Tuesday, May 31, 2011

it's blog-moving day!

(If you are having trouble viewing the video, click here to watch it on Vimeo.)

So here it is, the link to my new blog website ToOverflowing.com. Come on over and check it out. We are having a launch party and you are invited! It just wouldn't be the same without you.

To Overflowing

(Click here to subscribe to my new blog posts from "To Overflowing". They will come straight to your email inbox.)

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Monday, May 30, 2011

sit quiet and wait

I ask him for a word. A word of hope to lift any burdens. A word to stir his promised joy. I sit quiet. Waiting. Because he does indeed speak.

I don't actually hear his voice, but I am learning to know his whisper. I don't actually see his hands, but I am learning to know where they are pointing. So I sit quiet and wait. Expecting, with his Word laid open on my lap.

True things fill my mind if I let them. And they change me. If I lay down the grocery list swirling around up there and push aside the ticking clock that beckons I run ragged. If I just sit quiet and wait. Listening. Gleaning.

If I. He will.

He so faithfully guides. He just did. Sit quiet. And wait.

Bringing it home...

What true things lift your spirit today as you sit quiet and wait on him?

{Oh and...}

Tomorrow's the big day. And I'm so excited! We are taking the leap {sooner than expected!}. So grab your shoes.

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Friday, May 27, 2011

it meets me in unexpected places

The gospel meets me in the toy-strewn playroom. The grabbing and fussing flares between my young ones and it meets me, in the midst of a competitive Hi Ho Cherry-o game.

On good days, when I am sensitive to His Spirit, I remember that they are flesh. I see them as he sees them, a little soul in need of a Savior. I use the moment as a picture, illustrating again their ultimate longing. Freedom from self. Freedom to love.

On not-so-good days I react in my own flesh, reminded again of my desperation. Thankful for his persistent grace.

The gospel. A holy God bending down and redeeming mankind out of his extravagant love. Innocent blood shed for my rebellious soul. And for theirs. Undeserved. Beyond comprehension.

Seeing others through the gospel changes me. It softens me. It frees me to love.

Bringing it home...

How does looking at others through the lens of the gospel change you?

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

we are in our "now" on purpose

My sister said it the other day and it spoke to me--deep down. And if it's true then nearly every thought is affected.

"He has us exactly where he wants us."

On purpose. With precision. According to his sovereign plan.

"Not (even one sparrow) falls to the ground apart from your Father's will. But the very hairs of your head are numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows."

Matthew 10:29-31

In this now of ours he is working. In this season he is refining and building our faith. Whatever today looks like--with all its seeming complications and hindrances--he is moving about, orchestrating and reigning, transforming and mending.

If it's not so then he is not the God revealed in scripture. The revealed God means things; he doesn't just use things. He loves to the point of death and restores the broken.

He has us where he wants us. On purpose. With precision. According to his sovereign plan. Believing it so changes...everything.

Bringing it home...

Do you believe that he has you where he wants you?

What does believing him sovereign over the daily happenings do to our hope and faith?

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

the main thing

"The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing." My daddy used to say that.

I've addressed it before, but it bears repeating. We live in a loud world. So much calls our name begging we look and then sit for a while. The enemy has an agenda. Distraction!

Last week I was lured. I felt it heavy on my spirit. Outwardly I did all the same things, but my mind wandered. Even my time alone with the Lord felt distracted. Then only as a faithful Father can do, I heard the words of Jesus whispered in my ear, "You are distracted by many things. But only one thing is needed." (Luke 10:38-42)

Don't you love the chastening of the Lord. {wink} Truly, he loves those he disciplines. So I thank him.

The world will holler for you and for me. Things entice. Stuff draws us in. But only one thing is needed. The main thing.

Bringing it home...

How do you keep the main thing the main thing in such a loud world?

Is there something you need to lay down in order to focus on the one needed thing? No better time than now.

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Monday, May 23, 2011

He's on love's side

During a recent "discussion" with my man, I realized something about God. You see, I have this tendency to think I am right when I argue. But not only that, in those not-so-lovely moments, I can even think that God must think I'm right. And he must be on my side. Cause he's gotta be choosin'.

