Monday, December 31, 2012

A year in Pictures

Matthew 11: 28-30, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in hear, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my burden is light."

















Saturday, December 29, 2012

An epic Failure... or something better?



You step out and try... it's a stretch; but you pray and it fails!  Or does it?  Do you know that feeling?  You may have prayed about it and still it doesn't come to fruition in the way you thought.  Maybe it is a book unwritten or rejected, a friendship lost, an adoption closed by politics, resumes ignored, job lost... if you are in the human race you have experienced it to one degree or another; FAILURE!!

I'm a pro thenA quote I pinned on Pinterest sums it up how I want to live my life... I don't know who wrote it but they are right. -->

So my big mistake or failure of 2012 was building a well; or truly was it a failure?  I did try and I reached a whooping 6% of funds raised to build it.  I also happened to pick the most expensive well to build out of all the wells I could choose.  I wanted to build one that did it in Jesus' name for there was then the offering of not just water but also the gift of eternal water.

 I can get down on myself and the old tapes in my head would sound something like this is... "I failed, Why do I even try?  I must of not heard from God right."  Oh how condemnation always comes in my own voice.  It would be easier to recognize these messages as lies if it sounded like some evil monster.  But no, the failure messages have been in my own voice, sounding like I am just talking to myself.

So was it a failure to not complete my goal of a well project through World Vision?  I would like to argue the idea that no it isn't a failure.  Rather it is proof of stepping out; outside of myself and trying something.  The world may look and say "ah she did indeed fail"; because "she made a goal and it didn't happen."  I will state that 6% is 6 more percent than they would have had.  I would argue that success isn't in the end result rather it is in the stepping out and doing, just taking steps toward what you believe that God is calling you to do.

I thought back on my reading earlier in the year in Genesis about Abraham and Isaac.  The Lord had promised Abraham a son and he didn't have him till he was 100 years old (Chapter 21).  Then in Chapter 22 of Genesis the Lord asked Abraham to take his one and only son and sacrifice him.   Now this is a little crazy but in faith you know what Abraham did, he got up to go and do what he was asked to do; he even got up early.  Well many of you know that Isaac was even bound on the altar when God called out!!  Do Not Lay a Hand on the Boy!  the Lord said.  Did Abraham fail?  Maybe in that he didn't end up sacrificing his son; but he did what was called of him.  Abraham was obedient in his willingness to give his one and only son in sacrifice, trusting that God would still send him home with his son after his obedience (Genesis 22:5, "He said to his servants, 'Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there.  We will worship and then we will come back to you.'").

Now do I understand this story in all its significance; no, but I do know that Abraham was considered a man of faith by his obedience.  Likewise; I wonder if God just calls us to do things that may seem a little crazy, just to see if we will be obedient and trust.  God is the one that multiplies our efforts for his glory and in his timing.  I don't know, I guess that is why God is God and I am not.  I learned that I didn't build a well but that I did what I felt called to do and was obedient to my part.  Hopefully others have become more aware of the depravity and the call to love our neighbor.  That the 6% that was raised is multiplied by the Savior that took seven loaves and a few fish and fed over four thousand (Matthew 15: 29-39).  Yes we will make mistakes and even have some epic failures by our standards.  But I learned I can do something, and hopefully it was something in the direction toward God away from self.  Failed endeavor, by the worlds standards epic failure but I would say, "NO"  a great lesson in obedience and trust.  

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A year to review...Looking back on lessons learned

I was looking back at my past blogs from this year and it has been a wild ride.  One important life lesson I have learned is the discipline of finding gratitude; even in my darkest days.  After reading Ann Voskamp's book I started writing out my 1,000 gifts or things that I am thankful for.  Little did I know that this would become a major part of my healing.  I started my list on March 29th 2012, little did I know that my life was to turn upside down in the beginning of April.  Tension was building inside of me like a tumor in my chest;  I felt I was going to die or kill myself.

Journal entry from 4-9-12, "Almost admitted to a psych hospital.  I declined admission after seeing what it was like on the floor.  It was awful, I wouldn't have left a dog I hated in that place.  Fear flooded my senses walking around the floor.  I am mourning that my kids aren't here at home with me; they are at our good friends for a night or two.  In great hands they rest.  I didn't think I would miss the noise, giggles, kisses, and hugs so desperately.  Oh to get healthy again together with my family.  Lord may my sorrow rest at your feet."

