Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Reveal Yourself

You are my truest form of life,
My strength when I am weak,
The calm before the storm,
The anchor which sustains me no matter what may come.

As I sit in the quietness of this moment,
I wait and listen for you.
For your wisdom, strength, peace and guidance,
Lead me...Your will, not mine!

Reveal Your will,
Help me to not see it as a hindrance or with fear.
Allow me to see Your will for what it truly is,
My truest blessing...worthy of my obedience and deepest devotion!

Ephesians 3:14-21 (NIRV)
I bow in prayer to the Father because of my work among you. From the Father his whole family in heaven and on earth gets its name. I pray that he will use his glorious riches to make you strong. May his Holy Spirit give you his power deep down inside you. Then Christ will live in your hearts because you believe in him. And I pray that your love will have deep roots. I pray that it will have a strong foundation. May you have power with all God's people to understand Christ's love. May you know how wide and long and high and deep it is. And may you know his love, even though it can't be known completely. Then you will be filled with everything God has for you. God is able to do far more than we could ever ask for or imagine. He does everything by his power that is working in us. Give him glory in the church and in Christ Jesus. Give him glory through all time and for ever and ever. Amen.

Monday, May 29, 2006

PRIDE--A Huge, But Humbling Limitation

2 Corinthians 12:7-10(The Message)
"Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn't get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan's angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn't think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,

My grace is enough; it's all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.

Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size--abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become."

I have to admit that the last little while has been really hard for me in terms of carving time with God. Even when I've been able to carve it out, there have been so many distractions and either has cut the time short, or made it very shallow in terms of the depth we were able to meet at. I don't know how else to explain it, but to say that I've been extremely 'gridlocked' when it comes to speaking with God and hearing Him. I've been working hard last week in terms of trying to formulate a plan for how I wouldrectifyy this bad 'spiritual situation' which I've allowed to come upon me. I've finally the last few days been able to truly meet with God through His word and prayer and it's been truly rewarding. I want to continue to carve more and more time for Him, but I know this will all come little by little and He's very understanding of that!

This passage of scripture came across my path this morning and it spoke in huge ways. For me, there are times in this life where I feel I need to be strong, regardless of what's going on...a huge pride thing I know! For me, I have trouble sometimes looking at my limitations, whether they be illness, opposition, bad breaks, my past, etc., and seeing them as a blessing or a way to make me be stronger. I think though in the circumstances of looking at life, that your past experiences of other's perceptions of your limitations colors and shapes how you look at things when they happen. I was talking with someone about my past experiences, of how people have perceived me when I go through these ongoing months of being really sick, especially when there's no apparent reason or cause according to my doctors. For me, I've really learned to kind of keep things to myself, because I've had so many occasions where when someone found out I was sick, they kind of rolled their eyes and gave me that look of, "Sick AGAIN...what else is new...haven't you figured out how to take better care of yourself yet?" You learn to try and read everyone who asks how you are doing and formulate replies based on that. Then for me, there's the added formulation...if I know my friends are really 'bogged down' with things at the time, even though they want to genuinely know what's going on, I'm bad for not telling, as I don't want to heap more on their plate.

The problem with having these past experiences, is that by keeping things to myself, I'm not really doing myself any good. God wants us to share life rejoice with each other in the good times, to be there for each other in prayer and love during the hard times and to experience life together. From my experience, when you bottle things up, they eventually explode in a big way! It's very overwhelming to try and live life, making the appearance that things are okay, when they might not be. I don't think deep down that I've did the best I could, by deceiving myself into thinking that my problems are trivial and aren't that big a deal. When you bottle things, you can't possibly look at things with good cheer and it's really hard to take them in stride, because they end up feeling a whole lot bigger than they are. For me, it causes me to not be able to be pushed to my knees for a variety of reasons, and the danger with that is that you do allow yourself to be dragged down in a bad way.

This morning, my kids and I had to go on a little road trip and as we were out, it allowed me to think. I thought of all the blessings in my life which I take for granted on a daily basis. We have so much freedom in all areas of our lives and yet so often it'sseverelyy taken for granted. I don't want to be complacent in this life...I want to be on fire for God, learning to dream of new visions in terms of serving Him and helping to grow His kingdom. The new view which I'm going to begin to implement in my life is the last verse of the scripture..."And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become."

My prayer today...Break me and cut me down to size! Break me of my pride, selfishness, condemning nature, short temper and just plain stupidity in terms of having short-sightedness when it comes to my walk. Help me to quiet my spirit breath you in with every breath I completely give the driver's seat to you and to learn to sit back and not question where this ride of life will take me. Help me to drink deeply from your Word, help me to be filled to overflowing with the Spirit of God and help me to live a life more like the one you want me to lead! Help your desire to be my heart's greatest your precious and holy name I lift these things to you today...

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Matthew 6:9(b)-13

Friday, May 26, 2006

Are You Going to Ride an Elephant???

