I had a really rough dream the other night. I dreamt that I was in labor, but ever possible thing that could go wrong, was going wrong, and my doctor was nowhere to be found, nor my husband either. I woke up and I was feeling really burdened, so alone, and so frustrated.
I'm not saying this dream came from God or the enemy. I don't know. But what I can say is that this dream helped me focus my attention on the fact that, no matter what the dreams God has planted within me, that no amount of trying to attain them in my own strength is going to do me any good. I must succeed, but only with God. Friends, Family in Christ, Family, Angels, and Mercies are all sweet blessings, but the true treasure is growing in relationship and trust with my Heavenly Father as I take every step on the journey toward His calling for me. The dream realized isn't in an arrival, it's in the travel and the journey itself.
This morning, as I was sitting in the sanctuary at our church, talking with a dear Sister in Christ, The Lord gave me a visual illustration of this.
I suddenly saw my beautiful daughter dart through the sanctuary doors, running down the downward sloping aisle toward the platform with a half eaten apple in her hands. She was going for broke, and about 3 seconds later, my husband stepped through the door calmly and slowly walking in the same direction, calling her name, while gently reminding her to slow down. She eventually stopped and turned around and went back and took her Father's hand and they continued onto her desired destination. Slowly, safely, and together.
This illustration blew me away. I hope it does for you too! Father God quickened me to take note of it specifically. My daughter in that moment, reminded me so much of me, and most of us, children of God.
We've been given these gifts that God has purposed in us from before Creation was formed, and we've been given these dreams and destinies in His Kingdom, and in His will, and all of it is so BIG! Bigger than we can imagine, ask or think. We pursue headlong onto the path of life, and run wildly toward our hopes, dreams and desires within us, but we often get ahead of God, and ahead of ourselves in the process. Sometimes we even fall flat on our faces on our downward slopes toward our high callings and dreams. We forget that with any trip, there will always need to be pitstops made along the way. Time for rest, refueling, nourishment, and let's just face it, purging and flushing. There is no way that you can take a long journey, and not do these things, without risking death!
God showed me this morning that I need to hurry up and take His Hand and really take a look at what He's trying to show me along the journey. I think we get so caught up in doing things, that by the end of the day, we really didn't do anything. And why does accomplishing so many things on our to-do list make us feel accomplished, when really our worth and value is not in our doing, but being? As I once heard it said, "We are not human doings. We are human beings!"
I can honestly say that I make meals, clean the house, play with my daughter, work out for an hour, journal and pray, shower, prepare dinner, oversee afternoon activities, participate in church and ministry, and try and "keep up whatever Jones's" there are in my life, all in one day, and still not feel accomplished. What's the definition of insanity again? Oh that's right! Doing this same thing over and over, and expecting a different result.
The problem is in trying to do all these things, I'm losing any substance in them. There is no living in only doing. God is calling us higher, to meet him. He wants to show us all about life. He wants us to make some pit stops along the way. There are things we've learned and are doing from a few years ago, that no longer serve us well. There are things and idols that we exalt above Him that need to be demolished, before He can bring us to our next levels. There are things to learn and know before the next steps occur.
We live in a condo. It's a good distance with some stairs and a lot of gardens and beauty before we get to the car. I always have to be sure to plan and allow a good amount of time between the door of our home and the car. Inevitably along the way, my daughter will find a million things to marvel in on the way to leave. Animals, flowers, neighbors, and ongoings will inevitably grab her attention, but what's beautiful about her, and her innocence, is that she stops and is sure to take notice, and enjoy the life that surrounds her. I love that. I am learning a thing or two from her (I think I mentioned).
I feel in my Spirit tonight that I/We need to Hurry Up and Slow Down. In the effort to live our day to day and get our to do list done, we are missing out on the life around us, and the learning opportunity within it. We are so very often running around doing, doing, we can't even really recall what we've accomplished and how far we've come. That's the major reason for the lack of peace. (I know, like me, you feel it too!) Remember, He tells us, "Take my yolk and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in Spirit; and you will find rest. For the yolk I will give is easy, and the load I will put on you is light." (Matthew 11:29-30 TEV)
I'm sorry, but "light and easy" do not describe my "To-Do List". Oh, but that's right. It's MINE! :-)
My husband has a way with words. Tonight he told me a lot that blew my mind, yet again. But one thing he illustrated to and told me was, "There is a difference between a hug and and holding someone." He hugged me. A quick squeeze and release. Then he reached his arms out to me again, and he embraced me and the atmosphere changed. The meaning shifted, and I found myself blessed in the moment because, let's face it, there is nothing like a loving embrace to bless a person. But more so, there is nothing like choosing to make a moment in this life count. Our circumstances don't have to change for us to be blessed, but our awareness and perspective does!
