Perfect Love

 

perfect love

ter·ror  ˈterər

noun  1. extreme fear.

Terror – to bring terror through intimidation and fear.

I’ve been thinking on the recent events happening in Paris and even other parts of the world. I’ve also been thinking about the word terrorist, which loosely means to bring terror through intimidation and fear.

It doesn’t take a big man to terrorize someone with a gun. No, that man, or woman for that matter, hides behind that weapon with the intent to use violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, to get their way.

I know this is a very simplistic view but I’m staying with this view for a reason; terror isn’t my focus. Love is my focus. Perfect love casts our fear…. terror.

With all the media outlets spewing s much coverage of what is going on and what they think is going on, I can only believe it is helping the terrorist to spread the terror to even more people. I’ve seen this happening even where I work. Yesterday, they turned the TV channel on to CNN and let it play for a while. All the numbers were listed as expected; how many dead, how many wounded, how many terrorist found, how many dead, etc. etc. While not burying my head in the sand, I did not allow the terror to enter into my spirit. That was not the case for other’s watching. I could see how terror was doing its work; how they were hanging onto every word the reporters were speaking as if this terrorist were on their very doorstep.

After the reports began looping, repeating the same information all over again, I suggested we change the channel and watch some football or something. But even after the news was turned off, the terror was doing its work, having its way; I could see it on their faces, on one person especially. She was terrified that this would happen to her. She felt she had no control over her life and was helpless. I think this is what scared her most. She kept talking about moving away to the ‘islands’ because for some reason this would be safer. There was no comfort I could give her because she was so terrorized that she convinced herself that it was inevitable, only a matter of time. She expected it to occur.

To me, this is exactly the work terror is trying to accomplish, and I think it’s winning, for now. We have to see a bigger picture, a truer picture and not be moved by this spirit.

Just like that day when we were all shocked to hear what it happened in France and what happened the night before in Beirut; it makes us afraid. We need to collect ourselves realize that God knows this is happening, and the reason this is happening is because there’s not enough love in the world. Yes, this is a rather simplistic view, but don’t we tend to over complicate things anyway?

This is about a love deficit and love is what will transform the world. This Love the world needs is a Person and this Person needs to be encountered. These terrorist need love, they just don’t know it yet. Of course I don’t condone what they do, but what they do shouldn’t make me hate them. Nope, instead it should move me to intercede for them.

I believe we all need to look at it this way. I think when these atrocities occur; we should grieve not only for the victims but also for the perpetrators. The focus of our prayers should be that love with fall down on them. That love would overcome their hatred and need to punish others who don’t believe as they do. Our prayers should be that Love would work through us to be the instrument of change the world so desperately needs.

And then I read this……

“After her son committed a horrific crime, Terri Roberts expected rage and calls for vengeance. What she was greeted with instead healed an entire community”

Full article here Forgiven (Follow link or copy and paste into your browser)

This is what Love looks like.

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Jump – A Testimony

woman hiking aka jump

March 13, 2013, at 11:36 am – revisited February 17, 2016

I ran in the house, pressed my back against the door and sighed, the chase was over. “You’re real, aren’t you?” I asked. The overwhelming love of God enveloped me and I began to weep tears of joy that could not be contained. My surrender had been a long time in coming. I fought against it as hard as I knew how. Thankfully, I did not win that fight.

I was a runner, you see, and had run from all kinds of things my whole life. Running and hiding was just what I did. Why did I run? In my mind, I had already blown it there was nothing I could do or say that would change my standing with God. I was afraid of Him and I knew God was mad at me and because of that, I wanted to stay hidden and as far away from Him as possible; I didn’t want to have anything to do with Him. I was afraid that if I looked at Him, He would see me and remember how much of a disappointment I was, how bad I was and had been. And since that was my belief, that was my reality.

Back in late summer of 2005, I began feeling like ‘someone’ was calling me or pursuing me. I couldn’t explain it nor did I tell anyone, especially Paul. He had gone all Jesus on me and was acting weird and peculiar enough as it was – he was the last person I wanted to talk to about these things. The feeling was a little unsettling.

As a family, we had started attending a Methodist church in the neighborhood. Paul said something to the effect of, “God told me I was to go there for one year on assignment.” I had no idea what that meant other than another example of Paul acting weird and being spiritual, again. My attitude was basically one of whatever; I could have cared less why we were attending.

