Here Comes the Bride!

The chapel is booked. The perfect dress has been purchased. Fresh flowers have been ordered. The cake design is set. Decorations are ready to be hung and set out. Yummy delicacies to share with guests are ordered. All is prepared for the wedding.

Throughout the waiting time the bride has shed a few stress-induced tears. Each time her comment is the same: “I don’t want to have to worry about all this, I just want to be married to the one I love!”

Her eye is only for her Beloved! He holds her focus. The rest of the world fades away when he speaks. She longs for the day that she will be his forever.

Going through this wedding preparation makes me think deeply about being the Bride of Christ.

Do I look longingly and lovingly for the day I, along with the entire church on this Earth, become the Bride of Christ?

Do I think of my love all day and anticipate what would make him happy?

Do I adorn myself and prepare myself to be the best possible person for my Jesus?

Do I sit with Him hanging on His every word and sharing my heart with My Love?

Do I spend the resources, take the time, and throw all my energy into planning my life with my Beloved Jesus?

Do  I long for time to be with Him as a bride-to-be longs for her fiancé?

It’s very easy for us to say we love Christ. It’s very easy to enjoy saying we are His fiancé. But we would think it very peculiar if a young lady never spent time with her fiance or never prepared herself for her wedding. Perhaps we should examine our heart and consider our engagement with our heavenly Bridegroom.

The Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. But only five of them were wise enough to fill their lamps with oil, while the other five were foolish and forgot. So, when the bridegroom was delayed, they lay down to rest until midnight, when they were roused by the shout, ‘The bridegroom is coming! Come out and welcome him!’ All the girls jumped up and trimmed their lamps. Then the five who hadn’t any oil begged the others to share with them, for their lamps were going out. “But the others replied, ‘We haven’t enough. Go instead to the shops and buy some for yourselves.’ But while they were gone, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was locked. Matthew 25:1-10 TLB

Grab His love letter to you and read it until your heart is full! Listen to His words of love to you. Pour out your heart to Him. Sit and rest in the embrace of the Lover of Your soul.


His Love is More


“It’s a fig tree.”

As nonchalantly as “the sky is blue” or “I love Minecraft.”

“It’s a fig tree.”

She was a few steps ahead of me, I watched as she rubbed her hands over the leaf and looked behind her to see if I was paying attention. I recognized the gnarly branches and distinct leaf shape immediately. I quizzed her, “How do you know?”

My oldest daughter, Charlotte looked at me and matter-of-factly said, “I can smell it.”

fig-sliced-plate-wooden-tableThe fig tree makes me always think of two things… cookies and the King. I love a Fig Newton, but I don’t love a fig. In my mind, the fig is the King’s fruit, well, sort of. The first Mom and Dad of this world covered themselves with fig leaves after they felt shame for the first time. A feeling that has been palpable through the ages. Shame compels those who are covered by it to make clouded choices and feel the lowest of lows.

It wasn’t until about 9 years ago that I conjectured that the fruit in the garden was a fig. After all why in the world would such an unruly and itchy choice be what one would choose to cover his or her lady or gentleman parts with? I reasoned simply, it was the closest option. Later the King cursed that same fruitless tree, it withered and died, almost as if He were demonstrating His feelings toward the tree that represented sin and death. The very thing that He was soon going to overcome. Perhaps not. Perhaps it is just an unfortunate specimen of botany and I have a bit too big an imagination to leave it as such.

Regardless, as my daughter stated the undeniable fact of the fig trees presence, I pondered what sin and death meant for my oldest, the first of my children, not born of my body, but of something much stronger, my soul. I pondered how sin and death were the very thing that brought her to me. newborn in incubatorBorn way too early and in poor health, she had to fight for her very life. A death sentence at birth was proclaimed over her before she could even contemplate the significance.

Jesus healed her, and she too overcame death. She understands as much as it is possible for a teenage girl to understand. I’ve often said she has an old soul… She is slow and deliberate. She loves a soup, classic rock, and frowns upon the frivolous. Perhaps it is because in the short years she has lived, she has a better grasp on the fragility of life, the beautiful things of this world, and has experienced the healing power and the love of a Savior that many adults do not.

There was a time when I questioned Jesus regarding His plan for her. I wondered why He had scanned the world over and picked me to be her Mama. He gave me her verse when she was desperately sick, and her future seemed unclear. His Word simply stated, He had plans for her, plans to protect her, plans for good, plans for her future, plans filled with Hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)

He has confirmed time and time again that He trusts me, He has equipped me fully, and that He loves her more than I ever could. That fact right there blows my mind. Thankfully, the truth of that is not contingent on me understanding it. His love is immeasurably more. His love is more than my sin and mess ups. His love is more than my insecurities, inadequacies, and anxieties. His love is more than I was, I am, or I am going to be.


