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2012 Lessons of Surrender

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With the year closing fast on us and a new one looming just ahead I'm doing a lot of reflecting and planning. Are you? How did 2012 go for you? Is there one thing that stands out through it all that you really took home with you this year. Something that made its way into your heart and produced change? I definitely had a life changing year. And I am so looking into the future. The more I give to Jesus, the more I literally crave to give Him more. Living for God is like nothing else I have ever experienced. Now I'm not saying that everyday was a holiday or anything even close, but when the year closes and all is said and done, I am feeling pretty well blessed.

2012 will always be a special year for me. It is the year I stepped out of religion and drew that circle of chalk around my heart and life and totally  surrendered to God.


So what has complete surrender lived out looked like this year? I'll tell you. Let me tell you!

Complete surrender means I accept the circumstance…

Waiting.......

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For those finding themselves in a time of silence, waiting............


Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for Him to act.  Psalm 37:7
Sometimes it takes more time than we are comfortable with for us to 'feel' the grace of God ministering to our need.

If we are not diligent to guard our hearts, doubt will begin to haunt our thoughts. We start to wonder if God really cares. Discouragement will start to seep into our heart, and then begin to do it's work, spreading and growing. It is at this point, if we don't take our thoughts captive unto the obedience of Christ,  the seeds of discouragement and doubt will start to take root, splitting us apart, until we find ourselves crumpled in a heap.

We have to trust in the One who is totally trustworthy. God doesn't work on our time table, but He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. He gives us His Word on this. He means it. God cannot lie. His Word is truth and He backs it. I think this time o…

Thoughts on Advent: He Has Come!!!!!

Sometimes when we commit ourselves to doing the right thing, it takes a while to 'feel' it.
The Bible says commit your ways unto the Lord and He will bring it to pass. Sometimes
bringing it to pass takes awhile. This is part of faith. Trust. Believing in something we do not
feel or see, yet knowing in our heart of hearts that GOD IS FOR US. He is trustworthy.
His words are totally true. Totally. His grace is sufficient for all of our needs. Physical. Spiritual.
Emotional. ALL of our needs. His ways are not our ways. His timing is not ours. Yet He knows
what we need, even before we ask. Sometimes we don't understand why, and things don't turn
out like we planned, but still, His grace is there to see us through. We often have to bend, to change, to allow Him to fix our perception, but in coming to Him, we can rest assured, He is committed to us. TOTALLY.

I have experienced this commitment on God's part lately. God is interested in growing us up
into His likeness. Th…

Enough

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Note:

I wrote this last week, and now, in the wake of yesterday's tragedies, I must add a few words.

First, all human life is valuable and eternal. Those sweet children are with their Maker and we can at least take comfort in that. Praise God for that hope and assurance.

Second, I want to remind all of God's children and especially those touched closely by yesterday's nightmare, He is near to the broken hearted. He is a shelter in the storm. He will carry you. He will see you through this. Hold out your hand and your heart to Him. Let Him carry this. He's got this. Truly, He does. Just put your head down and hold on. He will see you through this. He will never ever leave you or forsake you. He has not forsaken you. Even in your heart wrenching pain, He will bring you through this. Trust Him. What else have you got? Nothing and no one can give you the support, help and comfort like the Lord Jesus. He is enough. In the days ahead, when you are tempted to allow your ange…

Quiet

Its Friday again! Time to write for five minutes the words that flow from heart to mind to fingertips. No stopping and rethinking, just write it down. So Fun! You should join us! Lisa-Jo Baker hosts this fun exercise over at tales from a Gypsy Mama. Everyone is welcome!

Today's word is:

Quiet

Five minutes

Go:


Quiet. Oh How I long for, yearn for, quiet. Quiet is a beautiful sound. But I can only handle so much before it is deafeningly loud. Living in a home school house with nine children, quiet is something we have to purpose to do. It doesn't just happen. Except when we are all sleeping. At which time I am also sleeping.  On the rare occasion that I find myself alone, in a quiet moment, I  feel wonderful for the first few minutes, and then, the quiet gets louder and louder until I am anxiously awaiting the return of the sound of stampeding feet and squabbling little people. Yelling at the top of your lungs youngsters, playing, laughing and just living life so fully that it i…

We Are Not Alone

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Stay alert!  Watch out for your great enemy the devil.  He prowls around like a roaring lion,  looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him,  and be strong in your faith.  Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters  all over the world  are going through the same kind of suffering you are. 1Peter 5:8-9


Let's be honest with each other.
Do you feel, or have you ever felt, alone?

