Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Is It Ash Yet?

You know, I've been thinkin'. I'm sure God told me he would bring beauty from ashes. And it struck me, that in order for there to be ashes, the whole "thing", whatever it is, has to be consumed and burned. Then you are left with ashes.

So...what still needs burning in my life? He is still refining something. I'm holding on, or unaware, or what?? What is it? Could it be pride? Lack of trust in HIM? Unbelief? An idol? Bitterness, unforgiveness, need for control? What is it? I want IT to become ash so that God can bring beauty from it.

What is it for you? Where has God said give it to me and I will bring beauty, yet you don't trust Him with it or you keep taking it back?

Never did I think I would be looking forward to seeing a pile of ashes, but bring it on Lord. Consume it ALL. I will wait expectantly for the beauty, knowing you are a promise keeper. Be gentle, but I am willing to walk through the fire with you knowing that I will come out on the other side not even smelling like smoke.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I'm Alive

A week away from this place. I've not known what to say, so I've said nothing. However, I think some are beginning to worry. No worries! Just a lot to process right now. My focus needs to change, it must. I know I've said it before but the Lord has made it abundantly clear. Focus on God alone not on my circumstances. So much easier said than done but that's what I'm aiming for.

God has taught me many things this week. First of all I am out of my bed. HALLELUJAH!! That does not mean I am well or healed but I'm able to get up and sit on the couch. I have even had to go to several appointments this week. So I am very grateful for this reprieve in my symptoms! (thank you for praying) Anyway, things God has taught me - or is beginning to teach me (I am a slow learner). God is enough. If I have nothing else my soul should be satisfied with God alone. I believe I am in a time of Sabbath from life, from my marriage, from ministry, so that I can focus on God alone and really learn that if all else is stripped away I still have the greatest gift, the greatest relationship ever planned!

Isn't it crazy that we have the king of kings, the Savior of the world pursuing us and wanting to spend time with us, yet we run to other things or other people to find comfort and satisfaction? And it is so temporary and always lets us down. God intended us to only find true satisfaction in Him alone.

Beauty from ashes...He has promised that to me. So I want to tell you what beauty I have seen already even in the midst of the darkest time of my life.

I have seen beauty in my children. They wrote me the most beautiful letters for Mother's Day. To read the words of a 15 year old son...oh my! And my 12 year old made her own card with my favorite flower and beautiful words. The best was when they walked in with a huge pot of that favorite flower - orange gerbera daisies!!

I've seen beauty in my friends. They've been such a help. Also God has given me many opportunities to be a witness for Him in the way I speak of my husband to them. The friends of the world have a different perspective of how I should treat my husband but I know what God has said and hopefully we're planting seeds.

Beauty in being able to walk around my home. Oh how we take our health for granted. At least I did.

Beauty in spending more time with the Lord, really seeking His will. Learning more and more about how much He loves me. If I only focus on His love and not man's love I will not be let down.

He has set me aside for a time. I know there is a calling on my life. I'm scared about it sometimes. Maybe that's why I'm set aside so He can show me that it's not about me it is about HIM!!

Okay, enough rambling. I shouldn't stay away so long, I get long winded.

I just noticed the Bible verse for today in the right panel: Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you. Accept instruction from his mouth and lay up his words in your heart.
Job 22 : 21-22

Lord, help me to submit so that I will be at peace. Help me to accept your instruction and truly store them in my heart.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Warning...This is a Downer

I know I've been absent for several days, it's because I really didn't know what to blog. Well, it really was because if I'm post will reveal how I REALLY feel. And right now I feel alone. I have this love-hate relationship with blogging. Like my journal I can go back and read what I've written and how it changes from day to day. What I don't like is how I appear to be like Sybil. You know in the movie her head spins around and her personality changes just like that. (never saw the movie, I just know this stuff) day I write in my blog how much I'm trusting the Lord and the next day I'm thinking "yea right"!! Sounds good, sounds really spiritual, but is it true? I think for the moment when I'm writing it is true. And then life hits again.

I've often said about myself that I wish I wasn't so "easily moved". You know, that circumstances or people's actions or words wouldn't move me so much. Wish I was steady in my feelings, convictions, etc. But I'm not. I am sick and tired of being sick!! There I said it. I'm wondering why is God leaving me in this state? How many more days can I be bed-ridden? What is the purpose? And then I cry, like now. I just want to be well. The problem might be that I want to be well more than I want anything else in the world.

That really might be a problem. God may be trying to teach me something but I'm so focused on how bad I feel. So "easily moved" from trust to despair. From joy to sadness. From love to hate.

It's physically exhausting to fight dizziness and imbalance 24/7. It's emotionally draining. BUT it is my life right now and how do I accept that? I'm not sure and I know I'm rambling but it's as if I want God to come down and have a talk with me. I read His word searching for encouragement. And it's there but then something happens and I'm moved away.

Lord I want to trust you completely. I'm begging for healing in my body. Begging for healing in my marriage. Wondering what you are up to. Remind me, show me, impress on me that you are good all the time. Your eyes really don't leave me. I need to know that today.

If you're still reading this, sorry for the "downer" but it's my life right now. I need to get it out or it will eat me up. I know so many of you are faithfully praying for me and you have NO idea what that means to me.

Trying to hang on and not be so easily moved,

Friday, May 9, 2008


Isn't it funny how as soon as you make a statement about being obedient to God, Satan is right there to try and trip you up. My last post was Monday and I had committed to showing kindness. Well that lasted until Thursday!! I am still committed to it, but I've got to be "prayed up" a lot more, I realize that.

