Category Archives: Relationship

September 3, 2019 bullseye

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Good morning, DearHeart.

The other night I had the most bizarre dream that a mom-friend and I were staying in an abandon cabin south of Carnegie fighting dinosaurs. She had to leave to go get her son, so I stayed there and kept fighting. We were not scared, we were just fighting the dinosaurs like it was an everyday, normal process.

How bizarre is that?! And, why would I dream such a thing?! I woke Dale to tell him about it – he was not as amused as I was, haha!

God has been teaching me about dreams lately, but in the most unusual of ways. He is showing me we don’t start with the dream, we start with the Dream-Giver.

Picture a bullseye. 

In the center of the bullseye is God, and the assignments He has given us on a daily basis. For me, and for you, our jobs each and every day are the people and events right before us. It isn’t a mystery. There isn’t something to figure out. Who you serve and what you are “supposed” to be doing is right in front of you, with our God in the middle of it all. For me, that is my husband, my family, and the people that God continuously brings into life each day. For right now, there isn’t “something more” to discover. What I’m supposed to be doing, is what I’m already doing. “Stay the course”, He tells me.

The concentric circles, or outer circles, are what God is doing. Our hopes and dreams are in these circles. This is the place where we want to start because this is flashy and fun and glitzy to talk about. But this is not where we start. We start, in the bullseye.

God has shown me that I need to do a better job of discerning hard work from striving.

Motherhood is hard work, even when they’re grown.

Marriage is hard work.

Relationships are hard work.

Work is hard work.

Maintaining is hard work.

Some days, these are not the things I want to do because they are hard. Yet, they are the God given gifts and responsibilities that I have and ‘get’ to serve.

I get to be a wife.

I get to be a mom.

I get to go to a workplace and serve.

I get to do this work.

Staying in my bullseye with my Maker requires hard work, and I need to be ok with hard work.

Striving, on the other hand, is a struggle. It is what we do when we desperately try to bring something into fruition. Struggling looks like obsessions, distraction, and selfishness. Struggling is our attempt to do what only God can do. We struggle when we attempt to accomplish outer circle tasks on our own.

The outer circle with our hopes and dreams, like our inner bullseye target, is for and God alone. The outer circle is for Him to accomplish, or if He has already accomplished it, then it’s for Him to reveal to us in His own timing. We can’t hurry or rush or hustle enough to accomplish outer circle tasks. When we attempt to do this, though, that is called striving.

The opposite of striving, of course, is rest. And we rest most easily, in our bullseye.

“God wants us to be with Him before we do something for Him.” (Lysa TerKeurst)

All of us want to know who we are, what it is we are supposed to do with our life, and how to make this life count. But we can’t start with those things. We can’t start with us. We must start with the One who made us, and who will accomplish all of those things through us if we allow Him.

When we stay in our bullseye – in the knowledge of who God is and where He has placed us in this very moment in time – then we free ourselves from the impossible weight of trying to accomplish what isn’t ours to do. We return to our Creator and ask that He continue to remake us into the person He has made us to be.

Ephesians 2:10 says that we are “his workmanship.” So often the confusion and frustration that we feel in trying to discover “who we are,” though, is that we keep our eyes trained on ourselves. We will never discover who we are apart from Christ. When we start by learning who He is, though, we naturally start to discover who He made us to be.

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10 ESV

Wake up.

Stay in the bullseye with God Almighty.

Go.

August 30, 2019 kind

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Good morning, DearHeart.

I was listening to the news last night, several different stories where solutions were being sought and I was so bothered by the hostility of people being interviewed by reporters. It makes me wonder – what if, instead of accusations and hurling hate, they would choose to show support and understanding? Would the situations resolve themselves through eyes of compassion instead of escalate through words dripping with hate?

I may be jaded in my thinking, but it just seems to me that whatever we choose do from the soulful self that is saturated in the love of our Creator … well, it will help lighten the burdens of the world.

Anything. We really have no idea what the

smallest word,

the tiniest generosity,

a gentle whisper,

can cause to be set in motion.

For just this day, be outrageous in forgiving.

