Archive for the ‘spiritual growth’ Category

the truth by ann

Posted: 06/20/2011 in spiritual growth

this has struck me so deeply.

i hope it blesses you as well.

the truth at a holy experience

Advertisements

friends

Posted: 04/26/2011 in learning, life, spiritual growth

in this season of my life i’m evaluating friends.

most of mine are over an hour away and we all keep touch on a daily basis through facebook and email. we do a lot of the same crafting and with our same ups and downs in life and like-mindedness either spiritually or family care, i could see us all spending so much more time together if we all lived closer to each other.

this causes me to mourn the depth these relationships could go to, but because we are long distance they just can’t go that deep. most days, i’m ok with this. and i realize these friends live in osky, dm, maine, ks, ottumwa, lancaster . . .  i can’t live every where, so i have to find peace and be thankful for what i do have!

with our closest local friends moving away in 3 weeks – this brings this issue up to the surface in a new light.

i once again find myself praying continuously through out the day for one more thing, dear friends that live HERE. i prayed this for 5 years, and got it for one year. i’m so very thankful! it’s worth the effort… i can not hide that it is discouraging to be alone again.

BUT i have realized one thing that i didn’t realize before when i was praying for this for 5 years. a lot of this has to do with me – more so than i realized. we have friends that we just click with on a spiritual level (similar minded spiritually and learn from the scripture the same way), we have friends that naturally take care of their family the same way, eat the same way, we have friends that we have known forever that have just always been there … each of these are priceless. then you have the friendship that just clicks, on a deeper level. you don’t know why or how. it just works. it’s effortless and it just is. this type of relationship is simply such a blessing. it’s emotionally freeing. you can just be with these people…

now this part i didn’t realize before. driving people away… sure, boundaries are good. we must keep negative people at arms length, etc. etc. that aside, if i sit here and i drive people away by not answering the phone when they seek me out, by not reaching out to them and helping them with what they are trying to do, by not taking the first step in helping them go through this crazy life, then why would anyone feel comfortable coming to me? they don’t. i don’t blame them. i can’t blame them.

my conclusion.

here we are. doing life together. the best way we know how. each of us needs cut a little slack…. i have made so many mistakes when it comes to relationships in the last 10 years, it’s horribly embarrassing. in the last 6 months this has been so present in my mind… changes have been made.  God has really been working on me especially in the area of compassion and pointing out my flaws.

as dear friends leave this area and turn into another long distant relationship, i look forward to making new friends and deepening the relationships i have ruined or kept at arms length. what a humbling place to be.

Proverbs 17:17
friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.

friends

Posted: 03/03/2011 in favorites, me, spiritual growth

what a fun weekend/week!

i feel like i’ve spent all my energy loving on friends!

what an awesome experience!

first we had GREAT friends over – and our first overnight guests!

what a joy it is to be serving!

we’ve spent a couple days recovering from late nights and fun times

(i came down with mastitis even – no fun!)

kristi blogged a bit more about their visit here 🙂

and now we’ve spent the last couple days prepping for a baby shower for another dear friend!

the invitations i posted here

this morning i finished the guest book and gift book.

gift book and box envelope that holds the gift book and guest book

verses on child-rearing and parenthood mixed in with guests signatures and notes

 

 

finished front of the guest book

guest book

the booties might just be my favorite 🙂

 

perspective! they are huge and awesome! wish i had time to chalk em up!

 

i'm in love with the large owls! (5 1/2 inches) this owls home for the shower will be a clothesline! 🙂

the presents are wrapped

finishing two last minute projects and we’ll be ready for saturday.

now to attempt to keep this cold at bay so we can actually GO to the shower!

for the last few weeks i’ve had each week designated to serving someone in someway… (and it honestly has taken up the entire week! LOL)

next week i only have ONE thing lined up – soup to a family going through some trying health issues right now… (this is NOT going to take the whole week)

i’m very anxious to see what else is in store for me this coming week. i know it includes a trip home to see my family! YAY!

how are you serving outside of your 4 walls?

what needs have been met by other’s service or what needs do you have that still need met?

my skin is itching.
it’s time.
i can’t take it anymore….
i’ve reached a breaking point.
either explode or retract.
i want to run to what i know,
what feels most comfortable.
where i am wanted by ALL.
respected by all.
seen as a human,
with feelings.
and desires.
and not a young bimbo.
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 1 timothy 4:12

tough stuff.
i’m reminded today…
it’s NOT about me,
it’s about HIM.
about bringing Him glory,
honor,
and praise.

