Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Joy comes in the morning

And this morning – I woke with joy. Anticipation for my little boy’s return. I light the tree. Unclutter the front entrance. Sweep the living room. Light the fire. Perk the coffee. Light the oil lamps. The light outside is still dark – the water is calm, the surf is quiet. Was it the eclipse? Wondering what the eclipse did to the surf line.

I turn on Lil Boy Blue (The New to Me G4 IBook) and stream Lighthouse Radio. Nancy Lee DeMoss is on with a word of encouragement. Dave comes on and even apologies for being so peppy at 6:02.  Why apologize for being peppy? I like Peppy.

This morning’s verse is from 2 Corinthians 3 – He reads the entire passage.  My heart swells as the Spirit inside me gets excited as the paragraph comes to an end with the following -

16But whenever a person turns [in repentance] to the Lord, the veil is stripped off and taken away.

17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (emancipation from bondage, freedom).(D)

18And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit.

Freedom. In the Spirit. Boldness  More bold than Moses – to speak truth. We have freedom to be bold. . . Do we practice this freedom?

I cried my way through the evening last night. Those dratted quiet streams of water that leak. Swelling of sorrow in my chest. Softened by the comfort of my honey and the words of a friend. I fell to sleep early-ish – missed the eclipse. 50 minutes til my sons return.

And yet, It could be moments until The Son’s Return. Are our houses ready? Is our anticipation great? Are our lamps lit? Are our fires burning? Are our words Bold? Is the House ready?

Is it any wonder that God has given the mom the passion and desire to ready the house for company and the return of family? As He quickens our hearts for the return of His Son.

Hebrews 13:5

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as you have: for he has said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you.

My heart Rests in Christ.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The week of Christmas

and my heart is torn and aching a little.

Oh – it’s easy to say we don’t really celebrate Christmas. We prefer a simple Christmas. We like to keep it quiet. We realize it’s not really Christ’s Birthday.


We also live in America. Next to people with double incomes and credit accounts. With commercials on TV and Movies and TV Shows with dozens of presents under the tree.

Its hard to wrap joy. Wrap Bird Watching Every Day. Wrap Bills that are paid. Wrap Rent that is current. Wrap frozen chicken in the freezer, or the Gas for the Heater or the Car. Hard to wrap a checking account that is in the Black – even if by only a few dollars.

We were gifted with cards from church – a gift from a grandmother – and a gift from my parents this year. In my book – we will have a small beautiful celebration this week. There will not be “without”.

But I have a little boy. Who has been exposed for the last 4 days to a world he has never seen. Even in Bend. Where not only is money no object – but the desire for it to be shown is bold. At least in Bend, everyone seemed to hide the money that was paying the mortgages with grungy SUV’s and Snow Board Pants.

I have a little boy with a big heart. Who wants to give. Who has people on his prayer list that have real needs. Power Turned Off. Child Lost in Death. Children without food. And he sees a mother purchase $75.00 earrings for a 6 year old daughter. He sees the extravagance of a 20+foot tree laden with presents for two small children. And he wants to give. His heart hurts. He calls me with a weak small sobbing voice. We cry together on the phone. He will be home Lord Willing in my arms in the morning at 8.

The idea and reality of a simple Christmas is marvelous. I wouldn’t want anything different. If we were laden with abunance in a savings account – I wouldn’t want to load the bottom of the tree with plastic trinkets.

My heart is broken – because my son’s heart is broken. He has seen the World. He has seen self indulgence. How he never seemed to be exposed to it in Bend I’ll never know.  I’ve asked my other son tonight how he handled it in Bend.  He said he was just glad he got to play with all the toys of his friends. He felt co-ownership with his best friend’s abundance.

Hubby came home from work while I was trying to type this out. I got to cry it out with him. There isn’t anything to sort out – we live a very blessed life – just an almost cashless one.

Every day I wake up, watch the Blue Herons dance with the White Egrets over the lake and sip my coffee with my warm feet and feel so everlasting thankful for being in this home, and pray for those around the world – waking to pain and suffering. So please hear my heart. It just hurts. Cause my son’s hurts. Tomorrow morning could not come soon enough.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Re-Fresh Button

I came home from a large event yesterday and fell to my chair in an exhausted heap. I can share that I have given my all – everything I knew to give – and now the project is over.  I slept for a couple of hours – and then got up to hit the refresh button on the house.

Straightening the building that has been used for gatherings each week, and lovingly tending it back into a home – a nourishing – refreshing home.

I can not express in few words – or maybe even in much words – the growth and change that has occurred in my heart these past months.

I have been side tracked by Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Lego Clubs.

In spending the evening going from room to room, straightening, cleaning, purging,

My mind was continually drawn to the Blogs – Online Time -

Wondering, what other things in my life have I allowed to come in, take time, and side track.

I enjoy reading the blogs, and commenting. I enjoy the comments I receive. I enjoy knowing what my friends are up to on Facebook. I enjoy sharing my  life.

But I am constantly pulled to realizing – that in the focus of sharing the life, I have stopped living mine. I know. It doesn’t make sense.

I don’t seem to have the energy, prioritizing skills, or knowledge to know how to participate in other’s lives, and still have a really fun cool, growing, refreshing life of my own.

I’m going to take the next 3 weeks to get ready for January.

To reflect and slow down.

To become a hermit of sorts.

To pray and Seek His Face in the next steps of my life.

Knowing that the steps that I take deeply and everlastingly effect those of my family.

I am reminded this morning of John 10, 3-4 and Psalm 139 – that He calls us out. He leads us. He has us Hedged In on All Sides. He knows, and I am unable to understand.

I am feeling the pull to change my blogging style back to that of where I started. When I only had 2 readers. When I wasn’t aware of format and grammar and too many pictures, or too few pictures, or writing for sponsors or writing for memes. Just writing. Because I woke up every day – like today – with words. and Typing at over 100 words a minute comes easier than italic handwriting in a small notebook.

This morning I logged back into my Pebblekeeper.spaces.live.com site – to remember where I’ve been – and it asked to merge with my wordpress blog. There is a new category bar on the right hand side there. I’ll be moving those old posts around.

You may not see much of a change as a reader, as you have already seen the amount of blog posts may decrease. Smile

My brain is mud today. So many thoughts. I have a desire to be transparent on this site – but boring you with the inner workings of how I transition -

I am going to be deleting more on

Suffering–Identifying with Christ

Knowing the full picture, having a simple solution, sharing the skills of how to – yet, those you share solutions with have their own ideas. They come to the table thinking they know. Based on what has gone on before – not knowing what is coming ahead. Some will head the wisdom of those who know, and some will not. In the Judging, some knew the truth and chose not to use it. Some knew the truth and chose not to speak it. Some were unable to articulate what they had learned. It was clear that several had not found joy in the journey. And I think of Christ. Knowing the full story. Knowing what the end is to be. Trying so desperately to to tell the disciples, and yet, when they heard it, they asked other questions. Brought up selfish pleadings, slept when they should have stood. And Christ, The Holy Spirit, Drew me a beautiful but heartbreaking picture of Suffering this morning. Suffering isn’t bank account amounts, flat tires, lost jobs, frozen spring plants, dry fields, or hurt feelings from friends.

Christ’s suffering is in the knowing – the sharing – and seeing full picture. Knowing who is soaking it in, remembering it all, and sharing with others. Knowing who is listening but not taking it. Knowing who will not share the information with others. Knowing who will take everything He has said and twist it into their own path, based on their own self perceived need. Knowing – that they will stand before judges here on earth, and before his Father in Heaven. And that the earthly judges will only bring condemnation. They will never understand what really happens inside the heart. They will see a slice of life and judge harshly, or praise too easily. Only the Father in Heaven will know, will ever know what the person truly believes. Christ, in this knowing and sharing, giving his very life to share the Good News that His death and resurrection is the path to the Father, no matter what anyone thinks they know, or read, or have been taught  - and seeing –through to the end – the rejection by unbelieving people – the Ack. I can’t type it out.

The Suffering. Of Christ. For what He Did. What he Shared. What He taught. How He loved. Knowing Those whom rejected Him before Death. Who Rejected Him After Death. Who rejected his follower’s teachings. Who slaughtered His followers. Up and into this very moment, in America Culture to the Impoverished 3rd world countries.

