Let Your LifeSONG SING to ME.

This is My life’s Aim…His beckoning to me.  My calling.

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A Valentine’s Day to Remember :-)

This past Valentine’s Day was one to be cherished for me.  My prayer was that the Lord would reveal to me more of His love, so that I may learn to love more like Him.  He answered this prayer in so many ways, but one of the most beautiful ways He answered this prayer was through my husband.

We set about considering ways to show each other our love this special day of the year…as we are learning more about each other, we are learning how to better love each other.  I contemplated how to love him how he liked to be loved…and the Lord showed me special, but very simple ways to show him my love.  They were precious to him, and his were precious to me.  We were able to have a lovely date night at a wonderful restaurant in Leavenworth, with the same name as our favorite restaurant in Colorado Springs–the place where we met, were engaged, and spent our first two days together married 🙂  It was a lovely night, but the greatest gift of all was an unexpected gift.

I am sharing a bit personally here, but I hope this might be beneficial to anyone who is yearning to understand their calling individually and as a family as well.

Brian and I had just finished our “Calling” Sunday School Class, and our wonderful instructor, Tom Schmidt, beckoned us, at the end of class, to pray over our callings individually and together as a couple, and then to get together during a quiet time and discuss and write down our callings, write down our stones of remembrance, and to seek the Lord diligently in our general and specific callings, with these stones in mind.  We were both apprehensive about this whole process, as the subject of callings has often been a bit divisive for us…and we certainly were concerned about discussing the subject on Valentine’s Day….but the Lord pressed it upon both our hearts and we prayed if this was the best time to talk about it once again…we both came together again and decided it was.

The Lord brought something incredibly beautiful out of something that had been probably one of the most divisive subjects for us as a couple—HE BROUGHT UNITY!!!!  We talked about our general callings, discussed our stones of remembrance (aha moments in our walks with the Lord where He clearly revealed to us something about our unique design as His child and His special plan for us regarding this design), and we discovered much unity even in our own individual callings.  It was amazing to me how similar our designs are…even if our specific callings are different, our general callings are VERY similar!!!  And as for the future?  Well, we still have no clue about that, but it really is amazing to see how the Lord particularly has designed us and moved us forward in the direction He has planned for us.  For me, I remembered the moments in my walk that were so powerfully influential.  For Brian, he remembered the moments where he really loved doing something God placed in his path, despite the success or failure of it, and how God used these moments in His life.  We saw the direction God had us going, even as children, and the seeds He planted in our lives.  We saw how He brought our paths together, and intertwined our designs so intricately together, and how He is bringing UNITY out of those designs now.  We both have hearts to Shepherd and Disciple/Mentor.  For our own family and for others.

I am so encouraged to focus on the similar path the Lord has for us—the similar desires He has placed at the core of our beings.  I know He has a wonderful plan for us, and I am content to wait for His Course for the future, knowing more about myself, my strengths (I took a particular strength test to help me with this), the most precious moments of my walk with the Lord, and the Calling He has placed on my life.  This enables me to settle comfortably into my own skin, to focus on His particular purpose for me right now, knowing His general purpose for me as well.  We have direction.  We have purpose.  We have unity 🙂  THIS is a powerful answer to prayer!  And a special gift to us on Valentine’s Day.

Revelation that is sweet to our souls

God gives us new revelation when He sees us going off in the wrong direction…or when we are aimless and unsure…flailing…or sometimes in preparation for something He wants us to know or do to fulfill His will.  Revelation comes in His timing and in His way and is unanticipated.  It is from the heavenly realms.

