At the root of it all – fear feeding faith…

tree rootsOur family is currently walking through a season of change… again.

As I recall, not too long ago, I wrote about how I’m just not a big fan.

I’ve found myself stumbling and bumbling through this process, unable to even express through words the jumbled mess of emotions entangled with random thoughts.  And just when I thought this process might just sit a spell longer… the fog is beginning to lift.

He provided a special lunch with a very special friend.  And she asked just one question, and then listened.  And then she gently asked another, and the dam of self-defense that I had built quite well, slowly began to leak, and out of nowhere, split wide open.  And because of this release (as ugly as it was), I can now begin to see.  Have my circumstances changed?  No.  But in my vulnerability, through the graciousness of my true friend, God tells me again that he’s molding and shaping my heart.  As I call it, in looking at my “ugly”, in bringing my fear and accusations to light, I can be in a place where I want to be – close to the heart of my Father.

And then I read a devotion in my email that expresses my inexpressible thoughts, giving me statements to hold onto as truth.  Lysa TerKeurst writes:

 And at the end of the day, I guess that’s why I don’t like to be surprised. I can’t stand to get caught off guard. It makes me feel exposed and afraid.

But slowly, I’m learning it’s not all bad to be a little exposed and afraid.

That vulnerable place reminds us we have needs beyond what we manage. It reminds us we need God. Desperately. Completely.

And into that gap between what we can manage on our own and what we can’t, that’s right where faith steps in and has the opportunity to find deep roots. Roots that dig down and break up previously unearthed places within us.

My faith doesn’t just need to grow big, it needs to grow deep. Yes, I need deep faith roots.

Deep roots anchor us when surprises blow like strong unruly winds.

Deep roots hold us steady during the next storm that didn’t show up on the radar.

Deep roots find nourishment when the surface gets awfully dry.

Deep roots allow for growth not previously possible.

Deep roots yield rich fruit.

So, I’m learning to not be so afraid of what might be around the next corner. Even if it does catch me off guard. I close my eyes and whisper… “deeper still.”

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit,” (Jeremiah 17: 7-8 ESV).

Lord, I long for deep roots.  I trust you.  I know growth, transformational growth, doesn’t always feel pleasant at the time, but I do know that it yields a great harvest.  Help me to be patient.  Help me to remember your truths and choose those to stay grounded upon.  I find myself revisiting a lesson time and time again.  I hear you.  I know you have growth in store for me.  Thank you in advance for your patience with my stubbornness.  Thank you for giving me just what I need, when I need it, most especially when I don’t even know I need it.  You teach me about love more and more every day, and I am eternally grateful.  Looking forward to what has yet to come!

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Unexpected blessings.

balance winter running 460

So I awoke this morning knowing that a long run was ahead of me.  Sometimes this gets my juices flowing, other times it brings a feeling of dread.  Today was the latter.  After returning home late from an-all day trip last evening, I wasn’t sure how my body would respond today.  Yet, I knew my mind was set, and this run was on the “agenda”.

I decided to run on our local trail today, which means I needed to drive to said location.  As I drove, I glanced at the many runners that were already out and about.  It WAS a great morning for a run, sunshine out, much of the snow melted, no wind, simply a fresh-air smell in the air.  So what was with my Debbie-downer attitude?  Oh well, time to get going!  I decided to listen to a few Podcasts by some great preachers.  And the rest of the run is now history…

I was mentally so challenged by the words the Lord spoke to me through these messages, that I was utterly distracted.  My body had many moans and groans, but my spirit was just soaking and soaring!  With one step at a time, the miles ticked away, and I found myself starting to smile at the many cyclists, walkers, and runners that passed my view.  And a thought was renewed once again…

Just step into the “next” Heather, and simply watch where it takes you.

For some reason, I decided to run the entire trail today – 6 miles down, 6 miles back.  Last weekend I ran 10 of these 12, and my body was tempting me to cut those last two miles off again.  But I’m stubborn.  Ironically, it was just after mile 10 when my “conversations” with the Lord turned real personal.  I had just listened to a story of an ordinary lady who dared to be reckless in following God’s directive around the world.  The ways in which the Lord used her humble, willing spirit was nothing short of a miracle.  It was then that I heard, “It’s time”.  My soul knew exactly what that meant.  I repeated what I heard just for confirmation and then asked one more clarifying question, “When?”

Honduras.  October trip.

