Friday, February 26, 2010

Second Friday of Lent: Running to the Father

If you have children, imagine this: (I'd tell you to close your eyes and picture it, but if you close your eyes, you can't read what I'm about to type.) Think of little children... I don't know if this happens or happened in your home, but even at 9 1/2 and 8, my girls still behave this way... Think of the late afternoon time, early evening, there's anticipation and waiting and an underlying excitement - Daddy's coming home! "Has he called yet? How much longer?" Glances out the windows, looking for his car. Finally, they scatter and get involved in reading a book or practicing piano or coloring.
But when footsteps are heard on the porch and the scrape of the key enters the lock - maybe the distraction keeps them other-focused until the door opens, but then! They run! They squeal, "Daddy's home!" And they throw themselves at him, eager for his embrace and attention...
Maybe they're younger, still a baby, and Daddy's on the other side of a room, talking or singing. And her eyes are on him, watching, smiling, filled with joy to see her Daddy...
Sitting on the floor, on his legs, chubby little arms holding his forearms while he reads a book or sings a song with her... she relaxes back against him, completely safe, completely adored and in complete adoration! Daddy is the best!
This is how the Lord wants us to anticipate being with Him. This is how He wants us to come to Him. That we would let go of anything that's blocking us from experiencing this childlike joy in just being with Him.
I find it interesting and such an amazing grace that the Lord reveals Himself to me in the quiet. One of the things I've realized in the past week, is that while I appreciate all that the Lord has done for me, and I am so so grateful for His love and mercy, I haven't experienced that kind of joy in Him. Whether it is because my own father let me down in some ways or made me feel less than in others, or maybe it's some other reason I'm blocked, I realized that there is so much more for me to experience with the Lord.
And one of the things I'm most looking forward for the rest of this incredible season of Lent is learning to let things go that prevent my heart from running to the Lord in joy and unfettered love. I want to sit at His feet and rest my head in His lap and just revel in the love of a perfect Father.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ashes, Ashes, we all fall Down!

Ash Wednesday, 2010. The Lord wants so much for us to turn to Him in bigger ways - and He uses the season of Lent to pull us closer to Him in many smaller ways.

This morning, as I prayed, I was called with great conviction to serve Him in a new way. He wants me to be consistent in a way that I haven't before - to use all of my words more carefully, especially. This could mean a lot of things, but for me it was two-fold.

First, He wants me to carefully speak with my children. When they interrupt, He wants me to gently redirect them to do the right thing, rather than snap out "try that again". He wants me to express myself with sweetness and love, as He does with us. In other words, He is asking me to let go of my tendency toward sharpness.

And I gotta be honest, my knee-jerk reaction is to say "Lord, I can't do that! I always try hard! Those behaviors are just part of who I am." And guess what? He whispered sweetly to me, "Let ME be the change inside of you. I can do all things." Okay, so I didn't hear a 'voice' inside my head, or even outside my head - but I did feel strongly that the Lord wants me not only to KNOW this truth, but to completely embrace it. No, I can't eliminate my tendency toward sharp, but HE can! What an awesome God!

Second, He wants me to evangelize in a new way. I don't know if it's His plan that it be through this internet space, but I know He is calling me loudly to share His truth and love. I am not an expert, I have no special training, but I do know the transforming power of His love and mercy and I think I can at least try better to share it with others.

So, this Ash Wednesday, my hope is that I spend the next 40 days, truly resting at the feet of Jesus. I know if I do this more and more, I will better understand His will for me. And I want to do it. I want to be the child He created me to be and I want nothing more than to be close to the One who made me. And it'd be amazing if He used me to help my family and friends get there too.

God bless you and keep you!