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

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Chewing on Mercy

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Bits n' bobs*.  That is often how I experience God speaking.  Here and there. A little bit from here and a 'bob' from there---slowly, over time, a theme begins to emerge.  From His Word, His people, a song, a book, nature, and His still small voice whispering into my soul... He speaks. And, if I am listening, I begin to hear Him.

I just finished an excellent book on forgiveness.  Not an easy topic for anyone.  I know.  This author certainly doesn't skirt the reality of hard. And, in fact, emphasizes the truth that calling offense: "pain", "wrong" and "real", is an important step in genuine forgiveness.  In order to truly forgive we have to look the reality square in the face... take account, and remember.  Not easy.  For anyone.  I know. How in the world do we ever truly forgive?

Through the whole book, one particular phrase jumped off the pages at me and has been swimming in the recesses of my mind for these weeks.  The words like chewing gum... only the taste doesn't go away... it gets stronger and more pungent.

I have been chewing on these words...  Love mercy**

The author takes this phrase from Micah 6:8, where Micah reminds us what God wants of us:  To love mercy... 

As I have chewed  on this phrase, there have been many thoughts feeding me from this theme.  A pinch of this and a tablespoon of that...  The flavor of the phrase is coming alive.

Those who have been forgiven much, love much.  (Luke 7:47)

Love that comes from God...  (1 John 4:7)

And, mercy triumphs over judgement... are just a few.  (James 2:13)

What might it look like for me to live in this truth, day-in-and-day-out:  to love, delight in, rejoice in, run-to... mercy.   To choose mercy first.   To choose mercy toward my family, my friends, my neighbors... and myself.

When I feel the natural urge to correct or to speak... love mercy.
When I want to punish... rejoice in mercy.
When he has done that yet again... adore mercy.
When I feel mis-understood... delight in mercy.
When I fall to temptation and feed my face with other loves...  relish and receive mercy.

Love it, Stephanie.  Love mercy.

Oh how I DO love mercy!  What would I do without it?  Where in the world would I be without the mercy of God!?  I do love mercy.  But, help me with my un-love, Lord.

Gently, the Lord whispers an invitation to my heart...  Love much.  Can you be merciful ---love mercy---in this situation, Stephanie?  Right now, here.  Today, can you love much?  

Just chewing and tasting...

"Love is the last thing we need to ration in this world"~Brene Brown, Rising Strong
*Bits n bobs phrase **Definition of mercy

Saturday, April 23, 2016

This Disease is Killing Us

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I treasure those beautiful moments when you are speaking truth to a friend and, it seems, the Holy Spirit is simultaneously nudging and whispering, "Are you listening to this?"  Like a mirror reflecting an image, your own voice bounces back and you hear yourself...  or you hear His voice in your words.

It is that very moment when the words of truth pouring out are the very water my soul needs.   Pouring out and drinking in, all at the same time.

I was speaking with a friend who was sharing her new diagnosis of a long-term illness: an illness I am very, very familiar with.*  She was sharing with me her fears and her anxieties.  Of course she is afraid!  Of course this is troubling.  It sucks!  I hear you, friend.  I hear you.

After listening and empathizing with the frustration, sadness and "suck-ness" of her situation, I heard these words slip out of my mouth, "I have had this disease for 30 years.  And, I promise you--- I promise you!--- the worry and fear, through the years, has robbed FAR more from me than the disease has ever done".  Yes, disease robs and steals.  But, worry and fear rob far more.

Worry robs more than reality.  Every time...  

Worry robs more... 

Always.  It is just the truth.

I have been reading a lot about the brain recently and we know, even scientifically, that worry is a future oriented thought process.  In order to worry, we have to be thinking of the future---not the now. Not the real, right-now reality of our lives.  Worry is the "what ifs" and "will it?" "will they?" and the "how will I?", "can I?"...  The worry isn't real.  It isn't true.  It is make believe.  Always.  Tomorrow may truly never come.  Tomorrow isn't real, or true.  Worry about tomorrow, according to brain experts, is simply a waste of important energy.  Unfortunate, unproductive (even damaging) and a wasteful firing of neurons.

