Friday, December 20, 2013
This time of year Jesus is in the minds of people who wouldn't think about Him many other times throughout the year. Throughout the Bible we learn about Satan using different lies to trick humans to take their focus off God, and lead them far away from Him. When you haven't chosen to follow Jesus, it's just the "norm" of the world to be distracted. In fact He gives us the answer to this in Ephesians 4:17-19,
"So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.
These verses show us why they don't understand what we believe, only want to be happy, any way they can. After awhile they need more & more. Satan loves this, if someone considers following Jesus, he dangles even more of what they love in their face, stirring up the greed & lust for more & eventually nothing will ever satisfy them. The closer we grow to God, the more like Him we become & the more the enemy hates us. When we make the choice to follow Jesus, we take a stand against the enemy which causes him to try even harder to distract us with his lies.
Now, this brings me what God's been whispering in my ear about. I was offended that A & E's actions with the Phil interview. I complained about how unfair it is that we don't get to believe what we want, unless it agrees with what the world does. Well that ignites a fire in me like nothing else. I'm a rebel, well I was. But what I'm beginning to realize is this. While the enemy has used shiny new things, santa, and the "more is better, you are less if you cant keep up with the "Jone's" to distract those still in the world lost, that has become less & less effective on us Jesus followers. We are listening to God's whispers more & more, and giving into the consumerism that takes our focus off the ONE TRUE reason for this celebration, less & less. That I believe is making satan very angry. So each year he has to up the drama, bring in things & people that follow Jesus & aren't afraid of the "world's opinion" & add drama to what they are trying to do. This is a winner usually every time. We love to get on our soapboxes & complain about how unfair things are, or the persecution that we were warned about, coming to fruition.
We feed into the drama on all the social networks, forward emails, & do everything exactly as the world would, only we do it in "Jesus's" Name....all the while we are distracted during the most magical time of year....the birth of our Savior. Wow that is a hard pill to swallow. In 2 Corinthians 4:1-6....
Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
God shares why those who hold our beliefs in contempt, do so. We just need to keep this in mind, so that we can continue to focus on God & His gift for us.
So, I say we put our focus back on the reason for this & every other season.....Jesus. Let's pray for the people who do not know our Savior, instead of behaving as they do. Let's give the Duck crew all our love & prayers. Be just as open about our beliefs as they are, show A & E that there are a whole lot of Jesus lovers watching them!! Thank you to the Robertson family who live out loud for Christ, every day....not just Sundays!!! But at the same time, take any tiny bit of time away from the distractions that take our eyes off the One Who Created us!!!
God bless you all....................REMEMBER GOD IS IN CONTROL.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
The last few days, well couple weeks really, I'm clinging tighter onto the LORD, than I have in awhile.....not because He hasn't been right here with me, but because I started forgetting Who deserved the glory & forgot Who was REALLY in control.
I've been holding my breath, He being faithful & patient, has let me choose. I've learned in the last decade or so, what REALLY being a Christian means. It doesn't mean just going to church as one person & living the rest of the week as another. It means putting others before yourself, or forgiving those who hurt you. It means listening closely for my Creator's whispers & watching for the steps in His plan, not ours.
I can share with complete honesty, that I stumble my way through. I am learning how to TRULY relinquish ALL I am & where my true identity lies...in my Savior.
This time of year, lots of people remember our Savior & what His birth meant...along with shopping till they drop, for things that will have little to no meaning in a relatively short time.
But what we ALL fail to do, is remember that JESUS is the reason, for EVERY season....not just this time of year....EVERY day.
My family, like every other, has pain & heartache sometimes, but when we remember Who's in control & that we aren't alone, & seek God's perfect Will continually, we stand in His perfect plan & let Him lead us!!!
So take a moment every day to lift a word or 2 to the One Who's promised us that no pain in this world, will be more than the eternal joy we will receive...& Thank HIM for the pain & heartache, as well as trials of all kinds...He is just trimming away the ways of this world, so we are ready for our real home.
Monday, November 25, 2013
[ Spiritual Fullness in Christ ] So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6-7 NIV
I got up & got dressed, got my stuff completely together & on the cart....and then headed down for some juice & fruit with a bagel. After getting my breakfast I headed to find a seat in the dining area....then I spotted Miss L & Little J at a table having their breakfast, they waved me over & I gladly sat down & enjoyed a wonderful visit with breakfast. When we finished they had to get their stuff together so they headed off to their room & since mine was together & ready to load, I decided to take the time & run across the street to get the kids their "treats" I promised to bring back. That was fun, as I was walking back I noticed that Special K was on top of M's Suburban, strapping down the luggage rack, then was loading the bags in it. While the rest of us helped load the rest of the stuff & got in & got situated.....today's trip would be a LONG one....we were driving straight through to Fort Worth, from Florida. We all rode along the road next to the ocean, in a peaceful silence. Enjoying our last view of the beautiful white sand & ocean, we were headed to the beautiful green again....this time it rained & rained....it was beautiful. While we were driving, after the beautiful silence, I can't remember who, but someone started sharing a struggle in their life. I listened, we all did & after she was done, I had no idea, but I was in for another AMAZING part of this trip....a part that the other ladies had probably done similarly many times before, but this was my first retreat with this amazing group of women that God has dropped into my life like a huge group of gifts.....so it was brand new to me....they all shared words God had given them before, or had just given them at that moment.