It's funny the way kids think sometimes. As soon as we knew God was even remotely calling both of us to go to Sri Lanka, we sat down and talked with our kids about it. We knew it might not become reality real soon, but we wanted them to experience the process. We wanted to hear their views on us leaving them to follow God's calling.

Our kids at this point are extremely excited...they often take our globe, show me our province and then proceed to put another finger on Sri Lanka and say, "You're gonna be clear around the other side of the earth from us!" The one thing they've all said on more than one occasion, both to us and to passersby, "Our mommy and daddy are going to Sri Lanka...they're gonna be missionaries, just like our pastors!"

I plan on teaching a unit this fall once we're back, as my kids are very interested in the country and the people. Our kids subscribe to Chirp and oldest was browsing through his Chickadee during the time I was marking his work and he came upon an article about a boy who had went to Thailand. It was so neat to hear him talk...talking about the Thailand taxis and referring to them and telling stories about them which our pastor had told the Sunday School kids upon his return. Then my son saw a picture of the boy riding an elephant and all I have heard since then is, "Are you going to ride an elephant? Are you? If you're going to ride an elephant, then I want to come with you, because I want to ride one too! Can I come with you guys, please???"

It's so funny to see my kids enthusiasm and it's really infectious...I think God truly knows what we need sometimes. I've been struggling so hard with the fact I'm going to be leaving my kids for the longest period of time ever and there's always those other struggles when you know you are both going. There's risks involved each and everyday of our lives, but for some reason, this faith-step has brought things to the forefront hard. I'm completely fine with whatever God has in store, but there are times when you have to choke back the emotions of the "what-ifs". The truth of the matter is, I'm so excited to be going and I really get caught up in my kid's excitement. When you are able to follow God with a pure faith, regardless of where He takes you, it's just the most amazing and breath-taking experience, despite the bumps and potholes which might come along the way!

1 Corinthians 2:9-12 (NIRV)
It is written, "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has known what God has prepared for those who love him." (Isaiah 64:4) But God has shown it to us through his Spirit.

The Spirit understands all things. He understands even the deep things of God. Who can know the thoughts of another person? Only a person's own spirit can know them. In the same way, only the Spirit of God knows God's thoughts.

We have not received the spirit of the world. We have received the Spirit who is from God. The Spirit helps us understand what God has freely given us.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Blessings and Love to You Friend!

Dear friend,

I know you will not read or see this, but it's something I need to write to you anyways. I wanted you to know what an amazing person you truly are. I admire your strength and perseverance through the battle you've fought for so long. I admire the unending and undying faith which you possess...the fact that life is truly a win-win situation for you no matter what the outcome. As I told you, I want you to know that I think of you often (daily) with love and prayers and I will continue to no matter what. You touched my life in a way I can't explain and I'm better because of knowing you. I will continue to uplift you and be there for you. Know that no matter the time or what the situation, you can call me...I'll be there and will drop everything in an instant to be there in whatever way you need. Please rest deeply in His love, strength, peace, encouragement and reassurance. I pray He'll blanket you with them all today and that He'll surround you with everything which you need and desire as well! I'm sending you all my blessings, love and prayers this morning...God bless you dear friend!

That's What Friends Are For
Burt Bacharach
Keep smilin'
Keep shinin'
Knowing you can always count on me for sure
That's what friends are for
For good times and bad times
I'll be on your side forever more
That's what friends are for

Well you came and opened me
And now there's so much more I see
And so by the way I thank you

God, I just pray today that you'll be with me every step I take. Help me to shine your love in the purest and truest form. I'm so sorry for the days I haven't lived your love out the way I should. I'm so sorry for my huge imperfections which come to the forefront a lot of days. Please break me and mold me to be what you need and want me to be. Bring me to my knees and humble me completely in your presence. Help us to meet in a powerful way today. Give me vision, guidance and the support I need to live this life out in the best possible way. Help me to support, love and just simply put myself out there to others in whatever way they need me. Help me not to be so selfish and me to set aside my "problems" and take more time for the problems of those around me. I love you more than anything...I'm forever grateful for your sacrifice and me to live out that gratitude and love each and everyday! In your precious name I lift these things to you, AMEN!

Psalm 107:1,43 (HCSB)
Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His faithful love endures forever. Let whoever is wise pay attention to these things and consider the LORD's acts of faithful love.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Do We Know Each Other?

I had the privilege of hearing Jackie Quinn sing last summer at a Family Camp in Missouri. She sings with so much passion and is true to who she is...such an amazing person! We purchased her CD and when listening to it, I immediately saw a lot in this song. So many times in today's society we take the outside to be what the person must be on the inside...that's so not the case. I guess for me I've always been looked at by people and labeled because of who I am on the outside, when they had no clue who I was on the inside.

We don't know what the person's experiences are, what they've seen and been through, what they feel and think, what they truly one has a right to place labels, put people in "boxes" or condemn them based on a superficial opinion based merely on outside appearances. I think it will be a truly amazing day when we quit condemning and beating each other down and instead, begin to truly get to know each other, support and love each other...that's truly how He wants things to be!

