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Seasons of life

***This post is a sticky~~~ Scroll down for the most recent post***

 

Fall, autumn, whatever you call it, it’s refreshing after a long hot summer.  There is so much about it I love. The surface stuff is a given cooler temps, changing colors, etc, but I love the deeper stuff it represents.

In a season where dormancy is in motion it relates to my life.  Our lives go through seasons to.  Change is always going to come. It can be surface changes or just like fall deeper.

In order to grow some things have to be put to rest or die all together.   Think about where you are now, where you were, now think of where you are going.  Is everything that was there in the very beginning still with you now? Will what you have or who you have now be the same then?

What happens to those plants and trees that loose their leaves?  The tree sits bare all winter,   it slows down to save energy. It seems as if it’s dead, it isn’t. It is preparing for spring and the time of rebirth.   That tree is coming back stronger and prettier in growth mode. It never stops.

I too, am in a season of change. 🙂

 

 

 

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Doing Life, Getting it together, Jesus, Matters of the Heart, Seeking God

Bare Necessities: Why an empty life is a full life

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God is all around. He is in all things, He is the maker of all things.  Whatever we are, have, or can do is only because of Him.  Sometimes it is easy to be so good at something, for us to be so natural at it that we often forget how we came to do the thing in the first place.

Lord, may I never forget it is all because of you.

Opportunities come, chances are there, every morning we get a fresh slate. I think a lot about how I am so thankful that He’s not up there keeping score.   (His patience won’t last forever, there will be a day when the trumpet sounds)

We were driving down the road and I looked across (what any other time of the year would look like plain ole woods) anyway I looked at it and peeking through the bare trees was a house that I never knew existed.  “How adorable.” I thought.  How is it that I have been driving this same road for 10 + year and I never noticed that. It didn’t just magically appear:  it has been there for no telling how long.

Normally the trees are full and lush. Now they are bare.  All that foliage has been striped away to reveal things not normally seen. They look so empty. But the empty is necessary.

Our lives are like that too you know.

Full. But yet EMPTY and we don’t even realize it until a tragedy Our lives are  Full of…

Social Media ( Keeping up with everyone else, and for what?)

Entertainment ( sitting down watching someone else live a fake life on T.V)

Tasks

Shopping

work work work

Driving kids to and from the latest activity they’ve been signed up for ( I agree while it’s good to keep them into something good it’s also easy for them to get priorities mixed up)

Taking care of that big house we had to have

Commitments that we never should have agreed to

The Lord was really talking to me in this moment. I knew it because it was such a powerful revelation and also because earlier this morning while getting ready for church I happened upon a video speaking about this very thing. About how we are so busy maybe busy doing all the right things but we are too busy to enjoy and see the Lord and the people He has entrusted us with.

I have been guilty of being entirely to busy doing all the wrong things. After I have finished said tasks there is little time or energy leftover for what matters most.

So you see,  we have always associated bareness with lack.  Today I see bareness in a hole new light. I see it in having time to see and know what matters.  

How many times have I passed over and neglected the important things because my life was so full.

Normally the Message version isn’t my go to. However I love how this is written.

Proverbs 13:7

“A pretentious, showy life is an empty life: a plain and simple life is a full life.”

Pretentious means attempting to impress by affecting greater importance, talent, culture, etc… than is actually possessed.

What if a bare life was really a full life?

What if we got alone with God, totally surrendered and ask Him to forgive us of our business? Forgive us for trying to know best. And ask Him to reveal to us what needs to go, What do I need to let go of or add?   Ask Him to shake us down like a mighty tree on a cold November day. Shake off what isn’t needed so I can make way for what is.

New blooms can’t come in the spring if the old, dead leaves are hanging on.

Growth in God’s will and plan can’t take root if we are busy with everything other than what He intended for our lives.