Now, I have shared words He's given me, with people I love....in fact I've lost people I love from sharing what He gave me....because I shared with them, instead of lifting it right back to Him & letting Him guide the way. For those losses, I am sorry, but I count it all blessings because He's growing me & when I learn each lesson, I hurt of those I love less. This time of prophesy was different, much different. This was about things He gave, only He knew, things that weren't shared. I listened & learned. At first when I heard Him whisper a word to me for someone, I held back & argued with Him.....I kept arguing "these women are much more righteous & holy than I could ever be!!!" The more I argued the louder the word got....finally I just asked if I could share the word He just gave me....totally expecting these women to all turn to me with a look saying "ARE YOU KIDDING NEWBIE?!?!?!?!?!" But that wasn't the case at all, they said yes of course & waited for me to share. I felt the relief of peace I get when I am obedient to God's calling...I don't get that peace anywhere else, EVER.
The ride that day, consisted of mostly us sharing words & life....it was amazing. We stopped at a Chik-fila to eat somewhere on our way home. We sat together across several tables, ate & chatted amongst ourselves....I noticed Little J got up & when I turned around, she was kneeling down talking to a young lady....then she started praying with this total stranger!?!? When she came back & sat down, I asked her "do you know them??" She said "no, God just told me to go over....so I did." That moment was an eye opening moment for me. God doesn't ask us to do things that don't matter.
I will put a disclaimer here, I'm not an elephant so my memory isn't perfect. I do however trust the One giving me the words & I do remember the confirmations & instruction He gave me through these amazing sisters in Christ!!!
I don't know who He spoke through first, or what order, or even who said exactly what. But God showed me it was definitely Him I was hearing before, took away ANY doubt I had......."stop putting me in a box....move your feet, but wait for me to lead....I have a plan for you....trust it's Me when I give you words....realize who you are in Me...." I love the last one, C-1 said "you hear him girl, you have a great gift of discernment, you haven't even begun to realize the gifts you have, or what to do with them!!! He's got you on the fast track, just give Him the control & enjoy it!!!" Those may not be the exact words, but that's what I heard & have held onto as my inspiration to remind me, I only have to be still, listen & follow His lead.
It was a long drive, but it seemed to fly by. We even got stuck at some kind of a traffic ordeal, just the other side of M's house for quite awhile. Finally, we got back & helped the girls unload, they still had to drive 3 more hours home. We got unloaded, hugged the kids & I don't know what anyone else did that night, I went to bed & slept like a baby after thanking God over & over for everything & everyone. I woke up feeling blessed, there is no other word that can mean the same thing as blessed, to me. Enjoyed breakfast, we didn't have to fly home until the next day, so we had a whole day to hang & recoup. I got to enjoy the kids & get to know her family. It was wonderful, then everyone else was off doing their things. It was just M, Special K, me & princess B. I mostly listened while they talked about a ministry. We laughed & talked. I was talking about something, Special K spoke up & stopped me & explained her thoughts to me, then M stopped Special K & shared her view to her. The moment was filled with what the enemy could've used for his enjoyment, but praise God, He is faithful to gently get our attention!!
The next day, we boarded a plane back to the desert we called home. It was kind of bitter sweet seeing the changing colors of the ground below us. But the flight home was just another bit of time God used to give me more peace & hope, as my sweet, sweet sister, Special K told me several times, "if you feel overwhelmed & need to talk, pray, whatever, please don't hesitate to call me!!!" We got our bags & headed out the door, she walked me to my sister C's truck, while she waited for her hunney. After my bags were loaded, Special K hugged C & then me, I hugged her soooo tight & she held me tightly too, I told her thank you again, she told me, thank you. Then her hunny pulled up & we drove away. When we got out of the airport & onto the highway, C asked me, "so how was your trip?" I could only reply with the words He had given me, "Life changing, I met God........"
So, I'd like to finish with the words God has given me just now....when you hear God's whisper, be obedient & you'll be amazed at the wonderful plan He has to grow you more like Jesus.....Thank you for waiting patiently, I pray God uses this to reach you.
