Thursday, December 29, 2011

Follow Through

Follow through.  I sometimes have a problem with that.  Not always, but on certain things.  For instance, I have made a "resolution" for the past 2 years that I am going to read the Bible through in a year.  I've been a Christian for 30 years and have never read the Bible all the way through.  Maybe if I embarrass myself publicly, it'll make me finally follow through! 
I've been convicted about my lack of follow through numerous times.  Like when I learned that traditional Jewish children have the Torah (the first 5 books of the Bible) memorized...not just read, but memorized!...by the time they are 13 years old! And devout Muslim children have the Koran memorized by the age of 10?  Seriously?  WOW!  
And I was convicted again a few years ago about reading the Bible all the way through after I had fully read all the Twilight Saga (HUGE books, by the way) in about a month time span because it was so darn riveting!  Well, this year I have read SO many other books that have all been amazing, but have only read a little bit of my Bible.  I'm on staff at my church.  This should be a better track record for me. 
So, it is now my public resolution of what I'll be doing this year.  I got a One Year Chronological Bible for Christmas to make my goal a little easier.  I started reading it last night because I know I will inevitably get behind at some point in the year, so I might as well get a head start!  Last year I made this same resolution, and last week my son asked me how it was coming on my Bible reading.  SLAM!  Nothing like being called out by your 9 year old.  "Well, son, I only made it to Numbers".  His response..."well, you better get to reading, Mom."
So, I am getting to reading.  And I plan to even blog about so you can all hold me accountable!  Feel free to ask me at church, on facebook, or wherever you run into me how my Bible reading it coming.
Follow through.  I resolve that to be better this year!  I'm pretty sure the world is not ending in 2012, so I plan to make sure that by 2013, my Bible is fully read!  Wanna join me?   

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Amazed

Amazed "to affect with great wonder, astonish."

God never ceases to amaze me. He gives me awesome things to look at because He knows how much I love beauty!  This amazing sunset last night before a good rainstorm was amazingly gorgeous.  Fall leaves and the process of all that....amazing.  Birth and the process involved in all that...amazing.  The way we bend to His will when we make ourselves available...amazing. The way He gives us exactly what we need exactly when we need it, even though we don't understand it...amazing.

He saves up a lot of amazing things for me every year when I attend Women of Faith in Minneapolis.  I have come to expect God's presence there and have gone with my heart on my sleeve and ready to accept whatever God wants me to learn that weekend.  He likes to amaze me not only with the Women of Faith venue, but in the good laughs with friends & in the quality time I get to spend with them.  This will be my last Women of Faith with my good friend, Laura.  Last year was my last one with my good friend, Tabitha.  But how amazing will the real deal be, ladies, when we have something like a Women of Faith weekend in Heaven!  WOO HOO!  Wow.  Talk about amazing.  God's saving up some amazing stuff for that one.  ;)

I've been listening to the Women of Faith music from last year and the song "Amazed" gets louder and louder on my dial every time I play it.  "You dance over me while I am unaware.  You sing all around, but I never hear the sound.  Lord, I'm amazed by you. How you love me."  I sometimes feel like God is trying to impress me with his creation.  Showing me...."look, Becky, I made this just for you!"  I've learned to see amazement in EVERYTHING!  I think it makes me look a bit calloused to friends at times, though.  I have a friend going through a really rough spot, but all I can see is the hand of God directing every step she's on.  I can see through the smoke and see that everything is going to be okay!!  I love her and feel for her pain, but I can also see the amazing love God has for her and how He's transforming her life and making all things new!

Open your eyes and see the amazement all around you.  See the dance that goes over you because God is delighted in YOU!  Picture a crazy parent running through the streets singing some loud song because they are so proud of YOU!  Embarrassing?  Maybe, but doesn't that make you feel special through the bright red blushing cheeks?  It's wide, deep, and so, so great.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

What's in a name?

What does your name mean?  I had to look mine up because I'm not really sure.  Answers.com says that Becky means "beautiful, energetic, pretty, tom-boyish, and rich".  I'll take that.  I'm still waiting around on the rich part, but whatever.  Michael's name means "who is like the Lord".  I'll have to keep him humble with that as his name.

Names are important.  You kind of resemble your name to some degree.  Our daughter, Alexandria's name means "protector of men".  We named her that because we liked the name, but really she is what brought Michael around to the realization that he had a little life to protect and she made him the man he is today.  Evan's name means "God is good" and ain't that the truth?!  That little boy shows me God's goodness every single day!

