Thursday, February 25, 2010

Don't throw it away...

"Do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised." Hebrews 10:35-36
Looking forward to attending the "So Long Insecurity Simulcast" on April 24th. Let me know if you are interested in coming along.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Writer's Block

Forgive the scattered thoughts they come from a full brain today; I will spare you all that is on my list and heart today. But...what's a girl to do? I'm staring at pages and pages of notes...some in a neat bullet outline; even but I cannot connect the dots today. More bummed about this then the fact I didn't win Beth's Pop Quiz what's a girl to do to lift her spirits :)

Write out some scripture and just trust that God must have one more piece to share with me at a later time that will make it all fit together the way it is supposed to.

I was reminded in my reading this morning we need to trust in teh name of the LORD and rely on God (Isaiah 50:10). Then a friend had shared Isaiah 45:3 and I read a little further in verse five..."I am the LORD and there is no other; apart from me there is no God, I will strengthen you!"

Oh I was hoping to get some more writing done today--but I will choose to say "Thank you Lord that I am 1/3 of the way done...I trust in You and know that in the proper time it will come!"

*Maybe there is a lesson...3 just flooded my mind as I typed...but I'm off to make a cup of coffee and step away from the keyboard for a while.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Spirit Fingers

Are you in need of some cheering up? Or are you feeling like a cheerleader today? I am feeling like cheering today! Specifically a cheerleader for God—with specific cheers in mind and those ever present “spirit fingers.” Normally spirit fingers are seen raised overhead; but this time they are punching the keys on my keyboard. Yesterday I noticed a piece of paper just moving aimlessly with the wind directing its flight. Sometimes in life my steps can seem so similar…with me constantly asking myself, “Where am I going? What am I doing? I feel a pull here and passion moving there…but what is the next direction” I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I read John 3:8 this morning…for “The wind blows where it wants to and you hear the sound of it, but you don't know where the wind comes from or where it is going. It is the same with every person who is born from the Spirit." (NCV) I’m holding on tight and getting ready to enjoy this wild ride!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Clothed with Christ

Off to get ready for the day and thinking about clothing myself with Christ. (Gal 3:27)
Just simple thoughts that I am choosing to capture before this mind is full of many other things. How I need Christ to cover me—cover up the ugliness from choices made…the guilt…the shame. How beautiful to picture this clothing of Christ that both covers me and equips me for the day. The dirt is washed away by His grace and I’m instantly prepared for victorious moments that are sure to come today. No need to start the day defeated…I am choosing to have faith and believe God. God just told me…I am a warrior princess clothed with Christ.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Mowing the Path

I was walking this morning and saw a situation where a father was “letting” his son help him mow the lawn. The young toddler was following behind his father with his fisher price plastic wheeled lawn mower wearing a grin from ear to ear. He stayed behind his father for awhile but he quickly got bored; I guess, and jumped out ahead of his daddy. The young boy reminded me of myself and how quickly I can get bored and desire some new fresh scenery. I thought about how God calls us His sheep and He is our Shepherd (Psalm 100:3 and Psalm 23). Often times we think we know what’s best for us and we want to go our own way; we get bored; or desire to prove ourselves. I watched as the little boy ran out ahead and then had to keep looking back to make sure he was far enough ahead of his daddy with the mower out ahead. I thought how exhausting that would be to live life that way…running to stay far enough ahead and constantly looking over your shoulder. I recognized my heart has desires similar to this young boy; a desire to lead, a desire to be useful and a desire to be safe. Thank you Father that I can follow in your footsteps, seek you with all of my heart and be secure, knowing that I can trust you to lead this heart of mine down the safe path.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Ticked Enough...

I’m enjoying this wonderful month of February and anticipating more joyous celebration this weekend! I am juggling in my mind the desire to get some cleaning items off of my list before Grandma and Grandpa come over, write more details for Chapter 3 & 4 of my book, and get myself ready for a date with my Valentine tonight. At the same time; my heart is yearning to have time away to reflect and write and I am hoping to carve out sometime over the long weekend to do just that.
Real quick: I want to write my thoughts about Chapter1&2 that I read yesterday from a book I actually want to already re-write the title of “Hello Soul-Deep Security!” I am smiling at myself right now because I think it was the author Beth Moore who taught me to re-write God’s Word at times to personalize it…and well I want to personalize her title and embrace what I will saying Hello to rather than what I am saying goodbye to.
The first chapter is titled “Mad Enough to Change” and I agree with Beth and am also “seriously ticked” about the destruction insecurity causes along with other things. At the same time I am rejoicing that God uses this emotion to propel us forward to change when we choose to acknowledge it and His work in our lives.
I am ticked that I still stumble from time to time from believing insecure thoughts and relying on someone other than God for filling my security tank. I’ve seen my share of relationship falter because either I or someone else was shaken by Insecurity and it’s both infuriating and heart-breaking.
I am surrendering to the Spirit in this and determined to no longer allow any insecurity to have an effect on the abundant life Jesus died for me to possess. I am committed to listen and do what I need to do to keep insecurities free from my heart, mind and soul so that they won’t hurt, limit or even distract me from profound effectiveness for God’s Kingdom or fulfillment of God’s purposes. Nor will I take part in allowing insecurities to hinder me and snuff out the Spirit within me to make my gifts unproductive and useless. (Page 15). Oh every fiber in my being cries out, “Father, please help me!”
Oh, nothing like getting the blood pumping in your veins!! This girl has a fresh perspective and is trying on a new pair of shoes—and girlfriend…THEY FIT!!!