Wouldn’t it have been easier – if the “Walk this way” speech would have just come with a control button?

I think the Suffering Of Christ – is in His desire that No One Should Perish, yet, watching those whom He created choose Perishing to Life.

Why is that. I choose life.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Have you ever lost it all?

Have you ever sold everything you owned to move somewhere? We did last year. I was glad to be rid of our thrift store belongings – to have the monies to move – and to take care of our Landlord’s belongings in their home.  I didn’t expect to miss any of the things that went to the garage sale and the thrift store. A couple of books – a blow torch that we used for weeding the fence – and a school table got put on the truck or sold at the garage sale that wasn’t meant to be – but other than that – no thought of what we had.  What I wasn’t expecting – is the response from others. Friends and Strangers. 

You Can’t Do That! I stare at them with disbelief as they stare equally back at me with horror and disbelief. 

This week we have had a cold bug go through the family – so the little details of cleaning have gone undone. This morning I woke up with the joy to clean – which is my favorite way. Tucking little items back in their spots – wiping and straightening. Caring for my home is caring for my family and guests. As I sorted out my reading stand – I saw that it needed a little Old English Lemon Oil Care. 

DSCN8412As Jon brought me the bottle I got to tell him more stories of Nana and Grandpa – and of how I love each book in the little shelf.

I did keep a few pieces. Not of value necessarily – but of memory. As I rub the oil over the wood – I remember who gave it to me. I remember the time they spent in prayer for me. I remember the grandparents that spent so much time with me as a child. I am thankful to my parents for seeing that I was well cared for as a baby.  There was a time as an infant – where my birth parents could have given me up for adoption – or to another family – but they gave me to my grandparents.  Most of who I am and how I think came from the time I spent with my Grandma Ruth and Grandpa Oliver.  Simple. Basics. A Quiet Life. A Love for the Word. A Love for My Lord. A Love for working with my hands in the dirt, with cloth, and with a pen.

DSCN8408This morning, as I brought back fresh life into those few pieces. My mind pondered. My heart swelled. The Love breathed fresh and full for those the Lord laid out to care for me as a child. I look at my little helper today, sweeping and wiping with his little dish rag. And I smile. Knowing – that whatever mistakes I perceive to make in a day with him- that the Lord is in control – and He has just the right helpers in my path for my boys.

DSCN8411I could loose all of the pretty things today – and would not loose my Christ. Would not loose my wonderful childhood memories. Would not loose my desire to make a mean biscuit. Grow the best Flowers or largest zucchini. Love the open air on my cheeks driving 70 on the back of a motorcycle. Love the spark of interest in book keeping and organizing from time spent on a lap in a big ol chair at  a big ol desk. Hours spent playing games at a little table. Time spent listening to the Word be read by the fire after a mess of bean soup.  What more could one need? What more would one want? I hug my precious memories tight this morning. :) Thanks for sharing them with me. :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Secret of Living a Life that is Full

The past two weeks I have been reflecting over the year of change. From a community with over 1400 homeschoolers to 2 families. From a yahoo group of over 200 like minded families to cater to my every whim – to zero. From several activities every day to have the burden of choice – to dishes or mow the lawn.

I walked through several months of grief. I was sure that the Lord moved us here for the better. I heard  promise from Him that this was going to be better for our family. I clung to that promise – while shaking my fist defiantly and stubbornly at the Lord as my heart was ripped up inside from the grief of leaving my friends, adopted family, church family, loved activities. As I watched my children grieve over the loss of their friends. It felt like death. Over and Over. Loss. Pain. Greif. Deep Aguish. Sorrowful. Troubled. Distress. Sad. Sore Hearted. Heavy. and Deeply Depressed.  Finally, in December – I had a walk on the beach. Tears flying. Understanding gone. But a promise heavy on my heart. I cried out to the Lord. I admitted that what I thought we would walk through – I could not see. But I would look daily for what He as doing – for the better for my family.  Sound dramatic to you? Rolling your eyes at a silly drama queen? 

Christ knew. He knew what it felt like that day on the beach in a December Storm where the Salt from the Rain and the Salt from my tears mixed even.

http://bible.cc/matthew/26-37.htm   - “and he became anguished and distressed.”

The link above will bring to you a parallel translation site – to see how those words were choosen. To try to reflect what Christ – as a human – as man – felt.

I had an attack constantly through those months. Guilt. Shame. I thought I should just look around and see what I do have. And Feel Better. The enemy made me want to crawl under a blanket in a dark room in the basement. The Enemy made me to feel that I was wrong. A Christian would not feel this depression. Everyone around me is used to a Mary Poppins – Joy Seen- Glad Tidings exterior. For a time. It just wasn’t there.

Fast forward. A Year later. And I am trying to write out a post. Of where we’ve come. Of How it Feels. Of how full I feel. Of how much I love this crazy tourist town and its people. Of the Church who has adopted our family as their family. Of friends of all different family backgrounds who have invited us into their homes. Of a home, physically in itself, is as near to perfect of what I’d order myself up in Heaven as it could get.  Maybe with bigger bathrooms, if we um, need showers and such in Heaven. . . . .

I have been spending these Indian Summer afternoons with the boys outside, as the temperatures past 80 in the house with the western facing windows heating our rooms. Baseball. Kayaking. Walks on the beach. Skate parks. Swings. Walks around the neighborhood memorizing the names of all of the dogs. Patting our friend Joe on the head as he runs out to greet us. Friends calling to take us hiking and adventuring. Neighbor sister friends praying with us, guiding us, laughing with us.

And I feel another sort of guilt. One that I wasn’t sure how to write about.

The Fullness Of Life. The amazingness of my life. The Glory of where God has put us physically. The Amazing transformation of our Marriage. The Unity of our family and the boys.  The Direction of our Learning Studies. The Support on line and in town of our studies. The Group of Lego families. The Godly Spiritual Truth of our Church Family. The Joy of discovery each day.

One year later. Sitting in the same chair. Same Spot. Same grass. As last year.

I read a verse this week. A familiar verse. And yet, It hit me. One of those – Think about this. Really Think. Chew. Talk. Digest. This is for you. Verses.

It is the rest of the verses from Matthew 26. Where Christ pleads, in this sorrow – for the cup to be passed over him. For it to be another way.  For it not to be at all. And for the first time I heard and felt the sorrow. Of his friends who did not stand with Him. Of his closest church family who fell asleep when he needed them most. Who did not even walk up the hill with him.

And It hit me. The Secret of being full. Even in a valley of time. Drinking.

Christ finally tells the father – When his soul was crushed to the point of death – vs 27 – that in vs 42 – he bends. Takes it in. Agrees.

“If this cup – cannot pass – unless I drink it – Your will be done.”

Without knowing it – that was the basic prayer of my heart that December afternoon on the beach.  Drink from his cup. Take His Yoke. Put your fork down. Lay your burden down. and pick up His.

I have spent alot of time in prayer these past few months – learning about healing. And knowing that God wants to heal my discouraged heart. That he wants reunion and joyful fellowship with the fullness of my being. That His Spirit longs to play happily with my Spirit. Without long sideways glances of remembering wounds. But eyes ahead at the prize of salvation and joyfully awaiting His return. Are you joyfully awaiting His return? Are you standing up to the lies of the enemy with Truth of the Word?

If you are struggling with the same soul – wounded to to the point of death like Christ’s – cry out to him. Tuck a comment here and I will promise to pray for your healing.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Remembering and Seeing

I am working through the A Woman After God’s  Own Heart, Workbook an DVD by Elizabeth George for two weeks. She is encouraging us to keep a prayer journal.

For the past year,  have glanced at my journal. Written little. I think the pain of separation from the people in the journal was too much, and the thought of buying a new one an moving on was something I wasn’t ready for yet. 

This morning I pulled out my bible journal and prayer journal.  One – I write down my thoughts as I read the Word. Sometimes passages of scripture from the Psalms and Proverbs. I read

Ps 94 that I had written in 2008 – He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see? He that chastiseth the heathen, shall he not correct? He that teaches man knowledge, shall not he know?