and i am committed to
doing just that…
in all that i do.

am i the one that when the going gets tough,
i dart?
i don’t want to be that person.
but it seems hopeless.
pointless.
stupid.
what do you think of the man who stands there and takes a beating?
do you think,
defend yourself
or
stand firm
or
turn and run?

i’m not a turn and run kinda gal.
i’m a stick-it-out-to-the-death,
will sacrifice relationships,
kinda gal.
i think that’s wrong.
i ruin relationships and in turn cause others to stumble.
WRONG!
do i skip to turn and run then?
or maintain at the stand firm stage?
if it were up to me, i’d play dead (wait til they aren’t looking) and RUN!!!!!!

today i am letting the simplicity of psalm 55:22 to settle in my soul and bask in it’s security and hope.

Cast your cares on the LORD
and he will sustain you;
he will never let
the righteous be shaken.

part of this problem i have with time is jace not sleeping!

he was a dream sleeper for 9 1/2 weeks.

WHAM!

it hit me like a bomb.

i have no idea what happened.

right now he is sleeping.

on the couch.

this is the first time he has slept outside of my arms in over a week.

(except at night. he is a dream sleeper during the night still! shwoo!)

this was what lizzie was like as a baby.

“as a baby”, meaning the first year of her life.

she did not sleep outside of my arms.

she did not play outside of my arms.

she did not like daddy or anyone else.

she wanted to nurse CONSTANTLY.

i will not let myself panic about jace becoming as high needs as lizzie…

thankfully, i never have to go through being a first-time-mom ever again. 🙂

regardless what happens with jace…

if he continues to nap on his own or if i rock him for an hour and a half everyday while he gets his BIG nap…

i will not become high strung like i was with lizzie.

i will not put a clean house or a ‘fancy’ supper ahead of him sleeping.

most importantly, i will not lose sight of how precious he is and how quickly it is all over.

thus, i will continue to sacrifice and meet his needs in whatever way.

Lord, give me strength.

isaiah 41:10

so do not fear for i am with you; do not be dismayed, for i am your GOD. i will strengthen you and help you; i will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

i suppose i should blog…

…about something.

weird how you go through seasons where you desire to blog about everything you are passionate about.

then there are seasons like this one.

i have no desire to blog to … who?

i speak to everyone i desire to.

these people are in our lives.

they know everything new jace is doing…

they’ve seen lizzie twirl and dance.

they know that lizzie doesn’t call him “jace”

she calls him “babydace” and slurs it together cuz she has to top how fast she said it last time.

so why blog?

i say it’s for me.

so later i can go through jace’s category and fill in a baby book.

(i sure hope this happens some day!)

i’m feeling the strong desire to weigh everything i spend my time on against eternal purpose.

well, as of yet, this isn’t cutting it.

nothing wrong with a happy-go-lucky blog about my peanuts…

my time is just needing prioritized.

frankly, if it’s blogging or teaching lizzie psalm 100…

psalm 100 wins.

blogging will happen…

i miss it.

just not as fun to type one handed…

when i have two hands, i’m folding laundry, vacuuming, steam mopping, cooking… not blogging.

if i don’t do the above, i won’t have a happy family to blog about.

so today, i will not blog my deepest thoughts…

…how i would love to pour my heart out onto this screen.

just something about it really is therapeutic.

instead, i will stay on top of things today to visit grandparents,

for guests for supper and Bible study tonight.

happy labor day ya’ll.

no laboring in vain.

prayer

Posted: 03/29/2010 in learning, me, spiritual growth

so i’ve been mulling this over now for well over a year. it’s so huge i don’t think i’ll ever arrive at a destination. it’s one of those things that God is so huge, i only get an ounce of a concept because that’s all my peabrain can handle.

i used to pray with the idea that no matter what as long as i prayed about it, it would come out like i expected/hoped/believed.

praying for the rain to stop last spring/summer – well that didn’t go over well. praying for some health issues – well those didn’t just simply go away without serious effort from many… you are getting my drift right?! my prayer life wasn’t exactly what i think God wanted it to be. my prayers were driven by selfish motive. a genie in a bottle kind of expectation. i honestly justified it. thinking, i know the sunday school answers, but what i’m praying for is for the greater good. and why would He not want to answer them. they are just so obviously needing answered and in the way i’ve thought up, cuz that’s just obviously the most perfect way. riiiiiiiiight.

