samanthasound

Archive for the ‘thoughts on God’ Category

the beautiful trait of neediness

In thoughts on God, thoughts on things on August 11, 2012 at 11:15 am

we think we are big and strong and can handle depriving ourselves of sustenance, like the pride that comes with how many meals you can say you’ve skipped (and for what?), the pride of being the busiest, most pressured, most caffeinated, the person who wins the trophy of being able to shout, “my life is the busiest, but look! i’m still alive!  and i’m handling it great!”

pride. because it’s what we can attribute to ourselves.  our power.  our strength. how awesome we are.

let’s learn to be okay with neediness.  to learn the trait of neediness.  we live in a culture priding itself on not needing.  i don’t need you, or this, or that, or anything, all i need is me and in me.  let’s learn the beautiful admittance that i cannot do it.  the lovely habit of following my need of Jesus straight to Him.  i am NOT big enough.  i am NOT strong enough.  to follow the heart-string tug of the Spirit that hums, “Come to Me, little one” and to fall straight at His feet instead of doing this one last thing or thinking, “yes, but later”  is to take royal advantage of the very thing Jesus died for.  for you and me to have access to the Throne-room of God.  here.  and now.

let’s learn the luxury of steeping in His presence as needed.  not once every morning, or once we’ve waited and withheld ourselves long enough that we’re near anorexic of Him, just to binge in a strange mix of self-condemnation and self-righteousness, where we try to spend enough time there to make up for the time lost, and then we do it all over again.


to recognize your need is God’s grace on you.  follow it and feast.

Advertisements

may

In thoughts on God, thoughts on me, thoughts on things on May 8, 2012 at 9:44 am

it’s almost eight am, and i’m enjoying my second successful morning staying awake after john has left for work.  that is, second of 5 total mornings : )  5:30 is early y’all!

i frequently shake my head in disbelief that this is life now, this is my life.  like this morning – him with his work shirt on, embroidered name patch on the right side, leaving with his lunch packed and a kiss goodbye – us in this little apartment doing life as a unit.  thank you Jesus!  it is still so new.

okay, less gushing!  but it is indeed a full, overflowing season, a time of fulfillment of so many of the Lord’s promises to me personally.

many people make it seem like marriage is the end goal of young life.  you finally get married to that person you’ve been waiting for, and you settle into your house, your schedule, your pattern, until you reach the perfect equilibrium of comfort in life.  and while there is plenty of that “settling into” for us already, and beautifully so, i find that marriage has been the most sling-shot-y launching point into vibrant life, the life abundant, to the full – spiritually, emotionally, everything-ally.   we are babies in a life that i haven’t even scratched the surface imagining. 

i have a desire to create and write that is insatiable.  i’m so happy i get to go to sleep early and wake up early, and have time to take time in God’s presence, and creating.  and breakfast : )  more of that, Lord!

i love may.  everything is new.

a couple of inspies:

  • flowers
  • farmers markets
  • transition from spring to summer
  • fresh fruits and vegetables
  • a time of dreaming
  • “early to rise” inspiration – what’s your ideal start to the day?
  • yard sales

roads

In thoughts on God, thoughts on things on April 6, 2012 at 1:59 pm

you know that feeling when you’re traveling, and you suddenly realize you might be lost?  you might have taken a wrong turn somewhere, or missed your turn all together.  and all of a sudden, when you admit in your mind that it’s a possibility you are lost, you suddenly become hyper-aware of the length of the road you’re on.  every inch feels like that much longer that you’ll be off course, that much farther away from where you think you’re supposed to be.  every sight you see feels that much more unfamiliar.

there’s a road in my home town that i know well.  in the middle of the developing city, around business buildings and busy streets, it remains a piece of rural Raleigh.  beautiful country fields on either side, horses and hay bales, old farm homes and ranches, oak and pine trees.  it really only connects two big streets, a definite beginning and end.  but if i didn’t live here, if i didn’t know my way, it would be a street that i could feel lost on, and it would seem to lead me further into lostness, further into nowhere that i know or think i should be.

it is a beautiful street, one of my favorite streets to cut through on.  to me, it’s a quick pass.  to a stranger to these parts, trying to find some place specific, it’s a long road you’d wonder if you should be on.

i’ve had a lot of seasons in my life like this.  i know i’m following directions all right, and after a while i get a pretty good idea of the pace and destination.  in the thick of the journey i just go, and lose sight of precision in my directions.  and then, the creeping realization – “did i go too far?” “did i miss my turn?”  which quickly turns into full-out panic.  i am lost.  and the road i’m on, because i cannot see the destination on the other side, becomes impossibly long, impossibly out in the middle of nowhere.  wilderness.

this is when i retrack my steps in my head.  i read the directions carefully, out load, and slowly, usually with complemting hand gestures.  this is the point at which i question where i am, how i got there, where i’m going, and usually assume i am in the wrong place.

