Thursday, August 28, 2008

Our Source of Hope

Can't resist posting this. Look past our neighbors big conversion van and see what we thanked God for yesterday...When Justin got home from work he called us all outside to see this rainbow which appeared over our neighborhood and seems to be landing in our backyard.

He is our source of hope :)

Anytime that I awake before the alarm clock, and without the beckon of one of my boy's voice ringing in my ear, I choose to believe that God wants me up and wants to spend some time with me.  Earlier this summer, I remember saying "Yes," to God as He nudged me out of bed to see something similar painted in the sky.

 I believe He wanted to rise me out of bed a littlle earler that morning just so see His piece of art work on his divine canvas.  I don't remember the exact words I read that morning in scripture, but I was reminded throughout the day of His promises, and of his great love for me.  He wanted to spend time with me and show me something.  He wants to spend time with you and show you things too!  He wants us to remember His love--and take it with us into each day. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Focusing on Honest Expectations

I like going into a situation knowing what to expect. I love surprises but I am definitely one who likes to be prepared and ready for any situation. I like to know what is expected of me and those I love when embarking on a new adventure. And yet, like the rain that came this morning I love and can embrace the unexpected. It rarely rains here in the desert so when it does it is oh so pleasant.
I sat pondering and reflecting on God’ Word again this morning while watching the rain fall in my back yard and noticed another unexpected thing…a beautiful flowering plant rising just above the fence…and God spoke so profoundly this morning and it had all to do with honesty and expectations…specifically the expected end that He has promised for me even amidst life’s frustrations.

How easy it is to be distracted by life’s frustrations? Either by frustrations we have brought on ourselves or just simply being frustrated with a particular person or situation. I felt like God gave me the perfect picture of life and the 2 choices I normally see in everyday situations…and yet He quietly places a third more holy choice that He desires for me to choose.

You see I was enjoying my cup of coffee glancing outside watching the rain saturate my backyard and I noticed that my fence line was evenly divided into thirds…on the far left third of the fence there was nothing-zero-zilch growing; on the far right third of the fence there was this peculiar form of dried up twigs between two large round dowels serving as support for an apparently dying tree; but right smack dab in the middle was a beautiful branch covered with green and beautiful fuchsia flowers. I was drawn to focus on the lush vegetation in the middle just as I am drawn to my King and His Word. I got a great big hug and kiss from my King as I gazed and a message that came loud and clear.. (If I could insert a picture of a megaphone I would—God was sending me a cheer loud and clear through this visual and His Word…particularly Isaiah 52, Jer 29:11 (KJV) and Psalm 62:5 KJV).

This is what He spoke to me:
On the left you see there is nothing and this is you my dear child when you are not honest with me or yourself. When you avoid your true feelings and emotions you are dead to the world. I cannot speak to you and breathe life into you and you choose to live in a state of non-existence. For whatever reason you choose to ignore what I am nudging you to acknowledge in your life and you are alone; without hope and without a relationship with me or with others…it is like you are walking through life invisible. This is a sad and lonely existence if you want to call it that. This is when you ignore what frustrates you.

On the right where there is a sad “Charlie Brown” type of a tree that is struggling to stand and this is you my dear child when you are not allowing me to care for you. You may be honest and doing all that you know to do; but you are failing to come to me. I see you pouring your emotions out on your dear friends and spouse—exhausting them to no end--but you never come to me. I see you giving and serving because you think it is what you should be doing as a ‘Christian.’ But, dear child, you are forgetting what words I spoke and are written in John 15 that you cannot produce anything without me. This pathetic thing on the right is you my dear child struggling and trying to live by your strength. This is when you share with others what frustrates you and this is you with no patience and grace and speak to your offenders with little love…you are so unaware of your own grievances and offenses….thinking you are a beautiful twig standing with empowerment from the wrong places.

