May 31, 2009

Sunday Silliness...

Sunday Silliness

Wanted to post something silly today.
Sometimes, I need to take a break
from being so serious:)


Presenting...

"If Chicken Nuggets could talk!"


Starring Dylan (10 seconds of fame)





May 29, 2009

Today is the day!

I'm casting my cares aside
I'm leaving my past behind
I'm setting my heart & mind on You, Jesus
I'm reaching my hands to Yours
believing there's so much more
Knowing that all You have
in store for me is good.

Today is the day You have made
I will rejoice and be glad in it.
And I won't worry about tomorrow
I'm trusting in what You say
Today is the day! Today is the day!

I'm putting my fears aside
I'm leaving my doubts behind
I'm giving my hopes and dreams to You Jesus
I'm reaching my hands to Yours
believing there's so much more
Knowing that all You have in store
for me is good

I will stand upon Your truth
And all my days I'll live for You
And I will stand upon Your truth
And all my days I'll live for You.

There are days I feel like I have used up all of my grace and have run out of God's forgiveness. There are days I feel like I am failing in every area of my life. There are days where I am angry and sad and can't find the strength to go on for one more moment. There are days I am tired and have no motivation. There are days I continue to fall over and over into the same sin which I totally despise. There are days where I allow the enemy to beat me down to nothing with condemnation and negative thoughts.

These days will come, but these are the days I NEED to renew my mind and declare that "This is the day that the Lord has made and I will CHOOSE to rejoice and be glad in it!!!" These are the days, I need to praise and worship and believe that the God of this universe CHOSE me even knowing I would be where I am at. He CALLED me out of the darkness EVEN KNOWING I would stumble.

TODAY IS THE DAY I WILL STAND UPON THE TRUTH OF GOD!!! TODAY is the day I will CHOOSE NOT TO live by my feelings. TODAY is the day I WILL NOT listen to the lies of the enemy. TODAY is the day I WILL REJOICE...

By choice...

...even though I don't feel like it...

...even though I am tired and want to go back to bed...

...even though I have reason to be sad...

...even though______________...

I REJOICE!!! This video is filled with background images of nature and jam packed with scripture. I encourage you to watch it, and let God speak to your heart today:)



May 25, 2009

Blogger Appreciation

So, it is finally here! BLOGGER APPRECIATION WEEK!!! Who would'a'thunk we'd have a week to appreciate blogs and their respective owners.

If you would like to participate, write a post called Blogger Appreciation Week before Friday and then link it up with Mr. Linky at Grace Talk with Daveda. The rules are also at her blog.

I started my blog on September 12, 2008. Since that day, I have "met" incredible women of God who have inspired me, encouraged me, and been used by God to "tweak" me.

I write my blog as a personal journal and to share my journey as a daughter of the King. My journey tends to be a rather transparent one and is honestly shared even through the trials and the pain. I probably share too many emotions at times, but I really feel like I write my posts as led by the Lord.

I am divorced and have two wonderful boys, ages 12 and 9. This journey is not one that I always enjoy, but I enjoy the presence of my Heavenly Father, and the peace that He offers through it. I am on a journey of healing, restoration, and joy.

A couple of my favorite posts are (you can read them by clicking on them):

Letter to Heaven (basically my testimony)
Don't run ahead
Freedom by fire, Part 1
Freedom by fire, Part 2
Freedom by fire, Part 3
Mint Green tissue box
Post-it notes
Counterfeit Biscuits

Now, through my journey, I have "met" wonderful people. I think I'm supposed to list three, but I just love everyone, so you can choose who you want to visit. I love ALL of these women as sisters in Christ and have learned so much from each of them.

I know Sailor & Co. in real life. She does amazing photography.

I have talked to Paulette from Musings of a Mama... and Tracy at Tacklebox for Fishing on the phone quite a few times. They have become friends of mine.

I met my friend, Debbie at Live From Ninevah in person after connecting through e-mails and phone calls. Her (in real life) friend is Luanne from Less of Me, who is also a wonderful woman of God.

ADHDme cracks me up all the time. I just love her. In this post here, I actually received a gift in the mail from her and wrote a poem for her.

And then we have authors Karen Hossink from Surviving Motherhood and Kelly (Chatty Kelly) from Sometimes teaching, Always learning. These two women have been gifted with incredible writing skills, and I have learned so much from both of them.

Lindsay at A New Life is an amazing woman with an amazing testimony of God's redemption power. And finally, Barbara from "B" His Girl, whom I adore. God has sent her to me many times with words from Him.

