Tuesday, February 28, 2012

He's Given You the City

For six days the army circled Jericho.  One time around, once a day for six days.  The trumpets blew before the ark of the covenant, but the army was quiet.  They were told to not say a word.  They circled and they wondered.  Or did they pray to the Holy God of Israel?  I think they did.

On the seventh day they circled seven times.  They were quiet the first six times and then the seventh time Joshua commanded the army, "SHOUT!! For the Lord has given you the city!!"

When they shouted, the wall around the city fell.  It fell flat, except for one small part but that's another story.  The soldiers went in and took what they were told to get.  The enemy was defeated without anyone breaking a sweat.

I want my prayers to be powerful.  To knock down walls.  I want to circle those I love in prayer and shouts of victory.  Circle them and see God show His hand strong in their lives.

The girls and I go a couple of times a week to workout.  I walk on the track elevated above the basketball court while the girls work out on the treadmills.  Last week I was walking and praying.  The faster I walked the harder I prayed.  Telling God that I was circling Michael.  Circling my kids.  I looked down to the court below and saw them standing there.

I'm not crazy.  I'm visual.  I saw my boys standing proud and my girls bent over in grief from dreams unfulfilled or disappointments of other's actions.  I saw girls seeking answers and confused.  I saw wives who are called to show respect and husbands called to love their wives.  I saw my little grandbabies.  I saw Michael.

I prayed for those boys to show humility and the longer I prayed I saw them down on their knees bowing before the Savior, elevating others above themselves.  I prayed for girls to get past the sadness and hurt; and the longer I prayed I began to see them standing tall with hands in the air thanking Him for answers and peace.  I prayed for the wives and husbands and saw marriages sweet.

I prayed for the grandbabies and saw them as warriors for Jesus.

I prayed for Michael and saw him leading by example with a gentle spirit and God wisdom.  Leading his family and this body of believers to greater holiness.

On his knees.

I was walking on the outside but I was doing victory laps on the inside.  I was shouting because of a victorious Lord.

There is victory yet to be seen.  He has given the city.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Blessed Assurance, Jesus is Mine

This is my story, this is my song.  

Praising my Savior, all the day long.

Whenever you find Him, He will never lose you.  Nothing can knock you out of His hand.  Sometimes it may not seem like it, though.  Sometimes it seems
like you keep walking through trials and you are all alone.

I put my hand on the window that separated us and thought how it was just like on television.  My hand "touching" her hand through the glass.  Me wearing my pink shirt and jeans, she wearing the county orange jumpsuit that matches the other inmates. And just in case they forgot, they had it written in big letters across their backs. 

She knew Jesus.  Now she was having to face the consequences of her actions
 before she met Him.  Part of her wonders why He didn't intervene and
keep her from having to do this time away from her daughter.  I wonder too.  But we both knew the plan was bigger than we could understand.

Blessed assurance, Jesus is hers.

After we hang up the black phone, with tears running down her cheeks, she mouths "I love you", as the guard escorts her back to her little spot in the world for the
next few months.  

We went to the hearing to find out how many times we would have to mark X on the calendar squares before we could actually put arms around her.  
This is where we met her dad.  
A relationship was begun that would have never happened if
we hadn't visited her several times and then gone to the hearing.
He loved that we loved his daughter.

When she got out, she brought him to church.  Not long after that he knew he had a hole that needed to be filled.  Nothing he had ever done could fill that hole like Jesus.
He wept as he went through the water.  We weren't sure we could get that 6'5" frame all folded up in that trough.  But we did.

Blessed assurance, Jesus is his.

I run into a precious one at the grocery store.  The question "how are you?" makes her cry.  It's not about the day to day stuff.  All she can think about is there is no baby. 
 Every month she prays yes but every month her body bleeds no.
The tears fall into the basket.  
My heart hurts so bad for her because I am connected to that same kind of pain.  
The kind of pain there are no words for.  Praying peace over her.
And strength.
And that His praises will continually be in her mouth.
Oh Jesus, only You can heal.  Can strengthen.

Blessed assurance, Jesus is hers.

I hear of a single mom of several.  She made choices to make her life better and now walks a road of trying to do it mostly by herself.  
I know some days it may seem impossible.  
Some days lonely.  
I know the dread of starting another day without the help of another adult,
 just in case I might get something wrong, or need encouragement.
She says she has no regrets.  I love that.  
I pray for her peace, and her strength as she walks this journey of her choice.

Blessed assurance, Jesus is hers.

Sometimes the prayer needs of those I love seem overwhelming.  
I continue to lift them up to Jesus for His comfort and peace.  
I know that it is enough, but I want them to know it. 
 To feel it.  To embrace it.

If we can, if I can continue to embrace it and believe it, then 
His praise will continually be on my lips.
He continues to write my story, your story.  My song, your song.
I, we can praise Him all the day long.

 He is trustworthy like that.

Blessed Assurance, Jesus is Mine.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Feeding Bread and Making Gravy

It's already Thursday.  I think I have said that every Thursday since Christmas.  Mom told me last night the older you get the faster time goes.  I wish it would slow down just a little.

Whenever the big kids come home for a weekend and then pack up to leave, we start goodbyes in the house and follow them out the door with more hugs until they put it in drive.  After they leave the drive way and get out on the main road, they honk as they pass back in front of the house.  We wave to them across the field and pray safety as they head back home.

