He’s In the Waiting.

It’s been a while since my last blog post. Over 6 months, to be exact.

For our family, these past 6 months have been a complete whirlwind of emotions. We have experienced times of excitement, expectancy and contentment…as well as grieving, confusion and frustration. All over one word.

Transition.

When the Lord began to whisper this word to us, it put us in a strange place. A good place…but strange, nonetheless. My husband, Kaleb, and I each began to handle it differently, yet together. I think that’s the beauty of our relationships with Jesus. He knows me. He knows Kaleb. He knows how to communicate with us individually in a way that benefits and grows our marriage.

Without needing to go into much detail, we felt the Lord leading us to lay down our current job in ministry. At first it was hard to comprehend. In our imperfect, human minds, we felt the need to keep holding on until we knew what was coming next. Usually, when you transition in ministry, you already have something that follows and it usually requires moving. But the Lord had a different plan. He very clearly let us know that He was asking us to obey step one – lay it down.

Without knowing what comes next. Hence, the roller coaster of emotions.

At this point, I’ll share my side of the story and what I have learned in my personal journey. When I took time to reflect on the past 6 months, I came to the conclusion that I’ve learned – and I mean, truly learned, two things about Jesus and who He is.

He is good.

I’m in love with His goodness. Everything about Him is good. He’s a good Father, a good friend, a good listener, a good advocate, a good presence, a good disciplinarian and a good God. I used to unfairly question His goodness when things around me were not understandable. I used to find fault in Him when things got hard.

But He has just completely covered me with grace and showered me with affection during this season of correction and revelation. His grace is so good.

He truly cannot let me down. He has become my song in the morning, my rock, my hope, and my breath. He takes bad situations, which He does not create, and brings good out of them. For a long time, a part of me did not believe this. There was a nasty piece of me that was always cynical about who God is. Thankfully, He lovingly corrected me and renewed my mind. It’s actually completely refreshing to not have preconceived ideas about how I think He is and how I think He should move. It’s much more beautiful to reflect on His goodness and really see Him in everything. In nature, in other people, in myself and in His word. I can’t explain why bad things happen, but I can tell you from personal experience that He is good.

He’s in the waiting.

Back in December, God asked us to wait. I could not understand this at first and it caused me great anxiety. I didn’t know what exactly “wait” was exactly going to involve. I was guilty of associating a season of waiting with being “stuck”. But, oh, how wrong I was. Waiting has been the greatest thing that I have ever done for Him. I’ll take waiting any day.

It was during this time of waiting that I found Him. I mean, REALLY found Him. I have served Him my entire life but it hasn’t been until recently that I fell in love with Him. He showed me that He has been pursuing me before I was even a thought. All it finally took was me pursuing Him back. Not pursuing ministry, not pursuing acts of service, not pursuing a church service, not pursuing “what’s right”, not pursuing religion.

Just Him. Only Him.

He’s been whispering to me for a while and I finally listened. I don’t care what it looks like to other people. I don’t care if people don’t understand our decisions. I don’t care if they don’t like the answers we do and don’t give about our transition.

What I care about is that I just want Jesus. And if He asks me to lay it all down, that’s what I’m going to do.

In the waiting, He has proven to me that He won’t fail me. He will take care of our growing family, our finances, our vehicle needs, our health, our house and our jobs. But more than that, He also cares about our hobbies and our interests! Our joy, our happiness.

In the waiting, He has talked to me. He promised me that during this time He wouldn’t be silent and that He would be present. He shows up sometimes when I am least expecting it and can’t help but feel loved and at complete peace. I’ve had memorable times where it’s just me sitting in the living room after my kids have gone to sleep. I would ask Him to come and He did. Right away. Just for me. It’s incredible. Sometimes He spoke. Sometimes He didn’t say anything, but He didn’t have to. His presence was enough.

This is the Jesus I am finally getting to know. If He asked us to lay it all down just for this, He has been worth it. He is still worth it. Worth it all.

He is good. He’s in the waiting.

It seems so simple. I have sung countless songs with these lyrics, but until I lived it and until Jesus encountered me in ways that only He knows how, I finally believe it. I could meditate on this side of Jesus forever, which is just mind-blowing there are never-ending characteristics about Him. I have fallen so in love with Him.

Is this still a scary time? Sure. There is tons of uncertainty. But what I can be certain about is that He is good. He is present. He holds our tomorrow, whatever that looks like. He’s madly in love with my family.

He is faithful to His promises.

He’s so good to me.

Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! Psalm 27:14

When did you find Him? What is your testimony?

“Trust Falls”

Do you ever find yourself struggling to fully implement something that you’ve heard time and time again from a pulpit, a spiritual mentor, from the Bible and from Holy Spirit? You make it a point to change your mindset and live out this Kingdom concept, but over the course of time realize that you just aren’t getting it.

In my case, it’s serving and trusting the Lord completely with a “child-like” faith.

I’ve heard the phrase and the teachings on this too many times to count. I’ve read passages in the Bible and spent time in prayer and fasting trying to capture this. The idea of it just seems so…relieving. Refreshing. No doubts or worries. Man, I want that.

