May 28, 2010

$20.00 TOO much!!!

I have an awesome, rockin' story of
God blessing obedience!!!

In the beginning of this year,
God gave me a word.


OBEDIENCE!

This was to be a year of obedience.
Despite the outlook.
Regardless of the outcome,
I was simply to be obedient.

Sure, I can be obedient.
Sounded easy enough.
Not a problem.


In my head, I knew I would
have to sacrifice a little, and say "Yes"
to some things and "No" to other things.

I did NOT realize God wanted me
to obey in the little things!

I did NOT realize that meant
to put the cart away
INSIDE THE STORE
when I was done with it.

I did NOT realize that meant
to close my mouth
when I would have preferred
to shout very loudly!

I did NOT realize that meant
I had to go back to the CORRECT
food isle in the grocery store
to put away the item(s) I decided
I did NOT need after all!

Last week, my checking account was overdrawn because of an automatic withdrawal I was not prepared for. I had $1.41 in my account, and all of my transactions were clear. So when I got the overdraft notice, I freaked! I had nothing out there to withdraw it. After I checked my online statement, I realized a book club I belonged to sent out a shipment of books because I thought, "I'll reply to that email later!!!"

Um...I forgot to respond to that email to tell them,
"No Thank You, Please do not send anything at this time."

My bank was SO kind to cover that transaction of some $30 amount, leaving my bank account overdrawn! Ugh!!! I called the book company and they were SO kind to already have shipped my order! Ahhhh, That was so sweet. Of course, I am not very wealthy (yet!!!!!), so I had to leave my account overdrawn because I could not do anything about it. In the meantime, not only did my package of books come, but so did my overdraft fee of $35.00! So now, I have books I did not order (forgot to respond to!), and -$76.41 in the bank.

"God...........seriously???"

I sent the books back, and when I checked my account last night, the amount was credited back to my account, so now I was only -$36.41, instead of -$76.41.

MY $1.41 + $35.00 overdraft fee
(which again was from the books I never ordered,
and now that money was back in my acct.)

Have I lost you yet?????

I get my (long-awaited) financial aid check last night, went to the bank, & deposited it all, but $100.00. It would take until late Friday night to clear, so the funds would not be available until Saturday. Not a problem! I can at least get food, gas, etc.

I made TWO stops!!!

For whatever reason, I paid attention to the kind of currency I was getting back in change. I get home, re-count my money, and either my brain was fried from the week's stress, or....I had way toooooo much money! After 1 1/2 hours of counting, figuring, checking receipts, counting again, doing all the math....I knew without a doubt that the bank gave me $20.00 too much.

Two years ago, I would have said,

"WOO HOO! God blessed me with extra money!!!"
(Not sure HOW I ever justified that one!!!)

I called the bank this morning, KNOWING they gave me an extra $20.00 bill (but still doubting if my calculations were right or if I was working on a "fried brain" and just was not getting it!)

"Um...I think _______ gave me too much money."

"Oh........what do you mean?"

I explained the situation, the teller still seemed unsure if she was talking to someone with a "fried brain" because I am sure she does not get many calls like that. I had to tell her again what I was calling for.

"Will you please just check if_______ came up short last night?"

"Um...sure...please hold..."

"hum-de-dum-dum-de-hum-hu....."

"Yes, actually she was exactly $20.00 short!"

THANK YOU GOD my brain wasn't fried!!!

"Ok, I will be in shortly to return it."

Click.

I show up at the bank.
Announce my name & why I am there.
The bank manager comes to talk to me.
She thanks me profusely for returning the $20.
And then she TOTALLY rocked my day!!!!!!!!

"Ma'm, I want to reward your honesty.
Because you brought back this $20, I am
going to reverse the $35 overdraft fee that
was charged to your account."

SERIOUSLY?????????
WOO HOO!!!!!!!!!!

I had $1.41 in my account!!!!!!!

I was SOOOOOOO excited!!!!


GOD ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

May 27, 2010

You lied!!!

"YOU LIED TO ME!!!"
my 10-year old recently screamed at me.


In his eyes, I let him down.
In his eyes, I kept something from him.
In his eyes, I broke my promise.


I recently screamed the same thing to God.
"GOD, YOU LIED TO ME!!!!"


In my eyes, He "toyed" with my emotions.
In my eyes, He let me down.
In my eyes, He broke His promise.


