Thursday, December 31, 2009
Many thoughts have gone through my head as 2009 comes to a close. The first one was "good riddance"!! But then I had to really reflect. The year was not a fun one. My divorce was final in '09. I watched my children walk through the fire in '09. Emotions have run high. Hearts have broken. Doesn't sound like a year we would want to do over, does it?
But...I am so glad that we had 2009. Without it there would not have been growth, healing, truth, lessons learned, tears, venting, learning, new friendships, pulling together...
What a year! I don't want to do it over again but I am grateful for it. If we let HIM, God will use everything in our lives to bring good. Wow, it's been painful. It's also been one of the best years of my life. YES..one of the best. I don't like watching my son making choices that can have lifelong consequences. But I love that we can talk about everything. I don't like watching my daughter bottle up her feelings. But I love watching as God begins to peel back her protective shell until she finds her voice. I don't like going through a divorce and feeling rejected again. But I love seeing God at work in my life. Bringing the beauty from the ash.
Hard to believe that another year is gone. Please, Lord, don't let us forget all that you've taught us. Bring on 2010. I am so excited to see what God has in store. He has blessed me this year in ways that I cannot even begin to count. He is good...all the time.
Looking for more beauty as I keep letting go of the ash,
Sunday, December 20, 2009
There was an anonymous comment left there. I am not sure that I understand it. If you are the one who wrote it or if you think you have some insight...would you please leave me some feedback. Sometimes we leave our own words, sometimes they really are from the Lord. I'm just curious about this one.
Here is how the comment read:
About a few years ago, God began teaching me the importance of looking at my life in terms of seasons. The life we live here on earth is not a series of random events or disjointed circumstances. Indeed, there is a divine connection to our years - from the moment we were conceived, to our dying breath, there is a purpose.
As a mom-your purpose would most likely be to your children-best not to bring someone else into your lives because its just not the season-that would stop their pain and bring glory to God.To everything there is a season,A time for every purpose under heaven.~ Ecclesiastes 3:1
December 18, 2009 8:23 PM
I am in a new season. I do believe that our seasons are connected. Praying that this season is one of hope, joy and peace for each one of you.
You are loved deeply by me! You are loved completely by the Lord.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Last year I wrote this post where I asked you to share what Christmas hopes and miracles you were praying for. What a privilege it was to give back in some way for all that you have given to me. You should go and read some of those comments...God answered many in huge ways.
Once again, I would love to ask you to leave me a comment about what you are hoping for. Praying for. Longing for. God is still the same god that performs miracles. He still restores. He still heals. He still provides. He still loves. He still bends near to hear us.
My hopes from last year did not "turn out" like I had planned. Some would say that God didn't answer. That could not be further from the truth. He knew just what I needed. He never left me for a second. He brought beauty from the ashes. I asked for joy. Do you know why? Because I feel that joy is something we can choose as believers. Happiness to me can be so based on circumstances. So I didn't ask for happiness...just the joy. Guess what? I got both. I have joy and I am HAPPY!!
My prayers for this Christmas would be that David and Ellie would find some healing for their broken hearts. That they would allow their dad in, even just a little. I pray that they would cling to what they know is true of the Lord. Also, I ask for continued healing of my body. For wisdom and discernment. And that God would never, ever leave me as I am.
How can I pray for you this Christmas? What are your hopes this season?
Monday, December 7, 2009
Things change so fast around here that some days I can't keep up with what's going on.
Having two teens probably has a lot to do with that. Oh....and the fact that God is moving!
It's been hitting me lately how I have spent the first 40something years of my life. I want to be intentional about how I spend the remainder of my days. Intentional about seeking God. Intentional about being content. Intentional about believing what God says. Intentional about loving on those people that God puts in my life. Intentional about being a "light".
God in His mercy is restoring the years the locusts have eaten. (Joel 2:25) What is yet to come is going to be even better than what I've experienced before. Because God is going to lead the way. I have to let Him. Can't get ahead of Him.
Please continue to pray for my kids. They struggle. It's hard. But, oh, I want them to see Jesus. I want them to see that God really is moving and healing. This life is NOT about us. As teens I don't expect them to fully grasp that, but I am praying that seeds are planted and the roots of bitterness are ripped out.
What is changing in your life? Is God restoring years to you as well?
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
She asked this question, "do you know where I want to be"? And she answered it by quoting Job 13:15. "Though He slay me, yet I will trust in Him."
Tears are streaming down my face. No matter what...I WILL trust in Him. All of life can be turned upside down. We can lose everything and everyone. But He is still trustworthy.
I am so glad to be where I am today. The illness has been awful. The divorce left me reeling with feelings of rejection. My life has been riddled with loss. It's been full, yet empty. Does that even make sense?
But I know my Savior. He is bringing more beauty into my life from these ashes than I could ever have hoped or dreamed. What I thought was going to happen - it pales in comparison to what God is doing. I could not have imagined that my life would intersect with people all over the globe. How would I know that the loss I suffered would help heal someone else's pain. Who would believe that 18 months trapped at home would prove to be the most freeing time of my life.
Only God! May He find me saying "Though He slay me, yet I will trust in Him".
(thank you, Julie!)
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
From the beginning...am I loved?
Am I accepted? Wanted? Heard?
Running to anything to fill that need. Anything.
Yet "anything" just leaves me empty.
Am I loved?
I settle. I compromise. I sin.
He stays. He waits.
Fear, denial and anger are my closest companions.
They don't love me. They leave me empty.
What am I missing? Who am I missing?
He waits for me.
He is God and He loves me.
I run back. I confess. I get real. I lay it down.
I believe. Finally.
I AM LOVED!!
"And I pray that I being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ and to know this love that surpasses knowledge."
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Here are some of the words... "be strong in the Lord and never give up hope. You're gonna do great things. I already know. God's got His hand on you, so don't live life in fear. Forgive and forget but don't forget why you're here. Take your time and pray. These are the words I would say from one simple life to another."
Powerful words! These ARE the words that I would say to some people in my life. From my own children, to friends I know in real life to some that I have had the pleasure of meeting through this blog. Draw your strength from the Lord. Keep going back over and over and over. I know we can grow weary but if we return to the Father, He will renew our strength. It may not be on our time table. Most often it is not.
I believe in you. More importantly, God believes in you. He has a purpose for your life. Don't forget it! Keep pressing into Him. I don't say these things as someone who has it all together or as someone who has it figured out. Like the song says..."from one simple life to another".
This life of mine has been redeemed from the deepest pit of sin. I know what it's like to run from God straight toward destruction. On purpose! Please don't give up on the Lord. Cry out. He will meet you wherever you are. In whatever way you need to come to Him. Just come. Do not give up!!
There is hope in the Father. The only source of true hope comes from God. As bad as it seems...God is there and He wants to fill your life with HIS HOPE.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
This is the verse that keeps coming to my mind in the middle of this night...
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19
I have written about this verse before. Maybe several times. These past few days though...it's as if I can feel it happening. God is doing a new thing. In my heart. In my mind. In my decisions. He is making the way. It's scary, not sure where He's leading.
Physically, I've not been feeling very well. That comes with this illness. You never know when the good days will disappear for awhile. But since I've not been well I've spent all of my time at home. Pretty much alone. At first that was depressing. But when you are trapped alone, who else do you have to talk with but God?? Not so bad after all.
