Tag Archives: prayer

P.R.A.Y.

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is an acronym I learned long ago. It stands for:

Praise God for who He is

Repent of your sins

Ask

Yield to God’s will.

Praising is awesome. It is a time to remember my many blessings and connect with God on a personal level. Praise is all about who God is and enjoying family time with Him. Praise is personal. This is where unexpected answers sometimes come, where Abba Father and I can laugh together. When I enter into praising my Father, He lovingly shapes my heart and attitude. If I come to Him angry but remember to STILL approach Him with praise on my lips, everything changes. He re-orients my heart, my perspective, and pours out grace and humility over me. Praise is crucial before we ask, not to “butter God up” to get what we want, but to remember who He is and align our hearts and minds with His.

Repentance is tough work. If we honestly search our hearts and find nothing awry, this is the time to ask God to reveal any areas in our hearts and lives that need work. Whatever we are struggling with, this is the time to get it off our chest. God already knows every thought we’ve ever had, everything we ever did when we thought no one was watching, when we forgot the One who is with us always and never leaves our side. This is the time to admit we cannot fix ourselves, and we need some help. This is where holy breaking occurs. In repentance, shackles fall away. Walls tumble down. Here we receive strength beyond what we are capable of alone. Here, we find healing and acceptance.

Asking is easy. We always want more from God, but unless we temper our requests with praise, repentance, and yielding to God’s will, if we only talk to our Heavenly Daddy when we want something, we reduce the Creator of the Universe to Santa Clause, or “the great sky wizard” as some of my Atheist friends call Him. Oh, beloved, do you understand how hurtful this is? God loves us. He delights in our little questions. Like any loving father, He just wants to spend time with us. He wants to be so much more than a big spiritual wallet to us. If all we ever do is ask, we are missing out on the healthiest, most stable relationship of our lives. We miss out on truly experiencing God.

Now this last one, this yielding business, I really struggle with this. I suspect many do. “Thy will be done” is so easy to say, but so much harder for me to put into practice. Yielding means letting go of expectations. Yielding means trusting that God knows what’s best, that He is big enough and powerful enough, that He is good and loving. Yielding means praising our Father no matter the outcome. It means praising Him when we cannot see His hand at work. It means praising Him and trusting that He is working all things for good even when it seems our prayers are bouncing off the ceiling. If repentance is where we break, yielding is where God rebuilds us, but we HAVE to let Him! Yielding is where we get out of God’s way and just let the Master work! Can you imagine if clay fought in the potter’s hands? If paint wouldn’t stay on the brush long enough to become a masterpiece? Yielding is life, friends, and I forget to do it! We can ask and repent until we’re blue in the face, but if we are not willing to accept God’s “No’s,” His “Not Yet’s,” and His “Father Knows Best and That Ain’t It’s,” then we miss out on healing. We miss out on the greatest love story of our lives. We miss prosperity, peace, and great joy. We miss being a part of something great, something bigger than ourselves. Yielding is absolutely crucial to meeting our full spiritual potential, doing the impossible, knowing God, and I forget to do it! Or I just resist! I hold onto my own desires, stamp my foot and demand my own way. Does that ever work? Would you do me a favor? Would you pray for me? And tell me how I can pray for YOU. Where are you hurting? What are you struggling with? What has God done in your life lately?

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The Light at the End of the Tunnel

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I have been struggling lately. Health problems seem unending. Money is tight. Familial relationships are strained. Menopause makes me feel like a weepy fool. There is a set point in the future when things should get better for our family, but it feels so far away. It’s easy to lose sight of, or to feel like it is out of reach. What-ifs wash over me and try to drag my hope with them. I am completely overwhelmed, but my God is not. He has met every need out of His great abundance, and I have faith He will continue to do so. Would you pray for me? For my family? And if I can do the same for you, please let me know.

