Sunday, November 22, 2015

It's in the details...

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
It's been quite awhile since I have given in to God's leading to sit down & surrender my heart to share what I learn from Him, in hopes that even ONE person hears His whisper. So tonight I just have NO desire to either say no, or to pretend I didn't hear Him. I can feel my heart being tugged when it's something that I know I have just actually surrendered, freely given to Him because I trust Him...finally. So tonight I am ready to share something that is very painful & yet at the same time, one of the biggest gifts I have ever is just that sometimes I have to dig deep to find the blessings...but they're ALWAYS there!!!
In July, Little girl, our youngest daughter, came by with her new bf. I say new, but in reality I believe they used to see each other...back when she used to go to raves & "dance" all night...when it didn't matter what I said, or did, she did exactly as she wanted to. I'm sure some of you are thinking what I used to think "my child would never do that, I wouldn't let them..." Believe me when I say, I did everything that I thought a "good" parent would. I also did everything a broken person does. Between the 2...I couldn't win.
Back then I believed I could control the situation...I couldn't force my daughter to do what I wanted, I couldn't guilt her into doing what I wanted...I couldn't SAVE her from herself...I couldn't SAVE her from herself...I CAN NOT SAVE her from herself...I CAN NOT SAVE her...ONLY GOD CAN...I CAN ONLY LOVE her where she's at & set healthy boundaries...then STAND by them & PRAY for her.
So fast forward 6-7 years later & here comes one of the people she dated & broke up with in the past, walking into my house. I really liked him, I respected his choice to put his life on the line for my freedom, not only serving in the army, but getting injured while fighting for our country. I thanked him & enjoyed a nice conversation with him & little girl.
During this conversation I learned that his beliefs about faith & mine were not the same. I wanted to understand his belief, so I asked about why he believed that way. I was glad to hear that he is a former believer...which I immediately believe gives me a reason for hope...little did I know, but I would find out very quickly that hope I had, would not only be for him, but also for my daughter...I had no idea that this would be the only conversation I would have with him, or my daughter...I have no idea if I will ever get the chance to talk to my little girl again. She walked out that day & never has looked back yet...not at me, the family....but most importantly has never looked back at her daughter, my grandprincess.
4 months later & as I sit here tonight I can finally say with a peace I can not understand, or even explain...I have finally surrendered this part of my life to God, I laid it at His feet & I have walked away. I am choosing to live in His will & letting go of my pride...I get to choose...I have to remember that my little girl also gets to much as I've fought with God over this & pleaded with Him from the depths of my heart to bring her home...she gets to choose.
My only job in this to TRUST God. So simple...well in reality because I'm human, it's not so simple...I make it difficult. I forget that He's her God too...that when she was 16 she chose to accept Jesus died for her sins & asked Him to be her Savior...that God's word is just as true today as it was yesterday & in His word He says that if  we...
Direct your children onto the right path,
    and when they are older, they will not leave it.
Proverbs 22:6
He also tells us to...
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
Proverbs 3:5-6
 So, if He says to trust Him...even when my broken mama/nona heart says keep going...keep pushing...keep forcing...He says "trust Me"...then it becomes my I trust my Creator & be still? Am I going to surrender my will to His?? Am I going to step out of His way???
Finally I can say "yes Lord I surrender ALL to You..even if I never hear from my little girl again...I still surrender ALL to You & You ARE enough for me. I believe that God is her God & as MUCH as I love my beautiful daughter...He still LOVES her MORE. So I can choose to trust Him & know that through this valley...I am immersed in His peace...a peace which surpasses  ALL human understanding.
Even when my sweet grandprincess cries because she wants to see her mommy & sobs that she misses her so much & maybe if she would've done more of what her mommy asked her to then she would call her or come see her again...even as the sweet prayers roll down my cheek I can be still...completely immersed in His peace...then share with my sweet grandprincess how much she is not only her nona...but more importantly her Poppa God. I can listen to her as she shares her broken 4 year old heart...whether it's her telling me...or her suddenly acting out in new ways...or even when we're getting ready to go somewhere she remembers going with her mama, when she shares with me that she's secretly hoping that her mama will be there this time...I choose to trust God & His plan. I choose God... I choose to give my words to Him & I choose to love like Him.
I continue to pray for my little girl...I believe God when He said "raise up your children to follow God & when they're older they will find their way back if they stray" (my paraphrasing) If I doubt that then how can I say I trust Him...
Finally I'm realizing that out of this pain, He's growing something wonderful...I'm finally getting to know & build trust with my grandprincess's daddy. I used to always go through my little girl to talk to him & his family...this disappearing act has forced me to surrender that pride to God & allow Him to show me how to build a relationship with that's based on trust & one common love my grandprincess...this is one of the biggest that I had to dig to find...but when I finally realized that this was a gift...then I realized there are more gifts in this struggle...I only have to keep digging through the details to find the blessings...
Little Girl, if you read this...I love you always, to the moon & back...I will always be here as long as God gives me breath...I will always be here for your beautiful grandprincess & will not stop praying for you.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Are we there yet???

