Tuesday, June 19, 2012

“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.” Joshua 1:7

Recently, my friend Carey wrote a terrific devotional blog about praying “stretching prayers.” It struck a chord with me because if I’m honest, my prayers aren’t really that spectacular. I pray for my family and friends, pray for strength, provision and peace, pray over illness and disasters – you know, the “safe” stuff.

But, what if…

After I read that blog, I thought back to a time not all that long ago when God made it abundantly clear that He not only had a good plan for my life, but He gave me a clear, direct vision of what that plan looked like, speaking in an audible voice directly into my heart.

It made me think.

  • How much have I really yielded to Him to follow this path?
  • Have I honestly dedicated myself to His plan and His purposes?
  • Am I constantly seeking His will and His ways?
  • Are my prayers “big, stretching” prayers that may involve risk, but will align me with His heart?

God has used closing doors and “divine interruptions” to grab hold of my attention. He’s removing any doubt that I can or should be plowing ahead of my own volition. My want to feel comfortable and safe are being replaced with a need to completely trust and take risks for Him.

So, why should I be afraid?
“Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. ” Isaiah 12:2

God has a place of significant reserved for me, but only when I yield to His calling.
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9

The job is clear.
“…to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.” Luke 1:79

I don’t have to figure it out alone.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

So, are you with me? Are you willing to pray those “stretching prayers” that may just cause ripples in our lives we can’t imagine? And yet, if we do, we just might begin to see what life if truly all about.

Monday, June 11, 2012

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

My son, Trevor, had a bit of a rough start to his life. After 36 hours of labor, he was born with high white blood cell counts. The doctors weren’t sure if it was the labor and stress of his birth, or infection. For the first 48 hours, he was strapped to tubes and received antibiotics while his unprepared parents helplessly watched. 

Before he was two, we spent nights in the emergency room with respiratory issues when things like a bad cold, croup or ear infections got so bad he had a hard time breathing.

Somewhere around age eight, we finally received a diagnosis of asthma, and thankfully, developed an action plan that has made his life much better.

I may just be a little overprotective of this precious boy, our first-born and only son. I know for sure that I love him and his sister more than life.

A few weekends ago, we were at a baseball tournament, which is basically how we spend every weekend in the spring/summer. Trevor played the first of two games like every other game I’ve seen him play. In between, he came out to grab a sandwich and a drink, and then headed back to warm up for the second game. Out of nowhere, he doubled over, crying in pain. Another mom, a nurse, looked at him and pulled me aside. It’s possible it’s appendicitis, she told me.

After trying to rule out other possibilities, I helped my struggling son to the car and we headed to the ER. With a million things swirling in both of our heads, I suggested we pray while he tried to rest. Once at the hospital, Trevor was scared. Honestly, I was, too. But, somehow, I KNEW it was going to be okay. I felt a sense of peace and calm that I’ve never felt in a situation with my child before. During the hours we were there, we kept praying and reminding ourselves that Jesus was with us and He wasn’t going to leave us.

Thankfully, Trevor was just dehydrated and was back playing baseball, being a normal 11-year-old the next day.

Last week, he spent the night at a friend’s house who lives about 40 miles away from our home. Right about bed time, a fierce storm hit the area where they live. Tornado warnings were sounded, and all I could do was watch the news and wonder if they were okay. It was too late to call. As I lay in bed, I prayed. I heard a whisper in my spirit. “No one loves him more than I do, not even you.” In that moment, I felt that same peace I had felt at the hospital. Jesus had Trevor and I could sleep knowing that the creator of the universe loves my son more than I ever could. He’s never going to leave or forsake that precious boy.

Or his Mama.

Praise God.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

“Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, LORD.” Psalm 89:15

Note: This is a re-post from a blog I wrote back in 2010. Lately, I've been challenged and feeling a bit like I have nothing to say. Today in devotional time, I was reminded that my job is to seek Him and I will find Him. So, on my morning run, I tried to take in the very essence of the creation He designed. Wind blowing. Birds chirping, Leaves fluttering. Sun shining. Mountains elegantly off in the distance. It WAS a song of His glory. So, when I got back, I thought I'd peek through some of the lessons He has taught me and this one stirred my heart. I pray you are blessed.

Every morning I take three of our dogs outside. They love it. They run, play, wrestle and chase until I spoil it by putting one of them, Macy, in the indoor/outdoor kennel. That sounds much easier than it typically is most days. She lies to run, so sometimes, getting her in takes 10-15 minutes. Usually, that’s when it is freezing cold and this warm-blooded wimp can get rather antsy during the process.


The mornings are brilliant when the sky is lit up with star after star. And, some days, the only star that shines through is the morning star. I’ve learned to look for that every day immediately when I walk outside. It’s like a smile form my Heavenly Father that says, “good morning.” I’m learning to seek those moments. Looking for Him in the surroundings because He is there and wants me to know it. A twinkle of sunlight. A beam of reflection from the moon. The crisp contrast of a crystal clear blue sky against the snow-covered mountains. A sunrise or sunset that takes my breath away and begs me to soak it in. Those are moments when I have a small idea of just how infinitely big God really is. That in the minute chaos of every day, He’s right there with a touch, a feeling, guidance. I just need to be open to it, see it and follow it.

The time in the mornings with the dogs can feel chaotic and stressed if I let it. If I keep my eyes fixed on them, they ground and the smallness of the task at hand, I can lose sight of the fact that the Maker of the Universe is right there with me. But, if I look up, it all changes. The other morning, I walked out with the dogs, as usual. As they were running and playing and I looked out and saw the morning star. It calmed me as I thought “good morning, Lord.” Just then, I saw a shooting star! How amazing is that? A direct answer and reassurance that yes, I AM is with me – in the small and large stuff of life.

I am constantly amazed at how God meets us right where we are. I just need to keep my eyes fixed on Him and he shows up. He is so good.