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.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Prayer for me today

Today I am asking some prayer.  I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis at 31, and now I am going to be 34 Friday. With that said, I have only gotten a diagnosis, so no medication or medical intervention has been taken on my part. Insurance is something that we normally just do not have, either Wayne has had his own business, the companies do not offer it, or we are waiting on it. In this season, we are going to be blessed/cursed (mixed feelings) with insurance in September. The prayers are for me. I know that insurance for emergencies and such is a huge blessing, but I have a hard time with long term medication. The medication may slow things down, which seem increasingly worsening, but their effects on the body are harsh. I am only 34 and the thought of having my kidneys failing and put on dialysis or my liver being destroyed is a tough call. We have been through a lot in the last 4-6 years, and I know that this is just another something to refine my spirit and trust in him. So, with this, I am asking for peace in what God wants to do with my body-not man or even myself-and for wisdom on how he wants me to go. I don't what others to tell me the benefits and non benefits of taking medication (trust me I have read and read, I know them  ), I just want my savior to guide me, lead me, direct my paths...I want to be a servant that he is proud of and all things point to him in my life. I have had the privilege to see his mighty work in our lives first hand, and it is amazing. I trust his way, because his way is perfect for me. Thank you for lifting me up.

Lord, thank you for my life and the people in it.  I ask that I can serve you all the days of my life.  I continue to ask for your strength and peace in every situation.  Today I ask that you will give me peace and direction in the way I should go with treatment.  If you want ultimate healing, which I know that you can do-I've seen you do this for everyone that lives in this house, then heal me.  Lord, Jesus, if you want me to walk a path of healing in a different way so that I can be of encouragement to others around me, then allow me to know without a shadow of a doubt that is your path for me.  I pray that the anxieties of this day and time are not what I concern myself with, for you are with me.  Give me, Lord, your words to show compassion and mercy to those around me.  I want everything that I do to glorify you.  You are my savior, Lord and master, my comforter, my healer, my provider, my everything.  Lord I give this to you and all that it contains.  In Jesus' holy name-Amen.  

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

New Seasons, again

I have been really excited about my oldest growing up into an adult.  She has so much compassion for others and it is exhilarating to think of what God has in store for her.  In 12 more days she will be going to Costa Rica for a mission trip. Last year about this time, we (including me) were pumped.  Now I am finding myself nervous and excited and sad, all at the same time.  I am seeking the Father daily for her protection, direction in her life, and peace in mine.

My parents surprised her with some new clothes to take with her on the trip, so has spent the week with them out of state.  Normally my girls, who have shared the same room for 10 years, love to have time apart...but something is different in the air.  My little girl has been crying and tonight she was so sad.  She said that she felt that her sister was gone forever.  Wow, this was heart breaking.

I talked with her about changes and how we all have to grow up.  I reminded her that her sister, as she will too, grow and have a family of her own.  My oldest is about to turn 14 and potentially only has 4 years left in the nest.  Apparently, to my wee one, that is hard to swallow.  Here I thought I was dealing with some stretching and change issues, and right underneath my nose she is too!

Lord, I ask that you would send your sweet peace to our family.  I know how it is to have a big sibling leave the nest and go one with their lives, never to return.  Father, as I write this, you know that I am missing my youth and my brothers.  Give me reconciliation for anything done, and allow us to be joined again.  I love them and ask that you would care for them, give them a great urge to come to know you and want to call you friend.  As far as my children, Lord my heart sings tonight of praises to you.  I asked for years for them to love each other and never to be apart, and you did just that.  Soften this change in our life Father.  Help us not to morn what is "lost", but to treasure the new.  Thank you for loving me, my children, my husband, my family, mankind.  You are our salvation and our rock.  You give us peace and rest.  I lean on you Oh Lord, tonight and every night.  Amen.

Social Media DIE, oh but wait!

Facebook and other electronic places are sweeping us away from daily things.  We can't even to carry a conversation with one another these days.  Just when I thought, "enough is enough", I remembered why I choose to spend some of the day on the screen.

