Friday, April 29, 2011

A God Who Hears

I am participating in Five minute Friday with Gypsy Mama. Today in five minutes or less I will write to you about the awesome God who hears us.

Spring has arrived!  Yeah!  We did not think it would as the 30 degree temperatures lingered in our corner of the world.  But Spring has come with April showers and bursts of warm sunshine.  This of course is the perfect combination needed for May flowers AND grass to come alive and flourish.

Last year I told myself, "I am hiring a lawn care company to take on this task next year." With perfect, complete affirmation I made that promise to myself as I battled with the weed whacker yet again (the THIRD version I believe).  Now let me explain.  My husband does not "DO" yard work.  End of that point.  I am the one with the green thumb, the artist landscaper's eye, the flower lover, gardener, and herbalist.  So everything short of cutting down trees, the outside of our property has always been my domain of responsibility.  Oh, another piece of information repertoire is that we do not live on a rectangular suburb parcel of grass which would be easy for any twelve year old with even a push mower to take of.  Our property is a very large square made up of about one hundred little puzzle pieces and with all different curves and angles.  Many of which can only be reached with a weed whacker.  Thus, the antagonist of my whole story.

The weed whacker.  I have been instructed.  I have tried and succeeded few times.  But more than not I cannot keep that little thing going!!!  I have used gas ones and electric- no difference. Then if I CAN keep the little blade eater working, that plastic string (which is actually its very efficient "blade") always brakes.  So my neighbors can see me handling this thing with motor running as I am continually banging it on the concrete or pavement to let it out more.  Usually it just gets stuck.  So then I turn the motor off (remember how hard it is for me to get it running?) then untangle, unscroll, unscrew the compartment holding all of that good plastic blade and release it.  Only to start the process all over in about another 90 seconds.  Last Fall ws the last time I told myself.

I hope that I have not lost your interest...and I can hear you wondering, "What does this have to do with a God Who hears?"  Just stay with me please a few moments more.  I had to explain my frustration to serve the desire of my prayer request.

So....last Fall I decided- I am hiring a landscape company do to my lawn care.  This decision follows in with my motto for 2011 "to De-STRESS as much as possible".  Yes, that is my WORD for the year, but that is for another blog to explain.

Lawn care company?  I know the perfect one!  My intuition told me to choose this particular company that I had seen working here and there around my side of town. The crew is directed my what I ascertained as a very hard-laboring woman.  Their service was always sharp and very professional.  But not having a NAME printed on any of their vehicles , I did not know who THEY were.  I waited till I noticed a distant neighbor outside when I was driving by.  She told me the name of the company but did not have their phone number with her.  Yes, they did a great job for a reasonable rate.  "My intuition is right!", I thought.

That same day I went home in search of this phone number.  Two phone books, yellow pages, white pages, Google, and newspaper did not produce any information!  Meanwhile the earth continued to open to the rain, the sun keeps shining, and the grass is still growing.  By now my surrounding neighbors have all cut THEIR grass which only makes OUR grass look like a soon to be jungle!

So- I PRAY.  "Father would you cause me to discover this lawn care company working somewhere so that I may stop and ask them of their services and phone number?" I had not actually seen them this Spring only the fruits of their labors from the one neighbor that I had told you about.  

That was it.  A little trusting prayer.

A few days go by and the grass is still growing.  "Wonder if we have any gas in our lawn mower from last year?  I could give it a quick hack job."

THEN- last night my husbands joyfully tells me.  "I saw Theresa!  and I got her number!"  I tell him that he is a conduit to an actual PRAYER.  We are both happy.  As soon as this black sky with singing birds becomes light I will call Theresa to salvage my yard for the season with her gifted skills with the weed whacker and other such stuff.

I am amazed-  my Father heard, cared to answer, DID answer my request!  Is that not awesome?  Really.  Think about it.

The Creator of the Universe MOVED on MY behalf!  To me that is a miracle in the same genre as resurrecting Lazarus.  Neither was HARD for Him.  He DID it!  He heard me.

Is there anything too small for Him?  I will answer "No." as I enjoy my pedicured carpet of green.

Is there something that you could, should, trust into His care?  Will you take some moments and give it to Him?

Sorry, Gypsy Mama I could not get it done in five minutes nor without using spell check!  Maybe I will do better next Friday.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Who Is the Filler of Your Soul?

Who is the filler of your soul? (This is a rewrite of a previous post.)

It has been many years since I have learned the life-changing truth that my husband cannot meet all of my needs...The need for happiness, security, purpose, value, peace, and contentment. I have learned and continue to experience, "My God shall supply all (my) needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19) Not only food and clothing but the needs of my SOUL....answers for my existence, a purpose to live for, a passion to dive into, joy, and all of the other secret desires of my heart.