I read many of the passages that the Lord brought to my attention during a year that my husband was unemployed, our church was completely changed over, my friends were in upheaval, my priorities were completely off.

Now, even only three years away – I see his protection. I see the peace of the words of comfort that he brought to me.

I read through the prayer journal.  I pray through the Lord’s Prayer, taking each section of the prayer as a section in my notebook. I see the prayers. I remember the tightness of heart going through some of those entries. I see the answered prayer. Except for one ongoing thorn in the side – they have all been answered. Greater and more abundant than I could have ever seen back then.

I read through two or three dreams and visions. One from before 2008 that was fulfilled this year. What was a mystery then, written in obedience, is now a telling of what has happened to us this year.

I have seen the fruit. Of writing it down. I have spent this past year sharing quite a bit of my thought and pondering journal with you.

For the most part – I am going to go back to writing it down in my journal. Kept. Peaceful. Left in His Hands.

I will still ponder and bore you here – but I am feeling healed. Whole. Ready. Standing at the Gate, Standing in the Gap. For the broken hearted. For those without hope. For the hurting. For those without healing. For those who lead us. I feel re-charged from the Spirit, after this year of rest, reflection and remembrance.  

Leave is over, the battle is still raging about me, I must stand as a warrior child of the King.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Are you holding the Coin?

Secrets. Transparency. Stuff it and Move On. Confession. Not Hurting Others. Only Hurting Self.

I have heard the theme of these all week long. Betrayal. Addiction. Relationship. Sin. Theft. Greed.

Do you realize that Satan holds the players in his hands too? Through Shame. Guilt. Fear.

He tricks us into hiding. Building on the story line of embarrassment and guilt. How many days will build into years – as we hold on to the sins of the past. Maybe of those no one could ever know about?   We tuck it away. Silent. he has tricked us into believing we are safer this way. Our families are safer.

I write. I used to journal more on paper. I have learned the truth of James when he says to confess your sins before man.

Sometimes when we confess our sins to the Lord in silent prayer – it keeps the sins selfish. When we confess our sins to man – it is a release. What is released? They are already forgiven – forgotten from the east to the west.  - It is us. We give it up. Give up the hiding. Give up the struggle. Laid down. Empty of what we are holding.

And when we are empty – then – He can fill us up.

The Lord asks us to become like children – Sometimes it makes me roll my eyes – more often though I know. I spend enough time listening to learn more from them than they will ever glean from me.

A little boy comes up to me yesterday. Sounding overly chipper. A fake chipper. “I’m going to make a card!!!”. Ok, I answer. He heaves his craft box onto the school desk. Not the right card in there. May he use some of my fancy paper? It needs to be fancy I’m told. Yes – my reply as I reach for my card stock.  Behind us several bins store years of my passion of sending note cards out.

Who is your card for? 

I smile wide – waiting for the the expected answer of his Mimi. She sent a flyer about sea glass tucked in with a Happy Beach Day Card ad some monies for some salt water taffy and a bright round swirled sucker.

“It’s for my Friend. . .” He speaks slower. Quieter. I owe him a card.

Oh his friend. Again I wait for the expected remembrances retold of the great cards and objects they have mailed back and forth this past year, and even when we lived in the same town.

“I told him about the coin.  Last week. He didn’t even remember.”

The paper sits on the table. I wait on the table as well.

Quickly, it comes out – “We were digging at the rock – and I saw the quarter – but he saw it first – but I grabbed it first – and it was old.”

“Do you think I’ll need double sticky tape or glue?”

He runs off, and comes back with the coin - how great the coin is. The value. The Differences. The Age. The Composition. It’s monetary auction value – that he supposes it must be. And he confesses.

“I told My Friend about it. His dad could really do something great with this. I have to mail it back. Could you write the note? I can’t write it.”

He pours out his little heart in a paragraph.  If his friend remembers – the paragraph will have meaning. But none as great as on this little boy’s heart.  I lay down the paper, it is shorter than his told story. And urge him to write it. To form the words. And he does.

Spirit lifted – he asks to choose brighter paper. The Paper Cutter. The gift will be given. He’s concerned about the tape on the Coin.

I address the envelope and he rushes out to the mailbox.  I do not hear about the coin all day.

But – I do. I hear a story about family secrecy. Of the need to say a simple I’m Sorry.  I hear it over and over. From each person I speak to today.  They can tell their stories to others. Over email. On the phone. But not in person. Not to the one that needs to hear it.

And I ponder this morning. What coin are you holding today?  This coin was found at a week long camp, a year and a half ago. In Mr. Messy’s Room. And yet, The Spirit must have been bringing it to the surface. Each time the enemy attacked a tiny boy’s heart – and told him to hide it away.

Are you listening? FIVE MINUTES of obedience. VERY FEW WORDS are needed.  How long would you be embarrassed after? How long have you been holding your coin already? How heavy has it become? Give it back. Let it go. Make an empty space. Give Him the yoke.

Tell your story. Out loud. Say you’re sorry.

I think  a little boy would tell you it was worth it.

Friday, September 10, 2010


I have quite a few friends who are in the midst of transition.  Some appointed – some by their own making – some by the neglect of others.  We talk about faith. And “What God Wants”. Sigh. What does God want? How do we know for sure? How do you talk with this one and see an easy path – and tag it with  quick, “Yes, that seems to be God’s direction for you.” – And then talk with another friends, same circumstances – and see yet a different direction.

I can but only share from my experience. I can only offer what I have heard and read.  And now, more times than not – I can but only offer ears without words. A cup of tea, pressed coffee, a cookie.

We have gone through a year of transition. Into the unknown. Taxing family relationships. Stressed by relationships around us. Income shrinking. School group options stripped away. And I have felt it.  The desire to run. The Desire to Flea. That if I step up – and make my choice – that’s “best for me”  - that life will be better.

And yet – I do know the answer. Of how to know. Because at this point in my life I am a mom. And I have been a wife for over 20 years. And I am a child of the King. And I have the Holy Spirit Living in Me.  And no matter what others are doing around me – His Word is clear. Of what I am to do. How I am to think. How I am to be a servant. How I am to be submissive. And, in those areas – it is so crazy at how the “But if the other person  . . . . then" is not found.  If they – then you don’t have to forgive. And If you forgive but it was really bad, then you do not have to pardon. If they do it again you get to leave. If they don’t do this, you no longer have to serve. If their will crosses yours, you no longer have to submit. 

Loopholes. To the Fences. It was after a phone call and an online chat – of the discouragement of where we are – that I woke up to read the page of Fences by Joni Eareckson Tada.  A link to the page is here <<Diamonds in the Dust, Fences>>.

Of how we are looking for the loopholes. My favorite quote from a book I am reading called Blind Hope by Kim Meader  - “The grass is only greener on the other side – if you water it”. Why water the neighbor’s grass? When there are not enough moments in the day to water your own? From Diamonds today – it hit me - “I was restless, looking for life’s loopholes to crawl through. But for what? Greener pastures? No, Life’s Weeds.”

So my challenge for myself – is to again refocus on living in the moment. Giving my Today speech.  Listing all the things that are firm in my life today – that I am thankful for today – and not listening to what may or may not crumble tomorrow. Do the Next Thing – instead of worrying about what will crash down , what I won’t be able to go through – next week.

What fence are you looking to cross? What selfish dissatisfaction – even righteous intolerance – are you willing to go against what God wants for you? You might find yourself locked in the barn, like my friend in the Fences story. But – I still love ya. I’ll come bring ya a cookie. :)


I have quite a few friends who are in the midst of transition.  Some appointed – some by their own making – some by the neglect of others.  We talk about faith. And “What God Wants”. Sigh. What does God want? How do we know for sure? How do you talk with this one and see an easy path – and tag it with  quick, “Yes, that seems to be God’s direction for you.” – And then talk with another friends, same circumstances – and see yet a different direction.

I can but only share from my experience. I can only offer what I have heard and read.  And now, more times than not – I can but only offer ears without words. A cup of tea, pressed coffee, a cookie.

We have gone through a year of transition. Into the unknown. Taxing family relationships. Stressed by relationships around us. Income shrinking. School group options stripped away. And I have felt it.  The desire to run. The Desire to Flea. That if I step up – and make my choice – that’s “best for me”  - that life will be better.

