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Monday, December 31, 2012

Dear 2012

Dear 2012, 

As my friend Marri would say, you were a superb year. 

You brought so many blessings, I couldn't even count them all. From January 1 to December 31, you were a collection of wrestlings and fightings and praise and grace and joy and blessings. And I couldn't be more grateful for you. 

What came in your days was a lot of love that drove me to my knees. And then once I got there, I wasn't sure what to do or say and then couldn't see. But underneath the layers of confusion and fear, was freedom. A most sweet kind of freedom that sings sweet riches of worth in Jesus. Boldly approach the throne of grace. 

Thanks for reminding me that our God is always, continuously, never ceasing, forevermore a good, good God. 

I love my new apartment. I love my new job. I love my boss. I love my life group. I love my corner. I love myself. I didn't just survive you, 2012. We thrived together - through all that was disguised as trial and came out as a deep blessing of the Father. Because, you know, He's most concerned with heart and our eternal character. There's always something bigger happening in the bigger picture, always. 

You were messy, 2012. Wonderfully messy. Thanks for showing me that the fight's worth it.

Love, Lindsay

Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Pause

A year-end pause.

What I'm watching.
New Girl. Jess Day is all kinds of cool.
Les Miserables. Who said people can't sing everything they say? literallyeverythingtheysay. Absolutely, incredibly beautiful. 
Silver Linings Playbook. Bradley Cooper and Katniss.

What I'm reading. 
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, Eric Metaxas. History, biography, theology? Too good to be true. What a remarkable person. 

Poetry. ee cummings. Beauty with words. i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart) i am never without it (anywhere i go, my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling) i fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true) and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a sun will always sing is you. 

Help, Thanks, Wow: Three Essential Prayers, Anne Lamott. A new, unique look at prayer.

One Thousand Gifts Devotional, Ann Voskamp. Always Ann.

What I think you should read. 
My dear friend's blog, it's really quite beautiful. Her story, her fearlessness, her understanding of her Belovedness. Read, read, and cheer her on for her book! www.werewolfjesusbook.blogspot.com

What I'm loving. 
My apartment. It's beautiful! It's a space my own and I am so grateful for friends and family that helped and contributed skills, talents, time, paint, ideas, resources, creativity to make it so wonderful and lovely! It's really, really so lovely. 

Have I mentioned New Girl? I am loving Jess Day. Her hair, her glasses, her wit, her singing. Is she real? Doesn't matter. 

What I'm learning.
Step by step. I don't think I've ever learned step by step or process as much as I have through my apartment love story. It's been quite incredible. It's been piece by piece, step by step, and I've learned to appreciate every single piece that comes through my door. It's taught intentionality and gratitude and slowing down. So much beauty. There's a story for each piece, a person who helped make it, and I rejoice in the uniqueness and the love in each one. Versus the accumulation of things, the slow and steady beauty is really something else. It's making something my own,there's just something about making your first place your home. And the blessings for the putting together of a home have translated into the putting together of a faith. Oh the blessings!

Freedom. Always learning freedom. But this, this is a new dimension, a new facet, a new level and layer of what freedom means. To live and function fully in the freedom we've been given means we can choose. We can work out of the fullness of freedom. We can move. We don't have to sit, we don't have to walk in circles, we can move forward. It's okay to want good things because we are loved by a good God who created and loved us and has given us life new and has set us free. That's our worth! It's okay. Who says we can't be free?

Today's the day! We can choose. It's a gift. 

Be in love with your life. Every minute of it. - Jack Kerouac

What I'm remembering. 
I am a daughter of God. I am Beloved. That is who I am. The Father's love is incredible - how worthy I am! Rejoice! romans 8: 14-17. 

Take a pause. Then keep going.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Today's the Day

Today's the day. 

Throw off all that entangles and be set free.
Can't today be the day?

There's a God and the most magnificent Savior who holds our world and our lives and our plans so perfectly calm in His eye and in His hand. He has gone before, He is with us, He hems us in, He is in and among and all around. 

