We've all heard the phrase, "bloom where you're planted." It really is a great little quote to share but even more so, to meditate on. We all have a past and parts of our past we tend to grieve on the regular. Maybe you grieve those moments in the kitchen with Grandma, or watching. your kids sled down the neighborhoods favorite hill; maybe, you grieve for loved ones that have moved out and moved on or for just the moments spent with those you care so much about. We all do it, and sometimes we can let grief keep us in a dormant state.
In early January, I pulled up my Etsy app and started searching for Peonies. They are my absolute favorite flower. They graced my mothers front walk way and my grandmothers back door. I just think they are the most majestic flowers and I have decided that I want every kind I can find. There is a great little Etsy shop that is based just north of us and shares the same planting zone. I decided to take a chance on some mail order Peonies. They arrived fairly quickly and because I love receiving packages I was also quick to open the box. I was excited to find 3 pots of dirt, wrapped in plastic and surrounded by packing peanuts. I pulled each pot out of its plastic and it literally just looked like a pot of dirt. Somewhere beneath all of that soil that was shipped was a plant, a dormant plant.
Being that it was still January, I let the little ladies hang out in our basement for the time being. We had not yet even built our front porch on our house and I want them to be tucked in around our front porch. I would have to wait. They would also have to wait and remain dormant. Then there was a really beautiful, warm winters day today. Our porch is built but unfortunately not yet ready for landscaping. I was a little anxious to see how my baby Peonies were doing so I pulled them out of the basement from their box and carried them out to debate on what I should do based on their conditions.
Sprouts. Sprouts were poking up just ever so slightly, beginning to reach for the sky in search of the life giving sunlight. My baby girl and I pull out my grandmothers 3 concrete planters and prepared them to receive my three precious Peonies. We carefully transplanted each. These are the moments when I wish I had a small green house. (Hmmm, I think that will be my next project.). I want to make sure those little ladies are well protected and able to thrive. I've put so much thought and have been so careful to make sure they can reach their full potential.
See, flowers and trees really have such a neat life. The go about life doing what they were created to do. The may flower, bloom, bud, or just stay green all year. More than anything, every little plant has one goal, just one. To grow as tall as it can! It is going to reach and stretch with all its might to the sun until it can reach no further. Many factors will come into play to determine just how far it can reach. If conditions are just right it will thrive. If conditions are not just right, it will struggle.
Struggle & Thrive
Now, there's a thought. As I was planting my little Peonies I prayed that they would thrive. I wanted the best for those little plants because if they reach their full potential, they will bring so much joy to all who meet them when they are clothed in all their flowering glory.
Isn't that kind of like us as women? We are planted and we are told we should bloom where we are planted. How can we ever reach our full potential though if we aren't given the right conditions, no matter how much we want to bloom. If the conditions we are in aren't conducive to thriving, what are we to do? The answer is so very simple. Pray.
Romans 8:28 gives us confidence that everything we endure is used for God's glory, for a greater purpose, for good. We know that when we are in His hands, not matter the circumstances or conditions, He will make it all right. Even if it's grief, you don't have to stay dormant.
I want to encourage you, that if you don't feel you are thriving in this life to ask God if you are planted where you ought to be. Are you in the best place so that He can use your life and make it beautiful? If you don't feel that is so then just ask Him to plant you in the right place. Ask Him to begin to surround you with people who can encourage you, speak life into you, pray for you, and help you see yourself as God sees you. Ask Him to send life giving words your way, favor, and to uproot you from where you are if the conditions aren't what He sees as His best for you. Don't be afraid of being uprooted when you are in His hands. Sometimes that's just what we need to leave our dormant place and begin to grow where we have not. Sometimes it's what we need to get the conditions just right for thriving.
Six months ago, my family of 7 put everything we owned on truck beds and trailers and stored as much as we could, nearly everything. We moved into a camper and a small cabin between us. It's not what I personally would consider ideal but it works for us. In the mean time, I have watched our new house rise out of the ground. We are thriving and making progress. My kids have discovered that they can actually play in nature and enjoy it. We have become closer as a family than I could have ever imagined. We've even add a really sweet dog to the mix who is our protector and friend.
God took what might look like a mess and misery to others and has made it beautiful. In the end, we have prayed over and over that we do not owe one single cent on our house. We own our land free and clear but a house is a different story. It sounds impossible to some.