I love this verse so much, our Pastor actually spoke on it today.  God is really working on me today.  This post is if nothing else a message for myself to strip down to the bare necessities.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-His good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

A bare life will mean more time for love, family, friends, stewarding the things we need well.  Studying HIs word more. Deep meaning prayer times that render the enemy inafective in our lives. Having time to help someone in need rather than fullfilling our needs. Being more hands on with our kids, modeling for them that life is precious and love is what matters. When we are bogged down we are stressed and irrritable.  Any favors for others come at inconvientent times of tiredness and teach our kids that we really don’t have time. That joy in serving others is a burden rather than an honor.

Lord Jesus, please clear my mind. Empty my life of the chaso.  Show me what is not necessary in my life.  Reveal to me what needs to go so that I can carry out your good, pleasing and perfect will. Forgive me for being busy and patterning that same hustle and bustle for my kids. Redeem our lifestyle and habits by revealing truth to us.  In Jesus name, Amen.

Holy Spirit, Jesus, Matters of the Heart, Seeking God

The downfall of silent Christians. The truth about what it means to be a true disciple, love, sin, and truth.

A year ago Lauren Daigle was a name known only by “Christians.”  Secular people and circles alike had no clue who she was and probably had never heard of her.  Recently Lauren has made her way to the Ellen show and Jimmy Fallon, I have no idea where else, but what I do know is most of North America probably knows her now. Not for her funky, soul sounding Christian songs, no, unfortunately she is surrounded by much controversy at this moment.

In her interview she says and I quote “I don’t know… I can’t say one way or the other. I am not God….”

Image source: You Tube WWUTT

Now let’s just stop right there.

The lyrics below are not full version or in exact order. Stay with me…

In her song “You Say”  (she is singing to God)  “You say I am loved, you say I am strong, you say I am held…..”

In her song “Still Rolling Stones” she says The grave let go, the darkness should have known… Now that you saved me, I sing cause you gave me a song of revive so I put it on vinyl….  I was blinded but now I see, I heard about the power and now I believe.”

In her song “How Can It Be” she says…You plead my cause, you right my wrongs, you break my chains, you overcome…

These are just a few lyrics from some of her songs. Beautiful lyrics.  However, she obviously has read enough of the Bible to know the words to these lyrics. To know that Jesus saves, He gives sight to the blind, He overcame darkness.

Guess she’s never gotten to…

“Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.” Leviticus 18:22

By now you may be asking yourself, ANNND??? What’s it to you?  Who are you to judge?  You’re right. Who am I to judge?

If by speaking up about truthful, biblical  facts then call me Judge J.  For far to long now true Christians have been shrinking back and keeping quite for this very reason, fearful of being perceived as “judgmental” “self-righteous”  “hypocrites”  We constantly are reminded how it’s not our place to judge and that we are supposed to be loving and accepting.  That if we are “what a Christian is then I don’t want to be apart of that.”

We have stayed silent to extend peace.

My friends we have exchanged “tolerance” for “condoning”

While we can’t condone who people love and choose to bed, we can choose to speak up if point-blank asked.

True Christians, I can assure you love the person, but will tell with all the love, kindness and honestly that sin is sin, we strive to point to the truth of the gospel. I can also tell you that we know more than anyone how flawed we are.

We have to be sure to discern and fix our eyes on truth.  We can’t skirt around it because we love the person. thing, or fun, we have to love the truth.  And telling people the facts about scripture is a sure-fire way to show love.  Mostly though we have to walk out the scripture we quote.

As I was saying we have stood by in the name of keeping peace and slowly our rights are being stripped from us.  We have to stand up for the gospel and standing up for it means living by it and if we are living by it WE ARE SPEAKING THE TRUTH ABOUT THE LIVING WORD. Saying ” I am not sure if homosexuality is a sin” but telling me I am loved and free is contradictory.   There is no freedom in sins grasps.

Here’s some more truth.  If a person confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord and asks HIM into their hearts and confesses that they are a sinner in need of His saving, they are saved.  IF a person is truly saved the Holy Spirit dwells inside them and they are changed, they are a new creation, the old has passed away, behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

That means that If you are homosexual, a thief, a murderer, an adulterer, then the desire to do those things should be going away.   You shouldn’t be able to continue to do that thing and not feel convicted.