(Funny how science eventually catches up with the Bible... Matthew 6:34 and James 4:13-14)

This 'make-believe' we play in our heads steals and robs from our today.  In fact, it is literally physically killing us.  When we worry and fear, our bodies release a powerful hormone; one that can throw off the balance of all our body chemistry and has detrimental affects on our health and well being when it is regularly released.  Worry is deadly.  Worry and fear steal from our minds, our bodies and our souls. They do very little to help us.  (...the occasional need to run from a bear or escape an earthquake are the rare times that we are grateful for this hormone released from worry or fear!)

I have learned through the years to stop and prayerfully ask myself two questions:  First, "what story am I telling myself?"  and, secondly,  "What is real? or What is actually true, the mere facts, right now?"

Answering these questions brings grounding.  While grounded in the now, I can connect to the real of Jesus here.   Him here today.  Now.

I am learning.  I see it.  And, I am grateful.

I don't know if my friend was able to take-in the testimony I was sharing...  "the worry and fear have robbed more than the disease".    I'm not sure it was for her that day.  I think it may have been just for me.   A good reminder.  I need not worry about tomorrow.  I need never be afraid.

I heard it, Lord.  I hear it and choose again today to trust You.

*If you are curious and would like to read more about my health, healing, and physical journey--- you can read here, here and here (and many other places on this site...)

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Field of Your Choosing

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At the new year, I felt strongly that God was inviting me into a journey through the Old Testament.  It has been a long time since I felt His leading this clearly regarding a place in Scripture to read.  If I am honest, I haven't been a big fan of portions of the Old Testament.  It can be a confusing place for me. Often, I seem to be missing something.  ...missing God, misunderstanding God, and His true character.  This invitation was a bit daunting and exciting at the same time.

I am very, very, very slowly making my way through and it truly has been a sweet experience.  My goal is to converse with God as we walk through the Old Testament together.  We have had some great---delightful and difficult--- conversations!  I ask "why?" and tell Him, "I really don't get this!" on a regular basis.  I ask Him to please tell me more.  I also find myself in awe at the revelation of His beautiful character.  I am not missing God this time around!!  

In this slow walk, I often read a section twice or three (or six) times.  We settle down and talk about a section for a while before we move on, sometimes a day later---or even after weeks on end. Yesterday, I was reading the first part of Exodus 17:1-7.  This is when God gives His thirsty people water from a rock.  Water from a rock...  Just think about that! Amazing!  I was struck by God's faithfulness to His people over and over.  They are in bondage--- He delivers.  They are in danger---He destroys their foes.  They are hungry---He feeds.  They are lost--- He leads.  They are thirsty--- He gives them water to drink (multiple times!).  I spent the remainder of my time yesterday praising His compassion, faithful love, and generosity.  

Today, as I sat down, I wondered if we should walk-on from here.  Nah... let's read it again.  
I read the same passage and new words jumped off the page.  I hadn't even noticed them yesterday:

"traveling from place to place, as the Lord commanded" (17:1)  God was leading the Israelites every step-of-the-way.  

I immediately thought:  You brought them to a place that had no water!  No water.  On purpose? What!? With feelings lingering close to indignation, yet mixed with amusement, I asked:  Why, Lord? What is this about?  Why would You lead them to a place with no water?  

The phrase which came to my mind after I asked this question was jarring:  The Lord is my Shepherd.

In recent years, this phrase has become a touch-stone for me: sweet words of comfort.  Words given by God as a gift of peace and a way back to joy. Through years of chronic pain, multiple moves, food allergies, and strange physical symptoms God has reminded me that I can trust Him to lead me exactly to the right field at the right time.  He owns me and loves me and will walk me, leading, every step of the way.  I don't have to worry... I can just watch my Shepherd and follow.  He knows.  He cares.  I can trust.  

Last night, in the midst of a bout of sleeplessness, I found myself utterly frustrated---even angry.  I didn't know who I was angry with---I was just angry.  Lack of sleep can do that to ya...  right?!  Similar to the Israelites in Exodus 17, I just wanted to complain and grumble:  Why am I even in this bed, tonight?  Did I come here, to this bed, to die of sleep deprivation? To toss and turn and rot?  

In the midst of tossing and turning, I remembered the comforting phrase and it truly brought calm and trust... the Lord is my Shepherd.  You are my Shepherd, God!  Within these words live a myriad of lessons.  I can believe that if this 'insomnia field' is the field He has brought me--- then, in this very field...  I will go, I can walk. I can lie down and trust Him.  He knows me.  He knows what I need.  His wisdom is pure and it sits on a foundation of love.  

