inspiredness TM

Copyright 2013


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What is time?

The-Passage-of-Time

The following comes from the mind of my amazing husband, Mark Sole. He posted this tonight as a status update on his personal Facebook page but he frequently posts similar things to his public page, Mark Sole – Life On Fire.

What is time? Is it a measuring stick to complete our appointed tasks? Or is it a collection of instances, or memories? I believe time can stand still. I have seen it, felt it, witnessed it. The most common occurrence being when I hold one of our babies as they fall asleep. It is an escape, really, from this world. For an instant, there is nothing else. Only HEARTBEATS…and BREATHING. Maybe the creak of the rocking chair. So warm, safe, comforting, and loved we both are in that instant.

Some of us do not have pleasant memories. This world is messy. Some moments, time can stand still in the pain, suffering, rage, anger, depression, and hopelessness. Even though you may not believe, I believe for you, that there is a loving Savior standing right there with us, in the midst of the hurt.

I have been reading a lot lately. Mostly personal development, leadership development, and health. My reason is simple, I want to be better at what I do. I want to get deep into people’s lives and love them. I want change to burst forth from their hearts. I want to show them that walking the narrow road is not easy nor am I perfect, but I want them to do it WITH me. I am on a quest to continually create ACTION in my life and my family’s life, so that we may love others more. But all the leadership books, all the motivational speakers, all the audio and seminars cannot trump the most important thing I hold on to…God‘s promise to us found in the Bible.

If you want to see what love really is, it is action. Because in one instant, God’s son, Jesus, died, in our place, out of love for us, so that we might trust in Him and live. LOVE became ACTION. I know many of you do not feel the same way I do. You do not believe this really happened, or what really happened that instant. And that is OK. BUT what I do know it this. Even though we may operate by time, and “time is all we have.” GOD has more than that. And He wants you. And He is knocking. And He will wait for you to be ready.

I truly love everyone. I believe we are all created in the image of God. I also believe God has a very specific plan for all our lives, and how He uses TIME may be different for you than for me. I know there will come a time, when you will open that door, and take that chance to let Him in. I don’t know when it will be. But I do know that in that moment of pain, hurting, suffering, anger, frustration, and hopelessness, He will be there. He will NOT fail you. And time will stop. And Love will feel like two things…

Heartbeats…and breathing

 


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Out of the Mouth of My Babe

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“Daddy, can we get in the car and go see Jesus?” said one adorable 2 1/2-year-old little girl, who I am happy to call my own.

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If only we could all be this innocent and really, just not know any better! Wouldn’t it be nice to hop in the car {and not worry about having enough gas!} and drive, knowing that your destination is a glorious place where you will be taken care of and loved absolutely unconditionally? Truth is, lately I have been feeling like this…can I just get out of here and be with my one true Father…only it’s been more out of desperation and sadness than out of happiness and hope.
When things get hard in my little world I shut down. I get angry. I feel like my Father has left me to fend for myself…much like my earthly father had done when I was a child. He always turns things around, maybe not always to my liking and not in my preferred time frame, but He always shows up again and reminds me of His love for me. So why do still doubt, why do I still hesitate to trust?

Oh, to be a 2-year-old again.


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God of Wonders

Here in Colorado it is blazing hot, literally. Mountains, forests, homes are on fire. People are being forced out of their homes, memories are burning. I wake up with the smell of fire in my nose, the kids are coughing in their rooms. The street outside our house has a faint brown haze over it. And to think we aren’t even that close to the fires! What must those people who live at the base of the mountain feel like? Are their lungs burning? Kids ready for summer and running through the sprinklers stop, shade their eyes from the sun and watch as their surroundings are ablaze. It’s a scary time here in Colorado.