Your circumstances maybe currently be ideal and perfect for you and your family to thrive. I pray that is the case for more and more families. However, as I have friends that reach out concerning needing prayer various circumstances I find it so very heart breaking that they just are not thriving. I have seen doors open and doors close for them and for others. I have seen God move and make a way were there shouldn't be a way. I have seen God drench families in His love and He has radically changed their circumstances so that they begin to thrive. The struggle, it will always be there. We aren't promised that things will be good and easy all of the time.
1 Timothy 4:10 says "That is why we labor and strive". We work and struggle. We work and struggle. We grown and stretch. We grow and stretch. It's not for our glory that we finally get to bloom. It's literally, for HIS glory that the world gets to be a witness to all the goodness and beauty that our story brings to the world.
I still find myself grieving for what once was. We had a beautiful home and were surrounded by family for 16 years. We brought home all 5 of our babies to that house, 2 were handed to us at our threshold there. I still grieve for my Granny who lived next to us and for the security we had in having my parents across the street. I find myself starting to grieve those things and that's okay. The thing is, I can't stay dormant long because God planted us so very perfectly. We were meant to thrive.
It's all for His glory.
So many little things have been coming together lately and making me question my own purpose. Do you ever find yourself wondering if your purpose in this life is bigger than what you currently see in front of you? We have lived so much of our lives as women and mothers; and we have to believe that all we've been through and all we are going through has a purpose beyond our own little lives. Advice we give from our own experience or a word of encourage to another because we've been there may give purpose to some of the things we've been through. Do you ever feel you have a higher calling as a mother, wife, sister, daughter, woman?
I don't know about you but the adult me has struggled. It makes me sad to know that my adult life, up until a few years ago, was miserable. My battle with my weight led to a cycle of being miserable, unhappy, and depressed for so long. I am so thankful that I finally found a way to break that cycle...
I have been mothering boys for a long time. The one thing I always share concerning raising boys, is raising boys whose future wives won't hate me. They know how to help out and pitch in. They may not always do it willingly or in a timely manner but they know how to get it done. Here is a simple chore chart if you need to help keep your little ones (or big ones) on track.
Christmas with too much stuff is exhausting and I'm hearing the cries of Momma's and Daddy's everywhere that they are sick of stuff. It seems like this season has taken a turn like I've never seen before.
I can rattle off to you every aspect of my life that feels like it falls short of glorious and lack of consistency is what keeps it from being so. Maybe because it's not meant to be so
Do you ever have flashes of your childhood that made you feel less than, a failure, a screwup or worthless? I'm pretty sure we have all felt these things to some degree. It's simply a strategy the devil uses and he loves to use it on my self confidence. See this picture below? Satan took full advantage just moments after this picture was taken.
I felt His calling this morning...So, I made the bed.
I brushed my teeth.
I got dressed.
I fixed breakfast...and I felt His calling.
Our Lord Father can be relentless huh?
So, I carried my breakfast, Bible and journal out on the porch this morning for some nurturing and nourishment. I sat down, plopped it all on the table, noticed the lovely bed of dirt across from me joining me for breakfast, counted my blessings, and began to read & write.
My Psalm today that from where my Bible opened and the one that caught my eye was Psalm 4:5-8.
At first I thought I was reading a little verse about sunshine and light and how great life is and then I backed up and read again.
5.Offer the sacrifices of righteousness..
Offer a sacrifice? Of righteousness?
Sacrifice...got it, I get that.
Righteousness...not got it, what's that?
When I think of how the world views righteousness today I think of "self righteous" people who take pride in the things they do, brag about how much better they are than others because they went to church Sunday, or maybe they belittle people who make more choices...whatever self righteous is, it's not of Christ. So, I guess I need a lesson in righteousness. Here were my thoughts from my journal.
Sacrifices offered from righteousness. Lord, show me how to offer righteousness with sacrifice. This very part of the verse was not initially the one that I thought was so special for today. Lately, I have had the thoughts...is it okay for me to have a glass of win in public? Are curse words really a big deal because sometimes I want to say them? Thoughts like these...and then I read Your verse. "Offer the sacrifice of righteousness..." Living a life of righteousness, goodness, and uprightness comes with a sacrifice. But what is righteousness? I so want to be . But the sacrifice is hard. That's why it's a sacrifice and I give it to You, right?
And the return rate is Your countenance, light, gladness, joy, I will lie down in peace and sleep in safety.
It just so happens Psalm 5 is a prayer for guidance. Isn't that just perfect. I literally choked up reading it. Especially..