Friday, June 7, 2013

God's Truck

Okay, so I was told to share something that I wasn't very comfortable doing, but here it goes. Some of you know that we purchased a vehicle a little over a year ago and it unfortunately has been in the shop A LOT! In fact, we paid $4500 for the car and spend $3000 in repairs.  A good friend of mine was even in the car to witness it's issues (just after picking it up from the shop 24 hours prior).  The only thing we could do is let it rot in our yard, while paying insurance on it and me dreaming for a way out of here some days :-( , or selling it to Car Max.  This way I would not be paying insurance or looking at it, but still dreaming of a way out of here! :-)

I thought, seriously, that I was going to faint (especially if you really know me) when they told us they would only give us $1700 for the car.  But we did it anyway, what else was there to do, right?

The same friend that witnessed the car's cruel behavior suggested after about a week of uncertainty with the van, go online and see if you can get a loan.  I replied with "Yeah right, you know what we are going through, right?" I did what she said and low and behold we got a loan, but for a whopping 18%! Really!

By this time, the engine in the van is knocking and we had used some of the money to replace the serpentine belt, back shocks, thermostat, and the front struts.  The knocking still continued. I prayed and asked the Lord for peace about a car payment and for so much...

Last Saturday, after Wayne waited patiently for 3 1/2 hours for graves automotive to replace the thermostat and they told us that they would have to keep the van for several days before they could try and diagnosis the knocking sound, we purchased a truck.

I am calling this God's Truck, because God sent the owner of the dealership into my Daddy's life.  Daddy called him and spoke with him, telling him "You better do right with my Daughter." :-) Gotta love those over protected Daddy's

Boy did they! They worked it out where the interest was 9% (still high but 1/2 of what the online loan was doing for us), gave us the GAP insurance and a Hitch, and took off $6000 from the cost of the truck so we could get it! Our payment is only $30 different than a used one would be and the program that we are on allows us to trade it in after a year, for a Promised no matter what fixed rate of 1.9% (which will lower our payment by $90!).

Just a reminder that God has it all figured out.  He knows that we needed a vehicle and had no earthly person that could or wanted to help us.  He is our Abba and provider.  I am just amazed at our father.  I hope you are blessed and swimming in his abundance today.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

In Loving Memory

Betty Harden 
7-9-26 to 5-25-13

It amazes me the people that God has placed in my life.  I didn't know Mrs. Betty the way others did, but I know and love her daughter. I do know that Betty loved the Jewish people and was in love with Jesus.  Her husband, Paul, and her have left a legacy to anyone associated with them.  I had the honor of helping Heidi, her daughter and my very best friend, take care of Mrs. Betty for about 6 months.  My children and I went over there almost everyday.  She had such a gentle and fun spirit.  She even helped us realize that William has a passion for the elderly.  He flocks to them.  Watching him with my neighbor and with total strangers at the nursing home, is precious. 

At the funeral today, the spirit there was of fun and play, not sadness.  We know that she is in heaven praising her Jesus and standing with her husband again.  I was nervous allowing the children to get attached to her, but it has been a beautiful site.  My mom always said, "It is better to have loved, than to never have loved at all." We love you Mrs. Betty.  Thank you for sharing your heart to all those around you. Your legacy will be in our hearts until we meet again. 

Braden explaining what they were doing at the grave site

Pastor Brent giving condolences 

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Mutiny of Excess

I never thought that I was a women of excess.  In fact, I believed that I was truly blessed by the things given or purchased very inexpensively over the years to fill our home.  I believed that I didn't have a lot, or that I was not a hoarder or a person of clutter.  When you walked into our home, you didn't see lots of things on every wall or an over indulgence of furniture every where.  Even if you looked into our closet, I believed that we wore the same things all the time and frequently gave to the local thrift shops.

