Believing God in Dry Times...or when you find yourself in the furnace!
I have found myself in a dry season.
A dry season that came in the midst of a trial.
It has been a hard long journey this past year, but instead of quitting my faith (which crossed my mind several times during this time), I pressed in to the Word. Though God seemed so very far away and the Word I read didn't seem to have any life to it, still I devoted myself to sticking to reading the Bible and praying. Most times the prayer was mingled with tears, which seemed to only go as far as my shirt, but I would remind myself that He holds all of our tears in a jar.
It was a hard time. Especially hard, as we had a wayward child. If you've ever had one you will know that it is draining, exhausting, frustrating and really can suck the life right out of you. I was greatly saddened, but I pressed in harder. I prayed and fasted for a long time. In the natural not much changed, but God works in ways we can't always see. He is a supernatural God after all!
In the hard time I decided to not go by my feelings, which can be such liars, but to continue to do what I knew was right in the eyes of God. I read and prayed, even when my heart doubted the point to it. I went sleepless nights to hold on tighter to our child through prayer. We didn't see much change, or not in ways we hoped, but He was moving. He is always moving, always active, always busy, He never sleeps or slumbers. He doesn't leave us or forsake us, no matter what our silly thoughts might mutter to us at such times.
He began to bring in others to pray and fast with me. It brought me to tears, as in the trial I found myself so lonely and without much friend support. It was if He had cleared away to make it just Him and me. Even when it seemed like it was just me, it really truly wasn't. He surrounded me by some very strong women, who prayed and fasted for 30 days for our family. 30 days can you imagine?
Why am I writing this today? Well, because He spoke to my heart today in a way that made me understand that He didn't leave me or forsake me
I was gardening, doing some much needed spring cleaning. We began planting seeds today, with anticipation of a harvest in 59 days (peas). I had been pondering not attempting another garden, as it is so much work and quite honestly doesn't really reap that much of a harvest on our property. As I was again pondering if we should use a local space that we discovered last year, that was far more promising,
the Lord spoke to my heart.
He said, "Why would you want to sow your seed elsewhere? This is what I have given you and here it is where you are to sow. You have no idea what we have been sowing. But the harvest I have prepared is not one you are seeing or feeling in your life. It is coming and you will harvest all you have sewn with Me."
I thought what have I sewn Lord? He showed me all of my children. They are my field. He has brought them and planted them in my garden. He has tilled them into my heart through adoption. He has helped me have the strength to pull the weeds that have popped up, sometime weeds that were totally underground and festering in massive quantity, looking to destroy my beautiful garden. But He didn't allow it. He showed us the evil weeds. He gave us the strength to speak to the weeds and tell them to go. We began to rip out, as each became apparent to us. We cried as we ripped at them, as it felt like our very hearts were being ripped from us as well. We got all we could see and then we fell into a heap waiting on God.
We were spent. We have been spent. Spent, but not out of the gardening business.
We have been waiting. We never stopped tending this garden. But today I realized that like Adam, I am a gardener. I need to embrace the gardening as though it was a gift from my Father. I need to not grumble about the weeds. Weeds come, we need to keep an eye open to them and a heart prepared to deal with each that tries to emerge its ugly head. Sin is never pleasant, nor rebellion, but God never quits on us. Never.
I have had a change of heart today and am thanking God for Lighting His Fire again in my heart.
Hi, so glad you stopped by today. How is your heart today?
Wondering if there is anything we could believe together for today? I'd love to pray with you, connecting hearts as we lift up our requests to God. He has such a desire that we draw near to Him.
Simply leave a comment and we'll get started.
If you have something to Praise God for...
well please let us all know so we can give thanks for that too!
I will start...
I have a praise. Yesterday, I got to spend a most remarkable day with a friend from across the pond. She is here visiting family, her name is Heini. She is a ball of sunshine and is a lover of God. We were able to sneak away alone and shop to our hearts contents. (we both love shopping!!) My heart and spirit were greatly lifted by God allowing us this time alone together. I could feel a spirit of heaviness lift as she shared our hearts and giggled throughout Saturday.
I have been praying for a shopping friend for some time, most of my friends do NOT share the love of shopping that I have. So though it won't be a regular activity that we get to do, it was still an answer to prayer and so blessed my heart.
Paul and Heini Euliano,
Pastors of Champion Life Church (Glascow, Scotland)
I borrowed the picture from their blog,
because we didn't have time to snap photos
or eat on our shopping day. We are serious shoppers after all! ;)
Heini is a beauty inside and out. She is amazing, a strong woman of God, creative, always smiling, full of joy and carries a special prophetic anointing as well. She has a huge heart and is a bundle of joyful energy. Everyone that gets close to her is transformed by her bubbly personality.