So for the last couple of years I've been blessed to get to go to an amazing women's retreat. The retreats are such a gift for me. I feel like I can walk in who God created me to be, no worries about being "strange, weird, or TOO me." These ladies accept the me I am now, I don't have to tone my faith down. I don't have to pretend to put God in a box...this kills me on a daily basis at times. God started moving in my heart at a much mightier speed when I accepted His invite to join some wonderful sisters a few years ago. Not that some of the friends God has brought around me, here at home, stop me from walking in my faith. I just noticed looks from some people, or have had some of the "well meaning" friends suggest God isn't the same as He was in the Old testament...

This year I invited a few of my local sisters. God is good & He sent a sister that I knew, but I didn't know her as well as I know some of the others I'd asked to come. We had planned on road tripping to Texas...but God in His infinite wisdom had another plan...boy did He!!! A few weeks before the retreat I just happened to check flight prices...the last time I flew to Texas it was quite expensive. But the first price I saw for the roundtrip flights was so low, it caught my eye. I checked it & sure enough it was the right price. I squealed in excitement at the thought of not having to be a party to a 15+ hour road trip...especially with someone I didn't know much about. I still had to run it by my traveling buddy. I got busy trying to get ahold of her, I didn't have her phone number, so I had to use more creative techniques. It didn't take long, God moves mountains if we ask...after all.

I explained the tickets & she said "YES, please get them!!!" Secretly I thought, "she's probably just as stressed as I am about traveling with me, who she doesn't know much about, as I was about her...only it's probably her getting the short end of this stick, she just doesn't know it." I did just that, I bought the tickets. So over the next few weeks I started to get stuff together...then God decided to answer our prayers for a job for my sweet hubby who had been laid off for over a year & a half...only this job wasn't for local work, it was a job he had to travel to another state to work in. What??? Really Lord, now??? Yes was His answer...there was NO mistaking this answer & in just a couple days my hubby is leavin' on a jet plane, we don't know when he'll be back again...

It felt like the few weeks took forever to go by, I didn't think the Thursday would ever come to catch our flight, but finally the day was upon me!!! I was packed, primped & ready to go. I even had the BIG hair I needed to fit in...with the Texas girls. We start getting emails telling us our flight is delayed, but to come at the right time still. So we show up & get in line to check my bag...I don't know what a stranger is. So as we are waiting in line we start talking to a sweet mama, who is traveling alone with 3 kids...2 of which were excited to be going to see their grandpa. We chat & the line behind us builds...& builds. The front of the line isn't moving as quickly as the back & eventually it happens. Someone at the back of the line decides they dont want to keep waiting so they walk over to the handicap access line & start a NEW line...only this line is moving & more & more people are going up, checking in & heading out. ??? Every time a line gets free, they are walking up in front of those of us waiting in the actual line & taking their turn???

At first I thought the customer service reps would stop the chaos...but NOPE. They helped whoever walked up to their windows. Eventually I suggested we switch lines...finally we do & just as we are 2nd in line, the announcement comes..."flight is full, no more seats." I know my face turned bright red, in frustration & anger. I looked at the rep & said, "no I don't think so. You better get us on another flight tonight!" He said "there aren't anymore flights tonight, we cant get you on until sunday or Monday" I could feel it building...the disappointment, the anger & the words that would cut this person to the core...I looked over at my new sweet sister & it was like God spoke right through her words...."calm Nona, stay calm. They cant help it. Kind words will create a calm environment." But of course I went off on my own & out of my mouth came chaos...again she spoke, "kind be kind." But once again the stubborn, frustrated Nona's mouth opened & out came another quip about the airlines???

