Friday, February 27, 2009

A New Day

Thank you Jesus it is a new day. I don't know when I have cried as much as I did was like a dam was released.

The wound of June 11, 2002 was relived yesterday. I don't know if you know people who deal with events that changed their lives forever. Someone dying, a diagnosis, paralysis, divorce, a car wreck, miscarriages, the list goes on......

We go on. We live life. We learn new ways of coping and managing things. But, we are never the same. It is almost like that date on the calendar split time from BEFORE and AFTER. Not to be a pessimist, we can also become better vessels for our Lord to work through. We can become more transparent and compassionate in ways that may have been impossible before THAT DAY.

Anyway, yesterday for me was refreshing and a little scary. I needed to be that honest before my Lord and He knew I needed that too. The scary part was just how fine the line really is between walking in victory and listening to lies.

Yesterday I fell down.
Today I got up.

Yesterday I lost the battle.
Today I got back into the war.

Yesterday I believed my enemy.
Today I believed TRUTH.

Yesterday I took a few hits.
Today I walked with my head held high.

Only Jesus can do this. Only He can give us new "todays". He had a million new mercies waiting on me today. Give me strength to do it again tomorrow....

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Crisis of Heart

"Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you. I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I." Ps. 61:1-2

"Listen to my prayer, O God, do not ignore my plea; hear me and answer me. My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught at the voice of the enemy..." Ps. 55: 1-2

"My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death assail me. Fear and trembling have beset me; horror has overwhelmed me." Ps. 55: 4-5

"You are God my stronghold. Why have you rejected me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?" Ps. 43: 2

It helps me so much to know that these were words spoken by a man who was after God's own heart. These are just a few of the verses that spoke some words that rang true to the emotions overtaking me..."trouble, distraught, anguish, fear, trembling, rejection, and mourning".

I am the "poster child" for floundering faith. This "faith" way of doing life is terribly difficult. ( I understand why I don't see many people living it...) I was so relieved and shocked that Beth Moore revealed in her video today (Esther study) that she went through a season of just not hearing or experiencing God and His presence. She explained that her walk had not changed...she still prayed and spent time in His Word...but still, she couldn't find Him.

Guess what??? Here I am. Andrea. Plain ol me. Scared to death and completely ill-equipped for the task that I feel God has called me to complete. But, today...right now...I am tired. I don't want to believe anymore. I want to forget every dream, vision, and prophecy ever spoken to us regarding Caroline. If you are reading this and you are disappointed in me... I am truly sorry. However, I am being completely honest before my Lord. I am gripped with uncertainty. I am paralyzed by confusion. Now I know all of the Sunday school please don't preach them to me. "God is not the author of confusion or doubt." Yes, I know.

I do want to please God. I want to chase hard after Him. I want to be a lover of His Word and hide it in my heart. I want others to see Him reflected in my life. I want to stand strong on His promises. I want the enemy to run and hide due to my faith and His working in my life.

But then there are these days...these seasons when you are being so still and straining so hard just to hear Him even breathe. I can't find Him. I feel lost. His promises of healing Caroline seem empty and almost delusional. Like David, I am crying out to Him...desperate and hungry for a word that can only come from Him.

For those of you who are my Aarons and Hurs....thank you for holding up my arms when I can't.

This is hard for me. I want this issue settled and I know God does too. He is my friend and I am trying to trust Him. He has something to show me and teach me. He doesn't waste anything. I will pray harder. I will deepen my time in His Word. I will praise more. I will speak truth. I will still believe until He tells me otherwise. What frightens me is that I start making this a "works" thing. "Well, if I do all of these things...then God you should come through." So, I am trying to be real and raw in an effort to NOT get caught up in the "works" trap.

This is me. This is reality. This is me trying to apply God's Word to my life. He doesn't expect us to get it right all the time and every day...thank God!! My salvation is in tact. My allegiance is strong. However, my heart yearns for His voice to speak and His presence to invade. As Angela Thomas would say..."Father, come get this broken-down Jesus girl and tell her what to do." I am listening.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Dig in our heels or go forward???

So Shep and I have some decisions to make regarding Miss Caroline. The teachers and therapists at her school have told us that they believe Caroline would be well suited for a machine called a DynoVox.
A DynoVox is basically a machine (like a big computer monitor) that can help kids communicate. Kids like Caroline, who can't talk or really express themselves (except for throwing a fit...which she can do with the best of them) can use this machine to speak for them.
It is a very intricate process, it will take a long time, and it costs thousands upon thousands of dollars. Now, Caroline could get this machine through Medicaid b/c she is special needs and we wouldn't have to pay.

