Mountain Air to Refresh the Soul :-)

Brian and I were so excited to be able to go on a trip to Big Bear this past weekend.  We weren’t entirely sure we would be able to go until the day before, so as we packed, cleaned, and hopped into the car, it hit me…THIS is our trial run for our move!!!  Everything came together beautifully leaving the home (which usually doesn’t happen for us 🙂 )….everything flowed smoothly and each of us helped to get out.  The weekend was perfect.  It was beautiful and we even got sleep at night in the hotel room 🙂  It was very refreshing to all of us.  The kids were amazing too.  I knew that God was telling us, “I will take care of you…and everything is going to come together beautifully at the last moment, if need be.”  He will provide.

We have a word of mouth that we are slotted for school and are to leave in about 2 months…but no orders yet…not even a request for orders!  God had prepped my heart for this…just a year ago, several people were sharing with me their experiences of trusting God in their ‘last minute’ moves…I even witnessed a friend leaving the Army, and as the day came for them to move, they still didn’t have a solidified job, house, school, etc.  I saw the look of faith and trust in her face.  I remembered thinking, “I could never do that!!! Please, God, never have me do that!”  I like to plan, as it reduces perceived stress for me….but, if there is nothing for me to do right now (as I cannot do anything really!), all I can do is wait.  Wait for the time when we can plan and get everything done.  It is actually an unusually peaceful time for us, because we are not stressing about anything…we can’t!  🙂

God has really engrained the importance of waiting here for me…all throughout our time here.  It takes time to learn this quality.  It can only come through many opportunities of having to wait.  I want to wait with no concern of the uncertainties that lie in the future, casting my hope, my faith, my confidence, my trust in Jesus.  My eyes are FIXED on Him.  I know He will provide, no matter what happens.  And what He provides will be exactly what our family needs.

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A thirst for souls…

God wants us to have a thirst and hunger for the salvation of souls…as He does…and sometimes, the desire for salvation can be overwhelming for us…and of course, way outside our control.  We can only do the things God asks us to do…(plant the seeds)…and thankfully, the rest is in His hands.  There is weeping and longing…a hunger and thirst in my heart right now…and it produces earnest prayer and desire to the Lord.  My heart cries out.  I know He will hear me.  I know He wants me to feel like this for the unsaved.  But, as I cry out to Him….I release it into His loving, caring, and Sovereign hands.  I am praying confidently, bodly, lovingly, with full assurance of Salvation of the lost/suffering/and those in bondage.

Beautiful day….

The past week has just been exhausting for me for some reason.  Each and every day has been a struggle to physically and emotionally get through.  My body keeps crying out and today I actually fell asleep on Lewis.  He woke me with a kiss and said, “Wake up Mommy!”  He learned very well from Briar Rose (aka Sleeping Beauty 🙂 ).

Lewis and I have a lot in common.  Some days it makes us clash…other days, we are just totally on the same page with everything.  Today, I was feeling that God was distant.  Just as I started feeling it, Lewis said to me “Mommy, where’s God?”  I froze.  Did he feel it too?  I don’t know for sure, but I took the opportunity many times to tell him today, as I was also struggling, some days God feels distant, but He’s not really.  He’s right there.  That’s when our faith has to kick in and we just have to trust and obey and KNOW without a doubt that He’s as close as He is when we really feel Him.   Later that day, when I put Hannah to bed for an early nap (she’s teething and has been crying for hours each day…but thankfully, it hasn’t affected her sleep too much this time,)  Lewis and I sat on the bench out in our back yard and talked.  I talked to Lewis about thinking Godly thoughts…that when our thoughts just are flooding us and are not thoughts that are pleasing to God…we just have to stop and start thinking Godly thoughts.  I explained that Godly thoughts were staight from the Bible–God’s Word.  We think HIS thoughts and nothing can defeat them!  They are everlasting words.  I’m not sure if that made any sense to Lewis…but I felt prompted to tell him…and we both felt the struggle today.  Lewis did a lot better than I did…I really cannot believe the big boy he is turning into…most of the time it just makes me want to cry….but I am also most proud of my special little boy.  The direction he is headed makes me want to put so much more effort to be the kind of mommy that is worthy of discipling him.  I have a lot of work ahead of me.  But, I am going to triple my efforts and pray unceasing…and this old is going to pass…and the new is going to come!  To Him be all the Glory!

