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Showing posts from 2011

Summing it up.....

I can’t believe it has been nearly a year. What a year it has been for us! Nothing we could have predicted, expected or planned for. God has a plan; He has His reasons, and the events unfolded in a way that has at times left us scratching our heads more than nodding with certainty. I was 8 months pregnant, and one cold Sunday afternoon in January Ryan came home after a meeting with our pastor and chairman of elders with a document in his hand. As we sat down together at the dining room table, he shared with me the details of that meeting. Ryan had been asked to resign his position as worship pastor effective immediately. Thankfully he was provided with a severance package through March, but little did we know what would unfold in the months to follow. We welcomed our sweet baby Chloe in March, so thankful for a healthy pregnancy and delivery in spite of the stressful circumstances we were dealing with. In the days and weeks that followed Chloe’s arrival, we would be shoved i…

Wisdom in the Waiting

My study time the other night took me to Galatians 6, chapter about reaping what we plant. Verse 9 has stuck with me for several days now.

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.’ (Galatians 6:9 NLT)

I hope in these days to keep a positive outlook on life, be mindful of the blessings God has given me, and share all that He has given me with others. I pray daily to be an example as I walk out each day in faith, hope and love. I want others to see beyond me to what God has given me, that His love and goodness shines through. Some days this is a greater task to accomplish than others. I find I may not have as much interest, motivation, confidence, desire to do just what God calls me to do every single day no matter where we are, what we are doing with our lives: love others as He loves me. It is not too much to ask and it is required of me! I must reach beyond myself and grasp the supernatural …

Thankful Heart

‘I have a thankful heart that You have given me
And it can only come from You’
(Petra)

Know that the Lord is God. It is He Who made us, and not we ourselves. We are His people and the sheep of His field.
Go into His gates giving thanks and into His holy place with praise. Give thanks to Him. Honor His name. For the Lord is good. His loving-kindness lasts forever.
And He is faithful to all people and to all their children-to-come.
(Psalm 100:3-5 NLT)

The definition of thankful: grateful and appreciative, aware and appreciative of a benefit, expressive of gratitude: a thankful smile.

Are you thankful? Do you thank God for your blessings every day? More than any other time in my life, this past year I have chosen to daily in my quiet time, in my prayer time, in my moments of overwhelming joy and agonizing despair, I have chosen to thank God for blessing me. No matter what life throws my way, I will not go through the day without thanking God for blessing me. Sometimes in my darkest…

Lessons to be learned, Blessings we have received

Daily I pray it, ask it, wonder in the waiting…God, what is the lesson to be learned? What more do you require of us? How much more will You stretch us, change us, make us into the beings you would have us to be?
We are called in our walk with Christ to be His followers, to live wholly devoted and righteous lives that shine for His glory. We have a precious gift we’ve been given, life eternal with Him and because of His choice to sacrifice His Son for our lives, to save us, to forgive us, to show how deep the Father’s love truly is for us. What will we do with what He has given us? How far are we willing to go?
I was reminded once again in my devotional this morning, through the life of David, just how far God expects us to go in showing our devotion to Him. We know God recognized him as “a man after My own heart” (Acts 13:22) and yet we read David’s journey was far from perfect. He took some hits, he made some really screwy decisions and God answered by forgiving him but also re…

Pondering, pondering.....

This morning I got up earlier than I usually do on a Sunday mainly because I knew I had some preparations for lunch today. I love the quiet, the stillness of the early morning before everyone is awake in the house. I was eager to get my cooking done and get to my quiet time. God took me to Hebrews 11 and Psalm 111 thanks to a wonderful daily devotional Bible I have. Hebrews 11 starting in verse 17 is filled with reminders of some very important men and how they chose to trust and obey God and by faith do what God called them to do. God's provision, how amazing, how wonderful! Then in Psalm 111:1-10 I was stopped in my tracks at verse 3.

'Everything He does reveals His glory and majesty.'

Everything? Really? I had to stop and ponder this verse, let it roll over and over in my heart and mind. Everything. How can that be? How is this, this we are going through, that? How can this, any of this reveal His glory, His majesty? God has been reminding me this week, just …

Trust in Him, Live for Him!