This is where I am on it....."Lord, you have told us that you are going to heal her. I believe each passing day gets us closer to the day when tell her to get up and walk and eat and speak. So, do You want us to go forward a get something that she won't even need?"

It seems like such a waste!!

I am seriously praying about this and asking God for an answer...also b/c Caroline is getting so big we are going to be facing a transportation issue soon. Right now she rides in a car seat...but soon we would have to get a wheel chair lift for our van. I am, "Lord, if you are going to heal her and we know you are....should we go through with something that seems so permanent.

Please pray for clarity and discernment, wisdom and peace for us. We want to do what God wants us to do....even if it doesn't make sense to anyone else. Her teachers and therapists want these devices for her, but we just don't think she will need them. Isn't that what faith is all about??

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Up in the night

The last two nights have been unusual for me. I have woken up around 3:30ish both nights. I spend the next few hours tossing, turning, praying, asking, confiding, and wondering. It is weird b/c I will have thoughts come to me that don't seem like my thoughts...nothing bad or anything...just almost like conversation format. Is this what communing with the Holy Spirit is like?? I will be thinking of things (questions) in my head and it is almost like Someone will answer my thoughts with His thoughts or even ask me questions.

Example: I woke up early Saturday a.m. (3:30) and immediately began listening for footsteps. I was straining to hear what might be Caroline walking in our house. This might sound crazy for you but it is fairly common for me...after all I really DO BELIEVE that God is going to heal her...completely heal her. So, this could happen in the middle of the night, right???

So anyway, I wake up listening intently. Then I start thinking about different scriptures that come to my particular...Ps. 63 where it says "on my bed I remember you, I think of you through the watches of the night". Is this what I am doing??? I try to! I really do try to turn my thoughts upon my Lord. I begin praying for things that come to my mind...friends, family, and situations that need prayer. Meanwhile, as if reading my mind, a question will come to me---"Do you remember what happened in your dream about Caroline's healing?"

O.K. that is NOT what I was thinking where did that come from??

Then more will just keep coming...questions that I have to answer that encourage me to continue believing Him for her healing.

Maybe tonight I will get a full night of sleep, or maybe not. The God of the Universe may want to have a conference with me at 3:30ish...who am I to say no???

I pray that my knowledge and understanding of this person, the Holy Spirit, will grow and develop and take me to a fuller love and appreciation of this gift and seal that God sent to live within me.

Also...pray for an end to kid germy illnesses in my home. Currently we are battling an ear infection, recurring cold sores, and a virus with a vicious fever. Yes, all three of them are dealing with something...poor things.

Good night...sleep well!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

He has a way!!

If you prayed for me yesterday...thank you. My Lord's mercy and goodness was with me all day long regardless of how I may have felt. I am trying to acknowledge Him more than the feelings...I am still learning.

Anyway, if you want to know what jolted me out of my selfish stupor??? It was watching the show "17 and Counting" on TLC. This family is amazing. Regardless of how you may feel about their religious beliefs, you must admit they are refreshing to watch. So- last night I am sitting there after "feeling" kind of sad and gloomy all day. I am watching this episode where the dad takes the older of the 17 children on a mission trip to El Salvador. They visit orphanages and visit families where many children live without so much as a plastic tarp as the roof over their heads....there is much death, disease, and dread among these people.

I began to look around at my beautiful home, my plush, comfy chair that I am enjoying at that very moment and I am grieved at myself.
I am SO FAT with BLESSINGS that I don't even see them all around me!! Oh, Lord forgive me for being ungrateful. I know I will have hard days and even sad days....but let me see your blessings that surround me. They are right husband, my children, my home, my friends, my health, my church, my vehicles, my heat and air conditioning.(not even kidding)
Oh-----what spoiled brats we can be!!! Thank you Lord for simply showing me a dose of reality without one bit of condemnation. I love and praise you!!

Thank you for ALL that you are going to DO!

(***** on a slightly weird I am typing this right now...the tornado alarm is sounding outside....I think I'll go get my kids and take cover now******

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Being Real

What I want to type on this blog is that I am living in victory, listening to God's voice, and experiencing His power right now...BUT that would NOT be true.

