Tuesday, May 17, 2011

He pays attention to every detail. Matthew 10:29

"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care." Matthew 10:39

I am fascinated by nature. Birds, flowers, blue skies, rain, thunder, lightning, change of seasons. I breathe it in and it gives me hope. I revel in God's glory for the tiniest of details. The soft hues of a rose, the detail in a leaf, peeper frogs, and elephants. He gave giraffes trees that they could eat from, he created a crayon box of Fall colors, and the brightest rainbow of spring. In winter he showes us beauty in the silence and every thing he created has the most intricate of details.

It reminds me how special we are to him. Like an artist, he worked at perfection because he cares and loves us unconditionally. To God we are is art, his perfect creation. And with that he also provides us with unending care and relationship. He wants us to enjoy his creations not only of the world, but his creation in us. We are all beautiful in his eyes. He doesn't see us the way we often times view ourselves. In us, he created a beautiful work of art. I often wonder if he hurts when we don't appreciate the gift? When we try to change our physical attributes, or hide them because we are embarrased by the turn of our nose, the texture of our hair, the size of our hips.

And yet, with all our short sightedness, with all our doubts about ourselves, he continues to welcome us with open arms. There is no rejection in God's arms, no dismissal in his eyes. There is only love.

When we begin to question our self worth, we need to be reminded of his perfect attention to the details.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sometimes Joy is hard to find...

Lately, I have been feeling a little down. Things just don't seem to be going my way. I start to feel sorry for myself, then it moves on to not wanting to get out of bed, or go to work. Its a brief thought running through my head if even for the slightest moment, and yet its there. I look inward to try and figure out what is going on and I then begin to realize I am neglecting to look for the joy. Joy, as opposed to happiness is long term and constant. Even in the midst of the worst of times, joy settles in for the long haul. Its a comfort, a feeling, a knowing that God is there, and he is in control. Its so easy to become shortsighted when we are trying to pay the bills, or dealing with the loss of a job, or loved one. Even illness or simply a bad day at the office can zap us of our energy, make us cry out "Why me, Lord?". "What did I do to deserve this?", "Will I ever feel better again?" So many things can get in the way of our joy, IF WE LET IT.

When I sit back and dwell on the sadness, pain, depression, loneliness or whatever might be happening at the time, I can become so engrossed, that it feeds upon itself, getting stronger and more powerful. But one word can change it. GOD. And another. JESUS. And then it happens, something that reconnects me to my savior. A small bird might land on my windowsill, a gentle breeze might push the curtains gently across my face in the morning, or a kind word might be said. Its so much easier to find what's wrong with life, but when we put GOD in our way, right in front of our face, its very hard to ignore the joy and blessings he brings.

"Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior."

Habakkuk 3:17-18

Sunday, April 24, 2011

I Am Always Amazed by His Knowing..Day 1

Today I started the 365 day plan with God. I wrote in my Journal: Dear Lord, I am excited about this journey with you. I have spent so much time and energy trying to do this on my own, with others, but also without you fully and completely in my life in all areas. I am prepared for hard work and for change. I pray for answered prayers, for miracles beyond my wilddest expectations. Create a new spirit within me. You have wiped my slate clean and I know you have been waiting for me to make this renewed committment. You know my heart Lord, my needs, my circumstances, my wants and desires. You know right where I am this very moment. As in past journal entries, this is no longer a journey about depression or drinking, you have healed me. Thank you. There is still much to do but this time I come to you fully and completely clear headed. Thank you for such an amazing miracle in my life.

As I have always done with God, I then open the book randomly turn to a page, and here is where I landed: Phillipians 4-7 "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again. Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to the Lord. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition with Thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which trancends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." It goes on to say the God of Peace will be with you. There was my message for the day.

Guidelines for this Day: Pray, replace negatives, inpure thoughts, books, movies, people, places with positive ones. Ask God. Practice. Live out God's meaning. Put it into practice. Be obedient to God's word. Be content regardless.

End of the Day Thanksgiving: My husband and I spent some quality time together. My Dad handed me money to cover the expense of the Easter meal which we just happen to really need at the time. We made progress in the house cleaning and getting a pile together of unnecessary stuff to take to good will. Thank you Lord for providing for us and answering my prayers. I need some direction on working out, fitness, training and the expense of it all.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Involvng God One Day at a Time

Years ago, I read a book by Hannah Whitall Smith about listening to God, and having complete faith putting God and Jesus Christ as the center of your life. I was fascinated by this woman who knew and believed in God, had accepted Christ as her Savior and lived her life completely in faith. And yet, she never thought he spoke to her, or that she heard from him. She relied solely on her faith and the bible and put her full trust in him.

Me, I needed to hear from him, I needed to be witness to some miracles. I needed to know when he was here, and when he was speaking to me. And when he did, then I wasn't necessarily sure it had been him. I studied him, read everything I could, listened to the words of others on their relationship and constantly struggled to find him, hear from him, know his plan for me. Finally I relaxed and slowly I began to hear his still small voice.

