So, how’d it all end? HARD! Most endings are that…hard. I just finished Ms. Jan’s new book, and though she does an amazing job at ending things as gently as closing a book by the fire, I felt it in my gut once again…the hard place of something ending.

We failed at filling our fasted time with more of God time on a regular basis, I failed to make those intentional times of prayer or Bible reading throughout the day, a day or two before the two weeks ended we watched t.v., and the kids’ memory verses were rather half-baked. Amidst the failure, there were some victories. The kids did not play with Legos, ipad, computer games, or the wii – proving once again that they are more faithful than their parents sometimes. I did stay off of Facebook unless it was to go straight to messages when someone pm’d me or to post a prayer blog for Lulu…no IG, no Pinterest pins. Nathan did memorize half of his chapters for Ephesians…one per two hours…he’ll be fine! 😉 But really, is it about our failures and victories? Was all this about walking the lines in our lives? Or was it, like the Israelites had to find out, about us finding out we wouldn’t make it like this? This trying to live with more and then trying to live with less and doing it all to find some way closer to the God Who sometimes seems so distant.

He isn’t. Distant, that is. He’s right where you are and I am…near! Immanuel…God with us! And this morning when I woke up, something like a fresh breath of air seemed to fill my soul. It was like God finally had a moment in my time to wake me up to more of Him…to more of freedom. The past two weeks was about chaining some things – laying them down before Jesus and saying, “You alone. You are enough.” The thing about laying down stuff that you have been connected to, is that a part of yourself lies down as well. You feel it. You walk around feeling amputated, sore, maybe even a little injured. You know every fall and you overlook most victories because nothing really feels like a win when you don’t feel whole. It’s the process of the pruning. The painful cutting away, the depressing realization that you feel like you’ll never grow right again, and…the…waiting. So. Much. Waiting. And with any growth of the buds of fruit, you look over to your right and left and see weeds growing at a faster rate. Despair seizes you, and you think you’ll just give up altogether. Then, the day arrives when you look down to see the chains laying broken beside you. You swing your legs out of bed, albeit slowly because it is 5:30 a.m. after all, and you think to yourself…after all the, I can’ts, now I CAN!

Sunday, my kids woke up as soon as they could to pull their Legos out of the closet. Aaron came downstairs and asked to watch Winnie the Pooh episodes on my ipad (two birds with one stone…smart kid). I watched one and a half shows with Hannah and Ruthie this afternoon. We did all this without feeling an ounce of guilt. It was just a thought (the “I Can!). It was in fact my first thought this morning. It was a simple phrase, but it didn’t bring a burden with it. Quite the opposite, I felt free.

Freedom has been this elusive hope in my life. I am told in scripture that “if the Son sets you free you are free indeed,” and He has! Yet, the last thing a life of do’s and don’ts makes you feel is free. Tight rope. Egg shells. Broken glass. Yes, those would be more accurate, but if Christ died to set me free, I must learn to live free! He gave His life for me to walk and run and dance all the days of my earthly and eternal life in liberty and I have trudged slowly for so long, stumbled more than I care to think back on, and despaired so often of my burdens that seem heavier than the one Christ said He gives.

Truth is, I don’t know how long I’ve got in this “fresh air” before I am faced with a burden on my road. They will come, you know because “in this world (we) will have tribulation,” but what I am praying my little heart out about is that when I stand in front of the next one, I will look it square in the eye and say with the very authority of Jesus, “(My Savior) has overcome the world!” Then, like the triumphant daughter of the King I am, I pray I will step right over or around it, in Jesus’ Name, praising Him all the way! OR if it is a burden I am asked to carry, may I realize Who is right there with me saying, “I got this. I’ll walk right beside you. My power, yeah, it’s perfect. Cast it all on me because Little Girl, I care for you. I love you, no matter what! And even when I’m carrying this, I still have enough strength and room to carry you!”


By Ruth B. Graham

My home address?
In Him I dwell
wherever else I be –
as bird in the air,
as branch in the vine,
as tree in the soil,
as fish in the sea,
He is my home.

My business address?
Little Piney Cove
or London, Corinth,
Calcutta or Rome,
Shanghai or Paris.
My business address?
Wherever He puts me –
But He is my home.