Thursday, December 12, 2013

Shalom

About three weeks ago I went with the high school youth from our church on their retreat. I was asked to share just a bit of my story. The theme for the weekend was about God being REAL. I thought I would just post what I shared, here at The Perch, so that I would have a record of it. (And for those of you who might be reading this & are familiar with my story....I AM A YOUTH GROUP LEADER AGAIN!! God is so amazing!!)


Last summer I was out to dinner with my daughter Ellie and my niece Emma. We were talking about tattoos and I said that I wanted to get the word Shalom on the inside of my wrist written in Hebrew. When my niece asked why, I explained that the true meaning of Shalom was more than peace…. it means COMPLETE peace…. nothing missing, nothing broken.

Ellie looked at me, laughed and said something like “well why would you get that…. so much is missing and broken”. I remember telling her that that was exactly why I wanted to get it. So much in my life seemed “broken” but GOD was the complete peace and the one giving my life wholeness without anything missing or broken.

I believed in God at a very young age. Asking Him to be my Lord and Savior. The asking and the believing was just the beginning. And unfortunately for many years that was all it was. I didn’t go deeper. I didn’t really KNOW God. I spent many years angry & disappointed because I thought He must not really love me, He must not really listen to my prayers….He had left me alone (or so I thought)

When I was a young girl my dad got cancer. I prayed that God would make my daddy better. But my dad died. Then in 6th grade my mom remarried and I moved to a new state away from all my friends and all that I called home. Just a few years later I entered high school and decided now was the time to have fun. Make my own rules. Do what I wanted whether it was against all I’d been taught or not!! And I did it really well!!

MANY years later after I had kids, I decided that maybe there was more to this relationship with God thing and started going to Bible studies. I learned a lot and felt like I was beginning to understand more about how God works in our lives. I made a lot of changes in my life and felt like God really was at the center of my life finally.

And then…. my life took another hit. 6 years ago I became very ill. It was not a life threatening illness but it forever altered my life. For the first year and a half, I was homebound. Usually bed-ridden. I had difficulty walking, couldn’t drive, was dependent on others to do everything for our family. In the midst of that, my husband decided to leave our family. Ellie and David were just 12 and 15. I could NOT believe that God was allowing this. But I clung to one particular verse in the Bible…Isaiah 61:3. Part of that verse says that God will bring beauty from ashes. That means that God will take the junk and bring beauty from it. He could take my illness and bring beauty from it.  He could take my divorce and bring beauty from it. He could take my kids’ heartache and bring beauty from it.

Along the way I have had some really bad attitudes, spent time in the pit of depression, questioned God, chosen some sinful behaviors…. But God has never left my side. Never given up on me. Never stopped loving me. Life has been hard. It’s tough being a single mom and especially a single mom who is sick. God provided! Whether it was people coming alongside us. Or finances. Or meals. People driving my kids everywhere. God cared about every detail of our lives and made himself very real to us! Through this entire struggle I have come to know God in a way I never would have. I can honestly say that I am grateful for the ashes because I never would have known God’s power and God’s unfailing love like I do now!!

He is real. His love is real. His forgiveness is real. His ways are always perfect. He never makes a mistake. He never takes his eyes off me. He really does bring beauty from the ashes.

And as for that tattoo…
Shalom…. HE IS MY COMPLETE PEACE… I HAVE WHOLENESS & THERE IS NOTHING MISSING AND NOTHING BROKEN.




Sunday, February 12, 2012

This Boy...Again!!

I first wrote this post on August 17, 2009...I am reposting it and asking you to pray.



This boy...
chosen by God
marked for a purpose


Floundering
wondering
why and when will he know


"Don't we all have a purpose"?
Yes.
"I don't"
Oh yes son, you do!!


This boy...
with a heart toward God
yet a heart overcome with fear.


A heart filled with sadness
Loss
Feeling unworthy
Questions


"I pray but
He doesn't hear me
He doesn't bless me"


This boy
wonders what he did.
How do you tell him that he did nothing.


Wondering why his dad left
why is his mom sick
why can't he do better in school
Why?


No answers.


But this I know.


This boy...
is loved!


This boy...
loves!


This boy
may not feel blessed
but he IS a blessing.


This boy will be used by God.


He will have a story.


He will reach out.


This boy...
how I love him.


Thank you God, for entrusting him to me.





Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hello!!

Yes, we are still alive.

I actually remembered how to find my own blog and sign in.

Thing is....I do not even know where to begin writing.

If you still check in here, could you give me a little help?

Leave me a comment or shoot me an email. Let me know what you think I should write about. Or ask me a question. Or tell me your favorite verse. Or just leave me a note and let me know you are still reading.

I want to be more intentional about how I live my life and part of that involves getting back to writing.

Still seeking and SEEING the Beauty from Ashes!


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Only For Me

This is just for me..... need to have a record of it here.



Sunday, May 8, 2011

My Mom

Let me tell you a little about my mom. She was a "surprise" child born MANY years after her sisters. So for most of her years at home so was an only child. She was raised by parents who loved her dearly but her dad was an alcoholic who often chose the bottle over family. She has memories of her mom having to go and "get him" many times.

