Saturday, February 22, 2014

5 minute Friday - Small

Sloan is participating in 5 minute Fridays, hosted by Lisa-Jo Baker, so I decided to join her today. 5 minutes is just a teeny tiny snippet of time.  Today's (yesterday's) word was *small*.


I’ve always been of small stature. I’m 5’2” & my husband stands a full foot taller than me. I have small feet, small hands, small bones… and sometimes I feel like I could just shrink into the back ground and avoid being seen altogether.

I had a dream the other night.

I was walking through a stone city – it was big – but also felt maybe a little desolate. I was walking beside an angel. The angel was huge – way bigger than me – head and shoulders taller than my husband Neil who towers over me. I took my eyes off the angel to look around, and my whole perspective changed when I noticed there were more angels. Some were as tall as my house – some as huge as a sky scraper – some were even bigger than a mountain. They were wandering around the stone city. I gazed at them in amazement and then turned to my companion and remarked, “You’re small for an angel… why?”
The angel looked at me and said, “I'm supposed to be this size so that I can see you.”
And it made sense to have an angel on eye level, rather than one who would see me as from a great distance like a person watching an ant hill… there was more to be seen, more to be understood – when one can truly be seen.
And it reminds me of a song which often becomes my breath of a prayer when I meet with my Father and bring all manner of life and heart and longing to Him.
“Oh Great God, be small enough to hear me now….”

And He hears. 


Tuesday, February 18, 2014


i read a blogpost that someone had posted to facebook about it being harder (impossible) to blog the teen years as intensely as you can blog the baby/toddler years. That comforts me a bit as these last couple of years have seen a lot more quiet in this place that has brought me so much joy over my journey through motherhood.
It's true that circumstances are sometimes completely unbloggable... sometimes unsharable or unspeakable. That's when you just exhale - surrender - and trust that He is shaping you in the midst of the desert time.

That said, every so often, I realize that I do want to raise my hand in the crowded room and offer a small piece to record here - as my children seem to grow before my eyes and time mercilessly marches ever forward... So here's a small breath of praise to the One who continues to draw me "further up and further in!"*

At the beginning of this year, I kept seeing people post their "word for the year" - and I searched my mind and heart for a word that might fit for me to meditate on and grow from, but instead of a word, there were two phrases that have kept coming back to me these first two months into 2014.
The first is that I am learning to see the value, less in 'trying harder' and more in surrendering.
It has been spoken aloud in a million different ways - almost on a daily basis as I've been listening for His still small voice in conversations with other believers, in my bible reading, in my quiet time with Him. Surrender is a whole different ache than "trying hard". And I've loved the picture that He has given me - that surrender makes it His - and He will faithfully take, and make beautiful, what no amount of my own effort ever could...
i guess an example of this type of surrender would be in the area of self control. i know sometimes my little ones will have a burst of fury and as i try to talk them down, "Chill out, relax...", i get the standard indignant response, "I'm TRYING!!"
What a funny little twist in our own thinking to think of surrendering our fury, our sadness, our broken relationships, our lack of self control - instead of constantly "trying harder..."  I've had to laugh at myself too as I'm the queen of over thinking - and sometimes i find myself, "trying harder to surrender..." That's when I've missed the point  - and i need to take a step back and take my mind out of the situation completely...
The second is more of an image - another trading of one thing for something better - but it's the daily decision to (by the miracle of grace) trade my heart of stone for a heart of flesh. **
What a scary decision that can seem to be when flesh seems so vulnerably unprotected; we experience flesh's suffering rather than a stone's coldness, tenderness rather than hardness, painful growth rather than deadness... It's His precious gift to me - to strip away my stony humanness - and give me a gift of a heart that beats for Him.
And I think that these two ideas are connected for me. I've run up against so many situations that are out of my control - He's allowing me to see, that I can try and try and try... until I'm exhausted and spent - but if I could just surrender - it might be painful, but through surrender, He'll take me places i could never get to on my own. A heart of flesh that is living and beating can do things that a dead heart could never do. A heart of stone can't soften itself, it can't warm itself, it can't make itself come alive...
But through surrender, the stone can be made flesh - all things are possible.

* a little Narnia love... ;)
** check out Spurgeon's sermon The Stony Heart Removed.

Sunday, February 2, 2014


i've blogged about prayer before - HERE, or HERE.
But i think it's a part of my growth that will never have an "arrival" point.
Prayer is kind of like a language - in that it is a form of communication that requires me to learn it, practice it and use it.
Since prayer is a language between me and God... my desire to learn is strong.
We've been trying something new in our morning devotion time. We've been taking pieces of scripture and praying them. We can take our current situations too - and pray that piece of scripture over them... but I want my littles to learn - like I am learning - that there is power when we bring God's words back to Him.
The other day, I read from Titus during our morning devotions. (Lately, we have been reading Sarah Young's Jesus Calling - which includes scripture references at the end of every snippet that we can use. But for the month of January, we took a break from that as I was reading the New Testament in one month, so in the mornings, I would just read the kids a chapter or two from wherever I was at in my reading.)
The piece of scripture I read included this:

As for you, Titus, promote the kind of living that reflects wholesome teaching. Teach the older men to exercise self-control, to be worthy of respect, and to live wisely. They must have sound faith and be filled with love and patience.
Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers.[a] Instead, they should teach others what is good. These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes,[b] to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.
In the same way, encourage the young men to live wisely. And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching. Teach the truth so that your teaching can’t be criticized. Then those who oppose us will be ashamed and have nothing bad to say about us.

So we took those verses and prayed them over our lives:
"Oh Father, help me to live wisely, and to do good." 
"Let my life reflect the integrity of the Christian walk." 
"Help me to be an example." 

And on and on - around our little circle - stumbling and reading and praying the words that struck our hearts; awkwardly breaking free from our memorized speeches and safe prayers.

It was harder to pull our minds out of the familiar grooves that our prayers had often taken... but at the same time, it was also harder to sermonize to siblings. It was easier to pray wisely. Part of it too, is just agreeing with God...

"Hey, God? I see here that it says you want me to live in a way that honours you. I agree with that. I want it too..."

And yes... we can pray these things without scripture - and we often do, don't we? But what a beautiful thing to let the word of God be our guide in our communication with Him. More listening... less ranting. More answers... less rabbit trails. More humility... less pointing fingers and tattling.
I can imagine every situation, brought to God through praying scripture.
My heart for the unborn can be brought to God praying Psalm 139...
My desire for restoring relationships can be brought to God praying Ephesians 4.
My longing for awakening or revival can be prayed through Acts 2...

And I know that my Father hears, sees and acts on my behalf...
because He has proven Himself faithful.

Psalm 91:3-6
3 Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. 5 You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.

Thank you, Father, for being faithful.



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