lesson in the losses: lifetime realities & greater things

lesson in the losses #9: i was chosen not on my own merit or strength, but because of my insignificance

the time is now. that is the Word to the church today. ready or not... here we go, He says.  it's on the job training. no more sermons. no more sitting. time to step out & into greater things.

there are times in life when i just feel so small & insignificant. i look at the legacy i've been handed. a heritage overflowing with righteous, truth fighters.  a history filled with intercessors praying day & night until heaven came down, until the face of God met them. filled with the dead leaping forth to life by the command of a man's mouth, leprosy devoured limbs growing back whole. the mentally insane being set completely free from their tortures, demons cast into pigs.  the legacy i have been left is filled with sea splitting, cloak smacking faith & bushes that burn but don't burn up. filled with smoke rich extraordinary encounters, people swept up by chariots of fire. of people so drenched in presence that they are transported through time & space. this is the legacy i've been asked to carry.

and even after all this that has been before, the Lord says...

"i tell you the truth. the person that believes in me will do the same things I have done. yes! he will do even greater things than i have done." 
{john 14:12-13}

we haven't even scratched the surface. more. always more. greater things. even greater things you shall see & do.

i have been thinking on the israelites.  thinking how God chose israel not based on their own merit or strength, but because of their insignificance. it was because they were weak, He was strong. it's the humble He choses to raise up. He does that.  He takes the lowly & despised things & breathes His great glory into them.

i think about what the Lord has asked me to do, asked me to pursue, challenged me to be. and i feel so unable & weary kneed. so untalented & unskilled. and then i remember my brothers peter & john.

"now as they observed the confidence of peter & john & understood that they were uneducated & untrained, they were amazed & began to recognize them as having been with Jesus"
 {acts 4:13}

i know i was born for the impossible. i know that the life i lead is impossible & is about to get
more impossible. but i pray that when the world observes my confidence, they will begin to recognize that i have been with Jesus. because it's only in Him the impossible is made possible. it's only in Him that the greater things that have been left to my lifetime will become a reality. and that is the key... being with Jesus. all things are found there. the insignificant made significant. the uneducated & untrained become amazing. the small & lowly become greater things. 

"for the Kingdom of God is not in word, but in power." 
{1 corinthians 4:20}


meet our newest addition to the family, jaxon!

i know what you're thinking... as if there wasn't enough poop to shovel around here... or what about whiskey, your last stinky smelly dog that drove you nuts?!

but here's the thing... i really love him!

he's the perfect amount of kookie crazy that fits in just right with our own kookie craziness. he's the perfect amount of broadway entertainment & slap stick humour. he's got the agility of an olympic athlete & the wit of sherlock holmes, the playfulness of a pup but the hunting instincts of a killer.

i just love him.

i'm not saying his kookie craziness isn't going to get too kookie & drive me mad or his slap stick silliness isn't going to one day get old. that the poop piles & the holes in the backyard aren't going to become an unpleasant & at times overwhelming task.

i'm just saying that we love him.

and that makes all the difference.

fun facts about jax: 
he is a 3 year old german shorthaired pointer.
we got him for free off of kijiji {gotta love that kijiji! we were researching getting a gsp for once livi was potty trained but after seeing him for free, we just had to take a look! we saw the ad at 4pm & he was ours by 6pm! needless to say we're still in a little bit of shock.}
he is davith's "bestest best friend in the whole wide world" & the kid's constant source of entertainment.
his favourite things are coffee, blankies, socks, cuddling lap dog style & leaves.
he's a great workout buddy...my entire body has not been this sore in quite some time.
he can jump the kids like they're hurdles & completely clear them {my heart stops every time!}
he doesn't smell... like at all, unless he is wet & has very minimal shedding {this is perhaps my favourite thing about him}.
steve's planning to hunt him this summer & i am planning on teaching him to scoop his own poop, carry a diaper bag & find my keys/cellphone {just kidding about the scooping his own poop}!

we love pets, especially when they become a part of the family & not the centre of the universe. we hope that with a little tlc, jax will be the perfect addition to the family!
welcome to the wilkins' jaxon!

pointing at our friend, lester the bunny

we have to be careful what we watch on tv now...
he has a very sensitive constitution.
davith's "jack"

he has brought back some bad memories of e.t.

his favourite place in the house... even if it's naughty.


gifts & their wrapping

some gifts you have to wait to be a mom to fully appreciate. as a mother of four smalls i have been given a great variety of 'thoughtful' gifts. scraps of scribbled paper. makeshift necklaces. lint. a half licked frozen yogurt. soggy crackers. dirty kleenexes. dandelions. crazy creations. frogs & worms. it doesn't matter if it wriggles, if it smells or smudges my shirt. it's the big heart that gave it that makes it a gift.

if you were anything but a mom, you may miss the preciousness of their small offerings.  maybe it's because of their unique wrapping. spiders wrapped in excitedly cupped hands. treasured rocks wrapped in tiny muddy palms. three tiny soldiers proudly wrapped in a pair of socks.  the wrapping is sometimes the best part.
"i don't know what's in the box, but i love it. unopened gifts contain hope." 
{jarod kintz, this book's title is invisible}
i love opening gifts. no matter how small, no matter how ordinary, no matter what the wrapping paper.
some gifts can come with a slight odor

someone spent his whole nap time
wrapping these gifts:
three toy soldiers & their "shooters"


lessons from a prostitute {'fishing' for compliments}

lip stud hanging from her lip & her hands all flamboyantly gesturing with those long shiny nails as she told her story, shared what it was like getting out of "the life", what it was like getting out of hell.