Seeking Soul Deep Security

Perfect timing!!! I’ve opened up the pages of my new book that I received in the mail on my birthday!! It’s my birthday!! I can remember getting filled with excitement when I was a little girl and my birthday would come near. Yet, at the same time I somehow convinced myself to temper my excitement as some unhealthy way to guard my heart from any disappointment.
Something was different yesterday morning when I raised my head off the pillow—besides being older. I sensed God was reminding me that this day was special…that I needed this day to remember that every day is special for all of us! I am loved today on my birthday just as I am loved every other day.
I had a brief moment of sadness realizing that as a child I lived like I was special for just a brief moment on my birthday. Somehow my birthday forced everyone to say that they loved me. For a brief moment I realized that as a little girl I would try to live off that one day of love for the entire year—and you can imagine how that played out for me.
Praise God that He has shown me the error in my thinking and I don’t have to count how many “Happy Birthdays” I got to see how loved I am or that I don’t have to wallow in disappointment because someone may have forgotten or did not have the time to send me a card.
I realize that knowing and allowing God to love me fills up every ounce of my heart and it keeps the waves of life from rocking this heart of mine. The highs just are not as high and the lows just are not as low…and frankly this is where I want to live!
I am loved and I know it because God says so and demonstrated it when He sent His son to die for me and the rest of the world. Because of God, I know I can live loved every single day and I know that I can attain what Beth Moore writes in her book “soul-deep security.”
I have to admit, I really was having a hard time with the title of her new book and really announcing on my blog that I was going to read it. I do feel like I am so much more secure now that I was even 5-10 years ago…and who wants to admit that their insecure??? I would much rather sit in a dentist chair than admit my weaknesses to my friends.
The truth of the matter is; that I am insecure and I have held onto this friend of Insecurity thinking that it is just a part of me and just a part of all of our lives. I recognize that in order to kiss this friend good-bye for good I have to fess up to befriending someone who frankly just is not benefitting me one bit!!!
Who wants to hang out with someone who gives judgmental glances and speaks only forced compliments that are read a mile away as a fake cover up of some really unpleasant discouraging thought? NOT ME!!
I am so ready to say goodbye to this friend named Insecurity!
There are parts of insecurity, frankly that I have really already chiseled away…like recognizing some hard painful things…like my self-conscious thoughts were really selfish prideful thoughts. It baffled me when I realized that the low self-esteem I had growing up as a child and into early adulthood was actually a form of pride and that whether I am thinking highly or lowly about myself…I am still just all too wrapped up in myself and that this preoccupation just needed to go!!
I admit I sometimes still get tripped up with this; but God is faithful and has helped steer me in the right direction when I admit my wayward thoughts.
Right now, I am so enthralled with this book and excited to see where God takes my heart—especially because I feel like I have opened up a new book in my life…a new project of writing my own book that He has placed on my heart. I feel so unworthy and so awkward just saying that out loud—yet at the same time there is something in my spirit that warns me not to squelch the joy and passion in my heart that God has put there and I need to say YES TO GOD and just DO IT!
I am praying that God will speak to me as I read through these chapters and help me say goodbye to the thoughts of self-doubt that I so often run across. For, I know that with God I filled with God-fidence…and He alone will fill my heart with God-Authored SECURITY; which will equip me to do all the things that He has prepared in advance for me to do. (Eph 2:10)
So thankful that friends have decided to join me in this journey! Can’t wait to see how God meshes together all of our stories in this journey of God-Authored—“Soul Deep Security.”

