Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Voice

Last night we watched a documentary on Killer Whale's. I found it fascinating how God created each family unit to have their own language, special to themselves. And, they stay with their mothers all of their lives. We have come in and destroyed their families, causing pain and horrible grief. The mothers and babies have cried out with their voices for each other, yearning to be together. 
It reminded me of a sermon I heard on God's voice, and the passages I read in John 10 this morning:

The Shepherd walks right up to the gate. The gatekeeper opens the gate to him and the sheep recognize his voice. He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out. When he gets them all out, he leads them and they all follow, because they are familiar with His voice. They won't follow a stranger's voice but will scatter because they aren't use to the sound of it.

Further down it is very clearly stated:

You need to know that I have other sheep in addition to those in this pen. I need to gather and bring them in, too. They'll recognize my voice. Then it will be one flock, one Shepherd.

Just as God has created the whales to recognize each others own language within their family units, He has given us His Spirit so we can recognize His voice when He speaks to us. And, He does speak to us, in an audible voice, and He says we will hear Him.  He also says that when we hear the strangers voice we will scatter. 
So, the sermon I heard was intriguing because he was bringing up the culture today about how so many of us believe that God does not speak to us "that way." If someone says that they hear God speak to them in an audible voice, they are thought of as crazy. If we "hear" voices, then something is surely wrong with us! But, if we are believers in the Word of God, and we DON'T hear voices, isn't something wrong?  Doesn't He clearly say we will hear His voice? In another version, it says, "they know his voice" even then, to know his voice I'd have to hear it. 
When the Enemy is constantly throwing arrows my way, when there is a battle raging around me, I am praying. He is throwing lies at me, and when that happens, I do scatter. I scatter and run for the truth. I fall before my God to rest there in His green pastures. I do recognize His voice and it is good.
Jesus is my Shepherd, He is the Gate, He is the voice I hear, and He speaks to me. He is the truth, the way, and the light that shines through all darkness. He gathers his children and speaks to them, I will listen. Jesus, You have said that we will recognize your voice. Say That Again!

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Post from my Friend

So I have a friend that writes excellent posts, she said I could post something she wrote. ---She didn't actually say I could use her name, so I'm going to call her T, until further notice.
Anyway, T, I think Jesus will call you to Say That Again!

The Business Trip

My husband just returned from a business trip, he's been away for 2 1/2 weeks. It seemed much longer than that to me. The first few days he was gone, my children were sick, and I was not exactly pleased with the way life was feeling. I was tired, and my body hurt, and it felt like I would never feel good. I remember a friend sending encouraging words to me that week reminding me that recovering from surgery takes time and then she said that she was "praying Jesus over me." It was a simple reminder to me that to have Jesus prayed over me was enough for that day. I didn't have to rush; it was okay to go slow and let my body heal.
To speak those words to me felt healing; it felt like love.  This is how I want to speak, words that heal.
My kids and I spent a lot of time on my bed. Fur Ball too. At least this is what we did the first five days my husband was gone. I tried to move myself back into the routine of life, but clearly, it was not time.
The last week went much better, it felt like we turned a corner. A friend had come to stay with us and I think that was just the boost we needed. She drove my children all about. She cooked, and she cleaned. She sat me down when I tried to get up to do to much. She was a genuine lifesaver. She was love in action. She brought healing to my heart in many ways, as so many friends have during this time in my life. She showed me the beauty of giving up ones own life for the good of another, self-sacrifice. Because she chose to love me, she gave up her own agenda and came into my life to help me. This is walking Jesus, and this is how I want to walk.
I was invited to a Christmas Tea. The setting was lovely. I only knew a couple people at my table, but as I talked to each of the ladies and learned about their lives, one theme stood out. Relationships! They all talked about the relationships in their lives, their children, their friends, or their lack of. Through out the conversation, I could hear my God gently reminding me as He so often does, "I am always with you, I will never leave you or forsake you!"  And, I felt great comfort as I always do when I hear Him tell me this. But, as I sat at the tea that day and listened, I did wonder if everyone there believed that too.
I went to a friends house to make goodies and watched her son do funny tricks. He showed me all his Lego and told me Star War stories. I smiled that day at the beauty of a child, the wonders of his imagination. I thought about the time that Jesus said we must have faith like a child, and it seemed so simple that day.
God brings so much into my life, and allows me to witness so many joys, and so many sorrows. Just this week, I cried out to Him in anger as I witnessed the worst of pain. And, through that I told Him that I did not know how I could possibly love some people! But, He was quick to respond in His gentle way, by just a simple answer. "Even this person needs you to love through me!"  Through my anger and my tears, I was caught off guard by the clarity of His voice. Once again, it is true, I cannot love, only HE can love through me.
And, now it is husband is home, my kids are excited that Christmas is so very close. I am excited that this year all my children and grandchildren will be home for Christmas. I am feeling a little better every day, my body actually moves at a normal pace, without a cringe on my face. I've had some uplifting words of encouragement about Agape Celebration and God's thoughts. He is working and weaving His way through my Sister Saints, and His love is growing through us and moving through out the community. I am praising Him for this, and thanking Him for each and every day in which I can grow and learn.
Jesus, I will Say That Again, thank you for each and every day, that I grow and learn!

