31 August 2012

Reaction vs. Response

I can't quite remember when/where I read it, but the other day I was reading something on a blog about a mom choosing to (or at least making an attempt to or at least recognizing the importance to make an attempt to) respond to things that her kids do rather than simply react to them.

By the mouth of a fool comes a rod for his back,
        but the lips of the wise will preserve them.
(Proverbs 14:3 ESV)

I've been reflecting on the idea of choosing to respond to things rather than react ever since reading it.

    A soft answer turns away wrath,
        but a harsh word stirs up anger.
    The tongue of the wise commends knowledge,
        but the mouths of fools pour out folly.
(Proverbs 15:1-2 ESV)

I'm currently wandering through Proverbs with the #SheReadsTruth gang. 

I've noticed a lot of things in the book as I've read it and it has made me want more wisdom and less silliness in my heart.

    The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer,
        but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.
(Proverbs 15:28 ESV)

Wisdom calls out.

Wisdom cries aloud in the street,
        in the markets she raises her voice;
    at the head of the noisy streets she cries out;
        at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:
    “. . . If you turn at my reproof,
    behold, I will pour out my spirit to you;
        I will make my words known to you.
(Proverbs 1:20, 21, 23 ESV)

It's everywhere throughout the book. She is calling out.

Folly does too though. She's an easy trap.

    So you will be delivered from the forbidden woman,
        from the adulteress with her smooth words,
    who forsakes the companion of her youth
        and forgets the covenant of her God;
    for her house sinks down to death,
        and her paths to the departed;
    none who go to her come back,
        nor do they regain the paths of life.
(Proverbs 2:16-19 ESV)

As I've been reflecting on the idea of response rather than reaction, I've correlated it back to the idea in Proverbs of wisdom versus folly.

See, folly is not encouraged. She's silly and quick, stupid and easy. 

    If one gives an answer before he hears,
        it is his folly and shame.
(Proverbs 18:13 ESV)

The call for the wise is not to also have folly

The call for the wise is to get wisdom, and get insight, and get understanding.

    For the LORD gives wisdom;
        from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
    he stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
        he is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
    guarding the paths of justice
        and watching over the way of his saints.
    Then you will understand righteousness and justice
        and equity, every good path;
    for wisdom will come into your heart,
        and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
    discretion will watch over you,
        understanding will guard you,
(Proverbs 2:6-11 ESV)

I could probably post all of Proverbs in this post. It's filled with good words and I'm really enjoying parking my soul there these past couple weeks.

Wisdom is slower to speak, desiring discipline and reproof, contemplating and offering insight and understanding.

    Whoever restrains his words has knowledge,
        and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.
(Proverbs 17:27 ESV)

I've been slowly (, painfully, failing often type of) attempting to be slow to speak.

I love sarcasm and being the first to speak.

I want to be first.

Scripture doesn't call me to that. So I'm giving my words and reactions and responses to Jesus so that He can be the first.

    One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil,
        but a fool is reckless and careless.
(Proverbs 14:16 ESV)

I do this thing now, where I try* to take a breathe of Jesus before I speak.

    Be not wise in your own eyes;
        fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.
    It will be healing to your flesh
        and refreshment to your bones.
(Proverbs 3:7-8 ESV)

*emphasis on try. I need Jesus to increase so that I can even attempt to speak first of Him.

I want to glorify Him with every word that comes out of my mouth. I don't want to have to stand before Him trying to defend the words I chose to say. 

I want Christ to look at my words, actions, and thoughts and see His name woven throughout each one of them.

    Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
        and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.
(Proverbs 16:32 ESV)

Things come up everyday.

When someone swerves into my lane, I can react and be frustrated, or I can respond with grace maybe they're having a bad day. They're probably in a hurry.

In that moment I can make the choice to grant them God's peace by praying safety over them or I can sit in my grumpy heart and send death glares via their rear view mirror.

