Saturday, December 27, 2014

What I've Learned

2014 is wrapping up, and it's time to say goodbye. I've been reflecting on the year for a couple days now, it's like a rear view mirror. Praise God the years behind me are like mirrors that are tiny, and the years ahead are wide open windows!
Thank you, to my many readers for bringing my blog to 100,000 reads! Thank you for sharing my posts on your pages and with your friends and around the world. Thank you for making 2014 a breaking record year of over 2000 page reads a day! God has blessed this blog, and He has blessed me through all my readers, and I want to Say That Again, and Again!
What is the biggest most important thing you learned in 2014?
This is the question that I have rolling around in my head. 
Through it all, what have I learned?
1. When people die, even people that I may not be especially close to but I still know, I feel sad. And, I need to cry and talk about that pain.
2. Love is a choice, it's a direction that we all can choose to take in life. Wearing love for ones self is a practice that requires the power of the Spirit just as much as loving others.
3. God's promises seem slow sometimes. This can be discouraging. This does not mean I do not have faith or I do not believe!
4. It's okay to have expectations! In fact, it's weird not too. I have expectations of myself, and when I'm in a relationship with people that I love, it's only natural that I would expect them to love me back, or to reciprocate. 
5. To be authentic is scary, but it really brings out the true and faithful. 
6. I am weak. But, I believe God is strong and I believe He is going to accomplish all that He has promised. I have goals and dreams for myself and for my ministry. I know I cannot do any of this on my own, but with God, somehow He will make it happen. 
7. Passion is a gift from God.  
8. God heals.
9. Prayer works in amazing ways in my life. Prayer is a fragile gift from the Spirit, His language soaks deep into my soul penetrating every fiber. 
Prayer is my avenue to being known. 
Everything is wide open in prayer, nothing held back, no secrets. 
Prayer is love. Faith. Hope. Trust. 
I have discovered to pray for someone is very different than to pray with someone...for someone is coming alongside them in love and support to lift them up to Jesus. To pray with them, I am giving them a view inside my heart.
10. I'm 52 now. There are many things in my past I would prefer to be different, but then again, I would not be who I am without those challenges. I have made many mistakes. Through it all, God has brought so many blessings. He has lifted me up into a life of restoration, renewal, and love. I need Him to Say That Again to me every day lest I forget His glorious gifts!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Shadow

We've been out of town all month, and just rolled back into our garage last night.  It was a great trip, one of the best ever.  While I was playing with my children at Disney Land, and enjoying the warmth of California sun, my thoughts were not on Christmas.
But now, it's the 21st and Christmas is just around the corner. My kids received money for Christmas, and I was warmly blessed to see their eagerness to spend their gift money on others.  
We were also given the pick of our Christmas tree from a tree farm, so today we headed out to go cut down our tree. We were greeted with hot chocolate and donuts before the short trek to find the perfect tree.  And, there were a lot of perfect trees, but when we saw the tiny tree, shorter than me, it just seemed to be more than perfect.  So,  with a few swift cuts of the blade the tree was ours!
This Christmas all my children will be with us on Christmas day and our grandchildren! To me, this is a beautiful gift. There are not a lot of presents under our tiny tree, but it is wrapped in love. 
As I mentioned, we've been away on a trip. We went to California. My husband had business to attend to there, my kids and I had some serious play time.
It wasn't all fun and games though. God sent some rainy days to stop the flurry and put us all to rest. It was delightful.
With each day I thanked God for the way He was wrapping up 2014 for me. He took a year that has been hard and challenging, and topped it with fun, rest, play, and love. All the things I really needed. I felt wrapped up in His love and protected in His shadow.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. Psalms 91:1

And, I realized that sometimes when we are in the shadow, it can feel dark and alone--for a time. Shadows are like that. But, there is safety in that dwelling place, and knowledge of light.
In shadows, there is a wrapping.
This Christmas season, my prayer is that each one of you will abide in the shadow of the Almighty and know the wrapping of His amazing love. May your life be filled with rest, play, family, joy, and Jesus.  
And, in the New Year Say That Again!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Totally Saved

Yesterday was my birthday. It was a very nice day. I had a few birthday wishes, all of which I got to do. 
The first thing I wanted to do was visit Bethel Church, and we did that on Sunday. It was a great experience for our entire family. I enjoyed watching the people engage each other in conversation there. Both my husband and I noticed that they reached out and touched each other a lot and prayed for each other often. The conversation in the HeBrew coffee shop centered around God and all that He was doing in their lives. It was stimulating, exciting, and good.
I also liked it because at the end of the service, I went to the front and asked someone to pray for me. My right arm has been in pain for a long time, and I haven't been able to fully move it above my head or behind my back. She prayed. It moves now. The pain is almost completely gone. She also prayed for my time to be refreshed and restored and as she did God gave me a picture of a hammock and a sword. 
A hammock for rest and a sword for restoration!
She asked me what I was planning to give God in exchange, and I gave Him the stresses in my life.
It was a beautiful time.
My family and I spent my birthday day together. We did some shopping, went out for coffee, and ate Italian food. Then we drove to the beach, one of my favorite places. I loved watching my children play in the waves and run in the sand. We explored new towns, and had good conversations. It was a relaxing and fun day.
Many friends and family wished me a happy birthday and I felt loved. It was a good day. 
Above all, I knew on my birthday, and I know now, I am totally saved! Because my Jesus came to this earth and was born, lived a life as a boy and man, then died on that cross, I am Totally Saved!
He didn't do it half way. In fact, He even said "It is finished!"
Totally Saved
That's the best part of every day.
Say That Again, Totally Saved!