Seen and Known

“So she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.” – Genesis 16:13

I used to say I would never live in Houston…I’m a fall/winter kind of girl and let’s be honest, Houston is a summer/hotter summer kind of place.  But then, 7 years ago, God divinely took me there. I would end up staying for 4 years.  At the time, it didn’t feel divine.

A year of living in a borrowed RV, with two cats, a part-time job that required a one-way hour commute, no family or church home, and a whole lot of heartbreak doesn’t paint a divine picture.  It was the most difficult and soul-searching year I’d ever experienced.  When the school year ended along with my part-time music therapy contract, I moved home for the summer…but….

I moved with the intention of only staying the summer.  I left all of my things in a Houston storage unit.  I applied for a full-time Music Therapy position with the same school district.  What made me want to move back there?  I wondered that to myself, even as I searched for apartments online from my family’s home.  I could have sought out jobs anywhere else.  I had previously lived in Ft. Worth and loved it – why not move back? Divinely, I was drawn back to Houston.  Back away from family.  Back to where the heartbreak had occurred and still had no resolution.

I spent 3 more years in Houston, before moving once again to seek resolution in a relationship.  So much had happened, but I didn’t fully realize what God had done until I visited Houston a month ago for the first time in an additional 3 years.

“Come and see what God has done; He is awesome in His deeds toward the children of men.” – Psalm 66:5

I drove around my old stomping grounds, I saw the streets I loved, the schools I poured my heart into, the small group and church that had become my lifeline and family.  I saw the tall trees I’d fallen in love with as I drove to work, tears of heartbreak and grief and confusion streaming from my heart.  And I realized that I had been seen.  I had been known.  That I felt misunderstood and confused, but God understood and knew the path.

Oh how He shaped me in those Houston years….how He used that humid place to mold my heart.  I had nowhere to turn but to Him.  I had no one that fully knew me, save Him.  I had no family to hold, so I fell on my knees before Him.  I learned how to grieve loss, how to trust completely, how to let Him be my daily bread and all-sustaining life.  And I didn’t even realize He was doing it.  He knew the road I would need to walk later, so He taught me how to live and breathe His life then.

I wouldn’t trade those years.  I would happily live in Houston the rest of my life if He were in it.  I would move across the world if He asked, because He sees me.  There’s no place I can go where He cannot find me, love me, pull me up.  When I felt the most lost, I was actually the most found.

So take heart.  You are seen and you are known by the one true God.

Thy mercy, my God, is the theme of my song.

The joy of my heart and the boast of my tongue.

Thy free grace alone from the first to the last, hath won my affection and bound my soul fast.

Steadfast Love

I’ve been thinking a lot these days about how the Lord is my anchor.  How He holds fast, how He never moves.  In a world that on a good day is fast paced and busy, and on a bad day is chaos and overwhelming – He is literally the one thing that never moves.  Like a rock, a mountain of strength, He remains.  He endures.  I can lean on Him and He can handle it.  I can lean heavily on Him, and He welcomes it.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28

How can I spend so many minutes of my day completely involved and taken up with things that don’t matter?  How can I forget how good He is? How reliable He is? How much He has already done for me?  How is it that His love is so great that He not only remains, but that I can hide behind Him? That He is faithful when I am so faithless? So forgetfull?

“Oh Lord, what is man that You would pay attention? Our lives are but a breath; all our days are fleeting.  That even in my sin Your love never left me.”

“For Your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in Your faithfulness.” – Psalm 26:3

“How blessed we are, that You are our God and we are Your people. You make our sons like tall oak trees.  You make our daughters like bright flowers.”

Oh, that I would spend my days, energy, strength, and words on Him.  He is so faithful, good, and true.

“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17-19

Obedience

20 Kids and Counting. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar. How many people have heard those names and quickly passed a thought of judgement? I’d like to offer up a question to the naysayers, because sometimes I feel so passionate about something that I just can’t stand being quiet 🙂

When was the last time you were so sure of something the Lord had told you to do and you were so committed to obeying Him that you did it in the face of the world’s pointing finger? I can honestly say that I haven’t. I want to offer up high regard for the Duggars for being obedient to what they feel the Lord has told them to do with their family.

“Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to Him” Psalm 128:1

Can you imagine what it’s like to hear the negative comments regarding their family? People who have never met them, never spoken to their children, never spent a day with them automatically assuming they know what it’s like to be a part of that family? Quickly passing judgement. Assuming those kids have any less love, attention, knowledge, desire to follow God, etc than another child in a smaller family? What about families who choose to raise their children on the mission field – out of obedience to God? I don’t hear anyone passing judgment or making negative assumptions about those families… What about families who choose to adopt once their other children are grown? Nope, pretty quiet about that too, aren’t we? It seems we’re only judgmental, outspoken, and opinionated about the things/situations that 1) scare us: 2) are something WE’D never do: 3)or don’t understand.

If the Lord has put it on the Duggars’ heart to allow Him to be in charge of how many children He blesses them with: I say more power to them. The Lord is clearly blessing them for their obedience. They have well-rounded, well-loved children who have desires and joys and the blessing of knowing their parents are walking in obedience to the what the Lord has told them – despite the naysayers (who are more often than not, Christians….).