When I'm in line for coffee, I can choose - and I'll admit, this isn't my first reaction -  to pray for each person in front of me as they order and I wait as opposed to checking my facebook, tweeting, or just sitting in impatience.

I could probably list a thousand opportunities for me to succeed or fail in this.

How do I respond/react when a friend tells me that something is only my opinion?
How do I respond/react when I don't even get an interview for a job I really wanted, prayed I would get, and was qualified for?
How do I respond/react when my plans don't happen the way I wanted them to?


I want to live rules by wisdom that comes from Christ. 
I want all glory to go to Him.
I want Him to be my first thought anytime anything comes up.

    Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again. Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Sleep and take your rest later on. See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.
(Matthew 26:36-46 ESV)

How do you respond and react to the things in your life?
Any tips on how to live in such a way that demonstrates Christ?

28 August 2012

Tune-y Tuesday (Your Hands)

This song has always fell under a category of lovely for my heart. I can't quite decide if it's a lament or just praise - I almost feel as though it falls under the category of both.

Last week on Thursday, my sweet friend Rena and her boyfriend Lucas (he's the louder voice and she's the lovely face) played this song at an open mic. It was such a beautiful rendition and it was perfect in that moment to hear it.

I wish I had their version but I don't so I'll do the original by JJ Heller - Your Hands.

I have unanswered prayers
I have trouble I wish wasn't there
And I have asked a thousand ways
That You would take my pain away
That You would take my pain away

I am trying to understand
How to walk this weary land
Make straight the paths that crookedly lie
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine

When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave Your hands

When You walked upon the Earth
You healed the broken, lost, and hurt
I know You hate to see me cry
One day You will set all things right
Yea, one day You will set all things right

When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave Your hands

Your hands
Your hands that shape the world
Are holding me, they hold me still
Your hands that shape the world
Are holding me, they hold me still
When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave Your . . .

When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave...
I never leave Your hands

21 August 2012

Tune-y Tuesday (The Same Love)

I remember a moment, years ago as a teenager when I first heard a song that changed worship for me. It was entitled Hosanna. I remember reading up on what Hosanna meant and starting to understand what the word meant in my heart and (it's hard to explain this so many years past and with memories blurred a bit) I remember worship coming alive.

Paul Baloche wrote that song and has written many more. I recently bought his latest album and have slowly been listening to it. My computer is acting funny so it'll only play his songs half way through for some reason so I'm getting to know the beginnings of the songs. so odd

Anyways, this song is called The Same Love and I love the simplicity of it and the beautiful declaration is makes of Christ loving and pursuing His people.

I also really really really like the voice of the girl singing harmony. It's stunning to me. I could listen to her harmonize for a long time. This song off the album probably highlights her less than most but in the song King of Heaven - oh wow - she has talent.

You choose the humble and raise them high
You choose the weak and make them strong
You heal our brokenness inside
And give us life

The same love that set the captives free
The same love that opened eyes to see
Is calling us all by name
You are calling us all by name
The same God that spread the heavens wide
The same God that was crucified
Is calling us all by name
You are calling us all by name

You take the faithless one aside
And speak the words "You are mine"
You call the cynic and the proud
Come to me now

The same love that set the captives free
The same love that opened eyes to see
Is calling us all by name
You are calling us all by name
The same God that spread the heavens wide
The same God that was crucified
Is calling us all by name
You are calling us all by name


You're calling 
You're calling
You are calling us to the cross 

You're calling 
You're calling
You are calling us to the cross 

You're calling 
You're calling
You are calling us to the cross 

You're calling 
You're calling
You are calling us to the cross

The same love that set the captives free
The same love that opened eyes to see

Is calling us all by name
You are calling us all by name
The same God that spread the heavens wide
The same God that was crucified
Is calling us all by name
You are calling us all by name

You're calling 
You're calling
You are calling us to the cross

You're calling 
You're calling
You are calling us to the cross

19 August 2012

For the Glory of Me?

