Life is all about change. When you trust an unchanging God - you have the ability to embrace change and trust Him in the midst of it. Join me as the Lord leads me through a new phase of my journey.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tuesday's Thoughts ~ Now I see it . . .

I hope everyone has enjoyed their Memorial Day Weekend!  What a blessing it is to grow up in a country where we enjoy Freedom.  I am so thankful for all those who have risked and given their lives so that we might benefit from their sacrifice.

I have another treasure to share from my time in Lake Tahoe.  I was soaking up the 8th chapter of Mark and I landed on verses 22 - 26.

And they came to Bethsaida. And they brought a blind man to Jesus and implored Him to touch him. Taking the blind man by the hand, He brought him out of the village; and after spitting on his eyes and laying His hands on him, He asked him, “Do you see anything?”  And he looked up and said, “I see men, for I see them like trees, walking around.”  Then again He laid His hands on his eyes; and he looked intently and was restored, and began to see everything clearly.  And He sent him to his home, saying, “Do not even enter the village.”

This healing has always fascinated me because it came in two stages.  Jesus touches the man's eyes and he sees, yet his vision is blurry.  He touches him again and he sees clearly.

What's that about?

Jesus certainly didn't need to touch him twice.  He didn't even need to touch him at all!  He could have just spoken his healing into being.  

Why the two stages?

 As I looked at different versions, I took at look at this phrase after the second touch.

he opened his eyes wide

he looked intently

he looked hard and realized

Did it have something to do with this man's expectations?

Is is sometimes hard to fully grasp what the lord wants us to see? 

beauty from the ashes

purpose in the suffering

lessons in the mundane

joy in the midst of sorrow

the hurt that is behind harsh words

the cry for help behind hurtful behavior

Sometimes, I'm aware that even as I look at a situation, I am not truly seeing it.  It is as if I am looking at it with blurry vision.  

I need a touch from the Lord to see it clearly.

There is always more to the story.

I have to look intently - open my eyes wide and see the person, 
the situation or circumstance through His eyes.

Maybe this blind man just couldn't believe that he would have his sight fully restored - he was just happy to see even blurry images.

But, Jesus wanted more for him.

He wanted him to see clearly.

He wanted to give him 20/20, HD vision.

I got new glasses recently.  My prescription had not changed a lot, but it had changed enough that I was amazed when I put those new glasses on!  Things were sharper, clearer and more in focus.  It was wonderful!

So, I asked myself these questions.

Do I settle for blurry when Jesus offers 20/20?

Do I seek all that He has for me?

Do I grasp the depth of His love, grace and mercy?

I'm praying that the Lord will give me crystal clear vision as to His plans and purposes for me.  I pray that I will have clarity as I move forward and make decisions about my future.  I pray that I will have His eyes of compassion for others.  I pray that I will truly see when I look.

May we all see Him clearly and because of that -- 
see others through His eyes.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Thursday's Thoughts ~ Patches and Wine Skins

While enjoying the beauty of Lake Tahoe, I got to linger over passages of scripture and practice listening to the Lord.  He spoke some pretty profound words to me - about myself, about my life and about His Word.  I'm hoping to share a few of these with you very kind people who take the time to read them.

I have read this passage many, many times, but never really slowed down to ponder it.

"No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, otherwise, the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear results.  No one puts new wine into old wine skins, otherwise the wine will burst the skins and the wine is lost and the skins as well; but one puts new wine into fresh wine skins." 
Mark 2:21-22

Things were changing.  The newness - the Promise has arrived.  The old ways were not going to work anymore.  There was a better way.

Jesus brings new life . . . new ways and a new freedom.  He is not a patch over my old life.  He is not a refill into my old self.  In fact, if I try to make Him a refill for my old, empty self, I will simply burst open!

He is NEW and He can not be contained and He can not be used.

It's not about accommodating Jesus and simply slipping Him comfortably into my life.  It is about shedding that old garment and replacing it with His robes of righteousness and garments of praise.  It is about discarding those old cracked wine bottles and being filled with the living water of the Spirit.

