Saturday, February 27, 2010

What Does It Take?

What does it take for God to get our attention?

Last week a friend of mine had a heart attack. She is young and apparently did not have high blood pressure, cholesterol, or diabetes problems. She does work three jobs, smokes and has no interest in maintaining a relationship with God. When I talked to her after she got home from the hospital, she seemed surprised that this could happen to her when she was so healthy.

Could it be that God wants her to know that He is the one who keeps her heart beating? Is it possible that God wanted to get her attention and draw her back to Him?

If it is true for my friend, it is also true for me! What will God need to do to get my attention? What is He trying to tell me? Am I turning a deaf ear to His voice?

Father, You are good and You have only good things planned for my life. You are faithful and trustworthy. I confess, though, that too often I decide to do things my way. I choose the way that seems right for me, or just plain fun for now. It doesn't last. Thank You for continuing to speak to me. Thank You for not giving up on me! Thank You for letting me have second and third chances! Teach me to wait upon You, Lord. Teach me to not only listen but also obey You!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

His Testimony

Monday night I gave my testimony at the Significant Woman study. I confess I was a bit nervous. I usually am. It is not talking in front of crowds that scares me. It is the uncertainty of being vulnerable.

What will they think of me? Will they understand what I am trying to tell them? Will they see me differently? Better? Worse? These are questions I wrestle with when opening up a part of my life to a crowd. I assume others have those same questions.

I have learned that in telling my story it is not really MY story! It is God's story. I only tell what God has done in and through me. It is a collaborative effort only in that I accepted the challenge to let Him change me. If others see me differently, or I loose face in the heart of men, it matters not. It only matters that I lift up His name and give Him glory!

My advice to anyone choosing to share their story is to put God's actions in your life top billing.

Almighty God, You have done miracles in my life! You have changed my heart, You have made me Your Daughter! No one can do what You have done! I know that I may not have shared the story of You working in and through me perfectly. I agree that pride continues to hold a place in my heart. You are working on that, Lord, and I thank You! Thanks for continuing the work You began in me! I trust in You to finish it so that YOU will get all the glory! Now I ask that as my friends accept the challenge to share, You will guide them and use them to reveal Yourself. You are God!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Questions & Answers

Questions are surrounding me lately. I've always thought that I was good at asking questions, and I am, when they are aimed at someone else. The hard part is asking questions of myself. It isn't that I avoid asking myself where I am heading, what I am meant to do, or who I am. I ask all the time!

It is difficult to find the answers to my self examinations. I figure if I can answer correctly then I could find a way to change the messes I make on a daily basis. Since I don't seem to get concrete answers, I seem to wander around the same questions over and over again. It is a bit frustrating!

Lately, I have again been wondering why the "Me" on the inside does not seem to fit in my outside world. I know who I am on the inside. I know my values, passions, desires and dreams. I've worked hard discovering the things I do well and how to use them, but trying to put those things into my world just doesn't seem to fit. Like the square peg in a round hole, it seems an impossible task. Unfortunately the more I push and work to make it fit the more discouraged I become.

Writing this out I keep hearing the Holy Spirit say, "Integrity." Yes, that is what I want. I want integrity! I want my inner life and my outward actions to be integrated! It is being genuine, honest, unimpaired. The question now is this not what I have been doing? I thought it was. Maybe it isn't.

Lord, You are the glue that holds my life together. You teach me daily what to do and I am working hard at obeying Your voice. I know that I am not perfect, nor will I be. I know that You are perfection and You will complete the good work You have started in my life. Lord, teach me integrity of my inner life and the life others see. Teach me how to become whole and genuine so that You will be seen in the world through me!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Growing Up

The last few days I have been hard at work painting a purple room for my granddaughters. They have been begging for a change for months and it was time to renew and refresh their private paradise!

We are not finished replacing the clothes and toys and all the paraphernalia that little girls collect. It will take a couple more days to put it all together. It was time to enlist the girls' help so that this room would be theirs. I've asked the girls to go through their things. They have been instructed to put their items into three piles: keep, throw away and sell. I've promised they can have a sale and sell some of their things to make some money. They were excited about it today but there is a possibility that the excitement will wear off in the next few days. But for now they are growing up!

