At The Cottage Background

Friday, March 26, 2010


Psalm 91

Security of the One Who Trusts in the LORD.

1He who dwells in the (A)shelter of the Most High
Will abide in the (B)shadow of the Almighty.
2I will say to the LORD, "My (C)refuge and my (D)fortress,
My God, in whom I (E)trust!"
3For it is He who delivers you from the (F)snare of the trapper
And from the deadly (G)pestilence.
4He will (H)cover you with His pinions,
And (I)under His wings you may seek refuge;
His (J)faithfulness is a (K)shield and bulwark.
5You (L)will not be afraid of the (M)terror by night,
Or of the (N)arrow that flies by day;
6Of the (O)pestilence that stalks in darkness,
Or of the (P)destruction that lays waste at noon.
7A thousand may fall at your side
And ten thousand at your right hand,
But (Q)it shall not approach you.
8You will only look on with your eyes
And (R)see the recompense of the wicked.
9For you have made the LORD, (S)my refuge,
Even the Most High, (T)your dwelling place.
10(U)No evil will befall you,
Nor will any plague come near your tent.
11For He will give (V)His angels charge concerning you,
To guard you in all your ways.
12They will (W)bear you up in their hands,
That you do not strike your foot against a stone.
13You will (X)tread upon the lion and cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you will trample down.
14"(Y)Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will (Z)set him securely on high, because he has (AA)known My name.
15"He will (AB)call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and (AC)honor him.
16"With a (AD)long life I will satisfy him
And (AE)let him see My salvation."

Where do you live....?

Where do you breathe....?

Where do you run to when you can't stand the pressure and pain anymore....?

If we dwell in the presence... in the shelter... of our God... if we make camp, and make our home... our place of dwelling in Him, and where He resides... where He is.....

We will be in His shadow...
We can say with confidence... "My refuge! My fortress! My God in Whom I trust!"
He will deliver us.... me... from the trap of my enemie(s).
He will deliver me from deadly pestilence (a deadly or virulent epidemic disease,something that is considered harmful, destructive, or evil.)
He will cover us with His mighty wings... it is there that we will be covered... protected.
We will see that His faithfulness is a strong shield and protective wall against the enemy.

We can strongly say... "I will NOT be afraid... of anything!"
Not terror, fear, danger, disease, or threats that are the feeble and sometimes relentless attempts of the enemy to try and rob and destroy my life from what it really is... from what it is truly meant to be.

No matter what I see with my eyes...
No matter what I am "feeling" in my heart, or with my own body...
No matter what my circumstance looks like...
No matter what.

He is bigger than what I see... what I feel... and what may appear as hopeless, impossible, and unimaginable...

He is bigger.


He has given His angels a charge to watch over me.
To guard me.
To bear me up.

I will not strike even my foot as I choose to walk in the light of His truth.
I will step on and crush the lion's and the cobra's in my life.
Even that which seems most lethal, poisonous, and able to take my life.

I can only be confident... I can only claim these things as my own if I choose.
I can only be victorious and able IF I am living in my Fathers house... in His place...
Only if I am finding my home with Him.
Finding my life... my confidence... my everything... IN HIM.

When I call.... HE WILL BE WITH ME.


He will honor me... I WILL NOT BE ASHAMED.

With a long life He will satisfy me.

I WILL see His salvation.

I WILL see His deliverance.

I WILL see His redemption.

Praise You God!!


All Praise Father God....

My whole life...

To You Alone.

May I never forget...
May I never forget Father WHO YOU ARE.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I have been trying so hard... and thinking that I have had it all figured out.
And although I have come so far.. I know that I have so far yet to go.

I have been asking myself a lot of questions lately.
I sat up late into the night... praying... allowing my tears to fall... asking Him and finally once again letting go of what I had unknowingly taken back.

Am I willing?
Am I wanting?
Am I longing?

