Wednesday, October 29, 2014

31 Days of 30 Life Principles – Life Principle #13 - Epic Fail



On September 29, 2014, I stumbled upon a 31 Day Blog Challenge for the month of October. Why, oh why, did I feel the need to go public with a topic that I nearly gave a day’s thought too? I know! I know! So I could live up to my blog title…WIMP!

So seriously, I began on October 1 with a renewed confident spirit that I would prevail, and here I sit having quit posting on day 13, I totally wimped out and quit posting. I don’t have any legit excuses like having a baby, moving, death of family member (thank God), but I did have a grandson that has stolen another piece of my heart. I did spend Fall Break hauling three teenage girls around Branson; oh, and I do have a full-time job and a family I like to see.

I am still writing, in my beautiful little Red 365 book, just not posting. Posting is difficult for me (and my husband), because I feel like I have to have every word just write. Oh no, I didn’t just use that word “write” wrong. Oh yes, I did, to prove my point. I am getting old and things like that happen when my fingers fly across the keyboard! Right? I still write because my dad was right, I am a bit chatty. I love words and I need to express, thus my little Red 365 book, that is only a few pages short of being full and it is only October. <yikes> The beauty of this book is it doesn’t judge and probably nobody will ever read it; oh wait, that is kind of like my blog too. <snicker>


One word that the Lord has been whispering more to me lately is “more”. I like that word. Each time the Lord puts a word (steadfast, stretch, relationships) on my heart, I immediately claim to know why and each time I am dead wrong. It is quit humbling as you might imagine, but He always does it with soft grace.

My flesh, would say, I want more money, time to shop, time to play, more yummy food. Food is good. Actually what I need is more metabolism, so I can eat more food. However what my dried up spirit needs is more spiritual food.

As I talked to a good friend and sister-in-Christ this week, we both confessed our continued failures; the pressures of maintaining home, investing in our children’s lives, being available to our husbands, preparing healthy meals, while working full-time. It’s tough, and please know I am not complaining. I am thankful, oh so thankful, for a job that provides well for us. I am thankful for a job that provides healthcare. I am thankful for a job that will provide well for us past retirement. I am thankful. I am indeed, but I want more of Him, more of His word, more time to study, more time to pray, more time to build that relationship with Him past my quick prayers throughout the day, past my two-minute devotion book, past my Matt Chandler morning sermons.

Yes, I sin grievously so, and I fail often, and while my failures drive me to try harder or do more, I rest and give thanks that His grace is abundant…that He does not condemn me…that He is still doing a work in me…that when I am weak, He is strong…that He will never leave or forsake me. I just need to remember He has given me all things to life and godliness and go after that more!

Monday, October 13, 2014

31 Days of 30 Life Principals - Life Principal #12 - Peace with God is the fruit of oneness with God.



Key Passage: John 14:1
Since I have peace WITH God through salvation, I can have the peace OF God. One time I recall God’s overwhelming peace and presence was when I was traveling to Atlanta, GA to assist the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) with reviewing and scoring grants.

My flight was uneventful; but on the cab ride to my hotel on a busy Atlanta highway, the cab died. The cab driver got out of the cab and opened the vehicle hood, put on the hazard lights and began to make phone calls. I had no idea what was going on, but I begin to petition God for His help and watch care as cars were flying by fast.

When he climbed back in the cab he said his car was broke and was going to get someone else to take me to my hotel. Well, I thought he was going to call someone, but no, he gets out of the cab and starts waving down vehicles!

I was thinking I am not getting in another vehicle and at the same time I thought, I don’t want to stay out here and get hit either. Then a black Escalade with dark tinted windows stopped. I could see my driver talking to the Escalade driver, then he came over and got my luggage. He told me this man would take me to my hotel for the same price he was charging me. 

The cab driver opened the back door and inside was an elderly lady, but my suspicious, cautious CSI mind was already considering this little old lady as a “person of interest”. My options certainly were not bountiful; but shockingly I did have peace.

