What is your passion?

I’ve always loved this world.  However, sometimes, if not properly expressed, our passions can get us into trouble.  But, I think the thing I fear the most is to not live my life passionately for something…that I would just wonder through life without any real goals to impact the world around me…or even to live my life without any personally significant achievements.  As a young girl, age 8, I had a list of achievements I wanted to reach in my lifetime.  I remember I made the list all on my own and my age was listed as 100 and I had listed on that paper all that I wanted to accomplish and at what age…I handed it to my dad and he gently said to me…”Dawn, this is assuming you will live to be 100!”  I sadly erased my age at the top of the page and put down 80, but left all my goals to accomplish the same, just closer together in age!  Ok, I guess I was a series planner from the beginning!  I’ve often thought about, as I have held all sorts of jobs/positions throughout my life, what my true passions are and how I wanted to use them.  I realize now that God has made masterpieces of all of us and we are wonderfully complex creations!  The truth is I can do all sorts of different jobs, but what am I truly passionate about?  What will keep me coming to work with a smile on my face?

Some things  I have learned about myself:

I love people.

I love solving problems

I am an analytical person.

I love to teach.

I love to make a difference in the world and in people’s lives.

I love to write.

I love putting different puzzle pieces together.

I love learning about God and ministering to other people to embolden the Truth’s of God’s Word into their hearts and minds.

I love learning.

I love encouraging others and being encouraged by others.

I love adventures.