Look Through My Eyes
Raging Wildflower, Jackie Quinn

If you could look through my eyes, and see what I see
Then you would find that you do not know me
If you could think what I think, and know what I know
Then you would find I've got a lot to show

Don't take what you see on the outside of me
To be your simple answer to the inside of me
I have a lot to offer, if you just give me a chance
The difference between you and me was always in God's plans

If you could hurt like I hurt, and cry like I cry
Then you would know my heart and all its pride
If you could feel like I feel, and love like I love
Then you would know just what I'm made of

Don't take what you see on the outside of me
To be your simple answer to the inside of me
I have a lot to offer, if you just give me a chance
The difference between you and me was always in God's plans

Did you ever wonder what it means to be the same
Is that how God designed it - to only know us by our names
No, we can not fool Him
He knows the hairs on our heads
What will remain, then
When we are all dead
If you could look through my eyes, and see Christ in me
Then you would find you are a lot like me

1 Peter 4:8-11(NIRV)
Most of all, love one another deeply. Love erases many sins by forgiving them. Welcome others into your homes without complaining. God's gifts of grace come in many forms. Each of you has received a gift in order to serve others. You should use it faithfully. If you speak, you should do it like one speaking God's very words. If you serve, you should do it with the strength God provides. Then in all things God will be praised through Jesus Christ. Give him the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

The Salt of Long Suffering

Every year our denomination has a ladies retreat for our province's churches. For the longest time I didn't go, partly because I had really small kids and I also felt too young to be attending. I've been attending them for the last 3 years...this year will be my 4th.

Do I approach them as everyone else might? No! There are lots of classes to attend, hay rides, etc., but for me, it's a weekend to rest, go walking at 6am and breath in the fresh air by the lakeside on a cool October morning and now as I've moved a couple of times, it's a weekend to see friends from my old churches and this year I will also get to spend some time with new friends as well. The first thing I do is look at the agenda, figure out what classes I really want to take and figure out what session I'm going to skip (usually the last afternoon session). This time becomes mine to sit and read my bible, read a good fiction novel, sleep or just visit and relax!

Two years ago when I went for retreat, our family had experienced three deaths in a three and a half week period and my mom had also experienced huge difficulties with her illness right in the midst of everything! I knew I needed to get away and have some time to myself, to recover from everything which had happened, to rest not only physically, but spiritually as well. At most of our retreats we get little "party favors" at the place settings of our table, etc. that we're allowed to take home. This year, the theme was on Esther and biblical each place around the table there was a simple little burlap sack with a card...some of the cards talked about joy, peace, love, etc. When I picked mine said, "The Salt of Long Suffering". Everyone told me to go try and find another, more uplifting one, but I chose to keep it and now have it in a place where I can read it, depending on the situation I might be going through. Everyone thought it was such a negative to get, considering where I was in life at that point, but it really wasn't. This is what it said:

Our lives are the only Bible some people read. Adversity and affliction do not come as a thief to steal our happiness or joy, but as a friend bringing the gift of long sufferings' staying power. We see little value in hardship, but God sees it differently - adversity comes to test our faith and to produce the quality of endurance.

No one wanted to even see it, as they thought it couldn't possibly have anything positive to say. I'm so glad I did keep it...I've drawn on these words a lot throughout the last couple of years, especially at points throughout this last one! I'm learning to know that most things in this life come down to having a positive, Godly-mindset. It's not always easy, because we're not perfect...but He doesn't expect perfection, He just wants our best depending on the circumstances we're in and the commitment to continue to grow in our Christian walk and different aspects of life.

The first year I did go to retreat, my current church was putting it on. I remember thinking what an awesome church that must be...the people seemed so friendly and welcoming, fun-loving and God-loving. I now know that to be so true and so much more. The item I brought home from that first retreat had these messages:

Dream with Faith



These messages sit alongside the little burlap sack...they remind me of God's constant love and protection. But most importantly, they remind me of what I need to be each and everyday to those who cross my path and what I need to live my life in all circumstances, with a strong foundation of unquestioning faith and devotion and that I need to approach all circumstances with His grace and portray Him in every minute aspect of my life!

Galatians 5:22-26(NIRV)
But the fruit the Holy Spirit produces is love, joy and peace. It is being patient, kind and good. It is being faithful and gentle and having control of oneself. There is no law against things of that kind. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed their sinful nature to his cross. They don't want what their sinful nature loves and longs for. Since we live by the Spirit, let us march in step with the Spirit. Let us not become proud. Let us not make each other angry. Let us not want what belongs to others.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Breathe in the Breath of God

Psalm 23(NIV)
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

I got to spend some time studying this scripture with my son, as he had to memorize it for Sunday School class. It's such an amazing passage of scripture to trap deep inside your heart, so as to draw on during the different aspects of life. It was a passage I needed to hear and draw can be so "hectic" and "noisy"...for me it seems to at times drain me. I was thinking tonight that there are those times when you just simply try to survive. I don't like those times, as you miss so much of life during those points. It's so much better when you're able to just quiet yourself and to take things how they come. Really, to look at life through your children's eyes. Our kids went up and did a presentation yesterday in was such a blessing to see these kids go up and share why they loved their mom. A lot love their mom's cooking or because of something they help them or as my child put it...because she makes my bed! They might seem like simple things, but it spoke to me the fact that life doesn't have to be so just doesn't have to!