Am I willing to long for what He is longing for? What He is wanting for me? And for those that I love most?
Knowing that it requires a taking... a tugging and pulling of myself. Of everything that I know and have known?
Am I ready to re-define and be re-defined by Him.... and ultimately for Him?
Am I willing in my desire to see Him more fully, to experience Him to the depths of my heart, to be emptied... poured out... completely and utterly wrecked for the purpose of being re-built and for the restoration... the true depth of healing to occur?

I know that He is correcting.
He is breaking the lies with His truths.
He is disciplining out of a pure love.
He is calling me to abandon more of myself than I thought I had to give.
Giving up more of who I was and becoming the realization of who He has created me to be.

I am so far from perfect.
I am still bumbling through it all.
Often falling, tripping, and missing so much.
But I am also feeling the effect of His soothing, comforting, and flowing touch...
Like amber honey filling and thickly flowing over everything it is poured over.

My heart is deceptive.
Oh how I know this....
I keep hearing that saying that says.... "You can not let your heart lead you... you must lead your heart."

If I am not following after the One who holds ownership to that very integral part of me... than I am not heading where I should. My feet are headed in the wrong direction.
I am going to be led astray... away and wandering... away from Him, and not toward Him and all that He is holding for me.

Pretty soon I find myself at a distance...
Standing in a meadow... separated by my fear, indifference, doubt... with a wide space of confusion between us.
Wondering how I got there... so far from Him... not able to feel Him, or hear Him clearly.
Feeling the swirling mist around me, looking at where I'm at, I can still see Him... far off His features have become blurred. But I can sense His look...
Deep longing... hurt for me ... sorrow at our separation.
Hurting for where I find myself and for the pain that I have allowed to engulf me... in its grip.. and in its power. Bringing with it confusion and doubts.
I can profoundly feel Him longing for me to return to Him... to begin the headlong run back to the security of His arms. To His truths... and the promises that He has already given to me.

Loving arms that I know will wrap all the way around me as soon as I make contact.
Guarding me.
Protecting me with a fierce protectiveness.

I can hear Him... so strong.. so sure.... "This one is Mine.".... "She belongs to Me."



"She is mine."

I can hear the echo of those words... I can feel my head falling onto His chest. Resting there.
I can feel His strength and hear it's power.
The building sound... my own finding it's rhythm with His.

The heartbeat of the Father.
The sound that calms my own raging heart... drowns out the lies... quiets my fears... silences my doubts... my anxious ways... and stills my thoughts.

In unison with His... once again in the place that I know that I belong.
The place that my soul hungers and cries out for....
And it is there that I am safe.
It is there where I find my comfort.
And it is there where my own heartbeat begins to beat with the peace that goes beyond my fragile understanding.

No where else.

No.... where... else.


"I seek you with all my heart;
do not let me stray from your commands." Psalm 119:10

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Love of A Father

"3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 5For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows."
2 Corinthians 1:3-5


I can't tell you what these words invoke in me.
I went so long for so much of my life without uttering those words.
Hurt and alone.

And it wouldn't be until years later.... much much later in my life when I could feel the slight inkling of feeling like I could say them.
I uttered them silently at first.
With trepidation.
Those words meant so much more for me. And what they had meant was not what God wanted them to mean. Not for me. And not over me.

When God healed my relationship with my earthly dad He began to heal so much more in me.
And He began the journey with me to repair and heal all the broken places.
All the shattered hopes and dreams of a little girl.

Now when I say it I can't help but feel this overwhelming feeling of love.
This pouring out of grace... mercy over me and over my life.

I have not been rejected.
I have not been left or unloved. Nor forsaken... not ever forsaken.

I have been loved from the foundations of the earth.
I have been redeemed by the One who has looked on me my whole life.
Who has seen and watched.
Who has sat by my bedside and allowed the tears to fall with me over my hurt. Over my deep deep pains.
He has cared and loved me for all of my life.
He has walked beside me and even followed a little behind as I charged ahead to do what I thought needed doing.

He waited for me.
He has always been here... waiting for me.
Loving me.
Far more than I deserve. And far more than I can understand,grasp, or comprehend.

