Tuesday, April 1, 2014

An Early Morning Reminder

Awake. Praying in the early morning when I heard that voice --you know--the one you want to say is from God. In the back of your head--the words that you wonder if you've whispered to yourself--or if the One who created the earth and skies actually spoke it to "you".
"Yes, Dear Child" was what I heard. It made me forget the question. Which had something to do with a decision I'd pondered but not seriously considered. Not with the seriousness it had deserved. But, while thanking Him for the recent blessings and asking him to bless people I recently had encountered, it was there clearly: "Yes, Dear Child."
I'm not sure the yes was the part that impacted me--though you often ask a question to find the answer--right? It was what followed it-" Dear Child."
1. Would I call myself that?
2. Dear child? Really? Wow! How special that made me feel. Dear child: I'm His child. He wants to remind me of that.
3. He wants me to be and accept me as his dear child.
4. Yes. The answer?
I wasn't playing with a magic eight-ball here. I wasn't shaking God asking for this answer was I? "Ask again later"... No. I was just praying random thanks and requests. And I got he most beautiful three words I've heard lately spoken to me. Did I say it? Did I talk to my own conscience? Well, I don't really go around thinking or calling myself dear child (laugh), but if you and I want to go ahead and wonder...ok. I'd rather say God whispered to me in the quiet spot in my mind--no matter--it hit my heart. and I thought about that for a while.
 I think I know the answer to to my question too. I'm assuming it 's the one I've not given the time it deserved or demanded. Either way, I was blessed by the three words I "heard" at fourish in the morning when I chose to talk with Him--"Yes, Dear Child," and it reminded me I am his dear child. (And so are you.)

