Monday, March 21, 2016

World Down Syndrome Day

Today, we wear our most ridiculous socks, in honor of the most ridiculously wonderful humans. It's World Down Syndrome Day. I feel weepy as I think this through. I love that I get to do this one small, wild thing to bring awareness to something that has such a huge hold on my heart.

If I'm honest, I do this in support of one boy in particular. His name is Michael, & he has more love in his teeny body than anyone I've ever met. He's done more for me than I could ever do for him. He reflects Jesus a lot that way.

He gave me my dream.

I looked at him, & I knew what I wanted to do with my life.

He & I, we both know the sound of voices telling us what we can't do; what we probably will never be able to do. My voices are mostly in my own head, though.

I never saw myself overcoming the hurdles set before me.

I never saw myself being healed from Lyme disease. He gave me hope, even while I still battled it. His story was one of my first glimpses of God's healing power in the present day & age.

I never saw myself playing any instrument that required finger strength. He doesn't let the smallness of his hands stop him from making music.

I never dared to dream. His family showed me how powerful it is when people dream on your behalf.

In short, that's what I want my life to look like. I want to be the dreamer. I want to be a believer. I want to be the voice that speaks into places that have only heard, "you can't," & whisper bravely, "but what if you could? Why can't you?" I want to be on the team of the underdog & the downcast, rooting for them with everything I have in me.

I want to see life come to a valley of dry bones {Ezekiel 37:1-14}. I want to respond to the Lord as He calls new things forth. I want to echo Him. I want to speak words of life.

I want to hold trembling hands & say, "I believe in you."

I want to lift the broken spirit onto my shoulders & carry them to new heights.

When faced with a child who cannot use their arms to their full potential, I want to stand with them & fight for their ability to reach for the stars.

I once heard a story about a little girl with Down syndrome ... Her dad said that all these odds were against her, but no one had thought to tell her that, so she'd been defying them ever since birth.

Our words hold so much power. May I never be the voice that claims logic & tells a soul to stop fighting & dreaming, because they'll "probably never ..." I want to be the voice that defies all logic & tells them that I'm with them all the way. I'll help them in their fight, & if they stumble, I'm not going anywhere, & I'm not giving up on them.

That sounds like Jesus to me, & that's who I want to follow.

The one who embraced the man He knew would betray Him.

The one who dined with those that were scorned & rejected by people who called themselves holy.

He stood with people we would never want to stand with in our own flesh, & He called life out of their dry bones.

The love, healing, calling, & acceptance I have received from Him, may I never withhold from another. 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Catching Up

I have been silent for far too long, & this is mostly due to my distaste for blogging from my phone.

I'll explain.

Old Bessie, my laptop, is on her last leg. She's overheating every time I turn her on (an action that now takes 15+ minutes). Her webpages aren't loading. She's whirring & whining, & it makes my heart hurt just to look at her.

So, yes, technically, I could blog from my phone, but I really prefer writing on computers, because I am a perfectionist, & I like to know that the format I write this in is the format it stays in. OCD, I know.

So here I am, putting off the inevitable laptop purchase, & typing on a borrowed computer in my fringe hours.

Forgive me, friend.

Last time we talked, I was doing some big-time processing, & -- I'm sure you could tell -- sorely in need of balance.

I've come a long way.

Nothing is wasted in the Kingdom of God. I love that. He took that burdened girl who was mourning the loss of her free spirit, & He lifted her head.

I still sit in that rocking chair & sip tea.

There's a handkerchief in the pocket of my thick sweater.

I'm still cold.

Friends my own age call me Grandma Yidia, & I have just laughed & accepted the new title.

I've grown up in a lot of ways, but I still have the spunky spark in me.

And I think that that is so pleasing to God.

Surely, He wants us to die to our old sinful selves. But, He also gave us quirks & passions that He worked into His plan for our lives.

I imagine Him looking down on me as I'm writing a poem, & telling me, "Yes! That's it. I didn't birth that in you just for you to leave it dormant; I love that you're using that - it's one of My favorite things about you ... P.S. I have so many favorite things about you."

It's exciting. He's showing me ways to use the quirky bits, as well as the lessons that I've learned in the trials, for Kingdom purposes. How amazing is that?

I get to sketch to fund the dream He's planted in my heart. I get to say yes to some pretty incredible things. I get to have dance parties while cleaning the house. It's so beautiful.

I love the redemptive power of this Jesus of ours.

How about you? How have you been?

Is there any area in your life that could use the touch of Jesus to bind together your heart & your situation?

Pray with me:

Lord Jesus,
This life can be hard & heavy. It feels like joy can get pushed to the wayside & get forgotten so easily. I stress as I struggle. Jesus, help me to run to You. Help my response to adversity to be one that worships & honors You. You are holy & Your plans are always good. Spur my heart on, Jesus; help it to catch up to where I am right now in Your plan. Give me strength for the things You have called me to, & help me not to do them in a spirit of religion, but a Spirit of Love. Your perfect love is strong enough to cast out my fears & worries. Your plan is steadfast & sure. You are Faithful & True, & You will see me through. I can trust in You. Help my unbelief! In the Name of Jesus, Amen.