When I have felt like all hope has been lost, He has graciously allowed me to wallow only to gently nudge and remind me that what I have chosen to believe is not the truth. It is not from Him.
Because we all have a bad day.
We all struggle and fight to believe and hold onto what we are desperate for.
Clinging and surviving.

God is not powerless to help us.
He is not unable to step into any one of our circumstances.
But we often... so often shut Him out.
Tell Him, "Not now."
Or worse yet.... "You scare me. I don't think I can trust You."

How this must hurt Him.
How we must hurt Him.

I'm sorry Lord.
I'm so sorry Father.

You deserve nothing less than my heart. My entire and whole heart.
Poured out for you, just as You have poured out for me.
The love of a Savior. Poured out and poured out.
For me.

For me.
For me.
For me.

And if that is not love......

then I don't know what is.

And because of that love... I can now say.... Father.

I can now utter daddy.... with the emotion and longing that I have craved and longed for for so long.

I can now cry.... Abba.....Abba.... my Father... my Daddy.

Oh God..... Your love reaches to the heavens... Your faithfulness... stretches to the skies.... (Psalm 36:5,6)

Your love humbles me... it keeps me in this place of deep awe.. reverence.

Father God... You are to be respected and loved.
Looked upon as great and mighty.
Able to do and accomplish... able to go before and break down strongholds before fortified by our enemy.

God you are able... More than able....

And Father.... I am sorry that I have doubted You.
I am sorry that I have struggled to believe and stand on Your Word and Your promises.
To me.
To my family.
To so many... others who I can not count or name.
I'm sorry that I have kept my eyes focused on circumstance instead of your love.
Instead of Your promises.
Instead of Your faithfulness.

Perfect love casts out fear..... It casts it... tosses it... and throws it away, and down. (1 John 4:18)

God You have put the enemy under Your feet, and because of that... and because of Your love for me... he is under mine too.

Praise You God!

I am fearfully and wonderfully made!!

And Father I love you.....

i love you.

Thank you for rescuing me.
For coming for me.
For not leaving or abandoning me to myself.
To my thoughts.
To my ways.
To my very way of thinking.

Your ways are my ways.
Your thoughts my thoughts.
You are mine.
And I belong to the only Father who's name is like no other....

Almighty God.
King of all Kings.
With all authority over ALL things and over ALL THE WAYS OF MAN AND OVER OUR ENEMY(S).
Over it all.


You ARE God.
You ARE Father.
You ARE my Daddy.

With a deep affection for all Your children.
You take pity on us... You have grace and mercy for us.
You are able, ready, and longing to pour out on us....

Your love....
Your deep and abiding love.

And for that...
Because of that...

I owe it all.


I am Yours.

And I belong to You.

Thank you... Father God... for everything.

Seen or unseen.

Because Your Word says it.... and I choose to believe it and stand on it.

Your love is steeped in Your promises for us. For me.
Help us not to forget it.

Fortify our walls God.
Against lies... against principalities... and against every lofty thing that would try and come against the knowledge of Who You ARE. (2 Cor. 10:4,5)



You are all in all.

i am yours.

I am Yours.


and I belong to You.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Giving Up

I am not a quitter.
I don't like to lose.
Not at silly games. But at life.
I don't like to feel like I am losing at life.
And right now... life seems to be doling out one sucker punch after another.
I have been here before.
This place of extreme exhaustion. This place of just wanting to curl up... lay my head down and go to sleep.

To give up.

In everything else I am tenacious.
In my passion for God.
In my desire to serve Him.
In loving my family.
In fighting for what I feel is right.
For defending the weak.

But in this area.
In this one area... I am not.
I am weak.
I feel weak.
I know that  the body and mind are connected.
I know that in my own experiences that when I am feeling anxious that my body immediately responds.
Cold sweats, heart pounding, mind reeling.
A feeling like I just need to run.
Fast.... and far.

