Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Whoa, Just Stop!


It's interesting that we rush, rush, rush when our children are young.  Then as they prepare for adulthood and are soon to depart, we start seeking ways to keep them by our sides.  Our firsts are always the guinea pigs of the matter, whether they ask for it or not.  Once we make a mistake with one, we try as we might to correct it with our next.

Just where has the time gone? I mean I was nursing babies, running after toddlers, and cleaning up the mess our toddler loved to leave us on the walls and doors of the house (bless you Anna, you were always so proud of your art work).  Now, I stop and look back to wonder where the time went.  I miss those years and long for them again.  Instead of yearning for the past, I have to hang on to the future.  Enjoy every moment I have with my blessings while their in my midst.  God is so good and He loves them more than I, so I must hang on for the ride and give them to Him.  He will keep them safe.

Lord, I wonder if I have left lasting memories for my/our children to preserve? If I haven't, please help me to create those moments now. Thank you for mending broken hearts and putting us together as a family.  I desire my children to be close and to love one another deeply, never leaving each other or allowing something petty to keep them from spending time as they continue to grow.  I also desire Lord that my children will know you more and more each day, and that their spouses will Love you and them as well.  I pray for them to have great health, and for them to lean unto for all things.  Give me the strength to get through these days, and please Lord protect their hearts from anything that could hurt them-Even from my mouth.  Thank you Lord for them, for the life that has become and was, and for whatever you hold for me or them in the future.  I look forward to spending all of eternity with you. Amen

Ashamed or Recklessly Abandoned

Many times, when serving the Lord, we get lost in what people will thing of us.  We have to come to the crossroads of being ashamed or completely abandoned to God's love, mercy, compassion, protection, and leadership.  Honestly, I feel like this crossroad comes several times in our lives.  It is truly an important milestone, and has so much meaning each and every time.

We need to remember that the only opinion that counts, or we should be concerned with, is that of God's.  We will have to answer to Him for the life we lived here and how we produced fruit or not.

1 Corinthians 15: 58
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

1 Corinthians 16:13-14
Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.  Let all that you do be done in love.

Father God,
Thank you for your love, protection, provision, healing, mercy, and grace.  You are my rock, my salvation and firm foundation.  I ask that in ALL things that I give you Praise and honor that you deserve.  Lord, I pray that the words from my mouth will give testimony of who you are and how much you love us.  Give me the strength, Oh Lord, to live recklessly abandoned for you.  Amen.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Another Milestone

           8902 Tarrytown Rd, Milton, FL 32583

Yesterday marks another remarkable testimony from God.  When we left Georgia, we thought it would be a while before we would be able to be home owners again.  In July of 2014, two of the kids plus Wayne and I came to Milton, Florida to search for a place to live. We had 4 days initially to find a place, and all was going poorly.  Poorly due to the fact we had a small, one income budget to work with, the kids dropped the truck keys down the elevator shaft which means we waited all day for a maintenance person, the originally realtors we contacted were not interested in us once down here, and the renting here is very competitive.  Each house we went to was either G-R-O-S-S, or it was small.  I lived and breathed Zillow before we left, and the pictures online did not match what the house really looked like.  There was a house that was near the hotel in East Milton, but I kept ignoring it praying we would find something at the beach.  Wayne's manager here asked him Friday if he could work Monday, bc he really needed something to go out.  God worked out dog and child sitters back in Georgia (since Natalie wasn't with us).  Finally, on Friday we called Remax in desperation, after looking at what seemed 10 different homes, to ask about the house near the hotel.  They couldn't let us see it until Monday, and God had already worked that out ahead of time when he got Wayne to move his leave time earlier in the day.  We spent part of Saturday still searching, and then I told Wayne that I thought we needed to go to church.  I needed to be with other believers.  I googled "Vineyard Churches in Milton, FL" and low and behold there was one only 7 miles from the house! We went to church and they embraced us immediately, and even offered to help us move.  Monday came and we visited the house.  It was perfect! God saved the best for last. So we gave them our down payment and came home to pack.  Remember the church, well they were truth tellers, they actually showed up at our house when the moving van came.  We were completely unpacked in about an hour! They were amazing and still are, because we have make them our church family ever since.

