Sunday, December 25, 2011

Remembering

The day is dawning, I sit in the semi-dark having coffee enjoying quiet and looking at the tree with all the ornaments we've collected over the years and remembering.  Remembering how every year I'm up before everyone else, stuffing stockings, and taking time to enjoy a little respite from all the hustle and bustle of preparing for this day.  I remember our family from days gone by, excited little early birds dressed in special jammies waiting at the top of the stairs so the video camera can be prepared before they descend to see what treasures await!  Packing dozens of gifts in our van and heading to another town to have special breakfast with one family and then breaking neck to get to dinner with another.  Although some family traditions remain, those days of having children here anticipating the day and running around like crazy are gone.  Our family is grown and making traditions of their own and it's hard, hard to let go of what used to be, the way we used to do Christmas. 

This Christmas is the beginning for one daughter's family, the beginning of their own family traditions with a little one!  Traditions that include running hither, thither, making sure everyone gets to visit with the babies and share in the joy that awaits as they open their first Christmas present from the grandparents!  Deciding who will spend time where and what time we'll eat and when are we doing presents with these...and on it goes when your family is young. 

Not so after the kids are grown...it's different...very different.  And, as I'm realizing a little at a time and rather slowly, it's time for intentionally preparing new traditions here as well.  Not sure what those will be, still in the thinking process.  But I'm mentally preparing myself and pushing myself forward...dragging my feet a little, I must admit, but time is moving forward.  I can move along with it and enjoy and change OR I can be dragged behind and struggle and kick and be miserable.  I chose the former!

Remembering Christmas past, Christmas present and Christmas future....looking forward with anticipation to what 2012 will bring for our family!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Stretching

When I type the word, "stretching" it conjures up a certain feeling in my heart...a hurt...because things are tight there.  Like all muscles the heart gets tight when it isn't stretched.  And so it begins continues, the process of stretching, pulling, tearing away the hardness the tightness, causing the heart to feel.



I read this during the past week and recognize what happens this time of year and other times when our regular schedule of events is "interrupted" by a holiday gathering or some other such event that is unusual in our day-to-day activies and requires more, more of us!  I read and I contemplate what it means and am reminded of what will inevitably come over the next few days.


I recognize what will come and what will be required but I really just don't want to go there.
It's like physical therapy, painful, tiring, weakening before stregthening...
WHY, why would I want to subject myself to that rigor? 


So the week passes and it happens and I fail miserably to be full of grace.  I am short-tempered, irritated, selfish and unloving in my heart.  Others can see it happening and call me out, but I don't want to see the ugliness of all that is there, just brimming at the edge, ready to spill over on anyone who "bumps" into me!  So I wrestle with the whys and the if-onlys and am reminded (when I ask of my Father) that the WHY is for me!  He desires to show me my need of Him, my utter dependence on Spirit dwelling in me to enable this grace walk I so desire.  And slowly the understanding of truth resurfaces and the ugliness pours out in prayer before the Throne of Grace where I beg for Him, knowing full well I cannot survive another minute with this poison spilling out.  And He comes and gives freely what I so desperately need..a heart full of praise to Him, thankfulness for Him and a knowledge that He knows what is best for me, what will stretch me, what will cause me to see HIM and know that nothing can compare with knowing HIM!!

He sacrificed ALL!

I am called to do the same, sacrifice ALL!!



Saturday, December 3, 2011

New Tradition





This morning as I caught up with my Advent readings, I was overwhelmed as I read aloud the passages of scripture dealing with the promises of God to send Messiah!!  What a wonderful exciting tradition to heighten the coming of the celebration of Jesus birth!!  As I wasn't raised with an understanding of what it all meant, Advent, that is, I've come to appreciate it and even revel in the excitement of the daily Advent readings and the lighting of the candles at church on Sunday mornings!  I'm not going to go into a big litany of what Advent means but you can read about it at the bottom of the page if you so desire!