At this new church, I had expectations of finding new friends and families we could interact with, as we had done at our previous church. We had only been in the neighborhood for a month or so and meeting new people who might live nearby was definitely going to be great. Or so I thought. My first encounter was pretty dismal and sad. There wasn’t much joy at all. The conversations with everyone I spoke with were so negative and full of hopelessness that I actually felt a little depressed by the time I left. Ick! People looked at me as if to say, “Just you wait and see. Things are bad and will only get worse!” No one was simply glad to see us or welcome us in.

My first impression was not great, to say the least. I left that day thinking; I really don’t want to go back anymore. Only bad things happened to these people and they were expecting more bad things any minute. Who needed that? I had enough stuff in my own life!

During this time, Paul spent his Saturday’s praying with a Healing Room ministry. When the adult Sunday school teacher discovered this she invited Paul to teach a few classes on healing. Paul had shared with me about his prayer sessions and the people he prayed for so I knew a tiny bit about the concept, but I didn’t really think about it too much, I wasn’t interested.

Paul agreed to teach the class two or three Sunday’s in a row. I must say, it was a pretty eye-opening experience for me; I can only say wow, what an introduction to spiritual warfare! (And I didn’t even know what that was). What Paul didn’t know was that for every problem that someone had in that room, God was to blame. Apparently, just about everyone was a victim of some sort of accident, illness or family crisis. They blamed God for taking their son from them in a car accident. They blamed God for giving their father cancer. They even blamed God for their financial woes.

All this blame that was being put on God grieved me in a way I couldn’t explain. Even though I was afraid of God and how He might punish me, this didn’t sit well. It didn’t feel right. Have you ever been in a room, trying to teach about God’s love and His desire to heal with a bunch of people who just want to crucify Him all over again? That’s what it felt like while Paul was teaching. A lot of anger got stirred up and Paul was being attacked over and over again.

I’m mentioning this because this is the place where God started waking me up. I began to see a tangible collision of light and darkness with my own eyes. I saw the battle Paul was fighting and began to try and defend him. Verbally that did no good so I began to battle for him in intercession, even though I had no clue that that was what I was doing. I began to cry out for his honor, his safety (seriously) and his heart. I did all this in my head so I wouldn’t be attacked too.

The following week, Paul enlisted some of his friends from the Healing Rooms to join while he tried to teach again. One person got healed while nine got angrier.

Have you ever noticed that victims take no responsibility or blame for anything that has happened in their lives? Everyone else is to blame for decisions you made or decisions you didn’t make. I came face to face with the victim spirit those Sundays and even though I had no clue what it was, I simply couldn’t stand it. I didn’t know that some people become what had happened to them, or that they got comfortable with this identity so much that they would fight to stay there.

These sessions stirred up so many things in me. There was a passion growing inside me that I couldn’t explain. There was also a longing for the things I had been seeing and experiencing to be true. I couldn’t talk to Paul about it because I was afraid he would laugh at me and I would be ashamed, and then I would find out that I was wrong. I didn’t want to share these things with anyone who I thought might dismiss them as silly because as long as they were only mine and in my head, I could hope, even though that was a word I could afford to even say out loud.

After the Sunday school class episodes, one of Paul’s friends tried to connect with me and invite me to a book study they were about to have. I declined because I didn’t feel like it was something for me at all, I wasn’t interested in church. Over the next few months, she continued to invite me; by phone, by flyer, by postcards, email, etc. The book they were going to be reading was Captivating by Staci Eldridge.

Also at this time, in August my dad was diagnosed with throat cancer. This really scared me; he had never smoked a day in his life. It scared me because here I was, a seemingly intelligent person smoking at least a pack a day and enjoying it, thank you very much! It scared me so much that I made a decision to quit there and then. Well, that is when I finished the carton I had just bought, but the next week for sure!

In order to quit, I needed to change other habits too. I found I couldn’t sit out on the back porch, drink wine and read my fantasy novels anymore; all of that was part of my smoking experience. I also realized I needed some new habits and a new place to do them. And yes, I did eventually quit smoking.

The doctors told dad that he needed to immediately begin the chemo and radiation treatments, and he needed both at the same time. Besides the obvious problems this could cause, one of our major concerns was what or who was going to care for mom when and if things go bad for dad? She had been diagnosed with dementia many years before and needed constant care at the time; dad was here sole caregiver. That meant if dad was hospitalized we would need to come and stay with mom. And that was not an easy thing, for many reasons.

