Tuesday, August 28, 2012

seeking and searching

I have spent this past week seeking fervently for a WORD from my sweet Lord. I have been in desperate need of hearing His sweet voice whisper to my spirit. And for the most part, He has been strangely quiet. Little glimpses of a WORD here and there but really no definite and powerful WORD that my flesh is strongly desiring. And as I pondered that today, my precious Lord spoke. You see, my flesh is hungry for a WORD but it is my spirit that needs to be searching intently and listening. I have been allowing my flesh to dictate my emotions this week and I have not been allowing my spirit to connect with my Lord and settle down into my soul. And I knew better.

 But there are times when our emotions are so raw and so near the surface, that we have a hard time allowing God to really move in our hearts and in our spirits. It's almost like we are afraid of what will emerge from deep within. And then we start feverishly looking for some direction and for a much needed WORD and in that search we find it. The sweetness and the goodness of God. The wonder and the awe of just who our God is. We find His mercy and His grace. We find His beauty and His compassion. We just simply find Him. And that is enough. 


"I am instructed both to be full
and to be hungry"
(Philippians 4:12)

I love this verse. It just speaks to my spirit in a very powerful way. We are to allow the WORD to penetrate and saturate our spirits but we should never let that knowledge of the word keep us from desiring more.

Our fullness in Him should always whet our appetite for more of Him. It should be a catalyst in our souls that creates a HUGE longing for a deeper and more meaningful relationship with our Savior.

My sister's CaringBridge site - she would love to see messages of encouragement from all of you!

Monday, August 20, 2012

it's not easy, but it is possible.

There is no doubt in my mind that if I had gone through these last 3 weeks without God right by my side, I would never have emerged intact. It has been a very tough 21 days. As tough as it has been on me, my mom and my brother, I can't even begin to imagine how hard it has been on my sister and her husband and their son.  But through it all, my precious sister has walked it out with grace. Amazing grace that I know could only come from the Lord. 

 It has been a time of  testing. And of waiting. A time of desiring answers and not really getting any. A time of watching my sister go through some very painful tests and be unable to do anything other than pray. A lot. 

But the amazing thing is that we made it through. All of us. We are finally getting to end of the road that seems to lead to nowhere and get on the path of treatment so we can see God work a miracle. 

It hasn't been easy. It hasn't been without anxiety and unrest. It hasn't been without the shedding of a lot of tears. It hasn't been without some sleepless nights. It is hard to know someone you love is hurting and scared. It is hard to feel helpless. And to feel guilty because it isn't you. 

But God has been so faithful. He has been so loving and so sweet. He has given generously to our hearts and spirits and enabled us to go from strength to strength in Him. 

The Word of God has been my lifeline during this trial. Every day I wake up pleading for a 'now Word' for these circumstances. And every day, He has provided that very thing to me. A new Word every blessed morning. Dropped into my spirit by the sweetest Savior. Oh, how He loves us. 

Every day after the Lord has revealed the Word to me, I send it directly to my sister and my mom and my brother. I love how that scripture seems to bind us all together as it gives us a focus for that day. A promise from God out of His Word, that carries us on eagles wings until the next one. 

God has shown me many things during these past 3 weeks. He has grown me in lots of areas. He has revealed some hard things to me about myself. He has shown me things I thought were important that really just don't matter in the end. I am learning some powerful lessons of life that have been long overdue. Taking some things out of storage. Cleaning out some prideful closets.. Making room for more of Him.

I am so thankful that I have seen and felt the faithfulness of God. I have truly felt Him walking by my side and  have heard the sweet whisper of His Holy voice in my ear. He brings comfort and peace. He brings strength and power. He is all that I need. And He is so good.

My precious granddaughter, Mikaela, is 9 years old. She decided that she wanted to cut her hair for "Locks of Love". She talked her parents into it and so we went with her last week to get it done. 

That first snip almost did me in! But I was so proud of what my sweet girl was doing.