Today's reading was Psalm 2 and begins~


 "Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? 
The kings of the earth set themselves,
 and the rulers take counsel together,
 against the LORD and against his Anointed,
 saying, "Let us burst their bonds apart
and cast away their cords from us."

He who sits in the heavens laughs;
 the Lord holds them in derision.
  Then he will speak to them in his wrath,
 and terrify them in his fury, saying,
As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill."


As I read this chapter, I was just astounded at the TRUTH it foretells!  Joy, peace and comfort flooded my heart as I was reminded of who REALLY is in charge!  For me, reading scripture aloud is a somewhat new adventure and I am enthralled with the experience itself.  As I sat in my "front room" (that's the best room in the house besides the kitchen) and read this chapter aloud it was such a wonderful worship experience as I acknowledged through speaking scripture-God's words to me-who the true ruler of the universe is!  A King of Kings who will indeed rule the earth one day in splendor and majesty never before seen!

If you are not familiar with Advent I encourage you to check out the link below.  Immerse yourself this Christmas season not only in the day we celebrate Jesus birth, but in the prophecy from the Old Testament, the promises of an ever faithful God who keeps His promises.  Some of the promises have already been fulfilled, like the coming of Messiah and some, we are still awaiting! 

This is an exciting, fun-filled time of year.  I'm so thankful for the exposure to some new traditions and the joy they have already brought to my sometimes anxious, stressed-out, striving, cold heart!! 

And, if you're never read scriptures aloud, you MUST try it!  Faith comes by hearing...and when you hear your own voice speaking the truth of God's word, it has a definite affect on you...just like everything we speak to ourselves, but that's a whole nother post!!

Blessings,
Lisa


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Scarlett Syndrome


I don't want to think about that today, I'll think about that tomorrow.  After all, tomorrow is another day!                          ~Scarlett O'Hara

Ok, today is a NEW day...that was my FIRST thought as I awakened this morning and made a list in my mind of all I have NOT accomplished in the past few weeks/months/years.  I grab my glasses and head to the kitchen to get coffee so I can function and get a list going of all that needs to be accomplished.  I sit in the "front room" (my favorite room for thinking/reading/praying) and contemplate where to begin.  Distractions are ever present in my life.  Why can't I keep myself "on task"?  Sometimes I do rather well, then I get "distracted" by something more enjoyable or creative (not so mundane as dishes, laundry, or getting the Thanksgiving gravy stains out of my white linen tablecloth) Or someone else's urgent cry for help which requires me to change my plans, right now, to accomodate their need!



I think I may have a stronghold, strike that, I KNOW there is a stronghold on my heart of procrastination and down right slothfulness (that's a harsh Biblical word for ya, what we like to dumb down and call laziness).  I also know that there is something deeper that causes me to not want to go forward.  How do I get to the root?  And when I finally find the root, how do I dig it out?  And do I really want to dig it out and get rid of it...do I want victory over this ever present nagging feeling that I'm not getting it done?  Do I always want to be making baby E's turkey shirt on Thanksgiving Eve, or wrapping or worse yet purchasing my final Christmas gift the day before?

The answer to all of those questions is a resounding "NO"!  I desire to be organized, to plan ahead and not be in bondage!  But where to start?  I could read a book or better yet a blog (I LOVE reading blogs and getting ideas).  BUT that's where it ends, I go a little bit, I read and plan and think about it, and maybe even begin...but how to finish?  

Some of you may say "Lisa, you're being too hard on yourself.  I've seen you do things and make things, and when I come to your house, it's mostly neat and clean, and you usually have some yummy chocolate something you've baked".  And that's true to a certain extent.  But, I think my daughter's would agree that I have a problem in this area.  They've been here Christmas after Christmas as I struggle to get it all done before December 25!  It always gets done, eventually, but I want to enjoy the season (and my life), not strive and hurry and miss all the fun things because I'm behind! 

So, from today until December 25 I'm going to check in here EVERY DAY and give a little synopsis of how I'm doing with the ever growing list of things that need to be done!