Finally, sweet sister, whispers something & God clearly shows me that the rep, though very unhelpful, was a I feel my emotions shift towards God's urging & away from my flesh...I am able to let God have my words, my emotions & my entire being. We make it up to the front of the line to figure out what is our next step & there is the mama & her kiddos next to us in line at the counter. She shares with us that she has requested to be put in a hotel, food & a flight out the next evening on another airline...the supervisor is giving her what she requested. So when we ask our rep for the same things, he says we will have to talk to the supervisor, which we agree to. When she gets done with the mama, we ask for "what she's having please" which the supervisor gladly sets us up & then we also get a free roundtrip flight along with the other remedies. So off we went to our hotel room to get some rest...

What I didn't know at that moment...was how much God had for us to learn...not only about each other...but beside each other.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Life with Nona, video blog take 1

My first attempt at a video blog, on my new YouTube channel, Life with Nona...Take a look & let me know what you think??

Monday, April 20, 2015

Hang onto me...


I was standing hands up, pouring worship out of the depth of my heart. Praying & praising my Daddy. Asking Him to share His message with me, surrendering the chaos of the weeks, months...year that I thought had finally come to a the top of a new mountain. "up out of that valley & where I can do this..." I whispered filled with excitement that my hubby had just gotten hired back to work with his local union. Immediately a very clear picture of me holding onto His robe, as He led me through a crowd...a never ending crowd, came to mind. On & on we went, the Verses in Matthew 9 came to my mind...
And behold, a woman who had suffered from a discharge of blood for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, for she said to herself, “If I only touch his garment, I will be made well.” Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well. 
Matthew 9:20-22 ESV
I opened my eyes..."huh?...I don't understand??" I closed my eyes again & began to concentrate on His answer to my prayer. Again He showed me holding onto His robe through a crowd...then a memory came flashing into my mind.  A memory of being a mom of younger children & even as a Nona with my grandchildren, me telling them "hold onto me...Don't let go!" Of course I was making sure they knew that there is danger to be aware of...would my Creator want any less??
Now, several months later I am understanding this message more. After several deep, dark valleys...I get it. He wanted to warn me, He wanted to remind me that He is always here, He wanted to make sure I remembered that ALL I have to do, is grab hold of Him & know that He is ALL I need, EVER. He was showing me that even though others who knew me before I surrendered my life to Him, may try to get me to back step...may try to lead me away from Him. They were more comfortable with who I was...they find it hard to have Jesus right up front, in their faces. Maybe they just don't understand & aren't in a place that they want to understand...yet.  But either way, I would have to cling onto Him.
I've found that the more I surrender, the more He can do. I'm one of those people who would rather carry in EVERY bag in one trip, then to take the time & energy it requires to make several trips. When I met Jesus this is something He started reshaping in me. Instead of taking the easiest route, He's asking me to follow His route & it's not the easy route. He is asking me to take His route so He can teach me to "hold onto Him."
He gave me the choice...I get to choose. But once I choose Him, I can't go back. When I learn what He's teaching me I can not go back into the ignorance excuse. But each time I choose to answer His call & hold onto His robe & take His route, it's giving Him the chance to show me how to overcome the chaos...His way. When I give Him the valleys He can lead me up to the top of the mountain.
I think the misconception about being a Christ follower is that once we choose Christ, we will live in happiness forever, or sadness forever...the truth is God will be molding & shaping us until the day we return home to Him. There will be high mountain tops & deep, deep, difficult valleys, but God wants us to remember to hold onto His robe, ALWAYS not just in the bad times. The bad thing is that in the good times we forget Who the glory belongs's in the bad times we reach out for Him.
Just for the purpose of tying up this message, let me share that the Monday after that vision, my hubby was laid back off. He ended up working 8 days before being laid off. So ALL my plans, went up in smoke...we are still in a valley, but this valley has opened my eyes in so many areas. I finally have learned that He will continue to allow the trials, even when my first choice in EVERY choice is Him...He knows I am only flesh & that until I join Him I will struggle.
So if you're feeling like a valley is extra deep & long, maybe doing what I do will help...looking in to make sure I'm holding onto His robe through the crowd, trusting in His timing, plan & word. If you're not reach out & grab hold of His robe & hold on tight immersed in His peace & joy even in the darkest hours.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Uh oh...I saw my shadow

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation,…2 Corinthians 5:17-18

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
 Isaiah 43:18-19
"See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. Isaiah 65:17
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26

So the last few months I've been on a new journey...I cant say it's been easy...but I will say it has been exactly what I needed. Of course it is, after all, I asked God to create in me a new heart & cleanse me of me...I knew it was gonna be a painful, difficult & unknown time. I can say this much, I am still currently on this journey, just currently learning to be still...which I know is one of the things He is teaching me. I have learned this on several occasions...I have also forgotten what I learned on several occasions.