They are enjoying the beauty of purple, promises of cash, and a chance to prove they have grown up and can take better care of their room! I am so blessed to be here to see it all happen!

Lord God, You have created beautiful colors and today we delight in purple pleasures! You have given all of us a chance to grow up. We are rich because of You! Thank You for purple. Thank You for little girls growing up and for the refreshment of a renewed room!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Vision of Provision

Can you see all the robins in this picture? This is just a small part of the flock of robins that descended upon our back yard last Friday at twilight.

I had gone out to ask Patrick something and before I opened the back door I saw all the birds scattered over the yard. I quietly slipped out the door to get a better look. Patrick and I whispered to one another what an amazing sight this was!

We estimate that there were about 75 or more birds enjoying some kind of feast in our presence. The sweet rustling of leaves as they bobbed their heads to find seed or small insects became mood music for our added enjoyment.

We watched for a long time and later I was pleased to recall the scripture in Matthew 6:26, "Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them." (ESV)

I sensed that God, Himself, invited the birds to our back yard. It was as if He called to them saying, "Look! Here is a feast I am providing for you! Come, eat and enjoy!" As He provided for those beautiful creatures, He offered a vision to us of his abundant and timely provision. Are we listening to His call? Are we accepting His invitation? Are we going where He says to go?

Father, you have said that I am not to be anxious about my life because You take care of the birds and the flowers and I am more valuable then they. You showed me this vision of provision for a reason. You provide for me in all ways. You will always be enough for me! Thank You for the vision! May I never forget!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Simple Faith

I believe Creator God is good all the time and sacrifices Himself to give me a chance to live in heaven with Him for eternity.

My simple faith.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Kind deeds sometimes get overlooked. When that happens the one who tried to be kind can feel unappreciated and used. It is sad and impolite to not thank a kind person for their generosity, caring, or unselfishness, but it happens all to frequently.

I sent an email today hoping to give a kind word to someone who seemed a bit disheartened. I hope she was encouraged. I hope she knows I understand.

My dear husband listened to me and I recognize that he was being kind (although he was a captive audience in the car!) He even told me he didn't mind when I apologized for talking too much! It was sweet and an act of love!

My daughter cleaned the kitchen, did the dishes, and watched the Grandman for me while I took my husband to PT. Her work was a kindness to me after a busy day. she was and is a blessing in my life.

Every day we receive a word, a listening ear, or a loving act of kindness. It is important to remember to thank the giver.

Giver of all good gifts, You have been kind to me in so many ways! You gave Your self as a sacrifice for my sin. You listen to my every prayer. You send me messages of encouragement and hope! You are perfect kindness! THANK YOU! I know that Your kindnesses have cost You much and I appreciate them all!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fast of Forty Days

Lent begins tomorrow, Ash Wednesday. It is a traditional time of fasting by Christians the forty days before Easter. For me, it has traditionally been a time of abstinence from poor choices and a voluntary conscious choice to exchange my bad habits for something good. It is a time for me to place God's desire for my life as a priority. Since I struggle in the physical that is where my focus lands during this time.

This year I again choose exercise! As a writer I spend hours sitting before the computer or my notepad or journal. I am not athletic and prefer not to sweat! A few years ago I started an exercise program that I enjoyed, but increasing my level of activity caused me some foot problems that stopped me from proceeding and since then I have fallen back into my old habit of minimal exercise. The next forty days will change that (I hope).

Exercise can be a wonderful tool to help me reflect on Jesus' suffering. His body was fully human and He felt pain just as I do. In my exercise time I plan to memorize scriptures. If you have any suggestions please let me know!

Exercise in this regard becomes a fast from procrastination and laziness, unhealthy behavior and not caring about the body God gave as a gift!

Father, God, You know the struggle within me as I make these plans. You know my fears, doubts and my hopes and commitment to learn from You, and honor Your gift of LIFE and my physical body! I depend on You to lead me and help me through these forty days. It is only by Your power that I can reach my goal. Thank You for being my life coach and my trainer!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Living Values

In the Significant Woman class I am taking we are finding our core values. It has been an interesting exercise and certainly good to focus on what I value deep inside my heart (as if I didn't already know). I guess narrowing the list down to four or five solid core values makes it worthwhile.

