Point Home

home

Because one day a trial or a pain will come along and knock the wind out of him, and when that happens, I want him to know where home is.

That’s the answer my heart gives each time I think about the importance of passing on the baton of faith and hope to my son.

Of all the beautiful gifts of love I received from my mom, this is the one I cherish the most. She modeled Jesus for me. She didn’t do it perfectly. Who does?  Yet, what I remember most, was that getting to know Jesus was a priority in her life. I watched as she learned to walk with Him, trust Him, depend on Him and write songs of praise to Him. When her world came crashing down, she leaned on Him to be her strength and her peace.  I witnessed that over and over. And when she took her final breath here on earth, I saw eyes that knew, with complete confidence, where home was.

That’s the legacy I want to leave for my son.

I want him to know that this life is not his home– so don’t live like it is.

I want him to know that a faith journey is not a perfect journey but it is a daily and a life long choice to grab onto His hand, a daily and life long choice to get to know Jesus more and more. And, as we do, our grip becomes firmer because we begin to understand this incredible truth: that a holy, loving, perfect Father never stops wanting to hold onto us…us. He never rejects us, no matter how many times we’ve let go, wandered in the wrong direction or forgotten which road leads us home

Lord, teach me how to live this out today.  How do I model Your love,  Your grace, Your forgiveness and Your mercy?

Help me, Lord.

Because one day a trial or a pain will come along and knock the wind out of him, and when that happens, I want him to know where home is.

“Teach a youth about the way he should go and even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

A Reminder

one

Last night I had a light bulb “a-ha reminder” about Jesus and His love for us: The people I love? He loves them even more. I know this should be obvious, but sometimes I live and worry and wrestle as if it’s not true.

The people I pray might feel prompted to get to know Jesus, to spend time reading about Him, to spend time talking to Him, to spend time arguing with Him, and to spend time listening to Him?  Jesus wants that even more than I want it.  His passion is to pursue us, fight for us and rescue us.  He will leave the 99 in order to search and rescue 1. (Matt 18: 12-14)  He will go to great lengths to reach someone. If we ever doubt this, then our eyes and our focus have drifted away from the Cross.

So, if this is true, if Jesus desires to be a part my life, your life, and their life…and He wants this even more than we want this… then there is no need for us to wrestle, to worry, or to fear.

This is good news because if we don’t need to spend time wrestling, worrying or fearing then we have more room and energy to love, love and love.

Gosh I want to remember that today and everyday. 

“What then are we to say about these things?
If God is for us, who is against us?
He did not even spare His own Son
but offered Him up for us all;
how will He not also with Him grant us everything?
 Who can bring an accusation against God’s elect?
God is the One who justifies.
 Who is the one who condemns?
Christ Jesus is the One who died,
but even more, has been raised;
He also is at the right hand of God
and intercedes for us.
 Who can separate us from the love of Christ?
Can affliction or anguish or persecution
or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
 As it is written:
Because of You
we are being put to death all day long;
we are counted as sheep to be slaughtered.
 No, in all these things we are more than victorious
through Him who loved us.
For I am persuaded that not even death or life,

angels or rulers,
things present or things to come, hostile powers,
 height or depth, or any other created thing
will have the power to separate us
from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord! Romans” 8: 31-39

“The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9

Advice in a Storage Closet

storage

“Take the cotton out of your ears and put it in your mouth.”

This funny yet helpful advice has crossed my mind a number of times in the last few months. The first time I heard someone say it, I was sitting in a narrow downstairs room in a Baptist church at one of my first AA meetings. I think the room must have been, at one time, a storage closet converted into a meeting room. As I think back on this now, it was kind of appropriate to be having recovery meetings in a storage closet. You come across and uncover a lot of junk in storage closets.

There’s wisdom in that funny advice above.  And, nowadays, whenever it comes to mind, this verse from James 1:19 is quick to follow:

“My dearly loved brothers, understand this: Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger…”

Over the years, I’ve often said that I think Jesus seems to take us on an onion peeling journey. And this be quick to listen slow to speak layer appears to be the layer we have hit. In case you’re like me and need the more direct approach. I am learning, over and over, that in most situations in my life I need to shut up and listen…first.  This comes before explaining, justifying, complaining or defending. This verse in James doesn’t say not to speak…but to be slow to speak. I tend to have a problem with the slow part.  

This morning I counted how many times the word listen came up in the Book of Proverbs: 30 times.  30 times in just 31 chapters.  I’m thinking it must be important.

Dear, Lord, keep peeling the onion. I may not be sitting in a storage closet…but I know there is still junk in this heart that needs to be cleaned out and replaced by Your words, Your love, and Your compassion. 