I love seeing God’s power and presence in my life and the lives of those I love.

~~~~~

 

Jump forward to three passions God is continuing to put on my heart right now.  TEACHING. RUNNING. SCHOOL.

I am teaching swim lessons to kids at the YMCA right now and loving it.  I love seeing their enthusiasm and seeing them learn.  I love teaching them a very important life skill and maybe even helping save their life someday or someone else’s by imparting water safety skills to them. I love believing that I am making a difference by investing in the next generation.

I am running and swimming my heart out right now and still feel like it’s not enough to prepare me for this marathon coming up in only ONE MONTH!!!

The Lord is putting a passion that has kind of been buried in the lost dreams section of my heart.  I have felt called to serve my family day in and day out for 9 years now and as much as I have loved caring for them, I believe it is time to tap into those untouched dreams….that are waiting to be explored in my heart.  This year, I sense is preparation for one and maybe two of those dreams to be discovered and employed!  I have always loved English and teaching and have discovered an amazing company called Oxford Seminars that sends teachers all over the world to teach English.  The company regularly sends families along with the teachers overseas and this is a major decision on the table in my family right now that is being covered in prayer.

I am thankful, by God’s grace, my kids are doing AMAZING.  In school.  At home.  At their activities.  I really am so in awe of how well they are doing.

I am thankful for God reaching deep down in my heart to pull out and dust off some dreams in my, well, honestly, broken heart that seems to feel a little too scared right now to dream…it has been checked into survival and anchor gear for about two years now.

I am reading a very timely book that is PERFECT for me right now.  During the year of my unexpected separation and succeeding quick divorce, I read UNINVITED, by Lysa Terkeurst along with a “Love Worth Giving,”by Max Lucado and “Steadfast Love,” by Lauren Chandler. They were PERFECT for that year.  Now, a year after an unexpected tragic turn of events…a situation I had absolutely no control over (despite how I tried), God puts a new book in my hands…Rescuing the Girl (She’s STILL THERE), by Chrystal Evans Hurst.  It is all about how after casual drifts or tragic shifts in our lives make us lose track of the girls we once were…and we find ourselves OFF COURSE.  How true for me!  Her words echo my own,  I couldn’t have said it better.  It felt as if every dream I had ever dreamt came to an end this past year.  “What next?” kept echoing in my mind over and over…I felt like I was frantically searching, trying to come up with a reasonable plan to provide for my family, as I was given two years .  Two years of monetary support.  It does seem sometimes that people have control over our lives, whether by influence or money…but I have learned that only God has real control!  Thank God for that!  I have prayerfully sought last year to finish my first semester of grad school, to substitute teach, and now to teach classes at the Y, while making certain my children were doing OK.  They were my first calling.

Last year’s school pictures looked somber at best.  I knew the kids felt sad, from what was happening, but also from words that were carelessly said to them that hurt so much…although their cute smiles could easily hide their sadness on the outside.  Kids are so resilient.  But, they also are so perceptive.  I wanted so much for this year’s school pictures to reflect the hard work that God and I had done together to encourage them, build them up, and help them feel secure and hopeful for the future.  Thank-you Jesus, this afternoon, I got their fall school pictures and all 3 are incredible..HUGE, BEAUTIFUL SMILES!! For me, they serve as a reminder…WE ARE DOING OK!!

Between activities and on the way here and there, we listen to sermons together.  We read our bibles every night, I teach them and train them up in the way I sense the Lord leading me, they are engaged and thriving at school…I could not be more proud of them.  Yet, each day I realize there is a foe out there and we are still on the battlefield.  I try to stay alert and aware and help my children stay loved, secure, and ready to do what is right and good.  Thank God they are receptive, thank God they are on board.  I pray my heart out and thank God He has unrelenting mercy and grace over us.

All of this is a background to say…are we ready?  Are we ready for me to go back to work full time next year?  That’ll be my last year of support and a great year to transition into full time work while still having some income.  One of my dreams for my kids was to take them overseas like I was when I was growing up and to have them go to international or private schools.  It has been a dream I literally gave up on…until lately, a spark…a tiny one started flashing in my heart.  I have found a means…but God must make the way!  I know I have the talent, the ability, the passion….my kids are beyond themselves in excitement to go overseas as well, to perhaps Korea.  I sense God telling me to take action.  BUT, ROADBLOCKS always seem to pop up when life gets starts to look promising.  As I said before, one of the things I love, is to see God’s power displayed in the lives of His children, according to His will.

Thy Will be Done. I am praying tonight that God make a WAY if this is HIS WAY.  That He give me strength, power, favor, and perseverance to make a dream come true if it is indeed the dream He is planting on my heart right now.  How exciting!