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
My eyes popped open that beautiful Sunday about 30 minutes before my alarm. I had packed the night before, taken my shower, had my outfit out for the trip to the hotel by the ocean & had made sure I would have plenty of time to get ready & make it to share the last breakfast with all who came...I felt completely rested, filled full of love, blessed beyond belief & finally for the first time ever...truly surrendered to my Father. Though I had fallen asleep late because I wanted to be completely ready, I felt a complete instauration...what is that you ask?? I love it when I get an interesting confirmation, that educates me & I can share the knowledge, this was my word of the day today...
in·stau·ra·tion/ˌɪnstɔˈreɪʃən/ Show Spelled [in-staw-rey-shuhn]
Thursday, September 12, 2013
There was something life giving about M going around the circle sharing what God had placed on her heart. I knew that He was using this time to share something with me....yet I also had absolutely zero idea why??? He is showing me with all He's been leading me through to be still, wait for it, wait for it.....in His time & it always is the PERFECT time. Before I knew it He was whispering....."Am I enough, truly?? Are you really ready for Me??".......I wasn't about to say no, but even if I had wanted to, I wouldn't have been able to.....He has my heart. He led me over to C-1 who led me to the restroom & said "sorry hun, I couldn't wait." As she came out of the stall, was washing her hands I opened my mouth & out He spoke, "I forgave my mom today. He took all I was holding onto & swept it away..." I told her about the whole wonderful washing. She hugged me & said "Oh girl I'm sooo happy for you!!" After that I told her that I would like to sit in the seat of love & have them pray over me....she said "yes, yes we are doing that after dinner this evening, for sure!!" I agreed & followed her out to the lobby where the ladies were all listening to AJ explain that what to do with the 3x5 cards they were passing around...."write down what you want to leave here....whatever it is."
Dinnertime seemed like a blur & the beginning of the after dinner gathering was as well. I got the chance to pray with a few of the women. I had the most wonderful conversation with one of the most amazing women, her eyes just lit up with the most beautiful twinkle...L. L was struggling with a situation & I understood it, lived it in fact at one time. Though L's was much longer & more detailed....I understood the core of it. I hope the words I felt God spoke through me, were something she could use. Sometimes I rush you see....in those times I'm trying to do it my way....not His.
But then M explained that the worship music would be turned back on, we had basically "our time" to spend, while C-1 & S went from person to person, where ever they felt God taking them. I prayed that He would share this message I could feel brewing inside my heart, whirling around & building like nothing I've ever felt. I of course spent time praising Him, thanking Him & begging Him to hurry.....I was tired. Tired? or tired of waiting??
In a world where we can get pretty much ANYTHING we want, ANYWAY we want, WHENEVER we want.....I have become worldly & filled with my flesh in that way. I'm impatient, easy to anger, quick to call it out, but slow to learn my lesson. I'm the epitome of a sinner.....but that is not my heart's desire. The world may see that sinner, but God sees my heart, He knows my desire is to be more like Him......He also knows that I'm made of flesh & weak in my own strength. So, He waits patiently, not hurried or stressed He might be late.....He knows, His timing is ALWAYS PERFECT. No ifs, ands, or buts....It's His plan.
So, as C-1, S & Special K made their way from sister to beautiful sister.....I started to wish God would hurry & send them my way. I wanted to hear my message. The more women He led them to, the more antsy I got. But, then they started passing around the "exit" survey.....I said, "come on really, You made me wait & now You aren't going to tell me......really???!!!" I filled in the survey, while I did I was telling Him....I told Him "fine, if You have a message for me, send them my way....other wise I'm going to leave." They headed my way, but turned to another sweet sister......"what???" I didn't stop the whole time they were praying with & over my sweet sister. Then they turned to the sister next to her......as they were praying for her, I heard Him tell me, "its My time, not yours.....you'll get yours, sit still...." As soon as I answered, and realized they were done & headed to another sister across the room. I said, "that's it, I'm really going to leave." I started to gather my things, one of the sweet ones around me said, "you leaving?" to which I replied "yes, I'm tired." Just after that, I turned with my arms full of my days gatherings & bumped into C-1....."while you're up" she said as she smiled so gently. I looked around & saw S behind her....the excitement I suddenly felt swirling around inside my heart, was something I had never felt before...."oh I was just getting ready to leave." But He. "oh no, you don't." I laid my stuff back down, turned to them & said, "ok let's do this."
....full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,
C-1 wrapped her arms around me & I laid my head on her shoulder.....she began to pray....she asked Jesus to come.....I only know that I felt relaxed......I was suddenly on the floor.....I was filled with joy....REAL joy....pure joy. I was laughing & crying at the same time....all the while He was telling me, "take it all daughter, I have lots more, take all of this joy!!!" I could literally feel the places that once held pain, fill with joy, the old was gone & He was filling me with His joy....I have no idea how long He filled me with the most wonderful, peaceful joy....but when He was done with that. I heard "do you have physical pain?" I said yes my lower back.....with the most gentle healing warmth I've ever felt, there was an immediate relief of pain....With that, I started thanking & praising God & tried to get up.....but, quickly He showed me that wasn't going to happen yet....the sharpest pain I have ever felt went from my right hip directly into my lower back....I winced & immediately laid back down. "Ok" I said. "I'm here, ready & waiting....."
