Monday, April 14, 2014

Broken Hallelujah


 
The trees branches still remain harshly naked without even a bud to be seen or a glimpse of green and though it was  warm today, the wind begins to billow as a wintery mix will fall upon us tomorrow. Will the warm weather ever come to stay? Will I soon sit outside with the sun rays falling upon my cheeks as I listen to the birds sing the song of summer?

My heart to longs for something more and at times I feel so unsatisfied with my good life. I find myself wandering aimlessly trying to figure out just what is the ache in my soul and how do I get rid of it. I feel like a small potato chip bag that a child brings for lunch and squeezes hard waiting for the “pop” then giggle, laugh and finally taste the salty goodness of what is inside. I feel the squeeze, but the “pop” of relief never comes. My giggle seems to hide deep within as a silent scream within my dreams at night. At times I feel suffocated, gasping for a breath of fresh air.

I have done this to myself you see. I didn’t mean to, but so many broken trusts which caused great heartache have left me worn, tired, and out of sorts. Oh I try to be the over comer, fear fighter, strong souled woman… but really, I am an epic fail. But somewhere in the midst of the tears which stream down to puddle on the table on which my head rests, I realize I have once again tried to go it alone with the thought I was master of my own destination….when in fact…I am not.  The Great I Am is the dream maker and He alone is the master of my destination. Yet even in this tear filled moment of misery, He loves me. He is not mad at me, but embraces me. He makes the sun shine on my face and brings warmth to my wintery heart.

The buds of green begin to appear on the shivering naked branches and new life springs out from the depths of my heart as He sends me God with skin. What do I mean by God with skin? It is His other children…my brothers and sisters in Christ who I have tried to hide my real self from…they huddle around me, hug me, help me stand, and most of all pray for me. He never meant for me to do this journey called life alone. No matter where I have lived, He has always surrounded me with wonderful God chasers grounded in the foundation of what this final week of Easter is all about…the life, the death, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
 
Sometimes it is a broken Hallelujah, but yet still a Hallelujah and my Savior…He hears it and He recues me. I love you God!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Mind Battle


I just finished watching the movie “The Polar Express” with my children. It is one of our favorite Christmastime movies. At the end, the little boy gets his ticket punched with the word, “believe”. Of course the movie was talking about Santa Claus, but my mind went straight to John 3:16… “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” I know I believe in Jesus, but do I really believe He can…mend a broken heart, heal my sick and ailing Aunt Carol, make whole those addicted to drugs, save the lost soul, and break the sins of many generations?
My heart says unequivocally a resounding…YES, but within the confines of my mind I hear the echo of doubt. Because if I really, really believed; I would not worry, I would not fear the unknown, and I would not question whether my prayer really matters or makes a difference. I would not skip a single day or miss the opportunity to spend time with my Savior and worship and praise Him. I would stand tall always with never a slouched shoulder of despair…right?
But this is life…happening at its very best….good vs. evil. The whispers of the Spirit within my soul far outweigh the battle within my mind. Satan already has the lost (those who don’t believe in Jesus), he wants to win me the God lover, Christ seeker, and believer. He would like nothing better than to “bring me over to the dark side”, but he can’t and it drives him crazy. I have already been claimed with a ransom…Jesus blood, His death, and resurrection.
 
I cannot allow my mind to hold me prisoner or make me a slave to my human persuasion.  The mind is where Satan thrives and builds strongholds of doubt, fear, and anxiety. And if I do not take the negative thought captive and replace it with the knowledge of who I am in Christ Jesus, the unbelief arises. I must remember I am the beloved daughter of the great I Am…a princess in the eyes of my King Jesus.

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought
to make it obedient to Christ.”

~II Corinthians 10:5

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Run to Him

The last two weeks have been an avalanche of great sorrow and taking refuge in the sweet presence of King Jesus has helped give me certain peace amidst the ebb and flow of the waves of life which sometimes crash ashore and leave me gasping for air, disoriented, and confused.

I thought I was doing well with the recent tragic death of my 22 year old nephew. The sad situation has layer upon layer of unanswered questions with pending homicide charges and the involvement of drugs. Society has become all to accustomed to these acts of violence;  heartless with no conviction of what is good and true. It is a sad state to see so many seeking what they can never find in useless moments of abuse to try and escape reality and find peace. I am deeply saddened and find myself not knowing what to do to ease the pain of my brother and his wife, my parents, and others in the loss of one young life cut to short.
 
Immediately following the funeral, I left to meet my husband and oldest son to make the trip to Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, TN where my son will attend his freshmen year in college. I am proud of the quiet giant and his happiness has made the transition a bit easier. But after one week of being away from him (13.5 hours), I miss him immensely. I have lost a part of me and the satisfaction of knowing he is happy does not cool my desire to hear his voice or just want to wrap my arms around him in a big hug.
 
