10.21.2019

Mindful Monday. "God's Silence - Then What?"


From the pen of Oswald Chambers - My Utmost For His Highest.

When He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was. John 11:6

Has God trusted you with His silence— a silence that has great meaning?
God’s silences are actually His answers.
Just think of those days of absolute silence in the home at Bethany! Is there anything comparable to those days in your life?
Can God trust you like that, or are you still asking Him for a visible answer?
God will give you the very blessings you ask if you refuse to go any further without them, but His silence is the sign that He is bringing you into an even more wonderful understanding of Himself. Are you mourning before God because you have not had an audible response?
When you cannot hear God, you will find that He has trusted you in the most intimate way possible— with absolute silence, not a silence of despair, but one of pleasure, because He saw that you could withstand an even bigger revelation.
If God has given you a silence, then praise Him— He is bringing you into the mainstream of His purposes.
The actual evidence of the answer in time is simply a matter of God’s sovereignty.
Time is nothing to God.
For a while you may have said, “I asked God to give me bread, but He gave me a stone instead” (Matthew 7:9). He did not give you a stone, and today you find that He gave you the “bread of life” (John 6:35).

A wonderful thing about God’s silence is that His stillness is contagious— it gets into you, causing you to become perfectly confident so that you can honestly say, “I know that God has heard me.”
His silence is the very proof that He has.
As long as you have the idea that God will always bless you in answer to prayer, He will do it, but He will never give you the grace of His silence.
If Jesus Christ is bringing you into the understanding that prayer is for the glorifying of His Father, then He will give you the first sign of His intimacy— silence.

10.20.2019

A gift that will keep giving!

My favorite birthday gift this year was this ring of cards, filled with words of kindness, affection, and
love from my children. Each child had four cards to fill and they wrote something specific and different on each one.
It is the size of a business card, small, yet packs a powerful punch of encouragement when opened because words are powerful!
This precious gift now rests on the kitchen windowsill above the sink (where I wash dishes/bottles 27 times a day) and makes me smile every.single.time I see it.
❤ Thoughtfulness is priceless! ❤

Receiving words of encouragement on paper, written by the very hand of the one showing such kindness is a precious gift.
In twenty years, or on a day when we feel forgotten and alone, we can pull out the notes, letters, cards graciously given by others and find refreshment, encouragement, and hope once again - from the very same words written years before.
What a valuable reminder of the power of GOOD WORDS!
They can breathe new life into a heart and mind over and over again.
Especially when they echo the words of the greatest encourager who gives US life!

May we seek to encourage one another in tangible ways this week - and - pray specifically for the "who" so we can be that cool, refreshing cup of water for the weary soul who needs our kindness most.

Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. Proverbs 16:24

A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit. Proverbs 15:4

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. Colossians 4:6

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. Proverbs 25:11

A person finds joy in giving an apt reply, and how good is a timely word! Proverbs 15:23

10.16.2019

We have one job.

Today, Dennis and I had the privilege of attending a Donor Appreciation Luncheon with our foster
agency.
Olive Crest graciously invited foster families to attend the event, and we said, "Yes!" without knowing what to expect.
But the Lord knew exactly why He had us there.
The keynote speaker aimed an arrow right at my heart, confirming the stirrings that have been dwelling there, and had me crying happy, confused, wondering, frustrated, hopeful tears on the drive home.

After praying, listening to one of my favorite worship songs on a loop, and calling a sweet and encouraging fellow foster/adopt friend, the Lord quieted my heart and encouraged me with His ever-precious still, small voice.
As if He whispered, "Don't look at the obstacles, daughter. All you need to do is step forward in obedience. I will take care of the rest."

So we will keep moving forward in our foster care journey, trying our very best not to look around at the sometimes overwhelming circumstances - but keep our eyes UP - trusting the Lord with every detail and every decision.
He is the One giving orders.
Our job?
OBEY.
We overestimate what is required to make a difference.
We underestimate what we have to offer. 

