Two shall become One

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Our families first wedding! My middle son found his bride, his treasure. We are so blessed by this union. To see the change in my son after finding his soul mate was the sweetest joy.
He was complete and it was evident the day we met her.

There were a few moments at the wedding that struck me how awesome my God is.

For starters, I think we are one of the few weddings in history to start on the dot on time.
I was reminded of God’s timing and how his ways are always perfect.

My son longed to find his other half, he knew he wanted to be a husband and a father young. He was not one for frivolous dating he wanted the one and no other.
Sometimes we wait much longer for our destinies than the young age of 21 and I know that discouragement can come with the waiting.  But I am reminded He knows our needs, our calls and He knows the desires of our heart. He is faithful when our eyes are on him and His timing is right.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Another reminder was loving one another in action with a sacrificial love and not just words.

As the maid of honor was giving her speech she mentioned how last week Devin had burned his feet in the kitchen at work, with boiling water. He lived two hours one way away from his soon to be bride, but as soon as she knew he was hurt, she was packing an emergency kit and drove the two hours to go take care of her guy. This story brought to mind, my prayers for my boys that they would find a helpmate that was joyful in the caring for them. This is the love I have prayed for my boys, as well as they bestow this love on their beautiful brides as well. My mama’s heart swelled as I got a picture of her serving my son in the same way Mary Magdelin had with the washing of the feet of Jesus. I know this is a girl that would do anything for my son. I also know from watching him so closely as they grew in their relationship that he too will serve her in this way and I am blessed.

Ephesians 5:25:

“For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her.”

 

Genesis 2:24:

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”

 

Lastly, I was reminded how God cares for our every need as we rest in Him.

Our kids have jobs at the beach which they have both longed for. The jobs opened up with housing, utilities and meals included. But there was a little bit of debt that would make the lower pay a bit tight. Since all their expenses are covered the pay is a lower scale, so as  I and others have been praying for the kids’ provision, the Lord answered and supplied finances to pay almost all of their debt. Through amazing gifts from thoughtful friends and family, My boy and his new bride will be going into life with their ability to have all needs supplied and a paycheck to boot! God is so faithful and His love and care for my son and his wife are amazing.

HIS WIFE, I don’t think I shall ever get tired of those words. A blessing beyond measure. My husband and I have our first daughter, as the two shall become one, so our family is one step closer to completion.

Matthew 21:22

And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”

Lord thank you for answering our prayers!

 

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Out of the Heart

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I have been in a season of great frustration lately. I am frustrated with the health, my physical limits, my personality,  the finances being stretched and not being able to work at what I love right now, and finally the lack of some changes around me that need to happen.
I am frustrated with my reactions to those frustrations.
I am frustrated with my frustrations!

I have noticed my speech has been more negative, I have blown up more often in harsher ways and I have seemed to misplace that joy to the full that was with me constantly. Lately, my joy comes in snippets, like this morning when I was watering my flowers listening to the bird songs, yet the fatigue sets in and my joy meter seems to begin to fade.

I have been seeking the Lord on this issue lately and He reminded me of truths when I first began seeking joy and what will lead me to get my joy to the full, back in place.

1- Out of the heart, the mouth will speak.
God pointed out that just as a parrot, will repeat what it has been told over and over, so will my heart. You can teach a parrot good things or bad, depending on what you spend your time feeding it.

I have been so negative lately because my heart is frustrated. I am repeating that despair and defeat. I am letting it set in where there should be no place for it. I need to fill my heart with life rather than my situations. The fruit of that will be less negativity and criticism.
How to fill the heart to be life productive: Word, Prayer, and Worship. Less of the world and more of HIM.
The song… I have the Joy Joy Joy Joy down in my heart, comes to mind. Let’s have the Lord put some JOY in our hearts today!

2- Recognize the NO’s
One thing that gets to my heart frustrated is the conflicting political views. The anger and hatred I read or hear from both sides are contagious. This is a no for me. I need to recognize the no’s in my life. Sitting and listening to someone else’s frustrations for hours is a NO. The other day, I had a FULL 7 hours of listening and trying to minister to others. Multiple people, but it was a straight 7 hours and they just wanted to vent, not solutions! This is A BIG NO for me and I have to be prepared to say, enough let’s talk about something else. It is absolutely draining otherwise.
Another big no, Doing everything that pops into my head because I have the energy at the moment, is a no for me. I can’t do everything and be everything to everybody. I have to know when to say no, otherwise out of my heart will be resentment and frustration when I become exhausted.