And I responded, “Okay.”

And I’m so excited.

In fact, just a half mile short of the finish, as I my mind wandered away from the happenings around me, I sudden saw a hand waving at me.  This person had been walking towards me for awhile, I just didn’t “see” him.  It was our friend Jeff, going for a walk with his dog.  This wasn’t just an ordinary friend, this was a guy who, along with his amazing wife, have adopted 3 children.  From Central and South America.  And I smiled and waved back.  Little did he know.  Little did I know.

And I reached the “finish line”, which isn’t really the “finish line”, but a beginning line, and I knew that the moment I stopped I would experience intense pain.  And I did.  And I’ll do it again.  Not out of stupidity, but of experience.  Because this I now know –

Obedience brings rewards.  Many times in ways that blow my mind.

I don’t want to miss.  God continues to transform lives today through His wild love.

2 Chronicles 16:9 – For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.

I want to extend my commitment to the Lord, in spite of circumstances, in spite of comfort, in spite of equipping, in spite of a language barrier.  I want to dare to believe that God has a plan for my good (and the good of others) that goes beyond my understanding.  I want to be where God is moving.  I want to be blown away.  I want to be broken, in fact, dare I say I want to be wrecked… for Him.
hands-copyLord here I am, send me.

Matthew 28:19 – Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Thank you Jesus for your timing.  I promised I would wait for your prompting, even if it didn’t happen for years.  I trust you.  I love you.  Thank you in advance for how you will break this vessel to be restored in you.  Use me Lord.  However you see fit.

In the still, and the not so still…

fruit-still-life-andrew-soundarajan

I’ve actually missed writing.  Crazy.  My high school English teacher would fall off her chair if she heard this statement.  Yes, it’s true.  I’m passing through a season that has been and IS super sweet, and it’s simply been a time to let all those sweet flavors marinate.  I’m slowly practicing what I’ve come to learn…

All things comes to pass, in HIS perfect timing.

And it’s His perfect timing in the big things, but also the small things.  For example, I’m now picking up here after dropping my youngest off at school and filling my tank for a drive to Kalahari today.  Not for swimming, but to watch my daughter compete in her sport of gymnastics.  His timing in all the details, from the opportunity to clean off my dirty windshield, to reading a chapter from my favorite book of James with my son this morning, to kissing my husband goodbye, and telling my youngest I’ll send her a text message on the iPad to keep her updated on Emma’s events,  He’s present in all of life’s activities and joys… IF we stop to acknowledge it.

Oh, and Emma just asked if I could pray with her. Um, yeah!  Pause.

THAT was special.  She just told me, “Mom, I know how you feel.”  I had watery eyes.  She’s a child who has watery eyes often.  Powerful.

While praying, I mentioned a “thank you” in regards to a story.  She asked me for more details.  Aaron received an email today.  He sent it to me to read.  “Wow”, was my only response.  A sweet lady named Jennifer was courageous enough to reach out and share her gratitude for a heart that simply typed words onto a screen.  These words traveled many miles, and unknowingly sank deep into her soul, lifting and carrying her spirit through a time of deep reflection and healing.  For over a year to be exact.  She read words through the avenue of blog posts and tweets, and in a time of desperation, Jesus provided his life-giving water to quench a thirst.  And she wrote to say thank you.  And you realize His world-wide reach.  And you understand what a privilege it is to step in this world-wide adventure with Him.  And the giver becomes the receiver.

And I passed on this story to my child, and God confirms His love for us, and placed that rock of remembrance for when we veer and doubt again.  And He reminds us the He GIVES us one another.  He provides words that are so powerful they actually change our lives – transformational growth.

And I recall a phone conversation I had with my Mom just yesterday.  She was conveying a thought of reflection.  She mentioned that in the season of being a mom with 5 young children, she was often amiss to offer words of thankfulness to my Dad.  Words that spoke of gratitude for the ways in which he provided for our family and came alongside as a participating help mate. Now that she is in a season of recovery, and dependence on others for daily tasks, she finds lots of opportunities to say thank you.  And I have different thoughts as she’s speaking.  I don’t often tell her this, but she is my hero.  God has blessed her with a gift of encouragement.  It’s truly special.  She speaks words of life into others multiple times on a daily basis.  Her positive outlook never ceases to fail, even on the gloomiest of days.  To hear her speak of this rocked my world.  SHE wants to give even more.  She is a role model to so many, and she doesn’t even know it.