Sunday, July 21, 2013


"Let me live independently, independently" was the quote I saw on my youngest daughter's facebook page, and I knew it was aimed at me. Yes, at first it hit me pretty hard. Why does she have to air her battles on facebook? However, the more I thought about it, the more it became a pretty legitimate comment. She had a great point!
She is my youngest of two daughters. Bittany, my oldest, graduated last Spring from Illinois State University and married just a few short months later. She got a new job, and along with her new husband moved two hours away to St. Louis and set up their new apartment home. I, like so many other career moms had a rough time with this. My firstborn and companion for 23 years had left the nest. No long night conversations, no messy room to walk past, no keys or work badges thrown on the table. Would I actually miss this? Oh, yes. I felt so lonely. She had reached independence. Well, I still had Katie!!!
Katie, my youngest, the baby of the family. With five years between the girls, she was almost like an only child. When Brittany was at kindergarten, Katie had my full attention and when she came home from school, she could take over as big sister and help with baby duties as well as play with her little sister. But, there were some ways that Katie was different. She was a much more independent baby. While Brittany and I often read books and played games together for fun, Katie found peace in her room happily entertaining herself. She didn't need the constant attention that Britt seemed to desire. While Britt and I chatted away with the details of the day, Katie didn't need to chatter to be happy. She was content in a more quiet manner. But that didn't mean her mind wasn't working hard.
One of Katie's favorite things from an early age was "games". Games were pre-school like activities in math, or art or reading that she performed highly at from as young as I can remember. At a ball game for instance, while others watched the ball flinging round the court and the crowd yelling it's approval or dismay, Katie would be busy in a notebook full of dot to dot games, counting each group of dots and identifying the number it was associated with, finishing simple number and shape patterns 123 123 123 12_? xxoox xxoox xxoo_? Pages and pages of these games filled her days.  She truly knew how to entertain herself.
So why should I be surprised now? Katie and Brittany were my life mission. A mission most stay home moms take to heart. We want the best for them, want to instill our innermost morals and ethics in them.  We take great pride in molding them and leading them, instructing them in God's ways and protecting them from all the dangers this world affords, only to find out one day, that the day we have worked for and looked forward to has arrived and then comes an equally if not more daunting challenge...
Let them live their independence. Some mothers may never experience the joy of that day arriving. May it be a disability that prevents it, or laziness or immaturity on the side of the child, or maybe poor training. The other reason may be a little less obvious to mom but may be clear to others. If we are to experience the joy that follows the long hours and years of nurturing, we have to let go and let them live. Well, Katie's comment helped me realize this. She is only 17 but in many ways, she has become that completion of independence from her childhood. Recently graduating High School with many honors, having finished the school yearbook she became Editor in Chief for, taking on and enduring a challenge to compete for a college scholarship by personal interviews with the members of faculty and staff (and RECIEVING IT!), setting up her own college classes, abiding by her work schedule, getting herself out of bed on time for all her activities and venturing on a 10 day backpacking wilderness adventure with only the clothes and supplies on her back, I think I can say it. Can I? Yes, my youngest has reached independence.
There I said it. But did I like it? I thought I did. However, for a career mother, this puts one in a new predicament that I don't even know she is aware of.  It brings a new challenge we have to realize before we can attempt to pursue it: letting our children be independent independently. She said it best. Stepping out of their ways to let them live plans they are now able to pursue with their own thought patterns and efforts is difficult. It requires attention and sensitivity to what they are attempting and the patience and strength to stand back and watch them succeed or fail. But they deserve the chance. They have proven that they are ready. Catching them when they fall is such a part of our makeup. It was our privilege and duty for so long, but they are capable now of preventing the fall, or catching themselves; and if they don't, they are capable of getting up on their own and  brushing the defeat off and trying again. If I don't give them this chance then I hold them in a constant state of suspension. So, it's time to let go. That sounds so sad, but there is a good side to this. There is a bright light at the end of this tunnel and a way out the other side.
I'm going to suggest that we as mothers of children who have gained their independence (Praise the Lord) look for the reward that is waiting for us! As we step back (this will take time and discipline on our parts now) and watch the independence blossom into beautiful flowers of achievement, I can only imagine the joy we are going to receive. It is not an end of out lives, but a beginning of it. When we let them see their accomplishments, they will gain confidence and life skills and that is a great thing!
Katie is 17. She chose a color she liked and completed painting her room last night. She made a decision, followed through, trimmed the edges and rolled the walls until the job was complete. She smiled at a job well done. Along the way, she had to ask me to back up and let her be the person I wanted and dreamed for her to be...and I thank her for that now. She learned a few lessons along the way from me and many others that have passed through her life, but today she taught me one. I look forward to watching and experiencing the joy my girls give me through their independence and I will gain mine back when I choose to let them live independently independently.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Is your feeder full?

Are your feeders full?

Crazy question but I’m  trying to get my time with God back on track. I say I love Him.  I neglect Him.  Sitting in the gorgeous day reflecting I saw a  beautiful bird stop by the (empty) feeder. He had been there before and been fed. Today there was nothing for him so he flew off empty. I didn't keep the feeder full.

 I mean well, and after all, the cold is over. Why would he stop by now? Fact of the matter was, he came to fill himself and went away empty. I likened it to my spiritual feeder. Mine is in all honesty empty right now. When was the last time I took the effort to restock it? Oh, one or two verses here and there, and Sunday sermons pump me up right? But that’s  not REAL focused time with God to gain back that closeness He wants and I desire so badly. I don't cease to need the fuel of God's word because the seasonal storms have stopped or the sun is shining in my life, in fact, I may need it even more because it is in the good times that Satan sneaks quietly in and sometimes even if I do have my feeder full--He dumps it! (dressed as a squirel haha) I could elaborate even more, but maybe you get my point today. I admire all the folks that blog and are growing deeper in their relationships every minute of the day. I desire that and will begin again like so many times before...to fill my spiritual feeder for myself, but also for those who may stop by and need fed as well. I can't help feed their hungry souls if mine is running on empty. Hold me accountable guys!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Not Mear Coincidences

God does nothing by coincidence. He has a plan and had a plan from the beginning and though our mortal actions may have gone astray from this plan by taking matters into our own hands, He was and is able to bring his plan to fruition. And he will. That being said, I continue to be amazed at the connections He placed in the Old Testament that reflect the New. Most recently through a study on the Exodus I have seen another one of God's forshadowings of freedom in Christ.

