A Surrendered Heart

I lay me down

upon the table

not knowing what’s to come

 

All my hopes

and dreams combined

are fighting for a single crumb

 

 

Inside of me

they push and pull

’til answers are revealed

 

But secretly

they know the truth:

tomorrow’s fate is sealed

 

Not in the hunger

Nor in the thirst

But only when I surrender

 

To the maker

of this starving heart

So bent on becoming fatter

 

He wants my hopes

He wants my dreams

to reflect the One above

 

I won’t be free

from longing for more

until I feast on His goodness and love

 

So I bow my head

but I lift my hands

in an effort that brings me rest

 

And I recognize

with teary eyes

that His ways are always best.

 

Photo Credit: Jamie Street

Time For a New Name!

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Hey friends! I woke up bright and early on this rainy Saturday morning because my sleepy mind was overtaken by a powerful word: RENAME.

It occurred to me after much deliberation between my tired limbs and my overactive imagination that I should get up and ponder this direction. After sitting here at my computer for about an hour questioning what this means, I felt God tell me that my blog for the past year and a half (My Wandering Heart Song) needs a more inclusive element to it.

I love the things that have poured out of me through the use of this creative space and I will always have those writings available to read. However, I feel like I am moving into more of a communal space and out of the self-exploration arena. I am still learning about myself and will never stop this adventure called introspection but I want my blog to be more about we and less about me.

So, this blog has now been renamed to Grace For the Wasted Space. I’ve added some new images and an updated description as well. It’s more of a community really. And guess what? I want to include you in my new and improved site! The focus from now on is going to be on storytelling. Women telling their stories of unlikely hope amidst pain, testimonies of rock solid faith overpowering fear, and tales of dreams fulfilled because of saying yes after years of saying no. Grace Stories I like to call them.

Do you want to help me get the ball rolling as we enter this new territory? I need your Grace Stories. We all have one, ya know? A time when our lives were halted by a Force greater than ourselves and realigned to the purpose planted deep inside our hearts.

If you’d like to be a part of the renaming process this blog is undergoing, then shoot me an email with your Grace Story. It doesn’t have to be perfect but I’d like it to be heartfelt and vulnerable as I’ve learned that these are the most impactful types of stories. The point, my dear friends, is to awaken the Grace Story that may be sleeping inside of someone else and cause them to pay attention to it. In their awakening, they just might look to the Giver of grace for a reminder of how he has woven their story of sadness into one of joy for the sake of another desperate soul.

Let’s start a chain reaction of grace, shall we? Email me at hisgraceisenough5@gmail.com with your beautiful words. Thanks in advance!

Photo Credit: free stock pro

The Reason I Write

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It’s simple, really. I do this writing thing for a reason. This blog is not a haphazard journal of random thoughts or a disheveled version of my personal life. Writing is a purposeful activity that brings me joy.

Yet I don’t write for me. I just get to benefit from my words. You may think that sounds cocky or irreverent, like I’m worshiping my own work. But, really, it’s a humble expression of the God’s-honest truth.

I write so that you will know you’re not alone in your struggles. I write so that you will know love and hope in a tangible way. I write so that you will know the truth of the goodness of God. Not for applause or acclaim. I simply want you to experience one minute, heck, even one second, of God’s grace. Believe me, I couldn’t write a single word without it. Thankfully, I don’t ever have to.

I have a message that can’t be contained. It has to be shared. And after I share it, I am blessed because I didn’t keep it all to myself. However, if I don’t share the truth nestled down deep inside of me, then I am not fully living. The truth sets us free, right? So, if I don’t offer you a taste of the free life, then I’m just hoarding my own freedom. How could I live with myself?

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As we all know, freedom doesn’t come without sacrifice. My pain on a page for the world to read, that’s sacrifice. But the glory that God gets through just one person finding hope through my struggles is worth the cost. Isn’t that what life is all about?

Sure, I experience healing from getting my thoughts onto paper. Sometimes, I can’t even talk about my hurt, but strangely, I can always seem to write about it. Once my authentic work is out there, peace follows in the knowing that someone will hopefully identify with it.

The thing is, even when my writing might seem a bit too vulnerable, my heart feels freer once I let the scary feelings out. Fear of judgement is quickly overshadowed by the undeniable presence of God’s love and faithfulness found in my story. These truths never fail to jump up from the page and surprise me. Closing my eyes in fear doesn’t remove His light of love.  

That, dear friends, is my reason for writing. To share the messy, unconventional, irrational grace that God has woven into my very ordinary and completely flawed life. To remind myself as I remind you that God has never left me and He never, ever will.

Why do you write?

