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An Outfit this morning

II Kings 22: 14-20


The Bible just pops off the page sometimes. It did this morning as I sat overlooking the lake with coffee near and music on. It is like the veil between this life and that one is breached for a moment as the sounds ring, the trees sway, and the Word moves in power. It is a sweet powerful living book that stuns me with phrases, people, and predictions. It takes me out of this life and into the One that I was born to know fully. This morning I read of a woman I did not know previously. The scripture teems inside with new nuggets and characters just like this lake teems with so much underneath. As this earthly wind blows over me it is a picture of His breath through the Word blowing into me.

Huldah was her name. She was a prophetess and a wife. Powerful combination! Even more is that she was the wife of, believe it or not, the “wardrobe keeper for the king”. Seriously!? She was married to a man who had the eye for fashion over the royalty of the kingdom. Oh for that title in the line up of “king’s men”. Not only was she probably dressed to the nines with a keen eye but also that of a keen heart. She was a prophetess of God. Separated and sold out to the King of Israel! Men sought her out to hear her impression not her opinions. An impression is so different than an opinion. Often we all give opinions but rarely do we offer impressions. One who kneels before the Lord is given a keen sense of His opinion into the situation. As we lean into Christ, an impression can be His opinion into the situation. His opinion is all I want to hear and follow.

God had given a harsh dictation to the people of Judah in this passage and some had hardened their hearts because of it. Has God ever spoken a harsh word, direction, or truth to you? Oh He has to me, many a time. What posture does our heart turn to when the King speaks this way? Do we forsake and fret or do we believe and lean in still?

Some of the men as listed in the passage turned their hearts away from the Lord and provoked Him even more. Others were in the habit of bowing low with tender hearts to the God of “harsh words”. Though the word spoken was hard to palate they had nowhere else to turn but into the One who spoke. The one who fell into the Lord after this word was the king of Judah by sending these men out to listen to Huldah, the woman of God. Oh to be such a leader when a harsh direction or prediction of God is made that I look up and into Him regardless!

She told them that because they had turned towards the Lord with a tender humbled heart that He would truly hear them. What a thought? God truly hears and moves when we are broken and contrite with tenderness before Him. Lord, when You say something harsh, let me still, in humility, turn my heart towards you with tenderness just like they did. You ride in on the desperate cries of your people Lord! Awesome promise and posture. That is the best wardrobe to wear, a desperate bent heart towards the Living Lord Jesus.

All things Comfort

I just love days where the sun is finally out and the rain has past. I strolled through Whole Foods today searching for ingredients to make homemade bread and a surge of gratitude rushed through me. I was so comforted at God's provision in every way. He provides taste, touch, sight, smell, and emotion to add to the little comforts in life. Overwhelmed by the evidences of His reality and goodness that I had to write. So cheers to ALL things comfort... in my mind!

Partly opened and tasted foods on the way home from the grocery store
Aprons, the old fashioned full body kind
Fresh baked whole wheat millet bread ( my cousins recipe- thanks Lela)
Flour all over a kitchen island
Iced Water that has the outer mist covering the cool glass
Hot summer days at the pool
Think Thin creamy peanut protein bars
Seeds of all sorts, just the mini ones
Sun drops M&M's ( the healthy version with no food coloring)
Hannah and Mercy Girl, especially out of the bath all clean
House guests that are family
Big momma ott breakfasts
fruit salad with poppy seeds all throughout
air conditioning that is frigid
fogged sunglasses going from in to outside
Beach trips ( any travel to anywhere really)
Juice Plus houseboat dinners
colorful food on white plates
Ovaltine
Hot tea with a dainty cup
Establish Her story nights around the fire ( or with blankets in the Ott house during summer cause it is a meat locker in my parents house)
My cream of asparagus and carrot soup with a dab of sour cream
Rao's pasta sauce and rotini
the red and white toile chair with a cozy folded blanket over the backside
perfectly ripened bananas
frozen HUGE red grapes
clear nail polish freshly applied
Vacuuming the house to music
the smell of brownies baking
Grains
VITAmix blender
a made bed with more pillows than space allotted
a bowl of almonds on a coffee table
wooden jewelry
the smell of Fresh Basil spray
Sea salt
pita chips and hummus that has just been opened
Kroger's cottage cheese with organic pears
Cousins weekend in North Carolina at the lakehouse

Life is good with all things comfort.

