Be Intentional

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In the hustle of my life, I find it difficult to be intentional.

When the alarm clock snoozed over its limit and I woke up late today,

I thought I was behind before my day had even started.

I told myself “It’s okay to skip sitting in communion with my Jesus.”

As I got myself ready for the day physically, I kept hearing this phrase “be intentional”.

I can easily be intentional about brewing my morning cup of coffee.

I am a stickler of being intentional about personal hygiene to start my day.

I don’t hesitate to be intentional about checking the news and browsing social media.

Why, then, do I think that it’s not necessary to be intentional with Jesus?

How can I be intentional with Jesus?

For me, being intentional with Jesus starts with a simple greeting right when I wake up.

I deliberately acknowledge Jesus as soon as my eyes open.

This verbal knowledge of his Presence sends Satan packing early in the day.

Just a moment or two of sitting still in his Presence silently with a heart wide open

This starts my day in a posture of a life open to hearing his voice of direction.

Listening to a worship song or reading an inspirational quote or Scripture

Provides me with a word to center my thoughts on throughout the day.

Intentionally acknowledging the beauty of nature during the day leads me to worship.

Pausing to take notice of my breathing and thanking God for the gift of life right now.

As I learn to practice intentionality in the Presence of the Holy Trinity

I learn to JUST BE with Love, in Love, and through Love.

 

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Stay True to Yourself

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Sitting in the dark of the holy chapel in the middle of the night

Wrestling with the inner turmoil of questions and fears

Begging Jesus to pray for me because no words would come

Pleading for Abba to show up and speak to me

Feeling the presence of Sophia the Holy Spirit

The desires of my heart flooding over me.

I stayed with the silence looking up at the picture of Jesus on the Cross

Believing that he cared about me deeply.

Trusting that Abba would come through for me just like he did then

Even though for a time it seemed as though he had forsaken his beloved.

I wished for a clinical answer that wouldn’t require letting go of control.

I wished for a clear-cut answer written across the ceiling of the chapel.

But instead as I sat there, I felt the breath of the Holy washing gently over me.

And in the silence, Abba spoke to me from the inner chambers of my heart.

In the gentle voice of Sophia came the soft invitation “Stay True to Yourself”

I doubted that it came from the Holy but again came the whispered invitation,

“Stay True to Yourself”

As I relaxed into the Holy Presence of the Trinity, I knew.

I knew right now all that was being asked of me was to stay true to myself.

Trust the Presence in the journey of discovering who I am in Love

And in that trusting to always stay true to myself.

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Abandon Myself

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“I shall sing praises and blessings to your Name, as I abandon myself into your Heart moment by moment.” (emphasis mine) For You are the Love and Mind of our galaxy! –Psalms for Praying by Nan C. Merrill

Abandon:  According to the dictionary, the verb tense means “to give up completely (a course of action, a practice, or a way of thinking)”.  The noun tense means a “complete lack of inhibition or restraint”.

I read this phrase “abandon myself” and I recoil.

This abandoning myself…let go of all control?

You have got to be kidding me, right, Abba?

Okay fine, but don’t be expecting happy songs here!

This abandoning myself…talk about overwhelming fear.

All the what ifs relentlessly attack me:

“There is no way you can trust Abba’s heart

There is no way he has your best in mind

Don’t let go of control, you’ll only get hurt in the end.

Don’t trust him, you’ll never be able to please him.

Whatever you do, don’t abandon yourself into his heart.”

But then I look at Abba God sitting next to me waiting patiently.

And in my heart I know what I’ve known all along.

To abandon myself into His heart is a beautiful thing.

Abba is Love and Presence.

Abba is not able to feel malice when I abandon myself into His heart.

He only longs for me to know His heart of love moment by moment

I don’t need to work hard to please Abba.

There is nothing that I can do to make him love me more.

Abba doesn’t want me to just give myself to Him;

Abba invites me to abandon myself into His heart.

Enter into a Heart that beats with intense Love for me.

Moment by moment the invitation is always there.

I cannot escape Abba’s Love or His Presence.

can choose, however, to abandon myself into His heart moment by moment.

