Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Freedom of a Child©

My fifth child came out of the womb looking to give affection. There’s just something about touch that is in her dna. Even as a teenager she still likes to come, climb up in my bed after waking, and snuggle. As a younger child, no matter what was going on in her day she was often drawn to where I was. She wanted to be with me.

In the late afternoons I would steal away into my bedroom for a little down time before the arsenic hour of dinner and bedtime hit. It wouldn't take long for my little one to come toddling in looking for me. The ways she came varied depending on what was going on inside her.

Sometimes she would come in wanting to talk to me. Other times she would walk in to see what I was doing, give me a hug, a kiss, then leave. But her favorite times were when she would hear me chatting on the phone with a friend. She would grab up her blanket, toddle into the room to climb up into my lap and rock. Laying her head against my chest she would just sit. There was something about those moments that beckoned her away from her busy activities into my embrace. It was the moment of stillness where she could just be, with Me.

As I chatted away, she snuggled down close, allowing my voice to reverberate in her ears. As my heart strummed it's steady beat, soothing her body, she would often ease into a sweet rest.

I loved how she came. I didn’t keep track of how often she chatted with me, or how frequently she climbed up in my lap. I just loved that she knew her place with me. I loved the ease in which she moved into what her heart stirred her to do. She didn't wonder or question. She lived in the comfortable freedom to be who she was in the moments never wondering if it was acceptable. She came just as she was longing to come.

It has taken me a while to get here but I’m finding my way into the childlike faith that knows the ease of being with One who loves them beyond any fears or expectations that might tell them otherwise. I'm finding that it requires no real discipline to follow the heart. Regimen requires discipline while the Spirit's urgings of the heart evoke following. The longings of the heart well up inside luring you to be where you need to be.

In these beautiful moments I find His invitation is extended wooing me to follow Him inside me.

As I grow into this love that takes my breath away, I’m finding life with God is much simpler than I've known it to be. He invites me to be with Him as my heart beckons me to be, for it is after all where His Spirit dwells.

In simplicity I am finding the beauty of the invitation of His Spirit made known. This beautiful, childlike faith is drawing me into a place much like my daughter has lived with me. Sometimes the Spirit lures me to look to see what He’s doing, give him a hug, a kiss then leave. Other times I come to talk to Him about what’s on my heart. But my favorite times are when I hear His voice and ease up into His lap. The sound of His voice soothes me into a stillness unlike any other.

As I delighted with my daughter's varied responses He delights with me. No records are kept, nor are there any agendas waiting to be fulfilled. He delights in seeing me come as I long to come. It's a stunning transformation. Day by day, moment by moment, I'm learning to live in the comfortable freedom of a child again. It's in that freedom I am learning to be.

©copyrighted: 2010, Julie L. Todd

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Update/Courtney & Kevin

Just a quick note to thank those of you who have visited Courtney & Hannah's blogs. You have blessed them so much! Also, I wanted to tell you of an amazing thing that is happening in town.

Courtney & Kevin, as you know, are in the process of raising support for their 6 months' missions trip to Europe and the 10/40 window. A local restaurant/pub heard of their endeavor and wanted to help raise funds for them. They decided to do a raffle with all proceeds going to Kevin & Courtney. The prize is a week's vacation in a condo at a resort in Cocoa Beach, Florida.

I've attached a copy of the poster/brochure they've posted in their restaurant/pub.

I'm just so blessed to see this local business want to come alongside Kevin & Courtney, it's just amazing!

Thanks again for your love and support. You've blessed us all!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Captured by His grace©

It happened again this past week. Another one of my babies became an adult. It's a bit more daunting this go around. I must let go, trusting that this man-child whom I love will find his own path. It leaves my heart feeling torn as I rejoice over his time to fly, yet grieve for the life I've known with him, changing in an instant. It's a bitter/sweet moment in the life of a mother.

I came at some things later in life. Now in what feels like the last few moments of influence there is one piece of wisdom that resonates from the depths of my being I yearn for him to know. It is in utter dependence on the One who formed him in my womb that he will find his life.

I've walked the path of the capable, independent life where self-effort leads. I know it's cost all too well. Grace is not realized there. I see those things trying to make their way into my son's life as he tries to stand on his own two feet. As I watch, I yearn for him to know what I didn't know. In need he will find his path.

The emotions welled up inviting the tears to cascade down my cheeks. In a moment it hit some place deep inside me as I realized. These aches I feel for my boy have been God's for me. In patient love He has waited for me to come. I am astounded as I understand more intimately this unconditional love that watches, waits and yearns.

God has yearned for me to need Him for all things, not just the things I could not manage on my own. He never intended that I figure out this life I've been given. He's longed for me to know who I am to Him. He's waited for me to utterly need Him in the depths of my being. For it is need that opens the passageway to receive His beautiful grace.

Self-effort kept me off the path of life. Independence bolted the door. Being a capable woman hindered my rescue.

Need led me to the door of life, humility turned the handle while trust opened my heart to receive. It was then that grace began to be realized in me. Grace is Christ's efforts that fulfilled all things, given in exchange for mine.

Humility is not the absence of pride. It's being desperate enough to receive from God and those He places in my path. Trust is the driving force that allows me to receive Christ's life in it's totality. Without trust I will live between two worlds; the world of trying to do all the right things to please God with my righteous acts of service and the world of grace where the life of Christ is lived from the inside out. They are two very different worlds.

It's one of the most vital things I've seen in my life. My attempts have kept me from the beautiful life of Christ inside me waiting to be lived out.

Christ has done it all. It's over. It really is finished. Every requirement that was placed on mankind has been satisfied. It's not what I do that pleases Him. It's living in who I am. The old covenant is fulfilled, and never to be mixed with the new. Everything started afresh at the resurrection.

The slate was wiped clean, and continues to be each and every moment of each and every day. There are no record of wrongs kept. No longer does shame cover me. I am righteous, holy, godly not because of what I do but because of what He did.

I have encountered Him in my midst. I have found the beauty that lies within weakness and need. It is in that place He comes in all His glory to awaken me to all of Him in me.

He has captured me with His grace. Step by step I am learning to walk, sometimes baby steps, sometimes strides. I have wrestled with God. He has overcome me. Though I may still walk with a limp I will never be the same again. Slowly but surely, I am learning to live from the inside out. As He yearns for me I yearn for my own. May they too will be captured by His beautiful grace.

©copyrighted: 2010, Julie L. Todd

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Meet My Daughters:

Hello my friends, I just wanted to take a minute to introduce you to my two daughters' blogs. Both are on a God journey.

My girl, Hannah is walking a difficult road after her engagement was broken this past May. She is writing the musings of her heart as she seeks to find God in the midst of her brokenness. Her posts are raw and vulnerable as she honestly reveals the battles and questions she faces. If you'd like to visit, her blog is: Walking Into Freedom:

My Hannah:

My girl Courtney and her husband Kevin are following God into a new adventure. This past April, at 12 weeks into their pregnancy, they learned that they had lost their baby. They were told that they would have to wait a year before trying to have another child. They began to seek God's heart on what He would have for this season of their lives. They felt Him leading them to go overseas for a YWAM Discipleship Training School/Outreach. They are currently raising support with plans to leave in early October. They are writing of their journey from marriage to miscarriage to missions. You can visit their blog here: Together In Him:

My Courtney:

My girls have walked some tough roads these last few months. I'd love to have you visit them and share the love that you have so beautifully given to me. If you stop by their blogs, please tell them you are a friend of mine. Thanks, friends for loving on my girls!