Lately God has been calling my attetion to the vast amount of places where I try to do life on my own not relying on him. It seems I compartmentalize myself deciding those things I should do on my own, and those things that are right to seek his help on. And he wants it all. He wants to me ask for is help,guidance, support, and answers. He wants us to seek him always. And he wants us to have faith in knowing he will answer. He will.

I have proof that he will. I have had miracles in my life. I have asked and he has answered but at times there is this logical side of me that says "Of course that would work out, you worked hard to ensure it did", or "Of course if I manage my finances I will have more financial resources". I recognize that I have to participate in the relationship with God in order to see the results I know I can expect from him, and yet the logical side of my mind says "well, then isn't it me doing the work?". And so it goes, me asking God to come in, me taking back the reins, me seeking God again.

But there are times, usually desparate times when I know God has answered. And yet, I still have doubt. I feel challenged by that, and like Hannah Whitall Smith I am going to focus on letting God in on all things, all my life, all my wants, dreams and desires. For the next 365 days I am going to pray for the simple, the large, the mundane, the work, the home life, the luxury items, everything. I am going to wake up every morning and let God in, and I am going to tell him everything. Everything I want, need and dream about. And I am going to record everything that happens. Because I know that he is faithful, and he does answer prayer, and he will provide all my needs and he knows what I need even before I do. Its silly really that I would een doubt it because I have proof. When I quit drinking, it was God who answered my prayer and took the craving away immediately and I have a years worth of Bible entries/recording to confirm it to myself. Its been three years and I have never craved it again, even after treatment, AA, counselling, depression medication, he simply removed the desire. It was one of my first big miracles and I know that if I let him inmfully, deeply and completely, there is so much more to come. So here I go. A year with God.

What is on my mind as we begin. I need to define my career. I want my own business or to be in a job that I love where I am in charge. I think I want to go back to school. I want my photograqphy business to grow big, really big. I need to get my house renovated and I am overwhelmed financially and with the shear magnitude of it so I don't know where to start. I want to work from home. I don't want to be rich in a big house, but I want to have enough money to be able to help others. I would love a house at the beach, rental property here to provide income so I can do what I want, I have about 200 pounds to lose. I would like to have white perfect teeth, and no sagging skin after I lose the weight. I would love to see my mothers health improve dramatically so we can have many more years together. I want a German Shepherd in our new one level house with a nice yard, an SUV to transport animals, or crafts depending on what I do for my new business. I want to travel more, specifically to Europe, Montana, France, Vermont, Cape Cod, Hawaii, and if I can't have a beach house yet, I would like to be able to go to the beach more often this summer. I want a closer relationship with my Dad and my brothers, and I don't want to agonize over the past anymore. I want a full, honest, open life with kind gentle actions in all I do. I need help with my taxes, planning for retirement, saving money, and paying bills. I would like to learn how people pay $10 for $400 in groceries and I could apply it even a little I would. I have a children's book I have written and it would be wonderful if some publisher would love it so much it would become a book and then a screenplay and would help me with all the other things in my life financially. I want a credit score of 720 or higher within the year. A new home in at least two years. I want to be a good friend to others. A mentor if there is someone who needs it.

I want to be a better wife and I would like my husband to be more involved in our relationship. I would love to have a more vital relationship with him and yet have no idea how to start. I would love for my husband to be interest in travelling with me and it would be great if his company gave him a raise, better benefits and more security nd more vacation time. I want my husband to get his driver's liscense and slow down a bit on his drinking so he can be more involved in our relationship. I want more peace in the progress. To be more sure as thoughts and ideas present themselves. I would love to have children but know my years for that have passed, but perhaps Foster parenting (provided our house is in better shape) or working with children in some way. I want to have a strong relationship with my nephews so that I can be there for them. I want to be the best Aunt possible. I would like to learn Search and Rescue and train a dog to work with me. I want to hike and photograph more and would be so excited if one of my photos was feature in a publication. I think I want to get my CAE certification and if I go back to school would love the company I am currently working for to pay for it all. Oh, and I would like the company I work for to begin contributing to the 401K plan again. I am going to make this into a list, and keep track of it all. I would like green grass to grow in my front yard, and to have our house painted this year. There is so much with regard to the house...new furnance, kitchen, windows, bathroom and more that God knows about, so I won't go into detail, but will record it all as we go.

Most importantly. I want God in my life 24/7 and I know its a two way street. I need to participate and that means getting back to church, reading the bible more consistently and recognizing the miracles all around me. If this journalling can help only one person then I have been obedient to God and that is all that is important. I know it will help me. Let the journey begin. Oh yes, it already has, God knew it all before I did.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Packing Up Christmas Galatians 5: 22-23

I often wonder how people can keep up Christmas Decorations all year round. For me there is such delight in unpacking my ornaments, putting up the lights, and picking the tree each year, that when its time to pack it up, I do so in anticipation of the next year.