Photo credit: Priscilla Westra

Ladies, You Are All Awesome

God loves each of us as if there was only one of us.St. Augustine

How often do we get caught up in comparing ourselves with someone else? We discount our own gifting’s or abilities because someone else has the same gifting’s and abilities…and, in our opinion, they do it better. But, here’s the thing I’m learning:

Our opinion about our awesomeness has nothing to do with how awesome we really are.

Sure, we need to have confidence in ourselves. But, this confidence, if based solely upon what we can do within our own strength, will only get us so far. We will eventually feel depleted and worn out from trying to convince ourselves and everyone else just how talented we are. Sounds pretty exhausting to me.

The question that God has been gently asking me lately puts things in a new perspective. He says, “Do you believe that I would uniquely make you just to watch you fight for your place in the world?”  

He made each of us uniquely yet we compete and strive for center stage because we are so worried that someone else is going to out-do us. We strive to perform perfectly so that someone else doesn’t have a chance to one-up us. Or we try to outshine the rest because we only feel accepted if we get the public acclaim and applause.

The problem with this situation lies in the answer to God’s provocative question. Many of us, not being confident in who God made us to be, would say, “Yes, God, I believe you want me to work for my position.”

That’s what I said when He first prompted me for an answer. Was God stunned at my response? Definitely not. He already knew the fragile condition of my heart. I, on the other hand, was shocked by my admission.

I assure you, He wanted me to be aware of my self-dependency so He could point me back to the truth of His all-sufficiency.

However, we don’t have to prove ourselves to anyone. God made us unique which means we are matchless. We are distinct in our calling, our makeup, our strengths, and yes, even our weaknesses.

St. Augustine said, “God loves each of us as if there was only one of us.” So, why are we constantly trying to prove to everyone just how lovable we are? Our value can’t be overestimated. Our worth can’t be bottled and sold to the highest bidder. God already paid for us with His unrelenting love and yet we try to convince ourselves and everyone else of our importance.

I think its high time we ladies got a glimpse of just how amazingly loved we are. We shouldn’t be downgrading our own value because of someone else’s value. We are all equally valuable but are all uniquely made. God doesn’t love us all the same because He made us all different. He does, however, love us all completely.

When we really understand this truth, we start walking in a new level of freedom in our relationships with God and others. We don’t have to try to be better than her (who pops in your mind?) because she was created for something that you could never do. (And vice-versa.)

We GET to embrace our uniqueness with confidence because we know that He never, ever compares us to each other. He affectionately looks at each of us individually and sees a beautiful woman made in His image. (Genesis 1:27)  There’s no upstaging that!

The Ingredients for a Balanced Life

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Honesty is very important to me. It’s probably at the top of my list of “Things that Will Keep Me in Your Life.” Without it, there is no point in engaging in relationship with someone. It’s pretty easy to point out the people in the public arena who are dishonest on purpose. A dishonest public life will earn you a bad reputation. (How many celebrities can you think of that have done this?)

More often than not, though, I am seeing something I like to call Personal Dishonesty (PD). It’s the initial spark that ignites the fiery chain reaction of widespread deceit. In essence, PD is telling ourselves a lie and then believing it to the point of acting on it.


PD trends that seem to plague our world:

I am ugly because my body is not like the model on the cover of Cosmopolitan magazine. I will starve myself until I look like her.

I am unimportant because my family doesn’t take the time to listen to me when I speak. I will stop speaking up and hide my feelings from everyone.

I am weak because I cry about everything, including Hallmark commercials. I must suffer from depression and need to take medication for the rest of my life.

I am a failure because I can’t find a good job. I will stop looking and just eat doughnuts and watch Netflix on the couch forever.

I am tainted goods because of what happened to me in my past. I will never get married so why even try to take care of my body and dress nicely?


Did you notice that each of these PD moments start with a thought that inevitably ends with a supporting course of action? It’s not hard to see then how our world has become wrought with external deception.Our scale of honesty is off balance due to false perceptions of ourselves.

We can’t even begin to be honest with those around us if we aren’t first honest with the one looking back at us in the mirror. The devil is called the father of lies for a reason, people. If he can get us to believe one little seemingly insignificant lie about ourselves, he can manipulate us into believing that a life of deception is acceptable. After all, it is the norm these days, right? (Again, take a look at Hollywood.)