Here is my amazing granddaughter minus 13 inches of hair! I think she is just gorgeous and she has such a precious and giving heart. She told me she prays for my sister every day and I know that she means it. 

Oh, how I love this girl. Makes a Nana very proud. 

Thank you sweet Jesus for the gift of grandchildren. Truly they are a blessing and a heritage straight from you.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

sinning against grace..

"Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye
should be ignorant, how that all our fathers
were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea.
And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud
and in the sea...." - (1 Corinthians 10:1-2)

As we read Old Testament books such as Exodus and Numbers, we can see over and over that the Jews had experienced the goodness and the faithfulness of God. Yet they didn't heed the warnings of the law. They had been the recipients of many miracles from God in their lives, but they still failed miserably when they were tested in the wilderness. 

In First Corinthians chapter 10, Paul is pointing out to us that the New Testament Church in Corinth was just as guilty of the same sins that plagued the Israelites in the Old Testament. Lust, immorality and idolatry - just to name a few. The same can be said of us today. We, too, are just as guilty, if not more, as they were.

We are so blessed to have the example before us in the Holy written Word of God. But we still fail daily. We can look at the tragic mistakes made by the Israelites but we don't seem to learn from them. We should be using those lessons set before us in the scriptures to align ourselves more carefully with the Truth. But we don't. We are guilty of tempting God and ignoring the instruction set forth in the bible. Instead of allowing the Old Testament to be a warning in our spirits, we tend to ignore it because 'they were under the law' back then.

Oh, my friends, that line of thought is tragic in the lives of Christians. Certainly, they were under the law, but we, too, must obey the Law of Christ. They weren't blessed with the awesome privilege of grace as we are today.  It is a fact that we who are believers are 'under grace', but so many in today's world seem to misinterpret what that really means in our lives. We can't wear our grace like a robe. It isn't something we can pull out and use when we need it. Grace is a blessing. It is a privilege. It is an unearned gift bestowed upon very unworthy people. 

It is to be reverenced and it should find us in awe of its beauty. Grace does cover, but it is not a cover-up. We still have the responsibility to live like Christ. We still must do what the Word says. We have to align ourselves diligently with the Truth of who He is and obey what He has commanded, even from the very beginning of time.

Warren Wiersbe said that he heard someone once say, "Sin in the life of a Christian is different than sin in the life of an unsaved person". Oh, yes it is! It is by far worse! When we who call ourselves believers, or Christians, sin against our Lord, we are sinning against grace. We are in essence trampling on the precious grace of God and that is a huge tragedy. Oh, sweet Lord, help us all!

We need to look back at the lives of the Israelites and see the seriousness of their sin as well as the very real consequences of it. And then we need to take that example and allow it to speak to our hearts and cause it to change our behavior. 

I don't want to be guilty of demeaning what Christ did for me on the Cross. I don't want to use grace like a 'get out of jail free' card. I don't want to keep sinning against the grace of God.

I desire to keep the Law of Christ as it was set forth in the Holy Scriptures. And I want to allow the Truth to saturate deep down and flow through me that I might live my life sanctified in Him by His Word. 

I am thankful for the grace of God in my life. May I be more determined than ever to reverence it and hold myself more accountable to it.  The sweet riches of God so generously dispensed to an unworthy but willing vessel. Amazing grace. How sweet the sound...

Saturday, August 11, 2012

consider it all joy

"Consider it pure joy my brothers and sisters, when you face trials
of many kinds. Because you know that the testing of your
faith produces perseverance."

(James 1: 2,3)

Life is hard. It can be excruciating at times. But one thing that I have learned in my 50 years of living is that God will always see us through. Always. 

Several weeks ago, I couldn't even imagine the journey that my family would be taking right now. In fact, it has only been 12 days and at times seems like 12 years and then other times it seems like it all began just yesterday. Our hard road started the day that my newest little grandson, Titus, was born. What a contrast of events.  Joy to gloom. Just like the book of James talks about.

