On Worship and Warfare

Occasionaly these early morning brain overloads are annoying; especially when I've stayed up late anyway and really thought getting a few more hours of sleep would be a good thing! I tried to go back to sleep but couldn't get the 'god thoughts' to leave me alone so here I am putting them down on 'paper' so that I can go back and get a couple of more zzz's!
My 4yo granddaughter who is staying the night climbed into bed with me around 4am initially waking me up; I took her back to bed and thought I could drift right back to sleep. But I began to think about singing on the worship team this Sunday and how much I look forward to it. I begin to think about why it's so important to me and why I enjoy it so much. These are the thoughts that wouldn't go away..
I close my eyes and smile when I think about meeting with my King. He is so kind to me, ever patient with my flaws and weaknesses, constantly giving me opportunities to grow and respond to situations the way that He would. I lift my face to the heavens where He sits in all His glory and lift my hands to honor Him. The words of the song express my heart in ways that I cannot alone. I sway and bend like a mighty tree, like the cottonwood trees when they dance in the wind. His presence surrounds me and I can feel His pleasure. How joyful to me when my grandbabies come running with arms outstretched when they see me!! Their little faces lit up with joy to be with me again! How it fills me with well-being!! If I can be so overwhelmed by their love for me then how much more pleased is the King of Heaven, He who created me when I run to be in His presence? What a mighty King He is! His love endures forever and through all things! His mercy for me never quits! His grace knows no boundaries! How great is my King!!
Without fail my thoughts turn from worship of my King to those who don't know Him like I do. Worship and warfare; they seem to always go hand in hand with me, for I then begin to see the pain and brokenness of those around me and my heart cries out. I know that it is the heart of my God crying out within me; He cries out in anguish and frustration at the rebellion, the anger, the bitterness that He sees in the hearts of His very own children. I speak out against the enemy of my King in Jesus' name! I declare weakness upon him and claim back those children to my Father's kingdom. I declare freedom in the name of my Lord. I loose the power of my God upon those situations and declare victory for the angels who fight the unseen battles. Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come.
And now my mind rests. The birds are beginning to sing outside and the sky is beginning to lighten. It's a brand new day full of His grace and mercy! Full of opportunities to worship Him, to listen for His guidance, to show His love to those around me. Oh my King, help me to represent You strongly today. I love you so.


The Pain of Motherhood

The pain of motherhood is more than just the act of giving birth. It's the pain of touching the stove to learn that it's hot, falling down stairs, the first scraped knee or elbow. It's the pain of being made fun of at school, the first broken bone or gash needing stitches. It's the pain of teaching consequences, washing a mouth out with soap, taking away privileges. It's the pain of being avoided, ignored, glared at. It's the pain of being replaced by teachers and friends. It's the pain of not fitting in, not making the grade, not being popular. It's the pain of that first rejection, the next rejection, any rejection. It's the pain of seeing the hurt in your child's eyes or voice and not being able to scoop them up in your arms and kiss it all better. It's the pain of letting go as they leave for college, the military or married life. It's the pain of watching them learn what true love really is. It's the pain of that first fight when you want them to come home and you know that they can't. It's the pain of watching them go through the consequences of foolish decisions and choices.
It's the pain of standing by helplessly as they rush headlong into adulthood and it's the pain of standing by helplessly as they learn the cruelty that is adulthood.


