The Bend in the Road

 

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“When I left Queen’s my future seemed to stretch out before me like a straight road. I thought I could see along it for many a milestone. Now there is a bend in it. I don’t know what lays beyond the bend, but I’m going to believe that the best does. It has a fascination of its own, that bend….I wonder how the road beyond it goes-what there is of green glory and soft, checkered light and shadows— what new landscapes— what new beauties–what curves and hills and valleys further on.” –Anne of Green Gables

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Tragedy and trials strikes us all at one point in our lives. We can choose to see beyond it and believe that days will be better or we can wallow in pity and despair and give up on dreaming all together.

There are moments I want to give up on dreaming big dreams. Fear envelopes me  like a heavy coat and I have to choose to throw it off and believe the bend in the road has beauty and sweetness and treasures that I would not have been dazzled by had life not taken me down this road. When my body feels weak and aches and I am limited by what I can physically manage, my natural eyes can see myself in a wheelchair unable to do anything. It is at that moment that I say, “NO! No. That is not me. I will keep getting up. I will keep fighting the good fight of faith and I will keep claiming God’s promises of healing.”

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I am choosing to believe there is beauty in these ashes, life from the grave, healing of the broken and busted up things.

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Isaiah prophesied of Jesus that He would take up our infirmities, carry our sorrows, be pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities, punished that we may have peace and by His wounds we would be healed.

Diamonds come from the fire, wheat grows from busted, broken and dead seeds, flowers come up from the dirt.

What is your bend in the road, that situation that has thrown off your “groove”, taken away something you thought you would have or dampened the pages of the story you were writing? Keep holding fast. Keep dreaming big dreams. Keep believing God to bring forth beauty from the ashes.

“The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.”     Isaiah 58:11-12

God is not done with you. Keep fighting the good fight of faith and keep your eyes on that which is unchanging. There is beauty on this bent road.

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The “Monster” May Not be So Bad

close up image of space trilogy book oneMaybe the monster in the water isn’t such a bad thing.

I have been chewing on C.S. Lewis’ words from the first of his Space Trilogy.  The main character was conversing with an intelligent being on another planet about a violent creature that lives in the water. The creature will demolish and tear apart anything that comes in its path. The human’s response was that there was no place for this monster and the “higher power” shouldn’t have made this creature or allowed it to be here for the sake of the good creatures. The intelligent being said the words that have had me mulling over and over and over, ” The hanakra (monster)  is our enemy, but he is also our beloved…………..I do not think the forest would be so bright, nor the water so warm, nor love so sweet, if there were no danger in the lake”. 

No danger in the lake? Isn’t that what we want? No danger. No financial strain. No health issues. Nothing that shakes us.

What is the monster you are facing right now? There are so many options of monsters to choose from and each of them can devour us in one way or another. One way or another we can let anything swallow us up and spit us out.

But what if we chose to see the monster in a different light?  What if  we saw it as a means to reach a deeper love, cherish the people God has placed in our lives more fully, experience a more full enjoyment of the simple things, an opportunity to put the first things first? What if the very monster meant to destroy you by the Enemy could be used for your greatest purpose through God and His strength.

In Lewis’ wonderful, philosophical, fictional story the alien beings were trying to kill  the monster but they had a deep appreciation for it. They appreciated more because of “it”.

When our eyes are fixed on that which lies beyond this mortal earth and we live for God and eternity, couldn’t we see our circumstances in such a different light?

The enemy of our souls uses the “monster” to steal away our moments, our peace, and our joy. But when we are surrendered to God and dwelling in His presence, we have peace and joy and see the monster for what it really is. It has no power over you. The “monster” cannot take your JOY but joy can be found in the midst of places where “it” lurks.

God says to me and to you,
“I formed you. Fear not, I redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned. Nor shall the flame scorch you, For I am the Lord your God……Fear not, I am with you.  ” Excerpts from Is. 43:1-5

His presence is enough for you. I am praying for healing for your body today. I am praying for Joy in the midst of your present circumstances.

P.S. I am resuming ‘Motherhood with an Illness’ next blog entry but I am going to broaden it to ‘Parenthood and Illness’. I realize I have amazing fathers who follow this blog too.

If you are not receiving this blog in your email, please put your info in  at the top right so you don’t miss any of my blog entries ( no worries-they will not daily flood your mailbox). Also, “like/follow” me on Facebook as well. We are in this together!

God’s Heart toward You

God’s heart has always been to be with you.

He does not need you. He freely chooses you.

His communion with Moses in the dry of the desert sun-tabernacle full of glory. Son of God come in the flesh, God in our very skin to walk among us, to be with us- tabernacle among us. 

