The “son” will burn away the fog.

Babysitter arrives and I’m off. As I pull out of the driveway I can hardly see a thing in front of me, the fog is so thick. I think to myself how familiar this fog feels. Not in the natural but in the spiritual. In the past several weeks I have heard one bad news after the other. News of people I love losing their life, losing someone they love, fearing for their children’s future and hearts being broken. Seeing the fog this morning illustrated how my heart has been feeling.  Knowing that the Lord is faithful but unable to see the other sidOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAe of these broken hearts.

Crap, I forgot my wallet (true story) ! I turn around, back to the house, grab my wallet. Alright lets do this all over again.

As I venture back down the road the fog is still just as thick as before but I have to search for my sunglasses because the sun is fiercely bright. As I put on my sunglasses I think to myself, how odd is it I am putting  sunglasses on in the fog. I instantly remember the voice of a news caster saying the other day, ” The sun will burn that fog right up.” Hmmm.

You guys know where I’m going with this don’t you? How sweet is our God!

I arrive at the coffee shop, open up my bible and am lead to 1 Corinthians 13. The entire chapter is amazing but listen to this…

13:12 We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it wont be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright. We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us.

Praise the Lord!

I mean, I don’t even know what to say after reading that. My heart is fluttering from the Holy Spirit’s sweet answers to the cries of my heart. To the cries of all of our hearts. I know this is true for all of us. We will see clearly and until then, let us LOVE.

The sun is brighter than the fog

The Lord is faithful

There is light on the other side

Merry Foggy Christmas ya’ll!!

Advertisements

Equal parts sure

It’s been 1 year today since The Dance Project closed. Parts of my heart still ache from missing it but equal parts are sure that the Lord is moving. I long for the day when more than equal parts will be sure. Some of you may be missing a person during this season.

I want to encourage you today. Whether Less or equal or more of your heart is sure than the other, You are wrapped in His unfailing faithfulness.

Psalm 136

” I will never fail you. I will never abandon you. So we can say with confidence, The Lord is my helper so I will have no fear.” (Hebrews 13:5-6)

When my Avery was sick as a baby this scripture took hold and carried me through years of illness. In fact, it is the premise if this entire blog. Recently Avery had a surgery to help correct some damage that occurred during one of several severe infections she endured. In all things this surgery was a testament to the Lord’s faithfulness. It was a long time coming. A long, painful, anxious time coming. The morning of the surgery my heart was so full of so many emotions. I couldn’t put it into words. I wanted to though. I felt this desire to shout from the roof tops how good our God is but I couldn’t find the words. I asked, Lord what would you have me say?

During the surgery I went to the cafeteria to wait. I grabbed a sandwich and an extra lIMG_9632arge coffee and sat myself down. I pulled out my bible with the intention of going straight to Hebrews 13 (of course). As I was flipping through the pages I had some sort of brain laps and could not find Hebrews for the life of me. As I’m flipping back and forth I hear a man’s voice say “Can I help you find something?”. I look behind me and see the humblest of men, sweeping up the crumbs of the last people who sat at the table behind me. In a soft, stuttering voice he said “I know where everything is in that book. It’s my favorite book to read.” This man was so precious and it was NOT a coincidence that he landed in the cafeteria that morning. (Isn’t it so cool. All I did was open the bible and God used it.) We spoke for a very long time and after a pause in our conversation he said, “Psalm 136. It’s my favorite. Give thanks to the Lord for he is good. His faithful love endures forever. ” And there they were. The words I was looking for.

That scripture was alive and true more on that day than ever in my life. I was in the midst of God’s faithfulness to heal. His faithfulness to provide. His faithfulness to speak. His faithfulness to endure.

In Psalm 136 the phrase “His faithful love endures forever” is written 26 times! Of course it is. This truth is so important for us to remember. May we all write this on our hearts and keep it in the front of our  minds.

My new friend’s name from the hospital is Melvin. Please pray for Melvin. I had to run in the middle of our conversation when the doctor paged that the surgery was over and couldn’t find him again after.

-move the feelings

The orgin of the word emotion derives from the French word esmotion, derived on the model of movoir: motion, from esmovoir: to set in motion, move the feelings. In Latin the word is ēmovēre; move, motion.

