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.  

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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.

Free from Fear

Where He is, where He leads, there is always light, there is always strength, there is always peace when I open that door

I would love to start this off today telling you I am free from fear. That Jesus has set me free and this is how you get there, but I cannot.  It isn’t because Jesus has not set me free, that is just not true.  I am free I just choose to stay in my jail cell even though I could walk right up and push the door open.

I am comfortable here in my jail cell.  No it is not pleasant, I don’t get treated well and  sometimes bad things happen, but, if I keep quiet, and eat the food I am being given I at least know what to expect for the most part.  Let’s be honest I am in jail, you can picture, it no matter how I draw it, cell-windowit is not good.

We are asked to “Throw off the fear that so easily enslaves us” (prompted by Hebrews 12:1) Why am I not doing that.  I serve the King, The sovereign God of the universe and there is so much out there He is waiting to show me.  Why do I resist?  Why do I shut the door like a child and say no?  What do I gain? Peace? Quiet?  These come to mind, but it is not really like that because it is a jail cell, little vermin are crawling around you, you can hear them even when you cannot see them.  It is hard cold and uncomfortable. You are always being confronted with why you are there. No it is neither peaceful nor quiet.

As He paints this picture while I write, I am seeing it all in a new light.  Several months ago God asked me to write, He asked me to share the journey He has set me on with others. Slowly He has been opening my mind to this and showing me His thoughts and direction.  Last night I read a post by a blog I love One September Day. The post was Brave Steps for a Quiet Heart. It was another step in my journey to freedom from fear.  Here is a mother of ten blogging and this post was Jesus speaking right to me from the honesty of this womans heart.  She spoke of her fears , of being honest, of showing the good and the bad. Everything she wrote about in this post were things the Spirit had already been saying to me.  Her post was confirmation and opened my eyes to the fact that I was not alone, I was not hearing wrong.

This morning I got some rare alone time.  I began my time writing out the things of yesterday and this morning I was thankful for, my blessings, my gifts, as another gifted woman of God (Ann Voskamp) has put it, and Jesus took my hand and walked me down this road.  He showed me the flowers waiting to bloom on the roadside and the beautiful sights I was missing as I sat in my cell or trudged down my road not looking around me.  The birds, as I wrote, were singing a literal chorus in my background I had never heard so many in all my quiet times sitting outside. I looked back at myself sitting in that jail cell and I am thinking “What am I doing? I should open it! I want to open it!” So here 2015-08-13-15-06-28I am writing, opening the door, looking outside.

As I write this post I know not all of them are going to be about me being free but about Christ freeing me.  They will sometimes be about my journey  opening the door, stepping out and looking around . They will sometimes be about my steps to freedom rather than the freedom I know.

Today I started with fear and as I wrote, the words of Jesus washed over and freed me a little more.  I am so thankful to stand in His presence and go in His direction no matter how scary. Where He is, where He leads, there is always light, there is always strength, there is always peace when I open that door. Here is to freedom from fear!