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Photo credits: Google images

 

 

 

 

The Holy Pause

I wrote this poem while at a silent retreat with the theme of “breathe

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It’s in the still of the night

And the trail of the shooting star.

It’s in the roar of the wind

And the kiss of the sun.

It’s in the echo of the train

And the sad lullaby of the dove.

It’s in the breath of the breeze

And the sigh of the pines.

It’s in the embrace of the tree

And the soft caress of the grass.

It’s in the chime of the church bell

And the slowing of time.

It’s in the scent of the lilacs

And the smell of the spring rain.

It’s in the song of the mockingbird

And the buzz of the bee.

It’s in the music of the brook

And the rustle of wildlife.

It’s in the longing of the soul

And the holy silence of the chapel.

The Holy dwells around us and in us

And the pause waits within.

The stillness of the pause rests gently upon us

And the Holy breathes over us a blessing of peace.

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Photo credits: Google Images

Psalm of the Heart

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Abba, I’m down on my knees reaching my hands to you.

Hands that once were fists clenched against my chest

Holding fiercely to my anger and stubborn rebellion,

Not willing to release my grief, distrusts, fears, doubts, and dreams.

I’ve raged at you for past betrayals.

I’ve pummeled your chest for taking my dad away from me.

I’ve labeled you abusive and controlling just like other “spiritual” authorities in my life.

Where were you when I was hurting and lonely?

Do you still look the other way when those feelings wash over me?

Sometimes you feel so distant and cold; I cry out your name but only dead silence answers.

Do you really care when grief drowns me and anger squeezes the breath right out of me?

How can you possibly love a bedraggled, wary stray like me?

But Abba, you love me, you dream wild for me, you long for me.

You never walked away; you never turned your back on me.

You sat down beside me in the numbing, addictive muck of sin where I wallowed

Your arms of grace open wide waiting for me to turn to you.

No matter what I do, no matter what I say, you never stop loving me.

Thank you for always being here with me.

Abba, please forgive me for hurting you, for not trusting you.

I fall into your arms of mercy, resting in your love.

I hear your heart beat delight in me; I hear your whispered longings for me.

And without a doubt I know I am Abba’s daughter and I am loved.

 

Provide

Isaac walking with Abraham to the altar for a time of worship

He says, “Father, we have the wood and the fire but where is the ram for sacrifice?”

Abraham says, “God himself will provide the ram.”

Isaac had no clue that his father was prepared to sacrifice his only son;

Isaac thought God would provide.

Abraham thought the provision of a promise was going to go up in smoke in front of his eyes.

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When it looks like we’re giving all we’ve got

And we’re putting our very heart’s desire on the altar

Where’s our statement that God will provide?

We want only good things provided for us

But what if God’s good provisions don’t make sense to us?

What if it looks like God only provides tough trials, strong temptation, difficult decisions, and hard choices?

What if God says my heart is to provide with your inherent good in mind but first you need to trust me?

What is God asking you to trust him to provide on your walk to the altar of worship?

(This post is part of the Five Minute Friday Link-up with Kate Motaung)

Conflict in the Calling

The conflict inside of me:

Conflict of beliefs, of calling, of invitation.

Conflict of stay or go

Conflict of doubt or believe

Conflict of question or trust

Conflict of safety or adventure

Conflict of tradition or reckless faith

Conflict of family or true belonging

Conflict of logical understandings or heart yearnings

Conflict of the old me or Abba’s dream for me.

The calling within me:

Whispers of calling, of the Gentle Voice of invitation.

Whispers of outrageous love

Whispers of gentle wooing

Whispers of brave courage

Whispers of relentless grace

Whispers of eternal redemption

Whispers of greater purpose

Whispers of reckless passion

Whispers of fierce peace

Whispers of “Come to Me”

Whispers of “Stay with Me”

Whispers of “Walk beside Me”

Whispers of a calling beyond my wildest dreams

A song of intimate invitation

A song of delight breathed over me by my Abba

Abba surrounding me with his whispered love song.

The Consult with the Master Surgeon

Pain deep inside wrapping itself around the center of my heart.

Anger wrapping its tentacles around my heart, squeezing the pain inside.

Distrust oozing throughout the depths of my heart.

