hope

Turning the Pages

20120413-230606.jpgTurning the pages…

Good Morning Father

Even as I wrote the word…Father…I am so aware of my gratitude for you as a Father.

That you would not leave me Fatherless.

When I think of the reality of growing up without a father – it’s surreal really.

No protector

No overseer

No filter

No safe hug

No guidance

Which left me looking in all kinds of places for these things.

My flesh is still bent to search for these these as though there is an earthly need of some sort that will be met.

I run here and there in search of the answer.

The need to resolve.

The need to make right.

The need to be good enough.

1979

My mind springs back

the first time I knew

The One who protects

The Overseer of all things

He cared enough to reach from heaven

to touch

this broken, tattered, filthy heart

with the tenderest of touch

and has never let go.

The moment

God showed me

the first moment

He whispered, My Father, My God

I AM

I AM your portion

I AM your salvation

I AM your hope

I will protect you

I will oversee you in all things great and small…

I will teach you to filter all things

I  AM your safe place

I will guide you in all truth

How many times since that beautiful day

have I forgotten?

I so easily move to the left or right searching

When He is right in front of me

with the same gentle whisper of 1979

This is the way

walk in it.

He promises to be my portion

He knows I will fail

Yet He promises to love me

anyway

and to be my strength

and not just for a day – but forever!

Psalm 73:26

My heart and my flesh may fail,

but God is the strength of my heart

and my portion forever!

Emphasis – mine.

Strength – mine.

Portion – mine.

Fatherless?

No.

He does not leave me fatherless.

Help me Father to walk according to your leading in the coming year.

Show me what you want to teach me.

Keep my eyes, heart and mind steadfast upon you.

Help me to be a willing student.

Keep my eyes open to you as they were that sweet day in 1979.

The scripture leading up to Psalm 76:23 says:

When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart,

I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast toward you.

Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand.

You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory.

Whom have I in heaven but you?

And there is nothing on earth I desire besides you.

My flesh and my heart may fail,

but God is the strength of my heart and

my portion forever.

I have found great peace in these words through 2013. They have been an anchor. They have given me courage. One step at a time.

What are you hearing as you turn the page this last day 2013?

I would love to hear about it.

Where did you struggle?

Where were you met in the struggle?

How did you find hope?

What keeps you putting one foot in front of the other?

Enjoy this beautiful song by Audrey Assad as you ponder my words.

Grateful for you!

HIS,

karen

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When A Woman Finds Her Voice

“I won’t tell if you don’t!”

We never really said it, but we knew we shared the common bond. The bond of silence.

The decision to swallow our words helped us through some terrifying times and erected a wall of protection around our hearts. With an unwritten allegiance, my brothers and I stood by each other within those constructed walls.

I was familiar with deferring to the voice, stifled by fear. The one that held the power. My first lesson in this subject came at the age of five. If you tell, they will not believe you. And they may never let you come back. Back to visit the pony with the silky flowing mane.  And so, the lump in my throat grew large, larger than life for a young girl barely school age. I loved the pony. I swallowed in silence. I will not tell.

It wasn’t the first time I had been rendered speechless.

These childhood classrooms provided curriculum–educating me early. The lessons learned provided a legend for the map I would navigate through life.

Until…God beckoned me to begin voice lessons. The journey to finding my voice began. One lesson at a time he began to teach me how to use the voice he gifted me. A new classroom.

In her soon to be released book When A Woman Finds Her Voice: Overcoming Life’s Hurts and Using Your Voice to Make a Difference,  Jo Ann Fore invites us to allow God to be the one who gives us a voice. The one he intended for us to use as he gifted us our first breath.

Cover When A Woman FInds Her Voice

 

“Whether you need emotional healing or are looking for tools to help others, When A Woman Finds Her Voice offers practical hope, straight talk, and insightful biblical truths that lead you to find this healing, and then helps you lead others to do the same…”

Her book is available now for pre-order. Grab yours NOW and begin the journey to finding your voice.

 

The Storm Within

Originally posted March 7, 2013

The Storm Within
The Storm Within

It came out of nowhere. I felt it coming. Even shared with a friend in hopes it would diminish. In hopes I could conquer the emotion washing over me as I readied myself to walk into a group of women I did not know.  I’m a grown woman who God has re-purposed. What is my problem? Why can’t I get it together? If I know it’s coming, creeping up into the quiet places of my heart and mind to stir up a storm within – surely I should be able to stop it…right?

In the cold of the gray day I somehow remembered what it took to fight the battle within.

If this is your battle too I want to ask you to take this cold gray walk with me.

Leaving the weight of my shoulder bag in the hand of my friend, I made a decision to put one foot in front of the other as I sought to do business with God. One foot in front of the other as I remembered that I had the ability to conquer. Not in my own strength, but in the strength of God my Father. Though it was a brisk day I knew I had to have time alone to talk out loud to God. Not so much so that He would hear me, but more so because I needed to cry out to Him with my whole heart.

