Friday, May 20, 2011

Who are we?

When phrased with the question, "What is your purpose?" or "Why were you created?" or "Whats the point of this earth?" we all know the Sunday School answers. Perhaps we can even sit down with a Bible and explain, in detail, the answers to these questions. So, we know it in our heads. We can give someone else the answer. ~~~~~~~~~~
But do we know this (and live it) in our hearts? Do we (do I) really get it? I was made in the image of God for HIM, not for myself. I don't read the Word to see what I can get out of it; I read it because it's about Him. I read it to KNOW HIM. He didn't create me so that I would be happy and fulfilled here on earth. He didn't create me to be comfortable. He didn't create me with all these passions, desires, needs to end on me. To be fulfilled in this world. Do we get that? Any innate desire that I have, any passion of mine, any need...was given so that I might use those for Him. He gave them to me so that I would see my need for Him. It wasn't meant to end on me. Ever.
~~~~~~~~~~
He created me so that I would know Him and make Him known, understanding that any true joy and happiness is ONLY found in Him. Do we get that? Do we REALLY get it? He is the only Faithful, the only True. If you've lived life long enough, you know this. This world is temporary and failing. WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE! Some of us sooner than later. This will ALL end and be NOTHING. When we place our happiness and joy on things of this world, it will create havoc and discontentment. No one - and nothing - was EVER meant to hold our love, hope, and joy. No man or woman, no thing or idea, no possession or comfort - nothing - can ever maintain faithfulness, can ever meet up to our desires or standards or expectations. They were NEVER meant to. Ever. Only Jesus can have that title. This cannot be something we simply say; we MUST LIVE IT. Only Jesus can have that title...
~~~~~~~~~~
For a believer, this is our hope. We are created in the image of God FOR God. He created us for Him and His glory. And for our good - because, in Christ, is the greatest joy. The greatest hope. The greatest love. Knowing God fulfills us. Knowing God gives us the greatest joy and love and hope we will ever experience in this earth. Knowing this transforms us, from the inside out. Our hearts are alligned with the Word. Our words, our thoughts, our actions line up to Scripture and truth. We mimic Jesus, we mimic those who mimic Jesus. We are so deeply in tune to Him, that we desire obedience, we hate sin, we pursue righteousness, because it gives HIM ALL THE GLORY. Intimate communion with Him, for a believer, means...
~~~~~~~~~~
When terror strikes, we can say, as David did, "I have set the LORD always before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken." (Psalm 16:8)
~~~~~~~~~~
When suffering befalls us, we can believe this: "We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." (Romans 5:3-5)
~~~~~~~~~~
When sin entangles us, we can plead, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit." (Psalm 51:10-11) - AND HE WILL! (1 John 1:9)
~~~~~~~~~~
When things are "going well" for us, we still say "Whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in Him..." Philippians 3:7-9
~~~~~~~~~~
This whole thing. This earth. This life. This galaxy. How big and how great and how tremendous the world is. How vast history is. How detailed orangisms are. EVERYTHING. Our lives. Jesus death. Suffering. Hope. Joy. Birth. Life. Death. Fear. Sin. Redemption. Change. Natural disasters. Cancer. Marriage. Children. Talents. EVERYTHING. Is in the purpose of God for His glory and for His renown.
~~~~~~~~~~
My life is not my own. It is NOT about me.
~~~~~~~~~~
God's ultimate purpose for the universe and for all of history, and for your life, is to display the glory of Christ in its highest expression, namely, in His dying to make a rebellious people His everlasting and supremely happy bride. To say it another way, God's ultimate purpose in creating the world and choosing to let it become the sin-wrecked world that it is, is so that the greatness of the glory of Christ could be put on display at Calvary where He bought His rebellious bride at the cost of His life. - John Piper

Monday, May 2, 2011

Am I pursuable?

I think oftentimes we, as women, doubt our worth to humanity, specifically men. Whether we voice it or not, there's a part of us that struggles deeply in this. Even more specific, for the single woman. You don't have a boyfriend, you aren't dating, and no guy seems to have a single bit of romantic affection for you; so you automatically question, "What's wrong with me?" You doubt that you are worthy of pursuit, that you have anything to offer, that there's any beauty in you.

I say this because I have been there, and when I'm not intentional about holding every thought captive to Jesus (2 Corinthians 10:5) I easily slip back into this. I slip back into the fear and insecurity of "Am I going to have to take care of myself my whole life?" - "Will my heart never get to feel those funnies?" - "Is there a guy who wants me to be his?" - "Will I get the chance to raise babies to love and fear Jesus?" and on and on. There is nothing wrong with these desire. Jesus gave them to me. But when my heart is unsettled and fear creeps in, that's a problem. (Perfect love casts away fear. 1 John 4:18) The problem with this is that it's a lack of trust. Oftentimes I want to let myself sit in that doubt and struggle without having to combat it, but I can't. There are clear cut commands in Scripture that tells me (and us) to lay our worries aside and REST. Trust. As a believer, I don't get a break from that. I don't get to take a few hours and sin because I "feel" like it - I am called to lay everything aside, every minute of every day, for the rest of my life, for HIM. For His glory. For my holiness. That's why the road to Jesus is narrow. It's hard.

Matthew 6 says "do not be anxious about your life...which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?...seek FIRST His kingdom."

Jesus says in that section that He notices and cares for the sparrow, a bird of "insignificance."  He feeds them and takes care of them and supplies their needs. I AM OF MORE VALUE THAN THEY! I focus on my lack of something here on earth, and therefore LOSE sight of Jesus and all that I have in Him. I AM beautiful because of Him. I AM worthy because of Him. I AM pursuable because of Him. He makes me beautiful so that I can praise Him. He makes me worthy so that I can glorify Him. He makes me pursuable so that I can point to Him. Nothing of this is about me.

