Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Wedding

The Royal Wedding was a big event in London. All the people, all the fashion, all the crazy hats!! The gorgeous bride, the lacy dress, the handsome Prince. I was not one of the people that got up to watch The Wedding, but I did see clips and pictures the next day.
I enjoy weddings, we've had three of them in our household. Our first son had a beautiful wedding at the top of a hill, overlooking the lake. His bride was beautiful, excited, and energized. It was the perfect day in June, not too hot, not too cold, and no rain! It was a wonderful celebration. As parents, we were thrilled and happy for them.
Our second son, was also married outside. He and his bride decorated our yard with round tables and chairs, they hung lights from the trees, and wrapped the deck in netting and flowers. It looked magical. They had a very large wedding party, and everyone, except the bride, danced down the aisle. Our son, burst through the door, danced down the aisle, eager to meet his princess bride. It was a party all the way. It was a great day!
Our third son, married the love of his life in private. They whisked away, said their vows, and began life together. It was in the Fall, and they began life together full of expectations, hopes, and dreams.
In just a few short years, we gained three daughters!
Weddings...I am looking forward to the wedding feast with Jesus. I am His Bride, eager, energized, expectant. I am waiting for His coming too, His dance with me. I am clothed in His light, protected from my enemy, because my bride groom has made plans for me that are good.
We, the church, await the day of feast. Together, we can dance IN His presence and know who He is, and who we are. He has transported each one of us, transported me, into His heavenly realm, right now. Clothed in His righteousness, His robe of Splendor.
Hooray for the weddings! Yippee for the Celebrations! Glory to the Bride Groom!
Say That Again, Lord Jesus, take my hand today, and lead me in Your dance of celebration!

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Refrigerator

We have another snowy, rainy, cold day here. So, I have spent the day inside my house, cleaning the refrigerator. Now, I will admit, the refrigerator has been very neglected, and it has not been on the top of my priority list. It was obvious. I took out all the shelves and washed them in hot, soapy water. I scrubbed the inside until it looked brand new. I threw away the food that had a few extra green toppings! It took me a couple of hours to clean it all up, and stack the dishes in the dishwasher.
Now that it is done, it's very nice. There's not as much food in there as earlier today, but at least everything in there is edible!
I want Jesus to continually take me and clean me. I want Him to show me a better way, everyday. I want to shine before Him and for Him. This is a lifetime process. I will continue to ask Him to show me the areas that need cleaning, and I will keep the door open to Him so He can do the needed work. I will allow Him to take any areas that are spoiled and change me. It is good, because He is God.
Say That Again, Jesus. Clean, new, shining and alive before You. Tell me what to do every step of the way!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Psalm

This morning, as I was announcing my woes to God, He plainly stated that it was time for me to read Psalms 100. It's a little chapter that is packed with a lot of goodness. I like it. And, it set my day right up there with the patches of sun we've been getting. I need sun, I need safety, I need truth, I need, need, need!!
God was quick to point out that I have, have, have!!
Okay, Jesus, I will praise You on this day, and I will thank You for meeting my needs, and giving me all the blessings that I do have. You are an awesome God!
Psalms 100 says it all:
"Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before Him with joyful singing.
Know that the Lord Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are HIS people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving
 And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His lovingkindness is everlasting
And His faithfulness to all generations."
Ah, that is beautiful, just like my Lord is beautiful, steadfast, and true.
Say That Again to me everyday, Lord Jesus, and I will praise Your Holy Name!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Extended

Earlier today when I talked with my brother, I felt so sad that he is struggling. It was sad to me that there is disagreement in his household, and our family. I love him, I want his life to be okay. He has always been such a great brother to me and I grew up admiring him. I still do. I love him.
I don't like the conflict. Conflict with me and him. Conflict with my extended family. It's actually not even conflict, it's secrets amongst them. It's wrong doing amongst them. It's disagreement. It makes me want to go the other way. The way of openness, trust, and right doing.
So, I'm blogging again, because it's been on my mind so much. He is on my mind. And, I need Jesus to lead me in the direction that is best for relationship, love, trust, and unity. I think I'd rather go the other way, right now, but that wouldn't be good either.
Jesus, You are the only one that knows how to deal with this stuff. You know how to deal with stress, with secrets, with disagreement. Show me too. Bring the extended into Your arms, Your loving arms.
Say That Again, Jesus, Your arms are open, ready, willing, and there to hold me, and all those I love.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Wisdom

We have a family meeting coming up tonight, I've been praying for God's wisdom for my husband and for me too. I've been praying for His voice, His eyes, His ears, His way. I read this morning in my devotional a great line: "wisdom is not what you know about the world, but how well you know God." I like that, and each day I seek to know God more.  To be in His presence, and to walk His steps.
As I was praying this morning, God directed me to 1 Peter 2.  This chapter is packed with wisdom.  One of the best is "whoever trusts in this stone as a foundation will never have a cause to regret it." NEVER! And, here's another good one. "Don't indulge your ego at the expense of your soul." And, "this is the kind of life you've been invited into, the kind of life Christ lived."
Christ lived a life totally dependent on His Father. He was very wise! Christ walked in the footsteps of the Father, and it led Him to tax collectors, prostitutes, adulterers, thiefs, liers, and hurting wounded hearts. This is the kind of life Christ lived, he talked to what many considered the "riff-raff" He loved them all!
I am chosen to do the same! Chosen for a the high calling of a priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, chosen to speak out for Him and tell others about the night and day difference HE has made in my life-from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted. I am chosen to love others and be loved.
This is wisdom!
Jesus, speak into my heart today and Say That Again. Wisdom is how well I know Your heart!

