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Archive for the ‘My Daily Life’ Category

 

It started simply. A whisper of the Holy Spirit. A whisper in my spirit telling me to pray for the Police Officers in the Police vehicle in front of me. I obeyed and prayed. It was a simple prayer that God would protect them as they protect us. A simple prayer that their hearts would be filled with love and compassion. A simple prayer that they would act with wisdom.

It started in June, after our city lost a Police Officer in the line of duty. God started prompting me to pray for city officers, county sheriff deputies and state police officers. It has become a ministry in my every day life. I used to drive around the city and rarely see a Law Enforcement Officer and now I see them ALL the time. I used to get nervous when I would see a police vehicle. I now am glad when God brings them across my path, because I know I have a ministry to pray for these heroes. I am glad when I don’t go a mile without seeing an officer. The more I see, the more I get to cover with prayer. Always a good thing. In these times of chaos and evil, these men and women never know what they are walking into. A simple call can turn into a loss of life. They put their lives on the line to protect and serve their communities and if my simple prayer can protect them in the line of duty then I am happy. They will never know, as they sit in their car in front of me, drive past me, or sit in their spots looking for traffic violators that a 48 year old, ordinary woman driving a 12 year old SUV has just covered them in prayer. That’s okay. It doesn’t matter. All that matters is that I have the privilege to pray, partnering with God in changing the world, one community at a time.

I don’t know what God is calling you to do as you go about your life. I don’t know what ordinary ministry God has called you to, but nothing is ever to simple when it comes to obeying God. That simple thing that God has called you to do could keep someone safe, could give someone hope, could bring someone to Jesus. Some of us are not called to the billion dollar mega church ministries that get tons of media attention. Some of us (and that includes me) are called to simple ministries in our communities that may actually do more to change the world than all of those mega ministries put together. Do that simple thing that God is calling you to do. Simple ministries can change communities, when you and I obey God.

What is your simple ministry? What small thing is God asking you do to do to change your community? Will you obey? Will you do what God is asking you to do to make a difference in your community?

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A Move

The last couple of months have been crazy and July has been a bit chaotic. After a year and a half of searching for the “perfect” house, Cherokee and Chris were finally able to close on the right house for their family. I had moved in with Cherokee two years ago to help her with bills and the kids. During this process, I had been worried (stressed to the max would be more like it!) that I would not have a place to live. I do work full-time, but do not make enough to support myself independently. This was something that I have struggled with. I hate asking for help! I explored all of my options and realized that none of them were good. It had become a matter of choosing the lesser evil. I was to the point of extreme anxiety (I actually did make a trip to the ER at the end of last September with chest pains) over this situation, when Cherokee and Chris asked me to move with them to help out with the kids. I was grateful, but still debated. In the last few months I decided that this was my best option, maybe for now or maybe forever. I am safe. I am in a position to save for the future and I get to spend time with my grand kids (Haydon 9, Ava 5, Keaton 4 and Christopher 2). We started moving the 6th of July and we are now settled in our new home. We are looking forward to things slowing down a bit, so we can enjoy the yard and our new lives. For Chris and Cherokee, this means discovering the joys and headaches of home-ownership and for me, it means enjoying family time and seeing where God leads. As I write this, 18 chicks have been purchased and a chicken coop is being built. I am grateful for this home. They are newlyweds who have just blended two families with four children and have been willing to throw Nana into the mix. We all come with our own personalities, ways of being raised and perspectives due to our different ages, but if we treat each other with love and respect, it can work. Nothing in life is easy, but with God ALL things are possible!

A Wedding

I mentioned above that Cherokee and Chris are newlyweds. They were married on July 21st. Added to the stress of moving, they were planning a wedding! It was simple, but beautiful. I am blessed to have Chris as my son-in-law and I am blessed to have Haydon and Keaton as grand-sons. I have been amazed at how well the newlyweds have worked together from the beginning and at how well they have blended their families. This is a marriage that will last forever!

A Visit

To add to the craziness of July, Kiowa was able to be here for a few days for her sister’s wedding and my parents drove from California to spend two weeks with us. They were able to be here for the wedding and we enjoyed getting to spend time with them. My parents visit every two years and the time is precious. I take a two week vacation then to spend as much time as possible with them and everything else gets put on the back burner. They left this morning. I miss them already.

I return to work tomorrow and life returns to normal. It is bitter sweet. I am left trying to find joy in the sadness of my parents leaving. I am left trying to calm my anxious heart over the thought of having to return to work. I remind myself that all I can do is embrace the good and surrender the rest to God. He is there in the center of it all!

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Proverbs 29:25

Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.

Isaiah 51:12

“I, even I, am he who comforts you. Who are you that you fear mere mortals, human beings who are but grass,

Psalm 118:8

It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans.

1 Samuel 15:24

Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned. I violated the Lord’s command and your instructions. I was afraid of the men and so I gave in to them.

Galatians 1:10

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Deuteronomy 31:6

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Acts 5:29

Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings!

Proverbs 19:23

The fear of the Lord leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble.

I’m sure that I am not the only one who has ever been afraid of another person or group of people. I don’t know the statistics, but I would wager a guess that fear of people is high on the list of fears. In this world of chaos and evil, we are justified to be afraid. We are afraid of someone’s reaction if we don’t agree with them. We are afraid to defend someone because we may become the target. We are afraid to go to concerts or other populated venues because of recent mass shootings. It is normal to be afraid. I have lived a life afraid of people. I shrink from confrontations. I hate listening to the news because it scares me. We have had two standoffs in my own city of 80,000 people in the last couple of months that has led to the loss of life. We hear more about drugs, robberies and murder and it scares me.

It shouldn’t scare me. As a child of God, I should never fear man. I only need to fear God. I should never try to do well to impress so and so. I only need to glorify God. I should never give in to the manipulations of a bully out of fear. I need to trust God to work in the situation. I should never fear someone who wants to hurt me. My God is all powerful and is more than capable of protecting me from those who want to cause me harm.

Is the fear of man keeping you from your God given purpose?

In fact, 1 Samuel 15:24 tells us that fearing man is a sin! Acts 5:29 tells us that we MUST obey God rather than humans. In Deuteronomy 31:6 we are told NOT to be afraid of man, because God is with us. God tells us to be strong and courageous. Easier said than done, I know. I also know that if we live our lives in fear of man and what he can do to us, we will never be able to truly live. I have sacrificed to many years living in fear of what man can do to me. I am choosing to trust and obey God. I am choosing to allow God to protect me in those situations when I am facing an angry person or a possible negative reaction to news I have to give. We can’t run from people. We can’t bury our heads in the sand. Our only option is to trust God.

 

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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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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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