Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Time To Say Good-bye

“To every thing there is a season, 
and a time to every purpose under heaven.”
Ecclesiastes 3:1

A time to grow and a time to thrive!  

. . . and a time for first steps at a crossroad. 

God has asked me to set aside this special, safe place of mine to join Him elsewhere for the Kingdom of God

Four years ago this March, God asked me to start writing a blog—then He introduced me to what that was! J  Seriously!  That’s exactly what happened.  During this time He has asked me to share openly and honestly with others my faith walk.  This was extremely difficult for me, for I am very private by nature. 

Here I have cut my teeth on vulnerability.
I have taken the baby steps of transparency.
And I have survived!
Not only survived, but—I have thrived!

He has healed and freed me in multiple ways! 
He has pressed against my flesh while pressing me into His heart!
He has brought great conviction and great growth!
He has taught me much while allowing me to teach others!

My heart is full!

I am more desperately in love with Jesus than ever before.  And I only want what He wants of me and for me.  So in this request of His, I obey. 
With some sadness, but no hesitation!

He is a good Father!  
And I am hopefully expectant for this new season of my life!

Which is?  You may be wondering . . . J

A lot more praying.
A lot more teaching.
A lot more prayer counseling.
A lot more mentoring.
A lot more discipleship.
A lot more trembling . . . with excitement to watch Him work!

Your friendship, your comments, your questions, your emails—your sharpening of my iron has meant the world to me.  You have no idea how you have been used by Abba to shape me into who I am today.  I am beyond grateful for the impact you have made in my life!

Thank you! 

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”  
Romans 12:12

Soli Deo Gloria!

Join me on my Facebook page, where I will be sharing daily encouragements as God encourages me!  

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Remain With Him There!

Create calm and focus within by being transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Let God’s words of truth bring you 
with all striving ceased.

Meditate on His words!

Confess out loud truth you have discovered in the quiet of the moment!

Don’t just agree with what you read, actively believe it—
purposefully, with intention to walk in it or live by it!

Create in me a clean heart, O God.  And renew a right spirit within me.  Restore unto me, the joy of Thy salvation—and renew a right spirit within me.”

A right spirit is at peace!

A place of rest!

Remain with Him there!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

God Is!

He is the First and Last, the Beginning and the End!
He is the Keeper of creation and the Creator of all!
He is the Architect of the universe and the Manager of all times!

He always was, He always is, and He always will be . . .
Unmoved, unchanged, undefeated, and never undone!

He was bruised and brought healing!
He was pierced and eased pain!
He was persecuted and brought freedom!
He was dead and brought life!
He is risen and brings power!
He reigns and brings Peace!

The world cannot understand Him,
The armies cannot defeat Him,
The schools cannot explain Him, and
The leaders cannot ignore Him!

Herod could not kill Him,
The Pharisees could not confuse Him, and
The people could not hold Him!

Nero could not crush Him,
Hitler could not silence Him,
The New Age cannot replace Him, and
Talk show hosts cannot explain Him away!

He is light, love, longevity and Lord!
He is goodness, kindness, gentleness and joy!
He is holy, righteous, mighty, powerful and pure!

His ways are right,
His word is eternal,
His will is unchanging, and
His mind is on me!

He is my Redeemer,
He is my Savior,
He is my Guide, and
He is my Peace!

He is my Joy,
He is my Comfort,
He is my Lord, and
He rules my life!

I serve Him because His bond is love,
His burden is light, and
His goal for me is abundant life!

I follow Him because He is the wisdom of the wise,
The power of the powerful,
The ancient of days,
The ruler of rulers,
The leader of leaders,
The overseer of the overcomers, and
The sovereign Lord of all that was and is and is to come!

And if that seems impressive to you, try this for size—
His goal is a relationship with ME!

He will never leave me,
Never forsake me,
Never mislead me,
Never forget me,
Never overlook me, and
Ever cancel my appointment in His appointment book!

When I fall, He lifts me up!
When I fail, He forgives!
When I am weak, He is strong!
When I am lost, He is the way!
When I am afraid, He is my courage!
When I stumble, He steadies me!
When I am hurt, He heals me!
When I am broken, He mends me!
When I am blind, He leads me!
When I am hungry, He feeds me!

When I face trials, He is with me!
When I face persecution, He shields me!
When I face problems, He comforts me!
When I face loss, He provides for me!
When I face death, He carries me Home!

He is everything for everybody, everywhere,
Every time, and every way!

He is God,
He is faithful!
I am His, and He is mine!

My Father in heaven can whip the father of this world.

God is in control, I am on His side, and
That means all is well with my soul!

Everyday is a blessing . . . for GOD is!

{I adapted this from something I received in 2001.  I do not know the author.  10 years later, I believe more fully in every statement made here!  Only by His grace, His mercy and His love!}

Friday, December 9, 2011

Thrive . . . Remain . . . Pray!