We had so much fun running to "Charity shops" as she calls them and pushing our "trolley" through the second hand shops. We both made out well. I came home with an amazing buffet and she came home with a pair of sweet cowboy boots and several new sweaters, that will keep her warm in chilly Scotland, where she and her husband Paul pastor, Champion Life Church.
What a blessing to have a friend who loves to do the things that you love to do. What a absolute joy that mixed into it all was a very strong sense of His Presence. Perhaps that was because my dear Heini (Hay-knee) started by praying as I made my way through traffic to our first shop, asking the Holy Spirit to come and bless us in our time together. And how fun to have a friend with such a cute Finnish Scottish accent, too sweet!
*Thank you Paul for sharing her with me. Thank you my dear Knight for suring up the home front so I could escape with my Heini for the day. Thank you Betty (Paul's mum) who made it all happen by giving birth to Paul and being my very dear non-shopping friend.*
What to do on another cold and blustery New England winter day? Jack up the pellet stove so the house is super warm and throw caution to the wind, that's what I say!
This was our Ethiopian daughter's first time helping to mix up the injera batter. We added in some more teff (Ethiopian flour), to feed our batter and our little Princess Mercy went to town. She sang her way through over 30 minutes of rubbing her hands over the lumps to be sure the injera would be perfect when we later poured it onto our mitad (flat pan, which is electric, that we cook injera here in the States.)
Usually we use a super large restaurant stainless steel bowl to work our dough, but Mama ain't no dummy and figured this would be the easiest way around not having to have a major clean-up job.
She was fully enjoying her little Ethiopian self!
Not the typical way to make injera, but I keep finding more and more that we really aren't typical.
Injera is like a sour dough bread/ pancake. It's texture when cooked is soft and spongy. It is used to hold all the yummy Ethiopian foods...plate, injera and the pile on all the Ethiopian dishes that you can. No utensils needed, you take small pieces of the injera and scoop up bite size pieces with it.
If you haven't eaten Ethiopian you are missing out. It is delicious. I only wish I didn't wait so long to discover it. Find an Ethiopian restaurant in your area and give it a try- your tummy will be so happy you did. We cook it quite often, a pure labor of love, as it takes a whole day or two to prepare all the food items we all want to eat.
I will have to show you what it looks like once it is all cooked up. Today is just a little show of the prep work.
How I want it to melt away and allow spring to begin to show its evidence of arriving.
This morning I heard a bird that I am unfamiliar with singing with the rise of the sun. I tried to peep out the ever lightening front yard to glimpse which bird it would be that would sing such an early herald to a cold day, but she remained hidden to me, even as song sprang forth from her heart.
We have again spotted bluebirds, weeks ago, but still this blanket of white clings to our yard. Patches of brown grass are peeping out, giving us a renewed hope that spring may indeed arrive soon. However, I did hear that Tuesday night may bring more s.n.o.w. to our New England home.
A new problem is arising at an increase rate, our pellets for our pellet stove are nearly out. There are no more to be had in our state, and our source (my dear David) has run his warehouse supply to its end. We are dropping the running temperature down to one, to make the best using of the decreasing supply. The other problem lies that I seem to have an addiction to plopping down in front of said pellet stove ('Hey~she makes me think I am laying in the Bahamas!')
If only my accidental run in with caffeine had happened sooner. A few nights ago I lay awake, mind running to and fro, as my tired body tried to find the sleepy land of dreams. As I lay there finding new ways to save the world, it dawned on me that we could burn other things in our ancient stove that we came upon through the favor of God this winter. Pellet stove thoughts and other non-typical fuels for her belly raced through my mind.
It occurred to me that the rabbit pellets (food) looked like the wood pellets we were using. Which sent me on a google search. I found a frugal soul with the same pellet stove as us, who since 1990 has been burning hazelnut shells in his stove. He said other things could be used as well. (which got me to thinking about pistachio shells, peanut shells, dried: pomegranate peels, grapefruit peels, orange peels...)
And the fact that we had a hazelnut tree right behind our barn! And to think I had been leaving them for the squirrels to run away with all these years we have lived here.
On our ride home from church I asked my ever-so-smart and frugal children to think of other things we might be overlooking to help us feed the belly of our hungry girl (ancient pellet stove). We will continue to brainstorm. The wise old man from the Internet said that we might have to clean her more often with the addition to non-wood pellet things. Cleaning is not a problem, as we are basically homebodies and love our girl enough to give her the attention she requires (like demand feeding of a wee precious baby).
