Fill me with hope

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Today is one of those days. Stop reading now if you don’t want the transparent part of this blog.  Turn back now Will Robertson!  The humanness is oozing out here. I have my days all figured out how I want them to go. I get up in the morning in peace. Send my daughter off to school feeling loved and encouraged.  Text my husband all through the morning reminding him of my love. I spend quiet time with the Lord, getting filled up and ready to conquer my day. I read a little, write some notes and then make a few business calls. Everyone I talk to jumps on board and wants to be involved in my business or becomes a great customer in love with my products as much as I love them. Then I fix my parents breakfast and help them get dressed all with a sweet attitude, doing everything they need with a huge amount of patience. While they eat I clean their room and then settle them back down as they enjoy watching their TV programs. Then I clean house and get more business done filling the house with joy and peace. My husband and daughter come home I am dressed looking gorgeous, my husband takes me in his arms and tells me how much he loves and appreciates me. The day continues this way until I get everyone to bed feeling loved and cared for. But in reality I woke up annoyed. I didn’t have 2 minutes to spend in quiet time with the Lord.  I am not sure if my daughter left the house feeling loved because I fussed at her.  Everyone wanted or needed something. Not fun stuff either. I won’t talk about all the different things I had to clean up. My husband text me saying he wanted to quit his job. I wanted to quit mine.  I felt like a failure at everything. A failure at being a wife, a mom, a caregiver, a sister, a friend, a daughter, a business woman, nothing was right. I didn’t want to serve anymore I was tired of it. Then I felt guilty for feeling that way. I have friends and family who have lost someone recently and they would love to have one more day of serving.  What is wrong with me?   I finally got a moment to myself and I just sat down and cried.  Why don’t I have it all together? Why can’t I be perfect?  Why can’t my life be like so and so?

Yesterday my niece, who takes my daughter to school, text me a scripture that her car load was learning. I wrote it down and I thought about it all day. I made a pretty picture with the scripture on it and posted it to instagram.   It meant so much. But today I barely could remember it. So I pulled my note out and I read it again.

Romans 15:13 (NIV)  “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit”.

It doesn’t say when you do everything perfect and have a great day you will be full of hope. It doesn’t say sit down with Jesus for a hour then and only then  you will be full of joy, peace and hope.  We need quiet time with the Lord because the Word says “they that wait upon the Lord.will renew their strength. But there are days when we don’t get to wait physically on the Lord. We are running from the time our feet hit the ground.  So can we wait on Him without physically sitting or kneeling down?  Thankfully yes. I read that scripture again and again and my spirit got quiet.  I thought about it as I went about the day and my understanding of it became fuller.    As I trust in Him, not in myself to become peaceful, because I don’t got it.  It says He will fill me with peace and joy as I trust Him. It doesn’t say He will change the situation or my life but it does say He will give me hope and, here is the light bulb moment, it is by His power. So when I am at my end and frustrated I am to trust Him. Sometimes you feel like you can’t even trust so you tell Him that and by His power He helps you trust.  Then He fills you with peace, joy and hope. It’s amazing to me how everything centers around Him. It’s not if I do it good enough or trust enough, it just all goes back to being about Him.

So here I sit writing this. Nothing has changed except my heart is full of hope, peace and joy. My circumstance is still the same. I have a load of dishes to do, I haven’t been able to take a shower, I need to check on my parents, I haven’t been able to do my business like I want to, but I am at peace. My trust is in God not that I will do good enough, be good enough or handle everything right. My trust is in Him and He fills me and because He said so, the hope will overflow. So instead of my humanness and frustration oozing hopefully His hope will ooze.

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We will miss them

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My heart is heavy

Death is all around me

Those that I love 

have suffered a great loss

I don’t pretend to know

I can’t even do anything to show

What I want to express.

I want to hold them all tight

Say it will be alright

But it seems so trivial

I have nothing to give

So in my heart and prayers

I say Lord “be with them

Show them you care

In heaven they’re there.

Dancing without any care”.

We know thats right

It should bring peace alright

But here on earth we have tears

We will miss them , the dears.