Then, I saw it, a circle of light, surrounded by a rainbow.....the inside of it lit & blurred at the same time.....the feeling was unmistakable.......and indescribable at the same time. I felt like I was just where I needed to be....I never wanted to leave. I was loved. I was full. I was complete...."you have intrinsic value to me.....I love you. I made you, I placed each piece of you....intentionally.....there is no other you. I knew you before I created anything....I wanted you to be you. I love you even when you don't want me." I laid there receiving all that He was giving me.....again, I tried to get up....again the pain...I laid there & He poured into me more......again I tried to get up, I started to worry..."what if these ladies think I'm losing it??" again the pain...."they are probably staring at me" as I tried to get up again, this time even trying to roll.....this is where I met God, I felt Him LAY His Hands on each side of my waist.....He PHYSICALLY laid His hands on me. I laid there in awe....I couldn't move, even if I tried & I did several times. Finally....finally I let go, I let God lead me. He had me down as He shared His desire for me to LIVE without fear....Live within His plan, listen to His whispers. Stop trying to do it my way......He told me, "Live out loud for Me...don't let others thoughts of me lead me astray....live in His Word, let Him lead my feet. Stop rushing Him, stop doing His job." On & on He shared the feeling of fullness living for Him, alone, with me.....He was with me, physically with me.....me a sinner, me a woman who fails Him daily, momently some times!!!
I finally let go of my insecurities the world filled me with & let Him fill me up with Him....I laid my hands on His....I felt the hands of God....I touched my LORD!! He held me, He lavished His love on me....He whispered in my ear...."You are forever Mine!!"....this brought complete, unmovable faith front & center....He said....."I AM ENOUGH..." I knew at that exact moment He was enough, always...ALWAYS....I felt His hands lift...but didn't feel empty, I still felt filled. I thanked Him, I sat up....& then got up. I was exhausted, yet it was a wonderful feeling. I stood & picked up my stuff, said good night to the ones who were still there & not busy....then headed over to our room. On the way over there, I talked to Him, thanked Him, promised Him I would keep my eyes, ears & heart open to Him always.....I assured Him again, that I would go out of my way, to live out loud for Him. Not be ashamed to share my belief in Him, the wonderful things He does for me...from trimming me through trials & struggles, to the wonderful provisions He provides!!!
I packed my bag as much as I could, so I could enjoy breakfast with the ladies on our last day.....then laid down, I text my hubby & told him....I met God today.
More to come......thanks for your support!!
Friday, August 23, 2013
You can't protect yourself....ONLY I can cover & protect you............stop rushing My time, not yours.......you cant let My light shine through you, if you're standing in front of Me trying to do it yourself, MOVE OVER!!!!..............Stop walking away from Me, I've got you, ALL of you........NO REGRETS & NO PRIDE....in your own strength you'll get dropped to your knees, lean into Me.......the lessons you've learned, are NOT your identity in Me.....DON'T let go of Me..AM I WORTH EVERYTHING TO YOU??.....COME TO ME, ABIDE IN ME CONTINUALLY.....IT'S YOUR CHOICE........
& on & on He went for another few pages of really to anyone else, jibberish, but He ended with.......I AM ENOUGH & Do you believe I can???? By the end of the hour, He had spoken to every part of my being....every hurt, every joy, every distrust, every choice, just every single part of who I've been. I've shared some here, the others would take up too much room & time. Honestly, you'd probably get bored reading my list.....ask Him He probably has one for you as well....just be willing to hear it.....it can be hard to be held accountable by Our Lord & Savior.
I got my stuff together & headed back to the meeting room....I felt inspired & lighter.....I can't deny I was still trying to argue some of the things He shared with me...aaahhhh the flesh is soooo very distracting...intentionally. I know that He gave us free will, so we could choose to know Him, or not. I just think sometimes that the enemy seems to know too much.....but I am the one who has shared with him, unknowingly until I found Christ....now it's my choice how many areas I let him in on. I got in the door & heard worship music playing softly, I went to where I've been sitting & sat down. I looked around at the few other women had come back & then melted into the music......
The core team leader, began to ask how many of us heard what God shared with us....I know I raised my hand, I don't know how many did....I hope all of these beautiful women heard the gentle voice of Our LORD. She shared what He had shared with her. I believe it was a tiny bit for her.....about idols.....she was collecting friends & then putting them before most everything in her life....even Him. I don't know that verbatim, but I think I'm close. She will let me know if I'm wrong I hope. But mostly what He shared with her, was for some of the other women......she asked if she could come & share with them what He placed on her heart during her time with Him. Of course she also asked each individual woman as she stepped before them, her heart open & full with words He had placed so very purposefully with her to share with them.....this was a beautiful sight to me. A sister in Christ, who opened her heart so wide, He could share His love with her fellow sisters most often, a confirmation of what they had heard Him say during their own special hour with Him......