And yet – I do know the answer. Of how to know. Because at this point in my life I am a mom. And I have been a wife for over 20 years. And I am a child of the King. And I have the Holy Spirit Living in Me.  And no matter what others are doing around me – His Word is clear. Of what I am to do. How I am to think. How I am to be a servant. How I am to be submissive. And, in those areas – it is so crazy at how the “But if the other person  . . . . then" is not found.  If they – then you don’t have to forgive. And If you forgive but it was really bad, then you do not have to pardon. If they do it again you get to leave. If they don’t do this, you no longer have to serve. If their will crosses yours, you no longer have to submit. 

Loopholes. To the Fences. It was after a phone call and an online chat – of the discouragement of where we are – that I woke up to read the page of Fences by Joni Eareckson Tada.  A link to the page is here <<Diamonds in the Dust, Fences>>.

Of how we are looking for the loopholes. My favorite quote from a book I am reading called Blind Hope by Kim Meader  - “The grass is only greener on the other side – if you water it”. Why water the neighbor’s grass? When there are not enough moments in the day to water your own? From Diamonds today – it hit me - “I was restless, looking for life’s loopholes to crawl through. But for what? Greener pastures? No, Life’s Weeds.”

So my challenge for myself – is to again refocus on living in the moment. Giving my Today speech.  Listing all the things that are firm in my life today – that I am thankful for today – and not listening to what may or may not crumble tomorrow. Do the Next Thing – instead of worrying about what will crash down , what I won’t be able to go through – next week.

What fence are you looking to cross? What selfish dissatisfaction – even righteous intolerance – are you willing to go against what God wants for you? You might find yourself locked in the barn, like my friend in the Fences story. But – I still love ya. I’ll come bring ya a cookie. :)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Is your Focus on the Hard?

Reading from my Diamonds in the Dust book again this morning – and Joni Eareckson Tada – and again – I am marveled at what the Lord places before me – each morning.
Today – is Romans 12.  From Joni –
Romans 12:12 – Be Joyful in Hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (NIV)
And it hits me.  Through the discouragement raging in the midst of my own thoughts and those around me – that we have an active command from the Lord.  Rejoice in Hope.

The MessageBible makes it clear: Don't burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame!

I thumb back to Romans 12:1 – as I keep my Bible near when being sparked by the Spirit in Diamonds in the Dust – to see what would be happening – for a command to come out – BE JOYFUL.
I was pre-coffee and too early to think – and so I was overjoyed when one of my favorite scriptures leapt out at me like a surprise visit from a friend.
1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers,by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (ESV)
Are we being transformed -  by this world – into loosing our hope?  Loosing the Joy while waiting? I hear the messages – even this morning through my favorite blogs – of how hard it is – living in these end times.
God did not want us to focus on the Hard. But to focus on the Hope!
I encourage you, as I did today, to take a moment – and read the 12th chapter of Romans. To see what the hard was for their lives. How hard God knew it would be – to live in this world, and yet wait joyfully for Him.
Are you Joyful in your Hope? Patient during Afflictions? Are you Praying Always?
Are you spending time In the Word?
Go now – and read Romans 12 –
I’ll send you there to make it easier. :)
<<<Bible Gateway Romans 12>>

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Truth Day Challenge

Mama Drama's Grace encouraged my friend over at A Thousand Words to cut away from the new school joy and speak some truth about their day.  One is the fisherman’s wife of 5 working through the days while hubby is somewhere floating around in the Pacific Ocean. One is a mom who just had to visit the town that they loved, that they are moving away from, to empty their beautiful home, gut it, to move into an apartment until their new home is found. Away. Away from family and co-ops and friends.

I think I have spent my fair share on this ponderings blog pouring out the transformation of my heart, and our life this past year. I wrote to A Thousand Words this morning commenting of how the last 11 months have been harder than the preceding 11 months without work.

11 months. It seems to be a cycle for us. I can vividly remember the day that Darren said his company was going bankrupt. I had a hard time bringing it to truth. Shock. We didn’t have money for the end of the month, much less the end of the year. And yet. God was faithful. We managed to gain weight and friends. :) We paid off bills. The rent stayed current. And we enjoyed the time together. No. Not easy. Creative birthdays and holidays without money. Creative dinners. Walking each day knowing that our daily bread would be there. And um, we were pretty sure of that because we were helping at the food bank and no one wanted the left over Costco Bread, not even the chickens, so the boys would use them for bb targets.  But the Bread was there too. :)

11 months. As we venture into September. It is the last month of a one year cycle here on the coast. I wait with anticipation for this two day storm to refresh our grass and move inland to give us a gloriously anticipated hot weekend in indian summer.  September is my favorite month, seasonally-weather wise, what a perfect month to land on the end of the year with! And yet, it has been a year of away, alone and broke. Broken in spirit. Broke in Wallet. Broken Car. Broken Pipes. Broken Boat. Broke.

And yet – I see the changes. I see the healing. I see the encourager emerging from it all. I see my joy. I FEEL my joy. I FEEL my peace. He has wrapped me in quilts more lovely than made by my grandmother’s fingers. I feel ready to face these next 12 months with anticipation of joy. Without the fear of the unknown.  Walking each day in His strength.  We could move at any day – and I think about hour temporary it is here, and He reminds me that yes, this world is temporary.

For their Truth – Mama Drama and A Thousand Words – Oh. I remember. A day in December. A bad day at church. At the end. Raining. Storms. High Tides. And I drove to the beach. And bawled louder than the wind. I bawled until the wind was sucked out of me, and my eyes would drip no more by themselves, helped out in moisture only by the rain. I called a friend. And then was reminded to call on My Friend. Broken. Confused. Always starting over.

And I am thankful. For this blog. For my other blogs.  Having the focus to enjoy life. Take photos to share with you. Share our days. Be encouraged by bloggers living normal lives. Wait. I don’t know what a normal life is, or anyone normal . .  Encouraged by Bloggers getting through their life too. In His Steam.

I have been asked recently by shocked women with eyes wide, how I can share here on line. Journal my depth of my life, for the unknown reader.  It helps me. More than the fear of wondering what people will think. It brings me focus.  For I have been alone these 11 months. Without the drop by friend. The Phone call friend. The lets cook up chicken together friend. Without the playmates for the boys. Without a buddy to paddle the lake with. I have had One faithful Friend all of these hours while my best friend works 10 hour days. And He loves me. :)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Added Assurance from the Word

Yesterday I wrote of my aha moment – of the joy of taking off my tourist hat – of sitting back to enjoy the peace of knowing that the tour guide has a plan.

And then I went to fellowship and worship with a group of God’s people – to be filled with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit as He answers our prayers to renew our flames –to not let them be quenched.  As we gather together, and that flame grows higher and brighter and hotter.

And we hunker down and settle in for a teaching of His Word. Christ in Word. Broken apart for us – in James. We have been reading James as a congregation for a few weeks. Oh the passion.

And why am I surprised?  That the same morning I wrote about Faith and Trusting  - by word, and Faith and Trusting by Peace in my Heart – that we read James Chapter 2? Faith. Without Works. Is Dead.  Abraham Believed. And it was credited to him as Righteous. It didn’t say – Abraham served in every part of the building working his hiney off neglecting his home and family – and his Works Credited Him Favor. Abraham Believed.

What works are we working for? What are we striving for?

We talked about Faith – Dead Faith – Intellectual acceptance without a trust in Christ – and Saving Faith – That will produce good works – but only from a saving faith in Jesus Christ.

Disobedience to this faith  - to loving the brethren – to meeting a need – is like saying God’s Word is true – but it has not changed me. (Martin Luther)

I am begging for renewal in my heart – to see the line between serving because there seems to be a need – and serving because I am obeying the voice of the Lord. To remembering this year, as the school year progresses – that my obedience to the Lord in this season – is to be a Wife, a Mother, a Teacher,a Friend of God – and a Friend to my Brethren.

That I will step up in His Strength, and that I will pay attention when my yoke becomes heavy. Will I carry that yoke? Will I give it to Him? Will I get caught up in classes and people and obligation? Will my joy be filled from being a part of His Army?

