Monday, January 31, 2011

Multitude Monday


Here are some of the things I was thankful for this week:
903.  Feeling overwhelmed by His presence and love on an ordinary day in ordinary circumstances


904.  Confirmation of His leading
905.  Decided!


906.  Praying and praising for Joanne's miraculous progress!


907.  A day hanging out with my mom


909.  Seeing fruit, tasting freedom
910.  Set backs, failures and hard days
911.  All reminders to stick close to the only One who can give me victory and save me from defeat


912.  Another snow day
913.  A husband who digs, and digs, and digs


914.  Overhearing my big boy "interviewing" his little brother ESPN-style after a basement basketball game
915.  While my girl sings and dances with the Karaoke machine in the kitchen


916.  Family Movie Night at school


917.  Big brother letting his little brother win!!!  (This is HUGE for him!)


918.  Daddy bringing Dunkin' Donuts home for Saturday breakfast :)   

You can read why I got started here.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Praying the Psalms- Psalm 55

Jenny has begun a journey of praying her way through the Psalms that I have decided to join. Each weekend, we will pray through one psalm and post our prayer and/or meditations on that psalm as the Lord leads. Check out her journey and join us in Praying the Psalms.


Psalm 55
"Listen to my prayer, O God, 
   do not ignore my plea; 
 hear me and answer me. 
My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught 
 because of what my enemy is saying..."  Psalm 55: 1-3
Is this not what He has been teaching me?  That, for far too long, my enemy has spoken lies to me and because I've believed, my thoughts have troubled me and I have been distraught. 
"As for me, I call to God, 
   and the LORD saves me. 
Evening, morning and noon 
   I cry out in distress, 
   and he hears my voice. 
He rescues me unharmed 
   from the battle waged against me, 
   even though many oppose me."  Psalm 55: 16-18
And evening, morning and noon, I, too, call to Him and meditate on His truth.  And He does, indeed, hear my voice.  He has been changing me- setting this prisoner free!


Father, I praise You for Your faithfulness.  As I am faithful in the little things, You have been doing big things in me.  Thank You, Lord.  In Jesus' name, amen.  


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Walking Through Brokenness

This is the fourth post in a series I'm writing about what I gleaned from Beth Moore's Breaking Free Bible study.  If you'd like to read this series from the beginning, click here.  Or here is a list of the first three posts in order:  
The first two posts give some more background information on my story and the tools I am using to have victory, so be sure to check them out if you are new to this series.  The rest of this post might not make much sense without the context from the others.  

The next category of lies that God revealed to me through this study have to do with having a sound mind, walking through brokenness and worry.  Here's how these lies sound in my head when anger builds.  
  • I'm going to lose my mind
  • Our family is falling apart
  • This family would be better off without me
  • It'll never get better
  • If it is this bad now, how much worse will it get
An honest look at these lies revealed the following:
  • I am not trusting that God has given me the mind of Christ
  • I am not trusting that He has appointed this family for this time and holds us together
  • I am worrying about the future when today has enough trouble of it's own
  • I am not believing that I am no longer a slave to sin
  • I am not recognizing how God will use my brokenness for my good and His glory
  • I am not trusting in His comfort
Here's what the Word has to say about my lies (for the sake of brevity, I'll list only the references here):
  • 2 Timothy 1: 7
  • Colossians 1:17
  • Matthew 6: 34
  • Zechariah 4: 6
  • 1 Thessalonians 5: 17
  • Romans 6: 14
  • Isaiah 61: 1
  • Psalm 51: 17
  • 2 Corinthians 7: 11
  • Psalm 34: 18
  • 2 Corinthians 4: 8-9
  • 1 Corinthians 2: 16
    Again, as I mentioned at the beginning of  this series, I have been praying these verses, asking God to write them on my heart, to make them my automatic thoughts when I feel angry.  Recently, I've spent less time on the verses as I'm reading the Bible in 90 Days, which is all consuming some days.  Already, I see an ill effect from this lack of focus on these scriptures.  I am early in this journey to freedom and if I want a transformed life and renewed mind, I'm going to have to dedicate time to the process.  So I have decided to go back to praying and meditating on the verses during my Quiet Time each morning again and save the Bible in 90 Days reading for later in the afternoon or after the kids' bedtimes.  

