When God wows me…

As I type, I am in awe of our God, of MY God and the way that He is constantly at work in my life. This morning, as I typed out the scripture that I send out daily to my people…my “Prayer Warriors” as they are titled in my address book in my phone, actually, as I searched for a scripture to send out, I found it in the Joyce Meyer study notes that I had downloaded this past weekend on “Contentment and Satisfaction”, which God has chosen as the theme for my life with God this year. THIS is what God is doing in my life right now, in case you were wondering…

Anyway, this theme keeps coming up, as God is always faithful to do when He wants to tell us something. The verse I decided upon was Philippians 4:13 “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.” You hear it all the time, right? Well, as I type this I am also listening to a sermon by one of my favorite pastors, a good friend of ours, Jacob Armstrong at Providence United Methodist in Mt.Juliet, Tn. What verse is he preaching on? Philippians 4:13! What is he talking about? Being content in all situations, in ALL circumstances.

Why is this so important, SO life-changing to me right NOW? Because last week I had my own version of a mini-breakdown. I admit it. I threw a royal fit….with God. I screamed. I cried. I told Him that I knew that He is BIGGER than THIS. This situation. This circumstance. Which one, you might ask? I am ashamed to say, but I will confess it to show you just how selfish and ungrateful a person I REALLY am. I was mad at God for not selling our house yet. For allowing us to find yet another home that I “fell in love with” and that would be “perfect for our family”. I was MAD at God for putting this desire on my heart and not filling it…YET. I was MAD at God for Miller pooping in his pants…AGAIN. I was MAD at God because I have been working so hard to keep the house clean, working SO hard to read my devotionals (all, like 10 of them) everyday, working SO hard to try and BE the woman He wants me to be, and in all reality, to EARN the grace and the reward that He has promised me. Striving. Toiling. Working. IN VAIN. At least in my own mind. I actually decided that I was done with it. Done with trying. Done with thinking about what I NEEDED to do all the time. Done trying to please Him all the time and DONE trying to figure Him out.

Do you know what He said?

GOOD. Now I can actually do something in you. NOW I can actually work with you and use you.

Now that I KNOW that I am useless to God unless I surrender all of me to Him, NOW He can make BIG things happen. I understand that my “righteous acts” are as “filthy rags” to Him, because He is so pure. So righteous. So GOOD. And I am me. I am weak. I am inconsistent. I am flesh..and that’s it! WITHOUT God, that is.

But WITH God, WITH His Spirit in me, “I can DO ALL THINGS” through Christ who strengthens me….

He didn’t tell me this at that moment, like I wanted Him to. He didn’t immediately comfort me with this…or actually maybe He did, but I wasn’t ready to receive it. I repented later that night, for feeling blasphemous and disobedient. I prayed for God to show me how He loves me. I prayed for His love to be all consuming. I prayed to start over with God. Luckily, God happens to be in the business of fresh starts. Of new beginnings. Of doing a “new thing” and giving us a “new song” to sing.

The song “How He Loves Us” by the David Crowder Band has been in my head and heart all weekend and still today. Even as I was sitting on the couch Friday night, I heard Josh playing it on the computer in our room, randomly. I don’t know why, but he was playing it. Then he told me that the praise band would be singing it on Sunday. I didn’t actually get to hear that, because AC had gotten sick, but that was ok. I knew that God wanted me to know that it was being sang.

How has He loved me? Well, He’s told me over and over to just trust Him. Whenever my mind starts going to that place of anxiety, to remember that I trust Him. That He ALONE is trustworthy. Even when I don’t see things happening the way I think they should. To whisper to my Spirit, “I trust You”.

Just a little while ago, as I turned on my laptop to check e-mail and Facebook updates, I came across something that caught my eye, something that a friend had posted. I watched it in amazement and cried and praised God at the same time. Something that God put on my heart a LONG time ago. Something that I had very easily given up on because of life circumstances. Something I very honestly DID NOT WANT anymore. But today, as I watched and read and listened, I heard something that wasn’t on the video clip. I heard something move in my heart. I heard God whisper something in my heart that I realize now that I have been very adamantly pushing out of my mind and heart for a LONG time.

