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Showing posts from 2013

Oh, the holidays.....what to do!

This is probably my last blog entry before the holidays. The calendar is filling up, and with all we have going on I hope to share some brief thoughts, well wishes and such here and there but if I'm being honest this is the best timing for some words of encouragement before we bulldoze our way through the next several weeks. Life is enjoyed more fully personally when I have carved time intentionally out of my life for what matters most. I had a wonderful, much needed yoga class yesterday and it just put me in the center of some much needed peace and awareness. I want to go into these holidays valuing my time with my family most. My best and favorite holidays growing up were spent just with my immediate family-Mom, Dad, my brother Mike and me. We didn't travel over the holidays usually because with my Dad being a Pastor meant we had a number of special events and obligations that required him to be available. In one way or another, it taught me to appreciate making the b…

Speak Peace, Demonstrate His Love

I'll admit it. As I have aged, as life has hit me this way and that way, as I have learned to live with people I love and people I would just assume avoid altogether in this life, I find it difficult to control my tongue in the best and worst of situations. Let's take the latter of those two. I have joked with Ryan and a couple of friends over the years, that I could have probably been a lawyer or a politician in another life because of my strong opinion about a variety of subjects. I was raised to be confident, independent and to approach life with the best I have to offer. I like to do things a certain way, I like my life to be organized and predictable, everything in its place. I am okay when it comes to surprises, once the initial shock of it has worn off, and despite my need to know what is coming up and have everything well in place, I am and will always be open to something new and changing, especially if it will improve my current circumstances. As I am getting …

Trust, the Lord is good!

Why should I feel discouraged
Why should the shadows come
Why should my heart feel lonely
And long for heaven and home

When Jesus is my portion
A constant friend is he
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know he watches over me
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know he watches me

Words by Civilla D. Martin, 1905/Music Charles H. Gabriel

We know God is able to deliver us. We know He will carry us through he deepest, darkest valleys. How easy it is when we are in that valley, to walk heavy hearted, feeling the weight of the world and its demands upon us, and somehow we let our weakness determine our path rather than reach for His strength to determine to walk on into His light! Why is this hard? Why do we seem to cherish our struggle? Why do we hold so tightly to what the world tells us is going to make us feel happy, safe and secure? Why? Goodness, the bombardment we are faced with every day! There is a battle raging on and on, and we can choose to be crushed by it or we can fight it a…

Peeling off the layers

I was reading my devotional this morning and it was about letting God heal us when we are broken hearted. This one line stuck me and it was enough to make me wince a little.

'Trust the Lord with everything-even with your pain.'

I had to stop and consider, have I held on too tightly to the wounds in my soul? Have I even gone so far as to hold on to my pain like a toddler with his favorite blanket? Have I allowed myself to wear my pain, my suffering like a badge? Ouch. I think it is safe to say, yes, to every one of those questions. Yes, I have let my wounds become like the clothing I wear. There are some deeper than others, and instead of completely trusting God to heal me and take it from me, I've chosen to wallow in it for awhile. What a horrible feeling, a terrible realization. And what is worse-have I allowed that to distract me from helping someone else who is dealing with a hurt of their own?

The depth of God's love and mercy for me, well, it is nearly ta…

I know that You are for me....

I know that You are for me,
I know that You are for me,
I know that You will never forsake me in my weakness.
I know that You have come now
Even if to write upon my heart….
To remind me of who You are!---Kari Jobe, “You are For Me”

Are you weak today? Are you in need of a fill, mind-body-spirit feeling depleted? Life is tiresome isn’t it? I have read countless stories, spoken with and shared heartache with dear friends, and experienced it ourselves personally: what we can only interpret as an unexpected, devastating blow to our so-called “life plan”. This has been an on the edge of our seats kind of year. We took the leap, moved to Missouri in search of a better job for Ryan and a fresh start for our family just a little over a year ago. As we enter year 2 in this new season, we find ourselves in an exciting yet nerve wracking season. God is good, all the time! He has provided for our every need, every step of the way and at times just in the last moments when we thought we ju…

