Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year... MY WORD for the coming year... and a prayer...


I've done a WORD for the year for a long time... mostly because I am not a resolution maker (rather, I'm a great resolution BREAKER! ha!), yet I still wanted a focus for the year. I'd seek God for that word, praying, fasting, reading, meditating on what He was showing me. The process is much the same today! 

My mind has been swirling. Mark and I are on the cusp of changing our health, and as I read the book The Daniel Plan (Warren/Hyman/Amen), different words are dashing through my mind. Change. Eat. Focus. All words I've prayed about - and dismissed. 

I'm actually a bit humored by the word that God's given me to focus on this year! 

I think He planted the seed for this year's word in the last year. Having recently made our 3rd move in 4 years (not counting the apartments in between!) my heart is having a hard time embracing any place as "home". I had called my time in the Ozarks my "18 years in the desert" but the reality is that I still feel He's leading us, calling us to not settle anywhere. When I went back and read the account of Moses leading the Israelites, I came upon this verse in Exodus 14 (v 15) ...

"Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving!""

And that's where my heart landed. 



MOVE.

I'm making a MOVE in my health, my physical body, my spiritual self (I never want to stop growing there!). I want the scales to MOVE (lose weight), scales to be REMOVED (from my eyes, to see the glory of my Lord), and I want to MOVE through walking, exercise and dance. I am MOVING into my office soon, we have MOVED into a new home, and I have re-committed myself to MOVING through prayer walking our neighborhood, and city. I want to be MOVED (emotionally) by what breaks His heart. I want to be willing to MOVE (not holding on to the place He has us this season). I need to be ON the MOVE in my neighborhood... 4 months here and no one has even come over to introduce themselves?? Seriously?? I need to MOVE unhealthy foods out of my kitchen, and MOVE around dirt in the yard for a garden, to plant healthy things. I want to see the effects of Jesus MOVING in my life in the coming year! 

MOVE is my word for 2014! 

Lord, You alone can MOVE me. Move the stubborn cells in my mind to make clear a way for You to change me - mind, body, and spirit. Give me healthy food cravings, a joy-full countenance, energy to physically MOVE daily, and help that scale to MOVE down! When I'm bothered by afflictions (like hives and hot flashes) please MOVE my attitude away from frustration and doubt and into a place of joyful suffering, like Job, trusting You to heal in Your perfect timing. MOVE my heart to be more like Yours. MOVE in me, and MOVE me!! 

In Jesus' name... amen!


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Almost JEANuary!! Celebrate Freeset!!



The month of January is being hijacked for FREESET - an organization that provides jobs for women set free from the sex-slave industry in India! In honor of them, we are wearing JEANS daily, and calling it JEANuary instead!! All we ask is that you go to the website for FREESET and SHOP! How hard is that? At this time it's the best way to show our support - and give them some job security - so shop away!! 

Lord, 
We pray for FREESET and the women they are assisting in India. Thank You for opening doors, and arms, for these women to escape to from their lives in sex-trafficking. We ask that during JEANuary you will open the eyes, hearts, and pocketbooks of people around the world to the work that FREESET does. Father, provide people to shop from them, to order quantities from them for in the future, and to bring glory to You through the work that is being done there. Thank You for being our Redeemer, our Rescuer! For saving each one of us! 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
From the FREESET website: 

"Freeset is a fair trade business offering employment to women trapped in Kolkata's sex trade. We make quality jute bags and organic cotton t-shirts, but our business is freedom!

We would like to see the 10,000 sex workers in our neighborhood empowered with the choice of leaving a profession they never chose in the first place."

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Oh Goodness!... and a prayer to bless my husband on his birthday...



I used to be so good at keeping my blog going on track, and then distractions came up - like kids' schedules and traveling and were no big deal to handle. But this, THIS... my goodness... I've been very bad. I'm so sorry. Life is happening and my personal blog (here) has been on the back burner. That's one of my major challenges in this coming near future! Scheduling and writing and sharing more what God is teaching me (because there is SO much!) and it's important to keep it in written form... even if just ONE of you read it, ONE of you are encouraged by it, ONE of you will be inspired to write, or paint, or take to your knees and pray...

