Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Expectations . . . .

I have been blogging in my mind for over a month.  I say that I have been asking God, over and over about my expectations....are they HIS?  .....  Are they being met? 


I headed north to be with my folks for a week and I had expectations. 
There was a party to plan...expectations.
There is usually drama...expectations.  
And, I just wanted to please God -- expectations.

 It is summer time and I have expectations.
I expected to read a few more books.
I expected to have these 13+ pounds gone by now... before it is time to try on school pants.
I expected to have house plans in order for the fall.
I expected some other situations to turn around or change.  
School is around the corner and a whole new set of expectations bombard my head.  

Today, as I was doing some errands, I made a phone call and then in middle of the phone call, I had the expectation of something  that could  happen .....and I had a moment of fear. 

Prayerfully, and humbly, I asked that sweet friend to pray for me and she did and NOTHING happened.  No surprises...no unexpected person showed up that may of caused some anxious feelings... and I am reminded of my expectations and this list that bombards my brain. 

 As for my sweet friend, she  reminded me -- "I am HIS and HE did not give me a spirit of fear ...." 

As I have said, I have been thinking of this blog for over a month.  Expecting to write it. 


I have written a blog about expectations before.  However, I DID NOT go back to it on purpose today.  

As a kid, I had GREAT expectations.  Prince Charming was to swoop me off my feet.  My family would become that model family...eventually  - like the Osmond's  and that I would live happily ever after. 


And, very quietly .....earlier today,  the LORD reminded me of this dangerous game of 'lists' of expecations.

The therapist had to remind me and I had to retrain my brain...if I have NO expectations for some human behaviors...than....when something does not appear or transpire...there is NO unmet expectations and no hurts....

For example,  if I am expecting flowers for an anniversary and I don't get them....then my feelings are hurt and I will probably react.  But, if I have NO expectations for flowers..when they come -- I can be plesently surprised.   

This really is NOT knew info.  I am willing to bet that as you are reading this, you have been told the same thing.  Or perhaps you have been told to LOWER your expectations.  When we look to humans ( a spouse, family member, child)  to meet needs...to fulfill a destiny....or   to provide something for us, we will almost always be disappointed.   Humans fail us.  People will fail us. 

We really can ONLY look to our Heavenly Father...for HE lives up to our expectations. 

As I was finally blogging this evening, I reminded myself that -- I can expect...

I can expect Jesus to always interceed for me on my behalf. 
I can expect God to always love me unconditionally. 
I can expect the Lord to hear my prayers. 
I can expect the Lord to move mountains. 
I can expect miracles from the Lord. 
I can expect HIS will to be done within my life.
I can expect that I will find ALL answers to whatever I need to know with the pages of HIS Word. 

I can expect that God will do what GOD wants to do.
I can expect that I am whom God says I am ...through Him. 
I can expect much from my best friend...the Lord and the Holy Spirit. 
I can expect the Holy Spirit to constantly speak to me, comfort me, and teach me. 
I can expect an eternal home...

And then it happened.....   be eternally minded -- this place is temporary and I believe the Holy Spirit finally gave me the peace about this blog.

Place any and all expectation -- in the LIGHT of HIS presence...  Measure it all against heaven and eternity.     Place every expectation within HIS hands.    And with that...the one situation in which I was seeking God to give me peace about ....peace came. 

Peace came.    The "situation"...may not of turned out as I had hoped....but God is making something beautiful out of it.  And I trust my LORD to WOW me...to work it out and that... I will look back at this time and situation and know that I know -- and see ...HOW HE moved. 

So, after I have said ALL of that, and I pray I have not rambled...

There is one reading this  - tonight with expectations that have been shattered...broken...and she does not even expect a healing....but HOLD ON....  God will answer.

HE is close to the broken hearted and HE will and can heal -- seek HIM. 
EXPECT HIM to answer -- EXPECT HIM to help...


Sunday, July 12, 2015

PURIM -- the Whole Megillah ( say MEE GEEH la)

The Book of Ruth  is a study within the bible, of a girl named Ester.  It is one of my favorite stories and I continue to learn and learn from it.

I am getting ready to HOST a bible study  by Beth Moore on Ester and one of the exercises to do as you read the book of Ruth is an acrostic graphic organizer  in the form of the word  PURIM.

PURIM is a  celebration  -  the deliverance of the Jews from their enemies and each year the whole Megillah would be retold and read, so that all would know of HOW God provided a way for HIS people to continue.

I am by NO means making light of this tradition, but as I was looking at the acrostic - I wanted to share.

P - Parties
U - Unknowns
R - Resources
I - Ironies
M - Moments

As I want to tell and retell -- to whomever will read and listen...that God certainly delivered me and HE 'delivered' a perfect week in Wisconsin as a gift to my folks and I give ALL credit for being the thoughts in my head and the strength to accomplish a mighty task.  

In the previous 3-4 months, I have been in prayer and doing my best to plan a party.  How many would come?  Could the 9 of us ...all get along?  Would the 9 of us all work together?  And.... the weather -- Lord, we need a beautiful day!!   Music?   Food?  And the expectations of 'others' and their 50th celebrations .....it all meant a bit of stress.  However, as I said, I prayed it through and asked MANY around me to join me in prayer and I thank them!  And you may of been one of them, I pray you celebrate this whole Megillah with me! 
This is my entire immediate family.  ( only 3 missing)  

The Party was to celebrate the 50th Wedding Anniversary of my parents.  50 years.  50 years of marriage.  50 years of survival.  50 years of tears, frustrations, and many many blessings.  I can only speak from my perspective -- but, indeed, I feel blessed to be a part of this family and I am trusting my Lord that it will continue in heaven one day! 

