Wonder

wonderWonder

This writing is from a time I spent with Jesus as He has been pursuing me to be like a child this month of December and wonder. Wonder about Him, wonder with me as you read.

This came from Genesis 3. In this passage I started thinking about how God had to have Adam and Eve leave the garden because they had discovered sin, and if they stayed in the garden it would keep them in their “sin state” . He had to come up with the plan of sending Jesus to die for our sin so He could bring us back to His original intention of relationship. That is why they had to leave the garden. He made us to never feel shame, to never be afraid, to never know anything but pure child-like eyes. We were made to trust God and never question if He really loves us. Not because He was mad as some may believe. The only answer was someone paying permanently for our sin, Jesus. Why does He love us soooo much? Is that how He loves me now? With the same intensity that He did when He originally made creation? There are many times I have felt this love, but right now in this moment just wonder with me, what does that feel like. Is He still in love with me and you today, the same. Yes, the answer is yes. As I am writing I can feel this love in my heart and the warmth of His presence on my face. This is love. Walking hand in hand with God in every moment. I love Jeremy Riddle’s new song, “it can only get stronger”. This love can only get stronger and it can only go deeper. Not because of my pursuit of Him but He is relentlessly pursuing me. I like that perspective that everyday my understanding of God’s love for me can only get stronger. How bout throwing away those thoughts that you’re not enough, or your walking backwards, or where the heck is God. Yes, He always knows where we are and His love for us is inviting me and you into a relationship that never gets thrown away but only gets stronger everyday.

This next part came from reading Ecclesiastes 3:11 “He has planted eternity, a divine purpose in the human heart, a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy except God, yet man can’t find out what God has done (His overall plan) from the beginning to the end.” Do you ever wonder what it would be like to be fully satisfied? You wake up and make breakfast and your so satisfied that you have a smile from ear to ear. How about a great workout? I enjoy running, but maybe for you its the gym, skateboarding?, bike riding, jumping jacks :-). What if you had a conversation with someone who made you feel so loved you could just jump for joy. What if parenting was so satisfying you forgot about anything else. Ok so I know actually we have all enjoyed something in this life that had meaning and did give us enjoyment. However, I have to say, the times I have let God fully walk with me in my heart and thoughts and conversations, workouts, parenting, cooking and eating of course, marriage and friendships, down times, art sessions. These are the moments that leave me filling fully satisfied. Like so rich that I could just press pause on life and remain in that moment. However, here is the thing with God. He doesn’t leave us. He gives us these rich moments and five seconds later He is still there. I don’t always pay attention, but the moments I do, I am right back to being totally content and full of love. I don’t know of anything in this life that can do that except for God. God makes parenting, marriage, friendships, workouts and art sessions completely beautiful and miraculous. He is the one that allows angels to dance around me, and the divine interacts with earth, this is mysterious and more real than what I see. WONDER for a moment about God and heaven. What is He like right now in your existence.

Last week at church my good friend was speaking about Mary having Jesus and the awe of God. Having child-like eyes to believe the plans He has for us. She showed a picture of her and her family at the Grand Canyon. Her children’s eyes captured the feeling of wonder as they felt so small and yet so big staring into the canyon. God makes us feel as if we are big and so small at the same time. It’s a feeling of safety like a child feels with a grandpa and so small like woah He is way beyond my understanding. Have you ever wondered how big God is? I mean the Bible talks about Him making the universe, and light like electricity flowing from Him. If anything He is pretty powerful yeah. With a glance into His presence the greatness of who He is captures me to the core and exposes my weaknesses and at the same time heals every broken place in my being. I usually take away from my encounters with His love, the feeling of being a child gazing into my purpose. I was made for Him. To know Him. Sometimes we can’t embrace Him when we are holding on to our form of what we think satisfies us, or ideas of what we think we need. If that is the problem, LET GO, just like frozen :-), LET IT GO! The truest gift is Him and He will give you the purest form of what you let go, He will satisfy you in the deepest way possible.

