Do You Wanna Kill a Snowman?

It snowed. Again. And I’m sorry.

I remember those days like they were yesterday. Stuck inside a two bedroom apartment with two rowdy preschool aged boys, it wasn’t a snow day. It was a hostage crisis and I was the hostage.

“Mom! We wanna go outside! Please, mom! Take us outside!” Their demands were simple: Spend 15 minutes pulling on snow pants, boots, hopefully a matching pair of mittens, and a coat. Go outside for 5 minutes in the actual snow, then come back inside and spend 15 minutes taking it all off again, followed by not too hot cocoa and their favorite cookies. No big deal, right?

Maybe not for a 16 year old who got to sleep in. Not for a woman who hasn’t had a good night’s sleep for 3,247 days.

I remember well. I remember thinking how snow days were supposed to look. How we’d build a snowman and take pictures for the scrapbook. How we would build snow forts and take pictures for the scrapbook. How we would fill spray bottles with water and food coloring to color the snow. Or make snow ice cream. So we could take pictures for the scrapbook.

For me, it was always about creating memories for a life I wanted to live, but didn’t actually have the time or energy to live.

My boys are teenagers now. Nobody asked if they can go outside to build a snowman. Today my help was not needed to pull on snow pants and gloves. Yes! Instead, they had to suit up to shovel the driveway and sidewalks. We’ve come a long way. And you know what? I don’t regret not having “better” pictures for our scrapbook. I regret not embracing the time for what it truly was: Loud, crazy, chaotic, exhausting, messy, crusty, unstructured, and truly the longest days of my life. But they were mine and it’s not too late to own them.

It’s not too late.

Today I choose to embrace the life we are living, and as I do, grace warms us like the sun.

Rescue Mission Accomplished

She overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and the word of her testimony…(Revelation 12:11 NIV, emphasis mine)

This past year hasn’t been easy. Honestly, I’m not sure I know anyone who’s had it easy. I’ve been dealing with chronic pain and fatigue. Throw in some chronic disappointment and you have the recipe for chronic discouragement and depression. Yuck. You see, I really believed that all this junk would have cleared up by now…that God would have answered my prayers and taken it all away. Although I know He has heard me, He has not removed these uncomfortable circumstances from me.

This is my first post in three months. Not because I didn’t have anything to say, but because I stopped trusting that I had anything worthwhile to say. I like to offer encouraging, hopeful, hang in there, don’t give up words. Those words are hard to offer when doubt, shame, anger, resentment, self-pity, and disgust are the words most readily available.

Last weekend I got to spend some time at a Captivating Advanced retreat in the beautiful Rocky Mountains in Colorado with John and Stasi Eldredge along with several members of the Ransomed Heart team. It wasn’t just a retreat, it was a rescue. If you have never been to one of their events, I strongly encourage you to do whatever it takes to get to one. I’m telling you, GO!!!

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So much healing took place in those mountains, but before sending us on our merry little way John Eldredge spent some time teaching about the reality of pain and suffering this side of heaven. He challenged us to let suffering expose and access our deepest wounds because they expose where our hopes are primarily set. Ouch. Personally, I’m not a big fan of being exposed in any way, but God would not send me home without giving me a chance to allow Him to deal with this area in my life. Too much is at stake.

For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. 2 Corinthians 1:5 NIV

John warned us…”Don’t reject the comfort because you’re mad that it’s not the answer you want.”

Busted.

Near the end of the session I spent some time quietly reflecting with a pen in one hand and Kleenex in the other…

I heard Jesus asking me:

“What if the current physical affliction you’ve been experiencing doesn’t go away? What will you do? How does that affect how you feel about Me?

You must choose.

Choose the idea of a pain free life without Me and the lie that you can make it happen. Or you can choose to trust Me and let Me love you and comfort you as much as you need. Your need is great.

You’ve been believing a lie that you can’t be effective in your calling while you’re suffering. It’s a lie. It’s not true. It’s not even biblical.

You have to choose.

Fight through the pain and follow Me on this path that I have chosen for you right now. You won’t always have this pain or be tired. No. One day we will be face to face and it will all melt away. I’ll wipe away every single tear and you will be free.

