Friday, December 31, 2010

Drumroll Please! New WORD for 2011!

Relentless Pursuit

The Year of Relentless Pursuit!

Okay, it is two words. Come on, did you really think I could do just ‘one’ word? You can read the last post if you wonder what in the world I am talking about.

I LOVE it! 2011 begins the relentless pursuit to redeem and reclaim each of the essential or foundational areas of my life. Relentless pursuit of the essentials!

My essentials?

Spiritual Essentials:

  • Relentlessly pursue a consistent prayer time (in addition to my regular quiet time)
  • Relentlessly pursue fasting 1-2 times a week
  • Relentlessly pursue thankfulness
  • Relentlessly pursue JOY (daily)
  • Relentlessly pursue scripture memory
  • Relentlessly pursue a quiet and gentle voice

Wifely Essentials:

  • Relentlessly pursue ways to bless and honor Brian
  • Relentlessly pursue submission
  • Relentlessly pursue serving him
  • Relentlessly pursue intimacy

Motherly Essentials:

  • be PRESENT in each moment
  • be fun, laugh, smile, play
  • be gentle (reflect the Father’s love)
  • be physical (hug and touch often)
  • be consistent

Keeper of the Home Essentials:

  • be disciplined with school
  • persistent with schedule
  • inspect, inspect and inspect
  • hold children accountable
  • keep my heart at home
  • restore structure to our day

Physical Essentials:

  • early to bed, early to rise
  • back to more nutritious eating
  • gently ease into exercising (not obsessing)

As you can see, these really are the basics, the essentials, that should be in place before we are running off playing or serving others. Having been sick for so long and delivered of so much junk, I am relearning who I am and how to do even the basics! If I don’t relentlessly pursue them I will follow the path of least resistance. I have learned over the years to not make this into some type of ‘works’ mentality. While these are the things I will relentlessly pursue, I will do so in His grace, with His leading and with His strength. (not going down ‘that’ road again)

Both Brian and I feel like this is the year to ‘get our home in order’. Perfectly? No, we know better Winking smilebut getting on top of life just a little bit. Like a dear lady recently said, “thriving instead of just surviving”

There you have it. Relentless Pursuit. Don’t you think it is perfect? Brian had suggested the word ‘persistence’ yesterday, and while it seemed nice enough, it was just to ‘steady’ for this radical woman. We laugh, now, as we see that ‘relentless’ is the word ‘persistence’ with teeth! Laughing out loud

What about you? What is your word or words? Do you have hopes or dreams for the coming year? Please share!

May the God of hope fill you all joy and peace, in believing, that you may abound in hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.

I Think I have My ‘Word’ For the Year!

I have been having great fun seeking the Lord for a ‘word’ for the new year. I have read many other women’s words and it has been inspiring. Ann, from A Holy Experience usually gets off to a great start. I have literally been giddy over it. I think even making my sweet husband crazy at times. Winking smile I was asking his help, and being the ‘steady man’ that he is he came up with more ‘steady’ words, you know, middle of the road words. None quite fit the passion that is bubbling inside of me. I told him I wanted a word with ‘teeth’. It almost had to be violent. Possibly have a growl to it. (do you think I am crazy yet?)

Having been sick for so long, and actually feeling like I have just been set free from about a ten year battle, there are many things that have been left undone over the years. So many areas of my life have been in ‘survival mode’ for a long time. The Lord has been gently convicting and revealing them to me over the last several months. We have certainly been ‘surviving’, but now it is time to thrive!

For me, they are the ‘basics’, the essentials, the foundation. I have been robbed of fully obeying and even living out the ‘essentials’ for too many years. Whether it was illness, bondage, circumstances, people, my own complacency, rebellion, and the raging pull of this culture, it matters not anymore. It has been revealed and I am pressing in to redeem the time, take back the land, get the life I am called to live back!

Here are the ‘words’ that have lingered in my mind these last days.

Year of . . .

  • prayer (I want to pray way more)
  • conquest (conquer what has been stolen)
  • moments( cherish the moments)
  • fighting (fight to take my life back)
  • discipline (get back to some order and routine)
  • basics (re-establish the ‘basics’)
  • joy (fight for joy, daily)
  • violence (be violent in redeeming my life)
  • practice (do over and over until I get it)
  • intention (be very intentional with every decision)
  • purpose (live with great purpose)
  • radical (be different and radical with every area)

None of these quite fit . . . more in part two . . . the big reveal!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Starting the New Year Submitted

We are about to begin a new year. I want to encourage you in something the Lord has recently brought about in my heart.  If you were to look at our marriage and study me, you would think that I was a pretty submissive wife.  And I was, to a certain degree.

Recently the Lord showed me areas in which I was not submissive. Areas that I was living in fear and therefore trying to control my husband.  It was painful and sort of scary to see the control, because, don’t you just hate the thought of someone thinking you are the dreaded ‘controlling wife?’  I sure do.

After some wrestling with my Father, lots of tears, and a giant gulp of humility, I went to my dear husband and repented for trying to control him in certain areas. . .

                  Read the rest of the story . . . At The Well

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What Are You Going To Leave Behind

As we are fast approaching the end of the year, or the beginning of a new year, depending on how you look at it, I wanted to share some thoughts with you.

First of all, I LOVE this time of year! I love reflecting. I love praying and planning for the new year. I love fresh new starts. There is so much hope and promise for the future.

This year I have been contemplating what things I want to leave behind more so than what do I want to change in the coming year. There is a lot of ‘baggage’ I want to leave behind. A couple of months ago I began to really seek the Lord on what changes He would have me make. A few things that I have already purged are:

  • Deactivating Facebook (so utterly freeing, and I didn’t really ever post on it)(don’t even get me started on my opinion of some of this social networking!)

  • Dumped my Yahoo email account, which after ten years had accumulated way too much spam!

  • I put all my favorite blogs into an RSS reader so as to not have to wait for them to load fully before I can start reading them. And, I only have to check when they are updated.

  • I ruthlessly purged blogs that I check almost daily. There is so many encouraging blogs out there, but I cannot follow them all. I have to only take the time to read the ones that really minister to me. I encourage you to do the same. Please don’t waste your time reading my blog or any others if they do not encourage or edify you.

  • I deleted folders full of favorites (I found when I would have filled time with Facebook or blogs I started to go visit blogs I had saved for whatever reason in my favorites. Kind of a ‘cold turkey’ method) Winking smile

  • I am sure it is against all blogging etiquette but I simply cannot comment on all my favorite blogs. Also, I love a comment like the rest of you, but I would rather you spend your time being a wife or mama than making me feel good. (did I say that out loud? Winking smile)

  • Limit even more the phone calls I answer during the day.

  • Set boundaries around how I spend my time. Timers come in handy here!

  • There are also things like fear, fear of man, anxiety, grumbling and complaining, doubt, rejection, harshness . . . all things I’d like to leave behind here in 2010.

Some things I am seeking to establish as part of my daily or weekly routine are:

  • Additional time of prayer. I have had a regular ‘quiet time’ for many years, but feel the need to ‘kick it up a notch’ with my prayer time. I am currently able to fit this in during our lunch time.

  • I also have been working way more diligently than ever in the past on memorizing scripture. I have always ‘tried’ to memorize scripture, but honestly, not whole heartedly. I have been memorizing the book of Ephesians since the first of November. I stumble, but I am seeking to persevere in this.