Plain and simple, God does indeed bring His people... time-and-time-again... to places where there is no water to drink.   He leads them into battles.  Desert lands.  Foggy fields.  Dark places.  Will I now hear the invitation to watch and wait for Him to quench my thirst?  Will I expect water from a rock and manna from heaven? And, can I trust Him when I am left in the dungeon like Joseph for years on end?  

I walk with you in this field, the field of Your choosing, my good Shepherd.  

Sunday, April 17, 2016

A Psalm of Thankgiving

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I heard a beautiful sermon this morning on gratitude.  Psalm 136, in it's entirety, was read out from the front with the congregation following along and repeating the phrase "His love endures forever" after each line.  A call and response:
1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
2 Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.
3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever...
It was a very moving moment, with my eyes closed, as I listened to the testimony of what God had done for the Israelites and we all spoke out the truth of His enduring love.

The preacher said that "Biblical gratitude is based on history---on grounded facts and experience. Biblical thankfulness and gratitude is 'looking back' at what God has done and who He is."

My instinct in that very moment was to jump up and speak out (shout!) my own praise and thankfulness.  So, instead, I will use my voice here and write my own Psalm...

here I go, off the cuff---

Psalm one-thirty-six(b)
a psalm of Stephanie

1  Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good,
His love endures forever.
2  Give praise to the Almighty God, who created the world and all the beauty we see,
His love endures forever.
3  Give thanks to my God, who sent His Son to save and deliver His people from darkness,
His love endures forever.
4  to Him that sent His Spirit to dwell in us and to lead us into all truth,
His love endures forever.
5  to Him that provides for our every need,
His love endures forever.
6  who feeds us and clothes us and comforts us when we are sad,
His love endures forever.
7 Give thanks to the God of gods, the Lord of lords,
His love endures forever.
8 He knows all things and His wisdom is pure and holy,
His love endures forever.
9 He has given us eyes to see, ears to hear and tongues to taste.
His love endures forever.
10  for yellow, red, blue and green; laughing and bird song; chocolate and peanut butter
His love endures forever.
11  Give praise to our God, whose heart is close and whose hand is mighty,
His love endures forever.
12  For finding me in that dark place and saving my sad and angry soul,
His love endures forever.
13  For speaking love over me and sending me words of truth,
His love endures forever.
14  and bringing me a man to walk through life and love me well,
His love endures forever.
15 to Him that led us overseas and taught us many things,
His love endures forever.
16 Give thanks to my God, who gifted me with miracle-babies,
His love endures forever.
17 and delivered and healed me from debilitating illness,
His love endures forever.
18 and destroyed the shaking one and rescued me from oppression.
His love endures forever.
19 He remembers me in my humble state.
His love endures forever.
20 And walks with me daily with the invitation of more of His Spirit,
His love endures forever.
21 and feeds me with His word,
His love endures forever.
22 Give thanks to the God of Stephanie, who allows long nights of insomnia,
His love endures forever.
23  and speaks of His wisdom.
He is completing His work in her, and teaching her to trust,
His love endures forever.
24 He has an inheritance for her that will not spoil,
 and is calling her forward for more,
His love endures forever.
25  He deeply loves all the people she sees and knows,
He hears and cares and sees,
His love endures forever.
26  and those she has never met,
His love is for the whole world---the nations
His love endures forever.
27  Give thanks to the God of heaven,
His love endures forever.

I wonder if this wouldn't be a fabulous weekly or monthly practice.  I might give-it-a-go!  Write a psalm... and remember all He has done and especially, essentially, the truth that His love endures forever!  

If you write your own Psalm and want to share... send it along!   I would love to rejoice in your testimony, too!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Why I Write...

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I write because I am so glad they did...

God Almighty, thank you, for Your Word!

Moses...  thank you, for Genesis and Exodus.  

Isaiah, thank you!  

Peter and Paul, thank you for putting your thoughts:  His heart, His Thoughts--- to paper. John, thank you, for recording the movements of Jesus and His words.  

St. Augustine, thank you, for attempting to articulate your journey.  