Connections

Jesus leaves me amazed at His network of connections, conversations, and circumstances that all culminate in a divine cup of coffee. Only He can order and direct miracles such as these. My life is full of such moments and I ask for more. In these times I sense His love, presence, and intimate involvement so deeply. Today was one of those "cups of joy". It was delightful to glean wisdom, share the person of Christ, and laugh over the goodness of Life with a seasoned woman. A woman who is dear friends with my Dearest friend. A woman who knows and bleeds the ministry of Jesus not the ministry for people. Big difference. Oh I just loved this mid-day mid-week mid-ministry mid-tear moment shared with Christ through her. The world, especially Atlanta, is so small and God is entirely larger than all. His connections are endless, His circumvention is unfathomable, and His conversational skills are sweet. I love Him with all my heart! Thank you for today Jesus and reminding me of what being connected to You really resembles.

In the Flow

Oh how the heart can be empty but quickly sit as full when Jesus is factored into the scenario! Worship, hearing the Word through my Pastor, and simply positioning myself in the receiving mode was healing tonight. "It is a fire shut up in my bones and indeed I am weary of holding it in"... so I must share with you the sweet refreshments He gave tonight. The topic was John 2, the wedding miracle. I wanted to roll my eyes but they were too full of tears to move. Wedding?! Really Lord... the thorn in my side that causes so much pain as of late, that is our topic tonight? Immediately following my unbridled honesty before Him, I asked that He would soften and tune.

That, He did. John 2 nuggets that pacified so much of me tonight:

Jesus is in the flow of my life and my tears. Just as the wine flowed, the water, then back to wine again- so Jesus is in tune with the flow of my events. He knows my details... He knows when I am empty and lacking. He knows when I am full and spilling out. He is not in a corner, but in the flow! Praise God! As Louie said there is no dividing line between secular and sacred when Jesus is in the scenario. He not only is in the flow, but He creates it. He knew when the wine would run out and He knew the wine He had waiting to pour out.

It is never too late with Jesus. He waits purposefully and intentionally to bring out the best, last. He shows up with the greatest at the latest. Oh to know and love a God that does waste He good wine first, but deliberating pauses to enjoy the good wine not any earlier than "until now". His timing is higher, deeper, and beyond explanation- but He always keeps His time. He is never late, not even concerning the matters of what seems to be expired. Nothing expires when He is keeping the time.

When Jesus is in the equation there is always the possibility and probability of a miracle! Is anything too hard for the Lord? He spent the better part of the OT declaring that through faithfulness and promises and actions. Declare it again O Lord to this little girl. Nothing is too hard for Me, He says. Nothing. Especially nothing in your world, Sarah, that I created and ordained each day of anyway. A miracle, that is what I want and need. A miracle that seems ever waited for and barely hanging on by a thread... a miracle of Your divine intervention into my heart, love story, circumstances, etc.

"Whatever your story is right now- it is not finished! He can pull out the unthinkable at the impeccable time. Do not lose Hope!"

There is always a plan in motion. Jesus knew the wine would run out. He always has a plan in motion not the need for a Plan B to fix what did not work. His plans are unfolding not unraveling- they are always right, always better, and always clear ( hind's sight). You will see something that will blow your mind- but we need eyes to see it in the place of gap between now and then. while I am down on my knees fervently praying for the desires of my heart and the heart of my desires, Jesus sees it " on the desk"! He already sees the answer, the moment, the man, the talk, the day, the end, etc... He sees it while I am pleading for it. God is on the case and has been since before I was even interceding! What a thought. He is parting the waters and pulling out miracles all the time... But He puts us, especially me, through the fire because He wants me to CLING to Him even if/when the "miracle" does not come in the way or day I thought. Cling tighter! Cling to Me, He says!

Because the greatest Miracle has already happened! RESURRECTION! He was not only providing wine for a party but His mind was on providing His death for my life. It was all a picture of the great miracle He was, not just miracles He did! All my prayers will not be answered with packages I hoped for however resurrection happened and happens still! He raised from the dead, therefore all He is exists in me because I too was raised from the dead in my heart. My heart can beat with life, though broken, because He is alive. That is enough! Beat little heart beat.

Miracles are free to me! The people at the wedding didnt have to pay for the best wine or work for it. It came when they least expected it without anything they did earning it- in fact, they were pigs and had drank everything! Jesus paid the highest cost that I might be able to remain in the receiving posture of His miracles of love, intervention, intercession, grace, hope, peace, mercy, and countless others. We can rest assured that we cant manufacture, manipulate, move, or maintain the miracles of God.... we just believe and receive Him!

with comfort this is written... thanks for miracles at weddings Lord. Thanks for being in the flow of my life and tears.