Set yourself in position to be dramatic in reconciling.

Mistakes? Back up and make them as right as you can, then move on. Be off the charts in kindness. In whatever you are called to, strive to be devoted to it in all aspects large and small.

In Acts 28 Paul’s kindness became contagious. Christ soaked kindness just may be the most dramatic gift you can ever give to the world.

Dramatic kindness.

Uncommon kindness.

Upon whom will you deliver kindness today?

“The native people showed us unusual kindness, for they kindled a fire and welcomed us all, because it had begun to rain and was cold.” Acts 28:2 ESV

Wake up.

Be kind.

Go.

August 29, 2019 crazies

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Good morning, DearHeart.

Do you ever feel like, as a child of the Most High, you are a renegade? Here you are, breaking new ground . . . no longer commonplace – because there is nothing common about this great ride. Yet, you find yourself rolling your eyes to the heavens, saying “Really, God?” You either want to kick yourself or curl up into fetal position thinking you may melt into a puddle. The wild and wooly west can’t hold a candle to this patriot life . . .

no google maps,

no sign posts,

no Starbucks.

On this holy roller coaster, you’re so off the map that GPS can’t even find you. And, then, if that’s not enough, in walks the angry antagonist who’s rush and thrill in life is to create a three ring circus of chaos every time you turn around.

Just be reminded … Jesus dealt with nutcases … narcissistic personality disorders, manic slanderers who held no remorse for their ugliness, their lies, and probably didn’t even feel a guilty conscience.

They murdered Him, mentally & physically, yet through the process, He was renewed.

There are times when all you can see is a darkness. You feel alone and naked and empty here. But, deep down, you know this – you have a Savior who never lets you go.

The world can dish out dirty games and nasty noises. But, you know a Place, you know a Voice, and, here you finally hear the genius of your Creator. Stay the course. Open to every nuance of your Father’s guiding heart, and you will find every curve of the road is leading you into renewal. Every blade of grass knows your step. He has directed every bit of sky to whisper His name to you, your personal Guide. This renewal of the Almighty God in you is as mysterious as it is brilliant. Brilliant Love is drawing you closer into Him, moving you forward, rooting for you … He has invested His life into you to bring about His glory through your every move. Mmm. Take that thought in a moment. You have been chosen for this. Critical conversations are designed for your good under God’s divine guidance.

There is a Holy scent to follow.

Every bird is singing something necessary to you. The wind blows to push you in the right direction, while the rain soaks you in Holy water. You are in His favor, Love. The moments you get to realize this are worth an entire lifetime, because the Holy Spirit speaks through you to be heard by ears that need Him. Everything is in your favor as long as your heart is set to learn Him, learn His ways. Really, it’s one thing to be alive… it is a whole other level to rise from the crazies, renewed in holiness.

“But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language….

Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.”

Colossians 3:8, 10 NLT

Wake up.

Rise.

Renew.

Go.

August 28, 2019 called

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“The Holy Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and walk along beside the carriage.” Acts 8:29 (NLT)

Good morning, DearHeart.

Is God giving you a sign? Maybe a directive that makes no sense? Maybe even a simple command, a simple direction like he did Philip? Notice that Philip obeyed and seized the opportunity to share his faith with the eunich. But, first Philip had to receive directions from the Lord and follow through on what he had been told.

It was probably not an accident for the eunich to be found reading from a scroll of Isaiah. Through the reading of those very Scriptures, God was preparing his heart to hear from Philip of the very fulfillment of those Scriptures through Christ.

Philip could not have realized, even in the moment of his obedience, how he would be used in the life of this man. He probably found it odd to be told to do such a thing. Who would just approach and walk alongside a carriage carrying a royal official surrounded by servants.

Who would just step out in blind obedience like that unless they were paying attention to the voice of their Creator as He pulled on Philips heart. And, found Philip’s heart willing to follow through even though the whole plan wasn’t known or revealed.

Philip only knew that God called him to act. He knew God’s Grace would be sufficient no matter what may come. So, he followed the call.

The Holy Spirit instructed him to go and walk alongside that particular chariot and stay with it. Keep on walking with him. He didn’t have to know what might come next. He just followed the call for that day.

