Thursday, January 28, 2010

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." Jeremiah 1:5

With the counter wiped clean and the dishtowel neatly folded, I let the swaying pepper tree branches out the kitchen window capture my thoughts. And for a moment, I was back 12 years ago when my kids were 2 and 4.
We’d just finished watching a Pooh bear movie and we wanted to see how our “just because” party compared to that of the hundred-acre wood. I still remember chocolate pudding smeared across my daughter’s smile and onto her tiny glasses. And the way my son giggled watching our puppy lick apple juice from plastic tea cups.
I wonder if my heavenly father looks back on my tender, early years with a sigh, I thought. Does He smile recalling times when I stumbled and fell, only to pull myself back up on wobbly legs? Does He remember my childhood giggles and my innocence, the difficult lessons learned with adolescence?
How patient He has been with me over the years; through all my mistakes, my careless words, and the times I refused to listen to Him. He was there when my parents divorced, when loved ones passed away and He was still there with arms open and ready to embrace me when I chose to make Him my savior and best friend.
With a grateful heart, I thank you, Lord for being my true Father. Through all the seasons of life, all the lessons learned – you’ve picked me up, dusted me off and embraced me. Thank you for loving me.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Grove

I must have twisted my ankle a dozen times as we stumbled down a mile of dirt road deeply rutted by erosion, and littered with rocks and pine cones. Normally, I would have punctuated such an event with a few tears and some serious complaining, but there were several relatives joining us on our excursion into bear-infested territory. With so many witnesses, I figured one must take into account the example she wishes to make for her nieces and nephews, lest her childish ways become fodder for discussion at every family gathering forevermore.
As we reached the little pond, I was more than ready to sit. I lowered my sore, sweaty body to a fallen log and smiled at the 6 dancing bobbers across the water; each attached to fishing poles gripped by little hands.
From my perch, I happened to spot a beautiful grove of aspens. Their fluttering leaves caught the summer sun and sparkled like nature’s emeralds.
As I sat there on the log (hoping all neighborhood bears would find it in their hearts to simply ignore the scent of Hershey bars drifting from my backpack), I couldn’t help but notice the grouping of trees with stunning white trunks contrasting against the meadow and shading one end of the pond. They’re certainly the nonconformists of the forest, I thought.
As I watched them, I thought of the similarities between that grove and the strength found in the fellowship and unity of Christian women. Like the aspens, they stand together through the storms. Their branches become heavy laden and sometimes droop, but when a bough does break, they rely on the strength of those who share the grove because their roots run deep and are intertwined. And though they shed their leaves, suffering through seasons of dormancy, and maybe even lose a limb now and then, those that remain not only find the energy to sprout new growth but continue to reach Heavenward.
God alone decides just where these groves will thrive. He hand-picks each one, selecting the perfect mix of traits, personalities and gifts; yet all possess the ability to grow.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A prayer for moms

Dear Lord,
Today I just want to lift up all the moms around the country.  No, this isn't "Mother's Day," but I just feel a heavy burden for those who are stuggling; so many are dealing with strained relationships within their own households.  Many are struggling financially, worried about possible loss of employment or even the need for a second job that will take them away from their families. 

I'm praying for those who have spent their morning shoveling snow, hauling firewood, taken care of sick children or husbands and doing so unaware of the sacrifice - putting aside their own physical afflictions.  Be with those who sacrifice sleep and rest to provide for their families.  Be with those courageous enough to wear a smile and praise your name while enduring life-threatening disease. Warm those who are cold and without electricity.  Feed those who have empty cupboards.  Strengthen those who are trying to raise up their children to be responsible adults, and let their efforts be met with understanding and compassion.  May you be glorified with the mending of relationships between mother and child.  Comfort those whose children have diverted down a destructive path.  Hear the prayers of mothers who go to their knees in prayer, desperate for your intervention.

I want to pray for mothers of those who are serving in the armed forces.  Hear their prayers, Lord as they cry out for your protection and comfort over their sons and daughters fighting for our great nation. Likewise, I pray for the faithful, strong women whose husbands are serving.  Close the gap of time and give them peace as they count down the months and days until they can be re-united as a family once more.