As long as I try to contain Jesus and remain in my old ways, my set ways and my preconceived notions of Who He is and what my life is to be, there will be a tearing, bursting, leaky, Spiritless dribbling life.  

I do not want that.

I always want to be open to the newness of Him - the newness of His purposes - the newness of His Word each and every day.

There is such freedom in letting go of the old and embracing the new.  There is freedom in continually being open to change - to listening for those whispers of direction, guidance and opportunity.

There is a peace that surpasses all understanding when you look ahead, knowing that He walks before you, beside you and behind you.  

He hems me in.

Holy Spirit ~ Fill me up and 
may I only leak 
the things of Jesus.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Monday Musings ~ Oh, baby!!!!!

Ashley and James had their big reveal this weekend  . . .

And the news is . . .

A baby boy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Alan and I are over the moon excited to be welcoming two grandsons in the next few months.  Heather is only two weeks from her due date so I will be holding one of these babies soon!

Here is a belly bump profile for your enjoyment.

And one more reveal picture so you can catch just a bit of my excitement -- and theirs!

What a sweet season I am experiencing right now.  I do not take it lightly.  I am grateful each and every day for all the blessings.  Thank you for sharing my excitement!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Monday Musings from the Mountains

Alan and I are in Lake Tahoe, CA this week.  We flew into Reno NV on Saturday night and got up Sunday morning to meet our dear friend, Donald Zimmerman, and his family for church.  Donald is on the staff of Living Stones church in Reno.  It was so great to see their church, listen to a good Word, and have lunch with this great family.  We enjoyed every minute of it!

 Alan, Kelly, Harper, Oliver, Donald and myself
 Precious bundle of joy, Harper
Cutest boy ever, Oliver

After lunch, we drove up to Truckee, CA to goof around just a bit and buy some groceries.  We then headed to a place we rented right on Lake Tahoe.  This is the amazing view and surroundings that we get to enjoy this week.

Not only do we get to enjoy these big views, but we get to walk out on piers and climb on rocks.  

It is windy this morning, as it was late yesterday.  I'm sitting in the den, looking out at the water and listening to the wind.  It is blowing through the trees making that amazing rustling sound.  It is churning up the water so that I can hear waves hitting the shore.  As I step out onto the balcony, the wind brushes against my cheeks.

Did you see the photo bomb?

It's God.  He is all over every single picture on this post.  He is making Himself known and visible in every aspect of His creation.  Colossians 1:15-17 says this ~

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, 
and in Him all things hold together. 

God's fingerprints are all over everything I see, hear and feel this morning.  What a sweet gift.

Do you find yourself needing His touch this morning?

Are you short on resources such as patience, perspective, grace, time or energy?

He is waiting to photo bomb your day.  

Look closely.

He is there. 


Friday, May 9, 2014

Mother's Day Meditations

I love Mother's Day.  Why, do you ask?  Because I love my mother.  She is an amazing woman in every way.  So, I love celebrating her.  I also love being a mother.  In fact, there isn't anything I have loved more.  I have two amazing daughters that bring me more joy than I could have ever anticipated.

Could it get any better????  Why, yes.  Both of my daughters are experiencing their first Mother's Day with babies on the way.  So very sweet.  I can not wait to see my daughters become hands on moms when these babies arrive.  But in so many way, they are already becoming mothers as they are nurturing and caring for these sweet babies that are developing inside of them.  They have really been practicing being mommas since they were very small.

 Early training and practice.

 Ashley learned how to be a momma from the moment Heather was born.
She also learned to be a momma from her grandmothers.

 They both learned to be a momma and love others from Grannie Annie.

 They even got to learn a thing or two from my grandmother!

I made a lot of mistakes over the years, but I had some excellent guidance from watching my own mother, grandmothers, mother in law and other amazing women that the Lord placed in my life.  I feel so very fortunate.


So - these girls make it so much fun to be a mother and I can hardly 
wait to be a grandmother.  