Mostly dad had outpatient treatments which allowed him to continue to be the primary caregiver for mom, with us stepping in only on treatment days.

One week, I got a call that dad was put in the hospital because his white blood cell count was dangerously low, due to either the chemo or the radiation, I forget which one. While visiting dad, who was sleeping, I noticed my sister was reading the book, Captivating; the one I’d been invited to read with that group of women. Interesting, I thought. I began asking my sister about the book, trying to be nonchalant, as in an, I’m not interested kind of way, but trying to act conversational instead. She didn’t hear conversational at all! She kept going on and on about how this book really spoke to her and was teaching her many things she never knew. It was even helping to heal things from her past sorrows, she said. That intrigued me because her past needed so much healing; even I knew that.

To back up for a moment here, my sister had also been talking to me about God, almost as much as Paul. This generally led to a much-exaggerated eye-roll on my part and a “Geez people, just leave me alone! I don’t need saving, I’m not lost” as my response. Little did I know!

While on my journey to quit smoking, I had changed my reading habits. That included reading other books besides the fantasy novels which I’d been reading exclusively for over 20 years. When I arrived home from the hospital, I ordered that book from Amazon before I could talk myself out of it. It arrived in two days and when it arrived, I consumed it! I couldn’t believe what I was reading. Could these things be true? Could I have been believing lies all these years; God wasn’t really mad at me? WHAT? I hardly dared to believe this good news. I had to find out.

The Captivating book study was still going on and I knew where it was taking place. During the book study, Paul would go to the same house but instead of taking part of the study, he would go out with Randy (the hostess’ husband) to a local coffee shop and pray for people.

The evening I finally went was a divine appointment.

Earlier that afternoon I had helped celebrate a friend’s son leaving for college by throwing a party at my house. Paul was present at the party for a little while but excused himself to go meet up with Randy to pray for people. Since this was a party I had two or three glasses of wine, as usual, but somehow the party just wasn’t there that day. I wanted everyone to leave, I was feeling this strange pull to go attend the book study and find out about the people reading this book or more accurately, find out about if what this book said was true! As these things go, a couple of friends wanted to linger and hang out for a while, but I kept on feeling anxious that I was going to miss something if I didn’t leave soon. I was feeling so antsy and fidgety.

After everyone had finally left, I rushed to get ready for this meeting. The entire time I had an ongoing argument with myself about how stupid I was being. “They didn’t want me there. They especially didn’t want me there if I’d been drinking!” On and on these thoughts went but there was also a pull that kept right on telling me to go. No, it kept telling me to run!

So I went.

I was so scared when I finally pulled into the driveway I was almost in tears. The lump in my throat was so huge I was having trouble breathing. I took the deepest breath I could and went and knocked on the door. The person who opened the door had a look of shock on her face but quickly changed her expression one of welcoming and hospitality.

I followed her into the living room where there were about 10 other women sitting around the room. They looked as normal as any tea party I’d ever been to and not scary at all. My heart was about to beat out of my chest.

Since the meeting had already started by the time I had arrived, I went in and sat as close to the door as I could; just in case I needed to escape.

And I watched. And I listened.

It was like nothing I had ever seen in my life. These women spoke with an authority and power like nothing I had ever seen in my life. I wondered, who were these powerful women and how did they learn this stuff? I was actually a little bit afraid of them! Power just exuded out of them as they prayed. Then even swung a sword and made powerful speeches. (They were making declarations but I didn’t know that at the time) They prayed like I had never heard anyone pray. There was something about those prayers that felt tangible as if the things they were praying for were being granted, even as they were being spoken. What?

Later, they placed the sword in my hands and prayed mighty prayers over me! I didn’t dare move. I didn’t know what was expected of me but I didn’t want to mess it up. They declared and prophesied many things over me. (I didn’t know that’s what they were doing at the time) It felt good but I couldn’t for the life of me explain why it felt good.

I was shaken and undone at the same time.

Paul walked into the house with Randy before our meeting ended and was quite shocked to see me there. He just smiled and went on into the kitchen, saying nothing. He didn’t even question me when we got back home. I didn’t discuss my experiences with him; I was processing too much to even articulate actual words. My mind was reeling. I wondered, had everything I’d been taught or thought I knew been completely wrong? How could God not be mad at me? No, that just couldn’t be true. Maybe some of these things were true but there was no way ALL of it could be so.

