Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Hike

YouTube Video

I was at home for most of the day. My son, Eli went with Cliff for a little while to visit Brady, and when he came back he was in a very grumpy mood. We tried to clean his room together, but it didn't take long for me to see that cleaning his room was a bad idea. So, we ate lunch, and sat down together in the chair by the fireplace and read Narnia. I read one chapter, and that's all it took to put us both to sleep. I loved the nap, my nine year old wrapped in a blanket cuddled next to me, and sound asleep. We both slept very well, and when he woke up, he felt much better.
After napping, the three of us, Eli, Ruby and I went for a hike up the hill to the freeway. They love to go up this hill and then try to get all the semi-trucks to blow their horns. It works almost every time! It's about a mile hike, altogether and it's good for our hearts. On the way home, we made various stops to look at old deer bones, broken sticks, a squirrel, a stream, and some favorite forts. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful Spring day.
After arriving back home, Eli was totally a new boy! He went upstairs and cleaned his room. Not only that he rearranged his furniture (every mother's dream--haha) Now, when I walk into his room, I run into his bed! But, it's clean, I can walk across the floor without falling over something.
Isn't it just like life? It's like my life anyway. I can be very grumpy about the stuff in my life that needs a little cleaning up. I can stomp around and complain about the fact that I should deal with a particular issue, but then when I get myself fed from God, and rest in His compassion and peace, and take His grace, it's not so difficult.
When I walk the walk with Him, take the hike up the hill towards His glory, I feel refreshed and ready to roll. I can surrender to His cleaning, and to His rearranging. It's better.
So, I look at life right now, and I'm asking Him what He needs to clean in my life. What do I need to surrender to Him? It's still relationships. I have to give them to Him everyday. It's one in particular that I hope to reconcile, but it's not happening, so I have to continually give it to God for His arranging and His perfect timing. I have to give Him the emotions that go along with it. Anger, sadness, fear, loss, betrayal, and hope, all this stuff that I can stumble over unless I give it to Him to clean up and take for me.
So, I continue to pray as I hike up the hill in life. Say That Again to me Lord Jesus. You will do the cleaning, the feeding, the rearranging. Thank you!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Don't Touch My Stuff!

So, I did some work in our closet. It looks great; it's all organized in a special way. I moved some of the clothes around, easier access. Well, my husband wasn't totally thrilled with my organizational skills. He didn't come right out and say that, but he was not overly excited. I didn't hear "good job, thanks for organizing the closet." Instead, I heard, "is it easier for you to get to your shoes with the closet this way?" Hmmm, yes! "Don't you like the closet this way?" I asked. His response, "yes, I just might do a little readjusting, I don't like anyone to mess with my personal space." Puzzled, my mind goes into the state of wonder. "Personal space? The closet? Wow, I didn't know that! Sorry!"
We got it all worked out, of course, and he left it as is. My shoes and boots are nicely aligned with the wall, for easy access. His clothes are hanging on two rods, high and low. It is a bit of an adjustment, for me because it's so clean and tidy. For him, because it's different.
There have been those times that I have said the exact thing to God. "Don't touch my stuff!" I start to feel comfortable right where I am, and I don't really want to grow, or look at what needs to change. I don't really want to get tidied up, it hurts too much.
God, naturally has a different opinion, but He isn't pushy, usually. He comes in with His skills, and slowly starts to point things out. He gently urges me to rearrange a few priorities, throw away a bit of garbage, invite generosity, clarity, and space into my life. Once I allow Him to start the process of tidying things up, I know it's the right choice.
He has had to do this with my life a lot. Clean up my attitude, sweep out my views, vacuum the dirt and dust from my heart. He's had to add His fruit and His power and His voice. And, I've continually needed to surrender to His way of doing it all.
It's much better for me, His way. It feels like that great wide open space in which I can run and play. Ah, it's relief, joy, peace, and love! I like it a lot, actually. I can see better.
Say That Again, Jesus. Touch me, cleanse me, tidy me up!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Stories I Love

Some of my favorite stories in the Bible are  about Jesus traveling from place to place and touching the lives of those that He encountered.
I love how He walked along the beach and called out to Simon and Andrew saying "Come with me. I'll make a new kind of fisherman out of you. I'll show you how to catch men and women instead of perch and bass." Simon and Andrew didn't even ask questions, they just dropped their nets and followed Him!
I love how the leper came to Him and fell at His feet.  The leper said "if you are willing, you can make me clean!" Jesus was moved with such compassion that He stretched out His hand and touched him,  Jesus said to him "I am willing, be cleansed." And, he was cleansed.
I love the story of when He traveled across the Sea and as soon as He got out of the boat He came face to face with a man that was possessed with demons. A lot of demons. This man was so crazy that the towns people had tried to tie him down to contain him.  He didn't have any clothes to wear, he didn't have a house to live in. He was alone, dispaired, and unable to think clearly. He would roam the graveyard at night screaming and cutting himself with sharp stones.  I love how this man, after Jesus commanded the demons to leave, sat quietly at the feet of Jesus! He had been transformed! He wanted to travel with Jesus, but Jesus said to him"Go home to your own people. Tell them your story-what the Master did , how He had mercy for you."
I love the story of Jesus walking in the storm across the lake. He was walking towards the boat where His disciples were. When Peter realized it was Jesus, he got out of the boat and walked on water towards Jesus.  All was well, at first, until he started to sink! Then he called out to Jesus and he was rescued!
I love the story of Mary Magdalene.  She was brought to Jesus and basically thrown at His feet.  The pharisee's stood around them, condeming her for her actions.  Jesus, in His ever present mercy and love, started to write in the dirt.  Slowly, Mary's accusers walked away, their heads hanging.
I love the story of the women at the Well.  I love how Jesus went out of His way to travel to her town, and how He sat at the well.  I love how He compassionately began to tell her all that she had done, and she felt loved! I love how He offered her living water, how his desire to fill her up like she was a bucket, was overflowing in Him.  I love how she ran back to her village and spread the news of her salvation, and His love!
I love the story of the women that bled for years and desperately wanted to be healed.  She knew that if she could just touch the robe of Jesus as He traveled through, she would be complete In Him!  I love how she pushed her way through the crowd and reached out to grasp the hem of his garment, and she was healed.  I love how Jesus knew instantly that something was different, and even though hundreds of people were touching Him, he asked "Who touched me?"
I love the story of the man who brought his son who was mute for Jesus to heal.  The man had first asked Jesus' disciples, but they were unable to deliver the boy. The man said to Jesus "if you can do anything, have a heart and help us!"  Jesus said in return, "IF? there are no IF's amoung believers. Anything can happen."  The man cried out to Jesus saying "Then I believe, help me with my doubts!"  Jesus commanded the dumb and deaf spirit to get out of the boy, and he was healed.
I love how Jesus was hanging out with a crowd that was considered disreputable. Several of them had become His followers, and the Pharisee's were unhappy and critical of the company that He kept. They began to complain to His disciples saying: "What kind of example is this,  acting cozy with the riff-raff?  Jesus heard their complaints and was quick to say "Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? I'm here inviting the sin-sick, not the spiritually-fit."
I love the story of how God has changed my life from sinner to Saint! I love how He has traveled with me on my journey of life, and given me freedom.  I love how He has never abandoned me, but kept me close to His heart.
Say That Again, Jesus, You are traveling with me. Your freedom is my life. You will never leave!

