9.28.2016

Why?

I would love to ask a question today. I would love, love, love to fly into a dramatic mother scene and with intense wonder inquire as to why oh why children have to ask why. However, there is more than enough drama flying around at Abundance House today so I will maintain and calmly move on with the day. I already know the answer anyway. Children ask why for the same reason their parents ask those in authority over them why. They are looking for a way out of something they don't want to do, and if they get an answer to their question of why, they think they can find a loophole in the answer that will prove exactly why they should not do whatever it is they don't want to. It's true. I wish it weren't, but indeed it is.

So, instead of having a dramatic mother fit, I'm going to bow my heart before God and apologize for ever asking Him why about anything. If I would trust God in the same way I wish my children would trust me and my love for them, I wouldn't need to ask Him why. It wouldn't matter because I would be trusting Him and His goodness. Ouch. Raising children reveals a lot about myself to me. Thank You, Lord for children. They point the way straight to You.

9.26.2016

Cry

"In the moments when torment throbs deep, God doesn’t bark “stiffen that upper lip, girl.” He instead whispers, “Come to Me dear one, come to Me.” He invites us to crumple into the comforting arms of Christ to pray or scream or to beg with abandon until we heal.
“For He has not despised or detested the torment of the afflicted. He did not hide His face from him, but listened when he cried to Him for help.” {Psalm 22:24}" ~ Angela Nazworth 
 Someone dear to me recently shared that while crying about something which saddened them they told themselves crying wouldn't do any good, dried their eyes, and went on. This made me very sad. Who told my loved one crying doesn't do any good? It wasn't God. He said He collects our tears in a bottle and that He dries every tear.

It was a sad experience for me to learn someone so dear had deprived themselves of the blessed emotional release crying provides. Crying is a gift from God to help keep His children emotionally, and physically, healthy while walking through difficulties on earth. God said in His Word that He collects our tears in a bottle. If tears are bad, why does God collect them? Also, how can He dry our tears if we don't allow ourselves to cry them?

Shame over crying does not come from God. Quite the opposite. Here's a news flash: Real men, cowboys, women, and even mamas all cry. If they don't, they should. Not using this built-in release valve God placed in us can make us hard, brittle, tough, and broken deep within. God desires for His children to remain soft, gentle, and pliable in His loving arms of mercy and grace. We are to be strong in Him allowing His strength to be strong in our weakness. God made us. He created us to cry when sad, grieved, hurting, or overcome by emotions that have no words for expression. Crying is the release valve that allows our souls and bodies to process deep emotion without imploding or exploding. Everyone needs to cry. Some people more than others, but all of us need to cry. Granted, if a person, or child, cries about every little itty bitty thing, yes, alternative techniques for managing emotions can be taught and used, but often, crying is the best, most healthy, thing we can do.

As I was praying through this, what should come into my inbox but an article about grieving. A tiny quote from the article is shared above. It is my prayer that every one of us will allow ourselves to fall into our loving Heavenly Father's arms and cry out all of our hurts and sadnesses. Pulling ourselves together and toughening up are not what He has told us to do. We don't have to keep a stiff upper lip or stuff emotions down deep. Instead, let us follow the example of Hannah and come to Him, pouring out our sorrow in His loving embrace.

The article mentioned above can be read in its entirety at: http://www.incourage.me/2016/09/archive-come-undone-cant-pull-together.html?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=%28in%29courage%20Daily%20Devotion%202016-09-26&utm_term=%28in%29courage%20Daily%20Devotion 



9.17.2016

Autumn Abundance

Do you have any idea how absolutely splendid autumn in the country is? White fluffy clouds, crisp breezes, lavender and white asters, bumble bees, butterflies, blue mist spirea, pink sedums, wild sunflowers, and burgundy mums all mix together to create this rustling, crunchy golden harvest season that satisfies the senses and thrills the soul. A person could almost become intoxicated on the sensual delights of the season.

Inside the home candles come out, spicy scents simmer, and warm throws are tossed across couches and chairs. Chilly evenings whisper to the wood stove its summer's rest is almost over. Soon it will be filling the house with warmth. Attention to function and design is renewed after a busy summer of running in and out. Shelves are reorganized, closets are cleaned, and decor is rearranged for a new season.

Seashells are replaced with books and candles. Magazines and books that have been patiently waiting in piles are now scattered about the home wherever their readers set them down. Schoolbooks, maps, pencils, and pink erasers can also be found in random locations because sometimes, learning is messy.  Laundry and dishes also tend to pile up as mama and students study and others are hard at work.

Busy yet beautiful. That is the luxury of Fall.

Thanking God for His Autumn Abundance!
Abundantly Blessed

9.16.2016

A quick little chat

Hey there, girlfriend! What's new in your part of the world? Want some guacamole and salsa? The chips are fabulous! They are organic non-GMO and the flavor is superb. It takes fewer chips to satisfy a snack attack too. Top those yummy chippers off with guacamole and a girl has herself the perfect go-to healthy afternoon snack. Who doesn't want healthy and yummy, emphasis on the yummy? Just in case somebody missed the news, healthy fats such as those found in guacamole are super good for us.

