Tuesday, December 7, 2010


It has been a good day but a hard day. I know that I don't really have to pack boxes, but doing so gives me a little control over things right now. It is something tangible and real. It also gives me a chance to realize that we are really leaving our little house on the pond, our church and the safety of things known and comfortable. But God is not calling us to be comfortable right now. A verse that I was given not to long ago is:

 20 You will be like the person who tried to sleep
       on a bed that was too short
    and with a blanket that was too narrow
       to wrap around himself. (Isaiah 28:20, New Century Version)

This is what I feel like right now. Someone trying to sleep on a bed that is just too short for them. I sometimes have to lie down with little man on his small youth bed. If I do fall asleep, I usually wake up with a crick in my neck or stiff in the legs from being scrunched on the too small bed. It is just not comfortable and a good rest is hard to get in that bed situation.
Now the covers are a big deal to me. If I am cold, I need to be covered with lots of warm blankets, but if it is too much I get overheated and wake up sweating. Not enough covers, even in the summer, is not a good thing either. I need just the right amount of covers. I used to travel with a blanket so if I got cold I could cover up. The problem was that the blanket was really too small to do much good. A sweater would have been just as good. When I am tired and cold, I want comfort for sweet, restful, peaceful time of being.
Right now, my life feels like a too short bed. As much as I try to rest and turn this way and that, I find that I am scrunched for time, patience, peace, good feelings - generally a peace and happiness. My days are sometimes filled with my pains in the neck and sick feelings in my stomach than anything else. As much as I would like to curl up under the shelter of a nice and cuddly blanket that fully covers me and my family, I seem to feel lots of drafts - emptiness, gaps. Primarily caused by worry, anxiety, stress, - realization of sin and lack of dependance on God.
Yep, I am in a time right now where my bed is too short and the blanket just doesn't seem to be enough. I do know this though, God is near. He has never left me. I may have - did - move away from Him, but He has always been near me. God has us on this short bed for a reason. I don't fully understand why, but He has us there for now and with a small blanket. He has the blanket that fully covers us though. He has grace, mercy and salvation. For now, I need to continue to find things to praise Him for, to thank Him for. It is with the perspective that things could be worse, at least we don't..... that help me through the days. Naming my manna - my blessings and surrounding myself and filling my thoughts with things that pure, lovely, true, praiseworthy and excellent help.
This has been a hard day but a good day. Boxes packed- I have way too many clothes! We have way too much stuff in general. I am overwhelmed by it all - focus on true, lovely, praiseworthy.... I have lots to do - lots I really don't want to face but glad that at the same time.

1. A job that provides income
2. A little rental house
3. A realtor- I count as a new friend
4. New friends to meet
5. New opportunities
6. The little house on the pond
7. Heat
8. Boxes to pack in
9. Nice clothes to pack
10. Memories
11. New adventures
12. Snow
13 Mid- 40s
14. Hubby that misses us
15. Kitties 3
16. Tears
17. Old friends
18. Opportunities past
19. Comfortable life situations
20. Repentance
21. Dependance on God
22. God's faithfulness
23. God's grace
24. Mercy
25. Salvation paid at a great price
26. Holiday lights
27. Holiday music
28. Kids' anticipation of Christmas
29. God is my portion
30. A new day- a do over
31. Comfortable bed
32. Warm blankets
33. A few hours of sleep
34. Hope
35. Peace
36. Joy
37. A Christmas Elf
38. Warm coffee
39. Cold Dr. Pepper
40. Children 2

Friday, December 3, 2010

God Is In Control

I am reminded that while my storms of life seem huge and scary, there are so many others that would trade places with me. I am thankful for good health for all of us, for a job, for family and friends that are concerned, for opportunities past and present and to come- for a God who is in control the whole time and never leaves my side- I just need to stay aware that He is there. My storms are still my storms and scary to me I just need to trust God and allow Him to sustain me through it all. There are many that sing this song, but I like Matt Redman so turn down the playlist at the bottom of this page and remember that God will carry me and you through our individual scary storms of life. We don't need to be afraid.

Even though I walk
Through the valley
Of the shadow of death
Your perfect love is casting out fear

And even when I’m caught
In the middle
Of the storms of this life
I won’t turn back I know You are near

And I will fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear?
Whom then shall I fear?

Oh no, You never let go
through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me

And I can see a light
That is coming
For the heart that holds on
A glorious light beyond all compare

And there will be an end
To these troubles
But until that day comes
We’ll live to know You here on the earth

And I will fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear?
Whom then shall I fear?

Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me

I can see a light
That is coming
For the heart that holds on
And there will be an end
To these troubles
But until that day comes
Still I will praise You
Still I will praise You

Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
You never let go of me

Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
You never let go of me

God Has It All Planned Out

Is there a reason I don't fully understand for why my house has not sold? Yes, the economy in general and in particular this area of Georgia have been very hard hit by the economy. Yes, God may be teaching me to let go and trust Him. I don't know. I do know this... God answered prayers about providing a job for Dana when things at the Georgia company looked pretty bleak and no future for him there. God provided people for me to connect with in the Ohio community we are moving to. God provides. Maybe we misread God's intention for us to go to Ohio. We, especially Dana, prayed about it and felt like it was the right thing. I did have some uneasy feelings but who looks forward to selling a house in a bad economy- My simple brain and outlook on world events even recognized the reality of bad timing for house sales. I didn't and don't look forward to moving a long distance with two kids and three cats at Christmas time. So I had a less than peaceful feel for the whole thing. Maybe that was God poking me...I don't know. What I do know is that over the last couple of months, I have had to stand on my own as a mom and not so great at a single parent thing--- appreciate Dana even more. I know that I have spent a lot of time coming to grips with my major weaknesses and failures and trying to reconnect to God and what He wants for me. I do know that I have given up or will completely give up a ton of responsibility at church and the kids' schools and will have the time I need to really refocus on my relationship with God. It has so suffered over the years- Looking good and sounding good to the casual observer but to my God and I know the truth. I will have time to refocus on my hubby and give him the time and attention he deserves and my children. Well, they are my first priority in children's ministry. They need a mom who is not stressed out, busy, distracted and otherwise consumed with ministry and other duties. They need mom - who cooks, keeps a much tidier house, scrapbooks their memories, reads to them again and just laughs again. This move has provided these opportunities. To bring me back to where I should have been all along- closer to my God, my hubby and my kids- following God's calling and will for me as a daughter of His.
What I don't know is how my learning to trust God fully is going to play out. Since Dana has been working in Ohio, he has been so overwhelmed and frustrated. A lot of that comes from just starting a new job with a new company and it didn't help he was up there alone. Now he has started to get a handle on some things but he has repeatedly said he felt frustrated and a bit paranoid. He hasn't felt like he has been pleasing or living up to what his boss wants. He gets little feedback even on the accomplishments- Some of it is this guy's management style and personality but still Dana has felt less than successful and that he may not "make it". During a business trip with this fellow, Dana is even more certain - less paranoid - more sure that he is not making his boss happy. It is actually mutual- a bit of a disappointment for Dana. While he doesn't think he is fired in the immediate future, there may not be a long term future for us in Ohio. So the question comes back to is this the reason our house is not selling? So we have place to return when things end? Is this one more test to see how much I will trust God with all of this? I will admit, I have thought if he is fired - do it now before we all go- but then I think about the rent we have committed to and I know how much we have in savings. -- We need to keep this job for at least 6 months. I really do not have an issue with moving up there. I am actually looking forward to it- just not the drive and moving out/in part. I think I need this time of no committments except to God and family. Perhaps even Dana needs to focus on God, family and of course, work. I don't know what the future holds for us. I do know that God wants me to trust Him totally - completely- fully and to do so with joy- peace. I am not there yet, but I will say that I surprised myself that when Dana told me this today that for a brief and very brief second, I did feel that sinking feeling. However, I really feel okay- a bit reenergized about moving- I will not let Satan use this to defeat me or to defeat my family. Dana needs some encouragement- He needs to feel some accomplishment or hope that this job is going to be okay for longer than a few months. Satan will not use this to sideswipe us and leave us doubting or in despair. My God is bigger than all of this - God is our God forever and ever to the end. He wants to be our Guide, to lead us each step of the way into His perfect Will for us. I will not be defeated and will stand in the Light- trusting God all the way.
I love Jeremeiah 29:10-14. I will use the Message version here. It starts with God's words, "As soon as Babylon's seventy years are up and NOT A DAY BEFORE, I'll show up and take care of you as I PROMISED and bring you back home. I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out - plans to TAKE CARE OF YOU, NOT ABANDON YOU, PLANS TO GIVE YOU THE FUTURE YOU HOPE FOR. When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I'll listen, When you come looking for me, you'll find me. Yes, WHEN YOU GET SERIOUS ABOUT FINDING ME AND WANT IT MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE, I'll make sure you won't be disappointed. I'll turn things around for you, I'll bring you back from all the countries into which I drove you - bring you home to the place from which I sent you off into exile. You can count on it."
Now don't get the idea that I feel like we have been sent into exile or that God is going to bring us back to this one spot. But God has a plan - it is His perfect plan for us- He will carry it out in HIS timing- not my timing- not my plan. His plan will not hurt us - it may not be comfortable or pleasant or easy in the process but His plan is not going to lead us to destruction or danger- He is with us all the way-My plans or desires need to be aligned with God's for me and my family. The only way that will happen is when I am sitting at His feet, talking to Him and leaning on Him no matter what. He will lead us to where we need to be and to do what He wants for us. Right now we are in a place of unreast, unsure of what tomorrow holds- but we can count on God to not leave us there but to bring us back to a place where we are confident that God is in control and that we are doing what He wants-