Monday, March 28, 2011


We had a nice evening last night.  We took the dogs and went for a walk.  Our oldest son and his wife came along with their two dogs and a visiting dog.  Eli and Ruby came with their skateboards. And, we had our dog, Sailor. We hiked up to a point, then down to the lake, and all over some rocks.  Sailor is just like a mountain goat! So, not only is she stinky dog, but she is wonder dog, too!
The skateboards were a bit of a headache as we tried to navigate our way through the rocks, over the rocks, and around the pebbled beach! But, you know, skateboards must come along!
We came home to our house after our walk and made salmon, and steak strips for our tortillas.  Some of us like salmon, others prefer steak! We whipped up home made guacamole, and a salad.  It was very good.  Then, we played with Eli and Ruby.  They are really into tickling me, all the time.  Sometimes it's fun, others times, not so much.
We watched the movie, Facing the Giants. It was one of those movies that reveal the wonders of God. He prevailed, of course, doesn't He always?
He certainly prevails in my life, He is the one that has tackled so many giants for me. He has changed my entire outlook on life, and given me courage to move ahead in His passion and His will.
Giants like mental illness.  Giants like depression, despair, emptiness.  Giants like secrets, running, grief.
Giants like cooking, or just stepping out of the house. Giants like relationships.
This is the same kind of stuff He did for David, Esther, the Women at the Well. Giants that He tackled in their lives, He tackles in mine.
I read in 2 Thessalonians 2 this morning. Near the end of the chapter it says this "God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth." It feels good to me to know that I am chosen, and always have been. That through sanctification, which is tackling my giants, He is alive IN me. He builds my faith In His truth, and demolishes the lies.
God is the real Giant here. Nothing and no one can bring Him down. He is the true Giant that takes out all the destructive giants, the ones that try so hard to destroy our lives. And, each time He takes one out, sanctifies me, He gets bigger, the stuff gets smaller.
I don't always understand the process He leads me through, but I do understand the goal. And, I will have faith in His truth to take me through whatever necessary to reach that goal. To face the giants!
Say That Again, Jesus. You know all the giants that need to be tackled. You know the process. You are the biggest!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

His Adventure

We hiked behind our house yesterday. We have a steep hill behind us and it's covered in pine trees, bushes, rock, and lots of mud. At the top of the hill, there's a lot of flat open space and the view is beautiful. We went to the top and to the other side, then back down between some very big rocks. It's the rock fort, and it's really cool! The rocks are completely covered in an amazing moss. There's about three different types of moss on them; it's lush, thick, and very green. And, the it feels so soft, like velvet. I took a couple pictures of the moss, and several pictures of our kids and my husband.
The kids are very comfortable there and seem to think that they can go anywhere on that hill. They easily forget that we have bears in our forest, or that they could easily slip off the edge of a cliff. To them, it's all a big adventure and they are out to explore, see, smell, and be kids. I like watching the excitement they have when we go up the hill. I like watching how brave they are. I like telling them to step back from the edge!
It does remind me of my walk with Jesus though. He is my Rock, my defender, my protector. He covers me completely IN His beauty and warmth. He asks me to step forward in faith and live adventurously. He is my security, my solidity.
There are times, I step back, unsure of what I should do, or where I should go. Caution ringing in my ears, because it looks like danger. There are times that I just go for it, running ahead without checking with God first, and I fall because He had a better way.
Today, I choose to let Him be my Scout. He knows that path ahead, and He has me covered. He is asking me to walk in faith, to believe Him. So, I will walk to the edge and believe that He is there to secure me.
Loving, trusting, hoping, waiting, and watching, all this is part of my adventure with Him. His hand upon me as the road is navigated with Him, and I discover more of who I am IN Him.
Say That Again, Jesus, You are here with me, right now. It's your adventure and You have invited me to come along.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Twirly Skirts

So, I got this new skirt. It's blue with grey birds on it. As I tried it on yesterday, I was blasted back to my senior year of high school. It's a full, twirly skirt. It has gathers. Just like a skirt I use to wear in high school. I knew I should have kept that skirt from high school, it's back in fashion again! In fact, my roommate liked the skirt so much, she use to wear it more often than I did.
I went to a boarding academy and my roommate and I shared clothes a lot. It was fun. We had the best room in the dorm our Senior year, and that's because I had earned it the year before by keeping my room the cleanest. Don't laugh, I know it's a little hard to believe, but I was tidy then.
The first weekend of April is my high school reunion, 30 years since graduation. I'm going to be there, maybe I should take my full, twirly skirt! I'm excited to see who will show up and what it will be like to go back after such a long time.
Never, in a million years, would I have guessed my life to be as it is now. When I was in high school, I was miserable. My heart hurt most of the time. I had issuations. Not that I don't have them now, I certainly do and they don't feel so great. But, now I know who the source of my deliverance is. Now, I have peace through the storm and hope. Now, I can wear the twirly skirt, and really twirl :-)
My daughter will not wear twirly skirts. She wants her jeans. I thought that if I wore more skirts and dresses it might rub off on her. Nope, not working. She is steady with the jeans and the floppy t-shirts. I bought her an adorable Easter dress, I'm packing it for the weekend of the reunion. Hmm, I wonder how well that will go over?
I read Galatians 2 this morning. It has nothing to do with twirly skirts, or daughters that want to wear jeans. It does remind me of something imperative to the upcoming reunion: " My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not 'mine' but is is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I am not going to go back on that."
Say That Again, Christ Jesus. I have the freedom to twirl!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


As I've mentioned before, my closet floor is cluttered with shoes. I have collected, a few! So, I decided it was time to sort through them and tidy things up a bit. Shoes bring back lots of good and sometimes not so good memories. I have my all time favorites that are lovingly held together with duct tape. I still wear them, because they are comfortable and they've been in my life for many years. I bought them in Texas. There's the red shoes, I don't wear them nearly as often, that I bought very impulsively and have found that they are not as comfortable. I have a pair of clogs that I wear pretty often, when it's not raining or snowing, so maybe not that often. In the summer I stick to sandles, keepiing my feet free and cool. I've got plain ones, and jeweled ones. And, flowered flip flops. And, then of course there's all the boots. I have short boots, tall boots, medium boots. I have really warm boots, cowboy boots, rain boots.
My encounter with the closet floor and my footwear took me awhile. And, then the next day when I went in my closet to get my shoes, I couldn't find them! It was so tidy, it set me back. "Where did I put those shoes?" I've adjusted a little more to the tidy floor, and shoe rack, but I have this sneaking suspicion that it won't stay that way for a long time.
So much like life! Messy, clean it up, messy again! As I move along and step into the path of God's light, I sometimes look back on the trail behind me and see where I have traveled and what life has given along the way. It's required a lot of different shoes to get through. One path, several shoes! Sometimes, the shoes I've chosen to wear have been very uncomfortable, others have been so nice, I keep wearing them until they have holes in them. Some have been neatly tucked away and pulled out for special occasions.
Whatever the shoe for the day, I have learned that God makes the steps. He is the path on which I must walk and He determines the pace. He is the One that completes my wardrobe. He clothes me and enables me to fit in uncomfortable and comfortable shoes.
When I walk through the rocky parts, He provides boots for me, and He warms me. He is there when it gets messy, and when I need quiet waters to rest by, He leads me there and soothes my soul. He is the perfect fit for every situation.
Today, I'm expecting a new pair of boots. They should be coming in the mail, and when they do, I plan to wear them. I hope they fit okay. I've been anticipating their arrival for awhile now, and I'm curious about the path we will walk on together. Just like my life, I'm anticipating what will happen today, tomorrow, and next month. With Jesus, it will be an adventure worth walking. I'm excited to be a part of His closet, and to experience the fullness of life with Him.
I'm going to Say That Again! Jesus, I've got my shoes on, lets go!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

She's still talking!

