There is nothing-no circumstance, no trouble, no-testing that can ever touch me until, first of all it has gone past God and past Christ right through to me. If it has come that far, it has come with a GREAT PURPOSE, which I may not understand at the moment. As I refuse to become panicky, as I lift my eyes up to Him and accept it as coming from the throne of God for some great purpose of blessing to my own heart, no sorrow will ever disturb me, no trial will ever disarm me, no circumstance will ever cause me to fret-for I shall rest in the joy of what my Lord is- that is the rest of VICTORY!!!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Red Shiny Nose....

“Rudolph with your nose so bright, won’t you guide my sleigh tonight.” Hearing these words by Santa’s deep and gentle voice always sound so comforting and nostalgic. Growing up one of the memories of Christmas time drawing near I remember the most is catching “Frosty the Snowman” and “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer on cable TV. It plays numerous times from Thanksgiving until Christmas but regardless of how many times I have seen it, it never seems to get old. A short story of an insignificant reindeer with a bright red shiny nose captures the hearts of children and families everywhere. Macie and I happened to turn on the TV. tonight for a few quick moments while finishing up the bath/bedtime routine and happened to catch the infamous reindeer in action. My heart began to jump with joy, and as Macie giggled with excitement we sat cuddled together watching the remaining 30 minutes of the movie. 

Although just a cartoon and a storyline which is completely far-fetched we could still all learn something from this traditional Christmas movie. Rudolph was teased and struggled with feeling very insignificant and out of place due to his shiny red nose. He spent so much time running from the light and trying to cover it up, afraid of what his friends and family might say. Instead of seeing his nose as a beautiful vessel he saw it as an embarrassment. Although others didn’t understand the beauty initially, in the end we learn of how the one thing that others saw as being a hindrance and abnormal was really the very thing that set Rudolph apart from all the other reindeer. Rudolph had a light that lead his life and because of that he was able to push through the monster storm and lead Santa and the others on a beautiful journey.

I wonder how often we struggle with the Rudolph syndrome. We run from God or hold Him at a place in our lives where we are afraid to let His love shine bright and instead of embracing it we try and hide. We run and embrace the things of this world that don’t belong and find ourselves feeling separated and lonely like the misfit toys in the story. Or we don’t want others to see how real, beautiful and personal that relationship can be because we are afraid of what others will say and will view us as being abnormal or not cool. We often find though that regardless of how hard we try to cover up the light of Jesus in our lives we will never fully be able to. God’s love for us is amazing, abundant and unconditional, its power is something so intense that once we are touched by the love of Christ we can never run or go beyond His embrace ever again. We will never understand the depth of God’s love and the fact that even when we run and try to hide we can never go beyond His reach, its all-consuming and overflows throughout our entire being onto every aspect of our lives. When life is good and we need to celebrate He is there, and when life is difficult and there are huge storms ahead it’s that very light that can lead us through. 

The story of Rudolph turns out the same beautiful and perfect way every time I see it. He realizes the power and beauty behind the light and how important that light is in being the guide in the most important things in life. The scary thing is that the story of Rudolph is just a kid’s movie, it’s not real life and there are no alternate endings but in life there are. Each day we have to choose to embrace Gods love and allow that love to be a light and guide in our lives. We can choose another path but what will the journey along the story or the ending look like? John 8:12 “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Allow the love of Jesus to be that bright vessel each day that will lead you along life’s most beautiful and most devastating and difficult storms.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Glass of OJ......

 Lets play a little game. I will say part of a phrase and you name the product behind the commercial. "baby come back" (Swifer wet jet) "can you hear me now, good good" (Verizon" and one of my favorites,"maybe we should chug on over to mamby-pamby land to get you some self-confidence, you Jack Wagon," (Geico). How did you do??? I admit there are some pretty good commercials out right now but you have to admit there are also some pretty annoying ones too. The ones that are annoying in my opinion are either due to a.) as a marketing tool the volume always seems to go up about 5 increments when they come on or b.) they are just really cheesy.

