When God Opens the Floodgates

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Our basement flooded last week, which was both surprising and confusing. It really shouldn’t have happened. Our home is in its preschool stage, coming in at less than 5 years old. We thought important things like sump pumps were supposed to last longer. It’s even hidden in the dark corner of our basement, far away from the little hands that have put holes in my walls and ripped apart my nice window blinds. #boymomlife

But alas, while we were gone on vacation it apparently rained 5 million inches. Our plumber laughed when we told him where we lived and informed us that the company who built our home with “integrity” and “efficiency” was also crazy cheap. So, there’s that.

For three hours my husband and I took turns sweeping water into the emergency drain on our basement floor. If you’ve ever wanted to know what a seemingly pointless job looks like, I’d suggest grabbing a broom and going at it. More and more water kept pouring in, and there was no sign of it stopping. We continued to redirect it towards a small hole in the ground instead of the (now smaller) remnant of our undamaged baby gear. The flood was definitely winning. As I stood there counting our losses, my writer brain started turning… Water is powerful thing.

Storms. Tidal waves. Hurricanes. The way of the ocean and rivers. So much capacity to wreck and weaken. God Himself hit the restart button on earth with fierce rain and surging seas. (Side note: I NEED to write a post on what I’m learning about the great flood because it’s mind blowing. But we’ll save that for another day.)

The thing is, besides praying to our Creator, nature is out of our control. We can’t physically stop it from raining. We can’t redirect the weather. We can predict and prepare and possibly prevent. But even then, sump pumps fail. Basements are filled. Possessions get ruined. 

But you know what… Our God isn’t afraid of life’s floods. 

He doesn’t shy away from the storm or avoid the sudden surge. When Jesus walked on earth He also walked on water. He calmed the raging waves and stilled the mighty winds. Instead of fearing the downpour, He decided to pour out more of Him. Jesus promised an abundance of LIVING WATER for all of God’s children… Water that would revive and empower and, ironically, set their souls on fire. In a glorious turn of events, God chose to unlock Hisfloodgates and let heaven’s riches shower upon His kids. They wouldn’t understand just yet, but soon the power of the resurrection would reside in their own hearts. Soon they would experience “immeasurably more than all they could ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within them.” (Ephesians 3:20 NIV) And this same truth extends to us today.

Dear friends, when God opens His floodgates, nothing is held back. He opens His arms and welcomes us in. He puts His full character on public display. Nothing can redirect His mission and nothing can stop His passion. He shows us more grace than we deserve, more peace than we can hold and more love than we can comprehend. This is the power of the gospel. This is the beauty of the BEST news that’s ever been. It washes away our stains and removes our deepest sins. There is nothing God’s kindness cannot touch. There is nothing God’s forgiveness cannot make pure. And we get to be the recipients! We receive the glory of heaven when we open our hearts to Him.

That wet afternoon God shifted my eyes from our basement floor towards heaven’s throne so I could truly see Him. As I stood watching the water press in, all I saw was grace. We were back from vacation and not out of town. We caught the flooding before everything was lost. My husband heard the words ‘sump pump’ while praying the night before. I had moved a good chunk of boxes from the flooded corner two months prior. My husband’s work gave out a bonus that covered the cost of our new sump pump. A sweet neighbor let us borrow their dehumidifier and blessed us with pizza for dinner as well.

Our God was there. He showed up in the storm and was pouring out His love. And it was all grace.

Grace like rain.


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People Over Parties

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We have all survived another political season. Congratulations, friends.

My son wants me to grab certain signs for different candidates as a keepsake of the midterm elections… it’s just his thing, but I think I’d rather bury them. Because even though the ballot boxes are closed, I still feel the heat. Passions are boiling. People are praising and people are praying, which is usually a good thing if their eyes are focused on the One above. But so many times I look around and think, “This has gone too far… we’ve taken it too far.” What was meant to encourage healthy discussion and spur on change has now turned into violent division. Our society has created this monstrous rift that dives deeper than any political party and widens its gap by the minute. And I wonder, Dear Reader, do you feel it too? Do you feel the lure and sense its pull?

This is such a fierce time in history. War, famine and disaster have always been with us, but our ability to tear each other down has reached new heights. Instead of valuing kindness, we’ve valued our views. Instead of listening, we’ve lashed out. Instead of acknowledging, we’ve accused. We’ve attached people’s identities to causes and campaigns, instead of their Creator. And we’ve done it all in the name of the Left or the Right. It’s sad and disheartening, and I’ve felt myself sink as I’ve been sucked in. But this reality is also the reason I needed to write this post.