I find myself so often catching my thoughts wandering to comparison. I start questioning my voice and putting other voices on pedestals.  I have to take their voice off of the pedestal, take mine off of wherever I've placed it, and put Christ back where He belongs - receiving all glory.

I've been hearing a lot of chatter lately from a lot of places about the pitfalls of social media. And I agree. It's a dangerous place to be maybe because it's akin to high school - comparison of people who are all insecure but putting up a front.

So what do we do?

Do we leave the Internet forever?

A friend of mine describes facebook as the devil's playground which makes me want to throw up. 

Not because I disagree - because I do agree - but because everything in the entire world is the devil's playground

The earth is his playground.

This is his territory.

If we let one thing become his (as in we decide in our mind that if only we get rid of that one thing then our sin issue will be gone), we've forgotten that he has a sense of dominion here.

I saw this video this week and it hasn't left my mind all week.

When I'm on facebook and twitter, I have the opportunity to fight the devil with the truth which is the Word of God and the fact that Jesus is the only way to salvation. I can share scripture accurately and truth wisely.

If we forget that Jesus said in this world you will have trouble we've forgotten something important.

It's even worst if we forget the next line but take heart, I have overtaken the world.

Jesus is always in control.

He is always our refuge.

He is always our peace.

He is the solution.

He offers the way out of temptation.

So for me, I do heart checks all the time. I consider deleting facebook and twitter and this blog and all sorts of things that seem to be areas of destruction at times. 

I have to go to Jesus and put Him back on His rightful throne.

He's in charge.

Everything I say and think and type and do is for His glory.

It's not for my glory.

Oh Jesus, help me to never forget that. 

I forget to give Him glory often.
I sin often.
I make a lot of mistakes.
I have to run to His grace more than I thought I would ever have to. 

We have opportunity in everything to give honour to God.

We have opportunity in everything to live out the Gospel - the good news that Christ died for all sinners. 

His death led to His resurrection which leads to the opportunity for all to call upon His name for salvation from an eternity without Him and redemption from all their sins.

We can't blame our sins on technology.

When I sin, I sin. It's my deceitful heart that chooses pride, that chooses anger, that chooses to covet, that chooses to put my trust in myself.

My twitter feed, my facebook, my youtube, etc. - none of those things are the sin.

The sin is what I do with the things that are placed in front of me.

I made a choice a while ago. It's a choice that I sometimes fall astray of but try to live by.

The choice:

My twitter, my facebook, and this blog - they're for Jesus. They're each and always for the spreading of His Gospel. 

But I do still try to be funny because well sometimes I'm funny.
And I don't think Jesus was against having fun.
He wants our hearts.

And I still follow people who don't love Jesus because the Jesus I worship spent a lot of time with prostitutes, tax collectors, and the like.

But beyond my moments when I post the randoms, I'm looking for opportunity to encourage, to disciple, to speak wisdom, and to share truth.

Twitter has given me opportunity to pray for strangers. Tweets of strangers have pushed me to read scripture more and I have finally started reading the Bible daily.

My pride still creeps up because my pride is gross.

My fear of man issues still show up because Jesus and I are still making progress there. I also know that I'll be tempted to fear what people think about me because that's an area the devil knows I struggle. 

Satan will always place things in front of me that cause me to doubt and question who my trust is in.

Sometimes I listen to sad music to foster the sadness I want to feel in that moment. That's a sin.

Sometimes I'll fill my time with friends and pour into their lives so I can avoid thinking/praying/wrestling about and with the areas that Jesus is desiring to work in my life. That's a sin too.

Sometimes I think I'm better than someone because I don't do enter whatever it is I've decided is worse than whatever I fill my time with. That's sin.

Sometimes I look at photos on facebook and feel anger and resentment towards friends because they forgot to invite me, or I was busy, or enter the excuse I have for my anger and resentment. That's a sin.

Sad music, busyness, other peoples issues, and my facebook aren't sin.