- Jason Weber 
National Director of Foster Care Initiatives for the Christian Alliance of Orphans

Scripture journaling! A most appreciated challenge!

One of the best challenges I ever received was to keep a Scripture Journal.
The purpose is simple.
Every time I read the Bible, I write down the verse or passage that hits me between the eyes. Encouragement, conviction, comfort, a call to action - it matters not. I write it in the journal.
Sometimes copying the Scriptures is enough, and sometimes doing so spurs thoughts, questions, or prayer - all of which are recorded on the pages.
One day I may scratch out one or two verses, while another day finds me copying entire chapters because they are treasure chests full of Scriptural gems.

I have kept dozens of journals over the decades, but not one of them has been as satisfying to fill as this one!

If you already possess and fill the pages of a Scripture Journal, you can attest to the blessing of doing so. If you have never pursued this discipline, I highly encourage you to give it a try! God's Word never returns void, so whether you write out one verse a day or one verse a week, you will reap the benefits of spending time in the pages of Scripture. ❤

“For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven,
And do not return there,
But water the earth,
And make it bring forth and bud,
That it may give seed to the sower
And bread to the eater,
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it." Isaiah 55:10-11

10.14.2019

Mindful Monday. "Getting Into God's Stride."


Enoch walked with God… GENESIS 5:24

The true test of a person’s spiritual life and character is not what he does in the extraordinary moments of life, but what he does during the ordinary times when there is nothing tremendous or exciting happening. A person’s worth is revealed in his attitude toward the ordinary things of life when he is not under the spotlight (see John 1:35-37 and John 3:30). It is painful work to get in step with God and to keep pace with Him— it means getting your second wind spiritually. In learning to walk with God, there is always the difficulty of getting into His stride, but once we have done so, the only characteristic that exhibits itself is the very life of God Himself. The individual person is merged into a personal oneness with God, and God’s stride and His power alone are exhibited.

It is difficult to get into stride with God, because as soon as we start walking with Him we find that His pace has surpassed us before we have even taken three steps. He has different ways of doing things, and we have to be trained and disciplined in His ways. It was said of Jesus— “He will not fail nor be discouraged…” (Isaiah 42:4) because He never worked from His own individual standpoint, but always worked from the standpoint of His Father. And we must learn to do the same. Spiritual truth is learned through the atmosphere that surrounds us, not through intellectual reasoning. It is God’s Spirit that changes the atmosphere of our way of looking at things, and then things begin to be possible which before were impossible. Getting into God’s stride means nothing less than oneness with Him. It takes a long time to get there, but keep at it. Don’t give up because the pain is intense right now— get on with it, and before long you will find that you have a new vision and a new purpose.

- Written by Oswald Chambers - My Utmost for His Highest

10.06.2019

A Wonderful Weekend of Birthday Family FUN!


The weekend ended with a Family Night.
Dinner, a leisurely walk, tossing a football at the local university ❤ TOGETHER! ❤
I LOVE my family!


The weekend began with a Friday morning pedicure date with Ellie
She was SO excited and could not stop looking at her sparkly blue toenails!


The afternoon found me watching Pride & Prejudice and then enjoying a delightful nap. 


In the evening, Isaiah and I went to In-N-Out for dinner and then to his flag football game.
Always a good time to watch my guys play ball!


The next day - a lunch date with Josiah!
Followed by an afternoon all.to.myself. (a rare occasion indeed)


Baby snuggles - a precious, precious gift!






The man who made it all possible!
Thank you, Dennis, for making me feel loved, appreciated, and wanted on my birthday.
❤ I love you! ❤

10.05.2019

48 years of life. 48 reasons to praise God!


For these ,,,  I am thankful!

