About this Blog

When my life is a mess, all I can do is run to Jesus. There in His awesome presence, is the only place to find peace, comfort, love and joy. At His feet, He opens my eyes to His mercy and goodness within the mess. This is my journey with my Savior.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Great Reading

Today I read two great posts on 2 blogs:


For this link it is the July 19 post titled "I'm So Tired of Asking"

I read these blogs daily & I was struck by how closely they intertwined for me today.  So often when walking through a trial we run into very deep valleys.  I have them.  I know what Jamie from Loving When It Hurts is talking about.   Have you ever experienced it?  Do you get to the place described in Worn by Tenth Avenue North?  Where it's just too much?  Sometimes when I start down that path, it's just like she describes, suddenly I find myself where I never intended to be.  It is as if I can literally feel the hardening of my heart.  I don't want to engage.  I can't pray.  I can't read my Bible, and when I try it is as if it bounces right off me.  I know God is calling me back, but I just don't want to go back because the hurt is too much.

But thankfully He doesn't go away.  He waits patiently while I make mistakes.  While I rebel - maybe not always in outright actions, but within my heart. 

He waits for me to stop looking at myself.  This is where the Intentionally Yours blog was so key for me.  God already knows all the circumstances.  He's got that covered & figured out already.  He's waiting for me to surrender it all to Him again, and again, and again, and again.

Is my faith dependent on what God can do for me?  Or based on who He is?  Will I let everything be defined by circumstances or by my God?  Do I just want God to change the outside stuff and not cleanse me from within?  Guess what - the hard stuff, the really, really hard stuff - that's what changes me from the inside out.  If God doesn't do the work of removing the yuck, then it's all for nothing.  The trial is a waste.  God wants to change ME, to sanctify me.  That is why all of this mess - I thank God for it.  Without it, I wouldn't be a new creation in Him.  I would be the controlling, fearful, anxious, uncompassionate, self-centered old me.  Praise God for doing what He needed to do to change me!

I want to rest in who I am in Him, and in Him alone.  Some days, that faith is strong.  Other days, that faith is weak. But that is my humanness.  All the while, God remains unchanged, loving, and waiting for me to again rest in Him.  I stumble.  I falter.  It's not easy.  I fight it.

 I surrender it.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Darkness and Light

 2 Corinthians 4:6
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

I took this picture the other weekend from our front door as a storm was rolling in.  It was amazing that night to stand there and watch that pillar of light shining in a blinding light right in the middle of all those dark storm clouds.  It was such a sweet reminder to me of how when your life is in a middle of  a storm, God remains steadfast & faithful, right there in the middle of it.

But I have also been processing it in other ways this week.  In a dark, dark world, He is the light. John 8:12 "Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”"

When we are stuck in sin, we are stuck in darkness.  Watching those clouds around the outer edge of the light spin & move was a great image of that.  We circle & run from the light.  We run from the light because the light exposes the evil desires that lie within our hearts.  We run to the other side to try something else, anything besides the light that makes us face the depth of our own depravity apart from Jesus.

Guilty people run because deep down, they know they can't face their own guilt.

Even though we run, God, the only light, remains unmoving.  Truth remains steadfast. Letting us run.  Waiting for us to turn our face upon Him.  Waiting for us to realize that because of His sacrifice, we don't have to carry our own guilt.  Waiting for us the realize that while we deserve that wrath & guilt, that is exactly why He sent His son to die.  We can't face our own guilt because if we could - we wouldn't need Jesus.

There, when we face the light we finally can be washed in His grace & mercy by the shed blood of Jesus.  There we are forgiven and made righteous in His eyes.  By His power, His light will then shine through us.

When His light is upon you, unrepentant people run from you. I'm talking like literally run from you. They can't talk to you.  They can't look you in the eye.  Have you experienced that?  I have. Why do they run?  Because people running from the light have hearts that are ruled by the evil one, they do his will.  And when faced with God's light, satan must flee. Why? Because he is already defeated, God has already overcome & won the war.  Their running is actually a sign that God is working, that the Holy Spirit is pursuing them because satan needs to remove them from the light exposure to try & save face in his defeat.  Satan & people in his grip are literally not able to stand up to the face of Jesus and have any chance.  Their defeat is already written.  So they run so that they can continue in their blinding darkness, never having the courage to face truth that is their defeat.  And they remain there until God in His great mercy, redeems them. 

What then can you do?  Stand in the light, and let them run.  Stand firm in Him.  Knowing & trusting that God will continue to pursue them in His own way and in His own time.  Rejoice in the truth that the evil ruling them has already lost.  Rejoice in His amazing grace that has freed you from the world of darkness, that has given you eyes to see that that was once you.  Praise God for the work is is doing!  Rejoice in 1 Peter 2:9 "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light."

And you pray, knowing the truth found in Ephesians 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.  It is not a battle against the specific people.  It is a battle between your Savior and the already defeated evil one. Pray that God would extend mercy to the people running.  Pray that God would protect you from stumbling and  falling into a place where you are running again.

And smile - because you already know who wins.

