Wednesday, April 30, 2008

From Psalm 16

5 LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure.
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.
7 I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.
8 I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the grave, [c] nor will you let your Holy One [d] see decay.
11 You have made [e] known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

A few Sundays ago, when my father-in-law was first admitted to the hospital, (several days before we learned of his cancer), one of our Pastors came for a visit and a prayer. Pastor Bill read the above verses from Psalm 16 followed by a beautiful prayer. I was talking w/ my niece later that evening and she told me that while Pastor was praying she opened her eyes to soak in what was going on around the room... I admitted I had done the same. We actually focused on Grandpa (as I referto him when I am speaking w/ my nieces). He was lying in his hospital bed, chin lifted w/ the most beautiful smile on his face. Trusting his life completely to the Lord. Knowing and being secure that whatever happens - the Lord would always be with him.

I have read many times over the past weeks these verses. I have focused on vv 9-11 - Oh the joy of total security in the Lord! In the life we enjoy on this earth. The life we enjoy the gracious provision and care of God, we can also rest secure knowing that even when flesh and heart fail God will not abandon us to the grave. We can be secure knowing we have the assurance that even the grave cannot rob us of life! Eternal life! None of us know when the day will be when the Lord calls us home. As we live this earthly life - preparing for heaven, may each of you rest assured the the Lord will not abandon you, will always be with you - from now through eternity. I have been given a gift. While peeking during a prayer... I saw the face of a man who has lived many, many years on this earth. A man who's complete trust is in the Lord. A man who has the assurance that even the grave cannot rob him of life! Glory be to God!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

What a difference a day can make...

OK... so it's Tuesday. Both my dear hubby and I had dental appointments. The news after the appointments was not what we wanted to hear. Both of us need some work done, and both of us are self-employed with no dental insurance. We have health insurance, but not dental. Immediately my anxiety level went into overdrive. Thoughts of I need to get a job w/ benefits, we can't do this, what are we going to do etc etc began racing through my head. Both Jim and I became overwhelmed. As quickly as I began to fear I remembered my post from yesterday... and many of the other posts from other blogs yesterday about fear and trust. God tells us to not be afraid... I said to myself The Lord will take care of guiding our decisions and what we need to do first. My head fell to my desk and I began to pray. Lord I know you will take care of our needs and guide our decisions. Take this anxiety from me - I can't handle it, but You can! I then could look a bit more objectively at the dentist's outline. Of course the dentist lays out this Master Plan that if done all at once not only would devastate a pocket book, but would do the faint of heart in. We began to look at a few things - like replacing old fillings that are discolored. OK, they aren't broken, they just aren't pretty. Well - no one looks at the back of our mouths. That can wait. We will address the most immediate needs - some cavities and some other issues that need immediate attention.

With that - Satan, you tried today to rile me up. To make me fear the unknown. But as quickly as you tried... God was already rescuing me. I can stand up and say to you Satan... I WILL FEAR NOT! THE LORD MY GOD IS WITH ME!

Monday, April 21, 2008

365 Times...

.... that's one a day for a year. Know what it is? It's how many times in scripture God tells us either to "fear not" "do not be afraid" "do not let your hearts be troubled"

I read a quote recently (wish I could remember where I had read the quote) that said
"God doesn't give us what we can handle, God helps us handle what we are given" I love that! How many times have we heard "God never gives us more than we can handle" - OK in the midst of trouble do we really want to hear that? I remember someone saying that to my husband's aunt years ago - her response: "does that mean if I were a weaker person I wouldn't have to go through this? " Yes, God allows the good and the bad to happen. He never promised it would be easy... after all, we made sure of that once that apple was plucked off the tree in the garden. But He did promise to be there for us - fear not, do not be afraid, do not let your hearts be troubled... trust Him - with all of your heart. Yes, He will help you handle, actually He will handle what has been given to you. Peace in your life doesn't have anything to do with circumstance, but everything to do w/ the authority of God in your life. Do not let your hearts be troubled... yes "In this world you will have trouble, but take heart I have overcome the world" - Jesus' words to us in John 16:33 - one of my favorite scriptures! Jesus doesn't give us the peace that the world gives - that's escapism. Jesus gives us the peace to endure the storms that come. If you are led to it... He will lead you through it!

Our family is going through a difficult part of life. An aging parent... our trust in the Lord, our study of scripture and holding true to the Hope that is in Christ is what has prepared us to navigate this chapter in our life.

Friends, I pray that you hold tight to Jesus and resolve before trouble comes that you will trust Him! Keep on beliveing Him, keep on going back to him - focus on Jesus and his word not on your troubles and he will give you peace.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

What to write...

It has been a while since my last post. I actually have one started based on part of Psalm 16... but for reasons only known to the Father, I am unable to finish is right now. I know that for that post He has something different in mind... I will listen and wait for His prompting.

Right now... we are just getting through the days with faith and hope. A week and a half ago my husband took his father to the hospital. He is 90 years young and has lived a healthy life. When he first went in we thought it was pneumonia. 5 days later we found out he has cancer.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, becuase the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance to God's will. ~Romans 8:26-27

When we learn a loved one is nearing the end of his or her life a wave of emotions hit. In a way the mourning process has begun. Not only are our lives filled with the daily responsibilities we have been given, but our days are now filled with nursing care, paperwork, cooking extra meals... emotional stresses. I know that right now, the words won't come from my heart to my fingers on this keyboard. How I wish I could be here everyday pouring out my heart and visiting the blogs I love so dearly. There is so much filling our days that when my head hits the pillow and I don't 'have the words to pray...the Spirit is there... interceding.