So saying I believe in God and I love everyone, I go to church here and there, I read the Bible some, that’s simply not enough.  The Bible says that even the demons believe and tremble.

Or do you not know that wrong doers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the sexually immoral, nor idolators nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor the drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ by the spirit of our God.”  1 Corinthians 6:9-11

Being a perfect angel is hard, ha impossible but we should have the desire to Love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, and strength, we should have the desire to love others as ourself.    Yes love others, but point them to truth and that is love too. Him living inside of us changes us.

You want to know how to gauge your spiritual maturity?  The time it takes between your sin and your confession of your sin.  If it takes a while for you to confess you may wanna take a step back and reevaluate your life.

While we’re on the subject as I was writing this I had this thought, “why is homosexuality the one sin that creates the most controversy, why is it the one that when spoken out against true Christians fall under such scrutiny.

I feel like it’s this. Of all the sins homosexuality is the sin that is shoved down our throats that we should learn to be okay with, the one that we should understand that love is love and you can’t help who you love.  It’s the one sin that tries to overtake any place of life that was once normal. It’s on T.V. It’s in songs, it’s in commercials, it’s in advertising, it’s coming to a bathroom near you, it’s coming to a classroom to our kids, it has its own organization, it can sue the pants of you for disagreeing with it or the people who stand for it.  Painted up, decked all out to be called love.  Last time I checked there are not commercials and rallies for murder.  There aren’t things just openly out there enticing you to steal.   I know there are gangs and I know thieves lurk everywhere, but I think you get the jest of what I am saying.

I have read where many so-called Christians say ” we aren’t to judge, at least she got the gospel in front of millions and millions of people who may not ever hear the lyrics.  And they’re right but she also just left out a big truth in the Bible, she may have very well just let someone think it’s okay.  And that’s not okay.   So on one side of the coin, yes many heard that Jesus is Still Rolling Stones, and on the other they can bed a person of the same gender and all is well.

Bottom line is this, if we (I am talking to myself here as well) are going to stand on any one word of truth in the Bible, if we are to bring glory to God and be the salt and light then we must stand on every single word, Even the one that says to LOVE.  Again, I say speaking the truth is a way of love, truth leads to the saving of many and what could be more loving than that.

Getting it together, Monday Check In

Getting it together: Confessions of a messy woman.

Confession time

Every single week I say I am going to absolutely try to flip my life upside down.  Change my every day crappy habits around and make some good of my life.

Don’t get me wrong I am not a bad person with deep dark secrets in my closet. No, you won’t find horrible things there, what you will find is…

A super messy house, clothes that seem to multiply like gremlins, toothpaste spattered only on my side of the sink.   I can’t load the dishwasher for this clean up time because I forgot to turn the thing on last time! UGH!   And don’t ask me where my keys are.   I have 5 pairs of shoes piled up at the front door always.  And I can’t remember the last time I made my bed.  Did I mention that bunnies live here?  Not not the cute little ones but those dusty ones that seem to find their way out even if I have just swept!  That is just  my home for starters and only a few examples of my messy habits.

However I am all caught up on my shows, and I know everything happening in Facebook land.   And I have spent plenty of time soaking in a hot bath imagining this organized life I want to live.  Only to get out and plop down on the couch with the computer and t.v. This.is.sickening.

My health… hmmmm let’s see here…. I have every workout video series known to man, Walk Away the Pounds, The Firm,  Body Bump, Zumba … Biggest Loser etc… the list goes on and on.  And are you ready for the whipped cream and cherry on the top?

I pay for a gym membership AND own a total gym machine.

And here is the kicker I am so out of shape and overweight it is ridiculous! We eat out way to much and I am way to addicted to sugar.

In high school I ran track and I was always dancing.  I had killer legs, not now! HA. Now I have killer thighs.

So each week I say I am going to start being a responsible adult, I am going to get my crap together.   Like I am just going to resist the urge to do what I always do which is a whole lot of nothing.