Not that anyone ever reads this, but even so, I am not going to tell you what it is. This is between me and God, at least for now. I’ve got lots of praying to do about it. Lots of spirit searching. But I will tell you this. The fact that I am even CONSIDERING this, is an act of God ALONE. But you know what? I HAVE PEACE. I HAVE TOTAL PEACE about this AND about our house situation, and about just about EVERYTHING else. Because if God is BIG enough to make this happen (and I KNOW that He is), then my God is BIG enough to do anything. And THAT is what I trust.

I couldn’t make this thing happen if I strived day and night. Not a chance. But thankfully, God doesn’t ever want us striving, for anything. If He wants us to have it, He wants us to have peace about receiving it…from Him. That doesn’t mean He doesn’t want us working hard in obedience to Him, just as Nehemiah worked hard after he prayed to God for His wall to be built (yet another story God keeps presenting me with on this journey!). It just means that when we are STRIVING and toiling, that if whatever we are stiriving for is in God’s will for us, striving is NOT part of the process. “Toiling in vain” doesn’t mean “working in vain”, it means “toiling or striving”. That may not make much sense, but I don’t know how to explain it, except that toiling will ALWAYS be in vain.

Trust God. Don’t toil. Don’t strive. Work hard. Pray even harder. “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will GIVE you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4.

“Living with joy and power because you’re connected with Jesus.” -Jacob

A New Year and a new perspective…

Just this morning, as I finally got around to making the time to be quiet with my God, I was yet again tremendously blessed with His comforting Spirit through His Word. The Upper Room Devotional for yesterday (that I just got around to reading today!) was just beautiful. Here it is:

-Psalm 42:1 (NIV)

Well, apparently that is all the Lord wants me to give you for now, b/c as hard as I have tried, I can’t copy and paste the entire thing, just this sweet scripture, which reads:

Psalm 42:1

“As a deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for You, oh God.”

Here is the link to read it all for yourself:

http://www.upperroom.org/devotional/default.asp?month=1&day=1&year=2010

Isn’t that simple verse so sweetly, and completely true, though? Even when we don’t know what that longing is, what it is that we are longing for, He shows up as soon as we invite Him into our hearts and take the time away from the world to be with Him alone. As the New Year begins, my mind goes immediately to the decision that we have been putting off for a few months now. Our house.

God has been so trustworthy and faithful to provide peace to my soul about the fact that He has not yet moved us to the “spacious place” that He has promised again and again. I can finally, without a doubt say that I don’t doubt that promise. He has it for us and I can feel the longing that He put there when I see the house of my dreams still sitting on the market, at an unbelievable price…still sitting there, unsold..just like ours.

Our decision was to wait to re-list until after the holidays…and here we are..sitting on the couch, with a much needed day of rest, watching the snow fall and not talking about it…it’s the elephant in the room to me and I so wish that it were not…so many times I’ve pleaded with God to take the desire away but He does not, He leaves it there in hopeful anticipation of the promise to come…

But…

then we have many other decisions to make and lots of work to do before that can happen. Well, not LOTS, but some. The real work comes in the constant upkeep of the house in the hope that we’ll get a call that day to show it. What a crazy thing to have anxiety about, but I do. It makes my stomach hurt, to be honest. Is it just not the “season” of my life, well, my kids lives to be doing this again?  Is it detrimental to their well-being because of the stress it brings me? Isn’t that simply my problem to overcome and be at peace with?

Then, I read today’s (yesterdays, really)devotional and something stirs within me. Whenever I feel the anxiety coming over the house, seek His face. Seek His peace. Seek His comfort and remember His promises.

So beautifully simple.

Peace-not from my surroundings, not from the dream of a bigger house or the false hope of a recovering market. But faith in Him. The One we call Father. Provider. Lover of my soul. Prince of Peace. He created peace to bestow it upon us. Upon me in my desperate seeking of Him. Like a deer panting by a stream and the quenching of that thirst that He creates in us so that we will look only for His face to provide…

I love Him so much. Thank You God. I sing your praises.

Bible Search Bar – Bible.Logos.com

Bible Search Bar – Bible.Logos.com.

