Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Chasing The Light

My daughters are about to hit double digits!
I've considered this milestone birthday for sometime and wondered how I might make it special and memorable for them.
Perhaps I'm really trying to make it most memorable for myself!
It's all going so quickly, rather cliche I know, but far too true not to say.
I want to mark this 10th birthday because it's the last one they'll ever have.
My baby girls will only turn 10 once!
They're so excited to grow up.
I'm holding onto every moment, wishing I could pause and rewind a bit.
In my effort to pause their little lives, I took them into the hills to capture some photos of them.
In desperate pursuit of the "golden hour," we devoured our dinner and took off for the hills.
As we started our hike, I feared we missed it.  
A hiker on the trail passing us by simply said, "chasing the light!"
Yes, I was chasing more than light.
I was chasing my little girls that were quickly on the trail to teendom 
and then college and marriage and...
I needed to run faster.
Out of breath and increasingly disappointed,
 I ran even faster to capture the fleeing bits of gold.
And just when I thought we'd missed it, I turned around to find my girls putting flowers in each other's hair.
All too soon this life scene between sisters will repeat,
 perhaps with doing each other's hair for prom or their wedding, 
and even more then, I want to be on the trail with them, chasing the light that is their lives.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

You Are Free Indeed

Last Tuesday I had the privilege of speaking to a group of women at Cornerstone Church.
I shared with them the freedom that Jesus came to give us.

"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."  Luke 4:18,19

Jesus would not have come to preach this message if it were not something that we needed to hear.
He would not have endured the agony and torture of the cross if there weren't chains that only his death and resurrection could break.
There are many things that try to bind us in this life. 
Things that try to tie us up and hold us captive, keep us small and ineffective.
Past mistakes
Wrongs done to us
The list in inexhaustible of the things the enemy uses to chain us to a lie for the rest of our life.

But Jesus came to set us FREE!
We are promised trouble in this world as it is broken and sinful.
But Jesus overcame the world and with that he has set us free from all of the trouble that this world hurls at us.
We need only to lay down our chains and receive his freedom.
"So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." John 8:36

His death on the cross really was enough to break any chain.
You name it - nothing is too difficult for him!

 Do you need freedom today?

Monday, April 4, 2016

Imperfect Moments

This Easter had some imperfect moments that made me laugh.
Like going to church on Easter Sunday and half way there I realize that we didn't do my son's hair - my son's chia pet, thick brisolly hair which requires a good amount of gel to control it!  
Or the Easter decorations never made it up this year 
(but St. Patrick's Day decor remained through March 31st!)  
Or family photos that just can't get to the print-worthy stage!

And those imperfect moments also made me cry.
Cry with gratitude that I'm not who I used to be.
I sat on the toilet in the guest bathroom, large solid wood door closed in front of me.  Just in there to do normal "bathroom" things and I saw a dark knot in the wood of the door and I was immediately overcome with a flood of memories.
"Thank you Jesus for saving me."
"Thank you Jesus for rescuing me."
The words came out of my mouth, through tears, before I could even complete or process the memories that surrounded me as I sat in that bathroom.

I walked into that bathroom on Christmas day, 2011, and begged to be taken to the hospital.  I was in the throws of a severe panic attack and literally felt like I was moments away from going blank.  One more breath and I'd just stop, fade away, blankly stare for the rest of my life.  I didn't fear dying, but rather feared loosing control of my mind and my ability to process and function.  The fear was real as the reality of loosing control was already in full throws.  
I couldn't stop the nightmare.  
No words could comfort or make sense. 
I had no control of what was happening to me.
I felt like I was chasing myself down a never ending hallway, screaming, "STOP STOP STOP."
But I didn't stop.
I couldn't stop.
Now 5 years later, and a different holiday of celebrating, I sat and cried as the dark knots in the wood of the door told me stories that I thought would be the final chapters of my life.
But just as death was not the final word in Jesus' life, anxiety was not the final word in mine!
The same power that rose Jesus from the dead, set me free and changed my life.
"Thank you Jesus for saving me."
"Thank you Jesus for rescuing me."
Those words were so appropriate for this Easter Sunday, for not only did Jesus rescue me from hell when I die, and save me from my past sin, but He rescues me everyday from the hell we all live in and saves me time and again from the mistakes I daily make.
I'm so grateful for imperfect moments as they kindly remind me that perfectionism is a disease of self destruction.  And they also remind me that I've been set free and am grateful for a God who is not shaken nor defeated by ANYTHING.


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