"My voice You shall hear in the morning O Lord. In the moringin I will direct it to You And I will look up."
Wow. Just grab your Bible and start reading it. Starting my day with a little morning worship is truly going to lift my spirits. I'm going to be able to look up and know He has my day in His hands. That is the righteousness He speaks of...and more. But I'm still learning.
A little sacrifice of my time for Him is going to do me more good than not sacrificing the time and hurrying through my morning and day.
That brings be back to my questions and thoughts I've had lately. I know I have spent less time with Him lately, no excuses, I have none. Distraction is not an excuse and busy is being under Satan's yoke. But what about those other little questions I have? Well, He deals with us each individually? Do my Christian friends think less of me because I have a glass of wine sometimes at night or a cocktail on the beach while relaxing? Does it diminish His message and make me less useful to Him? Does saying a curse word do that too? If it does, no doubt, He will convict my heart. He will guide me. He will teach me about righteousness. He will take a look at my steps and if I need to be set upright and corrected, He will do it.
I always feel like I scratch the surface with my writing but I think all that means to readers is that He has a message for you that you need to dig for. That you need to hear from Him by spending time in His Word that was written for you today, at this very moment.
His message for me is burning right into my heart and couldn't possibly fit on a computer screen. It has to go out into the world and lift others, brighten days, rescue the weak.
So, I will leave you with this. I am going now to my Bible to continue reading, to seek guidance and to pray.
Just wanted to share a little clip of my life lately.
Oh and we only have a few more weeks and our Foster Parent paperwork will be run through.
A child's placement with us is about to happen. We are getting ready! Praise Him for that!
Last night my husband and I sat on the couch and talked.
I love talking to him.
Our conversations are usually me talking and him listening and in the end he gives amazing words of wisdom. I don't know how he does it. It's like he should be a counselor or something, even though I want him to be a chiropractor.
He puts things into perspective with one sentence.
He rubbed my feet and listened. The boys were noisy and wouldn't settle down to sleep.
We were distracted often but he sat and listened because he knew he needed to.
My heart was so full it was pouring out of me in the form of tears.
I first gave God all the credit..
See, years ago I started praying that God empty me. I was sick of "me" and what the world wanted me to be. My heart was selfish and ungrateful. I asked that He empty me and feel me up with Him. I wanted to be a vessel full of His goodness that I could pour out onto others. I wanted to be different. Maybe even weird. I was okay with that.
Then I wanted to be a light, I wanted Him to clean up my dirty, soot covered, dusty lamp. I wanted him to light His flame in my heart and I wanted it to shine. I wanted all of the dirty washed away so others could see Him. I imagined my light looking dim like one in a dirty oil lamp. I prayed for this cleansing.
On day in my private place that I spend time with Him, in a hot bath, I prayed. Tearfully prayed for God to show me the more that He needed me to see. I knew there was more, something I was missing. I closed my eyes and just spent time seeking Him. When it was all done my bathwater looked so dirty, like mud. I was shocked. Was I that dirty? Or had my perspective changed? Was I that dirty everyday?
After what seems like years of feeling dirty of the world I finally got it. Everyday, I go out into the world and get dirty with the world. So, everyday I feel the need to shower and wash to get clean and rest. My spiritual self needed the same thing. Everyday my spirit, my soul, goes out into the world and gets dirtied up by it. Everyday I need it to be cleansed away. Only He can do that. So I spend time with Him.
My conversation with my husband required that background information.
Then, last night as I sat at a little church service as a guest with a friend I had the privilege of hearing her testimony. The whole experience was like watching a flower unfold. It felt orchestrated for me by Him. For the last few months I have felt like I was wandering around a bit. Not completely in the dark but just not being able to see very far ahead. My purpose feels as though it is hiding in a fog.
It started with the pastor speaking. I had never laid eyes on the man before but I knew his voice. I spent the entire time he was talking trying to figure out where I knew him...my mind said "radio". Okay, but from what I wondered.
Then a lady I had recently met, we will call her Jane, stood up and shared a bit of a testimony leading up to my sweet friend. She shared that my friend had given her a devotion and then she came along with her to a Bible study that had changed her. My eyes widened.