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Jesus Within

The word Abide has been a big topic for me lately. Jesus and I have discussed it everyday, and I continue to learn and be intrigued. In John 15, it talks about the value of abiding:

I am the Vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

The "do nothing" says a lot, I think. To me it sounds like Jesus is saying He wants to abide within my heart and function for me. So that means I have to get out of the way, this is what He and I have been discussing. I've been asking Him to allow others to see Him and not me. But of course I notice that the "I" in me rears up and feels all kinds of fleshy feelings. More prayer, less of me.

The Jesus within me can do all things. There is great power given to me through Him.

If you Abide in me, and My Words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Just as my Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.

Today I will continue to pray that Jesus will abide in me, and I in Him. Jesus, be my strength, words, thoughts, and all that I do today, Let others see you, not me! Say That Again!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Ponderabilities

Yesterday was a good day with my Warrior Sisters. We gathered together to cook. Agape Celebration gets to provide meals for others in need. We spent a couple hours in the kitchen making some food we could put in the freezer. It was fun!

We also ate together, and talked about our upcoming event in February, Soup for Saints. I'm curious about this event, and praying that God will bring many people from our community that love to cook and want to enter their soups. If they have the winning soup, there are great prizes!
As a team of Sisters, we have been playing secret Santa with each other; it's been a lot of fun. I've enjoyed giving gifts, and it's been fun going to my office and finding gifts on my desk. We all brought gifts to each other, and we sat on the couch and opened them. For most of us, it's not a secret anymore who brought the gift, but still for some of us, it's a mystery! We also wrote on big red Christmas ornaments, "Warrior Sister Saints" and we each signed our names, an ornament for each of us. It is a good Christmas memory.

My favorite word right now is ponder. I like to consider things deeply and thoroughly. I like to weigh them carefully in my mind, meditate and pray over them, and consider them thoughtfully. I will ponder most things.
Sometimes I feel such a battle inside of me, and I know it's the attack of the Enemy rushing his arrows right for my heart. I also know that the Keeper of my Soul has wrapped me up in His warmth and righteousness, and I am protected. Yet, there is the battlefield.
As I am stepping into the Christmas Season, surrounded by my Warrior Sister Saints, I am seeing the battle. I am praising God for the Gift of His Son, and the Victory He has given all of us. I know He has mighty plans for my Warrior Sisters, and the battle is not small. At the same time, the Victory is so very big, the gift so beautiful!
Sweet Jesus, Say That Again to me as I ponder Your gifts and Your victory. You are the Gift, You are the Victory!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Word

I'm reading in the book of Luke now, and I like it. This morning I kinda paged through all the chapters and certain things stood out to me more than others. I like the story of Jesus calling the demon out of the man, then everyone whispering about it!