Allow me to counter the list of common PD trends with some God-breathed truths. First, a necessary disclaimer: *These truths only turn into actions when we BELIEVE them.*


Counter-cultural truths to apply to our swindled souls:

I am beautiful because God says I am a masterpiece, made by His own hands, breathed into existence by His very breath. He saw His creation (you and me!) and He said, “It is good.” (Ephesians 2:10, Genesis 1)

I am valuable because God says His thoughts toward me are precious and too many to count! He has put His own words in my mouth so that I can speak life and love everywhere I go without fear of what someone else might think. (Psalm 139:17-18, Isaiah 51:16)

I am strong because God created me in His image and He is all powerful and mighty to save. This means I have power and might. In fact, the same power that raised Christ from the dead lives inside of me! (Psalm 147:5, Romans 8:11)

I am victorious because God has given me the ability to endure through hardship and not give up. He says that I am more than a conqueror through the unyielding love of Jesus. (Colossians 1:11, Romans 8:37)

I am made new through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. The old days have been redeemed because of God’s amazing grace. He makes my face shine and never looks on me with shame. (2 Corinthians 5:17, Psalm 34:5)


Let’s start a revolution of honest living! Read the verses referenced above. Pray them out loud until your mind, will, and emotions accept the truth for what it really is–

The ONLY thing that can set you free.

Silence the liesby speaking the TRUTH.

The Best Big Bro Ever

Romans 8:29 says, “For God knew His people in advance, and He chose them to become like His Son, so that His Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.”

Take a minute and really read the verse above. Let it sink in for a second.

Jesus is our big brother.

This is such a simple yet profound concept. It struck me right in the heart as I was reading my Bible plan today. You see, I am the oldest of three sisters. I have felt the sting of losing a sibling way too early in life.  And my baby sister just had her first child yet I couldn’t be there. We live many states apart and the distance makes it difficult to be actively involved in each other’s lives. Both the loss and the separation are extremely hard for me to deal with some days.

Can you imagine how hard these things are for our big brother, Jesus? He has to deal with loss and separation ALL THE TIME.

Those that turn away from Him because of the harshness of this world. 

Those that reject the free gift of family He offers and choose to do life on their own.

Loss. Separation. My whole perception of family changes when I think of it like that.

I have always cheered my sisters on. I have always tried to lead them down good paths. That’s what big sisters do. Don’t we all want someone rooting for us? Don’t we all need an example to follow?

But I have failed many times in my efforts to love them well. I have fought with them over hair dryers and clothes. I have chosen my own comfort over their well being. I have made bad choices that they saw and sometimes chose as well. I am, at most, a flawed big sister who has always wanted the best for my siblings but didn’t always get it right.

The amazing thing is: Jesus doesn’t mess up. He is the best big brother a kid could have. He fights for us not against us. He sacrificed physically, mentally, and spiritually so that we could live a life of freedom. He only chooses what’s in our best interest. He never leads us down a trail of mistakes or mishaps.

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He is all we could ever want in a big brother. And more.

For those of you who have felt loss and separation in your families- Jesus truly understands. He hurts with you.

For those of you who have never had an older sibling to watch out for you and lead you well- He can be that for you. Jesus is the most overprotective brother you could have.

For those of you who are the oldest in your tribe and have had to carry extra responsibility- Jesus wants to take that burden off your shoulders and carry it for you. He has super strength!

He’s holding up a big foam finger right now and screaming,  “You’re number 1! You’re number 1!” Can you see Him?

Ask Him to make the heartwarming truth of His brotherly love real to you today.

The Mom She Needs

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Happy Tuesday, friends! I am over on Her View From Home again today with a piece about postpartum depression. I share my story of dealing with it for a little while after my first daughter’s birth. I hope you will take a peek into my life for a minute and read about my experience. Many moms struggle with this and I want to be a voice of freedom for them to also share their very personal experiences. Life (and all of it’s moments) is meant to be shared, right? Thank you for checking it out HERE.

Here’s a sneak peek:

She came home. Only to scream ugly comments to me that poke at the very identity of who I am. She said she wished I was never her mother. Doesn’t she know? I ache every single day because I AM her mother. The truth that she is a gift that I barely received is something I carry with me everywhere I go. It is a part of who I am.

 

To read more, click here! For more Her View From Home posts, click on the HVFH category in the drop down menu. I generally write about motherhood, faith, and grief along with other amazing mommy writers. Thanks!

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God Don’t Make No Junk

you have been lovingly adorned by the touch of the father

Intricately woven together.Elaborately detailed. Lavishly embellished. Hand-sewn. This is how I was made.

So were you. Every single piece of you was a thought in God’s mind before it was ever on your body. You have been lovingly adorned by the touch of the Father.

