April 13, 2011 § 9 Comments
Have you watched the movie Facing Giants? Here is a short scene I want you to watch:
God has given me a vision. It is a big one. One that I cannot make happen myself. One that I have to trust God to do in His time and in His way. At times this dream seems unreachable and things don’t seem to fall into place like I think they should. Doors are not opening up, rejection notices come, my e-mail box remains empty. When I start to despair I remember this scene. Am I trusting that God will bring the rain? If I am then I must prepare my fields.
My dreams for sharing Him with others through the written and spoken word are huge. I know that God can do it through me and that I cannot do it myself. I am humbled when one person says my writing blessed him or her. I am honored that God would use me to point other to Jesus. Oh that all our hearts would burn for Him.
So while I wait for the rain, I write. I submit. I fail. I succeed. I wait. I write. I speak. I fail. I succeed. All of it is for God’s glory. All of it is to bring praise to Him. All is because He loves me enough to give me breath and words and thoughts. All for Him.
So as I am praying for rain for this ministry, for articles I have submitted, for the book I am writing, for speaking engagements, for women struggling with infertility, for others struggling with dark times, for us all to be more like Him, will you pray with me? Will you pray that I will obey and wait and write and prepare my fields? I can’t wait to see the God’s sized harvest God is going to reap through this ministry. I am so glad that you want to be a part of it.
How can you help me?
1. Pray (I have submitted three articles. I am waiting to know if the editors have accepted them. I am also working on one more and finishing my book)
2. Tell your women’s ministry director about me. (I would love to come and speak at your church)
3. Tell your friends about me and my blog.
Now how can I pray for you? Leave a comment or if you need to click on the contact me and send me an e-mail. I would love to lift you up in prayer.
February 1, 2011 § 4 Comments
My blessings have been prodding and poking the painful places in my soul lately. As God is apt to do He uses their naivety to shed light on things I would prefer to leave in the dark. He shakes me awake through them as they open their hearts to me…
“Mommy, I want another baby in this house.”
“So do I my child, so do I,” I whisper to myself and then I pray again for a miracle. Either in my body, on my doorstep, or in my and my family’s hearts.
For all would be true miracles of God…a baby in a womb as good as dead;
a child who needs adopted with no strings attached, no painful search, no doubt he or she is ours;
or God’s work in our hearts changing the longing to contentment, not contentment to wait or the hard fought peace that comes while we wait for God’s miracle, no the heart change that knows and rests knowing the miracle is in the changed heart.
“Three empty chairs mommy. Who can we invite to fill them?”
Who to invite to our three empty chairs? Three…yes three empty chairs. Three babies who were only held in my womb not in my arms, but there is more in that number…Yes who to invite to fill our chairs? God our Father, God the Son Jesus, and God the Holy Spirit. Three separate, yet all one. The perfect trio to fill our chairs, calm our longing hearts, and to sit with us while we await our miracle.
While you wait for a miracle from God, who are you inviting to wait with you? I would love to pray with you. What miracle are you waiting for? Click the comment link at the top of this post.
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You all are blessings to me!!! Thank you for stopping by!
August 22, 2010 § 6 Comments
I have to admit that lately I have felt FRUSTRATED! I have made no less than nine calls to service departments for repairs around the house in the last month. Not to mention that my van’s paint job is peeling, the CD player broke, and the breaks are starting to squeal. Then there is the cleanliness of the house. Toys, clothes, dirty dishes all screaming, “put me away,” or “clean me then put me away.” It is overwhelming, and when things don’t work or break, my frustration only mounts. My heart feels tight, my heart rate increases, my shoulders and neck tense up. I am irritable, short-tempered and generally no fun. Really? Is the frustration over things worth it? Sure I expect the things I purchase to work, but allowing myself to get so upset because they don’t is ridiculous. It is just like watching my children throw themselves on the floor crying because I told them they can’t have a snack. Is it worth it? NO. However, they are children. I am an adult and I have better coping mechanisms, at least I should.
I let my life get hung up on what I expect and what I want, and I miss out. My joy becomes wrapped up in capricious electronics, appliances, vehicles, children attitudes, or my spouse’s choices. I can choose to live in frustration or I can learn the lesson of Proverbs 14:4. It says, “Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty, but from the strength of an ox comes an abundant harvest.” So where there is no house there are no broken windows or messed up appliances. When you do not have a car, there is no paint to peel. There is no need for toys if there are no children. There would be no mess, no frustration, but there would also be no blessing, no joy, no abundant harvest.
