Monthly Archives: July 2010

Here With Me

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“Trust Me in the depths of your being….”

It never ceases to amaze me, how the closer we get to being at the center of God’s will for our lives, how the spiritual warfare is intensified. It’s like every day seems to be a Murphy’s Law day. Anything and everything that could go wrong, has gone wrong. The opposition that I face at this very moment and time is a million miles tall, but I have a peace like I have never felt before. I’m not worried. Not one bit. Cause I know who my God is.

My God is bigger. End of story. I have faith that He will provide. He will not fail me. I believe. I believe He is who He says He is.

I will not worry, there is no need. I trust you in the depths of my soul. I will follow you forever, even if i’m standing in the fire. You will never leave me. You are always with me. You go before me. You alone are worthy of my trust.

Deuteronomy 33:27 “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. He will drive out your enemy before you, saying ‘Destroy him!’

Here With Me by Everyday Sunday

You said that You hold the earth and moon
And I know that the morning bows to You
So when the water rushes over me
You’ll be there to pull me from the deep

I believe that You are
Everything You say You are
I will follow You forever
Even if I’m standing in the fire
I believe, I believe and I have seen
I believe, I believe You’re here with me

You said that Your light would chase the dark
Your love for me was written in the scars
So if I’m feeling paralyzed with fear
I know that You’ll never leave me stranded here

I wanna be where You are
You carried me this far

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Inconvienient Blessings

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Romans 9:20-23 “But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use? What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make His power known, bore with great patience the objects of His wrath- prepared for destruction? What if He did this to make the riches of His glory known to the objects of His mercy, whom He prepared in advance for glory.”

Today, I was convicted of my self centeredness. I’m so busy the next few days before I leave, that I have hardly any time to finish packing and clean. I’ve also been easily irritated. So, when there is any slight inconvenience or change of plans, I have not handled myself as well as I would have liked.

I was driving home from Manitowoc this morning, and God really spoke to me, convicting my heart, and opening my eyes. My life is not my own. Each day is not my own. Every minute of every hour is not my own. I was created by God, not myself. What right do I have to claim life as mine? Who am I to tell God that I don’t want to talk to that lady in the grocery store, I don’t want to run to the store for my mom, I don’t want to go to this last minute meeting, I don’t want __________. I chose to let the world revolve around me.

Things that I view as inconvenient, have the potential to be divine appointments. I could have the potential to lift someone up when they need it most, or they could encourage me. I get so focused on me and my little bubble that I sometimes miss out on all of these opportunities that God is placing right before me.

I remember in Genesis 12, when God is telling Abram to leave, He says “I will make you into a great nation, I will bless you; I will make your name great, you will be a blessing.” My role in life is to show the love of Jesus, and to be a blessing. I truly believe that God blesses you when you walk in obedience and love with Him; When you take advantage of the doors He opens for you, no matter how inconvenient they may seem. But sometimes I get so focused on God blessing me, that I forget to look for those open doors to bless others. Sometimes, I think i’m doing good with staying in God’s will for my life, and completely lose my ministry mindset.

When Paul says “But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to Him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?'”, I am so humbled. How many times God, have I disliked the way I looked, or been unpleased with the way a particular day went. How many times have I been ungrateful for another day on this earth. How many times have I had the wrong attitude about having to change my plans so I could accomplish His? I believe it was Char who told me, that when we are ungrateful or unhappy with who we are, or inconvenient things in our day, it’s like slapping God in the face. I for one know that I am guilty of slapping God in the face. Who am I to say that today should look ‘like this’? Who am I to have any say in what my life looks like?

But you God, out of your great mercy, have blessed me with an opportunity to be a part of your plan. You knew each of my days before I was formed, how can I say that they aren’t good enough? You abound in patience, and understand my human nature of self centeredness, but you deeply desire for me to remember that Your plans are so much better than mine. For your thoughts are not my thoughts, neither are Your ways my ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are Your ways higher than mine, and Your thoughts over my thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower, and bread for the eater, so is Your word that goes from Your mouth; It will not return to You empty, but will accomplish what You desire, and achieve the purpose for which You sent it. (Isaiah 55:8-11).

God, give me a spirit that is humble, striving to please You and only You. Give me a heart for Your will for my life, each day, every minute. Convict me when I get lost in my own little world. Remind me why You have sent me. Grant me the passion to pursue Your will over my own. Forgive me for being self-centered and prideful. Forgive me for thinking that my agenda is more important than yours. You are sovereign over all, You are a big God, Who am I to think that I can handle my days better than You? Give me eyes to see you in everything around me, and throughout my day. Give me ears to hear, a heart that  listens to your promptings.