The New Year had come and gone and I continued to attend the book studies, mostly watching and learning. In February Paul, along with a few others were invited to go to Toronto, expenses paid for 4 days. I was still struggling with belief for myself, but I really felt Paul should go for sure. I didn’t know what the Toronto Blessing was all about but knew it would somehow change his life. And, hey, it was free right?!

I dropped everyone off at the airport in the pouring rain and all the while, I was trying to reconcile in my heart and mind to all the things I had heard about God. All my previous foundations had crumbled and I didn’t know where to stand. I didn’t even know what I believed anymore.

It wasn’t really a bad place but it was an unknown one. And walking in the unknown had never been a strong suit either. No, I was more used to knowing exactly what was going on and where I was going, or at least in my own opinion I knew and had no problem telling you either. Oh, the idea of being so wrong is quite humbling and the opposite of pride, which I had plenty of, for sure!

And even more humbling, I felt pretty silly having so ridiculed Paul for his walk with God over those past few years, Ha. BUT, there was no way I was going to let pride have its way if any these things turned out to be true. I was torn, wavering between two opinions, literally. I couldn’t breathe and just wanted to get home!

I pulled the minivan into the carport and ran through the rain to the back door. When I got inside I shut the door behind me and leaned my back up against it, looking into the room. I knew He was there waiting for me, waiting on me. I said, “You’re real, aren’t you?” My heart exploded and when it did…I jumped.

I jumped.

He caught me.

Miracles – What I’ve begun to see in my everyday life

 

DSC09677

The miraculous isn’t only blind eyes opened or even the dead raised; it’s so much more than that. I don’t know about you but for me, when that term is bandied about I almost always think of a creative miracle and rarely attribute it to anything else; until recently. The other morning while Paul and I were drinking our coffee, Paul began to describe some of the phone calls he received at work a few days prior.  There were those he categorized as “crazy, God showed up” type of calls as he prayed and the person was healed, they were even shouting about it over the phone. And then there were the calls where it seemed like the person wasn’t receiving the prayer or even listening, but instead kept interrupting to explain what was wrong with them or their circumstances. These types of people didn’t receive a perceptible healing or breakthrough. Many were frustrated or angry. Whatever it was, they were not noticeably changed during the course of the call. Some people were rejoicing while others were angry and upset.

As I listened to Paul talk about some of these calls, I felt a shift. It was like, hold on a minute: Isn’t the fact that they were bold or brave enough to call a prayer line pretty miraculous? It certainly would be for me. And, isn’t the fact that they let a total stranger pray for them miraculous too? There had to be some fear issues that they had to overcome. I felt like my box for the miraculous was entirely too small. It was limited primarily to a physical event and that was all. And that did not sit too well with me; it didn’t sit well at all!

Since that morning I’ve been pondering the miraculous and inviting Holy Spirit to give me more revelation on this because it seems that I might have discounted some miraculous things happening all around me that are wonderful and should be celebrated. But yet, it doesn’t mean physical healings and raising the dead are not wonderful things; what it does mean is that you and me can walk in the miraculous on a daily basis. I think it’s a wonderful when I walk into the grocery store and discover I can love everyone I meet. Is that not a miracle? Sure this is easier when I’m having a great day but it’s possible every day!

It’s a miracle when someone overcomes anger or disappointments and gets emotionally healed. It’s a miracle when we have a disagreement on Facebook and yet we can continue to converse with each other, and no one gets offended. It’s a great and rare thing but it does happen.  Did you know it’s a miracle when someone who often is very reactionary, suddenly shows humility and instead of reacting badly, instills order and peace to circumstances around them? That’s a miracle also. These things may not seem all that miraculous to you but believe me, they are. It’s a big deal when someone gets breakthrough and overcomes things. Change is a miracle. Maturity is a miracle. Even counting it all joy is a miracle! Miracles happen because God steps in when we step down. Of course we co labor with Him but it’s not co laboring if we’re trying to do everything all by ourselves. We have to take all of our ‘already know everything’ and set it aside and let Him show us what He has in mind.

I don’t know about you but I can be fairly stubborn sometimes and don’t want to change. So when I’m changed, it is a miracle indeed.

Something as simple as our joy and trust in an invisible God is miraculous too. Yes, I am aware many have seen Him with their spiritual eyes but seeing God is not like seeing your spouse sitting right next to you. We don’t have to engage our imaginations for that. All we have to do is reach out our hands and we will feel them. With God it’s not like that and because that’s the case, the angels marvel that we can worship Him and have a relationship with Him without even seeing Him with our physical eyes. They are spirit beings and they interact with God all the time. It is a miracle to them that we can walk in faith for those things not yet seen and trust that God is faithful.