Yet, right here in the middle is a beautiful thing. This is a picture of you my dear child when you are honest with me and share everything with ME…everything about you that I already know. This is when you allow my Spirit to guide you in your everyday activities, thoughts and feelings. This is when you, my dear sweet grows so beautifully and are fruitful; allowing me to love and speak through you. This is what happens when you clothe yourself with my strength and my love; when you live knowing and expecting that “I (God) alone” knows what is best and will guide you to what is best. This is when you do not focus on what other are doing (good or bad) but you focus on ME and what I want you to learn. This is when you put our relationship first above anything else. Isn’t it written to seek me first?

Oh Lord, forgive me for the times I have run off ahead of You and succumbed yet again to my emotions; either ignoring them or failing to bring them to you first. Please help me to seek You alone and live with the hope that only You can give me. Help me to not look to the right or the left; but to stay right here in the center…the center of your will…Your good pleasing and perfect will for me—the one with an expected end. Father, I will wait for You…please clothe me with your strength so that I may have courage to be honest with myself, honest with You and honest with others and may my expectations come from You alone.

Thank you Lord for using Liz to remind me of the words to this song:
“In Christ Alone”
In Christ alone my hope is found;He is my light, my strength, my song;

This cornerstone, this solid ground,Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.

What heights of love, what depths of peace,When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!

My comforter, my all in all—Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,Fullness of God in helpless babe!

This gift of love and righteousness,Scorned by the ones He came to save.

Till on that cross as Jesus died,The wrath of God was satisfied;For ev'ry sin on Him was laid—Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,Light of the world by darkness slain;

Then bursting forth in glorious day,Up from the grave He rose again!

And as He stands in victory,Sin's curse has lost its grip on me;

For I am His and He is mine—Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—This is the pow'r of Christ in me;

From life's first cry to final breath,Jesus commands my destiny.

No pow'r of hell, no scheme of man,Can ever pluck me from His hand;

Till He returns or calls me home—Here in the pow'r of Christ I'll stand.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Random Thoughts And It Is Done

There’s a lot of usual Saturday play going on in our home today with lots of re-organizing projects. I thought I really enjoyed the act of organization but right now I am finding myself extremely impatient and just wanting to snap my heels together and have it all whimsically carried away in a tornado and placed neatly back in order.
It’s been a busy year with Justin taking classes and keeping up with the boys activities and Dad’s desire for camping and Mom’s desire for the beach we have conveniently ignored the piles here at home. And now Mom and Dad not only have their piles—but so do the boys.
I felt God tug on my heart as I carried one pile of stuff to its home in another room. Bit-by-bit and piece-by-piece it will all get done just as step by step I take my walk with Him. It is truly a journey but not a journey without a destination. This journey with Jesus surely has a destination—Hallelujah!! I just had to praise Him for the encouragement and pressed on.
Then, I found this writing that Joshua wrote recently about tornadoes and dust devils….praise God for time to organize, breath and embrace His love.

Monster Tornadoes

Monster tornadoes are very dangerous. Once a monster tornado even tore down a whole city. Monster tornadoes are very big. They go faster than a race car. It could take down a human’s plan. It takes down human’s houses. It could pile up cars and trucks. But now it is done.

Dust Devils
Dust devils are kind of like tornadoes. But actually they are made from air and dust. The air and dust form a dust devil, but how? When the air moves across the sand it mixes with the air and the dust so fast that is creates a dust devil. Dust devils can be cool. But now it is done.