Jesus shut him up "Quiet! Get out of him!"  The demonic spirit threw the man down in front of them and left. The demon didn't hurt him.
That set everyone back on their heels, whispering and wondering, "what's going on here? Someone whose words make things happen? Someone who orders demonic spirits to get out and they go?" Jesus was the talk of the town. Luke 4:36

Then there's this one:

These words I speak to you are not mere additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundation words, words to build a life on. Luke 6:46

With just a word, Jesus did everything!  And with His Word within me, building my life, things  happen. 
Every morning I pray for Him to be my words, strength, mind, heart, and to love others through me. I know He has to do all of this, because I am not capable. I pray for Him to wrap completely around me, to be my clothes and armor. I pray for His Words to penetrate my heart and soul, and then to reach someone else in such a way that they see Jesus, not me. 
The truth is, if I don't pray this, I'm not that loving. Self gets in the way every time. It's like I'm living in the homeowner improvement phase, not the build your life for eternity.
So, Jesus, put Your Words in me, the kind of Words that sets everyone back on their heels! Loving words, healing words, only Your words. I will Say That Again, Jesus, Your Word, not mine!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Big Idea

There's a number of big idea's floating around in my head, not all of them are good ideas! I've been eager to get back into the swing of things, so my big idea was to drive my kids to school, and pick them up. It seemed pretty harmless, but the reality is, it's a lot of driving, at least two hours on the road, and my body has rebelled. I'm feeling frustrated. I'm finding it very challenging to be patient with myself as my body recovers. Months of pain, now waiting around for healing from surgery, I'm feeling like a caged animal. And, it's not fun.
So, I'm finding that I have to keep bringing my big ideas to Jesus, and confessing them. He is showing me that I need to continue to ask for help and continue to reschedule my days. I need to go slow and be patient.
A friend of mine said to me that she was praying Jesus over me today, and it was so helpful. She reminded me that I am getting better, it's just not speedy, and she listened. I want to pray Jesus over others, it brings such comfort. As I write this, I'm praying for Jesus to be compassion inside of me for others, for I know how deeply needed this is. I'm praying for Him to turn my big ideas into compassionate, empathetic ideas. Ideas that bring love to others, and joy to their hearts, and Jesus to their being.
I'm reading through the Gospels. The verse that stood out this morning was in Mark 11:23
"Embrace this God-life. Really embrace it, and nothing will be too much for you. This mountain, for instance: Just say ' Go jump in the lake'---no shuffling or shilly shallying ---and its as good as done. That's why I urge you to pray for absolutely everything, ranging from small to large. Include everything as you embrace this God life, and you'll get God's everything. And when you assume the posture of prayer, remember that its not all asking, If you have anything against someone, forgive--only then will your Heavenly Father be inclined to also wipe your slate clean of sins."

For me right now, my mountain is doing less, and asking for more help. Another mountain? Not taking offense to the way I feel responded to when I'm not feeling the best.
Jesus, I know there are numerous mountains in my life, and only You can move them. You have shown me that Your Arms are around me, and it is Your strength that works through me. I will give You all my big ideas, I better Say That Again!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Walk through Life

Today was suppose to be my first big day in the office, yippee!  It felt like a big accomplishment to me when I got up this morning and I put on a pair of jeans instead of sweats. I've been moving so slow the last 2 1/2 weeks that to actually be dressed and think of driving my child to school was a big deal. My son came home sick yesterday so he still had no intentions of heading to school today, and because of that my days schedule had dwindled somewhat too.
My daughter and I headed into town and made it all the way to school. But, by the time we got inside the doors, she too was sick. We just told the lady at the desk that today was a sick day, and we turned around and went back to the car. I guess it just wasn't meant to be a school/office day.
I'm thankful for a large king sized bed. Both my children, my dog, and I all fit comfortably on the bed. They are watching "The Prince of Egypt" it's a movie that has been a favorite in our family for a long time. Fur Ball is snuggled beside us, sleeping as if he didn't get a wink all night.
I made a fire in the fireplace and as I threw the log in I questioned if it weighed more than a milk jug, my limit of weight. I think it does, but our house feels cold and our propane tank is getting low. I like the way the wood heat warms the room, and the crackle of the fire.
Life is funny, because I don't think it turns out the way we "think" it's going to. Just like today, it is different. I'm okay with different, because I know God is in my different. He has a reason for all things, a purpose for my walk. He has promised to keep His arms around me no matter what happens, so I'm going to walk through with Him.
I don't know what this week will bring, but today I am continuing to Say That Again to my Jesus, walk through life with me for I know I am the one that You love!