P - parties ....  Well, the obvious anniversary party was a party celebrated  at the end of the 10 days I spent  in  Wisconsin.  But we had dance parties with nieces,  laughing parties as my sisters and I tried to make sense of a task that we had undertaken, and parties within the van as we'd make a quick run to McDonald's to get a Diet Coke at the end of a long day at task.

 My parents are both 70 years old, until my dad turns 71 next week.  Mom was just 70 last week.  I went home a week early with my sister Jeanette so that we could help them organize their house, clean, and kind of check up on them.  After many years of living at home -- I was known as the 'pitcher'.  Nothing gets saved.  I would sweep the floor as a young girl and literally scream, "mom, you better come as ALL of this is going in the garbage".  And she would quickly run over and pull out some socks, a piece of a toy, pennies, and anything of any value -- as I was going to throw it all away.  My sisters and I wanted to help them organize 20+ years of stuff that had accumulated in their basement and  try and begin a list for the 'boys' to begin.  As the 5 of them ( my brothers, yes I have 5)  all have talents in carpentry and my parent's  older home...needs some improvements.  But anyway - we accomplished a big task.  And we partied each night as we went home to my sister's house and marveled at what we would do the next day.
organized and done!

U - Unknowns.    As I said, and with all respect to my folks ....they are now approaching their golden years and they are set in their ways and we did not want to hurt or tell them what to do.  However, we all knew that my mom was a bit overwhelmed with the clutter within the house and we wanted to make their lives easier.  I can't tell you how much THIS was an UNKNOWN.  I pray now my mom won't be too upset with me, as I share the photo of me on the floor as I had emptied out several cupboards of Tupperware and Rubber Maid storage stuff...that needed to be put to rest.  There are only 2 of them now, she is not saving/storing  food for a family of 9 and can get by with only a small stash of Tupperware and storage stuff.    However, we did tackle her kitchen when she was gone to work.  We invaded.   It was like a HOME Improvement TV show.  She left.  We started.  We tried our best to finish by the time she was home.  However, we needed her help to  place dishes in  a more convenient spot and we did.  We did allow most of that Tupperware  -- to go to heaven.   We recycled what we could, but much was mismatched and without covers and/or  damaged ....after MANY years of use -- well, did you know Tupperware burns?   It does!    And so, as I said -- Unknowns.  Mom was pleased.  Dad was more pleased.  However after we headed back to my sister's each night...mom would text one of us and ask..."where is this or that?".......Between the three of us, we could usually tell her where "its" new place was. 
Many times, we would say, "now Mom...you don't need that!".  But we said it with a SMILE!   God used the 3 of us - in such a mighty way -- but yes...I made her cry the most -- and I apologized! 

 I had other unknowns.  We were planning for food and asked people to RSVP.  However, when I was preparing to fly home on the 20th of June...I had only 32 RSVP's...by mid week, 132 and by  the day before the event , we were  at 192.  Do people not RSVP two weeks prior?    ( No, I myself can't even manage that!)    Many forgot..Many  did not read about the RSVP and I  have to remind myself, the majority of the people invited were...um.... celebrating their own 50th or 40th or so.  However, I will re-look at an invite in the future from now on!! 

 Unknowns.  One brother  got a call that 40 were coming from  so and so and "we MUST not run out of food" and thus began the debates of "well, if we run out of food we run out"....and "no, you can't run out - that will be terrible".    Then the debates of cans of soda or liters?  My oh My....  I played my "oldest" card several times and I prayed even more - LORD  - YOU can't let me down..... and you know what?  HE did not.  It was perfect.  It really was.  We had enough food.   God knew.  I give HIM all the credit.  

  I want to share personally, the biggest unknown was not knowing  how  spending a week with my parents in kind of a stress full atmosphere would transpire and you know what ??  It was a beautiful offering and gift to our folks.  I had not done that -- since I was 18 years old.  I moved home one summer while in college and that lasted 2 weeks.  Since then ...my 29+ years have been in a home where I called the shots  -- or tired to.  You know the saying, "it is hard to go home".   ( It is not hard, but you realize....that is no longer your home.)   And  not to  discredit the baby  sister...she eventually showed up.  ( She has a young family, traveled from Nebraska, and is pregnant- so we cut her some slack.  But she actually stayed behind a few days and helped Mom organize several more cupboards and her closet!!)  And the 4 of us -- the 4 of us with help from several brothers -- got that house organized and safe for them.  It was a God thing how HE used EACH of us in different ways. 
Organized and easy accessed! 

R - Resources  --
The dumpster and Menards.  Thank goodness, the Lord has allowed me to move 4x in the past 4 years...and so, I have an idea on  the 'fastest' way  to organize/pack  with some fast helps and hints.  I think I amazed both my sisters ....that kind of makes me feel good.  LOL.    And thank goodness I have brothers with connections --that we were able to secure a dumpster pretty quickly and we filled it -- within a few days.
 My brothers were great resources -- several of them helped in a big way -- I have one that organized the costs,   a bright spot in the planning,  and he was the first one at the picnic area to set up on our party day.  One that saved the day and brought us pizza at 10 pm one night when we worked through supper.  One that entertained me with constant text messages - reminding me of our childhood and make me laugh daily.   Another that makes us laugh ....and another that -- entertained my children when they arrived  as we were not quite  finished with our task.   And another that came to help and spent a good 3 hours on a raining day carrying out old furniture to the burn pile and such!   Oh and the one that lifted my spirits!   Each day we would say, "Ok, we are done!"   But both my parents got into the spirit of pitching stuff that was NO longer needed and ....well, we would tackle another room or storage shed, and  we crawled into bed ( or onto my sister's couch)  each night  tired and exhausted; but as we would return to my folks'  house, each day we knew...we were giving them a gift of love that could not be priced out.

