Friday, February 27, 2009

Moving on...

I am not one that has moved around a lot.... I lived with my parents in the same house of my childhood until the day I got married. My honey and I then lived in the same place for 19 years. In December of 2006, we picked up only the things that we needed and moved a whole 4 minutes down the road. When I tell you that we only took the things that we needed.... I am not kidding. We took our "current" wardrobe (not all the stuff that hangs in the closet for years without being worn), our pots, pans, dishes, small kitchen appliances, a few pictures off the wall, the toys that my children loved, and that is about it. We just left the rest behind. We owned the place... and we figured that we could go back for it if we needed it. We never did. Several months later, my husband had some family that needed a place to stay so we allowed them to move in there. They packed up the rest of our stuff and moved it outside to a storage building. I have seen their son having a recurrent yard sale for several months.... I don't go look. It is probably our stuff. If I see it, I will probably want it back.... so I have just let it go. I have completely left all that behind. For good. Never to go back.

So, I don't have a lot of experience with moving around.

For a week or so, I have been listening to some CD's of a Beth Moore conference called Spiritual Mapping. Absolutely awesome teaching. It maps out our Spiritual journey... from Egypt (our place of slavery and worldliness), to the Wilderness (not where we used to be, but not exactly where God is taking us), to our Promised Land (where we are being used of God to accomplish His purpose). I've been thinking a lot about this.

Egypt is a place of slavery... even if we don't realize it. Sometimes it seems like home, because it is all that we have ever known. But we are slaves there. It is where we live for ourselves. We do what we want to do.... and we think that it is a place of freedom... but it really isn't. Again, we are slaves there. I know that I don't want to live there. I want to be free. So, Egypt is not the address that I want.

The Wilderness is outside of the slavery. At first mention... the wilderness doesn't sound like a good place to be. It makes me think of a desert, dry, miserable place. But wait... think about it... this is where the Israelites saw God in the cloud by day and saw Him in the fiery pillar by night. There was evidence that proved He was close to them at all times. They were fed manna straight from heaven. They saw His provisions day after day. They saw miracle after miracle. Their sandals and clothes never wore out. (mine would have just gotten too small.... sigh) HE was their wonder. Now... with all that, it almost sounds like a good place to be. But we have to remember.... this is still not the place that God wants to take us. HE has something so much better for us.

The Promised Land is where God wants us to live. It is the place that He designed specifically for us. It is a place where WE are being used by HIM to bear much fruit. We will be the wonder there. We will be the blessing. God will work through us to accomplish His purpose. It is a place that bears much fruit. It is where He wants us to be. Where He wants us to be.... being what He wants us to be.

The Israelites lived in the wilderness for a long time!! Many died in the wilderness. Oh Father... I don't want to die in the wilderness. I want to make it to the Promised Land.... not only make it there... but stay there. I want to be all that you want me to be...

I don't think that I am finished thinking about this. I think that it is going to roll around in my head for a while. Where am I living?? Where are you living?? I know where I want to be... and I may have lots of packing to do.

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Friday, February 20, 2009

"Just a minute...."

My little one is growing up. She turned 8 years old in November, just 2 months after starting public school for the first time. (after homeschooling) She has always been "my baby". We were just plain silly together. We always spent time together... whether we were watching TV, playing cards, reading a book, or whatever... we just loved being together. I still want that.

I remember my favorite time of the day would be mornings. She would come sleepy-eyed into the living room to find me when she woke up. Climb up on my lap... for what we call "some lulu loving". I don't really know where that name came from... but I sure did like it. She would lay in my lap for a good while... until she got hungry enough to want to get up for some breakfast.

Now... I have to go wake her up to get her ready for school. There is no time for "lulu loving". We have to stay on the schedule so that she won't be late for school.

When she first started to school... I could hardly sit in the car-line waiting on her to get out of school. When I would see her headed my way... I would think my heart was just about to explode. She looked like she couldn't wait to get in the car to see me too.

Now... she is anxious to get home and get her homework finished so she can call a friend over to play. Or go to a friends house.

Oh... why do our babies have to grow up??? I don't think I was ready.

Today... my mom picked her up from school. I was on the computer when they came in the door. I heard her go into the living room and turn on the TV. Within a few minutes, I heard her pick up the phone to call over a friend. She didn't run to my lap. My heart ached. I called out to her.... "wait a minute" was her answer. About 5 minutes later.... I called her again... same answer. Finally after about 15 minutes and 3 callings... she came walking in to see me. I got a quick hug and kiss.

