Category Archives: Faith

When you can’t find Jesus.

"What if I can't find Jesus, mama?" The answer that came was for both of us. Maybe it's for you, too.“Mama, what happens when we die?”

She snuggled in close, 6-year-old daughter of mine, worried sick that night about tornadoes and the world and big scary things.

“We go to heaven to be with Jesus, baby.”

Her head cradled in the crook of my arm, eyes turned up toward me, wide and worried, “But what if I die and you don’t? What if I can’t find Jesus, Mama?”

Arms enfold in a fierce embrace. The tears now mine. “Oh, honey. Sweet baby girl.

Jesus finds YOU.”

And He does, doesn’t He? And not just then, but here and now.

Where are you? Have you been looking for Him? Are you wondering? Wandering?

He WANTS to be in relationship with you, you know. He WANTS to be found by you.

DO you know this?

Do you ever feel like you’re looking for Jesus and you can’t find Him? Or worse, that He’s intentionally hiding from you?

This is not my Jesus. This is not the Jesus of the Bible.

The Jesus of my Bible wants to be found by you. The Jesus of my Bible is not waiting for you to get yourself figured out or get Him figured out or attain some height of revelation or depth of understanding.

The Jesus of my Bible simply says, “Come.”

Come out, come out, wherever you are.

Tell Him you want to know Him, you want to find Him – take that first step, and see that He’s already taken all the other steps.

Seek Him, and discover He has already sought you.

And you are found.

James 4-8

SaveSave

Throwback Thursday: And now you know.

As of next week, I will have two children in elementary school. That is ALL OF MY CHILDREN. As in, THERE WILL BE NO CHILDREN AT MY HOUSE ALL DAY.

Part of me (okay, a LOT of me) is just trying to keep my excitement at a civilized level.

Another part of me is simply stunned at how quickly we’ve reached this season. And if I linger too long over it, my heart feels that familiar squeeze all over again.

Here’s what I wrote the first time around, with Owen. (It all seemed a bit more intense with him. He’s my first. So, I guess that makes sense.)

But she’s my last. I’m finding that brings an ache of its own.

Originally published on August 18, 2014.

I cried the Ugly Cry today. Sometimes it seems my kids are just growing up so fast. So much that I cried the Ugly Cry about it today. Am I the only one who’s thought "WHAT DID I GET MYSELF INTO!?” Whether your children are babies or grown, find encouragement in this short must-read.

My firstborn, my baby boy, that sweet boy who made me a mama, that bundle of life who waited so long and then came so fast I hardly knew what hit me…

He starts school in one week.

One week from today, I will drive him to a sweet old elementary school and entrust him to the care of an exceptional staff for SEVEN HOURS. And I will do this FIVE DAYS A WEEK.

He will be just three miles away. He will have the time of his life.

And I feel like my heart is being ripped out of my chest.

I remember the first night I laid that baby boy to sleep in his crib in his own room. He was three steps away. But he was SO SMALL. And that crib seemed SO BIG.

Post-partum hormones crashed like a wave, and I hiccup-sobbed to my mom, “I just LOVE. HIM… SO… MUCH…”

She held me close (stifling a giggle at my snotty-hiccuppy-Ugly-Cry) and said, “And now you know.”

She pulled back so she could look in my eyes and said with all the fervor in her heart, “I still feel that way about you.”

Oh, God.

“WHAT DID I GET MYSELF INTO!?” I cry to Heaven, now over six years later.

And I don’t mean sending my child to school. I mean BECOMING A MOTHER.

God, how do our hearts survive this?

The cry gets uglier as I picture my aunt sending her twin boys to COLLEGE over the weekend. It seems just yesterday that THEY were babies.

In twelve years, I’ll be doing the same thing. In twelve short years, we’ll help this boy, this precious boy who laid so small in a great big crib, move into a dorm and then out in the world, and he just seems so little, and the world is just so big, and GOD, MY HEART CANNOT BEAR THIS.

