Thursday, April 7, 2016

To Make Time Stand Still

I just need it to stop, just for a moment.
But it doesn't.
It won't.
It can't.
The impossibility of time bending to my will.
I want it to be over.
I want it to last forever.
I want it to be tomorrow where hope lives and freedom rules.
Where justice is served and my heart is as free as my spirit.
What do you do when time needs to move quickly...
Yet you want it to stop tick, tick, ticking.

This is the beginning of my admitting, my confessing to myself that my marriage is over.
In fact it's been over for a long time.
"You've had your foot out the door for the last three years!"
Have I?
If it's true then the truth doesn't hurt.
It's a painless blow.
It's an inanimate object with no life or feeling.
It just lays their between us.
The gulf grows.
I find comfort in the distance.
I can breathe again.
I can feel again.
My bed is safety.
There is peace within my walls.
My mind becomes my fortress.
The strength I daily find is incumbent with resilience.

There is no more sifting through questions seeking for answers.
There is the simple and plain truth spread before me like a picnic blanket in the sun.
The food is prepared and displayed.
Each dish present holds sorrow and betrayal.
There is shame.
There is loathing.
There is joy and love nestled in with the condiments.
They are the children that this banquet produced.
They are the salvation of the hope that never dies.
They are my saving grace, the desert whose sweetness never ends.
In the midst of the vile and the persecuted...
The gift of innocence and the proclamation that it wasn't all for naught.

I am learning to be my own authority.  How I navigate the unknown waters of my new found and deeply appreciated independence.  I have removed the filter and within the  uncharted waters of freedom, I trail my fingers through, contemplating the coolness and fluidity of the liquid.

I determine that I will be present in the moments, all the moments where time keeps ticking.  I will be present to feel the joy that I believe in, the beauty found in small things that take my breath away.  I will look into the face of love and dare to believe that it is true, it is just and it is given.  I will find beauty in the small things because the small things aren't small at all.  They conjoin in a mass of joy to burst into being the big things that matter.  The creation of things that always matter.

I matter.

There is freedom in the sound of surrender.  Surrender to time that will neither stand still or speed ahead.  There is freedom to feel what I feel and accept the truth and the facts for what they are.

This is my life.  I am present.  I am here.  I exist within this never ending vortex of time.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Scripture Ponderings 1 Corinthians 9:1-15

My scripture passage was 1 Corinthians 9:1-15.  Here was my ending prayer, "Lord, please help me to have an attitude of complete trust with you. Please help me to trust you step by step no matter what my future holds. Please help me to follow your leadership in my life and enable me to love and serve my children. I love you so much."  
         This scripture passage meaning was not immediately clear, and I plan on asking my pastor for his insight into it, as well as digging into a commentary on it.  I did capture the thought of 1 Corinthians 9:14 where Paul speaks of those who "proclaim the gospel getting their living from the gospel."  I assume this means that those who proclaim the gospel will be fed not only with the spiritual nourishment of the word of God, but also with physical nourishment resulting from sharing the gospel.  Such as making a living from it.  Or it could mean that those who proclaim the gospel will be taken care of by the gospel.  Essentially, those that proclaim the gospel will find divine provision from the Heavenly Father, He sees their tireless labor and He will reward them as they deserve.  Paul has certain rights as an apostle and as one who has proclaimed the gospel.  However, he is pointing out that he refuses to take advantage of these rights, and instead, chooses to live simply and by faith.  I also took another application here, and that is, God will provide for those who honor Him in their labor and kingdom work.  It brings to mind, "where God guides, He always provides."

 Slick, M. (n.d.). Is it okay for pastors to be paid for ministry? Retrieved March 08, 2016, from 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Pondering Job

"Listen, O Job; stop and consider the wondrous miracles of God."  Job 37:14 NLT

"Praise the God who gives, and takes away," Casting Crowns.  Learning to praise God in spite of the difficulties we face is a challenging task.  Learning to trust Him when we cannot comprehend and lean on Him when we cannot see.  To trust His heart for us when we simply cannot, absolutely not understand.  Learning to glorify God for His wondrous miracles.  In Job's life we see physical evidence of God's tremendous miracles.  His favor is evident in the profound blessing He bestows after Job perseveres through his great calamity.  Yet this brings up the question, what do you do when things do not work out in your favor?  Essentially, even though Job was restored in multiple ways, it did not bring back his original children.  How do we reconcile the "wondrous miracles of God" when we do not receive our desired miracle? I have struggled with this question myself.
Like any other normal person, I love a happy ending.  When all things work out, everyone is happy and the good guy wins.  Yet in the entirety of Job's story, he did not really win, he overcame.  He was not passive, he had to choose to stand in faith in the midst of his questioning and desolation.  The wondrous miracles of God are often displayed in the fact that He has brought us through our difficulty in one piece.  That somehow, in spite of our doubts, tears and agonizing questions (often receiving no answers) we emerge from our trials to proclaim that God is good!  He will bring beauty from these ashes and He makes all things beautiful in His time.  The wondrous miracle is the work He does within our hearts, within the battle.  The wondrous miracle is Christ within us, the hope of glory.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Gratitude Perspective

Do you ever struggle with gratitude?

Have your feelings ever challenged your perspective to be thankful?

I have challenged myself with this quote today.

On the day after Thanksgiving, my husband is at work and the kids and I are alone here.

Feeling lonely and like the world doesn't care.

I've struggled with these feelings multiple times in my life.

I've spent time drowning them out by staring into my kids faces, occupying myself with work, finding an activity to do or calling/texting a friend, or drinking coffee.