Weaning…

As I read this verse below, I understood it in a different way this morning during my quiet time,

“My heart is not proud, O Lord, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me.  But I have stilled and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me.  O Israel, put your hope in the Lord both now and forever more.” -Psalm 131: 1-3

This verse has meant different things to me over the years, and a while ago, I saw that it meant that I shouldn’t concern myself with things the Lord didn’t want me concerned about—which could be a variety of things!  I saw that doing this came from proud and haughty eyes.  I re-focused my eyes on what HE put in my path and my mind to think about and tried to stay focused on that.  I have the propensity to think about all sorts of things… 🙂  God has given me a bit of an imagination, and while it can be very fun oftentimes, it can sometimes get me into wrong thinking if I don’t focus on taking my thoughts captive to Christ.

This morning, however, it spoke to me in a different way.  I focused in on the “weaned child” part ( it is appropriate to my life right now), and thought, what is the difference between a weaned child and a nursing child that has to do with this verse and the point the writer was conveying about the Lord? 

My baby girl has been pulling at my shirt lately asking for more (which I really don’t like, so I am thinking about the weaning process!), and I was in a long phase of wanting, needing, and demanding for more from God.  The season He had me going through made me very much like a nursing (and sad) baby!  (My husband’s nickname for me is actually big baby…)  I kept needing more from Him.  Show me more of your plans for me.  Show me more of your love for me.  Show me your power and might…increase my boundaries and give me work to do that is CLEAR for your Kingdom.  I needed SO MUCH MORE from Him.  I literally wanted to hear from Him all day long.  It was a confusing and anxious place to be.  It wasn’t peaceful and trusting and content with waiting. 

Lately, as the pain has eased up a bit, I have been able to rest and trust more in Him and not be so demanding.  I still need a lot from Him!  But, I am not demanding it.  Hannah will still need me a lot after she is weaned.  She will still need milk too.  But, she will get it at appropriate times, not all throughout the day or through tears.  She is learning to WAIT for it.  She is becoming more secure in my love for her and is beginning to trust that I will take care of her and I am not out to get her (although she still thinks I am sometimes!!!).

God IS with me all throughout the day…but I cannot demand to see Him or look for Him in ways that I want Him to be there…He will be there in awesome and powerful ways when He determines the time is appropriate.  Just like the milk is always there for Hannah, He is always there for me (except in more amazing ways!!!)…and He will choose to display His splendor and majesty and extravagant love for me when HE chooses (and when He knows I need it and the time is perfect).  He is my strength and love all day long…and He never stops enabling me…but, sometimes, I just don’t see that milk sitting right there to be taken.  I have to trust.  I have to believe.  And I have to wait. 

I have stilled and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me.  I AM putting my HOPE and TRUST in the Lord both now and forevermore…knowing that He is ALWAYS there.  He doesn’t have to prove it to me.  I believe.

 

Trusting God: Hannah’s story

“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast because He trusts in You.” -Isaiah 26:3

I love this verse!  So much has happened over the past year.  Really, the past 2 years.  Let me tell you the story….

Our gift of "favored grace"

