dreams & the sun.

i am sitting at the magnolia silos this morning. well afternoon now. i decided to come at noon. and i have been sitting in the sun. and it is glorious. but hot. i’ll get back to that.

i needed to be reminded of some of my dreams and plan them out. dream them up and write down the things the Holy Spirit has put on my heart. and what better place in waco than the silos.

i love the silos for a couple of reasons.

i love that it is a dream. a dream in the heart of one woman. who with the support and encouragement of her husband became the dream of a family. and soon the dream of the city. and now the dream of a nation. and even the globe!

but it was always God’s dream.

sitting on this lawn feels powerful and momentous. i feel the potential and kinetic energy that runs through this place. and it is sweet.

i love that this was dreamed and created by a couple. a family. it wasn’t a massive corporation. it was a dream in a heart that God opened doors for. when i sit here, i know i am sitting in a dream. a dream come true. that i am sure this couple thought at one time was impossible.

it reminds me that God is trustworthy. He is good. He has good plans.

when i sit out here on a summer afternoon, not only am i sweating bullets, but i see so many families playing! my biggest dream of all! and i wonder if when the couple started, they new how powerful this would be for families. and for dreamers.

and i wonder the same thing about myself. do i realize how impactful my dreams will be for families? for dreamers? for my own family? for my own dreams?

i would imagine that this couple could never have imagined all that this is today when they started. even when they bought the land. it was old and abandoned and basically left for dead.

but maybe the ground help onto hope. that something better could come from it one day.

and it only took one person, the right person, to see the vision and potential that was still hidden in its bones.

as i sit here in the hot hot sun. i am reminded of something i said the other day leaving mass. as i walked out of the church, the sun was shining and it was so sweet and warm. and i said, without thinking

“mmm. the warmth of the sun is healing me heart”

instantly, i felt the prophetic weight of that statement. i felt a call to spend more time in the sun. and the Son. letting the warmth heal my heart.

to be in the sun requires you to be seen. to be exposed. to come out of hiding.

how prophetic is that!!!! it is incredible. and it is true.

being out here. sitting in the sun. sweating. it is kinda painful because it is so hot. but it is so sweet. and i feel the healing and the mending. this is something i couldn’t have in my dark apartment.

sometimes being seen by the Son can be painful. when we have grown so accustomed to the dark and being hidden. stepping out into the light can hurt.

but man. being here is worth it. i was missing so much in the dark.

there are special vitamins in the sun. nourishment.

there are special vitamins in the Son. nourishment.

i have previously been someone who did not like to be outside. i was afraid of the mess. the dirt. the performance that might be required with a sport or activity. out of fear of messing up or missing the mark, i stayed on the side lines. or even worse, stayed inside.

but as i am growing in the Father, i am finding so much joy in being outside. i am finding life and perspective and lessons and warmth and healing and growth.

and i am beginning to understand why the devil tried to convince me to stay inside.

there is a special blessing and peace that comes with being outside and being close to things that God himself breathed life in. and still commands.

i am seeing family, i am seeing providence. i am seeing joy. i am seeing love. i am seeing community. i am seeing the wind. i am seeing life.

which is what the devil has been trying to steal from me all these years. he has been after my life. and so he cut off anything that resembled life. and offered fear to my heart as an exchange for the possibility of finding life. what a shitty trade.

i am so grateful to have found life in Jesus. i am so grateful to have been found  by Jesus. i am grateful to pursue life. i am grateful to be alive. and I’m grateful to be outside.

UPDATE: i wrote this this morning at the silos, (there was no wifi to publish) and while i was there, i looked up on the roof and i saw some people up there, but i couldn’t make out their faces. but i knew they were important. because not everyone can go up there. and we stared at each other for a bit, ya know when you can tell someone is looking at you?

anywayyy! come to find out! it was some of the members from the band Housefires and Bethel! some of my favorites!

but we wouldn’t have seen each other if i was hiding. if i wasn’t out in the sun, we wouldn’t have see each other.

and i could really feel a sweet lesson in this:

when you take a step out, and trust, and allow yourself to be seen, you are seen by some prettyy important people. whether you realize it or not. because they are out in the sun, too. they can’t see you from your apartment.

fear will tell you to stay in, because what are the odds that they will be there? and even if they are there, they might not be space for you?

but faith says, try it out! if it doesn’t work, let’s do something different. if they aren’t there, so what!

i am very grateful that i gave it a try. it was sweet & healing.

rest: weary

this season of rest is increasingly hard.

it seems like as the days go on, i am getting more weary. my heart is tired and my hope feels shakey. this is not a feeling i enjoy. this is not where i thought i would be. i feel confused and sad. each day is another lesson. and i feel like i am not learning any of them.

in this season of rest, this sweet invitation, i am still falling back on my old tricks. even though i think i am “resting” and am taking down time, i am painfully aware that i am missing the point.

yes, He has asked me to rest.

yes, rest means physically taking time to recover & sleep & grow.

no, rest does not mean working hard to rest.

no, rest does not mean striving to “rest well.”

as i look back on this time of rest, i am very aware that i have been working so hard and trying even harder to figure out what it means to rest and how i can quantify how much i am resting. this has ranged from going to the park, taking in a troubled dog, spending days in my apartment without leaving, watching Dr.Phil reruns, journaling, reading, watching sermons, spending time with family, calling friends, eating tacos, applying for a billion random jobs, making salads, avoiding cleaning/packing my apartment, the list goes on.