God is asking me to risk myself in friendships. Put myself out there. Be a better friend. That is new. God is telling me that is okay to put myself first sometimes. That is new. God is telling me that it's okay to move on. That is new. But He is also telling me, reminding me, that I will not be doing any of these things alone. He will make a way. He will bring water in the desert.
Make me new and bring on the new thing....
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Not a soul.
I didn't sit with someone and talk about it and cry. Nobody hugged me and told me they were sorry. No tears were shared.
I am not saying that I didn't cry. I'm saying that I have done it alone. It's almost 2:00 in the morning and I find myself crying in my pillow again.
Why? Why alone?
Part of it (I think) is because it was a slow process and I didn't really think it would happen. Denial? Maybe. But I truly thought God was going to knit our family back together. So I never really took the time to grieve along the way. I didn't believe we'd be divorced.
The other thing is...my biggest fear in life has been being alone and unwanted. If I cried and really let go then I would be admitting that my fear was coming true. Well, I am alone and he doesn't want me. And I need to cry. I need to mourn. I don't want it to be this way.
But it is. And God knew. And God heals. And God hears my cries. And God stores my tears. And God never leaves me. And God wants me. And God will never tire of my cry for restoration. And God loves. And God plans. And God holds me. And God is faithful. And God redeems. And God never forgets. And God cries with me. AND GOD IS!
Thursday, October 29, 2009
This mom could not have asked for a better son. David, you are a joy!! I know that the past couple of years have been beyond tough. You, however, have grown into such a wonderful, strong, compassionate, loving young man. I could not be more proud.
I mean that. I am proud of you! You've questioned God. I know that. It's not a bad thing to question. But please keep your heart open to Him. I know that you gave it to Him as a young child and I know that He has great things in store for you. One day you will be able to reach those who are hurting. You have a heart that longs to help and to heal.
These 17 years have been such a privilege for me to be your mom. I don't know why God chose to bless me with you, but I sure am glad he did.
You are loved more than I could ever put into words.
Happy Birthday, David! I pray that God blesses you with the best year yet.
With all of my heart...I love you.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
All of my life I have been chasing after what I thought I wanted. Losing my dad at a young age left a huge hole. I wanted to be needed, valued, taken care of. The thought of being alone brought on much anxiety. Wow did I chase after all the wrong things thinking it would be the answer to what I wanted.
Losing so much over the past 2 1/2 years has been heartbreaking and difficult. My health, my husband leaving, my family falling apart...
Losing so much over the past 2 1/2 years has shown me that what I wanted all my life would never be fulfilled by other people or life circumstances. I could only find that peace in Jesus. What exactly did I need? I needed to find my worth in God alone. He values me. He longs to take care of me. He wants me.
I have gotten what I wanted. It just looks completely different than I ever dreamed it would. Ya know what? It's better. It lasts. It's the real deal. IT is the unfailing love of my Savior. The joy that can only be of Him. Peace unexplainable.
Thank you, Lord, for not letting me be satisfied with what I thought I wanted. Thank you for refining me until I got what I needed!!
Sunday, October 11, 2009
When I wrote my last post and pushed publish I debated for a bit about whether to leave it. It was raw and written very quickly. When I went back to decide if I was going to take it off, there was already a comment. Then I knew I needed to leave it.
Later that same day (the same day I wrote that post) things were going so great I felt silly for having all of you reading it. I thought to myself "well, that passed and it's not even where we are any more". God got my attention. He ever so politely told me that it was because I had written it and because YOU HAD PRAYED that things were better. Ya see, I am a bit slow - duh God - THANK YOU!
As our little of family of three, there are many days that we are simply unable to pray for ourselves. It is then that I know you are stepping in and standing in the gap praying. There aren't words to express what that means to us & for us.
God asked me the other day what it is that I really want. If I were to pray for the real desire of my heart, what would it be. The answer popped into my head immediately. I want healing for my family so desperately that it takes my breath away. When there are so many days like I wrote about it in my last post it is easy to take my eyes off of Jesus and focus on what I see. What I see seems like an impossible situation.
Just the kind of situation that Jesus loves. Because when the miracle happens, it will be obvious who gets all the glory!!
Thank you for your friendship and your prayers. Thank you for your part in the miracle that we are believing for. Through the power of your prayers, God is moving.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Mourning what we have lost and striving to see past the pain.
It comes in waves. Overwhelms us. Suffocating.
Produce perseverance. Hope.
We are hoping today.
Hoping for healing.
Hoping for the tears to be wiped away.
Hanging on. Yet pushing away. Holding tight while letting go.
Broken yet hopeful.
Lord God...be near today. We need you.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Lately I have been overwhelmed with how many people are merely surviving. They aren't living their lives. They aren't enjoying. Just hanging on. Trying to get through the day so that they can "survive" the next.
It makes me want to scream. Not at the people. At satan. Back off!!
The thing is that if satan knows he can get to them, he'll keep attacking. As Christians we have to do our part and fight the battle. We can't sit back and passively let satan take what God has promised us. We have to fight!! It is ours.
What exactly is "IT"? It is peace. It is joy. It is love. It is faithfulnes. It is goodness. It is mercy. God has promised us all these things (and so much more)once we have received His gift. The gift of His Son. Maybe you've been a believer a long time and don't stand in awe of that gift so much any more. I know that's been the case with me. I gloss over the fact that God loved me so much that He chose for His Son to die a horrific death FOR ME!!
What are you doing with that gift?
In John 10:10 it says "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full."
Do you see that? Jesus came so that we may have life. Not just eternal life (which is amazing), but also life here. NOW. Don't let satan rob you of the gift of life.
Are you living or you just surviving?
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
New things! Often new things are exciting. An adventure. Sometimes new things are scary. Especially when we don't know where the new thing will need. What will the new thing ask of me?
My "new" thing. Well it's not even new any more. And that is just dawning on me. (yea, I'm quick like that) My new thing has been around since June of 2007. I just rolled my eyes at myself as I typed that. Seriously...am I just now realizing that this is my life?! It's not new any more. The illness. The separation. The divorce. It is my life. It's my new thing and today I am embracing it FINALLY!!
God is at work in my life in big ways. Do you ever get that feeling of being unsettled? Like your insides are on pins and needles. I don't know if I can really explain it but I've been living the past week or so with this "knowing" that God is up to something. He is increasing my faith. Increasing my trust. Teaching me that I need to be led by the Holy Spirit. Teaching me that the Holy Spirit is alive and living within me! (that is a whole post in itself).
I am loving my life right now. Illness, brokenness, sorrow, heartache...yep, I am loving my life. How can that be? It's only GOD. Praise Him for that. Beauty from my ashes. He is allowing me a huge measure of healing physically. He is allowing some "calm" right now in our family situation. This is my life, our life. A life that is not taking God by surprise.
Hope. I have it!! Faith. It's increasing. Joy. Unexplainable.
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19
Lord, thank you for these gifts in my new thing. Thank you for the way you are making and for your provision each step of the journey.
Friday, September 18, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
In 2002 I know that God told me He would bring beauty from ashes in my marriage. Wasn't really sure what it meant at the time. We struggled, like a lot of married couples do, but we had weathered the storm. I guess it just made me feel good to know that God was going to use the "yuck" we had endured and we would experience beauty.