There is choice. We can choose how to act, how to be, how to think. We can choose to stay put, live in complacency, move forward. We can choose how we influence. We can choose to live each day with the knowledge of the love of our God and act most certainly, directly out of that. 

Sometimes I think there is a great tension between the two, but really there is not. Because our choice comes out of the greatness of our God. And our worship and belief of who He is. There is a God who is the center of everything, yes. And we've been given choice to be who we were created to be. Every moment, every day.

We don't have to wait for the new year. We don't have to make resolutions in the coming months. We can decide in our next breath whether to rejoice or reject, be free or held captive, do what we've always wanted to do. Use our gifts, forgive someone, tell someone the truth. It's all right at our fingerprints. We just have to stand firm in the face of whatever voices tell us not to be free in the fullness of how we were created.

What holds you back? What are you afraid of?
Today could be your day!
Make today your day.

Are you afraid of the not knowing? Are you afraid of not following the will of God and you're not sure what it is? Hold fast to the promises of Scripture and what you do know. Of who God is and what He desires for you. Shed doubt and lean hard into Jesus. 

Hope to be made new. 

Today is the day!

A Holy Experience

Saturday, December 1, 2012


When people ask me about my trip to Rwanda, I have a hard time knowing what to say. 
Here's my attempt.

There were people we spoke to, people we ate meals with and spent our days with, that had survived the fastest occurring genocide recorded in history. Close to a million people were killed in 100 days. And we met these survivors and heard their stories.

Upon return, my mind has wondered and questioned and pondered the age old question of the sovereignty of God. Those thoughts will get me nowhere because that's just what sovereignty is and what His is supposed to be - mysterious, never understanding, His plan over mine. But, to be vulnerable and honest, I look into the faces of the survivors of genocide and I wonder well why? but really, why? Will I ever get to know? Will it all just make sense one day? Will I get to ask God when I get to heaven or will these things on earth not matter anymore?

But that's not ultimately what this post is about. 
This post is about faith. Which I guess ties into the sovereignty of God more than I realize. 

My dear friend Kristin reminded me once, back in the summer on a Charleston trip, that in suffering is fullness of joy. And I've tossed that around in the ensuing months and it seems like my mind always softly hears that way back in its crevices. I am confident (I am learning to be confident) in understanding this to be true. 

One of the most incredible pieces of the Good news of Jesus Christ is the reality that in the very darkness, in the darkest moment of the crucifixion, in that moment, was life. From His sacrificial death, the veil was torn and we were given new life. And when his disciples thought everything was going wrong and their king had been slain and there was so much pain, He rose again and they saw the empty tomb and realized the plan and Peter 'went away marveling at what had happened.' 

In death, there is life. 
I couldn't even begin to claim to know the fullness of how amazing that is. How many dimensions and levels that truth holds. I was talking to my friend Gentry just the other day about this very thing and he said and we talked about how the Gospel is physical. And I keep adding pieces to the enigma of the puzzle that the new covenant of Jesus is.  

In death, there is life - even in the horrors of genocide. Especially in the horrors of genocide. Survivors of death looked me right in the eye and said "God is so good." And I struggle to say that when things don't work out the way I want it?

I heard survivors say they were called back to participate in the restoration of Rwanda to preach the message of forgiveness. They said, "we can relate to the poor because we were poor. We can relate to the desolate because we were desolate. We can relate to the traumatized because we were traumatized." I heard them say, "I rose out of the ashes of the genocide." I met people who had experienced Jesus and saw the face of God in the very grim realities of the brokenness of sin. 

Out of the ashes, we rise.
In the very context of death, there is the purest form of life. 
Can suffering be one of the truest ways to see the work of Jesus? Can death, in the end, set us free?

On the cross, Jesus absorbed all the pain and rescued us.
In suffering, there is fullness of joy. Joy is Jesus. Fullness of Jesus. It's true.

