Monday, February 2, 2015

Had to Share

Just had to share this. This awesome video was done by my awesome church and Pastor:

Elevation Church
Steven Furtick

And that handsome fella with the dreadlocks is my son Elijah

Do It Again from Elevation Church on Vimeo.




Do It Again from Elevation Church on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Big God

Good Morning Dear Ones:

So as we get closer to the end of this school year. The assignment that is before me with homeschooling weighs on me more and more. There is just so much uncertainty but I guess if there wasn't any then there wouldn't be any need for faith.

Last night I did a practice spelling test with Jubilee and when I look at what she doesn't know or grasp I start to feel fear rise up HUGE inside of me. Thoughts like:

How am I going to do this? If schools can't help her understand what makes me think I can help her understand? I have no degree. I am just a Mom.  This feels way too BIG.

I was reading in my Draw The Circle Prayer Challenge book this morning and it left me in tears. It posed the question:

"Are my problems bigger than God or is God bigger than my problems? Our biggest problem is our small view of God. How big is your God? Is he bigger than your worst sin, GREATEST FEAR, or biggest dream? IF He is bigger than all of those things, then pray like it."

What I see FEELS so much bigger than me, and based on my fear level it must at times feel bigger than God.

So today I am asking for God to expand in my eyes. I am asking forgiveness for making Him too small. I know I am walking in obedience. This step into the homeschool world is a HUGE leap of faith. Father God take us the rest of the way on this journey. Do your thing and be glorified. You decide what that looks like. Not me.  It doesn't matter what evidence is against us. With you nothing is impossible. I promise to keep showing up to what you have called me to do and I know from that I will see your promises come to life in our lives. Crush these fears in my life with your awesome power.  Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is NOT bigger than YOU. Bring on the future and the hope you have for Mercy and Jubilee.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Fruit

Good morning Dear Ones:

So I know the tittle of this post is not the most exciting one but to me it is the most meaningful one. You see since moving to Charlotte I have been extremely frustrated. It wasn't until I went to church last night that I was able to define exactly why I have been so frustrated.

Pastor preached a word that permeated my heart. He said "The desire to be fruitful compels us, it is why we are driven." "There is no worse feeling in your life then when you feel unfruitful." Oh I wanted to scream AMEN! He wanted to make sure he cleared up that it is feeling unfruitful that is so frustrating which is different then being unfruitful. Because "fruitfulness is not always on the outside." As Pastor Levi Lusko said in one of his sermons "sometimes the mountain that needs to be moved is on the inside."

I desire nothing more in my life then to be fruitful. I want to bare the fruit that God created me to bare.

Pastor described how pruning is painful and it happens to fruitful and fruitless branches.  But there is a difference from being cut off and cut back. Being cut back is to grow back better.

The tittle of his sermon was, This May Take A While.

The tittle alone hit me hard. You see I have struggled with knowing we are supposed to homeschool the girls next year. I have felt sure it is what I am supposed to do but completely clueless as to how I am going to do it. Educating little ones who have permanent brain damage and who obviously are not typical learners feels very overwhelming.  I keep dwelling on how many times I am going to have to DO IT AGAIN with them. Over and over and over. But the hardest thought is will it matter? Will there be fruit? You want your efforts to produce progress. You want your energy to pay off. Fruit, fruit fruit. Its all I want.

Then part two of the struggle is laying down other dreams you wanted for yourself. Things you thought might be possible if you had more time, but now homeschooling is going to have that time.

Pastor Lusko also said there is a back story to faith. There is a middle to play out. In actuality "there is no need for faith unless there is uncertainty." "There is no product without the process and there is a cost to every calling."

As I embark on home educating children with special needs it is incredibly real to me that this indeed is going to take a while. And what is a while? It is indefinite. That is the hardest part. There is no frame of duration. Just a lot of back story. But as my Pastor (Pastor Furtick) said last night "It's gonna be worth your while." All the time, trouble and expense.

So what do you do when it's still dark. While you wait for the fruit? You remain connected to the vine. You REMAIN.

"Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me." I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:4&5

Oh how true is that? I can't homeschool apart from Him. I can't lay dreams down apart from him. I can't produce any fruit if I am not connected to the vine.

