Take Delight

Last week my friend Anna blogged on the Desires of our Hearts over at the InCourage community. If you didn’t get a chance to read Anna’s post, here is the link: Waiting for the Desires of my Heart.

From that day on, Anna’s words have continued to speak to my heart. I am a 36 year old woman who has always pictured her life ending much like the fairy tail endings of the movies and fairy tales. Yet I am no closer to that desire than I was then. My arms are still empty. I still come home to a dark empty house and an empty bed. Though I am choosing to trust in this one who indeed sees me and knows every desire of my heart; every desire of your heart.

With my empty arms and an empty bed, it is pretty evident to me that I am still waiting on those desires. Yet the truth is that God still sees my empty arms and my empty bed. He knows exactly what those desires are but most especially God sees me and knows my heart! There is so much hope in being seen. I think of Mary who was seen and was chosen to be Jesus’ mother. I think of how Jesus chose Moses and Noah and so many others. They didn’t think they were called but God saw them and called them. God calls us too!

That call comes in so many ways, but I think one of the ways we are called is to see each other; is to see each other’s gifts and share those gifts with the world. There is so much joy in being seen by others. Last Thursday I was so excited to open up my work email and see that Living Lutheran wanted permission to repost one of my blog posts on their website. It totally made my day. Someone had seen me…and thought that what I had to say was ENOUGH!

But the truth is we aren’t always seen. Sometimes (a lot of the time) we continue writing the words on the page but we don’t get the book deal or someone else’s post gets more hits than ours do. The words flow onto the page but there is no end in sight. The words sometimes feel like they are being poured onto the page only to vanish. Our words never vanish in God’s sight. God continually hears and sees the desires of our heart. God continually says, “You are mine. I see you. And I love you.”

Trusting in that promise, I am leaning into God continuing to keep company with him. The Message translation of the Bible translates Psalm 37:4 this way “Keep company with God, get in on the best.”

I am linking up with these awesome amazing writers today. Their words always speak to my heart!

 

You are Seen!

I wander around this world; going through the motions, wondering if I am seen. Sometimes it feels as if a veil is over my eyes and no one can see me. I feel like a person vanishing into the background. These feelings are feelings that come in as the enemy tries to make me feel like I am not seen. But the truth is that God sees me and God sees you too friends.

Lately God has been imprinting that promise into my heart and my soul. Just the other day, a fellow blogger tweeted to me and a few other bloggers “You are seen by the One who formed you.” It came in the midst of my day but it totally put a smile on my face. Those words bring such comfort.

Then today I got an email as part of Jolene Underwood’s #RiseUpWriters and in her email, Jolene kept putting my name in the body of the email. Every time I read my name as she wrote about God calling us etc. Those words again reminded me that I am seen.

Yes, there are indeed times when life gets in the way and we compare ourselves to those around us. Or let’s be honest….we compare ourselves to those around us MOST of the time, don’t we? We think we aren’t good enough. She is much prettier than I am. She keeps a cleaner house than I do. She has a bigger house than I do. Those words are words that hurt us as we think we are not seen. Those words put a shroud over the reality that we are seen by God. The truth is that we are precious sons and daughters of the one true king!

But there are times when the enemy fights his way in and traps us in the lies that we arent important, that we aren’t seen. Yet it is during those times when God wants us to know that God sees us. God sees us most when we think he doesn’t see us at all. God knows every desires of our hearts.

The promise that I am seen gives me such comfort. It is a promise that I want to cling to always and I want God to continue to speak to my heart and soul always reminding me that I am seen; always reminding you that you are seen too! We are all seen by the One who formed us.

God sees ME!
God sees YOU!!

Linking up with these lovely writers today: 

 
  

The Master Risk-Taker

I AM NOT A RISK-TAKER! You won’t catch me jumping out of any planes! Or driving around a race car track going 100 plus miles per hour. I am more than comfortable knowing that things are going to stay the same. Yet during college, my friend Kristi and I (neither of us being risk-takers) decided to hop in the car and drive from Bismarck ND to Fargo ND about a four drive. Kristi was craving Olive Garden and the closest OG was in Fargo so in the car we went. I remember looking back on that experience thinking how crazy we were especially being the hotel we stayed at was not the classiest hotel.

Yet Kristi and I learned something that day! It is more than okay to take risks. God wants us to trust fully in him and to know that even when we take risks, he is standing there right beside us. I honestly don’t know if I would have gone to work at SuperAwesomeBibleCamp, or gone to seminary, or…..if I hadn’t taken that risk that day during college.

But because I have learned to be a little bit of a risk-taker, I have had some amazing blessings occur in my life. I graduated seminary even after struggling immensly with systematic theology. I remember my advisor telling my candidacy committee that it took more guts for me to stick with it. I wouldn’t have gone to work at a Bible camp for seven summers if I hadn’t taken the chance. And I wouldn’t have gotten that job if the camp director didn’t take a risk with me and hire me. I remember very vividly him saying to me, “I didn’t think you would make it but now I can’t get rid of you.” And I wouldn’t have listened to all the times God told me to take a risk…like leaving my last call to come to my new call.

I may not be the risk-taker that many others are. But what I am slowly learning is that when I, when we fully trust in God, God has a way of showing us that taking risks can and will pay off. Jesus himself is the master risk-taker. Jesus lived his life in the eyes of many who believed wholeheartedly in him and in the eyes of others who ridiculed his every move. Yet Jesus turned the world upside down, by taking his own risks, washing the feet of his disciples and sitting with tax collectors and sinners. Then ultimately, Jesus stood, arms outstretched, a crown of thorns upon his head, and breathed his last “It is FINISHED!” But he said those words knowing that God (his father) wouldn’t risk his life if he didn’t have the power to overcome death and the tomb. That my friends is exactly what happened.

There are still days that I look at Jesus’ sacrifice and wish I was more of a risk-taker. I wish that I wasn’t so afraid to be vulnerable; to share my own story. My friend Dana who I met through her blog and as part of the 31 days challenge continues to teach me about what it means to be vulnerable and to take risks even though it is SCARY! I honestly cannot put into words how much I love this woman (and we haven’t even met in real life yet!) because she reminds me that its about leaning in and trusting in this one who reminds us of the words we hear so many times in Scripture “Do not be afraid.”

You see, there is power in those four little words. Mary came to the tomb that Easter Sunday morning to see her beloved Jesus’ body. Yet when she came to the tomb, the stone was rolled away and Jesus was no longer there. Oh how risky….risky for Jesus to be raised…risky for us to believe like Mary and see that his words had come true. Jesus is no longer dead…he is alive! And because Jesus is risen…and because he is here, I find myself clinging to the promise that he will never leave me or forsake me. He will never leave YOU or forsake YOU either…..especially when we lean in and trust in him.

So my friends, as I come to the tomb and still see the tomb rolled away, I am going to try and be more of a risk-taker…a risk-taker who uses her gifts; the gifts God has given her to share his own messages of grace, love and being the master risk-taker; the one who sent his son knowing that death would not have the last word but that he would.

I am linking up with these lovely ladies today Jennifer Dukes Lee for #TellHisStory, Meredith Bernard for #Woman2WomanWednesday, Kelly Balarie for the #RaRa LinkUp; and Holley Gerth for #CoffeeForYourHeart.