A Letter to my Daughter

We had such a horrible fight on Wednesday and your angry words hurt but I have heard them and the hurt in your heart. You accused me of favoritism and so I have looked back at my past actions and words and asked myself have I really been unfair? The answer my dear is yes. You were right. You have bent over backwards and sacrificed much for love of your sister and she has not been as appreciative as she should be.
I asked myself why would I favor one daughter over the other when I love you both so so much!! And I think I have maybe discovered the answer. She listens to me. We have conversations and not constant disagreements. She values my opinion and asks for my advice. She makes me feel like a good mom.
Now I want you to know that I am so proud of you! You are such a good mom and I enjoy the way you work to make your boys feel loved. I love that you enjoy (for the most part) being a stay at home mom. I love that you are so loyal to your friends and your family. I wish that you would believe these things about yourself.
My greatest desire is to see you shed the anger that you bury yourself in so that once again that little girl would shine out. My little "Sunshine Face".
Sometimes I think you hide behind the anger to protect yourself from the hurt of loving others as deeply as you do, but I wish you could see that the very hurt you hide from is what makes you a beautiful loving woman. You are so much stronger than you realize. God has given you so much love, He created your heart to love deeply like He does and yes it hurts sometimes but it's only so that you can be closer to Jesus and share in His hurt. He carries it with you so that it doesn't damage; it only makes you more aware of how much He loves you!
You are my first child, the one that I anticipated and waited for; the one that God gave to me out of a difficult situation, His gift of love to me. You were given back to Him to mold and protect and guard. He has given you many talents, you are so very creative!! You share that characteristic with your Father God the creator.
You are strong and hard headed but these are both blessings and trial because you choose how you respond to situations, God has to use harder circumstances to draw you to His throne because you are so strong and stubborn!
I am proud to know you and I'm sorry if I ever make you feel otherwise. Please convince yourself that when I seem critical it is because I know you can do and be softer, more tolerant, more loving. I wish that you knew that everything I do and everything I say is always out of my love for you and never never never meant to harm you or tear you down. You are a part of me, I carried you carefully for nine months, prayed for your safe arrival and still constantly pray that you will learn to love God more, learn to trust Him, learn to be like Him. That your marriage will honor the Kingdom of God; that your boys will learn to be knights of the Kingdom and your daughter will always know the love of the King.
My sweet child, my beautiful grown daughter all I can say in closing is..... I love you and nothing you can say or do will ever ever change that!!


The love of money

The Bible says that the love of money is the root of all evil, I have always thought that this was not an issue in my life and yet here I am awake because my brain insists upon going over and over all the things for which I need money! I don't love money. Do I? I am the saver of the family......or am I really a hoarder? I always thought that I was wise with my money but do I hold on to it because of wisdom......or insecurity? Doesn't it reveal a lack of trust on my part? Maybe loving money doesn't mean wanting it for the sake of having it; maybe loving money means putting its importance above the importance of loving my God, my King, my Father!
My dh needed new glasses, the insurance has kicked in and so he immediately set the appointment which is covered by the insurance as well as the frames but by the time all is said and done he has two new pairs of glasses to the cost of $300! This would not be an issue if not for the fact that our vehicle has been repossessed and every cent was supposed to go towards getting it back!! This is no longer going to happen, we don't have the money! I am torn; extreme unhappiness because we are in this situation, extreme anxiety that we will lose our vehicle and extreme guilt for feeling this way when the lover God gave me needed new glasses!! AHHHHHHH!!
Then there are my children who seem to have no ability whatsoever of handling money in any sort of disciplined way!!! They have been locked out of their home with their belongings still inside because they are in the process of moving and still owe rent!! Their van won't run and yet they did not fix it when they had the chance with their tax refund because they couldn't decide whether to fix it or get another one!! And so the money was spent and here they are with a vehicle that doesn't run reliably!!!
Oh how I wish I had money!!! Do I love it? NO, I hate money, seriously hate money because of our dependence upon it! How do I put my dependence on God when our life here on earth relies so much upon the money we have? It's so easy when all is going well. It's when the sh** hits the fan that it becomes hard to trust what you don't see!
Oh God, you are my Father, my provider and all that I truly need! Help me to trust in You even when all I see are the things that I don't have. Help me to walk by faith and not by sight!! Help me to focus on the friends that You have provided who have loaned us a van while we don't have ours, those friends who give what they can in the midst of need. Holy Spirit be my Teacher and show me how to walk in blind trust of He who does not change! Teach me how to love my King above all else knowing that He will never fail me nor leave me wanting.


My Plate's Too Full

It has been one of those times when my 'plate' seems so full I can no longer keep it controled and it threatens to fold up like a cheap paper plate and spill all of my concerns onto the floor!!
But I was out running errands with Bill and it occurred to me that God in His infinite grace (favor that I don't deserve)has begun to clean my plate up! One of those concerns on my plate has been the fact that my children both need to move this month and didn't have a place to go, but now both families have suitable lodging even though both places need a lot of work and cleaning up. It has also been a major concern that my one child and her family had no transportation, which meant that I was constantly playing the role of taxi!! But God has provided a vehicle for them, which seems to have motivated my son in law to look a little harder for work and that is another concern moving off of my plate! God is so amazingly gracious and kind to me!!
This is Easter weekend and I celebrate the many years that I have walked with Him by my side! He has been there for me through thick and thin, always by my side giving me strength and comfort. He has been my constant companion now for 36 years and how sweet the results of that walk have been.
There is still alot on my plate; I am concerned about the spiritual health of my church family, concerned for so many marriages that are under spiritual attack, concerned for the women in those marriages, still concerned for my children but they don't take up so much room on my plate these days! I am beginning a women's study and it is certainly possible that God has cleared space for the women who will attend. At least I know that when he dishes things onto my plate He will also be faithful to give me what is necessary to carry that plate!
It is my prayer for you dear reader that you too will find the sweetness of traveling life with Jesus Christ and allowing Him to put the portions on your plate; that you will trust Him to help you carry it and that He will remove things when the time is right!


