"I am guiding you in the way of wisdom, and I am leading you on the right path." proverbs 4:11

Category: "Journal Entry"

Let us be Thankful...

Written by:admin
Published on November 22nd, 2012 @ 12:31:00 pm , using 211 words, 966 views

(5 Finally these men said, ?We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.?

So the administrators and the satraps went as a group to the king and said: ?O King Darius, live forever! The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or man during the next thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be thrown into the lions? den.Now, O king, issue the decree and put it in writing so that it cannot be altered?in accordance with the laws of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.? So King Darius put the decree in writing.)

10 Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before. Daniel 6:5-10

28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29 for our ?God is a consuming fire.?  Hebrews 12:28-29

The Year of 40

Written by:admin
Published on November 20th, 2012 @ 12:56:00 pm , using 845 words, 584 views

The summer before my daughter turned 10 I heard someone share a family tradition.  I internalized it and adjusted it and implemented it for her that year-her 10th birthday.  We called it "10-the year of happiness!"  We got empty capsules from the drug store, wrote on little pieces of paper 12 activities or gifts for her and stuffed them in the capsules.  So on her birthday she received this little jar of these ?pills? with a note indicating that every month on the anniversary of her birthday she would open and redeem another one.  The boys can?t wait for their turn!

 Last week i turned 40.  i am delighted about it.  Yes i am reflective and introspective (when am i not?) 

i am delighted to have grown.
i am delighted to have been redeemed-it?s not quite for half of my life yet, but getting closer
i am delighted for those on my journey to this stop in the road who have made it possible that i am here...and not somewhere else. 
i am deeply aware of the turns my life could have taken.  the misery i could still be in.  had Jesus not rescued me, and key people not counseled and befriended and discipled me. 
i am delighted to be delighted!

 And i am thankful.  so so very thankful.  yes i am keeping track of all the ways He loves me-my heavenly Father whom i get to call da-da (English for abba)

 For a month now i?ve been planning in my head a special party.  where these key folks would be invited.  where i would present them with a gift and words of blessing and thanksgiving for them and their specific gift of influence to me.

 it stayed there in my head.

 i even made up a couple of invitations-picked out a potential date.  i made a couple of the gifts (journals for giving thanks, recording joy-thanks Ann) the date came and went, invitations not sent.  my birthday coming closer and then passing-the party not happening.

 the day of my birthday i went to lunch-and gave out two of the gifts-with a had written note as best i could scratch out in a moment how dear that person was.  i gave my husband and children gifts.  When everyone balked; ?what!  you can?t do that-it?s your birthday.?  i declared 40 is the year of opposites.  where did that come from??? i?ve no idea. 

but the thought has lingered.  the failure of my initial plan need not discourage-as in every other instance in my life (and there have been MANY);  a failed plan is an opportunity for a new one to emerge.  it?s usually a better one in the long run. 

 So I have self declared that i will finish the rest of those gifts and i will deliver them-this year.  for me that?s the opposite of my normal not following through with what the Spirit has prompted me (dare i trust that is what it is??)  When visiting with another friend a different day-i shared this continual need for courage to share what is going on in my head.  her words to me; ?Share it!  you are withholding blessing from people if you don?t.  By all means, share!?

 so as one who over-analyzes; over-introspects; talks myself OUT of things all the time.  This year of being 40 is self-declared the year of opposites.  i will seek courage to share-when it seems foolish; to act when i?m thinking ?oh-just forget it, it was a silly idea anyway? give gifts when it?s my turn to receive.  Really it?s a year of thinking less of myself-and acting on that thought. 

 instead of the year of acting...-or not- based on fear.
i will act-or not.... based on courage????

 this is not a self-declared year of having a different personality.  i have fought that battle and lost time and time and time again.  it seems that the 20?s were figuring out who i am, and the 30?s growing to accept and work with who i am-the 40?s need not be;  ok, now let?s change who i am.  no, it?s more about letting who i am out more.  no, not even that type of pulling up my bootstraps.  its moving into a deeper trust in God with what He has declared about me and allowing Him to move me out in public as is.  it?s that showing up thing.  Receiving courage from Him to show up....and then maybe to open my mouth....and to let what happens next just be.  just let it be.  talk with Him about it-let Him assure me of Himself.  Quit over-analyzing how i could have been better, or how i should not have been. 

 we?ll see how it plays out-but the next step is to finish those gifts and begin making plans to deliver them.  journeys of 1000 miles do begin right here from this place of stillness-taking just the first step!

