At The Cottage Background

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


She leaves today.

I've had to do this before.
Releasing.... letting go... and setting free.

My emotions are all jumbled up inside.
Colliding with all of the things that I am already struggling through and fighting with.
At first glance I am excited.... thrilled... and steeped with anticipation.
At second.... I am thoughtful... mindful... and wanting more than anything for this to be one of the greatest adventures of her life.

And then there's now... right now.... when as I drove home from dropping off one of my youngest to school, and the song that she just choreographed  began to play in my car and surround me, that it slammed right into the middle of my chest.....

She's leaving.

It's okay... in the rightness of that word.
It's more than I can think or ask.
To allow her to step... and lunge into the depths of my Heavenly Father.

But it still stings just a little.
It still pings off my heart.... and makes me catch my breath in small gasps at this very moment.

It is right... and it is good... and as I recall the movements in her dance where she fully engaged and portrayed part of this journey that she has been on so far, during this small picture of time in her life, the tears fall in earnest.

She isn't going because she wants to.
She isn't going because she is longing to get away... and get out of her mundane existence.
She loves it here. She loves being home.

She is going because He's called her to.
She is going because she loves Him more than she loves her own comfort.
She is going because she chose to believe Him when He said to her... "You are called to be set apart."
And she is going because although it pains her to leave home again... to leave all that she knows... loves... and wants so much to be apart of...  She won't risk what saying no means to her... to Him.

She is being obedient.

And I am humbled by her obedience.
I know what it is costing her. What it has cost her before this.
I am awed by her heart that is breaking at the moment... and wanting to cling to what she knows won't hurt her. Not really.
Not the way she was hurt before.
The way that has still left bits and pieces of crumbs still clinging to her memory... still sticking to her heart.
But I can't allow her to stay in this place that can only offer her stability... and no room to span the beautiful wings that God has given her.

They stretch far... and they will go wide.
She can't extend them if she stays.
And she knows that... and so do we.
She has always been meant for so much more.
So much more than we can even foretell on our own.

She is meant to go farther... reach deeper... and impact in ways that she can't here.
And although the wounds are still fresh... and the scars are still pink... He won't waste what has gone on before.
He uses it... and builds off of it. And if we let Him... will make us to succeed in ways that we couldn't imagine He could when the hurt was deep and the wounds were at their deepest.
He doesn't set us up to fail.
He hasn't set her up to fail.
And I know that He won't fail her.
We can't control what people do... how they choose to live their lives... how they choose to ignore or allow God to grow them... even when using us in them.... but we can choose to not let those choices stay with us in a way that would stop the growth... and inhibit what God is trying to do in us all.
We can't stay this way.....
She can't.

And I know that is why He is calling her out.
Calling her out when she is not feeling ready yet... not wanting to let go.
It is like the pushing of the baby bird who steps cautiously toward the end of it's nest.
It looks scary... it looks far... and it looks dangerous.
I am that mama bird... nudging her on... and pushing her forward.
Because I know that if she stays too long that she won't ever want to leave at all.
That she will never experience the joys of souring..... dipping through the air... and flying with the wind in her face and feeling the exhilaration that only comes when doing what we have been born to do.
What she has been born to do.
She will never know... if I choose to be selfish... if I choose to do what feels most comfortable to me...
To hang on tight.
To not let go.
And in the long far reaching impact of it, keep her from the dreams that not even she realizes are going to be released when she finally takes that step off... and out.

So I am letting go again... today....

And when I watch her walk away from me I am going to imagine her wings... beginning to unfurl... and gently begin to span....
And I am going to be watching the beginning of something so beautiful... something more different than the last time.
I almost knew then.... I almost knew that she would come home wounded and beat up.... my tears felt wrenched from places that I didn't know I could feel from.

But not this time.

My tears are coming from a heart filled with more love... more hope... more anticipation... and more dreams for her to abound above what she is just experiencing in the moment and feeling as her footsteps take her farther and farther from where it seems "safer" to be.