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Stinky Dog

My dog ate lots of Easter leftovers. Today, my dog has lots of stinky farts. My car does not smell good.
I still love her, she's the best dog ever!
Yup, God loves me too, even on my stinky days :-)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Easter Celebration

God gave us a beautiful sunny day. We celebrated with a Feast, new neighbors, and great friends. I'm praising His name right now, for He is Risen!

Thank you Jesus for being my King!
Say That Again, Jesus! You are King and You have Risen!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Death

I've known a lot of dear people that have died. One of my earlier experiences with death was my older brother. He was murdered. I was 14 at the time and it made a huge impact on my young life. I don't know where he was spiritually when he died, but I can hope to see him again, in the Kingdom.
I've experienced other deaths as well. Spiritual death, relationship death, the death of hope, the death of a dream. It all hurts.
Tomorrow is Easter. It's all about life. It's about victory over death! Oh death, where is your sting? I sometimes wonder about all the thoughts that went through the followers of Jesus, when he died. The sheer agony that they felt and the sorrow. Why, did it have to happen, they must have asked.
Then, it was Easter morning. There was light in the tomb of death. The Father brought breath to the body of His Beloved Son, and freedom reigned for all of us. Grace became our companion, life eternal.
I am thankful for the joy of celebrating such glorious life. The life of my savior, and the life He has given me. This is good.
Thank you Jesus, for being alive. Thank you for the beauty of Easter. Say That Again, Beloved Savior, You have risen, Your breath is upon me breathing eternal life into my being. Praise to Your name.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Mountain

I didn't do that much today. I really needed to take a day off, it was nice too. I was gearing up for my meeting tonight. I climbed the hill behind our house twice today, my dog was very excited to get in an extra tour of the forest. And, it felt good to see the sun and feel it's warmth. It's pretty muddy going up our hill right now, thanks to all the rain and snow we've had. I fell once as I was making my way up the steepest part. I guess that's all part of climbing up a slippery, rocky slope, sometimes I'm gonna fall.
As I was in my meeting this evening and we were talking, I envisioned a huge canyon with a giant mountain coming up out of it. I was on one side of the mountain, and my friend was on the other. As we approach the concept of communication, it's like each of us taking a step up the mountain. Both of us aiming for the top, but realizing it's a long steep climb. A tough climb, slippery, and rocky. We may take two steps forward, and then three steps back, because neither one of us trusts, we are both hurt, and there are elements of fear when moving forward.
I have to ask myself, "what if I get hurt again?" "what if my words or actions hurt her?" "can she forgive me, and can I forgive her?"
What I've decided is that I cannot climb the mountain! I need Jesus to carry me up my side of the slope, and set me on the highest point. I want Him to carry her up too. I want us to meet at the top, and start over. I want life to be okay for both of us. Jesus, teach trust, teach peace, give us reconciliation.
I have to ask Him to clean my heart of any impurities. To show me motives that shouldn't be there. To open my eyes to her view, and give me the ability to understand. This is a very high mountain, and a miracle is needed to meet at the top.
I'm sad, actually. Two children of God, working so hard to be in relationship, but feeling so distant.
Misunderstandings, fears, unforgiveness.
Jesus, take my heart and my soul and heal all distortions! Speak through me in your faithful way. Use me to speak for you, walk for you, see for you. Use me, according to Your will, dear Jesus.
Say That Again, all of it. You will carry me up the mountain. You are faithful. You do make miracles happen in all of our lives. You are good all the time. Yup, Say That Again, over and over and over until I have no more doubts or fears about the mountain.

The Weather

We have snow at our house. When I drove home last night it was a true, real life blizzard. It was just like Christmas, but, it's not winter anymore. It's Easter! How am I going to wear my white sandals? Being cold is not at the top of my list of favorite things, I prefer hot, hot weather.
Obviously, I cannot control the weather, or anything else for that matter. So, I'm working at looking for the beauty in the snow today. And, I'm staying home for most of the day, in the warmth of my house. My wish is to be in Hawaii, but that's not going to happen. So, I'll bask in the warmth of Jesus.
My husband looked up the forecast for tomorrow and Easter, it's suppose to be sunny and warm. If one considers in the 60's warm! It's far better than the 30's, right?
This evening, I have a meeting, and I am asking that Jesus will calm the storm within me. I'm praying for His warmth and comfort to reside within the room and His Spirit to fill me with power and with His words. I'm praying for His wisdom and His love.
Jesus, I am on a journey through life with You. I know it gets cold and stormy. I also know, that You are joy, calm, peace, and wisdom. I know that Your Spirit is deeply rooted within me, and all things work together for good. Your good.
Say That Again, Lord Jesus. "Put on your sandals, Bethany, and walk in my steps. I will lead you!"

