Tag Archive | faith

Standing In Victory

My homework this weekend was to do something fun for me.

No chores

No cleaning

No should be doing

But fun and relaxing for me…….

1Peter 5:8

Be self-controlled and alert.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

The devil found me right before I was walking out the door for a time of fellowship with other women.  I went with  a tear stained face and forced my mind beyond the things I could not control.

People will say things and make accusations that are not true.  The devil will always try to stop you from doing the things that are going to make you stronger.  He doesn’t want you to rise from the ashes and the further down you have been the more dangerous you are to him.  I’m refusing to allow the enemy to keep me in hiding.

I’m choosing to live my life and not hide.  I’m exploring new things not just for me but for my children because they learn by example.

So today I’m clinging to theses scriptures

Isaiah54:15-17

If anyone does attack you, it will not be my doing;whoever attacks you will surrender to you.  See it is I (God) who created the blacksmith who fans the coals into flame and forges a weapon fit for its work.  And it is I (God) who have created the destroyer to work havoc; no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.  This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and this is their vindication from me declares the Lord.

I alone cannot stand but with God I can move mountains.  The enemy can come knocking at my door carrying with him shackles and chains seeking to steal my freedom but I have a choice.  I can surrender to the enemy or choose to stand with a Savior that loves me more than I can comprehend.  I will trust him to keep his promises in

Isaiah 42:16

I will lead the blind by ways they have not known , along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth.  These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.

The enemy is intent on chasing me off the path God has for me and I can change where I run.  I can’t change where I swim and I already do my best to swim at different times.  As far as where I bike I don’t have a clue so when the warm weather comes and I pull it out I’m taking off and trusting God down unfamiliar paths.  I’m not sure if I’ll tackle a triathlon but I’m willing to explore new things with my children trusting that God has my back.

I could run away and try to hide from people.  I could stop going places that bring me life because some people don’t want to see me.  But that is not my problem.  Sadly it reveals more about them than it does me.  I have nothing to hide and if others could see beyond their own chains that bind them they would see me for who I am and not as an enemy but as a friend.

So  my assignment was to do something fun for me this weekend and the enemy has been waging war with me up to this point.  Now I will stand in victory and resume my life.  I will get dressed and go down to my favorite little coffee shop; there  I will sit down at the puzzle table and talk to the people that join me.  Then I will plan to make fun things happen in my future.  I will choose to get up Monday morning and swim so I can continue to grow stronger.  I will remember 2Tim 1:7 that God has not given me a timid spirit but one of Power Love and of sound mind.

And lastly I will remember you…..  as a reader I pray that you find encouragement and not judgement in the things that you read here.  That if your here as a friend God would use the things you learn about me to grow your compassion for others.  If your here as my enemy I still pray for you that God would open your eyes to see the truth and reveal the shackles in your own life that have created the illusion that I am some how an enemy.  I pray that you find peace in the situations that your are seeking to run or hide from through Ps 85:10 Mercy and truth meet together, righteousness and peace kiss each other.  I have pondered this verse and explored other versions to truly understand its meaning and have concluded that when we discover the truth about a situation and can look at circumstances through God’s unfailing steadfast love showing mercy we will find righteousness and have peace about anything.  That my friend is my prayer for you.

 

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How’s Your Month Going?

I picked up my daughter from school and when she got in the car  I informed her that we had to go pick up Star (our cat) from the vet.  She instantly asked why? and I cringed trying to decide how honest I should be.

I went with complete honesty hoping that God would give me the grace and wisdom to guide my 10yr old daughter through more bad news.

I looked at her and told her that I had run over Star pulling into the garage that morning and he took off.

Her face quickly turned to a look of horror and I quickly told her that he was ok and we were going to pick him up.

As I pulled out of the school parking lot I heard her exclaim that February was a crappy month and that she couldn’t wait for March to get here.

I understood more than she knew because I had the same conversation with God early that morning.  I had told God that I thought February was a cursed month for me. I was trying to understand how any good could possibly come from losing our beloved Star.  I knew that I had completely run over him.  I heard the howl and fully expected to have to clean up his body from under the car.  So when he wasn’t there all I could think was that he wouldn’t make it far and would more than likely bleed out somewhere close by.  I tried calling and searching for him not because I thought I could do anything but so I could tell him I was sorry and allow the kids to bury him.  I left the house that morning heart broken trying to figure out how to tell the kids and what exactly to tell them.  I knew that if I ever saw him again it would be a miracle so when I arrived home that afternoon to see him trying to make his way across the driveway to me  I broke down crying.  I scooped him up and went straight to the vet.  I told them what happened and that I couldn’t afford to do a life saving surgery but if by some miracle he had a chance of surviving on his own then I would take him home.  I just didn’t want him to suffer a long slow death so if he was seriously injured and slowly dying I wanted to put him down.  I left the vet that afternoon still trying to figure out what to tell my children.

