still…

This. Right now.



My mind has been a broken record.


In case you don’t know what a record is, it’s vinyl. A 33. If there was a scratch, the needle would just keep skipping as the record spun round and round, repeating the same part of the song over and over.


As I think about it, Satan is that scratch…the reason things just keep going round and round in my head seeming like it may never stop.

My 15 year old daughter is so observant. She has been since birth. She sees things in people…remembers them. She reminded me of that yesterday when she finally had a discussion with me and basically told me that all of the complaining about our situation just brings her down. For that, I am deeply sorry.

I’m sorry that my selfishness has caused her, or anyone else for that matter, even a small amount of pain.

I’m sorry that I haven’t actually opened my eyes to the fact that this place is in fact a beautiful place…a place that we could be enjoying while we are here, even if for a relatively short amount of time.

Yes. I want to go back “home” to the west side of the United States. But do I need to be such a butthead while we are here? No.

It’s been 10 1/2 months that we have been on the east coast and it has been a rare moment that I have actually enjoyed myself. Granted, I’m not nearly as negative today as I was for the first few months we were here. I was beginning to drive my husband crazy too.

My focus has been on me and what I want and how quickly I want it.
That is not very Christ-like. Not at all.

Looking back to the months before our move out here, I remember having such an overwhelming feeling of peace. I seemed to know that no matter what happened, it was going to be ok. That has been my phrase to others. “It’s going to be ok.” I wanted people to trust Him. I was filled with the knowledge that I can trust God in any situation. Then somehow that feeling was quickly and drastically taken. I was in panic mode up until the day we drove away from our house in the west. I was a trembling mess when we pulled into what would be our new home on the east coast that night on December 1, 2016. I will never forget. I cried every day for a while. Then I seemed to transform into a bitter and selfish person that only wanted what I wanted.

Without realizing it, I was questioning God. Why did we have to come here? Why didn’t we just wait? Why didn’t I find a full-time job where we were? Why? Why? Why?

I’m sure I could elaborate, but I won’t. Not today. What I will say is this-
Over the last couple of months, I have noticed small changes in my attitude. While I’m not at the point of full surrender again, but I hope to be, I have eased up. I thank God, first and foremost. I also thank some friends who I know are praying for me. I thank my husband for being patient with me. And I pray to God that my negativity hasn’t and won’t affect his outlook on our situation.

Today I have been employed full time for almost seven months. Praise God for that! And get this- -> The company I work for has offices all around the country…even the two states we are looking to move back to. My options are open.


My oldest daughter started college and is doing very well. My youngest daughter is a sophomore and doing much better than the past couple of school years. My husband is doing well with his health issues.

The prayer of my heart today is that I will indeed “be still” as the song in the video suggests. The lyrics to this song could not describe this situation any better. I was afraid because I could not (and still can’t) see where this road is going. And I do need to let go and let Him work for our family. He is making a way for us. He is most certainly answering prayers before we pray them.

Psalms 46:10 – He says, “Be still and know that I am God.”
Amen.

k

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It’s dark here…

When we moved here I had high hopes for our family. I thought for sure we would have been in our own house by now. But no. 14 months here and nothing.

To say I’ve been feeling sad would be an understatement. I know God is with me. He always is. But lately it’s as if the enemy is right there too…doing his best to make me feel like crap. 

Many thoughts go through my head every day. I try to think of ways we can stay here and not have to move to the east coast. But the rest of the family seems to think it is such a great idea.

There’s that selfishness in my heart showing up.

As a Christian, what am I supposed to be doing? I should be praising Him…thanking Him for the things that we DO have not bitching and moaning about what I don’t have. 

My friends have been so encouraging and I am so grateful! I just need to get right with our awesome God once again. I need to find that desire to serve Him and lose myself to Him again. Being here has really pushed me back into some serious darkness. I feel like that hiding little girl again. My artist friend will likely know what I am talking about. 

My prayer…

Heavenly Father, I thank you for being with me always. Thank you for making me Yours. I am sorry that I have drifted from you. Please help me to get back to where I know you would have me. 

Thank you for friends who are so encouraging and loving. I know You speak through them to me on so many occasions. 

