Not my Usual Blog

I started this blog for an online study I was doing.  It has some good stuff, but is not one I work on otherwise.  Here is my home blog:

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Ugh….Wholly Committed

SThe Tie that Bindso the subject this week that bugged me the most was: Wholly Committed: Is God calling you to a deeper level of commitment?

I am being real here, so you’re gonna need to take it as such.  No gloss or glamour, and I hope by the end of shedding this week all that will shine through will be Jesus.

It has been a week.

At times this week I thought my marriage was just done.  I think I actually was leaning towards hate rather than just not liking my husband.  My Adult son, his wife, and my new grand baby (who have been living with us for the last year and a half) are moving to their own place.  My eldest daughter moved out on her birthday last year and is with a man who is emotionally abusive.  She won’t leave him and is convinced she just needs to try harder.  And though she is a Christian, and knows it’s wrong, is going to sinful places in their relationship.  My arthritis is flaring up due to the barometer going crazy.  I have had a full daycare all week.  Oh yeah, and visiting relatives staying with us for 4 days.

I have been a Christian for 15 years.  I have done at least 50 studies in that time. Took theology classes to go to the mission field….know more of the bible than most Christian’s my age (Physically and Biblically).   But that does not remove my human sin nature or my own fleshly inability to handle too much on my plate. I should know better by now.  I am not at a place where my obedience is radical.  The title of this chapter would not describe me right now.  There are times when it would have.  But I stepped out from under the shelter of God’s protection to try and protect myself with my own fleshly means and desires. You may ask how that is working for me.  It isn’t.  I do know better.  I just cannot get a grip sometimes.

I know you have to be asking how I can be doing a study on What Happens When Women Say Yes To God.  I ask myself that question more than once a day.  Every time I see the book, every time I feel defeated,  every time I know the decision I am leaning towards is against God’s will.  Because if it wasn’t for the reminder in this book, and in this chapter, and from God, I would have run away.  Sometimes I can understand those women and men who just disappear.  Leaving family, home, friends… I have fantasized about that at my lowest moments.  But the difference is that I said Yes to God.  In the end I have a commitment that is not bound by flesh or man.  It is bound by something Holy.  Making me Wholly Committed whether it feels good, is easy, or not.

In chapter 3  Lysa talks about Offering it All to God. That’s the title.  And this brings me to the biggest and hardest part of this week.  My marriage.  If you have read this blog through then you know the path has been rocky this last year, and other years, of the now 23 years. I think leaving at this point would really be the easy thing. But I have not been called to easy.  But commitment.  And I am not perfect in the areas that I loath about my husband. But I don’t focus on that. I focus on the fact that I am not as bad as he is and I really hate who I am when I am with him.  But I know that is not his fault, really, it is my choosing to be bitter and hateful.  But it is so easy to embrace the world and just say I give up. I am tired of being nice. I am tired of putting up with having a husband I cannot talk with, trust, or depend on fully.  I am not meeting his needs either because they are tied up with his untrustworthiness.  We have done the Christian counseling and pretty much I am told that he is who he is and I now have to make a choice to stay and accept him or leave.

But reading that chapter reminds me that I am to lean on God first and foremost.  That he is meant to fill those places that my husband is lacking in. I don’t necessarily like this answer.  That is just being plain honest and I am jealous of those who have moved on and found happiness and peace elsewhere.  But I cannot get past the part of it being outside of God’s will. I made a commitment and God keeps reminding me that I did.  Gently and with loving forgiveness.  And when I get it I have to just cry out to him over and over and over for the strength, the mercy, the grace…and it is from a very broken place right now.

Please pray for me. I really need it.  The spiritual battle in my heart and head are heavy. But I want to be a representative of our Lord and live my life by him and I have been a poor reflection this week.

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I love this topic this week.  One incident where God told me to do something, quite clear I might add, and I was just like, “REALLY GOD!”?  It felt just like too much to ask.

Yet, I had less of an obedience problem back then and, despite my grumbling, I listened.

We use to live in a house that shared the front half of the driveway with the house next door.  We were paranoidly careful and aware, but one of our more layed back extended family members or friends would always try to pull in there, “to just run in for a second” and the lady next door would be on us like a hot potato!  The last time she ever did this, and we lived there 5 years, was the worst.

We didn’t even know someone had done it. I had 4 kids of mine that I was chasing and I tried to be on top of things but, you know how it is.  The door bell rings and I open it to her red-faced yelling at me.  I wanted to die.  Company, 4 kids (2 yelling/crying) and it was not my best day. I stood there and listened and then said I was sorry, I didn’t know, and would tell the person to move.  The person had heard and said they were leaving anyway, with a red face.  I shut the door and I just had the most honest conversation with God, despite the chaos of the house, and I was so angry and upset and tired of it!  When I finally stopped talking and was just breathing heavy I heard very clearly that I was to cut my best roses and make a big bouquet and take it to her personally.  I said no way! And argued the whole time I obediently cut my roses, made the biggest, most beautiful, bouquet you had ever seen.  I then cried.  I felt like I was going to give something I loved, the best I had, and it would only be rejected or I would be yelled at.  I hated confrontation anyway.  Yet, I crept over with my head hanging and rang her doorbell.  She answered the door with a puzzled look on her face.  I handed her the flowers and told her I was so sorry.  I had tears in my eyes, and honestly I don’t know if it was the humility or fear.  But she took them and kindly said thank you.  She never yelled at me again.  A year later we moved. Yet when I saw her at the store or where she worked she was always more pleasant than she had been before.