Stop running from the light and instead run to it.  Run to Jesus.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

White Knuckles

The kids are finally sleeping.

The only light in the house is coming from the flickering candle on the kitchen counter.

The only sound is the gentle tick-tock from the clock on the wall.
There I sit in my husband's recliner.

My hands are in my lap.  I look at my closed fists, willing them to open.  I am determined to make them open.  To have hands open for the Lord to take & lead.

I open my hands.

I can feel my tears rolling down my cheeks as the fear within me clamps them shut again.

In my head I think about a section from the book my Bible study group is doing.  A paragraph that has gripped me for weeks.  I read and reread it over and over.  The book is A Quest for More by Paul Tripp.  The chapter is Sacrifice and the section is called white-knuckle living.
"The thing that is shocking about Christ's call to sacrifice is that he is calling us to die.  No, not to take our lives in the physical sense, but to so fundamentally sacrifice all that is precious to us, that it is as if we have died.  In the sense that it cannot be the central treasure of our hearts, he call us to die to our most precious relationship.  He calls us to die to our plan for our own lives.  He calls us to die to all the things we have set our hearts on that we think will make us happy and once and for all satisfy us.  He calls us to open our fists and give up all those other treasures that would control our decisions, determine our actions, and edit our words.  Jesus knows that we are not able to follow Him and hold our fists around these things at the same time, because they end up taking hold of us.  Christ calls us to acknowledge that what we once wanted, and then became convinced that we needed, we now have become addicted to.  We don't hold things very well.  Again and again we experience that what we once held loosely has now come to control us.  So he calls us to open our hands and offer everything for his taking.  And we celebrate his call to sacrifice, because it is a welcome to freedom.  This call to die is a welcome to a wonderful new life.  And the One who makes this call is the One who gave himself as the sacrifice that is the central event of the big kingdom.  He was willing to let go of it all, even to die, so that we could live in personal pursuit of him, increasingly freed from bondage to all the other things that may control us" (pages 180-181)

Father, I want open hands! So I force them open.

All my questions, all my fears, all the unkowns - they cause my fingers to close back into a fist.  But how my heart longs for them to be open.

Can I have open hands & still desire my husband and my marriage?  What does that practically look like for my life?  I don't want my marriage to be an idol.  I want to be able to give it all up for the sake of knowing Christ my Savior.  To count it all as loss in order to follow Jesus in every aspect of my life.

Through my tears I confess my sins in where I stumble in living as though anything but Jesus is needed.  To ask Him to forgive my unbelief in who He is and what He can do.  For forgiveness when I cross the line of needing my husband instead of letting him be one of the good & perfect gifts that come from Him alone. To accept the freedom of not having to try & figure out that balance on my own.  Trusting Him to lead me as He teaches me that balance for this day.

I can't pry them open & make them stay open.  I am too weak to do that.  I need His perfect strength & gentleness to slowly, finger by finger, open my hands.

To rest the back of my small, weak hands in His strong and mighty palms.

My hands, my life ... in His hands.

I can leave it all to Him, for Him to make the changes that need to happen.  For Him to restore what He plans to restore. Redemption comes only by His blood so that He alone receives the glory. I can rest in His promises poured out in His Word.

I sit in the quiet, candle-lit room.

Resting in His hands. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Whom Shall I Fear

This song has been in my head since Wednesday.  Praise God that I have nothing to fear with God by my side.  I will let the lyrics speak for themselves.

You hear me when I call
You are my morning song
Though darkness fills the night
It cannot hide the light

Whom shall I fear

You crush the enemy
Underneath my feet
You are my sword and shield
Though troubles linger still

Whom shall I fear

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind me

The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

The one who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine

The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

My strength is in Your name
For You alone can save
You will deliver me
Yours is the victory

Whom shall I fear
Whom shall I fear

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind me

The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

The one who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine

The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

And nothing formed against me shall stand
You hold the whole world in Your hands
I'm holding on to Your promises

You are faithful
You are faithful
You are faithful

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind me

The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

The one who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine

The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

The God of angel armies
is always by my side

Monday, February 18, 2013

Don't Jump Ship!

I read a post at Intentionally Yours today that inspired me to share it with you all.  You can read that post by clicking here:


One thing that post gave me was a mental picture of how so many people are so quick to jump ship.  Things get rough and off they go, right over the side.  With some false illusion that somehow the rough seas are better.  Or they jump on to these life boats believing that somehow these miniature replicas of a big boat will somehow be better & will save them.  Oh how it breaks my heart when we actually encourage other people to do this! How so easily Satan deceives us!

The best course of action is to stay on the big ship!  That battleship is designed to withstand the rough seas. 

And so many people tend to believe that well, my spouse has jumped ship, so I guess I have to also.  NO I DON'T!  I'm honored to say that with God as my source of strength, I will never jump off this ship.  The best thing that I can do is to be obedient to God's Word and stay on board.  It may be harder to steer the boat, it may get rougher, I can't see where it is going, I don't know the course but I do know that this is where God grows my dependence on Him.  My need for my Savior is on full display, and I wouldn't want it any other way. 