Help me to see beauty in the ‘inconveniences’. Help me to strive to be a blessing.

I Am, I Do

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I Am:

  • blessed, so I can give
  • forgiven, who am I to not forgive others
  • purchased with a price, how can I be silent
  • adopted, there are so many more ‘orphans’
  • loved, so I can give love
  • cherished, I want to remind others how special they are
  • talented, so I can bless others and glorify God
  • reconciled, I desire to do the same in my everyday relationships
  • restored, I want to help others find healing
  • chosen, I have purpose, I desire for others to understand and passionately pursue theirs
  • pursued, How can I not tell them they are being pursued by the God of the universe!!!
  • fought over, I have a God who is fighting for me, I shall share the news
  • created, I was not made on an assembly line, some believe they are
  • sinful, as we all are
  • lavished with grace, mercy, and compassion, I want to love others through this overflow that has been bestowed on me
  • not perfect, that’s not what it’s about, I’ll say something different in a wold based on performance and perfection
  • broken, but I know where to find shelter, let me show them
  • joyful, so many mistake joy for happiness
  • spirit filled, I can do these things only because of God

 

Who are you? But more importantly: What will you do with who you are?

Thankfulness

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1 Thessalonians 5:18 “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

in the midst of these struggles i’m in, I find myself at peace, and full of hope when I take the time to thank God for things. Here’s a small list of mine. Try it sometime, it works ;)

I am thankful for:

love. laughter. joy. hope. faith. family. shelter. forgiveness. trials. sunrises. sunsets. tears. smiles. wisdom. friendships. knowledge. wonder. peace. Jesus. hearts. sunshine. rain showers. wild flowers. my body. eyes. nose. ears. mouth. touch. sight. smell. taste. colors. creation. justice. waterfalls. mountains. creaking doors. suitcases. personality. uniqueness. talents. bible. language. journals. transportation. people. babies. serving. perseverance. unspoken understanding. books. blue skies. fluffy clouds. sand. games. music. singing. creativity. spontaneity. coffee. passion. weakness. dependance. independence. blessing. hands and feet. life. hot chocolate. animals. darkness. light. stars. wide open spaces. Africa. church. work. children. dancing. abundance. breathing. water.

Feelings

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♫ My world just came crashing down, Lord I need you now, Lord I need you now ♫

Burdened. Faint of heart. Broken. Stunned. Frozen. Shattered. Betrayed.

I am a mess right now. I watched my heart fall to the ground, and it’s still breaking. I now know the true weight of sharing someone’s burdens, while still carrying my own.

My world fell apart today. Two of my friend’s worlds fell apart as well. The rain was pouring down, the sky is still grim. I have no desire to be joyous, or to dwell on hope. I am where I am. I just need to feel what I feel. I know enough to not stay here too long, but to not stay here at all will surely make the condition of my heart worse, and potentially plant the seed of bitterness.

I come to you Jesus, with my feelings, they are what they are. I’m not going to pretend that they are something else. You’ve felt them, you’ve lived them, why should I pretend? Here’s where I am. Help me to deal with this in a way that pleases You, but also heals my heart. I’m tired and broken, betrayed and devastated. Hold me.

♫Glory in the highest, I’ll forever sing your praise, even when you lead me through the deepest darkest place, for who am I to question what You have in store for me, my worry and doubt, I lay them at Your feet♫

 

Making Lemonade

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Water. Two hydrogen, one oxygen. Pure, flavorless sustenance. The human body is designed to need water. On a hot summer day, you will more than likely crave a cool drink of water. Plain old water is enough. Or is it?

I walk down the aisle of the gas station or grocery store and see tons of drink mixes, juice, soda etc etc. There are things to add to your water, and things that are simply not water at all. (Now please do not get me wrong here, I am not saying that drinking any of these things are bad or wrong, this is strictly for an analogy purpose.) There are so many choices. I could pick a lemonade drink mix for my water bottle one day, then drink some vitamin water the next, then maybe some Gatorade, then juice, then who know’s what the day after. Pretty soon, plain water has become pretty dull to the senses. You forget just how good it tastes. You could even end up dehydrated.

I think as Christians, we too often find ourselves sucking down the drink mixes and soda pop of Christian icons instead of thirsting after the word of God. I think we too often, when facing a problem, run to the newest ‘self-help’ book or the like, written by a Christian author. (again, please don’t misunderstand me, I truly see no problem in reading books like those or listening to different preachers or anything of the sort, my problem comes in, when we seek these more than the word of God itself). Pretty soon we’ve forgotten what water tastes like. There’s a reason the bible seems so dull to us! It’s because we’re constantly adding things to it! If only we would let ourselves be reminded of how awesome and wonderful the word of God tastes! There’s a bunch of Christians on the verge of dehydration, solely because they’ve forgotten that the word of God, and only the word of God will provide true sustenance.