Then my friend, we will call her Beth, was introduced and she showed her video testimony but there was more. As she started speaking and opening up God's word I started feeling like a beam of light was on me. This wasn't my night to shine, to share, this wasn't for me. Or was it? Beth spoke of a friend who told her about the devotion she shared with her friend Jane. She told of a friend that had told her given her a Psalm to read at a moment of confusion and frustration. She told of how that Psalm changed her and her experience was so beautifully orchestrated by God. As a result she has been abundantly blessed beyond her dreams.
Later Beth's friend Jane told a few ladies that her friend, we will call Joelle, who had attended the Bible study with her had started the same study at her church. Joelle had 15 women in that study who were being greatly blessed. Jane was going to start it at hers too.
Then Jane, pointed at me.
There's that spotlight shining right on my heart.
She said..."Because of you."
No, no, no! Not because of me...because of HIM!
See, last night was a gift my Lord Father knew I needed.
To see the fruits of His Spirit.
To see that His light was shining through me to grow others out of darkness.
Like seeds of fruit planted in the dark earth, we need sunshine to grow.
He wanted me to see fruit.
I quickly told of how the book from the Bible study came into my possession. I told of how when I opened it I felt as though the author wrote it for me for that particular time in my life. I started reading it the day before my Granny passed away. The first chapter discussed death and the gaping tear in our hearts it causes. The first chapter held my name...Aimee. The first chapter was for me at that very moment and my Father knew I would need it because the next morning I learned my Granny had passed away.
That book turned into THAT Bible study in my living room. I was in awe of the variety of sweet souls that attended. It was all Him! He brought us together.
I had been reading the devotion I recommended for my friend Beth that she shared with Jane.
I had been reading Psalms that morning she text me with her frustrations...I prayed because I had no answer but God did. So, I simple text Psalms 51. She found Psalms 51:7 and God made it personally hers.
As my friend Beth unfolded her very private story of her relationship with Christ, I saw that God had been using me as a vessel like I had asked Him to, as a lamp like I had asked Him to,. He knew what she'd need. He knows what we all need.
As I sat on the couch telling my husband all of this he said...God showed you the fruits.
Yes! That's exactly right.
I almost feel like sharing this my squelch what God has going on by revealing it because it seems so secret until it's seen. I pray not. I pray that He continue with His blessings. I pray that He continues to find ways to use me.
I shared with my husband that for so long...
my only desire, ever, was to be a mother.
It's so deep within me.
Nothing could take or change that feeling for me.
It's not a "job", it's a deep, deep desire.
So, then I shared that I don't think God is done with me as a mother.
Unlike many other mothers, their babies get older and they continue to pursue a life passion, a career, or something other than mothering that stirs them. A different passion. For me, that is not the case.
I became a teacher because it was the closest thing I could thing of to "mothering" to do as a career.
I prayed for my babies before I was even old enough to have babies.
So, God is lifting the fog.
My purpose will come into focus.
God is going to help me fulfill my purpose.
He has a plan.
I have a purpose until I take my last breath.
I am a mother.
My purpose is to mother mine...and others.
Little ones need a mother.
I am a mother.
There are lost children who feel unloved.
There are children who don't have a mother.
I am a mother.
I have lots of prayer and guidance to seek.
Adoption is still on the table.
Foster care is now on the table.
It goes without saying...
I am a mother.
See, all these things are just seeds and fruits.
Seeds and fruits.
My purpose is to plant the seeds and see the fruits.
Where I plant and what I plant is up to Him.
How I plant and when I plant is up to Him.
The Spirit leads!
I can go back and see the fruits now from the seeds of then.
There is not instant gratification.
The gratification comes...my soul is purposeful.
So is yours.
You call me out upon the waters (Psalm 29:3, Matthew 14:28-29)
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery (Colossians 2:2-3)
In oceans deep my faith will stand (Matthew 14:30-31)
I will call upon Your Name (Psalm 116:2, 4, 13, 17, Lamentations 3:55-57, Joel 2:32, Matthew 14:30, Romans 10:13)
And keep my eyes above the waves (Matthew 14:30)
When oceans rise (Genesis 7, Psalm 46:1-3)
My soul will rest in Your embrace (Jeremiah 6:16, Matthew 11:29, Luke 15:18-24)
For I am Yours and You are mine (Song of Solomon 6:3, Song of Solomon 7:10)
Your grace abounds in deepest waters (Psalm 42:7, Romans 5:20, 2 Corinthians 9:8)
Your sovereign hand will be my guide (1 Chronicles 29:11-12, Job 42:2, Psalm 31:3, Psalm 73:24, Proverbs 16:9, Philippians 1:6)
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me (Matthew 14:30)
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now (Joshua 23:14)
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders (Matthew 4:1, John 14:16-17, John 16:13,Romans 8:14, Galatians 5:16-18)
Let me walk upon the waters (Matthew 14:28)
Wherever You would call me (Genesis 12:1, 1 Corinthians 7:17)
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander (Exodus 14:21-22, Ezekiel 47:1-9)
And my faith will be made stronger (Romans 4:19-20)
In the presence of my Savior
I remember a time not to long ago when I had just had my third baby and a friend knocked on my door. When I opened it I was completely surprised! She said "I heard you had a baby." I hadn't seen or talked to her the entire pregnancy and that was before Facebook and gender reveal parties. It was my 3rd boy so I didn't have a shower to invite anyone too. Actually, number 3 caught me by surprise. It was that knock on the door that changed my life.
