Thursday, August 31, 2017

Involuntary Worship

by Danetta Kellar

The human body has both a voluntary and an involuntary nervous system. 

Because of the involuntary nervous system, we do not have to will our hearts to beat, remember to pump our lungs for breath, or set a reminder on repeat to make sure blood flows through our veins. All of these magnificent functions and more happen deep in the silence of our miraculous body, automatically.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Leaving Space for Unplanned Grace

by Danetta Kellar

A green sock with neon pink polka dots landed on my windshield. 

Next, a breezy sundress flew past the passenger window. Like a sudden blizzard, clothes were falling from the sky.

Slowing the car down, I turned on my wipers.

I drew back just in time to see a suitcase come toppling off a green van a few hundred yards in front of me, landing with a crash in the median. 

A black, pointy, patent-leather shoe stuck up from the tangled pile like it was trying to thumb a ride.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Letting Go of our Children

by Danetta Kellar

Leaving a legacy begins when we let go of our children. 

The words pierced my heart and left it to bleed. The string lights twinkled like stars above us, winking their assent to the truth spoken.

It was just me sitting alone in that immense warehouse-turned-cathedral while God’s spokesman, standing on the platform in shadow, aimed his word-arrows at my mother heart.

At least that is how it felt. Like I was the only one in the room with those sharp, true words.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

I Want to Be a Mary Mother but My Name is Martha

by Danetta Kellar

I saw the sticky notes while she was still sleeping in a soft pile of pink ruffled pillows. 

Finish my Lego set today. Play the piano for Daddy. Make a school room for my doll. Color a picture for Mommy. The white notes were plastered across her bookcase like little snowflakes stuck on a windowpane. Just by her head, so she would see them first thing in the morning.

My little planner is very busy. She loves to build things, gather people together, and write books. She talks about Laura and Mary like they are her sisters and wonders aloud what it would look like if her room were a loft in a Little House on the Prairie.

She is watching me, and listening. 

I can hear myself in her, see myself in her, and watch myself in her. If I am not careful, if I do not slow down soon, she will have learned very well from me how to go and go and go, to do and do and do, making list after list after list, faster and faster, until she is all grown up and I am left wishing I had shown her how to slow down and sit awhile.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

What Spills Out

by Danetta Kellar

Ravi Zacharias, in his very personal podcast Jesus Among Other Gods, (to listen, click here) shares an Indian proverb. “Whatever you are overflowing with will spill out when you are bumped.” 

He uses this proverb to illustrate his mother's strength of character on a very difficult night during his childhood. 

As I listened to his words in the car one dark night, my soul was gripped with conviction. 

Like a parade of shame, images of my own reactions when “bumped” flashed through my memory. Anger, selfishness, and pride all rose like specters in my mind, and I knew I was not like his mother. Not one bit.

Then came shame, always quick to cover our guilt so we focus only on ourselves. Behind shame comes the Party in a Box, labeled in garish letters, “PITY PARTY”. 

My real guilt was hidden now by shame and self-pity. I could get no real soul-work done in that state.

The next morning as I reflected on it again, with the fresh perspective of the morning’s new mercies, my soul condition was clearer to me. 

It is simple. Out of my heart, my mouth speaks, my body acts, my mind thinks. 

As always, life is a matter of the condition of my heart.

And thanks be to God, I can bring my heart to Him every day to be renewed.

There is hope, even for those who, when bumped, spew out all manner of foul things.

Living the Christian life is hard for some of us. Loving others, putting them first, making time for all the needs we see around us takes the kind of selflessness few of us have naturally. I often joke that my husband and mother-in-love have that gift naturally, but I have to study it, pray for it, work hard for it. It is not natural to me.

But the bottom line is this: God is what we are not. He has the power. The patience. The wisdom. The love. He offers us all that is necessary to love and serve the broken world we live in. It is not conditional upon our own hearts, it is conditional upon our willingness to come to him for filling. 

As we bring our hearts in all their lack to him, he fills them with what we can only manufacture in limited quantities. 

And for that, I will always return to him, again, and again, and again.

There may be no greater testament to me about His existence than when I see him fill my lack and make me more than I can be on my own. When I see myself bumped, and love and mercy come out, I know there is a God. For I know what is in me.

This is the power of our all-sufficient God.

Won’t you share a time when He filled you beyond your own limits and love spilled out instead?