Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Small Things

My phone has a trick that, apparently, it thinks is quite funny. Sometimes I'll wake up two hours past when I was expecting to, only to find that trusty LG decided to turn off during the night. Maybe he was tired. Maybe he just took a mini vacation to Africa. I don't know...whatever it is, it makes me sleep in, which aggravates every bit of control in me.

Oh, did I say control? Oops.

This seemingly small and insignificant situation presses the huge red button marked "ANXIETY" for me. It's obviously something small, but sometimes I hardly sleep the night before something big happens. I mean, if I oversleep, the world might end! Or internally combust! Or externally explode! Who knows what could happen?!

This morning I woke up to a phone turned off. At first, the disappointment. Then, an interesting prompting: "You need to trust Me that I'm going to make your alarm go off in the morning."

Now, if I were to walk up to some random person on the street and said, "Excuse me, God just told me He wants you to trust Him to make your alarm go off in the morning," they would look at me like I was crazy and tell me to go home. But as we have already established, this line means something to me.

I understand I am supposed to trust the Lord for the job that I need. I understand I am supposed to trust Him to provide for the car I need. And the friends, and the money, and the husband, and the children, and so on and so forth. I'm not saying this trusting process is easy, but it's easy to at least answer "Well, I'm going to trust the Lord" when someone asks "How is that [huge, massive, life-changing thing] going to happen?"

This morning, it became about the small things. After the alarm fail, it was the invite to that wedding. Then it was getting to Olathe to get my tuberculosis test read. Then it was how to get to my job tonight on time. And so on and so forth.

The small things. That verse in Philippians about not being anxious? It says to not be anxious about anything. So I found myself in the car, the rain pouring down, the clock ticking, and I threw my hands in the air (then re-grabbed the steering wheel quick) and said "Okay, I trust You!"

I am absolutely and totally convinced that Jesus cares about the small things. We take His command to not worry about what we're going to eat and what we're going to wear as protection against starvation and homelessness, but when I read that verse I'm struck by the fact that food and clothes are our most basic needs. We put on clothes every day, we eat food every day. Jesus is intricately involved in our every day.

I want to spend my days putting everything into His hands. Every single little thing. It's not okay to separate my "big trust issues" from my "small life circumstances." It's all His. I want to refuse anxiety any small crevice in my heart. If I leave it the small places, how am I going to tell it to get out of the big places?

There is no room for anxiety in Jesus' heart, and there is no room for it in my days. The little things, they are His too. I'm talking practicals here, folks. That you will have time to eat lunch between your meetings. That if the printer isn't working, it's all going to be okay anyways. That if you have to pay for that TB test again, so what? It's the Lord's money anyways.

I have known for a while that Jesus is taking me through another trust intensive course. Honestly, I have been stumped. How do I trust? What does it look like? I know the words, but my heart wants to know the movements! Oh, HELP! I think this morning may have been a part of the key - refuse anxiety any place. Give worry no thought, no space. My inheritance is peace - about my time, about my money, about my phone calls, about my texts, about my calendar, about the cake I want to bake. PEACE. If there's not peace, something is wrong.
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way.
-2 Thessalonians 3:16
Let me close with some quotes from Practicing the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence. Walking with Jesus is an every day, every moment relationship. Don't put it in a box, let Him be part of everything.
Brother Lawrence pointed out that he spoke very simply and frankly to God. He asked for help with the things as he needed it, and his experience had been that God never failed to respond.

In the beginning, Brother Lawrence declared that a little effort was needed to form the habit of continuously conversing with God, telling Him everything that was happening. But after a little careful practice, God's love refreshed him, and it all became quite easy.
Nothing is too small.

Friday, July 16, 2010


This week, I became an employed human being. It really is a wonderful thing, you know, this working thing. I get to spend my days with a family I have long hailed as one of my favorites - the Bohlender tribe.

One of the things that I have come away with, after mornings of dancing with little girls and lunchtimes of sweeping, cleaning, feeding, and cleaning again is this tidbit of information:

One day, when I have seven to twelve children, I will have to make extremely large batches of macaroni and cheese if I ever hope to have any myself. There has been a running theme through lunchtimes the past couple days, and it has been that of the food I was about to put on a plate for myself instead getting eaten by another child showing up in the kitchen. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm happy that said child then has food satisfying their ravenous hunger, but at some point this girl's gotta eat.

It's something we who come from large families call "BFS." That's Big Family Syndrome, to those unacquainted with the acronym. It involves eating everything in sight very quickly, because chances are it will disappear into one of the mouths of the many other house dwellers in less than...oh look, it's gone.

Moral of the story: eat quick. And make lots of food. Nom.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Being Seen

A window, looking out on a sunny Paris day. A massive bed with a fluffy white comforter and 15 fluffy white pillows. Me, melting into said pillows.

I think I'm really tired and should just go upstairs to my own bed which will probably feel more wonderful than any Paris comforter.


This morning, I poured the coffee, sliced the strawberries, lit the candles, and cuddled under the blanket with the book of John.

I melted into tears at this:
Then Jesus said to him, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked...The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there. Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, "See, you are well again..." John 5:8-9, 13-14
By 'melted into tears,' I mean that I was reading the story, got to the end of "Jesus found him at the temple," felt wet hot drops on my cheek and thought: "I'm crying! I'm crying? OH, JESUS!"