I pray that the Holy Spirit will work in me to control my tongue and help my thoughts be pure and without such negativity. Help me Lord to desire to do Your work no matter where I am. You did tell us to go out into all the world. So may I follow Your lead no matter where my feet may land. Thank you Lord for being the continuous light in this land of darkness. Amen.

k

Easter and everything else…

Everything is all wrong I feel like I am just doing it all wrong. Nothing feels the same this year. We’re in a new city. Still no church to call home. Not a single feeling of Easter going on in this house.

That makes me sad. But my daughter wants ham. Well…having ham does not make it a celebration of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Ham is ham. And no amount of culinary tradition can truly honor Him the way we should.

And where is our son? That is a whole different situation. I’ve never dealt with something like this. A missing person. My brain didn’t seem to want to wrap around the thought. But as I was calling hospitals in the city where we believe him to be…my heart began feeling heavier and heavier. As a mother…not knowing where your child is may be one of the worst feelings in the universe.

Lord, please help!

Help is needed in other areas too. I’m doing it wrong. My whole walk with Christ. Has it been untrue…insincere…fake all this time? But I was just following what I thought was right. Worship style. Preaching style. Too much music. Not enough music. Serving a version of God and Jesus that we have made up to make ourselves feel good. Am I truly following and doing the will of the One true God?

“I need a ‘do-over.'” I told my friends. Like I just need to start again with Jesus.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
So I started this post 2 days ago…I’m back now.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It’s Easter morning and not a thing going on.
No church.
No nice brunch.
Still no word about our son.
More “stuff” at former church.
And junk…

I just feel…

Honestly I don’t know how I feel.

But like I have learned…don’t rely on my feelings. That is not reality. You know? Rely on God.

While we may not be doing all that “Eastery” stuff…God is still God. Jesus STILL rose from the grave and became the King of Kings! Those are the awesome and comforting things I know!

k

God and GPS…



Recently I had to run a couple of errands after work. Not a big deal, right? It can be when you are new to a big city and don’t know your way around very well.

I rely on GPS when I have to travel to a part of town that I haven’t become familiar with. Thank you, Google Maps.

Well…on this particular day I felt as though the GPS was leading me in a very peculiar way…as if there MUST be an easier way to get to this store! I was getting frustrated. Once I arrived at my destination I realized something. This was NOT the location I had visited previously. Oh brother. Well, at least I can do what I need to at this location.

One assignment down. One to go. Turn the GPS back on. Off I go.

O.M.G. The traffic!! Really? I was longing for my small town “traffic.” It was so much easier to just pop over to the store or whatever!

Okay. Deep breath. Turn on the radio. Song comes on… **see video above**


“I’ve tried to win this war I confess
My hands are weary I need Your rest
Mighty Warrior, King of the fight
No matter what I face, You’re by my side”


Music has a way of calming my nerves. And believe me…the traffic was annoying me so much. I just wanted to get home to my family and relax for the evening.

As I’m listening to the song and singing along…yes singing. I was alone in the car and at that point didn’t care if other drivers noticed! But I digress…

Suddenly I had an epiphany! GOD! He’s just like this crazy GPS that is leading me all over this unfamiliar city…well…you know what I mean. 🙂

“I’ve tried to win this war I confess.” – – This is me. All. of. the. time. How am I going to handle this situation? Pure selfishness. Relying on myself and not God.

“My hands are weary I need Your rest.” – – Yep. I’m tired of trying all by myself. I need to lean on Him. I could insert another song here…but I won’t. For now.

“No matter what I face, You’re by my side.” – – Not only is God by my side…He is leading me. Like the GPS!

Most of the time our navigation systems get us to where we are going easily. Easy peasy. Right?

Sometimes they take us down a path we never would have chosen ourselves. It seems confusing but for whatever reason, it gets us to our destination.

God is that way.

A good part of the time God is leading me down a road that is relatively smooth. If I’m lucky…it’s a smooth sailing on a slightly breezy day in SoCal.

Then there are the times when it’s more like the perfect storm and I don’t know which way to turn.

God doesn’t always do things the way we want Him to. But He does get things done.

In His time.

We need only to trust in Him.

He knows the way.

He’s been there before.

k

what is “normal” really?

So maybe it was just a moment of feeling sorry for myself. Maybe I just wanted to complain…even if just to myself. It was all in my head after all.

I want things to be “normal” again…or for once…or just want to feel like it.