In these uncertain days, there is no greater hope than what we have in Christ. Our days on this earth are numbered, God knows just how many we each have and so we must make each one count as if it were our last! I was reminded in my devotional today of one particular man’s response to God. His unyielding, unhesitant trust in God to do what was necessary to fulfill His purpose. Abraham was called by God to go to the mountain to make a sacrifice. It turned out when he arrived that the lamb was to be his son, Isaac. The son that was promised to him for so long and that he and Sarah waited for, until in their very old age God provided and Isaac was born! My goodness, can you imagine? I can’t. It was hard enough for me to have a baby at 39, but to have a child at the age of 90 something? Oy! Lord, You clearly have purpose in all You do but this one leaves me baffled. Genesis 22 God tells Abraham what he must to and there is really is no indication of anxiety, hesitation or fear…

Who will you feed?

As the weather starts to dip, colder weather comes in, I spend more of my prayer time on the way to work praying for people who have no home, don't know where they will get their next meal, trying to find work and just make it through one day. We pass them on the street corners, see them walking and wonder what more can we do? How often do we take the time at any time through out the year, to stop and consider what we could live without so that someone else has a place to sleep, a hot meal, or a job? What should we be doing in Jesus' name to help others? Every year I try to come up with some new way for our family to give back and since having Chloe I feel like we've not spent enough time working on that. It is easy to get busy and let things fall to the sidelines when even the simplest of acts of kindness can make a world of difference in someone's life. So, how about saving the money you'd usually spend to buy yourself coffee on the way to work today and us…

Faithful God

Just when I think I am facing the worst day ever, it seems to reach a whole new depth. That is where I have been for several days now, sinking it seems. I have been aware, almost like an out of body experience, of how dangerously close I have come to feeling downright hopeless. I found myself over the weekend, visualizing myself crawling into God's lap and curling up in a ball, hoping to simply disappear for awhile. I came very close to not wanting to deal with anything or anyone, ready to shut down, ready to give up in many ways. I have been struggling in particular with no desire whatsoever to set foot in church. It is easier to make an excuse of any kind and simply roll over and pull the covers up over my head. Stay there all weekend. Somehow it feels comforting to know for a little while I can pretend all of this is not really happening. Get lost in my thoughts, in my own little world I've created to protect myself from experiencing any more of this heart ache and…

I don't know why...but God does!

Do you think God shakes His head in wonder as He watches our lives unfold? It is something I have been thinking about today. I know it must have been unbearable for Him to watch His only Son die on the cross. Do you think His heart breaks for a situation that is not anything close to that? I do. I believe, regardless of the depth of our hurt, our disappointment, our pain and struggle on this earth, God experiences it with us. So, why, we all ask this in the midst of our struggle, Why don't you stop it God? Why don't you swoop in and save the day? Why does it have to go on, seemingly far too long? I have tried to look at it from a bigger perspective than my own, tried to see it somehow closer to how God does. I can't. I suppose that is where faith, hope comes in. When my own strength, wisdom, understanding fails, I can only lean on Christ.

Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty!
Who Was, and Is, and Is To Come!
With all creation I sing praise to the King of King…

God, what is it?!

For every struggle we face, we know there is a mighty lesson to be learned. Well, in these days we are learning something. Trust, Trust, Trust. God is in control, and so why is it so hard to trust Him? He knew long before any of this happened to us, that it was going to come about. I have been thinking about some people in my life, and some other people in the Bible, how they were handed something rather unexpected in life and they how they dealt with it. I've got two words for you as to how I am feeling at this point about the whole situation: It sucks! I have no desire to live one more moment of this wondering, waiting, when is it going to get better?! I shared in my Bible study group the other night that I have dealt with this thing in one way or another, but at no point have I felt hopeless, only incredibly helpless. These last few weeks it has become particularly tangible, this weight of helplessnesss as we face our day to day costs, and figure out how we are going …

Oh God, You are my God!

Oh God, You are my God! And I will ever praise You!
Oh God, You are my God! And I will ever praise You!
I will seek You in the morning, and I will learn to walk in Your ways,
And step by step You'll lead me
And I will follow You all of my days. (Rich Mullins)

All weekend, as I marveled at the beauty of God's creation, the changing leaves on the trees, the wispy clouds in the blue sky, the warmth of autumn, seeing and appreciating parts of Indiana that I had not seen left me in awe. It is just amazing what God has done. I think it was so good for me to have a few days to reflect on our journey so far, where we have been, how we are doing today, and where we are headed tomorrow. There are few reasons to hope, but they are reason enough to far outweigh the reasons to give up. I am more certain today than I have been in awhile that God is not finished and in some ways, this is only the beginning. I believe without a doubt that we are on the verge of something quite extraordinary…

Grace that is greater....

