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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

When the Heart Stampedes Wild Horse

Then Abigail made haste and took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five sheep already dressed, five seahs of roasted grain, one hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and loaded them on donkeys. And she said to her servants, “Go on before me; see, I am coming after you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal. So it was, as she rode on the donkey, that she went down under cover of the hill; and there were David and his men, coming down toward her, and she met them.
—1 Samuel 25:18–20

This is a fitting theme for today because my heart stampeded last night. I suffered a panic attack and I don’t know why. And it had been so long that I thought I was over this. 

So I labored. 

I separated breath from breath and thought from thought and remembered to breathe “Thank You.” 

And I listened to Jodi Penner sing “Be Near Me Still.”

Then I wrote to God in my journal-
You reminded me to breathe “Thank You”
You introduced me to “Be Near Me Still” two days ago so that I had it for last night
You timed it so that this is where I'm in my Bible today

And I wrote a song.

I have journals for lists. 

I write my grocery lists in a Grocery Journal I made from a reusable cloth grocery bag. 

I plan meals for the week in my Bread-n-Butter Journal which I made from a kitchen towel. 

My to-do lists are in the Honey-Do Journal I made from rugged texture fabric and tied one of those spiraled wooden honey scoops to a string of twine which serves as a place holder so I know where I'm at and what I've done. 

And I have my Prayer Journal. This is where I write down the things which God's Spirit speak into my spirit. There's a physiological connection which happens when Spirit speaks to spirit, and then every neuron in my brain connects to the way my heart beats and charges down mental, muscular, and nervous pathways till my fingers hold pen. This is my Connect with God's Heart Journal. I have many of these and each is made with assorted fabrics, sometimes lace, always buttons.

Well, I don't know about Abigail, but if she didn't have a grocery journal, she should have! Goodness! 

Two hundred loaves of bread? How much flour would that be? 

Five seahs of roasted grain 

One hundred clusters of raisins 

Two hundred cakes of figs

Two skins of wine 

Five sheep already dressed

And I thought I had a large grocery list!

Wild Horse

This is Abigail. Her heart stampeded wild horse. Her household was at stake. Her husband was inaccessible. 

I can relate. 

My husband has fought his battles and been inaccessible, and I’ve loaded donkeys for the sake of my household. 

Abigail went undercover when the one she feared approached. Her heart was probably beating right out of her chest.
 I, too, went down undercover last night, and my heart beat out of my chest. I practiced the hard pisteuo. The hard faith and hope. 

I’m learning.  

I didn’t have words with God. Is that because I’m becoming more mindful to ask, “How was trust in You strengthened in me today?” Maybe. Not long ago, what would have come out of my panicked lips is not what came out in the darkness last night. It was pisteuo speech. This is the language spoken by those who practice believing, trusting and hoping in God.


My heart is practicing a new beat—an “I believe in You” beat, an “I trust You” beat, an “I hope in You” beat.  My life has become all about this because it is all about His love for me. And that’s enough. I dare say this in humility before God.

It’s enough to keep me wanting more pisteuo and more awareness of Him. When my heart stampedes wild horse, God's love for me is the rein which He himself holds with tenacity and skill. It's enough. 

Faith and hope know the wild places where wild horses go. 

Faith and hope don't stay in the pasture. 

Faith and hope leap the fences and maybe it looks too wild-feels too wild-but God holds the reins. I don't see them, but maybe that's because they're hidden in His able hands. 

Believe, trust, hope. That three-in-one word, pisteuo

May it be lived with such purity that the scars it produces are proof of the presence of the three-in-one God I live for.

Be Still

Psalm 46:10

 Be still, as still as the night
When all the stars twinkle bright.

Be still, as still as the sea
When Christ told the storm to cease.

Be still beneath the constellations.
Lift your heart to praise Him
Underneath the wild sky.

Be still when the thunder rolls in
And God is throwing lightnin’
Dancing in the night sky.

Be still, though the earth be moved.
Be still. God’s still your refuge.

written by Carolyn-Elizabeth Roehrig
(adapted from my book, PISTEUO! Connecting with God's Heart)
*find your journal in my shop at

