You. Are. Loved – Stone Series

For those of you who have heard my Stone Stories, this is a new one, something that happened recently.

One morning in the late summer, I was just about to walk away from my quiet time with God the Father. I specify since I most often differentiate with Whom I’m speaking. That morning, I needed the Father’s heart. Now, as I write this a few weeks later, I honestly don’t remember what was so pressing, just that this girl needed her Dad.

As I stood to walk away, I heard Him speak as clearly as I’ve ever heard Him. He said, “You are loved.” The words were choppy and specific, more like, You. Are. Loved. I paused mid-stand and then plopped back down. With a grin tugging at my lips and closed eyes, I said, “You are loved.” Nothing more happened.

I tried to stand but then stopped again to sit. I had to ask myself this question: What will my day look like if I live it loved? A few things came to mind, like how I would live out my day with purpose and intentionality. I was working on this massive revision project and needed focus. I reminded myself that God would be with me. It was, after all, His Kingdom work I was accomplishing. I knew I could live out my day trusting that He would provide what I needed.

That’s about all I came up with and moved on about my day. Throughout the day His words came to mind many times: You are loved. Each time it made me smile and a warm feeling would wash over me. Different than my many decades before, I now know that I’m loved by God the Father and Jesus the Son, my Beloved. Living loved is not new to me anymore. It’s not something I take for granted by any means, but after about a decade of living loved, I know what love feels like and still revel in it. It’s what I had chased all my life. Love to me is the biggest deal.

Later that night as I was settling in with my husband to watch TV, I was scanning through something on my phone while we waited for our show to begin. I heard music on the TV that caught my attention, so I glanced up. There were no words but the tune was familiar. I thought it may be a Christian song. When I saw that it was just some commercial, I looked back at my phone, figuring the song was familiar because I had seen the commercial before.

For some reason I glanced back up at just the right moment when the song said, you are loved. That was it. ADT appeared on the screen. It was a home security commercial that was using the Christian song by Stars Go Dim. The tune was familiar to me because I adore that song. I had even used it at a couple of conferences I had spoken at – of all things, the Jesus Loves Me Conference.

I was so blown away that I just sat staring at the TV. Then I tried to tell my husband, Kelly, about it, about what an impact it made. Father God had spoken those exact three words to me that morning in a way that stopped me in my tracks. He even made a commercial about it to drive the point home. That’s serious planning on His part.

When things like that happen and He begins to weave together chords of revelation through repetition, then I know He’s up to something. The next morning, I began to gather a few notes of what I might be able to do with this and saved them. I’m still not sure, but I may write a book. Since I was working on that time-consuming revision project and knew I wouldn’t have time to devote real attention to it, I decided to hold off a few weeks until vacation. I figured if God planned on me writing a book, then the fire would fall when the time came.

Hold the phone! This gets even cooler.

I’m not sure that you could call the kick-off of our vacation fire falling unless it was the fires of misfortune. Okay, I’m being dramatic, but in the early hours of that first morning, I was close to tears. I didn’t sleep after 3:30 a.m. There must have been cats in the condo we rented since our allergies were giving us fits. We had selected a bottom unit, thinking that our little pup would enjoy the patio. I didn’t consider that I always have my quiet time on the balcony when on vacation. The patio had dozens of people passing by all day long, there was barely any ocean view since it wasn’t elevated, and I couldn’t exactly sit out there in my jammie’s.

Second choice for my quiet time was on a comfy chair in the living room – until my hubby turned on a car repair show. He had offered to leave the TV off, but I knew he was already having a miserable time too. I didn’t want to take away his beloved TV, so I said in a high-pitched tone, “Oh no, it’s not a big deal.” But then the racket and babbling of guys fixing up an old something or another commenced. No kidding, I felt tears sting my eyes. I was having a huge internal pity party.

While looking down and trying my best to focus on what I was reading, a commercial came on – music sounded. I knew the tune. I knew the commercial even though I had only seen it once. It ended with: You are loved. Once again – amazing! Why so amazing? Because I was supposed to begin looking through my notes and possibly beginning a book that day on that very topic. Another reason it was so amazing to me was that I hadn’t heard that commercial even once since that first time. There I was in the middle of my very own pity party when my Father God reminded me that I was loved.

I’m still not sure where all of this is going. I was recently asked to speak at a women’s conference and this topic came to mind. Maybe it’s conference material. Maybe it’s a book. Maybe it’s both. Whatever it is, God has a plan that He will reveal at the right time. That’s part of living loved: I can trust Him to guide me through this confusing world, one where many voices attempt to direct my way. He will be that still small voice that calls me in the right direction.

So, there you have it, my newest stone. I will leave you with this stone as a reminder:

Think today about how this truth should
impact the way you live your life.

Grace and peace,

In case you’re interested, here is the commercial:
ADT – You Are Loved video

Stones Series

I have a basket of stones that I keep around to remember. Some of the most remarkable encounters I have had with God over the past years are represented by a stone with something painted on it. I got this idea from the Book of Joshua where, after the Israelites crossed over the Jordan River on dry ground, the LORD told Joshua to have the 12 Tribes set up stones as a memorial.

Chapter 4:4-7
4“So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, and said to them, “Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”

Why do I need a memorial? Because I’m just as forgetful as the Israelites. Don’t we often wonder how they could forget from one minute to the next all that God had done for them? Seriously, the plagues, the exodus, crossing the Red Sea, manna from heaven? It’s easy for us to read the account and wonder how they could forget such big events or the fact that God had promised to take care of them and proved it over and over.

I have seen God work on my behalf in small and huge ways. I have witnessed His hand in my life in ways that I absolutely know it’s Him. But still, when the going gets tough, the forgetful forget. Then I find myself wondering if He will come through on the next thing. I like to take time out on occasion and view my own Stones of Remembrance. Maybe this is an idea you can adopt in your own creative way by making a collage of photos or painting stones or scrap booking your memories. No matter how you set out to remember, just make sure you remember.

I’m in a yucky season right now, wondering if God will come through in some ways. Of course He will come through. It just may not look the way I want it. When my mind (and shaky faith) are in this forgetful place, I pull out my stones. I figured I would share them with you in the upcoming weeks. If I blog about them, that will keep them fresh on my mind and make sturdy my faith for this current season.

Many of you have heard my Stone stories at conferences, so I will begin next time with a new one. After that, you may get bored with a repeat, or maybe a fresh view of it will spark something you notice in your own life. To me, the little things can make just as big of an impact as the larger, jaw dropping miracles. Aren’t those the ones we often miss, however, the little things He does for us day in and day out. You have to keep an eye out.

Hope you enjoy the upcoming series.
Blessings to you,