Why is it when I'm sitting criss-cross applesauce on the ground God speaks to my heart most? It was early. It was summer. It was camping pack-up mode. I sat with my cup of coffee and felt like the patio potted flowers were beckoning me from my comfortable over-sized chair. We had moved the potted plants to the shaded corner of the deck and gave them a drink the night prior so they might fare well enough in our absence for a couple days. Something about that heap of green with splashes of blooming color shouted out at me. What beautiful similarity yet difference. One would never arrange them together so closely as we had, still doing so was a messy, yet beautiful sight full life and promise.
I feel like a mother hen with my plants. I tell the golden heads, "These are my babies," and it gave me a surge of delight to see them clumped together in the early morning light. That's when I heard Him speak to my heart. This is what it's like for a mother and father; they love to see her children together.
Any parent understands. I love to see my golden heads together (and getting along.) My heart delights and explodes into songs of gratitude when I see them swimming together in the pool, tossing a frisbee on the beach, playing store, blending f'real shakes together... In those moments of peace and unity among those I love and treasure most, a parent understands the young mother Mary in Luke 2:19, "But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart."
For years, I've heard my own parents say things like, "We just want our family together, that's a gift to us." Even when the children are grown with children of their own, a parent loves to see their children come together.
Why would Jesus' heart be any different? After all, we are made in His image. Jesus must love to see His children come together. Read Jesus' desire in His prayer to His father before His crucifixion.
I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father are in me , and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. John 17:20-23
He wants His kids one with Him and when they are in-line with Jesus personally, they will be in-line with each other. He prayed it; He must love to see it. And this would be possible so that the unbelieving world would know Jesus. When the church members love each other, accept each other, spend life together and serve each other, they show the world a little picture of the unbreakable covenant love Jesus has for each of His children individually. Jesus wouldn't give up on anyone who turns to Him and so the church members must not give up on anyone who would follow Him.
I have to admit, I have been quite resistant to the church lately. They rub me the wrong way. I don't deeply connect with many...excuses, excuses. I'm wrong. Jesus loves to see His kids together!
This mother hen reminder from God has challenged me personally to fight for community in the church, to "not neglect meeting together," (Hebrews 10:25). Will you spend time contemplating your attitude toward those in the church and consider that Jesus loves to see His kids together?


As I laid on the bed throwing a 36-year old temper tantrum, I cried out to God, "I don't want to do this! Make it stop! Take this away!" I didn't like my situation at all and I wanted it changed, NOW! I wanted to grab the engineer's attention, explain my woes, he would take my side and make everything right. Fortunately, as I look back, I couldn't get his attention at the moment and I was left to sit in my sensory discomfort. Somehow, I got through my own selfish desires of that afternoon and it wasn't until later that I realized God's answer to my prayer in His perfect timing.
For God alone my soul waits in silence;
from him comes my salvation.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken. Psalm 62:1-2
Okay, so I wasn't waiting in silence. I was made to least for a couple hours. It wasn't until later that day, when I had calmed down and God gave me glorious gifts in the moments with my family that I realized, He did rescue. He calmed my nerves, gave me peace and compassion toward those I was deeply furious. Only God could do that. He's my only hope of rescue.
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my salvation and my glory;
my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us. Psalm 62:5-8
On our day with the boisterous one at Valleyfair, we decided to ride Thunder Canyon where the signs caution, "You might WILL get wet!" No lie; we were drenched. And she was furiously uncomfortable in her short denim shorts and squeaky wet socks and sneakers. She just wanted it fixed, to be dry, NOW! Oh, how I could relate to that sweet little seven-year-old temper tantrum. 
You know what? God did comfort me with my sensory issues and He did dry the boisterous one's shorts (and provide a pair of flip flops.) He always rescues, but sometimes He says wait first.
And I wonder what He means for us to learn in the waiting. 
Once God has spoken;
twice have I heard this:
that power belongs to God,
and that to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love.
For you will render to a man
according to his work. Psalm 62:11-12
God wants us to trust in His power and love toward us. Not others (the engineer or parents.) Not money. Not earthly judges. Not government. Not ourselves. He is true power and His love for us is unstoppable! And He's wondering if we really believe it and will choose to wait in trust for His rescue.
Sometimes it's so uncomfortable to sit in your squeaky wet clothes! You do want to scream. (By all means, go for it.) But will you choose to take a deep breath and say to God, "I trust you enough to wait for your rescue in this situation."


