Oh hey out there, it’s me and my fickle blogging schedule back again. Did you miss me? I really did miss you but between my face literally exploding every 3 milliseconds as yellow hell has swept through our peaceful little life (read pollen) the last few weeks….well I just haven’t been “in the mood” to do a lot of things. Ask the food crumbs laying happily on every square inch of our floors because I can’t muster the strength to vacuum, sweep or just blow really hard on them to get them inconspicuously under a piece of furniture. YOLO!!!!
I’ve also come to appreciate myself a bit over these last few months since launching the blog. I had made a commitment to only write if I felt truly inspired or led to write by the Lord and not write if it felt contrived, forced or took away from our family time. Well pats on the back for me….I am sticking with it and even though I get ideas rolling around in my brain all the time, I have been able to tell myself “This is not a good week to blog, too many other priorities” and I literally let it go. “That perfect girl is gone…..” Sing it with me parents stuck in FROZEN world.
The thing is when I do get going on a topic in my brain I realize I am usually driving and then I start muttering to myself and God what I am wrestling with or learning and begin mentally penning a post. I should just turn my phone on and record myself because I will say something well thought out or a bit clever and think…YES…I need to include that.
I turn into my neighborhood and the mind numbing volume in my car from three kids fighting pops my internal writing bubble. The post is gone, never to return.
So I do what any sensible, calm and mature parent does and flip my rearview mirror down so I can see their three guilty faces looking at me and give my irate speech about fighting in the car
Glance at road.
Back to mirror…. “MOMMY IS GOING TO GET IN AN ACCIDENT IF YOU SCREAM IN THE CAR!”
Back to road
Back to mirror (adds pointer finger for emphasis)…. “I’ve told you before that if you fight in the car you are immediately going to your rooms when we get home.”
Back to road
Back to mirror…..”I DON’T CARE WHO STARTED IT!!! We don’t speak unkindly to our sister and Chloe you had your feet all over him, I SAW YOU!!! Rhett do not say “blubber butt” it isn’t a nice word.”
Back to road, probably swerving by now.
Back to mirror….”The next person who talks is in their room till dinner.”
Enters long driveway. Unclenches butt, lowers shoulders.
10 seconds later Chloe says,” STAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHPPPPPPPPPPPP it BENNEEEEEETTTTTT”
I bash my forehead on the steering wheel so I don’t rip their vocal chords out of their precious little throats.
I would love to see statistics about moms and cars full of children getting in accidents verses people driving in silent cars. I just have a theory thats all. I’m positive this is what a map of me pulling on our road and then driveway looks like.
Enjoy this picture from Easter. This is just a microcosm of life at the Portnoy house with a scrappy three year old, a 7 year old that will make your ears bleed with “What if or Why does” questions and we all know Bennett. I just LOVE these kids…they provide ENDLESS laughter and joy but my word…we did not get “easy going” kids!
and the best we could get considering “somebody” wanted to be a turd.
Anyway….so my blogs tend to come together in my car commutes. Given we live out in the country we are in the car for long periods of time. Weird or not weird? I don’t know. Some entries I write immediately and others I have to wait for a better opening, or in this case I started this post last Thursday…thus huge gaps. I’m building the anti-audience apparently. Truly, I’m amazed people come back. So THANK YOU…anyone who has come more than once. At some point I hope to have a better cadence to my writing. At some point…
So this one is about the word “rescue” or “rescued”…thus the super witty title.
This word is starting to become a cornerstone of sorts for me.
By definition to be rescued means to:
Be free from confinement, danger, or evil : save, deliver: as
a : to take
b : to recover
c : to deliver
We have a children’s’ devotional called “The Jesus Storybook Bible” It is one of my favorites for many reasons but the main one is because it brilliantly weaves the fact that JESUS has been intended to rescue this world since the moment sin entered it.”I am the alpha and omega” (The beginning and the end) At the end of each story, starting in Genesis, “The Rescuer” is brought into the text.
Maybe I’m sensitive because as a child I knew a slew of Bible stories and also what good Christians did and didn’t do…but I never got “IT”. I never saw the giant love story of God towards his people through His son. The plan has been set in motion right in the beginning and we are on this very grand adventure with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Each verse of the Bible has a thin gold thread being pulled through it connecting all of it together into one gorgeous tapestry of life in the kingdom. I so want my kids to understand this. The Bible isn’t a set of nice stories with moral lessons and a list of “do’s and don’ts”. It’s not a handbook we can follow or choose not to. It’s a love story about a God who ruthlessly loves His people and is in the process of redeeming this world through the completed work of the Son. This is good news. This is life changing, heart freeing, mind blowing news. I’ve been rescued and boy do I know it!
