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Friday, April 26, 2013

unload your bags...

Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Disney is one vacation I am good at planning. I know where to sit for the parades, when and where to find the princesses and other characters and the best restaurants. I research it read about and when it comes time to go I have an agenda and I am prepared. I remember being at Disney this past September and each morning I would pack down my girls backpacks with snacks, water, autograph books, candy and sunglasses. As they day grew long their bags would be filled with extra stuff they had purchased along the way. They would start asking us to hold their bags because they were too heavy. When we are following God with all we have its easy to read our bibles, share our faith and love on people. But when life knocks the breath out of us and circumstances are out of our control something happens to us and we begin to slow down to the point of hardly even moving. The bible says love the Lord your God with ALL your SOUL, HEART, MIND, and STRENGTH. The enemy has a strategy to attack all of those areas but even just one will WEIGH you down and keep you from running with endurance. I want to encourage you to allow God to fully strip you today of your pain, your past, your fear and rest in this simple truth that God loves you and He wants you to see the cross and all your potential that followed it. Sin is a word that plants shame and ugliness into our hearts and God searches the deepest places of our hearts sees the ugly and still pursues us. He created you with a PURPOSE in mind. I love the part of the verse that says “who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross” He knew the beatings, and the torture was before Him but said FOR THE JOY endured it! I hope today you find rest and know that you are covered with an everlasting love!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Eye twitches and wrinkles

I was riding down the road this morning and when I came to a stop light I looked over and saw a man with so many wrinkles you could hardly see his eyes. His face was wrapped with a long cord that gave him oxygen and his face told so many stories and literally that 2 minutes at that stop light felt like forever. I couldn't stop staring and wondering about his story. Did he know Jesus? Did he have a family? What made him laugh? As the light turned green my radio was on and the lyrics said "then I saw your face and I was changed forever" just like this mans face literally mesmerized me I thought about seeing my Creator and understanding for the first time His holiness. Everyday I am face to face with people and in that moment I can let them get a glimpse of who God is through my kindness and gratitude or I can miss it. When we encounter Jesus we have to be changed. I am praying for that sweet man. I may never see him again and I want the rest of His life to be filled with rest because he looked so tired. This morning alone I have already come in contact with at least 10-15 people from Starbucks to target to the people here at the YMCA and I wonder if they saw something in me that drew them in. Did my presence make a difference today? God fill me up so much that the radiance of Your love literally is shone in my every move! My Jesus Calling said this today " If you gaze too long at your circumstances, you will become dizzy and confused.Look to Me, refreshing yourself in My Presence, and your steps will be steady and sure." I have researched eye twitching this morning and some of the common reasons were stress, not enough rest and caffeine. I am unemployed, called to rest in this season and I love coffee. I am doomed! haha I have literally had this eye twitch for a good month and I feel like I am winking at everyone hahaha. It's funny how something as small as an eye twitch can remind me that my eyes are to be focused on my creator. So today a man's wrinkly face, my eye twitch, my time in the word and my Jesus Calling has been woven together for me to SEE God in everything I do today and so others can get a clear glimpse of Him in me.

When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord. (Exodus 34:29 NIV)

Monday, April 22, 2013

38 years old with arthritis?? Yep

My name is Holly. I love my family.My man is hot. I love the color green. I want to change the world. I love to get prizes. I am overweight. I have crooked teeth. I am almost 38 and this morning I was diagnosed with arthritis in my back. The doctor said "wow your so young for this to be setting in now." I literally almost laughed out loud. When I left there I was reminded that my plans may have nothing to do with Gods purpose in life. There is something about releasing control to the point of hoping and begging God to intervene. In Proverbs 19 it says this

"Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails."
—Proverbs 19:21

God has a purpose for every day of my life. He isn't shocked by the doctors news in fact He knew my genetics was wired with arthritis since my moms mom and her mom had it along with relatives on my dads side. It's usually in times like these when sin creeps up and we suddenly find ourselves in panic mode. We push ourselves to the point of exhaustion and then beg God for renewal when all along He said rest. We allow ourselves to be tangled up in toxic relationships and then beg God to restore and heal our hearts. We eat until we feel gross and then beg God for will power to lose weight. We shift our view and want God to become the "just fix this" God. How incredibly shallow. The depth of Gods love for each one of us is unfathomable yet so easy to embrace. When we encounter this love we can't be the same. We understand that He is our sustainer and His love completes us and makes us whole. Am I in love with my creator? Yes! Do I still plan and hope my dreams come true? Absolutely!! I now just see that the love of my Creator and the purpose He is carrying out through me is greater than what my mind can understand. I am in pain today with arthritis in my back. I don't like it. It's not suppose to be apart of the plan but God's purpose AlWAYS prevails and I am choosing to rest in this truth today!!!

