Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty

As I reflect on my Tapestry of Grace daily devotional, it struck me that even in the worst of times you can praise the Lord.  It has been a rough ten years for our family; tragedy, sickness, loss of loved ones and possessions, moving miles away from family and friends, etc. We have experienced hunger and the thought of what will happen tomorrow.  Today, I declare that we can all praise Him even in all of this.

  "Holy, holy, holy
is the Lord God Almighty, 
who was, and is, and is to come." 
Revelation 4: 8

Day and night they never stop thanking Him and praising Him.  Isn't that what we were created to do.  Our hope is in the Lord, not of the things of this world.  We are His children and He loves us so. 

Dear Heavenly Father, 

I come to you this morning to ask forgiveness for my doubt.  I ask that you forgive me for meddling in Your business. You are my creator, my healer, my provider, my comfort.  You give me strength when I am failing.  I thank you that you know the whole picture and know what is best for me.  Your timing, though I feel like it is so far away sometimes, is perfect.  I lift up my heart to You, Lord.  Fill it with more of you and less of me.  Make it clean and allow my words to reflect that when I speak to others.  Infect everyone around me, Father, with you love and compassion.  Pour out of me and use me to bring glory and honor to you.  I feel like a failure most days, but I ask you give me confidence and write your words on my heart.  Surround me with your people and help us to sharpen who another.  I pray this for my children, as well.  I pray they will seek you with their whole hearts and tell their children for generations and generations, until you come again.  And even then, Lord, we will sing Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come! In Jesus' holy name, Amen.  

Friday, January 2, 2015

A New Year's Reflection

It has been a while since an update with our family, so what better time than New Years.  September marked a huge chapter in our lives, we took the plunge and moved to Florida for a new position with Wayne's company.  July and August was filled with 2nd guessing ourselves, and included lots of praying/packing/purging.

God answered our prayers time and time again, showing himself and how much he cares for even the little things in our lives.  We spent our wheels to find a place to live, when God had the perfect place already prepared for us.  I remember looking at the house on Zillow and thinking this is it, but lets look at some more at the beach just in case.  After days entering into homes and being disappointed, we got an appointment to look here.  I finished the 10 minute tour and said, "This is it, where do we sign." Wayne nor Natalie hadn't even seen the house!

Fast forward to September, and we are here.  It has been a vast array of emotion; overwhelmed from packing and purging, loss of family that was moving back to Hawaii, separation from friends and knowing that my parents were moving further away which brought on some anxiety, financial stress, sense of blessings watching God unfold some things, etc.

We connected with a church family right away in July when we found the house.  They even helped us move in, and welcomed us with open arms.  Natalie and Anna attend youth group on Wednesday night, along with homeschool outings: family co-op, field trips, and cooking classes too.  We even had our stage debut in the church play (funny by the way).

Our neighbors have been another blessing.  The kids all play together: riding bikes, walking, in and out of each other's houses, etc. Adults having chats curb side, tea, cookouts, and spending New Years together.

As a family, we are excited about a little warmer weather.  With warmer weather, comes the beach, riding bikes on the Blackwater trail, hopefully finding a pool near by to swim at, visits from family and friends.

As far as my health, I have felt so much better since moving.  After all the ashes settled, stressed has reduced and I can use my arm/wrist again.  It is modified but it isn't in much pain as before.  God has placed me in the care of a wonderful Christian that has led me to a nutritional and supplementary life style.  When we started seeing her, I could barely walk, while today I can walk a mile without pain.  My goals for this year is to gain at least 1 more mile to my walks and to complete a Pilates session at least 2 times a week.

Just a month into our move, I began a bible study in a local home.  This has definitely been a God thing as well, and I am enjoying getting to know these woman along with pressing into the word.  I need accountability and this is the perfect way.

Lord, thank you for your way which is much richer and joyful than anything I could construct.  I pray for health for my family and friends, my neighbors as well.  I lift my church to you.  I ask Lord that you would continue to nurture those relationships and allow us to be the light into this dark world.  Thank you for our homeschool family, our church family, our family far away, along with our friends.  Give them direction and peace in their lives. Help them to press into you and have that child like faith that will inherent the earth.  I pray for success in Wayne's career and his position as the spiritual leader of our family.  Lord I ask for the tools, words, knowledge it takes to shine your love to all those around us.  You are my beginning and end, my creator and healer, my provider, my friend.  Thank you for an eventful but blessed year in 2014, and I pray for your hand to continue in the year to come.  In Jesus' name, Amen.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Keep my eyes on Him

