Thursday, September 29, 2011

Five Minute Friday: On Friends

 

On Dearest-thing-in-life…Friends!

[phillies, camping, beach 037[5].jpg]

Go:

If life were measured in relationships…I feel as though I would be the richest.

In states and continents and ages galore, my life has been GRACED, exceedingly with friends.  Ones who I know love me as I am and who make me feel the warmth of the Abba father as they pull me in close to them.

Friends that I have laughed, sung, cried with and friends that I have needed in the toughest of times…

cancer and loving my mother as she died because of it

moving…overseas

the craziness of motherhood

the craziness of my brain;}

the sheer insanity of seeking to love Him in a world gone so wrong

it has been these friends, be they sisters by blood, ever my friends, friends who share my skin or who are of another with whom I speak Spanish, or Hungarian or English or crazy slang and Abby-isms.

Friends who have loved and who will never stop.  Friends who will people Heaven with me and I think that they were sent from there just. for. me.

And Friend of Friends who is the Good behind all of this love that surrounds.  The One who reminds on a lonely night and in the midst of upheaval, that He has ALWAYS taken care of me and that will never, ever stop…a friend to replace everyone sacrificed to follow Him and a day and age with SKYPE when distance does not {too much} hinder the beauty of this crowning gift:}

Thank You.  Thank You. and a million more times THANK YOU!

STOP


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why hope hangs on

And not only the creation, but WE OURSELVES WHO HAVE THE FIRSTFRUITS OF THE SPIRIT groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies, for in this hope we were saved.

Now hope that is seen is no hope. 

FOR WHO HOPES FOR WHAT HE SEES?  But, if we HOPE FOR WHAT WE DO NOT SEE we wait for it with patience.’

~Romans 8: 23-25

I still here, quiet, typing these words from memory, a poignant word from an exquisite section of Scripture {I had memorized all of Romans 8 when I was pregnant with my daughter}.

And I think of the numbing of my soul and the strong pull towards discouragement as I look at what remains for us to be able to go…

And I know that it must be this way.  I must be in the place of NOT SEEING for hope to really be…hope.

And so when tumultuous economies and unemployment highs and all that wants to say this journey is impossible…I choose hope.

Hope in His promise, for He who calls is faithful.

Reminders of no worries in a year of drought as I trust in the Lord.

Precious sunshiney poetic psalms that say they {the meek, those who trust in the Lord, those who wait for the Lord, those who are blessed by the Lord} are not put to shame in evil times.  IN THE DAY OF FAMINE THEY HAVE ABUNDANCE.

And I thank Him again for a journey that keeps me ever so close to His Word.  How it is the only salve for this soul that can’t take another step and live in a shallow faith…a counterfeit faith that is really logic and trusts in the security of this world.  No.  that is not the way we walk.  We walk as those whose ‘righteousness He brings forth as the Dawn’ as we commit our way to Him, Trust in Him and know He will act'…

And when I sink deep in the ocean of Him.  His Love.  His Grace.  His Promises.  And seek first His kingdom, can I ever hear anything but a hopeful word?

