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Friday, April 29, 2011


Lisa Smith Glad Chatter

Pray it Forward Friday. Is it still Friday?


Like I said yesterday, one of those weeks.


But today. 


Glorious today has been filled with my baby's laughter. He's five. Not such a baby as an unreserved tiny adult.


We've explored. Run errands. Bounced balls through Target. Visited friends. And then we took our inaugural trip to the pool. The glorious pool.


Shhhhh. Don't tell. I'd have a houseful of jealous folk.


Now I'm off to get sheets on the beds before baseball. And bedtime.


So if you're cruising blogs around about bedtime on this Friday night, pray it forward with me. K?


This week I've been overwhelmed with cancer requests. A friend waiting, for months now, for a surgery to determine if it's cancer. Her surgery is Tuesday. Another friend underwent a scary MRI to determine if it's cancer and now has to make some hard decisions since there have been other scares and cancer runs strong through her family. Another friend sick for many months and wondering is it cancer needs her own slice of peace as well.


As I pray it forward today, I'm reminded what I desire is really Who I desire.

Whom have I in heaven but you? 
   And earth has nothing I desire besides you. Psalm 73:25



Join me in praying it forward and spreading the peace.


Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. Phil. 4:6-7 The Message

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Supposed to

It's just been one of those weeks. Know what I mean?

I have a to do list and I also have a supposed to do list and I have crossed nothing off of either.

I'm supposed to share some deep reflections from the end of the second quarter of Backpacking through Joshua. Although I'm not feeling deep or reflective this week, I did take inventory of my life thus far in response to the end of Joshua's life chapter. What I discovered is that I also have a long list of victories in my life. God has forgiven me and given me freedom. Joshua 12 caused me to boohoo like a baby as I read the Easter story to my family out of The Jesus Storybook Bible. I get to the part where Jesus hangs tight to a cross held there by love and tears threaten to spill. Then I read the next sentence about how Jesus cries out for His Daddy to help him and for the first time ever and only time since, His Daddy doesn't hear and I stop. And weep. Every year.

It lights fresh gratitude in my heart for the cross. And the empty tomb. And being able to talk to a heavenly Daddy who hears. And forgives.

"For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much," (Luke 7:47) is my Easter/Joshua 12 theme this year. I have been forgiven much, grown much, stretched much and healed much.

Which brings me to the second bloggy thing on my supposed to do list.

Starting Sunday. Yes, Sunday, May 1. Glad Chatter will be part of a 31 Days Closer to wonderfulness and bathing suit season hosted by Fitness Friday Girl aka Sandy. If you read Glad Chatter for the entire month of May, you will be 31 Days Closer to the Life You Always Wanted.

Since cancer threatened to take the life I had, I decided that any days I lived beyond cancer would be dedicated to creating the life I want to live. If you've ever thought: One day I will ... scrapbook, organize my pantry, create cute looks on a lean budget, adopt a baby from Ethiopia, look toned on the beach or read my Bible all the way from Genesis to Revelation or any other big or little someday thought, this series is for you.

I'll have a full list of links on Sunday along with a super duper sized giveaway. So tell your friends and come join the party! See you Sunday. The start to another blessed and amazing week!

I think that's all I'm supposed to tell you. Until Sunday!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Good news

Good news today!! My doc was really positive and encouraging. Now that I'm a little over a year out from sarcoma removal surgery, my chances of a local recurrence or distant metastasis are drastically reduced!!! Yippyyyyy!!!!! A good day. A really good day!








Lisa Smith Glad Chatter

But there are others having hard days. Really hard days. Like Julie, who is 33-year-old mommy of three kids ages 7, 4 and 10 months and collapsed Sunday while on a walk from a heart attack. She hasn't regained consciousness yet. Will you join me in praying for her?

And my friend, Kathryn, who will face cancer surgery May 9, the Monday after Mother's Day. They day after she celebrates being mommy to her two boys and celebrates her own mother who is now deceased from complications caused by cancer treatment, she will look her own cancer diagnosis in the face. Will you join me in praying that is the last time she ever sees it? Will you join me in praying cancer would not rob her family of any more life?

