Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Bloom Where Planted (even if you don't want to)

I made this around the start of the blog almost two years ago, after we moved to Iowa. I needed the reminder that no matter where I lived I needed to Bloom.



Fast forward a year and another move, this time to Texas, and I think I've forgotten to do that this time around.

This past weekend we heard from a guest pastor at our new church. We looked at the verses preceding Jeremiah 29:11.

The exiles needed reminding that God was still with them even though they weren't where they wanted to be.

Jeremiah told them to settle down, where they are. To invest in their new city, plant gardens, marry, and increase in number.(Jer 29:5)

He also told them to seek peace and prosperity of the city and pray to God for it. For if the city prospers they will too. (Jer 29:7)

And finally to stay. Stay until the Lord says it's time to go.(Jer 29:10)

 "For I know the plans I have for you,"declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jer 29:11

It's time for me to stop pouting and being disengaged and Bloom Where I am Planted. I'm putting my big girl panties on.

Today, you may not be where you want to be in life, but God has good plans for you right where you are.

Let's trust Him together, ok?



Linking with Beth-Three Word Wed, #TellHisStory, Winsome Wed, Imperfect Prose

Monday, September 23, 2013

Shame Wrapped As Truth

'scary clouds' photo (c) 2006, *BGP* - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Ever been in a funk? Like, down and out, leave me alone with my grumpy mood and dark thoughts?

Yeah, me either (sarcasm)

Let me give a hint of what has been weighing me down lately:

Woman across street is judging me isn't she? She's a single mom living with her parents, working full time and going back to school. She thinks I'm lazy  for not working, I know! I can see it in her eyes from all the way across the street.

They think I'm fat don't they?

Why did you buy that at the grocery store. If you wouldn't have you wouldn't have spent so much! 

How could you buy detergent that broke your son out like that?! loser

Why can't you cook better?

The house is always a mess, if you had your crap together and stay on top it like a good house wife  you wouldn't always be cleaning.

Uh oh, company's here and I forgot to clean the guest bath....eek

Maybe if you worked a real job money and marriage wouldn't be so hard, you're so selfish

No one wants to hire you, you aren't qualified to do anything, they can smell failure on you

You may fancy yourself a writer, but girl, you can't write. Better give it up now before you embarass yourself.

Your husband just puts up with you, one day he going to get tired of you and leave your butt.

Oh the list could go on. Yours too?

I've been in this funk since moving to Texas. We live in a nice neighborhood, found a great church, schools are good. Kids are adjusting, but I'm just kinda stuck.

I think depression has been trying to sneak in, well I don't think, it has. And with it all of these condamning thoughts. They attack one after the other.

They say when you're on the verge of something Big that's when the devil attacks the hardest. He wants you to second guess yourself and make you feel incapable, to give up and quit.

Let me tell you friends, he's doing a dang fine job.

I've pretty much wanted to quit everything and just hang out on the couch under my fleece AU blanket and veg.

I dread getting up in the morning because each day is the same as the one before it.


Then, 

light broke through.




























I realized what was happening last week. I'm under attack. Devil must know something I don't.

In my mind the devil is a big gray cloudy figure with a long arm and huge hand towering over me. And with his hand he is using it to hold me down. I keep fighting to lift my head up but he keeps the pressure firm.

And that my friends is what I believe to be a direct attack from the enemy.

I've been reading in my Bible daily and been doing my awesome little devo book by Holley Gerth, Opening the Door to Your God-Sized Dream.

And can I tell you, for those few moments my mind is at peace. I feel like I'm going to be ok. I get my mind filled with truth about whom God says I am:

That I am a conqueror (Romans 8:37)
I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps 139: 13-14)
I am created for good works that He has planned for me long before I was born (Eph 2:10)
He has good plans for my life, and they are not for me to be ruined.  (Jer 29:11)
He is working all things out for the good of those that love him. (Rom 8:28) 
The gray hand is starting to lose some strength and each day my head is getting higher and higher. 

Truth fighting darkness at it's best.

Now, when a condemning thought pops up, I laugh and recite a verse I know to be the real TRUTH. Oh, you sneaky devil, I'm on to you.

So, for the hundreds of you, or two, reading this now, and have been wondering why I've been so sporadic here, this is why.