I climbed in the back seat, smiled at the lady and thanked the driver for stopping and agreeing to take me to my place of destination safely and we were off and in style, I might add! He took the elderly lady to her hotel first, then safely delivered me to mine and honored the price of my original cab. He gave me my receipt and his business card, which was titled “Emmanuel”.

Emmanuel is a Hebrew name which means “God is with us”. Talk about the peace of God, even with the uncertainties of an unknown driver in an unfamiliar city, the dangers of sitting on a highway with speeding cars all around me, I had peace, the kind of peace that surpasses all understanding.

Peace.

Peace doesn’t have to mean a place where there is no danger, no noise or no trouble. For me, God gave me peace in the midst of chaos. This kind of peace can only come from God and it came in the form of a black Escalade, there is none like Him. He loves me and sent me a little sign of peace and comfort through the name Emmanuel.  When I arrived at the hotel, I looked upward and smiled saying, “I know that was you God, thank you!”

Have you ever experienced God’s peace in the midst of chaos? It’s the most reassuring feeling. It makes you want to pop out your chest, smile and yell, “Oh yea! See! God’s got this!”

31 Days of 30 Life Principals – Life Principal #11- God assumes full responsibility for our needs when we obey Him.



Key Passage: Philippians 4:19

Most Americans, don’t really have needs, we have wants or greed, but not true needs. As I sit here and think about this life principal, I cannot think of a true need in our life, outside of healing. Even then, I wonder if healing is a need or a want.

I jokingly tease that the reason our daughter has a condition that prevents her from playing the two sports she loved, is because she was going to be so good that God was saving us from becoming prideful.  As I mentioned in my post yesterday, we don’t know the whys; but it is what it is and we are waiting on the Lord and believe one day He will heal her and/or we will look back and see what we can’t see now and have our whys answered. Then, we may never know and He may not choose to heal her here. Regardless, we trust and know that He loves us and He completely takes care of all our needs as we faithfully serve Him.

In the Bible there is story after story of how God provided for His people’s needs when they faithfully follow Him. It’s a pretty good track record and He fails not.

When I think about how God assumes full responsibility for our needs when we obey Him, I think of a beautiful, recent story of how God provided a need for Katie Davis, a young lady, who opted to move to Africa and care for children.

She gave up the simple pleasures of a comfortable life in the suburbs to live on red dirt floors, among the suffering and needy. Throughout this beautifully (and highly convicting, for me) written book, she talks about long, hard days when there is nothing to do but cry out to Jesus. Nothing.

We cry out for “newer, better and bigger things” and she cries out for strength to continue.

I am watching HGTV and listening to the complaining people about what they don’t like about their house. The “must-haves” to make them want to spend a crazy amount of money to have all things that complement each other. I understand they are paying for the house, but the nitpicking and complaining is nauseating, especially when the majority of earth’s population live in poor, inhabitable living conditions. We complain about laminate countertops and flooring because we want something real like marble, granite, hardwood or ceramic.

I include myself in this nauseating complaining and I need to stop it and be content in all things. I also need to read Kisses from Katie again for the fourth or fifth time, it is a great reminder and it always helps me with a right perspective. 

We cry out for a better life and they cry out for life.

The question is what I do I want more? Do I want the things of this world, or do I want the things of the Word? The Word brings benefits and obedience brings blessings, provisions and protection. I want to choose the latter.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

31 Days of 30 Life Principals #10 - Move Heaven & Earth, Show Us Your Will!



How do you write about 16 years in about 500 words or less? That magical number I have seen posted that a bloggers should strive to make each post meet? Well I just wasted 34 words. Sigh.

Jeremiah 29:11-13
We were told that Darya was going to be born with spina bifda and given the option of ending our pregnancy. Darryl, as the Spiritual Leader, of our family said we are going to reject that diagnosis and what the world of medicine says and petition God to show us differently…and He did…Darya was born spina bifda free.

As a toddler we begin to notice that she would hang on her stomach for 15-30 minutes at a time on whatever she could find that was the right height, a chair or the coffee table,  because “it felt good”.
Fast forward to about 10 years old, when soccer fields go full size, and basketball courts go from half-court to full-court games. It was at this time we learned that something else was going on with Darya.