but as i look at this list, i see something missing:

intentional time, face to face, with Jesus. resting in who He is. settling into the promise.

i have been trying to externally rest, in all the ways i could think. but i think i am coming to release something bigger. maybe rest is more about my heart than my nap time. i have been relying on friends and family and preachers and worship leaders to tell me what comes next, to hear from God, to have confirmation for this season. and while all of that is good, and needed and has a place, it is not what was asked of me.

today i got another job rejection. and i really don’t think i am taking them personally, just more out of frustration. a feeling that i missed the mark. but i did really want this job. so upset, i cried/yelled at Jesus and asked Him “WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT? I CAN’T FIGURE OUT WHERE YOU WANT ME!!!!” and so sweetly He responded:

you

that is all He wants. He wants me. and i have been doing everything i can to keep it from Him. i have been hiding from Him. afraid of what it might mean to be seen by Him in this season. afraid for Him to see my weariness. afraid for Him to see my inadequacy. afraid of being let down. afraid that maybe He isn’t as good as i thought He was. afraid that maybe He can’t handle my expectations. i have been putting going to the park, taking in a troubled dog, spending days in my apartment without leaving, watching Dr.Phil reruns, journaling, reading, watching sermons, spending time with family, calling friends, eating tacos, applying for a billion random jobs, making salads, avoiding cleaning/packing my apartment between us. hoping that He will forget and take this lame offering of “resting” as obedience and give me what i want without having to really do the work and be vulnerable.

what the even heck?!

i have spent the last few months working on being seen by God. i have found the immeasurable sweetness that exists only in being known and seen by Him. that has been one of my biggest victories this year. and now, here i am, back to square one. striving to prove to Him that i am resting well, that i am obedient, that i am faithful & faithfilled. and here He is saying all He wants is me. just me. not my striving. not my excellent resting skills. just me. that’s what He came for. that’s what He died for.

i am so tired of resting, because i have been trying to do it on my own. i have been trying to crack the code. i have been afraid to show Him that i am tired of this cat & mouse game because i feel like i should have more faith than to doubt what He is doing. what if that disqualifies me from the promise?

i have been asking, “okay, if i do this, can i get a job then?” like it’s a trade off. i have been trying to distract myself from having to sit still. i have been so focused on the system, the outcome, and the process that i have missed being a part of them. i have missed the Source. and He has missed me. He just wants me back. He wants to spend time with me. and let me rest. and be restored. and be renewed. but like St. Augustine said:

“You have formed us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in You”

my heart has been restless. i haven’t rested, yet. i’ve spent a month striving to, but i haven’t been able to. i am maybe more tired than when i started. because i have been trying to do this on my own. trying to perform “rest” well enough for God to get the go-ahead for the next season to begin.

this resting thing is rich. it is full of goodness, mercy, compassion, provision, stability, and kindness. He wants to offer me all of those things. but instead, i have been experiencing fear, doubt, uncertainty, confusion, isolation, striving, loneliness and comparison. none of those things were included in the invitation from the Father. but i made room for them at the table. and He let me bring them, because He is generous. and He knew how weary i was. and even more than that, how confused i was. how i thought those were my friends. so He let them come to the table with me because i insisted.

and now He is preparing the table before me, in the presence of my enemies. He is reminding me that He was the one that sent the invitation in the first place. because He could see how tired i was. and He wanted to take care of me. He wants to provide the sweetest rest i could ever imagine. He wants to repair my tired heart. and remind me of His goodness.

what rest feels like

rest. rest. rest.

it feels like that is all i have been hearing, talking, thinking, and praying about for the past few weeks. and it seems as soon as it gets a tad bit easier, it suddenly gets much harder. it has definitely been a daily thing. back and forth, literally wrestling with doubts about what i think, believe, hear, feel and see. or the lack thereof. which has been so hard. there are multiple times a week-heck, multiple times a day- i ask myself if i really heard God, or maybe i heard Him wrong. or maybe i just missed the mark all together. it feels:

  • foreign
  • forgotten
  • misplaced
  • lazy
  • unpredictable
  • stranded
  • scary
  • wrong
  • overlooked
  • left-behind
  • unstable

but what i know it is, is:

  • healing
  • restoring
  • recharging
  • stretching
  • teaching
  • faith-building
  • a gift
  • sweet provision
  • a break

it is so hard to remind myself of what i am really in, and not let my feelings narrate the end of this season. sometimes it feels like i have used all the favor of God up, and there will be none left for the next season. but i know that is not true. i have to keep my eyes on Jesus, and stay in His presence to be reminded of where i am really standing. even when it feels the opposite of okay.

 

rest: lessons

so i am in this season of rest. and it has been so hard. i am so over it. but i needed to talk about the lessons i am learning. yesterday, i asked the Father what He wanted me to learn from this and He said:

how good I am 

which feels backwards and hard because right now, things don’t feel good. but i’ve been challenged to change my perspective and look at the good things and the provision that is right in front of me. so here is some of the good. the lessons.

  1. the importance of rest
  2. what rest actually means for me in this season
  3. that i am more tired that i realized
  4. that God knows what we actually need
  5. His provision is exactly what i need
  6. He holds nothing back
  7. He isn’t keeping anything from me
  8. He has a place for me
  9. He is preparing a place for me
  10. everything is in a divine order
  11. if i rest & receive, i can get things i didn’t even ask for
  12. He isn’t surprised by my unemployment
  13. He planned for this, too
  14. there is nothing i shall want