There are so many more women I have been blessed by, but I unfortunately can't list them all. If I have ever left a comment on your blog, that means your blog touched me. I don't leave comments out of obligation, nor do I follow blogs just because. God has directed me to each of your blogs, and I am so grateful.

So, to all my bloggy friends, and to others who blog, THANK YOU for sharing your lives with me and others!!! And HAPPY BLOGGER APPRECIATION WEEK!!!



May 22, 2009

"Pick me!"

As a 5-year old chubby girl in a rickety old schoolhouse gym, I began taking mental notes on how to play the game, "I will never be picked first".

Over the years, these are some of the rules to the game of life that became inscribed in my heart :

1) You will never be picked first, 2) Always expect to be last, 3) No one wants you, 4) You're not good enough, 5) Do not make eye contact with people, 6) don't let "them" know they hurt you, 7) Unless you perform good enough, you won't make the "cut", 8) You will always be "second best", 9) You will never "measure up", 10) You are a "charity case" player that has nothing to offer.

I know how to play "that" game so well, that I have all of the rules memorized. In fact, my life has revolved around those rules for many years. The broken record of those rules have played millions of times in my mind to the point of etching grooves in my soul.

When I meet people who tell me things that go against my "rules of life", I have to force myself to believe them. Although I am not where I used to be, this continues to be an area of battle for me.

See, I had an encounter with the One called Jesus Christ, not as the One who saved me from hell, but as the One who says He wants to be my best friend. The One who also said He gave up His life for me.

Then there is His father, the One called God, the One who said He wants to be my perfect Father. The One who calls me daily to crawl up onto His lap so He can surround me with His arms and love on me. The One who said "I allowed my son to die for YOU."

Then there is the Holy Spirit, the One who said "I am your comforter. Anytime you need guidance or wisdom or comfort, come to me. I'm here WHENEVER you need me. I'll even give you my special language to use in battle that will knock out the forces of darkness in hell."

Whoa! That trio totally defies the "rules" I have played by all of my life.

My mind truly is a battlefield. See, those "rules" aren't truth. The Bible, God's holy word, is truth. So I have to constantly speak truth to the lies that Satan has planted throughout my life.

Tonight as the sun was setting, I looked outside and a beautiful image caught my eye.


I noticed the sun's rays shining down on one tree in the distance. Glancing around, I saw no other tree highlighted by the light, but I couldn't stop staring at it.

God gently whispered, "Just as I have picked this tree to shine my light on, so also have I picked you."

Did you know that God "picked you first"? He chose you and I before the foundation of this earth. He calls you by name. He planed your destiny. He knows your future. He knows everything about you and STILL chooses you.

That ministry lying before you...Yep, He's chosen YOU for that.

The child who screams "I hate you" when angry...Yep, He chose YOU to be that child's parent.

The task before you that seems impossible...Yep, He chose YOU for that too!

God will never call you to something He won't equip you for.

Ephesians 1:11 says,
In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.

1 Peter 2:9 says, "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light."

Just as the tree in the picture was chosen by the sun's rays, God has searched the earth for you and chosen YOU...this day...this moment...and for the task at hand...

In your own strength, we can do nothing. In His strength, we can do ALL things.

If you have ever (or are still playing) played by the rules of life listed above, I invite you to say this prayer with me.

Heavenly Father, in the Name of Jesus, I renounce (change my mind about) these rules I have come to believe as truth in my life. I renounce the lie that says I am worthless and unwanted. I renounce the lie that says I am unimportant and not good enough. I renounce the lie that says I will never fulfill the future that you are asking me to walk in. I renounce the lie that says _____________.

I pray for forgiveness and ask you to take back any ground given to the enemy through those lies, and I yield that ground back to You. I do not want the devil to have a foothold in these areas any longer. Holy Spirit, I pray that You would fill those empty places up with You and with the truth of God. I thank you that I am chosen by God and that I have been bought with the blood of Christ. I pray that You would seal this work and cover it with the blood of Jesus Christ. In Jesus' precious name, Amen~

When a lie tries to reenter your thoughts, you have to speak truth to it. Out loud! Recite a Bible verse, that counteracts that lie. I deal with rejection issues, so anytime I feel rejected I recite the verse below.

Psalm 27:10 Though my father and mother forsake (reject) me, the Lord will receive me.

I usually say, "Though I feel as ______ has rejected me, I thank you Lord that you will always receive me."

Choose a verse, and then personalize it, and speak it OUTLOUD back to God.

If you are struggling finding a verse, please feel free to e-mail me: heavsparks@yahoo.com and put "scripture" in the subject line.

