Fight for Praise

Hey,, there. Just some thoughts born this week. Sunday, I was feeling rather adrift in social anxiety visiting a church group not my own. I will be frank-I really didn’t feel very much inclined to be there. 😏

Actually, I desperately longed for escape, but, being as I was there for my husband’s sake, I took a deep breath and prayed hard I could stay the course.

And then, there came praise and worship…. No magical cure by any means, but as I quietly pushed on word by word, I was reminded of and bolstered by His ever-steady presence.

Today as the struggle and the ponder continues, I am having to remind myself He is there…

God, sometimes, the connection

Between You and me comes

Flowing like clean and cloudless

Sunshine-

Sweet and easy and free.

And sometimes, there rolls a storm

Across the skies,

Causing in me a need

To fight for praise,

Through pensive night and drudge of

Day,

A tooth and nail session,

In order to gain possession of all

That You have granted is mine

And all that You desire for me to be.

Ah, I know it’s not You, Lord

That shifts away the sunlight in these

Times.

Rather, these moments are just

Evidence

Of the human frailty through which I

Currently ford…

Some days are darker,

Harder to find the spark for.

Then, it becomes a seeking,

A beseeching thing,

Knowing when to press ferociously

Into the fray

Or when to simply lay aside my

Sword

And rest my heart in whispered

Remembrance of

What it is to humbly pray…

Oh, how I love when the praise just

Comes

Bubbling up,

And I joyfully raise my already

Overflowing cup…

So uncomplicated by care!

Yet, I find I treasure the praise that

Much more

When it is the fiercely fought for,

And I find again Your hand to help me

Bear….

Blessings and prayers, dear friends. Thanks for the read. ❤

At the Well

It’s been a long while since I really spoke of my hurt.

It occurred to me recently that many of you newer readers may not even know that much about it beyond snippets still given here and there.

A dig through the more distant reaches of my archives would enlighten, of course.

And I can make it more convenient by indicating that you may click here for perhaps the best rundown, if so inclined.

But, overall, there are reasons I resist touching too much on it.

I haven’t wanted to feel as though I am eliciting sympathy or sinking down into the past and staying there.

I also don’t want to dip into any unfair comparisons from past to present.

Insecurity has a way of painting everything in dark, foreboding shades.

What may, in fact, be unintentional on the part of a loved one now looks like the same heart-shattering experience as before when glimpsed through the lens of an oft-wounded soul.

Still, I am nothing if not honest here.

The fact is, though I speak often of “Be still and know that I am God”-something I am truly striving to live in the light of every day-there is a growing melancholy weighing on my heart at present.

A deep-seated sadness settling in that is stealing at my ability to rightly express it.

Depression has long been with me, mind you. We are certainly not strangers.

More than once, it nearly snuffed the life out of me, in fact.

Now, it is something that hovers in the background and makes itself known by turns.

Right now? It’s a “making itself known” season.

I fight to go to sleep with this heaviness these days, reawakening frequently, an unidentifiable fear cloaking me in the midslumber haze.

Where it is coming from, I can cast about a few ambiguous notions, but, where there are some aspects of my life to definitively point to as a source, I can’t necessarily call too much of it concrete.

Is it all rooted in my past, so littered as it is by abuse and abandonment?

Or is it my ever-present anxiety over signs that such pain, real or no, is or is about to revisit me?

Angry shouts do ring in my head long after they have ceased and have an unfortunate tendency to visit me in my dreams.

It’s quite the challenge to rest my soul in any “it is well” feeling, even when life is managing fairly pleasantly, let alone when it is not.

For there is the nearly constant question mark in my head:

“When’s the next time the wounding will come?”

How will it come?”

And-“Will I be able to sustain myself following it?”

Now, there are days I can rightly shove this aside and recall to myself just Who my sustainer is.

Most days, in fact.

But, other days?

Ah, other days, I find myself forgetting.

Perhaps, it is the old recordings in my head getting louder, stating in dismissive tones how try as I might, I’m still just no good.

A loser.

A wimp.

A tramp.

Unwanted.

Unworthy.

Unable.

And I know that I know that that is most emphatically not true-not in God’s eyes!

But…circumstances make my hands slow to switch off the tape sometimes.

So…what do I do?

Dig myself further in one way or another.

Either into deeper wells of sorrow, cranking up that ugly noise and feeding upon the slow death of it.

Not a good thing!

Or…the better part-

I dig in deeper to prayer.

To worship.

To His words-to me and for me.

The far superior well to spend my time in by far!