2 days later I admitted myself into the Meier Clinic.  God had prepared my heart to find gratitude in the darkness of my situation and soul.  Hopelessness was in the process of being replaced with gratitude.
 I had just started the process of writing 1,000 gifts in my life a week ahead of this hard time.

I started with being grateful:
1) Salvation
2) God
3) My husband
4) the bright moon in the sky
5) insecticides (I was really searching for things to me grateful for)

(I'll skip a few here and there to get my point across)

12) My oldest says, "Oh crackers" when he gets mad
13) Happy children
62) Grace
63) Noah- not losing him
64) Jacob- an unexpected gift
97) Job (from the bible) example of not cursing God despite his losses
102) That if you cut off the dead part of a plant it flowers again if not more

(These are things I was grateful for while in my pit trying desperately to keep my life)

107) Butterflies
110) Anger
111) That I didn't spend the night in the hospital
117) Meier Clinic
118) Brokenness- that leads me to something higher than my feelings, circumstances, finances

Though I wouldn't wish this on anyone I am truly am thankful for finding thankfulness in my depression.  My hopelessness has changed into hope and gratitude.  I wouldn't change my life for anything; I am deeply rooted in God's faithful love and secure in Him.  Not just for eternity but for today;  I fight for joy.  I thought being in my pit of depression was the hardest part; rather climbing out, changing, are the harder part.  Sitting in my hopelessness was effortless, yet more damaging.

As I end 2012 I want to reflect on the year; the blessings and the lessons I learned.  

How about you?  What have you learned in 2012?  Comment below...10th comment will win Ann Voskamp's book 1,000 gifts.  

Sunday, December 23, 2012

An invitation to rest...God rest ye merry gentlemen


I think differently about this oh so familiar Christmas song now...God gives rest and asks us to not dismay...  Why?  Because Christ came as our Savior to save us from all Satan's power.  Oh how this is my prayer.  What a wonderful gift offered.  Better than anything under our tree.
Though I have allowed Satan to have power in my life; baby Jesus came to give us comfort and joy.  Satan's power has manifested in me as shame, fear, doubt, hopelessness, anxiety, depression, and anger.  But through the precious gift of redeeming grace I have been redeemed and see this working in my life.  Oh the redeeming grace I need more!!  According to Webster's dictionary redeem means "to free from distress, free from captivity, to change for the better".  Oh my heart yells Me! Me! Me!! 
All of this redemption, saving, comfort and joy is wrapped in a swaddling clothes lying in a manger 2000 plus years ago, but the gift is still available today.   I have tried to find it in perfectionism, consumerism, and people pleasing all to my demise.  John 10:10 Jesus says, "The thief (Satan) comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."
May you be blessed as you read this song for yourself.  


God rest ye merry, gentlemen,Let nothing you dismay,Remember Christ our SaviorWas born on Christmas Day;To save us all from Satan's powerWhen we were gone astray.O tidings of comfort and joy,Comfort and joy,O tidings of comfort and joy!
From God our heavenly FatherA blessed angel came;And unto certain shepherdsBrought tiding of the same;How that in Bethlehem was bornThe Son of God by name.
"Fear not, then," said the angel,"Let nothing you affright;This day is born a SaviorOf a pure virgin bright,To free all those who trust in himFrom Satan's power and might."
Now to the Lord sing praises,All you within this place,And with true love and brotherhoodEach other now embrace;this holy tide of ChristmasDoth bring redeeming grace






















Romans 6: 23, "Tor the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."  Except the best gift this year!  Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Persistent Problem...grateful

From Jesus calling; I've heard this three times this week so I think I am finally getting the message and want to share...

"When you are plagued by a persistent problem- one that goes on and on- view it as a rich opportunity.  An ongoing problem is like a tutor who is always by your side.  The learning possibilities are limited only by your willingness to be teachable.  In faith, thank Me for your problem.  Ask Me to open your eyes and your heart to all that I am accomplishing through this difficulty.  Once you have become grateful for a problem, it loses its power to drag you down.  On the contrary, your thankful attitude will lift you up into heavenly places with Me.  From this perspective  your difficulty can be seen as a slight, temporary distress that is producing for you a transcendent Glory never to cease!" -Thank you  Sarah Young for sharing your insight and wisdom.

