Thursday, April 26, 2012

Random Thursday Ramblings

* I recently learned that when you go hiking . . .you should bring a map (and snacks and water while you are at it!) I ventured up to Mt. Pleasant, 2 hours West of Powhatan. I figured we could just hop out of the car, go for a nice hike (2 hours or so) and make it back into town to visit the ROC. I had been to that trail before, but because of unexpected snow and a vehicle that wouldn't make it up the mountain to the beginning of the path. . . truthfully, had no idea what I was doing. (I will admit this now, that we are safe and sound) But in my "I can do it all" fashion, I was thinking how hard could it be! HA. 5.5 hours later and after about 30 minutes having no clue where we were or the car for that matter . . . I am thinking next time I go hiking somewhere that have multiple trails and unfamiliar terrain . . . a map, snacks and water is probably the smart way to play it!

* Jeremiah 31:3-4 "The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying; "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt, O Virgin Israel. Again you will take up your tambourines and go out to dance with the joyful." Perhaps tonight, the kitchen will turn into a dance floor of praise!!

* I hate cancer. (My prayers are with you, Schardt family!)

* I knew that being an aunt would be fun, but I really underestimated how much that baby girl would steal my heart. She was my buddy at the beach. She lives 5 hours away and I don't see her nearly enough. I got tons of great pictures and videos that captured how fast she is growing up this past weekend, and quite a few that shows her spunk (I am one proud auntie) but none of that comes close to holding her in my arms and stealing her kisses. I miss the bug today.

* I have also learned that when you go to the beach, regardless how beautiful the sunny but cool April day may be, you should wear sunscreen. And I know this--I do. I could also make up a cute little story as to why I forgot to put some on, but there isn't one. I forgot. I got burnt. And now, half of my face is falling off. Flattering, I know! Where sunscreen kids!

* Only 16 more days until the Dominican Republic!!

* I'm glad that in the past I have rarely used the phone. I have accumulated an absurd amount of roll over minutes . . . .they are now coming in handy!

* People are messy, relationships are messy . . . but looking back over the last 2 weeks at conversations, at laughs, at tears, at conflict, and at sharing new adventures with the people in my life. Messy or not, I am truly blessed and have some incredible folks to walk this life with. I might not always love them well or communicate how vital they are to me, but amidst the mess that I can be at times, nevertheless I hope they know they aren't taken for granted.

* I'm calling it a day. Good bye office. Hello perfect evening at home.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

"... As for you . . . . a harvest is appointed."

I was able to steal three days away this past weekend to dig my feet into the cold sand, to hear the waves crashing on the shore, to sit in the silent darkness of the early morning hours and to watch God paint a breath taking sunrise. It was there among the grains of sand and the endless horizon that I was reminded just how small I am, and how big my God is. It was there that I could clear my head and stand before His creation in awe of His brilliance. And it was there, along the water’s edge and before a quiet heart that I heard His voice, felt His peace and leaned into His arms.

I have been hanging out in the book of Hosea recently. A book that has been helping me see and to understand this unending love that God has for us . . .for me. Chapter 6 grabbed a hold of me on the shores on North Carolina, and today still will not let go . . .

"Come, let us return to the LORD.
...he will heal us;
...he will bind up our wounds . . .

...he will revive us...
...he will restore us, that we may live in his presence.
Let us acknowledge the LORD;
let us press on to acknowledge him.

As surely as the sun rises,
he will appear;
he will come to us like the winter rains,
like the spring rains that water the earth....

...also for you . . . a harvest is appointed..."

In the waiting, in the seeking, in the learning, in the doubts and questions, in the work of digging ditches, planting seeds and carrying out this faith, He reminded me. . . "also for you . . . a harvest is appointed."( Hosea 6:11a)

In His appointed time . . . .

As tears escaped from my eyes, as the sun peaked over the horizon, and as I envisioned Him embracing me with His arms of grace, I realized . . .

He has heard my inner most cries. He has seen past the facade that I am learning to shed. He is breaking through years of lies, hurts, mistrust and He is not ceasing on showing me His faithfulness, and His desire to lead me beside the still waters that cultivate abundant life. He has been planting and healing and working in my life, in my mess . . .and He is opening up my eyes to a portion of the harvest that is coming, that is starting to poke through.

I know that in my surrender, in my searching for Him and following wherever He leads, there will be times of waiting on His appointing, waiting for that harvest ... but looking back on what He has done and seeing the field He has me standing in right now . . .I am confident in this--He is faithful.

Monday morning, as I drove into work I heard the song, Faithful is Our God by Hezekiah Walker & LFC, I haven't stopped listening to it since.