I do however, feel a sort of melancholy when the process of "undecorating" begins. Christmas seems to come and go so fast and yet, its such a special time where family and friends get together and we as people come together with love. It is as if there is a sense of expectation. An expectation of love and kindness, patience, self control. As I thought of those words I immediately began to think about the Fruits of the Spirit. How appropriate that as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the fruits of the spirit are so strong and prevalent. People are more giving, more compassionate to their fwllow man. The man outside the grocery stores rings the bell for coins, and many of us cheerfully give what we can. We pack food baskets, give gifts to children of prisoners, serve food at Church Shelters, and so much more.

The fruits of the spirit are God's gifts to us and once we accept Jesus Christ as our Saviour they dwell in us while the Holy Spirit convicts us to change. It's up to us to allow God in, to let the Holy Spirit go to work. If we allow him to nourish us, our fruit becomes healthier, stronger. He helps us to become better people all year long. The Christmas Decorations, the joy, the fruits can be alive in us all year long. This year, let your Christmas lights shine all year long.

22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Losing Out on His Love. Psalms 105:4 Seek His Face Always.

Its been awhile since I have posted. Not sure what to call it other than a "break", a catharsis, a mistake. Because for awhile I have neglected my relationship with God. I have kept him in my heart drawing on his strength in difficult times but not putting my effort and time into this relationship. There were many excuses, an illness, a death in the family, job issues, etc. etc. etc. It wasn't only the attending church issue, I went from a daily bible study and devotional time with God to next to no time with God, and its a wonder to me that it happens so quickly and without my attention.

I could beat myself up for it, could get discouraged and feel bad but God is a forever friend. He does leave us simply because we have become lazy or neglectful. When we are ready to come back to him, his arms are wide open, welcoming us home.

I have missed out though. That time away from him, have left me with an emptiness and I want it back. I have talked to non believers through the years, and sometimes wonder if I could ever walk away. If I could accept my inability to keep up with the relationship. The answer is no. God has given to me an unconditional love again, and again, and again. My life is a testimony. Miracles abound, and to know that, to have that proof reminds me that its time to get back on track.

If there is someone out there who has been there, or is there, I encourage you to know that with God, there is always hope. When you let him in to your life, when you accept his Son as your Saviour, he grabs hold of your heart and never lets you go. Simply get on your knees and talk to him. His arms are wide open, his heart is yours. He will always be there.

This devotional arrived in my inbox today. I think God was talking to me!

If you're not choosing to spend regular time with God, then you're choosing to die spiritually.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

This is What I Know. Jeremiah 9 11:13

"For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans for hope and a future. If you seek me you will find me, when you seek me with all of your heart". This is my hearts verse. I am proof of a loving God who doesn't make mistakes, who loves unconditionally and who will never leave me or forsake me.

At one time, were just words to be applied, to memorize, to practice. They held little meaning at one time, and yet I latched on to them finally deciding that in order to experience God I had to let him in. I had to believe all of the bible, all of what it said. The more I began to change my way of thinking, the more that I began to notice God's hands on me, guiding me, changing me, nudging me to be better, stronger, more of a participant in this life here.

I am not perfect. This I know for sure. I make mistakes, I walk off the path a bit, but I catch myself more frequently, get back on the path. I fall in and out of letting God hold the reins and taking the reins in my hands all by myself, but this is what I know. I am proof of what God can do in our lives IF WE LET HIM.

It's not a one sided relationship where we ask and God Answers, it takes work to get to know God. Sometimes very hard work and sometimes he comes to us in our weak moments and shows his grace on us regardless of our mistakes. We are not mistakes in God's eyes, and its such a relief to know that he never leaves us.

Recently I have been challenged in my thoughts and actions. I was in a trench of sorts, trying to dig myself out. Trying to determine my life on my terms. A vendor to our company came in to the office today and he began to share an uncertainty that he was dealing with in his life. I could hear the angst, the pain, the sadness, the discomfort. I prayed to God for patience in listening to him and guidance as to what to say. I was reminded of my own journey and I told him that he should try to enjoy being in the trench for awhile because it means that God is working hard with us to lead us to a blessing we can't even begin to imagine. I firmly believe that sometimes we have to wallow in "Stuff", we have to feel sadness, discomfort, pain in order to grow as Christians.

As I said it I was reminded "Okay God, I am listening", that perhaps I should follow my own guidance. Perhaps I need to settle in for the ride a bit and that I am not alone. God is with me always, and he knows the plan that he has for me. How wonderful it is to know that he took the time to select the perfect plan for his child. I don't know about you, but to me its as if he holds me in his arms all the time. He never lets go, and the more I listen and let him in, the more my plan unfolds.