So here is the challenge to all of us. When we start to get frustrated, let’s take that as a clue to stop and thank God for something. Instead of saying, “UGH, the air conditioning isn’t working again.” Then allowing the weeping and gnashing of teeth begin. We will stop and thank God for a house and the fact that we live in a country that air conditioning is an option. When the dirty laundry and dishes are about to drive us batty. We won’t allow our blood pressure to sky-rocket, no we take a deep breath and thank God for clothes and dishes to wash. This way we can be blessedly frustrated.
What is something you are blessedly frustrated over? Leave a comment and let me know.
August 16, 2010 § 4 Comments
“I waited patiently for the LORD; He turned to me and heard my cry.” Psalm 40:1
My simple mind read that verse and thought I know what waiting patiently looks like. You are quiet and still and waiting. Right? That is what I teach my children.
My two year-old whines, “Milk-y, milk-y, milk-y.” (I do not understand why things have to end in “y”, they just do).
“Is that how you ask?” I respond (some days seething, other days rolling my eyes, and some blessed days with the patience of…Job).
“Milk-y pwease,” he lisps his toddler-ese.
“Ok, son, but I have to finish this, just one minute,” I lay down the law.
Then a fit ensues, time-out and screaming occur. Finally when the screaming has cleared the room, I moralize, “Son, you must have patience.”
My two-dimensional version of patience is when you will have to wait and so you do, quietly, with hands folded in your lap. There is no weeping, no gnashing of teeth. Just silence. Nothing active, but expecting the cup of milk mommy promised to deliver. Oh, but this verse is different. Can you see it? The first thing is that the Psalmist says he waited patiently for whom? For the LORD. The LORD is faithful to fulfill His promises. We often do not know what form those promises will take, but we know He will fulfill them. So we can wait patiently quietly in hopeful expectation, because God WILL do what He promises. However this is interesting, the last phrase says, “He heard my cry.” Wait. Isn’t the Psalmist waiting patiently? Why would he be crying out to God if he was waiting patiently? Maybe my idea of patiently waiting is totally wrong.
So I start digging into what the Hebrew means. I am NOT a Hebrew scholar, but I have some pretty great resources that help me understand the words. This type of waiting patiently is in hopeful expectation. Not bump on a log-ish. NO! Hopeful anticipation. The root of the words translated patiently waited meant, twist, stretch, then tension of enduring, waiting, cord, be strong. Can you see the rope being made? Can you feel the tension, the anticipation? My idea of patiently waiting doesn’t include hopeful expectation. It wouldn’t allow for crying out to God, it isn’t realistic. I am seeing that more and more clearly. I see it in my kids again. When they are hiding from me, but want to be found. It goes something like this:
“Moooommmmmyyyyyyy,” bellows a blessing. “Come find me,” she giggles.
I can’t come right away, but in her hopeful anticipation, in her patient waiting she continues to call in her sweet tone, “Moooommmmmyyyy, you can’t find meeee,”
We can cry out in anger and frustration ruining our waiting patiently and hopeful anticipation. We can lash out and scream. We can allow bitterness to fill our waiting time rather than patience. I will not say the discipline of waiting patiently is easy. It is full of pitfalls. Things that want to steal our joy, doubts that God really is ABLE or FAITHFUL. Waiting. Oh, but I am so glad that waiting patiently doesn’t have to mean waiting quietly, not moving. It means crying out to God, not in bitterness or anger, but in hopeful anticipation. As we cry out this verse promises that God will draw near. Do you see it? He draws near or inclines to us as NAS says. God is near us as we wait and hope in Him. Psalm 40 in NAS goes on to say, “He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; Many will see and fear And will trust in the LORD.” Actively waiting on the LORD results in some amazing things. He draws near, He brings us out of the pit of destruction, He sets our feet upon a rock. He also draws others to Himself through our example.
Oh Lord, forgive me for misunderstanding waiting patiently. Father help me to cry out to You in my need. As I cry out I know that You are faithful and that You are able to meet my needs. I will wait in expectation for You to rescue me from the pit and put my feet upon a rock. I will trust that You will show me what is next. I pray that my waiting can bless others who are watching that they may come to trust in You. Thank You for drawing near to me! Amen.