I am having one of those ("Am I standing in the right line?? I have been in this line for a long, long, long time Lord. Are you sure I am in the right line??) kind of days.

Things are pressing in hard on all I feel wants to override what I KNOW.

Got unexpected news about a friend's mom
Got unexpected news about family members
Economic strain in my home and in countless others...
Caroline's condition seems so definite and concrete

Just a few of the things on my mind...the truth is I know the ONE who knows all. I know HE adores me and has everything in my life under control. I also know HE will allow me to share in HIS experience life in ways I wish I didn't have to.

This is what makes me real...keeps me humble and hungry for Him...helps me have compassion for others.

Lord, thank you (as honestly as I can mean it) for this pain. Help me endure and conquer.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Presence vs. Fullness

I want to learn so much more about this Holy Spirit that resides in me. This One that guides, speaks of things to come, convicts, changes hearts, counsels, and perfects me into the image of Christ. How is it that the same power that raised Jesus from death and the grave resides within us and we can manage to remain calm and even apathetic???
I want to know Him! I want to see Him work mightily in my life and in the lives of those around me! Can I even say that I want to see the New Testament "Acts" church alive and well today. Physical heeling's, addictions broken, marriages mended, and even the dead raised again.

So.......................getting to my point. We discussed in our Angela Thomas bible study the difference between the presence and fullness of the Holy Spirit in our lives. I believe we all receive the presence of this One....but I do not believe that all are filled to full abundantly...with the fullness of the Holy Spirit. I know that if I am so full of myself or things of this world...I don't leave much room for this amazing One to work fully in my life.

Anyway, just some of my thoughts...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Update on ex-shoppaholic and Caroline

My nerves are a tad on edge. We have hit a symphonic high in my house during the last 30 minutes. Ava was taking care of the whining.....Zeke had shreiking/screaming down and Caroline was well into a full blown fit. And our men wonder why a tiny bit of crying doesn't bother us at all???

I am trying to get serious here and collect my thoughts. I was tested today as I went out shopping for a few NEEDED items and errand running. I will say that I passed the test, but the cute little girl brown bathing suit with polka dots was oh so tempting. But, the freedom was that the credit cards were cut up so I didn't have a choice. Plus....we couldn't afford them nor do we need them, yet.

So-this is still in process. I will say that it is refreshing though. The place that the "idol" was in my life is being filled by more of Holy Spirit. I am fully convinced of that. I find that I am satisfied more easily with Him and I am constantly looking for ways to hear and see my Lord at work around me...instead of constantly thinking about material things....(what I don't have or what I would like to get) God really did mean that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. The truth is we don't want to lay down what we think we love...when all the time He knows that the place we are trying to fill can only be filled fully by Him. Keep praying for me...I gotta long way to go!!

As far as an update on my Caroline...nothing much new to tell. She is strong-willed and sweet. I still don't see any visible signs of healing but I am trusting all the same. These days of not seeing will all too soon turn to blessed sight and the world will be amazed that a lame little girl who couldn't eat, talk, play, or walk will be made completely whole.

In the mean time...the enemy loves to tell me that she won't be healed. Pray hard that I resist him and speak out God's promises instead! In Him there is unbelieveable hope!!

(Another friend dreamed of her this week....running and dancing!!!!:>) I can't wait!!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

So sad.......but funny

O.k. so yesterday I started feeling really run down, cold all day, and my voice began to go in and out. I decided to spend most of the evening under a big blanket camped out on the sofa. Shep was really sweet and took the girls out to get me medicine and a movie to rent. They came home and Ava immediately asked if she could watch her movie tomorrow morning...I said "sure".
So- this morning- got up, had my prayer time, and noticed that I felt a little better but my voice sounded rather raspy...I am trying NOT to freak out b/c Kim, Sonya, and I are supposed to sing a 30 minute set tonight at our church for a banquet...I am trusting God to get me and my voice through this evening (I mean the Lord has known about this event for 3 months :>)

So-back to this morning...I put the movie in for Ava and began my morning of getting kids dressed. As I was dressing Caroline, Ava was telling me about the movie that she was watching. It happened to be a princess story with Jasmine. Jasmine was talking to a little boy in this particular scene and Ava said, "Look momma, it Aladdin". I looked at the screen and I said, "No, Ava that is a boy from the market place".

Then Ava said, "Yes it's Aladdin"

I responded, "No, it is just a little boy."

