A life of miracles.

I posted the below, and then was spending some time in prayer, and I wanted to come back and clarify some things: (And spend some more time praising the Lord, because . . . how can I not? ;) )

Though my earthly body is decaying (aren’t we all?), I am in Christ and being renewed day by day IN HIM. There is no worry or fear in my life–there cannot be, because that is not walking in the light. And where God is, there can be no darkness for He cannot dwell with darkness.

I am walking forward in full faith and the knowledge of Truth. I want to give no room to the enemy by placing any importance or headline space to that which is not true, pure, right, clean, praise-worthy, virtuous, of good report, and full of Jesus.

Rejoice, my friends, for we have hope. We have Light. We have Life…and that more abundantly! And again, I say, rejoice!

LIVING in HIM,
Grace

*******

Original Post:

My physical body is dying.

I don’t talk about it in such blunt terms very much publicly (nor, as someone said to me earlier when I mentioned it to them, do I mention it much privately). And I probably won’t mention it much again on this blog after this.

I don’t mean to sound as though I’m merely resigned to the inevitable, or like I’m trying to get a reaction. Neither is true…far from it!

I serve a God who is in complete control and never messes up and has already gained the victory over all, and I rest joyfully in that. It’s a “peace which passes understanding”, really.

My whole life for the past 7-ish months has been completely supernatural from one day to the next. I honestly feel like I’ve been living a miracle every day.

When I was able to continue working and keeping up with responsibilities of life in spite of what I was facing, that was a miracle. When I was able to continue getting out of bed each morning, that was a miracle. When I couldn’t do anything without help, but still had a smile on my face and joy in my heart, that was a miracle.

And it still is. Even these days when I barely make it out of bed–I’m still living a miracle.

And I love it.

I don’t love being sick and in pain day after day or being faced with the fact that my physical body is dying, but as I’ve said on this blog many times: Anything that brings me to my knees before my Saviour is a beautiful thing and something for which I’m thankful.

Living a life of miracles from one moment to the next, well . . . I’m not sure I can truly put words to what it’s like. I wish everyone could know what it’s like–seeing Christ the way I do from day to day. And I long to see and know more of Him every day. More of You in my life, Lord!

Even though I whined all day yesterday about how I wish my birthday would wait to show up until I’m healthy, the inevitable can’t be stopped. ;)

Today, 25 years ago, I was born for a purpose: to glorify God. And what an honor it is to carry such a job description!

I know this may seem like a depressing post to write on one’s birthday–revealing these things about how my physical health is doing. Oh! but it’s not. I’m excited about what the Lord is doing and I’m thrilled to see each and every day just how faithful He truly is!

I’m not perfect. I get weary in the battle sometimes and turn inward–taking my eyes off the One who is in control. I give into discouragement and fear sometimes. I whine and cry in frustration.

But He so gently reminds me of truth over and over. And truth never changes. The promises of the Lord never result in failure. Victory is His! Even death is swallowed up in that victory!

And so it is, here on my birthday as I lay in bed, too weak to do much more than this, that I cry out “I love You, Lord!”

(I realize this may come as a shock to some of you, and there are probably a lot of question marks dancing around in front of you right now as to what is actually going on with me physically since this may be the first you’ve heard of me being sick. I don’t want you to worry or come up with made-up ideas as to what may be going on. If you want to know a few more details, please feel free to email me at acrossfields@gmail.com …don’t just sit there thinking the worst! :) Please know that I do have hope of recovery and the Lord has already granted much wisdom and guidance in everything–doctors, friends, insights, supplements, testing, and the like.)

{musings}

(If you all only knew the amount of unpublished draft posts I have on this blog right now.)

Do you ever have times where things (everything, seemingly!) are just too precious and close to your heart to share? That’s what’s been going on with me lately, and I’m not complaining about it. I love these precious times more than anything else. These precious times of growing closer to the Lord and seeing Him more and more. 

