Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Brief hiatus...

I think I need to explain why I haven't been blogging much lately, but the trouble is...I have no really good explanation. I just feel rather dried up and feel the time has come to take a brief hiatus and regroup. Think of it as a mini-vacation. I just don't know how long I'll be gone - maybe a week, maybe a month - I'm waiting on God to refreshen me.

As I was leading a staff devotion this morning at work, the subject came up of taking the time to be still and simply listen in order to be ready to act whenever God calls us. I think I need to do just that! I'm ready to act - in whatever capacity He calls me - but, I haven't been that great at being still lately. I've been too much of a busybody.

So, don't give up on me - I'll be back soon. I love all of you and cherish your comments, Facebook messages, and tweets on Twitter - emails too! I am most blessed to have such a great group of friends - some of whom I've never even met! I will continue to read up on my fellow blogger's blogs, and I won't stop praying for you. Until next time...

Be blessed!!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

List #12

Happy Friday friends...

Time again for another List of Ten. This week, I simply wanted to share a list of other blogs that I follow. Friends, there are some wonderful blog writers out there, and I am sure these bloggers will bless you as much as they have blessed me. Now, I've only chosen ten (again in random order), and there are more on my "profile page" if you'd like to check them out. I simply chose the blogs that I've been following the longest or know the blogger the best. Have a most blessed weekend!

Ten Blogs I Follow:
1. The LPM Blog
2. The Journey of My Heart
3. cantcookalick
4. Bella Mella
5. Prints 2 Prince
6. Lysa TerKeurst
7. Frugal Fine Living
8. Balancing Beauty and Bedlam
9. Operation Shrink Charlie's Big Butt
10. Lorie Newman

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

How Do You Call Yourself?

I vividly remember some of my earliest phrases in Spanish class. Aside from the alphabet, a beginning Spanish student usually learns expressions, questions such as

What is your name?
My name is______.
Where are you from?
How old are you?
Do you like______?

I always laughed when the instructor would remind us that the literal translations do not always come out the same way in English, because they would generally sound a bit odd. Obviously, the meaning would be the same, but the word-for-word translation would sound a bit humorous at times. For example, the literal translation for asking someone their name in Spanish comes out "How do you call yourself?", and in response, you would answer (again in Spanish)..."I call myself_____". As a teenager, I would giggle a bit, because it always sounded so silly to me. However, the longer I took these Spanish classes, and the more fluent I grew, the language started to make sense, and I never had to question the translation - no matter how silly it may have sounded when breaking it down word by word.

So, how do you call yourself? Yes...what is your name? Is it Brave One...Princess...maybe Leader of Many...or Captive about Mighty Warrior? OK - so maybe we don't go around stating our names in this way, but do you know that God is calling you by a special name (and perhaps by more than one)? We read in Judges 6:12 the following:

When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, "The LORD is with you, mighty warrior."

This has huge significance! If you study the book a little further, you'll see that Gideon had done nothing worthy of the name "mighty warrior". He even boldly admitted that he was from the weakest clan in Manasseh. So, why would God call him a mighty warrior? He called him by what He was making him - knew he was going to be - what He saw in him even before Gideon recognized it in himself. Gideon was being called out by God to save Israel from the Midianites. God knew that Gideon was going to be that mighty warrior, and he was because he obeyed God.

So, I ask do you call yourself? Or better yet, what is God calling you? Like in my Spanish classes, the longer I study God's language - His Word - the more fluent I become and the more it makes sense. His names for me also begin to make sense, even if they seem so far from reality at the moment.

Are you willing to walk in obedience to live up to that name or calling even if all you can see right now is something drastically different or significantly weaker than the name He is calling you? Let Him shape you and mold you to fit that name He is calling you! Do it friend, and be very, very blessed!

Friday, September 18, 2009

List #11

Happy Friday blog friends!

Before I proceed to lay out this week's Friday List, I just need to apologize for my lack of posting lately. I am simply doing a lot of discernment these days about various things, and I can't seem to keep my creative juices in check to keep up with my blog. So...thanks for bearing with me a little longer while I flush out all of the various thoughts that continue to surface in my mind. I'll be focused again soon - I pray!

Speaking of praying, I have been very burdened lately to go before my Father's throne on my knees on behalf of many people. Some of these dear ones are complete strangers to me, but their prayer needs have become very real, and it seems the more faithful I am to pray - the more needs the Father directs me too. Many of you know that prayer is one of my passions. Now, I know a lot of people pray, but I truly have a passion and a burden to intercede on behalf of others like I've never known in my whole life. I consider it a privilege to pray, and I do so often. Sometimes, however, my sweet Father enables me to feel the heaviness of the burdens that people are experiencing a little more deeply than at other times. I find myself weeping over the trials that others are enduring, and I often ask God - how can I simply devote enough time to the needs that he places before me? I often feel that I could devote days and days to praying and do absolutely nothing else and still barely scratch the surface. Have you ever felt that way?

