Tag Archive | positive thinking

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!

 

 

Lesson’s in an Epic Failure

I recently had the opportunity to speak to a group of 20-30 youth, I wasn’t exactly thrilled since I have never spoken to a group like  that before.  Now speaking isn’t necessarily new because I’ve spoken at board meetings and small bible studies surrounded by friends but as far as a group of people I don’t know well……. to share something that God has placed on my heart, it was a first.  It all came about because the week before I found myself sitting in the back of the sanctuary as one of the leaders was giving the lesson and God began to press upon my heart to share a lesson I had struggled to learn that was along the same lines of topic being taught.  I went home and spent 3 days just praying about it and asking God what it was exactly I was supposed to share.  I knew the point and I knew the story I just wasn’t sure exactly how I was going to say it.  I am a writer so I’m used to planning out everything going down on paper and if I don’t think it sounds like what I’m trying to say I can always go back and reword things.  Speaking however is completely different and once a word is spoken there is no taking it back.  You can try to explain and maybe the listener will understand but maybe they won’t.

Sunday morning came and I found the courage to ask the leader if I could share.  The response was put together an outline with supporting scripture on the topic you would like to share and get back with me.  I went home thinking more about what I should say and the possible verses that would go with it.  After some prayer I came up with an outline and scriptures to go along.  I wouldn’t say that I was nervous,  I was just curious where God was going with this.  I didn’t think that I was qualified to be speaking and wasn’t sure how I would be received.  I also wasn’t convinced it would all come out the way I wanted it to either.  I have this problem that when I get in front of people my mind freezes and I can’t think straight so most of the time I don’t say much.  At a board meeting I’m usually just giving facts on a situation and it’s nothing personal.  This was different and knew that by sharing I had the ability to speak into the lives of others.  I didn’t want to say something wrong and negatively affect the lives of these kids.  My purpose was to share a struggle I’ve had in my own walk with God in hopes that it might encourage them and perhaps bring freedom to someone.

The night came and I thought I had realistic expectations of the evening.  I knew it wasn’t going to come out the way I wanted it to and I also knew that it might be an epic failure.  I did however know that it was what God was asking of me and that he would give me the words to say.  I also knew that he could take anything I said wrongly and fix it.  This was for God and no one else,….. so really no matter what happens it was in his hands.

I started with this prayer.

Lord,

I come before you tonight and thank you for all of the precious souls you have brought here tonight.  I thank you for the opportunity to speak to them and that you would soften their hearts so that might hear and see the words that are spoken.  I ask that you give them understanding and that my words might glorify you.  I pray also for your protection over us as we go home tonight and as we go through the next week.  I ask this all in Jesus name Amen.

After that I’m not really sure what I said.  I know what I intended to say and I know at some point I froze and wasn’t sure where I was at or where I was going.  I prayed and just let go of every expectation had.

What I tried to say was that just because I’m now a Christian doesn’t mean I’m never going to make a mistake again.  I used to think that if I was truly a Christian it meant that I would be given the ability to do the right thing all of the time.  Because that didn’t happen I was constantly asking Jesus into my heart.  I thought that somehow I must not have done something right if I kept screwing up.  I would hear of drug addicts and alcoholics who would change in one day.  I used to think that because I couldn’t just change at the snap of my fingers like they did, that something was wrong.  What a lie the enemy told me.  I knew all of the sin in my heart that I struggled with, we all have it and we all struggle with it.  Most of us hide it from everyone afraid to tell.  We are afraid of the judgment, afraid we have somehow not done something right.  The truth is……being a Christian doesn’t mean we won’t struggle with same sins but rather we are forgiven and free from them.  I guarantee you will still struggle but the battle is won and the world will take every opportunity to tell you of all the negative things that you are.  You can listen to the world and believe what it tells you or you can listen to God.  You can’t just know in your mind what the scripture says you are.  You have to believe it.  For the longest time I knew in my head what God said I was, but I didn’t believe it.  The world was constantly telling me all of these negative things about me and because I could see it myself it was so easy to believe.  I knew that God said I was beautiful, smart, and funny but to the world I also knew that I was ugly, stupid, and worthless.  I always told myself that it didn’t matter what the world thought of me because one day I would be in heaven where the truth was and I would be free.  What I learned after years of struggling is that it’s not enough to just know the truth of what God says of me.  I can be told a million times that God loves me and that he says I’m beautiful, but that didn’t help me believe because that was not how I was treated.  Not even by the church.

