God has been all over me to dig in His Word today. As I sit down to do some reading I decide it's probably a good idea to start with the book He keeps pushing towards me today...Exodus. So I open up to Exodus and my eyes fall on a section called "Bricks Without Straw" and this part of a scripture...
And it shall come to pass, while my glory passes by, that I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and will cover you with my hand while I pass by: exodus 33:22
I used to be fascinated with the spiritual world in that I didn't understand hauntings and things that were unexplained. A few years ago, I picked up a book by a local pastor to Chattanooga, Ron Phillips. He's also pastor to several friends.
While the Bigs were all getting ready for school I told my husband The Toddler was laying in his bed, awake, ready to pounce on the day. The first sign of life and he is up. I was right.
Those times when it is 2 o'clock in the morning and you are wide awake and can't sleep and you're fighting your own thoughts and your responsibilities as a mom weigh heavy, that's when Jesus is calling you.
In my circle of friends I have a girl friend that is expecting her first baby...well, babies. She is expecting twins. They are little miracles who we have waited for and waited for.
Psalm 91 is the key to winning the spiritual battles going on around you. It's the key to winning your day. As a foster mom, I see first hand the spiritual battle going on.
I shared on January 1st the word for my new year.
I laid in bed with my boy and rubbed cuticle cream on his little fingers. He's been chewing his nails down and picking nervously at them for awhile.
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.
Just this morning as I was dropping off my beautiful foster baby girl in the nursery I was fussing about her dress and her perfectly placed bow and sounding completely exhausted about how we are never on time and that I'm the last to take care of me.
I am living a very good life, I have to say. My journey is blessed
My oldest son loves to earn money. I can't even pay him though to do chores because he make more working side jobs for family and friends. He does have an entrepreneurial spirit and saves every penny. Yesterday after church he was in a hurry to eat lunch and get in the garage. He had an idea that was burning in him and his creative spirit needed to get it out.
When you feel like you can't handle the task at hand and you ask yourself, "Girl, who's your Daddy?"
Take a minute and feel secure and taken care of not because of what you can do but because of Who you belong to.
What if you got a good look at your God and remembered who He is and that you belong to Him.
Who's your Daddy?
the First and the Last,
the Beginning and the End,
the Keeper of creation and the Creator of all,
the Architect of the Universe and the Manager of all time,
He always was, always is, always will be
bruised but brought healing,
pierced but eased pain,
persecuted but brought freedom,
dead and brings life,
risen but brings power,
and reigns to bring peace!
The world can't understand Him,
armies can't defeat Him,
schools can't explain Him,
leaders can't ignore Him,
Herod couldn't kill Him,
Nero couldn't crush Him,
new age can not replace Him,
Oprah can not explain Him away!
You remind yourself that
Life, Love, Longevity and He is the Lord,
He is Goodness, and Kindness, and Faithfulness,
and He is God!
His Ways are right!
His Word eternal!
His Will unchanging!
His Mind is on us!
He is our...
He rules our lives.
I serve Him because...
His bond is love,
His yoke is easy,
His burden is light,
and His goal for us is
I follow Him because...
He is the Wisdom of the wise,
the Power of the powerful,
the Ancient of days,
the Ruler of rulers,
the Leader of all leaders,
His goal is a relationship with me & you.
and NEVER cancel your appointment in His appointment book.
fall He'll lift you up,
fail He'll forgive you,
are weak He is your strength,
are lost He is your way,
are afraid He is your courage,
stumble He will steady you,
are hurt He is going to heal you,
are broken He will mend you,
are blind He will lead you,
are hungry He will feed you,
face a trial He is with you,
are persecuted He will shield you,
face problems He will comfort you,
face loss He will provide for you,
face death He will carry us all the way Home.
He is EVERYTHING for
and in every way.
He is your God and is Who you belong too!
Yesterday I sat down to write today's study and when finished I wanted to hit delete. Instead, I hit save instead of publish. A good friend once told me, "If it's of God, then He will make the path peaceful and easy". It makes sense; as long as I'm not going against His Will, I won't feel as if I'm swimming against the tide. So, that message from yesterday is sitting in cyber world, waiting for it to become what God wants it to be.
Today however, I was overwhelmed with the desire to leave my child's school and run home to my computer. He gave me a message and it has stewed within me all day.
