Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Draw Near

Do you ever feel like God is too far away? Do you ever feel like He has forgotten you?

I have been reminded in the last few days, that God's Presence is all around me all the time. So, even on the days when I don't feel like God is anywhere in sight, He is there. Even on the days when I feel all alone, He is there. Even on the days when everything is going wrong and I can not sense His presence, yep He is there.

The reality is our feelings should not determine our faith. Our feelings are fickle. They change based on our circumstances. One day our feelings are up and then the next thing you know they are down.

So how do we live a life of faith that is not based on our feelings. The answer is really quite simple. We have to know the truth. Jesus is The Truth and we must draw near to Him. One of the promises in God's Word is if we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us. (James 4:8)

I have been trying to meditate on that one truth today, "Draw near to Him."

My husband just called me from the ball field to say that I needed to come with the extra key to his car. Our son locked the keys in the trunk. I said okay, but then I realized that I saw the extra key in the console of my husbands car. I know, it is a really great place to keep the extra key. I had to call him back and tell him that I did not have the extra key. I could just feel the stress coming on as I flipped through the phonebook looking for a locksmith. With every turn of the page, all I could think of was dollar signs. And then that voice inside said, "Draw near to me." "In the midst of the chaos of this moment, think of Me." And that is just what I did. I did not allow the stress of the situation to take me down a path that I did not want to go.

It was a great reminder to me that my feelings do not dictate my faith. The above situation could have turned our very differently if I had given in to my feelings in a moment of stress.

I encourage you to draw near to Him and trust in His promise that He will draw near to you.

post signature

Thursday, September 23, 2010

My Day In A Nutshell...

This morning my quiet time was on forgiveness. When I read my devotional, I thought that maybe it was just a reminder for me but not really something that I deal with. No one came to mind that I am harboring unforgiveness toward. And then my day started...

I had a three o'clock deadline for my job and my computer decides it is not going to cooperate. I met the deadline, but was almost late picking my kids up from school.

I have been operating on very few hours of sleep for weeks now and today I feel the magnitude of my lack of sleep. My patience are not in abundance today.

Homework is especially long today. I am the meanest mom EVER for making someone write in cursive. And it is all my fault because I have not read the book that the report is on. It is suggested that I read a 182 page book within the hour so I can help! I laugh!

My daughter is to be in the homecoming parade since she attended cheer camp. The note from cheer camp says to have her at the front of the school at 5:30 since the parade starts at 6:00. We are on our way to the school and the police are already blocking off streets. I tell the police that I need to drop her off at the school to be in the parade. He doesn't really care and won't let me through. I end up having to go around the world to get to the school. I am still trying to get to the front of the school only to have every way blocked by the police. We can see the floats lined up down the side street. I end up having to park behind the football field and walk up the side street which is one BIG hill. I am in flip flops that squeek because my feet are sweaty. My daughter takes off running while MawMaw here is pulling up the rear. She gets almost to the top and the floats starts pulling off. It was quite a scene.

My daughter turns around and starts back down to me. I could see it on her face. Before she reached me the reality of the situation hit her and she just started crying. I told her that I would get her in the parade. It was one of those moments that my adrenaline kicked in and I was about to stop a parade. We jogged to the car, well I did not jog the whole way. I wanted to live! I was on a mission and I would not stop until my baby gets in the parade.

I may have been driving like a crazy woman but I figured all the police were busy blocking off streets. I told her to stop crying because she didn't want to look like she had been crying in the parade. She said, "Mama I want to stop but I am just so sad and mad!" How many times have I been there!

Well long story short, I got her in the parade. I walked out to the float and she hopped right on.

She's the one in the cheerleader's lap near the poster.

Since I am recapping my day, let me just add that I had to use a toothpick to stick in my camera to be able to take a picture.

My whole point to this was that I had plenty of opportunties to forgive people today and I needed people to forgive me. Next time I will know if my devotion is on a topic that I don't really think I struggle with, then I better watch out for what's to come.

post signature

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Oh Yes He Did!

