Dirty Corners 🙈

“Lord, I know that you seek me, when I’m trying to hide. And your love, it pursues me, all the days of my life.”

CityAlight – Shepherd

Much is said, it seems, in praise songs about God pursuing us. But these lyrics spoke to me today about hiding. And I made a connection between hiding and light.

Light mesmerizes me, with its playful patterns on my floor, on my walls, on the grass outside…anywhere, really. I take photos of the morning or evening light and hashtag them. I once took a photo to show the delicate morning light in my kitchen, and the brightness exposed a dirty corner that was hiding in the darkness. I couldn’t see all that grime and goodness-knows-what that needed cleaning until the morning sun shone on it. After I cleaned that tiny corner, it looked a lot better.

Lately, I’ve pondered some verses about light in the Bible, which seem to apply to things I’ve been through in the past few months, and which also seem to pop up here and there. In fact, they peeked over the covers of my Write the Word (Faith) journal recently, and waved.

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As a flawed human, I tend to want to hide things that I don’t want to be seen. And that’s when Jesus, as the light of the world, pursues me. For you see, when I am running from the truth, I am running from Him. And what I think will kill me if I face it, will actually set me free if I let Him have it.

It’s such a beautiful truth, literally and figuratively. And one that changed me forever.

Humans run. We hunch over our precious, stinking bundles, and protect them as we flee, furtively looking backwards to see if someone is following, or if someone sees. Even we are afraid to look, so we keep it covered. But an all knowing God sees all, and often, others see through the situation, too. So, who are we fooling? Probably only ourselves.

Sometimes, at rock bottom, it all seems so unfair. But I think the very depths might be part of the pursuit. And if I look up, I see the light. And if I hand over that bundle, Jesus unwraps it and gives it a proper burial. And then, I can stand, walk into the sunshine and take His hand, back on the narrow path again.

I love CityAlight. This is not my favorite song off of their Only a Holy God album, but since it spoke to me today, I’ll post it here. And some epic songs about light follow below by David Crowder, who is currently heavy on my playlist.

I’m not a country or bluegrass fan, but this Crowder song, with its talk of light, made me smile. (Hey! Hey!)

And probably my favorite:

(If I could feel you shine your perpetual light, then maybe I could crawl out of this tonight.)

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Defender 💪🏻

“And all I did was praise. And all I did was worship. And all I did was bow down. And all I did was stay still.”

Part of my story.

❤️🙌🏻😭

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For the First Time in Forever 👸🏻

July 1 might not be that long ago, but it seems like forever. And for the first time since then, I feel like I can move forward. It feels amazing.

This song doesn’t apply to me much at all; and yet, for a few lovely reasons, it does. So, I’m sharing, in case you’ve been under a rock somewhere and haven’t seen Frozen. 😂

 

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Starting a Hashtag Movement: #memasaidshare 💸

Legend has it that my dear mom-substitute liked to share. I was certainly the recipient of her generosity over the years, as were my children and grandchildren. In fact, the story goes that Mema actually said to share.

Thinking about this lately, I’ve decided to start a hashtag movement, and to be the first one to use the tag. As of this writing, nothing comes up on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook under the hashtag #memasaidshare.

So, let’s get started, and here are the rules:

  • Use this tag when someone’s given you an unexpected and undeserved blessing.
  • The connotation is financial, but it can be anything.
  • The giver cannot use the tag.

Note: If you were Carol’s actual grandchild, and you remember her as MeMommie, please feel free to adjust the hashtag to reflect that name.  #Memommiesaidshare is also unused right now. 😄

This past weekend, a lovely person surprised me by paying for my veggies and flowers just as I was checking out at the local farmer’s market. This was an unexpected and (certainly) an undeserved act of kindness. So, here we go:

#memasaidshare 

Unexpected, undeserved favor has another definition that I like, and have benefitted from:  #grace  

(Thank You, Jesus.)

So, there you have it, a new hashtag movement. Ready, set, go!

But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Matthew 6:3, ESV

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And Starting Over ☀️

Last Sunday, when I walked around the corner, there were all sorts of lessons in that golden light. And especially, there was a refreshing message about suffering.

10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

1 Peter 5:10, ESV

On July 1, via a quiet event in a public place, I suffered distress in a confusing way, because the event happened in a deceptive way. This led me to find a wonderful Biblical counselor, from whom I sought advice. I prayerfully decided to follow this counselor’s advice, and the events that followed proved to be cataclysmic in my life. It felt like the earth literally cracked open. I know my family did.

I share all of this because, as I’ve said before, this blog helps me work out things with my pen, and is also part of fleshing out my assignment to be real. My call to be authentic came from God, about 18 years ago, and is not something I have necessarily enjoyed. I used to be the queen of faking it.

In our fractured family, a low point came on this past Tuesday night. And then yesterday, on an otherwise ordinary Wednesday, and after everything that’s happened, we decided to start over.

You can do that, you know. You can just decide to start over, and we did. We will never be the same, and yet, we will, and therein lies part of the beauty of the story.

Oh, it’s a beautiful, beautiful story, penned by God. Years and years of it.

Not a perfect story, mind you. There are lots of scars and scabs from the journey. And we are still walking that journey. We expect good things to come.

Isn’t that what the Christian life is all about, friends? Forgiveness, and starting over? If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, isn’t that what you got when He reached down, did all the work, pulled your filthy, battered carcass out of a mud pit and breathed new life into it? You got a second chance, didn’t you? A do-over? A transplanted, clean heart? Well, that’s what Christianity has been about for me, and that’s what I’m here to say.

And I guess I’ve said it.

So, I’ll end with a favorite worship song of mine, which has been one of the anthems this time in the fires. It will be playing for me today, once again, on repeat.

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m into worship music.

❤️

 

 

 

 

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Turning the Corner ☀️

Today, I walked around a corner and there was golden light on the horizon. I have renewed hope. And I know I say it over and over, but I really do mean it: I’m so thankful. I have that word on my mantle all year long.

And I know I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: through a dark, awful past few months, and backwards through the years, God was there. He was real. He did his love thing. He did his faithfulness thing. He did his powerful thing. He shone his light. It’s Who He Is.

And He never left my side.

Oh, heavenly Father, how can I thank You? How can I praise You enough? I can’t. So, I humbly bow, and say it here. Thank You. Just thank You.

“And in that moment we’re face to face, I will not need these eyes of faith. Forever after, God, I will see that You’ve always been with me.”

 

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In the Middle of the Night 🌌

Last Tuesday, I spent a sleepless night, and I’m grateful. It turned out to be glorious, because sometimes, in the middle of the night, God gives me invaluable clarity. I think I’m starting to crawl out of those fires.

Once again, David Crowder came through. Thanks, Dave. And thanks, God. 🙌🏻

 

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