Search This Blog

Monday, January 1, 2018

Silver and Gold

As I say goodbye to 2017, and embrace 2018 with all my being, I'm reminded of the children's song "Make new friends, but keep the old.  One is silver and the other's gold."  I believe that is a sweet reminder that precious things are ahead, and to not resist the changes, even though they are not what I was wanting.

This is my first year where I didn't get a verse from church to meditate on for my year.  I've always looked forward to that tradition, so it was with some heart hurt to realize I would need to go directly to the source for my verse this year.  Silly to say, and to type, and even more so to read, but it's where I was at!

The trendy thing this year seems to be a word from the Lord to focus on for the year.  I decided I didn't want a word, I wanted a verse.  I prayed and asked the Lord what He had for me this coming year to focus on and had the word "Intent" pressed upon my heart.

Let me reiterate, I didn't want a word, much less a word that didn't seem like an important word either.  Intent?  Already starting my New Year off feeling ungrateful.  How's that for a beloved child of God?!?  Ok, Lord.  Always Your way, and not mine anyways.  Why intent?  What do you want to show me?

I feel the grin of excitement radiating upon me, as He says that I'll find out as I seek Him in it over the course of this year.

That's a pretty awesome way to start the year, even if it's not what I wanted.  I'm telling you.  The Lord delights in showing me His way is not my way, and takes every opportunity to remind me of it. 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Blooming Where You Are Planted? A follow-up from the last blog entry...

I belong to the most amazing church ever.  The pastor is one of the most fatherly shepherds I've ever met, with a true heart of compassion for his flock.  I came to my church 7 yrs ago, to a Saturday evening service and was welcomed as one of their own by the discipleship pastor and his wife.  My family and I attended church elsewhere on Sunday's, but I became a regular at the small church's Saturday night service!  The truth, the love, the fellowship, the worship, the presence of God, all of it, just kept me returning week after week.  After a year I had convinced my family we needed to be at this church, and all of us left to come to this one.

Fast forward 6 yrs (and lots of background later)

Imagine my horror when I felt the Lord asking me to leave this church and go back to our old one.  I can assure you I had a million reasons why that wasn't a good idea, and fought it.  Surely that was NOT the Lord!  Right?!?

I'd love to be able to tell you first and foremost that it wasn't, but that'd be a lie.  Coming in a very close second, I'd like to tell you that I fully supported and trusted the Lord in this leading, ready for my new season in life.  Yeah, that'd be false too.  I tried going to both churches for quite a while, but that didn't really work either.  Plus, it impacted our family time at home which is minimal at best anyways.  I submitted to the Lord's leading, and started attending the one I felt Him call me to.

One day I actually sent my husband and kids into church ahead of me, telling them I'd be right there, and sat in my car and cried to the Lord.  I told him if that's where He wanted me to be, then He needed to help change my heart b/c I disliked most everything about this new/old church.  I think we had been going there about 6 mo at that time. 

Every single week I would be heartsick that I didn't get to go to MY church.  The Lord continued to find ways to bless me at this new/old church even though my heart certainly wasn't right before Him on it.

It took about 3 mo of me doing what I knew to do biblically to partner with God, and affirm my trust in His will for my life, for me to not be ugly in heart about this change.  In order to make a really long and complicated story really short, He told me I needed to do what was best for my family, not what was best for me.  That's actually been a thing He's been working in my heart for awhile now, who would've thunk, lol.

Finally, last week, I wrote an e-mail to my Pastor at my amazing church and told him that I didn't think I'd be back, and how very much I appreciated all that he's done, and how very painful it was for me to say goodbye.  I cried as I wrote it, and find myself crying now as I type this.  I hate letting go of good things.  It makes no sense!

Let me tell you something else that logic doesn't necessarily agree with.  It is possible to bloom where you're planted if you trust the Potter.  After I sent that e-mail and let go of what I wanted for my worship, teaching, and corporate anointing that just left you feeling like you could do anything that God would ask of you, I encountered the most miraculous thing in my heart.

I actually didn't despise going last Sunday.  I enjoyed the worship (even though I still prefer the other, lol).  I heard more truth in the sermon, instead of just light preaching.  I was in a good mood instead of carrying a deep sadness for what I knew I was missing.

I asked the Lord what that was all about, and how in so many other areas I still was walking around with my heart issues, yet this one was completely healed, WHY?  HOW?  WHEN?  I seriously could feel Him laugh at my inquiry as He put on my heart that I couldn't receive where I was at, until I let go of what was no longer mine to hold.  Once I released my will, I could then take His.  The burden of mine on top of His was great, but once I laid mine down, His yoke was easy.