2 Corinthians 4:17, "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far out weighs them all."

From my 1000 gifts of gratitude journal
849) I am thankful to practice standing up for myself
850) I am thankful for the revelation that I put others perception of me stand in higher esteem that what God think of me.
851) Thankful for gratitude
852) Thankful for God's gift of a baby to save me from my sins
853) Thankful for the hope of eternal glory

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Cry of a molested child



Was I hard to hear
or not worth to truly being listened to?
Did not our creator give us two ears
and one mouth.
Did my eyes not cry or
did my words fall void?
Lord give me ears to hear,
the silent cries in my heart.
Help me see the tears that fall.
May the anger I feel protect what is of
value and worth.
My words don't need to fall on deaf ears.
Listen, but listen with understanding 
or turn aside because I am worthy of being heard.


“There's a lot of difference between listening and hearing.” 
― G.K. Chesterton



Monday, December 17, 2012

Anger...we all have it at some point

The Lord never said don't be angry; rather don't sin in it.

That second part is hard at times; maybe because we expect something different or have been hurt; so then I tend to think "I deserve such and such..." After counseling I came to the conclusion of a new revelation for myself.

Anger by design is an indicator that I have something worthy to protect.
God has put a special thing in me to protect my children; my heart, my emotions, my dreams, my marriage, my health, my security, my mind, my life, my personality, just to name a few.  When these get threatened you can see the "mommy bear" come out and into action I go.  (You mothers know exactly what I am saying!)  I am learning that my first response to this threat is to act, but by getting on my knees to pray; to pray for wisdom, self control, and love.

So listen to that amazing, God given indicator; anger, that you were given but take heed; your anger can lead you into sin or into a prayerful response.

Proverbs 4: 23, "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life."

Ephesians 4: 25-26, "Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.  In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry."

Psalm 4:4, "In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent."

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Grace




"Grace is God loving, 
God stooping, 
God coming to the rescue, 
God giving himself generously in and through 
Jesus Christ, " -John Stott

Grace is the perfect gift that came down...Jesus Christ

Saturday, December 8, 2012

You are lovable...Not defined by what happened...



Recently written by a dear brave sojourner and friend...


"Rain drips down and settles in pebble-shaped designs on my car windows.  I am glad for it.  It obstructs the view from the outside looking in and hides me from the world.  I sit, cradling my hot latte’ taking in its warmth and comfort.  In a few minutes I must leave this place to continue on with life but for now, this is my fortress of solitude.
The conversation I just had with my counselor is settling into my brain and I am trying to recall all his words.  The words are like gold to me and yet in my jumble of thoughts and emotions I struggle to grasp at the truths he offered:  “What you went through is a form of molestation”  “You are not defined by what happened.”  “You are lovable.”
Even more precious to me is what my heavenly Father spoke: “ I love you”  “You are clean and pure because of Jesus’ blood.”  
I pause to wave at a friend who walks by and I realize I am not actually hidden from the world.  I am brought back to the reality of the day.  Grateful that my heavenly Father walks every step with me, I pull myself out of my sanctuary and into the rain of life."

Sadly the statistics are startling: As many as one in three girls and one in seven boys will be sexually abused at some point in their childhood.(Briere, J., Eliot, D.M. Prevalence and Psychological Sequence of Self-Reported Childhood Physical and Sexual Abuse in General Population: Child Abuse and Neglecti, 2003, 27 10.) Many studies think that the stats are actually higher due to the secrecy of such abuses.  

Well my brave friend isn't alone nor am I, we are both survivors and made new by our loving heavenly father.  I also know we aren't alone...

Thursday, December 6, 2012

What does it look like to be deeply loved?



Oh to be deeply loved and not just know it but live in it; and with an Everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3).  Though the world will say you aren't lovable or good enough to be loved, there is a Savior who loves me. While I still was lost in sin (missing the mark), took my punishment on the cross.  He was born on Christmas day as the perfect gift of Everlasting love; will you receive it?.  What does it look like to know and live like you are loved?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Just when I thought I would die...

Maybe as early as elementary worry has been a part of my life: "will people like me," "am I smart enough, pretty, likable".  I worried about my mom and her own life issues, friends and their home life etc.  I then began pulling hair and picking at my skin.  These two activities eased a deep ache or anxious thought in me; though only temporarily.  Hair pulling and picking followed me into my adulthood as habits that follow like a shadow.  Now as an adult I realize this struggle of worry was a symptom of my wiring as a "type A" person.  I have always been driven toward excellence...that then lead toward perfectionism, ingraining deep anxiety to fulfill an unfill-able expectation for myself and others.