You have to let go of trying to understand why and just trust that My love is enough. My grace is enough to carry you. I’ll give you what you need to flourish and produce rich fruit to be refreshing to many thirsty souls. There’s a world that needs you. Don’t sit out any longer. They’re playing your favorite song and I’m asking you to dance with Me. Let Me guide you and lead you. Let Me hold you. Let Me teach you new steps. Let go of the way you thought the plan should work out. Let it go. Release your fear, doubt, and pain to Me. Open your hands and your heart to Me. Let Me fill you. This is where your healing begins.”

And so today I choose to re-engage here in this space. Too much is at stake.

Thanks for stopping by.

I’m Not the Breast

Not long ago a friend came to me exhausted, overwhelmed, and ready to give up. She was physically, spiritually, and emotionally spent trying to balance her career with her role as a mother, wife, friend, and the kind of Christian she thought she needed to be.  The kind of Christian who says yes more than no because Christianity is about sacrifice. The kind of Christian who helps everyone even if it means sacrificing those closest to her.

I knew exactly how my friend was feeling because I had been there too. If I’m honest, I still find myself there far more often than I should.

We prayed and invited Jesus into our conversation and He reminded her of a situation in her past when she felt like she was feeling that day.

My friend told me about a time when she had small children and desperately wanted to help a needy younger mother from church. She believed that it was her Christian duty to make herself and her home available to the needy mother any time she needed. The needy mother wasn’t even all that nice to my friend, but she believed Jesus would want her to be available no matter what.

One day the needy mother dropped by with her baby and said, “I have to go somewhere today. Will you watch her for me?” My friend automatically said “Yeah…sure.” Without hesitating, the needy mother handed her baby over and left.

My friend stood in her small living room surrounded by her own small children, one of which was an infant who still needed to be nursed, wondering how she was going to care for all of these children. When the infant she was babysitting started to cry, she did what any babysitter would do. She looked for a bottle to feed the hungry baby, but her needy mother hadn’t left a bottle.  My friend had no way to contact the mother to let her know she had left behind a hungry baby. So she did the only thing she knew to do.

With tears streaming down her face, she held another woman’s baby up to her breast to offer the only thing she could. The baby fussed, not wanting to suck at this stranger’s breast. It wasn’t her mother, but after a few minutes of struggling, hunger and instinct latched on.  Nothing about this intimate moment was comfortable. Everything inside of my friend was screaming “NO! Make it stop!” 

Sometimes we say yes when everything inside is screaming “NO! Make it stop!” 

As I listened to my friend struggle through tears to tell me her story, I could see how the pattern had repeated itself over and over in her life. She wanted to be able to say yes without fear and know that if she said no that she was going to be OK. She needed to know that God would love her anyway and that God would take care of the person she told no. She wondered if she could be liked and accepted without saying yes to everyone.

We cried. We prayed, and in my spirit I heard the Lord prompt me to tell her,

“You’re not the breast. I AM.”

Even as the words were coming out of my mouth I wanted to laugh because they sounded so absurd. I don’t remember ever hearing a Sunday School lesson about God being the breast. What I do remember is being told over and over about how God (El Shaddai) is all sufficient, powerful, provider, healer, peace, faithful…that He is everything we could ever want or need.

There are many references to “breasts” in the Bible. These are usually the verses that get my husband’s attention. Hey, whatever it takes. After doing some ‘Names of God’ searching, I learned that the Hebrew word “shad” (Shaddai) signifies the One who mightily nourishes, satisfies, protects, and supplies His people. Isaiah 60:16 NIV God tells His people that “they will drink the milk of nations and be nursed at royal breasts. Then you will know that I, the Lord, am your Savior, your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.” Isaiah 66:11-13 paints a similar picture. God is the one who sustains and comforts.

