When life gets in the way of your plans

The Lord’s timing is perfect.

When the demands of life press down hard let that truth sink deep. The Lord’s timing is perfect.

When edits for two books are due, as race day fast approaches and school steals far more time than expected, the Lord’s timing is perfect. When ministry commitments demand attention while there are mouths to feed, clothes to wash, and a home to keep, the Lord’s timing is perfect. He gives us everything we need, moment by moment, as we depend on Him and offer all of self for His glory.

When you wonder, “How much more can I give?” The Lord answers, “Give me it all.” Because He is worthy.

Holy delays bend human schedules and bow stubborn hearts.

God might be more interested in how you respond to life’s impositions than removing them from your path. 

Unexpected interruptions cause anxiety to surface, but the Spirit fights back. He is sovereign. Prioritize one day at a time. What has God called me to today? What will most glorify Him right now?

One choice at a time, you can follow His lead and trust that He will provide what you need to serve Him well. He who calls you is faithful.

Sheep follow the Shepherd, trusting His voice. He leads His own to green pastures and beside quiet waters.

The answer is found in more—more of what you have the least: time. More time with the Lord. More time in His Word. More time to rest in green pastures and drink the quiet waters.

To follow His voice, we must know it. We come to know Him by spending time with Him. The alarm rings a bit sooner each morning, and He comes first. Then, one by one, tasks are completed. Edits addressed. Race training accomplished. School is prioritized. Ministry demands met. Bellies fed. Clothes washed. Home kept. One choice at a time, God provides as I seek Him first. He leads me to green pastures in His Word. The quiet waters of early morning stillness with Him restore my soul. We must seek God above all other things.

Let your praise rise to the Lord from a thankful heart. Good gifts come from above and stir total surrender. All of your life. All of your dreams. All of you.

For only the Lord is good. Only the Lord is worthy of praise. Only the Lord.

Changing Seasons

September rushes in unavoidable change. Summer turns to autumn. Trees drop their leaves. Temperatures dip. Fortunately, September has always been a favourite month of mine. However, this year, the changes ushered in have been bittersweet.

Sweet Changes

Some of the best changes are the two new book contacts signed within one week of each other. (Whoo hoo!) Novel #2, tentatively titled, In Too Deep, has been picked up by my publisher, Pelican Book Group. And, Glorious Surrender, (the book – not the website) was awarded the Women’s Journey of Faith award. It won a publishing contract and will be released within the next year. Sometimes, I have to pinch myself to believe this dream of writing is actually coming true. The ‘sweet’ is holding Unexpected Love in my hands, turning the pages and seeing Julie’s passionate love for her children and Lord come to life through images and words.

Bitter changes

The most bitter change was saying good-bye to a dear friend who is now with her Lord. There are no words to convey the hole she leaves in her community, her church, and in her family. Her departure makes autumn a little bit harsher and a whole lot colder.

Emotional changes

We started homeschooling again. Day one was great, two, three, and four left me questioning my sanity. Can I really teach these kids? This is so much harder than I remember it being last year. What if I fail?

As I navigate this emotional month, I thank the Lord my identity and self worth are not rooted in the external. My identity and worth are rooted in the One who never changes, the One who never fails. His strength is enough. He fills every need, comforts every wounded heart, and holds the only opinion that matters.

What really matters

In the end, it doesn’t matter how my next two books are received by the world as long as my words glorify the Lord.

It’s normal and right to grieve the loss of my friend. God promises that as I prioritize Him and His word, pressing onward day by day, eventually this mourning will turn into joy. Blessed are those who mourn, for they are comforted. There have been some sweet moments of drawing closer to my Lord during my grief.

And school? Well, there are good days and bad days, easy days and hard days. And God is with me every day, reminding me to speak in love and with gentleness, to persevere, and to keep the big picture in front of me. These precious days with our littles are going too fast. They are worth the extra effort, the extra time, and the extra energy.

Living a life that points them to Christ is what really matters.

 

The heritage of the servants of the Lord

I need not fear, but instead, be encouraged because the Lord is with me. His power is perfect in weakness—and I am weak. I do not create life, heal brokenness, or redeem tragedy, but God can. My inability showcases His great ability. He calls me closer to Him. He refreshes me when I call on Him.

This suffering will produce perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And that hope does not put me to shame because God has poured his love into my heart through the power of the Holy Spirit. He is my light and salvation. He is the stronghold of life. My confidence is in Him. I cry out now, and I know that He hears me because He is close to the brokenhearted and He saves those crushed in spirit.

I may be hard pressed on every side, but I am not crushed. I may be perplexed, but I do not despair. I may feel persecuted, but I am not abandoned. I might get struck down, but I will not be destroyed because He is my God. He is with me. He strengthens me and upholds me in His righteous hand.

This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord – and for that, I praise you, God!

 

Joshua 1:9, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, Romans 5:3-5, Psalm 27:1-3, Isaiah 41:10, Psalm 34:17-18, 2 Corinthians 4:8-9.

