Ugh, how often do I find myself feeling impatient with myself, my children, my husband, or anyone else who may not be keeping up with my ideals. The best days are those when I turn to God for help, when I open my hands in surrender and say, “Help me to keep time the way You do, Lord.”
My friend didn’t ask much. And yet, when my kids and I returned home from serving her, we were wiped out… for DAYS. I couldn’t help but wonder, why am I so weak? And why can’t I bounce back faster?
If you’ve ever asked yourself these questions, I invite you to listen to this episode of my Expect Something Beautiful podcast (skillfully produced by the team at Revive Our Hearts). You’ll hear the whole story about the day we came unraveled, and some helpful insights about post-serving recovery.
What began as an embarrassing moment (one I, too, can laugh about now) launched me into a season of pondering the importance of “ending well”. I share some of my thoughts – and the embarrassing moment, of course – in this week’s Expect Something Beautiful podcast episode.
In the episode, I mention a booklet by Harry Bollback, called “Our Incredible Journey Home“. (You should be able to access the free flipbook by clicking on the link.) Bollback’s writing is laser-focused on Jesus, just as you’d expect it to be, coming from a 94-year-old man who served the Lord for many years. The booklet came across my desk the same week Harry Bollback began his life in Heaven with God.
Also, just this week, my beloved friends hosted an episode on Grounded offering “Hope for Death and Dying”. The topic and timing is entirely the Lord’s: a complete surprise to me. I sat long with this episode, savoring every moment. I hope you do, too. I’ve loved plenty of Grounded episodes, but this one is my all-time favorite so far.
“…it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain…”
My emotions have been all over the spectrum – from highs to lows to feeling numb. Praying the Psalms has been a life-saver to me during this challenging time.
The Psalms teaches us howto feel and what to do with our emotions, whether we are thinkers, feelers, stuffers, venters, whether we are steady or we are volatile.
Praying the Psalms keeps my soul alive, being massaged by the full, complex range of human emotions and it teaches me what I can expect from God. It feeds my soul with the full, complex range of God’s character and promises.
“The Psalms don’t offer an escape from life; they offer a way to avoid escaping it – a way back from stone into flesh.”
I don’t know about you, but I have frequently felt like stone. When I pray the psalms, God revives my heart and makes me truly human. His Words point us to life!
The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times.
You, O Lord, will keep them; you will guard us from this generation forever.
I encourage you to listen to the rest of the conversation that I had with Erin Davis and Dannah Gresh on Grounded and consider praying the psalms in your own devotional time. Let me know how it goes? I’d love that.
What do you do when your activities, appointments, and commitments suddenly disappear?
In this episode of Grounded (a daily videocast by Revive Our Hearts), I share one life-changing thing that God is teaching me during this season of home quarantine.
It starts like this…
Imagine a father bringing his children to the playground. The kids dart off to play on the jungle gym, the monkey bars, and the swings. For a while, the kids are completely immersed in their imaginary world. They climb, swing, work, and create. Dad watches them with a smile on his face.
Then imagine that the playground equipment suddenly disappears.
Poof! It’s gone.
The kids look around, wondering what just happened. Is there anything left for them to do? What will occupy them now that the jungle gym is gone? What will bring them joy now that the swings are gone? They feel disoriented.
Just when their heart rates begin to rise and their faces pale, they turn and see their dad. Instantly, they snap back to reality, remembering that they are part of a much bigger world than the playground – they are part of his world. They run to him, remembering who they are and whose they are. Such relief.
Their relationship with their father defines and steadies them. They are his kids. Their joy in his presence is far deeper than their joy on the playground. With him, all is well.
I am like those kids. I didn’t realize how distracted I was with accomplishments, relationships, and activities. But now, poof! It’s all gone. I’ve felt disoriented without the scaffolding of a full schedule and I’ve been asking the deep existential questions of:
WHO AM I? WHAT MAKES ME VALUABLE? WHAT IS MY PURPOSE IN LIFE?
Just when my heart rate begins to rise in panic, I turn and see our Heavenly Father standing there, our very present help, the lover of our souls, the one who knit us together, and is acquainted with all our ways.
He is with me. He is with you.
During this season of home quarantine, I’m coming back to the heart of worship, remembering that I am created for God and that is enough. This has been a beautiful, sobering, messy, wonderful time of catching my breath and rediscovering the unshakeable peace of being God’s child.
“Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. For behold, those who are far from you shall perish, you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you. But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.” Psalm 73: 23-28
Be sure to tune in to this episode of Grounded to hear the rest of the conversation.
When you have a minute, drop a note to say “hello”? I’d love to hear from you. 🙂