    Please share how God has carried you through moments of pressure, depression, brokenness, despair and let's encourage on another!


    This is the fourth post in a series of posts.  You can find the first three posts by following the following links:


    And a related post:

    Monday, January 24, 2011

    Multitude Monday


    Here are some of the things I was thankful for this week:
    878.  A new Women's Study beginning at church

    879.  A playdate that was fun for all- mom included :)

    880.  More snow, more delayed school openings, more slow mornings  
    881.  Finding out about the delayed opening AFTER I was up and showered
    882.  The extra time with the Lord while the kids slept later and the snow fell quiet
    883.  Time to ease into the day for the kids- to play and create before rushing off to school
    884.  Their creations- cars and beds assembled from looseleaf paper held together by foam stickers; princess bead jewelry, warrior bead head, leg and arm bands and sports team bead necklaces



    885.  Hot lunch day at school!

    886.  Laundry

    887.  The seemingly constant barrage of wants and needs of three children
    888.  The quiet at the end of the day while they sleep

    889.  The way the morning sun shines on bare tree branches

    890.  Hearing from Him

    891.  Coupons for CVS- and actually remembering to bring them and use them!

    892.  Second chances- giving and getting them

    893.  Making up funny songs and rhymes for the kids
    894.  Singing them together

    895.  Four families from church getting together to break bread, fellowship and watch this great movie:

    896.  On track with the Bible in 90 Days- Finishing 1 Samuel today

    897.  My oldest- though getting so big- is still small enough to scrunch up on my lap
    898.  And how he sometimes still wants to!


    899.  Boys in matching PJs


    900.  Receiving this!
     One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are
    901.  Digesting it's goodness- more than 900 gifts and I'm still just beginning to see
    902.  Longing to understand the hard eucharisteo

    You can read why I got started here.

    Sunday, January 23, 2011

    Praying the Psalms- Psalm 54

    Jenny has begun a journey of praying her way through the Psalms that I have decided to join. Each weekend, we will pray through one psalm and post our prayer and/or meditations on that psalm as the Lord leads. Check out her journey and join us in Praying the Psalms.


    Psalm 54
    "You have delivered me from all my troubles, 
    and my eyes have looked in triumph on my foes."  Psalm 54: 7
    I love that David wrote this Psalm while he was in hiding among his enemies.  Not after looking back but in the midst of the very real possibility of capture and death did David proclaim his deliverance.   


    Lord, I want to be like David- one who has the faith to believe my deliverance is sure.  One who proclaims it boldly.  One who praises and thanks You for it even in the midst of the pain and fear of the trial.  Teach me this kind of trust, O God!  In Jesus' name, amen.


    Thursday, January 20, 2011

    Afraid of Man?

    I'm reading the Bible from cover to cover in 90 Days.  Is that not crazy???  I have tried to read the entire BIble in a year only to fizzle out by February, if not sooner.  But here I am, 18 days in and in the book of Judges already!  When I started this challenge, I was doubtful I would finish. Now I am certain I will!  Reading along with my sweet friend, Andrea, has been a huge motivator as I know at some point each day we will text back and forth about the day's reading.  We're having lots of fun laughing through the dry parts, asking questions and keeping each other accountable.


    Each day, Amy posts the day's readings and a SOAP devotional.  I have to admit that I just started reading the devotionals a few days ago but they are great!  This morning as I was reading about Gideon in Judges 6, a verse jumped out at me.  Or I should say a verse convicted me.  Amy was unable to post a SOAP devotional today and invited us to write our own.  Right away, I knew I wanted to dig deeper with this verse.  So here goes...