I'm slowly crawling up out of the pit PLUS I'm not sleeping as much lately-all good signs! :)

My energy is returning and I am feeling lighter and freer.

I'm ready to send those shaming words back to the pit of hell where they came from-cause I/we are MORE! And that scares the pants off the devil.

How have you been, really?

Romans 8:1 "There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ"

Linking with Soli Deo Gloria

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Appointments With Heaven


This morning on the way to school I was talking to the kids about the events surrounding 9/11. They were asking why, who, how, and could it happen again? Then my son speaks up from the back seat and says. "I want to help people, but I'm not sure I want to die. If there was a way to do it without me dying too, I would do it."




I'm always trying to impress upon them the reality of heaven and convince them/myself that there is no reason to fear death. It just means something else is waiting on the other side even more amazing than we can ever imagine.My words never seem to do Heaven any justice.

I recently read a book by Dr. Reggie Anderson titled, Appointments with Heaven. Dr. Anderson had quite the spiritual journey himself that led him to having a heavenly encounter with Jesus. Thus restoring his faith and setting his life-path.



This is the kind of book you want to read slowly to take in every detail. Every encounter. I'm excited about Heaven, but it's the process of dying that scares me, as probably most of us.

One of the reasons I wanted to read this book is I wanted to read about the fragrances and sights that Dr. Anderson felt and smelled when one passed from this life into the next. I wanted to read about the transition and what it was like and have it settled in my soul once and for all that the experience of dying is really nothing to be afraid of, but maybe even embraced.

I wanted fear of the uncertain to be replaced with peace of the inevitable.

He had patients that were on the brink of death that tasted Heaven and would come back and describe vibrant colors like nothing they had ever seen. Beautiful grassy meadows where they had picnics with their loved ones and Jesus.

Appointments with Heaven made Heaven more real than any other book I've read. It's made me have more peace about the dying process and more sure of where I want to go when I die
storm coming

There was one patient however, that I can't get out of my head. Dr. Anderson described him as plain evil. A man that had spent his life hurting the ones around him with no remorse. He was dying and the good doctor tried several times to speak to him about God, but the old man would tell him to shut up about such things and just treat his cancer.

When the time came for him to die, his process wasn't peaceful like the other patients; his movements were jerky, agitated, and was full of grunts. Instead of a last peaceful breath and a slight smile on his face he fought for his last breath and grunted, then he was gone.

"The warmth I'd come to expect when heaven's door opened seemed to have been replaced by the opening of a liquid nitrogen canister. The room appeared dark and shadowy, as if it were being swallowed by a black abyss. That's when I smelled sulfur and diesel. The air felt heavy, and it got harder to breathe...Evil had entered the room." pg (190)
Whew

That's a hard image to get out of your head, and made me want to pray even harder for those that I don't feel like know the Lord. We aren't promised tomorrow and at any moment our life can be taken.

Do you know for sure where you are going?

Heaven is real, my friends. Don't take it for granted one more day.

"...We don't spend  life walking toward eternity; we walk alongside it."(pg299)




**I reviewed this book for Tyndale in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are mine.
Third picture courtesy of the amazingly awesome Mrs. Teri Lynne Underwood!

Linked with my friend Beth at Three Word Wed

Monday, September 9, 2013

Prayer For My Birthday Boy


Today this boy of mine turns nine. My heart can't believe it. I still remember the day they placed him in my arms. He didn't cry he just looked at me with his perfectly round face, olive complexion, and faux hawked hair (courtesy of the nurses :) )



  

The older he gets the more I realize my time to parent him in my home is slipping through my fingers like water.

I sit here this morning thinking about how much he has grown up this past year and the kind of young man he is growing into. And I'm proud and scared all at the same time.

You see, my boy is innocent and tender hearted. He never wants to hurt anyone's feelings (with the exception being his sister, ha!) and is a people pleaser. He likes small gatherings over big loud ones and he is kinda a perfectionist about his school work (definitely not about keeping his room clean, though).

He's messy and crazy and squeezable and lovable all at the same time. His innocence makes my heart melt and I smile in anticipation of what's going to come out of his mouth next. He makes me laugh like no other.

He has the most amazing piercing blue eyes that are already getting the girl's attention, though he will have nothing to do with them...yet (thank God!)