Fast forward 6 years and Don files for divorce. Huh? Lord, this makes no sense. I am sure of what you said to me. So for many months I continued to pray for restoration and for healing. Yet, it wasn't to be. The divorce was final and the door was shut.
Or was it? Honestly I wasn't sure what to do. What do you pray for now? How do you reconcile what you know God told you with the circumstances that are staring you in the face? With the reality you are living? What does beauty mean anyway?
For me...I wanted it to mean that our family would be healed and whole. I know that would be God's perfect will for us. But as humans, we have free will and God is not going to force us to do anything. I have given up praying. I have given up.
Well...I had! You see, I stopped believing in miracles. I stopped believing that my teenagers would ever be able to get past their pain and love their dad. I stopped believing that Don could really come to know God. I stopped believing that God would bind up my broken heart. When you stop believing, you stop praying for it.
Just what satan wanted. And then, the story of Andrew. If you read my previous post, you have read of the faith of his family as they prayed through dire circumstances. There was no hope for him, yet they prayed BELIEVING. I would shake my head as I would read Melanie's words and wonder what she was going to say when God didn't come through. (oh what little faith I had) Andrew's story has helped renew my faith in the power of prayer. In the reason for prayer.
Fervently I am praying for each member of my family. David belongs to Jesus and satan can't have him. David says that "God just doesn't work for him any more", but I know differently. Ellie says she just wants a normal life and will never have it. Well, Ellie I am praying for God's blessing on your life. Don made a commitment to the Lord in 1998 and I know that the Lord will continue to hound him. Not hound him to punish him, but hound him because HE loves him.
What did God promise me? Beauty from ashes. I AM CLAIMING IT!!
Friday, September 11, 2009
UPDATE: Andrew is having surgery right now!! (5 pm est) Please visit their site.
My friend, Melanie and her family need your prayers desperately. Their lives have been turned upside within the past three weeks as their 12 year old son was diagnosed with brain cancer. Today there is an urgent need for prayer for her son, Andrew. Please click on the button in my sidebar and let them know you are standing in the gap with them today.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Thank you all SO much for your encouraging words, your prayers, tears, emails, texts, phone calls and comments. You can't possibly know how they have helped me and ministered to me. Many of you chose verses that I know were hand picked by God for me. It would be almost impossible for me to walk this path without you.
I've spent a bit of time reading over my past several posts. Usually I don't read what I write. I hit publish often having no idea what I said. But I felt like I needed to see where God has taken me recently. There is an obvious pattern. Victory. Defeat. Bigger victory. Bigger defeat.
Choosing joy. Smacked with bad news. Choosing to set my face like flint. Having my faith rocked. Choosing to fight through any symptoms and go that conference. Having just one more unbelievable life circumstances thrown at us.
Coincidence? I think not.
I realized that I had titled my last post "Tearing". As in fabric being torn. God has shown me that the devil is also out to tear me apart. To tear my family apart. The devil is prowling around like a lion it says in 1 Peter. What do lions do to their prey? They tear them apart. Why is satan after ME and MY family? We must be a threat!!!
Being sifted. I think that's a season I am in right now. I don't know if satan has asked God's permission to sift me like he did with Job. (NO, I am not saying that I am Job) But I do know that it wouldn't be happening if God didn't allow it. I need to cling to what I know and what I believe. CLING!! With everything in me.
When we get good news like Ellie is healing and out of the danger zone. PRAISE HIM. When someone attacks and causes damage to my family. PRAISE HIM. When I am able to do an ordinary task. PRAISE HIM. When we don't know if we'll have enough money for the month. PRAISE HIM.
It's not about praising Him for the circumstances. It's just about praising Him because He is worthy of it and He deserves it.
Lord, please protect my family. Keep us firmly planted in what we KNOW about You. May our faith not be shaken but be strengthened. This season of tearing and sifting is hard and it's painful. Find us faithful!!
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Our family has been torn in the process of two people divorcing.
As hard as I try we keep taking one step forward and then five steps back. OH my flesh wants to give up. I don't want to be the "good guy" any more. I don't want to be the one who keeps all my feelings inside. (and a few cuss words!!) It's tiring, it wears me out. I believe I wrote a post about being the one who always takes the high road. I'm weary of walking that high road alone.
He is walking it with me. I've just spent the past half hour locked in my bathroom, bawling and crying out to God who I know is walking this with me. Why is HE allowing one person to inflict so much pain? Why won't HE (God) let us catch our breath before the next wave hits us? I don't know the answers to those questions, but I do know that God loves my kids more than I do. My head knows that, it's hard to fathom.
God is traveling this road with us. Before us. Behind us. In us. When we hurt, HE gets it.
Please pray for my little family of three. The tearing is excruciating right now.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Also...I cannot even begin to express my gratitude for praying for our family last week as we met for counseling. It was SO evident that God was in control. SO evident that God brought peace. SO evident that God hears the prayers of His children! I wish I could share more with you on here but I know you understand.
God is so busy working on me personally that I am having a hard time keeping up. He continues to chip away at my "rough edges" and I really am glad. I've said before that it can be painful to be refined but it's worth it.
This weekend I had the privilege and the thrill of being able to go to a simulcast of one of my favorite speakers. First of all...let that soak in. I LEFT MY HOUSE AND FELT WELL ENOUGH TO GO HANG WITH WOMEN AND LISTEN TO SOME GREAT TEACHING!! I assure you I did not take one moment of it for granted. For now I am going to process what I learned before I share it but there is one thing...
When people stand to sing, I normally will remain seated because of the "dizziness". There was a song that we were able to sing a couple of times called "In Christ Alone". I am going to share it with you here, but I have to tell you first that there is a line where I was compelled to stand. I could barely get the words out as I was overcome with emotion. The line is -
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Anyway, this will be a bit of a rambling post to address a few different things.
FOLLOWERS: If you do not have your face over there to the right with the rest of the followers, will you do me a favor and become a follower? This is not just about numbers!! I will be honest and tell you that when I see the number go down, I wonder what happened? Who left? What did I do? But...there are many of you who don't comment (and that is so fine) but I like to stop by and see who is reading me. The only way I can do that is if you comment or if you're a follower. So go on over there and click the "follow" button!! Ok, thanks.
PROFILES: For those of you who are bloggers you know what your profile is. It would be a huge help if you would have your profile connected to your email. I love to reply to comments and I can only do this if you show your email in your profile. This will not show up on your blog page, but it shows when your comment comes through to me. If you don't know how to do this, here is a short tutorial:
go to your dashboard - click on edit profile by your "picture" - make sure the box next to show email address is checked
Since I have my "bossypants" hat on, one more thing. Some of you do not have comments enabled on your blog posts. I've been by and really want to comment, but it won't let me!!
What else can I tell you to do? Oh okay, tomorrow (Wednesday) night we have a family counseling session. First time (might be the only time). Please pray that God would just be "all over it". This is huge. This is not to make everything better or to reconcile. This is to learn how to still be a family that lives separately. To allow the kids to express themselves to their dad. To allow Don to show the kids how desperately he wants a relationship. To say the kids are less than thrilled is an understatement.....
Pray on!! Love you all so much.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Lately, for me, it's been this song...
The words, "the more I seek you, the more I find you" - those are so true for me. I've been seeking God more in the past two years than ever before. And you know what? I am finding more of Him. He is all over IT!! What is it? He's got me, He's got David, He's got Ellie! He knows my health issues. He knows our broken hearts. He gets it.
