Saturday, February 28, 2015

Update on Travels~

                                          Image result for don't ask god to guide your footsteps

Thank you to our sweet friends for their hospitality and friendship!!
Thank you to their girls for giving up their beds for two nights~ 
      Our family is currently in Tennessee.  We covet your prayers as we seek out the next path in our journey.    I wanted to share the blessings we have already experienced!!  Yesterday we arrived into the Nashville area around 6:00 p.m. We stayed at camp called Garner Creek Retreat Center.
The camp managers' were Jeff & Angie and they were very hospitable and kind.  They gave us a tour of the camp this morning.  Not only were we blessed with a stay but dinner and breakfast as well.
     We ended up leaving way later than anticipated but building relationships is far more important to me.   Some where along the line as we were traveling towards the Knoxville area we found a sign for Jalisco's.  For those who know us well, know that this is Kirk's absolute most favorite restaurant back in Ohio! We couldn't believe our eyes.. We begged Mike to pull over and after a few minutes of reasoning with him we were eating at our family's favorite restaurant!!!
Favorite Restaurant of all times!!

The kids were so thankful they didn't even mind me taking their picture!!

The camp we are staying at tonight is called Eagle Rock Retreat Center
It is beautiful as well!! The family who operates this camp is Lon & Bebe Gillooly.  
This is the first time I have been up the mountains and I have to say that the view is breathtaking!!  We arrived just as it got dark, so we can not wait to see the camp during the day.  Pictures to come tomorrow!!


We were able to make connections via facebook about a month ago with a lady who used to live in the Fremont area, but now resides in the Tennessee area.  Out of the goodness of her heart she has helped me with information that we needed to line this trip up.  We will be visiting her and her family tomorrow during church, as well as sharing a lunch together.  I can not wait to finally meet my new friend!! I can't wait to see what tomorrow holds.

 I have to admit some of the traveling, if we choose to move here, will be something that I will have to get accustomed too!!  No guard rails, twists, turns, ups & downs.. have me a bit nervous.  Oh, and to experience going up the mountain with the switch backs.. HOLY MOLY... as exhilarating as that was I have to admit I was a bit scared!!!


Prayer Request:
Our Shelly (suburban) is not behaving like she needs to.  We are experiencing some mild troubles from her.  Will you please pray that our vehicle will handle this trip and that "she" remains reliable and dependable for us?


Monday, February 9, 2015

immeasurably more....

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This past week I have tried hard to keep my focus on Christ as he leads Me step by step.  My emotions are like a roller coaster literally. Mike and I spend a great deal of our time researching the Tennessee area. We are so excited and eager to see what the Lord has in store for us. However, with this excitement also comes a heavy sadness of what we will leave behind, when the time comes. Mixed emotions seemed to have plagued my mind lately as we also know of the hardships that lie ahead. All of this is part of God's plan for our Journey and know that God is in control.  Although we are willing to walk in His plan we must wait on Him. He is going before us and preparing a way.   During this time of  waiting I am REMINDED of a few things:
1) God prepares us for the position to which he has called us by the testing of our faith
2) The delay to which he brings us is a time for spiritual growth and development
3) During the discipline of our faith is when we gain knowledge of who God is (James 5:11.... The Lord is full of compassion and mercy!)
4) During this process is when we learn to trust in God
5) God's timing is perfect
Numbers 9:18-20Amplified Bible (AMP)
18 At the Lord’s command the Israelites journeyed, and at [His] command they encamped. As long as the cloud rested upon the tabernacle they remained encamped.
19 Even when the cloud tarried upon the tabernacle many days, the Israelites kept the Lord’s charge and did not set out.
20 And sometimes the cloud was only a few days upon the tabernacle, but according to the command of the Lord they remained encamped, and at His command they journeyed.
   *********** **********************************************
                            Steps and Stops by Millie Stamm~
The are times when we seem settled in a comfortable place. We are happy and contented. Suddenly the cloud begins to move. We may not want to move, yet we will have his blessing only if we willingly move with his cloud. Sometimes we are kept waiting, too.  We may be in the midst of heartaches, problems, trails, of temptations when we see the cloud stop and wait.  We dare not move until he moves us.
Psalm 37:23 "If the Lord delights in a man's way, he makes his steps firm"
Regardless of whether or not we are moving or stopped in whatever season of life we are in, life is an adventure and it is full of risks.   We can become so complacent and forget that one of the purposes of life is to love one another and to serve one another.  In doing so there comes a time when our cloud stays for a period of time, or moves. We need to be willing and ready whenever that time comes. Two of the hardest things;  holding on to something too long because you are comfortable, and/or knowing  you are being called in a different direction but have no idea what this even looks like.  The fear can become crippling or it can be exciting while exploring new possibilities.  Searching for the right answers can be exhausting.
Isaiah 40:31
 "but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint"
Romans 4:20-21
"Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised"
Both, Mike and I, wait anxiously for what lies ahead. As we pray, dream and ask for favor I am also reminded of the verse in Ephesians.
God is ABLE to do immeasurably more than we can even ask or imagine. I am so grateful for this, as he knows what is best for each and every one of us. He knows our limitations, He knows our struggles, He knows our desires, our needs and wants.  I love the assurance of this promise and stand on this truth!!
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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Snow Day

     It was 5:30 when our phone's rang this morning, letting us know that Cedar school had been canceled due to the snow & weather conditions. Because we home school the kids never get a "snow day"  I always look at it as an opportunity to get ahead...

