Behold and Be Loved, Beloved

I wake on Day 5 of this miserable flu achy and uncomfortable.  I stand and stretch, hoping for a glimmer of hope that today might be the day this thing starts on its way out.

Nope.

I curl into bed with Pandora singing praise to Abba Father, a fat orange cat at my feet.  A daughter brings me coffee and tells me of the morning’s adventures.  I feel at peace and I feel loved because there are so many good things in this morning.  Flu aside.

It’s been a slow pace but I’ve been at rest in my soul because of all the time for pauses to Behold and Be Loved.  I pray a quick prayer- Help me to find my way to your feet when the days get busy again.

And I suddenly have this realization.

He never meant for us to go at this breakneck pace, trying to achieve, striving to cross all the things off of our to do list, doing all the tasks that society insists we must do.  Here we are, trying to outshine that tireless Proverbs 31 gal.  And it leaves us so tired and feeling so passed over.

Because no matter how much we do…it is never really enough for that barometer of accomplishment that lives in our heart.

I read through Proverbs 31 again.  Is there something I’m missing?  Something that makes it all work for that busy Proverbs 31 girl?

shelaughsShe is clothed in Strength and Dignity.  How did she get that way?  How did she wrap herself in Strength?  How did she clothe herself in Dignity?  She wrapped herself in God.  She clothed herself in who she is in Him.  This is why she laughs with no fear of the future.  She is God’s own.  She is like Mary at His feet, wrapping herself in His love and peace and strength and majesty, surrounding herself in His goodness.

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She sees her God as the true God that He is.  He is the only Holy One, the only Uncreated Being, the one who holds us and everything else in His hands.  He is the One who goes to war for us, He is the One who quiets us with singing.  He is the One who Sees, who Plans, who will not fail.  And this is why…this is why she has a whole chapter of Proverbs devoted to her.  It’s not because of all that spinning or field buying or food making or planting or helping the poor or loving on the needy. It’s not because she is amazing at loving her husband and her kids and her servants.

It’s because she knows who He is…and she makes a place in her heart and her day to honor that.  

Yeah, she gets her stuff done, but she’s laughing while she’s doing it because she knows what makes her heart sing.  She gets the mystery of Deep crying out to Deep.

And so all of these years of my feeling annoyed with this woman I’ll see in eternity because she’s such a busy bee…they are wasted because her greater legacy was missed.  Oh comparison…such a tool of the Enemy.

My prayer today is that I will pause and take a sacred breath and just stand in His holiness…all throughout every day.  Not just sick days.  I will Behold this One who made a way for me to come to Him.

Everything Beautiful, In Its Time

I’ve been stuck in bed with the real live flu since Saturday.

It has been a big reminder of way back when, when I was so sick in the hospital after Nora was born.  That fevered, frantic feeling that I’ll never Be Well Again!  That horrible stomach churning nausea and then the chills that shake my bones and the sweats that melt me down.  Aches, pains, and loads of time to think…

And through it all, a Still Small Voice has reminded me that nothing is by accident and that I ought to consider that this time, this time of quarantine and cocooning could just be a divine appointment.

I’ve filled 15 pages in my brand new Christmas journal, joyously and tearfully filling every inch of the page with colorful ink, honest thoughts, heart deep prayers and feeling, feelings, feelings.  I’ve logged about 4 to 8 hours of International House of Prayer live feed every day.  I’ve listened to loads of music that stirs my soul.  I’ve spoken down deep and true to the One who holds my heart.

And I do call it good.  Even though there has been suffering in it.

He has written new old words on my heart.

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LOOK. New things have come.  New things are coming.  I feel it in my soul and spirit, that He is doing a new thing and here is the Word that says it is so.  All those old things that have fettered my Inner Me to the ground, that have held my heart in bondage…those old things go away and LOOK!  New things come.

I don’t know what that will look like or what it will mean.  But I know that it is true.

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I know that the Depth of my heart and soul cries out to the Depths of His heart and soul.  I know that the Depth of His heart and soul cry out to the Depth of my heart and soul.  He longs for the deepest parts of me and even when I resist, my soul longs for the deepest parts of Him.  Because I was made, because I am made to love Him and know Him.  This sang so strong in me, a Scripture I’ve read countless times and a Scripture I’ve sung out over and over.  But it sinks in this week, in the midst of sickness and vulnerability, my open heart is soft.

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It is okay to need help.  It is okay to tell Him the truth.  I believe…and my heart struggles to believe.  I Know Truth.  I can quote truth, I can speak truth, I can live truth.  And my heart struggles to believe.  But nothing is impossible for Him and He can handle my need.  I utter this prayer and feel no shame in it.  “Lord, I believe.  Help my unbelief.”  Because both things, the belief and the unbelief, can be true at the same time.  And I am not too much for God.

This is only the tiniest corner of a small piece of what God has been doing in my heart as I lie in the bed, grumpy and miserable.

I write in my Gratitude Journal. I write down my graces, my blessings, my gifts.  I am thankful for this time, even while being quite put out over having the flu.  I am thankful for the Diving Meetings, even while cranky and unwell.  I am thankful for His presence all in this room, even while I miss my husband and my kids and my LIFE.  He gives what is needed at the appointed time.  Not too early and not too late.  At the appointed time.

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