Wonder with me what is God’s original design for relationships, our cities, families? Well, I am sure I have no idea, I can wonder and imagine with God’s help what that may look like. Acts 2 gives us a picture of what a community looked like right after Jesus left and sent the holy spirit. “Change your ways, accept and follow Jesus as Messiah.. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, for you and your children…”vs 43 “ a sense of awe was felt by everyone and many wonders and signs…they shared everything, praising God continuously.” When God came up with a plan to bring us back to relationship with God, He gave us Holy Spirit to live inside of us. He sent the greatest gift of all. This gift comforts us, helps us hear , gives us special gifts and abilities to make God known in many ways in our lives which brings Him glory. He gave us the greatest gift truth, which sets us free and allows us to walk humbly before God and others. What if we all embraced Jesus, and we woke up everyday without any fear. We made breakfast for ourselves and neighbors daily, came over to each other’s houses and shared meals, clothes, conversation, went on runs or bike rides, leave our front doors unlocked because no one is afraid of anything. We didn’t need to use money because we all shared so nicely 🙂 ha. I know this must be heaven. Yet there has to be the perfect idea of school, and what is going to work meant to be, not because we needed money but because this was our gift. Our God-given gift we were born with.

This Christmas I pray we can wonder, be in awe, and imagine what God can do, and who He can be for us and in us. He designed us to walk with HIm, in the most perfect and intimate relationship imaginable. Right now in Jesus name , through the power of the holy spirit I lift off of you every limitation off your imagination to dream with God. I lift off any small pictures of God and pray that your eyes would see just as He created you to.

With all the love I have,

Merry Christmas

 

WONDER

I want to walk with you

Like you made me to

I want to shine

With your light

I want to feel your love

Deep inside

Let heaven and earth collide

In this place

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This painting was inspired by the polar express. So much is possible if we believe.

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Confident Hope

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Have you ever struggled with feeling insecure? Maybe you have a past of feeling rejected. Or maybe you have rejected someone else . One of the effects of rejection is insecurity.  I definitely have felt this. Are you ready for breakthrough? The other day I had a picture of me walking on the beach and Jesus approached me. He asked me what does insecurity look like? I said its like sand because its not firm.  Than Jesus was on the water and invited me to walk on the water. Sand seems a little safer than water. However I walked out and as soon as I would take a step a solid stone would be there for me to stand on. He said this to me , ” I will never let you fall down. I will never laugh at you love. When you choose to step out past insecurity, I will not laugh at you if you fail, I will catch you and help you. Your steps are secure . My love for you is secure.  My promises are true. You can risk it all on me. ” I pictured myself running throwing caution to the wind to be found in love.

Can you imagine Peter when he walked on water. He threw caution to the wind before he stepped out, then started sinking. He was confident for that one moment that He was secure in love. Even though he fell, he did not fail.  Whether we are slow to start or start out running. He is not going to laugh at us and He will be there to help us, to hold us, to protect us that is what love is. (Matthew 14:22-33) Each step we take towards risk, faith, love. He is with us each and everyday! We are His kids. Kids don’t get it perfect, and yet kids are accepted and invited to risk and grow in the risk!

“We have this hope as an anchor for our soul, firm and secure, It enters the inner sancutary behind the curtain… “Hebrews 6:19

“The source of hope will fill me completely with Joy and Peace because I trust in Him. Then I will over flow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

Say this with me , ” I am secure in love, I am always accepted by Him, and He will ask me to do things that I have never done before. I can risk it all on Him,  because even if I fall, I will be caught, I will learn, I will grow, I will run in love. I AM SECURELY LOVED!!

 

I choose you

image“Come to me all who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light. “ Matthew 11:28-30

Amplified Version

28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavily burdened [by religious rituals that provide no peace], and I will give you rest [refreshing your souls with salvation].