I do want to sit at His feet. I do want to lay back against Him. His love is the only love that will truly fulfill. It's not an earthly relationship that bring any of us what we are looking for. His love is indescribable. It is a love full of peace, there is nothing self-centered about His love. He doesn't want anything in return except for us to love Him.
His love brought me to this place. Yes I mean here to blogland. You have showered my family with your love and your prayers. We would not be where we are today without you and I thank you. His love is going to see each of us through whatever comes our way.
Want to share in some of the fun things going on. I was able to take the kids shopping!! I went to David's soccer invitational yesterday!! Ellie is slowing gaining back some strength. David smiles. Counseling continues. I put my feet in the sand again at the beach. Little things - but I am praising God.
Thank you, Lord, for loving me. Thank you that you are always right here. Your eyes are always upon us. Continue to draw us closer to you. Remind us that you are the ONLY answer. Thank you for these friends that I may never meet this side of heaven.
Monday, August 17, 2009
chosen by God
marked for a purpose
why and when will he know
Oh yes son you do!!
with a heart toward God
yet a heart overcome with fear.
"I pray but
This boy will be used by God.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
I am choosing joy. I am choosing to believe in the faithfulness and goodness of my God.
When I get to thinking that I have had more than my fair share of "bad" things happen - I have to stop myself. The Lord chose to save my daughter from death when I didn't even know she was at risk of dying. The Lord makes sure that my son gets "caught" almost every time so that I can try and counsel him toward a different path.
God blesses us each and every day!! Honestly I don't have to look very hard for it either. Whether it's a friend stopping by, someone calling to offer to grocery shop, the amazing sunsets we are spoiled to have here over the lake, "coincidences" happening so that Don & I can be on the same page before we need to parent together...or my mom just this very second sending me an email telling me they are coming to get me and go to DQ. NO JOKE - as I was typing this an email popped up. That might mean nothing to you, but to go for a drive with my parents to see the sunset with a mocha chip blizzard - oh the joy!!
Okay guess I have to wrap this up since they'll be here any second. Just want to encourage you to keep your eyes open to the blessings all around you. Do not let satan trip you up and distract you from what the Lord is up to in your life. (I am talking to myself here)
Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore, have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame. (Isaiah 50:7) I pray the LORD finds me with my face set right up against His, pressing on...finding the joy like these two kids of mine!! Life isn't what they want it, they wonder why they can't catch a break...but they are still "living life"...
Sunday, August 9, 2009
I just read over my past several posts. Comical! In a few of them I talk about how I didn't think things could get any worse and then...wham! I am going to stop writing those posts because we just keep getting hit.
Since I do not have as much freedom in my writing as I used to (as there is someone trying to use my words against me) I am not able to tell you details of what is going on around here. But please know that we need your prayers like never before. Isn't that hard to believe? It's been two years that we've been walking this path and it is worse now than ever.
That's gotta be good!!
God is up to something big and I am going to rejoice in God my Savior (my verses from Habakkuk). He is doing things I never thought possible. He is the provider of all good things. He is watching over David. He is healing Ellie's body. He is giving me some really great days physically. He is providing a godly counselor for our family. He loves us.
HE LOVES US!!
Even as it feels like we are falling further and further into chaos...somehow God is making all things new. That's it! In order for each one of us to be who God has called us to be-He has to make us new. Being made into entirely new people is painful. But, oh, is it gonna be worth it!!
Have we reached the bottom yet? Cuz I cannot wait to see the beauty.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
I used that phrase the other day with my friends that I have been doing Bible study with. That was a phrase that I used to use often. It seemed like I was always the one who took the high road. Seems like I am still the one who often takes the high road.
What brought up this conversation between us the other day? Well as were finishing studying Mark one of my friends read to us from the notes in her Bible. It said that Mark is a book about His (Jesus) power as well as His servanthood. I loved that. Jesus chose to put on servanthood so that each one of us would have the opportunity to know His Father!! We were more important than Jesus getting His way or not having to do what someone else should have done or being ridiculed. Jesus took the "high road" for me.
Even with all of His power, He put on humility so that I could have eternal life. So that I could have forgiveness of sin. So that I could have peace. So that I could have someone to call to any time I choose. He was not worried about how many times He had to turn the other cheek.
I got to thinking that instead of being frustrated that I always have to take the high road, I should be grateful. Grateful that I even have the desire to "do right". Grateful that I have a God who equips me to do things and act in ways that are completely out of my human power.
If HE who knew no sin would take on sin for ME....how can I not desire the "high road" so that those around me might come to know HIM as well.
Lord, thank you for the paving the way ahead of me. Thank you for your example in your Word. Thank you for walking each step of this road with me. Even when I take the "low road".
Monday, August 3, 2009
HUH? It's a what?
It's hard to believe that Ellie turns 14 today. Seems just like a couple months ago I was writing a post that she was becoming a teenager. Where does the time go? It keeps going faster and faster.
Ellie loves the Lord. Ellie questions what He is doing in our lives. Ellie wonders why all of these "bad" things have happened in the past couple of years. I'm glad that Ellie is wrestling these things out. I pray that the trials and the blessings will build her faith in her God!!
Ellie...we are so glad that God chose to make you part of our family. Happy Birthday and we sure do love you!!
Friday, July 31, 2009
There are times that I delete your comments and those that address you. But I've chosen to stop doing that. The reason?? Well, it's good for me to remember that there are times when I am judgmental of others. There are times when I don't know the whole story and I make assumptions and jump to conclusions. It is clear that although you have mentioned before that you know Don...you really don't KNOW.
You see, none of us can know another person or their circumstances unless we have walked in their shoes. Unless we have lived their life. Nobody knows what it feels like to be me. To be off balance almost 24 hours a day. To be the mom to my 2 kids. To be pursuing my relationship with Jesus Christ. Sure, others can have similar experiences, but they are not mine.
My family. This is MY family. Well, not really. This is the family that God has entrusted me with. This is the life that God has entrusted me with. I am doing my best to seek HIM in all that I do. What would HE want for David and Ellie? What would HE want for Don? What would HE want for me?
Satan has tried to use you to distract me from the race I'm running. Don't get me wrong...I am not saying that you are evil, but satan wants to use your words for evil. I know without a doubt that God has some amazing things in store for my family. Already I am beginning to see a glimpse. You are free and welcome to comment any time that you feel impressed to do so. This is a public forum here and I will be sure to read what you have to say.
As for me, I will remember to reach out to those who are struggling. Not to judge what I have absolutely no real knowledge of. To remember that I only hear one side of things. To ask God for discernment. To use my words to heal and not harm. Will I get it right every time? Nope. But I am sure gonna try.
I am praying for God's continued healing of my family. I am asking God to get me out of the way. To help me to not be offended. To remind me that HE is my avenger and I don't have to defend myself. I hope that you would see Jesus Christ in this blog. Keep looking. This is really all about HIM and not about me at all.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
How do people do this? Keep getting hit by one life circumstance after another! And truly what would people do without the Lord to run to?
In my last post, I said that Ellie was sick but would be fine. HAHA. Took her to the doctor on Friday and was told to head to the hospital immediately. She would be admitted. Her red blood count was dangerously low. She had 2 transfusions and 24 hours in the hospital. We are home and she will get better. It will be a long road until she is herself again but we're headed in the right direction.
