no better place- a repost

21 Oct

Can you hear the call?

Come to me my people, come

Perhaps you feel like the Prodigal Son…

longing for home but, afraid of the reception you’ll receive if you dare to show your face?

There’s no need to be afraid of your Father

will He frown, cross His arms and turn away?

When I see you I will run

What’s this? He’s running to meet you?!

I will be there, I will be there

What comfort is found in His embrace!

Before you call, I will answer you

He quiets you with His love and sings a soothing song to your soul.

While you still speak, I will hear

He hears the longings and intentions of your heart,

listens in rapt attention while you pour out your soul.

My ears are turned to the cry of my chosen ones

He hears the cry and listens with compassion,

ready to offer the Love that will banish all fears.

In my love you can rest in me

Contentment, peace, calm, rest … all found in the arms of your Savior.

Will you trust Him enough to rest there?

For you are my very own

Despite your rebellion and stubbornness, He has an everlasting love for you.

A love that fights for, protects and is jealous over you.

So hold on to the hope you have

The hope birthed out of the love that’s been lavished on you.

Hope that knows no limits, no restrictions, no “If you do ‘….’, He’ll love you more.”

That I would draw you to myself

With a love that keeps pursuing and never gives up on you.

That pulls you in and captivates you.

For I will never leave you alone

Even in the dark, lonely places He is there.

When you are blinded and disillusioned, defeated and filled with regret, He is there.

You are never alone.

I will not forget you, I gather my lambs in my arms

Even though you wander and stray, looking to greener pastures.

You are always on His mind.

He will search you out and bring you back.

He will tend to the wounds and bruises, gently nursing you back to health.

So I will comfort you and carry you close to my heart

Carried by the strong arms of the Good Shepherd.

Held close and secure. Comforted by His presence.

There is no better place to be.

lyrics by Daphne Rademaker

more than i can handle

5 Jun

I’ve said it.

I’m pretty sure you’ve said it too.

“God won’t give you more than you can handle.”  

Really?

Really?

Pretty much every minute of the day, I have more than I can handle.

Not in an I’m-so-overwhelmed-that-I-can’t-function kind of way {well, sometimes!}

but in an I-need-the-power-of-Jesus-to-live-the-Christian-life kind of way.

The longer I’m a Christian, the more I see my complete and total need for him in every area of my life. There is not one moment of my day that I don’t need His strength and grace to get through.

Love my husband and kids? Need Him.

Be content? Need Him.

Homeschool effectively? Need Him.

Manage my time well? Need Him.

The list goes on and on…but you get the picture.

God does give me more than I can handle so that I am propelled to be totally dependant on Him.

Totally.

Because even in pulling off a “successful” day week without His help, my self-satisfaction rises up and I pat myself on the back for a job well done…apart from Him.

“For apart from me you can do nothing.”

Nothing.

So why do we think that self-sufficiency is so great?

Why is an independent attitude applauded?

No where in the Bible does it say, “My power is made perfect in independence” or “the Spirit helps us in our self-sufficiency.” As Christians, it is through our dependence on God that we are strengthened and equipped to live a life that pleases Him. And yet, I still want to do everything on my own.

Why?

Because of PRIDE.

Pride stops me from admitting my need for help.

Pride hinders me from being vulnerable.

Pride recoils at the thought of submitting to Someone Else’s authority.

Because what it all comes down to is this:

To be dependant on God requires admitting that I am weak and imperfect. That apart from Him, I have no goodness of my own. And, that to be a follower of Christ, I must daily die to myself and fully rely on the Holy Spirit to live through me.

And the pride in me hates that.

The solution?

Humble myself before God.

Admit that I am weak and needy.

Receive the strength I need to tackle everything that comes my way.

It’s the only way to truly handle it all.

to prove i’m still alive…

20 Oct

It seems like years since I’ve been here. And truthfully, I even feel a few years older. This is a tough season of life for me. I’m the curious sort that has a love/hate relationship with change. And unfortunately, the kind of changes that I’m not so fond of have popped up a lot recently.

Most notably…September 16th my dad lost {or won, depending on your perspective} his struggle with cancer, and finally met his Savior. The last few days before his death were exhausting emotionally, mentally and physically. The weeks since his death have been hard too.

But not in the ways I expected.

It’s hard because…

…no one grieves the same way, yet we all have expectations of what grief should look like. I don’t grieve like my mom or brothers, or even my husband. And sometimes my way of grieving conflicts with their way of grieving. And, instead of getting offended or lashing out, I have to remind myself that we are all going through this together. And that lots of grace is required as we navigate this unfamiliar territory.