    Scripture:
    So Gideon took ten of his servants and did as the LORD told him. But because he was afraid of his family and the townspeople, he did it at night rather than in the daytime. Judges 6: 27
    Observation:
    Fear of man can be so strong that even one who saw and spoke with the Angel of the Lord face to face and saw a miracle from his hand will do his worship and service in secret to avoid what his family and friends might do or say.


    Application: 
    God wants me to let go of the fear of what my family or friends might say about me or do to me and to walk in the freedom of His plan for me.  As we continue to contemplate a big decision, I am convicted as I consider this verse.  While it is wise to get a clear answer from the Lord before making a big decision public, I have also simply been reluctant to discuss this decision with family and friends because I am "afraid" of their possible negative response.  I need to trust His plan and that He will make our paths straight as we trust Him and live life in broad daylight, in full view of friends and family.  He has even been so good as to show me how He is working in the hearts of family members to accept this possible decision, even as they are unaware of it!  (By the way, thank you for bearing with my vague posts on this topic, I promise to share as soon as we are decided!)


    Prayer:
    Father, thank You for Your Word which never returns void.  Thank You for speaking to me through Your Word in a personal way.  I am amazed at how such a mighty and awesome God would desire to be intimate with little old me!  Lord, help me to put aside the fear of man.  GIve me boldness to live life in broad daylight and full view of friends and family.  Give me Your Words of life and hope to share with those around me who need You.  In Jesus' name, amen.


    Wednesday, January 19, 2011

    The Path to Grace

    If you read this post or this one, you know that I am sharing a series of posts on what I gleaned from Beth Moore's Breaking Free Bible study.  Those two posts give some more background information on my story and the tools I am using to have victory, so be sure to check them out if you are new here.


    Today I want to share another set of lies I've believed that have contributed to my (slowly dissipating!!!) bondage to unrighteous anger.  More importantly, I'll lay out the truths from the Word I'm using to combat those lies.  Again, my prayer in sharing all this is that those who struggle with this sin will learn they are not alone, find boldness to bring their sin out into the light and learn how to break free (even as I am learning.)  My ultimate goal is to give glory to the Son- for if He sets you free, you are FREE INDEED! 

    God has revealed these lies to me both during my daily quiet times and in the moments of stress when I felt anger building inside.  I already mentioned the first category of lies I'm working on tearing down in this post.  Here I'll explain the second category of lies I'm combatting.  They have to do with  anger, disciplining my children, love and grace.  I know at first glance they don't seem to have much to do with each other but listen to how they sound in my head when anger builds.  I think it will make sense how I've found they work together to contribute to unrighteous anger with my children:
    • My children must obey me
    • I must be firm and unyielding
    • I need to come down harder on them
    • They will respect me
    An honest look at these lies revealed the following:
    • While it is true that my children need to learn obedience and respect, a harsh, angry and unyielding response neglects to teach them about gentleness and grace
    • Venting my anger at their disobedience or disrespect might make me feel powerful but it is foolishness, damaging and ineffective in changing their heart issues that are causing the problem in the first place
    Here's what the Word has to say about my lies (for the sake of brevity, I'll list only the references here):
    • James 1: 18-19
    • Proverbs 15: 1
    • Proverbs 29: 11
    • Proverbs 10: 12
    • Colossians 3:21
    • Proverbs 14: 17
    • Proverbs 29: 22
    • Ephesians 4: 26
    • Colossians 4: 6
    • Ephesians 4: 29
    • 1 Peter 4: 8
    • 2 John 6
    • Ezekiel 36: 26
    • Proverbs 16: 24
    • Proverbs 16: 21
    • James 3: 5, 8, 10
    • Galatians 5: 22
    • 2 Peter 1: 3
    • 2 Corinthians 9: 8
      Again, as I mentioned in the first post in this series, I have been praying these verses, asking God to write them on my heart, to make them my automatic thoughts when I feel angry.  I recognize that the changes will take time- especially the ones that have to do with my heart- but I see God working through this process and I am encouraged!


