Tag Archives: blessing

You Can’t Tell Me This Isn’t Amazing

17 Mar

The conversation I’ve been having almost every morning for a while :

“Good morning, Lord.  Thank You for this day.  May You be glorified in the earth today.  Help me, Lord.  I need You.  Amen.”

(Didn’t listen to hear God said anything, though I would usually read at least one scripture.)

This morning represented a change.  This morning I really prayed and really listened.  And the whole day was very different.  Prayer really changes things!  I mean, I remained poised, loving, and confident throughout the day; but the change was deeper than that.  My insides had unshakeable joy and peace.

Here are the miraculous parts of the day:

  •  I took the kids to the park.  And the Good Lord knows that what I wish for Logan more than anything is some healthy play time with a man, a father figure.  And a man was there with his toddler and had this game where a nerf-like torpedo shoots up into the air, and Logan and 3 boys his age would try to catch it.  Logan played for a long time, and the man was really funny and completely non-creepy, I observed from a polite distance.
  • A person my heart needed to see a change in demonstrated tremendous change and even shared about an answer to prayer in her life today.

  • I found out that another person is going to help us pack up for our move (a person much younger, spryer than me and without osteoarthritis in her hands).  The reason this miracle can probably be counted now is because she doesn’t have a car — my daughter often gives her rides and will pick her up — and the person she’s helping is her boss (my daughter).  

My favorite miracle of grace:

            At the end of the day, I read a favorite devotional and got a huge affirmation from God.  Like a husband who hugs you and says, “You did good, honey.”  The March 16 entry from Streams in the Desert* was God’s arm around me and the words that He whispered in my heart. (*as shown below and as posted on 3/16/12 at this website:  Grace in the Morning.)

Seriously, you can’t tell me that the proof of God poured onto the earth, even in a single heart, isn’t amazing.

 

March 16

Grace in the Morning

“Come up in the morning . . . and present thyself unto me in the top of the mount” (Exod. 34:2).

The morning is the time fixed for my meeting the Lord. The very word morning is as a cluster of rich grapes. Let us crush them, and drink the sacred wine. In the morning! Then God means me to be at my best in strength and hope. I have not to climb in my weakness. In the night I have buried yesterday’s fatigue, and in the morning take a new lease of energy. Blessed is the day whose morning is sanctified! Successful is the day whose first victory was won in prayer! Holy is the day whose dawn finds thee on the top of the mount!

My Father, I am coming. Nothing on the mean plain shall keep me away from the holy heights. At Thy bidding I come, so Thou wilt meet me. Morning on the mount! It will make me strong and glad all the rest of the day so well begun.
–Joseph Parker.

***

Still, still with Thee, when purple morning breaketh,
When the bird waketh, and the shadows flee;
Fairer than morning, lovelier than daylight,
Dawns the sweet consciousness, I am with Thee.
Alone with Thee, amid the mystic shadows,
The solemn hush of nature newly born;
Alone with Thee in breathless adoration,
In the calm dew and freshness of the morn.

As in the dawning o’er the waveless ocean,
The image of the morning-star doth rest,
So in this stillness, Thou beholdest only
Thine image in the waters of my breast.
When sinks the soul, subdued by toil, to slumber,
Its closing eyes look up to Thee in prayer;
Sweet the repose, beneath Thy wings o’er shadowing,
But sweeter still to wake and find Thee there.
–Harriet Beecher Stowe

***

My mother’s habit was every day, immediately after breakfast, to withdraw for an hour to her own room, and to spend that hour in reading the Bible, in meditation and prayer. From that hour, as from a pure fountain, she drew the strength and sweetness which enabled her to fulfill all her duties, and to remain unruffled by the worries and pettinesses which are so often the trial of narrow neighborhoods. As I think of her life, and all it had to bear, I see the absolute triumph of Christian grace in the lovely ideal of a Christian lady. I never saw her temper disturbed; I never heard her speak one word of anger, of calumny, or of idle gossip; I never observed in her any sign of a single sentiment unbecoming to a soul which had drunk of the river of the water of life, and which had fed upon manna in the barren wilderness.
–Farrar

***

Give God the blossom of the day. Do not put Him off with faded leaves.

The Miracle of the Boxes

15 Mar

Do you have little categories of worry that are part of your identity, in a way?  For me, it has been a fear that I wouldn’t have the boxes I need for a move.  One of my former employers was amazing about supplying, free of charge, the best quality boxes for moving.  They were boxes left over after the files that had been stored in them were destroyed.

Since I don’t work at that company anymore, I was so worried when I moved about a year ago.  How could I get some good quality boxes just like that without paying $30 to $60?

Lo and behold, I went to an office for an appointment not knowing the location had been moved.  And guess what was piled up in a cage-type of moving truck?  About 50 brand new boxes just like I got from my former employers!   And the moving guys told me to help myself to all that I wanted.

I thought that box miracle was astounding and showed the love of God just for me.

Well, I move next week and God has done a whole new kind of box miracle.  I expressed to one of my daughters that I was worried about where to get boxes, and she said, “Just get them at HEB.  That’s what all of us do.  And, frankly, we’ve never understood why you always freak out about boxes.”

Another daughter has just moved back from California and I asked if I could have some of her boxes.  And she told me the same thing.  Yes, I could have her few boxes; but just go to HEB.

Well, I did just that.  I also went to Walmart, and between the two stores I got all the boxes I think I may possibly need for the move.  It was free and it was easy.  The kids slept through it all, since their aunt and cousin spent the night.  All I had to do was stay up really late and go out and about until 1:00 am.  But I found that God gave me opportunities to be a blessing to tired people who have to work these tough hours.

