Thursday, June 7, 2018


I woke up on Saturday morning with the knowledge that I had to be out of my apartment by 8am, unless I wanted to chit chat with the tilers who were coming to redo our balcony. Since chit-chatting alone with strangers early in the morning is not my favorite thing, I scooted out before I could "get caught", and set out for a destination.

Where to?

The Lord had a good gift in store, one that I didn't even realize I needed until he met me there.

I hopped in my car and turned right towards the mountains, instead of left towards town, then drove across the winding country roads towards one of my favorite places these days - Hukvaldy.

Hukvaldy is a village in Czech that is known for its fortress ruins and also for being the birthplace of the famous composer Leoš Janáček. The castle was first built in 1270 and has transformed from its original gothic design into a more baroque style fortress. The whole place fell into ruins in the 20th century, but it still stands as a monument to a certain era of Czech history.

It's quite a steep, but pleasant, hike up the hill to get to the fortress. I saw lots of kids along the way, and that in and of itself was a gift from the Lord, reminding me of his love in the midst of working through things with him on this Saturday. He spoke truth by his Word and reassured me of his presence and constancy that day.

Something about entering a place with 700 year history makes me feel grounded and comforted. Just think, the Lord has been at work for muuuuuuuch longer than that, yet we get to be part of his Gospel story today too! Wow.

"Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God." - Psalm 90:2

I spent the morning talking with the Lord, soaking in his Word, repenting (yep, there was lots to reorient my heart to the Lord in, and I'm ever grateful for his forgiveness and grace!), enjoying his creation and creating some art (a little sketch!) in his honor too.

One of my favorite lessons that my dad taught us JV staff recently was this: 

Withdraw to the Father's presence to return on the Father's agenda. 

This is what Jesus did when he withdrew to quiet places, to the wilderness, to the mountaintops. And it's time that I desperately need and crave too, but sometimes the Lord has to "kick me out of my apartment" to go and meet with him with no other distractions. When you feel your heart being pulled in different directions and fears and lies point at you like arrows, turn to Christ in faith.  He is expectant and draws near. May we be too and draw near in return. 

Oh, how desperately I long to be on the Father's agenda and know Christ more and more! 

The Lord draws you in by taking you to a place where he meets you (like Hukvaldy!), and other times he can also speak while you scrub dishes (this literally happened not long ago). He is faithful. He continually pursues his people, and I am constantly amazed by that. What a good master we serve. 

"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." 
- Galatians 2:20