Father, I thank you for your grace, you goodness and the hope that is in you and your son Jesus. I thank you for this precious time we have... I thank You for placing me in a family where love abounds for each other and for Jesus! I thank you for Your Spirit - right there, praying when I cannot, giving me strength!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Thursday 13

I was going to start this Thursday w/ "Thankful Thursdays" however, I loved what Kelley posted today - so I am going to be a copycat! Thank you Kelley! I love the idea! I guess I could also say that I am Thankful for my Thursday 13... so in essence it is Thankful Thursday! :)

Here are 13 places you will more than likely find me this spring/summer!!!!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Wordless Wednesday & Word Filled Wednesday... I can do both! :)


Word Filled!

Psalm 5

For the director of music. For flutes. A psalm of David.

1 Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my sighing.
2 Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray.
3 In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.
4 You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil; with you the wicked cannot dwell.
5 The arrogant cannot stand in your presence; you hate all who do wrong.
6 You destroy those who tell lies; bloodthirsty and deceitful men the LORD abhors.
7 But I, by your great mercy, will come into your house; in reverence will I bow down toward your holy temple.
8 Lead me, O LORD, in your righteousness because of my enemies— make straight your way before me.
9 Not a word from their mouth can be trusted; their heart is filled with destruction. Their throat is an open grave; with their tongue they speak deceit.
10 Declare them guilty, O God! Let their intrigues be their downfall. Banish them for their many sins, for they have rebelled against you.
11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
12 For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Letting Go...

We just returned from our annual trip out to the Rockies of Colorado and wonderful skiing! We had a fantastic time. I cannot begin to tell you what the mountains mean to me. My words will fall short of the great work God has done for me. These pictures don't capture the absolute beauty that God has created in these mountains. It is breathtaking. The wonder of God's creation - how can I wrap my mind around it!
7 years ago I went out west for my first ski trip. Mind you, my husband had been skiing for many, many years and had encouraged me to go west and hit the slopes. I was of the mindset (growing up w/ a lake house) that the only skiing I would be doing was behind a boat, one ski, and warm weather. That particular year we had been in the middle of another round of fertility treatments. I had ungone surgery the September. My left ovary and tube were removed. I was devastated - one more thing to add to the difficulty of pregnancy for me. For some reason, when my brother in law and sister in law were planning their trip - I said to Jim, let's go! That was in October. In January (knowing we would be on vacation and I might not be skiing if I conceived)- I was undergoing daily injections to stimulate follicle production, alternating daily blood work, with daily ultra sounds. I felt out of control. Emotionally, physically and hormonally! That month - we did not conceive. Let down, tired and really in my heart of hearts knowing deep down that I was not going to get pregnant, I would have to wait until we got back from our trip to try again.
We left for Colorado. OK, now I am an athlete... most things come very easy for me. But I must tell you, the first 2 hours of skiing - I really thought - I won't get this. Well, it wasn't long, and after a lot of falling, bruises, sore arms and muscles I was up and going - I fell in love with skiing!
On the 3rd day of the trip (notice it was the 3rd day) I was riding up a chair lift w/ one of my nieces. I looked out over the expanse of the rockies... the beauty... and I heard God say, "don't live on the 'what ifs' anymore." Not in a loud, booming voice, but a soft whisper in my heart - filling a place I had needed filled for so long. For years, Jim and been trying to get me out west. My response was always "what if we get pregnant" "what if we need the money for fertility" Every decision seemed to be based on me getting pregnant. Now how crazy is that! I was also worried about letting my husband down. Not only did I want a family, but so did he. It was a bumpy road - and I also felt I was letting him down. The problem was mine.
A few months later, in May, on Mother's Day I cried silently through church. My heart was aching - for what at that moment, I didn't know. After service, we went home to change - we were going to Jim's sister's for a brunch. I walked into the bedroom... looked at Jim and said "I am beginning to think that having a baby is not going to happen for us." Jim said he had been feeling that for sometime. I looked at him, tears in my eyes, pain in my heart and said "I can't help but think had you married someone else, you would have a family, children." Jim's repsonse - he took me in his arms and told me I was his family. I cannot tell you the relief. Jim and I were both ok - God took care of us.
I believe the beginning of letting go of the stronghold of unworthiness, barreness happened on that mountaintop. How blessed am I - I had a mountaintop experience on a mountaintop! I can't even look at the mountains without praising and thanking my God! He released me and I let Him!
I belive the aching I had in Church that morning was the pain of letting go of something I had lived with for so long. Infertility. We hear so often on the news, in magazines about infertility success stories is the conception and delivery of a child. Well, I am living proof that not always do the success stories of infertililty result in a child being born. Sometimes a child is not conceived... but a life filled with God, a heart that had an empty spot - filled! God can heal! God will give you peace! With Him - you can let go - of any stronghold, heartache, sadness. It might take time (as it did for me) healing doesn't usually happen overnight - but if you let go, let God be BIG. trust Him with your whole heart, Believe HIM you will have peace! Listen for His response to your prayers - not the one you have dreamed for yourself, but the dream He has for you!
I hope the following verse can give you as much comfort as it has me over the years...
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." ~ John 16:33