Our Journey…I guess it can be similar to a tornado or a dust devil. Walking and talking to God, but how? Reading the Bible and praying His Word. Watching and talking with those more learned and asking God to show us how. We live and breathe with the love and hope He gave us since and to His glory He gave His only son Jesus. God has said before…“It is done.” When He created this earth, when He created man, when Jesus died and rose again…will we here it again? He is making a new home for us in heaven—will He say it again…oh how I anticipate with joy to hear Him say is done!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Captivating Thoughts

Hee Hee…Today I look out at the sky and see clear blue skies. No clouds for God to speak to me through. I just had to chuckle inside. Isn’t that just like me to go back to what was familiar to me? I realized I made a decision at that moment; one of many choices that I make every day.
I could easily be disappointed and frustrated and even put myself into a depression because God would not be able to speak to me like He did just a few days ago. Thankfully, I know He is so much bigger than that and know He is capable of speaking to me and able to fill me with joy and hope in so many ways—not just through the presence of clouds.
This choice seemed easy but what about more difficult things and brokenness which we all experience in this journey of life. I recalled speaking to someone over the weekend that was just feeling down and discouraged. Life just seems for whatever reason to bring one heartache after another. Just when one struggle and trial comes and goes another is right there bringing doubtful thoughts to fill the mind. What do we do in these circumstances? It is easy to get discouraged and be tossed back and forth.
It’s as if God is whispering “focus.” What do we focus on? This person I talked to was unable to focus on anything else but this feeling of attack.
My soul cried out 2 Cor 10:5! Father, help us not give the enemy this much attention or a foothold in our life!
Girlfriends, can we please focus more on God and His great and wonderful plan for us Jer 29:11…and the fact that He has overcome death for us!!
I feel the passion and fervor rising within me. I am so aware of the enemy’s attacks and so know that he has tried throughout my life to hold me down with stronghold after stronghold—but my Jesus saved me!! And I could be wrong; and when I get to heaven I may find out differently; but I think I want to live every day knowing that the enemy had to pass by God first (He is our Father you know). God is in control and if I am facing a struggle I will embrace it and seek to find out what my God wants to teach me through this circumstance rather than steer my heart to how discouraged I am by snare after snare.
I don’t know why God allows some things to happen; and I’m deeply distressed when I hear of and see the brokenness in this world. Believe me I have my own struggles and the enemy has had his way with me quite a few years back. The brokenness my heart has experienced to some seems insurmountable ; but although I am still a work in progress— God has freed me of so much!
I choose everyday to allow the joy of the Lord be my strength and rather than focus on all that the biggest ‘loser’ (the enemy cannot win) is trying to do in and around my life…I am clinging to the unbeatable ‘winner!’ For God not only saved my life and sealed me for redemption in heaven when I die; but He also saves me each and every day…I will walk in victory; taking every thought captive to Christ and praising my Father for the present need of Him in my life even in the darkest of times.
Clouds or no clouds it’s going to be a joyous day no matter what…there is always something to praise Him for in this journey!
The picture posted above is of my great friend’s oldest daughter skiing on Couer d’ Alene Lake in Idaho this summer….I love you Joey…thanks for encouraging me to live in His Freedom!!! May we raise our children to do the same. “Way to go Logan!!!”

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A Thumbs Up!

Couldn't resist posting this great picture of Joshua and his buddy Aiden that we took today at the basketball clinic. I think the Star Wars movie we saw today ranked higher than the basketball clinic but Joshua still gave it a "thumbs up!"

A Desire To Be Brave And Also Giggle With Delight

I don’t think you can see it in the picture. It is really not just a picture of our lantana in the front yard. It is something pretty cool that reminded me of how much our God tries to communicate with us. We don’t see many uniform spider webs here in Arizona….they are mostly the messy sticky ones but this one is beautiful and the boys love looking at it every morning. They actually watched the large spider wrap up and save it’s bug snack one morning. Also in the picture are two yellow butterflies that I have been seeing everywhere and I heard God whisper to me how we are on a continual metamorphosis with Him—but just as the butterfly can after a time be free—there is so much freedom found in knowing Him.

