Captured in His Love

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I am sitting in a hotel room by the ocean, balcony door opened and I can hear the waves. The incredible aroma of the salty air is clearing my senses and I am at peace. My babe is sleeping in the same room, and I give thanks in these moments. I give thanks that I have quiet space. I give thanks that I have crazy chaos, because one of the most amazing joys of my life is being the mother to my children. But what I am being overwhelmed with in these moments is how thankful I am that I know my God. I mean I intimately know the One who created the ocean I am being lulled by. How can this be?

I know Him, and He knows me. I know Him and He knows me and we spend time exploring the depths of each other. This love. This love is undoing all that I have done. It is unleashing all that I am. It is healing, moving, leading, guiding, correcting, providing, and enjoying me- the fullness of who I am is truly found in I AM. He is the One who my heart beats for, the One who I long for, the One who see me and completely knows me and yet somehow is still drawn towards me. This must be too wonderful to imagine, to great to comprehend- this must be something I can only receive. As I drink deep of the affections from the heart of my God- I am humbled and in awe of His beauty, His majesty.I am blown away by the gentleness of His fierceness. I am undone. I’ve come unglued. All the glue that held any of me together trying to convince me that I was at all in control of all of this life thing- has been melted in the fire of His great, pure, passionate pursuit of my whole self.

Somehow when I am washed in the coolness and fire of His presence- none of me wants to be in control. All of me wants to be found in Him. I long to move, to breathe in perfect unity with Him. I long that my heart would become more like HIs. I yearn to walk in beat with HIs symphony about me. Who is this God? I’ve been discovering Him for so long and yet somehow feel like I’ve barely scraped the surface. Oh but I want to know more. I am desperate to know more. I need more of Him to continue on. I simply can’t be without Him. He is life to me.

Somewhere between the waves and the birds singing to one another-I hear a voice of correction. Daughter, don’t you know you are worth the interruption? Don’t you know you matter as much as the ones you serve? Don’t you believe that all I say about you is true? Why then, why do you treat your own needs as less than important? Why do you not ask Me to help, or give others the opportunity to help you? As I share this with some trusted- I hear a warning- that is really a form of pride.

Then in the quiet contemplative place- I remember. I remember the marching orders given to me in a previous space and time- the call was only to rest, trust, and worship. To live, and move, serve, give, love and be only out of that place. How did I so soon forget- again. Rest, trust worship- first. Give thanks. Ask for help. Rejoice and again I say rejoice.

As the waves steadily roll in, and the fog lays heavy, I remember-again. I remember the stillness is where I see Him. I remember the calm, the sweet place of trusting even though no circumstance has yet shifted- is where I declare who is my Lord- He is. He is the One I trust. He is the One who does not change nor disappoint. I can trust the Only who is constant always. Oh and as my gaze yet again is filled with Him- I cannot help but to worship Him. Oh He is Majestic, Beautiful, Worthy. My legs go weak. I find my knees bent and my eyes spilling over whenever I behold Him. He is. Oh He is- alive and near and within and over. He is all. He is my all in all. I love Him so.

I see myself reflected in His eyes as He behinds me too. I didn’t know I looked like that? I didn’t know I was made of that! I didn’t know I could become that! I didn’t know I was so desperate. I didn’t know I was so needy. And yet- my portion is the One who I am looking upon and enjoying being with. My needs are filled, my soul is resurrected, and my journey has become secondary again to the One who I journey with. It is Him- it has always been Him. I am His and He is mine.

O Lord- help me. Help me to always place You in Your rightful place.Help me to see myself as Your see me. Help me to ask for help. Help me to ask for everything I need. I enjoy You- oh Lover of my soul. I enjoy your essence, I enjoy being Your reflection. And my heart is so desperate for more of You. I humbly bow low before you and cry out for more of You.You gently lift my head and pour out all of you into all of me again Filled to be emptied and filled again. I need You Lord. I want more of You. I just love You so. My Jesus, My King, My love. it is You- first- always You.

Still standing, firmly rooted

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So my kids have been sick for a little over a month with one well week, in which I worked and worked and worked to catch up on all that fell behind when I was care giving full time. Thinking I would get to the end of that week, and what felt like a marathon, would be over. Then that evening, they started with being sick again- and even last night-another night with no sleep, high fevers, administering medication and breathing treatments. (My 3 yr old had never even taken antibiotics before this October and now he has been on two rounds with a total of three ear infections! THIS IS CRAZY!)