 For He has said; ?I am guiding you in the way of wisdom, and I am leading you on the right path.? 

my choice is to actually believe Him....

 and it will be a delightful year of being 40!

Applying Asaph's psalm {see yesterday's post}

Written by:admin
Published on November 8th, 2012 @ 01:01:00 pm , using 177 words, 506 views

spent

failure

spread so thin

longing to just know the balance

relationahips struggling w/ so little or no communication happenning

no one really understands the details.

no one but You, my Adonai

i sing the hymn "Speak Lord in the stillness"

am i spent because i am in Your will?
or am i spent because i am our of Your will?

everyone has an opinion, in my mind i play those tapes.

Oh my Lord, it's not the strangers voices that seem to be tripping me up-its the familiar ones....have the strangers become all too familiar?

pause....selah....sigh

i.  need.  You.  just You.

oh eyes, fix on Jesus, the Author and Perfector of my Faith.

i am senseless and ignorant before you.

YET

yet You guide me-You take my hand.
Oh and the best part is-

Afterward

after all. this. stuff.

You will take me into glory

You are the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

i am learning to desire nothing else but You-Jesus.

nothing else.

just Jesus.

and His rest for my weary and burdened soul.

Asaph's Psalm

Written by:admin
Published on November 7th, 2012 @ 11:05:00 am , using 326 words, 299 views

Psalm 73  God?s Ways Vindicated

God is indeed good to Israel,
to the pure in heart.
But as for me, my feet almost slipped;
my steps nearly went astray.
For I envied the arrogant;
I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

They have an easy time until they die,
and their bodies are well fed.
They are not in trouble like others;
they are not afflicted like most people.
Therefore, pride is their necklace,
and violence covers them like a garment.
Their eyes bulge out from fatness;
the imaginations of their hearts run wild.
They mock, and they speak maliciously;
they arrogantly threaten oppression.
They set their mouths against heaven,
and their tongues strut across the earth.
10 Therefore His people turn to them
and drink in their overflowing words.
11 The wicked say, ?How can God know?
Does the Most High know everything??
12 Look at them?the wicked!
They are always at ease,
and they increase their wealth.

13 Did I purify my heart
and wash my hands in innocence for nothing?
14 For I am afflicted all day long
and punished every morning.
15 If I had decided to say these things aloud,
I would have betrayed Your people.

16 When I tried to understand all this,
it seemed hopeless
17 until I entered God?s sanctuary.

Then I understood their destiny.
18 Indeed, You put them in slippery places;
You make them fall into ruin.
19 How suddenly they become a desolation!
They come to an end, swept away by terrors.
20 Like one waking from a dream,
Lord, when arising, You will despise their image.

21 When I became embittered
and my innermost being was wounded,
22 I was stupid and didn?t understand;
I was an unthinking animal toward You.


23 Yet I am always with You;
You hold my right hand.
24 You guide me with Your counsel,
and afterward You will take me up in glory.
25 Who do I have in heaven but You?
And I desire nothing on earth but You.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart,
my portion forever.
27 Those far from You will certainly perish;
You destroy all who are unfaithful to You.
28 But as for me, God?s presence is my good.
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
so I can tell about all You do

Courage and Harvesting Ice.

Written by:admin
Published on October 23rd, 2012 @ 01:38:00 pm , using 1106 words, 746 views

  Recently we had church directory pictures taken.  I wanted us to take a goofy picture, with unmatched clothes and making faces.  I wanted it to be a picture that anytime someone looked at it they would laugh out loud-thus spreading Joy and fun for the sake of fun all amongst the congregation.

 But we lacked the courage to follow through.  We ended up all wearing black-which was fine.  At least 4 times i quietly mentioned wanting a funny photo-finally the photographer (who was quite a professional i might add) gathered us to take one.  But when it came time to pick for the directory, this photo wasn?t given as an option.  When I mustered up the courage to ask if it could be used-the answer was no-it was taken horizontally and a vertical photo was needed. 

 Why could i not be more bold and direct and clear about what we wanted-even though it was so foreign an idea to the photographer?s frame of reference?