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Joys

My daughter

My Son

My family

My Bella

Sweet Talan

My son and daughter

God has surely blessed us! His gifts are abundant in joy. He has rested upon us, and given us a rich inheritance. I am thrilled to be His Child!
Say That Again, my Jesus, I am Your beloved child!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Anticipation

Easter is just a few days away. I've been thinking about it a lot and anticipating what the day will look like.  We are having a big celebration with friends and family. Big meal, big hunt, big day! We are celebrating our freedom in Jesus, celebrating the gift of life, celebrating HIS LIFE. It's all about life, not death, because He conquered death on the cross. He was in the tomb, but He is there no longer. I will choose to rejoice over this miracle.
And now, every day that I live and breathe is a gift from my God.
I like to think of what it must have been like that morning of the resurrection. The anticipation of God, knowing that His Son was going to raise from the dead. The anticipation of knowing that He was coming home.
Just like He feels now about me.  I will be going home to Him someday. I will leave the bleak of earth, and be transported into HIS glory. I'm anticipating that to be a great trip!
Say That Again, Sweet Jesus, You are coming, You are alive, You have risen!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Life

The journey up the hill

The walk by the Falls

The scenery in our back yard

The messy dresser

God sees me through them all!

The Mighty

Every day I face a challenge.  It's either the challenge of relationship, or self, or patience, or love.  It's just there; it's part of life. Where can I go to accomplish life in a godly way? How can I be a mighty warrior?  How can I be sure that the way I am living is selfless and mighty in God's sight? These are some of the questions I ask myself, daily.
It is through The Might of Jesus!  I was directed to Malachi this morning. Chapter 2, hmm, interesting chapter in the Bible. It talks about the responsibility of God's leaders. That would be me, and you.  We are all leaders in some way, if we are followers of Jesus.
We are of His royal Priesthood, I am His priest, given a task to disciple others, be there in relationship with them. In Malachi, not everyone was doing that so well. And, God was not too pleased!
He is saying that because they did not do what they said they were going to do, there would not be blessings for them. God wants me to keep my word? Do I, always?  Is my heart consistently devoted to doing what I say I will do? To speaking truth, revealing His character?
Jesus, I need to you to Say That all to me Again. I need to have your strength and your grace to be Mighty IN you. You are The Mighty One, you always do as you say you will do.  For this I am so very thankful!

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Gift

So I've been thinking about the gifts we receive and the gifts we give. A friend just recently gave me a cool peace necklace and I wore it all weekend. Other friends have gifted me with hats, jewelry, scarfs, etc, and it always means so much to me. My husband gifts me with boots, clothes, jewelry; it's nice.
The gift I cherish the most is the gift of friendship and love. I appreciate it when someone loves me and they want to spend time with me. The gift of their time. The joy of feeling loved. This is the gift I like the best.
I read 1 John 3 yesterday and today. It's all about the gift of love from others and from our God. He loved me so much He laid down His life for me! Do I love my friends enough to lay down my life for them?
The chapter tells me to "not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth."
When my actions show love, by spending time with someone, by listening to them, by doing what I say I'm going to do, there is walking evidence of love. I know I feel loved when my friends keep their word to me. I feel loved when my husbands walk matches his talk. It' good, it's godly.
"This is how we've come to understand and experience love: Christ sacrificed his life for us. This is why we ought to live sacrificially for our fellow believers, and not just be out for ourselves. If you see some brother or sister in need and have the means to do something about it but turn a cold shoulder and do nothing, what happens to God's love? It disappears. And, you made it disappear."
Do I live everyday as a living sacrifice for Him. Do I consider the needs of my family and friends above my own? Do I live as Christ lives?
It is only through Him giving me daily strength and covering me with His Love that I can do this.
Jesus, fill me with Your love! Show me your way, your desires and love others through me.
Say That to me Again, Jesus, your love through me!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Taco

So, my friend and I went for a walk last evening and came upon a lovely little restaurant overlooking a lake. There was a trellis there with climbing roses and a beautiful tree with  blossoms.  Ah, the perfect place for dinner. We went in, sat down, looked at the menu, and everything was causing our mouths to water. They offered a wide range of foods from macaroni and cheese, steak and fish tacos!
I had never eaten fish taco's before, so I decided that I give them a try.  My friend had steak, my usual favorite. It was a  delicious experience. The taco's came out on an appealing plate, three of them! The first bite was mingled with cajun spices, cod, tomatoes, and other delights I know nothing about!
We ate, we talked, we commented often on the scenery.  We had a great time. And, then it was time to pay and I discovered I didn't have my wallet. I had left it back in our room!
My friend, being as gracious as she is, took the bill and paid for it. Grace. I wasn't going to have to wash all the dishes, after all!
This brings me to how very often we need grace in our lives. I need grace. I need it all the time.
In the training yesterday, Micheal said this: "When my soul tried to express itself, something distorted came out." Oh, so very true. So many times my soul has tried to express itself and only distortion spewed out. That is when I have needed grace from others and grace from God.
Jesus, please, put grace in my life, so I live it. Make me a person of Your Grace every single day. Say That Again, Jesus, your grace covers my distortion!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Dinner

I had dinner with my son and his wife last night. It was delightful. I had steak, chicken, and veggie skewers. He had chicken pizza, and my daughter in-law had cheese pasta. Yum, very good dinner. But, the best part was the company of these two lovely people. They are happy, they are newlyweds. They are full of dreams about jobs, children, homes, life. And, it's nice to see their enthusiasm. They both love Jesus, they have full relationships in their lives, they love me.
I've been thinking about the Last Supper a lot lately, Jesus there with His friends. The conversation they had, the love between them. Jesus serving all of them by washing their feet, loving them. Judas was there, Jesus knew that Judas was going to betray Him, He still loved him and served him. Jesus even called him His friend that night.
Judas abandoned his post, left the love relationship for a dream, really. It wasn't going the way he thought it should, so he betrayed his friend.
I'm back to realizing at an even deeper level, it's not about my plan, my dreams, my desires. This is all about MY JESUS! What He has planned for life, future and present and even past. I cannot betray Him just because it doesn't go according to my hopes. I cannot betray His people, or walk out on relationship just because it's different than how I think it should be.
Jesus, make me a worthy servant of Your will. Say That Again, Jesus. "Go child, and wash the feet of your friends."