      Do you have any verses having to do with love and grace that you are willing to share in the comments?  I'd love to- no, I need to- build up my arsenal in this area!  


      This is the third in a series of posts.  Other posts in this series include:

      Related Post

      Tuesday, January 18, 2011

      A Dare to Fully Live

      Even though I am pretty sure all of you who are reading this, came here at one point or another from Ann's Holy Experience, I want to post this just in case you don't already know.  Ann's book, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Fully Live Right Where You Are was released yesterday.  (I got my e-mail from AMazon that my pre-ordered copy has shipped, too!)  If you are looking for a means to fully wake to the wonder of God in your life, this book (as her blog has done for me) will be your guide to gratitude.

      Watch the trailer here:


      And begin your journey to JOY through the practice of watching, seeing, receiving and counting His gifts!

      Monday, January 17, 2011

      Multitude Monday


      Here are some of the things I was thankful for this week:
      858.  Family hockey games complete with pieced together "goalie" protections

      859.  Our girly girl

      860.  Staying on track with the Bible in 90 Days- finish the Pentateuch today- already!

      861.  A snow day!
      862.  Knowing about it the night before
      863.  Squeals of delight as they played in the snow
      864.  A snowman made exclusively by our 4 and 6 year olds
      865.  Time to play and be creative

      866.  A six year olds letter to the boy we sponsor through Watoto

      867.  A friend's generosity with her time

      868.  Praying for this family

      869.  A night of rest while my husband took the kids to AWANA

      870.  Two more basketball wins!  

      871.  My husband- his hard work and provision
      872.  Our oldest- his determination, intensity, growth
      873.  Our middle child- and how he makes us LAUGH
      874.  Our little girl- her sweetness and femininity

      875.  4th grade boys dancing at a birthday party- too cute!

      876.  The Civil Rights Movement
      877.  Sharing his dream


      You can read why I got started here.

      Saturday, January 15, 2011

      Praying the Psalms- Psalm 53

      Jenny has begun a journey of praying her way through the Psalms that I have decided to join. Each weekend, we will pray through one psalm and post our prayer and/or meditations on that psalm as the Lord leads. Check out her journey and join us in Praying the Psalms.


      Psalm 53
      "God looks down from heaven 
         on all mankind 
      to see if there are any who understand, 
         any who seek God."  Psalm 53:2
      I want to be one who understands, one who seeks Him.  

      I do the work of changing my mind and I see Him bringing forth the fruit of self-control in my life.  And as we celebrate His work, He also whispers "I desire truth in the innermost parts."  The more I draw near to Him, the more I surrender, the more He requires.  Not works does He require- but my heart.  He wants to bring change from the inside out- the fruit of love, patience, kindness, gentleness.  


      But the truth remains, the work on the inside is harder.  I don't want to be a fool- to run from Him just as He is coming so close.  So I listen and allow Him to point out the more subtle things that have taken up residence in my heart.  And even as He corrects me He showers me with grace and I long to rain it down on others.  It's this grace that emboldens me to say yes to going deeper.  


      Lord, I press on toward the goal for You have called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.  


      Wednesday, January 12, 2011

      Bible in 90 Days Goodness!

      In case you are reading along, here is some encouragement and tips for the journey:

      You and Me, Buddy
      Using the Fruit of the Spirit
      Week One Recap

      I cannot believe we are on Day 10 and I've read all of Genesis, Exodus and Leviticus already!  And it really has not been that difficult to find the time.  I've been reading about half in the morning and the rest either in the afternoon or evening.  God is good!

      Tuesday, January 11, 2011

      Taking the First Step

      "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."                                                        Lao-tzu, Chinese philosopher 
      As I promised in this post, I am going to share the lies I've believed that have contributed to my bondage to unrighteous anger and the truths I've gleaned from the Word to combat those lies.  I pray that sharing my struggle will serve to help any who share it to learn they are not alone, to give them the boldness to bring their sin out into the light, to illustrate how to break free (even as I am learning) and to give glory to the Son- for if He sets you free, you are FREE INDEED! 


