Monday, December 27, 2010
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
I have no clue what to write. So...do you have questions for me or ideas of where I should begin?? I would appreciate any jump start that you can give me. Or....is it possible that the blog has run its course....
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
For now would you just listen to the words of this song. Trust me there is a correlation between the song and starting Bible study. I'll be back to share my heart on another day.
Off to see the beauty in God's Word this morning,
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Sweet comment? Yes! But it also made me think, ouch!! The purpose of this blog was to keep a record of my journey with the Lord. To bring Him glory for what HE is doing through and with my life. If my life is good it is only because of Him. If you've read my past few posts you know that I am a bit stalled in my relationship with God. I know it's normal and it will pass but I still don't like it.
However, life really is pretty good and I think I should fill you in on a few things.
I went to Florida at the beginning of the month. I GOT ON A PLANE!! My symptoms were pretty much non-existent and I had a fabulous trip. Spent some quality time with the man that God brought into my life and enjoyed every second of it. My heart was filled with gratitude for a God who loves me enough that He cared about every little detail of that trip.
Guess who stayed with David while I was gone? HIS DAD!! Yep. Don came and stayed at the house with David and they had a great time. (Ellie was out of town with her cousin) Don and David have continued getting together and God is slowly building a relationship between them. There is a part of me that is having a hard time with it but I know it's what we all have prayed for. Beauty from ashes!
When I opened up my blog this morning I went to the sidebar to see what today's verse is and this is what I found: "Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the Lord who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:10
God has promised His love will never be shaken. It can't be changed. No matter what I do, His love does not change! He will never remove His peace from my life. It is always there. I need to cling to it!! He is at work in my family. I hope you all know that He is also at work in your own lives. He loves you. The God of the universe loves YOU.
Thanks for continuing to come along on this wild ride with me,
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
I wrote all the references in my journal and then sat on my bed with my Bible and looked each one up. And SPOKE each one out loud. To say I was moved is an understatement.
Some things I was reminded of:
I don't need to be afraid
I am loved
God is blessing me
Nothing can separate me from God's love
GOD is my strength, I don't do this thing called life alone
He prays for me when I have no words
and on and on and on......
The other awesome thing that happened is how God used that blog post in the lives of others. I got several emails telling me how as they were reading that post they felt it was just for them! That's how God works. Using our struggles to help others. I love that, don't you?
So. Thank you!! Thank you for caring enough about me that you took the time to comment. Thank you for walking this journey with me. Thank you for praying for and with me.
Some exciting news to share.
David has met with his dad TWICE!!!
And I, who thought I might never drive again and for sure would never travel.....I am flying to Florida next week!! YAY GOD!
Once again, thanks for being such a huge part of the beauty from all these ashes.
You are loved,
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Friends and I are reading through C.S. Lewis' Screwtape Letters again and discussing it. Yesterday I said that there are so many times that I don't even bother to read my Bible because I am only doing it to "get through" it. Then I realized that I was letting satan win. I need to be reading my Bible (out loud) no matter what!! It is alive & active and there is no way that I can be speaking the Living Word and not be changed.
Here is where I ask a favor of you. Would you leave me a scripture reference. I will be looking them up and speaking them out loud. Knowing that God is behind all of this...I can't wait to see where He sends me.
You all mean more to me than I can even express. These past three years would have been unbearable without you. Thank you!!
Excited to start reading,
Sunday, June 27, 2010
It's been a dry season in my relationship with God. Not sure why exactly. I know these seasons come and go but I am ready for this one to be over. NOW. At church we have bee going through a series of sermons based on Hebrews 11. As we've studied each of these amazing men & women of faith I have been convicted. Convicted that I am not willing to do whatever God asks. Convicted that I worry too much and show my lack of faith. Convicted that God does have a plan and has made me a promise. I need to keep clinging to that.
He will bring beauty from ashes in my life. He is!!
David and I go back to court on Tuesday. The information we were given in April wasn't correct and he is facing bigger things than we realized. Still....I believe it's all good! God allowed this to happen for a reason and now I need to trust that God does love my son more than I love him. And that God will be protecting David. (Of course, we'd appreciate your prayers)
Philippians 1:6 says "being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus".
God began a good work in me, in David, in Ellie and even in Don. I want to be confident in that promise that HE will carry it out to completion.
Sorry I've been gone so long. I will try to do better. (no promises though, ha) I'll leave you with a picture. We went to a CUBS game last weekend. Can you even believe how far God has brought me physically!! I sure do love HIM.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
I was so thrilled, yet nervous, that both of the kids would be sitting down to a meal with their dad. I just knew this would be the beginning of great things and lots of healing.