To move the feelings…

Over the past several months Pryor and I have talked about how it’s been hard leaving the ones we love. We’ve talked about how its been surprisingly hard to open ourselves up to new people and our new place. So, the other day I mentioned to him I felt like God had brought us into a “desert season”. He quickly chuckled at me and said, “what are you talking about? Look at us and how far we’ve come? I’m the closest to God I’ve ever been in my life.”
I felt two things in that moment. 1. Complete joy that my husband, after many spiritual ups and downs, feels closer to God than ever in his life!! Pure Joy
2. an immediate heaviness because I realized I’m in this “desert” ALONE.
And low and behold, as our conversation continued (because God is so good like this) Pryor said something to me that gave me a clear vision of what this desert season is all about for me. He said, “Babe, I watch you tell anyone who will listen about God’s grace and forgiveness for them but then you hold yourself to some other standard. If grace is real why aren’t you accepting it for yourself?” Ouch.
And there it is, this feeling of a desert I’m having is way deeper and older than a recent move. This is years of holding onto guilt, shame, and fear that the Lord wants to dig up and out.
Emotional Desert. This is where I am. I see God’s hand in it.
I hope this helps others.

road covered with sand
Photo by antas singh on Pexels.com

But Lord, I said I was thirsty?

A friend of mine posted this picture during her vacation last week. Isn’t it breathtaking?

As soon as I saw it it reminded me of a feeling I’ve been having for a while now. A feeling that though all things are well with my soul and my future is full of God’s promises, the dry places of my heart are being hunted by the redeemer and there is a desert approaching.

I have felt thirsty for a while now. Longing to know more of the Lord. Longing to feel closer to Him. Praying He would take my life and do what He wants with it. His answer to my prayers has been follow me there, to the desert. But Lord, I’m thirsty? There’s not water in the desert. How will I survive?

About a week ago I had the pleasure of sitting down with Allison Allen the author of the new book “Thirsty for more”. I asked her if she felt like this new book was less universal than her first book “Shine” (which sets the tone for stepping into the role God has for you). To my surprise she said, “I actually think Thirsty for more is more universal. You can have a desert season in many areas of your life. Relationships, the work place, your marriage, etc.” This statement has had me reeling all week. I hadn’t thought of having “patches” of desert seasons in your life before. Everything in your life doesn’t have to be falling apart to have places in your life that are dry and in need of healing. Then, of course, I’m like ok Lord, bring it on. Open my eyes to the desert places….. and he abliged🤪.

With all of this being said, I am so looking forward to diving into Allison’s new book “Thirsty for more”. How lucky am I (are we) to have this tool to help navigate through my (our) desert places. I urge you to consider taking a journey into the desert.

I would love to hear from you!!! Are there desert places you are navigating through? How can I pray for you?

Order “Thirsty for more” HERE👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻

Jesus hung for you..

IMG_9413Growing up Catholic, every cross I ever saw, Jesus was hanging on it. Even the crosses my grandma and grandpa, aunts and uncles wore around their neck had Jesus on them. His arms stretched, nails in his hands, his legs very slightly crossed enough to see the nail going through both feet, his head down and a little to the right with a crown of thorns on his head, his rib cage slightly showing and a look on his face. I can’t even explain the look on his face. And of course the sign that hung above him INRI (the mocking words that read King of the Jews)

These days I don’t see Jesus on crosses often. Why? It could be because I no longer go to a Catholic church but why have other churches taken Jesus off the cross? It feels a little bit easier to see a cross without Jesus on it. The emotions and intimacy of seeing Him hanging there are heavy.

Are you allowing your heart to be heavy for Jesus? Are you allowing your heart to go to the rawness of the cross? Have you (theoretically) taken Jesus off the cross because its easier to look at?

“Jesus Saves” Jesus rocks” Jesus is my homeboy” These are fun sayings and true ones at that BUT let’s not forget the weight of His work on the cross for us. The clouds grew dark, the thunder rumbled, the blood soaked weight of the world lay on His body for you (and me, reminding myself of this too) as He HUNG FROM NAILS ON A CROSS…..