A quiet night…

What I’m doing…sitting quietly in our room typing and thinking of at least 100 different things….prayers for a dear friend and her child to be healed….this AMAZING house that I found today…I can’t actually get it out of my mind and I very desperately want to GET IT OUT of my mind…it’s literally exactly what I have pictured in my mind for our “forever” home…and in our price range, which is unreal for this house…it’s perfect..P.E.R.F.E.C.T.

It even looked like some amazing family was having their Thanksgiving gathering there when I drove by…you know…all the beautiful leaves scattered all over the yard, several cars in the driveway, sweet, inviting front porch with beautiful mums..ok-not completely sure about the mums, but whatever….

I WANT this house. it even has a sidewalk…do you know what a sidewalk does for my soul??? How stupid is that-a sidewalk, but seriously, it makes my soul sigh….It is right across from the campus school playground, which is petty much just a beautiful park-like setting that my kids could play in as often as they like….and we would all walk, no skip, joyfully, hand-in-hand down the SIDEWALK to our sweet playground and peacefully walk back to our Promised Land home with our 2 golden retrievers awaiting our arrival, Barkley and Molly, quietly wagging their tails and being perfect obedient dogs…OK-maybe I’ve gone too far, with the imaginary freakish dogs….

Why do we do this? Do only women do this? I can SO vividly see this picture in my head, but also FEEL this in my soul0literally IN MY SOUL. My stomach literally hurts thinking that we will very likely not get this house. ours isn’t even on the market…and it’s just so perfect…..I am about to cry….what is it about this that makes me so unravelled?

I am thankful for EVERYTHING that we have and even more thankful to Christ for the provisions that He so generously provides us with, so why this deep, painful longing about this? I have healthy childre-all honor and glory and praise to GOD alone for that….a great marriage and unbelievable husband who couldn’t be any better than he already is…2 dogs, that are, well, sort of ok….

I WANT THIS HOUSE!!!!

Ok-done with that now-obviously God needs to get a hold of me and do His work because I am all of a sudden without peace about our house situation again…but I am so afraid of giving to God, what if He takes this away? I whole-heartedly believe that if so, then He has something even better…but what if in our time together, he says, “No child, not yet” again? I know, that yet again, He will provide healing and peace…but please God, this time, let it be different, let it be our Promised Land…it SO feels like our Promised Land this time…..

And I’ve worked myself into tears, so stupid…..

OK-on to bigger things…

what am I thankful for right now? This fantastic new idea that our Sunday School is starting with a daily e-mail devotional. I think it will be AMAZING and I know that Christ is all over it.  It’s my ‘sweet spot” in ministry again and I praise God for this opportunity.

Who am I thankful for? Amy J.

She had her heart in it to and when her heart is into something, WATCH OUT!!! I just love her so much and really, this sounds ridiculous, but strive to be like her! She is so put together and organized and never late…so the opposite of me…she knows all the rules, real ones and social ones and I never seem to get either of those right!

Anyway,  her heart is awesome and her skills a force to be reckoned with, so with her on board, WATCH OUT world, here HE comes…

OK-still crying…gotta stop before Josh comes in and begins to worry that I’ve lost my mind!

 

 

Our Promised Land

Simple thoughts…

What I’m thankful for right now…sweet friends with pure hearts, and sweet friends that are still working on it, just like me:)
…..a warm bed
…..faithful provisions and the strength to use them to honor God-this a HUGE thing for me. I have never been a “numbers” girl and Christ is having BIG victory in my life right now-it is without a doubt to HIS honor and glory and praise alone!
…..family-my own and my extended-good relationships with them.
….healthy children. Praise be to HIM alone.
….Josh’s job that allows him to provide so well for us and to be with us as much as possible-still so amazing to me!
….a drippy faucet. At least we have clean water, running water, provisions to pay for both.
….a closet full of blessings and hopefully the time to bless others with the overflow!

What I’m doing….typing as both girls are sleeping in my room and Josh is sleeping under the stars….confession…I HATE when he is gone.
……What I’m thinking about…..hoping that I get to attend Beth Moore’s event in Houston in August-that would be so cool!
….what I need to be doing…sleeping…or at least working on getting there!
Goodnight!

Ask and you shall receive….