Humbling and hard. We can't lose sight of this. I'll say this until I'm blue in the face, but Jesus really IS better. There is no other love that comes close to the love of Christ. There is no other high, no other passion, no other feeling, no other comfort, that is even a fraction of what Christ offers. I refuse to live my life believing something or someone else can satisfy me greater than He can. Despite the dark and lonely hours, despite the nights of continual tears, despite the feelings that seem to boil inside me...HE IS BETTER. I know this and rest in it. All other pursuits pale in comparison to that of Jesus Christ.

I pray this becomes more and more real in my life as each day passes.
Jesus, You are better.

Whatever gain I had, I count as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith - that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and may share His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me His own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus...our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly bodies to be like His glorious body, by the power that enables Him even to subject all things to Himself.
Philippians 3:7-16, 20-21

Monday, April 25, 2011

joy.

I've been thinking a lot about joy this week.


  • In the gospels it says the shepherds rejoiced with "great joy" with the birth of Jesus. Their joy came from their foundation of hope and trust in the Messiah and what He was born to do. It wasn't from a temporary feel good satisfaction, but from a deep rooted faith.
  • In Acts there are multiple accounts of joy as many are saved and healed. Those experiencing this joy were those whose hearts and lives were founded and transformed in Christ. They knew that each salvation and each miracle was done for HIS glory.
  • In all of Paul's letters to the churches, he urges them to rest and be comforted in the joy of Christ amidst suffering, temptation, trial, pain...This isn't a "let's put a fake smile on our face and suck it up" happiness, but again, a contentment and hope that supersedes any temporary high or excitement of that moment. 


Joy is the result of a life marked by a complete trust, rest, faith, hope, and comfort in who God says that He is, and who He declares us to be in Him. Joy isn't shaken when the world around us is shaken...as Paul said in Philippians, "I have learned in all circumstances to be content..." THAT is joy.

So. This is dedicated to those in my life who radiate the joy of Jesus Christ. I aspire to have the joy that you have.

This is my pastor, Steve Hardin, during one of our Easter services. There's a song we often sing that our worship leader, Isaac Wimberly, put a rap to. This is Steve singing along with Isaac. He is so into it that he isn't aware of anyone around him, not even the guy videoing him. It's not just during a rap that he's this zealous either. You give him a stage and he will passionately preach the name of Christ. You get him in conversation and he will proclaim Jesus as much as he can, and you give him a rap song? He'll rap it for the glory of Christ!! His joy is absolutely beautiful and contagious.

http://www.twitvid.com/QEOSD

My niece, Faith. The way she looks at life is just beautiful...It's simple, full of a childlike joy that we, as adults, so often lose. My prayer would be that Jesus would grab a hold of Faith's life, transform her heart, and create a TRUE, lasting joy that would continue to shine through her entire life. I love this girl more than I love any other child. Save her, Christ!!


Kailey Hughes. One of the most genuine and godly young women I have ever met. She's graduating high school this next month and going to A&M for college. Her life really is founded in Christ. I have absolutely no doubt that He will continue to use her on her college campus as He has used her at Marcus high school. She has a passionate desire for the lost to come to know Christ, and her unshakable and foundational joy plays a huge role in that. I admire this young woman deeply.


A new, but already dear, friend of mine, Alina Ford. The first night I met her I was drawn to her. She has this crazy spiritual gift of making any person in a busy room feel as if they're the most important. She's a servant hearted, loving, joyful, kind, welcoming woman. Just by being around Alina, I want to know Christ and His love deeper. Love and respect this girl so so much.


My momma. Just a few months ago I asked her to tell me about her life growing up, and not leave out details. I don't think I had ever asked her that. I knew much of it, but had never heard the whole story. I was just blown away by the hard life she endured, but more than that, but the Lord's continual hand on her life: in saving her, preserving her, loving her, comforting her, sanctifying her, and being her true joy. She truly knows what it's like to be LOW and rest in Christ as your JOY, your CONTENTMENT, your COMFORT when the world is dark around you. Wow. If I could have half the joy she attains I would consider myself blessed. I admire this woman greatly and pray to be a royal and beautiful daughter of the King as she is. I love you so very deeply momma.


Those who look to Him are radiant, and their faces 
will never be ashamed.
Psalm 34:5

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Dallas

It hit me today that I've lived in Dallas for almost 7 months... What?? How has time flown by that quickly? I'm seriously amazed. When the Lord pressed on me to move to Dallas, it was in a matter of a few weeks that I was there. I didn't have time to even sit down and think about it or dwell on what this move could bring. I just up and did it, completely resting and trusting that Christ knew what He was doing.


I didn't adjust quickly, or well. Prior to moving to Dallas, I had promised myself I NEVER would. I may have worked in Dallas, but I hated the city and never wanted to move there. After I made the move, I kept that mentality. The first few months were difficult.


- I was lonely, with a handful of Dallas "friends" - mainly just my roommate (shout out, emily. you are beyond amazing and an incredible blessing in my life)
- My youth girls were in Lewisville, and I didn't get to see them near as much.
- My friends were in Lewisville, and I was being prideful about not wanting to make new ones.
- I didn't like the Dallas campus, nor did I want to try to like it
- Dallas people made me so frustrated and angry; their entitlement and materialism.


I could continue. But notice a pattern? It was all about me. I begrudgingly obeyed Christ in moving to Dallas, but I stopped with that. There I was, sitting in my own sin of pride, entitlement, and control. Instead of looking around me for ways to serve, loving the lost around me, reaching out and making friends, getting invested in my city, making much of HIM in my life, etc I chose to take the easy way out and just make it all about me.