I love that my relationship with the Lord is never dry, never dull, always exciting…and you know, it is predictable too…I can always count on His Steadfast, UNFAILING Love.

PASSION.  Jesus had it undeniably, unashamed.  People called him and still call him all sorts of names.  A Fanatic.  Crazy.  Delusional.  But, you know what.  The Bible says one day…every knee will bow, every tongue will confess that HE IS LORD. So, the same people who ignorantly say all kinds of false things about Jesus…will one day bow and declare Him as Lord and King.  Now, that’s victory!!  I love how Jesus is quite unaffected by what people say about Him.  He heard it while on earth, He suffered at the hands of the worst, and He still hears all of what people think and say….but heaven and earth will someday pass away, however HIS WORD remains.  Jesus remains.  His Kingdom REMAINS.

So, whatever I do, whatever I say, let it be to be a part of His Kingdom that is unending.  That will be my lasting legacy.  To be a part of God’s work in Kingdom building. I hope that Oxford Seminars is a stepping stone to my work in taking a part in building God’s Kingdom. But, may God’s infinite Wisdom be my guide.

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Resolve and Father’s Day.

beautiful sunset Savannah Rapids Pavilion early June 2017
God is trustworthy…in building a beautiful world, in bringing ultimate redemption of humankind…in a humble way, a babe born in a manger and ultimately a resounding way, Christ coming for us in the clouds. His love is redemptive.

I love this word!  Resolve and discipline is something my dad and my Father in Heaven have often told me are so important in life.  My dad was so very disciplined and had so much resolve.  I remember seeing his eyes squint and his furrow tighten before he would go on a long run or a long hike…sometimes one that would last for a day or two.  He also had such sacrificial love for our family.  He was quite unselfish and I remember looking into the deep, dark brown eyes of his, knowing he would never let me down.  He was true to his promises and he was always thinking about me.  I was a priority in his life.  I knew it deep into my soul.  I was fortunate to have a dad who was relentlessly interested in my life.  I was blessed to have a dad who was faithful to my mom openly and quietly.   I was blessed to have a dad who lived and breathed his family.  I was blessed to have a dad who spent an inordinate amount of time with his children.  My dad and I have so, so many memories together.  Some beautiful.  Some hard.  Some very hard.  But, thank God he cared enough to spend his life with me and to propel me out of the house at 18.  I’m thankful for those years.  As my dad said to me recently as he watched me parent my children…”it’s a marathon Dawn.”  It truly is!!  I thought, what better way to prepare for this marathon than to run one to strengthen my body and mind.Tonight, as I went for a long walk alongside Savannah Rapids Pavilion I had time to think and ponder my days right now.  I thought about the beautiful aspects of the Lord, my true husband right now.  My heart grew fond and I was able to let go of bitterness.  I hear God speaking to me.  I try to obey.  I wait and pray for the right one.  I am glad there is Scripture in the Bible that says to “lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge the Lord and He will make your paths straight.”  Thank God we are not left up to our own ideas of what is right and what is wrong.  If I did what I felt or what I wanted right now in the flesh, I think I might end up in a pit.  But, for the grace of God holds me back from such foolish decisions.

Back to the subject of love though…I don’t think you can just stop loving someone who you have been with for so long.  However, I feel my heart forcibly moving on too.  I am resolved to let go and stop mourning the loss and to move on to great things God has in store for my future.

For me, my kids will always remain a huge priority for me, but I find myself really drawing closer to the One who is greater than anything on this earth.  And out of His love in return comes more love into my heart to love on my kids even more than I could on my own, and to find forgiveness and a release of bitterness toward the parts of my past that just hurt.

I look to Christ, He was taken advantage of, mistreated, betrayed..but, He willingly gave his life, he willingly forgave.  I ask God for the strength to do this as He calls me to, particularly when I know I am being taken advantage of.  I love the picture of willing, sacrificial love.  I think it touches God’s heart to see it.  I pray I have the strength to keep giving when I don’t receive anything in return.  It is hard.

Back to the subject of a husband…As I walked tonight, I thought…oddly enough in a sort of healing way, in heaven, we’ll have no husband.  There will only be the Lord and we’ll be together as saints reigning with God.  So, if that is the picture of heaven, a place of perfect bliss, it is then possible to cling only to the Lord here on earth.  I do want to say, I really believe that God has a man for me someday in His appointed time, and I sensed Him speaking very specifically to me about this mid-October 2016, two weeks after my husband suddenly left…but I feel called to wait for this man.

I want to share you some of my prayers of recent for the sake of honesty and transparency, a liberty I allow myself on my blog, but not so much in person anymore.  I’ll get to that in a second, but first a more light hearted note:

I have received such a myriad of advice from many well-meaning friends…some make me just chuckle.  God has brought the sweetest people in my life continually flowing.  I almost think that someday I will thank God for this period of my life, hard as it may be right now.  I see the depth of God’s love for me and I see Him pursuing me relentlessly.  I suppose if God is “love” than He truly knows how to love!!!  One of my friends of recent told me to ask God specifically for what I want in a man.  I could tell she wanted me to get really specific!  I said, “you mean like a Scottish accent, blue eyes, and so on?”  She gave her affirmation.  I told her with a loving chuckle, “really, don’t you think God knows the perfect man for me?”  I could tell Him what I want, but do I really know what I need? I think God knows what I want and what I need even more than I do, without me telling Him.  So, here is my prayer: I have asked God for one thing: a heart of PURE GOLD.  I want a man who loves the Lord with all his heart, mind, soul, and strength.  I want a man who is a good father.  I am so glad I will get to see that right off the bat this time!  One good thing about dating with children in the home is that when the gentlemen is around the kids, he will be tested right off the bat in his skills with children.  So many women get married and they want to marry men who will make good fathers some day, but they simply do not know whether they will be or not.  This is one plus amongst many other “hard” aspects of dating with young children around.

Resolve.  I am resolving to let go of bitterness, with every step of my day, with every step of my walks, with every step I take to train for my marathon in the fall, with every second I spend pouring into these littles.  Today, I wondered as I spend so much precious time with them.  As I teach and repeat Scripture and hope and pray they turn out wonderfully despite all this….Is my work noticed by you God?  Will there be fruit from it?  God gave me a verse as I started to doubt….and grow numb after quite a few hours with them.

Deuteronomy 16:15:

“For the Lord your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete.”

Yahoo!  I am resolved to choose to believe this.  My Emma grabbed this Scripture vitamin and handed it to me right before a huge meltdown.  Oh thank-you Lord, your word truly is living water that quenches my thirst.

I keep reminding myself that my work is so small, yet God’s work is so big.  I plant the seeds, the seeds are God’s Word and they will not return to Him void.  That’s a pretty wonderful promise.

Back to the other underlying struggles of my days right now:

I am resolved to leave into God’s hands the avenging.  How long O Lord will you wait to avenge what you know was so, so wrong?  The delay makes those who have wronged me actually feel like they did nothing wrong.  “See, the Lord does not act,” they think, they say.”  “See, the Lord is actually blessing me.”  All I can do is wait.  Trust.  Be Still. Rest.  Enjoy Life. And wait.  Perhaps I will have redemption only in God’s good plan waiting to be fulfilled in my life.  Perhaps God is just too good to punish us for what we deserve.  But, isn’t that what we all need?  Grace?  Mercy? Perhaps then, only those who are truly punished are those who abuse God’s grace or mock God.

God gave me the story of Pharaoh.  He reminded me today that He made Pharaoh’s heart hard.  I knew that from the words written clearly in the story the Bible, but I still think when I see hard hearts around me, that it’s the enemy’s work.  That struck me deep today.  “Wait, Dawn, this is the Lord’s work.”  But, why?  Moses was a man of great obedience and faith (after a bit of prodding).  He was brave to go before Pharaoh and proclaim God’s Word.  And yet, nothing.  Plague after plague came upon Egypt.  Disobedience on the part of Pharaoh…such tremendous pride and cruelty.  But.  The Lord told me today.  It was to DISPLAY MY POWER to those nations all around.  God had a plan for it.  I realized, on a little scale, when God delivers me, if I have been faithful, everyone around me will see God’s ultimate power displayed in my life.  I pray this may be true for me tonight.

True waiting as a Christian is waiting with a trusting, happy heart.  Many Christian has gone astray waiting a while, but then not being able to wait any longer, they give in and develop their own plan to make their dreams come true.  “Oh, Lord, give me strength to wait patiently with great anticipation of what you will do for me and my children.”  Amen.

I’m waiting for an amazing Father this Father’s Day 2017 for my children and also for one who will be just right for me.  I’m waiting to see my children see a man love his wife in their own home, the way I always dreamed love should be.  I am waiting for God’s plan for me to unfold in my life.  And while I wait, I must let God refine and prepare me…and be satisfied with His love only.  I think I can do this.  With resolve and a whole huge dose of help from God.  Good thing He’s strong enough!!

 

Thank-you. And some journaling to not forget.

Dearest Friends,

I want to write a note to say thank-you.  Thank-you to all who have reached out to me in prayer and letters and e-mails.  There are so many of you who have loved on me through this messy divorce.

I needed to know something tonight.  I needed an answer to a question I’ve had for awhile.  And I have my answer.  I actually have more answers than I was looking for! I think I have closure.  All I can do is ask the Lord to give me forgiveness.  Layers and layers of forgiveness.  I think I know the way forward now, and it is not without deep prayer and careful consideration.