Over the last few weeks, God has allowed me to witness His presence in my life. I was at a point where I just collapsed in a heep before Him and declared that I could not do any more. It was where He wanted me all along. I needed to expend all of myself and realize that what God had asked of me was beyond me.

That is a hard lesson for me to learn. I seem to have to relearn it pretty often.

The Real Me Conference was this past weekend and it was great. I was the speaker for the women's portion and I shared testimony of what God has been doing in my life this year. It was very difficult to open up and allow everyone to see the "Real Me." I had prayed up to the conference that God would give me the strength to be able to speak of what He had done and not just stand and cry. I spoke, but it was through tears.

My testimony is one of freedom. This year, the Lord set me free from an area of sin in my life that has defeated me for years. I am going to do some posts soon telling my story. I know based on the comments that women shared with me, that my struggle is a common one. I want to share my story with others and I may be feeling the urge to start writing all of this down. Who knows what will come of it, (well, God knows!) but I still would like to have it all written down.

There is no struggle that is too much for Him. The key is just letting it go and letting Him have it. That is very easy to type and say, but so very hard to do. But as I learned, it is the only way to have true freedom.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

On His Mind

God has been teaching me a very valuable lesson in trusting Him. What I have learned is that I say I trust Him, but when He does not do things in my timing or in the way I think it should be that I start trying to come up with "Plan B".

When God has told you to go with Plan A, trying to come up with Plan B is not trusting Him.

I have been getting a lesson in sitting back and doing nothing but trusting Him. That is very easy to say, but so very hard to do.

I am a doer. I like to do things to make things happen, but at some point I have to stop doing and just start trusting. God has had me at that point for several weeks now.

While I have been struggling with learning this lesson, I started a new devotional book for my quiet time. I absolutely love the devo book. The name of the book is Jesus Calling written by Sarah Young.

The most amazing thought came to me yesterday during my quiet time. I started my time with prayer and I asked the Lord to please speak to me. Ladies, I was desperate to hear from Him. Have you been there?

And then, I read the devotional for the day. Here is what it said...

"Your assignment is to trust Me absolutely, resting in My sovereignty and faithfulness."

I was awestruck before Him. I could not speak only cry. And then this thought came to me. I was on His mind when He inspired Sarah Young to write this devotional. He knew what my September 8th was going to look like and He knew exactly what I needed to hear.

The thought was more than I could comprehend. And then it was as if He whispered to me "you are never off my mind."

I don't know who else needs to hear this, but we are never off His mind. We are never out of His sight. We are never out of reach to Him. He knows what every second of my life is going to look like, after all He ordained them. I hope that brings you comfort. He is El Roi, The God Who Sees. And He sees you right this very moment and His eyes are so full of love as He gazes at you!

post signature

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Real Me Conference

Late one night last spring, I decided that I could not go to bed with dishes in my sink. I'll be honest, normally that doesn't bother me. I had no idea what God had in store for me as I stood washing my dishes in the wee hours of the morning.

Christian music was playing in the background and God began to speak to my heart. The conversation was about my need to be real and for other women to be real, for us to know who we are in Christ. That night He set ablaze a passion inside of me that I could only describe to others as a fire. It either had to get out or I was going to combust!

I stood at my sink having a conversation with the Lord. And even though I could not see Him, His presence was overwhelming. And then, He began to give me a vision for what I was to do with my new found passion. Literally I could see with my minds eyes a worship center filled with teens and women all praising the Lord together. I will never forget saying aloud "show me more, please show me more!" Tears were streaming down my face because what I was experiencing was just too much.

As you can imagine, sleep was not to be had that night. I tried going to bed, but my mind was racing. It took every ounce of restraint in me not to call some of my friends at 2:00 in the morning. I have never been so glad to see the sun rise.