  • Another thing that I stumble so often in and am seeking to establish as routine is ‘give thanks in all things’ and/or keeping up with some sort of gratitude list/journal. I desire that this be as routine as eating or brushing my teeth.

  • QUIET voice! See, I am shouting even telling you about wanting to have a quiet voice. Oh, to speak quietly, softly and gently.

  • Being a very good steward of my time. Being very purposeful with my minutes. Just how much of my day should be spent sowing to the flesh? Just how long do I have to look into the eyes of these children and show them the Father’s heart? I would like to hear by the Holy Spirit many times throughout the day, ‘is this what the Father would have me doing right now?’

Whew, there you have it, my year end/year beginning thoughts. Picture a ‘threshold’ in front of you. What do you wish to leave behind you as you step over that threshold? What would you like to pick up on your way through?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Our Letter to Family & Friends (That includes you!!)


Dearest Family and Friends, 2010

Jesus Christ the same, yesterday, today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)

Jesus came to preach the gospel to the poor; to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed. (Isaiah 61 and Luke 4)

God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil. (Acts 10:38)

While Jesus walked this earth, He healed all who were brought to Him and cast out evil spirits. He did! Read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. One account after another Jesus healed all who came to Him.

So, why do I start our year-end letter with the verse,

Jesus Christ, the same, yesterday, today and forever?

I have mentioned in our past annual letters that I have battled, off and on, with my health. In July of ’09 my health got really bad. From July of ’09 – May ’10 there were many days that I was unable to get out of bed, unable to take care of our family, barely able to function.

The end of May of this year Jesus healed and delivered me from many symptoms that have increasingly plagued me over the years. When I say healed, I mean HEALED! One day sick in bed, the next doing cartwheels in the yard, HEALED! One day in bondage to the enemy physically and mentally to the next day delivered and set free!

Family and friends, Jesus still heals, He still delivers, He still sets people free, and He still binds up the brokenhearted! He is the same!!!

I don’t know what you are going through, but I can unequivocally tell you that Jesus

Christ is your answer.

Are you uncertain of your future?

Are you sick physically?

Does depression plague you?

Are you constantly anxious and worried?

Is your heart heavy with bitterness and unforgiveness?

Does fear rule your heart and mind?

Do you know where you will spend eternity!???

Let me say it again, Jesus Christ is your answer


Family update:

Brian, well, you know I think he is awesome, right? He continues to be an awesome Godly leader and it is so amazing to watch his heart grow in love for the Lord and us. He continually lays down his life, striving to follow the example of his Savior.

Matthew (23) married the sweetest young woman we could have ever hoped for. Her name is Elisa. Immediately we loved her as our own and are so thankful for her

Our precious two year old grandson, Levi, continues to hold our hearts captive. He spends just about every Sunday with us.

Luke (20) – Is in his second year of college, doing well. He is still at home with us and we are so thankful for that!

Joshua (18) – Graduated High School this year, and is starting violin lessons and possibly college in January.

Victoria (14) – Continues to far exceed me in all things handiwork, knitting, sewing, and crocheting. We have discovered that she has a beautiful voice with which she loves to sing hymns. Often times I find her with a hymnal in front of her and knitting needles in her hands.

Isaiah (13) Is all boy, he loves forts, sports, building things and continues to have a passion and growing knowledge of the Word of God. He is also branching out from piano, where he has been arranging his own songs, into playing the guitar and singing.

Sarah Grace (9) – Is an apprentice sourdough artisan bread baker to mama, she loves to help in the kitchen. She also continues in her gift of scripture memory.

Isabella (8) –Loves to play mama to Elijah, she gives the best hugs and is just learning to play the piano. She also is developing a beautiful singing voice.

Josiah (6) –Loves to be playing with siblings, he doesn’t care what it is. Just let him in on the fun and he is there! His big blue eyes continue to melt my heart.

Elijah (3) –Is unbelievable adorable and so smart, and knows it and uses it to his advantage, trust me!

You ladies are an amazing encouragement in my life!  I thank God for you.  This is one of the last posts of the year.  I may have a post coming to challenge us for the coming new year.  Blessings to you!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Yeah But . . .

So many very clear commands in Your Word. Simple, one sentence commands. Are they there for a reason? Could You possibly expect us to obey them?

A few that come to mind . . .

  • do all things without complaining or grumbling
  • give thanks in all things
  • Love the Lord your God with all your heart
  • meditate on My law day and night
  • do nothing out of selfish ambition
  • rejoice always
  • watch and pray
  • let no unwholesome talk ever come out of your mouth, but only that which is good . . .
  • wives submit to your husbands
  • pray always
  • be anxious for nothing
  • count it all joy when you fall into temptations
  • be ye not conformed to this world
  • speak not evil one of another

Yeah but . . .you don’t know ‘my’ life, or ‘my’ husband or ‘my’ children, or ‘my’ circumstances.

Yeah but . . . I have a life, you know, like it really means ‘all my heart’ or ‘day AND night’.

Yeah but . . . there is no way it means NO unwholesome talk, try spending a day in my house.

Yeah but . . . isn’t that ‘legalism’? He knows we aren’t perfect and can’t be so He doesn’t really expect us to obey ‘every’ thing.

Yeah but . . . it is NOT easy.

Yeah but . . . the law killeth, but the Spirit giveth life.

Yeah but . . . Christ set me free from having to obey everything.

Yeah but . . . Jesus said, “if you love Me, keep My commandments.” (John 14:15)

He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. (John 14:21)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Have You Been With Jesus?

I have to confess that there was a time when I avoided the Book of Acts. I have no idea why, but I always opted for the Epistles and seemed to just glance over Acts. Boy, was I missing out. I am now reading through it again for the third time in the last year and I am finding it one of my favorite books.

One verse that has convicted me each time is Acts 4:13

"Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus."
Do you see it? First of all Peter and John had a boldness that was perceivable!
Secondly, it was obvious that they 'had been with Jesus'!
I pray that when people see me they see 'boldness' for Jesus and that they marvel because it is so obvious that I have been with Jesus. Not because I want them to see 'me', but that they will see JESUS!
Do my children perceive I have been with Jesus when I come out from my quiet time? Or, do they get a mom with a mission to get things done today?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Oh The Depth . . .

As I have been working through memorizing Ephesians, I am stuck on the following verses.  They minister to me greatly as I seek to grow in the knowledge of His love for me.  I shared in a previous post, Knowing His Love, the revelation that ‘He loved us at our lowest level of sanctification’.  This concept really rattles my brain.  What kind of love is this??  I am awed by this love and long to know more.

I encourage you to read through the following verses and really let them sink in.

Ephesians 2:1-7

And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

We were DEAD in our trespasses!  Were by nature children of wrath!!  He chose us, loved us, made us alive with Christ, seated us with Him!!  Did I mention, while we were dead towards HIM, He did this??  That in the coming ages He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in kindness toward us!

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unfathomable (inscrutable, unsearchable) are His judgments (His decisions)! And how untraceable (mysterious, undiscoverable) are His ways (His methods, His paths)! (Romans 11:33)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Practical Questions on Fasting

I recently got an email from a dear ‘blog’ friend, Jenn. She had some practical questions on fasting and I thought it would be helpful to post them here, so we could get lots of feedback. (with her permission, of course, thanks Jenn)

“I would like to ask you some questions on fasting. I know the general idea is to abstain from food and spend time in fervent prayer. My question is...How do I do this as a mom? My children are with me ALWAYS! Not eating is the easy part, but how do I get that deep connection with God if I am still having to go about my daily routine, interruptions and all? Is is really a fast if I am not able to spend LARGE chunks of time in prayer?”

