"I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write." ~St. Augustine

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Look at Me!

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How often do we hear it when we are out and about?  At a public swimming pool, a park or the beach...  we hear the cry, "Look at me, Mommy!" or "Watch this!"

Look at me!  

Little children are always clamoring for their parent's attention.  They are blunt and forthright about this longing...  they cry out!  Watch me.  Do you see me!?  Look at me!  

Little girls twirl in their skirts.  Little boys run fast and jump high.  They want to show you something--- they want to show you themselves.  

They want you to see them and take note!  Look at me!  is the heart cry of every child.  

This is my heart cry sometimes, too.  Is it yours?  I think we all still walk around asking the same question from time-to-time.  Do you see me?  With our words and our behavior, we twirl and we run and jump high! We want to be seen and noticed.  We want to be known.  "Look at me!" we cry out.  

I was struck with this thought yesterday as I was reading in John 9.  "As He was going along, He saw a man born blind" (John 9:1)

Jesus saw.  

He took note of this man.  Jesus took note of a man that was overlooked and unseen (and unseeing!)...  He saw him.  Then, to top it off, after healing this man and being separated from him for some time, Jesus goes out of his way again to look for this man.  He searches for him again.  And, Jesus finds him!  (John 9:35)

Jesus sees and He searches.  He is so personal.  He walked around this earth so awake, aware and open!  

Recently, I was thinking and praying about my own struggle with vanity and insecurity.  I was thinking about the temptation toward self-focus and pride.  What is the answer to this age-old plague within me?!  There are times I just want to be noticed.  Just like a little girl in pink, I want to twirl and shout, "Look at me!"

I feel this tendency rising within and I experience a deep need to be noticed.  My natural Stephanie-answer is to correct these feelings and tell them to go away... "you bad feelings-you!"  

Is this the way, Lord Jesus?  As I was praying, I asked the Lord what He might say to this...  Lord Jesus what would You say to this?  Why do I clamor for attention and notice, Lord?  

After processing a few reasons for the "why" in my personal history...  I, then, felt the tender whisper of His truth waft across my mind, "Stephanie, I see you."  

I see you!  

Ah!  my spirit felt relief with this thought  Ah! The answer...  My answer is Him---the God Who Sees!  

I don't have to stop, punish and suppress that childish need to be seen! This age-old question, "Do you see me?!" has been answered!  Yes, I see you!  I have always seen you and am ever watchful.    

I don't have to stop twirling in my pink skirt.  I simply need to remember that I am seen!  He sees me.  I don't have to cry out any longer, Look at me!  He saw me in my mother's womb (Psalm 139:16).  And, He sees and searches for me every day.  

He sees you, too.  So twirl for Him!  Run fast and jump high today.  Bring a smile to His face today!  He has always seen you.  And, He always will.  

Monday, January 6, 2014

Old Habits Die Hard... Time to Chuck Em Out!

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How many of us wear the same old sweatshirt or slippers over and over again... simply because they are comfortable.  Or, known?

I  do. You?

And, maybe in the same way, I think I have gotten used to drama and chaos in my soul.  I've gotten comfy in my insecurities and snugly in my habits of relating badly. Have you?

In contrast, these last few months, I have sensed an increasing peace and quietness that is filling my heart.  I feel relaxed.  For anyone that knows me well... that is a huge statement.  I feel relaxed.

I feel more deeply relaxed than I think I have ever felt before.  A soul-relaxing is happening within me and I believe it is a miracle of the Spirit of God.  Years of praying for trust and faith to build... and a profound rest seems to pervade my soul.

Not that I don't have worried and fearful moments.  Not that I am without anger or sadness or frustration.  Of course not!  No, these are still with me.  Absolutely.

But, honestly, they seem to be situated or even "floating" on top of a firmer foundation- a foundation of rest and joy that God has been building in my life.

Interestingly, though, as I sit to ponder... I am aware of a new discomfort in my soul.  I realize that, if I am honest, I am a bit uneasy with this quiet, peaceful state of mind and heart.  It is as if the feeling of peace is bringing dis-quiet and discomfort.  It doesn't feel "right" or "natural".

Peace feels suspect.  I question it.  I'm skeptical.  Should I feel this calm?  What am I missing?  Is something around the corner?  ...Am I just in denial?  

I wonder and question and then I worry...  And, with the worry comes strange relief... Ah!  now, I feel "normal" and comfy again!    A bit crazy, I know!

I think I have gotten far to used to chaos and commotion in my soul.

Why would peace and joy be suspect and anxiety, guilt or irritability feel "comfortable"?  Or, just known?

I suppose that "wearing" these worries and sins and fears all my life has made them snugly and comfy to my soul... like stinky, wretched old slippers.  Do I actually miss the stirring and straining?

I think it is high time to throw out these noxious old slippers and settle into the new ones God has provided. This is the gift He gives me--- a gift He gives all His kids.  With salvation, He gives us a new normal.  Rest. Peace.  Freedom.  Joy.  All these things are mine to wear... every day.

Which will I put on today?
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