Dec 18, 2014

Be the Light!

Today as I was praying for a homeless man I have become friends with,
 this phrase 
"Plug in and be the light" crossed my heart.

I ran home and kinda like how it speaks of how
 we as Christians are to live before this world.



 Hoping to be light.  For real!

Nov 28, 2014

The Boy and the Grapes



I asked for grapes.  He climbed the vines and brought home enough to make 20 quarts of grape juice.
Any day now we will crack a jar open and have our first taste of wild fox grape grape juice.
He got a lot of exercise, I bought a ton of sugar, we dug out the canning jars from the barn and readied them for beautiful grapes.  

Will share our opening event...it should be soon!!

Nov 24, 2014

Spiritual Authority


From a sound sleep I was awakened.  The voice I heard I knew.  It said with the utmost clarity,
 "She sleeps with her hands on her hips."

He had my attention.  But I wondered what it was that God was saying to me.  His words sank into my head and into my heart, they wouldn't let go.  I shared them with my Knight (isn't he cute!)  and he also wondered what it could mean.

As I pondered it and prayed on the words, it came to me.  Not suddenly, but in a matter of days.  God was telling me that I had spiritual authority.  So much authority that even in my sleep, I was a woman with authority from God.

 God has been putting me into a lot of new arenas. He has put many new people into my life, and in the suddenlies of God, they are looking to me for spiritual direction.  He is making both me and my Knight spiritual parents to people in their 20's, 30's and even 40's.  He also has me passionately chasing after Him each week in serving the homeless and poor.  He uses me to feed them, to clothe them and to guide them into a walk with Him.  I am stretched, but ready for more of Him and His plans for me.

Amazed?  I know I am.

But this girl, who apparently God says, "sleeps with her hands on her hips." and also "sits with her hands on her hips" and "stands with her hands on her hips"-(He began whispering it to me in various forms over several weeks).  This girl who was crying out for God, both day and night, has spiritual authority she needs to utilize!

He said it because I needed to hear it.  He spoke it because I needed to study it and get the revelation of what it is I had been given by Him.  If you are unaware you can't use it.  If you don't know you have it, you can't operate under it.  So I began to dig into it and this is what I know...

"We are given spiritual authority to fulfill the function of our calling and to accomplish the work that the Lord has assigned to us." 

 

My authority is for instruction, it is to help, it is to encourage, it is to offer wisdom to those who are searching for it, to give words of knowledge to those He has prepared for me to speak them to.  My authority comes from God, and as I submit my life to His rule and reign, He opens doors and positions me to operate in the fullness of the authority He has given me.

I am accountable to the Lord for my function and how I perform them.  I am to be building others up and desiring them to fulfill the purposes God has created them to fill.

 I believe with all my heart in discipleship and spiritual mentoring.  In reaching the lost and getting them growing in their faith.  I believe a plugged in Christian is a power-filled Christian.  That one who asks Jesus to be their Savior, needs to learn how to make Him Lord every day thereafter.

Spiritual authority is different from natural authority, it isn't about position, but submission to the One who works all things out for our good.

Still I have much to learn in this, but I am willing.  We are saying yes God and learning to live as He guides us.  And do you know what, it is way cool and way exciting.  A new chapter, full of new people, new adventures and things that God has hoped that I would put my hands on my hips and say, "YES" to.




Nov 2, 2014

The First Day of...




The First Day of the Rest of Your Life...

...the words ran through my head, as I thought of what has been going on around me lately.  

Today a close friend of mine closed a door in his life and opened a new one.  Well, that is not really the whole story, it is a God story, so with it are so many more details about his new direction in life.  

Today my friend, Justin, became a Youth Pastor at my church.  He walked away from a job he was good at, a job he went to school and had to trained long and hard for.  A job that was difficult to say good-bye to, but you see he realized that God had something else in mind for him.  Today was the first day of the rest of his life, in doing what he was made to do: being a Youth Pastor.

My friend is embarking in something he really knows very little about personally.  Sure he has been to church for most of his life, but really he has had no training in being a Pastor.  No schooling, as of yet, in shepherding people.  But he knows that God has called him.  He understands that his life is not his own, but that it was bought at a very high price by Jesus.  And because of this, 
today is the first day of the rest of his life.

He is going to trust God and follow His lead into this new day!