She and I both broke down in the doctor's office. Enough is enough!! Or is it? These have been the hardest two years in our lives. Can't we just get a break?!
It's been one of those days today where I am kind of numb. There is nothing that I can do about any of the situations we find ourselves in and that is a paralyzing feeling. But at the same time it is a bit freeing. If I know that I can't do anything, then it leaves me no choice but to literally throw it at the Lord. Handle it, please!!
I'm dealing with some anger, feelings of betrayal, exasperation, did I mention anger? Yea, there's quite a bit of anger all aimed in one direction. (no names here) It's one more thing that God is trying to burn out of my life. Refining.
On Friday before I took Ellie to the doctor I found one slip of paper that had gotten stuck in an old dresser. It was from a Bible study that I had done over 10 years ago. It was Habakkuk!! The only verses from this year that I have truly put to memory. Do you think God was reminding me that I will be joyful and rejoice even when.....
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. Habakkuk 3:17 & 18.
Habakkuk means...Embraced by God. I am SOOOOOOOO glad He is holding us.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
First of all, thanks for your words of encouragement, sometimes we just need to get our feelings out so they don't consume us. At least that's true for me. Those of you have been reading for awhile know that I believe God is very much in control of our lives and I trust Him, but it was just getting hard.
Then the next several days hit. I'll just give you a few highlights. My daughter has been VERY sick. She is going to be fine, but yesterday I found her passed out on the bathroom floor. My son had a run in with his dad. Something that could have been a great connection for them just blew up in both their faces. I received an email telling me I had overstepped my bounds in a certain area. Then my parenting was called into question. I was accused of not really working toward the best interest of the kids and Don.
Seriously....it got to be funny!! My daughter, Ellie and I have spent a lot of time together this week as we've both not felt well. I told her that satan was really after us. Any chance he can get. Any way he can get to us. So each time something new happened we talked about how much we are under attack.
That's a good thing. I mean it's not fun but if he's attacking us - he is worried and we are a threat. God is moving!! Things are happening with Don that make me realize God is hounding him. That's what we've been praying for. Not many people that are in my life on a daily basis read this blog. So it's the prayers of "strangers" that are affecting the life of my husband. (yes, I still call him my husband)
The other day a blog friend of mine, Kiesha, sent me an email. She told me that she heard a song that she thought was just for me but couldn't remember what it was. In the meantime she read my last post about life stinking and decided that she had heard God wrong and that song wasn't right for me. The next day she gets in her car with me on her mind and what song would come on the radio? YEP. So she sent it to me right away.
The song talks about about God finding you. And finally living for the first time. Living!!
I am living like never before. Is it hard? You bet, but wow it feels good to really live the life that God intended. I know He is healing. I am believing in the miracles that we are going to be walking out!!!
Sunday, July 19, 2009
So, I will definitely NOT be reading this post. It will be full of complaining and moaning and negativity! You've been warned, so feel free to move right along.
I want to trade in my deck of cards for a new one. I want someone to wave a magic wand and make all things better. I want help in raising my kids. I want a "do over".
There is one teenager in my house that is in crisis. He worries me. He breaks my heart.
There is another teen in my house that lets her true feelings peek out only every once in awhile. They peeked out today. Wow, it's sad!
We are all wallowing in it today. You know, one of those days when you just jump in the mud pit, roll around and just let everyone around you know how bad it is!! Good thing it's the three of us here and we aren't subjecting anyone else to our ugly moods. (except those of you who are still reading!)
"Nothing in life is going right". That is the quote of the day. Instead of telling the kids all the things that are good, I am letting them vent. I need those days myself. And honestly, it really does feel like nothing is going right.
My last post was about being desperate. Didn't think that I was going to become even more desperate, but that is indeed what has happened. I truly do believe that my God has not forgotten me, He has not forgotten my kids. I read today in Isaiah and was reminded again that I am engraved on the palms of His hands. I am asking God to bring relief, to show Himself, to strengthen me, to be a parent to my kids, to provide, to heal. And you know what, I am not asking anything of Him that He is not able to do.
Life stinks right now, but God isn't surprised.
Life stinks right now but I wouldn't trade it for anyone else's.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Am I desperate?
Yes, I believe I am. Desperate for Jesus to come in and fill up my life! I've had enough of worrying. Enough of the anxiety. Enough of the hurt and the anger. Empty me, Lord. I am desperate.
This is really not a bad place to be. This place of desperation. Where you realize that you simply cannot do it any more. I'm not talking morbidly about giving up on your life. I'm talking about realizing that you need more of God. There is no use trying to "do" life in your own power.
David and Don will be together today. That is supposed to bring me great joy. It does not. So, today I am asking God to take over my emotions and to forgive me for my attitude. I am desperate for God to work today!
It's easy to say you want certain things. Or that you believe certain things. Until you are faced with them. I don't want to be full of lip service. And I know I can be. It's hard for our humanness to not get in the way, but I am desperate for God to lead.
God has chosen to wrestle with me. I have been chosen. That is humbling! The God of the universe has His eyes and heart set on me and believes there is something worth wrestling through. I am desperate to learn from this. I am desperate to be different.
If you are in a desperate place right now, seek Him more. He has not abandoned you. In our desperation we need to bend the knee, look up, reach out to Him, empty ourselves and beg Him to take our desperation and make it into what HE wants.
Desperate and grateful for it!
Thursday, July 9, 2009
This was a question asked of me by my 16 year old son. I sat on his bed and cried with him. He is going through a very rough break-up with his girlfriend. I know there are lots who would just brush this off as young love, but I want him to know that I will never make light of his feelings.
However...he was not just referring to the break up.
THIS that he refers to is the break-up of his relationship, his mom being ill, the break-up of his family, feeling abandoned by his dad. The list goes on and on for him. He wonders why he can't have just one thing in his life that is stable.
There is nothing I want more than for my kids to really love the Lord. When life circumstances stink it is easy to question God and His love. Even as an adult. But as a teen...wow it's tough. I told him (David) that maybe God is trying to get his attention. Maybe David has turned his back on God and HE is trying to draw him back. Not that God wants us go through pain but maybe through the pain we will turn to the Lord. The only One who can really comfort.
So he asks what did we do to deserve this. I answer that WE did not do anything.
These next words are ones that I have said only to myself. I don't believe that teenagers want spirituality thrown in their faces when they are going through tough times. But I know that there was something for me to learn by David asking that question.
Why don't we ask "what did we do to deserve this" when great things happen? I don't deserve God's mercy and grace. I don't deserve God's forgiveness. I don't deserve to have been born into a Christ centered family. I don't deserve to have great friends. I don't deserve to live in America with all of its freedom.
God does not treat us as we "deserve" and boy am I grateful for that.
There are so many blessings in my life. I am able to see that and I pray that one day my children will see the blessings as well. For now, I keep loving, listening, praying, encouraging and wrestling this thing out.
Monday, July 6, 2009
We're struggling. This is HARD! I can't catch my breath. There are times that I think about the situation we are in and push the thoughts aside because it brings on so much anxiety. How are we ever going to make ends meet? What on earth can I do from home to bring in money? Is David going to be alright? What can I do to help him? Both kids have zero relationship with Don. They say they never had one before, so how/why should they have one now?
