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God does not leave things a mystery when we are constantly petitioning Him about our children I have learned this again and again

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Recently we dropped our son off at the airport, he was heading to England.  He started on a journey a year and half ago that culminated in him flying to another continent and country.  There are so many thoughts and feelings that go with this adventure as his parent.  Parenting adults as you will hear me say often is so full of ups and downs.2017-01-16-15-44-45  Sometimes God is using them in such amazing ways and doing such amazing things. They are making choices that make you stand back and say oh wow that is my child. Then there are other times when you are asking yourself “Wait what? Where is that coming from?” In this case six months ago we learned that our son had a relationship with a girl he had met online.  Now let me be clear there are many types of online relationships and I will speak to others in a later post but for now this was a regular girl he had met while in a book discussion forum on a website.

God does not leave things a mystery when we are constantly petitioning Him about our children I have learned this again and again.  This was made clear again in this situation as well. God allowed us to be in the dark about our son as long as He wanted and then He brought it to light.  Our son left up a Skype ID we were unfamiliar with and the story unfolded.  There are so many clues the Spirit gives about  where a heart is at if you are seeking Him. I think often times  in these situations where a hidden aspect of our child comes to light, we can be either hurt or use something like this to bring some legal point home that has nothing to do with the path God has for that particular child.  I found both of these to be true with my first child, poor girl.  We can get so caught up in what we think is the overall right choice in a decision our child makes. Our son’s demeanor was not angry or defensive about our finding out about the girl, he was just not sure how we would feel. Essentially he had not told us because he thought we would not approve of the online aspect of their relationship.

I don’t think before this I could have articulated how I felt about this as I had nothing to go on prior to this occurring, but on discussing this with him I really had a peace about it. I felt like the Spirit was telling me to be open.  We spoke to her that first night and she was so sweet.  We have spoken to her several times over the last 6 months and she is a sweet girl.  I let him know he had a responsibility to go and meet her in person so he booked the tickets he just used.  This has been such an unexpected turn of events and I as always love watching God at work.

I have been watching this open my son back up, he had been hurt by another girl a few years back. It also is getting him to travel and step out in a way I don’t know that he would have prior to this.  I have seen nothing but growth in good ways in him.  So I am excited to see what God has planned for this journey he has embarked on!  The key in these kinds of things especially with our kids, but in everything really is staying open to what God wants to show you not being stuck on what you think should happen.  We all or at least I do, have a tendency to predetermine what we would like to happen, see, or learn in the situations He puts in our life.  I have found that when I define things myself I have a hard time seeing what He is actually doing.

As different family members have approached me it has been from the perspective that I am worried but I cannot go there in my mind.  I cannot let my mind wander down these paths and give power to fear and doubt.  So instead I have just been praying for growth and wisdom.  I have been encouraging my son to look at God and move forward.  It has been so different from how I handled my first just one more reason to have more than one child if you can.

So there you have it my son went off to England to see a girl he has been communicating with for lengthy amounts of time daily for over a year. He was so joyful while he was there, his best self really. This relationship is bringing out his strengths. So while it is unorthodox and we are in unknown territory I am excited to watch God work in this area as well.  Stay tuned and I will keep you posted as to where God leads all of us on this new path.  Stay open and be amazed as God works in your children’s lives and the way He gets their attention.

Mary and Martha

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Each day I am working through this illness. I am trying to be quiet and stay open to what God has for me.  As I slowly get better I once again find myself chomping at the bit.Okay Lord I got it I am ready to be done thanks for the quiet time!  I am ready to move on. I am determining how my life will go and putting it before God.  The funny thing is this is what I was supposed to be learning about through this quiet time.  I am supposed to be sitting quietly at His feet watching Him work instead of me. Yet here I am as I regain a tiny bit of strength ready to move on and get back to doing things myself.