Part the Waters

The dark night can last longer than we would like. However it is in the dark of night that our Lord works in might. Exodus 14 describes a bleak evening of tension, wonderings, and questions as the Israelites camped out at the base of a raging walled Red Sea. They had His promise that “surely you will see the salvation of the Lord accomplish this for you” and that “ while you remain silent He fights for you” but they also had the tangible loud crashing wavy sea ahead of them too. It is the temptation to doubt the activity of our God in the dark night when all we see is the waters, undivided, that tears our faith away from His secure promises. But in this same passage beneath these promises we see that God worked all through the night, parting the waters, as they slept on the shore. He works when we cannot see, feel, touch, or prove it to be so. Our God is never passive or inactive! With out stretched arms, willing to save and work, He parts the waters in our own lives to this day. Cling to the promises of the Water Parting Lord. Truly, He has been working behind the scenes and stirring beneath the waters. Daughter, “do not fear, stand by and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you this day”, regardless of how dark your night has been. Ex.14:13-21

Pete’s Coffee


Belated story but must share! This peculiar LA morning began with taking Katty to therapy only to have an hour to sip coffee with Jesus, waiting for her to text “finished”. I love Pete’s coffee so decided that I would sit outside at table all my own, sip my latte, and open the Word. It was bustling with customers of all types, some well dressed and others of the street persuasion. This Pete’s was located on a very busy little corner in Westwood where high end home décor and homelessness lined the sidewalks, very striking imagery if you ask me. Finally my latte order was slid over my way from the counter barista and out to my little haven I went, smell of vanilla roasted beans preceding my every step.

With selfish excitement for an uninterrupted hour of “Quiet Time” I got to my rickety iron “umbrellaed” table and began to set up shop. A book about Beauty that I had just gotten the day before from the author herself (Anne Ortlund), Bibles ( yes more than one), journal, and various colorful pens draped the tabletop. A sigh of relief and anticipation as I took my first sip and stare into His Word….

It lasted all of 5 short minutes when I was interrupted ( or should I say intersected) by an interesting man. He was dressed “coordinated” but unique, with nothing in hand but a coffee cup he must have brought from home. He walked by my table turned around and came back to ask me, “ can I share your table?” Ummm…. NO! That was my first ( flesh) thought… No, you can’t, I anticipated this morning for a while and wanted time alone with the Savior of the World you live in. In about 5 seconds the conversation in my head spilled out of my mouth with an “ of course you can”. Don’t you love it when Jesus trumps and answers through you? He proceeds to sit down and loudly slurp his coffee at these already awkwardly positioned personal spaceless tables. Beyond the noise interruption, it was his unrelenting stare at me and my Bible that really put it over the top. Nope, he had nothing to read, look like, or ponder… but me. Agh! Not how I wanted to share my morning coffee quiet time, for sure. Then he speaks… “ beauty and religion, those are mutually exclusive”. Oh no… hear we go, now I have to actually engage with him?! Lord, are you serious? Again conversations in my head were trumped with words from His mouth. “No actually they go together perfectly.. true beauty comes from a depth of what is inside… most people are just really shallow. Yes religion is exclusive… but that is why beauty and relationships are the choiced match”. He just continues to stare at me shaking his head in disagreement. Buses are stopping on the corner with loud exhaust each time they brake, business men are standing at the stoplight waiting to cross screaming their deals to everyone near them not just the person on the cell phone, and now me and my little man are trying to have a life discussion. Agh! His lips were moving but I could hear nothing. He was so soft spoken anyway then add in all other LA noise on a Friday morning and the cause is lost. It was comical actually and I found myself smiling, leaning in to catch every other word of this character. Then I was reminded of Jesus words, “when you entertain people and do for the least of these, you do it unto Me”. I was smiling and thanking God for allowing this interesting man to cross my life path for 20 minutes. . I finished up my bible study and conversation with the nameless man and exited the table with a gracious smile and grateful heart. It is rubbing shoulders with the world that introduces them to the hug of Christ at some point. Jesus knows all by name and I pray He calls his soon. Who knows, maybe his name was Pete.

Bottled Tears 2011-04-22 13:20:00

Have I really flown this much to notice the nuisances in the airport or are they simply that obvious? I think everything has potebtial humor bedore 6am though. My good friday began in the atlabta aurpoet- a frequented destination of mine. I just happened to notice a lot this morning, maybe it was pulling an all nighter.

let's take the well famed TSA family. They are proud of their badges and blue shirts as they strut with powerful authority written on their foreheads. Comical. Here I am, adorned in the colors of an Easter egg bright eyed and bushy tailed at 5am, walking through security when I catch the eye of mr.powerful. He is standing guard of everyone inside a seeming inch by one inch square, releasing them only at his command when their bags are present. Hilarious. I guess he thought my dress ruffles could be offensively hiding something as he glared me up and down... But I got out with the violating "pat down" somehow!

Not only does the TSA bring humor but so do the trains, especially when people are half awake with very little balance. Is it that hard to clinch your quad and stand still?! I was so entertained at 5:25am... Finally to the starbucks I stroll up, all smiles. It was in the starbucks line where I just observed everybody's gait. We all have a sway, gimp, swagger, jiggle, wobble, strut, or lead foot. It definitely made me conscious of how I am walking and whose watching. So easily amused...