In the midst of all the toil and chaos happening around me, I find myself ever more  desperately seeking quiet moments with my heavenly Father. Believe me...I am not perfect. I have been angry and cried a lot of tears and my husband one night took the brunt of my emotions in a dismal display of me "wigging out". But that is exactly why I need Jesus. This is why we ALL need Jesus! He takes the helpless situation and breaths life into certain death. He comforts. He never leaves us nor forsakes us. He is an ever present help in times of trouble. But most of all I love His grace and mercy which pardons my wretched sinfulness. He forgives me. Every road no matter how painful always leads me back to Him. But Christ is a choice for all to make. I am so glad I have a friend who never fails me....no matter what! Don't walk, but run to God! He is waiting for you!

Please take a minute and watch this video! 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A Struggle Within


 
There is a struggle going on deep within my soul. I want God to win. But I have been down this lonely path so many times in the past…and each time it returns I get wearier of the tug and pull upon my heart. I believe at times I could lock the door to my home and just become a hermit…isolated from the world. Becoming a nun (which is impossible for me at this point in my life for more reasons than one) sounds highly intriguing and the very thought of being “in silence” as in the movie Eat, Pray, Love with Julie Roberts would be my best bet in not dealing with people. I could just wear the tag on my outer shirt informing others “I am in silence” and then it could be my excuse to not interact.

Yeah, I know…there are a lot worse things in life. I would agree. But at the same time it is a very real daily conflict for me. I opt not to do things because I know I am going to have to be around people, put a smile on my face, and talk. The days I get the courage to actually be around others, it is a good time. But then I quickly retreat with thoughts I might have been to real and maybe the other person might expect more from me. I really don’t know if I am making any sense. I feel strange and weird about this entire struggle…am I the only one who deals with this kind of conflict?

I do know the one thing I will always seek is my Savior. He is my best friend and I have gone to him a lot these last few months…crying out to him to help me. I know that God did not make us to walk alone, but He created us for fellowship….especially fellowship with other believers. I do believe with all my heart God is at work within me and He alone will walk with me thru this troublesome time.

 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Crave Him


Sometimes I just crave being alone with Him. I’m like a kid with a bag of penny candy who wants to hide with the sack of goodness…where no one can interrupt the pleasure of indulgence of the sweet treat. I want to sit in quietness and gaze at the beauty He has created in the vibrant greens of the hillside set against the blue hues of the sky. Where my ears are opened to children’s laughter, neighbors talking, and birds who sing a perfect melody…all created by Him to be enjoyed by me.

But sometimes it is me who gets in the way. I need to learn to take two steps back and look up more often rather than working hard to fulfill  my “to do “ list or my own selfish desires. I disappoint myself, but then again if the focus was on Him to begin with and not me…disappointments would be extinct and only His blessings would remain.
 

“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.

He makes  me lie down in green pastures,

He leads me beside quiet waters,

He restores my soul.”

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Cold Dark Ditch


I have been reminded again today that all we do is not for the attention or acknowledgement of man, but what we do we should do as unto the Lord. Sometimes I work tirelessly to be a people pleaser which is not a good thing. Then when I give my all day in and day out and the nay sayers are still complaining as they try desperately to find something wrong with the work I perform….well I just breakdown entirely. I then realize my desperate attempt to please man leads nowhere but only to a foolish hearts end and a really bad day.

You see everyone has a story. I have a story that has a lot of not so good parts to it. For years, I dwelt on the not so good side of my life blaming others. But then somewhere along the way about 10 or so years ago, I realized I had a choice. I could choose joy and happiness or stay stuck in the misery of unfortunate things that had happened to me. I chose joy and happiness and I absolutely refuse to continue in circumstances and situations that cause me undue stress and try to steal the very part of my heart I try to protect.

I tried to do the right thing today and give my two week notice at my job because I took a new job with another company. There was no way I could do both for an extended period of time. I was nervous enough about having to talk to my boss about it and things just went from bad to worse very quickly. I sat shocked and amazed shaking my head defending myself against untruths. My protection mode started to set alarms off and doors started to close immediately to just stop the madness and not let it continue any longer.  I was a very good worker…hard worker…always lending a helping hand…and most respectful to the residents I cared for every day. I loved them all. I just wanted to give a two week notice, but ended up quitting because I felt in my heart I was going to have a miserable two weeks of what I was experiencing at that moment.

