Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Decision

Each day of my life has been faced with decisions.  Even if I decide not to decide, I'm deciding something! That is what life consists of, decisions!
Much of the time, I am able to make decisions easily and quickly.  I don't stand in the produce aisle trying to decide what to buy.  I don't take hours in the morning deciding what to wear. I seldom question my decision to do what needs to be done. But, right now, I am faced with several decisions, and they all seem large and kind of lurking. And, my question is: "God, what do you want?" I am left in a place of indecision, because I'm not sure which direction is best.
He has told me over and over again that the path is before me and He has it well lit.  Yes, He said "path" not "paths" So, as I stand on the path and it seems to be forking in more than two directions, I come to a standstill.
God continually brings me back to His calling on my life.  "Bethany, I want you to speak!" Which path should I take that allows me to be used in that way the most effectively? What does it look like? And, what do I need to do to get there?
My decision has been, and still is, to surrender to my God.  My decision is to love Him, further His Kingdom, make Him my priority.  My decision is to follow Him, persevere with the calling He has on my life, to listen, to be real and truthful, and to surround myself with others that have those very same desires. My decision is to pray.
The paths are open before me.  I am dealing with some hurt in relation to some of those path, but they are all still there and God will take my hand and direct my way.  I know He will, it's His promise.
Say That Again, Jesus, You are here to take my hand and lead me on the path of Your desires.  Thank you Jesus! 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Side View Mirror

As I was driving to a meeting yesterday, I looked in my side view mirror and it was dangling.  It was actually blowing wildly in the wind, hanging on by just a couple wires. I put my window down and stuck it back in it's place, but that didn't hold for long.  So, I got to drive down the interstate, holding my mirror in place.  I was late for my meeting. It wasn't the best experience of my life, nor was it the worst! It was frustrating, funny, typical, and it's still all of those things.
My car has once again failed me.  I've been let down by my side view mirror. It needs repair.
I have felt a bit let down the last couple of days and have been trying to work through all of those feelings. Again, I took the risk and trusted someone, and then in return I got the raw end of the deal. Just like my mirror got all dangly, so did my trust in a relationship.
I will add that the majority of my relationships are not like this. I feel loved my many people, and I trust many. But, in the last year, I have had to really work on the trust thing.  I guess I haven't worked it enough, because it's back. God continues to allow things, issues, to keep coming around until I have them resolved.  Like my mirror, it's going to continue to just dangle there, completely useless, until it is resolved. I need the mirror to be resolved if I want to see the whole picture.
So, today, I have spent some time processing, thinking, and praying. I have some decisions to make. God has cleared a path for me, He has given light.  Am I on that path? Life will never be without pain, conflict, brokenness, and heartache.  But, I can work towards the positive and hope for the best. And, I will.
I have been blessed with some beautiful reconciliation in other areas, and to me that is a miracle. God's Hand has brought peace, trust, wellness. He is truly good and amazing in every way.
So, Jesus, bring me through this trial and help me see your way. Enable me to have discernment, love, steadfastness in Your way.
Say That Again, to me Dear Jesus. You will walk this walk with me and give to me all that I need for this life journey.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Prayer

Prayer has become a huge part of my daily routine.  I fall asleep at night, praying.  I wake up in the morning, praying. I spend hours a day, praying. I don't know what I would do without this method of communication with God, prayer, it is my life line to God.
This morning as I was praying, God impressed upon me to read 1 Timothy 2. It is titled "A Call to Prayer"  The first verse says this "The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know." Wow, for everyone? And, then in my devotional, the topic was, you guessed it, prayer! Intercessory prayer, deep convicted prayer for others.  The kind of prayer that is so deeply felt, it hurts. Like the prayer Jesus prayed when He had drops of blood coming out of His pores. The kind of prayer that keeps me up long into the night because I know someone needs prayer. The kind that doesn't end, but perseveres through all circumstances.
In verse 8 it says "I want the men in every place to pray, lifting holy hands, without wrath and dissension."
He is asking me to pray, inviting me into His Holy presence, and lift my voice to Him. He is asking me to lift my hands, holy hands, to Him and praise Him! He wants me to throw myself down at His throne and pray in humility and submission before Him. He is God, He alone, and to Him my worship goes!
Prayer, it is good. It brings peace, answers, hope. It is through prayer that God works miracles, He touches lives, He saves. Prayer, it is power that I have as a Saint, through His Spirit!
Say That Again, Jesus, "The first thing I want you to do is pray!"  Okay, I will pray some more.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Recipe