 1 John 3:16
This is how we know what love is….Jesus Christ laid down his life for us, and we ought lay down our lives for our brothers.  Dear children let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth,  this then is how we know that we belong to the truth,  and this is how we put our hearts at rest whenever our hearts condemn us.  For God is greater than our hearts and he knows everything
.

I had been told by people and read in the bible over and over how special I was to God but what I didn’t experience was that truth followed up by action.  It wasn’t until someone actually took the time to show me by their actions that I truly began to believe the truth in God’s word.  This is why it is so important that our actions match the words out of our mouths especially since we all know actions speak louder than words.  What are your actions telling the people in your life?  How can you show the person next you that you love them?

Below is a little something that I read to myself when all I can hear is the world telling me how bad I am.

Daughter of the King

Listen to yourself

What are you saying?

Did you screw up?

Do you think you are stupid?

Are you crazy, fat, ugly or worthless?

You would never tell anyone…..would you?

You hide it inside

Ashamed of the truth of who you think you are.

Is it really you?

Stop!

Listen again

Do you hear it?

There’s a faint whisper

What do you hear?

What is it saying?

You’re smart

You’re sane

You’re the beautiful daughter of a King

Listen closely

It gets louder

Louder every time you hear

Louder with each word

Till it SCREAMS and you can no longer deny

Deny who you are

Smart, Sane, Beautiful daughter of a King

Not just any King

The King

The King of all kings

He has claimed you

You are his

To him you are smart, sane, beautiful

Perfect just the way you are

Precious daughter of the King

I know I’m not perfect and I also know that everything didn’t come out the way that I wanted it to that night.  I do know that I was obedient to what God asked me to do and that I did it to glorify him.  I also think some might think it was an epic failure or so I heard.  What I didn’t expect in all of this is that God would give me the opportunity to walk out what I just shared in my own life.  The test came just 15 minutes after I finished.  The world telling me I was wrong this time it was even in words.  I had a choice what was I going to believe?

I curled in the stairwell and prayed searching for the truth in the words I had heard.  I went home that night and a friend prayed with me asking God to please convict me of anything that I may have shared that was wrong and if not to please show me clarity in the situation.

I woke up early the next morning to go for my run and while I was out God began to speak.

Monica,

Didn’t you just speak on not listening to who the world says you are but to who I say you are?

Yes Lord.

Who do I say you are?

I am your beloved daughter.

Did you get up and speak because I asked you to?

Yes Lord I did

Then your motive was pure and you were obedient to the calling I gave you.  I am the one who determines if it was a failure, not those other people.

There is a lesson here.  You didn’t exactly do as I asked.  You did what you thought they wanted not what I asked of you.  You took your story and tried to teach it.  That is not your talent.  Your talent is telling stories whether it be in writing or speaking.  Follow my son, did he teach? Or did he tell parables?

He told parables!

Monica,   sometimes our epic failures are simply to show us what we are not good at, so we can discover what we are good at.  You my darling, are good at parables, don’t try to teach, let the lessons come naturally through your story and they will be more meaningful to your audience.

I’m sure there are people in my life who might read this and judge me harshly and I don’t care.  I used to, but I’ve given up caring what anyone in this world thinks of me.  I know my savior is tucked safely in the core of my being, breathing life into each beat of my heart.  I will say that it is easier to believe what God says about me when the church backs up those words with action.  But even if they don’t, I’ve learned to believe in the truth of God’s word and its through his grace that I am able to extend forgiveness to those who have hurt 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.

God’s Dare

This year has turned out to be a very difficult one.  Back in January I could see the hurricane off the coast of my heart, having never seen one this size before I began to panic.  I did things and said things that probably didn’t make any sense but it was my desperate attempt to find answers to the questions spinning within my heart.  It was during this time as the winds of change were beating against my soul that God spoke to me so clearly it was as if he was sitting on the couch beside me.  Being the writer that I am, I instinctively picked up my journal and began to write out the words God tenderly spoke into my heart.

My Beloved,

I dare you to love me,

to follow me,

be an example of me,

to show others who I am through your actions.

No!  I won’t say that it will  be easy,

in fact it will be the hardest thing you do.

