August 24, 2010

Reflections

I'm sitting at the desk in my room and up on the wall above my head is a framed picture of Jeremiah 29:11.  It is only Tuesday and already so many things are going on.  I've started a couple of side jobs to make some extra  money, my oldest goes back to school tomorrow, my youngest had a check-up and shot today, more issues unfolding with the drama that is my life and so on and so on and so on....


New schedules, new relationships, new faces, new routines.  All these things could be so overwhelming if I tried to manage it all on my own.  I could find myself consumed by the unknown which would then make the path ahead blurry.  It is so important that I find time to be still and reflect on the Truth that God has my best interest at hand and that every moment that passes and every step that I take, is to teach me to trust Him more. 


As I look at that verse I am reminded that God has a plan for my life and no matter how stressful things become, He has His hand on it and in that I can find rest.  


  "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Jeremiah 29:11

August 17, 2010

Never Give Up




It has been a while since I have seen this video. It was sent to me this morning in an email and as I watched it I was reminded all over again that I have an amazing Daddy who is greater than any trial, fear, hurt, or person in this world. When that moment comes and I feel defeated and weak...

  •  He ALONE makes me strong! 
  • He ALONE will defeat those giants that are trying to crush me! 
  • He ALONE loves me like no one else ever will! 
  • He ALONE will protect and defend me! 
  • He ALONE will have the victory over those who choose to harm in His name!
  • He ALONE will always be there to pick me up and walk with me as I finish the race that He has planned for my life.

Isn't amazing to know that we have the love of our Father to hold us up when we no longer have the strength to stand.

August 16, 2010

Great Adventure


"…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."
Hebrews 12:1-2


Now to some, my story may not seem like much of an adventure but for me it was a divine appointment.

Over the years, I have been one to be easily defeated by circumstances. If I found an obstacle in front of me, I would back down and walk the other way. Over the past year, I have grown in my faith, which has allowed me to be more aware of things that are taking place around me.

Now the adventure I experienced is not some huge miracle that took place, but for me more of recognizing how far I have come. I woke up Sunday morning determined to make it to church on a time. There were two churches that I really wanted to visit and had decided on one the night before I went to bed. I had calculated distance and how much time I would need in order to make it on time and made sure that we were up with plenty of time to get there.

As I was drying my hair, I began to smell something burning and looked to find smoke and sparks coming from my hair dryer. Panic set in but not because of the smoke. I stood there wondering what to do because not only did I need to dry my hair but so did my daughter. Now in the past, this moment would have caused me to throw in the towel and say forget it, we are staying home today. Not this time. Something inside me recognized the battle that had begun that morning. Satan did not want me at church. I felt it in such a strong way and became determined to make it not only to church, but also to church on time.

I hopped in the car with my kids and drove to the neighborhood CVS where my 12 year old purchased an inexpensive hair dryer. We made it back home and were all ready on time. We headed for our destination. Looking at the clock, I realized we would get there with plenty of time to settle in before the service started. I was feeling quite pleased until I pulled into the parking lot and realized that the church was not meeting at the location that it had claimed on its website. Immediately I became frustrated. Again, in the past, I would have thrown in the towel and headed home but I was not going to be defeated.

I took a few moments to regroup and started searching the internet on my phone. There I found the address as well as service times for the second church I had wanted to visit and found that I had plenty of time to get there before the next service.

What I found?? An amazing morning of worship and God speaking to my heart. I had come off a crazy week and knew I needed to be church but so did Satan. He did not want me there and threw those obstacles in my path. I could have found myself discouraged and defeated, but chose to stay the course.

Now, I know that my adventure may not have sounded like much. You are probably thinking she would have only missed church. True but there is SO much more to it than that. It is about growth. It is about not allowing Satan to become an obstacle in what God is doing in our lives. You see last week was a hard week but I experienced God in a special way and I wanted more. Again, Satan knows that we need that fellowship as well as growth and does not want us to partake. In order to grow, we must be fed and in order to stay on track, I needed to be there yesterday.

I do not always recognize those moments when there are obstacles before me and at times find myself really messing up. This time, I paid attention and recognized the Spirit tugging at my heart. The point of this post: we will not always get it right because we are human and we sin but when we listen for His voice and obey, there is great reward and blessing in the end.

August 13, 2010

Cloudy Days

"Experience is a hard teacher, because she gives the test first, the lesson afterward."

(Vernon Law)


Thank you Cyndi



"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance."