Today I was at a middle school dance as a chaperon. I was actually excited about it because I was a substitute for a teacher and so I was getting paid to chaperon. The kids came in and the music started and I was standing to the side watching. After a few fun songs a different song played, the lyrics were familiar and the voice was sweet. I thought, "I've heard this song." All the kids ran towards the stage and started dancing like crazy. Then like a punch in the gut I realized what song it was. The song doesn't really matter but it is the nature of the song that has bothered me, it was the clean version being played. It's highly popular and the video shows a girl naked riding a metal ball. The song and artist will remain nameless. When I looked out at those children they were LOVING IT! What I saw was a whole generation of children who are young still and very much of this world. My heart broke into a thousand pieces right there.
I fought back tears. Yes, it's true! What went through my head was "NO!" Don't they know they are all special, don't they know that there is an evil world out there tainting their minds. I never considered myself one of those preachy women who shook her head at the music kids listened to or how they danced. I have become that woman. The funny thing is, I'm cool with it. However, I am not cool with the devil playing with our children. What struck me and truly brought tears to my eyes was thinking about how God must feel. Girls and Boys, not even pre-teen are worshiping the things of this world. They don't know how amazing God is and the goodness He has for us. In Exodus 32:17&18 reminds me of today. God had something amazing for the Israelites but their partying kept them from it.
God has something amazing for us too.
The accounts in Exodus are constant reminders of the good God has for us. Actually, the book of Exodus had a huge part in my personal transformation years ago. The story of God's promise and how we constantly keep ourselves from it amazes me.
Exodus = mass withdrawal, departure, evacuation, leaving
Kind of sounds like the Atlanta Hartsfield Airport to me.
Years ago I did my first Bible study all on my own: me, Bible, and God. It was directed specifically at healing my marriage that felt broken, "Meet Me In The Laundry Room" was born. I personally have completed the study, not once but, 3 times. Each time my marriage changed and grew. It is a personal study that was directed at my heart and one I plan to continue to improve upon. My marriage was renewed and is amazing. God is good!
Recently, God has been working on me about other things...
here's the story as raw and real as I can get.
My dreams are coming true. I am now a stay at home mom again.. I worked my direct sales business to the point that it exceeded my teachers salary and allowed me to come back home to raise my boys the way God intended me to do. Before, I was missing everything and it broke my heart so I came home. More importantly I felt like the one job God had given me I was failing at miserably because of a "career". These were my own personal convictions for my family and they were strong. So, I'm home now and I have all this time on my hands, what's a girl to do.
Well, I start a running group 3 mornings a week and sadly, start watching way too much TV while at home. This was NOT at all what I had intended. I let life get me down. Why? What? Say that again! Yes, I had my dream of being a SAHM again and I was failing at that! I folded clothes slowly during the day so I could catch up on shows on Netflix. In the mean time, I retreated for much of my week and became best friends with my love seat. I started letting people down in my business and THEN one day I went to here a girl speak about everyday idols in our life. I had an idol in my life and it was HUGE and it was letting me down.
The ladies conference I went to was set up, sold out, and planned JUST FOR ME! Kelly Minter was the guest speaker and did you know she drove all the way to my church from her home in Nashville just to talk to ME in that room full of other women! God sent her straight to me to pour into me what HE wanted me to hear. It was the most unreal thing I had experienced in a long time. My heart pounded as she spoke with love and conviction straight into my heart. I could not believe the words she said, she said them for ME. Then I looked around that sanctuary full of other women who sat quite and stunned and I realized...it was for them too. I bought her books and her CD's and took them home and put them on my night stand right along with other books I had been given recently.
God's conviction came down on my heart swift and fierce as I started slowing plowing through the first days study and first chapters of her book. I shared my findings and feelings with others and then popped in a CD. I listened to the days devotions over and over and over because each time I heard something new. That was because I listened to them all distracted by my day but still very hungry to hear them. Then one day something happened that changed my mindset and it was the most powerful day I'd had in a long time.
I had listened to an amazing devotion on that disc and the sweet voice kept saying "if, then" over and over. I glued myself to it and listened. Sunday morning was just the beginning of that powerful day. I walked into our church sanctuary and saw on the big screen
I think I stood with my mouth open during worship. All day God spoke to me about "if, then". "If I did this, then God would do that..." If I kept a clean house, then I would feel at peace. If I talked to more people, then my business would flourish. If I could lose more weight, then my life would be complete. Right? Does that sound anything like what goes through your mind? Do you think anything along those lines, like... If I did this, then my boss would respect me. If I buy this dress, then my friends will not suspect the debt choking us. If I don't pay this bill, then I can buy groceries. What ever your "If, THEN" is...mine was coming.
