She blooms

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I’m hoping my story has changed each morning that I awake.

It is time for something new to arise, the hope grows with each breath that I take.

The time of waiting must be done.

I can sense the seed producing her roots.

The new season has surely come.

The bud begins to poke her head above the decay  from seasons before.

I know there is a new beginning.

Time to reap the harvest from the seed sown.

I look at the here and now and softly chant to myself…

it is not finished, I will not stay here, new life has begun.

At that moment, she blooms.

 

Isaiah 35: 1-2  The desert and the parched land will be glad;
                         the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
                          Like the crocus,  it will burst into bloom;
                          it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.
                           The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
                           the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
                           they will see the glory of the Lord,
                          the splendor of our God.

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A New Dawn

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The new dawn arises day after day
Afresh and renewed I awaken with joy
Nothing can rob the peace that I have
If I only choose not to let it
For the dawn arising is a gift of newness
A day with only fresh possibilities await
If for some miserable reason I let it
And the day unfolds a mess
I can smile as I lay down my head
In this I can rest
Tomorrow is a new dawn

Complain, complain, complain

 

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One of the triggers for my fibromyalgia is the rainy weather. The rain also starts the mold in the window sills that have to be diligently watched to keep clean. The rain makes me cold and once I get cold from wet jeans, it takes hours to feel warm. The rain makes the floors nasty when we are loading and unloading the car.  These are all my thoughts most of the winter and I complain, complain, complain. 

I complain without even realizing that I am complaining. It has become such a habit to be negative about the wet weather that when I rise and see rain ‘again’ my heart gets deflated. One year, I even cried when the first rain of the season arrived.

Then this morning! I woke up blurry eyed and sore and I looked out my window and saw the fog admit the greenery before my eyes. I saw golds and greens and the most vibrant colors and I realized, without all that rain my view wouldn’t be as breathtaking. 

It was a shifting and a reflection of myself. What other beauties am I missing with my complaining heart? What other joys, or moments pass by because I complain, complain, complain? 

*God wants me to give thanks in EVERYTHING!

1 Thessalonians 5:18- In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

This is the day to rejoice! This is the day the Lord has made! I should wake up with a song on my lips despite what is going on in the weather forecast. Yes, it hurts my muscles, but I can rejoice that I am able to rest when needed. Yes it is cold, but I am able to rejoice I have a warm home. I need to shift my thinking to be on my rejoices rather than my frustrations. The frustrations are going to be there weather I like them or not, but if I let them be my focus they have robbed my joy. 

*I am not shining if all I am doing is complaining.

Philippians 2:13-15 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Do all things without murmurings and disputings:

 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

 

Time to remember the things the Lord has placed in my heart and break the habit of complain, complain, complain. I am not picking that back up!

quote: Watch out for the joy-stealers: gossip, criticism, complaining, fault-finding, and a negative, judgmental attitude.
Joyce Meyer 

I have lost my self

IMG_0509I wonder if the butterfly misses her many legs and tough skin as a caterpillar or if she misses the covering living amongst the leaves granted her.  She didn’t have to venture to far to survive. While we see the ability to fly and experience life in new ways, maybe she misses her old self. Flying is hard work and she needs to go from flower to flower for each drink, expelling all that energy.

I have maintained the fullness of God’s joy in this walk with fibromyalgia. I am so incredibly blessed God has taught me how to do that, because that is the one gift this illness has given me. I also have learned to have grace and patience in new ways, as it is quite humbling to have such limits physically. But in so many ways I have lost my old self.

With fibromyalgia; I have lost my energy, I have lost my strength and impetuousness. These days I have to evaluate the consequences of being spontaneous. I have all the excitement, thoughts and ideas but the second I stop and think of the outcome of expelling the energy, my bubble is burst and I rest. There are days I wake up ready to face the day, excited with all I will do, and by time I step out of the shower, I need a nap. I again remember that I have lost my old self.

I miss her.  I miss the bubbly, happy, full of life able to take on the world self before fibromyalgia and I am sure my husband really misses her as well.

