Mary and Martha

2016-02-19-18-00-38

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

mercy-meshake

Advertisements

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.

1 Chronicles 28_20.jpg

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.  

Doctors and natural medicine a perspective to open 2017

Nothing that God created should be eschewed. It is the point at which we see it as above God, look to the authority of man over God where we are out-of-order and summarily enslaved.

I type here from my bed recovering from pneumonia. It took hold of me as the holidays approached and became an unavoidable reality as we literally opened the year. New Year’s Day found me at the ER.  This year God had some truths to confirm in my life about the role of medicine in our modern culture and in my life. Over the years of raising children God opened my eyes  to all of His creation and its many uses. Through this knowledge I gained freedom. Freedom to use the myriad of plants He created all over this planet to take care of these bodies He gave us. As I grew in knowledge and wisdom the world of medicine and doctors took a back seat and nnatural-medicine-1738161_1920o longer dictated how I ran my life. As the years went by through prayer and His wisdom illness was a small part of our journey. As 2016 came to a close we were all reflecting on how thankful we were that we had not really been hit too deeply with all these terrible illnesses that we had been hearing about around us.  I have always held that doctors and medicine have their place just not the place our culture has elevated them to. I was soon to learn that often we are led by fear to turn to man for our answers but sometimes we can also be prideful that we have all the answers and not see that God has a place for both because He created both.

I woke New Year’s Day and my chest felt heavy when I took a breath, coughing exhausted me but thankfully no longer hurt;  I had been battling an illness that had entered the house the week before Christmas.  The miracle to testify to here is that I had tried to call the doctor the day before Christmas Eve but no one answered.  By that night I was so miserable and in such pain my children stood around me in my bed and prayed over me.  The result of this prayer was a cessation of the pain and fever that had been plaguing me.  I was also able to interact with people a bit for the holidays. So this is another one of many God provides miracles I will be able to look to and speak of throughout my life.  Anyway, I digress, below you will find our tried and true formula for illness when it enters our house and it has worked faithfully for 20+ years.

  • sun-hat-1519881_1920 Echinacea our first line of defense.  It builds up the white blood cells that fight the invading monsters.  Now in my experience while it is good to take Echinacea throughout the illness the onset is the most effective place for this remedy.
  • Garlic- our mainstay to kill anything and everything.  Garlic is a natural antibiotic. As garlic-1769096_1920such we take it in the same manner as we would an antibiotic.  We start with a pink of a fresh clove or two once a day. We like to bury it in applesauce or plain yogurt and just swallow down. If this does not seem to be killing it (meaning you are not feeling better) we move up to twice then 3X a day. In really bad illnesses we have even done every 2 hrs or so.
  • Ginger- If there is a lot of mucus being produced, sneezing and running, ginger is our ginger-1960613_1920go to.  This dries up the extra production. I know it has many other properties but this is what we use it for.stinging-nettle-785292_1920
  • Nettle tea- This when infused for a 3 or 4 hours is a good expectorant. It is also very nourishing to the rest of your body
  • Eucalyptus essential oil-when congestion is a problem with a tight cough, this briessential-768949_1920ngs wonderful relief. Boil a big pot of water add several drops, put a towel over your head and breath deeply.  I usually stand above it as the steam is too close and too hot when I sit. This really gets the chest congestion moving.
  • humidifier if night coughing and discomfort are a problem we use a warm humidifier. This year we added the Eucalyptus oil to it but I now have rivulets of oil on my walls that I need to clean once I have the strength and energy. So no more oil in my humidifier.

These are our go to remedies.  As I said above we have used these for 20+ years with great success. But this illness was different and it is in listening to God that the truth was revealed.  We did all of the above and the rest of the family was well within a week despite the news that all around us illness was rampant and lasting for multiple weeks.  But I had gotten something special or because of my Hashimoto’s I was not able to fight whatever came in, but I can tell you now looking back it was different from the day it started.  The cough started dry and tight and was painful and unproductive within 2 days.  I did all of the above remedies to no avail breathing the eucalyptus or steam felt as if it were pressing the bad further down in my lungs. At the time I could not articulate that it just did not feel good. I did cough and it moved things a little but not like it normally would.  So after fighting for a week and the return of a low-grade fever I knew something was not right. I knew I had done all I could it was time to check with doctors. Now the emergency room was not my first choice but being it was a holiday I knew my doctor was not going to be in and although the urgent care centers said they were open they were not . So the emergency room was where I ended up.

So what did I learn on this journey ,well, what the Spirit had been telling me for years was confirmed, doctors and medicine have their purpose and place. You see, to me, we live in a world where science is god and doctors are the priests. Priests just like we have seen themmedical-563427_1920 in history dictating to all, what we will do, how we will live and what will cause us to die. We are literally persecuted and looked down upon if we question that ideology or those doctors/priests. So funny how history repeats itself and how ,as it says in Ecclesiastes “There is nothing new under the sun”. In a coming post I will share about Hippocrates and what I learned as we started our history study this year. But just like people of old were freed from the tyranny of priests and their whims and wishes we too have been freed from the god of science and medicine that the world has created.  Does this mean God cannot use them and does not have a purpose?  Nothing that God created should be eschewed. It is the point at which we see it as above God, look to the authority of man over God where we are out-of-order and summarily enslaved.