But don’t worry.

I will be there with you,

guiding your every step, opening and closing doors as you go.

The people who help you will be attacked,

some will prevail…… because they see me in you.

Some….. will walk away,

giving up the chance to see my glory.

I will redeem you… just as I’ve promised,

I will cradle you in my arms just as your heart longs to be.

No!

You are not crazy or weak minded, in fact you are the opposite.

The battle you fight is intense and you are strong,

do not be discouraged for I will lift you up.

I will carry the yoke for you.

Trust in me and let my love wash away your fears.

Real fears,

fears of past, present, and future.

I know the reality you face,

so step into  my love and grace,

experience the peace I have for you.

Remember……. you are mine and I am yours.

Nothing can take that away from you.

Sure,

you could walk away…. but I know you won’t,

I know this because I know your heart better than you do.

You do love me, believe in me and trust me with your whole being.

You may not feel like it but you are.

You need to believe you are everything I need you to be.

  Have faith in the unseen and know that my love washes over you,

cascading over every jagged rock in your heart,

I am making them smooth so you’ll shine like a diamond.

Strong enough to withstand everything yet crystal clear so people can see me in you.

You are my daughter, my bride, my love.

I love you more than you can conceive.

Don’t forget that in the struggles that lay ahead.

Your Father in Heaven

Written Feb 7,2013

My heart survived the first part of the hurricane and entered the eye of the storm.  Relieved I began to look at the damage left behind and attempted to make repairs before the rest of the storm arrived.  I did what I could to prepare for round two but to be honest I wasn’t looking so good.  I placed a smile on my face and picked up the motto “grin and bear it”.   I began chanting in my head ” I think I can! I think I can! I think I can!

The eye of the storm settled in and I discovered it can be quite deceiving.  The calmness can trick a person into thinking the storm has passed but a seasoned person knows the second round is inevitable, the only way out is to go through the swirling winds and rain again.  Waiting for its arrival, when the memory of swirling winds and drowning rain are fresh in your mind is torture.….I couldn’t handle the waiting game when I could see it coming.  I took off running headlong outside and threw myself into the wind and pelting rain.  I didn’t care how hurt I would be afterwards, I just wanted to get to the other side of the storm and I was going to fight my way there.  The winds of change have picked me up and I’m flying through the air now with common things turned deadly.  Open to the elements and exposed to the wrath of the storm I close my eyes and cry out to God “is it too late?”  I can’t go back that I know, but the fear has my eyes tightly closed because the sight before me is too much for my battered heart to take.  My self destructive nature has once more taken over.  I try to breathe as the lies spin me in circles.  I reach for something to grab onto and for a second I’ve got it.  Then the winds of doubt rip it from my grasp as I fight to keep my heart beating.  Trust God, Trust God I chant within me.  I open my eyes for a second and catch a glimpse of God through the storm,  He tells me “on purpose”.   On purpose!   I ponder in my mind its meaning.  Is it meant for me?  He knew I was going to run into the storm, He knew I couldn’t sit there and wait for what I saw was inevitable to happen.  He knew I would self destruct and take matters into my own hands to make it happen.  It was all on purpose!   He has a plan for me that I cannot see right now.  I remember his dare to me and the spoken words are what will carry me through the rest of this storm.  I don’t know who will be left standing beside me when its over but I do know my shattered heart is in his hands.

I’m not sure I believe redemption is possible for me here on earth….even when my feet touch the ground again.  I do believe that I will find it in heaven and no one can take that away from me.  I will not justify my reasons for running into the storm, nor will I let my scars define who I am when its all over.  I also will not allow the pain to cripple me but rather use it to fuel my passion to fight, not for me but for His PURPOSE!

Playing on God’s Soccer Team

This week was rough for me.  Seems like most weeks the last several months have been rough and perhaps it has become my new “normal”.  I was struggling with not being good enough and I know that scripture says that I am but I don’t feel like it sometimes.  I can be so hard and judgmental on myself and yet full of grace for others.  Yesterday all I heard God saying was to Love “Myself”.

How do you do that?

He reminded me what love was.

It’s not a feeling, it’s an action or choice that we make

sometimes we have to make it several times a day with the same person.

For me that person is myself

To extend myself grace, forgiveness, patience as I fail over and over again and how about to never give up on myself.