One of my favorite topics of interest and writing is on callings.  It has started with the pursuit of our calling, as a family.  There is so much God is revealing to our hearts about callings right now.  Brian and I have often talked about it…and saw things a bit differently.  In this wonderful book, called “Rising to the Call” by Os Guinness, He dissects the subject of God’s Call in so many ways, that it breaks it down beautifully to show ways that God calls, what a calling looks like, what it isn’t about, how people’s callings might be at different stages of their lives and may look drastically different from each other, how some are called to minister in the church, but some are called to minister to the secular…the differences in how people understand themselves, their lives, and their gifts, and how God sees all of it and uses it.  I’m only halfway through the book (don’t worry, if you want to read it, it is small!), and God is already changing perceptions I have held, and opening my mind to new ways that He might work in our lives.  I still don’t know our calling…and it seems we might be the kind that God reveals a calling to over time, but my heart is at peace with my first and foremost calling as a Christian–to love Him with all my heart, mind, and strength and to love my neighbor as myself.  All the rest is in His hands and I am content to wait patiently for Him to reveal it over time.

It is a beautiful thing, though, isn’t it?  How God can orchestrate our lives, our gifts, our natural inclinations, our dreams, our experiences, everything, in preparation for HIS CALL?  I am amazed at the greatest MIND in the world…who does all of this in all of our lives and works everything together for the good of His Kingdom.  It is simply beyond our greatest imagination.  He is SO BIG and SO GOOD.  I know this to be true from everything I have learned of God.  But, yet I know, many things in my future will test this understanding.

“Without faith, it is impossible to please God.”  Without faith, it is simply knowledge, the seen, the understood…it is what we think in our heads to be true…it isn’t out of unconditional  love or adoration or trust or obedience…it is what WE make it to be.  Faith sets everything on God.  It makes the knowledge go from our heads to our hearts…and it becomes experiences that test us in which we apply God’s truth, out of faith (this usually means going against our natural feelings)–we are simply saying, I TRUST YOU GOD.  I am choosing to BELIEVE you.  I am a bond-servant to you and you alone.  It’s about committing our lives to Jesus.  We choose who we will serve–Him or the Enemy.  We are a servant to one or the another in each choice we make, so we must choose in WHOM we will believe, and on whom we will set our lives, our foundation.

Jesus asks his disciples at the end of Luke—when I come back, during the reign on the Son of Man, will I find any faith on earth?  It’s all about faith.  We cannot please God without having faith.  Knowing God’s calling for our lives takes much prayer, much faith, knowing His calling is about HIM and not US.  He cannot use us fully until we truly understand it is all for His purpose and His glory.

God is aligning our desires with His.  We are casting out our perceptions and our selfish desires for the future and are waiting to hear HIS CALL.

Who God is.

I am in a state of awe and adoration of who God is.  The past few days have been full of Him.  Full of His love.  Full of His provision.  Full of His comfort.  Full of His prompting and equipping.  I have found myself in a season where God is filling us up…He is showing Himself more to me–all His qualities and all that He is.  All I can do is fall to my knees in adoration.  I cannot believe in my own strength that God is everything that He is.  He’s just simply too amazing for me to wrap my head around.

God is pouring out His love to me through my husband.  Despite myself, he continues to love so deeply, so purely, so passionately.  I cannot fathom the kind of love he is giving to me…so unconditional, so consistent.  It is flowing from God through him to me.  It is THIS love that is life-transforming.  It has transformed me in the past…and then I stood on my own two feet for some time, grounded in who I was in the Lord, and lately, the rug has been pulled from my feet again, and once again, God shows me THIS kind of love.  It is a powerful kind of love.  So pure.  So beautiful.  So unselfish.  I am so thankful for an incredible provision of God’s beautiful love to me–my sweet husband.  I cannot doubt His great love for me…no matter what circumstances may seem…how compelling and deceiving they may be.  This kind of love is not easy to give every day!  It has come to me at a time when I needed to feel how perfect and full and great His love is for me.

At the same time, this morning at PWOC, I was greeted and talked to by SO many ladies…they poured out their love to me, without knowing anything about me.  I’ve never seen anything like THIS in my life.  Perhaps after a few months, maybe a few years, but my second day at PWOC?  Again, God was showing me…you are so deeply loved and I will provide this for you.  There is no need to fear.  The topics of the studies were also so pertinent and powerful to my heart.

For me, this appears to be a season of being renewed, transformed, and built up/deepened in the faith.  I am in a place to receive, but also to love others deeply.