And this Gospel? It doesn't come wrapped in twinkling lights and satin bows; it comes straight into our pitchest black. The Gospel of Christ, it's a messy, bloody thing and this is how God was born, bloody and bruised, and that's how God chose to die, bloody and beaten. And our God, He knows the comings and goings of our blackest bloody battles, and this is exactly where He meets us. The Gospel is good news in the eye of the worst news. - Ann Voskamp

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Not About Me

Change and I, we don't always get along. 

I've never liked change. 
well, that's not entirely true. 
It's not that I don't always like it, but there's just something in me that takes a long time to adjust to it. 

We're not easy companions.

There's something about change that repels routine... and routine and I are best friends. We work well together and along with schedule, the three of us are a strong trio. And change jumps in and throws the whole gang off and I've got to work to find routine and schedule again because they've run away and scattered. 

Maybe that's not such a bad thing.
bear with me, hear me out (I'm saying that more to myself because right now, that last sentence, a part of me thinks I've gone crazy).

Life is change. That's it. Good, bad, it's changing. And there are so many good things! So, so many good gifts from the good Giver of a Father we have.

It's the unpredictability of change that throws me off. And, if I'm being honest, it's really because control isn't in my court. I don't get to call the shots, God does, and that aggravates what I've got in mind. oh selfish sinfulness.

I like the way things are, I am grateful! So I close those hands, get comfortable, settle in, snuggle up close to routine, and then just live. I don't do spontaneous, give me a plan, tell me where we're going, when we're going, and I promise I'll stick to it. I like to know what to expect. ha! #lifedontworkthatway

Even when change is good! It's not always smooth. It's chaos. Life as chaos? ahhh. mind goes crazy.

These past few months have been riddled with change. Big, big things. Big, GOOD, GOOD things. Amazing things! But they came and then they didn't and then I heard wait and then God said no and then God shut some doors and then I had to let myself off the hook and then I had to throw hands in the air.

which I think is the point. that's got to be the point.

What do you do when life is chaos? well life IS chaos, so what do you do with life?
me, I've got to turn to Jesus.
and that's it.

I've got to admit that life is, most certainly, not about me.

whew. that's both terrifying and refreshing at the same time. 

It's every day, every day, every single day. Turn to Him every day. You can't store up prayers or surrender or faith and say 'oh hey God, remember that one time I trusted Jesus? That was great!' or 'that one time I read Your Word? That one time I prayed? It was so cool to talk to you then!'

It's active and alive and constant and renewing. It's grace! Thank God for it.

Because our minds gravitate toward self centeredness. From the Fall, from that garden, we are born sinners and we are born selfish. It's innate. We need Jesus to save us, give us life, shower us with grace, live for us, die for us, make us new, and use us for His glory. We can't accomplish anything without Jesus - hear me when I say that - because we are given all things new because of Jesus.

It's a beautiful new life.

When you (and when I say you, I mean me) acknowledge that there is another picture and that picture is not me (it's a kingdom picture), it's actually freedom. The best kind of freedom. It's not about me, so any parameters or timing or expectations or limitations I've put on anything can be let go and set free and I can live abundantly because my comfort is not the object or the goal. Dying to self is actually life.

I'm still every day waking up and dying and remembering my freedom and speaking truth to myself. I read an amazing article on Gospel Centered Discipleship the other day about waking up daily and talking back to the lies you hear (read it yourself). SPEAK back to them! Let the truth of Jesus be your thoughts. And then I listened to a recommended Tim Keller sermon where he said put on your armor against the schemes of the devil. And the good news, the best news? The Gospel IS the armor! Say to the devil, 'go to my Christ.'

We can't do it on our own. And we don't have to! That's saving grace. literally. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A New Home

I moved!
Here's the story. 

God sometimes says wait and I'm looking back over this time and saying 'well, wait for what?' And what's getting clearer and clearer is that the point of waiting most often isn't for something good, something tangible to receive, but to be made more in the reflection of His Son Jesus Christ. 

wait .. AND.. be made more like Him. 