Happy Mother's Day to every single woman out there.  
We are all mothering others - 
nurturing, loving, coaching, teaching and listening.  
Thank you for all you do.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Monday Musings ~ Please "but in"

I have had the sweetest 1 1/2 weeks with my girls.  They are adorably pregnant and I am loving every minute of being with them.  The three of us were able to attend a Women's Conference at Gateway Church in Southlake TX this weekend.  It was such a sweet experience to share as we were both challenged and encouraged by the speakers we heard and the worship with Kari Jobe.

One of the speakers, Blynda Lane, talked about letting Jesus "butt in" to your life.  In reality, it is "but in."  I decided it would be fun to think about these "but ins" in my own life.

I was lost, but in Christ, I am found.

I was weak, but in Christ, I have been made strong.

I was negative, but in Christ, I am positive and hopeful.

I was fearful, but in Christ, I am brave and courageous.

I was insecure, but in Christ, I find my security.

I was a person of low self esteem, but in Christ, I see myself as a child of God.

I was self-absorbed, but in Christ, I see the needs of others.

I was a taker, but in Christ, I am a giver out Christ's riches.

I was sad, but in Christ, I have deep JOY.

I was unsure about so many things, but in Christ, I am confident.

I was always comparing, but in Christ, I am content and satisfied.

I was empty, but in Christ, I am filled with the Spirit.

I was desperate, but in Christ, I am desperately dependent on Him.

I was alone, but in Christ, I am always in the shadow of His wings.

I was aimless, but in Christ, I have a calling and purpose.

I'm pretty sure I could go on and on . . . but you get the idea, right?  It is not that I never feel some of those old emotions or think those old thoughts.  I do.  BUT IN CHRIST, I know the truth and I can tell myself what the truth of the matter is and that makes all the difference.

 Would you please leave a comment on the blog or on facebook with one of your own "but ins?"  It would bless me to see them.  Come on, you can do it!

There is nothing like a weekend of hearing the Word and singing praises to remind me of all that I have.  I have a treasure that will never lose value or be taken from me.  I have Jesus and truthfully, He is all I need.  I am so grateful.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Thursday's Thoughts ~ Who's In Charge?

Oh, remember that girl who was quite faithful about blogging twice a week?  Well, she has left the premises!  The good news is that she is happily busy and full of JOY.

With that said, it is good for me to process and write about the things that God speaks to me.  I have been slowly reading through Acts.  It is very familiar so I have to focus to see the treasures that the Lord has for me.  Today - that treasure was in a rather unexpected verse.

"But after two years had passed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus, and wishing to do the Jews a favor, Felix left Paul imprisoned."  Acts 24:27

Politics is nothing new.  It is practically as old as time. 

Paul has seemingly become a puppet of the Roman rulers and a token or bargaining chip with the Jews.  He was not considered as a man or a person of value and worth.  He was casually left in prison "as a favor" and certainly as a curiosity.  He was an amusement and even a pet of sorts to those in power.

Of course, how it looked from the outside was quite different than reality.

*Paul had willingly gone to the temple where he knew that he would be bound and that suffering was to come.

*He claimed his Roman citizenship knowing that he would be sent to Rome.

*He gained an audience with the powerful and influential and had many opportunities to share the gospel as well as encourage his flock through letters.

Paul never lost sight of who was in control.  He trusted that God was sovereign each step of the way, even when that path included suffering and injustice.  He embraced every opportunity that his circumstances offered to speak of Jesus and simply trusted with an every increasing faith and sense of purpose.

Oh, how I want to have faith like Paul.

The year ahead of me is one of change.  We have two grand babies on the way -- a grandson in June and a grandbaby in October.  Alan is heading into his last year in Chicago.  There will be a change, but we don't know what it will be.

I choose to acknowledge God's sovereignty in this situation.  
I choose to trust in His plans.

He knows my heart and my desires and I have grown to trust Him and embrace His purposes for me.

I want to have the faith to simply take the next baby steps (no pun intended!) and follow Him wherever He leads.

I don't want to follow as if I am dragging my feet.

I want to follow wherever He leads with my step quickened by my love for my Savior.

God is in charge and for that, I am eternally grateful.