My daughter is on Spring break, so I get to hear her talking all day long, everyday for the next two weeks! She has important things to say, like "I don't like those jeans!" "My jacket is buttoned up to the top" "I really want to bring the computer with us." "Where are we going?" "When are we leaving?" "Who are we going to see?" "Which coffee shop are we going to?" All of this is said in a few short seconds, not really leaving me any time to answer. It's just an ongoing conversation, with an occasional input from me.
Naturally, I think of my relationship with God and the ongoing conversation I have with Him throughout the day. I can go on and on about various issues, telling God all about it. But, how often am I able to just stop and listen. I've brought this up before, because I think about it pretty often. Am I listening? What is God saying to me about life and His leading? Am I following the path He has laid out before me?
I am speaking to a group of women on Saturday. At this point, I do not have a clue what I will say. I've been praying and really keeping my spiritual ears open to hearing what God is saying to me. He has spoken, He continues to say "I will speak through you, Bethany, I will be there." I know He will be there, and He will use my voice to speak into their hearts. But, am I really hearing Him on this?
This is faith, I guess. Stepping out and knowing that He will pull through, He always has, so He will this time too, This is that strengthening of my faith muscle that I know can be weak at times.
So, I'm going to just be quiet again and listen to His voice today. Jesus, tell me more. Reveal Your glory to me and Your truth.
Say That Again, Jesus, You will be there, You will pull through, You will not abandon me, You will be reflected through my voice. Praise to YOU!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Through the Years

Wait a minute, it's Monday?  I'm still back on Saturday. I awoke later than usual this morning, and couldn't comprehend the idea of Monday, already! We had a packed weekend, it was good, and now it's gone. Forever packed away in my memory banks, just like all the other days behind me! Well, most of it is packed away, some of it has simply flown away, my ability to recall all of it a blur!
My daughter in law was in a fashion show yesterday, and we all went to watch her.  She did a great job. The show traveled us through time from 1920 to current times.  I felt a little old when it was all said and done! The '60's being a memory for me, and the fashion being a fond delight to me.  I'm a hippie at heart, flowers, tye dye, and beads. Add the free spirit, no rules, and adventure in there and it's all good.
As I've been planning an event for this coming Saturday,  God has brought to my awareness the hippie in me.  I move by the Spirit, and run from excessive planning.  I fall before Him in prayer, counting on the fact that HE will pull through.  I thank Him for the planners He brings into my life, to keep schedules in focus and manage what may seem unmanageable.  His hand is ever present, filling each one of us with His light and love.
This morning, I read in Hebrew chapter 5. I love the beginning of this chapter: "Every high priest selected to represent men and women before God and offer sacrifices for their sins should be able to deal gently with their failings, since he knows what it's like from his own one elects himself to this honored position, He's called to it by God...."
As I look back  into the past and see all my failings and how God has so wondrously worked miracles in my life and in the lives of my family, I pray that He will continue to soften my heart towards the failings of others.  And, soften my heart towards my own failings.  I pray that His free Spirit will continue to soar IN me, and I will be used in the hearts of others.  I pray that I have learned and will continue to learn from the years behind me and then walk forward on the path laid out before me.
Through the 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's, and into today, He has fashioned my life in such a way that He can use me as a witness and a living eternal being to His light and His work.  Through the years I can journey back and see His magnificent Hand.
My hippie lifestyle has been molded by Him to shine through the trials, the rocks, the pain. I remember the 60's and my brothers on drugs.  I remember the 70's, and the emptiness of my heart. I remember the 80's and the feeling of shame and despair.  I remember the 90's and the desperate need to cope, and His incredible rescue.  I see now, and praise Him for it all, His love, His glory, His hand upon me. What a wonder, what an adventure! Life is such a trip!
Say That Again, Awesome Father. You are my journey, You are ever present, You are the adventure.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Eli's Yogurt

My daughter in law came to visit yesterday, she's a delight for our family. Both Eli and Ruby think she's a lot of fun and they really enjoy her company. We all went out for yogurt at Jamms, one of those do it yourself yogurt shops. Lots of flavors, lots of toppings, lots of good!
Our son thinks this is the greatest place ever! I think he has a lot more fun making his yogurt bowl, than eating it. He fills the bowl up with his favorite flavor or two, then he begins the delightful process of adding the toppings. He puts on chocolate candy, nerds, blueberries, cherries, strawberries and he always tops it with a lot of whip cream! Yesterday his creation was such a fancy sight, they took a picture of him with his bowl of yogurt. He liked that! I did too.
As I read in Romans this morning, chapter 15, I thought about the delight of Eli and his yogurt. His joy in creating something so good, and the fun of getting to eat it. How he took some simple yogurt and transformed it into a magical dish of color, flavor, and fun.
This is what God does. His calling and counsel are warm and steady, and the more we build on what He says, the better we taste. We are lovely in His sight, and in the sight of others. As His followers, when we all lean on His counsel and walk towards His calling we live in unity together, all of our flavors blending and complimenting each other. We are built up IN Him, and we taste good!
Through this process, he delivers hope to me and fills me up with peace. He gives me the ability to believe and clothes me with a life giving energy of His powerful Spirit. Because of His Spirit, His energy I am moved towards constant change IN Him, growth, health, and vitality.
I'm heading back to Jamms, the yogurt shop, on Wednesday with a group of friends. Looking forward to our time there. I will, no doubt, think of Eli and his yogurt tower. It will bring a smile to my face, and a prayer to my mind for God to build me up IN Him. And, to teach me to work well and to play well with others, bringing in my flavor to compliment theirs.
Say That Again, my Jesus, enable me to remember your calling and your counsel today. Build me up IN You!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Well

We had a great time at our the Montana Street House last night.  Every Friday we gather for food and fellowship and last night we had some great fellowship, and some great food.  I did a lot of cooking yesterday, and it was good! I made some lentil soup in my fancy pressure cooker.  Eight minutes, and right before my eyes was a delicious soup. Then in the slow cooker, I made macaroni and cheese, also very good, but not as healthy as the soup.  I also made ribs, and found those to be delightful and grilled salmon, yummy!!  We filled our bellies, played with a remote helicopter, had some good discussions.
I thought about how awesome  it is that Jesus is so present and how He has this incredible way of filling my well with His living water.  He provides in an amazing way on a practical level.  He gives us food, a place to fellowship, a home to live in.  This is filling my well daily.
He gives me every spiritual blessing that I ask for, and the Fruit of the Spirit, this is filling my well on a spiritual and an emotional level.  He grants to me the steps to increase my faith, and to know that HE is God!
Like the women at the well, one of those stories that I often think about, Jesus goes out of His way to pursue me and meet me where I am.  He sees that I am in need of His Living Water, and He offers it to me through a relationship with Him and with others.
He knows exactly where I am in life and just what I need.  And, the knowledge of that gives me love, His unconditional love.  Even though He knows all about me and my stuff, He still loves me and He does not judge me on that. Instead, He commissions me to go out and tell others all that He has done for me.  He fills my well with His Living Water, then tells me to go and do the same for others.
He wants me to love! He loves me, even though I have done so many unlovable things.  I am the bucket that he gently lets down into the well, and He powerfully fills up with Himself!  He doesn't see the days that I am grumpy and growly.  He doesn't see the past issues that sometimes catch me up. He doesn't see all the stuff and say to me-"-I'm sorry, you cannot have my living water today!" He pours it on me, and clothes me in it, and lifts me up to a life IN Him.  He speaks words through me that will speak into the lives of others! He uses all the stuff to bring His life to the people around me.
I am the women at the well. We all are.  And, I desire to tell others the story of what He has done, and bring others to the well so they will have their bucket filled.
Say That Again,  Jesus! Keep telling me to speak, speak, and speak again about this incredible movement within my soul because of Who You are!