I am anticipating more....
And I am hearing that song again rise up... and take flight of its own.
Swirling around us all... and dipping in and out of the crevices of all of our hearts....

"He is jealous for me... loves like a hurricane... I am a tree... bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy.... when all of a sudden I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory... and I realize just how beautiful You are... and how great Your affections are for me.... Oh... How He loves us... Oh. Oh how He loves us..... How He loves us.... Oh."

I can almost feel the soft breeze fluttering against my own cheeks as her wings begin to cautiously and gently move out... as the breeze of it begins to dry the tears that have already begun to fall as I watch a piece of my heart begin to take flight.....

.... until another tomorrow.


 6-18 "God makes everything come out right;
      he puts victims back on their feet.
   He showed Moses how he went about his work,
      opened up his plans to all Israel.
   God is sheer mercy and grace;
      not easily angered, he's rich in love.
   He doesn't endlessly nag and scold,
      nor hold grudges forever.
   He doesn't treat us as our sins deserve,
      nor pay us back in full for our wrongs.
   As high as heaven is over the earth,
      so strong is his love to those who fear him.
   And as far as sunrise is from sunset,
      he has separated us from our sins.
   As parents feel for their children,
      God feels for those who fear him.
   He knows us inside and out,
      keeps in mind that we're made of mud.
   Men and women don't live very long;
      like wildflowers they spring up and blossom,
   But a storm snuffs them out just as quickly,
      leaving nothing to show they were here.
   God's love, though, is ever and always,
      eternally present to all who fear him,
   Making everything right for them and their children
      as they follow his Covenant ways
      and remember to do whatever he said." Psalm 103:6-18

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Is It Enough...?

I woke up this morning with one thought...
"Lord... I just need to know."

It might sound awkward to you.
It might sound... unknown.
And maybe a little unbelieving.
But I needed to know.
I needed to feel Him today... in the midst of my circumstances.
In the midst of my pain.

My youngest daughter has been sick.
She... and we... have been struggling with watching her battle one thing after another.
One foreign ailment, ache, pain, and scary "what if's" from doctors for months now.

Not for her.....
And not for me.....

I am wound tight.
Tired... disillusioned... and wondering what I have to do next.
And what He is requiring of me... of us... of her.

And it with this that I cried out before the sun hit it's mark this morning.

Would it be too much God? Father.... are You willing to give me some sort of sign that it is all going to be okay?

Word after word that has been spoken....
Healing...  that is coming... but we are holding out on a thread.
My grip on the sheer rocks that I have been clinging to lately... for what seems the longest periods of time.... are starting to slip.
My hands are tired... chalky... ripped and bleeding....
I am tired... worn.... and....

But I can't.
And I know I won't.

As I wrapped my arm around my husband before we even got out of bed, I asked him....

"Please pray."

He knew.... like me... that we couldn't repeat yesterday.
We can't keep the pace that we have been running at.
Just when I thought that we had reached our levels of desperation.... we hit one more level of need.
And so he began to speak what I needed to walk in today... what I needed to hear and cling to today.

I don't know why... why we are having to walk through this...and why He is requiring what I feel I don't have anymore to give. I am grasping to try and understand it.
But as I dropped my daughter off at school today... thinking about her limping around on her knee that is causing her excruciating pain every day lately... and refusing to let my mind wander too far ahead of us to next week when I will have to surrender her to the hands of her doctor for a surgery that I am too afraid to admit fear to....
I once again sent up my heart.....

I receive daily devotionals... and I can't tell you how many times God has used them in my life.
NO..... really used them.
It is like these women, different authors every day, know what I am going through.
They seem weirdly connected to my heart in some unexplainable way.
And so it was today....

Here is what I read.....

Proverbs 31 Ministries

And I immediately heard Him whisper to me....

"Is it enough?"


"Is it enough that I've asked you to trust Me?"
"Is it enough that you know that I love her more than you do?"
"Is it enough that I have promised... and is it enough that I have said yes?"
"And is it enough that you would be willing to live your life out.... for others to see... just like you've told
me you want to... to show what it looks like... to walk... and to fight for what you believe is yours?"

