He Spoke And The Universe Appeared: Let Me Introduce You To My Good, Good, God.

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He spoke and the universe appeared. Full stop. He spoke. He said a word.

And everything in this natural world appeared. Everything you’ve ever seen, felt, heard is here because He simply spoke it into existence.

Imagine speaking and watching as what you spoke appeared. Imagine willing something into existence. It is almost unfathomable to me.

Yet, almost daily, I find myself telling my God - my God who spoke a word and saw the universe appear - I find myself telling Him how something should be done, where He should interfere, where He should move.

Me.

Telling Him.

It’s ludicrous.

But the best part of the whole thing is this -

God doesn’t squash me or punish me or wave me off with a “How dare you!”

He tucks me under His arm and whispers “I got this,” and He reminds me who He is and what He can do and He lifts my chin and pulls my shoulders back and he calls me “daughter.”

He loves me.

Let me introduce you to my uncontrollable,

unshakeable,

unrelenting,

undeniable God.

He is good.

He is mine.

I am His.

The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow

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It will. It’ll show up like it does every morning, borrowed for us from the other side of the earth, to enjoy while it’s our turn.


You can count on that sun for another few million years, and you can count on our God longer than that.

The sun - it’s coming. And it won’t burn away every sorrow of night, every regret from the shadows, every grief endured before dawn, but it will be there.

Sure and strong and bright as it was the day before. No matter what changed, no matter what pain you are bringing to the next day, some things will be the same.

The sun, for one, will be the same. And sometimes that’s all it takes to get through the hard days - just one thing to hold tight to, one thing the night can’t take too, one thing the dark won’t steal from you.

It’s the hope of a new day. Of who knows how many breaking dawns, of limitless possibilities - the sun will come out tomorrow 

Fill That Half Empty Glass

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Fill that half empty glass right up to the brim.

Fill it up with time spent at His feet.

Fill it up by giving a hundred compliments.

Fill it up by buying someone coffee, or a cupcake.

Fill it up by doing those things you were created to do.

Fill it up with rest.

With hugs.


With laughter.

Fill it up.

I Do What I Want

I do what I want www.stevieswift.com

Years ago, I took a last minute trip to Iraq. It was two weeks away from my two year-old and it was traveling to a country perceived as dangerous, which made the trip selfish in the eyes of some.

In hindsight, it is easy to see God’s hand in the entire process, but in the middle, as I prepared to leave, I worried whether I was doing the right thing and acting with the right motives. 

I wanted to go.  I wanted it badly. 

I wanted to travel back to the country I last saw as a soldier. I wanted to be a part of something positive there.  I wanted to meet the people under different circumstances. I also wanted adventure.  I wanted to get on an airplane and do something exciting. I wanted to do this thing – go to this place.

I told a friend what I was feeling, how I was scared this was a selfish act, a selfish decision. He responded, “How many people do you know who ‘want’ to do this?”  

And something clicked for me.  A big something.

A life-giving, freedom-giving something.

Wanting to do a thing, wanting to be a thing, wanting to go to a place – these do not poison an action.  They are a part of every poisonous action, which is why I was confused, but wanting is not the poison.

If I am walking with God, abiding in Him, listening to the Holy Spirit – if I am ready and willing to stop when He says to stop, to go when He says to go, to stay when He says to stay – I don’t need to be afraid of my own desires.

If I am seeing Him for who He is, if I am daily giving my life to Him, I don’t need to stress, to strive, to stumble over every decision.  

For six years, I have been doing more and more of what I want to do. Mostly, I avoid doing things because I think I should. Mostly, I avoid doing things because other people think I should.  

I do what makes sense based on my circumstances, my strengths, my weaknesses. I walk closely with my God, so that my desires align with Him and I do the things I want to do.  

I am a servant, but I am a servant to a freedom-giving God. I’m not a slave to my own expectations, nor a slave to the expectations of others. I’m not a slave to God’s expectations either – I could never meet them, they’ve already been met for me, and there is new grace and mercy for me every single day. 

And for you, too.

You are free. Are you living free?