I am learning so much about God’s calling on our lives.  It is changing many perceptions I had…and I think will change a lot about our future course.  I already feel JOY returning to my heart as God reforms my mind and changes my thoughts and habits.  It is not easy, but it is so freeing and fulfilling.  God’s way brings much JOY!  And this is what I truly seek–to be satisfied in Him, to walk with Him, to radiate His joy in everything.  This is the greatest light to others of Jesus Christ.  I care not what our family’s specific secondary calling is right now (I trust Him to reveal it with time), but am delighting in my first one!  To love God with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength.  I want to enjoy Him fully.

My individual secondary calling is to be a mommy, one that I have always delighted in…even when things are tough.  The past few months, there has been so much going on in my body and heart, parenting became much harder all of a sudden.  I have given my everything, but feel as though it has fallen way short of His standard.  Now that my energy is returning, the sickness is gone (hurray!), and the boxes are almost all unpacked and mostly organized, I can focus my attention on full-time parenting, with great love and patience, once again.  I have a lot of work ahead of me…and a lot of joy waiting for me as I watch God work so beautifully in my children and me once again to produce His fruit.

Brian and I are so excited at God’s love and provision here.  We are sensing Him lead us down a certain path right now…with an uncertain future…just a glimpse of what might be…but we are united and excited.  There is so much to discover…so much to be revealed.  And as we wait, God isn’t delaying, but deepening His work in our hearts.  I literally feel Him working deeply in my heart right now.  I am able to let go of wanting focus and direction for the future, and am simply casting my focus, my eyes on Him…waiting for Him to tell us the next step.  Truly, He is aligning our desires with His as we wait and obey, step-by-step, day-by-day.

He Speaks…Out of Silence…Our Calling is being Revealed.

He has spoken to me about something I have sought Him for, particularly over the past 2 years.  I have been seeking and longing to know a little more about our family’s calling.  He has been silent for a long time.  But, just yesterday, He spoke to me about it.  He told me, YOU ARE TO BE THE SALT AND LIGHT of the world.

Brian and I had a little conversation about our calling on a date night a few nights before.  We talked about the direction God might have us going.  I hadn’t been open to this particular direction before.  But, that night, my heart unexpectedly warmed up to it.  Brian was delighted 🙂  We prayed that night that God would speak powerfully.  I acknowledged that my heart had changed and I was more open to hear His voice in this area.  I thought I was open before…but as I prayed this time, I could tell, my heart had softened…there was a willingness present that wasn’t there before.  And God spoke immediately and powerfully to my heart.  Tears flowed…as I really hoped His answer would be different….there was more softening to be done in my heart.

The Lord often has told me we have been at a crossroads here.  I thought maybe it was Brian He was speaking to…but it was me.  In the next few months, there will be many decisions that need to be made about our future in the Army and beyond that.  We are seeking the Lord for direction in all of these choices that need to be made.  I have felt lost, not knowing what counsel to give my husband, somewhat saddened that I still hadn’t heard from the Lord about our calling.  We have been praying often…and now He has spoken.  I don’t know a lot about the direction He will have us go.  But, it is going to look very different from where I wanted to go…but somehow, I knew, deep in my heart, THIS was the direction He wanted us to go.  I just didn’t think it could possibly be.  How would I fit in this picture?  I could picture Brian going this path, in fact I have since I first met him, but never myself.  He is showing me and working deeply in my heart.  It will take GREAT FAITH to believe and follow this path in obedience.  But, He has spoken now and so it shall be.

In the words of a friend…”I hope I don’t hate it there!”

Wonderful Taste of Fall: Big Bear Beauty :-) , A time to Process.

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I have loved going to Big Bear here…a beautiful mountain town for a mountain girl to go to to soak in the beauty…the beauty I grew up with and LOVE.  I love the smell of the woods, the smell of fires, the beauty of the mountains and lake, the serenity of it all, the freshness of the air, and the lovely log cabins!!!  I love the beautiful quaint shops (even though I am not much of a shopper), and I really, really love the coffee shops and yummy treat shops 🙂  The air was just right…not too cold, not hot.  Fresh, cool, breezy air.  It was wonderful to take it all in.  We felt very refreshed.

