Friday, May 4, 2018

A Parking Lot

May 3, 2018 will forever be etched in my mind.  It was the National Day of Prayer.
I remember getting up that morning asking God to make it a day of prayer for me.  Since I'm home-
bound for a while after just getting out of the hospital, I didn't think I would have much opportunities to pray with individuals, but still I could have a full day of prayer at home.

Around lunch time Tex took me for a ride.  He also had to make a stop at Foodland to pick up some groceries.  I sat in the car playing a game on my phone, then realized I could be praying for the people around me.   I began.  Then I heard the prompting of the Holy Spirit.  "Pray for the person who comes to the car next to you.  My window was down so I had great access.  Here comes this guy with an arm load of groceries, opens his door and I Freeze!!  I can't do this.  He gets in his car and drives away.   Ugh.  I feel so defeated but more so that I was disobedient.

Then another car drives in, this girl with long blonde hair gets out and I see Tex walking to the car so I know this is my last chance.  I tell her "today is National Day of Prayer, do you mind if I pray for
you?"  She says, Oh OK.  We join hands and I pray over her.  She thanks me and leaves.

My heart is racing - why?  shouldn't it be easy to obey God?

What did you do on May 3, 2018?

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Darkness Descends

After having been in the hospital 3 times within 3 weeks, I can honestly say I don't want that any more.  But since leaving the hospital I am weak, nauseous, unable to do some of the simple things I used to do.  I feel extremely  vulnerable, at the mercy of others, even afraid.

During this trial there have been moments where I can feel my mind descending into darkness.  Asking questions I normally wouldn't entertain.  Will I always be this way?  Is this my new norm?  What kind of life is this for my family.

I know where my mind should be, focused on God, His promises, His love and mercy; but at various times the darkness descends.  I think of Paul.  One trial after another. He is just a man, full of faith but still a human being.  I bet he had moments where he felt alone, afraid, wondering what was coming next. Yes, we read about him singing praises in jail and I know that darkness can descend upon one so quickly.  But Paul also had a friend with him in jail. Some one to encourage him, someone to help him through this difficult time.  God tells us to be prepared but some times our flesh overtakes our faith and thats when I just have to lay back and surrender.  Nothing else can do - just surrender.  I also ask God how can He use me, eventho there are days the weakness and pain are way too much.  But God always shows up with a use for me.

We are all like Paul.  The trials come, although I must confess I did ask God "again?".  I don't understand them or like them. There are moments of descending into darkness, but then God extends His hand He shines the light upon the situation.  It is the hope He and only He can bring.  I don't want to look far ahead, I am looking one moment at a time.  I am grateful for a moment of rest, strength, of feeling a hug of having people visit to be like my Aaron and Hur.  One moment at a time.

Gods Word said we suffer so we can comfort those who will go through the same trials.  But I also know we suffer to teach other believers how to minister in different ways, in ways that will stretch you.  BUT we have to listen to the Holy Spirit and I don't see a whole lot of that.  Put your phones downs, stop posting on instagram unless its how you are ministering to God's people. Guess what your children and grandchildren will survive.  Look around for different opportuntites to help the brethren  One day you may need a touch from one of the brethren.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

God Knows

For the last two weeks I have been battling with my ulcerative colitis.  Not being able to get out of bed, even unable to concentrate when I read or write. My hands shake, every muscle in my body is weak.  I wasn't able to make it to church this past week.  Fortunately, I have a comfy bed, a room with a tv and a husband who doesn't mind picking up the slack with Brooke's care and now also has to care for me.  Tex has pretty much given up his hopes and dreams to care for us.  It was hard just getting out of bed.  My doctor is trying one thing and then another, friends are offering this vitamin, this elixir, this and that.  Most days I'd just get up to go to the bathroom then back to sleep. You know how we casually say, "oh if I could stay in bed all day, what a treat", well it's not a treat!  I found myself falling deeper and deeper into this dark oppressive thought life.  Fortunately God knew I would be going through this, so months before He began preparing me.  He had me begin my devotional time each morning by first reading all of Psalm 139 and then Ephesians 6:10-18, putting on the armor!  God knew I would need to be reminded that "He formed my inward parts", verse 13, and He can heal them.  Ps. 139 says He knows all my thoughts, He sees me, He understands what I am going through, His thoughts of me are precious to me and there are so many thoughts He has of me that I can't even count them, verse 17.  So as I lay in my room, away from everyone and my thoughts would take me down that dark hole, those verses in Ps. 139 would remind me and comfort me.  He had prepared me for this time.  He began reminding me in  Eph 6 that I have to, every day, put on that full armor of God, even when I don't feel like it, even when I feel like succumbing to the dark thoughts.  I must be ready to do battle.

