Baby Shoes?!

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I have a large closet that doubles as my hideaway office.  It’s quiet and secluded.  This is one place I go to get away with God; free from distractions.

I was enjoying being alone with Him when I asked, “God, of all my shoes, which ones are your favorite?”

I know… God is far more concerned with bigger matters than my shoes.

But this was a personal question. I want to know how He sees me personally.  It helps me understand how He sees others.

I look around the closet, wondering which ones He’d pick.  Pumps, sandals, winter boots, cowboy boots, my favorite flats…

My eyes turned to my running shoes.

“I’m thinking it’s either my flats or my running shoes –yeh, no, definitely the running shoes.”

My running shoes are special to me.  That’s what I wear when I’m out on the path, heart pumping; mind clear.

It’s another ‘place’ I go to hear His voice.

My attention is drawn to a pair of bronzed baby shoes. They were my first shoes. I keep them up on a shelf wedged between my favorite pumps.

Mom likes to chide me about them because they’re exceptionally BIG.  They look more like toddler’s shoes than baby shoes. I had big feet.

“Those?”

“Why?”  “I’m not a baby anymore.”

“They’re My favorite because they are what you wore when you learned to walk. You would get back up every time you fell.  They’re a milestone child.”

I love that He calls me –child.

I’m reminded that He was there before I wore shoes. He was there for my first shoes, first heels, and first real running shoes.  He’s always been there, whether or not I realized it.  20140831_125255-1

I’m working on a book in which I share the perspective of God’s constant presence in an ordinary life.

God’s presence has been, and always will be right there beside each one of us. His goodness is evident in every season no matter how dark or lonely.

Wow! We know that in theory, but do we believe it? Can we see it?

Is it possible to get a picture of Christ in our darkest hours?

We cannot presume upon God, but He beckons us to seek Him in all things.

Maybe you too have asked, “God, where were you when —–?”

“Why didn’t You —-?”

God is sovereign and does not need to answer to us. Even so, as we seek Him in all things He simply cannot hide His goodness.

I didn’t want to revisit the dark places of my past. But, as I looked for evidence of Christ’s presence is the good ones, I found He was and is just as present in the darkest hours as well.

I’m continually surprised as God reveals Himself is so many ways –if we’ll just seek Him!!

“You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13 NASB

God doesn’t hide. Look for Him.

Pick up a Bible and listen for His heart. Walk outside and find evidence of Him in His creation.

Lord, give us ears to hear. We want to know what You have to say to us.

Author Note –Anything I share of what I ‘hear’ from the Lord is not based on words. I hear with impressions and concepts that I merely attempt to attach words too. Any error of wording or accuracy falls entirely of my feeble attempts to share to the best of my ability the goodness of what I receive.

Hearing God

I was looking over journal notes thinking about how we hear God. Below is how I heard Him New Year’s Day 2015.

The cozy little restaurant was practically empty New Year day. Sue, and I were enjoying the warmth of a fire discussing the past and future.

We laughed, reflecting on the ridiculous mistakes we’d made as moms and wives. We shook our heads acknowledging God’s overwhelming grace and goodness despite us.

As we finished our soup, I noticed an older gentlemen seated on the other side of the fireplace. He was by himself. The thought of eating alone on New Year’s day tugged at my heart.

Sue and I continued to talk. The gentleman look our way several times. It wasn’t an intrusive look, but rather one of curiosity; as if he thought he knew us.

Sue began to talk about hearing the voice of God. I was tickled because inwardly, I was trying to hear if the Lord had anything to say about this man on the other side of the flickering flames. I wanted to know his story. Why he was alone?Phonto

“So how do you hear His voice?”, Sue asked.

I struggled to articulate an answer. Words are so inadequate to describe how I hear Him …but I was hearing Him right then!

I would describe it as an overwhelming… stirring:

Sometimes it’s inexplicable assurance; peace in chaos.

Other times, it’s having particular understanding in the absence of knowledge.

Often it’s a relentless nudge to serve someone without understanding why.

It’s both ridiculously simple and highly complicated. Though it may not make sense, it always reveals God’s goodness.

Sue pulled me back to our conversation, “Like… do you hear Him with words?”

Here was a moment in time where two different planes of thought collided in perfect harmony.

I smiled at my friend, “Do you trust me?”

She looked at me puzzled. Clearly she did, but I hadn’t answered her question.