But, that's pretty much wrong thinking. In fact I don't think He is on any one person's "side." Yes, he is for us as his children. And yes he loves beyond human reason. But ultimately, he's on love's side. Unity's side. His side.

We are the wayward, selfish ones. We are the ones who misunderstand and misrepresent His amazing-ness. So He's not choosin'. He simply is. Love.

When the thought hit me the other night, it shut my mouth. Mostly. It gave me a different perspective. It caused me to pause and reconsider. Because if he is not choosing my side, then I want to get back in line with his side. The love side.


He's on love's side. He is love.

Bringing it home...

How would thinking of him this way change how we argue and fuss with others?

(Or maybe I am the only one who finds myself in these types of "discussions.")

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Friday, May 20, 2011

an adoption story

New life begins to grow inside her, along with strangling fears. Another mouth to feed. Another child to raise from girl to woman. The future seems complicated. Uncontrolled. Worries wake her as an unfamiliar pain grips her mama-heart.

The stars outside fall into place as usual. The sun sets and the moon lights, bright on that African plain. In the quiet she does all she knows to do. She whispers a prayer to Him. Her God. The listening One. The able One. The willing One.

She asks for a family who seeks Him--one who knows Him and loves Him and teaches Him. A family who will carve out a space for this precious one soon to be birthed oceans away. Tears and hope begin to mix together on that warm night. Tears with the thought of letting go. Hope with the thought of love lavished on her new one.

As her faith prayer is breathed, He answers. Miles away He begins planting seeds of desire in the chosen family. Seeds that He confirms and confirms, over and over. Seeds that soon sprout above the soil, green and tender. And a little uncertain.

Months go by. The desires grows strong and sure. The path lays straight before them. Until that day when this new one unites with those chosen for her. Chosen by Him. Joy erupts with first touches.

That mama may never know. That mama may never hear. But that mama's prayer was answered. Faithfully. Her victory will come in the believing.

This post written in awe as I have watched our God work adoption into a family I hold dear. Love. Love.

Bringing it home...

How does the thought of this mama's answered prayer encourage you?

Do you have an adoption story to share?

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

the day His word came to life

I'm hanging out today over at Do Not Depart, talking about the day His word came to life. Like the freak-you-out kind of alive. I would love for you to stop by.

Oh, I was on-fire for Jesus. The kind of on-fire that calls old friends to make amends and weeps with joy over a forgiven past. He redeemed me from so many pits. He lifted me out of myself and opened my eyes. Then like only our wild God can do, he led this prodigal to seminary.

I craved him deep. I wanted...

Bringing it home...

How has the word come alive in your own life?

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

(finally!) vloggin' Philippians 3

Here it is (finally!), Philippians chapter 3...and what the heaviness on my heart reinforced in my spirit.

Click here if you have trouble viewing.

If you missed my first two Philippians vlogs (and would like to see my secret love for dancing), click here to watch chapters 1 and 2.

Linking up with my sweet friend, Katie Orr, over at Do Not Depart. I just love that precious sister.

Bringing it home...

How have you seen the Word meet you in the moments?

(Come on, friends. I want to hear from you!)

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Monday, May 16, 2011

infusing hope: four things to remember {4}

I sometimes have to preach to myself. I have to make the words come out of my mouth so my doubting heart can hear. And then believe.

{number 4}

Remember his faithfulness and declare it. Out-loud.

Say it. Sing it. Proclaim it. However you want to declare it. Just let the words meet with the air. Let his praises grace our space. Let his past faithful acts mingle with the present. Here. And now.

Let those beside us partake of the blessing. Let those who share our moments hear, that they too may be stirred. And spurred towards faith in the faithful One.

Remember. Then declare. Out-loud.

Bringing it home...

OK, friend, it's your turn. Declare his faithfulness.

For those who have more time, read Joshua 4:1-7. How did Joshua lead the Israelites to remember? Why?

If you missed the first three of "infusing hope: four things to remember," here are the links: {number 1}, {number 2}, {number 3}

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Saturday, May 14, 2011

taking the leap

Blogger was down for a couple of days due to "technical difficulty." Poor thing. It was so confused. It even sent out one of my older posts yesterday. But, God was and is in control...even over technology.