"when yous just gettin' outta the life, yous probably gonna still think 'hey, he loves me' but you gotta start doing for yourself... and when you lay your head on your pillow at night you say to yourself, 'i am beautiful' because when yous sayin' it, you are powerful. believe it because you say it not because he be sayin' it."

although i have never lived anything even close to "the life", never been subjected to the cruel rules of the street, this young girl's wisdom reaches deep.  illuminating my own dark secret, of how much i depended on the praise of others to account for my self worth. giving all my power to the thoughts & opinions of others. allowing a self-imposed tyranny. even more toxic than the thoughts of others, i battle my own fickle opinion of myself.

the voices in my life have rarely been harsh & if anything, have been overwhelmingly positive. the trouble with compliments is that they can become addictive & when you become too accustom to positive attention, you can end up questioning your identity if you don't get it.

it was the girl with the long shiny nails & the lip stud who gave me one of the clearest truths about maturity. you can't let others do all the confessing, all the believing, all the declaring over you. there comes a point where, in order to mature, "you gotta start doing for yourself".  i'm not saying we don't have weak moments where we need a sister to pick us up. but at the end of the day, you have to confront your own self-loathing with the truth of who you believe you really are.  otherwise, your identity & self-esteem will always be at the whim of the constant flux & flow of the opinions of others. you can depend on men, mothers & mentors to tell you your whole life you're beautiful. heck, you could have aibileen clark herself confess over you daily "you is kind. you is smart. you is important" but if you don't believe it, if you don't say it, it holds little power.

it's like that old chinese proverb says, "give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime". teaching myself to fish, to feed myself off the nourishment of what Christ says about me & making that what i believe about me takes some intentionality. it's choosing to guard what i believe about myself by focusing on what He believes about me & that is how you get fed for a lifetime. it's cutting out the middle man, going straight to the source & only i can do that.

and so when i lay my head on my pillow, i quiet the roaring waves of self-analysis & turn down the day's loathings, & i hear His voice & i begin believing, i begin confessing, i "start doing for [myself]... because when yous sayin' it, you are powerful".


the fabulous & the fallen {lystra}

there is a story in the bible about a little place called lystra {acts 14:8-20}. it is a small story about a small place. a small place that Paul & Barnabas visited once & upon entering the small town, they happened to heal a man with crippled feet. a crowd gathered & worshipped them thinking they were the two gods, Zuess & Hermes, from the old legend. Paul & Barnabas, horrified, rip their clothes in response to the people's blasphemy & passionately preach pointing them to Jesus.  in the very next verse, in the same small town, some enemies of Paul's arrive & start stirring up the same crowd who moments go worshipped him as a god, and Paul is very nearly stoned to death by the very same people. in one moment they are worshipped & in the next they are despised & disposed of.

i have been in places like lystra before & i am sure i will be in lystra again from time to time. but my goal when visiting these places, is to master the same response as Paul & Barnabas. where no matter what public opinion was saying around them, they remained the same, undistracted by either kind of response because they knew who they were, whose they were & what they were called to.

"if you're not careful you can spend your life being the victim of someone's fickle opinion about you. beyond the jungle of other people's opinion of us, there is this ever present temptation towards our own up-and-down opinions of ourselves. if you don't know who you are then you are always vulnerable to the crazy cycle of self adoration followed by self-loathing.
God is the only one who tells you the whole truth about yourself, and that is that you're a wonderful mix of the fabulous & the fallen. God sees all the way through & with a never-give-up-no-matter-what kinda love, is calling to you to remember who you are.
it means when someone scowls at you & tells you how awful you are, you can just smile back serenely, knowing that there is something even more awful in you than they could possibly know & it all belongs to Jesus. 
and when someone tries to fawn over you & tell you how awesome you are, you can just smile back & be thankful, knowing there is something even more awesome in you than anyone could ever know & it all belongs to Jesus.
when you let God tell you who you are, then nobody's flattery is going to puff you up & nobody's criticism will slam you down. fix your eyes on your calling in Christ, it will save you from the tyranny of other's opinions as well as your own."
{Julie Pennington-Russell}

i am fabulous & i am fallen & it all belongs to Jesus. but first & foremost, i am a follower & i am fixed on Him.


picking up the pieces

sometimes life just explodes. in good ways & unfamiliar & unexpected ways & it takes us a while to catch our balance again, regain our footing.

sometimes life explodes & the pieces just need to find their right place in the intricate, delicate balance that life is.  and that is what i have been up to lately, the intricate, delicate puzzle work of balance & this is why the ol' blog may have accidentally fallen by the wayside.

but the great thing about life explosions is that it provides plenty of writing material. :)

looking forward to catching up, friends.
regular blogging regime to recommence shortly.
thanks for checking in.