When I went through my own diagnosis of cancer, it was only a matter of hours before a prayer wall was erected on Facebook and my own family was lifted 24 hours a day. It was awesome. And overwhelming. And humbling.

My prayer quickly went from Heal me, God, I want to live to Heal me, God, they need to experience Your goodness. God answered! Because He answered and healed me, I am able to not only pay back what I received but I intend to pray back what I received. Will you join me in praying it forward here each Friday where you are invited to share a prayer request on your own blog and link up here.

I hope each of you will join me in helping others find Christ in their crises.



Joining Jen and the sisterhood today.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Scans today

 Scan day does sneak up on you!! I'm thankful for the sneaking instead of the lurking in my mind of it all. I need your prayers and I'll keep you posted via facebook and twitter.

I woke up with this going through my mind:

You will keep in perfect peace
   those whose minds are steadfast,
   because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3


And in The Message:

People with their minds set on you,
   you keep completely whole,
Steady on their feet,
   because they keep at it and don't quit.
Depend on God and keep at it
   because in the Lord God you have a sure thing.

Friday, April 22, 2011

A Good Friday




Lisa Smith Glad Chatter

"Why is it called good when what happened to Jesus was so bad?" she asks.

Love, it's called good because it's the only reason we are here. The bad Jesus suffered made us good, righteous and acceptable to God.

It's good because it didn't stop Jesus from living. He even conquered death to live with us, sweetheart.

What happened to Jesus is where we find our hope.

It's very good because it was necessary. The only way, honey. Things just aren't always as they seem.

As my girlfriend, Renee Swope says in her new book:
"Jesus did not die on the cross just to get us our of hell and into heaven. He died on the cross to get Himself out of heaven and into us! It's what we were made for... God created us in His image to reveal His glory by giving visibility to His invisible character within us. Christ in us is the hope of glory."

For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory. Colossians 1:27 NLT

Join me in praying forward your salvation today. Pray for a potential christian, someone who doesn't know Christ yet. Pray that would know Christ, the hope of glory this Easter weekend.

If you link up, we will gather in prayer together.




Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The New Car

There is a knock at your door. You go to open it and one of your friends is there  dangling a set of keys.  He gives you a brand new car. And I’m talkin’ a pimped out, juiced up, leather seats with warmers, sunroof and mini TV screens on the back of each seat car. Not only does He give you the car with no strings attached, he gives you a lifetime pass to the local car wash. There will be no crunched up goldfish crackers or stale chicken nuggets in your car anymore. It will smell of new car and vanilla instead of stale soccer cleats.

Your excitement is overwhelming, contagious even. Your neighbors go crazy with you. They all want to gawk at the inside of your new car. This new gift is going to change your life!

The next morning you get up, drag yourself out of bed, bundle up and walk to the end of your street to take the city bus to work. After a few weeks of this, your friend, who is now your ‘best’ friend, calls. He encourages you to use the car. He gave it to you so you wouldn’t have to take the same old broken down bus to work each day. “This gift is for your enjoyment,” he says.

Slowly you begin to feel comfortable using the car. Soon after you begin driving it to work each day, you sell your old car and let your bus pass expire. Before you know it, you grow accustomed to your new car. You begin to love driving around in it and look for excuses to take it for a spin. You offer to help your friends and drive them everywhere. You are always available to use the car. There is no need to walk when you have the greatest car ever!

Then one day you hear that familiar knock at the door. Excitedly you run to open it. You look forward to a visit with your old friend. You hope he isn’t too disappointed that there are a few door dings in the car in your garage because you’ve done your best to take good care of it.

He says, “I need you. Will you use the car to take me to Alaska?”

Of course, you can’t say no. You get on the phone to alert your employer, you’ll even quit your job if you have to. You load your stuff, even though you have no idea what to bring. You grab some money even though you have no idea how much gas you’ll need to get there or how many days you'll be gone. You grab a map and hope your friend can help you read it. You feel completely unprepared but you just can't disappoint your friend after all he's done for you.

You have to drive your friend wherever he needs to go; he gave you the car you love. You owe him but that is not why you commit to doing this crazy thing. You commit to doing it because you love your friend and he knows the car. He believes the car can make it and so you do too. Or at least you really hope so.