One commercial that comes to my mind as being annoying is for the Prudential Insurance Company, and it has a huge whale tale flipping around in the ocean with this really odd music playing obnoxiously loud, does anyone know what I'm talking about?? Every time that commercial comes on Scott and I look at each other with the Cameron "give me a break" look and just chuckle to each other. The funny thing however is usually the most annoying commercials are the ones that leave the biggest and longest impressions in our minds which we remember, hence the marketing has worked perfectly. Every once in awhile though there happens to be a few commercials that really catch my attention. Scott loves the different commercials on ESPN which feature different sporting team mascots. Can you think of a specific commercial that's out right now that you really enjoy, or maybe one thats no longer on t.v. but it really caught your attention because you liked it or was annoyed by it???

Right now there is an orange juice commercial on t.v. that I love. The first few times I saw it I didn't think much about it but watching it this morning it gave me a different perspective. There are two versions of this commercial I have seen so far, one with a woman and one with a man. In the commercial the main character is sitting at the kitchen table and there are different people sitting around it also with him. He goes through a timeline of his day and the other people around the table chime in saying at what time what disaster will happen. 9 a.m. such and such will happen then at 10 a.m. he will get a flat tire all while his daughter continues to ignore him for a reason he is clueless about throughout the entire day and so on. After he gets through the projection of his day the punchline is "well at least I've had my orange juice." Does anyone know the commercial I'm talking about???

After seeing this commercial a few times I started thinking about a few things. First, what do you think it would be like to wake up everyday and have a roundtable discussion about what disasters to expect throughout your day? By knowing whats ahead we would be able to plan and remove the unknown of everyday life. We could always pack an extra pair of pants for that 9 a.m. coffee spill or remember to make sure our debit card is in our wallet for that lunch date instead of leaving them in our pants pocket the night before or even planning ahead to take a different route picking our kids up from school at 3 p.m. because there is a train stuck on the tracks. However we can't do that, and as glamorous as it may sound in theory if we did remove the unknown of the day then there would be no need to have faith and trust that regardless of what comes our way throughout the day God will provide. Instead of a dependence on Him each day I have a feeling we would start leaning on our own understanding for every situation and have the mentality that we can "plan" for whats ahead so we got it under control. Proverbs 3:5 "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding." I don't know if it would make things easier or not but we can't just snap our fingers and have our day appear before our eyes instead of knowing whats ahead we have to face each day blindly.

If we look at the commercial another way, the way that it was intended through the punchline "good thing I had my orange juice," its saying that man my day is going to be crazy, but because i've had my oj I will be ok and make it through. What we if we treated our lives like this everyday but instead of a cold cup of oj in the morning we had our fill of Jesus. We all have days where its like the commercial and it seems like one thing after another keeps happening except we usually arent aware of them before they happen. By loading up with Jesus and our armor every morning its not going to ensure that we will never have one of those "terrible, horrible no good very bad days" ever again but it will give us comfort in knowing that we are prepared mentally for whatever is ahead. One thing we can do to prepar is by seeking God and asking Him to fulfill us in a way spiritually that He can be present in every part of our lives. Its by asking God to hold our hands every minute of everyday and walking with us. That doesn't mean life will be easy and unexpected things wont happen each day but it means that we wont have to face it alone. Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you."

Each day Satan is on a mission to try and use those little disasters to bring us down and break our spirit but we have to remain hopeful. We have to just put one foot in front of the other and do the best that we can depending on Gods strength and not our own. There is a quote I read from someone else and it says "You choose how you want to feel about what happens to you." I love this quote because its so true, we can't necessarily choose what happens in life all the time but we can choose the way we react and the attitude we have. As you face each day instead of wishing for a rundown of your day and the disasters that are ahead by the people in the oj commercial get it from God because He already knows whats ahead and can help carry you through it all better than anyone else

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I can hardly believe that Christmas is only 6 weeks away and Thanksgiving is tomorrow. I have to admit that fall is my most favorite time of the year. I love watching the leaves tumble across the grass, the feeling of the crispness in the air across my face, the smell of apple cider, the warmth a yummy bowl of chili fills my tummy with and most of all the closeness I feel with my friends and family all nestled together inside relaxing in our sweat pants enjoying each others company or a game of football on t.v.