We have a nice bread maker from our son and daughter in-law. My husband has used it a couple of times, I have not.  I thought I'd take a look at it today, find a recipe, and make some bread. I'm not totally committed to this plan yet, but I'm leaning towards it.
I have a a lot of recipe's. I enjoy cook books, but have not always enjoyed cooking. It's been something nice to think about.
This morning as I conversed with God I was feeling a little blah about various things.  We went over my week together and I started to think that maybe I would do better by just staying home! I couldn't really explain the blah feeling to Him, but then again, I don't have to.  He knows.
He told me to read Philippians 4. I've read that chapter many times, but every time it is something new that strikes me. This time verse 12 stood out, kinda like a sore thumb!
"I'm just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I've found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am."
So, I had to ask myself, is this true for me? We've had much and we've had little, does it significantly impact my joy? Sometimes it does. What does that say about my security IN Jesus, or my faith?  I've been in several different places, and I'm serving now in several different areas, has this impacted my deep joy? Yes, it has. There have been those times that I've gotten wrapped up in what I'm doing and my focus has not been on who He is and who I am IN Him.  My joy has been diminished during those times. Have I always behaved as if I can get through anything because He is the ONE that has made me who I am? No, I haven't.
So, today, my focus is on this verse and the promise it holds. Whether my hands are full or empty, I have much or little. Wherever I am, home, church, playing with my kids, struggling with an issue, I have His promise that because of who He has made me to be, He will get me through it all. On the sunny days, rainy days, happy days, blah days, everyday He is there.
He is lighting the way, He has a plan, and I will follow.  Say that Again, Jesus, You have made me your child, your living testimony, Your light. You will keep me on Your path, and I will focus on You.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Pet Police

My dog is in trouble. She attacked the mailman. Yesterday she went after a visiting neighborhood lady. This is not good. Naturally, this was very scary to the neighborhood lady and she called the Pet Police.
I did not feel that I was able to visit with the pet police. I love my dog and was very concerned about what the next step might be. So, my husband, being the very kind man that he is, changed his plans so that he could be home to talk to the pet police.
In the meantime, my dog is seriously depressed. First, she got pepper spray. Then, she got called in. She felt so horrible she did not want to get up out of the chair, or eat food, or go outside to the bathroom. I had to insist she get up out of her chair, to go to bed. She knows she did something very wrong, and life is not the same for her.
She does have consequences. She is grounded for 10 days. She has to wear a muzzle in public. She has been labeled as an "aggressive dog"  We all have a hard time wrapping our minds around that one! She even has to have her own sign. "Beware of dog!"
I think she is feeling like life is not fair. She was simply protecting her family. Making the boundaries clear that people do not get near the ones she loves.  She was making a statement. And, on top of all that, she may be wondering why our other dog, Freddie, get away with random acts of craziness, and he doesn't get grounded or have the pet police visit him. In fact, I wouldn't even put it past Freddie, if he was the one that convinced her to "protect"
For me, when I have to pay the consequences of my actions, it can be confusing, depressing, or sad.  Others, my label me or judge me as being bad for expressing myself, or behaving in a certain way. It could be very hard on my family. Other people, like the pet police, might get called in to make an assessment, and I may just want to sit in my chair and sulk.
God disciplines those He loves. He prunes the branches. He molds me into the productive, fruitful person He so desires. And, while He is doing this, He loves me, reaches out to me, does whatever it takes to make the boundaries clear. He is God. He wants me to grow IN Him all the time.
God of heaven, King almighty, Say That to me again! You are the God that know my way, and You will guide me, love me, discipline me. You are love!