Live on Purpose

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Live life on purpose.  Doesn’t everyone do that?  Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do?  But to live life on purpose will mean that everything we do is on purpose.  Nothing can be thought of as an accident. I didn’t mean to blow up and have a horrible argument with the one I love, it was an “accident”. I didn’t mean to steal the office supplies it was an “accident”.  I didn’t mean to cheat, lie, steal, enter whatever thing that pops into your mind, it was an “accident”.   We must come to the conclusion that we actually do live life on purpose therefore we choose what we do in our lives. We choose to be kind, on purpose. We choose to be hateful or jealous on purpose.  We choose to give in and say every thought that comes buzzing through our minds or we choose to control our tongue, on purpose.  We must do things on purpose not just haphazardly live our life doing whatever we think and want to do regardless of the consequences.  We must live on purpose, we must bite our tongue when our husband wants to know what we have done all day, when he has no idea how many people we juggle. We must choose to forgive everyone, on purpose.  It is not an accident to forgive, forgiveness takes effort.  I know there are some horrible things that have been done to people and it will take huge effort to forgive but forgiveness is something that is done on purpose.  We live on purpose. We choose to be one way or the other, it is on purpose.  We must realize that everyday.  It is showing the love of Jesus when we don’t want to. It is dying to ourselves and asking for forgiveness. It is being kind and closing our mouth even when we have one more thing to say.  Or when we want to be the smart one or the clever one instead, we must live on purpose and die to self. Dying to self is showing the love of Jesus on purpose.

What do I do with the times that are out of my control? Death of a loved one, loss of job, loss of a house, a tornado or flood and etc. Those are not choices, I have nothing to do with the outcome. Right?  I control my emotions and my attitudes on purpose.  If I crumble under adversity then I have, on purpose chosen to be defeated.  I am not saying we aren’t allowed to be sad or upset but we are not to be controlled by our emotions. There are some days that I feel I can not accomplish one thing, like I am going around in circle’s from one person or emergency to another.  Not doing one thing on my list, and I am just dealing with one person and situation.  So how can I make sure that I live on purpose during these times of feeling like I am pulled in one situation and then another?  I asked the Lord this and He reminded me one of the things I live by.  I periodically draw a box.  In that box I put the things that I believe I am held responsible.  Some people call these things values.  You can use a pie form or a list.  But write down what you are responsible for or who.  I have a small list right now.  Taking care of my parents and my little girl takes a lot of time.  I have about 4 things in my box and family is one of them.  If there are things that I need to do, I look at my box, does it fit in there?  Then the yes or no reminds me what I am supposed to do.  I live on purpose by choosing to accomplish only the things that on in my box.  House cleaning is not one of them.  That was just a bit of levity, I know that to keep a house clean  is to take care of my family but it is on the bottom of that list.  If I need to have a tea party with girlie then I will do the dishes later.  I run a business and it is in my box but it fits around my family.  Growth is in my box, but it fits around my family and my business.  I choose to live life on purpose by choosing what is in my box and the level of importance those things take.  I always tell my adult boys, you choose what your money does by telling it what to do not it telling you what to do.  I still feel guilty for not accomplishing everything that is “needed” but I have to remember I live life on purpose I choose my priorities they don’t choose for me.  In every area of life we must live on purpose.  We must, I must choose to live on purpose. Are you living your life on purpose?  What are your values?  What is on your list?  Are you valuing the things on your list on purpose  or are you living life as if it is all an accident?  Chose to live life on purpose.

Accept the differences

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We are all different, and I am not even talking about color or culture. Our personalities, thought processing and even how we move through life, is all different.  Even in the same family, every one is different.  My daughter moves through life loudly. When she started walking she walked like she had flip flops on.  I had never heard someone flop their feet so loudly. Some people walk quietly through a room and you would not know they were there if you didn’t see them. There are people who talk like they must get every thought out of their mind or it will disintegrate.  Then there are those who won’t tell you what they had for breakfast.  Some jump out of airplanes and take wild chances. Some sit quietly by a fire with a book. Some live their lives by goals, plans and to-do lists and others like to wing it. Some have a need to lead and some just want to follow. We are not the same, we are different. Many couple’s have fallen in love because of differences then later tried to change the very thing that made them fall in love. Don’t try to change a person instead celebrate how different they are. Sometimes we get caught up in wanting everyone to see it our way or do it the way “I” do it.   Embrace the difference.  We were made by the Creator to be different. Can you imagine how boring it would be if we all thought, acted and moved through life the same way?  I have to remind myself of this all the time. I like to start my day slow, less talk, less movement.  My idea of what to fix my daughter for breakfast is the same thing every day, eggs. She wants something different everyday,  I don’t want to have to think or talk in the mornings. But I have to remind myself if someone wants to talk to me in the morning it is not because they hate me, they are different.  My nickname as a child was snail not becauce I was slow but it rhymed with my name. My grandpa told me my nickname was spelled s-n-e-l-l, he didn’t want me to feel bad.  I embraced the nickname.  I would draw fancy little snail’s by my name and people would give me snail gifts.  As i became older I kept the nickname, even put it on my personalized license plate.  I liked to be a bit contrary so I drove the opposite of a snail.  We are created unique, one of a kind.  Not one of us are the same.  The best friends that I have are the ones that are different from me and we celebrate our differences.  Let’s celebrate.  Find beauty and joy in someone different.  When you celebrate another person and how different they are, you lend beauty to them and you gain beauty in yourself.  And that type of beauty becomes strength. If you give permission for someone to be who they are, you help them step up, be strong, accept and appreciate their selves.  They become better in every area of their life because they are not fighting against who God made them to be.  Then they are free to accept another person with all of their differences.  We are created equal with lots of differences. The beauty is in the differences and accepting them. Teach others to accept the differences by example.  Your mission, if you accept it, is to celebrate the differences in those around you, your loved ones, friends, co-workers, neighbors and the cashier or waiter. Who do you need to take a second glance at, remind yourself to celebrate their differences and do not try to change them.