My mom placed her faith in Jesus as a young child and has never stopped growing in that faith. She received Christ's gift of salvation and she will be the first to tell you that she could not have done her life without him.

When my mom was 35 years old with 3 young children, her husband (my dad) died. He had battled leukemia for three years and God took him home on New Year's Day in 1974. So here she was alone...but NOT. She has amazing stories of God's faithfulness to our family during those times.

Within the next 4 years she would lose both her parents. So she really was alone and had to depend on her Lord like not many of us have to do.

God brought her an amazing man and they later married. (Mind you....I didn't think he was so amazing at the time. ha) They have been the best parents I could have ever asked for.

I know that once you are a mother you are always a mother. But during the past 4 years she has really had to take back on the role of "mothering" me. During my illness. Divorce. Loss. Financial hardships. Heartache. She has "mothered" me again. There are not words to describe how grateful I am.

One of her favorite verses is Isaiah 41:10 "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand".

My mom has walked out her faith every single day. She BELIEVES what she believes and it is evident to anyone who is blessed to know you.

Mom....I rise up and call you blessed. I love you!


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Proof of His Blessings

I know that many of you are familiar with this song. But, please listen before you read my words...






Every time I hear that song the tears just flow down my face. Such truth. We pray for we think we need, what we think we want....but God in all His love and mercy sometimes answers in the completely opposite way.

Can I say that I sit here today grateful for this illness. Yes, grateful!! It is not easy, but I sure would have missed so many blessings without it.

I am grateful for the struggles of teenagers. Not that I wish heartache, pain, angst for my teens. But through it I know that they will be stronger. I KNOW it! They will be used of God in ways that others can't, simply because of their experiences.

I am grateful for the heartache of the past couple months since my relationship ended with "my man". Why am I grateful? Because God showed me who I am. The pain also forced me to be vulnerable with others in my life. I couldn't "stuff" this pain...it just kept coming out. Friendships have flourished like I never would have imagined! Most of all, God in His mercy, snatched me back out of the pit of "neediness" and showed me my true worth.

Blessings come in forms we never imagine. Through the loss of my dad as a child I was given the gift of the most amazing "second dad" ever! Through the loss of my health I was given the blessing of this blog and you. Even in the loss of my marriage I have the blessing of a good relationship with Don.

Through pain God can and does bless us. We need to be looking for His hand in it. He is always there. He is always IN IT with us.

I don't know what blessings you are praying for today. I don't know what hurts you are experiencing. But I do know.....that I have been in the fire and in the pit. And I can testify that GOD IS GOOD! All the time.

He really does bring beauty from the ashes....I am proof.


Friday, April 29, 2011

Sifted

Whoa!

I didn't see that coming.....

Many of you have noticed how things have changed around here at The Perch. Not the look of it but what I have to say. Which hasn't been much lately.

God allowed me to be sifted over the past 18 months. I didn't realize that is what it was until a few nights ago. My background is one of severe insecurity. I want to be chosen, desired, wanted, found beautiful. I know those are common themes among women but for me it was a stronghold. Led me to make some destructive choices. Led me to marry the wrong person because someone had chosen me.

These past four years have been the toughest of my life. Illness. Divorce. Children with deep heartache. A child making decisions with possibly lifelong consequences. Financial hardship. Loneliness. Tears.

But in that time God brought me to a place where I really sought HIM. I finally found peace and contentment in knowing that I was chosen by God. He wanted me if no man did. And I started to write. Through this blog I have made lifelong friends. I have found healing. And I believe God was using it to impact others as well.

Satan wasn't very happy about the direction my life was taking and I believe he asked God if I could be sifted. A man came along about 18 months ago....out of nowhere. I was sure he was from God because I had not gone looking. I did not "go out". I never asked anyone to find me a man. This man, who I had known years ago but not spoken to since high school came into my life and we fell in love. We talked of our future.

Guess where I found my worth? In him instead of in HIM. Those same insecurities came back. Would he stay? Would he love me forever? Was I beautiful enough? A month ago he ended the relationship very suddenly and I looked up and asked God "what was that all about"?

I cried like never before. My heart literally ached! However, when God revealed to me the other night that I just might have been sifted, things started to change. Sifting is good. It reveals how deep our faith is.(or isn't) It removes impurities. It means we are a threat to satan. I know that I need to really, really believe where my worth comes from.

A man came thousands of years ago to die for ME. Yesterday I posted a song. The irony of the song choice did not dawn on me until last night. Many years ago I did a Beth Moore study and she said that one day God would call us by a new name. She asked us to think of what that name might be and immediately the name "Beautiful" came to my mind. I have always wanted to be beautiful but now it has new meaning. I want God to find me beautiful. That my heart would be pure. That I would take Him at His word....He does love me....He does desire to spend time with me....He does think I am worthy....If no other man ever comes along may I find true love in Jesus.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

You're Beautiful

God has words he wants me to share. Tomorrow. But for now He wants you and me to hear the words to this song and BELIEVE....see you tomorrow.












Friday, April 15, 2011

His Love

This is really just for me....Lord Jesus, please help me to believe, REALLY BELIEVE how much you love me. And if there is someone else out there who needs to fully understand your love....