And I want to pause in this season where I feel my heart has been renewed after a past season of being pressed, and I must remember to say to thank you.  This current season is a answer to many past prayers.  And while my calendar may be filled with activities, my heart is still.  Am I immune to bumps?  Oh no.  In fact, words of regret filled my mind this morning, threatening to take me down.  I decided to say no.  Counting my blessings now.  I rather spend my time choosing praise over shame.

May your day be filled with moments of recognition today and gratitude.  They’re available to us for the taking.  Every day!  I pray you enjoy a wonderful weekend!

2 Corinthians 4:8-9

 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

When the faith-rubber meets the road…

faith 2

It’s been a few months since my husband and I have answered the Lord’s lead in entering a season of new employment.  It’s been a fantastic journey with lots of learning along the way.  We’ve witnessed the Lord provide in ways too numerous to count.

And yet…

The reality of the situation smacked me upside the face.  Hard.  Just yesterday.  Because I sat down to write the bills.

And this is where the faith-rubber meets the road.

This is where logic screams at me, “HOW?”

And this is where reality says, “I don’t know.”

And then I remember.

I recall the times when things looked bleak, and somehow we made it.  I recall the times when we were in plenty, and perhaps we could have given more.  I recall the moments when we put our house up for sale, and moments when we took the sign down.  I recall the moment I felt nudged to stay home and the months to follow in which business boomed.

And we’ve heard countless stories of other men leaving the corporate world and entering into ministry.  Stories of needs met and hearts overflowing with a new satisfaction in their daily work.  And I take a breath.  And I stand on his word.  I choose to both stand still and move forward in faith.

when-you-have-come-to-the-edge-of-all-light-that-you-know

And I don’t know for certain what the future holds, but I do know who holds my future.  And in choosing faith, I’m saying no to worry, anxiety, doubt, and self-control.  Suddenly, the “how” doesn’t need to be answered.  The pressure of control is released, and peace reigns.  Does this release me from responsibility?  Of course not, but it frees me from pressures of guessing unknown outcomes.  I can live in the current moment, not fogged by nagging unknown answers.

And in living this way, I’m making a choice.

I choose God’s truth.

I choose to believe in His faithfulness.

I choose to trust in what I cannot see, cannot know, and cannot predict.

I choose to love those around me with whatever He chooses to bless me with.

I choose to honor, and support, and hug my husband.

We choose to live as Jesus did – a servant and a child.

And this I know…. It has made all the difference in the world.

Faith-in-God-includes-faith-in-his-timing

So those bills.  We will continue to pay them.  Our tithes?  First, and foremost.  Not because we’re super-Christians but because we want to put actions to our faith.

James writes that faith without actions is dead.  Not sure about you, but what’s the use of something dead?  I want my faith to be alive and active.  Words are easy, actions give evidence of your heart.

In what areas of your life is God asking you to put your faith into action?  What is holding you back?  What fear could be at the root?  How much more does He offer us while we stand with closed fists?

I’m learning to open up.  Learning being the key word.  I’m choosing to act on the concept that God can do much more with “my money” than I could ever do in my limited capacity.

While fasting, I’m watching Him sustain… and it’s so good.

Taking the next step…

mother-daughter

I’ve learned a thing or two about “steps” the past few months…

1.  They only happen one at a time.

2.  In order to move forward, a step needs to take place.

3.  Some steps happen without thought, others happen only after tons of thought.

4.  Some are taken with joy, others are taken with agony.

5.  In order to “see” where steps will lead, sometimes you move forward blindly.

In my current season of life, I’m gaining a broader perspective of what it truly means to be in step with the Spirit (Galatians 5:25).  My natural inclination bends to doing the same, familiar routine over and over, simply because it’s predictable.  And in this state of familiarity, nothing has to be placed on the table called “risk”.

Not so for me over these past years of preparation while living life at home with little ones.  And as these little ones grew, and spend many hours at school, my recent season has experienced anything but predictability, and I learned one amazing crazy lesson – this can actually be fun!  For this is where I learned to develop my relationship with my Heavenly Father.  This is the soil where seeds grew in the fertility of time spent reading the Word and having conversations with the Holy Spirit.  This is where I trod with baby steps in tuning into the gentle guidance of the plan the Lord had for me in the moment to moment days.  This fertile soil fed not only my mind and my body, it fed my soul.  And I was content beyond my wildest dreams.