Every Thanksgiving my mother in law posts a piece of paper on the door downstairs and we all take turns writing on it what we are thankful for that year. Normally my list goes a little something like this: Family, friends, food, a house etc. Not that these things aren't important but I really feel like this year the Lord has challenged me in many ways to reflect on what I am thankful for in a different sense than normal. I feel like He is challenging me to be thankful for not just the big things in life but also the little moments that we sometimes fail to recognize as being blessings and gifts from God.

Regardless of the situation or the struggles we go through I have always believed that in one way or another the Lord would use our journey for something good and that He always redeems all situations. This past year being in and out of the hospital so much its been a real challenge to me to keep sight of these things and to believe in my heart at times that the Lord would use my suffering for something good. As Thanksgiving approaches us however I feel like the Lord is trying to show me what it means to truely have a thankful heart in all situations. When life gets tough your perspective on things of this world change a little and you realize what really is important and the things that really dont matter so much.

I am sure I am only beginning to catch a glimpe of what God is going to reveal to me as He uses the struggles of this past year. I have noticed how much more appreciative I am for the simplest things like being able to give my daughter a bath and tuck her in bed at night or having the strength to make dinner for my family each night, picking my daughter up from school and hearing her talk a mile a minute about all the fun stuff she did and learned that day, being out of the hospital to worship with my church family on Sunday mornings, and being able to spend Thanksgiving with my family reflecting on this year and the journey the Lord walked with us through with a heart of gratitude and gratefulness.

I am thankful this year for the simple things in life and that even when I'm having a hard day or not feeling the greatest I can look back and be reminded of how far the Lord has brought me and through some of the darkest valleys at times. A friend of ours had a quote on his facebook probably a year or so ago and it has stuck with me ever since and it said "some of our worst days is someone elses best." I think that quote says its all, we can always look at where we are at and in the moment be reminded that it could always be worse or someone somewhere is probably going through a much more difficult time than us and that we should remain hopeful even in the smallest things. If you search the bible for verses pertaining to being thankful you will find pages of them but here are a few of my favorites. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 "Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." Ephesians 5:20 "Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

I pray that as we all celebrate Thanksgiving this year we would be reminded of the littlest blessings each day and we would truely take time to embrace each moment we have with those we love in all circumstances. Happy Thanksgiving friends! Love, ams

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Well Macie had her first project this week since she has started School. Our directions were to take the printed turkey provided by her teacher and decorate and personalize it. This was to be a family project, a time to be creative and really show in a tangible way what your family and lives respresent. We had so much fun with this project. I love that just through a a few pictures and glitz and glam you can actually see a gllimmer of who we are as a family. Our turkey had a pink tutu for ballet, a guitar, Bible, dog, soccer ball and lots of glitter and jewels.

I am very much a symbolic person which is why I write and use the simplest things in life as a lesson through my blog. What I have learned though is so often its difficult to find meaning behind something unless you have a visual in your face example. What I mean is that for Macie as a kid its hard for her to understand the depth and meaning behind things at times and in order for us to make it easier we have to break it down in a way that really unveils the meaning in a kid friendly tangible way. For the past 6 weeks or so we decided to do a "Blessing Tree" in our home. Each night as we sat down for dinner the three of us would take turns giving one thing we are thankful for. Macie would then place the tag with our blessing written on it and hang it from our blessing tree with a piece of string. Our blessings included, our home, heat, food, school, friends, prayer, our church, Boomer just to name a few. When we first started the tree it was a very bare empty looking tree but as our blessings were placed on the empty brances we started to see life and beauty in our tree. Its amazing to see how abundant the Lords blessings have been in our lives and the numerous big and small things that He does for us everyday. It has been a huge reminder for our family and a way for us to show Macie visually about how amazing Gods love for us is.

