Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Breathing in and breathing out...

My wonderful husband (WH) had an interesting night. He had a sleep over and someone hooked him up to a bunch of machines, in a strange bed, and expected him to just go to sleep. It was odd for both of us. For me because he wasn't home, he wasn't in bed with me, and I couldn't hear his breathing. The house felt hollow, empty, missing an integral part of what makes our house a home.

It was odd for him because he was hooked to a machine, in a strange place, with different noises, a different feel, and a different bed. But eventually he was able to sleep, and we discovered that indeed, he does have issues with his breathing when he sleeps. He doesn't do it right. LOL.

Have you thought about your breathing? When God created Adam,

7 the LORD God formed the man [a] from the dust of the ground
and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man
became a living being.

The breath of life. Our breath. It is essential, just like our heartbeat, the sunrise, or tomorrow, which we all take for granted. Until it breaks, until we have pain, until it's not there we do not even notice it.

Breathing impacts everything. You have to breathe and the way you do it is important. Taking short, shallow breaths will put strain on your heart and lungs; deplete the body of oxygen and doesn't rid the body of the toxins as effectively. This causes us to become tired, sluggish, unable to perform at our best, and could cause permanent damage to our heart and even death.

With my wonderful husband (WH) he had become frustrated because he was always tired, didn't feel up to doing anything, and when he would sleep he was not getting good sleep, his body did not have a chance to heal, to rest, and to recharge. But this morning, about 1:00, someone who knew how to fix this, to help him, walked into his room and gave him a tool that would force his body to accept the oxygen, force his lungs to open and enable his body to heal.

I talked with him at 5:30, and his voice sounded different, richer, and more . He said that the sleep that he did get from 1:00 until 5:00 seemed a lot deeper and that while he was somewhat tired it wasn’t the same as what he had been feeling. His body had a chance to rest, it was not struggling for what it needed, his body could relax and stop working so hard just to sustain itself and actually heal, renew, recharge. I am so excited about the difference this is going to make in our life.

But then it hit me. (Isn’t it cool how God does that?)

Breathing is to my body what Praying is to my soul. Look back up at the 4th and 5th paragraph, now replace breath with prayer. (Isn’t God cool???)

Praying impacts everything. We take God for granted until He is not there, or we stop communicating with him (praying). Check your breathing today. Are you taking deep, cleansing breaths or are you doing it wrong? Sit up straight, allow your chest to expand and think about your breathing.

Check your praying today. Are you doing it wrong? Take a deep breath and spend some time with God today. You breath without ceasing, how about making it a goal to pray without ceasing as well.

Your body will appreciate it and so will your heart if you do both, deep breath and deep prayers.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Stained Glass

The past few days have been full of surprises and things that required my undivided attention and to be honest, once I was able to take care of the needs that were swirling around me, there just wasn’t anything else left to do but fall into bed, exhausted. So while I wrote to you in my head but it never made the transition to the blog.

I found out on Friday that I would be having surgery on October 9th. This has been a surprise. We knew that I was having some abdominal problems but were hoping that it would pass, heal, fix on it’s own, or could be treated with medication. Unfortunately the CT scan showed that there was a little bit more involved and I possibly have an internal hernia. This is not a good thing to have and so my wonderful surgeon will be going in on the 9th and fixing it. If all goes well I should be home that evening and back to 100% in a few days, well, maybe 99.9%, hopefully feeling a lot better, able to eat like I am supposed to, and not losing any more weight. (I never in a million years thought that I would say that).

I got an ah-ha moment last night. Don’t you love those? My daughter is going through the normal angst that all young ladies go through and we were talking about young men and whether or not “boys were stupid” and about first kisses and crushes and just love in general. I want so much for her to understand how valuable she is and not look for her value from someone of this world. She can ONLY find her value in God because He considers her priceless; but man and the world will try to change and influence and take away from what God considers His masterpiece. We are each a masterpiece, but unfortunately, many of us don’t realize that.