3- It is okay to be me.
I feel guilty for wanting to spend so much time alone and then it plays on my mind. Out of the heart, my mouth will speak, if I am dogging myself and my personality in my heart, I will not have life and give life to others but criticism and harshness. The same criticism and hurtful opinions of myself will be put on others.

I was an only child, a latchkey one at that. Much of my time was spent joyfully alone. I am learning I am a social introvert. I love people and the ministries the Lord has before me, but too much and I am absolutely exhausted. I need to separate and reboot, and in this season it is needed more often. I need the quiet, I thrive on the quiet, it is life-giving to me and that is okay. I need to accept me.
I also have let the opinion of others that I need to be love to everyone all the time put guilt on me. I do need to love everyone, be a light to everyone, but I do not need to socialize with everyone. There are some people who are toxic and I can’t love them enough to change that, I have tried.  When a needy, critical, hurtful person begins to toxify my life, I need to be aware and put my foot down.
I can be selective in this season and for my own health that is ok and necessary.

4- Except my limits.
This is an extension of the no’s but very relevant in its own way.
I have half completed things around my house all of the time in this season. To get through doing the dishes, I have to unload the dishwasher, sit down and rest, then go back to loading it. Same with the Laundry, I can get it out of the dryer and fold but that is the end of it for me and it sits folded, while I rest. This is often the same getting ready for my day; shower, sit. Fix hair, sit. Put on makeup and brush teeth, sit. The fatigue can be overwhelming and if I push, do not rest, do not take those breaks, I can hardly walk across the room and it last for days rather than moments. I have to accept where I am, not bury the negative in my heart but the truth, I have limits, God will grant me strength in my weakness, but I can listen to those limits. Out of the heart, my mouth will speak, perhaps my healing will come faster, if I take the time to REST IN THE LORD, and speak the truth about what I am ABLE to do rather than just sit and stir about what I am not.

I am sure there are many other areas the Lord will reveal to me in the next few weeks as I seek Him on the issue. But today the biggest one that sticks out to me is out of the heart the mouth will speak. No matter how I feel, if I am feeding my heart good things, my mouth will speak good things. If my focus is on my flesh and my situation, of course, negative things will be what comes out. I need to not focus on all my flaws, to err is human, but my God is bigger than my screw ups. He can do more than what I know. He can restore. He makes all things new.
These truths are what will be buried deep in my heart. So that Out of my heart my mouth will speak LIFE things.

Matthew 15:18

But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.
ESV

I once failed at love- Until I learned what it truly is

In my past, I had a world full of people around me, yet I felt so alone.
I had been hurt that others in my life were not listening or there for me in the ways that I thought they should be. I read recently that those that overshare on social media are often the loneliest people and that was me. I was so lonely. Yet, the lonelier I felt the more isolated I became. Shutting people out, to avoid the feelings of hurt.

I lived in a world where others were not being aware of MY needs. When these trials arose,  I would often pout, shout or shut down completely into a world of poor me.   I began to get bitter and turn people away.

I can see where this destructive pattern began. There was one that cut and hurt me so deeply, it shook my very worth.  I was done with living and I was done with people. So one by one, I deleted them from my life. I was not going to face that abandonment again. I would dispose of them before they disposed of me.

While my flesh was saying that this was the way to self-protect, God pointed out ever so gently in His amazing ways that I was on the road of self-destruction.

Where my immediate family is concerned, In the early days of wife and mother, I had completely ruined the atmosphere in my home with my grumbling and complaining.

I would blow up when my comfort levels were disrupted or when they were not meeting my need as I felt they should. If I called for the kids to stop arguing and talking back and they ignored me I would yell, react in the flesh and get bitter rather than giving the soft answer that the Bible calls for. If my husband wasn’t giving me the attention I wanted I would complain about every other little thing he would do, rather than discuss the issue. I would shut down and hide inside myself, making the problem worse, not better.

I was unhappy, depressed, to the point of suicidal. Nobody was there for me (my perception of the moment) and I didn’t know why. I was in the darkest place and when I asked the Lord why. His answer shook me.

The issue was not them, but me.

I was not loving!!! I did not LOVE myself, my family or others.

Love is not self-seeking.

Why is it that I find their actions concern me so much? Why was my comfort level controlled by their actions? Were my desires so much more important than theirs?