Isn’t this how we should be with our spiritual gifts? We often see spiritual gifts as a confusing thing instead of an exciting present from God. We take test after test to determine what our unique gifts are when we should really be looking at our lives. We should look at what we enjoy doing, what we long to do, what others say we are good at. Those are the gifts we should use to serve God. And by serving God I mean the things we love to do are the vehicle we should use to take God to others. Even to Alaska when He asks.

"God's various gifts are handed out everywhere; but they all originate in God's Spirit. God's various ministries are carried out everywhere; but they all originate in God's Spirit. God's various expressions of power are in action everywhere; but God himself is behind it all. Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people! The variety is wonderful:

   wise counsel

   clear understanding

   simple trust

   healing the sick

   miraculous acts

   proclamation

   distinguishing between spirits

   tongues

   interpretation of tongues.

   All these gifts have a common origin, but are handed out one by one by the one Spirit of God. He decides who gets what, and when." 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 The Message





This is also the aha I promised you here.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The morning after

Backpacking Through Joshua with Amber and friends.
What do you the morning after the sun stands still? Where do I go from here is the question I ask God everyday since I finished cancer treatment last summer.

My voice shakes with excitement the first million times I ask it. Anticipating the future is one beautiful side effect of completing cancer treatment. Slowly over time as days, weeks, months pass, the promise wears thin. Weariness swallows intention. The sun’s scorch fades vision. Driving rains make impassable conditions. Confusion settles over dreams. Gusto gives way to life’s insignificant trials.

I find myself lost in the normal I once craved. Responsibilities, chores and daily stresses overwhelm me at times. I feel cheated. Trying to look forward now hurts. Looking at today is easier even though it rubs my soul raw. I have today but tomorrow is not promised. One day may not come. I struggle to squeeze giant dream drops out of daily life’s dry cloth.

When I read Joshua 11, I am amazed. After the sun stands still, God calls His people to war. For seven years.

After participating in one of the biggest miracles in the Bible, there is all out war for the Israelites. They are grateful beyond grateful. And they are tired beyond tired. They march all night and then fight the longest day in history winning an awesome victory.

This is my story. Last year, I experienced an all out attack. Then I experienced an all out miracle. My diagnosis with a rare and aggressive form of cancer that my health insurance refused to treat in the way I chose resulted in the longest month of my life’s history. The months from diagnosis to healing seemed much longer as we marched. And then fought.

I entered follow-up care just seven months after I was diagnosed with cancer. A miracle. I escaped the rigors of chemo. A miracle. I remain clear. A miracle.

I am grateful beyond grateful. But I am tired beyond tired. As I read Joshua 11:16 &18 my eyes are opened. “So Joshua took the entire land…It took seven years of war to accomplish all of this.”

Now I know. The place I go from here is war. An epic war to take the entire land ensues. I am warring for the fertile land of healing, vision and purpose. Just like the Israelites, I want to live smack dab in the middle of the promise. I don’t want to settle on the border living a comfortable life enjoying the fruit of the Promised Land while worried about attacks in the night that could continually drive me out once again.

I march forward as I cling to God’s promise in Joshua 11:23:
“So Lisa took the entire land just as God instructed…and she gave the people their inheritance…So the land finally rested from its war.”

Friday, April 15, 2011

Pray it Forward Fridays




Lisa Smith Glad Chatter
From driving off with the gas nozzle still attached to my car to ringing phones with the neighbor saying the fire department is in our home and there’s been a fire, my week has been one of those.

How can I commit to praying for others when my own life is this chaotic?

I pray for myself first.
Pile your troubles on God's shoulders—
      he'll carry your load, he'll help you out. Psalm 55:22 The Msg

I am practicing taking my own burdens, frustrations, irritations, distractions and worries to the Lord. And leaving them there so I can attend to the prayers for others I’ve committed to pray out of love for them.

Please think about taking a 15-minute slot on the prayer wall. ( Please "like it" and and let's make some glad chatter in the spiritual realm!) Let’s rebuild it together and wage war in the heavenlies. 