I am thankful that the Lord is bringing this to my mind – that the Work He wants from me is a saving faith – through this middle school year. To hold on to the promises that He gave to our family. To Trust in His Plan. To breathe. Sit back. And Have the energy to minister to others out of the outpouring of what He has ministered to me.

Join with me this year? For a simple schedule? A simple mindset? As we journey through another year?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Fear of the UnKnown?

I heave a huge sigh of relief this morning . . . .

The past several weeks have been a jumble of goal setting – research – planning and implementing in our homeschool journey. Setting which areas we would like to see developed not only in the boys, but in the parents and in our home.

It has been an joy filled ride as the Lord provided each resource the same day He showed us the need. Oh the blog posts I could write of His faithfulness in our homeschool journey! I feel like John saying  - And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written- (Jn 21:25)

I like to call ourselves unschoolers  - yet, I am deeply saddened when that is translated to un-learners – un – disciplined – un-planned and un-directed.  Take our nature study – it is deeply planned out, scheduled, texted, activities and homework – however, now that I know the plan – I care not if it happens today or tomorrow. At 7am or 8pm. I know it will all fit in, the ebb and flow of life. I do not have a ruler tapping the clock by a chalkboard to start the “lesson” at 8:30 am with starched shirts on. :) I love the plan – it is like a blanket.

I find that my most worries come from the unknown. Will it hurt? Will it get paid for? Will they be ok? Will the . . . .  I have been a crazy person these last 3 or 4 weeks of planning. Sure, hindsite 20/20 it all worked out amazingly smooth. But I kick and pull back and plunge ahead and pray during the process.  Still. 7 years in a row.

I had just told hubby this morning that now that all the pieces are in place for the year – I’ll be able to sit back and enjoy the ride – that my stress level should go down and I might even be more of a joy to be around. Ya. It got embarrassing there a couple of days.

In the midst of this morning – I received a Facebook Message from a friend who is coming to visit.  We are planning a get together on Monday – and her instructions of meeting to me were open ended. So I thought of plan a, plan b for weather, plan a plan b for finances and had been thinking of plan a and b for food – when she sends me an email kindly saying she has a plan. Its all worked out. They just want to see us and get some sand in their toes for a bit. Fun! I was going to email her back and say what a joy – I’ll turn off my tourist director hat and just enjoy their plan, and our part in it.

That’s when I heard from Him. Loud and Clear.

Feel that Joy? I just meeting your friend? In not having a plan? In trusting they can plan what they know they want?

When will you take the tourist hat off and trust Me?

Yikes. And my heart was pierced. And I understand even deeper. This walk of faith. It is one thing to be praising Him afterwards for all of the wonderful things unwritten, it is one thing to know “God has a Plan” –

But Real Peace. The real Joy. Is when we fall in love with the unknown. Fall in love with the in between stage. Embrace it.

Every time I am on this side of of a trusting experience, and my 20/20 hindsight vision is in tact – I tell myself – write it down – remember – sear it on your heart – to remember – He brings me though. Always in ways we never imagined and could have planned for. All the worry and doubts and fear of the unknown had not one tick or tack to getting us to where we are now. . . . .

Join with me? This Year?  In the taking off the tourist hat. Sitting Back. Trusting His Plan? Diligent in His Word. Sitting at His Knee. Knowing that He has great and marvelous things in store for us to learn this year. :)

Love to you my friends who ponder with me here!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Thinking Differently

I was reading this morning in Philippians 3 -

Of Paul talking bout all of the things he has attained, experience, had credentials in – and that he counted it all rubbish for the sake of Christ   - That he could be found in Him – Not righteous for what he had done – but Righteous that comes from God – and is by faith.

Faith. I know he is talking about the law here – and the extent that people will do –speak-change to prove their righteousness. But – this is my life today:

I am planning my homeschool journey for the year for fourth and 7th grades. The largest shift in my thinking came last night – where I am thinking of switching the entire way we learn math. Changing curriculum entirely. Slipping out from the norm of the other families I know.  I have been praying for a change to our math rut. And I feel that I found it last night.

Then I kept reading in Philippians – through to verse 15. And for some reason – A God Thing of Course – I picked up the NIV version to skim this morning – and their version states a familiar to me verse in a different way -

All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on  some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.

Those of us who are mature  - God will make it clear to us.

It hit me like a ton of bricks this morning. Remembering Philippians as my favorite book as a teen – that this Word. This Text. Is a Living Breathing Word. John 1 tells us that Christ is the Word made flesh. His Word is Truth.

And in the quiet of my morning – wedged between scrubbing comet on my stove top reflectors and taking a shower – I sit. With Christ in my very hands. And I hear.

That no matter what we have done in the past – how we have done it – what tools we have used – what groups we have joined 

We are pressing forward. Toward to the Goal of the Prize. Christ. Pressing Hold for that which Christ Took Hold of me.

Forgetting what is behind – and straining forward.

So what if “everyone” else is using abc curriculum? So what if what we have done before has given us a form of stature /credential among men.

For a moment there – last night – in my weakness – alone in my planning room – I almost tossed the idea of a new –different way in Math. Even though it felt like it was a “God Thing”.

And this morning – Christ Himself in the pages of His Word – crawls right up in my lap – or I in his – and shows me.

We who are mature – need only to look to  to God – For a grand view – for a clear view –

I’m rambling trying to put into words what I heard this morning. The words for me -

but I feel – the words for other homeschool moms this August as we plan our curriculum and clean our classrooms – checking the Blog Hops and Hip Moms and Not Back to School hops – checking to see if we are on track  - checking others text – pictures – ideas – to see if we are right.

Make sure we stop to ask Christ – to make our path clear – as we follow the examples of the mature ones.  Fear Not.  :)

Here is Philippians 3

1 When I think of all this, I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus for the benefit of you Gentiles[a] . . . 2assuming, by the way, that you know God gave me the special responsibility of extending his grace to you Gentiles. 3 As I briefly wrote earlier, God himself revealed his mysterious plan to me. 4 As you read what I have written, you will understand my insight into this plan regarding Christ. 5 God did not reveal it to previous generations, but now by his Spirit he has revealed it to his holy apostles and prophets.

6 And this is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good News share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children. Both are part of the same body, and both enjoy the promise of blessings because they belong to Christ Jesus.[b] 7 By God’s grace and mighty power, I have been given the privilege of serving him by spreading this Good News.

8 Though I am the least deserving of all God’s people, he graciously gave me the privilege of telling the Gentiles about the endless treasures available to them in Christ. 9 I was chosen to explain to everyone[c]this mysterious plan that God, the Creator of all things, had kept secret from the beginning.

10 God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was his eternal plan, which he carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord.

12 Because of Christ and our faith in him,[d] we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence. 13So please don’t lose heart because of my trials here. I am suffering for you, so you should feel honored.

Paul’s Prayer for Spiritual Growth
14 When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father,[e] 15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.[f] 16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. 21 Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Be Thankful? Give Thanks?

I enjoy reading the Diamonds in the Dust by Joni Erikson Tada – This morning is no exception – when she first wrote the verse of the day out –

I almost didn’t read her comments

– so familiar with the verse – and one that honestly – sometimes I cringe on – when my selfish rebellious heart wants to be hurt – or disappointed – or validated for just a moment in a circumstance. Ok. Sure – Its just me -

1 Thes 5:17 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Her Point today – being on the later end of the verse – This is the will of GodTheos – The Trinity – in the anointed messiah – JesusFor your sake.

I read this again – and the commentary following – of Giving Thanks – even before you Feel Thankful. That Being Thankful and Thanking God may need to be separate – depending on how unsure you feel at the moment.

It was sinking in this morning – that We are Thankful To God. Not necessarily Thankful for the Circumstance.  I think I have read – Be Thankful For All Circumstances – and quite frankly – this has been a hard couple of years for us – and a few times I have lost my thankful heart at times. I have not readily accepted a day’s dish with a thankful heart of what the Lord was allowing us to walk through.

I looked up the verse in the New Living Translation – and in the NIV, and the King James.  Back and forth the text raced between Be Thankful In all Things – and Give Thanks to God – Every Time.