The “Will” of God

In my bathroom there is a very special window. It’s not particularly beautiful. It’s actually quite ordinary. It’s not the window itself that makes it a treasure. It’s the precious gift God left me on that window.

I don’t know about you, but as a momma of four children, the bathroom is my place of refuge. It’s my getaway, my sanctuary, and my prayer closet. When my kids were younger it was the place I could steal away for a few sacred minutes to breathe and eat chocolate (no judging, every momma of littles should have a chocolate stash in the bathroom). As my kids got older, it became the one quiet room in the house. I spent many hours crying out to God in that bathroom. Wrestling with my sin and my weakness, begging God for wisdom, and asking God to remind my scattered, distracted heart that His love for me is real and constant and intimate and personal.

A few years ago after a particularly difficult day of parenting, I was spent. I wondered aloud, asking God if He could hear me and if He knew how much I needed Him. I was angry and frustrated with myself and wondered how God could love such a messed up sinner woman. I took a long shower and poured out my heart to my King. It was late and I was so weary. I ended up wrapped in my towel on my knees weeping before God. I made my way to grab some tissue and looked out the window to admire the stillness and quiet of the trees in our backyard and I noticed something odd. As the foggy steam from the shower began to clear I saw something on that window that left me in a big ol’ puddle of tears. The message on my window said simply, “I WILL LOVE YOU.” I recognized the writing as the handiwork of my youngest son—a pudgy finger squeakily writing a love note on my window pane. A love note that God knew would reach down and wreck my heart and be the perfect reminder of my Abba’s love.

I Will Window

While the note was just what I needed, it was the construction that started me pondering. I’m a lover of words and grammar is especially meaningful—a true word nerd. “I will love you” is an odd choice for an eight-year-old, but as I thought about it, I realized my personal, intimate God knew this particular phrasing wouldn’t go unnoticed.

I WILL is the future perfect progressive verb tense. This means it is an action that is ongoing. It is a promise. If you make an “I WILL” statement, you are stating not what might happen, but what is certain to happen. It is a statement with the promise of fulfillment. In this case, a promise not just for a specific time, but a promise that will continue. Now every time I look at that window I’m reminded that God’s love is not just something I experienced in the past, not just something I am experiencing in the present, but will continue to be given. Because God’s love is not based on my performance. It is based on the love of God in Christ. God WILL love me because of Jesus.

After my window encounter, I started thinking more about the many I WILL promises God left for us to discover in His Word. They are powerful reminders of who God was, who He is, and who HE WILL be for those who love Him. I began looking through and underlining all the I WILL’s I could find. Here are a few of my favorites:

“Just as I was with Moses, I WILL BE with you. I WILL NOT leave your nor forsake you.” Joshua 1:5

I WILL go before you and will make the crooked places straight.” Isaiah 45:2 (KJV)

“So you will be my people and I WILL be your God.” Jeremiah 30:22

“Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden and I WILL give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I WILL listen to you.” Jeremiah 29:12

He will tend his flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom and gently lead those that are with young.” Isaiah 40:11 (a sweet promise for mommas of littles)

“Fear not for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I WILL strengthen you, I WILL help you, I WILL uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

“And the Lord WILL guide you continually.” Isaiah 58:11

“I am the Lord, and I WILL bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I WILL deliver you from slavery to them, and I WILL redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment. I WILL take you to be my people, and I WILL be your God, and you shall know that I am the Lord your God.” Exodus 6: 6-7

Take some time today and walk through the Word focused on God’s “wills.” Whatever you may be facing, He has provided a promise of His presence, His provision, His protection, His grace, His mercy.

As I thought more about the I will’s of God, I recognized something even more incredible. The most beautiful, most powerful thing about the I WILL’s of God is the reality that the promises have been fulfilled in Jesus Christ. The I WILL has become the I AM of Jesus.

“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘YES’ in Christ!” 2 Corinthians 1:20

Today choose to rejoice in the promises and praise the Promise Keeper. He loved you yesterday. He loves you today. And He WILL love you forever.



Jesus will love you forever!


Lego Lesson

As a young mom, clutter was always a battle. The Second Law of Thermodynamics – that all closed systems tend to drift toward a state of disorder – played out daily in my home! (I’m married to an engineer, can you tell?) I cleaned up the house and my four little ones and their mass of toys would bring disorder sweeping in right behind me.

One of the biggest culprits of this toy mess, and my biggest love-hate relationship was with Legos! I loved the creativity they generated in my kids, but hated the chaos on the floor of their room, particularly when I had to walk through there. Barefoot. In the dark! Ouch!

lego-tannerEach morning the Lego bin was dumped. In every spare moment – before school, after school, all day on holidays and weekends – cities and machines, craft and people of all sorts were meticulously assembled by my little horde of creators. Over the course of the day there were frequent requests of “Mom, come look at this one!” After supper was prime Lego play time, no school and often Dad would join in the fun. There were pirates and natives of tropical islands, British soldiers and space explorers and of course every conceivable building, device, or mode of transportation these Lego people might need. As you might imagine, when bath and bedtime approached it was war. “No! Don’t make me put them up!” “Whyyyy? I just got finished building it!” Sound familiar?