Friday, March 18, 2011


It's Friday and I have high hopes that I will see some sun today. The days that are grey are getting old, really fast! I am so ready for summer!
It's Friday, and I'm wanting the day to go smooth, no bumps, please.  I realize that this is probably not very realistic, but I can hope.
Hope is the very thing that keeps me going.  If something isn't good, I hope it will get better.  If I don't feel well, I have hope that, soon, I will recover. If the day is grey, I have hope that there will be a glimpse of sun.
I hope for love, renewal, strength, courage, reconciliation.  All of it.  I hope that God is using me to further His Kingdom.  I hope.
I remember feeling hopeless on some days, many years ago.  My brain felt broken. It was one of those things that I could not explain, because it was hopeless, empty, shamed.  The beauty is, God knew and even without me asking, He was there.  His love endured through the hopelessness and He carried me on to recovery.
He diligently uncovered the secrets, the pain, the shame.  He does that job well.
As a kid, I use to sit by our record player and listen to the Nutcracker.  I would imagine that I too could dance like the ballerina's on the record cover. It was nice. I hoped that someday I would dance for real.
As a kid, I use to ride my bike up and down the hills near my grandma's house.  I would put my dog in the front basket of my bike and we would ride for hours.  The days were hot and sunny, and I would imagine what life could feel like in freedom.  I hoped for freedom.
As a kid, I would hide in my bedroom when someone rang the doorbell.  Or, I would hide under the dining room table when my mother called me.  Or, I would hide in the closet.  Every time, hoping that I would not be found.
I learned to hide behind masks--lies.  Anything to protect myself, in hopes of being accepted, loved, protected.  I learned that it was safer to be fake than to be real. The story of the Velveteen Rabbit was fascinating to me, because the sweet rabbit became real.  I hoped for that someday too.
I learned to be afraid of people and not to trust anyone. My heart leery of what I was being told, or afraid to express my own thoughts. I hope that someday I would trust.
I learned that I had to preform to be okay, just me, all alone, was not enough.  I hoped that someday someone could see just me, and stay.
Hope, it kept me.  God blessed me with it, and He still does.  He whispers it to me all throughout the day.  My hope is IN Him and His redeeming love.
Say That Again, Father God, You are hope,and You will continue to bless me with it!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Goodbye Wilted!

My husband and I went out with some friends last night to sing Karaoke.  It was pretty fun, and I enjoyed the company of our friends.  My husband sang a trio with the guys, and I sang a trio and duet. It was a good time had by all!
I was marveling at the work God can do and has done in my life on the way home.  He has opened my heart so much to healthy adventures and given me such a security IN Him.  Even though I didn't know the songs we sang very well, it didn't matter that much to me.  It didn't matter to me that I was singing in front of a crowd, or that people might be looking my way.  The peace of knowing that Jesus is full within me, and it's all about Him, moves me towards living life in a completely different way.
My husband and I talked about it and he commented on how as short as a year ago, I wouldn't have done that.   A few years ago, I wouldn't have even gone.  Being with people was not on my list of fun! But, God changes hearts and He moves us into relationship and tenderness and love.  He has planted the power of His Spirit within me and I continue to move forward IN Him. He tells me what I am going to do, and then onward  I move for Him.
This morning in my prayers, I was again praying about speaking and Him using me in the way He desires.  I need Him to reveal His truth to me on a daily basis, to lead me on this path that is lit by His light.  As I prayed, Titus 2 came to mind.  My first thought was "is there even a Titus 2?" I haven't read in Titus for a long time, so I was pretty excited to see what was there.
The first line danced on the page of my Bible with these inspired words; "Your job is to speak out on the things that make for solid doctrine." Well, that's pretty clear!
It's a very encouraging chapter that continues to instruct me in the way I need to go.  God has been faithful in that way, moving me through fires and joys in the direction He desires me to go.  It's been fascinating to me, because this is HIS doing, not mine.
As I walk this journey of life and live miracles that he does in my life, I want to tell others about them.  See that He has brought me from a wilted, scared existence, one that is scarred with pain, despair, and hopelessness, I know that I am deeply blessed.
The chapter ends with this: "Tell them all this. Build up their courage, and discipline them if they get of line. You're in charge. Don't let anyone put you down."  (Message) As His power flows through out my being, He enables me to walk the path before others and be an example of Him.  To be real, transparent, alive, fully vulnerable to Him. This is the path that builds life IN Him, leaving behind the shame, guilt, self-consciousness, despair, pain.  The wilted life drinks in His living water and becomes the empowered life!
Say That Again, Dear God! I need reminders all the time as I find myself in the middle of a battle between self and Your Spirit.  Give to me Your safe guards and continue to Say That Again!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


As I mentioned, my daughter talks all the time! She has a lot to say about everything. I, on the other hand, have little to say this morning and most of the time.  I am quiet, seeking to understand what others are saying.  I "wonder" a lot! On the days that I do have something to say, it's usually quick and to the point, and sometimes I come across as too harsh.  I don't mean it that way at all, I'm just not very good at getting it out sometimes.
 This is why it's a mystery to me why God wants me to speak to women.  I know this is what He is calling me to do, I have no doubts.  I also know that He will have to do all the talking! He will have to bring the words to my mind, along with wisdom.  He will have to speak through me into their hearts. I pray for this everyday, and I know He is making progress, but I still wonder how it's going to all pan out.
God's power is magnificent, I've seen it work miraculously in my life and in the lives of others.  He steps up all the time, as soon as He is given the go ahead.
In my prayers this morning, as I prayed about all of this and more, God led me to Isaiah 60.  It's a beautiful chapter about the glory of Zion.
"Arise, shine, for your light has come. And the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness will cover the earth and deep-darkness the peoples, But the Lord will rise upon you; and His glory will appear upon you."
Yes! I love the part about the Lord will rise upon you and His glory will appear upon you!  When there is a deep darkness, my Lord will come and shine! The darkness gone.
Deeper into the chapter, on the Message side it reads this: "Not long ago you were despised refuse- out-of-the way,unvisited, ignored. But now I've put you on your feet.....You'll know that I am God, am your Savior, your Redeemer, Champion of Jacob. I'll give you only the best--no more hand me downs!"
 I love how God picks the perfect chapter for me to read! How He reassures me that He is God and He is good! He wants the best for me, and He intends to use me for His best. To shine for Him.  His glory will be evident in my life, because He gives to me His best. He knows that I have felt pushed out of the way, uninvited and ignored! He lovingly tells me that He has been there all along and He will make it clear that HE IS GOD! He redeems, He saves, He loves.  He takes those that love Him and He feeds their souls.  He feeds my soul.
He promises to be my eternal light, because I am an eternal being.
I guess I found some words today, and I'm feeling fired up with His passion!  The path to Jesus is rocky.  But, it's okay, because each rock has deep meaning and significant lessons for my life.  The timeline stretches out with the years and when I have been in darkness, He has always redeemed. His glory shines through me and His people, and the powerful Spirit-led army marches on into the first class glory of Jesus!
Say That Again, Lord Jesus. You always find a way through the rocky dark trail, and bring me into the glory of Who You are! Amen to the blessings of My God!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I like to sing in the car, when I'm all by myself.  It's especially nice in the summer when I can have the sunroof open, the windows open, the music loud, and I can sing. My daughter has picked up on this habit as well, and when she's singing, I usually like to listen.  She sounds better than I do!
I use to sing in the choir, and also in a smaller group.  We were called "The Singers" It was in high school, and we all dressed  alike and traveled around the Northwest, singing.  I even sang a duet once, and a solo! I wouldn't want to do that now, but I guess I'm singing  solo's and duets in the car.  That's okay. It's nice and I like it.
Sometimes, in the car, I cry.  It's probably  the place I cry the most, actually. On occasion, I cry and sing at the same time.  It works.
Also, in the car, I talk on the phone a lot.  It's my office, my place of letting go, my comfort zone.
In the car, I listen to audio books.  Sometime, fact other times Christian fiction. My dog and I listen together. She seems to like it.
Another thing that often happens in my car, is coffee. I drink my coffee in the car, I like how my car smells like coffee.  Well, it smells like dog farts too, but that's not as nice.
My car has heated seats, and it takes me so long to thaw out after winter, that I still keep the heat on until July. My husband does not understand this need to be heated in the summer.  Most people don't!
I prefer to take my car over any other car.  If we travel, I hope to take my car, but sometimes we borrow our sons car because it saves us so much on gas. It's just not the same.
I avoid the news in my car; I don't want bad news to ruin my safe and happy place.  And, there's really a lot of bad news these days.
I like my car, and I depend on it to meet a lot of needs. So far, it's been very faithful and very good to me. I trust it will keep going, and get me where I need to go.
Even when the doors lock me in or out at my cars will, and the windows won't go down, or up, and it gets messy with stuff, I still like my car.  It's a good car.
Sometimes, my relationships remind me of my car.  And, from there I go to God and my relationship with Him.   I am reassured to know that God sings over me, covering me in His love and devotion. His heart hurts when I'm in pain, and He cries over my pain, binding up my wounded heart. He listens to me, talks to me, is there for me.  My prayers rise to Him like sweet smelling incense, and there is a pleasant result.  He warms my soul.  He wants to be number one in my life, all the time, my preference, my desire, my hopes and dreams.  He is a positive force in my life, He is the light that nullifies the darkness.  I can depend fully on God to get me where He desires me to be.  He will meet all my needs, and be faithful to me always.  He is good, all the time!
Jesus, I want to Say That Again to You and thank you for Who You are, and for Your devoted love!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Quiet Please!