To say that we are not beautiful is to tell our Creator that He didn’t do a good job when He made us. Something I tell my kids all the time is this: God don’t make no junk! (And you have to say it with a Madea-esque accent to really make your point.) 😉

It sounds trite and maybe a little bit condescending but, the truth is, You Are Special. Not because of your amazing abilities or your gorgeous long locks or even your dynamite cooking skills. No, you’re special because God is the One who gave you all those gifts. His attention to detail is what makes you so awesome.

I mean, think about it. Every single person on the earth is unique. There are no two people that are exactly alike. Sure, we might share some of the same talents or features with friends or family members but we are undeniably different in how we possess those attributes.

-our lives are an extension of God's creativity.-

Our lives are an extension of God’s creativity. We are the instruments in heaven’s orchestra, the flowers in the garden of Paradise, the gems in the Father’s crown. We are spectacular because we have been made by the un-created yet perfectly creative One.

He came up with the idea of creation on His own. Noone told Him how to do it. He just started speaking life into existence and creating beautiful things everywhere He went. The foundation of who we are is completely original and fundamentally new.

If we could just grasp this then we would never struggle with identity issues ever again. No matter how much anyone tries to be like you, they just CANNOT be you. It’s not even possible because deep inside of you is the God-given knowledge of I’m the only one of me. A copy-cat is just that: a copy. A duplicate poses no threat to the original.

When we are confident in our design, we can live loved and love well. The pressure to be someone else is off. We are each a masterpiece because the Master of every living thing put us together, piece by piece.

Deliver Me From (insert your word here)…

he has already delivered me from my shame. (1)

I struggle with shame. Just being honest here. We all have things from our life that we wish we could do over, right? (Please tell me I’m not the only one.)

It’s a late at night when I’m trying to sleep struggle. Or a dark and rainy day struggle. More recently, it’s a things are at a standstill in my life and I feel like I’ll never make it out of this waiting season kind of battle. It pops up in my mind more often than I’d like it to. It screams obscenities at me to remind me of how human I am. Some days it just won’t let up.

Why can’t I move past my shame? I ask God this question on a regular basis. This morning as I was in prayer, again pleading for relief, God directed me to the word DELIVER.

Deliver (verb)- to set free or liberate; emancipate, release, redeem, rescue

It occurred to me that I’ve been focusing on the wrong thing. I’ve been praying for God to take the memories away, to give me relief or alleviate the pain, but I have not actually recognized a vital truth: He has already delivered me from my shame. I just haven’t taken hold of it. 

You see, I am not dealing with guilt from God’s pointing finger. He’s not mad at me. I’m forgiven and washed clean in the blood of Jesus. (Anyone else as thankful as I am about this?!) In case I ever forget that, I can go here for a reminder: 

“I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions,

for My own sake,

and remembers your sins no more.” – Isaiah 43:25

No, I am dealing with my own finger crookedly pointing back at me. I am mad at me. I haven’t forgiven myself for my mistakes so, though I AM CLEAN, I sure as heck don’t feel like it. 

Deliverance isn’t just one of those “christian-ese” words that t.v. preachers talk about. It is a very real and tangible truth that we have the opportunity to apply to our life. If only we will reach out and take it. I think, like myself, that many times we are so caught up in getting rid of the uncomfortable-ness of our past, the guilty feelings associated with certain people or places, that we neglect to look up and take hold of the freedom already available to us. 

God says He is our Deliverer. I think of the Israelites that God delivered from their bondage to slavery in Egypt. He radically rescued them from their enemy, yet they forgot this fact as they wandered in the desert. They romanticized their past bondage to the point where they wanted to go back to Egypt instead of enjoy the security of the Promised Land just within their grasp. They had a shame-based mindset that was content to stick with the humiliation that comes with enslaved living because they didn’t FEEL like they were free.

Shame does that. It sneakily creeps up into our thoughts and says,

“Hey, remember when we were best buds that used to get in all kinds of trouble fun together? Let’s do that again. Your present situation isn’t going to get any better anyways. Why not go back to the way things were?”

When we are in the wilderness and the promise of a better life feels so far away, we have a choice to make. We can look back at where we came from and decide that comfort and shame aren’t so bad. Atleast it’s familiar. Or we can look at how far we’ve come and decide that comfort feeds our shame and brings a restlessness for a life of regret. 

I have to choose. My impatient and insecure feelings are valid. But my feelings can’t tell me what to do. That’s how I got mixed up in this shame game in the first place! I have to call on my Deliverer to fill me with an awareness that even though I don’t feel free, I am. 

What about you? Is shame your struggle or is it fear, anxiety, lust, pride, etc… It doesn’t matter how big the struggle is, our God is bigger. Deliverance is available to us all. You just have to believe it! 

Sunday Rest #11

 

“God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.”

– 1 John 4:17-18 (MSG)