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in the hush of the moon


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Monday, September 26, 2011

when fear cripples you early and much


Hinds Feet on High Places Complete and Unabridged by Hannah Hurnard
I relate quite well to Hannah Hurnard’s Hind’s Feet on High Places’ Much-Afraid.
It seems as though these feet came tiny and timid into this wide vast world. A Good God gave a human paraclete named, Sara, who was formed in mama’s womb with me.  Ever-steadier and able to fill the lonely fearful gaps of my young life.
But even a twin cannot take away the paralyzing fears of thunder and lightning storms that had me on our windowless bathroom floor with lights on to shield the electric fear that shocked my soul with it’s fiery lashes into the black night.  Ears plugged to drown out the sounds that quaked my insides even in their faintest rumblings.
Imagination full from wee days, I envisioned snakes slithering behind me as I ran up stairs, boogey man’s cold sinister fingers grabbing me in dark halls, and all manner of evil running rampant in the dark.
I still don’t like to even remember what this fear felt or even tasted like.  Especially the dark.  Oh, the dark. 
When I walked through a time of healing prayer this summer, I uncovered some of the lies that wove around these fears that I have too long and too deep believed.
  • I am ALONE
  • I am UNLOVED
  • No one cares enough to fight for me
  • Though God is real, He abandons
  • His desire is to take me somewhere hard, even dangerous, and leave me there
My curling stomach hates these lies and how their poisonous tasting erodes all peace and Love’s great enveloping. 
I want to tell you that fear was a thing of a little girl whose mind was way too big for her young soul. 
I want to tell you that the clarity of truth has pulled out fear’s insidious root system entwined in my being.
But, the truth of this Much-Afraid’s journey is that while I have danced on mountaintops of Courage’s Limitless Joy, I all-too-often have sunk back into fear’s dark cavern and cowered away from a Life that is Full and Fullest.
I have named my Enemy and have even seen its face of Evil in a dream yet as clear as the blue sky of autumn though 15 years have passed since it first revealed the Who of what lay behind this rotten thing.
I know the Victorious Name as the Only One my gasping voice could rasp to see he who is already defeated cut down with but one utter…
JESUS!!!
And I am learning, learning, learning to slow to the Whisper of each moment’s choice as the One Who Loves me with a Neverending, All-Other-Power-or-Principality-Obliterating, Never-to-be-doubted love sweetly soothes me with the command tender and yet precise to ‘not fear’.
I am stilled and encouraged to read of the Prophet Elijah who riding fresh and full the defeat of the Priests of Baal runs in full tilt fear for his life from the one whose power he just witnessed defeated and who finds too the whisper as the Voice to know who is God.  Who is All in All.  Who is ever to be trusted and tucked secure and protected within.
I testify from a Much-Afraid heart that this hideous fear may very well be both the driving force to desperation that calls forth in my life the Glory of God far greater than a heart which feared much less ever would AND that thorn in my flesh which beckons me to ever lean on a Strength I cannot not know unless I am weak.
Perhaps, friend, this is the tool of fear made altogether new in the Master’s Hand?
 SoloDeoGloriaSisterhood
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Friday, September 23, 2011

Five Minute Friday: Growing


Growing:
Growing, Growing, Growing, can it be? 
I feel as though this isn’t true of me.
But, this is what He promises:
  • all things new…new creation am I, me, yes, me!
  • to finish a work He began in me in me!
  • to give a crown of beauty instead of ashes, oil of gladness instead of despair on my head, yes mine!
  • to rejoice over me with singing, yes me, Bride of the Great I AM an eternal delight…and can it be, oh yes, it can!
  • to carry me close to His heart and gently lead me in the craziness of raising young…oh yes, how I need this one…
  • to change me, yes ME, from one degree of glory to ANOTHER until I behold Him face-to-face…I and not ONLY all the others, but me, no me AND HIM!!!
and somehow, His promises are at work, because He who has called me is faithful.  When I feel it the least He is growing the most…humbling me to the dust and laying me low that all of the growing love, joy, peace would sing of nothing but Him.  For in all that jumbles and causes me to tumble there is a God who is GREATER, my God who is GREATER singing ‘BEAUTY, LOVE, HOPE, THE DANCE OF HEAVEN AND ETERNITY’ in through above and beyond each breath I take.
Hallelujah, what a SAVIOR!

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

a place beyond words…

image
on this rain-kissed day
i search
for a place that
i have been restless
for.

all the words i am grasping
for

can not encompass
what is beyond words.

i long for Home
i long for Him
i long for face-to-face
i long for peace
i long for joy
i long for Life!
i long for You
i long with all I am
i long with all I long to be
i long with all of my brothers and sisters
for the Daddy embrace
full and forever.

i long for the mercy
of this touch
today.

right here.

nothing else will do.

would You meet me
in this place
with Your enveloping
Love eternally
residing
beyond all words?

AWA 9/20/2011
{photo source}
in the hush of the moon
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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

When the Word Breathed Life…

Become a OneVerse Partner
“Dear Sister or Brother in the Life of the One True Word,

As I sit and look at the people gathered in our home to hear the Word of God in their own language, I thank our Good God for this gift that we have only begun to receive.  We will tell the generations to come of when the Word Breathed Life into our people.

For more than 2000 years we waited, not even knowing what we were waiting for, though the song the wind of His breath continually yields was calling to us.

All of the language of our people was formed by human hands and with these familiar instruments we communicated about every area of our lives and yet we never had the chance to form the sacred writings of the One True Word with our own tongues from our own heart language.

In your language, the language in which I write this letter to you, it may be impossible to imagine that for which we have waited and longed.  Since your childhood, it is possible that there have been many complete translations of this One True Word of God lying in places around your house.  I have been told that this is the case for many in the Western World.