…to experience God’s sufficiency, we must realize our own insufficiency.–Nathan Stone

That day my friend needed to know it wasn’t up to her to be all sufficient. It wasn’t her job to fulfill everyone’s needs and solve their problems. My friend needed to be reminded that our God is everything we will ever need. He lacks nothing. He loves us. He’s already paid the ultimate sacrifice by sending Jesus to die for our sins. He wanted us to know that it was time to stop thinking we were the breast. We get to be part of how He provides from time to time, but it is all about Him. ALL OF THE TIME. He wants us to have the joy that comes from knowing we’re loved and that no one can take His love away from us.

This encounter with my friend was meant to encourage and strengthen her to let go of the guilt and shame she had been holding on to for so long. It was beautiful to watch Jesus set her free to love others more freely. I had no idea how it would affect me, but it has.

I’m not the breast.

It sounds silly, but saying those words (usually under my breath so my boys don’t think I’m crazier than they already do) when I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders has saved me from a good crushing lately.

If this is something you’re struggling with, I pray that God will use it to free you too.

 

In the Middle of the Chaos and the Crazy

What do you get when you mix a ‘just barely emotionally stable’ blogger with a crazy schedule? Well, let’s just say that the answer should accompany some really lengthy therapy sessions. And a massage.

Anyway, today I’m going to level with you. Life is nuts. It’s that simple. Here’s why:

1. My mother-in-law is moving back to Iowa from Virginia and will be living with us for as long as it takes. She needs a hip replacement. Please pray for her and our family as we make these adjustments. We are not easy people to live with. There are basically two volumes in our house, loud and louder. Seriously, pray. She’ll be here next week.

2. My baby turns 13 next week.

3. I am preparing to attend the Proverbs 31 She Speaks conference in North Carolina at the end of July. Last time I attended the writer’s track and took a book proposal, met with publishers, had my pride crushed, etc. This time I’m attending the speaker’s track and will give a 5 minute teaching in a peer group with a Proverbs 31 speaker for some constructive feedback. I don’t think of myself as a teacher…more as a sharer…so there’s some internal borderline hysterical laughter that hopefully will stay internal during those 5 minutes.

4. I want my mommy. My mommy lives about 2,000 miles away. It’s just not going to happen.

5. Our house is still for sale and I’m so over it.

So that’s who’s writing this morning. You might ask, “Why bother to write at all when things are so crazy?” Because I need to.  Blogging is an inexpensive form of therapy and helps me stay consistent. And just maybe in the process of leveling with you, you’ll have the courage to level with someone else today. Because life gets crazy…crazier. It all depends on your level of crazy.

Here’s some good news though:

Yesterday I was reading in Revelations about when things on this earth as we know them have ceased. Jesus is coming back. He is. I don’t know about you, but I forget. I forget that the way things are right now is not the way they will always be. I don’t want to spend my life living for the future and miss what’s right in front of me, but when I get stressed out and feel overwhelmed it’s easy to allow myself to cozy up to hopelessness. Not a good place for me. The really good news is that I don’t have to wait until the rapture to not be overwhelmed and stressed out. Praise the Lord!

This year I’ve been trying to journal every day. It’s been hard and I’ve missed huge chunks of life, but yesterday I started reading through my journal. A lot has happened since last summer. God has been busy in our lives. Right in the middle of the chaos and the crazy, He has been faithful every single day. Even on the days where the brain fog was too thick to even string a sentence together…He was faithful.

He has been faithful. He is faithful. He will continue to be faithful. To me. To you.

What a tremendous relief!

I hope you’re having a great summer and that it’s not chaotic and crazy, but if it is, know that you’re not alone. The only way we’re going to make it through is with prayer. Please leave a comment. I’d love to pray for you. Thanks for stopping by!

AND…If you like beef enchiladas…I’ve posted a recipe over at my Real Life blog.These are hands down the best enchiladas I’ve ever made or eaten in my life. And I’ve eaten a lot of them. Enough said.

The Holes in My Coffee Cup

There are days when my cup runneth over and then there are days that no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to fill it with anything that lasts.