Sometimes I’m so overwhelmed with who the Lord is. I catch the smallest glimmer of His greatness and I’m speechless in awe. And then I see a little more. And then I see a little more. And I never want to stop gazing at Him–even though it is merely the smallest portion of the hem of His garment that I’ve even glimpsed so far. What beauty, majesty, radiance, and truth there is! My little human mind is not capable of comprehension in this regard.

My little sister was with me in the office the other day, and we were discussing the reading of the Bible. She asked how many times I’ve read the whole Bible, and after I told her, she asked another question:

“So, do you know everything there is to know about God and the Bible?”

I laughed as tears of joy filled my eyes.

“No, sweet one,” I said, “there is no end to what we can know of Him! That is the beauty of it all! I could spend every single moment for the rest of my life, and for a thousand years after that, in deep study of who God is and intimately in His presence, and still I would never know all of Him. What blessedness is ours!”

She looked slightly doubtful at such wild statements, but . . . grinned and continued playing.

Have you seen Him? Have you caught a vision of the Master Savior? It’s captivating like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. 

Do you know Him?

There’s been some fairly serious revamping of my life lately because of what I’ve recently been seeing and learning of God. When you see Him, your life doesn’t stay the same, and for that I am unendingly grateful. 

Some of the changes taking place are easy and comfortable. Some of them are quite the opposite. But it is all for Him and His renown . . . and when I think in those terms? The things of earth grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.

He is worthy.

These words are so trite, but I realized the other day that, when talking about the great King of kings, mere human words will always be trite and cliche. He is the King of kings, after all, and is completely outside the realm of human language to describe. 

What beautiful words and languages there must be in Heaven to use to worship and describe Him! …because my ordinary English sure falls majorly short.

Image

The Adventure Begins

It’s been too long since I’ve written, and the words feel jammed inside somewhere. As if I need to get a few cleared out, and thoughts might flow a little better.

Changes. Changes full of beauty and a deeper love than I could imagine.  Terrifying changes. Changes that drive me to Jesus in utter dependency and a fresh realization that there is nowhere safer to be than in Him.

Since my last post here, a lot has happened.

The Adventure Begins

A few weeks ago, I woke up in the morning and headed into what seemed would be a normal day. A bit later, I got a terse text that said “Come to the chapel right now.” I’m sure tires were screeching as I careened through the neighborhood. An hour later I was purchasing airplane tickets for my Dad and two other men to go international on a mission to protect the innocent. 7 hours later they were headed to the airport and embarking on a journey which no one really knew what it might involve. I prayed I would see my Dad alive again.

During the week he was gone, we prayed, we stood strong, we excitedly waited for any and every little update we could find.

And, unrelated to anything else going on, we received an email from someone about a little girl here in the States who needed someone to care for her.

A week after he left, I hugged Dad tightly in our living room, so thankful for the Lord’s protection.

The next day, I got another brief text: “It looks like she’s going to be ours.” So fast. What was happening? I wasn’t sure, but I already loved this little girl whose name I still didn’t know, and I was ready to do whatever God asked.

Two and a half days later, I looked for the first time at the beautiful girl who was to be my little sister.

As I looked in her eyes, tears filled mine and I had to turn away before they spilled over. Desperation. Hope. Terror. Emptiness. Trauma. Excitement. Desperate hope. I saw her story written on her face as she turned away from all she had ever known and got into our car. She pressed her face against the window and waved one last time as we drove away before turning forward and allowing a deep sob to escape her chest. There was no stopping the tears in each of our eyes and hearts.

So young, so vulnerable. And ours.

I helped her make cookies this morning. I posed for her as she drew a picture of me. I watched the Sound of Music with her. I sat with my arms around her, her sweet head in my lap. I went shopping with her. I laid on my bed and ate pretzels with her. I whispered “I love you” over and over. I hugged her goodnight. I promised to be right there with her first thing in the morning. I watched my parents fall in love with their new daughter. Tears spilled over again as she excitedly yelled “Daddy!” as soon as he walked back in the front door from the gym.

