I will be a Father to you, and you will be sons and daughters to Me, says the Lord Almighty.
- 2 Corinthians 6:18

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Hello, Failure. {When You Feel Like Not Enough}

Well, Failure, I really didn't think we'd meet up here. I have to say, you surprised me. 11 posts out of 23 thus far? Wow. Why don't you just go ahead and put a big red X over this 31 day challenge. Put another tally mark on the board of "Abigail's Failures" for the month.

 Hear my sarcasm, Failure, when I say thanks for pulling through. I thought you were gone, but you showed up yet again. I guess if there is one thing consistent in my crazy life it'd be you. And you know what? That really sucks.

 Really. Can't I have a break already?
 Failure, you make me go crazy. You stress me out. This perfectionist can't stand the sight of you. But it's this perfectionist that keeps drawing you back.

 The perfectionist in me tries to do so much. I need to blog more. I need to be a better friend, daughter, sister, Christian. I need to do better in school. I need to be a more committed sponsor. So-and-so is asking some tough questions about God; I need to have the right answers so I can keep her persevering in the faith.

 This is where you come in, Failure.

 Better, more, not enough. 

 Why do I let myself believe the lies?

 Time and time again, Failure, I usher you in. I get so caught up in the "not enough" that I forget to listen to the God Who has redeemed.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

One Thing Remains

 God is good all the time, and all the time God is good. His love remains.

 Thank You, Lord, for being my constant. You are still God and You are still good. Fill me with You.

This is day 16{ish} of my 31 day series, Romanced by Him. Read more here. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Day 15: Remember.

 There are days I seem to forget. Days that are more like one step forward, two steps back- when I'm simply overwhelmed by life and underwhelmed in my soul. I lose sight of Who I am pressing on towards. These are the days that I just wish I could physically see Jesus. I need to be reminded of His presence; I need to reach out and cling to Him.

 Some say that's impossible. I say God always come through.

 Because there are these girls. I call them my small group but they're really more like my sisters. They remind me daily of Jesus' love not so much because they say it, but because they show it in all that they do. These girls spread God's love like wildfire, y'all. I get chill bumps because in every text message, in all the times we've cried till we laughed and laughed till we cried, in every hug, in every prayer, I get to see His love in action.

 These girls will get down on their knees with me when I'm broken before the Lord and then lift me up so I can see His face. And isn't that what Christ, in His vast love, does for us? He comes down and meets us in our brokenness. He doesn't leave us there, though. He lifts us up with His strength and grace.

 On the days when I really just need a tangible reminder of His love and every day in-between, my small group girls have always been right there. They make me laugh when I'm tempted to feel down but they also know when I just need to cry and will let me cry, always praying for me. They never fail to remind me of God's love. They are my reminder of God's love.

 To my girls: You all mean the world to me. You all are gifts, each one of you. I can't thank you enough for everything you've done for me. Y'all love me when I'm being unlovable, you show me grace. God's grace. Thank you for being my daily reminder of our Savior's great love. I love y'all with all my heart. Or all my appetite. I'm not sure which one is bigger.

 This is day 15 in my 31 day series, Romanced by Him. Read more here.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Day 13: This Is Just the Start of a Great Romance

 Well, we are over a third of our way through this blogging month. And I wasn't really as prepared as I should have been. There have been several busy days when no posts appeared. Bear with me though, because this has been a learning process for me!

 But here's the thing, y'all. Even with my lack of posts, God has been moving and using this month like crazy. I have found His romance. There hasn't been any huge revelations or writing on the wall. He has not written anything in the clouds or shown up in some huge and mighty way. Instead He just keeps gently showing me His love and gives me something sure to hold on to.

 I'm still a work in progress. There will never be a day that I will grasp His love fully because it is so, so far beyond comprehension. But Christ keeps calling me to more. 31 days is just the starting point of a life that will be lived daily romanced by Him.

 Will you join me in praying, pleading for God to continue to show up? We can live boldly in this love of His and I think that's where He is leading me next. Now that He's opened me to His love, I want to step out and live love with boldness. 31 Days is not over, and 31 Days is just the beginning.

 Thank You, my sweet, sweet Savior. Thank You for this love. You are my constant; Your love never ends. Walk with me. I want to lean on You. God, I pray that I will step out and boldly live a life of Your love. This is such a beautiful beginning. You are my One Romance. 

 This is day 13 of a 31 day series on being romanced by Him. Read more and catch up here.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

No Greater Love

 This is the great romance. Christ not only wants us to raise our hands in surrender to Him as King; He wants to know us intimately as the Lover of our souls. As we walk with Him, He takes our broken, dirty hearts and molds them to His. I've so often experienced the moving power of Christ but this sweet, gentle, passionate display of His love fills my soul and reaches the places others cannot. He is unveiling the buried places of my heart; He is making it beautiful and whole.

 There truly is no greater love.

 I'm working my way through a 31 day blogging challenge; catch up over here.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

"Wait First."

Playing some sort of card game that's vaguely similar to Go Fish, the little girl I babysit says in response to me trying to pick up a card, "No. You have to wait first."

 She then proceeded to show me what to do because I sure didn't know the ropes of this game she had made up. I smiled and played along, thinking all the while how God can speak through the lives of these precious children.

 You have to wait first.

 Not go and do your own thing, watch as it falls apart, and then wait impatiently a little longer until you can go and do it on your own again.

 Wait first.