I have questions about the next part of the chapter, however. Though I hold these values at the center of my heart, is it possible I do not live my life by them? The second half of the chapter is leading me to make a habit of living by those values.

I admit I fall short of perfection in living out my core values, but I do stretch myself and aim to make choices based on them. My goals for the year are focused on those values and even the things I grieve most over are my times of failure in those areas. So what am I to take away from this lesson?

1. Knowing my core values is crucial to living them out.
2. Living out my core values must become habitual.
3. When core values take root and grow, my life will be filled with significance.

Father, I come to You today knowing You are Wise, the Giver of all good gifts, the Author and Finisher of my faith. You are doing a wonderful work in me. You are sowing seed, watering and tend to the weeds that try to choke out the life You plan for me. What is it You want me to do with this class information? What do You want me to know? What do You want me to do with it? I am listening for Your voice. I want to follow your leading!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Planting Seeds

Valentines Day is tomorrow and so I went to find a gift for my dear husband. He had mentioned that we could go buy some flowering plants to put in our front garden. Then I saw the seeds!

I am not a dig-in-the-dirt girl. I am not thrilled with getting dirt and muck under my fingernails. I don't enjoy the feel of soil running through my fingers. But my husband does. So I thought if I joined him in planting the pots that I bought we could have some memories to keep and cherish for this Valentines Day. I hope it will warm up just a little so we can plant without freezing my fingers as well as dirtying them!

Does my life plant the right kind of seeds in others lives? Do I bless others with flower seeds of encouragement, appreciation, and prayer? Do I offer vegetables rich with vitamins to others so that they will grow strong in faith, and become hungry for more of Christ? Am I scattering seed with expectation of harvest? Am I preparing with love and tenderness the soil in which my seed will land?

Father God, Sower and Harvester of souls for Your Kingdom, I want to join You in the work You have planned for me! I do not pretend to be a farmer or to know much about planting seeds, but I know that You are wise and will show me the way! Teach me to first of all allow You to plant in me! Then give me the seeds to invest in others!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sweet Words

Conversation hearts are everywhere this time of year. Little phrases stamped on a heart can say much!

Today I sensed that God sent me a little message wrapped in His love. His message was a simple "Trust Me!"

Yes, Lord, I will trust You! You have proven Your love for me in so many ways! You have always been good and even when I question Your ways, I will eventually see the wisdom and love in what You do! My conversation heart to You today is, "I Love You!"

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I am participating in a study at our church called The Significant Woman. It is a study about pursuing God and His Unique design for my life. I was invited to attend and after praying and discussion with my husband, I said "Yes" to the commitment.

I have attended 3 weeks of the study, worked on homework, though I confess I have not followed through on every detail of the outside suggested activities. so far I have wondered why God has me in this class. Each chapter, so far has been a repeat of something I have already done. I find that I am only doing an overview of each topic.

The question I have for myself is am I supposed to go deeper? If so where should I dive in? There is not enough time to go deeper into every area.

Father, You have led me to this place. open my eyes to see where You want me to join You in the discovery of Your purpose for my life. Teach me and open my heart to all You have for me.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

To Dance or To Wrestle

I love to dance! Certain music causes me to move my body in harmony with the beat and melody. Today I enjoyed a dance with my Grandman! He relaxed in my arms as I stepped around the room singing to the music. It will remain a sweet memory!

I also have been dancing with my Lord today! Our dance was a dance of words and intimate quiet moments. He spoke. I answered. We both listened and settled into the presence of one another.

Sometimes the exchange I have with Him is more of a wrestling match. My stubborn heart pushing Him away and yet, pulling Him back again to keep Him close.

The dance is easy and lovely. In the dance I make small changes to follow His every step.

The wrestling match is gritty and difficult, but in the wrestling match I make big changes! I am challenged to know the truth and to adjust my stumbling steps to keep up with him.

In both He is the One I must rely on, trust in, and allow to lead. In both He is close! I want Him near me always and so I continue to dance and wrestle!

