Monday, May 28, 2012

missing my babies...

I am so blessed to be a Nana. I never knew what an amazing and awesome experience it would become. I have enjoyed every second being a grandparent and each added grandchild just makes it better and more fulfilling. God has been so good to me and I stand in awe of all that He has accomplished in my life.

He has blessed me to be able to be a huge part of my grandchildren's lives. My girls have always been close and they are each other's very best friends. Ashlie and Megan have been able to spend a lot of time together and so their children are very close cousins and friends. Bryton asked Ashlie the other day, "Mama, how long have Mercie and I been best friends?" That really blessed my heart.

I have been there for all of my grandchildren's births. I have been there for all the major milestones in their lives. I have seen them all sit up for the first time and take their first tentative steps. I have seen them get their first teeth and lose their first teeth. I have been with them through illness and I have with them through their healing. I have read countless books and told millions of stories. I've tucked many a sweet grandchild into bed at night and been there many times to see those precious faces first thing in the morning. I've whispered many "I love you's" and heard just as many of those sweet words echoed back to me. I have felt sweet little hands around my neck in hugs that just can't be described in words.

I love my grandchildren. I am so thankful that my precious Lord entrusted me with those sweet babies. Oh, how they have enriched my life. 

I haven't seen my oldest daughter, Megan, and her precious 4 little ones in 4 weeks. They are in Pennsylvania working on a pipeline job and I miss them. I will see them soon as I have another grandson due in about 8 weeks, but for now I certainly miss those angelic children that have been such a big part of my daily life for a long time. 

Melissa is back in Boston after a very short visit a few weeks ago. She will be home in a few months for another brief visit before starting her fall semester. I miss her and will be glad when she moves back closer to home!

My youngest daughter Ashlie and her family have only been gone 2 days and I miss them. They are in Illinois on a pipeline job and I am counting the days until I can visit. I did get to see Laylah Beth take her first steps the day before they left. Three little steps but oh, so important ones! Thank you Lord for gracing me with that!

The days before they all left were spent making many more memories. I just want to be thankful for what God has bestowed me with for now and be ever mindful of the brevity of our life here. We aren't promised tomorrow so we need to live our today's walking in His ways and enjoying the blessing of each day.  May I never take another day for granted. 

"My flesh and my heart faileth; but God
is the strength of my heart, and
my portion for ever"
(Psalm 73:26)

My sweet Mikaela... where did that little baby girl go... she is such a precious young lady.
Mikaela and Eli - sister and brother and good friends. Thank you sweet Lord for that.

Bryton and Sawyer - buddies for life. I love these boys so much!

Mercie, Bryton and Eli - the 3 stooges... Mercie is not going to get too far away from her cousin Bryton at any given time. She adores him. And Bryton adores his cousin Eli...

My amazing granddaughter Mikaela. Have I mentioned that I love her?

And my adorable little Eli.... Have I mentioned that I love him, too??

Sweet Silas! I love his big boy haircut. I just love this little fella!!

Oh, my, little Laylah Beth - I love that girl!

The five oldest cousins waiting for the big slide to blow up!

Be still my heart - this little girl just makes me melt!!!

Laylah and her first steps!!

Ashlie and Megan - sisters and friends... I do love those girls!

My darling middle daughter, Melissa. I love her!

Thank you sweet Jesus, for blessing me for now, with these.....

Saturday, May 26, 2012

do you hear the call?

A calling is an invitation from God. One that He doesn't force us to accept.  God lovingly invites us to embrace the plans that He has ordained for us and it is up to us whether or not we accept his offer. 

Now, when we are believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, we certainly have a call on our lives. But we aren't focusing on the original call of salvation here. We are focusing on the unique calling to each of us that is more personal in nature. Once we have accepted Christ as our Savior, He puts a new call on our lives. One that we have to actually determine in our own minds that we desire to follow. We are going to look at the call to be a pastor's wife, a music minister's wife, a Sunday school teacher or a missionary.  There are many areas that God calls us to. His desire is for us to be busy about His kingdom and we accomplish that through our very unique and personal callings.

There are times that God calls us for a specific purpose for a specific season. And only God has the authority to override a call on our lives by sending us in a different direction. He may have called someone to be a Pastor of a church and then years later changes that call to one of evangelism or possibly to one of missionary work.  But we have to remember that only God has the right or the ability to lead us from one area of service to another. Man doesn't possess the authority to do this. God calls us and only God can change the call.

