The Life I’ve Always Wanted + Remembering to Sing

Abba, You are the inventor of Thanksgiving. You create a million new reasons for us to give thanks every day. And You dwell in gratitude always. You deserve more gratitude than we could ever muster, and You’re infinitely patient and loving with us even when we’re ungrateful and whiny.

I confess that I have not once remembered to pray and give thanks before, during, or after a meal at the Manna Room. Horrors! I’ve been caught up in the food and what people were thinking of us and getting settled and talking to people, and totally left You out of the equation!

Thank You for your grace and mercy and gentleness. Thank You for not being angry or disgusted with me about it. And THANK YOU for second chances (and 222nd chances!). Thank You for bringing this to my attention, and thank You for the good it will bring about when we DO start singing our prayer song at every meal. Thank You for the absolutely bottomless list of blessings I could be thanking You for right now. Thank You thank You thank You thank You thank You thank You thank YOU! Thank You for my life exactly as it is right now, and thank You answering my prayer and doing “whatever it takes” to get me to this place. It is exactly where I’ve always wanted to be. :)

Please help me remember to sing the prayer with the kids this morning and every meal. Please help me remember to pray ALWAYS. Please keep us in a spirit of Thanksgiving today, and orchestrate an incredible first meeting of the Tribe of Girlfriends Inner Circle this weekend IF that would glorify and please You. Please make me such a woman of prayer that it’s what I’m most known for. :)

In Jesus’ name I pray, amen!

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I Surrender All

Abba, You are the great I AM. You are worthy of all trust. You are faithful and infinitely good, and You alone have the perspective from which truly wise decisions can be made. You are just and kind and perfect. You have never let me or anyone else down–every time it seems like You’ve made a mistake or dropped the ball, in the long run, Your way has proven to be the absolute best and most brilliant path.

I confess that I haven’t trusted You completely. I’ve kept matters in my own hands and continued to worry and strive and scheme and try to make things happen. I haven’t been completely surrendered to Your will and Your process.

Thank You for bringing this to my attention today, and for the Finding Your Calling course that seems made just for me. Thank You for this week of Thanksgiving, and that I am the wealthiest person I’ve ever met. My cup runneth over.

Please take all of me today–I Surrender All. Use me in whatever way You see fit. I only ask that when I start to get upset, Your Holy Spirit whispers (loudly, if necessary!) to my spirit to Let Go. Surrender. Let it be Okay. Trust Me. May I feel the Everlasting Arms around me, and lean in. I love you.

Amen

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The Cracked Pot

CRACKED POT
A water bearer had two large pots, each hung on the end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots was perfectly made and never leaked. The other pot had a crack in it and by the time the water bearer reached his master’s house it had leaked much of its water and was only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his master’s house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.”

“Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?” “I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”

Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again the pot apologized to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.”

Each of us has our own unique flaws. We’re all cracked pots. But if we will allow it, God will use our flaws to grace his table. In God’s great economy, nothing goes to waste. Don’t be afraid of your flaws. Acknowledge them, and you too can be the cause of beauty. Know that in our weakness we find our strength.

(author unknown)

Today’s Prayer:

Most Perfect Abba, Who lets absolutely nothing go to waste and never makes a mistake, please open our eyes today to see the flowers You’ve watered through our brokenness. Even if we can not see the flowers, we trust You, we release our self-judgment to You, and we surrender ourselves to Your service just as we are right now, with all our flaws. Thank You for Your perfection. Thank You that You are pleased with us just as we are, and that in our weakness we find Your strength. Thank You for the power of story. Thank You for You.

In Jesus’ healing name we pray, amen.

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Please Let This Radical Gratitude Spread!

Abba, You invented Thanksgiving. You are radical Gratitude. You rejoice always, are always in communion with yourself (and therefore The Good and Beautiful), and are thankful in all circumstances. And You desire that same experience for us! What a beautiful plan You created!

I confess that I’m not always joyful, that I frequently find fault with life and with people (including myself), I rarely remember to pray (much less continuously!), and I don’t give thanks in circumstances that feel frustrating or annoying.