I could go on but I do know what Love is and that is a whole other discussion that I may pick up another time.

So as I walked through a difficult day I tried to think of how I could love myself.  For me it meant laying out under the stars last night for a quiet uninterrupted moment with God.  To admire his craftsmanship in the sky and just let my spirit be one with God.  As I laid there I began to hear God speak to me in his soft whispers of the heart.

He told me to stop looking at everyone else,  He said your all on the same team and yet you all look at one another only to say to yourself that your not as good as them.

You ever catch yourself reading someone’s post or hearing someone else speak to find that the ugly green head of jealousy has creeps in to your heart.  I know I have,  in fact I usually go on with I wish I could write that well, or speak that good.  Heck you could throw anything in there.  We all have those things we wish we were better at and every time we see someone that we perceive as better than ourselves we find that green snake hiding within us.  I don’t know about you but I don’t like to see it and sometimes I even try to shove him out the door or in a closet and pretend he was never there in the first place,  I keep telling myself that there is no need to compare myself to others and that God made me just the way he wants me.  Its ok if I am not as good as so in so but really deep down I am still disappointed with who God made me to be and the talents he’s given me.

Realizing this, I had to take it to God and deal with this sneaky snake that’s been lurking in the corners of my heart. I know he is just waiting for the opportunity to strike me at the core when I least expect it.  I’m so tired of being bitten by him and I really want to do away with him once and for all.

When I asked God about it this is what he said to me

Monica,  You are all on the same team why can’t you see it like that?

If you were playing soccer and your teammate made a goal would you be jealous or would you rejoice because your team scored?

I would rejoice!

This is no different than that,  see I have created my children to compliment one another on the field of life just as you would pick your team mates to compliment each other in a game.

Some of you play forward and your going for the goal all the time and yes it looks more glamorous than defense.  But my defensive players are just as vital to the team.  Defensive players are in a position to make the great save to keep the enemy from scoring they are my prayer warriors and the people you run to when you need a shoulder to cry on.My offense are the ones everyone sees the most because they are out there going for the goal to reach the lost.

My midfielders probably have it the hardest.  See they are constantly running back and forth across the field directing the mission but never getting the big save or scoring the goal, but with out them there wouldn’t be a game. These people prepare hearts of others to receive the gift I have to offer.  They keep the communication open between the offense and defense. They are in the heart of the game even if they don’t get recognized.

But lets not stop there what about the coach and the “water boy”  every good team needs a good coach.  I have called some to be just that for my team.  They lead my players and lay out the plan with the mighty hand book of rules and guidelines I have given.  Their job is to train my players the ins and outs to the game.  They also encourage and correct when it is needed.  The water boy or girl is also a valuable part of the team and I think you may know where I am going with this one.  In order for a team to function at its best they need to be hydrated and served.  These people I have given the gift of serving.  They love to host and fill people’s physical needs.  Sure you could function with out them but not very well.

Lastly there is the team’s athletic trainer.  They are the ones that come into the field of play when someone is injured.  They check you out to make sure everything is working correctly before you return to play and if its not they direct you to receive healing.  They are gifted with the ability to spot an injury and provide treatment.  We all get knocked to the ground at some point in the game.  Some of us get back up right away and return to the game.  Some are shakin up and come out for a bit to rest and regain confidence.  Then there are those who are injured and must take time to heal before returning to the game.  Sitting on the sidelines is not always fun but to protect against further injury and being pulled out permanently the time must be given to heal.

Monica  I want you to look at life like its a game and others as if they were your teammates.  When they do something you think is great don’t look at yourself and think I wish I could do that.  That is not your position and only you can do your position.  Instead cheer them on for they just made a great move for the team.  The same team you are on!  Their Victory is your victory so if you change your perception of life’s circumstances then you rid yourself of the ugly green snake that lingers inside.

So here I am reevaluating my thoughts on the issue and I realize the truth that God is speaking to me.  But I also realize something so much more.  I’ve been injured and have had to sit on the sidelines for quite a while it seems.  But now I can see that it is necessary and has a purpose.  He wants to put me back in the game but he is also concerned with my strength and ability to keep up with the game.   He does have big plans for me, he is just preparing me for them.