But these past few months God has awakened in me in new ways. He is showing me all that He has done by losing my old self and I am in the beginning stages of liking the new me. The me that has slowed down and takes the time to evaluate the world around me. The new me that has the wisdom and grace that only suffering and heartache can chisel into the hardened heart that once belonged to me. I see with fresh eyes, the hurting and the lost. I am taking time to paint, write and dabble into gifts that the busy woman of yesteryear didn’t take time for. I appreciate the good moments far more and take don’t take them for granted.

Romans 12:2- Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

I lost the self-seeking me (mostly) and became the God seeking me. He has brought me to my knees in my physical brokenness. Doing a new thing, chiseling away again and again the hardened heart that once was. In my brokenness He has showered a love and presence so amazing and intimate. It is much more taxing these days to do His work, it is so hard to dance and sing, because I grow weary, but then I am spending much more time in the quiet and stillness. Yes, I have lost my old self, but I must remember that is not all a bad thing. I will learn how to fly with these new wings.

 

 

Do it anyway… with Rejoicing

We have had so many road blocks in the past few years at my church in the freedom aspect. Lives just torn down and discouraged with a heaviness that was tangible throughout the body, week after week. We would see some little glimpses of breakthrough and then a door would lock in our faces.

Recently there was some great advancements, the keys handed to us and we kept unlocking door after door. Families and relationships restored, jobs opening up and healing over different people. The joy bubbling forth in new ways, vision and passions being revived, hope abounding and the dancing, singing, art and musicians broke free. We were standing on reclaimed territory.

It was not very long before new and bigger physical battles arose. I feel God has taken us to a place of great strength spiritually, so the physical was under attack. Wearing us down, discouraging and all together bubble bursting.

Our pastor was hit in a very big way, my household has been hit in a very big way, the worship leaders home has been hit in a very big way. The list goes on and on and on.

We had begun new ministry direction and all the wars raging around us, knocking the leaders out, could have stopped the new opportunities in the tracks.

That is when God spoke very clear to me, “DO IT ANYWAY!”

I replied, “But God, I don’t know how to lead prayer, and worship.” God said, “DO IT ANYWAY!” So we had prayer and worship the very night the pastor had surgery. We felt something shift in the atmosphere. Rather than discouraged we were doing this without the leadership, I felt like a warrior, going into battle and taking ground, step by step by step. Things were shifting and happening and great victory came forth.

There have been many other opportunities that the Lord has told me lately… “DO IT ANYWAY.”
It does not matter that I hurt, it does not matter that I don’t know how, it does not matter that obstacles keep rising up. I WILL KEEP REJOICING. I WILL KEEP SINGING. I WILL KEEP OPENING DOORS FOR OTHERS TO HAVE OPPORTUNITY TO DO SO. I WILL DO IT ANYWAY!!!!!

My husband spent yesterday, all day in the hospital. We have more tests to pursue concerning his health.  The finances are in a horrible place as He has been out of work, had surgery and the bills are mounting around us. My pain was screaming like ever so often this morning and I wanted to stay home. But God said “DO IT ANYWAY,” So I went to church. I wanted to paint, but I have limits, but God said, “DO IT ANYWAY,” So I painted. I wanted to dance, but my body hurt and others were around, and God said “DO IT ANYWAY,” So I danced.

My JOY was filled to the brim. My circumstances faded in the background and like a little child dancing, painting and singing, there was no other thought than the one that I was doing it for. In my situation I was doing it for Jesus. Praising His mighty name despite all that surrounds me.

.  This is the painting that came forth during my worship.
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The message shared this morning after worship and my painting, was JOY.

I had no idea.

JOY JOY JOY comes to mind again and again.

The definition of REJOICE:
FEEL OR SHOW GREAT JOY OR DELIGHT!

Regardless of my situations around me, all that is flooding against me, in worship Rejoicing over my Lord and showing great delight; My joy bursts forth and that is exactly where I want to be.

1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18  Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Zephaniah 3:17
The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

Clanging cymbals

 

I Corinthians 13:1 “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.”

I have read this scripture many times over the years. But recently as a friend of mine was hurting in her anxiety and depression, and I was shouting out God’s goodness and how He pulled me through, I realized in a moment that I was not loving her. I was not meeting this friend where she was but trying to shout out how the Lord pulled me from the pit.  I wanted to see this same glorious victory in her life,  but there is a time when if all I am doing is shouting out joy, joy, joy… I can be a clanging cymbal.