Dear Mom, Thank You

How My Mom Made My Birthmark A Blessing

When I was 2 weeks old you discovered that my face would not be the same as the other kids. By the time I was 6 months old, my birthmark was the first thing people noticed and the cause of stares and calls to CPS. Yet not once as a child do I remember feeling as if my face - my differences - mattered much. 

Even as an adolescent and a young adult, my insecurities in my appearance paled in comparison to many of my peers. While I was self-conscious about my mark, my value was rooted deeply in other things. That is thanks to you. 

You gave me the confidence to stand at the front of classes as a new student and explain my mark - to allow the other kids to ask questions. You taught me how people make fun of what they fear and they fear what they don't know and I had the power to help them to know. 

You taught me how the fastest way to make a person regret an unkind word or action is to respond with sincere kindness and generosity. I'm sure I was pointed at, stared at, commented about, and teased, but I recall almost none of it. I know that at times you must have shielded me from it, and took the hurt onto yourself. 

Thank you. 

And whatever you didn't deflect - none of it left a lasting mark because I knew that my mark was only a part of my face. You told me it had purpose - it gave me the kind of compassion and vision which can't be learned. 

This mark could have moulded me into someone timid, insecure, and weak. But you didn't let it. You were so young and I'm sure you were scared. Now that I'm a mom too, I imagine you felt like you were messing it all up. 

You weren't. 

You loved me the best that you could and your best was exactly what I needed. Thank you. Happy Birthday Mom.

It's Just Latin

It’s Just Latin

"It's just latin."

This is my new phrase.  I whisper it to myself as my mind spins out of control, threatening to coax me into some needless action.  I shout it at those random, errant thoughts - the ones who insist I have strayed from some mythical laid-out-for-everyone course, the ones who suggest I should conform to useless norms, the ones who want me to spend my time and life and energy on things which hold no value for me.

"It's just latin," I say to them.

I've had my nose in this amazing biography on Leonardo Da Vinci for more than a month and it has been perfectly timed reading for multiple reasons.  Today I'm thinking about just one.

"It's just latin."

Leonardo was the bastard son of a Notary.  Had he been legitimate, or legitimized, he would have been schooled - educated - but he wasn't.  He was "unlettered" (his words), which mostly meant he did not know latin.  The schooled kids were "lettered."  The schooled kids knew latin.  The schooled adults could read the books.  Latin was a big deal.

Until it wasn't.

By the time Leonardo was a young apprentice, Gutenberg's printing press made it to Italy and books began printing in Italian.  I'm not sure no access to books would have handicapped Leonardo much - he did not for the most part like to rely on other people's observation - but with the spread of printing he DID have access.  The thing which kept him from literacy, an inability to read latin, suddenly didn't much matter.

It's just Latin.

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Except it must have mattered to him, at least a little.  His journals betray his attempts to master Latin - word lists written out by a 30-something Leonardo - but don't state a reason.  Maybe there was a book or books not yet printed in Italian to which he desired access, or maybe the language sparked his curiosity, but I think it was something different.  

From Walter Isaacson's Leonardo Da Vinci

Despite Latin being of little use to him, despite Latin being a terrible waste of time he could have spent doing more Leonardo-esque things, despite it being something he likely found difficult and boring (check out the sketch among the word lists!), he still attempted to learn it.  He used up some of his time, his energy, his life on this thing and (most likely) he did not ever actually learn Latin.  

It didn't slow him down.  The man was centuries ahead of his time in multiple disciplines.  What use was Latin to Leonardo? None, really. So why did he study it?

I hope he doesn't mind my assumptions about his reasons. I hope he doesn't mind if I assume he confused the traditions and cultural constructs of others with truth, if I assume he forgot the path others expect isn't the one he must take, if I assume he was swayed a bit - even with all his eccentricity - toward conformity.  I only assume because it is true of me.

I sometimes confuse the assumptions of others with what I should do.  I sometimes forget the path others expect isn't the path God laid out for me.  I sometimes am swayed - even with all my eccentricity - toward conformity.  But if a genius like Leonardo could be confused occasionally, I won't be too hard on myself.

And when I realize I'm doing something, or contemplating something, which has no value to me, when the world is doing it's best to box me in, I'm going to not do the something.  The something doesn't fit in this one life.  The something doesn't get my time. The something doesn't get my energy.

It's just Latin.