Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Hunt

Our family had a Scavenger hunt. It was a lot of fun. All the girls, left clues for the guys around town, the goal in the end was to find the girls!  Our family has a lot of good memories in this town. We've had our children here, and they've grown up here, they've been married here, and they are having their own children here. We are building memories here, and it means a lot to me that I can get together with my daughter in laws and share memories of life. They know my sons and the journeys that have impacted them.
So, the scavenger hunt sent my husband and my sons down memory lane. They visited the park where my son's wedding pictures were, the park where my son was married, the hospital where my son's daughter was born. There were many other visits to memorable places, and we ended at a corner ice cream diner, an old time favorite of my husband and I.
The girls and I had a lot of fun coming up with the clues and just thinking about the guys running all over town looking for us! It's nice to be pursued. It's good to be hunted for by the ones that loves us.
Of course, it reminded me of how God is pursuing me.  He sent His Son to show me just how serious He is about the hunt.
A couple days ago as I was praying I asked God to give me the verse I needed for the day, to please speak to my heart. He gave me Micah 2:13

"Then I, God, will burst all confinements and lead them out into the open.  They'll follow their King. I will be out in front leading them."

I love how God promises to burst ALL confinements! He will do this in me, and in you too.  In Proverbs 20:27  I read this,

"The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all the innermost parts of his being."

Just like the guys searched for us girls. God searches even more so for me. He searches all the innermost parts of my being, to the point of bursting ALL confinements! And, leading me into the open. As I said, I asked God to give me the verse I needed that day, and He did.
Jesus, Say That Again, You will burst all confinements!

The guys after finding each clue

Waiting for the guys

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Huckleberry Treasures

We went to look for huckleberries. It was a fun adventure, and it was the first time I have been huckleberry picking. It was fun. Everything about it was good.  I have noticed that huckleberries are a big thing, and lots of people are on the hunt for them. Nothing get in the way of ones bucket of berries!
My kids, especially my son, had fun picking the huckleberries. He likes to eat them on his pancakes in the morning. I think for him, he enjoys being out in the woods, he's a nature kind of guy. My daughter, she thought it was pretty fun, but it wasn't her favorite activity. My friend, she loves it. I will go with her again, and learn more about huckleberries!

When I was looking through the bushes for berries it reminded me of hidden treasures. It was fun to watch my children search around for each berry like they were searching for a treasure, and when they would find an extra big one they would be really excited. I've been thinking about treasure a lot and being valuable because of the women's retreat that is coming up, but also because of some personal stuff that has come up for me.
A friend of mine sent me a text yesterday with a verse. It was Isaiah 43:2-3

When you're in over your head, I'll be there with you.
When you're in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you're between a rock and a hard place, it won't be a dead end-
Because I am God, your personal God, The Holy of Israel, your Savior.
I paid a huge price for you:
all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in!
That's how much you mean to me!
That's how much I love you!

Sometimes I feel like I am in over my head, or I'm caught in rough waters, or between a rock and a hard place.  Sometimes I am challenged with questions of my own value, or I am tired, frustrated, disconnected. But, through all that, I do know that God is God. He is here with me, and He brings the right people at the right times. He does not let His people drown, He leads me out every time. He searches for me, just like I searched for the huckleberries. He searches for me, because I am His treasure. Say That Again, Jesus, You will always search for me.

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Pallets

It feels like I'm running out of time. It's the middle of July, and the women's retreat is fast approaching. The list of things to do is still rather long, but the days to accomplish them is not as long! Maybe, everything will not get done as I have imagined. It will still work out. This week I have been focusing on painting pallets. And, I'm still looking for more pallets, but have noticed that they are becoming a little harder to find.
 It seems that everyone is pallet happy these days. I see truck loads of pallets on the highway, and I am so curious where they are taking them. A friend told me that she went to a pallet bonfire, as she was telling me it brought a gasp to my breath. How could this happen? Burning pallets?
So, back to my signs, I put my children to work painting a pallet. One with red paint, the other with blue. This kept them busy for a over an hour. While they did the red and blue pallet, I painted one with chalkboard paint. Fun, and big project. After the chalkboard paint was dry, I then added some other interesting details to make my pallet unique.  It's not finished yet, but I'm liking the way it looks.
As I was working on the pallets with my chalkboard paint, and then later adding some special treasures, it made me think of how God has picked me up out of the trash and painted over me. He too writes His Word on my heart, and adds His treasures to my life. In Deuteronomy 14:2 it says this:

You are a people holy to God, your God; God chose you out of all the people on Earth as His cherished personal treasure.