And now, God, do it again— bring rains to our drought-stricken lives So those who planted their crops in despair will shout hurrahs at the harvest, So those who went off with heavy hearts will come home laughing, with armloads of blessing. (Psalm 126:4-6 MSG)

We will shout Hurrahs when the harvest arrives.... And IT IS coming and this makes so excited and thankful for the season I am in.

Monday, April 8, 2013

The beauty of Gods whispers...

Today was a super productive Monday. I woke up early and cooked a big breakfast, ironed my mans clothes and spent my day cleaning and doing laundry. I also took an hour to sit out in the beautiful sunshine. Last week I stepped away from social media to soak up and reflect on the beauty of my Creator. I wanted to learn something new about His character and also have some great revelation revealed about life. Neither of those happened BUT I did however realize that in the midst of my quiet weekend I was drawn to Him with a newness. Every time I picked up my phone I was reminded that I needed to replace Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and twitter with some scripture. Each time I would put down my phone and find myself thanking Him for the smallest of blessings. Since I am no longer working I am seeing that His sovereignty doesn't mean I am comfortable it just means my obedience is what helps me see His direction and provision. He truly is all I need and from His heart every essential resource flows from it. To be content means: to appease the desires of. What I desire often doesn't reflect my desperation for my Creator. I am working on keeping my mouth shut and really finding happiness in what I do have and even in what I don't have. I read this verse a few weeks back but tonight I pulled something different. (Philippians 4:10-14 MSG).

"I'm glad in God, far happier than you would ever guess—happy that you're again showing such strong concern for me. Not that you ever quit praying and thinking about me. You just had no chance to show it. Actually, I don't have a sense of needing anything personally. I've learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I'm just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I've found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. I don't mean that your help didn't mean a lot to me—it did. It was a beautiful thing that you came alongside me in my troubles."

My favorite part is this "I've learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances". Contentment is a new season for me. Tonight my heart is full and as I sit in silence I haven't heard any loud revelations or some great command but I believe that until I truly embrace the beauty of Gods whispers I can't fully embrace and ready myself for some great roar. I can't let the guilt of not working dictate my days. I have to let my passions surface and allow my Creator to let them shine. I enjoyed this day of simply being a homemaker in fact I believe I will repeat today's agenda again tomorrow - I am enough....

Friday, April 5, 2013

Sticks and stones....

Sticks and stones will break your bones but words will never hurt you. This is a lie that has left scars and also plagued my mind pretty much my whole life. I am bruised by words that were spoken over me about me and to me over the last 37 years of my life. As a child,as a teenager and into adulthood and even in ministry. Some words I definitely earned with my behavior and choices I made. Others were lies and yet I still felt the sting. I often wonder if I would have walked in a different direction if I would have been treated with words that built me up and propped me up to follow Jesus with all I had. From very early on I was so boy crazy that I would have a boyfriend in every area of my life. Clogging,school, and church. It was a safe place for me and my go to drug at such a young age. I earned the badge boy crazy and I walked in that. I remember wanting to play with the girls on the playground but couldn't because something inside me drove me to get the boys attention. From middle school into high school I began to wear all sorts of names and looking back now I was so lost in the approval of others and the words that rolled off the tongues of so many people's lips were both hurtful and created scars. Sadly I believe early on in ministry was the worst of them all and it has taken years to get over that. You see sticks and stones do hurt but words leave wounds and a scarring that hurts much deeper. I remember someone calling me the "heavy set" one after I had my first daughter and I began to hate myself and before long I found myself in bondage to body image and years followed with deep rooted pain. I truly believe our words have the ability to change this world, ignite dreams and also kill someones dreams and spirit. I know people who never think before they speak and they usually spend hours and weeks of regret wishing they could take it all back. I know others who are coming out of verbally abusive relationships and their hearts are wounded to what seems beyond repair. I know teenagers who call each other skanks, whores, ugly, stupid and their lifestyles seem to follow those words
and suddenly they are doing bad in school, being promiscuous and desiring anyone to notice them. Today I was reminded of the words that Jesus spoke on the cross after a brutal beating. He said "Father forgive them for they know not what they do"Wait what?( I think we often know exactly what we are saying.) In that moment Jesus could have put everyone in their place, talked about "their mama's" , spread vicious rumors, called a committee to gossip, shared the sins of the world with the world and yet He chose to speak words that gave life. Today I ran into someone who asked me if remembered them and honestly I had no idea who they were. He asked about Richard and because God had pressed down on me the weight of my words I was careful and told them all about our church and all that God had done in my life along with Richards. I wanted him to walk away with a glimpse of Jesus. Today remember your words weigh a lot and you have the power to speak life into someone. I am encouraged in this moment because I have an incredible group of people not only cheering me on but walking beside me and praying me through this season of my life. Who surrounds you? You are not the labels you wear you are simply a masterpiece that God intends to use for a greater purpose so walk in that!!!

Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. (Psalms 139:4 ESV)