HA!! Funny how I had it all figured out in my head. Not to bore you with details, but it didn't happen as I planned. David did not feel comfortable with me going (thought it was awkward) and Ellie would not go without me. So, David went alone and met Don for dinner.
Here is where God amazes me! I was beyond distraught. You know when you cry and you literally are shaking? Yep, that was me. I couldn't figure out why God wasn't making this work. All of you were praying. I had comments, emails, FB messages from so many of you that were interceding for us that evening.
Couldn't sleep....so I came and sat on "the perch" around 1:30 am. Crying. Hard! As soon as I sat down my email notification chimed and I hesitated. I thought I shouldn't open the laptop that I should just spend time alone with the Lord. But I did read it. And it was yet another encouraging comment. Only this one was directly from GOD.
Robin over at This Is Me had this to say, "Praying!!! I was just flipping through my verses on index cards and one of my favorites caught my eye tonight...Zechariah 4:10..."Who despises the day of small things? Men will rejoice when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel."
So, I went and looked up that verse in The Message to get a better handle on its meaning. It says "Does anyone dare despise the day of small beginnings?"
Do you see it? Just as the temple had to be rebuilt one stone at a time and it looked as if it was an insurmountable task, so it is with our family. Do I dare despise the small beginnings that are taking place. MY SON IS HAVING DINNER WITH HIS DAD. That is huge!! One day at a time we will rebuild relationships between Don, David and Ellie. I am praising God for the new beginnings. And asking His forgiveness for losing faith.
He IS faithful. There IS beauty. When God is involved it cannot fail.
I love you all and thank you for your friendship, your love for our family and your continued prayers.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Most of you know that David and Ellie (my kids) won't see their dad or even speak to him. One of the pieces of beauty that has come from David's "trouble" a few weeks ago is that he and his dad have been communicating via text quite a bit. So, this past Monday night the two of them met for dinner.
Don called yesterday and asked if Ellie wanted to meet with he & David for dinner tonight. (WHAT?? I didn't even know that they had plans to get together again.) Ellie said she wouldn't go and I asked if it would help if I went along.
So....guess who is going to dinner tonight?! My kids need their dad and although this is one of the last things I want to do...I will do it!
Please pray. Please Praise God for all that HE is doing.
Bring on the beauty!
Sunday, May 2, 2010
He is satan. When God's people pray, He flees.
As I got ready to hit the publish button on my last post, I hesitated. When this blog first began it was read by people who I had never met. Now....there are many that read it that I know in real life. I did not want to bring further shame to my son, so I hesitated.
Wow, did God show Himself faithful. Within hours of that post going out and the prayers, emails and comments came flooding in....life in the walls of this house changed. David's attitude changed. His heart was softening. We talked and talked and talked. This is going to be one of the best things to ever happen in David's life. Just one more part of the puzzle that will make up an incredible story that he will share one day.
Friday was court day. God's mercy covered my son. God's love made sure that David is going to get the help he needs and not the punishment that would have been much more simple. (in man's eyes) I am sorry to sound vague but just want you to know that your prayers were felt, appreciated and effective.
One day, David will understand that people across the world cared enough about him to take him before God's throne. One day, David will be used mightily and he will have the chance to give back.
Beauty from ashes. Believing it!
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Well...he didn't knock...he barged right in. AGAIN!
This time he's after my son. David is facing some very, VERY tough consequences for a choice he made. But satan would like to use this to turn David even further away from the Lord.
I am declaring war. David is not up for grabs. As a young child he prayed to receive Christ and I believe that he is sealed, a child of God and belongs to Jesus. This could be a turning point in David's life. I want to believe that it will be!
Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Phil 1:6
Please pray with me that I will parent as God leads me. That David will have remorse for his actions. Pray for mercy on Friday as he has to face the judge. (literally) I have always known that God has huge plans for David's life and I will not let satan win. He may be winning some of the battles but he won't win the war.
Thanks for joining me in the fight! Let's slam the door on the evil one.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
Many have emailed me after I posted that song believing that I was in a "bad" place, maybe sad, maybe depressed, dealing with hard things. Actually, the song reminds me of how important it is to make the most of this life we are given!! One time around...that's what we get. We need to live this life very intentionally. Aware of each and every moment we are given.
The song begins with the words, "Why don't we dance any more? I'm not okay with that. Why don't we laugh any more? I'm not okay with that". I want to live my life like that. Not settling for the mediocre or just getting by. I want to dance, I want to laugh. God made us that way. To enjoy life. To make the most of every second He has gifted us with.
The song goes on to say that "the years go by like stones under rushing water". Picture that. As the river flows quickly, the stones under it go speeding by, unable to get them back. That's how fast our lives go by. "We only know when it's gone". We might think that we have all the time in the world, but we don't know how much time we are promised. We can't get them back.