In the Lord's grace, discipline, and love, He didn't allow me to stay there long. Over the past few months, I have been beyond blessed and loved by my Savior as He has sanctified me. He has crushed my pride and slowly but surely, is teaching me what it means to serve and love the body and the lost around me. Instead of sitting around having a pity party, I (with ALL His strength) stepped out to make friendships. It was hard and awkward, to say the least. I asked a friend of mine (shout out brent bell) if anything fun was happening in Dallas. That week I went to a "warming" party at some girls house, and the rest is history. That night I met some guys and girls (you know who you are - shout out) that have been used mightily the past few months to point me to my Savior. I leave hang outs, volleyball, coffee dates, parties, etc...just wanting more of Jesus and His glory. THAT is what the body of Christ ought to be. I'm so edified and encouraged I could cry (which I do often) :)


What the Lord has taught me about those prior selfish fears:


- I'm not alone. I'm human, so I will experience days of loneliness, but I am never alone. Ever. With each passing day, His intimate nearness is closer than the day before. He is my everything, and I don't ever have to feel alone because of that. Not only that, but I have the most amazing family. Not just my physical family, but my spiritual family. I've learned more about community and how the body of Christ works these past few months than I almost ever have. It really has been surreal and beautiful.
- My youth girls ARE still in Lewisville, and some days are hard. But it's been for GOOD. It's humbled me to know the Lord works with or without me. I've been able to have them come out and experience Dallas, they've realized they can't just rely on me, and it's forced me to stay true to my word and commitments, when driving 40 minutes comes into play. Half of them graduate this year and the other half next year. After next year I'll be saying goodbye for real to  any ties to the Flower Mound campus. (but really, who even knows? Only Him. so, I may take that back...) :)
- I do have friends in Lewisville, and I'm thankful for them just as I am for the friends I've made here. It's totally different and sanctifying in different ways. Most of my friends in L are married, which I love to walk alongside. But having been so used to that, it's been surprisingly refreshing and encouraging to walk alongside men and women who "GET" me, who understand the life of a mid to upper 20s single person. Ah. We gotta stick together :) So blessed by all those I do life with.
- I now ADORE the Dallas campus. This part the Lord just ripped to shreds, showing me that the body is not just one specific building or campus, but everywhere. It is so beautiful to worship week in, week out with this body. Man...I can't say enough about how I've just grown to love this campus.
- I'm in Dallas and around "Dallas people" so that I might make much of Christ. My sin of anger and frustration MUST be daily nailed on the cross, just as the sins of entitlement and materialism are. 


So. 7 months. Wow...I really never ever saw that coming, and every day, I love it more and more. ME? The farm girl loving the city of Dallas? WHAT THE HECK! Ha. The ironies of the Lord and His sovereignty. I am SO thankful He keeps His plan for my life a secret and mystery, because I wouldn't believe it ahead of time. I'm so thankful for Jesus and who He is. I'm thankful He chose me and saved me, and that He gives me the desire to know Him deeply. That desire and passion in me comes from Him. It's not myself. I'm thankful He's zealously after my heart and won't relent until He has it all. I'm thankful He works in ways I cannot imagine or foresee, and that His name is glorified in that. I just love Jesus a lot. I'm thankful for the brothers and sisters I have made; I'm thankful we're running this race together. Man...life in Jesus really is just sweet. I can't imagine what eternity in His glory must be like! Let the legit dance parties begin!!!


Dallas, you've surprised me. Thanks for being real :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

you got me.

I'm listening to Pandora and Colbie Caillat's song "You Got Me" comes on. Just listening to it casually, it's a fun catchy song. It's cute. It's fun. It's easy to catch onto, so I found myself singing it then realized what I was singing. I looked up the lyrics, and this song is a blueprint of how our society views relationships and "love" contrary to what Jesus commands.

"You Got Me"
You're stuck on me and my laughing eyes
I can't pretend though I try to hide - 
I like you. I like you.

I think I felt my heart skip a beat
I'm standing here and I can hardly breathe - 
You got me. You got me.

The way you take my hand is just so sweet
And that crooked smile of yours it knocks me off my feet
[Chorus:]
Oh, I just can't get enough
How much do I need to fill me up.
It feels so good it must be love
It's everything that I've been dreaming of.
I give up. I give in. I let go. Let's begin.
Cause no matter what I do,
Oh (oh) my heart is filled with you.

I can't imagine what it'd be like
Living each day in this life - 
Without you. Without you.
One look from you I know you understand
This mess we're in you know is just so out of hand.
[Chorus}
I hope we always feel this way (I know we will)
And in my heart I know that you will always stay

Oh, I just can't get enough
How much do I need to fill me up.
It feels so good it must be love
I give up. I give in. I let go. Let's begin.
Cause no matter what I do,
[Chorus]
Oh (oh)
You got me. You got me.
Oh (oh)
You got me. You got me. 



"How much do I need to fill me up?"
"I give up. I give in."
"My heart is filled with you."
"I can't imagine what it would be like living each day without you."
"It feels so good."


Our culture (and every culture, past present future) looks to people to satisfy and fill, specifically in the opposite sex/romantic relationships. Not even counting those outside of Christ, this is true of believers! Men are look for a perfect submissive wife who happens to look like a model. (ps. she's not real) Once they get "her", their wondering eyes and mind battle with lust will evaporate.  Looking to women to heal, instead of Christ and His power. Woman have a false expectation that "everything will be better" once they get their boyfriend or husband. They won't be lonely anymore. Finances will settle. A wondering, fickle heart will cease. They'll finally feel beautiful every day. They won't struggle with discontentment anymore. NOT TRUE!!! A friend of mine told me once of my previous expectations: "You would have crucified a man with those." SO TRUE. Men (and women) make absolutely terrible gods. Yet, our culture encourages that. It encourages relationships so that "void is filled." It encourages you to pursue was "feels right and good." The thought of "losing" someone (physically, emotionally, sexually, mentally) makes us want to kill ourselves, if that doesn't actually happen. We have placed all our hope in man. What a terrifying place to be in.


Romans 1:25 calls this idolatry.
They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever!


