Going to the City!!

Lillyann ran ahead of Mylah this morning, and she was out of breath and talking a mile a minute when she arrived in my room. Luckily, I was on my second cup of coffee and fully awake so I could enjoy her excitement. When mommy and Mylah came in, Lillyann told mommy that Mylah was going to Mere’s, and she was going to the city!! If you aren’t familiar with Bryson City, you may not appreciate her remark. Our little town is beautiful, but it is very tiny. Gina and I smiled and enjoyed the joy:) I love the perspective children bring to life, and I love the effect the girls have had on me over the past year as I’ve had the privilege of keeping them while mommy was in school. I’ve learned so very much as I’ve gotten closer to them.

Witness is about loving, and children love as God desires. They are wonderful witnesses. Christ loves that about children and asks us to be more like them. They love simply and find joy in life. I pray my witness will be as enthusiastic as Lillyann’s was this morning as she talked about going to the city. She made me want to go to, and that’s what witness is all about. Matthew 19:14 says it simply and beautifully,

But Jesus said, ‘Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’” NASB

The world says to grow up, be serious, stop daydreaming, and straighten up! Jesus said the kingdom is more like children than adults. I pray I will see life through the same lens Lillyann sees it now, and I hope she never stops getting excited about going to the city. 

As I look at our beautiful town, I see why Lillyann is so excited.  Folks come from all over the world to visit Bryson City, NC. I am very blessed to live and love here:)

Going to the City

All I Ever Need to Know

I used to think I had to die to get into God’s kingdom. That’s true when it comes to heaven, but I can walk in His kingdom now. It’s a lesson I first learned four years ago, but I only recently embraced and applied the learning. I’ve walked in a lot of kingdoms, but nothing compares to living, loving, and connecting in His kingdom now. Like Mylah, I’m still a little shaky; but I’m slowly getting my kingdom legs and am anxious to use them. Unlike walking in earthly kingdoms where independence is the key, walking in God’s kingdom requires that I acknowledge my need for help from the Holy Spirit.

Getting my kingdom heart was a painful process that took a while, but God’s lessons in love gave me the confidence I needed to keep going when I didn’t think I would ever be able to love and live as He desires. The lessons in prayer have brought stillness that steadied my heart and my legs:) All the lessons helped me differentiate, and that is not an easy thing to do. I now know who God is, and I know who I am. That’s essential when walking in His kingdom. I want what God wants, and the lessons last week brought perspective and closure in a way that brought me nearer to Him and to those in my path.

God has been patiently waiting for me to understand and let go of the fear that was keeping me from walking in His kingdom. He knew exactly what I needed and provided it as only He can. I have the tendency to learn the hard way, but I’m hoping to do better in that regard as I listen more carefully to God and worry less about those who take on His role. It’s so sweet when a very long wait is over, and I begin this next leg of the journey filled with joy knowing that the plans God has are much better than anything I can imagine. I have no idea what He has in store, and that is exactly what walking in His kingdom entails. I don’t have a map or an itinerary so please don’t ask me for one. All I know is that I am walking in God’s kingdom now, and that’s all that I ever need to know:)

Nooooo!

The fog gave way to the snow last night, so I was blessed with a very different view of the world this morning. Watching the girls come in to open my curtains and show me the snow was even better than the beautiful snow globe outdoors. The howling winds calmed, but snow was blowing in all directions. They loved showing it to me! Children have the right perspective when it comes to snow, and their excitement is contagious:)

Fresh snow is a clean slate, and there’s nothing children like better than a blank canvas upon which to create. Anyone with painted walls and children knows that! They have the right idea, and I love the new paint that allows them to create away. The snow invites me to be still and watch as God creates beauty right before my eyes. Snow is a miracle even when I know the science behind it, and it always fills me with awe.

Being with the kids makes snow all the more amazing, and it helps that Tyler is here with a truck that can navigate the slippery slopes if necessary. Fears dissipate when I know I’m not alone. I am reminded that Christ promised to never leave me, and I know that has always been true. He has always been with me, and He always will be. I know families can’t always be together, and I thank God for the beautiful and very unexpected blessing of living with my son and his sweet family. Living and loving together is what God has in mind for His world. In the living and loving, we find Him in one another and in His beautiful world.

The biggest lie in this world is that it doesn’t belong to God. It is my Father’s world, and I love the beautiful hymn that proclaims that powerful truth. It’s easy to give up on the world, but if I do, I take a little piece away from Him and give it to Satan. The world is like all of us. There is good and bad, and neither it, nor we, are perfect. God in all of us and in His world:) It is worth the effort of listening and looking deeply when I find Him in the heart of a friend, the eyes of a stranger, or on a snowy landscape.

Unlike a sunset, snow will not be ignored. I love that about it, and I believe that’s what children love about it:) Whether I like it or not, my plans are going to change. I’m finding it’s best  not wait for a snowstorm to stop, look, and listen to what my sweet Lord has to say or show me each day. This morning, He simply said, “Look at this!” I’m so glad I did, and I love that He had my two sweet little mentors make sure I began the day with the proper perspective. Lillyann immediately wanted to go outside and make a snowman, and little Mylah just kept saying, “NOOOO!” she wasn’t commenting on Lillyann’s question. She was just saying “snow” in Mylah talk, or maybe she heard God’s response to all our plans for the day and was passing along His message:)

Under His Wings

When I’m feeling lost or disconnected, Psalm 91:4 comforts me with the beautiful image of being tucked lovingly under the very top of God’s wing. I wish I could find the photo a friend sent me years ago of a mother hen with a tiny little peep literally peeping out from under the top of her wing. I could barely see the fuzzy yellow head, but I knew that little chick was safe and loved. God had me right where that mama hen had her precious chick this morning, and it was a wonderful feeling.

Psalm 91:4 “He will cover you with His pinions,
And under His wings you may seek refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.”

Last night, I was feeling as disconnected as I’ve ever felt in my life, and I desperately needed the shelter of God’s wings. When I stopped wiggling, He tucked me safely under His wing until my heart stilled and my fear subsided. It’s funny how my perspective changes when I’m under His loving wing. I cannot stay underneath His powerful wing all the time because I would never grow or learn if I did, but it is comforting beyond words to know that His wing is there when I need refuge or a respite.

I am empowered by the rest God so graciously gives, and I also love that He knows when to tuck me under that wing and when to let me wiggle and run in circles. I sometimes need the exercise running in circles affords because it tires me out and gets me still enough to be tucked in:)