And then the Spirit led me into a “static” season.  A season of the routine of a 40-hour employed week in addition to my former roles and tasks.  And my intellect was awakened in a new way.  Though dusty at first, I was intrigued by this new sense of opening a valve of brain flow that had not been tapped into for awhile.  Ideas flowed and terminology was re-introduced, and a new sense of mental challenge was well on it’s way.  And most days were great.  And some days were not.  Some days brought about some fruits of labor, other days I simply felt like a failure.  It was in those moments of “hard” when I sensed a testing of my roots.  Did I build roots in soil of nourishing, deeply-toiled God- truth, or when my world grew a little stormy, had I grown comfortable in allowing seed to grow in shallow soil, seeming fine above ground, but limp and wimpy below ground level?

In those moments, when my flesh tempted me to undermine God’s true view of my value and worth, I hung on.  I clung to Him in ways that a child clings to the leg of his or her Father in times of desperate need of security.  In my weakness, His strength grew in ways that were far above me.  These lessons could only have been learned in this space of “hard”, for here is where we break the ceiling of “I can’t” and we realize “I can”, through Him.

I had a chance to go for a run this morning in this beautiful unseasonably warm weather today.  As I ran, I saw many people outside.  Some were taking down Christmas lights, still others were walking with a friend (be it two-legged or four-legged).  The smell of melted snow filled my nostrils, and the sight of moisture drifting off of formerly-frozen bodies of water could be seen, smelled, and felt.  It was a visual example of the start of a new “season” (however short it may last) both in my heart and in my soul.  It’s that beautiful time when a season of” seeking” results in a little more understanding, indicating the start of yet another spring (even if still a bit of time away).

bridgeAfter much thought and prayer, I will be spending time a bit more differently starting on Monday.  I’m taking steps towards a more flexible schedule that allows time to focus on my priority of family, knowing and trusting that this is the next step God is directing me to take.  My soul is in a state of indescribable peace.  I know that I know that it’s the right step.  I’m looking forward in anticipation of this next leg of the “race”.  I feel a bit lighter, a bit wiser, and a bit more focused on the availability of a schedule dedicated to faith, family, and fellowship.

I’m so thankful for so many things.  I can glance back and see the value of all the Lord provided.  In this rear-view mirror glance, I gain more and more confidence as I watch my roots grow deeper and deeper in the soil of belief and truth. I stand firm in my belief of His continued provision, His continued faithfulness, and His continued love for me.  I will trip.  I will fall.  I will fail.  But nothing will ever remove my name from the palm of His hand and the reach of His love.  It only motivates me to press harder into His embrace, for there, my soul finds rest.

I don’t claim to have all the answers.  Not even close.  In fact, I wasn’t even going to write tonight, I thought about curling up on the couch next to my hubbie and putting this off, maybe indefinitely.  Instead, I found myself pushing some buttons and seeing this post through.  I write simply to point to Him.  I write because I want to remember this leg of the journey.  I want to remember my battles to learn to fight another day.  I write out of obedience.  I write to tell someone that you are not alone.

Let me pray for you…

Dear friend, The Lord your Creator knows your name.  In fact He knew you before the beginning of time.  Nothing comes as a surprise for Him, He graciously allows all the events of our life to bring us to a place to be embraced by His love, over and over again.  There is no sin so heinous that will ever cause Him to fall out of love with us.  Nothing can nor will ever separate us from His love.  He knows right where you are and knows the events yet to come.  In fact, while we sit in our sin today, He sent His son to pay off our debt.  We are free.  We are forgiven.  We are given the choice to choose Him.  Every day.  Know that you are never, ever, ever alone.  If you entertain thoughts that you are, Satan is smiling.  Check the source of your thoughts.  It’s either from One or the other.  Choose what you entertain wisely.  The outcomes will make all the difference in the world.  He loves you today.  Don’t ever think otherwise.  May you know that today in a way that rocks  your World.  Thanks for reading today.  Feel free to reach out in prayer.  I would cherish the opportunity to lift you up.  Enjoy a wonderful Sunday.

Amen.

The hardest question a Mom has to answer…

Mother-Juggling-Work-Child

To be employed (full-time or part-time), or not to be employed, that is the question…

This is somewhat of a hot-button question, I know.

It hits hard-core.

It’s a difficult question either way.

Both come with their sets of pros and cons.