James 1:2-3


Well the week started out sunny but by Monday afternoon, the storm clouds rolled in and there they stayed. It has stormed all week for me until today. Today the clouds started to roll away, the sun poked through, and I was finally able to feel the warmth of its rays against my face.

God spent this week trying to get my attention. He wanted me to find Him, to hear His voice through the storm but it did not happen until I finally became still. Once I was calm, I was able to see and hear Him through those clouds and little by little, He moved them away.

It is now Friday and I am crazy excited about my weekend because I know that it is going to be an amazing weekend. It will be a happy weekend, a weekend full of smiles and laughter as well as fun. Nothing special is taking place but my attitude has changed. God taught me something this week and there is great joy in those moments. I LOVE those moments.

When those storm clouds find their way into your week, step back and let it pour. Soak in every moment and allow God to reveal Himself through the clouds, through the thunder and lightning and through the rain. At the end of it all, the sun will be shining and you will know you have experienced God in a special way.

August 11, 2010

Butterflies

"And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."

2 Corinthians 3:18

"God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."

1Peter 5:5-7


 

In my backyard are two huge butterfly bushes. I love to sit at the kitchen table, look out at those bushes, and watch the countless butterflies and even sometimes hummingbirds flying around.

Occasionally, while those butterflies are flying around, one will get itself caught in the screen room and is unable to escape. As scary as it must be for that butterfly, there is no sign of panic but instead I find that it usually rests upon the screen and is still.

That butterfly is trapped but it does not panic. I have spent many years feeling trapped by my circumstances but instead of being calm and still, I have lived in a frantic state. Sometimes I did not even know which way was up much less where the door was to escape.

Over time, I have learned that when those moments of anxiety set in, all I have to do is be still before the Lord and trust Him. There is no room for anxious feelings when God is in control and we are obedient to Him. I am transforming daily into more of who He wants me to be and the transformation is beautiful. I have been a caterpillar for 19 years but God is slowly changing me into that beautiful butterfly.

In the end, I walk outside into that screen room and direct that butterfly out the door just like God does with me when I allow Him.


 


 

August 10, 2010

A Closed Door

"I well remember them, 
       and my soul is downcast within me.

 Yet this I call to mind 
       and therefore I have hope:

 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.

Lamentations 3:20-23


 

Sometimes God closes a door because He knows what is best for me. No matter how hard I bang or pry, I cannot reopen that door. I find myself staring at that closed door trying to figure out what in the world I am to do now thinking that there is no way possible that life can continue.

God promises that His mercies are new every morning. That He only wants good things for my life and has it all planned for me if I choose to follow Him in obedience. What that means is that the door may have closed but He will open a window for me.

Now I'm standing in that room and I become aware of a light. As I turn, I see the light coming in through a window. It isn't open but I am able to see through it. God isn't ready to open it for me just yet but He allows me to look out and it brings me great hope!

As I look out through that window, I see these things…


 

  • Many moments of laughter and smiling
  • Time with my kids doing fun things
  • New friendships
  • Great opportunities to do new things
  • A greater faith in God
  • Hope that though the door has closed, He has a window that will open just for me


 


 


 

August 9, 2010

The Sun Will Come Out

"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."

Philippians 4:5-7


 

"I have nothing but hatred for them; 
       I count them my enemies.

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."

Psalm 139:22-24


 

This has been one of those days where I woke up feeling as if I were on top of the world and within hours, it all fell apart. What is that? Why does that happen? You try to stay positive and look on the bright side of things only to be disappointed yet again by someone or something.

It's all because of sin. Sin corrupts every good thing and makes our sunny days quite stormy. Today I started with the sun shining brightly over my head and by afternoon, the storm clouds came rolling in and the anxiousness followed right behind and making it clear that it was here to stay. Fortunately for me, Philippians 4:5-7 is safely tucked away in my heart and God quickly reminded me of His peace. Now if I have to be honest, the feelings of being anxious did not suddenly disappear but instead I became more focused on things that were true.

I got honest with God for a few minutes. I expressed my true feelings for people. I let it all out. I spoke it aloud. He already knows my heart so I cannot hide anything from Him. It's better for me when I verbally let it all out because then I know I've confessed it out loud to Him. From there He is able to take my hand and walk me in the direction I need to go. When I'm walking with Him and the way He has planned for me, there is much more peace and a lot less of feeling anxious.

It's time for bed and I am happy to say that I will be going to bed with a content heart because God has placed His loving hand upon me and calmed my anxious spirit.