 As children...they both were our resources.  We relied on them.  They provided and taught us many lessons and we now...can repay them....and we wanted too.   My brothers have been doing this for years - fixing this and helping with that and I have one brother that gets the text messages in the middle of the night to "go and feed the dog"; but Jeanette and I have lived in Florida for over 20 years and we have not been there to help in the little things.  So, this week, was our way of pitching in.  We only wish we could of done more -- for that I mean,  I think I may ask God if I can start playing the LOTTERY as I need some BIG cash fast.  LOL.  ( Just major projects ...cost, but...I know, one project at a time!)   We are all very thankful and grateful for our parents -- though not perfect ( no parents are ) ...they are the ones GOD chose for us and as you can see in the photos ...they did not do too bad - in spite of the hardships. 
This is the 'baby'....she helped too! 
  I - Ironies.
I think the biggest irony is that circle of life 360 or turnaround...or that notion that the  ones who taught you to speak and taught you  morals and values by raising you -- (to now be an adult) are now the ones receiving the teaching.  And the ... laughing...having fun....and being adults.  It was irony to me. And listening to my siblings as adults discipline their kids and just interact with my folks as adults...irony! 

As a little one, I would watch TV and WANT those types of families ...but ours was not that way.

 In Church, I would watch a few large  families enter church and   one  family  of 10  in particular come into church and all sit and look perfect ...and we would barely make it on time and we could never all make it - Dad would leave one,  a late one,  home alone....and mom was usually the one left behind with that child.
 And yet, I would not trade any of those memories, hurts, or fun times...as it made us all - what we are today.  And I am claiming us all -- HIS.
In the planning, the organizing/work  week,  and  in the fun, there were tears, opinions expressed...some opinions  thrown under the bus and some mild cussing....but, in the end - we all came together  and pulled off a very sweet anniversary celebration that pleased my folks.  And, it was to me -- a tremendous blessing and a wonderful time spent.  Wonderful!  God wins!

 M - Moments-  And the moments were every day.  The following are a few shots from our Friday pot luck at my folks' place.  HP and TP had joined us and we initiated a new one to the Peirick bunch....Jake did pretty well!   ( Jake belongs to TP )  And in this photo - Taylor is holding the 'youngest' grand kid...at the present  moment - as there are 2 more on the way!  This is Ellie Jo!  

Another moment - when we sang  HAPPY Birthday to both my Mom and Dad and to hear the grand kids chanting - "we want Grandpa , We want Grandpa". ( Where was he?  He was making sure his kittens were taken care of....)

Watching the younger grands enjoy the organized play room now in the basement of my parents house ..... brings back memories of always going to my Grandma's and playing in the famous PLAY room.... traditions.  Moments - precious to me! 

Moments -- tense moments - yes.... when the furniture was cleaned and rearranged ...  um...nope -- you DO not do that.  You clean but don't rearrange.   There is a reason why that piece of furniture was there!   

Moments -- tense moments when one sister wanted to upgrade the living room without curtains and my Dad was SET on having curtains.  There was a phrase that each of us would use often .."pick your battles".  Dad won that battle!  I marvel at how, the Holy Spirit orchestrated every one  of those  tense moments into HIS glory and peace.  That alone is a reason to celebrate.  It is one thing to speak  about Jesus, but we must act like HIM too. 
 Moments -- I got away for a day and a half to visit friends in Wautoma.  My son did not want to join us, so he stayed behind and ended up being the errand boy at the house for my sister's who were working with out me.  He is "gold" now in his Grandparents' eyes and he did not mind helping...but I did get a plea..a text right before lunch on his work day.."mumzie, get me OUT of here..."  LOL   He is 20... cleaning and taking trips to the burn pile is not his way of spending a day -- but I thanked him for his sweet help -- don't worry, he did not have it too bad!  

Moments -- of prayer, when something was thrown away and it was not junk.... my heavenly Father smoothed it over! I made a list and owe my folks picture wire...a battery charger... and well, a few more things! 

Moments -- of prayer, when an act or something said would trigger a memory that brought tears ..... we missed Blake this week -- Both JJ and I would comment on how he would be this week and what he would be doing.  As I said, tears --  I know he is perfected with our Lord in heaven, but we saw several  of his mannerisms in another and it warmed out hearts -- Oliver, you are a gem! 
In reading this over and trying to edit perfectly...I think the best resource was -- ourselves -- the 9 of us and our siblings - really pulled it all together and I may of been shouting ( loudly speaking-texting)   the orders -- but,  my resource was the Holy Spirit,  leading and making EVERY decision of mine -- from the cost to share, to the table coverings...to the menu --  thank you Lord for ALL of YOUR help.   And I do thank all of my family -- as I asked for their help, their opinions and I counted on their ability to complete a task  -- there is no slackers in  this family -- I needed EACH of them! It was very evident if you were able to see the Fireman's Picnic  area from 10-2pm before the party and from 6-7:30 after the party!   We rock! 