Sometimes there is a choice, sometimes there is not.

Sometimes there are seasons for one or the other, and then it changes.

Either way, it’s a uniquely answered question.

Mostly because each family is unique.

And therein lies the beauty… if we can see it that way.

Our first child was born in October.  I was teaching at the time, and planned to return in January.  We were blessed with a friend who lived very near our home who was staying home with a daughter just three months older than our son.  It worked for us.  At the time, I was ready to return to work.  I enjoyed my job.  I enjoyed the joys of motherhood.  I seemed to be able to focus on my job while at school.  And then focus my energies on my growing boy when I returned home.

Our second child was born in the month of May.  This schedule was a bit easier.  I didn’t need to return to work until September.  But nothing was easy about it.  I found myself crying.  A lot.  A sense of depression and despair overtook me by sheer surprise as the days winded down.  I returned to work, now having an infant and a toddler, and everything was out of whack.  Sure, I made it through the day, and then I would cry on the way home.  I didn’t get it, but I knew something was about to change.  I decided to step away from the career I loved… for a time.  Perhaps I would return that following January.

But I didn’t, and the journey that transpired until now has been life transforming.

This school year finds me back in the throws of teaching.  And admittedly, my heart has been attempting to find a place of contentment.  I’m there in body and mind, not so much in spirit.  Some days are good.  Some moments are great.  But mostly, I’ve learned to appreciate something very basic, maybe even something I’ve taken for granted – the blessing, privilege, honor, and greatest joy in my role as a wife and a Mom.  Over this Christmas break, I’ve watched my feelings, thoughts, and actions confirm to me over and over where my heart lies.

So what does this mean?  Sometimes questions take a bit longer to answer.  I’ve been pressing in closer and closer to the heart of my heavenly Father in pouring out my soul and listening to his heartbeat.  And He tells me this…

 3Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

And I think… the desires of my heart have changed over the years.  His desires for me have become my desires.  If He’s given me this soul stirring, He’s directing that.  And I can trust it.  I can trust Him.

And He has given me a husband who MORE than supports my desires for our family.  He’s encouraged me, spoken words of appreciation, and has given me space and patience in my silent times of searching.

Now it’s a matter of taking that step.  The next step.  Whatever that next step is.  And trusting.  And moving forward with tremendous joy and gratitude.  I have been given more than I will ever deserve.  God loves me madly and has provided a way for me to have an eternity with him.  How can I not give Him all the glory?  I want to enjoy what I do.  I want to give 110%.  I want to love well.  The rest is just details…

We, as a society, need great teachers.  We need great doctors.  We need great crossing-guards.  We need great trash collectors.  We each are uniquely crafted for the love of something.  I found myself smirking at thoughts of my “loves” lately, and years ago I would never have guessed what my answers would be.  I want to do my “loves” and want to do them with excellency.  Because if I’m following my desires, I have a soul satisfaction of completing His plan.  Nothing beats that.

What “loves” has He given to you?  Are you able to do them with excellency?  If not, why not?

How can I pray for you?

The reason for the season…

HOPE_SHINES_THROUGH_WEB2Today marked the completion of 80 hours of class work over the course of 4 full weekends. Two classes, two fantastic teachers, 2 completed papers, sixty more fellow educators I now know well, one husband who wins the award for best help-mate of the year.

The Conrads have entered our go-season, and it’s quite a ride.  Somehow, the Lord makes a way.  The five of us went five different directions today, and we ended the evening with 7 around our kitchen table sharing a meal, sharing life.  And my God provides.  He provides strength when weary, perspective when selfishness begs to grab hold, thankfulness when entitlement wants to creep in, and resources to meet all our needs.

I have not been able to physically attend church, but he gives me podcasts to listen to.  I have not been able to attend sporting events, but he provides live texts, and video recording to view.  I have a Bible app. and I receive several devotions in my inbox.  This one, by Roy Lessin, grabbed my attention this morning.