Another thought came to mind as she walked up to her first sister, asked if she could share & of course she replied "yes." As she began to share what He had asked her to tell her, tears began to stream down her face......at this point I recognized & had my mind stopped on something that she had shared & started to search through my notebook full of His words to me.....there it was, the same message......as she finished sharing, the sister bent down & picked up her notebook & handed it to the core leader, M. She quickly read it & tears streamed down her face, she asked if she could share some of what she had heard & jotted down & she shook her head yes. So as M began to read, tears started to stream down my face.......He had confirmed what He had shared with her in private, with M......
Around M went, sharing with each woman she had heard Him speak to her about.....with soooo many times the woman handing over her notebook.....& more times than not, I was brought to tears......& I searched through during almost all the confirmations, in my purple spiral notebook & found His message to me, included those same words......
Sunday, August 18, 2013
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Matthew 5:6 NIV
I walked out the double doors of the lobby at the retreat center....it was the most beautiful down pour of rain....I stepped out from under the covered walkway & into the cool summer rain. This is a commodity in the desert....we get so little rain, it is very much appreciated when we get some. I needed a rinsing, cleansing if you will. I felt the down pour soaking me all the way through.....all of me. I stood there for a bit, then turned to head back under the covered walkway & headed to lunch.
As I walked along, I became completely immersed in a conversation with God about the day's trimming...for some reason a soaked pinecone caught my eye, I heard Him say pick it up......I argued of course. But after some back & forth, I turned back & almost ran over one of my new friends, "sorry" I said. "No problem" she replied. I bent down & told her "I've been arguing with God about picking this up.....He won of course." She giggled. I looked at the pinecone, the first word that came to my mind was "saturated".....I could hear His clear message...."saturated in me through my word".....ok so I carried the saturated thing to lunch. I set it gently on a napkin & went to get my food. At the end of lunch I picked up my pinecone & noticed it was a little dried on the outer layer......."with out staying in my word, you can dry up"......so to make sure it wasn't completely dried out, I gave it a gentle squeeze, still moist on the inside....."I'm still in here, you just have to remember that".....so I wrapped it in the napkin it sat on & headed off to evening worship & to find out what God's agenda was for the afternoon/evening....When I reached into my bag for something there was the pinecone still wrapped in the napkin, almost completely dried out....."wrapping yourself in the world will speed up the loss of me." I decided to put it in my room, so I headed over to our room across the walkway, it was still raining & in the courtyard it was beginning to fill up with water. This time I look down & see a pinecone completely immersed in the rain that's collected next to the walkway, I clearly hear Him whisper....."staying completely immersed in Me, will keep you completely saturated with Me!!" I smiled to not only myself, but to the God who loves me enough to meet me where my feeble mind is capable of understanding...
As I walked into the room, the worship music filled the air & transported me to one of my favorite places.....lifting up praise & worshipping a God that loves me for what's inside me.....not the fleshy, easily distracted, worldly part of me....but the part that surrenders & opens itself up to a vulnerability that is very difficult for me to share, ever. When I lift up hands open wide & ready to be filled, I know that He is pleased. So, I was lost in the songs that I lifted up to praise & glorify Him....Again, I hear Him start to work on me about the relationship He took out of it's place in my "forgiven" box. He starts speaking to me about forgiveness.......
But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Matthew 6:15 NIV
I take a position I've held for a long, long time....I have forgiven her. I have forgiven her. I have forgiven her.......He gently reminds me...."then stop using your blacking her out as a weapon".....yep you guessed it, my Facebook was blocking her from seeing anything about me or my family. I argued, "if she wanted to be able to share in all the great things going on, she shouldn't have moved across the country with out saying GOOD-BYE!!!!" She doesn't deserve to enjoy watching my kids/grandkids grow up!!!!"....on & on He showed me ever so gently how holding this & using a blackout as a weapon, gave the enemy a stronghold. How even though I thought I had forgiven her, I hadn't repented for my part, nor had I let go. I was holding onto my ability to cause her to stumble & sin.....finally when I understood, He whispered...."go unblock her & let her know that you forgive her"....."NO, NO, NO!!!!" I argued, over & over I explained all the pain I was holding against her....ALL the things I blamed her for.....each time He reminded me that she, like me, was only a person, made of flesh & bone. Me not forgiving her was holding me hostage, not hurting her. So finally, after much rebellion....I walked straight over to my phone, unblocked her & sent her a private message.......a message that this time I meant. I learned that just because I forgive someone, doesn't mean I have to do ANY more than that. It doesn't mean that anything else has to change....distance, if it keeps me on His path, is ok.......I stopped holding onto the past & moved into the future with a simple "I forgive you."
After worship we all joined the circle & the core team explained that for the next hour, they wanted us to just find a quiet spot & spend the time ALONE with God. No talking, just sit down & spend the time in Him & what He had to say.....Yes this was a wonderful time for me. I heard Him speak to what else He was going to be working on & trimming away from me next.......
Part 5 coming soon........it'll be worth it, you know it will.
