August 25, 2015

Heavenly Father,

 

I just got through making a five foot tall tepee for my soon-to-be-born grandson’s room. It will be just for décor for a while! Yet as I was making it, I couldn’t help but think of the times he might crawl into it: the first time will be to explore every little corner; maybe he will crawl into it when he just wants to be alone to look at a book; perhaps he will crawl into it when he’s made a mistake and is worried about what mom and dad might say; maybe he go there when he’s hurting and will hug a stuffed animal for comfort; perhaps he will go there to rest or dream or plan; maybe he’ll eventually invite a friend to come into his tent…I pray it will be a little safe quiet place for him- a refuge from the world.

 

We all need a safe quiet place we can go! I found mine a long time ago. Lord, it is with You! No matter what is going on in the world or in my life…no matter what mistake I’ve made or hurt I’ve caused…no matter how my feelings were wounded or tired I am…no matter who I’m concerned about or what guidance I need- I can crawl into my quiet place with You! Father, You are always there for me to rest in, cuddle up with, and just be quiet and still. You are always there to listen, guide, refresh, restore, renew and empower. You are always there to forgive, restore, wash me clean and set me on my feet again. It can be windy, stormy, loud, scary, and chaotic on the outside, but with You in my quiet place- there is peace, calm, strength, rejuvenation. Everything I need is always found in You.

 

Our grandson’s tent will eventually get torn up, knocked down or outgrown! But I pray that he finds the same indestructible quiet place I have found. I pray he discovers the same peace and love that is always waiting for him to crawl into. I pray he learns he will never outgrow You and will always need You. I pray that he longs for quiet time with You! I pray that he gets filled up in his quiet place with You so he can go out and shine out with the love of Jesus Christ wherever he goes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“Be still and know that I am God”   Psalm 46:10a

 

“He makes m lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me…” Psalm 23:2-4a

 

“One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple. For in the day of trouble He will keep me safe in His dwelling; He will hide me in the shelter of His tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.”    Psalm 27:4-5

 

 

 

 

August 21, 2015

Heavenly Father,

 

There have been lots of good byes lately with many of the children I’ve helped care for since they were infants leaving us to go off to “big school.” One girl, whose last day was this week, kept hanging on to me on the playground, hugging me, asking me to please be her teacher just one more day! It was so hard for her to think of leaving the safety and security of what she had always known to go forward into the unknown. I know all of us feel that way at times. But life is full of goodbyes:  leaving our babies in someone else’ care to go to work, walking away from leaving our children in their first day of kindergarten, leaving friends at our old job to start another, moving away from a community of loved ones to a new place, dropping our kids off at college and saying goodbye to their daily presence in our home, walking away from the graveside for the first time…Oh my! Goodbyes can be so painful and challenging!

 

But life is also full of hellos! Like: gazing into the eyes of a newborn child, meeting a new teacher, falling in love, making a bond with a stranger and feeling like you’ve known them for a long time, making new friends, building relationships, staring a new school or job, moving to a new community, joining a new church, starting a new direction or career, realize your children are now amazing adults, discovering a new passion…!

 

Yes, life is full of hellos and goodbyes…but the more I live, the more I realize that all the relationships we have- become a part of us. We are actually never saying goodbye because we carry bits of those relationships with us wherever we go. We are all interconnected through love… Through Your love, Lord! The most beautiful thing about being connected through You is that our relationships are eternal (That means no goodbyes- just “see-you-laters!”) And we never ever have to say good bye to You, Father, for You are always with us. Life with You is one big hello as we keep discovering more of YOU!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“May the Lord keep watch between you and me when we are away from each other.”   Genesis 31:49b

 

“The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”   Deuteronomy 31:8

 

 “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”    Matthew 28:20b

 

 

August 12, 2015

 

Heavenly Father,

 

Don’t ask me how I end up in these situations…because I have come to realize You place me in them as needed…for Your good purposes, Lord. I got called to the scene of a major marital fight. It’s not my nature to get in the midst of someone else’s business unless asked…but many times You call me to do something that goes against my personal nature! Someone called me instead of the police…so of course, I prayed all the way to their house- not knowing what I would encounter yet trusting that You were already there and You would show me what my part was once I got there. What I found was two deeply wounded spouses yelling, trying to be heard…yet neither was hearing because they were both screaming and fighting like bitter enemies. The ongoing damage was not just inflicted on the spouses but onto the children in the midst of this horrible battle scene.

 

The crazy thing was, listening to each persons’ side when they were separate from each other, they each longed to be listened to and they each feared that the huge investment they had made in their marriage was for nothing…that love had failed…because they each loved so deeply but felt it was not enough…that love didn’t work. They are fairly new believers so they even questioned God’s presence. They each told me this apart from one another in almost the exact same words. It was obvious that they both love each other. It was obvious the children loved the parents. It was obvious the parents loved the children…so why and how could it escalate to such a horrible drawn out critical fight?!!! I know the answer to that! Their enemy is not one another. The real enemy is the one who stirs up hatred, division, fear, doubts. Our enemy lurks around waiting for the right moment when we are vulnerable to whisper untruths that will kill, wound and destroy.

 

One of the children called me because they didn’t know what else to do. It was You, Lord who sent me into the midst of this battle. As always, I discovered I was not alone. You were there and prayers were already there. Another child begged me not to leave them-  but to stay with them and pray with them. As we talked and prayed together, this child had a huge wave of peace come over them. This child said they knew You would be with them and their parents no matter what and was able to finally sleep. This battle is not over! Yet as I drove home halfway through the night, I couldn’t get worried or upset (even though I tried!) I was Your peace!  I know You are fighting the battle with them and for them! You hear the prayers of the children and each of the spouses in the crossfire, and You are fighting for them in ways they can’t even see! There are angels doing battle even as I write this to overcome the enemy attacks. It doesn’t always happen in plain sight where we see instant victory…but it is a calm peaceful intense battle raged in the heavenly places on behalf of each person involved! My part is to pray and trust!

 

 

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“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 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.”      Ephesians 5:10-12

 

“This is what the Lord says to you, ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow  march down against them…You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out and face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’”     2 Chronicles 20:15b-16a,17

 

“As long as Moses held up his hands, The Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up- one on one side, one on the other- so that his hands remained steady til sunset.”  Exodus 17:11-12 (We need to hold each other up in prayer when under attack!)

August 9, 2015

 

Heavenly Father,

 

 

Today, I heard a really great sermon about how we need to come to church to get a huge load…overflowing…more than we can carry…of your love…and take it back out into the world to share with whoever is on our path. We can’t expect them to come to us, we need to carry Your love to them.

 

After the sermon, we shared communion like I’ve done almost every Sunday of my life. The tiny cups of grape juice always make me cry as I consider how they represent the blood of Jesus so lovingly poured out for me… and the miniature wafers remind me that He willingly broke His body so I could live forever with You.

 

That tiny cup is far too small to ever hold all the love poured out for me…and it is not just for me. Bathe me, fill me, overflow me so I can go out and share Your love with as many as possible. Then let me keep coming back for more and more of Your never-ending supply! Father, those tiny cups never run out…as long as I keep sharing!

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“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to His disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” Matthew 26:26-28

August 5, 2015

Glorious Heavenly Father!

 

I feel like a brand new mother who just gave birth…our little caterpillars metamorphosed into butterflies!!! It was only two weeks ago, I saw those eight caterpillars completely covering my parsley plants and devouring them before my eyes. If I hadn’t been teaching a lesson on bugs, butterflies and creepy crawlers, I would have destroyed those pests for eating my plants. But You showed me that there was a lesson in those little yellow and black striped low-life! I just didn’t realize that I probably would get more out of the lesson than my preschoolers!

 

Monday before breakfast I was with the kids out on the playground, we were surprised to see the sunflowers seeds we had planted probably 6 weeks ago were finally in full glorious bloom! Those tiny seeds that were each planted with love grew into giants well above each child’s head! Now we’ve been watching butterflies and bees hang out on the bright cheerful flowers!  To top of that sight, we walked into class and discovered two big beautiful black butterflies with yellow markings fluttering around in our jar! I’m not sure who was more excited- me or the children! After sharing them with everyone, we went outside and set them free…joyfully waving goodbye! We’re always on the lookout for them flying around! We studied how many times those tiny caterpillars eat so much that their skin cracks open and they shed their old skin before they ever form the chrysalis. That shell covers the mysterious miracle that takes that same life and transforms it into a whole new lovely creature that can fly… and spread life from one flower to the next!

 

Father, You have given us such a beautiful object lesson in how we leave behind our old life and are transformed or born again into a miraculous spirit-filled life that soars with You! It requires us to feed on You and Your word until our old thoughts, ideas and way of life cannot be contained with all we have in You! We must keep shedding those old ways and leave them behind as they are no longer needed. As we grow and mature in You, we become new all over again and again until these bodies one day will no longer contain what You have placed inside of us!  Jesus is making all things new…including me! Lord, I want to fly with Jesus!

 

 

 

 

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“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come”                       2 Corinthians 5:17

 

“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body. Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should sand firm in the Lord, dear friends!”      Philippians3:20-4:1

 

“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and He will dwell with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.  ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’ ”    Revelation 21:3-5