I shared that I joined a Biggest Loser challenge a couple months ago. The challenge was actually completed on March 27th. I know that the challenge was to "lose" weight, for me it was also a time to "gain" a lot. Like learning that I was so lost in my thinking about losing weight. Also that I didn't hate working out as much as I thought I did?? The most important thing I learned during this time has to be that to stop the vicious cycle of losing & gaining, I had to learn that it's not about the depriving myself of things I like until I lose this weight, it's about not using food as a reward, to stuff feelings, or as a's made for nourishment. I had to allow God to create in me a new heart about my nourishment.

I finally heard Him about the food & as He taught me about food...He taught me that to grow in my relationship with Him, I need to nourish my mind, heart & soul with His word. I've learned that I became a new person when I accepted Jesus as my Savior...but kept living as the old person. The same thing with me eating, I used to start a "diet" but didn't become the new person I wanted to be...I kept living as the "fat" person on a diet.

He's been whispering to me for a while about whether I am a "new person" or just learning a "new routine"...He told me that this is not a new routine, but this is a "new me" He's creating. A permanent change. So as He's been trimming away the "old me" He's been filling me with Him, creating a "new me" that He is making like Him. This change He's been working on inside, He is now making on the outside. He is so faithful not to leave me in the pit I had created for myself...

Are you still trying to change something about you, but not letting go of the "old you??" Do you think learning a "new routine" is going to help you become the "new you" God is asking you to become? Ask yourself these questions & then listen for God to whisper directions.  



Friday, January 9, 2015

Blessings in disguise...are you missing yours?

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
                                                                Hebrews 4:16 NLT
This morning I woke up 5 minutes before my alarm...if you know me, you know this is a HUGE change. When I started the "Biggest Loser Challenge" on Jan. 3, 2015, I started getting up early to take a bike ride. The first day I hopped out of bed excited for this new journey Jesus has placed me on. Happy to be able to get up & determined to get on my bike & ride away this fat barrier I have built over the last 7 years! I leaned into God & gave my complete self over to Him...then I faced the ones that had agreed to go with me. I walked out of my room with a huge smile on my face & said, "Good morning!! Are y'all ready for the ride??" 2 of them were up, the youngest one was sleeping on the couch...this was not what I expected. They were not excited at all, the 2 that were awake just stared at me with a look I cant share the meaning of on a family blog. My heart started to sink..then I heard the familiar whisper of my sweet Daddy God's voice, "keep smiling, this is a good change it will feel good & you need to worry about you, not make them be as happy as you are for this  don't need them to do this, you have ME...I AM enough for you. In your weakness you have my strength."  So, I got myself ready, they did too & off the 3 of us went. I felt alive again...
When I decided to join this challenge I prayed about it. I had accepted the challenge no questions asked. when my sweet sister in Christ asked me to. Then I read the terms & found out there was an entry fee...this was a huge road block for me instantly...I was wondering how I was gonna buy groceries to feed us, there's no way I can do this. But I heard Him immediately, "I will provide." I said ok, with a little doubt hidden behind my answer. But just incase I decided to message my sweet sister & ask her if it was ok if I couldn't come up with the meager entry fee, this isn't national, it's a small group of us women ready for God to show us how to knock these walls down & shine Him bright, so it's very little to most, but I asked her if I could just have the encouragement, fellowship & accountability. She replied like my sweet Jesus was saying it to me...yes. but ask God for it, it will make you more accountable if you invest so much for you. What ask God for this?? I hadn't even went to Him about this challenge...I never thought to ask Him, I just accepted. Of course the first thing I did was tell my Daddy "I'm sorry I didn't think about asking You." I asked Him for the entry fee, I asked Him to show me how to start. I asked Him to be my 5 hour power. Within a couple of days, He provided from the most unexpected source.
Over the last week I've ridden 5 days. 4 of those days I had the company of my guys, at least 1 of them each of those days, except 1 of them. That was today. I woke up before my alarm & Sweet Hubby was in the kitchen leaning on the counter, on the phone. Sr was still in bed & Jr was awake upstairs. Sweet Hubby tells me he bent wrong & his back was pinching & I told him, "it's ok you don't have to ride with me today, I'll be ok." Just then Jr comes down & asks are you going on a bike ride today mom, I told him yes & asked if he wanted to go. He looked at me & said "not really, I'm sorry mom." I said "no son it's ok." Then I felt this joy I cant even, excitement & peace at the same time at the thought of being able to take a bike ride by myself...just me, none of my guys with me. The worship music in the headphones in my ears...the time alone with my Daddy God...just me & distractions, interruptions, no worries...Oh my goodness, YES this is an awesome plan!!! THIS is the plan for my ride today!!!
Then both of them decide that one has to go...WHAT??? NO!!! I screamed in my head...but then the peace & joy of being able to have time with headphones in, still with my sweet Daddy came rushing back over me. I smiled & said to them both, "I will be fine, I promise. You guys don't have to worry, just stay here I'll be great, really!!" They both looked at me, neither of them convinced. So I went on & said, "Really this way I can listen to my music & not worry about having to listen for someone. I really want to go by myself today." They were content with this answer & agreed. My Sweet Hubby went to the garage & got my bike out & ready for me, a great surprise. Jr walked me out through the garage & said, "ok have fun mom." Off I went, music in my ears, a woman filled with excitement & joy...a tiny bit of fear crept in....but as I rode up the street, no plan, just riding wherever I rode. Talking to Jesus, singing to Jesus & sharing my joy & a smile with those I encountered along the path. What a ride it was...I loved all the rides this week, with each of my guys too, but God is my favorite riding partner. As I came riding around the neighborhood streets He whispers "sometimes it's good to have some quiet time for ourselves. You asked & I am giving you what you asked for, it may not always seem to be what you expected...but it will always be better my beautiful girl." Just then I looked up into the beautiful blue sky & felt the breeze blow through my hair & in my face...I couldn't help but laugh & answer out loud...."Yes Jesus, this is just what I needed!!! Thank You!!" I kept on riding just singing & smiling, letting Him pour His perfect mercy & grace into me & fill me with JOY, real JOY not the other kind....I made it home...