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Trip

So, John Denver comes to mind, and his song, "I'm leaving on a jet plane." I'm not actually leaving on a jet plane, but I am leaving in my Land Rover! And, to me, I'd much rather go on a road trip in my Land Rover than on a jet plane. As a child, my mother, brother and I took a trip to California and my brother had just bought a John Denver tape. We listened to that tape the entire way, or at least it seemed like it. "Sunshine on my shoulders, makes me happy." And, "Follow me." I can recall some of the California scenery from that trip and in the back of my mind, John Denver is singing. :-)
Today I am off on a shorter trip. I'll be seeing my son and daughter in-law tonight for dinner. And, a great friend will be traveling with me. I have apples, bananas and granola bars. My Land Rover is full of gas, and I even cleaned out the garbage, produced by my children. I cleaned all the nose prints off the window, courtesy of my dog, and got the oil changed.
What do I do to prepare myself for the trip to heaven? Each day, I am closer to being there in person. No longer a visitor here on earth, but living with my Father. Each day, He is cleaning me, growing me, bringing me into a state of reality with Him. I like knowing this. He is traveling along with me, and it's a good thing.
Happy journeys to everyone today. And, Jesus, Say That Again to me. Heaven is the destination!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Promise

It is a pretty rare thing for me to make a promise.  I don't say "I promise" to my kids. I don't say "I promise" to my friends. It just doesn't happen.  I think the only one I've ever made a promise to is my husband.  "I promise to love him, stay with him, support him, to be his forever friend."
God is not like that.  His Word is full of promises to me, and He keeps them all. Hmm, does that mean that since His Spirit is within me, I should not be so hesitant to make a promise?
I read in Romans 9 this morning and in verse 11 there's a bit that says "what God did in this case made it perfectly plain that his purpose is not a hit-or-miss thing dependent on what we do or don't do, but a sure thing determined by HIS decision, flowing steadily from HIS initiative."
A little further into the chapter it says:  "God told Moses,'I'm in charge of mercy. I'm in charge of compassion.' Compassion doesn't originate in our bleeding hearts or moral sweat, but in God's mercy."
So, what I'm reading here is that it is ALL about God, not me at all. He makes the promises for me, and enables me to act upon them.. He gives me compassion for ALL His people. He is the one that takes the initiative in my life. He is the one in charge here.
Am I allowing this to happen in my life? I look at Jesus and all that He has said and done.  He has asked me to live as He lives. To live for eternity and walk His walk. To live out His promises and to show others what those promises are.  They are my promises.  And, when I do that, He brings mercy and compassion into my life. Living the life of promise, God's promise, opens up a whole new world.  It gives me tolerance for those that have done wrong towards me.  It gives me love. It gives me a desire to keep on going and to share His promise, His compassion, His love.
His Spirit is one with me. So, walking the Jesus walk is my choice. This Spirit within me strives for the promises of Jesus to be so real, that there is no other option for me. This Spirit loves ALL people, even those that seem unlovable. It is something only He can do through me, it is not me at all.
Jesus calls people like me, a nobody, and He makes me a somebody IN Him. He calls the unloved and He makes them beloved.  He asks me to do the same. I am His living child, commissioned to be real, transparent, and without the walls I think I need. Honest. Open. Full of Jesus, and covered by Jesus. He is the protector of my soul, not my walls.
Oh Jesus! Enable me to live out your promises today. Enable me to have your compassion towards others and to love them.
 Say That Again to me, It's You, not me.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Walls

It was a good day. I had a little more energy today and that was a blessing.
I made lots of good food for a great group of people tonight, and I felt blessed to be with them.
Earlier in my day, I hit someone's wall, and it hurt.  I find it interesting that the walls we, as humans, put up around ourselves to protect our hearts, are the same walls that hurt others.  My walls do not help others feel better, they hurt.
My wall of fear moves me away from relationship.
My wall of distrust moves me away from trust and loving others.
My wall of being seen, sends me running in the other direction.
My wall of wanting to be comfortable, but often feeling uncomfortable keeps me from stretching and growing. It might even cause me to leave a situation because I'm not willing to put in the effort to get comfortable.
Wall, walls, walls---why do I have them, when I don't even want them?
How can I break them down?
Jesus does not have walls. He is open, transparent, loving, trusting, ready to go anywhere with me.  He draws me to intimacy, He pulls away at my walls, all the time.
He has dissolved many of my walls, brick by brick.  He has shown me what it is like to live without so many, freedom! He has given me compassion for others that live within so many walls.
I didn't think the walls would ever leave, but Jesus does the impossible, and so I am waiting and watching to see how much more He will do.  Not just in me, but in others. The walls of others, that prevent me from seeing them or being with them, or even loving them fully.
Without the walls, there is freedom in friendship. There is acceptance. There is peace.
Jesus, I do not want to build any new walls, even though I have been hurt and rejected and in pain.  Jesus, take away any bricks I may try to use to start the walls again. Cover me, Jesus, in YOU, and protect me from the walls.
Say That Again, remind me.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Dog

It's been a long, hard day.

Rule Breaker

Grace comes even for Dogs!

