So a week or so ago my now high schooler decided she wanted to attend a high school event at our church for the first time. She decided to go without a friend, decided to go even though she didn’t know who would be there, decided to go and step out of her comfort zone. That’s a big deal for anyone, but if you knew her you would know what a big deal this was for her! She likes to be in control, she likes what is familiar; she does not get out of her comfort zone too often… voluntarily!

So we drive up to church and there are tons of kids visiting and flitting around under the covered walkway, my heart is pounding with anxiety for her – it’s an overwhelming scene! I turn to her in the backseat and say, “Are you sure you want to go? We can pull into the parking lot and wait awhile until you see someone you know.”

With a little uncertainty in her chocolate brown eyes, she reaches for the door handle and says, “Yes, I want to go!” And opens the door and steps out of the car.

She walks over and stands off to the side alone…ALONE…we slowly drive away as she is standing there all by herself. I have to “brace for brave” because in that moment I just want to get out of the car and go stand with her, drive around the circle again and see if she wants to get back in the car, go park across where I can see her and make sure someone is kind to her and makes her feel welcome, call one of the pastors I know and say, “Hey, see that pretty brunette in the plaid shirt standing ALONE, she’s mine, could you please care for her heart RIGHT NOW!”

Brace for Brave!!!

My heart ached and eyes teared up as we drove away and left her there…but I was one proud mama! That was hard! That was a really hard thing for her to do! To open that car door and step out and stand alone – so uncomfortable, so brave! My heart swelled with pride as her and I both braced our hearts for brave!

 

Her brave – to stay!

picjumbo.com_HNCK9069My brave – to go!

 

Teach your kids to do hard things – brace your heart and theirs for brave, uncomfortable things! And know, just as I did driving away from that church, that her heavenly Father, who loves and cares for her heart, could be trusted to cover, protect, and brace her for whatever came her way that night! He is a good, good Father!

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I am leaking,…my oldest daughter got married a week ago already! The wedding was lovely, simply lovely but it all went by so fast. So many hours of preparing, of shopping, of looking for those perfect shoes, of making paper flowers, of planning, of reserving, of deciding on all the little details that would make her day special…so many hours and in just a few short hours, FOUR to be exact, it was over. She got married on May 21, 2016 and May 22, 2016 was a really hard day. Found myself lost with hands idle, looking for something to hot glue and craft. A car full of the leftovers and no bridesmaids to unload and put it all back in order, Sunday was hard!

My heart is heavy and I am not even sure why. I love her new husband, he is precious and perfect for her. I trust him with her heart! I thought I was prepared…but I guess you just never know how your heart will react when you to come the edge of new emotion. I haven’t felt this before, not like this anyway. My two oldest children have moved out of my nest for several years now, so I wasn’t expecting my nest to feel so empty. It’s a weird feeling, this emptiness. I rationalize…I haven’t lost anything, I have more than gained, so why do I feel such loss?

To leave and cleave…it is God’s beautiful way to make a new a family but I didn’t know I
would feel it so violently within me! She left for her honeymoon at 10pm and something within me broke…her tie to me, the way things have been for 22 years changed in that sweet, single moment as she drove away with him in his care, no longer in mine!

She moves tomorrow to Houston and my heart…oh my heart, it aches at the thought of no more Friday morning coffee, her not being at piano recitals and birthday parties in the middle of the week, not seeing her at Monday morning business meetings… but it is all as it should be. As cliché as it is — life goes on and it will be beautiful and my heart is overwhelmed for the adventure, excitement, and joys that are all hers to have!

To leave and cleave – we get to learn a new dance – her and I. So I choose to turn into this hard, wonderful moment and for today, I leak and embrace all that this is- rich with memory. Tears stream as I remember her little face the day she was born. So amazed that God trusted me with her heart. I close my eyes and see her 22 years old, her big, beautiful browns smiling at me, and I am so privileged to have been trusted to hold her heart until we (her and I) found someone trustworthy enough to hold it the rest of her life!

 


                                        

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 Elizabeth Barrett Browning

“Earth’s crammed with heaven, every common bush afire with God; But only he who sees takes off his shoes; the rest sit around and pick blackberries.”

Jesus is everywhere,

all around,

trying to interrupt your thoughts,

your plans with His presence.

 

 

 

What if we lived life this way – noticing – being so in tune to each moment, each person?? Finding Jesus in every moment, every person, everything!

We miss Him all the time and call it a dry season or a dark season.

We claim God is not speaking to us, He has us in the wilderness.

It’s simply not true.

Jesus is always speaking to us.

One of Jesus’ names is the Word.

He is never silent,

He is always speaking!

 

We mistake change in spiritual transition with silence or “dry seasons” instead of stopping and finding Jesus in the change. Jesus is the Living Water, He is never dry and with Him we never find ourselves in drought or lacking fruit. He is never separate from you.

 

Romans 8:38-39 NIV For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We have those seasons where relationship with Jesus is rich, its emotional, we can tangibly feel His presence with us, or we can hear Him talking and directing us. Then all of sudden it seems to end – we cant hear Him, He seems to be gone. He’s not! Your season just changed and what we tend to do is keep moving forward without stopping to find Jesus in the transition and then moving forward with Him.

 

He is always near;

He is always moving in your life;

He is always speaking.

Psalm 139-7-10 (ESV)  Where shall I go from your Spirit?  Or where shall I flee from your presence?  If I ascend to heaven, you are there!  If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
 even there your hand shall lead me,
    and your right hand shall hold me.

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God is not stuck to speaking to us in one way. Jesus never healed anyone in the same way. He interacts and responds to people on an individual, specific, intimate way.   We must stop and find Him when change happens.

Scott Thompson, Instructor at the School of Ministry in Bethel Atlanta and on the Senior Leadership Team for Jesus Culture shares in his book, Words of Knowledge Made Easy, the many ways God can speak to us – he can speak audibly like He did with Moses, Joshua, Gideon and Samuel. He uses physical sensations – touching our physical body with His comfort, His presence, His healing.  Another way He speaks to us is through divine imaginations – opening up your imagination to experience Him, to see Him. Think about breakfast this morning or imagine dinner with someone special this evening – our minds can create and see things through our imagination. When given to the Holy Spirit you make space for a living, real relationship with Jesus.  Open visions are another way God communicates to us, different from divine imaginations that take place in your mind, an open vision is seen with your physical eyes.  God uses Words of Wisdom to enlighten us and Words of Knowledge about a person, place, thing or circumstance to help them.  Dreams are another way He speaks to us.  God uses Emotions to speak to us – when you walk into a room and can feel the atmosphere or what another person is going through emotionally, mentally or physically, this is God uses emotions to speak to us.  God uses other people to speak to us, He loves community.  He uses the bible, music, and nature to communicate.  Another way is through visual prompts – ever been driving down the street and see the very same thing you read in your devotional on a billboard or gas station sign. That’s God!

 

He is so creative and never tires of finding ways to get your attention. God is always speaking, always moving. Stop and find Him in transition. There is a reason that His means of communication changed – maybe He wants to connect you to community and use other people to speak to you, maybe He wants you to open your eyes and find Him in nature, in the butterflies and sunrises as creation sings His glory. Maybe He wants to wow you with open visions or words of knowledge but you have been thinking you are missing Him and keep looking for Him other ways so you keep missing Him.

Stop and find Him and then move forward. 

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