In addition to holding onto something that God has not asked me to carry, I have been holding onto something else.
Fear that I am not in control.
Fear that something bad can happen.
Fear that God isn't going to step in when I thought that He was.
Fear that He is asking me to do what I don't know if I can do.

Giving up.

Saying that it  is okay for me to be hurting.
Saying that is okay for Him to do what He wants, however He wants to do it.
I am scared.
And I don't know how.

I can do a lot of things.
I can run circles around so many activities.
I am tough in so many areas....
So why?
Why is this proving to be so hard?
Why does this feel like it is costing me everything.....
That everything is riding on this one thing.

Me giving up.

It is different than letting go.
It is admitting defeat.
It is losing.

And although I have an idea of what I have to gain....
I am not sure.
I am so unsure.

And I so want help understanding it all.
And I would like nothing more than for someone to come and show me... to help me pry my fingers loose.
To help me peel them off of my tightly wound control.
Of my habit... very bad habit of taking back what I have repeatedly tried to surrender to God.

It hurts.
It really hurts.

Both physically and emotionally.
My head is pounding with the effects of it.
I can't stop crying today.

I just feel lost.

I have been fighting so hard lately.
Contending for what I thought I was supposed to be contending for.


I know that there is a reason.
I know that this is not all for nothing.

It just hurts so much.

And I just want to  curl up..... close my eyes......

I can feel myself giving up.

And I am not so sure that this isn't a bad thing.

I don't know why........
i       don't       know      why.

Here I am Lord.
With puffy eyes and tear stained cheeks.

here       i        am.

rescue me.


because contrary to what all of this may seem... contrary to all I have just said.....

this doesn't depend on me.

This doesn't depend on me.


6"Now I know that the LORD saves His anointed;
He will answer him from His holy heaven
With the saving strength of His right hand.
7Some boast in chariots and some in horses,
But we will boast in the name of the LORD, our God.
8They have bowed down and fallen,
But we have risen and stood upright.
9Save, O LORD;
May the King answer us in the day we call." Psalm 20:6-9

1"The LORD is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the defense of my life;
Whom shall I dread?
2When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh,
My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell.
3Though a host encamp against me,
My heart will not fear;
Though war arise against me,
In spite of this I shall be confident." Psalm 27:1-3

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Picture

I will be very honest. Quite honest.
I don't know where this post is going to go.
I only have a sense. But not a sure direction.
I have a picture.
An impression.
Not very clear... but not completely obscure.

I was worshiping.
Giving up so much... of me. Of my past. Of so many things.
I had finally gotten to the point where I knew that I needed to just wait.
And I heard the words echo from the evening service at church.....

"Show me."
"Show me."
"Show me.

I heard it first, and then I began to whisper it.
Gaining strength in the saying I repeated it.....
Over and over again.

"God show me. I want to see."

A picture came.
Vivid, but not clear.
I could make out a few things. But I can't make out where or what it can mean.
I asked Him.... and I waited. I stood still. And then I heard it clearly. "Write it."
I am unsure what to say. But I get this sense that somehow by writing it that the understanding of it will come.
This is so far out of my comfort zone that I won't even get started on it.
But I do know this.... I will know.
When the revelation comes. I will know.
There will be an Authenticity.

So here it is.
The picture that I saw.

It is a scene.
A pastoral scene.
A big tree. Round with lush leaves and very very green.
I get this sense that it is somewhere. And somehow this somewhere is important.
It is important and I don't know why.
And I don't know where.
The tree is sitting off to the left a bit and around it is low fencing. But the fence is not a cookie cutter wood.
It get the impression that it is a rush of some sort. Hay, or grass.
There is a feeling of subtle rolling hills around it.
The grass is kept but not manicured.
Green and full of natural beauty.
I can't really see around it.
But is beautiful.
Cool. Cold really.
And that is all.
That is all I can see. And the impression of what I feel about this place.

I have a few more things that I feel that I have been given into the insight of this place, but I am going to hold them back.
I feel like I need to hold them back.