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Insomnia

My sleep has been very good since having surgery, most of the time. There have been nights that I fall asleep at 9:00 at night, and I stay asleep, all night long. It's amazing for me, because that never happens. Then, sometimes I have nights like tonight, I just can't sleep. I feel tired, but my brain doesn't want to slow down enough to actually sleep. And, to add to the problem, my husband won't stop snoring, minor detail. I know this is all going to cause me to be very tired tomorrow, and I will want to sleep all day, consequently, making it difficult to sleep tomorrow night.
I'm thinking that I should try to eat something, it might help me sleep. I could eat Sky flakes. Or, pumpkin pie. Maybe I should eat the turkey a friend brought for my birthday, then that would make me sleepy.
I'm remembering that I drank some coffee at my birthday dinner, and that is more than likely contributing to my inability to sleep. I should only drink coffee in the morning. But, when it's brewing, and it feels festive with lots of friends, I forget that detail.
I liked my birthday lunch. Many friends gathered and brought a lot of good food. It was very nice. I enjoyed everyone's company. I felt loved. I've been thinking about love a lot lately and understanding that without that basic essential love, nothing else really falls into place. The love that others have given me, that constant steady love, is what has really moved me to change. It's the love of God that has slowly, but surely convicted me and still is convicting me. It is me seeing others love that has taught me , and it is love that has inspired me to want to be better. The more I focus on loving others, the more I realize I am learning about God, because God is love. When I am able to love outside of myself, then the truth shines through. And, of course to love outside of myself, I must allow Jesus to love through me!
Everyone needs and wants to be loved. Some of us push love away more than others, but it is still a need. With God's eyes I'd like to see through the resistance of love. I know He gave others that ability with me, and for that I will praise His name.
I think I'm going to eat now. My husband has calmed down on the snoring, so maybe I can fall asleep. Jesus, You are in me, You are Love. I'm asking You to love others through me in a wild and a radical way, big and wide. YES! Say That Again!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Smart Phone

Here's my pet peeve, I'm guilty of it myself, and I'm working to change it, the Smart Phone. It's everywhere. I'm blessed actually to have one, it come in handy in many ways. But, in other ways I've found it to be somewhat of a curse.
Everyone in our family has a smart phone, and I have noticed that sometimes instead of talking to each other, we are on our phones. And, that contributes to surface conversations, or sparse conversations. 
Of course I remember the day when we didn't each have our own phone. I remember when friends and family gathered together, we were faced with each other and pretty much had to come up with something to talk about. Yet even then, there were ways to escape. There always is.
For me, I escaped by wearing a different mask, living in a world that fit whoever I was with. It was convenient for me, and I thought it was for everyone else too. But, it wasn't honest.
The Smart Phone is another way to hide. It keeps me in a safe little world away from deeper, honest conversation. It keeps me from being known. 
It keeps my family and friends when we gather together at arms length, and sometimes we can all be in the same room, yet be lonely. At least, there are times that I feel that way. Sometimes, I can be sitting in a room while the rest of the people are on their phone, engaged in some other way, and it feels lonely.
As I said earlier, my smartphone is a blessing. It has helped me out in many ways, and kept me connected in ways that I would not have been before. For this I am grateful. However, this blessing has had a tendency to turn into something that is not so good as well; the very thing that has brought connection has caused disconnect. The very thing that has enabled me to reach out to many more friends, has seemmed to create walls with others. I don't like this. The verse that comes to mind for me is in Ephesians 4:25

What this adds up to, then is this: no more lies, no more pretense. Tell your neighbor the truth in Christ's body we're all connected to each other, after all. When you lie to others, you end up lying to yourself.

