runaway, run the way Home

I have had a tendency to run away from home way too often.

And God always keeps an eye out from His porch, waiting for me to return.

There are times I run because I don’t get what God has planned, and so I fill up at His table only when I hit exhaustion, and can’t run any further.

Other times I strike out on my own to try to maintain control over my life, before heading Home with my tail between my legs, humbled by the startling reality I faced – which reminded me again only He is in control.

Then there are the times when I am sick and tired of waiting for an answer, and I take off to lick my wounds & try to hide away on my own, even though I know that is the wrong place to be.

All the while, my spirit longs for Home.

My body longs for deep rest.

My mind longs for peace.

My emotions long to be still.

My heart? It yearns for Your love.

****†******†******†****

I have been keeping how I have been feeling about this current fall bottled deep within.

I hadn’t yet cried until yesterday afternoon.

Why? Because I have been trying to be brave in a situation where I have been praying for God’s justice, and discovered He may prefer for me to offer mercy & grace.

I was hoping to be made whole from someone other than Him.

Someone i respect pointed out that out, as well as that I need to be more aware of what’s going on around me, which hurt.

Because I have been trying to hold it all in, and barely managing with getting all my ‘have-tos’ completed as best I can.

Honestly, I felt slapped in the face with what was not intended to be received that way, but hit me hard through its delivery. It left me reeling for a few hours.

But family speaks truth even when it may hurt.

You see I normally try to be sensitive to the needs of those around me, for the most part. I realize I can’t always do that to the best of my ability at times, but God still wants me to listen for His cues and follow them. Whether it be an act of kindness, encouraging word or offering to help.

In trying to do more than I should be more quickly than I ought to, my sensitivity chip isn’t tuning in, as I struggle to keep it all together.

I had a few friends over for tea last night to catch up. All of us hit a rough patch of various degrees over the past two weeks. We heard one another out, hugged each other, offered comfort where we could, and are praying for each other. That was the other aspect of family I had been missing out on too.

After they left, I still had an ache I couldn’t wrap my thoughts around as I headed for bed. Heavy hearted and drained.

This morning, I awoke to hear God whisper: “I am enough for you. Come rest in me.”

With a jolt, I realized i had been living on my own again, this time without understanding I had even done so.

I am packing my bag for a permanent move Home.

No more flings with independence. No more long runs with futility.
No more sleepovers with sulking.

I am so thankful He is always with us, even when we can’t sense Him, for we are His, I am His beloved.

He will always welcome us home, and help us wash the laundry from the road we took to get back where we belong.

God’s beloved;
God’s permanent residence.
Encircled by God all day long,
within whom God is at home.

Deuteronomy 33:12 MSG

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resting declares freedom

Resting is a declaration of freedom. -Kerri Weems

We are meant to wield our rest.

Rest is not the lack of action, but a weapon to choose.

Our choice not to act is in fact an action.

When we fail to choose rest, we find ourselves ever increasingly exhausted, stressed out and not focused on God.  We become trapped on the world’s running wheel,  at a pace we were never designed for.  We become captive to the action of go, through our lack of understanding in just how much of a blessing to us rest actually is.

The bottom line is this….if God Himself rested after a busy week, why do we think we can keep going? The Maker of the Universes & all that is in them needs to nap, but His creations don’t?  Everything God created has seasons of planting, growth, pruning, harvesting and last but not least: resting.

When we deliberately choose to rest, we free ourselves from the enemy’s mindset that we have no other choice but to stay in the whirlwind of busyness.   In answering His invitation, we find His rest, true restorative rest deep within begins to seep into our mind, body and spirit:

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to Me. Get away with Me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with Me and work with Me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with Me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly. – Jesus, in Matthew 11:28-30

In choosing to go to Jesus, and choose rest, God not only restores us, but gives us the weapon we can use to protect ourselves from the enemy: deliberate choice to sit at His feet, and rest there.

In His Presence, we learn to unwind, de-stress, listen to His voice,  and follow His graceful leading.  When we stay resting in Him, we keep free, and our spirits remain refreshed.

