Thursday, March 29, 2012


Ouch. You mean you are trying to deal… with me? How about my circumstances? What about everyone else around me?
You love me don’t you, that’s why it hurts.
It’s so easy to disengage; it releases from effort and responsibility or at least abstains from effort and ignores responsibility.
God is an engaged God. He is a parent that is fully vested and He will not relent. He wants the whole of us and He will not sacrifice our hearts for what is “fair”. He will not choose peace over the warfare that shakes us down to the core of what we truly believe.  His goal is for us to choose Him. He is a jealous God and He disciplines those He loves as a parent does their child with intent to mold that heart to what is right, pure and lovely. Molding hearts toward freedom, molding hearts to the Great I Am. He cares less about comfort and more about us turning to the Comforter. He does not care about “Your Best Life Now” at the expense to your life in eternity, with Him.
I’m so grateful. I’m so glad that He has chosen again and again not to leave me in my filth because of a concern He might offend me or doesn’t want me to be mad at Him. He instead pursues and convicts, challenges and prods that I might know Him! He wants me to be free.
When our children do something wrong, it is so easy to turn a blind eye but really who for? It’s for us because we have to deal with the repercussions of their anger. If we choose however to sacrifice their momentary comfort we lead them to what is right and ultimately to the ability to choose life over death!
God was dealing with me this Sunday. I woke up anxious for really no valid reason. I was thinking about the day ahead and how to make it all work and make everyone happy. I wanted to be the best wife, mother, family member oh and please myself. I got to church and the day just wasn’t going the way I had planned, Zae took his naps at different times than I wanted which affected visiting time with family and an unplanned “date” in the car with my husband while “little man” slept in the back for an hour and a half! I just felt like a failure and like I couldn’t make it all work. I couldn’t take care of my son to the best of my ability and fulfill other wants in my day, it just wasn’t going to happen. During worship at church earlier in the day I was speaking to the Lord telling Him how bound up I was on the inside and I felt like he told me to “unravel” to come undone.

I looked up the dictionary definition of the word “unravel” and it means “to separate or disentangle the threads”, also to “free from complication or difficulty”. Let go.
How do I do this?
I can’t.
He needs to but I respond. He is offering a way out but I need to take it. He extends grace but I need to accept it.

The way I unravel is to “disentangle” from the “thing” that binds, the thing I am focusing on, the thing that is gripping my attention and causing the fear, friction and restlessness then turn my gaze.
I need to get wrapped up in Him, disentangle from the fret and get entangled to my Lord.
The Word teaches us to lay our burdens down, laying “it” down and letting Him pick you up. “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you…”(Psalm 55:22)
One of my favorite lines in the book called “A Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp is where she states “worry is the facade of taking action when prayer really is”.
It is through prayer that we take action against our burdens. It is through prayer that we choose to rest in our God, abide in Him. Prayer is as simple as telling our Father what is weighing us down and then asking Him for help, asking Him to rescue. He knows the PLAN FOR RESCUE.
This means that we trust Him with whatever the “way out” might be because He knows us so intimately, when we bring our burdens to Him it might not even be the actual burden we need rescuing from but what lies underneath. This is why we have to open up to Him and let him guide us into truth, we are simply unable to get there on our own.

Going back to my day on Sunday, I believe the Lord was asking me to relent. I had a heart issue of control; trying to make happen what I thought should happen, upset because I wasn't enough when I should be delighted that HE IS. Behind my issue of control there is a deeper issue of TRUST. The Lord is challenging me to let go of me; frail, sinful, unknowing….and hold on to Him; bold, omnipotent, lover of my soul. I was leaning on myself, believing that I needed to make the day be what it should be and over anxious that I could not fulfill all that was “needed” and “required” of me. I fell short, I fall short…but He doesn’t.  He works in and through it all with or without me. I need only to trust Him.

