When I grow up…

19 07 2017

This week at my church is Camp Discovery!  Camp Discovery is a VBS in the style of a day camp.  This year we are learning that we were created by God and built for a purpose!  We are on day three and this morning I heard a story that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about….

Yesterday the Camp Director was sitting with a Jr. leader and a group of girls discussing what they wanted to “be” when they grow up.  As they went around the circle one of the girls responded, “I want to be what God wants me to be.”  The Jr. leader quickly and quietly turned to the Camp Director and responded, “Don’t they know that they are already who God wants them to be?”

From the mouths of babes.

We often ask the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We talk about becoming doctors and lawyers and movie stars and what it takes to be that when we are older.  It shouldn’t suprise us then that we find our identity in what we do and if we do it well.  I see whole generations struggling to find out WHO WE ARE as the reality hit us that our jobs and careers aren’t what we thought they would be.  We don’t know who we are because what we do is so scattered, sporadic and doesn’t always seem to make an impact.

The truth though is that what we do is not who we are.  

I wonder if maybe we should change the question from what do we want to be to what do we want to do?  I wonder if maybe we should focus on an identity, a being that is secure in being LOVED by God, CREATED by God… and then dream into the purposes and doing that He has for us?


What do you want to DO when you grow up as you ARE loved by God?





Who I am.

12 07 2017

I have been thinking a lot lately about the idea of who I am.  My identity.  I think many 20 somethings spend time thinking about identity as many of us move from child to student to adult.  Many of us change from sons and daughters, to husbands and wives, and then to fathers and mothers.  Many of us change from students to adults, from colleages to supervisors and from employees to boss.

As I have thought about my own identity in the changes of life I have become convinced that many of us are wrong about our identity.  Many of us view our identity based on what we do.  I am an athlete, an artist, a musician.  I am a handyman, an electrician, an accountant, etc.  What we do in our professions and in our lives dictates who we see ourselves and others as.  The problem with this though is that we struggle to really understand and grasp WHO WE ARE as WHAT WE DO changes.  As I learn more about God I am convinced that WHAT I DO is not my true identity.

You see when I was a child there was something that my dad would say when we were attending a serious event or we were going somewhere without him:

You are a DeWitt, act like a DeWitt.  Act in such a way that is worthy of the DeWitt name.

And luckily for my dad, my sisters and myself would act worthy of the DeWitt name.  We were mature and friendly.  We never caused a scene (that I can remember), we were always helpful and we genuinely enjoyed (most of the time) what life was all about.  We acted as we knew a DeWitt to act.  It was out of our identity as part of the DeWitt family that we behaved a certain way.  Can I share a secret with you… even if we had raised a holy terror, if we had acted NOT like a DeWitt we still would have been DeWitts.  Even if we screamed at every person we met, threw food in people’s faces and tore our clothing we would still have been DeWitts.  Our identity wasn’t dictated by our actions but instead our identity dictated how we would act.

You see regardless of our actions we BELONGED to a family.  Our IDENTITY was not in our ACTIONS but instead in our belonging… our being.  And the same is true in God.  When we accept the Gospel and allow Jesus to be Lord and Savior of our life we move into a new family.  And our new identity begins.  It isn’t that we always automatically act like we belong, but we do.  Our ultimate identity is based solely on being loved from God… and our actions flow from that point.

We are:

John 1:12              Ephesians 1:5              Genesis 1:27              1 Cor 12:27              Jon 3:16

1 Peter 2:9               Galatians 3:27-28               1 John 3:1-2                Romans 8:17

Children of God
Adopted/Chosen by God
No longer Slaves
Men and Woman of God
Heirs to His Promise
Loved of God

And everything else flows from there.


Where does your identity lie?  
Are you trying to act like you belong or are you acting out of belonging?






My Give.

22 06 2017

Over the past few months I have been haunted by an idea, a phrase that came about from a journal reading.  The idea came from Exodus 35 and 36, specifically 35:21 and 36:4-7…

“Then everyone came whose heart was stirred, and everyone whose spirit was willing, and they brought the Lord’s offering for the work of the tabernacle of meeting, for all its service, and for the holy garments.” Exodus 35:21


“Then all the craftsmen who were doing all the work of the sanctuary came, each from the work he was doing, and they spoke to Moses, saying, “The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work which the Lord commanded us to do.”

