Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mad About It

"Each one of us is responsible for our own walk with the Lord - no one can walk it for us. No one is going to miraculously change our circumstances , or take away the hurdles that we face, but rather we need the courage to face them head-on, one by one . " - Hazel Pattison

I notice how truly closed off I am to God , His voice , His plans, His presence when I have no desire to write . My blog began with the intent of sharing all that God is doing , has done and promises to do in my life . However, the two years since I began writing haven't been filled with these mighty movements that I had originally expected . In fact , quiet the opposite . I have experienced my darkest moments in the days , weeks, months and now years that have followed my original post . I've learned exactly what a human heart is capable of when it comes to ignoring the voice of God . At least I've learned what this heart is capable of .

"He (the enemy) is set on destruction and he often does this by isolating us." - Heather Puffett

Much about me has changed or at least from my perspective it has . My heart is not the same as when I began this journey and neither is my mind or soul . I've changed my mind on a lot of things that I had originally believed to be true for my life . I have changed the way I interact with some people and certain situations . The way I talk to God , how I spend time with Him or worship have all seemed to be mixed up as well . In all honesty there have been many days I didn't even want to bother with God . So, I didn't .I'm grateful His attitude towards me isn't so easily swayed . I've been rather angry with Him . Mad at Him . Brave words for a mortal . I'm mad at God . He knows my heart more deeply that even I do , so why pretend to be able to hide something from Him . My actions alone speak loudly to Him so voicing this new revelation will not be a revelation to Him at all . I'm disappointed . I'm mad . I'm hurt . I'm confused ! I've Said All This Before .   What makes today any different ? For me , it's my ability to say not just to myself or to God, but to you just how disappointed I am . I'm disappointed that God has yet to reveal His plan for me . I'm mad at myself for being so impatient . I'm frustrated at time and how quickly it moves , how slowly it moves . I'm irritated by the encouragement that is meant only to build me up , but just reminds me that I'm in a place to need building up . I'm bothered by my own heart , mind , wants , needs , distractions and insecurities . My bondage . Do you hear my chains rattle as I speak ? I do .

"As we allow Him in, He gives us the strength to overcome." - Hazel Pattison

After about a month of trying to freeze my relationship with the Lord out I finally sat down this morning to read my devotion book , to journal , and just at least attempt to pursue some joy . I bought a book several months ago from a used book store . I hadn't heard anything about the book . None of my friends as far as I know have read it . It was totally random that it even caught my eye in this massive ware house of books , but for some reason it did . I purchased it , brought it home , sat it on my end table and on occasion looked at it . Something in me knew that beginning this book would open my eyes , speak some truth , and possibly challenge or convict me . So, I let it sit . Days, weeks, and months it has sat on my end table under my Bible, journal and devo book . Staring at me . Taunting me . Mocking me . Today I finally picked it up . Just as I thought , with in the first lines I saw truth . I read commonality from two sisters who have been in the very same battle I am currently fighting . I underlined with my red pin (that I accidentally stole from a teacher friend) somewhat feverishly truth, after truth, after frightening familiarity truth ! As I read word after familiar word it felt as though these women had read my diaries . The diaries I'm too afraid to even write . I believe that even in the darkness God is at work in my life . Even in my silence , frustration , defeat , and lack of motivation God is still moving ever so gently .
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

It is perhaps entertaining to Him that I would think I have the ability to simply walk away from Him .  Even in "ignoring" Him I am desperately aware of His presence.....and His silence. .

Romans 8:37-39  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I don't recall if I came to this conclusion last night , this morning , in a dream or long ago . However today I keep thinking on the fact that God is not keeping things from me out of meanness, anger , not believing in my ability , or lack of trust in me . Rather He is keeping me from these things because they are not what is best for me . And if left up to me alone I would settle for less than Gods best believing it's all I deserved . I can see it clearly and still like a child I stomp my feet and cross my arms with a 'humph" like a spoiled child . I've said many times that  knowing what ISN'T suppose to be is just as good as knowing what is . I'm painfully reminded of that truth as I scroll through what feels like zillions of resumes sent , applications , interviews and opportunities that I knew just weren't for me . God is taking me through a very painful and thorough refining process .

Zechariah 13:9 - And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It [is] my people: and they shall say, The LORD [is] my God.
1 Peter 1:7 - That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
Isaiah 48:10 - Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver;
I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.

I pray that when it is over I might shine like silver .

Sunday, May 12, 2013

~ Provision ~


Philippians 4:19

19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

I write often about the varied ways that you can save or stretch a dollar . I write about  repurposing , reusing  and  recycling items with the idea of not just "going green" , but also the help us all realize ways that we can use and reuse what has been provided for us . Here I wrote about repurposing beauty products in a way that perhaps they weren't originally created . In This Post ,  I wrote about turning my Christmas wreath into a Valentines wreath and here I shared how you can earn money when you spend money (the kind of recycling we can all support) .

Coupon Care Package - It has become one of my favorite
ways to send some love to some of my favorite college students ,
first time on their own friends , and other coupon crazy friends .

This is the inside of a shipping box . I flipped it inside out
to turn it into a fun place to hold my Christmas Cards while I
prepared them for mailing and then used it to mail a gift .