I don’t know enough about picture taking to know how to best capture this photo but I’m happy with the way it is even if you cannot see it. You see I guess it is also the same about how I see and hear God speak to me; it may seem foreign and weird to some and that is just fine with me. Just as I don’t claim to know much about picture taking; I don’t claim to know much about God either (I was on the 10 year plan to graduate from college and my tenure for getting to know Him I know will take a lifetime. Don’t get me wrong, I do know that He loves me and loves you and I think He is flattered when the majority of our thoughts throughout the day are of Him.
It is a journey and I know my journey is unique to me. It is so important to me that I communicate that…I don’t think that hearing God whisper to you while you glance at the clouds is any inclination of how close you are to God…it is just my unique relationship! And I’ve said it before and I will say it again…I write to make my joy complete—God’s ways and love astound me and I don’t know what else to do with this bursting out of my heart and soul; but to write it down and share it! Whether my steps are full of joy or sadness my heart desires to express praise and glory to Him.

Talking about steps; my steps this week has been challenging. In particular trying to take time to breathe and even with being intentional with having quiet moments alone with God it has been a struggle to stay focused. I am in desperate need of finding my new rhythm with both boys in school; God placing new opportunities before me and my own list of expectations that I set for myself. I surely don’t want to seem like a wimp and it is my first instinct to cover up these feelings. I know I am not captive to this rush of activity and I know that God wants me to know that I am free and to just move at His tempo…but how do I stay right where He wants me to—at the center of His will for me?

I am frustrated, after a full summer of enjoying time away with my family and friends and unbelievable God moments that I have yet to be able to sit down and write about—yet I set myself up for this when over the summer I kept this tally in the back of my head of all that I was going to get taken care of once the boys start school. The truth is that all the stuff on my list can get done; it will just take time and it is God’s time calendar not mine. I guess I have to die to my time calendar. Hmmm, did I write recently about dying?

I was blessed in embracing this today. It’s Saturday and Joshua had pictures with his basketball game and a clinic afterwards; and Dad had promised him we would go see the new Star Wars movie that is out. Joshua has been waiting as patiently as a seven year old can wait to see this new movie and I think we all were excited to see it together. Except, today I woke up with a hunger to get things organized at home. When we have been busy and running; I tend to long for Saturday mornings at home. And I found myself longing for a quiet Saturday morning at home to clean and organize. Not my idea of fun; but I was craving it. I contemplated staying home and just letting the boys go; but I know that before I know it the boys are going to so be into boy stuff and there are plenty of opportunities in life for them to bond with boy stuff…I want to forever be able to connect with my boys and I know I need to be intentional about my time with them.

I knew my family was so looking forward to going to see the movie and I knew if we went my dream of Saturday morning organization would die for this Saturday. Hmmm, I did write recently about dying didn’t I?

After only a short discussion with Justin we left for the matinee showing of Star Wars. We had a talk on the way there about this frustration that I felt and that he too was conflicted and wanted to get some things done this Saturday…I shared with Justin my thoughts and shared how I felt like a turtle running this race for God (I know some may read this and think freak…but I had that thought on the way to Joshua’s basketball clinic and there it was a cloud shaped like a turtle). Justin said something so simple and edifying to me, ”How much is in the Bible about Elijah’s life or Moses’s life or Paul’s life?”

I love how God can use my husband to quiet my soul…Not everything in life is **black and white**. Really, is the day to day schedule that important? If my house stays unorganized for another week—another month or even another year (please God not another year) will it matter?

I have to say that I did what mattered today and I was blessed. I found so much joy in watching my boys—especially my seven year old giggle with delight while watching the movie. Joshua was enjoying the battle scenes and getting into the “good guys” winning! Praise you Father; I thank you for every moment you have blessed my life and especially with the blessings of these boys who were created to seek adventure and conquer. Help me be brave and giggle with delight as I live this life…for I know You have already won every battle that I face!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Laugh out Loud in the Clouds