Thursday, January 8, 2015

My word of 2015 is...

I am one of the ones that is a little glad 2014 is FINALLY over. Not that I didn't like the entire year. I loved so many parts easily...others I struggled to find something to like. Really the only thing that I can say about 2014 is that STRUGGLE with a lot of God's mercy, as I walked a valley almost the whole year. It definitely was a year that I learned someone was gonna have control of my destiny...not me however. 
I found that I can choose to ask God to guide my steps, or I can sit back in my humanness & believe I'm guiding them. Yes, I said "believe." I might think I'm making the choices, in a way I am, I'm choosing to live for me & my flesh...but the one guiding my steps when I choose to live for me, is really satan. Because when I live for me, it's the farthest I can get from Jesus. He was very blunt about how to live like Him....

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.
Luke 9:23 NIV

In 2014 I learned so much more about what this really means to deny myself. It was a painful but necessary lesson I really began learning. 
The beginning of 2014 was bittersweet for me. Our oldest son, Sr, returned home from about 2000 miles away, after about 4 years. I had taken Jr to visit one summer for 6 weeks, but it had been about a year & a half since then. He didnt want to come back here, he didnt want to leave his son...this tore him apart horribly. But financially it was a must. I was glad he was home, after all he's my oldest & I dearly love him...although I did understand his heartache. But God brought him home & then blessed him with an awesome job. Which we had no idea would be part of a much bigger plan to grow not only my trust, but my entire family's. 
Within a couple weeks my Sweet Hubby was laid off of his job. We didnt stress it too much because he's a plumber with a local union & they have usually gotten him either right away, or within a few weeks. God had other plans...His plans were not the same as mine, not even close. While this was going on little girl had found out she was pregnant... unexpectedly. Somehow she was blinded by the lies of satan. She just threw out everything she believed about abortion & had decided this was what she was gonna do. But God had whispered to me that this baby would arrive, but not for my Sweet Little girl, but for another beautiful mama He created the baby for. I talked to her about this message I kept getting over & over. The more God told me to "be still" it seemed the more frantic I got. Especially after Little girl told me she had an appt. for the abortion...I just sobbed. I looked up & begged Him to stop this!!! He did a day or two before her appointment. But she had decided to raise the baby with her new boyfriend. I finally heeded my Daddy's whispers to "be still" & accepted the baby would make it into the world, alive.
In the mean time the company Sr was working for hired Sweet Hubby it was a drastic cut in pay, but it was more than the unemployment. He was on with a temporary agency hoping to get hired on permanent with the company, like Sr was. For a few months things went along pretty smoothly, financially. Little girl moved in & out several times. Finally she had sweet Little Feather. This was a HIGHLIGHT of 2014 for me. I got to watch her come into the world, it was quick & beautiful. 
Then they laid off Sweet Hubby?? Then the whispers started at the workplace about the company going bankrupt...again I panicked!! I lost my focus so easily it seems. I had finally started realizing that the less I focused on my problems & focused on God & the lights He was lighting in my path, I had His peace. I was content with whatever was happening. But it seems that I was easily lured from that peace.
 A few days after Little Feather was born, I was flying off to a women's retreat. My second with this amazing group of women...well most of them I did meet some more amazing women. Which I havent shared my entire experience yet so I will just leave it at this...God healed me in an area of great pain & loss. One I had no idea I had??? But He knew it was hidden deep in my heart & He knew it had to go. The joy He filled it with is UNDENIABLE. It took away some deeply buried regrets I'd had for over a decade.
