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Sometimes, we journey to the dark so we can be moved by the Light. We trace the furthest boundary lines behind our eyes. We get deep next to demons, weighed down from evil within and without. And when warmth first touches cheek or shoulder or the back of our knees, the weight may not lift but there is relief. . . . And it is the same magic— to feel Light's warmth after a cold night or a long stretch of summer, it is the same glory— to be reading the lectionary in a Home Depot parking lot with sleeping car seats or having a morning cup of coffee on the front stoop with my co-laborers. . . . Somehow, God has anchored the pale blue ombre sky above me like an endless umbrella. He covers and cloaks with Light and sometimes I have to go deep in dark to feel it's warmth. . . . Morning Call:  Lamentations 1:12 Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look and see if  there is any sorrow like my sorrow which was brought upon  me, whom the Lord hath afflicted. . . . Opening Prayer:  Loving Father, as we journey with your Son in this week of remembrance and hope, help us to experience and receive you and your love for the world more clearly. Transform us by the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. In the name of your Son, our Lord, we pray. Amen. #holyweek #notredame #outofthedarkness #intothelight
Naked morning comfort and I'm just basking in the humble light of it. They wear all their affections like clothes and this one makes me melt because they aren't so attached to their wholeness. They are ready to be broken to make peace with one another -- more ready than me, so I take notes. . . . The making of our Peace broke Him, completely. His humble persistence was full of glory because He was God, not because it looked good. Making peace means breaking pride, breaking selfish gain, breaking the sin inside that so easily entangles us, and breaking the power of the sin outside that so deceives us. . . . #newblog #momswhowrite #writersofinstagram #motherhood #siblings #siblingsasfriends #braveryofsmalllife #Godseconomy #kitchen #atlanta #family #teamkolts #teampixel #teampixelnofilter #nofilter #morningglow #morning #liveauthentic #kids #georgia #southernsummer
"Look, Mom! Edelweisses!!!!" And she passed the peace to me with flower weed stems and smooshed petals. The brisk tickle of Spring wind swept my elbows as I reached out to receive. . . . And it got made again, Peace. Established with delicate weed offerings and vulnerable outstretched hands, peace mended for a moment the breaks of the morning. The Great Deceiver's attempts to put us at odds— to wound one other with war words thrown in defense and pride— got smooshed underfoot in the backyard. . . . And I thought of Jesus making literal Peace, because the world doesn't allow it to come and be kept. Peace must be forged with active rebellion against the forces within and without that would rather war. We are a peace breaking people made in the image of One who carries Peace in his character, One who made Peace for us forever with God so that we can make peace today exactly where we are. . . . "For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility." Ephesians 2:14 . . . And the little child shall lead us.
I studied Job's friends pretending comfort, while withholding kindness and refusing to revive a weary spirit. I taught about the people in Jerusalem spreading their coats out like a royal carpet for the King of glory to ride in on a borrowed mule. I learned about the invisible God we try to force fit our image but our invisible spirit is made in His. I chased my littles in circles in the newly cut backyard and followed Foster's gaze to find birds high on budding branches. I heard Zella yell to our neighbor two houses down to move her apple trees far away because our juniper tree has a bad disease that could infect it. I wrestled through pride and failure and defending ideas. I made a very late afternoon cup of coffee and cooked with my baby strapped on my back. I snuggled my girl and gave her choices while praying she would choose right. On the first day of Spring. . . . We rode to Bible study, the kids and me, in an Uber because I ran the battery down on the van. I caught the sun glory streaming in to hit all our faces in the backseat as Zella chatted with the driver about music, imaginary children, and her preference to not wear socks and shoes. Our Wednesdays have so much Bible in them — sometimes nothing connects and I arrive at the end with mush brain and then sleep in my day clothes. But yesterday, I fell into bed so thankful that there are constellations in all these bits of Light. He is holding all things together and sometimes He connects dots and reveals a special glimpse of the glory of it all. #writersofinstagram #momswhowrite
My brows converge over my nose and my face squints against the dark. I pray, "O, God. O, God." I lay flat on my bed between two littles and take a deep breath that reaches my shoulders and sides and ankles "O, God." . . . It feels like Spring shouldn't come, that it is so *wrong* here that Lent should last forever. That, though our hope for Spring is strong, it is mostly about escape and not about salvation. We have made ourselves at home in winter, comfortable with the frosted ground under our hibernation. Our evil isn't seasonal. It isn't an epoch, a phase, a time period. It is in us— bones, marrow and evil. And we don't even want out. A Stockholm syndrome sickness that's eating us up from the inside but we refuse rescue. . . . The mercy of the Lord comes anyway, budding trees and blooms for the just and unjust. He woos us— relentlessly— out of our captivity with kindness. He calls us to repent of our soul's winter so we can finally see and taste His Spring. He calls us out of shadow and into marvelous light where our winter is exposed and we can squint to see our salvation. And we can know even a little bit more the extent of His glory and the depth of His grace. . . . Spring is coming and we are Easter people, but today there is lament. #light #shadow
Why is it that when we talk about the beginning of the United States it's always "when we founded this great nation" but when we talk about slavery it skips to the Civil War and it's always, "they were fighting to keep slavery in the south." The same humans who founded this nation bought humans and made them slaves in it. And today, for that, I mourn. . . . Every human made in the image of God is the same amount of invaluable. The same amount of mysterious wonder is knit up in our bones, from those first moments curled up in the womb. Lord, have mercy on us for acting like it is not so. . . . . . #americanlent #lentenrose #whiteprivilege #slavery #lent #lament #foundingfathers #letstalkaboutit #repentanceproject #didyouknow #spring #teamkolts #liturgy #reflection #monday #teampixel #atlanta #blackandwhite #slavetrade