Our daughter likes to talk.  From the moment she wakes up to the second she goes to sleep at night, she's talking.  Important things like "Eli needs his fingernails cut!" " Eli has his shoes on." " Where's Eli?" It's Eli this and Eli that. She adores Eli, her big brother.  When Eli isn't around, she indulges in other conversations, "I'm bored!" "When is Eli going to be home?"  " How much longer before we get Eli?" "There's nothing to do without Eli!"
In between all the Eli talk, she is quick to inform me of anything she might disapprove of, or  things she loves that day.  She wants to wear jeans most of the time, she likes the color blue, she loves to skateboard and ride her bike.  Oh, and, when is her birthday? She has her birthday all planned out for the next 3 years. She wants to know how to spell every word, and when we are in the car, she wants to listen to the song about the jeans! She is quick to tell me that she only likes pizza and macaroni.  She doesn't want to eat icky food! And, on and on she goes.
Sometimes, I need some space from all the talk.  I'll encourage her to read a book, or play in her room. I'll give her the computer and set up some games for her.  Ah, a moment of quiet!
Does God ever feel this way about me? I am full of questions for God and I bring them to Him everyday. "What about this, or that?"  I bring every concern and go over it and over it with Him.  The talk goes on and on about situation and I feel like an endless spew of comments, questions, and concerns!  Sometimes my moments of being quiet and actually hearing what God has to say about it all, is short. Like my daughter, I'd like Him to hear me and then I'd like some quick results!
He has to bring to my attention that I am not being still long enough for Him to say anything at all! "Take a pause, dear child and listen!"  I need to breathe, slow down, and be in His presence, so I can hear Him. Today, I will do that!
I am thankful for His ever patient ways, and His grace towards me all the time.  I am thankful that His love is unconditional and when I just keep talking, He waits for me to come around to quiet, so I can hear.
Say That Again, Lord Jesus.  Shut my mouth long enough for me to hear You! Speak to me Your wise counsel today, and bless me with the whisper of Your Spirit.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

My Promised Land

 Yesterday was a down day for me, by that I mean a day where I didn't do very much.  I needed my surroundings to be quiet, and I didn't want to think about anything to heavy or intense.  The morning was pretty much true to my desires. I started out early with God, praying and reading.  I went to Starbucks and got some coffee, that was good.  And, sat on the bed with my  husband, as my children talked and talked and talked!  My husband took the kids to the skate park and while they were gone I did an inventory of my closet. I thought I should purchase something new, but after looking at what I already have, I felt better about not doing that! Then, I tried on some clothes, just because I needed to see what fit and what didn't. My size has changed and some of my clothes are too big.  So, I had a little fashion show for myself, boots included.
As soon as my husband and kids returned, they wanted to leave again and "do" something.  So, when they asked me what I wanted to do I voted for ice cream.  We ventured to Baskin Robins and enjoyed a delicious ice cream cone! Then, we went down town and walked, our kids rode their bikes, around the park.  It made me hungry for summer, and those long hot days.
My evening plan of just sitting and continuing my carefree day, changed when I learned of a hospital visit that I needed to add to my agenda.  So, as my husband continued his loving care of our children, I went with a friend to make a hospital visit. It went well.  After the visit, my friend and I had a good talk, which would not be considered light and airy. But, we parted each others company feeling closer and more in touch, so that was good.
I didn't want the day to end, actually, so we stayed up a little longer in an effort to squeeze out the last hours of the day.  I had a short visit with my daughter in-law, which was nice.  And, watched a movie.
By the time I crawled into bed it was midnight, and drifting off to dreamland didn't take me long.
Today is a much busier day, but a good day, I'm sure.  I have noticed that with God, He is good to give me quiet days when I need them.  He invites me into His heart, His very soul, and He gives me rest.  He is there when I just need to be frivolous, and mindless.  I still feel His presence.  I know He is there, because He continues to invite me into His life and His will.  He is the promised land that I am so graciously allowed to dwell in.  He is the rest that I run to.  He is the joy that I experience when I get days to walk through the park.  He is the warmth in my heart.  And, with Him, it will not end. I know this because He has promised to never abandon me.  Never leave me.  He will always be there and always love me.
So, today, God and I will be venturing out to study with a friend, teach a class, and meet another friend for coffee.  He will give me the words I need to speak and the thoughts I need to think.  His Spirit will be deep within me.
Say That Again to me, through out this day, Jesus!  Continually touch me with Your warm, everlasting presence, as I live in my Promised Land.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


