The Peace of Being

The Peace of Being

I have a friend who is in a season of not having a lot of opportunities to serve in the church at the moment because of the circumstances of her life right now. She is living in a new area, is in a new marriage and is busy with her new job. Everything is new and yet she is itching to be serving in the Body of Christ. That was an enjoyable comfort zone for her in the past and she is missing the familiarity and the joy of it immensely. And yet God has orchestrated her circumstances for this season to do a work in her heart that she is not even fully aware of herself. There are seasons of hiddenness and seasons of manifestation.

But this blog is about me, not my friend. Here I am in the opposite situation where I work in my spiritual community and the need and opportunity to do more and more is right in front of my face every day. But right here in the midst of endless opportunity and need I am being challenged by the Father to stop and take the time to allow Him to expose any unhealthy motivations in my heart. Why do I do what I do? What motivates me? What am I getting in return for my service? What scratches me where I itch? Are my motivations healthy?

The truth is I have spent years in the ministry DOING Bev but I haven’t been very good at BEING Bev. Because where I came from in my family, DOING was the only thing that got me any acknowledgment at all. And love was certainly conditional. So I have entertained some wrong mindsets and beliefs that have caused me to get trapped in a cycle of doing to be seen and to be loved rather than being and seeing myself as beloved. I am being awakened more to the reality of my core identity being who I am in Christ, who is peace, as opposed to who I am in my own works, which is striving.

I’m not there yet, in fact I’m right in the middle of some very painful transition into that place of more peace. But because learning to BE me rather than DO me is going to mean expressing me, then I am going to share more of me! (Haha… sounds like it’s all about me!)

The times they are a changing, and spring comes after winter. I’m looking forward to more peace!

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Kiln of Love

Isn’t it funny how there are certain belongings that we own that we find difficult to throw out or give away.  We can end up taking these things with us through life as if they are a part of our identity. (Well I have done!) For me these “things” are certain pieces of pottery that I personally created when I was a teenager at school. I did have a very big culling experience when I was 18 years old when I did actually “give away” these ceramic pieces. It was when I bought a backpack, sleeping bag, tent and $20 worth of books from the Christian bookstore in 1979 and left my job, home, family and friends and hit the road in search of freedom. I distributed my precious pottery, some of which is actually quite ugly, to my mum and my sister. My thinking was that I would keep it in the family in case I ever came back one day so that maybe I could ask them for it back. To this day, whenever I visit their homes, I still look at those pieces fondly as if they are still MINE! One piece though I actually “gave” to my best friend who literally moved into my house and took possession of my room and most of my belongings when I left. Sure enough, 15 years later, I asked her if I could have it back! That precious piece of coil pottery is still proudly displayed in my home, even if I am the only one that fully appreciates its value. (It probably would sell for $5 in an op shop but it is worth so much more to me!)

I’ve been reading about the Master Potter and us, His earthen vessels. And about how intense the firing process is that causes the glaze to melt on the pottery surface. The intense heat brings out the glorious colours and effects that beautify the pieces and gives them their unique look. No two ceramic glazes come out the same. The potter monitors the firing process to obtain the special effects that he wants to create in the pieces. I think about how precious my own creations are to me, after all these years, even though they are chipped and cracked and stained in their own special way. If I feel this way about my creations, then imagine how the Father feels about us, His creations! I’m sure He looks upon us with much love and pride as He knows exactly what firing conditions He orchestrated that we have endured to bring out our unique colours and giftings.

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us”. 2 Corinthians 4:7

Stars and Hearts

God knows all the stars by name. (Psalm 147:4)

Isn’t it funny how we have particular random memories from our childhood that we seem to never forget. One such memory for me is of walking home alone after drama classes along a dimly lit street in the dark. I was suddenly overwhelmed with a strong sense of being protected and felt compelled to stop still in the middle of the road and gaze up at the vast expanse of stars above. I instinctively knew that what I was gazing upon up in the heavens was lovingly created by a very big God! My next thoughts were that this very big God (who I now know actually knows each of those stars by name) could actually see me down here on earth and that He knew that I was walking home on that street by myself. It’s hard to explain the incredible sense of safety and security that I experienced in that moment as a nine year old child. (Those were the days when it was safe to walk home alone in the suburbs!) It was such a revelation to me that night so many years ago that, not only had God created all those stars and planets and moons up above, but that He was gazing upon me and my heart. I knew that He knew exactly what I was thinking and feeling in that moment and all I could do was laugh with joy! I remember that I skipped all the way home laughing! And as I skipped home my last thoughts before running into my house were “I wonder if I will remember this night when I grow up?”

Now that His great big Spirit is not just out there in the heavens but actually residing inside me, I have a brand new heart and I can align my thoughts, my will and my emotions with His. That’s new creation reality right there!

“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:13 NIV)

RISK

Don’t you love it when you wake up in the morning and have a plan for the day and then within a short period of time that plan is completely rearranged by the One who has an even greater plan than we had. And it ends up being awesome! That happened to me yesterday. A couple of early morning text messages and phone calls and in no time everything looked different than what I had originally anticipated it would look like that day! I found myself in a place of needing to decide who was going to orchestrate my day… me or God? Was I going to stick to my original plan and ignore the wind of the Spirit? Or be flexible and allow myself to be swept up in a Divine Romance where the One leading the dance is my Beloved? And by the way…. He is a “much” better dancer than I am!

Choosing to trust Him and being ready to let go of our control over our lives is sometimes like jumping into a fast flowing current, not always knowing where we will end up. But when that current is flowing from the heart of the One who is committed to releasing us into the fullness of our destiny, our destination is more of Him, with all the beauty, surprises, blessings and joy that comes along the way with the journey.

“Then the time came when the risk it took to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”  ANAIS NIN

ONE THING

As I sit and ponder on what words to employ to introduce you to my very first blog entry, the Spirit is impressing something very clearly to me! Not only was I just meditating on Ps 27:4 a few moments ago, but even as I am typing these first sentences a singer is blasting out the same words at me through my laptop. Thanks iTunes!

These words are “ONE THING”.

Why do these two words have any significant meaning? Separate them as two independent words and they can be quite insignificant. But put them together and they are the words that are spoken by Jesus in regards to choosing the better option between running around busily serving as opposed to sitting at His feet, gazing on His beauty and meditating on His words of truth and life.

One thing that I want to do in this new venture of entering into the world of the blog is to be honest and transparent, which may at times be confronting. I imagine for Martha it was quite easy to get lost in her world of hospitality as it was a safe hiding place. The kitchen was familiar territory. Preparing food was easy. Sitting at Jesus feet and being confronted by truth is not always comfortable. His very presence exposes the motives of our hearts. Our fears surface, our griefs are stirred and our tendency to want to hide in our safe places manifests. Then when we get uncomfortable we start to look for excuses by blame shifting or justifying our actions. The rewards of choosing the option of sitting at His feet is that it positions us to experience His love and releases healing and life into our brokenness.

I personally am still transitioning from being a Martha into becoming more of a Mary.

I have spent a lot of my life being more concerned with running around keeping busy with one thing or another, whilst the “one thing” that Jesus refers to has been somewhat neglected by me. My grief is stirred. I feel ripped off! It is time for a change.

(Unreal…. A different singer now at the other end of this day, as I am finishing this post, is now pumping out the exact same words as this morning….. ONE THING!)

The only way to behold Him and become like Him is to choose the one thing…….. Him!

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