Last week I had an eye opening experience with my dear sister. Together, sitting in the car, telling our stories, I realized, I am not alone. Her struggles are mine, and in the telling, in the sharing, we are strengthened, encouraged, and set free. Words pour out and somehow they wash the pain away. Life seems do-able again.
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. James 5:16
Oh, my friend, my dear sweet sister friend. Lets not believe the lies of Satan. The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy. He is the father of lies.You ARE NOT alone, and we ar…

Growing Pains

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I have been leaning hard on the redemptive work of Jesus this week.

What is going on?????

I ask myself that question this morning....... I ask God ........

I am not who I want to be.


For that which I am doing I do not understand;  for I am not practicing what I would like to do,  but I am doing the very thing I hate!  Romans 7:15 
For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh;  for the wishing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.  For the good that I wish, I do not do;  but I  practice the very evil that I do not wish. Romans 7:18-19 
For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man!  Romans 7:22  
Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, strength, and mind. Love your neighbor as yourself.  Matthew 22:37-39
To him who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.  James 4:17 
Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?  Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!  Romans 7:24-25a


I have been so thin…

Voice

It's Friday again! Well, actually it's Saturday, Friday was a crazy day around my house and to be completely honest, the more I thought about the word for this week, the more I found myself finding other things to do. I  have been shuffling my feet to the computer over this word.

Every Friday Lisa-Jo Baker hosts 'Five Minute Friday'. She gives us a word prompt and we write for 5 minutes straight, just write what comes to mind. The word this week is 'Voice'.

Voice

Five minutes

Go:


I have been pondering this word for 24 hours now. Why is this one word so hard for me to sit down and write about?
I think it is because God is giving me a voice and I am a little scared about the whole thing. Not of God, but of rejection and criticism, I think.

I can remember being a child and writing the beginnings of many many novels in my 3 subject wide ruled pad of paper. I think it was red. I always had this thought that one day I would write. Then I grew up and life happened an…

In. The. Same. Way.

I recently joined an (in)-courage community that is focusing on being Proverbs 31 women. Specifically, we are encouraging one another to pray for our husbands. Having a 'not quite perfect' husband, I was all in. I have been married long enough to know that I am NOT going to change my husband. Only God can do that. As I feebly began to some days remember to pray, God began taking my seemingly small and insignificant prayers to a new level. He began to work in me, not  my husband. Low and behold, it is perfect little me that really needs the adjustment. The following is a little bit of how it is going so far...

In the same way.......
I wonder how many of us know where I am going here? In. The. Same. Way.

Does that sound familiar to you? I have skipped over those words numerous times in my endeavor to be a godly wife. Brushed right past them on my way to the 'meat' of scripture. Many, many times have I come to the following verses for strength, structure and guidance in …

Gaze Long Upon Him

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And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus   as your Lord,  you must continue to follow Him. Let your roots grow down deep into Him, and let your lives be built upon Him. Then your faith will grow strong  in the Truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.
Colossians 2:6-7
~ A well of water springing up to eternal life ~
The goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. I had a gentle wake up call yesterday. Sitting before the Lord, as is my habit most mornings, I began to realize that ever so slightly my focus had begun to shift. Reading my Bible, praying, being involved in good things..... somehow, my vision was blurring and the biggest indication of something amiss was the peace that guards my heart and mind seemed to be failing me.

I have been listening to a song lately that speaks a truth that resonates in my heart. It is called  'Easier' written and sung by Jason Gray:

"It's easier to give a gift of gold 
than to give my heart for another to hold.
It'…

Look!

It's Friday. That means it's time for Lisa-Jo Baker's fun writing prompt! 'Five Minute Friday' She gives us one word and we write for five minutes on whatever comes to mind. Five fun minutes of writing.

