Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I Will or I Will?

More appropriately this phrase might be stated, "I will or will I?"

In the past 15, almost 16 months (how can it be that long?!) I have done pretty well about keeping my focus on Jesus in all the aspects of my life... Yes, I have had my moments, but for the most part I have been able to keep my eye on Him as my supplier in all things. The last couple weeks however, I have been struggling.

I have been stressing a few things, and they had begun to consume way to much time and energy. In chapter 6 of Matthew we are told 5 times not to worry  -- 25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

One of Glenn's favorite verses to remind me of when I would stress was that last verse- #34... Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. -- well,  "I've been worrying about tomorrow," and that is what brings me to my statement: I Will or I Will?

This morning I was driving to work and stressing out and I began to ponder one of my favorite scriptures;  Psalms 18:2 The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

As I was speaking the part "in whom I will trust," I felt the nudging of the Lord letting me know that I was not putting my trust in Him lately... putting my trust in Him- that needs to be a decision, and in my stressing, I had allowed it to become a question... I was, by my actions, saying "in whom will I trust?"

Bam! I was shocked when I realized it. The question mark had crept into my life when I wasn't pay attention, or more accurately when I quit my decision to, not worry, and trust in Him.

It's easier to do than we realize, issues arise, situations, expenses... you name it. Stuff happens and we begin to focus on the 'stuff' rather than the solution- God. God is aware, He knows our needs before we do... He knows my needs before I do- He knows what was going on, what is going on, and what is coming. What I have to remind myself, and apparently more often than I was, is that He is watching over me. He WILL take care of me. He has kept my bills paid so far, so I need to chill out from my stress, and trust that He will meet all my needs to come.  My job, is to not worry about tomorrow- I can almost hear Glenn saying it to me.

I am so thankful that the Lord also understands my shortcomings, and that He gave me that nudge this morning, and will the next time I need one. For now I will again say.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Remember, In The Dark, God Is There

2 Sam  22:9 “For You are my lamp, O LORD; The LORD shall enlighten my darkness."

Saw the news today, and it's all over my Facebook wall, Robin Williams is dead, and apparently by his own hand. Here is a man that, from the outside, had it all. He was talented, funny, successful, married to a beautiful woman and wealthy... and unfortunately consumed by depression. It is sad that he felt that his only way of escape was by his own hand. My heart breaks for him and others like him that have no hope.

I understand depression, I have battled it in the past and it tried to rear it's ugly head this last year. Depression is no respecter of persons. It doesn't care if you are a man or a woman, rich or poor, old or young. When it hits hard it can consume a person, it removes all the color from your life, removing the vibrancy from your life. Yes it is real, where it comes from... well there are the things that trigger it, drugs, situations, chemical imbalances, but in my opinion, it, like all other sickness is straight from the pit of hell. The medical community has drugs that they use to treat it, but have you seen the possible side effects?!? Including depression and thoughts of suicide. Does that seem counter productive to anyone else?

The first time I was hit with it, I had thoughts of suicide, but the Lord knew exactly what thoughts to give me to bring me back to rational thought. The next time, I didn't see it coming and it came in a much different form, first I just pulled back from things, I began to function enough to get through each day, but I did a lot of staring at walls and mindless things. That time I ended up in a doctors office, she told me that I had "situational depression," it manifested in the form of my back seizing up. She put me on low dose Prozac, I took it for a month, but about two weeks in as the 'fog' in my head began to clear I realized what I really needed was to get into my Bible. I never refilled that prescription, because the words on the pages of my Bible spoke to me, they got me refocused on God's love, the hope I had in Him; The hope, that I needed only to access.

Psalms 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

The battle with depression, has never since then hit that low valley, because I have learned to recognize it, and battle it in prayer and with the word. There is a hope that can overcome the darkest of times, the hope that comes from the Lord. No matter how lonely a person is, no matter how isolated they allow themselves to become; either mentally or physically, God is there, and they need to remember that.