I want to pray for the mothers who have found themselves in desperate situations, either in a home where there is abuse, alcoholism or addictions.  Hear these women, dear Lord.  Help them to feel your presence in their lives in a very real way.  Let them not lose hope for the future.  I pray you bring about love and support from the body of Christ so that others may be used of you to direct the hurting and lost straight to your light!

Thank you, Jesus, for hearing our prayers and for loving us like no other.  Thank you that when we call out to you, you listen and you care.

God bless those who are mothers and wives.  Strengthen and encourage them today.  Be their hope for the future, I pray.  I Jesus' precious name.  Amen

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Through the storm

It's raining here today.  Not sweet little drip-drops against the roof.  Nope.  This is a good old fashioned el nino downpour sending waves and debris down the road and nearly flooding my little fish pond.  I go from the front window to the back keeping an eye on the flood waters as they rise ever so close to the back door.

I love that the storm doesn't last forever.  It has a beginning and an end.  But as storm clouds approach, we prepare for the worst; stocking up on firewood, pulling out jackets and extra blankets for the chilly nights, and making sure our cupboards are fully stocked with enough food and supplies to see us through.

And as I survey the shifting clouds, I'm reminded that it's God alone who sees us through the storm.  It's HIS provision, HIS warmth, HIS comfort and HIS nourishment that causes us to keep our eyes looking heavenward until the storm passes.

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty” (Psalm 91:1).

Friday, January 15, 2010

Your words - not mine

The voice on the line spoke through the scratchy connection of the motel room where she stayed last night, but would soon be forced to leave.  Her voice, though distant and weak, immediately tugged at my heart and I wanted to reach out to her - to somehow pluck her from her situation and set her back on solid ground.

It seems everywhere I turn these days, I'm met with those suffering in very real ways.  The enemy has invaded lives once rich with good health, strong faith and hope for the future.  He alone has stolen dreams, diminished finances and broken relationships and all I can do is offer a heart-felt prayer - the simplest, yet most powerful tool there is.

So, to the voice on the phone, I closed my eyes and spoke with words not from my own mind, but instead allowed the holy spirit to speak through me offering words and thoughts that I knew weren't coming from my feable mind.  At that very moment I gave all I could to the situation - in fact it's the way I'm supposed to handle the situation, isn't it?  Afterall, when the need far outweighs my ability to correct it, I have to go to the One with the power to help.

Thank you, God for giving me your words and the ability to offer comfort to those whom you bring across my path.  Thank you for hearing our prayers and for loving us.  Amen.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Follow your dream!

We all have dreams. Whether single or married, youthful or well seasoned, from false eye lashes to false teeth, each of us possess a passion uniquely ours.


You’ve dared to dream but maybe, during the obligations as wife, mom, scout leader, room mom, etc., you’ve stood by and watched those dreams twist and turn in the spin cycle only to wash away with the rinse water.

If you're reading this today, please know that your dreams matter! 

“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)


Don’t think that dreams and goals aren’t meant for you; that they’re only for the rich and powerful. God said he had plans for YOU, and plans to prosper YOU. He is our hope in attaining our dreams and goals. He already knew, long ago about the obstacles you would face. He knew your inhibitions. Your insecurities.

Maybe you're not kicking as high as you used to, but I believe if you're still here, there's still work to be done, and God wants to accomplish it in you!

So, what’s holding you back from pursuing your life-long dream?


Money?

Time?

Lack of confidence or resources?

Is there someone in your life either intentionally or subtly stealing your joy, ultimately preventing you from pursuing that which makes your heart sing?

Did you know that God has planned great things for you, and has already equipped you with everything necessary to carry out His plans?

Hebrews 12:1(NLT) - "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish."

Amen.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Leaps of Faith!


I’d been married to my dear, sweet husband for 20 years. We were fortunate enough to celebrate the pivotal moment in another world completely foreign to me. And I do mean “foreign.”
Originally, Matt was scheduled to head to Paris, France, for the 4th time in his career. However, this trip meant he would be gone on our 20th Anniversary! He was going to be a whole country away for our 20th? I don’t think so!
So, he came up with the perfect idea: “Hey, why don’t you just fly over and meet me, and we can spend a few days together after I’m finished with my work?”
Thus began my nail biting...me? In a plane? For how many hours???

