Monday, February 29, 2016

Leap of Faith Day

Today--it's somewhat of a special day.  It only happens once every four years.  It's leap day.

My nephew was actually due today, but that little sweetness arrived a few days early giving him a normal birthdate! Whew.

What is so special about THIS day? After all, it's really just a normal day.  A Monday even.



Just wait.

It's a day for a LEAP OF FAITH.

It always amazes me when God keeps whispering to your heart the same message over and over.  It may come in different forms and be worded a bit differently, but the root of the message is the same. 

And today, I'm finally stopping to TRULY listen to that message.

Yesterday at church, our pastor greatly encouraged us to pray a dangerous prayer, "Lord, do things we're not used to."  Or pray to be shaken up. 

The last several weeks, I've been participating in an online Bible Study based on "Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl".  Between reading the book, listening to conference calls with various God-inspired teachers, and in conversations online, a theme has REALLY been grabbing my attention.  Pray dangerously.  Don't just pray for our convenience.  Instead pray to be inconvenienced.  Pray to get "messy" with our faith. 

In her book that the Bible study is based on, Lysa Terkeurst says,

"Yes, we want the promises, but we don't want to get any dirt under our fingernails in the process.  We want comfortable circumstances, but we resist any transformational changes that might be necessary.  Oh, how we want the gifts promised here, but I wonder if the real treasure is to get to the place where we want the Giver most of all."


This morning, my dearest mentor shared that today was literally a Leap of Faith Day in her life.  All day those words have been running through my heart at warp speed. 

I need to take a leap of faith today. 

I need to start praying those dangerous prayers.  Why are they so dangerous?  Because they might make us step out of our comfort zone.  They might reveal God asking something hard of us.  It might cause us to get dirt under our nails.  They aren't dangerous because they invite danger in, but because they are the kind of prayers that change us.  Isn't that what we really need?  To be changed.  To see differently.  To react differently.  To live and love differently.

It  is important to pray for our daily needs and to keep an open conversation going with God about anything and everything in our lives.  I'm not denying that. 


What if?

What if I actually prayed those few words with sincerity...

"Lord, do something I'm not used to."


"Lord, shake me up."

Maybe, today my "Leap of Faith Day" is to pray that prayer.  To be willing to step out on the edge and just jump. 

Having just been to hear Amy Grant and Stephen Curtis Chapman, one of his older songs is on repeat loop in my heart.  (Another Holy Spirit whispering of the same message.)

My heart is racing, and my feet are weak
As I walk to the edge
I know there is no turning back
Once my feet have left the ledge
And in the rush I hear a voice
That's telling me to take a leap of faith
So here I go

I'm diving in, I'm going deep, in over my head I want to be
Caught in the rush, lost in the flow, in over my head I want to go
The river's deep, the river's wide, the river's water is alive
So sink or swim, I'm diving in

I'm taking that leap of faith.  Sink or swim.  I'm diving in.

What leap of faith might he be asking you to make?

Thursday, February 4, 2016


When I wander, I wonder.

There, I confess.  I said it.  The truth is out.

Two words only separated by one vowel, but greatly different.

I love how Jennifer Rothschild words it in "Invisible" (an incredible book by the way!), "When our thoughts wander from God, we begin to wonder who we are."



Let me say it again, GUILTY.

The moment I look outside to anything other than Christ for my identity, I falter.  I flail.  I sink rapidly.  That downward spiral happens in a flash of lightning.

She asks this question, " If I am in Christ, why am I  in crisis?"...

The beautiful response...

"I know why---it's because I am prone to wander.  I am always one errant thought away from rejecting the truth that God accepts me and instead adopting the lie that He accepts everyone EXCEPT me."

"When we don't see the truth that we are loved, we seek proof that we are loved."

"We often find ourselves in places or seasons of life where we feel like a nobody. It can be hard to see our own value if we are feeling constantly overlooked or we associate our value with our virtue. You know, if we are good, we are worthy of being acknowledged.  If we behave, we merit attention."

Now, I don't know about you, but to me those words are really hitting a raw spot in my own heart.