 Last night's study brought me interesting thoughts to share...Exodus...when the Israelites were freed from slavery..they crossed on dry land to freedom but their hearts were still trapped behind in "slavery". They eventually didn't get to go into the promise land because they couldn't give up the old and accept (trust) the new. (They constantly thought about going back or where they had come from). If they could have just trusted God, and accepted they were truly free and God would take care of them, they would have experienced so much more. When Jesus saves us...He is freeing us from slavery of sin. Are we enjoying the freedom we should be? Could we be missing out on the "promise land" while held captive in our past? If we would let go and take the freedom, we would experience the beauty of what He has planned for us in our daily lives. Easier said than done, but I think we owe it to God and ourselves to try. Live like you are free!

Thursday, September 20, 2012


I reread my old blogs today...was that me speaking? I felt I was reading new material for the first time. I recalled some good lessons in some verses I had 'put on the back burner' after reading. This is a good reminder of how much momentum we lose if we are away from the word of God for just a little while. Unfortunately, it has been a while, fortunately, I am here in this moment today. Yay!
As I told those of you who are blogging together, I have escaped from the suggested verses for the time being, and will, I am sure, return to them at a moment when God decides those particular words are what I need in my life...or when I run short of ideas hahah whichever comes first...but today I wanted to share another 'drop' of encouragement I was handed from God when I decided to return to reading his word and talking to him.

 I signed up for a Beth Moore study a few weeks ago...I had been out of these studies for various reasons for a long time..(I was going through some personal struggles and didn't feel like talking to other women or putting on that "smile" that says everything is great, I had been attending another local Christian congregation because my husband felt he needed a change and I was embarrassed and sure I would be labeled a "church hopper" (Pride issue by the way--and not anyone else's business if they wanted to make an issue of it.) So, I backed away from the women who I just knew would be smiling, laughing, and living their perfect lives...so I would not have to reveal that I was facing challenge--that I was the weak one in the group...the one whose life was imperfect...poor thing. Now, that sounds so horrible to say now. Hah! It sounds so Satin lead. ["Don't let others encourage you--they will only find you weak!" "The other ladies have perfect spiritual lives, you are gonna stick out like a sore thumb." (Just how does a sore thumb stick out??? hahah that's another blog!) "You might cry in front of them!!" --enter that stabbing music from the movie Physco!!] hmm...

Well, this being some two years later, undramatically, all they said when I signed up was "great" and when I came in and sat down I don't know what they thought! I think they were all kinda in the same boat looking around kinda nervous at being in a new group that takes a while to feel bonded and natural in. Go figure.

The study was of the book of James. I always think instantly of the "control your tongue" book, and God knows I can always use more of that!! So I had signed up. The first lesson was a review on who James was (the brother of Jesus) and interestingly enough he was not a believer until later in Jesus life...maybe even near the end. But even so, when he did become a believer--what a believer he became! God even used him to write his inspired word to the Jewish converts and for us today. Here is where the cool part comes in.

I had been been contemplating that God didn't promise us happiness always and I had, as I expressed in my last blog, been searching for happiness in conditional places and things. I had decided to look for Joy instead, because God said we would/could have joy even when we weren't happy. The entire second lesson was on James 1:1 a short greeting to the people he was focused on writing. Really? Could she possibly spend and hour talking about this little insignificant heading?? But, Beth Moore is chatty just like me and words are not usually a problem haha..she said this lesson would not be our favorite or most remembered at the end of the series and I had that thought of uh-oh..she is warning us...this can't be good...probably going to be a little boring. To the contrary, she did a word study on the word "greetings." The Greek word was chairein. The lesson concluded with her revealing that the word God instructed James to write to the twelve tribes scattered among the nations meant JOY TO YOU. Joy to you!! I was stunned and humbled and smiled inside with peaceful satisfaction.