So tonight I made a decision that I'm going to set a goal for the remainder of this year. No matter what is getting thrown at me, I will find a way to handle it with grace and integrity. When I'm going through a time of battling illness, instead of pushing everyone away and being a grouch, I'm going to try and handle my roles with love and devotion, no matter how bad I might feel. I'll continue to learn the grace of putting others before myself. I'll learn to sit back and enjoy the small and simple things in life and realize each thing for what it truly is!

Romans 8:28-30(NIRV)
We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him. He appointed them to be saved in keeping with his purpose. God planned that those he had chosen would become like his Son. In that way, Christ will be the first and most honored among many brothers. And those God has planned for, he has also appointed to be saved. Those he has appointed, he has made right with himself. To those he has made right with himself, he has given his glory.

We're all place here for a reason...we might not always know what that is or think that we're doing the best with things, but there's a purpose for all things. Do we have to be perfect? No...He's knows we're not perfect, but He loves us despite that and this should really be the driving force in how we live day-to-day. I find it so hard hear Him...this life drowns out so much...makes it so difficult to feel His presence. The thing I do take comfort in is the fact that deep down, I do know He's there, even when I can't feel or hear Him...that's the awesome thing about faith. It's not always the easiest thing to do, but once it becomes a foundational rock, no matter what, it's there to draw on and to help bring us through.

I received some very important advice coming into the weekend. Tonight as I look at these words, they bring a sense of peace. I can feel God's presence and am going to do exactly what the statement says.

"Breathe in the breath of God"

Life's truly precious and a blessing! I'm taking comfort tonight in the fact that no matter how "hectic" things might matter how "noisy" life gets...He's there, waiting for us to breath Him in. I'm also taking comfort in the fact that there's nothing which can ever separate us from Him...they might try, but will never be successful, because we are HIS!

Romans 8:38-39(NIRV)
I am absolutely sure that not even death or life can separate us from God's love. Not even angels or demons, the present or the future, or any powers can do that. Not even the highest places or the lowest, or anything else in all creation can do that. Nothing at all can ever separate us from God's love because of what Christ Jesus our Lord has done.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

The Journey of A Mother

I received this via email a few weeks ago and immediately thought that this would be my Mother's Day post. What I woke up thinking today, was about the fact that no matter whether we have biological children, or if we have children in our lives which look to us as a mother figure...we're all mothers in this journey of life. Even when our children grow up and leave the nest, there will always be someone who needs a wing to come under for various reasons and we can be that wing for them.

So my wish for you today is that you will have a very blessed day and bask in His love and presence. Be thankful today for all the blessings He's bestowed upon you and at the chance to go out and experience life today!

Psalm 115:15
"May you be blessed by the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth."

The young mother set her foot on the path of life.
"Is this the long way?" she asked.
And the guide said "Yes, and the way is hard. And you
will be old before you reach the end of it. But the end
will be better than the beginning."

But the young mother was happy, and she would not
believe that anything could be better than these years.
So she played with her children, she fed them and bathed
them, and taught them how to tie their shoes and ride a
bike and reminded them to feed the dog, and do their
homework and brush their teeth. The sun shone on
them, and the young Mother cried,
"Nothing will ever be lovelier than this."

Then the nights came, and the storms, and the path
was sometimes dark, and the children shook with
fear and cold, and the mother drew them close and
covered them with her arms, and the children said,
"Mother, we are not afraid, for you are near,
and no harm can come."
And the morning came, and there was a hill ahead,
and the children climbed and grew weary, and the
mother was weary. But at all times she said to the children,
"A little patience and we are there." So the children climbed,
and as they climbed they learned to weather the storms.
And with this, she gave them strength to face the world.
Year after year, she showed them compassion,
understanding, hope, but most of all...unconditional love.
And when they reached the top they said,
"Mother, we would not have done it without you."

The days went on, and the weeks and the months and
the years, and the mother grew old and she became
little and bent. But her children were tall and strong,
and walked with courage. And the mother, when she
lay down at night, looked up at the stars and said,
"This is a better day than the last, for my children
have learned so much and are now passing these
traits on to their children."

And when the way became rough for her, they lifted her,
and gave her their strength, just as she had given them hers.
One day they came to a hill, and beyond the hill, they could
see a shining road and golden gates flung wide.
And mother said: "I have reached the end of my journey.
And now I know the end is better than the beginning,
for my children can walk with dignity and pride,
with their heads held high, and so can their children
after them. And the children said, "You will always walk
with us, Mother, even when you have gone through the gates."
And they stood and watched her as she went on alone,
and the gates closed after her. And they said:
"We cannot see her, but she is with us still.
A Mother like ours is more than a memory.
She is a living presence."