Thank You Lord, for being a Dancer and a Wrestler! I want to be near You.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Sower and the Seed

Jesus taught many lessons in His parables. After reading through them time and time again, I sometimes think that I will not learn anything new from them. It is when I gather new information that the stories become new and I invest myself into a new way of seeing my relation to what Christ was saying. Many time that comes from listening to other disciples and their stories of walking with God.

Yesterday I was reading about farming in Scouting the Divine by Margaret Feinberg. she mentioned that though a farmer is aware that some ground would not be good for growing a large and prosperous harvest, it could produce something and so some seed is scattered. Margaret then related that information in a personal way. She admitted that within herself she has good soil as well as rocky, weedy and shallow ground.

I had always looked at that scripture as telling me that my heart contained only one of those types of soils,and the judgement of my heart was its fruitfulness. I was faced with the truth that I must admit I knew by experience. I can be part of each soil type depending on the place the seed of God's word falls. God works the soil in every part of my heart, giving extra encouragement and care in those areas that need it.

Growing in character that resembles Jesus is a huge task! He instructs us to be holy as He is holy! I must learn to submit to the plow that digs deep, the removal of weeds embedded with deep roots, and hard rocky places that demand breaking. I may produce a rich harvest in creative expression, but allow weeds or rocks to steal the harvest of generosity or self control in me.

Father God, creator of the earth and its fruit, thank You for sending me this message that changes my understanding of Your Word and how it applies to me personally! I still have much work to be done before my field will yield the harvest that You intend ! I want to submit each day, not just learn about it! Keep pointing me to those places that need attention! Do not turn away from my stubborn will that would refuse Your wise touch!

Friday, February 5, 2010

I Have to Laugh

After posting my last blog, I have to laugh at myself! I've been scared, worried, angry , frustrated and generally pounced on by the enemy!

Did I anticipate the good in the situations I faced? Well, I can't say I did in all cases. Yep, here I am "anticipating" and I take a small little trip over the edge of forgetfulness. I forgot to anticipate the good that God has for me in every situation. I let my emotions guide me.

Lesson: Let faith guide me not my emotions! Don't just SAY what I believe but DO it!

Father, Please forgive me for not acting on the trust I have in You! forgive my failure to live my life with faith. You are most loving and most faithful in EVERY circumstance and I must live out that truth every day! Thank You for picking me up and letting me see the mud on my face! Now that You have cleansed me from it all I can laugh at my foolishness! You are all I need!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Something good is going to happen!

It is true that when I anticipate good, good happens. I choose to find good in my circumstances and I find it!

Father God, You give good things to everyone but not every person will anticipate and find the good You have offered. I am grateful that I am blessed with Your goodness, with YOU in my life! Help me to be the mirror of Your goodness so that many more will see You and believe in Your good gift of Your Son!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I'm Watching

What do people watchers watch when watching people?

I've joined a new group study with about 40 women. Last week was our first meeting together. I had every intention of joining in discussions, writing notes and doing all the things "good" participants do. Instead I felt very overwhelmed and lost to the point of tears. It had been a long hard day and I wasn't feeling well. All of that played a part in my trying to swim but sinking like a rock.

Yesterday was the second class. I again went into the meeting intending to be a "good" participant. Soon into the meeting I stepped back in my mind and began to watch. I did not write down note feverishly worried I would miss something important. I did not look for the opening in conversations so that I could jump in to tell my story. I just watched. I watched the teacher, those at my table, and others around the room. I was a people watcher last night.

I watched expressions and body language. I watched for interactions between ladies. I learned much and even heard more and joined in to the discussions!

I guess what I am seeing as the truth for me is that when I put people first I find my time is well spent. I may not get all the answers down. I may not have all the blanks filled. What I take away is a connection. I take away a sense of what God sees when I people watch.

One other truth I am aware of today is that God is watching me! He watches. He sees when I need Him. He is ready to give a word or a helping hand. What a lovely thought! He is watching me watch the people He loves!

God, Seer of all, All-knowing Lord, teach me to see when others need me. Prepare me to give generously to others in need! Thank You for showing me the value of taking my eyes off of myself! Let me be like You!