Just the word “Rescued” stirs something in me, does it in you? When we hear on the news that somebody is trapped or a horrible accident has happened…gosh when 9-11 happened. People despair, lose hope, how can this be? But then when the news reports a missing person found, a child pulled from a well, a baby found alive in rubble, a fireman escaps holding a woman, etc…. our hearts crescendo with the sense of justice, victory, joy….HOPE! A rescue has happened. Balance is restored, good can overcome evil.
It’s hard to see yourself as worthy of rescue or at least I did. For ten years I sat in a prison of Kelly making one horrific self destructive decision after another. BUT…I was in church, I was in ministry…heck I was a short term missionary!!! So I was “good”.
Nobody knew my secret hell of illicit relationships….my habit of purging when I overate. That’s just hitting my top two “secret sins”. I physically, mentally, emotionally and of course, spiritually was wrecking my life. You know you’ve hit an all time low when the guy your tangled up withs friends refer to you as the “Missionary Whore”. Was that painful to read? It was painful to receive at the time. They were right, I was a walking train wreck of hypocrisy and brokenness. You know the verse that you can’t serve two masters. It’s true. If you try to…you get awesome nick names like I did.
I was, as the definition stated, in need of “being free from confinement, danger, or evil” I needed a Rescuer of epic proportion. You know….the one I sang my heart out to every Sunday…the one I bawled my eyes out to on my bedroom floor after every failed attempt at swearing off sin. I was SO aware that God was real, He was available, He had paid my debt in FULL…but I did not think I was worthy of His rescue and that I could be FREE from all that entangled me.
What HE did on the cross was die for the very thing I said I couldn’t let go, I couldn’t forgive myself of, I couldn’t walk away from. He took it upon himself out of His love for ME. Wretched as I am, He can only see me through the redemptive blood that trickled down Calvary.
Christine Caine was one of the speakers at IF Gathering back in February. She does not mince words! I love her direct way of speaking. She spoke from Joshua 5 about the Israelites escape from Pharaoh to the desert. They were told to go to the Promise Land which was just a few days walk. We all know how the story goes. It was FORTY years before the Israelites were to enter the Promise Land. FORTY YEARS. An entire generation of Israelites died in the desert never sticking a toe in the promise land.
Pause and ponder this. They were DELIVERED..but they were not FREE! Again….they were DELIVERED from bondage but they were NOT FREE to enjoy the promise land God had prepared for them. This so perfectly describes many believers bumping around on this earth. At one point in their life they chose Jesus. They were delivered from themselves but after that they chose to live a lukewarm life dabbling with Jesus but mainly focused on “self”. Many will go to the grave NEVER EVER tasting the promise land of abundant life lived serving in God’s kingdom. I don’t want to be just DELIVERED…I want to be FREE!!! Don’t you??
Hebrews 12 says to cast aside any weight or sin that entraps you. Some of those things can be “good” but they still hold you back from living abashedly in the kingdom. CAST THEM ASIDE. They are weighing your spirit down. They confuse your purpose. They dull your passions.
The brakes came to a squealing halt in April 2004 for me. I thought I was pregnant by a man I had grown to hate. I thought I had ruined my life in the most visible of ways and yoked myself to a man I had no intention of marrying let alone creating a life with. I blew the whistle on myself. I confessed to my mom and my mentor. I am forever grateful that the Lord spared me that road. I was not pregnant and it’s as if the bubble of crazy I was in finally popped and with a sober mind I was able to really look at my life and the trail of tears of ten years that was behind me. I went through some intense counseling for many months. I also had many many sessions of healing prayer to truly unearth those toxic sins that were so rooted in my heart.
On one balmy April night for many many hours of confession, forgiveness of self and others, and prayer I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was finally free from my past. I was EMANCIPATED, I was ready to leave the desert and enter the promise land that was waiting for me. I remember after this time of prayer and anointing of my home I took a long shower and continued to bawl my eyes out, not in sorrow but in joy. I then went out to my porch for a time of worship. I lit every candle I could find in my house. I put on worship music and read scripture and just PRAISED GOD with every fiber of my being. I knew I would never go back. I dipped my finger in a candle and got a dab of wax and put it on the last page of my Bible. I wanted to remember. I wanted an Ebeneazor of sorts to always look back on from that day. The day I was FREE.
Christine Caine said a profound statement during her talk that you MUST write down. Like right now…go…get a pen…get a journal or put this in the margin of your Bible. “The devil on his best day didn’t take me out on my worst day.” The victory has been won, my life is a living picture of redemption. I can tell this story without tears or guilt or remorse or shame because they have no power. I’ve been set free. I’ve been rescued. Have you? Are you rescued or are you still in the desert? Maybe you are still in Egypt. You hear about this Jesus, this “Rescuer” but you are so confused or reluctant to embrace his free gift of love. He ruthlessly loves you and is pursuing you. Do you feel it? What holds you back? If you have questions please email me.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28