Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Last night Damian and went to a Hillsong United concert. I was bursting with excitement. Not only do I love Hillsong United, but Damian and I haven't been on a date since Christmas! We were so very close to the stage, waiting happily, when it happened. Up on the screen flashed the announcement that photography was not allowed. What!? Those of you who know me at all, know that I capture life, days, moments through the lens of my Nikon Coolpix. I was quite upset and planned a little rebellion. I changed the setting on my camera (no flash required) and stealthily took a photo as soon as the band came on stage...I deleted the photo by the end of the first song.

I was convicted. My heart attitude was so very wrong. God couldn't possibly speak to me the way He wanted, my worship to Him would not be a sweet smell, if I was plotting deceit and planning rebellion in my heart. It may seem like a small thing, but to me it was huge. I struggled. However, I am glad now that I was able to focus solely on Jesus and the powerful words of the songs. I would never have entered in to His presence to the depth that I did if I had been worried about getting the perfect shot.

The name of United's recent album and their tour is Aftermath. This past year there has been a lot of wreckage in my life. I have dealt with self-condemnation, betrayal, loss, loneliness, depression, and disillusionment. Now I am in the aftermath of this wreckage. But I have a big God. A God who can take the devastation that is my wreckage and turn it into a beautiful journey. A God who loves me enough that He walks with me through the deepest, darkest moments. A God who sustains me when I simply cannot take another step. And last night He met me. In an arena with thousands of people, it was just me and Him.

"Fly. You are in the mire no longer. Fly." This is what He said to me. I am set free. Free from fear, from sadness, from worry, from the past. I can live, truly live again. There is no way for me to put into words just exactly what transpired in my heart last night. I cannot begin to express how it feels to be in the presence of the Almighty. It defies imagination. What I can tell you is that today I feel lighter. My heart is no longer bleeding. I am beginning to feel pure joy again. Out of the ashes I have found Love.

The skies lay low where You are. On the earth you rest your feet. Yet the hands that cradle the stars are the hands that bled for me.
In a moment of glorious surrender, You were broken for all the world to see. Lifted out of the ashes, I am found in the aftermath.
Freedom found in Your scars. In Your grace my life redeemed. For You chose to take the sinner's crown as You placed Your crown on me.
In that moment of glorious surrender, was the moment you broke the chains in me! Lifted out of the ashes, I am found in the aftermath.
And in that moment You opened up the heavens to the broken, the beggar, and the thief. Lifted out of the wreckage, I find hope in the aftermath.
And I know that You're with me. Yes I know that You're with me here. And I know You're love will light the way.
Now all I have I count it all as loss but to know You and to carry the cross. Knowing I'm found, in the light of the aftermath.
*Hillsong United*

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Who Needs an Alarm Clock?

Someone needs to teach my children that summer vacation is made for sleeping in. 5:00 AM. I wake up to find Caleb's nose a mere inch away from mine. "Mom, is it morning yet?" Groan. "Sort of." "Great!" he says as he crawls into bed with me. Eliana wanders in whimpering and rubbing her eyes. She lays down on my chest and whines, "Blankie! Nap!" Well, if you want to take a nap...go back to your own bed! Running footsteps alert me of the approach of the big boy. "Target acquired!" Uh-oh. Ethan takes a flying leap landing directly on my bladder. Ow. Knees in my ribs, elbows in my face. Is this a bed or a wrestling ring? Damian is snoring. Really?! Why am I the only one feeling the morning love? And how can he sleep through all this noise?! "Mommy needs to go potty." Oh, apparently that is code for pig pile on mommy! Giving in to the inevitable I wrap the three of them in my arms, squeeze, and shower them with morning breath kisses. Sleep will wait, my lovies will not.