Covenant

It has been a while. I have long thought of shutting this spot down completely but, for some reason, I cannot bring myself to do so. I am sure, after such a long hiatus, that no one reads anymore. I am okay with that.

I just finished skimming over my last dozen entries- what a difference a year makes! This journey has felt so much longer than 18 months and yet, in some ways, it feels as though it all began only yesterday.

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I have been a Christian my whole life. As long as I can remember Jesus has been apart of me and I've been about "his business". I know this is a privileged and now I can appreciate this much more than before.

Before, when I longed for a stronger testimony. When I was jealous of others who had life changing moments that rocked their worlds forever. When I wished I too had some marker in my life, some definitive line that all things moving forward hinge upon.

Before I turned 30 and grew wise. :)

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My twenty-ninth year will always be one remembered for the heartache it brought. Two miscarriages, 2 surgeries, 1 severely debilitating infection, and months of wandering in the desert. I stopped writing here because I was tried of hearing myself moan and mourn. Truthfully, I was just tried of myself. :)

But now, now I have something to say:

Thank you Jesus for your tender mercies. Thank you Father of my heart for carrying me through the darkest of dark places. Thank you Lover of my soul for wooing me without ceasing. For calling my name over and over again. Thank you Mighty to Save for showing me the battle plan. For bringing me through the desert into the Promised Land.

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My God, He is a Covenant Keeper. The convenant He made so long ago with Abraham, He made it with Himself.
"When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces." Genesis 15:17
Abraham didn't walk through the pieces of the sacrificial animals. God the Father and God the Son did. The covenant He made He must keep because He made it with Himself.

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There is mercy in the darkness.

There is a Hope, really only One, that will chase the shadows away.

He is faithful. He is faithful. He is faithful.

Come Spring, I will once again see His faithfulness in the most tangible of ways, the eyes of a babe.

On my will and having Hope



It seems, as a parent, I am constantly challenged by my boy's strong will. Always figuring out ways to out-smart him... and his stubborn streak. It is hard work, let me tell ya. Yet, I am so thankful that he is strong willed. No doubt as he grows he will be firm in his beliefs and steadfast in his loyalty.

I find myself sorting through the same things in my own life. This roller coaster of wavering emotions and steady will; like one of those old wooden roller coaster that are bumpy and jarring.


I feel angry.  I will lock my eyes on His.

I feel worried. I will trust His faithfulness.

I feel frustrated.  I will rest beside His quiet waters.

I feel like moving ahead without forethought. I will wait patiently for the Lord.




These last 11 months have been rough for me personally. My first miscarriage was last autumn; the spring was filled with weeks of unexplained abdominal pain followed by ovarian surgery; and summer brought along with it a horrific mouth/jaw infection followed by miscarriage #2 only a few weeks ago.

In summary: This season in my life has sucked.
(That quote comes from my wonderful mother-in-law so I'm allowed to use it on this blog!)

I have been wandering in the desert for a long while now. Knowing in my head that God is good, but doubting in my heart. Most days I choose to follow my heart and doubt Him. Surviving off only the manna from the desert, nothing more. Those little droplets of Truth hidden in my heart, wooing me closer, even though I mostly ignored them.

Days before my second miscarriage I felt like I had finally come into the promised land. I opened up and saw His faithfulness, His steady hand in my life. I saw that He is good. He is faithful. Then, within the week I lost another baby.

To say I was (and still am) crushed is an understatement. Several days following I lived only in a place of extreme anger. Raging at God. I felt no reason to pretend with Him and I am so thankful that He can handle my anger! However, as the week went on I realized I was getting no where. My anger was accomplishing nothing but isolating me from those I love.

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I recently read a quote that said, "The Lord cultivates intimacy in our relationship with Him by delaying our answer until we cry out." Before I might not have agreed with this, but now I realize that even through my wandering I was growing closer to Him. I came out of the desert with a depth of understanding I didn't have before going in. He was creating intimacy in our relationship through the wandering, and even in my anger, because all along I was crying out for Him. I was longing to hear His voice.