But I THANK YOU that I am becoming more and more grateful, and that my current life circumstances haven’t gotten the best of me. Thank You for working in me both to WANT to be more thankful, and to actually become so. Thank You for how utterly grateful I feel (in comparison to my old self or anyone else I’ve ever met), and for the miracles required to get me here. Thank You for this week of Thanksgiving.

I pray that every person on this planet would get to experience–even if it’s just for a few minutes–how I feel right now. I pray that the veil of complacency or complaining would be lifted from their eyes and they would be able to see how amazing their life is, and feel truly grateful for all that they have. I also pray that You would lead our little family into worship, and help us find ways to turn the pop music the kids love into worship, so that the words running through our minds would lift our thoughts to You and Your Kingdom. Thank You! Also please continue re-shaping me so that even my husband’s impishness would be adorable to me, or at least an obvious opportunity for me to practice radical gratitude. ;)

In Jesus’ perfect name I pray, amen!

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The Prayer + Potluck Party is Born (We’re “Hooked Up”)

Abba,

You are eternal sunshine. You are magic. You are real. You are logical. You are sometimes very illogical. You created everything. You ARE love. You are so much bigger than the God of religion, even Christianity. You are un-understandable. You are outrageous. You are beyond “Beyond.” You are the great Mystery. To You there ARE no mysteries. You. Are. And You are mine. You are the lover of my soul, the breath of my life, the beat of my heart.

I confess that I still forget You for most of the day, and instead spend that time and energy managing my image, trying to be liked, and trying to provide for myself and my kids. Playing You. And I confess that I’m still so ungrateful for so many things, and I take Life itself for granted most days. I confess that I still let fear win the battle, and I don’t stand up to it and own my power as a prayer warrior. I confess that I lose more battles than I win, because I’m not even in the game. I’m distracted and caught up in the drama of the seen.

Thank You for Lucian’s birthday party tonight, and that we’re invited to Carrie’s house after all this time. We must be vibrating at a much higher frequency to be attracting her again. Thank You for my fantastic conversation with Charles last night as he waited for his bus. Thank You for love and friendship and conversation. Thank You thank You thank You for the Manna Room. Thank You for the angel Eddie who invited me there, but whom I’ve never seen again. Thank You that my children are happy and healthy and WITH ME, and that my marriage is protected by Your grace. Thank You that I have absolutely everything I need.

Please guide my priorities today. Give me wisdom as to what to do first, how to fit in creative projects like writing the “For Richer or Poorer” monologue/blog. Please create a community of prayer warriors around us, and fill me with Your Holy Spirit so that I can boldly lead that movement if no one else is. Please grant us favor and doors wide open as we move in that direction.

Oh, I just had an Idea: throw a Prayer + Potluck Party at Linda Evans’ home.

Family-friendly. Anyone is welcome. We’ll break off in groups and cover the entire party (including food issues), our families, churches, city, nation, worldwide body of Christ, planet, and universe in prayer. We’ll open with worship. Maybe a hymn-sing. We’ll put out a blessing jar to collect any funds people feel led to share in order to bless Steve + Linda for sharing their home.

We can also do this same party at OUR home, and set up the garage as the prayer room. No blessing jar needed, because we’re “hooked up.” ;)

The more I think about it, I really really REALLY want to make it to at least the prayer part of Sam & Amy’s family small group on Sunday. I don’t want to miss an opportunity to pray with other believers! However, there’s the issue of childcare. $15 is just too much for our family right now, and I don’t even know if baby Freedom would be happy. Maybe just I could go, and leave the kids at home with Ian? No, that would be too weird. Hmmmm. Okay, maybe I’ll sit this one out for now, and work out my own prayer party as discussed above, but one that is FREE and operates on a rotating childcare/prayer system. THANK YOU, Abba!!!! Love love love it.