And as my exhausted body laid in my bed listening to the symphony of coughing, I was tempted to ask God why? Why when it would be so easy to keep His children from suffering, is this whole world filled with injustice and sickness and and and????. Then I remembered that a friend of mine recently heard from God about how much time He has to spend with us reassuring us of all that we already know. When we go through storms we often choose to question the TRUTH we have already experienced and that cycle keeps us stuck at that level. By questioning what we have already learned, we miss the opportunity to be ungraded into a new understanding of who He is to us, for us, though us, and with us. (It is SO important to be linked with others who seek Him because we all only hear in part and see in part and we ALL NEED EACH OTHER!) So I decided to pray instead- ‘God I know you ARE faithful, I know You are good! I believe You are protecting my family from more than I could ever understand and I want to thank You for that. God I ask that You would teach me more about You through this unique set of circumstances. Amen.’ And with that I was able to rest a while with peace until I was needed again.

Did my circumstance change? No! But my heart did. I chose not to question all that I know is true- but to position myself to learn MORE! Would my circumstances eventually pass and life return to normal? Yes- I get that this is temporary. However living with the passive mindset of “This too shall pass,” isn’t going to get me anywhere. How I navigate through each unique set of circumstances MATTERS. And as I type that, I feel its important to say that I am not  talking about denial, and faking that I’m okay no matter how long and /or hard it is. Here is the truth- I’m exhausted and kind of sad that this is all happening at Christmas because it’s not the “fantasy” Christmas time experience I had been dreaming of for this year. Another truth is, someone asked me if I needed anything today and my reply was simply, ‘hope’- even though you and I both know I have an eternal hope that is the anchor to my soul-I honestly felt like I could use a fresh dose.

I get tired, overwhelmed, frustrated, angry, and sad-it’s true. But I am choosing to take those emotions to the Lord and ask Him to show me His provision for me right into my very weaknesses or depleted areas. AND HE IS FAITHFUL! Navigating well doesn’t mean it won’t be hard- it means as I share with Him what’s hard about it- He can teach me more about who He is for me in my weaknesses- and if I learn more about Him through any part of life and can share it with even just ONE PERSON- it has been worked together for good and I have not “suffered” in vain.

One other key I find to ALWAYS be fruitful is to give thanks. When I’m exhausted or undone- I choose to give thanks for all that IS good- and not allow a moment in time to define my whole life- I move up and forward- not down and backwards. This too shall pass and when it does I want to come on the other side stronger and more aware of who He is in me and through me and for me and with me. So I am saying yes to being honest about where I am, no to complaining. Yes to giving thanks, and no to questioning what I already have learned is TRUTH. When storms rage- I will choose to stand on what I know is true- not question it. THEN I WILL BE FOUND STANDING, FIRMLY ROOTED in Him when all of it does pass. AND THAT MATTERS! HE WILL GET THE GLORY! HE WILL BE MADE KNOWN! THAT IS WHY I LIVE!

Which invitation will you say yes to?

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Lately, the Lord has been revealing to me how each interaction and set of circumstances is simply an invitation. I get invited to be offended. I get invited to love in the midst of adversity. I get invited to be afraid. I get invited to trust God. I get invited to join in celebrated. I get invited to feel alone. I get invited to love. I get invited to hate. I get invited to life. I get invited to death.

So, as a result of this sort of simplistic yet powerful revelation, I have found myself more often than not, evaluating what I am being invited to. When I see that the invitation is to engage in a hate filled, death breeding word battle- I am starting to be empowered to simply RSVP not attending.   When I recognize I am being invited to be stretched beyond my self-imposed limits and all my senses are screaming YOU ARE GOING TO FAIL- I, timidly, RSVP that yes I choose to attend. When I recognize I have two invitations in the same set of circumstances, I am trying to be intentional on choosing the one which leads to life.

Let’s dig deeper into  this life and death talk. Life-giving thoughts are thoughts that agree with the heart of God towards you and/or others. Our thoughts eventually become our words, and our words usually become our actions. Death breeding thoughts are any thoughts that are less than or against what God says about you or others. What we come into agreement with eventually we bring into our reality.