This is not meant to be a depressing post. It's meant to remind me to be so very intentional!! If there is not smiling and dancing - don't settle!! And I am not talking about my failed marriage here. Sure....I sometimes wish that I hadn't held on as long as I did, but it is what it is!! I want to find joy in all things.
I really want my kids to understand how quickly this life is fleeting. This is time that they cannot get back with their dad. The years race by. I don't want them to be okay with that, I want them to embrace this life and all that God has in store for them.
The other thing that really strikes me is how intentional I need to be about sharing Christ. God has given us each one time - one huge gift - in allowing us to share His name with those He places in our lives. We best take advantage of that. It (this life) is racing by. What is our purpose here? What is my purpose here?
Boy, I want to make the most of it!! I don't want to look back and see where the years rushed by and I didn't enjoy them, I don't want to have a life of regrets, I want to dance and laugh and make His name known.
There's a lot more going on in my life that I want to share with you. And yes....it pertains to this song as well. God has given me another huge gift. I am not sure why He continues to bless me. I guess it's just His nature. You all know by now that I don't like long posts, so I will share about this "gift"with you next time.
For today....dance....laugh.....share Jesus....the years are rushing by.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Major trust issues.
Not with another human being. With God. I am just flat out not trusting Him.
How do I know? Because I am filled with fear. Anxiety. Questioning. Tears come way too easily. I am easily angered. All the "what-ifs" race through my head faster than I keep up with them.
Here's the deal....I am trying to trust God for something or to do something. I am not just simply trusting Him. So when things don't go as I think I need or my kids are hurt or I am heartbroken or money runs out or my illness flares...I start believing the lies that God isn't trustworthy. Or maybe it's that I believe He isn't really listening in the first place.
Whoever said that putting our trust in God was about trusting Him to answer to US?? We trust Him because He is worthy. We trust Him because He loves us so much that He sent His Son to die so that we could have a relationship with Him. We trust Him because the Bible tells us to. We trust Him because His character has been proven. (Like He needs to prove Himself!! I have to wonder if He is shaking His head at me right now)
He is the God who heals the brokenhearted. The God who forgives EVERY sin and does not hold it against us. The God who never forgets to make the sun rise. The God who knows the number of stars and the number of hairs on our heads. He is the God of second chances (and beyond). He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is the God who holds it ALL in the palm of His hand. He is the God whose eyes NEVER LEAVE US!
That is what I need to trust. He never leaves me. There is not a moment in my day that He is not fully aware of me, what is happening, how I feel, what I need.
He knows me. And yet He still loves me!
Lord, forgive me for not trusting. Forgive my anxious thoughts. Forgive me for asking to you to prove yourself. Fill me with a renewed sense of who you really are. May I put my trust, my life, my relationships, my kids fully and completely in your hands.
You ARE worthy.
Monday, March 1, 2010
My absence here is a telltale sign that I have been retreating. And to be really honest, I also retreat from the Lord. I stop praying and stop reading my Bible. Yea....that does NOT help!
I read back through some past posts and I wonder, "what happened to that girl"? The girl with so much faith. The girl who relied on the Lord as if her life depended on it. The girl who knows true JOY because of her God.
Life happens and I know we all go through times in the wilderness. But I am sick of being in the wilderness! I want my focus and purpose back! Time to rally the troops. Yep, that includes you. It's been a long time since I've given you any kind of update on what is happening (really happening) in our family.
My illness is still a part of who I am. I don't want it to define me but it definitely still impacts my ability to do certain things. That gets frustrating and depresses me. I want to focus on how far God has brought me. From being bed bound to being able to participate in life most of the time!
David and Ellie still will not speak to their dad. We had a huge set back over the Christmas holiday. However....are you ready for how God works in some very bizarre ways in my life? Don's girlfriend (who had NOTHING to do with the break up of our marriage) wants to help in anyway that she can to bring about some resolution between Don and the kids. She came to my home the other day and stayed for two hours. God is going to use her to help bring healing. I just know it. She is an amazing person. I say that I want nothing more than for Don and the kids to have a relationship but my prayer life doesn't show that. I need to be on my face begging God for that daily! Look how much God has done already.
God has worked miracles in healing my heart as well. I've a long way to go but I have hope that I haven't felt for long time. Please pray that I will stop believing the lies that satan tries to feed me. That nobody will ever truly love me. That I can't trust. That I need to be fearful and anxious about money. That David will never give his heart back to the Lord.
I know this post is just all over the place but that's what happens when I spend so much time away. When I was reading my devotion this morning (which is the first time in AGES) it led me to read Deuteronomy 11:22. Here is the part that struck me "love the LORD your God, walk in all his ways and to hold fast to him."