As we drove up the windy road into Big Bear, I was reminded of a beautiful windy road to my grandma’s house in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina.  What precious memories lie in my heart of that home and that area.  We saw trees and LIFE!  The leaves on the trees were turning colors–beautiful, RICH colors.  I am so happy we were able to see those colors and that the children didn’t miss out on wonderful fall weather and colors and smells 🙂    The aspen trees were turning golden-yellow…they were delights to our eyes.

Brian and I were able to take it all in this time…the kids were so obedient and full of JOY!  We were able to process things that God is doing in our lives…with rejoicing…and awe.  God is transforming our hearts.  He is particularly transforming the mommy and daddy in us and uniting us more than ever before in parenting.  We feel like a united team.  Perhaps it is our little rebel rousers that are uniting us.  They have been SO tough to parent lately!  We have had to put it into high gear and be on the same page…or our little munchkins will find the loop holes and dive in…together, as a little dynamic duo team.  God has taken us out of our comfort zones and shown us how to hold the line…all the time…but also how to balance the love, grace, patience, discipline, etc.  It is wonderful when we are able to parent with that balance.  It is wonderful to see the fruit of our hard work.  But, it is going to take a lot more work and consistency, because we have two wonderful, brilliant, energetic, strong-willed children.  As Brian’s mom sweetly put it a year or so ago…”Dawn, I’m afraid, I don’t think you two are going to have any easy children.”  It was then that I soberly realized I needed to be a strong mommy!

God is showing us the power of prayer in parenting.  There is so much we don’t know how to do…so much reliance needed on the Spirit to get us through…but we are learning the STRENGTH that comes from relying on the Lord all throughout each day.  It is incredible.  It brings much peace in the midst of chaos.

Fort Irwin has been a tough place for me.  It has been a continued place of separation for our family, which was the last thing for which I had hoped.  When I was in the Army, 3 1/2 years ago, Brian and I were separated frequently, for almost 3 1/2 years off an on, with deployments, schools, etc.  We had a 5 month period in between all of that and that is when we got married 🙂  Two days after our wedding, Brian headed off to another school.  The separations continued until I was able to get out.  Camp Carroll, Korea was our first duty station together as a family.  Brian was in command, though, and traveled often because his command and headquarters were scattered all throughout S. Korea.  And then we prayed for a warm place where the kids could go outside and play for much of the year (Korea was a bit cold)…and the Lord so graciously ( 😉 ) sent us to the desert.  (We really can play outside for much of the year here though!)  But, quickly I realized, through the first rotation, while our colicky baby screamed and our toddler (Lewis) was attached to to my leg…with boxes all around me and my husband sent into the field…THIS is not the place where we would be TOGETHER.  Each rotation was a struggle.  We were sick all the time that first year.  I learned to trust the Lord as everything to me during this time.  I learned to not burden my husband when he returned.  I learned so, so many things.  But, most of all, I learned that I cannot live without my husband!!!  After 18 months here, I cried a desparate prayer….I prayed God would keep us attached by the hip forever more.  Brian laughed a bit when I told him this…but would you believe that we have been together more than ever these last 6 months?  He has been there every time I’ve needed him.  God has answered that prayer more powerfully than I could have ever imagined…and even while we were still here.

I had learned to trust the Lord much more than ever before…but I had also learned how MUCH I needed my man…I have had the opportunity to witness what a wonderful husband and daddy he is….he is mighty to save…he gives so much of himself to us…and always wants to be where we are..he reminds me of Jesus oftentimes…my mighty and strong, but gentle and patient warrior…he is truly amazing.

We have learned how to be a united team here….a family completely dependent on our Lord and Saviour…wanting so much to follow HIS call for our family.  He is uniting our dreams…we don’t know how it will all come together right now…but we feel Him working so deeply in our lives and our hearts and we look forward to seeing how He will use each gift, each passion, united in ministry for Him.