Hurting this morning...I would NOT wish RA on anyone not even my enemies. I feel like ripping my left arm off :-( And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). In the midst of a world that groans under suffering and evil, God’s main concern is conforming His children to the image of Christ. And He works through the challenging circumstances of our lives to help develop that Christlikeness in us. We can be assured that whatever difficulty He has allowed in our lives has been Father-filtered, through His fingers of wisdom and love. Perhaps the greatest test of whether we who are Christ’s follow­ers believe the truth of Romans 8:28 is to identify the very worst things that have ever happened to us, then to ask whether we believe God will in the end somehow use those things for our good. Randy Alcorn Lord I pray that all the things in my life will bring you glory and honor. I pray that I will have spread the gospel, feed and watered the needy, and encourage those around me. Even in my pain and trials, I WORSHIP YOU. You are my creator, my healer, my peace, and shield. You will comfort me all the days of my life. Amen

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Turn Away and Look to Him

Reading through Proverbs and came across this: "With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity." Proverbs 8:18 So many people and even pastors/preachers have misconstrued this verse. Riches, wealth, prosperity isn't about money and possessions. It's the love of the Holy Spirit and God's provisions. He gives me what I need and even gives what I desire, when they line up to his word. In a world that is selfish and only thinks of what earthly possessions that he can achieve, this concept is hard to grab hold on to. I pray that we seek what God wants for us, so we can give more and gain his riches and honor.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Reflection on "bad luck"

3 years ago on November 30th our life changed...though some people on the outside view our lives as disrupted or "bad luck", as we take a look back we realize that God is so good. Who needs luck, when the one who created us has our side. I'm not gonna lie almost dying, spending a week begging 10 doctors to try and save what was left of his eye, being away from the kids, barely being able to stand without passing out, realizing that I had to go back to work when we got home, spending 10 months of uncertainty whether he would ever return to work, then when he did never recovering which ended in walking away from our beloved home....it was hard. As I type this though, I am truly thankful for all of it. God taught us to lean on him-for shelter (which he, himself gave us), for food (never had been in drought of food before-but he never allowed us to go hungry), for each other. Sometimes I hear people say the worse time of the year for tragedy to happen is the holidays. I would like to suggest the opposite. I am thankful for our tragedy and for its placement in our journey. Now I can be thankful everyday, but reflect every holiday of how good God is in our lives. God is definitely why I rise in the morning and sleep with peace in my heart at night. I want more of him, so much more.

Lord, I come to you and ask that I can be more like you.  You lift me in times of despair and give me hope and a future.  I don't want my flesh taking control of anything in the journey that you are setting before me.  I ask for boldness and to be courageous to follow your will.  It takes these things, Lord, to be obedient to your will.  Give me your words to encourage and to see people the way you see them.  Fill our home with your Love, Compassion, Forgiveness, and Strength.  I want to be the light in the darkness to those that are hurting. Lord, this family I call mine, is truly yours.  Allow us to grow in you together and reach the lost and hurt together as a family.  You are our creator, our healing, our Prince of Peace, and King of Kings...In your holy name, Jesus and Abba Father, Amen. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Stepping out in faith

Okay lately I have felt that God has moved us for a reason...I am overwhelmed by my experience today.  This morning I had a meeting that challenged me to seek God in this area and to ask for ways to embrace opportunities to be like Jesus.  Well, all day I have been praying about this...murmuring about it while I am going about the day.  I decided to go to the grocery store, one that we don't usually go too and at 4?, and a woman come up to me asking for $$ or food bc she was homeless.

I will pause here to say, I remember as a child my daddy stopped on the Fairburn exit off ramp to offer a man a job for the day.  The man had a sign that said "Will Work For Food".  Well, the man said NO I just want the money.  This has been a memory that has never been forgotten, because I saw my dad care for the hungry and, also, someone turning down the help that he asked for?

I explained that I didn't have any money on me, but I would get her some fruit and vegetables from the store.  She smiled and said, "Thank you so much.  I'll wait right here." Anna was nervous and my heart was racing, but we went and did our shopping being diligent to get a few things that were healthy and filling for the stranger.  When we checked out she was gone.

I drove around a few places that I thought she might be, but nothing.  This gave me an opportunity to tell Anna that she could have been Jesus and knew that we stepped out in faith and added more to our groceries than planned, that maybe someone gave her some money and she had to go, etc.  Anna even prayed at dinner that she would find somewhere warm and that she would have food to eat.