Continue to lift my friend Kathryn to the Lord as she has a scheduled surgery on May 9.
And Megan who is a young mother fighting stage 3C ovarian cancer.

Today as you pray it forward, give your own cares to Jesus and free yourself to make someone else’s burdens a little lighter. Please take the Praying with Lisa button at the left to show you are praying.

Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully. 1 Peter 5:7 Amp



Tuesday, April 12, 2011

at the end of my mama

Does God really know what He’s doing? It’s a question this mama asks almost daily as she raises four, strong personalitied, energetic, kinesthetic learning, loud, little people. There are also others on her list of questions. Should she be doing something more and why does it always have to be so hard are near the top.

This stage of motherhood leaves her baffled, tired, maxed and frustrated most days. Her children are eager to try out their independence. But they all still need her. Lots.

She constantly wonders should she do more. More love or more discipline. More schedule or more spontaneity. More activities or more down time. More boundaries or more freedom. More chores or more play time. More exercise, more veggies, more vitamins, more sleep. 

It's hard. They get up early. They stay up late and They work hard. They play hard and they love each other. They have fun together. They do life together. And life is hard.

In all mher uncertainty and exhaustion she tumbles over her endless questions and it’s in her fallen down state that she begins to see truth.

When she is weak He is strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10) When she's at the end of her mama, her Father begins to operate in her motherhood.

He gently leads those that have young. (Isaiah 40:11) She doesn't have to work so hard to sense His leading. He is there. He promises to never leave. His leading is so gentle she doesn't always feel it.

In this life there will be trouble. (John 16:33) But it doesn’t always have to be so hard. One day He will wipe every tear from her eyes. Until that day this mama will cling to her Savior praying His grace oozes all over the littles she loves each day.




Where is your weak meeting His strong today?
Linking up with Jen today.

Monday, April 11, 2011

This Day, This Week

That old, familiar rhythm beats in my chest this morning—the one that’s a fast-paced rendition of You might as well quit because you’ll never get it all done.

How I long for it to be the snappy beat of Styx I’ve got too much **clap clap** time on my hands. 

Seems like the last time I felt that way, I was in my first semester of college and my roommate was out of town for the weekend.

Instead of filling the white space here with sighs or moans, this morning I want Jesus to bring peace and direction. Even as I my sweet Palmer drags his stool from pantry to counter and then ventures into the garage digging in the toolbox to fix his bike, I open God’s Word.

Join me this Manic Monday

(Thanks Bangles!) in replacing the frantic and frazzled with some high class, de-stressing, be-bopping as you get 'er done 80's music!!


And here's a prayer for peace and purpose which will work even better than 80's music. I promise!

 May God, who puts all things together,
      makes all things whole…
 Now put you together, provide you
      with everything you need to please him,
   Make us into what gives him most pleasure,
      by means of the sacrifice of Jesus, the Messiah.
   Hebrews 18:20a-21 The Message



Friday, April 08, 2011

Pray it Forward Fridays






Lisa Smith Glad Chatter



Some living-beyond-cancer weeks are just hard. This week has been one of them. I've been corresponding with my new friend Carrie who is an artist in her 20's unable to paint because sarcoma has settled in her shoulder. Carrie is a fighter, determined to beat it, but still. My heart hurts.


I've also been corresponding with Brooke, a 17-year-old senior athlete recently diagnosed with breast sarcoma. Brooke is a brave young lady who is mature enough to notice something wrong with her girls and courageous enough to tell her mom she needs to see a doctor. Brooke is shuffling chemo and radiation appointments and anxiously awaiting surgery in between pedicures and shopping for prom. My heart hurts.


Sarcoma stole three young girls' mother, a beautiful wife and personal hero this week when my friend Jenny went to heaven. My heart hurts.


One of my besties, Kathryn  learned she has cancer yesterday. A single mom with two precious boys. I want to drive straight to College Station and hold her. I will very soon. All she wants is prayer. The kind of prayer I know. The 24/7 mountain-moving-life-giving-miracle-producing prayer. My heart hurts.