Romans 8:39 tells us that "nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." This knowledge helps to keep me trusting God and gives me hope for the future.

Hope is a precious commodity, it is one that all the money in the world can't buy, it is one that is readily available to all who want it. This abundant hope that I speak of, comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ. It comes from releasing our burdens and sins to Him and allowing Him to become Lord of our life. This relationship brings with it freedom. Does it mean that our lives will never have problems? No, but it means that He will be with us, to strengthen us and to carry us when we are feeling overwhelmed.

I am thankful for the day that I asked Jesus into my life, and I'm even more thankful for when I finally realized what it meant to make Him my Lord and not just my Savior. Through all the ups and downs of my life,  God's constant presence carries me and brings me peace in the storms. He is my Rock and my Anchor, now and always.

If you want to know more about a relationship with Christ, take the link to "Meet My Best Friend."

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Sunsets, Day-breaks, & Awaiting a Glorious Unfolding

Psa 30:5(b) Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.

Lam 3:22-24 ​​Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, ​​Because His compassions fail not.  ​​They are new every morning; ​​Great is Your faithfulness.  ​​“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, ​​“Therefore I hope in Him!”

With the current heatwave we have seen some amazing sunsets in our area lately, I have been hearing the song by Steven Curtis Chapman; Glorious Unfolding a lot lately. The combination of these have begun to trigger some thought processes about sunsets, sunrises and life.

A little over a year ago, I watched as the sun set on my best friend/husband's life... and it felt in many ways that it was setting on mine too, I knew better but the heart feels what it feels. I put one foot in front of the other and pressed forward, some days better than others, but forward none the less. Today, 14+ months later, I continue that journey forward, thankful for a loving God who has been with me every step of the way!

A while back I started hearing the song, "Glorious Unfolding," on the radio, a lot. I started listening to the lyrics, and somewhere along the way I started HEARING them, again reminded that it was not my sunset last year, but rather the darkness before the dawn of what is to come. 

I wrote in my last blog that I have entered the next chapter of my life, I have come through the darkness and am moving into the sunrise... that glorious unfolding of what lies ahead. I had an amazing trip to Alaska and traveling home down the Alcan (Alaska/Canadian) Hwy. The beauty that I saw really was a reminder to me that God's fingerprint is everywhere, including my life and my heart. I really did get a refreshing break, I detached from work and was able to enjoy the journey.  

Enjoying the journey of life, a life lived in the Lord, that's what I want to do. Yes, the heart still aches, but at the same time, I know that I have more life ahead of me, and I am excited. Do I have a clue as to what it will look like? No. But I know that I have a Father in heaven that does, He has known since before I was born, and I know that I can trust him to open the doors each day that I am to walk through... this is only the beginning of my future.

Take a moment, if you haven't heard this song, listen to it...
Be Blessed!!

Lay your head down tonight
Take a rest from the fight
Don’t try to figure it out
Just listen to what I’m whispering to your heart
‘Cause I know this is not
Anything like you thought
The story of your life was gonna be
And it feels like the end has started closing in on you
But it’s just not true
There’s so much of the story that’s still yet to unfold

And this is going to be a glorious unfolding
Just you wait and see and you will be amazed
You’ve just got to believe the story is so far from over
So hold on to every promise God has made to us
And watch this glorious unfolding

God’s plan from the start
For this world and your heart
Has been to show His glory and His grace
Forever revealing the depth and the beauty of
His unfailing Love
And the story has only begun

And this is going to be a glorious unfolding
Just you wait and see and you will be amazed
We’ve just got to believe the story is so far from over
So hold on to every promise God has made to us
And watch this glorious unfolding

We were made to run through fields of forever
Singing songs to our Savior and King
So let us remember this life we’re living
Is just the beginning of the beginning

Of this glorious unfolding
We will watch and see and we will be amazed
If we just keep on believing the story is so far from over
And hold on to every promise God has made to us
We’ll see the glorious unfolding

Just watch and see (unfolding)
This is just the beginning of the beginning (unfolding)