Me and My Stuff at His Feet

Harvest timeA few years ago I gave my testimony at church and sang the Casting Crown’s song, “At His Feet.” It fit so well with where God had brought me.

He had brought me to a good place.

But I’ve stepped away from that place many times carrying what I should have laid at His feet.

I tend to put things at His feet and then take them back again and again and again…

It’s not that I don’t trust Him…although sometimes it seems that way.
It’s not that I really believe I can do it better…although it seems that way at times too.
It’s not that I really want the burdens…although…well, it does seem that way too.

Honestly, I’m not sure what my deal is…but whatever my deal is it’s absolutely annoying.

Recently, I was reading the story of Ruth. What a beautiful story of redemption. I wish I could recount the whole thing here with all its glorious layers, but I’m just going to implore you to read it for yourself. It’s the 8th book in the Old Testament.

But just so you understand what God impressed upon me I’ll share a short version…Ruth’s story begins when she and her mother-in-law, Naomi, leave Moab to return to Bethlehem. Ruth and Naomi, both widows, are penniless and without protection. Naomi sends Ruth out to glean barley in the fields of Boaz, her relative. Boaz takes note of the hard-working, kind Ruth and makes sure she gathers plenty of food each day. At the end of the barley season, Naomi instructs Ruth to appeal to Boaz as her kinsman-redeemer. Naomi tells her to uncover his feet while he is sleeping and lay at them until he wakes. Ruth obeys Naomi’s wishes. And when Boaz awakes and finds her at his feet, she says, “Spread your wings over your servant, for you are a redeemer.” In the end, Boaz marries Ruth and they have a son, Obed, who becomes the grandfather of King David and in the lineage of Christ!

Boaz is Ruth’s kinsman-redeemer.

“The kinsman-redeemer is a male relative who, according to various laws of the Pentateuch, had the privilege or responsibility to act on behalf of a relative who was in trouble, danger, or in need. The Hebrew term (go el) for kinsman-redeemer designates one who delivers or rescues (Genesis 48:16; Exodus 6:6) or redeems property or person (Leviticus 27:9-25, 25:47-55). The kinsman who redeems or vindicates a relative is illustrated most clearly in the book of Ruth, where the kinsman-redeemer is Boaz.” (http://www.gotquestions.org/kinsman-redeemer.html#ixzz2blMt0Twr)

What I love, even more than the story of Ruth, is my story!

I have met my Kinsman-Redeemer. I have laid at His feet, in my poverty and trouble. I have asked that He cover me with His robe. And He lovingly has covered me with His righteous robe, released me from the bonds of poverty and death, and taken me as His bride.

Jesus is my Kinsman-Redeemer.

It’s so poignant to me…this story…this picture of His love.

God tells us the story of Ruth to show us how He wants to be to us. He wants us to lie down at His feet and allow Him to protect us, save us and redeem us. He wants us to trust that He will provide for us.

What struck me while reading Ruth was this…

God doesn’t just want me to lay down my issues, troubles, problems, challenges, and worries at His feet (although that is very good to do), God wants ME to lie down at His feet.

He doesn’t just want to take care of stuff in my life…He wants to take care of My Life…of ME!

I know it’s a bit of a “duh” thing…I mean I know that God wants me to give Him myself…but for some reason God powerfully reminded me of that truth.

I wonder what that looks like…laying down at His feet?

Is it as simple as waking up each morning and taking the time to pray to Him? To speak aloud all that He has done for me? To pray without ceasing?

Is it recognizing that I’m a living sacrifice to Him…living a life worthy of my calling as a Christian…a Christ follower?
Is it loving others? Is it trusting Him even when I don’t really know the answer or understand what’s happening?

Is it believing He is who He says He is…my Savior, Messiah, Redeemer, and Friend?

Yes…Yes…Yes…Yes…Yes…YES!!!

It’s really preaching the gospel to myself. I read this recently:

“Whatever progress we make in our Christian lives – whatever going onward, whatever pressing forward – the direction will always be deeper into the gospel, not apart from it, or aside from it. Growth in the Christian life is the process of receiving Christ’s “It is finished” into new and deeper parts of our being every day, and it happens as the Holy Spirit daily carries God’s good word of justification into our regions of unbelief – what one writer calls our “unevangelized territories.” Tullian Tchividjian “Jesus + Nothing = Everything”

I used to think that the preaching the gospel to myself thing was just reminding myself every day that I was saved…but it’s so much more.

It’s reminding myself everyday who I am because of who He is. It’s taking my thoughts captive for Christ because His thoughts of me are beautiful and holy and loving…mine often are not. It’s reminding myself that I’m a great sinner in need of a great Savior and He has got that covered! He’s done it all…there is nothing left for me to do except be all that I am in Him!