How do we get to the point where we find ourselves unsatisfied with the water? Well, to make an analogy of it, I’ll reference someone making lemonade. You make it as the recipe calls, and sweeten to taste. Now, when you sweeten to taste, you don’t normally dump in another whole cup of sugar. You usually start out with a spoonful. Then slowly you add another, and maybe another. The problem comes in, where if you don’t drink a sip of water in between each taste, you don’t have a good idea of how sweet the next sip will be. Pretty soon you’ve added way more sweetner than needed.

I reference this because I think that it’s vitally important to remember to first drink from the word of God before adding any ‘sweetner’. Always have that reference point to fall back on. Don’t let yourself get so caught up in adding to God’s word that you hinder it’s power. We humans cannot make the word of God greater.

I write about this because I have been there, not because I want to point the finger. I write about this because I’ve noticed the wonderful beautiful change in my heart after I started putting God’s word first and my books and podcasts second. I write about this because I want others to remember that God’s word is first and foremost, the only drink that will quench your thirst and renew your spirit.

John 4:13-14 “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Let the word of God be your water, let Jesus be your water. You will find yourself fulfilled and satisfied. Your thirst quenched and your spirit full.

Drink from the word of God that overflows for you, stop searching for second-hand substitutes.

The Hardest Thing

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“Someday you will dance light-footed on the high peaks, but for now, cling to My hand for strength and direction as we face this valley together. You will never be alone.”

I try to not be too specific when I write on here. I try to touch base on feelings versus circumstances. I believe that focusing on the feeling rather than circumstance makes what I write more beneficial to the reader, simply because more people will relate to the feelings I have than the specific circumstance that brought on those feelings. But sometimes, it just can’t be avoided.

Many of you know that I was in an abusive ‘relationship’ for two years, and for those of you that didn’t know, well….now you do. Sixteen is a very impressionable age, and unfortunately I fell into the trap of subtle mind games and pretty lies, living the double life of church girl on Sunday and victim the rest of the week.

The past 3 years I have healed, cried, and let God take me where He willed. I started a group with my friend Annie that teaches healthy relationships, and we are starting the process of becoming a non-profit. I’ve been able to share my story to many hurting women, and see them come to realize that they are not alone. I’ve been blessed to be a listening ear, one who silently understands, when truly no words can be said to comfort. God has blessed my recovery. I’ve always had an eager spirit to heal and move forward. Until now.

Friday night at Lifest…..I get this horrendous gut feeling that my world just fell apart. I couldn’t explain it. All I could think about was my abuser. Nothing made sense. Why would I be thinking about him? I sat down at a round table with my bible and journal, desperately searching for an answer, some scripture, anything that would give my turmoiled soul comfort. I reached out to Annie, asking if everything was ok, thinking maybe this gut feeling had something to do with someone I cared about, but I couldn’t get ‘him’ out of my head. She simply sent back: is it confrontation time?

I lost all reserve. The words I never wanted to read had calmed the raging sea in my heart. Why now God? I refuse to admit that I need closure, even though it’s something I deeply desire. If there is any other way God, can we please go that way!?! He simply said: Trust me. How can you argue with that?

I have peace, although I am still in silent opposition. This is the hardest thing i’ve ever had to do. I don’t think i’ve ever so strongly opposed something as much as this. Why? Because it will bring complete healing and closure. I’ll have nothing to hide behind. The shame will be completely placed where it belongs. Remember that passage of scripture that women wrote on my hand? Psalm 34:4&5. Verse 5 states: “those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered in shame.” I’ve let myself wear someone elses shame for too long. It’s my time to be radiant. To throw off someone elses burden for good. To be free.

That doesn’t make me any more willing to go through with this, but knowing why He is calling me to go through this makes it much harder to argue with Him. This journey will be a constant battle between saying yes and no. I wish I could just jump right in, fearless, but for some reason I can’t. But He’s not asking me to be all “gung-ho” about the whole thing. He simply wants an obedient heart, and a trusting spirit.

We’ve all had and will have our “hardest things”. We don’t always get to dance on the mountain tops. We don’t always get to avoid things we wish we could. But just remember when you’re standing face to face with your hardest thing, you’re not standing there alone.

“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you…”

I will continue to walk this path you have chosen for me….