My heart's choices are the sin. 
My actions, my responses - they're all the sin.

Jesus is the remedy.

Because there is always room for escape

See, if I tweeted everything I type into that little tweet box, oh man - there's be thousands more than I've ever tweeted. Grace causes me to stop often and question what I'm writing.

Nadine, is that life giving?
Nadine, who are you trying to be right now?
Nadine, whose glory are you attempting to show?

Discretion is something I'm constantly praying for. It's on my wish list.

Discretion stops me right before I hit tweet and publish and post and send and so much more. Sweet discretion stops me in my tracks and points me towards Jesus and asks: Did Jesus pay it all so that you could write that?

Though I fail often, my hearts desire is to have a discretion ruled heart that loves Jesus even more than I do now. A heart that lives in such a way that Jesus gets glory in each moment of what I do.

I want lots of glory. I'm super selfish and prideful. But more than that I want Jesus to get glory.

So now what? What do I do now?

For me, for this day, I'll staying plugged in online.

I want to use social media as a ministry. A ministry to give glory to God and to show people the love and care that is Jesus.

This post has been in draft for weeks. Apparently today is the day to hit publish.

18 August 2012


I was driving a few week ago and was attempting to yield onto a new street.

I'm also currently (and this is a consistent, consistent, forever season,) in a season of discerning God's will for my life these days. I'm leaning into Him and attempting to learn how to trust more - which I've realized is only learn by trusting more. funny how that works

Anyways, I was driving and trying to yield.
And Jesus leaned into my thoughts and said

yield to Me in these decisions
it's just like driving
if you try to go forward on your own without looking, without checking your mirrors, without making sure it's a safe and wise decision - you'll crash
you have to yield to Me
because I've got this road
I've got your whole life in my hands
and I have never led you wrong yet

So, just like every other day, I'm making an attempt to trust Him more, to yield to His plan and to stop just moving around as if I know what is going on.
This heart of mine loves Jesus with all I've got, and even with all I've got I'm still slipping up all the time.

Sometimes the things God does look different than I want.

His grace is a stop sign.

His mercy is a red light.

His love feels like a bump in the road.

His peace looks quite like the end of a season.

His hope sounds surprisingly like a bad idea.

I've got to yield to Christ.

I want to yield to Christ.

His will is the perfect plan.
My will is near sighted.
His will sees eternity.

Okay fine - He wins.

Trusting in Jesus and yielding continually to His plan is the only way to avoid a fatal crash.

15 August 2012

Scripturally Skewed

The other day I was reading in Colossians 3. Someone had posted just one verse on a blog I read so I hopped over to the chapter to read it. Sometimes I like doing that so I can be sure that the context of a verse is correct. It's too easy for me to just post a verse without reading a chapter so I try to catch myself in that - all scripture is true but can easily be skewed if not read together and correctly.

Anyways, I hopped over and read the chapter and realized that I'd missed so much of it all of the past times that I had read it.
See, I love the epistles. Other than the book of Psalms, you'll most often find me in the epistles. They're quick and short and sometimes I read them as feel good scripture. Aka I read them when I want to feel good about myself. I'll read them and place myself fully in the "but now you are" and avoid the fact that my heart might be sitting quick comfortably in the "once were".

I can't do that though. I can't even believe I never caught myself doing that until today. I was reading and realized that I had legitimately just skipped over anything about sin and hopped right to the pretty verses.

I said aloud: Whoa. Did I just, God, I'm sorry! That's awful of me, eh? Seriously. K.

He gave me the typical there ya go Nadine, you finally caught on knowing glance He often gives me (or at least that's what I imagine from Him).

Here's the first seventeen verses of Colossians 3. I've highlighted and bolded, added and made note so that I'll realize what I've been missing.