We HAVE to stop embracing the lie that our worth comes ANYWHERE other than God himself.  Otherwise, we are going to be constantly seeking validation or placing pressure on someone or something to fill us up.  AND. WE. WILL. REMAIN. EMPTY.


Who I am is found in WHO HE IS.

It is easy to feel invisible in the world we live in.  Social media, technology, and just the influx of information and inundation of "stuff" overwhelms. 

If we don't pull away and quiet our hearts to meditate on His truth, we can't silence the lies.

As a SAHM, homeschool mom that is CONSTANTLY surrounded by someone ALWAYS needing something, I can't tell you the number of times that I feel like I'm spinning around in a room and just want to scream, "I can't hear you." Some days, it is pure controlled chaos.  The noise, the motion, the lack of personal space. Granted, as my kids have gotten older, it's much less of the physical demands (I'm finally beyond the days of cooking with someone on my hip or don't typically have fingers poking under the door of the bathroom---unless it's one of my "littles") and more of the emotional demands.  (Someone remind me that I WILL live through the teen years!). 

Just as I feel as if at times I can't breathe as my day is spiraling around with loops and dives of a roller coaster and I want to jump off and say "FREEZE".... it's the same way with God. He is right there waiting for just stop and listen.

I DO have to stop.  I DO have to purposely take that time away to just reach for the calm and sit with Him.  Read His Word.  Be in communication with Him.  Learning.  Studying.  Acting in Obedience.  Listening. Repeat: listening!

Because if I don't. 

I wonder.

I wonder if I'm good enough.
I wonder if anyone really cares.
I wonder if anyone sees me.
I wonder if He loves me. 

My husband may make a fairly innocuous statement and suddenly I'm wondering if he meant something else. Which is then followed by, I wonder if he still loves me like he used to.  Or that little comment may spark a pointless war in which there is no winner.

I see a prayer answered for someone else, and I wonder why I'm not good enough to have it answered for me.

I see someone praised for something they did for someone and I start harboring bitterness because someone didn't thank me for the same thing.

I do something for someone and they don't acknowledge it or don't acknowledge it "enough" or with enough thought that I wonder if I'm not good enough for them. This is especially a hot button for me when I spend hours upon hours making something or putting EXTRA thought into a gift instead of just grabbing something off the shelf.

I can't solve this or that problem in my parenting, in a relationship, etc... and I allow it to seep deeply into my heart as it screams failure, you're not enough, etc...

My sins condemn me instead of convict me.

Oh my, how that list can go in.

I'm getting vulnerable and honest here (as I've always promised to do---no matter how scary that is!).

Those things are the reality of what happens when I'm not rooted and grounded in Him.  I become so self-focused and inward driven.  The more I obsess with me, the easier it is to stray from Him.  OUCH!  Did I really just type that out loud? :)

But there's this BEAUTIFUL reality.  When I stop wandering, I stop wondering.  When I purposely spend time in His word, my perspective changes.  Moving from self-focused to soul-focused is POWERFUL. It's where I go from head held low, emotionally in a pit----to head held high and victorious. 


If I don't take that time...

The pit swallows up quicker than walking in mud in flip-flops! OK---think about that image.  Have you ever done that?  It just draws you deeper and deeper.  Every subsequent step feels more and more difficult.  And----if you're wearing those cheapy flip-flops---you'll probably even find that the straps might break.  Been there. Done that. (Ever run out in flip flops to quickly take the dog out and he decides to drag you along on a wild tangent that ALWAYS includes mud?  Maybe that's just our 4-legged crazy creature!)

Today, purpose your heart to not wonder who you are and what your value is.  My value, your value, comes from His inherent value. But to know that, to REALLY know that, we have to be spending time with HIM.  It's not enough to sit through a church service and consider that enough to silence the lies that Satan loves to whisper.  Even if you manage to go every single week or even twice a week, it's not enough. 

It's easy for me to know if I'm spending enough time with Him.  The days (weeks, months) that I'm letting the priority slide perfectly coincide with the same time frame that I'm struggling with worth, negativity, bitterness, anger, etc...  Unfortunately, my family and those relationships closest to me also know.  They are like an instant thermometer of my spiritual health.  It's not coincidence.