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Mailman

My kids were playing out in the yard and one of them forgot to close the door. The mailman came across the street and started into our yard.  Well, my dog was not too impressed with the fact that the mailman was inviting himself into our yard and she charged out the door towards him. She didn't get too close because he grabbed his pepper spray and got her right in the face. She quickly retreated, my kids screamed, I grabbed my blind dog and we all ran in the house.
My son was very upset.  He wanted to go after the mailman and kick him.  My daughter was confused. My dog was in pain and retreated to my lap, eyes closed.  I quickly got a wet rag and held it over her eyes, she just laid there. Very still. We talked to her, petted her, kept the cloth on her eyes for a good 30 minutes. Then she finally got up and tried to open her eyes.  I bet she never goes after the mailman again.
So many times, I have lashed out! So many times I have been sprayed by the enemy, blinded and unable to see. So many times I have had to retreat to my closet and be still before him.
I told a friend this morning that I felt like I needed to launch myself at the feet of Jesus today, and hold on! I'm glad I did, because it's been one of those long days.
I also locked myself out of the house, and with no keys couldn't drive my car! hmmm, called my son and he was kind enough to come rescue us.
Had some tough conversations with a friend or too, they are being sprayed by the enemies pepper spray and it's hard to see. But, through it all, this I know, He is with me.  He is leading, loving, waiting, being the God of great faithfulness. He is beauty, all the time and He is my safety. So nice. He is grace.
Jesus, I'm holding onto your feet at the throne. I'm loving you today and I need you to Say That Again to me.  "Child, I love you!"

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Proverb

I've been spending a lot of time in the book of Proverbs this week.  I've been struck by the contrasts in this book. The wise do this, and the foolish do that! The wise say this, but the foolish do that! etc...I focused on the verses about friendship, and found this one especially nice. "A friend loves at all times. And, a brother is born for adversity" proverbs 17:17 "He who conceals a transgression seeks love. But he who repeats a matter separates intimate friends." proverbs 17:9 "Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." proverbs 27:17
What does a Proverbs Friend look like?  She is wise, she loves at all times, which sets her apart. She demonstrates caution in the beginning of a friendship, and once it is established, she endures through the thick and the thin. She seeks and she gives wise, earnest counsel. She is trustworthy, even when she is being sharpened. She steps forward and she takes risk. She allows Jesus to be the golden thread that holds the friendship together and grows it.
I have not always been a wise friend. I've been the kind of friend that leaves. The kind of friend that does not want to be sharpened. The kind of friend that will not endure. This is something I have had to bring before the throne and confess, repent, and ask my Savior to change me. I have had to seek being a Proverbs Friend. I have had to daily ask Jesus to be closer to me than I am to myself, to be deeper within me than my deepest, and higher than my highest. To enable me to be the friend He so desires me to be.
Jesus, I launch myself towards You today and ask You to Say That Again, and again. Mold my heart, my character, all my beliefs to align with Yours.  Speak to my heart and lead me to be a Proverbs Friend.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Prodigal

The story in the bible about the Prodigal Son is special to me, because we have a prodigal.  I know how the father felt when his son took his inheritance and just left. The Prodigal thought his father owed it to him. He felt entitled to his inheritance, and then he left and blew it all. The father always watched for him, and never stopped loving him.
Our Prodigal son is our third son. He left, with that same feeling of entitlement. He has not recognized how good he has it being a part of the family. His father, mother, brothers and sisters all wait and watch for him. We love him, but he doesn't seem to recognize that either.
We saw our Prodigal Son in the park today. He was walking with his wife and a couple others. He does not have the joy I wish for him. He looked at me, and I waved, with a smile.  I won't push myself on him, I will just wait. We have all loved him dearly--always. And, that will never stop. We will all pray for him. I know what it's like to be distressed. I know what it's like to have questions about life. I also know who has all the answers and offers peace and joy.
Jesus, speak to my son. He knows what is good and right, but keep saying all of that again to him. Bring him to a place of truth and surrender, IN You, dear Jesus. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Fences