I also need to focus on my relationship with Jesus and not my relationship with Don or anyone else for that matter. I need to focus on Jesus and not on getting well physically. As much I'd like to be well and have my marriage restored, the one thing I know I can count on is the love of the Lord. And I need something right now that I can count on .

God has been so good to me this past week. In so many ways. Showing me many blessings. When I saw the attorney he was absolutely wonderful but then told me it probably wouldn't be cost effective to use him because it would be $10-15,000!! So I came home and within the hour he called me back personally and said "you really need help, we want to help you and we'll figure it out". That was GOD!! I will still have to pay but for now he's taking me on as his client and we'll figure it out eventually.

I've met many new "friends" out here in bloggyland that have blessed me beyond measure. God is knitting together a community of believers to help carry each other's burdens. When I cannot pray, I know that one of you is praying for me. It is a privilege to be praying for many of you as well.

Of course, right now the biggest blessing is being a mom to my kids. They are amazing! My son is getting ready to go on a mission trip to Mexico this summer to build homes for families who have never had one. It will be so good for him to get away, focus on others and grow so much closer to God. My daughter is a constant joy. (did I say constant? well, it's almost Mother's Day, I'm allowed a bit of exaggeration) But she is a joy. They are so good to me and they really love the Lord.

And then my own mom...what a source of strength, encouragement and an example of someone sold out for Christ. I couldn't do life without her right now. She is my rock and my soft place at the same time. Happy Mother's Day, mom! (she doesn't read this, I'm just sayin')

So I commit again to show kindness. To put on the full armour of God, knowing it is only in His strength that I can fight against the enemy. I will count my blessings and not focus on the loss.

For now I focus on the blessing of each one of you. Thank YOU!!


Monday, May 5, 2008

You Want Me To Do What?

I've been having this nagging feeling. God's been talking tough with me. First I wanted to stick my fingers in my ears and start saying "lalalalala", but I knew it was no use. God said to me, "Sheryl, you are my child, you carry my name, now act like it" What? Who? Me?

So, first thing this morning I had to send out emails to many women asking for their forgiveness. You see I've been venting about my husband because he wants a divorce. Well, who can blame me for my feelings? But I was wrong to speak poorly of him and disrepect him in that way. I sent the email confessing my sin and asking forgiveness.

Okay, so that should be good enough, right? OH NO! Then God says, "I want you to be kind to Don. Don't just hold your temper, show him kindness". Oh brother, are you kidding? "Nope!" I pick up the phone, talk with Don, ask how he's doing, ask if there's anything I can take care of for him and tell him I'm still working really hard to get the kids to come around to seeing him". He tells me he appreciates and we hang up.

I've been begging for restoration of my marriage. I must be an active participant in that. Behave as I should behave no matter what Don sends my way. Be Christ in his life period! Show Christ! It's as if I want God to do all the work, wave His magic wand and ta-da, everything is better. Well, I am committed from now on to lean not on my own understanding, but in all my ways to acknowledge HIM!

Tomorrow I have to see an attorney but I am praying God presides over everything that is said and written. I'm praying for a new heart. A heart that loves my husband like never before. A heart that sees him as a man who needs Jesus more than ever. A heart that sees him as a man with deep needs and wounds. It hurts to love him, it's painful. I thought it was easier living in my anger. But I was living outside of the will of God.

Psalm 66:18 If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened

Ephesians 3:20 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

I don't always listen to that nagging feeling but I love it when I do and the peace that comes.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

I Trust

Trust? What is trust? Do I trust? Who or what do I trust? Well, first of all, what does trust really mean? One defintion is "reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence". Then there's this definition -"confident expectation of something; hope".

I think my trust in God has often fallen under that second definition. "confident expectation of something". Like...I will trust God that He will give me healthy kids. I'll trust God that He will meet our needs (which were often "wants") I will trust God that He will heal me. I will trust God that He will restore my marriage. And on it goes. My list of things that I will trust God to do. Confidently expecting something, hoping for it.

Really I believe the first definition is probably the kind of trust I should be putting in God. I can rely on His integrity, strength, ability, etc. He didn't tell me to trust that he would perform a certain way for me. He just tells me to trust HIM. Well what can I trust about God?
  • I can trust that He is good. ALL the time.
  • I can trust that He is love. He can do nothing outside of that love.
  • I can trust that He has the perfect plan.
  • I can trust that His Word is truth.
  • I can trust that He forgives.
  • I can trust that He is a God of mercy and second chances.
  • I can trust that He sees the whole picture and knows the end of every story.
  • I can trust that He knows better than me. (ALWAYS)
  • I can trust that when I am sad, He sees and cares.
  • I can trust that His eyes never leave me - not even for a second.
  • I can trust that He isn't surprised by anything.
  • I can trust that He is trustworthy.

He may not answer the prayers in the way I've asked. He may seem silent. He may seem to have forgotten me. But those are all my perceptions. None of them are true. None of them fit the character of God. I have to go back to His Word and remind myself of who He is.

He loves me SO much that he pursued me and pursued me even after I turned my back on Him many years ago. But He also loves me so much that He may leave where I am right now, just as I am...for a greater purpose. I have to trust that in his goodness, mercy and love that purpose will be amazing! For this season I question, "why are you allowing this", "why won't you at least take one of these things from me"? And He answers me, "I am with you, I'm in it with you, Sheryl. I am not surprised. Trust me!!!"

Lord, give me a heart to love you and trust you more. May I have my eyes wide open waiting expectantly for what you are going to do. Trusting that good will eventually come. Knowing it may not look the way I think it should be, knowing you will use it for your glory or it wouldn't be allowed. Love on my children for me, Lord. Give them hearts that fall deeply in love with you right now as they are hurting. I know you love them more than I do. And I trust you.