Don’t we all wonder these things?

First off, I totally believe it is our heart before the Lord, not the actual mechanics and specifics of a fast that matters to Him. Let’s not get into some performance mode where we think we need to check things off a list to make the fast ‘count’. (speaking to me here Winking smile)

I am in a season, with the ages of my children right now, that I can go into my room, for a half an hour or so at a time, for prayer. I usually do this at lunch time, putting an older one in charge.

I try to linger a little longer in my morning devotion time on a fasting day as well.

I am sure Brian would accommodate a chunk of time for me to set aside more time in the evening if I asked.

Setting aside time in the afternoon for ‘quiet time’ for everyone in the house is another time for prayer.

I also try to keep computer and distractions; phone, errands, etc. to a minimum on fasting days so that I can try to maintain a quieter heart, trying to ‘pray unceasingly’ throughout the day as I go about my duties.

I take more time to read scripture, even calling the children to listen for 15 minutes at a time if I need to keep them busy too.

I have a note on my fridge to remind me to pray. I have scripture on my bathroom wall, the fridge and in my ‘memory booklet’. I set a timer to stop and cry out to Him or praise Him.

It does take a little more effort, being a mama with children all around, but it can be done. Does it look like a saint of old on his face before the Lord for six hours every day, no! But again, the Father knows our hearts. Even the desire to seek Him more, or the attempt to, is what He looks at.

For me, the verse “the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force” comes to my mind. I simply cannot wait around waiting for the perfect time to fast and pray. I need to be ‘violent’, so to speak, with making the time. I can choose what to do with many of the hours of my day. Yes, some are out of my control, but I can choose to use the others for this purpose. I can plan ahead with cooking. I can not answer the phone. I can make the children play quietly. I can not turn on the computer. (did I just say that out loud????)

Cry out to God for wisdom. He will lead us into what fasting and praying should look like for each of us individually. He longs to answer our cries. He waits to be gracious to us.

One little reminder though, we are mamas and wives. We should not be shirking these duties so we can ‘seek the Lord’. I have been tempted to just shut myself in my room, because, come on, I am s.e.e.k.i.n.g. G.o.d. here! There are times I can be alone in my room having a wonderful time of prayer and then there are other times I need to keep the door open and sweetly (at least I try to respond sweetly) answer questions. I might only get through two things on my prayer list, but at least I got through two, right?

Please share thoughts and questions so we can all get some ideas and help each other. Thank you, Jenn, for sharing your question!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Knowing His Love

You loved us at our lowest level of sanctification. How much more do You love us now, even in our failure, our weakness, and the sometimes coldness of our heart, because down deep beneath all these things is a heart You made new, made fresh; a heart that truly does beat for You, even though it might not always look like it.

You are pleased, O Lord, for You created the beauty within and the beauty that with each day becomes more evident, for we are changed from glory to glory. Yes, we sin. Yes, we are a mess on the outside. Yes, we need to cooperate with the Holy Spirit’s convicting power. But God works in us to will and to do according to His good pleasure. He puts His Spirit within us, and causes us to walk in His ways.

I would like to put an end to the lie once and for all that somehow our Father is displeased with us, frustrated by our weakness, harsh towards us because we “fail so miserably”. I do not believe that lie anymore. Can I tell you, being able to receive His mercy and love has only fueled a passion for more holiness, not an attitude of “let me off the hook” so I could sin more.

Condemnation and guilt will never draw you to Him, never give you true desire to change. But, being able to receive His love and mercy humbles you and makes you long to obey Him more. There is no more striving or work, in the negative sense, to please Him because you know He already is pleased.

For me, this ever increasing revelation of His love, acceptance, and pleasure toward me is literally life altering. My heart is becoming more and more free to soar with Him. The burdens of guilt, shame, and condemnation are being stripped off. I see myself becoming all I ever wanted to be, but could never “make” myself be.

It blows this little long-time, legalistic, black and white mind to think that the more I receive His love, the more I behold Him in His beauty and glory, the more I just love Him and bask in His love, the more I change. (I’m not at all denying our role in the process of sanctification, trust me, the ‘doing’ is my strong suit here – just expressing the other side of the coin)

Father God, make our hearts wholly free from guilt, shame, and condemnation. Make us able to comprehend what is the breadth and the width and the depth and the height of Your love, and to really and truly know the love of Christ that we may be filled with all the fullness of God. In Jesus precious name!

As I was looking up Ephesians 3:19, I was astounded at what I saw.

And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.

The more we know the love of Christ, the more we are filled with the fullness of God!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Show Me Your Glory

The cry of my heart lately has been, ‘Show me Your glory.’  I even found a few worship songs with that prayer in them.  I have always loved when Moses asked God to show him His glory, and often echo the same request.  My hunger for Him and His Word has been so increased, I can’t seem to get enough of Him.

I walk around doing the things I do as a wife and mama all the while thinking of Him and longing for Him.  I frequently mutter in a barely audible voice, ‘show me Your glory’  ‘You are the Father of glory’, ‘I want to see more of You.’

Today I was studying what ‘show’ and ‘glory’ mean.  It makes sense I should know what I am praying, right?  Here is what I found.  I looked up ‘glory’ in the Greek and Hebrew, and ‘show’ in the Hebrew.  At the end of the post I will put together a prayer using the definitions. 

Glory, 1391G: image or character, embraces the excellence and perfection of the divine nature.  It comprises all that God will appear to be in His final revelation to us.  God’s glory make itself manifest in and through Jesus Christ.

Glory, 3519H:  majesty, abundance, image, character, excellence and perfection of diving nature.

Show, 7200H:  to see, to feel, to experience, to understand, to make one feel or know, to cause to enjoy, gain understanding, fully aware, discover.

Father God, cause me to see, to feel, to experience, to truly understand, cause me to enjoy and gain understanding and be fully aware and discover . . . Your image, character, all the excellence and perfection of Your divine nature, Your majesty, Your abundance, Father, all that You will appear in Your final revelation . . . Show me Your glory!

Moses had the audacity to ask the Father to show him His glory . . . do you?

Father, show me Your glory!!

(Definitions are from The Complete  Word Study Old Testament and The Complete Word Study New Testament.)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Can I Trust if the Door is Closing

My ‘baby’ is three years old today! It seems so odd to not be pregnant yet. Though I was pregnant last summer and we lost that baby in October.

Elijah David

At my age, 44, you start to wonder if this wonderful door of childbearing is closing. Certainly there have been hormonal changes, health issues (now healed, praise the Lord) and just the simple fact that there will one day be an end.

I try not to be too sad, not letting my heart and mind wander, choosing to be thankful and trust no matter what. This past month I started to feel very queasy one day with no explanation. It went on for a few days. I started to get excited even though I was only just past mid-cycle. I reasoned that I had ovulated early and that if God was answering my prayers for twin girls that would explain why I felt sick already. Within a couple of days I had found out possible due dates using due-date calculators online. I checked to see just how big my baby (babies;-) was at this exact time. All this without a missed period!

My hopes were dashed when one night I began having mild hot flashes, of all things! Only to find out a few hours later that I had my period. Oh bother.

It is incredibly easy to take fertility for granted. It is extremely common for woman to choose to ‘close the door’ on their own. Do we realize that children are a gift, a blessing, a reward?? Somehow I doubt we really understand it, myself included.

