Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Waking up low...

This morning, when I finally opened my eyes - I was filled with this low feeling.  Nothing too specific, just weary, tired....low.

I rolled out of bed...shuffled through the halls to the living room, grabbed the iPad and shuffled back to bed.  All snuggled up, nestled between pillows opened Youversion, clicked on my reading plans...to find I had just finished the last one I was on.

I was not in the mood to search for a new one to start - but I thought I would give it a quick try.  I stumbled immediately on 'She Reads Truth: Philippians' and decided to give it a go.

It was exactly what I needed to read this morning!  Thank you God for providing the little things that end up meaning so much.

Waking up feeling low, reading the "Set Your Chains Aside" entry spoke to me so much.  It gave me the boost I needed, the ability to lean into scripture to bring me to prayer.

Paul makes no promise that they will see the fruits of their labor now – that the Gospel-sowing work they are doing in the lives of their unbelieving loved ones will be theirs to also reap. He doesn’t tell them to expect things to get easier or better or simpler. He just encourages them where they are, with a sure confidence to remember the bigger picture – to persevere. That all the good that has begun in that community is pointing to something greater – the “day of Jesus Christ”!

As I read this, I thought of the chains of fear I have allowed to hold me.  I have burried my head in the sands of fear and regret for so long, and in doing so - missed the beauty that is around me...even in the midst of trouble.  The small things that are so easy to miss - if you are not aware of your surroundings, the people, the smiles...

God has placed wonderful individuals in my life, some who are strong, some who are coming out of pasts just like mine - who need to feel what I felt this morning.  Hope.

And as fleeting as that feeling may be.  The instant that the truck pulled out in front of me, or the individual cut in front of me at the fountain, or....you get the point.

I choose hope.  I choose grace, because grace has been given to me.  I choose love.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

God will provide....

We have been going through a bit of a financial struggle lately.  We have had a lot of changes over the past month, had to replace a car, almost a 40% increase in the cost of our medical insurance, and just your basic unexpected expenses that come with raising children.  Just your regular type of life related expenses that, when all lumped at one time - are painful...to say the least.

I have been praying and praying for God to help direct me out of this.  To place my feet on the path that would help us to become more stable, and less well - less stressful...who doesn't want that.

Last night, while I was working on my finances, it happened.  Not a downpour from heaven made of money - but it all started to fit into place on the paper.  I had a sense of calm, and provision.  I could see the light at the end of the dark tunnel - and a path began to emerge that would allow us to climb out of this setback.   Then, we had a breakthrough that reduced a bill we owed - out of nowhere.  Thanks God!

This will not be a quick climb - it will take some time - but there is a path - there is plan again and there is the future. 

My prayer will be to continue to ask God for wisdom in my day to day life,  blessing and favor in his eyes, and for my ears to continue to be open to God's voice and direction in my life. 

I relieved his shoulder from the burden;
his hands were freed from ⌊carrying⌋ the basket. 
7You called out in distress, and I rescued you;
I answered you from the thundercloud. 
I tested you at the waters of Meribah. ~ Selah "
Psalm 81:6-7
 Please, Lord, keep me humble.  Please keep my will subject to your will, and my heart sealed to your heart.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Trust...small word...huge meaning

As we continue along the path towards election day...I feel myself becoming overwhelmed.  Not just because of election day - but because that is - - yet one more - - thing that requires attention from me. 

Between the daily things of cleaning, cooking, bills, etc. - you throw into the fray the all important event of casting your vote for the next President of these United States...and then of course all of the things that drudges up with it.

For me, it's a lot this year.  Before you look at the candidates you have to first - look at yourself.  You have to find our grounding, your balance and your buttons...

Where is my North, where is my center, what beliefs are core and central to me?

Then you take that - and you weigh the candidates against it. 

For me, this has felt like the first time I have ever voted...I have changed SO MUCH over the past four years - and I am sometimes a little uncomfortable in my own skin.

I have realized that my views have changed on some things - - which will require me stepping outside of yet another comfort zone.