Your Mother is always with you.
She's the whisper of the leaves as you walk down the
street, she's the smell of certain foods you remember,
flowers you pick and perfume that she wore, she's
the cool hand on your brow when you're not feeling well,
she's your breath in the air on a cold winter's day.
She is the sound of the rain that lulls you to sleep,
the colors of a rainbow, she is Christmas morning.
Your Mother lives inside your laughter.
And she's crystallized in every tear drop.

A mother shows every emotion, happiness, sadness, fear, jealousy,
love, hate, anger, helplessness, excitement, joy, sorrow...
and all the while, hoping and praying you will only
know the good feelings in life.
She's the place you came from, your first home,
and she's the map you follow with every step you take.
She's your first love, your first friend, even your first enemy,
but nothing on earth can separate you.
Not time, not space...not even death!

"The best and most beautiful things cannot be seen or touched -
they must be felt with the heart."
~Helen Keller~

Friday, May 12, 2006

Hello God...Are You There?

I have purchased a couple of Study Bibles, which actually approach the Bible in two vastly different ways. The Women of Faith Study Bible goes through case studies of different women in the Bible, has weekly Bible studies throughout it and then has different authors who speak on different portions of the scriptures or just give their quotes and reflections...these are on each page throughout. There was a quote from Luci Swindoll in the Psalms which I came upon and it really hit close to home with all the reflection I've been doing.

"I've always believed that those who want to know God's will can know it...I think God has straightforward ways to lead his children:

1. His Word. The Bible is very definitive about the responsibility of a disciple of Christ.

2. Circumstance. God opens some doors and closes others.

3. Wise counsel. Proverbs 13:10 tells us, "Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice."

And consider this as a rule of thumb: God never calls without enabling us. In other words, if he calls you to do something, he makes it possible for you to do it."

This quote got me thinking in a lot of ways...especially the last line of it. For some people when they get called by God to go on an exciting mission, they are "pumped". I just made a blanket assumption that I would be too...I was blind-sided with a bag of emotions which I didn't expect to come. The last line is such a great rule of thumb...He isn't going to call you somewhere or to do something and then just leave you to figure things out on your own and either sink or swim. I know this deep down inside...I know He's going to open the doors that need to be opened and I know He's going to equip me in what He thinks the best way is. I know this because He's the one true constant in my life...I know He will never fail me and I know His will is the only way, because it's perfectly chosen for each of us.

I was prompted to loook up anxiety and inadequate in the dictionary this morning, as I have been feeling a lot of these the last little while:

anxiety: 1
uneasy thoughts or fears about what may happen, a troubled, worried, or uneasy feeling. 2eager desire

inadequate: not adequate; not enough; not as much as is needed

What came to me was've been called on a journey of faith...I'm with you every step of the way and want the very best for you, so why are you having the feelings in's going to be an amazing should be feeling #2. Once I committed to God that I would go missional, I felt at peace and secure in the decision I'd committed to and I felt "eager desire", but then once I got the concrete "yes, you are going", I was flooded with a whole other set of emotions which I didn't expect to have.

In some people's eyes I might just be a stay-at-home mother who teaches her kids. I've always felt at times depending on the situation or people placed along my path that because of what I've chosen to do in my life, I've short-changed myself. That I'm below them in terms of education/knowledge or limited in experience or views on life. This hasn't happened in a long time, but it's amazing how we allow things to stick sometimes and how you forget about them, but long down the road, they come back to be a hindrance. I'm really dealing with this head-on right now...the voice speaking to me which says, "You can't really expect that you're the one to go on this can't possibly think you're equipped enough...good enough."

My response to that voice today is this, "I'm exactly where God wants me to be in all aspects of my life. He will provide me with everything I need, will open the doors which need opened and will be beside me every step of the way...whispering directions, guidance, encouragement, etc. exactly when I need it. I may not know how everything will go or why things progress the way they do sometimes, but I know it's perfectly planned out by Him and because of that I will follow...He never fails me...He's always there...He'll never leave me...things will happen exactly like they're supposed to!"

I'm thinking this reflection is coming on partly because of the missional decision and probably also because of Mother's Day coming up. Some people told me I was too young when I became a mother and made me to believe that I wouldn't be able to handle the responsibility and know how to adequately do the job...I was early in my twenties...and to me, I've always looked on life as a continual learning curve, so why should parenthood be any different! When as a young mother, I sat holding that precious blessing from God, did I think I knew it all? NO...I knew that that little life had been entrusted to me and that's scary, but in that moment I knew that He would provide me with everything I needed to take care of that little person and to mold them into the child of God that they are supposed to be. Did I think it would be a breeze? NO...I know from my parent's experience with me that it's not, but He's there to help you, even when the times are really tough. Anyone who thinks that being a spouse and a parent aren't the most important ministries that you can ever take you I say this. They are the most important ministries...besides God, they need to be a close matter where you go, what you are called to do, it's your family who will support you, who will be with you...never lose sight of it and don't take it for granted...things can change in an instant...cherish every moment and just be's truly the most amazing blessing!