Names are powerful.  But all other names pale in comparison to a certain Great Name!!  Many hymns and songs have been written about the name of Jesus.  About the amazing power in the name of Jesus.  Even typing it out here in this blog, I know the name will be offensive to some friends who read it.  Some of my friends have a hard time with religion, are atheists or agnostics.  The name of Jesus really is offensive to them.  But that name to me is LIFE!  That name to me is FREEDOM!  Everything is better when just simply the name "Jesus" is spoken!  Jesus means "salvation".  Salvation from anything and everything that is wrong.

This has been my most favorite song lately.  "Your Great Name" by Natalie Grant.  And I have the privilege of seeing Natalie Grant at Women of Faith in a few weeks.  Oh, I can hardly contain myself!  I will be transported to heaven and back.  Can you imagine 10,000 women singing along to this song?  WOW!  10,000 voices saying the name of Jesus.  Just a little teeny taste of heaven.  Homesick, I am.  Ready to be with the object of my desire!  Ready to physically crawl into my Savior's lap.  At the sound of His great name...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Oh, how He loves us!

Focusing my entire day on God's deep, deep love for me.  I don't know if it's the wonderful smell of apple bread in my oven, the cool, crisp sunny day, or the wonderful silence in my house today.  But God keeps popping into my head the fact that He loves me!  Life has not always been perfect, but even in those times I have felt His overwhelming love for me.

I'm currently listening to a podcast for my bible study tomorrow night about God's love for us.  I told my bible study gals a few weeks ago that I hadn't been feeling God's presence the way I had felt it when I was in the valleys of despair last year.  I told them I honestly couldn't wait until something else bad happened to me so that I could feel close to God again.  All that following week, God kept reiterating to me, "I am with you." I kept wondering why God kept telling me He was with me.   It's a basic Christian principle, so why did He need to keep telling me that?  Well, life is good right now and you know what?  God is with me.  He's been with me through the good and the bad.  Nothing bad has to happen to me to feel His presence.  He's with me.  He's with me enjoying the smell of apple bread baking in my oven right now.  He's with me as I prepare for my bible study tomorrow night.  He's with me as I prepare my children's church lesson for Sunday.  He's with me when I go pick up the kids from school later today.  He was with me in the past through some pretty sticky situations.  He's ALWAYS been there.  And He's always been madly in love with me.


May you feel God's presence and love today, too.  If you are having trouble with that, just simply ask Him to reveal His love to you and then sit back and watch.  It'll come.  Live life expecting something miraculous from God.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Fall Apart

I hear songs on the radio and assume God had them written just for me.  So many songs seem to apply to my life.  It's like someone is right inside the deepest part of me seeing what's going on and writes a very public song about it!  I'm pretty sure God has something to do with that.  This is the newest one I keep hearing and know it was written for me.

My favorite line is "How can I come to the end of me and somehow still have all I need?!"

I used to be all about keeping it all together.  Well, I still am to some degree.  My calendar is my lifeline and it's how I keep all our family activities organized.  I take my calendar everywhere, so it usually starts falling apart at this point in the year.  My friend laughed at me the other day stating that my "lifeline was falling apart." I decided I needed to get some organizational help for my calendar/lifeline.  I got a cute binder to keep my calendar pages in, but that was not enough.  So, off I went to Office Max to find some organizers for my binder, and I got a little giddy.  I hope no one noticed, but I was like a kid in a candy store.  I admitted that to my highly organized husband later that evening and a look of pride just swept across his face.  Maybe I'm finally arriving.  ;)  Now, don't be coming to me for organizing advice. I'm not that far into it.  I'm just starting off with binder organizers.  And I recently bought a few baskets to hold some things. (maybe I'm more organized that I originally thought...)

But the point is, I can try and organize my life all I want, but God usually has different ideas for me.  God lets me have my binder organizers and baskets, but when I try to make it look like my life is all together so that I can look good to other people, that's when God steps in to save me.  I'm learning that it's okay to fall apart.  It's okay to be a little disheveled at times.  (I've recently been spotted out and about without much makeup on lately, too!)  It's okay to be human.  When I'm wearing my mask of perfection, I don't seem to feel God's presence very much.  But when I let it all go and it starts to crumble a bit, that's when I feel God reaching in to save me.  I'm a princess...I like to be swept off my feet and saved.  I was created that way.  And God is all into the saving.

So, I'm going to do my job.  And I'm going to let God do His job.  I may fall apart every once in a while, but don't feel sorry for me.  It's all good.   My lifeline, on the other hand, won't be falling apart any time soon!

Friday, August 19, 2011

It's just a pencil

This is what my dad sends me every year around Back to School time.  He's done it for years and years.  I get a letter in the mail and it's a #2 pencil to take to school.  