Unravel, let it go and entangle Him.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Locking Eyes

Delight, oh pure delight. Watching this little man; one day to be a big man, gurgle up uncontrollable laughter as his father tickles, throws and dances him round living room floors! Words are not enough.

Do You feel this way about me, the way I feel about him? Can you not get enough of me, of my laughter? Do you study me the way I study him, dreaming dreams for him and You for me!? It’s so amazing this love.

I was listening this morning to a song that came on Pandora called “Amazed”. This was actually a song played at our wedding and the words, oh the words are so wonderful, wonderful because they’re true! Not empty sentiment but filled, filled to the brim, filled with our Abba’s heart, overflowing!

You dance over me while I am unaware,
You sing all around but I never heard the sound
How wide…how deep….how great is your love for me (Nick DePartee and Phil Wickham)

Does my son know that our greatest joy in his laughter is him? Does he know that we are taking him in, drinking him up? I don’t think he does and I think this correlates to how the Lord feels towards us.

Every day He tickles us with beauty, every day he orders our steps, every day He gives us breath and sustenance of some sort no matter what we face and much of the time; while His delight over us is in abundance, we respond to the product but not the producer, not to the one who breathes life but the breath, not to the one who clears the thickets and brings the comfort but the open space and the shelter.

Oh but what happens when our eyes lock, when we look back and laugh, when we look to Him and acknowledge? The sparks fly, our hearts collide and we are all wrapped up in Him! One of my favorite quotes is by John Piper who states “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him” (Desiring God). I always feel like my Father is saying “Look up!” “Look up little one!” Look up into the eyes of the one who sustains; look up into the eyes of the one who is your comfort, look up to the one who will bring you through, look up to the One who delights over you!

Zephaniah 3:17 –The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”

Today Lord I want to meet your eyes as you extend to me, I want to see you in it all, help me to “Look up”. You are the beginning and the end, all there is to want is in you.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Time to go...

Structure mounted, secured and embedded, weight pushed into the ground, been there for years, but that doesn't matter, it’s time to go…

What’s been there so long that it seems like it has a right to be there, like it’s just a part of the landscape of our lives? When in reality its presence has worn out, its purpose has been served and it’s time to be taken down, down and out.

I was watching my husband dismantle this shed he made years ago that stands in our yard. Its structure was giving way and the space it enclosed was no longer needed. I sat on the lawn with my son watching him address this vessel contemplating each step carefully and I felt like the Lord was using it to illustrate something to me.

The first step was to empty its contents, piece by piece. Can’t we relate? What in our lives has stood, made its presence known, been there for years and the Lord says “this has to go, piece by piece and bit by bit”.

I remember one example distinctly; and now that this is at the forefront of my attention I am wondering what the Lord is saying to me in the here and now and so I will ask but here state my past experience. When I was in my early 20s (now in EARLY, very EARLY 30s : )  ) The Lord did a dismantling in my life. I don’t know where I picked up the wrong thinking that I had adopted but there it was. I had believed that in order to be a good and righteous Christian, my life had to be in perfect order. It had to look pretty on the outside and I had to have it all together, nothing hanging out in the back if you know what I mean. Well God came and sandblasted the whole thing and turned my life upside down. “Piece by piece” he took what I was holding on to, what I was leaning on, what I believed to be firm foundations and things that I thought if I lost so would I be; identity, money, status all gone, items I “earned” and had to let go, reputation grasped and then surrendered. It was all so painful, all so futile, meaningless structures coming down.

The things the Lord started to take out piece by piece were not in themselves bad things but I had found my identity in them, I had leaned too hard on them, I gave them value apart from God and they were not producing life for me. One by one he enabled me to let go and then after the letting go came the dismantling of the actual structures.

Money, status, reputation, education, car, condo; the pieces and then the structure; pride, wrong priorities, lies, self ambition, wrong thinking; wasted space, demolition unleashed and set upon the burn pile.