I am reminded daily, sometime multiple moments in one day, of just how deep, how far God's grace reaches to cover us. It is through the words of my Christ-sister who says she admires me for how I have stood by Ryan through this, it is in the face of my child when I tell him we can't afford to do that and he says, "It's okay, Mom" and doesn't respond with a pity party or a temper tantrum, it is in the reaction of my Christ-brother when he asks how we are doing/what we need and then offers what he can to help us pay rent, it is in the unending notes and letters and emails and phone calls of so many dear family and friends who have reached out to us at precisely the moment we needed it most. I cannot say it enough: Because of God's grace and because of you, every single one of you---we can go on. We can move forward. It may be baby steps, inch by inch, but we can do it. At the time of this blog entry, we are still living with a great deal of uncertain…

Live for Today

It’s the focus we should have each day. Yes, we need to have a healthy outlook on life, make wise preparations for our future. Here is the “but”—don’t worry about tomorrow. Who does that?! You know there aren’t very many of us out there that can say we do not worry. If you don’t worry then I have one thing to say to you and please know I say this without the intention to offend—You are not normal. Here is the point and let this sink in:

Life is filled with worry—We are filled with the Holy Spirit! No worries—Give God Glory!

As I write it, read it, try to absorb it I will admit to you that it takes me some time to really get it. It is not in our nature to praise God in the midst of the worst of circumstances. Here is the path we need to take. When we reach the end of ourselves, we must let go and let God! Let God love us, cover us with His peace, His grace, His mercy, His strength, His power! It is there for us and always available to us, but somehow the weight of our circums…

Perception

Watch this: God's eye is on those who respect him,
the ones who are looking for his love.
He's ready to come to their rescue in bad times;
in lean times he keeps body and soul together.

We're depending on GOD;
he's everything we need.
What's more, our hearts brim with joy
since we've taken for our own his holy name.
Love us, GOD, with all you've got—
that's what we're depending on. Psalm 33:18-22 (MSG)

Perception: The quality, state, or capability, of being affected by something external; An idea; A notion.

When we are in the midst of a struggle, our perception can cause a great deal of grief, fear, doubt, anxiety, frustration. As we walk through this struggle day to day, some are better than others. The past 48 hours have been particularly heavy for me. I am certain satan is having a big party thinking he’s won some kind of control over me because I haven’t been dealing with any of this very well. How to …

Our Great Provider

I am astounded daily at what is happening in our country; and yet, I am even more astounded by how God provides so perfectly. No matter how bad things may appear to be here on earth, He is still on His throne! He does not change and will not be changed by our circumstances. We may be knocked around, beaten up, pulverized, ground up and spit out by what life sends our way--but God is still God and He will take care of us every step of the way. I was burdened today by an article I read about the poverty in our nation. It is heartbreaking, frustrating, so unbelievable to read about these people and how one moment they had secure jobs, raising a family of their own, and now they find themselves in a completely different and what seems like impossible situation. I realized as I read on, trying to swallow this information down just how close every single one of us is to being in their situation. What do you do, how to you go on, when does it get better?

I read in my devotional today a…

Spiritual Companionship

It seems that I have managed a couple of sizable waves this week, waves of intense uncertainty, anxiety, and very tangible brokenness. For whatever reason, God allows it to overwhelm me to the point I realize I cannot take it much longer, and then it washes over me….His peace. There’s no visible movement that can be detected with my eyes, no audible voice in my ears, just a reassuring wave that flows through my heart and soul. My devotionals have been centered around Elijah in recent days, and what lessons I am learning! It is a fresh reminder to me of how in the most desperate, fearful and lonely days of his life, God was there and provided so much for him. He specifically provided a spiritual companion to him in the person Elisha. I can immediately identify in my life right now “Elisha’s”. You know who you are! You have given me such encouragement, such strength, such motivation, such relief and comfort, in my weakest, angriest, most depressed moments. God is good, He knows…

What are you doing here?