It didn't just stop here; rather in my early twenties I experienced something that pushed me to the edge of myself; I thought I was going to die!!!

Some of you have felt this...heart beating so hard that you actually feel pain, followed by sweating, light headed, fearful, followed by irrational feelings, rapid breathing that finally spurs many to seek emergency care. In my case I tried to just deal with it and move on; but the "episodes" continued.   My first episode attack was at the Movie "Sea Biscuit," with some of Tyler's friends from PA school.  I had to leave, embarrassment followed.  Many other attacks forced me to get out of our 650 square foot apartment.  Air! Air!  was all I thought as I took the frequent jog down the 4 stories to get outside and just wait till my newly married husband got home from school.

Impending doom set in, shadowing over any hope that was present at the time; I was in my one year nursing program after moving across country, worked full time for the first time, and newly married.  What a messy start.

Other symptoms I've read about or heard others experience are: dizziness, nausea, feeling of choking, numbness, tingling, shortness of breath, tunneled vision, shaking, chills, or many other symptoms. Do you relate?  This is a panic attack!  It is the worst feeling I have ever experienced.  All I thought was that I was going to die or go crazy!! Finally after intermittent episodes I literally ran out of one of my nursing classes to the clinic to get help.

I knew this had to stop or I was going to kill myself.  "I am losing my mind and going crazy,"  I thought.  But God had another plan...


Thankfully this was almost 9 years ago now and I am happy to say that by God's grace Tyler and I will celebrate our 10 year anniversary this July.  Without being married to a man committed to his vows; to love in sickness and in health we wouldn't have made it.  I have struggled on and off through out our marriage, sadly more on than off through the years.  But we have grown and I am thankful for:

814) A loving marriage
815) Healthier cooping skills with stress
816) Deeper love  and intimacy with my Savior
817) Joy in life- after I have seen death
818) Ability to see the blessings that depression blinded me from
819) Depression- keeping me fully dependent on God

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Waited, broken, anguish, restored by God's Faithfulness

Isaiah 38:14-19

"I waited patiently till dawn, but like a lion he broke all my bones; day and night you made an end of me.

I cried like a swift or thrush, I moaned like a mourning dove. My eyes grew weak as I looked to the heavens. I am troubled; O Lord, come to my aid!

But what can I say?  He has spoken to me, and he himself has done this.  I will walk humbly all my years because of this anguish of my soul.

Lord, by such things men live; and my spirit finds life in them too.  You restored me to health and let me live.  

Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish.  In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back.  

For the grave cannot praise you, death cannot sing your praise; those who go down to the pit cannot hope for your faithfulness.  

The living, the living- they praise you, as I am doing today; fathers tell their Children about your faithfulness." (Emphasis is mine)


Lord knows I waited, felt broken, shed tears, moaned and grew weary.  The verses above is written by the King of Judah- Hezekiah after God spared his life from death.

I love how the scriptures, and in this case Hezekiah's writings so relate to feeling our lives and feelings today.  The scriptures are timeless, living word, active, and sharper than any double edged sword!!

 I too have felt like I have been on deaths door and have cried out to God for mercy from suppressed pain, or feelings that felt like I was going to die.  "Lord come to my aid!!"  He cried after turning his face from the prophet Isaiah that just told him he was going to die!!

 And guess what God answered him after the waiting, brokenness  tears, moaning, and weariness.  He was restored to health and promised 15 more years of life (as written in Isaiah 38).  He even calls his anguish being for his own benefit; that God even inflicted it in love to keep him from the pit of hopelessness and faithlessness.  Hear me again it says, "Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish."  Because, "In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction."

Oh Lord, God how you have kept me from the pit of destruction again and again.  Like Hezekiah may I walk humbly because of the anguish I have felt, sing your praises, and teach others about your faithfulness.

Amen

Monday, November 26, 2012

Nest...

 So the winds came Friday, every leaf blew off our neighbors tree exposing though a gift.  Poor Tyler had just blown our grass free of leaves, but that is beside the point I am going to make here.  The picture above is of Thanksgiving am from our backyard; the yellow leaves glowed like the sun. Trees full ,showing the newness of another season. As we walked after our small thanksgiving meal different hues of reds, orange, yellows; natures evidence of the wonder of change that our Lord created.