Rain drops have fallen only a few times in the last few weeks and most times they have evaporated before hitting the ground. Our grass is crunchy underfoot, dust under the swing set. It’s too hot to go outside, yet at our house it is too hot to stay inside as well. At lunch time it’s on average 90 degrees…inside, and about 100 degrees outside. About 10 years ago I would’ve packed up my things and headed to a cool library, bookshop or the pool at my former health club not returning to my house until after dark. These days, with 4 little kids I’m wracking my brain trying to figure out ways to keep them cool. I’m constantly worrying about whether they’re getting enough water, whether the littlest one is smothering in her bed during her nap. Images flood my head of walking into her room to find that her breath has left her hot little body. I can’t do this to my kids!

We have been spending a lot of time (and a lot of gas money!) in the car trying to stay cool. Driving and sitting, staying cool. We’ve been blessed by wonderful friends inviting us to their cool houses, acquaintances inviting us to their child’s birthday party at the local jumpy castle place. All the while my God-loving husband prays that someone takes mercy on us and invites us over while he is away at work for 48 hours at a time. His prayers are answered and that mom from the jumpy castle place walks up to me, gives me a card with her phone number and address and asks us to come over anytime! Praise God!

After all the driving, the heat, grouchy kids fighting from the minute they wake up I have no energy left in my brain or my body to do much. Yesterday, I resolved to keep all the kids down in our basement and stay home all day, even if it killed me! But something (God) told me to do otherwise and I called the mom from the jumpy castle place. Not wanting to burden her with taking care of my children at her house I packed up as much food as I could find and headed over to her place. She was amused at everything I brought…seems pretty normal to me! Then as I was changing the littlest one’s diaper on the floor of her family room she sat down and told me she had something for me.

A bit confused and taken aback I listened as she explained. She and her husband left the jumpy castle place after her only daughter’s 5th birthday…and they prayed for our family. They prayed that God’s will be done. She then handed me a gift card for $600 to Home Depot…for a swamp cooler! I looked at her, stunned, speechless and began bawling my eyes out! The minute I began to thank her she said, “Please don’t thank me, thank God…this is His will.”

Praise the Lord! He answers prayers according to His will. I have prayed many times for specific things only to be disappointed when my prayers weren’t answered accordingly. Those specific things weren’t in God’s will, however, and sometimes I later have learned why…and other times I am still wondering why. This is just one of many “wake up calls” that I have received from the Lord…He is listening, He does love me, He will take care of me and His will be done!

The mountains above the Colorado Air Force Academy on fire.

And to all those in Colorado Springs and elsewhere I am praying for you.


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Walk with Him Wednesdays: Sacrifice

“Every Wednesday, we Walk with Him, posting a spiritual practice that draws us nearer to His heart.To read the entire series of spiritual practices

Next week, as we walk with Him towards Easter, might we consider: The Practice of Sacrifice.”~Ann Voskamp


It’s been a day.

One thing after another has been breaking me down, bringing me to tears, bringing me to my knees. But for some reason I keep getting up, wiping my face dry and keep going.

I feel like a glutton for punishment, all I really want to do is give up.

Bury my head under the covers, no coming up for air until the light of a new day shines through the blinds.

Did Jesus feel like this…when those who followed Him betrayed Him, denied Him? Did He just once feel like dropping the burden on His shoulders? Did He think about going into hiding…into a place so deep that no one could find Him?

He was human, right? He knew His fate. He knew His Father. He knew He was the ultimate sacrifice. Yet, He went on.

I wish I could see Him, yet I feel Him. When I’m on my knees, weeping uncontrollably He’s there picking me up and wiping my tears…I’m not doing this on my own.

When I feel like screaming at the top of my lungs at a little, innocent person…He quiets my screams, stops my racing heart and holds me tightly until I calm down.

When I feel like hiding in the dark, intent on not surfacing…He opens the blinds of my heart and shows me the light.

What would I be without Him, The Ultimate Sacrifice?


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Walk with Him Wednesdays: Sacrifice

“The next 3 weeks, as we walk with Him towards Easter, might we consider: The Practice of Sacrifice. We look forward to your thoughts, stories, ideas….”~Ann Voskamp

I thought I knew what ‘sacrifice’ meant when I became a mother. I filled my head with the idea that if I hadn’t taken a shower for three {or more} days that was sacrifice. If I fed my children before I even attempted to feed myself that was sacrifice. If I cleaned, cooked, played, read book after book before I thought of taking a break {and sometimes this meant just using the bathroom}…these were sacrifices.

