A blog about the reality of God's presence, love and involvement in everyday occurrences. This is a record of my journey towards discovery. I often share thoughts on femininity, scripture, motherhood, creativity and ministry.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What is this about Abundant Peace?

Psalm 37

1 Do not fret because of evildoers,

Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity.

2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass,

And wither as the green herb.

3 Trust in the LORD, and do good;

Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.

4 Delight yourself also in the LORD,

And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

5 Commit your way to the LORD,

Trust also in Him,

And He shall bring it to pass.

6 He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,

And your justice as the noonday.

7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him;

Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,

Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.

8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath;

Do not fret—it only causes harm.

9 For evildoers shall be cut off;

But those who wait on the LORD,

They shall inherit the earth.

10 For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more;

Indeed, you will look carefully for his place,

But it shall be no more.

11 But the meek shall inherit the earth,

And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

12 The wicked plots against the just,

And gnashes at him with his teeth.

13 The Lord laughs at him,

For He sees that his day is coming.

14 The wicked have drawn the sword

And have bent their bow,

To cast down the poor and needy,

To slay those who are of upright conduct.

15 Their sword shall enter their own heart,

And their bows shall be broken.

16 A little that a righteous man has

Is better than the riches of many wicked.

17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken,

But the LORD upholds the righteous.

18 The LORD knows the days of the upright,

And their inheritance shall be forever.

19 They shall not be ashamed in the evil time,

And in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.

20 But the wicked shall perish;

And the enemies of the LORD,

Like the splendor of the meadows, shall vanish.

Into smoke they shall vanish away.

21 The wicked borrows and does not repay,

But the righteous shows mercy and gives.

22 For those blessed by Him shall inherit the earth,

But those cursed by Him shall be cut off.

23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD,

And He delights in his way.

24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down;

For the LORD upholds him with His hand.

25 I have been young, and now am old;

Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken,

Nor his descendants begging bread.

26 He is ever merciful, and lends;

And his descendants are blessed.

27 Depart from evil, and do good;

And dwell forevermore.

28 For the LORD loves justice,

And does not forsake His saints;

They are preserved forever,

But the descendants of the wicked shall be cut off.

29 The righteous shall inherit the land,

And dwell in it forever.

30 The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom,

And his tongue talks of justice.

31 The law of his God is in his heart;

None of his steps shall slide.

32 The wicked watches the righteous,

And seeks to slay him.

33 The LORD will not leave him in his hand,

Nor condemn him when he is judged.

34 Wait on the LORD,

And keep His way,

And He shall exalt you to inherit the land;

When the wicked are cut off, you shall see it.

35 I have seen the wicked in great power,

And spreading himself like a native green tree.

36 Yet he passed away,a]" style="line-height: 0.5em; ">[a] and behold, he was no more;

Indeed I sought him, but he could not be found.

37 Mark the blameless man, and observe the upright;

For the future of that man is peace.

38 But the transgressors shall be destroyed together;

The future of the wicked shall be cut off.

39 But the salvation of the righteous is from the LORD;

He is their strength in the time of trouble.

40 And the LORD shall help them and deliver them;

He shall deliver them from the wicked,

And save them,

Because they trust in Him


I sat down this morning with my biscuits and a cup of coffee at my dining room table. I opened my Bible to this chapter hoping to gain a few words of wisdom to carry me throughout my day. But instead I found God. I found the Holy Spirit alive inside of me. The words I read penetrated to the core of me. My son walked up to me and said "Mom, are you crying because you are happy. Do you feel Jesus right now?" That made me cry more! I realized that my son recognizes the presence of God. At only 4 years old, he understands the reality of Jesus.


God first highlighted verse 5 where it says "commit your way to the Lord. Trust in Him, And He shall bring it to pass." What is your "it." Mine is diabetes. God will not let me acceptt it. He continues to remind me that I will be healed. Every time I want to accept it, He says "No."


The next verse that changed me today was 11. It says "But the meek shall inherit the earth and delight themselves in an abundance of peace." Do you understand the heaviness of that simple verse? Its speaks a thousand words. I want abundant peace! Who are these meek? How do I become like that? Meek means kind, gentle, submissive, and humble. Abundant peace is available to us!


I love how David says "I have been young, and now I am old. I have not seen the righteous forsaken."


In 24, David says "though the good man fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand." Isn't it cool that God felt it important to let us know that he understands we are going to mess up. He will not let go of us. He helps us get back up! We need Him and he believes in us.


