.

Its the brokenness of those who realized they have had enough if doing things their way, and are willing to give over their pride, and be broken to follow as God leads.

This can be almost as painful as the brokenness of a lost one, save one major difference.

Being broken in the drawing close to God reminds us of just how holy, amazing and awesome He is.

And He is with us.

All the time.

Darlene Zschech, worship leader in Australia, released a new album inn the past few months: Revealing Jesus. One of the songs she sang, Your Name, reminded me of whom God is- our strong tower, shelter, our saviour.

During the song, she broke into a spontaneous song:

You hear the cry of the broken
You hear the cry of the broken
You hear the cry of the broken

You answer the cry of the broken
You answer the cry of the broken
You answer the cry of the broken

And one thing struck me to theme core about those words, especially the first time I heard them.

God is active, in the now, in that song.
He is hearing, He is answering.
He IS all that we need.

If you are broken, and crying inwardly or outwardly for relief, try turning to God.

Knowing you are so loved, and He is with you always may not immediately change your situation, but it will change your perspective and final destination.

He hears, He answers the cry of the broken.

He can’t help it. He is love.

oh where is my hairbrush?

I am a put it back in its spot kinda gal.
Not too OCD about it, but I like to be able to easily find my stuff. My son is a lot like me in this way.

Not so my hubby or daughter. They have the ‘where it lands, there it will stay’ approach when they gets stressed or are working too hard, which is most of the time it seems.

This causes pile ups where open space should be.

I have five must have open/keep it tidy areas in my small cozy home:
My coffee table
My front hall
My kitchen counters & table
My main bathroom counter
The bottom of the stairs

I don’t care about toilet paper or toothpaste unless you leave me without any. Another story for another day!

Nor the computer desk (about a 1-2 min straighten job) which we all share in our living room.

But when movies get randomly placed about the house, stuff is piled right by the front door so its the first thing you see when you come in my home, and there is more stuff in the way so I can’t get into my basement, well I get ticked.

Annoyed.

I make sure that I have certain foods in the house for my family members, I make sure I pay the bills, arrange transportation when needed, do the bulk of the laundry, the grocery shopping and meal planning. The taxes. Vacation planning.

Not whining, coz I love my family, and want to serve. Just saying.

All of the above, like many other moms, on top of working outside the home.

And I am tired of feeling it is ALL on my plate, ALL of the time.

So today, after a cool down period offsite, I came home and spoke up.

My son is taking on a few more weekly chores, which he can choose to do whenever, as long as they get done.

My daughter has a major project she needs to get done on time or a new needed item she wants will not be purchased next weekend.

My hubby has agreed to do a few of the smaller weekly jobs I cannot do easily due to allergies/physical challenges.

The laundry and cooking schedule is going up later tonight. You are on unless you arrange a trade!

After a frustrating inconvenient hour trying to locate MY hairbrush, the final straw for me today, I realized that part of the problem was me.

You see, NOT speaking up and trying to do it all yourself is not only crazy for its superhero mentality, it is overwhelmingly not realistic.

It is okay to say you can’t, or you need help.

Its okay to say no, you are not meeting my needs (not wants in this case).

In fact, its healthier than keeping it in and brooding over situations like this, which can lead to a sudden storm of anger over a smaller irritation yet to come….potentially damaging relationships in the burst of emotions.

So I have accepted that it is okay that I like things mostly in their place. That I want to be tidy, not an obsessive neat freak- but comfortable to have any friend (mine, hubby’s or the kids’) stop by and visit last minute without being embarrassed by the state of my home.

I want to feel welcome in my home.
Free to be me, but also teach and demonstrate to the rest of my family the art of consideration for those we live with- whether family, friends, roommates or pets.

The crisis is over.
I found my hairbrush.
The stairs have been cleared of the items that tried to trip me last night.
I also discovered a few new boundaries going into place in the process.

Family is a team, not full of solo participants. All working together for the good of the whole.

Its about we, not just me’s.