In 2014 God led me away from a church family that I still love. He moved us quick & swift. We tried another church, several times, but I knew that it was not for us. I didnt have His peace...I understand that some people dont believe that we have to get fed by the congregation we attend. That is ok. But I believe He feeds us & He moves us when His plan is to move us. He tells us to make disciples & when He needs us somewhere else, He takes us there. Until I get where He wants me, I am not at peace. Not in His peace. 
For a while I was content just waiting patiently for Him to take me to a congregation He had planned. I missed the worship & hearing His direction. Finally He placed me in a congregation. I love the worship, I can hear His direction in the words He speaks through this Pastor. I've gotten confirmation from my Daddy many times already. After a few weeks of attending every week, I said to Sweet Hubby, "has anyone spoken to you? or asked you about being new?" He said no. I instantly started questioning why?? This was a moment that was a turning moment for my heart. Of course satan started whispering doubts in my head...but instantly I chose to go to my Daddy for the REAL answer. I clearly heard Him say, "I didnt place you here for fellowship for now. You asked for a place to hear worship music & my direction. Aren't you content?" Again instantly I had His peace. I WAS content. It feels good to go & enjoy fellowship with my Daddy.
So the end of 2014 brought a couple of different changes in our house. Changes that I dont think any of us really expected. First Little Girl heard the whispers of Daddy's real plan for Little Feather. She was in a new place with His plan, one I didnt know would come to pass...doubt is such a waste of time. She accepted His request to give Little Feather to the mama & family He created this beautiful little girl for. I have watched this open up & I shared a blog about how amazing it is. It's still blooming & it's a gift to see the joy & love of God in every single aspect of this journey. Little girl is thriving & so is Little Feather with her new family. My sweet princess is doing very well with the whole plan now...which is wonderful. I saw her hurt & inability to understand turn into acceptance.
Then was the biggest question He has EVER asked me. Sweet Hubby had a special dinner for the local union that we had to go to. While we were gone, Sr & Little girl were at a thrash metal concert. The messages started in the middle of the speakers at our dinner. Messages that were about Sr not being able to breathe. I stayed fairly calm through the dinner & we left immediately after the event. Heading home I got the text that they were stopping by the ER on the way home. So I told them to let me know what was happening. Of course instantly I started praying....really begging my Daddy God, "please let my boy be ok!!!" It was a pretty calm prayer, I had assumed it was probably his asthma...then another text, "MOM ARE YOU ALMOST HERE??? THEY ARE SENDING HIM TO THE HEART HOSPITAL!!! HURRY MOM HE'S NOT DOING VERY GOOD!!! HE'S HURTING SO BAD & THEY JUST GAVE HIM ASPIRIN!!!" This text didnt leave me with as calm of a prayer, this text caused instant distress in this mama who was only a mile or so away!!! Once again I lifted up a prayer, "please Daddy dont take my baby boy!! PLEASE DADDY DONT TAKE MY BABY BOY!!" In almost a hushed whisper I heard it, the question that would take me farther...farther from who the world says I am...but another step closer to who I really am, to the One Who I want to be like..."Even if I take your baby boy now, am I still enough?" My breath stopped, "yes, even if You take my baby boy, You are enough LORD, You are enough." I didnt even realize I had said it out loud until Sweet Hubby asked me "huh?" I said it again, with more conviction, "Yes LORD You are enough." While most of the Dr's didnt even worry about Sr's heart because he was only 29, I prayed. Me & Little Girl stayed by Sr's bedside 24/7 for days. In the same clothes. Finally a Dr said he wanted to do a very important test to make sure