June 27, 2011

And All You Ever Do Is Change the Old from New

"He has a single relentless stance toward us: He loves us."
~Brennan Manning

The world's shaking with the love of God
Great and glorious, let the whole Earth sing
And all You ever do is change the OLD from NEW
People we believe that...

God is bigger than the air I breathe
The world we'll leave
God will save the day and all will say
My glorious!

Clouds are breaking, heaven's come to earth
Hearts awakening let the church bells ring
And all you ever do is change the OLD from NEW
People we believe that...

June 21, 2011

I Will Restore Double


Thank you for praying for my friends waiting on their dream to come a-callin'.

Iliaya and Nadia are home!!

The twins, and my friend's dreams, were birthed June 11

Rejoicing is now. But hasn't always been. Months of quarrelsome prayers, lofty in humanness, were raised to the heavens on behalf of my friends. Unfair unwarranted questions foamed at my heart... bubbled at my mouth.

I wanted to know why. Why do some whose very marrow aches for arms filled with baby goodness walk around empty-handed? When others who mortify at the remote potential of pregnancy have a crib full of little ones. Why are they last in line? How come others get a "yes" over and over and not them? Doesn't make sense in my mortal rationale.

Today I saw a glimpse of the reasoning behind it all. A recovery of celebrating pregnancy announcements--not theirs. A redemption of baby showers attended--not theirs. A restitution of hospital visits goo-goo gaa-gaaing over newborns--not theirs.

Let's be honest: rejoicing over others' dreams coming to pass can be painful when we're walking 'round with bruised knees and hearts struggling to keep our noses above the integrity line. Others cut us in line, move ahead-- and hearts get hurt. Pesky years of waiting eat the rope of patience, determination to believe, trust and yes, hope. A frayed end is clinched between blistered raw fingers, about to lose hold. Then God....

Then God recovers what's been lost. Redeems what's been stolen. Reconstitutes what's been eaten.

Yes, He does. He does. Believe it...really, truly, unfailing He does. And not just what's been taken. He doubles it. I saw this today when my limp open-handed friends received not one, but two, gifts. From a mama whose nest and heart weren't prepared for these birdies, but was prepared to let them fly to a nest and hearts that were ready.

Let these words blow life into the wee weak spittle of smoldering ashy hope that's left.

I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten.
~ Joel 2:25

Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope;
today I declare that I will restore to you double.

~Zechariah 9:12

Did you catch that? Double. That's right. Double. Do you feel Him breathing new hope into your fire? I sure hope so.

Going Deeper
It's never too late for Him to restore, redeem and reconstitute. Do you trust that? Memorize and pray out of the two verse above, asking God specifically for what you would seek Him to double.

Do you struggle with bitterness of waiting and/or envy over others dreams coming to pass? If yes, pray for grace and forgiveness. Who can hold you accountable and help carry your load?

Join us on our Jumping off the Train {of Negative Thought} series! You're welcome here!

xoxo, Sam

June 20, 2011

When Dreams Come a-Callin'

I'm waiting with a friend for word if her and her husband's dreams of starting a family will come true. A nod or shake has its finger hovered over the 'dial' button, ready to deliver a 'yes' or 'not yet' on the end of the phone. We find out at midnight.

77 minutes to go.

Italians often answer their telephones, "Pronto!" {"I'm ready"} instead of "Ciao" {"Hello"}.

It's a posture of a prepared heart. Preparation reflects a heart daring to trust for a 'yes.' And hey, that's not always easy. Answers thus far haven't held the cure for the heart stricken ill from hope deferred.

52 minutes.

Pronto! A stance that looks in the Lord's eye, honest. No qualms quiver in her gut. "Why yes," she truthfully elates. "I've done what was asked to prepare to handle this dream coming true. Changes are bound to paint my life.

I have allowed my heart to be
refined {by His Word}
defined {by His character}
supined {in front of His throne}

to best be equipped to deal with these in

Pronto! A place of open hands--empty after placing life-long desires of gender, age, name on the altar. Open heart--accepting double doses of love, humility, honor towards others' wishes and dreams. Open head--clear to process paperwork, shopping lists and a new balance of 'normal.'

Pronto! A place where we find
Thy light in my darkness
Thy life in my death
Thy joy in my sorrow
Thy grace in my sin
Thy riches in my poverty
Thy glory in my valley
~Valley of Vision

A place where hearts remain surrendered, come whatever the answer on the telephone is. Fluffed and warmed and nested for baby birds to cuddle cozy. Hand on phone, "I'm ready" falling off edge of tongue.

23 minutes.

Please pray for my friends and the Lord's will to come to pass. They're ready. I'll keep you posted.

Going Deeper
What dream(s) are you praying God will bring to pass?

Seek how He would ask you to prepare, so you can answer "I'm ready!" when He calls. {this may be very practical like waking up earlier or saving money. Or more spiritual like memorizing scripture or setting time aside to pray and worship.}

Write this verse on the tablet of your heart and mind. Tuck it in the recesses to refer to as you prepare. Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old. ~Psalm 25:4-6

Join us on our journey of "Jumping off the Train of {Negative Thoughts}! You can catch up here.

xoxo, Sam

p.s. 9 minutes.

June 18, 2011

His Eye is On Your Dream

Some sit on your chest, pressing tenacity and perseverance. They grab your hands, loosening that which consumes and withdraws you from taking hold of them.

Others are wall flowers. Pleading dance card in hand. They dare a glance up, desperate for you to see, "I'm waiting."

There are those you stalk, sleep on their front stoop. Break and enter into their impenetrable fortress.

Still other dreams are miles away, pacing their steps toward you. Upon meeting in the middle, realization hits: you'd know that face anywhere. Every step toward this union finally makes sense.

Some dreams captivate us and come true with little effort
Some wait for us to take hold of them
Some block us out, making us work for their fruition
Some are so private, even we don't know they exist until we enter them

All have commonality of one thing: the Giver. He sees the heart that dares to rush into a dream headlong and rejoices when it comes true. His eye spies the soul a tad shy and scared to go after what it longs for and holds her hand encouraging. Without fail, the weary and frustrated remain in His view and care. And His glance does more than pass by the one who excitedly recognizes a discovered dream...He whispers delighted wisdom her way.

Not all dreams will come true. Not all dreams that come true will equate to easeful joy. That's just the way it can be. But one certainty is and was and will always be true: His eye is on you.

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? ~Matthew 6:26

Words: Civilla Martin. Music: Charles Gabriel.

Early in the spring of 1905, my husband and I were sojourning in Elmira, New York. We contracted a deep friendship for a couple by the name of Mr. and Mrs. Doolittle—true saints of God. Mrs. Doolittle had been bedridden for nigh twenty years. Her husband was an incurable cripple who had to propel himself to and from his business in a wheel chair.

Despite their afflictions, they lived happy Christian lives, bringing inspiration and comfort to all who knew them. One day while we were visiting with the Doolittles, my husband commented on their bright hopefulness and asked them for the secret of it.

Mrs. Doolittle's reply was simple: "His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me." The beauty of this simple expression of boundless faith gripped the hearts and fired the imagination of Dr. Martin and me. The hymn "His Eye Is on the Sparrow" was the outcome of that experience.
~Civilla Martin