I choose praise to be my breakthrough. I choose to worship even during the while. While its still dark. I will not disconnect. It's going to be with my while.

Lord Jesus, I love you. Thank you for moving the mountains inside of me. Thank you for cutting back in my life so I will grow back stronger. Bring about the fruit in my life that I am meant to bare. All the WHILE I worship you.

photo credit: p medved via photopin cc


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Passion for Obedience

Hello Dear Ones:

I hope all has been well with everyone since we last connected. I have been riding emotional waves. Sometimes I feel like I am soaring on a crest and then other times the waves break and I feel crushed by the waters weight.
Since we moved to Charlotte, more often than not, I have felt lost in the undercurrent of life. The atmosphere of transition has many times swallowed me up.
In this tempest I have battled a wreckage of my passions in life. Especially when it has come to my parenting. My oldest son has felt lost to some degree. After graduating high school and moving to a new state he has really struggled finding his assignment in our new surroundings. My 13 year old has been hit hard too. Uprooting him has brought many tears and lots of stress. My daughters although in a delightfully wonderful school, where they have been loved on well, due to their permanent brain damage from Fetal alcohol syndrome, have made very slow progress. The further they go along in school the more apparent their delays become. The one son who has found his niche in life since moving here is a complete delight to watch but has also come with adjustments to our relationship. Lets just say I genuinely delight in watching his purpose unfold and I also really miss him.

The winds of adjustment have slammed into me from every direction. I have felt subpar at best and truthfully like a Mom fiasco. I didn't like my assignment as Mom any more because I have felt my performance has suffered and even more so what to do in each situation has felt like such a mystery.  How do I help one find their calling? How do I help another adapt well? How do I help something that is completely out of my control and has life long consequences and feels too big for me?

My assignment in life just started to feel too hard. So I began to desire a new assignment. I just wanted to find something I could feel passionate about again. So I began dreaming about an assignment in my church. I love my church so much and I just wanted to have a part to play in it. I began to pray for doors of opportunity to open for me. I just felt so desperate to wake up excited about my life again. To feel good at something and have some significance and purpose.

In the midst of this a decision about the girls education needed to be made. The one thing I knew for sure was public school would not be an option. So it was continue with private school or homeschool.  Their school is such a sweet place but after meetings and prayer we came to the conclusion to homeschool them so they could learn at their own pace, according to their ability and not their age. I have peace about this decision but it also made me feel depressed. It wasn't the answer or assignment I was looking or hoping for. I kind of felt stuck in a life sentence to be honest.  But as my husband graciously reminded me. Our kids are our first priority.

This morning my time with Jesus included the Greater Devotional. The segment today was titled Obedience and Opportunity, and the verse of the day was this:

"Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much." Luke 16:10

 Here are the excerpts that spoke to me and my circumstances the most:

"Many people want God to first give them great opportunities so they can display great obedience. But often until then they won't be obedient with what they've already been given."

This question was asked; "Are you less faithful in your present responsibilities than you could be? That hit me hard. You see I have succumbed to my discouragement. I have just been getting through with the bare minimum. Rather than using what I had to give with what I have already been given and then offering a "and them some" mentality. I had "stopped at adequate rather than going all the way to exceptional."

"God won't give you more to do for Him until you do what He's already given you to do. So stop praying for a life of impact and do something as impactful as you can. Stop praying for a bigger platform and use the one you've been given. Stop praying for a better assignment and pour more passion into the one you have."

"Obedience creates opportunity not the other way around."

"Do something right now with what you have and watch the miraculous power of God multiply what you have. Be obedient with what God has given you, and He will give you more to be obedient with."

I read those words and I had my assurance. My path was clear. I knew what I am to do next. So I recommit today, to be faithful from now on, with whatever task He puts before me.  I am ready to see His miraculous power multiply. God is so faithful....even when we are faithless.

Here is to a renewed passion as I walk in obedience with the assignment he has given me, and with an expectant heart to what He will continue to put in my path to be obedient with.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Painting a Picture

Hi Dear Ones:

I am still around. Missing my writing so much. Transition is a major challenge on so many levels for all of us. I am hurting right now. We just met with a in home therapist for my sweet chocolattes. She did some evaluations and tests on them that we will have to submit and then pray medicaid will approve to cover the costs of whatever they need.

