Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Not ashamed to need His help...

As you recall from my last entry God let me slip, fall, and bleed (spiritually) from the roots of an un-forgiving heart.

So what now?

Me-"OK Lord you have pin-pointed a strong-hold of sin in my life. I have not and will not forgive some people. What do I do now?"

God-"Make a list of them."

Me-"Are you sure? That makes me uncomfortable. There are quite a few names on that list....and might be in the number one slot."

God-"I know. That's ok. Let's work through this together. Start writing the names..."

That was the conversation between us this past Saturday night.

I obeyed.
I made my list.
I wrote out the whys.

And like I thought....God took the top spot. Ouch!

I have continued to pray and wait on God to prompt my heart in how exactly to deal with this.

Last night He began His process.

I went on a walk in the neighborhood. This time the IPOD was juiced up and ready to go. So I walked to the beat of different artists belting out praise and honor to God. Toward the start of lap # 2 a very familiar song came on. I braced myself because it always moves me.

This time was different.

As soon as the Casting Crowns front man started the lyrics to the first verse I knew God had something to say to me. (God totally doesn't care that I am on a walk in my neighborhood and that my resulting behavior could be embarrassing to me and my family...but whatever.)

I sang along and waited for its full impact.

The song is "Set Me Free." It is about a demon-possessed man living an ordinary day surrounded by darkness and evil and then his life-changing experience with the Light of the World, Jesus. Jesus looks straight into his eyes and asks him, "Do you wanna be free? Lift your chains, I hold the key. All power on heaven and earth belongs to me."

I pictured myself. Saved by the grace of God and freed from my sin nature YET willingly wearing chains of un-forgiveness.

Each day I get up and choose to put them on again.

Crazy, isn't it?!?

I am a new creature in Christ. Because I accepted God's gift of mercy and grace through Christ on the cross...I no longer have to give in to sin. I am free from sin.

The song has always spoken to my heart because I picture some needy hurting soul, lost without the LORD and how He longs to save them. The story of Jesus saving sinners never gets old. When someone receives Him as Lord and Savior I always get chill bumps and the tears flow.

But now the song was different. I was the needy hurting soul.

Saved: yes.
Redeemed: yes.
Shackled and chained with un-forgiveness? yes.
Living in bondage to its hold on me? yes.

He was asking, "Andrea, do you wanna be free? Lift your chains I hold the keys. All power on heaven and earth belong to me.
You are free.
You are free.
Now choose it and walk in your freedom."


It is just that easy.

A choice.

Get up today and decide.
Get up tomorrow and decide.
Get up the next day and decide.

Do I live free from this or do I go and put on my chains again?

Lord, help me choose to walk and live in the freedom you died to give me.

Isaiah 52:2 Shake off your dust; rise up, sit enthroned, Jerusalem. Free yourself from the chains on your neck, Daughter Zion, now a captive.

Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives, and release from darkness the prisoners.

John 8:32 Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.

Acts 13:39 Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses.

Romans 6:22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness and the result is eternal life.

FREE- release from bondage, imprisonment; enjoying personal rights or liberty

Monday, February 21, 2011

First Skinned Knees of the Season...a God lesson for me

After some pretty brutal cold weather for us wimpy Georgians, we have gotten to enjoy the first tastes of Spring-like weather.

It has been glorious.

For someone who loves sunshine and being outside for no other reason than to let it bathe my face in warmth....I have loved it!

We have made it our business to be outside these last two weekends. (I will post some pics soon...)

Anyway, Ava and Zeke were playing outside and chasing a ball this past Saturday. It got away from them so Ava went to retrieve it. As she ventured down a landscaped slope, she slipped on the pine straw and knee-planted into our neighbor's driveway.

Shep, Caroline and I were in the basement with the boat door open. Immediately we heard the screams.

I am amazed at how we know our kids and their cries. This was Ava's hurt cry....loud and strong...alarming and constant.

We scrambled to get to her. She had done it and done it good. Her pretty little face was stained with tears and the crying took a long time to subside.

These were no scrapes to be embarrassed about....these scrapes certainly won her some sympathy from us and I am sure some respect from her peers.

As I thought about my almost 6 year old girl and her super loud almost baby-like cries, I was fascinated about how pain can do that to us.

Now that she is older...she just doesn't cry much.

