If I had the power to stop time…..{a writing prompt}

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If I had the power to stop time, I wouldn’t. If that question were asked of a younger me, I would have answered differently and given a list of moments that I would have stopped the clock. But not the “today” me. No, not a chance.

I would have chosen the first kiss from my husband; so sweet and exciting. If I had stopped time there, I would miss our wedding day, the look in his eyes at the births of our children, our deep love grown stronger with each passing year. I would have missed our first home, the teamwork and prayers we’ve shared on our knees. I would have missed his leadership grown from loving and serving our Lord together. The way that even now, 24 years later, when I look at him my heart still skips a beat. The many lives led to Christ. I would have missed miracles.

I would have chosen the first time I held each of my two children. What a blessed and joyous day! Kissing their sweet faces and touching them for the first time was beautiful, miraculous, and filled with awe. If time had stopped there I would have missed the first word, the first steps, the hugs, the first “I love you Mommy”, school days and being their teacher, accepting Christ as their Savior, first jobs, the times of speaking and sharing the love of Christ with others, traveling and serving God alongside them, and all the people and opportunities that have come into our lives through that ministry. I would have missed miracles.

If I had stopped time there, I would have missed the fantastic way God brought our brand new 6 year old daughter Bella into our lives. I would have missed the way He whispered her name to me weeks and weeks before I knew her. I would have missed the way her face entered her older sister’s dreams months before that. I would have missed the beautiful love that we all share. I would have missed miracles.

Yes, I would have missed deaths of dear loved ones, hurts, betrayals, losses, sicknesses, heart-aches and pain that came. But our most effective ministry, our ability to love deeper and more fiercely, to praise often and more loudly, to pray with more surety and authority, to stand quicker and more strongly, to speak up and more boldly, to show great mercy and grace to others, comes out of our deepest hurts.

Instead, I would use that power to embrace a little longer, engage a little deeper and envelope a little wider. You see, if I stopped time, I would miss each new thing….each new person….each new ministry….each new experience that God brings me….and I would miss miracles.

Thanks so much for the writing prompt, Ellen. It was great remembering how blessings outweigh the pain.

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No Matter How Crazy It Sounds, It’s Happening….

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I woke up at 3:30 this morning….which is quite normal for me….and my first thoughts were about how crazy God is. Not crazy insane, but crazy fantastic. Crazy outrageous. Crazy about us. Crazy like a fox. Crazy impractical. Crazy excellent. Crazy unusual. Crazy ironic. Crazy excellent. Crazy wow, ridiculous and unusual!

My heart woke to Philippians 4:13 where it says, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. This means, no matter how crazy it sounds, if it’s His will, it’s happening! I think about all the crazy, fantastic things God has done in my life. What He’s doing right now. I used to say God rocks my world, but now I say, God flips me out and blows my mind!

God specializes in crazy things, doesn’t He? Outrageous, unusual, and miraculous things happen when He’s working. Dead rise! Seas part! Blind see! Deaf hear! Old women give birth to prophets! Men don’t die….EVER, but go straight to heaven! A man walks in water! 5,000 men….not including women and children….are fed with 5 laoves and 2 fish! 4,000 men….plus women and children….fed with 7 loaves and 2 fish! Fire comes down from heaven! The lame walk! Savior born of a virgin! He came and died so that we could live! He rose again and is alive right now! When I listed the first few things I had a period after each one, but they all deserve and exclamation point! These crazy things happening!

God loves doing the impossible, the crazy, and the out of the ordinary–the fact that He uses any of us might just be the craziest of all! He’s crazy about us!

Or….is it really crazy? Is it all unordinary because we measure the ordinary/unordinary by what we know to be ordinary? Are the workings of God unusual because of us, not because of Him? Not being used of God this way, or seeing God move this way, sadly, is normal for most. What if it was normal to be used of God this way? It is normal….for God! It’s perfectly normal for all these miracles to be happening. The heavenly hosts aren’t up there saying, Wow! That’s so cool! Didn’t expect that to happen! They expect what we call the unexpected. Elijah is a great example of a flipped out, mind blown life that was normal for him. When the fire from Heaven came down, He didn’t stop and say, ” WOW, that was so CRAZY!”

Elijah was bold, and He believed His God to do amazing things, and that was His normal. And believing, having, seeing God….and being used by God to….do the miraculous can be normal for us too

Every time I see God do the impossible, I fall more and more in love. Not because of what He does, but because of who He is. A God that is so crazy about us that He’ll part seas, raise the dead, walk on water, make the blind see, the deaf hear, the lame walk, become a lowly baby, born of a virgin, in a lowly manger…..heal the sick…..raise your marriage from death to life…..bring your child home….deliver you from addictions……make sense of the senseless…..renew and use a prostitute for His Glory (there was a prostitute in the blood line of Jesus Himself! Don’t count yourself out sister, He loves you and will use you too! You’re not used up trash! You’re a BEAUTIFUL PRINCESS!!! Rise up and walk for your Prince has come to rescue you!)…..turn that hard heart into a soft, open heart…..come into your heart and save you to live all eternity with Him…..transform your LIFE to walk anew….cast out those strongholds….turn a worrier into a worshipper…..give peace to the panicked…..peace to the chaos…..a financial breakthrough…..a home to the homeless……be a Father to the fatherless…..turn that man’s heart back to you…..deliver a child to the barren…..give a new family to the orphan…..set the captive free…..set fire to the tongues…..give you a crazy love for Him and His people…..make a leader out of a follower…..place a fire in you that doesn’t go out….a boldness to walk wherever He leads, and say whatever He tells you to say, and do whatever He tells you to do…..Why? For you. For me. For love.

Why not let God use you? Let your new normal be a fantastic, crazy-to-this-world life watching…..expecting…..seeing God do the crazy, the unusual, and the miraculous! Let your new normal be a life being used by God in fantastic ways!

Is God doing a crazy thing in your life? Is God calling you to do crazy things for Him and His people? Of course He is! That’s God, and that’s perfectly normal for God 🙂