Tomorrow is my husband's birthday! I'm SO blessed to be married to him! It's not always easy, but it's always worth it, and the hard work pays off. We will celebrate our 30th anniversary soon, and get away next month for an early celebration with friends. But tomorrow is the day I thank God for him, for his birth, the gifted way God created him and equipped him to be my husband! Will you join me?? 

Father I thank you for Mark, and for giving him life and sustaining him through so many difficulties in his life. Thank You for proving yourself to him, so that he turned to You and chose to follow You and bring YOU glory in this life You've given him. Thank You for equipping him to be a husband and a father, and now a father in law and a grandfather! Thank You for filling him daily with what he needs to be my husband, my friend, my encourager and help-mate. Thank You for giving me what I need to be his wife, to encourage and assist him too! Please bless the work of his hands, the way he is a "missionary in a chicken plant" and the way he shines Your light there. Also give him what he needs to be healthy and content in the life you've called us to live. Help him to always seek You, to love YOU most of all, to trust Your ways. 

Thank You Lord, for bringing him into my life when You did!! Please continue to renew our love for each other, as we seek You in all ways...

Amen...


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Hello Christmas... And a prayer...



Like most of the country, we are traveling to visit family before Christmas. We've left the frigid part of one part of the country, to go to a snow covered area that is expecting a warm front - who knew? I want to be out taking pictures of the snow blanketed woods before it all melts off... But there are grand kids to hold and grown kids to talk to and I just don't want to miss this, THIS, for a few good photo opportunities...

Lord, change my heart and make me sensitive to where You want me to be. Help me to see You and feel You - in the clutter of my grand kids hugs and in the solitude of the silent, moon lot night.

Help us to remember that this season is not just about the tinsel, the gifts and lights, but about the stable, the silence if the stars and the rejoicing angels... We praise You for sending Jesus to earth... Happy Birthday to our Saviour!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Photo (and Prayer) of the Day...



And the Lord was pleased with the aroma of the sacrifice and said to himself, “I will never again curse the ground because of the human race, even though everything they think or imagine is bent toward evil from childhood. I will never again destroy all living things. As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.”

Genesis 8:21-22

Father God, help us to live in thankfulness and let us see the benefit and blessing of Your seasons... 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Photo (and Prayer) of the Day


We had a lot of sunshine today... but then clouds moved in this afternoon. The birds were going crazy... several cardinals were at my back porch, and it was delightful. 

The roads are still frozen, as is our driveway, but I managed to get out and run an errand just before dark. It was one of those feelings to walk in and be glad to be home.

Lord, we know many who are traveling, many stranded beyond our imagination because of the storms. Please bring comfort to them, to their loved ones, and allow the flights and highways to all move smoothly soon. 

I pray that You will direct the storms, and keep people depending on You for their needs. You are the only Light we truly need. Be our source. Draw people close to You. 

Thank You for the beauty of the winter snows, and let it remind us how You cleanse us white as snow. Thank You for being our Light, and giver of Life. We love You and need You. 

Amen.

snow days - a haiku


In response to The Sunday Community...

Have a blessed week!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Snow...

LOVE my Love Came Down Lanterns in the front of my house...  you can find them here, but use the DaySpring  link on the right side of my blog to order them please... so I can earn a little commission... ((thanks)).  

All around the country (and my Facebook feed) people are talking about the frigid snow that's taken us all by storm...

Here in Kentucky it started a little slower last night with a bit of ice, and then a lovely snow fell all day long. I was able to get early snow pictures this morning, but by the time we had enough snow to make it look much different, it was too late for me to take photos. (I admit, I took a nap while waiting!)

While I'll get out in the deeper snow tomorrow morning, I wanted to post some of the photos that I took this morning. I hope you enjoy God's creation, and the blessing of this season...