The Kids

It's sunny, it's lovely, it's a great day, right? I got a phone call from a very dear friend, wishing me a blessed day, my time with God was fulfilling, all was well. Then, I met my kids.
My son was making odd sounds at breakfast, and his sister was not very appreciative of his expelled tones. "Stop, stop, stop" she began her breakfast ritual loudly. This only encouraged his version of music. "Don't look at me!" she continued.
"Hey, guys, don't even start!" I warned. But, this completely went over both heads and they continued in their not so loving interaction. My son got louder with his annoying noises, she became more demanding. He reached over and grabbed the cereal container and began stacking them on top of each other. "I don't even want to see you!" He announced.
She folded her arms and continued "stop, stop, stop!" At that point the cereal fell and we had Life all over the counter.
Jesus would've been far more patient than I was. Now I was saying "Stop!" I cleaned up the cereal, cleaned up their bowls and extracted them from the kitchen. "'I'm sorry you both chose not to listen to me, now you have to go sit somewhere else!"
They stomped off to another room, leaving each one of us to fume individually. It wasn't the cereal, it was the constant bickering. And, I told them both that. And I had to ask Jesus to power me up, and to bless me with His fruit.
What does He do when I am in a state of constant bickering? I know in the past He has cleaned me up, loved me, patiently prodded me along. He doesn't get angry, or stomp off, He sees my heart.
Oh Jesus, show me the pure, sweet hearts of my children today. They are dear to me and to you. Jesus, Say That Again to me as I manuver through this day with them, and fill me with Your Spirit!

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Verse

I have a meeting coming up just short of a couple weeks. I've been praying about it a lot today, and will continue to pray up until the very moment I meet. Actually, through out this meeting, I will pray, so will many of my friends. It's a big deal.
As I pray, there is a particular verse that continues to come to mind: 2 Corinthians 7:11 "Distress that drives us to God does that. It turns us around. It gets us back in the way of salvation. We never regret that kind of pain. But those who let distress drive them away from God are full of regrets, end up on a deathbed of regrets." verse 12; "isn't it wonderful all the ways in which this distress has guided you closer to God? You're more alive more concerned, more sensitive, more reverent, more human, more passionate, more responsible. Looked at from every angle, you've come out of this with purity of heart."
Ah, from every angle, through my trial, I have come out of it with purity of heart! I have seen the face of God in this trial, and He has kissed my cheek! Not that it's over, I don't think it is, but I am more alive, more sensitive, more concerned, more reverent, more human, more passionate, and more responsible! God has grown my heart and my soul, and I feel His presence even more now than I did 6 months ago.
I know what He is calling me to do, there is no room for doubt in that. Over and over again, He has raised Himself up and proved to me His passionate love, his desire to have me next to Him, my completeness IN Him.
I am praying for boldness in His Spirit, for His truth, and for discernment as I go into this upcoming meeting on the 22nd. Pray for me, friends.
Say That Again, dear Jesus. No regrets from this pain. My heart is pure in Jesus!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Friends

God has brought many good friends into my life. I really tasted their love today as so many of them called or texted to see how I'm doing. A couple of them witnessed an encounter of mine, and just wanted to check in. It was thoughtful and kind. Each one of them is a gift from God. I feel blessed to have friends that check on me, support me, go to church with me, and bring me ice cream. I know God has His hand in all of their loving ways, and it brings me joy.
God has granted me an answer to prayer. I prayed for women to be in my life, wise women, caring women, friends to hang out with. This is what He has given me. Friends to have coffee with, friends to paint toe nails with, friends to cry with.
Because of these constant, loving friends in my life, He has shown me what He is. God is there for me to call upon, He is there to draw me, He goes with me everywhere, and He brings me gifts! God is my companion no matter what, through ALL things, He loves me, accepts me, forgives me, enjoys me! I can trust Him, because I know that He will never leave me. He is a true friend, indeed.
Say That Again, Jesus. You are everything, and You bring good into my life. And, I will Say That Again, "thank you, Jesus!"

The Wait

My mornings are usually very busy as soon as my children wake up. They want breakfast, they want to play, they want to know what's going to happen that day.  To add to the busy, the dogs are running around everywhere, wanting out, wanting in, wanting food. It can be chaotic sometimes. I here myself saying to all of them "wait" I only have two hands and I cannot do everything at once!
This morning, the realization came to me in a little more finality, that God is saying the same thing to me. "Wait on me." He is leading, He is working on hearts, He is the One in control.  I want relationships to progress and I want everything to be better, He just wants me to wait for HIS timing.  He has work to do, work on me, work on others, and it takes time.
He wants to lead the process, and I need to continually surrender it to HIM.  He led me to Romans 3 this morning and it's all about letting Him set things right. It's about HIM. I need to keep my focus solely on Him, and not worry about what is going on elsewhere.  It is only the opinion of God that matters here, and if I am right with Him, it's all good.
God has set so many things right with my life, and I see Him daily doing that. His work is very evident, and I am blessed. So, today, I will believe that His good work will continue in me, and in others.  I will believe in His plan of renewal, revival, reconciliation.  I will give it all to Him and follow His lead .
Say That Again to me Jesus, I will need to hear it often today.  As I step forward IN you, gently prod my heart of Your will, and Your leading. 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Park

