Monday, June 30, 2014


So let me catch you up.
1. I am going on a mission trip in 21 days to Romania.
2. I was encouraged to do the Daniel Fast for 21 days.
3. I felt God calling me to journal about this experience, not for boasting but  on the contrary to show that I am weak, I need him, and I need accountability. 

Day 1.
Today is not even over yet and physically I feel exhausted.

My body is pounding and aching. My jaw his been clenched tight since about 11:30 this morning.

I spent the morning reading and praying, off and on. 

Then it got harder...

About 3:00 I texted a dear friend of mine as I laid in bed and told her I was dying. I was sure of it.

Her response spurred me...

She was right. Why did I turn to her in the midst of my despair? 
Her truth spoke straight to my heart. 
To Him I went, on my knees, hands wide open. I cried like a baby, tears pouring down my face because I am so weak... especially when it comes to food. Food is my temptation, it is my comfort, my worldly desire.

Then I noticed that this act of emptying me out to bring me to him is causing him to sort through my weaknesses in order to fill them with his strength.
In his strength he will set me free.

"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:32

I come to the One who made me asking to be set free.
I come to him on my knees, in my pain, throbbing head and aching body. He is emptying me of me, increasingly releasing me to become the one he created me to be. 

I've never been in this state before. I've done diets, fad diets, and cleanses, but they last 1-2 meals then I cave. This is different. This is not about me, this is about God, something greater than my feeble little self.

"As you follow Me, I lead you along paths of newness: ways you never imagined. Don't worry about what is on the road up ahead. I want you to find security in knowing me, the One who died to set you free." - Jesus Calling, Sarah Young

I want to know him so well that I will turn to him in times of need. To fall on my knees and cry out to him, "Oh! Lord I need you!  I want to be secure in you, to be made new!" This is the reason I am where I am today... right now. 

It is great how he works when you call upon him! I was going to skip ahead to tomorrow's devotional  and read 1 John 1:5-10 and I somehow managed to read 1:5-10 but of the wrong book in the bible. Stay with me a second, this is how great my God is!! He showed me 2 Peter 1:5-10 and it was exactly what I needed to hear today... here it is. 

"For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities with increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed of their past sins." 

This is the way that we step closer to knowing God.
He has a plan for us right there... right there!

Better yet it builds. So it has a starting point - faith and ends with love. What I love most about this is that we start with faith, then we hope and pray for knowledge, we hope and pray  for self-control, we hope and pray for perseverance, we hope and pray for godliness, mutual affection... and then we end in love. 

Faith, Hope, and Love... and the greatest of these - the ending point! It's love!!

I'm finding myself stuck on step 4 on the road to know him better. As I gain self-control in the next few days (maybe weeks) through the Holy Spirit working in me, I will find that I will build on self-control with perseverance. Increasing. Enduring. Moving on the quality number 5 with increasing measure... because I long to know him more, to know my heart is right with the One who set me free.

Overwhelmed heart... that's for sure.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Craving God

I can feel it...
I've felt it all day.
The sense of failure about to happen,
facing past failures in the mirror, every time I look at myself.

It stings, that feeling of being out of control, lacking discipline to finish a daunting task.

Fearless, not me... I wish, for once, my heart and my stomach were on the same page, yet it never happens. I find myself in the midst of this again. God calling me to focus on the forgotten fruit of self-discipline, lining everything up, sending sign after sign that this is what I am supposed to do but I stare back at his command like a child asked to wash the dishes.

Scratch that! I know I can't do this alone.

My heart still pounding about today's feat, no caffeine, I nearly died I'm sure of it. I craved Sonic every 15 minutes, I craved coffee, I craved, and craved, and craved.

My mind was about to explode, I had to flee.
Pack up the dogs.
Get in the car.
Unload the dogs.
A four mile hike will do the trick... or not.
One mile in and I feel like the world is collapsing. I might die up here and no one will know. I planned my death a thousand ways, faint and hit that rock, faint and fall off this cliff, slip and slide to my death. I knew it was over, I knew I could not handle this... Two miles in, what on earth was I thinking?

