Cat's Out

I must report that getting up extra early last Sunday morning wasn't my greatest idea.  My heart was in the right place, but who am I kidding?  Me + early morning does not equal a sweet time with anybody.  I don't believe God has much to say to me when it's still dark out.  ;)  Needless to say, I'll stick to my old Sunday morning ways.

My times with Him have been sweet.  Just purely sweet.  It seems each day He is pouring out His blessings on my heart.  The passages He's leading me to seem to speak straight to my soul each day, making me long for more time with Him.  I believe the second I said NO to the enemy's lies about my life being hard, it opened up a whole new level of intimacy with my Savior.  I wonder what other lies I'm believing?  I think I know a few more, and I'm processing what to do about them still.  I can feel God's got more to share with me, and I'm so happy to be experiencing HIM on another level.

As I've stated in my past posts, our circumstances have been difficult for the last several months.  Yesterday the cat was finally let out of the bag (on purpose) when it was announced to our youth group that Chuck and I  need to be looking for a new ministry.  It's been extremely painful to live through this on all kinds of levels.  Neither Chuck nor I ever like keeping our lives a secret, so it's such a relief to finally be able to share with the people at our church.  We value our church family so greatly.  We love them.  They're invested in us, and we in them.  I'm dreading the day we have to say good-bye, and am even choking up as I write.  I don't have time to divulge too many of my thoughts and feelings about the subject, but wanted to share with my blog world.  You may have sensed some underlying hints of change in our lives, so thought I would feed your curiosity now that I am allowed to share.  Who knows where we're going, or when, or what God has for us (hopefully He'll fill us in before the end of May when our time at RBC will be done)?  But one thing I am certain of is this.

True, Godly contentment is the inner satisfaction of the current situation God has ordained for me.  I learned that from studying 1 Timothy 1, if you'll recall.  I can honestly say I am content in our current circumstances.  Though it's all 100% a mystery to us, it's 100% clear to my God, and that's the best feeling in the world.  I'm pretty sure that's peace that surpasses all understanding.

Still You Know My Heart

I love to worship our Savior through singing or music because it's an emotional connection to God for me.  When I hear songs through my phone, on the radio, played over a CD, or when I get to sing my own praises to God using my voice (only God would enjoy that!) I feel it.  There have been times when I've wanted to express my heart through worship, but didn't have the courage.  There have been times when I've wondered what other people would think if I raised my hands, and was the only one, or if I knelt right at my seat, or if I cried tears or joy, or even tears of sorrow because I was so moved by the Spirit.  I'd like to think I've gotten to the point where my love of the Father has won out over my fears of what others will think.

See, I long for intimacy with Christ, and when I worship through music I almost always experience Him in that way.  My longing for special time with him usually wins out over my fears.  And it's always worth it. 

Lately, my two favorite worship songs have been, "God is Able" (Hillsong Live) and, "Waiting Here for You" (Passion/Christy Nockles).  My friend Gretchen always called these personal songs, "Power Songs".  The songs God gives us right in the moment we need to hear them.

Lyrics like, "God is able, He will never fail, He is almighty God!"  or "Lifted up, He defeated the grave! Raised to life! In His name we overcome, for the Lord our God is able!"  can easily bring me to tears.  Hearing this Truth astounds me.  

"You're the Lord of all creation, and still you know my heart." also blows me away.  How can a God so huge and powerful who created every single thing on this earth know my heart?!  But He does!  He knows my heart, and he will never leave me.  He will never fail me.  "Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!" 

As I mull over these thoughts today, I am getting very excited for our worship service tomorrow.  I'm going to try something new, and get up early tomorrow morning.  I'm hoping it will help focus my heart, because my usual racing out the door with my coffee at the last minute doesn't usually do the trick.  We shall see.


We are so blessed!  This is my parent's tree, and the crazy amount of gifts that surrounded it on Christmas day.  I love my parent's tree so much.  Growing up my Dad and I would go out to the woods, pick our own tree, and chop it down.  Once I moved out of the house, my parent's caved and got a fake tree- which I now love.  And if you look closely, you can see the gorgeous snow in the background.  We really had a perfect Christmas day.  All praise to God.  The God of blessings and favor and rewards.