In order to understand the fullness of joy the Lord has for us, we MUST comprehend love.

When I am not seeing my needs be met by humans, I need to seek the Lord to meet those needs. I need to ask God how can you use me to help show your love to others?
God has made it very apparent to me what love was a while back. And for the most part, great joy has come in as I settle on the word and apply love like His in my life. I have become more patient, more kind, more peaceful overall.

I do fail and I do miss it, but thankfully I fail and miss it less and less as I learn more and more.

Love is an action. It is not a feeling. When I am irritated, self-seeking and impatient I am not acting in love. Criticism and judgment is not love. Manipulation and tantrum throwing is not love. Bitterness and impatience is not love.

The bible is very clear on the actions we are to take in love. Jesus was loving, he was giving, he was kind and I am to be Christ-like. I want my friends and family to see the kind of love that lives and dwells in me when I allow my self to get out of my own way.

Challenge this day my friend: Find areas that we can exhibit love that we never thought was an act of Love before. Look at the individuals you have cut off and ask yourself… was that an act of love? Sometimes God calls us to walk away for a healthier us, but sometimes, we are a healthier us by growing in the act of LOVE.

 1 Corinthians 3:4-7

Love is PATIENT, Love is KIND.

It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

It does not dishonor others, it is NOT SELF-SEEKING,

it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs

love does not delight in evil but rejoices in truth.

It always protects, always trusts always hopes, always perseveres

 

How much is enough?

“How much is enough?” This was a question I was asked this past week.
This person has seen first hand one extreme form of Christianity to the next.
The very strict follower of the Bible with no evidence of a relationship with the Father,
to the church leader that seems to know Jesus but puts Him on a shelf and lives another way behind closed doors.

“How much is enough? How do you know, you will do enough to be a Christian?”

I understood this person’s heart so much. Every generation seems to want to blur the lines, more and more.
You are often left asking, “is there a point to all this? Lord, I looked up to them, and they seemed to know so well what they were talking about. How can that person be a Christian?”

You either believe or you don’t

John 11:25-26
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he dies, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

The word tells us how to have eternal life. LIVE and BELIEVE. I admit there have been my own seasons of asking the Lord to help my unbelief. Each time I cried out and sought the relationship, the Lord was faithful to meet me. He is my friend, my father, my savior and His grace has covered me when I have sought Him. His grace covers the sin. There is nothing I could do to be worthy of that. Yet I must live and believe in Him.
The Lord has walked with me and helped me to come out of my seasons of disobedience to His word. For a stronger and healthier walk. Gift of salvation…. is a gift and not by my works.

 

You either love Him or you don’t.

 Matthew 22:36-37
Teacher, which commandment is the greatest in the Law?” Jesus declared, “Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, all of your soul and with all of your mind.

If you have no love in your heart for Jesus, you are not walking in your gift of salvation. To recognize the Lord as your savior and the great gift of that salvation, should bring great love to your heart. If you are struggling with the Love of the Lord, one that is in every part of your being, it is time to spend more time with Him. Just like any relationship, you need to invest. Invest in prayer, worship and reading the word. Invest in cultivating your love. Every part of you will become to know Him, you will not be disappointed. 

You choose to obey or you don’t.

Revelation 3:15-16
“‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”

The Lord covers our mistakes and shortcomings with His grace. But to walk with the Lord, you must make the choice. It is all in or all out. There is no in between. To believe you can have one foot in the kingdom and one in this world, is to believe a lie that will cost you in this life and the next.

Matthew 4:17-
From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

The most important factor I believe is to know Him. Spend time with the Lord knowing His heart. What does His word say? Ask the Lord, “what do you require of me, where do I need to repent” To repent is to turn and walk away from. No longer being bound by that which hinders you.
To walk in the Lord’s ways and obedience to His call on your life is freedom.
When the question changes from, “How much is enough?”  to the declaration, “God you are enough.” It is then the true freedom sets in.
When we seek Him first….. HE IS ENOUGH.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If You Let Them

 

 

I once thought I was beautiful until the others only looked at and mocked my flaws.
Then my flaws were all that I saw.
I once felt that I was meant to lead worship until the others pointed out every sour note, and left me embarrassed to open my mouth and continue trying.

The opinion of others can tear down all that the creator created us to be.

They can use half-truths and turn them into the ugliest of lies.

The opinion of others can
mar what you know to be beautiful… if you let them
tarnish what you once thought shined… if you let them
talk you out of what you know to be right… if you let them
Be careful of who you are listening to.
Ask yourself, does it line up with the Lord’s TRUTH?