Don is hurting. I know that. But we all are. I am living it every single day and he doesn't have to see it.
Why is God allowing this?
I don't want to wrestle with God any more. Boy, I just want to come to a place of rest. Where I can rest in the knowledge that God is good! I can get to that place and then something will happen and I will jump from that place of rest. Sure this is a process. I know that. Everyone has something.
Lord, be near. I know you are but today I need to FEEL it. I need to KNOW it. You have done great things in our lives. I thank you for that. Get me out of the way if I am blocking what you are trying to do. Keep refining me. Keep refining us. But, please be gentle. This is painful. I know you are very acquainted with pain and I know that you love us. You never promised that we'd have lives that were problem free. But you did promise that you'd never leave us or forsake us. You are IN this with me. We are doing this TOGETHER!! Thank you, Lord.
**guess i am going to post this anyway, because i think God wants me to**
Monday, June 29, 2009
A year ago I had the privilege of meeting some Christian women online to do a Bible study. Friendships were formed and we loosely talked about one day meeting. It was hard to hear all the talk because of how sick I was. I knew it wouldn't be possible for me. Fast forward...I have just returned from Tennessee where I was able to meet several of them in person. GOD IS SO GOOD!! We had a riot. I witnessed God moving in my life so that I could be there. Thankful!!
My health is still a day to day journey. Some days are very decent and I can drive around town, do some grocery shopping (always accompanied by someone), eat out, clean house...all things I love. I have even been able to go to a friend's for Bible study once a week and you know I've been to church a few times! God has brought me so far in the past two years as far as my health goes. Even though each day presents me with challenges, I am trying to be grateful for how far I have come!!
God continues to ask me to pray for restoration of my family. Healing. Beauty from ashes! My "gut" still says that it will happen one day. When I see my kids and the pain they are going through. When I hear the pain in Don's voice. When I miss being married. In those times, it is easy for me to pray for healing. But when I get caught up in the selfishness of being alone (hard to explain that) there are times when I do not want to pray for restoration. Trying to be obedient. Trying to keep my heart softened to what God wants!!
I am so grateful for all of you and for your prayers. Please pray for my kids. David breaks my heart. I want to be able to make it okay for him. I know I can't. Ellie is in denial that her heart is hurting. It's not that I want the wound to bleed for her, but I want her to understand her need to deal with the loss.
I am hanging on and believing that God really does bring good from all things. He ALWAYS has in my past and I know He will continue to! There is so much good that has come already. I wouldn't change it for anything. The sickness has been a gift.
No greater gift than to be pursued by our Savior in order to know Him better.
Monday, June 22, 2009
In my last post I mentioned that I had stopped memorizing scripture this year after getting through nine of them. On Saturday evening I was able to attend church again even though I was feeling very symptomatic. (sometimes you just have to push through things even though it's hard) I was thrilled to be there. Once the sermon began, we were asked to turn Luke 12:22-31. So I get out my Bible, turn and begin reading to myself.
It's the birds again. If you've been reading, you might remember I wrote a post titled For the Birds. I was memorizing from the Matthew passage, but it is the same principle. Don't worry! If He takes care of the birds, how much more will He take care of us.
Would you believe that is the last passage of scripture that I memorized. I wondered why I had stopped and I think on Saturday God gave me my answer. I am camping on those verses for awhile. There are a lot of worries in my life. I'm not one to stress out, complain or spend my time in worry. But I am realizing that my life is full of stress, whether realized or not.
Money - there's not enough, I can't work, how will we make it?
Health - I have some really great days, things are better than before, but I am far from healed, will I ever be?
Family - will the kids ever have a good relationship with their dad? What are they stuffing? How rejected do they feel? What more can I do to help bring healing for all of us? (Don included)
Ok, I will not bore you with all the details, but you get the idea. You have your own life, your own worries. He, God, is reminding me that He has always provided in the past. He shows up. Actually, He never leaves! He has performed miracles in my life. He will again. He is the same God, He cares deeply, I am never out of His sight.
Lord, you know my heart. You know what is weighing heavily on me. Show me when I am worrying and help me claim your promises in my life. Worry not!!
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Honestly, in this case I am okay with that. When I start to paint something and never finish, that is a completely different story. The reason I am okay with this is because I haven't heard God really telling me any more verses to put to memory for now. I don't want to just complete the task for the sake of saying I finished. I want to hear God and do what He says! (kinda)
And boy has HE been talking!! How much you wanna' bet that He is talking a lot and I just don't bother to hear and listen? He is talking in themes right now. Like I said in my previous post, He is preparing me. Actually when I read back through several posts, there is a lot I could relearn. Remember that most of the time I sit and type while God is telling me what to write - so often I have no idea what I have written. It would probably be helpful to go back and read them again!! (wow, i am quick)
Since God started talking with me after I became ill, the theme has been Know...Trust...Love. If I know HIM better, I will trust Him and I will love Him more. That has been my heart's cry for several years that I would really love Jesus. And I finally do! And because I do I want to be obedient because I can trust Him and I know He loves me. If He is asking something of me it's because He knows what great things will come to my life (on earth and eternally) if I will listen and obey.
It's that simple song many of us learned as children. "Trust and Obey". It really is easier to obey Him, if we trust Him. Lord, I KNOW that you have exciting, scary, wonderful things in store for this family. Each one of us. Keep moving me out of the way when I am hindering your perfect will in our lives. Have your way!!
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Sat down and started to look at the bulletin. My last blog post was titled "From the Inside Out". Guess what the sermon series at church is titled? YEP. "From the Inside Out"...freak me out!!! So, I thought, "how cool that God has been preparing me already."
Our pastor asks us to turn to Luke 6:27. Flipped my Bible to that passage and immediately decided that I better stick my fingers in my ears and loudly say "LALALALALALALA". (of course, I didn't really do this) How could I have thought that God had been preparing me and then get this passage thrown at me. Shoot!!
Here are the verses - But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you."If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' lend to 'sinners,' expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Luke 6:27-36
As our pastor pointed out, many of us don't like to think in terms of having enemies, but we have that person that we would say is an "antagonist". Obviously I knew immediately who my "enemy" is. And I really did not want to hear what God was asking of me.
The passage is full of action words. It's not enough to say we love our enemies, we have to take action. Do good. Bless. Pray. Give. Be merciful. Last night was the first time I have been able to take communion in almost 2 years. I knew that I couldn't participate in the Lord's Supper without first surrendering my agenda to God. Do I want to do good, bless, pray for and give to my "enemy"?? NO, but God wants me to.
Who is it for you? Ask God to show you ways to put your love for HIM into action. And feel free to ask me how I am doing in blessing and showing mercy.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Today we talked about the first two chapters. The part that made the biggest impression on me is the story about the friends who take the paralytic on his mat to see Jesus. It is a story that I am very familiar with. Maybe too familiar with and would tend to just skip right through it. Not this time. This time I read it as if I hadn't seen it before.
By the time they got to the home where Jesus was, there was no more room. Did they give up and go home? No, they climbed on the roof, dug a hole through it and lowered their friend in. They chased after Jesus, knowing that He was the answer.
