Galatians 2:20

Saturday, January 14, 2012

December Blessings!

The Father's Love
Family
&
Fellowship with friends!

We were so blessed to have a visit from our dear Atlanta friends Lindy, Blake, and their precious son Caleb. We always cherish our time with them. Lindy is a true "iron" sharpening sister and I am beyond grateful for her friendship.




Sweet Lily,
What a special Christmas we had with you! We loved being able to sit and share with you about the True gift of Christmas...JESUS! We were constantly blessed as you would act out the Christmas story with your Little People nativity scene. You would always make the angel declare with such joy..."Don't be afraid, I have GREAT NEWS, Jesus was born! One of the biggest blessing was one night when you told me that Jesus had to die for our hearts!











Monday, January 2, 2012

Candid Journal - A Beautiful Mess!


Oh how I like my sleep, but I'm definitely not getting much of it these days (a lot of tossing and turning with uncomfortableness) as I'm only a few short weeks (or days) away of us anticipating the arrival of our gift from God - Laine Claire!

She is usually the culprit, the one who is giving me a good early morning punch that causes my "alarm clock" to go off a lot earlier than I would choose. This morning though, as I stare at the clock that reads 4:39 am she is still and calm. It's the Holy Spirit that is stirring within me and has caused me to rise. HE is dealing with my heart. It's good though...hard truth that makes me not stay the same...it's a break through!

Feelings and emotions that I have been wrestling in my head, but He's connecting them to my heart.

Ahhh! There she goes with all her rolling and tumbling now that I've been up for an hour...sweet thing! :)

Pieces...coming together! This is what I am reflecting upon...
We are actually in FL right now on our last little get-a-way at my parents river house before we have to hunker down! Even though we are here, I'm picturing myself standing in our bathroom back in Valdosta looking outside the window as I blow dry my hair. Yes, probably only in South GA at the end of December would you find trees still displaying their fall foliage. The one outside my bathroom window is just now at it's peak change and gorgeous! I'm definitely not complaining, because fall is my favorite time of the year. I will say though, it does cause for some holiday emotional confusion as we have our manger scene displayed, tree up, and cutting our "count down" chain to Jesus' birthday.

Just last year in OK I was looking out my window at trees that were heavy with snow! A white Christmas...ahh!
It's the fall colors for this extended season though that has reminded me once again of the process that the leaves are undergoing to show off such beauty...they are dying...getting ready to fall off the tree and shed old growth...leaving the tree left naked and exposed for a season only with the purpose for new growth to be able to push through! It's a visual process of you and me! What sweetness from the Lord to make it so tangible and touchable! HIS WORD...fleshed out!

A visual I love to rejoice in because it's so beautiful to the eye, but to "OWN" the truth it's screaming is the struggle...YOU ARE TO DIE...YOUR LIFE IS NOT YOUR OWN! I am calling you to lay down your life and STOP LIVING!

This death that He is calling me to is NOT bondage, it's FREEDOM, it's so that I may actually know life and have it abundantly...So HE may Live!

So why such an overwhelming anxious heart at times? a weak faith?...it's my flesh...it's gross and I realize just what a MESS I am.

I've been in one of those places where I haven't felt much for the past week or two. One of those "disconnect" seasons (cloudy of the mind). I call them the "survival" seasons. You know where you have to "fake it till you make it" (if you know what I mean). All feelings are removed, but the Truth is still what you cling to, what you counsel your heart with just longing for the feelings to catch up.

The Move, a New Ministry, a Temporary House, a New Baby on the way..

Change is not always easy for me...it's stretching, it causes me to venture out from comfort, it exposes real attitudes of my heart.
Such a racing mind at times...anxiousness!

Then I'm confronted with a verse that I am so familiar with. Oh, but what danger can come with familiarity...simply knowledge. It doesn't require much work, and it doesn't transcend the heart unless you "own" it!
I am so thankful He is causing me to wrestle through this truth.

Philippians 4:4
"Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS and again I say Rejoice!" - the author, Paul, is not sitting on white sandy beaches in the Bahamas sipping on a coke as he writes this, nor is he on the top of a mountain. No!, these words are being pinned down to the church of Philipi as he is sitting in prison.
Bleak depressing circumstances...an anxious heart...right!? NO,...JOY abounding! Joy because his eyes were not fixed on the "change" of his circumstances, or his physical location, but on the ALMIGHTY who is SOVEREIGN over his circumstances. He knew and trusted that his Place and Position had Purpose that was greater than he, but for THEE! Paul is teaching us that our inward attitude does not have to match our outward circumstances.

v. 5 - "The Lord is near."
v. 6 - "Do NOT be Anxious about ANYTHING...DON'T WORRY!

WHY?
"Worry is Toxic! Unchecked worry seeps into our thoughts, poisoning our joy, and convincing us to give up on solutions before we've even tried them. A life filled with fear has little room left for faith. Without faith we can neither please God nor draw near to Him for the comfort and guidance we need to face the cares and affairs of everyday life. Worry is allowing problems and distress to come between us and the heart of God."

anxiety and worry: looks to self or others people for answers
concern: looks to God for answers

(taken from a chapter in the book: Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World)

I hear the still small whisper..."What are your eyes fixed on, your gaze, your stare?" I am constantly needing a shift of focus...upward...eternal...THE CROSS...THE GOSPEL! Never allowing myself to move past it. Remembering that nothing gets deeper than the Gospel. How am I allowing it to intersect the big and small moments in the everyday?
Works, perfectionism, approval...is what my flesh seeks,but the Spirit says to find all your approval, satisfaction, and desires in Him!...to live, rest, and abide in the words our Savior declared..."IT IS FINISHED!"

v. 6 "But in everything with prayer and supplication with THANKSGIVING let your request be made known to God. AND THEN the PEACE of GOD which transcends all understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus."

PEACE...a product of proper order! To seek First, to allow the things and thoughts that consume me to be shaped by prayer (confession, repentance) and praise! Resulting in a yielded heart that is then accessible for peace to flood immeasurably . Not understanding, but resting in knowing that God is Holy! Therefore, all that is allowed in my life is good!

Yes, I am a MESS, but that is why the MESSiah came so that He could "mess" me up, redeem me, and rescue me from ME! Ultimately so that my life may be wrecked for His Glory!


!

LORD!
BE GLORIFIED!