The Dynamic Duo

My Precious Gifts

This is my dynamic duo 🙂  They do everything together.  They love so passionately.  They are learning to love consistently.  God is showing me how to teach them to love.  This is my calling.  They are my sweet little disciples and nothing satisfies me more than teaching them about Jesus and showing them how to love by living the Christian life out before their sweet, little eyes.  It is by no means easy.  But, it is my greatest calling…and it is something, lately, that has been worked out in sweat and tears.

A sample day was yesterday…I tried to follow the Lord’s leading in directing my steps throughout the day, but things just didn’t flow as I hoped they would.  Unfortunately, buddy caught the sickness sissy had…and so it has been over a week full of sickness…so we tried to find a way to make the day a joyful one with as minimal stress as possible…and, for us, after a week mostly in the home, it meant getting out!  We tried to go to the pool, but alas, mommy always forgets something and this time, it was my bathing suit…so I tried to let the kiddies swim (buddy really wanted to swim!) while watching them sitting on the side.  Buddy wanted to jump off the diving board…the lifeguard said no…the lifeguard told me to take off the swimmy floaties (as my kids are accustomed to), and put on the designated lifeguard vests they have at the pool….Hannah wanted to swim, but the water was too cold for her…she began to run around the pool…the lifeguard changed his mind and said buddy could jump off one time.  Buddy was happy, jumped, swam over to the side (this was the beautiful moment of the day), and climbed out…sissy started climbing on the picnic tables, and then Buddy followed too…mommy tried to keep them safe, but it was too late and sissy fell face forward onto the ground, busting her lip…mommy was considering going home, so I told the kiddies if they didn’t want to swim, then we would have to go home…buddy jumped in and had a blast swimming…the lifevest was just right for him.  Sissy, seeing buddy, really wanted to go into the water now…crying as she slipped herself in, saying “too cold, too cold,” she went into the water.  A few seconds later, mommy realized that the small lifevest wasn’t working out for her and it was forcing her face into the water instead of helping her stay afloat!  Mommy waited another second to see if sissy needed a moment to change her position and stay afloat, but then sissy’s cry became desperate, and mommy plunged in to save her.  This scene was very familiar for me from last season of swim lessons with buddy 😦  Anyway, mommy decided it was time to go now, soaking wet and pretty cold, I made my way out of the pool with the kiddies…buddy was incredibly obedient, and sissy came kicking and screaming  and dragging after mommy had to run and find her.  It is moments like these where I really wonder how in the world we would manage any more children other than 2…

Very timely, the Lord gave me these devotions to read:

Taking the Next Step

“…in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses” (2 Corinthians 6:4)

When you have no vision from God, no enthusiasm left in your life, and no one watching and encouraging you, it requires the grace of the Almighty God to take the next step in your devotion to Him, in the reading and studying of His Word, in your family life, or in your duty to Him.  It takes much more of the grace of God, and, a much greater awareness of drawing upon Him, to take that next step, than it does to preach the Gospel.

Every Christian must experience the essence of the incarnation by bringing the next step down into flesh-and-blood reality and by working it out with his hands.  We lose interest and give up when we have no vision, no encouragement, and no improvement, but only experience our everyday life with its trivial tasks.  The thing that really testifies for God and for the people of God in the long run is steady perseverance even when the work cannot be seen by others.  And the only way to live an undefeated life is to live looking to God.  Ask God to keep the eyes of your spirit open to the risen Christ, and it will be impossible for drudgery to discourage you.  Never allow yourself to think that some tasks are beneath your dignity or too insignificant for you to do, and remind yourself of the example of Christ in John 13:1-17.

–My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers

Is He Really My Lord?:

“…so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus…” (Acts 20:24)

Joy comes from seeing the complete fulfillment of the specific purpose for which I was created and born again, not from successfully doing something of my own choosing.  The joy our Lord experienced came from doing what the Father sent Him to do.  And He says to us, “As the Father sent Me, I also send you” (John 20:21).  Have you received a ministry from the Lord? If so, you must be faithful to it–to consider your life valuable only for the purpose of fulfilling that ministry.  Knowing that you have done waht Jesus sent you to do, think how satisfrying it will be to hear Him say to you, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21).  We each have to find a niche in life, and spiritually we find it when we receive a ministry from the Lord.  To do this we must have close fellowship with Jesus and must know Him as more than our personal Savior.  And we must be willing to experience the full impact of Acts 9:16–“I wil show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.”

