Monday, January 26, 2015

Share - FMF

Apparently, I am an over-sharer. My dad used to tell me to head into the barn and stop circling it when I would tell a story as a youngster. My husband often tells me to just get to the point when we have our conversations. And I hear, "TMI, Mom!" from my pre-teens on a pretty regular basis. 

Seems I do not have a problem sharing.

Except when it comes to my faith.

I seem to hem and haul when it is time to tell someone my testimony or tell someone the Good News or even to pray with someone. I often feel the Holy Spirit nudging me to be bold in my faith, but I hesitate and avoid it more often than not.

And I am not sure why. I have been extremely blessed since I trusted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. It has not been an easy journey, but it has been a blessed one and one I should be willing to share.

Because I am good at sharing.

Maybe I need more boldness, more faith, more willingness.

I need to be willing to share more than my opinion and my feelings.

Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness;
    let us exalt his name together. ~ Psalm 34:3 (NLT)

May 2015 be a year of sharing more of His greatness and love for me and others.

Link your FMF post to Kate's blog. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

One Word 2015

Last year, just like the year before, I struggled a bit with choosing my One Word. I was finally able to decide on HOPE and realized as the year unfolded that HOPE was not a wish, but a feeling of certainty. Something I could rely on and put my trust in, knowing that my HOPE was in the Lord and in the future He had for me. That every day there was something to be thankful for and that He was working in all situations. There were still days I struggled, but the theme of HOPE was always outlining our days.

I was able to see Him reunite my husband with his children (my stepchildren) and heal hurts from years ago. We still have a long way to go as a blended family, but we are working toward healing and redemption. I am hopeful that our oldest son will turn back to the Lord and be able to reunite with his young family and that we would also see redemption in that situation. We are praying for complete freedom from his addictions and for God to move in such a way, that in the eyes of men is impossible, but with God is amazingly possible. For this situation to be cleared and made right, God must intervene and we are believing that He will. He will have to be our refuge in times when we forget His promises, our shield in times when we feel overwhelmed and our refuge when we need to rest in the battle and let him defend us. He will definitely need to be our defense this year.

And therein lies my problem with my One Word for 2015. I have been reading through the Psalms since I stumbled upon a list of Psalms that I wrote sometime last year or in 2013. The list was in the back of my prayer journal with no title or anything. I am not sure why I compiled this particular list of Pslams, but as I have been reaing them I have noticed a theme.

Refuge
Shield
Defense/Defender

Most of the Psalms have one or all three of those words in them. And as we have entered a new season of uncertainty, I find myself clinging to those words.

Refuge
Shield
Defense/Defend

So, I am not sure which one of those words should be my One Word or if I should somehow incorporate all of them this year.

So, I am praying and waiting and I know that God will reveal which word should be the theme of 2015.  

Saturday, January 10, 2015

FMF - Welcome

I love being able to walk into someone's home and feel comfortable, at ease, welcome.

And that is what I want my home to be. A welcoming place for everyone, anyone.

I don't want it to matter if I vacuumed or wiped down the toilet. Or mopped the kitchen floor. OI want you to feel like my future daughter-in-law does and take your shoes off and put your feet up on the couch when you come into my home. I want you to be able to snuggle up in a blanket on my love seat and sip a cup of coffee.

You are welcome in my home.

And I want to be so close to the Lord that I always feel welcome in His presence. Because truth be told, sometimes I feel like I am just starting out on my journey of relationship with my Savior instead of 28 years into it.

I want to be able to not care that I messed up during the day or said a harsh word or forgot to pray before my meal. I want to be able to embrace everything about Abba Father and feel at home in His presence.

Because sometimes we believe the lie that our house is not Pinterest-worthy enough to have company.

And sometimes we believe the lie that we are not good enough to be in the presence of our Savior.

But, we are. We are welcome and so very wanted.

Welcome (to my) home.  






Linking up to Five Minute Friday at Kate's blog and you should, too!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Prepare

I have not done a FMF post in forever. I am not sure that I will even finish or post this one, but here goes.....

Every time before we go on a trip I make a list of things to pack. And before we leave the place we were visiting, I grab the list and make sure everything goes back home with us.

Often times I lay out clothes for the next day, or meal plan and I have three paper calendars. Three. One of which I print out for each member of the family and one for the kitchen. I even color code it.

I am all about the preparation of things.

But, some things you can not prepare for like when you are unexpectedly pregnant at 17, or your son runs away and becomes a drug addict or your daughter is pregnant at 15. Or your husband loses his job and you end up living with your parents for 7 years longer than you excepted.

Or you leave the church that has become family. You can not always prepare for those things.

But, God is never surprised. He is never unprepared for the circumstances that blind side me.

And He prepared a way for us to escape our final destination of eternal separation from Him. By sending a baby, born in a manger.

Am I prepared to celebrate Him? I seem to fall short in the preparation I should be taking for advent, making sure my heart is ready to receive the best gift I have ever been given. How about you? Are you prepared?    

Link up over at Five Minute Friday and then visit some of the other participating blogs. And leave a comment. It is always nice to know when someone stops by!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

For a Sleigh Ride*.......

I certainly feel like I have been on more of a roller coaster ride, than a sleigh ride this season. My emotions have been a mess. I am having trouble sleeping at night and all I want to do is sleep during the day. Thankfully, school/work during the week makes that a bit difficult. And this week has been full of activties for the kiddos - appointments, concerts, homework, make up work. 'Tis the season.

