Saturday, March 04, 2017

Uninvited prayer

Lord, You are teaching me so much about trusting You. Fully. Completely. Without suggestions or projections. I'm choosing to embrace the very next thing You show me. I'll take this first step. And then I'll take the next. 

I finally understand that I don't have to fully understand each thing that happens for me to trust You. I don't have to try and figure it out, control it, or even like it, for that matter. In the midst of uncertainties, I will just stand and say, "I trust You, Lord." 

I visualize me taking my fear of rejection from my incapable clutched and placing my trust in Your full capability. And as I do, I make this all less about me and more about you. I replace my fragile efforts to control with Your fortified realities. 

You are the perfect match for my every need. 

I am weak. You are strength. 
I am unable. You are capability. 
I am hesitant. You are assurance. 
I am desperate. You are fulfillment.
I am confused. You are confidence. 
I am tired. You are rejuvenation. 

Though the long path is uncertain, You are so faithful to shed just enough light for me to see the very next step. I now understand this isn't You being mysterious. This is a great demonstration of Your mercy. 

Too much revelation and I'd pridefully run ahead of You. Too little and I'd be paralyzed with fear. 
So, I'm seeking slivers of light in Your Truth just for today and filling the gaps of my unknown with trust. 

From the Uninvited book

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Choosing Faith Not Fear

I am choosing to let go of fear and move forward. I have to. For my sanity. My mind is not the enemy's playground. A war has been waged for my mind. The lies have roared so loud that it often drowns out Truth. But God wants me to choose Truth. His Truth. He's speaking to me. And when the barking voice of the devil calls out to me, the mighty Lion of Judah is here and far more powerful than what the enemy has been throwing at me.

You don't have to accept bondage or abuse. You can know Truth and be set free by that Truth.

Bondage of the heart and mind is a scary place to be. When someone rips away everything you know about yourself and fills you with lies and fear and does evil things to you, it's an awful place to be. And you may think you have to accept it because it's the only words that have filled your mind for months and years. But IT'S NOT TRUE.

You need to know THERE IS FREEDOM IN CHRIST. He didn't die so we could live in bondage to lies. God wants to set you free and give you life. ABUNDANT LIFE!!! That no one can strip from you.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Let's decrapify!

It's been awhile since I blogged. Sometimes life's circumstances require silence. Sometimes you feel the need to crawl in a hole, bandage your heart and just sit with God.

He sees.
He heals.
He knows.

Even writers struggle to put words to some things. At least words that can be posted to a blog. I still don't have all of the words to explain the past 197 days. My life has turned upside down. Brain fog seems to be my constant companion. "Good" days have been few and far between. And feeling normal seems to be a thing of the past.

Embracing a new normal
Having grace with myself
Being patient in the process

And now I am beginning to write again. To process and learn and grow. I have been encouraged by many people to journal during this season. To write out the questions that I have. To jot down what I am thankful for. Putting pen to paper just has a calming effect. The click clack of a keyboard can be rather rhythmic.

There is a time for silence. But there is also time for words. Words to bless. Words to encourage. Words to heal.

So here we are on Fat Tuesday. The day before Lent starts. Many people associate Lent with fasting. Perhaps fasting from certain foods or drinks, or even for certain time periods. Fasting from social media is also popular. I suppose for many, the goal is to abstain from something and then focus more on God. I love the idea of an intentional focus for 40 days. After all, that's not a long time. And the benefits can be huge.

This year, I have decided to join a challenge for a different kind of Lent. It's called 40 Bags in 40 Days Decluttering Challenge and it's hosted by White House Black Shutters. It's about "decrapifying" your life. Decluttering one area at a time. It could be one area of your house, but they also suggest working on "non-stuff" too, like clearing out your email, organizing your photos and sorting files into folders. With my house on the market, there is a lot of decrapifying and clearing out that needs to happen. It's time to simplify and reduce stuff. I've already dealt with a lot of the big furniture, but now it's time to go through the stuff that seems to be EVERYWHERE. And in addition to decluttering my house, it's also time to declutter my heart.

I came across this graphic on Facebook today about fasting during Lent. And I love it. It's time. Decluttering my heart is about not listening to the lies but focusing in on God's Truth. It's about looking forward through the windshield of life instead of obsessing about what is in the rearview mirror. And it's about choosing to be thankful even when life feels unsteady. I can't ignore or diminish what has happened, but I can choose to grow from this. I can choose to forgive, to let go of what I can't change and to look to God for His peace and presence.