I am stepping out in a different direction.
In a very different way than I am used to functioning.
I didn't hesitate when I heard His pull to put it down.... I am just really unsure as to the why.
I am in this area of learning to trust Him.
Learning anew how to respond to my Heavenly Father.
To trust Him and to believe Him when He speaks to me.
Let me just clarify to you and for myself....
This isn't a kooky thing.
Okay. That word is funny... but  the best one that I can think of to say what I am trying to get at.

Christianity can be a very tricky thing.
Often unsure and unfortunately too often unsafe.
But I want to make something very clear.
It is man that has created the uncertainty.
The doubt. The disbelief.
God has not changed. Nor has His Word.
IF we take God at His word.
If we read it. Study it. Know it.
Take it in context and not out of it, we can so clearly see the picture that God paints for us. And we will begin to lose more of ourselves, our flesh, everything that holds us back from Him, and gain who we truly are in light of who He IS.

He loves us.
He longs for relationship with us.
He is the only true and faithful God.
Worthy of all honor and praise.
And all that He requires is all of us. Our hearts. Our obedience to His word. And our faithfulness.
I dare to believe that if we are a people who believe and know our God, that we would live lives that bare witness to the testimony of the righteous God we serve.
Honesty and not self gain or self at all involved.
A people surrendered and standing firm on the knowledge of Gods Word and the truth of Who and All that He is.
Plain and simple.
If we do this.
Simple. Pure. Unadulterated worship and adoration for our King......
A love that will push us out of the comforts of man, and into a place where we are so secure and dependent on the One who holds it all.
Bowed down low but brought up and out of the miry places that we have long been residing.

And in this new place. The one where nothing is the same as what it has been is where He can move.
Where He will move.
In us and through us.
Always in accordance with His Word and always lined up with His truths.
So I will leave it off here.
Where I don't really understand but where I am willing to wait. To understand.
This is all new to me. And just as foreign as the picture I saw.

I am going to trust Him with this. Like I am trusting Him with so much right now.
He is faithful.
And I will keep proclaiming it as often as I need to say it.
For myself and for everyone out there like me who need to be reminded of it all day long.

Maybe you have things that you are trying to understand.
A promise perhaps. Or just a deeper longing to know Him.
Keep pressing into Him. Drawing near to Him.
Reading and grounding yourself in His Word.
He is faithful.
And He will not let you down.

.... until another tomorrow.


"But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water." 2 Peter 3:5

"But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him:" 1 John 2:5

"Assemble the people—men, women and children, and the aliens living in your towns—so they can listen and learn to fear the LORD your God and follow carefully all the words of this law." Deuteronomy 31:12

Monday, March 1, 2010


I am sitting here.
In  unfamiliar surroundings.
But I feel called to be here.
Among interesting people.
With people milling about. Looking. Wandering.

So much like me.

And all around me there are books.
Books upon books.
Stacks of them.

I love books.
I love the smell of them.
The feel of them.
The look of them.

I have loved them too much... for too long.
Finding myself in them.
Hiding in the pages and depth of the security they have often offered me.
A place to hide.
A place that I can get lost into and not worry about anyone else.
Just me. And the words. And my own imagination.


A world that can be trusted.
A world that I can control.

That I can control.....

No chances.
No gambles.
No insecurities.
No opportunities for disappointments.
And if I don't like what I see.... well, I just shut the pages. And walk away.

There is no risk involved.


And here I am.
Among so many of them.
And so heavy and strong I have heard.... "You are not to touch them. Read them. Or turn to them any longer."

They are not safe.

Not anymore.

Not here.
Not now.

Maybe not ever again.

I don't know how to really express how I feel about that.
How I want to respond to this.... this command.
One that I have every opportunity to obey... or not.

I don't want to lose.
I don't want to miss the connection.
The one that is so undefinable between me and Him.
Between the One who has been so close... watching me run... so often. And has been waiting.

For me.

I have so much to say.
So many things that are bursting... wanting to get out.
I don't know which ones to choose first.