Last week God started revealing parts of my heart that I didn’t like very much. Instead of what I used to do, which was try to do everything I could do figure out how to be my own savior and to fix it or make that better, I ran to Him. All week I started running to Jesus. Practically that looked like me walking around the house saying I surrender I don’t know what to do. I had no idea that “all the things” I was doing to just be with Jesus, or be a responsible grown up, had become heavy burdens. To me I was doing good things. Right. Waking up early to run, worshipping, trying to eat good, taking care of my family, I was on top of it. However, none of that was giving me Jesus. I was starting to feel empty and tired again. It didn’t make sense I had been doing the same things for the last 6 months and had been encountering Jesus . Than all of the sudden just felt blah and felt like I wasn’t hearing Him throughout all my day. Where did I miss Him? He never leaves us so I knew He was there but I just felt a distance between us. Last week, as I was praying, Jesus grabbed me in His arms and said, Melissa, I choose you. I cried. The enemy tries to make me feel ashamed anytime God reveals these things in my heart. But ya know what. I don’t take that bait anymore either. I am a daughter, I know I am loved and He found pleasure in me before I ever knew Him. So now that I am getting to know Him, He still loves me I don’t have to have it figured out. In fact, I will never have it figure out!

There is so much freedom right there. He has had to slow me down so I can rest and lean back in His chest. Rest! Rest in Him. Be, sit down with Him. Let Him do all the talking.

We have a practice in my home called quiet time. Its something I look forward to everyday of my life. I love me some tea/coffee and reading, music, or whatever it is to be with Jesus. My two year old takes a nap, and my five year old and seven year old when he’s home has quiet time. I have them read or play quietly on their bed or in their room. My middle son gets so much out of imagining and playing but sometimes he gets so carried away. He doesn’t know the concept of being quiet. I found him running down the hall, going in and out of his room etc. You get the picture. However, I am not ok with this. I can’t rest for even a minute if that’s happening. So finally, I took the toys and told him that until he learns to follow my directions he needs to stay on his bed and we will try again tomorrow. This made him so sad, he cried. I left feeling so sad. I asked the Lord did I hurt him? The Lord said yes, and I realize it was because he loves playing so much that of course that hurt to take his toys away. However, I was sad that I had to be the one to discipline him. I had to take away the very thing he loved so much so he can learn to obey. As soon as I realized that, I might look like the bad guy in his eyes, I broke down. I did it because I love him. I went back in his room to see how he was, he had fallen asleep. Probably the thing he needed to do anyway. I realized that this was alot like what God was walking me through last week. I knew I needed to slow down and rest in Him. I was afraid of slowing down. I was afraid if I stopped “doing” all the things I loved in hopes to connect with Him, I didn’t know how to connect with God. Ha. That makes me laugh now, He is so much bigger. The real problem was there were things in my heart that I couldn’t see that He wanted to heal. That is what was keeping me from being still with Him. So I was “doing” alot of things that were wearing me out. They weren’t fulfilling me anymore because my heart was bleeding and I didn’t know it and He wanted to heal me. So He ran after me. He chose me.

I choose you. That’s what Jesus says to me. That’s what He says to you. He chooses you. He runs to you and chooses you no matter what. What is your response to His love? When there is a disconnect. Just walk around everyday if you have to and say I surrender God. We can walk away or we can come in for the bear hug and receive this love. Yes, it feels painful for a moment when He reveals the pain in our heart but it feels so good when we allow Him in to heal us! There is freedom and love that He has for us. Once we choose to respond to Him, it is much easier to choose our spouse, kids and all the others God has given us to love!