The main thing which has come to me through my reflection time doesn't matter what roles you play in this life...if I want someone to do something, I'm going to call them, regardless of what "boxes" and "roles" they have in this society. Does it feel lonely when you are called to step out of the box...yes, but when you do step out in faith, He's always with you and will surround you with support, so you're never alone! I'm ending this off with the verse which God provided me this fall and I now fall back on in countless situations...He definitely puts verses in our hearts and mind for a purpose!

Jeremiah 29:11-14a (NIRV)
11"I know the plans I have for you," announces the Lord. "I want you to enjoy success. I do not plan to harm you. I will give you hope for the years to come. 12Then you will call out to me. You will come and pray to me. And I will listen to you. 13When you look for me with all your heart, you will find me. 14"I will be found by you," announces the Lord. "

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

JC's My Sanity

I don't know what's really bringing this post on...I must be going through a phase where I need to post in two's. I read a post yesterday which quoted lyrics from Daniel Amos and was referred to as the band of choice for a lot of Christians when growing up. For some reason, it got me thinking about growing up and what Christian music I was able to be influenced by and I guess more importantly, what music I want my kids to have the opportunity to be influenced by...both Christian and non. I didn't get to experience a lot of Christian music until I was late in my teen years. But, I really attribute my vast music likings to what I was exposed to...were all the choices I made music-wise the best...probably not all the time, but they have colored me in the way that I don't listen to one specific group and even in a genre of music, I listen to all spectrums of it.

I have never heard Daniel Amos...I want to though. Daniel Amos wrote under many pen names...I was introduced to one of them in college...The Swirling Eddies. The Eddies have become my "destressing" music on many a day...they're kind of disco funkish, maybe not the typical music you'd pin me as listening to. They're one of my favorite groups, partly because their lyrics speak a lot and I really resonate with them a lot of days. I've got this song on CD and also in my MP3 player, so I can listen to it whenever I's definitely one of my favorites for a various of reasons, which I'm not going to go into today.

This week's been a definite look for me at what's fueling my light and my life. It's been a real struggle...putting your family back into a normal cycle of life...this seems to happen everytime we have a houseful. Where am I turning to deal with the stress and battles with daily life? Looking in the mirror and knowing I'm doing okay, even though things don't seem it at times. Learning to look at these next words and realize that if I'm doing this and believing this, then all things will come to pass how they're supposed to...You got a hold on me, You are my sanity, I'm thinking endlessly about You. There are days when I feel I have so much left to learn about this walk with Christ. Because of this walk being newer to me than for others around me, I feel like I'm a child in comparison somedays. I don't know...I know it's a continual learning process, but I want to jump farther up the process than I am somedays...I want to be more grown up in my Christian walk then I am.

I guess I need to just learn to be still and know that I am where I am for a reason and my walk will grow in His timing and His way! To try and find time to be with Him and listen for His guidance...for a mom of three kids, this doesn't come easy a lot of days...JC, I know You are my sanity...I know You're always here, even though I can't always feel you there...I really need Your strength to get through today...I really need to meet with You today in a strong way!

I've Got An Idea
from the album "Let's Spin!"
Words and Music by Camarillo Eddy?
1988 Broken Songs

There's a light inside of me,
once burned a little low
I believe it is a lot brighter now
a fire in the hole

Deep thoughts don't occur to me
I'm not famous for my brain
But a log just dropped on my destiny
and love has fanned the flame

I've got an idea
(I think I love you)
I've got an idea
(I think I really do)
Do you want to hear my idea?
(I've been thinkin' of you)
and I'm thinkin' that my big idea
is your idea too

When I find the words to say
You beat me to the punch
I wanna say -- oh, never mind. . .
I always talk too much!

But it seems to me that long ago
I knew you were the One
They call that metaphysical
I guess I'm not that dumb, cos'

You got a hold on me
You are my sanity
I'm thinkin' endlessly
about you

What I've got I can't believe it
What I heed you read my mind
What you got now I can see it
What you got it sure is fine
The light is on and someone's home
Take the elevator to the top
Don't take a genius, just a little soul
Now what ideas I got
I got an idea (x4)
Yeah I got an idea
I think I love you (yeah) (x5)
I think I love you
I gotta, I gotta, I gotta, I gotta, I gotta idea

Psalm 37:3-5a,7a,37a(NIRV)
3Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live in the land and enjoy its food. 4Find your delight in the Lord. Then he will give you everything your heart really wants. 5Commit your life to the Lord. 7Be still. Be patient. Wait for the Lord to act.34Wait for the Lord to act. Live as he wants you to.

Humor & Romance in the Air!?!?

It's funny how God reveals himself in the funniest of ways sometimes. He knows when life's going through a time of busyness, illness, etc. and when we sometimes don't stop to see the lighter side of life, He just floods our life with some of it, to help bring us to a much better place.

I heard this quote last made me laugh so hard, that I was almost in tears and I laughed until it hurt...what do you say would do this to a person? Well, here's the quote...

"I've finished picking my belly you want me to pick yours now?"