Saturday, August 17, 2013
Philippians 1:27 NIV
The sounds of laughter filled the "Ruby Tuesday", about 20 women filling 2 tables. Lots of which knew each other, but hadn't seen each other in quite awhile. Others, like me, were here for their first time. One of the sweetest memories of my journey is the amazing glow around our tables. I instantly felt like this is where I belong....I felt at peace, "no agenda." We went around our table & shared our names.....I thought "I'll never remember all these names????" But throughout the meal, I learned something about each of the beautiful women, H has a farm & grows/raises her own meat & veggies, or K was a hostess for an amazing Proverbs 31 author. On & on it went. I don't think I have laughed so much in a long time.
After dinner we met to learn more about each other, after all there were 2 tables of women....not just mine. We played an ice breaker. The questions were pretty light hearted & some of the answers would cause the crowd of excited women to burst out into laughter. Then came the first "A".....the question brought a heavy reality into the room...."your biggest heart break?" She looked down as if to find a piece of herself that wasn't crying...then shared her biggest heart break. I think the room held their breath & after the answer let go of the breath. On to the next & on it went, each time someone shared their "A" we all felt the hurt for each beautiful woman's heart break. For me, it was a reminder that life, can be fun & carefree, but there are trials that come & take our breath away.....always. After a break from the games, the core team for the retreat, were asking the women with the "A's" to sit in the "hot seat"....I figured out quickly that it was really a "seat of love."
In the "seat of love" God had the chance to love you directly. He could speak out through any of the amazing women who were praying over you out loud, or He could comfort you through the hands laid gently on you.....I'd never felt God's Presence so thick anywhere, or anytime. It was electrical & calming at the same time. I don't know what carried me up to the foot of the "seat of love" & yet there I was on my knees at the feet of Special K. They started to pray over both of us, hands on both of my shoulders & their words began to blurrr....I began to sob uncontrollably, from a depth I didn't know existed inside me...I tried to stop it, but I just kept hearing Jesus telling me "let it go Robin, let it all go", so I laid there...just sobbing. I began to feel a release of pain, I had sooooo much pain inside to release it seemed like I was lost in the sea of aching & couldn't swim out. I could feel the pain physically leaving my body & as quickly as it would leave I could physically feel the peace & love fill up the empty spot. I don't have any idea how long I sobbed, I just know I couldn't stop until I did. As, I started to seep back into reality, I realized I was being comforted by my new friend C-1. I left that circle, completely vulnerable. Feeling calm like I have never known....
We took a break & then God continued to meet the others right where they were. We were in group circle until well after 12:30 A.M. After a nice hot bath, I laid down & slept like I hadn't slept in I couldn't tell you how long & yet it seemed like I had just closed my eyes when the alarm went off to get up for breakfast. Still I was so awake & alert, filled with excitement at what the new day would bring.
What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.
1 Corinthians 14:26 NIV
Walking in I could hear the sound of worship music filling the room.....love love love to worship & praise God through music. I felt free to worship however I wanted, dancing, lifting my hands in praise, laying face down, or laying on my back just lifting up the joy I feel to the One who brings the joy. I felt so free, my heart was open for anything He had to do in me.....I was surrendering. After, worship for a bit is a blur for me, I have to be honest. But, I do remember women sharing some of the deepest parts of themselves. I thought to myself, these women are so strong!! What came next hit me in a place I thought I had left behind awhile ago....you'll notice I said "thought."
There's a relationship in my life that I had believed to be all tied up in a nice little box called "forgiven" in my heart. Lots of my past is stashed in that box. They're safe & sound in there & I don't have to think of them that often. I've labeled them forgiven because that way they're "ok" now.....at least that's the lie I kept telling myself....I even told myself that God wasn't talking about those, they were taken care of.....He knows they are there & it's ok....Then one of the women I'll call Cy, shared about this same relationship in her life & the painful truth of it.....I heard God clear as day say "this is for you......& her" but I shook my head & again He said "This is for you & her".....finally I couldn't take anymore so I got up & went into the restroom to argue out loud with Him. The first words out of my mouth were "I cant do this right now....." He of course reminded me that no, I couldn't do it, but He was here & He could....but I still argued "I cant do this right now", He persisted & backed up His argument with an appearance of C-1 in front of me sharing His truth, with the addition of "come sit with me downstairs, let Him walk you through this." I reluctantly walked out & down the stairs...at first I argued & fought the thought of letting this painful relationship out of it's neat little spot in my box of "forgiven."
I have taken this particular relationship out of it's little spot many times in the past. Each time resulted in more & more pain on both sides....this I didn't realize had built up some very deep, truly hidden layers of un-forgiveness throughout my entire life. I carried these layers like baggage for all my life. It's one of the most important relationships, a parental relationship, the same sex relationship which is very important in molding our beliefs about how to act, what is right, I'm sure you get it......very important relationship. When I've believed in the past that I had forgiven all the things I was counting against her for the horrible things she had "done" to me, I really believed it. The enemy however can use this very lie against us, he knows our buttons & exactly how to use them. Even making us believe that we had forgiven someone......then using doubt to bring us back to the same situation, over & over.....all along he's winning, he has taken our attention off the ONE place of safety.....God. So, really forgiving I learned, involves us first repenting....yes repenting.