Our calling can lead us out of our comfort zones. In fact it usually does. God calls us to a place of service not to be comfortable but to be fully reliant on Him for all of our needs and all of our direction. He leads us into new territory so we realize the need we have to be totally dependent upon Him.

Our callings can leave us feeling insecure and inadequate. Especially when the unexpected pops up.  But that is when God shows us that we have to be focused on Him and that we have to be constantly
looking to Him for our direction and for our security. Whatever God calls us to do, He will equip us with the ability we need to undertake the task. What He desires from us the most is our availability and our willingness to go wherever He leads. He desires for our hearts to be fully surrendered to Him. When we come to the point of full submission to our God, the rest is so easy.

We need to choose to see our calling as a huge blessing instead of a burden. God calls us because we are:

1. chosen
2. called to bring light to the world.
3. called to serve
4. called to fellowship with Jesus.

Our call is dynamic - it doesn't always stay the same. We must be ever listening to His voice so that we can make sure we follow wherever He is leading.  He wants us to have peace in our ministry. He wants us to seek Him so that we KNOW Him.

"There is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries"
(Daniel 2:28)

God is faithful to help us live worthy of our calling. He empowers us. He created us for a purpose that is specific to us and He wants us to succeed!  We need to strive to be the woman of God that He called us to be and not to be looking at the calling or ability of others. We need to be who God designed us to be. Our purpose is ours alone. We have to focus on what God expects of us and not on what others expect of us. Our identity begins and ends in Christ. Our seasons of life change but our identity in Him does not. We just need to cling to the promises of His Word.

Embrace the call of God in your life. It is unique and specific from the very Hands of our very mighty God. He has called us each for a purpose and we need to be passionate in our pursuit of Him. He is worthy.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

do you possess a God-hungry soul?

The Lord is constantly teaching me things when I am attentive to His Voice. He is so amazing and it seems like every day I learn new things about Him and about myself. My greatest desire is for my relationship with Him to be in an ever-increasing state of intimacy. But I know that will only happen when I am living my life in total surrender to Him and His will. It will only take place when I am striving for Holiness in my life. If I want to be Christ-like then I have to be doing those things that Christ would do.

These past few weeks God has been really speaking to my heart and there are so many things that He is doing in my life. There are new places that He wants to take me in my walk with Him. I feel Him telling me that it is time for me to ascend to a higher place with Him in my spiritual journey. 

My week started with a beautiful quote I found in one of my A.W.Tozer books.  When I read it I was just blown away by the timeliness of it and the sweet way it just pierced my spirit.

"The longing cry of the God-hungry soul can
be expressed in five words.....
'Oh, to be like Thee'"

My soul is God-hungry.... I want more and more of Him. The more I find the more I want. The more I learn the more I search for new revelation. This type of longing in our hearts will produce steady growth in grace and consistency in our progression toward Christ likeness.

We surrender our hearts to our Lord so that we will have no unholy desires. We surrender our spirits to our Savior so that we see what is really important in our lives. It's about leaving our wants behind and replacing them with what He desires for us. 

I don't want to go anywhere in this life that He hasn't gone on before me and prepared my way. I want nothing that doesn't come from His Hand and from His perfect will for me. I want to be like Him. I want to live for Him. I want to grow each day in grace and truth and be a woman after His heart all the days of my life. 


Truths He taught me these past few weeks:

*  When we truly encounter God, He will 
leave an imprint on our soul.

*  We can so water down the religion
of the New Testament until it has no strength...
no vitality... no life.. and no power.

*  The Word of God can reach us
intellectually or sympathetically.

*  Far from being an optional luxury in 
our Christian lives, the presence and the
power of the Holy Spirit is a necessity.

*  As our knowledge of the WORD increases,
so should our knowledge of the use of the WORD.

* When we die to ourselves, we learn how
to live authentically.


Thank you sweet Lord for always teaching me. Thank you for giving me a willing spirit and a longing heart. I truly possess a God-hungry soul and for that I give You all the praise and honor and glory that only You are worthy of. I love you from the depths of my being and desire nothing but to please you in all that I say and do.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

there is such power in the Word

As I sit in my study anticipating sweet fellowship with my LORD, 
I feel the stirring of the Holy Spirit deep within my heart.