Matthew 12:34-35New International Version (NIV)

34 …….. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. 35 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.

Ephesians 4:29New King James Version (NKJV)

29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.

Proverbs 18:21New King James Version (NKJV)

21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its fruit.

Agreeing with God- through believing He is who He says He is- and can do what He says He can do, brings life. Anything less than that- truly brings a slow, miserable death. Kind of harsh- or just kind of simple? Perhaps both- you get to decide.

So when I am invited to justify my emotional decisions- and stay stuck in that destructive cycle- I know now that I am empowered to simply state that I will not come to that party. I can choose instead to RSVP yes to take responsibility for my decisions and seek out the Lord’s best for my life, find out his constructive cycle and then begin intentionally living that out. When I am invited to have an opinion about an organization or another individual based on my limited understanding or personal perspective, I can choose to say no to that invitation and instead choose to seek the Lord and ask for His thoughts on that person or organization and choose to agree with His heart.

Most recently, both of my children have been very ill. I have had MANY invitations to feel overwhelmed, stressed out, and completely unfit for the tasks before me. Sure, maybe the first few days I had a great attitude and a can-do spirit, but by day five and six, when the symptoms had reached their height and I was exhausted and felt like I was somehow failing them-I recognized that those thoughts were an invitation to be distracted from doing the task I was entrusted with and I RSVP’d NO! I chose instead to reach out and ask others to encourage me and pray for me so I could be enabled, by His strength and power and Spirit, to continue on.

I feel this message is for more than just me- and in my totally exhausted state I fear I may not have articulated it as well as I would have liked- I pray that somehow the Lord uses these words to challenge you, and to continue challenging me, to consider where we are allowing ourselves to go, and on the flip side- where are we inviting others?

Love and be loved=Success

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Trying to follow Jesus on this Earth proves not to be a task which entails comfort or instant gratification. Quite the opposite. It is a long journey, a process, of strengthening and endurance. It is filled with opportunities to make high quality decisions based on faith in who God is, or to reveal your unbelief and then be built up in that place by His power to be able to move forward with a firmer foundation. There are many times when you step out in a direction and the point of that journey wasn’t at all why you began- but something deeper. Our constant misunderstanding of what God is up to- is the very reason we are called not to lean on our understanding- but instead to TRUST. It is TRUE what the Word says- His ways are ALWAYS higher than our ways- and yet we seek to understand with our finite minds this incredible INFINITE God. Our lack of understanding doesn’t have to stand in our way- if we let go and lay down our need to understand, and we can only do that as we begin to enjoy and rest in the fullness of His great love for us, to move in the broad place of freedom and hope and joy and protection that is only found in intimate relationship with this With-US God whom we can know and love and not have to understand.

Recently I have been learning about how when the devil tempted Jesus- he tried to get Jesus to forget He was loved by the Father. I am coming to see, in my own life, every temptation I face- there is a moment of amnesia about the great love the Father has lavished upon me- I am found lacking in my own strength, my own wisdom, hope- there is actually nothing but lack when I take God out of my equation. If I choose to make decisions in fear and hopelessness and the urgency found in both of those states- I will never be making quality, forward moving, destructive-cycle breaking decisions. Instead, most likely, I will making destructive, pain-birthing, selfish decisions that will not only delay my becoming but could also hurt others.

So what is the disconnect? How can someone be moving fully in the love and liberty of being loved by God in one moment- and in another be in such despair that you can’t find one reason any of this life stuff is worth it? I believe the truth lies in the fact that our enemy comes to steal, kill, or destroy everything that God wants to give us. Our attack will always be directly aimed at what God is doing. The first lie you have to believe is that you are on your own- and in most cases in my experience this comes subtly from a person in your life and their message sounds like wisdom- except that they do not include God in their expectation of who they think you should be. If we begin to mediate on a message of perceived failure in ourselves that was communicated from someone who only values and see success as far as they can see on this earth- and you have been busy investing in the Kingdom of God- in eternal riches- you will begin to see yourself as foolish- a loser, a failure- this is often the first lie I believe when I begin to forget who God says I am.

Truly that is the hope of the enemy- to take our God-given IN CHRIST identity.Our enemy knows that when we take Jesus out of the equation we will find it near impossible to love ourselves. You see Jesus taught us that there are only two commandments we must follow- to love the Lord with all of ourselves- and then to love others as we love ourselves. HMMMM- how many do you know that love themselves, treat themselves with the value and worth that God says they possess? The core hope of any attack from the enemy is to get us to hate ourselves, whether we realize it and can articulate it or not- our actions, beliefs, interactions, and perspectives will show this. If we hate ourselves- we deny ourselves from being able to receive the full measure of God’s goodness and love towards us- and then we are depleted in our love tank- it is impossible to love others.

So let me share something that was absolutely solidified in my life this week. Here is what doesn’t matter- other’s opinions of you. The essence of who you are is NOT defined by the amount of dollars in your bank account. The outcome of your life will not be how big your house was, what car your drove ( or if you even had a car). You aren’t defined by how right you were all the time or if your proverbial ducks were always in a row. The summation of our lives in the end is- did you learn to love? Did you freely receive and freely give love? That is all we are called to do. When we are loving, regardless of our circumstance, we are in the absolute will of God for our lives. Loving others, sowing into their lives, believing in them, praying for them, celebrating with them, supporting them, is investing in a eternal portfolio and the return on investment is greater than anything we can imagine. Choosing to follow Jesus- to seek out His will for your life- to rest in Him and not trust in the sweat of your own brow- is never foolish.  Even when you don’t land where you thought He was calling you- you are always going to land in Him- and that is success.

I AM HERE TO TELL YOU TODAY- don’t quit because the direction has changed. Don’t buy the lie that you are foolish because God has a surprise for you. Don’t judge your worth by the approval or disapproval of others. Get in close to your Father- rest in Him, and ask Him to remind you who He says you are. Ask Him to show you any lie you are coming into agreement with. Ask Him to help you in your unbelief. HE IS YOUR PORTION-and He is more than enough! Lay down your need to understand and be positioned to receive His love- and then organically allow it to overflow out of you onto others. Just be loved and love- (which is what happens when we seek FIRST the Kingdom of God) and all things will be added unto you!

Step out of control and into love.

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I heard this from the Father’s heart recently and I was re-reading it today to find new strength and encouragement. I then felt deeply led to share it with all of you. He is calling us up and out; way beyond our own strengths, abilities, and even imaginations. WE NEED EACH OTHER! I pray these words bring life and clarity in your voyage with Him!

Love,

Jenna

 

You are so beautiful! You are so loved. SO valued and cherished. I can see all that is right about you! I want to tell you of all of your strengths and teach you how to strengthen them. You were not created to be good at everything. Others can fill in the gaps. I specifically designed my Body to need one another. It is all about love- all about relationships. You are currently still learning how to ask for help. It is a process- but all that self-sufficiency that was instilled in you is slowly draining out of your self-proclaimed identity. 
 
Where you are headed, you are going to need help. As you step out with Me further- there will be much void in the places you have filled up until now- and those holes are not meant to stretch you too thin- they are meant for you to delegate, to trust, to lean on others. The holes that you aren’t designed to fill- there are specific others who are- this will teach you more about loving without being in control. It’s not going to go your way- that isn’t what is important- it is going to go My way.

Misplaced Keys

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Lately, the Lord has been reminding me of “keys” to life He has specifically given me over the course of my life. Some things I carry with me always- and use almost involuntarily- like breathing. Others, I utilized for a season, and once that storm passed, I sort of misplaced or forgot about.

I have been sensing the notion for where we are headed as a whole, this whole entire world, I am going to need ALL of the keys He has placed in my hands. It has been so sweet and beautiful how He is taking me to find each misplaced key I have set down along the way.

Some keys that are life to me include:

– Holding each thought captive and making it obedient to the Lord.

      – To do what I have been created to do, the bring forth my unique reelection of Jesus on the earth, I cannot afford to think whatever thought agrees with my emotion. I can only afford to agree with the TRUTH found in God’s Word. Every other thought cycle causes me to spiral down- but when I think on what is TRUE- I lift my eyes up to see TRUTH Himself- and get lost (or found if you will) again in what He says is possible and who He says I am. 