Can't chat long. It's My Beloved's birthday, and supper is when his birthday meal of choice is going down. We don't worry about healthy for bday meals. No need to ask about the menu. It's as healthy as we can make it, and that's good enough.

It's been so long since we've chatted. Sharing something really quick may be difficult. One quick thing I would like to share is how overwhelmed I have been by how very very blessed I am to be a child of the Most High God. He has such amazingly good plans for me, and it is His plans and purposes that will succeed. Honestly, if we were looking at it all from the perspective of His goodness and grace, we'd all be doing wild spontaneous Happy Dances. So, maybe, perhaps, on this Friday afternoon as we gently slip in to the peacefulness of the Sabbath weekend, what if we all chose to refocus and begin viewing everything through the lens of God's goodness and grace?

As the reality of His loving kindness and extravagant love begin seeping into our consciousness what if we allow the wild Happy Dances inside of us to erupt like a whirlwind of joy in our homes? What do you think? Are you game? Oh, oh, oh, wait!!! What if we not only allowed the wild Happy Dances inside of us to erupt like a whirlwind of joy in our homes, but what if we also Happy Dance underneath the full harvest moon tonight and let the autumn breezes blow any and every yucky grouchie away? Oh yeah. That sounds like a plan, a great, big, marvelously wonderful plan.

8.29.2016

Redeeming Every Moment

Once upon a time there was a girl/woman. This woman child thought she knew what was what. She was raised in church, married a godly man, had children, raised them to know and love Jesus, but this girl/woman didn't know how much she didn't know.

Like so many other women who profess to be Christian she thought a woman of God had to be "nice". She didn't know that she was to be kind and that kind is not always the same thing as nice. Nor did she know there is a difference between the two. Another thing the woman did not know was the difference between recognizing fruit in another's life and judging someone. This woman thought that if she recognized negative fruit in someone else's life she was judging them, and all Christians know judging is wrong. Don't they?

There were other things the woman thought she knew but didn't. Finally one day the woman realized something very important: there is a lot she does not know. "There is too much I don't know to think I do." the woman told her beloved. After considering his wife's statement the beloved agreed it is so. Together the beloved and woman began to consider all they do not know when making decisions and looking at various situations. Because of all they do not know they began working even harder than they had before not to jump to conclusions or get worked up at how things appear, sound, or feel. They chose to clarify facts before making decisions. They did this because they knew this was part of walking in Love and walking in Love pleases God, Who is Love.

Not too long after the couple began doing this, unrest began to stir within the church they were attending. The couple were very sad because they had seen the possibility of this happening but had not been taken seriously when they shared their concerns with others. The couple began to pray even more for their brothers and sisters in Christ. Soon the unrest grew and grew. Eventually it was no longer unrest but an unholy civil war. Brother against brother. Sister against sister. Hate, strife, manipulation, control, hurt feelings, confusion, the situation was rapidly descending into an out-of-control death spiral.

The Bible teaches how dangerous quarrels are and how we are to stop them before they cause damage, but few seemed to want to hear what God had to say. Even less seemed to care about what He wanted. "This is ours. We have a right. We must fight to protect ours." were frequently heard. Oh dear, the couple thought, those we care for and love are making choices they wouldn't make if they were living God-inside minded instead of "This is ours, and we will fight for it" minded. They are fighting for the enemy, the one who steals, kills, and destroys. In their hearts they want to fight for God and for right, but that is not what they are doing. Oh dear. We cannot be part of this. Even if the issues they are fighting for are right, the hate that is driving the war is not. This is not God's way. We must not go against God and His way of love.

Before long those who chose to hate or were deceived by it split away from the body. Now there are two churches where before there was one. The woman and her beloved still know there is much they don't know. They still don't know a lot. They do know that the church left behind is much nicer to attend when it isn't full of hate and fighting. They also know that the Word of God is being taught and God is being served. God is being glorified. This is good. The woman smiles each Sunday when she sees the brothers and sisters hugging each other more often and how genuine their greetings are. The woman can't remember a time when attending church at this church was so peaceful and real. She likes genuine and real. Neither the woman or her beloved know who was right or wrong. They still don't know. They do, however, know Love. Whatever happened, God didn't leave. God is still God. He is Good, and His love endures forever. His reputation hasn't been tarnished by the fighting of His children.

All of the who was right and who was wrong was a useless waste of time that could have been spent loving others in the name of Jesus. Children going to bed hungry could have been fed during those hours people were organizing their stand of hate. Elderly men and women lonely for a listening ear could have been visited with during those months when ears were listening to satan's lies and deception. Young families could have been encouraged with words of love when words of anger and slander were being spewed forth. Right or wrong, good or bad, no matter how a person feels, time, words, and resources that could have been used for loving, for God's Kingdom, in the name of Jesus were used to serve the enemy instead. Not to mention how all of the time spent upset can never be regained. It is forever gone.