I got my pencil in the mail today.  I opened it up and laughed and got a little tear in my eye.  My kids ran over to see what I was giggling about.  They looked up at me confused as to why I was tearing up over a pencil.  I told them my dad sends me a pencil every year to take back to school.  They roll their eyes and walk away thinking I've lost my mind.  

I love the little ways my dad shows me he loves me.  I love that he thinks about me frequently.  I love that even though I'm 38 years old, he still views me as his baby girl.  I love that he probably also got a tear in his eye when he was mailing my #2 pencil.  

My dad has always been my vision of my Heavenly Father.  God shows me every day how much He loves me in the littlest things.  He views me as a princess even though I'm viewed by others as too old to hold that title.  He gave me His one and only Son to show His love for me & I'm pretty sure He also had a tear in His eye when He sent me that gift. 

Fathers hold a special place in their daughter's lives.  Father's have a very strong power.  My husband watches how my dad treats me and wants to treat our daughter exactly the same!  I'm blessed.  

It's just a pencil....

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Truth About Me

I'm perfect.  Really, I am.  Not in a haughty manner, but that's just how God created me to be.  He sees me as absolutely perfect.  I'm learning to see myself in the exact same way.  God introduced a book to me within the past few months called Your Secret Name.  He then re-iterated my need to read this book by giving me a song by Mandisa (He knows how much I love her!) called "The Truth About Me".


God has never seen me as a screw up.  He's never seen me as a basket case or some horrid mistake that He created.  He created me to be something that could be used by Him.  Bumps, warts, bruises, and all. Even when I make mistakes and mess up, He STILL uses that!  He truly amazes me.

I started a bible study tonight using Your Secret Name (great book, by the way).  And God assembled the most amazing group of ladies to join me.  Just some friends I pulled together, but we had the best time this evening...and that was just the introduction night!  I'm super excited to what God will be showing us within the next few months.

When you leave things up to God, He makes things absolutely perfect.  My life has been left totally up to Him, and He has redeemed me, cleansed me, and is revealing the truth about me.  My friend stated tonight, "You can't afford to not view yourself the same way God views you!"  How true!  I'm a worth no one could estimate!  And so are you!  Believe it.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Amazing Grace

I haven't blogged in FOREVER!  I also feel like I haven't heard from God in forever, too.  Now that life is a little more 'manageable' for us, I guess I've wandered away from God's presence.  When our trials were raging full force I was reading my Bible every day.  I remember reading about the Israelites and God's big huge blessings on them, His obvious hand in their lives, the way He constantly saved them from their enemies.  Then just a short time later they would be turning their backs on Him and "abandoning the Lord."  At the time I was thinking, "How in the world could they do that?!"  Now, I look at myself and am amazed that I am no better than the Israelites.  I feel I need God when life is falling down around me, but when He helps put my feet back on steady ground, I wander off...assuming I've got everything under control.

Luckily, I've began to catch that trend in my life and have recently put a stop to it.  I'm not going to wander so far off that we fall off the path again.  I'm making my way back to God who is still standing in the same place He was standing when I wandered off.  God continues to put the story of Jonah in my life.  It keeps popping up everywhere. So, I'm going to have to examine that further and see what He is trying to tell me from that story.  Expect a blog sometime when I figure that out in some "Aha!" moment.

The other day I was reading in Judges about Samson.  What a mighty strong man he was, but what a jerk as well.  He had wandered SO terribly far off the beaten path.  But God still used him in a mighty way.  The footnotes in my Bible state, "In spite of Samson's evident failures, the Spirit's presence was powerfully at work in him."  Despite myself, my sinfulness, my lack of motivation, my irritability, etc, God can still use me to accomplish what He needs to accomplish.  I want to strive to be more filled with God.  I'm a human and I'm going to mess up, but luckily God gives me grace for those times in my life.  He knew ahead of time that Becky was going to need tons of grace.  The Israelites were going to need tons of grace.  You were going to need tons of grace.

Amazing grace.  How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Not all about me!

I've decided when you hear things over and over again that maybe, just maybe, you were meant to hear them and take them to heart.  From tons of different sources, I keep hearing "it's not about you."  So, apparently, "it's not about me." 

Michael has taken a job.  Go ahead and do a celebratory dance.  Yell out a big WOO HOO!!!  After many months of applications, interviews, denial letters and phone calls, only ONE job came to fruition.  If you don't see God's hand in that, you can finish reading this blog right here.  We have learned to spot God's hand from a mile away, and we know it's all over this job.  Now, it's not a job that Michael would really have ever chosen for himself.  It's a job where he is TOTALLY uncomfortable and out of his element.  He knows nothing about what he is doing.  Most of the people he works with are nothing like him.  But God has taken a man with a willing heart to be used by Him, and said, "Michael, this is where I want you for now."  Apparently, it's not about Michael and what he wants.