There are times we are led to do something beyond our understanding. We want to know all the details and figure out how it will work out. We want to know the plan in its entirety.

Often the Lord gives us just enough information to take the first step, then the second, and then another. In our obedience, He gives us His plan, piece by piece.

As we live each day by the guidance of God,

He lets us know where, and when, and what we are to do.

“Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.” (Galatians 5:25, NLT)

Wake up.

God’s got a plan.

Follow, steady on.

Go.

August 27, 2019 tools

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Good morning, DearHeart,

I was talking to a friend recently who commented, “there comes a time we have to put down the rocks and pick up the tools.”

That was a God-given, God-sized directive meant for me. And, I heard it loud and clear.

When have you transformed your chaos into wisdom? Isn’t it simply a God-sized miracle that He gave us the capacity to hear His whisper through a friend? And, we have received the gift to choose His life-affirming ways?

Gratitude.

Compassion.

Love.

All are His triggers for the release of His tremendous power that stills the storms and readies us to send His light right back out into a needy heart.

The love of the Most High God is the most powerful force in creation, and His very tools, like His nature, are woven into the children that He calls His own.

You have His tools.

With them we gain new meaning to the things that hurt us most and empower us to move on – beyond our judgements of whatever trial life hands out.

The key is simple, isn’t it? Yes, … it is the ancient power of blessing the chaos to enter into the Wise place.

“Then you called out to GOD in your desperate condition; He got you out in the nick of time. He quieted the wind down to a whisper, put a muzzle on all the big waves. And you were so glad when the storm died down, and He led you safely back to harbor. So thank GOD for his marvelous love, for His miracle mercy to the children He loves.” Psalm 107:28-30 MSG

Wake up.

Bless it.

Bless the chaos.

Go.

August 26, 2019 calm place

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Good morning DearHeart,

You know, no one in human skin is exempt from drama.

Surface drama.

Excitement.

Time-crunch drama.

Disappointment.

Chaos.

And … every emotion known to man. The outer edges of our daily behavior is based on the “deal” going on today in our life … whatever happens there on the fringe demands an emotion like the surface of a lake – sometimes dead calm, sometimes windy and rough. Cycles,

and seasons,

and egos,

and drama come and go and influence the surface. Those who have hearts that are sold out to Christ find that deep down – the lake is undisturbed.

Peaceful even.

No matter the white-caps, the Creator has your resting place ready and available and accessible.

As a child of the living God, you are the whole lake – in touch with the depth of the Prince of Peace, which remains absolutely still. We abide in His unchanging, timeless, deathless presence. Our surface fluctuates – plays, experiences, creates and dabbles in continuous drama … God gets that, He lived in skin for a while on earth, too. But, the only requirement you and I have as His children is to attach ourselves to His navigation through the waters to the deep, to our eternity. Mm. Yeah. Rest there.

No matter the storm that disrupts your fringes, choose to go deep in His peace.

‘He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.’

Isaiah 9:6b HCSB

Wake up.

Seize the drama.

Enter His calm.

Go.

August 23,2019

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Good FRIDAY(!) morning, DearHeart.

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to remind one of my precious loves that the battle was not with the one they thought was against them … the battle is against spiritual powers.

When God gives me the opening to share His truths with another I always need to be reminded of that truth, too. Amazing how that works.

You also need to be reminded that the devil has already been defeated! The victory is won. So keep your eyes and focus on Jesus and not on the enemy. 

Ephesians 6:10–12 says, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

We stand strong in the Lord’s power. God’s armor protects us.

Even when a wild scheme against us appears from out of the wild blue. We know what to do – we position ourselves to rely on God’s power, not our own. We put on the whole armor of God. We draw on the power of Scripture—the Word of God is the Spirit’s sword. We pray in perseverance and holiness, making our appeal to God.

Stand firm (Ephesians 6:13–14). Submit to God. Resist the devil’s work The Lord of hosts is your protector. “Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken” (Psalm 62:2).

Wake up.

Walk in the power of your Protection.

Do not be shaken.

Go.