I am also learning how isolated one can feel when you have an on-going illness.  We are women who are always going & doing, striving & preparing, needing to feel connected, always needing to be a part of whatever is going on; and when we can't, we feel alone.  We question where is everyone and we begin that walk down into that pit that says, no one cares.  Our society and even our churches are great for the quick fix helps.  We are there if you need a meal, help today, a visit now, but if you need monthly or weekly visits, or on-going help, well the interest tends to dissipate.  We go back to our busy lives, we lose interest because we want to see quick results as well.

As I was pondering this thought of aloneness, I could hear my daughter in the next room, she too is chronically ill, always in her bed - alone.  I could hear her singing a Christmas song - all alone her voice sang out and I heard God say "I know", no one else might know but "I know" "I see", "I hear".
As tears rolled down my cheeks I realized that's what I needed to be reminded of.  That even while I may feel all alone, God is still with me.

But there's a lesson to be learned here for ALL of us.  Don't forget those who are alone, can't get out, need extra help.  Stop right now and ask God to put that person on your heart and then give God immediate obedience and do something for that person.  Don't wait, don't hesitate, immediately be obedient.  Include them in your life and you will reap the benefits.

I realized this is my daughters life day in day out for 37 years.  In her room, alone.  I have such admiration for her and a different perspective because God showed me He Knows.  You know how the song "Santa Claus is Coming To Town" goes?  You better watch out it reminds us Santa is
watching.  Well we better watch out as God is watching.  So let's start now, asking Him to show us how we can add love and joy to someones life

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

It's all in the timing

Genesis 18:14 "Is anything too difficult for the Lord?  At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son."

Nothing is too difficult for God, but when we look at our circumstances, the world, chaos around us
through our eyes, through our filtration system, all seems lost.  Despair sets in.  Anxiety fills us up.
How will I get it all done, this is so unfair, look at them!

But God says in the above scripture, "is ANYTHING", not some things, too difficult for God.  What
He's telling us is that absolutely nothing is too difficult for Him to accomplish in us, with us, and
through us.  Aaaahh but the caveat is in the next sentence "at the appointed time".  At whose
timing?  Mine, yours or theirs?  No, it's according to His timing.  Because He is all knowing, only He can say when things will change, when the circumstances will go in our favor.  This is the part
we don't like.  The waiting.  Are we sure God is in control?  Should I not take back the reins?  Should
I not sit in the pilots seat and direct each turn?

Sarah and Abraham laughed when told they would have a son in their very old age.  Personally I
would have fainted!  This seemed an impossibility, but not with God.  After He told them they
were going to have a little bundle of joy, He made them wait, quite a while (the appointed time).
Imagine what that was like.

Timing grates on me.  I want results now, not a year from now.  I want to see fruit from my efforts
now.  That way of thinking means I am in control, not the One who created me.

Timing is so important to God.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Limits or Limitless

Changes when they come can be good or bad.  It's all about perception and choices.  Will these changes limit me or provide limitless ways in which they fulfill and enhance my life? Will these changes provide opportunities for me to be productive?

For several months I've been having health issues.  Those of you who see me are scratching their heads because on the outside I look good.  I've lost weight (a perk from the illness) and I tend to dress up myself when I am down so as to fend off comments like "you look tired", "you look down and
out" (just a few comments the few time I've ventured out without my accessory look as I call it).  Any way these issues have begun putting barriers around the activities I normally do.  I see my life getting more home-bound, having to really plan my available time, choosing even activities at home to accommodate the restrictions my health issues have placed upon me.

I've had much time to think about where I go from here.  Do I let these new limits stop me from a productive lifestyle, or do I seek God and see what HE has for me.  I had many questions for Him: what now? what do I do with the great desire to teach women His Word? How do I not get isolated & forgotten at home (there is a tendency in people to stop being in peoples lives that can't always be out and about (I've seen this first-hand with Brooke).  How do I stay connected God?  You have allowed this time of limits in my life please help to make it limitless!

I started listing my blessings: 1) I have a loving and caring husband who encourages me, waits on me and tries to make my life as fulfilling as possible. 2) If I have to spend more time at home, God has blessed me with beautiful surroundings.  My view as I write this is of a beautiful lush green valley with gorgeous mountains. The quietness of my surroundings is a catharsis to my soul. 3) I have access to wi-fi and telephone so I can still stay connected to people. 4) I have Brooke around me 24/7 to make me laugh. She's got a great sense of humor and looking at her struggles everyday puts mine in perspective.

My time with God is my priority. I know I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. So I choose to look at this time as a time of limitless opportunities. A time of growing in another direction.

But hey, I'm human and I realize I need the power of prayer from everyone to sustain me.  So I am asking you all who read this to pray for me and to pass this along to other believers that know me that do not read this blog.  I am asking for specific prayers:  for God's strength to flow through me-take away the fatigue, pray HE will show me clearly what I'm to do each and every day or hour, and pray for restoration of my body.  Don't forget - Pass this along!!!