Tuesday, I will be posting "Blog Appreciation Week" . Click here to read about that and instructions on how to participate. Be blessed and have a wonderful Holiday weekend:)

May 21, 2009

BLOG APPRECIATION WEEK

Grace Talk With Daveda will be hosting "Blogger Appreciation Week" May 25th -June 1st. I sincerely hope you will join us, its going to be GREAT!

This is how it works; If you are interested in participating with your own blog enter your blog address into the Mr. Linkie widget on "Grace Talk with Daveda's" blog, at anytime from now through June 1st.

First send an invitation to all who blog! ask them to join us. You can copy this post if you would like and post it on your page, or you can send out special invites to each of your followers and friends by stopping by their blog and leaving them a comment. You can leave all the details or just invite them and send them this way to read this post.

You will title one of your posts from May 25th-June 1st "Blogger Appreciation Week" and in it you will share with the rest of us information about why you blog, why you like to write, how reading the blogs of others has touched your heart, what God has done in your life through blogging, tell us about some of the special people you have meet...etc. Somewhere in this post you may also want to include the titles to one or two of your favorite post so that those visiting your blog for the first time can read them. May 25th is the first official day.

Then, the next step is to visit the other blogs on the Mr. Linkie, and make sure you LEAVE A COMMENT of encouragement! Tell others how their blogs have touched you and what you liked about their writing, their life...etc. If you read through other postings and have a comment please leave ALL comments under the "Blogger Appreciation Post" just name the other title related to your comment, this way we can all read through, and you will be sure that blogger sees your comment next week. If you like what you read become a follower and make a new friend! We all love new friends!

When I put up my post I will have a special paragraph about "Blogger Appreciation Week" that ties us all together, for you to copy and paste somewhere in your own post for that week.

If you have any questions please leave a comment. If you have any suggestions, pleasevisit Daveda at her blog.
Yep, God continues to amaze me. I received an e-mail by Nancy Leigh DeMoss called "Jealousy and Singleness", her devotion for yesterday. It's been sitting in my inbox for about 24 hours, and I knew I wanted to read it, but didn't have time at the moment.

I just got done reading it, and I am stunned by a statement she writes in there. It says, "
“If I imagine that I love my neighbor, let me test my love by asking how glad I am that he has managed to acquire what I have long wished to acquire."

Now here's the deal. This devotion deals with singleness, but I encourage you, no, I challenge you, to substitute the highlighted words, and ask God to fill in those blanks. If a person comes to mind as you read this or an instance pops into your memory, then let God "tweak" you and deal with it, so that you can put this behind you. Be honest with yourself, so that you can move forward without this baggage dragging you down.


Jealousy and Singleness

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: The apostle Paul says, “Love does not envy.” Elisabeth Elliot has helped us think through what that means. She writes, “If I imagine that I love my neighbor, let me test my love by asking how glad I am that he has managed to acquire what I have long wished to acquire. That he is loved by someone in some way that has never been granted to me.”

This can be especially challenging for singles. Do you ever find yourself jealous of your friends who are getting married? Maybe you’re married, but you’ve never been able to have children. Are you jealous of those who are able to have children?

These are some of the most painful situations a woman can go through. Avoiding envy might seem impossible, but love is from God. The way to avoid jealousy is to be filled up with godly love.

Ask Him to give you His love. The kind that doesn’t envy.

With Seeking Him, I’m Nancy Leigh DeMoss.


May 20, 2009

Ahhh...the edge of the nest

I have been listening to Joyce Meyer AGAIN over the past few days. That women and I have a "love/hate dislike" relationship. Oh, I just LOVE her to pieces, but I hate dislike the idea that her words "tweak" me soooooooo much.

In reality, I don't dislike her; I dislike the uncomfortable place on the edge in the nest of my comfort zone where her words nudge me. Ahhhh...but the end result is so liberating!

It is on the edge of the nest where we the platform of trust in our God is birthed and nurtured. It is also on the edge of the nest where we perch preparing for our flying lessons in life. It is there where we develop confidence that when we jump, our Heavenly Father will catch our fall, and not let us be destroyed if our wings aren't mature enough to make the complete journey. It is there where we (time and time again) depend on HIS instruction and direction to fly into the unknown.

I have read (and referenced) the story of Peter walking on the water in Matthew 14 many times. Yet this morning, God, once again, wants to use it to illustrate a point. The disciples see Jesus on the water. Jesus says "Don't be afraid. It is I". Peter says, "Lord, if it's you, tell me to come to you on the water."

Peter is on the "edge of nest", preparing to have his faith AND trust journey strengthened.

Jesus says in verse 29 "Come".

That's all He says.

"Come".

If you are at the edge of the nest today, then your Heavenly Father is smiling at you, cheering you on with His love, holding out His arms to you, and saying "Come."

