*Free MP3 Download (Compassion) for Newsletter Subscribers!
*Free MP3 Download (Compassion) for Newsletter Subscribers!
My Grandma turned ninety-five this week. My baby girl is a few weeks shy of one. Ninety-five and one. We visited one another. As the two sat together, I was struck by the sight of a near century touching. They were six inches in proximity, then two, then one, then none. Kisses. Ninety-five and one.
Both wanted to hold.
Both wanted to touch.
Both wanted to giggle.
Both wanted to play.
Both wanted the time to extend –
And not waste away.
If time could crunch, it did.
When it did, I saw –
That from the beginning to the end of our lives –
What really matters is not what we build, achieve, or even dream.
It’s who we hold –
For how long –
And with what love.
Ninety-five and one.
Grab a pen: Where is your emotional energy going these days? Are the people you love prime recipients or parched companions? What is one thing you can do this week for someone you care about? Father God, I call back my emotional energy, help me to invest it well this week.
The story behind the story in every season of our lives is our relationship with the Father. The circumstances present one thing, but the core narrative is unfolding within.
Father, if you are willing, take this cup … (Lk 22:42)
Father, forgive them … (Lk 23:34)
Father, into your hands I commit my Spirit … (Lk 23:46)
In the midst of false accusations, a threat to His life, belittlement from religious leaders, cruel words, betrayal from His friends, abandonment from the company of people He was doing life with, beatings, slashes, torment …
Jesus kept talking to the Father.
He was obedient to the Father's voice.
Even when no one else understood.
In my own life, I return this weekend to the Father. In the midst of my own waves of feeling misunderstood, accused, abandoned, disrespected, alone – I stop.
His wild and persistent belief that I am enough.
His validation of me -
of you -
Our bright opportunity to entangle ourselves on purpose in the Father's loving and supportive care. He is the champion in our lives who never for a moment transitions into disbelief and belittlement. He is always for us, inviting us to be with Him.
Come along, Friend.
Let's return to the Father.
The story behind the story.
Jesus and the Father.
With love on Easter,
Good news! My audiobook officially released! You can buy it direct, or from your favorite audiobook distributor: Audible, Amazon, Google Play, Apple, Scribd, Kobo, Walmart, Chirp, hibooks, NOOK Audiobooks. For those who are interested, here is also a short video that I released to share some context for this project.
Grab a pen: If you could give voice to one thing, what would that be?
Your voice matters.
My voice matters.
Ruby's voice matters.
Thanks for listening! I pray that this story continues to bring great healing to people, and great glory to God.
My daughter, Aimee, is eating now. She is nine months old and the grab, squash, throw, pile, disperse, shove, and resist game has begun. Meanwhile I watch, learn, observe, take cues, try to out-smart her, teach her, feed her. Quite the ordeal. Every day. My latest strategy is to put one spoon in her hand, while I feed her directly with another. Incredible how well she eats when she feels in control. Selah.
This morning I took note of an interesting pattern. Aimee will take great care to protect her food when she is hungry. It goes straight from her tray to her mouth. If she drops it, she goes on a hunt for it. Her adorable head hangs far over the side of the highchair in pursuit of lost food. Each and every parcel is valued and protected. Until, she is full. Then, it all changes. The food has no defender, no protector, no securement to its intended mission. It’s anarchy for the food, and for me.
Hunger keeps us focused. It helps us protect what we need. It forces our attention to the destiny of a thing and strengthens us to see it arrive there. When we lose our hunger, we stop protecting what we need. We start wasting our time, efforts, energy, and perhaps throwing off our tray of life the very things that keep us healthy. It is similar with desire; desire is a form of hunger. Apathy is a friend to no one.
Do you have it?
Do you want it?
Do you want it back?
God is eager to answer your prayer for spiritual hunger. Just ask. Pause. Pray this with me now, Father, I ask that you would renew and ignite my hunger for You.
Grab a pen: Are you feeling apathetic? When did it start? Give it to Jesus. What does He have for you instead? Re-write this in your own words, "I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water." Psalm 63:1
I pray that your spiritual hunger would be re-ignited by Friday this week, and in that you would experience a renewed protection in your life of the things you most need. Have a great week!
p.s. Ruby Joy Audiobook releases soon! I will post links to it as soon as it is posted!
This letter dispatches from an unexpected scene. My husband tested positive for COVID recently, and our lives entered a spin cycle as a result. Today is our last day in this quarantine. We are all fine. My greatest challenge has been discouragement. I wonder if discouragement is the greater threat to our world these days.