Each day God provides for each of us, whether it be our homes, food, financially, healthwise, relationships, or even just by answering a much needed prayer. Sometimes though we take for granted all that He does for us and its often hard for us understand the abundance of His blessings each day until we really reflect and place before us all the amazing things He places in our lives and we can see them overflowing on each of us. Thanksgiving has been more meaningful for me this year than any other I really believe. Its not because God has blessed me more this year than any other before I don't think but its merely because I am finally becoming aware of how much God really loves us and how blessed we truely are. The "Blessing Tree" has been a huge eye opener for us, its a way we can't miss all that God does for us.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week do you feel like you have really taken the time to become aware of all that God blesses you with everyday? It doesnt have to be just the big things in life but even in the simplest things He is there. I just encourage you to really be thankful this week, praise God the one whom all our blessings come. "Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; praise Him all creatures here below, I thank God this week for the way that He is always faithful in my life. Even when I think I know what I need or I think I have all the answers He is still true to what I need and what the best is for my life. I thank God for a husband who is my best friend, and a beautiful and intelligent daughter. I thank God for always sustaining me even in the difficult health journeys and I thank God for all the family and friends He has put in my path for a reason. I thank God for the journey that has brought me to this moment right now in life, the moment that has allowed me to be held in the midst of His embrace and loved more than I could ever want.
praise him above, ye heavenly host; praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost."

John 1:16 (AMP) "For out of His fullness (abundance) we have all received [all had a share and we were all supplied with] one grace after another and spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing and even favor upon favor and gift [heaped] upon gift."

Monday, November 14, 2011

Now I see.....

"Arnie and the New Kid" was tonights homework book for Macie. A cute story with a deep meaning that Macie and I both enjoyed. I love being a mom, I am not the perfect parent and I don't have all the answers and although I try to be a leader physically, emotionally and spiritually I am human and a work in progress as well. Its been one of the greatest joys in Scott and I's life to watch Macie grow and learn new and exciting things. It seems like just yesterday her eyes were wide with wonder because she had an ah ha moment and discovered those things flapping around in front of her were hands, or the moment she learned to crawl and loved playing in the dogs water dish. Although I miss those first moments as she developed from infancy to a toddler and then a preschooler I have to admit I am still amazed at her even now as a school kid. Although she isnt a baby anymore the speed and power of each stage and transition is amazing. There is a sense of maturity and understanding now in Macie that wasnt there as a baby or toddler.

One of the best experiences for us recently is by Macie learning to read. It seemed like literally overnight she came home and developed this new understanding and knowledge of words and sounds. It hit me tonight though how powerful it is just merely having the ability to read. Its not something we are ever aware of as children, we don't realize what we are missing because there is never a time where we are conscious of our ability to read or the experience of really being without it and being aware of what we are missing. When we learn to read our eyes are opened, we gain insight and an amazing ability to process and understand information on a deeper level. Like I said before when we learn to read we are doing it with a new perspective. We have learned to live and be ok with not being able to read as children because mentally and emotionally our brains werent able to digest the information and depth behind the words or phrases before us. Imagine in your mind for a second your normal routine each day. Imagine all the moments you are required to read in order to function, now imagine for a second you could see the words before you but had no way of making sense of them? You could see that there were letters and you knew they meant something but you couldnt translate the meaning behind them. You were able to understand they represent something but when it came to putting them together your brain just couldnt process that yet and you weren't at a stage where you were capable of uncoding the meaning.

"Amazing grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now I'm found, was blind but now I see. My chains are gone I've been set free, My God my savior has ransomed me. Like a flood, His mercy rains, unending love amazing grace." For so long I experienced life but I didnt really live. I went through the motions but the power and depth behind the struggles and joys lacked an ability to really appreciate each moment. When I found Jesus the blinders came off and life became more colorful, things started to make sense and there was purpose and meaning behind even the simplest moments. This doesnt mean I understand all of lifes lessons each day, it doesnt mean I can always translate the theme behind the story, but it means I am able to objectively see with an understanding and perspective thats not clouded. Its still a journey and I'm a work in progress. Its still about growing and learning who we are in Christ and using that insight to make sense of life a little more clearly. Sure we can function without reading but how much easier is the journey when we can make sense of the instructions before us each day. The Bible is a way for us to understand Gods commandments and promises for our lives. Its not merely a book of rules like some people think but instead a book of information, you can follow the information and use it as an instruction manual to help make your journey more understandable or you can merely look at it as if there is no meaning behind the words on those powerful pages. Proverbs 4:809 (AMP) "But the path of the just and righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines more and more (brighter and clearer) until [it reaches its full strength and glory in] the perfect day [to be prepared]. The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know over what they stumble."

