Come to the Edge

These early morning encounters with my Savior have become sacred.
I never would have thought that being awakened before dawn would be something I cherished or even welcomed. However, now in these moments, it feels like a personal invitation from the King to come and sit in His presence.

I have been meditating on a quote that I first heard from my dad when I was much younger. It’s by Guillaume Apollinaire;
“‘Come to the edge,’ he said.
They said, ‘We are afraid.’
Come to the edge,‘ he said.
They said, ‘We will fall.’
Come to the edge,’ he said.
They came.
He pushed them
and they flew.”

There is an edge in my life right now.
One that could be a place of great clarity and promise.
But I’m afraid.
So I sit here in the silence of early morning and ask the Father for guidance.
There is a beautiful stillness,
A comforting acknowledgement,
A desire just to be in His presence, soaking up His faithfulness.

It is a place where the only requirement is that I show up.
Nothing is demanded of me. Nothing.
There is perfect peace as I listen to the symphony of nature just outside the window.

I bring this internal stirring to the One who knows me best.
I lay it at His feet.
I will wait for direction
and in the meantime I will rest in the evidence all around and inside
of His provision, unrelenting grace and love without conditions.

Have you come to the edge of something potentially wonderful? What’s holding you back?

And then there was Grace

Image

When I’m feeling hurried and stressed by the demands that I think the world is projecting onto me and I think I will explode if I’m slowed down by one more obstacle…
…He opens up the heavens and reminds me that He knows and He cares
this is not my home…and red lights aren’t always a bad thing.

Your Beloved needs You now

In the peacefulness of early morning
before even the sun has dispelled the darkness of night
there is praise on my lips.

It is You who wakes me from sleep
beckoning me
to embrace the stillness and quiet
while listening for Your voice.

God,
make me acutely aware of Your presence
in my coming in and going out
in each conversation in which I engage.

May You always be at the forefront of my mind
first in my heart
anchoring my soul and stirring my spirit.

Calm my anxious thoughts
dissolve my fear
with the gentle reminders of Your faithfulness.

Expose my lack of faith
so that the light may extinguish its power
search me, know me
completely and fully.

Your will is not my will
compared to You
I am but a vapor.

How can I not trust
how can I not believe
how can I not call on You in the early hours of morning
throughout the day and
into the evening.

When this world is everything but
You are grace
You are hope
You are light
You are life

Your magnificence is all around me
and yet, at times, it is as if I am blind
open my eyes to Your splendor.

Open my ears to the sounds of creation
Your creation
filling the earth with songs to You.

When I seek solace in things of this world
draw me back to You
my Provider, Protector, Comforter
my Resting Place.

Let me not seek out grandiose events
but rather delight in each moment
may everything I do
everything I am
be pleasing to You.

Take captive every thought
and before it becomes a word
may it be gratifying to You
before it becomes an action
may it honor and glorify You.

Lord, in whom I put my trust
You do not leave me here in the silence
You are everywhere I look
If only I had faith like a child.

Look at the work of Your hands
You are in every detail
nature screams of Your divine providence
evidence of You cannot be ignored

Even in my grieving
I find comfort
in the undeniable truth that
You are in all things.

Before time began
as centuries have passed
now and in the future
You remain unchanged.

Less of me
more of You
this life is fragile
I don’t want to waste a moment.

Even so, I know that this earth is not my home
help me make eternal investments
in the time that I have
until I am made complete
when in Your presence

And by Your power
all is made well.
___________________________________________________________________________________

“Beauty”

“Praise”

“Childlike wonder”

“Splendor”

“Grace”

“Faithfulness”

“Master Creator”

When I was a Christian

I grew up in a loving home surrounded by “God-fearing” parents, grandparents, friends and neighbors. My mom says that I prayed to receive Christ at age two. Though she was unable to decipher my words, she’s certain that’s what I did.

I distinctly remember at age seven, sitting at the kitchen counter, across from my mom, when my dad called to say that my grandfather’s long and painful battle with cancer was over. And just like that I learned of mortality…

To continue reading this post, please visit Leanne Penny’s site here where she has started a unique series called, “Beautiful Scars.”

Breathing in Grace…Breathing out Praise

Never am I more present than when looking through the lens of my camera. Everything that has been heavily on my mind is somehow lifted. I think only of the subject in front of me.

Ever since I can remember, nature has fascinated me. As a child, we would take long road trips as a family and I would stare out the window for hours making shapes from the clouds.

I have been reminded of that childlike wonder through my first L glass macro lens. Chris knows what I need on such a deep level. A level that can be reached by no one but him. He has brought to life parts of my being that I know would have otherwise never surfaced. And because of that I live a richer, fuller, more meaningful life…with him.

The following pictures were taken at the Chattahoochee Nature Center. Several of the flowers had bloomed and were now coming to the end of their beauty, but they were no less exquisite. The splendor of my King was all around me. I love it when God shows off.