That may not be "The Truth..."
but in the moment, it seemed like reality.


"God is not a man that He should lie!"
Numbers 23:19


...But in the moment, it felt like God lied!


...In the moment, Dylan's reality was that I lied to him!


In Dylan's moment, I KNEW what was best for him. I knew what he could and what he could not handle. I knew that the original plans had to be changed because he was not ready to face that outing. There were so many other things happening that he could not see, and I could not even begin to explain the reasons to him...


God sees way beyond what you or I can possibly see. He knows every detail going on. He knows the timing for everything. He knows what we can handle and what we cannot handle. He knows every step that has to happen in order for everything to happen. There are things so complex that He cannot even begin to explain to us because we could not even understand...


After Dylan was done being mad at me,
he embraced me, and told me he loved me...

I told him ...

"Sometimes you just have to trust mommy.
You did nothing wrong, but to put you
in that situation would have set you
up for failure...and I love you TOOOOOO
much to do that to you. I know it hurts,
but know I love you soooooooo much!!!"

How much more does our
Heavenly Father protect & love us???

I cannot do it...

What I felt...

God broke my heart!


How that affected me...

Unforgiveness!
Bitterness!
Isolation!
Depression!
Anxiety Attacks!
Emergency room visits!


What's the truth...

God is faithful!
God loves me!
God protects me!
God cherishes me!
God delights in me!
God is the most stable person I have!
God does NOT play with my emotions!
God has better for me than I can imagine!
God is Holy and Just!
He is my Best Friend!
He CHOSE me even when I told Him off!
He does not love me as I love others!
His love is NOT conditional!
He sees my future & knows what I need!
He takes me back even....
after I blame Him for my heartbreak!
He wipes away my tears!
He takes my anxiety and chest pain...
and offers me peace.
He makes my path straight...
even after I threw a fit.
He applies perfect medicine to my wounds.
He is Truth!
He is Life!
He is Healer!
I need Him!
I forgive Him!
even though He has done nothing wrong!

He says, "I'm sorry for your pain...
I know you feel I caused it...
and I'm sorry for that.
Let me show you that I am
for you...NOT against you.
Trust me, let me hold your heart!
Let me hold you...
Let me heal your wounds...
Let me stroke your face &
show you my love for you.
Run to me, Heaven, run to me.
I'm here to embrace you...
if you'll let me.
I'll walk beside you...
I'll even carry you when you're too tired.
Just come to me...
One day you'll see...
even though right now you can't.
I know the pain is deep.
I know you're angry...
but let me show you...
Let me love you...
---------------------------------------

Despite what my feelings dictate...
I know God is the only one who
can help me right now...
He IS the Author of my life &
STILL holds the blueprint to my life!
So I run to Him again today...

...because

...I cannot do another day
without Him.

...I cannot do another emergency room
visit just to have them tell me I'm
having anxiety attacks, not a heart attack.

...I cannot simply "exist" just one more day!

...I want to "live" & "love again"!

...as I have shut Him and everyone else
out of my life, I am drowning in loneliness,
bitterness, and heart-wrenching pain!

So God...
without YOU...

I cannot live one more day!!!

I am willing to try this again...
because You are my only hope!
You are my eternal strength!
I cannot make it without YOU!




May 22, 2010

The Climb...




I can almost see it
That dream I'm dreaming but
There's a voice inside my head sayin,
You'll never reach it,
Every step I'm taking,
Every move I make feels
Lost with no direction
My faith is shaking but I
Got to keep trying
Got to keep my head held high...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The struggles I'm facing,
The chances I'm taking
Sometimes might knock me down but
No I'm not breaking
I may not know it
But these are the moments that
I'm going to remember most yeah
Just got to keep going
And I,
I got to be strong
Just keep pushing on, cause ...

(The Climb by Miley Cyrus)

May 20, 2010

Stand...

There are things I want answers to.
I want the "why's" & the "how's".
I know I shouldn't, but I do.
I want to understand.
I want resolution...

The secret things belong to the LORD our God,
but the things revealed belong to us
and to our children forever...
Deuteronomy 29:29


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

I want to move forward,
but I still feel stuck.
I feel like I'm not moving,
and if I am, surely not very fast.

We are hard pressed on every side,
but not crushed; perplexed,
but not in despair;
persecuted, but not abandoned;
struck down, but not destroyed.