An hour later I received a call from the vet to inform me that Star had no internal bleeding and doesn’t appear to have any broken bones.  He  is very sore but he is getting around on his own so he should recover.

That’s when I heard God answer my question……..

I turned around and looked at my daughter and said

If all of those crappy things hadn’t happened this month we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to experience God’s miracles for ourselves.  So maybe February is a month of miracles and we are blessed to have had the opportunity to experience them.  Perhaps the greatest thing we can do now is share with others the things that God has done for us.

Her little face softened as she realized the truth of my words and then began talking about our miracles….

Her mom was alive! ( I had 2 car accident’s within 4 days… the second was very serious)

God sent people in our paths to help when we needed it the most.

Her pet baby bearded dragon was alive ( his eye exploded while sitting on her lap and was bleeding out his head)

I don’t know what your month has been like but I hope you can find encouragement and perhaps a new perspective if it has been a difficult one.  Paul warns us of the trials that we will face and reminds us to work at staying faithful and trusting God to know what he’s doing even when we can’t see it.  I’m not worried about next month or even how I’ll replace my cars because what matters most is what I believe about God.

I believe God is good and I hope you do too!

 

 

Why am I living?

Today has been rough for me, I’m exhausted and my heart aches inside.

I’m sitting here with my computer listening to the drizzle of the rain outside my window.  Yesterday I watched as another casket was lowered into the ground. I listened as they gave a 21 gun salute for a man who was there on D-Day to served our country.   Five funerals….. that’s how many I counted off the top of my head as I stood there. Five funerals in the last 2 years.  That’s a lot!

Tomorrow is my Birthday and I really don’t want to celebrate.  A friend asked me why yesterday and all I could think of was “why celebrate?”  To me its just another year of blood, sweat and tears gone by, another year closer to the day I die,

Really? What am I celebrating?

I suppose I’m celebrating life.  The opportunity to live rather than die. But what does that mean?

So I wonder am I really living and what am I living for?

I know what I’m supposed to say and supposed to think………but what is the truth?

What am I really living for?

Are my reason’s selfish?

Perhaps they are….am I living for my kids?  To give them a better life than I had and to teach them about God.

Is that really why I’m living?  Well it’s not enough…… at least not for me.  I can think of several people in my mind who could do a better job than I could at raising my kids. So what exactly am I living for?

It’s been 2 years since I first started this post.

I can now honestly say that I have an answer to that question and its not simply what I know I should say…. it IS what I am truly living for. It is the purpose that keeps me going when everything else falls through.

I used to believe that being a Christian meant that I would be persecuted and that I would face trials. While this is true I also believed that it wasn’t until I reached heaven that would experience true joy, love, peace and happiness. I didn’t see these things as things I could count on obtaining here on earth.

What I now believe to be true is that believing in God means that I have the power to claim his promises for joy, love, peace and happiness here on earth while I’m still living. I don’t have to wait till I get to heaven. I have the power now to change my circumstances and I have a Father who loves me even in my brokenness.  I am his cherished beloved daughter and with that comes the ability to stand before him and claim his blessings. I’ve seen God move mountains for me when I pray and I’ve witnessed first hand how I can speak things into existence with faith in a God who desires to give me all good things NOW not later.
All he asks of me is to trust him with the knowledge that he knows what is good for me and be patient with his timing knowing it will be perfect.
This is where I discovered my propose for living. To have a relationship with a God who loves me more than I can comprehend which enables me to have the opportunity to see other broken people in this world and speak life into them. This brings change and freedom to those who are trapped in this massive web of lies our culture endorses.

I’ve discovered that having the opportunity and ability to witness God work his miracles in other peoples lives so that they can be free and experience the joy I have……Is Priceless!

Before I go…
I don’t want to be misleading…… but just so you understand my life is not all roses and I do still experience persecution and trials. I still feel pain and I still bleed but the difference is…….. now I have HOPE.

