Thursday, February 27, 2014

Two Things You Must Know

What would be the ramifications in your life, your heart and your mind if you actually believed that, one, you have peace with God, and two, and you have access, by faith, into His grace?

Let’s think about these for a moment. Peace with God! If you KNOW Jesus, this peace, is yours. He’s not angry. He’s not holding your past against you. He’s not disappointed or waiting for you to get it right. NO! You have peace with Him, rest, untroubled and undisturbed peace right now. What if, you, with all the messiness of you, that YOU perceive, believe you actually were at peace with Him?

Also, what would it be like if you believed that you had access, by faith, into His grace and that you now stand in that grace?? Do you know what this means???

You have access and stand in His acceptance, favor, kindness, the absolute freeness of His loving-kindness. He doesn’t give this because of anything you do or deserve, or don’t do, for that matter. He doesn’t hold some of it back until you get it right. Nope, His only motive is because of the bounty and free-heartedness of who He is.

I imagine we could literally drown in His love for us if we really could grasp how deep and vast it is. Often times I feel just that, overwhelmed and drowning in His love. I can hardly take it in. Little things in life that reveal His love just wash over me, some days I can hardly stand up before the next wave knocks me over.

Yes, there are days I hear old thoughts about how unworthy I am, experience the extreme pain and difficulties of life, and just how unloved I can “feel”. But it is truths like these that pull me right out of the pit and set my feet to dancing!! C'mon, want to dance with me?!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

And Then I Blinked . . .

My dearest Victoria,

I can hardly believe that 18 years ago, today, you were brought forth into this world. Apparently I blinked sometime between 1996 and today, because that’s what it feels like.

I had always longed for a daughter, and after three boys, I wondered if I would ever get a girl. I had grown quite used to blue, and Lord knows I LOVE my boys, but still, a longing for all things pink wouldn’t fade.


I remember at the ultrasound when I was 20 weeks pregnant, I couldn’t wait to find out if the baby I was carrying was a boy or my long awaited girl. The tech could not tell! Are you serious?? Everyone gets to find out what they are having, how can you not tell? Well, you were breach and your girly parts were positioned right behind my c-section scar from the three previous babies. Picture a shoulder slump here.


We had a great desire to believe God for a vaginal birth from the beginning of this pregnancy. After three c-sections, this was a bit unusual and our doctor was none to thrilled. We convinced him, though, well, maybe not convinced, more of a dragging along, I think. Our faith was greatly tested during this pregnancy, even more so as it progressed. You see, you were breach, still, even towards the end. Nothing we did, no amount of praying that you would flip, commanding you to flip or even lying on an ironing board on an angle made you flip. It was hard enough to convince the doctor to deliver you ‘naturally’, but deliver a breach baby, um, no, that was pushing it to far.


A week or so before my due date we decided to do an ECV, which basically means they manually turn you while you are still inside of me. While we were waiting at the hospital we had a strange feeling, we weren’t sure if it was fear trying to stop us or a lack of peace. We ended up continuing with the procedure. They gave me a drug to completely relax my uterus and began monitoring and turning. It was the strangest sensation. I felt like the doctor could push his hands all the way through to my spine. Just as he got you flipped, your heart rate dropped dangerously low and I was rushed in for emergency delivery.


I remember, pleading with your dad to PRAY. I was praying in the spirit as they were wheeling me away. Daddy couldn’t come in the operating room because it was an emergency and they would be putting me out. I didn’t realize it then, but how terrifying that must have been for him. Watching me being rushed off, doctors and nurses everywhere, him standing there on the other side of closed doors. I remember my doctor seemed scared and angry. I remember hearing metal pans and utensils crash to the floor. I remember a very calming voice, the anesthesiologist, telling me to count, gently holding my face. I remember counting, and seeing a mask cover my face. That’s it. That is I all I remember until I woke up in a different room.

Similar panic seemed to be going on, nurses everywhere. One of the first things I saw was Daddy, holding a baby all wrapped up in a blanket. He was smiling. He assured me everything was all right, but I was not quite all right yet. I was bleeding heavily, likely due to the medication to relax my uterus, it wouldn’t cramp down. Nurses were pushing and squeezing my stomach, I had no pain medication in me, as the c-section was an emergency, there was no time for an epidural, so I felt everything, including the incision. I could feel this deep, intense pain like nothing I have ever experienced, even to this day. My blood pressure was dropping and I was starting to fade away. Things became strange, I could hear and see what was going on, but I could no longer feel it anymore. It was like I was watching it happen. I knew it was so painful, but I couldn’t feel it.

In a matter of moments everything became clear again. Things started to calm down, I looked over, there was Daddy, still holding you, swaying and smiling. I asked him if you were a girl or boy. He said a girl! I did not believe him. Literally, I did not believe you were a girl. I made him unwrap you and show me. I couldn’t believe it. After all of what we had just been through, it all just melted away as we reveled in the beauty of YOU.


We couldn’t decide on a name. It was either Victoria or Rachel. We asked the nurses. We went back and forth. It wasn’t long though, you were clearly Victoria! Triumphant, victorious. Your birth, a perfect example of the victory we have in Christ and how we are always triumphant in Him. Victoria Lynn it is!

I cannot tell you how our world became a sea of pink. I finally had a daughter and she was going to wear pink! Purple? No. Pink? Bring it on. You had more headbands and barrettes than you did hair. Pink bows, pink sock, pink dresses and pajamas and onesies. Why on earth would I put a white onesie on you, when pink was available? Not everyone understood the logic behind this, but I didn’t care. I was thrilled to be swimming in that sea of pink.


You have always been bright and strong and tender and graceful. Your outward beauty is just a small example of how beautiful you are on the inside. I marvel at woman you have become and what the Lord has planned for you. I delight to be your mama. You have exceeded all I could have ever hoped for in a daughter. You are my friend, my encourager, my example, my sister in Christ and I love you so very much.

It is with great, great humility that I say I am so proud of you. I do not, for one second, take credit for the amazing woman you are. Yes, your Daddy and I have been stewards of this gift of you, but I can assure you, it is ALL by His grace that you are who you are. ALL of your gifts and ALL of your talents and ALL of your ‘smarts’, it is from your Father above! You have no idea how my heart swells and joy fills my heart when I see all He has done in you.


Proverbs 31 is so often brought up regarding women, and while I do believe it is an example of a woman and her accomplishments over a lifetime, it pleases me to see so much of this portion of scripture already in you. Some still in very seed form, some embryonic, some still maturing fruit and some, the most beautiful, ripe fruit I have ever seen in such a young woman. Never look at this scripture as a to-do list or as an excuse to perform. It is an example of the work of God and His grace in a woman’s life. And remember, while each verse is a worthy goal, there is only ONE, one thing, sweet Victoria that really matters,

“Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.”

One thing, daughter, one thing. Mary, Martha’s sister, she found it.

And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word.  But Martha was distracted with much serving,

David, he mentioned it in Psalm 27

“One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek, inquire for, and [insistently] require: that I may dwell in His presence all the days of my life, to behold and gaze upon the beauty the sweet attractiveness and the delightful loveliness of the Lord and to meditate, consider, and inquire in His temple.”

I leave you with the above verse, one of my absolute favorites. I pray that above all things you will seek the one thing that really matters. I have no doubt that you will excel in many, many things and will have many accomplishments. But this one thing, Victoria, sit at His feet, seek HIM, inquire and insistently require His presence all the days of your life! Behold and gaze upon HIS beauty, always this one thing.


I am unceasingly thankful to be your mama. Truly, you are a gift, Victoria!