It takes effort to SEE sometimes

On a day when my heart has been heavy and my soul, troubled, seeing God has taken some serious effort. Oh how I long for Him to peel back the sky and allow me to SEE Him on His white horse, to SEE Him on His throne, to SEE the angels worshipping Him, to SEE His glorious face. How my heart longs to SEE Him as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did, as Moses did, as Elisha did, as Paul did, and as John did. My soul craves feeling His touch as Jacob did, as Mary did, as Jarius’ daughter did.

Yet, He did not grant those longings today. Instead, He allowed me to SEE His Word, as I wrote a lesson from 2 Timothy 3. In that passage He reminded me that people will always challenge His Word, but that I can, and must, always cling to it as fundamental, unchanging, forever truth because it is His very Words breathed out for mankind.

Jesus did not reach out and touch me with His nail-scarred hand, but He provided a hug from my earthly daddy, the man who led me to the cross so many years ago.

And while I would have loved to have seen heaven peeled back and the throne of God appear, God did not provide such an event. Yet, He allowed me to SEE His goodness as He sent my little girl to me; to crawl up into my lap, look at me with her gorgeous blue eyes and tell me that she loves me. She curled up in my lap, just as I longed to curl up in Jesus’ lap. I comforted her, just as I felt Him comfort me. I whispered in her ear, as I felt Him whisper in mine.

Just because certain voices speak louder, does not silence the quiet voice of truth. I am so grateful to have heard the whisper of truth, and to have seen a glimpse of God’s goodness in the form of a precious little girl who loves her God (and her mama) so much.

Tonight, I don’t know what the future holds, but I am clinging to the One who holds the future!

Let Us SEE Your Glory

“Moses said, please show me your glory.” Exodus 33:18

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I started this blog because I want to be purposeful about seeing God in my life. I know He is always with me, and yet, all too often I go about my day without “seeing” Him; without seeing His power and majesty at work in my ordinary life, without seeing His creativity in the world around me, without seeing His love and compassion for the people in this world. The purpose of this blog is to make me think about the ways in which I can SEE God everyday, and then share those glimpses with others.

I have had many discussions with people recently about how we can SEE God in the midst of such chaos and brokenness going on all over the world. It is hard to watch the news and not be overwhelmed with sorrow, depression, anger and fear. Hatred abounds, tolerance for certain groups is preached and mandated, while intolerance for other groups is celebrated, evil seems to be winning, and even nature seems to be spiraling out of control. How can we SEE God in these times?

The answer: We look harder, and we ask Him to improve our vision.

He is here; just as He was with Noah when he was building the ark, just as He was with Lot as his city burned behind him, just as He was with the Israelites in captivity, just as He was with Daniel and his friends in a idol worshipping foreign city, just as He was with His Son as He died to save the very ones beating and crucifying Him, and just as He was with each disciple and apostle who gave their lives to proclaim His Name.

God is always with us, in good times and in bad. He holds our hands as we cry tears of joy, tears of sorrow, and tears of  frustration. He upholds us through our days. God’s presence in our lives is not dependent on our vision of Him. We seek to SEE with human eyes, the God who is spirit. We cannot do this on our own power. We need to ask Him to help us, to enable us, to SEE a glimpse of His glory; just as Moses did so many years ago.

I believe God wants to show us a glimpse of Himself. I believe He wants to give us great spiritual vision. After all, think about the change in Moses once He had seen a glimpse of God’s glory. He was completely changed! Others could look at Him and SEE the difference being in God’s presence had made. Granted, our hair probably won’t instantly turn white, nor our faces begin to glow, but we will have seen a glimpse of the One True God, and others will notice a change in us.

The world needs Christians to SEE Jesus. The world needs us to remember that Jesus is stronger than sin and evil. We cannot go around as if blinded by darkness and fear. We have been called into the Light, and given new eyes. Let’s look with those eyes today and see what God wants us to SEE.

Ask Him to show you a glimpse of Himself. Maybe you will SEE His glory in the sunrise, or a child’s laughter. Maybe you will SEE His protection in some way today, or His provision in your life. Maybe He will make you laugh as you look at one of His funny creations. Maybe you will SEE Him as powerful when you gaze across the ocean. Ask Him to allow you to SEE Him in some way.

And if you do, will you come back here and write about it in the comments below? I would LOVE to know how you have seen God this week! Let’s encourage each other to become more focused on seeing the Light, than on seeing the darkness.

Let Us SEE the Other Doors

“Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors.” Proverbs 8:34

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As I sit in my dining room, attempting to write a curriculum lesson, my dog is attempting to dig her way under the closed door between the dining room and kitchen. I have closed the door in an attempt to block out the happy sounds of “My Little Pony” (which are not that helpful when writing). My constant shadow, our sweet golden retriever, Bailey, had been eating when I pulled the door shut, and was highly offended when she discovered a door separated her from me.

First came the whining, followed by a quick yelp, and then she began trying to dig through tile flooring. But here’s the fascinating thing to me: we have two other ways to get into this room – another door just a few feet away, or going upstairs and coming back down right into the room. My dog’s panic, and stubbornness, has caused her to miss the other doors she could easily walk through. She is so set on wanting me to open the door, that she is refusing to consider any other possibilities.