You see, these individuals only view with their natural eye, not with the eye of the creator. The one that knew us from the beginning and KNOWS the plans He has for us. They only see our now, not our final destination.
God knows what He has for us to accomplish. The enemy is deceptive, with a goal to stop you doing what you are called to do. Will you listen to what is deep in your heart truth, or will you listen to the lies of the enemy? He only comes to distract and destruct, if you let him. Time to overcome and not let them!

Psalm 139:13

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

 

 

 

 

Rhythm of My Heart

 

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I would lay in bed and hear the sound of my heartbeat. The rhythm was off. With every early beat, the heart would have to pump fast and hard to catch up. I feel like I have a constant lump in my chest. This usually would pass after a few weeks. But this last time has lasted long enough to affect my every day. For over 6 months my body has had to work harder to function, often leaving me fatigued and constantly dizzy.

When the heart is out of rhythm it has to work harder. This has me thinking of the spiritual life, not just the physical.  When our spiritual heart gets out of the rhythm of Gods word, the very heart of God,  we cannot accomplish all the tasks he has before us with ease.
Disobedience to God’s word leads our hearts to be out of Rhythm from what the Lord has for us.

Psalm 119:11
I have stored up your word in my heart,

    that I might not sin against you

When our spiritual heart rhythm is not in sink with our God, we have all kinds of spiritual symptoms and some of those even cross over into the physical.
Spiritually, we may not hear His voice with the same clarity.
We may not have the same spiritual discernment and direction.
Because of this, our physical life can be impacted. We may get depressed, we may see our ministries dwindling, we may see our relationships suffer and many other signs that our spiritual heartbeat is not in Rhythm.
Just like my physical heart now needs medication, my spiritual heart needs the medication of the word of God.  With that word of God, I must hide it in my heart and walk in obedience to it. My heart beats with my father. He is The  Rhythm of My Heart and I pray that I stay in sync with Him and all His great works for me.

 

 

His Spirit

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I am a child of God. I have accepted Jesus as my Lord and savior. I have been baptized in water and in His Spirit.

Joel 2:28
It will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind, and your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, young men will see visions. It’s the spirit of God that has impacted me as a child.

 

My first memorable experience with the Spirit of God, was when I was just a little child.

I had a dream that Jesus had come in the sky from heaven. He was wearing white. There was a line of people waiting for Him. One by one He was taking people clothed in regular clothes, He would pass them through a shield and they would ascend to heaven, clothed in white robes. I was one of the people in line.
I woke up with the Spirit of God all over me. The dream has stayed with me all these years.

When I was in my 20’s at church, the Spirit of the Lord hit me and I felt led to a scripture in revelation. Imagine my surprise that the dream I had all those years as a child was described in God’s word!

I have had moments of His presence in my life in so many areas. I have known things only God could have told me to share with others. They would ask, “how did you know!” where I would answer, “God’s Spirit told me”.

I have been supernaturally healed in the presence of God. Three sons births testify to the Lord’s ability. The word says by the stripes of JESUS I am healed.

So what is going on now?

I have been going through health struggles, and some days I can hardly walk across the room. Dizziness is one of the most bothersome symptoms. When I am in worship and the Spirit of God hits me, I can dance, spin and rejoice. There is no pain, there is no dizziness. His Spirit pours out.

The spirit comes like a rain, touching my mind and renewing the dead dry desert. Spending time in His presence I am overwhelmed by the goodness of His flood.
Washing away the fears, the past, the anger, illness and the weight of this world.
There is nothing but peace, comfort, me and my God.

I ask myself, what is the trick to walking in that thickness of His presence all the time? Is it possible or does it hit so much stronger with a corporate body all seeking and worshiping together? Most likely it is because I fill myself with things of this world more often than I sit at the feet of His throne.  I let the stress and grief overwhelm me before I come to His throne, then look to medicine to fix it.

I pray and worship daily but do I REST in that outpouring of His Spirit, no.

I must remember my roots. I must remember the gift the Lord has given me in His Spirit. The opportunity for wholeness, for I was created to worship Him in SPIRIT and in TRUTH.
Being in the presence of God is the opportunity for a renewing of my mind and body.

Lord forgive my distractions. I worship you because you are worthy, you died and saved me from my sin, but the reward in that worship is astounding. You are SO good to have given this gift to me.