So consider joining me for this 40 day challenge to decrapify and simplify life. It's going to be a good challenge with lots of fun photos and probably some tears along the way. But in the end, whether you get to 4 bags or 40 bags, you'll feel better about your space. It really works.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Not the destiny of my future

Lately I've been reading Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely. That book title could be the title of my current season because that is how I feel. Every. Single. Day. Rejected. Alone. Unloved. And yet. God has chosen me. He promised to never leave me alone. He loves me with a love that I can't even begin to comprehend. And I came across a quote and then prayer toward the end of the book that could've been ripped from the pages of my journal because it just so clearly expresses the cry of my heart these days. I hope you read it, take a deep breath and say "Amen!" along with me.

"If I really believed that God's healing is more powerful than any hurt the world could ever hand me, I could trust God. I could trust His plans. I could move forward by saying, 'Yet not what I will, but what You will'....

....Yet not what I will, but what you will.

I trust that in all these things, Your will is good. I can trust You even when I don't understand. I cannot fully trust You while still holding on to things that made me question You. I have to let those things go.

You so clearly promise when I am blinded by the dark realities, You will guide me. You will guide me to the spiritual help I need. But You will also guide me to the emotional and physical help I need. Help me see Your provisions and be humble enough to receive them. You will make the rough places smooth. You will do these things and will never forsake me.

You have said, "I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them" (Isaiah 42:16).

You say Your Word is sharper than a double-edged sword. So I cut these ties from my soul with the precise edge of Your truth.

I was abandoned. That is a fact from my past, but it is not the destiny of my future.

I was rejected. That is a fact from my past, but it is not the destiny of my future.

I was hurt. That is a fact from my past, but it is not the destiny of my future.

I was left out. That is a fact from my past, but it is not the destiny of my future.

I was brokenhearted. That is a fact from my past, but it is not the destiny of my future.

Heartbreaking seasons can certainly grow me but were never meant to define me. I let go of the hurt and embrace the growth the minute I'm able to say, 'Yet not what I will, but what You will.'"

In the mighty name of Jesus, I pray these words. Amen and amen!!

Excerpt from Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst

Monday, August 22, 2016

New Life

got a hanging plant for Mother's Day from my step kids and their bio mom. It was so sweet of her to think of me. But then I neglected the plant. I've always had a black thumb but when you forget you own a plant and thus, never water it, of course it will die. A couple months ago, I remember looking at the plant and see all the dead stems and no green left and I knew I'd killed it. As much as I wanted to keep it alive and flourishing because it was such a sweet gift, I killed the plant. But I left it sitting there because I didn't feel like getting rid of it just yet. Maybe it was laziness. Maybe I just didn't want to throw it away quite yet. 

And then today, I glanced down at the plant on my way outside, expecting to see the pathetic dead mess. But wait! There are flowers! There are green stems growing!! From the dead plant, new life has come. From the dried up, withered stems, new flowers have grown! 

So too in our lives. There are times when we neglect our walk with God and we begin to dry up. We look withered and dead and worthy only for the burn pile. But God steps in. He waters us with His grace and love. He gently prunes away the deadness and brings new life to our souls. 

I've been through a season of dryness. Of feeling withered, broken and dying. But God is not done with me. He is pruning away the rubbish. He is getting rid of what is dead so that He can breathe new life into me. He is turning my heart of stone into a heart of flesh. I am withered but He is my Strength. I am broken but He is my Healer. There is hope. He is not done with me. 

“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” Psalm 27:13

“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Sonshine baskets

I'm in a women's Bible study that wanted to bless and encourage some folks who may be struggling. We came across the idea of Sonshine baskets where you put yellow items together and give them away.
Here are the goodies we came up with - notepad, cards, sticky notes and smiley face stickers all bound with yellow ribbon; emoji stress ball; a mug with tea and hot chocolate packets; cup with candy and wrapped with a treat bag; hand soap; hand sanitizer; hand wipes; Lay's chips; and tissues. 
I assembled this sample that we will use for putting the baskets together. We got blue bowls from Dollar Tree. Then I put yellow chevron ribbon and two flowers on each one. 
The bowls are ready to go. 
It took much longer than I thought but it was a fun project. We will also be giving them a card that I designed. 
I've got the pieces all together for the ladies to assemble. This is the sample one. The Bible verse is embossed on a paint chip and the butterflies are cut out of a coordinating paint chip. Really easy and so cute!! 

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Hold on to the One hold you

Maybe life is a mess
And there are more shattered pieces than can be counted
Maybe life is a dream
And there are more blessings than can be numbered
Whatever you face -
Tears that flow unending
Smiles that make your cheeks ache
In the highs
In the lows
Whatever you face
Hold on to the Truth
Hold on to the One who loves you
Because He's holding your life
He's holding you