Be or Give? So I looked up the word Give – and found it missing in the original Greek. It was put in there to help explain, keep the sentence flowing so to speak. It is more of a command – Thank God. Period. Give or Be – is left out.

Which led me to look up Thanks.

The word is a straightforward – no hidden meaning – but what I found interesting was in the synonym and antonym of Thanks -

Synonym – includes recognition and acknowledgement – sometimes the hardest things that pass through our life – need to be acknowledged – that God has a Plan. Other Synonyms were more heart felt – gratitude, appreciation, thankful -

But what hit hard was the Antonym -

To condemn, Judge, Damn, rebuke, reprove, find fault, disallow, reject, blame, revile, speak evils of, slander, and accuse.

I may not be able to find an honest thankful heart FOR everything in my life  - but I can acknowledge that I am thankful for God IN every thing – that I do – that is done to me – that is provided, that is taken away  I know that My God has a Plan. And I am thankful FOR HIM.

Go read 1 Thes 5 – I’ll be pondering these verses in a fresh light today. :)

eucharisteō – Thanks – 1 Thes 5:18 Blue Letter Bible - Dig Deeper

Monday, July 19, 2010

When My Heart is Overwhelmed - Lead me to the Rock

I learned yesterday – that I was not depressed – but rather discouraged. I had seen through scripture – that I had been broken – through exasperation – to the point of wanting to quit. To give up hope for a future – not the salvation future – but of a happy go lucky every day’s gow-na turn out right sort of hope.

I have been surrounded lately by discouragers. Some intentionally. Some – un beknownst to them.

Discourage -

  • disapproval
  • creating difficulties
  • dishearten
  • depress the spirit
  • deject
  • deprive confidence
  • dejected

Encourage -

  • To give courage
  • confidence of success
  • inspire courage in the Spirit
  • Strength of mind
  • embolden.

Scripture warns us in to be careful to not discourage, provoke or exasperate – that those in our charge might loose heart. I am lifting my hand to say that for a time – I had lost heart. 

Depression comes – when you grab onto that comforter of darkness, sleep, and hiding – and just fall into the pit. When you are not questioning the why of the sullen moody spirit that has washed over.

But there is hope.

I came home from church yesterday and wrote out 4 pages of scriptures to help me understand what was spoken to me by two different pastors.

I narrowed down the problem to discouragement – but needed to find a way to be encouraged – to build my courage and strength of spirit again  - Through Him and not through others.

Pulling out my trusty “For Instructions in Righteousness - Click Here to Get on for Your Family -” book by Doorposts.net – I read what a parent might bring the Word to to a child who is stuck in discouragement - 

Mark 6:31 Come ye part – rest a while – Christ said to his disciples. They had many coming and going and did not have time to for leisure – even to eat. – I have had 6 sets of company in less than a month with three more sets to come this week. Although the actual visits are wonderful – I am really enjoying being a hostess – the set up, clean up, running of our household and yard – gets a bit crazy in the in between times. :)  Adding to that the creation of the new school year for 7th and 4th grade – and a new job to figure out - I need to rest more – take the stroll on the beach – be filled with His Rest.

Romans 15:1 Those that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak – I need to Seek Out those who are Strong!

2 Timothy 2:3-4 Endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ – which was a reminder to me to walk through – knowing it was set out for me – not complaining – enduring as a submissive soldier.

Psalm 37:23-24 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord and he delights in his way. Thou he fall – he shall not be utterly cast down – for the Lord upolds him with his right hand. I have been young. And now I am old. Yet – I have not seen the righteous forsaken – nor his seed begging bread. – Pastor Darrel spoke on this verse this week and last – it is a good reminder to me – that the Lord knew what those around me were set to do – and that I need feel low – or guilty – or ‘bad’ because I fell in spirit – that I was not utterly cast down – the Lord held me up himself.  Rest in that a minute. :)

2 Cor 12:9 My grace is sufficient for thee for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me. – I have spoken with a few close friends and my family about my struggles these past few weeks – and then felt bad – that my words did not give grace and mercy to my accusers. And yet. His Grace is sufficient – when I am weak. I have questioned sharing in such detail – my struggles of depression on the world wide web – but am comforted – that  I can Glory in my infirmities -  and show you how the Power of Christ rests on me.

Ps 147:3 He heals the broken heart – and binds up their wounds. Seriously. What could I add to that.  I am at the bottom of page 3 of my written notes – and I am feeling the salve, the fresh bandages, the soothing of the Holy Spirit over my healing heart. Rest a minute in that!

Ps 46:1 God is our refuge and strength a very present help in time of trouble!

Ps 121:1 I will lift my eyes up to the mountains, from where my help comes from!

Ps 35:1 – Plead my cause O Lord with them that strive against me. Fight against them that fight against me. Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul. Let them be turned back and brought to confusion that devise my hurt v28-And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long.

I spoke to Jon – who is struggling with discouragement as well – and who loves to walk along the road and create songs – that the suggestion from “For Instructions in Righteousness” was to

Write your own Psalm.  Pour out your emotion and close with a Phrase of Praise as David did. 

and I leave you with just one more of the many that encouraged me yesterday -

Ps 61:2 – From the end of the earth  will I cry out to thee – When my heart is overwhelmed – Lead me to the Rock – that Is Higher than I . . . That is higher than I.

Broken in Spirit –

Sitting in a pew this Sunday – visiting a church with friends – the subject topic of the talk was titled Submission.

Great!!!! Are you Kidding Me?

I have been feeling really low lately- Hard to describe – a feeling of a sullen frame of mind, moody, tired, lethargic, broken in Spirit  listless.  Not quite depressed – but in a low hazy fog of no caring about much. Still quite in love with my family and my Lord. Still seeing him work, but like through a haze.

Some of the advice given lately has been submission – which seems crazy – as submitting to those who have been awful to my circumstances is where my heart got broken.  How could I submit any more without feeling done? Then the guilt sets in of maybe I’m not really submitting. Searching the corners of my heart for bitterness or malice. Finding none. Feeling guilty and wondering why – as my circumstances could not be any more fantastic – where is my Lift?

Then the pastor spoke on Ephesians 6:1-9.  He was talking about children and parents – masters and servants – when he changed a word from my memorized version from provoke to the word Exasperate.

Exasperated –

  • to Lose Heart – to become disheartened to the point of loosing motivation
  • dispirited
  • broken in Spirit
  • Listless, moody, sullen frame of mind, strength is sapped, hope for future shattered.

I felt like jumping up right in the middle of service and shouting – THAT’s IT!!!  I have been Exasperated! By those that I loved and trusted! But – It was a Conservative Baptist Church – um. So I just wrote it down and shifted a bit in my seat. :)

I picked up the boys and eagerly went to our home church – the New Life Four Square Church – and eagerly jumped into the music and prayer part of the worship service. As usual – the biblical songs of worship were exactly fitting to what I needed. One song spoke of the need to Shout his Name, Shout his Goodness, Shout your praises – and I felt the need to shout out Jesus! Praise you Jesus! And I felt the chains break around my heart – I felt the healing on my heart – I felt the lift in my step. Jon and I spent the rest of the service dancing in our little isle – so freeing. I felt healed. Pastor Darrel is teaching through the book of James – and his words encouraged me further – I left feeling like the tide had turned.

My next post will show you my plan for staying out of the pit of discouragement.

Monday, July 12, 2010

I found the Answer to Simplicity

People have asked me about my faith  - especially recently. 

Why do I believe so simply?

How do I believe in Creation when I am such a lover of science?

I heard my answer to the question this Sunday. It’s simple really.

The Bible. Ta daaaaaaa.

Let me explain -

We read 2 Timothy 3:16 & 17 this Sunday, it was actually the 2nd time I had read it this week – but something in it hit me – that I had never understood before.

16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.

Take a look at 17

So that the man of God may be complete, trained and made ready for every good work.

I looked up the word Perfect – it means to be Complete, Perfect – Furnished with what you need.

How much time have you spent in the Word? Reading it? Believing It? Is it truth for you? We are reading John 1 right now – If you want to find out that the Word is not only a what but a who – read vs 1-18. Check out v 17 for the Who.

