Psalm 61

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

the Struggle is Real but so is GOD!

Very honesty, my mind floods with where to begin.  I have longed to blog for the past several weeks yet haven’t had the ability to put thought into words due to the inward struggle of my heart.  My soul is in distress, migraines are intense, the struggle is real but so is GOD!!  

If my flesh were speaking, it would “spill the beans” to proclaim the wrongs done towards us and make them right!  To herald the truth so the truth would be known.  To correct those individuals thus putting them in their rightful place and make them see the errors of their ways.

Yes, this is pure flesh!  To be honest, I have thought about it but spiritually it is what I cannot do (Romans 12:19).

For I know that wouldn’t be pleasing to my Lord nor would it be a testimony that I would long to represent for my Lord.  Nor would it be profitable or helpful for those involved – for their spiritual growth is at stake.  So, in the midst of my own distress, aching, and sorrow-filled heart I am choosing to stand in the shadow of my Almighty – to be redeemed one day, in His time, but for only one glory  —-> HIS!  

The past year has been no picnic in the park for my family and I, but I speak personally here.  In my weak spirit, it trembles in fear, yet speaks in the midst of deep distress and intensely yearns with more passion than I can express to understand and grasp the knowledge with humbleness to grow before my Lord through this trial.  

In God’s graciousness there have been blessings along this road for which I am truly and utterly thankful for.  Believe me, I have been keenly aware of these blessings for I have looked HARD – very hard for them.  They have been those  “diamonds in the ruff”  that have stood against the wiles of the devil, the wiles of man’s sinfulness, and even against my own sinful heart struggling from within. They have been God’s messages to me saying, “I love you” and “I know, I see” or “I understand, I am here” and “I know you don’t understand, but I am still in control…trust me” for these I rejoice over. 

Another cherished blessing has been my precious family. In my weakness, they are compassion and strength. In my time of need, they are understanding and prayerful, wise and loving. I rise up and call them blessed!   

We all have trials throughout our lifetime. We all have choices to make within those storms that are vital to our outcome. Edit

I don’t know about you, but I for one want to learn the lesson the first time! No matter how hard the trial may be we must choose Christ over self (better or bitter).  God’s plan doesn’t hinge on my feelings.  God’s purposes are immovable because they rest on solid ground — because HE IS solid ground. For without God we are nothing.  Without Him we cannot live.  Regardless of mountaintop or valley, we are to be daily feasting on the Word. 

I must say that choosing to believe the goodness of God in the land of the living (Psalm 27:13);  to devour God’s Word every second whether or not my soul or mind can consume it all or not during these difficult times…has been my lifesaver!

I NEED GOD!  

Everyday there is a choice we must make. There are actions and reactions that reveal our relationship with Christ and we cannot and should not let that go even when our hearts and minds are struggling to survive!

 

In His beauty and love for His own, God takes us through places that we don’t understand to prepare us for places He has prepared for us.

The Lord is so gracious to us.  For my God is good on the mountaintop as well as in the valley.  There is never not a place where He is not – where I am.

 

 

 

a Picture of Hope

‘Tell Your Heart to Beat Again’* – the first time I heard this song/testimony of the heart surgeon was about two or three weeks ago through a Facebook tag from my middle sister. I listened. Then listened again and again. It was so powerful to my soul that I couldn’t even repost it because it brought such tears to my eyes – especially with the recent last of my Dad, it ripped into my soul in ways that I am still working/healing through.

Over the years, my husband and I have had many losses through death. Whether it was grandparents that we adored, my husband’s father, to our third child passing exactly a week after my husband’s mother who we loved so much, then my Daddy.

This is my Daddy (the picture). He entered into eternity suddenly on July 31, 2016. There were no warnings. No signs. Nothing. One second an earthly-citizen the next a 

 heavenly-citizen standing face to face with his Savior. The night we received that phone call, truthfully I don’t remember much except  a few things like first hearing that Dad had a heart attack – but remembering saying to myself “we will go and see him – he will pull through again.” Death wasn’t even on my radar. The next thing I remember is “I’m sorry (my name) your Dad didn’t make it.” Didn’t make it – that is impossible, they didn’t know who they were talking about! My Dad is stronger than strong. But, it was true. Dad was gone.

It has been an interesting wave-like several months. My sweet husband, children and I have faced many life changing events over this past year. New state. New job. Great incredible accomplishments. New church. Old friends gone. New friends are next to none. Away from the known. Extended family far away. Dad entered eternity. Oh, and I turned 40 (that wasn’t hard…lol).

Much to take in and digest when it happens all at once. Not impossible with Christ, the Lord has been incredibly good to us; He has protected us in a million ways, guided, and provided, but I must admit that humanly my faith has been challenged so intensely. At times the challenging’s have been so hard that it has scared me, but now; now, though I still don’t understand everything or his wise loving plan, this challenge of soul has sparked a journey in my soul that I couldn’t have dreamed of. My soul is literally burning with fire and sometimes it is all I can do to accomplish what I should be doing.

The passing of my earthly father has truly been hard – no goodbyes, no last hugs, no last anything’s – just gone. I miss him. It wasn’t in my plans for Dad to enter Heaven at 64 years old. It wasn’t suppose to happen that way. I struggle (some days more than others), but in my struggling it has brought me closer to my heavenly Father and ignited me in ways I knew not of. I couldn’t write it any better then the bridge of the song:

Let every heartbreak

And every scar

Be a picture that reminds you

Who has carried you this far

‘Cause love sees farther than you ever could

In this moment heaven’s working

Everything for your good

My soul is starting to beat again through the healing power of Jesus Christ. It is bursting into flames and how can I not speak boldly for on King? How can I not share Christ with others? Eternity is forever. Life is truly short! How can I not live in boldness to speak of Him? How can I not live my created God-confident life for this world is not my home for one day (sooner than I think) my time on earth is up just like yours is.