I will admit it. I’m a people-pleaser to the core. It’s always been a struggle for me to step out and share my voice when it could make someone angry or upset. *Hence why I tend to avoid the political arena like the plague* But God has been tenderly releasing me from my fear of rejection, and so I’m going to be brave…

I read an article today that made me raise my hands in solidarity. The author, Austin Roscoe, wrote, “We’re not a party. We’re His Kingdom.” Okay, stop. Reread that. We are not a party or a platform. We are the Kingdom of God. A force of redemption and beauty in the midst of a broken world. That is who we are. That is who we are called to be. As God’s Sons and Daughters we were made to walk side-by-side, regardless of our political stances and thoughts. No matter where we stand, we were meant to stand on the Rock. We are told to cling to the gospel in its purest form and hold tightly to one another when we feel like we are being torn apart. Because believe me, dear one, it’s not in your head. There is another force with that hurtful purpose in mind, and we need to pay attention.

As we hold our diplomatic ground, we fix our stares on members of the opposition and declare they are the problem. We take the bait and assign someone’s weight and worth according to their political opinions. But it’s all a charade… a brilliantly masterminded show orchestrated in hopes of blinded us from the true culprit. We have a hidden foe, and we are fueling the flames of his arrows. Arrows meant to penetrate families and annihilate friendships. We have decided to wage war against each other, meanwhile our real Enemy snickers in the shadows.

The Bible makes it perfectly clear. Satan has come to steal, kill and destroy, and unfortunately, he’s pretty good at his job. But make no mistake about it, Satan will always strike at the hearts of God’s children first. And it makes complete sense. Take down the foundation and the whole house falls. Take out the light and you can no longer see. So why are we surprised when churches fail and leaders fall? Why are we taken aback when we see disunity and disdain in the Body of Christ? Why are we surprised when cruel words are exchanged and characterizations are drawn just because others hold opposing views? Why are we surprised when we witness horrible acts hate in the name of personal beliefs? The Kingdom is under attack! And everyone living in the land is feeling it.

Don’t be fooled… We are not each other’s enemies. Instead, we need to be each other’s allies.

We need to be united in the truth of the gospel and the personhood of God. And if we really want to talk political shop, then we need to look at the facts and study the life of Jesus. When He walked the earth, He didn’t come for policies or partisan parties. Some wanted Him to pursue power, but instead He chose people. Some wanted Him to pick religion, but instead He chose relationships. Some wanted Him to focus on laws, but instead He fulfilled them. He didn’t play into the game of governmental tug-of-war because Jesus knew the end of the story. He knew no government would surpass God’s plan. He knew He would conquer and continually overcome. And, thankfully yes, He knew His Church would withstand every fire-filled arrow. It would remain victorious and rise strong and true. Not because the perfect candidates would win the right race but because God’s real triumph had already been won. The cross sealed the sacred deal. It struck down Death and defeated sin. And now our Jesus is alive and He rules above all. A seat in the oval office is too small for the greatness of this King, so He sits with supreme power in the throne room of God. Hope stands. Love wins. God’s grace is enough. And His glory reigns.

Oh Church, we aren’t a party… We are a Kingdom. One where we all belong.

If we are going to spend the rest of our lives together, let’s start getting along now. Can we have disagreements? Sure! Can we fight for what we believe in? Of course! Can we tear one another down in the process? Absolutely not. God’s heart beats for you and for me and for every other person on this planet. Let’s show the world His love, by loving our Brothers and Sisters first. Let’s speak life to one another and affirm everyone’s importance. Let’s see humanity through the eyes of the Father… eyes that see value and worth and purpose.

Because laying down our swords is worth it.

Restored relationships are worth it.

People are worth it. And they will be worth it every time.

Five Things You’ll Never Hear Me Say

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The more I do this adulthood thing, the more I realize few things in life are ever really certain.  Jobs switch, moves happen, people come and go.  We are in a constant state of motion, moving forward, stepping backward or swaying somewhere in-between.  Few things remain the same.  But if we are lucky, we can stop and think about our hopeful handful of certainties.  These are the aspects in our lives that stick with us through thick and thin, in seasons of triumph and trials.  Their truths are engraved so deeply in our hearts, we can confidently say that if they changed, it would change who we are.