When I have a problem with homeschool – I take it to the Word. When I have a problem with my family? The Word. When I have troubles with my children? The Word. Friendships?  Word. Car troubles? Word. Wondering what to do with my day? Yep. The Word.

For my whole life, I have been encouraged to read the Word. To be diligent to study – show myself approved.  I read sometimes long passages, sometimes one verse. It sustains. Gives direction. Keeps me in truth.

Do you want to be competent? Complete? Perfect? Equipped? Adequate? Fitted?

Read. The. Scriptures. :)

I have said many times – If it is in there – I believe it. Simply.

Want to know about Creation?  Read it. Want to know about Christ? Read it. Want to know about people who have failed, and God still forgave them?  Read it.

perfect, – Strongs #g739 - ἄρτιος artios

3:17  ἵνα ἄρτιος ᾖ ὁ τοῦ θεοῦ ἄνθρωπος πρὸς πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθὸν ἐξηρτισμένος (http://www.blueletterbible.org/)

New International Version (©1984)
so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

New Living Translation (©2007)
God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

English Standard Version (©2001)
that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

International Standard Version (©2008)
so that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
They equip God's servants so that they are completely prepared to do good things.

King James Bible
That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

American King James Version
That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished to all good works.

American Standard Version
That the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work.

Bible in Basic English
So that the man of God may be complete, trained and made ready for every good work.

Douay-Rheims Bible
That the man of God may be perfect, furnished to every good work.

Darby Bible Translation
that the man of God may be complete, fully fitted to every good work.

English Revised Version
that the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work.

Webster's Bible Translation
That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished to all good works.

Weymouth New Testament
so that the man of God may himself be complete and may be perfectly equipped for every good work.

World English Bible
that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Young's Literal Translation
that the man of God may be fitted -- for every good work having been completed.

Are you Spiritual?

Are you Spiritual?  What is your Spiritual Journey? What do you believe? What is your path?  Are you searching? For Something More?
Are you looking for the missing piece? Is your religion lacking? Your Church? Your Worship Service?  You are looking to get closer to God – but something is just missing? Like that last piece of a puzzle -
This Sunday – we heard statistics from 2005 – from a survey taken by Protestant Evangelical Christians – of who is Spiritual – Who Reads their Bible – and Who thinks Jesus is the way to Salvation – or if you can find the Hope and Peace of Forgiveness in being Good and leading a Good Life.  The majority questioned said their friends who did not believe in the Name of Jesus – who led good lives and served well – will be saved – in Heaven – after they die.
I did a quick look up this morning and found this article:
Key findings in the phone survey, conducted in August and released today:
•65% rarely or never pray with others, and 38% almost never pray by themselves either.
•65% rarely or never attend worship services.
•67% don't read the Bible or sacred texts.
Many are unsure Jesus is the only path to heaven: Half say yes, half no.
This was conducted in 2010.
Why are people so unsure of what they believe?  Are they afraid to speak truth? Are they afraid to offend? Are they afraid of standing up for truth? If you are expecting the path of life to lead to heaven – and you believe in God – and you are wanting Hope of Salvation and Christ’s Return – Then following the Word of God – is your first step.
How many of you are in the Word daily? Have you read the bible? If you do take the time to sit in a church service a few times a year are you content with the offerings of a verse here and there, possibly taken out of context?
What happens when Jesus isn’t Enough?
What more do you need to believe in? What other rituals and practices and cultural experiences do you need to be complete?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Boasting Gladly about Weakness

Sometimes I wonder ponder about this pondering blog. 

Of how much to share.  The Inner conversations I have.  Sure, I want to share when the Lord lays a great verse on me, when the money that was short was provided, when I have a hurt and He heals it.

This past week was the first time that I typed out my ponderings for the world to see in real time.  I hit publish and felt the dread. Realizing that although I don’t have the ponderings blog set to be very search engine friendly – people still do read it. 

What will they think when they see how a tiny circumstance can break the Mary Poppins exterior of a Titus 2  Prov 31 Ruby Woman?

I don’t ask for pity, or the “its going to be ok” pats when I write. Writing is how I process.  I feel embarrassed sharing, ingrained to move on, suck it up, fresh day, new morning, blah blah.

Think with sorrow of the presentation we give new moms
Who see us in our web presented lives in status updates and mc linky triumphs. Only seeing what we are excited about – what project we actually finished. Do they count the days between posts when there is nothing to share? Do they see the string of photos that are missing? Do they know we nap through the afternoon?

Should I start posting a Daily Chore Ignored photo Mc Linky?

I had a great day.
A pull yourself up by the bootstraps day yesterday.
Cleaned up the sand pit, weeded the flower gardens, cleaned the gutters, washed the deck, watered the flowers, made a great meal, entertained friends.  Spent hours paddling the lake. 

I wake today sore, exhausted. Pretty sure my wrists will be on strike for several days after twisting weeds and oars.  Through the sweat and prayer, I felt the blanket of oppression lift. I feel a New Day this morning – and I’m ready to get back in the race.

I woke embarrassed that I shared my struggles – They seem silly this morning with new comfort in Christ. Feeling free from the burden of secrecy lifts the embarrassment. . This mornings reading is a page by Shaun Grooves. - Sovereignty & Sickness & Strength <<Read Here>>

Shaun encouraged me through Paul’s experience –

to Boast All the More Gladly about my Weaknesses

I will not change my Ponderings blog Into the Pebble’s Dribbles of Self Depravation – but I will try to log more often of what I’m going through. :) Delighting in the sufferings - Here is the verse from 2nd Corinthians -

2 Cor 10:7 To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9But he said to me,

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses,

so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

“Paul looked at his suffering then as a gift he delighted in: the gift of God’s strength that can only be received when his own strength is inadequate, sapped, used up, gone.” Quote by  Shawn Groves

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Your Sore Heart

Ann at A Holy Experience got my attention with the title of One thing you can do with Your Sore Heart.

Mrs. White poured out her heart today in walking through the teen years with love and humor.

I walk with a friend and she pours out her sore heart in her home.

I hike with a friend and she shares her commitment to covenant with her God and spouse.

I sit in the sun and rejoice while hearing of a couple on the brink of despair give it to God. With Time. Patience. Working on learning what this “forgiveness” means when you walk through it.

My husband stops by the fence and chooses the most beautiful rose to bring to me, as I lay – blanketed by a sleeping bag that feels heavy, in our basement. He brings chocolate from work. “A Kit Kat is in the refrigerator for you.” I bought S’more supplies and the fireworks that were on sale today for the boys.

Close to post-partum, this is the heaviest depression I’ve felt. I can not seem to put an angle on it. It does not seem to be circumstantial – because the tiny things that have mounted into a pile are still tiny things. They are even gone. Past. Fixed. Done.  But the heaviness. The weariness.  My boys look at me and wonder. I know I should get up. Go to the beach. Take a walk. Shake it off.

I. Just. Can’t.

Ann shared a part of Is. 58 today:

Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

"If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,

and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,

then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.

The LORD will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land

and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden.

I want to do away with this yoke of oppression.  I am realizing my heart is not broken – but it is sore, and worn out from the ups and downs of emotions. I do not want to walk in the way of finger pointing and malicious talk. Casting blame to why my heart is aching.

It is funny timing that the promise in this verse is that He will satisfy my needs in a sun scorched land – when this week is set for our first full week of sun and heat – and record breaking temps. :)

I think its going to be a good week. I’m off to the basement – not to crawl up – but to shower. Wash off. Pray. Fight. Then I’ll pick up my hoe and fix up my flower beds. I will water them and prepare them for the healing growth of the sun and heat.

I will walk through the heat and come out with more fruit – more glory – to reflect who lives inside of me.

I’m feeling a tiny bit better already.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Comfort in the Storm

My grandmother – who will be 100 in November – may not make it to November – or the middle of July.

My family – is accusing me of tampering with computer files to make up stories about their daughter.

My finances – have been doing crazy up and down roller coaster things, some we could control – many we could not. At one point this week we were 600 dollars in the negative in the bank. (bank fixed the error and all is well – but not fun to walk through during a holiday weekend)

My Sister – has disowned me again – its her cycle – she gets close – then backs off – gets close – backs off.

