New, Bigger than I Knew

OK, here we go. I have some “housecleaning” type issues to get out of the way before we get to chatting too much.

First off, there are a couple of books that I simply MUST get the word out about - again. God’s Grace for the Good Girl by Emily Freeman keeps coming back to me as a must read for women everywhere. If you have not read this book yet, even though I keep talking about it over and over, please find it and read it. Ask your library to get it. Somehow. Someway. GET THIS BOOK!!!

Another must read that I seem to keep mentioning is One Thousand Gifts a Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp. There is a reason this book has been on the NY Times list for months. Gonna say this one time, read it.

These two books just keep coming back to mind over and over and over and over again. Women need these books! Probably men do too. Thanksgiving and Grace, the themes of these books are powerful. God is good, all of the time. Please allow Him to whisper of His love to your heart and be set free to live fully in Him.

“Be set free to live fully in Him” now there’s a topic to visit about. The past several months have been amazing. Seriously, I can’t think of any other word. “Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now I’m found, was blind, but now I see.” “Amazing love how can it be that You my King would die for me. Amazing love I know it’s true. It’s my joy to honor You. In all I do, to honor You.” “I’m forgiven because You were forsaken. I’m accepted; You were condemned. I’m alive and well; Your Spirit is within me because You died and rose again. Amazing Love how can it be …” The songs flow from my heart like water bubbling up and over stones.

No matter how long I serve Him, I will never cease to be amazed at how God takes the insignificant, ugliness of my life and creates a work of beauty, a living example of His magnificence. Sometimes in life it seems as if the hard will never end, like it is going to continue on forever. Then SMACK! all of a sudden, God. Seemingly out of nowhere, God appears and reveals Himself. It starts as a trickle, a little bit of Himself here and another dab over there. The trickle becomes a steady flow, then it’s tickling the ankles. Before long, there’s a rushing flood of grace and love spilling from the banks and saturating everything. While I’m bobbing along getting thoroughly soaked with Him, I happen to notice that the hard is still there. It hasn’t gone anywhere. It’s actually intensified. It’s just that now, my perspective is soaked with truth, with God Himself. Somewhere in the midst of love and grace, freedom came.

Jesus came to set us free. He told us that in this world we would have trials and tribulations but that we are to “Be of good cheer. For I have overcome the world and its power to harm you.” Jesus told me to “Be of good cheer.” He overcame the world. That’s not all He said. He also said that He has come to give me life and that more abundantly. More abundantly. Not just abundant, more abundant. So why was I living in less when Jesus bought and paid for more? That is a very good question. One that every follower of Christ ought to be asking themselves.

For me personally, life more abundantly has been a process, an ongoing, never-ending process. In the past several months I have been learning more about hearing the voice of God. My entire family along with two other families have been gathering every other Friday evening to learn of this together. Together we have begun a journey that for me has been absolutely life-changing. The most amazing thing to me is that it isn’t just the Bible Study. It’s everything.

Everything affects everything else. Every book I read, every blog, every magazine article, everything is connecting and tying into everything else. It is as if God has placed Himself everywhere. Oh, wait. He is everywhere. He’s omnipresent. That would mean the difference is that now, I’m looking for Him. Therefore, I see Him. Not only that, I hear Him. I hear Him like I’ve never heard Him before. Oh yeah, I’m listening like never before too.

It isn’t the study; it isn’t the friends. Though all of those are blessings beyond description. It’s me. The difference is in me. I’m looking and listening. He’s been waiting for me to come to Him. To seek Him, to listen for His voice. Please don’t misunderstand, I’ve always looked and listened for Him, just not like this. Not this intently, not so completely.

When I wrote in an earlier post about this being a new season. I had no idea how right I was. I knew it was from God, and I knew that was what I was to share. I just underestimated the depth of new it would be. As I’m walking out this new season, this being real, this wild, crazy, spontaneous flood of grace, I can’t ignore the still, small voice telling me I haven’t even begun to know new. There’s a pulsating rhythm beating inside. Soft yet steady, the beat is alerting me. It hints of great strength, extreme intensity. The ear of my spirit is catching a hum that reveals the probability of being like nothing I have ever experienced before. New. More than I knew.

Here are more gifts to thank Him for:

    *New, bigger than I knew
    *Hard that caused me to long for new
    *All things working for good and being able to catch of glimpse of this truth
    *Friends rejoicing in freedom through Christ
    *Sharing words from God with sisters in Christ
    *Learning that my ways are not His ways
    *Singing through tired tantrums
    *Giggles sneaking out from behind hands
    *hair long enough for braiding
    *young ladies who love Jesus
    *young men becoming mighty men of God
    *Coffee and a book instead of a card - My beloved knows me so well
    *Flowers for daughters, ammo and a toy for sons that say “I love you”
    *Energy gained from walking until the sweat runs


What Are You Reading?

I am a reader. Reading is one of my favorite things to do. In times past, I would only read one book at a time. Now it is quite common for me to have six books going on, sometimes even more. Last year, or was it the year before, I started to join in with another blog on a “Booking It” list every month. Obviously that fell by the way side.
Pile of BooksKeeping a record of the books read each year still seems like a fun idea to me. Apparently I’m not the only one. For as I searched for free book record forms online, I found that keeping a journal of books read is quite common. {sentence with links for free record keeping forms here}
Even though I no longer link up with the other blog, sharing the latest greatest read still sounds fun. What I have in mind isn’t a list of books and authors though. I’m seeing a welcoming place of warmth, there is definitely a fire in the stove today, cups of coffee and/or tea, and the gentle voices of friends reflecting on their favorite reads together. Since I happen to know that several who subscribe to this blog are avid readers, why can’t we share with each other?
Come on, grab your favorite cup of something, pull up closer to the fire and tell us about your latest read. Maybe you’re smack dab in the middle of a book, or are just starting something new. Come on in. All of us will no doubt be listeners one time and sharers another. Have you gotten your cup yet? Need a blanket? I’ll start off the conversation with…
Healing the Heart by Joan Hunter. This is my most spontaneous read. Giggle and I were doing school in the library, and the title of the book caught my eye. I didn’t remember seeing this book before, didn’t even know we had it. During a break, I pulled it off of the shelf and began skimming through. Whoa. This wasn’t a light read; yet it read fast. Victorious is the word that comes to mind first. Victorious. God is good, and He cares for His own. The author shares from the depths of her heart a story of betrayal and the indescribable power of God’s love that healed and restored completely. I don’t think I will ever be the same after reading this book. If this woman can suffer through this and come out completely healed, what am I doing whining about my petty issues? Victorious. We serve a big, big God. Let’s let Him out of our religious box and live totally for Him.
What are you reading right now? Please tell us. Is it a life-changer, a healing word, or a laugh until the tears run down your leg read? It’s ok if we laugh and/or cry. There are tissues around here somewhere. That’s right. Go ahead and leave a comment sharing your favorite book or just the latest one you are reading right now. Tell us all about it. Whatever you want to share, we’ll listen.
I know that leaving comments isn’t everybody’s favorite thing to do. Please don’t feel like you have to. Just know that you are always welcome to, and that it blesses everyone so. Especially meJ It is also the only way for our online book share to work. If you’ve never commented before, here is how: go to the bottom of this post, find the comment button, click on it and type your comment in the box provided. When finished sharing, click the post comment button. A box will come up asking you to type what you see. This is for security purposes. Go ahead and type whatever letters/numbers are in the box and click submit. That’s it! All done. Your comment will then head to my email box where I will publish to the blog from there. The first time is always the most difficult, because it is something new. After that, it’s no sweat. Easy peasy. So…what you reading?