it wasnt his heart. Little Girl & I prayed so hard, together, out loud, everywhere. God showed those Dr's something that day, I saw it in the Dr's eyes when he came out & said "your son had a heart attack..." he was shocked, he said again, "he's 29 & he had a heart attack!?" I said oh no. He replied "also his main artery on the side that makes the heart pump, is like a branch that splits into 2 arteries, he had cholesterol almost blocking it shut & a blood clot had formed & almost made it to the split which would have caused a massive heart attack at 29!!" I shook my head tears pouring down my face, he went on, "the specialist Dr is in there with him placing a stent now"...Little Girl & I went out to our car where I had my breakdown....after the breakdown I lifted up a prayer of gratefulness....another prayer of gratefulness. 
There were many prayers of gratefulness in 2014 for me...I cant possibly list them all off. I dont know if I remember them all honestly. But I do know that weeks we were praying for groceries, or a bill to be paid. I learned what it means to budget with very, very little. But time after time, my Daddy God comes through. Each time He does it changes my heart a little more. He trims away a little more of me & my selfish, worldly ways & fills me with more of His peace. As He does, I find that I'm more & more content with less & less of the "needs" which are really just "wants" in disguise. 
Christmas was one of the times He showed me that my "needs" were simply wants. Wants to please people's flesh. Sweet Hubby took a job for a world wide delivery service that hires on seasonal help. We thought it must be from God because this would almost double our unemployment & would make it easier to buy the 3 gifts for each of the kids that we always do. WRONG...instantly I knew it. We had to give up our unemployment for this position. He started on December 2 & was to go through January 1. Well let me just say that in the few weeks he worked for this company, he made less than the unemployment, FAR less. I panicked, then handed it to God, then took it back over & over along with panicking & complaining a whole bunch. I watched my Sweet Hubby sinking...this opened my eyes. My doubt was causing him to stumble in his faith...I was being exactly what I didnt want be...a stumbling block. Worse yet, I was tripping the one I love. This opened up my eyes. 
Christmas was beautiful, my best gift was most of the family enjoying Christmas Eve together, laughing & playing games & hugging & crying & it was BEAUTIFUL.
Now it's's only 8 short days into it. Sweet Hubby is still laid off & we are waiting for unemployment to kick back in still. Sr is finally released to work & has been hunting. Little Girl moved in with her princess hasnt come to see me yet since Christmas...but me, I'm here. I'm closer than I've ever been to my Daddy God. I'm still a human made of weak flesh & selfishness. So this year I've prayed for more...again more Him & less me. I say I'm ready & believe I am. I am ready for the changes He has for me this new year. He's already been hard at work. I was invited to join the Biggest Loser challenge & each day I take it one step at a time. I give Him the control & He guides me in His plan. So far I've actually done very well. I have almost stumbled a couple of times...but each of those times, He picked me back up. I am not looking at this change as a "diet" I am looking at it as just what it is giving me...HOPE. The kind of HOPE that only God can provide & live up to.
As I started to listen for the "word" He wanted me to cling to this new year...He shared the verses that I have dubbed "my life verses."  Several years ago I saw the first verse in a plaque on a friends wall & it grabbed hard at my heart. So I went home & looked it up in context. As I read this verse, the next 2 grabbed me just as hard & after reading them realized they define the foundation of what my relationship with Him is. So this year He has told me that He wants me to return to those verses. He is gonna live them out with me each & every filled my eyes with tears of joy, my heart with a new found readiness & as I read them "word" for 2015...

