Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Cell Phone

Lately I feel as though my life has, in essence, exploded. I don’t mean for this to have a negative connotation, so please don’t hear that. I do mean that I am not the same that I was 6 months ago and I am not even the same today as I was yesterday. When I say “exploded” I am referring to the physics of an explosion completely changing the look and feel, the topography and physical recognition of whatever is in the zone of impact. The explosion is the power of the Holy Spirit and my life is the zone of impact.

In the last year or so I have endured trials of many kinds: I have been hurt and I have been hurtful; I have received Truth and I have believed lies; I have been forgiven and I have forgiven; I have been judged and I have made judgments; I have been accepted and I have felt rejected; I have loved and I have been loved; I have learned and I have slacked off; I have given much and I have received much. These things aren’t different than any other person’s life or any other season of life. So what am I learning in this particular season of trials and blessings?

I was listening to a teaching at Origins Church in Boulder Sunday night about The Pattern of Surrender. Pastor Ramin Razavi started in Ezekiel 47:1-12 about the vision Ezekiel had of walking out from the temple through the different levels of water (seriously, you should check it out!) and he posed this question: “How deep are we willing to go in the living water of Christ?”

This made me think about my own faith.

Faith: such a heavy word. So much is encompassed in just this one concept.

So as I was driving home from Denver, worshipping and praying and trying to listen, I asked the Holy Spirit about that next depth of Living Water I am to venture into. He asked me what I want it to be. I remembered some of the ministry from the Healing Path Day Retreat (based out of Robin Pasley's book) I had the privilege of attending on Saturday regarding being best friends with the Holy Spirit. Now, as I have mentioned in the past, I am kind of new to the whole concept of the Spirit’s ministry in and through me. So I expressed the desire to have that best friendship and to understand Him more so we can move together naturally as one.

He told me to call my (sleeping) husband (poor thing). I couldn’t understand what that had to do with anything. I honestly thought, well sheesh, here I am trying to spend time with You to understand You better and You want me to call my husband…

So I called Tom and he was very gracious and loving and we chatted for a few minutes but I was in the mountains and had bad reception so he kept asking me to repeat myself and I kept asking him to repeat himself and it was really just kind of silly to try to have a conversation at all. So we decided to get off the phone and talk later when I was in a place with better reception.

I hung up the phone and gave this kind of puzzled look of “Huh?” to the Holy Spirit. He then began to reveal to me how I view communicating with Him and Jesus and the Father. I realized through this conviction that I feel like I’m talking on a cell phone with bad reception whenever I am praying.

Of course, this isn’t an accurate picture of what it looks like to communicate with the Almighty God. Jesus says in Matthew 28:20: “I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  He didn’t say “I am just a cell phone call away, and if you get lucky, I’ll answer! And if you get really lucky, there might even be good reception and you’ll be able to clearly hear My voice!”

So, why do I feel like the latter words are more accurate than the actual words of Jesus?

I wish I had an answer to share with you. I am still trying to sort through all of my issues to hopefully discover what has caused me to believe this lie that communicating with the One who loves me so dearly and rejoices over me and is with me always is like talking through bad cell phone reception. I am on a mission to discover what has caused me to think of this as normal and live the lie that I won’t ever be able to have clarity in communicating with my Lord. For surely, since He is with me always, He is as close as my own breath and He is able to whisper sweetly in my ear and I am able to confide in Him at any moment. I long to walk in faith that this is true; I want my life to reflect that I am in constant communion with my Maker.

In all of my recent learning and revelation, I feel as though my eyes have been opened and I can finally SEE clearly. I wrote about how I feel like I finally received my corrective lenses in the spiritual realm here. I truly believe that as I discover where the roots of these lies about communicating in the spiritual realm come from and I root them out of my life, I will receive spiritual hearing aids and I will hear with clarity beyond what I can fathom and I will walk in communion with my Lord like never before!

When I get it all figured out, I’ll share with you, dear readers, so that you, too, might find the freedom that is being offered me. If you have already found said freedom, please do share about your journey that I might be encouraged and blessed and find the answers all the sooner!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Sweetness of a Daughter

I stayed home sick from work on Friday. My mom was wonderful (as usual) and stayed to take care of the kids anyway so I could get some rest. At lunch time Kylee was helping Mom make pb&j sandwiches. Not expecting her to make my lunch, too, when she came in to ask me what kind of jelly I wanted I said, "You're making a sandwich for me!?" She replied, "Yes, yes I am!" and giggled her cute little girl giggle all the way back into the kitchen to retrieve the jelly from the refrigerator. I marveled at how big my baby girl has gotten as she bounded back and forth from the kitchen to my post on the couch several times, asking me if I wanted crunchy or creamy peanut butter, if I wanted something to drink, and what kind of chips I wanted for a side.

Of course my sandwich was very yummy! I have to admit, however, that a cup of hot soup may have been more helpful in soothing what was ailing me, but I would never trade that peanut butter and jelly sandwich and jalapeño Cheetos for a cup of the world's best chicken noodle soup! The love my sweet daughter poured into making me lunch that day had more healing qualities than any cup of soup could ever have, I'm sure of it!