Thank you...Oswald Chambers, Andrew Murray, Henri Nouwen, C.S. Lewis, Hannah Whithall Smith, Brother Lawrence, Madam Guyon, T.J. MacLeslie, Brene Brown, St. Teresa of Avilla, Ann Voskamp, Brian Wells, George MacDonald, Henry Cloud and John Townsend, Lauren Winner...

...they just wrote--- or are currently writing.  

And, I am so very glad.   I am deeply grateful.  

Known...  Unknown.  The famous and the obscure.  
"If you cannot express yourself on any subject, struggle until you can.  If you do not, someone will be the poorer all the days of his life.  Struggle to re-express some truth of God and God will use that expression to someone else.  ...it will become the very wine of strengthening to someone else...  the author that benefits you most is not the one who tells you something you did not know before, but the one who gives expression to the truth that has been dumbly struggling in you for utterance."  (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, December 15th)  
This is another reason why I will continue to write...  

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

How Did I Get Here?

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Off kilter and out of sorts.  I didn't wake up feeling this way.  A few hours into the day... that is where I was.  Out-of-wack.  Not at peace.  How did I get here?

Curiosity, is what Brene Brown suggests:  just remain curious about what you are feeling and experiencing.  Look at it and ask "why"?  

Awareness and awakeness are the words I have been using for the last few years.  Lord, make me more awake and aware.   Larry Crabb calls it the "red-dot-moment".  (That shopping mall map that tells you with a red-dot:  "You are here")

Where am I, Lord?  

I know that Scripture assures us of our inheritance in Christ.  We have been given a great gift because of His sacrifice.  A gift of the now and the "not-yet", to be sure: but, a gift to open today and enjoy.  He has given me a living inheritance:  He has given me His peace and His love to remain in and within which we can abide.   I have a home, a place to sit and I can rest.  A pathway to walk that is peace, joy, hope and security.  This is the inheritance that is mine.  And, yours.  Ours in Jesus:  our true home.  I can always live there.  It is 'on offer' to me always.  

I am struck by the deliverance of Israel in Exodus 14 and then the song sung to God in Exodus 15--- God's heart for His people:  His good plan---  unfailing love and strength can be our dwelling, His holiness. (Exodus 15:13)
"You will bring them in and plant them on the mountain of your inheritance—
the place, Lord, you made for your dwelling, the sanctuary, Lord, your hands established." Exodus 15:17
This plan was fulfilled in Christ Jesus.  Because of Him, we have a place to live.   You and I are planted; rooted and established in love.  I have a secure, paid-for-place to live every moment of every day--- an inheritance of peace and love.

But, I forget... I wander.  I stray away from my home.  I get up from this restful place and I step off the path of His love.  I get off kilter in the brush and bramble beside the road.   Like my brothers and sisters the Israelites of old, dark "pursuers" ride toward me; from within and without.   Horse and rider yell out at me or whisper from within "be afraid... be very afraid".  Lies.  All lies.  This also can happen any day.  Moment by moment.

When I remain curious, by His help, I am becoming more keenly aware of when I am off the path and out-of-step with His Spirit.  This morning was one of those moments.  Becoming aware is such a huge, beautiful key!

I became aware... hours after wandering... and simply stopped and asked the Lord for help.  Holy Spirit, help me.  I know where I am.  Now, how did I get here?  

I sat, prayed, quieted my heart and listened.  He brought to mind one small thing---then another--- It was one small flash-point in my morning.  A simple, quiet, niggling--certainly not earth shattering---reality in my body (my health) that triggered worry.  Ah!  more awakeness...  more awareness.   Thank you, Lord. This small moment had clearly brought up bigger, older fears.  Old patterns of coping--- worry, wondering what-might-happen-if, calculating.   It had started with the one instance... then next a piece of news in email (now further off the path!) and then the memory.  Ah!  Like a quiet cascade... the journey to wander at that point was in full swing.

Okay, I had wandered off the path.  Now, I knew when I left my home of peace.

Thank you, Lord.  Now, would You bring me back.  Bring me back inside, Lord.

He says... Open Your hands and surrender to My love and speak Truth to Your soul!

