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Lettering. Weddings. Formed.

Walk

This past Sunday I took my four year old, Michael, up into the catwalk of the high school theater our church has services in. I told him to come help me turn on the lights and he delightfully agreed.

As we were getting ready to walk up the third staircase I took out my phone to use the flashlight because it's extremely dark up there. I walked in front of him shining the light behind me so he could see where to take his next step with his light up Captain America shoes.

It was exciting to him. 

An adventure.

I marveled at his lack of fear.

At his age there was NO WAY you were getting me to walk in the dark. If I couldn't see, not only what was in front of me but all around me, then I wanted NO part in it.

(I must admit the same is still true for me at the age of 29.) 

After we had turned on all the power strips we started to walk back and as we came to the darker path Michael was in front of me. I reached for my phone but then I had a thought, let me see how he does without it. I was right behind him so of course I wouldn't have let anything happen to him.

He paused. 

He said "Mommy it's really dark."

I said "I know babe."

He said "Come on let's go."

...and he just kept walking forward. I was so proud.

No fear. No worry. 

And the Holy Spirit spoke to me. 

"This. This is why it feels like you've been walking where you can't quite see what's next. Because you have. Because the Lord has allowed it and wants you to rely on Him. That He is behind you, watching over you, taking care of you, but He wants you to be confident in the fact that you can walk in faith, not in fear, even when you can't see what's next."

It was true.

I wanted Michael to practice not being afraid. I wanted him to realize he could walk without fear into the "unknown".

Because He could.

And because I was there.

Hebrews 11:1  Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

There are so many things I hope for, and having faith means having the assurance that those things will come to pass. Because I truly believe they are hopes the Lord has placed in my heart. 

If he has placed the hope, he assures the promise will come to pass.

That's it. That's all I have. And honestly it's all I need.

He provides for His promises. He makes a way where there seems to be no way.  And THAT is the conviction of things not seen.

I see no way God, but You have given me the hope so I will walk in assurance.

I will walk in conviction. 

I will walk. 

...just like Michael. No fear. No worry. In peace knowing that my Father is right behind me.

 

French Fries Chicken Apple Juice

If anyone has the absolute pleasure of knowing my 4 year old Michael you have probably heard him say the phrase...."Mommy I want french fries chicken apple juice."

I purposely left out the commas because he says it all in one breath. 

It's his standing order anytime we go out to eat. Restaurants. Drive thru. He's a man that knows what he wants. Occasionally he'll vary the apple juice for a chocolate milk if he's feeling really crazy. 

Yesterday we were on our way home and before we even got in the car he had already asked me, what felt like 100 times, for french fries chicken apple juice. 

"Yes Michael, I told you, we are going to eat. We'll get it. Don't worry."

"Ok mommy but I just want french fries chicken apple juice."

"Oh you do? I had no idea." -_-

As we were loading up the same question continued. As I started the car, it continued. As I started to drive away, guess what? It continued. 

Now, my son is probably the sweetest thing on planet Earth which is why I didn't totally loose my mind by this point. However I was already emotional and processing through some things internally so his incessant questioning was a bit much for me to handle.

I turned around, in pure mom fashion, and said:

"Michael, I KNOW you want the food. I ALREADY told you we were going to get it. You have to WAIT."

...and then it happened. 

God spoke.

Man.

"Liz I KNOW you want this promise. I ALREADY told you it is yours. You have to WAIT."

I do this all the time to God. I was doing it right then with all the thoughts I was trying to process through. I was throwing a tantrum. At 29 years old, I was throwing an internal temper tantrum. And God was telling me to wait. 

The waiting part is hard.

Waiting means I have no control. And the more time that passes the less control I have. And the more impatient I become. It's like the tension in a rubber band when you just keep stretching it and stretching it till it snaps. 

Time will make you snap. Let me clarify; time without progress will make you snap. 

But there is progress being made.

We just can't see it. 

2 Corinthians 5:7  "... for we walk by faith not by sight."
 

The only way TO God's promise is THROUGH progress.

And sometimes that progress is unseen. At least in the immediate. Then years pass and you look back and you can see it. You see what God was doing. Why he made you wait. 

So we persevere through progress to the promise. Even if it that progress and perseverance means waiting.

It's worth it.

It's Been Awhile.

I can't believe I haven't written since May. It didn't feel that long. That's how fast time is going by.

To be honest I've been avoiding it. It's this lingering thought in the back of my head, which has also been confirmed by people in my life that it's time to get back to. 

But it's become this end of a magnet that keeps repelling me whenever I come within 5 feet of doing it. 

Not today though.

I started this blog and this website in January because I felt that it was what the Lord was telling me to do. "Open your business, start your website, start a blog by the end of January." 

Those were the instructions. And I followed through.

It was scary. It was hard. I didn't know I was doing. (I still don't know what I'm doing) Most of the time I feel like I'm just along for the ride. Kind of like when I was little and my sister and I would tie a jump rope to the laundry basket and take turns pulling each other around the family room. 

That's what I feel like.

Just sitting in a laundry basket. God's hand on the neon speckled jump rope, just pulling me along through coffee table obstacles, around couch corners and down steep stairs.

Scary but fun but scary.

I've decided I'm going to be completely vulnerable here. No need to pretend like I'm better than that.

Many times I want to run away. Run away from the pressure of the things God has asked me to do. Run away from the pressure of situations that don't make sense just yet. Run away from the prospect of failure. Run away from people in my life because I feel like I'm a burden to them.

Run.

I say run.

God says endurance.

Bleh.

I don't want to have endurance. I just want to give up. I just want to lay on the grass, forget the rest of the mile. I feel like I'm dying inside. Why would I put myself through such torture?

And then there's scripture. Always telling you different that what you want to hear. Like seriously just ENABLE ME FOR ONCE! (I'm not serious but maybe a little.)

Hebrews 10:35-39
35 Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. 37 For,“Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay; 38 but my righteous one shall live by faith,  and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” 39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.

Verse 35 tells me "do not throw away your confidence", basically saying you have complete control here whether you hold on to your confidence or if YOU decide YOU want to throw it away.

Verse 36 says "you have NEED of endurance" "SO THAT WHEN you have done the will of God..." Endurance is linked doing the will of God. AKA doing the will of God is hard. Oh ok cool. Thanks. 

Then there's verse 38. A verse I have somehow glazed over every time I've looked at this chapter. 

"...but my righteous one shall live by faith and IF HE SHRINKS BACK, my soul has no pleasure in him.”

It was the "if he shrinks back" part that hurt. The "he" they are referring to in that portion is "my righteous one" in the portion just before. And then it says "my soul has no pleasure in him". Sheesh. That's a bit harsh. 

Some translations say "if any man draws back". The original word used here is the greek word hypostellō, which has definitions like 

  1. of those who from timidity hesitate to avow what they believe

  2. to be unwilling to utter from fear

If I expect to gain endurance without having without having to encounter resistance than I am a fool.

And the consequences for succumbing to such resistance are made clear. "My soul has no pleasure in him." Harsh but hey it's right there.

Then it begs the question:

What's worse, the pain and process of endurance, or the consequence of shrinking back?

The truth is the consequence of shrinking back, however some days it FEELS like the pain and process of endurance. Which is when I have to remind myself not to live by pure emotion. But to stand on truth. 

So while I'm in the midst of this race I have decided to endure. When the fire is turned up and the heat is on, I'll remember who stands there with me.

My eyes are fixed.

Bring it.