-Gratitude

   -We enter into His presence with Thanksgiving. When I am not being intentional about gratitude- I often find my natural mind leads me to disappointment. When I fix my eyes on what is right and declare it- it seems that I gain momentum in finding right things. The opposite is also true. Long story short- someone always has it better, and someone always has it worse- when I could be praying or blessing others- why would I waste my time thinking about myself and all that I WISH was different? NO GOOD FRUIT COMES FROM ANY THOUGHTS THAT ARE NOT ROOTED IN GRATITUDE!

-Praise before the answer

  -David would lament before God in the psalms from verses 1-7 (just for example), and then in verse 8, he would be greatly praising the name of God! I asked the Lord once, where the transition was, because I had yet to be able to experience such a dramatic shift. The Lord revealed to me, that David knew God was faithful, and so after he poured His burdens out, before he saw the miracle, he would praise the One who now held the power to do the seemingly impossible. Now, I praise before I see God show off- because I know Him, and  I know He is faithful and trustworthy and will bring about something even better than I am hoping for!

-Saying Yes Lord.

  -This is by far the hardest key of life for me- because it causes me to die to my flesh constantly. But I have resolved that the kind of life I want to live, and legacy I want to leave, is simply being a woman who says yes to God. This hurts, but the fruit from every time I have surrendered my will to His, has been enormous- so much bigger than just me. His ways are always higher- and I long to walk in step with His spirit.

-Being Passionately Patient

  -From our perspective it seems as though God always has us waiting. But what I’ve noticed about all this waiting- is that in the waiting is the preparation. Interestingly, when I await a promise of God to be fulfilled the stuff that is buried deep in my heart when things are going my way, suddenly erupts when I have to wait. I come face to face with the yuck in there, and as it surfaces, I have a decision to make: will I allow Him to cause it to come out and refine me, or will I stuff it back down because I will decide it will be too arduous of a process and now is not the time? Well, if I am in the waiting- I guess now is the time! I am so thankful for the seasons of preparation that have come from the waiting- for if not for these times, I would  constantly be in over my head and set up to fail- oh but He loves me too much to do that to me. He loves me through the refining process, and I seem to reflect Him a little more each time! THAT IS GOOD!

-Not trying to figure out what it will look, feel, or be like.

  -I have wasted SOOOOOOO much time trying to predict the future. When something happens, I begin to project what may happen next and how that will affect this, and then this should be next and blah blah blah. However, NOTHING EVER GOES THAT WAY! Life has a myriad of variables that can be unleashed in any given moment. Who am I to think I could know what is going to happen? I have resolved ( and especially again recently) to take each moment as it comes. Living life in the moment IS SO MUCH LESS STRESSFUL! I find peace and I find Jesus easier as I do not trip over my own idea of what SHOULD BE happening by what time table. I am not talking about not making goals, having dreams, and accomplishments- but surrendering those to Him, with an open hand and being flexible if He has a different way to get there. I am simply saying, I choose not to add my own agenda to what He has asked me to do or said He is going to do with, in, and through me. 

These are just a few keys to life for me- that He has specifically given me to be able to become who He has created me to be and do what He created me to do. He gives us keys to be able to unlock, open, or lock and shut doors. We need every single key He has given us to be able to stay the road He has specifically called each of us to journey. Do you have any keys to life? Any misplaced keys? I’d love to glean from what He has shown you too!

 

Matthew 16:19Living Bible (TLB)

19 And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven; whatever doors you lock on earth shall be locked in heaven; and whatever doors you open on earth shall be open in heaven!”

2 Corinthians 10:5The Voice (VOICE)

We are demolishing arguments and ideas, every high-and-mighty philosophy that pits itself against the knowledge of the one trueGod. We are taking prisoners of every thought, every emotion, and subduing them into obedience to the Anointed One.

Psalm 100:4The Message (MSG)

Enter with the password: “Thank you!”
    Make yourselves at home, talking praise.
    Thank him. Worship him.

 

 

Delayed for the BIG STORY!