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Bouncing Back

Okay…get ready to usher me into the “Looney bin.” I cannot resist writing about how God spoke to me yet again through an experience my boys had and how they ‘bounced back!” I am both thrilled and excited that God teaches me so much about His love through my children. So thankful that God has rescued this heart of mine and brought me to a spacious place…because He delighted in me. And I rejoice knowing that God does not have favorites and that there is nothing special about me…He delights in and rescues all of His children! (Psalm 18:19)
“AAAGGH he ------ es uuuufh!” One of the sweet young neighbor boys tried to explain to me this past weekend as he walked my oldest son home. I couldn’t understand what my son’s friend was saying but noticed my son’s face full of blood and tears and he was holding one hand over his face and the other hand was carrying his tennis shoe. I had to ask his buddy again to repeat what he said; and his sweet voice reiterated, “He is messed up!” (I wanted to chuckle at his choice of words but I refrained).
I came to find out more and knew the boys were riding their bikes up and over ramps in the street like they usually do at that time in the afternoon when my son took his first big fall to the pavement. I’m sure this is just the first of many- but this first one was a doozie with both elbows and knees bloody and swollen; knuckles scraped up, a fat lip, bloody nose and a chipped front tooth.
It didn’t help matters that all of this happened just before I was getting ready to leave to meet some girlfriends for some much desired ‘girl time.” The nurturing heart of mine thought of missing it to care for my little guy…but after a dose of ibuprofen, a lot of popsicles, sweet cuddles, Dad’s presence, and Grandma’s love arriving on the scene I was freed up to leave.
The next morning was rough for my little guy. The swelling had gone down but he still needed a lot of tender loving care. He spent most of the day just sitting either in front of the computer or the television eating ice cream and popsicles.
Then that afternoon to my surprise he bounced back outside. He didn’t touch his bike; but he was outside playing with his friends. It made me think about my life as an adult and although we don’t crash and burn jumping ramps with our bikes; we have several moments in life that tend to drag us down.
Those discouraging moments when life throws us a curve ball and we are left hurt and wondering why. I know in my own life I know that my toughest trials were not suffering pain and loss but understanding why God allowed me to suffer. It makes me think of Job and how his life demonstrates that suffering can be, but is not always a penalty for doing something wrong (sin) and in the same, a person’s success is not always a reward for doing good.
I’ve come to realize that in my times of great suffering somehow I’ve seen that God is actually all I have ever really had and even needed to survive. I realize that my time of great suffering was maybe partly allowed to bring me closer to God and make me further aware of my need of a savior. I have seen that God cares about me and my suffering even when I was tempted to think otherwise and that God was—and is—and always will be extremely sensitive to my suffering.
So as my mind asks “What am I to do?” I hear a faint whisper as I watch my son get back out and play even though he described the throbbing still present in his wounds…”Keep going.” Even though it hurts keep moving knowing that healing will come and the wounds will fade into scars that no longer throb.
Some way somehow I sense that the Spirit of God continues to move us forward when we are like Job in his suffering, and treasure the words of God’s mouth more than our daily bread. (Job 23:12) When our hearts are full of Him…it doesn’t matter what life throws us…we can bounce back like Job and my son and experience abundant blessings. When the blessings don’t arrive in our timing, may we remember that there is more to this life than the present.
My son is not sure what happened in his mishap with the bike and ramp. Sometimes we can control what is in our path that causes us to crash and burn and sometimes we are left to just deal with what falls in our path. May we be wise enough to move the stumbling block out of the way when we can; and when life happens regardless of our efforts and we crash and burn…may we get up and smile chipped tooth and all knowing God loves us and will see us through to the end!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

So Excited Y'all...

Hey Y'all,

Oh, so fun to write like a sweet Texan...yet there is not even an ounce of any kind of an accent coming out of my mouth as I write...hee hee.

One of my favorite authors just so happens to have a sweet Texan draw at times...and she is probably a favorite to so many of my girlfriends--I'm just giddy to mention her name..."Beth Moore"...Well, she had a book come out just days ago, titled "So Long Insecurity" and she is starting an online discussion group on her blog

I just ordered my copy of her book (an early birthday present) and the day we have set to begin reading the book...just so happens to fall on my birthday-February 11th!!

I'm so excited and can't wait to write about what I learn as well as join the discussion group.

If you are interested in joining me...order your book and check out her blog.

Happy Reading Girlfriends!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Desires of Pancakes