 I love when God does those preplanned things that he had to be working on long in advance of the time he would present it to us...(like Jerry Harris' story of running out of money and food in college on a weekend and the postman delivers a letter at the last minute which had been mailed a few days before with money in it from someone who thought a poor college student might need a little financial encouragement.--that fed him that weekend.) God had penned that greeting in Greek hundreds of years ago, I had read it in English many many times with no apparent meaning other than Greetings...Hi! But this time it was a special message to me...Joy to me! He was offering Joy to me through the study of James...which I am super bursting with excitement to study now!! Can't wait to see what else he has for me personally to learn from this book! I have read over it  many times, studied it in group settings and verse studies through the years, but I know this time will be different and am looking forward to the words revealed anew.

So, if I may borrow a few words from God....
Pamela, to the women who are joining me in this blogging experience or to someone who just happens to be surfing the net and falls upon this blog...
Chairein! Greetings! Joy to you!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ending the Famine...

When I look at how much time has elapsed since I blogged here, I realize how swiftly life passes as well, and I contemplate the old adage, "only one life will soon be past, only what's done for Christ will last." I'm not that good at quoting. Ask my kids! I usually get some minor or MAJOR detail confused or blatantly wrong when I try to repeat a story, happening or quote something. Lol I don't get my blondness naturally, I have bottle highlights, but I live up to the cliches. :)

In honesty and to the point, when I started this sight, my goal was to start reading my Bible faithfully and get my spiritual life back on track with God. Though I never stopped knowing he loved me, I had taken Him for granted and like a teenage child, whose life suddenly becomes a whirlwind of schoolwork, job and social responsibilities (socializing and social networking), I began to slowly leave Him behind, real conversations became further and further apart, and I become lost in my world of me...sure, I have to work right? And new schedules are hard to adapt to. Supper time, and who's gonna cook if I don't? Clean the house if I don't? Get all those wedding plans together in time? (Can't use that one anymore! My daughter's wedding was beautiful and down to the last minute, the details were exhausting but rewarding as I watched her smile radiantly, finally relaxing and enjoying each special moment with a look of pure happiness on her face.) Well, what business can I replace that time with?? I don't know I'm sure I'll find something!!

My priorities had gotten askew as well, and should I have been surprised that when I took my eyes off the Lord who loves me unconditionally..I looked for love in conditional places?
     * I sought happiness in my activities (which were minimal due to empty nest syndrome--what DO you do with yourself when your life has been all about motherhood and your oldest goes to make herself a new home with her new husband and your youngest is a senior involved way over her head in every activity under the sun?) Well, at first you cry a little, look for some support in your husband (don't waste time on this one, they simply don't get the big deal of it all.  They have worked the same job for 18 years and don't understand the trauma of losing your meaningfulness just because your kids are finally independent..isn't that the goal? Independence? Becoming that good moral person and finally getting the job they've been training for since kindergarten?)
     * I sought happiness in my husband trying to make his schedule fit mine so I could fill my time with him and that would make me happy...complaining about schedules does not make him happy...apparently following him around the house trying to talk to him like I did my girls is not his intended purpose either. Things were stressed...I felt alone.
Every failed attempt at my happiness added the weight of a millstone to my life. I was trying to do everything right. I was trying. I.

Finally, I sought out some long ignored friendships--the kind that could last forever if one would stop and take the time of day to nurture them.--I tried honesty. What was there to lose now? I found that more times than not, people have gone through the same storms and droughts in their lives. While we are looking at them admiringly and jealously for their perfect lives, we are missing their signs for help as well. (We humans are very good at poker facing it..if we put on that smile and answer that question that everyone asks absentmindedly with no intention of paying attention to the answer of--HOW ARE YOU TODAY?--"good!" or "fine" life goes on and no one is the wiser for it.)
"So where is this going?" you ask. "Are you just gonna keep on rambling in your little sad world? Get on with it, or I am going to go read someone else's blog--or worse---get on FACEBOOK!" haha..ok..ok.

If I wanted the famine to end, I would have to get a source of refreshment. I would have to find something to revive what was dying or dead.  I was as close to the source of life as I could be yet so far away that I wouldn't reach for it. I needed to reconnect with God--my source of missing nutrients waiting to be rained down on my thirsty land.  If I wanted to feel loved and validated in this life, I couldn't go to myself or any person. I would have to go to God.