So, while it has been hard in years past to trust the Lord with how many ‘blessings’ He might bestow, I am finding it equally challenging to trust Him with when He might close the door. But, one thing I know, He is WORTHY of my trust! He does all things well and I will praise Him come whatever.

I will soak up this fast becoming independent and charming three year old. I will enjoy this precious season we are in because each and every season is a gift from our Father, whether we see it as a gift or not.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Winner of Tea With Michelle Duggar!

The winner of this very encouraging DVD is . . .

Amy from A Joyful Mom!!!

Email me with your address and I might even be able to get it out today!!


michelle duggar

I was wondering why Amy had not emailed me, then I saw I never posted this post!!! I am learning the use Windows Live Writer (thanks to my sons) and I obviously uploaded it to draft and did not publish it!! So sorry!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

These Keep Stirring In My Heart


These verse have been stirring in my heart for about six months.  At first I thought they were just for me, then for my family, now, I am thinking it is bigger than all that.  I really believe the Lord is stirring His people.  I believe He is calling out His remnant.  I believe He might be beginning to separate the wheat from the tares.

Now, I do not claim to be an expert on ‘end times’, in reality, far from it, trust me on this one Winking smile, but something is going on.  I am getting so excited with what He is doing in our family and in His people.  It is an anticipation, really.  I’ll share these few verses, but if you have a chance, read the whole book of Joel, it is only three chapters.

And the Lord utters His voice before His army, for His host is very great, and [they are] strong and powerful who execute [God's] word. For the day of the Lord is great and very terrible, and who can endure it?

Therefore also now, says the Lord, turn and keep on coming to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning [until every hindrance is removed and the broken fellowship is restored].

Rend your hearts and not your garments and return to the Lord, your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in loving-kindness; and He revokes His sentence of evil [when His conditions are met]. (Joel 2:11-13)

Really, keep reading if you can, it is so awesome!  Sorry about putting the Amplified version, couldn’t help myself. Winking smile

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Every Now and Again . . .


Do you ever have the moments (often times they only last a moment ;-) when everything is so absolutely perfect in your little world. You feel as though all the stars have lined up and for some reason your Father has decided to smile extra big on this moment? Not that He isn't so faithful and good ALL the time, but this is something special, like an extra dose of 'faithful and good'?

When this happens it is hard to put into words, obviously so many details that you couldn't even explain, but you try . . . albeit in vain, I am sure.

My world is made up . . .

of snow falling and a tiny snowman made in love

of little boys and a garbage man

of hot tea and the Word of Life

of monkeys and "I wuv you Mimi"

of steady love and the man of my dreams

of sourdough and crusty bread

of big brown eyes and little girl hugs

of curly top boy and hard lessons in love

of big boys and hearts that dream.

My world is made up of nothing but pure mercy and grace from above.

Okay, just so you know, the ‘moment’ is over Winking smile, I think hot chocolate is in order, don’t you?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Tea With Michelle Duggar: Review and Give Away!

I was very blessed to be given a copy of the DVD Tea with Michelle Duggar from Vision Forum. Our family has been watching the Duggar family since their first special 14 Children and Pregnant Again. We watch them every Sunday night together, it is our family tradition.

I have to be honest with you, I think I was probably the perfect person to review this DVD. You see, when we first 'met' the Duggars, I had a hard time watching them because I was so discouraged by how 'perfect' they seemed. I have since learned it was envy and jealousy, and have repented ;-) I now love and appreciate their hearts, especially Michelle's. I have also realized that they are a very 'real' family.

I was unsure if this DVD would be worth the watch. I mean we watch them so much, what more could this offer? Well, I am here to tell you it was so worth it!!!! My favorite part was the section where Michelle is being interviewed by Beall Philips. I was brought to tears more than once as Michelle shared her struggles and her heart with such transparency. It left me wanting more time with Michelle. I was beyond encouraged and inspired.

She shared some practical tips for managing a large family, that honestly, a mama of any size family would benefit from. I love Michelle Duggar all the more after seeing the video.

The other thing that inspired me about this video was how children and the family are so highly regarded as a blessing and gift from God. In today's culture, that seeks to destroy all things family, it was such a treat to be 'visiting' with like-minded people. I am sure you will be encouraged also.

Vision Forum has graciously provide me with a copy of Tea with Michelle Duggar to give away to one of my readers. If you or someone you think would be encouraged by this video would like to win a copy, leave a comment in the comment section. I will draw a winner on Friday morning and announce by noon on Friday.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

His Love Has Healed My Soul

I talked to a friend today and remembered this song that I love so much. I used to sing this song with all my heart when I was sick. Believing, hoping He would heal me. On Thanksgiving I was remembering how very sick I was the year before and remembering all that the Lord has done in the past year. I am so in awe with what He has done.
I tell you He touched me
He reached way down and touched me
When no one else would touch me
He touched me
And now I've been made whole
His love has healed my soul!
Please take a moment to listen to it, you will be glad you did.
(I couldn't embed it for some reason, it is from Godtube)

Do You Know?

My Child,

I am pleased with you. I love you. Yes, I see the darkness inside your heart. Of course, I see the weakness, the sin. But, I do not recoil in shock or disgust. Lift up your head and you will see my arms of love ready to receive and embrace, and a heart ready to forgive.

I shine My light on your heart not so I can see, but so that you can. Not to shame or condemn, but to give you opportunity to choose Me. To choose Light. To choose Love. Lift up your head and choose Me.

Ladies, do you know of Your heavenly Father's love and pleasure towards you? Do you know He smiles and rejoices over you? He sings over you! Do you often feel beaten down when He gives you a glimpse of your heart? I assure you, it is not His voice you are hearing if you feel this way. He is love. He longs to be gracious and merciful. He loves to restore, and He never condemns.

The Lord has been doing some major cleansing and purifying of my heart and I can assure you just one short year ago I would have been buried in condemnation. I had listened to a spirit of accusation for so many years I thought it was me! Now I welcome His light. I love when I read another thing in the Word that shows me where I am not obeying. I love Him and want to obey Him with all my heart. I want to know where I am missing the mark. I don't feel condemned. I agree with Him humbly and repent and ask Him to help me be more like Him. That's it. No days of wallowing in guilt and shame. Guilt and shame are from our enemy! I know His heart towards me (though I seek even deeper revelations of His love towards me) I know He loves me. I now recognize the voice of the enemy who comes in to accuse and brings guilt and shame.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Sell All That Thou Hast

Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. (Luke 18:22)
These words stick with me this morning. Maybe it's because I see the phrase 'one thing' pop off the page, that being the type of woman I long to be. A 'one thing' woman. I have always loved this verse wondering how I could apply it to my life.
Today it speaks to me thus,
"sell all that thou hast" What do I have that I could 'sell'? Certainly, possessions, but is there more here? I have my time and how I spend it. Am I willing to give up the things that rob me and others? Am I willing to 'sell' (lay down) things that take me away from obedience to the Word and my family and others the Lord puts in my life?
"distribute to the poor" I don't have to look even beyond the walls of my own house to see the poor. Aren't my children hungry and needy of love? Is my husband 'poor' for love, respect, support?
"treasures in heaven" Oh, how I long to store up those kind of treasures, really I do. I don't always show it by my pursuits, but I do want to have treasures in heaven. Maybe it is time I stop talking about making changes and make them!
"come, follow Me" Ummm, maybe if I 'sold off' some of those things that take up so much time I could be 'following Him' so much more.
Not wanting to sound like a broken record here, but if I don't have time for the things of God, (prayers, meditation, fasting, rejoicing, serving, read and study the Word, worship) and the things and people He has called me to, what do I need to 'sell'?!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Contending For Joy

Father, I see it! I see this battle for joy! The enemy does sit there and scoff, laughing maybe, at the seeming impossibility of finding joy amidst the ‘mess’ of everyday life. The ‘mess’ of my own heart, the ‘mess’ of theirs, the pain, the sorrow all around.

