Monday, May 20, 2013

Prayer Request...



Two years ago when Mike and I felt lead to step into ministry it was so big we had no idea what it would look like.  Through the journey God has revealed little steps along the way.  We learned quickly that God's thoughts and ways were not our thoughts and ways.  I put God in a box and limited what he was willing to do for us as my insecurities and fears  crippled me.  Neither Mike nor I had any background experience in the camping ministry but God has used that to get our feet planted.  We have been diligently working; gaining the knowledge and experience that we would need to further the kingdom of God in the camping ministry and to bring His name glory.  One of our passions and desires is to see marriages restored and to give them tools that they can utilize. To teach couples that in their brokenness comes many blessings if we only allow God to mend us. We can not be effective parents if we are not prioritizing our marriages and putting our spouses first.  And first and foremost if we are not putting God in the center or our own lives then we will continually live unbalanced.
 WE spend so much of our lives on a schedule. We give our best to our jobs, careers, sports, activities, friends and others things; that we seldom give our best to our spouses and families.  This leaves an ache in each of us that causes us to act out in bitterness and resentment. We then jump on a crazy cycle that seems to never end.  We try to mask our hurts by filling our schedules with more things to do, working harder, serving more: or simply put, running from the problem.   
We should know.. because about three years ago our marriage was falling apart.  We spent a lot of days screaming, yelling & fighting.  I was so lonely within my marriage.  My heart ached, I longed to be loved and Mike desired to be respected. It was our lack of knowledge that drove us to the point of wanting to separate.  In that season we were so busy.  I filled up my schedule the best I could with activites, sports, volunteer positions, lunch dates and any other things I could think of.  I neglected my responsibilities at home because I simply didn't care. At one point Mike asked me to choose what was more important: him or the kids and their involvements.  At the time I was hurting and I didn't care how he felt so I choose the busy schedule.  I was so busy sowing a harvest of busyness that I failed to see, that as a result, what I was reaping was a bigger wedge between our marriage.  Meanwhile, Mike worked, drank, and tried to keep busy in his own ways. When our eyes were open to the fact that we were not putting each other first; we were selfishly thinking of our own needs, our hearts started to change. 
First, Mike gave his life to the Lord.  I didn't realize how much of a difference that would make. I realized that he couldn't love me the way I needed him to.  He couldn't love me the way God had designed because it is through him that he puts the love and compassion & understanding that comes from Christ alone in our hearts.  We are only capable of loving so little when we love through our own strengths
Second, Once we were provided the resources to help us understand why were hurting, it was then that the healing could start.  I was unaware of how much disrespect I had given Mike. He was unaware of how little he loved.  We were on a vicious cycle and didn't know how to get off.
Third,  As we began to see the rippling effects of aligning our priorities with the word of God and how he originally designed it to be, it was amazing to see the change in our lives.. Then came the realization that not only did God save Mike but he RESTORED our marriage.  We began to see that the challenge didn't stop there. Our eyes were open to see the hurt and pain not only in our lives but in others.  Watching the same ugly patterns repeat itself.  What could we do to change it? How could we use our brokenness, our ugliness, our lack of knowledge to bring God's name glory?
Forth, Mike began to feel called shortly before I did. He knew he wanted to step in ministry but didn't know what it was to look like.  We prayed for spiritual discernment and wisdom.  After what seem to be a long time, God open a door for us to move to Nebraska.. God was calling us to walk on water.  Not only did we walk on water but we had to go so far away from the boat that we weren't to rely on the boat as a life preserver.  We had to fully trust God and his provision for us.  It was overwhelming at times to think that God wanted to use us.  (It still is @ times!)  Our journey thus far as been one of many trials which was to be expected.  Our deepest desire and passion is finally going to happen this weekend.  Part of our training, learning and working is to develop a family camp where families have the opportunity to hang up their busy schedules for one weekend  to prioritize, relax and remember!!
Both Mike and I are doing our first workshop teaching a few concepts that we have learned while sharing pieces of our testimony.
Mike and I know that we have been given this task to coordinate, implement & direct a family camp.  We have done so under great leadership. We would love to see Rivercrest adopt this retreat for many many years.  In order for a retreat to be successful the camp needs to see the interest behind the retreat. However, the turn out just simply isn't what they would like it to be.  Everyone involved knows that each and every time we start a program it takes time to successfully build a reputation. We have been praying for families to attend camp this weekend, not for "numbers" but for the opportunity to share in the hope of what God can do!! To have the chance to share in the passion of what God is doing in our hearts!! To see another piece of the path God has laid before us!! To see the glory of God revealed in a camp ministry!!  I know God is faithful...
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Will you please join with us TONIGHT in prayer that God will provide for those families that need to be at Family CAMP that they will make the decision to register.
Pray that schedules will not be a distraction that this weekend becomes free for them...
Pray that if your family can not attend that you would consider "adopting a family" this weekend and financially providing for them who otherwise would not be able to afford it...
For those families that are already coming: Please pray that this weekend will be a weekend filled with memories worth making.. Pray for hearts to be receptive....
 Pray that hearts will be soften and changed....
Pray for Mike and I that God will use us and speak through us....
 Pray for STRENGTH for our family as we serve this weekend....
Pray that during this weekend as we pour out into the lives of each family that we will give Gods name the glory in everything we do this weekend!!!

Thank you in advance to all my prayer partners!!! You are a blessing to us in more ways than you can imagine....

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FYI... we are in our 11 hour for God to provide the families for us this weekend....
registration closes on WEDNESDAY... PRAY, PRAY, PRAY!!!!


http://www.camprivercrest.org/index.php?p=FamilyCamp

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Where you go...... We will go!!!