I walked down the ally's again. This time I took note of all the different fences. And, It got me thinking about all the different fences I've had around my heart, sometimes. Fences of fear, pain, regret, bitterness, resentment, distrust. I've built them up pretty big, like a fortress. I've had to pray a lot, work a lot to break down those fences and allow myself to see God's truth. Allow myself to live in peace, faith, hope, and joy.
Right now, I've noticed that my trust fence has gone back up. Darn it! I just tore it down and was thinking I could step out in trust, a little bit. But, no, it's back, secure around my heart, for now. I've been praying to sweet Jesus to tear it down, one board or brick at a time. I don't want it to become a fortress.
Jesus, I know you are working in my life and on my heart. Keep me secure IN your fence, and break down my fence. Say That Again to me today. You love is my fence and I can trust IN you!

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Mystery

I like mysteries, and if one isn't happening around me, I'll find one! I find many things to be a mystery, many things that open the avenue of curiosity and inspire me to delve deep into the mystery of it all.
The biggest mystery I've encountered is Christ! I will never know all there is to know, He is so deep and wide that the mystery continues to unfold. Because of Who He is, I want more. I want to talk to Him, explore Him, share Him, speak of Him, discover Him, revel IN Him, love Him, be like Him. And, as He daily works IN me, the mystery grows.
Jesus, show me more of who You are, reveal the mystery of Your heart to me, deeper and deeper. Bring me INTO Yourself and grow me. Say That Again, Jesus, You are the only true Mystery, for In You all the answers are brought to life!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Daddy

This is the father of my five children. He is doing a fabulous job! He spends a lot of time with our young children, and he is a Godly wise example to our adult sons. He has showed me, through his actions how very tender and loving a father can be.
Heavenly Father, you are my Daddy! You spend time with me, you protect me, you love me deeply. You teach me, correct me, and lead me.
Say That Again, Father, You are my Daddy!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Progress

I met with a friend last night to talk about where we are in relationship. We've been working through many past decisions for some time now. I left feeling very encouraged and hopeful. I left believing even more in God's power for reconciliation on a level that is meaningful and helpful. To reconcile with someone in whom the road had been rough, is challenging. But, I have believed with all my heart, it is the will of God.  And, not just some kind of agreement that we will be civil and kind.  But, friends. God has continually prompted me to persevere. Continually reminded me of the value of being a deep spirited friend. Continually challenged me to love unselfishly and fully.
This visit with my friend reaffirmed to me that God's hand is in this and He does prevail! I chose to obey Him, even when others told me to go a different route, and the progress I see is huge!
God is all about progress. In one of the books I have it says that we are most wounded in the area that we are most gifted! I have certainly experienced this for myself. The wounds I have are deeply rooted in speaking.  Just being able to speak words, write words, express myself. But, God in all His tenderness and kindness has began a work in me to enable me to speak. He has even asked me to speak openly and widely to women everywhere, to their hearts.
Say That all to me Again, and Again, sweet Jesus! You are a God of progress. You heal those deep places that try to stomp out our gifts. You are the healer of my soul.