I do hope that I get to go back to that small amazing church who helped shape me and my walk, and showed me what LOVE looks like from those that were equipped to do so well, but if I don't, it'll be okay.  The Lord continues to light my way. 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Problems with Presumption

The Lord has put on my heart the word PATIENCE about a fairly serious thing in my life.  It's been a crazy hard word for me, as so many things are hinging on this matter.  I, of course, have a view for what that looks like, and because of that have unknowingly hindered the Lord.

As I plan, the Lord laughs.

In quiet contemplation one day, the Lord highlighted Luke 22:49-51.

And when those who were around him saw what would follow, they said, "Lord, shall we strike with the sword?" And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear.  But Jesus said, "No more of this!" And he touched his ear and healed him.

As I read the passage, I saw that Jesus's disciples looked to Him for wisdom before deciding what to do. Although one took it upon himself to act of Jesus's behalf before looking to Him for wisdom.  Jesus strongly rebuked that disciple.  The Lord put on my heart that I am not to be operating out of common sense, but wisdom.  He told me to never presume to know how to act on Christ's behalf.  

That explanation made perfect sense, but I had not even the slightest inkling how that applied to me.  I was so confused.  For weeks.  I sought wisdom, and found none.  I had some well meaning church folk give me some great insight into the verse, but nothing that made my spirit come alive like I knew would happen when I got what He wanted me to from it.

Finally, today, He downloaded into my heart how this scripture applied to me.

It's only relatively recently that I am learning how to let go of the place that I'm comfortable with (my church) and have seen faithful and sturdy to weather the storms in my life, and allowing a different place (a different church) built on the same rock to help bring my family into the refuge that we need.  It's one that I've fought, and fought, and fought because *I* didn't think it was best.  I knew WHAT the Lord wanted to do, but I had presumed HOW He wanted to do it.  That was my mistake.

Sometimes the Lord likes to do the exact opposite of what common sense may say, and with the foolish confound the wise.  In hindsight, I'm sorrowful at how I opposed with Lord's work with the best of intentions because I thought I knew what He was doing.  He's done so much in me that I had just assumed that those same things that helped me would also do so much more for my family.  It's an innocent and easily made mistake, but one that has caused stagnation more than what was necessary.

So, on that note, let the fire fall, let the wind blow, and let Your glory come down Lord.  Where you go, I'll go, even if I don't want to =)  I have no doubt that their will be plenty of winds of change to come, sweet refreshing breezes amongst the testing and hard winds, and each one will fan the flame of love in our hearts which will continue to transform us.

Rejoice in ALL things, letting patience perfect you, that you may be found lacking nothing.  Yes and

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly; Being grateful for it all!

My heart is currently full of gratitude at the mercy of God in my life.  Yesterday it wasn't.

I've always been the type that will tell you what's wrong, even when almost everything is perfect.  I have referred to that as being a realist.  My husband strongly disagrees.  I've come to find out that's one area where the Lord and my husband agree.  Faith and realism are at war the same as flesh and spirit are.  Life will happen (aka realism) but we serve a God who is continually weaving together something that can only be seen with eyes of faith.

In the last hour, I've rejoiced with my 12 yr old and 10 yr old as the younger taught the older how to play guitar.  I've laughed with my 10 mo old as she tried to mimic a game my husband and 8 yr old were playing.  I teared up when praying over my toddler as he went to bed for the very last time as a 2 yr old.  I am overcome with God's mercy, even as my priorities were seriously out of whack less than 24 hrs before.

Yesterday I went to a meeting to discuss what comes next for my toddler who has some delays.  I was expecting them to say that he'd still need speech, but that he wouldn't really qualify for the classroom.  I listened attentively as each participant in his evaluation process proceeded to tell me their observations and how they corresponded to my sensory report on him.  My 3 yr old (36 mo for the not so great at math, lol) was testing in most areas in between a 17 mo old and a 24 mo old.  He did have some scattered scores taking him up to 36 mo, but those weren't common.

He's been getting therapy for the last 10 months and has improved quite a bit.  I've been encouraged as I've seen the progress.  This IEP meeting brought me down to reality though.  He's not just a lil' behind like I tell myself, but rather significantly behind and is being placed into a special ed classroom.