Whine......yes. But

But this fall did it. This unexpected injury did her in. It sent her back to baby-like desperation. She was hurt and needed repairing. She wanted to cry. She wanted to be held.

As He normally does, God turned my thoughts toward Him and how He deals with me.

I thought about my own slip-ups. I am supposed to be maturing in my walk of faith. I should be getting stronger and more mature every day. I sometimes think that I am even immune to sudden pot holes in life that I may never see. I even get so self-righteous that I think I can handle any terrain no matter how slippery or uneven it may be.

Then it happens.

I fall.

Never saw it coming.

It hurts.

Spiritually skinned knees. Only surface wounds but still the pain is sharp and I kick myself for not knowing better....for not taking the time to study my pathway.

As I mature in Christ I focus on His will for my life. I want to hear His voice. I want to do BIG things for Him.

None of those things are bad but sometimes I don't address the things I deem to be small. Only they aren't small to Him.

Saturday evening I became overwhelmingly aware of a sin that I don't want to deal with.

You could safely say that God let me fall. I tripped on some roots of sin sticking up in my path. He thought it was time for me to deal with them. So He let me trip on them.

He let me hurt.

He let me bleed a little.


I hate even typing it. I really hate saying it. But it is so true.

I have a list of people who I haven't forgiven....really.

I am happy to say that once God got my attention enough for me to really see myself and what I have harbored inside of me~ I became sad over my sin.

The good kind of sad.

The kind that leads to brokenness and then repentance.

Job 4:4 "Your words have supported those who stumbled; you have strengthened faltering knees."

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Can I cry too??

Just when you think that you have won the battle and sickness is banished from your home...think again.

My darling little man started running a fever Monday evening. He didn't want to eat anything, seemed lethargic and whiny.

Not wanting to experience the flu again, we took him to the doctor to thankfully hear that he just has a virus. It will pass.

Last night my plan was to take the girls to Shep so that he could take them to AWANAs at church and teach his class. Zeke and I were gonna stay home so as NOT to infect other little ones at church. My plan was obliterated when I got the girls from school and took one look into Ava's weak little green eyes. I knew. She did not feel well.

Got home and got unloaded to discover that I was right. She now had a fever as well.

So~church was out of the question.

I called Shep to let him know of our plan change. I am sure I vented my frustration. I hate it when my kids are sick and it seems that they have had their fair share this winter season.

At one point in the evening all three of them were crying...

Zeke was just very whiny and every little thing threw him for a loop so he was crying easily.
Ava felt bad and wanted to just be right under my arm for comfort.
Caroline was jealous of the other two getting attention and so because her feelings were hurt she was crying too.

I looked from Zeke to Ava to Caroline all crying and wanted to run out of the house...just to get some momentary momma relief.

I mean couldn't I just cry too????

Anyway, we made it through the evening without much of a hitch.

I kept Ava home from school today just to be on the safe side. She just gave me a huge delight by coming up and reading to me out of her little Bible. It was awesome! She really is reading. She has to be helped to sound out the really hard words but other than that she is on her way.

Life halted is not fun for this type A personality girl. I like for things to stay on schedule. I thrive off of order. However life offers endless opportunities to learn to operate and function during times that have us rattled and off our course.

I end with my latest scripture memory verse.

"Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior and my hope is in you all day long." Psalm 25:5

If I could pray this verse to go along with my day it would go something like this....

Father please guide me today. I need You to teach me how to get through these days when life takes alternate courses....not just to get through them but to be joyful and steady in the midst of them. I want to be more than a conqueror through you Lord. You are my Savior and I hope in You all this day long.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

My Young Writer

Something really neat and unexpected happened on Friday.

I attended the K-2 talent show at the girl's school. Ava's little kindergarten class was singing a cute song in hip-hop style...complete with ban-dana do-rags on their heads, sunglasses, and bling-bling. Yes, you heard right.

My five year old needed bling-bling to look the part.

Anyway, the show was a success and I must say that there are a number of talented kids at their school. I was really impressed!

Before I left, Ava's teacher told me that she had asked a few kids to do a writing assignment. (Now I must tell you that Ava is learning to read and she cannot write much at all so I was interested to know how this all played out.)

She had chosen Ava's writing piece to send in to the Young Writer's Workshop and needed me to sign the permission form.

Then came the unexpected part~ she said, "I can't wait for you to read what she wrote. It is so sweet. It is about Caroline."