So here’s to what I hope will be some accountability for me to strive to do and be a better person.  I realize I won’t be able to change all of this over night (even though I have had delusional moments where I am pretty sure I am tough enough to do so) the reality is this is going to take time. Overcoming one thing at a time.

I am going to make a list of all the things I need  and want to change.  Make my top 3 that are most important non-negotiable and once I master that then I will add to it.

When I am brave enough maybe I can share some before and after photos.

I will accomplish this. I have to. My sanity and health depend on it. I want to be a good example to my son, I am sure I have already ruined my adult daughter.   I tell my son pick up your room, it’s a mess. I am sure he thinks I am crazy. I tell him do as I say not as I do.     #gottasaveoneofthem

 

Doing Life

When trusting and depending on other people is not easy.

Getting older doesn’t bother me a bit, well the aches and pains that come with aging are no fun, but mentally, I like it.

With age has come wisdom. A constant finding of myself.  We never stop discovering us. It’s impossible.

I am not a team player.  When it comes to work, hobbies, projects, etc… I like to go it alone.  In school I hated group projects. I always got stuck with the group that didn’t want to do much.  I always had the burden on my shoulders. Admittedly I didn’t think it was fair they benefited from my hard work.  It should have been equal effort.  That is reason # 1 why I am a loner.  Reason # 2 is I have a hard time trusting.

From a young age I experienced huge let downs and heartache that shouldn’t have been. I mean children are going to have times when things are tough, but some of it can be prevented.

Recently I was watching Food Network Star and I was watching two contestants fight over a team project. One was like “I can’t leave my fate in her hands” and the other one was like “she ain’t gonna tell me what to do.” The funny thing is I can relate to both of them.

I do realize that life isn’t about us being the biggest best ME ME ME, but it is hard to break these deep-rooted traits.   Ingrained since childhood.  Then having situations in adulthood that further validate my reasoning why I am who I am.

What it really boils down to is trust and dependence.  It is hard to trust once you have been hurt and it’s hard to depend on others when you’ve been let down.  It is our human nature to build a wall.  It is so easy to assume that every other person will hurt us and let us down. Especially if the pain is from a parent, sibling, or a spouse.

I love it when something happens that turns the light bulb on and helps me understand and even realize I am not alone in my quirky ways.  It’s time like these that I vow to remember that not everyone is untrusting and that some people are dependable. I mean if someone like me met me and had to depend on me or trust me they would find a faithful friend, so I hold out hope that I’ll meet those same people like me too.

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:

If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.

But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NIV

 

I have to remember that God created me to not go it alone.  May we all find our tribe that gets us.

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Doing Life, Jesus, Matters of the Heart

Forgiveness. Giving it or withholding it. 6 ways to tell if you’ve forgiven

Sometimes I don’t know which is more difficult, having true joy no matter what comes along or deciding how to proceed with someone who has done you wrong.

They’ve betrayed you and hurt you, shed a whole new light on the real them til the point you wonder how you missed it and how you got involved with them in the first place.

Oh and the kicker… they have the nerve to carry on as IF you are in the wrong! How dare you be hurt or take offense!  They are the people that will talk about you to EVERYONE except YOU!

They are the people who don’t want to admit they are wrong or have been mean. The ones that when you see them again they want to pick up right about the place before they wronged you as if nothing ever happened.

Being a true disciple is easy when things are great, it’s those hard times, hurtful times, trying times and trying people that make it tough.  As children of God we are called to be loving,merciful, peacemakers and keepers.  But sometimes it is downright hard. I am fine with serving, church, scripture,  and prayer. Just struggle with PEOPLE sometimes.   Then I think of Jesus and how He showed so much love, grace, mercy and kindness while people spat on Him, beat Him and left Him for dead.

Forgiveness… sometimes even when I think I have forgiven, I have to ask, have I truly forgiven?

What does truly forgiving someone even look like?  Do you even go forward with this person and if so how? Especially if you’ve been down a road similar to this with them once already,  It’s like Ok, I forgave you once already, got passed that, I mean truly got over it and now here we are again.