If I become forgetful (a poem)

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IF I BECOME FORGETFUL

If I become forgetful

I hope I made habits I will remember

That I loved my God with all I had

That I prayed continually in good and bad

That I loved my spouse like there was no other

That I gave my kids their best mother.

 

If I become forgetful in my old age

I hope important thoughts will not fade

That I won’t become dull in things that are major

My Lord, friends, children and spouse,

Because living for others is what it’s about

For if I lived the way I hope, only eternity will matter

 

Quiet your soul

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Sometimes the craziness of life can get us stirred up so much that we can’t hear the Lord.  We have to get quiet, we need quiet and peace.  But how do we get the quietness we need?  Life doesn’t stop.  The demands of family, work and etc will still call our names.  Emails, calendars, social media, and easy access to everything via our phones are very handy but can cause us to not have a minute to be calm and quiet.  Our soul can be like a rambunctious child wanting it’s way and we must learn to quiet it. We must learn to tell it to sit down & be quiet. What is the soul?  Dictionary.com says that it is “the principle of life, feeling, thought, and action in humans…separate from the body”.  We have a spirit, soul and body.  Our soul is not our body and it is not our spirit, it is our mind, emotions and thoughts.

Yoga and meditation are popular buzz words right now.  But did you know that meditation is in the Bible?  Why would meditation be important enough to be in the Bible?  Focusing our mind on the Words of God is meditation.  Memorizing the scripture is meditation.  Thinking about the names of God is meditation.  Getting still, quiet and meditating will bring life to our spirits, our soul even our body.  “The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want; He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside still waters, He restores my soul” Psalms 23:1-3 ESV.  “His delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.  He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yield its fruit in its season…and what he does prospers” Ps 1:2 & 3, ESV  “Truly my soul finds rest in God” Ps 62:1a NIV.

How do we do get our soul to calm down and be quiet?   One of the ways I calm my soul is to turn off my light in my bedroom, turn on calm worship music and begin to stretch.  It is a routine that tells my soul to quiet down.  It took only a few times to train my soul.  Now when I turn off the light my soul and body begin to tell me what time it is, it is time to invite the presence of the Lord.  I begin to be anxious to have these moments with my lover, Jesus.  During this time I like to listen to Grace Williams “Holy”, “Wait” or “Breathe”, these quiet meditative songs help me to turn my focus to Jesus.  I like to stretch  because it gets my body’s grumpiness out of the way while I begin to meditate.  If I don’t spend a few moments stretching then my body will fuss and complain and I have a hard time focusing.  I begin to meditate on a scripture.  Or I might lie face down and reflect on His holiness.  I might stand or kneel.  The position isn’t important. Sometimes I will spend the whole time quietly with the Lord and sometimes I read or listen to the Word.  There is no time limit or a certain amount that I have to read or do.  The goal is to listen to my spirit.  We were made for our spirits to be in tune with the Holy Spirit, it is our choice to listen or not.  If I discipline my soul to listen to my spirit then I hear His Spirit.  We make it so complex but the rules are simple.  Discipline yourself to get quiet before the Lord.  No rules of kneel for 50 minutes and then read for 30.  The goal is to allow the Holy Spirit to direct you.  He knows what He wants to say and what you need, He will focus you toward Jesus.  This blog began with the craziness of life.  Many days I don’t get to spend that precious time alone.  I have to steal moments of quiet time, in the kitchen while fixing dinner or a moment in the bathroom.  Any moment is precious when spent with the Lord.  And He is gracious to reward those times with His presence and He will multiply them.  Don’t get caught into the rules, get caught into a moment with the Holy Spirit, listening and allowing Him to direct your time. Try it. Quiet your soul.