This job was referred to Michael from his good friend who had just started working there.  It is a job dispatching fuel and grains to farmers, convenience stores, and other companies that need these services.  The dispatcher gets a call for a product and communicates with a truck driver to deliver the goods.  For those of you who know Michael, you might be giggling that he is communicating with truck drivers.  I laughed, so go ahead.  It pays well and the hours aren't horrible, so it'll do for now.  And it may do forever...who knows.  We've quit trying to figure out what God wants for us to do!  But for now, we know why Michael has been placed there.  His friend who referred the job to him is going through a really painful divorce.  The divorce will probably be final sometime within the next few months.  This friend needs Michael to lean on, and where does Michael sit at work?  Right next to his friend.  Isn't God funny like that?  So, this job has nothing to do with Michael....God is just using him right now to uphold his friend and help him through the most painful experience of his life. 

Wouldn't it be great if everyone lived their lives this way?  Just at the mercy of wherever God needed you to be at the moment?  Wouldn't it be great if everyone realized that this life has nothing to do with you?  If we put others higher than ourselves.  If we loved and cared for people more than we love and care for our things, our bank account, our free time, etc.  What if we all began to realize that God can work best when we just let Him have control over ALL the little issues in our lives.  He will put us exactly where He needs us to be.  And it's okay if it's not exactly where you want to be.  God knows the desires of your heart.  But he also has tons of other children that He needs you to impact before He can give you the desires of your heart. 

We have been giving God 100 percent for the past 5 months.  Has it been easy?  NO!!!  It has been extremely hard.  Why?  Because we've been warring against our human nature.  We've been fighting against what society says we need to do.  Michael could have had many jobs paying very well with his flying background.  But that is not what we have felt God's call to do.  God wants us here, in Grand Forks, for some reason.  Some reason that may have nothing to do with us. When God is finished with us here, we may be called elsewhere.  Who knows?  We're just floating along on faith.  Jesus said in Matthew 11:29-30, "Take my yoke upon you.  Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light."  Giving up our human-ness, following God is really the easy way.  No worry or stress.  Just let God handle it.  Easier said than done...but SO worth it! 

I challenge you all to give it up for God today.  Let Him lead your every step.  Not just some steps, but every single one.  It's not all about you.  Sometimes God needs you to meet the needs of His other children.  Find where God is working, and join Him there.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Coincidences and Lunatics

I totally heard from God yesterday.  He spoke to me and Michael separately and said the same thing.  Thankfully it came to Michael, too, otherwise I would think I was going crazy!  So, here's the story on this one:

I was at Walmart yesterday and ran into Dennis.  Dennis is a man who used to go to our church & he is a....well....um...peculiar man.  He is a super deep thinker, spends tons of time in God's Word, is kind of a recluse, and just different than other people.  I'm just a tad bit uncomfortable around him, but I'm not sure why.  When he went to our church a few years ago, he would come up to me frequently and say, "God wanted me to tell you this", and he'd tell me something that I really needed to hear.  Sometimes it was things that confused me and made me think.  But he was generally spot on.

So, I haven't seen Dennis in quite a while.  Long enough that he has no clue what's been going on in mine and Michael's life lately.  He asked what Michael was up to and I told him he had been looking for a job since separating from the Air Force.  That sent Dennis into a deep think mode, which made me a little uncomfortable in the dairy section of Walmart.  But then he turned straight toward me and said, "Will you encourage Michael with these words?  Tell him to remember what God told him long ago, he shouldn't doubt that.  And when he wakes up at 4am, that's God gently nudging him that He wants to talk to him.  God is the only thing that will help him get to the other side of this, and just let him know that he's almost there."

Thank you, Dennis or messenger from God, whatever you want me to call you.  I call Michael on the way home from Walmart and tell him about my experience.  Michael gets a little choked up because the thing God told him "long ago" was that he was to be a pastor and the thing he's been doubting lately is how he can provide for his family on a pastor's salary.  Secondly, he has been waking up quite frequently at 4am and not being able to go back to sleep.  And thirdly, we have been asking God (pestering God, actually) lately how much longer we have to go through this waiting period.  We've been waiting for 5 months for God to reveal His plan to us!