I realized then that I had become a "recluse" of sorts. I had a new born baby and I wasn't going anywhere. We had just recently stopped going to our church for the same reason that many people do. She was coming to find out if I had any maternity clothes she could borrow and I sold her three tubs worth for nearly nothing because I was DONE. She invited us to church and we went and it was exactly what I needed.
Fast forward to this morning. A great many things has happened in the last 6 years. I have gotten a degree, started a blog, went back to work, came home from work, lost weight, made friends and more friends. This morning I was in awe of what God has done in my life. I'm a stay at home mom again with other stay at home moms who are coming home to their babies or simply contributing to their families. I'm more involved at church and I feel free.
There is this little part of me that still wants to hide in my corner and watch the world go by. I just can't do that, I have to get up and fight despite my fears. Everyday is a new day and some days are easy. Some are hard.
Just look at what I've got. I want to see more pictures like this. More pictures of friends who have made a REAL connection here on earth. Who love each other and appreciate what we all try to accomplish each and every day.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NIV
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work; If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!
I love my girls!
You see dirty socks, I see a story. Today is laundry day for my husbands dirty clothes. He doesn't have much to wash each week but every week I go out to the garage and pull this basket off the shelf. It's full of dirty, grass covered socks. The socks serve a purpose and are essential when lawn care is part of your mission to "debt freedom". His dirty socks each week are a reminder to me that I have a hard working husband who will do whatever it takes to provide for his family and more.
We began living a different life with a different mindset less than 2 years ago. People don't understand it and that's okay. We cut up credit cards and began paying off debt from the highest interest rates and lowest payments first. We snowball debt. We've gotten laser focused, made mistakes along the way, but we are trying. As of result we've paid off nearly $30k in debt and still working at it. Consumer debt gets out of hand when you are borrowing Peter to pay Paul and wanting more "things" than you truly deserve to have or earned...or saved for.
However, every single time I go to the garage and pick up this basket of socks I want to cry. My husband LOVES mowing yards, he would tell you that he always has. He would tell you if he could he would do it all year and never work for anyone but himself. Then Monday came and he was home with us all day...and wished he didn't have to get on his mower or go to work the next day. See, what it boils down to is that truly he would not do this if he didn't have too. He would spend his evenings with our kids and with me. He would not be running all over creation mowing yards and coming in dead tired every night. I love a hard working man and he is one.
He just came in from work and said..."Okay, I gotta go to work." I said...."We are going to see Granny." His response sadly was..."I should probably go see her too but I've gotta work." He's making a quick sandwich and heading back out in the heat with clean white socks. I found a way to bring myself home from my job because my kids needed me and I was missing everything working 50 plus hours a week. My means, it will bring him home too. He might tell you he'd never stop working but I'd like to think he could have more options. Our "time debt" is stealing our life away minute by minute. My purpose in life is greater than debt of any kind. I love teaching and education and I believe God will use my background in some significant way in the future, maybe sooner rather than later, maybe not. I love teaching but my purpose is bigger and I needed a means bigger to get me there If what I have found wasn't meant for us, it wouldn't have worked for us, AND is why I believe it has worked for many others. Still, it is providing more than we imagined already in less than 2 years, and we've only just begun. It's just a means to an end...a vehicle to allow us to live more purposefully. Our purpose, fulfilled, is going to be amazing to watch unfold.
Until that day, we are marching arm in arm to debt freedom and some day I won't have to keep a basket in the garage for his dirty socks.
The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender. Proverbs 22:77
And so, we work.
We look after each other.