Maybe next year I’ll be the mom at the end of the summer saying, “Please! Teachers! Take him back! I’m dying here!”

But this is not that year. This year, our first year sending our son to school, I hold him close. I marvel at how he’s grown, how tall he is, how funny, how altogether incredible to me.

And I marvel still more that of all the little boys in all of time, this boy calls me Mom.

My mom was right. Now I know. Oh, how I know. This ache. This blessed ache of a mother’s heart… It started with you, son. You’ve ruined me. In the most sacred of ways, you’ve ruined me.

And God, You have the audacity to say you love this child EVEN MORE THAN I DO? That claim would really piss me off, except that I know it’s true. Oh thank You, Jesus, it’s true.

Fresh tears roll as He draws me near, whispering with all the fervor in His heart:

“And now you know…

I feel that way about you.”

1John419**Hey, mama! Are you feeling a lot more “WOOHOO!!” than “Boohoo” about your kid going to school? Do you want to vomit if one more person tells you to savor every moment? Then, you probably want to read this OTHER post I wrote. 😉

There is room at the table for all of us.

 

What laundry taught me about prayer.

I’ve been studying the life of David. I’ve always been comforted by his Psalms because he’s kind of all over the place – which describes me most of the time. He’s up, he’s down, he’s everywhere in between. He feels all the feelings. And he feels them deeply. Like, “Go Big or Go Home: Feelings Edition.”

Thanks to many a good teacher and preacher, I know to let FACTS and FAITH take the lead in my life – NOT my feelings. Feelings are fleeting – we know this. Facts are solid. When placed in a strong God, faith is sturdy. But feelings? Lord, have mercy.

So, back to David. I’m working through a study by Beth Moore (which I highly recommend – you can check it out here). This morning, I read Psalm 142, which David penned while hiding in a cave, fearing for his life. He cried out to God and poured out his heart – the whole mess of it. In the commentary, Beth made a life-changing observation:

[David’s] feelings were not an accurate assessment of the truth, but they were worthy to share with God. Feelings can be a little like our laundry. Sometimes we can’t sort them until we dump them on the table. – Beth Moore, David: Seeking a Heart Like His, p. 62

What can LAUNDRY teach us about PRAYER? You may be surprised. And relieved! (I was.) Of all the laundry tips and tricks, this is the first to impact my life OUTSIDE the laundry room! You don’t want to miss it.Really, you guys – how often do I search through a basket of laundry, looking for the right things, all while trying to keep the entire pile confined to the container? (The answer is: VERY OFTEN.) I’m searching and sorting, but my effort is severely crippled by my attempts to keep anything from spilling out the sides.

If I just dump it all out on the bed, I can quickly sort through and find what I’m looking for – or even FIGURE OUT WHAT I’m looking for.

Why the insistence on keeping it all jammed in the basket?

God is not concerned about me spilling out the sides. Not when I’m with Him.

He’s big enough. I’m not too much for Him.

Do you know you’re not too much for Him?

I don’t need to sort it all out first. I don’t need to sort ANY of it out first. My prayers don’t even have to make sense. What I feel doesn’t have to be an accurate reflection of my situation. It doesn’t have to be “right.” It can just BE WHAT IT IS.

I truly can come to Him JUST AS I AM.

And in coming to Him, some things come undone. Some things tie together. Some things break apart. Break down. Break open. Some things make more sense. Some, less.

But in the sorting, sifting, breaking, healing, I’m in His presence. And THAT makes all the difference.

Apart from Him, I worry, stew, spiral, and fixate until I don’t know which way is up.

He is my anchor. He is my steady ground. And He is not shaken by me – my complaints, confusion, wondering, and wandering.

So bring it all to Him. The glorious you AND the gross you. The pretty you, the pathetic you.  Courageous you, confused you.

Bring all of you.

Pour yourself out to Him in prayer.

And be revived as He pours Himself into you.

And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. – Romans 5:5