I know everyone has seen a stained glass. My ah-ha moment came last night when I realized that a stained glass is like my life now. When I was created I was as a piece of glass, solid and unbroken. But then, each sin, each hurt, each painful decision and even some of the good decisions that I made along the way took a shard of that glass. The people that came into my life and the people that left my life, all changed the glass in some way. Some things broke the glass, or shattered it (divorce, abuse, abortion, betrayal) and some things chipped it, (lies, cheating, stealing, etc.). Whether these were things that I did or were done to me, they left a crack or break in the glass.

Some of the pieces were colored with sadness, joy, anger, tears, changing the color and the pattern of the glass. To someone else, looking in, and even looking at it myself, all I could see was the destruction and the worthlessness of what I had become. We replace, throw away, or forget about the broken things in our life…or at least we try to forget....



God wants to take those pieces, ALL of the pieces, and create a pattern that is made stronger by the fact that He is running through it. He can brighten the colors, give them character and life and when He sent his Son to die, Jesus' blood stains the glass of my life and wipes out all the wrong and then it is sealed, soldered together and makes a beautiful design.

But in the dark the beauty cannot be seen. It isn’t until the glass is filled with light, His Light, that it can be seen for the beauty that it is. No one comes through life with his or her glass intact. We are all broken, shattered, chipped and streaked. But…God wants the world to see the masterpiece He can create but you have to have a light. His light shining through your stained glass life. Do not see what has gone before as broken and beyond repair. Ask God to weave your brokenness into His masterpiece.

For we are God's masterpiece, He created us anew in Christ Jesus so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10

God I pray for those that are reading these words. I ask that You show each person how fearfully and wonderfully they are made God. I ask that just as we give value to an object, how much more valuable are the living breathing souls that You lovingly created in Your own likeness? God I pray that each person will allow You to turn the shards of their life into a beautiful stained glass that Your light can shine through and give hope and peace to all it touches. Thank you my Father for loving me more then I could ever imagine and for making me one of Your masterpieces. Amen.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


1If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2: 1-4

Selfish ambition and vain conceit. I have struggled and sometimes I find myself still struggling with this very thing. Selfish ambition. Ambition is a good thing, but when it is focused on self, and what can I gain from what I am doing, it may very well succeed, but the rewards will be empty and the glory only a shadow of what it could have been had the focus been outside of self and on, for and about my Father. How often do we get caught up in “I can do it, I am smart enough or I don’t need God’s help?” When that focus changes from being about Him to being about me, that is the first step down a path that leads to destruction.

We are getting ready to begin our connect group studies at church. I have 14 women in my group and I have to be very open, honest, and completely transparent at all times and I have to remember that this is not My group but God’s group, God’s girls that will be gathering together to hear about God, the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. They are not coming to hear about me, myself and I. It’s so easy to get lost in the wrong trinity. The world says, “It’s all about me”, but God says, “No, it’s all about Me.”

God I pray that You will help me to stay focused on You as Your girls come together to encourage each other, take comfort, fellowship and daily grow closer to You. Everyday God, help me to be You centered and not self-centered. God make us like-minded, having the same love and being one in spirit and purpose and keep our eyes on YOUR TRINITY not the trinity of me, myself, and I.

By focusing on self and what I need only serves me, not Him. Jesus came to earth to show each one of us how to have a relationship with God. We have to keep our eyes, our minds and our hearts on our Father. One of the best lessons I have learned in this walk down the narrow road is that there are many people that need help, it’s a hard road to stay on, and that the only way I can see others in pain is to look through His eyes at what is in front of me and take my eyes off myself.

How often in your life is the trinity that you are thinking about and focusing on the one the world tells you to focus on or are you truly living each day for the big three, Your Father, His Son and the Holy Spirit? Change your focus, today, live with your focus on Him and His will, and realize that it’s not “all about me.”

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Parable of the Talents (Long post, go get coffee)

I haven't been on for a few days. Life has spun up into go, go, go mode and it has been difficult to find time to focus and write. I am not using my talent wisely.

I am sure you have heard the parable of the talents. It's Matthew 25: 14-30

My daughter was writing about the Parable of the Talents for school this week. I knew the story but had never done a lot of research on the story and, like so many things in the Bible, when I take the time to look it up, pray about it, God just fills me up with not only His love but also His wisdom and His plan for His children, over and over again.

