Tuesday, December 22, 2009

When God rants back at you

Sent an email out to some of my prayer sisters tonight crying out in anger and frustration, but of course it didn't make anything better. Have you ever noticed that when you vent in righteous anger, the kind where you actually have a legitimate gripe, you tend to feel a sense of release and the ability to look at things more objectively? It's kind of like a pressure release valve. But, when you vent in pettiness all you do is make yourself more angry, more frustrated, more sad. Yup, that was me tonight. I ended up sitting with the Bible in front of me and it opened to Deuteronomy, right where I had highlighted some verses awhile back. God decided to send some venting right back at me. Over and over these words kept popping out...

Deut. 6: 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.

Deut. 7: 9 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.

Deut. 7: 12-14 If you pay attention to these laws and are careful to follow them, then the LORD your God will keep his covenant of love with you, as he swore to your forefathers. He will love you and bless you and increase your numbers. He will bless the fruit of your womb, the crops of your land... You will be blessed more than any other people; none of your men or women will be childless, nor any of your livestock without young.

Deut. 10: 12 And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

Deut. 11: 1 Love the LORD your God and keep his requirements, his decrees, his laws and his commands always.

Deut. 11: 13, 14 So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today - to love the LORD your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul - then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and oil.

are you seeing the theme here? All the things he asks us to love him with are the things he has to give us to live, our heart, not just the pumping organ but the very thing that makes us reach out to others, our soul, the part of us that cries out for his coming, for that perfect world and our strength, something we all feel like escapes us at any given moment. They are also the things we give away with increasing ease, we give our hearts to anyone who says they love us back, we give our soul to anything that takes away the ache for that missing part, we give our strength to all the things we think we "have to do" and we end up wondering why we feel soo far away from him and without anything left to give him... left to give him... left to give him, why do we get it sooo backwards?

I've been saying how angry I am at God right now, but it isn't righteous, it doesn't do anything but stoke the flames. Oh how Satan has been laughing at me and egging me on, I can feel it, and I'm tired of it, I have no idea of how to stop it. All I can do is place the Word in front of myself and pray, pray like I haven't before, pray for truth to step out in front of me, pray for strength to say "Get the behind me Satan" even when it comes in the form of a well meaning friend, pray for the wisdom to put away the keyboard and pick up His Word, pray that my narrow minded sight be widened to see more, more of what he wants me to be, see and do. I've been soo busy looking at the last part of those verses and not any time growing in the first part, it's time to stop focusing on what God can do for me and to just focus on God. My good and patient God is one day going to have enough of my pettiness and will let me stew in my juices and I really don't want that to happen. So my prayer sisters, I'm sorry, and I'm asking you to join me in praying over this stronghold, I'm done and tired of it and ready to be free indeed

Monday, December 21, 2009

If we focus too much on Christmas we might miss Christ

This Christmas has been strange, I don't know if it's because of the miscarriage or because of the sprititual changes God is making in Matt and I or a combination of both but it's been different for sure. I am having a hard time getting into the mode of comercial gift giving, deciding what to give people has been on such the back burner this year. And it seems like every book I pick up, every song I sing, every person I talk to has made me start to question what does Christmas really mean to me. I decided to ask some questions of my family to see what they would say. Here are the questions and responses.

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about Christmas?

Serah: getting presents, "Santa if he does exist after all", "Sometimes I think about Jesus and his birth but most of the time I don't"

Ethan: "I think about presents but also about the birth of Christ"

Matt: "bills, where does the money go?, hectic schedules, spending time with family and friends"

Me: "hectic schedules, pleasing family, getting it all done, looking festive"

What do you enjoy about Christmas?

Serah: "happiness, being excited, getting presents, being thankful"

Matt: "getting to do special things with family, getting time off of work to spend with family"

Me: "filling the house with good smelling goodies (baking), dressing up for parties, finding that perfect gift"

What does Christmas mean to you?