When Jesus spoke to the paralytic, He told him that because of his faith his sins were forgiven! Did He not notice that the man was paralyzed? Of course, but Jesus knew what the more important healing was. Healing from the inside. Forgiveness that would lead to a relationship with the Father and eternity in heaven. HE wanted the man's soul. HE wanted to be sure that the man received the best gift possible.
As a bonus...the man was also healed of his physical limitations. AS A BONUS!! I need to really know that. It's not about our comfort. It's not about how much are we enjoying our life. It's not all about the here and now. Does God care about those things? Sure He does, but not as much as He cares about US.
I want to be like those friends. Tenacious. Willing. Full of faith.
I want to be like the paralytic. Healed from the inside out.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Here is the part of that post that kind of gets to me...
I'm wondering what the next year has in store. But I hope to take it minute by minute. I believe there will be restoration. Restoration of my health. Restoration of my marriage and family. I don't know how it will look. It may not be the way I would choose it. But I am letting go and letting God have this year. Without Him, I don't know where I'd be. Literally!! I pray that the next 525,600 minutes will be measured by "Seasons of Love".
This past year ended up looking nothing like I thought it would. I truly thought there would be healing for me physically and that my marriage & family would be back together. Instead I still struggle with my health, my marriage ended and the kids don't have a relationship with their dad.
There has been restoration. Healing for me has come spiritually in a way that I cannot fully describe. Issues, addictions, unresolved grief - healed!! I told someone the other day that I believe wounds do heal, but you are often left with a scars. Honestly, I am glad for the scars. They make me who I am. They remind me of God's mercy. In speaking with my counselor I said that I didn't want my past to define me. However, I stopped myself and realized that my past is my story and I'm glad for the story I have.
It's been a rough 525, 600 minutes but I live a life pretty full of joy. Not a day goes by without God amazing me with something. Not a day goes by that we don't die laughing. Not a day goes by that my kids and I don't say "I love you". Not a day goes by that I take health for granted. A day does not go by that I am not reminded that God has chosen/allowed this path for me for a purpose!!
I don't know "why me", but why not me? I pray that He trusts me with another year of minutes and that He will find me faithful to do what He is asking.
Looking forward to experiencing the next year with each of you. Cannot wait to see what God has in store for you as well. Let's spend the next 525,600 minutes being measured by "Seasons of Love".
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Had a pretty good run where my symptoms were manageable. I am grateful for that. It will be a long time (hopefully forever) before I take for granted the ability to walk to a car, get in it and drive. However, when the symptoms come back, it does get me down. I know that's ok to be disappointed. Just wish it was different.
The physical always brings out the other two. Emotional and spiritual. Being sick and alone is hard. It is an "in your face" reminder that I am doing this alone. (ok, I know that God is always with me, but you know what I am talking about) I do not want to be someone who complains about my circumstances either. However, when life is hard, I think we need to be honest.
So, when I get symptomatic again, I start having a hard time praying. Well, that's not entirely true. I've been struggling with my prayer life for awhile now. Sometimes I wonder, "why pray"? God is going to do what He's going to do. Do I even believe that He performs miracles any more? Do I dare ask? Someone said the other day that one of the purposes of prayer is to be able to listen more closely for the voice of the Lord. I liked that. Not about the asking, pleading, begging....but about having a conversation. Hearing HIM.
What is He saying to me these past few days?
Get on your knees, Sheryl and PRAY. Talk to me! Do not shut me out. Keep praying for healing in your body. Keep praying for the healing of your family.
Really, Lord? Are you sure?
Part of me wants to say that our family is fine. And for the most part we are. But when you look deep down, deep within, we are four hurting people that don't really know how to live in this new life. God promised me "beauty from ashes" in my marriage many years ago. I really believed that to be as an intact family. Why have I given up praying for that?
Because I don't want to be disappointed!!
Let us all ask for what God has placed on our hearts to pray. Pray believing that He is able. Pray believing that He is listening. Pray believing that above all else He is interested in the health of our souls! I am going to start praying again. With a new passion. I am going to take back the ground that satan has tried to steal from us.
I would love to pray for you. Let's pray....BELIEVING!
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Just finished reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan for the second time. Amazing book. Life changing book if you don't just set it aside and say that it was a good read. I tend to do that. Feel some conviction, ponder - then nothing! This time I just know that I know that I know that there is something I need to obey. Something I need to DO.
So, I ask God. Show me. I read back through the verses I am memorizing for this year. Thinking maybe there is something in there. I come across the verses in Mark that I memorized. (ok, that is a lie, I did not memorize them - I said I would, but they are not in my memory bank) It's from Mark 11:24-25 and my paraphrase is that when you ask for something in prayer, believe that you have received it.
Thing is, there is more to those verses. It also says that if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you. Well.....this is how that conversation just went between me and the Creator of the Universe.
Me: So, are you saying that I have to forgive Don?
Me: Well, it's not gonna happen!!
Yep, that is how I just talked to God. Good thing He is not in the mood to zap me today. Seriously, who do I think I am? God isn't asking us if we "feel like" forgiving people. He is commanding us to. You know that usually (always) when there is a command it is for our own good, because He loves us. He knows that if we follow what He tells us to do, then our lives will be full of more joy, peace, contentment.
Don does not need to admit his faults (boy I want that). Don does not need to say he had any role in the disintegration of our marriage (I really want that). Don does not need to ask for forgiveness! I am not forgiving him for his sake but for mine. To be free from bitterness. To be free from continued pain. To be obedient to a Father who loved me enough to send His Son to die on a cross for sins that I never even admitted to.
Lord, I do NOT want to do this. There is nothing in me that wants to forgive. It will only be You in me. Fill me up Lord, get rid of me. Empower me to do what I cannot.
Phew...I am exhausted!
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
That's been my mantra for the past 2 years. As we all have been adjusting to illness, separation, divorce...let's figure out how to do life in our "new normal". Have to tell you that just when you think you know what your normal is - it changes again. When I first became sick, I begged God to heal me. When healing did not come I begged to have joy in my new normal. He was faithful to bring me joy.
Normal changed again when Don left.
Ok God, now what? We'll be separated for awhile, we will all get the help we need and you will heal our family. Right? Isn't that what you are going to do Lord? Well, I can live with that. This will be my new normal until our family is whole again.
Normal changed again when divorce papers were served.
Are you kidding me, Lord? You aren't really going to let this happen, are you? Well...I guess so. Alright then, we'll learn to live in this new normal. Kids devastated, I've lost the one I walked through the last 18 years with, alone with my illness and yet...JOY. No, not happy! JOY.
God never promised us normal. He never promised us an easy life. But He did promise that He will never leave us. He does promise that He will walk each step of the way with us. There are so many of you going through things that are unthinkable to me. Life is hard! But there can be JOY in the midst of it. Look for it. It's there. Do not miss the blessings in the midst of your pain.
I would not trade the past 24 months for anything!! Inexpressible pain and heartache? Yes. But knowing Jesus like I do now makes it all worth while. Still praying for complete healing of my body and my family. Praying that God will work in the lives of David and Ellie in miraculous ways. It's hard when your life circumstances affect those you love the most. But I know that God will be faithful to them. I have to trust them to Him.