 Christmas Wreath turned Valentines Wreath

Well the last month I was struggling to find a way to save a buck on a new cell phone . My contract was up and my cell was on it's way to heaven . It was so on its way to earning wings that I had to get a temporary phone number that went to my e-mail for communicating . I wasn't sure how long it would be until I found a new phone I could afford . I'm not one that is willing to spend several hundred dollars just to get a new hi-tech mobile . Doing my best to keep my cell alive as long as I could I headed to a cell store to discuss my current situation . I left the house that day trusting that the Lord already knew my needs and that if I ended the day with out a new phone that at least I had a temporary number for emergencies . I decided to have a nice day with it and stopped on the way to use one of my free drink coupons at Sonic . Nothing makes a day brighter like a free Route 44 from Sonic and it lasts the entire day !! So, starting the day with a freebie also made me hopeful that a discounted phone could be headed my way .

I ended up ending my day with a free iphone , my already discussed free bevi and three opportunities to give my resume to different companies . Totally unexpected and totally the pick me up I needed that day . Even if nothing comes from the resume situation I needed some unexpected proof that God is still keeping an eye out for me . When I got home all I could think of was how grateful I was for my free phone , free beverage and professional encouragement . I just kept saying "I'm so grateful".

I think that even if I had "gazillions" of dollars I would be a couponing , deal making , and a bargain shopper . I am grateful that in times of financial, professional , emotional , etc.  stress  the Lord cares for our every little need .

How has the Lord surprised you lately with His provision ?

Matthew 6:31-32

31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all

John 21:6

He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Waiting to Exhale ~ Praying for Tricia

To learn more about organ donation check out http://donatelife.net/ .
To learn more about Cystic Fibrosis click on http://www.cff.org/ .

Today my friend Tricia is in a situation . If she doesn't improve in some way or receive new lungs today , she will be put on a vent . Which is not the best or desired scenario . Last night Nate , Tricia's husband hosted a chat session to help answer questions about Tricia's condition , how people can help , debunk donation myths and more . So many people are invested in Tricia , Nate and Gweneth (their miracle baby daughter) that with every new development it seems the earths population gasps . Gasp in fear . Gasp in hope . With every gasp I make I'm reminded how easily I breathe even on a "allergy" day . With every sigh of frustration I notice how easily my rib cage moves up and down . I've noticed I even take my frustrations for granted .  At the moment , it seems with every inhale and every exhale I think of how hard it must be for Tricia to do the same .

Nate aka Clarise - The Joker in the Background :-)

I've written here , here, and here about my friends , their daughter and their continued faith in Gods plans for their lives as individuals and as a family . Last night as I observed the online chat about Tricia I was once again impressed and challenged by these lives . The reality of the situation makes me want to panic , run in circles and cry . I read phrases such as "end of life phase" , "ventilation" ,  "CF patients will die of either...." , and varied others that just make my heart ache . They make all of me hurt on behalf of my friends and their family . I know that I feel helpless I can't imagine how those closer to the situation feel . But once again I say that the words that Nate and Tricia share with the rest of the world are so challenging . I haven't heard frustration , though I'm sure they've felt it . I haven't heard anger though I can't imagine not at some point getting ticked . I can't tell you how many nights I've prayed that the Lord would find Tricia good lungs , that He would heal her so she can spend time with her husband and daughter out side of tubes and machines and oxygen tanks . It may be apart of His plan . It may be awhile before we know .

Tricia & I after getting rained out
of our Putt Putt game in the OBX .
Why write about this again ? To ask for prayer . To help make aware details of organ donation . To celebrate Cystic Fibrosis Awareness month . To feel like I've done something helpful . That last one might be selfish , but in a time when very little can be done by those miles away I think little things can be big helps . Just getting out the info that goes along with organ donation to people who other wise may not have thought about it feels like an accomplishment to me . Also, May is Cystic Fibrosis Month , here is a link that you can click on to find out how you can help celebrate , help and spread the word .
Quick Facts about CF and Organ Donation

  • About 1,000 new cases of cystic fibrosis are diagnosed each year.
  • More than 70% of patients are diagnosed by age two.
  • More than 45% of the CF patient population is age 18 or older.
  • The predicted median age of survival for a person with CF is in the late 30s
  • 30,000 children and adults have CF in the United States
  • More than 10 million Americans are symptomless carriers of the defective CF gene.
  • About 1,000 new cases of cystic fibrosis are diagnosed each year.

    Organ Donation:
    • Currently, nearly 120,000 men, women and children are awaiting organ transplants in the United States. For specific numbers visit unos.org
    • 65,991 Multicultural Patients*
    • 1,760 Pediatric Patients*
    • 28,052 Organ Transplants Performed in 2011
    • 14,013 Organ Donors in 2012
    • More than 46,000 corneas were transplanted in 2012
    • More than 1 million tissue transplants are done each year and the surgical need for tissue has been steadily rising
    *as of March 2013

    To learn more about organ donation check out http://donatelife.net/ .
    To learn more about Cystic Fibrosis click on http://www.cff.org/ .