I sat, getting a tad bit frustrated, since listening to a dog whine and dig is about as helpful as the sounds of “My Little Pony” when writing, but then I let myself SEE the truth hidden in the noise: How often do I get so stuck wanting my own way, that I miss the other doors God has opened. I want to bulldoze my way through one, and only one door, instead of being open to His alternatives.

Two specific doors I’ve been trying to dig under this week immediately came to my mind:

I want my kids to stop arguing this summer, so I default to lectures about treating each other with kindness. The lecture door is not working, but there I stand time and time again trying to make it work. What other alternatives is God providing? Am I wiling to look for, and walk through those “other doors” in search of a way to reach their hearts?

I need to finish writing my book, begin my book proposal, and create something called a one-sheet, all while packing for a trip, writing my regular curriculum lessons and helping my little girl say goodbye to her very best friend who is moving away. I have been determined to get it all done, and get it done in a week. I have been banging my head against the door of self-imposed deadlines and trying to dig under a schedule that threatens to bury me. But just for a moment today, I looked up and saw a glimpse of an alternative. The door of “if it gets done, it gets done, and if it doesn’t, it will be ok” was standing open just off in the distance.

My husband was somewhat forced through that door this weekend, as he was working frantically, trying to finish a woodworking project in order to meet a self-imposed deadline. He had been maintaining a crazy pace of office work and workshop work and was exhausted. He was so close to his goal, he could taste it, but then a slip of the hand, and he received a huge gash in his palm. His pace stopped in an instant. His self-imposed deadline no longer had a chance of being met. And you know what? The world did not stopping spinning.

Yes, there are some deadlines which are non-negotiable, but for those that are, maybe the deadlines we have given ourselves, are not always God’s deadlines for us. Maybe we are trying to force our way through a door that has been closed for a reason.

Do you feel as though you are desperate to get through a door that is not budging? Will you ask God to show you an alternative? Maybe there is another open door just a short distance away, or maybe instead of opening another door, God will join you where you are and wait with you on the other side until the time is right for you to enter the door He has opened for you.

Bailey never did come in on her own, but eventually she quieted down and waited for me to come to her, at which point she receive a belly rub and a doggie treat, proving that sometimes good things can still happen when you are waiting in front of a closed door!

Finding Balance

I am finding that seriously pursuing a dream takes an enormous amount of time! I have dabbled in my dream for years, but with the writing conference looming just over a month away, my dream has taken on an entirely different level of commitment. Suddenly, things that used to come easily, like grocery shopping, cleaning the house, and making time for summer fun with the kids, have become virtually impossible to get done. My husband very sweetly, and cautiously asked me if I was doing laundry anymore. I had not even noticed the mountain range of dirty clothes being formed in the laundry room.

Balance – the word I keep chanting. Must find a balance. I am not a very structured person by nature, so this process of pursuing my dream is stretching me in yet another way – I am having to become more structured. I am so not there yet, I have simply identified what I need to do.

I found myself becoming bitter party of one last week when I was continually telling my kids “no” to all the summer fun things they wanted to do, when I had to go to the store to get food, and when the mess in the kitchen could no longer be ignored. I don’t want to allow bitterness to steal my joy along this journey, so I am trusting God to help me get it all done, and to rest in Him when I can’t. I am realizing that things will not get done exactly as they have in the past, my kids will have to step it up a little more and help out with house stuff, and I will have to be more purposeful in my daily plan.

I refuse to give bitterness and stress the victory in this battle. I will trust the God who gave me this dream, and lean on Him as I walk along this path.

I had to smile at the “Jesus Calling” devotional for today: “Let Me help you get through this day…..You will get through this day one way or the other. One way is to moan and groan, stumbling along with shuffling feet. This will get you to the end of the day eventually, but there is a better way. You can chose to walk with Me along the path of Peace, leaning on Me as much as you need. There will still be difficulties along the way, but you can face them confidently in My strength.”

Let’s walk with Him and SEE what He will do.

Do you have any tips on maintaining balance between pursuing your dream and managing the daily routine of life? If so, I would love to hear them!

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Blind Faith – Pursuing my dream of becoming an author

The irony of titling my blog, SEE, while then creating a page called Blind Faith, is not lost on me. As I dive deeper in the pursuit of my dream of becoming a published author, I often feel as though I am blindly navigating my way around in unfamiliar territory. The process feels daunting and overwhelming, and yet energizing and exciting. The deeper I go, the less unqualified I feel, and yet the more I want to see this dream become a reality. It is a journey of paradox, and of total commitment. I am quickly learning that there is no such thing as part-time writing.

I hope to use this “blog within a blog” to record my journey: the good, the bad and the ugly. I hope this section becomes my “stones of memorial” regardless of where the journey ends. I want to reflect back on this journey and be able to SEE God’s hand and His purpose. I want to SEE His glory in the joys and the sorrows, the rejections and the successes.

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And I hope to engage you in this journey. I will occasionally post snippets of the book I am working on, and I would love your honest (but please be gentle;) feedback. I would also love to hear how you are pursuing your dream, and how you are balancing it all.

Let’s dream big together and SEE what God will do through our dreams!