I could choose to take the reins of control and pretend to live this life as though I was the one in control, but I am not and neither are you. God is in control whether we want accept that reality or not. We are the creation and he is the Creator.

This life is not mine and I am choosing to not live another moment as though it is mine but rather I as simple clay – an instrument in His molding hands, willing. Obedient. Quick to respond to His Word. Putting on Christ. There is surety and intense hope in Jesus Christ for the future that I have never known before.

*disclaimer: I am so thankful for my precious sister posting this song to me via FB. This song has been an encouragement to my heart, but I must note, personally I do not support everything he (Danny Gokey) sings or produces nor have I seen or heard everything he has sung or produced.


 

Me & My Rake

     It’s 12 noon. My heart is heavy and my soul has been fighting a battle for the past couple of hours and honestly, it feels much later than noon. The battle has been in body, soul and mind — all warring within. I must confess, my fighting battle has been over leaves.    Yep, you read me right! LEAVES! 

     Can I set the scene for you? You see, we live in a wonderful neighborhood. A very lovely, quiet street filled with homes built around the 60’s and 70’s, two cul-de-sacs, only one way in and that same way out. You are fully aware of every person that passing your house whether it is your neighbor or someone seeing your neighbor, or the UPS/FedEx driver or the mailman. Anyone else is a ‘stranger’ and everyone on our streets knows it. Our street is lined with the gorgeous, aged, mature oak trees, nicely decorated lawns and turkey’s that come every night at 5pm. We even have occasional deer that pass through.

     These oak trees are lovely in full bloom. In the Spring, we are reminded of new life and God’s goodness. In summer, we are drawn to give thanks for the cooling shade they bring to our back yards. But there is dark side to these majestic oak trees that I wasn’t aware of — they bring hours of work! As beautiful as fall is, I have begun to realize that oak trees have a lot of leaves and where oak tree are, there are leaves; and where there are leaves, there is a lot of work come fall. This is where my struggle began yesterday morning.

Can you picture it?

Blue sky. The sun is warm. All is peaceful. Even the squirrels are happy. Then I gaze. (you most pause here and picture it…I gaaaaaaaaaaaaze) I look at our awesome neighbors. I see their John Deer tractors; I hear their leaf blowers; I see them using their machines that suck up the leaves off their lawns with such ease and the to dispose those leaves — that’s a piece of cake! 

Then I choose.

Me.

I look at my rake.

Me and my rake! I gaze at our yard and see it begin to magnify before my very eyes.

     The task begin. One stroke at a time. I was trying. Really I was. Trying to conquer our very large yard all by hand, but it didn’t take long before it started. My mind and heart started very own battle. The war of discontent. Envy. Bitterness. Complaining. It all started to fester and what was seen was all the work that needed to be done and all what we didn’t have to complete this leaf-task job. I might as well have climbed Mt. Everest. It didn’t matter. It was huge!

     I struggled because I knew that I shouldn’t be thinking such thoughts, but it happened…discontentment had taken root. “We must be the poorest folks on our street – well at least financially” I told myself. (I did try to spiritualize it) “What a waste of my time, I could be doing….(and I had a whole list of things that I told myself).” “There are a million other things I could be doing right now” and “Why doesn’t our neighbors help us, don’t they see?” “Leaves! More leaves. I don’t want to rake another leaf in my life ever again!” Then the pressures of my “to do list” did begin to mount. There I was. Outside on this beautiful fall day with that baby blue skies. One of the kids was helping Daddy, the others at play and singing, and there I was complaining to my rake (yes, I was talking to my rake!)  Painfully, I did indeed finish my piles – all four of them – all half of the front yard! But, I was done — attitude and all! 

   I went inside after rounding up the children and told them I needed to pray. I knew my heart attitude and thoughts were wrong, but sadly they didn’t change until I went into the house and chose to pray! I needed to go into the sanctuary of God (at this point it was my bedroom with the door closed) It didn’t take long for God to reveal my sin. (God has a sense of humor and a way with my heart!)

     As I began praying, in love the Lord began revealing this girl’s true colors. My heart was so filled with self, discontentment, complaining, pride, comparison, envy, anger, and I confessed right there and then {with a lot of tears}.

How foolish I was today! Very very foolish!

I wish I could turn the clock back. Reverse my selfishness, my foolish choice to rather bathe in discontent (and all the above) and replace it with seeing God’s goodness, provisions, and blessings. I wish I could take back the time I wasted, but I cannot. Those moments lost — lost forever.

     We all know that time lost is lost time. We can never get it back. It is forever either wasted or forever wisely used. Though forgiven, my decision to waste this precious time on such foolishness is time lost and it hinder my relationship with God — I lost out! It bring sadness to my soul for I could have done so much more than murmur and complain. My rake and I could have had God and I time.  

Phil. 2: 11-17 “And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain. Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.”  Ephesians 5:16 “Redeeming the time…” 

My I never talk with that rake ever again — unless it is giving God the glory for the leaves it is helping to clean up. My this soul of mine remember to be thankful in all things!

How are you doing?

Praying for you friend, Colleen

In Christ I Am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}