Currently I am a situation such as this.  Here are some signs that hit me that maybe I’m not over it this time.  I never really paid much attention until now.  I want to truly forgive and I want to be in right standing with God. See if you have ever been able to relate to any of these things.

  1. You keep replaying the situation/fight over and over in your mind.
  2. If you hear of someone that talked to them you wonder what they are saying or have said about you.
  3. If you hear of any good news from them you feel like {wow, they really don’t deserve that.}
  4. You may find it difficult to pray for them.
  5. You may feel hypocritical asking God to forgive you if you have’t truly forgiven them.
  6. They keep showing up in your dreams.

Seventy-Seven

Jesus answered “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” Matthew 18:22 NIV

Doing Life, Jesus, Seeking God

How to Position Yourself to Receive the fullness of God

We have a dozen or more of the sweetest Muscovy ducks.  We also had four beautiful mallards, three of them died. Only one remains.    I truly believe God can teach us so much about love and life through these animals if we choose to pay attention.   If you’ve ever seen a muscovy you’d know they aren’t the most beautiful creatures, at least not in the face, their markings on their bodies are pretty but they have all this red garb on their face, especially the males.   Let me tell you though what they lack in looks they more than make up for in personality.

The mallard is right opposite, they are gorgeous!  Hunter green with the black, their heads so sleek. However they are straight up snobs. They walk around with arrogance, it’s as if they know they are all that when it comes to looks.

I can tell you that of the two the muscovy’s alway seem to be more lively and have fun.  They humbly carry on about their life, they will let the mallard in and eat and mingle it’s the mallard that wants no part of them.   When there were four of them they stuck together none of the four wanted to be around the muscovy’s so when three died I just knew the mallard would choose to be a part of them  out of loneliness.  I was wrong.  Because of this the mallard often missed out on feedings simply because it didn’t want to be with them.   I was giving out food but it wasn’t present to receive.  The muscovy’s will come running to you even an hour after they have eaten they just want to be with you they want to receive anything you may have.

We are just like the muscovy’s and mallards.

Some of us are humble, accepting, and living life. Some of us are arrogant, snobby, and to close minded.

Where my writing desk/ prayer time/ bible study happens is in front of a window.  Out of this window there is this one same group of moscovy’s that go exploring every morning.  I see them as they make their trek around, all lined up one after the other. Then they find a shady spot and just chill.  After a bit of chilling they peck around and then carry on back to the pond.

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13

Now, if I wasn’t in my spot looking out the window I would miss this entirely,   But because I am right here I get to see them.   If I missed them I’d see those little cuties at some point in the day maybe in passing, maybe they would be in the middle of the pond, maybe they would be clear around the other side of the pond.  I’d still see them but I wouldn’t have gotten that up close peek of them doing their daily thing had I not been right here.

Now think about this, God has something for us every single day. He is waiting to love on us to speak to us, to fill us up for the day.  He is ready to do His daily thing.   Are we positioning ourselves to receive it? Are we humbly, lovingly, expectantly putting ourselves in the place to receive His fullness?  Or are we just rushing through the day getting a sporadic glimpse here and there?   Are we being intentional in making Him first?

If I don’t position myself to intentionally seek Him, hear Him, love on Him and receive His deepest love I am missing out.  Yeah I’ll get glimpses of Him and His majesty throughout the day, but it won’t be that deep meaningful, spirit filled fill up I desperately need and want.

I have to be ready daily to receive it.  My day will be so much richer.

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33

  1. Pick a spot and try to make an appointment at the same time each day to meet Him there.
  2. Leave your phone behind. Do not check any emails or social media until you have had this time with God. ( I done this one time and something that was posted on Facebook stole my attention and interupted what God had for me.)
  3. Start with a worship song.  Then prayer, then listen for Him, then read scripture. Listen a little more.

When you awake each day thank Him immediately for another day this will automatically put you in the right place to prepare to receive.