“Come with me.” We left our table and went to the other side of the brick wall housing the fire. I introduced us to the gentleman, wishing him a Happy New Year.

It was a little awkward to start, but we were soon in a conversation that was unmistakably meant to be. God’s presence was undeniable.

Luis shared his story. He was heartsick to have never pursued the love of his life. When he did, it was too late. Now he was still single in his 70s. He told of his passion for trains and traveling; more dreams he hadn’t pursued.

We talked about dreams and how God breathes fresh life in dreams when we least expect it. The more he spoke, the more Luis was convinced it wasn’t too late to pursue his dreams of train travel. It was fun to watch his countenance change.

We sat and listened, then we prayed for one another and the new year that lay ahead.

Afterwards, Luis eyes were wet, “I was watching you earlier. You look a lot like the young woman I used to know. You spoke with an excitement that I’d long forgotten.”

He wiped his eyes, cleared his throat, “It caused me to pray.”

He cleared his throat again. “I was praying when you both came over.”

We all just sat for a moment silently appreciating how the Lord gets our attention.

I love what Jesus said in John 10:27 (NIV)

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”

Yes. I believe we can hear from God!

What about you?  You probably hear Him more than you realize. Sometimes we hear him and simply don’t recognize it’s Him.

Take time and see if you recognize His.

The scriptures tell us we hear by God’s Word;

“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” Rom 10:17 NASB

Get alone, get in the Word -and listen!

 

A Reason to Sing

A Reason To Sing

I wrote this months ago during an especially tough season.

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I’ve been walking thru a dry and lonely season. Tonight we went to a worship service.

I felt wooden. I sang the words, but it was forced.

I knew the worship song, and I sang despite the empty feeling.

I lifted my hands. They felt like clay.

Not only did my arms feel like clay. I felt like clay.

I closed my eyes, wanting, aching to see Him.

Lord.

Numb. I stood several moments surveying this strange awkwardness.

It had been growing, but now the stark emptiness echoed within me.

I stood there; a deep hollow cavern.

I spoke quietly to Him, “I am thirsty.”

Others around me sang. I didn’t care.

I was strangely aware of my heartbeat.

Lord. What do You want from me? I don’t have anymore to give.

I’m tired. I don’t want anything but you.

What more do You want?

Awareness of others dissipated and suddenly I became profoundly aware of Him.

I stood frozen in my barely 2 foot square spot of “solitude”:  A turbulence rose within me.

I brought my hand to my neck.

Pulse …normal.

What is going on?

Lord!

The turbulence became a hunger; a growing inner tremble;

“Let go.”

Let go? What am I holding on too?

Let    go.

Selah.

For a split moment all thoughts stopped. All senses shift to a serene, sublime neutral. For a simple, splendid moment I stood in exceptional awareness of His Presence.

No words; only concepts run thru my mind:

Life –heart beating strong

Air –breath, sustaining life

Light –capturing evidence of His Creation —everywhere

Movement –life in motion

Color –outlining, underscoring traces of His beauty

Sound -harmonizing an eternal Hallelujah!

The scent of rain –cleansing

Electricity -pulsing in the air

Power -heaven streaming to the natural

Always THERE.  ALWAYS Him.

Our existence within the Creator’s presence.

There’s no existence outside of Him.

Too magnificent to comprehend. A splendid instant; a moment paused in time.

Imprinted and sealed for a lifetime.

Aware only of Him… Him EVERYWHERE. Him in EVERYTHING. Him for all TIME.

The charge of an electric, unseen, I AM HERE, overtakes my cares of everything BUT Him.

My heart quakes within my chest

Hope –like fresh air to lungs; floods my being.

The Creator’s love rooted in me rises to acknowledge Him -the Giver of life.

Love. This formidable force is impossible to resist.

…like a nail drawn to a magnet.

We do not love on our own anymore then a nail draws a magnet.

We are loved; drawn too love.

His love permeates our souls.

He flows TO  IN  THRU us.

His presence IN me -roaring like a burning flame –a fire in my bones, a welcomed brilliance –aching to release the fire of His goodness & mercies onto others.

The moment passes, but His presence remains.

Lord, if this is the desert. Gladly here I’ll stay.

The desert path continued, but hope accompanied me to the place of absolute surrender. This path is good, and on it I’ll stay, wherever it may lead.

Truly, His presence alone is all we need!

Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.”           Hebrews 13:15 NAS

Phonto