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sometimes I speed what should be slowed

I’ve been thinking lately about pace.

What speed is fitting as we pursue the Lord – is it always an all-out, relentless rush? Are we always breathless about getting to where God is leading?

I’ve been thinking about pace because I wonder if we sometimes speed what should be slowed. I wonder if we create some of the crazy that surrounds our spiritual sprints – like we’ve thrown into the air all the race markers and so haphazardly attempt to fix our eyes on Jesus while anxiously searching the way.

Maybe this isn’t making any sense to you (is it?), but I’ve sure noticed that God means for some things to be experienced slowly. Prayers are sometimes this way, and blessings. And suffering. Sometimes, it seems, we’d like to think we can control the outcome of the race we’re running, the “race marked out for us,” by more intensity. Or maybe it’s just me.

It is a beautiful thing to take slow steps of faith. Not timid steps, just slow and steady steps that say,

“I am not worried where my foot will fall. I am not anxious about getting somewhere sooner or later. I am at peace with the amount of grace God has given for this step. I do not doubt the Lord’s provision.”

It is a beautiful thing to take slow steps of faith and I’m learning this, slowly. Maybe it’s because slow steps allow my frenzied, distracted heart time to believe in the God who will sustain me.

Maybe my hurried, race pace is something I’ve thought up as a back-up plan if God’s doesn’t work. Maybe I need to be restful even while I’m determined to persevere as a runner in a race – believing that my finishing doesn’t depend on my performance as much as it depends on God’s grace.

“Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:10

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” Psalm 56:3

“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” Proverbs 19:21

“It is in vain that you rise early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives sleep to his beloved.” Psalm 127:2

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:34

Today, I’ll try taking slower steps.

This song seems to be about the right pace.

let LOVE fly like CrAzY

4 comments on “sometimes I speed what should be slowed

  1. kaishaban says:

    I love your thoughts here. It took some tough lessons from God to show me that I cannot grow myself. He will grow me in His time in His way. I can do things to encourage the process, but He’s really the only one that can truly teach and change my heart.

    After figuring that out for myself, I realized that I didn’t need to worry about teaching the hearts of the people around me. I’m responsible to show Jesus, and tell what He’s done. But I can’t change them when they are wrong. Only He can grow them in His time in His way.

    1. Caroline says:

      Thank you so much for sharing your heart! “I cannot grow myself” is such a hard thing to admit, isn’t it? Even if we convince ourselves we are empty of pride… it’s hard to say we are not capable of making growth happen. Not even if we want to so badly. You are so right in saying that He is the only one that can make change happen. And, when we stop trying to grow ourselves, we can actually enjoy the freedom He gives in changing out hearts all on His own. Right?

      Thank you for sharing!
      Caroline

  2. pastorjbc says:

    Great thoughts, Annie. It reminds me of our Amish friends. They told us that the reason they drive in their buggies isn’t about technology – it’s about pace. They believe if you go through life too fast you will miss seeing the things that cause us to be thankful and glorify God.

    1. Caroline says:

      I agree with your Amish friends – we need to reclaim a slower pace!

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