This thought never crossed my mind. I always knew that in the past with forgiveness, I seemed to be able to feel the same pain, anger, or heartache anytime I chose to. But I never knew that in forgiving, it is just as important to repent, as it is to forgive. Or that if I didn't repent I wasn't completely forgiving & the enemy could use this loose string, to pull me back into sin, anytime.....
I have lost my words for today.....sorry, truly sorry. But will be praying & listening for God to pick this amazing retreat, where we left off.
Thursday, August 15, 2013
So, this time was no different. God provided for me to attend a retreat like I've never experienced before. This was a time He was going to grow me like NO other, I could feel that I would never be the same again. That Him taking me across the country, literally, would make me a different person. A woman blessed by the gifts He would share with me. Amazed by the way He would fill me, to overflowing....learn that truly abiding in Him, was not just something I said, it was the way I lived.
On a hot, humid day in the desert I boarded a plane.....for the first time in longer than I can remember. Grateful to have my sister in Christ beside me & for the "Dramamine" she shared with me. As the plane began to taxi down the runway, I looked at her & said, "no turning back now", she smiled & said "nope." While in the air, I looked out the window & saw we were in the clouds. I was looking down on brown/red with little dots of green every so often, quickly it turned to a little brown with green mostly.
We landed at our destination for the night. Met her dear friend, I'll call M & waited for another friend, she reminded me of an actress so I'll call her AJ, to arrive a couple hours later. Then headed off to M's house for the night. When we arrived her family came out to greet everyone & help us carry in all our bags. I felt as though I arrived home.....the next moment solidified it....as she walked me to the room I was blessed to use while I was there, the very first thing I noticed were the huge frames on the walls holding many pictures....it reminded me of home. I was filled with the feeling of being home. Covered in the peace I've come to know as obeying God's call.
The next morning I was up bright & early, excited for what lay ahead.....a road trip to the retreat center......about 14 hours driving straight through. I can say that I was a little nervous, I didn't know any of these women.....there were going to be another 4 women to meet. Rejection has been an issue with me, even when I haven't realized it was rejection. God assured me with His sweet, calm whisper that He was in control & again whispers "let go, let me." Here they came all laughing & glowing, I noticed that like Special K & M & AJ, there was a freedom about them. One that I knew I was craving, but had yet to understand. Introductions began & I met C-1 & C2, then came little J & miss L. I knew that God had a plan, but I was still a little nervous. We loaded all our bags & headed out.
I did notice as we got closer & closer to the retreat center, the green got lusher & thicker. We all laughed & shared & laughed some more. Special K got a text from an old Navy friend MC asking where she was heading & when Special K told her where & why, she knew God was telling her to invite MC, after all there was only 1 spot left. MC said she would pray, see if she could get a few jobs covered & if so, yes she would love to. We shared some of our stories & it seemed like a lot less time than it was when we dropped M off for a party she couldn't miss in the same town as the couple that opened their home to us. We pulled up to M&M's house & out Mr. M&M came to help us, it was now late & we all were ready to lay it down....or so I thought. Special K & I were sharing a room/bed...in this cute little farm house. She started talking to me about her experience at her first retreat years ago, sharing how God revealed Himself to her. I could feel Him whispering "come to me" I told her I wanted this too, she prayed with me. Shared about repenting for our sins, for holding onto the pain others had caused us is indeed a sin. She shared how she had repented those sins which emptied her of pieces of the world so God could fill her with Him. So I started releasing my grip on the pains of the past, laying them at the cross. Emptying me of me, then I could literally feel God filling me with more of Him, deeper parts of Him. After the intense introduction to Him, I fell asleep & didn't move an inch all night.
The next morning I woke up ready to run to the retreat center....I felt on fire. I got the opportunity to share a wonderful conversation with Mrs. M&M. The start of the chat was about baby girl having Fibromyalga & the struggle I had understanding such a young woman struggling with such issues. This conversation quickly turned to what God had for me next which was not about baby girl, but about me & how I was manipulating my relationship with my Sweet Hubby. See when holidays come up, or our anniversary, my bday, etc...He will ask what I want, to which I always reply "I don't need anything." So when the special day comes along, I anticipate what he might surprise me with.......& everytime, it's the same thing, NOTHING. Then I get upset & take it out on him & our family. He's confused, he gets defensive, I lose it, & around & around it goes. Well I have no idea how we got onto that subject but she shared how she used to do that until she was told that this was her fault, not his. He was just doing as she asked, he didn't have any idea she was secretly hoping he would go out & surprise her, nor would he have ever figured it out. So, here I am helping cut tomatoes & God is speaking to me through this amazing woman of Christ. Telling me to stop expecting a change, unless I was willing to make it....wow that was all I could say.