All of our lives are a picture of the miraculous. What may seem to us as every day, mundane stuff, to us is supernatural or miraculous to someone else.

We are not alone in this journey and we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. But we have to allow Him to strengthen us; then the miraculous happens. Let’s expand our miracle box. All of our lives are a picture of the miraculous.

What if…

Around the bend

Last night before going to sleep, I was talking to the Holy Spirit, apologizing for not consciously spending more time with him throughout the day. I heard Him say, “All is well. I’ve been with you all day long as you know and it’s wonderful, but I have so much more for you. It’s not about what you should do; it’s about what you could do.”

As I lay there ponder these things I realized in a deeper way that He is not the one holding back anything, it’s me that holds me back. He has offered me things greater than I can imagine, there are no impossibilities with Him. He’s beckoning me to trust Him right now and simply believe the things He says are completely possible for me, not just others.

Why am I holding back, why do I not seem to trust Him when He tells me these things?

I think the business of processing things internally or should I say, over-processing these things, have a way of causing thoughts about the fear of failure and the whole process of ‘what if’ thinking, like: ‘What if I fail? And, what if people find out I’m not who they think I am?” None of these are questions He asks me, so why do I ask these things? Why do I entertain these thoughts?

Fear of failure and fear of man are huge stumbling blocks of comfort-ability. They can become so ingrained in my thinking that I begin to think they are my own thoughts. They are not! This familiarity and comfortableness will keep me stuck where I am, whether I consciously realize it or not, and it prevents me from enjoying all the things He has and desires for my life. It will also prevent me from influencing, for the good, the people I come in contact with.

I believe it’s time for the limitations to come off; the governor on my accelerator needs to be removed. It’s time for me to start asking myself better questions, or at least quiet myself and hear His questions. What if I succeed, what if I’m more than who I thought I was, what if I have great influence on someone else’s life? All great questions, really.

The traditions of bad thinking have to fall; they are only holding me back. They are so safe that they have become too familiar. I also believe that if I don’t boldly jump over this line of comfort, I will begin defending my current position as if it’s the pinnacle of my life; it is not.

Please know this is not me beating myself up or coming up with one more spiritual ‘to do’ list either. No, it’s realizing my life has been laid down for Him, freely and if I really believe that, I need to show some evidence of it. The influence that I have on my relationships and the interactions with everyone I meet need to be the evidence of the more than He desires for me.

Yikes, why does this seem so scary; maybe because on the other side of fear, life truly begins?

Okay Holy Spirit, what about today?

Love Wins, whether you see it or not

love wins 2

Do you ever find yourself discouraged when all you seem to see are hurt and broken people, everywhere you look? It’s hard and sad at the same time. And sadly, the church has all too often been to blame for much of this. But in actuality, its people who hurt people, even if it happened in a church setting or in the name of religion it’s still people, sometimes called “flesh” that wounded them. We need to see a bigger picture of what’s going on here. Our battle is not with flesh, by the way. What we are battling are forces of darkness in the spirit realm.

These dark spirits are whispering things into the ears of people who have been hurt and in effect, prodding them into agreement with thoughts of punishment and vindication toward those who hurt them. These thoughts don’t originate in the person but they may very well sound like their own voice. They are not. These are the strongholds that are mentioned in 2 Cor 10: 3-5. We need to pull them down and not come into agreement anymore.

I have found that it’s not always the church that causes these things. Sometimes people are broken and hurt because of bad choices they’ve made along the way and now they don’t even know the truth anymore. And other times WE are the broken ones. I believe that because of this we have an affinity with other broken people. Heck, we are their champions sometimes because it’s validation for our own brokenness.

Often when people are wounded, it wasn’t the intent of the person inflicting the pain to cause harm; no, they’re usually doing things with the best intentions in mind.  Maybe it’s not the way you would have done things, and maybe you would have treated people better, but maybe not. We all fail from time to time and people get hurt, it happens every day.

However the hurting came about, it all stems from one thing; continuation of wrong belief about one’s self and coming into agreement with what has been spoken over them, whether it was intended or otherwise. These wrong beliefs are not who they/we are.

Most people don’t admit to actually believing the curses spoken over them or the sense of worthlessness they feel about themselves, audibly or even on a conscious level, but they are the thoughts that are entertained day in and day out. I imagine that much of the inner thought life of most broken and hurt people are simply tapes of every bad thing that has ever been spoken over them. I know that’s been the case for me in the past; I assumed it must be true.