Saturday, February 11, 2017

When My Heart Stampedes like a Wild Horse

It rained, and I toasted the pecans with oats and honey into a granola, the way my mother made it. I use a recipe card written in her own scrawl with some of the blue ink smeared.
I feel so close to her right now. Cereal bowl in hand and a heart full of warm, I sit at the patio table. The yellow dog sits at my side, hopeful for a crumb, but nothing falls.
I chew and swallow the sweet crumbles. And something else not in the bowl—an unease. I’ve almost forgotten what it tastes like. But it’s there this morning.
It’s weekend unease from too many weekends that didn’t have enough honey, brown sugar, and oil to hold the crumbs together savory and warm. Too many weekends where the ingredients for nourishing sweet times lay cold on a baking sheet and were bumped carelessly and scattered to the floor.
I have cried sweeping weekends up off the floor. I have tossed them into the trash and buried them down deep. It’s a hard lump to swallow.
How do I keep swallowing when it tastes like broken trust? Feels like soul indigestion? It just doesn’t go down right. I have curled into a ball just breathing through it, breathing through the panic when everything that was supposed to be a certain way, wasn’t. Even though now the honey is sweet and warming, I think of when the crumbs were scattered and stomped on, even though now they are not.
It can’t really be explained. There are just reasons because life gives reasons. And I guess I’m really separating the then from the now, what was from what is.
My heart stampedes like a wild horse, and sometimes the reins fly out of my hands. 
So I cling to His Word-His Word is reign. I grab hold, and His Word gets the stampede under control. I lean across the sheets of holy pages in bed, and wild horse is subdued. 

I have needed to separate the kernels, spread them out before me like sesame seeds, oats, pecans, and wheat bran on a baking sheet, just to see what is what. I've divided the kernels into what is known and what is mystery and what is buried deep and causing my lungs to burn, my heart to scare, and my head to spin light.
I've separated kernels as much as I can. It’s a little sticky and yeasty because life's a little messy that way.
But there’s communion also and Communion with a capital C. Bring life to the table. Set it up around the table, and seat it there—the Judas stuff and the trustworthy stuff. Christ breaks the bread, saying, “Partake of Me, and remember Me even here and now.”
I’m at this table, and I’m remembering Christ with every breath for life. He knows all about sticky family history and messy life, and His heart has raced too.
I swallow truth. Every kernel is clumped in honey. 
I partake of the Bread. 
Sweet and wholesome-Truth and Life.
Bread of Life.
Bread come down from heaven.
This bread of the hard thanksgiving is broken, and I’m told what it is. “This is My body,” Christ says.
And there is this bread of the wilderness. I’m not told what it is, just manna, meaning “What is it?”
I think about the bread at my table, the oddly shaped loaf that I occasionally pull out of my oven and serve at dinner. It’s easy for me to forget the kernel when I make my five-pound-bag purchase of King Arthur whole-wheat flour. I even watch the yeast bubble alive.
I think about the clumpy granola just cooled and bagged for breakfast—kernels and seeds and the bran and even the honey-sweetened oil. Hmm. Yeast and oil. Something spiritual here.
I’m more in touch with the “Do this in remembrance of Me” mystery when I’m cracking pecan shells or kneading, and somehow I see it more clearly when I pour the granola or slice the bread.

It’s what goes into it, and it’s seeing what it is—known and unknown.
The body of Christ is given as bread. I eat this bread at the Passover table to remember Him.
Sometimes I swallow manna bread when I have no idea what’s going down.
I’m curious about manna. How could I not be when it’s called “What is it?” I Google and find that in Hebrew it means “bread of the face of God.”
Ah, I really like that.
I separate kernels, grains, and some nuts on my baking sheet. It’s not just about baking. It’s also practice that I need when separating the seeds from the nuts that are part of my genetics, and my husband’s. We are grainy folk. He is hearty rye from German ancestry and, what am I? A Scotch-French not-so-hearty baguette and short bread.
Can I separate life issues as Christ did? Can I care about the issues of loved ones, the wrong things and the right things they have held or resisted holding in their hands, and not be controlled by any of it? How do I care without becoming controlled? Christ was not controlled by anyone at the table, or by their issues, or by anything they represented. He knew what was at hand and on the table and did nothing to control any of it. I eat bread in remembrance of the One who shared the last meal, undaunted when Judas’ hand received the bread. Christ gave it to him. He did! And He did not miss a beat.
And maybe this is the unease. I am controlled, altered, by what’s at hand. I am! And this little codependent admits to controlling the whats in life in an attempt to be unaltered by them. Only it doesn’t work, and Jesus did just the opposite, and that does work. I don’t know how. Yet methinks I have a lot to learn from this.
Can I gather kernels, twist and roll sheaves, and eat the bread remembering the body of Christ? With my head in the right place? Heart steady? Unaltered by whatever else is facing me?
Can I do the hard pisteuo even one labored breath at a time? Inhale, “Thank,” and exhale, “You,” because the bread is the body of Christ and is the “bread of the face of God.”

I must. It is relief.

written by: Carolyn-Elizabeth Roehrig
(adapted from my book PISTEUO! Connecting with God's Heart)