I Cling to You

Many years ago when my daughter was in preschool, I attended a mom’s group with some girlfriends at a similar place in life.  Our children would play together and participate in various activities while we studied The Word and prayed for one another.  It was one of those rich circles of friendship God knit together as we encouraged each other to follow Him.

Many of the women in the group thought that my girlfriend, Lori, and I looked a lot alike.   We are both fair, have similar hairstyles.  We have similar personalities and we get excited about the same things.  The women in the group were not the only ones who thought Lori and I resembled one another.  It quickly became apparent that her three year old son, Andrew, did too.

When Andrew needed some comfort or a reassurance, like all three year olds, he would run to his mom, grab ahold of her leg and cling to her.  His eyes would turn upward, looking for her reassuring smile that said he was loved and that everything was going to be alright.

Without fail, at every mom’s event, Andrew would confuse me with his mom.  We could see it coming from across the room, but there was no easy way to stop it.  Andrew would see what looked to be his mom from a distance.   He would run to ME, throw his arms around MY leg, and CLING to ME!  When his gaze turned upward and he realized that he was clinging to the wrong mom, he would let out a scream and go running!  Clinging to the wrong mom actually brought greater angst rather than the comfort and peace he was seeking!

Kind of sounds like us.  When we need some comfort or reassurance, we are going to go running.   We are going to reach out for someone to whom we can cling…but we find that clinging to the wrong ‘one’ actually brings greater angst rather than the comfort and peace we are seeking as well.

In Joshua chapters 23 and 24, the people of God have taken possession of their Promised Land.  Under Joshua’s leadership, they have received their inheritance.   They are literally living in the promise of God enjoying freedom, peace, abundance, possessing every good gift that their Father always had waiting for them.  A group of former slaves turned wanderers are totally free people!  Joshua is aware that his time to depart this promised land for the next is coming soon and wants to share some final words with the people God has entrusted to him.  He stands in front of the elders and the people of God and gives them final instruction and a final challenge.

Joshua says, ‘Look at where you are now standing.  Look at what the Lord has done!’  He tells them that God will continue to fight for them, push out their enemies and lead them in victory if they keep His Word, if they continue to obey.  And then he leaves them a challenge, going forward…

‘…but you shall cling to the Lord your God just as you have done to this day.’  Joshua 23:5-8 

Joshua challenges the people…Cling to the Lord your God.

The word for cling in the Hebrew is pronounced daw-bak’.  The definition is to cleave, to follow after hard, to pursue closely, to be joined together.

Joshua was telling the people if you want to remain free cling to Him.  If you want to walk in victory, follow hard after Him.  If you want to live in the abundance you were created for, pursue Him closely.  A life of peace and victory would only come to those clinging to Him.

And then Joshua went on…

But if you turn away from Him and cling to the customs of the survivors of these nations remaining among you, and if you intermarry with them, then know for certain that the Lord your God will no longer drive them out of your land. Instead, they will be a snare and a trap to you, a whip for your backs and thorny brambles in your eyes, and you will vanish from this good land the Lord your God has given you.”  Joshua 23:11-12

Choosing to cling to the world, to anything other than the One Who had set them free, would lead them away from the life He had for them.  Following hard after anyone else would stop the blessing of God in their lives.  Pursuing even the customsof those following other gods would lead them to a place of whips and brambles, out of the good land He had given them.  They would find themselves in bondage again.  Clinging to the wrong one would lead them to greater angst when their souls desired His peace.

Joshua knew that the people had a choice. They had to choose to whom they would cling.  There were a lot of gods out there, but only one true God.  There were a lot of people out there saying they had a way to follow, but there was only one Way.  There were a lot of nations out there desperate to see those in the Kingdom of God fall, but there was one King who had purposed His people to live.  Joshua knew his people would only thrive if they would cling to Him.

There are a lot of gods out there today as well.  The enemy tries to make what is evil look good and appealing.  We are constantly presented with things that have been twisted to resemble the truth and told to cling to them, but clinging to the wrong one will leave us in greater angst than we had before. Clinging to anything other than the One Who is clinging to us will keep us from the peace, comfort, joy and love we crave.

We have a choice to make.   Who are we holding onto?

Who will we cling to today?

If we want to remain free, we will cling to Him.  If we want to walk in victory, our heart’s cry must be to follow hard after Him.  If we want to live in the abundance we were created for, we must pursue Him closely, run to Him, cling to HIM.  A life of peace and victory will only come to those clinging to Him.

‘I cling to You.’  Psalm 63:8

She is Strong

Mom she is strongI heard the news that I was going to be a mom in a rather unconventional way.  My husband and I were waiting to board a flight when we decided to call home to check the answering machine one last time.  There was a new message waiting for us and when it hit my ears, it grabbed my heart. The adoption agency we were using to start our family had left a very short message.  It simply said, ‘Please call us back.  We have identified a baby girl for you.’  The call I had waited years to receive had finally come!  It was the moment that changed my life forever.