When my oldest son was just  a little boy, about 5 or 6 years old, he bought me a bouquet of dried yellow flowers.  He didn't realize at the time that the flowers were dried.  They were very pretty, just dead!  Several years later, he noticed the flowers still on my bookshelf and he said "Wow, those flowers have lived a long time." It warmed my heart.  And, I knew that those flowers would forever be alive in my heart. They are still around, dusty and old.  I've put them away in a box for safe keeping. But, even though they are packed away, I will often think about his loving gesture towards me. He has always been very thoughtful, and caring towards my heart.
This morning as I was praying to God about life in general.  The people in my life, the days ahead, His will for my life.  It is important to me that I reflect His Image to others, and I need Him to direct my ways.  It's important to me that I am on the path He has lit for me, and that I recognize what He is saying to me.
God led me to Romans 16 this morning, and as I read it I wondered why He wanted me to read this chapter.  It's full of "hello's" from Paul to all the people He loves. So, as I waded through the "hello's" I made it down to a verse of caution: "Keep a sharp eye for those that take bits and pieces of the teaching that you learned and then use them to make trouble." It continues on with more warnings, encouraging me to be alert.
The last few verses burst into praise. "All of our praise rises to the One who is strong enough to make you strong....all praise is focused through Jesus on this incomparably wise God, Yes!"
Okay, so it's not ALL "hello's" :-) But, even the list of "hello''s" reminds me that I need to recognize the value and beauty of others.  Speak to them, love them, be in their lives. I also need to use caution, and be on the alert for there are some people that may not have God as their focus.
And, I need to praise God for His gifts.  The gift of His son that died for me, but will forever be alive IN my heart.  The precious gift that He has given me, I was once dead in my sins, but now I am alive IN Him. The love that I offer will be dead, unless I allow Him to be strong within me.
So, just like my precious flowers, dead on the shelf, but alive in my heart.  They are alive in my heart because of the giver. And, they will remain that way because I have a relationship with my son, and through that relationship we both love.  What a gift!  And, because of all of this, I will praise His name today!
Say That Again, Jesus. You are alive IN me!  My sins are dead, because You nailed them to the cross!

Friday, March 11, 2011

He Loves

It's Friday and I'm happy about that because I don't have a ton of things on my calendar today.  I can relax a little--maybe. It's been a crazy busy week for me, but good.  God is good as He continues to lead me through the obstacles of life and down the path He has chosen and He has lit for me.
My son had a rough week.He was tired and he was whiny. He didn't like the food I made him, he didn't like his sister. He didn't want to clean his room.  He wanted to buy a hamster, and was mad at me for saying no! Nothing seemed to work out very well for him, and so he complained a lot. Yesterday, was better for him. He played all afternoon with his sister, no big fights.  He ate his dinner, and he went to gymnastics.  Not too bad for such a rough life!
My heart aches for him when he is having such a hard time.  I want to make his life good and pleasant.  I want to rescue him and comfort him. But, usually he just has to walk through the difficult path and learn to navigate all that is going on around him.  I get to pray. I know that God loves him far more than I do and He is working in my dear son's life. God will rescue him.
I have found this to be true with all the people in my life.  I can listen to them, offer my love to them, comfort them. But, the best thing I can do for them is pray, and hand them over to God. If I am able to step aside, God will do a magnificent work. He can choose to use me to give to them what they need, but it is not ever my job to carry their pain.  It is my job to hand it over to God as it is given to  me.
Jesus has rescued me so many times.  He has lifted me up INTO His heart and loved me fully, even when I don't know He is doing it, He is there.  He soothes my aching soul when the days seem long and difficult.He  gives me hope when it  seems like nothing will work. He  loves me.  It seems to come back to love every time. His love endures forever and it is beyond my ability to even imagine how wide and deep His love is. It is reality and it is the one thing that pushes me forward.
As a bonus to His love, an expression of His love, He has given me people that love me and want to be in relationship with me.  This is  a blessed and healing gift.  He has enabled me to love, even when I don't want to.
This morning in Luke 16, there was a little blurb that I found fascinating.  On the Message side it reads this: "They are on constant alert, looking for angles, surviving by their wits. I want you to be smart in the same way-but for what is right-using every adversity to stimulate you to creative survival, to concentrate your attention on the bare essentials, so you'll live, really live, and not complacently just get by on good behavior."
Surviving by their wits? Use every adversity to stimulate creative survival? This is a loving God that would say this. As His children in a sinful world, we go through many adversities. And, sometimes the way we have survived those adversities is very creative.  I know, as a child, I came up with some very creative ways to survive. His hand was in on my creative ways, loving me.  I didn't know it at the time, because I felt alone and sad much of the time.  But, He created my mind in such a way, that I could use it to survive!  This was a loving, compassionate gift. It was His rescue!
Say That Again, Lord God! You have put within me the ability to live fully IN you.  It is not about behavior, it is about allowing You to take me, use me, be creative with me, and love me.  Thank you!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Closet

My closet is a nice size; it's one of the biggest I've ever had. I like it. It's also full, and kind of messy. At the far end of my closet I have shoes and boots.  They are all over the floor, and on a rack. They are tossed, and not really organized in any particular fashion.  Sometimes, I really have to hunt for what I want to put on my feet in the morning. My clothes are neatly hung by color and it's usually easy for me to find what I need there. There's also some shelves in my closet, and they have become the bedroom catch-all.  "What should I do with this?" Closet shelf! So, it's a mix of messy and neat.It works. Every now and then I clean up all the shoes and neatly organize them by pair on the rack and along the bottom of the floor.  A couple days later, it's messy again.
I talked to my mother yesterday and our conversation reminded me of that term, "skeletons in the closet." She was upset that secrets had been told, and she was bothered that I might talk about something that should be kept quiet. Skeletons, my skeletons, my life, my pain. It's messy, and it runs over into the skeletons of my mother and my brothers. It's life. She wants to keep the closet messy, just close the door and pretend that everything is okay. On the outside, it's all neat and pretty, color coordinated. Sounds pretty good, but it's just not reality. It's not God's way, actually.
He wants to be able to see into my closet and work through the messy spots.  He wants to really clean it, and transform it.  He wants to reveal His glory and His love there.  He can't do that if the door is closed. It has to stay open to Him and I need to walk into the closet and take a good look! He wants to look at the secrets and heal the wounds.
I read this morning in 2 Corintihisna 2 again. Right there in front of me this one line jumped out "I found the place wide open: God had opened the door; all I had to do was walk through it." It didn't mention closing the door anywhere.
So, I'm through the door, I might stumble around on the messy stuff occasionally, but I will grow and learn. God will reveal to me His light, and He will continue to do the work in my closet His way. He is the one with the vacuum, the shovel, the grace needed to live in the reality of my closet. He brings the darkness to light,and He shines. He is cleaning!
Say That Again, Jesus, God. Continue to keep my door open and continue this work. Bring to me an awareness of your work, and make it evident in me.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

His Words

Stick and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me! That's a lie! At least, for me, that has been a lie, because I have found that words are extremely powerful and the impact they have on my life can last much longer then sticks or stones.   I broke my arm as a child.  We were visiting the Sand dunes and I was on the top of a very tall dune.  I ran, jumped, landed on my arm and it broke! I do remember it feeling pretty bad and the people that we were with made a splint for my arm and wrapped it up.  It was a long drive for us to get to the doctor, and a bumpy road.  When we arrived at the doctor, he took a good look at it and then proceeded to put a cast on it.  I was impressed with the cast, at least for a little while, then it became a nuisance. I'm not sure how long I had to wear it, but the day it came off was victorious.  I quickly went to the piano and started to play, feeling reassured that my arm was back to being fully functional. The pain was gone, the wound was healed, it was good.
There are words though that have stuck much longer. Those old tapes, if you will, that sometimes come back and replay in my mind.  The enemy has them all well-organized and he knows the exact times to remind me of them. Old tapes like "you can't do anything" "nobody really loves you" " you are stupid" or "don't talk!"  There's a lot of old tapes, and each one of them needs to be replaced with truth.  When the enemy pops in an old tape and starts to replay it in my mind, I have to replace it with God's words, His truth. The enemy does not like that.
This morning I was praying for God to put His words in my mouth.  I was praying for His awareness and for His protection. He led me to Psalms 12. Some of the key verses in this small chapter really spoke to me and He answered my prayer.
In verse five, in the NIV version I read this: "Because of the oppression of the weak and the groaning of the needy, I will now arise, says the Lord, I will protect them from those who malign them."  Wow, I like these words, because He is promising to protect me.
In the next verse it reads; "And  the words of the Lord are flawless, like  silver that has been refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times."
His words, perfect, awesome, flawless.  And, TRUTH for me.  So, today, I will choose to remain focused on His words, and if the enemy tries to attack me with old words, I will turn to the Lord for protection and strength.  I will rejoice in the victory He has already given me, in the authority of Jesus Christ, the One that lives fully and completely in my heart.  I will believe Him, and Him alone today and always!
Say That Again, Jesus, Your words are flawless, You are my Protector.  I will speak Your words and live Your truth. The enemy is defeated!

