Thy testimony

Psalms 119:24 – Thy testimonies also are my delight; They are my counselors.

As I was reading the above passage this morning, I was thinking about how testimonies in the past have built my faith. Hearing what God did for others made me believe that He would do that for me! And He has! For instance when Russ and I were first married, he had to pay child support from his first marriage. There were times when we weren’t sure how we were going to pay it. Then as we prayed the Lord would send someone to us with the exact amount that we needed or he would get an extra job. One couple came to our door after church and said that the Lord had told them to give to us the exact amount we needed. Or the time when I found $5 in a macaroni and cheese box to keep a commitment I had made to a non-profit. Or when we couldn’t afford groceries, we had someone deliver seven (7) bags of groceries to us (included was my favorite ice cream at the time: Mint Chocolate Chip!)

Then as I continued to read, believe and stand on the scripture, I knew that healing was available to not just me but others. So I started praying for others. I didn’t see immediate results, however, the more I prayed, believed and stood on His truth, things started happening. People were experiencing healing.

When we testify to the goodness of God, He comes through EVERY TIME! I am sure some would argue that they haven’t seen God do this or that. He hasn’t answered their prayers. I don’t claim to have all the answers. What I can say is don’t limit God by what you haven’t seen and encourage yourself with the testimony of others. They will become your delight, build your faith and then allow the Lord to use you. Just step out, keep your focus on Him…He won’t let you sink. Let faith arise! Tell me your testimony…..

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To the least of these….

She stood away from the crowd. She was not sure of these strange people who had come. She had lived many years in this village. Many had come to help in her village. Where did these white people come from? She couldn’t understand what they were saying. Why would they come? She was told about the love of a God she did not know. Over the years, she had learned to pray to the gods of her people. She was not aware that any of them loved her. She was not aware that any had died then risen for her. Yet, here were these people who spoke things very foreign to her. Had she not seen what she would have considered miracles in her own life let alone her village? Being encouraged to come and meet these people, she drew herself up. Held her head high and allow herself to be guided to a chair. The white man bent extending his hand. Not sure what to do, she spoke fast and furious! Startled, the man stepped back with a confused look on his face. He asked the interpreter to tell him what he had done to offend her! Sitting by her, the interpreter calmed her and asked what she said. What was translated startled not just the man, but the interpreter! She yelled, “Here you come to my village to take my picture and I will not even get a copy!” With a chuckle, the interpreter assured her would she would receive a copy of her picture. She relaxed in the company of the people who had come to care for the least of these. Picture2 021

Something to consider……

It has been a whirl wind of time since I last wrote. There has been so much to process. It is not an easy thing to self evaluate. Or to allow others to evaluate you. We as humans don’t really like to see the “bad” in ourselves. For the past several months, I have been doing some inward reflection. I have been seeking those things that are not pure in my own heart. I serve a faithful God. When I asked for Him to show me my heart, He revealed it in ways I could not fathom. Please understand, I am not interested in “naval” gazing. I am not looking for false realities in my life. I am however, looking to be a better me. My God has been faithful to doing just that.

We often wonder why things happen. We are learning that the Lord has a way of “bringing” up the things that don’t align with His character in our lives. They are not the pretty things either. They are those things that show us where we need to pay attention to: an attitude or an opinion. This does not mean that we should not suppress those emotions/feelings either. We need to look realistically at our lives.

This has been a journey that I can’t say that I have “enjoyed” so much as appreciated. There have been hard times. There have been times when I had to help others process and then process for myself. Yet through it all, the Lord has been good. I am not sure what others have been through. I can’t speak to the what you have been going through, I just know that we need to pay attention and ask questions. We need to ask the right questions. The ones that actually get us answers.

Many would call this transition. It is! It is not easy. But it is worth it. It is no respecter of persons. I want my choice to be pleasing to the One I serve. I desire to go through and come out better than when I went in. Some would call it a valley. Some would call it the desert. I call it God’s love for me. As I said, it has not been easy or enjoyable, but it has been worth it. Let me encourage you to begin to think differently when “bad” things or circumstances happen. Instead of your default, ask the Lord what He wants to reveal, then give it over to Him. After all He has your best interests at heart!

