The Thanksgiving Tree

The Thanksgiving Tree

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

He Goes Before

There is nothing that comforts quite like The Gospel.  There is nothing that eases a mind, quite like The Gospel.  There is nothing that rests a heart, quite like The Gospel.  There is nothing quite like it, because it was planned and designed with US in mine by our OWN Creator.. who knows us... who knew us before time began.  wow.  It really blows my mind!

This weekend I had the great honor of leading worship for speaker and author, Elyse Fitzpatrick.  She taught the simple truth of The Gospel, and it's power fell fresh on my heart.  As I was traveling back, I penned a new song.  I find myself singing it as I run about my daily tasks.  I pray it will serve as a reminder of Truth for you as it does for me.

He Goes Before  -jp

When the night is dark, when the road is dim
When I cannot see the way
i will follow Him, I will fear no more
'cause my Savior, He goes before

when the journey's long, and the suffering deep
when my strength begins to fail
i will trust His hand, as He leads me forward
'cause my Savior, He goes before

He goes before, He leads ahead
There is no mountain or valley He's not tread
when I'm with Him, the path is dim no more
'cause He goes, He goes before

When I'm full of guilt
When regret is strong
When my soul wants to despair
I will hope in Him, I will rest secured
'cause my Jesus, He goes before

He goes before, He's gone ahead
and He has purchased my life, He's paid the debt
when I'm with Him, my sin is no more
'cause He goes, He goes before

When my end is near, when I breathe my last
I'll not fear my fate to come
I will rejoice forevermore
'cause my Jesus has gone before

He's gone before, He waits ahead
Robed in splendor, to welcome me in
when I'm with Him, all will be restored
and He goes, He goes before

Take heart!  He is not leading us on an unfamiliar road.  :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

No White Spaces

"Mommy, will you help me finish my picture?" Emma Faye's sweet voice interrupted my deep thought.

I was moving about our house cleaning, clearing, organizing....trying to bring some kind of order to our "new" house (new to us) after the explosion of Christmas vacation. It had seemed a whirlwind how we had found ourselves, here, on this bleak January morning... transplanted within unfamiliar walls and foreign floors. We moved one week before Thanksgiving, left for South Carolina for a week with family, then returned... all suffering with a stomach virus which lasted about two weeks... still somehow Christmas came... and went... and we had a wonderful holiday.

However, once the tree was dislodged from it's stand and the decorations came down, I found myself to be somewhat lost in this "new" home. Thrust back into our reality that we were living in a rental and were in a season of transition and uncertainty. We all felt like we had moved away, when actually it was only just a few miles. We were unpacked and had squeezed all of our belongings into this little cottage, still it felt bare. I was struggling.... fighting to believe that I am loved by my Savior... that He knows all the things I don't... He has got all of this... He is looking at the plans and carrying them out... and that all of these statements, aren't just "happy thoughts and wishes"... but PROMISES.

"So will you? Please?"

I smiled, "yes, let's finish it together."

"Ok, it's gonna take a long time. See, Mommy, you have to cover all of it with this marker... the WHOLE background... no white spaces. I want it to look like how God colors," she said so matter of fact like. I was so confused. I asked her what she meant... we were coloring a reindeer in the snow and she wanted me to color everything else blue like the sky, but apparently I wasn't coloring enough blue.

"No white spaces means, ALL colored. I don't want any of the paper to show... like this..."

..and time froze for a moment. I couldn't believe the insight of my five year old. Not only was I suddenly overwhelmed by the mere gift of just being able to be her mother, but also by the depth of what she began to share....

She then turned to the window and lifted up the blind and said, "like this Mommy... see.. look outside... do you see any white spaces? See how every single thing is colored. God didn't leave anything out. See, even like the white spaces....but I know I won't get it as perfect as God does, but still I want to color as much as I can... will you help me?"

I did look out that window. I had a hard time seeing anything, though, through the tears. But I wiped them away so I COULD see the world God had colored. It was bleak and gray and windy. The ground was damp. The leaves squishy.....

(no white spaces)

God had colored it all. He'd left nothing out. Once again, He speaks to me through my child... my artist.. who finds the beauty in a winter afternoon. I pondered the winter days of my heart. God has colored every one. He doesn't start a masterpiece and leave it undone. He completes it.... and He completes it with perfection.

(no white spaces)

Holy Father, meet us where we are.... you are our supply. Thank you giving us this beautiful world FULL of color and light even on the gray, black and white days. Thank you for coloring our hearts... even the deep, dark places.

You leave no white spaces .....