"Keep your eyes on the One who says, 'You're worth it all. You're of so much value and worth to Me that I joyfully sacrifice Myself -- the ultimate sacrifice -- for you, to know you and love you and be in intimate relationship with you always.. to show you how loved you are. I'll continually pursue you, for eternity, because My heart is stirred by you and passionate for you.'"
// kelsey, text message, speaking life
That encouragement, that truth, is ringing in my head this Easter Sunday. Let it sink in deep, friends.
Theeeen, with the family all gathered for Easter lunch, this would be a great time to try out eFamily with them and enter this giveaway for a free year of use!!! I'm so excited to get to offer this to you guys. Hope you love it as much as my family and I truly have for staying connected across the miles.
You just need the email you used here: http://goo.gl/WkzYhz to sign up. The giveaway will be open for entries now through the 30th. A winner will be announced May 1st. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Sunday, April 20, 2014
Friday, April 18, 2014
He told them. Time and again. He taught it to them. But they did not understand.
some things you can hear but simply not understand without the Spirit.
They fought the crucifixion. They mourned his death. They couldn't comprehend the resurrection.
Mary poured out her life's worth on the Lord and He praised her for it, for preparing His body for burial (John 12:3-8) although He knew He would only be in the grave for three days. He had a very intentional final meal with His disciples (Luke 22:7-20) and then He was eating with them again days later. He prayed so earnestly out of His agony that He sweat blood (Luke 22:44). Mary Magdalene sat outside the grave and wept for the double loss, first of His life, but then of His body (John 20:11-15).
And then He rose. Just like He said He would.
And the sincere mourning made the rejoicing so much sweeter.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
When you know Him, you listen. Not because He's the boss of you, not because you'll be punished if you don't, but because you trust His heart. My ear tuned back in to Him joyfully, willingly, unrestrainedly.
Later on in the evening I missed a call from an unknown number. They left a voicemail. It was the owner of the car I had scratched saying that they weren't going to be filing any claims, the scratch wasn't too bad and something they could live with but they appreciated my honesty and the note. My willfulness was forgiven by the Lord but I still deserved to have to pay for that scratch, it was fair to have to. I'm His daughter though, He has my back, and I could hear His heart through the gracious voice of that man on the other end of my phone. I find rest in His favor and freedom. His heart is good, and it is for us.
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
The following morning when I got ready to leave the house I remembered that I hadn't ever found my purse. I asked Mom and she said she hadn't seen it and that had worried her a little but she figured I'd grabbed it before changing cars with Dad or something. I knew I hadn't left it home before we ran errands, hadn't brought it in at most places we had stopped, and hadn't taken it out of the car at Dad's office. We all searched the car. It was truly missing. "Don't worry. I'm sure we will find it." I said with calm faith. As Dad and I drove into town and I retraced my memory of our previous afternoon. No memory of a clear moment of misplacing it. Nevertheless I remained totally calm and knew the Lord had His hand on me -- whether I had left it somewhere in town, it had been stolen out of the front seat of the car at some stop, or I'd just lost it somewhere safe. Then a faint glimmer of a memory floated through my mind, a memory of slipping my purse strap over the back of a chair. We were one exit away from the Starbucks Mom and I had stopped at the day before. I calmly asked Dad if we could stop there. He said yes. We went, stood in line and I confidently asked the barista if they had found a small, tan purse the day before. "Umm, let me go see." He came out holding it with a questioning look at me and, when I recognized it and nodded smiling, handed it to me. Everything was inside, including my car keys which I hadn't yet realized I had left in it.
It had been more than twelve hours since I had left my ID, credit cards, and car keys in the middle of town and I'd had complete peace while they were missing. My Lord had my back. Resting easy in Him in this season.
Monday, April 14, 2014
"Until the day breaks and shadows flee
Turn My beloved, and come to Me
I've made a place for you
I have come to the garden
To find you here
So let Me see your face
Let Me hear your voice
For your voice is sweet to Me
Do you know that
You have ravished My heart?
Do you know that
You have ravished My heart?
Yes, you have ravished My heart
With one glance of your eye
Now, the winter has passed
The rain has been and gone
I come over the hills to say
'come away with Me My dear, away,
We will be, we will be, we will be together
We will be, we will be, we will be forever
Would you lift up your eyes to see
I am calling you now, to Me
I have so much more to tell you
All that you really believe inside
What you see when you close your eyes
I have so much more to show you"
Friday, April 11, 2014
"I'm so proud of you guys! It should be normal for us to reach out and care each other. When we get outside of ourselves and make relationship with other people then we get to know their needs and care for each other naturally like that."
This was a conversation I had with my Mammy (grandma) when I got together with her for lunch spontaneously. You're never too old to begin to reach outside of yourself and love on people.
At the beginning of this week, on the nine month mark of our wild + wonderful relationship Zachary broke up with me. We said "goodbye for now" and cut off all communication. One week prior to that I was living in his Mom's house, applying for summer jobs, thinking we were headed toward a committed relationship in the upcoming months. A season of so much work, joyful work, the type of toil I want to do every day of my life because sacrificing for another person is so worth the effort, I expected to be followed with a season of excitement. Jesus knew better. The work He has been accomplishing within Zachary and I through each other's friendship over the past nine months is finished. Right now we aren't the tools needed in each other's lives to complete what the Lord wants done. He's taking over from here, solo. I take that back, He's using the Body at large as well in each of our lives. He's removed us from each other, we're leaning into Him -- hard (because though He is so enough, its hard to lose someone so dear and so close), and He's ministering to every little place that needs it by His Spirit and His Body.
Zachary wasn't only unprepared to commit to a relationship headed toward marriage, he wasn't sure what he wanted, or who. That's completely fair. I can't change that. For nine months I've known that I can't. Whatever the point of my being sure of what/who I wanted and prepared to commit to (so much so that I jumped the gun and started to operate under a mentality of commitment that we hadn't gotten to yet) and led to sacrifice so much so joyfully for it was, the Lord knows. I know nothing is wasted. I know I would do it all over again, knowing the outcome would be an end rather than a beginning. Zachary is the best friend of my life and he is worth it all -- unconditionally.
Jesus has given me a season of rest. He has shown me how He desires me to be loved, He satisfies my heart's deep places, He's overshadowing me and telling me to rest easy and let Him do what He is doing. No plans. No stress. No striving. Just rest, refreshment and fresh vision + passion for what He has in store. I smile and laugh at memories of Zachary, I mourn the loss of memories I hoped to make with him, and I rest secure knowing that the same steady, faithful, healing Hand that holds my life, holds his too.
This week's meditation on my Lent journey is 1 Corinthians 13:7 >>
"Love bears up under anything and everything that comes,
is ever ready to believe the best of every person,
its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances,
and it endures everything [without weakening]."