 Moments - in spite of many memories that are not so sweet ...
 - in spite of  memories that brought tears ....
- there are SO many more moments of love...trust... smiles...and happiness-
- there are very healthy grand kids and  a great -grandchild
- there are healthy marriages and spouses that would give their lives to help another --
- and there are 9 children whom are VERY grateful for these two --
 - they taught us HOW to work
- they taught us HOW to be generous
- they taught us HOW to socialize the RIGHT way -- by talking and listening
-they ALWAYS helped their neighbors and DID  their best --
They indeed -- are parents we are proud of.  And as they grow older, we are claiming that the Lord will bring beauty to every moment from here on out! 
   This photo warms my heart.  All of us were together in 2009 -- that was the last time we had a family photo -- and so, we were trying to be silly and if you look close, both my folks are smiling.

PURIM is a celebration of deliverance.  We celebrated -- a deliverance ...we MADE  it 50 years and I pray that their next 50 is even better -- as I said, I am claiming a BIG polka party in the sky - heaven with Grandpa playing the concertina!   
 Moments -- when a cousin came up to me and congratulated me on  the engagement of my daughter..."really, that is news to me!".... We laughed, but when two others came and told me the same revelation ...I was ready to ask  my Dad if he had the Gift of Prophesy?

I teased Jake and Taylor,  and Taylor stated that my dad had begun to do that at the dairy breakfast earlier that day....and bravely -- Jake liked the idea! 

We  LOVE him like he is an honorary Peirick...he ( Jake ) passed the test of  tests.  My  brother DJ walked up to him and stated, "my name is Uncle DJ and I can kick your A__".  And well, they shook hands and hugged.  My brothers were pleased! You have to understand that TP was the first grand-daughter to appear on the scene and many of my siblings were only teens...so she is sort of like an honorary sibling to a few of them!  

 See the Smile???  See the smiles?   I won't share with you WHAT we are joking about, but I am quite sure that  if anyone in heaven was watching - they were laughing too!

Actually I will share.  When my little sister was 13 we had a family photo shoot.  Hunter was only 2 and Taylor was 6....it was VERY hard to get a family photo done and Dad was not even in it --  he probably had to milk cows.  So, l,  at the end of the shoot,  suggested  one  photo with the 9 of us.   Only us siblings and I insisted on a SILLY photo.!!  ( Yep, even before silly photos were popular.....I am a genius...LOL! - only kidding!)   But, I never got the photo.  A few years later on a visit to Wisconsin, I found it in a frame on my mom's counter..... needless to say we have laughed about that, but I have that photo and in that photo, as I said, my little sister was 13.  While doing that photo,  as we got silly, my brother ( DJ) made a motion to highlight a certain body part - of which, a 13 year old....was embarrassed and did not appreciate the motion.  But we all laughed.

 In 2009, we set up the same photo opportunity- and now she was 24 and a bit more developed and of course -- we had a great laugh. She would not allow DJ to make any innuendo.   Can you tell?   So, instead, he grabbed her throat!  But what you can't see is the 'baby' making a motion towards my middle sister and now she was NOT pleased!    I will share the photo below.  So this year... with our spouses...we tried to be silly and tasteful and of course -- now Trevor had to be the very silly one. What the camera caught was several different comments.    My hand is on my sister's belly and we laughed!   Moments! 

Here is the photo from 2009 -- !
Lord, bless EACH and every one of my brothers and their wives...and bless each and every one of my sisters and their husbands -- may they always SEEK YOU, In Jesus name!
 Moments ....we did not need table decorations, in our organizing and such, MOM had 3 tubs of pictures in frames of 25 plus years of grand kids...these made the PERFECT table decorations!

Moments.... representing their lives... farming and ...family! 
Moments -- painting.  My mom paints as well as does many other crafts and talents and you can see a framed canvas of her work. 

Moments -- if you look closely, you can see an old black and white photo of my parent's original farm house and farm.  Irony?  My dad now milks cows every morning on that farm - the new owners are very dear to him and he now milks in a milking parlor and the farm house they built is still there.   So, he gets fresh milk each day for his egg nog -- life is good!  

 Moments -- fun and tears...when the cousins all get together there is nothing but fun, but usually a few incidents between the girls and the boys ....and Auntie Chell is known to be a meanie...and or the one who bribes with gum!   But don't tickle one of those boys or you will get a surprise!  

This smile from Ella -- is simply priceless, as this photo reminds me of WHAT is important -- our LOVE for HIM...and our eternal home.  Every time I saw her - it was with the biggest smile, so full of life!   I am very thankful for my middle brother and his family - as his family and his extended family is a true picture of God's mercy and grace and provision -- in sickness and in health.  

We can organize the outside and make it all perfect...but if the inside is not .... self-less and seeking our Savior - it is all for nothing.  I love this pure smile -- she is indeed HIS favorite!  As all of HIS children are HIS favorite.  I know that HE wants this for every person here on this earth! 

 And this photo of my son -- getting his pork  sandwich on-- is indeed pure joy too.  I asked all of the older boys within each family to help serve food and such...as they had a job to do!  It was such a blessing to watch them all work and goof around.     I don't think I ever ate that day -- but, as I greeted and welcomed and thanked the people that came to share this day with my folks....I was so proud of my own kids... and my siblings and their wives -- I truly wish now we had it video taped...as I want to just relive this priceless day and just thank God over and over for EACH and every little answer to prayer and situation.... God won! 

Devon is DJ's oldest.  Dayton is Chris' oldest and you can't see but Tanner and Bryce were there on line too -- the older boys of both Trevor and Nathan.  Aaron's oldest is protecting us as a Marine on the West Coast! 