Rest is not only about sleeping, but the laying down of ourselves before Him, allowing Him to fill us with His love, peace, joy, hope.

We find our true selves at His feet.

We find the refuge, the shelter, the safe place, our true Home in Him.  Where we can fully become the “us” He designed us to be, and be released to live the life God intended for us!

The enemy knows that if we draw close to Him, he will have less access to us.

If we keep His words in our minds, and live our lives in His flow for us, the enemy has less of a battleground to attack us from.

For when we rest in Him, we are drawn into the wide open fields of freedom God has for us, like a bird released from its cage who immediately heads to the currents of wind where she was meant to soar.

Like Mary, we were meant to let go of what the world tells us we must do, and choose the best yes by remaining at Jesus’ feet.

Now before you start complaining nothing will ever get done if i do that (been there, thought that!), let me tell you that somehow in the design of time, spending the time in rest with God seems to make me more productive.  My purpose for the moment seems clearer, and i get more done in less time with less errors or distractions.  I am less stressed out when emergencies pop up, and keep my cool way longer than i am capable of naturally!

I don’t get it, but i don’t have to! I just need to choose to grab hold of rest, and wield it as He leads me to use it!  When I seem headed back onto the never-ending to-do treadmill, prompt me early God to use the rest You have given me to break the tentacles of busyness and stress from reattaching themselves to me.

Lord, may we pick up rest  today, and use it as You lead us to in the coming moments, hours, days.  Because of Your actions on the cross, You declare us free, and desire for us to stay free in You.  Help us to draw close, lay our burdens and to do lists before You. May we pick back up that which You desire for us to complete each day, and may we never stray far from Your voice as we live out the purpose for which You called us.  May our preoccupation ever be Jesus!

restisaweapon

I belong to You, forever You have my heart

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Just like you, I need to be reminded regularly how much I am loved.

And just like you, I have come to realize that I can’t always have my needs met by those around me.

I fall into the mindset at times where I expect my loved ones to ‘just know’ when i need to hear I am loved, without needing to tell them.

I don’t think I am alone, for I believe we have all been hardwired to need affirmation, love and appreciation.

But we are not always prepared to dig in and seek them from their Source.

The best way to receive love?
From its Source.

But going to the source isn’t enough. God IS more than enough, but love takes effort on our parts.

We need to:

Believe it.
Receive it.
Appreciate it.
Reciprocate.
Express it.
Soar with it.
Encourage it to grow.
Never take it for granted.
Fight for it.
Protect it.

There are three main ways to receive God’s love.

1. From God, Love Himself.
Through prayer, spending time in His Presence, listening & resting in Him, He reveals His love to us – in as many ways as there are possible depending on the recipient!

Take some time daily, and go to your favorite place to connect with God. It may be your fave chair, room in your home, pathway or in your car during your travels to and fro. He will be found no matter where you go to seek Him! Just as you feel closer to your loved ones after time with them, make sure to date God regularly if you want love to grow & flow between you.

2. His Word.
This tangible touch of His love is written for all to be able to know this Love. For His love story began before Creation as a whisper in God’s heart, and will last forever as we love our way through eternity together.

Take a walk through the Word, and look for all the ways He showed love and made promises to those who draw near to Him. Write them down, highlight them. Leave a track record for you to remember & return to when you need another reminder of His love.

3. His children.
Through the love of other people, and the love they have found through God that they have recorded in word, art & song. Sometimes a piece of music, artwork or writing strikes the right chord within us, and opens our hearts to His love in a new way. And that child of God was just expressing His love for them, and their love for Him….and the overflow can remind the viewer, reader & hearer.

Pull out a source you have that reminds you how much He loves you. It may be your old photo albums, remembering how He has been with you every step along your journey. It may be a painting that speaks to your heart. It may be a book that sketches with words His wooing love for those who wander looking for Home.

For me, time with God involves seeking Him through His Word. Digging deep, wrestling with who I am and who He longs for me to be. Listening & chatting with Him, sensing and waiting in the quiet place where we gather. Worshipping through the Psalms, worship & music cds and singing a new song when it rises up out of me.