I was so thankful that God knew better than I did.  I still get a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes now.  Not too many years after that her husband and her split up and he committed suicide in the front yard with a rifle.  I don’t know why or what was going on in their relationship all those years.  What her life must have been like behind closed doors.  But God knew that day and that instant she needed love, no matter how she acted.  And I needed to learn that obedience to God does not always make sense in human thinking.

Dear God,

Thank you for telling me to do what was contrary to my heart, just so I could be your servant.  Help me to be more like that again.

In Jesus Name, Amen.

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A Soul Longing For More

From the album Longing for the Day, by Julie Meyer.

As with the last study I find that I am stuck between two topics for this weeks bloghop.  This is the first week of P31 Ministries online bible study, What Happens When Women Say Yes To God. A book written by Lysa TerKeurst. Each week we are given several topics that we can choose from to do our blog entry.  This week I was stuck between ‘A soul Longing for More‘ and ‘#yestoGod‘.

But the title I chose had the instructions:

On page 14 Lysa talks about how we’ve become “so familiar with God yet so unaware.” Our soul truly does long for a richer experience. What are some action steps you can take each day to become more aware of God’s presence? How can you intentionally pursue God even in the middle of “life’s mundane activities?”

I chose that because it made me want to choose the #yestoGod one. My post today will be about why that has everything to do with the steps I need to take each day to become more aware of God’s presence.

From the moment I met Christ in 1997 my Christian walk has been about having a real and spiritually sensitive relationship with God. And I could tell you that story, because it was about listening to him in a mundane life where I was depressed and suicidal.  Or when I was baptized and He literally saved my life, with his still small voice, from dying in a car crash on a rural highway.  Or the times, when like Lysa, that He said to give away my beloved bible, for His purpose, and there were amazing testimonies that came out of it.

But all those things are just exactly what my focus should be on when my soul is longing for more.  Because those times when I was so in need, whether I knew it or not, and I focused on the only one who could give me direction, He did.  Or when the situation called for something I never would have come up with myself, God called me to do something that only He would think of.  Every time it was with my focus on God and my heart open to His voice.  It happened in my dreams, it happened driving in my car, in bible study, at my kitchen sink, and even in the thrift store, lol.

When my soul is longing for more it is because I have filled my life up so much with me, and what I want, that there is on room for what God wants.  No time, no space, and sometimes even no desire.  But that doesn’t stop the soul for longing for more because with the Holy Spirit inside me I know that connection is a life line.

So if I can remember and refocus on those times when God spoke power and grace into my life, and into the lives of others through me, I can again remember what I need to do to find what my soul is longing for. To be how I was, with God, in those moments.

This verse reminds me of the importance of having every aspect focused where it should be.  Because if you are running your life with any of the others and forgetting the soul your going to run into trouble and forget the foundation that Christ layed within you.

Mark 12:30 – Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.

Lord, Thank you for helping me to remember who you have been in my life.  That it is just a minor reflection of who you are and what you can do.  I pray that I can be more sensitive and aware of you in my every day and that when I wake up in the morning I will remember to surrender my day to you by saying “Yes God, your will and not my own.” I pray that you will use this post to do your will in the lives of others.  In Jesus name, Amen.

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So it Begins…


The above link takes you to todays email for the study. Check it out if you want to see what happens when women say yes to God!

I have not read my chapter this week.  Usually that happens by Wednesday.  I am a fast reader, so I don’t need a lot of time.  But the emails/P31 blog prepares my heart for the lesson and gives me tidbits to chew on as I prepare to read it.

I can honestly say I have been so reluctant with this one.  When I make a commitment it is whole heartedly.  And the title of this book is such a broad, yet specific, commitment.  It scares me.  But our family devotion time the other night was titled, “Making Commitments to God” and guess what one I made?  Yep.  To do this study.  So here goes.

This weeks chapter is titled, A Soul that Longs for More. Boy is that the truth.

I think I have come to realize that my facade of contentment is really avoidance.  I decided to dust out the cupboard and put all the same stuff back in without cleaning any of it.  Dirty stuff in a clean container only makes the container dirty.  I long for more.  More healing, change, and going to sleep at night knowing that I did right by God each day.  So as you join me on this journey I pray that we both figure out what it really means to say yes to God.

Thursdays are the blog hop days.  So that will be the regular days I post for the study, but since the study was delayed in starting I wanted to give you a heads up that I didn’t just drop off the planet.

