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A Long Commitment


IMG_1605I am in the midst of experiencing pain, excitement and down time. After years of problems with my foot and months of trying everything short of surgery I was told that surgery was my only option left to relieve the pain. So, somewhat reluctantly, I got on board and started this process for healing. My surgery was on Friday May 5th and I am at home for a while healing. I have a three sided hard cast with a soft top on for now and then I will wear the boot again and then slowly back to normal walking with physical therapy. I have been told that it could take up to a year before my foot feels normal.

This is a long commitment but not any longer than the pain that I have experienced in the past. The doctor says that what he did should give me relief from the pain after I heal from the surgery. I will be honest with you, I did not hear him say this because I was out of it but I trust my husband and what he has told me.

As with anything, preparation is the key to making it work. I thank God that my husband agreed we should buy a knee scooter two weeks before the surgery,  which enabled me to get used to it. It made a big difference. I am not going fast or far but I am able to go around the house as needed. I also had to prepare my mind in order to be able to make it through this time.

  • First I had to realize that the pain in my foot was getting worse, all my other options had been taken and I was willing to put up with temporary pain in order to achieve my goal of healing.
  • Then I had to decide that I believed the doctor could do what he had promised.
  • Then I had to spiritually embrace the surgery and possible long road to recovery knowing that GOD is in control and I can trust Him. (Believe me I had been praying for a miraculous recovery all the way up to surgery, but since that did not happen I moved forward. Just like I am now praying for a miraculously quick recovery.)

These decisions parallel my salvation:

  • First I had to decide that I wanted to be saved from my sins and gain eternal life no matter what that meant in my daily life.
    • John 3:16 (NASB)For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
  • Next I had to decide that I believed Jesus could save me no matter what I had done or was doing.
    • Luke 1:37 (NASB)
      For nothing will be impossible with God.
  • And lastly I had to spiritually embrace the life changing decision, give up my control and know that I could handle anything that came my way because GOD is in control.
    • Philippians 4:13 (NASB)
      I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

I hope my journey is an encourgement to those who read this blog. My main purpose is to share real life experiences that could encourage others to continue in their faith. Enjoy your week and I will be back this weekend with more.

H.O.P.E.


I know the seasons are changing because everything in my body is hurting. It is amazing how each little piece of the body plays such a big role in the overall well being of the individual. I am reminded daily that my ankle, foot, and hip are very important to the ability to get around.  Let’s just say that I will not win any races for being the fastest mover.

The challenge is really trying to figure out if this pace is the best there is or if God will heal me of these inconvenient pains. I have been working on getting relief with the help of doctors but this is not showing results so far. I can be patient if I am given hope.

Just like in the Bible God gives us hope that we can be saved and he gave hope to the Israelite nation that they would get the Promised Land.

hope

 

HOPE is Having Our Prospective Enlarged. You might notice that in times when you do not have hope you are looking at things only from the perspective that you can see and not looking at a bigger picture. Faith in God and His promises helps us look at a bigger picture. Prayer to God can open our minds to the bigger picture. If we live just to make it through today we might not have enough hope for our future to endure the pain and struggle.

I wrote about “living in the moment”. I believe that we need to live in the moment we are in and truly embrace it with the perspective that there is a future and a hope in front of that moment. We need to enjoy this life because it is short and keep pressing into God for His perspective so that we can endure the hard times.

If I think that suffering is all that will happen in my life and live only by the pain I feel then I will sink into depression and not want to move forward. That is the trap that has been set, but from God’s perspective this suffering is only for a season, no matter how long, and if I persevere through it embracing the good things that come I will win the race and finish the course. In perseverance I will influence others who struggle and set the captives free through the grace of God. This is a spiritual battle and must be won in the spirit.

balloon basketFor me the bigger perspective is handing down a legacy of love to the next generations. I look at my grandchildren and see that they need their elders to help guide them through this mixed up darkness that we live in. So my hope is that I can pass on courage and strength for them to follow God with all their hearts and meet me in eternity at the end of this life.

I know that many people are suffering with pain and illness. I pray today that each one who reads this will persevere through and see that God is in control right there with you. Ask God to show you more of His plan for you each day to give you encouragement to move forward. Find your HOPE and live in it.

Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

GPS and God


psalm-37-23-frozen-treeHappy New year!!!! The end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017 have been a whirl wind for me. I haven’t been able to sit long enough to write a blog until now.  With the New Year came an arctic front that brought just enough snow and ice to this southern location to cause a commuting mess. Needless to say long commutes got a lot longer because of ice on the roads.

Leaving work early is usually a treat but this afternoon it was not. Bundling up in my heaviest jacket and gloves I headed into the cold. With the GPS already telling me it would take at least 2 hours to get home, which is only 36 miles, I settled my mind for a long slow drive. Before leaving the parking lot I set the GPS and briefly checked the unusual route, knowing that it would probably change a few times before I made my way home. After speaking to Bob briefly I started on the trip.

The parking lot was ok, no ice. I looked at my first road and realized that there was a long line—which I have never seen before. A truck let me onto the road and immediately my car began to slide.  Calming myself I began to repeat to myself, don’t touch the brakes on ice, don’t accelerate quickly. I love my little mustang but it has a tendency to slide easily on wet pavement, so I knew ice would be a problem.

Usually I get a bit nervous when the GPS keeps changing my route and at first this was the case however I believe it took me the quickest route. There was a lot of ice on bridges and overpasses and on streets, under trees and ramps. My route changed several times and I drove on some streets in the city that I have never taken. I passed near the interstate a few times and even got on once just to get right back off onto another side street that was moving faster.

In the two hours it took to get to my house I saw several wrecked vehicles on the slick roads. The first one I saw was a pickup truck with a trailer that had jackknifed in the left lane, then there was the car turned backwards at the beginning of a high ramp and many others as I drove on. Each incident made me a little more cautious.

As I drove I prayed for safety for myself and Bob. I wanted us both to make it home safely and relax. Despite high stress levels while driving in these conditions we both made it home safely and for that I praise God.

Spending that intense time just listening to the GPS for further direction to get me through that tough drive is like what we should be doing with God. We have all had tough times where we feel danger lurking and see the carnage of life all around us. In these times it is important that we do like I did to get home, get in the driver’s seat, turn on our engines and move forward while listening to God to show us the best path to get to our desired destination.

Psalm 37:23 (NASB)

23 The steps of a man are established by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.

Enjoy your winter wonderland and I will be back next week with more.

In The Face of Tragedy


IMG_0725This has been a tough week. Any week where there is a tragedy is difficult but this one was too close to home. My husband let me know what was going on as soon as I opened my eyes on Friday morning. It took me a long time to wrap my mind around what he told me. And over time the facts were clarified and some initial fears were calmed.  The shooting that killed five police officers and injured six others was so wrong and unnecessary. What has gone wrong? What can we do?

In my nature I want to fix things. I want know the right thing to do to change what is wrong and make it right, but this isn’t always possible. So then I have to reign in my thoughts and figure out what I can do. I could sit around all day and wonder how we got here, but in reality this does not help me at all. So I need to live in this moment of time and figure out how I can help.

For this I can rely on past experience for help. When I was a housing and credit counselor I would spend my days helping people realize where they were financially and regardless of how they got there help them find a way to deal with their situation. Then we would work on building good financial habits moving forward.

Similarly as a Christian we accept people where they are and help them move forward toward God. It is up to them and God to deal with everything else. In the situation we find ourselves in today with shootings and bombings and just general destruction and disregard for life, what does God want?

I believe God wants to see how we will handle this. He is looking for the character of Christ in our actions and reactions. He is watching what is going on and wondering who will step up and cry out to Him for help. He is looking for prayer warriors and people with passion and compassion for others to step up and show the love of God in our society. He is looking to see who will shrink in fear and go into hiding. He is looking for those who will reach out and help those in fear to step out and be the light. He is looking for soldiers who will fight the good fight and keep their faith despite what happens around them. He is looking for those who get closer to Him and not further away.

