Sunday, September 28, 2014

The sun sank down over the gulf and I could not quit smiling.  Feeling life and love pour over me was bringing such joy that I almost wept with gratitude.  I was sitting on the beach thinking about God keeping his promises. 

Exodus 6 tells of God talking with Moses and saying that now is the time that he wants to free the Israelites from the 400+ years of slavery that they have endured.  He wants to be their God and they be his beloved people.  God tells Moses to go tell the captives what HE has said. THIS IS THE BEST NEWS!  However, v. 9 of Exodus 6 says this, 

Moses spoke thus to the people of Israel, but they did not listen to Moses, because of their broken spirit and harsh slavery.”

I felt a punch in the gut.

I rubbed my eyes and said, “Wait! Did I read that wrong?”

I reread the passage and just sat in silence.  The familiar moving of the Holy Spirit was happening.  Logos explained “broken spirit” like this: 

“it was the inward pressure caused by deep anguish that prevented proper breathing—like children sobbing and gasping for their breath"

Let that settle.

I thought it sounded like a panic attack. 

The captives were about to be freed!! After years and years of pain, heartache, silence, wondering when the suffering would end, no glimmer of hope, and FINALLY news of hope comes and they could not even hear it.  Why?  “because of their broken spirit and harsh slavery.” 

Being the one in captivity during seasons of life where it is difficult to hear God even if what he is telling you is good news is frightening.

When the internal anguish is great the struggle to receive hope can be elusive - to the point of the promises being what we might say as “too good to be true.” 

Are you crying so much about your life and disappointments that the thought of having hope feels terrifying?

Have you believed that hope teases you? Hope does not tease.  As my friend tells me, “Timing is what throws you off.”  Not hope. 

A lot of energy is wasted by ignoring what is going on inside.  In the circles I move in many cover it up with spiritual talk, doing “more ministry” and dodging questions that get to the heart.  It's not considered "spiritual" to talk about emotions.  Tell that to the Israelites. 

I continue to have to acknowledge how I am like that child sobbing and gasping for breath before I can actually begin to calm, breath again and HEAR.  

Hearing and receiving can bring even a twinge of Hope that can speak to the gasping for air places in our life and calm us like a child in need of comfort.

And get this...even though the Israelites could not receive the good news Moses shared, it did not stop God from rescuing them.  

Monday, September 22, 2014

Ain't no summer lovin'

This blog post will “bless your heart.” You will walk away with a deeper meaning of life.  

(Clear throat) 

True confession. Summer is my 4th favorite season.  All you summer peeps who get giddy about the lake, tank tops and the heat - well, good for you. It has taken me approximately 39 years to admit this earth shattering news.  I have been in denial. Who doesn’t like summer?  Apparently only people who have no soul. Some say that redheads do not have a soul.  You know what else those same people aren’t saying? Redheads spontaneously combust when out in the sun for longer than 4 minutes.  

Here is a list of what a person who has a soul (non-gingers) loves about summer:
  • wearing almost no clothing because it is hot
  • the heat
  • going to the pool everyday because of heat
  • getting tan because the sun is relentlessly beating down on the souls of summer lovers
  • wearing chaco’s with dresses
  • splash pads because sometimes it is hotter than 3 hells in the summer
  • more things to do outside. in the heat. 

Here is a list of what a person who has no soul (gingers) dislike about summer:

  • combustion
  • chronic sunburn
  • wearing zinc oxide that reminds you of when you were 5 and at the beach with your sun loving family 
  • wearing chaco’s with dresses because chaco’s make me feel like a man (sorry, but they do). I guess I have bigger issues than the sun. 
  • mosquitos

If Ann Voskamp (1000gifts) happened to read this blog she would come have a heart to heart with me.  So, for Ann’s sake and everyone else I’ll list what I am grateful for about today. 

  • I am grateful that I can paddle board and not combust
  • I am grateful for hiding my chaco’s for half the year and dealing with my masculine issues
  • I am grateful that the mosquitos will go back from the pit of you know where so I can swing on my porch and enjoy fall
  • I am grateful for pumpkins, white lights, a breeze, warm drinks, hay rides, and CLOTHING.
  • I am grateful that I can stand on my porch today, jump up and down, waving and yelling to summer, “Don’t let the door hit ya……”