Scripture promised Him. Genesis 3:15

Abraham believed in Him. Galatians 3:6-8,16-18

Moses lived for Him. Hebrews 11:23-26

Isaiah prophesied about Him. Isaiah 53

David knew of Him. Mark 12:35-36

Israel hoped for Him. Jeremiah 17:13-14

Elizabeth blessed Him. Luke 1:43

Mary magnified Him. Luke 1:46-47

Shepherds spoke of Him. Luke 2:17-18

Wise men worshiped Him. Matthew 2:11

Simeon looked upon Him. Luke 2:25-30

Anna testified of Him. Luke 2:36-38

John wrote of Him. John 20:31

God anointed Him. Acts 10:38

Disciples walked with Him. Matthew 4:19

Seekers talked with Him. Luke 24:32

Thomas confessed Him. John 20:28

Peter proclaimed Him. Acts 2:22-36

Paul lived for Him. Philippians 1:21

Believers received Him. John 1:12

All will acknowledge Him, Jesus Christ the Lord. Philippians 2:9-11

Tis, the reason for the season.  As I push holiday entanglements out of my mind, and strive to involve our kids in more giving than receiving, He too provides.  This week, both our garbage man and our recycling man will be receiving some Christmas cheer.  Last week we blessed our mailman and several school employees.  We have opportunities to be involved in the giving of over 300 shoes and boots this week.  Next week we will be involved in a Christmas give called The Manger.  The gifts under our tree is not ALL that Christmas encompasses.  May our celebration this year include gifts for Jesus as well.

Matthew 25

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

What’s up with the funk?

This was me today.  Well, obviously, not exactly me.  I actually walked out the door late this afternoon when Aaron was walking in, and he said, “Are you alright?”  “I’m fine.  Just tired.”

Yep, furrowed brow gave me away again.

Ever notice that about yourself?  I find that happens to me when I expend lots of mental energies.  It’s almost that bodily reaction when something is weighing on my mind, when I keep mulling over something, and if I don’t release, a headache is sure to be approaching… quickly.

I actually will catch myself noticing said “furrowed-brow”, and practice lifting up my eyebrows to release tension, and even to refocus and lift my spirits.  Reminds me of those years spent watching Sesame Street and laughing at Bert’s uni-brow.

I also know this about myself – when my mind sets too long on a decision that needs to be made, I will quickly spiral downward if not released.

What a fun topic to blog about!  (Not).

Lately I feel as though I’ve written about such serious topics.  I try NOT to be so serious all the time.  (That’s why God gave me Aaron.)  Yet, seeing time as such a precious commodity, I write when I feel God lead, or He’s prompting me to give me an opportunity to process and release.

My battle tonight – thoughts of failure.  If left unchecked, these thoughts will lead to destructive ideas that render me utterly useless for anyone, especially myself.  And I wonder if I’m alone in this?  Am I so good at covering up my feelings and lack of self-worth that nobody would have a clue that I’m struggling?

And in these moments, as I press forth in exhaustion, trying to model for my children how to rely on the strength of the Lord, yet recognizing my human limits at the same time, I stop.  In the midst of scrubbing a toilet, it hits me.  The battle.  This battle.  It’s not against my flesh.  It’s a battle in the heavenly realms.  And the pause slightly slows my run away train.  And I realize just what “train” I’m on.  And maybe.  Just maybe.  I’m on the right track and someone else ain’t too happy about it.

And instead of derailing in the “funk” of it all, I cry out.  I recognize my attack.  I recognize my attacker.  I enlist help.  First, from my Father who always has my back.  And secondly, to my soul-bonded, cry-on-the-couch-with, sisters in Christ.  These sisters aren’t in my daily life as once was the season, but they are deeply rooted in my heart, no matter how long connections have happened in the “between” times.

And then.  I sense a release.  A decision has yet to be reached, circumstances have not changed, but the battle is over.  The war is yet to be won.

Ephesians 6:  12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

I have this amazing book.  It’s amazing from what many others have lived to tell.  I have it.  I haven’t read it yet.  Maybe I should.  Perhaps I bought this because I know it’s my battle.  Will you join me in reading this?  Perhaps, just perhaps, we will realize just how God views us from His perspective.  Because I think, if we start to recognize HIS voice, the other will grow dimmer and perhaps just flee all together.

Enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration with your families.  I can’t wait to be a part of the craziness!  25 people under our roof?  Bring it on!

P.S.  I JUST jumped on facebook after publishing this post.  This is what I read from Lysa TerKeurst, president of Proverbs 31 Ministries, “Satan twists truth. He hides consequences. He blinds reality. He has schemes perfectly designed with our weaknesses in mind. Therefore, we have to battle Satan. He’s the real enemy here. And because we are Jesus girls, we hold the power for victory in our prayers and praises to God.”  Wow.  That’s MY God. 🙂