That, along with the fact that this will be my Son's first voting experience - brings with it all kinds of new challenges.

I want to teach him to vote truly for what he believes - never just simply a party line.  I want him to feel empowered, and confident.

However, this entire experience is leaving me weary and desperately wishing I could retreat to some dark corner and sleep until this is all over.

Part of me wishes I could call a time-out.  This election is really coming at an inconvenient time in my life right now.  I have so many things on my plate. I am in the grips of rediscovering my true north and trying to continue to balance life as well.

But, since the world does not revolve around me, that request will never be heard - let alone heeded.

So, I find myself feeling like I'm in a boat, tossed about at sea, desperately trying to keep my eye on the lighthouse that veers in and out of my line of vision as the storm rages around me.

I - - want to control it - but I can't.  I want to figure it all out like a puzzle, where every piece has its place, but that isn't reality.

Trusting God is what I need to do, want to do, and have to do.  However I find myself playing chicken with him instead.  Me on one side, my 'Problem' in the middle and God on the other - rushing towards each other as we get closer and closer and I feel the pressure of an impending deadline - who will blink first?  The answer is me.  It's always me.  At that 11th hour - I panic and grab the 'Problem' back at the last second and veer out of the path  - because I think I need to do it, I need to solve it, I lose faith, I let fear take over and re-claim what I have trusted to God to handle.

What I need to do, is...not blink.  Not flinch.  Not grab it back.  If I could only make it past that last moment - even if I have to close my eyes so tight I see stars - breathing that prayer of God, I trust you!  Just to finally open them and see that He did handle it.  I feel that I could conquer this fear, and this necessity to reclaim everything I say I trust God with - but I only trust him in my timing, in my comfort zone.

I feel that right now.  I am at that moment.  My heart feels like it is racing.  My mind is frantically jumping from one possibility to the next of what my options can be...what "I" can do, how "I" can fix this...my hand hovering over the problem - but no quite snatching it back...yet.  My mind is so full of possible solutions - that I find myself not even thinking of God.

So, I write this.  I admit it.  I tell myself to STOP.  I tell God I will be still and pray - believing He will show me the path He wishes me to take, not the path I take out of panic and fear.

This morning, my devotional was amazing - and it really spoke towards this. 

1. Proverbs 3:5-6 says "Trust the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."

In what areas do you need to stop leaning on your own understanding and trust God instead?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Prayers answered...

My daughter has had braces on her teeth for a couple years.  Recently, the Orthodontist let us know that a stubborn tooth was refusing to move down and come out, so they wanted to go in and expose it with surgery.  Of course, I didn't want to have to get this done - no surgery is without possible complications.  So...

I prayed.

I asked God to please allow that tooth to move into it's normal place so we did not have to resort to the surgery.  Amen.

However, like the good Mom that I am (or maybe I should say the woman who struggles with faith) - I went ahead and kept the pre-op appointment, and scheduled a day for surgery - hoping and praying that I would not have to keep it.

This weekend, my daughter make a passing comment while we were watching TV...hmm she said - I think I feel something, I wonder if it's that tooth coming through.

Today, we met with her Orthodontist to have him look at it - and sure enough - it's THE tooth - the one we have been waiting and praying for.  It has not only moved, but is beginning to peak out.

We get to cancel the surgery date and I am so excited to proclaim that God answered my prayer.  Why?  I don't know.  Why he chose this one to answer and not some of the other ones that I have begged for?  I don't know.

All I do know is that he answered this one, and for that I am so thankful.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Walking the Walk...

I am so excited about an upcoming event.  It's not until January - but I am still excited.  Our church will be participating in our City's Prayer Walk.  Churches from around our city, all denominations, will be taking one or more mile segments that surround our City, and on January 6th we will be walking and praying.

How awesome is that?!?

This will be something that will be in my heart from today till the event, praying for God's love to be shown to the community, for a uniting flame to be lit between denominations, and for God's heart to be made manifest to those in this City.