I am asking God to do something really big over the next day and will seek him in prayer and fasting for an answer according to His Will.  BUT, for the Lord to do something.  I feel as though my life, no matter how hard I try or how much I do, it feels like I am running up against a huge mountainside of lies, manipulation, and thanklessness, even more deception.  I know God sees how certain people are sinning against me and have for years.  Their plot will be revealed as is made clear in Scripture.  Scripture can be denied by human lips, but its truths are still true and God is unstoppable. What is done in darkness will be brought to the light.

So I want to say thank-you.  I don’t like to post anything other than beauty, joy, hope, love…Jesus…on my blog.  But, during the past year my life has been so hard, I want to post the real.  This year my faith is where rubber meets the road.  Do I really believe?  Do I really believe God will come to my rescue?  Do I really believe God will punish sinners?  Even when I don’t see it actually happening? Do I really believe God has a redemptive plan for all that I have suffered?  I keep hearing the answer YES from God.  My heart is hurting, my mind clouded at times, but I hear “yes, yes, and yes” from God.  The Lord echoes Job to me, the Lord echoes Joseph.  The Lord whispers, “redemption is near.”  Can I say that never has it been SO HARD TO WAIT.  At times, it is easy to obey when God says wait.  This time, it feels agonizing.  I just want to be proved true.  Proven faithful.  Proven to be a dedicated wife who was tormented really.  But what does it matter?  I don’t want to expose my former husband, for what will that do to him?  He would rather hide any day than be known for his sin.  And if he was?  He would be shamed for it.  Is that what I want?

You know, I talk to my kids about this at home too.  I talk to them about revenge and why it is important to trust God to Avenge.  The temptation in the flesh is real.  I see that in my children at times.  My one child struggles with it much more than the other two.  I ask this child, “did it feel good to get revenge?”  The answer I usually get is “no.”  We memorize “do not return evil for evil” and then try to come up with ways to bless our offender.

You know, it is easy to say that to my kids when their troubles seem so light and unimportant.  So your toy was taken, why don’t you find another toy to play with?  This is the thought that goes in my mind when they struggle.  What does it matter?  Is this worth fighting over?  Any parent I think hears this reasoning in their head.  I tell the kids that there are wars all over the world because people cannot forgive.  They cannot let go.  They have to get revenge.  But, as Lewis said just a week ago with me, “revenge only brings more evil into the world.”  It does.

But, what happens when you are REALLY offended?  When something someone does crushes you intentionally and you are left shocked, hurt, abandoned, and with the pieces to pick up and mend and turn the entire bleak future into a hopeful one again?

This is where rubber meets the road.  Do I truly believe God will come through for me?  Isn’t that the question sweet friends?  Do we trust God enough to do something?  Just do something Lord!!  Can we wait for God to do something?

When my husband walked out on me all of a sudden one day and told me God told him to, it was unbelievable.  My husband was angry that I wouldn’t support him in ways I felt were unGodly.  So he left.  And found a woman who swept him off his feet.  And now is making it look like he did everything in an honorable fashion.  And somehow he wanted to include God in this?

I prayed and went to bible study, and read, and read and prayed and listened carefully at church.  God showed me many times over that He is not the God that my husband speaks of.  Many people make their own Gods so they can do whatever they want to do.  It seems to me the real issue here is submission.  Do we, do I want to submit to a God who is infinitely more Holy than I?

Tonight I want to say “yes” when it hurts.  It hurts and it is hard to wait and I cry out often, “Abba, Father, help me.”  Help me because my heart has never hurt so much.  I have stood for you.  I have spoken truth in love.  I have followed you every step of the way to my utmost ability and this is the outcome.  He told me that unrepentant sinners will reject the people He sends to them.

I think my struggle right now is this.  I remember so well.  I remember what Brian was like when we met.  We met at a bible study and he was so smart and so handsome and professed faith in Christ, he quoted so much Scripture.  We made Godly friends.  I look back to that and get confused.  The Lord tells me that so much sin lay dormant in his heart.  I didn’t see it because it wasn’t there.  Just like cottage cheese, you cannot see the bacteria for the first few days and then it comes to the surface.  It smells bad, just like sin.

I keep running into people who have found love, beautiful love, the second time around. I cling to these moments God is giving me.  How hard it would be to get married again.  Would I be able to trust?  Would I be able to raise my family in a united household for Christ?  Would I be able to teach my kids the gospel without my husband rolling his eyes and walking out of the room?  So many days I didn’t know if I was even married to a believer.  He wavered more than I’ve seen anyone waiver.  I truly don’t think he knows what he believes.

What now?  Forgiveness.  Back to the need for forgiveness.  Why is it so hard?  Well, for one, because some of us are being hurt over and over again.  Other times, it is because the sin is so grievous.  Yes, I remember forgiving when I was a child was much easier.  But as an adult, you have a longer memory, a more connected memory.  It is harder.

Truly, I can reason myself out of forgiveness.  It does feel like you are willingly deciding to take the hit.  And lose.  BUT, this isn’t what the Word of God teaches.  The Word teaches that the Almighty God does avenge.  It teaches that Almighty God brings Redemption.  The greater the offense, the greater the redemption I do believe.