The kids and I went to the park today. We rode the Spider, the Tilt-A-Whirl, The Roller Coaster, and The Slide. It was fun. It was a glimpse of summer. It was nostalgic as well, because we have spent many hours in this park for many years. It reminds me of my older boys when they were young, both my younger children and their delight. It reminds me of lazy days with my husband, and walks with friends. It makes me want to stop time, for just a little while and capture the moment forever....But, time goes on and there is the realization that I have lived more years than I have years left to live. Hmm, what do I do with that? I'm at that place where I want everything to go well, and grieve when it doesn't. There's little time left if things go great, what if they don't? I'm wanting love, relationship, hope, courage and joy to be a steady companion. I'm at that place where I don't want any game playing, just say it, do it, and be there in a real place.
The Park, who knew it would be so thought provoking? Was it the run down the hill? Or the stroll up the hill? Was it seeing the playground, hearing the birds, or feeling the chill in the air? Maybe it was the smiles on my children's faces, their carefree life dancing before me. I don't know, but it was something and it worked.
The last time I was in this park was in the Fall, walking with a friend. It was beautiful, the leaves on the trees were orange, crimson, green and tan. The air was brisk then too. The rides were closed and people in the town were hunkering down for winter. The smell of coffee was in the air, hot and steaming.
The Park. I remember years ago, before we had children my husband and I strolled this park. We played like two little kids, running, tickling, and laughing. We felt then that the whole world was timeless. We were young, and living in denial! Isn't there a saying something like this? "Ignorance is bliss!!"
I wouldn't want to go back, life is better now. But, there are some days that I ask God, "which way is forward?" Am I being productive in His Kingdom? He has set me free to play in His Park, to dance, sing, be alive IN Him, am I doing that to my very best abilities? Am I living IN Him to the very fullest? I want to say "yes" but then there are those brief fragments of time that I question the Park He has set me in. When I cannot resolve, restore, renew, and revive. I let myself feel frustrated, and I stop dancing. I pretend like the Park is closed.
Jesus, lift me up like an eagle. Strengthen me, guide me, as I dance with YOU. Use me in this Park to play, laugh, speak, and further Your Kingdom. Give me a positive impact on the others in this Park with me, and bring my heart to surrender, complete and total surrender to You. Say That Again to me today, tomorrow, and all week.

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Mess

My energy level, despite my mucus issue, has returned to me late this morning, so I quickly took advantage of the fact that I actually felt like doing something. One look around the house, and clearly it needed some picking up! Every room was cluttered with kid toys, and the reality of Mom being out of commission was all too vivid!
I started to gather, gather, and gather some more. I piled everything on the stairs that lead up to Eli and Ruby's rooms. Now that we are blocked from getting up the stairs, I guess I will just continue to focus on the main floor!
To ensure that my energy stays, I drank the "5 hour energy drink" yum. I wouldn't say that I'm the energizer bunnie, exactly, but it does help. I think I could travel to the store, get a few groceries, cook dinner. It may seem a bit ambitious, but it's worth a try.
The flu is like bondage. I have been in bondage before, under the grip and lies of the enemy. When this happens, when I believe the lies of the enemy, I am unable to function at the intended level God has for me. I am unable to see clearly. And, I am unable to move forward IN Him.
Bondage can be anything that is more important than God. Anything that keeps me from having a fulfilling relationship with Him. Lies that tell me I'm not His child, or I could be taken out of His grip. Whispers of insecurity that keep me from hearing His voice. Disobedience to His word.
When this happens, I have to live in The Mess. My spiritual energy is diminished. My life lacks the fruit of His Spirit. I cannot hear His voice, I do not know the love of His people.
The more I surrender my life to Him the more I see The Mess, and He enables me to clean it up. Each piece is picked up and stacked at His Feet, for Him to deal with. The bondage is gone, and freedom reigns!
Jesus, keep picking up The Mess in my life. Say That Again to me everyday--YOU are here, cleaning, giving freedom from all the mess. I love how YOU do that!

The Morning

Mornings are usually my favorite time of day.  I feel the best in the morning. I get to spend a significant amount of time with God. My husband and I have time to pray and talk with each other. I get to have a hot cup of coffee. My kids cuddle on the bed with us after they get up. It's all nice, comforting, safe.
This morning, I just couldn't wake up. I slept right through my usual 4am appointment with God and my coffee. I slept til 6am, and even then, it was a challenge for me to get up. I wanted to just lay there for a long time and doze in and out of dream land. My body took the flu pretty hard, I guess.
I have noticed that the sun is shining this morning, and we do not have snow! So, that is worth getting up for. It's still cold outside, but with the sun, there is hope of warmth. It lifts my spirits and makes me want to plant pansies in the yard. I want to get out all the patio furniture and sit in my swing on the mossy rock patio in the back yard. I want to have a barbecue, invite over some friends, and bask in the warmth. I want to stroll with my bare feet along the beach and touch the water. I want to go on a long walk with a friend, and have conversation. Ah, the beauty of the sun and the warmth!
I am still faced with conflict inside my heart. There are feelings of cold and feelings of warmth.  God is saying to me every morning that I need to love, be patient, pray for a friend.  I am feeling mixed, angry, hurt, and betrayed, yet still wanting to reconcile. I pray to Him asking that He just release me from the emotion, the hope, the pain. But, He responds to me by saying I need to love. I tell Him to just take it all, and love through me because I do not know how to. This is about Him loving through me. I ask Him to change my heart, move me in the direction that is real and alive through Him. Use me in my friends life so that He shines.Bring warmth, bring hope, bring life.
And so, I am seeing that some relationships, when there is a rift, take time.  God has assured me that He is working, and that I need to be steadfast, patient, and loving. He has listened over and over again to my feelings of pain, and each time He takes them, He gives me a little more healing.  He binds up the wound that pierced my heart, and has assured me that His plan is moving forward.
I keep talking to Him, listening to Him. I will love Him and believe that He is soveriegn and  good all the time. I will walk IN Him today.
Say That Again, Jesus. YOU are here, using me, working through me, bring Your plan to fruition. You are changing my heart, my eyes to see as You see. I will wait on You today.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Snow

