Friday, November 6, 2015

Feelin' the Burn... More!

A couple weeks ago, I was thinking how I don't want my passion for the Lord to wane when things are going smoothly... HA! Don't ever think that! Because watch out! God will let things be shaken up a little!!! It is a week now since my dear hubby, Luke, became unemployed. There's not hardly a moment that goes by that I'm not talking to God at this point. Mostly every time the pang of worry wants to play with my mind & emotions... I keep giving it back to Him! Anyway, I came across this post from 2 years ago today & thought it was worth sharing again, because it spoke to me... funny how that happens! And I hope you might get something out of it too! The circumstances are different, but the dependence on God has to remain the same...

Does life have you feeling a little deflated? Be encouraged… you are not alone! I find it so hard to keep perspective sometimes! Being in the “in between” place my hubby & I are in right now, I know we need to keep moving forward & pursuing the next thing in the journey, but then when something, “takes the wind out of your sails,”… it is so HARD!!! I know God knows my heart & He knows I don’t want anything but what He wants for me! I have always had a hard time just rolling with the punches… oh man, is He teaching me a lot in this area!!! I don’t like it, but at the same time I am so thankful He pushes me to be stretched!

You know how when you exercise, which I do every once in awhile, as your muscles work & become contracted… I usually hate every minute of it, but then… when you are done you can stretch. It is a burn that hurts but feels so good all at the same time! That is exactly how I feel with what is going on with me right now. The closer I move towards God… the more I seek Him… asking Him to use my life to glorify Him… the more of a workout I get! It is those little spurts of ~ learning, learning, learning… growing, growing, growing… stretching, stretching, stretching. There are so many times I just want to throw my hands in the air and say, “Enough already! I give!” And then God speaks to my heart & reminds me He created me to be a champion for His glory. It might be in a verse I read, a devotional I come across, the beauty of His creation in nature, or sometimes it is just a text of encouragement from a dear friend.

While we were waiting for our house to sell… I had those moments when things seemed extremely tough. In my flesh I knew I could just stay put where we were at… beautiful house, great friends, all we ever need… but those thoughts never lasted long because I knew what God has called me to. I also knew that if I said “no,” it would be okay because He loves me unconditionally. But I knew too what I could be missing out on… things greater than I could imagine!

“When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then You knew my path. In the way in which I walk they have secretly set a snare for me.” ~ Psalms 142:3

Read the Book of Esther… what a story! That is one of my favorites in the Bible. I love how God took a plain, orphaned, Jewish girl & used her to save the nation of Israel! Her uncle Mordecai told her she could keep silent & someone else would step in & do what she was asked to do. But he also asked her, if she might have been brought into the position of queen for such a time as this.

“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” 
~ Esther 4:14

So let me ask you a question, one that I have to keep asking myself… What has God put before you? Has He been preparing you for such a time as this? I know for myself when I seem to lose perspective, I have to go back to the beginning of this journey & remind myself of what my motivation is. And the truth is… it really isn’t about me anyways!

Are you feeling stretched? Does it feel like sometimes you just might snap, like a rubber band?

"God's way is perfect! The promise of the Lord has proven to be true. He is a shield to all those who take refuge in Him. Who is God but the Lord? Who is a rock other than our God? God arms me with strength. His perfect way sets me free. He makes my feet like those of a deer & gives me sure footing on high places. He trains my hands for battle so that my arms can bend an archer's bow of bronze. You have given me the shield of Your salvation. Your help makes me great. You make a wide path for me to walk on so that my feet don't slip" ~2 Samuel 22:31-37

You are created to be a champion to bring Him glory too! What will your next move be?

Rejoicing in Truth!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Leave it...

Fall… the time for things to change & the dead to fall away! I’m ready for that today! Let death-giving anxiety fall away… let joy-killing hurt crumble to the depths of the ocean… let hopeless fear & worry vacate my thoughts & heart!

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. ~ Hebrews 11:1

When leaves’ colors start to change they are so beautiful… they have just enough green on them, so you know there is still some life. But as they change completely, dry-up & drop to the ground… life is gone! They crumble into dust! Even nature knows that the dead things need to fall away before new things can live! Yes, there will always be that pause of “winter”, but the freezing cold makes sure that what is no longer of use will be gone forever.

“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven:” ~ Ecclesiastes 3:1

So how about it… are you ready to let the dead things go??? Leaves are called leaves for a reason… they must leave before new can come! Leave it...

“…A time to keep, and a time to throw away;” ~ Ecclesiastes 3:6

Letting go… it reminds me of what my dear husband always says, when I’m whining about the weekend being over, “Monday has to come before you can get to the next weekend.” Words of wisdom from my “the glass is full & overflowing” man!

Lord, have Your way! I am ready to let the dead things in my life go! Break off what is not of You! In Jesus’ name.

Rejoicing in Truth!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Cracking the Safe...

Most of my adult life I have always lived my life in a safe way. Anyone that knows me well, knows that I think out my next move before I do it. I have to plan to be spontaneous! Ha! As a child, my mom would probably say I was a little sneaky & found interesting ways to get into trouble at times. But even then I thought those moves out, just maybe not using a lot of common sense. I did things that were not always safe for me, but I always had this underlying feeling of being secure in my family… no matter the punishment afterwards!!!

