I fell

My back is jello. WAS jello… until Dr. K. fixed it through two different spine surgeries within 18 months. Discs have been replaced, arthritis cleaned out, scoliosis straightened up, a broken vertebrae pinned down… He did a fabulous job! Three years later, I can do almost anything I want and I don’t think much about my back at all except to respect the weightlifting limits, and to “listen” to the signals I get from my spine. 

But last week, one of my worst fears was realized. I fell. I’m not a runner and never was. I have been a walker, but it’s not my favorite activity. While I go to the gym because it’s necessary, I’m not a gym rat. My husband, on the other hand, is a charter member of our gym and should have a gold key!  No… For me it’s the sheer joy of riding my bike in the outdoors. Struggling up the hills, and coasting down them with the wind in my face and the sun on my back. For a little while, everything is right with the world. I’ve been working on building my stamina and endurance, and had doubled my miles. 

But I fell. In my own yard. I hadn’t even sat down good on my seat yet! I prepped like always, took off like always, but the grass was wet and the wheels slipped to the right. I fell left… Onto my left side. The good news is that I fell into the grass and not the gravel. The bad news is that I broke a rib. The shoulder and clavicle are just bruised and sore. I will be fine, but I had no clue how painful a broken rib could be!! 

But isn’t that the way it is for all of us?? We are going along in our lives, doing what we always do the same way we always do it, and then we slip. We fall. We hit a slick spot on our journey and our spiritual and emotional wheels slide out from under us. We find ourselves careening toward the hard ground at an alarming rate with no way to stop ourselves, knowing it’s going to hurt when we finally land.

We’re all broken but we’re all in this together
God knows we stumble and fall
And He so loved the world He sent His son to save us all 

These lyrics from Matt Maher’s song, And All The People Said Amen, were singing over me when I woke up this morning. It’s funny… When I fell off my bike, I laid there in the wet grass on my back doing a body check. The first thing I thought about was my back and how falling is NOT an option for me. I made sure all the parts of me were still moving and not in pain… Feet and legs? Check. Arms and hands? Check. Neck okay? Yes, I can turn my head both directions without pain. But I couldn’t get up. The wind had been knocked out of me and that rib pain was searing through my side. I’m thankful and grateful for soft grass instead of gravel. That someone was there to help me up. That I was in my own yard rather than out on the road several miles from home. 

God knows we are going to fall sometimes. But He so loved this world that He sent His only Son to save us, if we believe. When we crash and hit the ground, Jesus is there to pick us up. Maybe the big thing is to fall INTO the arms of our Savior, and let Him catch us. It’s a much softer landing than the cruel hard ground of the world. He will lift us back to our feet, brush us off, heal our wounds, and bring us back to Himself.

And all the people said Amen
And all the people said Amen
Give thanks to the Lord for His love never ends
And all the people said AMEN!!

Click here to listen to And All The People Said Amen.

Something Beautiful

This is one of those rare mornings when I overslept. I have an excuse, though! My son is home, and we talked until 2:00 in the morning. One of the joys of my life is talking with my kids about anything and everything. I love listening to their plans, hopes, dreams, thoughts, ideas, stories, poetry, songs, ramblings… For me, it’s like watching them find hidden treasure. I knew it was there all the time, just waiting for them to find it themselves.

And God says
I’m gonna turn it into something different
I’m gonna turn it into something good
I’m gonna take all the broken pieces
And make something beautiful like only I could
So put it all in the hands of the Father
Give it up, give it all over to
The only One who can turn it into
Something beautiful
Something really beautiful

Stephen Curtis Chapman’s song, Something Beautiful, woke me up in the middle of the night (when I didn’t really want to be awake because I didn’t get to bed until 2:00!) It’s the song in my head this morning. One of my favorite lines from this song says

While we’re living down here in this “yet to be”
Is to watch God take the most broken things
and to hear Him say
“When I get through, you’re gonna be amazed”

My kids are living the part of their lives that I sometimes wish I could go back and fix or change in my own life. Best laid plans, dreams never fulfilled, bad choices… All of these and more could make me morose and regretful. But God says He will turn it into something beautiful. Isaiah 61:3 says God will give us “a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit.”

God can take all the stuff in my life that Satan would love to use for his own satisfaction, and turn it into something beautiful. Something wonderful and perfect in God’s own eyes that He can use for His purposes. Something that will glorify God and put Satan in his place. But ONLY if I give it all over to the Father, to the only One who is able to take my broken pieces and make me whole, beautiful. Wholly beautiful in HIS sight. When He gets through, I know I’m gonna be amazed!!!!

Click here to listen to Something Beautiful.

Featured image: Oil on a functional box with magnetic closure, 8.5″ x 6″ x 1.75″ What can I say? I love flowers!!!!

How Can It Be?

You plead my cause
You right my wrongs
You break my chains
You overcome
You gave Your life
To give me mine
You say that I am free
How can it be
How can it be

These powerful lyrics are from a new song by Lauren Daigle called How Can It Be. Her equally powerful voice is stuck in my head this morning. Click here to listen to her amazing voice sing this song that puts me on my knees in worship.

How CAN it be that I am free to live my life, but Jesus Christ was beaten beyond recognition and subjected to dying a slow painful death on a cross of shame???

How can it be that this same Jesus would love me… broken and damaged and imperfect plain old me… so much that He would carry that same cross up the hill, knowing how it was going to end???

How can it be that I just go about my every-day walking-around life as though it were mine to live?

How can it be that I do not spend every waking moment of every day of my life thanking Him for this precious gift???

How can it be that I’m sitting here in my studio, safe and warm, trying to put into words how my heart feels right now?

Everlasting love. Perfect love.

Speechless.

The featured image is a photo of a mural on a wall in Morocco. I could stare at it for hours. The last supper. The night before He walked to his death. And He knew what He was facing! How can it be??