This is my new challenge and goal. Oh, I've been there many times before, starting over with God...but the nice thing is that He is always willing for me to do that..in fact he seeks me out. He never stopped loving me and never left my side, but it was me who took His love and faithfulness, grace and mercifulness for granted. I neglected reading His words and I neglected talking to Him on a regular basis...in this world I would be so sad if my loved ones did that to me. So, I am fresh into this new relationship. I have seen a few refreshing drops already falling from Him to help me grow me. With each moment that I definitely see His caring for me, His humor in how he reacts when I approach Him, I feel more alive and more driven to run to him for more...This is so much easier said than done..I don't know why, but I'm lacing up my running shoes cause I'm back in the race.

Please put an end to my spiritual famine. Please rain down your presence on me and revive my desire to serve you. I need and desire to be in a genuine personal relationship with you again! I thank you in advance for the wonderful changes in my attitude and spirit! I thank you now and in advance in full view of anyone who reads this blog for your steadfast love. It is humbling to see how you will take me back time after time. Let your love be enough. Amen

P.S. let me share one raindrop:

Psalm 142 I cry aloud to the Lord. I lift up my voice for mercy. I pour out my complaint before him I tell him my troubles. When my spirit grows faint within me it is you who know my way. Listen to my cry for I am in desperate need. Set me free from my prison that I may praise your name.

I had just finished meditating on these verses when the next day at work (during a quiet period) I was reading the book LET GO AND LET GOD.  It was like God had planned that out for me...even though this book had been lying on the shelf for quiet a few years unread...imaging when I read the words penned by this author.."the way to get along in the world lies in the thought...that...once you accept Christ by simply letting Him be the dominating factor in your life, and take Him at His word, believing that He is now showing you the way to a life...more abundant, then the self imposed prison you have lived in for so long will disappear."
My prison WAS self imposed and I know for a fact that putting Jesus Christ first again is gonna break me from that prison! Yay! Let the Praising begin! :)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Got my gumbo simmerin'. Thinking it will add a little spice to this otherwise dreary day. Spent some time reading Psalms 34 this morning. (Vs 8)Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. Now if that isn't comforting what is? I am truely blessed. I have the means to prepare a big pot of Cajun gumbo and will probably side it with some rice and pototo salad, just the way my husband likes it. I'll sit in my little house that is paid for, warm and dry and maybe organize some clothes in my closet today. (Spring cleaning continues...) One daughter just left to shoot photos at school for the yearbook and the other sits somewhere in Bloomington studying for her final 3 weeks of college. I am blessed. I am healthy. I have employment. I have Christ.
Even though I am blessed, I often need to take refuge in him. There are just days when I feel like an outsider. There are times I wish I was in one of those groups of people gathered around chatting in up after church. I wander around and wonder if it is just that I need to make more effort. But nevertheless, I am a bit of a loner, so I can come home to the comfort of my home and enjoy the quiet. And these moments of quiet are somewhat rare so I will enjoy this one to blog without interruption.
The verse that stood out to me in this passage was 7. "The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him and he delivers them."  Now, I know that I just read in 1 Samuel about David defeating Goliath and several battles that he entered into all given over to him by the Lord. I also know this protection and provision was not just for David. Have you ever been somewhere that you just could feel was lacking the presence of God. Well, where noone wants HIM or obeys HIM he often leaves. (As is witnessed also throught the scriptures we have read lately. Sometimes when his spirit leaves, he replaces it with others (1 Sam. 16:14 Now the spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him.) or others come and occupy that space.  There have been numerous stories of angels surrounding missionaries in the woods when threatened, or in a field in a warzone. We wouldn't dream of haveing to deal with spiritual battles of this nature, but be warned. Where God is not wanted or feared, he may just do as with Saul or any of the Israelites we have studied up to this point. He may just leave that territory and if he does it is open territory for evil forces. We need to suround ourselves with other believers. When we find ourselves in these spots, we need to turn to God then turn and run...
I'm thankful for God's protection.   "I will (Psalm 34:1,3)  extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips...Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together!"