God is so generous. I sit here and look around. I have so much. None of it matters. Yet, because He loves me so, He overwhelms me with gifts. I need none of this. This chapter talks about all types of gifts he gives, some eternal some not: the desires of your heart, righteousness, justice, inheritance, peace, blessed decedents, wisdom, strength and protection.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Possibilities

Today, I am thinking about my new year resolutions. I am thinking about all the possibilities in God.

May each of us feel His presence in our spirits, mind, and body, and rise from our beds of defeat, sickness, depression, turmoil, and lack, for God is no respecter of persons or circumstances.

He is able to deliver to the uttermost those who call upon His name!

I don't want to curl up on the couch every weekend and believe I am soaking in all that life has to offer. I don't want to believe that living in my beautiful home with all of my riches is the LIFE. God is LIFE. Sharing him is LIFE. It's not about my throne of accumulation.

My heart is breaking to snap out of my selfishness into what I truly believe. It is only myself that holds me back. I believe that when God puts passion in your heart for something, you have the ability to see that those desires you have are His. If your heart breaks for orphaned children, there is a reason! If you see the poor and see their misfortune, it's not just your personal kindness that is tugging at you! If you don't feel a thing, I feel sorry for you.

Because God is in you, He releases the burn of love, and it begins to blend with your own thoughts and ideas. Sometimes it takes a while for the big picture to emerge, but it is during that inevitable moment, when all the dots connect, that you realize God has set you up. The Lord has prepared you and plowed the way for you. He has put people and resources in your life to help you, and then everything begins to make sense.

This year each of us have the capability to be incredible. It's not about survival and excess. It's about confidence and expectation. It's about love. It's about the hurting, lost, and dying.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

MOM


David and I drove home from Christmas in KY a few days ago and talked about our visit. It was truly wonderful. Since then, I've been thinking about all the reasons. Most of those reasons can be attributed to Mom.

I am truly blessed to have been born to her. She is calm, loving and wise. Her motives are always pure. She is strong. The world may not know immediately how great she is because she keeps to herself. She doesn't need to prove a thing to anyone. After knowing her for any length of time, anyone would say that she is remarkable. Time will tell you that she is consistent. I can't think of one person she has ever hurt or offended. She avoids trouble and gossip. Even when she is just with us, her daughters, her words remain the same. She is always encouraging and positive. She looks for the best in others. When "the best" cannot be seen, she continues to guard her words. When others hurt me, she teaches me how to turn away. One could dwell on circumstances or be wise and release yourself from the concern. She is one of the only people I know that can be deeply hurt by someone and truly let it roll off her back, never harboring bitterness.

She has been through so much in her life: cancer, years in an abusive relationship. But every time she was strong. I look back and wonder how she always handled herself so well. How did she always keep it together? She knows we needed her as a mother to be strong. I have recently learned the difficulty of carrying the burdens of a parent. There is nothing more painful than that. One thing I have learned is that no matter what difficulty I experience in my life, my children will not have to carry the burden of my despair. I will find a place within myself, as my mother always has, and be at peace because of Jesus Christ.

Her actions or words are never to prove a point. But she speaks from her heart in love and wisdom. She never manipulates. I've never known her to say a thing with a hidden agenda in her heart. She is unbelievably kind. I recently realized that I can honestly tell her any given scenario and ask her advice on what to do. Her recommendations are always solid. She never retaliates. She has this amazing ability to set her mind on the good. Things around her can be falling apart and she sees the good in people and situations.

When she is with my children, she has a way about her that calms them. They want to sit with her and talk to for hours. They see what I do. The part of her that I adore, they see it too! If my world seems to be falling apart, she grounds me. Part of that is being my mother of course. But, there is more to it than that. There is something truly great about her. Even as we drove home from KY, David talked about it. She worked so hard all day cooking and cleaning for us and never complained. She spent every minute she could with her grandchildren, soaking in all the love of the time together. She has accomplished a lot in her life. I am so incredibly blessed to have her in my life. I pray that I can be just like her. She is still teaching me even though I am 30 years old!