I think this is where my analytical nature tends to hurt me. I spend too much time overthinking rather than putting my faith into action and watching God come through for me. I worry rather than trust.

But then, God used my 2 year old to teach me the greatest lesson about child-like faith.

Abby is currently into this thing called a “trust fall”. It’s where you fully commit to falling forward or backward, expecting another person to reach out and catch you before face-planting on the ground. In her version, she likes to climb on top of a table and suddenly fall without much warning to the second person in the room. Yet, she is always caught.

A couple of days ago, I was sitting in the recliner and she was on the other side of the room standing on top of a small table. I looked up and saw the look in her eyes. The glimmer. The twinkle. I tried to talk her out of it but my instincts told me that this was happening. In that same second, she began to fall forward and with some kind of Matrix move, I was across the room and there to catch her!

She didn’t just trust that I would catch her. She also expected it without doubt or hesitation. She knew that even though the current circumstance didn’t align with the typical process, I would come through for her in the end.

Jesus. Wow.

He’s the same and even better. I may look at a situation and find it impossible. I sing about it all the time in church – “Nothing is impossible for You” – and truly, in the moment of worship, I believe it. But when circumstances happen, I find myself struggling and putting God back into a box. I ask God how in the world He is going to make something work.

In these times, I think we struggle to operate with child-like faith because instead of being His children, we are operating as orphans. We act as if there is nobody there to advocate for us.

Abby perceives things in one way – I’m her parent and she is my child. She trusts that when she hands me her juice cup, I will have milk or juice to put in it. She trusts that after her bath, I will have clothes to put on her. She trusts that there will always be a clean diaper, a time of comfort after discipline, food on her plate, toys to play with and love from her parents. She doesn’t expect these things out of entitlement. She expects them because that’s what parents do.

In the same way, I expect provision and leadership from God because He’s a Father. That’s what Father’s do.

So I’m learning from my 2 year old how to approach our Father. With child-like faith. I’m going to start everyday with a “trust fall”. I’m not going to look a situation and react as if it’s impossible. I’m going to take the plunge forward and expect that my Father will always be there to catch me and take care of me and my family. I am going to pursue, trust and follow the counsel of Holy Spirit with every decision. I’m going to trust that He will guide us in our ministry and in our callings.

I’m going to put my money where my mouth is and not hold back or question the Lord when He gives me a certain number as the offering plate passes by. If the number seems impossible, DO IT. Let God show you how much you can trust Him.

Abby lives her little toddler life with such freedom, refreshing, and relief. I want what she’s got.

Keep trusting your daddy and I, sweet girl. We will always catch you.

And He said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

What is your testimony of trust? When is a time that you committed to a trust fall and God came through for you?

 

 

It’s Gonna Be Worth It

Since becoming a mom, I am more protective and cautious than I have ever been in my life. When I was single, I was adventurous and more carefree because it was only my life that I was concerned about. I had even reached a peaceful point in my early 20’s where I said, “Ok Lord, send me, no matter what the cost!” Not that I desired to be a martyr for Christ but I was accepting of the possibility. With great thankfulness, the Lord released me from that kind of life and called me to marriage and family, which were the deepest desires of my heart.
This is when my willingness to “give it all” began to shift. My life became more than just myself. First, I gained a husband, who is the person I love the most on this earth. Then our family grew and I became a mom to our two girls. Safety and protection immediately became a top concern to me. You won’t see me speeding through a yellow light just to get somewhere two minutes faster since I have my babies in the backseat. I no longer try to find a parking spot that is closer to the door, but instead, one that is beside a cart return so that I can load and unload my babies safely. My eyes are always on my girls, even if they are in the arms of someone I trust with their life. I am always asking Kaleb to text me when he arrives or leaves a destination. Their lives matter to me.

So when Jesus asks me to give everything to Him and consider anything other than Him of lesser value, I find myself hesitating. I’m not afraid to admit this – I need to admit this and not walk in denial because I don’t want to operate in fear. I don’t want to give Him anything less than what He asks of me.

Why is this such a hard concept for me to accept? 

Because I know the state that the world is in. I understand what may be required of Christians in the future and what the consequences of standing firm in our faith may be. I love my husband and my children, but I know the potential situations we could end up in as Christians. 

Could I be “ok” with watching my children be martyred in front of me if I or they do not deny Christ? Can I find peace in knowing that if we raise our family right, we will never truly lose each other since there is a glorious eternity waiting for all of us?

The answer is yes. Because my Father is not a giver of fear, but of peace. 
But I’ll be honest, it’s not a place I have come to yet. I have peace but sometimes fear trickles in. This is where Kindgom living can seem unappealing, when in fact, it’s the complete opposite!

What would it be like to walk in absolute, complete freedom and reckless abandon?! To say, “God, I choose you! No matter what the cost! My house doesn’t matter, my status doesn’t matter, my money doesn’t matter, my family doesn’t matter, and I don’t matter! It was all Yours to begin with, so why do I covet these things as if they are mine?!”

I want this kind of freedom! My husband and I will continue a heavy pursuit of Jesus and our children will begin their pursuit of Him at a very early age. They will walk in the gifting of the Holy Spirit and with greater authority than we ever will.