I want a stereo in the living room because I love listening to music and I haven’t had one in the living room for so many years. I want my own living room…in a house I will share with my husband and two youngest kids. I want the privacy that comes with that house. I want to work a normal job so that I can make dinner each night. (Well…almost every night) I don’t want to be in physical pain when I come home from work. I want my husband to be free from the physical pain that he has been dealing with for so long…emotional pain too. I want a job where the management wannabes aren’t treating the employees like sled dogs at the Iditarod. It’s ridiculous. I want this. I want that. I want…I want…I want.

Really? Get over yourself girl!

Nowhere does it say that the world revolves around me and what “I want.” In fact…Life is not about any of us. No matter how much it hurts to admit that…it’s true.

It’s about what God wants.

What I think is “normal”…such as having a perfectly healthy family…a $45k/yr. job, and a nicely furnished house is all in my head. The reality is this – Normal is all relative. Right now my normal is nothing like I “want.” My normal is what God has given me to deal with.

And to be absolutely honest…I’m struggling. A lot.

I need to get back to church. I need to connect with other believers. I need to get involved so that I can be reminded of what it means to be a servant of the Most High God. I miss it. God gave me gifts and talents. I need to put them to use to glorify Him.

Normal…I guess it’s normal for us believers to struggle sometimes. I get that. Now it’s time for me to get back to normal…Normal being a regular church goer and servant of God.

If that’s what “normal” is.

k

 

music and worship…

So… lately the subject of music has been on my mind. Mostly praise and worship music. There also seems to be a lot of talk about it. Facebook, radio, blogs, etc.

I was reading a post on Facebook from Hillsong United. They are a group from Australia. They have become quite popular. With that popularity has come controversy. I don’t know all of the ‘ins and outs’ but apparently some think they are “selling God” with their music and ministry.

The comments were not offensive, per se, they were more accusatory…claims of idolatry and such.

My feelings on the subject of music have been pulled in many directions over the course of my Christian life.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Ok…I need to stop here. I’m attempting to write a nice “thought out” blog about this subject. However, what I really want to say is this…

I love music in general. Praise and worship music is my favorite because I can praise, pray to, and worship my Lord and Savior while listening and singing along. Is that so bad?

Do I “feel” anything while singing? Yeah. I guess I do. Sue me. I don’t know if it’s the Holy Spirit. I don’t know for sure if when I’m singing a prayer like song that the Lord hears me. Is the Spirit interceding for me? Again…I don’t know.

My problem is this…several times I’ve heard/read that worship music before a sermon isn’t biblical. Worship music is a form of paganism. And just today in that post from Hillsong, a person declared that they were “selling God.”

Should secular music be cut out of my life? I don’t know. There were times that I thought it should be. As a new believer I sold dozens of my cds in my collection because they were not Christian. Now I wonder if that was the “right” thing to do. Now folks are questioning other folks for owning cds by Christian artists.

Is music and singing biblical? Yes. The Bible speaks of people singing and dancing before the Lord. The Bible speaks of singing and worshiping God in heaven for all of eternity.

So where are we/am I going wrong? I’m confused.

Honestly, so many of the songs I love tell a story…they’re prayers. It’s as if someone else wrote exactly what I am feeling or have felt. I can relate to the lyrics. If the song is more prayer like, it’s as if I am praying to God just as the author of the song is.

And so many others who are listening.

Help me out. Anyone reading this. Help me to know exactly what is or is not biblical about enjoying praise and worship music.

k

Contrarian Christians

I’ve never re-blogged before…but this one is a good one! Take a few moments to read.

Restoring Kingdom Builders

“You’ll never be popular.”

That’s what a retired policeman told me after I had preached a sermon early in my pastoral career.

He told me that my sermon was great, but that if I preached that way in the future, many churchgoers weren’t going to like it.

He was probably right.

Some Christians … and I count myself as one … do not always agree with certain popular teachings or practices in the Christian church.

In fact, just because they’re popular doesn’t mean they’re right … or even wise.

When you think outside the mainstream, you might just be a contrarian … even if you’re a follower of Jesus.

Let me give you several illustrations of what I’m talking about:

*The words to a well-known chorus state, “An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives.”

Is that true?

I hear that phrase “the empty grave” used as evidence of…

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