Intentional Connection

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John 14:26-

The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and make you remember all that I have told you. 

Let me start off with this thought… you can not theory your way into changing my heart of what I have experienced personally. You may not believe in the Holy Spirit in such a way, that is okay, but I have EXPERIENCED the Holy Spirit this way, and I will not be convinced otherwise.

The greatest gift is to be able to have an intentional connection with the Holy Spirit.

Where would my relationship be with my husband if I was walking through life, knowing he was there and hearing his voice from a closed door in another room but not have an intentional connection with him? I would be one with him, but not aware of him.
I can hear him trying to converse with me, but no clarity of what is being said. What kind of relationship would that be?

This is how we can walk through life with the Holy Spirit. When we are saved and baptized the Holy Spirit comes and dwells within us. He is our friend, our comforter and hopefully leads us in our walk as we let him. But there is a difference between the Holy Spirit being there and having an intentional connection with Him. He is our face to face encounter with the Father. Our opportunity to hear the Father’s heart towards us.

Just like my relationship with my husband (or anyone for that matter) the Holy Spirit needs and deserves intentional connection. He delights to hear from us. He delights to spend time with us. He delights to speak into our hearts.

So I am intentional, shutting off the noise around me and asking the Holy Spirit, what do you want to share with me today?  He has blown my mind with His goodness and love for me. He reminds me that I am loved and not forgotten. He reminds me of my purpose and call. He is every bit as intentional with me, as I am with Him.

So very thankful for the intentional connection with the Holy Spirit. To be able to say, Holy Spirit, I welcome You.

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I am READY

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I am READY FOR my new Season LIFE

 

This week at Bethel Music Worship School, has shaken me in every good way possible. I have been like a sponge absorbing God’s truths and casting off all the lies I have believed about myself and my ministry.
I have grown deeper in my relationship with the Lord and have allowed Him EVERY space in my life, rather than just the one to be revered and held high. YES, He is to be high and lifted up always, but there is so much much more. I am READY!

The second day at Bethel Music Worship School, while we were listening to Bill Johnson speaking, I had a vision of God holding out His hands with Jesus in the palms. I honestly don’t remember what was being taught at the moment. The vision was so clear and so beautiful it beheld my whole heart.
God’s hands outstretched were handing Jesus to me. I heard so clearly in my Spirit, this is my son and He is for ALL your areas of need. You need a friend, here you go, you need a Father here you go, you need a savior here you go, you need a healer here you go. There was no end to the places that Jesus was to fill in my life. I call out I am READY!!!

When I began writing for joy I was honestly at death’s door. I was ready to die. I wanted to die and had a plan to die. In my last cry to God before putting my plan into action I cried out… GOD, YOU PROMISED JOY WHERE IS IT?!?!
In that very moment, God instructed me to seek Joy and I would find it.
I felt shook. I said Ok God I will try this I will seek the FULLNESS of your Joy.
Step by step He pointed out all the areas that my life was robbing me of joy. It has been a good season to see His love and care and provision of the fullness of Joy in my life. Yet, that season has been one dimensional, survival-focused.
I was a baby surviving on milk and God is ready to give me more in the way of nutrition. He met me where I was and gave what I needed most to save my life and bring me back to living. Now He is ready to propel me forward in NEW life and NEW seasons of fruitfulness. The harvest has been planted, cultivated and now I will reap the benefits.
I am READY!

There is so so so much new the Lord would have me share and I am so ready for this wild journey He will be taking me on. This past week at Bethel Music Worship School has been one of the richest fullest life-giving experiences of my life. I am amazed and in awe of my Father all over again. I have come out of the land of the drought and ready for the land of living water. No more will I deny the spirit of God as He moves inside of me. I have been awakened and I will not be silent. I am READY

THIS…  AINT NO STINKIN GRAVE AINT NO STINKIN GRAVE… GONNA HOLD MY BODY DOWN!!!!

On my way…Bethel Music Worship School

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Proverbs 3:6 –
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

The Lord amazes me, how he cares for every desire of our heart. For years I have wanted to visit the Bethel church and learn from some of the most talented people out there.

We had been told about this year’s Bethel Music Worship School pretty close to sign up deadline. We went ahead and applied but when we were excepted to the school, we only had just enough deposit and first payment for one of us that had come in unexpectedly at just the right time. We had the heart that if we were meant to go it would be excess of our normal budget as I no longer was working.