God Can’t Help Himself

imageThere are many days that I have my kids play in the “play room”. I love that they have a space for that. I love that I can keep the rest of my house clean and the toys stay “contained”. Yesterday, I was missing my kids’ faces. I just wanted to be close to them. I had things to do, like paint the bathroom, laundry, dinner prep etc. However, I couldn’t shake this strong desire. So I had them play in the room closet to where I was. I wanted to hear them giggle, laugh, and be ready for a hug at the drop of the hat. I also had to be ok with my two year old wanting to “paint” the bathroom with me ahhhhhhh. As I was pondering my feelings to be close to them, I could picture God saying the same thing to me.  “Melissa, my desire is to be close to you. I just want to be next to you daughter. I don’t want to miss a hug opportunity, or hear you laugh and giggle. I am also ready to listen to your heart and hear you cry if you need to. This my sweet daughter is not the “duty” of being your parent but the deepest love in my heart, is for you and towards you! I can’t help myself.” Love Papa God

Devotional:

Take a moment and insert your name into what God would say to you. You are not a duty to Him either. You are the deepest desire in His heart and He is right here ready to hug you, listen to you, and give you counsel.

I would love to hear how you encountered Him. Please leave a comment. Also if you are struggling to hear Him I would love to help if I can! I can also pray for you with any requests etc!

 

Rainbow Colored Dress

I picture myself in a stream and Jesus and I are spalshing water on each other. The water looks like color and paint. We are laughing. I live to worhsip you Jesus. He embraces me and says I am so proud of you. He takes a backpack off my back. Its a bright yellow backpack. It has a feather in it, it has river rocks. The rocks have fear worry anxiety stress on it. He says sometimes you have to take the backpack off in order to have fun. He said that smiling at me. My outfit changes to a rainbow-colored dress. Have fun in my promises , He says. He hands me a gold braclet and it says ” Orphan no more”.

John 14:18 ” I will not leave you as orphans I will come to you”

Galations 4:7 “So you are no longer slaves, but God’s child, God has made you also an heir”

Psalm 94:19 ” When doubts filled by mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer”

 

 

Trees planted by Streams

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I went for a run this week with my toddler. As we were passing by these trees he said momma stop, tees. I was also held captive by them for a moment because they were immersed in water. This reminded me of Psalm 1:3, ” They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.”  I spent some time with the Holy Spirit and all of Psalm 1. I let the words go deep in me, washing over my heart and helping me see more clearly.  Wait hold up. Who is “they” . Those who delight in the law of the Lord, it says in prior verses. I was reading in the Blue Letter Bible, that the law of the Lord is the word. Those who meditate on the word will prosper like 1:3 says. They will be like trees planted by streams of water that won’t wither!!! Meditate is like a cow chewing his cud. Meditate over and over and over until it is fully absorbed and sitting in water. Those trees planted by streams are strong and stable and their roots grow deep. I want to be strong and stable. I realized that I haven’t been remaining in the water of God’s presence and word and this brought me back to the deep cry for more of God. In a moment, I was brought to tears and embraced by Him. I pray that this encourages you wherever you are to know that He is ready to nourish your tired soul today. The song I am including was what I was listening to as I read and soaked in His word and presence.

Come to Me

Dear one,

I am the breath of life, in me you find life. Come to me and gaze upon my beauty. Don’t back away or feel like it’s been too long . Just come to me. I will refresh your weary soul and hold you close. I have a path for you, we will walk in it step by step day by day as you let me hold your hand I will take you there. Look at the horizon. The sun is bright. That is your future. Your future holds the light. The light of the dawn inside of you waiting, bursting at the seams.You can’t fail me , I am the perfect one I will get you  where you need to be. I hold your heart . The pressure is off . Just come. Come to me.

Read and re-read these verses. Let them sink into your heart and soul. Then ask Jesus to come close to you and share what is on His heart for you today. It doesn’t matter if it’s been a long time or short time. He is ready to speak when you are ready to listen.

“O, my son give me your heart. May your eyes take delight in following my ways.” Proverbs 23

Jude 24 “Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault.”

“Then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being.” Genesis 2:7

“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. THey are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you, says the Lord.” Jeremiah 29:11-14