“Ha, I dare you to find joy ‘here’ in this mess.” I can almost see him motioning as he sweeps his hand across my days. I almost hear the taunting with each passing emotion . . . wait, it’s a challenge! Can I find joy amidst ‘this’ mess?

Yes! An emphatic YES! I will contend for joy! I will contend for giving thanks, for praise!

I choose to rejoice and be glad in this day. I choose JOY! I will enter into His presence with thanksgiving and joy.

Why does the enemy fight so hard to keep us from joy, from thanksgiving? Well, for one thing, he hates us. (smile) Maybe, in part, it is because it has to do with what You were showing me last week. The joy of the Lord is my strength. In Your presence is the fullness of joy. I enter Your presence with thanksgiving and praise.

Where am I the strongest? In Your presence.
When am I the strongest? When I am rejoicing.
How do I get there? By thanksgiving and praise.

I see, Father, why of all the ‘basics’, (prayer, meditation, reading the Word, etc.) that rejoicing, giving thanks seems to be the biggest battle right now.

I choose to contend for this one. I am choosing, this day, to serve You with gladness~to find joy~ to give thanks~to praise.

Open my eyes, O Lord, to see that when the battle is the most intense I need to sing, to praise, to thank. Give grace, I pray, to obey . . . R.E.J.O.I.C.E. A.L.W.A.Y.S. and I.N. E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. G.I.V.E. T.H.A.N.K.S!

I contend for joy!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Help! I Have Gone Cuckoo For Sourdough!

I have shared in the past about my dabbling in the sourdough world, some success and lots of failures. Well, my friends, that has all changed. I have had nothing but wonderful success lately!!

I am thrilled with this No-Knead Sourdough method! I have been trying all kinds of variations! I also have been making delicious sourdough English Muffins. I first read about it on my friend Cindy's blog who originally got the recipe from Gnowlfglins.

In the last four days I have made 24 English Muffins, Cranberry Pecan Extraordinaire, Seeded Sour, Sourdough Rye, Sourdough (regular), Cinnamon Raisin, Steel Cut Oats sourdough and 100% Whole Wheat Sourdough! I know, crazy, isn't it?

Cranberry Pecan Extraordinaire

They are all beautiful artisan style breads. Ridiculously impressive, if I do say so myself. Super crusty on the outside, tender on the inside. Needless to say we have had bread with many of our meals.

Seeded Sour (Sourdough English Muffins rising in the background ;-)

Three beauties!

Cinnamon Raisin

Here is the inside of the Cranberry Pecan

This is my adaptation of Gnowlfglins English Muffin recipe. I think I only altered the amounts so I could make a large batch. If I am going to be covered in cornmeal and flour I might as well make a few meals out of it. The children are always laughing at me, even though I have an apron on I still wipe my floury hands on my 'hinder parts'. We decided I would be better off with a 'hazmat' suit. We make egg and cheese sandwiches out these. Delicious!

Sourdough English Muffins
For eight servings
½ cup starter
1 cup liquid (water, milk, yogurt, ect.)
2 cup flour (whole wheat)

1 T. raw honey
1 t. sea salt
1 t. baking soda

For 16 servings
1 cup starter
2 cup liquid (water, milk, yogurt, ect.)
4 cup flour (whole wheat)

2 T. raw honey
2 t. sea salt
2 t. baking soda

For 24 servings

2 cup starter
4 cup liquid (water, milk, yogurt, ect.)
8 cup flour (whole wheat)

4 T. raw honey
4 t. sea salt
4 t. baking soda

Mix together ingredients, and cover, let sit overnight or up to 24 hours. I put in dehydrator on low for about 7 hours.

After the proofing, sprinkle salt, baking soda and honey. Use a wooden spoon to mix in. Pour olive oil onto counter and begin to knead with oiled hands for 2-3 minutes. The purpose of the kneading is to incorporate the ingredients.

Cut into 8/16/24 pieces. It should be pretty wet. Gently shape into rounds and place on cornmeal coated board to rest. I use flour and/or cornmeal to keep them from sticking to my hands. About 1 inch thick and 2 ½ inches in diameter. Cover with cloth for 1 hour.

Preheat cast iron to medium. Transfer to pan gently. Cook for around 5 minutes and then flip over and cook for five more minutes. You can bake in oven for a few minutes at 350 if you feel it needs to cook more.

English Muffins rising/resting before cooking.

I don't worry about shaping them perfectly, obviously ;-)

English Muffins on the piping hot cast iron griddle.
Do you see the beautiful 'rise' when they hit the hot griddle?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Love Not the World

On the heels of the recent post about being Fed Up! the Lord has convicted me of yet another area of my life where I bought into this world's system.

During a time of prayer and repentance I read the following scripture.

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. (1 John 2:15-17)

I had fallen head first in this particular area. I bought it hook, line and sinker. You see it was something that I had longed after for many years, when I finally 'got' this gift, I did not handle it very well. I see now that He trusted me with what I thought I wanted most and was so sure I would glorify Him in it. Sadly, I did not. I am praying for a do-over, but in the mean time, I have repented and hope and pray that if I get another chance, I will this time be found faithful.

Another thing that spoke to me from this verse is 'if any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.' In light of searching for areas to 'whittle' out of my life to make room for Him this spoke volumes to me. The more of the 'world' that I have in my heart, the less I have of my Father's love.

If I want to be filled up with Him, His love, I am going to have to make some room. When He comes knocking on the 'inn' of my heart will I respond with a 'sorry, no room here?' I need to actively pursue ways to 'make room for Him' (How To Increase Hunger For God)

Below is a video called, My Jesus. It is quite convicting and extremely relevant to what the Lord has been speaking to our hearts. I had to assure my family that I really don't go looking for things like this to make my point, the Lord brings them to me. ;-)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Fed Up!

The Lord has been stirring in my heart for a long time now, months, I think, a desire for more of Him. A desire to break free from the 'flow' of 'status quo'. A longing for more of a longing for Him. Make sense? I (we) have been praying about and looking for things and pursuits that He might want us to lay down so as to not be so 'filled up' with the things of this world.

I thought, of course, that it would come in one giant dramatic swoop. But the Lord is merciful and slowly and steadily leads us, preparing our hearts for each new step.

I am beginning to really, really dislike some of the things I spend my time on. In light of seeking Him, reading His word, meditating and memorizing scripture, praying, they seem so wasteful. We grouse about how we don't really see answers to our prayers or how the Word is so seemingly dead to our hearts, or we struggle with so many things of this world, yet are we doing anything about it??!!

Are we taking time to do the 'basics', for crying out loud?! You know, praying?! How often do I lament about the things I want changed, or talk about them, but do I pray? I mean really take time to pray??? What about meditating on His Word day and night? Really, how many of us are doing this? You do know it mentions this concept more than once, right? Day and night? Sure, I'll check my Facebook (not anymore, I deactivated it, so liberating) day and night, or my emails, but meditate on the Word, day and night?

