Sunday Psalm: Captivated

I come
trembling with awe,
hesitantly fearful
as I approach You.
I am so enamored with You,
the very idea You might not
feel the same about me
fleetingly haunts my mind,
as my insecurity &
brokenness try to overcome
me as I draw near.

It is You I adore,
and like the moth to the flame
I want to burn for You,
knowing I will never be the same
through our encounter.

As I tentatively step Your way,
You turn and capture my glance.
I am enthralled by Your gaze,
as the passion & love You have for me burns its way into my spirit,
at the very core of who I am.

You begin to walk towards me,
confident in Your magnificence,
as I start to run.

I can hardly wait
to be in Your embrace.
The dirt of our time apart
begins to miraculously
fall away
and I begin to glow
from the reflection
of Your adoring complexion.

When You open Your arms
in welcome,
i rush into Your warm embrace.
My head rest against Your heart
and I both hear & feel the ferocious beating of
Your love for me.
You captivate me
in all You are.

I am Home.

#SundayPsalm

image

I belong to You, forever You have my heart

image

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

when your knight comes to your rescue

I have a confession to make.
I am a huge believer in romance.
I love to read classic, well written tales of how two people fall in love. I love to watch it play out in front of me on the big screen.

I don’t believe I am alone, for who doesn’t want to meet that one perfect person meant just for them, have him ride in to rescue you like the knights of old, fall head over heels in love and ride into the sunset?

At least, that’s way the books & movies see it. The boy or girl from the wrong side of the tracks falling for the upperclass girl or boy, and a happily ever after in their future.

Life isn’t really like that.

I learned that the hard way at 16 years of age. My first breakup was a head smacking fall back to earth and reality. Love doesn’t work the way I believed it did from the Disney movies or the fairy tales.
But I still clung to the standard of Mr. Darcy, and believed my hero would come to my rescue one day.

Five years later He did.

What i realized in the weeks that built up to our meeting, this face to face falling deeply & madly love, was how people will always let us down. And how I needed rescuing, from my beliefs and my actions.

And when I got down on my knees and admitted my need, my Knight quickly rode in to rescue me.

He knocked out the enemy guards, broke my chains and burst me from my cell into wide open spaces of love, grace, mercy and His Presence.
image His name is Jesus.
He is my Beloved, and I am His.

Woah there girl, you may be thinking. You were talking romance and now you are asking me to believe Jesus is the one you were waiting for?

Absolutely.

He loves me with a fervour I can barely grasp. Died for me in a beautiful bloody exchange that cemented my freedom & released His power in a declaring blaze across all known space & time.

Jesus was and is indeed the white knight who swooped in to rescue me from the dark knight’s clutches, claiming me as His bride. Restoring me and adoring me along the way as I get to know Him more each day. He was the rescuer I needed, unlike any other.

What does that mean about romance? Is it dead here on earth?

No. Whenever someone lays down their wants & desires to put another’s first, true Love is seen.

We tend to think of romance as the falling in love part of the relationship. The getting to know one another, beginning of the story.

Real romance is the day in day out staying together as you walk out your love.

Its what happens after the wedding and honeymoon. The courtship is only the first part of the story.

The same with our relationship with Jesus.

When we meet, He courts us, showing us His love, freedom and promises. Once we accept His love, the real romance begins.

Wooing may get you to the door,
real love waits for the owner to hand over the key so they can enter with permission, and put both your names on the deed. Proud to merge together after making the promises to be exclusively each other’s forever.

Marriage on earth is to be a reflection of the love God has for us when He comes knocking at our door. He waits for the invitation to come in once we have accepted His forever offer of love, and He gives us our new name as His beloved. We becomes His.

So do I believe in romance?
Absolutely.

But from the changed perspective of the One who designed it, and reveals it to each one seeking real love.

I realized when I met my husband that I didn’t need rescuing any longer. My Knight had already come.

I have been given my husband to love and cherish, to try to walk out & show His love towards him on a daily basis as long as we both shall live. A living demonstration of the love God expresses to us as He loves us.

Passionately. Ardently. With abandon. Totally. Devotedly. Eternally.

So when I watch a movie or read a book about romance (or any other theme), it needs to fit into a few must have categories:

1. Keep it pure:
No smut, no swearing, no explicit scenes, no gore or horror for horror’s sake. No excuses. We have a turn it off policy after one incident, no exceptions. I have walked out of a movie theater or two and always gotten a refund when I was offended by the content. I try to get a sense of the movie through online reviews & word of mouth.

2. Keep it holy:
God must be in the story, either directly or in the belief systems in place. There must be a clear sense of right from wrong. I don’t watch movies based upon adultery, hurting one another as your relationship disintegrates, or free love being spread around. Those aren’t influences I want to share my headspace.

3. Keep it real:
I love Jane Austen, CS Lewis, Lucy Maude Montgomery and many of the classic writers because they wrote about real life within a framework of stability. Faith, marriage, community. There were hard times and difficult situations, but also forgiveness and real life consequences. Real people have flaws, a real God can restore them.

4. Keep it in perspective:
God is love, and shared that love with us- first to know Him, then to share within the appropriate relationship boundaries to make Him known as we love one another.

5. Keep in prayer:
A few times, God has warned me to stop watching, or to get rid of a movie as it doesn’t have a good influence woven within. Not always one I can see or sense myself.

There would not be such a high demand for romance novels or movies if people just wanted sex. People are crying out for more. For true love.

I want to be able to meet my White Knight, my Groom, my Beloved face to face when the time comes, and known I have maintained my romance with Him before all others. That I have loved my husband in a way that brought God glory. That I have loved my children, family, friends, church, coworkers in a way that helps reveal Him through my care for them.

The real romance worth fighting for is the one that will last forever.

With Him at your side, you can battle for your marriage knowing the Lover of your souls is with you, helping and encouraging you to stay true to one another, and live out a sharing of love others are desperate for.

God will continue to come to our rescue when we need Him as we seek Him first.

And Mr Darcy? He’s only a small echo of the amazing God striding towards us to offer His unswerving devotion & unconditional love.

Just thinking about how He loves me makes me swoon with joy ­čÖé