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Questions

Through out my life I have always had questions. Most of them were left unasked, now, some of them are coming out. When? What if? How? Who? Why?
As a child I use to often say "I just wanted to wonder!" And, wonder, I did. I wondered about all aspects of life, others, myself, the ants, the flowers, the sun, the alphabet, feelings, fears, hopes, pain, and death. I wondered if I would survive, and I wondered if I would be seen.  I wondered if I would be heard, and I wondered why...most all the time.
Why am I hurting? Why am I empty? Why do I feel lost? Why doesn't anyone hear me? Why am I even alive? Why do friends replace me? Why am I invisible? Why am I sad? Why doesn't God love me? Why is life so confusing?  And, on and on with the why's.
Now, I still get wrapped up in questions.  Sometimes I find myself asking the same old questions, and I have to answer them with God's truth. Why do I feel alone, right now? Why do I feel betrayed? Why do I want to be alone? Why do I feel sad? Why do I want to just quit?
What is God saying to me? Am I still going in the right direction? Does He care about this, or that? Does He have an answer for all these questions?
Am I shallow? Have I  been to shallow in the way that I lead? Am I really hearing the hearts of others, or am I just brushing them off?
Yes, there are millions of questions. Someday, in His Kingdom they will all be answered. Not now. Someday everyday will be a sure thing and I will be settled with many answers.
Say That Again, Jesus. Someday, the answers will pour in. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Iris Patch

My dog and I went for a walk today, between the rainfalls. It was cold outside, and I truly wonder if summer will ever come! As we ventured down an ally, I was blessed with a patch of Irises I absolutely love them! The Iris was used in my wedding, a lovely decoration and they smell so good. So, now when I see them, I am reminded of my wedding day, and my love for my husband. We have often had irises planted in our yard, at various places we've lived. That too, has been delightful. And now, today as I'm walking down a dirt ally, one with no particular beauty, I see The Iris patch.
I think it is just like God. He takes someone just like me, dirty with no particular beauty, and He plants Himself IN my heart. Ta-da! Beauty! His Image reflecting off of my character, His love, His Spirit. He makes a very sweet fragrance right out of the stench.
Say That Again, Holy Father, You sweeten me up with Your fragrance. You shine and I live for You!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The boy and his Bear

My son has a very large bear and he likes to carry it around the house with him and cuddle it. On this particular night, he wanted his dad to piggyback him AND his bear to bed!
Jesus, carry me!! Say That Again, you are here, and You will piggyback me through the joys, challenges, adventures, and obstacles of life.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Letter

I serve with a great team of women. I have respect for all of them and I know they have the same desire to please Jesus as I do. A couple days ago, I expressed my opinion through a letter and it was passionate and fiery. Sometimes, this is not a good quality of mine. I was told later that my letter was a little on the harsh side and I may need to make amends to a couple teammates. Oh dear! this did not feel the best, because my friend is absolutely right. Sometimes, my wording does not always accurately reflect my heart and someone gets hurt.
As I have prayed about this, and confessed this to Jesus, he lovingly led me to Romans 8 this morning. I was instantly reassured that there is no condemnation IN Him. He sees my heart, and those with His Spirit will see my heart as well. It reminded me that those that trust God's action in them, find that God's Spirit is within them. IN ME!! Living and breathing. Focusing my attention on God leads me out into the beautiful wide open space of freedom. With His Spirit living in me I will be as alive as Christ! God's Spirit touches my Spirit and confirms who I am. I know who He is, and I know who I am!
This is the beauty of Christian teams working together. We all have our faults, We all do or say the wrong thing at some point.  But, His Spirit touches the Spirit in others and we live as forgiving, graceful souls.
I am so very thankful for His letter to me. It is passionate, fiery, alive, bold, and all truth. It is good, even when it brings me to a place of pain.
Jesus, my loving Savior, Say That Again to me. You are truth, fire, passion, boldness and life. I will focus on You and You alone. You are my Awesome God, and In You there is no condemnation!