It all started with my pregnancy with Hannah.  I learned for the first time to really trust God during my pregnancy with sweet Hannah.  Lewis came 7 weeks early, and I was AFRAID to be pregnant again.  Soon, my fears were realized when I bled until 16 weeks with her and was on bed rest for 5 weeks.  I was alone and didn’t have any help (we were in a foreign country!).  God beckoned me to trust Him.  And this time I really had no choice!  I trusted Him…and He provided in incredible ways.   We were delivering in a Korean hospital and it was a leap of faith.  The first doctor told me the pregnancy was no good…for several visits…but, we had prayed for Hannah and she came swiftly into our lives….we knew she was MEANT to be!  We even had someone tell us that we might have better luck next time.  BUT, we trusted God (and switched doctors!!!).  The next doctor was filled with hope and even had similar pregnancy difficulties as mine.  Also, our interpreter was AMAZING!  After one visit and no improvement in my condition, the doctor told me I would be admitted because she felt it was impossible for me to stay on bed rest with my husband traveling and gone quite a bit and no help (he was in very demanding position at the time).  She told me I needed to find someone to watch Lewis for several days or even weeks!  I had never been gone from Lewis overnight…and didn’t have any friends who could do that at a drop of a dime (they all had kids too!).  So, I did the only thing I could think of–I called my husband!  He wasn’t able to answer his phone….so then I did the only other thing I could think of…I prayed.  Shortly after, our interpreter came to me and told me her mom LOVED children and was willing to come to our house that evening and stay with me for a FULL WEEK!  Wow.  What a fun experience and TRUE blessing from the Lord.  I will forever remain thankful to both of them and the Lord for that!  Shortly after the bleeding stopped, I had a uterine band, that if fully developed, could limit the growth of our unborn baby.  She could be completely deformed.  We prayed.  It did not close and Hannah continued to grow!  God was continually saying to me (in very real and painful ways): TRUST ME, I WILL NOT FORSAKE YOU.  God led me to start a women’s bible study, although I was only at first willing to commit until I was 33 weeks pregnant…because that was when Lewis came out…and I had to be prepared, right?  God showed me my lack of faith in His promise to us for a full term baby.  So, I consented to ending the study at 37 weeks…I wanted to make sure God was on the same page as we are as to what consists of a full term pregnancy!  Hannah became transverse in my belly and refused to turn (no matter how much I tried with those exercises!).  A week after the study ended, I went to a sweet baby shower planned by the ladies in my study and right after I got home, I started to go into labor.  She came out by c-section after 24 hours of preliminary labor, but God blessed every moment of the stay at the hospital and we were so thankful.  She came out healthy and at 38 1/2 weeks!!!

During my pregnancy with Hannah (we named her Hannah because we truly felt she was God’s “favored grace” to us), I learned to trust God…while confined in my bed (for the most part 😉 ).  Throughout the rest of my pregnancy with her, God allowed me to pray over other people for all sorts of things.  I saw God perform all sorts of miracles.  I saw Him heal people on the spot.  I saw a beautiful woman accept Christ into her heart.  I saw hearts change and prayers answered.  It was AMAZING!!!!  It was so spiritually rich.  I had never prayed like that before.  I had never had that kind of faith.  But, I knew if God did that for me…He would do it for other people as well.  Hannah will always be a reminder to me of how MUCH my faith changed in the Lord.  I trusted Him with her.  She is HIS child.  I am so excited for every second He gives me to parent her.  Her joy, love, super-cuteness ;-), beauty, peace, patience, and grace amaze me and bring me to tears often.  I cannot believe God has given her to me.  What a joy.  What a gift.

Tomorrow, God is calling me once again to trust Him with Hannah.  He has been calling me her whole life to trust Him with her!  The pregnancy with her was just the beginning.  After 6-8 months of colick, endless sleepless nights, developmental delays, and a lymphoma scare…I am learning to give her to Him each and every step of the way.  This silly cyst that cause the lymphoma scare is going to be surgically removed tomorrow.  We are happy to have it out at last!  We will be glad to have that final biopsy to rule out anything scary.  I know as we make the trip (early) tomorrow morning, Hannah is in our blessed Controller’s hands.  We are praying specifically for her and are wondering what the Lord’s plan is in all of this.  I know He will reveal to us what He wants us to know and it will be enough.  And I know she is in the best hands…the hands of an intimately loving Creator.  Another opportunity to trust.  I will trust Him moment-by-moment as those tempting thoughts come to make me anxious.  They will not linger.  We can already see Him providing every step of the way, leading up to the surgery.  God is a POWERFUL and MIGHTY God, so worthy of ALL our trust.  My prayer is for an even greater trust of Him in every area of my life.  Amen.