Full of Living Water ready for the drinking in.

Bread of Life to feed upon.

Brothers and sisters that come alongside and nourish you even further in encouraging words.

And, of course, The One who intimately knows sorrow to carry the burden of it beside me.

It doesn’t mean I don’t still feel what I feel.

There’s a funny little truth about hurt.

It does not disappear in a snap.

Painful memories are long and thoughts often remain reactionary.

Trust is a shaky rope bridge at best.

Time to heal is key and, even then, some scars are prominent.

But, in that gift that is time, wounds can be eased, joys resurrected, trust finds firmer feet, and life continues on…

With all its seasons of delight and grief, smooth planes and blessed bumps alike.

Not absent of hurt by any means.

But, perhaps, richer for it.

Whatever season you find yourself in, dear friends, may you find the well full of the riches of life in the Lord! Blessings and prayers! ❤

What a Friend

Hey, friends. Lots of thoughts rolling.

Some on the cusp of creation; some more fully formed but not just there yet.

Some honestly rather heavy.

Heavy but, admittedly, necessary.

Example: the news daily brings us countless reminders of the temporary nature of fame, fortune, and the like.

Worldly accomplishments beckon us here on earth yet they still shift and blow away sooner or later, much like the foolish man’s house on the sand…

For nothing comes with us-not a guitar prowess or a cool rep or or a knowlegable facade.

Not even our own “niceness”.

No…nothing but our faith we carried in life.

Now, it might be faith in a thing.

A person.

Our own abilities.

Our bank account.

Or-prayerfully-it will be in Jesus Christ alone.

For those whose faith proved futile, unfortunately, all that awaits is a darkness beyond darkness-an eternal separation from God.

A hard truth indeed!

But, for those who have trusted Christ alone for salvation, there is an eternity of joy and peace in His presence!

So…mixed into those tough thoughts of grief for others who likely may’ve passed without placing their faith on Him alone, is the gratitude for that sure salvation and the rest in that steady companionship-both here and now and in the life to come. 🙂

And all that, be it deemed random or no in the midst of the heavyish and less heavish thought train here today, reminds me of a song.

I checked and, yep, it’s been a bit since my last song share. So…yes. It’s time.

Yay! 🙂

Today, after some (pretty major) deliberation, I decided I should share our community youth group “theme song”- “What a Friend” by Matt Maher.

Or one of the theme songs, at least. 😏 We are a seriously musical lot.

Anyway…it’s such a comforting word in the midst of troubling times!

Now, this version is likely a lot more professional sounding than what our little group pulls off with our rudimentary acoustics.

But, at any rate, may we sing along with what is the most important key- sincere hearts, rejoicing at the truth of lives redeemed and an eternal home to look forward to.

Blessings and Prayers, dear friends! Keep your eyes on Him! ❤

https://g.co/kgs/tJtP7t

Serving Up His Love

Last weekend, we had a soup kitchen Saturday with our youth group-as in an opportunity to volunteer at one. 🙂

We had hoped to have all our students for this new venture, but with our constantly shifting Kansas weather, important basketball games had had to be rescheduled for…you guessed it, Saturday. 😏

There went several of our regulars…

In addition to that was state Scholar’s Bowl and, wouldn’t you know it? Our middle son/awesome drummer is also rather an old soul, knowledgeable on a variety of subjects most his age are not, and, therefore, much needed for such tournaments. ( No, not a proud mama at all.

😉)

So, suffice to say, we wound up a rather tiny troop of workers.

A Gideon sort of reduction, perhaps? 🤔🙂

Well, the thought is kind of just for humorous irony since we spent the better part of the fall studying the Old Testament warrior, but, maybe…

For, it could’ve been deflating in a sense, or more stressful with fewer hands, but, you know, as much as I really missed seeing certain faces in the mix, it was a most beautiful and triumphant day regardless!

Perhaps, even better than we could’ve thought for the quiet simplicity of it.

For I got to watch my shyer, more reserved ones, including my oldest, newly-minted adult son, find ways to step up, pitch in, and feel helpful.

I got to listen to my sweet teen autistic girl do what she does best-draw the lonely into lively conversation and boost them with her amazing gift of song at worship time.

I got to see my enthusiastic youngest boy pour over the dishes and delight the whole kitchen with his giggles as the water sprayer kept “accidentally” getting him.

I got to see my dear, gregarious husband ladle on laughs along with the baked beans and encourage everyone around him with hope as he shared the way God has built our family up from next to nothing.