Yet, you have allowed the Spirit of Our God to breathe His Word into your hearts and to let that Word lead you with compassion and great joy to partner in spreading of the Wind of Life, the breath of the Word, in the midst of my people.  That the Word would breathe Life for us.

I write to you as I carry, with me, the heart of my people.  A remembrance too long forged in our history, that we determine never to forget.  For countless generations we longed for a grace to be known in our midst.  Something that the very imprint of our souls cried out for—the revealed knowledge of the One True Word.

In all of the speech, in all of the years, we could not find the way to Grace. to Life. to the beginning when there was One Word alone.  For in your Bible’s words it goes like this:
John 1
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
The world we knew, though many thought it was clear and bright, was really full of darkness.  The light of this One Word, hovered over a world that was not and with His immaculate, indescribably beautiful speech breathed Life into all that is!  And when this world went terribly wrong, He came, in the same beauty, to breathe Life, New Life, into this world and our hearts!  And we had yet to receive this Word in His fullness in our hearts for we could not understand it in the language of our hearts.

After over 2000 years, my people can learn about this One True Word!  In many ways, I think we have only begun to live as a people.  I dream about what this knowledge that has come will do to fan the flame that melts away chains of darkness and despair that have long bound our people.

Now when I picture Heaven and forever living with Our Great God and all who have loved Him throughout all time, I think of you, friend, who will sing and praise and dance with me and my people and know that because of the Word who breathed Life into you, we could know the same Word of Life in our hearts and share an Eternity in His Glorious Presence.

We are forever grateful and pray that you continue in this work for all of the other peoples who have waited for thousands of years for the Word to be spoken to their hearts. "

{Words and sentiments are what I imagine a person from the Ehty people might say if he or she could speak to us WHEN they receive the Bible in their own heart language.  They have waited for over 2000 years and they are not alone.}


Our dearest friends in Florida work with Wycliffe Bible Translators the affiliate ministry of OneVerse .  They shared this video on their blog.  I had tears in my eyes as I watched it.  Won't you take the time to watch this first hand account of the Joy the Word of God brings? Then, pray and get involved in some way to contribute to the Beautiful, Amazing work of OneVerse {I have suggestions listed below} as they passionately, tirelessly work to bring every tongue and tribe the world over the One True Word.



I think it is simply AMAZING that we live in a day and age where with a few clicks we can fund projects that will bring the life-changing Word of God to the ends of the earth!  My heart is longing for that great and glorious Day, when the Ones He has ransomed from EVERY language will gather to worship Him:

And they sang a new song, saying,
   "Worthy are you to take the scroll
   and to open its seals,
for you were slain, 

and by your blood you ransomed people for God
   from every tribe and language and people and nation,

and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
   and they shall reign on the earth."
~Revelation 5:9-10

and how amazing that WE can be His hands and feet bringing His Good News ANY.WHERE.!!
Would you pray with me to determine OUR PART?


 OneVerse Website:
End Bible Poverty
The Seed Company
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Monday, September 19, 2011

for when you need to remember the gospel {again}

{This post I first wrote going on a year ago was really tugging at my heart.  I have continued to meditate on Psalms 37 that it is based on…I thought if my heart was drawn back to it and longed to read it again, perhaps it could touch YOURS too and give you a fresh taste of the Gospel}

Old Sugar Mill and Florida Fall 005**(in the first two sections  I have underlined all of the words that are either directly in or are a direct paraphrase in Psalms 37)

With hands of trust I dig into this land I will inherit.

Promised over and over in this place that sings a psalm—It will be my land.

I unpack my life and choose to dwell here where faithfulness is my food.

I trust that I will have enough to live off of in this land and do the good placed before me.

I commit my dreams for this land into the hands of a good God who says he will act.

I ask for a heart to see and delight in all that He is and drink deeply of the Sun-filled One.

I walk the rows and plant the seeds of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control.

And I wait patiently, and sit upon the ground and am still and trust in Him to make it grow.

Old Sugar Mill and Florida Fall 061

Yes I am still sitting here…

…waiting…waiting! WAITING!!!

rising. rising! RISING!!!

It is not long before I stand in full fret.  I worry about a sun too hot it will scorch and the land does seem to dry as I think it.

No longer sitting in peace, I see another field a flourish—he who sowed to pride and hatred and greed.