There's an apartment that I adore. I adore it and it's mine. It's small and it's perfect and it's convenient and it's close to community - and for a while, it was empty. There was a plan, there's always a plan, and then sometimes time doesn't quite work in your favor. A family emergency happens and plans are put on hold and then you've got to weigh what's important.

Is it important to move stuff and put things away and organize .. stuff?
Is it important to be at home and to be with family and to be in their company?

Then a trip to the other side of the world, to a place where I checked no emails and ignored social media and talked to no one except my team and Rwandans. It was more time away from making my space my home. But that time was a gift, most of all. Most of all, it was a gift. 

Even in the busyness of my return, the delay became a gift. And I came back with a renewed perspective (to be renewed every day) that there is no such thing as time lost, that it's all time to wake up every day and be made more in the image of Him. I'm proud of the wait. 

Sometimes God says wait and I believe that the wait has to be the most fruitful part. It does not mean that God is wrong or that He's late or that He forgot. It means that He's in control and I'm not and thank God for that and it means that there's much to learn. There's Jesus to imitate. E.M. Bounds writes, "faith does not grow disheartened because prayer is not immediately honored. It takes God at His Word and lets Him take what time he chooses in fulfilling his purposes."

He reigns despite our choices and He reigns despite what we do and He reigns despite what happens. He's good no matter what.

There's so much to learn and so much sanctification and so much grace and all these things are firing at me and in all these things, I feel like I'm being made new. And my silly little human mind softly mutters, "but do I really need all this work?" 

haha. and the answer is YES. always, yes. 

And now. It's being made into a home! Frames are being hung, pictures are on the fridge, clothes are put away, Amy Green is painting my furniture new. And now that the time is here, I don't know what to do with it! I'm almost afraid to celebrate because I've let time determine when, why, and what to be thankful for. But I don't want to be mistaken when I choose what to celebrate .. because the celebration is not a new home or the stuff I choose to fill it. The celebration is Jesus and the work He continues to do in me. The grace He has for me, it's incredible. 

My new home is a gift. It's a gift no matter how long it took or how long it will take. It's a gift because God has given me good things and He continuously gives to me and says to me to abandon my plans and lean hard into Him and to experience the true freedom that comes in trusting Him.

And He's right, you know. He's always right.

Come see my new home! You are always welcome. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Rwanda and The Magician's Elephant

I read a lot of children's stories on those long flights back and forth from Rwanda. 

One of them was 'The Magician's Elephant' by Katie DiCamillo. It's the story of an elephant who suddenly falls through the roof of an opera house in a small town and the aftermath of the reactions and connections of the people. It's a story of love and mystery, hope and imagination. 

It's become one of my favorite books. 

The policemen in the story begin to wonder and ask, "what do we do with the elephant?" They sit around and go back and forth and run in circles. Should we punish the elephant? give it a home? make it disappear?

But there's one, described as a poet, who asks a different kind of question. 
He asks what if? could it be? why not?
where did the elephant come from? 
what does she mean to the town?
what if she had come bearing a message of great importance?
what if everything was to be irrevocably, undeniably changed by the elephant's arrival?

He says, we must ask ourselves as often as we dare. How will the world change if we do not question it?

I just got back from a ten day mission trip to the heart of Rwanda. My team of 11 amazing women visited the IWE school and taught a conference for the teachers and the middle and high school age girls. On how these girls are made in the image of God, how to handle conflict, who they are as women, how to love their bodies. We read Scripture and prayed together. so much joy.

And we questioned it. 

What if.. women from America taught girls on the other side of the world that they are loved by God?
What if.. we shared our lives and shared our hope? 
Why not.. step outside our comfort zones and end up running head first into the love of Christ?
Why not.. discover that compassionately loving His people is at the very heart of His will?
Could it be.. that the message of the gospel of forgiveness is infinitely greater in the face of genocide?
Could it be.. that we would learn more than we gave?
Could it be.. that being free can be found most true in this land that has seen and lost much?

