Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Even In

the rush of the season, Jesus has reminded me that in the rush of His life, He too took time to step back and rest and recoup and to spend time with His Father.
A good thought during a busy season. One harder to practice, but is rich in blessing when you have a moment to be still.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Letting Go

of circumstances I cannot control, of people I cannot change and of emotions that tie me to a sense of feeling helpless.  This is what I strive for.
As I grapple with grief once again and I fight the simultaneous feelings of betrayal and worry, I somehow can still feel the strong under currant of peace in knowing that God is sovereign. I have been reminded of that over and over as of late in my morning devotionals as I think He has been preparing my heart to once and for all, cut ties in a relationship that I have spent my life trying keep a grasp on.
What child does not want to honor their parents? Make them proud, gain their approval? I am reminded in my heart of hearts as I write this, that my need to please others ( at least in some part) most likely comes from the desire to gain the attention of my earthly father. Alas, while I know somewhere in his heart he loves me and my brother, as long as I can remember, he has invested his time and energy in other pursuits and has chosen a path of ultimate destruction in regards to a relationship with his children. 
My heart grieves for a life he could have know, had he chosen differently. Alas, I fear his heart is hard. The path he has taken has involved making the same mistakes over and over. There was a part of me that held onto the hope that, in his older years he had changed, that his heart had finally softened. It can be a blessing and a curse to always want to give people the benefit of the doubt.
God has blessed me with a forgiving heart and time and again, I have forgiven him and given him a second chance, wanting to be obedient to my heavenly Father, as He teaches us the importance of forgiveness for the sake of our own hearts. I am grateful for that as there have been some great atrocities that I have had to forgive, reminding myself that my God is a just God. And yet, I have recently been reminded through scripture that I can forgive, I can love and I can pray, but I don't have to be a part of a relationship that embraces destruction.
" Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.  Therefore do not be partners with them.  For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light  (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)  and find out what pleases the Lord.  Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. " Ephesians 5:6-11

I am grateful for a place to come and write. I have often found that through taking the time to write has given me the opportunity to thoughtfully contemplate whatever it is on my heart and in the process, find a deeper connection with my heavenly Father.  A Father who loves me unconditionally, who is always there for me and wants to bless me abundantly, even in the trials of life. A Father who knows every hair on my head, every tear that I have shed, and every thought that has ever crossed my mind. A Father who loves me in my weakness and who gives me my strength. 

A  heavenly Father who knows that my longing for an earthly Father that does not pursue evil will continue to be my prayer and hope.

Monday, April 9, 2012

A perfect capture

Of how I think we all feel some days!

A dear friend of mine taught me to keep in mind that even on the roughest days....
"Well Praise the Lord anyways!" ~LaNelle
and of course...
I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much. ~Mother Teresa

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Devil is in the Details

"Don't be impatient. Wait for the Lord, and He will come and save you! Be, brave, stouthearted and courageous. Yes, wait and He will help you." Psalms 27:14

I am not a big fan of waiting...and yet, God calls me to wait. And brave? Stouthearted means the same thing as brave, so we are basically instructed to be brave, brave and well, brave.