Well I sadly have to say that the winds came and blew inside of me and a storm started.  I would like to say that it was a storm of joy, gratitude, and thankfulness; but I haven't found any freedom in lying to you or to myself.  Rather wind of bitterness, anger, entitlement blew in from the south, biting anyone that got in my way (ie children and husband).

Like wise it truly was windy here in Texas and once I left my room, and pity party post explosion.  I sat and ate dinner with my family and this was the view; one lonely nest tightly secured on the top of one of the oak trees that had just glowed yellow the day prior.  It's mother made sure that this home was secure; the babies weren't responsible to hold on.  They were knit in so tightly there was no question where that nest was going, it was staying there.

I imagined that we (those that are followers of Christ) are like the nest and God is the gentle Father that so secured us to him that we aren't going anywhere when the winds blow.  We have become one with him, much like the nest has with the tree.  It grieves me to see my own sin, especially when it blows into my own face; but this I know I am secure in Christ.  He isn't going anywhere, nor am I.  I am secure!!  Oh how sweet is this that God has got such a tight hold on me that he isn't going to let go no matter what the storm may look like.
1 Corinthians 6:17, "But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit."

Romans 8:31-35, "What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all- how will he not also , along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.   Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died- more that that, who was raised to life- is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?"

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful: a Heart full of Gratitude

791) a new season; Fall (old is dropped off for new to bud and grow)
 792) Two very happy, boys; blessings
 793)Love (that the Lord puts the lonely in families Psalm 68:6)

796) Dancing and letting loose, laughing the whole time.  I'm glad that the ladies at 24 hour fitness didn't call the hospital for admitting me ; )

 797) Smiles and fun (even though the number one rule in our family is no fun - I hope that you caught the sarcasm)

Psalm 136:1-3 "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.  Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever..."

May you find thankfulness this Thanksgiving.  Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Power of words

love 1st!

James 3:1-7

"Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.

When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal.  Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.  The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison."

Oh holy Spirit please change my heart for out of my heart my mouth speaks.   May I speak words of life and grace to those around me and that are closest to me.  Help me be quick to ask forgiveness with fiery words come out of my mouth.  Amen

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Under attack...Stand Ephesians 6:10-18

Ephesians 6: 10-18,

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.

Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the authorities against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything to stand.

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist,
with the breastplate of righteousness in place,

and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  

Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.  With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints."



The Lord calls us to His power; maybe because even our strongest can't compete with the strength of the Lord; the power that parts the seas, raises the dead, heals the sick....and then He asks us to Stand!! (emphasis is mine).  This means a lot to me.  I seem to find refuge and apparent safety in laying down in a prone position of surrender in my bed.  That's not the calling here in Ephesians 6.  If I am Standing, I can see the devil's schemes more clearly; maybe even as they advance.  Now clearly I can't do it on my own, only in Lord's mighty Power.  You think it would be easy to get up on to my two feet and bring myself up but even in the first verse God acknowledges His mighty work is needed to just do this act of Standing.

So now to put on the full armor of God.  So that again I can stand and then stand again and once more stand firm ; and I go back to God's mighty power because I can't do this on my own power.  

First the belt of truth; I just envision my pants hitting the floor without this belt of God's truth surrounding me.  With my pants around my ankle it is so hard to stand and stand firm.  I need to be in the truth, memorizing the truth, and receive solid Bible teaching.  Next the breastplate of righteousness   Sounds heavy to me yet the the Lord promises His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:30). I envision a guard over my heart from lies attacks and sins.  

Feet with the readiness of the Gospel;  a quote from Greg Laurie sums it up, "it’s the idea of being ready and willing to move at a moment’s notice, for those opportunities to share the gospel often come when we least expect them."  And to be ready we must know the gospel study it, breathe it.  


Next my shield of faith needs to be held up, oh I struggle with this too.  Just today I learned that in our culture many times we see faith as a noun, but originally it is a verb to have faith (believe that God is who he says he is and will do what he promised (an active call)).  And as I hold it up with the help of the Lords mighty strength sometimes with the help of my brothers and sister's in Christ; then every fiery dart will be extinguished (like the ones "when are you due?"  Someone implied that I was pregnant last week, ouch it hurt to hear that.  I replied "a little over 3 years ago."  Satan was trying to shoot me with the dart attacking my self image).  What a promise I want to hold up my shield!!