This trifecta of infection slowly eating away my heart.

The infection spreading to my thoughts, my feelings.

The center of my heart hiding a gangrenous wound

When in walks the Surgeon.

The Surgeon tells me he sees me, the very center of me.

He knows the oozing wound;

He feels the steady, spread of my pain.

He senses the anger radiating from me, the distrust making me recoil from His touch.

He sits down on the edge of my bed where I lay nursing my pain.

He looks me in the eye and He tells me gently what He sees.

His x-ray vision missing nothing, His diagnosis right on target.

He knows better than I do what lies deep inside me.

I want to stay in a fetal position, curled around the wounds, protecting my pain.

But He takes my hands; He exposes my vulnerable, hurting heart.

He explains that I need to trust Him, trust His hands wielding the Surgeon’s instruments.

He tells me He’s performed these surgeries many times with great success rates.

I tell Him I just want to stay numb – He tells me He wants me to be present with Him.

I tell Him I’m scared the healing process will hurt too much –

He tells me He’ll be right beside me all the way.

He tells me the debridement of the infection will hurt but He’ll be gentle.

I tell Him I really don’t trust Him.

He says, “That’s okay but I’m not leaving because you need Me.”

 

 

Runnin’ Ain’t the Answer

Pain is deep

Emotions run amok

Sobs surface guttural and raw

Tears trace rivers of sadness down your cheeks.

Runnin’ from life’s betrayals beckons as survival.

Driving on the highway and the song “Daddy’s Hands” starts playing on the radio

Bringing on the waves of pain, sadness, and grief.

Grief that you keep hoping would stop feeling so raw at moments when least expected.

Sadness and feelings of debilitating loss hit me in the pit of my stomach

And suddenly I want to push the speedometer to the max

Then maybe, just maybe, I could outrun missing my dad.

Sitting across from the therapist

Finding the voice of who I was meant to be.

Speaking out of who I’ve been all along

That person who’s been kept under lock and key

The hurts rising out of the depths of my heart and shown the light of truth.

The lies tell me if only I would run back to my addiction

Then maybe, just maybe, I could numb the pain; the emotions wouldn’t hurt.

But runnin’ away from the pain ain’t the answer.

It’s never been and never will be.

Running’s only an answer when I run the right direction.

Run toward the open arms of Jesus.

Run toward him even if I’m dubious of his love, his intent.

Run toward him even if he seems too far away; he comes to meet me where I am.

Run toward him; he’s the only hope and strength I’ve got left.

 

In the Waiting

Take Courage by Kristene DiMarco

Take courage my heart, stay steadfast my soul
He’s in the waiting, He’s in the waiting
Hold onto your hope, as your triumph unfolds
He’s never failing, He’s never failing

“Stay steadfast my soul. He’s in the waiting”

But what if the soul is on shaky ground?

How does one stand strong when He’s not around?

Stay: “remain in position”

Even in the position of vulnerability? in the position of wearying battle?

Remain when doubts wipe away my faith?

Remain in the position of steadfast when surrounded by loneliness?

Steadfast: “resolutely firm, unwavering”

Resolute in the face of strong temptation?

Unwavering though the questions are a whirlwind of persuasion?

The meaning of steadfast is lost when in the heavy despair of waiting.

Waiting: “the action of staying where one is…until a particular time”

How can it be an action when it seems I am stuck?

How can I stay where I am when the in-between seems uncomfortable?

How can I know when the particular time has arrived?

Is He really here in the heavy silence of waiting?

Is He really sitting with me in the murky depths of doubt?

Is He really beside me in the battle?

Does He really surround me dispelling the loneliness?

“Hold onto your hope, as your triumph unfolds”

Hold on when your last shred of hope is slipping from your grasp.

Hold on when you’re too weak to believe.

Hold on to His promises when He seems to have forgotten you.

Hold on to hope when you forget all else.

Hold on to the promise of presence when you feel as though you can’t go on.

The triumph of His presence unfolds in the hope you clutch in your grasp.

He unfolds your triumph in the waiting.

The waiting you soldiered through

In hope

In triumph

In the waiting

He is here.

Jesus, our Shepherd, has been here beside us all along.