A Heart Set Apart

I have been anticipating this blog entry for several days now. The excitement, the expectation at this time, this very season of our lives, is almost tangible for me. I get a bit of a tingly feeling, flutter in my soul to think about what God is doing. I can't see it, or hear it, but I sense He is allowing the next best thing to unfold. For several years now, Ryan and I have struggled, walked and at times, crawled through some very dark moments. God placed a call upon our hearts for ministry a long time ago, but we were hesitant in answering it right away. When we did, we were helpless, completely at the mercy of His will because we knew deep down, the time was ours and He had a ride ahead for us! Little did we know the twists and turns that ride would take, but oh, how He has taught us, walked with us and carried us through! The joys of seeing the fruits of our labor for the Kingdom, and the agony of watching what we thought were best laid plans crumble right in front of …

How lovely You are, Oh Lord!

I am reminded daily by what I see, hear and witness happening in the world, how vital it is to have faith, trust in God, lean fully into Him! I cannot and will not make it a day in this life without knowing I have a Savior. Many of you have followed my blog and walked with us through some very difficult days, and I stop breathless, unable to speak except to say the name "Jesus!" when I hear of another dear friend's struggle in this life. How do we cope? How do we move forward? How do we rise above what seems to be insurmountable, impossible, inescapable? I received this wonderful passage of scripture via email today and it was like cool water to my soul, needed refreshment!

Psalm 84:1-2 (NLT) How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
I long, yes, I faint with longing
to enter the courts of the Lord.
With my whole being, body and soul,
I will shout joyfully to the living God.

In the worst of times, in the best of times, let's en…
2 Chronicles 16:9 NLT-The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.

This blog entry comes in the midst of some particularly challenging days for me. I am not sure why but for some reason God has allowed circumstances, stresses in my life to come to a boiling point and my heart, my mind are weary. I know the grit of it, is simply my inability to find a peace with myself, with my life. I have been extremely unsettled and unhappy for a very long time. It is hard to say that but I am. I have come back to this realiziation on several occasions over the past two years. My work life has taken some interesting twists and turns. I have chosen each one for better or worse, and rode it out as best I could. I knew God intended for me to be in each one for a reason, and no matter how good or bad it was I made the best of it. I have found a certain level of satisfaction with each one, but never truly felt any one in partic…

Be my Everything....

Yet another Monday has smacked me clean in the face and I am slowly getting into a groove today. This weekend I had a meltdown, and it was brought on by several things that had piled up over the course of the week. I stumble daly, in particular with my OCD need to somehow be in control of my life, when in all actuality none of it is. My Father in heaven orchestrates every moment of my life without my knowing and understanding it the majority of the time.

We are still in somewhat of a holding pattern this season, several open doors for Ryan with new job possibilities. The new reality we are finding is that a full time worship ministry role is hard to come by anymore. A lot of churches, the majority of churches have had to improvise in this tough economy and go bivocational unless you live in an area that is thriving with several mega churches that can sustain a larger, more diverse staff. Ryan is still trying to find his niche, and rather than take a position where he feels he …

The hope that pushes me forward....