God loves that road in my life.  in between point A and point B, points of clear revelations of himself to me and his plan for me,  He directs me.  He directs -sometimes i assume control, sometimes i think i know which way to go, i assume where point B is and how i should get there, and why that point B, and the way to it, is the best.  sometimes He quiets His voice of leading.  and i drive, and i drive, until the impasse that seems long and lost.

the rural road in my home town is one of my favorites because i know it well – where it is, where it takes me – and it is a hidden gem of beauty.  i see the beauty because i’m confident of where i’m going.

for all the roads in my life of apparent wildnerness, i’m reminding you – look around and see how really beautiful it is.  you won’t be led astray.

fear & bravery

In thoughts on God, thoughts on things on February 3, 2012 at 11:23 am

i so desire bravery.   

bravery cannot exist without fear.

let me tell you the truth about how i feel about fear.

fear is a nasty thing in our society – American society and American church society.  if you have it?  don’t expect to succeed in that job of yours.  don’t expect to get promoted, don’t expect to achieve your dreams.  you are crippled, and as good as someone thrown in the quarantine room.  what i hear all the time is “don’t be afraid!” and “let go of your fear!”

well, i would like to call ye olde proverbial BS!

fear is one of the heartbeats of life.  it is what the best stories are made of!  it is next to love, passion, and adventure.  a life without fear would denote a life choked out, and really, you’d just be lying to say you didn’t have any.

it’s what we do with that fear that matters.  of course, i don’t mean to live a life of fear, because then you would be crippled!  you would be the one sitting in your house all the time trying to avoid that which scares you.  take fear and admit it, and bring it in the love-light of Jesus!  it cannot be cast out without His love!  don’t deny it.  don’t shove it into the quarantine room of your heart.  His Love makes us brave in the face of what is scary.  because He is bigger than the biggest thing that scares us in the biggest way.  and He loves us.

John A Shedd wrote,

“A ship in harbor is safe — but that is not what ships are built for.”


2012

In thoughts on God, thoughts on me, thoughts on things on January 1, 2012 at 8:43 pm

the fire is burning, the rain is coming down, mean girls is on the tv, and i am excited to paint my toenails a bright cherry red.  2012 is here y’all, and there’s something great about it!  don’t you agree?

i haven’t always been a lover of the new years resolution.  it’s always seemed a little stressful to try and “perfect” my life by promising to achieve ultimate health and wellness, become extremely well-read, and a myriad of other things that i really would like out of my life, all at once.  re: my intense love for taking my time, gradual change, sweet tea… you know the drill.

but as a lover of lists and goals in general, i’ve come to embrace the year-long outlook and have developed an appreciation for realistic, challenging, and inspiring goals and exciting reminders about the things to come in the new year.

2012 is going to be a year i’ll remember all my life.  i absolutely love the turning of new seasons in life!  there’s so much that will be going on and changing so quickly this year.  i recall the words of my dear newlywed gal-pal emily, “there will be times when everything will overwhelm you.  enjoy those times.  enjoy it all.”   and that, emily and all, is what i resolve to do!

2011 was a year that was difficult, sweet, blessing-filled, a year where the Lord pursued my heart and i experienced new and deep things with Him.  i started dating John, rode a roller-coaster of jobs, learned more how to trust God with every detail of my life, joined a church, wrote and recorded songs, and got engaged.  so i blow a kiss to 2011 and smile at the things to come!

in 2012 i will get a stable job, praise the Lord.

in 2012 i will plan and prepare for a wedding and marriage.

in 2012, i’m gonna get married!

in 2012, i’ll move into and make a sweet, warm home with my husband-to-be, John.

in 2012, i’ll have wonderfully recorded versions of some songs of mine to share with everyone!