True for me and you too.  Each day God gives us is a new opportunity to use it for Him.  It may not mean a job change, or it might.  It may not mean we get stretched as much as Justin, but it might and it probably will be way out of our comfort zone. 

 The comfort zone is over rated. Sure it is safe, or so it seems, but really it is a dangerous place for us.  We easily become self focused.  We easily become complacent and often lose sight of what it is we are supposed to be doing with our lives here on earth. Our souls grow fat, but our Spirit grows weak and small in comparison.

Each of us was made for a purpose.  Each of us needs to grab hold of God and ask Him to show us (this day) what it is that He is asking of us today.  We need to have willing hearts and eager spirits to follow hard after Him, even if it means we are not 'COMFORTABLE' in it.  Growing in our faith, just like physical growth from a child to an adult, causes stretching and sometimes pain. 

 Are we willing to be stretched?  Are we too comfortable?

I will be sharing what stretching God has been doing in my own life lately.  I'd love to hear how you too are being stretched and what you are learning in it.

As I look out my window it is dark here, this day has nearly ended.  Tomorrow is coming.

"Come let us get ready.  Because today will be the first day of the rest of our lives.  Let's give God our hearts, our wills and our time.  Let's let Him take us out of our comfort zone and into whatever it is that He has prepared for us."

Don't be scared, God is already there waiting for us. 
 Remember, wherever He calls us to, He enables us in it!



Oct 16, 2014

Fragments, Pieces and Parts


Does it ever seem like you are needing super-human strength
 to make it through your 'just normal' day?

Life for me is full.  Full meaning busy, full meaning I sometimes don't sit down until I really am ready to collapse.  I often just get so busy that I forget to eat, then suddenly I realize it is dinner time. I never do it intentionally, it just seems that one minute runs into the next and before I know it my Knight is due home and the last leg of the day has come once again.

We had a special guest speaker at church this week.  A week set aside as a "renewal" week (a time of refueling and refreshing) at my church.  As I sat worshiping God, I realized how fragmented my worship must seem to him.  How many times during my singing and worshiping Him, does my mind wander back to the ordinary of my life.  One minute I am raising my hands and singing out my love for Him, the very next I am thinking if I took the meat out of the freezer for tomorrow's dinner.  

I jotted this down in my notes as the sermon was being preached:

'I am offering God the bits of my day, the pockets that spill into an open moment that becomes worship to God.  Sometimes I can't stay within the worship. (I become unfocused and wander from worship back into worry, planning or plain distraction).  Forgive me Lord, you deserve it all, not fragments or broken bits.  Help me to stay centered, focused, intentional.  Help me to give you a whole life of worship."

I catch myself and try to stay centered on just Him.  But again and again I find that my flesh rises up against my spirit, trying to draw me away, back into the world of  'to-do', that never-ever-ends.  

I found my eyes full of tears, big heavy tears, in wanting God to know that it bothered me.  Not a little, but  A LOT!  I found myself at service's end standing in a prayer line with maybe 75 others who felt like me, that they somehow were only giving God a small portion of what they really wanted to give Him.  

As the preacher from South Africa closed up his sermon, he caught my eyes that were welling with tears.  He came down off the altar and put his hands on my head.  He asked the Lord to give me more glory.  To fill me back up and to continue to show His glory through my life.

His prayer wasn't long, but as I chewed on it today I realize that God is using my life and all the ordinary moments to bring glory to Himself.  I don't see it.  Maybe random glimpses, but He does.  Those around me do too.  But sometimes this Mama is just to full to stop and look at what it is that I am daily doing for His glory.  

 He doesn't see my day as meager offerings, or fragmented worship,
 He sees it as a love offering given fully to Him.

He doesn't see my busy as self absorbed, but as a woman who has a servant's heart and serves others in the choice of how she lives and how she serves her family. He doesn't see anything about my day as fragmented or broken.  He sees it as whole and a beautiful fragrant offering.

He has heard my continually cry for more of Him and less of me.  He has seen me begin my day in his Word, often in tears. He has heard me pray for those He puts on my heart and into my life.  He knows that the time is in continual sacrifice to Him, though I don't always understand it as that.

Thank you Lord for your reminding me that the work you have called me to is important, that child raising (in training them to love Him and serve Him) is huge in Kingdom business.  That I am not only influencing those in my home, under my hand, but those who stand around us through the week that are watching God be glorified.  As they look on, they see Him glorified,
 clearer that I see where I am standing.