Tears immediately sprang to my eyes when I thought of my little 5 year old girl. She is ever tender and incredibly intuitive.

As soon as her teacher told me it was about Caroline I knew what the subject would be.

I will type out for you what Ava wrote: (I am spelling the words correctly...she had to sound them out so they were not spelled right at all)

"I hope my sister would get healed.
My sister might get healed in a few weeks.
I hope it is true.
If she gets healed I will be happy."

These four sentences take up most of the page in her handwriting. I have the copy that her teacher made for me and it will go in a most special place.

My heart just expands with gratitude to my God!!

My prayer for my children is to love pursue enjoy a relationship with God...and most of all to BELIEVE GOD FOR ANYTHING!

He is answering that prayer.

Her little writing assignment speaks of hope, expectancy, and child-like faith.

We could all learn something from my little writer...don't you think!?!

I will end with my third scripture memory verse for the year~"Now unto Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine according to the power at work within us!" Ephesians 3:20

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

His cute cowlick..

My little boy....the cutest thing in my universe.

To know him is to absolutely love him. The way he talks and gets his words out of stinking cute.

When it is nap time and he doesn't want to go he will say, "Not want it~ take a nap...not want it."

I told you. Too cute.

Anyway we have a ritual several times a day (usually in the morning) that involves me wetting his hair to try to make it lie down. Needless to say...most of the time I am wasting my energy because it is NOT going to lay down. He has a cowlick. It is right smack on the crown of his head.

See I used to be one of those critical women who would see little boys with their hair sticking up and I would think, "Why would his mother not comb his hair?"

Well, I am sufficiently paying for my judgmental and critical attitude.
I am that mother! .....and
I do comb his hair!

It just doesn't seem to help at all!

NO amount of combing, brushing, or wetting can make it lie down. We are just doomed to have a cowlick.

I will admit though that having this little boy has cured me of judging other little boys' hair. Now when I see a little boy with seemingly unkempt hair I just grin. Not only does it remind me of my little man, but it melts my mama heart and I find it irresistibly cute.

It takes having one to appreciate one.

Thank you God for using my son's cowlick to convict me of needless judgment and criticism. I hate those two traits and I especially hate them in myself. It seems silly to uncover this about myself in something so trivial but I want sin rooted out of me no matter how big or small it is.

Friday, February 4, 2011

God's "Go To" Girl...

My hero of the Bible is Abraham.

He was pursued by God to leave his home and set off for course unknown.
He was expected to obey and trust God always over what he could see or feel.
He messed up some but overall he did prove trustworthy to God and his human eyes got to witness miracles and marvels given by God as blessing to him.

For the last 8 and a half years I have often gone back to study Abraham.

Funny.... now he seems like an old friend. The pages in my bible are worn and washed by pen color where I have studied and pondered his actions and how he might have felt at different times of trusting God.

I relate my story to his in many ways.

God has absolutely pursued us to believe Him for our daughter to be healed. Her healing will be the ultimate outcome but believing Him for it has set us on the journey of our lives. Each step has been and is one of trusting what we can't see...and certainly what we don't feel.

We have had laughter on mountaintops, dark times in valleys and we seem to be enduring an extended stay in the dry parched desert. But still...we are on pilgrimage with God. We haven't lost hope to what He has promised us and we know He will prove Himself faithful.

At our Thursday morning Bible study, we are doing the Beth Moore study of "The Patriarchs."

Lucky for me....we get to spend weeks with my hero Abraham.

I was struck again yesterday with many more reasons to respect and honor this Father of my faith.

We spent the entire lesson learning from his experience on Mt. Moriah. It was there that he obeyed God and laid his promised son down on an altar just because God tested him. Beth said something in the video that struck me in a fresh way. She said, "This story isn't about Abraham or Isaac. It is not about Abraham's obedience. It is about God. It is about God's provision."

It was like God just splashed cold water in my face.

My journey with Caroline isn't about my faith. How strong or big it is...


If it was about my faith then it would be about me. Life isn't about me. It is always about God...about bringing Him glory. journey with Caroline is ALL about God's provision.

The perspective changes drastically.

The shift goes from Him.

Praise God.

Carrying that load can get too heavy for these feeble shoulders.


In Genesis chapter 12 and 22 God asked Abraham to do really difficult things. He called him to "go to" ......

I desperately want to be a "go to" girl for God!

I know I won't like every task that is asked of me but I will be in some great company!