We take care of our own.
We talk to the creditors.
We make payments.
We don't worry.
Jake, my youngest, had a dentist appointment this morning. He's had a tooth that's been bothering him and I we thought he was going to have it capped. When the dentist looked at it again he decided it should be pulled. They adjusted my bill and handed me the estimate. I can not tell you the defeat that washed over me when I saw the amount due today.
I went back to my chair and stared at the number $555.45 was written large and circled in the top right hand corner. My heart had sunk for my baby boy and I sat and blamed myself. My imagination had him kicking and screaming under the doctors bright light like in the movies. I went to the bathroom and stood in front of the mirror trying not to get sick and holding back tears. My head was saying...Bad Mom, Bad Mom, Bad Mom. I went back out to the lobby to wait...and wait...and worry...and wait. I prayed and asked for prayer that God do something about this. I wasn't prepare to spend $555.45 today. That kind of money hurts. I also wasn't prepared for my baby to lose a tooth today either. That hurt too. So, I quietly quoted...
I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. Philippians 4:11
Like a flood I felt peaceful. It is nothing short of a miracle. I shrugged my shoulders and I will pay what I can and Jake will be okay, there are children going through much worse than him. I started thinking about the world content and that was when I wished I'd had my computer to journal.
In the "job" I have now it provides for us. I make what I did teaching and I get to stay home with my kids. I had just told my husband maybe I can get another JOB and do both so we can have MORE. After saying that verse out loud my heart started to say otherwise. See, in the "job" I have now we are encouraged to dream.
Dreaming is a good thing. We tell people all the time to "reach for the stars". We know they won't actually touch a star but it's the dreaming of what we can achieve that moves us forward. God put those stars in the sky so that we would know Him, seek Him and find contentment.
I think in today's society we are brought up to want "more", to have "more" and to never be satisfied. Instead what if we flipped that mindset and became content so that when we do have "more" we are more satisfied than ever. We are always looking for something else, something more, and we never feel sufficient enough. It's hard to enjoy life like that.
Lately I have become more and more away of others discontentment. Our clothes should be from this vendor and we should be wearing this trend. We want a bigger house for more stuff, we want a house if we life in an apartment. If you are single, get married. The list could go on and on. Eventually we are tired and bitter because we are not satisfied.
I want to be that woman that people know as being content. For the last few days I have been trying to pinpoint what God wants me to work on and today, sitting in that lobby, waiting for more bad news, or worrying for no reason, God sent a sweet angel to wrap his arms around me and give me peace.
If Paul can be content in all his trials and struggles then surely I can be content from this moment forward. If Paul can do it, I can. He learned and realized he needed change. He worked on it and honed the skill of contentment. He practiced it and taught others. If Paul can do that, then I can.
I hear so often..."I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." and that's great but I think sometimes we miss the verses before that one.
"I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content --whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:11-13
The more each day that I believe God's grace is sufficient, the more convinced I am that I will always have everything I need. Whatever He has given me or not given me, he did so with a purpose. That makes me smile. God is has already given us enough and He always well. As my purpose in this world expands to suit His desire for my life, my need will be met accordingly. As for the things I would like to have and don't, I need to be content in knowing that there is a reason.
My Jake is resting, no pulled tooth & super loopy; and now I get to spend this time reflecting and maybe even start a list somewhere of the things God has already provided so that I can praise Him for what he has done and will do.
Last night just before going to bed I opened my Bible and it opened to a devotion called "Intimate Doubt". I fell asleep last night with the thought that "God doesn't call the equipped, He equips the called." The devotion was out of the book of Jeremiah and it pointed to the fact that even Jeremiah doubted His calling. He took that doubt to God and gave it to Him and God was okay with it. For the last month I have been doubting what He is calling me to do and consistently He puts scripture or devotions or words from others and even books that are screaming to me to WRITE! It's so hard to do that when your brain and mind and thoughts feel fuzzy. I ask "Why Me?" and "What about?" He pointed out something in my heart today that I believe!
See, I have a masters degree in Reading. Why Reading? It's simply, I love to read. I never have enough time to read and I believe that every human being deserves to have the ability to read. Reading is not just about words, it can be about symbols but ultimately it's about the CONNECTION!
Oh, my! While I write this something big is happening in my heart. CONNECTION! I took a test a few months ago online called Strength Finders. My number one strength was that I'm a connector, connectedness is my strength. It's not my only strength but it is was the one that I was found to be the strongest in. Here is what the Gallup Business Journal says about my strength.