Long story short(hahaha)….
During my sweet time with a college aged friend yesterday, we both decided that we were going to challenge ourselves into not asking for or expecting things from God for this week, and instead to focus on allowing God to show us HOW He loves-ways that He shows us that He loves us. 10 years apart in age and because of the Lord’s Great Love, we have been put together at this time in our lives when we are both going through very similar circumstances..note, i did not say similar situations, but similar circumstances. We are both waiting on the Lord to fulfill a promise and give us direction and the “next step” in our lives….Anyway, needless to say, we both confessed to the fact that we are far more likely to be in God’s Word and aware of what He’s doing in our lives when we want something from Him-yes, OUCH!
We are reading the book “Crazy Love” by Frances Chan and this week, God spoke through Frances and asked us the very difficult question of “Are you in love with God, or with His stuff?”
So..back to our challenge…we have committed to looking for what God wants to show us. We made our commitment and departed into the great unknown…and let me tell you, when it’s God, it’s far more GREAT than I could have ever imagined!
I immediately went to have lunch with a friend and after she had to leave, I sat at my table clipping coupons for my shopping trips. The first couple that sat down next to me were a sweet young, probably college aged couple. They were not crude or rude or even overly consumed with the world in their conversation, but I noticed that God never came up in their conversation (I was in a quiet corner in Panera Bread, in close quarters, so not eaves-dropping would have been really difficult!). Anyway, after about 30 minutes they left and another group of 4 people occupied their table. I couldn’t be sure, but it looked like a mother, possibly her 2 sons and a girl, either a girlfriend of one of the sons, or a cousin, maybe… (yes-I’m such a woman, trying to figure all this out…).
Anyway-as they sat down and waited on their food, they casually conversed. Not much different from the previous couple. Then, they go their page and picked up their food and returned to their seats. One boy was on his cell and I felt an uncomfortable silence from the other 3 and then heard him say he’d have to call back whoever he was on the phone with and promptly hung up. Without prompting, they all joined hands and the mother asked who would like to say grace. The three 18-22ish looking young adults each offered and one of the boys began praying. Can I just tell you how I teared up and held back sobs as that sweet young man said the most beautiful, heartfelt prayer over their meal-asking for the Holy Spirit to guide them in their conversation and bless their fellowship-so beautiful and natural and not at all rehearsed.
The interesting part was that after that, their conversation was not completely unlike the previous couple’s, except for one obvious detail-there was joy and purpose in their words. The mother was obviously highly involved in their lives and very loving and interested in all of their conversations.
After about 30 minutes, I had clipped all my coupons and was preparing to leave. I had the strongest urge to tell the mother how blessed I had been by their time together and that I just knew that God was blessing her children through her obvious service to them throughout their childhood. I lingered a second in hopes of catching a lull in their conversation to offer up my encouragement, but it didn’t come and I walked out feeling blessed all the same, but regretting my missed opportunity. As I got into my car, I either offered up a quick prayer of thanks for the blessing or asked God to present me with another opportunity with that family if He so ordained it. I think I even thought, “yeah, right..I’m sure that will happen…” or something equally lacking in the faith department.
Then I headed on to my errands. I went to Lifeway and was probably there an hour or so (of which I also have an amazing story to tell after this) and then on to Target, where I spent at least another hour searching for my coupon items and going through the Halloween costumes in search of a clearanced Woody or Buzz Lightyear for the boys for Christmas (which I did not find!). Anyway, as I was checking out at the register, there was a problem with one of my purchases-an incorrect price scan-ughhh. The very sweet cashier flipped on her flashing light for a customer service person and I turned around to tell the people behind me that they might want to go around to the next register, that had just been freed up. The sweet couple were so lost in each others eyes, literally, that I don’t think they even noticed that there had been a delay. I didn’t even realize it, but as soon as I apologized and told them they might want to go around, the boy turned around and said, “oh, it’s no problem! Ma’aam (I think he said ma’am0he seemed like he would, at least!) were you just in Panera cutting out coupons next to our table?”
There they were.
Very quickly I blurted out, “was that your mom with you? (what an idiot am I?)”
He said yes and I then had my chance to tell him how blessed I was to be next to them and witness their Christ-centered conversation and told him to please pass along to his mother that I thought she was doing a great job with her children and how impressed I was with them.” He got the sweetest look on his face and said, “Wow, thank you so much!” He was so sincere. He was so kind.
What an AWESOME God we have that He ordained this and without a doubt, showed me His glorious Divine authority to work all of that out-simply Amazing! All honor and glory and praise to Christ alone!
Now, when I was in Lifeway, I was searching fo ra birthday gift for a sweet little boy that is the son of our good friends. I have felt an urging lately to only buy Christ-centered gifts for children’s birthday parties and Lifeway can always deliver! We are also on a very strict budget for a while as we are committed to getting out debt within a year and then celebrating by going on a Disney World/Cruise over spring break (hence, the crazy coupon-clipping!). Anyway, as I was searching and searching, I just couldn’t find anything except a $5 DVD for the friend. Then, as I was about to give up and head to Target, the super sweet sales lady came up to me and said, “Ma’am, would you be interested in a free Jonah Veggie Tales DVD with your purchase? We had a promotion about a month ago with these and had forgotten about them and have a stack to give away!” I was so shocked, i couldn’t believe it! Yet again I feel like God was blessing our obedience in sticking with a budget and with only buying Christ-centered birthday gifts.
How could you NOT be totally, head over heels, in “Crazy Love” with your God?
“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 40:31
Have any great stories? I would LOVE to hear them?