That evening after God had been showing me signs over and over that He heard my heart, I started reading in the book of Job. In the book of Job there is talk of silver and gold and how...God is my silver and gold. He directs even the lightening, the breeze that blows the flowers, He makes the waves crash on the shore and the sun give us light. I started feeling that there was something MORE, something I was missing, something BIG! Then the pastor preached about God's omnipresence out of Job. "Wow God! Really?" I thought in awe. At the end of the our church service I stood up and tears fell down my face because they couldn't stay swelling in my heart any longer and then it happened... In my mind I said. "Lord, if I am to go to your alter, then the preacher will say the right thing.(what ever that thing was)" As soon as I thought it I wanted to hit the floor. In hindsight I knew nothing the preacher said would have been right because my heart still had an over abundance of "if, then" and it only took that one for me to realize.
On the way home that evening I cried out to God right in front of my husband and kids in the car. God, show me! As I looked back down at my open Bible my eyes caught the scripture in Job that I had missed.
Surely then you will find delight in the Almighty
and will lift up your face to God.
You will pray to him, and he will hear you,
and you will fulfill your vows.
What you decide on will be done,
and light will shine on your ways. Job 22: 26-28
"God said to me, I am your Almighty...RETURN TO ME!" God was begging for me to return to Him. I was almost screaming, "I know I'm saved and love Christ but there is MORE." I know there must be something else, something I'm missing because I know GOD HAS MORE! I needed out of the dark place I had been for weeks. I needed the devil and his spirits of doubt and fear to stop rocking my world. I needed to return to the ONE who loved me and gave His Sons life for me. I was missed and He indeed had more!
So I prayed.
The next day I picked up a book off my husbands nightstand. One that was given to me by a friend in my life, the person who wrote it. It was given to me in Dallas after a church service back in August, this was October...why hadn't I opened it before? In this book the first message he wrote that caught my attention was "There is more!" I laid out prostrate, face down on my bed and cried out to God. It's all there. There it is, the MORE that God had for me.
He has more for you too.
This next Bible Study is for me, you can follow along but I will be sharing the amazing truth that God has already revealed and the more He has for us. Is it possible that this new study could be for YOU so that you can hang onto every word until God pours out the MORE He has for you straight into your life. I can not wait to share with you what God has opened my heart to in the last few weeks.
SCREAM! I had thought I turned on my alarm for this morning so I could go for an early morning run but I didn't and I just kept on sleeping. I however was happy for a minute when I woke up and it was just 66 degrees outside and I discovered I was 1.8 pounds from the goal I had set for myself before my trip this week. This week is a big week for us and I'm a little overwhelmed with everything that is about to go down. I have meeting this evening, football practice for the kids starts, a trip to Dallas, and I need to show my kids some summer fun daily and keep my house and laundry clean and make sure the bills get paid.
I got up, got dressed, drank a Spark, I put on my running shoes and headed to the track. My hamstring is still hurting but I ran anyway, sort of, I walked more than I wanted to and didn't go the distance so to speak. I got heated in the checkout line at Costco over the price of a watermelon plus I get heated shopping anyway. I felt super defeated as I heated up. My morning was turning out to be a big wash...pooey. A sad little run and no watermelon for the kids.
I pulled into the drive to see my husbands pile of car junk that he is working on and took a picture to post on social media with words of disgust. I did, and deleted it. The negativity is just pouring out today. I cried. I walked past the pile of new football gear, mountain of shoes, dirty dishes, and walked straight into my study and straight to my Bible.
Tearfully...sobbing actually...I called out to God for help. I'm overwhelmed by the sense that I'm not living up to my own expectations and just a big failure today. I knew I would read the scripture I needed as long as I asked for it. It's His Word that he uses to speak to me so I have no doubt that I will read exactly what I need to as soon as I opened my Bible. After a few twists and turns through scripture I came to 1 Peter 5:8-11
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because[a] your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 10 But may[b] the God of all grace, who called us[c] to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
It was then that I realized that a roaring lion was trying to devour me today. Whew! I tell you it makes my heart pound knowing that there are women all over the world who are feeling just like me today. That we feel defeated, that we can not do it all right. That we fail as moms and wives. That we can never get ahead. That we will forever and ever be trying to find balance. It wasn't me failing, it was the evil one telling me I was failing..