My husband had so much to learn on workshops and a desire to be a better teacher, I had said, “well the school is for you this year and I will wait until next year.”  I thought I had missed the deadline so I began to make plans of my own. But at every turn, those doors would close. Just as I was not sure what in the world I would do with myself for two weeks in Redding, I got a notice from the school that I could still go.  But now there was the matter of the cost. So I began to pray and had remembered a correction I had gotten a few weeks back, ” Why did you not ask! We would have been happy to support you in that and felt lead, but you said you had other plans.” It was a reminder you have not because you ask not! So, I went ahead and asked them to pray if it was still in their hearts I would like to go.

NOW I am going. We leave for the adventure of my life today. Here I have felt so ill the last six months I have done nothing, to be healed and ready for the amazing! He gives me strength just as I need it. Obedience brings LIFE and I am ready to live it. My best life. His best plans!!!

Never have I been away from home for two weeks, let alone left the house and my kitty to my adult children for two weeks. Never have I stayed with people I hardly know for two weeks. Never have I been in such a busy atmosphere for TWO WEEKS…with SO many awesome people. But my introvert mind is asking God…. “Are you sure?”

I truly am excited to be stretched in this new way and to see what the Lord downloads into me and the dreams and passions being cultivated to new heights. I am so excited and overwhelmingly blessed that my Heavenly Father and earthly Dad have made this possible.

My plans may have faded away, but the Lord lays the path straight!
Keep your eye out for updates. It is going to be an epic ride, I do believe.

One of my favorite Bethel Worship Songs … a song deep in my soul cries out for such a time as this. Anxiety and fear have me no more! I am taking my mantle.

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

 

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.

 

 

 

 

The root of it

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Let me start with saying… read this through if you are dealing with a spiritual battle of doubt. While there are definitaly physical battles, there are spiritual and this tackles both directions that I have faced this winter and actually over the last 11 years.

I know I may lose friends with this one, I may lose followers, readers, support, but I have to say at this point and time I WILL NOT FEAR.

Here we go: This is a LONG one- Sorry…. not sorry

This season with Fibromyalgia has been ROUGH. I mean for a bleep there I thought I lost my joy all over again. I spent years walking in the fullness of God’s Joy and then in a moment (it felt like anyway) that joy was gone. I realized how simple all of my writings had made seeking Joy to the full seem. It was not a simple journey. Very contrary, it was a constant examining of my self and my weaknesses.  And I thought once I had the fullness of Joy, I would be able to maintain it without fear of losing it.

BUT….

Think of a beautiful plant with wonderful plumage with a root system growing nice and strong, but nearby there is that pesky weed with even stronger roots. They come in and start taking over until the sophicate the plants healthy root system.  I had been plucking and plucking weeds, but the roots were remaining to keep festering. I had dealt with the cause one by one, but the pesky little root system was hiding underneath the surface and infecting the beautiful plants roots. Leaving healthy roots to began dying off one by one with lack of proper care.

I let my guard down this year and the funny thing is, the darkness came in fast. BUT it was dealt with fast as well, now that I have the past experience of knowing how to identify it.

Thankfully as I cried out to God, He pointed out to me, why this season has been SO hard with fibromyalgia and the darkness swarming in, is a reminder that there are triggers and they must be dealt with swiftly. triggers to me = Weed roots. I am listing my triggers that have FLARED fibromyalgia this year.
Maybe identifying them can help another fibromyalgia sufferrer identify them for themselves as well. Everyone is different and each story is different, but one thing remains the same, our level of pain and symptoms are exasperated by our triggers.

Trigger one: Grief

This year I lost my father and that was a big trigger. Grief is a trigger. But I kept burying the fact that I was grieving. I even buried the fact that He indeed had passed and my body was not taking kindly to me stuffing my emotions, which led to trigger two.