The perfect contrast... 
God decorates for winter perfectly!
the back fence
the house
The golf course in our back yard... so serene...
God creates so lovely

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

disconnect(ed) - a prayer request and a prayer -

This was all started by making our move in the end of summer… and it's odd that it's lasted this long… but it has… for better or worse. You might misconstrue this for depression… not really that kind of feeling… as I've been there before… but the feeling got words to it as I read (and re-read) Jennifer Dukes Lee's posts from Haiti… especially this one. 

So this is what it initiated - putting words to my thoughts - my feelings - to Jennifer, and below, my prayer request and prayer... 

I keep reading this post. Speaking Alleluia in my moments, my days. I can't shake the uneasy. The unsettled. This house is too big, empty of memories, of laughter. We've had company, family, small group. It still doesn't fit. I'm typing in my room, instead of one of the empty rooms that could be an office. No matter - I'm not inspired to write. No words. No tears. I don't long to be anywhere else, I just don't feel at ease HERE. I'm not sure what to do... Pray? praise? anoint with oil on the door posts? I can only cling to the alleluia that whispers in my soul. 

I saw a homeless woman yesterday while stopped at a light. I gave her a donut, although she wasn't asking for anything. I asked if her needs were met, although I don't know what I'd have done if she'd said no. She looked me in the eye as she told me her story, her plan. Who today says that they are "paranoid schizophrenic"?  Who admits their brokenness? I wished I had the time to drive her to Nashville to get her meds, to Galveston to see her family. So much more appealing than the quiet of this house. 

Whispering alleluia seems only fitting. I don't know what else to do! No words come to write. To sing. To celebrate. Should I pray? Praise? Anoint the door posts with oil? All I can do, I'm doing. Whispering alleluia...(end)

i'm out of sorts. yes. in a no - capital - letter kind of way.
nothing feels like it's me. nothing genuine. nothing real. not at home in my own shoes. 
i'm floundering.

my faith is real. strong. 
it feels that the rest of my real life needs to catch up. like i'm wearing rose colored glasses and nothing is as real as my faith. i can't trust any of it.

i don't want to decorate for Christmas. something is missing - but it's LESS - not more. somehow the real was covered up in the remnants of moving boxes and newsprint paper and bubble wrap, and it's not been unpacked yet.  i know it's here somewhere, but i can't seem to find it. can't seem to remember what i'm looking for. 

contentment? 

i'm grateful for where we are. thankful for this house - not - yet - a - home. i don't long to be anywhere else. no place more. no place feels like home to me. 

i feel unsettled. 

and perhaps i'm not supposed to feel settled in, even though boxes are unpacked and coats hung in the closets. 

perhaps my making memories here has nothing to do with making it feel like home. 

i'm not quite sure how to capture that feeling. how to create it. i only know that it's happened on it's own, much sooner than this in the past… but somehow, i've run out of "home" in my heart. 

so i'll just keep focusing towards heaven, trusting and KNOWING that THAT is where heaven is. and trusting His timing on when we will all be there. 

what a day that will be. 

so pray for me? please?

and until then i'll keep praying and encouraging others, right where THEY are…

Lord, You alone are the keeper of my home in heaven. Even if I get comfortable here, please let me always long to be with You more. 

I'm reminded of a pastor once who said if we thought heaven contained all the things we loved most here on earth - all the material comforts, all our idols (tv, tech stuff, hobbies, etc) but didn't contain You, would we still go? Or if we knew none of our comforts and idols were there, and we ONLY had You - would we still go? Lord, let me only desire You. Let YOU be my focus. My passion. My contentment.

And bring to pass this feeling of restlessness, only if it's Your will… for if You can use it to draw others closer to You, let me suffer proudly in it. Let me grow into it… and closer to You. Use anything in my life to make me more like You. 

Let me love You wholly. Undeterred. Uninterrupted. Not holding anything back. 

I am Yours. 
Amen.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Sunday Community... Winter's Haiku


winter's cold is here to stay
i like warm weather
spring can't get here soon enough