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Often times when I am in a waiting season of sorts- I find hope and encouragement in the story of Lazarus being raised from the dead. (John 11:38-44)
Many years ago, the Lord showed me how Mary and Martha were close friends of Jesus and yet while their brother was dying and they sent word for Jesus to come heal him, Jesus didn’t make it in time and their brother died. Can you imagine how confused, upset, and disappointed they were with Him? They KNEW He was the healer and yet He chose not to heal. They waited and believed and the outcome wasn’t what they were hoping for. He was not on time by their standards.
I can just see the looks on their faces, wearing their hearts on their sleeves in mourning, and saying upon His return, “YOU ARE TOO LATE- You might as well just go and keep healing the ones there is still time and hope for. It’s no use for You to be here with us now.”
But Jesus, who always kept His eyes on the Father and did what He saw the Father doing, wasn’t too late in any respect. He was right on time. He didn’t respond to their urgency, but solely responded to the Father’s will. God had a better outcome then what the sisters were believing for. You see, they already KNEW He was the healer, but they got a deeper revelation. As Jesus walked into an atmosphere that was overcome with the stench of death and decay- He spoke and LIFE WAS RESURRECTED! They all became eye witnesses that this Jesus was more than a prophet and healer- He was the Resurrection and the Life!

I have always kind of just stopped there in my amazement in how the waiting, and seemingly disappointing outcome, can sometimes lead us to a deeper understanding about the infinite facets of who God is, and how getting to know Him more is worth anything. However, recently, He has been expanding this revelation of HOW GOOD GOD IS, and HOW HIS TIMING AND PLANS are for such a greater purpose than our small story.

John 12:9-11The Voice (VOICE)

9 Word spread of Jesus’ presence, and a large crowd was gathering to see Jesus and the formerly deceased Lazarus, whom He had brought back from the dead. 10 The chief priests were secretly plotting Lazarus’s murder since, 11 because of him, many Jews were leaving their teachings and believing in Jesus.

John 12:17-19The Message (MSG)

17-19 The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb, raising him from the dead, was there giving eyewitness accounts. It was because they had spread the word of this latest God-sign that the crowd swelled to a welcoming parade. The Pharisees took one look and threw up their hands: “It’s out of control. The world’s in a stampede after him.”

CHECK IT OUT! If Jesus would have answered the simple request of his dear friends Mary and Martha- and had come right away and healed their brother- they would have been saved heartache, grieving, and suffering. BUT ALSO- many would not have left their teachings and come to know Jesus. There would not have been a stampede after Jesus due to the testimony of their unanswered prayer being answered in a way MUCH bigger than they could have ever imagined!

Can we always understand why we are being asked to wait? Why the answer is so opposite of what we have prayed, believed, and hoped in? NO! Does it hurt? YES! But are we resolved that God is always good and I am ALWAYS loved?

Jesus not healing Lazarus had to cause his heart to ache also- He never delights in seeing any of His children suffer. But our Father is a good God and He sees the BIG STORY! And as we follow Him, He allows us to join in and become part of the answer for others who are yet to come into the Kingdom.

Mary,Martha, and Lazarus got to witness first hand the resurrecting power of God on Earth! Then the overflow of that great miracle, brought many to know and believe in Jesus. If the delay in my answer will be that big- I am going to choose to lay my need to understand down, and lift my hands in Praise to the One who gives me the honor of being part of His BIG Story! Will you join me? 

2 Corinthians 4:17GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

17 Our suffering is light and temporary and is producing for us an eternal glory that is greater than anything we can imagine.

Secure/Rescue

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A while ago I was reading something and on the page was the word ‘secure,’ but my eyes saw the word RESCUE- however it didn’t fit within the context of the sentence, so I re-read it and comprehended that I saw a different word than was actually printed on the page. I asked the Lord if that was Him- and indeed, He had a message for me- that I now have been working through and working out and living- and just now- a moment ago- He nudged me to share this with you.

Rescue- Secure- The same letters make up these two words with very different meanings, and yet, strongly linked!

As I sought the Lord, He began to show me how when I feel insecure- I run to what I think will rescue me- and inversely- when I perceive the need to be rescued- I run to what makes me “feel” secure. As I have been asking Him to highlight this to me- some of these cycles are constructive and pleasing to Him, and some are not.

One day I was feeling really low about some truly hard bumps I was hitting and I found the urge to run to something I normally would turn to to make me “feel” secure- and the Lord highlighted this destructive cycle to me, and I had the thought, ” I could deny my flesh right now and run to Jesus and start to break this cycle.” Unfortunately that day- I chose to continue in my quest to satisfy my desperate need for security- a quick fix, if you will.