God is available to give us that loving embrace all our days (He will never leave or forsake us), but He's never going to chase after us and remind us that He wants to. We have to stop and turn to Him to receive. We have to stop and turn to Him, in order for Him to teach us the pathways to our destinies. Our survival is guaranteed. We can never turn to Him and still exist in long life to an end. But will it be our most fruitful, blessed end? I don't think so! I think in order for anything to be truly magnificent, it must involve us choosing to let God be in it along every step of the way.
I love how in the book of Malachi, it talks about how the people who feared and esteemed the Lord, kept a book of remembrance (Malachi 3:16). I think this is simply beautiful. How many of us have come so far, not to remember how far we've come? To remember what the Lord has said, done, and blessed us through and with, is a beautiful thing. It will help us to look upon how far we've come in the journey, and be thankful to see the Lord's hand is on us, always!
Father, please help us today, to see where You are waiting for us, longing to teach us, and bless us and grow us up into maturity in You, with You. Thank You Father, for loving us enough that You don't want us to stay the same. Help us to remember today that you didn't create a world for us to fit into, but a world for us to change through the gifts and talents that You've purposefully chosen and blessed us with for Your glory and honor Lord! Please reveal to us today Lord the next lessons in growth, so that we can keep moving forward to all that Jesus died to give us in this life and life eternal. We declare that we are open to You and all You have to show us Lord. Thank You for Your great grace, love, and peace that surpasses all understanding, Father. We are so grateful for all You are to us, in us and through us! Praise be to You Lord! Our Father and Friend. In Jesus Name. Amen!
No go, Hurry Up and Slow Down. Your Daddy is waiting with arms wide open to walk with You today!
In His Love,
Monday, June 4, 2012
Becoming a mother is the best thing that ever happened to me. Not only has it been a whirlwind of joys and blessings, but also serves as a consistent teaching platform for me.
Lately my daughter has been shouting these 4 powerful words ("No I Do It") at me whenever she sees something she wants to do or thinks she can do all on her own.
I love my daughter, and I want her to grow in her autonomy and independence, but not at the risk of hurting herself or others. At times it's my job to allow her to go ahead and do things she think that she can so that she can fail in my presence, where I know I can help her in the aftermath, before she tries again. Sometimes it's my job to step back and let her go it on her own. And other times, it's up to me to say a resounding "NO", despite her insistence and belief that she can or should do a thing.
I find this relationship that I have with my daughter, very reflective of my relationship with God.
One day I found myself getting overwhelmed with my daughter, after she shouted these autonomous words at me, yet again. Then a question rose up on the inside of me. "Doesn't this sound like you sometimes, Amy? Don't your subconscious actions, thoughts and worry, exhibit this same statement to your Father God, at times?"
Sometimes out of fear or sheer determination to do something I'm facing, I attempt to do it in my own strength, and I can feel my resolve scream out "No I Do It!" My inner child asserts herself again. When will I just let go and let God take the wheel? Just because I can't see God and tangibly feel His course correction, protection, and girding at times, doesn't mean He's not mightily at work "behind the scenes".
In fact, I can look back now on so many instances gone by in my life, and see I should have been dead or unsuccessful in a thing....But God! He's always stepped in...protecting me, guiding me, helping me and embracing me after my falls, no matter what! He's loved me at every stage of my development, and no doubt, will continue to! I'm so grateful for His unchanging opinion of me. His innate gracious and merciful love over me!
Just like I love my daughter through and through, no matter what her choices, assertions, or assumptions, God will love you and I no matter what we do, or don't do, or say. He can never love us any more than He does now, or any less than He does now! His unconditional love, is our most perfect gift! Embrace it today. Embrace Him and His perfect will and plans (Jer 29:11) for you today, and thank Him. He's chosen you! (Jer 1:5)
Also, I feel led to add that God quickened my Spirit the other day to Amos 3:3 where He asks, "Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?" I think what he was trying to say to me was that I need to get in agreement with Him! To walk in step with Him! Especially when it comes to His opinion of me.
Our God is the same, yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). We can take Him at His word. He's consistent. Never changing. He who is rich and mercy, and because of His great love for us (Ephesians 2:4), calls us everyday into this journey of becoming more like His beloved Son, Jesus.
As for the changes, and tumultuous scenarios of life, let us always remember that He loves us far too much to allow us to stay the same.
In His Love,