I can look out over at where this journey started (a rocky process), where it took me (sharing the Gospel with 300+ Rwandan girls), and where it is now (processing the joy of the Lord) and believe that there's no place that my feet have stepped and are stepping that the Lord has not gone before. He's hemming me in as I go. 

Let the processing, the asking, and the choosing to respond to the grace of God begin. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wholeness in Loss

Grief is a fascinating thing to me. 

How people handle grief. It meets people in different ways, takes a unique form, shows its ugly beautiful face in ways you don't expect. Some people run headlong into it, talk to it, face it like old friends and then some, some people battle it inside. Wrestle with the thoughts, nail them down, need a getaway. 

People are so different. So beautifully, wonderfully different. 

Death invites itself in and sits down at your table. And you're saddened by its presence, but you're overjoyed by what it means. It means another welcome into the Throne Room, another dance in a new resurrected body. But for the people left behind, it means they've got to dig. They've got to dig and they've got to believe and they've got to be vulnerable and face why they disconnected in the first place. 

Death. Well, it can be a crazy, beautiful thing.
Not can be. It is a crazy, beautiful thing.

You never know what words mean until you find yourself in a position when they're all you need. The power of the Living Word of God. The words of people. The prayers, the peace of God. 
You never know what presence means until you look around and see people around you and you wonder how you ever felt alone. The everlasting presence of God. The showing up of people. The faithfulness of friends. 

The texts. The asking of what you can do.
The emails from my life group parents. 
The outpouring from our Little League family. 
New Charlotte staff. You can't possibly know how much your presence meant to me. Touched my heart.

It's love.
The way we respond, the way you've responded, it matters far more than you know. Grief can twist and distort and if we're not intentional, it can lead us off the path of where it should lead - to wholeness, restoration, and light. Thankfully, gratefully, gracefully, we have people who point us and lead us and remind us of the beautiful story and the beautiful love of Jesus. 

My heart is full. My cup runs over. Isn't that weird to say in a time such as this? Glory be to the hope, peace, grace of Christ. To the provider, the One who has gone before.

Friday, October 19, 2012


Joel and Julia have adopted a son. He's nine and it's new and there's tension. In how to parent him, in how to bring him into the family, how to love him as their own. They tell him about baseball and the boy isn't good and he swings and misses and he yells and screams and lashes out at his failure.

Minutes measured in TV time later, Joel goes into the boy's room and sits down to talk to him. And he looks him in the eye and he says.

I was incredibly proud of you. You went out and you tried something you've never done before. with kids you've never met. That's brave. That's so incredibly brave. Are you scared? I would have been. 

The freedom to acknowledge the scary, to encourage the brave, and to say me too. oh, me too. 

I think about my friend Werewolf Jesus' post on courage and bravery and how we can pass courage to each other. She writes

"I’ve shared how it’s been difficult to start writing again. Difficult to face my monsters and be brave, put on my armor and fight. It seems whenever I’m ready to lay down and give up, someone sends a message or writes a letter or gives me a little pep talk that encourages me.

I mean it literally fills me with courage.
And I wonder if that’s the key. 

Is this why kids are so brave? Because we tell them all of the time that are capable of winning their battles? That they are worthy of the fight? Because it’s so easy to tell a kid he is smart but somehow so difficult to tell your coworker that they are patient. If we see a little girl on a bus, it’s so easy to say “well don’t you look pretty!” but when is the last time we told our aunt she looks pretty or told the cashier at rite aid that she has a nice smile?

What if you’re an adult, facing your adult-sized monsters and you just don’t feel brave? I understand that our courage should come from Christ, that perfect love casts out fear, that He that is within us is greater than that which is in the world. I know that. And I know we all know that. But perhaps there is a function of the Body here that we’re overlooking. How different, how much braver, how much more proactive would we all be if we took the time to extend courage to each other?

If you have something nice to say, SAY IT.
Make someone brave. Extend courage.  
Let’s be nicer to each other. Let’s win some battles.