I love you Mom and Dad - thank you for instilling in me a love for God.  And thank you for allowing us to 'upset' the house for a week -- and I pray that as you begin to just enjoy the newly created spaces...that there will be a peace that just overflows each of you.  I pray strength for each of you -- and an understanding that comes only from Jesus -- and I pray that as you seek Him..( Dad, like Jeanette says - read that Jesus Calling every day - only one page...5 minutes ) and Mom....as you open His Word -- that you each will just enjoy these later years and marvel at this wonderful anniversary gift.  You are RIGHT mom...the MOMENT when two had a civil conversation -- was indeed God orchestrated and...a beginning - we agree -- NOW that in itself is a miracle.  I love  you MOM - sorry for hurting your feelings more than once through out that week -- but...I know that I know, YOU are indeed dearly loved -- by all of us, especially me.  I pray you enjoyed this post.  And I pray you will seek the book of Ruth and read the whole Megillah of her life too -- Michelle
aka - Chelly
aka  - chell
aka -   your first
aka - your favorite -- Just kidding - -YOU KNOW I have to say that - Jeanette is reading this too!  LOL

Just a view of the spread.........

Sisters in love...Tiffany and Marcie and my sister - Diandra
 "No, the MONSTER cookies are MINE!"

A BIG thank you to some of my Aunts who brought extra desserts -- the peanut butter bars were Bryce's favorite as well as mine and Aunt Lori's ( or Grandma's ) Monster Cookies were literally coveted. Rita, the cookies were also coveted by the grands...thank you!    We did not put them out with the other desserts...we ate them behind the counter.  I did get ONE!  

"THIS is good watermelon!"  I wish I had the time and space to share the many SILLY photos between both Taylor and Jordan and several others behind the counter.  I loved looked at them, as I was busy on the outside of the hall area -- seeing friends , family, and neighbors that I have not seen in ages and God blessed me with a sweet classmate that joined me - Leah - your visit was indeed the cherry on the top of the Sunday!!   Thank you for coming all that way to see me!  ---and the rest of my family!! 
Taylor and Jordan, a few of the older grand kids I made work ...with name tag distribution ...and my brother DJ. 

  If you read this all -- I commend you -- Thank you for taking the time to share in my PURIM.
I pray this blessed you.  If you are in a situation where you don't believe God is fighting for you -- HE is - SEEK HIM.   If you have a family that is torn, shattered, and scattered -- begin to pray and believe that GOD will and can restore it...speak it out, believe it and begin a prayer conversation with Your Lord -- HE will answer.   I truly am a walking testimony of HIS provision...HIS love...and HIS grace.  Life in this world is hard...but it is wonderful with HIM.   People may think I am crazy and perhaps my zealous attitude to give God the credit does seem to make a few uncomfortable at times, but I know that I know - I want to hear .."well, done my good and faithful servant".  And, I know what GOD can do.  I won't deny HIS power and I know that I am one of the biggest sinners who constantly has to seek HIS mercy and grace -- and I know how important it is to be filled with HIM.    I am so very blessed.  This event that I prayed for and stressed about for a bit -- was indeed a highlight or mile marker within my life -- HIS glory - HE gets the ultimate credit and I am so humbled. 

I did have a day and a half of motorcycle riding as well -- pure peace and fun.  Thank you DJ for planning a perfect ride in  a part of Wisconsin I had not been too -- my home state is indeed very pretty....and it has perfect temperatures ..in the summer!    
I plan to make sure, it does not take 50 years to get many of us together again -- In Jesus name, amen.

-Michelle - humbled and so grateful to HIM. 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Memories triggered -- healing tears --

Today's verse of the day with my You Version bible app was this: 

1 Thess 5: 16-18 MGS
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances: for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.  

I am going to share what transpired today.  Please, if you love me, read, and please don't use this post as a place of gossip or tattling - but  I pray that my obedience to being 'real' ....will encourage and help another.

 I am going to share a rather personal thing again ....  it is still 'new' to my brain today as it is almost Sunday ...as I type this blog post.  11:54 pm to be exact -- But -- again, I want to make sure, that this sharing is used for HIS purposes - not the enemies.

  My hubs and I headed to the gym and began to do our thing. After doing 4/5 of my workout, I was  getting water and catching my breath at the counter and checked my phone for time and messages.
 I checked my Time Hop application and enjoyed seeing a few photos and status reports from the past 2-4 years.  And then, as I scrolled down ....I came across this photo.

Immediately  -- I began to tear up and cry.

This was taken 6 years ago, as we took Taylor to UF.  I was just walking around the stadium waiting for someone and I snapped a photo of myself, as I was speaking to my counselor and she loves Gators too - and I probably changed my profile photo.

But anyway --

Why the tears?  

The date was 6 years ago - today.  The two day preview we took Taylor to.
It was a weird and awkward trip.  You see, it was a very tense season in our marriage.   The few days prior to our doing this, Brendan and I had a very rough weekend and he told me he wanted to leave.   It had been a rough year...2009... and there had been words expressed and tears and a lot of yelling.   Lots.  I felt I was crazy - it had to be me...I was the problem and I had started seeing a counselor on a regular basis after my nephew had gone to heaven.  And I was convinced it was because he had fallen out of love with Jesus - I could tell. He was not himself.  He angered easily and he was not nice.  I kept telling myself - midlife crisis but then as the days passed, I just began to tell myself -- my marriage was breaking down.

Who do I tell?  What do I share?   We were not communicating at all.  

I was not aware of 'stuff'.   I mean, I knew we were in trouble and he had clearly stated he was not happy, but I was not fully aware of the extent to which - my marriage was in failure mode.... but I was putting a smile on my face.