When we place all our value, hope, identity, fulfillment, satisfaction on something, we are bound to them. We become their slave. What are you bound by? What are you a slave to? They rule you. 


That same friend who told me my expectations would crucify a man, told me later "Someone was already crucified for that." PRAISE GOD. This is our hope. My struggle with idolatry and placing my hope on a future husband has been crucified and paid for on the cross at calvary. Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe. My sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow!


I'm reminded of 2 Corinthians 4:16-18:
We do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient (MW - "passing especially quickly into and out of existence"), but the things that are unseen are eternal (MW - "having infinite (endless) duration").


Jesus is forever. And in Him is all hope, love, faithfulness, joy. Pursue Him.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

no facebook.

I've never participated in lent before. Honestly, I always knew of it as this "catholic thing" to do. Over the past few years, more and more friends and brothers and sisters in my church have participated in it. As I've studied and thought about it, I've been drawn to the meditation and sacrificial side of it. As with fasting, it's a time to think on the person and work of Jesus. It's entirely taking the attention off of yourself and putting it on Jesus, WHERE IT BELONGS! Thinking on the passover, what Jesus went through, Calvary, His grace...last week our home group brought it up, after my roommate and I had just had a conversation about it. Needless to say, the past few weeks of conviction and seeking the Lord on it, I knew what He was pressing me to do. Give up facebook for 40 days.

It's funny, because when I thought about it, I was instantly overcome with anxiety. I was scared that I would "miss" something, I was nervous of what would "happen without me." Prideful thought after prideful thought...that people "need" me. That I'm important and worthy enough to merit someone wanting to talk to me, or see my statuses...that I would miss "stalking" people (funny we joke about that so much - it really is kinda creepy). The more I thought about it, the more ashamed I was, the more aware I was of the creeping dependency I was getting of not facebook per say, but how I was using it. For this instantaneous gratification, a false affirmation, a silly computer to computer "community" - I was grieved and saddened by my own sin in finding these things not in Jesus, but others.

I believe in every person, in every culture, in every society there is an unreal amount of idolatry and addiction. (SIN!) It goes back to the fall of man and the curse of sin that is in every man. We will search in everything and everyone to find fulfillment, satisfaction, affirmation, love, passion...everywhere but Jesus. Romans 1:25 says that "They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen." That is what we have all done. Instead of worshipping and praising our Creator God, we have made Him a means to an end...We worship, praise, and serve the temporal things in this temporal world. What sorry exchange!! He is not a means to an end - HE IS THE END. If that does not bring a joy to us, there is something "off.

I remember the year facebook became the "new craze." I was in college, and because I went to a private school, ours was one of the last to get thefacebook.com. :) I believe that in everything God is to be glorified. I won't sit here and today and say that facebook is evil. The Lord's name has been glorified and praised through facebook (and twitter and other social networking); but along with that praise has come cursing and sin, idolatry and addiction. With a tool like facebook (which is it...it is a TOOL that ought to be used to glorify God!) - but with a tool like facebook, I believe it falls under the same realm of the evil of our tongues and what we "say" (or type).

James 3:8-12 says, "No human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water." 

Facebook is so often used this way. It can be used for the glory of God or it can be used as an absolute blasphemy. I think even if those of us who desire so greatly to use it for God's glory, we slip. We fail. In my own life personally I've seen me using it as an excuse to sin. I've gotten jealous and envious of silly things. I've gotten frustrated by pictures or people's profiles. I've let my guard down and said things I shouldn't have. There are times I have not practiced wisdom or discernment. I've grown this unhealthy addiction and attachment to it, as if that silly social network tool determined my happiness in that short moment. It's almost as if I (and I think many others) have a false sense of community and friendship in "followers" or "likes" - based on comments people make on statuses, chat conversations. We think because we're "friends" with someone on facebook that they mean something to us in real life.

I don't want to be known, seen, and loved by my online interaction! Christ, may I be known by my love for You and others. John 13:35 says, "By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." Can we genuinely practice that love hiding behind a computer screen? I'm not discounting the face that facebook is, again, a TOOL to be used, but it is not the #1 route. Am I loving those around me well? Am I pursuing FACE TO FACE community? Am I walking in openness without "typing" it out. I won't lie, this can be difficult for me at times. But I want it. I desire it so deeply. Am I using all things for His glory, and not my own? Am I making much of Him and not myself?

Having no facebook has been liberating. It's been beautiful. To be able to read and study without the subconscious thoughts of "oh, I should put this on facebook!" or the random daily thoughts of "what is he/she doing right now?" To be rid of distraction. To be able to let Jesus heal my heart without a constant "stab" or visual daily reminder of something that hurts me, to be comforted by Christ when things aren't panning out as I wanted them to. To be able to pursue friendships OUTSIDE OF THE INTERNET! It's refreshing. I am excited about this next month. I am excited to see Jesus fulfill me and satisfy me, to comfort me and be my joy. I am excited to make much of Him. I'm excited for His sanctifying work in my life, of Him sharpening me...of Him breaking my bones for His glory and renown.

O God, You are my God, earnestly I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh faints for You, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon You in the sanctuary, beholding Your power and glory. Because Your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise You. So I will bless You as long as I live; in Your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise You with joyful lips, when I remember You upon my bed, and meditate on You in the watches of the night; for You have been my help, and in the shadow of Your wings I will sing for joy. My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me. But those who seek to destroy my life shall go down into the depths of the earth; they shall be given over the power of the sword; they shall be a portion for jackals. But the king shall rejoice in God; all who swear by Him shall exult, for the mouths of liars will be stopped.
Psalm 63

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I've often dreamt of being a mother. And by often, I mean I have since I was a kid. I was 12 years old the first time I saw a pregnant woman and thought "oh my gosh, I can't wait until that's me." I know. Weird. :) I hope and pray (while resting in HIS sovereignty) that I will one day be able to experience that. I believe it is one of the highest and most honorable callings and to be desired by all women. But something He has revealed to me the past few years is that I am, in fact, partaking in that role in a small way.