For a year I have wondered how to give it back. How to pay forward all that was given to me. I've had some ideas:


1. Raise a billion dollars for cancer research and helping ease cancer patient's burdens and start my very own 501(c)3 non-profit organization that puts on phenomenal fundraising charity event regularly.
2. Go get my doctorate in microbiology and find a cure for cancer.
3. Get a j-o-b at MD Anderson since it is such a place of hope for those touched by cancer.
4. Volunteer my time to help people doing all of the above.
5. Write a book and share my story to offer hope to others touched by cancer.
6. Pray as many prayers as were prayed for me in 2010.


While I can make strides toward certain of the above scenarios, I can make praying a reality. If I start now. And pray like mad for the rest of my lifetime. Starting today. Even in my post-radiation-funk-induced state, I can pray. 


And in relation to my post-radiation-funk-induced state, it is lifting! I woke up just a few weeks ago and my brain said to my body I feel like me! And I rejoiced. And I woke up a couple of weeks later in my post-radiation-funk-induced state once again and worried me wouldn't ever return. But thank God me is back. Taking it one day at a time. Even the hard days.


My desire is to pray it forward. All the healing. All the grace. All the love. All the provision. 


Would you join me in lifting Carrie, Brooke and Kathryn as we Pray it Forward on Fridays? Link up with your own requests. If you have a prayer button you'd like to post under my "Request Prayer" tab, leave it in your post and I will pick it up as a reminder to pray. Please take my new button to identify our Praying it Forward group and also as a reminder of what God has done! To be a part of Praying it Forward everyday, visit my Prayer Wall and sign up for a 30-minute slot once a week. 



"He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us." 2 Corinthians 1:4

And it just so happens today is World Cancer Day, so link up and pray it forward!



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Thursday, April 07, 2011

The Really Long but Really Good Day.

In the news...You all need to pop in tomorrow morning because I have a HUGE surprise!! Tomorrow I will also be hosting a link up here (if I can figure out Mr. Linky) and it's easy. Just think of someone who needs prayer and share their need. More info in the morning, folks...so exciting!!!
Visit Amber and friends for more Backpacking Through Joshua.

Today is a Joshua day and I am reposting a book review. If you haven't read this book, you should. If you are studying the book of Joshua and haven't read this, it's a must. Just in case, you missed it the first time:


The same week I began a Bible study called Backpacking Through Joshua, I started reading Steven Furtick’s book Sun Stand Still. I wanted to read the book when it was released months ago but God wanted me to pay attention to His message in Joshua so He preached it to me twice, once through Amber and once through Steven.

Furtick makes ‘audacious faith’, the ability to believe God for the impossible, totally contagious. He not only strives to make believers take hold of their faith, hold it up to the Light and inspect it, he propels his readers to activate it.

He spends a great deal of time in the book talking about a ‘Page 23’ vision or personal vision. I have a personal vision. I’ve been struggling with my personal vision for years. It seems so big; I have no idea where to start or what to do. For many years I wondered if it was really God’s idea at all or just my own imagination. So for a long time I did nothing. I even quit dreaming.

Furtick addresses this very thing in the book saying, “If the size of the vision for your life isn’t intimidating to you, chances are it’s insulting to God.” (Which, by the way, is my favorite quote this year.)

Furtick goes on to say we need God to make our visions a reality and there is an end to our faith—but not to God’s faithfulness. We can count on that. “God didn’t encourage Joshua according to Joshua’s faith. He encouraged Joshua according to his own faithfulness.” In other words, God gave you the vision and He will give you what you need to see it through in such a way that it will be all about Him.

I am also encouraged to jump into my personal vision with both feet because Furtick says, “The opposite of Page 23 vision is survival mode.” The frustration and depression that settle over me when life gets so hard and frenzied that I am barely surviving is a state I loathe. I have been timid to jump into my personal vision for fear of living an unbalanced life. In essence I have been causing what I have been trying to avoid. All because I’ve been fearful that adding the responsibilities that come with pursuing my own vision will be too much added to my already hectic lifestyle. 

With colorful language, Furtick makes the reader really dig deep to find his own unique calling and uncover the ways God created him to specifically bring God fame. Furtick says this on how your own personal vision will come to life, “It will start with a seed of inspiration that takes root in your imagination. Over time, it will produce a harvest of obedience for the glory of God. And the whole process will take place deep in the soil of your faith. … Seizing his big purpose for your life … is about mining the depths of who you are in him. And out of that revelation, you will fulfill the purpose that he put you on the earth to fulfill.”