Where you go, I'll go

Where you stay, I'll stay

When you move, I'll move

I will follow...

All your ways are good

All your ways are sure

I will trust in you alone

Higher than my sight

High above my life

I will trust in you alone

Who you love, I'll love

How you serve I'll serve

If this life I lose, I will follow you
Find More lyrics at www.sweetslyrics.com
"Chris Tomlin"


      A couple of months ago an opportunity came up for Mike to apply for a directors position.  We prayed about it and applied.. Then we waited.  The one thing I have learned about this is that there is a process that requires a great deal of waiting!! Several weeks ago we asked many of our prayer partners to pray for our family in regards to this decision we would be making. We also asked that the board of directors of this camp would have spiritual discernment and wisdom for the decision they had to make. 
    There were several reasons why I thought it would be wonderful to take the position.  On the other hand there were many reasons why I thought it would be best for us to stay here for a little while longer.   I guess this is the reason decisions are not left up to us.. We can be completely indecisive at times.  No matter what the outcome; Mike and I had made a decision to be obedient and willing to do what God was leading us to do...
    Tonight we learned that the answer to our prayers is for the Lord to shut the door on that directors position.  We are humbled and blessed because we know that the perfect leaders position is out there for us, it is all about God's perfect timing.  We have been in a learning season now for two years.  I do believe there are other things that is important for us to learn to step into a position of leadership.  Again, God's timing is perfect.  Left up to us to decide I think we would base the outcome of whether or not we would be ready on fear and anxiety. I think we will constantly be learning and when the time comes and the doors opens for the right opportunity.. Our family will FOLLOW!!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

FEELING ATTACKED!!





 
         It has been tradition to have breakfast served in bed as my Mother's Day gift! It has been enjoyable and I love waking up to the kids signing "Happy Mothers Day" in the tune of Happy Birthday... Oh, the hope that the entire day would be PEACEFUL& PERFECT; unfortunately I think that last about a MINUTE. It seems like the day you want it to go wonderful is the day that the kids FIGHT, BICKER and TEAR each other down the most.  So on this day, I have had to deal with a daughter who has been rejected and watching the pain in the form of tears.  I have had to deal with a rebellious teenager who insists that he wants an ear ring!!! 
 
                                  Psalm 127:3                         
" Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him."

As much as I feel attacked today; I welcome days like this and any day for that matter.  I am truly blessed to have three wonderful Children to which I have the privilege to be called MOM....               I may not be a "hallmark" kind of MOTHER but I  am doing the best I can.....

                                                   






Thursday, May 9, 2013

I DON'T WANT TO!!!!!

In a small whisper this morning I hear the Lord speak.. He urges me to write my blog....
" BUT, wait I can't I am going through the FIRE right now.....  remember???"
Gently He urges, and so are other people.... REMEMBER!

When I agreed to blog it was not because I was a great writer, or that I had wonderful advice to give... It was to allow God to use me while we were traveling through our JOURNEY... In our journey we have good times, bad times, fun times, sad times and yes.... the times when we feel as if we are going through the fire... I am not to choose when I write but when I am prompted by the Holy Spirit.... Oh there are so many times when I enjoy writing this blog and others times, I fret the entire time I am typing.... THIS IS ONE OF THOSE TIMES!!! If it were up to me, I would still be hiding in my corner!!


                                                           "SEASONS"

We all go through seasons in our lives. Seasons of learning, growing, suffering, persevering, healing, peace, harvest to name a few....     With each season we hope we can learn from the experience, situation or circumstances that we go through. When we first moved out here while we were in a season of learning, we also went through a season of relative ease. I think it was necessary as we had made a huge leap of faith. God wanted to show us that we Could TRUST HIM!! As the seasons shifted, as they do, we found ourselves growing through suffering and persevering through the physical pain of my back. There has been much needed healing with my back.. Praise GOD!! But a few months ago I went through a season of spiritual dryness. During this time, the enemy tried to convince me that I was alone. I was exhausted and tired. I had nothing left to give. All the while I was desperately trying to find things "to fix" the problem. However, the reality was I needed to slow down and re-evaluate what was in my life. As I moved through that season of my life I entered a calm before a season of spiritual warfare which I am currently in.      My spirit and flesh are fighting every day as I have been shattered over losses I have endured. Sometimes we are so addicted to our strongholds we cant see the freedom, so we hang on even if we hate them. In the last few weeks my emotions have gone from being saddened, hurt, shocked, frustrated, angry, disbelief, SHOCK and now sadness.. My flesh wants to scream out how right I am in situations. My flesh wants to shout out on a mountain top that a situation is all a misunderstanding.  My flesh wants desperately to prove that my friendship is worthy and valued. My flesh does not want to go through the pain and rejection. As a child I was abandoned, & rejected.  I learned to deal with the pain by becoming what people wanted in me.  Oh, it was so easy to become a "people pleaser" But slowly God stripped me from this.  As hard as it was to overcome we are not to serve two masters... Matthew 6:24 "No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. But the spirit wants me to give up this right.... Matthew 5:21-24 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. In the end it isn't about ME...."When my hope is gone, when the fear is strongWhen the pain is real, when it's hard to healWhen my faith is shaken and my heart is broken and my joy is stolen,God I know you lift me up"KARI JOBE
Proverbs 13:20 "He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm Psalm 1: 1-3 "Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers, But his delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law he mediates day and night"Proverbs 27:17 "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another"1 Corinthians 15:33 "Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character"Galatians 6:1-2 "Brothers, if someone is caught In a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently, But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ"Genesis 50:20 "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives"Psalm 77:11,12 "I will remember the deeds of the Lord'; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds"