Independent Thinker

Apparently my test results define me as an Independent Thinker on As I read the results I was surprised at how well four questions could make an assessment on who I am.

My independent thinking skills can get me in trouble. In the midst of starting this blog, I failed to mention this endeavor to my husband. As I was reading the results of the “Independent Thinker” he interrupted me to ask, “when are you going to tell me about this blog you are writing?”

Oh no, I hurt the man I love. I HATE when that happens. I can hardly bare it to hurt the people I love, to hurt the people who love me.

All I could do was say I am sorry.

It isn’t that I didn’t want to tell him. I want to tell him everything, but life has been crazy. We’ve been up late or up early. Work has been demanding and stressful. I am watching him work with all he’s got to provide for our family. He’s determined and faithful. He will never quit. No matter how hard it gets, he will keep pressing to follow Jesus. That’s the leader of our family.

And I want to submit to that, to honor him, to bless him and to encourage him.

But I fail. Over and over I fail. Failing is the worst.

Please forgive me. Please.

The world is ok again because there is grace. He forgave me.

Jesus forgives me too.

Every day I fall more in love with grace. Grace upon grace upon grace. It keeps coming. It never stops.

We don’t deserve this grace.

But God sent His Son Jesus and it changed everything.

Jesus changed my husband.

Jesus changed me.

Jesus can change you.

Today I experienced double the grace. Grace from Jesus and grace again through Jesus seeping out of my husband.

Know anyone who needs some grace?

“For from His fullness we have all received grace upon grace.” – John 1:16

Skipping Breakfast

Yesterday I was scurrying in the kitchen preparing to go to work. Usually breakfast doesn’t make the cut, but this morning I was pouring a bowl of cereal and heating coffee in the microwave.

That’s when our nine year old girl came up to me and whispered, “mama, I have to tell you something.”

Ok, what’s up?

“Mama, last night when we were watching that sermon I felt like God told me to fast today to pray for all the kids in Africa that won’t be able to eat today.”

If God is telling you to do that, you need to obey Him.

“Ok mama, I am not eating today.”

My scurry paused and I stared at her. She was resolved to be obedient, eager to count the cost, heart broken for kids across the world.

She’s nine. Is this really happening?

She called me at lunch and said, “mama I am weak.”

Eat something.

“But, mama. Remember I told you, God told me to fast today.”

Heart sink. I forgot.

Oh baby, I forgot. I am so sorry. Please forgive me. Please.

“Mama, will you pray for me?”

Yes, oh yes.

The God of the universe is in pursuit of my little girl and she’s hearing what He is saying to her. And she’s obeying what He says.

And when she’s weak, she knows her source of strength is Christ so she wants to go straight there.

Later I got home and we were sitting on the porch watching the snow fall all wrapped up in a big blanket together.

“Mama, I don’t ever want to walk away from Jesus. I hope I never make the choice to follow the world.”

Yes sweetie, I hope not either. Can you pray that God would provide what we need.

“He will provide what we need. He always does.  And if He doesn’t, He will have a good reason.”

He is knocking

We think we (in our own strength and power and gumption) can live some relentless pursuit of Christ, but the reality is, we live being relentlessly pursed by Him.

He stands at the door of our hearts and patiently knocks and knocks until we open the door and let Him come in.

Does that make you weep? That makes me weep. When I was five years old I couldn’t take the knock anymore, I had to open the door.

How did I hear that knock when I was so little? Only now over 30 years later do I fully understand what a miracle that really is that I heard Jesus speaking to me when I was a little girl.

So many friends I have in their 30’s and 40’s and 60’s have not responded to that knock yet, but He is still there knocking. He isn’t leaving. He’s waiting on them to take the risk and open the door.

Can they hear the knock, but are too afraid of what’s on the other side? Worried of how opening that door will turn their world upside down? Sure that they will have to lose the things they hold so closely? Too secure to let go of control?

Or maybe they can’t hear the knock. The noise of their television never stops. They walk around with buds in their ears listening to music. They surf the internet or engross themselves in their work or studies. They run from one activity to the next and collapse in bed to do it all over again.

Maybe they don’t have silence in their days and the knock is just a little too quiet to break through all of life’s noise.

Relentless pursuit keeps coming. Jesus never stops loving us. He remains merciful and patient. He’s not beating the door. He’s not forcing entry. He’s chilled and He never leaves. He is in no hurry. He will wait.

To know THAT love came after me…

To know THAT love captured me as a little girl…

To know THAT love wants to spend time with me every day…

To know THAT love is refining and changing me to look more like Him…

To know THAT love makes me want to go beat on the doors so the whole world can know THAT love is for them too.

He is knocking. Shhh, listen.

Are we all in?

Our Father longs for us to go to the deep places with Him, to the hard places, the unchartered places, to the uncomfortable places. To the places where we can’t see the end and can barely see the step we are on. So let’s go there.

Let’s run with all our hearts, with our hearts beating out of our chests and gasping for air. Let’s cling to the cross and crawl with every ounce of strength we have left. Let’s get in His arms and admit we can’t do this and we need Him. Let’s go all the way in our broken mess.

Why? Because this is life. It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. We don’t have to be weighed down anymore by this world. We can lose every thing that entangles us. And let Jesus set us free. Not just free from all our nasty sin, but free every day to follow Him.

Free means faith. We lose control and He has all control. Everything becomes His and we are His workmanship, His tools, created to do His work that He planned before we even knew. We can risk everything if we trust Him, listen to Him and do what He says.

Free means adventure. We don’t know what’s next, but we know Who has the next planned for us. So we trust with full abandon and hope in expectation for what’s around the bend. In adventure with Jesus there is always hope and hope will never disappoint us.

Absolutely, this relentless pursuit will cost us. Yes, everything. But the deeper we go, the more we understand the cost is worth it. The more we know Him, the more we realize it cost Him everything too.

Will it hurt? Maybe. But, doesn’t becoming an Olympic athlete, a surgeon, a farmer, an advocate for the poor hurt too. Everything costs. If we want a lot of possessions, it costs us to accumulate them. If we want to really know our family and friends, it costs us our time.

Who do we love? When do we feel most alive? Why do we get up in the morning? Where do we go? How do we spend our tangible and intangible resources? What do we value?

Our affections drive us, motivate us and control us.

May our affections be all for Jesus. Let’s let Him direct every step, conversation and work project. Let’s ask Him for His plan for our lives and do His will if our plans don’t match His plans for us. Let’s stay straight unless He tells us to turn. But when He says turn, let’s turn, no questions asked, no doubting, no anxiety, no fear. Recklessly abandon ourselves to Jesus.

Let’s be crazy and live in relentless pursuit of the One who pursues us, rescues us from the miry pit, forgets our sins as far as the east is from the west, forgives us, embraces us, changes us and loves us unconditionally and constant in a way we will never fully understand.

He is worthy of our devotion, our hearts, our possessions, our work, our homes, our time, our lives.

The choice is ours. Are we all in?