So, this week...I'm sharing a list of prayer needs. I welcome you joining me in lifting up these needs to the One capable of meeting each and every single one of them.

Prayer Requests:
1. Please pray for 5-year-old Kate - suffering with a brain tumor.
2. Please pray for 12-year-old Andrew - also suffering with a brain tumor.
3. Please pray for a friend in the middle of a collapsing marriage.
4. Please pray for a friend seeking God's wisdom and direction concerning His purpose for her.
5. Please pray for a woman broken over infertility issues.
6. Please pray for a friend working to overcome a food addiction.
7. Please pray for a family desperately needing their house to sell.
8. Please pray for two families in the middle of stagnant international adoptions.
9. Please pray for the family and friends of Kim, who just went home to be with Jesus a few short weeks ago - pray especially for her husband and three small children.
10. Please pray for a family needing a financial miracle.

"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Friday, September 11, 2009

List #10

Happy Friday friends! With Friday, comes another opportunity for me to create a list for the blog. While I may only publish one in this setting, I'm sure I will have several running lists before the day is over.

So, what do you want to be when you grow up? Seriously! How many of you are doing the very thing you dreamed of when you were younger? How many of you are still trying to figure that out? I kind of fall in that department. As a young girl, teenager, and young adult, many career dreams developed within me. I struggled to simply choose one - like the world tends to tell us we need to do. I have so many passions, loves, hobbies, and goals - how in the world can I just have one vocation? So, now as I inch closer and closer to the age of 40, I continue to ask the question but with a slightly different twist: "God, what do YOU want me to be when I grow up?" My sweet, loving Heavenly Father has a specific plan and purpose for me. Being His ambassador, His servant, and His daughter is what I most desire to be when I grow up!

However, I still love to reflect on those dreams from yesteryear. Believe it or not, it was easy for me to reflect on 10 things I wanted to be when I grow up (there were probably a few more), but these are the 10 I remember best (in no particular order). know what else? None of these career areas are where my current occupation resides.

Ten things I wanted to be “when I grow up”:
1. Teacher
2. Pediatrician
3. Nurse
4. Lawyer
5. Navy aviator
6. Writer
7. Accountant
8. Stay-at-home-mom
9. Interpreter
10. Marine biologist

Monday, September 7, 2009

Ready, Aim, Fire...

"Steady yourself, and when you're ready, go ahead and release the safety and then pull the trigger slowly," my friend instructed. I was a little shaky, but I followed the instructions exactly as directed. This was too dangerous for me to take lightly and mess up. I learned to shoot a gun this past weekend. I'm sure some of you are completely in shock, others might be saying "it's about time girl". Whatever your feelings, this was something that I needed to do for my own sanity. I've had a fear of guns for quite awhile, and I fully believe the fear was there for several reasons:

1. I didn't know how to operate a gun. Therefore, even looking at one brought great fear.
2. What if I learned to shoot and ended up messing up? I could seriously hurt or even kill someone.
3. I was completely naive about guns in general.

Before I shot that first bullet, a friend of mine and my husband, made sure that I knew and understood the piece of equipment that was in my hand. They explained the parts of the gun, the bullets that were being used, how to load the bullets, how to operate the gun safely, how to hold the pistol, where to stand in relation to the target, etc. I spent a lot of time preparing to make that first shot. When at last these two men could trust me to fire the gun, I steadied myself, aimed the pistol, and prepared to fire...I was as ready as I was going to be. A little shaky, but not overwhelmingly so, I pulled the trigger. I actually hit the target...maybe not the bullseye, but the target none-the-less. Not too bad I thought. I was ready to try again...a little less nervous this time...ready, aim, fire...I hit the target again! I did this for a full round of bullets. Still trusting that I would follow instruction, I was told that I could move onto learning a bigger pistol - one with more punch! The nerves set in again. Could I really do this? If they trusted me, surely I could handle it! And...yet again...I learned as much about the new pistol as I could and fired another round of bullets. This one was much louder and jerked me a little more, but by the time I was done - my confidence increased, and my fear over guns decreased. One more time, I was invited to try another gun...this time, a black powder rifle. Seriously? I can't believe they think I can actually do this. Well, why not give it a try. And...I did. I only shot it once, but the fact remains that I did it! Surprisingly, I was closer to the bullseye with this shot than I was with any of my pistol firings.