For nearly 25 years I have been the youngest child, and paradigms are shifting in our family.

This little one looks up to me like no one ever has before in my life. We love each other deeply, and every time she snuggles up to me and wraps her arms around my waist and doesn’t let go, my heart aches a little more. Ever since this little girl stepped into our lives just a short while ago, tears have either been running down my cheeks constantly or hiding just around the corner ready to show up without warning.  How can I already love her this much? How can I be a big sister to one so desperate for love and a rebuilding of trust? What do I do when I see the hurt well up and she closes down and acts in the only way she knows how based on the things she has experienced in her young little life–experiences I can’t even imagine. How can I show her the love of her Heavenly Father?

Jesus. HE is how. Jesus is Who I must turn to. His heart is the only one that can handle such love and such sorrow.

This past several weeks has been life-altering in ways I could never have fathomed when I got up that Friday morning. It has been difficult. It has been heart-breaking. It has been exhausting…

…and it has been filled with JOY. It has been filled with JESUS. I can’t deny the beauty in seeing my own weakness and His utter strength. I’m enraptured.

Seeing the heart of God in my parents through these past few weeks has touched something in me that hasn’t ever really been touched on before. I can’t express how honored and humbled I am to be part of their lives and learning from them the way I have for my whole life–but especially the past few weeks. Their given-ness; their endless love; their pre-decided “YES!” to anything the Lord may ask of them; allowing the door of their life–physically and emotionally–to be flung open to the most vulnerable. Thank You, Jesus. You had a beautiful plan when you scripted the lives of my parents.

And the proof that You know what You’re doing? It’s inescapable. I see it so clearly in the way this little sister of mine came into our family.

It is with great joy and expectancy that I can say my life has changed and it will never be the same. Oh! the adventures the Lord takes us on!

Wednesday Evening at The Local Coffee Shop

It’s been a long time since I’ve done one of these. But, since I’m sitting here on this cozy Wednesday evening with this dear friend of mine, I thought it high time.

Oh, what a joy it is to have this wonderful young lady in my life as one of my dearest friends. Love you, Larsie.

So, here we sit. Same coffee shop as all those old coffee shop posts, and it seems that not much has changed around here in the past couple years since I first started writing about it.

There’s a couple happily playing cards together across the room.

Over on the couch, a chappy with Very Cool dark-rimmed glasses has been playing on his phone for longer than I’ve been able to keep track of. He has his ear-buds in, and every so often he really gets into his music. But then he seems to catch himself, glance around to see if anyone noticed, and then go back to placidly scrolling around on his phone.

My homeless friend is still here. Actually, I can’t verify for sure that it’s the same one I ran into a couple years ago, but I like to think of all homeless people (and non-homeless people, for that matter) as my friends–so my initial statement of this paragraph is true, nonetheless. He was eating what appeared to be a cup of soup when we first arrived, and he’s now comfortably sacked out on the couch behind me, snoozing away in one of the few warm places he’s probably allowed to hang out for hours on end. I’m glad they let him stay and get comfortable and warm.

There’s a sweet friend across the table from me, as I mentioned earlier, and she’s editing photos for some articles she’s working on designing. She’s shown me a handful of them, and oh my! they’re wonderful! I had the privilege of taking her engagement photos earlier this week–much fun was had, and perhaps, just perhaps, I shall share a sneak peek or two here on the blog at some point. (If she lets me, of course. I won’t do the sappy ones, Lars… ;) )

And then there are the random folks studying, working on homework, chatting away comfortably in corners. Typical coffee-shop type stuff, you know.

Oh! Something has changed since I was last here! My super-cool friend, Abby, now works here part-time. I haven’t had the pleasure of seeing her at work, but . . . I’m determined to make it happen before too long! 