Truth is we aren't going to do it all right...we are going to have "fail" moments. But let's go back and read that scripture again.
The only one that is telling you that you are a failure is the devil. He wants you to believe that it isn't okay to make mistakes, to mess up, to fall short...truth is. We all do it. We all have dirty laundry, piles of stuff laying around, dishes that forever need washing, coworkers that rub us the wrong way, cashiers that don't listen, gas lights that come on, muscles that ache, alarms that don't go off...it happens! That's life! While we are suffering for these days and feeling defeated God is looking down on us and saying "don't forget about Me".
So, as I lifted my head I said...thank you Lord! Today is going to be awesome! Thank you Lord for giving me renewal, for giving me hope, strength, and seeing me for what I am...a child of yours who just wants this life to lead me back to You.
As I'm sitting here...my alarm goes off at 12 (noon). Weird huh? Let's just say that was all in God's plan for today and that it's time to start my day again with a new perspective.
Prayers for you my friends.
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!
Repeatedly, this morning (and in the past months), I have read in my Bible about my "voice". I found that there is a great deal in Proverbs 1 & 2 especially. When I first started reading these scriptures, I started highlighting every time I read the word "voice". Example, Psalm 3:4
I cried to the Lord with my voice, and He heard me from His holy hill.
The Book of Psalm is full of words like these; Psalm 4:1 is another favorite.
Here me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have relieved me in my distress; Have mercy on me, and hear my prayer.
Next to that verse I wrote: VOICE IT!
Pray with me...
Lord, you are keenly aware of any hopes that have been deferred in my life. Help me to put my hopes in You for You will fulfill my longings.
If there is one thing I know, the more you walk in God's Will the more determined the devil is to get involved. I understand now why God allows him too.
Writing about this topic below is painful and scary to share. I pray now my dear one that if you are reading this, it gives you permission to ask God for help...to be complete in brokenness...to be sifted...to be healed. We are all broken together.
that is a word that has been surfacing so much lately. It is in music, it is in conversations, it is in things around the house, it is in the air.
This morning I was cleaning up the kitchen and putting away items and inside a basket was my favorite salt shaker...broken. I had dropped it full. It had been in 1 piece just as I liked it but now it lay in 4 pieces and I didn't have the heart to toss it. I reached in our kitchen junk drawer and pulled out the glue. I carefully pieced my little salt shaker back together. Almost like new. I filled it with salt and sat it next to the mate.
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 was so excited to get to got with my son on a field trip today with his class. It was absolutely a joy. When it was over I came home to clean up and wash away the filth from the farm. I couldn't believe the time when and then just now, I was praying..."Oh Lord it's almost time for those boys to get off of the school bus and I'm afraid I will not have time for you today." My prayer immediately was directed back to some study notes I had written just the week prior to today about God and time.
Recently, I went for a run along a creek bank. The trail was stunning and peaceful but as I was running I found I was praying. My desire to feel the presence of good was so strong that I didn't know what to do. Should I just keep running or should I stop. The verse "Be STILL and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10 rushed through my head, I found a quite rock, turned my face to the sun and prayed. I wanted nothing more than to receive His Spirit.
When I was done I was heading back and I knew I need to hurry, I had a mile and a half left and I figured only about 15 minutes left on my run if my judgement was correct. That meant I would probably be late. I looked at the time on my phone and could not believe my eyes. It was as time had stopped. I felt I had sat for an eternity (or a long time) and let the sun shine down on me, warm me over and feel His Spirit wash over me. So, when I realized I had about 30 minutes still, I started running again.
Something happens when I run and spend time in prayer. My thoughts become so directed towards Him that I feel I no longer have my own thoughts. I was still in awe at the time when the thoughts came tumbling forward towards my mind.
Time is in His Hands.
He is the beginning and the end.
My Father was from before time.
God does not operate on our time or schedule.
There is a time for everything.
He has the power to stop it...
to stop time,
to move it forward,
to slow it down...
We concern ourselves much to often with our own time. We do not carpe diem.