Why I weep.

I weep tears of sorrow, anger and helplessness.
I weep as I watch marriages stumble and fall; husbands and wives struggling to make their relationships meaningful. Spouses trying to love through rejection and hardness.
I weep because I know men and women who choose to turn away from the blessings God offers to go in search of their own non-existant blessings.
I weep because I see our enemy dancing with deception and disallusionment, dressed in his jester's garb he jugggles pretty balls of promises that won't be fulfilled; coaxing God's beloved children to just 'give it a try!' The lie is as old as time - "God doesn't want you to have fun! He only wants to tie you down to a bunch of rules. He doesn't care about what makes YOU happy. Come with me, we will have a good time with no cares and bothersome responsibilities!"
I weep because I am helpless to convince them otherwise; helpless because God won't force them to see the truth; helpless because He wants them to choose to know the truth. I hate feeling helpless!!
Show me, my King! How can I best release your power? How can I help them see?
Living in Your Kingdom, guided by Your boundaries brings such joy and peace. It's like a spring day with sunshine, trees dancing in the breeze, flowers and the music of birds and fountains!
And when times are hard and cold, living in Your Kingdom doesn't make them go away but is like a heavy winter coat that gives warmth and protection against the harshness.
How can I show them how much better it is to stay close to You and follow You?
Oh my King, I weep.


It's a Girl

After four boys, my daughter is having a girl. What an interesting life this little one will have! Not only will she have four older brothers but will have two older boy cousins as well! I don't foresee any boyfriends coming to her easily!! I wonder what it would have been like to be the youngest and only girl; I am the oldest and became mother to all my younger siblings. Will she be dark haired and eyed like her daddy or blonde and blue eyed like her mother? Her brothers have mostly dark hair of varying shades and eyes ranging from blue to green to brown. The oldest and youngest are fair skinned and the middle two are dark skinned. Who will she look like? August 2012 She is beautiful!! Dark hair, green eyes like her brother #2, she resembles her mother but has her own look at the same time. She is two now and full of sass and attitude; look out world!!


Thoughts on turning 50

Happy New Year imaginary friends! In two weeks I turn 50 years old and find that I am unexpectantly excited about it. Half of a century! An age supposedly full of wisdom! It feels like finally reaching adulthood, isn't that strange? What have I been for the last 30 years, if not an adult? Does turning 50 mean that I will no longer make stupid mistakes, wrong choices, unwise decisions? Probably not, but it feels like it should! It feels fresh, like starting over, a new page to a new chapter in my book of life! Yes, there are alot of things I have trouble doing these days and I don't have the energy or stamina that I once did but I feel good!! I believe the end days are here and it's time to firmly plant both feet in the kingdom of God. Mine are planted, I relish the thought of standing boldly for my King. I have been through enough battles to know that although I don't like them I am confident in my ability to fight. I know the heart of my Father and my goal is to live for His pleasure. I wish that I could spend more time serving others, my children included. I wish I could spend more time with my grandchildren, it weighs heavy on me to be an example to them, to try to teach them the things that I seem to have failed teaching my children; things like trusting God completely, living to honor Him, living by His rules and knowing that by doing so blessings will come. I'm sure I will have the time to do these things eventually! But until then, I will celebrate my birthday with a potluck supper celebration; my girls asked me why a potluck! They had never heard of such a thing! I told them because I like potlucks, they are fun and it seemed to be an inexpensive way to throw a party. Potluck suppers are fun!! Food, conversation, watching people enjoy themselves, being with people I care about; I can't think of a better way to celebrate my birthday!!!
So 50, here I come!! I'll try not to make my expectations too high, but I expect 50 to be as fabulous as 'they' say it is!!