.

in 2012, i resolve to more intentionally seek the Lord first in my day, with my time, my mind, my heart, and my will.  to not forsake my first love, and to love Him first!

in 2012, i resolve to become more of an intercessor.

in 2012, i resolve to love the people around me more intentionally and nurture the relationships i have.

i resolve to laugh a lot!  great big laughs of freedom and love!

for january (with my month-to-month resolution friends) i resolve to limit soda (i’m not a huge soda buff to begin with) and not eat fries!  ah! you can take my sodas but you can never take…. my french fries!!!

.

and you know, there are plenty of other things, but i’ll keep it at that.

so with a belly full of black eyed peas and collard greens, happy 2012 to you –  a year of blessing and breakthrough!

day 100 – the perks and challenges of nomadic living

In thoughts on God, thoughts on me on December 29, 2011 at 4:28 pm

i guess you could say i’ve reached expert status in moving.  but it doesn’t get any easier the more you do it.

since moving for college in 2005, i’ve moved residences seven times.  now eight, counting the recent move back into my parents house.  before the year is over i will move one more time, into a home with John.  that will be nine moves in eight years.

if you’ve ever moved, you know that it’s taxing on more than just your time, effort, and ability to acquire dozens of cardboard boxes.  it’s taxing on your mind, emotions, and will.  it’s difficult to account for every little last item you own, from every piece of too-big-i-don’t-know-what-to-do-with-it furniture, to every last one of the gagillion paper clips and pens in every obscure drawer.  it’s difficult to ask for help, because you know you can’t do all that by yourself.  so often in the middle of moves i’ve thought, “i can’t wait to have one place where all my things will stay put for a long, long time.”   and still, i have that thought.

some moves are well thought out and planned.  other moves are leaps of faith and make your heart stronger and  your skin tougher.  either way, every move is a little scary.  it’s a new life, a new pattern, new habits, new people, new places and ways of doing things, whether it’s across state or country lines or whether it’s a move down the street.  it’s a definitive step into the unknown.

but i think what i’m coming to learn as a seasoned nomad is that all your belongings being in one place for a long time, enough to make it “home,” really isn’t the point.  it’s a nice thought, one that brings comfort, ownership, and security.  it makes you feel in control of your life, because you can dream and plan and live around the central location of that place.  and not that those things are bad things, but they’re not the point.  they’re not the main goals of life and living, to have one place to call home.   that’s been a tough lesson to learn.

i may have that one place, or i might not.  and it’s okay either way, because my home is not here.  oh, dear hearts!  he’s made us for heaven to be with Him!  the more i move all my things and myself around, the fuller i learn that.  and let me be honest, it’s hard every time i learn it, but it’s precious.  i may live on a farm in the countryside of Pennsylvania for 20 years or i might live in 100 more places and countries around the world before i die, and this short span of years is just the training ground.  the point is, i can and must forever trust the Lord with my life.  He’s taken me all these places in such a short amount of time, proving his love and care with me, letting me learn and find home in Him, which i’ll be doing the rest of my life.  and though it’s not been easy (really, who can say their life is?), it’s been an incredible journey literally laced with the Father’s grace, favor, and love.

here’s to many more years of that, and a true home sweet home in the presence of my God and King!

day 96 – if you’re hungry, go find food

In thoughts on God, thoughts on me on December 9, 2011 at 12:06 pm

simple enough, right?

i was sitting in the audience when the man up front said those words, and then continued on with his message.  that simple phrase hit me, and i just held on to it.  i was hungry, and acting like i didn’t know where my food source was!  yes, i know where it comes from, but i just go on eating stuff that isn’t really food at all and always feel like i am tired, have so little to give, or that i’m just getting by.

ie: so much of my life.  can i get really down and personal with y’all?  i look for food everywhere, and i love to eat.  in my relationships i look for food to eat up and to make me bigger and stronger.  i look for food in my purposes and plans, in what i’m doing or planning on doing that is or seems important or impressive – my jobs, my blog, and all the other hats i wear.  i look for food in entertainment.  i look for it in the pantry, in my bank account, in my cup of coffee, and in my closet.

i have no other way to describe it than food.  real, good food that fills up the innermost parts of me.  as i get older i am learning that the best way to start my day – no matter what, no matter how christian-totalitarian it sounds, no matter what is going on in life, in pleasant plenty or in distress – the best way to start my day is with a heaping portion of food.  