Today's word is 'Look'

Five minutes

Go

Look. What a perfect word for me today! The Lord has been asking me to take a 'look' at my focus during my morning quiet moment with Him.

Open my eyes and look at my life in an impartial way. Look through the lens of faith and love and forgiveness and hope.

What is God calling me to do for Him? How about you? Do you know?  For me It started with taking a look at who I am in Christ, who he has gifted me to be. What are your special gifts? How is God calling you to use them for His glory?

Encouragement is my primary gift . I Have strayed a bit from my path lately and God is faithfully calling me back to be an encourager in the Body of Christ. His faithfulness and patience and determination is amazing. God sta…

Live Thankful

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I have been inspired lately by Ann Voskamp. I am about halfway through her book, '1000 Gifts'. It is an encouragement to live a life thankful to God, all day, everyday, all the time. Finding your way to the abundant life that Jesus promises through giving thanks to God in everything. (John 10:10, 1Thessalonians 5:18)

This is the encouragement and inspiration that I am basking in today.  




I am not sure if Ann goes into this in her book, but I am going to apply the principles she is sharing to my marriage.

Thought:

Focus on things I am thankful for about my husband. Magnify the things I am thankful for. After 19 years of marriage I am learning that the road is sometimes bumpy. There seems to be a lot of pot-holes in my marriage lately. And I seem to be very easily pushed into these pits. And quite frankly, I don't like it! Jesus promises to make the rough places smooth, and He promises that every valley will be lifted and every mountain made low. He promises us a highway in…

Five Minute Fridays!

It's Friday! Lisa-Jo Baker hosts 'Five Minute Fridays' on her blog Tales From A Gypsy Mama. She gives us a word and we write about it for 5 minutes. It is a fun exercise! Here is todays word,

Race...
Start

 My favorite song right now is called 'Run' by Josh Garrells. It is sort of like my theme song this year. It starts with these words,

" The times are changing I can feel it in my bones cause I stand on the other side of all that I have known."

That is my testimony this past year. Over the last few months my focus has changed and following that my life has changed dramatically.

In changing my focus God has begun to shape my life with purpose.

Tired and weary from living my 'Christian'  life, I gave God my heart, completely. All of my hopes, plans, dreams, expectations, fears, essentially all of me. I completely surrendered to the Lord.

Each day I wake up with purpose now. We are each created to run with a purpose.

"I feel the pleasure of my …

Walk Forgiven

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I wrote this as a sequel to a blog post I wrote earlier this week, Bitter Sweet Elation. God is doing His amazing work in my heart. 
To walk forgiven we must forgive.
Forgiveness is essential to living free. Abundant life comes at a cost. The abundant overflowing life is not for those that hold grudges and make lists of wrongs committed against them. The abundant life only comes to the one who walks vulnerable. Like a child. You have to let go in order to receive. Empty handed. 
Lets face it, bad things happen. We live in a fallen world. An imperfect place populated with less than perfect people. People fail us and we fail others. There is only One who doesn't fail. Only One perfect. And He offers forgiveness. Freely. As far as the east is from the west does He remove our sins from us. He says that Love covers a multitude of sins. He tells us to forgive as we have been forgiven. While we were yet in our trespasses and sins. We were,we are, forgiven. It is the height of pride and ar…

living intentionally

Living intentionally. Living on purpose with a purpose. This life. I remember days of perplexity. I just want to do something. Feeling dissatisfied with my Christian life. Going to church and reading my Bible, all the while wondering if there wasn't more to this. 
Back in January when I stepped into that circle of chalk and gave all of my hopes, plans, dreams, decisions, relationships, all of every bit of me that I possibly could, to my Creator and Savior, I didn't really know what to expect. I only knew that I needed a change. There had to be more substance to Christianity. 

My life definitely began to change from that day on. I began to sense a purpose to life that I never had before. A holy sacred purpose. Like I'm here for a reason. A specific purpose. God has awakened my spirit with a purpose. Purposefully, I open my eyes each day. Purposefully, I look to the Lord each morning. I have this passion inside that begs to be let out.   

Complete surrender. I used to be a C…