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Friday, January 22, 2010

AGAIN and AGAIN


Aren’t the ways of this world wild and unpredictable at times? We pass through some great trial, maybe some bad news here and some new stress there…living can be difficult and I don’t know how I would survive in this world without HOPE and faith in God.
Storms are part of some recent winter weather patterns here in the desert where I live and well…storms are just part of life aren’t they? We can be hit with one right after the other or maybe it’s been quite awhile since the last one but memories are triggered and thoughts run wild and we forget that we were forgiven, redeemed and delivered from that storm and our hearts get shaken again-maybe double time.
On the drive to take my kids to school the boys were pointing out all the trees that could not withstand the storm last night. They made it through the storm the night previous…why not this one? Were the rains just too harsh and the winds just too strong and their roots just not deep enough?
What about us? It’s scary thinking about the storms in this life that are able to uproot us. Rather than focus on the storm I sense my God calling me to focus on what keeps my roots grounded…Him! Remembering the story of Jesus walking on water; well Matthew writes in his account that Peter walked too (I find it so interesting that of the three friends of Peter who wrote about this miracle of Jesus walking; Matthew is the only one who accounted for Peter walking on the water to meet Jesus…another thought for another time). When Peter saw the wind, he was afraid and began to sink and cried out to Jesus to save him. (Matthew 14:22-32)
Let’s face it; we don’t want to be without faith and look foolish so let’s keep our eyes off of the storm and keep from looking like the man with his pants on the ground. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMwhl4IrPNc
A catchy tune can be so great and bring a smile and as the boys were “OOOOin’ and AAAAWWin’” over the numerous uprooted trees the Spirit allowed me to capture these lyrics “I looked as deep as I can see and I think I need a little more of You…in the middle of me.” (Todd Agnew…”The Middle of Me”)
A catchy truth to lighten the load because sometimes our “little present difficulties” just feel so heavy! The ‘little present difficulties’ can be more weighty than the ‘GREAT past difficulties’ that God so wonderfully delivered us from already!
A storm can leave us feeling weak and worn out…but He gives strength (Isa 40:29) and when we call out for even just a simple need of thirst; God delivers; He enables us to drink and revives our hearts AGAIN! (Judges 15:18-19).
I’m convinced God is in favor of the word ‘again,’ because He keeps delivering me and strengthening me AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN! I will seek Him AGAIN and AGAIN and deepen these roots of mine.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Happy Feet


I’m wearing new shoes today…slippers actually. They’re the kind that beckon your tired weary feet right into the fuzzy lining and allow your feet to rest and breathe all at the same time.
Not sure how my feet can rest while I’m still running around the house doing this sorting of paper clutter, and that folding of laundry and then running up the stairs yet again because I left my notes upstairs ,which I need to write an email…but my feet and soul are at rest. (I’m breathing heavy just remembering this; you probably are too, just reading that long sentence).
As my feet rest in these cozy slippers I am thinking about how my whole body, heart, soul and mind rests completely in my God. He brings such comfort to this tired body, weary soul, rung-out heart and exhausted mind like nothing I have ever experienced. These feet could clearly not carry me through a marathon right now; but this soul can without a doubt run some spiritual marathons with God…I’m sure of it! I feel like I have run some already in this short life of mine. Most probably feel the same…we grow up so fast and before you know it we are in places and situations we never dreamed of…some good...some not so good.
I am aware that the rest my soul experiences and the newness that I am feeling is because I’ve actually found something new; or maybe I need to call it a gift from God. This gift’s name has been echoing in my mind all weekend, this nicely wrapped gift is called, “Confidence.” Not confidence in myself or my abilities or even my knowledge of anything…but confidence in who God says I am.
I used to not believe…believing involved hoping for something and I really thought there was not much to live or hope for, but what was visible in my small world.
Thank goodness for these comfy slippers! It’s also no coincidence that the person who gave them to me for Christmas was my mother-in-law…the woman who shaped the man who now calls me his bride. The woman who loved me before she even really knew me. The woman who modeled grace, forgiveness and love like I had never seen it modeled before. She, with others shared with me Jesus and the story of His sacrifice.
It’s been a journey, one I am still on, one I am growing and learning on, one I will continue on until I meet my best friend who died for me. I’m so glad I had great teachers in my life who encouraged me and helped me embrace a love for learning. I actually always thoroughly enjoyed school and studying and all that comes with learning. I’m still learning and just not getting grades for it every day and the more I have learned and studied God’s Word, the more I have grown to know how much I am loved! How much I do have a position in a royal family that grants me grace to do great works with great purpose. Not by my strength, but His…
You see growing up, I lacked confidence; I tried to hide it as a child, desiring to be different and fight what was going on inside my body, heart, soul and mind. In my weak moments it still seems to seep out of my pores; but that is where God likes to shine most; for where I am weak He is strong.
A child lacks confidence for various reasons and one of the greatest is that they lack a healthy relationship with their father. Oh, I hate to put the blame on someone else, I really do; and what a weight to carry for a man rearing his children to stand brave and confident in this world. I know it was not right; and not what God wanted for my life…yet, I can only point my finger up and say thank you…thank you Daddy! If ___________________, I would not be so hungry and so thirsty for my Father’s love and I may have never known this love and confidence which is ours through Christ. (2Cor3:4)
Aaaaah, it feels good to be wearing new slippers. The gift that made me feel so loved; the gift that reminds me with each step, as if I can hear God say, “I love you. Keep walking!” These are some happy feet!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

High Five


Thank you God for not only helping me...but helping my son!