My daughter gave me this scripture today  "Then Jesus said, Come to me all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle in heart and you will find rest for your soul. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light" Matthew 11:28-30   See how God has blessed me!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Her Joy/My Pain

June 21,2017

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the kings horses and all the kings men,
Couldn't put Humpty together again.

We've all heard this children's rhyme and seen the picture of the Humpty Dumpty all full of cracks.
I envision my heart this way.  Broken pieces for the times when I've experienced hurts in my life.  Hurts that have injured my heart.  Then my King (God), unlike Humpty's king, comes along in His timing, and pieces back together my broken heart.  Sometimes it's a quick fix, other times it takes a while for the glue (His Word, His actions) to bring about healing.

The other day I added another crack to my heart.  I heard excitement in Brooke's voice as she related that she was receiving in the mail that day a new bracelet. We weren't at home and she said she was looking forward to seeing if it had arrived.  She mentioned she ordered the bracelet a few days prior through the internet.  She found the perfect Medic Alert bracelet, one that wouldn't tarnish and slip off her wrist.  Last year we ordered one through a jewelry store but it fell apart within the week.  The first bracelet cost us $130 but this one was only $60!

We had been advised in 2011 by the doctors at the Mayo Clinic that she should always wear a medic alert device that indicates "hard to intubate".  Alerting medical staff of the problems that they will enounter while providing medical care.  However, this time Brooke put something new on this bracelet-it read- DNR/CCO.  Do not resuscitate/comfort care only.  C-R-A-C-K - I could feel the crack in my heart occurring and the lump in my throat growing.  I didn't want her to see my tears.

Now I know and put my trust in God's Word that only He knows the number of our days, however, when your 36 year old daughter orders, on her own, this type of jewelry, it hits you like a ton of bricks.  Have you had any of your children do this?  I didn't think so.

My heart was experiencing a hurt. My immediate tendency was to cry out "why"; but because I have felt these cracks before, I quickly let go of that thought and picked up the glue that would begin to mend me. Thank goodness for the Bible app on my cell phone. The glue?  God's Word.  I poured over it, gleaning much.  One place gave me a jolt and brought me back to where I should be:  Habakkuk 3:17-19 "Though the fig tree should not blossom and there be no fruit on the vines, though the yield of the olive should fail and the fields produce no food, though the flock should be cut off from the fold and there be no cattle in the stalls, yet I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.  The Lord God is my strength, and He has made my feet like hinds feet, and makes we walk on my high places."

I am not any different from you.  I cry and wonder if these pains will eventually stop for Brooke.  But with all the sorrow there is also joy and hope.  I can look toward the future with a smile on my face.  I am not like Humpty Dumpty.  I have a King who says He makes me walk on high places without letting me fall.  I will continually hold on to His hand.

Friday, January 6, 2017

The Comfort of Traditions

January 2017

This year my husband is making specific storage cabinets to put all our Christmas decorations.  I am organizing them (which I love to do) before the cabinets are done.  Stockings in one bin, creche's in another, etc.  After 40 years of marriage, I have a lot of Christmas things, but I love them all.  As I am going through all my things, I am remembering who gave me this one, who made that one and I recall specific memories.  This year I realized the stockings we hang are very narrow so the stocking gifts couldn't quite fit into each one.  I mentioned on Christmas Day that next year I was going to retire Trey and Brooke's stockings, which they've had since they were toddlers, and get new ones.  A resounding NO came from both of them.

Sometimes we think our kids (even if they're adults), don't take seriously or cherish these traditions we put so much effort into.  But they do!  My kids, who are no different than yours, have realized traditions bring stability and comfort.  They look forward to traditions because in a chaotic world they bring them peace, joy, and hope.

Don't give up on your traditions.  If you don't have any yet, think of ways you can incorporate some into your families lives - not only at Christmas or thanksgiving. This year I heard women tell me it's too much trouble, or they want their children to focus more on Jesus.  You don't have to give up Jesus because you decorate a tree, bake cookies, shop for gifts, or fill stockings.  We make Jesus a big part of our Christmas.  We read the Christmas story before we open one gift or take one bite of Christmas dinner.  When our children were younger, we would read the Christmas story several times a week before Christmas Day.  We now have our niece, who is the youngest child in our family, read the story of the Candy Cane after Christmas dinner.  We play Christmas games that include bible trivia and along with Here Comes Santa Claus (which always gets laughs), we sing many Christmas Carols about Jesus.

Traditions are good, healthy for the soul and mind.  I hope you're putting some into your families lives.  You will see how your children will enjoy them!  It solidifies a family.

Note:  If you come from a family who never had any such tradition- think of the possibilities you can enjoy.  If you come from a family who had some less than desirable type of traditions, put them behind you and start some new ones.