I am thankful for the Bible and for the way that God uses it to reveal His promises but also warnings and protection for my life. I am thankful for the way that Christ has rescued me and has taken the blinders off my eyes and given me new understanding and apprection for life and the story He is writing in my life. Isaiah 43:16 "And I will bring the blind by a way that they know not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known. I will make darkness into light before them and make uneven places into a plain. These things I have determined to do [for them]; and I will not leave them forsaken." Your grace is truely amazing Jesus and although I once was lost I am now found and although blind I now can see!!! Not only can I see but I can understand Your voice and promises for my life, yes thats definitely amazing!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

My shield and protector....

Our church is going through major construction right now. A new sanctuary is being built, a huge vision is being fulfilled and God is moving in amazing ways. Its definitely a time of uncertainty and anxiousness for the unknown but at the same time its exciting. Because the Lord has cast this vision for our church we can rest assured and pray with expectation that He will be faithful and walk us through the trials along the way and we can claim victory in the power of Christ. As part of this process we have had to transition our Sunday services down in our "Outreach Center." The venue may have changed but the presence of the Holy Spirit hasnt. While I was at the church this morning though something really grabbed my attention. We have gone to MFCN for the past 7 years and it was something I never noticed before. There hanging in the "Outreach Center" is 3 crosses.

Its the same 3 crosses that has hung in the sanctuary for years and years but for some reason today the beauty and uniquness stood out. Looking closely the meaning behind the symbol captured my heart and stood as a reminder for me. The 3 crosses are positioned together closely but they are different sizes. The most beautiful thing though is that the laregest and most prominent cross is placed ahead of the other 2 and so it looks as if the two smaller crosses are being tucked and protected behind the larger center cross. We read in the Bible of the crucifixion of Jesus and as He is hanging on the cross 2 thieves are revealed in the story. The thieves are guilty of the crime which they are convicted and because of that they are held accountable and put to death for their sin. Jesus although convicted and put to death He is not guilty of the label that is placed on Him. As the Son of God He knew the turmoil and trouble He would face, He could have spared His own life but instead of saving Himself He was put to death as a sacrifice to save others.
I think we often forget how real the crucifixion story is in our lives even today. We go throughout life, we experience troubles, persecution, sin and heartache and even though we deserve the condemnation, destruction and consequences that come with our actions we realize Jesus is still walking before us. The 3 crosses hanging so high and beautifully in our "Outreach Center" is a clear represenation each day of the unditional love, grace and protection that we are given freely.

Its not uncommon to get caught by a train trying to drive from one side of town to another in Marion. Although it seems like a huge pest for us there is a reason and a purpose for those trains. There is a journey behind each train, we may not understand it or know all the details but there is a reason. The path the train takes can be rough, dangerous and destructive and in order to protect us those flashing red gates drop as a warning for us to stay back and to keep us safe. Each day we are faced with a dangerous journey but like the cross symbol at our church and those flashing red gates near train tracks God is there to protect us. Even in the scariest, most uncertain situations we can rest assured that God will be faithful and because of that we can hide, safely and peacefully behind the cross. Proverbs 2:7-8 "

 The same God that sent His only son Jesus to hang on the cross and face a terrible, tortourous death merely as a representation and sacrifice for the sins of man is the same God that leads you and I each day. We loose sight too often of the fact that when Jesus hung on the cross it wasnt just for His followers then but its also for His followers now. Whatever you are facing today you can find comfort that God is your protection and strength. Psalm 32:7 "You are a hiding place for me; You, Lord, preserve me from trouble, You surround me with songs and shouts of deliverance. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!" He holds success in store for the upright, He is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones."

