Come, taste, and see that I am good….

Come, taste, and see that I am good….

Well, we’re on the eve of our trip.  I can hardly believe we’re doing this. I was shopping just a bit ago at Walgreens and remembered the many mission trips and summer camps we’d get you girls ready for.  The packing…and packing…and packing :-)!!!  The huge bills at Walmart for Ivy Dry, and Sunscreen, and Advil…and new flashlights.  I’d feel a flutter of nerves each and every time…”God, please keep my girl safe. Bless her. She’s coming wanting more Lord. More of You.  Please take her to something that will forever change her for You, Lord.  Please do something beyond, Lord…”

And tonight, for the first time, we feel like we’re the ones going to summer camp…we’re going to “Mexico”… 

The little things we use to do for you girls…the little notes, the little gifts of love tucked away in your suitcases and backpacks…you’re now doing for us.  Tears have washed over my heart today…just knowing what beauty we have with our kids…Thank you.

We have no idea what’s ahead…but no matter what…God is telling us, “Come, taste and see that I am good…”

And so we go.

We go with hearts full of love for you three…and for Him. We can hardly believe that we get to do this.  But we too have been praying for US what we prayed for you girls so often:  “God, please keep us all safe. Bless us as we’re all apart and bless Jim and I on our anniversary trip. We come wanting more Lord. More of You. Please take us to something that will forever change us for You, Lord.  Please do something beyond, Lord…”

We’ll miss you…but we’re excited!  We’re awed and humbled that we even get to think of doing something like this.  

We’ll never stop praying for you though. Whether you hear from us often…or if we get carried away with our fun and forget to call sometimes* * grin* * …we’ll be praying…


Come, come, come

Under layers of heart and hopes,

under layers of fear and thoughts,

beneath the tug-of-war and pinch

of everything that smothers

lies a small and pleading voice.

Never silent, never quenched

he pleads for space and time

and freedom,

notice and release.

The voice of one

crying in

the wilderness within.

Come, come, come return,

there is a place you miss… 

the answer place

the help place,

a settled One of force,

whose hand can clear the table

in a sweep of 

might and power,

and simplify

and “hope-ify”

and “directify”

it all.

Come, come, come return,

there is a place you miss…


Hunger for Connectedness….

Yesterday morning  I spent some time with God.  I spent some time thanking him for various things, but then just kind of shared with Him that I’m hungry for MORE with Him. I’m so grateful for His Word, and love when he shares wisdom with me either through it, or personally and in the moment.  But yesterday, a different hunger had risen up…a hunger to CONNECT with Him more…to have that again refreshed.

I talked and wrote with him about it at length: “I hunger to have a sense of really connecting with YOU, God a real sense of being in your presence….”  Nothing happened, and I didn’t actually expect it to. But in my heart I knew I’d continue asking for that…that this hunger was big enough that I’d keep pleading for however long it took…

Little did I expect God to move in such a mysterious way…such a speedy way…

Well…in the evening, after being sick all day (that’s the mysterious part), I was reading a new Lori Wick novel, and read a short passage that made me lay down my book as tears suprisingly came to my eyes. Unusual.  They kept coming, and with them came up out of me emotions and thoughts I’d been praying about for some time….deeply….but had not allowed myself to really FEEL deeply with Him.

Trust God from the bottom of your heart.  Don’t try to figure out everything on your own.  Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go.  (Proverbs 3:5 NLT)  In order to trust God from the bottom of my heart though, I have to GET to the bottom of my heart.  Just like getting to the bottom of a pop bottle requires pouring out the pop inside of  it, getting to the bottom of my heart requires pouring out the top layers first.

The dam burst, and I purged my thoughts and fears and feelings to the Lord…and without restraint, I shared so deeply with Him all the darkness and tangled thoughts within me that I’m privy to, and the things I Iong for for the ones I love so much.  

How deeply did the tender Spirit of God dig within me….to free me….and connect with me….

Above all, I had rising and spilling out of me, with equal strength as my tears and fears, a surpassing trust in Jesus.  And an unearthly thankfulness that I can be such a mess, and so real–and still be utterly SAFE and LOVED by Him.  Amazing Grace how sweet the sound….that saved a wretch like me…

After extended time where He just was working, He took me into worship…Oh, how different worship is when I’m really connecting with Him in it.  Phrases take on life and make me weep with thanks. Truths become things I can take hold of from a saved/whole place, instead of from a fearful place…A rock forms underneath my feet…   Thank you Triune God…my Daddy in heaven, my brother and savior Jesus, and my precious Spirit of God who willingly lives with me and in me each day, agreeing to suffer what I suffer– in order to love and protect me, and get me safely through…..

