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Tag Archives: Obedience

Wait! Not that word!

waiting…

waiting for the next word,

the next drop of ink that begins something new.

read here to get that storyPen

Sometimes The Word writes slowly

a flowing script,

a gentle steady pace,

and I see every upstroke, downstroke, and curve as it happens.

Looking  back I see how each letter blended together to make a beautiful word

but…

Sometimes The Word stamps!

a complete word.

quickly.

in one complete motion.

jarring.  vibrating.  splintering.

an unexpected sudden mountain

in the otherwise pleasantly smooth landscape.

And my heart cries

Wait! Not that word!

That word doesn’t fit my dreams and plans!

That word changes my daily routine!

I know that word, and

it brings unknown.

It’s happened beforeTake The Land

But I also know The Word

and I know His Word

and the promises that

His Ways are higher than mine

so I can trust Him with the next chapter

even when it doesn’t look like I want it to.

and I’m thankful He prepared me for itquiet time

But I have to say, peeps,
as poetic and heartwarming as those words sound,
I’m a master at flashing my pearly whites,
blinding you to the fact that
inside I feel like I’m watching dreams die.
This is one tough lesson in the discipline of obedience and faith for me!
I’m waiting for my heart to catch up to my head.

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UN STINKIN BELIEVEABLE! part 2

You’ve heard the Un Stinkin’ Believable! story, right?
If not, click here.
Seriously, you have to read it!

This post gives a little more background, a little more insight into my conversations with God, a little more insight into details that just make this story so very rich!!

Like I mentioned in part 1, I’ve never had such continual conversation with God. It took a few days to really process it. Truth be told, I think I still am! I was helped by a phone conversation with my friend, Michelle, as always. Here are some lessons I’m learning about how I perceive God and some of what He said to me:

  • Why won’t you ask for big?
  • You only ask for safe – what you know will be a yes answer.
  • Are you afraid I can’t handle it? You keep it small to keep it “easy” for Me.
  • You want to see Me do big things, but you won’t ask for big things from Me.
  • You don’t have because you don’t ask.
  • You know I don’t have to, so you don’t ask. Are you afraid I won’t?
  • You really don’t want to have to deal with the disappointment of a “no” or of My timing being different from yours. So you don’t ask, so you don’t have to deal with that. But in the “safe” you miss the adventure. You miss the BIG that I can be.
  • You’ve put Me in a box
  • If you ask anything in My Name, I will do it.

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How many “monuments” do I miss out on having because I am afraid to ask??
We have one big one in the living room, daily staring us in the face now!
How many more could I have?

My biggest take-away: I have created a “safe” God. I don’t want to give Him anything tooo difficult. Well, not difficult, but I just tend to stay in the safe zone. I know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that if I pray His promise He will answer with a yes. He promises to meet our needs. That’s not tough for me. I’ve got faith for that. It’s the “extras” – the flat screens – I have trouble with. Because those aren’t guaranteed. So I’m scared to ask. And, truth be told, I’m not sure I deserve the extras. But my fear also robs me of the amazement I can have when God does something amazing! I don’t have because I don’t ask. I don’t see beyond, because I don’t ask beyond. I caught myself again going the “safe” route today as I was praying. Started asking for big, then went small, just to make sure it wasn’t toooo hard! Silly ME!

I struggled with this same concept when we were trying to get pregnant. Tim’s Mom was always so encouraging, so certain we’d have kids. When I was walking through that valley, all I could think of was, “There’s no verse that promises ‘thou shalt have kids’.” True. But God does promise to give us the desires of our heart if we are delighting in Him.

To make the Un-Stinkin’ Believable story even more rich, you have to know that my friend
actually won this TV at her husband’s company Christmas party.
Through a long series of circumstances she still had it.
God had put us on her heart, so when she couldn’t take it back she brought it over.
She said she actually was hoping they wouldn’t take it so that she could bring it over.