Monday, March 7, 2011

It's His Party!!

A couple years ago a friend said to me "I will hurt you!" She figured that since she is human and we are involved in a relationship, I'd get hurt at some point. I've thought about that statement often, and taken it to God in question. I have been hurt in relationships many times, because I was selfish, or possibly because the other person was selfish. I've put myself in vulnerable situations and there's been pain.  Each time I bring it to God and ask Him what could've been different, how do I need to learn, what can I do better next time?
I am often led to the book of 1 Peter. In chapter 2, there are many treasures that speak to my heart.  He stresses that I, all of us, are chosen by Him for a high calling., a priestly work.  We are chosen to be a holy people, I am CHOSEN to be holy! He says I am God's instrument to do His work and to speak out for him--telling others of the night and day difference He has made in my life.
If I am always keeping my focus on Him, if I strive for this holy calling, I will be a blessing to others, not a curse. I will be able to work through my differences and I will be able to love them as Jesus does. I will be able to set my ego aside for the sake of my soul and the soul of others.
Today, I am praying that I will not be hurtful to anyone, but instead I will serve them willingly and lovingly.  I am praying that God will use me to further His kingdom, and to be a soothing salve to everyone in my path. I am praying that when my self gets in the way, God will bring quick recognition, and He will bind any wounds that I have created. I am praying for a blazing holiness, a firm foundation, a love that is unbreakable.
This is the kind of life that my Jesus has invited me into, I must join Him today and everyday.  He is wooing me, dancing with me, holding me in His heart. I am invited to the party of His love, and it is my mission to invite others.  To bless them, dance with them, enjoy them, understand them, be intrigued by them. The Spirit of Jesus will enable me to do this, He will give me boldness, courage, strength and wisdom. It's His party, and it is my job to celebrate at His party!
So, Jesus, Say That Again to me! Remind me today to be a blessing, to laugh, love, embrace all that You are and pass it on to my family, community, and my church.  I love you, Jesus, thanks for the invite!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

It's Just Crazy!!

When I look at my life with all the twists and turns, I think " this is crazy!"
 When I think of God's never-ending, magnificent love, enduring patience, beautiful lasting grace and mercy--I know that He has a crazy love for me!
When I walk through a day and I think everything is crashing around me, I can start to feel crazy.
When I look at the gifts and the blessings He has bestowed upon me,the realization that I am living in the promised land He has promised me, right now. I am an eternal being, with His Spirit IN me, it's a reality that only He can keep alive through me. Wow, crazy!
I am His Bride, His friend, His love, His servant, and He is using me, little ole' me to be the salt of this earth, to further His Kingdom, to be His witness. Heaven is my home, I'm just visiting here, I'm in transition.
He can take the trials, the bad, the sad, the despair and turn it all for good, an amazingly crazy miracle!
He binds up the broken hearted, He sews my heart and makes it clean, well, beautiful.  He touches me, loves me, speaks to me--wow, crazy.  He wants to be with me, walk beside me, use me in my home, church, community.
No one can do what God does.  He raises the dead. His very own son died and now lives again.  He offers this very same power to me.  The power of His Spirit, whoa--that's the kind of crazy that blows me away! He becomes so much a part of His children, that He enables them.  Me, His blood pulses through my being and I am able to be One with Him!
He is able to take my selfishness. He can give me the power and the boldness to live like Jesus; that is a mind boggling crazy truth.
His fruit, love, peace, joy, self-discipline,'s a wonderful crazy.
He has renewed, redeemed, revived. He has forgiven. He has set me free, really, really free!
He has compelled me, moved me, commissioned me, prodded me, stayed with me, endured for me, carried me, kept me, talked to me, danced with me, assured me, disciplined me, STAYED with me always.  He has fed me, heard me, used me, given me access to His Father, been my advocate.
He died for me because He loves me, now that is crazy!
Jesus, Say that Again.  Your love for me is unexplainable.  Everything is; it's all Your incredible crazy gift to me. Thank you!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Path

Sometimes I find myself standing at a crossroad, wondering which way to go.  Or, even worse, I find myself feeling like it's not even a crossroad; it's a dead end, and that, I do not like.  I've felt that way a lot the past few months, and I have had to throw myself at His throne and ask for direction, wisdom, discernment.  He pulls through every time, but in His timing, not mine.
While in a training, there was another image that God gave me while the facilitator was praying for me to know how God was calling me to use the information I was learning: I was standing again in a clearing and Jesus walked out of the forest towards me.  He smiled, and He came up behind me.  This time He put His hands on my back and began to gently push me on the path that was lit before me.  He said "go do as I have asked you to do, the path is lit and I am here with You." As I looked around, there were several paths, but only one was lit by His light and glory. 
It's fascinating to me how He directs my way, and lights the path before me.  He brings all things together, even before I realize that He's doing it.  He works my life into His life and because I have asked Him, He pushes me in the right direction, gently.  He prods me, pursues me, firmly roots my being into Him.
Still, with all His assurances, I sometimes question Him! Even though He always pulls through, I can easily slip into doubt and sometimes fear. Every time, He forgives me, gently holds me, pulls me up to His heart.
I enjoyed 1 Corinthians 10 this morning. It started out by relaying the story of the Israelites, and all the miracles they experienced in their lives. Yet, even with all those wonders, It didn't seem to be enough for them. They were still defeated by temptations as they walked through the desert. 
This very same thing could, and has, happened to me. It is because I have been set on having my own way, rather than resting in God's way. I forget whose really in charge. As this chapter warns; "We must never try to get Christ to serve us instead of us serving Him."
So, as I move forward on the path that He has lit for me, I choose to remember that all my confidence must rest in Him, not myself.  This is about my Jesus, it has nothing to do with me.  He won't let me down, and He won't allow me to be pushed past anything that can't be handled. He will always be there, behind me, guarding me. I will choose to remember that my Jesus does not become who I am, but He lifts me up to become what He is! He enables me to further His Kingdom, because He lives IN me. He is asking for all of me so He can use it to benefit others. He enables me to walk in the freedom He has so graciously given me, and close my ears to what others might  say about me.  
So, Jesus, Say That Again today.  I hear you, desire you, love you, and I choose to walk your path of light and freedom today.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Loyal Love