I was driving yesterday just going about running a couple of errands before picking up my Kindergartner when God seemed to streamline into the seat next to me and look at me and communicate in the way He does best and it was as if my soul heard Him saying, “See this is what I mean.”
I already thought it seemed a little comical that I have been frustrated with this recent cold holding me down and God was drawing me to read about patience on two separate readings that morning. First, in Max Lucado’s book titled “A Love Worth Giving…Living in the overflow of God’s love,” I was opening my heart to hear once again how loving, patient and kind our God is to us. And recalling that just weeks ago in summer camp we taught the kids the truth in Proverbs 14:29…”Anyone who is patient has great understanding. But anyone who gets angry quickly shows how foolish he is.”
I admit that I am often motivated out of fear of punishment and I don’t want to be a fool…yet like the Word says in James 7:15 “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate, I do.” I can definitely be a person of patience…especially when people are watching; but I felt like God was asking me if His patience was radiating from my heart as His patience.
What does that patience look like? I read in Matthew 18:21-35 The Parable of the Unforgiving Debtor and two verses popped off of the page.
*Matthew 18:26 “The servant fell on his knees before him, “Be patient with me, he begged. And I will pay back everything.”
*Matthew 18:29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, “Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.”
I think I was at first just overwhelmed with the picture of this man on his knees crying out with repentance. Oh, it is not a picture that we see in this world often. We are prone to run from our mistakes and cover them up.
As I prayed and asked our Lord to please help me grasp this patience; He led me to yet another scripture…and I love what Psalm 103:8 says about God..He is compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love! Do we grasp this love? Do we ask Him for patience?
I have to admit that I have once been afraid to pray for patience; hearing in my early years as a Christian, “Oh, be careful what you pray for…don’t pray for patience…He will bring you lots of trials to acquire patience…” Today I am laying those lies down. It is a lie to think that God only grants us things through trials….I believe He will bless my obedience to surrender and yes trials may be a part of it…they are part of life. And if they stand for His greater purpose I will choose to embrace them.
It says in Gal 5:22 that patience is a fruit of the Spirit. A spontaneous work of the Holy Spirit and a by- product of Christ’s control in our lives. All we need to do is ask Him for it.
I began to do just this and meditated on the Greek word: makrothumeo which is translated into patience and found only 3 times in the Gospel. It is the word that the servants are crying out in Matthew 18:26 &29 and is also found in Luke 18:7. Makrothumeo also has these meanings: to be of a long spirit, not to lose heart; to persevere patiently and bravely in enduring misfortunes and troubles; to be patient in bearing the offenses and injuries of others; to be mild and slow in avenging; to be longsuffering, slow to anger, slow to punish.
Bear with me here... Have some makrothumeo…the verses in Matthew use this word to demonstrate a deep repentance and crying out for God to be patient with us sinners. And then the last time this word is used in the Gospel it is used after depicting the story of a persistent widow seeking help from the law. An ungodly judge gave the persistent widow what she was asking for because of her persistence. My commentary wanted to make the point that if an ‘ungodly judge’ would do this for someone; wouldn’t our loving patient God give us what we are asking for. Hallelujah! We know this to be true…John 16:24!
God’s word is living and breathing…for the very word makrothumeo can communicate both our need for God to be patient with us and for God’s promise to give us patience!
I once heard a pastor talk about needing to move God’s word from our head to our heart. Lord please help us makrothumeo…
1. Cry out to God our need for Him to be patient with us and admit we are sinners.
2. Acknowledge that God is patient with us
3. Embrace this patience and be patient with ourselves
4. Allow God’s patience to flow through us and give the gift of patience to someone else…everyone else in your life.
So, after praying over this, I was driving my van out of the subdivision preparing to turn left. When a vehicle approached with the right of way; waiting to turn left onto my street; when opportunity 1 and opportunity 2 arrived I felt impatience rise in my blood and wanted to hurry this car along…by opportunity 3 and 4 I was fuming (can you relate?) The person in the vehicle then motioned for me to go; probably because they noticed the fire coming out of my ears!!! Relieved to actually put my foot on the gas I sped on my way and there was God in my passenger seat smiling ever so patient at me!!! Oh Lord, please help me! I never laughed so hard at myself. How easy I can process through it and pray about it…but living it is another story! I so need Him!
God embraced my willing heart to seek Him and rejoiced with me a little later as I was singing to Matt Redman’s song “You Never Let Go.” I glanced up at the sky and right there in the clouds was a harp…and I swear I heard the angels singing along!!! I can’t do this alone and don’t ever want to think that I can. Thank you God for never letting go! Thank you for being ever so makrothumeo with me!!! I love you!!! May I honor you by allowing Your makrothumeo to flow through me.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