I remember those days.
Dried jelly stuck to the kitchen floor under the table.
High chair smeared with last nights dinner.
Smelly bibs stacking up in the laundry.
The diaper pail that is never empty.
I remember those days.
Tiny socks with no mates.
Baby powder all over the dresser.
The child that is sick that needs rocking.
Tiny outfits with tiny accessories.
A camera catching almost every moment.
I remember those days that you are experiencing.
Working a job and juggling car seats.
The way cereal never stays in the bowl.
Pop Tart mornings smeared in the hair.
Sick nights and stained carpets.
Missing appointments and forgetting to cook dinner.
Fights with your spouse over whose turn.
Some days seem to drag on when you're at home with your child. Some days you look up and wonder where yesterday went. You spend time making sure you have the right car seat, stroller, diaper bag. You give up on doing dishes at the end of the day. Ponytails and yoga pants are a daily norm. Unless you're dad and ball caps and sweats are the norm. Working moms are always in a hurry and time ticks faster at home.
I have been a work from home mom, a work away from home mom, and a stay at home mom.
I have missed moments and
I have whisked moments away.
I captured important moments with my lens and
I didn't take time to notice some.
Today I was packing away memories that were brought home from my Grandmothers empty house.
I gazed into the eyes of my children staring back in the photographs and paused.
Suddenly, I was choking.
I was trying so hard to swallow.
Tears streamed down my face, chin, neck, chest...
They splashed on the table cloth, the frames, and caught in the hollow of my neck.
When I was a little girl I prayed.
I believed with all my heart that God would allow me to have babies.
I wanted nothing more in this life than to be a mother.
He blessed me three times.
With three sons.
Their baby toys are mostly gone except for a few I saved.
Only a handful of outfits and blankets they wore and were wrapped in are boxed away.
The tiny beds are gone.
Older pictures are replaced by newer ones and they are off to school.
To the mom or dad with the toddler and the baby and the growing children...
Kiss their faces.
Smell their bellies.
Stroke their ears.
Record their laughs.
Capture the moments.
Save the hand prints.
Fold their tiny clothes slowly.
Say "no" to busy.
Say "yes" to snuggles.
Be okay with messy for awhile.
Yes, they cry.
Yes, they scream.
Yes, they destroy like a hurricane.
Yes, they are precious.
To the mom or dad with the children...
They are growing into themselves.
Speak life into them.
Tell them they have purpose.
Show them the little things are important.
They feel little...they are important.
Listen to their words.
Feel their breath in whispers.
Watch their eyelashes flutter in sleep.
Rescue their "lovies".
Kiss their wounds.
Let them cry it out sometimes.
Be thankful for their trails of dirt.
Yes, they are sleepless.
Yes, they are hungry.
Yes, they love you.
I was that mom who needed someone to show her the beauty from time to time.
I was that mom who didn't want to see there was beauty from time to time.
I was that mom that stayed busy
I am that mom who misses their smallness.
I miss their innocence.
My husband almost missed it all.
So, pick them up and dance.
The moments don't last, they don't stick around.
Time ticks on and we grow older.
They do too.
Here are a few (or many) scriptures I love for my tired self...I hope they lift you as well.
Matthew 11:28-29 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Psalm 62:1 “Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.”
Psalm 4:8 “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.”
Psalm 127:1-2 “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for he grants sleep to those he loves.”
2 Thessalonians 3:13 “And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good.”
Romans 12:11 “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.”
Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”
I Kings 8:56 “Praise be to the Lord, who has given rest to his people Israel just as he promised. Not one word has failed of all the good promises he gave through his servant Moses.”
Jeremiah 31:25 “I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.”
Hebrews 12:12-13 “Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. Make level paths for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.”
Isaiah 40:29 “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”
Psalm 68:35 “You, God, are awesome in your sanctuary; the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people. Praise be to God!”
Romans 8:26-28 “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.”
Colossians 1:29 “To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.”
Psalm 73:26 “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
Galatians 6:9 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Hebrews 4:16 “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
Psalm 119:114 “You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.”
Philemon 1:20 “I do wish, brother, that I may have some benefit from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ.”
Psalm 18:31-32 “For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.”
Psalm 62:5 “Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.”
Proverbs 3:24 “When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.”
Exodus 33:14 “The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
Psalm 46:10 “He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Philippians 4:13 “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”