Later that evening Kylee and I were spending time together on the couch. She looked at me and said, "Mommy, when I asked you what kind of sandwich you wanted today for lunch, you said, 'You're going to make a sandwich for me?!' but why wouldn't I make a sandwich for you? I'm your daughter! Of course I'd make a sandwich for you! I love you. I'd do anything for you!"

Talk about melting a Mommy's heart!

I don't know how she came to this conclusion. Perhaps Tom and I have mentioned something before along the lines of our roles as parents causing us to love our children and be willing to do anything for them. Perhaps it's just a part of her love language of acts of service. Whatever it is, I was touched and blessed by her words.

Her declaration of devotion also made me think about my own idea of what it looks like to be a daughter in the Kingdom. I thought about when Jesus said in John 14:15: "If you love Me, you will obey what I command." Now obviously I haven't and wouldn't command my daughter to make me a sandwich or to be willing to do anything for me. But we do teach our children that the reason they are to obey is to show their love for Jesus and for their parents. Whatever motivated my daughter's words, I was inspired by her to examine my own response to my heavenly Father's love. It's so easy to get caught up in concerning myself more with what my Daddy has to give to me or how He will love me or take care of me, rather than focusing on how I can respond to His love by serving Him, "of course!" and being willing to do anything for Him.

So my sweet Kylee, as she has grown from a tiny toddler "making coffee" for Mommy in her play kitchen with her play dishes to being a little lady helping Grammy in the real kitchen making real sandwiches with real food, has succeeded in truly blessing my heart and teaching me more about the heart of a daughter.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Year in the Life...

of Josiah David Kushnerick.

A story of the first year or our son's life in pictures with captions from his perspective (pretty much):

This is my family getting ready for me to come.

My sisters didn't know what they were in for!

My Daddy couldn't wait to have a turn to hold me.

I was a pretty big baby growing in my mommy's tummy!

Hello world. Happy birthday to me!

My Daddy. He's a super hero.

My mommy. She was surprised I came so quickly!

My big sisters. I think we have a great future of mischief in store!

"Aunt" Ashley. She saved the day and helped Mommy deliver me at home. Oops!

Home again and getting my first bath. Not too sure about this...

Yep. I'm an angel.

I like these girls.

Hello, Cousin Alaina. Nice to meet you.

I'm practicing an Irish jig.

So sleepy.

I like to cuddle with my mommy.

Aww sister kisses! My favorite.

Yep. I'm pretty much a big deal.

Play hard; crash hard.

Okay Kylee, now take me to the dog food!

Okay, Mom, I'll pose in this ridiculous outfit, but only because I love you.

You can call me Siah Man. I'm gangsta, yo.

Merry Christmas! Not sure what this is all about, but there are lots of shiny things around and my sisters are super excited...

Just readin. I'll be out in a minute...

Hello, Grammy! Nice to meet you. So glad you could make it for Christmas!

So, now what? I'm a little cold here...

Just call me stud muffin. I'm ready to meet the ladies!

I crash like my Daddy. We're pretty cute like that.

Yum! I could get used to eating this way.

Yep, Daddy's happy I'm a boy!

Just layin' around. I will figure out how to get that shiny box thing with the flashy light from you soon...

I want the "My First Bacon." Think Geek is my favorite!

I'm soooo big!

What?! We weren't doin' nothin'.

Lookin' like a foo' with yo' pants on yo' head!

Okay, now how do I get out of this?

Mmmmm delicious coffee!

Wait; I think this might be the wrong end... How do you work this thing??

Hi Mom! I'm ready to get up now. I can stand up now, too! 

Hey, where'd my snack go?? I kind of feel like Franken-baby...

Ridin' along in my automobile...

Happy Easter, Daddy! We're lookin' good!

Juuuuuuuust plant a watermelon right on my grave and let the juice **sssslllllluuuurrrppp** slip through

Smiling's my favorite! Especially when I'm wearing Daddy's hat.

As soon as she looks away, I'm going to get that toy from Maxine...

Snuggling with my Grammy makes me so happy!

Shark fin soup? Why wait to make it into soup?

My first baseball game. I really enjoyed watching all the people.

I'm not slee..... zzzzz

I will get out of here. Just you wait!

My sisters really wanted me to stay put, but I just wanted to get that camera Mommy was holding. It seemed like more fun!

Oooooo! Awwww! Sparkles! Happy 4th of July!

I know, I'm pretty cute. I can't help it.

Forget the Humpty Dumpty, Daddy, just put me back in the water!

Down came the rain and washed Josiah out!

Nom nom nom
Sunny nap.

I'm king of the Mommy! And rockin' this bulky blue thing, if I do say so myself.

Ready, Mommy? Here I come!

Spaghetti! I'll take any excuse to get all messy. It was yummy too!

Sometimes I put Grammy to sleep. She gets tuckered out, too.

I totally got this.

Hey! When you gonna catch something on that stick? I want to see a real live fish!

Hi Grampy! Nice to meet you.

Happy Birthday to me!

Now I'm 1 year old and I'm soooo big!!!