I choose to surrender to Your unfailing love.  I accept "what is" and choose to stop thinking about "what might be".  I offer my body to You--- You are my good Shepherd, my kind Father...  my Creator.  You made my body---so I give it to You to care for!  I am yours.  I don't have to worry.  I don't ever have to fear. You have a place of love for me to rest in---to live in.  I resist the lies in the name of Jesus.  I stand firm, by Your blood, against the worry and fear.  Even when I am in pain... even when my body is wacky... Your Love, Truth and Light are secure.  I receive it!  I let go of fixing this, figuring it out, or worrying about it.  I open my hands and receive Your love and this place of peace.  I choose to sit down in it and rest.  

I sat down in peace and walked on.  My body's reality hasn't changed, the news on email was still hard--- but where I am walking is different.  Stand firm, be still, AND move on (walk forward)--- this is what God tells His people in Exodus (Ex 14:13-18).  What a paradox!  Stand firm.  Walk onward. Trust and obey.

Out of the brambles.... back on the road.  A few hours away---  I now welcome and delight in the gift of peace.  For now, by His grace, I abide in His love.  Lord, make me more awake and aware!  More of You Jesus in me.  

"I will sing to the Lord, for He has triumphed gloriously.  The horse and his rider have been hurled into the sea.  The Lord is my strength and my deliverer.  He is my salvation.  ...The Lord is a warrior"  (Exodus 15)

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Small things

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Small, seemingly insignificant moments in my every day.  Seconds.  Minutes.  My spiritual growth seems so clearly linked to these moments.   Awareness and attentiveness to the small things a key.  "Paying attention to what you are paying attention to" is what Curt Thompson writes is crucial to the renewed mind in Christ.  

It seems that these every-day, mundane realities and problems are where some of my greatest battles are fought and victories won.  

These real things---the laundry pile, the “to do” list, the spill on the floor, the thing I forgot to do, the mistake, the friend who is struggling, the phone call I need to make--- these things fight for my attention, my thoughts and my allegiance.  Now, fair enough, each small moment can be linked to big, tough realities; but it is that wisp-of-time that counts.   That spark of a moment.  In those passing seconds, growth can happen.  

When the sudden concerned decision about what to make for dinner, or the drifting thought to 'that’ part of my body which is less than ‘perfect’, or even that creeping fear when I feel the physical ache in my stomach again--- it is in these small moments that something big and important is found and fought for.  It is here that I have a choice.  

Planning, thinking, calculating, doing, answering, figuring, fixing, worrying, or hiding… these are my natural bend.  Sometimes these natural skills are gifts from God, to be sure; but these pathways can become quick idols and in those snippets of seconds these coping strategies can steal from my faith and trust.  

This morning I heard something else.  Was it the Spirit of Jesus that whispered, just as the 'calculating and planning' had begun in my head?  A peaceful, gentle word:  “You know… there is another way.” 

There is another way, Stephanie.  

It was in this moment today I had a choice.  Worry was tugging on my mind.  Which “drawer” in my mind would I go to?  Which pathway would I choose?  His Spirit reminds my heart that He has given me peace, rest and a place to sit---still and secure.  This “drawer” is available to me in that moment.  Every moment.  

Can you trust me now, Stephanie.  For this too?  You have another way available…  Talk to me about what to cook for dinner, about your friend, about your body, and about your laundry pile.   Talk to me.  Rest in me.  Remain.  Ask.  Seek and knock.  

There is another way.  In this very moment.  

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Looking for the Rainbow

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It rains often where I live.  A lot.  ...I mean it... it rains a lot!

As I sit here and glance out the window, I see the rain begin again... It is our 'normal' here.  And, I don't hate it.  I know that I live in a very green land and, in truth, we are green here because of the rain.  Green and rain go hand-and-hand.  Today, though, I realize that it is raining while at the same time it is bright and sunny. With that recognition comes excitement.   My heart leaps with a happy thought, "There will be a rainbow!"  Somewhere I know there will be a rainbow.  I just have to find it!  Go looking for it...

Praying, a few months back, for my two children, my mother's heart was asking that my kids would be spared from pain--- this specific pain, that pain, ANY pain, Lord.   Spare them from any pain, Lord. In that moment, as the cry of my heart issued forth, my attention was drawn immediately to the window.  I looked outside and saw the rain.  In the quietness and with a gentle whisper, I felt the Lord breathe a truth into my heart...  In order for green and growth, we need sunshine AND rain, Stephanie. Both are necessary.   

Sunshine and rain.  