But this morning I had decided I would surprise the kids and let them have a snow day!! The morning started off great: My son brought me coffee in bed while my daughter and I cuddled lingering the morning away!!  I made a list of all the relaxing things I wanted to accomplish
(I mean, afterall, even on lazy days we must accomplish something... right?)
I decided to get up and get another cup of coffee, when my back had other plans for me on this day.... I couldn't move my leg, which is a huge indicator of the pain that I would be enduring.  I continued to make my bed and the jagged feeling continued..
As I moved, the pain worsen. The embarrassing feeling when after using the restroom and your 14 year old daughter has to come in and help you walk matched with the excruciating pain was all I could bear!!  I made it back to my room, shut the door and began to weep.. I wept because of the discouragement the rushed over me knowing another day would be robbed from me.. I wept because of the pain, and I wept because I wandered when the healing would ever come.....

It's in these vulnerable moments that I still remember that God has a plan for me. It's in these moments that I remember that in my weakness he is strong..  I remember in these moments I can count on prayer partners that up hold me, pray for me & encourage me..

The pain is real! I can use it to allow Satan to steal  my joy, steal the day from me by wallowing in the pit of despair. .. or I can enjoy the day in its fullest by doing exactly what I set out to do and that is to relax!!  The pain makes it hard to completely relax but I am reassured and stand on His truth and promise for my life.....

Psalm 126
"Those who sow in tears shall reap with song of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy carrying sheaves with him"

I had a weak moment this morning, but God heard the depths of my cries and shown grace upon me.. How you ask, when there is no relief from the pain?

~through the responses & prayers of dear, kind, faithful  friends
~through a compassionate husband who prayed for me, and helped me do my back stretching
~through an understanding daughter, that even though the day wasn't exactly how we planned we still played games while I lay in bed
~through giving me a real........"Snow Day"

Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Chains of my past....

I was recently blessed with a book called "be angry but don't blow it "
by Lisa Bevere...

"The book is a guide to move you from destructive to constructive anger and recapture the healthy passion God wants you to have" L.B

Many know one of the areas I struggle  with is anger and rage.  I never realized how deeply rooted bitterness or unresolved issues played an effect with this.

James 1:19 says "Everyone must be quick to listen slow to speak and slow to become angry. Man's anger does not achieve Gods righteous purpose"

"God does not use the vehicle of our rage to serve His purposes.  The truth is, we have tried to use our rage to serve our own purposes. We mistakenly thought it would protect, provide,guide,  and empower us. Instead it has turnd  us and attacked, robbed, mislead and isolated us. L.B

If you foolishly embrace rage as a garment of strength or hide yourself in the shrouded past of unresolved issues, it will inevitably and eventually drain the very life from you. YOU will destroy the relationships around you, then turn inward and eventually self destruct. L.b.

He forgives our sin and removes the very stain of guilt so we have no need to revisit our past failures. We will always do best when we turn our eyes from our past failures and mistakes and lift our gaze to Him L.B.

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past Isaiah 43:18"

I for one no longer want to continually revisit issues I have been forgiven from. I give Satan plenty of material to use against me, so why should I give him anymore? We are sinners saved by grace.. I can not offer perfection but I can offer brokenness.  God lavishes mercy, grace and forgiveness freely. In fact it is the goodness & kindness that leads us to repentence.

Lisa Bevere states "After we have repented there comes the rebuilding...

John 8:11.. . "Go now and leave your life of sin"

John 8:32 "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free"

I want to leave this area of my life that is filled with guilt and self-loathing and arise and go to sin no more...

I realized by reading this book that I made too many excuses for my actions.. I blamed others, situations or my past for my anger.  I needed to take responsibility.. "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time" 1 Peter 5:6

Lisa Bevere says "Confession means to own up to something to humbly say it is your fault and resist the ever-present temptation to lay blame on the back of another. Humility deals with the part of the puzzle without worrying about anyone else's reaction. It is an abandonment of yourself to God. You are saying "God, I trust you that if I humble myself, YOU will lift me out of the situation and set my feet on higher ground""

Lastly, learning from our mistakes.

"Proverbs 24:16 "For though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again, but the wicked are brought down by calamity"

Lisa writes "The Wicked do not choose to get up; they remain in our fallen state. Their mistakes are not their instructors; they are their downfall. They do not learn from their mistakes; they become entangled and overcome by them.

God wants his daughter's to be passionate and powerful. If you are not constructive with your anger, if you turn it on yourself or lash out at those around you , you lose your passion and become depressed or oppressed.  Freedom is not found in rebellion to God's ways and wisdom. Freedom is found when we operate within His life giving instructions. Then we can live life without regrets, without fear, and without dragging along the chains of our past.

~I want to be freed from the stronghold that grips me once in for all!  I do not want to be entangled and/or overcome by a pit of despair.  I want to brag about the passion and power that God has equipped in me, as a daughter of the King! I want the freedom of operating under His instructions so that I no longer drag the chains of my past!!!