My devotional today was more on Elijah and dealing with the people's unbelief, their turning to false gods and so today we find him running away and freaking out because of Queen Jezebel's threats. I think I would run too if I were in his shoes. So I am reading along and this question God spoke to him, just struck me and I found myself hearing God say it to me.
"What are you doing here?" What am I doing here? What is the point of what we are doing if we feel unfulfilled, useless, just plain worn out from waiting for what's next? Now understand a lot of this is feelings of utter desperation given our current circumstances. Like a great majority of the country we are still struggling to find a job for Ryan that pays at least what we need to make rent each month, our living expenses. A family of six living on what we are making is well, barely making it. We literally are not looking much further than beyond our week because we don't know how we will pay t…

Required of me

I am not proud of it, in fact, it is something I am ashamed to admit. There are moments I am utterly at the end of myself and drowning in thoughts of panic, anxiety, overwhelming doubt because of what life has handed me today. Yesterday on my way home from work I found myself asking God, "What more do You require of us?" I could go on and on, the flood of emotions, questions, all of it. The human mind can send you spiraling into a very deep, dark hole if we allow it. But, somehow as I was trying to push myself above the waves of these thoughts, I started to hear the song by Christy Nockels in my head after hearing it twice yesterday, the words circling over and over, "Waiting here for You with my hands lifted high in praise!" Once again, I found I was at the end of myself and I didn't know what else to do, I literally said to God, "I don't know what else to do except give You praise! Even in this very moment, I know You are still so good!" …

I am weak, He is strong!

Coming off of a holiday weekend that should have been a much needed rest for us, has instead ended with very little rest. My heart is broken, it is not at ease, it is tired, it is weary, just so weary. I have been absorbing, lapping up scripture and any resource I can find these past few weeks as we've waited with great anticipation to know if this door would remain open for a position for Ryan. Yesterday that door closed, and we find ourselves crumpled in the floor in front of that closed door, disappointed, heartbroken, frustrated. It was hard not to get our hopes up, when what appears to be a great opportunity comes along. After a much needed phone conversation with my mom this morning, I began to dig deeply into the Word. Mom pointed me to Psalm 147, and how appropriate! In particular verse 10:
The strength of a horse does not impress him; how puny in his sight is the strength of a man.
My study Bible led me to another scripture in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10:
"My gracious…

Well, it's an answer...

It's not the answer we'd hoped and prayed for, but it is an answer. I know You've got our best in mind, Lord, but we are just so stinkin' tired. We will not lose our hope and our resolve to trust You, as hard as it is to stand here, and see the door closed. We love You and we believe something good is coming for us soon. I don't have much to say today, but found something that fits.

His Billows

"All thy waves and thy billows are gone over me" (Ps. 42:7).

They are HIS billows, whether they go o'er us,
Hiding His face in smothering spray and foam;
Or smooth and sparkling, spread a path before us,
And to our haven bear us safely home.

They are HIS billows, whether for our succor
He walks across them, stilling all our fear;
Or to our cry there comes no aid nor answer,
And in the lonely silence none is near.

They are HIS billows, whether we are toiling
Through tempest-driven waves that never cease,
While deep to deep with clamor loud is calling;
Or at His word they …

Praying with confidence

1 John 5:13-15 I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God. Now you can know you have life that lasts forever. We are sure that if we ask anything that He wants us to have, He will hear us. If we are sure He hears us when we ask, we can be sure He will give us what we ask for.

Mark 11:24 Because of this, I say to you, whatever you ask for when you pray, have faith that you will receive it. Then you will get it.

So many days recently I have spent searching the scriptures, asking my closest confidants, how do I pray? I struggle with my prayers more now than any other time in my life I think. Am I praying right? Am I praying with great expectation? Am I asking too much of God? Am I trying to do His job by being too specific in asking Him for what I want, for my heart's desire? It can be exhausting. This question. Lord, how do I ask this of You? I am afraid to ask my greatest desire of You because, well, I am afraid You won't give it to …

Now is the time to worship....