“a wise man will listen and increase his learning,
and a discerning man will obtain guidance.” ~ Proverbs 1:5

Breaking Dams and Much Needed Reminders

cross

Sometimes crying is a lot like laughing.  What I mean is that when you start, sometimes it’s hard to stop…just like when something cracks you up and each time you think about it you can’t help but laugh. Tears tend to show up the same way. Both laughter and tears are cleansing and healing.

That’s basically where the similarities stop, though.  I’d much rather have a case of the giggles than a case of tears. I’m sure you feel the same way too. It’s much easier to walk around in public with unrestrained laughter than it is with a tear stained face and splotchy forehead.

I’ve spent a good chunk of time crying this week. I can’t put my finger on one reason. It’s a combination of things out of my control and, I think, the dam just decided to break this week. Sometimes, I would even start crying for one reason and end of up crying about something entirely different.  But, for whatever reason, those salty droplets needed to come out.

I’ve also had some much needed moments of laughter this week. Laughing is an incredible gift and I can’t imagine going through life without these moments of unexpected beauty.

Last night, at work, I got to talk and joke with one volunteer. I was so thankful for her “lightness” and when I arrived home later I started thinking about her again. I made the mistake of  thinking how she was probably about the same age my mom would have been if she were still alive. Did I mention that was a mistake?  Tears.  And then, just like all week, the tears took me on a journey.  What triggered the cry wasn’t truly what I ended up crying about.

This morning, as I think and write about crying, it probably wouldn’t surprise you if I told you I’m crying again.  Pathetic, emotional, middle-aged woman 😉

In my quiet time, I listened to This I Know by Crowder again.  This child needs the reminder over and over to go back to what I know.

Maybe you need that reminder today too.

Up on the mountain where You took me by the hand
Taught me to dance again, this I know
Up on the mountain where You took this heart of stone
Put life back in these bones, this I know

Take me up to where I was
When I never wanted more than You
Lift me up to feel Your touch
It wouldn’t be that much for You

This I know, this I know
This I know, this I know

Space to Dance

Road to Little Petra

I woke up this morning and another song was playing on repeat in my heart. This time, I could only hear the melody and couldn’t hear the words. Last year, I wrote about another time this happened. You can read about it HERE.

This morning when I woke up, my mind was racing in 100 different directions and the song was more like elevator music as my brain churned about the day and tasks in front of me. I started the coffee, took my dogs out to potty, and then sat down on the couch for my quiet time. It wasn’t until that moment when I realized this background music had been playing the entire time and I hadn’t even noticed.

My loud, busy, frantic thoughts had drowned out the beauty.

What is that song, Lord?  I sat quietly and listened as the melody played. I waited for some of the words to come back to me. And little by little, they did.

Jesus has overcome

fall on my knees

And suddenly, my rushing mind ceased and beauty found space to dance.

The One Question We Must Ask…

footprints

They stopped asking, “Where is the Lord
who brought us from the land of Egypt,
who led us through the wilderness,
through a land of deserts and ravines,
through a land of drought and darkness
a land no one traveled through
and where no one lived?” Jeremiah 2: 6

It was first line above that initially caught my attention this morning.

“They stopped asking,’Where is the Lord…'”

Observation:  There’s a danger that accompanies a complacent heart…one that stops looking, stops remembering and stops thanking.

Healthy heart check

Am I continually seeking the Lord in my life and my current situation– for guidance, for wisdom and for understanding?

furthermore, if you call out to insight
and lift your voice to understanding,
if you seek it like silver
and search for it like hidden treasure,
 then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and discover the knowledge of God. Proverbs 2:3-5

Am I continually remembering His faithfulness and all the ways He has blown me away in the past?  

Once again I’ll go over what God has done,
lay out on the table the ancient wonders;
I’ll ponder all the things you’ve accomplished,
and give a long, loving look at your acts. Psalm 77: 11-12 (Message)

Have I thanked the Lord today for who He is?  

“Come, let us shout joyfully to the Lord,
shout triumphantly to the rock of our salvation!
Let us enter His presence with thanksgiving;
let us shout triumphantly to Him in song.” Psalm 95: 1-2

Lord, overwhelm us with Your presence today.  Give us hearts to see You in every detail of our life. Help us to remember You as our Redeemer, our Guide, and our Provider.

A Beautiful Option

turn

Maybe it’s because we are starting a new series at church called YouTurn but Matt Maher’s song Turn Around has come to mind a few different times this week.  And, it came to mind again this morning while I was reading the reminders in Proverbs 4 about the importance of seeking wisdom and understanding…to not allow our hearts to wander off and turn away. 

I need these reminders on a regular basis. My heart is prone to wander and easily distracted. Whenever I come across scripture that warns us about turning away, it resonates with me. I remember that season, Lord, when wandering far from You was a way of life. I remember stubbornly turning down the volume and allowing my steps to journey wherever they pleased. I remember where that decision took me. I remember, Lord. I never want to end up there again.  