When I signed on to nanny for the Muller's, I never thought I would be with them going on 4 years... I never thought I would put so much love, emotion, time, energy, and passion into my job. I never thought I could love children that weren't related to me, the way that I love these three children. Matt and Erica have often called me the "third parent." And, as different as that may be for some people, it's true. I know each of the little idiosyncrasies that make up each child. Sweet Maddie is so gentle and composed, but I can read every single emotion that crosses her face. I know when something has hurt her feelings or when something brings her joy. I can read Crazy Caiti's every nonverbal cue. I can tell when she's about to get into mischief and when she's about to tackle you with a bear hug. I know what every single cry of Jake's means. I know when he's frustrated, when hes pretending to be a "disaur" (dinosaur), when he's hungry, when he's trying to explain something and no one understands.

I love watching Maddie play the "big sister" role with the two younger ones. I love watching how deeply she cares and how her motherly instincts are already forming. I love watching Caiti play by herself. She's a self-entertainer. Give her princess dolls and a castle, and she'll sit in the same place for an hour, playing each role with different voices and scenarios. I love watching Jake try to do the things his big sisters do. He'll continually fall, or trip, or run into things...and every 10 seconds he will look to me for affirmation, for help, for support, for encouragement... I often stand and stare, amazed at the amount of love in my heart, and amazed that the same picture can make me cry, day after day.

I know their needs. I know their favorite foods, their least favorite foods. I can tell when they're about to vomit, so with my quick moves I always catch it in my hands (disgusting) before it splashes on the ground. I can read if naps are going to be good that day or bad. I know the type of hugs they need; whether it be "lets sit on the couch and snuggle without saying anything for 10 minutes" or the "let me squish you with a bear hug and throw you in the air to make you giggle." I know how to make them so happy they don't know what to do...with the simple things, like picking out caiti's favorite princess pajamas. Without fail, she'll grab them, look at me, and hug me, whispering in my ear "i love you bekah. thank you thank you. you're the best nanny ever." And you know what? Those words never get old. Ever.

When I discipline them, it really does hurt me more. My parents used to always say..."now, this hurts me more than it hurts you." They were right. I never understood that until now. I don't find joy in seeing the big crocodile tears drip down their faces when they've gotten in trouble. I don't like hearing the wails from their bedrooms when they've lost a privledge. I don't like seeing their faces turn bright red as they try to pridefully keep their pain and frustration concealed. I don't like it.

I get the incredble opportunity to not only live Jesus in front of Maddie, Caiti, and Jacob, but to share Him. Raising children is a serious and honorable responsibility...it's huge. All throughout Scripture we see the important of raising a child in the Word, training your children, living Jesus to your children, etc etc. For these kids, that has become a huge part of my role. There are days I cower under it and the responsibility shakes me. I have to daily give it to the Lord and in His love, discipline, and mercy, He continually reminds me it is NOT about me, but Him. I am doing NOTHING, but He is simply choosing me for an instrument of His glory. It's so humbling. We read the Bible together, we pray, we discuss what lyrics of songs mean, we talk about His creation, we dance to praise songs, we sing Veggie Tales at the top of our lungs, we talk about who Jesus is and what He did, we talk about our sin and how He's greater...the topic of Jesus has become a vital one in my relationship with them. Maddie (almost 6) profess to know Jesus, and every day, I pray it's true. She loves talking about Him, and will bring Him up in the most random of conversations. I beg and plead and cry out to the Lord that it's true. Caiti is almost 4 and she's beginning to get it. She talks about Jesus being "hammered to the tree so we don't have to die that way." She talks about being excited to "play with Jesus" one day in heaven. Her face lights up with joy when she talks about Jesus taking away pain and tears. She loves that when we die, we don't "stay dead" but Jesus "makes us alive with Him FOREVER." Maddie places her hands on her chest when she speaks of the love she feels for Jesus for dying for our sins. I can't tell you how many days have gone by where I have wept for these kids, for this family, for their salvation, and over my own sin when I have fallen short.

I "get" it when parents confess their falling short to their kids. I have disciplined out of anger, and I've had to apologize for that. I've missed countless opportunities to practice patience, and I've had to confess that to the Lord. I've gotten upset over "spilled milk" when I could have used that opportunity to show grace. I've misplaced blame, I've raised my voice, I've forgotten promises...I have messed up. I've messed up, and I've humbly had to go before the Lord, begging that He not only forgive me, but that He give these young children grace to forgive me and not hold bitterness against me. I pray they would see Jesus grace given to ME with my failures, so they would more and more understand the beauty and depth of the gospel.

I cling to Proverbs 22:6, "Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it." I cling to it, yet I fear it...

Because, at the end of the day, these aren't my kids. Maybe I do see them and love on them 11 hours a day, almost 50 hours a week, but when 6pm rolls around, I'm out the door. I'm off to my life away from work. I don't see what happens in the evenings and on the weekends. As much of an influence that I have on them, they aren't my kids. We are not blood related, and we never will be. Their last name will always be Muller, and it will never be Nicewander or anything else.

It's bittersweet. Sometimes I'll sit and wonder what my relationship will be with them in 5 years, in 10 years, in 20 years. Will Maddie still be bringing Jesus into every scenario as she crosses her highschool graduation stage? Will Caiti still play her "Jesus songs" and dance around the room when shes a sophomore in college? Will Jake ever understand and hear the gospel as his sisters have? Will they tell their own children about Jesus?

I sit here and cry, because I don't know. Only He does. I pray...I beg...that the seeds that have been plated will sprout into huge beautiful trees for Christ. I pray against them being snatched by the enemy, I pray against the thorns choking them, I pray against them never taking root...