Hope that with Christ I can overcome, change and rise above anything that comes my way. If I’m still breathing than there is purpose because I have found a hope that can never be stolen.  I have a peace that passes all understanding and a love for others that the world cannot recognize.

A love that never runs out…….

“You were made by God and for God and until you understand that, life will never make sense.” - Rick Warren: “You were made by God and for God and until you understand that, life will never make sense.” - Rick Warren

Crucify Him

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Crucify him, Crucify him

Was the cursing of their hearts

Crucify him, Crucify him

Was the cheer inside my heart

I hear their bitter cries

I can see it in their eyes

Perhaps their hearts were broken

Or blinded by words spoken

Either way its doesn’t matter

For nothing could be sadder

For they were deceived to believe

In a king that wouldn’t be

I know my heart was broken

Perhaps it was even stolen

Surely I was deceived

For believing in the creed

For the life I thought was mine

was never truly mine

He said I had a choice

And at that I surely did

 I chose nothing less than a life full of love

With the gift of eternity and a promise of a family

Now the question left for you

Is what choice will you choose?

Love or hate?

Christ is God’s Love for us

and all he wants from you……..Is your open heart

Who could possibly refuse this gift he left for us?

For we’ll all be bound together

With a life to last forever.

My greatest wish on earth is to see you in forever

Psalm 23 God’s Provision

God has provided me with this house and I am so blessed to have the opportunity to make it my home.

God has provided me with this house and I am so blessed to have the opportunity to make it my home.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures,

he leads me beside quiet waters.

I listened to a  sermon recently that was on Psalm 23 and it was the first 2 verses that intrigued me.

The speaker shared how over in the middle east you don’t find pastures of green grass like we see over here.  Shepherds in that area would spend all day sometimes looking for patches of grass to feed their sheep for that day.  This was not always an easy job for them and finding water for their sheep could be just as challenging.

The Lord is my shepherd so he will find the grass I need for today.  I shall not be in want.  God will never leave me without shelter or food to eat.  So I say and meditated on that………I may not have the latest gadgets or trendy wardrobe but my children and I will be taken care of for the day.  I don’t have to know where our food will come from next week because next week isn’t here and God could lead me to another pasture that I cannot yet see.

I’ve learned to be pretty savvy with my money and manage it wisely.  I have zero credit card debt and own 3 cars which are all paid for.

However I just signed a lease to rent a house because I am being forced to move.  I have to admit I have worried some about this since my income is so little. My motto the last few years leading up to this moment has been that God will provide the perfect house, at the perfect time, at the perfect place, for the perfect price.

Boy did God do that!

God brought me to this little blue house out in the country and it is more than I could’ve ever dreamed of asking for.  But it is exactly what God knew that I needed.  It is so perfect to the tiniest detail that I know it is Gods provision for us.  The challenge for me has been believing that God could bless me with something so wonderful.  I have struggled for so long and when I put the figures down on paper it doesn’t look possible.  I have prayed about it a lot because I really don’t want to make the wrong decision and end up in a bad spot, not to mention I didn’t have the money they were asking for up front…………..God provided though through someone anonymously giving me exactly what I needed to come up with.  That is not something I asked for or even saw coming but it was God providing for me because I am his daughter and he wants to meet my needs if only I have the courage and faith to let him.  I know going into this my expenses will exceed the income that I can bring in and amazingly……. I am not laying in bed at night worrying about what I’m going to do.  Instead I wake up each morning and thank the Lord for blessing me with the opportunity to make this house my home.  I know that there is no need of mine that is too big for God’s wallet.  I may not always like the way that he provides for me but I have learned to be thankful and humble which has given me the privilege of witnessing some miracles that I can now share with others.

I know that there are a lot of Christians out there who would disagree with my decision.  Even Dave Ramsey would have a problem with my decision and would probably say that I need to get another job.  I am not sharing this to justify why I have made this decision but rather to be an example to others of how God has worked in my life through my financial struggles.

My options if I were to find a place with in my budget responsibly speaking would consist of……… living with someone else, government housing,  or finding a small 2 bedroom apt in a bad area of town for me to cram all 4 of us into.  I don’t know about you but I don’t think that if I am God’s princess any of those options are acceptable.