So how do we help someone who is broken and wounded? We show compassion for what happened but then show them how Jesus sees them.

One of the problems in dealing with wanting to show compassion to those dealing with broken and wounded people is that we aren’t always sure how to do so because we don’t want to cause more pain.  I mean, they are already hurting right? So what ends up happening quite often is that in order to avoid causing more pain, we get down in the hole with them and begin to commiserate with all the pain and suffering they are going through. We begin to agree with the accusations that come about the person who caused the pain to begin with. And then we call it compassion. It’s not.

I sometimes feel that when we spend so much time looking at the problem, i.e. the woundedness and brokenness, that we become accusers and may not even realize it. How often do we find ourselves in a stance of accusation?  There is only one accuser and it’s not us, or at least it’s not supposed to be! That is the identity of a victim. Yes bad things happen to people all the time but it doesn’t change who we are.

When we behave this way, it’s as if we’re saying, or acting as if Jesus has left us all alone, He doesn’t seem to care about us or them and then from that wrong belief, we come into agreement with the lies that started all the brokenness in the first place.  We start to believe they are true.

Simply loving someone where they are is what really needs to happen. But if loving them turns in to agreeing with the victimhood aka that their identity is what has happened to them, well we really aren’t helping at all.

While this can sometimes be a bit overwhelming, did you know that there is another way to see these things, that there are things going on that can’t be seen with our natural eyes?

The answer to all this isn’t to keep speaking about and focusing on how so many people are broken and hurt. Of course I’m not saying that people aren’t hurt, that’s just silly, of course they are. No, the answer lies more in what question we’re asking. Why do we ask why, or why do we feel the need to even ask? Who are we accusing of this really? And what does it say about our relationship with Jesus when all we do is ask why and focus on what we don’t see with our natural eyes? What does it say about us if we need a scapegoat for all that is wrong with people?

The answer lies in knowing that we are loved. When we truly know this and trust Him, we will stop believing those lies that try and define us differently than who we actually are. Then the need for answers to wrong questions will stop. And maybe, just maybe we will begin to ask real questions! Questions like, what can I do to help bring healing to a situation, how can I show ‘them’ that Jesus loves them so much and open their eyes to the fact that those things that have happened to or have been spoken over them don’t define who they are; especially if they stop agreeing with it!

Let’s introduce those who are hurting and wounded to the Jesus who’s so in love with them that He’s already laid down His life for them. All we have to do is love and open our ears, for He will whisper the words they are longing to hear and we get to speak them! How cool is that? He already has a plan for us all and it is good.

For me, the thing to remember is this:  Jesus is still pursuing them. Even now He’s wooing them back to wholeness, even if they don’t know it. No one is exempt from His love. He will have His way; just you wait and see. Keep loving them even when other’s around us don’t and we will see Him win every time, for He’s as close as we will allow. He really is tangibly right here, right now! Let Him have His way. And feel honored to be the one to show this unfailing love to someone else.

                                                                 The Spirit of God, the Master, is on me 

                                                                 because God anointed me.

                                                                 He sent me to preach good news to the poor,

                                                                  heal the heartbroken,

                                                                  announce freedom to all captives

                                                                  (and) pardon all prisoners.

Love wins

Let Dissapointments Go

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Okay, so I’m not going to work after all. Yesterday when I set out to do some ‘fall decoration’ shopping I noticed that the radio and the gauges had stopped working when I started the car. O no. When I removed my foot from the accelerator, they started working again. Again, O no.

I called Paul but he couldn’t come home then because he was in the middle of a landscaping job and he wouldn’t be able to look at the car until later in the evening, probably after dinner. Sigh.

I confess I had a melt-down and a big ole pity party. Nope I didn’t invite anyone else either. I am so done with car problems! I had taken the day off work so I could bake some new items for my Etsy shop in order to photograph them, and then upload everything to promote what I added. All the baking was finished and now I needed to go get some pumpkins and other ‘fall-like’ decorations.

I confess that I let disappointment have its way for about an hour. Then, I decided that if I couldn’t go to the store I would at least spend my time wisely by working online at my shop and get some things reorganized.