Healing the Heel

I have a confession to make: I am not a super woman! There I have said it! That is right! I am not! I can’t handle everything. I try, but can’t. I am in another process of waiting on the healing of my heel. I injured it about four days ago now. When I realized that it really did hurt, I did what I knew to do. Ice it, bandage it: there! Now it will get better instantly! Yep, that is my expectation! It’s what I need right? Coupled with the Word of God!

As I inquired of the Lord, I asked what else I needed to do? Call your daughter in law. Oh, I can do that. I am better now, so what I need to do is find out how to strengthen it. Exercise! It will help in the healing process. I am still believing for a quick recovery!

Called her. She is so good at her profession! She said, “Momma, you are not going to like what I have to tell you.” My response? “Don’t tell me I will have to ice it?!” “Yes, for about a week.” “What????” “And you have to stay off if it for two weeks.”

Two weeks??? Really? Does she not know how busy I am? I have a garden to weed and water. I have a flower bed that needs attention. I have to clean, network, etc., etc., etc….. Sound familiar? I have to ask for help?

How often do we get caught up in those things that revolve around us? I am not saying they are not important. I am not saying they shouldn’t be done. I am just saying that paying attention to my body and listening to what needs to be done to be healed is a process. Rest happens to be a part of that process.

I have discovered a few things while talking with others about my “condition”.

1. I have to change my mind. That’s right. I have a mind set that deceives me. I think that I can do it all. Why? Many reasons probably but the biggest one has to do with trust and expectations. I take people at their word. So when I do get disappointed, I take on their responsibility. (Need to change that.) I need to hold them accountable.

2. I believe in miracles. I have seen them time and again. They are wonderful. I am expecting a quick work where my heel is concerned. I also know that the Lord is interested in the process that this will work in my heart. I have to rest. Give my body time to heal. There are things that I can do from a seated position. Prayer for instance. I have become aware of several needs that need prayer. Reading, cross stitching, sewing, writing, coloring to name a few things that will help me relax. Hobbies I haven’t picked up for a while.

3. Learning to ask for help. I can get so caught up in doing “stuff” that I forget, I am not a “one” woman show. I need others just as you need others.

4. Learning to just be quiet. This is probably the hardest. Quiet: making no noise, silent, free from disturbance, motionless, free from disturbing thoughts, not busy or active.
Scripture says to be still and know He is God. I want to know Him more. I learn this in the quiet, secret place.

5. The consequences of not heeding this time. I could further injure with the possibility of surgery. It happens and then the time would be longer.

Two weeks? I will submit my self to this. Why? Because He can do His work in me when I am surrendered. So I choose to surrender to this work. His work of not just healing me physically, but allowing Him to show me where in my soul needs healing as well.

Please share with me that you have learned.

Garden Lessons

While outside today, my thoughts were rambling about gardening and business practices. So here are a couple of things that came to mind while weeding.

1. When planting a garden, make sure you plant the size you are capable of handling. Gardening takes work. Just like your job. It takes work. Because most of the work out there is performance based, we try to impress when we don’t have either the right tools or enough knowledge to perform. Most of us won’t even acknowledge that we either don’t have ability or it is more than we can handle thereby getting in over our heads. Ask for help if necessary!

2. Work with nature. Rain is a great necessity for plants. It also makes weeding easier. The soil is more workable. Sometimes you just have to work with what you have. However, look for the rain. You know that unexpected something that comes along. It just could be that it is the very thing you need to complete that project.

3. Know those with whom you are working with. Have an understanding of those who are partnering with you. There is a community garden. Several families have committed to help work it. Sometimes life just steps in and those commitments aren’t kept. Know what your part is and what you are willing to do and not do. Don’t feel you have to do it “all”. Ask for help.

4. Bugs! They are every where. The question is what will you use to get rid of them? Organic? Pesticides? There will be things that “bug” you. Know how you will respond/deal to each situation.

5. Right tools. Need I say more? All I have is a hoe and what I need is a tiller! Big difference. When starting anything, make sure you have all the tools you will need. Whether it is education or training – get what you need. Be equipped.

6. Weeds! There are so many kinds! That’s right! You have runners and stand alone. You have tall, short, fat and skinny weeds! They take a lot of work! However, if you tend to them quickly, you won’t have much stress. Whatever weeds show up, ensure that you tend it quickly. Sometimes you can take care of it yourself, sometimes you will need that boss or co-worker to help you take care of them.

Hope this has been helpful. We are not islands to ourselves. We need one another. Let me know what you think. You may just help me “weed” out things that no longer belong in my garden!