One day last week I woke up and I felt strong, I felt like I had energy.  It was the first time I had felt like that in weeks and despite the amazing time I had been having with Jesus I was ecstatic to finally be moving on, or so I thought.  For all my talk of being open to what God had for me each day the moment I received a touch of my own strength back I was planning my recovery and everything I would now be doing.  God had other plans.  I am thankful for this now but the next morning when I woke up and the days that followed where I was struggling with strength and body breakdowns I started to shut down.  I started once again to question everything.  Why was I doing anything I had been striving for, what is the point? I couldn’t accomplish anything on a regular basis. The thoughts just kept coming, each day more questions and peace was quickly left behind me. I was in the Word less and I had been diving deeper than I had in awhile. I prayed for others less and that is what a lot of my time had been spent doing since I physically could do nothing else.

Finally one day, I was still reading and praying just not the way I had been.  I was reading, I don’t know what at the time, but the Holy Spirit broke through and told me I was leaving Mary behind to be Martha again.  Not only that, but a lot of my concern was what other people were thinking because it was taking me so long to get better.  He has been working on me for a few years knowing my desire to get back to Him, to get to the intimacy I once had.  For the first time when my body broke down I was at peace to take it day by day and spend time with Him. In this a whisper began to emerge and get louder. I was thinking of all the Martha’s out there saying Lord why isn’t she working, why don’t you make her serve.  We are and we have physical issues.  I started to question the quiet, and the battle was on.

That day Jesus turned the light on. He reminded me once again that He loved what Mary did sitting before Him listening and learning.  He loved that I was doing this and He was not looking for me to assuage Martha and make her feel better, not the Martha’s in the church, nor the Martha I had cultivated in myself.

Now I write this as if this battle is over and since the light got turned on I can see, but let me be honest the battle is still going.  I am trying once again to rest and sit before Him in peace.  I am trying once again to take things one day at a time.  Today I felt better and I tried not to jump up and spend time doing things but I tried to spend my time with Him.  Was I successful? Not completely but when God put something before for me I have learned the path that He takes at times. Very rarely does He turn things around in an instant. Usually with me He points something out. Then I begin to notice I am doing it and I pay attention to what He has pointed out.  Then I make a change, small at first and then little by little the transformation and renewing of my mind happens.  It happens in such a way that I look back amazed that I once made other choices and I wouldn’t think of making those choices now.  Not because I have to or was told to or I am conforming to some law or code somehow, but because I have been transformed by God. The old has become new.  That part of me does not exist anymore and I am so thankful.

So as I begin this transformation, if you are reading this thanks for being a part of His process.  I hope you look to Him and see the amazing ways He is transforming you.  Below I have included a song of worship that speaks to His work of transformation in our lives.  I hope you enjoy it!

Mercy Me ~Shake

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A verse to start 2017

Many things are happening as we start 2017 and you will find I have written a couple of posts at least about what God is doing in our lives right now.  Today I would like to share the verse God gave me in all of this.

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This whole passage was about the details of building the temple but this verse just jumped out at me. The Spirit just used it. I tried to move on because it wasn’t technically in context and I don’t want to be using scripture to make my own world seem right. But He would not let go till I recorded it in my journal; then moved me to make it a highlight in my bullet journal.  He pushed His meaning deeper each time I wrote it till tonight I felt called to write about it even here.

David was this amazing guy with so many flaws, but with so much love for God and God was always at his side. He had put everything together for the temple and he had all the plans but he was not slated to build it.  So I can only imagine what a huge job this seemed like to those coming behind him to take it up.

As we look at 2017 there are so many new things in front of us.  Things that God has been setting in front of us but we did not know when and how we would proceed.  Here we are ready to embark on a whole new world and He brought this verse to the forefront.  So what are some of the things that stuck out.

  • Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Even though these are good things that He is doing there will be work.
  • Don’t be afraid or discouraged by the size of the task. These changes will affect so many aspects of our lives that we have taken for granted for years. So the size of the task completely hit home.
  • He will not fail you or forsake you.  I so often get going down a road and forget I am not doing this alone. He used this as a heads up to not forget we are not doing this alone.
  • He will see that all the work related to the Temple of the Lord will be finished correctly.  This is not our work but His, He will see it is finished correctly He is not depending on us to do it right. I always need a reminder of this.