My Miracle Car

2013-03-09_16-37-46_351

Have you ever had one of those days or months or even years where you wish you could go back and start over?  I’ve been having one of those years.  I would like to say it couldn’t possibly get worse but I know that it can and of course as soon as I type this, it will be an invitation for something to happen.  I could go on about all the things that have happened but I won’t.  I choose not to dwell on them anymore.  See even though a lot of “not so good” things have happened I have had the unique opportunity to see God on a deeper level.

I love how just when I think I’ve reached a plateau or mile stone God thrusts me to the next level.  This doesn’t mean I never cry or get upset about my circumstances.  I believe we all have our moments of weakness where we know God is ultimately in control but we are still on the floor throwing a temper tantrum like a two year old.  I’m not always happy about it and  I don’t always understand and yes I do wish he would do it my way sometimes.  I usually try to console myself with Jeremiah 29:11  For I know the plans I have for you.  Plans for prosperity and not for evil.  Plans for a future and hope.  When you look for me you will find me.  This verse in particular always has a way of pulling the steam out of this engine.  When I’m finally done arguing my point with God and my heart grows quiet I can hear his voice.  He doesn’t always tell me why he does something but he always consoles my heartache.

I have also learned that it is important to have friends who know me well enough to encourage and lift me up.  I used to go through life by myself so to speak.  When things went wrong I would take them to the foot of the cross and leave them with the Lord.  That was great and I learned a lot about God. I learned how to really hear his voice and how to have peace through some pretty difficult trials.  What it didn’t teach me though was that God is down here on earth with me.  I don’t have to wait to get to heaven to “be” with God and experience his glory.  I didn’t fully understand that when I would leave people out of my life and try to handle it on my own I was pushing God out of my life.  Think of it this way.  If God lives in me then he lives in you, so if I don’t let you and you don’t let me in during difficult times, then we are not allowing God to meet us where we are here on earth.  I don’t know about you but I know I want to experience God down here on earth to the fullest.  What does that mean to me?  Well when my daughter has a car accident and totals my only van,  I ask others for help rather than struggling through on my own.  Sure I could get by on my own hitching rides, not going places and even purchasing a really cheap (but probably not very good) car.  What  I discovered though through telling people and sharing my struggles with them was that God could meet my needs way better than he could when I kept to myself.

There were several little miracles that occurred to make this big miracle happen.  I thought I would share them with you so you can see how God has worked in my life and hopefully you will be able to see him more clearly in your own life.

On Jan 31, 2013 my daughter was in a car accident on her way to pick me up from work.  We only had one car and it made more sense for her to drop me off at work before going to school then it did for me to drop her off at 6am for school.  She had only had her license for 2 months and had never driven on snow or icy roads.  That morning I knew there was a chance of a little snow but it was nothing big.  For tow days I had heard God telling me she was going to have an accident on this particular day.  I consoled myself with the fact that she needed to learn and she wasn’t going to get experience if I kept her off the road every time it was a little icy.  There were no school closings any where in our region so I knew it would be a little ridiculous for me to keep her off the road.  I told myself that I probably wasn’t hearing God and that I was just a worrying Mother.  That morning she made it school safely and I breathed a bit easier.  There was something inside of me though that kept telling me it wasn’t over and before the day was out I got that phone call every parent dreads where your kid is on the other end in hysterics crying.  She couldn’t tell me what happened because she was crying so hard but I knew exactly what happened.
The first miracle was that someone was with me and I was able to leave right away in their car.  I retraced the path she would take to get to me and she was only few miles away.  When I arrived at the scene my heart sank at the sight of my van and I knew it was totaled.  The second miracle was that my daughter was not injured, not even a bruise.  When I asked her later about the air bag deploying and if it hurt. She told me all she felt was something brush against her arm.  If you have ever had the displeasure of being struck with an air bag you know that they can hurt,  of course not as bad as you would if you didn’t have one, but none the less they hurt.  The third miracle that day was that enterprise closed at 6pm.  The accident happened at 4:30 so by the time we were done with police reports and talking to  the insurance company I walked in the door there at 5:55 only to be told that they didn’t have the reservation from the insurance company yet.  I could put up $300 to get the car that night or wait till the next day.  I couldn’t wait and I didn’t have $300.  I couldn’t call anyone to help either because enterprise was closing in 3 minutes and wouldn’t take a credit card over the phone.  I stood there not really sure what I was going to do and prayed.  I was waiting for God’s answer to my dilemma when the reservation popped up on their computer at 5:59 .  Relieved my daughter and I climbed into our temporary car.  I knew my daughter was very upset and understood that I was not in a position to replace my van.  I could only imagine how she felt and I didn’t want her to carry this burden so I began to slowly list all the things in my life that I was thankful for.  I did this all the way home and told her this wasn’t her problem to fix.  She may have had the accident but its not her job to pick up the pieces.   I couldn’t even pick up the pieces,  this wasn’t something we could fix.  To be honest I was a little lost myself and very numb inside.