1 Corinthians 10:31 Paul admonishes
 "So, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God"


Part of my struggle I think comes from RUNNING away from a performance based philosophy that was emphasized for years from numerous people in my life.  I believed the lie that God (and some people) would accept/love me if I "performed" the way they wanted me to. I believed that my husband would love me if I did things HIS way or that my church family would KNOW I was "spiritual" IF so-and-so was present or absent in my life.  After years of living around people who expected me to perform in certain ways in order for them to give me their love/acceptance/approval, I've stopped!  God has revealed His grace to me in such a profound way.  I know that He accepts me, loves me and has made me JUST THE WAY I AM for a His particular purpose. 

 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. 
Wonderful are your works  (that means me and you) my soul knows it very well.
Psalm 139:14


BUT, in stopping I've become, or given in to laziness because I know I don't have to perform to be accepted, so, sometimes, I don't!!  That's the bottom line, I just sit down and do nothing!!  Obviously this is not a balanced approach!  So I will take baby steps and allow my family to help keep me accountable in this area.  That's a whole nother post, allowing people to keep you accountable!

I'm asking for help, and I won't be offended if you remind me, well, maybe at first, but then I'll realize it's for my own good and you love me, that's why you're reminding me!  So with the help of my friends and family maybe I can stop living life stuck in the Scarlett Syndrome and adopt a better phylosophy, one that allows me to enjoy my life here on earth and live every minute with intentionality and grace given by my loving Father.



Monday, October 10, 2011

His Way

Every once in a while we are allowed to be a part of something BIG, something powerful and today was a day like that for me!  God seems to do some of the strangest things sometimes...we just don't get it when the we read Isaiah 55:8  "...neither are your ways my ways declares the LORD". 

We think we know what God is up to, but we don't really have a clue. 

He is so BIG and His plans are so "out there", especially when we witness sin
and try to make sense of how it all fits into His plan to
redeem people and their circumstances to bring Glory to Himself!!

We try to make sense out of things that just don't make sense to our finite
way of thinking.  We wonder WHY? or WHY NOT? 

Why do we bother trying to figure things out?
Why don't we just trust and rest in the TRUTH?

Which Truth?  The truth that God has a plan, a plan to accomplish His purpose and
it really has little to do with our comfort or our happiness.
(Wonder how comfortable Paul was in prison?)

Sometimes God choses to allow us a glimpse into what He might be doing!
Sometimes He even calls us to participate with him in his workings.

But in reality, it's ALL about HIM!! 

We are mostly spectators, watching a show of His greatness
His Majesty, His Faithfulness, His Love,
His Mercy, His Glory put on display for all to see!!

Sometimes we miss it, the display of His glory!

Sometimes we're so disappointed that our lives
or the lives of others aren't going the way we think they should go,
that we miss out on seeing from God's perspective.
The way HE thinks it should go!!

Every single thing that comes into our lives is orchestrated by our great God
to accomplish His purpose, in us and in those around us.

Nebuchadnessar confessed this truth in Daniel 4

all the inhabitants of the earth are
accounted as nothing,
and he does according to his will
among the host of heaven
and among the inhabitants of the earth,
and none can stay his hand
or say to him, "What have you done?

When will we say that about our circumstances or the circumstances of our family and friends?
The circumstances that cause pain,
that seem unfair or just aren't part of the plan
 we had for ourselves or others?


Tonight, I stand in awe at the goodness, mercy, and grace of the God
I serve...the one who called me to be his daughter.

My hope and prayer is that I will always look
through a lense that is overshadowed by
a sense of God's sovereignty over all my circumstances
and trust His great love for me knowing that

ALL THINGS are working together for my good
(Romans 8:28)


His way is perfect!




Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Following My Shepherd

A new life emerging, and I want to update EVERYTHING about who I am and what I do.  I am a terrible creature of habit, I get stuck in ruts all too often.  I go to the same places and do the same things day in and day out.  The reason for this "lifestyle" is explained in my very first blog post on FEAR.   