It's long but I think it's also beautiful and telling of areas for me (and maybe you?) where I've let myself sit too comfortably in sin.
If then (You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion is not from him who calls you. Galatians 5:7-8) you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. (For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.Romans 6:14) For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. Romans 6:1-4) When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
    Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: (It was here that I started skimming. I stopped reading and excused myself from these sins. I stopped into a box I created called "not my issues" and avoided even looking at my heart to see that these are my issues. The words themselves might not be my sins, but the heart of these sins are. The heart of all sin is that I am better than God and can be satisfied without Him.) sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire (
I don't know if I've ever gone a day without an evil desire. I wish I could say that I have sinless days but I know that isn't true of this heart. I might be successful sometimes to not have any visible sin show up, but my heart consistently tries to dethrone God and create majesty for myself), and covetousness (um, have you been reading my last posts? I consistently covet marriage. I have to lay down that sin more than any other sin in my life these days. I hate how often I desire things that others have. I covet the friendships of others, I covet the things of others, I even covet the faith of others. I need ((and receive, thank You Jesus)) so much grace in these areas.), which is idolatry (If I have made gold my trust or called fine gold my confidence, if I have rejoiced because my wealth was abundant or because my hand had found much, if I have looked at the sun when it shone, or the moon moving in splendor, and my heart has been secretly enticed, and my mouth has kissed my hand, this also would be an iniquity to be punished by the judges, for I would have been false to God above. Job 31:24-28). On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them (The implication here being that I've changed and walked away from these sins. In many ways, I'm not living out these sins that way others might be, but yet my heart still sits in them. How do you deal with avoiding these sins?). But now you must (not, "you should", or "maybe consider") put them all away: anger (Sooooo I can't be mad even when I want to be mad?), wrath, malice, slander (But that girl totally deserves to be spoken poorly about right? Right? Oh crap.), and obscene talk from your mouth. (These verses show up all throughout the NT letters. We're not called to these. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:31-32) Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, (Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2 - oh Lord, help me please. The desire I have is to honour You always. Teach me how, walk me through this.) which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. (In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. Ephesians 2:22)
And now enters the verses that I look up on bad days, the ones I like to group myself into, and the ones that I probably fail at most) Put on then, as God's chosen ones (Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Romans 8:33), holy and beloved (I cling to this comfort, that I am beloved by God. That is the largest comfort I know), compassionate hearts, (So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:1-4) kindness, humility (It's only by His grace that I can give Him glory), meekness, and patience (Patience even to those who are the reason patience was created.), bearing with one another and, (Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. Mark 11:24-25) if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other (Forgiveness is such a touchy subject I find. I feel like I keep hearing people saying that they've given up on others and given too many chances. Isn't that the opposite of forgiveness? How am I failing at forgiveness?); as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love (Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1-2), which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ (The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. John 17:22-23) rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. (For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Hebrews 6:10-12) And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom (Does not wisdom call? Does not understanding raise her voice? Proverbs 8:1), singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do (So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31), in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
(Colossians 3:1-17 ESV)

Well . . . my heart feels checked.

It's in these moments when I grasp my sin as larger than normal (aka I view my sin accurately) that I also grasp grace and mercy as well.

God is good.

14 August 2012

Tune-y Tuesday (Steady My Heart)

Kari Jobe is one of my favourite artists. I love her voice and I enjoy that her music seems to truly come from her heart. Her lyrics consistently lead me to a place of worship. I find the words she sings typically are words that my heart was already singing.

Since downloading the cd back when it was released, I've listened to this song 61 times (and counting).

The song is Steady my Heart.

I love these words.