She would play a full game and then begin to have severe abdominal pain. She would curl up in a fetal position, placing her fist into her stomach and suffer for about 6 to 8 hours followed by vomiting and fatigue. As time progressed, the amount of time she could actually play before getting sick begin to decrease drastically. It wasn’t just sports, but she couldn’t even run and play with friends at school or in the neighborhood before getting sick. She also started noticing a blood taste in her mouth before the symptoms started happening.

We begin seeing every type of “ologist” to try and find out what was going on. The end result was each specialist said nothing was abnormal with the anatomy they were responsible for. Finally, the GI doctor said that it was all in her head and that we were just making it up. We were furious and helpless.

If you are a parent you know how hard it is to watch your child suffer, well one day when she had overexerted herself again, I decided I wouldn’t wait for it to pass, I took her to the ER. Through a CT scan they discovered she had a cross-fused ectopic kidney (birth defect). We wondered if they had discovered the source of her pain. We were sent to a urologist and he said, without any further examination, tests or anything, that a cross fused ectopic kidney would not cause the symptoms we were describing so we were dismissed once again.

Years have passed and we still have no answer. She has learned to discern when to stop, occasionally she will push herself too far and then she pays for hours. However, recently she started having some new pain and a hard lump. After a couple of our primary care doctors talked, they believe it is a vesicouretetal reflux and because of her cross-fused ectopic kidney they are referring her out to another urologist.

This has been a frustrating journey for us and especially her, because she desires to play soccer and basketball again, not being able to be active makes maintaining a healthy weight very challenging. I don’t understand why, yet, but I do know God created Darya. He healed her in my womb. He has thoughts of peace (not of evil) to give her a future and a hope; and I know if necessary, God will move heaven and earth to show us His will.

Her story reminds us of the blind man that the disciples questioned Jesus about. They asked, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus replied that neither had sinned, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” (John 9:1-3)

We believe, too, that this unseen birth defect has happened so that the works of God might be displayed in her. We remember the benefits He has given us and we praise Him for her healing and giving her life and the health she has, we are blessed and we say, “let the redeemed of the Lord say so” and indeed we say so! Join me in prayer as we wait, because our expectation is from Him and Him alone.


Friday, October 10, 2014

31 Days of 30 Life Principals - #9 - Trust..It's a Choice.


Key Passage: 1 Samuel 17:20-51


If only, I could remember this principal when life’s big, bad intimidating moments come across my path. Then maybe I wouldn’t feel like such a cheap, inconsistent heel when God shows out True and Faithful as He always does. 

I think the last time I lost sight of His Omniscience was when I was pulled out of position of 18 years and 3 months at work and reassigned to a new and intimidating position; with no notice along with the words “effective immediately”.

      God taught me a lot of lessons through this time.

  1. He doesn’t want me to be comfortable, because I tend to forget the God of Comfort and I tend to get lazy. It’s ugly and true.
  2. He wants me to trust Him and quit living in the Land of Uncertainty, because He is 100% Trustworthy. 
  3.  He is giving me a future and a hope, not only eternally, but He came so that I can have an abundant life here.
Looking back at the original post over a year ago, I am reminded of the scripture the LORD gave me.
Malachi 1:5, “Your eyes shall see, And you shall say, ‘The LORD is magnified beyond the border of Israel.’” You see, for me, my Israel was my position of 18 years and God was showing me that He would be magnified beyond that border I had placed myself in, and I would see it.

The key passage that this principal is based on is about David & Goliath and right before David went out to slay the giant, Saul said to David, "Go, and the Lord be with you."


You see, my previous job was not considered essential, but now the job I am in is coined, “mission critical” and because of my job change, my name did not go on the preliminary list for deployment to West Africa. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to go, but I’d rather stay here with my family.

And even if I was placed on the preliminary list to go and I did go, I know like David, the Lord would be with me. I need not fear because He is my strength. He goes with me everywhere. 

Looking back over the past year and half, I know He has equipped me to do my job. I can see now, what He knew then. So each day, I say, "Whatever may come, I choose to trust You."