Abba, Father, Say That Again, I am Your treasure!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Day at the Lake

Today was another very nice day. We went to the lake, and our oldest son, two daughter in laws, and a grandson joined us. It was a perfect day to be by the water. My two youngest children, and my husband, jumped off the big rocks into the lake. And, my grandson sat in the water and splashed water in his face, his mouth wide open. We watched and found him to be great entertainment. I enjoyed relaxing on the beach in the little cove we found and simply watched my family move all around me. I enjoyed the sun, the water, the chatter, the laughter, the smiles, the sand, everything about the day.
A friend of mine recently made the comment that what we have here on this earth is not as good as it gets! On days like today, as I sat on the beach watching my family play, I felt excited to think about all that I have to look forward to!
Jesus has blessed me right now with eternal life, and I get to spend eternity with the people I love. How great is that? And, when we are in heaven together, it will be far better than here on earth! But, right now, God has given us the gift of the heavenlies, He invites me and all of my family to sit with Him, and to enjoy His beauty. I'm good with that today.
Say That Again, Lord Jesus, You have invited me in!

The Very Nice Day

Yesterday was a very nice day for me.  I was with many of my favorite people. I ate breakfast with my husband, my children, and my grandchildren. I was able to visit with my son on the front porch. I enjoyed conversation with my husband on our sunny deck. I went for a walk with a friend.
My Agape Team met for an afternoon meeting, and we talked about the upcoming women's retreat. I felt thankful to have their input and excited that God has brought a team together to further His Kingdom and learn about His desires and His will.
I was excited to go with friends after our meeting to dinner and a concert. We had a great time! At the restaurant we sat outside on the deck in the sun. We could hear the river below us, and see the flow of it's water rushing by. All the sounds, sights, tastes, and company, were delightful.
We didn't rush through our meal; we enjoyed every bite. We shared. I love steak, but I don't know that much about steak, so to me I'm rather fascinated that two cuts can taste so different. That was my silly dinner thought!
Our concert experience was in the park. We had beach chairs and blankets. And, for an extra special treat, my friend brought chocolate, almond joys and chocolate caramels. We settled on our blankets, and enjoyed the past time of people- watching.
The concert was great! The company of my friends was comforting to me, and it was fun. I still have a pain in my back, but it was okay, because with friends I can just be relaxed and chill. It is a gift. I can watch my friends dance, and jump, and it feels good to me. We laughed, we cried, we hugged, we prayed, we talked, and we just sat quietly throughout the evening. My heart felt rested. I praised Jesus through music, and knew that His Spirit was upon me and my friends. God saw us there, and I know that He said, "This is good!" I want Him to witness my life on a daily basis and Say That Again!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Mud Pies

My daughter, son, and two grandchildren decided to play in the mud yesterday. They made the best mud pies in the state. They also had races on the skateboards, and played in the swing. They conquered the forest and all the giants with their sword sticks. It was a good day!
Fur Ball kept close watch on the entire ordeal, pretending to be a watch dog.

I've noticed that with kids they can make so many things into fun. They turned our driveway into mud pies. They made our walkway into a race track. And, our forest into an imaginary war zone. They found wood in the shed and made a ramp for their bikes to jump from. And my two year old grandchild, she danced in the yard with a baby doll, played on the swing, and also made mud pies. They weren't concerned about getting dirty, or what the other person might think. They didn't get caught up in the competition of being better than each other, or making judgments. They just had fun. I did too.
I had a discussion yesterday with friends about how we might limit Jesus in our lives. Later, while with my little group of children, I asked myself how often I limit Jesus from having fun? I think He has fun, but do I allow Him to take me with Him?
I am going to pray for Jesus to help me answer that question. And, when He does, I will ask Him to Say That Again!