August 10, 2010 § 2 Comments
I rubbed a blister on my hand today. I rubbed the blister into the palm of my right hand with the handle of a plunger. Yes, a NASTY plunger. It wasn’t the first time this week I had to plunge out a certain someone’s toilet. In fact it was just yesterday that I found my sweet someone’s toilet filled with a WHOLE roll of toilet paper. I had gone over the issues that using too much toilet paper was a waste of God’s resources, that a whole roll of toilet paper would not flush down in one much less five flushes, AND that too much toilet paper could clog the toilet. So when I entered my sweet little one’s bathroom, noticed the water level in the toilet too high, and a large mass of wet toilet paper clumped in the drain, my righteous anger began to boil. My internal monologue started like this…
In comes another one of my sweet bundles of joy. Standing within range of the water that was now sloshing in the toilet bowl from my frantic attempts at getting the toilet paper down the drain. In an attempt to keep all my blessings dry, I sent them out of the room. My anger mounting as I returned to my thoughts.
“She knows better! I told her yesterday, reminded her today. Now my back is starting to hurt and my arms are getting sore.” (Before you think I am a wimp, I have the WORST plunger in the world. When I remember I need a new one, I am in the midst of using the old one. Maybe the blister I rubbed will remind me to pick one up the next time I am out).
In walks my precious little culprit with a request to help her open her snack, interrupting my internal monologue. My heart wanted to yell and scream, but God slapped His hand over my mouth. I calmly opened the fruit snacks and went back to work.
This time praying that the toilet would not overflow and that I would be able to plunge the problem away. In the meantime I worked up quite the blister in the middle of my right hand. As I left the bathroom, toilet now in working order, I noticed my blister. Then I realized how often this scenario must play out in my life, only with God doing the plunging. Can you hear it?
“Angela I told you too much ______ is not good for you. It is a waste of the precious time I am giving you on this Earth. You cannot handle it even if you try five or more times, too much is sin. Oh sweet Daughter, too much entangles you and holds you fast so you cannot get out of it yourself.” Can you see God banging His head against the wall and thinking, “KILL KILL KILL! Why doesn’t she get it?” No, Psalm 103:8-14 says, “The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.”
Just as I need to remember my precious ones are young and prone to mistakes, God remembers I am dust and has compassion on me. Can it be that the compassion I need desperately from my God, is the same compassion my children need as I correct and train and discipline them? Oh to discipline as the Lord does, in love and with compassion. Oh to look on the battle scars I bear from raising and training my children and remember the scars of my Savior Jesus Christ. That He bore all my sin so that I wouldn’t have to. May my blister and my plunger forever remind me of God’s patience for me, that I may extend patience towards others.
July 11, 2010 § 6 Comments
I have yet to understand marketing and why mittens were available in the summer. It was the end of July and I was out clothes shopping for some kiddos I love. One of my sweet blessings noticed the most awesome pair of fuzzy
mittens she had ever seen. She just HAD to have them. Since she had behaved so well shopping and since I didn’t have any mittens for her for the impending winter (about five months in the future), I decided that she could have them. Besides the price was right.
I never imagined she would want to wear them that very day, inside, at the play area in the mall. I could fight the battle and say NO or I could attempt to reason with her.
Me: Don’t you think it is a little too warm for mittens? I thought we bought those for the winter.
Her: I want to wear them NOW! PLEEAASSSSE Mom!
I could see my chances at dissuading her were slim, so I gave in to her pleading. I thought that after she realized she couldn’t really play with them on, and when her hands were burning up, she would take them off. Oh how wrong I was!
Remember how I said these mittens were fuzzy and that it was July. Well, in a few short minutes my sweet child was sweating up a storm and yet she refused to take her mittens off. Soon I realized that as she pushed her hair out of her face she was leaving fuzz on her face from the mittens. The next thing I know, she has puked all over the play area at the mall. I have never seen that place clear so fast, nor have I ever received so many dirty looks. Everyone thought I brought a sick child to the play area, when in reality the fuzz from the mittens got in her mouth and choked her.
So what’s my point? Simply that we often see something we think we need or want and God knows it isn’t the right season yet. Sometimes we see others in different seasons of life than our own and we want that for ourselves. We want the pink fuzzy mittens in the middle of summer. The ones that if we wear them now in our current season, they may make us sick. God is saying wait my child those are for winter not for the season you are in now. Isaiah 64:4 says, “Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.” We are so impatient for God to work in our time in our way and yet He knows what is best. He knows what you need and desire. He knows the right time for those things to take place. So wait on Him! He acts on behalf of those who wait for Him and His perfect timing! The key is waiting for Him, not for what WE want, for what HE wants.
I’m not so good with the waiting thing. However I have to trust God to know the season. I have to trust God to know the perfect time. If I don’t wait for God, I may often get sick on the fuzz of something that would have been perfect for winter, but not for summer. O Father, help me to wait on You and Your timing. May I not get frustrated or dismayed or disheartened in waiting. May I trust in You for what You have planned for me!
What are you waiting for? I’ll start….