Petal

Petal, soft

Snaps from stem

Drifting down

down

down

Floating with ease

It pillows to the ground

Not a sound released

still the moment resounds

To one, appears

as a loss of beauty

To the flower, it is clear

A greater room is made

for new blooms to flame

in a small petal’s place

No words need be spoken

No time need tell

God breathed

Life

in a seed

A call

A pealing bell

“Go,”

He says.

And as

the shifting occurs

from a call to a send,

embrace the beginning

created

from an end.


“Petal” is a poem I wrote today as my baby girl fell asleep in my arms while I looked up at my uninteresting ceiling. The Lord reveals Himself to us in so many ways at unprecedented times. Place your ear to His chest and listen to His heartbeat, be willing to hear His voice. Be expectant. He loves you and has so much good in store for you.


“To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted; A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up; A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing; A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away; A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak; A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war, And a time of peace. What profit has the worker from that in which he labors? I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end. I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God. I know that whatever God does, It shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, And nothing taken from it. God does it, that men should fear before Him.” (‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3:1-14‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

Be sure and check out this song by Steffany Gretzinger!

A Wretch Like Me

Failure.

That seems to be the most recent lie fighting to claim the forefront of my mind. Failure as a mom. Failure as a friend. Failure as a human. Failure as a follower of Christ. The standard I have for myself gradually creeps up so high, whether by my own expectations or by the words I have warped from the people around me. Despite the intentions of criticism and advice, it doesn’t always feel constructive. Especially when you are an overcoming shame puppet. I used to feed off my own mental self-destruction prior to surrendering to Jesus. Shortly after true salvation and marrying Brenner, I decided to read and then destroy all of my old journals from middle school to college. The common theme throughout each journal was hopelessness. Yet a small glimmer of the light of Christ still shined through the dark cracks. Back in those times in my life, depression and anxiety ate me alive. After a time I didn’t really want to leave that pit. It became comforting to never hope for anything, to never be let down. But see I was missing one small whisper, one massive truth..my hope was in the wrong things.

In the present, my flesh still constantly fights to place myself on the throne of my life. Though I wouldn’t say this at first glance, when I dig to the root of my shame and fear, the root of feeling hopeless or feeling like a failure is this: I can easily idolize myself and other people. Though I should have no other gods before the One True God, I can easily place other things before Him and sugar coat the sin by calling it a ‘prioritization issue’ . It’s a sin nonetheless, and confession and repentance are needed for real change.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9 ESV)

Now I’m sure by now you’ve just had several sharp intakes of breath and you’re either relating one hundred percent or your trying not to judge me. That’s okay, I’m just sharing my heart and it is a broken thing. But it’s being made whole by the God who rebuilds the ancient ruins (Isaiah 61:4). He is creating in me a pure heart. I started praying that consistently over myself  two years ago. In the beginning it sounded sweet, it sounded like I would feel pure and righteous as God was doing it, pink skies and fluffy white clouds. I’m sure there was an angel baby floating somewhere playing a harp in that imagination.  But as He has truly began to shine truth and love into my innermost being, I have never felt more dirty. I have never felt more small than as the sheer weight of the glory of God has entered into my hovel of a soul. Not because God’s judgement has pierced me and minimized me due to my sin. No quite the contrary, I recognize my own faultiness, my own finite humanity because it is only in these broken weaknesses that I am seeing the depths of God’s love for me and the extreme heights of His strength. He is creating in me a pure heart. With every speck of dirt removed He is telling me I am loved, that I am worthy of this love. He is reaching the deepest, lonely glaciers of my soul. I see the speck in my own eye, first. This is helping me to love God, myself, my family, my friends, strangers, and my enemies more genuinely. Love is coming out of the destruction, a temple for the living God is being made out of the ancient ruins. Again, I will confess that my mundane mind can not make sense of it. Still His grace is sufficient for even that. Jesus tells me that I’m not a failure, that He has chosen me (Ephesians 1). That He has made me righteous. (Romans 3:22) I can’t be both a failure and also righteous. I chose Jesus.