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Happy Hike

My husband and I had all five of our children together yesterday, our three daughter in laws, our three grandchildren, and the dog! It can't get much better than that. Even though my body didn't feel well, my heart was happy. We had a happy hike!

God, in His infinite mercy has given me life. And, in this life, He has richly blessed me with a beautiful family. As my husband and I were walking this trail, my husband chuckled and said, I can't believe what we started!
I wonder if God ever says that as He looks down on His children. I know I am His treasure, we all are. He has chosen me, and He loves me, just as my own children are a treasure to me, I choose them and I love them. I want to spend time with them, I want to watch them, enjoy them, listen to them, just be with them. God probably feels pretty excited when I decide to take a day and spend it with Him, when I actually give Him my time.
Say That Again, Sweet Jesus, You like to walk with me, you consume me because I choose You, and this is why I'm happy!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Crazy Pain

I've got a back ache, it's been there for awhile now. It's low in my back and it's starting to really interrupt my life style. Not only do I have a back ache, but the pain penetrates around to the side of my abdomen too. And, I have the added bonus of nausea. I'm use to having various pains in my body and they just come and go. I use to go to the doctor, but I quit when I discovered that they did not have solutions! This time though, I decided that I would go, considering the pain was not going away and my lifestyle was being altered. So, I scheduled a visit, this is where the crazy comes in.
I did the routine of the little exam room, the doctor poking my back, asking questions, and peeing in a cup. I got poked with a needle and scheduled for an ultrasound.  I went to the ultrasound and they took pictures of all my organs, and now I get to wait for the results. I filled my prescription for pain pills, and had an allergic reaction to them, and got to itch for three days. I feel really grumpy. Even though my body is in pain, my belief is that the doctor won't be able to figure out what is going on, and I will be in a crazy cycle of pain and grumpy forever.
This morning when I woke up, I started by asking God to get me through this day. It's a family day with all my children and grandchildren. Feeling crazy, grumpy, and in pain, does not fit in well with family days. I read the Sara Young devotional and I liked the last paragraph:

Ask My Spirit  to control your mind, for He and I work in perfect harmony. Be still and attentive in My presence. You are on holy ground.

Whatever happens with the pain in my body, doesn't really matter. What matters is what I think about. And, I can so easily forget this. I am not on crazy ground, I am on holy ground, because I live in the presence of Jesus. Sometimes I don't want to use the energy it takes to be nice, so I'm just grumpy. But, the truth is, holy ground is kind and loving.
Jesus, You are Holy. Your Spirit is within me and Your Hand continues to touch me. Take the crazy cycle of pain that I get in and keep me still. Say That Again to me, I'm on holy ground!

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Wonder

Yesterday morning I was reading the story of Samson, and I found it interesting about the angel. When Manoah, Samson's father asked him what his name was, his reply was "you wouldn't understand, it's sheer wonder."
It seems that Manoah was left a little  dumbfounded, because he felt that he didn't understand or know what to do after the Angel of the Lord left. So, he prayed that God would send an Angel again and explain to them the steps in child rearing this special child. God did. The Angel of the Lord came again, he basically said the same thing to both Manoah and his wife. Manoah, gave a sacrifice and the angel disappeared in the midst of it. The reality of it all hit Manoah and he was certain that he and his wife were going to die! After all they had seen God's angel. But, his wife said, "If God were planning to kill us, he wouldn't have accepted our whole burnt offering and grain offering, or revealed all these things to us--given us this birth announcement."
I love how she was able to remain calm and have faith. She gave birth to Samson. He grew and God blessed him. The Spirit of God stirred within him.
Back to The Angel of the Lord, we never do hear the name. Throughout the old testament The Angel of the Lord with the name that is sheer wonder, does works of wonder for a God of wonder!  I try to imagine what it would be like to have The Angel of the Lord come to see me and give me some kind of wondrous news from God!  Would I think that I was about to die like Manoah, or stay calm like his wife did?
God has given me wondrous news now, promises for my future. Sometimes I stay calm and live in faith. I am able to state the obvious just as she did. Then there are times that I am more like Manoah, and I think I'm going to die.
Jesus, You have revealed Your promises to me, You have accepted me, loved me, chosen me, and I choose to glorify You today! What a wonder You are. Say That Again!