Because I want to live in great peace knowing that my entire family will be together in eternity.

I don’t care who I offend if we choose not to participate or be fully committed in sports. I’d rather see them worshipping their Father and weeping over souls in a House of Prayer than skipping church for basketball practice or a tournament. I don’t care who judges us for taking our kids out in rough areas to evangelize and pray for hurting, lost, and possibly dangerous people. I don’t care who talks about us for not doing “Santa Claus” or the “Easter Bunny” because we want our children to never question the reality of Holy Spirit. I don’t care if people know that we do not celebrate Halloween because of the darkness that can infiltrate your soul for participating in an anti-Christ holiday, no matter how “innocent” the approach. I don’t care who whispers when we tell our children not to run and play in the sanctuary because it is a place of reverance.

My children will not stray from their Father. They will be in pursuit of Him for their whole lives. I won’t have to worry about their eternity. And that’s what gives me peace in our current state of the world. This is how, as a protective and cautious mother, I am able to find peace in giving Jesus EVERYTHING. 

Everything, including my family.

This has not been an easy process and is still on my mind daily. While I pray and intercede that my family will never be faced with this kind of situation, I still pray for peace if it ever does. 

The Lord is good and brings revelation moments at just the right moments. I was driving to the grocery store today with the girls napping in the backseat. I had a playlist going and started in prayer, but felt the Lord tell me just to listen and be still. A song then came on, which is one that I’ve listened to many times and really like. But hearing it this time brought me to a different place of peace I had never felt before with this song. It’s a song by Leeland called, “Where You Are”. The lyrics to the chorus go like this:

I just wanna be where You are               I just wanna be near Your heart  There is nothing like Your love     There is nothing like Your love

I felt like Jesus gave me a glimpse of eternity. I can’t explain it. It made me truly long for heaven and to be with Jesus forever. It made me realize how glorious of a moment it would be if my family was separated by death. Yes, it would be devastating. Yes, it would be painful. Yes, there would be great sorrow and grieving. But also a great peace and rejoicing knowing that I would KNOW there would be a reunion in heaven with our Father and our family.

Again, I never ever want this to happen to my family. I am not declaring martyrdom over my family. But I am accepting all aspects of Kingdom living and walking in more freedom than ever before! 

I’ll end with a few lyrics from this Rita Springer song:

The sight of Your face is all I need

So I will say to You       

It’s gonna be worth it

It’s gonna be worth it all

Jesus, I just want to be where You are. I want to be more like you and truly see You as the only thing of value. I turn my family over to You and trust Your leadership in protecting our eternity with You, together. You are so much greater than anything. You are worth it all!

“Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you will also live.” John 14:19

Early Mornings

When it comes to sleep, I want as much as possible. Even before “adulting”, I would typically be in bed early so that I could get 8 to 9 hours of sleep at night. I am not a night-owl, nor am I am morning person. Ha…meaning I need my sleep so that I’m not unpleasant to be around.

Of course, having kids changed my sleeping habits. I can’t remember the last time I had 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Somehow, I’ve managed to adapt to still be a functioning member of society during the day! But I’ll admit that I still have my struggles.

As a mom, I have been created to be the nurturer, the caretaker, the comforter. Even during times when I’d rather be sleeping. I must confess that at 3 AM I have not been the most “loving” mother to my children.

Especially this past week.

For 4 nights in a row, Anna woke up multiple times, which would then wake her older sister up as well. Looking back, I should have handled those nights way better. I allowed myself to become frustrated immediately for one simple reason – I just wanted to sleep.

So selfish.

Anna needed me. She wanted me. Why else would she cry out in the middle of the night? Shouldn’t she know that her mom will be there for her at any time, no matter what? These are things I pray for both of my girls – that they would find comfort, safety and love in their Daddy and I for their whole life. That they will never hesitate to reach out to us, no matter what the situation. I’ve been making the mistake of only applying those prayers to their future and not in the present.

When Anna cries during the night, she is looking for me. She’s wanting to know that she is safe and that I’m available. That I’m there.

It’s just how the Father is with us. He’s always available. He keeps us safe. He comforts. When we cry out to Him, He is there no matter what the situation. He just says, “Come to me. I’m all you need. I’m your everything. I’m here.”

That is what He spoke to me during that fourth morning of early wake-up calls. I had a choice that morning. To lack in love or to be full of love. I prayed for grace and His presence and this is the lesson He taught me as I was rocking my baby back to sleep.

I’m always praying to be a better parent and daily interceding for my girls. He used those dreaded wake-up calls as a teaching moment for me. His love for me allows me to model that same type of love to my girls. Finally, after 4 long nights, I listened.

Such grace.

Last night, Anna woke up once during the night and my approach was different. But so was her response. 2 minutes later, we were both back to sleep for the rest of the night. 🙂

Will those early mornings still happen? Yes. Will I still be sleepy? Absolutely. Is it worth it?

Definitely.

In the morning, Lord, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before You and wait expectantly. Psalm 5:3

There’s just something different about meeting with the Father in the morning. How has your life been impacted by choosing to meet with Him in the morning?