I know this.  We all know this.  But, oh!, how we feel when the rain and storms of life come.  With this kind reminder from God, I began to pray differently.  Okay, Lord.  Yes, I want my children to be 'green' with life!  I want them to grow and flourish in You.  So, Lord... I trust You with the rain.  Bring rain AND sunshine in my children's lives.  Only as much rain as necessary, Father!  ...Lord, protect them from floods and storms that are not necessary to their growth.  Protect them from hail and destructive hurricanes.  But, I say "yes and amen!" to Your gifts of sunshine and rain in their lives.  

I pray.  I begin again to trust and believe--- Lord, help me with my unbelief.  And, I ask that they would grow.  I also pray that they would look for and see more and more rainbows.  Go looking for it...

Friday, April 1, 2016

A New Place to Live

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Egypt.  A place where God's people were enslaved.  It was also a place they lived and worked.  They had families, settled in homes, cooked, ate, drank and married... 400 years of "normal".  This was their home; but, they were not free.  God hears the pain of this reality---their slavery--- and He makes a way for them to leave.  He gives them their freedom.

For a few days, I have been feeling out of sorts.  ...not free.  ...not at peace.  In reading Exodus 13 this morning, I had the thought---and a prayer rise up: what is the Egypt you delivered me from?  

I, too, lived in Egypt long ago...  working, living, settled down... but not free.  And, through Jesus, God has delivered me out. What did my "Egypt" look like?  What is the Egypt You delivered me from, Lord?

my egypt was ...love starved.  ...a dry and desert place.  ...lacking  ...a place where I lacked the deep knowledge of His unconditional love, so I ran about looking and longing for it.
my egypt was ...lonely  ...sad  ...driven and productive  ...a place where I was "hustling for my worthiness" (as Brene' Brown talks about in Daring Greatly.)  ...hustling for love, for okay-ness,  ...hustling for peace.
my egypt was a place where I had to earn my okay-ness and it was dependent on what others thought of me  ...it was a place where I felt I must be perfect to be loved.   ..it was a confused place  ...a nervous place.  ...a place I had to be ever calculating and fixing.

As I processed and prayed through this passage, I was struck by God's heart for His people.  He has such great compassion, understanding and wisdom.  He makes a way for the Israelite people to leave Egypt---yes; and, yet, because He also knows them so well, He makes the way longer and more arduous. He knows if the way is shortened, they would be tempted to go back.   With a wise and loving heart, God 'burns the bridges' that lead back to lead them back to Egypt.  He takes away their options.  He makes retreat impossible.
"When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea." (Exodus 13:17-18)
He delivered me, too, from "my egypt".   And...He also knows my heart so well!  He knows that I might change my mind and run back...  just like my brothers and sisters, the Israelites.   Indeed, I do feel the temptation to live in that egypt from time-to-time, to be sure!  We are so prone to run back to what feels normal or comfortable---even if it is slavery.

These last few days, I think maybe I have been living in the memory--- or in the shadow of my egypt, Lord.  
God reminds me that He burned that bridge for me with Christ's "it is finished" sacrifice.  He says "the old is gone and the new has come!"  (2 Corinthians 2:15)

As they are leaving Egypt, God reminds them... yet again... to take no yeast from Egypt.   He reminds me, again, this morning that I need to be aware of the "yeast" I used and lived with, in my old"egypt" land.  These are old things... things to be seen, noted, and discarded.  It is where I once lived.  But, not where I live today.  Or, at least, not where I must live today.  Instead He has delivered me into a new place...   a place of freedom.

So, I ask Him now.  What is the promised-land to which I have been delivered, Lord?  

My promised land is ...rich in love. ...a place where I can know and walk in the deep knowledge of His unconditional love.  I don't have to run anywhere or do anything to find it.
My promised land is  ...full  ...connected ....relational ...a place where I don't have to earn my worth---it has been earned for me!  ...a place where I have been given, as a gift, peace and joy and fullness.  I have enough.  I am enough in Him.
My promised land is a place where His Presence is always with me.  ...grace and mercy are in abundance  ...I am strong and okay and firmly planted on Him.

I want to live in this reality today, Lord.  I want to live with You in this land... my promised land: Your love.  

"As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you.  Now, remain in my love." (John 15:9)    Live in my love

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