I'm two miles in that means I have to walk two miles back. I can't do this. I need a soda! I need coke. I need caffeine!
A lady asks me how far it is to the exit, I fight the urge to yell, but I stammer an exasperated..."Two, two miles."
She nods and goes on her way but I want to scream, wait! Carry me... but I sit instead.
The dog licks my leg, licking caffeine I'm sure. I bet it tastes great, this sweat, probably a pure soda fountain.
I stand and somehow manage another step, another step, my phone sends encouraging words

"3 miles 57 minutes, 28 seconds...." 

Yes, that's proof I was dying.

I manage 4 miles and nearly fall into the water fountain craving water... craving life.

We reach the truck, I climb in... the cool air chilling the sweat on my forehead and I breathe.
The day is almost over and I've been caffeine free. Tomorrow I will start this fast, I can do it.
But the fear swarms me and my heart pounds again.
Doubt flooding every inch of me,
I've done this before it lasts about 24 hours and then I cave.

Then he gently reminds me, I was lead here and he will not give me a task that I cannot complete without him. This is huge for me and I know that self-control is something that the holy spirit has been pushing to the foremost areas of my thoughts these past few months but I never knew how to tackle it...
 and. here. it. is. staring. me. in. the. face.

I've never done a fast before, I know it's supposed to be done in secret but I feel compelled to write about my journey. To write about the struggles, but mostly to write about my heart as it draws near to God.

I'm afraid I will fail. Fail miserably.
But I know that he has prepared me for this, he has given me tools which I will talk about among other struggles.

So tomorrow begins a 21 day journey. A journey of a deprived heart seeking God. Yet, as I sit here in my bed, I find that as the minutes tick into tomorrow and replaying the days struggles in my head (in preparation for the fast mind you!) I do not lust for a coke, though hours earlier I would have never thought I'd see this side of the light.

So here a journey begins... a journey to find a victorious heart.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

An Ordinary Harbor

It's been a while, sweet friend.
The words in my mind have been dry,
crumbling before my fingers could record their delicate life.

My soul feeling parched,
my mind a true desert,
and then I found the harbor.

Looking back, before the harbor, staring at the past few weeks as I longed to feel his presence. I was almost obsessed with feeling it. As I snorkeled on the shores of Cozumel I still felt like he was further than the moon. As I stared at his glorious creation I wanted to be closer, to touch it, to see if I could feel him in the arms of a starfish, in the rough skin of coral, in the grit of the sand running between my fingers. I wanted to taste his presence like the saltiness in my mouth or the wind across my face... but I didn't.

Even there, secluded, surrounded by his beautiful creation I could not find him. I could see his glory but wanted his eyes on me, to be abounded with his light.

Frustration only filled me.
Why was he holding out on me...
Why! Why was I enjoying this but not filled?
Isn't this where people see him the most, in his glorious creation? In the majestic presence of the work of the creator's hands?

Then a few days later...
I found it in the oddest place,
a place where I felt was "too common",
but God was holding out for his greatest creation
 to bring me to my knees
you guessed it...
his sweet children.

Their hugs, their smiles, their laughter, the joy of their love for Jesus!
His glory abounded to me in the presence of the volunteers and
these adoring faces.

Truth poured into my life this week.
Oh! My!
I couldn't help it. You know the filling of my soul, as Jesus spoke such reassuring words to my heart.
In the midst of the "ordinary" He exhibited that He was indeed extraordinary.

As I looked into each child's eyes and noticed their beauty,
the artistry of the King,
this creation,
this creation took my breath away.

The lessons for them were really lessons for me... reminding me that even if I feel alone, even when my heart is parched, that He is living water. That he is the truth, the life, a friend in times of need, a glorious king and a humble servant.

But most sincerely his promise...
"Surely, I am with you always, until the very end of the age." Matthew 28:20

For he was there in the waves,
in the dancing colors of the purple jelly fish,
in the sand and the colors of the coral...

but he wanted me to know that I don't have to go to the reaches of the Earth to find him...
that He is always with me, in the ordinary, in the mundane, until the end of the age.

<3 much love, this was an emotional write for me... hope you enjoyed it!