Things happen for a reason. You are sure of it. You are sure of it because in your soul you know that we are all connected. Yes, we are individuals, responsible for our own judgments and in possession of our own free will, but nonetheless we are part of something larger. Some may call it the collective unconscious. Others may label it spirit or life force. But whatever your word of choice, you gain confidence from knowing that we are not isolated from one another or from the earth and the life on it. This feeling of Connectedness implies certain responsibilities. If we are all part of a larger picture, then we must not harm others because we will be harming ourselves. We must not exploit because we will be exploiting ourselves. Your awareness of these responsibilities creates your value system. You are considerate, caring, and accepting. Certain of the unity of humankind, you are a bridge builder for people of different cultures. Sensitive to the invisible hand, you can give others comfort that there is a purpose beyond our humdrum lives. The exact articles of your faith will depend on your upbringing and your culture, but your faith is strong. It sustains you and your close friends in the face of life's mysteries.
How then does God intend to use me as a writer. I have always believed I was a terrible writer...but friends tell me I'm good with the written word. I'd have to admit I'm much better with written than with spoken. I'm not a grammar nazi as some people call them. I just write and it may end up that I right. Or that their are so many mistakes in my righting that people have a hard time reading it. See. So I realize that there are gifts that people have beyond the written word and that would be to make sure everything is grammatically correct. I'm not bad at it but it's not my strength (wink). Instead what I am good at is seeing the connections.
Back to that...
When I was getting to my degree in Reading, one of the things that my beloved professor, Dr. Amber Prince, God rest her soul, said was, "The author is forever connected to the reader. Just as we are here and having this conversation, the author is able to convey thoughts and the reader is able to interpret them. The reader's response to the author is simply how the book effects the reader."
I'm going to stop fretting over WHY God wants me to write and just do it. Who knows what nonsense will come out of my finger tips? He does! I have a feeling that God will be directing them as well. I want to get lost in His thoughts because my thoughts are not His. I want the words that connect us, that come off my finger tips to be His.
1 Peter 5:7 was what our guest pastor preached on Sunday during service.
My sweet new friend over at DaughterZionDesigns had this beautiful print available. She's letting me borrow it. You should visit her shop. It's beautiful.
I saw this print and just KNEW it was connected to this lesson for me (and maybe you too). How else could it be more obvious? Casting your care, your anxiety, your fears, your burdens all on Him. He is the most capable. When you do then you can not take them back. So, I'm casting today.
I'm casting my intimate doubt!
What are you casting?
I was busy this morning making beds, collecting laundry, wiping down bathrooms, you know the stuff I always say I should do. Yes, I was actually doing it, but as I started down the steps I heard a small voice say....
"Why are you so busy? stop, Stop, STOP!"
I turned on my heels and went back upstairs, laid out on my neatly made bed and held my Bible. I closed my eyes and turned my focus on that voice. God wanted to know my heart. He wanted me to say out loud why I was so busy, too busy. So, I confessed that I am afraid of the changes He has been making in my life. While I get excited about seeing His works, I am a little afraid of the unknown. Truly, I am lost on His plans for me. I know He has them. Jeremiah 29:11 has become a popular verse around me lately. So, I asked Him to show me His plans. I want Him to plant a seed in me that will grow as a dream and turn into my purpose.
As I was praying I asked that He showed me in His word and I opened my Bible. Immediately my eyes fell to a little box in my Bible with a little green title that said : God Prevails in His Plans.
"Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." Proverbs 19:21
At that moment my heart cried, "I have a God that is real, and BIG, and all in my life. I've asked Him to start revealing His plan for me. Slowly throughout the day He has unwound it for me. He's given me direction and first steps.
I noticed in my journal from back in April that I had written a message from Him that was on my heart after reading Haggai 2: 18 & 19.
"Come back to Me. My Spirit will bless you. I will remove chaos. I have a job for you to do. You can not be trusted with this job unless you stay close to me. Talk to me in everything you do. Do not become distracted. Do not forget. I have called you to serve many but you are weak and afraid. My children need You now more than ever. Write so you won't forget and seek My face daily!"
That journal entry was the last one written until I opened the book today. See, God forced me to go back and see it. My computer that I had been journaling on had failed and I grabbed the one I write in from time to time. For weeks, it is obvious that He has been giving me instructions to write.
So the rest of today's story goes....
