Friday, May 31, 2013

5 Minute Friday




5 Minute Friday....Just write, no edits, 5 mintues and love the ones who came before you....

IMAGINE....

Go.

I imagine a time where things don't feel so out of sorts, where I feel what I used to feel, where I belong like I used to belong....I can't begin to imagine what it will take to get me there or how He will get me there....but I imagine...that it will be beautiful, it has to be, that it will be restored, which is stronger than anything I have ever experienced before.  I imagine that it will change me again in ways that I could not even...well, imagine :) Imagine if I could just do anything because I can't fail....but I can, because even in my failures, if I am seeking His face, He will work it all for my good.  Makes failure seem not so scary when you think about it like that...Imagine.  No eye has seen, and no ear has heard right?  Those things that He has in store for those who love Him, so I imagine.....

Stop.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Pieces

Hebrews 4:15
The Voice (VOICE)
15 For Jesus is not some high priest who has no sympathy for our weaknesses and flaws. He has already been tested in every way that we are tested; but He emerged victorious, without failing God.


I've been feeling the weight of brokeness again lately. Over and over, like waves that just won't stop....can't stop. And I'm reminded, yet again, that it is when we are broken, shattered, is when the beauty of what we hold can then be released. Each tear that comes from those fragmented pieces, perfume that pours out to Him. And He saves it. He turns it into something lovely....maybe healing balm on anothers brokenness. My tears. Your tears. Never wasted. Precious perfume to the One who loves us immeasurably. Who counts those tears as costly and precious. Who has kept track of each one.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Lift Up

James 4:10
The Voice (VOICE)
10 Lay yourself bare, facedown to the ground, in humility before the Lord; and He will lift your head so you can stand tall.
It's Wednesday.  I feel like God is just calling me to stand, which is to be face down in His presence.  To wait patiently on Him, His word, His direction.  This beautiful song came to me on an early July day last year when everything I knew was nothing I knew.  And as I drove over the bridge connecting the land to where I was coming to the land to where I was going, over the bluest most beautiful waters, this song came on.  And I cried.  And I smiled.  And I did lift up my head.






Tuesday, May 28, 2013

God Sized Dream



We’ve been walking the path of God-sized dreams together for a few months now. Will you share an update with us about your dream? Let us know where you are with it–the happy and the hard. Tell us how we can pray for you and your dream too.

Psalm 59:16

The Voice (VOICE)
16 But me? I will sing of Your strength.
I will awake with the sun to sing of Your loving mercy
Because in my most troubled hour,
You defended me. You were my shelter.

If you had told me that the worst moment in my life was what God would use to bring about His plan for my life I would have said no way!  No good can ever come from such horror.  But I was wrong.  The dream He called me to years ago, 15 years in fact, the one I walked away from, the one I denied wanting, the one I thought was crazy....yeah, He said "Not so fast there baby girl...."

And part of what made me run away from it all is also the very same thing that keeps me pushing forward now.  I'm stubborn and I have a wherewithal and determination like no other.  And once I set my mind to it, I will accomplish the task set before me.  I don't quit.  He made me like that.  For a purpose.  For this hardest of seasons. 

As He is slowly bringing me into all that He is doing in my life, I have had to go through some major demolition.  And that is painful.  Preparing the ground for new is painful too.  But little by little, He is restoring.  Right now the work He is calling me to is writing on my blog and being His hands and feet right where I'm at and I am doing things I never dreamed I could, all with the people He has surrounded me with. They are a part of my family. 

Psalm 68:6
The Voice (VOICE)
6 He makes a home for those who are alone.
He frees the prisoners and leads them to prosper.
Yet those who rebel against Him live in the barren land without His blessings and prosperity.


Where He's going with this, I can't say, but I do know that His words won't ever fail.  So I pray still for healing to continue in my life and that He will keep leading me into my spacious place.  That I will let Him do His work in me on this journey of mine and that I will continue to remember all that He has delivered me from.  I am thankful for those He has surrounded me with.  He has added to my family in so many ways and for them I am so grateful.

Joel 2:25

The Voice (VOICE)
25 Eternal One: I will compensate you for the years
that the locusts have eaten—the swarming locusts,
The creeping locusts, the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts—[a]
My great army that I unleashed against you.







 

Isaiah 61:7

The Voice (VOICE)
7 Many called you disgraced and defiled and said that shame should be your share of things.
Yet you suffered doubly and lived in disgrace;
So double will be your share, and with joy everlasting.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Road Maps


Proverbs 21:2
The Voice (VOICE)
2 Everyone may think his own way of living is right,
but the Eternal examines our hearts.
 
There have been times in my life where what I was doing seemed to be the right thing.  It seemed like God was blessing me, it seemed like my way was the right way.  But it wasn't.  The more I thought I knew what I was doing and where I was going, the deeper I became ensnared into the trap of the world and suddenly, I looked around and I had no idea where I was....or even who I was.  Have you ever felt that, ever looked around and realized you have gotten so off course that you couldn't find your way back even with a GPS?  I have.  Many times in fact. 
 
As I look at the journey of my last year and a half....this path He has led me on, started me on, before I even knew I was packed and ready....it has been planned, determined, by Him.  I realized my way of living was not right.  I had never fully committed my path to Him.  Partly because I just had not gained enough wisdom to truly understand what He expected of me and the rest, well just pure stubbornness and laziness.  Too hard, too much trouble, it's impossible!! 
 
He has called me to what the world looks at as impossible.  And I look back, especially at what I was walking at this very time last year and I know....I KNOW....He has His hand on me.  No one in their own strength could possibly bear up under the weight of it., have made the choices I made not even understanding why He was asking me to do certain things.....to follow Him only, no matter what it looked like, no matter what it felt like.  All for my protection.  All for my own good.  God examines our hearts.  He knows the child who has made mistake after mistake yet she yearns.....just to do it His way this time.  Everything else has failed.
 