So Moses gave a commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, “Let neither man nor woman do any more work for the offering of the sanctuary.” And the people were restrained from bringing, for the material they had was sufficient for all the work to be done—indeed too much.” Exodus 36:4-7

How incredible.  As they were working on creating the tabernacle for the Lord – the place where the presence of God would dwell (!!), the people with willing hearts gave of what they had.  As each person gave from what they had, both possessions and talents THERE WAS MORE THAN ENOUGH FOR WHAT WAS TO BE DONE.

More than enough.

Nowhere in this passage did it say that the people judged their gift based on what others were giving but instead it says that they brought freely from what they had and all together it was ALL they needed for ALL parts of the tabernacle.  Actually, it was MORE THAN all they needed.

I think too often we look at our “give” and we judge it against what we see others giving.  We judge the type, we judge the amount, we judge what looks to be the quality... and often in this judging we judge our “give” to not be enough and so WE DON’T GIVE IT.  What we forget is that it takes many types and qualities and quantities of GIVES to make complete the calling of God on His people.

Recently I was reminded of this passage and an incident found in Acts.  There are currently many situations and people in my life who are going through hard times.  They are going through situations that I can’t fix.  I feel worthless because I wonder what I have to giveto them.  And it is in these moments that I remember a time where Peter, like me, didn’t have what a situation looked to need… but what he does have, he freely gives.

“Then Peter said, ‘Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.'” Acts 3:6

Peter doesn’t have money but what he has is more powerful.  Peter doesn’t have physical resources but he has miraculous resources that go beyond time.

Although I don’t always have money to give, solutions to the problem or even words to bring comfort, I don’t have the immediate resources, there is something I do have and like Peter it goes beyond…. I have God.  I have His presence and power inside of me.  Like Peter I have the miraculous resource of the presence of God within me who brings peace and healing.

My give is not dictated by what I think I have or don’t have but instead my give is dictated by His Spirit inside me.  In Him there is fullness and He enables me to give what is needed in those moments.  And so, I give of what I do have, Him.

What is your give?





5 Years.

5 06 2017

Yesterday was my 5 year anniversary of living in New England.  5 years.  I just can’t believe it.  I am amazed that:  First, 5 years have somehow flown by so quickly AND that somehow it has only been 5 years that have passed.  Isn’t it weird how that happens.

I have found that as you grow older those two statements ring more and more true.  It feels as though time is racing by, and yet, it feels as though the adventures we experience and the people we come to know, we have always known and experienced.  Simply amazing!

There is a lot that God has done in me and there are more than I could list of things that I have learned over the past 5 years but for kicks and giggles let me list what seem to be the top 5 things I have learned…

5 things for 5 Years

5. That distance doesn’t hinder relationships it only changes the way we relate.  When I moved to California from Washington I was a young 19 year old who had never lived away from home.  I was desperate to relate the same way as I always had and so I called my family EVERY SINGLE day.  I wasn’t ready to let go of the day to day interactions.  I wasn’t sure what it meant to have a life outside of them, I thought that if things weren’t the same then somehow it meant my relationships would be gone.  Fast forward 3 1/2 years when I moved to New England.  I not only was moving away from my family but I was moving away from my friends to a land that was unknown.  What I now know is that GOING and SENDING others means that our love is increased.  We may SEE people and comunicate with them less but it doesn’t make it any less impactful.  When distance limits time and hinders communication it makes (or must make) what contact and time is spent together that much more intentional.

4. Different doesn’t mean bad or wrong, it just means different.
The culture and people in New England are different than both Washington and California.  When I moved to California it felt as though what people did differently was WRONG.  It felt wrong because if they weren’t wrong than it must mean that I WAS wrong.  This feeling was based on a misconception that there was one right way to speak, one right way to love, one right way to meet/be with people.

Over the past 5 years God has begun to show me the beauty that is found in ALL of His people and how intentional He was to create us all to see and love and meet people differently.  As God showed me the purpose He made me with to see differently I was able to see or at least imagine the purpose He had for the different found in others.  Truth is truth but sometimes that very truth can be expressed, seen and experienced differently. Different doesn’t mean bad or wrong, it just means different.