I want intimate time with Jesus. I need intimate time with Him. 
I crave to be in His Presence. I can't think of anyplace I'd
rather be than in sweet communion with my LORD.

I think about all that Jesus is to me, and it just overwhelms me. He
is Lord, Master, Savior, Redeemer.

He is my Healer. My counselor. My protector.

He is my comforter and my peace-giver.

As I begin to focus on all the things that God is in my life,
I realize that He wants to be so much more. He wants
 to fill me to overflowing! He desires for all of us to
life an abundant and full life that comes from His 
precious Hand of provision.

He desires to inhabit the very praise that bubbles forth from
within us. He wants to be our all-in-all. Our fulfillment.
Our hope and our faith. God longs to be the One that
completes who we are.

As God's WORD is spread out before me, I reverently
place my hands on the scriptures and close my eyes.
I can feel the power that is contained in this God-breathed
book burn beneath my fingers and it astounds me. I am humbled
by the amazing privilege it is to own this Holy book. May 
I never pick it up without reverence. 

Oh, God, allow the perfection of Your WORD to flow
into me and take root. Allow the power of the Holy,
inspired, written WORD to permeate to the very
depths of my being. May Your Holy breath emanate 
from the pages of the scriptures. Oh, Father, let
the WORD convict my heart and pierce deep to awaken
my senses to the intense power and truth of it.

Allow the WORD to change me. To draw me. May I encounter You,
oh God, like never before. 

I sit before Him and prepare myself to listen for His voice. I 
open my heart wide to receive whatever my Lord is desiring 
to teach me. May my spirit be teachable and receptive and may my life
be forever changed. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Dios es tan bueno! I love Nicaragua..

Not everyone understands missions. And then there are some that say they understand it but do not support missions. And there are those that are against missions to other countries.

I have had many people tell me that there are plenty of lost people in our own country and that we should not be spending our money and time going to other countries. I certainly agree that we have plenty of lost people in the United States, but I also know that we do our part to spread the gospel here. I also know that God specifically called me to go to other countries to do the same.

It is not because I enjoy flying in an airplane 39,000 feet above the ground that I go to Nicaragua. It is not because I like the hard 9 hour journey on 2 different buses packed with more people than seats and no air conditioning that I go to Nicaragua. It is certainly not because I enjoy sleeping in an open air church on a 2 inch foam mattress laying on a concrete floor that I go. Or the fact that I have to take a bucket bath with cold water and use a smelly outhouse. Or eat rice, beans and tortillas 3 times a day. Without butter or salsa....

I go because I love my Lord with all of my heart and I want others to know how to love Him too. I want the people of Nicaragua to know what an amazing God we serve and worship. I want those precious children to know all about the bible and grow up to be young men and women with a heart for God. I go because they are a thirsty people and I know where the fountain of living water is.

"For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty and floods upon the dry ground. I will pour my spirit upon thy seed and my blessing upon thine offspring"   Isaiah 44:3

There is no greater feeling than sharing what God has done in your life with others. Or ministering to the children and watching their faces light up with joy because they feel the love that you are sharing with them. Or speaking to the women and encouraging them to hunger and thirst for God like never before and hearing their voices and seeing their faces echoing agreement.

Thirsty spirits. Hungry hearts.

People desperate for the WORD to flood their souls with a new thing and change them forever.

I go because part of my heart remains in Nicaragua when I leave. As we say our good byes and hug each others necks, the tears begin to well up within our eyes.  Friendships that extend beyond our language barrier have been formed. Our lives have become intertwined for over 4 years and our bonds of love for each other run deep.  We are truly brothers and sisters in Christ and it is hard to say our farewells. It is hard to turn and walk away and head toward the place where we will catch the first of 2 buses out of the small village of La Union and begin our journey back home.

But we must leave and allow the seeds to grow. The seeds that God has so graciously entrusted with us to plant there are beginning to sprout and it is time to allow our friends in La Union learn how to water them on their own and see what a great harvest God has in store for them.

My life has been enriched by the 4 trips I have made to that small little village in Nicaragua. I take home many life lessons from my Father that He taught me during each stay. I have been blessed beyond measure and I leave Nicaragua more in love with my Lord and Savior than ever before.

Dios es tan bueno!