I can see myself like Titanic, out on the front of the ship, standing at the edge, only I'm not yelling "I'm king of the world".  I can stand there, arms wide out, fully confident that while in these rough seas, I can rest knowing I can "Be still, and know the I am God" Psalm 46:10.  (As a side note, I find it so like God in that when I grabbed my Bible to look up & make sure I had the correct reference for that verse that I saw that the "title" of Psalm 47 is "God is King over all the Earth"  - while using my Titanic king of the world reference.) For the moment, I may appear to be out there alone...but I'm not.  I'm on the ship with God, and that is exactly where He wants me to be.  And I fully believe that it is within God's almighty power to one day, have my beloved husband join me out there.  Jon & Kari, standing there together, our battleship forging ahead, declaring to the world that no matter what HOW GREAT, HOW AWESOME IS HE!

Thursday, January 24, 2013


When things are hard, I have a choice.  Am I going to look at the circumstances around me, or am I going to keep my focus on my Heavenly Father?  As my mountains of circumstances seem to be growing bigger as I face people, situations & environments that are hardened towards God's truths & commandments, how am I going to respond?

In my flesh - I want to panic.  I want to grab control.  I want God to give me answers to my questions.  Questions like... Why?  Now what?  What do you want me to do?  God, do you see how impossible this is?  God, do you see how much pain there is for so many people in this?  Why won't you change my circumstances God? 

In faith - I am able to cling to His promises.  Because of His great work in me, He can stop the panic in me.  Pouring over His Words in the Scriptures, crying out to Him, knowing that He cares for me (1 Peter 5:17), knowing that He will never leave me nor forsake me (Hebrews 13:5).  Knowing that I am to be strong & courageous, to not be frightened nor dismayed for the Lord my God is with me wherever I go (Joshua 1:9).  That because I love God, I can be confident that He is working all things together for my good, according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).  And that is just the beginning of the promises that I can stand on.  Oh how sweet the promises of God to those who follow Him!

Joshua 6 talks about the fall of Jericho.  Lately, I feel like I am marching around and around the walls, just waiting for them to fall down.  God, why are you having me do this?  Do you know how crazy I look to people who don't get it?  As God is stripping away everything that gives me any control, or anything that seems to make sense, I am choosing to keep marching around those walls in faith.  I am choosing not to panic and be thankful that God is setting things up so that He gets ALL the credit.  I, me, Kari, I have done nothing but rested in the faith that is supplied by Him.  In the big war and all of the "little" battles along the way I can give God praise that He is removing any aspect that would steal any of His glory and take away from associating the power to anyone or anything but Him.  It was hard to get to that point - but I think I'm finally getting there.  Total and complete surrender to God's way & plan.  Where all my trust is in Him.  In a way, all of my eggs are in His basket, I'm not holding any out "just in case".  Those walls coming down - it will be ALL God.

That's great, but now what do I do?  I go to 2 Chronicles 20 (I know! Chronicles!?  I was really struggling one night & my nightly reading had me in Chronicles and I was like, "really, God?  How is Chronicles going to help me tonight?"  But be faithful in all you do - God meets you there!)  It talks about Jehoshaphat's battle.  Verse 15 & 17 jumped off the page at me "Do not be afraid & do not be dismayed at this great horde, fort he battle is not your but God's." "You will not need to fight in this battle.  Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf.  O Judah & Jerusalem, do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the LORD will be with you."  That reinforces everything I've already typed.  So what do I DO?  The answer is in verse 21... "And when he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who were to sing to the LORD and praise him in holy attire, as they went before the army, and say, GIVE THANKS TO THE LORD FOR HIS STEADFAST LOVE ENDURES FOREVER" (emphasis added by me).

Without God, I would not be able to choose faith,.   On my own, I would choose panic (it would be masked as moving on, sticking it to him, finding someone new, accepting the world's ways, etc)  But because God is who He is I can choose faith in who He is.  I can choose to stand firm and praise Him.  Because of His work in changing who I am , I can give thanks for His steadfast love endures forever.  The walls He wants to bring down, whenever and however He wants to - I can be confident He will do exactly what He planned before the world was even created.  And that my friends, gives the ultimate peace.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

I've Been Set Free

This song has been in my head all day.  I woke up singing it.  It may have been a hard weekend; but today I just have this joy that I can't explain.  All I can say is that it's a God thing.

I took some time to go back & read my previous blog posts.  Sometimes I feel like I haven't grown at all.  And that is when I am grateful for this blog (and my own private journal).  I can look back & read what God has been doing in me and WOW!  Praise God for He has done some mighty powerful things in my life.  It also makes me think of the lyrics of another awesome song by Big Daddy Weave, Redeemed..."Jesus, I'm not who I used to be - I've been redeemed". And this song being in my head reinforces what I looked back at & read this afternoon.
My chains are gone,
I've been set free
My God, My Savior 
has ransomed me
and like a flood
His mercy rains
Unending Love, Amazing Grace