We planned on living in this house until we could purchase one on our own down the road.  Remax was fine, with a few frustrating things: it took them forever to contact you back about something, and the same to come out, they inspected the house 3 times in 6 months, etc. We were told two months before our lease was up that the owners did not want to renew the lease and we would have to move or go to monthly leases at $100 more.  We were crushed. I mean we really enjoy our location, our neighbors, not moving ;), etc.  We went on another house search and did find an old house that was gave us a potential opportunity to buy.  Then, one Saturday we had a ring at the front door.  It was the home owners, the owners that Remax told us we were not allowed to speak with or we would get into trouble, the ones that did not want to renew our contract.  They were nervous and so were we, but we talked about everything and realized we had both been had by Remax.  Two days later we were renting directly from the owners, and they lowered our rent $75.  They even told us that they would not have a problem with us buying the house, and better still they would finance it.  So, yesterday was a new day.  A day that marks us as home owners once again.

Thank you Lord for your provision, your direction, your leading. I'm reminded Father of David's plea for you to lead him and for him not to stray: 23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.  This is truly my prayer to you as well.  I desire your will and not my own.  I am so excited about you knowing our beginning and our end, and knowing the best for us.  Thank you Lord for unanswered prayers, a new start, and work.  You did all of this and it is just another testimony that places you at the right hand of God, and gives you all the glory you deserve.  Amen   

Monday, September 14, 2015

RA?! What is this? Overcomer

Image result for red brick road milton florida

My life came to what seemed a crashing halt in 2011.  RA is the acronym for Rheumatoid Arthritis and let me tell you it isn't fun for anyone.  It doesn't have an age either.  I've even meet teens that fight this fight.  Well today, and many others but today I feel so accomplished/overcoming, I biked 4.32 miles in 32 minutes with my younger two children.  Nervousness kind of trickled in, thoughts of defeat crossed my mind; I even told my oldest to be on stand by if she needed to pick me up.  45 minutes later I arrived in the door with a smile on my face and a congratulations.

Today, RA doesn't defeat me, I defeated it! RA is just another something that tried to steal, kill, and destroy me, but today it didn't.  I am victorious because Jesus is my healer, He allows me to overcome, and gives me strength to continue the good fight and give Him glory.  Today He gave my children hope and a future that their mother is a fighter.

Lord God, Thank you for loving me.  Giving me the strength to fight this journey you have called me to endure.  There are such sweet times, Lord.  You are the creator of the heavens and the earth, You are the healer of all and create us to be "good". God you are my Prince of Peace, my Lord of Lords, my everything.  Without you I am nothing.  Thank you for placing EVERYTHING in my life for a season and I pray Lord that I will rise to the occasion and glorify you in all of it.  I give you my life, the body you created, the mind you formed, and the soul that is like a potter's clay.  In Jesus' name-Amen  

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Saying Goodbye is so Hard

Tonight, I received a phone call from a new friend.  She is new to me from here in Florida where we moved to last year.  As I reflect our conversation, it brings back the memories of a year ago to me and some tears.  This friend, though we had some rough patches, opened her heart and home to our family when we had no one but each other.  She helped us navigate through these new waters around us, so that we can find people of like mind.  We prayed for one another, and shared our hearts together.  Our children played with one another, watched movies, cooked and baked, attended 4H together, and enjoyed co-op together. Just in this short time, we have experienced life.  I mentioned rough patches, because we dealt with some heart things.  As she said tonight, Satan didn't want us to be friends.  He knew that we would pray for one another, keep each other accountable, and sharpen each other as we did life.  We, as Christians, worked through and prayed through these things-to overcome what Satan had intended for evil and give God all the glory.  The tears are in memory of another special time I had for 9 months before we moved with another family, which was much the same.  But this time, I am joyful in the sadness.  Joyful because this new friend is following the Lord in the journey He has for her.  The sadness is because selfishly we would like all the people that we love to stay near us, and never move away.  He reminds me of his promise: "Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people.  Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you." Jeremiah 7:23

Friend, thank you again for sharing your life and making our move more bearable.  I pray that it may go well with you, as you obey your God and Father.

Lord, I lift up my friend to you.  I ask that you bless her more than she could ever imagine.  I pray that I hear of your testimony as she follows your will.  Abba Father, protect her from the evil one and keep her strengthened by your word; surround her by your people and give her peace, joy, and love.  Thank you for allowing her in my life for this short time.  In Jesus' name amen.

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.