"Is it enough?"

And as I sit here... pondering all of this.... crying with tears that I thought had long run dry on this particular topic, coursing down my face.... I realize that I have a choice to make.
Once again....
And as I realize the things... the other things that He has been busy doing... in the life of my oldest one...

I am astounded once again at His faithfulness.
To the prayers that I longingly prayed last year... as I sat a world away and watched my oldest daughter hurt... and struggle through what she needed to learn from. What she needed to be broken from... and built back up again to....

Tomorrow we put her on a plane again.
And this time... this time is different.
We are not sending her to places unknown to people that we thought we could trust.
We are sending her to a place that has been dear and close to our hearts for years... a place that we have not stepped foot on... but somehow God has already destined for some of us to go.
God has already gone before her.... He already sent someone before her... someone I never would have thought.....
And she is being anticipated for... already loved on... and ministered to... and she is still a bedroom away from me.... sleeping... dreaming... and waiting....
And I am once again reminded what He has done for her.... what He has promised... and what we can not undeniably forget....

He is faithful.
And what He promises is true.

And it is not lost on me... that this place she is going to... isn't even a place that she ever dreamed of going to.
It's not where she wanted to go....

But it is somewhere her sister wants to be... someday... and soon.
She has been dreaming and planning for this place for the past several years.
She has spoken of it... determined to go.....
And she was a little miffed that her oldest sister gets to go there first.
But my oldest said something to me a few weeks past... not understanding why... and wondering at the plan of God in all of this...

"Mom, do you think that God is taking me there for K?"
"Do you think that He is going to use me to prepare the way for her....?"
"I don't know honey... maybe..... Possibly."

"Could you possibly be weaving both of my girls callings together.... uniting them somehow... someway?"

I don't know.... I just don't.
But I somehow sense that He is. And at the moment I can't understand it.... but I don't need to.
That my one daughters call is in some way connected to the other....
And somehow... we are all joined in ways that I can't fathom or explain.
I am still wondering... but in there, there is hope.
Hope for a new day.
Hope that my youngest daughter will reflect and see someday all that God was doing... and what He has done...
And that she will see better than any of us do today that He has been... was... and is working on all of our behalf.

So that question that He spoke to me... whispering it to my heart... echoing even now in the depths of my soul.....

"Is it Enough?"

"Yes Lord.... today... and for now.... in all that I don't understand, or even in all that I fear.... it is enough."

"You.... are enough."

... until another tomorrow.


Because I know what He went through for us... I can hold on tight.

Isaiah 53:9-11 The Message Bible

"7-9He was beaten, he was tortured,
   but he didn't say a word.
Like a lamb taken to be slaughtered
   and like a sheep being sheared,
   he took it all in silence.
Justice miscarried, and he was led off—
   and did anyone really know what was happening?
He died without a thought for his own welfare,
   beaten bloody for the sins of my people.
They buried him with the wicked,
   threw him in a grave with a rich man,
Even though he'd never hurt a soul
   or said one word that wasn't true.
 10Still, it's what God had in mind all along,
   to crush him with pain.
The plan was that he give himself as an offering for sin
   so that he'd see life come from it—life, life, and more life.
   And God's plan will deeply prosper through him.
 11-12Out of that terrible travail of soul,
   he'll see that it's worth it and be glad he did it.
Through what he experienced, my righteous one, my servant,
   will make many "righteous ones,"
   as he himself carries the burden of their sins.
Therefore I'll reward him extravagantly—
   the best of everything, the highest honors—
Because he looked death in the face and didn't flinch,
   because he embraced the company of the lowest.
He took on his own shoulders the sin of the many,
   he took up the cause of all the black sheep."

"18 I wait in hope
      for your salvation, 
God." Genesis 49:18

"And then I'll stir up fresh hope in Israel—the dawn of deliverance!— and I'll give you, Ezekiel, bold and confident words to speak. And they'll realize that I am God."Ezekiel 29:21

"Trust in the Lord with all you heart..." Proverbs 3:5 NIV