Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Hole-y? Wholely? Holy?

Are you "hole-y" like me? I am riddled with holes on any given day.  

Holes in MY plans to be a good wife, mother, daughter, friend, child of the King...

Holes in my intentions; holes in words and thoughts; and some days, holes in my heart too.

Something from my Bible Study really struck me this week: "We all have God-given hungers for acceptance and satisfaction." 

And the truth is, only God can fill those holes.

Maybe wholely describes you better? Whatever you're doing, you're doing it wholely...with your whole self - - - 110% !?

I asked myself that question today: do I seek Him with my whole heart?

One of my favorite verses is Jeremiah 29:13...

Many of you may know Jer 29:11; it's very popular, but I believe the next 2 verses really MAKE the passage and pack a powerful punch.

Here's all 3:

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." (emphasis mine)

Do I seek Him with ALL my heart? If I'm being honest, I have to say no.  I'm not even sure what seeking Him wholeheartedly looks like.  There was another good analogy in my study today; it basically asked, do you hunger for Bread of Life the way starving children hunger for food?

That's something to chew on (no pun intended!)...

And then there's Holy...

and guess what? I am Holy; you are Holy too if you have accepted Christ's amazing sacrifice on the cross! If you have made Him Lord of your life, confessed your sin and asked His forgiveness!

You are REDEEMED! 

I am REDEEMED! My life, my sinful, human, weak life and the multitude of unworthy that it contains, is covered by the blood of Jesus.

I am HOLY! Even it seems like blasphemy to proclaim it, I cannot deny the truth and I am so glad for it!

Because He was spotless...without sin...perfect - I don't have to be and yet He loves me.  He forgives me; His blood covers me and makes me holy.

My effort this week is to remember that redemption daily; how undeserved it that I can continually thank Him for it.

Friday, January 18, 2013


Wow! Have you ever been so blown away, so overwhelmed, so excited even that you just could not help but allow tears to slip down your face?
It just happened to me and even though they are tears of joy, I can't stop them from flowing.

It's not the first time this has happened to me, and Lord willing, it will not be the last.

You see, I started a new Bible Study a little over a week ago.  It's called "Duty or Delight: Knowing Where You Stand with God."


Last Wednesday when I attended the opening session, I was already putting myself out there.  I didn't really know any of the other ladies in the group and I was abandoning the group I have studied with and fellowshipped with for the last 4 or 5 years in an effort to connect with women at my new church.
We read the intro together and I wanted to run! I was scared!

The writer talks about our relationships with God and how to get the most out of the study.  I got the distinct impression, this was going to involve me being very vulnerable and open.  I'm gonna need to be honest and share with these ladies I don't know, not so they will know me better, but so I can get more benefit from this study.

I'm just not sure I'm ready to reveal my crazy to complete strangers! BUT THEN...

then, the first week was about how we can know God has chosen us. Ephesians 1:4 "For He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight."

The first week of this study asks some powerful questions, the ones that are difficult to answer:

  • Do you picture more of yourself pursuing God or Him pursing you?
  • Do you strive more for earthly perfectionism or Spiritual perfectionism and should you really strive for either?
  • Do you ever say to yourself, "God has much bigger things to worry about than me?"
  • What am I afraid of and why have I not handed those fears over to the Lord?
  • How am I letting my shame over past events or actions affect me and my relationship with God, NOW?
See what I mean? They aren't easy answers; they're what I would call pondering questions...

But remember the topic of his weeks lessons? 


Tonight I decided to catch up on some reading and I went to a blog post I missed earlier this week.
You can check it out here.
It's a guest post on Ann Voskamps's blog, but please do not let that deter you! It is every bit as powerful as what you are accustomed to reading there.

And Liz Curtis Higgs makes the statement about Saul (not yet Paul) "But God chose Saul. Chose him."
And it hit me right in the face! This week has come full circle for me.