Okay, I have to ask: Is someone out there praying for snow? Seriously, can you stop? It's April 7 and we are suppose to have lovely tulips and daffodils by now, but no, we have snow.  An entire blanket of white, beautiful, snow, and it's everywhere! Here at my house, we are covered.  And, as lovely as it is, I don't want to see snow anymore. I'm thinking summer here.  Hot, sunny, long days.  Biking in the park, picnics, swimming in the lake.  Barbecues, coffee on the porch, walks that last forever....Not Snow!
So, today I'm going to hunt for the lovely little flowers that peek out of the snow, the ones that give me hope of Spring time, sun, a little warmth.  That will be fun.
Isn't it just like life? I can be musing along, doing great and then one day it snows. I feel wet, cold, blah. And, I have to ask for the Spring and Summer sun to soak me up, give me warmth.  The Son of God covers me, and I find hope.
I'm pleased with the day, even with the STILL resiliant flu hanging on and the snow, the cold.  I'm pleased to be who I am IN Jesus today. Pleased that I have loving friends and family.  Pleased that life is full.  I'm praying for eyes to see His way, for understanding, for love, and for reconciliation. I need all of that to be bigger in my life today.  I'm praying for wisdom, His Fruit and the power of His Spirit.
I'm not praying for Snow!
Say That Again Jesus, You allow the snow and the sun in my life for growth.  I am here to do everything Your way. It's all about You, dear Lord!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Feet

So, I found the perfect pair of shoes for my feet today, and I purchased them. It seemed like a good thing to do with the lingering flu still hounding my body. My feet need a little work after the long winter of boots. They have been somewhat neglected. I think my daughter and I will have to have a toe painting party.
I woke up this morning asking God what He wanted me to read and John 13 came to mind. I was still so tired though, that I didn't read it right away. I did get up and had some coffee, and decided bed was better, so I went back to bed. My son woke up early too, and went back to bed. So did my daughter. It was a back to bed morning.
When I woke up the second time around, John 13 was still on my mind, so I decided I better get to it right away. The chapter is about Jesus washing the feet of His disciples, and about Judas betraying Jesus. At first I wasn't sure why God was so insistent on me reading this story, but now I'm getting it rather clearly.
Isn't it amazing that Jesus washed the feet of Judas? He knew this man was going to betray Him to death, but still, because of His love, He got down on His knees and washed the feet of the man that was about to hurt him. He remained loyal to Judas to the end, even though Judas was not loyal to Him! He gave Himself up for this man.
Further on in the chapter it reads this: "Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples--when they see the love you have for each other."
Okay, I have to ask myself: "Am I willing to wash the feet of those that have hurt me, betrayed me?" I have to be, Jesus has commissioned me to do this! Is it even possible for me to understand this kind of love towards those I have been hurt by? It must be, because Jesus has told me to love as He loves, and He loved Judas! His love for a man that hurt Him was far beyond my experiences.
I am clothed in Jesus, His Spirit is alive and well within me, so I know that I can love as He loves. I can wash the feet of those I encounter by serving them, loving them, upholding them, being in their lives, and praying for them. His shoes are my shoes, and He will enable me to wear them well.
Oh Jesus! Say That Again to me today, as I lift my heart up to You. You are love and truth, I will follow in Your foot steps.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Birthday

Today is my daughter's birthday. She is six years old. She has been waiting for this day, since her fifth birthday. I think she has talked about it, planned it, and imagined it everyday since last year! She wanted to have dinner at her favorite Italian restaurant, which we did. And, she had her dad take pictures of all the gifts she wanted us to buy, so we wouldn't forget. She's been planning her cake, which we ordered today, because she's having her party tomorrow at the skating rink. Oh the joy and the anticipation of birthdays! As a child they are the highlight of the year, right along with Christmas. Why does a child think that growing up is going to be so cool? Getting older, to them means more freedom, less rules. They are unable to see the responsibilities that come along with growing up.
The stuff like paying the bills, and going to work every day. The responsibility of making dinner, cleaning the house, and feeding the dog. As adults, we know the list is never ending, as a child, they have no idea.
My daughter trusts that it will be good. She sees my life, and she wants the same. She's in love with her daddy, and she wants to be someone's princess some day. She just believes that life will be good, because it is good. She has been loved, protected, cherished and celebrated.
This is how I want to look at my future. I am loved, protected, cherished and celebrated by Jesus. He is preparing a place for me to live, someday that outshines this place here on earth. He is excited about the fact that I will live there. His Spirit is IN me, growing me up to an ever increasing place of strength, integrity, responsibility,and truth in Him. I'm excited about this, and I'm anticipating how much more I can live in His Glory, as each day comes to me. I am trusting that His will prevails all the time, and He is good, all the time.
As I move through this day, feeling tired and still not totally up to par, I'm going to anticipate heaven. It will be better there on every level. I won't get sick. My friends will be loyal. And, best of all, I will be able to sit at the feet of Jesus, go for walks with Him, SEE Him whenever I want. It'll be like a birthday everyday of the year!
Say That Again, Jesus, You are loving, protecting, cherishing, and celebrating me today. And, I am praising You for being so good all the time.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Flu