God, I know that your ways are not like mine.  You direct our paths, paths to righteousness.  I ask that you give me more opportunities to be the light of Jesus to my neighbors and protect us from danger.  Thank you for a roof over our head, for power and gas to heat us, for vehicles to drive, for jobs, for money to buy groceries and few more for a stranger though we didn't get the chance to give them to her.  You are our provider, our comforter, and healer.  Without you in my life, the path I am on is nothing and like dirty rags.  I ask for wisdom on leading my children to love people the way you love them.  Thank you for opening my eyes today to the broken-hearted.  Please send an angel to the woman that needed help tonight.  Fill her with your spirit and your life giving water, so she may never be hungry again.  In all these things I pray. Amen.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Experiencing God

Lately, I have felt so numb as if I am in some weird holding position.  I finally went to a Whole Hearts Session which revealed that I needed to forgive some people and that I have been broken.  To be honest, I went into the session expecting God to be there and for him to reveal healing.  Healing is tricky, because it takes layers sometimes to get to it.  God did reveal a foggy image of an Indian Bridal tiara to me, when asked to show me who I was to him.  I left feeling lighter and focused on Him.

After this and during the last two weeks, I still feel like my mind is wandering and the numbness is still there.  I have been seeking the Lord and asking for direction, peace, etc. and last Thursday I heard two songs that just touched me: Overcomer by Mandisa and While I am waiting by John Waller.  I have heard these songs before, but that day they pierced me. Then at church that Sunday a song played that was written by the worship leader just broke me down...It talked about going to the pits of hell to get what Satan has stolen.

So, during my quiet time Friday, I am reading Experiencing God and asked how has God shown his love to you.  I hesitated and began to journal our journey; how he allowed us to experience peace and an opportunity to speak to others about tumors when Natalie had a tumor at the age of 7, how even though going to the Children's Orthopedics of Atlanta was daunting every week, it gave us peace and assurance that our situation though it seems scary in our bubble was nothing compared to others.  Anna being born with hip dysplacia and going there for 6 months weekly, allowed God to be trusted for healing and for us to experience the power of prayer once again.  I remembered the frustration of government insurance and the refusal to operate on William when he was one, due to frequent hear infections which led to hearing loss.  But God wanted the best for him, so we had to wait until Wayne almost died and I went back to work.  Wayne was literally 1 inch away from loosing his life, but God saved him for something bigger.  Wayne isn't done here yet.  I remembered that I couldn't read my bible in the hospital, the words were blurry.  I cried because I knew God's word would get me through the feeling of loss and the unsettled feeling of what happens next, what is our future going to be.  He led me to a verse in John, which I didn't write down regretfully, but it showed me that He was right there with me in that waiting room and He was surprised.  It took 10 months, four surgeries, and lots of tears and prayers to get a return to work notice. During this time, God delivered me to a job in 15 minutes of applying for it.  I felt his peace and God gave me much success in a place that I have no experience.  Also in this place, I received really good insurance.  This insurance gave William (all in 1 1/2 months) surgery for his ears, stitches to put his thumb back on, and ER services for a bad day with a gas operated golf cart :-( God gave him hearing! Not just a little, but like super-sonic...where he can hear you say something (as you are whispering) in another room, hearing! In the last 3 years, especially, we have experienced tremendous job loss and lack of work.  We lost our home that we built and designed, which was next to my best friend.  This adds to all the "feelings" that I have been experiencing as well.  God spoke to me and allowed my Grandmother's house to be empty.  It took two months of praying and courage to leap, but we did.  God provided a promise of new ceilings the day we moved in, instant knowledge of his promise to keep us safe that I was questioning him about.  He then took it a step further and brought the same man back to give us another bedroom and bathroom...

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, Ephesians 3:19-21

This moves me to today's: God's Direction for My Life.
What is God directing you to do? Why do you think he is sending you here?
It all came together for me this morning.  Remembering the study from Friday, the revelations from the session, the songs lyrics that I was pierced with, and from the thought of not allowing Satan to steal from me any more.  God is clearing telling me that I am to be still and wait.  He promised me with his own words, moving here He would send blessings upon us and safety.  He has shown us some of his promises already.  So, I will wait though I am very impatient by nature and will find it hard, but I will worship and pray and remember His love for me and what He has done for me.  His ways are perfect, His love is everlasting, and He is all-knowing.  In this I will find peace and rest.  Not sure what the future holds, but I will know that with God all things are possible and in Him I will find my blessings.

Lord, thank you for the opportunity to serve you and others.  Sometimes I feel like Moses trying to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, but I know that you are there.  Give me confidence and wisdom to lead while glorifying your name.  I ask that you would speak clearly to me for the paths that I must cross today and everyday.  God give Wayne and I the ability to be obedient in you so we can lead our family to you in all circumstances.  You are our rock and our shield, our Comforter, our Savior, our Prince of Peace, Rod and Staff, our Healer, and you keep your promises.  Allow our situations and testimonies to be a light in someones darkness and to always point to you.  Thank you Lord for your friendship and steadfast love.  In the mighty name of Jesus, Amen.