Then I hear, "Yes, it is"

Then it hit me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am arguing with a 3 year old about a ficticious character in a movie that I don't even care about! Are you kidding me?? What have I become?? Heaven, help me!!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Interrupted Lives and Blue Cords...

It is gorgeous here is Georgia. Don't know where you are, but I hate it that you are missing all this sunshine that we are enjoying.

God's theme in my life lately has been submission to where He has me right now. In Bible study---we discussed "being called to a holy and righteous wait".

I just returned from a Priscilla Shirer conference (so stinking good :>) and her theme was "What do we do when God interrupts our lives?" Well for me those are one and the same...kind of.

God interrupted my life 6 and a half years ago when he gave me the honor of being the mother of a severely disabled child. I DID NOT have that planned. Since then, we have lived life, but we have been promised a supernatural healing. So-----I have not only been interrupted but I have also been called "to a holy and righteous waiting period" until her healing is complete.

Choosing to see this as an opportunity for God to work miraculously in my life is a big deal. I truly don't know why he chose me for this undertaking. It seems too BIG. Well, that is just what He planned. It has to be too BIG---He knows I must lean on Him for divine intervention.

Anyway, in case your life has been divinely interrupted by something that you don't like or didn't are in great company. Just ask: Moses, Abraham, Jacob, Job, David, etc...

On a completely different note: thank you ladies for asking to wear those blue cords. It means the world to me that you would wear something that shows everyone that you are believing God with me for Caroline's healing.

God has placed it on my heart to wear a blue leather cord bracelet around my right wrist (yes, this was taken from Beth Moore's "Believing God") until Caroline is healed. I have had one on since June. More and more of my friends have asked to join makes my heart swell. I thank you from the bottom of my heart and I know God is pleased to see His kids with such BIG FAITH!!

(If you are reading this and you want to wear one also, you can buy the leather cording at Hobby Lobby):>)

Thursday, February 5, 2009


If you are checking this blog, then you notice that I have changed the opening song on my playlist (my dad was getting tired of the old offense to Mercy Me).

I have noticed this week that as I have been intentional about getting up early (not that I love jumping out of bed at 5:30) and spending those sweet moments on the floor in my bathroom praying that God has been intentional with me as well.

On Tuesday...the day of my last blog (BIG DAY for me) my left hand began to throb with arthritic pain. For those of you who don't know me or haven't read the beginning story, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis at 25 years old. I keep it under control with medicine and it is much better than it used to be. But, for whatever reason, (probably the devil) it will flare up on me. This was the case on Tuesday... to move my hand at all..was instant, sharp, cutting pain. I am determined to get through my day b/c I have 3 kids and things to do...but I was yelling out in pain for most of the day. (sweet Ava would just pet me) As I was driving I just asked the Lord to help take the pain away and I thanked him for helping me in spite of the pain. O.K. so this never happens to me this way.................................................................but my left hand began to tingle and 90% of the pain was gone. There was some lingering pain, but nothing like it had been for most of the day.

Also, Shep and I got to watch Caroline perform sign language with us in a series of yes/no questions. She is left-handed and when you ask her a question with a "yes" answer she will ball up that fist and slowly bend at the wrist up and down. If you ask her a "no" (this one is harder for her b/c it requires fine motor skills using her fingers too) she will look over at her hand, almost like she is telling it what to do, and open her fingers and bring them together. For me and Shep, it might as well have been a million dollars. Such a sweet moment to get to interact and communicate with her.

So, as I spoke to my Jesus this morning (and He was faithful to wake me at 5:30...he just couldn't wait to see me and my morning hair) I thanked Him for all of this. I prayed for my specific and designated needs and then in closing I said "please keep talking to me and encouraging me".

It didn't take long. At Bible study this morning the video was all about "What to do when God calls us to a righteous waiting period. HELLO...ding! ding! ding! This is me...I am awake and at full attention. She said I have 6 things to tell you to do when God has called you to a holy and righteous waiting period.