I also remember that one lie that kept me heading in the wrong direction.  It’s too late. You made your bed. Now you have to lie in it.  Those were the words that played like a broken record in my heart and in my brain. Those were the words that taunted me like a school yard bully. Until, one day, I got sick and tired of listening to the bully’s words and decided to listen to Truth instead. It’s never too late. You have a choice. You can stop running. You can turn around. You can come home.

A few years ago, I found this great quote from Seth Godin. “If you think you have no choice but to do what you do now, you’ve already made a serious error.” Seth Godin

It’s a beautiful moment when we realize we always have a choice. That moment is eye-opening and packed with healing…because, in that moment, we discover a Savior who never leaves His post. The battle is His and victory has already been achieved. We discover a Savior who is infinitely bigger than our stubborn hearts and prideful choices. He illuminates the darkness, offers clarity and peace in the midst of chaos, and guides our footsteps home.

“You don’t have to take the broken road. You can turn around and come back home.”

Better Than New Wine

dancing

“Yes we’re free free
Forever we’re free
When death was arrested
and my life began”

It’s the only snippet of my dream I can remember from last night. I was standing in a line with a bunch of people. As I stood and waited, I was singing these words…singing softly, swaying gently, and tapping my foot to the beat.

“Yes we’re free free
Forever we’re free
When death was arrested
and my life began”

I love this song and listened to it again this morning. As I did, the message filled my heart with joy and this verse from Psalm 4 crossed my heart.  “You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and new wine abound.”  

An appropriate verse for a girl who spent years held prisoner by wine.

Thank you for setting me free, Lord.  Thank you for new beginnings. Thank you for making a way. Thank you for offering us real life and real joy. 

If you’ve not heard this song yet, click the link and enjoy.

7 Years

write

August 1

It was seven years ago today I shared my first blog post. At the time, I wasn’t sure what a blog was, whether I would have anything to share, or if anyone would read the words I would post. Yet, the one thing I knew for certain, the one thing I had discovered during the years leading up to this decision…

The Life-Giver had set me free. He was faithful to rescue. He was strong enough to save. My broken life could be restored. The pain could be redeemed. I was no longer trapped in a hopeless pit. The chains were gone and it was time to start living like it. It was also time to stretch out my arm and share this life-giving baton of hope and freedom with other travelers. 

When I finally made the decision to push through the fear of imperfection and string words together, abundant joy and armloads of life were waiting on the other side!

My soul was awake.

Writing would become the “CPR” pumping more and more oxygen back into my life…that was nearly 1500 resuscitations posts ago.

Thank you for this journey, Lord.

“Your love is greater
Your love is stronger
Your love awakens
Awakens
Awakens me”

When Glory Dances

glory

There are certain words in Scripture that tend to leap off the page and stir up a deep joy inside me. It’s more beautiful than my words can adequately describe. And, over the years, I’ve come to believe that this hopeful anticipation, this inexplicable joy, is worth pursuing until faith becomes sight.

Yesterday morning, on the drive to work, I had an overwhelming sense that glory was the “word for the day.”  I love that word. It’s one of those page dancing words in Scripture. It’s too big to be restrained. It’s too big to sit unnoticed. Glory is alive and my heart knows it!

As my heart welled with that joyful truth yesterday morning, two of my favorite glory verses came to mind:

In His temple, all cry “Glory!” Psalm 29:9

Lift up your heads, you gates!
Rise up, ancient doors!
Then this King of glory will come in.
Who is He, this King of glory?
The Lord of hosts, He is the King of Glory. Psalm 24: 9-10

I think one of the reasons I love this Psalm 29 verse is because it reminds me as to where these beautiful shouts of praise will be found…in His temple (in His presence). I also love the word all. In this holy place, all of creation is compelled to praise and honor their Creator. In His presence, there is no question, there is no doubt…GLORY! 

I love Psalm 24 because it immediately takes me back.  It reminds my heart of the song by Third Day called “Show Me Your Glory.” This song was released in 2001, the same year I surrendered an addiction to alcohol and the King of Glory came in and showed me how powerful He is.  I listen to this song and my chronically forgetful heart remembers, once again, where freedom is found and where my home is.

For some crazy reason, as I was writing this post, I thought about the scene in Finding Nemo this morning when the always confused, always forgetful Dory tells, Marlin, Nemo’s dad, why he can’t leave her because “when I look at you, I am home.”  I rewatched the scene this morning. Dory is desperate to stay in the presence of the one individual who helps her make sense of her life.

Lord, thank you for never leaving us. Open my eyes to see Your glory all around me today. Help me to stay desperate for Your presence in my life.

I need you, Lord.

Because when I look at You, Lord, I am home!”