 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you HOPE and a future.  Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 
Jeremiah 29:11-13 NIV

HOPE, there it was...He is my HOPE. He wants to be my HOPE. He wants me to have HOPE...of course I added a dash of His GRACE, for the times I stumble out of HOPE...My heart feels so different. He is here, He's always here I only need call on Him. He will listen to me...He will hear me & I will find Him what's your word for the year?? 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

For I know the plans I have for your 2015...

I've noticed several people on my Facebook news feed are sharing their words for this year. I love reading them & why they chose them...most have a Scripture to help them keep them in their focus. This year I believe that my Daddy wants me to learn to dive deeper with Him. To trust His heart when I'm blind to His hands working in my life. To remember what His plans are for me, all I have to do is listen with every part of me.  I have a dear friend who has a beautiful sign in her home, it has Jeremiah 29:11 written on it. The first time I saw it, I knew these beautiful Words made me feel an instant flash of understanding, REAL understanding. I told her "I love this!!!" She said "me too, this is one of my favorite Verses." So this was when my Daddy God began to really show me He was in EVERY detail of my life. I decided that I needed to check into these amazing Words a little closer...after all this verse brought more understanding.

So, I decided to check into the rest of the Chapter in context...that's when He showed me that yes, this was His plan. He had more for me to bury deep in my heart. So they became my "life Verses", they are...

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
                                                         Jeremiah 29:11-13 NIV

For a while I prayed these, I kept them close to my heart & mind during every thing. If I was struggling with anything, all I had to do was pull this promise up & I felt better. In many of my darkest moments this WAS the light I clung to...His promise. It was what would open my clenched fists when I was trying to hold onto a hurt, or a reason for my anger. They helped me clean out a lot of pain that had built a wall NO ONE could penetrate...NO ONE except my Daddy.

This year I believe "HOPE" is the word He is asking me to walk in. I know His ways are higher than mine, so I don't understand EVERY reason He's giving me this word. But I trust His heart whether I see His hands every moment, or I simply hear this promise. I believe He has amazing plans for me in 2015! I know that He's going to restore some of my brokenness, pain that has built for years. He's gonna take this princess deeper than I've ever gone. He's gonna wait for me to come to Him, He's gonna make me choose Him & His perfect plan over my own...I'm excited!!

He's already started, before 2015 came. He sent a challenge my way, it was my choice. All I had to do was say "yes" & ask for what I needed. As soon as I said "yes" & asked for the provision, He provided it the next day...out of no where!!

I joined a "Biggest Loser" challenge. It is my first time. For years I've wanted to be on the show. I actually went a few times to be interviewed...but wasn't chosen. Then He brought me what I asked for...a challenge to get healthier. To get fit so I can enjoy this life He has for me & the family He blessed me with. For years I've put on more & more weight. I have gotten to my heaviest point...I've eaten my feelings, I've eaten away those feelings with more & more. Now it's time to face those feelings & give them to Him. It's time for me to really live in His strength. To remember that in my weakness He is my strength...that I can not rely on my own strength.

Part of this challenge required me to take pictures of myself from several views, along with a live video being weighed. I'm the queen of selfies from above, I learned this had a couple of advantages for an obese, older woman. It thins the face while smoothing wrinkles & it hides the size of the body because of the angle. I taught many other women who felt like I did. Obviously I wasn't able to use this trick for these photos. I prayed hard, I asked Him to stand with me, to help me see myself through His eyes instead of mine. I also asked Him for the courage to share these pictures with my fellow challenge members. He gladly gave abundantly to me...when I looked at the pictures my son took, I didn't look as bad as I told myself...He was showing me that the "mix tape of self hate" that I had been allowing satan to play over & over, was a LIE.

Then He showed me what He sees when He looks at me. I can't even explain the beauty I saw...I know it is Him in me. I actually eagerly posted them to the secret challenge page. Then He challenged me post them to my Instagram. "But they will see..." in a heartbeat I remembered, He is doing a new thing in me. I can be a beacon to those who are in the same fight...a beacon to Him & what He is doing in me. What I can do because of Him. I looked up & said "ok" & shared the pictures as He asked me to.

So, He's challenging me again. This time I haven't got the tiniest bit of doubt, nor will I question His challenge. I am saying yes. In 2015 I will be still & wait upon His whisper. I will answer His challenges with a YES. I will search for Him in everything. I will ask Him for help & accept it when He offers it without question. I will trust Him, He is my Daddy. These are the pictures that begin a new work in me...a work that will challenge me & change me from the inside out.

"In Your hands I will find my strength, peace & hope. All I have to do is say yes & You can show me the way...Your way."                                                 @LifewithNona