His intimate covenant with you and me, His blood shed for you and me, was it for His own fulfillment? His only reason was LOVE. He chose us. He loved us enough to want us to have whole hearted devotion to Him. And when we are wholly connected to the Holy God we are holy. We are whole. We are complete.

“Because I live, you also will live”, Jesus said. “I have come that you may have life, life more abundant!”

When the Son went to the Father, He did not leave us alone. He sent our Counselor to be with us forever. Forever. With. Us. The Spirit of truth. 

He does not leave us as orphans. He welcomes us and calls us His own, special, royal, BELOVED.

He loves to be entwined with you. The Vine and branch melding together and bearing fruit. Do you glimpse the intimacy of the Father God with you? You are His. You are loved.

Write this on your hands. Write it on your walls. Dry erase marker it to your mirrors. Drill this in your head until the lies of the enemy fade away.
You are loved. And you are enough because you are His. 

Life is Messy

Life is messy.

Messy can be beautiful can’t it? Sometimes it’s hard to see. The mini Picasso six year old painting is beautiful. Bright orange seaweed tangled in bright green algae=beautiful.  Messy people that love in the messes=beautiful.

 

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My longing for order, for control, for keeping all things together can prevent me from experiencing the blessing waiting for me, the beauty waiting for me. The blessing doesn’t always come through wide, green pastures. It often comes through dark, narrow roads with a glimpse of light peeking through to guide. His tender hand guiding, directing through shadow filled badlands. Blessing comes through the messy.

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Moses didn’t want to speak to the Pharaoh.  He could speak. He just didn’t feel himself adequate enough to do what God was calling him to do. “Who me? I can’t do that. Don’t you know my disability, my lack of ability?” We make excuses and miss His power enabling us to do what He asks us and prepared us to do in the midst of what He has allowed.    The expectation Moses placed on himself was not what God had placed on him, but his own fallen perception of God’s role in his calling.  Focusing on the messy causes us to miss the masterpiece He is making.

The Israelites were scared to take possession of the land God had promised. The land was EVERYTHING that God had promised but there were giants in the land and they chose to focus on the giants. They chose to allow fear to keep them from trusting God’s promise and the blessing in His provision. They focused on the messy and missed out on the beautiful.

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God gives promises and sometimes we have to fight through opposition to fully enjoy the promise. Is it worth the fight? You bet it is.

There is always blessing and beauty on the other side.

 

Quiet Dancing

The words dance in my mind and urge me to dance with them onto these pages, on this blog. I have been fighting against the dance. Heavy eyes and weary body, I have resisted sitting and pouring out my heart here on this endless outreach. Even now, I feel like I have so much to write but I feel stifled, muffled, held back. I am aching to pour out the ointment God has been so faithful to pour over me.

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In a world full of derision and anger, hostility and brokenness I keep hearing HOPE. “Hold Onto Hope”. The  family vacation isn’t my hope. The new home or the next plans for our family is not my hope. Jesus Christ the Righteous, He is my hope! In Him is refuge, fullness of joy, confidence. My mouth is full of His praise, because my life is perfect? My kids perfect? My marriage perfect? Not even close. I praise Him because He is perfect, perfectly loving and good, kind and patient with me knowing all of my imperfections and still loves me just the same. I hold onto hope that my friend “T” who is battling M.S. symptoms will fully regain her sight. I am believing it for life on earth and knowing it for eternity in heaven. HOPE. I am believing healing of my myelin sheath for this life and knowing it will come some day-HOPE.

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When we walk through storms and we keep our eyes on the Light House we come out the other side of the storm with powerful proclamation of  victory and we shine for the next generation walking at our heels, listening to our words and watching our every move. They will see our falls but they will also see us rise up and keep pressing on toward the prize. Hope.

“Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.” Psalm 71: 18

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I recently read this quote by Mark Batterson, “If your dream doesn’t scare you, your dream is too small.”

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I am dreaming of big things. Things too big for me. Too big for someone with M.S. Too big for someone home educating four kids and fighting to do it well.  I am dreaming of BIG things, too big for me but NEVER TOO BIG FOR GOD. He is calling me, stirring my heart, calling me to a place of rest and renewal so that I can be poured out again. He. Will. Not. Forsake. Me. He will carry me into and through the lows and the highs, the storms, rains of refreshment, sunshine and desert. He will enable me to do what He has called me to do and I will know that it is not I who walked victoriously because of my might, no, it is all because of His might, His strong arms carrying me.

What is He calling you to do today, stirring up in you? What are the passions and dreams you have long suppressed? Rise up Dear One! He will carry you too.