We can't figure out why we still struggle with the same old things. How about we do the basic of renewing our mind with the Word of God? I mean consuming vast amounts of His Word?

I am just plain old fed up with the excuses (talking to myself here) of not having enough time, or I am just too busy, or that sounds so 'legalistic'. I was challenged, and I challenge you, to really evaluate how I spend my time. Do I even do the basics? How can we go on to all the other 'things' if we aren't even doing the basics? We don't forget or not have time to eat, or check emails, or blogs, or Facebook, or talk on the phone, or watch TV, or read books or whatever else we put over and above seeking Him.

I want to live a "One Thing" life! I want that 'One Thing' to be HIM!

These are the types of words/quotes that have crossed my path of late and words that I want to mark my life,

"cultivate a heart of unwavering devotion"
"extravagant devotion"
"a heart enraptured by our God"
"lives of lavish commitment"
"fierce abandonment"
"press into God's heart with a spiritual violence"
"lovesick worshiper"

If you would like more of Him, join me in prayer:

Father God, my heart's desire is for more of You. I want my life to be so consumed with holy passion for You, Your heart and Your word. I want to have a heart like David whose one desire was to dwell in the presence of the Lord all the days of His life and gaze upon the beauty of His Lord and meditate in His temple. I want to be like Paul whose determined purpose was to become deeply and intimately acquainted with You. I want to be like Mary, who sat at Your feet and listened to Your word. Show me what to whittle out of my life, show me how to make room for You? I need Your grace to live this kind of life, it is not by power or by might, but by Your Spirit that I could even hope to attain these things. Draw me, equip me, strengthen me. I accept Your invitation to learn more of You. I want to want the things of Your heart. Make me a "one thing" woman, and let that 'one thing' be YOU! In Jesus precious name, Amen.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Around the Same Mountain...Want to Join Me?

The Lord has once again been showing me the importance of Joy, Thanksgiving, Gratitude, Praise, ect. We all know so much about these things and even try to implement them in our lives. I seem to be consistent with these for a very short time only to be swallowed up with life, and joy, thanksgiving, gratitude and praise seem so far off in the distance.

Recently I was meditating on the verse we all know and love in Nehemiah. What is it ladies, you know right?

The joy of the Lord is my strength.

(Truth be told, it's only part of a verse, but that is the part I will talk about.)

I have always thought that I had to some how get His joy and then I would have strength. I have prayed for His joy. I have confessed joy. I have meditated on this scripture.

Well, as I was seeking the Lord for wisdom and revelation on this verse, this was my thought process.

'could it be joy "in" the Lord?' ' as I am joyful 'in' You, then I am strengthened?'

I looked up the Hebrew word for 'joy', H2304 (from H2302) meaning rejoice. Rejoice! So, REJOICE in the Lord and I will have strength! (Maybe this was a no brainer for you all, but not for me)

Then I looked up 'strength', H4581: a fortified place, a defence.

Wow, it was becoming clear to me that as I rejoice/praise Him not only am I strengthened but I find myself in a fortified place. Which speaks to me of a safe place, a place where the enemy can't get to me quite so easily.

Then I came across another verse, Psalm 16:11,

Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

In His presence is fullness of joy, that joy I desperately need for victory, for strength. Hmmm, how do we enter into His presence, where that fullness of joy is?? That's right, Psalm 100:4

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
Are you seeing this yet? Are you lacking that strength you need for your day? Do you seem to barely be one step ahead of the enemy most days? Praise, give thanks, rejoice!!!
It has been on my heart to get more consistent with my Gratitude Journal again and now I see why. I see how that is the answer to many of my struggles. Rejoicing, being thankful, praising.
Might be a simple message, but I'm a simple woman. Isn't it so cool when He lets us peek behind the 'why' to His commands? He tells us to rejoice, be thankful, to praise, and we should simply because He says so. But how cool when He shows us why.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Woo Hoo! Sourdough Success!

I have dabbled into the sourdough world off and on this past year. I have had many failures and few successes.

I let my sourdough starter die months ago and was recently missing it. I really wanted to make the English Muffins that I used to make and just love. Well, God heard the longings of my heart and had my dear friend Cindy call me with some of her extra starter. She remembered that I loved to make the English Muffins and that I had mentioned my starter had died. Isn't she sweet? Thanks, friend!

Do you see how beautiful these loaves are? I don't want to cut into them, I almost don't care how they taste! I think I just want to leave them in a basket and look at them. Don't worry, nobody here will allow such foolishness.

This is the Sourdough Rye recipe that is beyond easy to make.

This link is for the No-Knead Sourdough version. Also so easy. I had to make them both.

Lest you think things always go smoothly around here, just Thursday I made the most perfect sourdough bricks, I mean bread that I used for quite tasty croutons on last night's salad. Never give up, that's my motto ;-)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Aggressively Pursuing Love

A glimpse inside my heart and journal this morning.

I am falling head over heals in love with You, with Your mercy, with all that You are. How can it be that I can love you more? You are enlarging my heart, increasing the capacity to love You more.

I am beginning to see myself as Your cherished bride. I love that word, cherished. It speaks of love, protection, perfect care. It makes me feel so sheltered and loved. An embrace from the Creator of the universe, my King and Lord . . . the Lover of me!

You . . . love . . . me! You . . . cherish . . . me! My heart is being stirred with holy passion for You and Your heart. I long to hear Your voice. I ache to feel Your touch.

I can feel my heart beginning to run after You, dropping the things that once held it bound. I am leaving all this behind, nothing is satisfying anymore~it's You I long for. I care less and less for the things of this world~ I can feel it deep in my very heart. Cause my heart to burn like never before with passion and love for You. I can't seem to get enough of You.

It has happened, I'm ruined! I've become so lovesick for You. I really don't care anymore if others think I'm too radical, gone overboard, too bold, talk about Jesus too much.

I'm crazy in love, ruined, I tell You. I can't get enough of You, but I am going to spend the rest of my days trying. Aggressively pursuing Love!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

As Thou Hast Believed . . .

And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour. (Matthew 8:13)

Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. (Matthew 9:29)

What exactly am I believing? Am I believing that today is going to be the same as tomorrow? Do I believe that today just might be better? Do I believe that there is no hope, the situation is not changing . . . because if I am that might be why that is what I am getting!

As thou hast believed . . . I am challenged to look at what I am believing. What I believe is what I am thinking. Here we go with the 'take every thought captive' principle again ;-)

According to your faith be it unto you . . . Really? What is my faith (what I am believing) in? Ouch!

And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him! (Matthew 8:26-27)
Why am I fearful over that situation? Even the wind and sea obey Him!! When the wind of doubt comes screaming at me, or a wave of fear . . . when all I hear is GIVE UP, there is no hope . . . when I feel like I am barely able to keep my head above the raging sea, I rise up and say, "I will NOT fear, for even the wind and sea obey You!!"
Check your thoughts, what are you 'believing' for today?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I Got A Do-Over!

You remember last week when I posted about Thoughts and Words? How my words gave my thoughts away, and when I spoke the words of defeat, that gave the enemy an open door to come flooding in?

Well, yesterday I was given another chance, a do-over, a re-do, if you will. Extremely similar circumstances to the other day and there I was faced with the same choice. I felt a holy determination rise up in me. I clenched my mouth shut and went looking for an index card I had written some scripture on some time ago. I found it in my bible and I began to speak out what was on the card. Through gritted teeth at first, and rather quietly because I was really struggling to do this.

