This morning on my way to church my 15 year old son was sitting next to me with earphones in, mad. James , my husband, had to work today to be off Friday, a VERY important day for our family.
Foster Care | Savings, paying off debt, making room, filling out paper work, training, classes, home inspections...so many things to do to prepare, to feel prepared.
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
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.