It’s been quiet here for some time.  Nothing like the reality in my own home and heart.  So much has been happening, but not every story is my own.  I share in the story of others. 

This place—this special place of questioning, reflecting, triumphing in Jesus—is a glimpse of my walk seeking His face every day of each season. 

But sometimes the walk cannot be written until a few more steps have been taken. 
And sometimes, the walk cannot be spoken out of respect for others involved. 

That’s where I find myself this morning.  
Stretched, worn and lovingly embraced!

But I had to share this verse with you.  
Could it be what you needed to hear as well?

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”  
Romans 12:12 (NIV)

My Greek geek self dug a little deeper into the original language and found a rich reservoir worth drinking from for some time!

Thrive and be well while expecting good . . .
Remain in the pressing while holding fast to your faith . . .
Be constantly in prayer—continually . . .

May God bless you and keep you wherever He takes you walking today!

Soli deo Gloria!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Needed and Necessary??? Who Me?

When I wrote this post a few weeks ago, it sat in the draft area because I didn’t feel the timing was right to put it up. 

Saturday morning seemed perfect. 

Friday night and all day Saturday, I was one of several speakers sharing at a seminar held at our church.  Part of my speaking time included sharing parts of my testimony.  Let me tell you—that was NOT a comfortable place for me.  Up on the platform of the church sanctuary with microphone in hand was way out of my comfort zone.  I even contemplated not wearing my glasses thinking perhaps it would be easier if all the people’s faces were blurry.   

Grace came down in buckets and I survived.  I think I was actually understandable in most of what I shared.  Afterwards, I had the privilege to pray with a couple ladies and talked with several others about all things Jesus.  It was a rich weekend!

I came home and read through the notes some of you had sent about what I posted.  After reflecting and smiling a bit I thought, “Only you, Jesus, could ever do anything with the me behind my story!  That in and of itself amazes me!”

Then Sunday came. 

I sat with my girls in Sunday School as we talked through some of their junior high aged questions given to me anonymously the week before.  It was good.  God helps me every Sunday answer questions and respond to statements these sweet, innocent, hurting girls have and I know without a doubt that the Holy Spirit is on the job—because I would fail them every time if I was left on my own.

Here is some of what is coming against my girls and other teens in our church:

* Heavy drinking parents.
* Getting sucked into the “emo” world.
* Eating disorders.
* Pornography. 
* Fears—fear of failure, of man, of rejection, of being the cause of Dad's anger and his leaving.
* In the midst of divorce with the breaking, fighting and crumbling all around.
* Learning to live life not fearing seizures.
* Love-starved=not just boy crazy, but aggressively seeking attention
* Deep-seeded anger that has become rage and bitterness.
* Abuse—emotionally, physically, sexually.
*  Rebellion against authority and contempt—fighting for what they are entitled too.
*  Performing/masquerade/going through the motions.
Crippled by inadequacy.
* Questioning worthiness.
* Emotional Torments.
* Insecurity.
* Deep father wounds.
* Shame.
* Control.
* The ones we only see occasionally, depending on which parent has them.
* And the quiet ones who concern me because I do not know their story.

Sunday I broke!

We were at the tail end of the Missions potluck {I love potlucks, by-the-way!} and one of my sweetest, quietest girls came over to talk to me.  It wasn’t what she said—or even what she didn’t say.  I can’t explain it, really.  But when she walked away—my heart broke and tears burst.

How can I even begin to love these girls well enough? 
How can I make a difference in their lives?
How can I love away their hurt?

I feel so inadequate!

And you know what . . . all I CAN do is love them. 

I can love them by listening, encouraging, supporting and answering their call for help as best I can by the help and grace of God. 

I can pray for them and trust God to work miracles in their heart, mind, emotions, relationships and day-to-day living.

I can battle for them in the spiritual realm by standing in the gap and rebuking the enemy's attacks against them!

I can be present for them and cheer for each one because they are worthy of being cheered for!!!

I can sacrifice my time, energy, money, focus, talents and ability in the kitchen to assure them they are worth the effort to love on.

I can stop expecting from them 
and fully offer myself to them.

Who needs you today?
What can you do to love some hurting heart well today?
I’d love a few more ideas myself! J

YOU are needed and necessary 
in your sphere of influence! 

and me.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Because You Are Needed and Necessary Today!

Your life is like no other!
Your perspective is like no other.
Your words are like no other.
You can reach those no other can—today!

To plant
To fertilize
To water
To weed
To harvest

No one can touch the hearts God sends your way to love on.
No one can impart truth specifically the way another needs to hear it.
No one can love a brokenness to the place where healing begins.
Quite the way that you can—today!

You are necessary in your place, with your words, 
sharing your story because your unique perspective of Jesus 
would be profoundly missed if it were missing!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

It’s About the Lies

That big fear of mine?  It didn’t just come about as my children came of age!

My fear of failing as a mother grew as they grew.
My fear of failing God in my mothering grew as the evidence stacked against me.