I thought would share with you what I found out.

First of all, a talent isn't just a coin. I always thought it was like the silver dollars my Uncle Rodney has given me for the last 10+ years for Christmas and while I thought it was a lot of money, I had no idea what a talent was really worth.

According to Bible Weights and Measures a talent is worth in today's economy: $1,080,000 U.S. That is PER TALENT.

15 To one he gave five talents[a] of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability.

I think many of us get caught up though in the "money" part and perhaps miss out on the end of verse 15, where the Bible continues the verse, "each according to his ability". The master knew what his servants were capable of doing, he entrusted them with something of great
value and left.

According to scripture the one servant with 5 talents went immediately and put the money he was given to work. As did the second servant who had 2 talents.
But the third. The third with only one talent, because he was afraid, he took and buried the talent that he had been entrusted with.

Upon the masters return, the one with 5 talents and the one with 2 talents had doubled their master's money and were praised and told,

'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'

But then we have the servant with 1 talent, who returned only what he had been entrusted with, the master became angry and called him lazy, and wicked and threw him outside,

"into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

Honestly, it took me a while to get over the entire amount of money that was being entrusted with these servants but once I stopped thinking about biblical lottery winners I came to the realization that all of us have been given talents. From the day we were created God gave us talents that He entrusted us with in order to further His kingdom.

These talents are not a monetary reward, but a gift that is only defined by how we implement it in our day to day life. No matter if your talent is speaking, writing or parenting or something else, each one of us has a talent. Something He has equipped us personally to do. No matter how "big" or how "small" you might think your talent is, God put it there for a purpose. Allowing fear, doubt or worry to steal that which God has instilled in each of His children will cast us into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. I know about the darkness and I personally like it much better here in the light.

Yes, I have times of fear, when I'm not sure if I should write about something, or speak about something, or teach about something, but the power is found in not allowing that fear to stop me. Its not easy to know that every time I sit down at this computer that I am going to be 100% honest no matter what. There are several blog entries waiting to go out right now that I am praying over before I hit the "publish" button. It's not because of fear really, it's more because I want to make sure the purpose behind the blog or the writing is clear and that it is being "sent out" for the right reason, for His glory. Never allow fear to keep you from your talent. God will open the doors but friends, you have to get up and walk through the door in order to reap the reward of "Well done, my good and faithful servant."

So what is your talent? Are you burying it or are you running out and putting it to work? That talent, when used to further our Father's kingdom, will pay in dividends beyond our wildest dreams.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Headaches and heart aches.

It's 10:21 PM, yes I capitalized that for a reason. I'm usually asleep by now, but not tonight. Tonight I will be getting up every few hours to ensure that my precious daughter is okay. She ran into a wall tonight at church, hard, and has a huge bump on her forehead, right between her eyes. It's huge, I think we will name it Beatrice. That's a good name for a bump of that size.

I have a feeling we will wake up to see two beautiful black eyes in the morning. She is supposed to go to camp this weekend and I'm sure she's just going to love looking like she got beat up in a bar fight. It's makes me feel so helpless when she gets hurt. I know that God has not given me a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love and a sound mind. So I won't give into the fear. A few years ago we would have immediately had to go to the emergency room because she wouldn't have had the platelets to clot and stop the bleeding, but thank God at her last doctors appointment her platelets were good, so she's just like any other kid, right?

But she's not any other kid, she's my kid, the light that God shined in my life when everything else was so dark. She taught me how to truly give love and to understand how to receive God's love, and through her and through Him I found my way out. She is a living breathing testimony to God's grace and forgiveness, because even with everything that I ever did wrong, all the mistakes I made, God saw my heart and gave her to me.

So even though my brain feels that she is okay, and I am praying without ceasing tonight that she will be okay, I will get up every two hours and check her, I will spend the time in between praying to God for healing and good rest for her, and in a few days, after she is better, she and I will talk about running around in the dark and how important it is to only run in the Light.