Last year I felt strongly prompted by the Holy Spirit to stop drinking coffee. When I say strong, I mean the kind of “STOP IT NOW!” where you know it’s not time to mess around. That very day I pulled out my hard earned Starbucks gold card and mailed it to my sister out in California. She was going to nursing school and desperately needed all the caffeine she could get. I should also mention that this happened about a week after my 40th birthday. Everyone knew Starbucks was the love of my life and had blessed me with gift cards. I was rich in Starbucks money. My card was truly gold. And it had to go. It was my way of drawing a line in the sand that day and saying, “Ok, God. I will do what you say.”

The days that followed were truly miraculous. If you’ve ever tried to kick a caffeine habit, you know the familiar headaches that come with withdrawal. I never had a single headache. God’s grace was all over this and even though I was exhausted, I knew He was carrying me. He showed me how I had been using coffee (espresso and lots of it) to prop me up and how it was actually hurting my body more than I really knew. I stopped eating dairy shortly after because if I couldn’t have half n half anymore…seriously, why bother? Ok, so I also had some food allergy testing and the dairy was amongst a long list of things that I needed to avoid. After a couple months I began to notice that I wasn’t having the sinus problems that had made my face hurt no matter how many rounds of antibiotics I’d taken. And I had taken a lot.

Fast forward to this year. I recently celebrated my 41st birthday with a trip out to California. While I was there I decided it wouldn’t be that big of a deal to have coffee. I actually prayed about it and didn’t hear a resounding NO…so I indulged knowing that it wasn’t going to become a habit. Good grief, it was my birthday! I was on vacation. There was a time difference. I wanted to enjoy my family with my eyes open. You get the idea. I had plenty of excuses and they were all really good. So was the coffee.

My husband drinks coffee in the morning. In fact, I bought him a Keurig for Valentine’s Day this year. He had been trying to stay off the coffee with me, but it wasn’t his line in the sand to draw. Just because we’re married doesn’t mean God asks both of us to do the same thing. Thank God, because when I left for California my man was a couch potato. While I was out there, he decided to take up running. I came home to a runner. God did not ask me to join him on his run. I cannot thank Him enough.

For the past few months I’ve been taking a sip or two of my man’s coffee in the morning. Not a big deal. It’s not like I drank a full cup. Ok, there were a few days that I made myself a cup…but not every day. It really wasn’t a big deal.

Until it was a big deal. Like about a week and a half ago when my lungs started bothering me again and the old asthma like stuff that isn’t really asthma hit me hard. I thought that was over…I thought God had taken it away, dare I say healed me. For good. What the heck?

While I was in California I watched my mother filling a large bowl of water for their dogs on the front porch multiple times a day. It was a big bowl and she was frustrated because it felt like all she did was fill that dang bowl. How thirsty could two dogs be when it wasn’t even hot outside? Finally, I asked my mom if she had checked for holes in the bowl. She assured me it couldn’t have any holes because it was made out of metal. She had learned her lesson with a big plastic water dish when the grandpuppy chewed it to pieces. But even as we talked I could see a wet area spreading out from beneath the metal bowl. My dad picked up the bowl and examined it a little closer. Sure enough, there was a small hole where the metal had rusted. My mom threw away the damaged bowl and replaced it with a large pot from her cookware cabinet. She wasn’t messing around.

It’s time for me to stop messing around. Time to stop flirting with something that I know I was told to “STOP IT NOW!” Again.

I’ll be honest, it’s been a rough week. I have a lot of questions…like why is it OK for everyone else to drink coffee, but not me? Why can’t I eat/drink the things I really enjoy without all of hell breaking loose? And even as I ask the question the thought occurs that maybe what I eat/drink is the crack in my self-made armor that makes me an easy target for my enemy. After all, I’m not fighting against flesh and blood, but against a darkness that is bent on destroying me. The truth is that I never just want a cup. I want one every single day. I want it throughout the day. If I could have an IV bag with coffee put in my arm, I would do it in a heartbeat. I can’t get enough.

Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued… Ephesians 6:4 The Message

What I put in my body has the ability to build me up or tear me down. This is true for everyone. But for me, staying away from gluten, dairy, and coffee is a a weapon God has given to me to protect me and to set me free.