I was reading John 10:7-30… it led me to think about stuff I am dealing with right now. So here’s the question that came up… Am I being too safe?
Over the last 3 years we have changed our life drastically… we allowed God to do a work in us that is definitely out of the “box”, so to speak. But you know how it goes, you start to get settled & comfortable… maybe even a little spiritually lazy… you start to play it safe! Living “safe” does not bring God glory!
“The thief comes to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that you may have life, and that you may have it more abundantly.” ~ John 10:10
Do you see the difference between being safe & being secure? As followers of Christ we cannot afford to live our lives in a safe way! We just can’t! There are too many people out there that do not know the love of Christ! There are too many souls that need God’s healing touch! And there are many Believers that also could use some encouragement! We have no right to be safe when we are secure in Christ!
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?” ~ Romans 8:35
What’s God asking of you… of me… right now? Has Holy Spirit been prodding your heart about a new godventure (that is what I call this wild ride God takes me on)? If you know you are secure, which you are if you have put your faith in Christ… why are you living a safe life? Is God asking you to step out of your comfort zone? Be brave! Live in the courage that you have through security in Christ the Lord!
“… in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” ~ Romans 8:37-39
Rejoicing in Truth! 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Fairness or Forgiveness...

We have had such a great summer with the B&B… so many unbelievably kind people that we have had the privilege of having stay with us! Many of the guests we have had stay with us left the rooms so neat that it didn’t look like they even slept in the bed. It has been unbelievable of how God has blessed the Inn & us... from the beginning our prayer has always been, “Lord, bring the people You want through our door.”

Labor Day Weekend we had a couple last-minute guests through Airbnb so we ended up with a full house! That was great! I was a little hesitant about taking one of the last minute people, but after Luke reassured me, we “ok’d” the reservation. Anyway, we had the worse experience we have had with a guest so far. It was an awkwardly strained experience from the moment they came through the door. I will not go into any of the details, except to say, we have never had anyone be so disrespectful of our home or other guests!  It was so upsetting for me to think of someone treating our home with such disregard!

Fast forward to Wednesday… we received a review that this person wrote on our B&B… it was so disrespectful to our home & to other guests that were staying at the same time as him! It just upset me all over again! He did say the food was “superb”, but everything else was not good. It took me awhile to be able to stop talking about. So when we got home & I went into that room where they had stayed, I felt so violated all over again! This bad experience had completely thrown me off balance… distracting me from God’s vision for our home. I knew I had every right to feel the way I did, but it really was not going to do me any good or my husband (putting up with my crabbiness) any good either. So during my quiet time God showed me how I could let it go... here is that "secret"... FORGIVE!

Oh, forgive! It really never occurred to me that I needed to forgive how this person treated us & our home. It is one of those things that this person came into my life for a moment & then left, no ongoing relationship, so I wasn’t even seeing it as a forgiveness-needed situation. Here’s the picture God gave me… it is like little nicks in my heart & after I keep letting those little nicks build up it turns into a gouge out of my heart. 

I know that forgiving people that I have relationships with is so important, but I never gave any thought to forgiving strangers that hurt me. There are people that come across my path that may treat me poorly, like aggressive, rude drivers, strangers that I will never see again, but if I allow their actions to affect me, then I do carry them with me as a “nick” in my heart.

There are things that happen in life that are not fair, but forgiveness is not about fairness! Forgiveness is about releasing that person to let God handle it. Forgiveness is about not letting others’ actions change your actions for the worse. Forgiveness is about letting that “nick” in your heart be healed by the refreshing love of Christ… forgive others as the Lord has forgiven you for Christ’s sake. (Ephesians 4:32) Forgiveness is freedom from a wounded spirit!

What are you going through today? Will forgiveness go a long way in healing the nick in your heart?

Rejoicing in Truth!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Intentional KINDNESS

Just a few thoughts from my heart to yours!

I have been thinking about KINDNESS… especially when you see so much cruelty in the world. I’ve been going through some tough things lately, physically, emotionally, even spiritually. I know it is only God’s grace & mercy that has brought me through, but something else too… a KIND husband!

What a gift his KINDNESS has been to me! My crying & complaining… not to mention my moodiness & down right ugliness at times… and what has he given me in return??? KINDNESS! There is nothing like a little KINDNESS to encourage a person’s heart! And you know you don’t have to understand exactly what someone is going through to just be KIND!

You hear all the time about doing, “random acts of kindness”… what if KINDNESS wasn’t just random… what if it was an intentional act?And what if we started doing acts of KINDNESS daily in our own homes with our own family??? What would that look like? How would that change the dynamics in the home?

“Love is patient. Love is KIND. Love isn’t jealous. It doesn’t sing its own praises. It isn’t arrogant. It isn’t rude. It doesn’t think about itself. It isn’t irritable. It doesn’t keep track of wrongs. It isn’t happy when injustice is done, but it is happy with the truth. Love never stops being patient, never stops believing, never stops hoping, never gives up!” ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

I think KINDNESS is one of those things that is so overlooked! It is not about a “political” statement… it is about a condition of the heart! To be KIND doesn’t have to infringe on your rights! To be KIND doesn’t have to cost you anything, but your pride & selfishness!To be KIND doesn’t go against your religious beliefs!To be KIND takes way less effort that it does to be cruel! 
I’m not talking about just ignoring the bad things going on around you, I am saying to speak the Truth, but speak it in love! Ephesians 4:15 talks about “speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things unto Him who is the head - Christ.”

And men, you have a great task ahead of you! God has placed you as the head of the home, to love your wife as Christ loved the Church & gave His life for it (Ephesians5:25). That is the ultimate KINDNESS and act of love! KINDNESS is obedience… obedience is expected! Are you doing what is expected from God? I have a great husband, he sets the “bar” pretty high, but he is not perfect… however he is working on himself daily… and how do I know that??? Because he shows me KINDNESS even when I am not so KIND!
How can any of us show KINDNESS when we don’t really feel like it? Through prayer, being in God’s Word, & encouraging words through the KINDNESS of others. See it is a continuous cycle! Try showing a little KINDNESS today, for the love of Christ! 

Rejoicing inTruth!