“Yum!” Were the silent thoughts I had thinking of Saturday morning breakfast. The extra excitement came when my youngest son had such a great desire to help me…pancakes were on his mind as he had with him in tow an apron, chef’s hat and kitchen stool. Grandma was there with bells on ready to help in every way; like she is with every activity involving one of her grandkids.
It was evident that this was JD’s desire to make pancakes and I watched as everyone in the house encouraged him and helped him along with each step. Grandma lined up the ingredients staging the mix for success. Grandpa and Dad were not too far cheering him along with plans of capturing the event on film. Oh, what love instantly bellowed out of our windows on this early Saturday morning. Love could have easily been dismissed and rushed away as with any other regular Saturday as bicycle tire fixing, cartoons a- blare, backyard projects and shopping trips were all yet in store for this so- called “lazy” day.
The love and the cheerful moment inspired me to take pause and thank God for not only the blessings in my life; but the desires of my heart that He has given me…like my son’s desire to make pancakes. Along with the desires He has also blessed me with a wonderful group of encouraging, tender-hearted friends and family…helping me see what was once a faint whisper of a desire now come to fulfillment.
As if my heart could not be full enough; I watched as my youngest son with help from Grandma made a special pancake shaped like Mickey Mouse ears and chocolate chips especially for his big brother who was recovering from a HUGE bicycle mishap that occurred the previous night (chipped tooth, bruised elbows, knees full of raspberries, asphalt embedded in the skin and all).
Isn’t that just how God works…filling our hearts with desires all for the purpose of filling our hearts as well as others around us with His love. Is it possible that He gives us these desires in order for us to bless and love another? Oh Father, help me not to ignore these desires that You have bestowed on my heart…thank you that as I delight in You; You will give me these desires. (Psalm 37:4).
Thank you for giving me glimpses of your great, measureless love through the precious life of my son today as he made something so simple...pancakes.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Game of Life Down Aggravation Road

“AAaarrr!” I messed up again, I heard these words muttered with frustration from one of my boys while working on some school work. I thought of how easily a little frustration, an irritation in the morning and then topped with an unmet expectation in the afternoon can easily tempt my mind soaring down Aggravation Road. I remember playing a game called Aggravation as a kid…remember the one where you try to be the first one to move your marbles from home to base and during your play, you have opportunities to aggravate your opponent. I didn’t know where this game was derived until recently being reminded of this childhood favorite; but the game is very similar to another game called “Pachisi.” Interesting, huh?
I think my son was wishing he was playing a game rather than doing his homework that afternoon. He was frustrated with the situation and himself. I sensed God nudging me to remember the rules of the game of life and what his teacher models so often in the classroom. We are not perfect and as much we may try to pretend we are; we are not! My son’s teacher models in the classroom and stages mistakes often and demonstrates accepting the mistake and trying again. When my son asked me to help him with his homework, I tried my own version of her example.
God orchestrated the moment beautifully; as I saw my son process through some more frustration—this time directed at me and I was able to say, “It’s okay, everyone makes mistakes…let me try it again.” It wasn’t long before he was trying again and finding success!
Modeling our mess ups for everyone to see is just down-right uncomfortable at times. In staging my own mistake for my son, I realized that I spend most of my time excusing away, ignoring or hiding my mistakes. Why? I think the answer is both complex and simple…but the simple answer is FEAR.
As I was thinking more about this I was reminded of people in the Bible whose mistakes are there for us to see and thought about God and what He wants us to do with our mistakes and the words “mercy not sacrifice” landed in my head. These words didn't just come from nowhere, I had read them a few days prior in God's Word and had asked God to show me what He meant by His words in Hosea 6:6, Matthew 9:13, and Matthew 12:7. God is so faithful to respond and answer when we ask. (Jer 33:3).
We are all screw ups, mess ups and just imperfect…even when we try sometimes to do good, Paul put some of this frustration we have into words when he wrote, “ I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do NOT do, but what I hate I do.” (Romans 7:15 emphasis added). The beauty of this journey with God is knowing that the guilt and shame from my mess ups has been washed away…if only I ask for mercy. The fixing of my mess up has already been taken care of in the life, death and resurrection of my dear sweet friend and Savior, Jesus. The substitutionary death and sacrifice that began on Mount Moriah with Abraham (Genesis 22) and during David's reign as King (2Sam 24) was foreshadowing the complete sacrifice to cover all of us…God looked upon the suffering and death of Jesus and was satisfied (Isaiah 53:11). So now God only desires from us…MERCY.
I know we don’t sacrifice things on an altar today; but I think many of us think that we still need to make things right. Even though we are not perfect; we are wired for perfection and also the desire to seek perfection...the perfection is not found in anything we can do...but in knowing Jesus. Yet, it's hard to grasp this at times; we can't hold onto guilt for very long before it begins to manifest itself in ugly ways. (That's how us parents know when are kids have done something wrong at times). Even if we aren’t consciously aware of punishing ourselves; we are tempted in our thoughts and may subconsciously tell ourselves “I keep messing up. I’m not good enough. I will never get it right. I better just stay right here where I am…I better not try for that new job because I will just fail anyway. I better not try to say something nice because it will just be misunderstood. I better not try to love them because it won’t do any good.” These are ALL LIES…and we are tempted to believe them because our hearts were wired by God to desire fixing!!!
The fixing comes not by our own doing; but in seeking, begging, and admitting that we do wrong and accept the sacrifice of Jesus. May we cry out with mercy and lean on the sacrifice made at the cross. My thoughts instantly run back to those board games of Aggravation and Pachisi (the board is pictured above)…may we run to the center of the cross. I’ll meet you there girlfriends!!!