When we live our lives this way, we get STUCK.  But how do we get UNSTUCK?  Well, for me it often takes the hand of my loving provider, savior, Jesus friend to tenderly pull me out of my comfortable place...yes, I said it...comfortable place. 

Therefore, I have given a notice at my job of 8 years and will be embarking on a new kind of job, that is completely different than what I'm currently doing.  The type of work, the environment, the hours, EVERYTHING will change...and guess what, I'm super excited about the possibilities!!  Is there some fear associated with change, of course!  But, because I know that God has orchestrated this change and has moved in my behalf to accomplish this change, I am not fearful

 I AM THRILLED!! 

There is something so sweet in releasing the hope of what we want or think we need to the One who knows and plans our every waking moment...a peace like nothing else. 

I am so thankful and blessed in thinking about what God has worked in my heart
He continues to reveal who He is to me and I just can't get enough of Him!! 
 It's ALL about Jesus and His plan to redeem fallenness!! 

Philippians 1:6 speaks...
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you
will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ


Hopefully updating the look of this little spot very soon as well
that is, if I can get a little help from my
extremely creative daughters!!







Monday, August 15, 2011

In God's Heart

In my roaming around on the computer this morning I found this blog.  I don't usually read the DaySpring things I get in my e-mail in-box but for some reason I was prompted to open and read today's e-mail.  It was just the reminder I needed.

No matter what is going on around me I know that God sees me differently than I even see myself.  Too often I listen to voices, some belong to others but most come from inside myself...they may have originated from other people, some from long ago and some more recent but usually from within they scream.  I've been told at times I am my own worst critic and I know that to be so...I think most of us are that way, in our real selves.  But this morning as I read and looked and absorbed the truth of who I am in Christ, because of Christ, I was encouraged because no matter what anyone else thinks of me, God has is own opinions based on who He created me to be, before the fall...and He is in the process of redeeming every single fallen area and bringing it into subjection to Him.  What a thought!!  EVERY FALLEN AREA...being redeemed, renewed, changed.  Maybe for me a little more slowly but every day, a little more...Him working in me to conform my falleness into His image.  Wow, and this can only be accomplished by Him...I just agree with Him and move one step closer to being what He intended before the enemy's assault on my soul/my life/my very self!! 

The link above asks for one word to describe who you are in God's heart!


  "In God's Heart I Am...



ACCEPTED

That's the word I would choose!

There are so many that are important, Forgiven, Loved, Precious, Worthy, Adopted,

but for ME....ACCEPTED is the word that defines and catagorizes my most precious thoughts right now
in this particular season of my life!!

Ephesians 1 has become a precious passage to me as I read the truth contained there of who I am in Christ!! 

Amazing Grace that saved a wretch like me...

Amazing, that's for sure!






Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Healing a little more

Healing is a slow process...takes time.  The deeper the wound the more time it takes to get all the poison out.  Sometimes wounds have to be debrieded.  The doctor unbandages the wound exposing the infected area, cleans out all the infection and then puts in medicine, rebandages and hopes it will heal, a little more.  Sometimes the individual must go through pain as this process is occuring, and the patient most often in the case of a severe wound, will have to irrigate the wound daily, washing away infection and then apply more medicine to promote healing, rebandaging and then going to yet another appointment where the doctor examines the progress and gives more directions.

So it is with the great physician and our heart wounds.  They must be opened up, irrigated, scraped clean of the poison of lies or half-truths, then healing truth can be applied and the hurt is bandaged up again until the next appointed time our Father calls us to allow him to do His work.  This is such a seemingly unpleasant task but oh so necessary in order for us to be all He intends for us to be, to be a vessel clean and empty and whole for His use.