She sat across from me and said, "I have no needs, I used to have lots of needs. Now, I have no needs."
O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands. Psalm 63:1-4
We were made with a need for God, to thirst and long for Him. And we can find Him and be satisfied with Him because He is dependably powerful and He has an unwavering, unstoppable, irrevocable, accepting love toward us. That's want we want: real power and true love. He meets our need.
As we watch the news filled with shootings, stormy weather and political agendas, it's so clear that as a national society, we want power to be just and ultimate security (assuring love.) In our personal lives as well, we want the wrongs made right and we want to feel like we're enough just as we are. We have needs! But the psalmist shows us that not only are we created with needs, we can be satisfied!
My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food,
and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips... Psalm 63:5
With You, God, we can be satisfied! When can we be satisfied?
when I remember you upon my bed,
and meditate on you in the watches of the night; Psalm 63:6
This is the hinge verse. Not only is it the literal middle of the psalm, it is what can change our lives: when we choose to recall His faithfulness and channel our thoughts on Jesus. In the painful times: "upon my bed." In the good times when we're wondering when things will go wrong: "in the watches of the night." When we choose this thought pattern, NO MATTER our circumstance, we can sing for joy because we're perfectly protected by our powerful and loving God.
for you have been my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me. Psalm 63:7-8
What does that look like? I can't tell you how many times I start conversations with God throughout my day: while coloring with the boisterous one, when thinking about the engineer, when I'm ready to moan in the midst of a parenting moment, when making decisions, in a beautiful moment of unity and delight between the golden heads, when my back hurts so badly I can't sleep, when I'm ready to scream because I'm not getting my way. Did you notice these instances include times of need "upon my bed" and "in the watches of the night"? Unfortunately, sometimes I forget to speak to Him. However, He is always available, if we would just approach Him and allow Him to meet our needs. Our need for powerful justice is met by a perfect Judge.
But those who seek to destroy my life
shall go down into the depths of the earth;
they shall be given over to the power of the sword;
they shall be a portion for jackals.
But the king shall rejoice in God;
all who swear by him shall exult,
for the mouths of liars will be stopped. Psalm 63:9-11
If only we would remember that help is possible WHEN we focus on Jesus. All our needs are met beyond expectation: satisfied! It doesn't matter if our future looks awesome or bleak. 
When my grandpa died, I heard of a painful trial in his own life: one of those moments "upon his bed." Apparently, with tight financial times on the farm, Grandpa had began driving truck in addition to farming. One evening, checking in with grandma on the phone, she had to relay to him that there had been a storm and hail had destroyed the crops: their expected farming income gone. I can't imagine what that would feel like to the family provider: sick, gut-wrenching, panic, fear... Likely after some tears and emotions, Grandpa kept driving and turned on the radio to a gospel station and heard truth from the Gaithers. 
The God of the mountain, is still God in the valley.
When things go wrong, He'll make them right.
'Cause the God of the good times, is still God in the bad times.
The God of the day, is still God of the night.
Are you experiencing a day on the mountain or a month in the valley? Are you "upon your bed" in agony and loss or in the watches of the night when things seem alright? No matter your circumstance, where are your thoughts? Are they fixed on Jesus? If they're not, will you choose to look to Him, think of Him, talk to Him and allow Him to satisfy you? Only He can satisfy your needs.


I was ugly. I was impatient. I was irritable. I was frustrated. At the root of it all, I wasn't trusting God. We had looked forward to this day at Valleyfair with the boisterous one since Christmas and the pain shot and pierced from my back to my middle. How would this day look when I couldn't enjoy any attractions and one-on-one moments with my dear child? How long would the day feel if all I did was wait on the bench while she and the engineer went on ride after ride without me? There was so much uncertainty. What if I went on a ride despite my ailment and was left completely debilitated for days?
As I slowly hinged at the waist to tie my shoes, I thought about how I wasn't trusting God's plan for my today, even though I've applauded many obedient believers who have trusted God. I wanted so badly to trust and I know that God is trustworthy, but I couldn't cross that line.
I envisioned gratitude saving my day if I was forced to sit and wait through each ride by myself. I would consciously choose to thank God for every gift: sunshine, leaves, blue hair, smiles, missing teeth, the smell of wet clothes...
On the other side of our day at Valleyfair, I see God's faithfulness and provision. I was able to ride and my back feels none the worse (maybe better). As I confess my bitterness and lack of trust, I realize that truly what matters is trusting God's plan for my now. This ailment has made me realize that

  • sometimes God calls my now to be serving others
  • sometimes God calls my now to be resting in Him
  • sometimes God calls my now to be trusting in His provision.

God told the rebellious Israelites through Isaiah, "In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength," (Isaiah 30:15.) The Israelites were unwilling to return, rest, be still and trust in God's plan for their now (especially when their nation's future seemed so uncertain) and so God let them go to their own demise.
I'm so used to doing. I have a heritage of doing. When you're Dutch, you serve; it's what you do. But this ailment has often denied me the opportunity to do anything (literally). And God, in His generosity toward me, showed me how He loves me through the engineer. My programmed brain believes that if I can serve my husband and if I can do more for him, he'll love me more. Yet, in his constant concern with how I'm feeling, his offered hand of assistance, his consistent meeting my needs and then embracing me when I least expect it and saying, "I love you," when I couldn't do anything, I see that my worthiness of love has nothing to do with what I accomplish. That's how God loves me. I don't have to do anything and He loves me and delights in me even when I can't do anything (Zephaniah 3:17).
I trust He will call me to work for Him again. God's given me a passion and love for serving others, but that may not be His plan for my now.
"O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch." Psalm 5:3
I never know how I'm going to feel each morning: could be great, could be awful. But every morning, I can come to Jesus and say, Here I am. Here's my now. I trust in Your plan for my now. And then I watch Him show up.
How is God calling you to trust His plan for your now? Will you choose to rest in the truth that your worthiness of love has nothing to do with what you can accomplish? He simply loves you for being you!