And I pray, that one day, I will be able to do this with my own children. I love these three kids so deeply, I can't imagine the feeling of holding my child in my arms, seconds after birth...I can't imagine my sons chubby arms circling my arms and saying "luh yo" (love you) like Jake does. I can't imagine having my daughter look at me in admiration and say "I hope I'm like you when I grow up" like Maddie does, or whispering "you're the best mommy ever"...I can't imagine, and I do hope and pray that if Jesus does bless me with children, I will take that responsibility seriously. I pray I will support my husband and with him, raise our children in truth, in Christ. I pray for humility and teachability as I confess sin and pursue godly parenthood. I pray I would take the lessons I've learned with this job, and put them into practice. I pray I would be eternally driven, knowing that each of those little bodies are not just bodies, but souls...souls that happen to take form in a body. I pray Christ would daily be on the tip of my tongue. I pray even now, for the salvation of my children.

So. That is the life of a nanny. If I tagged you in this, it's because I believe you "get" it. Please, sisters, don't be discouraged! Our work, although often taken for granted and looked upon as "in vain", often overlooked, often unthanked, often forgotten... it is for the Kingdom. We do what we do because Christ is better, because His truth and His opinion superceed all. We do what we do, because we have been given a treasure, and would we not bury that treasure and buy the entire field?? (Matthew 13:44) So, let's share this treature. Isaiah 55:8-11 - His words will not return void!

And for all you mom's and dad's out there - thank you. Thank you for your hard work, prayers, tears, long hours, long days, long nights, heartaches, for all the little things you do that is never acknowledged or thanked- thank you for sacrificing yourself, your time, your sleep, your energy, your own desires...to raise these little souls to love Jesus. Thank you for giving much of yourself. Thank you for being obedient. Your gift and reward awaits you and it is imperishable and beautiful and everlasting. I thank you and love you for what you do.

And for my own momma and daddy. Every good thing I have learned on raising children, I have learned from you two. I have learned from you, because you obeyed and learned from the greatest Father. You have raised me to love and fear Jesus. You have raised me to love the Word and to love Truth. You had me memorizing Scripture at 2 years of age, you had me singing hymns at the top of my lungs, you prayed with me before and after discipline, you loved me because Jesus loved you, you showed mercy when I deserved judgment, you showed love when I deserved wrath, you taught me theology through catechism as a little child, you had me serving my siblings... You were patient with my shortcomings, and you praised and encouraged when I succeeded. You showed me what a godly mother and father looked like -

momma: I aspire to be the wife and mom you are. To be half of what you are...when someone says I look or act like you, it is the greatest compliment. The way you have loved and sacrified for your family is something beautiful, so beautiful. I love you.
daddy: I pray for a husband and father like you have been. You have set the bar high, and I am thankful for that...I know what a man after God's own heart looks like, and it's you. You have led our family so well, daddy. I love you.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

prayer

I think prayer is something every single believer will admit they struggle with, in one way or another. Throughout Scripture, prayer is talked about...the Psalms are full of prayers, the gospels give us examples of prayers. We even see Jesus - in all His preeminence and reign, pray to His Father. Prayer MUST be important if we see the Holy Triune, the King of Kings, bowing in prayer.

Last night in home group we talked about prayer...Psalm 4 (evening prayer) and Psalm 5 (morning prayer). In Biblical times, that was a day: morning and evening - even in the creation account. So thats how the psalmist (David) takes it in these two psalms.

Because of cultural christianity our ideas are tainted on prayer. esp in regards to the "asking for things" - we (generalization) see Jesus as this genie in a bottle. We make it about us. We are often the preeminence, the subject, in our prayers - whether its asking for things or arguing against God (like with Habakkuk or Job- who were quickly put in their place)

If you look at these psalms, it puts it in a beautiful perspective. It is when we're laying in our beds at night that our minds sift through everything. whether we're struggling in our minds with sin, or replaying things that went on that day, battling anger, fighting tempation, feeling regret, guilty, exhaustin...those "dark nights of the soul" - and in Psalm 4 you see David praise God for who HE IS and for who we are IN HIM. So even when he brings up himself or wallows in that self pity or whatever, he turns it back to God and who God is and who God says that He is (because of who God is!) - "The LORD has set apart the godly for Himself..." (vs3) -GOD DOES IT. He goes on this rant about the evil i n the world, his enemies, etc...and david boasts in the fulfillment of God ("You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound" vs 7) - bc agriculture was wealth...and he ends with vs 8 "In peace, I will both lie down and sleep; for YOU ALONE, O LORD, make me dwell in safety." So david is finishing with this 'it's you God...because of who You are. because of who I am in YOU - because You say thats whose I am...I will have peace. (and having "peace" then is SO different than now...) david brings everything acknowledgement back to Christ and His soveriengty. His reign. His "allknowingness"

Then Psalm 5. This morning psalm...this is when David petitions to the Lord. He is asking for things based on WHO GOD IS. His prayers aren't about himself or focused on himself...he is not the subject. God is. He is asking for things because of WHO GOD IS and who God declares we are through Him and because of Him.

i think we - as believers - lean one way or the other here. We're great at asking for things...we're really great at believing God wants to give us good gifts...wants to bless us...wants us to see the joy that He offers, to know the "came to give us life and give it abundantly" (john 10:10)...but we forget to pray for these things based on who He is. based on HIM BEING ENOUGH. Based on His rule and reign. So...praying for a spouse. praying for children. praying for salvation. are we praying for these things because God says that He is good? are we praying for these things in light of His control? in light of His command to "be anxious for nothing, but in EVERYTHING by prayer and supplication, make your requests be made known..." phil 4. we're not guarantteed our 'yes" answers, but we are guaranteed His peace that passes all understanding!