This is where it gets ugly.  My heart, and its shallowness, was exposed like a raw nerve in a tooth.  My child needs to be in special education?  NO.  You're wrong.  Not my boy.  He's behind, but he's fine.  He doesn't need to be in THAT ROOM.

I am ashamed to type that, but it is what it is.  I know kids in special education and think they are perfectly wonderful.  I have absolutely zero negative feelings about special ed in regards to the program as a whole, and celebrate how awesome the classrooms are.  I know teachers of special ed and admire their heart for those that need a bit more help than the average child.

Yet, my heart's response showed me that while I may think it's all good and wonderful for someone else, it was not acceptable for my family.  There was a stigma for me, it screamed that I didn't do enough, that I failed him, even though that would NEVER cross my mind for another family with a child in special ed.

Thankfully, I have since learned to rejoice in this report.  He gets to be one of seven children in a classroom with 1 teacher and 2 aides.  He is more than likely going to thrive there.  He will be forced to interact with other children, and develop friendships.  He will be held to a schedule that thus far I've been unable to even hold myself to.  He is going to grow and be stretched.  I'm going to grow and be stretched.  This is a great opportunity for both of us.

Granted, my example of the good, the bad, and the ugly was mediocre at best, but most of life are these kinds of bumps in the roads where we can get derailed and miss the joys of the journey we're on.  I annoy the ever living heck out of my friends in my searching for silver linings.  Sometimes there just isn't one I've been informed.  Fair enough.  Sometimes there is not, but most times, there is. It is for our benefit to search for it and find it like it's treasure.  He works out all things for good.  Bill Johnson has a saying that I found perplexing, but have grown to really like, "God may not be in control, but He is in charge".  We get a say in how we respond to life (the part that God is not in control, we're not robots), but we can trust His word even if it takes our whole life to come together.  He is not a man that He should lie. He has yet to disappoint me even when our timetables, and probably vision, are completely different.  I've learned more about faith in the waiting to see prayers fulfilled than I have in the miraculously fulfilled ones.  I. am. grateful. for. it. all.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

We Make Hard Things HARDER By Our Beliefs

It really comes down to what's in our hearts. Our thoughts reflect our heart. Once we truly believe what the Lord says, the enemy has nothing he can do to us. Until then, he can give us trials in every area while we figure out whether we believe God or not. Thankfully the Lord already knows how He is going to work out His tests and our enemy's trials and tribulations in our lives. That said, we have a part to play in how long we're going through the thing we've decided is our current personal hell.  That part is how we choose to look at it, think about it, and talk about it.

I do very much believe that grumbling and complaining about everything prevents us from walking in the truth of what the Lord has done for us and in us. It also keeps the enemy hooks in our lives quite firmly making his lies appear all the more true.  It's secularly proven that we believe what we hear ourselves say, so SHUT UP with the self-defeating talk people (said super lovingly!!!!).

We need to be doers of the word instead of just hearers only… no angel, human, nor even God himself, is going to do what he is set forth biblically as our part in this beautiful relationship He has designed with us. We can be overcomers by the blood of the lamb AND the word of our testimony, or we can continue to sit and complain that things are so hard while we wait for him to give us a miracle on our terms.  Proverbs 23:7a For as he thinks within himself, so he is.  Our behavior follows our thoughts, so we need to set our minds on the Lord and His truth. Until then, we're constantly in a battle of our flesh versus our spirit. 

He's not angry with us though ! He knows our weaknesses and He’s allowing us to choose to stand on His truth or choose to go around the mountain again and again like we enjoy it or something.

The Lord gave me a picture :  Huge mountain, with a few cliffs to rest on in various places.  We are standing at the bottom looking up and saying "Wow, too hard, there’s no way! Lord just place me at the top near you, I can’t do the climb."  The Lord says “You can’t stay at the top if you don’t climb though, that’s how you get your hinds feet which allow you stay up here.  If I place you here, you’ll just fall and that will be more harmful than just staying where you’re at.  His children respond "Ok Lord, if that’s how it’s got to be, I’ll just start walking around the mountain AGAIN until you change your mind.  I told you it’s just too hard for me."

The Lord with tears in His eyes “My child, just follow my Spirit.  I will take you up the mountain strategically, allowing you to rest after each victory before climbing more.  You’ll be here before you know it”.  Us:  "Lord it sounds good and all, but I just can’t yet.  Give me more of your grace and strength so I can... "

The Lord:  "My child, I’ve given you everything.  There’s nothing left that can be done to help you.  Believe Me, trust Me, and follow Me. There’s only one way to victory, but lots of mind numbing circles to defeat.  You CAN trust Me.   Declare Phil 1:6, 2:13-14, 4:13 over yourself and just keep looking up to Me.