Only God is God

He is all powerful; I am weak. He is all-knowing; I am limited. He is ever present; I am perishing.

His holiness exposes the sin seeping into every chamber of my heart. Easily deceived, my tendency to wander leads me to worthless idols.

Again and again.

Yet, the Shepherd seeks the sheep and becomes the bridge that spans the gap between us. He relentlessly calls my name. He guides me to Living Water, inviting me to drink and never thirst again.

Because He loves me.

He was already there—in the beginning—and will be forever. His words breathe life and are life.

I am His.

Praise the Lord!

How do we breathe?

Pic 1A young momma, in the fight of her life, inhales God’s strength. Her young man, yanked from dreaming dreams into a living nightmare, stands on the Word, inhaling Truth and exhaling prayers—

—prayers for his love, praying she has more days written in the Book. Prayers for the one so tiny and precious, knit by the Maker, his days pre-determined and purposed for His glory. Day by day, hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute, second-by-second, each breath is a victory. Each breath declares God’s goodness.

The breath of the Almighty gives life. He ushers His own to the place of dependence where faith truly lives. God’s mighty name is praised because nothing is wasted—not even this.

pic 2

God is good when it is dark and when it is light. God is good when it is hard and when it is easy. God is good when He gives and when He takes away. His Truth is the oxygen a suffocating world needs to breathe, and needs to breathe deeply.

 

*pictures and story shared with permission in hope you will pray for this family.

Dance

Dance in wonder and awe of your King

Dance in worship and with abandonment

Dance freely, offering all of you

Don’t see the mess, the mundane, or the mountain

See the creativity, the productivity, and the miracle

Dive deep

Submerged in the Word

Be real, flaws and all

Share your story

Show your scars

Tell of the Savior who rescued you

Live in the messiness of life

which brings you to your knees –

where you’re meant to be

Live dangerously transparent

Close to God

Trudging through

Anchored in His Word

Be real

Be honest

Be ever-seeking

Be on your knees

Always

Always

Always

on your knees

Dance

Katie dancing

*First printed August, 2011

More than enough

The mountain of laundry multiplies. Dirty dishes soak. Groceries are put away just in time to make lunch, just in time to clean up, just in time to start dinner.

Always behind. Always rushing. Always worried about tomorrow.

What if for one day I stopped thinking of what comes next? What if I lived in this moment thanking God that I have just enough for right now?

Just enough clean clothes to dress the kids and just enough clean dishes. Just enough in the cupboard to feed small hungry bellies. Just enough for this moment.

Just enough grace. Just enough love. Just enough strength. Just enough patience.

Moment by moment. Day by day. Trusting tomorrow to Him; living in this moment.

Getting Personal

True to my British roots, I love a good cup of tea. During difficultly I go on autopilot  and put the kettle on the stove. I often don’t even want the tea, just the act of making it calms my nerves.

The other thing I do during difficulty is pray through Scripture. It calms me like nothing else can. I insert my name into the Word of God and drink in the warmth of personal message. Sometimes I insert the names of my children or loved ones as I pray verses that speak to my heart.

I not only pray through Scripture, I often write it down. The act of writing it down gathers my scattered thoughts revealing the true condition of my heart.

I love to go back and reread my prayers often shocked at the beauty of God’s Word. Praying through His Word is a beautiful thing.

Below are a handful of paraphrased verses I treasure. Maybe you can share some favorites of yours?

I am afflicted but not crushed, perplexed but not despairing, persecuted but not forsaken, struck down but not destroyed because of the treasure that lives in me (2 Corinthians 4:8).

May I walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May I be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy giving thanks to the Father who has qualified me to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered me from the domain of darkness and transferred me into the kingdom of his beloved Son in whom I have redemption, the forgiveness of sins (Colossian 1:9-14).

I bow my knees before the Father from whom every family in heaven and earth is named, according to the riches of his glory he may grant my children to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in their inner being, so that Christ may dwell in their hearts through faith. Being rooted and grounded in love, may they have the strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that they may be filled with all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:14-19).

God’s grace is sufficient for me; His power is made perfect in my weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate me from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus my Lord (Romans 8:38-39).

I have nothing to fear, God has redeemed me. He has called me by name, I am His. When I pass through the waters He will be with me, when I go through the rivers they will not overwhelm me, when I walk through the fire I will not be burned. The flames will not consume me. For He is the Lord my God, the Holy One of Israel, my Savior (Isaiah 43:1-4).

He was wounded for my transgressions; he was crushed for my iniquities. The punishment that bought me peace was laid upon Him. By His wounds I am healed. Like sheep I have gone astray. I have turned to my own way. The Lord has laid on Christ my sins (Isaiah 53:5-6).

Here is a trustworthy statement. If I have died with Him, I will also live with Him. If I endure, I will also reign with Him. If I deny Him, he will also deny me. If I am faithless He is faithful for He cannot deny Himself (2 Timothy 2 11-13).

You are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God. Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth. Unite my heart to fear your name (Psalm 86:10-11).