So here I sit.  Thankful.  Still in the midst of this journey I'm not quite sure how to explain.  But I know that He leads me.  I know that He has my hand.  And even though I am the child who always wants to know WHEN we will reach this destination, He still loves me :) And I am slowly learning that part of the fun....yes I said fun....in the midst of all this is seeing Him make roads where there were none before, bring water forth where only a desert had been just seconds before He came on the scene.  Thankful. 
 
Proverbs 21:30-31 NIV
30 There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan
that can succeed against the Lord.
31 The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
but victory rests with the Lord.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

And The Child That Is Born On The Sabbath Day

                                                    And the child that is born on the Sabbath day
                                                       Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.

Bonny: Physically attractive or appealing; pretty. Excellent
Blithe: Showing a casual and cheerful indifference considered to be callous or proper.
            Happy or joyous.
The child born on the Sabbath day. I actually was born on Sunday. And when I looked up the definition of bonny and blithe, the above is what I found. To be bonny is a blessing for sure, but what I know to be true is that you can have the most beautiful outside, but if your inside is rotten, it makes your outside appearance worth very little. When you have Jesus living and breathing inside you and He shines His light from the inside out, well, there in nothing so beautiful. 
And lastly blithe. I want a casual and cheerful indifference...to thing things of this world. I want to be callous to the arrows of the enemy...because I am too busy being happy and joyous in the Lord, the joy and happiness that comes from His goodness, living my life in the proper way.....being that girl that runs after God's own heart.
Psalm 51:12
The Voice (VOICE)
12 Give back to me the deep delight of being saved by You;
let Your willing Spirit sustain me.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Saturday's Child Works Hard For A Living

Matthew Chapter 6

The Voice (VOICE)
"Part of imitating the perfection of God is acting charitably and generously, doing good deeds, working for justice, and praying."

What is it that we are striving for? Working for, in order to earn money...what do we do with the reward for all our hard work? I have been drawn lately to Matthew 6:33, really the whole chapter gives answer to how we should work and live and what we should do with that.  I am finding more and more that as I turn my attention to the "hard work" He sets before me for His kingdom, all else I need is added to my life.  Doesn't mean I don't work hard....I do :) I teach preschool and do the books for my family's business, so my days are very full in the "working".  But each job also comes with an opportunity to work hard for Him.  Some days that might be through prayer, other times rocking a little one to sleep....our jobs, the work of our hands, should never be separate from our work He has called us to.  I want to work hard for a living, to see the fruit of my labors...but I also want to work just as hard at living for the One who ultimately provides everything I need.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Friday's Child Is Loving And Giving

Sigh.....loving and giving is probably the last thing I feel like being right now.  I feel tired, worn and really sick of hearing the same prayers over and over in this head of mine.  My sweet friend Aubrey has hit a wall in her journey.  I have hit a wall in mine.  And as she wrote about it yesterday, I could relate on so many levels.  But just like I tell her, because I have been on that journey she is now on, keep going.  I know what's on the other side of that and it's amazing. 

So what has God called me to do in the middle of being worn out and completely over it?  Love others and give.  Have you even had to give until it hurts?  Like really causes pain? I have not until this journey.  But I am reminded that it is when we come to the end of ourselves, what we have to give physically.....spiritually, that God can then work through us.  When we are void of ourselves and what we desire, then He can move can show Himself to us and then in turn, to others.

And so I look at this wall and I wait.  He's either gonna knock it down, or give me the strength to climb it.  Either way, it's gotta be Him and not me.  Love others even when you don't want to...even when it hurts.  Give of everything you have, even when it feels impossible.  Where He is going with this I just don't know.....

5 Minute Friday

 
 
5 Minute Friday....No Edits, 5 Minutes, Love those that came before you......Topic: VIEW
 
Go..
 
My view has changed a lot over the past year and a half, my view of people, God, myself.  Some views have stayed the same.  As I walked outside this morning, my view was the same as it has been for 18 years....but even that has changed.  Change is inevitable.  And how we view that change in our lives is what transforms us.  How we choose to look at what God is doing, where He has set us and what we will do with that is what shapes our lives.  Even in the storms.  How we view them determines the course we will take and what He can do in our hearts.
 
Stop.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Thursday's Child Has Far To Go

Reading that made me cringe.  Far to go.....I've already had far to go and I am THAT kid...Are.We. There.Yet?  On that Thursday so long ago, oh, how far I had to go....and on this Thursday morning sitting here, I can't help but wonder, when Lord?

I struggle.  I look at what I think I know (Proverbs 3:5-6 never far from my mind) and I wonder why Lord? Am I that bad?  Was I that horrible?  Do You love me? Do You love them more? Do You even see me? And on one of the rare days where I let these questions come out, because hearing them hurts, but holding them in at times feels even worse, I said these things aloud to one of my sisters. 

She quietly listened and then looked me in the eye and said "Then give it all up.  Everything God has taught you, everything He's brought you through, everything you know is right.  Just give it up.  Trade what you have for what they have."  And I realized that I had the choice, I could.  But in the same second, I realized that I really couldn't.  Not now, not after all this....

There are days that this seems endless....far to go.  No answers in sight.  Nothing.  Just same ole', same ole'.  Are You even here Lord?  This is the road I have chosen.  To seek Him, to follow His Word.  Even on the days this seems pointless...foolish, and it seems like I have come so far, but shutter at the fact I might have far to go...no turning back.  No turning back.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wednesday's Child Is Full Of Woe

WOE
/wō/
Noun
Great sorrow or distress.  Things that cause distress or sorrow; troubles
Synonyms
                                             grief - sorrow - misfortune - affliction - distress
 
I don't care much for this word.  And when I see it in the Bible, it scares me.  Because I have felt it.  And quite honestly, woe can go jump in a lake.  But what I noticed in reading is that the "woe unto you's" are followed by what we should not do, because if you do, then woe unto you!!
 
How many times have I not headed the warnings in my life?  Gone around the barricades God set up to keep me safe, thrown caution to the wind, only to wind up face down on the ground saying "whoa...that hurt".
 