I'm working on a book.
I'm writing it even if no one reads it because it was given to me to write.
I'm doing this because He is telling me it must be done.
I have found that if I say "I can't" He makes it possible.
About a month ago I told a friend about my little project and how I just couldn't bring myself to turn it into a book. She asked why. I had no real answer. My answer was that I didn't have time and that I was a little afraid of being so bold. Two weeks ago a blog reader messaged me and asked if I had my project in a book format that could be downloaded and sadly I said "no". Last week that project landed in my Inbox in a book format and I was too afraid to see it until 3 nights ago, I finally opened it and I just smiled. I'm so humbled that someone would love my work enough to do that for me. I'm more humbled that my Father thought it was worthy enough to put it on someone's heart to take that next step for me. The monthly requests from a publisher have never stopped since my first inquiry 2 years ago. Tonight, my husband said "I know you didn't want to publish, you told me a long time ago you didn't want to." I promise if it were up to me, I would not dream that big.
So, here's how I look at it. God is clearly calling me to do more. I'm not a gifted writer, I just enjoy spilling out things that are in my head and on my heart. I am a lover of books. I love books and reading them! So, I guess I will roll with it and maybe take a few extra steps to see what happens next. I feel like this project is His anyway. It never was mine.
I'm a little overwhelmed with all the clues and gifts He's given me today.
"Write so you won't forget."
My blog has always been personal to me. It has never been for anyone else but myself. It is where I write, it may be terrible, messy, chaotic, but it is always truth. I write even if no one reads, I write because I was called to do so. I can not make promises about how often I will write, when, or about what. It is always what is on my heart at that moment. It could be my work, my children, my hobbies, anything I want to touch on and share outside of my own head. Today, after a few days of God pricking my heart, I am writing....
A little background...My life gets messy fast. I am a mom of all boys, 3 of them, 4 if you count my husband, 5 if you count our dog. I love every minute of being their queen, their hearts, their pillar of strength when they need it. However, I get distracted easily. I let little bits of chaos begin to build in various places of our lives. I forget to remember to do things, I forget to write them down; my journals, my planners, my calendars may go empty for days.
God has been calling me to work for Him and I don't know what He wants from me. I don't know the direction He is sending me in but I know that He made my days, he prepares my way and He guides my feet through this journey of life. I count the little blessings and give Him glory for them. However, I lose sight of Him when I become too busy to notice the little gifts He leaves daily.
This morning, His calling while I am home alone has been strong. Yesterday He kept me in tears. They were only from the overwhelming love that radiates from Him. He has placed me here where heaven meets earth. He placed my soul here to do something besides the daily grind. I struggle with purpose...I STRUGGLE WITH PURPOSE. What is my purpose? I know I am to be a wife and mother. What else? What more does He have for me?
I laid prostrate on the floor this morning and asked Him to speak to me. He calls me by name. "Aimee, you can not know what I have for you until you open My Word." I got up, went for my Bible and the first thing I did, something I've never done, was put my lips against His word with love. OH! The feeling of loving Him...like kissing His face, I kissed His word, tears streaming down my face.
Opening His Word and letting the message fall open can be amazing. Some say it can be dangerous but there is nothing dangerous about His word. God is calling me to plant my flag, high on a hill for all to see and so that He can be present in our lives, gently, like the dew on the ground. He will rise up like the heat from the desert floor.
HAGGAI! Oh, Haggai, your message of Hope of God's involvement in our lives is so beautiful. It is truly our souls desire to be near our Father and Haggai brings us the promise. We must take our spiritual matters seriously. God wanted there to be a PLACE OF WORSHIP! A Temple for us to bring our worship too. Now we go so He can clean us and wash us...that alone is a symbol of servitude from our Father.
Haggai 2:19 Spoke to me about His promise! He speaks to me through His word but He also speaks to me in that small voice that says...
"Come back to Me. My Spirit will bless you. I will remove the chaos you are praying about. I have a job for you to do. You can not be trusted with this job unless you stay close to me. Talk to me in everything you do. Do not let yourself become distracted. Do not forget I have called you to serve many but you are weak and afraid. My people need you now more than ever. Write this down, so you don't forget."
I will kiss his face daily, the great I AM is calling me to love Him back. His love for me pulls me in. My purpose is greater than I can see. I can not see over His horizon but I will trust Him.
Readers: Please be in prayer for me and the purpose He has for me.
Bless you in advance!