In fact, the little system glitch was the final nudge I needed. I have started the process of creating a new blog website. And I am so excited.

The content will be the same. But the blog title will be easier to remember. And the platform will be more reliable. Plus...sometimes a fresh start is just fun. Hopefully the changes will be made by the end of June. But I will keep you posted because I can't imagine "moving" without you going with me!

So grab some good jumping shoes and we will take the leap together. And yes, they can still be cute.

Bringing it home...

Do you like change? Why or why not?

I'll be back on Monday with {number four} of the short series "infusing hope: four things to remember."

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Thursday, May 12, 2011

infusing hope: four things to remember {3}

The rains will fall. The waters will rise. This side of Jesus' return, the trials will come. But they are not without purpose. They do not define our God.

{number 3}

Remember. His promises remain even when the waters ahead seem impossible to cross. We just have to be wild enough to believe him in spite of what our eyes may see.

As our toes dip into that water's edge--believing that he goes before us into the deep--the rushing ceases. The waters flee from him. The seas turn away into a heap. He makes a path for our feet, often straight through the seeming impossible. And what should have been our demise, becomes a place of rejoicing.

His promises stand.

Our gaze will be tested on this life-journey. But faith is the victory. Believing him to do what he promises he will do--regardless of the momentary waters--causes hope to rise.

Remember. If he said it, then it will come to pass.

Bringing it home...

Are there some deep waters ahead?

What promises are you clinging to as you step into what seems impossible to cross?

For those who have more time, read Joshua 3:9-17. What stirs up hope in your spirit from Joshua's example?

Click here to read {number 1} and click here to read {number 2} from this short series, "infusing hope: four things to remember."

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

dreamin' and believin'

He puts them there–these seeds of desire that will one day birth into living color. He does that in us and he does that in our kids. He has plans and works set aside just for us. And just for them.

I'm hanging out over at the MODsquad today, talking about dreaming and believing. Click here to read my post.

I'll be back tomorrow with {number 3} in the short series "infusing hope: four things to remember." If you have missed it, click here to read {number 1} and click here to read {number 2}.

Love to each of you today. Praying you are encouraged in Him.

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

infusing hope: four things to remember {2}

There exists a space between his promises and their fulfillment. More often than not this gap marks our trail of life. And we have a call in this meantime.

{number 2}

We remember. Walk forward by faith.

We keep our eyes set firm on his promises. Whether overarching or an intimately spoken promise, if he said it then it will come to pass.

The trail may get rocky or thick with brush. The path may seem dark at times. But our call is this walk of faith--putting one foot in front of the other, moving towards that "promised land."

In doing so, we are sanctified.

We may not know what's around the next bend, but we know where we are heading--towards his promises fulfilled. So keep walking, my friend. Keep walking.

Bringing it home...

What promises of God do you hang onto as you walk your own life journey?

How do you purposefully keep walking towards those promises?

For those who have more time, read Joshua 1:10-11, 16. How does Joshua's response to God's speaking infuse hope and courage to your own heart?

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Monday, May 9, 2011

infusing hope: four things to remember {1}

We are forgetful. Life happens and we forget the Rock upon which we stand. The enemy tempts us towards defeat and our emotions latch on as if his whispered lies define us and our tomorrow.

So we desperately need to remember the true things.

{number 1}

Noise. Everywhere there is noise. People talk. Media declares. Thoughts analyze. Yet, He is speaking to his children.

Am I listening?

The God of the universe--in all his glory and splendor and eternality--bends down and speaks to us. He speaks. To us.

He speaks promise, command, and direction. He speaks out of love to give life and joy and victory to those who seek. He speaks through his word.

Am I listening?

Remember. The sovereign one speaks. And he will speak to you and me if we have ears to hear.

Bringing it home...

Are you needing a word of promise or direction from him?

Practically speaking, how can we hear from God?

For those who have more time, read Joshua 1:1-9. What does God promise, command, and direct Joshua to do? How does that infuse hope?