Wish it could be easy
Why is life so messy
Why is pain a part of us
There are days I feel like
Nothing ever goes right
Sometimes it just hurts so much

But You're here
You're real
I know I can trust You

Even when it hurts
Even when it's hard
Even when it all just falls apart
I will run to You
Cause I know that You are
Lover of my soul
Healer of my scars

You steady my heart
You steady my heart

I'm not gonna worry
I know that You've got me
Right inside the palm of your hand
Each and every moment
What's good and what gets broken
Happens just the way that You plan

(those three lines are my favourite. I trust in His plan, regardless of whether it is easy or painful. I trust in His Sovereign plan)

You are here
You're real
I know I can trust You

Even when it hurts
Even when it's hard
Even when it all just falls apart
I will run to You
Cause I know that You are
Lover of my soul
Healer of my scars
You steady my heart
You steady my heart
And I will run to You
  And find refuge in Your arms
And I will sing to You
Cause of everything You are

You steady my heart
You steady my heart

Even when it hurts
Even when it's hard
Even when it all just falls apart
I will run to You
Cause I know that You are
Lover of my soul
Healer of my scars
You steady my heart
You steady my heart

I'm not gonna worry
I know that You've got me
Right inside the palm of your hand

 The God I serve is good and just, regardless of my situation. I don't always understand that - and sometimes it is the hardest thing to accept amidst tragedy - but I know who He is and therefore I can trust in Him.

13 August 2012

More Than These

Sometimes I wonder if other people react like I react?

I was just reading a post Jamie wrote about a wedding she was just a part of. As I read it, I stopped and just envisioned the future God has for my life and yep, I've got tears rolling down my cheeks

I always wonder if this is normal.

What do I expect from God?

Last night I laid expectations before Him, and I left them there.  

At least until I pick them up again.

We'll see how long that lasts.

I feel like God's really been challenging me lately with statements like:

do you love Me more than this?

will you remain faithful even if these desires of your heart aren't answered the way you desire?

what is more important to you? Me or the things you claim aren't happening?

do you love Me more than this?

    When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. . . . And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.”
(John 21:15-17, 19b ESV)

I'm grateful for a mentor who answers texts even late on a Sunday night and shares truth and understanding.

I'm grateful for a sister who claims to have five years of journals filled with the same prayers I pray. I'm even grateful for my brother-in-law who kindly offered the comfort that he is thankful he didn't get married until when he did. Oh thanks Mac. I am thankful for all of these.

I'm thankful for a God who just keeps wrapping His arms around me as I cry. Who gently leads me to the floor where I kneel at His throne. A God who sent His son and so can understand the ache of not being with the one you love. A Jesus who suffered all scorn for my sake and who can therefore offer more comfort than I even need. It's at the foot of His cross that I suddenly gain the peace I yearn for. A Holy Spirit that weaves truth into my heart when I desperately want to lean into the lies that the devil shares. He reminds me that I am His.

Because I am His. 

And I desire to live for Him more than anything else.

miscellany monday at lowercase letters

10 August 2012

Like a Child

I try to make much opportunity to spend time with children whom I love and whose parents I adore. I enjoy telling parents to go on dates so I can hang out with their kids. I don't feel quite so bad when it comes to the days when I call my friends (aka the mom) in a state of panic for (my lack-of) relationship advice and other general life advice.

One of my favourite aspects of babysitting is the absolute lack of facade. As a recovering "fear of man" girl, authenticity is not always that authentic for me. 

I too often find myself wondering what others think in regards to whatever I'm doing.

With kids, this thought process is removed.

My roommate and I were babysitting for one family a few months ago. I had to leave the room as we were putting the girls to sleep because I couldn't stop giggling. I was letting myself be fun and young - my roommate happily stepped up and made them sleep. 

With some of my favourite girls, we made a fort. It was big and epic. I wasn't thinking about what they thought about me. I was thinking about what memories they would have of childhood and a big fort seemed like a great idea. We sat on the kitchen floor reading the Bible and then they crawled into the fort to sleep. It was beautiful. 

Recently while babysitting, I was wresting with the kids. My glasses were off (similar to gloves off right? Not at all? Ok.), and we were fighting. It was so fun. I had this thought: I wonder what I look like? Then I realized - that thought is useless and stupid and basically just sinful. I was able to (repent of that sin and then) rest in the truth that my worth is not in what others think of me but of who I am in Christ. I could fill up those kids love tanks by letting the 3 year old run and jump on me from across the room and the 1 year old just crawl all over. I loved it.