After my family was off to work and school, I started making phone calls. The first person I called was my childhood best friend, Heather Richardson. I knew that she was suppose to lead the worship. I was almost breathless as I tried explaining what had happened during the night. I detailed for her the vision God had given me and there on the phone was born The Real Me Conference.

It was very obvious that God was up to something amazing because everyone I told about it was so excited. I remember going to Sunday School and sharing everything with my friend Michelle. She insisted that I come tell her Bible Study group about it because they had been praying for something like that. What I did not know that night in my kitchen was that God was planting the same passion into the hearts of so many women.

I can honestly tell you that last year's conference was almost effortless. It was truly amazing and I thank God for the priviledge of being a part of it. Right before my eyes, I saw lives changed. Not because of anything I or anyone else did, but all because of what God did. It was all for His glory!

And I sit here tonight just a little over a week away from The 2nd Annual Real Me Conference. I did not know in the beginning that it would continue on, but it became very apparent to us that God wanted it to happen again this year.

This year I can say with confidence that God has something very special in store for us again. It would take too long for me to tell you all the ways we have seen God working just in the planning of the conference. I personally have been getting a lesson in trusting God. I have been reminded on numerous occasions that my ways are not His and my timing is not His timing. I would be lying if I said that I have gotten it all down pat. Apparently I am a little hard headed!
But I am trying to learn to just lean on Him. After all, His ways are so much higher than mine.

I hope you will be able to come to the conference next weekend. I am excited about the message God has been growing in my heart to share with the women. And I can not wait to worship Him together with girls of all ages!

post signature

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Too, Too Funny!

This week I have been burning the midnight oil. Night before last I was still looking at the clock at 2:00 am. And last night I was still sending out emails at midnight. By 12:15 am, my back was hurting and I thought I was going to have to crawl to bed. As I headed to the bedroom, I remembered that all my daughter's clothes (or atleast the ones she will wear) were wet in the washer. So, I had to deal with that. My eyes were watering because I couldn't quit yawning. After finishing the laundry, I went to get my pjs on and got a glimpse of myself in the mirror. The woman looking back scared me. I had black rings around my eyes from all the watering and yawning and lack of waterproof mascara. But instead of taking off my makeup, I decide to just crawl in the bed. Thankfully Cliff was already asleep because I am certain he would have screamed at the sight of me. I do have to add that while my mascara was a mess, my lipstick was still perfection. I wear the Cover Girl kind that stays on all day and yes it does work. That was just a little side note.

Well, you can just imagine what a sight I was when I woke up. My hair was in desperate need of some shampoo, my eyes were raccoonish, my lips were still looking pretty good even after all the drool and well, my nightgown should really be retired. I was a vision!

As you can guess, due to my lack of sleep, I hit the snooze one or maybe 8 times. All I know is that it was 7:00, my daughter had to have a bath with her hair washed (oh, joy), they both had to have clothes ironed, eat breakfast and be out the door by 7:40. I was running like a crazy woman. By the time we all arrived at the breakfast table, the only choices due to time were cereal or pb&j sandwich. My son doesn't like cereal and my daughter doesn't eat peanut butter. So they finally decided, after a few panicked pleas from me, to have a pb&j sandwich and a jelly only sandwich. When I got them out the door at 7:42 am, I had to hold onto the door knob to keep from colapsing in the floor. I would love to tell you that I was all happy and jolly, but the truth is that my morning look matched my attitude. I was a little gruff with an occational smile, so as not to scare the children.

So, this afternoon when I read BooMama's post I laughed until I cried because I could relate on so many levels. You have to go right now and read this post. I am not trying to be bossy, but stop right now and go read it. You also must watch the video. It is the funniest thing I have ever seen. Then come back and share your reaction with me in the comments. I laughed so hard I was crying and having to use my shirt to catch the tears.

By the way, the Ibex's bangs resemble mine this morning!

I can't wait to hear from you!

post signature