While sitting in my office, I started looking around the room, as I tend to do while thinking, and noticed some silk flowers up on the bookshelf by the door. They reminded me of some other things I had around the house that I could use for fall decorations. The next thing you know, I was pulling everything back out of the freezer, where I put it during my pity party, and started planning a layout for my pictures. They weren’t exactly what I had originally envisioned but they did turn out more me, if you know what I mean and I didn’t spend a dime on decorations. DSC02413

But back to the car; I was scheduled to work a double shift on Saturday (today) but didn’t see how that would happen because the car wasn’t working. When Paul did look at it he discovered that the wire thingy that connected the alternator to the power source had broken off, leaving half the bolt in the alternator and the other half in the wire thing, which by the way was melted. Very strange.

I can say is that I am blessed indeed that I didn’t break down at 10:30 at night while on my way home from work! Nope, everything was working fine on Thursday night when I came home. The trouble started as soon as I started it on Friday. It did start for me though, and I even drove it around the block once, not wanting to drive too far but wanting to see what it would do. It didn’t start at all for Paul and when he lifted the hood he noticed that the wire thingy wasn’t even touching the alternator. No wonder it wouldn’t start.

After several phone calls to local auto parts stores to see if we had purchased the alternator there, with no success, we found our receipt; it was still under warranty! This morning Paul took it out, went to the store we purchased it from 2 years ago and picked up another one, at no charge. In the mean time, I had already informed work that I most likely wouldn’t make the morning shift but would try and get there by the evening one.

Paul surprised me by getting everything installed and tested by 10:00 while I was off doing other things. I wasn’t even remotely ready for work! Woops. I called the manager to let her know that I would be in to work in about an hour but she didn’t answer her phone. I figured she would find out I was coming when I walked in the door but instead, she called me when I had only gone a few miles down the interstate. I told her the good news about the car, etc. and she said she was about to call me to say why not just stay home? They had more people scheduled than she realized and I could take some more time off. She said she knew how stressed I’d been lately because I haven’t had time to work in my Etsy shop so she gave me the day off! How wonderful is that??

That’s the story of how I’m not going to work today. Correction, I did end up driving out to go pick up my check and deliver most of the goodies I used in my pictures…..they certainly couldn’t remain here at my house! Win, win I say.

God is good, all the time, every day, and every moment. He is in the midst of everything. He kept me safe on my journey home the other night, we had favor with the parts people, we had favor with the installation of the part and I had favor at work. I am highly favored and extremely blessed. As a matter of FACT, I know you are too. I hope you realize it and see Him in the midst of everything you do and see.

And I almost forgot: I did get to take pictures of everything baked and I need to remember that there’s always a way, even when I don’t see one. It took me a little bit to get over myself and my disappointment but when I did, things turned out even better than I expected. When God meets me right where I am it’s the most wonderful, humbling experience.

I pray we can learn to get over ourselves and get out of our own way and let the King of Glory show us what He can do because it’s always better than we can think or imagine. I ended yesterday still a little bit discouraged because of the car but He is so faithful to take care of us that I should have known better. Oh well, I am human after all (smile) and that’s why we all need His grace. I fell into that grace through this. Who would have thought, certainly not me.

The Stuff of Life

Sitting down at my computer today, I feel compelled to write something. About what, I have no clue yet. But some of the things running through my head are sons and inheritance, prodigals and orphan spirits, abundant life and daily living; just things of that sort. All of these subjects are things that make me come alive. I love talking about this stuff! But even as I think about these things my mind turns to all the other things I do that aren’t always all that exciting.

Yes, the stuff of life, it’s where the rubber hits the road and where character is built. And whether I like it or not, there are more mundane things than exciting things that take up my time every day; which doesn’t necessarily mean they have no value. They absolutely do.

We all have routines and things we do every day that probably have no meaning for someone else but are so normal and a part of our lives that we don’t give them much thought. We all have schedules and family dynamics that determine many of our routines and they’re all different. I couldn’t walk into your house one day and expect you to adopt my morning routines and think it would work, it wouldn’t. I also couldn’t walk into your house and expect to know how you do mornings either. Some of us have pets to walk and others have children to dress for school and many have both. It’s all the stuff that makes our routines. I’ve heard it said that some folks are even morning people, and they get up early just to hang out with each other and drink coffee! Not everyone does that for sure.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about things like this and the other day I was listening to Praying Medic’s podcast about  quitting your day job. (found here How to Quit Your Day Job – Part 1 ) This particular part I was listening to was about writing, either a book or simply a blog. One of the things he said really made sense and resonated with me. He said people really want to get to know you, to have an inside peek into your life and see what you’re all about. And I thought, really? Yes, really. I know that I love discovering things about people and I love their personal stories the best. Teaching and instruction are great but when I learn more about the person, either through conversation or in the course of a blog or post, I kind of lean in more. It’s like a window of insight opens up and I learn more than is actually written on the page. Do you know what I mean?