Finally the helmet of salvation and the the sword of the Spirit all from the word of God.  So then again I need the word living and active word of God....And then we Stand and PRAY....  Let's Stand and Pray together...

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Oh such a good reminder...



I need this reminder sometimes...because this is a thought I struggle with...

Monday, November 5, 2012

Come away with me...

Song of Songs 1:4 a, "Take me away with you- let us hurry!"


This was the invite I received from my sweet Savior and I got to sneak away with some time with Him in the presence of fellow sisters in Christ.  Oh the sweet opportunity to be away from the details of daily life and just settle into Christ's presence.

 The Lord provided in the financial means to go in a gift; and what a gift I was offered.  Partly in my pride I considered not going but how could I decline such an invitation.  So I packed up my trunk with another sister and went; boy did I receive rest, peace, affirmation, love, and encouragement.

One of the quotes from the weekend was “…a loving soul wants fresh food every day from the table of Christ.  And you who have once had the kisses of His mouth, though you remember the past kisses with delight, yet want daily fresh tokens of His love.” written by Charles Spurgeon.  It was almost like Christ came and gave me a kiss while I was just 15 minutes away from my home.  I got to taste and see that the Lord is good once again (Psalm 34:8).  


So quickly I get distracted from this truth "that the Lord is good" and get hung up in the life; to do's and now's.  This weekend  confirmed what I recently read in Ecclesiastes 11:10, "So then, banish anxiety from  your heart and cast off the troubles of you body."  

My prayer: Oh Lord please help me to cast of all anxiety and troubles; taking time to soak in the blessings and kisses from you.  May you not be another to do rather; I need you like air.  I will sufficate from the worries of this world without you.  Communion with you guides me in my day.  Clear my hands of clutter that they may be open for your work, Lord and service.  Pry my hands from my load.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

The day after...where do I find gratitude?

The day after I blog about gratitude I have had much trouble finding it today.  I know it is something that I have to look for in the mist of the dark shadows of life.  I resonate a lot with Paul who says, "I do not  understand what I do.  For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do." (Romans 7:15)  I share a common problem I want to but I don't...but I will chose to find thanksgiving in this day.

742) Grace indescribable, overwhelming Grace
743) Life- breath
744) Enough for just today
745) The serotonin production after a good work out
746) Belly laughs of two boys- candy filled boys

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Gratitude and the Blessing

To God's glory, my heart is changing....dear readers, don't have any crazy expectations... I am a work in progress till Jesus takes me home or returns to earth...

I am a "type A," driven person, who has a strong tendency toward anger at unplanned events or circumstances.  I like it neat, organized, and efficient; these such qualities do contribute to some noble and not so noble characteristics.

For instance this morning I started at 6:10 after praying for the strength and wisdom to make today God's day, then I roll down stairs to start feeding my little Indians (or sweet boys depending on the moment).  We have to be out of the house and ready by 7:20 to get Noah to speech therapy; and my idea of ready is dressed in work out clothes for the day, if not it won't happen (after which I can shower).  Jacob and I read while Noah is working with the amazing therapist in our neighborhood school.  The last 15 minutes of his session I try to wrangle two boys where I get the updates on what and how to work with Noah in the following week...

Are you getting the picture?  We are busy and it is not even 8am!!  Well we go home and I pack school lunches, keep laundry going, start the dishwasher and get organized for my day.  I am out of the house for much of the day on Tuesdays; so I try not to forget anything.  Today my list was longer than usual, but we made it out and I got the boys to school within a few minutes after 9 am.  And I continue on to my 45 minute weekly drive to counseling and 5 minutes into my drive, to my demise (or apparent demise) I realized that I forgot my orders for blood work on my kitchen counter.  My type A personality kicked in with a harsh voice of anger toward myself, "dang it Aly!!  You are going to have to go home!!  And you may be late!!! wait a minute?!"  the voice changed; "Thank you God for the reminder!"

Well that's not where it ended...I drove home with gratitude in my heart (which is a new attitude for me in such circumstances) to discover not only that I left my lab orders, in my haste I left the garage open too.  Maybe not a big deal but again gratitude flooded in when I discovered that God's hand of blessing and protection is on me, my family and he truly does care for me.  I saw that as a blessing that I would have missed if I would have not found the gratitude in the midst of my inconvenience   My day had me out of the house all day; but this time not with a wide open garage for the invitation of a theft, or an intruder.  May it be known that I always close, and lock doors; the last time I left it open was 6 years ago which I blame "pregnancy brain" on.  I truly believe that God was protecting me; and I'm the one who tends to question whether He truly cares about even the small details in my life.