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Saturday, May 7, 2011

from rejoicing to weeping: a mother's day post

I’m not sure there is anything more joyful than holding your child for the first time. Tracing the lines of their hands. Memorizing the sound of their cry. Overwhelmed by the love that--in a moment—-redefines your existence.

I’m also not sure there is anything more painful than mother-desires left unfulfilled. From broken bodies scorned by disease, infertility, and death to broken lives of children running in rebellion, a mother’s heart can bleed in excruciating pain.

Motherhood. From shouts of joy to cries of despair and everything in between.

So I find myself in that torn place today, rejoicing with those who rejoice and weeping with those who weep. All the while pointing to the One who holds time and life in his faithful hands. He is looking at you, sweet one.

Happy mother's day, mama. I love you.

Bringing it home...

How goes your heart this mother's day weekend?

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Thursday, May 5, 2011

am I THAT thankful for anything

Remember those ponderings from the courtroom? I'm going back there today. Praying for a merciful judge with a tender heart towards me who will have ears to hear. Oh, and, that it will go quickly. Your prayers are appreciated.

In the meantime, if you haven't seen this video yet, it is an absolute MUST watch.

Click here to view on YouTube.

Bringing it home...

I would love to hear your response to that precious video.

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

we are all asking the same question

It seems we're all asking the same questions. Am I loved? Lovely? Love-able?

We want to know that we hold the attention of another. That someone notices our nuances and then smiles tender with interested eyes. We want to be fully known and loved regardless. The reckless love that pursues and stays and sacrifices.

And. We are.

We are perfectly known--from our rising up to our sitting down. Every intent behind every word on our lips is known. His gaze is set firm on his own. His thoughts innumerable and precious. His plans prosperous.

That craving to be known subsides in his glorious presence. For we are known with an eternal, love-knowing. His gaze locked. Cling there.

"God demonstrates his own love towards us,
in that while we were still sinners,
Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

"And my God shall supply all your need
according to His riches in glory
by Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19

Bringing it home...

Read Psalm 139

How has he proven the sufficiency of his love in your own life?

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

rest for the weary

"Come to Me." To him. All who are weary and he will give us rest. (Matthew 11:28)

This is good, my friends. I try to avoid using too much Hebrew as to bore your socks off, but this is so very good.

Rest signifies to give intermission from labor, to give rest, to refresh so to recover strength.

"Intermission from labor." I love that. Who needs an intermission from the toil? Who needs a refreshing in order to recover some strength?

He says to come to him.

Coming to him looks like me, bowing down in my living room and laying it all before him. Again. It sounds like my voice, declaring his revealed character and speaking the raw. He never flinches. It feels like the weight slowly lifting and his peace faithfully falling.

Rest given. Strength recovered.

Bringing it home...

How do you come to him when you are wearied?

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Monday, May 2, 2011

birds and mice and snakes {oh my}

Spring has definitely sprung around our house.

A couple of weeks ago my kids discovered a nest in one of their sand buckets with six baby bird eggs lying expectantly at the bottom. The mama wren flew in and out, guarding and waiting. Then last Friday, they hatched. They are teeny-tiny, ugly and precious. And I just can't stop myself from peeking in on them throughout the day.

Then on Friday afternoon my man calls to tell me that he found a baby mouse in the garage. A mouse?! Mice are icky and I run from them. So I wasn't thrilled at the thought of having one as a temporary "pet."

But when I got home, this little mouse sucked me in with its cuteness. It is less than two weeks old with its eyes still shut and when it's all curled up it's about the size of a little bouncy ball. The thought of releasing it caused my mother instinct to rise.

Something then possessed me and I decided to pick up the little guy and feed it with a dropper. {I don't even know who I am anymore.} This God of ours, making baby-everything too cute.

For the record, I draw the line at baby snakes.

Spring. The time when new life births.

Our God is a God of newness. Beginning with salvation and continuing with transformation. He does not remain static. Just after that winter freeze comes the warm breeze beckoning new life. Flowers bud from once frozen ground. Color bursts from the dim brown.

Someone needs to remember the newness today.

"For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth;
and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind
Isaiah 65:17

Bringing it home...

How has he shown you personally that he is a God of newness?

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