We are above only and not beneath. I will not go down or under in these circumstances. I will not give away my peace and joy. I have been given authority and power to trample over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall in any way harm us. The Lord abundantly prospers the work of our hands. He is restoring our fortunes. I will be strong and courageous and firm. I will not fear, for the Lord goes before me, and He is with me. He will not fail me nor forsake me. I will not become broken in spirit.

We are taking our life back, of course there is going to be a battle. The enemy has been exposed, but he is still trying to convince me he wins. Sorry, we win! I have read the Book. I am seated with Christ Jesus in heavenly places. I am above, not beneath--God is in the midst of me, I shall not be moved!!

I then found an old favorite Darrell Evans song and put that on the computer and began to sing. (not that I was in the mood for this, you must know ;-)

I was so thankful for the grace to overcome this same temptation to 'go under' in this circumstance. I wish I could say that the rest of the day was perfect, and that the battle is now over. Sorry. The rest of the day was extremely difficult, I even had to do this one more time later in the day. This time sitting on the back deck screaming it out. But, the enemy was kept at bay and unable to infiltrate my mind with his wicked lies. This really is a huge victory and I believe part of a huge lesson in spiritual maturity that my Father is teaching me. Oh, do I have a long way to go, but I am learning and growing!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Look What I Found While I Was Organizing

Do you see all those bottles? Do you know how much money was spent on all those pills? And this isn't even all the supplements I WAS on!

I have since repented for turning to man and man's ways to find healing.

For me, the sins behind Adrenal Fatigue were, fear (as in stress and anxiety), performance, drivenness, and perfectionism, lack of trust in God, self and others. Also, a lot of self-unforgiveness and self- bitterness. Perhaps I will elaborate on these in future posts sharing how they manifested in my life.

To make a very long story short, up to 80% of illnesses have spiritual roots. Meaning, there is sin behind them and when the sin is repented of and removed many people are restored to health. No, not every case is the same nor do ALL illnesses have spiritual roots. Sickness is a curse, though. Deuteronomy 28 lists the blessings and the curses. Not one sickness is in the list of the blessings, but on the contrary sicknesses are in the list of curses.

IF YOU will listen diligently to the voice of the Lord your God, being watchful to do all His commandments which I command you this day, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you if you heed the voice of the Lord your God. . .

But if you will not obey the voice of the Lord your God, being watchful to do all His commandments and His statutes which I command you this day, then all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you . . . (Deut. 28:1, 2, 15)

Obedience brings blessings. Disobedience brings curses.

BLESS (AFFECTIONATELY, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul; and all that is [deepest] within me, bless His holy name!
Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul, and forget not [one of] all His benefits-- Who forgives [every one of] all your iniquities, Who heals [each one of] all your diseases . . . (Psalm 103:1-3)

If you are suffering from an illness, it is at the very least worth it to humble yourself and seek the Lord to see if maybe, just maybe, there is a more excellent way. I had to change my mindset (as it was wrong), threw out a bunch of lies, renew my mind, and receive the truth that makes me free.

Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. (3 John 2)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Ungodly Order in the Home

One of our children has stuttered since as far back as we can remember. In the past couple of months we have been studying out the spiritual roots to stuttering and one of them is "ungodly order in the home; matriarchal control/passive male". We began to search our hearts and pray, asking our Father to show us any areas that we needed to submit to Him.
We have certainly come a long way in 22 years, but there were still a few areas that needed to be dealt with. As we listened to teachings and studied this out, here are a few things that really spoke to me.
Fear is always behind a woman controlling or domineering in a marriage. Fear they won't do it right, or good enough. Fear they won't lead. Fear of the consequences if they don't do what we think they should. We, as women, are responders and are created to follow our husbands. Without fear, that is what we long to do. Fear comes in either generationally or in our current generation and perverts our thinking. We don't know what else to do except to take the lead. It might not be in all areas, it might just be one little area or several 'little' areas. Fear must be repented of and removed if we have any hope of submitting to our husbands and allowing them to rise up to be the men God created them to be.
No matter how strong the husband is, if the wife is controlling and usurping his authority, he simply CANNOT be the leader God intended for him to be. It's not that he doesn't want to, it is that he CANNOT! The wife essentially stands in the way of him being the leader.
A few things to keep in mind. Most men do NOT have a godly example of how to be the husbands God had in mind. They may actually come from a long line of passive males that have been dominated by fearful, controlling women. They need our mercy, grace and forgiveness, not our frustration and scorn. They need us to lovingly get out of the way, not with resentment, but with true repentance and love.
When I was really seeking the Lord on this, He began to show me little areas that I was in fear over and therefore refused to follow, and even tried (in vain) to control. It wasn't outwardly obvious. Most people who know me well would not classify me as a 'controlling, domineering woman', but it was there, under the surface.
Finally one day I threw myself on my bed and cried out to God. I repented for the fear that had driven me. I repented for taking control in certain areas. I repented for standing in the way of Brian becoming the leader God created him to be. I released him to the Father, to mold and make him into the man He created, no matter what that would look like.
I then went to Brian and repented, through tears, for controlling things, for wrong thoughts towards him, for feeling like he never did it good enough because it wasn't the way "I" wanted it done, for all the areas that our marriage was out of order because of my fear. I released him from my fearful grip into our loving Father's hands.
It felt so good to not have to carry all those things I 'thought' I had to carry. They were all lies. Brian is an awesome husband, father and leader. He always has been, I have just believed lies in certain areas and by doing so have kept him from being the true leader of this family.
A couple of testimonies that have come out of this is one, our son had been healed and delivered of his stuttering. It is so awesome to hear him speak sentence after sentence without one stutter! (there was more to his healing than just this particular issue)
Two, it seems as though Brian actually has been freed up to be the leader of this family in ways he never was able to be before because of my fears! Like I said, he has always been awesome, but something has shifted in the heavenlies and it is beautiful to behold. I keep telling him the I feel so 'shepherded' by him. I think he sometimes thinks I am crazy because he doesn't really 'feel' all that different. A very cool thing that happened while we were in Georgia was that after I told him that I felt he was doing an awesome job and we felt so 'shepherded', a stranger came up to him and told him he had been observing Brian and saw what a great job he does at being the shepherd of his family! Isn't God so cool?!
(I am speaking somewhat generally here and in no way do I think it is 'just that easy'. I am aware of some pretty horrific marriage situations and I do not intend for this to bring condemnation or come across as a light hearted fix-all. My heart truly aches for those of you who are in these extremely difficult circumstances. My prayer is that the Father lovingly show you your heart and give you grace to trust Him with your circumstances.)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Thoughts and Words

Taking every thought captive has been big in our home of late, since May, actually. That is when the Lord began to unravel many of the messes in our lives and also when He healed me of Adrenal Exhaustion.

The more we learn the more I am astounded by the scriptural principle, and command really, to take every thought captive. It is amazing the effect our thoughts have on our physical bodies as well as our spirit man.

A recent 'lesson' I had was this. I had been typing my notes up from the For My Life course we recently took and I began to meditate on the thought that Satan and his minions respond to our words. Now they are not omnipresent or omniscient so they can't know our thoughts, but our words give our thoughts away.