I try to focus on enjoying making memories with the children, on moving forward to get our family into a better situation, when I am able. Which seems to never be enough of the time. But that is a thought I can’t focus on, because it becomes a cyclone of depression. No, better to just hold onto this train for dear life and try to keep my eyes on the pin dot of light ahead.

Carpal tunnel

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is why I’ve been a little quiet lately. Well, part of the reason anyway. I caught it in the early stages so it is reversible, just have to take it easy on the typing for a while. Recovery from surgery is going well, had a minor setback but really nothing to worry about. Let’s just say dealing with a clingy feverish baby in the middle of the night during night sweats is, um, difficult? Unpleasant? You do the math on that one. But we got through it, and after a few days for Mommy and baby to recover we are all doing OK again. I may be able to return to work part-time soon, covering that decision in prayer and would appreciate any of you joining me. God is doing some great things here, oh how I wish I could tell you more. Please pray. I have learned after many years to recognize the attacks of the Devil, and to know that means we are doing exactly what we are supposed to. Pray no weapon formed against this family would prosper.

I have completely lost it.

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This is the song of my heart today. It’s times like these you learn who your true friends and allies are. That has always been a very, very short list for me, at times consisting only of God. I am not proud to say that at times, there has been no list. In one particular dark pit, I found myself pulling away from the only One who could help me, the only One who knew the depth of the valley in which I found myself. I asked Him some hard questions, and when I didn’t like the answers, I pulled deep into myself, letting the darkness wash over me and under me and through me. And there I sat, wallowing in my hurt, slapping God’s hand away from my shoulder each time He reached in. But this time, I am fighting. I cling to the One who has never left my side. I am forcing myself to pry the lies and chains of hurt, mistrust, cynicism, and loneliness from my heart and give them over to the Author of Truth and Lover of My Soul. I am forcing myself to trust my husband, to be real with him and let him into my hurts, despite the strong desire to simply fold into myself again and close the heavy doors. I am reaching, and it’s hard, so hard, to the few who are left on my very short trusted list, a list that seems to shrink with each passing day. And I am sharing my struggle with you. Because no matter what seeds of lies the darkness sows, we are never alone. We are made to love, to connect with one another, imperfect beings sharing in our imperfection. We have to forgive, have to. We have to try again and again and keep reaching, keep giving broken relationships over to the Healer and letting Him restore, trusting that He can and wants to, if both parties will let Him. But right now, today, I just don’t have the strength. I’m trying, Lord knows I’m trying. But today, all I have in me is enough fight to cry out to God and to let my husband in. And for today, that will have to be enough. Looking forward to the end of this trial and a period of healing in my body and soul.

Phillipians 4:11-12

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11 Not that I speak [a]from want, for I have learned to be [b]content in whatever circumstances I am.12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.

This scripture has always baffled me. I have experienced agonies in my adult life that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemies. I have hit ten on the pain scale more than once. A handful of times I have cried out to God for relief for so long that I’ve switched to praying for death. There have even been times I’ve been suicidal; these particular migraines are sometimes referred to as “shotgun headaches” because of their propensity to drive sufferers to the very pit of utter hopelessness and desperation. And God has the nerve to quietly, gently remind me of this scripture. In exasperation I ask him, “How am I supposed to be content in Hell?! Because that’s what it feels like, Lord. I can’t imagine worse pain than the worst of my own. I cannot comprehend it. How could anyone possibly be content like this?!” But He only whispers, when He answers at all, You shall learn to be content with whatever I give you, whatever you face. You will learn. And it’s meant to be a comfort, but being the bullheaded child that I am I cross my arms and stomp my foot, saying “LOOOOooooooOOOrd, I don’t WANT to be content! I don’t want to be a saint! I just want the pain to end! No, I don’t want this growth, please just let me be a good wife and mother and do the things I want to do that are supposed to be Godly! Let me be the Proverbs 31 woman! Why would you place me in this role, and give me these desires to do it well, then take my abilities? Why am I even here anymore if I am only going to suffer and be a burden? Why did you open my womb only to leave me unable to raise these precious gifts? I’m failing them, Lord, and I don’t understand. How can I possibly be content here alone in the dark, while someone else raises my babies? While they cry for me, and I cry for them? I’m failing as a wife, as a woman, as a human being. And I KNOW I still have worth, Lord. I know my worth does not depend on what I do. But why are you keeping me here to do nothing but suffer and drain?”