Ethan: "If he wasn't born we wouldn't be here today", "You don't give just to recieve"

Matt: " a season where we struggle to focus on the right things"

   I know the kids are just kids but it really made me wonder what the emphasis has been on so far in their lives, what have we been teaching them. I know that Matt and I both struggle with not losing our temper with them and each other each year as the stresses mount up. We battle the Bah Humbugs and the blahs, and only just manage to come out of it in time for Christmas Eve. Tell me, what kind of example is that?
   All this makes me wonder, what can we learn from this? Also, how in the heck do we balance what we feel God is showing us with expectations that won't change by people who either won't get it or aren't in the same place we are.
   I think we both are feeling the need to change our family's focus from inward towards us and how the season affects us to outward toward the people around us that are struggling each year, with pain, finances and everyday wants. How this is going to look we're not sure yet but I know one thing, next year is going to be less about what we can't do, how we don't feel or what we don't get and more about Who He is, What He wants us to do and How He makes us feel. All this in the hopes that it carries foward into the New Year and every day of our lives. It's time to make Christmas less about one day and more about Everyday.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Shameless plug

I love words, I love reading and it's often how God speaks to me the most. My wonderful Sister and Brother in Love both have blogs that I check daily. There isn't a time when what God gives them to share doesn't speak to me in some way. Their last posts are so God given that I'm suggesting you go read them! Bethany is at http://his-beloved2.blogspot.com/ and Tim is at http://a-warriors-heart.blogspot.com/ . I love them both and love the heart that they share with us all.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Searching for Meaning

As we head into December and begin to celebrate the birth of a very important baby I find myself stuffing some lingering pain, anger and resentment about the miscarriage. I have had no desire to try to see what possible good God could have brought out of this or what he could be wanting to show me. It took a book about a mother being found by her son she put up for adoption to break through the wall I was putting up. (side note, if you haven't read any of Angela Hunt's books pick one up, this one is called "The Debt" and is amazing)
The son is hit by a car right in front of her and she gets to hold him as he is called home, just like she got to hold him right after he took his first breath... that part was powerful enough but later in the book she is talking to her husband and said this ...

"I drove around town tonight, Able, and I asked the Lord why he brought Chris into my life. I mean, look at it from an eternal perspective - I knew Chris only four days. If God meant to take him home today - and I believe he did - then he could have just as easily kept Chris in New York with his parents. but God sent Chris to Wiltshire, and to me. The Lord used Chris to pull me out of my usual places and patterns, and he had to have a reason. I want to understand it." (emphasis mine)

I had to put the book down and just deal with the tears pouring forth, from the first pregnancy test that was positive to the second that was negative was 4 days, it was a fluke that I took a test at all, usually I would have just waited much longer and probably wouldn't have even known I was pregnant, the only way to accept that God loves me through all this is to trust that there was an eternal reason why it happened. I'm still not seeing it and don't know if I ever will, I sure hope so, I am praying that whatever it is that he reveals it to me, the sooner the better for my pain sake but I know that sometimes the answer is wait, be patient or even sometimes No. I really struggle with genuine joy in a season that dwells on birth and new life and even sharing in the joy of those around me that are bringing new life into this world.

I'm holding on to promises like this one, Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. Psalm 126:5 and praying he can break through the walls I find myself erecting even when I don't want to.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

It Must Be Small

Below is from my daily readings. I am so thankful today for the small company, the band of brothers (and sisters) who have gathered with me to walk in each others lives. Thank you for your trust, your guidance, your support and most of all for your unconditional love! You all are an answer to years of prayer for this very thing.

When he left Rivendell, Frodo didn’t head out with a thousand Elves. He had eight companions. Jesus didn’t march around backed by legions of angels, either. He had twelve men – knuckleheads, every last one of them, but they were a band of brothers. This is the way of the kingdom of God. Though we are part of a great company, we are meant to live in little platoons. The little companies we form must be small enough for each of the members to know one another as friends and allies.

Who will fight for your heart?

How can we offer the stream of counseling to one another, unless we actually know one another, know each other’s stories? The reason counseling became a hired relationship between two people was largely because we couldn’t find it anywhere else; we haven’t formed the sort of small fellowships that would allow the stream to flow quite naturally. Is it possible to offer rich and penetrating words to someone you barely know, in the lobby of your church, as you dash to pick up the kids?