I don't think that it is any coincidence that I put off teaching the study of James, 'Mercy Triumphs' until precisely this time. God knew when I would need to call upon what I am learning and He ordained the study for just the right time. I have spent the last 5  months memorizing the book of James in preparation for the study and God has done some amazing things through the knowledge of that Word in my life. He knows what is best and He knows just when we are going to need a specific teaching in our lives. He is so good.

My family has been walking this path day by day. Step by step. In Psalms 84:7, the writer tells us that God will take us from strength to strength and that is exactly what my sweet Lord has done for me and for my family during this trial. I am continuing to wait upon the Lord and allow Him to guide our steps and guard our hearts and fully trust in Him. In all things. And when we do that, He will show Himself faithful and true to those who believe in Him. 

I am thankful that there are so many ways I have seen and experienced the love of Christ these past 12 days. 

I loved seeing my daughters older children loving on their new little brother the day he came home from the hospital.

Nana got in some rocking chair time with him as well. I am in love with that little boy already!

The many faces of Mercie always bring a smile to my face. I love that little girl... Thank you Lord for her healing 9 months ago!

Mikaela has such sweet love for her littlest brother. 

Me and Eli loving on little Titus.

I love to watch a sleeping baby. Such innocence. Praying over this little one already that he will be a little boy seeking after the heart of God!!

Rod and Megan with Titus. They are such great parents to all their children. The Lord has truly blessed them and I am thankful for their dedication to Him and their family.


Every morning I pray for a Word and then text a scripture to my sister and my mom. He has never failed to give me just what we need on that particular day. He knows the trials and so He knows the answer. Each Word is timed specifically for what our heart is crying out to receive. We serve such a loving and merciful God.


A sleepy little smile from this blessing brought a huge smile to my face.

Silas finally held his little brother for a picture - not sure what he is thinking here!


I am depending totally upon my Lord to get me and my family through these next weeks, months and years of my sisters journey with this awful disease. I also know that God is the one who has the final diagnosis. Man is only able to do what God empowers man to do. So the final authority is always our God's!  Christ died so that we could have life abundant in Him and my prayer is just that for Cari. I am praying Healing and Restoration upon her. I am praying that God will do such a mighty and powerful work in her and through her that He will get so much glory and honor that it will be astounding! I am praying that He will do what only He can do! I am believing and asking in faith. And I know that through it all... my God is faithful.

"Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the
church to pray over them and anoint them with oil
in the name of the Lord.

And the prayer offered in faith, will make the sick
person well; the Lord will raise them up. If 
they have sinned, they will be forgiven"

James 5:14, 15


Please continue to pray for my sister - We are still in that awful waiting stage of tests and such. She will have another bone marrow biopsy next week and will get results of lots of blood work. Then, finally, we will get a treatment plan... so God can start to work!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

peace from the peace giver

"When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee;
and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee;
when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be 
burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.
For I AM the Lord thy God..."
(Isaiah 43:2-3)

It seems this past week has left me needing a fresh Word from the Lord on a daily basis, if not more. Upon waking each new merciful morning, my spirit is longing for and needing to hear the whisper of my God in my ear.

I love that He knows what I need just when I need it. And He delivers. He does that because of His deep love for His children. A love so deep it is unfathomable. A love that far surpasses any other.

I am battling my flesh right now as it rears up to cause me to doubt. I am struggling to keep myself focused on the promise of His Word and not allow the enemy to get my mind distracted. I am so grateful that the Lord began a work in me about 9 months ago that has strengthened my faith. Since November 6, 2011, when He healed my granddaughter, Mercie, the Lord has journeyed with me on a walk that has caused me to take a closer look at my faith IN Him and increased my dependence ON Him. I realize that those trials we go through are only endurable when we allow Him to go before us.

There are always going to be circumstances that I can't change. There are going to be times of testing that I just have to walk through. I don't have control over their outcome so my only line of defense is to allow God to pave my way through them.  I have to put my FAITH in Him and Him alone. I have to rely on His awesome power and His might. I have to place my self firmly in His Hand and know that He will walk by my side in the midst of the fire. I can rest knowing that He will be there every step of the way. Every hard step will be softened by the merciful and guiding Hand of Jesus.