August 21, 2019 dr

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Good morning, DearHeart.

I’m starting a new thing today – well, tonight actually. God has a funny way of shaking me out of the familiar and comfortable, so this trek moves me toward ‘Dr. Lewis’, and hopefully my studies will help move my beloved OKLAHOMA toward a stronger workforce.

I remember sitting at a desk the first night I started on my Masters in 2001, and my legs were shaking uncontrollably. It had been a long time since I had been in class and I didn’t have 3 little boys at home when I’d been in class before. We did it. God made a way.

He has moved mountains during this prep, too. Like you, I have found myself in a new beginning several times over the course of my life:

• beginning in a new job

• beginning in a new church

• beginning a new book

• beginning a new diet

• beginning in a new school

• beginning a new relationship

In none of those beginnings did I find myself comfortable. Or at ease. Most times, I felt awkward and out of place.

Did you notice it was all about how I felt in the midst of the new beginning?

“One of the best ways to face this problem of self-centeredness is to discover some cause and some purpose, some loyalty outside of yourself and give yourself to that something.” (Martin Luther King Jr.)

The unknown of a new beginning brings an excitement, an eagerness to see what and how God is going to work and unfold His plan.

In writing to the Israelites, God encourages them to remember where they had come from (Egypt) while looking forward to the days ahead. He wanted them to realize dwelling on the past would cause them to stagnate.

“But forget all that – it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” (Isaiah 43: 18-19, NLT)

New beginnings –
the places where passion and purpose collide.

“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”

Proverbs 16:3 ESV

Wake up.

Breathe.

Commit.

Anticipate.

Go.

August 8, 2019 mysteries

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Good morning, DearHeart.

We want answers, don’t we? Why did I eat that? What did he mean by that? Why doesn’t the doctor know what to do? Why did that tick me off? Why did he respond like that? Why did she have to die? Why am I so scared? What if I fail?

We’re accustomed in this culture to seek answers, facts, “quantitative data”, to narrow our focus until we’ve solved the problem. But, think about this, doesn’t that reduce the way we see each other and the world? Doesn’t that reduce the work of our Creator? And, doesn’t knowing the answers keep us from finding solace in the mystery? It keeps us from experiencing the sweet surrender and easy humility of simply not knowing. “Simply not knowing” is a wonderful state of being. At least it can be. When we allow ourselves to be washed over by waves of contradiction, and we stop insisting on sorting out each one, when we release blaming others and blaming ourselves, we might find ourselves on new unfamiliar ground, a place where fresh experiences and re-connection become possible. When we see each other’s innate contradictions as a flaw or weakness, we essentially take a stand against their basic human-ness, and that is the real disaster. We also are very likely take the same stand against our own human-ness. We remain apart, separate, because we have rejected a real part of being human. Sometimes, we don’t have to know.

Even there, we can rest.

“They all realized they were in a place of holy mystery, that God was at work among them. They were quietly worshipful—and then noisily grateful, calling out among themselves, “God is back, looking to the needs of his people!” Luke 7:16-17 MSG

Wake up.

Allow space for His mystery.

Go.

August 6, 2019 nudge

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Good morning, DearHeart.

As a child of God, I believe God allows things to happen to get our attention. When we get too caught up being earthlings instead of spiritual beings, He nudges you and me with an issue and says, “I just want to spend time with you, child .” When we are doing life with too casual of a spirit, we become spectators, we forget to have a grateful heart, we forget to refuel with Him, we allow rat race business to consume the space where we would enter His courts with Thanksgiving, and we fail to position our hearts to separate ourselves. Do you know why God stands at the door of your heart and knocks? Because, God is on the outside of the door … He gave US the key. He won’t open the door, He must be invited in. When we get too comfortable we fail to invite Him in … after a while you no longer hear the knock. You get used to doing life on your own terms.

You need to know that you are a vessel of His glory. The time you set aside just to sit with Him is the time He pours in more of His Glory to

love you,

radiate through you,

touch you,

nourish you,

and light joy in you.

“For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves;”

2 Corinthians 4:6-7 NASB

Wake up.

Be nudged.

Go.