He is my Kinsman-Redeemer. He has bought me with Himself and for Himself. He has taken me away from the sin and death that threatened me and made me His beloved.

He’s my Redeemer…I’m His beloved.

Each day I will lay myself at His feet trusting that He has me covered … me and my life!

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Do You Really Want to be Where I Am?

butterfly landing on flower

“I wish I could get to where you are…I still feel so hopeless, sad, or angry.”

Whenever I hear that I want to say, “Trust me, you DO NOT want to be where I am!”

I struggle a lot with things. I have moments where I feel like disaster is imminent…where I can’t possibly do this life successfully…when my sins seem too awful…when I can’t see anything good happening.

Days filled with many more tears than laughter.

But then God shows me that He indeed has it all under control…He is working and He is loving us. And I’m reminded that this life is not about me knowing the answers, it’s about me knowing Him. And it’s about my kids knowing Him too.

Today has been a roller coaster…and it’s only noon.

There are times when curling up in a ball seems like the best position to approach the day. If only I were like an armadillo with some outer armor so I’d be safe and protected.

Today is one of those days.

I woke with such hope for the day but heartache found me fast. It’s a thousand things and nothing at all…it’s the past, the present, and the future…it’s people and things, occurrences and utterances…it’s calls and texts and emails…it’s my thoughts and sometimes my actions and words…it’s just this life.

I can’t tell you what made the curling begin, but I can tell you when I decided that I wasn’t going to curl up in a ball and cry no matter how much I wanted to.

My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word! Psalm 119:28


Let me go to the beginning or at least close to it.

My youngest daughter, Jane, is almost 6. She is beautiful, fun, and feisty. She is also angry, defiant, and disobedient. The past two weeks have been very difficult for her…and therefore for me too.

Even at such a young age my little girl thinks deep things and asks hard questions. She is dearer to me than I can express. I was blessed to become her momma when she was 24 hours old. I loved her the moment I heard about her.

One of the hardest things for me since my husband left is the fact that my two youngest adopted daughters have now had two father’s abandon them. My ex-husband contends that he did not abandon us, but I don’t know another word that fits the situation better. That’s certainly how we all feel.

Both girls know they are adopted. They ask lots of questions and I try and answer well. Last night Allison asked me why the lady who had her in her tummy gave her to me. I answered, “She wasn’t able to take care of you and she loved you so much she wanted you to have a mommy and a…” and I thought, “Oh Lord! Oh Lord! Why????”

While in my head I questioned God, I whispered out loud to my sweet little girl how thankful I was that God chose me to be her mommy – that God grew her in my heart – that she is a blessing. I told her how I had chosen the name Jane because it means “God’s gracious gift” and I consider her exactly that. She seemed satisfied and we cuddled close. But the ache in her heart – and mine – remains.

The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you. Psalm 9:9-10

Two of my closest neighbors have shared that my sweet little girl has asked their husbands if they will be her daddy. The other night she and I sat on the front porch weeping because her best little friend has a daddy at home and she doesn’t. She is desperately sorrowful about it. I keep telling her she has a daddy, but she maintains it is not the same. Which it isn’t.
I don’t know what to do. I can’t fix it. And it hurts.

Teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I believe in your commandments. Psalm 119:66


This morning we were having a relatively good morning when things just fell apart with a mean action towards her 7 year old sister, Marie…there were mean words and angry outbursts, discipline and prayer…but she is still so angry. I can see it. She is stealing herself inside and I don’t know how to stop it. I can’t seem to figure out how to parent my dear daughter. I feel like I do everything wrong.

Jane is angry at me. She asked this week, “Why doesn’t anyone like you Mom?” Ouch.

She feels I should have already remarried. And in her mind the fault lies with me. After all her daddy is remarried. I don’t have an answer for that except God’s way, God’s will, God’s timing and God’s man…but she’s 5 and that’s not something she grasps. JUST FIX IT MOMMY!

Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD! Psalm 27:14

As I sat this morning in her room while she sat angrily on the floor, I couldn’t help but ask God, “Why? God, why are you allowing my little girl to go through this?” I was angry, very angry, at God. I was ready to have words with Him…

I do not understand His plan. I do not understand why my children have to suffer.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

I’m realizing that I don’t struggle as much when difficult things happen to me. I trust Him. But I am struggling to trust His plan for my children as I watch Him allow things to happen and not to happen in their lives.

Earlier this week something didn’t happen for my oldest daughter, Caroline, that again had me a little annoyed with God. I don’t understand why things just can’t seem to work out for her. She is a wonderful, wonderful young woman who is consistently being disappointed by people and events. I DON’T UNDERSTAND. I don’t understand why God’s plan is to allow things to mess with her confidence. I just want one thing to go her way…one thing.

BUT I know that I can trust God. I know that the things He allows He will use for good in my children’s lives. I just don’t understand how and I feel a desperate need to catch a glimpse of how this is going to work out for them. I’m twisted in knots about it.