Sometimes I absolutely hate this process. I refuse to read books on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome anymore because the picture that is painted NEVER has hope. It felt like that today. The therapist was nice enough. But this is her job. She see's what we deal with on a daily basis and she see's what the books write about. NO HOPE! Where the only available options for you are public schools that don't operate on faith.

It just puts a mama in a really tough emotional spot. Stuck between reality and divinity. What I see with my eyes and walking by faith and not by sight. What do I accept and move on about when it comes to my girls? And what do I believe and hope for?

I hate the picture that is painted about F. A. S.

My girls did not deserve this. And all their struggles connect like a string to my heart and I ache with how do I do what is best? How do I protect? How do I meet their needs? How will they make good decisions and feel good about themselves as they grow and develop. What of all that we pour into to them will stick?

How do I separate myself and them from what doctors, specialist, books, and therapist say about F. A. S.?

I renamed F.A.S Fulfilling Almighty's Story, but what does that look like? I want it to be a beautiful picture. I want what was meant for evil in their lives to be 100% turned around for good. How the enemy came at my babies in the womb does not win! He does NOT have the last word. A diagnosis is NOT a destiny! My girls WILL have a future and a hope!!!!

I refuse to accept the picture of the enemy's paintbrush. I choose to be B.R.A.V.E (Breath, Remember, Ask, Visualize, and Elevate)

God created my sweet chocolates. They are HIS workmanship. He holds the paintbrush! The canvas of Jubilee Hope and Mercy Jewel will not be stroked by a medical judgement but by their creator.

We are the clay, you are the potter, we are all the work of your hand. (Isaiah 64:8)






Deliverer not Diagnosis decides!!

Photo credit Noah Samuel Selent

Friday, June 27, 2014

Eat Your Fears Away

Hi Dear Ones:

This post is really a play on words. It's not as literal as the tittle sounds and I am certainly not promoting eating for comfort, gosh knows I've made to much of that mistake lately.

I am going to share some insights I have found in Pastor Steven  Furticks book "Crash The Chatterbox" The insights are not mine but the relating to it certainly is.

I have been asking the Lord to give me a verse or verses to arm me for battle during this time in my life. As excited as I was and am about our move to Charlotte, I have discovered that I really don't handle change well. Even welcome and desired change.  My personality shrinks at new and first time experiences. It is so uncomfortable for me to start from scratch. Relationships don't come easy to me. They take time to develop. I have been in a major relationship drought too for far to long. I am so ready to do some life with people. To share good and bad and hold each other up.  But I know this is going to be a process that will take time so most activities and outings are still uncomfortable .

Then there are other areas and relationships in my life that are changing just because of where they are in life. Little boys are becoming men and that has spun me through a loop. The fear of losing something that has been so utterly precious and dear to you, so much that it is irreplaceably valuable to you, is monstrously daunting.

On some levels I felt ambushed,  because I wasn't expecting some of these changes, at least not right now with everything else new that is going on. And when you don't really know what to do with yourself or these intense emotions you retreat. You want to just crawl into a cave and not face it all. It feels too BIG for you. It feels like you can't make it.  The noise of what is so hard is deafening.

So I cried out to Jesus and if you know me, you know there were MANY MANY tears.

So many times God speaks to me as I am reading. It really is my favorite way that I hear from him. So I picked up my book, Crash The Chatterbox, and once again heaven opened up and poured out just what I needed for my fearful heart.

Let me share with you some of what pricked me as I read recently.

"Fear often finds power, not in our actual situation, but in what we tell ourselves about our situation." I don't know about you but I can sure wind myself into a tizzy.

Pastor Furtick wrote about Elijah the prophet and how after an amazing victory he fled in fear. You can read the whole story in 1 Kings chapter 19 but this is the verse that really spoke to me:

"The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said , Get up and eat for the journey is too much for you."

Pastor Furtick went on to explain how God did not give Elijah what he asked but he did find him in his fears  and spoke to him not with threats but with reminders of his care.