Doing Life, Writing

My guest post link…Raising Godly Boys in a Socially Drive World

If you  follow me on Facebook then you have seen me share daily a blog series “Raising Godly Boys”  Myself along with 29 or so others have contributed to this series. We each have raised or are raising boys.  We each desire to raise them up to be Godly Boys that turn into Godly Men.  Together we have compiled post to help you and hopefully encourage you.

Today my post is on the Intentional in Life blog.

 

Raising Godly Boys in A Socially Driven World

Church, Jesus

Church & Rain

crossChurch is for your spirit what rain is to the earth.

It brightens things up

It cleanses

It freshens

It restores

It renews

It generates growth

Jesus offers you a downpour that will clean you white as snow.

Not rain, but crimson blood poured out once for ALL.

Leave your umbrella of this world behind. Stand before God looking heavenward with outstretched arms and grab hold of the one that brought heaven to you. Cling to Him and never let go.

Then spend the rest of your life cleansing-freshening-restoring-renewing and growing daily in a relationship with Jesus Christ.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doing Life, Writing

Randomness

Being a born again believer can be hard stuff when we constantly stay involved in worldly stuff.   Stuff that leads to destruction is at every twist and turn.  Movies, commercials, certain social situations, and even certain people can be a stumbling block. A magnetic pull to the old life you’d like to leave behind.

I think what irks me more than anything though is when you stand your ground and the person you stand up against tries so hard to convince you that you are anything but a blood bought Christian.   I guess they expect you to roll over and take their crap.

Even while writing this it sure seems like I have written about this before.  In fact I am sure I have. Probably on my old blog, the one that I accidentally let go of without backing everything up. Yeah not a fun time and certainly one of my largest regrets to date.

Speaking of… my 12-year-old son asked me the other day what was my biggest regret. My reply, letting my health go, not staying active and fit. I forgot to add losing valuable blog content to the list.

I have to get focused on being productive with my time. God gives us gifts, talents, careers, money, and time.  Somehow I am squandering all of that away.   I’d like for that to not be true, however that would mean I am in some serious denial.   So I plan to be consistent in my writing. To turn the TV off, to  log off of social media.  I am so hung up on Facebook and I don’t even know why.  My 2nd daughter from another mother is in New York. I absolutely love her and seeing her photos warms my heart, I am so happy for her time there but I must confess that her being so far away is sad.   That’s what I want to see happen again, human contact, humans spending time face to face!  In a world where we can connect easily in a ton of different ways we are so disconnected.  It isn’t gong to get any better unless we are intentional.

This post is just me rambling about a little bit of everything.  I hope this beginning of June is finding you enjoying each moment of life, each new day.   My great friends daughter is battle the C word again, round 2.  My heart breaks for them both. My God is faithful! I am believing He will heal her.

 

Doing Life, Uncategorized

Spring has Sprung

I am so happy Spring is finally here.  Unfortunately with it has come a huge case of the worse allergies I have ever experienced.   The good thing is we have been  able to start on the list of home projects that are in desperate needing of getting done.

Our daughter is getting married, we are planning, dreaming, planning, spending, planning and just so high on living this one and only life.  While our life is filled with happy times that come with planning  a future I am also once again painfully reminded of how short life is, how it can change on a dime.  Just one doctor’s visit can change everything.  

Last year a really great friends daughter battled cancer.  I can’t imagine what she felt.  I hurt for her. I waged prayer wars with her.   I am blessed to say my God, the one true God healed her on this side of Heaven.   Sadly, now another member of their family is facing cancer.   We are praying.

I have added a new goat to my herd. I got my doe back that I bought last year. She was bought with the plan to milk, but  I wasn’t prepared at all for it. Overwhelmed doesn’t even touch what I felt on that cold, stormy morning in a 5×5 shed with 4 goats  piled in.  I was crying, I hadn’t had coffee and I was under experienced in milking.  A very dear friend that raises goats came to my rescue.  So now I am all prepared.  I am so happy to have her back.  We are milking her and our little Nigerian Honey B.   

Each day that I awake and have the physical means to experience and do these thing I am so thankful, truly thankful. 

 

~ Have a good week.