Short post, but sweet!  I will be posting more as we progress to this date!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Life beginning to focus...

As I continue down a path to bring me closer to God, life does not stop and wait for me to get there.  Wouldn't that be so nice if it did?  If you could say, OK - I have identified where I need to be - now if everything around me could just freeze for a moment while I get there - that would be just awesome!

Come on, I know I am not the only one who thinks like this.

However, life does not stop.  The things we did yesterday, last week, last month, last year - - they are still with us.  Sometimes blurring the lines of reality as we continue on our journey.

We find ourselves squinting to try to make out the directions, the map...but still feel tired and unsure.

Then, just when we are about to give up hope...it happens...

You see it...a little at first then it begins to get clearer and clearer and before you know it you see it again.

You notice that not everything in your life has been brought into focus, just a little.  But it gives you the energy, the inertia, the desire to continue on.

You can start to make out the word, then you remember what is was that has brought you this far.

Hope in things not yet seen, in things not yet known.

You remember that you are not alone.  That God is so much more than anything you could ever face.  That with God you can accomplish anything.

You may doubt yourself, your ability, even your motives at time.  But, when you focus on God all of those things become clear.

This, I need to always remember. The only time this becomes blurred is when I travel too far away from him.  If i keep focus on God...you will be able to handle the things that our out of focus in your life.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Faith and the little things...

With my mind swirling constantly of late due to the many things that have to be done, paid for, completed, followed up on, and basically just done over the next month...I find it hard to settle down and just focus.  I feel like I am constantly going every direction - all day - every day.

It's hard to wind down at night and I find myself talking myself into bed at Midnight - just because I know its late - not because I am sleepy.

Yesterday, in a usual rush - I stuck a $10 bill in my pocket.  I usually do not put money in my pockets - but yesterday for some reason - I did.

Later that morning, I put my hand in my pocket and realized - hey I still have $10 in here.  I thought to myself that I should put it in my purse - however my purse was in my office - and I was not. 

The rest of the morning was a blur.  Meetings, Phone Calls, Expense Reports, Travel Arrangements - you name it.

At lunch, I decided I wanted to go down to the Quick Trip on the corner and get a big Iced Tea!  Great Idea!

It was election day here yesterday for various primaries in our state.  The parking lot was very busy, because they have a poling place here at our church on voting days. 

As I made my way to my car - I noticed all the different people coming in & going out of the polling place.

I arrived at Quick Trip, got my drink and proceeded to the counter.  At that point I realized that I never put my $10 in purse - so I reached into my pocket to retrieve the money.

It was at that point I realized - - - It was not there.

I checked my other pockets, my purse, my wallet - - nope not there.

I handed my debit card to the cashier, got my drink and went back to my car - all the while thinking about where that money may be.

Checked my car - No.  Got back to the office - checked my office, around the floor, in the bathroom - basically retraced my steps for the morning.  Nothing.

As I sat down at my desk, a thought popped in my mind.  Finish, and trace your steps to your car. 

I remember thinking -well that's silly - if I dropped it outside - its gone.

But, I kept thinking to try.  So, I got up.  Walked downstairs.  Opened the door and looked at the parking lot.  I didn't see anything.  Im sure it's not there.

Then I thought...just go - walk towards your parking place.

So, I did.

To my utter amazement.  There it was.  Laying on the ground about 10 feet from the entrance to the building.

How many people have walked right by this!  I was shocked - I picked it up and walked back to my office.

Was that God?  I thought to myself?  Was it?

Did he keep it there, hide it even so no one else saw it?

Was that him prodding me to go down and look?  Even though I thought it was a silly waste of time, because there was NO way it would still be there.

I believe it was.  I believe he was showing me he cares about the little things.  He does.  To  me, I think He has better things to do than to worry about my lost $10 - however he is God!  He is saying - I can do ALL thinks - I am never overwhelmed, too busy to care for my children.

Thank you God for showing me your love, care and reinforcing in me the fact that nothing is too big - - or too small for you!

 "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:34