There are some pretty significant memories that I have of my grandma, on my mother's side. She loved me, and that was a big deal for me.  She loved coffee, too, and she smoked.  Her purse always smelled like juicy fruit gum.  Her language was colorful. She loved to make dessert and can jams, jellies, fruits, and vegetables. She was a good cook. She liked to watch TV, especially game shows, like the Price is Right. She lived in a pink house, on a hill, and she had a big yard. She liked the artwork I did on the bedroom wall with her lipstick, she liked it so much it remained there for years! She was opinionated, bold, involved, and dear to my heart.
I would spend my summers playing at her house, spending time with her.  It is a good memory.  It's good because I knew she loved me.  I knew she was there for me, and I knew she cared.  I believed all of this because of her actions. Her walk towards me showed me her love and care. She spoke loving words to me as well, and then she proved them to me through her actions. I needed that. She was a gift from God to help me survive.
This morning I read 1 John 2. This verse reminded me of my grandma: "If someone claims, ' I know him well' but doesn't keep his commandments, he's obviously a liar.His life doesn't match his words. But, the one who keeps God's word is the person in whom we see God's mature love. This is the only way to be sure we're in God. Anyone who claims to be intimate with God ought to live the same kind of life Jesus lived."
Further down in the chapter: "It's the person who loves brother and sister who dwells in God's light and doesn't block the light from others."
Okay, so here's my question. My grandma didn't have much to do with God. She wasn't a church goer by any means. She thought the church we went to was full of hypocrites, and she was diligent to run the other way. But, she was full of passion and love. She walked out Christ's love for me, and she inspired me to search for more. Did she know Him? She didn't really talk about Him. How does all this apply to me? I am friends with Jesus, I love Him with all my heart.  I speak of Him and I want to be a witness for Him.  The more I do life; it is confirmed to me that unless I walk out His love, it means nothing.  I have to be a living testiment of who He is, my love has to be action, passion, fire that blazes deep within my soul, and it has to warm those around me.  Love, it is the most valuable, life saving gift I can receive and offer.
Near the end of the chapter, this verse stood out for me: "They left us, but they were never really with us. If they had been, they would have stuck it out with us, loyal to the end. In leaving, they showed their true colors, showed they never did belong."
I want to remain loyal to the end.  Loyal to my Jesus, loyal to my family, loyal to my friends.  I want Him to light the path marked for me, and enable me to stay loyal to the goal. I want to have compassion for those that are not loyal, for those that choose to leave. This is a mission life, it is His, not mine. He has given me a purpose, and that purpose is to love loyally, unconditionally, fully, and with grace.  Thank you Jesus, for all your children desire this.
Say That Again, Jesus and say it to me continually.  I can't do loyal love unless You do it through me!

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Conversations can be interesting, boring, confusing, short, slow, mind boggling, fun, healing, wounding. forgetful, or possibly life changing.  I've had some pretty good conversations lately, some of all of the above! We had a potluck with a dear group of friends last night, our conversations were good, friendly, informative, comfortable. I learned something about each person in the group, like what they would do if they only had a year to live.  And, how much chocolate fountains mean to them.  And, how wounded some of us may feel. I learned the value, once again, of walking my talk and being real with others. I learned that I can be deeply impacted by another persons words and actions, and others can be deeply impacted by mine. I learned that God's hand is in all things and He controls the coming and going, the ultimate destination of my conversations, my friends, my life.
Sometimes, in my conversations, I just want to get to the bottom of the issue.  I want to be able to see inside someone's heart and I want all games and masks to be put away.  Just say it like it is, and be real with me.  Other times, in my conversations, I choose to be more quiet and just watch.  Praying for God to give me the wisdom I need to understand.  To bless me with His knowledge.
I felt all of this last night. I was intrigued with some of the conversation, moved, confused and even irritated. I was pushed into the place of wanting to be more like Jesus, no matter what. I found myself needing prayer from trusted friends, because some of the conversation was getting to my heart.
I come before my God today and ask Him to bless my conversations.  To hold me up in His light and let all my words shine for Him.  I come before His throne and ask Him to continue to show me His truth and to bind up wounds that are tearing away at my heart.  I come before Him and ask Him for protection for all of the ones that I love, protection from the games people play, the untruths that circle around, the love that does not walk.
So, today is a another day that He strengthens me, loves me, carries me.  And, He does this for you too. What could be better than that? It is joy!
Say That Again, Jesus, You are clothing me again today, whispering in my ear Your direction, healing me with Your conversation.  I know you are there all the time, keep saying it!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


I grew up watching the Brady Bunch.  It was another favorite of mine. I liked Marsha and I wanted to be like Marsha and have a home like Marsha. They all seemed so happy, and they had great parents.
Consequently, our third son is named: Brady!
When our three older boys were little we went tent camping a lot.  We went to the Oregon Coast on a regular basis.  On this particular occasion the weather was cold and rainy, but we proceeded to set up camp anyway. My husband built a fire first so we could attempt warmth and then went to setting up camp.  Our son Brady was only about two years old at the time.  He was wearing a winter coat and was happily running around our campsite. He was oblivious to the fire danger as he ran towards it, tripped, and fell right in the fire. I was right behind him and grabbed the hood of his jacket and pulled him out of the fire.  He was unharmed, thanks to God! It was truly amazing, a miracle for sure.
It brings me to the danger of the fires I face everyday and the value of being clothed in Jesus for protection. He can and will pick me up and carry me through the trials, unharmed.  I may feel harmed in my physical body, or my feelings may be wounded, but my soul is unharmed.  My eternity is still in tact. I know where my final destination is and I know how I'm getting there. While in prayer a couple weeks ago, Jesus gave me a very clear image: I was outside in a clearing.  Trees were all around me and it was snowing.  I was cold, very cold. Out of the forest I saw Jesus walk towards me.  He came to me and put warm boots on my feet, gloves on my hands, a hat on my head.  He then walked behind me and wrapped me in a beautiful warm cape, fuzzy and cozy.  Then He wrapped both His arms around me and said to me: "The path is lit for you, I want you to go."
This was a very meaningful image to me. He was saying to me that He has clothed me in Himself, and He has a plan for me and He wants me to walk in it.  I am walking in it, and I know He is with me! His arms are tightly wrapped around me and He is keeping me.  He is keeping me from being burned by the fire!
So, today I will continue down the path He has lit for me.  It is good.  When I am feeling sad, frustrated, or discouraged I will remember that I am clothed IN Jesus and He is with me.  I will remember that I am on the path He has laid out for me, and all things will work together for good.  His good, and my good. I will trust Him.
Say That Again, dear Jesus.  I am wrapped in YOU.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Just Say It!

I met with a friend this morning, we are young in our relationship, but there's a connection between us that means something.  She texted me to see how I was doing, and initiated relationship.  That felt good to me, because I felt like she cared.  We had a good conversation, and shared about life. We set up a time to meet again. I will look forward to that. I like relationship, even though relationship can prove to be risky.
Life is risky though, don't you think? Just existing in a world that is full of people makes life risky. I could try to hide away to avoid the pain of relationship, but even that would be risky. So, with each blessed day given to me, I step out.
I am asked how I'm doing, and sometimes it's really great.  Other times, not so great.  And, I say so.  I don't like the fake stuff, when someone says they are doing great, when in reality they are hurting.  What's the harm in just saying how it really is? I wonder.  If I say I'm great, when in reality my heart is hurting, what and where does that get me? If I allow my walls to be big and strong so I look good,  how does that help me or the person in front of me?
So, I'm thinking that even though it is good to use wisdom and discernment, transparency is still the ticket. And, yes, it is risky.  I might get hurt, again.  I might feel unaccepted, unloved, rejected.  But, the truth is, I am none of those things.  God's love covers it all, and He has me right where He wants me.
I will step out today and be real. I will play in the sandbox that God has so graciously given me, and I will dance to His music.  Delight in the Lord will be my motto!
In Romans 5, my chapter this morning, God says that He will set things right. So, I will walk beside Him and know that He will do exactly as He says.  Someday.
And, when I cry out to Him because of the trials and the pain, I will also rest IN Him and be assured that He has my hand.
Say That Again, Jesus, You have my hand,  And, I cannot be snatched out of it!