……. and then It is Finished.

I dare to say, if you have not soaked in the depth of Jesus literally hanging from the cross you will miss out on the rest of His words, It is Finished. We must go to the hard places. We must look inside ourselves to the places we allow the cross but forget that Jesus hung there. Jesus Hung on the cross for your addiction. Jesus hung from nails for your anxiety. Jesus hung for you, beloved…

Pride & Provision…and Poop

PRIDE:

This time last year (and the six before that) I would have been knee deep in Recital prep. Cutting music, perfecting choreography, fitting costumes, emailing details and schedules. I would have been on “don’t even look at me” mode with my husband and “you have got to do this yourself” mode with the kids. Fast forward a few weeks later, I would be standing on the recital stage after the final dance apologizing to my family for being a total bear the past several weeks and Thanking everyone who helped make that day possible for our students. Most of all, I would be standing there with a proud heart. I would be proud of my students. I would be proud of my teachers, I would be proud to have a studio that loved the Lord and loved our Dancers. I would even be proud of myself for “my” accomplishments. Having something good that you’re doing that people can SEE, that is tangible, it feels good……. and then when you don’t there comes a lot of digging inside yourself to find out what should really make you feel proud.

PROVISION:

Several years ago the Lord spoke to me about His plans for my life. Since then all that He had shown me has begun to slowly come together. Most recently His provision was put on fast forward with a whirlwind of change. 8 months ago I fasted about weather or not to keep The Dance Project open, the Lord made it very clear to shut the doors and focus on my children and husband. December 12th was our last recital, December 28th my husband’s boss asked him if he would be willing to move to Nashville. January we put our house on the market and March 3rd we moved. AND NOW ___________________. And now we’re here and all things went from fast forward to STOP.

& POOP:

“Mommy, mommy it’s poop! It’s the poop one! I love the poop one!”

So, a few days ago, I put my hand in poop, on accident of course. Why was it on the side of the toilet bowl though? in the shape of a finger print? Clearly one of my four children were having an issue that they felt they could take care of on their own, except for the clean up part of it. I also found poop on Millie’s chair in her bedroom and poop stains in a little persons underwear (that I will not name for the sake of embarrassment). For several weeks now I have been wondering what in the world God is doing. I mean, we moved to a new city because we felt this is what God was calling us to do. Quite frankly, in the feelings department, it stinks, big time. “My Pride” is gone, My God is silent and I’m hands deep in poop.

Yesterday, in the Target check out line, I allowed my two littles to get a treat. They picked out one of the mystery emoji packages. We get in the car, I open the treats and pass them to the back seat. Suddenly I hear, “Mommy, mommy it’s poop! It’s the poop one! I love the poop one!” She even said, “Jesus knew I would love the poop one.” I (being the strange person I am) began to cry. Instantly after hearing her the past several months played in my mind. The loss, the struggle, the unnoticed hard work, my selfishness, my “this isn’t what I thought was gonna be” and then a flood of the sweet faithfulness of the Lord.

Our pride comes from being a child of the most high king. Take notice of how the Lord is enriching the soil you are planted in (…. you are God’s field, God’s building….1 Cor. 3:9). Nothing goes unnoticed to Him. If poop is what it takes to get me where God wants me, so be it. After all, isn’t manure the best soil for a growing plant (……., but it was God, not we, who made it grow. 1 Cor. 3:6).

 

 

 

 

Why Lord?

If you are waiting for the Lord to tell you WHY, you could be waiting a long time. After all, we are called to lean not on our own understanding.

Recently I had the privilege of listening to a woman named Faith Ecklund teach on “Reasoning the why with the Lord”. She has a powerful story of the Lord’s faithfulness in her why moments. In short, at the age of 16 she was in a terrible car accident where she was ejected from the car and is now paralyzed from the waist down. I would encourage (like seriously check it out. She is such a precious woman of God. You do not want to miss what she has to say!) you to read her entire story at faithecklund.com. You can also find her teaching at gracechapel.net under the woman’s ministry link.