Will I have 20 kids? Probably not. But I hope that I can face the world and humbly, lovingly, and with full confidence declare my obedience to what the Lord has asked of me – Thank you, Duggars’ for your example of complete trust in the Lord’s will for your lives.

“When you do common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.” George Washington Carver

How to say “Thank You”


Love. Her.
Ok, everyone HAS to know, that us Wilson siblings have the BEST mom ever.  It’s just truth.  I’m sure your mom is awesome too, but in our minds – no one outranks Denise 🙂  So with Mother’s Day coming tomorrow, it’s just not easy to be away from her!  Sending a present and card in the mail is just not enough.  So the age-old question is, how to say “Thank you” to the world’s best mom? Especially knowing that so much of who I am and where I am today is to my parent’s credit.  How do you say “Thank you”?

Mom Rocks.


For countless meals fixed or fetched, for hairdos perfected before school and messed up before she got us all the way there, for refereeing more sibling battles than one can count,for praying for us day in and day out,  for pretending and being silly, for enduring back to school shopping with two daughters year in and year out, for listening, for taking us on vacations to places we wanted to go, for giving us Pooh Sticks, for Christmas PJ pictures,  for protecting us from harm, for comforting us when kids were mean, for correcting us when we were mean, for listening to kids’ music in the car, for teaching our VBS classes, for volunteering at the school, for making us laugh, for teaching us the value of coupons, for cheering us on from the bleachers even when our Jr. High B-team couldn’t win a game, for enduring our adolescent mood swings, for playing basketball in the driveway, for teaching us about Jesus Christ, and for doing all these things with love and a smile on her face. HOW? How do I thank my mother for raising me? And for doing it without letting on how hard it was?

I don't understand why people think we look alike....


I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to thank her sufficiently.  Hopefully one day I’ll be a mother as well, and then I can at least say “Now I know!” 🙂  But for now, with all the love and gratitude that can be sent across the airwaves between Houston and Canyon, THANK YOU 🙂

Happy Mother's Day!!

Love you, Mom.

Birthday Month

February is the month of girly birthdays in the Wilson household.  3 weeks in a row of pink, presents, love, and giggles.  My sister’s birthday comes first on February 7th, then a nice respite with chocolate on Valentines Day, then my birthday follows on February 24th.  It’s quite a month of pure happiness.

Birthday Bandanas

My sister and I wholeheartedly agree that February is indeed one of the best month out of the 12.  Birthdays were not extravagant ordeals, like those you’ll find on reality shows today – see some on www.tlc.com.

But my mom always had a cake – usually homemade with more love and time than I am sure to have the patience for.  Some of the favorites were the classic “Winnie the Pooh’s honeypot and honeybees”, numerous pink heart-shaped cakes, and anything else sweet and girly that you can imagine.

 

Birthday Cakes
Birthday Cakes

My sister and I have this “special February bond” because we share a birthday month 🙂  Call it silly, but we call it important and wouldn’t have it any other way.

For two sisters who grew up sharing a lot – rooms, Barbies, fashion shows and talent shows, and eventually clothes and jewelry,

Fashion Show

 

 

we didn’t mind sharing a birthday month.  It’s like having a birthday all month long, even if it’s not yours!  Even now, we anticipate February almost as much as Christmas.  No matter how young or old we get, my sister makes February so much fun.  Because we claim it as “our month”, it’s given us many excuses to get together, laugh, spoil each other, and I know it always will.  If you haven’t met my sister, you are missing out 😉  I wasn’t always keen on sharing my Barbies with her – but at least she knew how to play with them! A little brother would have destroyed them on the driveway along with the hot wheels.   We already have so many memories together:

Charity and Charissa
Charity and Charissa

 

many, many good memories with lots of giggles, tears, and loud laughter:

Baking something wonderful
Baking Something Wonderful

 

and many shared secrets and long late-night talks

Not Packing...
Not Packing...

And many more memories to come.  Charissa, here’s to many more Birthday Month’s, Slumber Parties, HGTV projects, trips to the zoo, Squeaky Spots, surprise b-day trips, and M*A*S*H quotes.  You are my best girlfriend, the bestest sister a girl could ask for. Love you 🙂  (And don’t be mad at me for posting pics of you…you are of course, adorable, in ALL of them.)

Best Sisters
Best Sisters

 

Where the Wind Does Blow

The wind is blowing a gale today, and it makes me wish I were a kite or a pretty pink balloon….that the wind can take hold of me and blow me to places I’ve only dreamed of…..

Beautiful Alaska, where I could fish, climb and breathe deeply.

Tianjin, China….where I fell in love with so many beautiful children and was captured by the heart of God.


The savannahs of Africa.  Perhaps I’ll find Robert Redford there??

Paris, France although it might sound cliche.  I just have to see it!

Spring Is Coming

I think my favorite part of living in South Texas is the unstoppable blooming of beautiful trees earlier than all the other places I’ve lived.  While the humidity is something to run from, it does produce some of God’s most beautiful blooms.  Just a sweet smelling reminder today that Spring is coming (if not already here in Houston).

Out of these ashes, beauty will rise, and we will dance among the ruins….we will see it with our own eyes.