Wednesday, October 31, 2018


We have spent a lot of time outdoors lately talking about the beautiful weather God made.  A few days ago we went on a scavenger hunt around our neighborhood.  We looked for red leaves, yellow leaves, orange leaves, brown leaves, pine cones and acorns.  As the kids were picking up the leaves Anna-Kate looked up at me and asked, “mommy, why are the leaves changing colors? 
I told her the leaves get less light each day and they stop making food to prepare for the winter. The Chlorophyll which is the green color breaks down the other colors in the leaves begin to show. Eventually the stems of the leaves will weaken and the leaves fall from the trees.  
My sweet girl looked up at me and said, “so they have to be broken to be beautiful?”
“Yes, sweet girl.  Yes. “
How I needed to hear those words in that moment. This isn’t some new idea or thought but it was the perfect reminder for me in the moment I needed to hear it. We are broken to be made beautiful. In this season, it seems everything is continually broken. Everything from hearts, relationships, families, sickness, our country, and the devastation I’ve seen in Hurricane Michael (more on this later). Our world is so incredibly broken. 
One thing I know as I’ve walked through brokenness and walked with others through brokenness is God is there in the midst of brokenness, in suffering. He draws His people to Himself.  He raises up His church. 
Isaiah 61:3 says, “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 planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.” He brings beauty from ashes. 
There is an old Jewish tale about a student who asks a rabbi, “Why does the Torah say we lay these words upon our hearts? Why does it not say we lay these words in our hearts?” The rabbi replies, “Because God knows that our hearts are closed, so we lay the words upon our hearts. When our hearts break, the words fall in.”
Yesterday I was having lunch with one of my mentors.  I was telling her some areas I could use some wisdom right now.  Situations I don’t know how to handle.  We were talking about the importance of renewing your mind.  Reading scripture, memorizing scripture, meditating scripture, and here recently I have played the audio Bible in our home. We must put His word upon our heart so that it can go INTO our hearts. 
This is what I know.  Whatever is going on in our lives God’s truth heals it.  We have no free mind space, so we have to take negative thoughts and replace them with the truth.  If we are going to get through this thing and we will, we need to have the mind of Christ. That means we are taking every thought captive and making it obedient to Christ. 
There is beauty in the ashes. 

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