Deuteronomy 8 tells us what the Israelites will receive if they obey God.  But WOE if they don't.  If they forget Him after all He has brought them through and they worship other gods again....He will destroy them.  Whoa.  When I first read that last September, I had to pause.  Seriously.  God is saying "Look here stubborn kids (ok maybe He only called me stubborn)....we have walked this mountain waaayyyy too long.  You are finally about to move out and enter in....to My promises, to what I have wanted for you all along....but don't go back to the way you did stuff before!!  Stop doing that!! (maybe just for me again there too...) cause this time, you know.....and woe won't even cover it.  You Will Be Destroyed."  Oh my....whoa.
 
So maybe this extra time in my desert was to make sure I get it....REALLY get it.  No more time outs.  Too much work to be done and now you know baby girl, you are responsible for that knowledge.  Yeah....so as I let all that sink in, I'm not so scared of the woes anymore.  They are my stop signs.  Turn it around, this is NOT the way to go.  And in our obedience to Him I see many WHOA'S!! up ahead :)  It's Wednesday, we are making it over that hump.
 
 
 













Tuesday, May 21, 2013

God Sized Dream - Tuesday Child Is Full of Grace


It's Tuesday....time for talking about our God Sized Dreams.  And I am stuck on that poem this week, the Monday's Child Poem.....Today is grace....and faithfulness.  And those two have to go hand in hand.

What part of your dream feels the riskiest? Have you ever had people misunderstand or disagree with your dream? What do you do when your dream is scary or when others don’t support you?


My dream....it's risky.  I know what God set in my heart.  I know it's big.  It's hard to put into words sometimes, and honestly I rarely do.  This whole journey has been Him calling me right when the world says left.  Walking this road much alone for a time, because no one understood why in the world I make the choices I was making.  But I kept my eyes on Him and He began to rebuild those around me, the ones who would walk beside me, be my family, love me unconditionally and watch God do some amazing things in me....and in turn, He has done some amazing things in the situation.

I get so caught up in the end sometimes, I forget to look around and see what He is doing each day.  I have no guarantees of what the outcome of this whole thing will eventually be, but I know that He has flooded me with grace.  And His grace, day in and day out, helps me continue to be faithful to this calling He has on my life.  His grace has caused me to change in ways I never imagined.  His faithfulness has sustained me when nothing of this world could have held me together.  He is faithful to extend grace...everyday.  To keep me going forward when I come up against those who don't understand, when I myself don't understand. 

The riskiest part is that God has asked for all of me, everything I have, every part of my life, touched by this one turn in the road.  And it seems that daily, as of late He asks me to jump, to do the things that make the world look at me and just shake their head.  But I believe He is faithful....and if He asks it of me, He will give me the grace to do it.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Monday's Child Is Fair of Face...

It's Monday.  Last week brought so many unexpected changes.  Things I didn't expect.  By Tuesday last week I think I was in full on panic meltdown mode.  And I submitted these things to God, He answered all my questions in His time and His way.  But the difference is, I had to submit to that.  I had to say Lord, I want what You want.  That's a scary statement at times.  I used to brace myself, physically!!  Almost like waiting for a lightning bolt to come down and whack me one upside the head, like God's will was to inflict as much punishment as He could!  Now I am learning that isn't really the case at all.   Yes, we will have painful days, but in church yesterday, our pastor commented that God will use whatever He has to use to draw you to Him.  He knew what it was gonna take to get me back.  And He pursued me.

I thought back to that day, the day my entire life changed and would never be the same again.  The exact minute.  I think He braced Himself for that blow.  He knew it was coming.  He knew that this was what it was going to take for my stubborn heart to crack and He felt the force and the weight and the pain and the shame of it as it hit me and literally knocked me to me knees.  It was Him whispering to me just breathe....I have never felt such alonesness and rejection as I did in that very moment.  I believed the force of that would destroy me.  But it didn't.  His hand was on me.  The devastation could only go so far.  Far enough to call me back.  Desperation enough to send me running back to Him, away from the harm that threatened to destroy me.  All that to get here.  All that to get ready.  All that to bring me into the life He had planned for me.

I am not that girl I was once was. I don't have the life I once had.  I don't love the way I once loved.  And I don't see my Savior through the eyes I once saw Him.  Grateful.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Failing Forward - Sunday Scripture


James 3:9-12
 9 Ironically this same tongue can be both an instrument of blessing to our Lord and Father and a weapon that hurls curses upon others who are created in God’s own image. 10 One mouth streams forth both blessings and curses. My brothers and sisters, this is not how it should be. 11 Does a spring gush crystal clear freshwater and moments later spurt out bitter salt water? 12 My brothers and sisters, does a fig tree produce olives? Is there a grapevine capable of growing figs? Can salt water give way to freshwater?

Fail...That is a 4 letter word that causes me to shutter.  I don't like to fail.  If I do it, then I better do it right and let's just be done with this shall we?  So let's just say the last year and a half of my life have literally been about failing....completely....and it left me in a state of completely and utter confusion.  I let God down AGAIN.  I failed myself, my kids, my family..AGAIN.  But this journey has also taught me that when I fail in the flesh and then submit it to Him, to do a work in me and in others, is to succeed in Christ. 

The biggest area of struggle for me was my speech.  It still is.  I think that's why God tells me to be quiet so much.  I have learned that what we speak has so much impact.  Words change everything.  We speak life or death into ourselves and those around us.  It's easy sometimes to fall into the trap of emotions, your words become things that show your fears, that reveal those spots still so raw and tender.  So I'm learning to that God uses that, those times and situations, even for our good. It reveals areas we need to turn over to Him.  Obviously Lord, I still have many hurts and fears, it is evident in my speech.  So instead of feeling condemned, lets take the opportunity to hand it all over to Him and ask for guidance, healing and restoration.  These times of learning bring us closer to Him and ultimately what He want for us. 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Hold My Hand

Hebrews 6:10

The Voice (VOICE)
10 because God is not unjust or unfair. He won’t overlook the work you have done or the love you have carried to each other in His name while doing His work, as you are still doing.