“Do you love Me?”  Then, “Feed My Sheep” (John 21:17).  He is not offering us a choice of how we can serve Him; He is asking for absolute loyalty to His commission, a faithfulness to what we discern when we are in the closest possible fellowship with God.  If you have received a ministry from the Lord Jesus, you will know that the need is not the same as the call–the need is the exercise of the call.  The call is to be faithful to the ministry you received when you were in true fellowship with Him.  This does not imply that there is a whole series of differing ministries marked out for you.  It does mean that you must be sensitive to what God has called you to do, and this may sometimes require ignoring demands for service in other areas.

–My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers

 

Unexpected witness…

These are the moments I love the most in witnessing for Christ…the unexpected moments…the moments when I am not ‘trying’…

The other day was full of shepherding my little ones hearts…and I was drained…and was at the pool with my kiddies, which is usually a time of respite for me (now that I don’t have any babies in the house…) and my littles were swimming all around the pool in their floaties.  I sat next to a woman who I’d never seen before and didn’t have even an ounce of energy to ‘pour out’ to her.  I smiled and chatted with her, but there was no seeking to witness.  There was no seeking to be a light.  I was still and quiet.  She was very chatty and wanting to talk and ask me everything.  Normally, I would have loved to do that and to see where her heart may be, to see where the Lord might be leading her, etc.  But, sadly, I didn’t have anything to give in this moment.  Hannah walked up to her little girl and offered her a ball to play with (which was a miracle for my little 2 who is learning hard to share 😉 ).  The little girl played with the ball and with her.  Her mommy asked me all about my schedule.  I told her without any reservation or wondering.  She was quiet.  She told me that they’d been there for 3 months and her daughter had not played with any other children, she was so shy.  She was astonished that her daughter was playing with Hannah.  She asked me if she had to be “religious” to go to PWOC.  I told her she did not need to be.  She said she wanted to meet people.  I said she should come and I’d love to see her there.

It was time for us to go.  I couldn’t believe how Christ could continue to use me when I was so exhausted.  I loved the fact that it was all Him.  I loved that it was so simple.  She was ready and wanting and willing to go…she just had a major consideration….  She reminded me of me when I was on a mission trip that I thought was an academic trip…and I was the one saved.  I love ministering to the unsaved.  I was called out and chosen.  And I am ever thinking of those that God is continuing to call out and has chosen.

God is showing me the area of ministry He has given me.  It is first and foremost to my husband and children.  And next to the unsaved.  He has given me a hunger and thirst for souls to be saved from darkness.  He called me out on a mission trip.  And every day is a mission trip for me since then…a calling to witness and love the unsaved.

My Purpose…My Calling!

So many times I have wondered what my specific purpose or calling in life was…so many directions have I gone…so many doors have been shut…and some opened….so many desires remain on my heart over decades….many times I have looked at my life: my gifts, my talents, my journey…and many times have I pondered and even seemed convinced of my calling!

Here, I have pressed into my Heavenly Father.  Here I have learned to depend fully on Him.  Here I have learned that He is everything.  Here I have learned that it is all about His timing and His purpose and His Kingdom.  Here, I am learning to follow Him, to fall in love with Him, and to love Him above anything else–dreams, desires, understanding.  Here, I have learned to rejoice for others, to support others, to encourage others.  Here, I have learned to be insignificant.  It is in this place I am learning to truly love, to truly follow, to have a purity of purpose for Him.  It is in this place I am learning what real humility is.