But on the days when the children have tested my patience, (I've gotten on my own nerves today) I don't feel like working, (all the pies are made)  the activities that need doing are cleaning and laundry (again) and there's no friend to call because they are occupied with their own lives, and the coffee is drank...

This is when gratitude becomes a challenge.

I'm missing Karagen.

It's been three years and I found myself daydreaming about how wonderful it would be to have her alive, in our family and filling our hearts and lives as a 12 year old.

Today's challenge, for every negative thought;
Find 5 positive thoughts to replace it.

As I have learned and continue to learn,
Gratitude is a choice.

To focus on what I do have,
not what I wish to have.

Thank you Lord for the blessings I see, and those I do not.

For the challenges that test my faith and force me to look to you.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Quick Update

      Akkk!  God is always trying to teach me patience.  Here I am just wanting to get things done, have them fixed...all figured out and I am forced to wait.  Apparently I still need lessons in patience. *Smile
    Things are working out though, and I do get to use my gift of perseverance to help my family.  Last week I was perusing jobs for Jonathan while he worked during the day.  He had an accident on October 15, and his trailer hauling job was brought to a standstill.  I saw an article for Fry Communications and told him about it so he went and applied in person the next day.  (We had a grand plan of him applying quickly and then finding a used car later so Gracey and I went with him)  His application process and subsequent physical and drug test took the entire day so Gracey and I hung out in the van all day, sigh.  But, he got the job!!

Gracey and I entertaining ourselves while we waited in the van.
    This week, after spending all day on Saturday looking for a vehicle, we finally bought another car yesterday and I've dubbed it Big Red- haha. It's standard and I took it for a spin last night, Vaughn said I needed more practice as I was a little jerky shifting.  LOL  Jonathan also found out yesterday that instead of working night shift, he will be able to work day shift, 6 am to 6 pm, 7 days on and 7 days off.  Things are working out, slowly but surely.  After 120 days of work we will have benefits as well. Woohoo!

     Last night I finished up my Personal Stewardship class and finished with all A's.  How exhilarating!  I have a weeks break and will start Oral Communication next week.  Not sure how that will work in an online class.  You can't know how happy I am that I am FINALLY working towards a degree!

    Today I have a few errands to run, then a Leadership Committee meeting tonight at 6:30 pm.  I really love being on our church's board and really enjoy seeing what God is doing in our church.  Seriously, it's awesome to be an integral part of the inner workings of our church.  Jonathan and I are also participating in an intense discipleship course which involves daily devotions, accountability and scripture memorization.  I am putting all my verses to music.  I sing them every morning as I'm getting the kids up and ready for school.  I am working on creating new habits.  Here is my first ones; Get up, drink water, make my bed, do about 10 minutes of exercises before I leave my room and daily quiet time.  So far, 3 days of success!

   Last but not least, Last Saturday, November 7, we got to meet our newest nephew, Jesse Alexander Lund!

     Here are the two verses I put to song.  These links will take you to my YouTube channel.

2 Peter 3:18

Matthew 6:6


Friday, November 6, 2015

When is enough, enough?

            When is enough, enough?  My mind immediately jumps to thoughts of things in life which I will always need again.  I will always need to eat, drink, bathe, sleep and pray and read my Bible.  Enough, will never be enough of these things.  I pray that I will never lose the hunger and thirst I have for more of God and to know and love Him better.  Really though, we need to look towards contentment and that is the point of the devotional. 1 Timothy 6:6 states; "Godliness with contentment is great gain."  Pointing to the fact that these two ideas are combined, godliness and contentment.  We could think of them as twins.  They go together. Do you want to be content?  First seek godliness.  Seeking and finding more of God will instill in us a Christ-likeness and our soul cravings will be satisfied when we love God supremely.  Loving God supremely is not a destination, a place we arrive at; "we've made it, we're done."  No, it is something we come to, again and again.  My prayer is that I never say, enough, is enough in the light of spiritual matters.

          In light of being content in earthly things, it is a matter of the heart.  We should not seek to build wealth for selfish purposes but for the purpose of being a good steward of what God has blessed us with.  Contentment is a disciple that will need to be both sought after, implemented and practiced.  Esau picked himself up after being treated wrongly by his brother.  He built wealth and when confronted with the confession and penance of his brother, he essentially told him, "it's OK, let it go, I have."  Who knew we could learn a lesson from the firstborn underdog?

     But Esau said, "I already have plenty, my brother.  Keep what you have for yourself."
Genesis 33:9

Friday, October 30, 2015

Job Loss, Now What?

       I just love when I open a devotional and find it is exactly what I need to think about and it is applicable for my current situation.  Here we are, this very week, facing incredible repercussions from my husband wrecking his truck and his subsequent loss of work.  Why is it so hard to ask for help?  It feels like a major wounding of pride and dignity.  Perhaps something that God doesn't even want in my heart in the first place.  Or is it just the fact that I wish to have my life in order (like a good Christian should) and when hardships come, I question my integrity and christian walk, as if painful and difficult situations are a reflection of my inner character.  
     I have asked for help this week.  God has provided for our rent.  We are currently seeking (my husband and myself) other employment.  Several people have given money for groceries.  I have a roof over my head and shoes on my feet, hey, I even had my beloved coffee this morning.  It is a beautiful thing when you see the body of Christ acting like the body of Christ.  When we pull together and help one another.  When out of nowhere, provision for that unmentioned need is met.  When there is abundant proof that God is watching over my family and that He loves us, ever so much.