Sunday, September 30, 2012

Desires of Your Heart

My kids are growing up and are becoming such beautiful, amazing young adults.  They are beginning to discover who they are, what they are passionate about, and what paths they may choose to take as they get older.  It is a lovely thing to watch.  Jay and I are proud of our munchkins, believing that they've turned out wonderfully--in spite of having the two of us for parents!  We are completely imperfect parents, but we have a God who loves our kids even more than we do and for that, we are so very, very grateful.

As I was looking at that cute little Christmas photo, I noticed Kyra holding her doll.  Since Kyra was a tiny, little girl she has loved the people of Africa.  Jay and I know that this is a passion that God has written on her heart since the day He formed her, a desire of her heart that comes from the Father.  Every baby doll she chose was black.  She would draw pictures of our family and she would color her skin black.  :)  We thought it was rather funny, but we could also see that she has a real connection to Africa. The time she spent last year helping in a Filipino orphanage confirmed her longing.  Her heart is beautiful, loving, compassionate...aching for those in poverty, for the orphans, for the homeless.  Her recent decision to become a lay midwife is wrapped up in her passion to love and serve those who have so little. She knows the desires of her heart and is trusting God to be the lamp to light her path. I am humbled, touched, and so proud to be her mama.  

The past couple of years have been a time of rediscovering myself.  Being so young when we started our family, I spent my 20's and 30's raising kids.  My passions and interests are no longer the same as they were before I had kids, so I've had to look inward and figure out what I want my life to be when my kids are moving on in their lives.  It is simultaneously intimidating and exciting.  Many, many times I have prayed this scripture over my own life and the lives of my family. 

         "Delight yourself also in the LORD; and he shall give you the desires of your heart."

My prayer on this and every single day is that the desires of our hearts come from Him.  As He places them there, step out in faith. He will never leave or forsake you.  Trust Him with your heart.  He loves you so.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Our raspberries, so remarkably hardy that they flourish in spite of the cold Montana winters, went crazy this year.  It could possibly have something to do with the fact that we got them cleaned out, fed and faithfully kept them watered (as opposed to last summer's weed filled, overgrown mess).  The point is, however, that they did incredibly well, spread like wildfire and produced lots of yummy berries.  It was a good year for harvest.

A few days ago, we had our first frost. We covered the gardens and hoped that everything survived. That frosty morning, as I was looking out the window while drinking a nice, hot cup of coffee, I noticed a lone raspberry on one of the canes.  Now this particular cane is one of our oldest and is quite the worse for wear.  In fact, we weren't even certain it was alive this spring.  It has many browned leaves and isn't as tall or lush as the others.  What amazes me most about this old, raggedy raspberry cane is it's fruitfulness.  It outproduced all of them with it's sweet, wonderful berries.

This ugly, sad looking little bush made me think of a scripture in the book of John.
              "By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit."

God wants to use my past (and even those things that aren't exactly the distant past) for His glory. Every  decision, act or behavior--good and bad-- makes me who I am today.  All of those ugly things inside me that God has redeemed, every scar that remains even after He heals my hurt and my heart, every tear He has wiped away, every victory that I can claim and every joy and blessing that He has given...all of these things are my responsibility to use.

There are days when I feel like that raggedy raspberry cane looks...brown, old, small, worthless, useless.  Tired.  Days when I feel like I have nothing left to give--fruitless.   But then I am reminded of His mercies that are new every morning, of the miracle that is my heart, of His grace that is greater than all of my sin. I remember these things and find myself extending grace and love where I had once been judging and frustrated. All of those things that the enemy tries to use against me, my God uses for His glory.  He sees beauty where I see ugliness.  He tells me to love others as He loves me.  Be Fruitful.