Christ has set me free to live a free life. So I’m taking my stand! Again. I declare that I will never again allow myself to make myself a slave to ANYTHING. Galations 5:1  The Message (paraphrase mine)

Time to stop messing around and plug the leaks so that we (God and me) can just get on with it already.

Can you relate? I welcome your comments and insights.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Uterus Betrayed Me and it’s National Peanut Butter & Jelly day

Did you know that today is National Peanut Butter & Jelly Day?

I read it on Facebook about 10 minutes ago. Just to be sure, I did a quick fact check on the internet and IT’S TRUE! So, of course, I had to jump on here and blog about something…ANYTHING. A blog with a name synonymous with a national celebration needs to act accordingly. It’s my duty as a blogger.

Lest you think I’m hopping on here with wisdom and deep insight that will change your life, think again. Nope. It’s SO not gonna happen today.

My seventh grader is on a field trip today with his class to hear the city symphony perform. Last night at dinner…you know, the meal that’s supposed to invite the kind of conversation that brings a family closer together…he complained about having to go hear music ‘without words’ and how boring it was going to be. It was my duty and privilege to provide examples of lyric free music that he likes in every single movie he’s watched since I plopped his chubby cheeks in front of the babysitter, I mean, television. Movies like Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean, Lord of the Rings, and on and on the list went. “Would Darth Vader be Darth Vader without The Imperial March?” OF COURSE HE WOULDN’T!!!!! My litigator would not buy it. He was determined to be bored and couldn’t imagine why a music teacher would waste his time with such dribble.

I love music. It’s part of what has kept me alive for nearly 41 years on this planet. It’s a reason I exist. Breathing is made easier because of music. I love it. It’s darn near impossible for me to find music to hate. I said darn near. I’m not into the angry screaming stuff…because it makes me angry and want to scream and Lord knows I don’t need any incentive to do what already comes naturally. Anyway. I LOVE MUSIC. You get the picture.

As I listened to my child argue with my examples, I started to flash (you know, like on that nerd show ‘Chuck’) on a few conversations I’d had with this child’s father that were eerily similar. I turned around and looked at the father of my children just about the time he said, “You know, I kind of feel the same way…” That’s when I put down my fajita and blurted out

“MY UTERUS BETRAYED ME!!!!!!!!”

How in the world? Nine…almost ten months in MY body, not his father’s. No. How in the world? By my account, this kid should have come out singing and demanding piano lessons! Did not happen. In fact, getting him to participate in music is sort of like giving birth all over again…and he was born C-section. It’s painful.

Don’t get me wrong, I know my kid was created by God to be unique and wonderful and blah blah blah. Would it be too much to ask that some of my passion would have worked its way through the umbilical cord into his soul? I do not know FOR THE LIFE OF ME how my kid wound up with his father’s ability to understand all things math and science related. NINE MONTHS, PEOPLE!

I can’t wait to hear how his field trip went. The last words I said to him before dropping him at school were, “Try not to hate the field trip. I love you.”

So that’s what’s going on with me. How about you?

Feel free to leave me a comment about how your uterus betrayed you…or how you’re celebrating National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day. Either way, we’ll bond.

Thanks for stopping by.

You Are More Than Lucky to be Here

Inspired by the ‘Bible’ miniseries, I decided to start reading the book of Exodus again. By the end of chapter one I was bawling over the kind of evil that would order newborn baby boys to be drowned in the Nile and how one courageous mother dared to believe God could save her son.

Moses’ mother hid him for three months (hello…I had trouble keeping mine quiet for three hours) but then couldn’t keep him hidden any longer. If you’ve been around a three month old, you know how adorable they are and how they loooooove to hear themselves ‘talk’. She then placed her baby boy in a waterproof basket in the river and waited for God to rescue him. (Exodus 1-2)

baby moses

 

 

 

 

 

Years later God would speak to Moses in a burning bush. Moses would doubt that his life was worth anything at all because of the mistakes he had made. He would argue with God over whether he was the right one to do the job God was calling him to do. (Exodus 3)

While reading these chapters I find myself wanting to shout, “Hey Moses! You were the only baby boy saved from infanticide! Your mother put you in a basket in the Nile river with crocodiles and you ‘just happened’ to be found by the Pharoah’s daughter??? You were raised a prince and nursed by your own mother! Are you kidding me? God saved you for something really special!!!!”