Thankfully, we have done most of our shopping online and have had it shipped to the store for pick up. I need to wrap some gifts and get them under the tree. Normally, by now, the cards are done and being mailed and most of the wrapping is done. But, this year, I just feel like I am going in slow motion.

But, God is still faithful and I have definitely felt His hand in many areas of our lives. Maybe not in the way I would like, but I can still see Him moving and know He is working. I have been reading through the Psalms in my nightly devotions. I was trying to do HelloMornings and it has not been happening this session. I can not get to bed before midnight, so getting up at 6 AM is not feasible. But, I found a list of Psalms in the back of my prayer journal, so I have been reading through them and journaling as I am reading. I have also been trying to count 1,000 joy moments this month. Some days my list is truly one of gratitude and other times it is just a list of all the foods I am thankful for, especially iced coffee. But, it helps me refocus unless I am being stubborn and just go to bed. I still end up whining praying before I fall asleep, but I am not sure that qualifies as quality quiet time. And Rick and I have been praying together every night which is good. Good for our marriage and good for my soul. Something about hearing him pray. I love the sound of his voice and hearing his petitions for our family.  

Last night after counseling as I was switching an appointment time, I noticed that they had a Christmas tree filled with ornaments. A sign was by the tree which said that the ornaments contained promises from God and to take one as a gift from the center. I took one and as I read the promise, I was immediately thankful for a Christian counseling center. It was 1 Peter 5:7. So perfect for me right now.

I am also participating in #fmfpartysnailmail right now and received my first card in the mail today. It was from a sweet girl in AL that added the verses from Ephesians about God's love. Verses I would pray for my son, Josh. The one in jail right now, needing to know and feel God's love. The one who was given new charges while he is in jail and most definitely will miss Christmas with his children and family again this year, unless God chooses to miraculously intervene. God's timing is always perfect.

I know that my depression affects my husband and my younger children at home as much if not more than it affects me. I am snippy and sullen, sluggish and forgetful. I even scared my husband this week and gave him the impression that I was not committed to our marriage, that it had gotten too hard and too much at a time when he is under the pressure of the ending semester, teaching without technology and curriculum that is so necessary and trying to keep our budget afloat during the holiday season. I could never imagine doing life without him, but had somehow communicated that maybe, I was done, with all of it, including our relationship even though that is furthest from the truth. Thankfully, he was honest and forgiving and we were able to recommit ourselves to each other and out family. Life is hard enough that I could never imagine doing it alone. He is my rock and I am so grateful. Just need to remember not to take him for granted.     

So, as much as I would like to wallow in my circumstances and turn my eyes away from the blessings in my family, I have been gently reminded this week, that life is a ride of sorts, of twists and turns, of hills and bumps and even at times tragedy, but that as long as I can refocus my mind, recommit my plan and lean into His arms, Abba Father will hold me steady and bring me joy.

*...together with you!
   

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Silence is Golden

Tonight I got into a text battle with one of my addicted son's "friends". Why I let myself get suckered in to having a fight with an immature idiot is beyond me. I felt validated in verbally blasting him and defending my husband and my family, but I know it was not in my natural character to do it. Or was it?

I try so hard for my Christlike character to be genuine and not a facade, but I think that many times it is a mask I hide behind, not a lifestyle I live. Jesus said out of the mouth, the heart speaks and I apparently have much hatred for this young man and his lies and horrible influence on my son. 

I held nothing back as we verbally assaulted each other and then I promptly blocked him.

Sigh. Thank God for His forgiveness and grace.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Addictions

Having a son with addictions is hard. It is hard enough to watch a child be sick or hurt when there is nothing they have done to cause the sickness or hurting. But, when someone chooses to make themselves sick or is hurting due to the choices they have made, it does not make it any easier to see them suffer. I have a cousin with two physically disabled children who judges my son and my husband and I very harshly because of the life he chooses to live. She has said many times that her children suffer unnecessarily, while my son chooses to suffer and inflict pain on himself and the family. And while that is true, it does not make it any easier to have a son that is an addict.

This was the first Thanksgiving in four years that he was able to be with his children and he spent most of the day in a medicinal hangover because he is on medication to help him with his heroin addiction. The medicine causes him to fall asleep suddenly and be in a hangover like state most of the time, which hindered him from really being able to enjoy his time with the children. His four year old son said he was worried about his Daddy, while my son laid on the kitchen floor after he suddenly fell asleep while getting dessert for him. It broke my heart for my grandson to see his father like that.

And then last night when the police came to our house for an incident unrelated to my son, but asked to speak to him and later cuffed him and took him away because of a warrant, my heart again ached for my grandchildren, who thankfully did not see anything, but were totally unaware that he had left because he has done it so often during their recent visits.

Now, during a time when he should be planning his next visit with them and shopping for their Christmas gifts, he sits in a prison cell for an undetermined amount of time for a very serious crime. I am very unsure of his guilt or innocence, but am sure that he will be missing yet another Christmas with his children when he should have been celebrating his recovery and freedom.  

And at a time when I want to be celebrating the season with my younger children and husband, I find myself grieving for my son's lost life and yet another holiday we will celebrate without him.