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
in all your ways acknowledge
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.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Love this!! Women of Faith talking about all the difference a Well makes!

Women of Faith DailyWhat a Difference a Well Makes
 Ethiopia Diary Entry #2: What a Difference a Well Makes
Tuesday, October 16, 2012 by Sandi Patty
Traveling to Ethiopia this summer, I was struck by several things.  But there is one image that comes to my mind so often.  Often as I’m getting a quick drink of water at the fridge, or washing my hands in the sink, or gathering clothes to throw in the washer.  The image of the strong and resilient women walking mile upon mile upon mile with 5 gallon jugs on their backs.  They walk to the river only to find dirty water.  They take the risk knowing that the water, which is essential to the daily-ness of life, can also bring disease.  And yet for their family they walk and they carry and they walk some more, often making the trip 3 to 4 times a day.  The locals explained to us that the walking has become somewhat of a social time for the women and yet I’m thinking, “does that mean they have to walk 5 miles, both ways, several times a day?”
Click to Play the Video

What’s in a Well?

What if water…CLEAN LIFE GIVING WATER was only a few yards away and plentiful?  How would it change the daily-ness of what the women do each day?  How would it change the disease rate that often accompanies unclean water?  How would it change the weariness, yet determination in the eyes of these women?
If we only did ONE THING, and put in ONE WELL for ONE COMMUNITY, the impact of that would be 10,000 people would have access to clean life giving water.
Let’s change the world, One Well at A Time!
What’s in a well?  LIFE!

To help support a building of a well; go to the Top of the page "Help build a Well"

Monday, October 15, 2012

Promises to hold on to...God will

Psalm 138:8, "The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O Lord endures forever- do not abandon the works of your hands."

Philippians 1: 6, "being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to 
completion until the day of Christ Jesus."

Psalm 121:3 "He will not let your foot slip-he who watches over you will not slumber."

I love that the Lord will!!  He will do what he says he will and will continue what he has started.  He is unlike man never leaving a project undone.  He is working in me...and the journey isn't easy but He will keep on loving, disciplining, correcting, and extending his grace to me and offers it to you.  Digging into the word and finding God's promises has renewed my faith in Him.  Finding some of "God will" promises for your own life and search his word of God can offer you hope and encouragement.  

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I'm glad I walked through the valley...

In March I truly thought I wasn't able to walk through the darkness in my heart and find life.  March 25th I truly would have, sadly taken my life; but praise God for God!!  He didn't want the story to end there.  Now there has been hard choices and sacrifices to make to walk through my valley (ask Tyler).  One was laying down my pride, vulnerable walking into a psychological hospital which then in turn lead me to the Mieir clinic, losing the ability to work for a season.  My boys were separated from me for 3 days till family could come and help.  But I can look back and see God's blessing through his people sacrificing time, money, meals, convenience all believing that the story wasn't going to end in despair.  It reminds me of the story of the paraplegic who's friends in faith carried him to Jesus so he could me healed (found in Mark 2).  

I worked hard to shed the nice girl cover to become real, and it was painful. I had to face heart ache, abuse, anger, shame, fear to find Hope and Joy.  Through literal sweat, tears, writing, drawing, I have come to the foot of the cross and surrender all to Jesus who loved me so much that he walked with me through my valleys.  Psalm 23:4, "Though I walk through the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me."  I had no idea why a good God would allow me to go through this, but he has brought me to complete dependence on Him and I wouldn't trade that for anything.

I have actually found thankfulness that God has allowed me to struggle through and still with depression.  The gift of walking through the valley has brought more blessing than I can write but I will try to list some of the blessings;

healthier strong mother
- Joy that is deeper than any sorrow
- A redeemed, closer marriage
- Freedom- from more than I can share one of which is perfectionism (boy attempts at that are exhausting)
- Friendship and support
- An intimate relationship with God
- Hope
- A ministry where I share the Love of Christ with 1000 people each month- (
- Relationships where I can honestly share my wretchedly redeemed life with
- Eye contact with my boys
- Ability to stay home with my boys
- Financial dependence on Christ
- Great counselors that have helped usher me through the journey (Cheryl and Jordan)
- Fun
- Messy
- Community
- Define of myself as a Beloved Child of a King

I rejoice in the fact that I walked through the valley to find the blessing and my journey is not done.  But I can trust that through the tears and pain more blessings will follow so if God wants me to I will continue on this journey.  Here's to one year of Blogging and to the celebration of a Birthday that I didn't expect to have!!  God is good!

If you want me too
The pathway is broken
And the signs are unclear
And I don't know the reason why You brought me here
But just because You love me the way that You do
I'm gonna walk through the valley
If You want me to

No I'm not who I was
When I took my first step
And I'm clinging to the promise You're not through with me yet
So if all of these trials bring me closer to You
Then I will walk through the fire
If You want me to

It may not be the way I would have chosen
When You lead me through a world that's not my home
But You never said it would be easy
You only said I'll never go alone (yeah oh oh)

So when the whole world turns against me
And I'm all by myself
And I can't hear You answer my cries for help
I'll remember the sufferin' Your love put You through
And I will walk through the darkness
If You want me to

'Cause when I cross over Jordan, I'm gonna sing, gonna shout
Gonna look into your eyes and see you never let me down
So take me on the pathway that leads me home to you
And I will walk through the valley if you want me to

Yes, I will walk through the valley if you want me to

- By Ginny Owens