It doesn't matter what you are facing today, just stop and give Him glory! I am amazed how quickly God works in me to re-set my focus each day when in the midst of my worst moments, I take the time to stop, cry out to Him and say,"You are so good, Lord!" Somehow, it puts everything in perspective because immediately my heart is flooded with how blessed we truly are. I don't feel much like doing it lately, but it helps me get focused on what matters most. Nothing we have, nor anything we accomplish in this life will matter except that I am a child of God, He loves me and I get to spend an eternity with Him one day! It is amazing to consider even at my worst moments, when I have shouted and cried out to God in my anger, in my frustration, and yet....He gets me. He understands me. He hurts with me. He knows me. He loves me!!

Ryan and I are going through something fierce, something really crappy, something so difficult that in the midst of it right now it would …

My Shepherd

I am a pitiful sheep. I suppose most sheep are, they aren't very bright animals and they need a lot of care and watching over. We as Christians, walking through this life with so much bombarding us from all directions are no different. How on earth do we make in through a single day without our Shepherd to care for us? Before I go to bed tonight, I find myself reading a familiar psalm that I memorized as a child.

God, my shepherd! I don't need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
you find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word,
you let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction.

Even when the way goes through
Death Valley,
I'm not afraid
when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd's crook
makes me feel secure.

You serve me a six-course dinner
right in front of my enemies.
You revive my drooping head;
my cup brims with blessing.

Your beauty and lo…

What is it, Lord?

The waiting. It is intense, it is exciting, it is frustrating, it is humbling, it is exactly as He intends for it to be right now, at this very moment in my life. If you've glanced at my blog over the past seven months then you know a little bit about what Ryan and I are going through. God is doing something, we don't know what it is, but we are starting to see glimpses of hope, light at the end of the tunnel. He is working, yes He is! Through my best and my worst moments, I have been clinging to that mantra and it remains embedded in my thought process along with some key scriptures that have pushed us forward on this wilderness road. Something in my devotional stuck yesterday, and so of course, I just have to share it. We are considering God's will, what is it, what does He have for us, what will He do next? What door will He open, and will it unfold into what we see as the next ministry for us? So this thought yesterday, has been etched nearly permanent in my m…

I will tell the story

What is your story? What will be your story when you come through what God has put in front of you? Will you choose to persevere? Will you keep putting one foot in front of the other? What will you do when God sets you apart and gives you something, something you think is just too big to handle? Perseverance. I am thinking on that word today, because it is what we need to do in these times of uncertainty. Persevere. Time and time again I find myself saying it in conversations, with Ryan, with family, with friends, those who have chosen to ride this wave with us and see just what God is up to....and hope is beginning to crest just over the horizon. It may just be a glimmer right now, but it is evident in recent days that God is beginning to reveal what is next to us. I was just reading in Genesis 32 about Jacob, his dream in which he wrestled with an angel. He would not give in, he would not let go, he said in v. 26, "I will not let go until you bless me." To that…

Unknowns, Uncertainties, Un-Fun

The waiting continues, it seems to become this sad, pitiful song of, "Nope, nothing new here. Still waiting." It is like being stuck in an elevator and the music doesn't end, the same sappy music plays on and on and on, never seems to end and it seems like we are not really going anywhere. I don't like the unknown, the uncertainties, the "Un-Fun". Yeah, I know it isn't a word but I am making it up anyway. I was reminded today in my quiet time of the purpose of prayer and how we should approach God in our conversations with Him. How do the words that come out of my mouth reflect the true intent of my prayers? Do they reflect trust and obedience, or are they "a demonstration of a lack of trust, a revealing of misunderstanding His sovereign nature and limitless ability"? Here is scripture I was given today to help jolt our focus back into place:
Ephesians 3:20 "Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,…

I may be weary, but I will worship You!

It has been a week, mercy, what a week. As we are walking through this "wilderness" we are overwhelmed daily by the pressure, the stress, the almost tangible weight of our situation. The day to day living expenses are difficult to meet when very little income is coming in. I am mentally and physically exhausted, and my spiritual state is, well, on the brink. I can think of many people in the Bible who were in much more difficult situations than we are, and yet I can identify with their words. At one point this week there was a day when I managed to contain my emotions for the duration of my work day and as soon as I was in the car and on my way home, I found myself broken. It was a wonder I didn't have to pull over, I was so upset. I didn't even turn on the radio, but instead as I drove home I began crying out to God. This isn't the first time, I find myself in this place quite often these past months. I suppose the difference in this moment was the dept…