It's Saturday. Last week was a challenge. He's pulling me into a new place, this I do understand. This week reminded me that all the seeds sown, they do eventually grow...He doesn't forget, even when I feel like He does. This week I was reminded of how much "family" has been added to me along this journey of mine. Those ones traveling the narrow path too...and I find that we tend to walk closely together, each one pushing the other forward when the way is uncertain. There are times when you have to walk out alone, but it's the comfort in knowing there are those behind you, that won't let you turn back and run, that won't let you fall and give you a boost when that hill is too steep for you to navigate on your own.

They are planted, rooted, growing deep into the soil of my life, for me, sisters  (and a couple of brothers tossed in for good measure). I am surrounded. I would not, perhaps,have had any of this without having to take this road. So in that I know He has purpose. Work to be done. I am grateful. I would not be this, that I am becoming, without such a great shaking. And that is what it has been. A shaking to my very core. But what I have found is that in this, I do not doubt any longer, what I believe, in Who I trust, and where my help comes from. He proved that in the fire....this testing.

So I am blessed by those that surround me, that carry me, that pray for me, that encourage my walk with Him, that hold me to a standard, that call me on my crap, that love me in whatever state I am in. That cheer me, stand with me, fight for me, fight with me, cry, laugh, smile, hug, hold, kiss, and say I love you.





















Friday, May 17, 2013

I'll Sing To You A Lullabye...



Hosea 2:13-15 The Voice (VOICE)
13 I swear that I’ll punish her for honoring other masters[a] on My special days,
even her burning incense to those false gods.
She got dressed up in her rings and jewelry;
she went after her lovers, and she forgot about Me.
 
He's brought this verse to me twice over the past two days.  That was me.  The road I chose.  I walked away.  Paid the price.  All these ashes...... 
 
14 But once she has nothing, I’ll be able to get through to her.
I’ll entice her and lead her out into the wilderness where we can be alone,
and I’ll speak right to her heart and try to win her back.
He knows His daughter so well.  It's in the "down to nothing" that He could finally call to me and I would listen.  Stripped of all my worldly security, coming back around to the same place I had been before.  My decisions, yet again, bringing me pain and His calling on my life, still, had never changed.  No matter how far I ran.  No matter how long I stuffed it, ignored it, believed that dream must have been a mistake...a lie...and in showing me it wasn't, He's showing me now that this dream in my heart, this is not a mistake.  And it isn't a lie either.  No matter what it looks like right now.

15 And then I’ll give her back her vineyards;
I’ll turn the valley of Achor, that “Valley of Trouble,”
        into a gateway of hope.
 
As much as the devil wants me to believe that all has been lost and I will never again have what has been taken away, God is telling me different.  And this very dark Valley of Trouble is leading me into the future....the hope that I have in Him.  Right back to the verse He gave me 14 years ago...because He know His baby girl so well...
 

Jeremiah 29:11

The Voice (VOICE)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Eternal, “plans for peace, not evil, to give you a future and hope—never forget that.
 
So you won't forget baby girl.....
 

Jeremiah 29:12-14

The Message (MSG)
12 “When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen.
13-14 “When you come looking for me, you’ll find me.
“Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.” God’s Decree.
“I’ll turn things around for you. I’ll bring you back from all the countries into which I drove you”—God’s Decree—“bring you home to the place from which I sent you off into exile. You can count on it."
And so I am.  And So He is. And yes, I am waiting.....but oh, how this journey has changed me.  How He has used it.  How even on the darkest of days, in my very soul, I AM GRATEFUL.  Even for this.  Especially for this.  Because He never gives up....so I won't give up either.
 
 

5 Minute Friday

Friday.  Thankful.  Five Minutes, no edits, love those that came before you...Today is SONG.  Go...

My song has changed so many times over the course of my walk with Him.  As of late, my tears have been my song more than anything else.  But in my weeping, that's what He hears, beauty of a child broken before Him.  Calling out, seeking Him, asking for change, for grace, for mercy.  And just like yesterday, He reminds me that He sings over me.  Singing soothes, calms, quiets, empowers, reminds, pushes forward.....Songs bring back memories, smiles, tears, heartaches and songs remind you that you can begin again.  Begin again.  Sing a new song.  Like learning the words to something you have never heard before.....beautiful, and exciting and your favorite thing running through your head...

STOP.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Plans

It's just been one of those weeks.  Lots of changes.  Lots of stirrings.  All this upheaval, all the shaking of things that fall away.  I drove past the demolition place this morning on the way to work.  All the debris is gone.  All that once stood and was crumbled is now completely removed.  The foundation is level, wiped cleaned, ready for what new will come.  I feel like that's me, that's the place He is bringing me to.  I can't see it, evidence of anything other than what is right here, in plain view.  But I am feeling deep in my heart, that He has the plans drawn up, much like I am sure the builders do for the property now prepared, leveled, new...waiting for what's to come.  I don't see any plans for it, I don't have any knowledge of what is to come for that land, so stripped and bare, but one day, one day, that beautiful, clear solid ground will begin again.....with something new.  He's got the plans, He knows the design. 

This morning I woke to a verse that is so precious to me.  It's like feeling the the voice of God whispering to me each time I read it.  He gave it to me long, long ago and I had forgotten it.  Last May, at a funeral of a sweet friend, it was her verse.  And when her family shared it, those words pierced deep.  Promising what would eventually come.  Eventually.  And so today I stand, pretty much like that leveled piece of ground.  Empty, yet solid.  Cleared of the old, waiting for the new, He whispers it yet again.  Knowing the rawness of my heart and emotions.  Seeing the marks that the removal of all this has left.  I wait.  I believe.  I trust.

Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV)
17 The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.”
 
The beauty of those words, that promise, makes me weep.  Partially in relief that I know this won't last always and in another way, that He knows His child so well, that He knows exactly the words I need to hear.  All written in my Bible, so very long ago, appointed for me at 5:00 am this morning and whenever He bring them to me again.....He knows.  He has the plans.  He is the Restorer, the Builder, the Artist, the Creator.  And so my other precious verse that I received twice in two different places this morning was this:
 
Psalm 139:13-14 The Voice
13 For You shaped me, inside and out.
You knitted me together in my mother’s womb long before I took my first breath.
14 I will offer You my grateful heart, for I am Your unique creation, filled with wonder and awe.
You have approached even the smallest details with excellence;
Your works are wonderful;
I carry this knowledge deep within my soul.
 
He knows.  So while I am not filled with joy abounding this morning, and there is still so much deep with in me I am unsure of, that stream of hope, of Living Water, runs deep within my soul.  And I will praise Him with the strength that comes from that.  I will let it sink in and water my very weary soul, preparing it for what IS to come.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Get Back Up

Luke 22:31-32 The Voice

31 Simon, Simon, how Satan has pursued you, that he might make you part of his harvest. 32 But I have prayed for you. I have prayed that your faith will hold firm and that you will recover from your failure and become a source of strength for your brothers here.

Recover.  Strength.  Some days I wonder if I will be able to and if I have what it takes.  Days like yesterday.  "What are you going to do?" He kept asking me.  "Do you trust Me?"  And I finally came to the realization that yes, yes I do.  Because for me there is no other option.  None.  I CANNOT go back.  It would destroy me.  And then the verse......Luke 22.....sifting...get back up.....and when you do.......WHEN you do, no if's there....go and help.  Period.

And in pretty much my weakest moment when I seriously questioned why, WHY, does this have to keep on Lord?  I know I am stubborn, I know!  But COME ON!!!  Just smack me off the donkey already and let me outta here!! My precious sister sent me this....and I knew.

2 Corinthians 7:11-16

The Message (MSG)
11-13 And now, isn’t it wonderful all the ways in which this distress has goaded you closer to God? You’re more alive, more concerned, more sensitive, more reverent, more human, more passionate, more responsible. Looked at from any angle, you’ve come out of this with purity of heart. And that is what I was hoping for in the first place when I wrote the letter. My primary concern was not for the one who did the wrong or even the one wronged, but for you—that you would realize and act upon the deep, deep ties between us before God. That’s what happened—and we felt just great.


 He's bringing me here...to my spacious place (see my friend Christine's beautiful post).  He gave me this answer on Monday.....althought I had no idea how He would be tying it all together.  He does that.  Reveals, plants dreams, prepares the soil.  Then the rains come.  And the rains have to come.  Because for me, I am learning that is how I grow.  It's how I become stronger.  And the pain of growing does not last forever.  I have to keep reminding myself of that too.  We will bear fruit in Him.  We will come into a season of harvest.  Write it down.  Run with it.  At the appointed time, His words will come to pass.  Promise. 






Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I Don't Know The Way

Isaiah 46:10

Good News Translation (GNT)
10 From the beginning I predicted the outcome;
long ago I foretold what would happen.
I said that my plans would never fail,
that I would do everything I intended to do.

There are days when I cling tight to the promises that He made.  I don't see them, I don't feel them and so much is getting thrown at me from every side I feel like all I can do is duck and cover.  But I won't.  Because today in the face of all that is staring me down, I'll stand and be the girl I know He has called me to be.  Today I am just choosing to trust.  I don't have any answer to any question that has thrust itself on me.  So I will be still.  I will be quiet.  I will pray.  I will wait. "How much do you trust Me?"  He seems to be saying....

Monday, May 13, 2013

Proverbs 31

Charm is deceptive and beauty disappears, but a woman who honors the Lord should be praised. Proverbs 31:30 GNT


 The Proverbs 31 Woman had always made me feel overwhelmed.  And then I have moments of thinking really God?  This is what guys desire?  Where did you put these guys?  Iceland? I'm joking...but there are days....

I read about her and I think how fantastic she must be.  She's a busy woman.  She's got her ducks in a row and some super strong coffee going on over there.  She laughs at the future, knowing she is secure in the Lord.  I don't laugh at the future.  I pretty much cry at it most of the time lately.  It's hard to see past today and there are times I'm not sure I want to if it's the same old re-run.  Do you get like that?  Seems like this weeping night has lasted way longer than should actually be possible....I forget at times what joy feels like.  I wonder at times if it will just always be hard.  If hard is what I settled into and the good times have rolled away.

When I read that verse this morning, I understood it on a much deeper level.  Yes, we can get our own way with charm.  I've done it myself.  I have paid the price for that.  A price that was not worth what I set out to get.  Beauty disappears.  Our youth will not last forever and although we may be physically attractive, there just has to be more.  But honoring the Lord, that is what is to be praised.  Why?  It's the only thing that is truly life giving.  It renews your insides and outside and allows you to in turn breathe life into all that is around you.  Charm and beauty, usually are one sided.  But honoring God, that is all encompassing.  As you bless others, you are in turn renewed and blessed.  It's the one thing that the more you give, the more you receive back into you. 

Just my musings on a Monday morning......

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mom



I'm a mom.  I realize the significance of this in my life.  Blessings given that maybe were never deserved, but He gave them to me.  Two of them.  One of each.  I look at them now, 15 and 16 and I think of how very different their lives are compared to mine growing up.  And I know God gave me the ability to parent these two.  But I look at them most days and think how in the world did I get two of you, the most amazing people I have ever met.  They are a blessing, they are blessed.  The magnitude and scope of the way these two love and are loved is something I have never witnessed before in my life.  So today, I am reminded of how much I know God loves us.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Try, Try Again.....

Proverbs 3:5-6

Good News Translation (GNT)
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know. 6 Remember the Lord in everything you do, and he will show you the right way.

This verse is pretty much a staple for me.  It's my fear.  It's my need to control.  So He reminds me.  My course this past semester was Logic.  Logic.  What was I thinking.....I knew absolutely nothing about this course.  But it was the one thing that would count towards my major that I could take and that was available online and that is what I needed.  12 weeks.  I could do this.  Then I tried to read my chapters.  And I started to panic.  It was like me trying to read words that I knew but that did not fit together.  Then add in fallacies and truth tables and You Tube videos on premises and conclusions and OOOHHHHH....what have I just done?  But I knew this was the class He wanted me to take.  I had complete peace about it. Trust. 
My teacher was fabulous.  She was very straightforward.  Read this, answer this and write this.  Perfect.  I made a 65 on my first test.  My first test, I usually fail or do poorly on....in life and in class.....this is not a surprise to me.  So now I know where my weaknesses are and how I need to adjust.  I can do this.  I didn't check my grade once all semester.  First time ever.  I had no desire to see how bad I was bombing. 
So as time went on, the second test came and we did not get to review it, things were becoming harder and making less sense, I was giving up.  It's not sooooo bad if I fail huh? (whatever!!!).  Jes gave me a pep talk.  "Come on mom, you have to do your best and I hope you are doing your extra credit".  UUUGGGHHH! Why?!?! WHY do they repeat everything I taught them at the most inopportune times???  I sat here at my kitchen counter.  Saturday night.  3 weeks left of class.  3 extra credits staring me in the face.  Crossword puzzles.  This is a nightmare right? So after an hour and a half, and still only half way through the first one I said forget it!  If I fail, I fail. I quit.  I went to mop the floor (cleaning helps me think...that's a whole nother' story).  And God kept pressing me.  Try one more time.....NO!!! I will not.  I wasted a whole Saturday night and I'm tired and this is dumb.....Try one more time baby girl.....fine. I'm gonna try.  I'm not gonna quit.  I'll sit here until 11:55 pm, until the last minute I can submit this and do the very best I can, but You HAVE to help me.  This makes no sense!  I don't understand and I have no way to do this.  I cannot do this alone!!!
And so I prayed.  Over every single question.  And He helped me find the answer in my book...to every single question.  And I even did an extra credit that was past the submission date...just in case she had pity on me...all in one hour.  One hour.
So when time came for my exam, I procrastinated.  Yikes.  What if I fail?!??  Okay Lord, let's do this again.  26 questions.  You and me.  HELP!!!! Every step I prayed.  Every question I submitted to Him.  And He led me.  And I got a 100%.  And that is a miracle.  The other miracle was that I checked my transcript online to see my grade.  I could live with a C.  I would pass and a credit is a credit right??  I received an A for the class.  An "A".  Obey. Trust. Pray.  Let Him Lead.

All that to say, when I was having a moment last night, telling Him how done I am and PLEASE lets just move on....I surrender!!  DONE!!  He said again.....Try one more time......Bust out the Proverbs 3:5-6...here I go....



Friday, May 10, 2013

5 Minute Friday





5 Minutes...No edits....COMFORT.  Go

Comfort is when she says "Mom I'm gonna sleep in your bed tonight".  Even at almost 17, she knows that being in that space somehow will bring the rest she desires.  Safety, a place where nothing can harm her and she can sleep.  Comfort for me, is knowing that in my weakest moments, when I feel as if I can't go any further and have nowhere to turn, I can run to Him and He reminds me that I can find that same comfort, that same peaceful sleep, simply by calling His name.  Simply by saying, I need You Lord.  Be close to me.  Watch through the night and let me rest.   My earthly comforts are not all that I desire right this moment, but in that I have found the true Comforter.  I need not be afraid of the terror in the night.  He is there.  No need to fear.  And my sould find the rest it has been so desperately seeking.

Stop.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Plan B

Exodus 14......I've been pondering a lot about Moses and the Israelites.  I go there a lot.  I can relate to this story in the Bible on so many levels.

God was leading His people out of bondage!!  WooHoo!!!  Hands held high, they marched outta there faster than you could say go.  BUT GOD......decided He had a better plan than what they imagined.....sounds vaguely familiar.....
He hardened Pharaoh's heart and made him wonder what in the the world was I thinking?!?!?!  Let them go!?!? Heck No!!!  So he sent 600 of his best men and chariots... 600....that's a really big army coming after you and the Israelites were SCARED! 
What the heck did we just agree to??  Why did we come out here to die when we could have just stayed in the comfort of our own bondage and died just as well!!  How many times have I said that?  "Really Lord?? This is somehow better?  You decided this was the best path for me?  Can't You see that I'm scared?  I thought this was the right way and now I don't understand what's happening!!".
Most of the time, we don't see God's plan.  And when we look at a situation that makes no sense at all and looks like it's going to destroy us, we get fearful.  Just like they did.  In verses 13 and 14 Moses says enough of this!!  Stop being fearful!  The LORD YOUR GOD, will fight for you.  You need only be still.  The enemy you see today you won't ever see again.  And then God told Moses to stop calling and go into action.  Lead.  Go.  MOVE. 
Sometimes we need to stand still.  Sometimes we just need to move forward.  Even when it looks like we are about to drown. And God has a habit of changing it up on us, so we depend on Him.  So we are constantly attuned to His Voice.....because God had a plan.  To save His people and wipe out the enemy, all at the same time.  It didn't make sense.  No one would have believed it beforehand most likely and God wanted to show His glory and power so there would be no doubt WHO did the rescuing....not to Pharaoh and not to His people. 
God's ways are not our ways, His thoughts are not our thoughts.  I am reminding myself of that here in the past couple of days.  His plans are for my good, not harm.  But when that sea is before me and the impossibilities starts pressing in, I get fearful.  And even though I have seen His miracles in action in my own life first hand, just like the stubborn Israelites, at times I begin to grumble....like they do in one short chapter over...Exodus 15.  But that's another story for another day....
I want to remember God's miracles, His promises to me.  I want to remind myself of all the good things He has done and all the good things I believe deep down will come from this.  Even while I'm staring at this ocean in front of me that I have no idea how to cross and going back is certainly NOT an option.  I will be still, I will let Him fight for me and be waiting for the time when He says...now move.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Spoonful Of Sugar

Be wise when you engage with those outside the faith community; make the most of every moment and every encounter. When you speak the word, speak it gracefully (as if seasoned with salt), so you will know how to respond to everyone rightly. Colossians 4:5-6 VOICE

So many things lately in what God is speaking to me about have to do with words....words.  In my lifetime words have meant so many different things to me.  I have used them to create things and destroy things.  To wound and to comfort.  I never measured the true weight of my words until I found myself staring at this path I was on and was rendered speechless.  There were days in the beginning that all I could muster was "Help. God please, help".  And slowly He began to show me the destruction that words can cause, the devastation they speak into others and that devastation settled right back into me.  But when I let Him show me how to use my words, my prayers, for His glory, for the good of others.....well that changed everything.  When you speak life into another, your speaking it into your own heart.  When you speak good over evil, you get it back too.  Love over hate....sowing those seeds.....words change everything.  Words.....Jesus spoke them to conquer death...He spoke them to bring a dead man back to life...He spoke them to comfort, to convict hearts, to forgive sins, to set captives free.