Every day is a battle and we've got to be brave. We've got to remember what we daily forget, we've got to put on our armor, speak the Word of God, and we've got to stand firm. We've got to keep going because we're all in sanctifying process together. And if you can't see where you're going or if the Lord is leading you somewhere you didn't envision, eyes can't see and pain can grip. 

But then. what I've learned, is that after that moment of surrender, FREEDOM. 

Be brave because..
God is GOOD.
Joy is in abundant life with Jesus. 
All who are weary can come to Jesus for rest.  
Because we need people to remind us, to sit with us, and to point us to that Cross. 

Relief is in the release of everything into the hands of God. Isn't it all safer in His hands anyway? (ann voskamp)

Look back at the hardest times, the times when you trusted, the most blind, the times when you were the bravest, and can't you say those were the best? The most abundant ones, the ones with the most fruit? by the pure grace of God. 

Every time we choose, we're made more like Jesus. 

We can be brave because we hope in Christ Jesus. 
and isn't that better than living in fear?
Through the unknown and the scary and the change and the way that doesn't feel lit, we are led by a God who loves us fiercely and compassionately, who promises in Psalm 73 to guide us and receive us to glory, and who sent His Son to die to absorb all the brokenness and the fear. We're set free, aren't we?

Give yourself permission to be brave.
Live courageously.
And spread the word.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Best Thing I've Read

What, then, is marriage for? It is for helping each other to become our future glory-selves, the new creations God will eventually make us. The common horizon husband and wife look toward is the Throne, and the holy, spotless, and blameless nature we will have. I can think of no more powerful common horizon than that, and that is why putting a Christian friendship at the heart of a marriage relationship can lift it to a level that no other vision for marriage approaches.

Have you ever traveled to a mountainous part of the world when it is cloudy and rainy? You look out your windows and you can see almost nothing but the ground. Then the rain stops and the clouds part and you catch your breath because there, towering right over you, is this magnificent peak. But a couple of hours later the clouds roll in and it has vanished, and you don't see it again for a good while. That is what it is like to get to know a Christian. You have an old self and a new self. The old self is crippled with anxieties, the need to prove yourself, bad habits you can't break, and many besetting sins and en-trenched character flaws. The new self is still you, but you liberated from all your sins and flaws. This new self is always a work in progress, and sometimes the clouds of the old self make it almost completely invisible. But sometimes the clouds really part, and you see the wisdom, courage, and love of which you are capable. It is a glimpse of where you are going. 

Within this Christian vision for marriage, here's what it means to fall in love. It is to look at another person and get a glimpse of the person God is creating, and to say, "I see who God is making you, and it excites me! I want to be a part of that. I want to partner with you and God in the journey you are taking to his throne. And when we get there, I will look at your magnificence and say, 'I always knew you could be like this. I got glimpses of it on earth, but now look at you!" Each spouse would see the great thing that Jesus is doing in the life of their mate through the Word, the gospel. Each spouse then should give him - or herself to be a vehicle for that work and envision the day that you will stand together before God, seeing each other presented in spotless beauty and glory.

Tim Keller, The Meaning of Marriage

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Two weeks from tomorrow, I head to Rwanda!

There's a lot of mixed emotions and a lot of thoughts and there's a lot to wade through. 
But what this post is for (because all of that processing will come later) is to ask for help.

I need your help. 
Financially. To reach my goals.
And prayer. I really, really need that too.

I'm still seeking to reach my goals financially for this trip :: would you consider supporting me? This trip is huge and it's a gift and it's a beautiful opportunity that I know will be a game changer and I can't get there alone. I'd love for you to partner with me and be a part of this kingdom work. This is a really, really special group of women that I'm going with and we're going to teach a seminar to some incredibly special middle and high schoolers. Read more about my trip here - http://singingmysongwithgrace.blogspot.com/2012/08/this-girl-is-going-to-rwanda.html

What I'm learning? whew, what am I not learning.
Trust the Lord. Trust Him. That's it and that's been huge. huge. If I believe that the Lord is good and I believe in His Word, then I've got to follow where He leads. Especially when it's hard. 