In need of stickier tape

Justin gave me such a hard time with the fact that I began my blog with such a pessimistic topic of dying and I just smiled at him. I knew God was stirring in me joy and life and thankfulness and said to Justin, “Just wait!”

Yesterday I did not feel well, and still today spent most of the morning in bed under the covers trying to sleep this summer cold away. I wrote a bit yesterday on the sofa in my living room with the chatter of my boys playing and utilizing their Saturday creative minds to create a weather machine. (Joshua is learning all about weather and climates at school right now). I could hear Joshua getting frustrated and Dad encouraging him through the frustration to think of another way to get the items to stick together. Apparently Joshua was using electric tape to get the red cups to stick and being the great scientist that Justin is he encouraged Joshua to think of a stickier kind of tape. When great, old scotch tape came to mind; I could hear excitement in Joshua’s voice and a whisper to his father “Am I creative Dad?”

Tears coming to my face I remember as a little girl wanting many times to be affirmed by my Daddy and to this day; I still do. My thoughts gravitated towards memories of Saturdays when I was a little girl. I remember being bored and sitting in my room on a summer afternoon gazing out and up at the sky…August in Arizona provides several opportunities for many thought-provoking clouds. I remember one particular afternoon like none other. I don’t remember anything in particular going on at home…there was peace at that moment and I was facing summer boredom like I often did throughout the summer but something monumental was going on within me and I wasn’t even aware of it occurring at the time.

As I was lying there gazing out at the summer sky and almost mesmerized at the quick formation and rearrangement of the clouds I was hearing words within my soul. I felt like someone put the question within my soul and hit repeat on the recorder. I heard over and over again “Who am I, what am I here for?” The more I heard these words echo within my heart the more peculiar it seemed and the more peace and love that I felt permeate from within me.

I am positive that I was one of many young adolescent girls, bored and tired of summer. I know there had to have been many like me and that this moment was not anything special. Yet, deep inside I know that it was…I kept it to myself but the memories of that Saturday afternoon have come to my mind several times through my journey of growing and maturing. I recalled that bizarre Saturday moment and peaceful thought provoking words running through my head several other times before and now in this moment I was recalling it yet again.

This summer has been a time of reflection for me and a little bit of questioning. You see I sense the Spirit rising and moving me to step up and recognize that I am not on my way to a funeral like so many are when this world comes to an end…but I am on my way to a joyous wedding feast! How often I forget this and live in a way that does not bring glory to my God.

Just as my son was seeking affirming words from his father; I too am in need of time alone with my Father so that I can hear His affirming Words to me! And if I don’t hear or see Him in my circumstances; I will choose to trust in Him anyway and love Him like He has never been loved before. I will shake off the lies the enemy tries to discourage me with and step up to what the Lord is calling me towards-a life of surrender to Him.

Earlier this summer I read in 2 Chron 20 about Jehoshaphat and can’t wait for another entry to post all God put on my heart in reading His Word and a how the Lord defeats our enemy with our praise! I love to just say "Jeoshapha!" (Doesn't it just sound good...I praise You Father for Jehoshaphat and His determination to praise you amidst confrrontation with war!)

In addition to memories of childhood Saturday mornings and reminders to praise Him no matter what I am reminded that I am affirmed in His Word...Hear this truth found in His Word from Phil 3:10.

“I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally, experience his resurrection power, be a partner in his suffering, and go all the way with him to death itself” (Message)

Hmmm...I remember before Justin asked me to marry him we shared some deep conversations together and I remember both of us crying out to each other without even knowing the depths of what we would go through together….”I want to go all the way with you!!” I felt deep within my soul that He was the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with; I knew that I wanted to live life with him forever.

