being still ~ flathead lake

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hi friends ~

there just seems to be something special about water, isn’t there?   i wonder if {in part} that’s why Jesus approached the disciples when they were fishing out in the ocean?  and  about peter… 

our girl’s get-away at flathead lake earlier this summer 
was a season of growth.  
a season of seven days ~ for seven women. 
friendship old and comfortable; 
new ones, fresh and sweet. 
a beautiful blending of bonds forged and strengthened. 

for our walk in faith. our living for Christ.  
our understanding {deeper} of grace.  

spending time together can do that.  

we each bring burdens.  insecurities. doubts. fears. health issues. wishlists. wounds. singleness. divorce, and death of loved ones. and perhaps we think like this…  “when looking to God doesn’t feel like enough?” {emily freeman}

seasons of leaning in… falling in.  failing … and listening. 

we came together as friends, old and new ~ yes. but our true, and precious commonaility is as Sisters in Christ. we brought up our packed-up art supplies, sewing, books, and “want-to” lists…  and our unpacked baggage, too.  

and He helps us unpack.  unload. learn. {unlearn}. 
be still. 
be grace. 
as we learn to love Him ~ more.
to lavishly give ~ and live in ~ His grace ~ 
so preciously given. 
 to friends. family. strangers and sisters. 
for all of our days left.

we sit together.  
sometimes there’s quiet talk.  
most times, there is not.  
and pray.  
{if necessary, use words}.
 we dream.  we imagine. we gaze.  

and we are amazed.

we find wild horses in the sky… in the dreamy clouds of the sunsets on the water..

in the laughter and glory. 
we drink in both. 
desperate for the refreshment.
we praise the Father for this gift.

and we revel that God does this all over the world for so many ~ not just for us.

but here … in this place… He does it just for us.
just for this moment.
and He binds us together 
in these precious gifts of time 
that only He can lavish upon us.

we watch til the evening darkens.
and quiet night descends.  
and we breathe in.  
and let go.

and hold on to the promises:

“…be still… {cease striving} 
and know that I am God.”  
Psalm 46:10

i’ve been reading emily freeman, author of
{quoted from her book}, she says this: 
“the word we read as cease is sometimes read 
be still, let go, return.  
but the the first way, the original way, is a verb that means 
{oh.  okay.  let’s dive in deeper…}
she goes on to write: “the short definition of this  hebrew word {sink} is raphah, is “fail.” fail and know that I am God.
as we begin to uncover the art of God had in mind when He made us, as we begin to wake up to our deepest desires and expose them in the presence of Jesus, there is a real possibility we will become overwhelmed with one of two realities in front of us.  either we have lived alot of our lives denying who we truly are and we feel discouraged for the wasted time, or we see what we most deeply desire and want to forsake everything in order to have those desires satisfied now.
we are in danger of sinking into either regret and anxiety 
or self-effort and self-expression.
but God invities us into a different kind of sinking. 
…this isn’t the kind of sinking into the frigid depths of an impersonal sea.
… this sinking is one into knowing, knowing he is God.”
{and grace.  more grace.}
what if… 
“what if we began to see our art as something other than our idea?  what if it was less lofty and more necessary to our daily rhythm? what if your art is part of the bigger picture?
part of a daily grace God has in mind for someone else?
aren’t we all scared fisherman in a boat?”
“we are all Peter, standing ankle deep in cold water.”
“…so Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink.”save me Lord!” he shouted.  Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”  {Matt. 14:29-31}
emily freeman ~ a million little ways.

emily continues:  “we are all like peter…  and upon this rock, He builds.  and builds. and builds…. Peter who refuses to receive the service of Jesus in humility. Peter who suggests the Lord could avoid the cross — he is called rock and given the keys to the kingdom of heaven.”

emily: “the miracle, upside-down work of God is that our failure isn’t an obstacle, it’s an opportunity 
to remember to sink into God.  
not having what it takes isn’t a liability
it’s a prerequisite.” {emily freeman}
{thank God}

gifts. and more gifts ~ everywhere.
a learning to be quick to listen ~ slow to speak
praying without ceasing.
listening for His still voice.
falling {and failing} into Him.
giving thanks for our sweet devotions 
and prayer time ~ together.
one thousand gifts in every moment.  
if we will ~ but be still.
“You are art and you make art, but you are not your art.  
You are God’s art.” {emily freeman}

Lord ~ teach us ~ help us 
to each live out our art in You.

thank you emily!  it’s a wonderful book.  {and i am not even half-way through yet!} 

soli deo gloria!

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