It Has Always Been Him Calling to Me

I asked God to give me something to share with a beautiful, familiar group of women. I would soon have the opportunity to speak to them and I wanted to leave something inspirational, something worthy of remembering, in their hearts. I’m not a speaker. My mind seems to forget everything I want to say when I want to say it. So, every time this type of thing comes along, I plead with God. Less of me, more of You.

He quickly dropped “I Will Enter His Gates” in my heart.  I sang it for a week and nothing I conjured up came together in the beautiful way I had imagined. Maybe he wants me to talk about this or that…. No, that’s not it, again and again. I crumbled up papers and deleted notes on my phone. 

I woke up at 5am Sunday morning, the day of the event, with a reason. The song I had been singing was a song I loved when I was a child, a song from our hymn book. It was a memory I needed to unwrap.

This is a small part of my story. But, you all have a story like this, a story of how god has always been calling out to you.

When I was born, my parents weren’t christians. We were lost. What was it that brought us to him? I was five and I remember. I remember the tiny churches in the country. I remember the open arms and the looks on their faces. They knew my mom was coming home. But, my father, they were working so hard. They visited him in the hospital when he almost died. They spent hours and hours there. The preacher prayed over him when he was asleep for a month. He prayed when my dad didn’t know us. He even stayed when he woke up and lead him to Jesus. I was five and I knew my dad had died but God woke him up because he was so close. He was close to finally winning his soul. Maybe the accident would show him how far God had gone to save him?

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(Picture of dad and the preacher about 1.5 years after his accident when he was walking again)

Dad recovered at home and we went to church. They sang “At the Cross”and “Victory in Jesus.” They worked tirelessly.  They cried when my momma cried. They threw baby showers when my sister was born. There were so many embraces. They sang “Jesus Loves Me” and lead the crafts in Sunday school. They cared when we didn’t come. 

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(My mom at my sister’s baby shower at the small church in the country)

Family reunions when I was 8 and 10 and 12, my uncle sang “Amazing Grace” with a guitar under the trees. They all stopped. All those people, 100 of them, stopped and felt him. The music, the prayer, it begged us to notice.  He was there, calling to them too. I remember looking around and seeing that they all noticed Jesus was there too.

Then, when I was 15, I gave my heart to Jesus. Those people actually had the guts to come and get me from my seat. They knew so much about me. More than I had told them. Their eyes said it all. But, I had been hiding. Hang out with us. We’ve got this thing called The Holy Spirit and you need it too. That’s when I decided. All those years, all that work and I finally said it out loud. Although, I had known long, long before that I could never live without Jesus. He would always be home, my resting place.

When my mom  almost gave up on people and stopped going to church, it was me that begged. If we don’t have them, what hope do we have? Those people, the church, they are Jesus. We can’t hold on to him alone. She listened.

It was always him calling me, following me, loving me.  He worked hard to keep my attention. From my earliest memory until right now, it has always been him.

We are the church. We are those baby showers, the embraces, the workers. We are the ones that sing songs and cut and glue in the classrooms. We are Jesus in the flesh.

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(Me around 1988 singing songs about Jesus)

When I asked God for something this week, he took his time and showed me something profound. The pulling, the tugging, the noticing, the calling, it was always him. From my earliest memory until this very moment. The entire thing, its been a journey towards him.  Just like it has been for you.

As we enter into the holidays thankful hearts, may it be full of those moments in time that cause you to notice. He’s been calling to all of us since the very beginning. Through music, prayer, love, embraces, pain and everything in between, it’s been him all along. He is the hope that shines in dark places. He is the joy that comes in the morning. He is everywhere, in everything. He has always been, and he will always be. 

Psalm 100

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.

Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

 

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frosty grass.

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The best things about Christmas aren’t presents at all.

They are times we see God’s Earth

through love & life & adventure.

Our steps crunch the frosty grass.

The sun cuts the cold air.

Our blood warms with each movement.

Nothing holds us down.

We are free & forgiven.

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transparency.

photo copy 8Wide open skies and warm country air.

Very uncharacteristic of late December in Kentucky but very appreciated.

We ran and played on grandmother’s farm for Christmas this year.

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We finally got our hands on growing baby Violet who is almost 6 months old.

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photo copyCozy & familiar things are good.

They help us to settle down.

………………….

Recent changes have been a little more difficult on me than anticipated.

Cozy & familiar are nothing of the sorts.

As a mother, a sense of security in my children is important.

I want them to feel at home and peaceful within.

I place a lot of value on this because it is important to me.

With our move, as expected, things were turned up-side-down.

They still are and will probably be for a while.

Why have I been struggling so much with that?

…………………..

Isaiah 26:3-4 

You will keep in perfect peace
all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
Trust in the Lord always,
for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.

……………………

I have to re-evaluate.

Is my security found in myself?

Does my peace come from control and perfection?

Are my eyes really fixed on the Lord?

I have to ask myself these questions and be transparent with myself.

Did you know we can lie to ourselves?

It’s called denial.

The answers are not what I wanted to hear.

………………………

So, here we go Jesus.

Lesson 500,988,321,764.

I’m having trouble trusting You.

For some crazy reason, I’m finding myself more capable than You, my creator.

This mindset looks like a lot of disappointment and heartbreak for my future.

So, let’s talk about changing it.

Show me how to let go.

I don’t want these frustrating feelings in my heart and now I know why they are there.

I am Yours.

My heart is Yours.

My mind is Yours.

My life is Yours.

My family is Yours.

My days are Yours.

I do not know what is best, You do.

I’m setting my mind on You.

Every moment & every second.

Thanks you Jesus that you love me so much that you show me how to feel better.

……………………

This week at my mom’s house in the country has been a gift.

Did I earn such a gift? Probably not.

But God loves me despite whether or not I’m deserving.