When my spirit is dry, the Lord drenches me with a sweet truth from His Word.

"When He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold"
(Job 23:10)

The Lord showed me this passage on a morning that my soul was desperate for a revelation. Even though I had prayed for a Word specifically for my sister, when I shared this with my mom, she said she felt like the Word was for our whole family. When a loved one is enduring a trial, it tests everyone emotionally involved. When someone close to your heart is hurting, you hurt with them. So, yes, when a time of testing comes, everyone is tried but we can cling to the promise of the Lord that when we persevere, we will come forth as gold. Pure gold.

When we are called to pass through the fiery path of uncertainty, we can be assured of the loving Hand of God's protective arm and the anointing of His sweet comfort. He is the giver of peace. Unspeakable, undeniable, perfecting peace. Life giving peace.

"The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath
of the Almighty hath given me Life"
(Job 33:4)

Jesus... the Life Giver. The Spirit Breather. The Peace Maker. Creator of all.

Sweet, Lord, we put our hope and our trust and our faith securely in your Hands. We know that you will not  have us walk any place that you have not already gone before us. You pave the way with mercy and grace and we follow you. Lead the way, Oh, Lord, and we will follow wholly after you, keeping our eyes on the destination. And we will give you all the glory and honor that is due your name.


Friday, August 3, 2012

emotional rollercoaster

Such an emotional week has left me feeling pretty drained. I am so thankful that I had the privilege of keeping my daughters 4 sweet children for a good part of this week while she was busy giving birth to little Titus. They were a much needed balm for my aching heart. The Lord knew just what I would need at this time to soothe my spirit and to keep my mind occupied. On Monday evening, I wasn't sure I would make it through that night much less through the next several nights, but God is good and He is faithful and He carried me through those days as if I were on eagles wings. For that I am grateful.

My heart is still broken for my sister and my soul is hurting so deeply. But the Lord has ministered to me these past 4 days and renewed my strength. He has reminded me time and time again to put my hope and my trust in Him. He has shown me His goodness and His mercy. He has whispered in my ear sweet words of encouragement just when I needed them. I have received such comfort from the precious Word of God this week. I love to open the Holy Scriptures and just let the words minister to my wounded spirit. There is nothing like the Word of God to cover and protect those deep crevices of hurt. God has shown me that indeed He is love. He has revealed love to me in so many places and I am so thankful for a God who truly cares about me. Oh, friends, we serve a good God. We serve a faithful God. Even when things seem dark and dim, He is a light unto our path.

My youngest daughter and her family drove home from Illinois for the funeral of a dear friend. They were only home about 24 hours total but her kids were so glad to see their cousins even just for a few hours.

Mercie and Bryton - cousins and best friends.

Eli and Bryton - best buds...



Silas wasn't too sure he wanted his little cousin Laylah Beth in his car with him, but let her stay for just a little while.
Mikaela enjoyed loving on Laylah Beth - she has missed that little girl so much!

My little Sawyer just kinda hangs out by himself. He likes to make his own rules!

Bryton (5) and Sawyer (3) got to spend the night at Nana and Papa's. We had a blast!
Laylah and mommy came later - sleepy little girl and her bottle.

It must be excited to watch Eli play Lego Batman on his DSIXL

Mercie holding 4 hour old Titus - she was so excited.

Eli and his new baby brother - that smile says it all.

Mikaela was totally enraptured by the newest addition to their family. She is such a little mama.

Mercie, Mikaela and Eli with Titus. Silas didn't want any part of him at this point - haha!

A tired Nana with her precious new little grandson - it's hard work watching your daughter go through labor and delivery!
Sweet Titus - 4 days old and such a cutie!

Silas finally got close and decided to read him a book. So precious.


Thank you Lord for the outpouring of your love this week. Amid the trials of this life and the storms that rage around us, we can rest in the assurance of your goodness. You are the one that enables us to have unspeakable peace. For that we give you glory and honor and praise.