What did I love about this verse? First of all I loved how the angel came back a second time. This reminds me of Gods faithfulness. How he pursues me even when I am running away. I also loved how Elijah was given what he needed for the journey.  I had been in a spot of just not knowing what to do and terrified that I would do the wrong things. I felt this was my verse. This is what I am to do. I am to feed my faith. God has provided an amazing church, his word, people, books and on and on as my buffet.

So as the spirit was nurturing my ailing heart I read on. Did you know that even after this verse Elijah kept going in the wrong direction. He went 400 more miles away into a cave. Then comes this verse:

"The Lord said Go out and stand on the mountain, in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by." 1 Kings 19:11

Then a great wind came followed by an earthquake, and then some fire. And as the word says "after the fire came a gentle whisper."

Maybe you are like me and you can feel so bombarded by fear, that the noise of it is just so loud that "the enemy's threats deafen your spirit to God's reassurance."

Let me share another quote from the book "God calls us out of caves because, in our caves, voices of fear and doubt and dread monopolize our minds." I could have had a giant flashing red arrow placed directly above my head when I read that. #nailedit

So why did God call Elijah out on the mountain? Because "on the mountain the signal is stronger than the noise." and he whispers because he is close. How beautiful is that? I mean I am sure I am not the only one who has ever been frustrated by the noise and the whisper. You want God to yell louder than the noise but isn't that better? Isn't it better to be close? I love that.

So I wiped my tears and I blew my nose and I sat there resting in the peace that comes with His closeness. The signal was clear. And my spiritual belly was full.

Thank you Jesus for coming back to me no matter how many times it takes and thank you for providing me with just what I need to feed my faith and thank you for calling me out of the cave I hide in so your signal is loud and clear.

From now on when fears come, and I know they will,  I plan on eating all I can at my mountaintop restaurant listening to close whispers until I have exactly what I need to go on for the journey,
otherwise I know it will be as the word says too much for me.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Sabotaged by Weeds

Hi Dear Ones:

So we have been in Charlotte for 2 weeks now.  I've been on a roller coaster of emotions that I did not even expect. One minute I have been thrilled and the next crying my eyes out. I can wake up excited and by noon I can be feeling really blue and ready for anything again by 4:00 in the afternoon.

Then I can feel old battles creeping in on me again. One in particular is my feeling insignificant in this world. Almost obsessed with do I matter? Then I am just flat out angry with myself because, didn't I already conquer this demon? Haven't I put this lie to rest? I started this year tired of insulting Gods creation and I find myself slipping back into that pit. My mind bombarded with everything that is a mess inside or outside of me.

"I'm not a nice person. I'm impatient. I'm too emotional. I have no gifts or talents. I am fat and old and ugly. I am good for nothing but taking up space. Who wants to be your friend." These messages pelting me like a never ending hail storm and leaving incredible damage.

I keep feeling like why is this back? Why now? I waited for over a year for this move and now its here and I am this crazy emotional yo yo.

My faithful God always seems to meet me right where I am at, this mess that I am. I had been asking God for a verse. A sword I could swing at the enemy. Something to keep my focus on Him and on truth.

I listened to one of Pastor Steven Furtick's sermons tonight "Death by Distraction" that I had missed and near the end it completely absorbed me.

He started talking about sabotage. He started saying how God has put a seed in us. Something He has created for us to do. A destiny. What I so deeply crave. To have a purpose and to do something that matters. REALLY MATTERS! He brought up Mathew 13:25 which says:

"But while everyone was sleeping his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away."

Pastor said the enemy will plant something next to God's seed to keep you from recognizing what God has put inside of you. And then he leaves and you focus on those weeds and you water those weeds and before you know it you are sabotaged.

This was a wake up call. I need to tend my field. I need to dry up the water source to these nasty weeds. I want my mind, my joy and my peace back.

Lord Jesus, as you sow your good seed into my life. I ask that I would be focused on you and your truth. Help me keep distractions at bay.  Let the seed not be snatched away from me. Let it not be scorched but let it take deep root in my heart and spirit. Let it not be choked but let it sprout and bear fruit. I rebuke worry from my life, untrue interpretations of what may or may not ever even happen. Let me rest in your truth of what you say about me and the reality of what you put before me each day of my life.

Fulfill my destiny in me.
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