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. Psalm 42:5, 11

Even as I write God is reminding me of things that are going well. Things that are blessing my children. Ways He is working visibly.
For example, I have godly neighbors who love and pray for my children. The men Jane is asking to be her daddy are godly men who God will use to love and bless her. And my prayer partner and dear friend’s husband is going to take my Jane on a date next week. Another kind friend from church has asked about mentoring Caroline. I’ve been praying for someone to come alongside her for 5 years! I’m so excited I could bust. Those are good things! I forget those when I’m in the middle of things.

I forget a lot in the middle of my emotions.

But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more. My mouth will tell of your righteous acts, of your deed of salvation all the day, for their number is past my knowledge. With the mighty deeds of the Lord GOD I will come; I will remind them of your righteousness, yours alone. Psalm 71:14-16


I forget that God has been faithful…God has loved us in innumerable ways…God has provided for us over and over again. I hate that I forget and get all mixed up with my emotions.

When Caroline and I were working through her sorrow and disappointment earlier this week, I reminded her of all the good things we have and we were comforted that God loves us and takes care of us.

So at the beginning-ish of this post I mentioned that I remember the moment when I decided I wasn’t going to have a curl-up-and-cry kinda day.

It was the moment right after I was sitting with my angry little girl and I was mentally yelling at God. I looked at my little girl and I realized that I want her to run to God and love Him with all her heart, soul, mind, and strength…I want her to trust Him. He is the ONLY answer to all our struggles. Where else would we go?

You know that difficult place of questioning God and not trusting His goodness? Well I’m not going to go there.

I’m just not.

At least I’m going to try hard not to.

I want to show my children what it looks like to run to God rather than curling up in a ball. I want to show them that God will bless us through our difficulties…that He will provide hope for us.

He will take care of our children and be all that they need. He will give us the protection we need as we stand firm…no need to curl up in a ball! He will lead us and love us.

Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long. Psalm 24:4-5

Do You Feel Loved?

Yellow loveToday I feel loved.

Lately it’s been difficult to grasp that I’m lovable…that anyone could really and truly love me.

And yes I know that God loves me…perfectly, relentlessly, beautifully, unconditionally, and passionately…all the ways I want to be loved. But I guess after my husband left, I’ve wanted someone to love me – to be willing to fight for me. To love me enough to do this life with me no matter what God calls us to.

But today, God loved me so tangibly I really and truly got it. I felt it to my core that God loves me.

I have to stop here and say God has loved me in this way before, often. Especially after my husband left…golly, did He love me! It’s just that I got my eyes off of Him and started getting all insecure in my life rather than recognizing that God knows me and loves me completely!

This morning I had my ladies’ Bible study and I was practically skipping afterwards. God just loved on me through those ladies and His word. How blessed I was to be reminded that He does indeed work all things together for good to those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28) He turns all that sorrow into joy…He gives us beauty for ashes.
My Bible study this week was actually on Isaiah 61:1-3

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion – to give them a beautiful headdress, instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the plantings of the LORD, that he may be glorified.


God has sent Jesus to bring us good news, bind up our broken hearts, free us from the things that hold us captive like fear, insecurities, anxiety, sorrow, and sin, to comfort us and give us beauty instead of ashes.

That passage has so much in it. I just want to pull it apart and ponder it all. But today God just poured beauty all over me.

The ashes of sorrow and shame and sadness were replaced with a crown of beauty. A crown because I am a daughter of the King. A beautiful crown because I’m a dearly loved daughter of the King.

What a wonder!

It’s God and me…no matter what happens in my life…He will never leave me nor forsake me.

Forsake means “to quit or leave entirely; abandon; desert.” Those things have been my experience with the most important person in my life. And yet, although I struggle with much because of his decision to leave, there is a greater love I have found.

For me, the key to living in security, strength, and without sorrow and fear has been to focus on His love for me…to study His word, to get to know Him better, to know His character, and to find Him to be all that I need…even all that I want.

I wrote this a few years ago…God reminded me of it today:

“So here I am: single, divorced, and exhausted. I have to be brutally honest, this is so not where I thought I would be at this point in my life. Being single in my forties is not ideal. But even though my fairy-tale glass slipper was shattered before I got to the ball, my carriage turned into a pumpkin at 10:00 pm, and my prince was certainly no prince, I’m doing all right.
I have a better Prince who has truly rescued me. He might not hold me tight at night and whisper sweet words in my ear, but His presence is comforting and His words are encouraging and true. My fairy tale might not have followed the story line I had hoped for, but I know that the ending is going to be sweet! I’m excited to see what God is going to continue to do in my life and the lives of my children.” (When Happily Ever After Shatters, p125)

It’s Him and me.

I love Him and He loves me! I’m so thankful!