Smiling & Laughing

I love that You made us able to smile and laugh, Jesus.  I can’t think of any other created being who can break into a smile like humans.  I’m not sure if angels can smile, but I know animals cannot smile.  They can wag their tails. They can purr.  But I don’t know any animal that can smile and laugh like humans.

Smiles are like sunshine to my soul.  Your smile, Father, radiating from Your face gives me such an incredible sense of well being.  I love knowing that You are happy with me, pleased and proud of me.  I also love knowing that You have everything under control.  Seeing other people smile and hearing people laugh also warms my heart.  Finally, when I smile or laugh, I find that it makes me happier.  It’s like my emotions follow my smile.

I love the nuances of a smile: there’s the subtle smile, the goofy grin, the over-the-top-I’m-happy-to-be-alive smile.   There’s the polite laugh, the nervous giggle, the loud guffaw.  In all it’s shades, the smile and laugh are a great gift from heaven.  Thank you!  I want to hear Your laughter, feel Your smile, see the expressions on Your face today.  Amen.

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To be astonished

Jesus, I want to have a heart that is astonished by who You are, captivated by Your multifaceted wisdom, fully alive to appreciate You.  I want to see miracles in the mundane, to be delighted in the treasures of every day life that are missed when my heart is dull.  I want to wonder as I look at the sunrise, the sunset and the normal daylight that shifts throughout the day.  I want to feel a jolt of excitement when I see a puppy or a child happy to be alive. I want to believe that You are One who does miracles even in the delayed answers to prayers. I do not want to pull back in believing to keep my heart from hurting…and when You answer these prayers and I finally see heaven in hellish places, I want to celebrate and keep celebrating into eternity.  This is my prayer.  Amen.

Friendship = Sharing

I love that You share Your Spirit with me, Jesus.  What deeper more intimate thing could You share with me than Your Spirit?  I love breathing deeply, knowing that You are the very center of my being.  I love closing my eyes and quieting my heart, turning inward where You live and listening to You.  In a world where people hold back their heart, thoughts, treasures, You give.  You give everything — Your body, heart, reputation, comfort, glory…Your very Spirit.  Thank you.

Friendship – Seeing Well

I feel like friendship is about seeing another well.  When our strengths are seen clearly and celebrated, we flourish.  When our weaknesses are seen and accepted, we feel treasured. Even when a weakness is being lovingly exposed, if we feel truly seen and loved, the negative feedback is a gift.  We know we are being invited to step more fully into who we are created to be.  When our emotions are seen and understood, especially really dark emotions, we are healed of trying to hide and segment ourselves into separate parts.

It hurts to be misunderstood.  It hurts to hide parts of the real self for fear of rejection.  It hurts when people do not see, remember or acknowledge us.  Yet in friendship, we can be healed by the gaze of a friend who sees us for who we are and champions us.

Jesus, thank you for seeing me well.  Show me how You see me so that I fall deeper in love with You and me.  Help me be a friend who sees well.  Help me see You well.  Help me see others well.  Let Your kingdom of love expand by my seeing well.  Amen.

Friendship (2)

Friendship is a gift and a mystery.  Sometimes it lasts for a season.  Sometimes it spans a lifetime, weathering many changing seasons.  Some are fragile, destroyed by an imagined offense, while others survive the successes and tragedies of life.  I marvel at friendships and all that needs to be in place for a friendship to begin, grow and flourish.  I relish the magic when a friendship flourishes.  It is one of the deepest pleasures of life to be lost in conversation, exchanging ideas, joys and sorrows.  Friends give strength to face tremendous challenges and comfort in loss.  Friends also make our wins a joy as they celebrate with us.  It is a rare gift to have someone who is safe and listens well, who openly shares who they are and who rallies behind you.  Volumes can be written about the intricacies of friendships, but I’m grateful that You created them.  Thank you, Jesus.

Friendship

Jesus, I’m grateful that You’ve created friendship.  You could have created a world devoid of friendship, but it says a lot that You created me with the capacity for deep friendship. Friendship makes life colorful and worth living.  Thank You that at the core of everything is friendship.

I love that You are willing to share everything in Your heart with me.  You are willing to be transparent.  I love that You are willing to sacrifice Yourself for me.  You gave Your life in a very painful and degrading way.  I love that You share in my joys and my sorrow.  You don’t become envious when I am doing well, but You’re truly happy for me and celebrate my successes.  Nor are you a fair weather friend who leaves me when my life is not much to celebrate.  In fact, You move closer to comfort me when my heart is broken.  You rally all around me when I need the support.  I’m grateful because You do not use me for Your benefit, but You serve me and lay Your life down for me and give and give and give.  Thank you.  I treasure Your friendship.

Song

You are my song, Jesus. The fact that You spoke song into existence fascinates me.  And in the darkest night, it’s song that sustains me.  It’s Your song that infuses strength into my weary soul and spirit.  I feel heaven open and light break out, fresh hope for tomorrow.   The darker the night, the brighter the song.

My prayer is that You would open my ears to hear the song that You sing over me, Father.  I want to hear the song that’s all around me.  I want to hear not just with my ears, but with my heart and spirit.  And I want to sing.  I want to sing tenderly and passionately my love to You. I want to sing boldly that the mountains in my life will move.  I want to sing happily that You’ve got everything under control.  I want to sing and sing and sing no matter what comes my way.  Amen.

The Invisible (2)

I still wonder why faith is so important to You, God.  Why do You love it so much when I have confidence in You, an invisible God? You love it when I believe in Your goodness, Your concern over the details of my life, Your power to move mountains and release miracles.  Yet You made life difficult.

I feel Your invitation to take the invisible dreams You’ve deposited into my heart and turn them into tangible reality.  You invite me to persevere in the face of obstacles, delays and seemingly immovable mountains.  You call me to keep believing, to put action to my faith until this bit of heaven You’ve planted in my heart is something that blesses the world.

I do not understand the mystery of why You love faith so much, but I say, “yes,” to Your invitation to bring a little more heaven to earth, to believe and move in faith, even when the obstacles look insurmountable.

The invisible

Jesus, I have often wondered why You put such a premium on the invisible.  Seared in my memory is the time I desperately kept asking You, “Why are You invisible?  It would be so much easier to believe in You if I could see You, touch You, feel You!”  This thought popped into my head: “2 Cor 4:18.”  Had no idea what that said, so flipped to it and read Your direct answer to my question: “We do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.  For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

This rocked my world and forever changed the grid by which I looked at everything.  So everything I could see, everything tangible, was temporary.  Everything invisible, eternal.  I looked at my physical body differently after that.  I looked at the bed I was sitting on, the desk and chair in my bedroom, my house and car.  Everything I could see was temporary, in a state of decay.  Everything unseen, my spirit, God’s spirit, ideas.  These were eternal.

Mystery

Jesus, I prefer knowing and not having to struggle too much to know.  You, however, have set things up so that most of the universe and principles that govern things is a mystery.  Then You invite me to delve into the mysteries, to diligently search things out.  You call this hiding and searching, this dance from not knowing to knowing, our glory (Pr. 25:2).   My life is dotted with moments where I’ve tasted the thrill of discovery.  It is a rush; this thrill of discovery.  And it fascinates my heart.  And it captivates my heart with You.