He inspires the reader to get to work cultivating the tiny seeds and glimmers of hope that God has buried deep within. He goes on to talk about praying ‘Sun Stand Still’ prayers—the prayers that supernaturally fuel our desires with the faith the march forward.

Experiencing miracles like the one Joshua experienced when the sun stood still, requires not only praying with what Furtick calls audacious faith, it also requires activating that faith by moving forward. When God calls Joshua to slaughter his enemies, he calls Joshua to march all night to start the battle. God promises him the victory and Joshua boldly asks for more time to complete it. 

The day the sun stood still was birthed with the sunrise after marching all night. It was a long day that started long before the sun ever rose at all. God made sure everyone knew that it was His power at work that day. Because Joshua and his army had none left!

Furtick says hope is the desire to change the world for Jesus; faith is demonstrating it. He goes so far as to say, “If you are going to ask God to make the sun stand still, you better be prepared to march all night.”

Furtick not only lives his message and shares many everyday examples of audacious faith, he is bringing as many believers with him as possible. “There are concepts and contributions flowing inside you that need to be released for the world to hear. … Praying Sun Stand Still prayers … is about making your move, “ Furtick challenges. If you see God using you to change the world or even just a corner of it, this book will push you, encourage you and challenge you. If you desire to do something big for Christ, pick up this book. 

World-changers, this book is for you!

 ***I received a free copy of this book from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for my honest review of it posted here.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

You.

Friends,

As a nineteen-year-old girl volunteering at a youth camp, God called me to stand before people and share my story. For the next eighteen years, I questioned God’s voice, hesitated to raise support and rendered my voice silent before God and man. The last few years have stretched me in many ways as I seek to share the story God has given me with any willing to listen. His words pour out of me because I can no longer hold them inside or keep them to myself.

The words are fire in my belly,
   a burning in my bones.
I'm worn out trying to hold it in.
   I can't do it any longer! Jeremiah 20:9 The Message

Because my heart’s desire is to share with excellence, I seek training from Proverbs 31 Ministries at their annual She Speaks conference. She Speaks equips women called to share their stories. 

"The She Speaks Conference is a life-changing conference for women seeking to step out in the passion God has placed on their heart. Hosted by Proverbs 31 Ministries (501(c)3), She Speaks encourages and equips women to make the most of their messages, communicating God's Word through writing, speaking and leading."

In order to walk where God is calling me, I must raise funds to attend She Speaks. Because you walked everyday faith with me through cancer, I find it only natural to come to you for help as we walk everyday faith beyond cancer together.

I invite you to join me as you feel led in this exciting mission. There are several ways to participate. For a tax deductable gift, call Proverbs 31 Ministries at 877-731-4663 to contribute by credit card; or send a check payable to Proverbs 31 Ministries to:

Proverbs 31 Ministries She Speaks Scholarship/Lisa Smith 616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road Matthews, NC 28105

Please be sure to designate the scholarship in my name in order to credit my scholarship fund. You will be receipted for your tax-deductible donation. For more information: www.shespeaksconference.com.

Contact me directly at lisasmith93@gmail.com to find out how to send a check to be used for airfare. Unfortunately, this is not a tax deductable donation but I’m asking God to reward you far beyond tax deductions. J

Most importantly, you can partner with me in prayer believing that:

“The one who calls [me] is faithful, and he will do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:24

Thank you for your undying support on this journey. I will keep you updated on my progress toward She Speaks on my blog and Facebook page. Your encouragement gives me wings.

With love and gratitude,
Lisa


Linking up with Jen and the sisterhood today.  Thanks for  inviting me today, Jen. Click on the photo to visit.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Foreigners. Foxes and counterFeits

Backpacking through Joshua with Amber and friends.


The Israelites sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the LORD. Joshua 9:14

The rejection letter came. As quickly as I could scan the contents, I delete it. Just as quickly, I retrieve it, reopen it and let my eyes rest on one word: Rejected.