By the way, there are 22,000 women doing this study from all over the world. Amazing, isn’t it?!  We know God well enough to know that his word will not return void and some amazing things are going to happen.  We also know the enemy is really fuming over this.  I feel it in my life.  It has been building each week closer to this study.  Everyone is fighting and things are going wrong.  He wants me to give it up. To give in.  But one thing he, and you, should know about me is that I usually do the opposite of what someone is trying to intimidate me to do.  That is Satan’s method.

So glad God is not like that.  I hear him gently calling my name and offering me peace in the middle of the storm.  Yay God! I love you!

Our memory verse this week is Deuteronomy 6:5.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.

Keep this close to your heart and know it is the begining of saying yes to God.

See you Thursday!

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Well that’s me…

The next study is coming up quick. You can click on this link to actually learn more about it.  It is called: 

What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst

I am actually joining a Facebook small group this time.  Baby steps, right?!  So the thing we were asked to do today, on Melissa’s blog, was to tell about our selves.  So I figured I would post it on here too so that you all would have a little glimpse of me.

Hi everyone! I live in a small town in Oregon. I am 43 and became a Christian 15 years ago. I have been married for 23 years. I have 4 living children 22, 19, 14, and 12. I have 4 others who are already with the Lord, but only one of those did I get to know before he died of SIDS. I also became a grandma for the first time in May.
My life is summed up by refuting the sayings that people always say, “It can’t get any worse, This is the last time…, etc.” I am learning to find peace in the storm.
I love my God, my family, and God’s creation.
It gives me peace to be in nature.
I also have found a new joy in my new grand daughter. It is my first and she makes my heart swell with joy, peace, and contentment when I am having a rough day.
This is my second study on here. The first one, Stressed-Less Living, was challenging and this one down right scares me. I am doing it though and working on being able to surrender my life’s direction to God. Where ever he would have me and what ever he would have me do. It is not easy for me as the directions have changed dramatically over the years. I am pretty isolated, even though I live in the parsonage of our church and I do daycare. I have some health issues that require me to be in an environment with purified air most of the time. It has distanced me from activities, fellowship, and service (As I once knew it). The last study was my life line to connecting with Christian women and fellowship. I am excited about that part of the study even if saying yes makes me feel so scared.
I won’t be doing the phone thing. I love to communicate through writing, or even having a friend or two over, but I am an introvert. I tend to hide it well, but I think people figure it out because I have issues with phone communication. I also have little time for it with little ones running around all day, but that only adds to the anxiety; it’s not the cause.
Well that’s me. I hope to see you all on here and taking a leap of faith with me!

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new meSo we are done.  Done with the study StressedLess.  And yes, I am just about a week late writing this post.  I don’t know if this has been a victory, but there was a time in my life where I would have been on time or not at all.  Some how in my 43 years with life, constantly coming upon road blocks, I am learning to “choose what is better.” Often when it came to choosing the Lord or life I would just assume life was the necessary choice.  But I am finding that it is not.  One of the blog hop choices was the Mary/Martha (Luke 10:38-42) story to map, (basically break it down to the smaller meanings), the verse in 41-42.  I didn’t feel that was to be my choice, but when we covered this passage in the book it resounded in my heart and has continued to be a verse that has dug at me this year.

I chose the topic of: StressedLess. What is the biggest, most life-changing lesson you have learned from Tracie’s book and this online study? Why would you recommend this book to your friends and family?

The most life changing lesson I have learned from this study goes back to the fact that I blamed the things and people I could not control for the condition of my life.  But when I looked in the spiritual mirror I saw that “me” was often the problem.  I applied what God said to what everyone else should be doing and how life should be, but was not walking in such a way that would justify that conclusion.  I was trying to make God and his word work with my version of life.  I am sure we all do it at some time.  But having been a Christian for 16 years I lost sight of my first love and my focus turned back on myself.  Even in my effort to care for everyone (uhum, MARTHA) it was still about what I wanted to do.  So I have been sitting at his feet, not feeling the same drive to seek what I want, and when I have I have found the Lord, who has a more active role in my decision-making, will redirect me and show me what is important when I lose sight.

I got much more than that.  I look back through all the posts I made each week and one thing resonated each week, “This week was tough, tougher than the last, the toughest.”  God made sure I had practical experience for each thing I was learning.  I don’t know that I “liked” that, but I see the necessity of it and am thankful for what has come out of it.

Every situation and relationship that I shared has had some form of healing, and it has not been how I envisioned it, but that tells me that it is true to how God would have it.  I have a long way to go still, but I am seeing a reflection in the mirror that has different goals and paths because God wants me somewhere and to be someone, not because I do.

Keep praying for me.  This month I will be starting the new study, What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst.  What a leap from where I was 12 weeks ago?

Dear Lord, Lifting my life to you, all I have and all I am.  Please continue to guide me, heal me, restore to me a heart that reflects you completely.  I love you Lord.  I thank you for all you are and all you do. Praises to you! In Jesus Name, Amen.

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