October 25, 2014

Those Who Sow in Tears........

Because sometimes it's a sacrifice. 
giving from the empty places.  

giving when there's such lack.  
giving when we feel we've nothing more to give.  

There are seasons when tears are abundant.  A constant flow of grief, heartache and sorrow.  A season of questions.  A season where those things which we have in our possession are no longer there.  We FEEL they've been snatched within our grasp unfairly.  But only because we've held on so tightly with white knuckles.  Holding on to those things which never belonged to us in the first place.

They never belonged to US because EVERYthing we have within our possession belongs to the Father.  What we have in our hands has been given to us.  When it's no longer there we begin to panic and gather what IS left.... afraid of MORE heartache, afraid of more loss. 

OPEN HANDED.

It's the only way to really live.  
QUIET TRUST that the Father's heart for you is ALWAYS good.  Continuing to sow seeds of love, grace and blessings even when we feel such emptiness in our soul.  Sowing through tears.  Sowing through heartache. 
OBEDIENCE.  


How you perceive what you've been given will determine how you respond when it's no longer in your hands.  We can kick and scream, pout and whine becoming bitter and calloused. Refusing to let go of anything more.

Can you TRUST His heart for you?  Can you continue to give of yourself when you feel so spent?  So empty?  Can you TRUST that seed----though small as it may be----will reap such a harvest that it brings LAUGHTER when it comes?  


And now, God, do it again—
    bring rains to our drought-stricken lives
So those who planted their crops in despair
    will shout hurrahs at the harvest,
So those who went off with heavy hearts
    will come home laughing, with armloads of blessing. Psalm 126

Laughter from tears.
Dancing from mourning.
Wholeness from broken places.
Blessings from lack. 
Joy from despair.

What we are willing to let go of today makes room for miracles tomorrow.






October 22, 2014

When we Pray......

We. Just. Don't. Always. KNOW.....
beyond our
earthly reasoning, beyond our limited understanding, beyond that which we can see with our eyes, beyond the natural.....
things are HAPPENING. 
At the APPOINTED time GOD will show up with what you NEED. Whether it's the answer you've been waiting for, your miracle, THE words you need to fuel your faith and keep you going, or if it's just STRENGTH for your soul.....in the time frame of God's-Perfect-Timing, God will come through. Not in the way YOU think He should or in the MOMENT you think He should.
We don't know what God knows.
Daniel had just come through a 3 week fast. He was weak, tired, weary and desperate to hear from God. He prayed. But he didn't have an immediate answer.
But when HEAVEN RESPONDED----this is what he heard (Daniel 10) : “Daniel, you are very precious to God, so listen carefully to what I have to say to you. Stand up, for I have been sent to you. Don’t be afraid, Daniel. *SINCE THE FIRST DAY YOU BEGAN TO PRAY* for understanding and to humble yourself before your God,*YOUR REQUEST HAS BEEN HEARD IN HEAVEN*. I have come in answer to your prayer. But for twenty-one days the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia blocked my way. Then Michael, one of the archangels, Came to help me, and I left him there with the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia."
You can be SURE Heaven hears. God is VERY much FOR you. Fighting for YOU. He's on YOUR side. You have an enemy whose intent is to steal, kill, and destroy. He's after your faith and your testimony. Hold on to HOPE, have FAITH and believe that God is on your side and will do whatever He needs to do to come through for YOU. When we pray things HAPPEN. Heaven is on the MOVE. We may not always see or KNOW the things that Heaven knows....but know THIS....all of Heaven is on YOUR side.

October 16, 2014

When NOTHING looks like you Imagined it Would be

I look around me and to be honest, NOTHING is as I imagined it would be. 
CHANGE has upended my world in SUCH significant ways.  It has literally changed the DNA of my life.........

Since I was a little girl I had something in mind.  
I had PLANS.
I was going to be a Dr.  I was going to speak in front of audiences.  I entered college in pursuit of a degree in Psychology and Youth Ministry knowing where I was {headed}. Counseling, Social Work, Therapy, dynamics of family and relationships....it was all part of my PLAN.  Mid-college career my plans were {DIVERTED}.  I had an opportunity that THRILLED me.  Working with individuals who had special needs.  For as long as I could remember I had a place in my heart for THIS very purpose.  I finished my course of studies, I met Justin and after some time ended up marrying the man and moving to Atlanta.  

Uprooted.
Upended.

Transplanted. 


I started working with a family who had an autistic boy and I. HAD. PLANS. 
GRAND PLANS.
One day.........I could see it all.  

HOWEVER, in my plans, was a family.  And a family was BORN.
I *SUDDENLY* (if suddenly can happen over a matter of 4 children, 9 months of growing a small human inside of me for each one, in a span of 7 years.) found myself surrounded.
3 boys and a little girl.

Consumed with SUCH a great calling.  

A few years after my daughter was born my husband was faced with unemployment. 
THIS WAS NOT THE WAY THIS WAS SUPPOSED TO GO. 
Within the time frame of {God's perfect timing} I was presented with an opportunity that could ONLY be orchestrated in such a Divine way. Our every need was met and my husband was rocking the stay-at-home dad thing while continuing to look for a job.  BOTH of us believing God would provide in the way *we thought He should.* WE. HAD. PLANS.  