 Even more recently, I wanted to miss something so that i could take the particular evening for a time of prayer.  Our house is very small, and my husband works from home.  There is just something about the freedom of being actually alone to sing and pray and just talk to God without having someone say ?uh... mom?....who are you talking to??  but i quietly mentioned the possibility of not being there (without saying why)-and the response... i interpreted it within and quietly ?recovered from my moment of madness? declaring that ?never mind, i don?t know what i was saying, yes in fact i would attend.?

 Why could i not be more bold and just say-not quietly-but assertively; ?Sorry, I will not be attending ________night.? and not leave any door open implying I?m asking permission, or just toying with the idea.  Just put it out there straight and walk away and deal with the emotions later....during the precious alone time i would have had?????

 Then there is the inward struggle with the way school has gone for the last few weeks.  One child is homeschooled.  We are in the middle of a family project-that would have been completed before school started if there had not been fire in the mountains -causing evacuations and delays at the beginning of the summer.  Thus, his school currently consists of.....do i even have the courage to share what it actually consists of? 

 i was reminded of Farmer Boy by Laura Ingals Wilder.  It?s the story of Almonzo as a boy (before he became Laura?s husband).  a quote that i latched onto early on in my homeschooling ?career? was this:

?Almonzo did not go to school that day.  He did not have to go to school when there were more important things to do.?  (p.50) 

i remember that one of those ?more important things? was harvesting ice for the ice-box.  It wouldn?t have required courage for them to miss school for harvesting ice-for everyone knew how important it was for their survival, and everyone knew that when the conditions were right for it-you did it.  the conditions were outside of their control-they had to work within the weather. but of course back then, everyone knew that.  it was part of their culture.

 I do believe with all my heart that school is important. I also believe with all my heart, there are more important things than school.  So, while the others are off at school, my youngest?s education is consisting of other things than the 3 r?s.  working alongside your dad-that is priceless education isn?t it?

 so why is it that i cannot with confidence say-D-?s school right now is carpentry, and how to respond to frustration and discouragement (the former from his father, the latter from his mother :)).  Why do i so quickly let the fear seep in and take over my thoughts?  or if i?ve conquered it within-why do i not speak of it boldly without? 

 it all boils down to a lack of courage to live out what the Lord has placed within.  How the spirit has directed and led.  regardless of culture.  regardless of whatever!  There?s this idol of other?s opinions on the matter that seem to overtake my heart i think.  and there is this quiet way about me-that i have prayed and prayed and prayed to be replaced with boldness. 

 i have encouraged myself with stories of others? who trudge a new and different path contrary to the desires and acceptance of those near them;

  ?No, I replied to their suggestions, ?God is leading this way, and this way I go.? p.34 of ?To a Different Drum? by Pauline Hamilton

 ?Many difficulties have risen in my mind, they seem very great, the ?crooked places? seem very crooked, but it seems to me that all He asks is that we should take the one step He shows us, and in simplest, most practical trust leave all results to Him.  Mother, I know that very few of our friends will think I am right.  Those who don?t know the Shepherd?s voice themselves will be quite sure i am very wrong adn mistaken, but He has said, ?Walk before Me, and be thou perfect.?  He knows, and He won?t let me dishonour Him by making a mistake and following my own fancy instead of Him.  if it is so, He will show it to me, but if it is His will, I must do it....?  Amy Carmichael of Dohnavur by Frank L. Houghton p.45

 sigh-to be so couragous.  to trust His leading.  in just the little things-starting with the little things.  It?s something i so long to learn......

 i am reminded of Jesus words to the disciples in the boat:

?Take Courage, it is I?

 He offers the courage for me to take.  He doesn?t say? ?Have courage, be courageous?  (tho He does say that elsewhere-like to Joshua.) no in these cases it's: "Take!"  which means it's something i don't have already. 

i don?t know how to be courageous.  Nevertheless, i do have hope that i can learn how to take courage from the One whom i so long to follow where He is currently leading. 

 because learning comes with practice and repetition.  and if the Lord would grant that plea for boldness to just be so....natural;

 well then, what would i need Him for?

 He has said; ?blessed are the poor in spirit?

which means that joy, once again, will not be found with an instant personality change.  but with having received courage to harvest the ice. And i will instantly know where the Glory goes-to my Strength who has come to my aid....again.  And I will thank Him.

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