Yes, it’s true…these are all sacrifices of sorts. But really in all these “sacrifices” I’ve sacrificed myself and led myself down a very rough road. A road that took me to the depths of depression, thoughts of suicide, feelings of hopelessness. I thought I could do it all…be “super mom.” And when I finally wore myself down to the very earth that I could no longer stand on, all the pretending I had done…pretending to have it all together…gave way and left me vulnerable.

Vulnerable is not a spot I like to be in. Being in this place means I have to trust…I’m not sure I inherently possess this…trust. I did it for a moment though, this trust thing. I trusted God…that He would take care of me through the people who were taking care of me. It took going to those ugly depths to trust Him.

I’m not as deep as I was almost exactly two years ago. I’m not crying every minute of the day. I’m not thinking of locking myself and my kids in the garage with the car running. I’m not afraid to leave the house, afraid that someone will see the ugly marks of depression on my soul. Praise the Lord for this!

But…do I truly know what sacrifice is?


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Anger…

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has a stronghold on my heart and it has for some time. Why? I am finally coming to terms with this but, really it’s quite scary. I’m finding out things about myself that I probably didn’t want to find out…I’ve repressed so much.

Am I really angry or is this a mask for the fear that I feel?

Scared that I’ll be rejected for who I am, scared that I won’t be loved, scared that who I am isn’t acceptable, scared that I will be abandoned. All this fear in my soul started at a very young age, I’m sure. I could go places with this that I really don’t want to, so I won’t. Who am I to blame any one person for this? It is, what it is. We are all sinners, we all have our fears and insecurities.

This is who I am but who’s to say that the Lord can’t change my heart? That process is also frightening and a vulnerable place to be.

I am angry that I am constantly being demanded of…I’m scared that I won’t be able to give what needs to be received.

I am angry when I don’t get time to myself to be myself…I’m scared that who I am won’t be listened to or will be flat-out rejected.

How do I get over this?

Pray.

Lord, this place that I’m coming from is not a happy place…not right now. Help me to see that only You can truly change my heart, that You aren’t out to get me. Help me to see that You love me, cherish me just the way I am; that You won’t reject me; that You are always listening to me even when I’m not making much sense to myself. Help me with my anger, my fear and use these emotions to somehow better my relationships and further Your Kingdom.

Amen.


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with Him Wednesdays: The Practice of Love

Walk with Him Wednesdays

“Every Wednesday, we Walk with Him, posting a spiritual practice that draws us nearer to His heart.

(The Practice of Love How do we love in difficult places? Our husbands? Our children? How do we live out the greatest of commandments? We look forward to your thoughts, stories, ideas….)”

(For the Next 3 weeks:  The Practice of Fasting What does it mean and what does it look like and how does God use it to change us? We look forward to your thoughts, stories, ideas….)”–Ann Voskamp

Tell Him…

I’m going to take a guess at what my guy wants more than anything…

financial freedom?

a new house?

a vacation?

Probably all those things, but if I know his heart I would say that he wants me to tell him…

how much I love him,

that I still find him incredibly attractive,

my conversations with God,

my heart.

{I believe this is not only Mark’s desire but also the Lord’s…tell Him}

He holds the tiniest of hands, leads them to safety, gives them comfort, wipes the tears, embraces with tenderness, plays with reckless abandon, feeds them {body & soul}.

He holds them when they are tired of walking, he picks them up when they fall down.

He shows them the beauty around them, he marvels at the wonder with them, he tries his best to answer their questions.

He has delivered one of our babies with his own hands!

He does all this without a second thought, without expectations.

For all of these things I love him! Our heavenly Father does all these things too, and while Mark could never be as perfect {no one can} he is constantly striving. He is striving to know the Lord, striving to be more like Jesus. And for this I love him!

 I may not have the words all the time; my heart “thinks” in pictures, moments, memories, actions…these are the things that explain my love for him.