Weary, just so darn weary

I am having a day. Oh, I suppose a week. I am just not dealing with some stuff well and haven't been for days now. The job situation has not changed and today we found out the grocery Ryan's started at doesn't pay well, let's just say, enough. Neither does the other temp job he's had that he hasn't been getting hours for for weeks now, if he's lucky one shift out of four. Oh me. I am just weary, Lord, do You hear me? Do You get how stickin' tired we are of this?! Is it too much to ask for a ray of light? A sign? A hint of some kind that You do have something better? Why does this have to be so hard?! Can I get an amen, anybody?! Life is just plain difficult and God is good, but I am really frustrated and tired of waiting. How do we get through this? How will we ever get through this? I want it to end, I want it to change today, I want it to be better for Ryan, for me, for our children, I am so ready to move on so why, why, why can't …

What does that mean?

What does that mean, Lord? How am I supposed to process that? Why do I have to do this now? Really?! Where do I go from here?

Some of many, many questions Ryan and I wrestle with day in and day out. Why Lord, are we at this point in time and for what purpose? This is the most striking question we are asking today. I shared in my last entry how we are back home in Brazil and feeling more unsettled than ever before. If we are truly living life as God intends, then we are to be unsettled. We are not to settle for life being okay, to be comfortable in what the world provides. I heard it today from a friend of ours at church, "Our employer is not the provider, God is the Provider of ALL things!" No matter how much is in our bank account at this moment, He is still on His throne and He is capable of providing and will provide everything we need. How easy it is for any one of us in times of great struggle to doubt that. I am reminded of this scripture:

2 Corinthians 4:7-…

Unsettled

When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God. Deuteronomy 8:10-11

Unsettled. It is a great word to describe where we are today. We came home last night from a great visit with our families over the holiday weekend and as we approached home, Ryan would share with me later how the disappointment grew in him. The job situation for him has not improved, with the exception that he started at the local grocery store today which will provide more stability in terms of hours adn a paycheck. It won't be much, but it will be more consistent than what he's had in the last month or so. It is frustrating, and yet we are trying to focus on how God continue to provide. It may not be in ways we expected or wanted, but He does continue to provide and for that our hearts are full.

We know this is not our home, it is temporary and that our focus should be on the eternal things. That …

Chomping at the bit? Yep, that is where we are!

If you know the phrase, "chompin' at the bit" then you know what we are experiencing the majority of the time. I looked it up and it describes the behavior of a horse, anxious to get going. Yep, that is a great way to describe where we are right now. We know God is using us even in our "holding pattern" but it is difficult when we have no real outlet for the gifts He has given us. For the sake of just a good update, here we are.

As of today, Ryan has had very little work the past few weeks at his job. He is lucky to get a full week's paycheck when he goes in and day to day never knows if they'll have work or send him home. When he gets home, the paycheck ends up being minimal and as a result you can imagine how quickly what little we have goes. This is where God comes in, and WOW, has He! Over the course of these past few weeks alone He has done something miraculous but isn't anything He does miraculous?! Words cannot describe how humbled an…

Lord, How Good You Are

Psalm 34:8 Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see—
how good God is.
Blessed are you who run to him.

How often, in the middle of our greatest struggles, do we find ourselves saying, "Oh Lord, how good You are?"
If we are honest, most of us would answer not at all. It is hard, it is not our natural response and even the strongest Christian can be beat down pretty quick by an unexpected blow from life. The past few weeks as Ryan has had very little work and thus very small paychecks, I have been meditating upon this. I think it has been mostly an unconscious meditation because it has surfaced vividly in my conscious mind today. I have been mulling it over all morning and I heard this great song come on the radio by Drew Cline, "How Good You Are" and it just washed over me like a cool breeze on a very hot day. How can we possibly grasp His goodness in the midst of our weakness? I believe and I keep coming back to this idea of daily arming our…