He is the perfect Lover of my soul.

Relieving my husband of this role changed my marriage. I began to ENJOY my husband not focusing on his short comings in meeting my needs. I had set him up to fulfill a task that was impossible for him to actualize.  He is human full of shortcomings so why was I expecting my happiness to be met in a man?  I had fallen for the Prince Charming promise.  Or rather I misplaced my expectations on the wrong prince.  I have two Princes but only One is the complete Lover of my Soul.

When reading The Love Dare I became aware of the desires that I had for my husband to fulfill. I want more- more depth of love in our relationship, more intimacy, more camaraderie. Are these desires wrong or misplaced? In speaking of marriage, I do not think so. I did not endeavor to take the "Dare" because my marriage was bad or falling apart. Rather, I wanted more! to have the ultimate marriage experience on this earth and I would do my utmost to make that happen! I felt a push to strive to have an exceptional marriage as a testimony of God's handiwork and for my pleasure and satisfaction!

But what about just having a "good marriage" to a "good man"? What is wrong with that? Is that not enough? My husband is thoughtful, loving, a great provider, friend, and a wonderful father.

I sense the Holy Spirit leading me to gain a new perspective. To not put expectations on my husband to be responsible for my happiness, purpose, and contentment.  A heart that confidently knows that all of my needs are met through Christ Jesus.  A woman who enjoys her marriage completely at this moment and accepts her husband right now with all of his flaws and shortcomings.

Who are you looking to right now to fulfill the longings of your heart?

Are you allowing Jesus to romance you?
"My beloved speaks and says to me,
'Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.'"
-Song of Solomon 2:10 Ampl.

He wants you to come away with Him.  Will you meet Him today?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What Does Jesus Mean to You right now?

This Easter season I ask myself, "What does Jesus mean to me right now in my life?"  The first thoughts that come to mind are that I am forgiven from my sins.  But that answer came remotely as though I was answering a Sunday school question (if I went to Sunday school) or a foundational lesson that I want to teach my girls.

Not belittling that most awesome fact- that my sins are taken away- nor to make light of what it took for that to happen- nor to be unthankful to our Father's most gracious HEART- nor to say that THAT answer so foundational and simple should be a more elaborate one so that I may sound more "spiritual".  (For that is the beauty of the gospel is it not?  So simple and  full of LOVE.)  But I was posing this inquiry to myself searching for an honest response answering the questions, "What have you been thinking about concerning your life in Christ?  What does Jesus mean to me right now in my life?"

And after pondering a few quiet moments I think my answer to myself is that He gives my life PURPOSE.

In my humanness I cannot keep present in my mind ALL of the vast benefits of His salvation and the depth of their meaings simultaneously in my conscious.  Maybe you are more (or less) human than I... Right now in this period of my life when I wonder, "What difference is MY life in the scheme of all existence?"  I concur with the Spirit that my life has meaning only when it is hidden in HIS.  And so thankfully it is.

He has redeemed my life.  And it is I that no longer live but Him through me.  That does sound heady.  But when I put to death my desire for self preservation, I find my purpose in HIM. My life has been redeemed; I have a purpose TO my life because of Him and FOR Him.  And this is the way that makes me feel this Easter as I ponder about His death and Resurrection.

a desire to worship-

What does Jesus mean to you this Easter season?  Please share with me.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Whining or Weaned?

I have been fussy lately.

Easily annoyed.  Irritable.

Mouthing my complaints.


She lay here.  Me on my left side- my favorite side on which to sleep.  Her back up against my belly.  All cuddled and close.  I love it.  Her smooth, soft skin touching mine.  Her silky hair tickling my arm.  You do not need to write to me about the wrongs of having children sleep with you.  It does not happen that much.  Well, not really.  I was so cold last night that I did request that she dream alongside me so that I could warm myself like one warms hands over a fire.  But too soon the fire burns too hot and I kick off half of my covers.  Half because if I kick them all off then I wake from the cold and the process is repeated.  But if I just use half of them then the half HOT and half COLD balance to an overall warm.  That is the plan anyway but it does not always work.

Right now I lay awake.  The room is dark.  My body temperature seems fine  (one of  few specific, predictable reasons that I awaken mid-sleep) but my mind is full of one thousand things flying through it like a jet taking off for Chicago.  My thoughts of anger, worry, fear.  They come at my mind like the harsh cries of an infant.  Think about the cry of a baby. Babies do not whimper as when a child scuffs his knee; they WAIL until they get what they want. If they do not get gratification; they WAIL LOUDER!