3. Joy is found on the otherside of fear.
I love that recently there have been many Christian worship songs that talk about how God conquers fear.  This is probably due to the fact that for much of my life fear ruled me.  I can see now that fear even ruled my relationship with God: I feared being found out by God or others as being the phony I felt inside.  I knew my sin and struggled to be “good enough” to deserve the gift God had given to me.  When I moved to New England God began to make my face my fear.  He challenged me to make decisions in my life not based on my fears (especially of failure) but instead based on His faithfulness and His love.  1 John 4:18 says “Perfect love cast out all fear…” and God challenged me to trust His perfect love in the face of my fears.  I took a trapeze class, I went skydiving, I allowed Him to shed light on my past and I opened my heart to the possibilities of love.  And through it all I found that joy is found on the otherside of fear; when I allow my trust of God to dictate my decisions I experience freedom.  My only explanation when asked what skydiving feels like is that it is pure joy, there was nothing else but peace and joy.  When we journey with God and choose Him over our fear, we find His perfect peace and joy.

2. My potential has more to do with God than it does me.
Now hear me out for a second… In high school and even in college you could have summed me up in one word: perfectionst.   I felt like I needed to be good enough to make an impact on the world.  I felt this call of God on myself to do something important, something big but I never felt as though I measured up to that call.  And to be honest, that is probably true but I’ve learned in the last 5 years that I don’t have to:

Be good enough
Be wise enough
Be creative enough
Do enough
etc.

I only need to trust God in me and His leading and He will make the rest happen.  My potential has more to do with God and His power in me than it does on what I can do myself.  When I trust in that, impossible things are possible.

And finally, 1. My identity is wrapped up in God’s love.
This has been huge for me. If you haven’t figured it out yet my identity for a very long time was wrapped up in what I could do and the impact that I had.  I saw powerful ministers of God and felt as though what they did impacted who they were.  But now I know the truth, who we are dictates what we do and our impact.  If we want to be the light and love of God to people than our identiy MUST BE found in being loved by God.  Only when we rest in, root ourselves in and identify with God’s love can we in any way give that same love to others.  His love overwhelms me.  A few days ago I wrote this in my journal,

“A different sort of security comes when we see our whole identity as being based in Your love of us.  If we are certain of nothing else we can be certain of being found in your love… Your love is fullness of peace and strength.  Your love will not fail to change, transform, challenge and empower.  Your love is who we are and THAT changes everything.”

When my identity is based in God’s love then I can trust that He will change me.  He will cover me.  He will empower me.  He will… His love never fails and His love drives out fear.  If I am found in His love, if being loved by Him is who I am then nothing can stop me from being His love to the World.

I am in awe of all God has done in the past 5 years.  He has changed me and marked me in incredible ways.  Here’s to many more adventures and years allowing Him to do what only He can do in AND through me.





Love Lashed.

15 04 2017

Written by K. DeWitt
April 13th, 2015

Love Lashed

I can’t help but think about Jesus,
Think about the Cross,
Think about what held him there.

“If you are the Messiah, come on down from that cross”
Voices mocked who days before had praised.

What are we to think of the man, our Savior, nailed to that cross?
Is He the Savior, the one come to defeat?
Was He the one to set us all free?

Was He a man or was He the Savior?
And what held Him there, upon that cross.

Fully a man and yet fully God
Nails weren’t what held Him bound to the cross that day.

Love lashed His will to that cross;
love that had withstood the ages,
Love that relentlessly made a way,
Love of a Father, a God and Creator.

Love held Him there.

Love lashed Him to the cross,
beyond human decision and temptation.
God’s true, eternal, pure love illuminated the darkness.
And love, love held Him there.

Love lashed Him there,
when no cords or nails could hold him.
No decree or declaration.
Fully human, yet fully God
He could easily have come off.

But love lashed Him there.  
Love bound Him to that cross.  
Love anchors His will to the will of the Father.

No love that can be known on earth down below.
No affections among humans
Could bind one upon earth as it is in heaven

This love that lashed Him is a love beyond
Love that called light from the darkness
Love that is pure and holy and true
Love without condition and that could never fail.

The only thing stronger than death,
Love lashes Him there.





Roots Down Deep.

29 03 2017

For as long as I can remember trees have always fascinated me.  I love the grace with which they swayed in the mind.  I loved watching them survive and change throughout the seasons.  I LOVED listening to the wind whisper through their leaves while on the golf course.

Trees have always fascinated me.

It shouldn’t surprise you then that over the past few years God has spoken to me a lot through the image of a tree and the idea of roots down deep.

 


When I moved to New England there was something that happened within me that I could only explain through the picture of the transplanting of a tree.  Transplanting a tree takes a lot of commitment, forethought and follow through.  The roots of the tree have to be pruned the season prior to transplanting, a new hole must be dug and prepared, the plant must be positioned correctly and will need adequate care after the move.

