Where to Then?

When He doesn’t raise the dead

But stays longer on his journey instead

When He doesn’t end the suffering

Or the drought with a fresh lain spring

When He allows the boat to capsize

And sits silently while we cry

Where does our faith, then, abide?

To the tomb, to the inner room

To the cross where He was forsaken

To the moments before victory

Where his believers sat unshaken

Don’t trade what you know for what you don’t know…

Maybe this part of the past

Won’t be reconciled

Looking back

there may still be gaping holes

But time to let go of the questions

And focus on the truths I know

Although many days

seemed meant for evil

He’ll use them to produce good

Though oft it appeared

the enemy was winning

I’ll see his purpose in the end withstood

Saying R’s

When I was young, I couldn’t say my R’s.  Everyone just thought it made me sound extra cute, or so they would say, so it didn’t seem to bother me.  Even though my brothers would taunt me “Jodi, Jodi, say Dr. Pepper!”  “Doctow Peppew”  And my parent’s friends thought it was so cute for me to repeat after them “Lizards have gizzards”.  “Lizzawds have gizzawds”, I would attempt.  One girl in my class, Tiffany, blurted out one day that she loved my accent.  “Now there’s an idea”, I thought, “I’ll just pretend like it’s an accent”.  But my friends standing around her laughed a little and cleared up her confusion that this was not some cool, rare accent.  I just couldn’t say my R’s.  Once I hit 3rd grade, my teachers started telling my mom she should probably do something about this.  So, on to speech lessons I went!

Speech lessons twice a week after school to learn to say my R’s felt like a daunting task, and I wondered if any amount of training would ever change the way I had spoken all my many years of life.  After several lessons, I discovered how to correctly pronounce the R… “purrrrrrple”.  “I said it!  I did it!  But, wait, that sure took a lot of learning and work just to be able to say the word 1 time”, I thought.  The outcome felt certain that I would have to think long and hard every time I said an R for the rest of my life!  But despite how it felt at the time, my teacher reassured me that after repeating the correct R many times, I would soon start to say it the right way without even thinking about it.  And, to my surprise, he was right.  Sure enough, the day came when I was saying every R correctly without any thought or effort.  That, to me, was amazing! 

Now when I face a change that feels like pushing 1,000 lbs. every laborious step and I wonder if the effort to change, whether it is adjusting to a loss or learning something new, I remember this lesson with my R’s.  I remember that with time and consistency, the load will lighten.  It won’t always be this heavy.  And one day before I know it, I’ll look and the weight will be gone.  I will have changed or grown past that struggle and I no longer have to think long and hard before saying each “R” or taking each step.  The same is true for each of us. 

Thank You, Lord, for growth, change and our ability to learn new things and new ways.  Thank You for promising to lighten the load as we cast our cares on You.         

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”  Isaiah 43:18-19

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”  Matthew 11:29

Dusty Road

Living in mansions of gold

May have turned my heart to stone

Traveling a carefree road

May have left my need for You unknown

Instead many troubles were designed

Further deepening my search for You

Delivered at specific times

For reasons only Heaven knew

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

I Doubt It

Today all I can see is every dream that never came true
Every time I screamed out and never heard from You
Every loose end that never got tied
Every time I felt alone as I cried.

Today all I hear are the sneers of those mocking my faith
The repetition of questions never being set straight.
The deafening silence when I wait for You to make a move
The countless reasons to give up my faith til it’s proved.

Yet, my heart keeps calling out for You.

Journey

I look on journeys past

And see the change they bore in me

I never would’ve planned these paths

Or the struggles they would bring

The battles are beyond hard

And oft take forever to win

My mind and heart get scarred

Then Your Word carries me back in

I look at journeys past

And see the victories they led me to

I take a deep breath, step out in faith

And set out on my next journey with You

“So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle.” Exodus 13:18

“He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for the sake of His name.” Psalm 23:3

Not I but Christ

Disappointments and heartaches
We can give these to You
And attempt to align how we think
to Your Word and Your truths
So what do You say
About moments that don’t go our way
To remember You are Sovereign
And there are grander purposes at play

“Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.” Ephesians 1:11

Just This Day

Summer is here, let the classes and camps begin!  This year the summer activities we signed our boys up for all happen to fall on the same two weeks.  Coordinating all of the pick ups and drop offs has taken quite a bit of concentration and effort.  Band for one kid at 10:20, Basketball for another at 1, basketball for the other at 2:20, Ninja training at 4 and carpooling a group of kids to drama rehearsal at 5 and 10 pm, and a partridge in a pear tree. 

As I was preparing to let the boy’s dad know which pick ups and drop offs he could help with on Wednesday, my mind jumped to thinking about the details of Thursday.  That thought felt quite overwhelming as each day this week has it’s own specific minute details.  So, I decided we would just go over the details one day at a time.  Let us get through the details of Wednesday and help that run as smooth as possible before we start working out and discussing the details for Thursday.  Otherwise, our minds may explode. 

And it dawned on me that God probably has that same desire for us when giving direction. Each day has it’s own challenges, it’s own details, it’s own decisions to be made and acted on. Yet, when seeking direction from Him, we tend to want to know our entire future. “Can’t You just give us the entire picture now?!” I know for me, I rarely stop and ask for just the directions He has that one day. No, I want to know exactly what the directions will be for the next and the next and the next instead of trusting Him for the big picture and walking with Him one day at a time.

Lord, You know the details and needs of this day. You know the challenges and decisions we will face. You see down the road and know what direction You would have us take today. When we turn to the left or the right, let us hear You say “this is the way, now walk in it”.

“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”  Matthew 6:34

“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21

In All Things

May Your will be done
Whether it leaves me
wanting or satisfied
May Your will be done
Whether it finds me alone
or with loved ones by my side
May Your will be done
Whether full of pain or jubilee
May Your will be done
As I draw near to Thee

11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Phillipians 4: 11-13)

You Will Sea

We’re getting closer to the sea

Torrential waves and armies surround

Our hearts now feeling the fear

That Your promises will not be found

Were our steps not led

By Your Sovereign hand?

Was our destruction

The goal of Your plan?

Oh, why bring us this far

Just to watch us fall?

But a voice reassures us

That’s not You at all.

So we take a step in faith

Our last option before defeat

And before us appears dry land

Where once was only rough sea.

“Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.” Exodus 14:21

At Your Door

Certain things I’ll never understand 

And some of them cause me pain

But when I place them in Your hand

They never quite feel the same

The sting is dulled, hope gets brighter

Faith feels renewed and restored.

So I’ll keep placing life in Your hands

And keep my torn heart at Your door

Hebrews 4:16

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Being Mean

This morning on the way to school, my 4 year old said “sometimes Caleb (his 7 yr old brother) is mean to me. So sometimes will you be mean to him too?”  I laughed a little on the inside thinking “of course I won’t be mean to your brother because he was mean to you. He’s my son too.”

Then I wondered if that’s how it sounds to God when we wish He would “repay” the wrongs done to us. He hears us, gently smiles, understands why we feel that way but then reminds us that the person who hurt us is His child too.  And instead of “being mean to them”, He disciplines out of love and infinite wisdom, knowing exactly what each of us needs.  He provides mercy upon mercy just as He has done for me…. and for that, I am extremely grateful.

In the broken, In the silence
I sit and wait
Your hand is at work
I watch and pray
I give You the pieces
I trust what You say