So, I decided to do it.  I sat down and wrote my top five you will never hear me say.  And even though it’s been said that we should never say never, these realities are my exceptions.  And it makes me wonder, Dear Reader… what would be on your list?  What would be your handful?  If you are feeling daring, I would love to know 🙂

1.)  I hate chocolate.  I mean, let’s start this off light, but completely serious.  I will never betray chocolate.  I believe God made this manna from heaven because He knew we would need phyiscal proof that He is good.  For real.  When I need a pick me up… chocolate.  When I need to reward myself… chocolate.  When I need something to bribe my kids with… chocolate.  When my husband wants to show me he loves me… chocolate.  It really is the answer to almost any problem, and it is the taste I just couldn’t live without.  Chocolate and I are here to stay.

2.)  I can go it alone.  There are times I like to pretend I can do things without the support and encouragement of others, including God, but who am I kidding?!  I need my people.  I can’t do life without others by my side, something our Creator knew full well… He knew we needed relationships with other humans.  He knew we needed authenticity with those we trust and fellowship with people we enjoy. God, Himself, is extremely relational.  He could have made the universe and left it at that, but His heart craved closeness with His children.  Our Father moved heaven and earth just to be with us.  Jesus left His throne room in order to walk by our side.  His love is no joke.  It is infinite and true and full of grace.  And as He walked with God’s Sons and Daughters, He called them by name.  He called them His dearest friends.  If God chose to never go it alone, I figure it’s okay for me to never do it either.

3.)  Family isn’t important.  Kind of piggy-backing off of the previous point, I could never NOT put my family first.  Sure I have passions and dreams and work that I want to pursue.  But in the end, if I pursue those things harder than the people God has given to me, a part of my soul will feel it.  My husband and boys are my world.  My parents, grandparents, siblings and their families help make me who I am.  No family is perfect and relationship strains happen, but nonetheless, every relationship within my family is important.  They help me grow and give and love, and I am so blessed to experience those things in return.  Even if we experience pain and heartache within our earthly families, God extends a royal invitation to His children… an invitation to sit at the table and dine with the King of Kings in His Kingdom.  We are part of a holy family that will never fade, a kinship that is eternal and powerful.  We can never remove ourselves from this family, and our Father can never remove His love from us.  It’s the deepest part of who we are, and it always comes first.

4.)  There’s nothing for me to do.  Sure, I have a house full of boys, with chaos and clutter following me wherever I go.  There is never dull moment, and I never get to the end of my to-do lists.  Still, as I push past the surface level mess, I realize God has called me to do great and glorious things.  Sometimes I forget who I am, and I forget my role on the is earth.  But when Jesus gently reminds my heart of the truth, I can’t help but stand a little taller.  I am His.  I am important.  And I am going to change the world.  As long as I am breathing there will always be something for me to do, but I want to make sure I’m doing the right things.  Things that make a difference and reflect His ultimate purpose… loving others well and loving Him.  As long as everything I’m doing points to those two imperatives, all other things will fall into place.  The white noise in our culture is at an all-time high, but God’s voice will always break through.  As He speaks His life into my heart, He wants me to share this life with the world.  He wants me to know my worth and embrace my identity.  And I pray I get to be a part of others discovering theirs.

5.)  God is not real.  I’m sorry, but God has just done too much in my life to deny His existence.  He’s changed me in ways I never thought possible, and He’s saved me from things I never could escape on my own.  And it’s not just me… I’ve seen countless lives transformed by the power of His love.  Relationships restored.  Pasts redeemed.  Hearts healed.  There’s just too much evidence pointing to the truth of His personhood and character.  His beauty is part of my soul.  His Spirit is part of my life.  His goodness defines who I am.  He knows me and loves me and has changed everything I am.  Many other religions have gods and goddesses that require sacrifice and service and perfection in order to gain acceptance.  But the God of the Bible is the only God who did the opposite.  He sacrificed everything so we could be with Him.  Jesus’ life was laid down in order to make the unseen seen.  It was a tangible expression of His faithful promise to make all things new and brings us back to Him.  There’s no other love like His out there.  Not in any religion or any church or any relationship.  His grace is perfect, so we don’t have to be.  If that’s not real love folks, I don’t know what is.

Dear friends, we need to know what we know for sure.  It’s worth the time and energy to write these things down in our hearts.  Because yes, few things in life are truly certain.   But it’s the precious few that make life worth living.