 So, in an instant, it seemed all of these  feelings flooded my head.  I put my sunglasses on and walked to our car.  I sat in the car and allowed the tears to wash down my face for a good 4-5 minutes and then asked God..."when my husband comes to the car - what do I say?".

And I asked God -- "WHY was I crying so - why did the waterworks just fall?" 

In my physical body, I could feel pain.  I could.  It seemed like a BIG jumbotron TV screen in my head began to play scenes...but it was not a visual I was seeing...I was feeling  pain.  Weird?  


I began to debate and discuss with God and the HS -- "you need to stop this!"  "why now?"  
"What is the trigger?"...." Do I share this with my husband?".   "Will he notice the tears?".  "What do I say?" 

Many times, we try and protect ourselves from triggered memories and hurts, but as I cried and tried to stop - I called out to my Father in heaven.

I gave thanks for ALL that has transpired in 6 years.   ( in between the debating)
I began to try and STOP crying ...but, I couldn't.  

Brendan eventually entered the car, there were tears rolling down my cheeks but whether he noticed or not -- I don't know.  They stopped once we put seat belts on and headed home.   

As I prayed later and asked the HS --'what was that?'....I believe I felt in my spirit that God just allowed a reminder.  I cried because the girl in that photo was seeking God -- seeking help...but there was SO much more pain and suffering that would not come into revelation until .... 10 months later.  

And with that - the triggered pain  dried up.   And there was a peace and a healing.  Sort of like.... well...

I was reminded of a saying a missionary once said, "when the promise is clear -- the pain is easy"

And I even laughed a bit with the HS and said,  "he should see me cry."  But, I knew that I knew, if I forced the tears -- it would be a matter of pride /and or trying to make him feel guilty and get some sympathy.  God had allowed the tears, God comforted, and now ...I was fine. 

I pray that makes sense. 

Again, I was reminded of "when the promise is clear -- the pain is easy".

Over my Wisconsin visit, I met up with a couple ( extended family ) who is facing a new crisis.  The dad in the family has been diagnosed with ALS. 

Recently, I received some news concerning a dear one and it was not..what I expected; however, I believe that something beautiful will come from the news. 

Another one I dearly love, is dealing with a circumstance that has  ....floored them and now, they are getting some therapy. 

The details are not necessary -- but in each case, today as I thought about and prayed for them...I am reminded - "when the promise is clear, the pain is easy".

In each situation, these people love the Lord -- and our ultimate promise - is eternal LIFE with HIM.

When we know that is what to come --  the pain is easy.

Easy is relative -- 'easy' comes in stages... What is easy for me now -- is NOT what was easy 6 years ago.  Maybe THAT is why I had to cry today --

 .....realizing the many around me that are in such pain -- waiting on a wayward child....waiting on a prodigal son....waiting on a person to choose Jesus rather than a life of self and sin....

And this evening, I got to witness a BEAUTIFUL wedding -- a reminder of God's plan for us, as we learn to grow in one accord and become that beautiful bride of Christ....

And this evening, God reminded me that HE is at work. 

To the one I had the honor of speaking with today - about her pain -- 
I pray this evening ...that soon, very soon ....you will see  the fruit of your faithfulness -- and I know that I know -- HE  won't let you down.  


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

when we try and make sense of things --

One of the things I have learned is THAT I can't make sense of things.

Well let me explain....I can make sense that 2 + 2 = 4.
I can tell you that if I turn the oven on - it gets hot.
I understand and realize that it takes 9 months or longer to produce a baby....and that only women can do that!
I realize that most problems are caused by our own actions but some problems or situations are not our fault or caused by our actions.

THAT is when I continually go to God and ask WHY.?

However, in my 49+ years now - I realize that HE does not have to explain HIMSELF - HE is God.

When we try to figure it out - we are putting ourselves RIGHT there as an equal with HIM.

I don't ever want to do that.
I don't want to even think that I know it all.
I don't.

Earlier this week, I prayed with a woman about a situation and we both wanted to try and figure out the 'why'...but I had to remind myself and her -- sometimes we are never given the 'why'...we have been allowed into this situation because HE wants to teach us something, or draw us close, or discipline us -- in any of the circumstances --   God has to be the one in control. 

Five years ago, I asked many - to stand in the gap with me and pray for a man that had 'soul cancer'.  I misinterpreted scripture and went before a body of believers and 'called him out'.  I asked strangers that worshiped with me, in a polite  and tearful way, to join  with me and pray for my husband.  I really thought I had it figured out.  I really believed that I would go before many,  seek their prayers,  and  by the end of the week - my family would be restored.
 I just really thought it was THAT simple.

Boy - was I WRONG.
 Now, God knew my heart and HE brought some very good out of that situation but that 'doing' also severed any bit of real hope  in him -

I mean, it totally severed 'what was left' of the relationship I had with that person. 
 He was hurt.   I was to pray for him...I was to seek others to join me in prayer - but I wasn't to make a public spectacle of it - there were many people that were unaware of his actions and it brought shame and hurt.  Since then, I have sought out forgiveness -- I was just wrong.   I was  an immature Christian.  A hurting woman.  But I had NO clue of that at the time.......but I believe God used my choice of action as a teaching point for me and for others as well.  ( HE later taught and showed me where I 'went' wrong - it was a lesson I will never forget!)

The bible says, "he who is without sin -cast the first stone".  There was one thing I really did not know or understand....secret sin.  I had secret sin too - I shouldn't of cast a stone - as I was just as guilty of sin.

Sin is sin.
Some sin is public for others to see.
Most sin is private.

But sin is sin.  God is the judge - not me...not others...not others!
I had hatred in my heart.
I had committed spiritual adultery. But no one really 'saw' that....