I have spent a good portion of my life working 40+ hours a week just trying to make ends meet.  I did whatever I could to make money in order to provide for my family.  All of the stress of working and keeping up with 4 kids as a single mom wore me out to the point that I couldn’t function.  It seemed that no matter how hard I tried we were barely scraping by.  I sacrificed so much emotionally and spiritually in my life to do what I thought I needed to do.

Now let me clarify here so you don’t get the wrong idea here because I was not working this hard to have 2 fairly new cars and a 4 bedroom house with a nice yard.  I was working this hard to keep 2 old vehicles running and a small 2 bedroom house that was falling apart.  I have spent most of my life time living beneath the poverty level and a lot of time trying to rise above it.

I have seen God’s hand personally in the first part of the scripture in the sense that even though I have been in some tough financial positions I have seen God provide with just enough to cover our needs time and time again.

It is the second part of the scripture here that I am experiencing for probably the first time in my life.

He makes me lie down in green pastures,

That is to rest, to let go, to do nothing???????  Really?

Not just rest but God MAKES me lies down in abundance?  Am I getting this right?

I always believed that in order for God to provide I had to do something like work, or ask the right people for help or even maintain the right relationships………..come on now be honest……. we all have those friends with the pool in the backyard and if you don’t, you are probably that friend with the pool in their backyard.

Ps 23:2 implies that I have to do nothing……

In fact it implies that God insists that I rest and do nothing.  So what if I surrender all my efforts to God and lay down to watch what he does in my life?

As I look back over the last 9 months I can see how God has been forcing me to lie down in green pastures.

Last January I ended up in the Hospital for the second time in 2 years.  It was there that I was told I should apply for SSD.  I told the woman that it was ridiculous and that I could work and had been working.  She looked at me and said

” But you are here because it is not working for you.  If you want to get better you need to take a break from working before it kills you.”

I left the hospital and the thought bounced around inside my head for a few weeks before I decided to go ahead and apply.  I was told by my Doctor “Good Luck!  It will take you like 2 years to get it”  I figure in 2 years I wouldn’t need it so if it was what God wanted he would take care of it.

Long story short here….I did get SSD within 6 months and I saw doors fly open for me on the journey that people said I would have a hard time opening.

SSD is not enough to live on but it helps make ends meet so I can be the mom my children need me to be.  I have been learning through all of this that it is not me who earns the money but rather God who provides it.

Just like the green grass just for today I have what I need for each day and I may not know about tomorrow but I have total confidence in my shepherds ability to lead me to the green pastures that I need.

I’ve learned that when something crosses my path whether it is an opportunity to work or way to get assistance I listen to the promptings of my spirit.  Some times God even places people in my path with whom I can share my story with.  I’ve found that sharing my struggles allows others to reach out and meet a need that I have.  This type of experience can be quite humbling and I am learning to not be ashamed of my situations but to be open to allowing God to use them so that He can be Glorified through my unpleasant situations.  All of this takes a willingness on my part to be vulnerable before others and is something that can be risky but for me that risk has paid off on more than one occasion.

I just want to encourage you today to ask yourself if your overworked or if the numbers on the paper are in red……..

Take the time to rest before God forces you to and listen to the directions he gives you not the words of the world.

All the “shouda, coulda’s and what if’s” aren’t going to help you but God can lead you out of your situation if you listen and follow.

Disclaimer…..I am not saying to go buy a boat when you don’t have the money and expect God to pay for it or lead you to someone who will give you the money for it.  But if you want a boat pray about it and talk to people.  God just might surprise you and send someone across your path that is willing to give you a boat.

I am saying that if you don’t see how your going to meet the basic needs of your family you can trust God.  He is faithful and he wants to provide for you if you just let go and give him the control.

Scruff of the Neck and Out of the Fire

Talk about a wild winter!   Who’s ready for some heat?

I think most everyone is a little tired of this snow and cold.

Everyone except me……

I’ve been quiet on my blog for almost 4 months and I’m sure some are wondering what happened to me.  So I thought it was time to share now that I have some answers.

I’ve been on a journey that has not been very fun.  Some people in my life have been hurt and I’m terribly sorry for that, but on the flip side I am not sorry for the things I’ve done or said.  I know that it must puzzle some of you reading this to try and understand but if you go back to my post titled “Balloons of Hope” you might get a better understanding of what I’m going to share.