to feast on the Word.  this requires so little of us that it seems like it can’t be real.  all we have to do is show up, sit down, and start eating.  isn’t that what we all really want?  feasting.  gorging!  going for seconds and thirds if we want.  hot, fresh, steaming food.  ice cold cups of water.  rich wines, endless.  fine cheeses.  there is plenty.  have you ever seen the movie Hook?  you know when Peter Banning sits at the table and sees the feast for the first time, with heaping bowls of colors and meats and fruits and anything you could possibly imagine?  it’s like that.  that’s what i mean.

wake up and take a BIG bite.  eat!  don’t worry about cleaning up before you sit at the table, just come right like you are!  the Word of God is the truest food.  it fills up in ways no other thing can fill – whether otherwise good things or downright bad things.  good and even great things made into the thing become bad things.   it’s trying to feast and survive on things that aren’t real food.  the good things resemble food but are just other parts of the party, and you’ve gotta eat to really enjoy them.  no one likes a cranky party guest trying to do business without having had a nice meal around the table with friends.

you know?  it is just so simple.  if you’re hungry, go find food.

.

“On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.  And he will swallow up on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations.  He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from the earth, for the LORD has spoken.”

Isaiah 25: 6-9

.

“In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as all riches.  Open my eyes that I may behold wondrous things our of your law.  Your testimonies are my delight, they are my counselors.  Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain!  Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.  I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil.  Great peace have those who love your law, nothing can make them stumble.  My soul keeps your testimonies, I love them exceedingly.  I keep your precepts and testimonies, for all my ways are before you.”

Psalm 119 (various verses)

.

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth… And from His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.”

John 1:14, 16

.

and just for fun, Jesus’ first miraculous act:

“…there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee.  Jesus was invited to the wedding with his disciples.  When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.”  And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me?  My hour has not yet come.”  His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

There were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons.  Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.”  And they filled them up to the brim.  And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.”  So they they took it.  When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine.  But you have kept the good wine until now.”  This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory.  And his disciples believed in him.”

John 2: 1-12

.

haha!  He so loves a good feast!

so eat up!

day 93 – you don’t have to be miss america to be like the proverbs 31 woman (but it’s okay if you are)

In thoughts on God, thoughts on people on November 30, 2011 at 2:12 pm

i love proverbs 31.  timeless beauty, heart, and a phenomenal example of a woman who loves the Lord.

notice, seamless conversational skills, unbeatable charm, a teensy waistline and perfect skin, pinterest-worthy outfits, a million dollars and super-success not included. (but not excluded, either, ya know?)

her husbands heart trusts in her.

she is wise

she sows seeds for the future

she goes the extra mile to care for the people around her, even her helpers,

she opens her hands to the poor and reaches out to the needy!

she dresses herself in anthropologie….

oh wait, woops!  she dresses herself in strength and dignity.

when she speaks, it is wisdom and kindness.

isn’t that beautiful?

she takes the beauty in her heart and puts it on all the things and people around her.

day 87 – thanks!

In thoughts on God, thoughts on me on November 24, 2011 at 12:32 am

for the love of God

(the fullest, most complete, most irrational and unconditional love!)

the blood and life and righteousness of Jesus

(the prettiest garments i know)

the presence of His Spirit

(the best friend i have)

for my sweet family who loves me

for my wonderful friend-family

my heated blanket and a place to sleep

food in my fridge and pantry

laughter, grace, glory, favor

north carolina skies, forests, mountains, food, coast, smells

forever learning

for God teaching me beautiful and amazing and difficult lessons because He loves me that much

counter culture el salvador coffee

simplicity

.

the heart of thankfulness illuminates the character and love of God!

i want it every day.

happy thanksgiving!

day 84 – to be needy

In thoughts on God, thoughts on things on November 21, 2011 at 11:13 pm

knowing your neediness is a good thing.

.

it’s a great thing.

the Lord loves when we recognize our state of utter neediness before him.

Jesus said,

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to them.”

poor here speaks of an abject poverty, a beggarly sort of poverty, stooping low (Deffinbaugh).

the kind of poverty looked down upon.

neediness can be so despised in the natural,

like if you are needy, you are a kind of cancer to the people around you.

but it’s been kind of nice to get “poor” training in the natural,

where I have a unique opportunity learn the literal truth of God as Provider, Protector, and Father,

and to identify with the feeling of neediness.

and he calls this sort of feeling blessed before him!

blessed are the objectly impoverished in spirit,

for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to them.