My compassion deepened in the last ten days for people. The isolation, the single parenting, the unsolicited fear responses, the uncertainties, the cancellations, and the mounds of laundry and disinfecting are not a pleasant bunch of herbs for life. My hat is tipped to all of you for your own courageous journeys in the last year. Your chin up is no small feat! Meanwhile, there is less to be afraid of than we anticipated, a lot less.
The silver lining in this time for me is the remembrance that the less choices I have, the more likely I am to choose God. Limited options press us into our best option, dependence on the Father. The less we have, the more we lean on Him. In the downsizing, the quiet, the loneliness, the sadness, and the losses there is an invitation to drink from the Fountain of Life. It never runs dry.
Grab a Pen: List the ways you feel limited right now. Next to that list, list the ways that these very things make a way for you to move into greater dependence on the Father.
Have a great week, friend, and if yours is as unexpected as mine – chin up – we’re going to get through this!
My feet pounded the treadmill as my mind pounded my soul about that thing that hurt me. Offense has its way of burying its ugly head into our internal lives until we feel all at once trapped by it's claws without an easy escape.
Mercy triumphs over judgement, I hear His still small voice interrupting my race of self-defense. I do not keep a record of wrongs. "But you are Jesus," I hear myself flatly respond to God through my panting, followed by a quick look around to assure no one is in earshot. Yes, I am Jesus. And, I do not keep a record of wrongs.
If He does not keep a record of wrongs, the One who stands in perfection, holiness, and purity, who am I to assume the right to hold unto a judgement?
Friends, we must let it go.
Can I let it go?
Judgement will eat us alive, while convincing us that it deserves to be fed more. We don't have a right to hold judgements against others, we lost that right when we received Jesus' gift to negate the judgement we deserve. Mercy triumphs over judgement (James 2:13). We are the beneficiaries of that truth, and it is our honor and joy to freely give it away to others.
Grab a pen: Is there someone you have been counting their wrongs against you? Are you willing to stop keeping that record, and give it to Jesus? What does He have for you instead?
May the unspoken burden of judgement fall off of you this week as you courageously repent and find love again in that space within. Have a great week!
Sometimes our relationship with God feels dark.
Dark is an invitation.
Quiet is an announcement.
Focus is a choice.
"Songbirds are taught to sing in the dark, and we are put into the shadow of God's hand until we learn to hear Him. When you are in the dark, listen, and God will give you a very precious message for someone else when you get into the light." Oswald Chambers
Maybe ... this time in your life is more about listening than talking.
Maybe ... the clarity is not in another round of processing.
Maybe ... the people around you know even less than you.
If He seems quiet, you may want to become quiet too.
Shhh ... He is speaking.
Teaching you how to sing.
A new song.
Like, a songbird.
Not the best way to spend your morning.
Not the best way to spend your evening.
In a tail spin of activity, I am reminded that the way that I spend my mornings and evenings determines the culture of my days and nights. When my morning hosts prayer, purpose, and intentionality, it pours over my whole day like a pitcher of brewed tea prepared for enjoyment. When my evenings hosts connection, reflection and rest, it undergirds my nights like a soundtrack designed for renewal. On the other hand, when my morning and evening rhythms are clouded, noisy, disorganized, or lost, my personal culture feels quite the same - clouded, disorganized, noisy, and lost.
One very simple way to get your life back from a spinning disorientation is to re-order your morning and evening routines. This is your invitation, yours and mine:
When the sun peaks up over the horizon at the break of day or bids us farewell at its closing, it is an announcement of prime time. How we utilize that prime time sets the tone for the other time we have. Days and nights are both designed to be gifts, but how we approach them instructs them on how to approach us.
Grab a Pen: Write out your desired morning and evening routines. Dream with God. Scale it back (if needed) to something realistic and attainable. Push-restart on your morning and evening routine this week.
Let's do this!
I am reflecting on the experience of public ministry. It’s all a big experiment. You stand up there with the offering of weeks of preparation and God strips you bear in response. You stare out at the audience silently and they think you are praying. If you are praying, it’s the panic lane prayer. You forget what you were going to do, and why. Everyone stares at you waiting for something profound to come out of your mouth. You wonder if you will ever have a helpful thought to share again. Humility.
And then, His glory.
It is always improvisation on some level, and more often than not a performance of divine grace more than anything else. The supernatural never stems from a natural performance, but a gritty natural preparation does serve a profound supernatural demonstration - if the former can be surrendered wholly. Most often, your precious performance dies a painful death, and then … the supernatural takes the stage. In simple terms, step aside.
Grab a pen: What are you leading right now? How can you "step aside" and make more room for the Holy Spirit in it?
Have a great week, let's be carvers of space for God!
Katie Luse is a speaker and writer who is passionate about navigating life with eyes on a hunt for beauty.