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Step

In my reading this morning, I was led to John 3. The chapter starts out by telling the story of Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee. He came to Jesus seeking answers about eternal life, and the concept of being born again was difficult for him to grasp.
It continues on, telling of God's great and amazing love for us, He gave us His Son to die for us, consequently making eternal life a possibility. This is a gift hard to grasp, for some, and often refused.
Then, near the end is the story of John the Baptist. John makes it clear that his role is to prepare the way for Jesus. And, when Jesus arrived, John stepped aside. He had laid a foundation, and a good one, now it was time for Jesus to shine.
This was meaningful to me, because I have been working through the issue of feeling put aside. The question of "what is my role, exactly?" I know what God is asking me to do, but how exactly does that look in ministry and how is it implemented? I've had my opportunities in several areas, some of them being short and brief. Where is God working? Where does He want me to come alongside? What is my next step?
As I see the reality of some of my feelings, and understand there foundation, I spent my morning confessing to God. Those pesky thoughts of insecurities, inferiorities, fears, etc... As I processed some of this yesterday with my husband, he said "maybe its time for you to step aside in this area. You don't have to stay in." Then, God pointed out the value of stepping aside this morning. And, I have to look deeply at what that means for my life.
God's Spirit is powerful within me, and I trust His guidance and His word. I choose to have life His way, with His timing. This is my desire, and I think that may very well mean, stepping aside. His glory will shine, because He is God.
Say That Again, dear God, stepping aside is an act of humility and obedience to You. It is about you and the light that you shine on Your people. Thank you for being in my life and leading me today!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Chase

We walked to the park and played ninja tag in the playground. I did not win, but it was fun.
Our kids chased my husband through the park, and I loved watching the delight on their faces.
God will chase me to the ends of the earth. He draws me to Him, always.
Say That Again, Lord, You draw, chase, pursue. You are good!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Fire

My time with Jesus was very sweet this morning.  I spent some time just letting Him know those deep down fears, and I asked Him to please come and hold me.  I admitted to Him (as if He didn't already know) that sometimes I just want to quit.  Sometimes, I want to just sit on my bed all day and play Angry Birds! I prayed for His discipline to continue on the path He has laid out for me.  I prayed for His faith, and His love to shine through me.  I prayed for healing in  relationships.
God gently touched my heart this morning and spoke to me with tenderness.  He led me to Hebrews 12. The title on The Message side is "Discipline In a Long-Distance Race" I just had to read the title and I knew He had heard my prayer and He was speaking deeply into my heart. In the first couple of verses, this line blazed out "Strip down, start running--and never quit.....keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in."
The chapter talks about relationships too, which shouldn't come as a surprise to me, but I am always in a state of wonder when it comes to God.  "Work at getting along with each other and with God. Otherwise you'll never get so much as a glimpse of God. Make sure no one gets left out of God's generosity." He is alive and well in my heart, He is healing wounds in my relationships and He is covering me in His light and love. He is safety, and He is creating safety for me. I love this! God is assuring me of His work and presence in not just my life but those around me. I need reminders.
The chapter ends with this statement: "God Himself is Fire!"  Yes, God is Fire, He consumes me and burns within me. He is my passion, strength, desires, and my love. He is not just standing up there in heaven looking on, He is actively participating in my growth. He will not quit on me, but will continue to cleanse me, teach me, love me, for all eternity. I marvel at this, and humbly bow at His throne in submission to His will.
Oh God of heaven and earth, Say That Again, You will persevere in my life forever.  You are my consuming fire, and You are blessing me!

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Flowers

Ah, the beauty of a flower! On our walk home from school today we found a big patch of flowers in the ally, nestled up against an old shed. They make me feel happy. And, they give me hope and excitement for what awaits me in heaven.
Say That Again, Jesus, You are coming for your Bride to take us home. There will be flowers!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Swimmer

My daughter loves to swim. She has been taking lessons for two years, and she is the best swimmer in our family! She's good. Today is her last lesson.
Every week, I take her to her lesson and watch her swim. Her progress and dedication has been admirable. She has learned that if she jumps in, she comes back up. If she puts forth effort, she floats and moves across the water. If she trusts her coach, she learns and improves.
Just like life, if I take the leap of faith, God gives me wings if an eagle. If I stick to the course of life, my dedication and commitment pay off. If I put my trust in God as my leader and teacher, I will learn and my responses to life will improve.
Say That Again, precious Jesus. Keep me in the water, trusting you, and learning.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Vine

