Saturday, February 28, 2015

I Believe!!

I was reminded and freshly inspired while reading in Luke chapter 5:4-7. At Jesus beckoning to Simon, to launch the fishing boat out to sea and to cast the nets, I found Simon's response interesting. He was full of respect, as he said, "Master, we have toiled all the night,and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. " 

What Simon couldn't even begin to imagine, was truly already accomplished in Jesus. Before his astonishing eyes, the nets became so full that they needed the assistance from another fishing boat! 

I just found this whole account amazing indeed!! There have truly been times in my life where God beckoned me further into the great deep.. Even promising me through Scripture and worship the blessing that awaits. I have seriously on occasion said, "Okay, Lord, this is what the world around me is saying...but this is what You are saying.." 

Finding myself at this spiritual crossroads and the need to choose. It was impossible to stay standing in that one spot, cause had I not chosen, my silence would have proved my choice. There is no middle ground to stand on.   

And sadly, sometimes in trying to convince our loved ones and friends around us only bring the sad realization that we are humanly in this one alone. Even saying, "This is what the Word of God says and I choose to believe it" has brought condemnation from even so called Christians as they have responded, "That is a very scary place to be". 

I have sometimes seriously doubted my own ears and hearing... Playing the conversation over and over in my mind, I've had to think that surely they didn't just say that!!

The difference is in believing what we literally can't see, because it really doesn't matter, cause our heart is so full of trust to our loving Saviour. When times have made it difficult to believe something that I knew to be true based solely upon Scripture, I have had to ask myself, how if I don't believe "this" how can I believe anything at all? How can I believe in salvation or even heaven then? 

About 1 1/2 years or more ago, God took my faith to a much larger degree.. I wanted to believe all of Scripture with my whole heart, but being sensitive in my nature, there were just certain things that kept me from shouting freely, "I believe!!" So I tiptoed around those verses. I desperately wanted freedom in my spirit in even those verses, but I just couldn't get past the oblivious of what I "could" see to the seemingly impossible promise that scripture was saying.

After being spiritually boosted and stretched at a weekend conference, and after crying all weekend at the preciousness, I returned home. I had heard and seen so much that contradicted every lying argument that had secretly taken root somewhere along the way in my heart.

I began right away to allow the Holy Spirit to combat every temptation of satan to get me to doubt, by saying out loud in reference to my God and scripture, "I believe". And I would not let my sensitive nature wash me in doubt as to whether or not I was lying because in reality, I didn't have anymore to go on than before other than what scripture says even though the world seemed to prove otherwise.

I stood confidently in my position in Christ and kept confirming to myself, "It doesn't matter if I really think it could be true or not ( by what my eyes see or my experience tells me)  scripture says it and I believe scripture so I know it's true." Before I even realized what was happening, my spiritual boat was filled to overflowing with fishes! I tasted such freedom in Christ. I drove to a private country road and stood in the road with only God, myself, and the cattle for my witnesses  as I shouted, " I believe!!"

That belief in Christ has made some difficult decisions in my life conquerable in Him!! It hasn't made others understand me any better, but it really doesn't matter, because what I am living in everyday, the joy, the life giving exuberance, I wouldn't trade! 

When we live our lives completely surrendered to God, is only then, when we taste of the most beautiful life. It's not bondage as some think, it's freedom! We are free to live, literally dance!, the biggest smiles threaten to cover our whole face! It radiates and pours from us from every fiber. Our intimacy and friendship with our spouse, our relationships in child raising, our visiting with the cashier at the grocery store, our attitude just because someone pulled out in front of us or took our parking spot, ;) all changes! Because what we live in every single day has nothing to do with the external and yet everything in the external is affected! Amazing, isn't it?! ;) ;)

Then I look at what the world calls freedom...and I shake my head and am bewildered that they could possibly think for a moment that I'd trade what I call freedom for theirs. 

Just last night I kissed my sweetheart goodbye and blessed him again that he's such a good man...remembering that not all men are good men. The cheating "while their away" on their spouses.. Freedom?? Not the kind I ever want Mike and I to experience. 

When he puts his arms around me and I know in my heart that I am the only one, my most intimate heart of hearts is bonded with his securely for life. 

And as much as I would stand and testify from the top of the highest mountain that what I taste is freedom~it can only be convinced in a person's soul as they first surrender to the God of this freedom..    Only then He opens up His treasure chest full of the rarest of riches!! :):) 

And they all truly becomes ours, in Him!! 

"I (Jesus) am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. "
 I believe!!!!

For more on this subject feel free to check out the post titled, "The Joy of the Lord is my Strength". I am a bit more specific on how fear cripples. But you won't be left hanging there. Jesus has a full measure of life and beauty in Him to offer!!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Tasting More than Joy in Our Mommyhood ;)

The softly padded footsteps as one of my little ones make their way across the living room to me with a sleepy smile on their face. My heart is exuberantly quiet. ( Is that possible?! ;) whatever this emotion is called, I feel it. ) As I hold them close in the warmth of my arms, kiss the top of their silken hair, taking in the beautiful scent of their shampoo, I am overflowing with the whole beautiful role of mommyhood. 

Raising children and fulfilling my title as mommy is more than getting creative with meals and snack ideas, more than keeping our house cozy, clean, and inviting. More than kissing and patching up owies. Way more than pressing uniforms and Sunday shirts, making sure teeth are brushed and keeping intentional in their education. 