This is my truth. I am seeking connection, lots of it.  I'm going to continue to work at leaving my smart phone in the bedroom when my family and friends come to visit. I want to know the hearts of the people that walk through my door, and I want to love them. But, it's not just that, I want to be loved in return, I want all of us to be connected as Christ's Body. 
Jesus, I am asking You to continue to live deeply inside of me, and love others through me, speak truth through me, and walk this path through me. Jesus, monitor my smart phone! Say That Again!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Nontraditional Thanksgiving

Another Thanksgiving has come upon us, and I am so very thankful!  I did not cook this year, not a single thing, and it was a little weird for me. My main contribution this year was a purchased pecan pie from Costco and whip cream from a can. It was good.  Our daughter in law did most of the work, she made Spaghetti Bake. We didn't have a turkey this year, or stuffing, or any of the traditional foods we normally sit down to.
We had each other though, and each time my children come home I feel so blessed. My grandchildren were here, Two of my oldest sons were here. I had a good friend here. It was fun. We played games, we talked, and we watched the children play. Clean up was quick and easy. I was thankful.
As I watched my family today, and thought about all the years my husband and I have had together, I prayed for God to keep penetrating my entire being. I know that I am weak. I know that without Him, I will fail to be thankful, I will fail to be loving, kind, and true. But, with Jesus, I am so very loved, and His strength is the blessing. If I rely on Him I will be thankful. If I rely on Him, I will love, because it is Him loving through me, and Him being thankful.
I know I need Him, because I have so many of those imperfect moments. I need Him to live His grace through me. I am not going to live life in a traditional way, Jesus doesn't. The more I know Him and the bigger He lives within me, the more nontraditional my life becomes.
What about you? How is Jesus working in your life today and how are you living it out? Does Jesus need to Say That Again to you?

Some picture from our Thanksgiving Day:

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Loving Community

It has been just over a week since my surgery, I have had an adventurous recovery. My trip back to the hospital, after coming home from surgery was not a fun adventure for me, but I did reap many lessons from that experience. And, my gratitude to the God I serve for life and breath increased significantly. As I've been home, every day getting a little better, I've been very blessed with loving friends coming to see me. Someone has always brought my family dinner. Someone has gathered my children from school, or from soccer practice. There has been someone to check in on me and just sit with me and visit, or bring me ice cream. My house and laundry have been kept up.
All of my dear friends have deeply loved and blessed me and my family. They have lived in community with each other, and given me opportunity to rest. This makes me want to do this all over our city, in every church, for every person willing to receive. There are so many blessings in giving, but also so many in receiving when there is a need.
The first verse I saw in my bible this morning was  in Colossians 2: 6-7

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

Each day as I continue to get better and move through this life God has blessed me with, I want more and more to live my life in Him. All that I do is through Christ Jesus, not me. His power, His strength. None of it has anything to do with me. Jesus, overtake me! I am so weak, but He is strong. Jesus imitate Yourself through me, be so full in me, that your strength shows through to others in loving community. Say That Again, Dear Jesus, Your strength, not mine!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Daughter of the King

When I went back to the hospital the second time because of the air pocket behind my rib cage, I didn't get a lot of sleep that night.  I really liked the nurse that I had, and I remember asking her a lot of questions about her life. She wanted me to call my husband and ask him to drive back in to be with me, but I decided to let him sleep. I kept repeating out loud "I'm the daughter of the King, I'm the daughter of the King."  And, then I would remind myself that I am the one He loves. As I think back on it, maybe my nurse wanted me to call my husband because she didn't know what to do with my constant daughter of the King repeat.
I know for me, I felt like I was in a battle, and it was time to speak truth out loud. I was alone in a dark room, but God was there. My body was weak, but my position had not changed. I was still His daughter and still the one He loves and adores. I was feeling very weak, but God was very strong, and through His strength He gave me grace to make it through.
I've been thinking about grace a lot. God in His wondrous amazing love, gives me grace. I don't have to do anything to get it. He just gives it to me because He loves me. This is why the Bible is called GOOD NEWS. Because God sent His Son to die for me while I was still a sinner, and because of His amazing grace, He saved me. HE SAVED ME. I can't do it. I'm too weak. But, because I am the one He loves, He wants to rescue me, He wants to save me, He wants to fight for me, because I am the Daughter of the KING. And, because I am the one He love, He will never leave me, He will never forsake me. Because I am His Daughter, He wants to be with me, He wants to listen to me, He wants to walk beside me, and He wants to sustain me all of my life! This is GOOD NEWS!
It almost my birthday again, I will be 51 years old. My year of being 50 was not my best, most of it was spent in pain. But, the rewards from that pain have been immeasurable. I have prayed for healing in my life in several areas, and because of this pain, God has brought a lot of healing. He has shown me new ways to minister to others as well, and I feel so blessed to learn this. If God had taken the pain away quickly, I would not have had the opportunity to learn some of the life lessons that I have learned, nor would I have benefited from God's amazing grace in the ways that I have. He has a plan and a purpose for all things, learning to trust Him with that plan is the biggest challenge.
Jesus, I am going to continue to Say That Again, I am The Daughter of the King, the one that You Love!