(that is what He is telling me).

Busy is, as busy does.  
True, true.  

So don't mind my sigh.  But I am full.
 I am being emptied rather deeply each day,
 but He is filling me up to pour me out like a drink offering,
 before His throne and for His glory!

Sep 9, 2014

Homeschool (and Parenting) Wisdom


Slow down.

Do less.

Breathe deeply.

Choose to be present.
(which means not half present, 
not multitasking,
 not keeping an eye on your Pinterest
 or email
 or texts.
And certainly it means that phone 
shouldn't be an extension of your arm!)

Make a list of things that you would like to do together.
(then do them...
one at a time
 in a slow chew your food,
 so you can savor it,
 kind of way!)

Hug your kids.

Kiss your kids.

Make food together.

Go on a picnic 
(you can even do it in your living room floor
 when the weather just isn't quite outside picnic worthy!)


Do messy and not so messy crafts.

Go to the library...
you will never regret time spent together gathering books.

Read together.  
(sprawl out together in one room. 
 Tea and snacks make it perfect!)

Enjoy the outdoors.

Go for a walk.

Go for a hike.

Go in search of something new.

Get in the car and take an old fashioned ride...
like we did in childhood before gas prices were so outrageous. 

 Choose to live extravagantly just for a day.

Reach out and be kind to someone who needs it.

Find an elderly person to befriend. 
 It will mean the world to everyone involved.


Don't become overwhelmed and lose focus that your time is short
 and slowing down actually reduces stress.

Say no to activities.  
Weed down to the ones that are necessary.
Be brave and say no to them for a season. 
 (trust me you will live!)

Thank God for what He has given you.  

Pray together.

Teach them to love God.  To love family.  To love others.  

Read your Bible...it is full of wisdom.
Teach your kids to read theirs each day
 and tell them it is God's love letter to them 
and to you!

Childhood is fleeting.  
You blink and your kids are grown-up.  
Make a decision to live in a new slow downed pace...
and in it I promise you that will find joy unspeakable!


If you are a new homeschooling parent I welcome you to your new year!  
Don't be afraid!
Enjoy it. 

 I encourage you to stop and ask God to speak to your heart.
  Ask Him to help you keep it simple and learn to love the spot He has you in.
*If you are a parent minus the homeschooling.  Ditto!

Remember...children grow so fast. 
 Be intentional in how you live out their childhood
 and your days as their loving parent.


Aug 20, 2014

Testimony



Testimony:  
your witness,
 your profession (of faith),
 your confession (to what you have experienced)
your declaration (manifestation)
It is your story!

It isn't just knowledge, it's about sharing your relationship (Jesus + you) with others.

Ever have something continually pop into your head (heart)?  Well, for the past few weeks God has been depositing "testimony" into my spirit.  When this happens I always begin to look around me and to ask the Holy Spirit what it is in it that He wants to teach me. I dig in deeper and open up my bible and study tools to get a deeper and clearer understanding of the word itself (and the meaning within the word!)  I listen and look for the word or deed being done.

So in pressing in to understand testimony, 
 I have discovered a hidden gem. 

I have shared my faith many times over the years, a few times behind a microphone, in group situations, one on one situations as the Lord led me and on this here blog.  But never did I truly understand the impact and power that is within each of our testimonies.

  As we share, it releases the power of God to go out and to reach the hearts, minds and souls of those who have ears to hear.  It can change lives, open doors and bring others to greater faith, never mind to salvation!

BUT

This year for our homeschool (and also in our regular family devotion time) we will be pressing in to learn HOW to share our testimony.  We will be jotting down our thoughts, which in turn will lead us to share our testimonies with each other.  Like all things, practice makes perfect!  (not saying that in any given situation that you can't just spontaneously share your testimony, but I am saying that with practice you will be more confident and clearer with what you are trying to express).  

This in turn will give us MORE opportunity to let God open doors for us to minister to others for Him!  Even the smallest child can do this (and so can YOU!)

I feel like God is asking me to be 'the poster child of testimony.'  Perhaps, in me sharing it with you, that God will begin to stir your heart to share your testimony with others.  Perhaps you have, perhaps you haven't done this yet. 

Wondering how many of you have officially shared your testimony with someone?  

Was it recently or do you too need to dust of your story 
and get ready to willingly and joyfully share it!