What I have learned of our enemy is that he is not creative—he doesn’t have to be.  He just has to know human nature.  And he does.  He has studied us for years.  He plays off our weaknesses . . . which he’s figured out while watching us be mistreated over the years.  
Sinful people have sinned against us.  
Hurting people have hurt us.
And we've reacted.

Had he—had anyone—spoken those words to her at the time, she would never have agreed.

“Jesus loves me, this I KNOW! 

But seeds only grow when they are nurtured.  And there is enough sun, water and fertilizer in this world to give the fields of failure a bumper crop!

And in me—the harvest was bountiful.

“How have I failed Thee . . . let me count the ways!”

At age 13, the field was plowed.
In my 40’s, I discovered the field flourishing.

We can deny we are in a battle all we want.  It does not change the facts.  We are.  In a battle!

The battle is real. 
And it is fierce. 
The costs are high. 
Spoils for either side. 

I thought all these insecure thoughts were my own!

Not realizing I had a REAL enemy!  An enemy willing to take advantage of my hurt!

I believe now the lie he fed me then was, “You failed God.”
And as I grew older the lie grew with me to, “You will always fail God!”

Every time I did something wrong, or said something dumb, or didn’t accomplish something expected, or made a disaster of something—that failure got filed in the box labeled with the original lie.

Time goes by.  Years accumulate.  Failures rise.
Babies are born.  Children grow.  Young adults now stand before me.

And I realize my fear has frozen me.

Can there be enough grace to save the children of such a failure like me?

How could I imagine raising godly children for the Kingdom?
How could I ever foster a close-knit, loving home?
How could I hope to ever win my children’s hearts to myself—let alone God???

I am a failure to God!

I will surely fail at the biggest task He could ever ask me to do!

So the lie goes . . . Until . . . 
The darkness collides with Light.  
The lie exposed.  
The access point revealed.  
The repentance of sins and renouncing of untruths.

Not only is the forgiveness sweet, but something big implodes within!

Satan’s control.

His lies are the epicenter of his control within our soul—our minds, wills and emotions!

When Satan's lies are exposed, 
his power over us implodes!

So what lies have you believed?
What version of the truth has our enemy fed you?
What hurt from long ago could have given access to thoughts now tormenting you?

Maybe today is the day to ask, seek and knock!

Maybe today is your day for the chains to fall free!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I Have a Fear—A Deep Fear of Failing as a Mom!

I fear I have or I will fail my children.
I fear I have or I will fail God in raising them.

I fear—
What I do or don’t do . . .
What I say or don’t say . . .
What I allow or don’t allow . . .
I fear—
If the “whatever” is not received well by them that in rejecting me, my advice, my council, or my perspective of what is “best for them” . . . 
I fear they will reject God.

I fear they will reject God and it will be because of my failure to mother them well. 
However “well” looks for each of them as individuals.

This is fresh revelation, but I have seen its evidence.

There are so many things in this life that just. don’t. matter!

Loving my children well is not one of them.

I am crazy gone over my kids!

As much as I’d like to take their choice away, I can’t!

Just as grace drew me to my knees as a 20-something, tired-out, masquerading, Christ-following fake . . . 
so grace must draw each one of them.

How I wish I had control!

But I don’t.

All I can do is 
love them,
pray for them,
discipline them,
while discipling them
the best I can with 
what they will receive, 
what they will listen to, 
with only the wisdom & understanding grace has gifted up to today.

No one can go back.

There are no do-over’s in parenting.

Regret threatens to devour my sanity!

As I cling to my Redeemer—
He loves, 
He prays, 
He disciplines, 
and He disciples me 
all the while redeeming 
my mistakes, 
my sins, 
my poor choices, 
my “woulda-coulda-shoulda’s” 
and “if only’s”.

Nothing escapes Him.
Nothing is unredeemable for Him.
Nothing reaches beyond His touch.

Fear cannot coincide with Christ! 

So I repent and let healing waters of forgiveness rush my soul.

This freedom of forgiveness deepens trust.

Only He can save.

I cannot.

I can release!
I can trust!
I can pray!
I can rebuke!
I can battle!
I can encourage!
I can challenge!
I can correct!
I can question!
I can love!

I can Mother my best and trust God for the rest—cheesy, but truth!

"Thank you, Jesus, that fear is not my destiny—only my chains.  It was for freedom that You came—for me as well as for my children.  In the power and authority of your name and in your blood, please break these chains threatening to overtake my joy, my hope . . . my peace.  You love them so much more than I.  You love perfect.  Thank you for perfect love casting out all fear!  You know my hopes, my dreams, my prayers for them—and I know they are safe within Your care.  Abba, I love you!  Abba, I belong to you!  Abba, I trust you!  Abba, You are enough!  In this.  In everything.  You are enough!  Amen."

Do you have a fear threatening your faith today?

{Continued in this post on how Satan feeds our thoughts lies . . .}