The result: The inability to write for a few days. I am unable to hear His whisper until I recognize I’ve made a treaty with a foreigner. I’ve made peace with fear without even realizing it.

When I sample the world’s provision without inquiring of the Lord, I entertain my enemies. Rejection. Fear. Pride. Entitlement. Shame. Selfishness. Jealousy. Bitterness. Resentment. Isolation.

They come to me dressed as peacemakers, wolves in lambs’ clothing. They prey on my weaknesses. Pity. Insecurity. Secret sin. A mess soon follows. I wonder how can something so small and so innocent have such huge ramifications.

Something as mindless as sampling a bit of food offered without asking God’s opinion wreaks havoc in my life. If I don’t ask Him, how will I know His answer? This constant conversing becomes my lifeline. An intimate dialogue uninterrupted—except for the sampling.

 Catch for us the foxes,
   the little foxes
that ruin the vineyards,
   our vineyards that are in bloom.

Song of Solomon 2:15 warns, pay attention to the little diversions threatening to derail purpose. If not caught and stopped, the little “foxes” in our lives cause ruin. Not only will be walking outside of God’s best for us, we will be walking independently of God Himself. 

Joshua rushes into an alliance and well, sins. As a result, “The whole assembly grumbled against the leaders.” (Joshua 9:18)

I find chapter 9 a beautiful reminder to inquire of the Lord. How I wish I never sampled the food just there for the taking! I must remember to seek the Lord before each step and at every turn. I must ask for His eyes when I watch the little foxes frolic in the fields of my life instead of giggling at their playfulness and trying to make friends with them. I must ask for His discernment so I partake of His divine provision instead of the counterfeit offered by the enemy.

How lovely is your dwelling place,
   LORD Almighty!
My soul yearns, even faints,
   for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and my flesh cry out
   for the living God.
 Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
   they are ever praising you.
Better is one day in your courts
   than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
   than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
Psalm 84:1-2,4&10


PS I find it very convicting that although God commanded His people not to make treaties with the Canaanite nations in the first place, after the damage was done He required them to honor their word. I think of how many times in my own life I let someone else’s broken promise let me off the hook. Lord, let me be a woman of my word. Let me pray before I give it and pray as I keep it. May all my words be promises not only to those I offer them to but to You. Amen.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Secrets from the mom-burban

It’s a horrible feeling. To feel you’re losing a child. To watch awkwardness and shyness take hold of their maturing bodies. To see everyday conversations become weird and stilted. Slipping.

My head screams failure. My heart aches grace.

I choose to listen to the heart.

Praying for mom-ents causes me to do more than glance up and sigh a plea. Praying for mom-ents allows me to capture them. Even without realizing it.

Mom-ents: Conversations captured by God and put on a solid path. Some long and beautiful. Some powerful one word utterances. All change my child’s countenance.

Mom-ents are routinely captured in the stinky mom-burban, most holy of places. Daughter asks if she can borrow my iPhone to share a new favorite song. She shares. I get lost in the lyrics.

Mainly this line: I’m gonna give all my secrets away.

Thinking how this is exactly what God has called me to do. Share all my secrets to life with a hurting and confused world. Share the mystery of Christ with any who will listen.

On heavenly cue, Daughter Two interrupts and asks if this is a ‘Christ song.’ A divine discussion ensues as we hash out the ‘good’ and the ‘God.’ A teachable mom-ent is birthed where the divine and the dusty meet inside a stinky mom-burban.

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.
      The world and all its people belong to him. Psalm 24:1





This is yet another submission for a She Speaks scholarship. This time sponsored by A Holy Experience. Visit there, the lovely Ann Voskamp paints word pictures that take the breath away. You will leave her site changed. Promise.
Although, I just hit publish over at Ann's  and realize I have missed the deadline. I thought it was open until 9pm but it was 9am. **sigh** I'm choosing to listen to the heart that aches grace this day. Will you?
Linking to the Time-Warp Wife today to encourage mommies. Click picture to visit.

Friday, April 01, 2011

My Six Word Story

Wanted: Peace.
Needed: Grace.
Found: Jesus.

She Reads. She Speaks. Scholarship opportunity.