Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Be still

I always know when the world is too much with me. I have had to be quiet a lot today. I can’t really say where the day has gone. But, I needed to hear from my Lord. My favorite verse is: “Be still and know that I am God.” I have a hard time being still. I struggle with the desire to want to escape when I am afraid or when I am hurting. Yet, God wants me to wait on Him. He desires to love me no matter what situation that I find myself in and He wants me to seek Him out.

“Be Still” those words echo in my mind and spirit today. “Be Still” and let God cover me with His unending love. “Be Still” and listen to His quiet voice. “Be Still” and trust Him.

I was feeling guilty for not following my plan for this day. But, I needed to get quiet before my God.

The Power of Prayer

Yesterday, I was nearly overcome with sadness and emotion. It was dealing with our case and I needed to talk with someone. Honestly, I didn’t want too. I just wanted to run, or hide, or fall asleep for a very long time. My husband even gave this person my cell number. Then, he called me and told me to be expecting the call. I told him that I had already seen the call (caller id) and that I had chosen to ignore it. My attitude upset my husband but I frankly didn’t have the strength to take the call.

My day had started in an ordinary way. My older son is off doing training with his college. My youngest son ate breakfast. I reviewed some terms with him for a test. Mark tried to read the scripture to us – but wasn’t able to complete the chapter we were on. This was followed by morning prayer. Then, he and Paul left to go to their prospective schools.

I decided to watch Joyce Myers and have a bowl of cereal. Since, I am trying to lose weight, I also exercised. I checked my emails and my ChristianMom board and then decided to finish up my laundry and complete the ironing. I had just been hanging all of the guys’ dress shirts up in the laundry room for most of the summer and only ironing a shirt for them on Sunday mornings. The past few days, I had been trying to work through that pile of shirts and some of my summer slacks.

My plan was to get the ironing done, sweep the kitchen floor, mop it, and start to work on some college assignments. I was interrupted. Mark called me to tell me that I needed to talk to this person. And, I proceeded to lose it.

Frustration with myself overtook me. I know that this person is trying to help but the emotional toll it takes on me is debilitating. I went to my board and simply posted that I needed prayer. I didn’t post a reason but simply something like, “I need prayer right now.”

Within minutes, the sweet ladies on my board began responding and letting me know they were praying. I was no longer alone in my situation because God had provided me with immediate outreach and support through the wonderful technology of the Internet. Knowing that a group of ladies from all over this country were praying for me gave me strength. But, it wasn’t just that head knowledge. I could feel the power of their prayers. I began to gain a sense of protection and peace within my mind. My thoughts began to settle down and God began to speak to my heart.

He reminded me that He is with me and that I can do all things through the authority of Christ. Christ understands my frailty and is fully able to put within me His strength. In those moments of despair and sorrow, that is easy to forget. I wish I could say that all the fear, sadness, and heartbreak were immediately taken away from me; however, that wasn’t the case. Instead, I gained wisdom and courage. I still had to walk through (and continue to walk through) the situation but I didn’t have to do it alone. God is and will continue to walk before me as my shield and He is also my rear guard.

Intercessory prayer is so powerful. Before I sought prayer, I could hardly breathe due to the sorrow. Yet, the prayers of my board ladies gave me reassurance. These prayers were indeed received by the Father and He imparted to me grace to get through the day regardless of the difficulties that I had to endure.

I want to encourage each of you today to stop and pray for someone. Pray for them fully knowing that God hears your prayer and will step into the situation and relationship for which you are praying. I was blessed by prayers yesterday from ladies and I was able to do what I needed to do. Be a prayer warrior for someone today.


Monday, August 20, 2007

Choosing Happiness.....

Do we decide whether or not to be happy? Is that decision within our power? Do we allow circumstances to influence our joy in life?

These questions came to me a little bit ago. I think that some of us allow the world around us to yield too much power in our lives. We get up everyday and do exactly the same thing and then cry that we aren’t happy. Worry over finances, our children, or our spouses robs many Christians of their joy. Yet, the apostle Paul tells us that we should rejoice in all things.

So, how do we put ourselves into a position where joy reigns supreme in our lives? August is a difficult month for me because it’s my daughter’s birthday. I find that even when I control my thoughts during the day that my dreams are invaded by sadness and memories. I have been contemplating what actions that I need to take to avoid the trap of sadness.

First, I have to submit this area of my life to Christ. I have to tell Him, “Lord, this hurts and breaks my heart, please take away this sorrow.” I also have to pray and read the scripture. I need to allow God to wrap me up in the Word.

Next, I have to let go of it. If my mind begins to wander in that area, I stop it. I do something that requires concentration in order to get it accomplished. I cannot just sit idly by and allow my mind to replay past events and memories. This always and only brings me into a lower state of depression and sad.

Finally, I have to make a list of my blessings and then thank God for them. I have to practice gratitude. I get specific. I say things like: Thank you for my husband who is devoted to me. Thank you for protecting Michael and not allowing my parents to kidnap him, too. Thank you for giving us Paul. Thank you for dear friends.

I also think on certain scriptures that comfort me or remind me of God’s promises.

Usually, when I follow these steps, I realize that my happiness (or joy) can be found. Often, it’s my job to dig it up from being buried under piles of self. I have to trust God. When I get rid of the garbage, my life seems brighter and I can see hope and a future.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Summer Vacation is over......

The dog days of summer are definately here; however, life has moved quickly forward into the school year. Our family is on four different school schedules. ugh! Paul attends High School here in town. Mark works in another county. Michael's college schedule starts later than both and my college semester is different from everyone's. I have noticed that none of our spring breaks seem to coincide this year. That should be real interesting. I do believe that I will be Demonstration Teaching in Mark's system come January, so at least, he and I will have the same schedule.

Paul is getting sick but he told me that school is a must and he can't miss any days or he'll get behind. He is spending hours doing homework each evening and he looks totally exhausted. Last night he told me that he needed to take some breathing treatments. That's a first. Paul will usually fight having to sit and do those so I am concerned about my sweet boy's health.

Michael started his job on campus which is great because he needed an income. He will be working 20 hours a week while in school. That shouldn't interfere with his study time too much.

Mark has been working non-stop trying to get his band ready for the first game. He started with the students nearly two weeks before school officially got underway.

Things at church have been great. We really love our church. I just wish it was closer. I feel like we can't fellowship with our members. That's the difficult thing about serving in a church that is not in the community. Mark has picked out the Christmas cantata. He is planning to begin rehearsals on it by Sept.

Right now with the weather so horrible, I can hardly imagine singing Christmas music. Oh, well.

That's a little update on our lives.