It is times like this I am so thankful for Jesus, as the Spirit brings this passage to life and once again shows me God at work in my life.  I love how the Spirit of God dwells in us and reveals to us how He will do these things in OUR life, they are not just some historical perspective for us to reflect on. This then brings to mind the Good News of Jesus and I want to do like they do in the Old Testament, stop and worship.  I think this is what it is all about.  Good News, Worship and Praise.

Thanks for listening to my little reflection point today.  

New direction and New paths open up in 2017

God is always stunning and amazing to me when I let go and put my life in His hands.

January came and went and a quiet start was God’s plan for this new year. As I sat recovering from pneumonia and with lots of time to think and put the coming year before God, I felt a deeper call to be quiet.  I began to understand He had started the year in this way on purpose. I mean of course He had, He has a purpose and a plan for everything but once again it all came together.  He had been preparing my husband and I for changes throughout 2016 but we were not sure where He was going or what He wanted us to do.  We just faithfully listened and kept moving forward.

God is always stunning and amazing to me when I let go and put my life in His hands. In 2016 we had a record year of travel it was amazing and wonderful to outstretched-cupped-handsconnect with so many family members and friends and to see many beautiful places.  I could feel life making great shifts and I vacillated throughout the year between scared and excited but mostly excited.  We were on a new path with significant change. My adult children were pursuing new directions and hearing God in their own lives,that in itself was exciting to watch.  God was doing things with my husband and his career and his view of it. He was changing where I put my focus and what I pursued day-to-day as I moved forward.  I think throughout the year we would stop and go “Huh, where is God going with all of this.” As I reflect in writing this I see each of us saying to the other throughout the year “Just do what is in front of you today, you don’t know where God is going with this but He loves you and has a plan.” Even that in itself is amazing and one of the reasons I know God had me start writing this blog. He reveals new things to me each time I write. He always has through writing this is just a new dimension. Now as 2017 opens and new horizons appear before us I don’t feel scared but the fact that big changes are actually before us makes me pause and take a breath.

I have spent so much time of my life fearing what was coming and how I would handle it.  I would try to look at all the scenarios I would possibly face and in some way try to prepare for them mentally or by the way I handled my life.  In different ways throughout the years God has been trying to get me to loosen my grasp on this way of doing things.  Often I would find my mind thinking on some disaster that might occur,this way of thinking came to me early in life.  Throughout my life there were these huge ,somewhat out of nowhere, events that would happen changing my life diametrically and in some ways not for the better for a time.  This left me always trying to prep and avoid the unexpected.  The thing I learned over the years is life does not happen in the way you prepare for it.  While you are looking over here something pops over there.  In little steps God held my hand as I walked this road and tried to navigate all these twists and turns on my own.

Looking back I can see Him asking me to follow Him let Him take the lead.  It is funny to think of the times I did and the times I didn’t and the differences of where I ended up each time.  Having my 7 kids was one of those following moments transitioning from teens to adults was one of the times I took my own path.  I have the results of both displayed before me one has beautiful and amazing results despite the inherent difficulties throughout the years and the other was fraught with confusion and heartache.  As I came out of this and surrender myself to following Him again the paths before me began to open up but my instinct to plan and protect myself hung on.

God is so amazingly faithful despite all the little dances we do to orchestrate our own life.  So as I sat healing and being quiet learning on a deeper level to take one day at a time,news came.  Here is where we can miss His provision. I am thankful I have not been fighting with Him about being incapacitated with this illness. I am thankful I have been sitting quietly as He asked and waiting on Him.  In this valley a new vista opened up and word came down that after 28 years with his company and moving with many, many changes over the years,permanent changes were in the works.  The company was selling his division.  It is unheard of to be with a company almost 30 years these days but it has been such a gift from God as we raised the 7 gifts.  There was so much God had been showing us throughout 2016 preparing us for this change without saying exactly what it would be. There are so many options before us now as we look at the changes but we both feel ready and understand God has been preparing us and He has a plan.