My heart is full of love for this boy, my baby. When he protested and asked me to stop calling him that I said, "Ok, but even when you're fifty I will still call you my baby, so you might as well get used to it now."

He agreed and still lets me call him baby ;)



As much as I love this boy and want him to be happy and feel and know he is loved I want him to grow up to be a godly man with godly strengths and character more. I know the urge to protect him from heartbreak and disappointment, but sadly that is what this world is full of.

People will let you down, dreams will get crushed, but as long as you have faith you will survive.

As I sat here in my quiet time this morning I knew I wanted to write out a prayer for him and all boys. I see the need for godly men in our world. I see and know the struggle to figure out where God fits into your life.

I know that without God there is no life. Nothing will mean anything, because things can't fill the hole in your soul that was meant to be filled by our Creator.


Dear Lord,
I want to thank you for the precious gift of my son. I am so thankful and blessed each day that I get to be his mom. As much as I want to hold him tight and never let go, I release him to you. This is not easy, you know. It requires a great deal of trust on my part. You alone know what he needs. I release him to you to protect him and care for him. I pray that not my will be done but yours in his life. Help me to release him to you knowing full well that you love him even more than I do.

I pray where there is any area where the devil is trying to speak lies to my son that Your truth will speak louder. I pray that he will feel loved and accepted and deliver him from any lies that would cause him to doubt your love for him. Manifest Your love to him in a real way today and help him to receive it.

I ask that you would penetrate his heart today with your love and grow his understanding of You. Lord, you have said in Your word, "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved"(Romans 10:9).  I pray for that kind of faith for my son. That he will lead a fruitful life, acknowledging you in every area of his life, and walk in a manner that is pleasing to You.

I pray that You would give Jackson a heart that desires to obey You and  longing to spend time in Your word. By the authority given to me in Jesus' name, I "stand against the wiles of the devil"and I resist idolatry, rebellion, stubbornness, and disrespect; nor will my child walk a path of destruction and death because of them.

Lord, I ask that you would reveal Your will to my son and give him a strong vision for his life. I pray that he won't waste a moment of his time on earth wondering what on earth he was created for. I pray that you will establish the work of his hands and give him the desire to work hard and never be lazy.

Lord, as he leaves my care each day and heads off to school I pray for godly friends for my son. Give him wisdom to choose friends wisely and help him to never compromise his walk with You in order to gain acceptance. Your word says, "He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed"(Proverbs 13:20).

There are so many things that I could and want to pray for Jackson about, but Lord one of the most important and pressing on my heart is that he grow up to be a godly man, husband, and father. That he will accept and embrace his role in the family. That he will love and respect his wife and that divorce never become a part of his family legacy.

You, Lord more than anyone knows how this world can pull at you and try to bring you down. I pray that he will have an unyielding faith to get him through the hard times, may "I'm sorry"be easy to say, and unending grace to forgive others.

My son is your son, Lord. Not my will, but Yours.

In Jesus' name I pray,
Amen.

Happy Birthday Jackson!! Momma loves you.

If you have ever wanted a resource to help in praying for your children, may I suggest The Power Of A Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian? This is powerful resource filled with over 30 different prayers to pray over your kids. Besides the Bible it's one resource that is never far from my hand.





Linking with Soli deo Gloria, Imperfect Prose, #TellHisStory


Friday, September 6, 2013

Red Is...





Today's Prompt:
RED

When I think of Red I think of love, passion, blood.

It's a color that evokes many emotions and is powerful.

Red also strikes fear-in the form of red ink on a paper you put your blood, sweat, and tears into.

Red is the color I'm not bold enough to wear on my lips for a night out, not wanting the attention it evokes.

It's a come hither attention getter.Life in red is bold and exciting. Filled with many things.

I'd think I'd rather live in the red than the black and white.

The red in the Bible draws me close and I want to savor every word. Know every word that was spoken by my savior. They represent truth to me.

How can one word have so many meanings, I guess that's the beauty of it.

Red is....




Joining Lisa Jo for her Five Minute Friday. She gives a prompt, you write for 5 min. No editing, no thinking, just writing whatever comes to mind. Sounds like fun, eh? Wanna join in? You can! Click the image below.


Five Minute Friday



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