space.

i’ve been pondering this idea of space lately… not like star trek space…

but like space to move, to breath, to dream, to discover, and to listen.

it can be so easy to fill our day planners and iphones with appointments and “things” we have to do. important things of course.  i’ve started to think through what are the important things.  i don’t want to be busy.  i don’t want my calendar so full that i don’t even have time for an impromptu chat with my neighbors or their three year old son.

i want to live my life in a way where there is “space” for these types of things.

i want to have space for friends to pop over.

i want my friends to have space for me to pop over. 🙂

i want to have the space to be interrupted, and not stressed by it.

our neighbors have been such good examples of this.  she is a stay at home mom with two little ones and one in school. the other day the wrong soap somehow made it into our dishwasher.  thankfully, i caught it early as a small waterfall of bubbles tried to escape.  as soon as our neighbor got home she brought over their big shop vac.  thank you Jesus.  that thing was amazing.

they are catholic believers, and outside their door is a sign that says “love thy neighbor”.   and they have done an amazing job. we may or may not have broken their lawn mower shortly after moving in.

we westerners would probably all say oh yes, relationship is way more important that tasks, yet the rule more that the exception seems to be the than the to-do list takes priority 90% of the time.

so i want space to deepen the relationships around me.  i want natural organic connections with people, that don’t have to take place at starbucks.

i also want space because in space i can think clearly.

when i silence all the noise, slow down, and actually feel the space, the important things seem to surface.

busyness has a way of making everything spin, but space has a way of bringing clarity.

space has a way of allowing me to recognize the blessings around me, and all the dreams God continues to fulfill.  if i just keep buzzing around and don’t find or create space, i miss these simple yet profound recollections.

and from that place i dream on.  in that place of realization of what a crazy good God i serve, i can dream on to the places that He and i both desire.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10

deep breaths. intentional places where we allow space in our lives, schedules, relationships.

Space is the boundless three-dimensional extent in which objects and events have relative position and direction. (from wikipedia)

boundless.

relative position.

direction.

not sure about you, but i could use a little more of those things.  Image

the lyrics to united pursuit bands, “running in circles” probably says it better than i ever could, so i’ll leave you with them. 🙂

im so forgetful, but you always remind me
youre the only one who brings me peace
youre the only one who brings me peace
x2

so i come, lord i come, i come, lord i come
to tell you i love you
to tell you i need you
to tell you theres no better place for me than in your arms
to tell you im sorry for running in circles
for placing my focus on the ways and not your face
youre the only one who brings me peace
youre the only one who brings me peace

im so forgetful but you always remind me
youre the only one who brings me peace

Read more at http://www.lyrics.com/artists/lyricid/T%2015323308#1Lhlc3qCtpxMkrVG.99

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gratitude and grumpy little elves

One of my favorite lines in the movie “Elf” is when he tells the little person he is “an angry little elf”.  And because of that in our house we may or may not label ourselves and each other things such as; happy, sleepy, hungry, grumpy elves, etc.

Don’t judge.

We laugh a lot at our house.

This week was FULL.  And if you know me at all you know I am not one of those people who loves to be “busy”.  Yes I am a strategic achiever, BUT I like rest, downtime, reading, watching HGTV.  That’s why I strategically achieve, so that I can get to that rest time faster!

We got home from 10 days in the Great Lakes on Monday.  Tuesday was full of meetings and a root canal…  So, by Wednesday I found myself quite the grumpy little elf if you will.

On Thursday, the word gratitude just kept skipping through my head.  I left a midday haircut and decided to use some of birthday money and get a treat drink at starbucks.  When I pulled up to get my drink, she said the girl in front of you bought your drink. At that point, I decided it was time to get over my pity party and start thanking God for the blessed life I live.

When I felt tempted to be overwhelmed by the fact that my schedule seemed to be filling up with things I didn’t want to do, I would start to think of all the amazing things about the life I lead.

And we all can.  Reality is the grass always looks greener on the other side, but when we stop peeking over the fence, we can  enjoy whats actually in our backyard.

God is good.

He knows what we need in each season to thrive, to grow, to become all that He has created us to be.  We can trust Him.  We can thank Him for what we do have.  We can choose to look at the beauty rather than the dirt.  We can embrace our season, all that it is, and let go of all that it isn’t.

And today is… A DAY OFF!!  I am happy, happy, happy.  I am happily surrounded by books and journals propped up on my bed with the scent of one of my favorite candles wafting by.  It’s my happy place, and for that I am also thankful!

So have a HAPPY saturday!

I leave you this very cute picture of a slightly unhappy little elf… (She’s 9 now, and a little happier these days)Image

praying for the generations

ImageC and I make it our goal to pray together daily. Sometimes this looks like 20 minutes of us praying for our families, our friends, our country, and other prayer needs.  And honestly, some nights it means one very sleepy Maher praying while the other even more sleepy Maher “agrees”.

Today I was reading through Psalms and came across this scripture.

“The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
planted in the house of the Lord,
they will flourish in the courts of our God.
They will still bear fruit in old age,
they will stay fresh and green,
proclaiming, “The Lord is upright;
he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”

Psalm 92:12-15

I started praying this over my parents.  That they “will still bear fruit in old age,
they will stay fresh and green”.

I pray that they will be like Job whose latter life proved to be better than his former years.  

ImageI think there is something beautiful about praying for the generations.  Whether we are Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob, God loves to do things in family lines.  God’s heart is always for the family, and I believe His desire is that we are able to pass on more than just a material inheritance.

So we pray for the fullness over our parents and those who have gone before us, and we also pray for the generations to come. 

We pray that our future children will know Him, love Him, and be healthy, happy, and beautiful.  We sow seeds in the the soil of the destiny.  We bless them before we see their faces or snuggle them.  We pray that they will change the world, and be walking demonstrations of the love of God.

I pray that our family will be known as a Psalm 126 family…

“Our mouths were filled with laughter,
    our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
    “The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us,
    and we are filled with joy.”

Psalm 126:2-3

So today, I encourage you to pray and think generationally.  Bless those who have gone before you and bless those who will come behind you.  Pray that all of your family will walk in the fullness and be blessed in every area.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up”. Galatians 6:9

I’ll leave you on this sweet note… Hehe family photo circa 1988 (?)

Image

 

shalom

When I pray over people. I often just release the shalom of heaven over them.  

Most people associate this with peace, which is good, but really a lacking definition of the word.

Strongs defines it as, “completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord”.

Just reading the definition has a way of diffusing tension in me.  This is the heart of our heavenly Father, is that we will be complete, whole, healthy, peaceful, safe, tranquil, prosperous, perfect, full, rested, in harmony with those around us, and free from discord and agitation.  Wow, that’s a really good Dad.

This is how Jewish people greet each other.  How beautiful and rich of a way to say hello!  Whether realizing it or not they are releasing the fullest blessing over each person they choose to greet.

So as you read this today, I speak shalom over you.  

May you be blessed in every area of your life that you may fully receive His gifts, and freely give them away!

Happy Friday!