Her house sits alone in the middle of the country. We drove over the bridge, past the barn and around the turn. There her house sat welcoming us. We raced inside through the cold crisp air. It was warm and dim. Everyone was there in the living room waiting for us: Dan, Dylan, Shawn and Tracy. We stayed up late catching up and laughing. The next 4 days were peaceful. We left only once to grab lunch with my dad. We played charades and trivia games (Tracy is incredibly bad at charades btw Ha!! joking) We watched movies on my sisters insanely large television. We ate and ate and ate. We slept late and napped a lot. We mostly stayed up late talking about weddings, pranks, ex-boyfriends, religion, and the future. Even with two rambunctious boys running around, the house remained calm. We don't always agree. Who does really? But, our guards are down. That is one thing my mom has taught me. Most of our offenses come when we are expecting others to hurt us. And if you are like my mom, you don't even know when someone actually intends to hurt you! I love that about her. We talked about everything. I loved listening to my sister talk from her heart about all the important things in life. I learned more about her. I don't want her to be just like me. I want to know and understand who she is. And we all learn from each other.

Watching my mom sit under tree and pass out each of her 1,000 deeply thought out presents is a tradition worth cherishing. I love that my mom puts hours into finding the perfect gift for each person! When you open a gift from her, you can know that it was purchased because it reminded her of you.

Sometimes you are ready to go home after days away, but we could have stayed longer. Thank you Mom, Tracy, Daniel, Dylan, and Shawn for an amazing Christmas! Mom's home is rich and full of love and peace because that is who she is inside. It is not something that can be manufactured. You can't pretend to have the attributes she posses. It has to come from your core. It has to be real.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Walking

Arise, shine; for your light has come!
And the glory of the Lord is risen over you.
For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth,
and deep darkness the people, but the Lord will arise over you,
and His glory will be seen upon you (Isaiah 60:1-2)

I shall not be overcome by darkness, the evil lurking in our midst. My God has given me the power to overcome. He rises over me and His glory shall be seen upon me.

Some people believe in only prosperity. Others believe that we are subject to the same darkness as unbelievers, suffering equal persecution and despair. I am not a name it claim it kind of girl. It's naive to think that speaking the truth is the only way of obtaining it. I believe, instead, that even in my deepest pain, when I am unable to proclaim, that God still rescues. When my thoughts are clouded, He finds me. I travel down a road quite frequently that looses me. I end up wondering where I have taken myself. Then, when I look closely, he is there in the haze ahead of me. He may not even say a word at times, but he takes me by the hand and leads me back. Upon our embrace, I may not say a word. Sometimes I have a lot to say. Sometimes nothing at all. He is tender. One gaze into my eyes heals the deepest parts of me.

I believe in prosperity because He has prospered me. Along the way have been many trials. Some very difficult. Though my patience and trust in God is often stretched, my foundation has never changed. When my trials come, I usually throw the normal two-year-old tantrums - the ones He expects from me. I could breath deeper and trust, instead I usually stress. The tantrums aren't His problem, they are mine. He is taking me to the same place whether or not I respond correctly. Eventually, I always give up the struggle.

I LOVE that God takes me new places. I LOVE that he is constantly teaching me. My life is rich and full because of that. I do not need to hold on to the same rigid set of beliefs and narrow-mindedness just to prove that I'm right. I want Him to teach me. I'm open to learn and to change. But, no matter the trial, He is prospering me. He is taking me forward. He is showing me how to love deeper. I don't have to be afraid of what He is asking from me. He created me to be a mother, wife, friend, to minister. He created me to do it all well. He created my family to love Him from our core and devote our lives to showing that love to others.

I believe the key to prosperity is walking with Jesus. I want to stay on that path, hand and hand with Him. Even if I get tired or anxious, I'm still walking. I have to be careful to make sure I'm on track with Him. I get off track. When that happens, I still believe in Jesus Christ. He is still my savior. But, I'm doing my thing. He waits for me to notice. Sometimes I don't want to notice. Prosperity comes in my life when I'm truly relishing in God. You know the nights I would rather be home with my boys on the couch watching a movie, but instead God wants me to invite friends over for dinner. Or when God wants me to not buy something so I can give a few dollars to someone else. It's an accumulation of all the small things. Prosperity comes from walking with Jesus.

There is a difference. Although we suffer through trials, we do not have to be subject to the same despair. The Lord arises over me and His glory is shown over me. I have a hope that cannot be found comparable in any other form. These trials are not without the hope of deliverance. Darkness does surround us. It seems unimaginable to think of thriving in this society. But, I have the creator surrounding me. I have the One true God to take my hand and walk me through the haze. I'm not ducking my head and running. I'm embracing it all.