Still tickled at my accomplishments over the weekend, I began thinking about the process that lead me to have that success. First of all, I acknowledged the fear. Secondly, I was willing to take instruction from others trained to teach me. Additionally, I never pushed it to the point that I attempted to do more than I was entrusted to do. I suddenly had an "ah-ha moment". This is exactly what God has been doing in and through me. He's been preparing me to fulfill His purpose for me on this earth. I've acknowledged my fear (repeatedly, actually). The instruction part took a long time for me, because I've had to learn some things the hard way. He's the best teacher, though, and He's patient and always willing to re-teach me the things that I didn't get the first time. But, perhaps the greatest lesson I took away from all of this is that God is also readying me, preparing to aim me, and when He can fully trust me...He will fire me out of the chamber. He may start small, and when I'm comfortable at each level, and when He's certain that I'm ready for the next one - He'll ready me once again. In the meantime, I need to not try to do more than I'm entrusted and prepared to do.

I pray that I don't let fear grip me to the point that I'm unteachable. I pray that I remain a keen student, and I pray that I remain trustworthy to carry out God's mission and purpose for me. I especially pray that I don't waste this life He's given and entrusted to me!

Friday, September 4, 2009

List #9

It's Friday!!! Woohoo!!! You know what that means? Time for another list! I apologize for not posting one last Friday, but if you've read my previous post, you'll have an inkling as to why I had to simply let that one go.

Anyway, for this week - I'm doing something a little different. My plan was to do a list of 10 fears. But, you know what? I couldn't think of 10 fears! Praise God! So, I went with the 6 I could think of and then listed 4 very specific things that I'm not afraid of. Obviously, there are many other things that I'm not afraid of, but these are generally things that might pop up on other's "I'm afraid of..." lists. So, I just wanted to highlight that they aren't on mine (for what it's worth). Moving right along to the list...

Things I’m afraid of…
1. Mice
2. Something happening to my husband and daughter
3. Failure
4. Never living out God’s intended purpose for me
5. Cancer (not death by cancer - just the pain of cancer)
6. Wasting my life

Specific things I’m not afraid of…
1. Death
2. Being alone - don’t like it, but I can do it, because I’m never alone with Jesus
3. Spiders
4. Public speaking - I have a healthy nervousness about it but no fear.

I wanted to point out that I'm actually trying to work on my fears, in general. I know the Bible says that there is no fear in love and knowing that God is the God of love simply shows me that I'm not fully understanding the depth of that love to allow fear into my life. But, I also know that I'm an imperfect human, dealing with very real issues and very real struggles. So, these fears are not of the gripping type - I don't dwell on them either - but, I have to at least acknowledge that they exist in my life.

Have a blessed weekend dear friends!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Hold Back the Rain Clouds!

The boxes are in. The beds are made. The kitchen is organized. There is a pathway to follow from room to room. But, that's about it! We just completed a short-distance move this weekend. As told to many, I feel like a move out of state would have been easier than this. All-in-all, however, it went very well and much better than anticipated. My Detail God showed up again too (see previous post). I just have to tell you about it.

I had been monitoring the weather report for about a week leading up to our move. Now, when I say monitoring, I really mean studying every snippet of - the 10-day outlook, precipitation percentages, hour-by-hour predictions, barometric pressures...OK, maybe I didn't quite look at that last one, but you get the idea. With all the studying I did, there was no doubt in my mind - it was going to rain! We had blocked off Friday noon - Saturday noon as the time we would have the U-haul. And...we had a lot of help lined up for the Friday afternoon portion of that. But, guess what? That was the exact time the weather report showed it would rain the most. Nooooooo! It just couldn't! There was no way we could move the furniture on our own, so it had to hold off - at least long enough for our able bodied helpers to assist us with the furniture. So, I started praying, and I mean PRAYING! I asked others to pray. I specifically prayed that God would hold off the rain during Friday afternoon. I didn't care if it rained any other time, but not then!

We started moving boxes Thursday night - it drizzled. We continued moving boxes and small furniture Friday morning - the rain continued. Right around lunchtime, however, the rain stopped. Then it came back - but not until around 4:00 pm AFTER all the furniture had been moved!!! Yes - you read that correctly!!!! My DETAIL God stopped the rain during the exact time that I (and others) prayed that He would! As I type these words, Mercy Me's "Bring the Rain" is playing on the radio, and the sky looks as if it's about to open up and pour down rain too! Thank you God for the rain, but thank you God for holding it back for us for just a few short hours last week! Thank you for showering us with your blessings and love, especially when we needed it most!

P.S. To all my Friday List readers: I'm so sorry that I didn't post a "list" last Friday! I'll do better this week.