During my time with Him yesterday I was reading in 1 Timothy 6.  I learned from the study portion of my Bible that true Godliness is "inner satisfaction with the situation God has ordained for me."  It was instant relief to hear God's message to me.  God has ordained our days.  Chuck and I are in the exact situations God wants us in.  He planned for us to be here.  It's actually so much easier to be content.  In Godly contentment there's no worry, fear, anxiety, or stress.  There's peace, joy, trust, and rest- all gifts He longs to pour out on all of us.  I'm raising my hands and saying YES to contentment.  

Anyway....this picture below sums up exactly how I felt giving Chuck his gift this year.

God provided me with the perfect job to be able to save up and get Chuck one of his dreams.  My friend Heidi made the gift certificate that informed Chuck he would be going skydiving.  She did such an awesome job- way better than I had ever envisioned.  (Heidi has her own design business.  I LOVE her style.  You can see her amazing stuff here: )  And bonus, Chuck gets to skydive with Heidi's husband, and our friend Joe.  I'm not super excited to see them potentially jump to their deaths, but boys will be boys.

Here you can see the front side of the certificate Heidi made.  My man is happy.
 Don't think Jovie wasn't in on the fun.  She also had the time of her life.  Even Gigi and Grandpa got her gifts.  Love spoiling my girl. 

That's all for now.  It's time for her and I to get our walk in for the day. 

Miracle # 2...WOW!

I confess I was afraid to write what I did yesterday.  I was afraid someone would cheapen my experience with God, or make me feel like what happened wasn't true.  But, in my heart it was clear God wanted me to share His message with all of you so I did.  The responses I have gotten made me realize that many of us have been believing the very same lies.  I haven't been alone in the lie I've been living and believing, many of you have been believing that your life is about pain and gloom, too. Thank you to those of you who have encouraged my heart by responding and sharing the things you have.  We are in this together!  God wants to pour His blessing and favor on us, His children!  He really, and truly does. 

Today as I was getting ready, my mind was racing with the things Chuck and I want to get done before tonight.  In the midst of my mental To Do List, I thought through "time with God".  Normally I spend time with God because I know reading the Bible and hearing from Him is something I need to do.  But miracle of all miracles, today when the thought crossed my mind, it was with excitement!  Today it wasn't "having my devotions" out of need, but out of a desire and anticipation to hear from God.  I could cry at the joy in my heart!  I really wanted to go into my cozy office, sit in my glider and experience my Savior- and I did.  

The minute I sat down and started writing to my Savior, this warmth spread over me.  I could feel new colors.  There was joy!  Giddiness!  Butterflies!  Relief!  FREEDOM!  Peace!  Rest!  I had an enjoyable, amazing time with Him.  

I need to be clear that NOTHING in my life has changed!  My circumstances are not any different than they have been.  All the pain and heartache we've been carrying hasn't suddenly vanished. I'm telling you, it's only the power of the Spirit.  Nothing more.  In fact, there have been things that have popped up since yesterday that normally I would have spouted off about and let it ruin my mood.  Except that I have been so overcome with Christ's message to me- TO ALL OF US- that the eyes of my heart are seeing clearly for the first time.  Maybe ever.  

Today's message from God to me- AND TO YOU- is faith.  I learned reading from Hebrews 11 that faith is REALITY and PROOF of things unseen, as if they are objects of sight, not hope.  (Ryrie's study Bible, NIV)  I have to admit a lot of times hope isn't all that encouraging because hope means I want something to happen in the future.  Or so I thought.  What I learned this morning is having faith is the reality and proof (thought we all might need to hear it twice) of things unseen- and actually seeing them.  Not just "hoping" but actually believing in the reality.  

In fact, Hebrews 11:6 actually says God is pleased when we come to Him in faith and that He REWARDS those who earnestly seek Him.  Would you look at that?!  AGAIN this Truth of God's blessing and favor on us.  God is PLEASED when we seek HIM and He REWARDS us!  I have experienced His REWARD today.  My time with Him has made my hands shake with joy, and has created a thirst for MORE OF HIS GREATNESS!  

Dear friends, our Savoir wants to REWARD YOU TOO!! Praise Him!