May this family never take "normal" for granted again. Lord, use us in the lives of others. Bring healing. And thank you for Your Joy in every "new normal" that we walk through.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
The "bird verse" was from Matthew and had something to do with not worrying about what you eat or your body and you can't....um...well that was kind of how I had it memorized!! So, I filed that thought away and went on with my day. Later I opened my front door and this is no joke - there were two baby birds sitting on some leaves on my sidewalk (right in front of my door) that started opening their little beaks to me for food!! Wow, how cool is that. Hmmm, wonder if God is trying to tell me something. Can you believe I still was not convinced that I was to memorize those verses?!
Friday was the day that my bonus daughter graduated from college in Texas. The kids were supposed to go, but the timing just didn't allow them to be away from school. And I wasn't able to travel because of this pesky illness. Anyway, P's mom let me know that we could watch a live stream of the graduation on the computer. Awesome! So we sat down and started watching. Soon it was time for the president of the university to make his speech. He started by saying that he wanted to read a few words that Jesus had given to us...
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" (Matthew 6:25-26)
Okay, Lord, I get it. You would really like me to KNOW these words. These are not just words, these are words that Jesus Christ spoke!! As I thought back to those baby birds at my front door and realized that GOD knew THEIR needs. Those tiny little creatures in Michigan were known by the creator of the universe!! If He takes care of them - well, of course, He will take care of me. He knows my needs. He longs to be the meeter of my needs. I am valuable to Him. You are valuable to Him.
Isn't that just mind blowing? Maybe I am the only one excited about this but I need to know that I do not ever leave the mind of God. His eyes are always upon me.
I do not want to spend my life worrying. It's a waste of time. It's not His will for my life. I want to be like those baby words...fully expecting that He will feed me. Arms, heart, mind WIDE open to receive what HE has to give!
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
That is a loose translation from a verse in Luke 12. It's one that has been rolling around in my head the past couple days. That can only mean one thing - I am supposed to write about it. It's not the only thing repeating itself in my brain. The other is the song "Mercy Came Running". I've been waking up singing this song. So, let's see what it is that the Lord wants to teach me.
It used to be that I thought "to whom much is given, much is expected" meant money and material things. It does. But that's not where it stops. Whatever we have been given "much" of, we are expected to give out. So, what have I been given "much"?
Those are just the first things that popped into my head. (Remember I am writing this as I type, so I have to believe that God is directing this) I have been given those things in abundance. Today I believe that it must be mercy where I am supposed to camp.
Mercy in biblical terms means not getting what you deserve. As in punishment. Death. Grace is getting something we don't deserve and mercy is not getting what we do deserve. God in all of His love and goodness has extended both to me (and to you). However, his mercy has been extended over and over and over. A long time ago I wrote a post titled Running and Chasing which shows how much I ran from the Lord. Yet...His mercy came running!!
If I have been given so much then I need to extend just as much if not more. I need to pour out all that has been given. Not just the mercy. I need to seek out those who are feeling all alone since I have been given friendship. I need to find those that aren't feeling loved and show them love. There are many who are living joyless lives while I have been given joy immeasurable.
Honestly I have no idea of the purpose of this post. It may be just for me and to remind me that God is expecting me to pour out from all the He has given. My heart races when I think that I might miss the purpose and calling for my life. I don't want to! Lord, thank you for all that you've given me. Help me to know what to do with it. Show me who needs some of the "much".
Saturday, May 9, 2009
It's time for new beginnings, so I thought I would start with an overhaul of The Perch.
My prayers for my family are changing. They are God directed now. (you know I tend to tell God what I think He should do and He really does know better) I have already seen incredible evidence of God's faithfulness just in the past 24 hours. He never ceases to amaze me.
It's hard to pray for people who have hurt you. Well, it's hard to pray with a pure heart. At least for me it has been. I am committing once again to praying Ephesians 1:17&18 for Don. I know his heart and it is one that wants so much to be a dad to his kids. Seeing the pain in the eyes of the kids, I know that his pain must be even deeper. Praying that God keeps my heart filled with compassion toward Don.
I am going to continue to try new things to push myself even when I am feeling symptomatic. It's hard - but it's a beginning! Put my feet in the lake today for the first time since the summer of 2006!! Amazing. Hoping to get to do lots more of that with David and Ellie. They are looking forward to having a bit more of their mom back.
My "bonus daughter" graduates from college next week. What a new beginning for her. Real life. A job. (or maybe more school?) She's scared, yet excited at the same time. Wish we could be there with her but it just isn't going to work out. She has a heart for the Lord and I pray that she would allow Him to direct her steps in this new path.
New beginnings are great!! Sure it is unknown. Sure sometimes they are painful. But if we remember who is allowing the new beginnings, we can look forward expectantly. I have always loved Isaiah 43:19, See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.
HE (GOD) is making the way. I am excited for the new thing!!
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Those are the words that God has been asking me over the past several days. Oh, how I want to just say "yes, of course, I trust you". But my actions convey the truth. Stress. Anxiety. Anger.
There are so many scriptural cliches that we throw around. "Cast all your cares on Him" or "It all works out for good" or "He knows the plans He has for you". Yeah, yeah, I know it!! But it doesn't make it any easier for me to just know it. I need to believe those things and behave like it!
What does it mean for me to cast my cares? It does not mean to approach the Lord and tell Him my problems and hope that He keeps them. It does not mean to be in denial and pretend like I have no cares. What does it mean to cast? The dictionary says it is to throw or hurl, to throw off or away. That takes a lot of action!!
I want to picture myself - my cares - and THROW THEM OFF of me!! Right into the waiting hands of God. Trusting that He will catch them. Knowing that He will catch them. When they start creeping back up (which they often do) I will forcefully throw them right back to Him.
Tired of satan trying to defeat me. God has a plan for my life. I only have one chance at this. My life is meant to have meaning. So is yours. Let's throw off all that hinders us and run this race!
Saturday, May 2, 2009
As most of you know I am doing the Beth Moore challenge to memorize a scripture every two weeks. It's that time again to pick the next one. I am typing this without any idea still what my verse is going to be this time. Hmmm...maybe as I keep typing it will come to me??
It's been awhile since I've given you an update on the kids. Thanks so much for all your prayers for them. David is doing really well. (Thank you, Jesus) He continues to see his counselor every couple of weeks and is making great progress. He and Don see each other about once a week and talk/text several times during the week. I know that David needs this and I pray that one day this will be the father/son relationship that they both want.
Ellie still struggles with seeing Don. (she refuses) I understand it, but it's sad. I would like to wave a magic wand and make all the relationships everything that each of them want. Yes, I know that's not possible, but a girl can dream. And we can pray. I do that. A lot!
God created us for relationship. With each other. But really he created us to be in relationship with Him. Isn't that so cool that He WANTED to have a relationship with each one of us. He didn't need to - he wanted to!! That really is more than my little brain can fathom. It should be enough for each of us to realize that the creator of the universe wants to be all we need!! Wow. If we could find our satisfaction in Christ alone then so many other relationships would just fall into place. They would be our overflow!!
This is such a transition period for me in my life right now. I know I'm being healed and that is more exciting than I ever thought possible! Not sure where God is taking me next but I want to be ready. I want my relationship with Jesus to be real. Genuine. Fulfilling. I want to love Him more.
Here it is: Romans 15:3 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Yep, that fits right where I am! He will fill me with joy and peace (which I need so desperately) but my part is to trust Him. The verse says He will fill me with those things AS I trust in Him. And I will OVERFLOW with hope! Doesn't get much better than that.