The next week I found out I would be getting a mere $2300 for my van. My van of course was worth way more than that  to me and next to impossible to replace at that price. I  So I went to a local dealership where I was close friends with some of the employees and the salesman there put me in a couple of cars.  I really didn’t like any of them and I told him he was trying to sell a puppy to someone who lost their beloved dog two days ago.  It didn’t matter what he showed me I couldn’t make a decision.   I am a single mom who is trying to raise 4 kids on very little money so I really didn’t even know how I was going to afford anything.  After the last car he told me he had another option but I couldn’t tell anyone.  He had just driven back a car from out of town.  The woman was a friend and had purchased a new vehicle so she had asked him to drive her old car back to sell for her.  The woman was only asking $3500 for it so it was more in my price range than the ones he had been showing me.  After 2 friends looked over the car for me I told him I would buy it.  The salesman was even going to do the sale outside of the dealership so I wouldn’t have to pay additional fees.  You would think it would be easy now.  Insurance cuts me a ck and I pay for the car and I go away happy.  No that’s not how it works for me.  It took two attempts to fill out and fax paperwork correctly.  How should I know I’m the customer?  I would have thought they were since they are the one’s buying my demolished van.  Then I had to track down the title which was not as easy as going home to the file and pulling it out.  You see the bank gave me the wrong title 2 yrs ago when I finished paying for my van.  They did send me a title just not the right one.  So after I tracked that down turned it all in I found out the owner of the car I was buying was still looking for her title.  Great!  I’m beginning to think this whole title business is a bunch of crap!

Finally all the money and titles located so I go to get my new car.  The wonderful salesman tells me how I can’t come by the dealership to visit my friends  in my new car for awhile.  It seems the owner saw the car and was trying to buy it out from under me.  He was even offering more than $3500 I had agreed to pay because he want to sell it for $6000.  He told the owner the woman wanted the car for her grandson so it was going back.  He put his job on the line so I could get a good deal on a car I desperately needed.  God was really looking out for me there.

Well 26 days later I finally have my new car and what’s even better my daughter has one too.  See, I had to turn the rental back in after a week and I still hadn’t gotten a vehicle.  God was faithful though and a friend from church was trying to sell an old van.  He said we could use it and if I wanted it to make an offer.  It wasn’t worth much but it ran and if my daughter crashes it  I won’t be out much.  So I made him an offer, to which he accepted.   What started off as something terrible God turned into good.  I was going through gas and time like crazy trying to get my kids everywhere they needed to be.  Now I have a little car that gets great gas mileage and my daughter has a car to drive herself to school which will save me a ton of time and money.  The best part about it all was my children seeing how God works things out for the good of those who love him.  I don’t think my kids will ever forget this especially since they know how much I have always wanted a blue car.  They are more excited about the sunroof than the color and that’s okay with me.

Invitation For Success

MaumeeRiver

God you are calling me

Calling me for a purpose

Calling me to be something new

I am scared

So scared of failing

I know you say its okay to fail

What if it’s not okay with me?

I don’t want to fail

How do I change me?

Sounds so easy just change myself

Allow “me” to fail and be okay with it

I have to accept “me”

Not just for what I can do but also for what I can’t do

I have known failure for so long

He has been a close friend of mine

You would think I would be used to him

I expect failure to show up that is why I’m scared

I know the pain that comes with being his friend

He is invited to every new circumstance

That is why I hate new things

What if I make success my new friend

Failure doesn’t show up when success  is there

What if I expect success to appear?

I can pretend I do and hope beyond hope that something

Bigger than me is at work here

I can expect success to show up

God doesn’t let failure in his house

God’s made his home in me so failure can’t sneak in anymore

Success is my new friend!