I finally succeeded in popping that balloon that just didn’t want to pop.  The one you can bounce on ridiculously and it just expands to move the air out a different side.  Well I finally popped it and all the others that I thought would help my situation.  The only one I had left was God’s balloon and since it was tied to my belt loop there was no escaping when I got into some trouble back in December.

I felt like God picked me by the scruff of my neck and pulled me out of the fire.  He then set me down and told me to stop trying to jump over the flames.  That is easier said than done when you don’t see another way.  God then picked me up and began to carry me back across the burning coals toward the flames.  I was terrified as I could see the flames as we began to walk past and sometimes I even feel the heat, but I’m not burned.  It’s not always comfortable but Gods got me wrapped up in his arms protecting me as we walk through this furnace.  I didn’t create the furnace and neither did God, but I do have to get through it to get to the other side.  Sometimes I get anxious and try to do it myself but I’ve learned that if I continue to try to cross this furnace by myself I will keep falling short into the flames and will have to start all over again with a new set of burns.

Fires can be just like the balloons in life.  Balloons are good things that come along and give me hope but they can also distract me from my hope in God.  The fires though are challenges that can appear much scary than they really are.  If I allow my fear to overcome me and try to avoid them I will always wind up smack dab in the middle unable to see.  But I do know one thing for sure and that’s that God is faithful and will rescue me every time.

I have had situations in my life where I’ve gotten burned from jumping and I didn’t even realize I was jumping over a situation.  That has been my life for the last year or maybe even 2.  I didn’t even see the fire or even realize I was crossing it.  I could feel it and I knew it was there but I didn’t understand because I couldn’t see.  There were a few people in my life that I was screaming at in desperation for help but since I couldn’t see where I was  or the danger I was in…. I didn’t know what to ask for.  Instead, for the first time in my life, I screamed wildly and out of control lost in the dark billowing smoke.  I don’t know if all the people I hurt could see my situation and if they knew where I was but I hope they know that I’m sorry.

It’s taken a long time but I finally found the light.  The last 4 months God has been shining the light around showing me just where I have been and what I have been in the midst of.  He’s shown me how much danger there has been and how much he has saved me from.  So to say that I’m sorry for the things I’ve done would be wrong because if I hadn’t done or said them I wouldn’t know where I am today.  I would still be lost, feeling the excruciating pain of the flames I couldn’t see.  So if you feel like God’s got you by the scruff of the neck perhaps it’s time to relax and let him lead you out of the fire so he can show you where you’ve been and where you’re going to go.

Psalm 27:5

For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling.

What if I was Jesus?

What if the blind man could see the stars in the sky but fail to see the hands that painted it?

What if the deaf man could hear the sound of whispers yet miss the calls of a loving Father?

What if the paralytic could feel ground but never the arms of a loving Father?

What if the lame could walk on water yet never make it home?

What if the man who could taste the richest of foods could not taste the sweetest of honey?

What if the man who lived the longest was the first to see his death?

What if the strongest man could lift a car but not his own heart?

As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho a large crowd of people followed them. There were 2 blind men on the roadside just outside the city gates. They heard that Jesus was going by and cried out “Lord, Son of David, Have Mercy on Us! The crowd turned to the blind men rebuking them and telling them to be quiet. It was wrong for them to call out to the Messiah for help. Wrong of them to ask for what they so desperately needed. They were not worthy of Jesus’s time. That is what the crowd was saying to these blind men. The 2 blind men wouldn’t listen to the crowd of people instead they shouted louder and louder until they were screaming “Lord, Son of David, Have Mercy on Us!” Jesus stopped and called back to them saying “What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord,” they answered “we want our sight.”

Jesus had compassion on them and he touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and they followed him.

How many times have I walked past the city gates and seen the blind, the deaf, the paralytic, the adulteress, the prostitute, the orphans……….How many times have I tossed my coin and kept on walking? How many times have I said to myself “that’s all I am called to do.” How many times have not given it another thought? How many times have I inflated my ego by their misfortune?

Too many! That’s how many.

God showed me a very important message in this small passage.

What does this look like today, in our society? We don’t exactly have city gates, we do have those beggars on street corners with their card board signs. I’m not sure that is the same thing so hear me out on this. What if this little passage was more than just Jesus healing two blind men? What if it is an example of something far more important but shown in a physical way so that we might understand.

What if Jesus was showing us how we as Christians can reach out and touch someone? And no I’m not talking about calling them on the phone, but then again maybe I am. Maybe it is all about “reaching out and touching someone” not in the physical sense as Jesus did but in a relational sense.