The funny thing is…God knew this was going to happen today. It wasn’t my intention to quit. Am I right or wrong? I don’t know. But I do know the Lord has only good for me in mind and even though I have been in the ditch today, His loving arms have extended down to this cold dark place to comfort me.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Sweet Scarlet


It has been an extremely sad weekend for my family. A beautiful little girl named Scarlet entered through the gates of heaven. She was a full term baby that was found to be still born early this past Friday morning. She was beautiful…perfect in every way…an angelic face unblemished. A very rare twisting of the inside of the umbilical cord caused a fatal blood clot.

Her mother and father, my cousins, are left inconsolable and full of grief. The entire family is trying to understand the one burning question, “Why?” As for myself, I would love to be home in Pittsburgh today for the funeral and wrap my arms around them and hug them tightly and grieve a little while with them. But work has caused me to stay put until the end of the week when I have a four days off and will have time to go home.

But for now I will share a little poem I wrote to help me grieve at this time…

 

SWEET SCARLET

She was taken before she could be touched by human hands,

Held first in the arms of Jesus,

No pain….

No sorrow….

Will her precious heart ever know,

Only joy and happiness will abound in heavens home.

 

 

She will giggle as she runs through the tall grass,

And picks a bouquet of wild flowers,

To hand to her Father and King,

Together they sit beside the peaceful shore,

And toss stones that skip across the calm waters.

 

Scarlet is the perfect child,

With a perfect heart,

Who never sinned,

And always remains innocent,

She is happy and rejoices,

As she dances in the arms of Jesus forever more.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Life Evolves


I feel life changing right before my very eyes. I guess it didn’t happen suddenly, but it seems suddenly upon me at this time. I took my oldest son out yesterday for a strawberry shake after school. As he sat across from me tall, slim, and handsome, I could still see his childhood face. But now before me was a young man…18 years old and going off to college in the fall. I laughed as he told me I looked young to have a child as old as him. He knows the way to his mother’s heart.

Later the same evening, we celebrated my daughter’s 16th birthday. She was absolutely beautiful as she sat smiling over her cupcakes in the glow of the candles as we sang “happy birthday” to her. She doesn’t think she is ready to drive yet (which is fine by me), but at times a feel I barely see her as her bedroom has become her favorite room.

And then there is my sweet Samuel. He is nearing 12 years old (next month) and growing taller by the minute. I have come to love and cherish the moments he sits next to me on the couch and cuddles. I just want to make him stay little and not grow up on me.

I guess you could say I miss my babies. Abe (my oldest son) is gone this weekend to Myrtle Beach on a band trip. It will just be the four of us at home…a big reminder of what it is going to be like this fall when Abe leaves for Middle Tennessee State University. And in a couple of years it will just be Samuel when my daughter leaves for college. Then Samuel will be gone too and then it will just be Bill and I…back where we started…just the two of us.

I have no regrets of the time I spent and the sacrifices I made for my children.
 

Monday, April 8, 2013

A Good Day


So, I am sitting here in the quietness of the early evening…daylight  still makes its presence known and the soft breeze of spring flows past the swaying curtain to touch the skin of my face. The smell of the fresh air awakens my soul and fills me with peace as the birds sing in the tree beyond the window pane.
Looking forward to this view of my front yard in a few short weeks!
It is in this moment of tranquility; I am reminded most of what it must be like in heaven. But instead of birds singing, angels will praise in harmony sweet adoration to the King who gave His life for me…who gave His life for you. I can’t imagine…or should I say…what I imagine… will not come close to the gloriousness which will be seen and heard on that day of homecoming.

Today was a good day and I just want to breath in deeply, exhale slowly, and just take it all in and remember how it feels to remind me when the not so good days come…and they will come…that the good day waits just around the corner as I continue this journey called life walking daily hand in hand with my Savior Jesus.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Amazing Love


Flogged…
Mocked…
“Hail King of the Jews!”
Struck in the face…
Dressed in a purple robe…
“Crucify!” “Crucify!”
The Son of God…

Carried His own cross…
JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS…
Took His clothes…
Divided them…
Cast lots for them…

“I am thirsty.” Jesus said
It is finished.” Jesus proclaimed
He bowed His head…
And gave up His spirit…

I put Jesus on the cross and deserve nothing for my wretched sinfulness. But yet in all of Christ’s anguish and pain…He still forever loves me just the same.

One day I will lay prostrate at His feet…my friend…my Father…my King and thank Him with tears of joy for what He did for me and how He showed…

Just how much He loves me!

All honor and glory are His as I proclaim…

 

Holy, holy, holy,

Art thou Lord God almighty.

Worthy, worthy, worthy,

Is the Lamb that was slain!
 
 
I love you Jesus!!!