Come to find out, Nathan had been praying for a flat screen! Who knew?! And Tim resisted the urge to get one awhile ago, because it wasn’t a priority in the budget, so God rewarded Tim’s discipline!

1journal

How precious!! I love being able to share the stories on both sides and see God’s hand weaving such a beautiful tapestry. Had she come in December it still would have been amazing, but not as specific a message to our family. Not such a demonstration of God’s hand at work – in both families!!

Here’s what I wrote in my journal: God, I don’t want to put You in a box. I know You will provide for our needs, so I ask that. I don’t know how You will, I just trust that You will answer these specific requests. And I will praise You and trust You even if you say NO to some of the big requests that aren’t just needs. I continue to ask for eyes to see Your provision. I continue to ask for exceedingly abundantly above all I could ask or think – for YOUR glory and praise!!

PS – today I found a penny, a dime, and a quarter. 🙂
Look out world, I’m prayin’ BIG!!
I’m prayin’ UN STINKIN BELIEVABLE!!
CUZ THAT’S THE GOD I HAVE!!

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Take The Land part 2-Middle School Mission Field

Nathan has been called to the Middle School Mission Field.

How I appreciated those words from my friend Joy as I tried to explain to other home school moms why I had just enrolled my son at Wellington Landings Middle School! That’s exactly what happened. I’ve just been too shocked, then super busy, to be able to put it into words. (read Part 1 here)

Seems like God never gives me a ton of time with this kind of decision! He must know I’d over-think it and try to get out of it or control it. We put Michael in school for his 3rd grade year – which happened in a matter of days. Same thing here. Nathan’s initial suggestion about going to Landings came exactly one week before the first day of school!  (By the way, I fired most of the student ministries staff last week and took the book of Joshua out of the Old Testament – or at least told them they can’t use it for any messages any more, so I think we’re ok now. Not that any of that really happened, but it made me feel better to think it & threaten it! :-))

Seriously, though, I loved seeing what God has done during the week.

1 – Tim gave Nathan the Object Lesson of the year. Nathan was on a chair & Tim said, “Pull me up.” Of course, Tim went nowhere! When Tim pulled on Nathan, down he went – easily. I think Nathan got the picture!

2 – Nathan has been very realistic about what to expect and how he’s going to approach the year. I’m praying for a specific proactive plan for him. Most of what he’s thinking right now is reactive. It’s good, just reactive.

3 – I’ve so appreciated and enjoyed the enthusiastic support friends & family have given us! My friend Kadi reminded me that Nathan’s been prepared to face hostility from his teachers because of his football experience last year! Only GOD!

4 – God even gave Nathan a little bump in the road over the weekend, which provided a great chance to talk about opposition and how sneaky the enemy can be.

5 – I really do have an absolute gut-centered peace about this year, even though it doesn’t look anything like I planned it! I was as certain as I could be that all 3 boys would be home this year. But in the planning and prep, I put Michael & David together for this year for the 1st time. Usually it’s Michael paired with Nathan. God had me ready without my knowing it! Nathan’s decision didn’t really impact the flow of my home school day.

6 – As I typed out the last post, line after line confirmed Nathan’s decision. Then the sermon in middle school this week was another confirmation. It was “Next Steps” (Joshua 3) – absolutely perfect for Nathan before his 1st day!

  • Get your heart right: Make sure you don’t have sin in your life. Make sure you take every step with Christ
  • Decide who you’re walking with (Nathan starred this point)
  • Know your role (Nathan starred this point, too & wrote – Plant the seeds) more confirmation for me that Nathan is being realistic and not idealistic. One of my fears was that he’d be discouraged if he didn’t see any fruit this year. But planters don’t see the fruit! 🙂
  • Celebrate the GOD moments – in both high and low places.
  • Bottom Line (this was for me!) – if you don’t take your next step you’ll miss the God moments

So today, Nathan took his first Next Step. He went to Wellington Landings Middle School. He was nervous about the schedule, since he hadn’t seen it before, and getting around.