The most striking truth I learned this past week from her is ” The opposite of faith is certainty”. Wow! Is she on to something or what? When I think of the opposite of faith it is typically doubt, or fear, or anxiety but certainty?

Months ago I was trying to make a decision about the future of my business. As I was wrestling through this decision the Holy Spirit shared this scripture with me. It gave me a glimpse of how and even why God “makes decisions”…..

By wisdom the Lord founded the earth; by understanding he established the heavens. By his knowledge the deep fountains of the earth burst forth and the clouds poured down rain. (proverbs 3:19-20)

*By wisdom the Lord founded the earth – Wisdom is the soundness of an action or decision with regards to the application of experience, knowledge, and good judgment. Our God is of a sound mind. He has experience that we can not fathom. I don’t know about you but from my “knowledge” and “experience” of this earth, I maybe would have taken a pass on the whole “creating it” thing, cause we are a hot mess. But God!

*by understanding he established the heavens – I love this definition of understanding… The Power of abstract thought.  YES! and abstract is to consider something separately from something else. Mmmm.. Our God has the power to see beyond what we can see, outside of our circumstance, into the future AND makes plans accordingly (hence Him establishing heaven). His power to understand, His abstract thinking fuels provision for our benefit.

*by His knowledge the deep fountains of the earth burst forth and the clouds poured down rain – Knowledge , in other words consciousness. By God’s shear awareness of all things the earth burst  forth (unleashed before his eyes) and the clouds poured down rain. As if they had no other choice. They did as they were supposed to because their Lord’s will made it so.

Ok, so what does this have to do with why? Why me Lord? Why did you allow this to happen? Why cant I feel you close? Why is my loved one gone and I’m stuck here with all of this pain? Why is this recovery so hard?

Guys, Can I dare to say that when we decide to have FAITH in Jesus Christ we are actually forfeiting our right to be certain about anything (accept for His unfailing love for us) here on earth. During our hardest, most uncertain moments we must “go back to the beginning”, “cling to what we know is true” because we do not have the capacity to see what the Lord sees. In our uncertainty we can be completely certain that our God is for us. He is making all things new for us(rev. 21:5). He will never leave or forsake us(Deut. 4:31).

God created the earth, with a sound mind, with all understanding and knowledge of all things to come and He still said yes. GOD CREATED YOU, with a sound mind, with all understanding and knowledge of all things to come AND HE STILL SAID YES! WHY? Because unlike us He is not distracted from heart ache, or sin, or sickness, instead He sees our Victory, our Healing, and our Redemption.

Listen, I feel  very unqualified to talk about the big WHY question. I have not yet known great loss but the Holy Spirit would not leave me alone about this post. I pray that this will bring peace to someone. I pray that this finds its way to someone who needs to hear it this morning. I pray that the Lord will give you peace as you wait on his faithfulness. I pray that your healing process with burst forth new revelations about our saviors goodness. I pray peace and strength and endurance as you walk in this heartache. I pray the Holy Spirit’s comfort feels close to you this morning and always. I pray a supernatural amount of faith and trust in Jesus during your difficult time. I pray you will find happiness and contentment in whatever situation you are walking through. I pray that the Lord brings Godly men and women in your life to be your strength when your’s in gone. In Jesus precious name. Amen

 

The Sweet, uncomfortable wait.

park-bench1

11 Years ago Pryor and I  moved from Nashville to Knoxville, his home town. I was 8 months pregnant with our first child. We were the ripe age of 24 and madly in love. At the time, I was not particularly happy about our relocation venture. I knew though that I would follow him anywhere. A decade later, Knoxville has become our home. We have family, friends, church and roots here. It is truly our “place”.

Three days after Christmas Pryor’s boss asked him if he would be willing to move back to Nashville to head up sales department there. When Pryor asked me, I could hear the rush of the challenge in his voice. Pryor is an outstanding man. He’s an outstanding employee and an extraordinary problem solver. In fact, I can’t think of a time he hasn’t accomplished a goal he’s set, professionally. The most interesting thing about this proposal is that for the last year, I have felt called to close The Dance Project doors and be a helper to him in stewarding the gifts that God has given him. For months I have had a feeling that something big was about to happen. God was stirring something up. He was about to move big time in us.