God is calling “I love you, come Home” to His bride, for deep love is constantly calling out for the one He loves.

There are a few songs recently that have been like arrows into my heart I would like to link in below for you to hear.

May His love for you echo loudly through the words, melodies and harmonies as you listen.

May you know where you belong, and who has Your heart, forever.

I Belong to You, Derek Johnson

Love Came Down, Kari Jobe

Yours Forever, Darlene Zschech

You Don’t Miss a Thing, Amanda Cook

only part of the story

Oh as you run,
what hindered love
will only
become part of the story.

Steffany Gretzinger, Come out of Hiding

A few weeks ago, I took part in a night of prophetic teaching, and one of the words spoken was the lyrics to this song.

It snuck past my defences, and opened my heart to receive the words God wanted me to hear. My tears, oh how they flowed!

I have lived my life with too much fear & regret, feeling like there are too many chapters I wish I could rip out of my story.

But looking at my life from my perspective is not what I am meant to do.

I am meant to lean into God, and press in for the promises and purpose He has for me.

Not to take a long look back at what was, but to keep my eyes fixed on Him & what He has ahead for me.  I am not a waste, or the sum of my mistakes.

Part of sharing my story is how God is shattering my vision, removing my faulty lie lined glasses, and let me see His vision instead.

God doesn’t use an eraser, or liquid paper, or start our story over.

He takes away the hurt, the pain, and restored the broken places of the past chapters, and helps us write each day moving forward with his help & strength.

He doesn’t remember the past.

At all.

Its a new day, every day with Him.

And because of that amazing mind-blowing aspect of His character…..

My story isn’t finished yet, and neither is yours!

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We can have hope, because what the enemy intended to use against us becomes only part of our story in God’s hands & plans.

With His grace, we can live our story unhindered!

Its time to step into the light of His grace,

gaze on His face,

and move into the place

He has waiting for us!

#pressingin

#thestorycontinues

#comeoutofhiding

#hopeinHisPresence

Sunday Psalm: Pressing In

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God,
no matter where I go
I find You,
for You never leave me…
I just take my eyes of Your face.

I am tired of wandering
this desert of my own making.
When I stop seeking
the Source,
I run dry.

When I press in to
Your Presence,
You release
the torrent of love
You dammed up
waiting for my return…
and I am overwhelmed
by the depth & breadth
of Your love for me.

You,
God above all gods,
King of Heaven,
Majestic Maker of All,
love me…
my mind tells me
this is all a dream
I will wake up from one day,
but my heart & spirit
join up to cry out
“Holy Holy Holy,
worthy are You Lord.”
and my mind
falls into alignment
with the truth
You reveal.

My very breath
comes from the Word
You spoke
that caused me to be.

My life is safe
in Your hands.
My hope can
rest in Your love.
My heart can
trust in You.

Your purpose
Your plan
will prevail
as You have promised.
The enemy
cannot win
against Your desires
for Your people.
Your Presence
Your passion
Your power
are revealed
as I press in
and pray:
More of You,
less of me.
Take my life
and let it be
all for You,
always for Your glory.

And the dam burst,
the river flows
and the water becomes deep
as my prayer
opens up the heavens
and I look up
to see Your face
loving down at me again.

#pressingin
#hopeinHisPresence

home is where your family is found

I have a confession to make.

I love being in family.

I love family in all its quirks, black sheep, & uniqueness through the ups & downs of living life in close quarters.

I have found over the years that when I have been the loneliest, I have not been keeping in close touch with family.

God sets the lonely in families.
Psalm 68:6

Or my translation:
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And much as I love my earthly family, and the family I have made through friendship & church, I have discovered those aren’t the most important family connections for me to avoid loneliness. You can still feel lonely in a crowd of people who love you. Which I know first hand.

Because I have a tendency to feel like the black sheep, and want to hide when I don’t feel like I fit.  I am not gifted like many of my family members, and have felt on the outside looking in for more time than I care to admit….which is one of the number one contributors to my feeling lonely.