instead of evaluating my prayer life and adapting it to what God wanted it to be. i was so fed up and exasperated i just stopped praying all together. who wants to talk to a brick wall? this is what it felt like anyway. but by my own doing. i knew this even at the time. but was so ticked i didn’t even want to attempt to reconcile this part of my life.

along side this, we aren’t attending church. we aren’t involved at.all. we aren’t considered regular attenders anymore by any means. regular tithers. regular crusaders. the go-to couple, we were before. nothing. this allowed me to really look at this part of life in a whole different way. a lot of things bothered me. eric and i talked about it A LOT! feeling like we were never coming to any conclusions by the end of the looooong conversations. just seemed like an on-going problem that would never be resolved. seriously. and no church is excempt from these problems. so going to a different church really didn’t/doesn’t feel like any sort of solution. yet swooping in and attempting to turn it upside really is NOT the way to go. 🙂  a given for some, not a given for trail blazers. 🙂 we tend to plow now, think later. not cool. there is a place for me, but i need to know my place.

january comes along. i have this moment that is completely God. not me. didn’t happen through prayer. but a moment that slammed me upside the head and is one of those moments you just can’t run from. and it just so happened to be the solution to both of my issues. WOW! it was just one of those moments. you know what i’m talking about? it was the result of obeying, from the outside, would seem like a simple task. the fruit of obedience still overwhelms me. this experience showed me that praying scripture over situations is the way to go. not telling myself over and over again something positive (joel osteen/ joyce meyer kinda junk – i’m talking john macarthur, j. vernon mcgee stuff!) or simply ignoring the negative things going on around me. but acknowledging the problem. knowing i can’t do a thing about it, or if i can, i will do what i can. but then it’s not me. it’s God. and it’s beyond me. i’m not talking about praying for a parking space. i’m talking about praying for someone’s soul or praying against strongholds. or physically fighting wrong, flat out wrong belief systems.

ok a whole novel and you are thinking, where in the world is she going with this?

i guess i want to ask you what you think. not your sunday school answers. but your well thought out, soul searching deep, answer.

do you pray for others when they ask you to? do you intercede in a true, deep, on your knees crying out kind of way sometimes? and other times just a simple, “God you know the need…” kind of way? do you feel guilty when it’s the later and not the former?

do you think that praying for say, a sickness to go away is something that is done successfully and if so, how? how often is it a result of an action we took (side effects from a vaccine, exposed to a virus from someone else, food dye, pork, etc.)? in this case we would be begging for mercy for something we brought on ourselves. (bad example maybe, but i honestly can’t think of another right now… OH! i just thought of one, say starting to build a house in spring – rainy season vs waiting until july and having to fight the rain until july all the while praying and complaining for it to stop raining on us and ruining all our plans… it’s like WOW! the world is bigger than you and the rain can’t just stop and start at every individual’s needs.)

how do you pray for health? pray for a healthy baby? but this world is a sin-filled world. it’s not heaven. so we will have unhealthy children. disabled  children. hardships. things we wish we wouldn’t have to deal with. things our children didn’t have to deal with. but disabilities or not. do you attempt to pray those hardships away? when we know full well, there is no real solution but heaven. and each hardship CAN be or COULD be used for God’s glory. so in praying for these situations to be eliminated, i’m praying for one less opportunity for God’s glory to shine. well that doesn’t seem right. but i don’t think he causes hardships to bring Glory to him. i believe that sin or this world CAN be used by him. but not caused by him.

so tell me, how do you pray? what do you pray for? what does it look like to you?

me personally, i’m sticking with praying scripture. this is something i’ve not done often. and i think this may just be the perfect place for me right now in this very confusing time for me. a dear friend of mine was so excited to hear this above journey – seeing the refining process and what is happening thrilled her. me, not so much. it’s uncomfortable and i don’t like feeling this confused. i do see the benefit of it. i do see the progress being made by this refining. but still so very unsure of myself. i feel like a calf trying to stand up for the first time. very vulnerable. so if you are wondering why i can’t get through signing a song. or expressing myself when you ask me how i’m really REALLY truly doing – you just might get tears instead of gushing about a house or some earthly thing, you might just get the soul deep stuff. the stuff that comes from singing and truly meaning this:

(click the photo and then click “we will worship you”)

“you are our only hope. for all we have to lose is our very soul. save us from these comforts. break us of our need for the familiar. spare us any joy that’s not of you. and we will worship you”