48. Dennis - and 26 years of marriage. ❤
47. Micah
46. Luke
45. Caleb
44. Matthew
43. Josiah
42. Isaiah
41. Ellie
40. Family
39. Friendships that are steadfast and unshifting through the storms and trials of life
38. Authenticity
37. Faithfulness
36. Brothers and sisters who encourage and uplift those around them
35. Laughter
34. Thoughtfulness
33. Selflessness
32. People willing to sacrifice their comforts to serve the hurting and the broken
31. Compassion that spurs ACTION
30. Titus 2 men and women who willingly and graciously invest in younger brethren
29. Freedom to worship
28. The beauty of worshipping with the body of Christ
27. Creativity
26. The godly wisdom of those who have walked intimately with the Lord for decades
25. Vulnerability
24. Truth-tellers
23. The humility of others that literally makes them disappear while all glory is directed to God
22. Godly men who study, pray over and preach the Word of God with passion and without apology
21. Brothers and sisters who care more about holiness than happiness
20. Words of encouragement
19. Creation ... rain, wind, colorful flowers, ocean waves, giraffes
18. Health
17. Discernment exercised by the godly and the wise
16. People who ponder before answering/speaking (Proverbs 15:28)
15. Pleasant memories
14. Trials that produce maturity, strength, growth and greater dependency on the Lord
13. Repentance that leads to restoration
12. Visible fruit in the life of believers who are passionately pursuing Christ
11. People who do the right thing when it is not the "easy" thing
10. Being trusted to walk through the sins and struggles with a brother/sister in Christ
9. Gentleness
8. Kindness
7. Scripture - the beautiful, inspired, perfect word of God
6. Prayer - continual access to God every minute of every day
5. Forgiveness
4. Second-chances
3. Mercy
2. Grace
1. LIFE!

Let me live that I may praise You, and may Your laws sustain me. Psalm 119:175

10.02.2019

REJOICING - because I REMEMBERED!

When you have children with learning needs, you are always looking at hurdles that must be jumped.
Some appear conquerable and others loom overhead like Mount Everest.
But whether the hurdle is three feet high or 29,000 feet high, your children must jump over each one because every hurdle is completely immovable.
You know you either have to teach every child how to jump over them - or - throw them over your shoulders and jump for them until they are able to do so on their own.
There are sweet moments of victory and agonizing moments of defeat; for there are pieces you can manipulate, manage, and control, and pieces that slip through your fingers like sand. And sometimes? It feels like you and your children are drowning in the very sand that has slipped through your grasp.

BUT GOD.

He provides precious moments of insight. Moments when He peels back the curtain of the past, allowing you to peek inside and remember where they were and how far they have come.
He provides PERSPECTIVE.
As if He lovingly whispers, "Daughter, you look around and see row after row of hurdles, wondering how your children are ever going to jump over them all. But you forget to look behind you and remember how many have already been knocked down.
Four years ago they could not read. Three years ago you thought you would never be free from the chains of your children's educational weaknesses and needs. Two years ago they were unable to move forward in basic math. Last year they could not work independently in any school subject.
Do you remember, Michelle? Do you remember feeling absolutely overwhelmed? Do you remember feeling inadequate as both a teacher and a mother? Wondering if you would ever be able to meet their needs and push them on to success? Questioning every decision you made on their behalf? Questioning why I entrusted them to you when you felt completely inept to serve them?
Do you remember, child?
Because you must.
If you do not remember where they were - where you were - you cannot rejoice over how far all of you have come.
Your children can read!
Your children can work independently!
Your children know their addition/subtraction/multiplication tables!
They have learned to exhibit better self-control, think before speaking, and read the responses of those around them when they blurt out or speak inappropriately.
They have grown!
Matured. Learned.
And, daughter, so have you.
You cannot live in the past, but you must remember it. For when you remember all that I have done in and through your children, for My glory and their good, you will REJOICE.
And the hurdles will no longer appear as formidable foes, but obtainable opportunities."

I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that You have done; I ponder the work of Your hands.
Psalm 143:5

Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon His name;
make known His deeds among the peoples!
Sing to Him, sing praises to Him;
tell of all His wondrous works!
Glory in His holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!
Seek the Lord and His strength;
seek His presence continually!
Remember the wondrous works that He has done ...
Psalm 105:1-5