Instantly I begin praying. Is this the thing, Lord? Is moving the thing? Is this the enemy trying to distract us? Where can we best serve you? Lord, guide our steps. Go before us. Close doors you wouldn’t have us pass through.

We have been waiting for the official offer for a week and a half now. The waiting had been exhausting and then something changed. I begun to sense a sweetness in the waiting. It feels as if I’m sitting right next to Jesus ( in the spring time, on a park bench with a beautiful field in front of us) and I hear Him saying, “Please, stay with me a little longer. I’m so thankful for this time that I get to show you how I can give you rest in your uncertainty. All the prayers you have prayed in the past, for endurance, for strength, to show you my righteousness, to teach you my truth, I am using this time for that. These are the moments when the fruits of your faithfulness are  being ripened. I love sitting here with you, my precious one.” Um, Yes Lord, I’m not going anywhere!

The thing is, once we get the offer and our decision is made, the waiting is over. The uncertainty passes and this particular conversation with Jesus is over. Though many more will follow, I want to soak in every sweet morsel of this waiting because I know that as uncomfortable as waiting can be, the richness of its wisdom is undeniable.

Are you in a waiting season? Are you waiting for a test result? A spouse to come home? A new season to arrive or one to end? A job opportunity? A miracle? A healing?

I hope that you can cherish this waiting. I hope you will allow Jesus to sit with you. I hope you find peace from Heaven. I hope that you can taste the sweetness of our Saviors love for you.

 

 

 

 

Shine- Part 2 (Shiny)

shine bookSo, I cant help but sing the “Shiny” song, that the crab in the Moana movie sings, after reading this book. I am so ready to shine I cant hardly stand it!

Here are a few wow moments for me, from the book:

“Watch, and I’ll make far more use of your consecrated weaknesses than I will ever make of your “perfected” strengths”

“When you encounter God, the you that goes in is not the you that comes out”

“Shouldn’t there be some spiritual heft to the fact that when he chooses you, it is because he knows there is something about the uniqueness of you-and Christ in you, the hope of glory – that most uniquely suits the glow of the moment at hand?

Listen, these are just a few lines I read that I had to let soak in. It is packed full of truths like this. Shine is a book that DARES YOU TO MOVE. No matter who or where you are in life, there is a place the Lord wants to show you. A place where the gifts He has given you were meant to Shine. The Shine book gives you insight into ways you may have been deceived by the enemy and it gives you tools to move out of that deception and into the truth of Jesus Christ. Yes, Please!!

“Babe, I’m sorry if your eyes are hurting because of my shininess right now.” This is what I said to Pryor after I finished the last chapter of Shine. LOL! He laughed at me, like he always does. BUT then I opened up to him about all that I felt the Lord has been calling me to. I had to let it out. I had to bring it to light. I hadn’t before because, even in my own head, it sounded outlandish and silly. “I have something for you to do. You will talk to women about Me. You will share your testimony and you will teach them about My truth. You will write a book and it will be about the truth of their identity in Me”. Pryor looked at me and said, “If anyone can do it, it would be you, hot momma”. And there it was, out of my secret place and into action. SHIIIINYYYYYY, like the treasure of a sunken pirate wreck.

Thank you Allison for once again giving me the courage to Shine.

Friends, Jesus is telling you something too. Dare to move. Even if its’ just taking the leap of faith to speak it. Dare to Shine. Your light is waiting.

Link to the Shine book: https://www.amazon.com/Shine-Stepping-into-Role-Were/dp/080072819X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1512059520&sr=8-1&keywords=Shine+book

Incase you want the Shiny song stuck in your head, here’s the link…..

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=shiny+song+in+moana&view=detail&mid=B2239E88953E3CA9F24BB2239E88953E3CA9F24B&FORM=VIRE

 

 

 

 

There is a part in the Shine book where Allison talks about how there was a season in her life where she felt she was  “put on the shelf”. I find it so interesting that that in that time is when she was

“Babe, I’m sorry if your eyes hurt right now, because of my shininess.” lol. This is what I said, to my husband (Pryor), after I read that last word of Shine.