              Trigger two: Emotional eating

To deal with my emotions I began eating everything and anything I wanted. Which lead to me feeling like garbage, which then led to me hitting fast food and packaged food as I didn’t feel well enough to cook. Which of course led to feeling even worse. A vicious, vicious cycle when dealing with food sensitivities. (Most chronic illnesses are triggered with food sensitivities of some kind in my opinion)

                    Trigger three: The dark season of winter

It is no surprise winter is difficult for fibromyalgia sufferers. There must be a plan to take care of yourself in rough seasons and I had absolutely none this year. Just surviving the grief was my only plan.                                                                                                                           I  know winters are hard and usually I take steps to combat that;  more vitamin D supplements, light therapy, self-care of all kinds and this year I gave up my passion as a full-time preschool teacher and didn’t self care at all. I just sat in the house on those days not working with my preschool kids in the guise of ‘recovery’. I have had WAY fewer viruses this year but the fibromyalgia has run rampant… self care is a must.

Trigger four: Hormones

I am in the process of naturally balancing my hormones. Being over 40 has my body in great confusion, enough said on that topic lol.

Trigger five: Midlife hiccups

My hubby and I are in the stage of empty nesting. Or we where until all the birdies flew home again. We were enjoying our quiet little nest and now it is quite busy. We are in the process of best helping the boys seek their futures while at the same time thinking on ours. We want something new and we are ready…but in the waiting. My mind thinks on these things far too much.

I could go on and on about our triggers but these are the five that stood out to me as I sought the Lord on what was going on.

Here is the other side of the coin. WHY am I dealing with Fibromyalgia? This is a spiritual aspect and my not make sense to many and that is ok. You can all think I am wacky I still love ya!!!

There is one BIG root of why I believe that I personally deal with fibromyalgia all together.

11 years ago before I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I lived a different life. I would turn on my worship in the morning, dance and sing every single day, homeschool my kids and walk in the Spirit of God. His spirit was evident, His spirit was tangible.  Through a string of events, I won’t list here, I let go of some very foundational things for me of how God created me. From the time I can remember God would visit me in dreams, He would speak to me in songs, and visions and prophetically speak to me of situations. “I could lay out someones laundry piece by piece and they would look at me and say how did you know?”  I would reply,  “I didn’t God did.”

I let go of HOW God worked in me. I walked away from the ‘soaking’ going ‘deeper’, operating in the ‘prophetic’ every single day, to just letting Him move that way once in awhile when I just could not ignore.

Why did I walk away from moving in the way God created me to move?

I walked away, because I was afraid that it was wrong. There are a few reasons but for one, this was a season when mystical stuff began coming into the church (or at least I learned of it), and fingers started pointing saying it was ALL wrong, basically I threw the baby out with the bathwater. Name it and claim it was wrong, prophetic movement was wrong, this pastor and that pastor (all who were fundamental in tremendous growth in my life) were wrong. I began to doubt. I began to doubt the prophetic in me, I began to doubt everything I was taught, I began to doubt the truths ever spoken to me, I began to doubt absolutely anything written in the bible that were not Jesus words themselves. I began to doubt even the Spirit of God that I once was in tune with and knew so so very well. That little seed of doubt grew and grew to the point that I can honestly say, now after identifying it, that I began to doubt a God at all.

Let me be clear, the Spirit was still there. I knew the truth and it would rise up louder than those doubts. But those doubts still had a voice in my head. I still stopped soaking and going deeper and deeper to where God wanted to take me. To put it simply I walked the last 11 years in disobedience out of fear and had NO IDEA I was doing it. I was erring on the side of not wanting to cross God, and wasn’t listening to Him. I got ill. Very very very ill.

The root system in this wall has grown stronger and stronger and stronger on the beautiful plant side BUT the root of doubt was still hovering beneath the surface on the root side. I kept losing my ground because I kept doubting. I would advance and then pull back, afraid that I was tapping into the wrong thing. Even though I am meant to work that way. That is a GIFT the LORD has placed in side of me and I do not need to fear it. I know GODS voice.

We are all different, these words may make no sense to many of you and that is ok. But I do ask you to look at yourself and see where you lost the YOU inside of Fibromyalgia. Where did you lose your identity that you were created to be? It is time to take it back. It is time to kill those roots that are stifling the life out of YOU.

One day at a time, one step at a time. I will regain my life back!

 

 

 

The Fairy Tale Revealed

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I do not wear glass slippers,

for I stand on too firm of a foundation.

I do not have a magic wand,

for I have a sword it is the word of God.

I do not have beauty in the  eyes of the world, 

yet I shine with God’s Glory,  He knows me well.

No I do not live in a fairy tale land,

my house is built on the rock and not in the sand.  

                                                                                    ~SA