Oh em gee. One last thing before I go–I just realized we need to set out a PRAYER JAR–of COURSE!!!–that’s what people write their prayer requests on during the party. Then we distribute those during prayer time, so each gets covered during the party AND during the week afterward. It can even include contact info IF you desire a follow-up. Oh my sweet Jesus, thank You so much for this precious and beautiful idea. I can’t wait to experience this in person!!! :)

I love You love You love You! In Jesus’ all-powerful name I pray, amen!

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Finding Fulfillment Among the Homeless

Abba, You are the brilliant Author of Compassion. You created us with a heart that is meant to love and to find its true fulfillment in relationship with each other. What an incredible design! What love! You are incredible. I am in awe of You and how You made us. I adore You and Your incredible ways, Your overwhelming generosity, and Your giant heart that holds space for everyone. Your limitless grace and patience. Your magnificent Universe and all that’s waiting Beyond.

I confess that I have not lived a life of compassion. I have been so caught up in my own little dramas and “adventures” that I have missed out on real life till now. I confess that I still have so so so far to go in learning to let You love through me. There are still so many parts of me striving for “success” and vying for the throne, leading a rebellion against You and Your ways. I am still so undisciplined and spending such a tiny amount of my time in prayer and worship, which is all I really want to do!

Thank You for Your incredible blessings, for my sweet family and my amazing daily community of poor and homeless. I feel so truly taken care of, provided for, and loved. As Gramma says, “You’ve been too kind to me.” Thank You for the heart of compassion that You’re growing in me, and the true FULFILLMENT I’m experiencing as a result of it. Thank You for keeping our family healthy, together, and with a roof over our heads. Thank You for teaching me what true happiness and contentment look like. Thank You for allowing the locusts to take almost everything away, so I could see what mattered, and that all I was left with was all I ever really wanted. Thank You for this crazy adventure and for what’s awaiting us in Heaven.

Today I ask that You would take the parts of my heart that are still stone and melt them into pure love. Take away all the old me–ALL of it–and make me an on-fire, nothing-to-lose, nothing-else-matters Ambassador of Your Kingdom. These beautiful people trust me and love me, and that is a powerful force–may I use it to bring them home to You, Abba. Teach me how to be a minister of Reconciliation and what that looks like, in a non-preachy, not-so-religious, loving, natural way. And help me to keep my mouth shut when necessary! ;)

In Jesus’ powerful name I pray, amen!

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Community Overflow——Why I’m the Richest Woman I Know

Abba, You are so loving and kind. You created us so that You could have someone on whom to shower Your love and blessings, someone to share Yourself with. You pursue us relentlessly, all day long, every day. You are endlessly inventive in the ways that You show Your love and attention. You are beautiful and absurdly generous and refreshingly unconditional. You love everyone that way, not just the ones who obey You and return Your love. You ARE love. Always. You complete us.

I confess that I have spent so many years believing I need to do something in order to make my life more beautiful, not appreciating all the magic around me that I had nothing to do with. Not being content with my amazing life just the way it is. Endlessly striving toward “more” and “better,” making it absolutely impossible for me to ever experience the perfection of what was always right here waiting for me. I confess that I had placed “success” and “career” on the throne of my heart.

THANK YOU SO MUCH that You have rescued me from that reality and reclaimed the throne. Thank you for the perfection of my life, the overwhelming generosity, and the abundance of community. So many of my prayers answered. And that was the one I wanted most. Family. Tribe. Friendship. Opportunities to serve and help. Breaking bread together. Celebrating together. Dreaming together while enjoying the bliss of now together. Thank you thank you thank you for my tribe of girlfriends.

Please take this day and make of it what YOU will. I place myself on Your altar and ask You to take all of me. Use me for Your service. Set my heart on fire to love Your children so fiercely that they cannot believe any longer that You’ve forgotten them. Use me as a channel of Your abundance so that we can make the Manna Room a place of beauty and comfort along with all the great food and amazing people. Please give me wisdom as to how to connect with Elsa and help heal her wounds, and how best to budget the money that’s coming soon from welfare!

In Jesus’ almighty and precious name, amen!

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