A Simple night…

What am i doing?…..procrastinating, really. I have Beth Moore to do for tomorrow, and I LOVE it, but for some reason, this is calling my name.

Why start this?…..i don’t really know…yet another time-sucker in my life? not enough going on around here (sarcasm!)?…another attempt at getting my thoughts organized…BINGO!

What is God doing in my life right now? (This should be my daily question-note to self!)….WOrking on humilty with me…and keeping my mouth SHUT…and having me make fairly difficult adjustments that I am without a doubt will be beneficial to me…LOVING ME LIKE NO OTHER!

WHat has He said to me recently?….I am not Jonah-I am a Ninevite.

What else?…That the desires He’s placed on my heart that have not yet been fulfilled are because I am far too focused on those desires than on Him. He gave me those to thrill me and see my reaction of pure gratitude, surprise and praise, but my devotion to Him is far more important to Him than even those. My dependance upon Him and my trusting of Him and my FOCUS on Him-WAY more important.

What have I learned?…That, just like Beth always says, “THere ain’t no high like the Most High!” Seriously-have you tried it? There is truly no high like the Most High and the highs that the Most High gives through study and revelation and personal Words in your life-NOTHING LIKE HIM!

What am I?….a Jesus Freak. There, I said it. My name is Aimie and I am a card holding member of the Jesus Freaks. I LOVE JESUS and without Him in my life, I am a horrible, rotten, egotistical, self-centered, self-serving, self-gratifying sack of human flesh.

With Him, what am I?…A daughter of the Most High King. For real. A hand and often times handS -raising, soppy crying mess of a person in worship because of who He says I am and who I believe I am are so different, obsessed CHRISTIAN. I LOVE being a Christian. I love all things Christian. I listen to primarily Christian praise music now because I truly LOVE it-and God revelaed to me just yesterday that when we’re living in defeat and turn on praise music and our “mood” changes, it is not, in fact, simply that our mood is changed, it is that our spirit is changed by His Holy Spirit living and dwelling in us and defeating the darkness that battles for our attention in the means of spiritual warfare all around us at all times of the day. When we open our mouths and sing those praises to the Most High God, the enemy flees. That simple. The enemy flees and the darkness is defeated.

AMAZING.

What am I enjoying right now?…this amazing fall that we’re having-all praise and honor be to God for that. Who else could make a single tree have thousands of different colors as it is literally preparing to die, or at least the leaves are. Maybe that’s kind of like us. Maybe as we get closer and closer to dying to ourselves and allowing Christ to have full reign, we start to burst forth, in His eyes, in so many gorgeous colors that it’s nothing like what we used to be-simply green with newness and possibility. Just a thought.

What happened today that I want to remember?….As all 4 children were watching the Hannah Montana movie, they paired up (Maggie with Miles and AnnaCaite with Miller) and held hands and danced together to a sweet little song. Joyful. Loving. playful. content. simple.

This is what life is ALL about.

All Honor and Glory and Praise be to Him alone.

 

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