And what am I going to put in all of these boxes?  A lot less than I did for my last move, good Lord willing.  I’ve been downsizing for years now because I don’t want to someday leave behind a mountain of clutter for my family to have to deal with.  Yes, I have traces of pack rat syndrome in my blood.

The hard part of this move is, of course, ahead of me, though I will hire movers.  And all three of my daughters will help tremendously.  But I’ve already received a new freedom inside because the Lord has shown me on a new level that there is never anything for me to worry about.  He has everything covered.  And I believe that the more clutter I let go of, the more room there will be in my life for beauty and freedom of simplicity.

Such a refreshing in my Spirit God has given me on this late night of preparing to move.  Who would have thought that box collecting could be an occasion to be filled with the joy of the Lord?

The Fog Lifted, and I’d Forgotten What Was There

14 Mar

Life has been clouded a bit by the pressure of challenging circumstances, which I know is typical of the human experience.  Sometimes I get so caught up in trying to just keep up with the day-to-day grind, I miss out on the good stuff.

Then suddenly God blesses me with a moment of grace, and I remember to just take a breath.  When I exhale, the fog is pushed away, and I see that God has given me opportunities to love. Being an expression of God’s love is more important than anything else I keep myself busy doing.

It’s past time for me to pray more.  A few years ago, I didn’t have the same level of responsibility; and I had the joy of reading spiritual volumes and the Bible and of worshipping to my heart’s content.  Now I have little people counting on me and Jesus as my only partner.  But I’ve been forgetting to communicate with the One who says He’ll be my husband and father and mother when I have none.

Frankly, it’s embarrassing to admit that I’ve been living in a fog and carrying around wrong attitudes that lead to impatience with others.  But I know I’m not the only person with these struggles.  I believe the blessing of this hole I’ve dug for myself is that I can share the victory God gives to me as I climb to high ground.

These are the faces of the little ones God is giving me the clear blessing of helping to raise.  They are what I see when the haze clears.  I pray that the fog will be a lot more intermittent than it has been of late.

Anger Can Really Clean House

12 Mar

As I gave the house a good cleaning today, I got angrier and angrier.  It became more obvious as I went along that no one is helping me keep the house in order.  All of our household rules about picking up after ourselves are routinely ignored, which puts a huge demand on me unnecessarily.

As T. D. Jakes said when we were at church yesterday, anger is a good thing, as long as you let it go before the sun goes down.  And in this case, I believe today was a last straw in a good way.  I refuse to go through this aggravation again.  But I’m the one that will make this happen by enforcing the rules every hour of every day.

“Are you finished with that?  Put it back where it belongs.”  So simple!

When I was feeling sorry for myself in the midst of my anger, I thought about how often I fail to truly appreciate God.  Every day He gives me life, breath, and a heart that’s filled with the joy of loving.  He also meets all of my needs without fail all the time.  How do I thank Him?  One thing for sure, complaining is no way to show gratitude to God.

Did you know that it was complaining that kept God’s original human family from entering into their place of overflowing promise?  All God wanted was for them to remember that He delivered them from bondage and He would meet all of their needs as they followed Him on the path He laid out for them.  The end of the trail was overwhelming success!  So what’s to complain about there?

I’ve repented of my complaining, I’ve apologized for my grouchiness, and I’m excited about this new determination to follow up every day on keeping the house beautiful.  But I’m still angry at myself for taking God for granted.  What else should I do to make sure that I’m not taking advantage of God’s goodness and blessings?

Actually, I think I know how to express my appreciation for God.  Take up my cross daily, forget about looking out for my own interests, and follow Jesus.  Simple!

Luke 9:23

New King James Version (NKJV)

Take Up the Cross and Follow Him

23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily,[a] and follow Me.

What Happens When You Say “Yes” to God

5 Mar

Do you have a favorite source for daily encouragement?  I do.  It’s the devotional book My Utmost For His Highest, which shares the wisdom of Oswald Chambers on the topic of giving your absolute all to God.  I’m personally convinced that doing exactly that is the secret to a successful life.  How much do I believe it?  The license plates on my car read:  “Ys 2 God,” which stands for “Say Yes to God.”  This is what the Utmost devotional is all about.

This is what my personalized license plates look like.

 

So in today’s reading from Chambers’ book I find a reminder that what surrendering to God basically amounts to is living for the purpose He has for your life.  If you choose your own way, if it’s not what God wanted, you’ve stepped off the path of his blessing and empowerment for daily living.

That’s the amazing payoff to doing life God’s way.  You are not only free from the stupid things of the world that do nothing but weigh you down, you also have the grace of God, which is the will to do what He wants and the power to do it.

Since I’m surrendered to God, when I find myself with a strong desire for something that comes out of my heart but not as a result of focusing on the world, I know that God intends for me to have whatever I’m longing for.  No, really!  It’s pretty amazing to walk with an ear for God.  Without fail, when I suddenly “long for” something or another, I soon thereafter find it on an incredible sale or it’s given to me as a gift.

This all means that my desires expressed on this website, I believe, are inspired by Almighty God.  He’s spurring me on to rise up and take hold of that which He has already given to me (I just need to bring it into the physical world from the spiritual).  At some point I’m going to do something very right or an amazing door will be opened to me.  I don’t have to sweat it.  Simply obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit (not the promptings of the flesh!), and it will happen.

That’s what happens when you say yes to God.