1. STAY with God.....isn't it easy to want to check out???
2. Entrust to Him what it is that you want Him to do........
3. Trust Him to keep that thing safe until your waiting is over........
4. That you would BECOME a woman who is READY.....
5. Become and REMAIN a woman of prayer........
6. After you have done all of this......STAND

I am staying with God as I believe HIM for Caroline's healing.
I am entrusting Caroline to him
I am trusting him to taking care of Caroline and all that it entails until she is healed
I am becoming a woman who will be ready when she is healed (I am sure He has something for me to do)
I am becoming a woman of prayer
I am STANDING!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Confessions of a Shop-a-holic

It's true. I am that girl that loves a great deal. It makes me happy. Isn't it sad that I try to find that kind of happiness in a 50% off item? I don't mean to make more of this than it really is. Shopping and looking for good deals is not a bad thing...but when it comes between you and the One you want to know better, then it is time to go.
I really want to go deeper with God. I have been asking Him to talk to me and fill me in ways I haven't been before. Well, last night I couldn't sleep and I woke up at 4:15 (yes daddy, I really am writing this blog at 5:30 a.m.). I got in the shower and suddenly God began to speak. It wasn't what I wanted to miraculous words of knowledge, no inspirational truths to start my day, not even encouragement about Caroline. What I heard was "cut every credit card you have up and throw them away...gasp!!! Yes girls, even those great ones we only use when we can get an extra 15-20 percent off. I just stood there in the shower and let it sink in. OF COURSE the enemy started saying, "well just save them and put them away" (can you believe..I was tempted) but NO!! I decided, and it was a done deal!! I did ask God if it was o.k. for Shep to keep our main credit card that is mine...he said that was fine. Basically, Shep keeps it and if I want to use it bad enough I have to go ask him. For those of you who think this is somewhat subserviant to go ask Shep for little things...sorry, He is kind of my boss...but a very sweet one. And it has been proven, I can't be trusted!!
So-out of the shower I come. Shep comes dragging himself into the bathroom. I begin my daily regamin of getting ready. God stopped me..."go now and do it in front of him"...ouch!!! Are you sure God??? So, I did! There was no pomp and circumstance (I really wanted to capture the difficulty of this moment for me by something dramatic) but Shep simply smiled. My sweet husband was even sad for me......................................................................just like it should be for one you love to watch you give up something you love.

Now, I am NOT saying that I still won't shop. But I will take it way more seriously...even praying about it! (doesn't the Bible say we should pray about everything?)

Just maybe God is removing unnecessary things so I can be more filled with Him! I keep asking Him to trust me with more of Him when He may be making me more trustworthy.

Anyway, last Thursday was a marker for me with letting go of bitterness. Today is another marker for me. I cut up an "idol" in my life. Oh man, all of this was done in a 6 day period. I knew I felt tired.

On a serious note--the Lord spoke to me about all of this without any condemnation. I felt His love, His joy, and His discipline all at the same time. I am His girl and He wants what is best.

So-I am going to be a BIG GIRL about this (shout out to Tess) and Deana, I will probably depend on you for those coupons from Ann Taylor Loft and The Children's Place. But today is a new day...I even feel a little wallet definitely does!!! :>)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Prayer Organized

I am not good at prayer. I don't know many people who are...most of us like to talk but have a hard time listening. Another bothersome issue of prayer is how overwhelming my requests have become...
my family
my marriage
Shep's business
extended family
special friends
ministry opportunities
my church
church staff and families
our President and family
our Vice-Pres. and family
military and families
different folks who need healing
and the list just goes on.....and on......and on.....and on.

Sometimes I don't want to tackle prayer b/c I grow weary in all that I need to pray about and I wonder, "Do I have to pray for all of that every single time I pray".

So, God offered me a solution. He made me the way I am....I love lists and organizing things. So why not prayer too?? This may sound too technical and non-spiritual, but I did it anyway. I have organized my prayer by the days of the week.

Monday-my country, leadership of country, sin in our country, salvation's for our country

Tuesday- my church, staff and families, boldness for body of Christ, missionaries

Wednesday-the lost people all around me and opportunities to share my faith

Thursday-ministry opportunities, the military and families, wars and terrorism

Friday-specific healing for Caroline and others, anointing and filling of Holy Spirit in my life

Saturday-extended family, close friends (blessings, protection, provision)

Sunday-simply thankfulness and praise

I DID NOT organize my personal stuff much....

*****I have asked God to allow me to simply talk to him about my personal stuff all through out the day. It is kind of like that with a close friend anyway, right?? We talk to our close friends continually about our families and personal things in our lives.

So, today was my first day in the endeavor. It was great!!!!!! This may sound crazy, but I enjoyed my time so much more. I didn't feel overwhelmed or frazzled. I could really just pray.

I knew God could use my control issues for my good and His glory!! Amen!!