God chose someone like Saul (which means "asked for, prayed for"), someone who persecuted Christians and tried his best to destroy the church, who stood by and watched Stephen stoned to death...

to become Paul (which means "small, humble").  Paul, who would go on to write at least 12 books of the Bible.  Paul, who in the greeting of the book of Romans refers to himself as a "servant of Christ" and later, as a prisoner of Christ Jesus.


If He can choose someone like Saul and completely change them into someone like Paul all because He had a plan, why do I fail to believe that He can change me? That He can use me? That He has a great plan for ME?

Oh, ME, of little faith!

Wouldn't you know my favorite verse this week is about GRACE? God's Divine Grace...

Hebrews 4:16 "Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time."

And lastly, one of my favorite activities, personalizing a meaningful verse, because that's how He meant for us to read them:

Ephesians 1:4  For He chose ME, LESLIE, in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight.

Jeremiah 29:11-13 For I know the plans I have for LESLIE, declares the Lord, plans to prosper her and not to harm her, plans to give her hope and a future.  Then Leslie will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to her. She will seek me and find me when she seeks me with all her heart.

My prayer for you, sweet friend, is that grace will find you this week.  That you will know, He chose you and He has a plan for you.
Please pray for me as I strive to reveal myself in this study and truly feel chosen by Him.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year to you!  

I don't know what you did for New Year's Eve, but as I lay in bed last night (barely still awake at midnight, much less celebrating) I listened to fireworks and I thought.

I wrote, entire blog post, plus some, in my head.  I do this a lot but for some reason most of it never actually makes it to my blog.

And I pondered reflected on 2012.  Was it a good year? It wasn't what I would deem a bad one.  I'm not a big resolution maker really, so I couldn't base the year on successfully keeping (or not) a resolution.  

My goal is always the same, yet ever changing... be the best ME that I can be... LOVE those who are dear to me, and even those who are hard to love, with the most love that I can muster... be obedient, first to Him, His calling for me, and then to my husband and family... grow closer to Christ for myself, but also that I might share Him with and show Him to others...

they sound like mostly simple things, just like writing a blog post or journal entry SOUNDS like such a simple thing

yet, somehow it FEELS less-than-simple

And then today, I started reading other peoples posts, comments, and general feelings about the exit of 2012 and the start of 2013.  

On one hand, I get so much from reading Ann's words on the subject, along with my new friend, Lori's, thoughts ...
while on the other, reading also invites my ugly green friend in.

I despise envy! It's just so ugly, yet I so often am the dwelling in which it lives! 

Reading their words, I am stuck by the ease and poetic rhythm with which they write.  I can't help but ask, "Why can't it be that easy for me?"

And just as I told someone over the weekend, I have no idea what goes on in other people's heads and hearts; the back -story to the "front" story that I actually get to know / read.  

And I feel guilty...

It is one of the things I work on most under the umbrella of being more like Him...accepting myself as I am, imperfect, faulted, and never deserving of the grace he gives so freely.  I want to be more conscious of all the blessings I have each day, so that less of the "I want that" or "I want to be like that" can creep in.

Accepting myself, with all faults included is also difficult, but I am determined! 
As I lay thinking last night, I mentally celebrated how far I've come in my journey to be "real" with myself and with others.

Tonight as I type, a pitiful and drooping Christmas tree mocks me from across the room.  In desperate need of stripping so that it can be put out of it's misery, it is an eyesore of a reminder that Christmas break was far too short this year.
I almost want to leave it up another week because every year it seems Christmas just zooms by faster and this fast paced world sucks up my holiday joy as it dashes past...almost

Tomorrow, the kids go back to school and the routine resumes.
And the household that I pray a covering of grace for is also covered in dust and what looks like a Christmas explosion!

But it's ok...God didn't make me a great housekeeper, but He did make me teachable.  And even if I never learn to keep an impeccably clean and organized house, I am learning who I am and who He made me to be (while I certainly haven't arrived there)!

Here's to a year full of learning who you are, and loads and loads of grace!