9 And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast [a]about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with [b]insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.  2 Corinthians 12:9-11

I cried out to Him again. “How am I strong right now, Lord? Where is Your strength in this?” Then, one day, He introduced me to someone whose suffering was greater than my own, and it had plagued her for decades. And I was humbled. I remembered her every time my own suffering began again, remembered how much worse life was for her. That day, there was a shift in my spirit. Instead of praying for my own pain to end, instead of crying out on my own behalf, I began to pray for her. Fervent, broken prayers, day and night. And God honored those prayers. God used our pain to reach into each other’s darkest places.  Now, my pain has a purpose. God has given me an intercessory prayer ministry I never could have entered otherwise. And while I’m not yet to the place I can say I have learned to be content, whatever my circumstance, I am getting there. Now, I believe that can come to pass in my own life. I’m still fighting with God about it, after all I am stubborn and kind of a spiritual idiot. But He’s working on that, too.TheWeekendBrewButton

Real Life

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Sometimes Real Life happens and it gets in the way of blogging. My last week has been very Real. Here’s what I haven’t been blogging about:

1) Boring, unpleasant health stuff. Migraines, an injury, illness, the whole shebang.

2) Work. My husband started his new job and has been away more, so I have been busy with the children. I’ve also been working on a side project to try and make a little extra money.

3) Arts & Crafts. I’ve been writing a book for some time and have been really focused on that this week. I’ve also made some fun items for a care package, and I’m knitting a little something just for me. Like many yarn crafters, I rarely make anything just for myself, but I found some beautiful unique yarn several months ago that I fell in love with. I’ve been searching for just the right project for it, and finally found a suitable one.

4) Prayer and study. God has been reaching and calling to me in this season, and I have hungered for Him. He has brought us so many blessings in this season that no one would choose for their family. He’s allowed me to participate in some exciting areas of ministry, and in the process my family underwent the most powerful spiritual attack we have ever seen. But God opened up the heavens and kept us safe. We experienced many wonderful surprises and crazy blessings.

So, that’s what’s been going on on this side of the blog. I hope to share some more details of what God is doing in, for, and with my family soon. Bless you all.

God knows exactly what we need

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even when we don’t.

I live with a physical disability. When my husband proposed, he knew about my assorted medical issues, but he saw I still lived a relatively normal life. He fell in love with this intelligent, resourceful, strong, tenacious, charismatic woman of God who overcame great obstacles. He watched me beat the odds, and when I failed, he held me while I sobbed and then watched me use my failures to accomplish something different. He knew that living with me would present some unusual challenges because of my health. And he proposed anyway, because I was so much more than my challenges. He promised my tearful mother that he would take good care of me, making the multiple yearly ER visits and the various assorted doctors appointments. We loved each other, we were young and optimistic and together, we could conquer anything. But neither of us could have predicted my future inability to function adequately in society.

As my health declined over the past few years, he struggled to accept the severity. And yesterday, he finally did. It nearly killed him. He lost hope in the long, dark night. Then today went just a little bit better. And tonight, while searching through my computer bag, I found something very dear to him that’s been missing since our move. Something he’d lost hope that he would ever see again. I’ve dug through that bag several times since we’ve been here, but it’s a small item and the same color as the lining of my bag. Still, I don’t know how I missed it before. But it was like a tiny love note from God, telling him “See? Anything is possible. I can restore all that is lost. I love you, here’s a small gift. Don’t give up hope.” That may seem silly to some of you, but for my husband it was a win he desperately needed. Some might call it luck; personally I don’t believe in that.

