Tuesday, January 8, 2013


The first of every new year, people make lots of resolutions. Resolutions to lose weight, spend less, save more, take more time to enjoy the family, read the classics or complete some other goal. I definitely could benefit from all of those things! However, the last couple of years, I have tried to focus on a heart issue that underlies each of the specific goals of my upcoming year. It isn't until I address the heart behind each goal that I can make a change. Also, I know that just like meeting any of the specific action goals, I need to be consistent and persistent in my heart work. I love Lysa Terkeurst's phrase, "imperfect progress". I can make strides toward improvement, but because I am not perfect, I will make slip ups. I just need to keep on trying. So this year, my year's word is "Resolved". I know resolutions is a derivitive of resolved. But I chose resolved from one of my favorite stories in the Bible. In 2 Chronicles, when Jehoshaphat was warned about several enemies joining forces and coming to make war on him and the people of Judah, Jehoshaphat was alarmed but resolved to inquire of the Lord (vs. 3) I love that! This was a good bit more than just a minor inconvenience or problem. This was a big deal! This was real trouble coming and intent on doing him great harm. Jehoshaphat was more than just concerned. He was alarmed! I imagine the he felt the way I have felt when my children are in harm's way, real or perceived. I am unsettled, not able to rest, totally undone. But instead of being frantic or panicking, what did Jehoshaphat do? Why he RESOLVED to inquire of the Lord! He was intentional in in his action and that action involved not solving this huge ginormous problem his own way but God's way. Other versions of the Bible say he "turned his attention to seek God" (NASB), he "decided to ask the Lord for advice" (NIRV), he "set himself to seek..."(ASV,NRSV, NKJV, he "set himself determinedly, as his vital need to seek" (AMP), he "begged the Lord for guidance" (NLT), he "decided to seek..." (CEB, NET), he "decided to ask..." (NCV), he "asked the Lord what to do" (EXB), he "decided to call..." (NLV). All of these translations show that Jehoshaphat made an intentional decision to seriously seek, beg, ask, depend on God for what he should do. How many times do I have some area of my life that I want to improve or change and not set myself to seek- determinedly seek, ask, beg God for what I need to do or not do in the specific area? I will often say I need to ask God to be my help, my portion, to make me strong where I am weak. But do I ask Him, beg him, set myself, my attention on God's advice, His wisdom and instruction. I want this year to be the year that I resolve to seek God's advice on big and small things. I want to turn my attention and beg God to help me, guide me in all aspects of my life. It is a big deal that Satan is constantly sending enemies to attack and destroy me. Some of those enemies are from the outside and some are from the inside. I know who or what some of these enemies look like. I have been battling them for so long, but there are others that are ready to ambush me. I should be alarmed knowing that each day could bring some attack that pulls me away from God's safety, but I should be resolved that each day, I will seek God's guidance to fight off the enemy. Lord, You are a great and mighty God! You knew me before while I was in my mother's womb. You know my every thought, my every motive, my every action before I ever do them. You know my heart. I praise You for Your wisdom, grace and love. It is my prayer this year that I will be resolved to seek You in all things. Before I make decisions regarding commitments of time, money issues, responses in parenting and marriage relationships, and health decisions that I ask for Your guidance, Your will be made known to me. I know that I need to intentionally make time every morning to sit quietly with You in prayer and reading. I know that before I trade shouts with the world, I need, so need to trade whispers with You. I don't want to become alarmed and frantic in some unexpected life situation. You don't intend for me to be hopeless in this life, but look to You for hope. I know that I will make imperfect progress in this year. I will often try to go it alone, with my own wisdom and self-sufficient little self. But I want to be seeking You. You are a good and great God. And this Jesus Girl says, Amen.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Grace Given

It has been quite a while since I have spent time here, chatting and rambling about my thoughts and life. So much has happened in the almost two years I have been absent from here. But I needed to give myself some grace and allow my soul and spirit, my heart and mind to simply rest. I needed some time to renew myself, to rediscover myself in my new home and my new life. So much has happened in the two years I left the familiar and comfortable life I lived. So much has resulted in tears and heart ache over the last few years. But how much more in sweet and wonderful reminders that God is in control and wants only good for me and my family! I wish I could recount here the so many more days when I just smile and my heart just wants to burst in thankfulness and joy that God is so incredibly good!! I needed to give myself some grace to rest and allow a healing to begin so I can begin again. Thankful for resting times. Thankful for new beginnings. Thankful for grace, sweet healing grace. Thankful that I gave myself grace to stop and just be still. As this new year is beginning, I look forward to coming back and rambling more about my thoughts and life. I have determined that "Resolved" is my word for this year. I have been thinking about this word and the my New Year's prayer a lot. As my little family returns to a more normal routine, I am anxious to come back to my old writing haunt and spend some time chatting and rambling with God and with whomever may stumble upon this humble little blog. It is good to be back.....basking in the grace of a good and great God!