Because of the path I walked on my journey to motherhood, I love to read about women in the Bible who walked a similar path…Sarah, Hannah, Elizabeth, and Samson’s mom.  Notice something different about Samson’s mom.  We are not given her name.

Samson’s nameless mom received the news that she was going to be a mom in a very unconventional way!  She was met by the Angel of the Lord with a message that after years of wanting a child, she would have a son.  She would be the mother of the next deliverer, a strong man who would begin the path to freedom for his people from the Philistines. It was a dark time in Israel’s history.  The Bible says the days were evil and everyone was doing what was right in their own eyes… Continue reading “She is Strong”

Come Here and Listen

come here and listen 1As women who seek to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength, hearing the still small voice of God through the written pages of His Word is something we crave.  There comes a time in life when hearing anything other than His voice is no longer enough, a time when we long to be in His presence, when we need to come close and listen to His voice above all the distractions and chaos of life.  In those moments, God calls us from where we are, to where we will be.  For me, that moment was in the winter of 2011.

We had recently moved into a new house and I was trying to establish a new routine.  I know many of us have been there.  Boxes, boxes and more boxes were piled up crying out to be emptied while at the same time my family was crying out for food, laundry and some normalcy in life!  So many things were calling out for my attention, my focus.  The chaos in life was loud.   I was feeling stressed, overwhelmed and just plain exhausted.

For years, I have had the habit of spending time with God first thing, early in the morning.  It has been a priority in my life that I treasure. Time set apart with Him before I have time with anyone else, including Facebook, texts and email, has been critical for direction for the day and developing a deeper relationship with Him.  Continue reading “Come Here and Listen”

Gaze upon the Cross

GazenowordsEver gone star gazing?  I mean not just stepping out into the night and casually noticing the stars, but really intentionally star gazing.  There is something extraordinary about the stars that turns our gaze up.

Last month, I had the incredible opportunity to spend some time living on a sheep farm on the coast of New Zealand.  During the day, we spent our time on shepherding excursions, but at night, when the sun went down and the stars came out…and so did we!   Led by a professional New Zealand star gazer, we were taken to the pinnacle of a cliff on the coast and what a magnificent display of God’s creation we saw!  Against the dark of night, millions, if not billions of stars were visible to the eye as our gaze was fixed up.

Our guide pointed to the sky, naming constellations and connecting their stars with a very high powered laser pen.  I watched, amazed, as I considered the stars.  Each constellation seemed bigger, or clearer than the next as he drew across the sky in front of us.  When he came to the final constellation to our right, our guide set his laser on a set of very bright stars.  He said, ‘Do you see these five stars that are shining the brightest?’  It was not difficult to see these stars.  He used his laser pen to connect the dots…to connect the stars…into a very familiar, powerful picture.  One by one, these stars created a cross shining brightly in the dark New Zealand sky.  And then he went on…. Continue reading “Gaze upon the Cross”

A Shaken House

Unshakeable:  Not capable of being toppled or swayed, not given to trembling or falling down, not fit for wavering.  Every day I see more and more evidence around me that while this life can shake us up, we can rest unshaken in the arms of Jesus.

One of the women in the Bible that I have studied the least is Rahab, but the more I study her, the more I see a woman just like me, just like us.  I guess I would prefer to be Esther, a princess, or maybe Ruth, a kindhearted woman who gives it all up to help another grieving woman and spends her time gleaning in the fields to meet her kinsman redeemer.  Those stories, even with their hard times, sound like the woman I want to be or become.   Their stories, though tough are ‘prettier’.

But Rahab…we all know her occupation, her past, her story.  Pretty sure I have never said I want to see myself in Rahab, but I was wrong.    Continue reading “A Shaken House”

Kick it Up, Princess!

Psalm 62:6  He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken.

Back in the spring, Dan and I joined a gym and we love it!  We are empty nesters now so the gym has been our connect, the place we go together in the afternoon.

While I have worked out for many years now, I have never taken strength training very seriously.  I enjoy cardio but have always stayed away from the weight section of the gym.  Weight are scary for me.  They are just too heavy! But this year, in this new place, I have taken on the weights and I love it!  I wake up in the mornings with good pain in muscles I didn’t know I had in my arms, quads and abs.

The other day we were doing bicep curls at the gym and I was feeling pretty good.  I had been using the same size weights for a while now and I was smiling because, wow, I felt like I was pretty strong!  What used to feel really heavy to me Continue reading “Kick it Up, Princess!”

One More Thing

 

One of the first gifts my husband gave me was a suitcase.  I remember unwrapping it, not knowing what it would be, even though the shape and size should have given it away.  He is a pilot, so I suppose a new suitcase is a gift that a pilot’s-wife-to-be should have expected!

While it really was a nice suitcase, I immediately thought it must be my ‘carry-on bag’.  It must be what I will put a few extra things in while the majority of my luggage is packed in a larger bag, checked to its final destination and traveling in the cargo compartment of the plane.

This bag was nice, brand new shiny wheels, a cool pull up handle…but it was just so small.  The few times I had traveled prior to this, I had always used a bigger suitcase, one that was able to hold whatever I might need.  Continue reading “One More Thing”