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Trip Back to the Hospital

It was so good to get home from the hospital on Friday, and to know that my surgery was a success. On Saturday, I wrapped myself up in the warming blanket my husband purchased for me, and cuddled on the bed. My husband was beside me most of the day, and a close friend came to spend the day with me. I was blessed with visits from other closer friends, and also from my adult children. I was given blankets, candy, and flowers.

As evening approached, I was finding it difficult to breathe and to stand up straight. By the time I started to eat some dinner, I was in a lot of pain, and each time I tried to take a deep breath, there was a lot of pain in my rib cage. My friend began to notice that I was having issues and was asking how she could help. Then my husband got in on the action and he helped me back to the bed. My children and my dog also thought it best that they help, and piled on the bed too. Let me just say that difficulties breathing, chest pain, children, and the dog, are not the best evening combo.
It didn't take my husband long to call the doctor, and before I knew it the phone was up to my ear and he was asking me to give him a number for the pain on a scale from 1-10. Next thing, my husband and I were driving in the car to the hospital, AGAIN.
There was such a flurry of activity in the hospital ER. The nurse came in and started an IV right away. Another nurse came in and did an EKG. Before I could think about those two things the room was swirling with three or four doctor, each with their job to do. I was given several different pain medications, none of which helped me. I was taken to X-Ray, and to a CATSCAN.  The doctor from my doctor's office came, and said I needed to stay for the night, then listed all kinds of things that they wanted to do. 
The night wore on and finally my pain was controlled. But, nausea set in. The next morning, I was given anti nausea medication, and it completely knocked me out! It made me so tired, I couldn't wake up! My husband, friends, daughter, the doctor, and the nurse, were all yelling, and poking at me in an effort to wake me, but I was completely out! My husband and family were distressed. I did finally wake up, after the doctor poked my chest several times.
I am home again, but I have thought about my trip back to the hospital a lot. It was scary. Not just scary for me, but for my family and some of my friends. It was also lonely. I felt like I was in a battle all night long, but I didn't have a clear understanding what was going on, and neither did anyone else. It was revealing. I learned about myself, and how I want to respond to others in the future and in my ministry.
Jesus, when others feel sick, give me the ability to minister to them in the way that they need. Enable me to touch their lives with healing words and with a healing touch. Say That Again, Jesus, use me to bring healing to the one that You love!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Day of Surgery

Yesterday was the big day for the long-awaited surgery. I was anxious when I checked in, and my body was feeling a lot of pain and nausea.

I got to do all the usual things to prep for surgery. They gave me a blue garment bag for my clothes, and a fancy gown with triangles to wear instead. The nurse asked me piles of questions about my history, and the IV nurse came in and stuck my vein. The anesthesiologist introduced himself and enjoyed talking to my husband about Canada!

  I was relieved to be given some medication that helped me relax. It also felt good to me when my doctor came and we were able to pray together. I was happy not only to have my husband there, but my friend too.  My nurse gave me a cool silver cap to wear, and called it fashionable.