The day after I was thinking on this I was having an incredibly difficult day, spiritually and physically. The battle in my mind to not 'go under' these circumstances seemed pretty intense. Up until this point I had been battling the thoughts in my mind and had not spoken defeat. I finally cracked. I began to speak defeat. "Fine, I give up! I just quit. I can't take it any more, I see no hope, no way out. You win, I lose." ( I know, extremely foolish)

What happened next was shocking. Had I not experienced it I would not have believed it. Immediately the thoughts and temptations came flooding in. Up until that point there were a reasonable amount of thoughts inside my head to battle with, now, it felt like a flood! It was as if I could see them come flooding in. It felt like the thoughts were hundreds of ping pongs bouncing off the walls of my mind. It was very startling. I mean thoughts of doom and gloom around things that didn't even pertain to the day's battle!

Brian and I prayed and I was able to lie down for a rest. It wasn't until later that I had realized what had happened. It was my words of defeat that let all those thoughts come flooding in. They responded to my words! How much better had I kept my mouth shut. No! How much better had I opened my mouth with faith filled words of scripture!

While the experience was difficult to go through, I am so thankful for it. It was a huge lesson for me. One I hope to learn from.

Friday, November 5, 2010


When I see the weakness in each of our lives . . .
when I see the sin, sometimes so glaring . . .
I marvel, shake my head and stand in awe . . .
how can it be that the two of us would be gifted with this marriage?

Perhaps our Father is showing He will have mercy on whom He will have mercy?

Perhaps it is yet another example of free grace, totally unmerited?

Perhaps we will never know, fully, why He would choose two thoroughly broken sinful people and put them together making one 'whole'.

One thing I do know, I am humbled, awestruck and forever thankful for this gift ~ the gift of this marriage.

Happy Anniversary, my love! It sometimes seems insane, the love we have for each other, but we both know Who gets the glory for this, don't we?

Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to Your name give glory, for Your mercy and loving kindness and for the sake of Your truth and faithfulness! (Psalm 115:1)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Wow, wow, wow!

We are recovering from our 10 1/2 day journey to Georgia and back. We are moving slowly back into our routine and resting a lot!

Where do I start???

What an awesome week we just had as a family. It was so incredible in so many ways. The children have really grown and have broken free from a lot of ‘stuff’.

There were precious tears of repentance between parent and child and between siblings.

I scarce can take in all the Lord has done in each of our hearts, individually as well as a family. This whole week has been such blur. In one sense it feels like it happened in a flash, and in another time seems to have stopped.

Brian and the four younger children took part in the For My Life Children’s program at Be In Health in Thomaston, GA. Each day the children would be taught what the parents were being taught in the For My Life program and then at the end of each class the children would come in to the main sanctuary for prayer and deliverance together as a family. It was so awesome.

The children were taught some really cool praise and worship songs with dance moves to them. The songs and dances were so cool that each time I went to check on them, (which was often even though Brian was in there) I wished I was in there. You could find me dancing in the hallway to the songs. No, I am not a person who is over comfortable with dancing, but they were so cool.

It was great to see the children come out of their little comfort zones a little. They divided the children into smaller groups and each of our little children was in different groups, so they had to make friends with others. I cannot believe how many homeschoolers there were in the program. I think there were about 30 ish children this week and about 20 of them were home school children!

I was privileged to be in the For My Life classes with four of our older children. Luke, Joshua, Victoria and Isaiah were in with me. The classes were long and intense at times. There is so much information to take in and I was so proud of the children, especially Victoria and Isaiah. We have done this course before, though online, so it was really neat to be having this information go in deeper. I think, for me, the first time listening to all this material you simply cannot take it ‘all’ in. Having listened to some of the teaching up to several times have really helped cement them in.
We are so thankful for all the the Lord is doing in our hearts and our family. We praise Him for the provision to go to Georgia. My mom and her husband paid for a significant amount of our travels and stay and we are forever thankful. They were able to come up on Friday night to 'celebrate' with us and were very blessed as they saw much of the work the Lord had done in our lives.
We were amazed at how well the programs are run at Be In Health. They do an AWESOME job and the people there who pour out their lives week after week are so precious. By Friday you feel like they are family and you just want to take them home with you. We met wonderful people from many places. From Calgary, Canada to England and from many of the states. Precious people all with hearts to seek the Lord with their whole hearts, many coming at great sacrifice financially. What a gift this week was in so many ways.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I Leave You With This

We are finishing our last minute preparations for our trip to GA. God has been so faithful in the preparing, we are very organized, it seems. Thank You Father!!
You may have already seen this, but it is amazingly wonderful! I am posting all the parts as well as the short version of it. Take a break from school or whatever you are doing and watch this with your children. I am reduced to tears every time I see this and realize just how awesome our God is and how HE holds ALL THINGS together.
Here is the short version if you want to quickly see what I am talking about, but trust me, this is a MUST SEE!! Please watch it with your family, make some popcorn and make a treat out of it.

Monday, October 18, 2010

We Are Leaving Again!

We are going to Georgia, again! Can you believe it? This time it is with all the children (well, not all, my oldest and his wife are not going, boo hoo) and Brian and I! Yes, that is right, eight children and a mom and dad driving from Michigan to Georgia in two days! Sound fun?

Okay, I am sure to some of you it seems as though we are 'world travelers' who travel all the time. Let me assure you, we are not. We haven't even been on a vacation in the last five years. I mean not even a 'local' vacation. So the fact that Brian and I got to go to Georgia and now, shortly thereafter we are all going is quite unusual for our family.

The Lord has opened the door and has provided all the finances for us to take the children down to GA for the For My Life/For My Life Children programs. When we saw one of the skits that they do in the children's program we knew right away we wanted to bring the children.

We are so excited. We are leaving early Friday morning(10/22, Lord willing). That means this week is lots of packing, organizing, cooking, planning and trying not to freak out. (oh, that is my job, not freaking out)

We are trying to do the 'food' portion of it as cheaply and healthfully as we can. That takes extra planning and space. It would certainly be 'easier' if we could just eat out at each meal, but yuck, that doesn't even sound appealing to me. We will do pre-made sub sandwiches for lunches on the way down. Breakfast will be in the hotel. Dinners will be out, but as cheaply as we can. For example, we will probably eat fruits and veggies and some cheese before we go in for dinner. That will help with how much we spend at the restaurants.

I am bringing our homemade yogurt (we already have the raw milk paid for or else I would just buy yogurt in GA) for breakfasts. We made up 11 quarts of granola this weekend to bring. We also made and froze 7 loaves of banana bread to bring. Lunches are provided for at the conference. Dinners will be brought from home, pre-made and frozen in zip top freezer bags, including White Chili, Chicken Enchilada, BBQ and Taco Meat for Nachos.

We have PB Balls, Granola Bars, Nutty Bars, Slice Cheese and Apples and Veggies for snacks the whole week.

When we travel by vehicle we use Rubbermaid containers instead of bags and suitcases. They simply stack better. Brian made his rounds all over the house this past Saturday to empty toy and clothing containers, putting the contents in boxes, in search of the perfect sizes and amount of containers. Good thing I am known as the Rubbermaid Queen.

While we are on a pretty tight schedule, we would love to meet any of you who live near the places we will be driving through. Let me know if you live near any of the following cities and wouldn't mind driving to a highway exit for a hug!!

South Bend




( I-65 to Louisville, I-64 to Lexington, I-75 all the way through Atlanta)

We are staying in Williamsburg, KY the first night.

The second day we go through




Give me a shout out if you live in or near these cities or anywhere along our path!!