The words to a beautiful song say this. "You go before me, You shield my way. Your hand upholds me, I know you love me, I know you love me. At the cross I bow my knees where Your blood was shed for me, there's no greater love than this. You have overcome the grave, Your glory fills the highest place, what can seperate me now." Everytime I hear the words of this song I am overcome with comfort and courage. My heart is filled with confidence and peace because I know and I believe that the same God who sacrificed His son is the same God walking beside me

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Magic glasses....

I have to admit that lately I have found such peace in driving. Being able to turn my music up, roll the windows down and feel the wind on my face there just seems to be a sense of freedom and calmness. There are definitely moments though when a driver cuts me off, I get stuck behind a super slow car who seems to be out sight seeing or there is a train on the tracks for the second time in one day and my patience definitely are tested. Today as I was out running a few errands though I happened to be stuck in a long line of traffic and another drive was curtious enough to let me turn into where I needed to go instead of sitting there forever. There was a video I saw posted this past week on Facebook and it has really stuck with me.

The video shows a guy going through different parts of his day and it seems like things just keep going wrong. From the moment he tries to leave in the morning and the neighbor kid is skate boarding once again past his driveway while pulling out, to getting cut off in a parking lot and having to wait in a long line for his morning coffee, it just seems to be one thing after another. Its one of those days where every little thing that could possibly happen does and his patience are continually tested. Then in the video while the guy is waiting for his coffee these "magic" glasses appear. Confused he puts the glasses on his face and POOF....right before his very eyes he gets the ability to look at those around him and see the struggles they are facing labeled clearly above them. The kid who is always in his way and skating past his house doesnt have anyone who cares, the lady who took the parking spot he was going for is grieving the loss of a close friend, the guy in the coffee shop serving him and doing his best even though there is a long line is battling an addiction and there is example after example played in this short few minute clip.

I wonder how many of us forget to put on our magic glasses everyday? We get so caught up in what is going on in our own lives we forget to put on our hearts of compassion and sensitivity in the morning to others around us. Instead of thinking maybe the person in a hurry who just took your parking spot needed it more, we get so caught up in "poor me." Although we can't tangibly put on "magic" glasses in the morning we should face the world each day with the understanding that we are all facing a battle. My battle may be different from yours but non of us are free from the war each day. None of us are living a perfect, carefree life. Struggles and trials don't discriminate. It doesnt matter how much money you have, how big of a house you live in, how perfect your job or marriage is, how healthy you are or how beautiful your life may be we still all have "things." Its hard enough to face the things in this world everyday and the battles that Satan tries to throw our way, we certainly don't need to do him any favors by making someones battle any harder than it already is. I'm not saying what you are going through isn't relavent or difficult I am just saying that remember just as earth shattering is the battle your facing is to you, so is the one someone else is facing.

Instead of getting ticked off and taking out your frustrations on the woman at the other end of the phone calling for another survey, the unhelpful woman at the customer service department of your favorite store, the newspaper boy for throwing your paper in the bushes again or the super slow driver you are stuck behind as you rush to work, remember the battle isnt against them. The battle is against the enemy and you have no idea what they are dealing with, you can't see their life by a 10 second snapshot and truely understand the battles in their heart.

"This man beside us also has a hard fight with an unfavouring world, with strong temptations, with doubts and fears, with wounds of the past which have skinned over, but which smart when they are touched. It is a fact, however surprising. And when this occurs to us we are moved to deal kindly with him, to bid him be of good cheer, to let him understand that we are also fighting a battle; we are bound not to irritate him, nor press hardly upon him nor help his lower self." ~John Watson

I just felt like I needed to be reminded this week that although things are difficult in my life right now its not just about me, someone else has it way worse than I do and needs to be cut a little slack. We could all use a break in life, we have enough trouble in this life as it is. I just encourage you as you face each day pretend you have a pair of "magic" glasses. Be sensitive to others around you and realize we are all facing a battle each day.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Laughter, flip flops and November......only God :)