Courage

Courage. I believe it has taken a considerable amount of courage for Ryan and I to choose to walk this path as we have these past months. Courage. God has given it to us, we couldn't possibly have it within ourselves. Courage. I was reminded this morning by my Dad of someone else who had courage even in the worst of circumstances: Joseph. He had so much happen to him, and he had so many reasons to curl up in a ball, curse God and just lay down and die but he didn't. He trusted God, and when the day came that he stood before his brothers after all they'd done to him and all he'd been through and he was able to say, "Do not be afraid. What you intended for evil, God intended for good." I know He has good for us, I know He has purpose and I know He will sustain us through every single moment of our lives. There are moments when I feel as if I could cave in, I could give up so easily because it appears that we are in this holding pattern but I had to say…

Worth

I am a child of God, and therefore He sees worth in me. He loves me, He will care for me and provide for me--so there's no need to worry! Okay. Sure. That's not something I struggle with at all! (Can you hear the sarcasm?) These past months since Ryan was asked to resign, it has been a rollercoaster of many emotions for us both. What has gotten us through it? God. What has brought us peace and strength in the darkest moments, when we are on the floor, crying out for answers? God. What will we do as these days continue to pass and we wonder, we wait on what God has for us to do? Trust in God. Obey god. Give Him all the glory because even in this, this valley that seems so deep and as if there is no light at the edge for us to walk toward, He has purpose, He has a plan to prosper us and not to harm us. I found myself meditating on Jeremiah 29:11 again today as I do many days. It gets me focused and centered, re-sets my way of thinking before my day gets started. I…

What is mine....is His

What does it mean: ownership? The dictionary defines it as "the legal right of possession". So what is possession? It is defined as "to have in one's control". Bottom line, what do we own, possess, have in our control? Answer? Nothing of worth, eternal worth, that is. Isn't that the point? As we live and breath on this earth, my goal as a Christian is to focus on the things that matter most, that contribute to eternity with Jesus. It doesn't matter how much money I make, what kind of house I own, what kind of car I drive, what kind of electronic devices I use, the clothes I wear, the people I know, the things I accomplish in terms of worldly success.....none of it matters what bit or increases my eternal worth if I am not making a difference for Christ. To love others more than myself, to make a lasting impression on the lives of others for the Kingdom and that they would come to know Christ should be my greatest desire and focus! I have alw…

Strength for today, Hope for tomorrow

Great is Thy faithfulness O God my Father
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not,
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine with ten thousand beside!

Great is Thy faithfulness,
Great is Thy faithfulness,
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided-
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!
(Thomas Obediah Chisholm, 1866-1960)

This song is my meditation today. Today we are so weary. Today we are feeling helpless, not hopeless, but as if we have very little to cling to. It is a day in which I know the prayers of many is the only thing holding us up. Ryan has had 3 shifts in a row now without work. Imagine going in to a job-a job for which we are very thankful despite it being very little pay and nowwhere what we need to get by-and they tell you they don'…

More of Him, Less of me

He must become greater, I must become less. John 3:30

I just finished Louie Giglio's book and I am still soaking up the knowledge of the nature of God, that He is I AM and I, well, I am not. As we grow in our knowledge of Christ, walk the path He has laid before us and find successes along the way, it is easy to become a bit arrogant in our Christianity. It is a shame that humility typically only comes when life smacks us across the face with something truly unexpected and devastating. We say to God,"Okay, I've been doing what You called me to do, following your lead, answered Your call and here I am in the middle of this waste land that somehow, some way you have a purpose?" Yep, that's right. At some point in the midst of struggle, when we let go of what we are feeling, when we have purged our systems of all the hurt, anger, grief, disappointment, heartbreak....purpose comes in to focus. I know, and even in the darkest moments of our struggle I could see a…

Less of me, more of Him

Yesterday was not such a great day. Well, let me clarify--this month has been a doozy in terms of my physical health. Keeping up with a new baby, and the stress of our situation on top of life in general for our family is taking its toll and I guess my body could only take so much. Early May, about the time I took Chloe for her checkup, I developed a nasty sinus infection. Antibiotic and a couple weeks later, I was some better but then I developed allergy/pink eye. This week I am once again facing illness as I woke Monday morning with drainage and sore throat, fluid in my ears and all over body aches. So, now I am finishing my eye drops this week and taking another antibiotic to knock out this stuff I've got. The joys of being sick-yuck! So May's not been so good to me. I am hoping by this weekend with Ry's birthday coming that I'll be much better. While I've been trying to rest up in my state of illness, I've been reading more of Louie Giglio's b…