Life's a blast and the greatest of's not always the most predictable...things don't always happen in the time we feel to be the most perfect...there are definitely times where valleys of saddness, doubt and uncertainty, grief, despair, anger, etc. enter in, but through it all, He's there...sometimes His presence is felt more than others, but He's always there. Take time today to quiet yourself, experience some of God's great humor and especially His love and grace. Let Him speak to you...reflect on the many blessings He's given you...look towards the future and reflect on where He might be calling you...uplift those things which need to be taken off our human shoulders and put squarely on His heavenly ones, the exact place where He wants them! Whether it's a time where you laugh, cry, express your anger and disappointment, have confusion or uncertainty, are experiencing exhaustion and just want to quiet yourself to feel His it...He'll be right there with you and will give you everything you need!

Matthew 11:28-30
"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me--watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

Monday, May 08, 2006

Facedown...In Worship With a Friend

These are the lyrics for the song, "Facedown" by Matt Redman. I really need to cough up the money and purchase this CD...Matt Redman's music speaks to me and brings me into a very special place of worship with Christ. The words to this song just make me want to fall to my knees with uplifted hands and meet with Him, oblivious to anything else going on around me!

Welcomed in to the courts of the King
I've been ushered in to Your presence
Lord, I stand on Your merciful ground
Yet with every step tread with reverence

And I'll fall facedown
As Your glory shines around
Yes, I'll fall facedown
As Your glory shines around

Who is there in the heavens like You?
And upon the earth, who's Your equal?
You are far above, You're the highest of heights
We are bowing down to exalt You

So let Your glory shine around
Let Your glory shine around
King of glory, here be found
King of glory

"More Than a Friend" by Jeremy Riddle...This song is one of my current songs of choice to listen to floods me with very true emotion, because the words speak so much to what Christ is to me.

In the quiet of my soul
In the stillness I hear Your voice call
And I am overwhelmed
And I am lost for words
To describe You

Jesus, You're more than a friend
Jesus, You're more than my heart could ever express
Your love and Your grace never fail me
Your merciful touch always heals me
You bring joy to my soul
Joy to my soul

My heart longs to worship You, my King
And I long to bring You a pleasing offering
And I am overwhelmed
And I am lost for words
To describe You

Jesus, You're more than a friend
Jesus, You're more than my heart could ever express
Your love and Your grace never fail me
Your merciful touch always heals me
You bring joy to my soul
Joy to my soul

Finding Rest Facedown

Psalm 138 (MSG)
1Thank you! Everything in me says "Thank you!" Angels listen as I sing my thanks.

2I kneel in worship facing your holy temple
and say it again: "Thank you!"
Thank you for your love,
thank you for your faithfulness;
Most holy is your name,
most holy is your Word.

3The moment I called out, you stepped in;
you made my life large with strength.

4When they hear what you have to say, GOD,
all earth's kings will say "Thank you."

5They'll sing of what you've done:
"How great the glory of GOD!"

6And here's why: GOD, high above, sees far below;
no matter the distance, he knows everything about us.

7When I walk into the thick of trouble,
keep me alive in the angry turmoil.
With one hand
strike my foes,
With your other hand
save me.

8Finish what you started in me, GOD.
Your love is eternal--don't quit on me now.

I stumbled upon this passage of scripture while looking through a devotional. I really needed to read this today...this is one of those days where I just want to be face down on the floor in deep prayer and worship to God. My problem lately has been finding the time to have any strong time with God...lately my house has been very noisy and busy...that for me is exhausting and problematic!

For me when I have a houseful of company, there always comes a time of "fall out" after everyone leaves and you are back to your regular way of life. I go into a mode at times when people are visiting, where I put my all into everything and tend to put my needs aside during that time. You might be thinking, well what's the problem with that? Well, it's usually my spiritual needs and avenues...reflecting and meeting with God through my bible, journal, music, etc. It's not a good practice and I tried really hard to carve the time out this time...I snuck away to journal my thoughts and do some blogging on my computer, tried to find some quiet time for reflection, prayer and my's hard though, because I need quiet just simply because of my personality type and when you have a houseful, that's really hard to come by. So now as I sit typing, I'm really tired and feeling a little cruddy...I now have the work of trying to get myself energized and back to where I need to be. I found these quotes a while back and they all spoke to me then and continue to speak to me as I read them. There's insight, truth and humor through these and I really needed to read them today, so I'm leaving them for you to read as well...we'll talk to y'all soon!