Look around you and open your eyes. What do you see? I see a world of broken people. People who are hurting and wounded inside. Many of whom are blind and deaf, but don’t even know it. Some though are blind and deaf but do know it and are crying out for healing. They are even crying out for Jesus to heal them just like those two blind men. What if in order to experience healing they need to experience the touch of Jesus? How does that happen? I’ve been told by so many fellow believers that we are the hands and feet of Christ. If that is true then don’t we have the ability to reach out and touch the hurting? We can’t just touch them where we feel comfortable touching them. Jesus didn’t touch the blind men on the arm or simply shake their hands. He touched their EYES. He touched them in their wounds, where their deepest pain was. He didn’t tip toe around it either. He went straight for the heart of the pain and didn’t waste time.

How many times have I avoided a topic of conversation with a friend simply because their pain made me feel uncomfortable? Or maybe I wasn’t willing to be that person they needed me to be, because I was still hurting. Maybe I am too afraid of experiencing the pain they are in, as if it were contagious. How many times have treated someone like a leper? I know I am guilty just as much as I know I have been treated the same. So this brings me back to the main point. How much suffering is going on in the world around us because we as Christians are unwilling to be the hands and feet of Christ where it really matters? Giving of our hearts and sharing the joy and love we experience within the body of Christ with those that are wounded and hurting.

There are some things in my life that I have never experienced and there are areas of my heart that are deeply wounded. I have cried out in frustration and it seems as if the only response I get is the rebuke of the crowd so I wonder to myself “are they right???? or do I just scream louder?” The two blind men screamed louder but I wonder how long I will have to wait for the hands of Jesus to touch my pain so I might find healing. I always thought that if I prayed for healing for an emotional pain that it should be instantaneous, if I ask for forgiveness I should be able to snap my fingers and move on. I don’t believe it works that way. I believe God brings healing through people who are willing to be used to reach out and “touch” us where we need it. If we are hurt in a relationship it will be a relationship that brings us healing. It might even be a reconciliation of the same relationship or it could be a totally different person filling the same role that brings healing to the soul. I also think that sometimes it takes time because we are all human and we don’t always do what we are told, when we are told to do it.

Wow! That reminds me of obedience.

Moving on to that last little line in the story. Actually it’s not even a line it’s more like a phrase. Immediately they received their sight and they followed him! So if I take the time and the risk, to touch a wounded heart where it is the ugliest….. Healing could be immediate AND they could see the same Jesus that I see and follow me home to our Fathers house.

So now in the words of my Pastor “you think about that!”

The One Thing

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I was sitting at my kitchen table eating dinner with my youngest daughter who is now eight years old.  She is the youngest of my four kids and on this particular night we were on our own since the other three were off with extra curricular activities.  As I sat there watching her eat I began to wonder if I was doing what I needed to with her.  Was I teaching her the most important thing?  I have been so busy in her little life with her siblings that I really haven’t had the time I wish I had.  I have ten years left with her and then she is off to college.

What is the one thing I want to her to know when she leaves?  What is the one thing I would want her to know if I died tomorrow?  What is the one thing I would like her to achieve?  I know these are deep questions to ask yourself over dinner with a little girl but they are questions I think every parent should ask themselves at some point before it’s too late.

I sat there pondering my own questions.  The one thing that I would like her to know before she goes off to college is that God loves her, faults included and will never leave her because he gives her more grace than she could possibly need to cover any mistakes she may make.

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The one thing I would want her to know if I were to die tomorrow…..

That I loved God more than anything in this world and to know that I had an intimate relationship with my Savior.

The one thing I would like to see her achieve…..

I long to see her develop a personal relationship with God that will carry her through life’s worst trials.

Nothing else really matters.

If she goes to college or goes to work.  Does she get married or have kids?  Or how about the harder things like does she drink, smoke or do drugs?  What if she screws up and gets arrested or even pregnant.  It doesn’t really matter because I know that God will use the negative to draw her closer to him and the positive to bless her.

