Saturday, March 28, 2009

Spring Fever

The trees are blooming (achoo!) , the sun is shining , I'm procrastinating (it's so hard to pay bills on a beautiful day like this!) and we are now the proud owners of 6 baby chickens! The kids each picked out two (Timothy had some help) and are enjoying watching (and playing with) them. It will be an interesting adventure. : ) Hopefully at least some of them are female so we'll get some eggs in a few months. If we end up with any roosters we'll have to send them out the my sister's farm. : ) (Where they will live happily with the other chickens, ducks, geese, goats, cats and cows.)
Look to me like hours of entertainment for the children... and trauma for the chickens! : )
Spring also means it's almost MCC Sale time and the playhouse is just about ready to be auctioned off! My hubby is so talented it's just amazing. : ) You all can feel free to come to the sale and bid on the playhouse next Saturday at noon! All of the proceeds go for disaster relief around the world. Can't beat that!

Happy Spring everyone!!!!! : )

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I Will Give You Rest...

I'm so glad my God is a God who hears me when I cry to Him. As you probably saw in my last post, I've been feeling very tired lately. God has been continuing to call me to REST IN HIM, but I was having trouble figuring out how to do that. It seems that when I get wound up and tense, I just have no idea how to unwind myself, even if I want to. So, again, I am thankful for a God who chooses to quiet me with His love (Zephaniah 3:17?). Have I ever told you about my friend Lisa? I met her many years ago when her son, who is now in high school, was a hilarious student in my Kindergarten class. She had prayed for God to put him in just the right class, and He did. I loved her son. He added a lot of spice to my days. : ) But what neither of us had any idea about was how God was beginning a friendship between us that would be a GIFT for years to come. I love thinking back on the day when Diego was still in my class and she brought me a banana - because God told her to. : ) She wrote something on it... but I can't remember what. And I know she was a little disappointed, I think expecting me to say something about how I had just been praying for a banana! or something like that. : ) I just thought it was sweet and I appreciated it - but the real fruit of it was that I knew she was someone who listened to God. And that was significant. Anyway, several years ago we started praying together and eventually started praying together once a week at 5:30AM at my house. We never had an official agenda or format, other than inviting God's presence to be with us and telling the enemy to stay away and asking the Holy Spirit to speak to us about whatever we needed to hear from Him about. Then we just talk with God. We talk to each other some, but are really most interested in what God has to say. We listen to Him and through the years the time He has done SO MUCH stuff in our hearts I can't begin to tell you about it all. He is SO faithful to reveal what's really going on in our hearts and heads and what the TRUTH really is and when we agree with Him, so much freedom comes! I can absolutely say we are both very different people today because of what God has done in us during those sweet, sweet times. In the last year or so we've invited a few others to join us and it's been even better. The reason I even mention all that is to share what He showed me this last week. I was so tired and worn out from all of my worrying and God graciously took me in His arms and filled me with peace. I was just enjoying resting in His arms when Lisa had to keep praying asking the Holy Spirit to reveal any lies I was believing. I sort of ignored her because I was just enjoying Jesus at the moment. But then I started hearing the lie: you can't rest or relax because you're going to forget something! Something's going to fall through the cracks! That's what I had been believing and what had been keeping me from resting in Him. As I shared with her what I was thinking, I explained it was as if I couldn't sleep because I had to stay on watch, as if there wasn't anyone else to take the shift and what would happen if I let my guard down? Knowing even as I was saying it that God was reminding me that He never stops watching and I CAN let my guard down and rest because He's on duty. : ) Just the day before, Jennifer had sent me a verse on Facebook. It was Psalm 121:1-2. That morning with Lisa and I read Psalm 121 again and it was SO CLEARLY connected to what God was saying to me. Later that morning, I looked up some of the words from it and there are 6 times (in only 8 verses) where God says He watches over us, over my coming and going, etc. In other words, He's got my back. : ) The Hebrew word implies He's on guard duty so I can rest. So this half of March I'm memorizing Psalm 121 and thanking God for bringing me to a place of rest once again. Life is still sort of chaotic around me, but I'm feeling peace in the middle of the storm. Hallelujah!
Psalm 121
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from? 2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth. 3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber; 4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep. 5 The LORD watches over you—
the LORD is your shade at your right hand; 6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night. 7 The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life; 8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Break Through!

Hi friends! Just a couple of thoughts to share before I have to get my children fed and Timothy down for a nap. First of all, my husband and I are in a really challenging place in life right now. Don't worry... our marriage is fine. : ) But God is challenging us (and the enemy is joining in) and we could really use your prayers as we seek to walk by faith and not by sight or leaning on our own understanding. If you want to know more, you can email or call me. : ) But it sort of leads me to my second thought... How hard do I try to keep blogging? You've probably noticed I haven't been writing as much lately... certainly not for lack of stuff to talk about. There is SO much I'd love to share here, but I'm debating about whether or not I have time or if it's worth it. If it's just so I can keep a small handful of you informed of my life, I'd be just as happy (or happier) to chat with you more often on the phone! But IF there ARE more of you out there who would be sad if I quit blogging because you are somehow encouraged by the things I share, would you consider letting me know? (Comment, email or call me!) It might make a difference in whether or not I continue at this busy juncture in life. And if you do want me to keep blogging, would you also pray that God would help me know when in my week it fits in? My weeks are fuller than ever before and I'm not sure where the time to blog is. I promise I won't feel bad if I don't hear from you. I'll just take it as confirmation that I can stop for now and continue to focus on other things. : ) I hope I don't sound like I'm whining because I'm not... I'm just trying to be honest. : ) I know God is faithful and will never leave us or forsake us and that His grace is unfailingly powerful and abundant and available to us. I'm dealing with uncertainty and fear, but know that God is going to break through and our faith will be strengthened in the process. Last night I wrote a song - inspired by a time of prayer at the retreat and by reading the book of Micah (and some other stuff.) I'll leave you for today with the words from the song and pray God will break through wherever You need Him to in your life as well... BREAK THROUGH I am weak, I am weary You say, “Come! And I’ll give you rest” (Matt. 11:28) So I’m coming, giving all my burdens to You Show me how to let go Teach me Lord how to learn from You (Matt 1:28-30) You’re my Shepherd, and I want to follow You (Micah 5:4) But sometimes it seems like I’m locked up inside The walls are too strong and I can’t find the light In all Your strength and majesty and greatness… (Micah 5:4) Come and break through! (Micah 2:13) Lord Jesus, how I need You to Break through all the walls, shatter the darkness Break through I long to be free! And I have no strength on my own But with Your Spirit, I am filled with power and might (Micah 3:8) “All the nations may walk in the name of their gods We will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever.” (Micah 4:5) Come and break through! Lord Jesus, oh I know You Will break through all the walls, shatter the darkness You’re gonna break through “But as for me, I watch in hope I wait for God my Savior; My God will hear me… Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light.” (Micah 7:7-8) “Enemy, don’t gloat over me!” (Micah 7:8) Lord Jesus, You are my peace (Micah 5:5) Oh God, speak and let there be Light! (Genesis 1:3) I will not be afraid, for the LORD Almighty has spoken. (Micah 4:4) 3.13.09

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

March Memory Passage #1

Sorry this isn't a fabulous retreat recap. While our retreat was AMAZING because God is AMAZING, since coming home I've been back to life and it's challenges and God is wanting to do some Spring Cleaning in my heart and head (and apparently, my house.) Genesis 1:1-4
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters. 3 Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. Then he separated the light from the darkness.
I picked this passage because I feel so out of control with my house and "time management." My weakness in this area is consuming me and draining me in a ridiculous way. If you have struggled in this area, you might know what I'm talking about. If you haven't, all of my most wordy and elaborate explanations will never really be able to help you understand my dilemma. So just trust me that it's bad. The Hebrew words that describe what the earth was like in verse 2 imply that the earth was chaos and I feel like I'm living in chaos. I know it's not that bad compared to some people. I know it's not so bad that I can't have people over. I'm not beating myself up here. I just know how much it affects me and my family and I SO want to be done with it. I have tried and tried and made progress but still struggle. Life is fuller (and in MANY ways more wonderful) (and more challenging) than ever around here and I'm thankful for that, but it's making it even more obvious that i NEED God to speak Light and Truth into my chaos. And I'm going to ask Him to do that and expect Him to do that. It's what I "preached" about at the retreat! Trusting God's grace to do the work in our hearts because we can't do it with our efforts... We have to approach Him in humility and confidence in His ability and desire to do what we cannot do. Whether it's set us free from our sin or help us in our weakness. His grace is sufficient and His power is made perfect in my weakness and that's what I'm after. So now you know. : )