ETA:  This blog entry is written for those that are struggling with normal life events, not life altering ones. When dealing with the death of loved ones, serious illnesses with children or spouses, this is not even close to covering the gamut of what you need, and I apologize that you're facing such heartache.  If you want to reach out, I'd be happy to pray with you, and ask the Lord to give you wisdom, grace, strength, and power to walk out your pain with Him.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

He Knows My Heart

It seems many times the Lord likes to use things in the natural realm to teach about things in the spiritual realm. If you think about it, it makes sense considering He created both.  He ought to be able to use one as an analogy for the other.  I digress, back on topic...

Our bedtime routine has our 3 older boys going to bed fifteen minutes apart from one another.  One of my boys consistently has the hardest time going to sleep and will normally use anything from needing water, a hug, tell us something, or needing prayer for something as a reason to get out of bed. Smart kid, let me tell you.  We have now cut down on all the above reasonings. He has been told he's not allowed to ask for prayer after bed, but can take his concerns directly to God himself.  

Tonight he got out of bed and told me he couldn't sleep (you know that whole 5 min of laying in bed awake is just torture) and asked me to wrap him up like a casserole.  I laughed and asked if he meant a tamale, he lifted it up his eyes to mine, smiled the sweetest smile, and gave a nod.  As I walked him back to bed and got him snug as a bug in rug/straightjacket, he softly told me thank you and slowly drifted off to sleep.

While walking out of his room the Lord gave me a quick recap of His love, how He gives good gifts, and how He knows my heart.  I came out to read Matthew 7:11 "if you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!", and reflect upon how the Lord searches my heart and knows me.  

It struck me that I need not be so concerned with my wording as I go to Him in prayer because He ALREADY KNOWS.  The prayer is just because He loves it when I spend time with Him, not because I'm telling Him information that is new.  I was placing a particular emphasis on what I prayed and how and was involving too much of my brain in the process.  So whether I say casserole and mean tamale, or some other misspeak, the Lord has me covered, He has already searched my heart. 

This shouldn't be such a revelation of sorts as He's the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, but it definitely spoke to my heart this evening.  He created me, He knows me, and He loves me.  He hears my heart when I pray and isn't waiting for the perfect wording to act on my behalf.  After all, He's the creator of this relationship and partnership with prayer. Ultimately it's His will that I'm hopefully praying for. Since you're not me, this may not even make sense, but this journey is the absolute best thing that has ever happened to me.  Praise be to God, the King of kings, Lord of lords, giver of good gifts, and lover of my soul.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Transparency, Good or Bad?

I've come to realize that being transparent comes with a price.  I have a close friend who told me that when she first met me she was very put off by how forthcoming I was with areas of my life.  She explained that kind of honesty normally only comes when you've developed a close friendship with someone and I treated everyone like they were in my inner circle which was strange.  As she got to know me better, she grew to like that quality very much (which is good for me!) because she never had to wonder where she stood with me.

I didn't quite know how to take that at first.  I guess I never realized that it was so off putting to others for me to share what's really going on.  I don't share what's not mine to share.  I try and be very general when I feel like I need to allude to something not soley mine in order to share my struggle, but don't have the ability to be specific. In hindsight, I always thought that was a good quality as I appreciate people getting straight to the point with me.  Although that just goes to show how prideful I still am with no basis to be so.  At least I now see it!  I have little doubt that I have even taught my boys such a basic concept, just because you like something a certain way doesn't mean others do.

Anyways, I don't navigate social situations very well and don't know how to not speak my mind.  Trust me, I have tried and tried.  I will continue to try as I do understand that what I think isn't really all that important for the most part.  I do wonder how many others I've rubbed the wrong way because of my straightforwardness though.

I have learned that there is some value in keeping things surface level.  I struggle to do it as it seems like such a waste of time, but that doesn't mean it actually is.  I need to honor that there is a hierarchy of friendship levels and it bodes well for me to not cannonball in when the person I'm talking to is simply dipping their toes in so to speak.

To sum it up, I suppose transparency is neither good nor bad.  It has varying degrees just like everything else does and the best place is to be in balance with it.  One of these days I might even find it!

I am grateful for my friends who speak truth into my life, and forever indebted to them for putting up with my unusual quirks.  FYI, I love that I can be me to fullest degree with thee =) hehehe.