Revelations 12:11

They defeated him because of the Lamb’s blood
and because of the message of their witness.
Even when facing death
they did not cling to life.


Jul 30, 2014

Favoritism and Favor


Favoritism. 
You've heard of it, you've been on either side of it and you can write home about it, I am sure.
It can be great or it can be painful, depending on which side you find yourself on in this matter of favoritism.
We ask and pray for the favor of God, but how do we act when it isn't all about us?
Case in point~drawing it out...
*you are not the one getting the favor
*over and over you are not the one getting the favor
*you find yourself not getting picked (remember gym class?)
*you are not the teacher's favorite
*you are not your youth leader's favorite 
*you seem to be out of the loop when it comes to the word "Favorite"
*you have been in a group setting where there is a 'clique' and know the pain of not being in it.

As I was reading this chapter of the Bible this morning (John 11), I came to the part where it lists Lazarus' family members.  The story is mainly about Lazarus being raised from the dead and God getting the glory
(when people gain faith and believe in Him). However, it struck me that sometimes we find pain in the position we are finding ourselves in.
 It moved in my heart that though Jesus loved them all, that Mary doesn't have her name listed in this sentence.  I looked it up in several versions and in most it didn't.  Now did Mary rejoice that she was loved or did she get caught up in the fact that He just called her 'her sister.'  

Let's think on Mary and all she is about.  We know she was the one sitting by Jesus' feet while Martha was busy running the house.  We know she is sitting down waiting (and mourning), while Martha is running to Jesus to ask Him what is up with His delay. 
 Did Mary feel the pains of not being His favorite?  Was it enough that He loved her.  In her pain did she remember that essential fact, or did she get lost in the situation?

How are you doing? 
 How is your focus?
 Have you felt the pain of exclusion?  Have you wrestled with watching someone else being the favorite, when in your heart you are longing for it to be you? Does it feel like Jesus has forgotten you too?
Favor and Favoritism are not the same thing.  God does one, but never the other.  People of course do both, which is where our problem (and pain) derive.


How about we clear our soul of all of this by holding onto what this verse tells us:

John 15:10
 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commands and remain in His love.

Well, if we learn contentment and that 10th commandment that speaks of  "be happy with what you have and don't want other people's things" we can abide (stay, remain, hold fast, not waiver, to wait for) in that love. Things can be so much more than stuff, I think it can even be found in comparison of "us to them" kind of thoughts.

Favor is all about timing.  It can be favor with God or man, but the Word tells us God doesn't show favoritism (Romans 2:11).  

 Don't get lost in life's circumstances, remember you are love, you are not forgotten and God's favor and timing is perfect.

Hold fast and tell your soul (that may be wrestling with this) to pipe down because
 God's got you!

Jul 22, 2014

WELCOME HOME!!!!!




Four years ago my oldest fell in love with a fine young man, who happened to go to our church and just so happened to be leaving for boot camp.  Our lives became a sudden whirlwind of events, as so often happens with the suddenlies of God.

After a year of long distance courtship, they picked a wedding date.  It was all fast and furious, due to the fact that our fine young man was about to deploy to Qatar. 

A beautiful homemade wedding happened in the beautiful girl's Grandparents garden. The very blessed parents got to keep their first born-homemade daughter for 6 months, whilst her beloved was off serving our country under blistering heat.  

Then...
we took her to the airport and kissed her so-long!
Many tears came, as the troop of us said our so-longs.
We had never been separated for longer than a mission trip or an adoption pick-up...
so this was going to be stepping into new territory for all of us.

Would they come back??  Would they reenlist?  Would we get to grow along side of each other serving God, as the vision her parents had been given so long ago?

Well...
we don't know all the details yet, but we do know that today

TODAY

they will drive up our long gravel driveway and begin to unpack their lives into ours.  We will welcome them back with glee...our homemade and our son-given!  We have moved and rearranged, so they could find a haven beneath our shingles, while they job hunt and prepare for the coming new adventures that God has awaiting for them.

Am I excited?  With tears in my eyes this Mama says, "Oh, yes!!"

Finishing the last minute details of house arranging and then waiting for the gravel to sound the arrival, as they drive the U-haul and tandem vehicles up the long drive and into our arms.



God is so faithful...thank you for sharing my JOY!!

Jul 13, 2014

Honoring Our Airman~ Air Force Tribute!