He never left my side. Now I have eyes to see that, and heart that believes it too.

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I have now come to a place where I can stand firm on the promised land- on the freedom from my wandering. I cling to the knowledge that He is as grieved as I was/am over what I've lost. I rest in His grace because it IS enough. Even when my heart wants to disagree. Even when the anger rares up again and I want to wallow in self pity. My will stands firm. My head knows the truth and I will act out of my will until my emotions follow suit.

Some call it routine- stale, stagnant, a loss of what's sacred.

I call it survival. I see it as being faithful with what I know and what I've been given.

I call it HOPE.

And Hope does not disappoint.



Shadows

He reveals the deep things of darkness and bring deep shadows into the light.
Job 12:22

There are days, much like the past few, when the shadows are coal-black. When darkness hovers and thoughts get cloudy. My eyes ache for signs of life. My soul thirsts for greener pastures.

I long for the sun to chase away the shadows.

I beseech the Son to drive out the darkness.


It is an old battle, this anxious, soul scaring sorrow. Years have past since its last visit, but it feels much the same as it did then. I analyze. Is it fear? Longing? Misplaced desire? Sky high expectations? Self thoughts? Lack of faith?

Truth reveals: all of the above. Bust mostly? Too much me and not enough Him.

Strange, because I've never felt closer. Like the deer I pant. Like the Psalmist, although answer are not at the ready, I will stand firm in my resolve.


Why so downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Psalm 42:11


{The thing about shadows? They wouldn't exist without the sun.}

Finding Beauty

"My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life."
Psalm 119:50


The days have been filled with the ordinary: cleaning, changing diapers, kissing stubbed toes, trying out new recipes, and me, stumbling my way along this journey. Putting one foot in front of the other and then, on a good day, reaching beyond that into moments filled with wonder.

I have made a point of looking for the beauty in the past weeks. Really seeking out that which radiates with His glory. Some days, like today, it's more difficult. Yet I've learned that it is never impossible. His glory, His image is everywhere I turn. It is my eyes that scale over and lose focus. It is my perspective that needs shifting.


He is a covenant keeper. He said He'd make beauty of ashes. He said He would provide rest for the weary. Restore broken souls. And He is mighty to save.

He said it and I believe it.


So, I will look past the mundane. I choose [because it is a choice] to see His beauty, His delight. I choose to rest on His promise.

He redeems the ordinary and shows me beauty everyday.


Lord, remove the veil that I might see You more clearly.


*Photos taken on a warmer day, many months ago. :)

The Overflow, pt. 2

This week I have found beauty in big and small things alike, and once again this heart is filled with gratitude...

8) simple treasures passed down from a loving heart
9) ordinary moments that make my heart soar

10) friends who speak boldly into my life

11) shadows that produce stronger faith


13) peals of laughter

14) chocolate :)

The Overflow

Thankfulness, from a heart that overflows...

1) for sun that warms, even on a cold day

2) for a chatty boy who cheers me during the cheerless chores of the day

3) for quiet moments submerged in holy conversation

4) for progress, no matter how insignificant

5) for snuggles under warm covers with husband, boy and dog... a pile of pure joy

6) for souls to walk this journey with, whom inspire and encourage along the way

7) for my love, who faithfully and graciously does the dinner dishes

You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Psalm 23:5


Bread of Life


"... he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul..."
Psalm 23: 3

Here is where I have lived the last six months; inhaling every last bit of life, promise, hope, comfort from His words.



O Lord, that you would speak and I would listen. That I would know your heart for me. Your unending mercies that are new every morning. (The joy that brings! New mercies every morning!) Your faithfulness to see me though all of life's circumstances. Your promise to finish what you began in me. How humbled I am by your kind generosity.

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Casey
I am a lover of: God... my sexy husband... 3 of the cutest kiddos in the world... deep friendships... a good book... music that moves me... the beach... sunshine... cooking... and laughter.
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