About the time I’m wiping my snot and tears over this story I am hit with the realization that we are all more than just lucky to be here.

Good and evil exist. And not just in really good books. In our every day lives. Deep down you know this is true. Think about your story. You know how hard it has been…how hard it is.

Take a good look at your child. As a parent it’s impossible not to think about the potential danger waiting for them on any given day. Don’t talk to strangers. Wear your helmet. Don’t go places alone. Don’t text and drive. The list goes on and on. We know that every night that we get to kiss their face and tell them we love them one more time is a gift. Their lives are worth protecting and as parents we’ll do whatever it takes.

Why is it easy to believe that God has saved our children for something really special and so hard to believe it’s true about ourselves?

God has saved YOU and ME for something really special. The very fact that life is downright brutal at times should be a clue that something is up. This life matters.

It’s easy to read someone’s story and be distracted by what God did for them and get stuck in the trap of comparison. It happens to me a lot. For just one day, let’s do ourselves a favor. Don’t fall for it. The truth is that the lives we’ve been called to live and the adventures we’ve been chosen to take are as unique as we are.

What would happen if we just pictured ourselves as that little baby in the waterproof basket…danger all around. What if we dared to believe that God isn’t just watching but is actively involved in making sure that we’re exactly where we need to be? He’s never taken His eyes off of us for one single second.

Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;

and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.

When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. Isaiah 43:1-3 NIV

Perhaps, like Moses, you’ve been arguing with God about whether or not you’re the right person for the job. You were saved for something really special. Please, for the rest of us, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!!

If you’d like to leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you. Thanks for stopping by!

 

 

I’m Learning A Lot From Pooh

Once upon a time there was a bear with very little brain named Winnie the Pooh who wandered over to Rabbit’s house for something sweet. Rabbit reluctantly invited Pooh to stay for lunch. After Pooh had eaten all of Rabbit’s honey, he decided it was time to go.

He tried to leave the way he came, but he could not. He remained stuck–a wedged bear in a great tightness. In a word, irremovable.

No matter how hard Pooh’s friends pulled and tugged they could not free him. There was only one thing to do. Wait for him to get thin again.

stuck

I’ve been waiting to write on this blog hoping that I would be un-stuck from the last post. Each evening I go to bed believing that tomorrow will be different only to wake up in the same place. For me, that place is very tired. Most days it’s tired with a heavy dose of brain fog and often a side of muscle pain. Words like ‘chronic fatigue syndrome’ and ‘fibromyalgia’ are used to explain this rabbit’s door.

I don’t like feeling stuck. In fact, I’ve always thought that it would have been better if Christopher Robin had pushed Pooh back into Rabbit’s house where he could at least be comfortable. That would have merciful, but nooooo, Rabbit wouldn’t have anything to do with it. Instead, he left Pooh stuck in the hole so that everyone could see his shame. Remember how he turned Pooh’s south side into a moose?

Rabbit knew that if Pooh were made comfortable he would never do what he needed to get un-stuck. For Pooh, that meant losing a few pounds.

For me, it means rest and more supplements than I care to discuss.

Turns out that I’m not very good at rest…which is probably what got me into this mess in the first place.  While the majority of people in January are resolving to be more active,  I am in the process of learning to rest. I DON’T LIKE IT ONE SINGLE BIT. Like Pooh, I feel like everyone can see my shame.

In order for Pooh to get un-stuck he needed to stay away from the sticky stuff, but he couldn’t do it alone. He needed Christopher Robin to cheer him on and give him hope. He needed Kanga to nurture him. He needed Eeyore because he didn’t have all the answers. He needed Piglet to reassure him that he’d be there for him no matter what. He needed Owl to be wise and he desperately needed Rabbit’s tough love to make him stick to the plan.

I’m learning a lot from Pooh. I need God, my husband, my family, my doctor, my dear friends, and I need you.

Thanks for sticking around with me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When All You Can Do Is Pray

I’m writing to you this morning because I don’t really know what else to do.