Sipping my latte, posture straight trying to walk normal back to my gate I think "the little nuisances of the airport are a great way to start the day" but maybe it's only because the sun hasn't even woke yet, or maybe it's Atlanta, or maybe I really do fly that much... Regardless I'm grateful for our homeland security team... Their job and their comic relief.

Written from the iPhone, disregard any grammatical errors.

The Rest of Him

The Lord actually gives both, resting and working places. He ordains these seasons or streams in our life so divinely. He took me to LA, out of ATL, to rest not work. From afar it resembles just more activity and busyness but there is a difference. It is more fullness than busyness and resting than working out here. My heart enjoys the silence in the room and the smells of this home. My mind steals away unto Him out here different to that of "home". Jesus' yoke is easy and burden is light, inviting all to come for rest. Oh I come, I come indeed for rest and receive it abundantly. To all the working places ahead, He will accomplish what concerns me. For now, in every way, there is a solace and unapologetic sweetness to the rest that beckons me. Sometimes rest looks like a white sheeted bed waiting to be curled up in other times rest resembles effortless conversation that knits the hearts and keeps the spirit awake. Rest has many faces but above all it has the calming tensionless face of Christ attached to it. I love His rest. The Rest of Him! I am currently tired so these are mental ramblings from one that is about to literally rest on this plush white couch, before the dinner hour... but thought I would share.

Matt 11

Come to Me- please just come. Stop, step, and sit into Me. Come right now. You are weary, tired, heavy, weighted, burdened, busied, tension filled, and tried. I know you are all those things but I also know that I can pacify them. I am Rest. I am waiting for you.... to relieve you, shouldered one. Come and I will give you, freely, REST that you cannot discover or conjure up on your own. Receieve Me, Take my weight upon you... lets exchange! Let me Mantle you, nothing else, just me. My yoke on you.. which lifts you not presses you. Learn from me as this exchange happens...You will learn of gentleness and humility as I exchange you for Me. I want you to be quiet hearted and gentle minded.... let the pounds of the world just melt as you take Me in and on. Oh there is rest indeed for your will, emotions, mind, spirit, body, heart, and life pace. This is easy, really, very simple actually. Your load is no longer your load.... for your "load" is now known as mine. It is light. You are lightened. Rest now.

Vulnerability

Thoughts on Vulnerability with a lot of prayer and a little nudging from recent TED speakers.


Vulnerability is the birthplace of joy and hope and passion to fully live

Vulnerability is neither comfortable or crucifying but cleansing and necessary.

What makes us vulnerable makes us beautiful

Be careful not to numb vulnerability

Vulnerability is taking a risk with hope regardless of its outcome.

You cannot numb emotions selectively- you feel all or feel nothing.

We are imperfect, wired for struggle but worthy of love and belonging

To let yourself be deeply seen is vulnerability

Practice the movement of joy in the moments of pain is hope

To feel vulnerable is to be alive

To love with a whole full heart apart of guarantees

Being fierce on being you is being awake with security

Letting go of who you think you are supposed to be and embracing who He says you are is vulnerability and strength, married.

KNEEL

I felt like a spiritual composer as the cadence of music, colors, ambience, and mission in KNEEL came together as a song this week in Texas. Though it was a quieted space with a whisper tonality, students were compelled to enter and enjoy. The minimal amount of square feet sang over them and silenced them with Jesus' love. It was still but it sung loud of His presence, power, and peace. Their visage changed and their voices lowered, without instruction, as they expectantly entered Prayer itself. Students from all over the world stepped into that environment standing tall but came out kneeling in spirit. We put an atmosphere to prayer that drew the throne to the earth. Beauty and Breath were both present. A place were we all, student and volunteer, breathed again. Life has a way of knocking air out of our lungs and events dont fill it. I love Passion, because it is not an event but an experience that gives breath back because it is an encounter with the Air we breathe. Jesus stands exalted as central in Passion and Kneel was a visible extension of that to 10,000 students. Passion altered my direction 11 years ago so to hold the door in every way for this generation was beyond expression. Students from Texas, Georgia, Singapore, New York, Florida, Ukraine, and many others got it. They got Him, actually! Lights came on, scales fell off, doors opened and hearts softened. Inspiration and solidification took place. Roots went deeper, seeds were planted, and fruit began to sprout. I am believing Isaiah 27:6 for my life and the lives of the thousands I saw and hundreds I stood by this weekend. " In the days to come Jacob will take root, Israel will blossom and sprout, And they will fill the whole world with fruit."

Reveling over the divine movement of prayer as I crawl into white sheets with the sound of stormy rain.

Goodnight all.
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