I was wheeled away to the operating room and the last thing I remember hearing is that it would take about 15 seconds for me to fall asleep. I don't think it even took that long. Next thing I knew, I was waking up in the recovery room.
 I asked for my husband, but he was not allowed to be in that part of the hospital, so I had to wait until they took me to my room. Even though I could feel the pain from my surgery, I also did not feel the pain that had been tormenting me the last 6 months.
 When I was ready to check out and go home, I had a ride in a wheelchair to the car where my husband safely drove me home. Later on, a friend came and brought me beautiful flowers.
It feels really good to be on the road to recovery. I can look at my experience and know that God has taught me so much, and for that I am praising His Name. He has brought me on a trust journey, and He still is. He is growing my heart in many ways, and sometimes that is painful, but always it turns out good.
Jesus, I am the one You love, and bring praise before You today for Your timing and Your healing hand. I will Say That Again, because I know You will continue to do a good work in me!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Seat

Friday morning I am scheduled to have the long awaited surgery. I have been anxious. It's hard for me to imagine, after all this time, that the pain my body has been in will actually be gone. It's also weird for me to think of body parts being moved around and removed from my body. I have all these veins inside of me and they have made a huge twisted web inside my abdomen, squeezing my ovary and pushing my uterus. It does not feel good. I'm not a very big person and there's just not enough room in there for extra stuff! But now, because of these destructive veins, my body will be changed forever, and that is weird to me. I'm not sure what it's going to feel like. 
Today, I didn't feel as anxious. I prayed a lot. I keep coming before Jesus and reminding Him that I am the one He loves and adores and I need Him to calm my fears and I need His healing hand upon my body. Not only that I need Him to guide the surgeons hands on Friday as he skillfully cuts through my body.  I am the one He loves and I need Him to enable me to trust the physician and his ability to do the job; I need to trust the physicians judgement as to what is best for my body!
 As I studied with Warrior Sisters today, we talked about being seated in the Heavenlies. Jesus has seated me there forever. He hasn't given me a place to stand, but rather a place to sit. I can relax, take a breath, and let Him be in charge. God has it all under control, He is the One with the strength, not me. I can remain seated and rest in Him. 
Say That Again, Jesus, You have seated me in the heavenlies, so I can relax in You.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The One Jesus Loves

When I went to Women of Faith I heard Judah Smith preach. I enjoyed listening to him, so I purchased his book, Jesus Is. I've been reading his book, and have found it very enjoyable. He's honest, and I like the way he continually points the reader back to Jesus.
He brought up John, the favorite disciple of Jesus. Five times, John calls himself "the disciple whom Jesus loved." In his book, he goes on to say, that he now has started to pray differently because of this. When he prays, he reminds God that he is the one that Jesus loves!
As I was reading this chapter to my husband, it occurred to me too, that I haven't actually thought of myself as God's favorite, like John did. I know He loves me, but John was bold enough to say he was the closest to Jesus. Both my husband and I like the intimacy of praying to God in this way, boldly coming before the throne in love.
So, because He says I am the apple of His eye, and I am His friend, and His love for me is beyond anything I could ever comprehend, I'm going to Say That Again.
Father God, this is Bethany, the one Jesus loves, today I need You, I want You, and I surrender to You. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Faithful

This weekend I was blessed with a trip to Women of Faith. It was nice.
Sometimes it was difficult, because my pain saga continues to challenge me. 
I have found that through this journey of  illness, my heart is seeking more. More depth. More honesty. More love. More relationship. Really, my heart wants more and more of God. 
We also went to Pike Street Market. We sat by the water and ate dinner. We had grilled salmon, fish taco's, and pumpkin sausage soup.  We cruised the Market and my favorite thing was the cabbage rose. The sights, sounds, smells, basically everything made me want to live back in the city. But, I live in the country, and it is peaceful there. 
Today, we visited church. For me, I needed to be in church and just listen. God continues to remind me that He is Faithful. As I journey  through life with my Faithful God, I also pray to be a Faithful and true woman of God. 
Jesus, thank you for being Faithful through all things. Thank you for giving me weekends with good reminders of Your Faithfulness.  I'm going to Say That Again, Jesus, You are Faithful. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Harvest Day

We had another family day yesterday. We went to a pumpkin patch. We also went to a hay maze. We ate apples, and pumpkin treats. When my granddaughter saw the apples, she was very excited. She quickly licked one. We laughed, and moved on. But, she wasn't ready to move on, she turned around and ran back to the apples and grabbed one. She giggled as she took it to her mouth and began to eat it.
My husband and I have joked about how we should buy a bus, so our entire family could ride together when we have family days. We always have to take three or four cars. But, then, if we had a a big ugly bus, no one would want to ride with us!