So, with all these thoughts leading me to the aspect of ‘getting to know’, I thought I’d share what a typical morning looks like at my house. I make no promises you will get any insight or revelation from this but you may learn another aspect about me (and Paul), and maybe not. It’s from these morning routines that everything else in my life flows.

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What makes for a day in the life of a child of the King? Well, it’s probably not nearly as exciting as you would think, looking from the outside. (Smile) So let me share some stuff of life with you and let you decide.

A typical day in our house starts pretty early. Actually, it begins the night before when we make the coffee and set the timer to go off just before the alarm clock in the morning. Most often our alarm goes off around 5 am. Truth be told, it goes off at 4:45 because I hit the snooze 2 or 3 times before actually getting up and heading to the kitchen.

This usually involves stepping over at least 3 hungry cats, all meowing and swarming around our legs. It’s like a school of fish in a pond; they’re all synchronized and flowing as one. You’d think we never fed them!

Once in the kitchen, Paul goes to the back door and lets Pippin in the house and he’s immediately surrounded by and hissed at by the other cats. This diversion gives me opportunity to open the can of cat food, known affectionately as ‘glop’ around here, while Paul finally gets to the business of pouring coffee. Glop is a single, very small can that gets divided into 4 somewhat equal portions. Once it’s all put on the 4 individual plates, Paul takes two and I take two. We make eye contact and then it’s GO! I feed Bella and Marie and he feeds Pippin and Micah, on opposite sides of the room. That is, if everyone minds their P’s and Q’s!

Some mornings it goes like clock-work, other’s not so much. Some mornings, I’m dragging at least one kitty away from someone else’s plate while trying to show them where their food is. Some mornings it works. Sigh

Once everyone is eating and the cacophony of meows has ceased, we turn back to the coffee, each making it exactly like we want it. Paul then climbs back in the bed while I go and check my phone to see if I got any Etsy orders in the night. (It’s amazing how late people on the west coast stay up!) I also refill the water and dry food bowls before finally taking my coffee back to bed too. Once we are all settled in, we sit up in bed and talk, pray and just hang out for the next 45 minutes to an hour.

Oh, the coffee, yes, we drink our coffee too.

This happens every day of our lives, unless the rare occasion we are out of town for some reason. On the one day that we don’t set the alarm, usually Sunday, we end up with a kitten, Micah, coming in to wake us up. Not only is he yelling at us, he’s making biscuits (kneading) all over the place with claws extended! He looks like a furry marching soldier kitty. The others are waiting just inside the doorway, to see if he can rouse us. I’m pretty sure they sent him in there. They certainly expect us to keep up the routines!

We haven’t always had four cats though. When Chelsea and Chris moved in they brought two of their own. And, since we get up way before them, we take care of all the feeding, and tripping and such.

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As crazy as this morning routine may sound, it’s our normal. Our time together sets the day and it’s something we’ve been doing our whole married life. Initially we would take turns bringing coffee to each other but times changed and we now get up at the same time every day. Later, when we both came to know Jesus, (me four years later) we began praying and interceding during our morning time together. We were pretty astounded by the impact it had. These sessions began to move mountains in our lives.

Shortly after we started interceding, God had us begin to organize our intercession, to have a particular focus every day. One day we’d pray for family and friends. The next day we’d pray for our business, the next the healing room ministry we served in. We prayed about kingdom finances and things like that; each day had a different prayer focus. No matter what our focus was though, we always left room for Holy Spirit because He liked to mix things up sometimes.

To this day, no matter the schedule changes, no matter if someone is working first shift or second shift; we always spend the first hour of each day together. It’s only made us stronger in our walk with God and in our marriage. And you know, sometimes this was the only time we would see each other until the next morning because of crazy work schedules.

We all have crazy things we do each and every day. Things that help us move from one step to the other, things that encourage us and things that make us stronger. Not everything we do is glamorous or glorious but everything we do is with Him in mind, sometimes consciously and sometimes not. These are simply the journey notes of a given day. (Smile) I haven’t even begun to tell you what happens after that first cup of coffee and our feet hit the ground, where the real beginning begins. But, that’s a story for another day.