To the Joy

Lately I have been finding prayer difficult and stumbling. For as I call upon the Lord with the desires of my heart, and I truly want these thing for His glory, or at least I believe I do, I realize that they are also for my personal satisfaction. So then I question whether or not I am being sincere with my prayers, or whether I am being manipulative asking for something because it will bring God glory, while simultaneously wanting it for myself.

Of course then I realize that God knows my deepest thoughts and hidden secrets, so thinking I could manipulate Him is laughable. The thing is, I am being sincere, as best as I can consciously tell, and all of this doubt has me stumbling around, second guessing everything.

Then with the help of the Holy Spirit, it occurred to me that perhaps what is happening here is that my desires have lined up with God’s, and what I am desiring is because I want it too, and not because of intentional obedience. I cannot remember ever being here before, and all I can say is how sweet it is; what joy there is in this alignment!

Of course being me, I could not just leave this joy alone, no I needed to dig in and see what could have caused this much desired change, and I think it comes from just one small adjustment in my walk with the Lord. I put obedience before trust.

Obedience grows trust. Trust provides peace. Peace provides humility.

Humility: the quality or condition of being humble; modest opinion or estimate of one’s own importance or rank.

So if I have peace it is because I am resting under the cover of God’s protection. He then becomes the most important thing in my life. Thus why wouldn’t I want to submit to His will and bring Him glory?

This has not happened easily for me. I have spent too many wasted years looking for trust before I would obey, not knowing that through obedience first, I would learn to let go of my pride, my fear, myself.

For not once when obeying with blind faith, has the Lord let me crash and burn. I can trust Him without fail. I just needed to get my alignment right and willingly submit to His wisdom.

We sing: Trust and obey, there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Why not: Obey and trust, there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to obey and trust.

Yes, it doesn’t sound right to our ears, but that’s what blind obedience sometimes is, doing the thing that seems out of whack to our limited senses, just because God told us to; for He is always right, and always will be.

Obedience comes easier now with trust, and in obedience I can align myself, my desires, to His will, which brings peace, rest, and an absence of fear, and when this happens, I can with complete trust, surrender my all to Him.

So now when He says trust Me, I can only hope to have finally given up on the hard road of self-reliance and pain, and instead will follow Him without hesitation down the paths of His leading, to the joy.

 

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In the Moment

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on however it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Heb.12:11

This morning as I read Hebrews 12:11 it struck me that the discipline of the Lord is constant and ever changing, not static. There is no clear delineation between times of tribulation to times of peace. Therefore one shouldn’t wait for a trial to be over to seek joy and peace; rather they should be sought in the moment of now.

So then being as forgetful as I am, I began searching for an experience to which I could to attach this thought, so as to give it more mass, and also because I have a harder time recalling new memories, so I wanted to relate it somehow to something I already had stored. Interestingly, what bubbled to the surface was the grading of my children’s school essays.

How when correcting their essays, I did not try and correct every error all at once, but rather focused on one skill set at a time, keeping at it through thick or thin, until this skill became almost habitual. Creating the need to recognize that the work being produced, with this one new skill aligned into its desired place was better than before, and then praising it as such.

Life is like that. God is working on me a skill set at a time. Some of them I probably don’t even consciously notice, whereas with others His guidance produces tears and agony just to begin the process of trying to accomplish them, and He sticks with me through thick or thin, until the a habit of obedience is formed.

But if I keep in mind that I exist in His story not mine, and I view the sometimes painful tweaking He is doing to the small little paragraph that is my life, the fixing of my misplaced modifiers and the correcting of the order of my thoughts, as necessary push to ease me back into the flow of His word, a place of praise and glory, to the joy.

So really when He says in all things give thanks, I should, and will try for always. However, I am a work in progress, and this particular skill is a really hard one. But now I will have a memory helper stored away which I can pull out and remind myself, that just like when teaching my children, there may have often been tears and struggles in the learning process, but there was also joy.

For when my child was able to see their progress, in that moment of understanding, their joy was a precious wonder to behold as a parent. Well as my good good father, God must find a smile within Himself each time I master the new skill He is trying to teach me, and oh what joy it brings me as His child to comply and rest in His approval.

However it doesn’t end there, no of course not, He moves on to the next lesson.  For He is continually shaping me into the adult He would like me to be, for if I am eventually going to spend eternity communing with Him, it makes sense to me that he is shaping my life in this way.

I did this with my children, shaping them into the kind of adults I would choose to be my friend. For Spirit filled responsible people who are a pleasure to be around was always my end goal in child rearing. I reckoned they would be adults a lot longer than they would be children, and then I had their lifelong friendship to look forward to throughout those tumultuous training years.

When you look at it this way, the Lord’s instruction to see the joy in tribulation makes perfect sense to me. If this is my earthly childhood, and God is shaping me into the adult He will enjoy spending eternity with, I’m all in. For this lifetime is but a blip when one considers an eternity in heaven being perfectly, completely, finally, all grown up.

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Designs by Beckalodious

 

Today I spend the evening at an art walk with my daughter. These art shows were typically a ready made opportunity for me to people watch and create fantastical stories of their life for my own enjoyment.

However with my daughter’s increasing skill in her jewelry art, these shows are now busy occasions with many sales and actual, rather than imaginary, interactions with real live people.

This is a really good thing considering my current state of unemployment, and additionally, I am as proud a mama as is possible. Especially when I see such photos as above, with a sampling of her sterling silver flowers, where each individual petal is hand cut and formed.

I just wish I wasn’t smack dab in the middle of a fibro flare, because I’m not going to be much more than a warm body in a chair this evening.

My daughter assures me that just my simple presence is helpful, and I know that she is not just blowing smoke with those words, so disappointing her is not a problem.

No, I am the problem, for even after 25 years with chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, I have not reconciled my perceived self to my limitations, and I let this irrationality influence my opinion of myself in unhelpful negative ways…sigh.

As always though, I know I can find restoration with the Lord. He sees me as I am, not as I think I should be, and pours in His love beyond measure to fill in the gaps I have left hanging wide open from a desire to be other than I am.

I guess you could say that feasting upon His word daily plumps me up enough to smooth out the rough edges of being human.

Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. — Isaiah 12:3

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Beckalodious.com

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Embraceable

The weight of the darkness is tempting me.

My body tingles so from its constriction.

I want so desperately to burrow in.

For to let it squash me smaller still.

Thus slip unnoticed back to Quiet.

Waiting hungrily for my return.

Within the camouflaged corners of my mind.

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A Repurposed Life

I am waiting,

In a lost and found box.

Facing daily a dilemma.

Do I settle beneath the fabric of misplaced expectations,

Or turn the time to treasure.

For such a cloak I could embellish with the gold and silver tears of my mistakes and my successes.

Thus when the moment of my release,

Is ultimately thrust upon me.

I would be able to don this magic cape,

And a little wiser fly away.

Wrapped safely in the glittering folds,

Of a life repurposed.

 

 

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