You see the world is the same whether you see God or not. Illness is still there whether you look to Him or not.  We are either blessed by the plants that surround us or we have doctors and medicines formulated by  the men that He created. The key is going to Him and being free. He is the key,  He knows the path, He is the creator.  As God of the universe no matter how man tries to distort things, He will always set things right. So as always I started the year thankful. Thankful for all the choices He puts at my disposal and thankful He guides me to which is best in a given moment.  Thankful for the quiet to sit in His presence. While we may have medicine and doctors to take care of so many things we do not need to rely on them for the answers, we also have all of His creation available to us to care for us and build us up. Ultimately it is God himself we go to for the solution. Thank you Jesus for coming here and living amongst us. Thank you for opening that direct line of communication to God for me.  Thank you that I can rely on you and not be a slave to pride and fear.

Who is taking the lead in your dance of life? A reflection for Valentines Day

Emotions are amazing! They add depth and breadth to life but if they are what are leading our dance of life we will miss the beauty and power of the dance.  When we follow His lead the dance is powerful, and stunning, you don’t want to stop you are so enraptured by it! Emotions can add beauty, depth and connection to our lives but often they lead to conflict and chaos.  One day God gave me this incredible picture when we let our emotions take the lead it ruins the beauty of the dance.

What the Holy Spirit brought one day as I sat before Jesus was a picture of the tango.  This dance can be an incredible thing to watch when the participants know their roles and work within them.  If both dancers are trying to lead it is not a pretty picture.  In a dance there is one person who takes the lead and one person Ballroom dancingwho trusts and follows.  Our walk with our God is a bit like this.  When we follow His lead the things in our life even the hard things can be beautiful and amazing.  When we take the lead we make a messy stilted dance .  We may still be dancing but no one is taking pleasure in it.

God gave us this wonderful spectrum of emotions that add so much color and personality to our lives.  How we react to and interact with our circumstances and the people puts in our lives is the beautiful fabric that makes up our individual world.  But we live in a fallen world and those emotions can ruin the dance when we let them take the lead.

As I look out over the panorama of my life I can see the times that love, hurt, anger or excitement were taking the lead.  While these emotions can add so much,when we are following them they can lead us down wrong roads.  God is right there with the perfect path and those emotions were designed to add to the gifts He has given us and the paths He leads us down. So with Valentine’s Day, a day full of emotion, just around the corner. Let’s ask ourselves who is leading our dance? Are we experiencing the beauty and power of following His lead or are we struggling through a stilted messy picture?

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.

Freedom in Brokenness

When your body betrays you and you have nothing with which to accomplish life in the way you are accustomed it can be devastating, or so it may seem at first.

afq5-t0zgtq-veeterzyEach time I have been physically broken I come back to a place of spiritual brokenness that frees me from the slavery that so easily entangles me. I am released from the mess that I make of my mind when I get back to striving on my own. In my physical brokenness I learn more about trusting God. How basic is that and yet He calls us deeper all the time. What we know now is only a shadow of what is to come.

When your body betrays you and you have nothing with which to accomplish life in the way you are accustomed it can be devastating, or so it may seem at first. You find yourself in a new place striving to find new ways to do what used to be second nature.  You realize how much of what you did in life you took for granted. For me the prayers I begin praying are that I will get my ability to do things on my own, back. The thing is, lately the answer I have been getting is “I love you, let me love you.” I promptly respond by letting Jesus know the way He can show love to me, my Love Language so to speak, is to give me back the ability to do things myself. That is not the freedom He wants me to experience right now. He knows I know the freedom of hard work and doing things myself. He wants me to go deeper. What He wants to show me is the freedom to watch Him work, He wants me to trust Him.

My mind does a double take of sorts when He says this. “Wait what?! How can I be following Jesus and not trust Him.” The verse about renewing and transforming comes to mind immediately. There was a time when I did not know how to do any of the things I now take for granted and do easily. In the years He spent teaching me these things I was on my knees ,literally, daily. I was clueless how to accomplish what He asked and I had no desire to do it outside of Him and His design. In the quiet of physical brokenness I listened as He spoke. Through the years I had moved from inability and reliance on Him, to strength and striving in my own power and abilities. I had developed a new habit of throwing up prayers and not waiting for the answers. Going through the motions of being Mary but really being Martha. Each time I have recently found myself in this place of physical brokenness I have been waiting foot tapping for God to get me out of it so I could get things done. His answer was again “No, trust me. I will do what needs to be done.” I will fight the battle while you stay quiet.

1za_mc846yu-ben-whiteTrusting Him is not new, but I am being called to a new place where I will face new challenges and Jesus wants me to be free. He wants me quiet and not carrying the burdens I have been choosing to carry. He wants me free to look to Him and listen. Free to see what He wants to do next in my life. So while being physically broken is hard. I am thankful, without it I wouldn’t be here writing this today and feeling excited to watch God work.

Where are you at today are you physically broken? Are you striving to do things in your power? Take a moment and listen Jesus is calling and He wants to take care of you. When I am broken I take more time for prayer so leave me a comment and let me be praying for you.