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, May 21, 2013

Counting down with HOPE AND EXPECTANCY......

"You take me just as I am. You love beyond where I've been. You raise me up from the dead. You take me just as I am."

For the past two days each night as I shut my eyes and in the morning as I crawled out of bed these words have rang out in my heart. To know in my heart that not only does God accept me with open arms just as I am but He even goes further than that and loves me unconditionally beyond where I've been. Regardless of what lies before us in this life He is already there. When I rise and when I fall each day He is there. When I sit and when I stand He is my soft place to rest. With a little over two weeks until my surgery there are many emotions. There are moments where the enemy tries to fill my heart with fear until it cripples my spirit and then there are moments where I have confidence in the road ahead regardless of the outcome. How do you even begin to prepare for a journey that you know will be physically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausting? How do you openly welcome the trials and not allow those traits of humanness and fear get the best of you? I am so thankful for this time the Lord has given us to prepare and truly embrace our time together as a family. It's amazing when you know there is a storm on the horizon how much you appreciate the calmness of today. I have found myself laughing a little louder, hugging a little tighter and memorizing the sweet features of my husband and daughters precious face more intently down to every wrinkle and freckle.

I have shared before about this amazing new gravitation I have gained for butterflies. It seems everywhere I go I see butterflies. Just today a friend dropped off a beautiful butterfly necklace for me and then giving my daughter a bath tonight noticed on the shower curtain we have had forever it was decorated with butterflies. Maybe it's not that there are more of them out in the world than normal but that my heart has been opened to the beauty of what they mean.  Maybe it's because the blinders have come off and instead of being caught up in the distractions around me I am finding joy and beauty in the moment. The beauty of a butterfly isn't instantaneous but a process. A process that is long, difficult, and not so glamorous always but each season of a butterflies life cycle is significant and important and all contribute to the beauty and perfection of it's creation. As we count down the days until surgery I have realized not to look towards the fears and the unknown but instead to find beauty in each moment. I have realized that we are not to be consumed with the lies of the enemy but to pray with boldness and expectation for Gods greatness through whats ahead. In our humanness we can be consumed by the black and white but through Christ we can have hope that His plans are anything but ordinary, His plans are extraordinary. And as I see butterflies pop up each day along my path I wont see it as a coincidence but as a promise that He indeed is working.

"But as for me, I will look to the Lord and confident in Him I will keep watch; I will wait with HOPE and EXPECTANCY for the God of salvation, my God will hear me" Micah 7:7

Monday, May 20, 2013

Pedal, pedal, pedal.....

Pedal, pedal, pedal I yell down the sidewalk as my husband and I chase our daughter Macie on her bicycle holding our breath while she passes house after house without toppling over. It took a giant leap of faith and focus for her to decide that she was ready and after 3 years of trying to convince her to at least try, she DID IT!!!! The excitement from her little face was priceless as she zoomed by the 5th, 6th and 7th house without toppling over.

The stopping and steering is still a work in progress and I noticed today that the neighbors parked their cars further down the street than normal, but I’m sure it was a fluke then again maybe they realized she ran into all of their cars head on yesterday lol.  The stopping is much better today and she has realized there are these little cushions called brakes on the bike and if she remembers to push them she will stop but it’s also totally acceptable to continue to jump off the bike into the grass going full speed like a stunt dummy jumping from a burning car. Her little legs are so banged up and there have been many tears shed but unlike the tears she has cried for the past few years in fear of getting hurt she now cries when we tell her it’s time to put her bike away for the night and to take a break. 

Two summers ago Macie started growing leaps and bounds and the bike she got when she was just a few years old started to become way too small for her. She has long legs and she could no longer pedal without her knees hitting the handlebars so excitedly we bought her a new bike. Well the new bike was a little big for her and it totally intimated her, she was really afraid of getting hurt and so instead of trying to learn to ride without training wheels she had to miss out on riding her bike with friends and other things. Lately though she has seen a lot of her friends at church her age and even much younger learn to ride their bikes and she started getting more interested in giving it another chance. 

So this past weekend Scott decided to lower the seat for her on her 2 year old bicycle with the tags and bright colored streamers still hanging from the handlebars and she realized she could now touch the ground with her feet while sitting on the seat. Just that tiny bit of security changed her total outlook on things and she excitedly took the challenge to learn. After many escape jumps, running into parked cars and chants from mommy and daddy, she DID IT! I think she even surprised herself and you could tell the pride within her little heart was amazing. 

Today when Macie got home from school she had a little package waiting on the kitchen table for her, a pink jeweled bell to add to her bike from mommy and daddy because we were so proud of her. As I watched her ride up and down our street tonight every time she passed our house she would ring that little pink bell and my heart would smile. A reminder that sometimes the journey ahead looks scary, sometimes we will fall and there will be pain but God is always standing nearby cheering us on and yelling “pedal, pedal, pedal.

 There will always be heartache, failures and imperfections in this life but God isn’t standing by counting our mistakes but instead helping us to push forward and succeed. It’s not about the length of our journey but the passion within our hearts to stay motivated, persevere, and push forward in spite of the adversity.

 Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but [only] one receives the prize? So run [your race] that you may lay hold [of the prize] and make it yours” 1 Corinthians 9:24

Honestly their wasn’t anything different about this weekend compared to 2 years ago for Macie that enabled her to physically ride her bike better but her spirit had found the motivation to fight and to keep pushing harder and harder and realizing that mommy and daddy were right there, we were watching over her and protecting her and excitedly believing in her and each time I hear that little pink bell ring out I will be reminded of God’s faithfulness, God’s protection that through Him we can yell WE DID IT!!!!!

“No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us” Romans 8:37

Friday, May 17, 2013

Perfect Sacrifice......

"While you are spending time being consumed with what your going to bring to the altar in surrender I am excitedly preparing for the greatness I plan to give you." 

Driving down the road this past week one morning I really felt the Lord whisper, well actually shout, this promise to my heart. I was reminded in that moment of the story of Abraham and Isaac found in Genesis 22. 

Sometime later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”
Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”
Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”
“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.
“The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”
Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.
When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”
Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”
The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”

There are so many awesome things about this story. To give you a little background information you must first know that Abraham was a successful livestock owner so when God asked him to take his son Isaac to the top of the mountain and provide a sacrifice he was first tested to make the first of many choices in which His obedience to the Lord would be revealed.

Abraham was a wealthy livestock owner (Abraham could have picked any livestock from His flock and taken it with him to the top of the mountain and it would have been enough, it would have been sufficient but God wanted it to go beyond enough, He wanted Abraham to see that if He would open his hands completely surrendering the journey to Him that He would provide greatness, He would provide more than what was sufficient.We read about the journey that Abraham and Isaac traveled and it wasn't like a 15 minute trip across town where he could catch a cab, it was a 3 day journey and estimated 50-60 miles. Imagine the emotions Abraham must have felt with each step he took knowing that he was going to travel for days and at the end of his journey he would have to sacrifice his son, his one and only son and child whom he loved so much.Imagine the worry and exhaustion his heart and mind must have felt because he knew what was ahead and what he had to do. The beauty of the story came though when Abraham got to the top of the mountain with Isaac and at exactly the right time God revealed a ram stuck in the thorns nearby and Isaac's life was spared.

With so many emotions and thoughts running through my head as we approach a difficult surgery in a few weeks its been so easy to be consumed with the journey ahead and the sacrifice I feel like the Lord is asking me to lay at the feet of His altar and surrender. The list of expectations I have placed on myself to prepare for this surgery is insane and I started to feel like how I imagine Abraham to have felt. Emotionally my heart was exhausted and I felt so much anxiousness. What if I wasn't strong enough, what if the house wasn't organized enough, what if people come to visit and I'm having a bad day? In the scheme of things did it really matter to God what Abraham brought to the altar tangibly? No, it was the concept of Abraham's obedience that God was after and for me this week I felt the Lord was saying that He doesn't expect me to do anything but surrender and walk forward on this journey in obedience and He will provide the perfect sacrifice. When Abraham was consumed with what he was going to lay at the altar God was merely preparing for what He was going to place in Abraham's empty hands. As we read on in the story God rewards Abraham for his faithfulness and obedience and pours out blessings over his life and multiplies Abraham's family so that Gods blessings could continue to have a rippling effect.

Right now I can’t see all the details, I can’t decode every part of the puzzle but what I know for certain is the Lords whispers over my life to not worry about whether my offering is the best but to surrender it fully. He will provide the blessing if only I make myself available to receive it.God doesn't want me to worry about the details of the journey but to instead focus on taking one step at a time and in the meantime He is excitedly preparing for the greatness He is planning to do and pour out over my life and onto others. 

Sometimes we get so caught up in the journey and the details along the way that we miss the concept that it's not about what we can bring to the altar but what God is going to pour out over us to take away from it

Friday, May 10, 2013

Happy Mother's Day....

Being a mother is about allowing our hearts to walk outside our bodies. It’s about unconditional love, sacrifice and commitment. There are so many friends I know that struggle with infertility, the loss of a pregnancy, or even the death of a child. We look at Mother’s Day as a Celebration and Holiday for all those moms who mend boo boo’s, sit on the sidelines at our kids sports, and tuck our kids in each night peacefully to bed. But as a mom what sets us apart is the way that we are constantly pouring out our hearts for someone else, we are constantly dreaming dreams of joy and hope over our babies. So this post is to say Happy Mother’s Day to all those women who struggle with infertility and loss because being a mother means sacrifice and through your tough journey I know there have been countless tears shed, an unconditional love developed in your heart for the child that you hope for and dreams and plans made someday for the child you pray for each day. Through each medication, shot, moment of loss, bump in the road towards adoption and for all the sleepless nights you have pushed forward through. Mothers are made from deep within our hearts as nurturers and selfless acts and as you push forward seeking that moment where you get to mend boo boo’s and sit on sidelines just know through your heart and sacrifice you have already displayed the beauty of a mother. Happy Mother’s Day