where i come from {save the scraps}

"i never tell the enemy, i've been on the cover of time magazine, i've gone around the world.  i don't use none of that stuff up there. i reach back into my history.  your power is not in where you are, your power is in where you've been.  for Jesus said, 'I am the same yesterday, today & forevermore.  and if I brought you through that, still I am.'" 
{t.d. jakes}

i come from a long, twisted heritage that reaches back into the darkest corners of the netherlands. i have heard of stories of where i come from & i cringe. that was the heritage i heard of.  the heritage i experienced was different.  my beginnings were wrapped in love & fresh air & everything beautiful.  the woods were where i remember chiseling out my first remembrances of home.  those deep woods full of long wonderings & wild imagination.  i lived in the trees, those whispering pines always singing their lullabies.  and in the springs, when the waters would flood & pool, there i found truest joy in my black rubber boots.  and my twirling fields, my grass covered mountaintops for seeing & thinking.  and that long, graveled road where i would collect my pebbles & dreams.  i came from there until the world began to impinge on my beautiful beginnings.  it crept in like a thief in the night.  it took my deep woods & my climbing trees, my innocent fields & lullabies and replaced them with fear & brokenness, rejection & confusion.  and that is where i was born.  that is when i began pushing & digging & fighting. from places of uncertainty, places of self-deprecation.  unwanted places, too soon places, not enough places. the woods got darker, the clouds temporarily covered my sun, the locusts ate my twirling fields & the trees towered in intimidation.  
"{and the Lord says} you know a whole lot about now, but you forgot about then.  there is no way you would have made it to this present danger if I hadn't done what I did yesterday.  you wouldn't be blessed to have the problems that you have right now."
{t.d. jakes}

but He took my not-enough places & He broke what was not enough & He multiplied them & healed my land.  He restored all that the locusts had eaten.  He filled those spring pools to overflowing and i sit here now, from that restored place.  from the place of plenty.  i have lived in the light for so long i had forgotten the dark in between.  victory had had an anesthetizing effect.  the flourishing, fulfillment place had forgotten the fight, the battle places.

He wastes nothing that good God of ours. nothing. not even the scraps. 

"until we can be thankful for what is not enough, what is not enough can't be multiplied into more than enough.  the blessing is in the breaking. that which refuses to be broken, refuses to be blessed. the breaking of life produces the blessing of life." 
{t.d. jakes}


esau moments & soul adrenaline

i have always been intrigued by pioneers. i fell in love with laura ingalls wilder when i was in grade four. those who forge their way into the unknown, the unconquered. with nothing but the faith that they can & will make a way for themselves & their family to live better.

i know i'm called to be a pioneer in many ways. blazing the way for kingdom come here on earth.  but the funny thing about pioneering is that you forget, that no matter how long you've pioneered for, you are never the first. there are those that have gone before me. ancestors. great clouds of ancestors.

"we have stories of those who were stoned, sawed in two, murdered in cold blood; stories of vagrants wandering the earth in animal skins, homeless, friendless, powerless- the world didn't deserve them! - making their way as best they could on the cruel edges of the world.
none of these people, even though their lives were exemplary, got their hands on what was promised. God had a better plan for us: that their faith and our faith would come together to make one completed whole, their lives of faith not complete apart from ours.
do you see what this means - all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans, cheering us on? it means we'd better get on with it. strip down, start running - and never quit! no extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began & finished this race we're in. study how He did it. because He never lost sight of where he was headed-that exhilarating finish in & with God- He could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. and now He's there, in the place of honour, right alongside God. when you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility He plowed through. that will shoot adrenaline into your souls!" {hebrews 11-12:1-3, the message} 

every so often i have an esau moment, where i try to trade God's lifelong gift, my calling, my birthright, to satisfy a short-term appetite. where in mid stride, i just decide it's too hard & i want to give-up for temporary relief.

pioneering ain't for the faint of heart. it can be just downright scary heading out into the great unknown. it takes a lot of brow sweat & a lot of faithful faith & trusty trust, if you know what i mean. but not everyone is called to pioneer. a great amount of people think the way steve & i have structured our lives is downright crazy & outlandish. and although we may find comfort & empathy in the stories & journeys of others like-minded, it's important to remember that only He will truly understand. and only He is the knower of the unknown.

it's like the good book says, look at Jesus, study Him, spend time with Him, look into His eyes..."that will shoot adrenaline into your souls!" {hebrews 12:3} not to mention, the privilege of joining & completing the heroic faith of the pioneers who have gone before like abraham or john the baptist {it's just so cool!}. 

we are in good company in this race. though it be hard. though it be ugly & impossible at times. and though we may feel like it at times, we are never alone. 

never lose sight. 

plough on pioneers, plough on!