Saturday, April 30, 2016

April's Gifts

Joy comes in the morning!

The night may seem endless, but morning always comes eventually. I know in the darkest places your mind can't wrap around this. A few years ago my family went through two years of nonstop crises and then I spent the next two years recovering. This month we moved into joy!

There comes a time to get out of the box.

I 've spent years expecting God to move a certain way and heal my body. Decades actually. Something happened to me in April. I reached the point of no return. I knew I had to change my thinking and learn to live with joy, no matter what. So I reached out to a friend who is a counselor and she met with me for several  hours  over a couple of Saturdays, using her tools and out-of-the-box knowledge to take me on a journey of my life. I was amazed at what I learned about myself. I entered into a new freedom. We've only begun but I have hope and I love the view outside the box!

Spring is a time to shed the old, making room for new.

SHED is my one little word for 2016. The first three months of this year ( after feeling stuck over 2 years), I found myself waiting and sitting still and contemplating and trying to move into something new, only to be blocked. I resigned myself to the inner quiet work God had for me. As we turned the calendar to April, I turned a corner into movement. Burdens and layers and past stuff began to fall from me. I shed attitudes, beliefs, clothing, books, and more in order to make room for new rhythms.

I can Shine!

I am able to make good choices for myself with confidence and joy.
I love myself enough to do what it takes.
I am not finished here on earth yet. 

These are all new thoughts and words I am speaking. I am finished with second guessing myself, with trying to live up to some image I've developed over time. I want a new image inside of me!

I love myself enough to do what it takes. This may mean taking a nap, reading a book in the sunshine, setting a boundary and sticking with it, or saying my best yes.

My heart is filled with thanksgiving. 

I love the tools God has placed in my life! The IF App, the Adoration list pictured above from Every Bitter Thing is Sweet,  Emily P. Freeman's books ("Simply Tuesday,"that I read over and over and "a million little ways," which I am reading now), and so many more!

I am thankful the snow is gone!!! The sun actually shined several days!

I had a whole week with my littlest granddaughter and a weekend with my oldest granddaughter this month. Yay!

My friend Barbie is back from SC and we had lunch with another friend a couple times. :)

Outings with mom were a treat.

I discovered a new podcast that I love- What Should I Read Next? If you are an avid reader, this is for you.

April, I am sad to see you go. Thank you for your gifts of hope and joy you've left behind!

Friday, April 15, 2016

The Unrecorded Life

Could it be that Jesus lived 30 years of ordinary days?

His birth, death and three years of ministry are recorded as well as a snapshot at age twelve. Yet thirty years are unaccounted for.

On the IF app today Jeannie shared in the video how Christ lived years of unrecorded days. 

Ordinary days.

I am living in a season of quiet ordinary days. 

I walk and sit and do dishes and laundry
read and talk to friends
tend to mom and office bills
breathe and stretch

and wonder what's my purpose

I struggle with my body 
and miss my kids
wish my marriage was fuller
that I'd done life differently

Then I wait and listen  and God shows up
and somehow it's all worth it for a few moments.

I lay everything at His feet.

I'm simply here, living the unrecorded life.

Suddenly I remember Psalm 139.
All my days were written in His Book before one of them came to be.

Unrecorded on earth perhaps, but recorded in heaven where it counts.

Friday, April 1, 2016

March Reminders

1. I never get used to the grayness of winter.

Even though we had a warmer winter than normal here in northern Maine, sunlight has been a rarity. The other day, the light coming through the window woke me up. I was so excited that the sun was shining, dispelling the weight of dreariness.

2. Making a small change can create a large shift.

I cleaned my office this month and removed a few items. I added a set of sheer teal curtains, a small designer heater, and twinkle lights. After making these changes, I found myself getting out of bed with a fresh attitude, anticipating my quiet time of meditation, journaling, prayer and Bible reading.

3. Books continue to be God's vehicle for him to speak to me.

I read a couple of books I loved in March.

"Halfway to Each Other: How a Year in Italy Brought Our Family Home" by Susan Pohlman

This book reminded me of the importance of trusting the process, surrender not striving, hope, and moving according to my own rhythms.

"Fervent" by Priscilla Shirer

I am nearly finished with this book and seriously, what I tried for years to do simply happened in the "doing" of this book.
Priscilla encourages the reader to write her prayers with scripture. I began writing them out and taping them up across my desk. The next day I would simply say," Thank you , Lord that you are working in this."
I was able to surrender to the work of God and hold my prayer before Him with thanksgiving, not carry it inside.

4. The struggle in my mind and heart on the issue of healing continues.

Just when I think I know what I believe on this subject, another challenge arises. I return again and again to simple trust.

5. I need physical movement for my mental health as well as my physical well being.

A battle with acid reflux this winter sidelined my walks at the gym. I continue to practice yoga stretches but oh, how I miss those walks! They keep my appetites in check, my focus on target and give me an uninterrupted hour with myself to listen to podcasts and refresh.

6. Sometimes "aloneness" is in the Plan.

For the first half of March I tried and tried to connect with others, only to have door after door close in my face. (Thank God for texting!)
Finally I surrendered to the whisper- Its you and Me, child. 
There is a reason for this, although I don't understand.

7. God surprises me occasionally.

Easter is always hard for me living hours from family. Now this year in a new church promised to make it more difficult. Two days before Easter, my friend and neighbor invited Hubby and I to her family dinner. He actually agreed and we had a wonderful time reconnecting!

8. Just when you think winter is over, it's not.

Big snowstorm slammed us this week, sandwiched between 40 degree days.

9. I love the Apps for Bible Study.

If:Equip new app studying the Nicene creed. All their past studies are on there too!

First 5  has a beautiful screen each day and a short study.

She Reads Truth Love this one too! You can read the Bible in a year or do a 7 day study on Thanksgiving

10. Counting Blessings Leads to Blessing

I am reading Ann Voskamp's devotional of One Thousand Gifts, loving each word and penning my own. Always turns my day.