I planted four vines under our pergola today, they are very pretty. I'm looking forward to seeing them grow, twist, connect, and run all over our pergola.
The chapter I read this morning was John 15, He is the Vine, we are the branches. God has often led me to this chapter, His way of gently reminding me whose in charge. Without being connected to Him I can do nothing at all. Without Him, I will be fruitless.
"I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you're joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant."
He reminded me again to love others the way He loves me. To put my life on the line for friends, and to keep His commandments. He says that He chose me and has put me here in this world to bear fruit for Him.
The Vine, it is strong, beautiful, and it is deeply rooted. It hold steadfast to the branches.
So, throughout this day I have thought of this chapter and continually prayed to be a strong branch IN Him. To be fed by The Vine, to stay alive, vital, and complete.
Say That to me again, Jesus. In You I am alive, vital, and complete, because YOU are The one and only true Vine.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Door

My kids and I went for another walk through the neighborhood today. We went down an ally and I had to snap a picture of this old door. It looks worn, rugged, and strong.
The Door. My Door is Jesus. He is open to me all the time. He is strong, rugged, and He will never wear out.
Say That Again, Jesus. You are my Door, and I am welcome to come in.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Anniversary

Twenty-nine years ago today, at 3:00 in the afternoon, my husband and I were married. It was a warm sunny day, and we were married in a small church in Utah. I had a head cold, so a close friend went out and bought me a bunch of medication so I could breathe. It was a good day. We had a lot of friends there and we had a big reception with a huge cake that my brother made.
We drove to Victoria BC for our honeymoon. It's been 29 years, packed with good, bad, and in-between. We've had a bunch of dogs, a goat, cats, a horse, and rabbits. We've lived in several different homes, city and country, and traveled across the country and the world. We've been blessed with five children. We've worked for other companies, and we've owned our own businesses.
Through it all, we've stuck together. God blessed me with an amazing man, and he is an incredible father. Through the years, he has always loved me, he has been faithful to me, and he enjoys me. What more could a woman want? He has striven to be the man God intended him to be, and he has grown. Because of this, I have been richly blessed, loved, and kept.
So, today I thank my God for the groom in my life. I thank Him for taking care of me in this way, for loving me so deeply, and for blessing me so richly. I thank Him that He has given me someone that reflects the Father, and through that I have learned to love my Heavenly Father.
Gracious Father, Say That Again to me on this day. Your love for me is so deep and wide that You chose to demonstrate it through a man like my husband.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Day

We drove around the lake yesterday. Our two older sons and their wives in one car, the four of us in another. It was a trip down memory lane, and it was very enjoyable. We had a little competition going to see who could get to the destinations first. We took a break for ice cream and treasure hunting. We took a lot of pictures and had a lot of fun exploring.
We use to have a cabin on this lake, many years ago. So, we took the trail that led to the cabin. Our sons found their old fort, and we had fun telling stories of days gone by. The old train tracks have been changed into a walking/biking trail. But, many things were the same, it was peaceful, quiet, and full of beauty.
After our expedition, we met at an Italian restaurant for dinner then watched an episode of Top Gear on TV. It was a very nice family day, easy, funny, reminiscent.
I like these days. I like this kind of day with God. An expedition, an adventure, a walk with Him that brings peace, joy, and satisfaction. I like looking back and seeing all the changes He has made in life, and reminiscing about the spiritual markers and blessings. I like that He is God in my life, and IN Him I am full and complete.
Jesus, thank you for great days, for family, for love. You are a God of abundance, and for this I will praise You!
Say That Again, Jesus, blessings overflow!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Happy