So, I still have the flu. The achy, stuffy, fever, not feeling so well kind of flu. It certainly puts a damper on my day, and is forcing me to slow down and stay down. As I talked to God this morning, I asked for His healing hand to be upon me. He told me to go back to bed, and I'd get better in due time!
I think this is a test of patience. Nobody likes having the flu, and I confess, I'm a baby. It feels bad, I want it to go away, I'm just not happy.  To add to my flu day; it's snowing.  What? It's April! And, it's snowing? The weather has some ailments as well, and needs to go through some major transformations.
So, as I stay home today and drink a lot of water, I will continue to pray for God to speed up my recovery.  I will pray for patience. I will rest in my bed and IN Him. He will bring Spring, He always does.
Say That Again, Jesus, Spring is just around the corner!

Sunday, April 3, 2011


We had dinner last night with my classmates. It was very nice. Sadly, my voice left me part way through the dinner. Gone, nothing. I started to feel sick, and being at a restaurant was no longer fun. It took me a little while to make the rounds of goodbyes.
It's been a good weekend, not we are on our way home. The drive is looking in our face, and this time I'm not looking forward to diving home, sick. But, I will look back on the weekend fondly. I got to see my old high school roommate, my college roommate, and lots of other people. It amazes me how so many people can change, and a few don't change at all. The lines of age are beginning to etch themselves in most every face, and the challenges of life show up in our eyes. Many are seeing the value of life lies in Jesus and in relationships with each other. The drive to be the best has subsided, and the hope to not be alone has grown.
The reality of age has set in, and we are in a place of examination.
I'm living a joyous life, even in the trials. I'm one of the ones that has changed. God has changed me, He is big in my life, leading me. The realities of this life are not forever, because I am an eternal being IN Him. It's good to know this, because it gets me through days like today.
So, Jesus, I am saying "ugh" today. But, You are not. You are here to carry me, love me, and change me more. Say That Again, I want to hear You clearly today.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Where Did the Years Go?

Twenty eight years of marriage, five kids,daughter in laws, grand child, a business, challenges, struggles, joys, successes, hope, despair, running, controlling, pursuing, losing, gaining and surrendering.  Each day has offered me something since I left high school, sometimes I took the offer of life, some days, I just didn't. I've learned that God was there to see me through it all. He has blessed my marriage, blessed my children, blessed my life. In high school, I said little, I did little.  I just survived each day. I didn't believe, in anything. That was 30 years ago, things have changed considerably.  I see now that God was in the picture all along, encouraging me, loving me, setting the path for me. It's an incredible story, really.
Everyone has an incredible story, a song actually. When the time comes that I am standing before His throne, I will see the song fully.  All the places that He stood when I couldn't.  All the times that He spoke, when I couldn't.  All the love and grace that He dealt out to me, when I felt hopeless. All the times He pursued me when I was running away.
As I looked around the room today at my classmates, I really wanted to know their songs of life. How has God touched them? Who is feeling hopeless? Who is feeling joy? Do they know where life is taking them? And, are they disappointed with where they are now?
It's been 30 years! How many dreams came true, how many were crushed? Who had dreams, who had none? 30 years! Where did the years go?
As God looks over the years, is His testimony of me pure and good? Can He look at me now and say "Good job, faithful servant?" Can He look at me and know that I will continue on His journey, the path He has laid out for me?
Today, I testify to my God that He is good all the time! I stand here, in this place, 30 years later and know that My God has turned all things for good. He knows the plan, and all that lies in my future will testify also of His goodness.  He will be the strength that pushes me through, the life that breathes on me.  It will be Him, not me that shines.
There's more years to come, I hope.  What will it be like 30 years from now? What will He testify then?
Say That Again, class of '81! Who is Your God and what is His testimony of YOU!

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Drive

We left this morning for my school in Idaho, the place I went to school for three years. We drove straight south, and the scenery was beautiful. The further south we got, the warmer it got. We drove along the river for a long time, and talked about white water rafting. We enjoyed the cherry blossoms on the trees, and wished it were this warm at home. We don't even have leaves on the trees at home yet. We stopped for lunch, then moved on with several hours still ahead of us. We listened to an audio book, the kids watched a movie, and I took a nap. We scouted out a place to buy coffee, in hopes that I would wake up a little bit! It was a good trip, even with my husband being cranky on the occasional turn. I far exceed him on the cranky scale, so he is granted a few days.
Tomorrow I will go to the school and see old friends, literally old! I can hardly believe it's been 30 years since graduation from high school.
I left home and drove to my high school when I was 15 years old. I was scared. I hadn't been away from home before, and being with a bunch of strangers was very frightening. I lived at this school for three years, and it was good. I made life time friends. And, I learned some invaluable lessons about life. I was loved there and nurtured.
From there I drove to a college in Washington and checked myself in. It was great there too. I met my husband there, and we've been married 28 years. It's been a full life.
I am here now, thanking God for the numerous blessings He has given me. Thanking Him for being the driver in my life, right now. Thanking Him for His amazing love. His hand guiding me to this school, and to the college, and to my husband. I'm thanking Him for all the good changes He has brought into my life, for the growth, the freedom, the hope, the joy. What an awesome God I serve.
Say That Again, Jesus, Your hand is upon me, guiding, loving, reassuring. Your Hand has brought me back to this place to see how long You have been the Driver in my life.