Then I feel her warmth again, the smoothness of her body, the softness.  My thoughts hone in on her body lying next to mine.  She has put on a little winter weight and her belly is almost as soft as Mama's beside her. I love these moments.  Yes, I love to cuddleBut I also love that she is QUIET.  Still.  Peaceful.  So content lying in my embrace.

For she is not usually like that.  In moments of awakeness she is my high-spirited child with the disposition of a drill sergeant stuffed in a three-foot body.  Very trying.  Very demanding.  Is it temperament or parental error?  I concede that it is probably some of both.  But NOW she is resting so smug and serene.

"Nicol...."  The Voice speaks softly.


"THAT is how I want you to be with Me- like a weaned child lying in my embrace." 

"Oh, yes.  Of course, Daddy."  My tantrums flutter in my mind.  My disheveled peace that has been riding the waves of my emotions.  The images of "cry baby", "whining baby", selfish woman who needs to get a new perspective...are leaving.

"Rest in Him," I tell myself. 

"Surely I have composed and quieted my soul;
Like a weaned child rests against his mother,
 My soul is like a weaned child within me."   ~Psalm 131:2

I purpose to not voice my baby cries.  I purpose not to have them in the first place.  Instead of squalling as a nursing baby until I am satisfied I shall rest in His embrace as I put my trust and hope in Him.

My Daddy and I have known each other for a while now.  I am a big girl.  And I love that I can still bare my back to Him in an intimate embrace.  He knows that I am a woman, but to Him I am still His little girl. 

I am weaned.

I can trust Him.

So I "still" and "quiet" my soul.  I do this by the Stong's Concordance definition of composing myself.  I gain a new perspective.  I level my thoughts and emotions so that they are not tossing to and fro; I equalize them by casting down vain imaginations that would exalt themselves above what I know to be TRUE.  (2Corinthians 10:5) I leave that place of "My Whiny World" and escape to the shore of a calm child. 

And I fall asleep.

Are you whining or weaned?

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Reason to Write


The Quiet.  How delightful!  "What should I do?  How can I use this time?  I do not want to waste it!"

All four of my children gone out of the house.  They are playing, shopping, dancing, outside of these four walls called home.  Mama left alone.  Delightful.

..."hmmm....what should I do?  Isn't this what I always dream of- some QUIET, UNINTERRUPTED TIME?" 

"read a magazine....yes, nonchalantly, as though I have not a care in the world, I should grab a cup of tea and skim the pages of a magazine that I never have time to read.  But I should post on my blog.  Don't I always desire more time to write?"

Yet what should I write about?  ordinary events have been happening.  Rain pitter-patters on the earth.  My Golden Retriever gazes at me with a bored look in her eyes.  Usual stresses of Life to deal with.  Laundry piles.  Arguing siblings.  Light bulbs that need changed.  Those things that you are probably experiencing right now.

Why do I even have a BLOG?  There are so many women out there in the gargantuan cyber community that have better things to say and more attractive ways to say it?

Oh, no.  Not this conversation with myself again.

Then I see my penned handwriting on already aged paper. The date read October 10, 2006.

"For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance shall arise... from elsewhere, but you and your father's house will perish.  And who knows but that you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this and this very occasion?"
~Esther 4:14, Amp.

Those words the Strong yet ever so Patient and Gentle Voice gave to me after much prayer and contemplation about the birth of the Ladies Of Virtue ministry site years ago.  I do not think that I have read them since and here they are tucked into a binder.

The words on this yellowing page continue.

"I had just prayed that the Lord would bring women needing encouragement to this media outlet...that He would give me wisdom, a keen style of writing and eloquence in my speech.  Most of all a deep love for Him, His Word, and those that He would cross my path with."

Today, I suppose that He knew that I needed that reassurance again.

That One voice CAN make a difference.

to YOU.

to ME.

my words, though they be feeble attempts to capture His workings of my soul, can speak healing to YOUR soul.

So I place my fingers to this keyboard and write.

For if I write for only ONE then I do His will.

If I write for only one-  then I prayerfully concede that you are blessed.
You are encouraged.
You are strengthened in this journey sometimes dark.

Are you that one?  for which I write?

For I am here.  You are here.  And He IS.

"Two are better than one and a three fold cord will not be quickly broken."  ~Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Do you know that you have something to speak about?
That you have been ordained for this very moment to share?
That YOU have been brought to the kingdom for this very thing?

Is it the words to your co-worker?
a sister?
a neighbor?

Speak His words.
Write His words.
Share His words.

The string of letters that you string together may be just the wisdom of jewels that will enrich the feeble soul.  Or the chain of pearls that beautify the worn and weary heart.

I will string together my letters.  Will you too?
for I may be that ONE that needs them.

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