We will keep you posted. It occurred to me as well, that praying might help stretch our wood pellets further. Hey, it worked for the oil in the menorahs! Not sure if we can make it to cool summer evenings, but with all of this new knowledge (and perhaps the help of family and friends saving pistachio shells or such for us...wanna help?), we will have a stash for next season to stretch and cut our heating bill.
The sweet man, who I may never meet in this life time (that helped me to think my 'save the earth' sleepless night wasn't sheer madness), said that he heats his home with our Whitfield stove, for a mere $100 dollars with his "nutty" ways. Bless his warm heart and home!
Okay, off to warm my cold toes by the beloved pellet stove (which by the way is Whitfield Pellet Stove- Advantage is the model.) Pictures of her will have to come in another posting, as the morning has arrived. The children are up and running into another Monday. I need to keep pace with them, as you can imagine what might happen if I don't.
Have a toasty day friends.
Leave me a love note, it encourages me to keep up these posts!
Here I am, here you are too! While we are here together,
how about we pray.
What would you like to pray about? Something heavy on your heart, a need you have, for your marriage, for a husband, for your kids, for an adoption, for vision for what God would have you do, for a job, for your aging parents, for your health, for opportunities to share your faith, for encouragement ...
Open up this post with giving me some direction as how we should pray. Share, it's what friends do.
And please don't leave me hanging, hook a sister up!
Getting sick of cold weather, totally ready to burn the winter clothes and run barefoot through the grass. Well, if my front yard had grass, currently it is a lovely mix of snow and mud.
Sick of white, or dirty white. Not craving brown or anything that clings to you leaving you the same brownish hue. Hoping for green, and purple and yellow. Spring is coming, the little birds in my yard keep singing its arrival...maybe I should try whistling a spring tune?
As I snuck in some Word ...guess our post won't be Word-less.
Hope your day is filled with all sorts of good things.
I know my posting has been sporadic, to say the least. I am afraid that perhaps the cat has my tongue or that somehow I have lost my way in how to attend properly to this ole blog. My heart is to fix this and get back into the swing of regular sharing with you.
So much to be said, both things of little importance and big.
So much for Wordless. Perhaps I should just write...tee-hee. I have broken all the rules of how to post wordless...but I am so pleased with myself for having posted!
Off to live in today. Thinking of you and praying His hand upon your heart.
Living in a fallen world, most of us have had a face to face with loss. The kind of loss that makes you stop life and pushes you into grieving. Though I am thankful to not currently be grieving the loss of someone dear to me, I have chosen to walk the road with someone who has. For the past 6 weeks we have been riding together to a church in a neighboring town, and sitting with a small group of beautiful souls who are in the midst of grief.
I have wanted to share with you the experience, but like other things over the past year, they are so close to my heart that it is difficult to find the right way.
It has been a holy experience for me to have the people who are pressing in to life, as their loss grips them and wants to drag them down to hopelessness. Each week they open their most personal thoughts with me in their midst, knowing I have come with my widowed friend Betty, as her support. I am the only one in the group that isn't in the midst of battling grief, though I bear my own scars from it. (23 years ago, while pregnant with my homemade, I lost my dad to a massive heart attack). I am allowed to come into their most holy place of grieving and share in their journey to joy.
My group is lead by the Pastor of the church. He lost his wife in August to complications with a long battle with diabetes. His church has offered it several times before, but this time he is leading it, as he wanted to benefit from the program himself. Each person has their unique story to tell, with the pain that comes with it. A box of tissues is ever present, and I am amazed at the strength of those who come and share their hearts so transparently.
Our group is small- three widows; Carolyn who lost her husband to cancer but 2 months ago, Giselle lost her husband in September (she is co-leading the group), after a long term illness, my friend Betty who is 3 years into mourning her beloved Paul. A couple who lost their son after a surgery complication, he was only 23 years old and had a life time of health struggles. A woman who only came once, she was struggling with depression . Gail a woman who lost both her mother and then a brother recently- she is left to care for her father who is depressed. Ron, a sweet older man, who popped in during week 5, he lost his sweetheart a year ago. He was struggling with getting past anger and enjoying the rest of his life-he said he was 79. He didn't come back this week, hoping he will, as I was hoping to hear more of the story of his life that he so beautifully and openly shared with us~ strangers to him.
As I shared, I have grieved in this life. Some times it was things that most people don't see as something that would put you on a path of grief, like infertility or loss of a child through adoption. You are welcome at Griefshare for these losses too. I didn't ever have a Christian support group like Griefshare.
Oh, how I wish I did.
I encourage you to find one near you if you are finding yourself in the place of grief.
How it works...
first you find a group.
then you show up (do it, even if it is a terrible struggle to get there...)