When loneliness swirls about me like a fog, I need to press in and draw close to my heavenly family, for:

My Father reminds me who I am to Him… chosen.

Jesus anchors me in the family…. beloved.

Holy Spirit guides me along the journey… pursued.

Together they want me, mold me, cleanse me, shape me, heal me, laugh with me, cry with me, comfort me and make me the best me I can be when i spend time in their Presence.

I am not a black sheep in God’s family…for all His sheep have been made white through the blood of the Lamb.

I can be myself, as God designed, when I am in His Presence.

I have found that sharing my words through writing, worshipping in song & silence, and spending time sinking into the Word, I draw closer to my Family, and somehow I also feel closer to my earthly family.

When we know we are loved, we are better able to offer love to those around us, especially the ones who know us the best – warts, quirks & all!

I want to thank you, reader, for sharing this, my 501st post to my blog!

To celebrate, please let me know if one of the below would interest you to read about by Feb 13th, and as a thanks offering back to you all, I will post about the most requested one on Feb 14th!

1. The Father’s Love

2. Psalm 139

3. The Prodigal Son

4. Psalm 23

Blessings,

Karla 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

freedom in belonging

When you know where you belong, you open up a freedom you may not have known you needed, let alone wanted.

I was always on the outside looking in, I felt, as I was growing up. A fish out of water, or a black sheep standing in sharp contrast to the flock of white ones in the same field.

You know how you just can’t put your finger on that nagging difference or missing part, and that thought sticks with you until you can resolve it?

Kind of like that, a piece looking for the rest of its pizzle.

That reality whispered into the recesses of my mind fairly regularly as I grew up. It took on a whole new aspect when I moved to Quebec, and came back to Ontario six years later fluent in French to a small town that was filled with almost anyone but another French speaking person unless they were a teacher!

So through primary school into middle school into high school, this feeling I don’t quite fit continued to hang around…unless I was singing, playing an instrument or writing. Even so, I played almost anything I touched, which spoke to my giftedness but isn’t as common in a small town.
I read ferociously, loved to learn, wore glasses and suffered through 3 years of retainers and 4 years of braces. I made friends, especially with fellow musicians & artsies…but still felt like a misfit. I was sensitive, but not sure why.

When it came time to head to university, I felt I wasn’t ready for “it” yet, so I headed to a differently structured high school for a year, and discovered something shocking.

At this school, I first experienced feeling like i fit. The structure and classes and fellow students- 90% made for me. I began to hope that after high school, I could find my place in this world. Closer to where I was meant to be.

But getting to know yourself better doesn’t necessarily help you belong.

I spent a few years wandering after high school. Unsure of what I wanted to do because I didn’t know yet who I was.

Then I met Jesus, and the pieces of the puzzle fell into place.

I have a few gifts that are not as common, and one of the “side effects” is feeling set apart. Like all of us, I am hardwired to hear God’s voice. For me, at times, quite clearly. The Word shares how this is known as the prophetic. Which ties with that sensitive feeling I had struggled to come to grips with.

And in the bible, most of them were known as being “odd or misfits.” They didn’t quite fit, having one foot in the heavenly places with God, and the other here on the earth.

When you tell people you made a decision based on God’s telling you to go that way, you tend to be looked at funny, and avoided by those who don’t know what to do with you as a result.

The prophetic can be a lonely place to be, just you and God.

But here’s the thing.

I found my place after those years of searching:

I belong to God.

What a price He paid for me, to buy me out of my broken, lonely, lost in the pit of my despair. He set my feed upon solid rock, whispered words of love, and clothes me in fresh white forever robes, naming me Beloved Daughter of the King.

I belong to Him, with every fibre that’s within me.

But I also belong with Him.

Spending time in His Presence reminds me that though I walk on this earth, it is not where I belong. My place is heavenly, in the courts of my King, in the arms of Jesus.

For now, I need the constant reminder of Spirit whispers, reminding me who I am to Him.

So although I have a great family, wonderful church & friends, good jobs- I don’t belong here. I never really did, for He designed us to be with Him.