A Tribute to my Son-in-Love~ JoJo

Today is your 25th birthday and we want to honor you with a post in tribute not only to this milestone birthday, but to your service to our country.  Thank you for saying 'yes' to God, and signing up to protect and serve us (all) in such trying times. 

 We are so proud of you.  

Though you are my son through marriage to my daughter, we love you as if you were always ours.  I think you were our fastest adoption and you slipped right in with such grace among such an unruly tribe as ours. ;-)

Today you are so many miles away, packing up and heading back to the next adventure God has you and our oldest Princess.  Wish we could help you pack up that truck, or help with the driving all your belongings back to home base.  We are excited to chart your adventure with all of the kids, we have a map and a dry marker ready to follow your course!

JoJo,  thank you for serving us these last four years.  This was our first experience with a family member in the service.  Thank you for keeping us so close to you, through the many miles that kept us apart.  You have blessed not only your new Father and Mother-in-Loves, but all the rest of the smaller tribe members as well.  So many big and little faces here adore you, each and everyone can't wait for you to pull up the gravel driveway and cross our threshold.   We can't wait to hug you, to squeeze you tight and to engage the next step of your married adventure with you at close range (temporarily under our eaves). Yeah and you are bringing back our babe with you too!!

This morning I asked God if He would give you a prophetic word (a love note from the Father!)


My son JoJo,
I am glad you said 'Yes' to my call to this four years of Air Force adventure. 
 It has been a 'training' for you.

I have given you a sensitive-tender spirit.  The ground of your heart is form-able in my hands.  You also have the gift of careful listening and a watchfulness that comes from Me.  As you continue to follow Me, these precepts and quiet understandings will grow.  It is how I made you, but you are still in the process of growing into it.  I will continue to build on this, it is a strength from Me.

 I will show you hidden things, things that others will not be aware of.  You will get insight into spiritual matters (knowing hearts of men/people).  You will have an increased level of discernment and I will show you how to take it and apply it for Kingdom business.  

I have made 'openings' for you~  I go before you.  Some of these openings will seem 'odd' to you.  Pray, and the same knowing that came to you as you embarked onto My path for you into the Air Force, will come.  It is not in the figuring, but in the finding and knowing Me.  

I am pleased with you.  I want you to pursue Me with fantastic, unabounding energy- run after Me!  This run will not leave you road weary, but energized.  It will fill you, drive you and complete you.  The course won't always be easy, but you are made (and up for) the challenge.

 Put your heart in my hand and see my Goodness poured out over your life.

Understanding and Knowledge are my gifts to you-accept them, use them, touch those around you and I do know this will be stretching, however I made you for this purpose.  You will win others to me through relationship-you will speak life to those who don't see the way.  I am The Way-and I will guide you to show them the way.

Son, I love you- follow hard after Me.  It's not about comfort but about coming into my fullness and seeing all I have planned out for you.  The plans are great, the detailing specific~it WILL pour from My heart into yours.

Please son, say 'Yes' again.

Love~
Your Father-in-Heaven


And here are some more for the rest of you to enjoy....















all other photos thanks to my daughter Bella!!
 (good sneaky work helping me with this!)

We love you and glad you are ours...
happy 25th birthday and thanks for keeping the Land of the Free just that!

Jul 4, 2014

To Have Loved and Lost


Oh Trinkilo!  
Sweet Trinkilo.

You showed up as such a surprise at such an unexpected moment.  
A blessing for my soon to be "out of the nest" daughter.  She loved you, you were precious to her.  She cared for you, like I imagine any good mother would.

But we didn't know, nor did we expect that your kitty life would be so short. 

 For the first few weeks you grew up under my roof, as my daughter had.  Then as she packed up her belongings to begin her new life across the country with her beloved Air Force husband.  She packed you up and carried you along with her most valued things.  

I heard how many adventures you had that first year.  How full of life you were and how much more they loved you.  Funny how you think you have hit the love peak, only to find out there is still more to grow in it.  Grow they did.  Grow we all did in love with you. 

 My first little fur grand baby, you will be greatly missed. 

 I will remember you full of life, jumping at the laser dot on the wall, as your Air Force Daddy gave you a bit of exercise in the evening.  I will remember all the photos that I got from your proud Mama, who tried to keep me well posted on your daily doings on McChord Air Force Base in Washington state.

You were loved until your very last here upon this earth.  
You will continue to be loved in our hearts forever.


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