I do the same thing every day. Every moment I spend on something ungodly and/or negative is a moment I could have spent in loving Godliness. Every moment I spend growling at a grouchy child for being grouchy I could instead be speaking God's love and grace into their grouchy heart. And why are they being grouchy? Do I even consider what is going on inside of them or do I just get upset about how they are disturbing the pleasantness of my day? Am I even acting like Jesus at all in my day to day life? How many moments am I wasting? How am I choosing to use my actions and words? God forgive me for not considering each and every moment important enough to choose Love. I repent of forgetting that You are first and foremost about relationship. I repent for making behavior more important than the heart. May I ever be mindful of You and may bringing You pleasure be my greatest longing and desire.

Learning to redeem every moment for Love,
Abundantly Blessed

8.27.2016

Where I Sit

God is fun, and a woman who used to go to church with me was right when she told me in an email that nothing ever stays the same. The past several months, maybe longer, there has been an unholy civil war taking place in the church our family has been attending for approx. 13 years. Because our family resides a little over an hour outside of town, we were able to avoid a lot of the conflict, but being attenders of the church, we weren't able to avoid it completely.  

A recent email said these words, "...I don't know where you sit in the "Church split"..." At the time I answered the email I didn't know how to write where I sit in the church split either. I wrote a blog post about it earlier, but I don't know whether the posting did anything more than allow me to think and ponder out loud for my own personal thought processing. 

After I began to answer the email, however, I realized exactly where I sit. I sit under the wings of He Who always is. God always is, and He is more than able to redeem, restore, refresh, renew, and recreate. So...that's where I sit; I sit under the wings of He Who always is. I know God is working everything in every situation out for His glory, and I'm giving Him all the glory and praise for all of the marvelous things He has done and is continuing to do.  

There was also mention about it being a busy summer. Whew! Has it ever been busy! And for my family here at Abundance House there isn't an end to the busy in sight, but oh my, it has been good!!! Too much to condense down or know where to begin telling, if it can even be written. We are witnessing the words given by the prophets in scripture and through the Elijah List come to pass over and over and over again. It is SO MUCH fun!!! Tons of God fun right in the middle of what appears to be chaos! Just like the Jesus and the prophets said!

Harvest time is one of, if not THE busiest seasons of the year, and we are definitely in harvest. I can't put into words how excited I am to be part of what God is doing. Week after week just keeps filling up one after the other yet we keep having more than enough energy, ideas, and provision for everything God brings our way. He brings people into our daily path, situations for Him to shine in, it's all Him, and we are glad, glad, glad to be His. It isn't just My Beloved, the children, and I that are experiencing God moving and working. Others are too. This weekend we help some people who are dear to us move. They are moving, and God already has a future ministry opportunity lined up waiting for them to begin in a few weeks.

School will also be starting again very soon, and I am looking forward to it greatly. I am also ready for Thanksgiving; I want to have it right now! Inside I am ready for Thanksgiving! So many pieces of so many promises have been falling into place so beautifully and rapidly that we barely have time around here to share with one another each day's miracles. Full days of Jesus. It's glorious. 

The word God gave me for 2016 was "NEW". This has DEFINITELY been a year of new. Speaking of new...here are some of my newest blessings: 
  • The Legacy Letter - the quarterly magazine from Kenneth Copeland's grandson Jeremy & Sarah Pearson's ministry - HUGE dose of the Word shared with a genuine sweetness of spirit and love 
  • Rivers of Grace by Mark and Patti Virkler - a parenting book that everyone would benefit from no matter if they are a parent or not; it's a true treasure chest of wisdom, truth, and love, and ...
  • Breakout - a book by Joel Osteen - this is the second or third book I've read by him - they are all such blessings
  • And Louis L'Amour - yes, God has even been using Louis L'Amour books and quotes to teach this woman of His:)
These are just a few of the newest blessings God has brought my way this summer. God managed to squeeze in several other books this summer as I read a bit here and bit there during random snippets of time. I am learning not to waste those random little snippets of time. A mama can accomplish a lot in a snippet:)

Mamas accomplishing a lot in a snippet of time makes me think of a mama in North Carolina who saw a need, took a snippet of time to share the need, and WHOA!!! Look what the Lord has done! http://loriharris.me/2016/08/26/yes-we-did/. If you want to read the original post where Lori did the asking, here it is: http://loriharris.me/2016/08/19/pad-a-palooza-oh-heck-yes-we-can/.

Speaking of a mama, this mama had better get to her mama-ing. It's almost time to put some supper on the table! 

Have a blessed afternoon and weekend!
Abundantly Blessed

Sending out a HUGE Thank You to the sender of the email that got me to thinking about "Where I sit"!!! It is her email that made this post possible. Thank You!!!

8.24.2016

A Prayer for Coming Out of Darkness

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).

"Out of darkness into his wonderful light." Dear Lord, I pray that I am walking in Your wonderful light. That I have truly come out of darkness. I pray the words of a song from my childhood, words that are so like the ones David prayed after sinning, "Search me oh God. Know my heart today. See if there be some wicked way in me, cleanse me from every sin, and set me free." In the name of Jesus I pray that no darkness be in me. That Your light shines forth in faithfulness and truth. I pray that I am growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

In Jesus' name I pray,
Amen