Shortly after, as I was spending time in His presence, He showed me this. He also began to show me the negative effects these cycles have had on my life and how far reaching the outcomes are when we choose anything other than Him for our security. How when we buy into false comfort or security in one area of our life- it slowly seeps in undetected to all the other facets of who we are. With this wisdom before me, I repented and asked Him to help me break the cycles that keep me temporarily satisfied and quickly depleted- when I could be filled to overflowing with no lack. I asked Him to come alongside of me and help me in becoming a woman who would settle for nothing less than His best for me- and to be willing to wait upon, yearn for, and rest in Him alone.

Am I still struggling? Sure. Am I making progress? You betchya! Me and Jesus are celebrating this new season of breaking through yuck that I have just been accepting for a long time.

So, I am sharing this with you and I wonder what are you settling for? Is there anything in your life you are leaning on for security that is really sinking sand? Is there anything you expect to rescue you which could leave you stranded? He alone is our source and if we place our trust and faith in anything apart from Him- we will be disappointed. But God- our Almighty God- is faithful and we can trust with Him as our foundation we are firmly placed.

Hebrews 6:13-20The Message (MSG)

God Gave His Word
13-18 When God made his promise to Abraham, he backed it to the hilt, putting his own reputation on the line. He said, “I promise that I’ll bless you with everything I have—bless and bless and bless!” Abraham stuck it out and got everything that had been promised to him. When people make promises, they guarantee them by appeal to some authority above them so that if there is any question that they’ll make good on the promise, the authority will back them up. When God wanted to guarantee his promises, he gave his word, a rock-solid guarantee—God can’t break his word. And because his word cannot change, the promise is likewise unchangeable.

18-20 We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us, in the order of Melchizedek.

Lessons from my boys

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One of the most beautiful aspects of being a mom is how the Lord uses these lives to dramatically alter yours. There is something so sweet in caring for a child when you realize God is caring for you similarly. The Lord never ceases to amaze me every single day, how He chooses to use my children to teach me. I’ve been reflecting recently about all that my children have used by God to reveal to me, and I had this knowing that I had to share. May these small, but big lessons bless you the way I have been blessed by them.

When I was pregnant with my first son, the pregnancy was delightful. I began learning about the joy of expectancy. All I could do was delight in wondering how incredible it would be to actually look into the eyes of my son and get to speak life into his spirit and enjoy the moments of our days together. I could not stop imagining his giggle, his purposes, his life and thanking God for getting the honor of being a part of it all.

In life, we sometimes get to experience the joy of expectancy. There are things coming that we are looking forward to and they help us to keep going. They help us remember why we do this life thing everyday. They help us pull through the muck when it feels like it would be easier to just stay stuck for a while. Having aspects to life which we are joyfully expecting is a gift- a good gift- from our Father to encourage us to stay the course and run with endurance. What are you joyfully expecting? (If you feel like there is nothing, ask God to open something up for you- a dream, hope, or passion that will get you going again! He has plans and purposes for you!)

When I was pregnant with my younger son, the pregnancy was downright hard and painful. I began to understand that while what I am expecting, waiting upon, and excited for is wonderful- sometimes the season of expectancy can be very painful. The pain of the waiting can often times be the very preparation we will need to be able to handle what we are awaiting, once we get it. During this pregnancy I learned to rest in God’s power and timing, I learned to trust and worship in the waiting. And now, juggling two children, I am growing in understanding the importance of all of those lessons- for I would not be able to raise these little boys into men who will love Jesus in my own strength and power- but truly by resting in God’s power and timing. We all have times of waiting that is painful- but I am learning to believe and recognize this- almost every single beautiful and valuable gift I have ever been given in life, has come wrapped in some sort of pain and/or suffering. Now I am asking the Lord to give me eyes to see the gift while it is still painful.

One of the most profound truths I have ever learned, came as a result of becoming a mother. I was so moved by how deeply I loved my sweet boy- how much I wanted to meet all of his needs, and give him everything I could possibly think he would want. As these feelings and desires of a mother’s heart were becoming a deeply rooted part of my identity, the Lord began to ask me some questions.
“Jenna, what did he do to earn that kind of love from you?”
To which I replied, “Nothing, he hasn’t been able to DO anything for me. I just love him because he is mine.”
“Jenna, why would you want to give him good gifts?”
“Simply because of my deep love for him.”
Then He began to minister to my heart.
“Daughter, you do not have to do anything to earn my love. You see how much you love him, imagine, just imagine now, how much I love you- simply because you are Mine. You do not have to do anything to get my love or even to deserve the good gifts I give you. You are Mine and I love you.”