Just as Jesus caught Peter when he started to sink, so too will He catch you if your wings aren't quite strong enough for the flying lesson before you. But you never know how strong they are until you spread your wings and soar in the wind.

May 19, 2009

Smiling

Today I smiled...

and I caught myself smiling...

AND I told God I smiled...

and He said, "Expect more of that."

It was a rather silly moment actually...

and if anyone else would have been in the car...

they would have totally thought I "lost" it.

I was out and about when a car passed me showing the words, "Just Married" from the back of their car window. AND I SMILED...

I thought "Oh, good for them:)"

And it was a happy & sincere "good for them"...

I realized it was happy and sincere, and I just HAD to tell God what just happened! I smiled because someone just got married.

That's totally NOT me. When I hear of people getting married, my heart breaks for them. I think "Oh, they really need to NOT get married", or "Those poor kids." Something on that order anyway. I make up excuses not to go to weddings because I'm just not very positive when it comes to being married. It hurts too much.

On Sunday, I surrendered to God my broken heart and "woundedness"...

On Tuesday, I'm smiling and truly happy for complete strangers who are proudly bearing the fact that they just got married.

If you knew me in real life, you WOULD KNOW that THAT, my friend, IS true healing from GOD!!!

May 17, 2009

re-"Birth"-day

Thirty-four years ago to date, a mother and father gave birth to a healthy baby girl at a small town hospital in Minnesota. They named her Heaven...

Ten hours ago this day, that grown woman was so touched by God that she will never be the same again. Birthed in her was another chapter of surrender...



She gave God her broken dreams...

And declared that she was done looking back...

He birthed in her new dreams for her life...


---------------------------------------------

In John 5, there was a man who had been paralyzed. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, He asked the man ONE question:

"Do you want to get well?" (NIV)

The man made an excuse...

Then Jesus said to him, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk."

AT ONCE, the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.

----------------------------------------------

God has been asking me the past two days,

"Heaven, do you want to be healed?"

...meaning...

"Do you REALLY want to be healed?"

"Do you REALLY want to move on?"

"Are you REALLY ready to lay down your brokenness, so I can make it better?"

"Are you REALLY ready to let it go?"

"Are you READY to forgive?"

"Are you REALLY ready???"

..."Then surrender your broken dreams to me. Surrender your life fully to me. Surrender your past to me. Surrender your present to me. Surrender your future to me. Surrender ALL those things that keep you stuck."

"SURRENDER..."

So, at midnight, I had my 34th birthday...

But at 10:30 this morning, I had a re-"birth"-day. I made my way to the front of our church, oblivious of the hundreds of worshipers, and stood at the foot of the cross...arms wide open... tears flooding down my face...and surrendered once again while the worship team sang this song.






I'm giving you my heart, and all that is within

I lay it all down for the sake of you my King
I'm giving you my dreams,
I'm laying down my rights

I'm giving up my pride
for the promise of new life


And I surrender all to you, all to you
And I surrender all to you, all to you

I'm singing You this song,
I'm waiting at the cross

And all the world holds dear,
I count it all as loss

For the sake of knowing You
for the glory of Your name

To know the lasting joy,
even sharing in Your pain

© 2005 Integrity Music


May 16, 2009

Dance with God

I received this in an e-mail today, and wanted to share it. I pray it is as timely for you as it was for me!

When I meditated on the word Guidance, I kept seeing 'dance' at the end of the word and I remember reading that doing God's will is a lot like dancing.

When two people try to lead, nothing feels right. The movement doesn't flow with the music, and everything is quite uncomfortable and jerky. When one person realizes that and lets the other lead, both bodies begin to flow with the music. One gives gentle cues, perhaps with a nudge to the back or by pressing lightly in one direction or another. It's as if two become one body, moving beautifully. The dance takes surrender, willingness, and attentiveness from one person and gentle guidance and skill from the other.

My eyes drew back to the word Guidance.
When I saw 'G': I thought of God, followed by 'u' and 'i'.
'God, 'u' and 'I dance.' God, you, and I dance.
As I lowered my head, I became willing to trust that I would get guidance about my life and once again I became willing to let God lead.

My prayer for you today is that God's blessings and mercies are upon you on this day and everyday. May you abide in God, as God abides in you. Dance together with God, trusting God to lead and to guide you through each season of your life.

May 15, 2009

Better!

I published my last post a few moments ago, and the burden and baggage I carried was suddenly lifted. God is good! Thanks for letting me vent and still loving me despite my honesty:)

The joy of the Lord truly is my strength!!! (I went back and re-read this post, and God spoke, as always!)

Thank you for your prayers, thoughts, and thank you Barbara for emailing me this morning with the word from God that you shared!


The Scab...


What do you do when your "tree" has been "cut" down?

...when the marriage you waited forever for ends in divorce?

...the job you thought was stable ends?

...the child you raised walks away from God?

...the dream you desire shatters?

...the house or car you owned repossessed?

...the baby you carried dies?

...your financial stability is "earthquaking"?

...when a relationship falls apart?

...when a loved one passes?

...when a parent walks away from his children?

What do you do when the grief is so overwhelming that you drown in your own despair? When you find yourself in a pit so deep and gasping for air? When the world spins rapidly around you while you are stuck in one moment...desperation ... When you're not even sure how you got to this place AGAIN!

I'm here...AGAIN!

I've spent the last week scolding myself for being here AGAIN! I've said the words, "I'm fine" countless times this week. I've slept and slept and slept...

I've rehearsed and rehearsed scenarios over and over again that I can do NOTHING about. Conversations I CANNOT change...

How do you get over "getting over" something?

O-kay, get it together AGAIN! Let go AGAIN! Forgive AGAIN! Pray AGAIN! Crawl up into God's arms AGAIN! Cry my heart out AGAIN!

#1 I've spent a lot of time saying "I" and "me" this week.
#2 I've rehearsed things that 1) I cannot change, and 2) I have to let God take care of.

Two big reasons why I am where I am in this moment.

We are to take EVERY thought captive! And we are to set our mind on things that are ABOVE, not on our circumstances around us. By focusing on God and eternal perspectives, I believe it raises us up into those things of God. By focusing on circumstances, it pulls us down and drags us into the pit of despair planted to trap us.

Oh my bloggy friends, how you must think I am psycho sometimes:) I am ALLOWING myself to be tossed to and fro, rather than being FIXED FIRMLY on the Rock of my God. Sorry, I just truly needed to blog about this, even though ya'all may see my "instability", and think I'm off my rockers:)

I am still in need of a Savior...constantly...all the time. I think what happens is when I am feeling great, I think I can do "life" on my own, and therefore, tread into waters I think I can handle by myself. My emotions then come crashing down because... uh duh... I wasn't meant to go there in the first place.

A couple weeks ago, I told God, "Why does this still hurt so much? Why does it feel like my heart is being ripped out all over again??? Why can't you just heal this so I can get on with my life??? I'm tired of going through this every time he decides to pop in our lives again!"

Funny, yet simple, God we have...

His reply...

"Quit picking at the scab. Quit opening the wound back up. Leave it alone. Don't touch it. I've healed it, but you keep picking off the scab and making it bleed again."

Hmmm...

What situation are you in today that is caused by picking at a "scab"? Leave it alone and let it heal. It will never go away until you leave it to God and quit picking at it!

"In the secret, in the quiet place...
in the stillness, you are there...
in the secret, in the quiet hour I wait
only for you, I want to know you more...
...Pressing onward,
pushing every hindrance aside,
out of my way..."

Lord, I just want to know you more!
Thank you for not giving up on us...

May 14, 2009

Isaiah 40:30-31
(New International Version)

30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumbl
e and fall;



31 but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

May 11, 2009

Resting...

It feels good to not feel like I have to run to my computer and check Blogger, Facebook, Twitter, E-mail, Bank Account, and my other E-mail accounts.

It's like the answering machine that needs to be checked...

...and the laundry that needs to be done...

...and the grass that is finally growing...

...and the dishes that are piling up in the sink...

...and the beds that aren't getting made everyday...

There was a day, when my oldest was a preschooler, that the above "to-do" list would have drove me crazy. I would literally follow him around all day picking up toys after him. Shoes had to be in the exact place ALL the time. My child would get scolded for messes made constantly, ALL day long...

If milk or juice was spilled, I blew my top (and it continued to blow for the rest of the day)! How dare my 3 year old EVER make a mess on the floor which I spend countless hours washing daily? Or how dare he mess up the table I just washed? Exaggerated??? Nope, not really...

Let's just say that a "little" OCD (Obessessive Compulsive Disorder) was present in my life back then! I don't know how I got here 10 years later, but I have a feeling it was one spilled cup of milk at a time, and A LOT of God.

Unfortunately, my oldest experienced the most of my rage, and unfortunately, now has quite a bit himself... I really need prayer for our relationship, as well as LOTS of wisdom! It's hard to see him soooooooo angry when I probably caused most of it.

I need God's eyes to see my son's heart, and to be able to view him through God's eyes. I need to learn where I need to bend, and not be so rigid, and where I need to tighten the reigns. Wisdom...wisdom...wisdom:)

It may be a little while before I am back on a regular schedule with blogging or facebooking, so just keep me in your prayers if my family comes to your mind:)

Blessings! Thank you:)

May 9, 2009

My favorite place...

This is my all-time favorite spot. The other day, I took the boys here and let them run skateboard around. Then I got to enjoy the beauty...ahhhh...

This is also the spot where I met my bloggy friend for the first time, so it makes that meeting more special. Off to the side of these pictures is the big fish! Click here if you haven't see the big fish yet.

These pictures were taken around 6:00 p.m. at night. If my children weren't arguing so much having so much fun, I would have stuck around to take sunset pictures. Those will surely come, but for now, enjoy the evening view...

The view totally puts me in awe of God's beauty!















May 8, 2009

Joyful reaping...

Psalm 126:4-6

4 Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like streams in the Negev.

5 Those who sow in tears
will reap with songs of joy.

6 He who goes out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,

God has had me in these verses for the past few days.

Tearful sowing...

Joyful reaping...

It doesn't always "feel good" to do the right thing, but we do it because God asks us to. We do it because He is our Master. We do it because we are called to live life according to His spirit and not by our flesh. We do it because we love Him.

In these verses, it says we will reap with songs of joy when we sow in tears. Praise God!

Is there an area in your life where you have sowed in tears? A time when your heart broke to make the right choice? A time when you sacrificed your own "feel good" feelings to be obedient to God?

Then take heart and be encouraged, because you will REAP WITH SONGS OF JOY!

May 7, 2009

Protector...

God is so good! There have been a couple times in the past year where I could have totally messed up my world as I now know it by different choices made. Each time, I cried out to God for answers...

...and each time, He gently answered..."no".

So...what else can a woman, trying to live her life for God, do?

"O-kay God, you obviously know what You are doing...I choose to trust You, even though my heart is breaking in two..."

Sacrifice...

Obedience...

Trusting...

Believing in the ONE who only wants the best for me AND my children!!!

Today, I received just a glimpse of some of the reasons to my many questions of "Why?"

God protects, brings life, and restoration...

The enemy prowls around like a lion seeking to devour us and destroy our lives...one inch at a time...until he has wreaked total havoc in our lives.

When God says, "Don't even open that 'door' an inch!", it's because sometimes that is all it takes for the enemy to sneak in and begin working terminal chaos in your life!

God is my Protector!

God protects my kids!

Lord, I thank You for being patient with me when I questioned the "why's" so many times. You never blew me off or treated me as if my questions didn't matter. You simply took the time, comforted my bleeding heart, and reassured me that You knew what You were doing. THANK YOU so much that You spoke loudly through my heart with the Word of God, as well as through other people whom You gave wisdom to. I am so sorry for doubting and for the "pity parties" I threw for myself. Thank You for loving me and my children so much to be our Protector. Keep me wise, please Father God, keep me wise... Sweet Jesus, thank You for holding us in the shelter of Your wings...

May 6, 2009

Joy is my strength...




This is the view of my sky this morning. Now, at first glance, it may not look very beautiful, and clearly my camera does not quite capture the beauty of things, but my sky is beautiful this morning.



See, it rained most of the day yesterday, so the sunshine today is very welcoming! Normally at 6:30 in the morning, I am still seeing the inside of my eyelids, yet this morning, I awoke at 5:00. I forgot how beautiful these mornings were!

For me, there is something about being up at the crack up dawn that is so peaceful and relaxing. I truly don't do it that often, simply because I like my sleep, but when I do, it makes a difference in my entire day.

I was looking in scripture and drinking my coffee, while listening to the birds sing a morning melody, when I thought about Nehemiah 8:10 "...the joy of the Lord is my strength." Now, if you read Sunday's post, then you know that I really desire to have my joy back. I used to think this was an exuberant, jubilant kind of joy, yet something told me it wasn't, because we would be expected to be fake and counterfeit since this is not a joy we can produce all the time.

I looked this scripture up and found the Hebrew words:

Joy- theios means godlike, divine, godhead

Strength- mauz or mauwz (maw-ooz) means a fortified place, defense, force, fort, rock.

Wow! That would mean that joy in this context is not necessarily a feeling as we tend to think, but rather a state of being. Using those definitions, the verse would read like this:

The godhead of the self-existent (or eternal) Lord is my fortified place and rock!

Whew! That takes a lot of pressure off to perform and manifest a feeling of joy which I do NOT manufacture well on my own!

It is the firm planting of our beliefs and faith in God that keeps us going, keeps us strong, and keeps us camped in the fort of the One who is eternal.

So, again, as I look at the picture of my sky this morning, I am reminded that even when I see the storm clouds roll in or see residue from yesterday's storm, I don't have to be in despair. The sun still shines because of where my heart is planted! I can find peace, hope, and comfort in the defense of my Lord...

...and so can you!!!


With Love, Heaven

May 5, 2009

Big fish and friendly bloggy friend...


On Sunday,
I met a bloggy friend...


...And I had to show her the BIG fish...

This fish is historic in our family! This is the fish that my brother caught! It was too big to take home; therefore he had to leave it for everyone else to look at. This is also the fish that brought my son home crying in Kindergarten when one of his classmates told him that "Uncle Mike did NOT catch that fish!"




Debbie, from Live from Ninevah, is a wonderful woman and often gets some short, yet very good "nuggets" of wisdom from the Word of God as it relates to her life. Her compassion overwhelms me, and her concern for me, a complete "stranger", has brought me to tears recently during a rough patch in my life.

The kids thought this was pretty cool too! I mean, who wouldn't???



We ventured to a nearby park where I was able to catch up on some photo taking and so our kids could run off some energy. My son, Dylan is the star of the rest of the pictures. He loves the camera:)








So, to my wonderful bloggy friend, new IRL (In real life) friend, I am so very glad we were able to meet:) Your daughter and your boys are beautiful, and I am honored you shared your time with me today:)

and Alex, when and if you read this, it was awesome to meet you too:) I'm always only a hop, skip, and a jump from you:)

May 4, 2009

Looking upward...

This is the view of the sky when I sit on my deck and look straight up. I love watching this tree transform through the different seasons.



I love scenery.
I love the sky as it paints
the emotions I could never describe.
I love looking up and
knowing that God is bigger
than the sky above me.

This tree above reminded me today
that I don't always see God
through the perfect lenses
He gives me.

Sometimes I will say that
I am looking upward towards God,

yet...

I allow other things to
block my perfect view...


Branches and life
(Distractions)...


Circumstances and storms in life...
(Distractions)



Clouds and worries
(Distractions)


Sometimes I look
at God kind of sideways
and crooked, because of distorted
views of God that were planted
throughout my childhood...
(Distractions)



I want to see God perfectly
through the lenses
He's given me, through
the Spirit He planted in me
when I gave my life to Him,
by choosing Jesus Christ
as my Savior...


Mark 8:25
Once more Jesus put his hands
on the man's eyes.
Then his eyes were opened,
his sight was restored,
and he saw everything clearly.


Lord Jesus,
Touch my eyes and sight
that I might see everything
through your eyes today
and forevermore...
Just as You restored
the man's sight in the
above verse, Lord, restore
my spiritual eyes to see
what You would want
me to see and show
me how to move the
distractions from my view...

Philippians 3:14
I press on toward the goal to win
the prize for which God has called me
heavenward in Christ Jesus.


May 3, 2009

Aching heart...

He has torn us, and He will heal us;
He has wounded us, and He
will bind up our wounds.

Hosea 6:1


"How can we characterize the difference between an aching heart and a broken heart? The Bible defines a broken heart as one that is hemorrhaging. Compressing a hemorrhaging heart is the idea of applying pressure to a badly bleeding wound. What a wonderful picture of Christ! A crushing hurt comes, and the sympathizing, scarred hand of Christ presses the wound. Just for a moment, the pain seems to intensity, but finally the bleeding stops. " Beth Moore, "Breaking Free, Day by Day"

____________________________________

I love how God rushes in to hold us when we ask Him to mend our broken hearts. There have been many layers of brokenness in my life; moments when the world around me has shattered into a million pieces, when I didn't even know where to begin in picking up the pieces.

There still remains an aching, but the bleeding has stopped...

For I can say I truly have found healing and hope...

Hope in the One who has promised that He "knows the plans that He has for me, plans to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)

I love the picture above, taken from the web. It almost looks like fingers sending electricity through the shape and definition of a heart.

That, my friends, is what God has done for me, and what He will do for anyone who asks. He sent His healing current through my bruised and battered heart and created the beginning of a new beginning in my life.

I have been on a journey of finding my "wholeness" in God, not in a spouse, or job, or blog, or words of acknowledgment or praise, or my skills...

It's simply Him...

~Father God, You have done so much in my life that I am so grateful for. Thank you for being my Redeemer and Restorer and Healer. Honestly, Lord, I am really "dry" right now, and I have lost my joy. I don't want to just go through the motions or simply serve You out of obedience. We don't live by feelings, but I need to be filled again and again with the Holy Spirit, so that I can "spill over" to others.

Lord, I have allowed the enemy to rob me of my joy and I want it back. I'm tired of temporary fixes in eating or sleeping or smoking. You have something that I need, something that must fill the hole in my heart, something that only YOU can give. I want people to look into my eyes and KNOW that You have changed me. I want to be a testimony of Your I want my eyes to sparkle and come back to life again... Joy, joy, joy!!! ...joy in living...joy in serving...and joy in simply being in relationship with You, My Father. In Jesus' precious name, Amen~

May 2, 2009

Wisdom

Guard your heart...
Listen...
Pay attention...
Gain understanding...
Get wisdom...
Do not forget my words...
Do not forsake wisdom...
I guide you and lead you...
Accept what I say...
Hold onto instruction...
Do not set foot on...
Avoid it...
Do not travel on it...
Fix your gaze...

These are some of the directives from Proverbs 4, which talks about wisdom. I believe it speaks loudly to a situation in my life right now.

At least once a year, I get my carpet shampooed. There is something so beautiful about my brown carpet turning to it's original cream color after a good steaming. I keep EVERYONE off of it, and NO shoes, WHAT-SO-EVER! are allowed on it. I even put up a sign on my door commanding visitors to "remove shoes at the door". I go to all kinds of extremes, even offending some people, because I DO NOT bend on keeping shoes off of my nice, clean carpet.

Ahhh...with my rigid rules, my carpet stays clean ALL YEAR...

Right???

NOT!!!

Well, what happened? I had strict rules and enforced them well...

...for awhile at least...

After a couple weeks, I just had to "very-quickly-go-into-the-kitchen-and-get-just-one-thing-before-I-leave-the-house-and-if-I-take-my -shoes- off-I-am-going-to-waste-time-I-don't-have. This-one-time-won't-hurt-it."

Within three weeks, I am sailing across that floor quite often.

After about two months go by, I have ripped my threatening sign off my door, everyone has embedded mud and dirt back into the carpet, and my carpet begins it's "browning" process.

The same is true with sin. We say, "just this once won't hurt anything", and before we know it, we are in knee-deep of another mud trap the enemy set up for us. It's easy to justify that first step into that area which we are not to tread into, but sometimes, all it takes to fall into that trap again is one step.

There are things that God has literally said, "no" to in my life, and if I even barely step into it, I know that I be entangled in those things once again. It goes back to trusting that God knows the why's and the how's and we are simply to obey. It's not because of "rules" or "regulations", but rather, because He knows the trap set before us, and He wants to protect us. It's because of love...

Proverbs 4 has many "nuggets" on wisdom worth finding. I recommend you read the chapter on your own or you can click here to read it on-line at Biblegateway.


13 Hold on to instruction, do not let it go;
guard it well, for it is your life.




May 1, 2009

God speaks

I had an awesome moment. After I posted yesterday on "Rebuilding", I opened up my e-mail to find the daily devotional from Nancy Leigh DeMoss. The title of it was "Letting God Rebuild". The devotion I shared yesterday from Beth Moore was actually the daily word from March 13th, so it wasn't even chronologically correct.

God obviously thought so!

I love how God speaks! It just confirms I AM doing what God is asking me to do by not doing what I want to do. Does that make sense???

My heart and flesh long for something, but God's spirit, inside of me whispers, "no...still no."

God IS rebuilding ancient ruins from my past, yet the new foundation cannot be located in the same spot. A spiritual relocation was required for this journey I have been on. The view and occupants are different; however, the builder is the same, and I choose to trust in His blueprint for my life.

Stepping into things of God requires trust, faith, hope, and courage. Also, in my journey, I have found a deeper need to "cling" onto God, cling onto the promises He's given me, cling onto a peace only He can provide. There are times when I cannot even begin to process the pain I experience because of not understanding His ways, yet I still know that He IS IN CONTROL, and He loves me more than I can ever fathom. I have to cling to God...

If you, too, are in a place of rebuilding, take heart! Hang in there, because what He will give you in return for those things he is asking you to lay down, are so much better than you can ever imagine. He is holding the "real thing" in His hands, and waiting for you to let go of that which is counterfeit!

In this place of rebuilding, I believe God is saying, "I have you in my grip. Do not be afraid. I will not let you fall. I will keep you close to my heart, and I have your best interest in heart. You will be astonished at those things I am bringing into your life, but you have to lay down those things I am asking you to. Let me bring you restoration and healing that no one can ever take away again!"

Pressing forward...
Heaven

Trusting God

My son has been pretty sick lately. Even though he's an adult, I still worry about him. I probably get annoying as I ask the same questi...