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.