Here's the link if you'd like to donate online - thank you! Our whole team thanks you. Read some of our team's blog posts too and be blown away by the faith of this team.

And prayer. 
For my mind, for our hearts, for this team, for the Rwandans we meet. That any words of ours that are not from the Lord will fall to the ground. That we will be used mightily for the work of the Spirit. That we will prepare well in the next two weeks and for us to engage on the ground and to be the light of Christ. That we will speak the Word of God and believe that the Lord is good. In all things.

And for safety and health and logistics. Thanks for lifting this trip up!

Rwanda, we're ready for ya. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012


Last week, I completely forgot. completely.
I couldn't remember all the things I had learned, all the set free and stand firm. All the confidence and boldness. All the hope! Has that ever happened to anyone else? My mind felt so foggy.

Stand firm! hold fast! be strong! 
But last week, my mind said no.
It said no. I don't want to. 

The other part of me said BUT WE HAVE TO KEEP GOING. come on! keep moving! GET UP. KEEP GOING. choose, choose, choose.
And my mind sternly said no, laid down, and refused to get up.
I'm screaming at it BUT WE HAVE TO KEEP MOVING. LOOK AT HOW FAR WE'VE COME. We have come so far! so far. all the hope! The Lord has led us so far!

But then in the fog, I got sucked in and I got tired and I just laid down with it. My mind just felt so foggy. 
Can anyone feel me on that!?

My disobedient nature saying no, I like control. Trust feels like a wait and it feels so unknown and I don't like the unknown. Can I be honest for a minute and say it just flat out wears me out? The every day, every day, every day. The choice of every day. every.single.day.

Maybe that is right where I need to be. 
Maybe that is right where the Lord meets me. Maybe this honesty, this 'I can't and don't want to do this anymore,' maybe that's right where His grace chases me to step in. This desperation, this end, maybe that's just what the Lord desires to work with. 

Sometimes this walk is a crawl and our faith is about the process and Jesus is in the journey. Sometimes we aren't even moving anywhere and maybe that's the point. Just sitting with Jesus. in the presence of.

This desperation.
It's where the Lord calls deep to deep. 

But then. what I am learning.
Yesterday. I got back from Catalyst, a church leadership conference in Atlanta. And where my weary little mind went in, a peaceful little soul came out. And that kind of learning and listening and processing is never overwhelming to me. It's just the kind of thing I thrive on - the reorganization of my mind on what is good and true. A little reminder of the peace of God.

Listening to brilliant minds. What a gift. 

Andy Stanley said, you have no idea what hangs in the balance with your response. Your response, oh it will be your story. To opportunity, to adversity, to calling, to Jesus. oh, it will be your beautiful story. It matters how you respond. That is what you are going to look back on.

And then Matt Chandler said don't you get that He delights in you? In your process, in your pain and suffering, God does not show up late to repair. He is the surgeon who makes the incision. We are sons and daughters of the King and THAT is the vitality of our ministry. 

And over and over, Jesus enters into the mess. To take us where we need to go. 

Each of these could be their own blog post! {and maybe they will}
And I'm trying to think of my biggest takeaway. And it all was. It all was freedom and reminders and remembrances and joy. It was conversations that released burdens. It was talking about and hearing things that mattered. I needed that renewal big time. 

Refreshing. It was refreshing.
because the Lord is good. 

It's always in process and it always needs to be reminded. But my mind feels ready to jump back up in a fresh start and rebuke satan who tries to steal my joy. We've got to be brave, by God's grace, every day. Standing firm HAS to happen ever day. It has to. Believing the Word of God and hearing the voice of God happens every day. Not oh remember that one time when I believed you, God? remember that one time I was set free? that was cool. remember that one time I trusted you?

It's as frequent as breathing in and out.

Because even when you're tired, remembering will refresh you. 
When you're tired, the Word of God will compel you.
Especially when you're tired and spent, Jesus loves you.   

{in process. oh there's more to come}