A Simple Saturday Full of Simple Truths

“Aaah,” my body seems to be uttering this sound before my mouth is even open as I sit nestled in my cozy jammies and fuzzy Christmas socks reflecting on this beautiful day. The boys are in bed and Justin is revisiting his lines for tomorrow morning’s skit and I see the completeness of our living room entertainment center highlighting the sure completeness of this simple Saturday full of God's reminders of simple truths.
The morning began right here on the sofa; when all three boys left by 8am to play ball at the park with some friends. My sweet husband often seems concerned that I feel left out of the play time; and I just can’t ever explain to him enough that this Princess enjoys precious time to herself; sweet beyond explanation!
I read in 2Samuel, and felt God’s encouraging Spirit move me to accept the words inspired by Him...as if they were just for me. In addition, I read a new friends blog which encouraged me in Hebrews 12. It was a sweet moment and answered prayer about moving forward in this Kingdom journey. We all have a journey, a ministry for God. We all have Kingdom status with work to be done; I know I am not alone in this calling. It’s His work I know; and I often doubt that He even wants to include me; but He’s given me so many life experiences, gifts of His nature, passion wired only from God to move on in this life. I felt like He led me to write these words in my journal: With my hand grasping Yours, I will spread Love, share true happiness and send a genuine heart-derived smile with a world desperate for Love.
The beauty of this is that I know I’m nothing special…just a once broken soul that has been mended by a loving God and still on a journey with Him…getting things wrong left and right and every once in a while I can ‘high-five” my best friend and say, “Thanks for your help!”
I began the morning encouraged in the Word and then had to quickly get myself ready for our planned trip to IKEA with my boys. I was reminded of this encouragement throughout the day. First, everyone knows that young boys are not avid shoppers; so Dad encouraged the boys with a game on the way there. I watched, listened and even captured on film my husband just simply enjoying the time with our boys as we drove the 45 minute commute to the warehouse store. I jotted down his words at one point because the truth in them resonated with my heart and reminded me of God’s encouraging words which I read just hours earlier, “Work through it son—otherwise you won’t be able to defend your enemy.”
Later that afternoon I was reminded yet again when my son had another conversation with my husband when several kids in the neighborhood were riding their bikes on a ramp in the street. There private conversation which I overheard went something like this…”Dad, I’m scared!” “God is with you and wants you to be brave and courageous. Because God wants to help you conquer your fears, so do I—so I will not allow you to give up. You will get back out there on that bike and ride.” Of course I captured this success…both on film and in my heart!
Fear is a powerful emotion; giving into it means that we lack confidence and faith...Praise God for reminders to keep pressing on towards our goals and working through our fears. May we strengthen our feeble arms and weak knees. May we make level paths for our feet, so that we may help those (our children and others) who follow us. (Hebrews 12:13)
We can know this truth and still ask, “How?” And I sense the Spirit simply replying, “Ask…just ask for help.” Inquire of the Lord is what we must do.
Well, off to bed I must go…we are teaching Sunday School class in the morning…and the theme is definitely designed by our God...CONFIDENCE! I’m looking forward to some more reminders for this family tomorrow. “For the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared.” (Proverbs 3:26).
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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

For Michael Oher, a Dream Come True

For Michael Oher, a Dream Come True

HOPE and the Next Level

Do you ever hear of someone’s life story and it just moves you? Have you ever seen someone with such passion and with such a heart to change their life for the better? Why does this inspire me so? A story of a young man living with little hope and yet still so passionate and driven to live better. I recently saw the movie Blindside and then also saw the 20/20 news clip which explained more of Michael Oher’s story to NFL fame.
The new clip shared another story so similar and this then reminded me of yet another wonderful story of hope that touched the local community where I live and have chosen to raise my own children. When I hear of stories like this it touches my heart…and you just can’t help but praise God for moments and stories like these. In some way I sense God is touching the hearts of His children with His love...and Love motivates!
In the core of my being, a warmth full of peace and love radiates out of my soul and the truth of God’s Word echoes, “LORD, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will listen to their cries and comfort them. You will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed, so people can no longer terrify them. “ (Psalm 10:17-18).
How beautiful that our God allows us to hear story after story…first from His own life-giving Word, and then in the stories that surround us. So why aren’t more inspired and more lives changed some seem to ask? What about the numerous lives left unchanged. God is still there…the HOPE is still there for the offering…the missing factor is in the soul of the unchanged!
I recently heard someone say, “I want to be ALL IN!” Could that be what is missing from an unchanged heart? Could we repeat the heart of Michael Oher and say, “I want better than I have right now. I’m going to work hard this day to get to the next level.”(Michael Oher)