I felt the pull, the tug to come here.
To a place where it would seem would be the last place that I should be.
A place that holds the very thing that has been set apart as forbidden for me right now.
I have to laugh. Really. Isn't God funny? And not in the comical sense.

He knows.
He knows us so well.
He knows me so well.
So well.

Here the words just flow.
I am surrounded by them... they are swirling all around me.
I can almost see them.
I can almost bat at them with my hands.
But these are not the words that I am to say.
Not these. Not the ones already said. Already written.

I am to form my own.
His own.
From His well spring.
To say what He wants to say.
To proclaim what He is calling me to proclaim.

He is near.
So near.
And He wants us all to hear. To know. To feel.
He wants us all.
And I feel so deeply that He doesn't want not one to miss it.

I have always tried to play it safe.
And yet if you look back... just even take a glimpse back at my life.
Nothing has been safe.
None of  it.

So much hurt. So much pain. So many disappointments.

And now I have been dropped into this place of vast possibilities.
A wide open playing field.
I want to open my arms wide.
To spin around and turn my face up. Letting the air hit me, allowing myself to just feel it all.
Letting myself go. I want so badly to run free. To explore this new place.
It is so unfamiliar. So foreign.
So risky.

Is it safe?

Lord are you there?
I can feel you faintly.... and yet so strongly.
How am I to proceed?
Where do you want me to go next?

I have been hiding for so long.
Uncertain and so untrusting.
Nothing has been safe for me.
Not anyone I really could trust.
Not anyone I wanted to trust. Not really.

Not even God.

And now He has... is giving me so much.
He is offering me so much.....
And I am afraid to take it.
Is it real?
Can He be trusted?
With me?
With all that I hold so close?

With my heart?
The most important part of me?

"You've seen it all God."
The huge amounts of deep searing pain.
The reason that I run as fast and as far as I can from anything that even remotely resembles risk for me.
"You are asking me to risk so much.... so much."

Am I brave enough?
So many people think I am brave.
Oh gosh. Are they ever wrong.

He wants us all.
Whether you are at the place that you are ready to acknowledge that or not.... it is the truth.
All of you.
With no exception.
Not your left overs.
Not even your best, and your worst left for any other.
He wants it all.


From the inside out.
Turned inside out.
Shaken out, and completely......


Do you understand this?
Do you get it?

Because I feel that if we don't we will miss it.
All of it.
And what He is wanting to do.
What He is ready to do.
In all of us.

To eradicate our thinking.
To blow our boxes wide open.
To bust open our "religion".
To make us uncomfortable so much so that we leap and jump out of our seats.....
And run.
To the only place that makes sense. To the only place that we can lay anything..... ourselves, our misconceptions down.
The place where He is waiting to meet  us.
A place that vulnerability is a must and surrender is the natural flow.

It is not safe.
It is a place of radical living.
A place of refinement and subsequent living.
It is the only place where we can go.
No where else is safe any longer.
You need to know that.
We need to know that . And really fully understand it.

When are we going to fully open up?
To let go?
It is beginning.
And I feel and think, just getting started.
We are only beginning to see.....we are barely glimpsing what I feel God is wanting to give us.
He is promising..... has promised for so long. All along.
Are we ready?

He is ready.

Get ready.
Prepare yourself.
He isn't playing.
And we need to understand and take seriously the place He is calling us all to.

We need to wake up.
And we need to respond.

How are we going to respond?

A call has gone out.
It is wringing loud..... and the earth is reverberating with its sound.

I want to be in that place that I referred to.
At the front.
At the foot of what we know to be the place of surrender.
The place of breaking down and being broken.
And the place where we are re-built again.
Repaired, mended, and healed.
A place of being able to stand again.
A place where we will raise our heads again, look out, and see more clearly than we have ever seen before.

It is the only place.
The only place of real and complete safety.

It is at His feet.

Will you be there?

.... untiil another tomorrow.


Here is a link to a song that expresses the heart struggle that I have gone through for so much of my life..... and the one that God is calling an end to.