I hear of how some parents have a very difficult time “letting go” of their children. Letting go was something I had to do when I had my first child nearly 17 yrs ago.  I remember that night clearly as if it were yesterday.  It was my first night home from the hospital and I was up feeding her in the middle of the night.  As I sat there looking down upon her tiny little hands, listening to the sweet sound of her breathing I began to wonder what on earth was I thinking?  I had wanted her so badly and now that she was here, I wanted her to die.  The thought mortified me at the time but it made perfect sense…..Here was this baby that I waited in anticipation for nine months and now I had fallen in love with her more than I could have ever imagined.  I wanted her to be safe and I knew that the world was not safe.  In fact I knew that it was a guarantee that she would suffer.  I would not be able to protect her and I loved her so much that I couldn’t stand the thought of watching her in pain.  I prayed that night and asked God to please take her home before anything could happen to her.  I didn’t want her to suffer and I was willing to lose her if that meant she would go to heaven.

God answered my prayer that night.  It was not the answer I wanted but it was an answer.

He said “Monica think about how much you love this child…How much more do you think that I love her?  Do you not think that the one thing I want for her is to come home?  Do you really think that I want to see her suffer?  It is not your right to decide when she comes home.  She is not yours she is mine and I have claimed her from conception just as I have claimed you. I have entrusted you with her for this moment in time and I will protect her because I know you can’t.  I am trusting you with her now so I need you to trust that I know what I’m doing”

That night I let go of all my rights to her and handed them over to God.  I did it with my other three children before they were ever born.  I don’t look at them as my children but as little souls that God has entrusted me with.  I gave all control to God and promised God that I would do my best to do that one thing……To teach them to love God.

So as I sat there at the dinner table with my youngest I was questioning whether I was really doing my best to teach her to love God.  Watching her eat I asked her “Christy who is your best friend?”

She looked at me and nonchalantly said “Elise is Mommy” she paused and said “no! no! she is my second bestest friend”

Curious I was looking at her expecting her to name one of her friends from school.  But she surprised me and said “God is my first best friend!”

I smiled at her and said “your right honey he is the best friend you could possibly have”

I said nothing more.

I may not have had a ton of time to spend with her reading bible stories but what I have done is lived it out for her.  How I have chosen to live my life has had a bigger impact on my children than anything else.  She went to VBS this last week and one of the things the teacher there had her do was write a note telling your Mom what one of her talents are.

I have posted pictures of the little notes I have received from her because they are so much sweeter when you view them in her handwriting.

ImageSimple words that spoke volumes to my heart.

Simple words that told me what her heart sees

Simple words are all it takes!

Finding Purpose

I am determined to find the purpose in all things good and bad.  If I can find purpose in the bad it gets me through the pain of suffering.  So often it is easy to find purpose in the good but when life hurts we simply tell ourselves “God has a purpose” without actually considering the purpose.  I don’t know how many times I’ve told myself that very thing.

  God has a purpose.

  My life is falling a part, I can’t pay the bills, a loved one is sick, I lost my job, my kids are not as good as I think they should be.  I could go on and on with all the things that don’t go our way but honestly we all have them.  Each one is a little different and unique to each one of us.  Every single one of those difficulties molds us into who we are.  If I had not gone through some of the sufferings that I have had, I would not be the person I am today. 

In fact I would not be able to stand today.  I would be crushed under the the burden I currently carry.  I can carry it though because of the what I have been through.  Each one of those struggles have played a part in making me   I can carry today’s struggles because of yesterdays sufferings.  It has made me strong enough to do what God has called me to do and to be who he wants me to be at this point in my life. 

The interesting thing I have been learning through all of this is that the stronger I get the BIGGER the burden I am given to carry.  The BIGGER the burden the easier it is.  I know it doesn’t make sense.  You would think that the bigger the burden the more difficult it would be.  With God though it is different.  With each struggle our faith and trust in God grow making us stronger in turn making ALL trials easier to walk through no matter what the size.

PhiIippians 4:13

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

But Where Mommy?

Faith that can move mountains!

What does that look like?