One of my devotionals this week read:" Come to me in all of your weaknesses: physical, emotional and spiritual. When anxiety attempts to wedge it's way into your thoughts, remind yourself that I am your Shepherd. Rather than trying to maintain control over your life, abandon yourself to my will...the safest place to be is in My will. " (from the book Jesus Calling)
Since the new year has started, I have felt the refining fires burning hot around me and as of late have actually felt as I might just burst into flames. I am thankful that God has made His pursuit of me and reminders of His presence frequent and persistent. Some days it has felt like an epic battle just to get from moment to moment.
You see, besides going through a major surgery with the love of my life and taking care of him in his recovery, after twenty years, I left a habit behind that I have struggled to quit on and off for at least ten years now. Surprisingly, while there are moments when I have cravings, they are manageable. The kicker in the mix is that ironically, when I quit smoking, the rest of my body went haywire. At first, I thought it was nicotine withdrawal, but never remembered having that problem for more than a day or two in the past when I have quit (it takes a few times for many of us reformed smokers to get it right). It's taken me a month to figure out that I am not going crazy, but my hormones are and boy if there is a symptom, I have it. The worst is the anxiety. My mother suffered from anxiety disorder and while I did not inherit it, just the environment I grew up in left some marks. Fortunately, at a young age I learned how to handle anxious moments with cognitive behavioral skills and for the most part have navigated through my adult life utilizing those skills to get me through the rough patches. Prayer has always been a big element as well. However, I can't ever remember feeling this anxious all of the time, from when I wake and even in sleep some nights.
I honestly have to say, I am not sure how my mother made it as far as she did. It is a terrible feeling when you want to crawl out of your skin most of the time and in my case, depression is not far behind. I have not felt this disconnected with myself since I was in my early twenties. It's very disconcerting, but my logical mind knows this is only a season, but my now, moody side is screaming to be done already. But God says "wait." I listened to a sermon recently where the pastor pointed out how God says He will walk through the fire with you, not run, mind you,but walk. Any way we can walk faster Lord? Maybe take it up to a slow jog? Promise you won't let me burst into flames?
And the devil is in the details...he has been certain to take advantage of every weak moment he can and there have been alot of those. Just to add to the refining process, while going through this "adjustment" the routines that I have relied on at home to help me unwind and relax have also, for the most part been removed or changed and don't think the devil is having a field day with all of this.
By grace and God's ever persistent love and patience, I know this season will pass and I am, as my mama taught me, working like it's up to me and praying like it's up to God.
And for anyone who might stumble upon my ramblings of my struggle with leaving behind a bad habit, if you too are trying to slay your dragon, remember, you can do this and it will get better. One foot in front of the other, one breathe at a time, one moment at a time, one prayer at a time. "Yes, wait and He will help you."

Sunday, January 29, 2012

In Weakness

2 Corinthians 12:9

9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

My weakness feels more than I can handle some days as of late. Grateful for such a promise. Can't say I really feel like boasting about how flawed, hopeless and exhausted I feel on days such as today, but know despite how I might feel, God is ever present and His is grace is always enough.
Thank you Jesus for walking beside me and holding me up when weary knocks on my soul and I feel it to my bones. Thank you for my weakness so that your strength may shine forth.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Trusting and holding Him near

It has been a season of trial for my husband and I with his health. For almost two years he has struggled with debilitating back pain and for almost two years we have tried everything short of surgery to find healing. It's been a season where I have embraced getting on my knees more than any other time in my life. To sit and watch helplessly as your soul mate deals with pain day in and day out is a difficult road. To be him, even more difficult. And yet, since the pain started, he has carried himself with such grace to be in so much pain. I admire him for that. I don't know if I could have done the same.
We now prepare for surgery in great hopes that his pain will finally be abated. In our preparation, we also are facing a demon we have both fought for many years now, an unhealthy addiction that we have battled unsuccessfully. We have no choice now if the recovery from the surgery is to be successful. I have spent many years praying over our addiction with good intentions to find a way to overcome and yet, in my own battle, I have continued to fail. In God's great plan, maybe He knew it would take a catalyst such as where we are now, to finally succeed.
I feel incredibly overwhelmed, not having my crutch so close to such an unknown and scary time. I feel overwhelmed trying to be the encourager and support that my husband needs. I feel overwhelmed in the last minute preparations. I feel overwhelmed in the face of losing my husband should something go terribly wrong.
I feel overwhelmed.
A friend of mine gave me a book of daily devotionals for Christmas this year. The timing could not have been better, as I feel it has been a way for God to comfort me in my constant sense of being overwhelmed. One step at a time, one minute at a time..
From the book "Jesus Calling"
"My face is shining upon you, beaming out peace that transcends understanding. You are surrounded by a sea of problems, but you are face to Face with Me, your peace. As long as you focus on Me, you are safe. If you gaze too long at the myriad of problems around you, you will sink under the weight of your burdens. When you start to sink, simply call out, "Help me Jesus!" and I will lift you up.
The closer you live to Me, the safe you are. Circumstances around your are undulating, and there are treacherous-looking waves in the distance. Fix your eyes on Me, the one who will never changes. By the time those waves reach you, they will have shrunk to proportions of My design. I am always beside you, helping you face today's waves. The future is a phantom, seeking to spook you. Laugh at the future! Stay close to Me." Phillipians 4:7;Matthew 14:30; Hebrews 12:2

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Heavenly Reminders

I lift my eyes up, unto the moutains
where does my help come from?
My help comes from You, maker of heaven
creator of the earth

oh how I need you Lord
You are my only hope
You're my only prayer

so I will wait for You
to come and rescue me
to come and give me life

- Kutless