Those same two kids consistently just point me to Jesus.

I babysat a couple weeks ago and both were restless fall-asleepers. After an hour of his restless wanders out of his bedroom (for a drink, for a pee, for a hug, for a new-tuck-in, etc.), he asked me to come sleep. For some minutes, I laid beside him, rubbing his back, silently praying over his life, somehow offering some sort of comfort which he had been yearning for. Within minutes of me being beside him, he found rest. 

That's grace. Grace for him in that moment was offering him something he desired, yet could not get on his own. Grace handed him sleep.

I'm so similar. I'll keep wandering around, restless and tired yet awake, only finding relief when I finally ask Jesus to come in and bring His holy relief.

As I left his room, I heard his sister crying. Sigh. She'd been in bed for about two hours at this point, and had whined and cried often, fighting sleep. I walked from one bedroom to the other, picked her up, reheated her bottle, and rocked her to sleep. I've told these precious ones mom that she, this sweet babe, always points me to God. Because she makes me be still.

As I rocked her to sleep for the next twenty or so minutes, I prayed over her life. What a blessing to have that honour, to meet with Jesus on her behalf. I put aside "my" prayers and put forward ones for her, just days shy of her first birthday, this wordless angel.

All of the children in my life remind me so many things.

These kids remind me to be authentic.

They remind me to be silly.

They remind me to be still.

They remind me to laugh a lot.

They remind me to ask questions. but why Nadine?

They remind me to play so hard that I'm tired at night

They remind me to wrestle just for fun.

They remind me that my hope, my rest, my comfort, and my joy - all come from Jesus. 

I'm sitting in a coffee shop as I write this. There are two precious little girls, unknown to me, who are having a blast climbing and exploring things. They're conquering the things in front of them.

They've reminded me that in Christ, I am more than a conquer. 

    Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? . . . No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

(Romans 8:35, 37 ESV)

09 August 2012

Thursday - Thanks!

Does everybody have someone in their life who has an ability to smack them in the face with truth and reality and perspective and more?

I hope so.

It's like smack talk except that it's super important and life giving and changing.

I enjoyed time with friends last night over sweet sangria and good conversation.

As I drove a sweet friend home, I was venting about something and she just - in the world's kindest way - told me that I was wrong.

She complimented my character and whispered truth.

Nadine, that happens because everyone thinks highly of you in that way because of how your character always exemplifies that and so of course that happens.

Oh. So I shouldn't complain about that burden?



(Okay, it didn't sound like that at all, but it was really really kind and I felt both encouraged and compelled to change my attitude all in one moment. I promise it wasn't nearly as nauseating as the way I wrote it.)

I'm so thankful for her. That's her up there. That was during an adventure day to Seattle. The border crossing guard asked us if her car was going to make us there. I can always count on Christy for adventure, deep conversation, and general goodness.

This song is the one I was able to sing at her wedding.

Then she and her hubby moved to Figi for a season. And now they're back! YAY! Praise Jesus.

It's a good thing when sweet friends come home from adventures.

She has an incredible ability to speak truth in the most gentlest of ways.

She falls in a category called favourite for too many reasons to write.

For this Thursday-Thanks, I'm thankful for her.

I'm also thankful for video chats. I enjoyed a sweet chat last night with three "strangers". Tiffany, Virginia, and Jac. It was lovely. I highly recommend being bold in asking bloggers to video chat. Ask me!

One other thing I'm thankful for is my Mom. She really is my favourite human ever. This photo is from a trip we took last summer to San Diego after I won the trip from a radio station. I had to write a letter about why my Mom is the best, and because she is the best - we won! It was pretty cool.

I love her a lot.

I'm thankful for much in my life. Too much to write about. God's faithfulness tops every list. I'm more thankful for my salvation in Christ than anything else.