Eye Contact

The first dog I ever loved was a Doberman. Despite the reputation of his breed, he was the sweetest, most loyal thing I’d ever known. And man, did he love to run!

Luckily the fields near our Colorado home provided plenty of running opportunities. Most of which included that dog getting very far away from me very quickly. There was no chance of catching him in a chase. Only one thing could get him to change directions.

Eye contact.

“Cooper!” I would call. Eventually he would stop. Turn. Lock eyes with me. And come running back.

I’m not all that different. “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love.” It doesn’t take long to get pretty far away.

Until I hear my name being called. I turn. Make eye contact. And it always leads me home.

Psalm 121: I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Finding the Fit

Just this past weekend I tried on a pair of shoes — super cute and very well-priced. But no matter which size I tried on, they just wouldn’t fit my foot. I wanted to make them fit. (Did I mention they were super cute?!) I even walked around the store a bit to try to convince myself they might stop pinching in all the wrong places.

Unfortunately, no matter what I did, they felt, as physiologist Georgia Shaffer says, all kinds of “awkwardness.”

I think that’s just a perfect word to explain how it feels when we let others or ourselves direct any change in our lives. People mean well most of the time. And the suggested change can even be a good thing. Way more pros than cons on the legal pad.

But something about it just doesn’t sit right. It doesn’t fit. It’s awkward.

But God-appointed change, even if scary and hard and long-suffering, puts our souls at peace.

Be Welcome Here

??????????????????????????????????Like the toddler who hides behind the curtain while leaving her feet exposed, I pretend the “If I can’t see you, you can’t see me” theory still works. And I keep God in my peripheral vision. Sideways glances. Ducking behind busy-ness and exhaustion as an aversion to locking eyes.

I don’t want Him to see me. Not really. Not the mess I’ve made. Not the things I’ve let slide. Not the dust in my house. Not the unbalanced checkbook. Not the fast food bags in my car. Not the bruises on my tongue from biting back the words that scream from inside my head.

Among trusted allies – sisters and friends – I will admit to my messes. At least that much I am learning. To be broken before other women and together create a space where imperfection is A-OK. But are we just tucked behind the curtains together? Still hiding – and yet still exposed – all at the same time?

Softly I start to hear it. The voice of my Abba calling out for me. He knows. He sees. My toes and the stirring in the corner give me away. And still he does not tear it back and expose my nakedness. He knocks and whispers: “Will you let me in?”

Will I?

Everything in me wants to be more prepared – more presentable – before I step out. More together. More ready. More … I don’t know … just more. Or maybe less. Just different in some way.

Then the radio tunes to this:
Why are you striving these days
Why are you trying to earn grace
Why are you crying
Let me lift up your face
Just don’t turn away

Why are you looking for love
Why are you still searching
As if I’m not enough
To where will you go child
Tell me where will you run
To where will you run

‘Cause I’ll be by your side wherever you fall
In the dead of night whenever you call
And please don’t fight these hands that are holding you
(By Your Side, Tenth Avenue North)

And like the parched, cracked desert my spirit has become, I drink in the holiness and the grace of it all. Thirsty. So very thirsty.

And never before have I longed more for the shepherd to lead me by still waters or make me like a tree firmly planted by the stream.

For in my depleted state – my emptiness – one drop is absorbed too quickly. So instantly I am dry again. So very, very far from my desired fullness. From the PROMISE of fullness and abundance.

I cling to the truth that the Living Water not only wants me to welcome His presence, but that the very source and spring of it lives IN me. A self-irrigating system of perpetual fullness.

So I pray the drops will come faster and larger from heaven even as the bubbles start to rise to the surface.

It’s the declarations that quench me best, I find. (And so often in song.) “Your love never fails, never runs out, never gives up on me.” “God is able; He is on our side; He will make a way.” “Holy. Holy. Holy.”

And though today my cup still feels closer to empty than overflowing, already I can see a me in the not-so-distant future (I pray) splashing around in the mud of God’s grace, spinning in the rain of His love for me, and sporting skin wrinkled by the time spent soaking in His spring.

I’ll lay out the Welcome mat for Jesus. Muddy footprints and all.

Five Minute Friday: Dive

dive

Reluctantly I dipped a toe in the water, then slipped into a pool I wasn’t so excited to visit. A place I never planned to be. A situation I kind of kept praying was temporary. Like really, really temporary.

Over the last weeks I’ve been looking for a way to escape to the top of the water. Come out of even the shallow water I’d been living in and find a place where the breathing was easier. The sun is always warmer at the surface.

Instead, I hear a whisper, “Go Deeper.”

“But Lord,” I reply. “This isn’t really the right pool of water for me. Not the place to invest long-term. I’m just paddling around until your current sweeps me to a bigger, better sea.”

“Go Deeper. Be Fully Immersed.”

I take a breath. And dive.

 

 Join the 5-minute movement at The Gypsy Momma in her 5-Minute Friday challenge. Each week she posts a word. Set your timer for 5 minutes and just write. No stopping. No editing. Only 5 minutes. Just my style!

One Little Word – 2013 Style

 

Fuel Gauge

Over the last months, as my Float through 2012 was coming to an end, I began to look around the landscape to assess where this 366-day journey had dropped me off. Where and how has the landscape of my life, my walk, my calling, changed? As I have admitted previously, it was mostly a year of starts, then stops. Which led to inaction and reaction. Just hanging on for the ride. But maybe that’s what floating is.

A year ago, I said this: “The call is to let this current carry me this year. Rest in God. Yield. Breathe. Relax. Floating is not about laziness or apathy. It’s a movement forward knowing God is in control. So I can stop being frantic – busy for the sake of busy. Lean on God. Rest in the shadow of His wing. And float.”

Trusting, then, that God has been faithfully directing my river this year — its direction, its speed, its whirlpools and rapids, its calm and restful places — I am free to welcome exactly the place I find myself in this first day of the New Year.

Even so, my spirit is stirring for something new in 2013. Something bigger. Something more … Alive.

So God brought me here, to Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians: “And I pray that you … may have power to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ — that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

Fullness.

Wonder-FULL
Peace-FULL
Beauty-FULL
Grace-FULL
Thank-FULL

Almost as instantly as I snuggled into Fullness as my One Little Word for 2013, God whispered another. Empty.

Empty of expectation
Empty of regret
Empty of fear
Empty of pride
Empty of self

So, Welcome 2013. My year of Two Little Words. Empty & Full.

 

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