Best Truth of the Year!

heartLast night of 2017, I reflected on the highlights and got excited for what’s ahead for 2018. Below I share with you the key theme that God has given to me and through me over and over. I’ve had the joy of sharing this so many young women and watching them be set free. Find a quiet spot and digest this love letter from God…

(You can also read, listen, or watch downloadable formats here.)

Entering a new year deeply knowing that you are loved by your Heavenly Father will transform you.

Even when those who say they love God speak to you words that are not in love, you know they are not aware themselves truly of God’s love. Those who dishonour you, know not of God’s love, but live in fear and see themselves as orphans who think they have to fight for His love and favour. You however, may you choose to bless those who curse you.. because you truly know God’s loving heart for you! 🙂

Happy New Year!

 

Have You Missed It? Love Comes Down

Source: https://www.restoreinnocence.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Gods-love.jpg

God always takes the initiative in His love relationship with us. The trouble is too many of us miss His constant invitation to a most extraordinary relationship. We begin to philosophize it away, or deny it, or simply call it coincidence when anything good comes our way. It’s like we receive love letters constantly each day but we never get to know the one who sends them. We deny they come from anyone. Dear friends, someone deeply loves you… Sit up, look up, take note that God so desperately loves you. Get passed all the noise of our cultural Christmas, and look to the simple yet extraordinary #Christmas miracle when God came down for you. God is with YOU. Do you see Him in every moment? Look and you will see… You. …Are. …Loved… by a God who is the author of all perfect love. Open the door and receive this love in every way, in every circumstance, in every joy, and every hurt. His love is what turns brokenness into wholeness, ashes into beauty. Life is sweeter when you know the One who sends you His love in every moment of every day. Every relationship, every friendship is sweeter when you build it on His perfect love. Even every moment of loneliness can be a sweeter moment with Him alone, the Creator of the Universe. Look up. Love has come down to you in this moment.

Sabbatical Learnings: Lesson One Wrecked Me

This first lesson of sabbatical completely wrecked me…

Source: http://redlikeblood.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Psalm22.jpg

I’ve heard that the greatest theologians of our time, who ponder all the wonderful questions of theology, are often impacted most deeply of the love of God. I use to smile at this knowing a preschooler could get it. Yet, the first half of my sabbatical I found I was indeed overcome with God’s love. The deep impact of Easter and meditating on a dramatized audio version of the book of Matthew in my long daily prayer walks was extremely powerful. I wept as I was overcome with grief and loneliness and dug in deep to some of the emotions that Christ experienced during Holy Week.  I reflected on the betrayal of the disciples and how they fell asleep on Him when He deeply needed someone to be with Him in prayer. I began to ask myself the questions, “What would I have done?” “Would I have betrayed Christ?” “Would I have fallen asleep on the Son of God? And will I succumb to this in the future?” I cried out for the Holy Spirit to guard me and protect me, to bind my heart and my mind to God’s Will. I long to be faithful to the very end for the very sake of His incredible love for me.

 

Plans…? Hold them loosely… Instead, bask in His love!

Today, I had to release many things in my quiet time with the Lord. I did this in the morning and again in the evening when I followed the prayer of Examen. I realize that I’ve been grieving on my sabbatical with plans thwarted. (I’ve also realized I’ve been grieving the past year over hopes and dreams, but that’s perhaps for another post…) Some of you reading this have had so much more to release and so much more to grieve than me. This, is my itty bitty story…

Before my sabbatical, there was a pastor who warned me to make plans and cut them in half and then cut them in half again. I ran into his wife the other day who shared the full story of his sabbatical experience. It was a hard one for him to learn. Within the first month he went back to the office to work. He couldn’t easily take the act of not doing ministry; of not being Martha and instead of being Mary lingering at Jesus’ feet. His leadership asked him to make a list of things to do and cut it in half and then cut it in half again. If he was to return to the office before the end of the sabbatical, he would be fired.

As I look back so far at my sabbatical; two months out of the three, I think 90% of my plans, which have been very few, have fallen through. Instead, the things that other people have planned for me, or unexpected meet ups, or unexpected promptings and nudges have been sweet surprises.

Instead of planned events and outings, (honestly, I’ve barely driven anywhere as I’ve rediscovered my beautiful neighbourhood), the majority of my time has been spent quietly in the presence of God, much like Brother Lawrence and his practice of the presence of God. I have read his journals and others who practiced the same way of being constantly mindful of Jesus’ faithful presence. Throughout the day, I’ve learned, more than ever before, to speak words of worship to him, to call on his name, to give thanks, to cry out to him, to be in tune and alert to his presence around me.

This once high-energy and highly driven person has somehow learned to be completely at peace doing nothing in the presence of God and listening for his voice and speaking to him. An hour or two will go by and it’ll feel like an instant. And I come away feeling absolutely full. I didn’t spend this precious time with unnecessary noise in order to suppress longing or appetite. I didn’t even spend it doing research and deep Bible study in order to satisfy my hunger for knowledge. Instead, I spent hours simply and quietly with Jesus, the creator of the universe who somehow loves me even as if I were his favorite. He is holy. I am so unworthy and yet he loves me. Embracing this truth in a way without interruption or even without another’s interpretation has completely wrecked me, in a wonderful new way.

So, I have learned to hold plans loosely, and I’ve learned to just sit in his lap and linger and become completely overwhelmed with his love for me.

Today’s Jesus Calling for kids (May 16) summarizes my sabbatical pretty spot on…

“I Am Lord!”

“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” – Proverbs 19:21

“I am your Lord! I am the Friend who is always with you, but you must remember that I am also your Lord. I am King over all. And I want to be the King of your life.

As you begin each day, talk to Me about it. And as you go through your day, keep checking in with Me. Keep asking for My guidance. It’s okay to make some plans, but be open to changes in those plans. I may have other ideas for your day.

Don’t try to skip ahead or take shortcuts. Concentrate on the task that is right before you. Do your very best at that. Then trust Me to show you what to do next. I will guide you step by step, leading you along a path of peace.”