What I found in my move to New England was that although the pruning was uncomfortable and the move was restricting and hard, once transplanted I finally had room for my roots to dig down deep and the ability to bear more fruit than I thought possible.

God had been purposeful both in the preparation beforehand but also in the where and the when of transplanting me.


And now, 2 1/2 years after I was transplanted I could see that my roots were deeper and my leaves were fuller.  And yet, there still seemed to be areas where there wasn’t much fruit, areas where there SHOULD have been fruit.  I began to ask questions of why I act and respond certain ways in different situations.  Questions of why I struggle with certain sins.  Questions of why I wasn’t seeing the type or amount of fruit as the care and conditions should see.  These questions birthed from a place of believing that there was more for me than I was seeing and that this “defect” had to come from somewhere.  The asking wasn’t consuming but I was becoming convinced that there had to be a reason why, there had to be a source, and God could show me.

And so, a year ago God began to answer.  And it was through the picture of a tree that God answered me.

God showed me, that I had become a stable tree.  My roots were deep and my leaves were healthy but there was an area that wasn’t seeing it’s potential.  He showed me deep into the root system, to the very beginning.  He dug down deep and revealed that sometime in the infancy of my tree a strong weed had taken root and that it had wound itself around my roots and pretended to be a part of the tree.

The weed hadn’t hindered my trees overall root strength or tree healthy but it caused areas to go without nutrients and to produce less fruit.  It wasn’t that anything was wrong with me and it wasn’t anything I  had done.

But it was time for something to be done.  My roots were deep enough and I was strong enough to survive the deep work that He needed to do.  If He had tried before I wouldn’t have been strong enough.  God needed to dig down deep and separate my true roots from the impostor.  He was going to rid me of the weed forever so that the areas that once lacked vitality and fruitfulness would now bear all the fruit that was intended.


Over the past year that is what God has done.  He has gone deep to rid me of the weeds.  And as He has worked He has also continued to speak to me about Roots Down Deep.  It is only if I will allow my roots to continue to go deep that I can withstand His rooting out the weeds deep within.

Growing up in the desert I was always amazed at the depth of roots some plants (and weeds) could produce.  The lack of water forced their roots to go deep.  The easy nutrients were found above but the life sustaining ones were found deep down.  Even in the driest of times, if you dig down deep you will find the nutrients for life.

The work is hard and painful and is taking time but the results I can already see and are worth it.

The only way to survive being transplanted, survive the weeds being dug out of life or the dry seasons that inevitably will come is to have roots down deep; to go beyond the easy and momentary to the eternal and everlasting.

If you have struggled with why God would wait to deal with or heal something in your life, I hope this image gives you hope and strength.  It is God’s love that waits as we become strong enough and it is also His love that goes deep to rid us of those weeds.  His timing is perfect.  His ways are eternal.  His love goes beyond even our pain.

Will you trust God and allow your roots to go down deep?  Will you push past the momentary and trust the Everlasting.

Keep trusting but don’t stop asking and believing for the fullness of His healing and love.

 





Deep Cries Out to Deep.

29 03 2017

10985301_10207839127927883_6608697790991928893_n

Deep calls to deep… this was a devotion that I wrote a year ago and as with most devotions, it still speaks to me.

We have all been there, when the depths of who we are are steeped in pain and despair.  Sometimes the pain is actually growth, painful and time consuming periods of growth.  Other times that pain and despair is God’s prompting for surrender.  Surrender to the healing that can only be found in Him.  Regardless of what the pain and despair seem to be, It feels as though whatever is going on will never end, will never let up.

It is in this spot that we often forget who God is and what He has done. We forget that our God is steadfast, that His love looks beyond the moment into eternity, that He can and does the impossible daily.

God’s love is hard to understand because it is a love that has all understanding.  Our vision is clouded and minimal in distance but His not only encompasses all there is but sees in all of time.  He has all of us and all of eternity within the scope of His love.

And it is in light of that love and in those moment of pain and despair that  deep calls out to deep.  The deepest part of who we are calls out to the deepest of His love.  Where the roar of His life and love can drown out any other sound.  It is here that His grace and love pour over us and where, if we allow it, His mercy can wash the dirt away.

As deep calls out to deep, His mighty waters drench my soul, His great love allows me to surrender my plans to His and trust.

For even though the storms of life rage, my God calms the waters with a word and stills the raging sea with the soles of His feet.  


Will we surrender in the waters and allow them to wash over us?
Will we allow our deepest parts to cry out to Him?
Will we allow Him to remind us of who He is and who we are in Him?