It may not be comforting to a friend that is watching her life crumble around her, to hear,  ” I have been there, this is what you need to do!”
While I do believe in encouraging and edifying my sister and I do believe it is so important to sing the praises of my Jesus when He has shown me His joy,
There is a time and place for it.
Love is patient, kind, does not boast, not-self seeking. Am I being kind, patient and not self seeking when I want to hurry my friend through her burdens rather than walking by her side? I want her to be full of joy, but is that because I am uncomfortable with her hurting?

The word says there is a time and season for everything. There is a time to mourn but JOY comes in the morning. Am I rushing my friend to her morning, before God has completed the work in her? Am I a discouragement, when she is not seeing the joy that I am proclaiming and as she sits there while I am dancing about blind to her sorrow?

If I had been a clanging cymbal to you my friend in the past as I rejoice in my joy. I am sorry. I want you to have joy in abundance, and I want to share how I reached it, but in your time, when you are ready. God has begun a work in you, and He will complete it, in HIS time.

Lord grant me the wisdom to know when to be quiet and walk beside and when to SHOUT out your glorious JOY. For I don’t want to be a clanging harsh noise to the ears of those around me, but a song of praise stirring within the spirit of those hurting. Help me to know what is needed in the moment.

 

 

Full Circle: The river is here

Many many years ago before my fibromyalgia diagnosis, during the season of being sick but not knowing what it was, I had a very detailed dream. I had dreamt that I was in the midst of a storm blazing all around me and in front of me there was a river with someone in it. The person said ” You have to go through the storm in order to get to the river.” Then I woke up. Well I knew I was in the midst of the storm.

Then the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia came and along with it depression. ‘This just was how it was going to be.” (doctor’s words not mine). I began to be so severely depressed that I asked God where my joy was and He said, “you have it you just need to find it.”

In that season I had a great friend teaching me about the praises out of our mouths and our healing. SO I began to praise in the storm, rejoice and look for my joy in all circumstances. I painted this picture representing myself praising the Lord in the storm.

 

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It has been a very long journey and I can say despite my circumstances I have Joy to the full.  Praise Jesus!!! But I never understood the river part. What was the river? I put this dream on the back file in my brain for YEARS.

This weekend we were having a prayer and worship weekend with a church that we have been attending for the last three years. God has done some growing in me over this season. Learning to talk out my feelings rather than burying them, stepping out in gifting rather than hiding them and excepting my differences for strengths rather than weaknesses. The understanding that I am ME and that is who I am meant to be. Understanding God’s grace, peace, strength and gentleness in new deeper ways.

Well I tell you during this weekends worship, I was dancing and praising, while sick mind you, and the Lord just filled me with a newness I could not quite yet identify. I knew my healing had come full circle. I knew in an instant that I had the choice to not pick the illness back up. No longer was Fibromyalgia my identifier!!

As I worshipped I saw this picture so clearly and as my husband lead a prophetic drum workshop I opened the floor to prophetic painting as well. I put paint to canvas as I danced to his drums and while I knew the picture represented a new day and a new beginning and that the person was dancing in the river, it hadn’t dawned on me that I WAS THE PERSON. I had come to the river and was submerged. God kept bubbling song and image in my heart for two days.

Sitting in my living room I was looking at the old picture of me praising in the storm and I just got teary eyed. That was the dream, going through the storm and then I completed the picture with dancing in the river. I had no idea the dancing in the river picture was for me until that moment. I then relaized, it had come full circle, I am dancing in the river of God!

John 7:38

“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'”

 

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There is a song I sang as a child. I am posting the lyrics below. This song fits my heart this new day it is so real and so tangible and I am ready for what HE has next!!!

Down the mountain the river flows
And it brings refreshing wherever it goes
Through the valleys and over the fields
The river is rushing and the river is here

[Chorus]
The river of God sets our feet a-dancing
The river of God fills our hearts with cheer
The river of God fills our mouths with laughter
And we rejoice, for the river is here

[Verse 2]
The river of God is teeming with life
And all who touch it can be revived
And those who linger on this river’s shore
Will come back thirsting for more of the Lord

[Chorus]

[Verse 3]
Up to the mountain, we love to go
To find the presence of the Lord
Along the banks of the river we run
We dance with laughter, giving praise to the Son