Sunday, July 21, 2013


If you read my last post, Gifts Divine, you know I've developed a new affinity for carrots. Well, I took my first carrot, this time willingly, out of the bag and began to munch!

I've been praying in recent weeks that our God Who is Overflowing with Grace would reveal to me any strongholds in my life and help me to become more than a conqueror over them.  I asked that He would help me see the things in my life that are hindering me from having a beautiful, complete relationship with Him. Bad habits. Emotional baggage. Addictions. False gods. ALL of it.

Now, I am in that place, right in the middle of that space, of difficulty and uncertainty. So be it. Amen. I asked Him; I yielded; He answered. Ouch....

Taking that first step, I asked that He would help me see anything I've clung onto concerning my strained relationship with my parents who are now at rest.  Yes, I do have and have had a lot of emotional baggage connected my relationship with them. I've conquered much but, apparently, I still have a lot of work to do. This time around, the God Who never Gives Up on me, brought my dad very much to the forefront of my mind and heart.

The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:2

My dad, though a good provider for our family, was very detached emotionally from everything that went on.  He was gone much of time for work, neglected his relationship with my mother and me, and was extremely self-absorbed.  His comments to me generally concerned the perceived faults I had and/or mistakes I was making, what a disappointment I was to him, and how I would never amount to anything.  That is it; my childhood with my dad (and some of adulthood) in a nutshell.

My dad has been gone for ten years. I have forgiven him many times over, realizing he was misguided and imperfect as are we all.  I discovered today, however, that I still struggle with his lack of love, acceptance and approval for me. And, I have transferred some of that sense of earning that love, acceptance and approval to my heavenly Father.

I know many struggle with this issue of transference. Though we truly believe that our heavenly Father loves us unconditionally, that Christ died for us unconditionally, it is an ongoing test to remember and live out these things. Old habits die hard. Truly.

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;..." Isaiah 61:1

I believe I am at a crossroad in my life. A change of seasons, of conquering fear. I'm asking truly where He wants me to be a servant for Him. Asking Him how. He is silent. He has been silent for many months now.  The apparent opportunities in my circumstances to serve Him are growing fewer.  He has put a yearning, a tugging at my heart to do more, to do differently, to do deeper but nothing presents itself.  I wait. The waiting is hard. The uncertainty is harder still.

I know God's timing is perfect. His gifts are perfect. This divine gift of waiting, of seeking, of searching is stretching me, shaping me.  It hurts. My flesh screams and my heart aches being convinced thatI've done something wrong as I hear the Liar hissing that my Father doesn't approve or accept me... That I won't amount to anything...

In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. 
Ephesians 1:13-14

God's silence is sometimes deafening. Yet, today I heard Him whisper "You don't have to do anything. I still love you, approve of you and accept you. Just wait. Trust Me and My love for you. I will provide when the time is right. For now, you must learn to receive the fullness of my gift....."

"...Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
On earth as it is in heaven.  
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.  And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. 
Amen." Matthew 6:9-13

This carrot is difficult to chew and even more difficult digest but oh so necessary for my spiritual health. Nonetheless, I am praising Him Whose mercies are truly new EVERY morning! I do truly want to be more like Him even though I do so dislike the pain in arriving there. Your will Lord, not mine, be done!

And so it goes... I'll keep ya 'posted'...!

 Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. 2 Cor 1:21-22

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Carrots. Carrots! Slender, crunchy, sunrise orange carrots!

My sweet girl is standing beside me in the grocery store, in the produce section, jumping up and down chanting "Carrots. Carrots, Mommy. Please, please, please. Can I have these carrots? I'll pay for them with my own money!" She was grinning from ear to ear.

I did a double take. Was this child of mine truly asking, no pleading, for a bag of carrots?  Did she truly say she would pay for them herself?!  Sure enough, my daughter stood there holding a small bag of seven inch long carrots. About eight of them to be exact. Nope, not candy. Not ice cream. Not a new toy or electronic device. Carrots....

Here are some of the essential vitamins and nutrients that come from raw carrots:
  • Vitamin A (almost 700 percent of the daily value)
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin C
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin B6
  • Manganese
  • Molybdenum
  • Vitamin B1
  • Vitamin B3
  • Phosphorous
  • Magnesium
  • Folate
Not to mention the health benefits of chewing on this brightly colored but not  really so tasty member of the veggie family.  (Always better with a little salt.) Loaded with antioxidents, Vitamin A, and Beta-Carotene which buddy up to help fight all types of cancer.  They also help regulate your blood sugar levels. In short, this boring but healthy snack is loaded with all kinds of things that do good things for you!