So whether I feel like I fit is no longer relevant.

My heart is already tied to His, and wherever He is, that’s where I belong.

Home is where the heart is.
You have my heart, God.
And one day
You will welcome me home
forever, and I will live
where I have longed to be,
eternally where I belong!

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Sunday Psalm: Pursuit

I am pressing hard after You.
Hot & heavy,
without restraint or abandon.
I keep running towards You,
through stormy gale,
fiery darts & red herring whispers
trying to lead me astray.
My intent is see You
face to face,
to make it Home-
the one place
where I belong.
Where I am known
as Beloved.
I may come limping,
hoarse or racked with pain,
but I will keep coming.
I will not be deterred.
My pursuit has one singular focus:
Jesus.
Nothing but Jesus.
I will pursue only Jesus
into eternity.
You are always and forever enough for me,
no matter the season.
I will always arrive on time
when You guide my path
& I walk to the beat of Your heart.

#hopeinHisPresence
#SundayPsalm

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when you are far from Home: 3 tips to help you through

Like Mary, Joseph & Jesus, you too may feel far from home…. in a strange city, foreign country or in an awkward family gathering.

You too may be longing for the familiar surroundings or faces you are missing.

If you too feel far from home right now, here are a few tips to help you find your way back:

1. Love the ones you’re with:

You are never alone. There is someone around you most of the time- whether family, friend, coworker, barista, boss, server…

If you can’t be at home, make others feel at home around you. Throw out the welcome mat to your kindness.
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2. Ask for help:

If you are struggling, speak up. Get help if you can’t cope. The beat thing I ever did when I hit a sudden depression many years ago was make a list of how I was feeling & what I thought was contributing factors, after praying about things. List in hand, I ran it by a wise person I respected to ask if they thought I should talk to my doctor. She said yes.

My doctor read my list, asked me a few questions to clarify, and then told me he would have been in his doctor’s office getting help if he had half a list as long as mine. Six weeks later, I had improved enough to stop taking meds.

You may not need physical help, you may need spiritual or emotional help. Whatever the help you need, find the right resource and ask.
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Not asking for help when you need it makes you the main problem.

Don’t miss this step if need be to help make it back home.

3. Remember, home is with you everywhere you go.

You carry home with you everywhere you are. All the good memories? With you!

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Tune out the loneliness by taking a trip down Remember Road and reexperience the joy Home brings you.

Have you caught sight that Home is not just a place yet?

Mary & Joseph weren’t the first to bring God home with them at Christmas.

Holy Spirit resides in all who believe. He moves in and begins to make Himself at home.

Home moves outside our walls and within us.

We take Home with us everywhere we go.

As we end this year, and this series, you may be dreaming about when you will get back Home. It may not be about missing a physical place or loved ones. It may go deeper than that.

When you feel far from Home?

A simple prayer invites Him to move in.

God with us.
God within us.
Home.

#TheWhenSeries
#LoveCameDown

PS. Don’t forget to pray before you act. God will lead you, just as He used angels and a star to bring the Carpenters, the shepherds, and the wise men to Himself. If you need another reminder that He is trustworthy? Reread the Christmas story 😉

get back

A chorus of a famous Beatles song just flashed through my head a moment ago as I lay down on my sofa to ease my back.

Get back, get back, get back to where you once belonged.

Most of us would give almost anything to get back to a part of our past we would rather not have experienced.

But God’s plan is even greater.

He wants us to get back to Eden.
He wants to restore us all to His design, so He sent Jesus to clear the way for us.

Wherever you have headed, HP’s is waiting to bring us back.

Back to communion with Him.
Back to where we were meant to be, wrapped in His Presence in an embrace that can carry us through this hard life, all the way into the Eden of eternity that awaits us.

I dunno about you, but I am tired of looking back at my past.

I am choosing instead to Ru. hard after God, and get back to Eden.

The best part of Eden is not the garden, or even creation…but the One who walked with Adam & Eve in it, who waits to walk along us today.

As the song lyric said, get back to where you once belonged.
We were designed for Eden.

Its time to make our way Home.

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