YOU WILL BE SO GLAD YOU DID!
We greet each other and have a bit of time, as people wander in from near and far,
to see how we are doing this week.
We sit down and Pastor Howard leads us into what we will be learning on this particular meeting.
Griefshare has the book I shared above, each week there are lessons we do together and then activities to do during the week. The book/guide was $20 (optional to buy)- it is beautifully laid out and full of helpful information.
We watch a short video on the topic pertaining to the week we are in in the Griefshare guide. Each week is not based on the previous, so anyone can join the group at anytime- the meetings are free. The book has 13 sessions or segments of study, so this is how many weeks we will be meeting with each other.
After the video 'we circle up,' as sweet Pastor Howard calls it. He invites us, if we are willing, to share our hearts. The leadership guide has select questions, that help us dig in further to our week's topic. The atmosphere in our group is very gentle and loving. We spend an hour or so, with a break for snacks, sharing our lives with one another.
Love flows. Encouragement is given. Tears are sometimes shed. Wisdom is imparted. Friendships form. The Spirit of God moves in our midst and it is a beautiful thing.
I am sure I haven't done Griefshare justice. Maybe you would like to visit their website and read more about their offerings or find a group for yourself. If you are grieving- it's for you. If you know someone who is grieving tell them and offer to join them!
If you happen to be in a place of grieving and need someone to talk to- leave me a note and I will be happy to be an ear for you. If you need help finding a group, the website has links that can help- but again if you need help, I'd be happy to help you. I pray that God helps you in this lonely place of grieving and puts your life on the path from mourning to joy. Griefshare is a wonderful resource and one that I think so many are unaware of. (so I am trying to help get the word out!)
I am praying for you...if you want more prayer leave me a way to contact you! There is a link in my sidebar with my email address if you would like to keep it private.
One day last year he arrived, I say arrived, because it was as if he knew he belonged. We had recently had to put down a cat that looked strangely just like him, as her kidneys failed. We were hardly past mourning her loss, when he arrived.
We asked around our neighborhood, to see if someone was missing this very vocal boy. Funny, they assumed he was ours. We let him come in, but still with an eye to the fact that he just might belong to someone else. We searched the papers and looked in places that might have a poster of his family looking for him. After several weeks we knew he must be meant for us, sent by God.
He was not ready to come inside. He was still a bit of a "Wild Thing" and let us know it, by marking (who knew cat pee, a tiny drop could smell so awful!). By the time we figured out what he was doing, boy we had a mess to clean up.
But somehow, my heart knew he was mine, even though... So I found a clinic and got him fixed. The research and kind doctor, with a heart of stopping more unwanted cats, told me that after his hormones were gone post surgery (6 weeks or so), that his spraying would most likely go.
Ever take a risk? Knowing full well that it might cost you?
Well, you see my heart loved him enough, all of his little Wild Thing ways, that the risk was worth it. And my Knight loved me enough to understand that this mission was one that I needed to undertake. Rescue was needed, maybe for both me and my Wild Thing. Life sometimes stretches you and in turn you must either stretch or bust.
Nagy Baba lived outside, to remain in touch with his most beloved wild side and came when called as darkness approached. He not only accepted this new foreign name, foreign people and foreign house, but began to open his heart to allow the change to effect him. He was Happy to be carried, happy to be hugged by each child and adult. Fussed over, dangled by some, even accidentally held up upside down (okay, confession it was me, but it was 4 o'clock in the morning and "Wild Thing" was scratching with his non-declawed little paws at my bedroom door. Where he sleeps with me, until the Wild Thing in him stirs him to want back outside.)
More and more he wants to come in. He stands outside with those beautiful orange eyes and we come. The children bring him to their rooms to read with him during school time. They bring him in to cuddle or to play. They adore him and the funny thing is I really think it is mutual.
He has made friends with our chocolate lab Ruby- they sleep cuddled together on my bed during stormy days, when his Wild Thing side becomes a typical house cat. However, only through a closed door does he have friends with our two declawed indoor cats. They see him as a menace and refuse to embrace him. Angry that they hear the food jar at all times of the day and night, coming from his space inside my bedroom, but they remain on the other side of the closed door. Perhaps they will come around, sometimes we invite them to a play date, but so far no playing has occurred.
Love is strange. It is a bit wild at it's edges. It comes unexpectedly, but I believe it is planned.
My hearts desire is to live out loud, a life that reflects Jesus. Join me through word and picture
on this journey called my life. I am the Mama to 8 children, one homemade and 7 adopted, married to my handsome Knight and daily following hard after Jesus. Hope you will consider me your friend.