In the same way; I want to go all the way with my God! I don’t know what lies ahead Lord, but I surrender to You and Your will for me! I no longer what to hear “Who am I, What am I here for?”

This is a new day; and I am waving my white flag and exclaiming “HERE I AM!”
What about you? Fellow sojourners will you surrender with me?

Dear Lord, help us to surrender all that is so hard to surrender; the pain of past hurts, the insecurities that tug on our egos, the fear of what may lie ahead...Lord show us where we are frustrated and where we may need to find stickier tape in our lives and draw closer to You!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Willing to Die

Oh, it just seems piercingly wrong to think about death...just morbid. I can almost feel myself rush into a depressed state and can quickly get lost in a sea of emotions. I'm training myself to think of Jesus when the whirlwind of emotions come (This is indeed a lifelong training I am on with Him). How often must it have been on Jesus' mind while He was here living? How often did Jesus think about His death and sacrifice? Who thinks about such things in this life?

The Lord brought this verse and this idea that I must die to my head and I've been wrestling with it for about a week now.

I read John 12:23-24 where Jesus is telling his disciples that He must die, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds."
And 1 Cor 15:36-37 "What you sow does not come to life unless it dies."
And John 13:31&32 These were Jesus' words after Judas left "Now is the Son of Man glorified and God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in himself and will glorify him at once."

I processed through these words and circled and highlighted and I dont' know about you, but I was left with this question playing over and over in my head. "Is my life glorifying God?" Am I giving God glory in my life? And in the loving way that God speaks He was telling me to die--This is where the emotions came into play for me. Lots of thinking and praying and what is it that I need to give up and surrender (more of all of that is to come)But don't miss the best part...there is a reason He wants me to die...He wants me to come to life!!!

Oh Jesus, Halelujah! Thank you Father for the example you set before us and for Your GREAT LOVE!!

He desires great things for me and He cannot do His work in me if I do not choose to fall to the ground and die. I guess it is true that in God’s currency, the only way up is down.

The first words I could muster out of my mouth upon praising Him were YES! YES LORD!! I know enough now in my walk that with obedience there is joy and even if I dont' understand everything...I know and trust that He will send the joy.

I surely want the Lord to be glorified in my life and I know that His wisdom and plan for my life is far better for me than any of “J Girl's Wisdom.” Oh please…Lord empty me…kill off anything that would hinder me. Help me to grow and develop into the woman you have intended for me to be. A woman who embraces differences, a woman who loves like You love, a woman who can surrender and follow You every breathing moment.

I don’t know about you, but I've tried living on my own and it's tiring--flat out exhausting! Now that I know what living is like with His that I've experienced a taste of His plan it has more life, more joy, more love than I have ever experienced!!

So, do you want to die like a kernel of wheat with me and plant ourselves in the soil of our God and watch Him grow us up into the women He intended for us to be? I feel He is preparing me and all the girlfriends around me for something BIG...something ONLY God can do!!!

I'm ready? Are you? Let's allow Him to dig up the soil around us...let's embrace this uncomfortableness for a time and surrender to this death of our flesh...knowing what He promises in Isaiah 32:20: (Our loving God did not give me a command without a promise to hold onto...I just love our God!!!)

"How blessed you will be, sowing your seed by every stream, and letting your cattle and donkeys range free.”

I had to accentuate two words that just jumped off the page of my Bible...We will be blessed in dying and sowing our seed and letting ourselves be buried within the confines of God and His plan. In addition, we will experience the freedom found in knowing, loving and following Christ!!! There is nothing like the freedom found in dying to our carnal nature and living for our God!!

So, ask Him right now... where do you need to die in your life so that you can star living???!!!
I would love to hear from you...but even more I know God would :)
Love to you Girlz!!!