HIDING PLACE

Bedtime with my baby girls is always an adventure. Some nights I literally want to pull every hair out of my head in frustration but other nights, they are simply magical. My little ones will snuggle close, prompt us to pray and then thank Jesus for things like the day, Daddy’s lunch or our little family.

Moments like this melt my heart but with these unpredictable two, I never really know what I’m going to get! Anything is possible, anything can happen and a couple of nights ago my youngest daughter surprised me yet again.

‘I’m scared of the dark!’ she cried.

‘Are you really?’ I asked her.

Now I’m wondering to myself, Did she just today decide to be afraid? Because every other night she’s fine. So much so that we don’t even own a nightlight at this point.

‘I’m so scared!’ she cried again as she literally cocooned herself under the blankets and into even more darkness.

‘Ry, it’s not even that dark in here!’ I pleaded.

You see with the bedroom door open and the lights from our Christmas tree coming down the hall and a small illumination from the street light, the room was dark, but not pitch black.

Now Ms. Rylee B. has cocooned herself into the darkest of dark and is literally hiding from the dark, in the dark.

‘Rylee, come out from there. It’s darker under the blankets then it is out here!’ I tried to reason with her, but she wouldn’t budge.

‘Ok, ok- I’ll leave you alone, but Mommy is right here you don’t have to be afraid!’

And then, as I’m sure you can already guess; the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart.

‘Isn’t it so sad when our children hide in what they fear most?’

Ugh. Yes Lord, it’s so sad!

In that moment, as Rylee fell asleep in the darkness of her cocoon, I began to think about all the times I hid within my fears so much so that they became comfortable to me.

The times I let the fear of rejection keep me isolated.

The times I let the fear of failure keep me from even trying.

The times I let insecurities disable me from doing my best.

The times I let the fear of being hurt keep me from developing good relationships.

All these times I hid from my fears, in my fears and it felt totally normal.

All these times I let the darkness validate my fear rather than letting my faith validate my freedom.

Sheesh, the list could literally go on and on but in that moment I realized far too many times I’ve allowed fear to push me into a corner and I end up hiding in the very thing I fear the most.

When I saw my daughter do it, I just wanted to pull her up, take her out of the darkness and hold her safe in my arms. I don’t want her to live in fear; I don’t want her to live in hiding. I want her to live wide open in love and faith.

If that’s my heart for my daughter, imagine the heart of the Father for us. He loves us more than I could ever love Rylee. That’s a hard concept to grasp but it’s the truth. In all my heart, in all my life, I will never muster up more love then the love for her then our Father has for us. He is love so His love tank isn’t dependent on anyone, isn’t contingent on anything, His love just is.

Gosh I want to come out of hiding.

I want to live wide open.

I want to find shelter and safety in the Father’s arms even when I face the darkness and shadows of this world. I really, really want to let His arms of refuge become my default hiding spot rather than hiding in my fears.

I want to hear His words ‘Come out of there, you’re safe here with me’ and actually move, actually go, actually allow myself to come out of this hiding place and realize that I’m safer in the shadows with Him then in hiding without Him.

I let my daughter rest there that night. Not because I didn’t love her, not because I didn’t want to hold her and snuggle her to sleep but because I love her enough to let her learn. She came out eventually. I imagine when it felt hard to breathe in there and when that small space became confining and uncomfortable, she finally came out of hiding and rested in my arms.

If you’ve been hiding in your fears for too long, please know that God isn’t letting you stay there because He’s in agreement with you, He’s simply loving you enough to let you learn.

When you’re ready, right outside the darkness, right outside of your fears, right outside of your worry He’s sitting there waiting for you. When you finally break free from the confinement of that small space you placed yourself into, He’ll be waiting, arms open wide, with endless love and space for you to rest in.

Ironically enough, Rylee actually means courageous. That means even when she is afraid, I call her courageous, I call her brave. Can you hear what the Father is calling you?