Every time I think I’ve figured it out I find myself in a situation that requires even more faith.  I used to think that I had a lot of faith and could weather any storm God allowed to cross my path. Don’t get me wrong.  My life wasn’t easy, but I had grown used to some of life’s rotating struggles and every time they came back around it got easier and easier to trust God. I had fallen into this comfortable little rut in my walk with God and eventually God said “enough!  It’s time to crawl out of your rut and start moving again.”  At first I didn’t mind because the road was straight and easy.  However it didn’t last long before the hills and curves came, and then my faith really began to get a workout.   A few months ago I was really struggling with not having enough faith.  I just didn’t think I had enough faith for what God had placed in front of me.  I would waver back and forth between “God’s got it covered” and total freaked out panic thinking ” What in the world am I going to do?”  I would be going through every possible scenario in my head of how I could possibly fix the situation.  The problem with my solutions was that they were all practically impossible.  Every time I would set out with a plan, it would get squashed. Finally at the last second everything would some how all fall into place at the perfect time.  I cannot tell you how many times that has happened to me and yet here I am panicked.  The thoughts going through my mind are not healthy ones and I will be the first to admit that. I should have a grasp on this with all the things God has done for me and I try to remind myself of all those things but this time it’s different.  This time its not the loss of work, or the loss of a car, or what ever the challenges prior may have been so…. its different….or so I think..

On the outside if anyone asks I seem calm, collected and as if everything is under control.  I can tell everyone I have faith and that I believe God’s got it under control,  but somewhere deep down inside there is a whisper that haunts me.  Its begging the question “is God really going to come through for me?  What if he doesn’t?  What if I don’t like his solution?  why am I struggling with this?”  Then I think I shouldn’t be struggling with this and I am such a weak christian because I am questioning God.  Questioning God…. who am I to question his ways?  Then that horrible feeling that I try to ignore because I know in my head its not true but it feels true.  I am a complete failure.  I shouldn’t be an example to anyone why do people even look up to me?  These are all lies and I know this.  But honestly not believing them is really hard.  I am not going to lie to you.  Telling myself the truth everyday over and over is the hardest thing I do because every time I turn around there is something going on that causes me to question my faith in God.  Then to add to my own struggle to hang on to what little faith I can muster up.  The enemy comes along with tempting little solutions that I know are just wrong.  But hey…everyone else is doing it.  Gods grace has me covered Right??? I really don’t want to do it and deep down I don’t think I could, so even struggling with the thoughts can be completely horrifying.  I just never understood why people did some of the crazy things they do.  The harder life gets though the more I understand and can have empathy for those who have given in to those temptations.   I can have momentary lapses in judgement when I’m panicked and wonder “what in the world am I doing?”  that is what grace is for.  God knows exactly how much I can handle and he may let me get right to the edge of the cliff but he never lets me fall.

Today was a rough day.  People who I thought were there and cared for me…bailed and then the enemy made a surprise attack and I lost hope.  Hope in people that is.  God reminded me though that my hope is in him and not people, not even respectable, good, safe, christian people.

Ps 62:5

Find rest O’ my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him alone.

I meditate on this verse as I think of what it looks like in action.  What does it look like when I hope in God?  Perhaps it’s resting in knowing that I can’t do it but at the same time not worrying about how God is going to do it.  I’m told I just need the faith of a mustard seed and that I know I have.  But what do I do while I wait for God to do his thing?  I think my daughter gave me the answer to this one tonight.

I had just finished bedtime prayer with her and she asked me “Mommy do we have to move?”  I told her “yes, we have to move”

“But where to?” her brows all furrowed up with concern

“I don’t know” I sigh in response

“Mommy I don’t want to be homeless” she whispers softly, her little voice cracking as she holds back her tears.

My heart breaks as I know her pain and worry all to well.

” Do you know the birds in the trees?”  I ask and she nods yes

“If God can provide homes for them don’t you think he can provide a home for us?”

“but where Mom? we can’t live outside” she asks

“I don’t know honey but I do know that God knows”

she looked at me with a smile and said “He has the perfect house, at the perfect place, at the perfect time for us.”

I smiled at her and said “yes dear he does”

with that she rolled over and went right to sleep.  As I sat there watching her as she breathed, looking so calm and innocent, God whispered in my heart and said “Child like faith” That’s it!  Being able to talk to God and hear his truth, accepting it without questioning it.  She had such trust and faith that she could let her worries go and fall to sleep as if I just told her that if it rains we’ll move the party inside no big deal!

knowing where I’m going to live might be a big deal to me but to God its as easy as moving the party inside when it rains.  I don’t know where I’m going and every time someone asks me what I’m going to do.  I have been telling them I don’t know but I do know that God will have the perfect place at the perfect time for the perfect price.  My daughter’s been listening and she spoke back to me my own words of life giving faith in the one God that can do anything.

So tonight even though the storms will rage outside my window I will sleep.  I will sleep, because I have quieted the voice inside of me that questions the validity of my God and his desires for me.