As I read Psalm 103 I was reminded in verse 3 "who heals all your diseases"...He desires to do so...will we let him do his "doctoring" on our wounded hearts??  So often I don't want to "go there" so to speak.  The truth of what lies hidden underneath the surface of what is seen is often painful to deal with and ugly and makes me just wanna keep it all covered up and not allow anyone to look there, not even God (like we can hide what's there from Him)!  And then to allow the Spirit to guide my mind into those hidden places and prod and scrape and uncover more and on and on it goes, this process orchestrated by the Great Physician. Without this process, my wounds will never be healed.  Prayerfully I keep in mind this truth...it is necessary business and I must make my appointment with the Great Physician and trust He works all things for my good!!

So blessed in reading Psalm 103 and memorizing those words so when it is time my mind will drift to the truth of how it is to be that I will be wholly free and complete in Him!

and Grace flows down...

Monday, July 11, 2011

He Speaks...

What grace is mine that He who dwells in endless light
Called through the night to find my distant soul
And from His scars poured mercy that would plead for me
That I might live and in His Name be known

So I will go wherever He is calling me
I'll lose my life to find my life in Him
I give my all to gain the hope that never dies
I bow my heart take up my cross and follow Him


What grace is mine to know His breath alive in me
Beneath His wings my wakened soul may soar
All fear can flee for death's dark night is overcome
My savior lives and reigns forevermore

So I will go wheerever He is calling me
I'll lose my life to find my life in Him
I give my all to gain the hope that never dies
I bow my heart take up my cross and follow Him

I bow my heart, take up my cross and follow Him

With tears streaming I worshipped My Savior, turning up the volume so I could hear it louder~this song randomly (not a chance) playing for my heart to savor the Truth it held.  Music continues to be such a vital part of healing for my heart/soul.  I will NEVER forget the very first CD I purchased when God grabbed my heart and began to squeeze and tug and crush...I had no idea what to buy, I just knew that music was a powerful tool to change the pattern of my thoughts.  I popped that CD into the player on the van I was then driving and began to revel in the truth that poured from those speakers right into the depths of my broken heart!  My Father knew exactly what I needed to hear from Him and He spoke it right then and there and began a long process of tranforming my thoughts and heart to know the Truth of Who He IS and how He loves, even me. 

This song, sun by Kristen Getty this morning spoke the very truth I needed to hear...follow me, bow your heart, go anywhere, do not fear...on and on and on the truth rings.  Do you hear it?  Does the Truth of who Jesus Christ is fall on your broken heart?  Sometimes we must be intentional about what is on our radio station or in our CD player...God doesn't always just "cause you to hear" whatever, you name it...maybe based on your own knowledge and information, I don't know...He's in charge of that.  But for ME, a little girl who grew up in church knowing music and loving to sing, I knew and God prompted and I went to the Christian book store with the intent of purchasing something that would lead me to another place, a place I had no idea how to find, a place of comfort and truth and refuge from the life I was living that brought me nothing but disappointment and pain.  And by God's grace and for His glory and because He loved me for His name's sake...HE CAME THROUGH FOR ME!!  Like He always does.  I am so grateful and thankful that His love is not like mine, that He loves with an EVERLASTING, NEVER CHANGING Love that I cannot even fathom...and He lavishes it on me, the least of the least, as Paul says, the chief of sinners...no wonder we sing AMAZING GRACE...it is just that Unfathomable!!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Little Deeper

And it continues, the journey, the calling to something more, something deeper...and I cringe at the thought of more TRUTH revealed...truth about things I am and have been and regret and detest and I read:

"Long, I am woman who speaks but one language,
the language of the fall--discontentment and self-condemnation,
 the critical eye and the never satisfied" 
      ~Ann Voskamp


and the truth of those words hangs in my mind, my heart, searing who I want to be and revealing who I really am.  And I think on it and resist naming it because when you give it a name, it becomes real and then it must be dealt with.  No longer acceptable to sweep it under the rug or turn a blind eye, because you are no longer blind to the truth. Until it is confronted there will be no peace..it will hang there, waiting, taunting, begging for attention, action of some sort.