I hope little Rylee B. has encouraged you as much as she has me. She’s a little treasure to me just as you are to your Father in heaven.

 

xx.. Lori

GET BACK UP

Have you ever heard of the smart phone app called ‘TimeHop’? This app links to your social media accounts as well as your camera roll and every day it hops back in time to show you what you posted and/ or took pictures of that day the previous years.

I love TimeHop because I get a moment to reflect on how big my kids are getting, how much they grow and changed in a year and even large milestones that I may have forgotten. For example, today my TimeHop populated this adorable picture of my oldest daughter holding an ultrasound picture. On this day, 3 years ago we announced the pregnancy of our second daughter. Usually the memories are bright and light hearted like this one but this past Sunday, TimeHop made me feel all sorts of {negative} ways about my life!

You see Sunday, December 10th, was my one year- vlog-iversary!! One year ago I finally committed to doing the video blogs I had been longing to do for some time. When the TimeHop came up it was a reminder of such a great night, a night I faced all my fears, a night I pursued purpose, a night I really just let go and walked into my daydream. But what that TimeHop also revealed is that it had been one year since I actually did a video blog. Yes, you got that right! My vlogging journey started and ended on December 10, 2016.

How sad is that!?! When I saw this Sunday morning I felt all sorts of feelings but later that evening when I received a screenshot text of this same post from a close friend, all my feelings came to a boiling point.

She quoted me saying ‘What does it look like to live out the very thing that sets your soul on fire?’

Well, for the single day I did it, it felt amazing. I looked at the pictures I took succeeding that post and let me tell you, the amount of joy in my eyes is unexplainable. I never felt so good, so alive, so thankful, so expectant then that moment that I stood up, stepped out and did something I always wanted to do!

But then….

‘But then what?’ you’re probably wondering. The answer is; I don’t really know.

But then life?

But then fear?

But then busyness?

But then priorities?

But then kids?

But then work?

But then school?

But then….

We all have a but then moment or season that derails us. It might be a moment that is marked in your life forever or it might be like a wave that comes suddenly and slowly but surely pulls you out of place over time. It could be a decision you make to step back but it could feel like a moment that you can’t even recall yet it changes the trajectory of your life forever.

I won’t act like this moment is over for me, I’m still kind of working through the muddied thoughts I have towards myself and this particular moment in my life however what I can tell you is Monday morning, as I drove into work, still feeling the sting from the night before I felt the Lord remind me of a portion of scripture in Proverbs.

‘Although a righteous person may fall seven times, he gets up again….’ Proverbs 24:16

Gosh. These words hit me harder then the defeat I felt, harder then the frustration I was carrying, harder then the disappointment I was working through, these words hit me in the best way possible.

The Lord began to whisper; it’s ok to fall, as long as you get back up again.

I want to encourage someone today who’s feeling like they’ve fallen too many times; it’s OK to fall but to stay down, that’s the problem. When you slip, get back up. When you fall, rise again. Never, ever think that your success is measured based on the number of falls. The story isn’t over until you stop rising again.

When you’re a Christian, meaning you follow Jesus and believe that He defeated it all, even death, for you and for me, you know  that there’s nothing too hard for Him and although we fail and falter, we are ultimately walking from a place of victory and strength, not defeat and weakness.

Gosh, I’m so thankful for that reminder. That moment when I realized even 366 days later, it’s ok to get back up and try again. There’s no shame in the process and there’s no victory in submitting to defeat. The only way to lose is to quit. As long as your living, rising, walking, moving, trying- you are operating from a place of strength and victory.

I encourage you today to rise.

Rise above defeat.

Rise above hate.

Rise above your frustrations.

Rise above your limitations.

Rise above it all and move on.

The moment you move, you’re going back to a place of strength and victory.

The lie is ‘you’ve fallen too many times’ the truth is; you can still get back up again.

As always, I hope you’re encouraged to know you’re not alone in this journey!

xx… Lori