After too many bedtime showdowns, I realized something had to change. I’d been going to bed every night wound up from dealing with the kids. As the saying goes, “Necessity is the mother of invention,” so I came up with a solution.

Now, I’m not a “perfect house” kind of gal; I want our family to be able to actually live in, play in, and enjoy our home. My goal for picking up the toys was a safety issue. If the kids got sick in the middle of the night, or if there was a fire or other emergency, the children needed to be able to safely walk out of the room and their dad and I be able to safely walk in without crippling ourselves or falling over toys. It dawned on me that all we needed was a safe path through our personal Legoland.

The next night I introduced new procedures to the kids. They could henceforth leave the creations they had built spread out all over their room as long as there was a cleared path between their bed and the door. They readily agreed. That first night I helped clean up in order to show them what I considered a decent “clear path.” After that it was smooth sailing. Each night 10 minutes before bath time “Clear a path to your bed!” would ring out from Mom or Dad, baths would proceed without frustrated gripes (at least the gripes about having to pick up toys), and bedtime became peaceful.

So what does all this have to do with anything spiritual? I think it gives us a glimpse of the love of the Father.

As I saw my children, made in the image of Creator God, creating their Lego landscape, I saw sheer joy and love. Joy in creating them. Uniquely. Joy in talking with them. Joy in planning the whole script of their Lego lives and moving them from here to there. Joy in giving them new homes and cars and hats. Joy in being with them first thing the next morning and spending the day with them. Joy in protecting them from the crawling baby brother. Joy in preserving them from mom who would require destroying (putting up) things each night. They loved the creative process, loved what they made, loved interacting with it, and loved showing it off to others.

earth-blue-planet-globe-planet-41953Just think about the loving care that went in to creating everything we know. Creator God spent thought and energy and love and passion preparing this world we take for granted. What must have gone into his ideas for making the earth a ball and dangling it in space with beautiful heavenly bodies and spinning it and making it of dirt and rocks and water and air? What creative joy did He get out of making volcanos, clouds, hurricanes, and caves? Did He do all canyon-gorge-antelope-canyon-tourist-attraction-87419those majestic things just because one day He would delight in our joy and awe of seeing and experiencing these amazing sights? What about the variety of plants? Couldn’t he just as easily have made one kind of plant to cover the whole earth that fed us all, created all the oxygen, and did everything else He wanted plants to do? And the animals? Again, huge variety. Did He make slugs sticky so little kids would say “Ew!”? Did he make rugged elephants to reveal His strength, downy chicks to show His gentleness, peacocks to reveal His beauty, slug-nature-snail-mollusc-158158marsupials to remind us He takes care of us when we’re helpless? And did He make giraffes just so one day in 2017 He could watch us with joy all come together online to wait on the birth of a giraffe for weeks? On and on I could go. But the question is still Why?

pexels-photo-341971Ladies, just as we get joy from the creative process and the things we make, Father God gets great joy through us, His created masterpiece. What creative joy there must have been when He dreamed up just who we would be and gave us our particularly unique physical appearance, personality and abilities. He enjoys talking with us and being with us. He receives joy each day as He sees us live out the script, the plan, He has set in place for our lives. He rejoices every time He gets to give us something He knows we desire. He loves seeing each of us first thing every morning and spending His day with us. He enjoys protecting and preserving us from the things that might hurt or destroy us. He loves the whole process, from bringing us into being to relating with us to showing us off. He just simply loves us.

We were created for God’s good pleasure and to bring glory to Him. I encourage you today to bask in His love. Then live out your day in His love. We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19) When we know we are truly and deeply loved by our Creator, we will operate differently in this ole world.

For this is what the Lord says—he who created the heavens, he is God;
he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it;
he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited—
he says: “I am the Lordand there is no other.
I have not spoken in secret, from somewhere in a land of darkness;
I have not said to Jacob’s descendants, ‘Seek me in vain.’
I, the Lord, speak the truth; I declare what is right.

“Gather together and come; assemble, you fugitives from the nations.
Ignorant are those who carry about idols of wood, who pray to gods that cannot save.
Declare what is to be, present it—let them take counsel together.
Who foretold this long ago, who declared it from the distant past?
Was it not I, the LordAnd there is no God apart from me,
a righteous God and a Savior; there is none but me.

“Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth;
for I am God, and there is no other.
By myself I have sworn, my mouth has uttered in all integrity
a word that will not be revoked:
Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear.
They will say of me, ‘In the Lord alone are deliverance and strength.’”
All who have raged against him will come to him and be put to shame.
But all the descendants of Israel will find deliverance in the Lord
and will make their boast in him.

Isaiah 45:18-25