It is in actuality raising souls that will continue choosing Jesus Christ or one day to reject Him. If I look to my resources to conquer this serious task before me,  I find myself quaking from within. It is in those moments that my loving Heavenly and Kingly Papa assures me that He will carry out His beautiful and altogether lovely masterpiece in our life.

All He ask of me is my complete givenness and undivided loyalty and trust in His ability. To allow the beautiful pruning of growth in my own life. Somehow, as I yield myself in obedience to Him, a selfless spirit of caring for and nurturing my little family flows naturally from me! 

Is that beautiful or what?! Yes, it is very beautiful indeed!! As I live my life for my Kingly Papa, I also taste of exclusive wonders that graces the life of a princess daughter! It is actually having His royalty surround us, and we find that no matter if it's tidying the house or hiking the magnificent Rockies, we are basking in exuberant joy!! 

This freedom and fulfilling life, in Christ, I would not exchange. With all this, I hasten to add, that because my flesh would naturally stray it's own way, I have found the Great Shepherd's hook, about me more than once, gently guiding me to where the pastures truly are lush, but in my single inward focus, somewhere else looked a bit lusher. What I failed also to see were the bramble bushes that I found myself tangled in. As my Sweet and caring Shepherd gently untangled the mess I found myself in, it hurt to have the thorns and brambles removed and in His gentle ministrations, I mistook the pain that my wanderings brought and as He painstakingly set me free, I associated the pain with Him at times. 

My wonderings brought consequences and He risked setting me free, but knowing at the same time, that freeing me from the bramble bush also brings pain and there is no way around it. You know, (smile) as ironic as it may seem, those times that has been the very things that drew me to my Saviour's sheltering embrace are the times in life I've thanked Him for the most.

It is not freedom to me, to wander from Him, it is discouragement, disappointment and if I get any pleasure from it whatsoever, it has been fleeting, unsatisfactory, and temporary. 

Whereas my life is filled to overflowing as I bask in His love, makes all of life peaceful, restful and joyfilled. Even the call for down moments where in myself, I would feel unsure, I find myself more and more naturally turning to see if this paprticular situation has taken my Kingly Papa by surprise and every time, without fail, I see His completely unruffled confidence and smile, and I rest in Him and find the peace that passeth all understanding as Scripture promises.  

With every good thing, there comes testing to build strength. There is just no way around it. If I want a healthly body, I have to eat right, exercise. If I want to build muscle or tone, I have to make the required effort. And if I want my life to be the real deal, as pure as silver or gold, I have to allow for the heat and fire moments in life to melt me down enough so that the impurities can be filtered out. The more our lives experience this, it has a astoundingly rippling effect in our life that can't be pursued any other way. Our marriages, our families, our relationships prosper. 

When we are free to love selflessly, we experience love in return and as our arms are emptied of ourself we can love and hold others close. It's beautiful! When I nurture only myself, I am filled up in a different way, and I have almost no compacity to reach outward and in the end, I am an unhappy self-riddled person. Jesus created us to love outward, to live outward, and then is when our life becomes full and overflowing with all the good stuff!! 

A mommy's life is definitely full, but all the living, giving, sacrificing and what could seem like "missing out" times is small in comparison to the fulfilling of Proverds 31:31

31 "Give her of the fruit of her hands, And let her own works praise her in the gates."

And even now, God lets us catch glimpse of what these are...the little arms wrapped tight around our necks, the wet kisses and I "wuv" you from our littles, the confidence and trust the children place in us, the times the kiddos insist on sharing their sweet treat with us..(just last night little Branson wanted me to take turns with him in sharing nibbles from his sweet treat leftover from his valentine's goodies. My mommy heart wanted him to enjoy it, but the truth of the matter is, his enjoyment came as he said in his baby voice, "you turn" and I'd take a tiny little nibble and then he'd take his turn. ) ;) Or all the years we invest in teaching our boys to grow into gentlemen who are caring and preferring to the ladies around them and than I have to allow them to take the lower place in their desire to serve me. That is and has been hard for me sometimes! They are still my littles ( even tho' Michael is much taller than me and Cameron isn't far behind! ;) ) I have to allow them to exercise their integrity-filled manhood in giving me the last piece or sometimes slightly bigger piece of dessert~all because they want to! To give me their chair if one of us must stand. It's the years of toilsome effort and then we taste of our "works praising us" through our children who are choosing to also live outward. The caring and giving and loving one another is the most beautiful artwork of a Master Creator's Hand. 

And I quietly realize that my Kingly Papa smiles upon me as I taste beautifully and am credited by my children as "the fruit of my sacrifice in their lives"  when it was really my Papa behind it...just as He promised. ;) And somehow, I ponder in the quietness, if I didn't see my Kingly Papa also add a joyfilled wink with His smile. ;) 

Just a reminder of our adoption! Our sweet M and M made us very lovely valentine cards. :)  What a joy to bond with these precious kiddos!! We trust our Kingly Papa to do what we never could in bringing these kiddos home! If He has laid it on your heart to bless this adoption, you will find a donate button at the top right of this blog. Feel free to leave us a note of encouragement and/or prayer! We look forward to hearing from you!!