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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I heard you had a million dollars...

This month is the anniversary of my father’s death. He was killed at his workplace. A shelving unit fell on him and it broke his neck.   I visited his grave a few weeks ago and I so wished I could tell him about things that I have learned over these past 14 years since he has been gone.  I have walked through some major battles with eating, approval addiction, hatred and bitterness among some other not so kind struggles. I have also learned that God heals broken hearts, restores friendships and allows the brokenness of our lives to become beautiful stories to tell.  I believe my dad would tear up and tell me he was proud.  Last night while standing in line for Rachel’s dance recital I met a lady who had worked with my dad for over 25 years.  She told me stories about how funny he was, and that he was always pulling practical jokes.  She said he loved us and that she saw where he was killed.  She also told me she heard my family received a million dollars I laughed and said I WISH!  I thought about that this morning as I was driving back from Rachel’s school.  The struggles that have surfaced in my life over this past 14 years and the restoration of my heart couldn’t have been fixed with any amount of money. I could have bought things, paid off debt, and allowed my kids to live a cushy lifestyle but really for what?  (Now don’t get me wrong that would have been amazing). But I believe that God protects the hearts of his people. He knew that in 2012 He would call my husband out of student ministry and place him in the midst of our city to lead Revolution church.  We are among poverty, prostitution, and complacency and I couldn’t imagine our lives any other way.   God’s sovereignty trumps any desire for money or comfort in my life. I want to be used and I desperately want girls of all ages to walk in the confidence of how incredibly beautiful they truly are.  This week I saw two verses that have rocked my world and they are below… 

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation[a] has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted[b] beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,[c] he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it

Hebrews 12:2  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

I pulled a few things from both of these.. Last night that sweet lady went on and on about how my eyes looked like my dads.  I thought about the first part of the Hebrews verse “Fixing our eyes on Jesus”. I have spent my whole life desperate for my father’s eyes to be on me and for his love and there were times I would give my heart to boy after boy as a way to fulfill the emptiness inside.  Oh how I wish I would have fixed my eyes on Jesus.  God’s love is so deep it filters out all the junk we horde up in our hearts.  Our preferences for churches, our desires that we hide, our secrets, our complacency our negative attitudes all come from our eyes being fixed on something other than Jesus.  The other part of those verses I pulled the word endure. He provides me way out from all those things I just listed so that I can endure it.  That means it will be hard, I will struggle but I CAN OVERCOME IT.  I said I use to struggle with approval addiction. I use to struggle with body image and I use to hate but now because of extreme endurance and God’s outpouring of love and grace I can walk in freedom.  He endured the cross.  That was hard, painful and I am sure broke his heart in a thousand pieces.  The physical pain alone could break you. He endured and for what?  THE JOY SET BEFORE HIM.  We complain, give up, give in to sin, let go, curse God and walk away when things get so hard that we think we can’t stand any longer.  God wants you to experience Him even in the midst of torrential down pours in your life.   Today look at all the areas of your life that seem to be beating you down or where you feel defeated and know that JOY comes in the morning. Push through with endurance and know that God is sovereign and He hears your hearts cry. Rest in His presence and unfailing love and ENDURE!


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

wait did you say....

This week I went back to work and I had mixed emotions. I wanted things to be back to a normal routine but I also enjoyed working in my PJ’s alone while I listened to music throughout the day.  There were days I would stare out the window and just watch God’s creation from the blue skies, to swaying trees to a LOUD chirping bird family right outside the window.  I also had days where I would sit with the blinds closed and in the dark with nothing but a lamp beside me as I became so engulfed in my work. Oddly enough after about 2 weeks in I don’t think I ever turned my television on (weird I know!)   On Monday I went to the doctor for my release to come back to work (and to drive) and she said it was healing for sure but I still needed to wear my boot to work, or if I planned on being on it for an extended amount of time.  I also needed to schedule my appointments for physical therapy…..  Wait did you say physical therapy??  I am healing I thought and I can drive again so why would I need another co-pay service to help me further along.  I looked up the definition of physical therapy and it says;

Physical therapy:  the treatment of disease, injury, or disability by physical and mechanical means (as MASSAGE, regulated exercise, water, light, heat, and electricity)

Basically all I pulled from the definition is that I need a massage (kidding).  I noticed the word treatment and it is defined-b: the techniques or actions customarily applied in a specified situation. For people who want a different color hairstyle they have to undergo a treatment to get that desired color. Or if you are a star and desire “Star” treatment  the people surrounding you would apply certain techniques that make that person feel special and above everyone else.  The word treatment goes from hair color to as far as a star in Hollywood.  I asked God what in the world He was trying to teach me and He said this. 

Galatians 5:22/23 But the fruit of the spirit is LOVE, JOY, PEACE,PATIENCE,KINDNESS,GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS, SELF CONTROL against such things there is no law.

I have grown up memorizing these fruits but never before has God directly taken each word and pressed them against my heart.  I could feel Him asking me this morning how is your Joy? How is your Kindness?   We are to walk in the spirit and yet we often go to church and continue in our deliberate sin. We are to walk in the spirit and yet we never open up His word. We are to walk in the spirit and yet as soon as an uncontrollable circumstance arises we see that our trust is way off kilter.  God wants to pour His love into ours so that from that intimacy His LOVE blooms in us.  When I start these physical therapy sessions I know that he/she will hurt me because they will be stretching my ankle beyond my capacity but in the process it will be strengthening the very ligaments and muscles that are torn.  Our hearts are no different.  No matter how we desire to see God bring about change in our lives we have to walk closely to Him even when His goodness shines on the dark and ugly places of our hearts.  In the long run our hearts will be strengthened and self-control will bloom.   I believe we have to step back and look  where our hearts are rooted.  Is it rooted in finances? Ministry? Future? Broken dreams? Desire  or passion? Ugly past? Consuming fear? Crippling insecurities? Job? Weight?  How can the fruits of the spirit bloom within our hearts and flow into our daily lives if we are allowing such things within our hearts to shape, mold and lead us?   God chose to die for you and for me and He poured out a limitless amount of mercy, grace and love all over those areas in our lives  so we could have beautiful fruit bloom once again.  Redemption is a beautiful thing its time we embraced it.