When he got in the car this afternoon he said, “One blessing we have to thank God for. My first class was band! Then one of my friends showed me where to go to my next class since he was going that direction. Nice move.”

Ready to Take The Land!

We’re looking forward to many more blessings we need to thank God for on this journey!
We know it won’t all be sunshine, rainbows and cotton candy,
but every lesson will be worth it!

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Take The Land-part 1

My world turned upside down.

“Take The Land

Reap a harvest

Don’t look at it, take it

The victory is ours. At the end of the book God wins

The gates of hell will not prevail against what God has called you to do

God has called you right now to move right now

Your destiny isn’t some far off future; it’s now.

When God calls you to move, your procrastination is sin”

And I’m in the back thinking, “Oh yes! Preach it! Amen! Throw down the gauntlet to THOSE kids! What a great message for THOSE middle-schoolers! Wow!”

And it was.

until…

MY son (who’s been home schooled all his life & has NEVER wanted to go to school) said on Monday,
“Mom, I think God is calling me to Landings.”(the local middle school.)
Me: Really? Why?
Nathan: Because of what Allans said on Sunday. And because of the Sun Stand Still (another series they did over a year ago based on Joshua 10).

WHAT?!?!? ARE YOU SURE YOU HEARD CORRECTLY?!?!? I’M SURE THAT’S NOT WHAT YOU HEARD!!! I CAN HEAR GOD’S VOICE BETTER THAN YOU CAN!!!  God was gracious and stopped the flood of things that were on my tongue! After I stopped hyperventilating, I thought OK – maybe it was a fluke. He said it after he was frustrated with math. Let it ride.

But he said it again on Tuesday. And his main reasons were spiritual. He was responding to what he’d heard in church. What do Tim & I do with that one???

  • we had him list his pros and cons of both Home School and Landings Middle
  • we told him he needed to be 100% sure that’s what God wanted him to do
  • we tried to help him be realistic without being overly negative
  • we told him to pray & that we would too

I tried to talk him out of it by reminding him he’d already doubled his territory at Landings this year since he was planning on going to both advanced and jazz band classes. Nathan’s response: “Well I’ll just sextuple it!” (since there are 6 periods in the day!)

When Nathan seemed pretty sure Tuesday night that God wanted him at Landings, Tim & I huddled up in our room. We discussed the reasons we didn’t want Nathan to go. Most of them were fear-based. We decided the bigger fear – the bigger miss – would be to step in and make Nathan feel like he really didn’t know how to listen to God – that his response to the message wasn’t valid unless it looked like we thought it should.

God kept whispering to me – “Isn’t that why you wrote the journals?
So that kids could know they can hear God’s voice and respond to His leading on their own?
To give them that courage and independence?
To know that the Holy Spirit is their teacher and He lives inside of them as long as they have trusted my Son & His death on the cross?
Why are you freaking out that your son is responding to Me??

and I’m thinking, “Darn it! Those journals worked just a little too well!”

What other choice did we have? When Nathan confirmed God’s calling to him Wednesday morning we gave him our blessing and enrolled him at Wellington Landings Middle School as a full time student. You can’t argue with God.

click to read part 2 – and I’m sure there will be many other parts throughout the year! 🙂

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Strength in Silence

Today I had the gift of coffee with a wonderful friend and former co-worker.

Sandy is from Ecuador. She is a joy and such a woman of faith! She went from religion to a relationship with God. Now, because of Jesus’ death on the cross, her sins are forgiven and she is growing in her knowledge of her loving Heavenly Father. That joy and faith permeate our conversations always. She encourages me!

However, that transformation has come with some pain. Not all her family has that personal relationship with God. Sandy has such a passion to see her family united as brothers and sisters in Christ! We have prayed together for her family for many years, often with tears.

This morning, Sandy shared something with me that was amazing! A while ago she was having a conversation with one family member, praying all the while, “God, give me a word. Please just give me a word.”