In all the pain of the tearing down, wide open spaces started to emerge from the rubble of my life. Priorities changed, what I valued was different, leaning on the eternal instead of the mortal, craving and having an appetite for what never wastes away and wanting to invest outside of momentary indulgences. My life was becoming new. Wide, open, breathable spaces were making themselves known upon the constricting, restricting, confining presence of that which I thought brought joy, happiness and security.

I remember Lord what you did for me, you set me free and continue to even beyond my initial surrender to You. Unraveling this tightly wound girl so she would be able to stretch and stride in the wide open spaces that you so benevolently provide. I love you. Show me what needs to come down, down and out preparing room for You, all that is You!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Baby Teeth

We need them, we enjoy having them, we work hard to maintain them, losing them gives way to the permanent, the struggle leads to that which will remain.
This Babcock household has been going through a season of teething, pretty much since Isaiah was 3 months old, (now 8 months old). This little charmer of a boy has been liberally producing a pool size amount of saliva way before these little "teethlings" decide to pierce out swollen gums.
The process is quite grueling; pain with no explanation, no one to tell you how long you will have to endure. Your only mission is to submit without knowing the cure. How does one survive?
This got me thinking about my own struggles, my “Jacob wrestlings"; feeling the pain not knowing the solution wondering where it came from and why I must go through. Then I consider… “Does God feel the same way I do as I watch my son struggle with the unknown?”
I look at my baby boy and watch him hurt and my heart aches. I want to let him know that it’s all so, so important, to let him know that the pain has a purpose. The Father didn’t provide for this momentary relief by explanation, the struggle I trust is important, important for both of us. I am left to guide him through the pain and comfort him in the journey and he is left to stay the course, endure the hardship and abide in the arms of those he trusts.
I believe the Father’s heart aches when He sees us in pain but He is unwilling to sacrifice the momentary affliction for the eternal gift.
Baby boy, this pain will produce the ability to sustain you, to keep you nourished, to build you up so you can tear down inhibitions, this pain will produce, it will produce.

I looked up the definition of “teething” online at “” and it stated… “eruption of deciduous teeth, especially the phenomena associated with their eruption.”  Wait a minute, this pain produces the piercing through of teeth that will disappear!? Eruptions of pain and then loss and death!? Why the process? These deciduous teeth are there for a season to help sustain us until our mouths and jaws grow big enough to accommodate adult teeth. I would like to think that these deciduous teeth prepare the way for the permanent as the process of acquiring the adult teeth is far less painful then the initial eruption of baby teeth.
He uses the deciduous to bring about the permanent. Sometimes the Lord allows us to go through a struggle, a struggle that causes pain, pain that produces character, character that enables us to surrender to Him, surrender that leads to relationship with the one true God, ETERNAL Love abides in this, all other things will pass.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Perfectly 'Imperfect'