This morning in just the first few hours of being awake I was made aware of some very serious prayer needs from friends and family. About a week ago my husband and I took our youngest (the one who will play in his first football game ever tonight) to the emergency room in the middle of the night because we couldn’t get his nose to stop bleeding. Oh, and it was bleeding out of his eye too. While I’m thankful that the medical professionals were able to get it stopped and didn’t see anything serious, it was downright scary. It was just a nosebleed, but for his parents, it was serious.

Some of you are dealing with serious health conditions either for yourself or your children today. My heart is heavy for you and that’s why I’m writing.

God loves you. He sees you. He’s with you. He is faithful. He is your healer.

When I’m backed into a scary corner (like in the emergency room) I have a hard time remembering that God is in control. I need to be reminded. Honestly, I can’t be trusted with my own thoughts for very long. It helps to have some scriptures written out on index cards to have in my trash bag, I mean handbag. Like First Aid for my mind.

Like Psalm 91 from The Message:
     91 You who sit down in the High God’s presence,
                 spend the night in Shaddai’s shadow,
                 Say this: “GOD, you’re my refuge.
                 I trust in you and I’m safe!”
                 That’s right—he rescues you from hidden traps,
                 shields you from deadly hazards.
                 His huge outstretched arms protect you—
                 under them you’re perfectly safe;
                 his arms fend off all harm.
                 Fear nothing—not wild wolves in the night,
                 not flying arrows in the day,
                 Not disease that prowls through the darkness,
                 not disaster that erupts at high noon.
                 Even though others succumb all around,
                 drop like flies right and left,
                 no harm will even graze you.
                 You’ll stand untouched, watch it all from a distance,
                 watch the wicked turn into corpses.
                 Yes, because GOD’s your refuge,
                 the High God your very own home,
                 Evil can’t get close to you,
                 harm can’t get through the door.
                 He ordered his angels
                 to guard you wherever you go.
                 If you stumble, they’ll catch you;
                 their job is to keep you from falling.
                 You’ll walk unharmed among lions and snakes,
                 and kick young lions and serpents from the path.

                 14–16      “If you’ll hold on to me for dear life,” says GOD,
                 “I’ll get you out of any trouble.
                 I’ll give you the best of care
                 if you’ll only get to know and trust me.
                 Call me and I’ll answer, be at your side in bad times;
                 I’ll rescue you, then throw you a party.
                 I’ll give you a long life,
                 give you a long drink of salvation!”

Peterson, E. H. (2005). The Message: The Bible in contemporary language (Ps 91:1–16). Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress.

You hold on to Him for dear life today. He’s ordered his angels to guard you wherever you go. He is your refuge.

If you’d like, you can leave a comment today and let me know how I can be praying for you specifically.

You’re Not Alone

It’s been more quiet here on the blog than I’m comfortable with because life is noisier than I’m comfortable with.

Today is the final push to get our house perfect so that we can list it with a real estate agent tonight at 5:15pm. No pressure, right?

The last week or so has been exceptionally stressful. I have felt like I was being squeezed by a boa constrictor. Just when I thought I couldn’t take one more thing, one more thing would pile on my shoulders. I know you know what that’s like.

At times it feels like all I do is cry out to the Lord for help, but I’m so wrapped up (literally!) in the pressure that I don’t always listen for his response. He does respond.

For instance, I noticed (after the third time) that the same song was playing when I asked for prayer after our Tuesday noon worship session.  The words from Meredeth Andrews’ You’re Not Alone kept being sung over me. I know I’ve heard the song before, but for some reason I didn’t need to hear it as much as I have lately. It’s now on my i-pod and listened to daily…sometimes hourly.

You’re not alone for I am here, let me wipe away your every fear

My love I’ve never left your side I have seen you through the darkest night

And I’m the one whose loved you all your life

All of your life

Sometimes we need a gentle reminder when life feels like it’s on the spin cycle. When we cry out to the Lord we can be sure he hears us. Listening for his response is a whole other story, but I can promise you is he responding. Take a moment today to listen for His holy response.

You’re Not Alone

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