TRUTH WOUNDS

sears into the heart, reveals things long hidden, pushed down hopefully to be pushed out but it's always there...waiting

TRUTH HEALS

That's what I have asked for, healing.  That's the road I want to take, the trudging through the mud and muck to get to the cool green grass that's waiting on the other side of hurt, the trudging through thoughts of regret, things undone and realizing that attitudes are caught..hard laborious marching on to the next revelation of truth knowing that truth brings with it hope...hope of change, hope of what can only be accomplished when we are honest~

honest about who we really are
 and what we see when we are confronted with the TRUTH.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Love Is...

Anyone remember these from the newspapers years ago?



I remember one such that I clipped,  "Love is...never having to say you're sorry".  I probably still have that yellowed, tattered piece of newspaper in a box somewhere in the attic!!

When we think about "LOVE" we often think that we should express our love to another with deeds of kindness or gifts, even gifts of time.  I actually have a little cross I received at a ladies conference as a momento from the keynote speaker that says LOVE DOES and I certainly don't want to discount  that in order for people to know we love them, we have to express it.  But what if we expressed it by what we did not do...

"...love does not envy or boast;
it is not arrogant or rude.
  It does not insist on its own way;
 it is not irritable or resentful,
 it does not rejoice in wrongdoing..."
 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 


ENVY...always being content with our lot in life


RUDE?

 
As I read the words IRRITABLE and RESENTFUL I was struck by the fact that I am often irritated by one thing or another and frequently I am confronted with the fact that I resent having to do this or that and if we're going to be brutally honest here I do like for things to be done my way...control is something else God has been working out of my life over the past few years...I'm a control freak in recovery! ;o) 

One of the AMAZING things about having a relationship with Jesus is that when the Spirit of Truth reveals these things to your heart and you ask Him to help you recognize when you're doing it...HE WILL!  In fact, the morning I read these words and asked to be reminded, He reminded me all right.  About an hour later I found myself in a situation at work becoming increasingly IRRITATED and immediately the thought came..."you're doing it".  WOW!! I was rebuked, and awed by the answer to my prayer, and the subsequent flow of grace that came and enabled me to continue my work with a different attitude. 

I don't know about you, but I want the people I come into contact with to know I love them...whether it's my family, my friends, my co-workers or someone I hardly know at all who God sovereignly appoints to come across my path on any given day!



"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another,
 just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 
 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" 
John 13:34-35



"Pursue love..."
1 Corinthians 14...the very first words!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Beginning

Truth be told I've lived in fear for most of my life.  When I was a child it was a fear of the dark, never ever going down the hallway to my bedroom without the hall light on or snakes, hate, hate HATE snakes or some other random thing.  As I got older the fear became a little more sophisticated, more inward, hidden, at least I thought so~I'd call them big girl fears, but fear just the same.  Fear of failing, fear of disappointing someone, fear of rejection, fear of being alone, etc. etc.

Fear is a funny thing, it takes you captive and keeps you from experiencing things you are not completely comfortable with, such as writing a blog and having other people know about it, and possibly read it and them possibly THINK something about it and heaven forbid they (whoever "they" are) tell you what they're thinking about it and if it's negative, well then, you just quit doing it....

Over the past ten years, God has been systematically freeing me from my fears, one at a time it seems (I'm kindof a slow learner...had to do some repeating..isn't he gracious to us slow ones).  I don't think I realized just what a fearing heart I had until it came time to follow Him along a path totally unfamiliar, something new...a new calling...a calling to FREEDOM!! 

And that's where this little blog comes into play!  This is just the next step for me, another step towards total and complete freedom from fear.  As with each new assignment, I have trepidation looming in the recesses of my mind, threatening to keep me from chosing the "publish" button, which will allow "others" to get a peek into my heart, to really get to know the person inside the tall slender dark haired girl with the "very distinctive voice" (that's how some have described me).

I have no idea how this little adventure will turn out.  I'm just following along behind my Shephard day by day as I'm given a new challenge, a new goal and I know His grace will flow down and cover me as I attempt to obey His voice whispering soft and low to this little lamb....fear not, for I will go with you!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...