I’m pacing these rows now.  I wonder why there are no sprouts of life.  I even uncover precious life-giving soil digging for what I want to see.

I ignore the evil I’ve invited and keep walking this life-ebbing path of worry.

Soon comes raining down upon my land.  The one I am to inherit.  That is to be my faithful food and bear much life—

Flaming arrows of evil.

I see that Enemy firing away to destroy the land of good seed and claim it as his own pride-hatred-greed-filled one.

He draws closer and brandishes his sword of lies and aims right at a heart prone to doubt and fear.

I can but utter one panicked, pleading cry…

JESUS!!”

In an immediate answer I am picked up and carried as he slays the one come to kill and Old Sugar Mill and Florida Fall 071destroy…more than my land…me.

He touches each singed hair and all of the degrees of burning on me and my land.

He gently lifts out the scorched places and replaces with new, lush soil.

Where worry has uprooted, he plants new seeds of love and joy and peace and all that He is.

And then he takes my hand and promises:

“I will show you, beloved, what it is to live in this land I have promised you.

I will replace your worry, doubt and fear with trust, faith and a courage that will make you strong.

In the light of my love, your land will flourish.  Soon there will be signs of life.

You need not do a thing but look to Me as I redeem this land and place My Name upon it.

I do all the work and give you what you do not have.

I know you are frail and susceptible to attack.

It is I who fill you with a love big enough so that you can trust Me.

Beloved daughter, I am Lamb of God and ‘All the Glory of Emmanuel’s land.’

Behold Me.

I will create Life and Beauty in this land.

Life enough to feed the world and

Beauty enough to draw others to a land where they too can behold.

They will inherit the land I have for them

and together you will endure forever.

My Kingdom Come.Old Sugar Mill and Florida Fall 072

Beloved. Behold. and Behold. and Behold.

Become. and Become. and Become.

Glory. and Glory. and Glory.

Forever. and Ever. and Ever.

Amen.”

SoloDeoGloriaSisterhood

 

Thank You, Precious Savior:

  • For your precious LOVE which revives my heart
  • For your Gospel available every second
  • For reminding me of this place where you spoke to me
  • For how YOU FIGHT FOR ME…tirelessly
  • For all of these little, exquisitely beautiful things
    • Renewing ties with my small group
    • Their knowing Ann’s Book, One Thousand Gifts, what kindred spirits…ALWAYS!!!
    • Little ways you are softening a heart as we believe You for reconciliation
    • A double becoming-clearer RAINBOW that could bless both me and a dear friend {and many more!}
    • Glorious FALL weather…I’ve missed it!!
    • Expectant skies…always in this season
    • Round, baby faced boys that charm the socks off everyone
    • Baby Girl…she’s 2!!!!
    • Chubby cheeks and tiny haircuts
    • Playing in electric sockets, coloring herself…TROUBLE;}PrincessPrincessPrincess
    • Easy-to-please favorite meal…chili!!!
    • A princess/doll cake that was soooo easy and WORKED OUT!
    • Motivation from a friend’s who was imitating one my mom made for herPrincess
    • Inspiration in the dollar store
    • First apple pickings
    • First peach pickings
    • wagon rides!!!
    • apple cider donuts!!
    • ahhhhh…..FALL!!!! {again, yes, again!}
  • Family, BEAUTIFUL FAMILY…together, FULL OF LIFE! HARMONY!
  • Increased LONGING for the LIFE being prepared over the ocean
  • Promises. Full. True. Secure…because of HIM!
  • The BEST.  Always and Ever.  yet to…COME!!!!!!

#1549-79

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Five Minute Friday: Joy

 

Joy:

Of all that touches heart and squeezes in pain and echoes of all that is to be true One Day…there lies this pearl.  Her name is Joy.

Joy that flies on wings into the disappointments and the pain when all hope seems but a shrouded mist of a world that was believed could be, she soars resilient and offers a look behind the veil.

Joy that sprays a rainbow cloud and brilliantly calls a longing heart into the Promise.  Joy a love-kiss from the divine Abba Father who loves and carries as a Mother and picks up the weary and reminds the frail of beauty that underscores and permeates and re-defines all of the dark.

Joy that sinks deep to battle that villain despair who wants to slither and strangle and she stands with heart and eyes and song uplifted to reign down a Love-Power that none can withstand.