So, how many children do you know who would ask, no beg, for a carrot........?

Then I asked myself, how many times do I ask God for a carrot?  Seriously. A spiritual carrot. How many times do I come to Him pleading for a not-so-tasty treat in my life that will, in the long run, have tremendous benefits for me.  That testing, that trial.  That hard thing. Those experiences that grow me from the inside out. That mold me and shape me into the person He wants me to become.  To make me more like my Savior, Lord and King....

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

How many times do I ask Him to let me suffer for His sake? How many times do I say "Bring it on, Lord, so that YOUR glory be revealed!"   or "Let me serve you so that others may see YOU!"  Do I ever ask Him for an entire bag of carrots? How many times do I ask for His divine, not of this world, gifts....

Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” John 4:10

The answer is "Not often enough...."

 The beauty of many of His gifts are not in the packaging. Many times they are in the pain. They don't always look good, taste good, or feel good to our flesh. But they do tremendous good: for our spirits,  our eternal journey, for the 'others' in our lives, and for Him. Yes, these precious gifts can be hard to chew and even harder to swallow; however, the long term benefits outweigh the momentary struggle within.

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! 2 Cor 9:15

I think I'm going to start viewing His gifts a little differently. I will pray more expectantly and a bit more introspectly. To be more completely transformed, to trade in my heart of stone for a heart of flesh, to break bonds and be released from strongholds I don't even realize exist. To surrender my plans for His, to offer myself up as a true servant of the Most High God. To let go. Of ALL of it.

For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God; but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned. Hebrews 6:7-8

And, I will take another good, deep look at this verse: 

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.  James 1:17

And, now is the time for me to be reaching for that bag of carrots because there, in that hard place, I will find His beauty and His blessing.....  Amazing what can happen on a trip to the grocery store. Care to join me in a snack for His glory?

Thursday, July 11, 2013


 My son. My firstborn. My man/child.

A few days ago, he was in my womb. A day later he was talking. A day after that he was walking. Now he is growing hair everywhere, his voice is cracking and he is almost three inches taller than me! Almost overnight or so it seems.

Let your father and your mother be glad, And let her who bore you rejoice. Proverbs 23:25

I waited, somewhat unintentionally but mostly intentionally, to have my first child. (No regrets as I know there is a God-reason for everything.) As all children are special and certainly gifts from the Most High, the firstborn always have initial significance to the family especially Mom. They are the first of so much in the lives of new parents. Challenges, questions, education, prayers, trials, tears, joy, laughter, more questions, and more prayers. So it has been with our son.

My son, hear the instruction of your father, And do not forsake the law of your mother; For they will be a graceful ornament on your head, And chains about your neck. Proverbs 1:8-9

I find myself staring at him in amazement periodically throughout each day. I marvel at the man he is quickly becoming. I wonder where the time has gone, how we’ve made it this far, and how we are going to making it in the remaining time he has at home with us. I praise God daily for this gift of a child (and my other as well) and what He is doing in his life.  What He is doing, not me.

My husband and I hold temporary custody of this man/child. We’ve been on our knees continually for guidance, wisdom, direction, inspiration, protection and provision. God has and continues to bless us many ways. Yes, even in the difficult phases and hard places. We both have grown together with our son. It is truly a privilege to bring up children and certainly not one to be taken lightly. Everyday of parenting brings us a little bit closer to understanding the character of our heavenly Father.

But our son does belong to God and God alone
. God has a purpose and plan for this beautiful boy with a strong will, bright mind, tender heart and a love for his Savior. Our son needs to choose to follow that path of his own free will. We are thankful for and rest in that comfort. God is truly sovereign in all things.

As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him. Psalm 18:30

Our pride and joy always has been and always will be in His loving hands. I cannot push and I cannot panic. I can only prod with the Shepherd’s prod, understanding His providence, and pass on the wisdom that God has granted me. I can be on bended knee for God’s will in this young man’s life as I know anything He has in store for him will be much better than anything idea I might have or any plan I might have made. Who am I to question God’s call on his life? After all, who knows my son better than the One who made him?  I trust God and God alone. 

If I truly love God with all my heart, mind and strength, I must yield to His control in all things concerning my children knowing He is working a much greater work than I can possibly imagine. I love this boy/man of mine, this treasure, this child of God, more than words can express...  I can't wait to see what God has in store for him!

I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. Psalm 139:14


Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 2 Cor 3:17