I hardly know how, I didn't even have time to think about the verse. It just hit my heart. He's not a miracle-machine. He really and truly cares. Jesus knew this man, He went and found him.
He went and found him.

I have no idea how I could ever write anything that would make those words more beautiful than they are.

He came and found me. He picked me up, brushed me off. He cares.

This afternoon, when I laid on the floor crying for reasons I hardly knew except that I miss Carly and I was home alone and I need that job and I'm tired and the dishes are dirty and and and, He was there. He came and found me.

Thank you for finding me, Jesus. "Here's my cup, fill it up, fill it up."

Tuesday, July 06, 2010


It's in the hazy moment, between finishing a dream and fully opening my eyes to the morning sunshine.

Sometimes I think it's the Holy Spirit's favorite moment to speak. It's as if He has a minute all to Himself, before my mind is concerned with anything else. No schedules to fuel my brain, no mirrors to catch my eye. Only Him, and His welcome into a new day.

It's one of my favorite times to hear Him speak. Something about the way it reminds me that His eye is on me, His thoughts are towards me, without me doing anything to gain them. Psalm 139 in action, I suppose:
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you. [ESV]
Sometimes it's a song, sometimes it's just a line. Whatever it is He says, it sets the tone for the day, clues me in to what His theme for the hour is. This morning it wasn't there right away when I woke up, so I asked: "Jesus, what's the line for today?"

You are wanted.

Wanted. What a fantastic theme for today.

I pulled myself out of bed, made my way to the coffee pot, then settled into a chair in the bright dining room. My Bible fell easily open to the page my heart has been singing for the past days, Isaiah 61. I've been given a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, I'm made to be a planting of the Lord that He might display His beauty. Under the heading of Isaiah 62, a few familiar lines are underlined in pink:
but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her,
and your land Married; [ESV]

In a moment of brutal honesty -- I have a day in my mind when I assume I will know that I know that I am wanted. It involves a white dress, a handsome groom, you get the picture. There is a part of me that long has mistakenly believed that when a man desires me, I will know for sure that I am desirable. I will be a chosen Bride, a won heart, and I will know.

This morning I realized that the theme of that desire is correct, I am made to be married. My value is very clearly spoken to by the pursue of a Man, but it is not the earthly man I so easily think of. Neither is the jury still out. I need not wait to know. I can know today, because of those words pulled off the page by a pink highlighter.

I am already called Married. I am already spoken for. I have already been chased, I have already been won. You and I, we are worth something. We are wanted. The Heavenly Man, He has called us His own. He wants us. The cross proves it.

It is a sweet thing to be wanted and won.

Friday, July 02, 2010


I think I was about twelve when I got sidelined by a kidney infection. I remember that it was a terribly hot July day, which I spent out in the sun at a church yard sale. I remember laying on my couch at home in excruciating pain, with no idea what was wrong except that there were knives in my back and I had lost my lunch. I'm sure my parents prayed for me, and I somehow drifted off to sleep, utterly exhausted by pain.

When I came to, I was resting between my parents in the front seat of my Grandma's old white Buick, about to pull away from our house for the hospital. The pain was totally gone, and I felt sleepily at peace. Thinking back over this last night, I realized: my daddy must have carried me out to the car.

You know, when I was small, I fell asleep in the car all the time. We would get home, I would wake up, but I would keep my eyes closed and act limp, just so my dad would have to carry me inside.

I thought last night about safety and reassurance. I don't know if you knew this, but I moved my life across the country again this week. Kansas City is home once more, and while moving home to family is a wonderful dynamic, it is still change. Transition. A moment where you look down and try to figure out what exactly you are standing on.

Honestly, the picture that came to my mind when I thought of the whisper of safety from the Lord was that of an emergency room. There's me, lying on the table, doctors and nurses and tubes and needles and beeps and more nurses flying around me. Near my head, though, bent low and close to my ear is my heavenly Father. From His presence, from His reassurance, comes absolute peace. All it takes is His constant voice: "I'm here, you're going to be fine." The safety of a Father. A friend of mine recently landed in the hospital and even though she is grown and on her own, what did her dad do? Rush to Tacoma, of course.

I'm carried, I'm covered, I'm watched out for. I know that no matter what streets I drive down, His hand is there. No matter what adventure He takes me on, He's coming too. Behold, what manner of love is this, that I am a child of God.

I'm safe.

Thursday, July 01, 2010


You know what?

God loves me something fierce.

Sometimes I worry about a situation, how something will pan out. I get frustrated with myself, afraid that I can't make something happen. All it takes is a moment, a gentle reminder from the Holy Spirit. He's in charge. He's holding on, and His grip is tight. He's going to do what He wants to do in me.

It's like a bullet-proof jacket, His love. I've never worn one, but I imagine it feels somewhat like a life jacket. I love zipping a life jacket around me, the feeling of being held in, held together, protected. If I were to crash into the water, it's not coming off.

There's a point where you have to quit simply dodging fear and instead turn around, stare it in the face and say "You know what? You're ridiculous. My God is strong." The strongest love, the most powerful force you will ever encounter, is on your side. I wish, I so badly wish there were words to describe the fire of the love of the Creator of the ends of the earth. I want to write and write and write, just to try to find a way to say it.

There's a fire all around me, holding me in, pressing me together. He targeted me, chose me to surround. How is the burning jealousy of the Bridegroom spoken in the tender whisper of the Holy Spirit?

He is big, and His love is strong.