Have you ever invested so much time into working a system only to find out that your hard work was void? I definitely have, again and again, system fails, girl goes round, round the mountain…
I will be very candid with an example. This example is actually of one where I found the way out however I SO need to apply this to EVERY area of my life.
I have struggled with my weight for most of my life. Some of this might be genetic, I know some of this struggle was derived from depression and I am sure I could lump on a whole gambit of reasoning for the struggle; thinking I had to look a certain way and working so hard and then feeling defeated that my unrealistic expectations were empty in true nourishment (that which comes from Him)..…
I honestly had an epiphany one day in college. Now before I reveal that, I want to share that I truly was overweight by health standards, I had tried everything under the sun and nothing worked and I was in pain, my body physically ached. Overweight you say?? How much? Well to give you an idea I would guess close to 80lbs. Ok, so now you are getting the picture on my almost 5’1 frame. I remember walking to one of my college courses at the UW from my apartment and sucking my stomach in as the wind blew against me as I was embarrassed by what the wind revealed and I had had enough.
Now by "enough" you might be thinking "Oh great, she finally decided to eat right and get in shape". This was not the case for I was probably one of the best dieters around, I knew everything about health food and exercise and I was probably pretty disciplined compared to a lot of people. What I was doing here was a letting go, a grasp surrender. I never once stopped and invited my Lord and my Savior into my struggle and I finally lifted the white flag.
These battles come in all forms, shapes and sizes. It could be a relationship struggle, a career change, addictions of any kind, you know what you face.
The first thing the Lord said to me and started stirring in my heart when I finally looked at Him was something along the lines of….  "If I never remove this burden from you, if I never make you to be thin but have planned that you might glorify me right as you are now, will you surrender?" WOW. This hit me like a ton of bricks! You mean you might require me to worship you even in this state? You mean you might intend for me to remain here to carry out your purposes? Ouch, this hurt but it was from Him. I can say honestly, the Lord got my heart to that place as I allowed Him to press on me, where I could say, "Ok Lord, your will be done, I want what you want, I am your girl and this life broken and all is yours."
You might be thinking to yourself, "How could the Lord allow such a thing, I mean isn’t it a sin to be gluttonous or overweight?" I would have to say to this that yes, gluttony is a sin but being over-weight is not. How did I come to this conclusion? Jesus showed me that in this particular struggle in my life the sin laid in the not surrendering to Him, the sin was in the not yielding and proceeding to my own "solutions". His challenge to me was towards my heart, as I allowed him to change my heart I had to surrender my appearance, my weight, my being to Him. My life is His, even in this. Being gluttonous is a sin issue, it has to do with the heart, being overweight is a physical state that can be the by-product of many things and several of them not sinful, to assume sin is the cause would be naive and presumptive. I could also say that gluttony is also a presumptive heart issue attached to being overweight, aww the tailspin. Allow God to pin point the heart issue if one exists at all, whether fat or thin. It could be obsession with thinness, looking for purpose apart from God, caring too much about appearance, it is endless and great reasoning for why we must bring our pain to the Lord. He is the only one that knows truly what our heart’s struggle with, He is the great pin pointer : ).
This was a HUGE life change for me. Especially when we are constantly bombarded with the societal belief that to be skinny is righteous and to be overweight is slothful, sinful, wrong and needing of a cure…lies. An individual who has it "all together" on the outside may be screaming the same exact battle within but the appearance is manifested differently, oh we are so deceived! God is ALWAYS after the heart, the heart is His treasure, the heart is what proceeds this time on earth, this is where He spends His time and this is what He is taking with Him as we spend eternity together.
The Lord is a loving Father and after He spoke the aforementioned words to my heart and He got me to that place to true surrender, where I could say “I’m yours, not my own”, He then started to advise me, instruct me and guide me. It was the neatest thing, peace started to flow in abundance over this area of my life. He unraveled me and caused me to let go and hang on to His ride. You know what? I actually lost that 80 lbs over time but it would have been alright if the Lord said “no” as He has in other areas of my life. The Lord did something so much greater than the weight loss, I GAINED intimacy with Him. This became a journey together. I would ask Him what He was requiring of me and then I would obey and let go. Sometimes God asks us to do things, little things, that might not even make a lot of sense but it is His plan for freedom so just obey. He may require something of you that no one would suspect would be a door towards freedom but our wisdom is foolishness to the Great I Am.
So I lost that particular 8olbs and after pregnancy put some back on and life-long processes will always be processed as life exists and the goal was not the 80lbs anyways so lay it down “little one” for you possess the treasure He intended for you to have!! In all things surrender to Him, His ways are GREATER. I battle for joy in where I am, for where He enabled me to be and as long as I obey Him, I sink into gratitude for where He has placed me “imperfect” but perfectly His, broken, fellow soldier, in love with the greatest Love, You my God and King.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