As we started packing to move in December, reality hit me square in the face.  I guess you can argue that we didn't intentionally fast from things in our life, but the door was swung open and hard.  Every time I went through a section of our home and had to decide what stayed and what went, I began to weep and cry out to the Lord.  My heart softened and I realized that the world had been masking my mind.  I do have a lot and why? Why do I need to keep thousands of dollars worth of scrapbooking stuff, that at this time I hardly use due to time.  The mounds of things to give away from the kitchen, my bedroom, my closet, even under the sinks was unbelievable.  Even the loads of garbage, truly things that couldn't be reused was insurmountable   The questions that every one that witnessed this purging of my life and heart was, "Can I live without this?  Does my life have to have this to work?"  This process, though painful, started to open my eyes and before too long, I began to be joyful about it all.  I was excited to fill the van to it's capacity 4 times (with no children) from front to back.  We even still have another van full to finish carrying off.  Prior to all this we had an unsuccessful yard sale and hauled off two trailers and truck fulls, too.  So, my plea to the Lord was being heard.  To "fit" into our new home, to live comfortably without living around "stuff" and boxes, to minimize our lives to what matters most.  In my heart, I believe now that there is a place to give up and not have excess no matter who you are and what you do or do not "have".  The Lord wants us to live as he did, giving to the poor and oppressed.  Living with less, so that we can be abundantly given more.  What does he fill those voids with, not more stuff, but life, joy, and peace.

My prayer today Lord, is actually praise.  Thank you for filling the pain of "loosing" everything I held apparently so dear, with Life, Joy, and Peace.  You are all I need.  You have shown me that my husband, my children, basic shelter, food, clothing is all I need.  Thank you for knowing what I need before I even ask for it.  I ask that you continue to mold me and shape me into an obedient follower of Christ.  I want to make you say, "Well done good and faithful servant."  I love you, Abba.
Your Daughter, Amen.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Builders for Christ

As I lay in bed on New Year's Day, I remembered the sweet man that visited us on move in day.  As of today, we have suffered through the Flu, a stomach virus, and a job lose.  Yep, and it has only been 4 weeks since we moved into Grandmother's house.  I asked the Lord that night to remember me, to let the "first of the year" be truly the first of the year that they would call about working on the house.  Then on January 2nd, Rendel called at 10 am.  He came over that day and we began to plan the work on the ceilings.  So amazing.  So, we moved out of the house again (which this time everything we own fits into a single car carport).

The work began  January 14th.  Several men came out, including my friend's brother and by day one all the ceilings were tore out and construction began to restore them.  That night, while I was getting ready for bed, I asked Wayne if it was selfish to ask if they could raise the ceiling in the living room.  It stood at 6'8" and a little higher would be cool, right.  He said that he didn't know and to go with my gut :-) So, the next day Rendel came up to me and asked the same question! This was without me telling him a thing.  I know that God reached into his brain and asked him for me.

It's neat to think of the history of the house. My Grandmother lived here for 58 years, plus my aunt and my Daddy lived here their whole childhood.  We have heard so many stories over the years.  We got to add two to our belts during demolition.  One, we found a wick in it's box from a kerosene lantern.  Daddy said that it smoked up the whole house and that Grandma had to clean their skin (because it was black as night due to the soot in the air) before they could go to school the next day.  Also, the roof still had bark on pieces of wood.  Every piece of wood came from the saw mill that was local here.

Now at the end of a long week, where God came to his promise of blessing us and my grandparents/parents, we have beautiful and structurally sound ceilings.  We don't have to worry about them falling in on us and they will last for another 60 plus years.  The living room is now 7' 6" too.  We actually have lights in every room of the house now :-) Rendel is not done with us either.  He told us Wednesday and Friday that he is praying for some more work to be done to the house.  In his words, "If a man doesn't help others, he just isn't worth anything."


Lord, you have been so good on your word.  You gave me steps, I obeyed, and you came good on your promises.  I ask that you bless Rendel and everyone that helped this week, even those who came to give them food.  I ask that you give him freedom from the heartache of loosing his wife just some short time ago.  Lord, continue to mold us into the people that you want us to be.  Give us God moments to encourage others and a way for us to spill the beans of your love and compassion for us.  Thank you again for this home.  I offer it to you and ask that you lead us in a way that my whole family will grow closer to you.  You are magnificent and a beautiful creator.  You are my friend.  Thank you Lord for loving me...In Jesus' name, Amen.