So I must wait.  This is so hard for me.  I feel as though it would be easier to move on if I had something to hold on to.  But, I don’t.  I am refusing to date, despite the options.  I am refusing to do anything right now, but commit myself to my kids, commit myself to earning money to provide for my kids, and to let God heal the many layers of hurt that reside in my heart.  11 years of it really.  Starting with the night before my wedding day.

So, it is time….time to let go.  I think I’ve spent enough time analyzing.  Enough time thinking.  Enough time feeling sad.  Can God erase the sadness?  Do we just let go of thinking about it?  It makes it hard when you continue to run into each other.  That’s the hard part for me.  More hurt on top of hurt.

I have a prayer tonight.  A prayer that I know God will still answer in His own time.  God cannot be swayed in any way other than the positive by our prayers.  I know He cares and listens and He will do something to help me.  Mine is a prayer asking Abba to open and soften my heart up even more to forgive now that I know everything.  And I pray for RELEASE from this relationship.

Father, thank-you that you hear our every prayer and know our every need.  I pray your will be done.

Amen.

 

 

His Story.

I’ve been reading sermons lately by Nick Lillo from Waterstone church in Littleton, Colorado about the Creation (Awe), Fall, Rescue, and Restoration.  It has been so pertinent to me to learn how God created things to be…how the Fall messed that all up, how we continue to fall…we have a curvature of the soul…that we are simply born with…and how Christ rescues us.  I haven’t gotten to the restoration part yet.

As I was reading about God’s wrath…it took me to a place in my past…at West Point…where it seemed that every little thing I did wrong…I got caught for and got in big trouble…I was contemplating this…and realized that I know more of God’s grace now…and have a more obedient heart because I came in contact with God’s wrath during this period of time as well as some experiences I had in the Army.  It was a cycle of experiencing God’s wrath, followed by His grace…to a point where I knew to respond to the quiet voice…and knew more the beauty of God’s grace.  I am so thankful for this time and the place I am in now with God.

I LOVE the intimacy of a relationship with Jesus Christ.  When the world is hard or cold, Jesus is always there…always working on my behalf, always attuned to my thoughts, my emotions, my past, my present, my future.  It never ceases to amaze me that I can be in a relationship with God.  Thanks be to Christ.  And this relationship is so profound.  So intimate.  So real.  As I read this sermon though, I felt as if God was telling me that I was focused on Him as a part of my story…which He most certainly is…but that the bigger picture is that I am meant to be a part of His story…the story of His great plan for redemption.  He loves me so intimately, yes, but at some point, this love should drive me to a deeper place with Christ…where I am ready to face hardship, persecution, pain…in order to be a part of His Story.  I am being transparent here…but this is HARD for me…so much of me longs to stay in a place of perfect love, protection…safety…intimacy.  It’s hard to step out of that.

I keep hearing a song playing on the radio lately…my theme song right now…”I am Yours…You are Mine.”  I know this love roots me that i may endure for Him.

Escape from a Nunnery :-)

Today, as I went out to the commissary to buy a few things…I felt like I was escaping from a nunnery….this home has been such a beautiful place of rest for me…for so long now…as my strength is returning from having Emma and getting over another sinus cold, I have realized how long it has been since I have felt really well for any considerable amount of time…really almost a year….and how much time I have spent in this home of respite.  I have never been a home body…and so God chose to give me a beautiful home here with big, lovely windows to look out and enjoy the view outside, while I spent quite a bit of time inside this home…and with Him.  And today, as I escaped from my nunnery, I felt completely bombarded!  I got in my car and tried to remember the rules of the road…I went to buy some items and was overwhelmed by the choices to be made…I must consider the price of the item, the necessity, the priority, the freshness, etc…I made it out of the commissary and back into my car and sighed a big sigh of relief!  I made it!  Back to my nunnery to enjoy cuddles with my sweet little newborn 🙂

I like my nunnery.  I don’t particularly like leaving it right now!  But, I know these days alone in my home and with God are almost over as Emma reaches her 2 week point today and Brian heads back to school on Monday.  It will be an adjustment…and already has been the past two days as Brian’s parents have left, and their overwhelming support and love went home with them 😦 …God told me He was still taking care of me…although it was much harder to see that as I was floundering through my day with just Hannah and Emma.  As my strength returns and I get more and more sleep at night, I know I will be able to return to pouring out everything I have to my husband and kids once again.  I feel as if I have been away.  But, now I am back.  And it is hard….I must relearn God’s ways of dealing with the newfound terrible 3’s 🙂 (1-3 was so lovely with Hannah!!!), and a boy that has grown up so fast I can barely recognize him…and a husband that has poured out so much and changed so much too.