Now, you have to understand that I am definitely a west coast gal, barely stepping foot outside of the California border. I grew up in the mountains about an hour south of Yosemite National park with horses, dogs and small-town ways. For me to board a plane, defy gravity and all logic and fly at 35,000 feet for 11 hours would literally take an act of God. Well, it just so happened that the Lord breathed his blessing on our plans. Before I could work my lips around bon appetit or figure out the difference between oui and bon jour, I found myself standing on the 16th floor of a Marriott staring teary-eyed at the Paris skyline.
I couldn’t believe where I was, nor could I comprehend the miracle of my travel there.

My point?

I would have missed out on one of the highlights of my life had I given in to my own fears and apprehensions.

When the Lord presents you with opportunities to grow, see, experience and do awesome things, take a that leap of faith! You'll be so glad you did.

The timer is set...

So, here I am once again exposing my goal to the world (well, to the few of you who stumble over here occasionally) of finishing my book by my birthday. I set the same goal for myself last year, but apparently discipline as a writer is not my strong point.


So, with determination and lots of prayer I set out yet again to complete that which gnaws away at me in my sleep begging me to put pen to paper until I reach the finish line.

Wow - it's going to be a busy 4 months.

Monday, January 11, 2010

"Are you living like you possess the power of God?"

Those were the precious words spoken by the guest preacher who shared at our church on Sunday. They pretty much hit me right between the eyes. I've probably heard them before, perhaps during one of those "feel-good" sermons presented by some TV evangelist.

But this was different. Those words and their meaning have stuck with me, and have changed me. Hallelujah! Like the guest preacher, I want my passion for the Lord to be contagious! I want others to know they don't have to look at life like they're at a dead end and they have no other way. Let them see the power of Christ in YOU. If one day every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, then we, as Christians, have our work cut out for us!

If you've been sanctified; forgiven and cleansed, then live like it!

Psalm 4:3
But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD
will hear when I call unto him.
2 Corinthians 6:17
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the LORD,
and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.

Just a thought...
So, you're sitting at a school intersection and throngs of high-schoolers are poking along in the crosswalk, acting like you have nowhere else to be.....instead of throwing the car in "Park," and risking your good name by popping your head out the window (or sunroof) and screaming at them to hurry up, why not save the situation with a "bulk prayer"?
What a great way to make the enemy angry - to take control of a situation meant to enrage and frustrate, and give it a good dose of composure!
When you see those kids crossing in front of you dressed in the funkiest trends of the day (shudder), pray for them; pray for peace and love to permeate the homes they're going to. Pray for God's protection against the evil influences that bombard them each day and ultimately steal their innocence. Pray for the strength of God to turn them against temptations to experiment with drugs, sex, alcohol and other illegal activity.
Just pray for them.

Friday, January 8, 2010

A New Creation!

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
(2 Corinthians 5:17)
Praise the Lord!
How exciting to have my own little space for sharing all the thoughts that constantly swarm around my head!

Well, I'm starting 2010 with some pretty ambitious projects, and I'll be monitoring my progress here on Writin' 4 Him.

Why do I call this blog "Writin' 4 Him" you ask? Because I believe my purpose/mission, aside from being a wife and mom, is to write about our Lord, Jesus Christ; the awesome way He answers prayer and makes His presence known in our lives.

Speaking of writing, I currently have several writing projects I keep shifting between the front and back burners. I write a little bit here, a little bit more there, and so on. I've done it for years, and had a few things published along the way. But, I would LOVE for 2010 to be the year that Debbie "FINISHES HER BOOK!" Yes, I said "finish" the one that started it all (so many years ago). We'll see.

Something to think about...what is your prayer today? What personal struggles or concerns would you like to give to God? Financial burdens? Relationships? Issues with your children or employment? Why not write it down? Keep a journal of your prayers and date each one. It helps to visualize your prayers, then look back to see how God has answered them. You'll be glad you did.

So, God Bless and happy writing!
Debbie

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