2 Corinthians 4:8-9


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

I want a life free of worries & cares,
yet I have not perfected that yet.
I want my heart to stop hurting,
& seriously, just-move-on-already.

Cast your cares on the LORD
and he will sustain you.

Psalm 55:22a

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

I want to wake up and feel great,
not just for an hour, but all day.
I want to feel joy again,
please, please, please.

...for the joy of the LORD is your strength.
Nehemiah 8:10b
------------------------------------------------

I want to quit being tired all the time,
and have energy to live my life.
I want to run away & hide,
yet that doesn't work very well.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run,
but only one gets the prize?
Run
in such a way as to get the prize.
1 Corinthians 9:24
----------------------------------------------

I'm not very encouraging lately,
but I want to be.
I just can't seem to "get over it",
like everyone tells me to.

So.........
I pray.
I cry.
I praise.
I stand.
I STAND.
I STAND!!!

Therefore put on the full armor of God,
so that when the day of evil comes,
you may be able to stand your ground,
and after you have done everything, to stand.
Ephesians 6:13

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

For whatever reason, today.....
that is all I can do.

I'm not standing very tall,
but I feel God holding me up.

With Him...
life is still better...
than WITHOUT Him!

May 13, 2010

Draw nearer to Him

keep fighting
keep standing tall
keep on...
keeping on

when the road
may get tough
as it sometimes may
just keep leaning
on Jesus
he WILL pave the way

the cares of this day
may seem too much
but God has a plan
& your heart
He WILL touch

don't be afraid
or dismayed if you will
for your Father
in heaven
has the answers
the storm He will still

press on my precious friend
we're almost to the end
for your rainbow is coming
just draw nearer to Him!

May 11, 2010

I know...

Tonight I want to write without repercussions. I want to spill my heart...yet the correct words don't come. I want to write, and have no one read what I have to say. I want to SCREAM yet my children might wake up. I want to sob loudly and have my voice be heard. I want to know why things happen the way they do. I want to know what God has in store for me. Sometimes, I am so busy looking behind me, that I can't see an inch ahead of me. Yet...I want to understand. I want to know why. I want the answers.

I know God is a big God. I know Jesus loves me. I know God is for me, and not against me. I know God has a plan for me. I know He has a future full of hope for me. I know this, yet somehow I don't trust this. Don't get me wrong. I really do trust God. Except times like this. I do trust the plan. Except when I don't understand. I know I'm loved. Except when I feel like He's taken things from me.

I have been reading the Psalms lately. Ah...David, the man after God's own heart. Yet he cried out to God often about feeling alone, betrayed, and forgotten. I read those Psalms and how I would love to lay it all out on the line like he did. Instead of writing encouraging posts on Facebook, I'd like to scream, "Ughhh...someone tell me how to keep my heart from hurting. Tell me how to let it go. Show me step-by-step what to do. Help me to stop crying & being depressed over the same stupid things."

The great thing about David is that even though he cried out to God relentlessly, he always ended most chapters with, "BUT, YOU oh Lord..." David didn't understand. David didn't have the answers to his "why's". David often felt alone. David seemed to cry out to God over the same things...yet always KNEW God was good. Despite the hurt and heartache, he declared God's goodness and faithfulness.

I have a hole in my heart the size of a broken dream...BUT God still has a plan!

I have tears that just won't stop falling...BUT God still holds my heart!

I can't seem to face my tomorrow's...BUT God still has hope for my future!

I wonder if I even heard from God...BUT God still continues to speak to me!

I can't stop asking the "why's"...BUT God is still patient & listens to me!

I am stuck in this moment...BUT God still has my hand!

I just want to "feel" better...AND GOD IS THE ANSWER!!!

I know I can't have all the answers. I know I don't get to know all of the "why's". I know God has more in store for me. I know He has the ultimate blueprints of my life. I know all of this. I know the verses to claim. I know the right thing to say. I know life is better with God. I know what He has done for me. I know He's changed my life. I know...

...but tonight, I'm sad. I'm tired of my heart feeling like it's being ripped out. I want the thoughts of the past gone. I want the broken dreams healed, and if God won't heal them, I don't want them at all. I count down the days and I don't know if I will feel more relieved or crushed. I feel like I'm in limbo. There is still time for God to perform a miracle...but I don't know if He will. And if He doesn't, then do I lose faith in Him? Will I quit trusting? I believed and I feel like God let me down again. How do I keep on dreaming? BUT...

...I know God is still good! I know that as I hurt, His arms are gently caressing my wounded heart. He stills me with His love. He sings me to sleep with whispers of lullabies. Part of me wants to let go and walk away...BUT despite my feelings, I KNOW THAT I KNOW THAT I KNOW that God still has my back! He still knows what is best for me, even when I can't see it. I know I should be over this...for the 50th millionth time in my life...but I'm not. But I want to be. And I know even though I feel God has let me down, I know He is the only one who can help me through this.

Father God, my daddy, can I come to You as Your little girl tonight? I am angry at You. I feel like you let me down. I feel like You have "toyed" with my feelings. I am sorry I feel this way. I want to trust You. I want to crawl up in Your heavenly lap and feel Your strong arms around me. I want to hear You say it's o-kay. I want to hear You say I'm o-kay, and that just because He rejected me, doesn't mean that I am rejected. I don't understand. I want to be o-kay with You telling me "everything will be fine."

As I withhold some things from my own children, I wish they could understand why they can't have what they want. I just want the best for them. I'm trying to protect them. How much better of a parent are You? I don't like change. I don't like being on rocky ground. I don't like my heart hurting all the time. I don't like feeling out-of-control, yet as I write this, I wonder if You are asking me to give You total control of my life...because You know best...you love me...& because You want to protect me. Daddy, right now, I have tunnel vision. I can only see my desire and my loss. You see the view to the left, to the right, and 10/20/100 miles down the road. It's foggy here in my little corner of the world...yet You are my lighthouse. You are my Guide. You are the Lamp before my feet.

God, I forgive You. I forgive Him. I forgive Her. And please forgive me for directing my anger towards You, oh God. You are just protecting me:) Take my hand. Lead me forward. Help me to stop looking behind. And please don't ever let me run away from You! Keep me in Your grip and hold my heart in Your hand. Please...

I love You. And once again, I choose to trust You! Thank You for never giving up on me...even when I have wanted to give up on You. Please never stop loving me...

Love, Your daughter

May 10, 2010

Going to Honduras


SO excited!!!

This young man will be
experiencing Honduras
at the end of June:)

I am so excited for him.

My friend and her husband
are taking my 13 year old
to Honduras with them
June 28th-July 5th
on a missions outreach.

Would you consider
praying for him as he
prepares for this trip.
God is already doing
amazing things in his heart,
and the journey has just begun.

If you would be interested
in sponsoring him,
you can contact me
at Heavsparks@yahoo.com
or on Facebook




May 8, 2010

GOSSIP??? In church???

GOSSIP!!!!!!

BACKBITING!!!!!!!!!!!!

SLANDER!!!!!!!!!!!

You know what those words mean.
You know how they hurt.
You know the effects.
You try to stay away from them.
At least in "Christian" circles.

or do you???

In my church experiences, those are
common problems that cause division
in churches today. We know they
cause division amongst families, work,
school, etc., but we have let it also
into our churches...

BUT...

...we don't call it gossip...
...we call it "concern."
...we justify it.
...We tend to just be "praying" for others.
...we tend to encourage it even.

This has been something God has
been showing me over the past year,
so please know I am speaking to myself as well!


We get in our "clique" prayer circles,
and start praying for "Sister V"
because she has such a controlling spirit.
We share about "Brother W"
who is struggling with lust.
Before long, we find out that
brothers "XYZ" all struggle with lust.
"Oh God, help them!"

Then we start praying fervently for
"A & B's" marriage.
That marriage desperately needs God!
You wouldn't believe what
Brother A did to Sister B!!!
Oh, did you know that "C & D" are
having problems too???
Oh, our marriages are falling apart!!!
"Oh Lord, help them!"

Oh...our Pastor needs some prayer too!
He needs to be more "in tune" with his flock!
If he wasn't so busy with "those" people,
he just might be able to see the TRUTH!
"Oh God, help him to see!
Help him to see how he's
NOT meeting ALL of our needs!
Help him to realize he's
doing activity E, F, & G ALLLLL wrong!
And God, did you hear how he
handled that family?
Oh God, give him compassion!
He clearly needs You God!!!
He couldn't possibly hear
You as well as we can hear you,
otherwise he would be doing
"this" instead of "that".
All of this we pray,
in Your precious name Jesus,
with humility of heart. Amen~"

Prayer in this sense
is NOT justifiable.
It IS GOSSIP!!!

The truth needs to be exposed
because this causes division
and tries to destroy unity!

Seriously, do you really think
God wants to bring people
into the church to be "cleaned up",
when some Christians are intentionally
smearing mud all over the church walls???

If you have questions, ASK!
If you hear rumors, GO to the source!
If you have problems with someone,
GO TO THEM!
DO NOT ASSUME everything you hear is true!

DO NOT let gossip continue!
Find out the truth!
Even if it's uncomfortable to ask!
GO TO THE source!

Don't let the enemy steal
the unity God wants in our churches!!!

If your brother sins against you,
go and show him his fault,
just between the two of you.
If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.

Matthew 18:15

May 5, 2010

Be honest...

Sometimes life isn't always fun.
There are situations that arise
that attempt to steal your joy.
There are illnesses that come.
There are circumstances
that are beyond our control.

Life happens...

We go on...

We keep focused on God...

& strive to find the positive...

We proclaim God's goodness...

& promises!!!

But there are times, we just need to cry out to God and be honest with Him. We need to tell Him all of our hurts. God's not o-kay with pretending. God doesn't expect us to...at least NOT with Him. He knows our every thought, our every hurt, our ever-present pain, whatever that may be.

I do proclaim God's goodness!
I do direct others to His faithfulness!
I do proclaim His promises!
Because I know THEY ARE TRUE!!!

BUT...

I also have a private prayer journal
where I hide nothing from Him.
No pain is too big or small to discuss with Him.
No complaint is rejected.

I write...
He listens...
He helps me to work through things...
He reminds me of verses...
I complain...
He shows me the Truth...
I hurt and cry...
but God wraps my heart in His hand!

There is freedom
in being able to tell
My Daddy everything.
Freedom in NOT having
to hide my feelings,
or pretend. He continues
to show me that He loves
me just as I am...
& will never love me any less!!!

God is NOT going to strike you down
for being angry or hurt.
God is NOT going to chastise you
for telling Him how you really feel.
In fact, it's through an honest
relationship with Him that He
can begin to show you the
Daddy He really can be.

So...........

Keep proclaiming.
Keep finding the positive...

But don't forget to be honest
with Him in your one-on-one
time with Him.

May 4, 2010

Just keep........

Philippians 3:14

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


===================
When life gets you down

sometimes you have to.....


===============================


JUST....




KEEP....





SWIMMING............




May 3, 2010

Rise Up!

The Lord is with YOU
Mighty Warrior!
Rise up!
Rise up!
Rise up!
Mount up like eagles!!!

May 1, 2010

That sounds bad!

Week one of on-line school complete!

Whew!

As I am getting used to the system used
and the way classes are run,
I am finding school sucking up my time.

Not sure what I really expected,
but I'm sure as the weeks go on,
it will get easier...
and I will get more efficient:)

I have been absorbed this week
...in school.
...in home.
...in God.
...in some personal issues.

I have NOT been absorbed this week
...in writing on my blog
...in reading other blogs.
...in twittering.
...in Facebook.
...in friends.
...in texting.
...in sleeping.

I usually catch up on blogs once a week.
I usually keep up on Facebook nightly.
I used to Twitter many times a day.
I used to spend hours texting...
and napping...

This week I have not.

I text a FB status through my phone...
occasionally text a friend...
& have only read other people's
statuses that are sent to my phone.
My blogs this week were scheduled.
I don't have time to nap.

I have no clue what is happening in other people's life. I have no idea what happened on different television series. I have no idea what's in the news this week. I have no idea how my friends truly are.

I should be sad...but I'm not.

(I know...that sounds bad.)

Although I've been consumed with school,
it feels good not to be consumed with
...other people...
...or their problems...
...or the drama...
...or their pain.

(I know...that sounds bad.)

School was my excuse this week...

...to not answer my phone...
...to not analyze people...
...to not have others analyze me...
...to be alone...

...to be only a mom...
...and a student...

...not a friend...
or a counselor...
or a daughter...
or a sister...
or an aunt...
or someone's sounding board...
or an encourager...

(I know, that sounds bad)

School this week
just let me be a mom...
and a student...
and I liked it!

(I know, that sounds bad.)

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...