Don’t waste your shelf life

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I have been privileged to be used by the Lord and then there are times that I felt I had been put on a shelf.  And I would think, I have more I want to give, I have more I want to do but here I sit in a spot that is hard (shelf, get it?) uncomfortable and not only does it feel like I am not doing anything, I can’t do anything.  I am bored or tired of it.  I can’t get up and go over there.  I can’t get down and go do that and come back to this spot when I am ready.  I just sit on this shelf, or so it feels.  My life at this moment is taking care of my family.  I care for my elderly parents, full time.  Caring for my parents is a full time 24/7 job, and I also try to not forget to care for my husband, my 5 year girlie and my adult boys.  There are weeks that I am not able to go to church or my discipleship group and that is rough on me.  Caring for my parents is my shelf life.  When my children were young I would throw them on my hip and keep going but I can’t do that with two 80 year olds (seriously that mental picture is kind of funny).  So here I sit on my shelf.  One minute I say “Lord, thank you for this time of being able to care for my godly parents who cared for me, who cared for so many people”.  and then other days I sit here on my shelf and say (in my best interpretation of my 5 year old and her whine) “God, why can’t I go do that with my friends, why can’t I be more involved in church, why can’t I go somewhere?”  I will be honest with you, shelf life isn’t fun.

Lately I feel the Lord saying don’t waste this time.  What does that mean? What am I supposed to do with this time.  It is easy for me to fill my time.  I am going to school.  I read a lot.  I like to write.  I started a business.  I cook, I clean.  I decide to do a garden (I have no green thumb).  I rearrange the house,  I come up with all sorts of stuff “to do”.  I can fill and overfill my time, but that is not the point.  The point is don’t “waste” the shelf life.  I told my son about this title and he said “what we live in a grocery store now?”  I told my husband about this title and he said “you know they say wine gets more expensive with a longer shelf life”.  Hmm.  Could we as Christians become better with a longer shelf life?  Whew, I don’t even know if I like that.  But our shelf life (song by Kelly Clarkson) “only makes you stronger”.  It is not glamorous, it’s not fun, it’s not always sermon material, it’s just part of life.  When Devin and I were first married and we would go to my parents house for a couple days we would meet with my siblings.  We would play board games.  Mom loved to play games.  When we played the game of LIFE and one of the bad things would happen in the game, like someone would lose every thing, mom would says “now kids, that’s is just like life”.  She was serious, and guess what, that is life.  Sometimes you lose everything and sometimes you just feel stuck in a spot.

I have to ask “Lord, what do you want during this shelf life? What do you want to teach me?”  Matt 9:17 talks about wineskins, you don’t pour new wine into old wineskins.  Could it possibly be that God lets us sit on a shelf to shed our old skin, like a snake sheds his?  Is it possible that during a shelf life we are shedding old and becoming new by marinating.  Definition for marinating is to “steep, soak, immerse, bathe”.  The Urban dictionary says “leave time for reflection, I’m not ready to decide yet…”  A lot of time I don’t like this shelf life.  So I am learning to, get before the Lord and I tell Him “I don’t like this but do what you want during this time, what do you want to do in me, during this shelf life?” His grace is sufficient during easy times, growing times, grief times, hard times and shelf times.  I don’t have to do it in me, I just need to be pliable and in His presence so that He can do IN ME what He wants, during my shelf life.

I have to be still in my soul.  In my busy day, because as I said I will keep myself very busy in doing, when I feel a gentle tug at my heart then I must stop and go where my spirit is calling me.  It may be to the living room chair to listen to a worship song, or it may be to my room to get on my face before my Savior, or hands up worshiping, or on my knees praising Jesus, at my parents bed while getting them quiet and to sleep.  It goes back to Christainlity 101 pray, read, trust the Lord and rest.  How do I keep from wasting my shelf life?  There is no secret.  There isn’t a step 1, 2, 3 and then boom.  I must say “Lord, don’t let my shelf life be wasted.  Do what you want in me”.

I was listening to a sermon from Fresh Start AZ on TV from Pastor Paul Owens.  He told the story how God told the Israelites to “consecrate” theirselves because tomorrow He would do a great thing, Joshua 3:5.   Pastor Paul said this one phrase,  “It’s not always sin we need to be consecrated from, sometimes it’s legitimate things”.  We have to be open and honest before the Holy Spirit and ask is there something in my life that I need to consecrate to you, a sin or maybe a thing that is filling my time?  Shelf life has a purpose.  Maybe it is to shed the old and get before God so that He can do a new thing.