Faithful, faithful, faithful is our God
Faithful, faithful, faithful is our God
Faithful, faithful, faithful is our God
Faithful, faithful, faithful is our God

I'm reaping the harvest God promised me
Take back what the devil stole from me
And I rejoice today, for I shall recover it all
Yes, I rejoice today, for I shall recover it all

Holy, holy, holy is our God
Holy, holy, holy is our God
Holy, holy, holy is our God
Holy, holy, holy is our God

I'm reaping the harvest God promised me
Take back what the devil stole from me
And I rejoice today, for I shall recover it all
Yes, I rejoice today, for I shall recover it all

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus is our God
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus is our God
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus is our God
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus is our God

I'm reaping the harvest God promised me
Take back what the devil stole from me
And I rejoice today, for I shall recover it all
Yes, I rejoice today, for I shall recover it all

In closing, I am grateful for a God who hears me, a God who loves me, a God who calls me into His presence, and a God who speaks to me. I am thankful for His faithfulness and for the blessings He showers over my life. I am reaping the harvest He has promised me. I am taking back what the devil stole from me. And today and every day I am rejoicing, for I shall recover it all.

To Him be all the glory. Amen!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

the operating room



I walk into an unknown room. It's quiet. Eerie even. As my feet touch the white, cold tile floor, chills run down my spine. There's a table before me.  A long metal table, I bet it's cold too. I'm uncomfortable. My heart is racing, and not in a good kind of way. I want to run. Want to run back into comfort, into what's always been. But I can't. I won't. I've been there before. It ends the same every time. Hurt. Broken. Empty. Lonely. Angry. Bitter. I'm done. There's got to be another way. I suppose that desire, that yearning for something more has lead me here. Standing alone, vulnerable, terrified. As I approach the table, I wonder . . . will this hurt more than the pain I already walk in outside of this room? The doubts of, can I really be "fixed," feed the urge to run. As I take another step closer, I notice a window. I vaguely can see faces. Who are they? Why are they here? Do they get to watch? I can't breath. What if they see ________? Will they laugh? Judge? The inner turmoil is unbearable. Stay. Run. Stay. Run. Nothing changes if I continue to follow my old footsteps. I know this. Yet that path looks easy. Easy? Easy and empty I remind myself. Nothing about doing the right thing is easy. I take another step. Tears run down my cheek. I'm scared. I take another step. As I approach the table. There are no straps. Nothing that will hold me in. What? I have the choice to enter the room. To get on the table. And now, to stay. Doubts. Questions. What if I am not strong enough? What if it hurts too much? Will I choose to stay? I climb on. I was right, it's cold. I want to run. To hop off and never look back. But I don't.  I start sobbing. Why is this such a wrestle? I close my eyes. And in between what sobs I can, I breath and whisper . . . "Hurry Jesus. Hurry and meet me here."

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Sometimes you think you have come so far

Sometimes you think you have come so far . . . your life looks completely different, many of the choices you make don't resemble what the 'old you' would have chosen, and your dreams and aspirations appear to have matured with this "new found growth." The dark corners of life that you avoided for years, the ones preventing you from moving forward, the ones you finally started opening the doors and shinning light on, somehow seem to creep back into their isolated places of hiding without you even knowing. You've opened those doors before, cried the tears of hurt, walked through the story of brokenness, and even allowed healing and clean bandages to cover the reopened wounds. Progress is made, forgiveness is given, and the brokenness is laid at His feet. Behaviors change, patterns are recreated, and "new life" is formed. One small victory is taken and ran with. You now find yourself in a place where you didn't see yourself heading, people are cheering you on, and things feel great. Except when you lay your head down at night, and you are able to stop running with that one small victory, you see that your clean bandages aren't so clean anymore. You see the new patterns made have fallen back into old routine.You see that the one door you opened, you shut too quickly. You see that the tears you cried, were really just the beginning. You see this new life conforming in ways back to the comfortable habits of the past. And you see that the brokenness you laid at His feet . . .well, you moved too quickly to let Him heal more than just the one small piece that you were ready to settle for.

Tonight as I sit here, bruised up by some hard truths heard today, I watch the sun set. My contacts out and my glasses off, everything is blurry, but the light. I didn't realize that I was running so fast that I got ahead of the light. You see, I took that one small victory and ran . . . ran to what I thought was next, what people expected from me, what I hoped would be, maybe a combination of all the above . . . but ran so far than I wasn't following the light anymore. Because now I see that the light is there waiting, waiting back at those dark corners with new clean bandages.

And I sit here, with the choice. To keep running with the pieces He's healed, or head back with those few pieces and let Him finish making what He intended to be a whole. Oh, it's not an easy choice. I have a feeling those dirty bandages will hurt coming off, but to be honest they are hurting staying on, and not just me.

Before I started writing, I went back to read some of my old blogs. Because of computer cliches, I only got through the very first one (if you are interested, http://eldrocmel.blogspot.com/2010/10/my-voice.html). I'll repeat how I started this blog off . . . . Sometimes you think you have come so far . . . tonight, I'm humbled, and broken, and taking back the one small victory to a God who has been waiting far too long to make me whole.

Psalm 51:17 My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart