Wife to Greg, mom to 7, and grandma to 3! Welcome to a glimpse of our life. It is a place where chaos abounds, tears are shed regularly, laughter is inevitable, and family is EVERYTHING!!!! Everyday is about the choices we make. Let's choose today to be different. To live for him. To find joy in the little stuff. To worry less and to love more. To be who he created us to be. This blog is about my daily "choices" along the way. Won't you join me? It will be a wild ride. But, as I always tell my kids I once heard it said "there ain't no high like the most!”
Remember my post a few weeks ago about how fast life has been going for me????? Well, I did not expect God to speed things up even more. I found out today that I am going to be a grandma. A very young and hip grandma mind you but yes a grandma. Is this the perfect timing? No! But once again I will embrace the circumstance that I have been placed in. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by this when a dear friend of the family showed up at my door with a gift. The pictures are above and they don't do it justice. It had a picture of a Bible and at the top it said "Everything Happens for a Reason." She then wrote the most beautiful thing. I hope you can read it. Anyway, this came from a young lady named Ann who I absolutely adore. I told my son Chris He is a fool if he doesn't pursue this beautiful young lady. Her gift was God speaking to me. This has happened for a reason. I am excited to see how He works this all out. Children we are told are a blessing form the Lord no matter how it comes about. Please pray for us as we plan for a new little one and a wedding also. 2009 is shaping up to be another wild ride!
I am sitting here waiting for my kids to fall asleep so I can put out their gifts. The house is finally quiet and I am left to reflect on the evening. I was blessed to spend it with all 7 of my children. If you know our situation right now you know our oldest two daughters have been having some struggles and have been distant from us. Especially one of them. She was here tonight. She is truly one of God's masterpieces. She needs to find out for herself that the baby Jesus born over 2000 years ago changes everything. That is my prayer for her today. In the mean time my mother's heart will probably cry a tear or two for her tonight. I am thankful for the change in my life since finding Jesus. I pray that you too know Him this Christmas. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas. I will leave you with my favorite song this holiday season. Good night and God Bless! *pause my playlist below to play this song!
Karns had chicken on sale for .79/pound this past week. I hate to buy chicken in bulk and clean it. As much as I shared with you that I love getting my hair done I hate doing chicken. In fact I would venture to say I would almost rather have a root canal....First you get the 40 pound box and it is slimy....yuck. Then you have to debone it all, cut off the fat, slice it thin and freeze it all....blah! If I am feeling really adventurous I actually make meals with it then freeze them.....no fun. I then take the bones and cook them off to get some good broth and pick off enough chicken for two more meals......painfully boring. Even though I dislike this so much it is an economical way to feed my large family and sad to say I thought I would do it today and found out the sale ended yesterday. I missed it! I started thinking about life being a lot like my chicken experience. We get caught up in the yucky stuff. We often need to do things we don't want to because in the end it will benefit us, but too often we miss it. We get caught up in the circumstances and we spend our days searching or dreaming for something better when what God wants from us is right in front of our noses. We need to stop looking for our destiny apart from our messy circumstances or we might miss it. Did you hear that???? We can go our whole life and miss it!!! Our destiny will be found in our circumstances NOT apart from them. Press on today dear one God has a wonderful calling for you. Don't miss it like I missed the chicken this week. Look past the pain or dullness of your life for the amazing plans He has for you. Stop looking beyond today wishing for more. Embrace today and find your destiny. Thank Him today for the beauty He creates from ashes and I will thank Him for the wonderful meals made from slimy chicken:)
Prayer: Lord, I pray that I would press through the yucky stuff in my life and not miss what you have for me in it. Thank you that you love us enough that in this sinful corrupt world you still desire to be involved in our life and that we are destined for greatness. Amen
P.S. I often do this chicken thing with my dearest friend Carla. If you are struggling grab a good friend to help you through it! God has put godly friends in our life to support us. We don't have to do this alone.
I got my hair cut today. If you know me at all you will know that it is one of my favorite things to do. Even though I love it I have become very cautious lately. Wanting something different but being just a little afraid. Anyway, today I did actually have her cut 2 inches off. She said it would be good to get off the "dead stuff". It felt much lighter right away. It just felt better. I was thinking about my life and how often God just wants me to get rid of the dead stuff because He has something better He wants to do. Why do we hang on so tightly to things that He wants us to rid ourself of? I am so cautious. I think in my caution I am ultimately saying I don't trust Him. But if I would just trust Him I would feel better. Lighter actually. I wouldn't have the heavy burden of carrying around things He doesn't want me to carry. When it comes to trusting Him I would like to just start throwing caution to the wind and just do the things He wants me to do. Letting go of dreams, fears, and any idea that is mine and not His. If it is not of Him it is "dead stuff". I know I want to feel full of life. So here's to hairstyles and Godly lifestyles. Have a blessed night.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.
I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.
Two different verses - many great reminders. We have an enemy. He wants to come and steal our joy, kill our vision, and often times destroy our testimony. Christ came so that we could have life and live it to the full. He gave us authority over the enemy of our souls. But He also reminds us when we feel victory we shouldn’t get caught up in the power to overcome but we need only rejoice that our names are written in heaven. I think the first step in living victoriously is recognizing the battles we will face are spiritual ones (Eph. 6:12), recognizing that we have any enemy and that he can do some real damage if we allow it. Are you allowing it today? The second step to victory is recognizing the power we have. Christ came to baptize us with the Holy Spirit and with fire (Matthew 3:11). We have the same power that raised Christ from the dead living within us and He has also gifted us with powerful gifts. Are you using your gifts or are you looking to others and riding on their coat tails? Can you accept that things you have been through in your life are things He will use? And I mean everything. The good. The bad. Everything in between. That the things we endure coupled with the power and gifting that He has given us are what makes us into what he has created us to be. You could go your whole life and miss the boat. I don’t know about you but that scares me to death. I want on the boat! It is possible for us to douse the fire. The flames need to be fanned. We need revival. We need to accept what we have been through and give it to Him to use. Remeber who the enemy is. You have the power to overcome him. So today stop waiting for someone else. Listen, He is calling you.
Lord thank you that you gift us and you give us power. Help us to be aware of the gifts that you have given us and help us to accept the fact that the things we have been through in our life may be just the things you want to use. Help us to be fully aware of Satan’s schemes. We bless you Lord and praise your name that we have been given victory. We love you Lord.
I am definetely in over my head with a situation in my life right now with one of my daughters. I can't share any details right now. I spent the morning in tears face down at times(on the bathroom floor at one point - where else can you go and be alone????) I called my dear friend Carla and she directed me to Beth Moore's blog entry. I am going to post it below. It is just what I needed to read right now. I love how God does that. When I can I will post more about what is going on in my life and what I am learning....I can hear the angels cheering;)It is my prayer that this entry touch someone else who is feeling "in over their head" today. Have blessed day.
Over Our Heads
I was just praying out loud for some folks. So aware right now of many chronic - even life and death - needs. Thinking how many people I know who are flat-out over their heads. Been over mine in a personal thing or two lately myself. Keith has a CD in his blue Ford truck that he won't give up but every time I get behind that wheel, I shove it in the player, flip it to song #9, turn it up as loud as I can stand it, and sing it like there's no tomorrow. It talks about the kind of over-my-head I want to be. And I want you to be.
Girlfriends, Jesus is so worthy of our trust no matter what has taken us by surprise. Picture that, when the enemy asks for a little extra access to you, the only reason why God may have given him permission is because He knew you'd prove faithful. Do the thing. In the unseen realm, angels are cheering and demons are jeering. You are in the stadium and the bleachers are full. (Hebrews 12:1) Take one for the team if you have to. Be strong and courageous. Be willing to show people how it's done. Don't look for a leader. You are the leader. People are looking to you. Be deliberate. Make sure they see Jesus. We're not here all that long and then there's BLISS. Forever bliss. Till then, we're over our heads. But we can dang-well decide what kind of over-our-heads we're gonna be.
"Over My Head" by Brian Littrell
I tried to figure it out Time and time again and time again I guess there's just some things I'll never understand 'Cause Your ways aren't our ways But deep down in my soul, down in my soul There is one thing I know that I know
I'm in over my head Right where I wanna be I'm so lost within Your love The love that always covers me So high, so deep, so wide A strong and cleansing tide My soul has found a place to rest I'm in over my head
I've been holding on Now I'm letting go, just letting go Gonna let Your love carry me away I don't know where I'm going But I'm surrounded by the truth And I can feel the current pulling me Deeper into You
I'm in over my head Right where I wanna be I'm so lost within Your love The love that always covers me So high, so deep, so wide A strong and cleansing tide My soul has found a place to rest I'm in over my head
You see me for who I am You did reach out Your hand You made me understand That Your love has always covered me Posted by Beth at 6:27 PM
Grandma passed away on Sunday morning. She was surrounded by her family. As we stood around her bed and witnessed her take her final breath knowing she was snatched right into heaven into Jesus' arms the second that last breath was finished. She was loved by many. The glue that held the family altogether. She will be so missed but her suffering is over and for that I am very thankful. I am glad I had the opportunity to know her and to be apart of her family. I have been able to learn many lessons through her life and also through her death. I was asked to speak at a Christmas luncheon on Saturday. I was very excited to have this opportunity. I had been praying for an opportunity to share and thought this was my answer. I had been preparing all week in my mind what the message would be about. I am comfortable speaking. Not that I don't get nervous but the excitement of sharing what God is doing in my life usually outweighs the fear. Anyway, we found out the memorial service is going to be at the same time so I had to back out of my speaking engagement. I was a little sad. Like I said earlier I thought this was God's answer to my prayer. Well the funny thing is just Saturday as I sat in Hospice doing my Bible study I was reading that God will rarely ask us to do what we are comfortable with. He will ask us to do what we are uncomfortable doing. The thing that will stretch us. So His power can be displayed. I was asked to sing at grandma's memorial service. I am NOT a singer. I don't sing on the worship team. I just sit in the audience making a "joyful noise". I don't want to be on American Idol. I am not beating myself up here. I have just accepted long ago that I won't be signing any record deals in this lifetime. So instead of speaking on Saturday morning I will be making a joyful noise in front of all of grandma's family and friends. Doing the thing that I am not so comfortable with. I will have to fully rely on God for this. He will have to do the singing through me. Don't you just love when you study something in your quiet time and He so quickly gives you the opportunity to apply it to your life. So if you think about it on Saturday say a little prayer for me. Pray that I bring God honor and glory and that I also honor grandma as I sing. We will miss her so much and will rejoice when we see her again. Have a blessed day!
Is that the name of a movie title???? I can't remember. Anyway, I have spent the last week at hospice watching my husband's grandmother die. There are a lot of lessons that can be learned when you are privileged to witness something like this. I know it may seem odd to call it a privilege but I have had the opportunity to see life coming into the world and I have seen life come to an end and it is a privilege to be a part of this mysterious circle of life that God had ordained before the foundations of the earth. It is very bitter sweet when you know where they are going when its over and you know it is a better place. Grandma Carrie was an awesome grandma. She was full of grace and beauty on the inside and out. She was well loved and it is obvious by the people who have spent this past week with her. She has been surrounded by family and friends. It has been especially sweet to watch her 3 sons and Greg love on her. Seventeen years ago she loved on me. I was a bratty 17 year old having her first great grandchild. She didn't care she loved me and my son just the same. She took care of Chris when he was a baby and I went to work. I don't think I could possibly begin to tell you everything she taught him. She potty trained him and taught him his ABC's and 123's. She taught him to write his name and to pray before every meal. She showed him how to tie his shoes and button his buttons. She walked with him, played with him, mended his clothes, and read to him everyday. I think as I watch her life slowly coming to an end I am impressed the most with the lives she impacted. I know we say it all the time, that relationships are what matters but do we really live it out? I know she did. I can tell you though grandma was beautiful on the outside it was the time she invested in people that mattered the most, she was truly beautiful on the inside. Not her immaculate home, she can't be there now. Not her beautiful hair, she lost that through chemo. Not material things but the people she loved and cared for. I have been blessed to be in her life. I pray that her suffering soon come to an end and I thank God that I have the opportunity to be a part of this family.
Though the cherry trees don't blossom and the strawberries don't ripen, though the apples are worm-eaten and the wheat fields are stunted, though the sheep pens are sheepless and the cattle barns empty, I'm singing joyful praise to God. I'm turning cartwheels of joy to my savior God. Counting on God's rule to prevail, I take heart and gain strength. I run like a deer. I feel like I'm king of the mountain!
Habakkuk 3:17-19 (The Message)
After reading this verse this past weekend and doing my Bible study today I really felt convicted about my behavior lately. I have been once again getting caught up in the worry of life's circumstances. My apples have been worm-eaten lately. I feel like my cattle barns are empty but instead of singing a joyful praise to God I am allowing the enemy to sneak in and make me feel defeated. I read in my quiet time today that the enemy will focus on the past and the future while God's voice will focus on today. He is a God of "right now". One of the keys to not getting caught up in the worry of the past or the future is to just obediently do the next thing God has for us today. Counting on God's rule to prevail. Knowing that it will. We can take heart and gain strength and run like a deer. We can be king (or queen) of the mountain instead king (or queen) of the pit. I don't know about you but I have been queen of the pit for too long and quite frankly I am sick of it. It is too tiring. So today let's commit to sing praises to our Savior in everything we do. Let's not get caught up in tomorrow but just obediently do the next thing today. Look for God in the everyday mundane tasks of your life. When we have our spiritual eyes opened those tasks aren't so ordinary anymore. When we see ourselves as a part of the bigger picture they become pretty spectacular. We will just do this one step at a time. Don't think about the number of times you failed in the past, just concentrate on living victoriously today. Today ladies we will be QUEEN OF THE MOUNTAIN. HALLELUJAH!!!!!!!!!!
Lord forgive me when I let my fears and worry take over. Show me the next thing you have for me today and help me to obediently follow you. Thank you that Your Word tells me when I do this You will make me feel like Queen of the mountain. No more Queen of the pit. You came so I could live a victorious life. Help me today to take hold of all you have for me.
The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.
Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.
Yesterday in church we were reading from Exodus 14. We came to verse 14. I had to look at that verse for a while. The Egyptians where in hot pursuit of the Israelites and Moses tells them to just be still. God will fight for them. I came home and looked into other verses telling us to be still. I really started wondering if we even know what it means to be still. I know I struggle. We live in a society that is never still. We can get a latte at McDonald's 24 hours a day. If we want to shop at midnight we can. Often times even in the quiet stillness of the night we are not still. We lay awake and our mind wonders. We are tormented by our thoughts. All our fears become overwhelming in that moment and even though we are alone and it is quiet we are not still. I wonder how many amazing things we miss because we just refuse to be still and know that He is God and peacefully rest knowing that He will fight for us. He is the same today as He was when the Israelites crossed the Red sea. He is the same today as He was when He calmed the storm in Mark 4 and told the wind to "be still". If even the wind and the seas obey Him why do we think what we are dealing with is too big for Him to handle? Today I want to start learning to be still. Won't you join me? When we get too busy let's cut a few things from our schedule. When we finally have the chance to be in a quiet place then let's have our thoughts "be still". He is God. He will fight for us. We are loved by the King.
Lord, teach me to be still. Reveal yourself to me. Help me to lay all my worries at your feet. Thank you that you fight for me and that you love me.
However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.
1 Corinthians 2:9
It all started when I was young. Different situations that seemed to age me a little quicker than most. Then I became pregnant at 17 and became a new mom. By the time I was 25 I had children only a handful of years younger than I was through adoption. I am 35 years old and I have adult children. I have survived rebellious teens and a handful of other "situations". I am now being hurled at the speed of light into another phase of life. My mother-in-law had a stroke two weeks ago and she is coming to stay with us. We are now dealing with "aging" parents. I fear by the time I am 40 I will have been through menopause and I myself will be headed for a nursing home:) These are all the things no one really prepares you for. You know all lifes little "secrets". Like when you had your first child did anyone tell you not to pack those cute little jeans you wore before you got pregnant because there is a good chance you will never wear them again or at least for a while? Or how about this one - you can love a child with every ounce of your being but have moments where your are sure you could lock them up for a very long time. All this to say for all you out there who maybe haven't been through some these things yet - it is a wild ride but is a good one. Every new season I learn something so incredibly amazing about God that I am finally starting to get it. I have been a bit hesitant about my mother-in-law coming but I keep hearing Him whisper to me that if I will just love Him and trust Him, He has something prepared for me that I can't even imagine. I just have to love Him. He works out all the rest of the details. I can't wait to see what this next phase of life has in store for me. I know it won't always be easy, in fact many times it is far from it, but I know it will be good because God is good. I just encourage you today to be on the look out for the wonderful things He has in store for you. Things no eye has ever seen and no ear has ever heard. Don't get so caught up in the situation that you miss it. So often the thing that we think we can't bear today is easily forgotten tomorrow, but the rewards for obedience are eternal.
Lord help me to have your eyes in the situations you bring into my life. Thank you for your promises. I love you Lord and I trust your goodness.
For by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.
I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone-for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good and pleases God our Savior who wants all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of truth.
1 Timothy 2:1-4
Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God's will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover up for evil; live as servants of God. Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear god, honor the king.
1 Peter 13-17
I awoke today with a feeling of sadness. I am so thankful for the gentle reminders in God's word. So today I start to pray for president elect Obama! He has been placed in authority over me and instead slandering his name I need to honor him and pray for him. I also need to pray for God's mercy on this wonderful country that I have the privilege of living in. Have a blessed day!
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:4-5
I have been hearing from God a lot lately about this passage. I feel like He keeps asking me am I believing truth or am I believing a lie? If I am believing a lie that is thought I need to take captive. When I am having struggles I need to find out the truth(God's Word). That is why studying our Bible for our self and memorizing it is soooo important. When I start to have bad thoughts they seem to multiply if I don't nip it in the bud. Here is a perfect example: Our kids do something to upset us. We start to wear around the T.P.(terrible parent not toilet paper in case you were wondering if yes I did indeed finally lose my mind and I won't have the need to take any thoughts captive)anyway we are wearing the T.P. Instead of immediately at that point taking the thought captive and telling our self "therefore there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus" we start self-condemnation. Now after making our self feel bad for a while we want to make someone else suffer because we are grumpy and feeling sorry for our self and because the T.P. is too heavy for one to carry alone so we attack our husband. Now we have involved someone else. It is deeper. We could still start speaking the truth and taking our thoughts captive and tell our self all the truth about our husband and who he is as a Christian, as a father, and as a husband. But instead we suffer and we make him suffer. Then we decide to take it out on others. We start to have the "grass is greener" syndrome and we hide away for fear of what someone might think of us. The weight is heavy, our marriage is now in a shamble, and to top it all off we are lonely. Are you seeing the snow ball effect???? Can you see how important it is to know our true identity in Christ Jesus. Jesus used God's word to combat Satan (Matthew 4). We need to learn from His example and use His word to fight and win the battle. It will demolish strongholds. They are anything in our life that is placed before God. So what thoughts do you need to take captive today? Anything that is setting itself up against the knowledge of God. Stop believing the lie. Don't let satan have this. We are more than conquerors ladies. We can do this.
*Yes the previous scenario was real and not fictional. I am happy to say that wife and husband are once again living in harmony and wife is trying to get better and quicker at getting those thoughts under control:)
Lord thank you for your word which is Truth. With it we have awesome power to overcome all the schemes of the devil. That you loved us enough to give us your Son and provide us with your word amazes me everyday! I love you too Lord!
She is clothed with strength and dignity: She can laugh at the days to come
Oh no! Not the Proverbs 31 chick again. I know that if any of you are like me that must be what you are thinking right now. I avoided this passage for years. It makes me tired, but for some reason He is bringing me to it. I especially keep coming to this verse where it says "she laughs at the days to come". Now I have to wonder is she laughing because she has already survived marriage, pregnancy, birth, the terrible two's(which last about 5 years), adolescence, rebellious teens, aging parents, and things that start to fall apart and sag long before their time? It makes you wonder if she is laughing or if she is delusional. Anyway, I actually think she laughs because after going through all that she is finally starting to get it. Her daddy owns the cattle on a thousand hills. He will provide for her. Her daddy also holds everything in His hands and she can trust Him because He has known her since before she was formed. She knows she is just passing through and just like rebellious teens and saggy stuff it is all temporary. Maybe I never liked to go to this passage before because I thought I had to be it all at once, but I think He is teaching me that through life's circumstances and how I respond I can become like her. More importantly I can become like Him. Let's all have a good laugh today, it might be after we shed a few tears, but don't become consumed about tomorrow. Remember WE ARE JUST PASSING THROUGH!!!!!
Lord thank that this is all temporary. Teach me to trust you more everyday. I want to laugh at the days to come. I love you Lord!
Be sure to pay attention to what you hear. To those who are open to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But to those who are not listening, even what they think they have will be taken away from them.
Luke 8:18 NLT
As you enter the house of God, keep your ears open and your mouth shut!....he is in heaven, and you are only here on earth. So let your words be few.
Ecclesiastes 5:1-2 NLT
Wow! This word really hit me today. I have been in a Bible study about hearing God’s voice for about 7 weeks now, but today this word really got my attention. Just look at the instructions in both verses. First of all are we even paying attention or are we too distracted by too many other things. Are there things we need to change about our life so that we can more effectively pay attention? I know that I can be too busy and too involved with many “good” things that I miss His instructions. Secondly, if we are paying attention do we expect to hear from God and do we plan to obey it? Or are we too busy talking to hear? The verse said those who are open to my teaching will receive more understanding. I think we all want more understanding but we don’t want to have to be open or obedient unless it falls into our plans, not His. Just the reminder of the consequence if we don’t listen was enough to get my attention. It says even what we think we have will be taken. Aren’t you so glad that God gave us His word so that we would know Him and know what He wants from us? Remembering that He is in heaven and we are on earth and that His plans are better than our plans. Just that fact that He is willing to speak to us and wants to be in a relationship with us is huge. Imagine the creator of the universe wants you to listen and wants to give you understanding. So this week why don’t we try to listen, open ourselves to His teaching, and let our words be few as we expectantly wait to hear and obey His word. We should be listening for Him as much as we are talking to Him.
Lord thank you that you want to be in relationship with us and that you love us so much you want to give us understanding. Help our words to be few this week as we patiently sit back and listen for you to speak to us.
Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him.
Last night we had the privilege to go "trick-or-treating" at the nursing home that Greg's grandma is in. The following is a sweet conversation I overheard:
"Ethel, what does this remind you of?"
"What do all these children remind you of?"
(getting louder)"All the children Ethel it reminds me of when ours were that age."
"Oh yes! That was wonderful wasn't it."
What a gentle sweet reminder to live life to the fullest everyday. Time passes through our fingers like sand. It is the one thing we can't hold onto, we can not control, and we CAN NOT get back. It makes me want to hug my kids and rejoice in the Lord today, even in the difficult moments.
Lord thank you for our children. Help us to be a good steward of our kids and our time. Grant me patience today and remind that time will pass me by but it is what I choose to do with it that matters.
For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
I just thought I would post a little update on the SVPS banquet. It was an awesome experience. It is always amazing to be in the presence of believers and see God move. It was like things came full circle for me. It was full redemption - the forgiveness of my sins. I sat in a room with a few hundred people as they aired the video with my testimony and I was ok. There was a time where I would have struggled to even be in the same room where a testimony like that was being played let alone be the one giving the testimony and not even caring that people would know it was me. That is how amazing God is. It is like a scar. I still know it happened, but the pain is gone. He is my healer, my forgiver, and most importantly forgetter of my sins. I had an abortion but that is not my identity. I have been made alive in Christ. I am many things but condemned is not one of them. I am a saint seated with Christ, I am loved, I am forgiven, He sees me, I am cared for, I am His child, I am sealed until the day of redemption. The list could go on and on but none of the things I am has to do with condemnation. The speaker was Michael Clancy. He has an amazing story. I recommend you check out his website www.michaelclancy.com . So all in all it was an amazing evening. They have an awesome ministry. You can see more about what they do at www.svps.org.
Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained by living a godly life. The glory of the young is their strength; the gray hair of experience is the splendor of the old.
Proverbs 16:31; 20:29
These two verses gave me a good laugh tonight. I just thought I would post them for all of you who, whether we can see it our not(do I hear a shout for Hair color???), are turning shades of gray. I guess it is just proof that yes the experience of life(or should I say having teenagers) will turn you gray. But hey it says it is gained by living a godly life so I guess it is just another thing I better stop fighting and rejoice in. I will try to do a little more research this week and see if I can find anything about "lovehandles" or maybe wrinkles. We'll see what I come up with but somehow I doubt it will compare to the gray hair. What do you think??? Well it is late and I think I am becoming delusional. I will post soon about the SVPS banquet and also about my trip to see Beth Moore. Have a blessed night. Remember God grants rest to those he loves(Psalm 127:2). Sleep tight and have a wonderful day tomorrow.
Lord thank you for loving us and granting us rest. Thank you for the gray hair and the life experience that comes with it. Thanks for giving us laughter. We love you Lord.
You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on a stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
Spent the morning in uncontrollable tears today - check out www.youtube.com and type in "cardboard testimonies". Unbelievable testimonies of the life changing power of Jesus Christ. We all have a story. We all have a before and after. Are you sharing yours? There is a world dying around us. Who will tell them if we don't. Today lets really think about the change Christ has made in our lives. We so often take it for granted and don't give Him the glory due Him. We are changed because of His sacrifice. Pray today for God to show you someone who needs to hear your before and after. We don't have to give every detail. Just who we were before and who we are now as a result of Jesus Christ. Let your light shine to all men. Don't hide it. Take off the mask. Put aside the pride and tell your story. There is power in our story. He uses all the messes we've made to reach people. He uses us to draw people to Him. Wow! I can barely type through the tears. So many wasted opportunities. I hope you will commit with me today to share all He has done for you.
Lord show me who needs to hear my story today. I am changed because of you and your power in my life. Thank you for loving me enough to take my mess and use it for your glory. We love you Lord and praise your name. The name above all names!
Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another - showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God's way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 The Message
Are you in His word today being put together and shaped up for what He has for you??? Let's commit to get in His word today so we can know truth and our rebellion be exposed. It will correct our mistakes and train us to live God's way. It is to train us and make us better. To make us different, to be more like Him!
Lord thank you for your Word to us. You have provided everything we need to be filled with Your spirit and live Godly lives. Give us hearts to run hard after you Lord.
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
Well we are off to the SVPS(Susquehanna Valley Pregnancy Services) banquet tonight. I am excited about going to this event. I have never been to one of their banquets but I am sure it will be great. I had been in a post-abortion Bible study with them this past summer and it was awesome. Because of that Bible study I had a small part in a video they produced. I am still in awe of how God continues to use my "messes". It is amazing the work He does when we just admit we were wrong, ask for His forgiveness, and for His full redemption. With that we don't need to worry about what people think. We are then free to live a transparent life. When we live in guilt and shame we make it an idol in our life. We are in essence saying what was done on the cross was not enough. But when we open ourselves up to His forgiveness, healing, and grace we can drop the mask. No more pretending. That is when God truly gets the glory. You see He gets no glory when we parade around wearing a mask of guilt and shame for past mistakes. But when we strip off the mask we don't have to worry because Gods got us covered. That is freedom. That is what He came to do. You know the world would have you believe that you are no good because of past mistakes. Satan uses them and convinces you that you have to hide because if anyone really knew about things in your past they would think you were terrible. Or better yet sometimes he convinces us that God would want nothing to do with us. These are all lies. They are not the truth found in God's word. What lies are you believing today? What mask have you been wearing? It is time to strip it off. Let's give God the glory for the work he has done in our life. There is so much that is intended to harm us but even in our poor choices or in things we have no choice about God can turn it all around and use it for good. I pray every day that God use my abortion, my bad choice and He turns it around and uses it for His good and may it save many lives.
Lord thank you so much for your forgiveness. But not only for forgiving us but also for redeeming our past mistakes and using them for your glory. Forgive us when guilt and shame become our idol, when we wear the mask and don't walk in the freedom you intended for us.
"God does not have to come and tell me what I must do for Him, He brings me into a relationship with Himself where I hear His call and understand what He wants me to do, and I do it out of sheer love to Him... When people say they have had a call to foreign service, or to any particular sphere of work, they mean that their relationship to God has enabled them to realize what they can do for God."
How about you today? Are you in relationship with Him? Do you hear His call? Today lets get quiet and position ourselves to hear Him and when we hear Him lets obey Him out of the sheer love we feel. What can we do for God today??????
Even though I can't post as often as I would like(for someone like me I love to write but it takes time and quiet, neither of which I ever have) I thought I would try to at least post quotes, scripture, or even just questions I am struggling with daily(hopefully - not making any promises here!) Please feel free to comment me. If you have answers or similiar quotes, feel free to share. Todays quote:
"Whoever seeks God as a means toward desired ends will not find God. The mighty God, the maker of heaven and earth, will not be one of many treasures, not even the chief of all treasures. He will be all in all or He will be nothing. God will not be used. His mercy and grace are infinite and His patient understanding is beyond measure, but He will not aid men in their selfish striving after personal gain. He wil not help men to attain ends which, when attained, usurp the place He by every right should hold in their interest and affection," (A.W. Tozer, Man, The Dwelling Place of God, p57)
She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah.
1 Kings 17:15-16
The widow at Zarephath. The whole story can be found in 1 Kings 17:7-24. As I read this today it struck me the faith she had. She was starving. There was no food to be found. What she had left was not going to last her and she thought she was going to make one last meal and die. God had other plans. Even though she was outside the “circle” of God’ s own people and was from a pagan nation she believed something about the God of Israel. She had faith. “She went away and did as Elijah told her”. I love that part. How often do we do what we are told? Especially if it is something hard. If you read the whole story in verse 9 God says that “He has commanded a widow” to supply Elijah with food. He was talking to this widow and she was listening. The future looked terrible but she was hearing and believing God. We are asked to have faith but we also need to position ourselves in a place where God can speak to us and use us and work in our lives. That is how our faith will grow. Does God ever ask you for something that you are sure is not good for you???? He was asking something huge of this widow and she acted out of obedience. I read in the notes in my Bible that the Lord does not ask more than He promises to give. Everything He asks is for our good and our benefit. I am sure she had moments of doubt and fear but she pressed on and was blessed tremendously for it. The flour was NEVER used up and the oil NEVER went dry. Even as the story goes on and her son becomes sick and she asks if it is to remind me of my sin, her son is healed and she is given the supreme blessing. She then truly acknowledges Elijah as a prophet from the One True God. Isn’t that our typical reaction also? When something bad happens we automatically go looking for the reason and doubt and question God’s care for us. Today I want to learn some lessons from this widow. I want to hear from God, trust what He tells me to do even if I think it is not a good idea, and when things get tough continue to know He has what’s best for me in mind.
Prayer: Lord give me a faith like widow at Zarephath. Teach me to trust you and your ways. I want your blessing. I want to hear from you, trust you, and have my faith grow. Thank you for loving me and always having my best interest in mind.
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
Why is something that sounds so simple so difficult? The truth sets us free. We know the truth. Anyone who reads God’s word knows the truth. Then, why the struggle? Like I know if I move more and I eat less and healthier I will be fit and probably lose a few pounds but yet this seems to elude me. I know who I am in Christ but yet I continually seek others approval. Here’s my favorite one: I know that if I die to flesh and yield to the spirit I will have abundant life yet daily I end up living constantly in the flesh. It is so frustrating. I know the truth yet I barely live free. What is up with that? All I know is that if there weren’t a struggle there would be no need for God or the Holy Spirit in my life. Who would need a savior????? We certainly wouldn’t need grace or forgiveness. I am in no way justifying poor behavior. The idea is to be free. All I am saying is that He knows how hard this is. He sees our struggle. If we want to be free we need to be honest about where we are at and what we are feeling. We need to ask for His power to help us overcome certain things. We need to be free. He paid the price for it. It is in our weakness that He will be strong. So I urge you to press on. Even on days that you barely feel free. I know how you feel. He knows how you feel. We can do this. Today speak truth, know truth and be set free and tomorrow get up and do it all over again.
Lord I want to know your truth and I desire to live and walk in the freedom that your death on the cross paid for. Please strengthen me when I am weak. Please constantly remind me of the truth and help me to take all my thoughts captive. I thank you ahead of time for the amazing work you will do in my life and for the freedom that I will walk in.
But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
2 Corinthians 13:11
Is His grace sufficient for you today? I have been thinking a lot about this passage and what it means. Is His grace really enough????? It is because His word says so, but then why do I always feel like I am lacking. I think it comes down to the fact that I don’t want to be weak. We see this as something negative so we determine to be “strong” and do things our way only to fail. His power can be made perfect in our weakness. I don’t know about you but I want His power. Why is it so hard to lay aside our ideas of how we should act and the way things should be and the need to “protect” ourselves and cover our own butts(excuse the language)? Maybe it comes down to how much we actually trust Him and in His word to be true. I know I struggle tremendously in this area. I struggle to have the faith of a child. I want to protect myself. It is so much easier when we are a child, but as we grow life happens and we become hardened and we have hurts and disappointments and we start to doubt He will really be sufficient for us. I spent too many years in this doubt and quite honestly it is not working out to good for me. How about you? Can we commit together to pray this week that our faith would be deepened. Praying that we would have the faith like a little child and trust Him to be enough in any and all situations even if the outcome isn’t what we expected. In our weakness this week we can know His power will be perfected if we allow Him in and we trust Him enough. We need to stop asking what we can do but ask what can He do in us and through us.
Lord thank you that your grace is sufficient. Lord we desire to have the faith of a child and trust completely in you. Gently remind us this week to depend on you especially at our weakest moments.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4
Me! Me! Me! Isn’t that our hearts cry from the very beginning. I want this and I want that and if I don’t get it I will surely pout and fuss. Sort of like a 2 year old in a candy store. We want and we want and in this selfish world it never ends. We desire to be first and to be noticed. We want to be loved and to be romanced. We want our cake and we want to eat it too (and gain no weight while we’re eating it!). For pity sakes you can even by shirts that say me, me, me. There is even a country song that says I want to talk about me. The thing is we are longing for something more. That innate desire was given to us. The problem is our sin nature distorts it. We think that we can fulfill this through selfish things. By achieving those things we think we want. Well girls it doesn’t work that way. It is one of those things that is hard to grasp. Sort of like the die to live thing. When we do things out of selfish ambition we may be filled with satisfaction for a moment but it doesn’t last and so we try for something bigger and better. But when we do things in humility not with a selfish ambition we are truly satisfied. You see we were meant to have romance and love. There is cake that we can have and eat too (without gaining any weight might I add). It is our King who wants to fill us and love us and romance us. That happens when we humble ourselves. When we become His hands and feet and do things for others. It doesn’t seem like it will work at the time, but when we do it we will find out the more we give the more we receive. The peace that passes all understanding floods our life. We find we are satisfied because that desire we had to be filled is filled by Him. The other way of thinking has destroyed lives and marriages and friendships, but His way brings life. It brings life to our marriages and to our relationships. I think we have all heard this before but we keep getting stuck because it is hard. He asks us to hard things and we just don’t trust Him enough to come through in the end. We want to protect ourselves and cover our own back. This is exhausting and very unfulfilling. We don’t need to do this. Let’s commit this week to try it His way. Let’s get rid of the selfish desires. That won’t be easy. You will need to ask Him to help you. That is what He is there for. He has you covered. No more me, me, me! Let it be about Him, Him, Him. He will honor that. He will fill that empty place that we think we need to fill with things of the world. He will wow us beyond anything we can imagine. How do I know? Because the Bible tells me so. Let’s expect great things. No more dissatisfaction with life. Let’s just do the thing even if it is hard. We only get one chance around. We need to “Just Do It”!
Prayer: Lord thank you so much for loving us. Thank you for wanting to fulfill us. Help us to do it your way. God I praise you for wanting to romance us. You gave us that desire to be filled and we mess up by trying to fill it with everything except what you intended. We are so thankful that you are gracious and merciful. That even when we mess up you forgive us. We love you Lord. Amen
Do not love the world or the things that belong to the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For everything that belongs to the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s lifestyle – is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does God’s will remains forever.
1 John 2:15-17
I don’t know about you ladies but the older I get (and yes I am getting older – the gray hair and wrinkles on the forehead are a dead giveaway) I am realizing how much of my life was wasted doing a lot of “a wishin’and a wantin”. I am not just talking about material things here. I am also talking about wanting kids to behave differently or wishing my childhood was different. Wondering what if my husband reacted differently or did everything that I am just sure he should be doing. Just sure that if these circumstances were different then things would be good. I would be different. I read something very interesting recently. It said that circumstances do not make us who we are. We are who we are and the circumstance just happens to bring that out in us - good or bad. That really hit home. All those days wasted. Days I could have just been turning things back to praise. We don’t know why things sometimes are the way they are. Mysteries - we may not know until we reach the other side. I will tell you what we do know. We do know how we can be different. Godly in spite of circumstances. It is all well laid out in His Word. It clearly tells us there will be trials and that we will have to die to flesh. That we will have to pick up our crosses daily and follow Him. I would have liked to have spent more time concentrating on that then on wanting things in my life to be different. In the words of my oh so wise husband, “it is what it is”. Sometimes life just is what it is. I just need to figure out how to glorify God the most in what I am going through. I am not talking about enduring abuse or any such thing. That is not what I am saying. I am just saying when the grass seems greener on the other side we can waist a lot of valuable time living in the “what ifs”. No more being a time waster. No more “wishin and wantin”. No more loving what the world has to offer or at least loving the idea of what we think it has to offer. Let’s just try to figure this thing out. We were placed here at this time for a specific purpose and if we spend our time wondering what if I guarantee you we will miss it. I don’t want to miss it. I missed too much already. How about you?????
Lord please forgive me for the time I wasted living in the what ifs. Today I commit to being different. I give you all thanks, all honor, and all praise due your name for how you will work all the circumstances together in my life for good and for your purpose. I love you Lord.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
The next two things are goodness and faithfulness. Just like kindness is there goodness in your life and how faithful are you. Do you want your children to remember a mother who displayed the goodness of God through her life? Are you faithful to what you say you believe? I want my kids to remember me praying and believing there would be an answer. I want them to know God is good His ways are good and I desire to be faithful because I know that is the best way to go. Goodness is always profitable but maybe not always easy. Are you being good to your kids by disciplining and instructing them? This is not always easy but as I said goodness will be profitable. Are they learning from you what God’s faithfulness is like? He is faithful to us and to His word. We then in turn are in his word and our faith increases. When our faith increases our kids see us completely depending on God and believing His word is true. And finally the last two things are gentleness and self-control. Be gentle with your kids. Hold them. Genuinely listen to what they have to say to you. Answer their questions gently. Look them in the eyes when they are sharing something with you. And be self-controlled in every area of your life. Remember we talked about being intentional. Intentionally turn from things that are not right, but also be self-controlled in how much of the good things you do that will take time away from your family. This is tough. We want to serve in church and spend time with friends and help others out. We want breaks. We need breaks. But we don’t need too much of anything. Ask God if there is any area of your life that you need to get control over and then when He reveals it to you ask for His help. We are not alone in this. We are never without hope when we have Jesus. He loves us. He intercedes for us. His word says nothing is impossible with Him. Believe it. Believe it. Believe it. Our God is gentle and faithful to us. With His help we can be self-controlled. All things with Him are possible.
Lord help me to display these qualities in my life. Thank you for your goodness and faithfulness to us. Reveal to me the areas that need work and then help me with it Father God. I am nothing without you in my life. I love you Jesus.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Next on our journey through the fruit of the spirit is kindness. Now I think this goes hand in hand with patience but it can be taken a step further. Not only when we are patient with our children and our family will we be showing them kindness that they will remember but they will also remember how kind we were to people around us. Either directly to them or behind their backs if we are not kind our children will pick up on that. Clothe yourself with kindness. This takes time. Sometimes we need to put aside our busy schedule to take time to show extra kindness to someone. Ask God. See if there is anyone around you that He would want you to show extra kindness to and help out. The more you show your kids this the more they see Jesus in you and the more attracted they will be to what you believe. You see life is so much more than teaching them what to believe but it is about why you believe it. What are you offering them that they would desire what you have more than what the world offers. The world is full of evil and unkind people. Show your kids something different. Teaching them what is right only goes so far. You must live it out. The time will come that they will need to own this for themselves. Show them something different with your kind words and your kind ways don’t just tell them. I didn’t do this enough when my kids were growing up. I didn’t want to be kind to someone who I thought would be a bad influence or wasn’t living like we were. I have been learning many lessons about showing kindness to people. Don’t you want to be remembered as being kind? I know I do!
Lord help me to be kind today. Help me to put aside my busy schedule and take time to show extra kindness to anyone you bring my way. Give me grace when others aren’t kind to me.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
This brings us to one of my favorites. Patience. Now just in case you didn’t know this particular word in Galatians when talking about the fruit of the spirit was the Greek word makruthumia which means patience with people not just in circumstance. It is inspired by mercy. Do you get that? It doesn’t mean learning to be patient when you’re running late and there is construction or being patient when you’re waiting for your dinner to get finished. It means being patient when you’re running late and your little one spills a whole cup of juice on the floor and the dog has thrown up and your other little one thought they would help you clean it up with a roll of toilet paper which the dog then started to eat and thus the throwing up. You see how we respond to circumstances is important but how we respond to people is critical. This is where we display patience. With the people in our life. Not just in the circumstance but with our kids. They will remember if you were impatient. They will remember if you were always yelling at them. This requires a lot from you. It is much easier to yell or to do things for yourself than to patiently teach your children. But it can be done. You see motherhood requires much of us. It is not easy but we do have the ability to learn patience. To develop it. I don’t want to hear that you were just made that way and that is your personality. I won’t buy it and neither should you. That is a lie that satan would love for you to believe. He would love for you to think that because your parents were impatient you are destined to be yourself. This is just not truth. Go back to the word and find the truth. With the Holy Spirit taking residence in us we can be patient no matter what our kids do we have the power of God in us. Maybe this area is a struggle for you and I totally understand that. But you can be helped. I can be helped. We are never without hope.
Lord help me to be patient with the people in my life today. Thank you for the great patience you show me everyday. Thank you for loving me and gently leading me.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Peace! Uh-oh another tough one. But remember If we are a believer we have the ability to possess all these qualities. Is our home peaceful???? Are we at peace or do we worry about everything and anything that we can? I know I tend to be a worrier. I think women are more prone to worry. Worry and peace never go hand in hand. We also don’t want to have a false sense of peace when there really isn’t any. When I am feeling anxious I love to go to this verse in Philippians. Read above what His word tells us. Do you see a connection between joy and peace???? Rejoice in the Lord. Don’t worry. Take everything to Him in prayer(and be thankful) and what will happen? We will have peace. Not just any old peace but the peace that surpasses all understanding. I don’t know about you but I want that. And right there in the pages of His wonderful Word is the formula. I love His Word and His ways. Now as simple as this all sounds it can be one of the most difficult things we do. It is a daily choice we will need to make. Each day we need to come before Him and lay all our concerns at His feet. Let it there and don’t take it back (I am talking to myself tonight!!!!) Walk in the peace and joy we are promised. Satan is out to get our peace. He can’t get our salvation so he wants to try and take the abundant life we have been promised. Romans 8:6 says the mind of the sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace. Allow the Spirit to control you and your life will be peaceful, even amidst trials.
Lord, today I give you all that concerns me. I lay it at your feet. I want the peace that surpasses all understanding that only comes from you. Thank you Lord for this gift.
Sorry I have been silent for a while. My life is seeing many changes right now. I guess the last few weeks were just a time for me to be silent and listen. I thought I would share today what I have been learning. I will return to our "bowl of fruit" next time. Thanks for being patient with me.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
It is funny how the seasons of life change. Some changes we are fully aware of and completely ready for. Others happen when we least expect and we are not even looking. It is not that they are things we wouldn’t expect to happen but the timing is often not how we had envisioned. I have been going through a change of seasons lately. Some of it I have handled well and was fully prepared for (like no more diapers, diaper bags, bottles, etc…) Other things have caught me so off guard my head is spinning and I am not handling them well. I have had two children move out of my house. One on good terms, one not. We got rid of our 12 passenger van that I loved. That van that represented my large family and many wonderful memories. I have a dog that is nearing the end and he has been my constant companion for 14 years. These are just a few of the things I was not prepared for but prepared or not they are happening. Deciding how to handle changes, not if there will be changes, is what I need to be doing with right now. There is no use living in denial or burying my head in the sand. Times are changing. I can choose to embrace the next season and praise God or I can choose to be grouchy and bitter. I have decided after a few grouchy and bitter days that I better just start praising God. I need to not long for what is no more but praise Him for the time I had. I also need to thank Him ahead of time for the next season. For the opportunities He will bring my way. I need to be fully yielded to Him and His plan. My plan needs to go. It doesn’t work and it never will. We need to drill that into our heads. Repeat after me: OUR PLANS DON”T WORK! His word clearly tells us to be ready for change and that there would be a season for everything. My days as a big van driver, 7 kids in the house, and 2 dogs running around are over. I just have to tell myself it is ok. I have been blessed with a beautiful new vehicle. I am sure there will be more dogs. And kids are supposed to move out. Not only that I am not living for this world anyway. This is all just temporal. I am preparing for eternity. Remember “we are just passing through”. I know that Lord willing my life will see many more changes. Some in the not so distant future. I will need to just keep going until the day I meet my King in the heavenlies. O what a glorious day that will be. I CAN NOT WAIT!
Prayer: Lord thank you for all the blessings you have given me. Help me not to hang on to tightly to things that are just temporary. Help me through the change of seasons in my life. I give you all praise and glory for the things that have been in my life and for the things to come. I love you Lord.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Now let’s talk about joy. I know I have written a lot about it before but I want to just add a few more thoughts Anyway, love might come fairly easy to us but for many joy is another story. I love to wake up my kids singing. One song I sing often is:
This is the day (This is the day) That the Lord has made (that the Lord has made) I will rejoice (I will rejoice) And be glad in it (And be glad in it)…….
One day my son looked at me like I was crazy and asked me how much coffee I had to drink this morning. I laughed but as I walked away I wondered how much joy he has really seen in me lately. Do I get up every day and say, “This is the day that the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it!” Or do I base everything on circumstance? If things are good and everyone is cooperating I will rejoice and if not you better stay out of my way! This is not what the song or the verse that the song is based on (Psalm 118:24) is saying. It is saying let us rejoice because this is the day the Lord made and that does not matter what we feel like or what is going on. People will not remember everything you said or did but they will remember how you made them feel. If you’re truly joyful others around you will pick up on that and it will make them feel pretty good. True joy is found in Christ alone. When we seek Him and His plan for our life true joy will come and people and circumstances will not be able to take that. We need to ask ourselves if we are truly joyful. If not what are the things that “steal” our joy. Are we too tired? Are we spending quiet time with God? Does our “talk” exceed our “walk”? If any of these or anything else is a joy “stealer” for you it’s ok. Recognize it. Confess it. Seek Him. He will make our joy complete.
Thank you Lord that you promise to make our joy complete. Show me today what is “stealing” my joy. Help me to weed out the things that aren’t important. Also give me a peace about the things I can not change.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
How do I want to live? Or better yet how should I live? It’s better to ask myself that question since my want to and my should don’t always line up. Whenever I start thinking about this God brings me back to the same passage of Scripture every time. I always come back to the fruit of the spirit in Galatians. For many years I thought it was the fruits of the spirit and even though I was willing to be loving or kind I was not so good at patience and I figured that was pretty good because I apparently wasn’t given the rest. That is until I realized it is the fruit of the spirit. The fruit we will display because we have the spirit dwelling in us. We aren’t just given one or two but with the Holy Spirit we have the ability to display all of them in our life. It is the living proof that God is dwelling in us. It is how others will know. I want others to know don’t you?
So let’s start with the first one - love. I know we all feel love for others. We tend think it’s pretty simple. But is it really? I mean we can love little babies and puppies and things like that but what about the unlovely people in our life? Or the people that for one reason or another just make us crazy? Are we loving everyone unconditionally? Or do we put certain conditions on how much we love on someone based on what we get in return? People will disappoint us and if we don’t purpose in our hearts to love them unconditionally we are not really loving them. We are told in God’s word that love is only from God. So our unconditional love is just one other way to point people to our savior. Nothing we do separates us from the love of God and people around us, especially our children, need to know that nothing they do will stop you from loving them. Because of God’s love for us He does not repay us according to our iniquities or our sins as He should but instead He is the forgetter of wrongs and so should we be with those we love. Let’s all be real intentional today to love people like crazy and love them unconditionally. Well more from this fruity lady next time. (hey if I’m going to be a fruit it might as well be a good thing right???)
Lord thank you for the help of the Holy Spirit that we having dwelling in us. Help us to love like crazy whoever you put in our path today. Thank you that you first loved us and that love only comes from you. We all have the ability to love like this and I pray we would remember that even when someone in our life is difficult to love.
This is what the Lord says: “A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because her children are no more. This is what the Lord says: “Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for your work will be rewarded,” declares the Lord. “They will return from the land of the enemy. So there is hope for your future,” declares the Lord. “Your children will return to their own land.”
Okay today I am writing to all you parents of teenagers out there. To all of you who are doing some weeping and mourning. To all of you who are sure your kids have left the land and are with the enemy. I know this feeling. I know what is to weep for a child. This is the strongest emotion I have ever felt in my life. I know what is to be sick with worry and to cry some gut wrenching cries. When someone pointed out this scripture to me it was like the words just leapt off the page. I don’t know about you but I am looking for some hope for the future. I want to know this work will be rewarded and it wasn’t all for nothing. I want to know that they will return to their own land. Now I know what some of you are thinking. Does this really apply to me and my teens? I believe it is a prayer we can have for our teens. I believe they will return. Maybe not in our timing. We get so frustrated when things don’t happen as quickly as we would like. Going through the valley is where your faith will grow and will strengthen. I guarantee it. If we didn’t have a valley we wouldn’t know who God is and what He can do. So today let’s restrain our voices from weeping and our eyes from tears. Let’s claim the promise of the hope for the future. Know in the end that if we press on our work will be rewarded. There is hope. Our kids will return to their land. Thank you God! Let’s praise Him ahead of time for His promises. Commit today to pray this prayer below for our children every day.
Lord I ask that you will help me to refrain from mourning and tears. I know there is a hope for my future and my children’s future in you. I thank you for loving me and my children more than I can ever imagine. I pray for my children. I thank you ahead of time for when they will return from the land of the enemy. I praise you God for having all power over the enemy. Give me peace and rest today.
You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
I came across this verse today while doing my Bible study and I stayed there for a while. I really thought about these words of David. We all want to know the path of life and we all definitely want joy, but I think sometimes we want these things and try to figure them out for ourselves. Look at what it says. He makes known the path of life. I believe He will do this when we are sitting at His feet asking Him to make it known. If He is where we take refuge and if we ask He will reveal these things to us, but we need to choose to do this. And look at where joy will be found – In His presence. Not just anywhere, but in His presence. How do we get there? What are something’s that can hinder us? How can we be filled with eternal pleasures? By making Him our all. By laying down our idea of what our path should be and submitting to His will. We need to take time to be in His presence. Talk to Him. Ask Him questions and ask Him to reveal Himself to you. Being too busy often hinders us from knowing Him. Be still today even amidst chaos. In your spirit just be still and pray for Him to make know your path of life. Things would probably be a whole lot easier if we did this. I don’t mean that there would not be any problems. Oh no don’t misunderstand me. This life is full of troubles, but when we truly believe He is directing our path we know that there is never a battle we won’t win. I think we honestly don’t even have a clue what true joy is. We get so caught up in what we think would make us happy that we miss the boat. He wants to give us eternal pleasures, not just temporal. I don’t know about you but I could use some joy today. I would like to know “eternal pleasures”. Let’s all be like David today and find our rest, our peace, our direction, and our joy in the Lord!
Lord I thank you that you will make known my path of life. I come into your presence asking you to fill me with true joy. Help me to get rid of all the thoughts that are mine and to take on Your will for my life. I love you Lord. I want to know true joy and eternal pleasures that can only be found in Your presence.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Don’t you just love this verse? Who knew we would have so many opportunities to “consider it pure joy” this side of heaven. I mean really, I face trials upon trials, many of which I could never have even imagined. Teenagers alone provide ample opportunity daily for me to be “joyful”. But as usual what I love the most about God and His word is what it goes on to say. That in the end we will become mature and complete, not lacking anything. Wow! Isn’t that just amazing? He doesn’t just leave us hanging. He knows that if we persevere and just go with Him He will give us everything we need. We will someday be complete. I don’t know about you but so many days I am lacking so many things (sanity for starters) that this idea of completeness is simply amazing to me. Can you imagine being complete and not feeling like you got your skirt tucked in your panty hose? The fact that He wants us to be complete and lack nothing is a beautiful testimony to how much He loves us. So dear ones let’s just hang on. Let’s persevere and be strong in the Lord. Let’s develop a faith that when tested actually passes the test! Lately I feel like I have been barely passing by the skin of my teeth. I would like today to be different. Today I want to choose to face my trials with this completeness in mind. Holding it out in front of me like a rabbit chasing a carrot. Not giving up or giving in. Not settling. So often I let Satan get a foothold. I listen to his lies instead of reminding myself of the truth. We will face many trials this side of heaven, but this isn’t the end of the road. This is just a temporary pit stop. Yes it’s hard, but no it’s not where we will stay. Every day and every trial one step closer to our eternal home. Praise God! One way or another we are going to make it. We can either do it joyfully or like a size 10 woman wearing a pair of size 4 jeans. Just miserable. Either way we are going to get there. Today let’s choose joy. Let’s put on the pants that fit and laugh our heads off in the face of trials.
Lord I pray today that I will listen to your word and when I face a trial I will consider it pure joy. Thank you that you promise me someday I will be complete. Lord help me to develop perseverance and not to give up so easily. I can’t wait for the day that I lack nothing. Thank you for loving me so much that you want this for me.
I lift up my eyes to the hills-where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
God has been so good to me this week. I started Bible study and He has so blessed me through it. I am realizing more and more that life is so much about perspective. You know the old glass empty/glass full thing. We can be overcome by situations in our life or we can choose to put on our God goggles and see things His way. Besides we are just passing through. That is what I am taking with me from Bible study this week. We are just passing through HALLELUJAH!!!!!!!!!! So what is your glass looking like today? You know I know that life is hard and I am not discounting that but we serve a God that is so good. We are loved by the King. Today instead of letting our circumstances get us down let’s wake up, look up to the heavens, soak up His love and ask Him to show us His glory and if He so chooses use us to reveal Himself to others. Now that would be some AWESOME living wouldn’t it be? That even though we are just passing through and even though things maybe hard that He can use us and that He loves us. That we can take to Him all our “woe to me” moments. That our help comes from Him and He is the maker of the heavens and the earth and still takes the time to watch over and protect each one of us. We really can’t ask for more can we now?
Thank you God for your goodness to us. You are so awesome and worthy of all our praise. Help us to keep things in perspective. Thank you that we are just passing through and what you have waiting for us is greater than anything we could ever imagine. We love you Lord.
How do we achieve a spirit-filled life? I mean that is what we are all looking for isn’t it? To be filled by the spirit and rely on His power to direct our life. What does this look like? We all know someone who just oozes spirit-filled living and we all dream of a life that looks like that. We try and try and try as we might we always end up back at the same place asking ourselves why we can’t have what that other person has. I have a dear friend Sharon who has taught me a lot about this and how to achieve it. I didn’t get permission but I’m sure she won’t care if I share You see spirit-filled living and self-discipline go hand in hand. We need to be filling ourselves up with the word of God EVERY DAY! If we don’t we will empty out. Once we are empty all we are left with is fleshly living and that my friends is not a good place to be. That is when we feel anxious and depressed. We feel tired and have a short temper. There is no joy, no peace anywhere to be found, and life seems overwhelming. We need to have it poured in, in order to have it to pour out. Life is hard. We need to be able to pour it out each day. We constantly face situation that require us to be doing some spirit-filled living. We need to have the self-discipline to be in God’s word and then we will be able to draw on that in tough times. So let’s get to it. Open your Bible. Listen to your Bible (www.faithcomesbyhearing.com). Sleep with it under your pillow if you have to, but this is way too important to miss. You miss this and you risk missing your entire purpose not to mention the inner turmoil you will face. Let’s do some spirit-filled living today. If you are in Bible study with me, let’s do our homework. No Excuses! If you’re not you still have no excuses. Just open the Book. Pray for wisdom and understanding. Pray that your heart be teachable. Thank Him that you can freely be in His Word today.
Prayer: Lord, Thank you so much for your Word. Open our hearts and show us want You want to teach us. We are listening Lord. Give us wisdom and understanding that can only come from You. Help us to be people of self-discipline and thank you ahead of time for the harvest we will reap if we obey you and immerse ourselves in your word.
I talk a lot about making choices and how life is made up of all the choices we make whether they are little choices or big choices they determine what are life will be like tomorrow, in ten years, and even for eternity. I am trying to make some choices and could use a little help. Thought maybe if I wrote them down maybe I would be more likely to stick to it. Anyway this is the start of my “choices list”. Here goes:
Today I will choose: • joy over discontentment • joy over grumpiness • joy over disappointment • joy!!!!!!!!!!!! • power, love, and self-discipline over fear • to move more and eat less and to accept my thighs if this plan doesn’t pan out • to live life like I might not have tomorrow • to parent intentionally and with all I got left in me • to listen more and talk A LOT less • to be in God’s word like a wild woman on a mission(like getting the last pair of designer shoes on the 75% off rack or the last pint of Ben Jerry’s at the grocery store) • to sing out loud about God’s great love • to share with my kids each day what God is doing in my life • to err on the side of grace and pray like crazy
This is just the start of my “choices list”. Won’t you join me in this? Let’s make a list, find someone to hold us accountable and pray we achieve at least a few things on our list before Alzheimer’s sets in or our teenagers send us plummeting to an early death.
Thank you Lord that we have the ability to make choices. Be with us today as we make our choices. Guide us. Help us to choose to live for you. Direct our paths. We love you Lord and want to honor you in every choice we make.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9
I have lots of dreams. Probably a bigger list than my list of fears. Many times they are good, noble, even God-honoring dreams. I dream of unsaved family members coming to know the Lord. I dream of obedient, God-fearing children. I dream of a wonderful marriage. These are a few of my dreams. They are all good things. I also have some silly dreams like teenagers with good table manners or four year olds that never through fits. Either way realistic or not we all dream. I think we were given the ability to dream so that we can strive towards certain things and not become complacent. Beside God is a BIG dreamer. He has so many plans and dreams for our life. But our dreams are not meant to control us in anyway. What happens when we dream something that we think God would agree with us on and it doesn’t turn out the way we envisioned? Where do we go with that? When the thing that was once our dream has become a huge disappointment. When after years of prayer that family member still doesn’t know God. When our kids make choices out of the free will they have been given that doesn’t line up with what we had in mind. When we go through hard times in our marriages. What are we to do? Where do you go with your disappointment? The way I see it we can pout and feel sorry for ourselves or we can submit to God’s will for our life. This verse in Isaiah tells us His ways are much higher than our ways. We don’t have to dwell in the disappointment but we need to rejoice that God has something better in mind. It is very easy to let a dream become a disappointment. Then out of that bitterness comes. It doesn’t have to be this way dear one. Give it over. Rethink your dream to begin with. Thank God for what He may have been protecting you from when He didn’t give you what you wanted. Once again a choice. A choice to live in victory or defeat. Please join me today in handing our dreams over to God. Let Him have them. Ask Him what he wants from you today and then go forward in the joy in knowing you are loved by the King. If we never have a trial or disappointment we will NEVER develop the habit of joy.
Prayer: Thank you God that Your ways are so much higher than my ways. Thank you for loving me and for being the ultimate dreamer and biggest cheerleader I will ever have. Show me today Lord what you want from me. I lay all the dreams and disappointments in my life at your feet. I know that this is just temporary here on earth and I praise for the eternity I one day will spend with you. I love you Lord.
This is the question I have been asking myself lately. I can honestly say I would rather not become either (does that statement even make sense?). Well, anyway I personally would like to stay in the comfort of my own little world where I don’t have to face hard things that bring me to this question. How about you? Is there anything going on in your life that you could become bitter or better over? Just thought I’d ask. I am sure there isn’t a person reading this that isn’t dealing with something difficult. Life is like that. It comes down to choices AGAIN. We choose to allow the circumstances in our life strengthen our faith or we become bitter. Now we all say we would rather have a renewed faith but this is usually the harder of the two roads we can follow. You see it is real easy to become bitter and angry. To hold grudges. To have big old pity parties. We like what is easy and what is familiar. But God has another plan for us. He wants us to lay it all down and to have faith that He holds it all in His hands. He has our back. We don’t have to become bitter. He wants to see our faith in Him grow. He is our defender. We don’t have to defend ourselves. There is a lot of freedom in this. Bitterness is a prison. Christ came to set the captives free. Let’s walk in the light and the freedom we were given when the work on the cross was done. No more bitterness. Only “betterness”. Let’s become better together!
He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.
Well this weekend was it. I have enjoyed writing about the many things I see God doing in my life. It is easy to share when things are going well. But knowing if your walk matches your talk is when something so devastating happens that you feel like your feet have been taken out from under you and you’ve lost your breathe. I had one of those moments this weekend. Now I can honestly tell you that for a split second I doubted everything I believe. I went through many emotions including anger, sadness, doubt, etc…But at the end of the day I had to decide will I overcome this? Will my walk match my talk or not? Do I really believe what I say I believe? This is tough stuff. I am sure many of you have been through things like this. I am sure that some of you have experienced worse things than I have. Well, I am here to tell you that it is ok. You will be ok. I will be ok. God has a desire to bring us out into a spacious place. We are not destined to stay trapped in our prison that we feel like circumstance has put us in. I was hurt very deeply by someone I love very much this weekend. I have been hurt by this same person over and over again all my life. But this time I decided it was ok to walk away for a while until there is some change in this person’s life. I am not bitter or angry. I just won’t buy anymore that this person is just the way he is and I have to be the better person and accept it even if it means being hurt. I am not buying this lie anymore. Though it seems being the ”better” person would be to accept things the way they are I don’t believe that is what God would want me to do in this situation. You see I can think of a ton of scripture that is contrary to me accepting that this is just how this person is. This person is “fearfully and wonderfully made”, “made with a purpose”, “made in Christ’s image”, and so much more. Maybe if I stop just being complacent and giving into demands this person will become uncomfortable and start doing some thinking. And just maybe Christ will invade his heart like a freight train going a hundred miles an hour. This is my prayer. In the mean time I step back. This is hard. This hurts. But I know the promises I have been given by the God who sees, El Roi. He sees my hurts. He sees those who have hurt me. I don’t need to defend myself. I just need to take it to Him. I need to step out into this spacious place He has for me and hope this person follows. That is all we can do. That is all God would ask us to do. To be obedient and trust Him with the rest.
Lord, thank you that you love us and you see all our hurts. You are “El Roi” the God who sees. You are our comforter. Our defender. Thank you that I can give it all over to you and go out into my spacious place you have prepared for me.