Hold fast to HIM!! Don't you just love that picture.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands
He lifted me out of a slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
In the third chapter of Daniel that is exactly what happened to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. The king had ordered that EVERYONE bow down to a statue that he had set up. It was widely known that if you refused to do this then you would be thrown into the fiery furnace.
These three courageous young men chose to stand firm in their belief in the One True God and not bow down. They chose this knowing the trial they would face.
These three people...
Well, we did not "choose" our trial and honestly had we known what was coming, I am afraid to say we probably each would have taken off running. In 2007 I became ill (you can read about in the sidebar) and was basically homebound for 18 months. During that time, my husband of 18 years left and filed for divorce. The kids and I were left alone.
Or were we?
When you read the story of the three courageous young men in Daniel we learn that after they were thrown in the furnace, they could be seen walking around and a fourth person was there with them. The king was so amazed that he ordered them to come out. They were not burned, they did not even smell of smoke. God has gone into the fiery trial with them!
God has been in this trial with David, Ellie and myself. Never has He left us. There have been blessings from this time that I would not trade for anything. Relationships. A stronger family. Deeper faith. Seeing the body of Christ come together. A testimony. A love for the Lord unknown to me before.
HE promised me beauty from ashes. He never fails to keep His promises! NEVER.
This journey through Daniel over at Amber's blog has been a surprise to me. Each of us is taking away something so different. You should hop over there and read what God is showing to others.
Please keep praying for my kids (David and Ellie) that they will see God's hand of protection on us and not become resentful. They can be used mightily for the Lord, I just know it!
Monday, January 25, 2010
In this chapter the king is looking for someone to interpret his dream. Nobody is willing to do specifically what he asks so he decides to have ALL of the wise men killed. This would include Daniel. In verse 14, Daniel learns of the edict and this is what that verse says:
"When Arioch, the commander of the king's guard, had gone out to put to death the wise men of Babylon, Daniel spoke to him with wisdom and tact."
He spoke with WISDOM and TACT! My first reaction would have been to freak out, probably get angry and question, go about my business trying to figure my way out of this mess and totally run my mouth.
I have an issue with my mouth. Always have. It often moves and starts speaking before I think. It's been called to my attention more than once in the past two weeks that I can be hurtful, that my words carry lots of sarcasm and that I can belittle others without intending to do so.
I want to be a woman that speaks with wisdom and tact. I want to be so in tune with God that I know He is control of each and every situation and I don't need to scurry around trying to figure out the situation for myself. I want the words that come out of my mouth to be edifying to others, to lift them up, to encourage, to breathe life into them...
I used to pray this verse for myself every day from Psalm 141: 3 "Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD, keep watch over the door of my lips." I think I need to be praying that again.
Sorry to go off on a tangent, Amber, but it's what God is speaking to me right now.
Striving to be a woman of wisdom and tact,
Monday, January 18, 2010
Honestly, there are Bible stories that I have become TOO familiar with. I think I know them so I don't really spend time studying. That is definitely the case with Daniel. I take for granted that he wasn't afraid (or at least he wasn't ruled by his fear). He stood up for his beliefs. He had complete faith that God would provide.
Amber asked us to think about some questions and I have to tell you that it made me uncomfortable. Here are the three that really hit me.
What has being a Christian cost me in my lifetime?
What sacrifices have I made to be a Christian recently?
How can non-Christians tell that I am a Christian?
I had already been wrestling with some of this before I even began the study. As you can tell from how long it's been since I have posted...I've been in a bit of a desert place. Feeling distant from the Lord. Overwhelmed with life circumstances. Kind of one of those times where you just throw your hands up in the air and say "I give up".
The truth is that being a Christian really hasn't cost me anything in my lifetime. It's been easy. I've not made any sacrifices. Is following God easy? No, but I don't believe it's really "cost" me. I haven't had to stand up for my beliefs and be ridiculed. God hasn't asked me to do anything that is particularly difficult. I was raised in a Christ centered home so it (Christianity) has been all I've known.
I struggle more with the third question. How can non-Christians tell that I am a Christian? I don't think they can. Sure on this blog, it's easy. You all read about how God is working in my life. You've seen me walking out my faith. But day to day...what am I doing? How am I behaving? Does my life seem different than the lives around me? I'm not so sure. And I DON'T LIKE THAT! God and I are wrestling this out. Actually, God is being silent and I am left to fight through this. I'm not saying that He has left me alone, I am just saying that He is not making it easy for me.
That's ok. I think. I WANT to be different. I desire for those I come into contact with to wonder "what does Sheryl have that I don't have". Right now I think I am just fitting in with the world.
Lord, I am growing weary of being in the desert. Give me a heart that is open to what you are asking of me. Remind me of what YOU sacrificed for me and may I live my life as a reflection of that love.
Wanting to be known as one of HIS,