It's a Beautiful Day

I woke up this morning, still wanting a bit more sleep, not ready to put my feet on the floor and go. But, I got up, moving forward is a good thing. We had a great service today, it is good to see people come together in worship. I have had several days of just feeling very depressed, burdened, physically hurting from it. It is amazing what Satan thinks he can do to us when we are at our weakest. I have this weapon though, and he knows it. I know he is just crazy enough to think I will forget about it, not pick it up and use it, remembering who I am and whose I am. Man, God is good! As I am writing this I am in a better frame of mind and spirit. Today Ryan and I sat down and agreed in writing and in word to turn the corner. We have so much to be thankful for, we have so much we confessed and asked forgiveness for and we have a renewed sense of direction and purpose. We know what we need to do and we are taking the steps to do it. It is incredible what God has brought us through in 2007, so I cannot begin to imagine what he will accomplish in us in
2008. Our pastor gave us a great word of encouragement today in worship, "Show Love, Share Christ." Such a simple phrase but what power and purpose it carries for us as followers of Christ. I love the scripture he referenced today in Lamentations 3:22-26 which says, 'Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion; therefore, I will wait for him." The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.' I want to be always mindful of His blessings in my life, and choose to wait upon Him. No matter the struggle, I want to embrace His promises, step out of my struggle and into the purpose He has for my life. Who likes to wait for anything? I don't like to wait, I am not the most patient person. So I must daily resolve to wait patiently upon the Lord and embrace the joy He has placed in my heart: why is that so hard? It doesn't have to be.

The pit of despair

I was driving home from work today, tears streaming down my face and asking God over and over again, "Why?" Between the move and waiting to get our internet set up I am just now back to my blog so I'll fill in the gap. We have moved to Brazil, Indiana, and Ryan has started his new job as worship minister at a local church. We are thankful to be here, but reality has set in. We have a hard road ahead of us. I started my job yesterday, nothing new to report there. I have worked in the retail industry for years, easy and busy work. Ryan and I are having some very intense discussions about our circumstances, how to handle it, where to go from here to get to where we would like to be. It is quite overwhelming, enough to send anyone into a pit of despair. What pushed me over the edge this week was the car. It died on the way to the shop and we have found ourselves facing yet another financial dilemma. It is going to cost a whole lot of money, money we do not have. That is on top of the debt pit we've already got to dig ourselves out of. Physically, emotionally and spiritually I am worn out. I am questioning how far I can go dealing with all of this. I know I cannot do it, I cannot carry the weight of this stuff we are dealing with on my own...somehow I have got to give it to the Father. I wonder some days if He really is there, because my humanity yearns for physical proof, a sign that He's really there. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I can't help but think I am not the only person who questions where God is sometimes. I have been thinking about a scripture today that I know God has given me to meet that need, that question. It is in Psalm 55 verse 22, which says, "Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall." I looked up the definition of the word 'cast' and it is defined: throw, fling/to throw off, out or away/discard, shed. I have this mental picture of myself with all this "stuff" we are dealing with balled up in my hands and I am casting it, throwing it, flinging it away, far, far away...I wish it would just disappear, not exist anymore. Wouldn't it be easier that way? In my mind of course it would be, but then there would be something else to take its place. There will always be stress in our lives, I realize that. With each fluctuation, Satan has another opportunity to dig his claws into us, attempting to turn us from God. I will not, I will not, because I know God has something to teach me through this. What lessons will I have learned and how will I testify to what the Lord has done as a result? Time will tell.

Rollin', rollin', rollin'...

Okay, we are officially inside the final countdown to the move to Indiana. I can't believe how quickly things are moving right now. The church voted Ryan on staff last weekend and we are heading out next week. Whew!! We are excited, anxious, sad, overwhelmed, just in awe of God. This whole journey we have walked over the course of the past 14 months since Ryan's job loss has been like nothing we've experienced in life thus far. It is a lot to process, many different emotions, lessons learned. I am struck by how helpless we truly are to the waves life throws our way--but God is not helpless! He is teaching us day by day to trust Him completely, let go of what we think we have control of and acknowledge His power in our lives. How ridiculous it seems to me that at any point we think we can go, "Okay, Lord, you know I've got this under control, we are doing good and we'll let you know when we need your help." How selfish, arrogant and proud we are. Nothing like being knocked completely on your tail to learn how dependent we ought to be on God. I heard an interesting story on one of my favorite shows last night and this stuck with me: Sometimes our strength lies in being willing to ask for help. At what point do we find ourselves "strong enough" that we don't feel like we need help or can even ask for it? My Granddad is dying, and I found myself having a conversation with God in the car yesterday about it. Time and time again, I have come to realize regardless of my understanding He is in control. I don't have to have all the answers, nor can I comprehend it all. There is so much my tiny human brain cannot possibly fathom, and that is the point when I stretch my hands to heaven and say, "Okay Lord, I get it....it is all Yours, I don't have to have all the answers." Life is precious, I am being reminded through every moment of it to be thankful for the time we have with those we love and make it count. Likewise, we must not waste a moment wondering what to do with our lives, whether or not we can handle a calling God has placed upon our lives. We are His people, called to serve for the furthering of His kingdom. What a gift He has given us, our time on this earth. I don't want to waste a single day.

my Ebenezer...

“…Thus far the Lord has helped us.”-1 Samuel 7:12 There are moments in my life when I look back and can see how God in His perfect yet my...