Saturday, February 26, 2011


I haven't been sleeping well lately.  I have been restless.  I am not typically a person who dreams a lot in their sleep, but that has been different lately.  Last night is a good example.  I had a dream that I was in a dark room with a blanked out computer screen and the only thing I could see was a small word written in brackets at the bottom of the screen ~ [Details].  That's it.  What do you do with that?

 So, as I am reading the scriptures this morning and praying, I am still troubled by this dream.  Then it hits me, I am worrying that God is not going to provide the next steps for me in this new ministry my family and I have been called to be a part of.  I had a friend the other night look at me and say, "You are a planner aren't you?"  The answer was a definite yes.  I like plans.  I like calenders.  I love organizational things.  Honestly, I don't think I have purchased myself a new pair of shoes in over two years (I know, that is just sad) but I could go into an office supply store once a week and feel like I have had a shopping spree sent from heaven to buy new file folders and bright, new post-it notes!  (And don't even get me started on highlighters!  That is a separate blog entry in itself!)

Anyhow, he was right.  I am a planner.  There is something deeply wired within me that needs to know the details.  Who? What? When? Where? and most importantly, HOW?  Well, God has strategically positioned me in a place that I honestly have no idea the answer to almost all of those questions.  But He is growing my faith because he is faithful in not only knowing these things for me, but He is proving himself faithful in providing these things for me.

My family and two other families have been called into a position of serving this fatherless generation.  The last two months have literally been a whirlwind, unlike anything I have ever seen in my entire life.  Honestly, the only thing that comes remotely close to this was the 2 year process to adopt our youngest child, Hope.  There is such an overwhelming joy in being able to be confident in the fact that you are in the middle of God's will for your life, but there is such a struggle with this stupid flesh to be in control.  I want to be in control.  I want to be the author on this journey.

But, God is faithful to love me with patience and firmness.  He sure doesn't NEED us to carry out his plans, but how awesome is it that he WANTS to use us to carry out his plans?  It is really ironic.  I actually looked up the word brackets, because from my dream I wasn't as troubled by the word within the brackets as the brackets themselves.  This is what I found:

Square brackets – also called simply brackets (US) – are mainly used to enclose explanatory or missing material usually added by someone other than the original author, especially in quoted text.

Overwhelming.  The way I see it is this.  God is the ultimate original author.  He is the author of the beginning and the end, and obviously everything in between.  So, why in the world would I feel the need to add brackets and the details in between in this story being written by God?  God is in control of every little detail.  Even though he has been showing that, I am still carrying around my own brackets.  Needless to say, I have a little repenting to do, and then it is time to roll up my sleeves and put one more foot in front of the next to step out in faith and rejoice in the details being continually worked out for me.

No more brackets for me!  And I can end that with an exclamation mark! ~ This a reference to my last blog post...I am starting to see a trend with punctuation, and  I am beginning to wonder if this is as odd as the joy that office supplies bring me. ;-) 


Sunday, February 20, 2011

When God says Go

There is a scripture I have been pondering recently.

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?"  And I said, "Here am I.  Send me!" ~ Isaiah 6:8

I am feeling a bit like Isaiah these days.  I am not saying in any way that I feel that I am a prophet.  What I am comparing is feeling a focused calling of the Lord on my life.  There was such an obedience in Isaiah when he was commissioned to be a prophet for the Lord, but in addition to obedience, there seemed to me to be excitement of things to come (notice the exclamation mark at the end of his declaration of "Send Me!" in my NIV translation).  Now the remainder of the book of Isaiah shares that the majority of the time that Isaiah shared the Lord's prophecies, they were met with resistance and rejection.  This doesn't seem to give a lot to be excited about.  But there can be great excitement in simply being obedient to your calling into service for our great God and knowing, no matter the cost, that the Lord is leading every step of the way.  Surrender is a very exciting place to be!

Far too often in my life I will feel what I call a "heart tug" by the Holy Spirit to move into action for the Lord, but instead of meeting that prompting with a response that can end with an exclamation mark, I turn from it, and sadly, do nothing.  Why?  Because it is easy.  Because I am lazy.  Because I have fear.  Because I worry what others will think.  Because I like my little life in this little box that I have created.  My prayers tend to reflect this theme.  "Lord, please protect my family..."  Why?  Jesus stepped out in ultimate humiliation and pain for us.  Why should I pray for protection?  Why not pray for the excitement to be radically used by Him to make a difference in this world for His glory?

There is a song I love that says, "You won't relent until you have it all.  My heart is yours." I am so thankful that my God will not relent and give up on me.  That He keeps chasing after me, until I am obedient and surrender.  So, this is where I am...

I choose to put my whole life in the Lord's hands.  I choose to allow this mighty God who created the whole universe and still knows every hair on my head to show me where He wants me. I choose to follow.  I choose to trust.  No matter the cost, I choose to Go! 

I have found my exclamation mark! 


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Hospitality...In this mess?

I was reading this morning in Romans 12 and when I got to verses 12-13, the words written there stung a bit.  "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  Share with God's people who are in need.  Practice hospitality."

This was my kick in the britches for today.  You see, God has been providing some amazing opportunities to follow through on these two verses.  I would like to say that I have been wonderfully obedient, joyful, patient, prayerful and hospitable in all of these opportunities.  But, that would also push me into the sin of lying, so I will choose not to go there!  Last week was a hard week.  Ray Don was out of town from Monday to Friday.  The great freeze of 2011 hit and we were home bound all week long.  Just a long week.  My temper was short with the kids, with Ray Don, and with myself.  Needless to say, my biggest downfall was there was a lot of the week being focused on me, and not on Jesus.

We have been given an opportunity to have some precious young guests to stay with us for a night next week while they are traveling through town.  Keep in mind, these are children.  However, I started looking at everything I don't have (materialistically), instead of what I do have, and feeling ill-equipped to host them, let alone anyone else.  The "mess" of my life has been hanging over me.  Broken microwave, ice maker, Hunter just pulled his wooden blinds down and broke them, newly noticed cracks in not one, but both of my leather sofas, a garage door that is threatening to fall apart any day, a crack in the tile in the kids/guest bathroom... should I go on?  Oh, woe is me.  As I begin to focus on all of these things that seem to be unacceptable, or the equivalent to a blemish in my life, I find myself feeling unworthy of having guests in my home.  I become Martha.  I am worried about the house being clean, the food being tasty, the conversation flowing, the activities planned.  Instead, I should be sitting at the feet of Jesus in awe of the great opportunities he is putting in front of me...opportunities to grow in Him, and more importantly, serve his people!

These verses are a great reminder that there is a big difference between joy and happiness.  Happiness is completely dependent on circumstances, people, and things.  Stuff.  But, joy...that is something completely different.  Joy is deeply embedded into our being, if you are a Christ follower, that stems from the hope we have in knowing that this life is NOT as good as it gets!  We have a joy that comes from personally knowing our Savior.  And, the great thing is, that when our gaze is fixed upon Jesus, and not our problems, the patience in our troubles and the faithfulness in prayers just fall into place out of natural obedience!  But then...and this is so awesome, we can openly and willingly put into practice what we are called to do in the next verse...Practice Hospitality.  I love the note in my study bible on this verse:

Christian hospitality differs from social entertaining.  Entertaining focuses on the host-the home must be spotless, the food must be well prepared and abundant, the host must appear relaxed and good-natured.  Hospitality, by contrast, focuses on the guests.  Their needs-whether for a place to stay, nourishing food, a listening ear, or acceptance-are the primary concern.  Hospitality can happen in a messy home.  It can happen around a dinner table where the main dish is canned soup.  Don't hesistate to offer hospitality just because you are too tired, too busy, or not wealthy enough to entertain.

Wow.  Thank you Lord for loving me enough to discipline me through your Word.  I have needed a good spat on the backside for my attitude this past week.  So, with discipline comes revelation, and all of this is said to share this ~

Thank you Jesus for showing me through what I don't have or is broken in my life to remind me what I do have!  Thank you for the reminder of the brokenness you have repaired and made whole in me!

I am truly grateful for my husband who at least has a job, even though it takes him from us sometimes a week at a time.  I am grateful for the privilege of being able to homeschool my two youngest which allowed us to stay home and off the streets this week.  I am grateful for a small second microwave we are using until we have the funds to get our built-in repaired (for the second time).  I am grateful for the fact that when Hunter broke his nice blinds, he chose a blanket that says "God is my Strength-Psalm 27:1-The Lord is my strength, Whom then shall I fear?" to hang up until we get new ones.  And I am grateful that God is allowing me to learn what true hospitality is this next week by sending some precious visitors to our home in spite of the messiness of my life.

I am mostly grateful that Jesus loves spite of me!!  

Thursday, February 3, 2011

And so it begins...

Every new endeavor always contains one thing ~ a beginning.  And this is exactly where I am.  The beginning of something new and exciting.  I have wanted to blog for a while now.  I am not really sure why.  I don't believe anything I have to say is any more important than what anyone else is saying.  I am not the best writer and am notorious for run on sentences.  I am just a wife and mother trying to live out this life one day at a time.  However, I do believe that God provides every single one of us a story.  A story that is meant to be shared.  This is the story of our life, and He is the author.  I am a continual blank page and if I stay at a place of openness and submission, it is amazing the crazy, good things He can come up with to fill the pages of my life.  Now, don't get me wrong, some of the stories that have been included in my almost 40 years of life (and yes, I am excited to say I get to turn 40 next month!) have been less than fun and most certainly not good, at least according to the world's standards.  But, I have faith in a God that works all things for the good of those who love him (Romans8:28).

So, I am excited to share this journey with you, and if you can, stop by from time to time.  I would love to share with you the adventures of our day to day life! I look forward to sharing the good days, which from a mom's point of view usually includes a day with no one sick, no toys stuffed in a toilet, and no blood.  But I also look forward to sharing the hard days.  Because actually, these are usually the ones that end up being considered the best days.  The hard days are the ones where we get great opportunities to press into our great God that much more! 

Well, it seems I have two kids that need expert architectural assistance at this time...there is some serious fort building going on in the other room!  So, until next time...