"Love is like a violin. The music may stop now and then, but the strings remain forever."
~June Masters Bacher

"I've gone to look for myself. If I should return before I get back, keep me here!
~Barbara Johnson

"The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain." ~Dolly Parton

"You can't change circumstances and you can't change other people, but God can change you." ~Evelyn A. Theissen

"It's okay to admit we are human and that we are weak...that's what in the end makes us strong." ~Unknown

"The greatest deeds are still undone...the greatest songs are still unsung." ~Unknown

Friday, May 05, 2006

Once Upon a Tandem

A few years ago my husband and I were shopping for a picture for our living room and we happened upon this poster called, “Once Upon a Tandem.” We hard-mounted it and it has become the focal point in our living room. It’s proven to be a huge point of conversation about faith in Christ and life in general. It hangs above our love seat, which coincidentally is where I usually sit to read my Bible, pray and reflect. After I’ve finished my time with God, I read this…it serves as a constant reminder (one I need often) of why, even though somedays things don’t make a lot of sense and aren’t smooth sailing, I need to daily lay down my cross and give everything to Him, and trust that He’s the best person to be in the driver’s seat…not me! It's served as a reminder this week, that giving control totally to Him isn't always easy, but it needs to be done, and done as often as necessary, if I want to live life with Him to the fullest potential."

on my bicycle-built-for-two,
I assumed He’d pedal
Instead He’s deadweight
He’s slowing me down. I wonder why I ever let
Him on in the first place.

Finally, I turn and say, “How come you never pedal?”
With a wink and a smile He replies,
And so life is better. Easier.
Pedaling with JC,
I get where I’m going faster than ever.
Still, my carefully chosen destinations are never as good as I imagined.

When I take His advice,
We wind up on
and smooth blacktop,
and all roads seem to go downhill.

Then, when I get tired of pedaling,
I put my feet up on the handlebars
And it turns out that
I’ve been slowing Him down!

Nothing I decide,
Could be better than tandem biking
With JC as co-pilot.

But, I’m wrong.
The real fun begins.
When I stop the bike and ask JC to take the front seat
--handlebars and all.

Since then,
I’ve never looked back,
And my oh my,
The places He takes me.

The sights I see.

The scenic routes.
The side roads.
The dizzying mountain tops.
The green valleys.
All places I would have missed.

Oh, I still have my own handlebars
and sometimes I hang on for dear life.
But, on a tandem bike
those back handlebars
Can’t steer at all.


and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Now you’ve got my feet on the path, all radiant from the shining of your face. Ever since you took my hand, I’m on the right way.”
Psalm 16:11 (MSG)

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Am I Truly Doing Enough?

I purchased Casting Crown's CD Lifesong in November. The music from this CD had helped my friend to find God in a very strong way, during a very difficult time in life. I purchased this shortly after visiting her...many of the songs have impacted me in vastly different ways. This song has spoken to me more than once and on the weekend, as I listened to it, I really sat back and thought a few things, (a) "Am I truly doing enough to be out there and ready to share Christ?", (b) "Do I have my ears open to hear people when they are calling out for help?" (c) "Do I show compassion or do I cast judgement?", (d) "Am I too I have my eyes on the ground, instead of out in front of me?", (e) "What changes do I need to make in my life?"

I am posting this song and also the scriptures they listed with the song. I put them in amongst the song for a mixture of song and scripture.

Does Anybody Hear Her?
by Casting Crowns, Lifesong

Romans 10:14 (MSG)
But how can people call for help if they don't know who to trust? And how can they know who to trust if they haven't heard of the One who can be trusted? And how can they hear if nobody tells them?

She is running
A hundred miles an hour in the wrong direction
She is trying
But the canyon's ever widening
In the depths of her cold heart
So she sets out on another misadventure just to find
She's another two years older
And she's three more steps behind

Acts 5:20 (MSG)
He said, "Go to the Temple and take your stand. Tell the people everything there is to say about this Life."

Does anybody hear her?
Can anybody see?
Or does anybody even know she's going down today
Under the shadow of our steeple
With all the lost and lonely people
Searching for the hope that's tucked away in you and me
Does anybody hear her?
Can anybody see?

1 Peter 3:15 (MSG)
Through thick and thin, keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your Master. Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you're living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy.

She is yearning
For shelter and affection
That she never found at home
She is searching
For a hero to ride in
To ride in and save the day
And in walks her prince charming
And he knows just what to say
Momentary lapse of reason
And she gives herself away

2 Corinthians 5:20 (MSG)
We're Christ's representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God's work of making things right between them. We're speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he's already a friend with you.

If judgement looms under every steeple
If lofty glances from lofty people
Can't see past her scarlet letter
And we never even met her

Matthew 28:19-20 (MSG)
Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I'll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age."

The question lingering in my head right now..."Am I truly doing enough?"

What's the Offence?

What have I done to offend you?
How have I hurt you?
Will you ever let me in on what I've done?
Will you ever let me make things right?
Or will you continue to hold this over my head?
Continue to treat me like an invisible brick wall?

I sit here in a state of confusion,
Trying to know how to rectify a situation,
But having no apparent clue as to what the situation is.
I long to sit in the shadows,
They are so much more welcoming,
Then the wall of silence I continue to run into every time we meet.

The wall of silence is so cold and institutional,
Clearly yelling out, "You're not welcome around me!"
Are you trying to intimidate me? Make me feel bad?
Are you trying to make me feel uncomfortable? Not welcomed?
You have succeeded...I'm removing myself from this situation completely,
I want to live my life in peace, not full of dread and anxiety!

2 Timothy 1:7
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."