 The pumpkins and the colors were great! The air was cold, but being with my family warmed my heart.

 Playing in the hay was the all time favorite event of the day!

Our evening was full of carving pumpkins, eating dinner, making brownies, and playing football in the living room. I watched. My thoughts were full, and my heart was thankful. Throughout the day God brought many things to my mind as I listened to the chatter of my family. And, then this morning as I was reading in Matthew 9 I loved the story  of Jesus traveling throughout all the towns and villages reporting Kingdom News. He healed diseased bodies, bruised and hurt lives. And, when Jesus looked out over all the people, His heart felt broken. The people were confused and they were aimless, they were all like sheep without a shepherd. Jesus said "What a huge Harvest, so few workers. On your knees and pray for harvest hands!" 
Jesus, Say That Again! Pray for Harvest Hands!

Friday, October 25, 2013

The One True Hope

This last summer I made a pallet out of pieces of wood a friend brought me. It is currently hanging in our living room. I have looked at it often, and reminded myself that there is always Hope, because Jesus is the One True Hope.
The reality is, in the midst of making this, I was not necessarily feeling hopeful. My walk was being tested, as my physical health was declining with pain. It didn't feel like I was stepping into Springtime at all, but rather walking through a desert, and, I was.
Now, I feel like I'm stepping out of the desert, into something else, there is change and risk, and even excitement. There is Hope! Walking through that desert with Jesus stirred all kinds of emotions in me. And, tested my faith, my ability to trust, my relationships, my heart and soul!
My doctor called to tell me that my insurance finally approved the surgery I need. This is an area that God has asked me to wait on Him for a long time, and I have waited. Sometimes I have not waited well. But, through the waiting, my life has changed.
The One True Hope is Jesus, He always comes through. In the desert, the waiting, the pain, and the change. He is working through all things to fulfill His plan for His Kingdom. We are all part of the plan, and so as I continue, to walk towards Him, there will be many seasons.
Say That Again Jesus, You are the One True Hope!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Warrior Sister Saints

This weekend I went away to a cabin in the woods. My Agape Team was with me, except for one, we discussed the year ahead of us. We had a great time. We had a renewing, restoring, time. We left Friday. Three of us left earlier in the day and headed North. We stopped in a little town and had lunch, then grabbed some coffee before going to our cabin.

We stayed in a cabin that was nestled on 23 acres, deep in the woods. It was beautiful. The Fall colors, the warm sun, and the promise of deepening relationships, quickened my heart.

We took turns preparing meals for each other. We spent time reading stories. We prayed. We discussed the plans for Agape, our ideas, questions, hopes, and desires. We stepped out into new territory and trusted each other.

The Mission Statement at Agape is this:

Our mission, as Saints of God, is to allow Him to work though us to bring healing in His community. Led by the Word, confirmed by the Holy Spirit. We seek Restoration, Renewal, and Revival.

God has called me to be on mission for Him, and He's called these beautiful women to walk this journey too. We are Warrior Sister Saints, and we are ready to allow Him to work through us to bring healing in His community. We are led by the Word of God, filled and confirmed by the Spirit. We seek Restoration, Renewal, and Revival in our own lives!

This weekend our goal was to connect with each other, and to plan events for our community in which we can show love, faith, creativity, joy, and most of all Jesus! I am excited that Jesus is very present among us! 

Keep your eyes open for posts from my Warrior Sister Saints on the Agape site at and tonight I am praising Jesus for the sisters He has brought into my life. They are an answer to prayer. This time He is telling me to Say That Again, reminding me that this is the prayer I prayed over and over again for years, and yes, He has pulled through, and He is still pulling through.