3 years later I was faced with the grave reality my husband was not coming home.  
Derailed. All at once my world turned upside down. Widowed with 4 children I looked around me gasping for air....."WHAT NOW?"

What is this supposed to look like NOW?
How do you function as a family of 5 with only a mommy?  How will we manage all the things with such a significant part of our lives severed from the equation?  I had PLANS and THIS did not factor into them.

It is man who plans his way.
But it is the LORD who directs His steps Proverbs 16:9 

Everywhere I have gone, every step I've taken has been guided by One who's ways are higher than mine, who sees things on such a GRANDER scale and 
HE. HAD. A. PLAN .... before I had MINE......

I have learned this.....no MATTER what it looks like around you......
(Whether you find yourself in the middle of EVERYTHING you imagined life would be for you or where nothing looks familiar and nothing looks like you imagined it would be)
.....The will of God won't take you where the Grace of God won't keep you.
You can make all the plans you want to make....but be prepared, be WILLING to move with GOD should He have OTHER plans.  Moving with God I know I have NOTHING to fear.  I have nothing to lose. Because God is Sovereign and all-knowing and because His heart is one to PROSPER me, NOT to harm me but to bring me into EVERY good thing He HAS for me.  He's got the END in mind and HE. CAN. BE. TRUSTED.

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

October 6, 2014

When We Refuse to Let Go of God's Provision

She looked into the bottom her last jar.  
She looked at the Prophet.
She thought about her son.  She could go hungry....but her CHILD?
Surely he KNOWS.  Surely he SEES what I see.  

He couldn't possibly ask me to give away more than I have.  

 


She was FORCED to make a choice:
Choose to hold on to every last bit of oil faced with fear and uncertainty....or choose to let go and TRUST.
Choose to GIVE.


Nothing we have within our possession belongs to us.  Everything we find in our hands belongs to God. Yet we close our fists and hold on to it knowing that if we let go....if we open our hands....then we are letting go of the very thing that is sustaining us.  The very thing that is keeping us alive.  
 
When He has the freedom to work with what's in your hand He can turn a few loaves and a couple fish into enough to feed the multitude and the jar will never run dry.

What SHE didn't know was what GOD knew......

The only thing SHE knew was that if things stayed the same she and her son would surely die.  
What she didn't realize is that God would never ask something of you only to bring you to ruin.  You can TRUST Him with {this place} you find yourself in....because He's got the end in mind.
What she didn't know was that if she held on to that little bit of oil then it very well MAY have been her LAST meal.  But when she let go of the very thing that she put her trust in...He became a God of MORE than enough.

 It's hard to give of ourselves, our time, our money....when we feel we've nothing left to give. 
So we cling to it with every breath, afraid to give what little we have away.

You can trust in those things you have within your grasp or leave them to the One to use as He sees fit.  He's got more where that came from.  He's promised if we give with open hands and without hesitation that He would give it back with abundance.  Not always in the way we thing He should or He will....but He promised He would not only meet our needs but to take our offerings (as meager as they may be) and suddenly become the God of MORE THAN ENOUGH.   

Give, and you will receive. Your offering will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back. Luke 6:38

If You Only Knew.........

How often do we hold on to those things which we THINK will bring fulfillment only to end up just as restless as we were before?

If you only KNEW.......


Jesus did not approach the woman at the well with accusations.
He had an appointment with her not to point a finger and call out her poor choices.....

It was a PLEA for her to RECOGNIZE that every effort she put forth to meet her needs herself and fix her situation will continue to be futile until she allows the ONLY One who can give her what she needs to fill every empty place in a way she had NEVER experienced.


 
Once you've tasted, once you've seen, once you've felt it.......you'll never settle for less. 
                                you'll suddenly have a distaste for the seconds, the left overs and the scraps.

OH! ..... that you would choose LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!! Deuteronomy 30:19

(He's urging you.....because He KNOWS.....there's only ONE answer.)


If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me....John 4:10
what the WORLD has to offer will leave you wanting and restless. 

You can look in all the places and try all the things.  There is nothing on this earth that will satisfy.  Anything we pursue and chase after that is NOT eternal wastes away and crumbles with all our well intentioned efforts and energies. We will have spent ourselves on something that was never meant to fulfill or last. On things that will never satisfy. It's an empty and meaningless pursuit .....  


"It's easy to choose heaven over hell but *ABUNDANT LIFE* is choosing the fellowship of heaven over the promises of earth." (Shellie Rushing Tomlinson ‪from Heart Wide Open)

 
One can only make EMPTY promises and the other brings LIFE and MORE ABUNDANTLY with everything GOOD stored up for YOU!
Oh that you would CHOOSE LIFE!



Solomon had it all and TRIED it all. He came to the same conclusion. All of it leaves you empty.....

 
So we come to Ephesians 3
"When I think of all this I fall to my knees and pray. I pray that from His GLORIOUS *UNLIMITED* resources He will empower you with inner strength through His spirit. 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. And may you have POWER to understand as all God's people should how wide, how long, how high and how DEEP His love is. May you experience the love of Christ though it is too great to understand fully.
-----*THEN* you will be made COMPLETE :) (lacking NOTHING, satisfied :))
..... with all the FULLNESS of life and power that comes from God."


If you only knew........you would ASK me. 
.............I guarantee you'll never thirst again.