      To uncover my lies, I prayerfully sought the Lord both during my daily quiet times and in the moments of stress when I felt anger building inside.  One of the first categories of lies the Lord helped me identify have to do with strength, power, trust and peace.  (I'll share the others in future posts.)  Here are how the lies sound in my head when anger builds:
      • I can't do this anymore
      • I can't handle this
      • I can't deal with this
      • This is too much for me
      • I'm too weary
      • I'm too sad
      • I'm too weak
      Do any of these sound familiar to you?  Obviously they can fuel a multitude of sins not just unrighteous anger.


      An honest look at these lies revealed the following:
      • I am unaware of the Source of true strength
      • I am ignorant as to how to access this power when I need it
      • I allow difficult emotions to control my actions when I should trust them to Him.
      Uncovering and understanding these lies are only the first step to freedom.  The lies must then be torn down and replaced with truth.  Not simple mantras or pep talks, but Truth.  This requires time and effort.  I sat down with a spiral bound pack of index cards, my Bible, a concordance, a pen and some highlighters and combed through the Word.  I looked up every Scripture that had the word strength in it and wrote those that applied to my circumstances into the index card pack, each on it's own card.  I underlined and highlighted the key words in each scripture.  I also added other Scriptures I already had memorized that would combat the above lies.  And I add scriptures as I come across them in my quiet times or reading blogs.  Here's what I've come up with (for the sake of brevity, I'll list only the references here):
      • Philippians 4:13
      • Isaiah 41: 10
      • Psalm 119: 28
      • 2 Corinthians 12: 5
      • Habakkuk 3: 19
      • Isaiah 40: 29-31
      • Isaiah 30: 15
      • Psalm 105: 4
      • Psalm 84: 6-7
      • Psalm 73: 26
      • Psalm 29: 11
      • Psalm 28: 7
      • Nehemiah 8: 10
      • 2 Samuel 22:33
      • 1 Corinthians 10: 13
      • 2 Peter 1: 3-5
      • 2 Corinthians 9: 8

        Everyday, I pray these verses, asking God to write them on my heart, to make them my automatic thoughts when I feel angry.  I carry them with me so that I can pull them out and meditate on them when I need to.  And I am already noticing change!  It's only been about two weeks but I have several scriptures memorized already- just from the repeated exposure to them.  And He is bringing the scriptures to mind when I need them to combat the lies!

        Am I free of these lies?  Of the bondage of unrighteous anger?  Not completely- yet!  I do believe I will be- for the first time ever- I do believe I will be!


        To start from the beginning of this series, click here.  The next posts in this series:

        Related post:

        Monday, January 10, 2011

        Multitude Monday


        Here are some of the things I was thankful for this week:
        840.  Sensing God's leading and peace over our decision

        841.  Productive day catching up with paperwork and phone calls after the break
        842.  Finishing projects postponed until after the break


        843.  Peaceful- even fun- morning before school!
        844.  Seeing the fruit of SELF-CONTROL in my life


        845.  The privilege of sharing and explaining the Word with her


        846.  Staying on track with the Bible in 90 Days Challenge
        847.  Two of my three who camp next to me with their Bibles and highlighters to rise to this challenge


        848.  A string of peaceful mornings- even Sunday! 


        849.  The beauty of fresh fallen snow

        850.  Playing Uno with the boys

        851.  Funny texts with a friend on a hard day 

        852.  Dinner out at husband's suggestion!


        853.  Heat going off during the night reminding me to give thanks for: a warm home, warm clothes, food, the basic necessities of life


        854.  Our first basketball win of the season- ho how we've prayed for this!


        855.  A husband who took down and put away Christmas while I was out


        856.  Helping my oldest with a project and watching him enjoy the process


        857.  Good friends- like minded- at church and school

        You can read why I got started here.


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