Last week the girls took their first weekend trip by themselves when they drove to Marble Falls for a weekend work crew reunion.  Michael and I followed them out and helped them load up.  I took a picture as they drove down the driveway and we watched as they pulled out onto the main road.  Then they honked.

Instinctively, my hand went to my heart and I heard a scream from deep inside me - "Oh no!  Don't honk!"  Not yet.  I'm not ready for that honk from these three yet.

They don't know how to make gravy.  They can do laundry and cook.  Sort of.  They know they want to keep a clean house - to be "keepers at home".  But they don't know how to make gravy.

I have more work to do before they can honk that honk.

Not just teaching gravy making skills, but other, more important things are still needing to be taught.  Proverbs 31:14 says that a virtuous woman seeks her food from afar.  The word for food right there is lechem which is Hebrew for shewbread.  Shewbread means "bread of presence" or "bread of face".  Then 31:15 says she rises while it is yet night and gives meat to her household.  I am not only supposed to feed them physical food, I am also supposed to feed their very souls.

I need to do what it takes for me to be able to feed their hearts Jesus.  Feed their hearts the Bread of Presence.  Fill myself up so I can help fill them up.  Meat and bread are both used in scripture to represent the Word of God.  I need to keep on feeding them that sweet, comforting, encouraging Word.

Equipping them for when time slows down a little for me.  When they know how to make gravy.

When it is okay for them to honk.


Monday, February 13, 2012

He Set My Feet Upon a Rock

I was a little overwhelmed last night, but threw some of it up for the world to see and this morning is much better because He promises to make my steps secure.  He promises to pull me out of the pit and set my feet upon the Rock.

Although there was little sleep, I woke up thanking Him for His steadfast love that He told me about in two different chapters this morning when I was taking Him in.  And because of that I can type and breathe.

My hearts is so grateful this morning.  Thanking Him for . . .

. . . three girls home safe after a weekend of sweet fellowship with other kids who love Jesus so much

. . . a camera that isn't great, but works when it's really necessary

. . . families who don't get upset when I show how great I am at being so unorganized

. . . a friend who knows when I say I'm fine I'm really not

. . . a testimony of God's faithfulness from one I've prayed for for so long

. . . lemon icing on anniversary cake

. . . gentle reminder this morning that I ate quite a bit of that icing while I was cooking for the kids, emphasis on gentle

. . . anniversary card with a button and rickrack on the front and words of how much he loves me on the inside

. . . a blazing fire on a cold morning

. . . my under counter ipod dock to hear worship to start off my day

. . . fresh grandbaby for special friend

. . . not knowing how to work the ipod exactly and hearing Away in A Manger several times in a row, reminding me of rocking and singing to my babies so many years ago

. . . my babies that I got to hold, and still get to hold because they came out breathing

. . . and that pink and green crown waiting for me when I pass through those gates.

It's going to be a great day.


Linking up with Multitudes on Mondays

I Need to Throw Up

I need to throw up so I can get my work done 
so many things going on in my head like yesterday 
when I saw sweet pictures of new baby and family rejoicing 
then getting the call to go to the hospital and walked into a room of grief 
because mommy pushed out death instead of life 
and trying to make miracles out of photos that can bring comfort to hurting hearts
 and then today when I found out I scheduled two events at the same time
 at the same place wondering who would not be happy 
that we shared the big room in the house we worship in on Sunday 
walking back and forth between gifts piled up for nearly-weds 
to gifts piled up for quarter-century-weds 
then cooking for kids to eat before they hear from a heart that now only wants God
 and wondering if my kids only want God and pray they only want God 
that they have a passion for the heart of God 
and then read an email about getting a pink and green crown
 that unplugged the tear pipes to overflowing 
then coming home to laundry and grocery lists and to do lists 
swimming around in my head because they haven't found their way to paper yet
 and as much as I need to do before I close my eyes 
I feel like I need to throw it all up so 


Thursday, February 2, 2012

What I Remember the Most is the Laughter

I stood in the doorway and saw the bed up against the wall with the trundle pulled out.  She was on the top bed and I was on the bottom bed laughing hysterically until Uncle Jacky opened the door and told us he wasn't going to come in and tell us to be quiet again.  We had our last warning.

She rolled off and landed with a thump right on top of me and we hid our faces in the pillow and giggled until our tummies hurt.

I saw the bowl with left over Ranch Style bean juice and an almost-gone loaf of bread by the cute little bread warmer.  Warm Mrs. Baird's bread and Ranch Style bean juice.  That was our snack of choice for movies; unless the movie was scary - then I ate chips to crunch out the music and screams.  Her screams.  I didn't scream because I had a pillow over my eyes and chips in my mouth so I only knew it was a scary part when I saw her mouth wide open.

I saw our clothes all over the floor from countless changes and an ironing board used to iron her curly hair flat.

I saw it all.  Transported back 35+ years, taking it all in.  I imagine often what our reunion will be like when she meets me at the gate.  Oh, sweet.

I really miss her.  The laughing uncontrollably in the corner of the racketball court or at the bowling alley bent over the ball thingy holding our stomachs.

Sure, we had our share of crying spells.   We were girls, for heaven's sake.  But what I remember the most is the laughter.  So much laughter.

Every time I go back I look for her.

That night, standing in that door, I saw her.