So now as we look at 2017 the path looks very different and the quietness makes sense. We will not be proceeding from where we werjoroy500ncc-toni-lluche in 2016 but on a whole new road. We will have huge decisions to make as career and life take a new turn. As things we have done for almost 30 years associated with one large company changes. On one hand I want to close my eyes and I don’t want anything to change; as much I have been craving change now that it is here I feel a bit daunted my how many areas of our life this will affect. This is not just a job change at this point and at this stage of life. But this year of letting go and trusting God happened for a reason.  Last year all year I could hear Him urging me trust me look at your heart you aren’t trusting me you are relying on your own abilities. Little by little in His sweet gentle way He has led me along and now we stand here looking out at a new horizon and I want to follow. I don’t want to take control and try to guide this. I have done that too much in life and as I look back I am firm in my understanding that, that way does not work. I am clear that the worlds way of doing it ,experience it yourself, you have to go through these things to know, is the lie that started with Eve. For the moment and I hope forever I am done with that path; I have seen and experienced the difference of trusting Him and there is no comparison. Each holds difficulty and struggle but one has joy and strength and amazing gifts attached and the other has just heartaches and confusion. 

A month and a half has flown by in our journey through 2017. I am thankful for the quiet brought on by illness. Thank you Jesus for the time to reflect. Thank you for all the change and thank you that we can look to You in the face of it all.

Through the Glass

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This year has been very full. Life was changing for all of us each in different ways. We all just needed a quiet do nothing vacation. Usually the mountains are calling with hikes and sight-seeing  but this year we just wanted to sit and be quiet. So we picked a place that is always hot, found a fun mid-century modern home and off we went for a week of quiet rest and as happens when you rest reflection.

The first day of vacation was hot.  We had been enjoying the first half of the day  in or by the pool.   It was nice to get this quiet time together with no obligations and nowhere we needed to be. Everyone was getting hungry so we fired up the BBQ and got some hot dogs and sausages grilled up.  As we gathered around the table outside we realized there were not enough chairs for everyone.  We could have gotten stools or sat on lounges nearby but for some, the dry heat was too much.  Where the table sat outside there sat another table on the inside separated by a wall of glass, so the hot people went inside.  In a funny way it was like we were eating together.

As we on the outside sat looking in, we noticed something, we had a choice of what we looked at. When you looked you could either see someone at the table inside or you could see the reflection of yourself.  The comments going around were that it was hard to see inside because you were just seeing yourself.  I wasn’t having this problem so I looked up at my reflection and the Spirit brought a profound picture to my mind.  It was a life illustration I know I will never forget so I had to share it.

When we looked at the window we had a choice, we could look and see the others inside or we could be distracted by our own reflection and only see ourselves.  Remember the comments were they couldn’t see the others because they could only see their own reflections.

I was struck by how true this is. How many times have I missed seeing something in someone else because I was looking at myself.  For me often times it has been me obsessing about what I might have done wrong in a given situation but for others it is that they are so impressed with what they have done and still others need to be in control, they need their vision realized.  No matter what perspective a person is coming from gazing at your own reflection makes you unable to see others.

Now we could spend a whole blog on how we should spend time in reflection looking at ourself and getting God’s perspective but that is not the freedom we are discussing here we are discussing how freeing it is to look away from the reflection of ourselves and truly look at others.  God has us, He wants us to see the beauty He created in others.

God has spent years teaching me this lesson, starting with people who I did not necessarily agree with. He began, as I opened myself up, to show me what He created in these people who did things so differently than I did.  He showed me the good in who they were and what they were doing.

It is so easy to look at the weaknesses of others and miss their strengths. Only in seeing them as God created them and intended them to be, do we have any hope of loving them the way He intended.  Love cannot be manufactured that is a lie that I believe is being spread heavily right now.  Put on the face of love, act loving and this will bring about change.  But when it doesn’t? What then? Where does the face of love go? I am sure you have all seen it, it fades very quickly.

I am so thankful for this picture lesson God gave me in my quiet time. I am thankful for the freedom to see people as God designed them not as they present themselves or satan tries to distort them so I will look away.  I am thankful to be free to love in every moment not just the ones that meet my expectations.  I am thankful to be free to look away from the reflection of myself and look through the glass at the beautiful creations which God placed around me. Where are you looking today are you looking through the glass at the people God has placed in your life? Or are you looking at your own reflection?