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Paralyzed and Hindered

I’ve been quiet on here lately and I’m sorry. It’s nothing against you. I write every day. It’s in the quiet thoughts of my soul, my heart drumming through fears, worries, joys and grace. I write in the recess of my mind all day. I just don’t make it to this black leather chair and this white screen. I long to write every day but most days I am paralyzed. Paralyzed by the depth of my own thoughts. Paralyzed by my own weakness. Hindered by the vastness of my mental ramblings.

Tonight, I will pound through the keys and let the Holy Spirit reveal a brick of weight and a crumb in the vastness of my soul. It’s waiting that is weighing. Waiting on news. Waiting for a second doctor to confirm a diagnosis and waiting even though I know the answer. My first diagnosis came so fast. I blinked and gave smiles in the ER. It wasn’t a brick. It was a feather, light and airy and I could see the presence of the Father so clear in that white, small, curtain enclosed room with my earthly daddy and then a few friends and then my husband. The four day stay was exhilarating and powerful and not a moment was lost with nurses and doctors and other patients. I look back and see the Holy Spirit indwelling and His power carrying me through a time that should have shook me.

Now the journey brings me sixteen months later to waiting. Waiting for this new neuro to confirm diagnosis. How could I be doing this good with my past history of “episodes” and how come I haven’t had any progress in my disease since my last MRI?Oh, I know how. My God-who-heals! My God who has guided my hand in the process of healing and my God who allows me to stay at this weak place physically and emotionally, so tied to Him that I only know His strength! Oh, doctor is stumped but my mind plays tricks on me as I wait. I wait for a spinal tap but really I wait to tap into the Life Giver, Peace Giver, Lover who never steers me wrong. Oh, I wait and the enemy tries to rob me of joy. The summer heat sucks my energy and the enemy robs me of peace. My guard has been down. My bed or a cave or anywhere I can curl up and sleep alone, just to be left alone sounds so enticing  and I realize it’s no where else but the Father’s lap I really want to be. There is no other sustaining place than His bent knee that I can rest my head.

Waiting was weighing but I lay it down to wait on Him. Rest my head upon His lap and wait in stillness. I’m waiting, Father, waiting…..

I take my eyes off of the weight and onto Him and I see He is still carrying me, keeping me, preserving me. Even as I fall asleep and life and worries and trials wait, He is still awake, not slumbering or sleeping. He is attentive and tender to my needs. He is fully acquainted with my thoughts before I am fully aware of them. His love washes over me with songs of sweet notes. I am alive again! I can face the waiting because I’m not waiting on doctor or results or what the world has to offer. I’m waiting in this resting place, waiting with expectant hope of my rescuer, my Sovereign Peace! He is here and that is enough for me! He is enough for me! He is enough! 

Jars of Clay and Full of Treasure

My body had been doing so good with minor issues off and on, a routine I could easily get accustomed to. I was settling into a new normal until unwanted symptoms came rushing in, Unexplainable weariness, heavy eyes, heavy head, heavy body, just plain heavy. Now it is numbness on most of my left side and some of my right. My knees and feet feel like I have pads on them.

It’s all strange to me. Before diagnosis, going back eleven and twelve years ago I went through similar symptoms. As the years went by we found it was common in the spring. We assumed it was allergic reaction and the doctors assumed so too. I went through a series of antihistamines and when those didn’t work they pumped me full of steroids. The steroids helped a little. Time is what my body needed. Odd how life goes, a disease attacking my body from the inside and I continue on the same path, unaware. Why do we wait until it smacks us in the face before we change our diet or how we live life? Why do wait until our sin ruins our lives before we become broken and let God heal?

We are jars of clay, perhaps not noticeable to the world’s eyes, weak, fragile, dependent on something else to make us more….oh, yes, we have a hole in the middle waiting to be filled with something useful, something beautiful. It’s Him. He is that treasure that fills us and makes us whole, worthy, complete and we are now useful for great and mighty works! Great and mighty works dear ones!

We, these clay objects, made from the dust are hardpressed on every side, perplexed, persecuted, struck down (how many of us feel struck down?) and yet we are not crushed, we are not in despair, we are not forsaken and we are not destroyed! The enemy seeks to destroy but He can not destroy us when we are in Christ! The power is not of us, it is of Christ! He gets the glory. He gives us the power and we are beautiful in our simple state, humbled by our brokenness and made whole by His hand.

“We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” 2 Corinthians 4:7

Remember dear ones, we may be clay pots, broken being restored but we are full of Treasure and in Him we are unstoppable! In Him we are worthy. In Him we have purpose!