It is hard to believe another Summer is coming to an end and the Fall season approaches. It makes me sad how much faster time passes as I get older, and when I look back my first thought after reflection is, " I hope I never forget.." and simply linger in a moment of appreciation. I don't want to lose that sense of wonder, carefree and uninhibited youth that I once experienced. I'm approaching 42 and quite frankly I am so tired, so worn from how life has "handled" me. I feel like the last two years have aged me more than any other time in my life. The struggles Ryan and I have been through with jobs, in our marriage, in our spiritual life, have left us with some very deep, slow healing wounds. We know and have never lost belief in a God who has always been faithful, always provided, and will never let us down. I have struggled with trust in my husband, in God to restore what has been broken because of how hard it has been and how much He has allowed …
There is something to be said for letting something or a few something's go for the sake of getting re-focused, centered, and finding an all encompassing wholeness and healing in the mind, body and soul. A couple weeks ago I hit a low point, some things I can't share in specific detail because it is too raw, too personal and I am likely to do more harm than good to put it into words at this point and time. There will come a day when I can verbalize it, and do it in a way that reflects how far I've come, lessons learned, healing well underway. I am choosing to dive deeply into a meditative state, lose the distractions of this life that may hinder my ability to find peace and wellness in my being. I want to be in a better place mentally, spiritually, physically and I have put so much of what I need to deal with internally for the sake of getting so much handled, taken care of externally. I have found for a long time now that there is comfort in avoiding losing it by lau…
Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.”
― Mother Teresa

We are just a week away from another move. Thankfully it is one of our easiest moves, but as I get a little older and because we've moved several times now, I am just plain tired of and do not enjoy it at all. As we are staring down the year ahead and see our one year anniversary in Missouri coming ever closer, I find myself reflecting on what we have faced and what we have yet to accomplish. I love the quote I found by Mother Theresa which is noted above. I believe wholeheartedly that God does not expect us to sit …

Some decisions made, some will come later...

It has been an eventful week since my last blog entry so here's a brief summary.

After a lot of prayer, searching, stress in the house hunt, whether we should buy or rent, we have decided to rent a 4 bedroom apartment and stay in our same community. It was really an easy decision to make after we considered all the options before us and where we stand in our "recovery". We are not quite a year out from our move to Missouri. Recovery from a significant job/income loss takes a long time, and we knew going into this recovery that nothing would be fixed overnight! We are thankful to have good jobs and that we are making slow but steady progress. Some additional factors as to why we chose to rent rather than buy:

1. Down payment-we simply don't have the funds saved to put down 3-5% for a home purchase.
2. Credit score/history-we have not built enough longevity into our improved credit scores/history.
3. Home ownership/added costs-With home ownership comes addition…

Patience in the waiting: Week 3---Help me, Lord!

Why is it so hard to wait when in the end, when the time is right, we see from the other side it truly makes sense? Stupid human nature! Oy. I find as I get older, I have less and less patience with the things of this world, the reality we live in. There are moments I can see listed in my mind, experiences I have endured that I still don't fully understand God's purpose and I have every intention of asking Him when I am there one day, "Why?" The funny thing is, I will probably not even get the words out of my mouth because when I stand before Him, when I am no longer bound by this wretched body, feeble human mind, and burdened by the weight this world has placed upon me--it will be clear and I will be at peace. Anyone else longing for that day? Yes! It can't come soon enough. Thankfully God does not think like we do. Thankfully He is more patient, more loving, more gracious than we can possibly comprehend and is willing to wait even for just one more pe…

Patience in the Waiting, Week #2

Week 2 on my journey, starting off with a limp. Illness struck several members of my family over the weekend and as they are still recovering into this week, I am battling what most Mom's do--exhaustion on both a physical and emotional level. When someone gets sick, I step up the pace and clean like crazy, pull out my home remedies, make sure everyone is taken care of, and when I feel that somehow my world is at peace--then, I sit down and try to find some rest time for myself. That ended up equating to a 45 minute nap before I jumped back up and was at my nonstop Mom pace once again. My fb post on Monday summed it up well-felt like Monday slapped me in the face. Oy. So here we go with week #2 for Patience in the Waiting.

Psalm 40:1 (NLT) I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
and He turned to me and He heard my cry.