My Dog – has been urking all over the house for two days (boys help clean it up, but she keeps doing it on beds, she’s been fine the last 48 hrs)

Yet – through it all – I keep reading this Diamonds in the Dust book by Joni Eareckson Tada. Each morning – and sometimes evening – the verse of the day fits exactly what I’m going through.

Hebrews 11:6 – Instead they were longing for a better country – a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. – Joni’s note – the quiet but throbbing ache within them drives them not to complaint but to anticipation.

I wish not to complain – but to anticipate what we are longing for – however, this week the enemy was trying to throw in lonely, alone, stranded into the mix – and the comforter showed me clearly that I was not alone, spiritually or physically.

Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” Eph 6:11-12.

This verse was on the day before their visit.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Gal 6:9

On the day when I didn’t feel like being a servant to 10 other people in my home.

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. 1 John 3:16

On the day when I was about to loose it for being accused, disrespected and treated like the enemy.

The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’ Gen 2:18

On the day when I was going to crawl in bed and let my husband handle the bunch.

The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing. Zeph 3:17

On the day that they accused me of the computer tampering. Called my son a liar. Called to scream at me a couple of times. Made my husband choose sides.

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Heb 11:6

Yep – on the day that I stood my ground. Didn’t fight back. Had faith in the One that knows truth. Sought his face all day.

You were Washed . . . 1 Cor 6:11 Note from Joni – Cleanse me with hyssop and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow Ps 51:7 – Almighty God, thank you for desiring to make me clean – For washing my heart, and making me pure. I humble myself before You and present all the areas of my life that need to be made right . . and she goes on

On the day that I was doubting. Wondering if the sin from years past still was in a root in my heart today. When I was pleading with the Lord to reveal truth to me. Were Washed. Am Spotless. That’s what He told me.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Phil 2:3


The Lord will take delight in you. As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you. Is 62:4-5

Days I was wondering if it were worth it to sweep it under the rug. As accusations from the past kept coming strong.

And yesterday, July 4th. I felt like I was in the pit of despair again. That my hope in heaven was secure – but my joy in this life was gone. Wiped out. Extinguished.  The sharp pain in my heart from the week early has been replaced by the weight of so many stones being thrown, that I’m ready to just lie down at the weight of it. And stop. Just Stop. Then I feel guilty – for feeling so defeated.

And the verse of the day is –

Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God. Is 50:10.

Joni’s note:

You probably have days that seem like deep, cavernous holes. Days when you can’t find your way because of the darkness and you search for a single ray of light and see absolutely nothing. – Don’t be alarmed. Remember that your walk is not by sight but by faith, and God, according to Isaiah 50:10 agrees with you. There are times when it’s hard to see even a single ray of brightness in your circumstances. But even in the blackness, God promises you will find him.

How does she know? I feel comforted that the Lord knows that he did not create us to be able to cope with rejection and manipulation and lies. He made us to walk in victory – in His light. He knows what I am going through and how my body will react. She wrote the paragraph above after a story about being lost in the Carlsbad Caves as a kid. And her mom promised she would never loose her. Lovely.

So – it is funny to me that today’s entry is about taking a stand. About Jesus getting angry at the Temple at the money changers.  Talks about Jesus being portrayed as kindly, loving, with children and lambs and birds.  - But challenging to visualize an angry violently angry Jesus Christ. Overturning Tables. Speaking Truth. Every one in the temple was sent out.

I want to stand up. Speak truth. Call a lie a lie. If relations are broken – they are not unbendable.  There is a well of forgiveness and mercy and grace that will pour out from His spirit.

But I need to stand. Proclaim. Draw a line. Stand Firm. and Trust.

Get Mad, Be Mad, Always Mad?

“She’s gonna be mad.”

“She’ll get mad.”

“She’s always mad.”

“Don’t tell her – She’ll be mad.”

I tell ya one thing, I think I might GO mad!

I looked up Mad today -
<<Text taken from the Mirriam Webster Online Dictionary Here>>
1 : disordered in mind : insane
2 a : completely unrestrained by reason and judgment <driven mad by the pain> b : incapable of being explained or accounted for <a mad decision>
3 : carried away by intense anger : furious <mad about the delay>
4 : carried away by enthusiasm or desire <mad about horses>
5 : affected with rabies : rabid
6 : marked by wild gaiety and merriment : hilarious
7 : intensely excited : frantic
8 : marked by intense and often chaotic activity : wild <a mad scramble>

Family members have been spreading rumors about me lately. About Being Mad. “Don’t tell her – she’ll get mad.”  “I didn’t want to tell you because you’d be mad”.

So dishonesty has entered into several relationships.  Conversations altered or denied. All for the sake of ME not getting MAD.

But when I hear what they are saying – I do get a rice of intensity in my heart – for the words they put in my mouth have not been uttered by me. The accusations do not even make sense. The lies and deception for what? Why?

I have been accused of being mad because family members sent my kids to public school last year without my permission. The kids were not invited to the school, so they sat the morning out in the principals office. Then they went on a spending joy ride around town, all the while my phone calls to know where they were went unanswered.  It was my birthday. My mom and 98 year old grandma were waiting to have cake and dinner. No boys. So – When I picked them up – I was upset, when I got in the car and found out where they had been all day – I was outraged.(to arouse anger or resentment in usually by some grave offense, thanks webster). So I called the family and told them how upsetting it was to hear what had been going on all day – It backfired on the relatives.  The boys now NEVER want to go to school as long as the memory is alive. :)

But I’m the bad guy.  Cause I got Mad. and Called them on it.

This is the reason I was given last night for why the anger continues to grow on their side. Anger. Deception. Blame. Manipulation. Accusations.

When they called and screamed at us this week and sent cursing Lord’s Name in Vain txt messages – they denied it. Said we got on the computer and created the whole thing and made it all up.


Am I wrong in not wanting my kids to hang out with people, even if they are blood relatives – that tell them they hate their mom? That they are Angry at the Mom? That their mom is a liar? I should just let them have full contact?  I don’t think so.

And a marriage goes on the rocks – as a devoted brother – at the brink of depression and despair over loosing one sibling to suicide – is now on the edge of letting go of another sibling if he calls the lies – a lie.  We’ve known of the “good intentions”, the “over exaggerations”, the “twisting of the truth” to make a story better. But no one – EVER – calls him on it. 

I speak my truth. I speak my opinion. I do not tailor the retelling my reality to fit into his stories. – So I’m a target.

They don’t want anyone to tell me anything because I’ll speak the truth. I do get angry – at the lies – at the manipulation – at the buying off of the kids and my husband, but rarely if ever get mad at the original circumstance.

Even the birthday day. The one thing I was upset about was the lack of communication. I should have been told they were going to school. I should have been told they were stuck in the office for 4 hours. I should have been told they were going to drive around the county. I should have been able to pick them up, when I was begging for them, they should not have been hid from me.

What do you think?  I forgive 70 x 7. I’m really not Mad – but I might be Insane. I just don’t think my kids should be with a controlling relative who hates me.  Am a wrong? My whole family says I am.

Pour out your Heart

We went to worship on the Forth of July at a neighbor’s property which they named Covenant Creek.DSCN1999

Amazing setting. Worshiping the Lord in Freedom – with a new church family – fellowship – birds – food.  An amazing morning.


I have been facing quite  a few emotional trials the past few weeks – and I found this particular song to be a bit of a tear jerker -


DSCN2031DSCN2015 DSCN2009 DSCN2013 

The Lord is Good. I know it is not His will that we be alone. He has gathered us with people from 3 different churches.  My good friend down south at Gleneden Beach, several families up the street at Faith Baptist– and this gathering of friends at the New Life Four Square. We had several invitations to BBQ gatherings today – opted for Covenant Creek – The Spirit Moved. Then a peaceful afternoon of reading a good book, laying by a window watching the boats zig and zag on the lake. Hubby got home at 7ish and we BBQ’d some hamburgers – and watched the most amazing fireworks display I ever remember seeing – even in Oklahoma City – which was my last “greatest display memory”, or Seattle on the waterfront. . .Sitting on the top of a building watching the bay. . .

I have been pouring out my heart to the Lord – He has been answering. I still feel like I am at the bottom of a dark cave – but I know I am not alone. :)