Driving home this morning from running a few errands I just started cracking up. I started my journey less than a few hours before in a sweatshirt and boots and by the time I got home I had quickly shed the layers to a t-shirt and sandals. I don't remember a time in my life ever before I have walked around in flip flops as the leaves squish between my toes, crunch, crumble and scatter on the ground. Today I am thankful for the sunshine and 70 degree weather in November. I am thankful that even when the normal calls for something different God still knows how to change it up. We are prepared for cold, dreary days right now in Ohio but I think somewhere in that bright beautiful sky God is laughing saying "I got ya." I like to think that when I need the sunshine or an unexpected ray of hope in my life that regardless of what odds are against me, what the past has created a pattern for, none of that matters to Him. He is able to change the scenery, change the tune in our hearts and bring sunshine in November. These moments always keep us on our toes and makes us realize that He is still there, He is still in control and He is still God. Thank You Jesus for the unexpected and the way you touch our hearts through them. Thank You for a new memory today as I walk in the crunchy leaves and am reminded that its You, Its You that can make walking in flip flops in November a beautiful reminder, and lots of laughter too :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Desperate to know my healer more than my healing....

It feels good to be back on a normal schedule. It may be designed by a new and different "normal" but nevertheless it feels good. One thing I have learned over the past 6 years as a parent and even now more so with the health issues is that flexibility is a must. It seems like just when I get the hang of things something happens and life throws me a curveball to change it all up again. Being in church yesterday it felt amazing, was that stability and place of safety and comfort that I had missed that past few weeks.

The service was amazing and I really felt the Lords presence but something that really spoke to me was the prayer time. Our Pastor offered an invitation for prayer to anyone that needed encouragement or healing and this hit me like a ton of bricks. I need prayer daily and live on prayer as a major lifeline but I really felt the Holy Spirit was speaking to me directly about healing. I was diagnosed with Crohns when i was 9 so it hasnt been a short journey, its been many years, some good but some supper difficult and I have prayed my fair share of times for healing. What I felt the Lord was saying to me this time was different though. It has been a whisper in my heart, but this was the first time I have ever really felt affirmation about it. Maybe some call it lack of faith but I no longer pray for healing but instead for God to reach down in the midst of my circumstances and give me strength and courage to face whatever is ahead. I don't doubt God can heal me, but I believe right now He doesnt want to and there is a reason for that which I have become ok with. I can rock out a blue and green hospital gown just as well as leggings and boots. I may have to change things up a bit and roll with the punches along the way but it doesnt change who God is and how good He is! 

I don't wake up in the morning dancing a jig and singing "I am so happy I have all these IV's and medicines and doctors appts." Thats not realistic and I wont pretend thats what I feel everyday but I do wake up each morning singing because although my circumstances might not be ideal I am still ok with them and thats an accomplishment in itself. I would be filled with joy if God decided to heal me someday but for now I have to be ok with the fact that He isnt right now and what will I do with that??? I long to be in the midst of Gods will whatever that may be. If its being sick and serving in the midst of my struggles right now to be close to Him and to be at the center of His will then thats where I should be. I think so many people can pray for healing, deliverance, restoration, whether it be physically or emotionally and they get so caught up in the healing they forget about the healer. I started praying for healing a long time ago but somewhere on my journey I lost sight of the healing and instead found the healer and thats so much better. When the newness wears off in life and the healing has come and gone, the renewed relationship gets comfortable again, the past is restored and redeemed will you be left with that moment of transformation or will the God that brought you to it still be real. There is a City Harmonic song that I love right now and the words say this : "Its by the grace of God I hang my head and sing. My God You are good, You are great, You are love."

"Don't ever judge God's love based on your circumstances. Instead, evaluate your circumstances from the perspective of God's love." ~Henry & Richard Blackaby

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Expecting the unexpected.....

Its been two weeks since I have written. Although it was filled with chaos and crazyness the past few weeks it seemed as if so much time lapsed right under my nose but I wasnt fully aware of it. Now as I sit at home curled up in a blanket surrounded by my family I am able to catch a few minutes to take a deep breath and really reflect on all thats happened lately.