Where will you find the Four Streams?

The Four Streams are something we learn, and grow into, and offer one another, within a small fellowship. We hear each other’s stories. We discover each other’s glories. We learn to walk with God together. We pray for each other’s healing. We cover each other’s back. This small core fellowship is the essential ingredient for the Christian life. Jesus modeled it for us for a reason. Sure, he spoke to the masses. But he lived in a little platoon, a small fellowship of friends and allies. His followers took his example and lived this way, too. “They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts” (2:46). “Aquila and Priscilla greet you warmly in the Lord, and so does the church that meets at their house” (1 Cor 16:19). “Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house” (Col 4:15). (Waking The Dead , 190, 191 )

Monday, November 16, 2009

Proof God hears

Have you ever had someone say they cried out to God for proof that he existed or that he was really listening to their cries, or had that happen yourself and that there was an immediate response? Like a phone call from someone saying "I don't know why but I'm praying for you".

This is something I've only heard about from friends and never experienced myself, and I'm struggling with whether or not I should even need this. Lately I've been crying out to God about needing some very specific concrete proof that he is even hearing my hearts cry yet I feel such a blank wall, and then I start to wonder what am I doing wrong that I can't hear God.

I'm having to walk through such an ambiguous physical situation right now that if feels like only something concrete from God will ground me. And yet do I have the right to ask for that? I can't begin to find direction on this in my bible and I know that is my own fault for not knowing it like I should.

Lord God, you know what I'm asking for (and it's not a pregnancy, though that would be nice) and it's something I know only you could bring about. Please hear my cry and meet me today, show me you are really listening to my heart.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

My Hopes and Dreams
Now Carried on Butterfly Wings

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Conscious Choice

I'm beginning to realize that I can have a conscious choice to hope, to dream, to wait and see what God has planned for me. I can have hope without the dread of crushing disappointment. Not to say that the disappointment might not come but I can chose to let it be overwhelming or merely something I acknowledge but don't give power to.

Psalm 42:11 (New International Version)
11 Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Pain will come, disappointment will come but so can Joy and Hope if I allow them to.

If I shut the windows and doors and never look outside I'll never know when the rain stops and the sun comes shining again!

If you've knelt beside the rubble
Of an aching broken heart
When the things you gave your life to
Fell apart
You're not the first to be acquainted
With sorrow grief or pain
But the master promised sunshine
After rain

Hold on my child
Joy comes in the morning
Weeping only last for the night
Hold on my child
Joy comes in the morning
The darkest hour means dawn
Is just in sight

To invest your seed of trust in God
In mountains you can't move
You have risked your life on things
You can not prove
But to give the things you can not keep
For what you can not lose
Is the way to find the joy
God has for you

Hold on my child
Joy comes in the morning
Weeping only last for the night
Hold on my child
Joy comes in the morning
The darkest hour means dawn
Is just in sight

The darkest hour means dawn
Is just in sight

Joy Comes in the Morning by Bill and Gloria Gaither

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Longing for Hope

I think if I wait till I'm ready to talk about this I'll never get it out. On Wednesday October 14th I found out I was pregnant, something I've been dreaming about and desiring for 6 years. On Friday October 16th I started to miscarry. That was the longest hardest weekend of my life. The highest of highs and the lowest of lows in 3 short days. Needless to say I've had some choice words for God this past month.

I've had such a tenuous grasp on hope for a real long time and this just crushed any hope I had left. I don't know if I even know how to hope anymore.

I should start my period this week, all I can see is the promise of more pain, of more crushed dreams, I can't even see the potential for joy. I need God in such a mighty way this week but in all honesty I don't expect to see Him, and that grieves me more than anything.

I know Hope is out there waiting I just don't know how to find it.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

being honest before God

My awesome B-I-L and brother in Christ challenged me today to be honest with God, to pour out what is so deeply in my heart it's things only he knows... and he does know already. Why do I think that because I know he already knows these things I don't need to talk to Him about them? Okay Tim, I'm gonna try cuz my heart is hurting so much today I can't even breath...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The names of God

nothing fancy, today I need to sit in His presence and feel the need to list the names I know Him by and why, a reminder for my soul of sorts...