We left their home & headed out to our retreat center once again. This time however, M & AJ were riding with another sweet friend, J. So our truck was down to 6, which was much more comfortable for us all. It seemed to only take a couple of hours to arrive at the center. As we arrived, Special K got a text from MC & her prayers were answered & she was coming to fill the last spot. So, we were blessed with a room with 3 beds & started to unload before heading off to dinner. As we unloaded our bags, I saw many other women doing the same. None of which I knew.....
PART 3 COMING SOON........
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
For almost a week I've been away from my home in the desert. God's taken me from the beauty of the desert to the lush green of the south & to the amazing white sands along the gulf coast.....where I stood in the warm waters & sat in the sand letting the tide wash over my feet while I took it all in. This beauty is wonderful, but not the reason He took me on this journey.
I've shared my deepest desire & prayers have been for Him to fill me up with Him. Less me, more Him. As I prayed this I had NO idea what this would look like, feel like or what it would really mean. All I knew was that I wanted to let go of the worldly fleshy me & be filled to over flowing with Him.
Just the little He had trimmed away of my flesh brought a peace like I've never known. All the painful trials I have walked through, well if I'm being honest, He carried me through, were necessary because I learn everything the hard way of course....also each one taught me how to let go & let God. Of course I had this funny idea that i could do this thing called life, my way.
So, He took me from the distractions of my life at home, to a place I only knew one person. Truth is I really only know her surface level. But He knew His plan & rather than deny His calling, I chose to obey. This was EXTREMELY far out of my comfort zone. It was almost like He answered for me when I was invited!?!?! When that "yes" came out I probably looked around for where that came from....because I knew I would have plenty of reasons why I couldn't possibly go......excuses to step off His path & ignore Him answering my prayers. As usually happens since I've asked Him to save me, that recognizable peace completely enveloped me, which tells me I'm on the right path. So, when each of the enemy's attacks came, I was comfy in my Fathers protection.
I laid any worries I might've had, at the foot of the cross & loudly rebuked the enemy in the Name of Christ!!! So, i said yes & followed through with what He asked me to do!!
It's late here, gotta catch a flight tomorrow. I'll share part 2 of this blog soon!!
Saturday, August 3, 2013
You know those whispers that seem to come out of no where? The ones that question who you are, what others think of you, or if you're good enough to be called a "child of Christ? I DO.
Since I began to feel His calling me to His path, His plan, the one He planned so very long ago. I've fought with every bit of my being, drop of flesh & all the stubbornness the world taught me, not to let Him have my heart, mind & soul. I can't even really remember why I fought Him so hard. I only have slight inklings it was my not wanting to relinquish ANY of the control I had finally begun feeling.
In my family's homes, that I grew up in, the vast majority of control laid in my mother's hands. My dad was in the navy & they were constantly breaking up & getting back together for as long as I can remember. My dad was pretty easy to get along with in my eyes. I will freely admit I was a daddy's girl. I, after all, was his very first child. Being a daddy's girl & just as stubborn as my mother, didn't really help me get along very well with my mother.
Since she was my main female figure all my life & of course because I loved her & wanted to please her, I did everything I could to get her attention. Good or bad, whichever choices that got me her attention, it didn't matter. In my family's house she used corporal punishment, usually in the form of my dad's belt, but a brush or hand worked in a pinch. She would swing with each syllable of every word, aiming for my butt, at times missing her mark.
This was not abuse when I grew up. I can say that it did mold me & create in me a strong fight against being controlled, being vulnerable or letting anyone really love me. Please don't get me wrong, I love my mom, I'm glad she wanted me to be a good person.
Flash forward to the present & that back story may help you to understand my issue with control. When I could fight His pulling me close no more & relinquished part of me to Him, I had this completely overwhelming PEACE, a PEACE I've never known.....it was comforting & deep. I NEVER wanted to live without it.
The world, however, has no place for this PEACE. So, I have stepped on & off the path He has for me. Each time He will call me back every so gently, usually I would end up back at rock bottom before I reach up & ask for His help....most of the time even after I asked for His help, I clung to my flesh & worldliness until I had no where else. That's hard for me to admit now days.
If I let the world, other people or anything else take my focus off my walk with Christ, it's a distraction & no matter what it is, if He shows me it's distracting me, it's gone.
Just knowing my Creator is in control, all I have to do is listen for His whispers....helps me to recognize the enemy's lies. The major difference in the whispers I've found, is if it's God's whispers, they'll line up with His Word. The enemy's whispers beat you down after taking you of the path. The enemy wants you to feel unworthy, he wants you to believe your not as good as your fellow Christians. He tries to trick you into thinking some lies about God doesn't love you as much. The enemy uses our pasts against us in his fight to keep control of us. ...he hates us.
So, the next time you hear those whispers of self doubt, berating or judgment.....rebuke the enemy in the holy name of Jesus Christ.