This evening has been one of peaceful studying and prayer. I’ve been doing a study on the purity of God, and I can’t even put it into words right now–I’m captivated with the One I call my King and Saviour. He is mighty and powerful, and He is pure. What a glorious truth! Perhaps once I have basked in and been submerged in the reality of the purity of God for awhile, I might be able to put some words to what I’ve been learning. For now, though? Oh, Jesus, how I love You!

If I were to spend every moment of every day for the rest of my life on this earth in the study and pursuit of God, I would never reach the end of His greatness. And yet, after even just one evening, I’m completely captivated and awe-struck. It makes me think–what a glorious place heaven must be! To be in the very near and tangible presence of the King of kings for eternity without end. To see Him, to know Him, to worship at His feet! What we know on this earth is just a bare taste of who He is–and yet, what a beautiful taste it is!

I can’t wait to know Him more and more!

Giveaway Wrap-up

That’s right, folks . . . the time has come!

. . .

. . .

I have had a blast reading all your comments all week–what a happy thing to read about the fun little tidbits that bring smiles to my friends’ days!

I wrote all your names out on little slips of paper, tossed them all in a basket and let them get acquainted with each other for awhile.

See? There you are, all getting to know each other and playing ice breaker games to lessen any possible awkwardness.

The basket full of your names sat on the desk here next to me for awhile while I did various other things. I had to wait for the proper moment to draw one out!

I tossed ’em all around, rustled ’em up, dumped ’em out, put ’em back in. Lifted the basket waaaay above my head and drew out a name.

So many fun people to send packages to . . .

Who was it to be?

Clarita!

Oh, how I excited I am! This lady is one of the loveliest people I’ve met. Truly–both inside and out. She’s a fantastic mama to the most adorable children, she’s ridiculously creative, her blog is beautiful and full of wisdom, and she and her husband are honestly one of my most favorite couples ever–their love for Jesus, those around them, and their willingness to give all for Him is a beautiful thing. Love them.

Clarita, be on the lookout for a wee package to show up on your doorstep with your name on it!
(I do need your address first, though, so email me?)

And now I shall return to my work and tea-sipping.

Keep your eyes peeled for the next giveaway–there’ll be more! :)

October 1st – giveaway!

To me, October 1st is one of the best days of the year.

…along with the 364 other days of the year.

(Yes, I’m one of those obnoxiously chipper people who think every single day is a wonderful day worth living and being excited about. Not because of what each day is or holds, but because of the God who created each one of those days. What blessedness is ours!)

And because it is October 1st today, I got the urge to send a fun autumn-y package to someone.

(Earlier today, I traipsed across campus–ok, so it was more of a slow waddle since I’m still recovering from surgery, but . . .details, details–with some apple turnovers and a “Happy October 1st!” note for some dear friends of mine in the dorm across the lawn. It inspired me to send a package, and the inspiration was not to be denied!)

The urge is not for any particular reason except the fact that I love sending fun autumn-y packages in the mail, and I am blessed with so many wonderful people to choose from!

Who shall it be?

I decided to narrow it down to the few readers of my paltry little corner of the internet world which has been collecting much dust lately.

Leave a comment and tell us what the best thing about today has been so far.

Perhaps you shall get a fun package in the mail!

Giveaway ends on October 8th, and the recipient shall be announced within a day or two thereafter. If your name is not drawn out of the pool of names, don’t worry–perhaps next time.

I so love sending packages in the mail!

*Disclaimer: The package will not contain a cozy orange kitten, unfortunately.

Rest in HIM

The Lord is teaching me to say with the Psalmist, “I delight to do Thy will,” instead of the usual, “Well, I supposed it’s the Lord’s will so we’ll just have to put up with it.”

Oh, the delirium of consciously being in the will of the Master–what joy! And this brings a knowledge of His presence and this affords rest.

“My presence shall go with thee, and I shall give thee rest.”

– The Shadow of the Almighty –