Boasting in my weaknesses

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

Story. Of. My. Life!
At least in this current chapter this story line rings true. Nothing like having a baby to bring your weaknesses right to the surface. Since Audrey was born ten weeks ago, I have learned more about myself than I have like… ever. It is almost too much to bear at times. I have been praying my heart out for God to fix this and fix that and I keep finding myself disappointed at his lack of an answer. Paul wrote this verse when God refused to take the thorn from his side that made him uncomfortable. I feel his pain. I’m learning though, just as Paul learned that in my weaknesses I am made strong. If I could control everything about Audrey that I wanted to control, what need would I have for God? Right now I feel desperate for His grace and I sure do let him know it! I forget that this total dependence on God is a strength. I forget because I am always in control and I am told that to be a strong woman, I must control. Woman power right? Wrong! I can not do it all and I can not hold it all together. There is so much out of my control and so what? Maybe it is better this way. In fact I know it is better this way. So, while God continues to hold His mighty hand on my forehead while I fight and push against Him, I will remember this scripture.

I am strong in my weaknesses because I have allowed God control.

I am strong simply because I am weak.

My weaknesses are my strengths.

Amen.

A Time to Plant

Spring has officially sprung! New things are growing in my yard and in my life. Lent has been a wonderful journey for me thus far. Digging my hands deep into the soil today, I reflected on how much growth I have recently encountered. Sacrifices made, good causes stood up for, battles fought and won in my own little life. How beautiful the seasons are, always promising us sunshine at the end of dark and cold nights. Today, I feel full. Full of gratitude. Because no matter what happens, goodness is always greater.

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“There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant. A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to tear down, and a time to build. A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance… A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.” -Ecclesiastes 3:1-4, 8

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Crosses and Hope

While talking with my spiritual director about all of the discouragement in my life and dwindling friendships, she encouraged me to meditate on Jesus’ Agony in the garden. This is when He felt the most discouraged and friendless. How appropriate that I would be feeling this way now, during Lent and before his death and resurrection – the same time He felt it too. On Sunday, my dad came over and helped Blake and I work in the yard. We trimmed down nine of our trees. Needless to say, that was a lot of branches; most of them being really thick and heavy. As I drug them over my shoulder to our pile in the back yard, I had an image pop into my head. This physical sign of me carrying these branches over my shoulder, is reflective of my emotional crosses that I currently bare. What a beautiful image it was for me. And to leave all of my crosses in a pile, to step back and look them straight on, knowing that I carried them and then put them aside… Ah, freedom. It gives me hope and strength to know that we don’t have to carry our crosses forever. And we surely don’t have to carry them alone. As we were finishing up, I literally jumped for joy when I spotted two special surprises. A bird’s nest and a cocoon. Both signs of new life. Both signs of hope and blessings. Both signs of waiting hearts.

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Living the Question

I’ve recently stumbled into a state of being. A somber, contemplative, sad, thoughtful state. I hesitate to call it depression. It’s something different. A soul stirring.

“Is it possible, I asked myself, that I’m being summoned from some deep and holy place within? Am I being asked to enter a new passage in the spiritual life – the journey from false self to true self? Am I being asked to dismantle old masks and patterns and unfold a deeper, more authentic self – the one God created me to be? Am I being compelled to disturb my inner universe in quest of the undiscovered being who clamors from within?

Unfortunately, there has been little emphasis on this summons within Christian circles. When it comes, we don’t understand that we’re being thrust into personal transformation, into the task of birthing an “I” that is not yet. We write it off as just another predicament or plight – perhaps the result of burnout or our dissatisfaction with life.

I believe, however, that in such a summons we’re actually being presented with a spiritual developmental task. We’re being asked to unfold a deeper self – what we might call the life of Christ within us.”

– When the Heart Waits. Sue Monk Kidd.

I think that’s it. I am in the process of ‘birthing an I that is not yet’. My soul needs changing. It needs transformation. It needs to die to itself in order to become more. To become better. To live fully.

I now enter the cocoon… I now begin to live the question once more.

A perfect mourning… morning…

Sadness took the day off today,
Joyfulness is subbing for him.
Cool air refreshing the soul.
Coffee so strong, bold and brave – bringing strength to my frailness.
Cameras capturing hummingbirds.

Tasting. Feeding. Humming.

Dogs playing. Sniffing. Chasing.
Birds chirping and singing praises.
Bibles and books, open, offering wisdom and comfort.
Rocking chairs rocking. Soothing.

Flags flapping and waving. Allowing the wind to take them, lead them.
Letting go of all control.
Wind chimes playing notes of fall.
All giving thanks to God.