And what did I do?

Well, I’ll tell you, being rather prone to awkwardness myself, I was a bit nervous on the outset about what role I could really play there without fumbling too badly.

I knew I might be okay in the kitchen, if I wasn’t having too clumsy a day.

I thought I could perhaps hand out food or provide background on the songs if I didn’t goof or go too off-key.

Or, just guide the kids in their various pursuits, as I typically do.

Parts of me truly longed to be more as my fearless daughter, she who lives to worship out loud.

I sometimes observe her at a distance and wonder how she could be mine!

Yet, I can also see little pieces of me-of the me I might’ve been if life hadn’t been so weighted with, well, hurtful things…

Or, I’ll watch my husband, he who charms lampposts, and grow wistful for just a wisp of that ability.

Spent too long in that place, I can start to wonder why someone like that chose someone like me.

Not healthy on any day! 😳

So, instead of pulling a lot of Gideon-aw, shucks-not-meisms, I find I must learn to look past me to the whole:

More than anything we did, we got to share with some all-too-often forgotten souls.

Young families in need, older gentlemen and ladies relatively alone in life, some who have been ravaged by disease and harsh circumstance and time.

People whom I might shyly bypass on any given day, not sure what to say, but people that when I pause long enough to really get beyond myself and look, I can see my own struggles reflected in their eyes.

For we really aren’t so different, any of us.

We all need each other and we all need the love of Jesus.

Every one of us look to be fed, not only physically, but spiritually.

Every one of us need to feel our worth. Our real worth. In Him.

Honestly, no one was counting how many of us there were or weren’t, or judging how well we handled dishing up barbecue pork, or whether we all sounded even remotely like Hillsong.

They just wanted to matter, same as anyone.

And, in serving up time, food, and, best of all, the love of Jesus, we had the opportunity to tell them they do, same as anyone.

I don’t know exactly what’s down the road. But, I hope we get to go back. Even shy, awkward me. 🙂

Looking at spring… when basketball and scholar’s bowl are all done and before the summer wave of busy hits.

I know God will use us, big or small, but I wouldn’t want the rest of our kiddos to miss out on this every time! 😉

May we all look for our chance to extend the love of Christ to the forgotten, whatever we think of what we can give. Blessings and prayers, dear friends! Thanks for reading!

Words Rendered Useless

Ok. Comments on. Still can’t understand the issue completely. Thanks for bearing with me! Blessings to you! ☺

Words.

Always seeking a perfect crafting.

Seems forever I am drafting…

How I love to weave you

In patterns enormously elaborate

Or whittle you carefully down to

Allow sparing truths to fit.

But, there are times when you

All but vanish,

Behaving almost as banished,

Leaving me with a nameless

Something

Stinging my tongue,

Though not painfully:

And that single, well-known melody alights itself

Softly, reverently…

Holy, holy, holy

Is the Lord God Almighty…

My heart surrenders to the phrase,

Rendered otherwise wordless

By the echo of endless praise

To come,

Of knowing and lifting Him high.

Oh, to embrace the ultimate sum

Of all our existence!

To freely fling my hands to the sky,

Ending all resistance!

To join in sinking to my knees

Before the throne,

To know this King

Loves me as His own!

To sink back in the peace,

To rejoice in the ceasing of

All my consternation,

And at last lay aside the

Mad scramble for

A poet’s perfection.

Words Rendered Useless

Words.

Always seeking a perfect crafting.

Seems forever I am drafting…

How I love to weave you

In patterns enormously elaborate

Or whittle you carefully down to

Allow sparing truths to fit.

But, there are times when you

All but vanish,

Behaving almost as banished,

Leaving me with a nameless

Something

Stinging my tongue,

Though not painfully:

And that single, well-known melody alights itself

Softly, reverently…

Holy, holy, holy

Is the Lord God Almighty…

My heart surrenders to the phrase,

Rendered otherwise wordless

By the echo of endless praise

To come,

Of knowing and lifting Him high.

Oh, to embrace the ultimate sum

Of all our existence!

To freely fling my hands to the sky,

Ending all resistance!

To join in sinking to my knees

Before the throne,

To know this King

Loves me as His own!

To sink back in the peace,

To rejoice in the ceasing of

All my consternation,

And at last lay aside the

Mad scramble for

A poet’s perfection…

My apologies for the comments not being on. I can’t seem to remedy the situation myself this time. At least, not at present. 🙄 I think this is becoming a problem for tech support! Blessings and prayers and thanks for reading at any rate! 🙂