My Questions, My Answers

Have you ever noticed how you can get on the Internet and pretty much get any answer you want to one particular question? Maybe only if you are like me and thoroughly enjoy those answers that cater to what my itching ears want to hear. Here is one example…last night my husband was reading and I was lap topping, I decided to do a search for “Why is breakfast the most important meal of the day?” Now I had my reasons, number one I have never been a breakfast eater but recently decided to take it up. I brilliantly thought maybe I will be less hungry later in the day and my husband needs some protein in the morning before his hard day’s work…. Admittedly I like to feel conviction around every new decision I make so I was on a mission to prove to myself that this was a worthy cause. As I was “searching” my husband teasingly says “I bet if you did a search for why lunch and dinner are the most important meals of the day, those “answers” would be there too”. He’s right, they were! Thank you honey for the fuel for continued research : ).  There it all was… “Why dinner is most important…” “Why lunch was the most important…”, one site stated that lunch was clearly the greatest meal of the day due to rhyming with “munch”, not on Web MD : ).
This all got me thinking. If I set out to want a particular answer to my “questions” where does this lead me? What am I dealing with here in my heart? I want what I want and I’m going to figure out a way to justify it, to feel satisfied in it, to believe it is worth of time, energy and all. This isn’t a longing for truth, it is a desire to have desire fulfilled. If I wanted to know truth then I need to be open to whatever the answer might be even if I don’t like it.
This is hard! How Lord do I surrender? "Trust Me". If I trust You then I would live out the belief that no matter the answers or silence You give in life, whether easy or difficult, it is best because You are my ultimate care taker, protector, shield holder. You, my Savior, know best. I am in the cleft of the Rock, why worry? Trust, listen, obey, yielding.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Everything in Moderation...

How long have I believed this? I have believed it as if it were? I need to know …

Last night Mike and I were sitting on the couch working out our technology cravings and talking away, I was sharing every important thought : )  me rambling about moderation and he about alarms, both in different worlds… but together. I was able to get him on my wave as I lured him in with…"Is “Everything in moderation” in the bible?” He sweetly replied “I don’t think so, it’s one of those sayings we live by, as if from scripture but it’s not there…” Hmmm, what was I thinking? This was a “truth” I adopted without realizing it. “Everything in moderation”, well if that were true then the things that are not from Him in moderation would be ok? Galations 5:9 states “A little leaven leavens the whole lump”(ESV).  In 1st Corinthians 5:6 we are also told…

6-8Your flip and callous arrogance in these things bothers me. You pass it off as a small thing, but it's anything but that. Yeast, too, is a "small thing," but it works its way through a whole batch of bread dough pretty fast. So get rid of this "yeast." Our true identity is flat and plain, not puffed up with the wrong kind of ingredient. (The Message)

So, if I got this right, a little bit of a bad thing is not a good thing. Do I want eyes to see?

This doesn’t just apply to the blatantly obvious like it’s bad to murder in moderation. It also applies to the things that are not in and of themselves wrong too but the Lord is requiring us to lay them down and let go completely. He is lovingly saying to us, “even a little bit of that is not good for you”. I am not saying that the principle of moderation as a whole is bad but where have I allowed and justified something in moderation that the Lord has asked me to sever?

This principle so reflects the character of God, a God who is ALL IN. He does everything big, He is a big God. No complacency with Him, no mediocrity or middle road, no luke warm. He is a fully immersed God. Let me give one example, His death on the cross. He laid down His life for mine! I have never known a more devoted lover than my savior Jesus Christ. He spoke truth no matter the consequences and He loved so purely that He chose the difficult, painful, wretched road….for me….for you.

Does He ask the hard thing from this tight fisted girl because the more restriction the better the follower?? Absolutely not! What He requires is obedience, obedience that leads to freedom, freedom that leads away from bondage, bondage breaking that leads me to His arms. The more I let go the more my life gets filled with the greatness of Him.

Why lay it down for what He has? Oh, I am so foolish…freedom, beauty, purpose, joy, stillness, wonder. He is all there is, He is where it’s at, He is the great wonderful that fills every void. He is our ALL IN Savior, jumping in, head beneath the water.