love sacrifices

“I tried breathing but water filled my lungs. sinking, helpless, I blacked out. You dived in, your robes flowing behind you. pushed water aside with each swimming stride, you sank to my depth, got wet, wrapped your arms around my limp body and picked me off the watery floor. though others would say she’s a goner, won’t last much longer, You said it is finished and died in my place. You gave me air. and a hug. the deepest parts of me—seen and loved. If not for you, Jesus, I’d be cold flesh decaying on the ocean bed.”

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

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reflect

my green eyes searched the rectangular reflection hanging on the back of my parent’s bedroom door.  from hair to heel, I ripped myself apart like a leopard does prey, comparing myself to asparagus thin, pristine women on glossy magazine covers from the grocery store. that 2D woman, posed alluringly with little clothing, told me how to look. her motionless, plump, red lips spoke to me an ideal and an only—that I could look like her, or be ugly. my acne, pointy nose, fat on my thighs, drew the conclusion: I was not good enough. no matter how much foundation I caked on, or how long I spent frying my hair with a straight iron, I couldn’t cross the chasm of beauty. I saw what i wasn’t. steady corrosion eroded me into a thin blanket of apologies. I collapsed.

waking up in a thicket of emerald ferns feathering a forest floor…was not what I expected. roots poked out of the earth like half bridge knobs. ancient bark soared tall, seen it all—laughter and tears, death and love. people who pined, searching their lifetime, the world over, for peace. that sometimes dull, sometimes screaming desire. starving, pain. universal earth ache. throbbing to be noticed, asking “do you love me?”

the dancing leaves and towering trees spoke testament: cosmic turmoil contained in every flesh tent. I knew it well. craving but never relieved. burning for more; born with flames tickling my  heart. a “do you love me?” echoed through the forest, through my lifetime. men came and went. one stayed for life. still I hungered. I searched—under clouds and stones, behind trunks and waterfalls, in human hands. nothing. who could whole this furious, yearning hole?!

a mere shadow of life, I crumpled under the tree canopy.

a crimson droplet cascaded through the leaves, dripped on my nose, drew my eyes up. life rain, love reigning. God sacrificed Himself, bloodied, beaten, killed by those He formed and desired. life for life. this God took my place, created a way for my wayward heart to be welcomed home! oh what LOVE! how could it be? tentative and aware of my stains, I timidly crouched under a fern. hiding. wishing. wondering. he beckoned me. me?? incredulous, i stayed hidden. already seen, fully known, yet totally loved. how?! such outrageous love seemed unreal.

yet, the love soaked me, sang my missing note, completed my puzzle. i was inside out, upside down, undone in the presence of soul saturating desire so passionate and sacrificing. I knew: I am LOVED. drawn out of hiding, led into light. that second of rapturous delight transformed me. forever clean. thank you Jesus.

woke up new on the shag carpet bedroom floor. once puddle but now sunrise, I beamed. a cross hammered hand reached down for me. set me free, loved me from scalding burns and tornado turns to healing and a whole heart.

looking into that same mirror, I reflect the forest. the soft ferns and gentle breeze found in my hair and graceful nose. Love found me.

bodyy symphonyy

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A poem prayer for people today–people you and people me. People us. People not us. People all. Singing together to the Maker of people. People: Designed to dance. Made to praise. People = lost outside the original design. People us cannot be found until we’re lost. We find our life when we lose ourselves in the Conductor of creation.

prayer-full ears

Prayer: the ladder from Your heart to mine, an every second climb, an every moment waterfall.

Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil. Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few. For a dream comes with much business, and a fool’s voice with many words.
Ecclesiastes 5:1‭-‬3 ESV

details

You’re in the chemical composition of lava and

cake crumbs.

Petal curvature and moon ovature.

The grooves of disco and tree bark.

Space dust and ant biceps.

You’re in apple bottoms looking like spiders and

my nose.

You dance in wind,

laugh in river rapids,

paint in coral.

You’re the mystery,

the answer,

the God of my heart thump.

 

all we need

hundreds of pregnant ladies crowd into a ginormous elevator. destination: giving birth! each woman holds a basket, full of labor and delivery tools and postpartum recovery things. I look down at my empty hands. where’s my basket?!!! AH!

all you need is My Holy  Spirit…

the dark room quivers with night silence. my eyes awaken. a dream, it was all a dream. God’s voice still echoes: all you need is My Holy Spirit.

In my attempts to prepare for birth, I made scripture cards, like these:

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I made freezer meals. I cleaned. I made snacks for labor. I made padsicles for afterwards. I even made a victory banner for the birth:

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I was basically running around like a chicken with my head cut off, trying to do everything myself.

…then the dream.

All I need is God.

So I stopped researching birth techniques. I put down the spatula and sponge.

I began pursuing the presence of the Lord. His peace.

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 Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

Luke 10:38-42

in giving birth, in living life, in working, in walking, waking, breathing, one thing is necessary: Jesus.

without Him, it’s empty. with Him is fullness of life.

(now, remember the dream with all the preggo ladies?! it gets better!!)

two weeks after God gave me the dream, two of my dear friends showed up at my house with… A BASKET  of postpartum supplies. ahhahah! just like in the dream, I now had a basket! God has a sense of humor. these two friends cooked freezer meals for Andy and I to eat after the baby comes.  they cleaned the entire kitchen.

their simple  yet powerful act of obedience to God’s promptings brought tears of joy and repentance to my eyes. I felt so loved. so humbled. all those weeks of running around like a crazed chicken, trying to do it all myself, when all along God wanted to bless me through His people. a tangible reminder to trust the Lord. He is good and He always comes through.

if freezer meals and a basket of nursing supplies communicated love so strongly to me, what about the cross? I began to pray and ask the Lord to soften my heart more to the message of love found in Jesus–God’s own demonstration of love towards us.

Father,

thank you for your Son. we are humbled and grateful for His sacrifice. teach us to rest in your love. thank you. you are ALL we need… ❤

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