I have a new family.  And as Brian told me last night as I shed a few tears, “we all will have to make adjustments to all the changes around here…except Emma 🙂  It will be a transition.”

A New Day, A New Beginning…the wonderful promises fulfilled in Easter!!!

This Easter was really wonderful for our family.  The Lord taught each of us something special this Easter.  The Lord gave me a new beginning…and taught me something so very important so deep down in my heart.

Last week, I caught the flu bug and was really sick for about 3-4 days.  It started the day I wrote my last post.  That night I spent the night with searing back pain.  The back pain was so familiar to my long labor with my son (some things we can never forget!), at first I wasn’t sure if it was a stomach bug or actual labor…  I couldn’t sleep.  The night before, I woke up feeling terribly sick, but was able to go back to sleep.    I was so thankful for that sleep.  It helped prepare me for the next night.  That night, I wanted so much to get rid of whatever was in my stomach, but it just wasn’t coming up.  At last, Brian and I decided to go to the hospital around 3 am.  I was still lingering in front of the door, a bit grumpy at this point, hoping for that relief so we didn’t have to go…and as I walked into the kitchen towards the door, the relief came.  It felt so good.  I sat down at the couch, feeling a bit better, and threw up a couple more times.  At last I felt better, and fell asleep sitting up.  We didn’t have to go.  And the Lord provided the next few days while my body recovered.

This week, I caught a 24 hour bug.  Easter morning, God spoke so clearly to my heart that I was to enter a new beginning.  I didn’t know specifically what that meant to me at that point, but it settled on my heart and I was rejoicing that it was Easter and thankful for all the promises and fulfillments that come with this glorious day.  I felt the Lord speak to me to not eat dinner that night.  I listened.  Later that night, I got really sick again.  This time the back pain was less, and I was determined to be more obedient this time, and not as grumpy.  As I was hanging my head over the toilet, thankful there wasn’t much in my tummy to come out this time, I felt the Lord’s peace over my body and my mind.  I thought of the pain He had to endure on the cross that dark Friday long ago.  I thought of His DEEP LOVE for me.  And then it hit me…I’ve never felt God’s deep love for me at a time like this before.  At times, by His grace, I feel it…but never on my own accord, do my thoughts naturally go to the place of… “Wow, God really loves me” during a time like that.  This time my thoughts EMBRACED HIM, as He embraced me on that cold, small bathroom floor during the night.  I knew that THIS was my new beginning.  To KNOW without a doubt, that the attacks, trials and temptations and struggles and hurts come from the Enemy…God allows them in His deep love for us, but HE is looking down in love, pained by what pains us.  And to feel His love for me in the depth of my heart during these tough times.  In punishment, He LOVES.  In refinement, He LOVES.  I do not know whether this was punishment or refinement or suffering for God’s glory, but either way, I was sure of His wondrous love.  And this was ALL that mattered.

God gave me one of the very best days of my life that Monday.  It was a new beginning.  I was embraced deeply in His love, sure of His provision, and He filled me with the Spirit’s energy to clean my dirty home, slowly, bit by bit :-), as my kids happily and sweetly played together, singing together, running around the couch chasing each other, playing “Fox and Hound.”  It was a bit ironic, because I had talked to my husband recently before this day about how impossible it was to clean while the kids were around because of the frequent interventions that were needed….and the messes that were made….but God showed me, that when there is a need, and there is prayer (and even in times when we can’t pray), He provides in wonderful ways.  More FAITH being built up in my soul.  My kids were so full of LOVE and I was so humbled and amazed to see the Lord’s spirit in them.  Isn’t that an amazing feeling?  Seeing Jesus in your kids.  They loved on me and each other all day and I felt God’s intimate embrace and love.  What more could I possibly want?

Brian came home a bit disappointed from something that happened at work.  I sat next to him, cuddled him, and we talked about what God might be doing in the situation.   The Lord continued to lift him up throughout the day and he was so glad to hear about God’s wonderful provision for all of us after a night like that.

Lewis and I cleaned the kitchen floor with sponges, did lots of chores around the house to catch up, cooked together, did school, and we all played with play dough and did a fun craft together.  Hannah played nicely in her crib for her quiet time without taking her clothes off, going potty, ripping books or the blinds, and was patiently and happily awaiting me when I came to get her.  It was truly the day of my dreams!

God showed His wonderful mercy to our family…and that He will provide in every way no matter what happens.  And I learned a deep and wonderful lesson of His great love for me.  Nothing can separate us from His love.  He is just waiting for our thoughts to return to HIM…to embrace HIM…knowing and truly believing without a doubt, that HE LOVES US SO MUCH!

John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only son, that whosoever shall believeth in Him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”

This one act proved once and for all the great love of the Father.  I want this to be enough.  Nothing else is needed to PROVE it…but He does mercifully love each and every day, still, in so many ways.    How great is the Father’s love.