Don't miss God's blessings by forgetting to be thankful, I've done it for years and now my eyes can see more of God's provision and protection in my life... hence His Blessings.

Psalm 91:9-12,
"If you make the Most High your dwelling-
 even the Lord who is my refuge-
then no harm will befall you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands."

Psalm 18:2,
"The Lord is my rock,
my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock,
in whom I take refuge.
He is my shield and the horn of my salvation,
my stronghold."
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone."


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Prayer from a blogger's heart


A Prayer for Bloggers

I am no longer my own blogger, but Yours.
Refine me with each post how You will, rank me how You will.
Put me to service, put me to suffering.

Let me be a follower — instead of seeking followers
Let me post for You —  or be put aside for You,
Lifted high, only for You, or brought low, all for You.
Do with me and each post whatever You will, because You alone know best.

Let me not strive but submitLet me not compete but care
Let me not desire hits but holiness
Let my blog be full of You, and let it be empty of me.
Let me crave all things of You, let me care nothing of this world.
Let my words be focus only on the greatest of audiences: You.
And You are enough.

May I write not for subscribers… but only for Your smile.
May my daily affirmation be in the surety of my atonement not the size of my audience.
May my identity be in the innumerable graces of Christ, never, God forbid, the numbers of my comments.
May the only words that matter in my life not be the ones I write on a screen — but the ones I live with my skin.

I freely and heartily yield every sentence, every title, every post, every comment… or no comments… all to Your pleasure and perfect will.
My only fame is that I bear your name
My only glory is the gift of Your Grace
My only readership, Your eyes that seek to and fro to find
Make this so. Lord…
Yawhew, you alone are my God, not Google
Jesus, you alone are my Savior, not sitemeters
And Holy Spirit, you alone are my Comforter, not comments

So be it, today, yesterday, and every post to come.
O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
thou art mine, and I am thine.
This is my prayer I have made on earth, over thie keyboard…
let it be ratified in heaven.
In Jesus’ Name…. Amen.

- Ann Voskamp

This is my prayer for all of my blogging.  I want my words for reflect God's heart.  Happy Fall!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Proverbs 31:8

Proverbs 31:8-9, 
"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, 
for the rights of all who are destitute.  
Speak up and judge fairly; 
defend the rights of the poor and needy."


What has God given you? Moses had a stick, David had a slingshot, and Paul had a pen. Mother 
Teresa possessed a love for the poor; Billy Graham, a gift for preaching; and Joni Eareckson 
Tada, a disability. What did they have in common? A willingness to let God use whatever they had, even when it didn't seem very useful. If you will assess what you have to offer in terms 
of your time, your treasure, and your talents, you will have a better understanding of how you 
might uniquely serve."
The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns

Use whatever you have for God's use- and act!!  Lord may I use my depression for your glory...

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Consider the Gift of life this Christmas- Who is our Neighbor?

Give Christmas gifts in a new way this year!!

Gift Catalog- World Vision (click here)

Luke 10:25-37
New International Version (NIV)

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]
28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Sunday Verse

Proverbs 3:5-6,
"Trust in the Lord with all
your heart
and lean not on your own
understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge
him,
and he will make your
paths straight."

Lord Help me trust in you with all my heart; because I have learned leaning on my own understanding is quite messy!






Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Being sinned against - Prayer to the Lord

Dearest Heavenly Father-

Do those that sin against; suffer as much as those who receive the sin (the true victim).  Are they fighting daily for joy, life, health, and forgiveness?  Or do they just turn their head and move on while the victim works through their mucky waters; with hours of counseling, prayers, tears, pleading, journaling,etc?


 May I be free to forgive, love, move on, and live in truth out of the mucky waters to a new path.  I want to shed another layer of shame, sin, anger, bitterness, and what ifs... May I live in your truths Lord and that  your truth may set me free.  Clear the muck and murky waters and let grace, freedom, and life me reflected in my life Lord.  May I find my home in the rest under your mighty wing; be my refuge and strength.  May I confess my sins quickly and seek you.
Psalm 139:23-24, "Search me, O God and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."

Philippians 4:4-7, "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 your minds in Christ Jesus."

Thank you Lord for evidence of a new season upon me.  You are faith and will continue your work in me.