Joy that springs from a deep soul ache for the longing of that World for which deepest soul is imprinted and all hope of eternity set within longs and says

‘Yes, Beloved, in the vapor of your days all but a breath in the weight of forever, I stand to make all pain and brokenness and darkness melt away never to be thought of again…embrace me for I fill you with the Image of the One whom all light and life and sun and happiness and goodness reflect…Joy, I am your hand-maiden, Oh Daughter of Zion…wear me as your beautiful headdress for which you have already been fitted…Joy'.

Stop.

photo source


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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

when you think you know what surrender means…

{Random pics of my kids, because I love them and my son's smiles with this little bunny}






Oh friends!  These days…


We have re-located to a gracious missionary housing provision, however it has uprooted us yet again.  We {prayerfully} believe that this will be the last move before the BIG move over the ocean.


I realized that it was both real at the time and prophetic, to pen this poem in July: 


In the Uprooting



In the uprooting
I surrender my life
my plans
my purposes.
In the uprooting
I let go
of what passes away.
In the uprooting
I give Him back
the life I owe.
In the uprooting
Good gifts return
to the Giver.
In the uprooting
False securities
are stripped away.
In the uprooting
I find Who and
Whose I am.
In the uprooting
I learn what it is
to be sustained by Him.
In the uprooting
I become a wanderer
an exile
a traveler longing for Home.
so that, in the uprooting
the lost and
hopeless may find
the way to Love.
AWA 7/3/11



It seems as though these days I am learning, yet again, to push past the limits of my own endurance and to relinquish more and more of what I think I need to be sustained.

I have been kicking and screaming, a bit at it allSad smile

the lack of car as we gave our second away in Florida before we went to Colorado
the lack of any piece of furniture to call our own {unless a pac-n-play counts?}
the lack of a reliable internet connection since we came to Pennsylvania close to one and a half months ago
the lack of schedule as ours seems to change constantly and we struggle for any kind of ‘normal’
the lack of community as we are seeking to embrace as much as we can with what we have here, even as our feet are fitted with the Gospel of Peace ready-to-go to another land
the lack of identity in anything that would be easy to pick up and place over me {ministry involvement, church commitment, small group teaching, ‘nester’Winking smile}
the lack of peace I have allowed this all to create in me…

Our Precious Lord is so gracious, AMEN?!  I had the privilege to go with my mother-in-love and sister-in-love to the 'Living Proof Live' simulcast at a local church {any of you at another simulcast? there were 180,000 in 12 countries who took part!} He reminded me through Beth Moore, that 'He does not overlook a single 'me' in the greater 'we'' .


I realized that the anger and frustration my heart was spewing was an anger towards God.  Thinking He's forgotten me and just wants to take away and that I don't really matter to Him.  Given my upbringing, I still can find it hard to question God or be real from my heart concerning Him.  What a privilege Psalms 62:8 continues to call us all to:


Psalm 62:8 (ESV)

 8Trust in him at all times, O people;
   pour out your heart before him;
   God is(C) a refuge for us.
                         Selah

I love how it is clear in this one golden nugget of a verse that 'trusting Him at all times' does not mean we don't question or aren't real with the Lord, BUT, rather, BECAUSE WE TRUST HIM WHO SEES IT ALL AND LOVES US STILL, we are called to enact that trust by pouring our frail humanity and its mix of emotions, doubts, fears, struggles out to Him.

I also love how the Lord is helping me to see that I don't have to be the 'solo warrior' leading the battle through this final leg of support-raising till we are given approval to make our move overseas.  He is the One leading the battle and He simply calls me to be His and allow Him to touch the hearts of the many with whom we are 'refrigerator famous;)' {MANY OF YOU!} who remind me of their prayers, interceding for us.  He reminds me of how it has always been Him leading us to this point--His beautiful and good tapestry and He will bring both this phase and our whole lives to completion.

I hope you are encouraged in the midst of your own surrender.  Whether it seems forced upon You by circumstances or you are choosing to follow Him and it involves some big letting go, there really is no difference, I am seeing.  Control is only a mirage--He alone is King of Kings and Lord of Lords and Sovereign over all.  The fullness of my life, seeing Him and manifesting Him before a watching world is reflected by how deeply I am trusting it is He who guides and directs it all and He is good.  And when I fail and fall and mess up as I most certainly will, in His grace He offers millions of chances to embrace surrender and receive He who is Life.

Yours Lord and Yours Friends,
Faithfully Fanning the Flame,

Abby


Joining with Jen at Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood


Finding Heaven

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