So when I use my words, that is my desire.  Not to make prisoners and in turn, imprison my self, but to share the life I have been given, to share the grace God has poured over me, to speak into those around me what He spoke into me.  To draw others near, to make them curious as to what can change a life so radically.  You and I will be held accountable for every word we speak.  Every. Single. Word.  That is, at times, overwhelming to me.  So I want to make it count.  I want to use my words to draw others to Him.  Today it is my prayer that in every situation, you will find some way to speak life.  Changing your words can change everything...especially you.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

God Sized Dream

 

It's Tuesday. Time for a post about God-Sized Dreaming. This comes from Holley Gerth’s new book, You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream: Opening the Door to All God Has for You.

This week’s assignment: "Pay it forward. You’ve been encouraged in your God-sized dreams by your sisters here the last few months. How can you spread that encouragement forward by investing in other dreamers? It can be small and simple or BIG and wild. Ask God what you can do and get creative. Then write a post about what you’re doing". Holly Gerth

It started with one.
It usually does doesn't it? One thing, one word, one look, one instance....that changes everything.
It was one post that God used as He opened up the door to what He would call me back to......Christine Wright. She wrote a post for (in) Courage.  I read it.  It changed everything.  I saw someone who's words gave voice to what my heart was feeling.  And if someone else had walked this path and survived....thrived, then perhaps I could too.  One blog opened the door to others....words and women and others....I was not alone (and I wasn't crazy!!).
So when He called me back to blogging, asking me to put a voice to my words, I felt less alone, less unqualified, because others went before me.
So today, if you are seeing this, then I know God has a plan for HIS words, through my life, for your heart :)
On the days where you feel less than ok, wonder if there will ever be something more than this, right now, there will be.  But what I am slowly learning to do is live right right here.  Believing that if God did it once, He can do it again.  And if it is His will and I am seeking Him, then it's all in His hands.  If you are wondering if you will ever feel good enough, pretty enough, strong enough, prepared enough...in the natural, maybe not always, but through God's eyes, you are ALL these things.  Because you are His.  Everyday.  You're His baby girl :)  Today know that no matter what YOU feel, HE says your perfect.  Just like you are, just where you are, because when our less than is wrapped in His greater than....amazing things can happen!

I like texting :) I never thought I would say that!  But I like texting those special to me and telling them good morning, sharing a verse or perhaps just telling them I love them!  And they love me even if I do text at 4 am ;) They know it's just me.  Words heal.  Words share His truth.  Words change everything.  So if you need some extra encouragement, share your email with me :) I like writing back and forth!  You can reach me at hooahsgirl@me.com

Monday, May 6, 2013

One Monday Morning

10 But He knows the course I have traveled.
And I believe that were He to prove me,
I would come out purer than gold from the fire.
11 My foot has been securely set in His tracks;
I have kept to His course of life without swerving;
12 I have not departed from the commands of His lips;
I have valued everything He says more than all else.
13 He alone is one True God; who can alter Him?
Whatever He desires within Himself, He does.
14 For He will carry out exactly what He has planned for me,
and in the future there are more plans to come.


It's Monday.  Again.  What's so bad about Monday....nothing really.  As I made my bed this morning, talking to God about facing yet another week....another week.... of crying in the face of uncertainty, praying for dreams that seem so far from reality I wonder where they came from and again, weary with putting one foot in front in the other...He said "Stop baby girl.  Sit down and let me talk to you".  And so I did.  And so He did.  So here I sit, another Monday....waiting on Him. 
Have you ever done that?  Had to wait....really wait? Really believe?  Really wrestle?  I have not until this season in my life.  Come face to face with God and really let Him look at my heart, but also, look at His.  There are days my prayers seem so unimportant, so worthless and wasted.  Empty, hollow words, not sure if they found their home.....but that's not true.  He has leaned down to listen to my cries, my whispers, my silent pleas in the dark.
As I was driving to work I came across a demolition project.  It reminded me of what my prayers must be like.  Little by little scooping out big chunks of hard, solid, old foundation.  Cracked and broken, but the pieces ran so deep.  Big chunks that have to be smashed and then taken away, all revealing smooth soft ground underneath, ready for a new foundation, ready for brand new possibilities.  Still the same piece of property, just a brand new structure.....still the same me, just a brand new me, from the inside out.  Chunk upon chunk, scooped, hollowed, removed, grated.......level, solid, strong, ready....."Begin Again" He said.....

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sunday Scripture


Don’t be anxious about things; instead, pray. Pray about everything. He longs to hear your requests, so talk to God about your needs and be thankful for what has come. And know that the peace of God (a peace that is beyond any and all of our human understanding) will stand watch over your hearts and minds in Jesus, the Anointed One. Philippians 4:6-7 VOICE
 
What makes you anxious?  What things or situations can set you heart beating faster than running a half marathon? For me it is holding fast to your word.  I have been let down in the natural by people in my life...when they say they will come through and then don't.  And it has fed my sense of insecurity and rejection for many years.  So I am not all that surprised when God keeps bringing around these situations that I have absolutely no control over.  I must depend on others to help me.  And. I. Hate. It. Why? Because I have to admit dependence on others.  And I don't want to be let down anymore.  So these are the things He uses to show me that I am not an island, I can't do it all and I do need others. 
 