Later than night, I read an email that I’d just received from Graham Cooke, my favorite teacher ever (a former English criminal who God has transformed into one of today’s most annointed voices from our Father), who’d just sent out his June newsletter and wrote in it about Intimacy with God.  Here’s the first thing he wrote about Adoring God:

Adoration is an emotional response to the love of God.  We cannot receive the love of God without having feelings about it. The love of God is not simply an intellectual process; He gave us feelings so that He could touch them.  An emotional response to the love of God usually involves tears–but these are tears of trust.  As we come to understand and love the nature of God, we find that we don’t need everything to be right in our lives.  “These things are true, but You are more real to me,” we say.  “I don’t need everything in my life to be perfect, for I know that You are honorable and trustworthy.” I am not suggesting that we leave our pain behind us when we worship.  Just the opposite in fact:  God wants us to bring that pain to Him.  He wants to love us through it, to look us in the eye and touch us.  “I’ll meet you in it, ” He whispers.  “Come and give it to Me–and I’ll give Myself to you.”

As I read Graham’s newletter, I knew God had timed Graham’s words with what He’d just done in me…so that I could “get it”.  So that I could get that He HAD heard my plea to Him earlier in the day….and that He’d brought me exactly into the place of CONNECTEDNESS and intimacy with Him that I’d only just begun asking for him to refresh.

He DOES hear YOU too….and does SEE you too…

Oh God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you.  My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water.

I have seen you in your sanctuary and gazed upon your power and glory.

Your unfailing love is better to me than life itself; how I praise you! I will honor you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer. You satisfy me more than the richest of foods. I will praise you with songs of joy. ( Psalm 63: 1-5)

P.S. Some great worship for such a time as this:  All I have by Charlie Hines, Lay It Down by Matt Maher, Amazing Grace by Chris Tomlin, Hallelujah by Bethany Dillon, and Unwavering also by Matt Maher.



Back on my knees……..digging

I’ve finally gotten into my herb garden for the first time this year.  What a mess it all was…

Actually, Michael G.’s teaching at Central Vineyard this week inspired me. He shared about how getting into intimacy with God is much like tending a garden. If you haven’t done it in a while, it’ll probably take a bit of work to get it to a place where it’s going pretty well.  

I can really relate to that, and it got me started thinking about how it was time to get back into my garden. It inspired me.

I don’t really enjoy gardening, and never did it before last year.  If you ask me why I garden, I’d have to say that I think I was “called” to garden last year. It was very healing for me to clear the ground, develop a plot design, pick my herbs, plant them, and tend them.  I felt God took me to gardening almost for therapeutic reasons…to give my mind a chance to rest from the heavy duty life that had been going on in the prior year or two.

I found that as I worked among my herbs, I’d have these thoughts that would occur, about how similar gardening was to living life with the Lord….

I won’t write all of the thoughts that occurred to me yesterday along those lines, but I will include a few here…

  • I need to take care of the soil first…. the plants first… the things that really matter, before I take care of the decorative touches I have around my garden.  Do what matters first.
  • I tend to want it all done fast… and all at once…. then I peter out.  I need to learn constancy and patience.
  • Herb gardening and time with the Lord…. both have an extra special quality in the mornings.  My herbs scent the air so strongly in the warm, humid start of the day… God’s aroma therapy.  Morning time with the Lord often sometimes seems the most full of His present help too.
  • Sometimes, despite my best efforts, a surprising blight can come along and destroy something that just previously had been doing fine….a life lesson that I’ve lived again and again… this is when your commitment level is tested… you and your garden find out how committed you are… and if you’ll just be a gardener…… or a Gardener.
  • If I keep at it, it will be lots of work, but it will be easier, more enjoyable work.  
  • If I grow too busy or distracted, the weeds start up pretty fast…THEN it’s even HARDER to get it all in working order again.
  • No matter how long it’s been, or how bad it looks, or how tall the weeds are, or how poisonous the weeds have become…it’s always possible to reclaim the land…and start a garden.
  • And with HELP alongside me, what was daunting, starts to be doable….

So I’ve concluded that ……..I think I need my herb garden more than it needs me…