Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Letter to the Carpenter's Daughters (Who are so Gloriously Ruined):

Dear Warrior Girls,

Thanks a lot. Thanks for taking my cozy, easy, half-convicted life, and turning it upside down. Thank you for allowing God to work through your lives in a way that has switched me from reading decorating blogs (and dreaming of billowy curtains, and glorious white dishes), and choking me with grim reality blogs. I really appreciate the way you took my shopping trips (*SIGH*) and made them seem so darn petty. Today I came home with a little pink bag of my favorite undies, and now all I can think of is how many bellies that price tag would have filled. Yeah, thanks for that. I would also like to thank you for introducing me to your children. Children that could have remained a mystery...unknown... Now my heart has been touched in places that I didn't know existed. I sob over photos of these little ones, and the ones that peep through bars...waiting for their forever family. Yeah, thanks for that heartache. Now I cannot throw anything out without wondering how I EVER became so wasteful. I look at my stuff and wonder what my problem is. REALLY? Do I REALLY need another one of those? Great. Now I have more conviction...thanks. This is what I get for having a band of friends that care more than I knew was even possible. This is what I get for knowing a God that is SO BIG and AMAZING, that I have been smacked-down, face flat on the concrete. I have tripped on my own indifference. And you know what? I TRULY AM THANKFUL! I love you all so much. I wonder why God allows me to be in this group? I am SO stinking far behind where I should be! I don't pray enough, care enough, give enough, try hard enough. I am so selfish that is nauseates me. Why on earth would God show me such mercy? There is so much mercy in pain and correction. My Father is so good. Yes, this letter started sarcastic and silly, but here is the cold hard truth: I want to know more. I want to hurt more, feel more, give more, break more. I need all of you to hold me accountable. I am not even close to making the cut. Thank you, Jesus, for your mercy and grace! I am nothing without the blood of Jesus covering my every sin. I needed (NEED) the reality and support that He has brought through all of you. I am forever grateful...even though I really liked billowy curtains and PINK undies. ;)

Your Warrior Sister,

("Gloriously Ruined," is a quote from Kay Warren)

Below is a modern day Psalm by my friend, Sean Gutteridge (Oh! The encouragement this has brought to my heart!):

"Trouble surrounds me - too many to count. They pile up so high that not even I... can find a way out//But here I will stand - battered by storms, but here still I am; Here will I stand - I know that I am - one who loves your salvation - one needing redemption - one pleading with mercy - embracing Grace and casting out... misery so...don't forsake me 'til You've heard my heart shout: The Lord is great! Rise Up, Lord, and Save Me! Your Power can't be Mistaken, no...nothing can replace Him! Rise Up Lord in Greatness!"
[inspired from Psalm 40:11]

Psalm 40:11 "Do not withhold your mercy from me, O LORD; may your love and your truth always protect me."

Until next time,

The Carpenter's Daughter

Thursday, July 8, 2010

My Tool Box

Until recently, I only had a couple of tools in my box. You know, just enough to get by. A hammer and a screwdriver. If I can't find the hammer, I use the end of the screwdriver to get the job done. Not very efficient, but hey, it works in a pinch! My Father is telling me that I need to do more than just get by. He is adding some new tools to my box. I am not really sure how to use them yet, but He is promising to add more each day.

I blurt out, "Daddy, I stink at math! Why would I need a tape measure?" (It's possible there was a "tone" in that question.)

He replies with a chuckle, "Because you don't have to measure up, I am going to give you all the direction you need."

Next he adds a level. Great. A level.

"Ummm, staying level-headed is not really my strong suit," I quietly say, while digging my toe into a pile of saw dust.

He smiles, "I know."

I hear the level drop in, and wonder how long it will be until I lose it. I am pretty sure it won't take very long.


"What was that?" I ask, while jumping into a corner of the workshop. "That was an awful sound! It looks like a weapon!"

"Don't be afraid, it's just a crowbar. You are going to need it to pry a lot of strong-holds out of your life," Daddy says in a more serious tone. "As long as you follow my instructions, you will find this releases a lot of tight spots and unwanted, rotten boards."

At this point, I am thinking about that one squeaky board that I have grown fond of. Maybe He won't notice...no, He definitely noticed. Now my heart sinks. Am I going to have what it takes to pry that thing up? It's been there a while, and I trip over it every time. Yeah, that has got to go.

Wow, look at all of those beautiful tools Daddy has placed in my box! I gingerly pick up the crowbar. There is a squeaky board we need to deal with...

2 Corinthians 10:4-6

"For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; and having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled."

Until next time,

The Carpenter's Daughter