It's a sunny day, can you believe it? It's not just sunny; it's warm. I'm very happy about this and I'm looking forward to a day outside with our family. We are celebrating two birthdays today and an early Father's Day. June is a full month for our family, we have our anniversary in two days too.
Our oldest son is going to be 27, wow, he's closer to 30 than 20!! And, our next son is going to be 25, the years have flown by in so many ways.
As I watch them, and see their lives unfold with hopes and dreams, it makes me happy to see. They have chosen tender wives, good careers, and best of all, a life with Jesus!
Last night, we had dinner with friends. Just as we were finishing up our two sons with their wives came in and the entire house became lively and vivid. A lot of laughter, talking, and noise! It makes me feel happy.
Our two youngest children have collected some sticks and our nine year old has been carving them. He made guns last night, because he's a boy. I felt happy as I watched my two daughter in-laws invest energy and time into our young children and play guns with them. They did a lot of running, shooting, playing. It was joyful.
So, as today unfolds, with the sun and with our family, I plan to bask in the happy. I like to watch them, listen to them, and enjoy them all. I consider it all a blessing.
Jesus, do I make You happy? Do You look down on me and the life I have chosen and consider me a good testimony of You? Me, Your child? As You watch me with my family, my friends, my steps in life, are You pleased?
Say That Again, Jesus, I am Your child and You are well pleased!

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Great I AM

I've had those years in my life where I felt like I was searching for who I am. There was always one more corner to turn, and so many things to figure out. Then, the realization hit that it's not who I am that needed to be discovered; it's Who He is. This was good.
And, now it's settled. I am who I am because of Who He Is! I do what I do because of Who He Is.  I am not who I am because of what I do! He is the One in charge, He sees my heart. This is why He says not to judge others, because we cannot see everything, only He can. I am who I am, because He has saved me. I am who I am because He loves me. I am who I am because He is God, and He has kept me.
I grew up in a very legalistic home. I tried to keep the rules, but in my heart, I did not believe that God was even real. It wasn't until I actually experienced Him with my heart and witnessed Him working in my life that I began to believe. The rules, regulations, requirements, they all meant nothing. I did what I did out of obligation and fear, not out of Who I was for Him.
If I am His child and fully devoted to Him, living His way will come from my heart. It will be my desire and my joy.  He will be my Authority, and my reflection. He will empower me to move on with vigor, peace, hope, and love. I'm excited to know who I am, because I know Who He is!
Say That Again, Dear Saviour. You are the Great I am, I am not.  You have made me to be like You, and I humbly bow at Your feet, and I say, "thank you."

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Paper

As God has directed me to move ahead with Women's Ministry, I have found that I am often confronted with a new fear of some sort. Most the time, I have been able to work through it pretty quick and move on, sometimes it seems to latch on for awhile.
I received a paper, four of them, with "guidelines" for a leader. Hmm, I see the red flag go up in my brain. Scanning down the sheet, I see the word, "requirements" And, I see a couple of red flags pop up.
We all need guidelines, right? When do the guidelines turn into rules? And, what if I can't keep all the guidelines, or I do things differently than someone else? Am I booted out? Do I even want in? Flag, flag, flag.
I've been praying for this, praying for a specific thing to take place, and God has answered my prayer. He did it fast and in an amazing way. And, now here I am faced with whether or not I really want to take Him up on the whole idea. Are these His requirements? Are they His "guidelines"? What does He call me to do when I am shepherding another? Is this even about what I can do? I don't think so. This is His strength through me, His light, His path, His talk.
I have to ask myself about my focus. I have to remind myself about His calling on my life. I have to remember all that He has said so far, and the wonders of His Ways. Why am I allowing myself to get hung up on a set of guidelines and requirements?
My answer to that is failure. I'm afraid I will fail. So, from there I have to take the step of moving beyond self and INTO His presence. He has to take this over, minister through me. Otherwise, I will start out as a failure in this. But, if I keep my focus solely on what He is asking of me, He will touch lives, using me as His witness. He has promised this.
Jesus, I give you The Paper. Jesus, I give you the human idea of what must be done to serve You effectively, and I give You my heart. Take it all, and use me.
Jesus, I'm going to Say That Again! Take it all, I'm Yours!