Oswald Chambers says “The surf that distresses the ordinary swimmer produces in the surf-rider the super-joy of going clean through it. Apply that to our own circumstances, these very things–tribulation, distress, persecution, produce in us the super-joy; they are not things to fight. We are more than conquerors through Him in all these things, not in spite of them, but in the midst of them.”

Through Him – Therein lies my hope. And your hope too. Not in the success of never having to return to the same dreaded battle again. My mind tells me I should be able to master this. So that I will not find myself back in this position again. The last thought I have in the midst of the battle is this is going to produce super-joy in me.

Oh Lord, help me to trust that the storm – the surf – will lead me to you – the One who has conquered death. The One who reminds me that I too am a conqueror, in ALL things.

Do you need to step out into the brisk cold and put one foot in front of the other as you cry out to God? I’ll join you. Or if you like, I’ll hold your shoulder bag.

We can both learn to trust the surf.

HIS,

karen

 

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Be what?

Oh – that’s it…Be still…and know I am God.

Stillness has not been on my menu of late. My life since the end of April has at times felt like the turn-style at an amusement park entrance. It has been good, but it has been non-stop. Going first in one direction and then another.

But this past weekend I took a long deep breath in. Took it down deep to the places that needed fresh oxygen.

photo-4One step at a time I slowly climbed to my perch.

This was an invitation to listen to my heart, my mind, my soul. My body.

It whispered at every turn winding through the halls, be still, listen, know that I am God.

A sign hung in the main area to remind me. Just in case I lost my ability to remember. I do that, you know. I forget to stop and breath in all that is around me. Simple things like a rainstorm gently blowing its way in. The hint of fresh rain wafting through the air and landing on my shoulders. Wrapping me in its embrace as it lets go of its need to wait.

Fresh rain drops on tin rooftops. And then the sun bursts through.

As I sit, hoping for fulness to pour into me, it comes, gently flowing as if from the narrow mouth of a pitcher. I drink it in. Deep.

They say retreat, stillness, solitude is good for the soul. They are right. Words flow freely as I make room for them. photo-2

Why don’t I make room more often?

I wonder…do you make room? Change comes as we make room. As we slow our busy lives.photo-3

How often do you intentionally choose to be still?

What happens when you do? Does fullness pour in like a soft rain? Does healing come? Does revelation gently unfold? Does hope find its way to your heart like the smell of the coming rain found its way to let go and wrap me in its embrace?photo-6

Oh that we would take the time to make space to be still, you and I, more often. Could we make it a discipline? I don’t think it will just happen.

As I stood and watched this butterfly he let me click multiple camera shots of him, click, click, click. I stood in awe of how long he just sat there letting me glimpse his beauty.

And I wonder if God softly chuckled as he observed my stillness.

Be what?

Be still and know that I am God.

HIS,

karen

 

The Storm Within

Nay, in all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

Romans 8:37 – From My Utmost For His Highest

The Storm Within
The Storm Within

It came out of nowhere. I felt it coming. Even shared with a friend in hopes it would diminish. In hopes I could conquer the emotion washing over me as I readied myself to walk into a group of women I did not know.  I’m a grown woman who God has re-purposed. What is my problem? Why can’t I get it together? If I know it’s coming, creeping up into the quiet places of my heart and mind to stir up a storm within – surely I should be able to stop it…right?

In the cold of the gray day I somehow remembered what it took to fight the battle within.

If this is your battle too I want to ask you to take this cold gray walk with me.

Leaving the weight of my shoulder bag in the hand of my friend, I made a decision to put one foot in front of the other as I sought to do business with God. One foot in front of the other as I remembered that I had the ability to conquer. Not in my own strength, but in the strength of God my Father. Though it was a brisk day I knew I had to have time alone to talk out loud to God. Not so much so that He would hear me, but more so because I needed to cry out to Him with my whole heart.

Oswald Chambers says “The surf that distresses the ordinary swimmer produces in the surf-rider the super-joy of going clean through it. Apply that to our own circumstances, these very things–tribulation, distress, persecution, produce in us the super-joy; they are not things to fight. We are more than conquerors through Him in all these things, not in spite of them, but in the midst of them.”

Through Him – Therein lies my hope. Not in the success of never having to return to the same dreaded battle again. My mind tells me I should be able to master this. So that I will not find myself back in this position again. The last thought I have in the midst of the battle is this is going to produce super-joy in me.

Oh Lord, help me to trust that the storm – the surf – will lead me to you – the One who has conquered death. The One who reminds me that I too am a conqueror, in ALL things.

Do you need to strep out into the brisk cold and put one foot in front of the other as you cry out to God? I’ll join you. Or if you like, I’ll hold your shoulder bag.

We can both learn to trust the surf.

HIS,

karen