we also tend to lean the other direciton - praising God for who He is and who we are in Him. and struggling with asking for things. this is where i often fall short. i know who Jesus is. i praise Him. i love who He has made me to be in Him...but I fear coming to Him and asking Him for things. i fear idolatry will be made known. I fear getting His answeres. I struggle with that - He GIVES GOOD GIFTS. I forget sometimes that He loves me so deeply He loves seeing me joyful - IF ITS DIRECTED BACK TO HIM! joy that ends in temporal pleasures (a good job, marriage, children, friendships, a nice home, etc..) is no joy at all. its temporal happiness that WILL FADE and WILL FAIL. but joy that is directed back to Jesus and His gifts (i PRAISE YOU OH LORD, for you have done great things...) it HAS to be about Him. it cant be about us. it just cant.


when my hg leader was talking last night I was just praying that I would learn the power of prayer. like elijah praying for rain and God answering...then prayig it would stop, and God answering. and elijah was a normal dude, like us! and when were told that the prayer of the righteous man avails much...or 'you do not get because you do not ask " (James) man...its so awesome.

theres that quote from tim keller that goes something like "God gives us what we would have asked for if we knew what He knew" or something like. our knowledge is so limited...on EVERYTHING. i think we dont realize how limited...in calvinistic teachings or in the beautiful simplicity of grace...to praying salvation over our unborn children to praying boldly over healing. but if we knew what God did. if we had that unlimited perfect knowledge...we would know how to pray and what to pray for. dunno if that makes sense. its such a beautiful truth though.

i think whats so beautiful about all of this is...it causes complete dependency and reliance on Jesus. His "track record" is flawless....everyone elses, everything else...failing miserably. He has promised to be faithful and HE IS. always. forever. nothing changes that fact. and nothing changes the fact that I am His. forever. and nothing and no one can snatch me out of His hands (john 10). and nothing and no one can separate me from His love. (romans 8)

Friday, February 4, 2011

serenity.

I spent most of the morning and afternoon alone today. It's funny how I savor those moments the older I get. Reading, thinking, resting, sipping coffee. The quietness and the stillness of the day have been peaceful, beautiful, blissful... I've definitely been that native Texan who has been grinning like an idiot all day, on cloud 9. The snow, the sights, the brightness of the winter sky, the purity...it overwhelms me and fills me with joy.

I took a long scenic walk this afternoon. Here I am, living in Dallas Texas...and behind me is this Narnia winter wonderland. I stood there, tears filling my eyes and my heart about the burst. All I could think of is... "what must heaven be like..."? If this sight overwhelms me to the core, how overwhelmed will I be when I dance the streets of gold?? When I finally see Jesus face to face? It was incredible walking amidst that beauty...surrounded by the purity of the freshly fallen snow, with snow still falling. It was quiet and still. I could have stood there for hours just taking it in.

I'm so thankful He gives us these reminders...of His love for us. Of the redemption, reconciliation, and purity found in Him. Of the glimpses of eternity....






Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His servants will worship Him. They will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
Revelation 22:1-5
He who testifies to these things says, "Surely I am coming soon!" Amen. Come, Lord Jesus, Come!
Revelation 22:21


Saturday, January 29, 2011

running the race

I ran a half marathon this morning that I was not prepared for. I didn't train well due to ankle and knee injuries. In fact, as I lined up at the starting line, all I could think was that I hadn't done one single run in almost three weeks. By the time I hit mile 6 my legs were screaming...by mile 9 I wanted to quit. The last 4 miles were a blur...It was such an out of body experience. I just remember the small little glimmer of hope I felt seeing the "mile 10" sign..."mile 11" sign..."mile 12" sign...as I crossed the finish line the feeling of relief was inexpressible and unexplainable.

How often are we unprepared for this bumps and bruises in this race we're called to as believers? How often are we caught off guard by struggle, grief, sadness, fear, persecution?

Matthew 7:13-14 says, "Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few."

Over and over in Scripture, our journey as a believer is compared to that of a race. As I ran today, it was all I could think of. Sometimes it's hard. Really hard.

There are days we are literally crawling as we inch our way to the finish line. It's in those moments you feel the arms of the Lord around you in ways you haven't before. Psalm 147:3 says, "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." Psalm 73:26 says, "My flesh and my heart may fail, but You, O GOD, You are the Strength of my heart and my Portion forever!

Sometimes the pain is so intense you really just want to give up. It's in those moments you remember that, as believers, we're committing our lives to sharing in His sufferings. And in that, He is our comforter. 1 Corinthians 1:3-5 says, "Blessed be the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too." 

Other times you're so numb to it that you feel as though life is a blur. You  fell dead and detached. But Jesus, in His faithfulness, rises above that and brings restoration and redemption. Psalm 23:1-4 says, "The LORD is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me."

And still, other times...the times that make you realize how incredible and faithful He is and how marvelously and brokenly beautiful this whole journey is...you see small glimpses of hope. You rise with His strength. You rejoice in His joy. Romans 5:2-5 says, "Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does NOT put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."

There's no other race I'd rather be on. I cannot imagine life without my Jesus. Every day I'm more and more blown away that HE CHOSE ME. How incredible is that grace? That Jesus...rich in His mercy...chose to die and save. While we were against Him! Romans 5:8 says, "But God shows His love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Incredible grace. That same grace and faithfulness is what gives us strength as we run this race.

Let's do this friends. With the arms of Jesus lifting us, let's do this. Let's persevere. Let's race!

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1-2

Thursday, January 27, 2011

good gifts

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him.
Matthew 7:11

This blows my mind. Completely radically blows my mind. Like, I'm sitting here and I'm still trying to grasp it, still trying to believe it. A part of me believes if I like something or if I desire something, then it must be wrong. It must be an idol. The Lord must not want me to have that... And all the while He's saying He wants to give me gifts, He wants to grant me joy - He is GLORIFIED when I find joy in what He's given me.

John 10:10 says, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly."