It’s hard because…

…life goes on whether I’m ready or not. There is a family to take care of, a house that needs cleaning, home schooling to be done, etc. There is no “pause” button to push until I’m ready to face the daily grind of life again. Moving on is part of the process, even when I’d like the luxury of making time stand still for a bit longer.

Along with that major life change, comes the start of a new school year. As much as I was looking forward to starting 1st grade with Sam, it was another transition to acclimate to. I’m happy to report that it’s going well…even though it’s not the well-oiled machine that it could be. We are working out the kinks one by one and I look forward to the next couple of weeks when we get into our “school groove.”

Ava turned two this month and is well on her way to perfecting her “terrible” status. Not really…but she is quite the drama queen and keeps us cringing or grinning, depending on her antics! She has a will of steel titanium and really dislikes to be told “no.” Her favorite response is to look at us with an expression that says, “Your rules don’t apply to me, I’m too cute!” Oy…

Rachel is 7 mos. old and has matured from newborn to baby {a change that any parent can appreciate} and she is now demanding my full attention. She loves to play peek-a-boo, squeals at her brother’s antics and loves to be surrounded by family. She has thighs that rival the Michelin Man’s and eats non-stop {or so it seems!}.  Her smile lights up the room and there is nothing, I mean nothing, that brings a grin to my face quicker than listening to her belly laughs.

So there’s the update of my life in a nutshell.

Just wanted to prove to you that I’m still alive. ;0)

a few new canvases

1 Oct

Hello, friends! Long time, no see.

Life snuck up on me and it’s been waaay too long since I’ve been here. One of the things that has kept me busy is working on canvases. Here are a few of my new creations.

my hope is in the Lord

26 Aug

The chorus of this song is really speaking to me today. I’m soaking up this truth, and so thankful that my God is always faithful to me.

picture play

22 Aug

I took this photo of Rachel today and decided to play around with it a little.

Which

one

do

you

like best?

 

day 16

27 Jul

Passage: Joshua 1:1-14:15

We can do amazing things when God is with us. 

“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

{Joshua 1:9}

If ever there was a person that had reason to be afraid, it was Joshua. He had inherited the daunting task of leading the grumbling, rebellious, Israelites into the Promised Land. As if that weren’t enough, he was also responsible to clear the land of nations that were already settled there…nations much bigger and stronger than Israel.

So the Lord spoke.

“Don’t be afraid, be strong and courageous.”

“I will go with you. I won’t abandon you.”

Like Joshua, I have charge of a {sometimes} grumbling and rebellious little clan. Daily, I am in a battle to protect them from the enemy of their souls and bring them one step closer to the “promised land” of salvation. And, apart from the knowledge that the Lord is with me, my heart would be faint and my resolve weak. Who am I kidding, even knowing that the Lord is with me I still get scared and overwhelmed! I feel Joshua’s pain when rebellion rears its ugly head in my 5 yr old, or my {almost} 2 yr old decides to engage in a battle of the wills.

But as the Lord reminded Joshua time and time again, he reminds me.

“Don’t be afraid, be strong and courageous.”

“I will go with you. I won’t abandon you.”

And the stength comes.

And the fear subsides.

And God moves in ways that truly amaze me.

day 9/10

21 Jul

“If you obey My laws and regulations, you will find life through them. I am the Lord.” {Leviticus 18:5}

What comes to mind when you think of LIFE?

I think of vibrant green leaves,

new babies crying that new baby cry,

laughter and activity,

deep, fresh breaths of air.

Good things.

Then why, oh, why do I hesitate to obey the commands of God??

He says that His laws bring life. And I know it to be true. But I have a forgetful heart. And when the road is long and the night is dark I want what’s easy.

So I settle for the imitation life of the world, instead of the real life from the Word.

It’s like eating a “burger” from McDonald’s instead of a nice juicy hamburger fresh off the grill. There really is no comparison, but the fast food is quick and easy and keeps me going for the moment. Nevermind that the junk it’s made of outweighs the nourishment that I receive.

But I’m tired of eating junk. I want real food. I want to nourish my soul with the Life from heaven.

“Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work.” {John 4:34}

day 8…cheating

18 Jul

Passage: Leviticus 1:1-14:32

 Well, I’m not really cheating. I just think that Amy over at Mom’s Toolbox said it better than I could. So here’s the link to her insight for this passage:

Even unintentional sin is sin.

i did it

18 Jul

I sold my first canvas!

And I am selling more over at Etsy. Come check out my site!

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