Every time I let God in a little deeper, every time I release clenched fists over all He’s given me to gain a posture of open palms, every time I surrender myself to His plan, every time I say yes to Him, I am transformed. The journey can feel like a back and forth emotional/physical/spiritual roller coaster. And it is when we look horizontally, as Paul said,

 “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” (Romans 7:15 NIV)

Which is why a few lines down, Romans 8, tells us there is no condemnation for those of us who live in Christ! We must keep our eyes fixed on the vertical, on Jesus. We are dying to our flesh and living by the spirit. That is what this roller coaster is. And God doesn’t just throw us to the wolves, He chips away the dirt and grime over time. He takes away the shame of our sins completely. Like the white shirt I wore in hopes of my toddlers staying tidy, but they’re kids and tidy just isn’t happening realistically yet. Lazarus came up from behind me, jumped up and “Hulk squished” me. That white shirt was soon marred with whatever substance was on his hands. God tells us that even then, He makes us white as snow.

I am becoming more like Jesus. I am learning to trust Him, to love..truly love. He is faithful to complete the good work He has begun. So now I face the chaos with hope, I tell the wind to “Be still.” And when I don’t have the strength to sing the words, when praise takes everything in me to conjure up a note, still there He hears my silent rock of a heart’s cry and He responds with a melody that He sings over me. He is love. He is better than we know, His love, deeper than we realize. It feels intense, because it is.

Amazing Grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost
but now I’m found
was blind
but now I see.

Thank you, Lord, for Your love. It is enough. You are enough. Be my compass today, Be my peace. You are Jehovah Shalom (The Lord my Peace). Make me whole with, Your shalom peace. I pray this in the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace.


This song “P E A C E” covered by Amanda Cook has been renewing my mind daily over the past week. Check it out!

Painting in the Fields

Set down your phone,

push out your chair

and step across the creaky floor

Place your hand on the cold knob

and swing open the back door

Hesitate at the threshold

and squint at the sudden flood of bright

Take a barefoot step into the natural world,

thaw your bones in the sunlight

Release the distractions,

the mock reality

Find your true self in Creation

as you rest from technology


My small-but-fierce family and I just got back from a mini adventure trip in the Oklahoman wilderness. As we drove closer and closer to our destination and further from cement cities, I could practically feel my spirit being freed from my skin to frolic beside our fast-moving car as we wound through the green, gold fields.

My name is Lacey, and it means “frolic”. I always thought that was irrelevant until a few weeks ago, and this adventure really set it in. I was born for this, this freedom in Creation with my Creator. An hour from the small ranch we were heading to and we officially had no cell service. The technology withdrawals took several habitual moments of checking my phone only to find the same “no service” notification at the top left of my screen. Then the freedom took over. Rolling down our windows while driving down the final dirt roads, we were each giddy with excitement and the fresh forest air. Our tires slowly crunched over rock as we pulled up to the crisp green haven. I stretched out my stiff wings for the first time in a while, and planned how I would soak up the solace.

In the mornings we cooked breakfast and played with the kids. We ran around the forest, played ball, swung under a huge pine, swam in the river, hiked, picked pine cones, absorbed all the vitamin D and joy that only nature can provide, enjoyed time with our friends and ate good food.

During my quiet time, I spent a few hours of my afternoons painting. One day in particular I ran with my art supplies in tow down passed the river to an open field I had seen in a vision months ago. The gentle caress of a breeze blowing through the sky high trees was my inhale. The chirping cicadas and songs of birds were my glass of water. The melody of water trickling over the near riverbed was my sound of silence. There was the open field of tall green grass dusted with gold and bordered with the Potato Hills. I sat there in the middle of that field and leaned into Jesus. I began to paint what I saw. Time didn’t exist here, though a distant thought reminded me that I’d have to return to my family soon once the kids woke up from their naps. A small bee buzzed around me in search of a flower. Occasionally little black ants would wander across my folded legs. Still i was encompassed by the beauty of the place i sat and the Creator who created it. Just as sweat began to form on my back, a light drizzle fell from the sky for a few minutes. It was a kiss from Jesus. Every stroke of my brush and mixing of colors was completely refreshing my being. I’ve never felt closer to Jesus and more alive.

IMG_6528
My open field painting with Jesus|”Potato Hills”| Summer 2018

I needed that weekend of rest and nature with God and my loved ones. I want to encourage you to set aside time to do the same, even if it’s just putting down your phone and walking out to your backyard. Every moment in nature is significant. Create adventure and journey to rest for your soul with Jesus!

“The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever.” (Psalm 23 NKJV)


As I’ve previously mentioned, Finding Spiritual Whitespace by Bonnie Gray is a great book to help walk alongside you as you journey with Jesus to soul rest. I truly can not express just how incredible this book is. You can buy your copy here!