All Powerful - He can handle anything that I send His way

Emanuel - God is with us, He is with me second by second, day by day, month by month, year by year through all eternity, but am I with Him?

El Shadi - All Sufficient, He can be my everything, am I letting Him?

Truth - I can trust everything I read in His Word

The still waters - if I will allow Him He will lead me to Himself and I can rest beside Him

And - if He is The Beginning and The End, Alpha and Omega then He is the and in between, He is ever present, ever loving, ever knowing

The Bridegroom - He is pure love waiting with baited breath for me to walk down the aisle to Him, why is this one the hardest to believe and understand when I have such an amazing example before me each day in Matt?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Like minded friends part 2

God is taking Matt and I on an expedition, a journey of discovery if you will, about what the Church is. Part of that is the need and desire to find friends to travel with us. I am blessed more than I realize some days by an incredible group of ladies who support me, cry with me, pray over me and will even pick up my pack and carry if for me if I get to tired to do it myself. One of the coolest parts is that there are some who are shoulder to shoulder with me and then also ever growing rings of support, kinda like the ripples on a lake when a rock is thrown in... these ladies and their husbands are our church. A fellowship of like minded believers who might not be in our lives day in and day out but are willing to open their lives to us, to share their pain and burdens, joys and triumphs, to bless us and be willing to be blessed by us. Thank you Father for continuing to open my eyes to all you have blessed me with. You have answered prayers, You have been faithful even in the face of my doubt, questions and anger, You are Alpha & Omega, The Beginning and The End, You are and always will be.... I love you Daddy, help me to continue to crawl to your lap of forgivness and words of love and wisdom.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The need for like minded friends part 1

Hopefully you will find a few folks who walk with God to also walk with you through the seasons of your life. But honesty – and Scripture – forces me to admit they are a rare breed. Few there are who find it. All the more reason for you to make the number less scarce, by becoming someone who walks with God and teaches others how.
Look to those who have walked with God down through the ages. Certainly that is why the Bible is given to us. If God had intended it to be a textbook of doctrine, well then, he would have written it like one. But its not; it’s overwhelmingly a book of stories – tales of men and women who walked with God. Approach the Scriptures not so much as a manual of Christian principles but as the testimony of God’s friends on what it means to walk with him through a thousand different episodes. When you are at war, when you are in love, when you have sinned, when you have been given a great gift – this is how you walk with God. Do you see what a different mindset this is? It's really quite exciting.

from (Waking The Dead , 107, 108)

more tonight...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Road

The Road goes ever on and on

Down from the door where it began.

Now far ahead the Road has gone,

And I must follow, if I can,

Pursuing it with eager feet,

Until it joins some larger way

Where many paths and errands meet

And whither then? I cannot say.

- J. R. R. Tolkien

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Anybody got a time machine for sale?

I wonder if I had a time machine if I would go back and change things, then I think, but some of what I've gone through, done, has shaped me to be who I am and what I believe and would I be the same if I changed my choices... but I still would like to forget much of last year, it wasn't a great year, I ended the school year and some of the summer, burnt out emotionally, physically and spiritually.

I want a do over.

Yet, there is something about coming to the end of yourself in all those ways at once that makes you see the things that are really important and gives you glimpses of what God just might have waiting for you. Not to say that I still don't screw up royally quite often, just that for once in my life I've started accepting the grace he has always offered.

The condemnation of all my past that I've lived under and worried about and flogged myself over and over about is losing it's grip, one conversation with God, one conversation with my sweet husband, one conversation with my Godly counsel, at a time.

I am finding verses even now that I know are some I need to be hiding in my heart and posting them on the doorframe of my home (well, maybe the fridge will do, it's the part of the house I seem to see the most). Here are some I found tonight

"For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart and knoweth all things." 1 John 3:20

"For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more." Hebrews 8:12

"As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us."
Psalms 103:12

I am ready to begin anew and to see all that He has laid out in front of me... praying for daily truths from Him as I continue down this path called life.