Stay Free, People!

I get a daily devotional in my e-mail inbox from Max Lucado. Here was today’s:

“In 1965 Howard Rutledge parachuted into North Vietnam and spent the next several years in a prison in Hanoi, locked in a filthy cell breathing stale, rotten air trying to keep his sanity. Few of us will ever face the conditions of a POW camp.

Yet, to one degree or another, we all spend time behind bars. After half-a-century of marriage, my friend’s wife began to lose her memory.  A young mother called, just diagnosed with Lupus. Why would God permit such imprisonment?  To what purpose?  Jeremiah 30:24 promises, “The Lord will not turn back until He has executed and accomplished the intents of His mind.”

This season in which you find yourself may puzzle you, but it doesn’t bewilder God.  He will use it for His purpose. Please be reminded…You will get through this!”

I read this and thought, “I don’t want to be behind bars!” This sense of self imprisonment could apply to anyone at any time in their life. What stood out to me was lupus (i.e. autoimmune disease), behind bars, and God. Let us not put ourselves behind bars at any point in time because of our physical battles. Lord, please….

I can’t help but feel sometimes that we are hand selected in a good way to carry certain burdens. It has certainly impacted every little corner of my life to be faced with the loss of my health. It is important to me to try to keep it in perspective. I can’t personally do that without God.

I pray this finds everyone free today!

The Beauty After the Storm

Easter was memorable yesterday in a powerful way for me. I lay down on the floor in my three-year old’s room to take a nap with him and promptly passed out. Both he and I were at some point shaken awake from our sleep. I felt the floor shaking under me and loud rumblings echoing outside in what seemed like the endless sound of thunder. It was amazing. Both he and I talked about it for some time later into the day. My fourteen year old pointed out that it was pretty awesome to have felt a storm shake the house on Easter because of what we believe.

Matthew 27:50-54:

And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.

At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the hold city and appeared to many people.

When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”

This is the sunset that followed Easter evening. It made me giddy. What a gift it was.

I pray everyone had a beautiful Easter and knows how loved and adored you are by a God that said He would die for our sins and did, and said He would come back to life and ascend into heaven and did. He also said if we trust Him we get to spend eternity with Him in heaven. And if the sunsets on earth look like this, can you imagine the ones in heaven?

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He Speaks.

The following was in my inbox this morning. I can’t help but share it. It speaks for itself.

Praying for all of my brothers and sisters. You are all on my heart.

From Max Lucado: 

God Speaks

“Speak, Lord.  I am your servant and I am listening.”  I Samuel 3:9

We expect God to speak through peace, but sometimes he speaks through pain…

We think we hear him in the sunrise, but he is also heard in the darkness.

We listen for him in triumph, but he speaks even more distinctly through tragedy.

Lyrics Can Be Life Changing

My littlest guy turned one year this week! More about the croissant later.

I have a new post in the works.  I’ve been sitting on it for a week. In the meantime, the words below blessed my heart immeasurably the other morning when I heard them in a song.  So much so that I wanted to find them printed and share them.  I discovered that I had them at home.  My husband and I love music and sometimes I forget which artists we own.  The words were printed on the insert inside a CD.  We feel old school–we have a lot of CDs between the two of us.  I do purchase songs on itunes now.  : )  I love having the lyrics printed on the inside of a CD cover though.  When I was a kid, I loved pulling out the accordion fold insert in my cassette covers and reading through all the lyrics.

May the words penetrate your spirit and bring you joy this day.  These words speak so well of what I believe in my heart and spirit to be true according to what God has said in His Word, the Bible.  Everything that was ever prophesied or promised in His Word has either come to pass, or I believe, will come to pass. Sometimes it’s hard to wrap my human mind around that.

I WILL RISE

There’s a peace I’ve come to know

Though my heart and flesh may fail

There’s an anchor for my soul

I can say, “It is well”

Jesus has overcome

And the grave is overwhelmed

The victory is won

He is risen from the dead

I will rise when He calls my name

No more sorrow, no more pain

I will rise on eagles’ wings

Before my God, fall on my knees

And rise

I will rise

There’s a day that’s drawing near

When this darkness breaks to light

And the shadows disappear

And my faith shall be my eyes

And I hear the voice of many angels sing.

“Worthy is the Lamb”

And I hear the cry of every longing heart,

“Worthy is the Lamb”

You can read more about this in I Thess. 4-13-18 and Revelation 5:12 among many other places in the Scriptures.

Lyrics by Chris Tomlin, Louie Giglio, Jesse Reeves and Matt Maher.  Copyright 2008 worshiptogether.com Songs

Are you going to die, mommy?

It’s enough to break a mother’s heart to hear these words.  The question usually comes in the dark when I am on my knees at my boys’ bedsides saying goodnight.  “Of course I’m going to die,” I want to say. “We’re all going to die.”  But I know that this is not the answer they are looking for.  This is when I am forced to hold my head high, hold back the tears and say, “You don’t have to worry about that.  Mommy is going to be just fine.”

I don’t want my children to worry about me and I don’t want them to see me hanging my head low because I have a disease.  (By the way, I hate the “D” word.  Ack!)  But I do want them to understand the weight of the decision on my shoulders in regard to how I battle RA physically and spiritually.  But most importantly, I want them to know that I trust God with my life.  He is holding my hand through each day.  Some days, I forget to take His hand and I let fear and sadness creep in.  That’s when it becomes about me and I lose focus.  I get off track.  This disease is SO NOT about me.

I know my children are carefully observing my character–with a microscope!  I have to be accountable to God and praise Him in the valley, praise Him in the midst of my storm because my boys are more likely to do what I do and not what I say when they face a storm of their own.  It sure is easier to say that I’m going to praise God through the pain and inflammation, than actually do it with joy and praise.  Folks, I believe that He is sanctifying believers for the day that we will live in His presence.  If I can get my heart and mind around that, than this is a win win for everyone.  This is where the spiritual walk takes precedence over the physical battle for me.  Am I really living for Him?  Am I really sold out for Jesus?  In my heart and spirit, I am in love with my God, my Redeemer, my Savior.  But I must constantly battle my inner man, my sinful nature, my self-centerdness, to stay on track.  And who am I?  I’m just a girl that is trusting her God one day at a time.  I mean, He is God after all and His Word will not return void!

The verse below was in a devotional my husband read this morning.  It spoke to my heart.

We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.  Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.  For even Christ did not please himself.  Romans 15:1-3

And let’s not forget prayer!  We have an ultimate power source at our fingertips and it doesn’t require a physically functional body to take advantage of it.  Amen?

I praise God that at this point in my boys’ lives they trust God.  It is their choice.  I pray they continue to trust Him.  Here is a mother’s day card from one of my boys.  It too is enough to break a mother’s heart.