But even still, when people let us down, God wants to remind us that He will not.  And for me that's a hard lesson, because my heart says otherwise.  It screams look sister, there is no more room for anymore band aids on me!  It's hurting, it's sore, it aches and there are times when I think God if You let me down this is truly gonna be the end of me.  But He doesn't does He?  It's when we open our hearts to Him, He begins to cut away the protections, remove the shards of brokenness and run Living water over those bruised and battered places.  Healing.  Trust.  Peace.  His peace will stand watch over our hearts.
 
 


Saturday, May 4, 2013

What If

I'm not sure why the peace, the quiet....at times make me feel like something is amiss.  So as I sit reading, eating special soup from my sister who loves me because she is worried about my cold, but also trying to make sure she nourishes my heart along with my body....I start to wonder what if..

This is where it can get ugly faster than these Reese's Pieces are disappearing....perfectly fine when you aren't feeling well I assure you....but what if, I'm still here, right now, in this place because He covets this time with me? This constant conversation we have....what if He would miss me waking up in the middle of the night and talking to Him because He is the one who rests beside me? What if.....He's saying I treasure this because you aren't distracted, aren't putting things and people and situations ahead of me for once.....

I tell Him so many times as I wake up..It's You and me today Lord, You and me, don't leave.  Stay with me.  What if sooner than later my heart will be moved by another and I will have to find the right balance yet again....What if He's holding me like we hold our little ones just a little while longer before we put them down in the crib to sleep, hold their hand a little longer as we walk or keep them home from school just a little late so we can spend some time with them on the drive to school.  Just because we love them and treasure that time when it's just us and them before the rest of the world moves in and we have to fight for our space in their hearts and thoughts.

So today I'm just letting my mind wander the other way...not feeling punished, or cast aside or forgotten....but loved and treasured and cherished.  A special gift to the One who loves me always.

This One Thing Remains

Do not forget to rejoice, for hope is always just around the corner. Hold up through the hard times that are coming, and devote yourselves to prayer. Romans 12:12 VOICE

Constant.  A word that is hard for me.  Something that I have always longed for, but was rarely able to achieve.  Always changing my mind, fearful of making the wrong choice.  What if I failed? What if it was the wrong choice, what if I should hold out for more, for better....what if? 

On this journey of mine He has called me to be the constant.  This has been a hard lesson learned. I had to let Him be that for me first.  That was terrifying.  To come from a place where everything around me crumbled and all I had to hold onto were a handful of verses He had given me so long ago.  He used those...to show He is constant.  They have been a steady theme, flowing through my life for the past 18 years....slowly He has revealed to me the purpose of those words planted so very long ago.

This week has left my head swirling, my eyes red and my nose protesting with each swipe of a tissue.  Some from a cold that has come to visit me and the rest from what seems to be a test at every corner.  Come On God SERIOUSLY.  Yet at every turn, He shows Himself....constant.  Constant in the trial, constant in the testing, constant in His love for me and I am believing, OH, how I am believing, CONSTANT in His promises.....

Friday, May 3, 2013

5 Minute Friday




It's Friday again...time for 5 minute Friday.  Lisa Jo Baker  can explain it best.  But We are taking a topic and then writing about it for 5 minutes.  No edits, not knowing the topic before hand :) 

Brave    .....go

Brave is not at all what I used to think it was.  Braves was standing up for yourself and not letting anyone walk all over you, voicing your own opinion and making yourself heard.  Standing up.  But what I have learned over the last 16 months is that brave isn't that at all.  Brave is letting God direct your ever step when you can't imagine where you are going, being quiet at times when you want to scream how much someone or a situation hurts you.  Brave is believing day after day God really will do everything He says.  Brave is simply getting up every morning and putting one foot in front of the other.  Brave is kind, brave loves those who might just hurt you again, braves loves at all cost, brave believes God's promises at all cost.  Brave is not superman in his cape.  Brave is taking your friends hand and saying we can get through this together....

Stop.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Yet I Will Praise Him

Habakkuk 3:17-18

The Voice (VOICE)
17 Even if the fig tree does not blossom
and there are no grapes on the vines,
If the olive trees fail to give fruit
and the fields produce no food,
If the flocks die far from the fold
and there are no cattle in the stalls;
18 Then I will still rejoice in the Eternal!
I will rejoice in the God who saves me!
 
I don't know this place I stand.  As I look around, I see His work, His hand in all of this.  Yet still, His whisper to me in the very early of morning "Begin again".  And it makes me sigh.  But I notice something different...I just say ok Lord.  Ok.  I don't have to know the answer.  And as I see what He has done in me and around me, what harvest obedience is beginning to reap, the scripture above came to mind again.
 
Lord, even though I cannot see what You are doing in all this, I will praise You.  Even though I am so weary, I will rejoice in the miracles You have already brought forth.  Even though I still only see so much death and destruction of a life that was, I see the beauty in all the breaking.  I praise You for what You have already done, I praise You for what You are still doing, I praise You for what is to come.  Whatever it is.  Because You promised, never to leave me, never to forsake me.  Because even if all else fails, You won't.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Opportunities

You have an opportunity today my precious friend...
To share His love with others.  Even when you don't feel like it, even if it's hard, even to the people you might not necessarily feel all warm and fuzzy towards...
                       Especially those who have hurt you.
Speak life.
Why?  Because you have the power to speak life and death with the power of your words and let me tell you something real...when you speak death: negative, critical, biting, humiliating, ugly words into another persons life...
                        It goes back into you.  Your words may wound them,  but they will poison you.
Loving others means doing it when they don't deserve it, when they hurt you over and over again, when it seems like they aren't answering to anyone, much less God.  Love them anyways.  Love them through tears, love them through prayers you aren't sure you can speak. 
So today, especially when its hard...love others and speak life into every situation.  I can tell you first hand it will not be easy.  But I can also tell you that it will change you in a way you never imagined.

Galatians 6:7-8

The Voice (VOICE)
7 Make no mistake: God can’t be mocked. What you give is what you get. What you sow, you harvest. 8 Those who sow seeds into their flesh will only harvest destruction from their sinful nature. But those who sow seeds into the Spirit shall harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.