We have battled many health obstacles over the past few years and some were planned battles and some unknown mountains that seemed to take us blindsinded. The thing that has been so reassuring to me and  a constant reminder is that regardless of the known or unknown God was still the same God. Whether it be prayers for an upcoming surgery or procedure I needed done or an unexpected infection that landed me in the hospital for some time God has always been real and personal. With planned events we have spent so much time before praying, and preparing for the events that were ahead. With our diligent prayers there was an attitude of trust and expectation that things would be ok and that God would carry us through the battle. Its so different though and so much more amazing to me that even when its not planned and we havent taken time to physically or emotionally prepare God has already gone before us. I was reminded these past few weeks that God doesnt need us to give him a heads up about whats coming in life and how we need Him to intervene. Instead He has already gone before us and is ready to take on that battle full force for us.

I have prayed for God to provide protection and healing in surgeries and procedures to come but even in the emergency situations He was there, He didnt need to be prepared, He provided comfort and peace during the unknown because to Him it was already known. I had been doing pretty well lately, some minor issues here and there but I was in the routine of doing IV fluids at home every other night and taking medications, going to the infusion clinic on Mondays, it was just what I had to do and what had become my normal. When I started not feeling very well on Tuesday and started running a high fever I knew in my heart there was a battle ahead. This battle lead to a scary and serious infection and I had to have surgery to remove the IV port in my chest. It took 11 days of intense antibiotics, isolation, medications and prayers to get me home and although I'm doing better I still have to do IV antibiotics at home for a few weeks and allow my body time to recover. I am so blessed because through my hospital stay when I felt completely miserable and wanting nothing more than to be home with my family I  had the support and prayers from friends and family. I had the prayers and encouragement of amazing Doctors. I am blessed that God has brought each of these people in my life as part of my journey and for the way that they have impacted my heart.

Life took me by suprise for a few weeks and knocked me off my feet for a bit, I felt like I was in a stable place, God was revealing some exciting things ahead for me, our church is in an awesome place of growth and new things ahead, Macie is involved in lots of new activities and I felt good about life, I was content. When I got sick I lost the momentum that I had built up and had to take a step back for a bit but even then God has reminded me that He is still there. We have a few pieces of the puzzle in life sometimes but we dont always have them all. We are on this path and along the way we are trying to figure out where we are going and how we are going to get there and we can only see whats right in front of us. Like a GPS we punch in what we think are the coordinates for where we are going but we can never account for the construction, bumps, detours, roadblocks along the way. Even when the journey gets crazy God already knows our position and whats ahead, He doesnt need the coordinates for where we are at or where we are supposed to go because he orchestrates the map ahead for us. Its all by His design and leading that we can trust in the unknown scary parts of our journey.  

There have been many life threatening, scary battles that I didnt even realize was right ahead of me but somehow God always has gone before me and prepared my heart and mind even when I didnt feel prepared because I was clueless as to what was ahead. Hebrews 13:5 (AMP) "be satisfied with your present circumstances and with what you have; for He (God) Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let you down (relax My hold on you)! Assuredly not!!

He carried me through that time and helps us to look back and stand in awe of His glory and power in the midst of the turmoil. Countless situation after countless situation I have been in not feeling well but had no idea of the magnitude that was ahead and the battle I would be facing, even before i knew the details God had already begun making a plan and gathering the pieces to fulfill His promises for my life and provide exactly what I needed for each moment. He carried me through many trials and for that I stand in awe of His glory and power in the midst of the turmoil. In the moments where I felt prepared He was there and in the same moments where I was blind sided and had no clue what was ahead He was still there. He was there in the midst of my past circumstances, my future battles but most importantly my hearts struggles and difficulties right now in this very moment. So thankful for a God of the past, present and future, so thankful for a God who was, is and will always be good!!!!

Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God."

STOP....quiet your heart, be aware, recognize my voice calling you by name and acknowledge that without a doubt, from the core of your being and through the unconditional love and sacrifice of Jesus that I am Your God."