Jesus came to give us abundant life. He is not a kill joy. He DELIGHTS when I find joy in His blessings. He desires to give me good things. When He witholds those things from me that I yearn for, He's not dangling them in front of my face saying, "haha...you want this??" In His wisdom, in His sovereignty, in His all knowing plan...He knows when and what will bring Him the most glory and me the most joy.

HE IS AFTER MY GOOD!

Matthew 6:26 says, "Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavently Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?"

It really moves me to tears that Jesus says I'm valuable. That I'm precious to Him. That I'm chosen. That I'm royalty. That I'm an adopted daughter of the King of Kings. What makes it even more incredible is that I did NOTHING to get this or earn it. It's a gift of ultimate proportion that I cannot even describe it.

1 Peter 2:9 says, "You are a CHOSEN race, a ROYAL priesthood, a HOLY nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellences of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light." 

May we live our lives this way. I pray I never discredit the promises of God. I pray I look for His blessings and praise Him for each one. I pray I believe it when He says He desires to give me good things; that I would recognize those things as being from HIM and give Him glory for them.

We serve a gracious God!!


Monday, January 24, 2011

Chasing Lovers that won't Satisfy – April 11, 2010


I wrote this close to a year ago - I just re-read it and am so thankful and humbled by how the Lord has worked in my life this past year! It excites me to read this and see the change He's done in my heart and to see He's keeping me broken over sin and when I become stagnant, He disciplines me - in love - and brings me out. Thankful I "stumbled" upon this and was reminded of His faithfulness.

Chasing lovers that won't satisfy...
That's what we do. We chase temporary unfulfilling lovers that are not meant to satisfy us, so therefore, never will. Only Jesus can.

"If we're to encounter the divine Presence, we must enter the interior sanctuary of our heart and, like Jesus in the temple, become indignant over what we find. There is no way to God but through the rubble. We must go through, not around, whatever keeps us from Him. The process is what spiritual people call brokenness and repentance" (Crabb).

With each passing day the Lord has broken me and made it more and more apparent how much of my time, thoughts, energy, emotion, and heart has been poured into the pursuit of earthly things that I have made ultimate in my life. My desires for good things (love, marriage, and children) and for selfish things (affirmation from man, physical beauty, cute clothes, and fun personality) quickly became idols in my life. I have chased and chased and chased these, only to be continually unsatisfied, discontent, guilty, frustrated, confused, hurt...

In Romans 1 the unrighteous person is described as one who "exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator” (vs. 25).

After I left College Station and moved here to Lewisville I remember praying the words of a Jeff Johnson song saying, "Ruin my life, the plans that I've made, ruin desires for my own selfish gain. Destroy the idols that have taken Your place until it's You alone I live for." My Jesus has done nothing short of this. He has ruined any earthly desire I have had and over the past few months have been incredibly faithful in replacing those desires with One so much greater: For Him.

In my reading of Shattered Dreams, I have wept as I have read my hearts yearnings and seen my thoughts portrayed. I have been pressed to know Jesus in such an intimate way that NOTHING in this earth could ever begin to explain it. "The Spirit's invitation to experience God appeals to something deeper than easily produced emotions. It appeals to a capacity of soul that many modern Christians have dried up through disuse, a capacity that carries us toward a higher dimension than mere emotions can reach" (Crabb). IT CANNOT BE EXPLAINED!

In this book, Crabb tells the story of a man whose wife died and he is left hurting. He says this with passion, "Tears have become my deepest form of worship." Beautiful. I AM THERE! "When dreams shatter, we long to experience God's nearness in a way that dries our tears. Instead, deeper tears are released." I AM THERE. I am there and I am ever so thankful and grateful to weep in my Lover's arms at night, knowing me chasing Him DOES satisfy. Forever. That even if He says "no" to my earthly desires that seem to NOT GO AWAY, I can still trust Him. Even if I am thoroughly frustrated and hurt and screaming to Him to answer me, I can rest in Him. He has proven His passionate adoration of me. He has shown it in intimate ways that a husband never will, because HE IS MY HUSBAND (Isaiah 54:5). I will one day be with Him, eternally and passionately satisfied in ways that our minds cannot comprehend (or handle) because it is so great. I await that day with anticipation and joy.
Abandonment. What does it look like to completely and fully abandon yourself to Jesus Christ and HIS glory and will? What does it look like to take up your cross and follow Him? What does it look like to abandon and leave all in this life to be surrounded by the presence of Jesus Christ? "True abandonment, giving ourselves to God in utter dependence on His willingness to give Himself to us, pleads only mercy. It allows no room for control. It includes no claim on God that obligates Him to do anything. Only suffering has the power to bring us to this point" (Crabb).

He has brought me there. He has humbled me and brought me to my knees, releasing my false sense of control. He has removed any prideful idea of entitlement that I somehow thought I could maintain. He has shown me His undying love and mercy, in spite of my ever idol-chasing heart. He has brought me into His presence that is "gentle, imperceptible, dark, which evaporates if one tries to describe it...but which sustains life" (Iain Matthew). He truly, really, deeply SUSTAINS MY LIFE. It's entirely in His hands.

Bless the LORD, O my soul, and do not forget His benefits! He forgives your iniquity, He heals all your diseases, He redeems your life from the pit, He crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, and He satisfies you with good... (Psalm 103:2-4)

Jesus. You are enough. You hold my heart. You know my thoughts. You created me from the dust and You said it was GOOD. Jesus. You are enough. Your love sustains me. You redeem me. You pursue my heart and deeply desire to bless me. Jesus. You are enough. You do not withhold good from me. You give me all I need, and in Your love grant me the desires that press me into You. Jesus. You are enough.

Ah! Gentle and so loving
You wake within me, proving
that You are there in secret and alone;
Your fragrant breathing stills me,
Your grace, Your glory fills me
so tenderly Your love becomes my own.
- St. John of the Cross