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Home Is Where the Heart Is

As the time comes to a rapid end of our life here in Milledgeville, my heart rate quickens and my blood pressure must rise to a great high. I feel the pressure and weight of all the many tasks still at hand. All of the things I knew should be done, but I had time didn't I? There is no rush... Well, now there is a rush... I still just don't want to really do it all though.
It isn't that I don't want to go to Ohio. I look forward to the adventure there. Yes, it will be cold. We are blessed with clothes to wear. It isn't that I don't think my kids will be happy. They will experience the separation from things and people familiar but my kids are confident kids, always friendly and talkative. They will be great! This will even be a good thing. It is so easy to become complacent and take for granted what you have. This move will be a good lesson for all of us. Leaving a ministry that I have nurtured and lived with for about eight years will be hard, but not really that hard. The children's ministry belongs to God. I was entrusted with its leadership- a huge blessing and opportunity I am forever grateful for. But I leave this ministry in good hands. I will greatly miss the people I have served with for so long. They have been huge blessings to me and to my own kids. But they will continue to serve and bless more kids and they don't need me to do that. I, too, will eventually find where God wants me to serve kids and their families. I have no doubt that is my calling but I don't know what it will look like in Ohio.
I am not afraid or concerned about living in a smaller house- we have a basement for storage and some play area. Less to clean! I am not worried about finding my own contacts - already provided and my bloggy friends are still a screen away. I am not concerned about schooling or even a church home. Schools are great, little man will be okay with me for a few months, and a church will be found. So what is making my heart race? It is my home here- The house that I love, not because of its up-to-date in the late 80s counter tops, light and water fixtures, not because of its huge open floor plan. A bit under 2000 sq ft and not so open by today's plans but a good entertaining home. I love this house because this is house God provided when we moved here almost 10 years ago. I love this house because of the beautiful pond and wildlife in my backyard. I have an amazing yard! I love it because it is in a great neighborhood with Halloween traditions, Christmas luminaries, and occassional summer activities as a neighborhood. All with friendly people who will stop their walk to chat for a minute about the kids. We may not each others names but we are aware of each other's presence and what is happening on the surface as we drive or walk by each house. I love my house because this is where my little ones were brought home and learned to walk, talk, and ride a trike! This is where we have celebrated birthdays, Christmas, and summer days. This has been the place my heart and the hearts of my family have loved with each heartbeat. This has been home! Now I face the reality that I am leaving home in a few weeks and my home will be left without a heart. I have prayed for a buyer for this little house. Someone to just love it and to love in it. Someone to be its heart. For whatever reason, God has not provided that person yet. So my heart beats a little more rapidly when I think about closing the door and locking it for the last time as I move all that I love 550 miles away. I am sure that God will provide a buyer, the ability to have mortgage and rent payments made, my family will transition fine and that He knows my heart. He has much in store for us. I simply must love Him, my family and trust. My heart and the hearts of my family will love each other and love God with each heartbeat. We will be together again under one roof, just not in the "house on the pond" but in the "little rental house in the snow".

I am thankful for:
1. the house on the pond
2. the little rental house in the snow
3. God's provision of a house
4. warm clothes
5. adventures
6. new experiences
7. bloggy friends
8. new friends
9. confident kids
10. provision of a job
11. provision for all our needs
12. God's grace
13. God's compassion
14. God's concern
15. opportunity to serve
16. those that served us
17. new service opportunities
18. new church family
19. friendly neighbors
20. memories
21. new memories to come
22. all things 80s
23. room to entertain and to love
24. the pond
25. wood ducks, turtles, herons, geese, fish, deer galore
26. laughter
27. trike and scooter rides on leaf roads
28. hide and seek among the pines and azaleas
29. quiet and not so quiet afternoons in the sun
30. Christmaas mornings
31. pancakes on Saturdays
32. bringing home babies
33. the family to come soon
34. the hearts that beat
35. the one my heart beats the fastest for the last 19 years
36. the one who created each heart beat
37. home where ever the hearts beat