New Writing Endeavor- THRIVE & DIME!

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I’m so excited to tell… ANY of you who may still be reading along with this ol’ blog of mine…. I’ve started writing again over at MetroFamily Magazine! It’s been a great experience, and it has been so good for me to be getting the words out again. Hope you’ll read along with me!  I post my latest links on my Facebook and Instagram (@emeryjo) accounts, so follow along! Cheers to what lies ahead!

Where Was God?

Screen Shot 2014-05-12 at 10.43.15 AMMy wonderful husband has worked SO hard on writing the music for a hope-filled film due to release this weekend called “Where Was God?”.  It follows the lives of several families affected by the tornado that plowed right through Moore, Oklahoma almost one year ago.

This movie is a gut-wrenching look at what the aftermath of an event like this is truly like, and the stories of hope that arise from the rubble.  A city brought low rises up again with stories to tell – stories that will build & strengthen your faith in whatever storms of life you might face. It shows how the winds intertwined more than just branches & debris – it also intertwined hearts and journeys of healing in breathtakingly beautiful and unexpected ways. It’s a story you’ll never forget.

It will release locally at the Warren Theatre in Moore first, but screenings may be requested elsewhere at wherewasgod.com.  Please check out the trailer below, and help spread the word in any way you can!

 

 

Under the Umbrella.

The past couple of weeks have been brutal.  The temperature gauge is soaring and the triple digit heat is making itself quite comfortable around here.  In fact, it has unpacked its bags and I heard it on the phone earlier, making plans for mid September!  The nerve!  Our beautiful green land is quickly browning in the sun and the plants and trees are curling in upon themselves.  They look like they are in pain.  A few days ago, the thought crept in: why did I not flee to the mountain air when I had my chance one year ago?  Why did I allow myself to stay in this place of unbearable Summer heat and dryness?  In the face of obvious providential leading, doubt screams.  It screams and it undermines- taking the goodness of God and attaching it’s worth to the painted lines on a thermometer, the drawn elevation lines on a topography map.  Much like a conniving serpent attached it’s worth to a piece of dangling fruit at the dawn of humanity.

If He is truly GOOD, He would let you eat that fruit, because you want it!
If He is truly GOOD, He would have led you to cooler air and scenic overlooks, because you want it!  You deserve it, after all, don’t you?

Is He more good in Colorado than He is in Oklahoma?  Is He more good in a luxury loft than a forgotten prison cell?

Reason may argue yes, but God Himself tells us no.  His goodness is limited by no circumstance on this earth.  It is FOR us and nothing can raise itself up against it, try as it might.  Not trouble nor hardship nor persecution nor famine nor nakedness nor danger nor sword.  (Romans 8:28, 35-39)

I can not allow myself to do this again.  I can not allow myself to feel soul-dead and angry and miserable from the months of June to September.  It happens every year, and I’m starting to see the immaturity of it… the blatant distrusting of God in it… taking the pleasant from His hand and rejecting anything that smacks of discomfort or displeasure.

I feel the tiniest spark of hope, sitting here at my kitchen table, watching the sprinklers out front as they battle for green.  Everything is brown and crispy, except for where there has been regular water.  HELLO, SOUL! Are you listening?  WATER THYSELF!!  Duh.  I may be dry and weary, but that doesn’t mean I can’t ask God to show Himself to me- even in this (seemingly) brutal and ridiculous season of heat.

Does Summer teach us what it means to long for something?  To desperately wait for something like the earth waits for the rain?  Is it set-up to teach my self-gratifying soul what it means to actually THIRST?  To experience something in life that has no quick-fix or on/off switch?  Is it meant to draw me to a source of living water– one that isn’t dependent upon fleeting clouds- as I watch the ground outside my window crack and split open like a gaping wound?

If it can help me find these things, even in the slightest way, then… God, let it be Summer all year long!  I need all the help I can get in bringing this soul toward maturity and casting off the wavering loyalty of youth.  This soul of mine is far too quick to stomp around its room- longing for mountains and wanting its mommy- the moment things get hard.

Would mountains or mommies finally satisfy this cavernous, aching soul of mine?  Would it bring the rest that it so unceasingly searches for- every day and with every breath?  No. Of course not!  There is only one thing that brings true rest and true satisfaction to a soul, and that is the One who authored it… who called it into being and knit it together in secret places before the world was formed.

I believe that God is in control of every drop of rain and every gust of wind and every shifting of a degree.  I also believe that He is good.  Consequently, I believe that I am in this place, in this season, for a purpose and a reason, and I’m ready to stop grumbling about the heat that comes with it.  I will choose to give thanks in the midst of heat domes and record breaking temperatures and brown overtaking green.  I will lift my eyes UP, and be grateful for the lesson of thirst, knowing the water I truly long for is ALWAYS raining down on me.  All I have to do is put my umbrella away.

“As a deer pants for flowing streams,
  so pants my soul for you, O God.
  My soul thirsts for God,
  for the living God.
  When shall I come and appear before Him?”

(Psalm 42:1-2)

Movin’ to the Country, Gonna Eat a Lot of Peaches.

We are officially moved in to our sweet country abode as of Saturday, and I’ve got pretty much everything unpacked, for the most part! The move was completely smooth and seamless thanks to the help of our wonderful friends and neighbors. We had everything loaded and unloaded up here by 11:00 AM, and once again I am reminded of how sweet community is, and how necessary it is when life gets a bit…chaotic. We could not have done it without their help!!

I will definitely be posting all the amazing before & after transformations that have taken place up here over the last couple of months, as well as pictures of all the rooms as they get all put together, but I need to wait until our Internet gets all hooked up- which should be in the next few days.

The boys and I have been having a blast discovering all of the new and wonderful things about this place. We’ve found lots of cute turtles and a tiny litter of newborn kittens were born under our deck a couple of days ago. We’ve also discovered a peach tree and a cherry tree growing right next to the driveway that leads back to the barn! What a blast!!

Although… to be fair… last night I was sitting in the living room relaxing, and when I stood up I saw a scorpion that was only inches from where I’d been sitting. Its tail was up and its claws we’re out and it was swaying side to side like a horrible, tiny little satan monster. I think i even heard it deny the cross! I died from fear and then spent the next hour trying to relocate it so that I could smash it to bits with a microphone stand. That was… not so much great. Hahaha.

It is so calm and peaceful out here (apart from the attempted scorpion attacks, of course), and I can already feel myself getting all claustrophobic whenever I have to drive back in to town. It’s amazing how quickly one’s perspective on things can change. I grew up out in a more rural area, so this new home of ours feels like stumbling upon a long lost friend. We are so grateful to be here!

Much more to come soon! xoxoxo