Read that a few times, speak it out loud, sing it out, and see if it really sinks in to you heart. I must admit I found it hard to sink in. Why? Well, h…

Patience in the waiting

I am sure I've blogged on the subject of patience before, so this can perhaps go down as yet another entry. We enter into a season of life that seems to be going well, good things happening, and patience is farthest from our minds and not really an issue. Wham! Bam! Something of a challenge slaps us in the face, life hits us hard with a difficult season and we find ourselves faced with the necessity to be patient. Patience in the waiting, this "in-between-time", is not an easy thing for any one of us. We have a lot of questions for God, and it is inevitably out of a heart that is deeply wounded, perhaps betrayed, bitterly disappointed by what life has handed us thanks to man mishandling our circumstances. Now that is not to say everyone is to blame but me for what happened and for the result of how things went down. There is a part we all play in our present circumstances. Whatever occurred in the past, it is done, can't be changed or rewritten, and we must m…

Anointing

'Anointing, as described in the Bible, can be defined as "God on flesh doing those things that flesh cannot do." It is God doing those things only He can do, and doing them through a flesh-and-blood, earthly vessel...' (Understanding the Anointing, Kenneth Copeland Ministries, kcm.org)

2 Corinthians 4:7 AMP However, we possess this precious treasure [the divine Light of the Gospel] in [frail, human] vessels of earth, that the grandeur and exceeding greatness of the power may be shown to be from God and not from ourselves.

Anointing. It means we are far more than what we appear. It means God has blessed us with an ability to convey His power and love to others in a way that can be attributed in no way to ourselves. We cannot take credit for it, we can only direct all our praise and adoration to our God for the work He is doing in and through us. How remarkable, amazing it is to think He sees us as able to do this and thank goodness for His Spirit at work in us! …

Thankful for His promise to me

Jeremiah 32:40-41 The Message
I’ll make a covenant with them that will last forever, a covenant to stick with them no matter what, and work for their good. I’ll fill their hearts with a deep respect for me so they’ll not even think of turning away from me.

Oh how I’ll rejoice in them! Oh how I’ll delight in doing good things for them! Heart and soul, I’ll plant them in this country and keep them here!

If you are familiar with this passage, and I admit I had to read through this carefully to absorb again what took place, but this was a time when God allowed His people to lose everything in order to teach them how to appreciate what they had and honor the Lord their God. They weren't honoring Him, they weren't serving Him and devoted to Him as was expected of God's people, and so He allowed things to go very, very badly for them. Ultimately He finished His message to His people by acknowledging that His covenant with them would stand and He would restore them. Painful and p…

Timing is Everything

Timing is everything. God's timing, specifically, is perfect and just in time. Have you found this to be true in your life? I spent a lot of time last night in my quiet time, praying out of sheer exhaustion to God, we need Your provision now more than ever in this moment! God is doing a work in us, both of us, in this new season of restoration and purpose. We know what we are called to, that has never been in doubt. Ryan is making efforts to gain secondary income in worship leadership opportunities, and we hope to see the doors of opportunity open for him over the days and weeks ahead. God has provided what we need, and we are very thankful! Now that we've improved our financial footing, we are taking an inventory of what we need in the year ahead of us. We have two aging vehicles, and this seems to be the year that every little thing that could go wrong and needs to be repaired, is happening right now. We have been blessed to find a cozy 3 bedroom apartment that has…

What is Truth...How does this reflect Christ?

I was reminded today about the importance of testing what is before me to ensure it is an accurate reflection of what is truth, what is right, what is sound. I naturally fall into a deep seated desire to research something that leaves me stumped, and that is perhaps heightened because I want my four children to have only truth fed to them in terms of their faith journey. First and foremost, even our favorite pastors, musicians and authors who seem to have a direct connection with God and seem to spout pure gold from their mouths in terms of a message, worship song or novel--are all human and therefore flawed. We have a responsibility as Christ followers to stop putting these leaders on a throne anywhere close to the Throne of God. It is not right, it is not fair, and it certainly is not appropriate. We are reminded in scripture, as we study and grow in our faith, that this life is meant to make us stronger, better, far closer to what God intends for us to be: fulfilled in Him. …