This truth changed everything for me! Never before could I have understood the heart of a parent. The deep desire to bless your children out of this overwhelming love for them. This desire doesn’t seem to change with circumstances- it remains, and even grows when circumstances are harder. Loving my children has helped me receive the Father’s love for me personally.

And recently with my little one, who is fully dependent upon me for everything he needs to stay alive, I am constantly reminded of how dependent I am upon the Lord for everything I need to stay alive. Before my son has a need, I am doing the work to prepare what he will need. As I do this work for him, the Lord reminds me that also, there are things I am going to need and He is preparing it all for me now, even before I know I need it. When I see that something will hurt my child, I go before him to remove what could harm him, or I put an appropriate form of protection on him, so that even though the threat is still there, it won’t be able to touch him. As I take these steps to protect him, the Lord says to me- I am removing what has been meant to harm you- and the ones you have to face, I am giving you everything you need to face them without being destroyed.

If I am an imperfect woman who is capable of great love, imagine how much bigger the love from a PERFECT GOD is.

I encourage you today- consider what it is like to be a child. Consider how children truly expect that they will have their needs and desires fully met. Consider how children have no problem being honest about what they see and experience and how it makes them feel. Consider with me, how children have no problem asking for exactly what they want.

Out of that place, let’s go to God simply as His child. Let’s take off all the big-fat adult worry and climb into His lap. Let’s ask for what we need, and for what we want. Let’s find out where the provision which we believe has been prepared, has been placed. Let’s find out which way to go and where the protection is. Let’s see with new eyes what we can joyfully expect and embrace the waiting as a gift of perfect preparation.

You are fully loved- just because you are His child. You do not have to do or be anything but you- to have this love. He who created you, loves you fully. Choose to receive that love today!

Time to Remember

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I had some pretty rough battles emotionally over this past week. Up and down and down further. Fight to get back up just to be knocked sideways. NO BUENO! Hard! Frustrating…..

But Jesus!

I intentionally got away with the Father and said, ” WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME????”
And I waited patiently, worshipping Him and thanking Him for who He is and all that He has been in my life- and all that I have experienced Him being in other’s lives.

I remembered!

I remembered the miracles I have witnessed.
-Children being healed from defects that were medically proven were once there.
-Marriages being resurrected from the dead.
-Wounded being healed.
-Lost being found.
-Utter Chaos transforming into peace and order.

The Lord is FAITHFUL! He is POWERFUL! He is indeed the ONE TRUE KING!

It is good to remember who lives in Me. Who I live in. To know where I am, where I stand, and what that means. This God! This God fully lives in me! With Him I can overcome any obstacle. With Him I can climb any mountain! With Him I can walk through the fire and be purified. With Him, I can…………………………do all things!

The beautiful thing about taking time to remember is your perspective changes. I went from me, me, me…..to JESUS, JESUS, JESUS. Things always look different through the filter of my Jesus. Having His perspective on things changes EVERYTHING!

He began to minister to me what was really hurting me. The root of my aching heart was simply the effects of major life changes. Although, this season in my life is a gift and such an incredibly precious one, I have real loss of a life I once lived.

IT IS OK TO GRIEVE WHAT YOU HAVE LOST, on the way to where you are going. Every major life change includes a loss of some sort. Grieving the loss of what once was, does not negate the beauty of the present.

This brought me so much freedom- to bring into the light the root of the pain, and lay it at the Lord’s feet. I could then begin to process and really celebrate what has led me to this point. I could celebrate how all of what I have done until now has truly prepared me to handle the gifts I have been entrusted with right now. Through this process, I was able to begin celebrating my current season even more!

How good is our God!

So, can I urge you? I want to urge you to take time to remember! Who has He been to you? What have you seen with your own eyes that would be unexplainable except the hand of God? What has He brought you through? Remember! Remember His sacrifice, His faithfulness, His beauty. And then, with that perspective, ask Him to show you what the root of that thing is that has been stealing your joy- bringing you down- or making it all seem hopeless. Ask Him to show you what He plans to do about it- and then celebrate with Him ahead of time for that breakthrough. He is faithful! He is just! He is always good and you are always loved!