The Lord has revealed to me my calling.  This is a calling for every believer, so I guess that doesn’t make me too special!  🙂  But, it is in this calling, this purpose, where, when I am obedient, I follow the perfect path He has laid out for me “before the foundation of the world.”  (Ephesians 1:3-4)

I don’t have to worry about my calling!  I don’t have to be concerned about missing my calling.  I don’t have to worry about what steps to take to prepare my heart for my calling.  I don’t have to have any agendas, any goals, except that which to follow Christ in each and every situation (the goals/purposes that He sets for me).  I don’t have to worry about any unity in my calling (God will take care of that 😉 ).  I can be certain of one thing…THIS is my calling:

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.  Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”

God has CHOSEN me (and you!)-before the foundation of the world-to be His holy child.  He has called me to holiness.  He has called me out of darkness (I am often aware of what I have been called out of…and often reminded…) into His wonderful light.  The Lord often reminds me of this-to walk in His light…it is a new path…an unknown one…a path He is revealing to me every day.  He has done all this SO THAT I CAN DECLARE THE PRAISES OF HIM!!!  THIS IS MY CALLING!  I shall praise Him and thank Him and turn to Him all day long.  God has given us mercy; He is mercifully changing and transforming my heart and the hearts of my family.

It is painful to be rejected.  But, we were chosen.  I want to walk in that light of being chosen.  Not more special than other children of God…but chosen for a special purpose for Him.  I am set apart to be holy and pleasing to Him.  And He will not have it any other way.  But, I have to choose obedience in my calling, my purpose.  Isn’t it such a relief to know that this is all we have to do each day?  Only one thing is needed.  To sit at His feet and praise Him in whatever is needed to serve Him and adore Him that day.  It will look different each day and in different seasons…but as long as my heart is praising Him and thanking Him…the rest will flow smoothly and I will be living out my purpose in each and every day.

The end state is known only to Him.  If I fix my heart on any particular calling, I might lose sight of following Him and loving Him above all else.

“If you will praise Him, God promises to give supernatural joy in spite of difficult circumstances.” -Returning to Holiness: A Personal and Churchwide Journey to Revival

This is where my joy comes from.  This is what I was created to do: to praise Him and serve Him and enjoy Him.  And this is the path to Holiness.  He does all the work, I simply obey in each moment, confessing to Him my unfaithfulness, and praising Him for His love and faithfulness all the while.  It won’t be easy, but as the pastor said to us this morning, becoming Holy isn’t anything we can achieve ourselves…so there is no burden in that…it is simply a love and obedience to Christ.  If we are willing, He is able.

A Calling beckoned by Grace…

I am SEEING God’s grace all over our lives right now.  It fills me with so many different emotions.  One of sadness that we are so far from His grace.  One of Joy, that He loves us and gives us His endless grace anyway.  One of regret that I didn’t try harder in the past to be obedient to His loving ways.  One of relief knowing that He doesn’t remember any of it…He deliberately forgets and moves us closer and closer to Him.

Lately, I am feeling propelled further into our calling…but still very unsure of what it is exactly.  God is hiding much of it still…and waiting for a time to reveal it to us.  I am waiting in anticipation!  I feel moved closer and closer to Him over the years….as He brings us to crossroads often…requiring us to make a choice to choose Him or stray from the path (and feel some pain for it…).   Sometimes I know I have to choose Him….many other times, I want to choose Him.

You see, He is beckoning us closer to Him.  And we are choosing to follow.  It is requiring so many tough choices, but His blessings pour out as we choose to obey.  Blessings that keep mulitplying.  Occasionally I have moments where I wonder, “Do we really have any choice in this matter?”  What I know is that God is good.  He is sovereign.  He is just.  He is holy.  He is love.  I am trusting in His heart when I am confused.

I look around at all the different aspects of our lives and all I see is overwhelming grace.  His grace propels us forth.  It is His calling…whatever it may be…and it shall be done.  I pray that we might have willing hearts…obedient hearts…prayerful, loving, and praising hearts….humble hearts…knowing, without a doubt, it is because of Him that we are what we are and we’re going where we are headed.  I don’t know where that is!  I have ideas…but I am truly wondering about it and trusting in Him.  May His will be done.