The word He gave her blew me away.
One word –
“SILENCE.”

And she’s been obedient! Oh, I know I would have double checked the reception when I heard that word!! But not Sandy. She has been obediently silent, knowing that with God all things are possible. Trusting that His ways are higher than hers. Knowing He loves her family more than she does.

She said today, “They need to know HE’s the medicine, not what they’re putting in their bodies.” Man, I would have preached that analogy to death!! But she’s being obediently silent. Our conversation challenged me today!

Will you pray with me that Sandy’s family would join her in God’s family
so they can be family twice over –
by earthly blood
and
by HIS blood?

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Beyond my Comfort Zone

God is great at setting me up!

Not in a bad way

just in a preparation way,

and I love it when I see it.

5 Minute Friday topic was “Beyond”

I thought about being pushed beyond my comfort zone.

I already had a post in my head about some things I know God is working on in my life that are beyond my comfort zone. I am not a good time manager. I can schedule, organize people (NOT! space), and have routine, but I’m not good with time. I really need to help the boys get better at using time wisely. But it’s beyond me and my comfort zone. This past week I actually came to this realization: that’s ok and it’s exactly where God wants me. He created time, so He can help me teach the boys and improve a weak area in my life also. It’s His work, not mine, and I can depend on Him for it.

I also finished the book God’s Smuggler. A challenge to living a life of true faith. I highly recommend it! My take away from that one: am I truly depending on God for everything? Every.  little.  thing?

Then came the weekend. Saturday I attended an event at our church called AMAZING, where Christine Caine spoke. She had so many one-liners I almost got writer’s cramp! I really was challenged. (There’s a link to her talk in the next post, Beyond my Comfort Zone PS).

Here are just a few (and I mean a few) nuggets from Christine:

  • When we don’t embrace the place God has put us in His body, we cripple it
  • Don’t sacrifice your destiny on the altar of position
  • You can’t bypass the process. God is preparing you
  • Staying faithful where God has put you, even in obscurity, brings you along

And the 2 kickers for me:

  • It’s better to be marked by God than marketed by man
  • Stop chasing! Embrace your place

I just have to say, I am (in my flesh) afraid God is calling me to lay some things down.
To stop chasing – pushing – trying.
I know He only has my best in mind,
and if He resurrects what I give Him it will only be because HE did it.
Not anything I did.
And, really, that’s the way I want it to be.
I just am nervous (which I really shouldn’t be).
I’m praying for clear direction.

Will you pray with me that He will give me the strength to be obedient?

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Rock Solid

Vacation is always a fun time to do things you don’t normally get to do.

This vacation as a family we climbed a mountain – that mountain in the picture! To the top!
There are no such things in Florida, let me tell you!

As we climbed, I thought of this song:

Higher than the mountains that I face
Stronger than the power of the grave
constant in the trial and the change
One thing remains
Your love never fails, it never gives up, it never runs out on me

I kept thinking about how constant God is and how we try to teach the boys about how not to let circumstances dictate their attitudes. We were enjoying the sights as we began our climb.

Then one of my boys had an attitude. Lots of complaining as we climbed
(which was the one rule we set before we started: no complaining!!)

The more I listened, the madder I got! I finally said, “Enough! I’ve had it! I’ll take him back to the car.”
My level-headed husband prevailed, encouraged our boy, and we kept climbing. Thank you, Tim!

The rocks, scenery, grandeur. I kept thinking about how constant God is and the lesson we’re trying to teach our boys – don’t let circumstances dictate attitude. And I was convicted. Because I’d done that very thing! Ugh!

At the summit I was blessed that my son came to us to apologize without any prompting.

I had to eat humble pie and apologize to him since I let his attitude affect mine.
It’s called good modeling, right?!

The good news is, we made it back down safely,
and lived happily ever after!

yeah, right!! 🙂

here are some other pictures of us at the summit. Enjoy – now that you know the rest of the story 🙂

 
27 Comments

Posted by on July 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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