 I catch myself doing exactly the opposite so often. I'm happy, and doesn't that make God happy? This makes me happier than He has been lately, anyways. But then *gasp*, the unthinkable happens. Whatever or whoever I thought was keeping me happy is suddenly gone and there I am, left with nothing.

 My beautiful, broken beloved. Wait on Me first.

 What would happen if we started listening to Him? If we read His words and actually lived as if they were true?  Words like these that say, "It will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”

 What if we truly believed soul-deep that the Lord God is better than any love we may find?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Day Nine: I am God.


My Child,

 I am a loving God.

 I love you. I always have, and I always will. Never doubt My love, for it is eternal.

 My child, I am a caring God. I care for you. I only want what I know is best for you. I will never hurt you; you need to trust Me,

 My child, I am a powerful God. I created the Heavens and the Earth with just the sound of My voice. I created you with My own fingers. I knit you together in your mother's womb. I hold the entire universe in the palm of My hand. I am everlasting.

 My child, I am a merciful God. No matter how many times you've sinned or turned against Me, I will forgive you. Repent, and I will cast your sins as far as the east is from the west.

 My child, I am a faithful God. I will always be by your side. When you need Me, I am here. Call on Me and I will hold you in My arms.

 My child, I am a personal God. I long for intimacy with you. Focus on Me, only Me. I am at the door knocking, waiting for you to let Me in. I want to spend time with you. I want you to dwell in My presence.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

When This Broken Heart Became Calloused

 Yes, my heart has been broken. It's been broken by a great love for the hurting people of the world. I've always said though that I love this place of brokenness. Because when you're broken by something you're moved to do something.

 But then my heart was broken by people. People who were supposed to care about me. This was a new kind of broken, a kind not fueled by love but by hurt- by betrayal. Sometimes it's a little bit harder to respond in the same way to this kind of heartache.

 So this heart of mine grew calloused. Instead of becoming hardened, it just formed a rough exterior that still enclosed the tender heart beating inside. You couldn't tell- shoot, I couldn't tell- though because from far away calloused skin looks pretty similar to tender skin does it not?

 I guess I thought that I was doing myself good. After all, callouses form to protect. But in protecting myself from hurt, I was blocking love from truly reaching my soul.

 There are real tears forming in my eyes right now because I'm realizing that these protections, they've kept me from loving and feeling the love of the One who loves me most.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Day Seven: Love Better Than Life

 Just a little Tuesday encouragement.  Thank you, Lord. You romance me each day.

Read my other 31 day posts here.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Day Six: Choosing Him

  Sometimes when you're posting for 31 days, you skip a few because you're away for a weekend retreat, and it's really okay because sometimes you need a distraction-free weekend for God to draw you back closer to Him.

 And oh, did He do that.

 He brought me back to the heart of worship. Back to the heart of Him.

 It's a choice you have to make, I realized over this weekend. You have to choose love instead of complacency. Yes, Christ can and will just hit you in the face with love unending; but there are times like yesterday morning when He just whispers to your heart in the midst of soul chaos and says you know I love you. You know it. But I want to see you choose My love. I want you to choose it above all else, because when you choose Me above all else you will feel My love more passionately; you will know Me deeper. 

 You may have to let go of some people to do that. You may have to let go of busy schedules and control and the stress that comes with control. But this love of His is far more fulfilling and the heart of Him knows me more intimately than any other.

 Lord, I choose You. I choose Your love. More than anything else and above any other. Right here, right now, each and every day.

 Read more on this 31 day challenge here.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Soften My Heart, Lord; Break Me Apart.

 Ya know, yesterday, posting this, I felt like it was a little vague. I posted it anyways though because I'm sort of  in the dark too about where these 31 days are going to lead but I'm trusting Him.

I need You to soften my heart and break me apart,
Oh I need You to pierce through the dark
And cleanse every part of me.  
 All I am, I surrender.

  This song. It gets me every time. I'm taken back to moments of a spiritual high, to moments of emotion. But here lately, half the time I sing this song it just falls so flat. What's up with that? It's as if my lips are just repeating words my heart has forgotten.

 And I'm sitting here with these words from my fingers falling short as well because I'm just not feeling them.

 Maybe my heart has forgotten...

 I remember my mom asking me recently, "Why don't you ever sing anymore?"

 I brushed it off saying something about me still singing and I didn't think any more about it. But I'm wondering now if her mama-heart was seeing something in the making. Something that I missed.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

31 Days of Being Romanced by Him

 I'll be honest. When I learned about this 31 day writing challenge through Emily Freeman's blog, I wasn't interested. I read over it and clicked on to the next thing. But since seeing her post, I haven't been able to get the challenge off of my mind. 

 I reasoned and doubted and came up with a whole list of excuses as to why I can't do it. For instance,
1. I don't have enough time.
2. What could there possibly be to write about every day for a whole month?
3. I'd probably fail miserably and
4. have I mentioned that I hate to fail?

  Thus, absolutely not. You wouldn't see me doing this come October.

 Shh.. I have a little secret; don't ever tell God "no."

 Because God kept bringing me back and then I saw a quote which I am fairly sure the author looked into my mind to find. She said, "Putting a pen in my hand is like giving me a shovel into the places buried in my soul."  Reading that little sentence I wondered could this challenge be God's way of unlocking the hidden places in my own soul? Could this be His way of pushing me past my self-made limitations to a deeper understanding of Him?

 And my answer is this: