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Knowing God

 

This week, I have started an online Bible study for women dealing with fear and anxiety (https://lovegodgreatly.com/) and I have started reading a book written by Nancy Wilson, Learning Contentment: A Study for Ladies of Every Age. I am reading a chapter per week in it and this week, both studies dealt with the subject of knowing God. They delved into the miracles of God and the fact that we can trust God to work miracles today on our behalf.

I have “known” God since I was a little girl. I was raised in church, baptized at nine and have loved the Lord all of my life. I know all about the miracles that God performed in the Bible. It is one thing to have “head knowledge” of who God is, but it is a completely different thing to “know in your heart” who God is. I think this might be it for me. Because of my tendency to build walls and my inability to really connect with people on an intimate level, I think I have been shutting God out of my life on some important level. Anxiety and fear are NOT from God. When we choose to worry and allow fear to keep us from God’s best for us, we are telling God that we don’t trust Him with our lives, or with our future. This is hard for me to deal with, because I love God with all of my heart and the last thing I want is to live in disobedience to Him by living in fear.

God has performed miracles in my own life as a single mom. I have been on the receiving end of His providence. I know that He will provide and protect always and yet, I still let worry and anxiety keep me imprisoned. I guess I just have to take this journey one moment at a time, one situation at a time and CHOOSE to trust God instead of worrying about the future. It is a choice. When we feel the fear and anxiety grip our heart, it is up to us to acknowledge it, do what we need to do to prepare for a possible situation, and trust God with the outcome.

Isaiah 41:10

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

This is a journey. It is my decision to tear down the wall and allow God in. I have lived within this prison for 47 years and I want to be free. It isn’t easy. It means being vulnerable and transparent. It means opening old wounds so they may heal correctly. It means being refined and pruned. Healing is painful, but so worth it.

Stay with me as I update you on the ups and downs of this journey and as always, if you need prayer to start or continue your own journey to healing, please contact me. I am always here to travel through this life with you.

God Bless!

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Silence

 

I haven’t written in over a month. After 3 months of being inspired by God to write two or three posts a week, in the middle of April, God went silent. I tried to draw inspiration to write on my own, but I have nothing. Without God, I have nothing.

What does it mean?

I’m not saying that God has left me. God is still here with me. I feel HIS presence and I know that He will not stay silent forever. This is a time of reflection and learning.

I was able to drive to Georgia to spend a few days with my daughter, Kiowa, who has been in Georgia since the beginning of April. Talon, Ty and I drove down to see her and spend Mother’s Day with her. Kiowa lives out in the boonies. Seriously, her town is a few houses that share a zip code and nothing more! She has no internet and no cell phone connection for those of us with companies that aren’t Verizon. Kiowa has service most of the time, but the boys and I did not. Internet services do not provide services to her area, she will blow through the gigs with a hot spot, so she will more than likely have to get satellite. Talon was going crazy without his phone and camped out at the only hot spot in the house. I still had my phone glued to my hip, even though it was a useless accessory at that point. About 3 days in, I realized that God was trying to teach me something here. There is peace in being unplugged. When I finally give up on trying to find a “connection,” let go of the constant need to watch something or be on my lap top, I will hear God again. I will again find the most important “connection” that I don’t ever want to lose.

So, back to the land of cell phones, lap tops, and Facebook, I am shutting it all off and spending time with God. It won’t be easy. Why is it so hard to make time for the ONE that I love with all of my heart? Why do I let all of these things get in the way of my relationship with HIM?

God has given me a ministry of prayer. I have seen some things at the world level start to happen in answer to my prayers. I am in awe that God gives us the privilege to partner with Him in His ministry and will. I cannot pray efficiently when I let technology and the busyness of life take priority over what God wants me to do. I need to unplug on a daily basis and put God’s ministry first. I have finally found my God given ministry. I now need to make it a priority.

God’s silence doesn’t mean that He has left us. Sometimes, it simply means that we have something to learn.

Psalm 1:1-3

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lordand who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.

 Psalm 4:1

Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer.

Psalm 4:8

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord make me dwell in safety.

Psalm 7:17

I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness; I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High.

Psalm 8:1-9

Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens. Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet: all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. Lord, our Lord how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Psalm 9:9-10

The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. 10 Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.

Psalm 9:12

For he who avenges blood remembers; he does not ignore the cries of the afflicted.

Psalm 9:18

But God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish.

Psalm 10:17-18

17 You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, 18 defending the fatherless and the oppressed, so that mere earthly mortals will never again strike terror.

Psalm 11:7

For the Lord is righteous, he loves justice; the upright will see his face.

Psalm 12:7

You, Lord, will keep the needy safe and will protect us forever from the wicked,

Psalm 13:5-6

But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise,
   for he has been good to me.

Psalm 16:11

You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Psalm 24:1

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;

Psalm 25:1

In you, Lord my God, I put my trust.

Psalm 25:4-5

Show me your ways, Lordteach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.

Psalm 25:8-9

Good and upright is the Lordtherefore he instructs sinners in his ways. He guides the humble in what is right
    and teaches them his way.

Psalm 25:12

Who, then, are those who fear the LordHe will instruct them in the ways they should choose.

Psalm 25:14

The Lord confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.

Psalm 25:20-21

20 Guard my life and rescue me; do not let me be put to shame, for I take refuge in you. 21 May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope, Lord, is in you.

 

 

 

 

John 20:11-18

11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. 13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. 15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”). 17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.

 

Jesus was not hiding from Mary, but she did not recognize Him until He said her name. He was not hiding from Mary and He does not hide from us. We search and search for the one thing that will fill that void inside of us and He is right in front of us waiting for us to recognize Him. We desperately try to find happiness and love through drugs, sex, alcohol, empty relationships, work, food, etc. and Jesus stands just behind us asking, “who are you looking for?” We try to find happiness and love in all the wrong places. All the while, we suffer from loneliness, broken hearts, grief, pain, depression, anxieties, fear and overwhelming exhaustion. We still run from the ONE THING that can fill us with joy, peace and love. Jesus is calling YOUR name right now. Put down whatever it is that is keeping you from hearing Him. Put down the drugs. Let go of the relationship that is leading you down the wrong road. Let go of whatever it is you are trying to fill the empty void with and focus on Jesus.

He is standing right behind you asking, “who are you looking for?” He is calling you by name and He loves YOU. Fill that emptiness with the one who loves you. His name is Jesus.

 

 

 

 

Isaiah 6:8

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!”

Exodus 4:10-13

10 Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” 11 The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind?Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” 13 But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.”

There is such a contrast between the responses of Isaiah and Moses to God’s call on their lives. Isaiah was eager to be used by God. He enthusiastically answered YES! when God called for mission volunteers. I can picture Isaiah jumping up and down, waving his hand yelling, “me, God, me! Pick me! I want to go!” On the other hand, Moses was a bit reluctant when God spoke to him from a burning bush. He gave God excuses as to why he couldn’t answer the call God had on his life. Moses even went so far as to tell God to send someone else. If hiding from God was an option, I’m sure Moses would have done it.

I have had to ask myself how I will answer when God calls on me to a Godly mission. Unfortunately, I have been more like Moses than Isaiah. Yep, I completely understand Moses and have repeated his excuse verbatim when called on by God. Being an enthusiastic volunteer is not me and if I do say yes it is in a quivering voice, shaking in my shoes. How I wish I could be more like Isaiah, ready to answer God’s call with a willing YES! instead of with excuse after excuse as to why God should choose someone else. Something I am working on for sure.

What about you? When God calls you to answer His call, do you answer eagerly, like Isaiah, or do you make excuses, like Moses? If you answer like Moses, why? What makes you a reluctant servant? Is it fear? Is it something else? Whatever it is, turn it over to God and ask the Holy Spirit to help you become an enthusiastic servant.

The most important thing to remember is that even though Moses made excuses, he still obeyed God. God may have been frustrated with Moses, but he never gave up on him and He won’t give up on you either. Give your excuses and reluctance over to God and trust Him with the outcome of the mission He calls you on. God will give you the courage, strength and power to do His will. Be willing to move your feet and trust God to guide your footsteps. Being a volunteer on a Godly mission is always an adventure! Be an eager servant and hang on for the ride!

If you need encouragement along the way, let me know and we can pray through it together. I know the awesome power of prayer and am always here to pray for you, whatever the need. Be blessed, my friend!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I heard today that a mom is only as happy as her saddest child. As the mom of five, I know how true that statement is. My heart broke when my oldest daughter announced that she was pregnant at 19, and dropped out of her first semester of college. I watched with concern when she jumped into marriage and moved away to live life on a military base and I was waiting to help her pick up the pieces when she returned ten months later with my granddaughter, and pregnant with her second child. Life as a divorced single mom at 23-years-old was not the life I wanted for my daughter. I lived the emotional roller coaster with her for those years of her life. About the same time, her little sister had decided to join the Air Force. She has been in for 3 years now. My heart was overwhelmed with worry this past November when she called and said she was hospitalized for severe anxiety. She was in another country and hurting. I felt helpless as a mom. I was filled with anxiety, as well.

Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we agonize over our children, instead of trusting God to protect them? If I am only as happy as my saddest child, then I am missing out on God’s blessings for my life. God does not want me to live in constant anxiety about my children’s lives. He wants me to trust Him completely. Worrying about my children does not help them, and it doesn’t help me. I have to trust God to protect and provide for them in all situations. I do not have to look on, feeling helpless. I have to choose to surrender my children to God and know that He loves them even more than I do. When we surrender our children to God, it lifts the huge burden off of our shoulders and places it where it should be. On God. He can handle it. It is such a relief not to have to live with the anxiety of trying to carry the burden alone. Our kids will deal with difficulty. It is a part of life, but God is in it with them. Don’t worry mom, your kids will be okay.

An Ordinary Life

In the wake of the Philadelphia Eagles winning the Super Bowl, I am reminded of the platform that many athletes and movie stars have to glorify God. The Eagles players and coach have been vocal about giving glory to God for the blessings in their lives. It is easy to use that platform to share your testimony when you have millions of people hanging on your every word, but what if you live an ordinary life? How do you look past the mundane to glorify God in your life? 

I have asked myself that question many times. I have lived my life wishing that I was a famous Christian women’s speaker like Lisa Whelchel or Candace Cameron Bure. I have dreamed of becoming a famous Christian author like Joyce Meyer or Beth Moore. I have written this blog with love and I have patiently waited for it to take off. 5 years later and that has not happened. I have not become the blogger with thousands of followers or the social media success story. I am still the ordinary single mom of 5, working in the food service department of a local convent and living paycheck to paycheck. I live in a lower income neighborhood in a city that Steve Martin once dubbed as, “Nowhere, USA” and a county that not to long ago had the highest poverty rate in Indiana. I live an ordinary life.

So, how do you live to glorify God when you are living an ordinary life?

You:

Pray: You pray for every aspect of your community, from your family to your co-workers, neighbors, strangers who cross your path, and Government/Spiritual leaders. You pray for issues that effect your community from poverty to crime, employment opportunities, homelessness etc. If you pray over every every aspect of your community you will be glorifying God in your every day life.

Love: We are told many times in the Old and New Testaments to love one another. In 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 we find out what love is:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

We are not only to love our family and friends, we are to love strangers, the homeless, and those who appear unlovable. There are many ways to show love: a smile of encouragement, a kind gesture, an act of compassion, standing for justice where injustice reigns, being a voice for the voiceless, etc. There are many ways to show our love, I challenge you to take a look around and see how you can love someone to Jesus.

Serve: Matthew 20:28 tells us that Jesus did not come to be served, but to serve. He gives us an example of serving as He washes the disciples feet at the last supper. Everything Jesus did was about serving others: healing the sick, teaching the multitudes, bringing the dead back to life, and casting out demons. We can’t forget the greatest act of service that He performed, giving His life, that we may live. Look around you. How can you step out as an example of Jesus to serve those around you?

Living an ordinary life may not give us the platform for sharing the Gospel that the rich and famous have, but that does not excuse us from doing what we are able to live out the example of Jesus in our own lives. I encourage you to look around and see what ways you can glorify God as you live out your ordinary life.