The dance of the bee
© Joy Cannis and Even A Girl Like Me, 2012

Legs are absolutely coated in pollen
© Joy Cannis and Even A Girl Like Me, 2012

© Joy Cannis and Even A Girl Like Me, 2012

© Joy Cannis and Even A Girl Like Me, 2012

© Joy Cannis and Even A Girl Like Me, 2012

© Joy Cannis and Even A Girl Like Me, 2012

© Joy Cannis and Even A Girl Like Me, 2012

© Joy Cannis and Even A Girl Like Me, 2012

© Joy Cannis and Even A Girl Like Me, 2012

© Joy Cannis and Even A Girl Like Me, 2012

© Joy Cannis and Even A Girl Like Me, 2012

I love the reflection on the water
© Joy Cannis and Even A Girl Like Me, 2012

© Joy Cannis and Even A Girl Like Me, 2012

© Joy Cannis and Even A Girl Like Me, 2012

© Joy Cannis and Even A Girl Like Me, 2012

We always collect things along our journey that must be captured in the moment
© Joy Cannis and Even A Girl Like Me, 2012

© Joy Cannis and Even A Girl Like Me, 2012

© Joy Cannis and Even A Girl Like Me, 2012

© Joy Cannis and Even A Girl Like Me, 2012

Your typical house fly
© Joy Cannis and Even A Girl Like Me, 2012

© Joy Cannis and Even A Girl Like Me, 2012

© Joy Cannis and Even A Girl Like Me, 2012

The flower from outer space
© Joy Cannis and Even A Girl Like Me, 2012

© Joy Cannis and Even A Girl Like Me, 2012

© Joy Cannis and Even A Girl Like Me, 2012

A little bee quarrel?
© Joy Cannis and Even A Girl Like Me, 2012

© Joy Cannis and Even A Girl Like Me, 2012

© Joy Cannis and Even A Girl Like Me, 2012

When looking at all of the detail that went into making the flowers and bees it takes my breath away. God spent even more time on us. I love Psalm 139. It is a life verse for me and one that has kept me encouraged.

We are a masterpiece, you and I.

A work of sheer genius.

 

 

Love

While trying to come up with an incredibly deep and meaningful title for this post, that would be sure to grab the attention of anyone who glanced my way, the one word that kept coming to mind was, “Love.”

My mind will not slow down long enough for me to write something that expresses what is happening in my heart. As I think of my friend, her body being ravaged by cancer, I want to vomit. I don’t know what else to do, but come to this blank page and start thinking out loud.

At the same time, selfishly, I want to give you something that will leave you thinking that I’m brilliant. Something that will touch you so deeply that on your death bed you will think of this post and find peace. Crazy, right?! I know!

God forbid I just admit to the fact that everything I have written in the last 24 hours has sucked! I’m a work in progress. Egomaniac with an inferiority complex remember?! I want you to like me even if I don’t like you…and yahdee yahdah.

Funny (and not in a haha sorta way) thing is, I cannot put 5 words together to form anything worth your time it will take to read it.

As I sat upon my pitty pot of self-delusion, I did what anyone else would do in my situation…I checked my email. Forget actually trying to sleep. I may get an update on my friend’s condition and I cannot miss that…or wait until morning to read it!

There, in my email was a picture of a handwritten note from my daughter. Ironically enough, it was talking about love. Now, I realize that she is a lovestruck teenager who daydreams about her knight in shining armor, in other words, Justin Bieber, but I love what she wrote. Simple. To the point. True.

I love this kid! Her heart is so deep, her motives so pure and her faith so beautiful.

She doesn’t believe that. She thinks she is a nuisance. Now that may change tomorrow, but for tonight, she sees herself as something to be tolerated. What?! How is that possible?!

She told me between sobs what was troubling her. It made me ache. I want to fix it. I can’t.

“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.” ~Mother Teresa

Sometimes it feels as if all I am doing in love is hurting, while other times it is pure bliss. As I try desperately to get to my vague point, here is what I have been thinking about love since speaking with my Bella;

How do you find it? Does it find you?
Once you find it, or it finds you, how do you keep it?
While keeping it, how do you explain it to others?

Simple, but not easy…You live it.
In every thought.
Every word.
Every deed.
Every action.
Every response.

Don’t see this as an impossible feat. See it as an inspiring challenge…to love without getting tired.
Take every thought captive.
Think before uttering a word.
Act from a place of kindness.

Love really is the root of it all…or it should be anyway.
It’s where the adventure begins.
Once the search has begun, it is a lifelong journey, there is no going back.
It’s going to hurt and
It’s gonna be messy

but

It will also be wonderful and filled with purpose.

I’m going to be okay…
Bella will be okay…
You…will be okay.

“Love to be real, it must cost—it must hurt—it must empty us of self.” ~Mother Teresa