It is hard to make sense of things.

Taylor created this.....
I am thankful that God planted a seed of hope within me  so I was able to wait. God continually spoke to me in LOUD impressions and gave me direct words through HIS word and HIS servants.

  I wish I could say I waited patiently...from the outside people said I was patient but I really wasn't.

 But God had to do so much FIXING in me first and had to change quite a bit of me and how I thought about stuff - cause I was still trying to make sense.

  However, I also had to learn to trust God.  I had to let God be my ONE true love.

Once you really get a grip on WHAT that means.....with GOD being ALL.....the rest does not seem to be THAT important.  And the NEED to have it figured out ---diminished.

So again, I blog this evening and there is a deep burden on my heart and it has been a focus of prayer today and I am reminded that I don't have to try and make sense of it all.

I am reminded that God wins.
I am reminded that a window of heaven has opened -- now -- today --- there is a movement within our American churches today -- we want MORE of HIM.
I believe the women of God are rising up.....I have seen this. 
I believe the women of God are understanding that we must TRUST HIM more!

And because of that -- the ENEMY will be striking more.

 He will continue to seek, kill, and destroy as we as women of God are hated by him.  He is a liar.  And with our world so quick to be mindful of 'what is right'......we, as women of God will NEED to be strong with our ARMOR ON!

 WE must be ready!

 Our families.....ARE being attacked.


I bet it is around you too - I bet that if you are reading this and you  are aware of the spiritual rheum - there is someone that you could STAND in the gap for right now....let them know you will pray...please.  THAT meant SO much to me in  my time of crisis of faith....OH GOD...THAT is how HE sustained me.

And I will leave you with this scripture that blessed me so  and credit my daughter for the graphic!

Lamentations  3. 29  from the Message bible...

"When life is heavy and hard to take,  go off by yourself.  Enter the silence.  Bow in prayer.  Don't ask questions. Wait for hope to appear."

Or -

Get away by yourself...seek HIM.  Allow HIM to speak to you - be quiet.  BOW in prayer - do it.  Don't ask God why...don't ask questions.....listen, read HIS word...and wait for hope to appear and it will.  

I know it will.  
I have lived long enough to know -- that while we are in the 'middle of something'...it seems hard to see BEYOND the hurt and the circumstances......but HOLD on -- allow the friend to pray for you...

.....allow another to stand in the gap...
Go before HIM...seek HIM....
HOld your tongue - but be viligent in prayer and watch....God will give you little tidbits of blessings or signs where you will know .....HE is at work - so wait for the FULL answer or the HOPE to appear!  

God wins.  
I have seen it within our lives.  Don't give up!  

Psalm 27.13 

 I would of despaired unless I had believed that I'd see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!   

A bold prayer for a marriage in crisis and for me --

Lord God....I am asking you today to speak to each of the wives and husbands that are on my mind....that may read this blog prayer, and for myself...

And I pray for the marriage that will come --

Lord God, I pray that we will ALL be still to hear your voice and allow YOU to fill our hearts with life and peace.

Lord, I pray that you would give each and every person involved the Spirit of Wisdom and revelation so that each one knows You better.  

Lord God, may you be first...not our marriage...not our problems...not our heartache...but YOU -

Lord God, I pray that YOU are at the center - period. 

Lord God, may we worship you and not our spouses or problems...

Lord God, I know you desire to walk with me -- but too often we are too busy to listen and walk slowly with you - God, I pray for each one that reads this today -- that they will make a point of walking slower and listening more intently....

Lord God, I pray that each person within their  marriage will submit wholeheartedly to YOU the Lord - the living God.

Lord God - that each of these people....individually will put YOU first and make YOU their first love....and submit to You and your lead and that YOU may be their highest priority.

Lord, for the ones who are believing the lies ...that this marriage is over or that it can't be saved.....

Lord God, as these couples work on issues....speak to each other.....and move forward...and as a few of them learn that YOU can redeem them....I pray peace and joy over their circumstance...may they find you in the quietness of their thoughts -- and may they STAY there.

Lord God, I pray they will put You first - amen.  


PS Lord, for me....there is something on the horizon that only YOU can make sense of.   You can redeem it. 


Lord, there is a lost one - living on the streets that needs to be SO miserable that he wants to finally come fully to you and not neglect YOUR call on his life .  


Lord, there is another still wondering and hurting and she knows You Lord, but she has hardened her heart -- 

Lord for the church body -- that we carefully LOOK at ourselves in the mirror and do some serious inventory ...."do people want what I have?".  Lord, are we being kind and being Jesus to others?  

Lord, for the church body  -- moving forward.  

Lord, for the events in October...for the bible study -- for the traveling to the West and for just tomorrow -- that YOU would be the focus.  

In Jesus name, amen. 

This morning I was reminded that - GOD wins and HE has a great plan -- HE designed marriage and HE designed it well......HE fully wants everyone to enjoy the fruits and benefits of a healthy marriage - God my desire is that this  prayer will encourage just ONE couple -- to persist!  


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Prayers for a marriage -- reboot.

God did the miracle - God healed us... God alone, but it was through HIS hands and HIS feet -- HIS people extending  their time, their prayers, their therapy,  their love, and their encouragement.  I don't think a book could contain ALL that worked together for HIS good when it came to the two of us....

Brendan reminded me of that Sunday.  God did the miracle, but HE needed 'us'.  He asks 'us' to be JEsus to others...to be HIS hands and HIS feet.

Because we are in a place where we want to do whatever God asks of us -- each of us will get requests for prayer from time to time.  Ok...practically weekly. 