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” Luke 16:10

We feel like God spoke this verse into my husband’s soul tonight in a way that he could understand. And he let me be a part of it. Little ole me. What a privilege.

Share Your Best Blog Post | SFoxWriting’s Blog

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Share Your Best Blog Post | SFoxWriting’s Blog. What a great idea from a prolific blogger! Thanks SFox!

Busy here. Dealing with a health crisis along with the regular challenges of life. But don’t worry little blog, I am still working and praying through a new post for you soon. In happy news, the former best friend who hasn’t spoken a word to me in over a month is acknowledging my existence again. Things are broken, oh so broken. I don’t know if we will ever return to what we once shared. But some small piece of healing happened today, and for today it is enough.

Late Night Prose

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Calmly. I saw what you did.

“I know. I’m sorry.” I’m dead inside. Please, punish me. Just let it happen.

“Sorry does not even BEGIN to cover it! Do you KNOW what you’ve DONE?! All the work, all the progress, you’ve UN-done?! JUST so YOU could feel GOOD for a minute?! Well how does it feel NOW, wretch?! Failure! UNWORTHY! YOU’LL NEVER BE WORTH ANYTHING!”

“I know. I’m sorry.” It’s all true.

“No. Sorry doesn’t fix this. I don’t even know if you CAN fix this, you filthy burdensome rodent!”

BUT I. CAN. I. AM. BIGGER. YOU CAN TRUST IN ME. THERE’S NOTHING I CAN’T FIX!

A seed of hope…

“Don’t listen to Him. He’s nothing. He doesn’t care about you. NO ONE cares about you, and they never will! How COULD they when you’re so bad and disgusting?! YOU don’t even care for you, and why would you? Why should you? You don’t matter anyway.”

It stings. It’s true. But Hope. Hope. I can still hear His whisper. Hope. Can I trust Him? I don’t believe everything He says, but I know it’s true. I know it’s true. But I don’t believe it.

FATHER, FORGIVE ME!

Silence.

And light. Blessed, blessed silence. Freedom. Cautious hope. Light. She’s gone, and I am free. For now.

Just Write

I have been abandoned.

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My closest friend trampled me and kicked me off to the side like so much garbage. The one I trusted and loved like a sister, who was supposed to know me, has hardened her heart. I never saw it coming. It hurts. A lot. Like a bad break-up or a death in the family. Sadly, I know this pain well. My dad left us a lot. Mother was emotionally distant. Close friends turned and either left or actively caused damage, time and time again, until I learned to stop trusting. I shut down. I lived in books and daydreams, and I poured my heart out in music. Until high school, when God sent some amazing, beautiful, wonderful girls into my life. This girl. While God sent the others only for a short season, this one stayed. We loved each other through some deep, dark, dangerous woods. And when we came out the other side hand in hand, we partied hard, good girl-style. We prayed, we worshiped, we sang. We took long drives, drank too much coffee, borrowed and lent, and we LIVED. We were life-long friends, and now, suddenly we’re not. Though this SHOULD hurt more than those childhood wounds, because we shared so much for so very long, somehow this loss is different. Instead of crumbling in, I find myself reaching out, not to replace her but to build naturally on existing friendships. We cannot be who we’re meant to be without other people. We cannot minister effectively unless we let people in. We have to take the risk, time and time again, or miss out on fulfilling our God-given purpose. And God has proven to me that no matter the hurt, no matter the betrayal, He is bigger. Though I grieve and wonder how this could have happened, what went awry, I have a strange peace that only comes from the Holy Spirit living in me. I don’t know if we’ll ever mend, and if we do if we can regain what we had, but I know that whatever happens she is in God’s hands. I am in God’s hands. They are the only hands that can bind this wound, the only safe harbor for my heart. Sister, friend, I will always love you, but if our season together ends for good, this time I walk forward with my head held high, trusting my Savior to lead and to heal.