I thought about it after she got down and went back to her business.... I wonder how many times I do that to God.

Just a minute... I need to check my email.
Just a minute... I need to put clothes in the washer.
Just a minute... I need to empty the dishwasher.
Just a minute... or probably more... because I need a little more sleep.

I wonder how often He longs to feel me climb up on His lap?? I wonder how often His heart aches when I choose to do something else besides spend time with Him?? I bet plenty!!

To think... God has the same longing in His heart for me that I have for my children is more than I can fathom at times. But He does. He wants to spend time with me. He longs for me to get up in the mornings and climb up in His lap for some "lulu loving". That is the picture I have in my mind right now.... I hope it is still there in the morning. I bet He does too.
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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Beauty Shop Talk

Yesterday I went to get my hair "conditioned". Now... if you are someone that really knows me well, you just translated that word "conditioned" to "colored". Anyway.... You know what talk can be like in the beauty shop. Sometimes you hear about someone that is sick. Sometimes you hear about someone caught up in a life of sin. Sometimes you hear about an arguement that someone just had.... or what they really don't like about their spouse. I know that "beauty shop talk" has a bad reputation.... but yesterday was different.

While I was laying back in the shampoo bowl... I could hear the lady in the next chair talking about something. I caught the words, "Beth Moore". My ears perked up. I strained to hear what they were saying. The customer was asking her hair stylist if she had ever done a Beth Moore Bible study. She said, "yes"....... Then my hair stylist got in on the conversation. They asked her if she had ever done one of her studies. Sadly... not only had she never done one... she didn't even know who she was. GASP! I couldn't believe my ears. I stayed quiet while my stylist then ripped out my eyebrows... and any other unwanted hair on my face. I couldn't wait to get into an upright position so that I could get in on their conversation. When I asked the other customer where she went to her study, we struck up a loooong conversation about studying the Bible. It was so refreshing to hear that kind of talk in the beauty shop. We shared about the studies that we had done... the ones that we were hoping to do next... and which ones were our favorites... She and I both shared about things that really spoke to us in the studies we are doing right now. I didn't even want to leave when it was time for me to go. She asked for my name, email address, and phone number so that we could be in contact again.

This morning when I got up.... I had an email from her. She suggested that we get our groups together sometime in the future. She shared with me that her group had even come up with a motto for themselves the night before.

God's timing is perfect. Meeting a new sister in Christ in the beauty shop... bringing Him glory in our conversation.... and who knows what else He has in store for us in the future. To God be the glory.

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Monday, February 9, 2009

A basket of blessings

Sometimes I just have a little to give. And many times I just need alot. This morning was one of those mornings. I didn't sleep very good. I woke up around 4 am and after a few restless minutes in bed... I decided to get up. There were many things rolling around in my mind. This seems to be happening often these days. One of the things rolling around in my head was the fact that we had no hot water. After I got my shower yesterday morning... I realized the hot water heater wasn't working. We all needed baths and the dishes needed washing. My heart is also heavy for a member of my family. Thoughts of this person had haunted me most of the night. My father-in-law is in the hospital and was scheduled for a heart cath this morning. AND... I had conferences scheduled with my middle school aged daughter's teachers. Before it was time to wake up my daughters for school.... I had enough time to pour out my heart's contents before the Lord. Only... then it was time to get up and start my day.

Within minutes of trying to wake up my oldest daughter... my eyes were stinging with tears. I thought to myself.... "this is ridiculous... what is the matter with me??" I felt the ache of that empty feeling inside. It was then that I realized that I had taken the time to pour out... but didn't take the time to allow God to fill me back up. As I rushed back down the stairs to get my Bible... I remembered an illustration that I have heard several times before. I was like a beggar... I had my empty cup out in front of me... begging for someone... anyone... to do something or say something that would fill me up. Something that would make me feel good. Something that would make me feel valuable. I have heard Beth Moore say that "if you allow God to fill you up... anything else you get all day will be gravy!"

I searched my concordance... I knew exactly what I was looking for. Psalm 90:14

Satisfy us (me) in the morning with your unfailing love,
that we (I) may sing for joy and be glad all our (my) days.

I kept repeating it... Lord, satisfy me this morning with your unfailing love. I want to sing for joy and be glad all day. It is your love that will satisfy me... your unfailing love.

Things got better. I didn't need to be vailidated by my poor daughters. It let them off the hook.