And I am not saying this to brag or bring the enemy upon us....but, we are in a 'healthy' spot and plan to STAY there until HE calls us home.   Healthy....to have proper health you must get rest, eat properly, drink fluids and have fun and exercise too!   We are seeking proper nutrition - being in HIS word. And we get rest --physical-- with each other and we REST in HIM as we sit under our Pastors and learn from their teaching.  We also get plenty of fluids -- Jesus water.  The living water -- some days he needs more and other days I do...but we are drawing from the SAME well.  It may of taken us some 28+ years to get here - but hey....better late than never.  And exercise....daily -- daily prayer...daily time in HIM...and then FUN...we got that covered.  It is 'work' but fun work.

God has led several couples to our path within the past years.  Right now there are several  couples we are earnestly praying for and believing that miracles can happen. And there are others that we ache for -- and we have released them  to HIM because, only they,  and their maker can 'move the mountain' at this point. 

I have been rather quiet for the past month- not that God hasn't been speaking, but HE has not had me at the keyboard.

 And maybe...perhaps, HE just has had me in prayer and seeking Him in another way.

 Personally, there is a lot going on right now within many facets of our lives, and making time for God first, then my husband, and then the family....has not left much other room for blogging -- truth be told. 

Summer is a GREAT time for teachers to wind down and reboot.  I got to thinking today about rebooting a marriage.  We sort of did that.  We were watching the Housewives of the OC ( don't judge us ) together the other night ... a show we watch, discuss and then find ourselves going, "why did we waste that hour?".  However, the storyline at the moment touched home.  God, in HIS infinite wisdom, spoke clearly to us both and healthy TV should promote discussion.  One can agree to disagree.  Watching another couple 'walk through a hard part -- without God -- to us...seems IMPOSSIBLE!!  Impossible!!   And healthy discussion was produced and even in that discussion, more healing happens. 

Today I was reminded of our miracle.  A beautiful sister in Christ reached out to me.  Her name is not needed - but, I know that I know -- this post will touch others as well.   She needs a reboot. 

I believe it is so important to realize and remember that a marriage is  made up of two.  Two that become one.  Like in the TV show -- if God is not at its center -- it is hard to see it work.  I know there are many couples that figure it out -- but once kids come, stresses of work, and life.... what do you fall back upon??  Many times, even within our own marriage -- we were to the point where we did not 'need God'.  We took care of everything ourselves and lived in that glass house.  Until the house was shattered. 

Both of us so believe in counsel and therapy.  Godly counsel, prayer warriors and then a good Christian Marriage Therapist.  We also remind each person...seek God.  When there are two people earnestly seeking HIM...seeking HIM.... marriages can be fought for and even the rockiest of marriages -- can and will not only survive but thrive.  However, as our therapist would remind us...it did not 'fall apart' overnight ...so it won't get back together 'overnight' .....it is a process and it takes HIS time.

Key though -- is PRAYER .....  knee prayers as our therapist will state.....pray BIG and scary prayers like Lisa Bevere says... and pray like someone is HOLDING a gun to your head ---which is what my sweet friend Joyce says!!   Pray.

However, God wins and YOUR marriage can survive this -- and it can be different and better than it was ......  believe.

Anyway, I found this prayer from my blog a few years ago where I blogged for marriages for 40 days.   God has not asked me to do that again....but if you wish, you can go to the achieves of this blog and seek them -- but, I believe God is going to have me post some prayers for marriage here and there over the next few weeks....  as HE is the writer of this blog.

So, if this blog has touched your heart - pray for your marriage this eve and personalize this prayer and pray it as if YOU wrote it and believe that HE can .....save your marriage!     Amen.  

Lord, I come to you as a humble servant and I seek YOUR guidance and provision to accomplish this task.  Lord, today I will pray about our hearts.  Lord, I pray that  my heart does not become lonely.  I pray my husband's heart does not become lonely -- Lord, that we both SEEK you with every ounce of our being and that we SEEK the other as our 2nd love.  Lord, I pray that YOU are our first love.  Lord,  I ask that You reveal our hearts to us - show us what can trigger loneliness...show us what can trigger the enemy to come at us.  God, you placed the stars -- You know exactly how many hairs are  on his head - on my head...Lord, you know exactly HOW this will play out.  


 -- God I pray right now that the one reading this, will believe that the lonely heart can be healed...that the lonely heart can feel LOVE like never before...that the lonely heart won't be tempted to find solace in another. 

God I pray that the lonely heart will open up to YOU this eve, that he or she will pour our their loneliness to YOU and that they will allow you to fill it and then tomorrow, they will do the same and let it fill them tomorrow even more...and then Lord, I pray they check their hearts - are you first?  

Lord, I pray that YOU are first and their spouse is 2nd in the devotion...God I believe in marriage, I believe you heal and restore and I pray for those specific couples RIGHT now...that they would have an unction when they awake tomorrow to hold on ...just one more day...to seek professional help....or to just wait on filing for that divorce paper-- OH God - for those couples we are thinking of and for the one that may be reading this -- God I pray that person or that wife or that husband will dream this eve and meet you -- and believe when they awake that YOU can turn this around - In Jesus name, amen ! 

1 Peter 4.8
Above all, love each other deeply, because Love covers over a multitude of sins.

Psalm 119: 111-112
Your laws are my treasure: they are my heart's delight.  I am determined to keep your degrees to the very end.

Today can be the beginning of a new direction..a new life for your marriage -- God CAN heal and restore what the locusts have taken -- even after MANY years!