Now the question becomes, which one of these will I be? I really want to run away from the situation and forget it happened, but that is impossible. When I am not sure what to do I can always find direction by looking at what not to do. Bringing God glory and pleasing Him is my number one priority. In Proverbs 6:16-19 we can see a list of things that show us what not to do.

Proverbs 6:16-19 NIV (my note)

There are six things the Lord hates,
    seven that are detestable to him:

  1. haughty eyes, (pride)
  2. a lying tongue,
  3. hands that shed innocent blood,
  4. a heart that devises wicked schemes,
  5. feet that are quick to rush into evil,
  6. a false witness who pours out lies
  7. and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.

By avoiding what God hates I will be doing the right thing.

I resolve to:

  1. Be a light in the darkness by not allowing my actions and words to be what God hates.
  2. Show God’s love to everyone around me
  3. Help others walk away from actions that will incite more violence.

Will you join me in this quest? Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

Encourage With a Prayer


James 5 16I have experienced some immediate answers to prayers lately and I am amazed and awestruck by them. The prayers and events were nothing earth shattering but they were answered the way I requested and that amazed me.

My husband has been trying to get together with some people and unable to get them to respond to his request. I prayed that God would make this happen and out of the blue he met up with one of the people and they went to the other person and set up the meeting.

I have a friend who I try to encourage as often as possible, but this person had a need for encouragement from other sources. I prayed that God would bring encouraging people their way and I heard the other day that God answered that prayer and they heard from others the encouragement they needed.

Bob was having a bad day on Friday and on top of that traffic was bad. It looked like it would take him around 1 1/2 hours to get home. I said a short prayer and asked God to help him make it in an hour. I do not know how God did it because the traffic was bad but he made it home in an hour.

I praise God because He listens and takes care of some of the small things for us. He keeps us safe and helps us through the day and gives us opportunity to help others through their days.

I challenge you to pray for someone else even if it is for something that seems insignificant. A small thing going right can be all the encouragement someone needs to make it through the day. Watch for the answer and when it comes rejoice in God, and thank Him for his faithfulness.

So take the challenge and help a friend. Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

 

 

Dry


dry living watersThis has been a physically challenging week. I spent the end of the week and most of the weekend fighting flu type symptoms and my strength and focus are not on track right now. After fighting a flu bug your physical body feels dry no matter how much you drink and sometimes drinking makes you feel worse.

I can’t let the physical struggle dry up my spiritual side so I turned to the bible. These scriptures seem to be helping me focus. I hope they help you too.

Proverbs 3:5-8 (NASB)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your body
And refreshment to your bones.

Matthew 4:23 (NASB)

Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people.

John 7:38 (NASB)

3He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’”

Won’t you join me in praying for anyone who is suffering from a flu type bug for quick healing. Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

Grace is Enough


gods grace is enoughtIf I were to spend time telling you all the events in my life, good and bad, it could take a tremendous amount of time. I can sum it all up by telling you that daily there are good and bad things that happen. This would not be a surprise to most of you. The real trick in life is to figure out how to not be bogged down in the bad when it happens.

Yesterday there was a tragedy at Oklahoma State University where someone drove into a crowd of people watching a parade. People were killed and injured in what was supposed to be a fun event. My son and his family were present at the parade and thank God they had walked away to take my grandson to the bathroom when the accident happened. There were other families that were not so blessed and their children witnessed what was a horrific event. So even if they were not physically injured the scars of the event will stay with them for a life time.

From my perspective, the only thing that I can do is to thank God that my family is ok and pray for the ones who were injured and the families of those who were killed. I am sure that the driver who caused the wreck is in need of prayer at this time too. This event is just one example of the bad that we experience that affects our life daily.

This even affects me because OSU is dear to my family because my son graduated from there and my sister has worked there for many years. My heart goes out to the injured and the families of those who lost their lives.

God’s grace has to be enough in good and bad and I am very grateful He covers my family with His grace.

Ezra 9:8 Amplified Bible (AMP)

But now for a brief moment grace has been [shown to us] from the Lord our God, who has left us a surviving remnant and has given us a peg (secure hold) in His holy place, that our God may enlighten our eyes and give us a little reviving in our bondage.

Take a moment this week and thank God for his grace in your life. I will be back next week with more.

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