Tonight as I worked through my Bible study... it just happened to be about one of my favorite miracles of Jesus. Jesus feeding the 5000 with the little boys lunch. It is amazing how God will use the same story to speak to you at different times. The last time I remember reading the account in John's gospel... I was floored by the fact that they distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. I loved it that God used that story to show me that when I sit down... and position myself at His feet.... He will give me as much of HIM as I want. But tonight.... I kept thinking about no matter how "little" I have to give.... Jesus can multiply it beyond anything I can imagine. This morning... I had so little to give. When I went to him with my little bit... He multiplied it and supplied enough to make it through my day. He satisfied me with His unfailing love.... and the rest of my day was gravy!!

We have a new hot water heater. We all got baths and my dishes are washed. I cannot change my family member... so I just prayed for her. My father-in-law did well through his procedure... and received a new stent... he will not have to have by-pass surgery. And... I postponed the conferences with my daughter's teachers because of all of the other stuff that was happening. So I was able to sing with joy and be glad all day.

I thought about all the leftovers the disciples picked up after the 5000 ate... 12 baskets full. It must have looked a lot like gravy.

Then tonight as I was blog hopping.... I found this on Cricket's blog.... she gave me an award!!

Thanks so much Cricket.... this was part of my gravy today. You actually posted it on Friday, but God knew that I would need it today.

Also... I received another basket of blessings this past week from another blogger. It was actually a box... and it contained tons of Beth Moore CD's and DVD's. Gravy upon Gravy. My cup is overflowing. What started out as very little this morning... turned into more than I could imagine tonight. Glory to God!!
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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A mindful....

***update at bottom***

My mind is so full of stuff. God has been speaking to my heart about some issues lately... and I want no part of what God is showing me may be happening in my heart. Oh! how I want a servant's heart. Then yesterday, my daughter had some issues at school which caused many more things to crowd into my mind. Not to mention that my husband and I don't exactly see eye-to-eye on how to react to this new situation. So after a "not so nice" discussions with my husband.... where I defaulted back to language that I thought had left my vocabulary years ago... I went to bed with tears in my eyes.

This morning I woke up around 4am (because there was a needy little person standing there poking me). Those things started rolling around in my head again. I knew that God was inviting me to come on down to "our spot" a little early so that we could have a little "pow-wow". So I got up and headed downstairs. After pouring my heart out about all the things that were crowding my mind.... asking for His wisdom and guidance... I felt him draw me into His Word.

I just picked up the Bible and opened it... Psalm 51... here are just a few pieces of it....

Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to you great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin. (verses 1-2)

Just what I needed after that sailor talk I had last night. His love is unfailing!! Praise Him.

Surely you desire truth in the inner parts ;
you teach me wisdom in the inmost place. ( verse 6)

Oh yes... I poured out my inner parts to you... and you will be where my wisdom comes from

Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
or take you Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. (verses 10-12

Oh yes Father... please create a pure heart out of this prideful thing that I have inside me.

You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart,
O' God you will not despise. (verses 16-17)

A broken spirit... a contrite heart is what God desires... is that what I had given Him???

Then I felt led to go ahead and start on my Bible study work... Luke 8:40-56

The story was of Jesus heading to Jairus's house to heal his daughter... and being interrupted by the poor woman that had been bleeding for 12 years. After her touching the hem of His garment and being healed immediately... Jesus continued to Jairus house to find his daughter dead and bunch of doubtful people at the door. Not deterred in any way... He walked in and brought the girl back to life.

Jesus's power is not limited to one miracle work at a time... He has more than enough to go around. He can take on my prideful heart... break it.... purify it... and then move on to all of these other issues that are at hand.

I still don't know what we are going to do about the issues at my daughter's school... we are scheduled to go for a conference on Monday. But, I do know what I am going to do with all the stuff that was rolling around in my head.... I took it to the Father... and I am leaving it there. I will hear His answer when He gives it. Hopefully it will be before Monday... but I trust who God is even when I don't understand the situation. And I know that I am to submit to my husband's authoritiy. He made that clear as well.

Pray for me... and my family. I do not want to do one thing that is outside of my Father's will.
Also... I have a friend having a lumpectomy this morning... say a prayer for her too.
Thanks... Lots of love,

***and if this wasn't enough... as I was trying to proofread my post, my husband called out from the living room that it was time for Beth Moore to be on Life Today. I jumped up and ran in there just in time to hear her teach about TRUST... Her scripture verse was Isaiah 26:3
You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.
She talked about a spewing mind... a mind that is spewing over all kinds of things... and those are the very issues in which I am distrusting God. When I trust God... my mind will be in perfect peace. Thank you Father that you are such a personal intimate God.

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