Weirding you out yet?  Well, the story isn't over.  Michael goes to pick up the kids at school about 30 minutes later.  A sweet friend of mine who I work in the lunchroom with got out of her car, walked up to Michael, and said she had something to share with him that God wanted her to tell him.  She asked him to read in the Bible about Jesus walking on the water.  Michael informed her that he knew that story.  She said, "I want you to REALLY read it and pay attention to the wording."  Focus on the storm, and then read that when Jesus got into the boat with the disciples that they were IMMEDIATELY on the shore and safe.  She encouraged him that God has something for him that is coming IMMEDIATELY and it's something big!  She told him that she didn't know what any of this meant, but God wanted her to share it with him. 

Most people would chalk all this up to coincidence and a bunch of lunatics!  But I don't believe in coincidence anymore.  Too many things have happened "coincidentally" when I've prayed about things.  God spoke to me.  And He spoke to Michael.  And he said the same thing.  And I'm not a lunatic.  God gave us encouragement that our waiting is almost over.  The storm is almost passed.  And He spoke through two willing and highly favored servants. 

I asked my dad the other day to pray for us, and to help me hold up my shield of faith because it was starting to get quite heavy.  I think God is holding that shield for me now because someone the burden seems a little lighter.  I'm excited to see what is coming immediately and what it is!  I'm sure I'll tell you all about very soon...maybe some morning at 4am!  See you then!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Perspective

A word keeps appearing in my life lately.  It keeps coming to mind in certain situations.  Perspective. 

I have found myself with the wrong perspective lately.  Which is probably why God wanted me to evaluate the word & ponder it for a while.  It's been a rough few months...still.  It's starting to get old to me.  I want my husband to find a job.  I want things to stop being challenging.  I want everyone in my family to stop getting sick.  I'd really like my cough to go away!  I want to stop having difficulties with EVERYTHING!  Nothing seems to go the way I want lately.  I feel like that cartoon character with a rainy cloud above her head everywhere I go.  Pity party for Becky.  Anyone get their invitation? 

This is when I've begun to realize I'm viewing everything from the wrong perspective!  It helped to see the movie, "Soul Surfer".  If you need a new perspective on life, go see the movie.  A girl with big potential and a big heart has everything ripped from her grasp.  Life is hard and everything is challenging, but she rises above because she changes her perspective on what's important in life. 

I've decided to stop seeing my life as challenging.  I'm going to view things as a lesson to be learned.  I'm back in school...the school of life.  And I'll have my PhD by the time all this is over.  I'm going to stop seeing myself as a victim of attack.  I'm going to be empowered by understanding that I am standing firm for Christ, therefore, I'm going to be attacked.  I'll consider it an honor of doing the right thing and being exactly where God wants me to be.  I'm going to stop focusing on what we don't have and focus on the gazillion things we DO have!  Those things far outweigh the things I think I don't have.  I'm going to remember a verse my children have been learning in school this year, Philippians 4:8, " Finally, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things."

Just a little perspective switch.  We can all use one of those every now and again.  Right? 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Ride the current....dude.

My husband can make correlations out of just about anything!  But the one he made most recently really makes sense!  I'm sure all of you have seen the movie "Finding Nemo" at some point.  If you are like us, we watched it about 100 times when Alex was a toddler.  It was one of her favorite movies at the time! Well, let me show you how you can equate a scene in "Finding Nemo" to living in God's will!  Curious?  Well, read on.

Michael and I are doing a bible study together called "Experiencing God".  We are learning a TON!  We are therefore teaching what we are learning to our college/young adult lifegroup.  Last week, Michael was talking about how to know God's will.  So many of us ask God, "What is your will for my life?"  When the question should really be "God, what is Your will?"  Let's go ahead and take the selfishness out of that question.  We always want to know how things apply to us...what's the benefit for me?  What do you want ME to do?  Instead, God really just wants us to look around and see where He is already at work and just jump right in and join Him there.  That is God's will.  He's at work all around us.  Find where He is working and join Him.  Simple, right? 

It is as simple as a kids movie.  In "Finding Nemo", Marlin is searching for his son and ends up in the East Australian Current.  In that current, the super cool sea turtles don't really have to do anything.  They just ride the wave; let the current take them where it will.  God's work is like that current.  We just simply need to hop in and ride.  Let God take you wherever He wills for you to go!  Of course, you'll have to let go of some of your control issues.  I think the popular phrase is "Let go and let God." 

So, hop on the back of a sea turtle with me and let's ride the wave, dude! 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A poem from Alex

Alex' class was to write a poem about the crazy snowstorm today.  I thought it was super cute and wanted to share it!

"April Showers Turn into Snow"

Today is April 15, 2011.  Last week it was sunny and warm and birds began to swarm
into my yard they'd go while the flowers began to grow.
But today on this Friday no one knew what to say
when we woke up and saw not rain but snow we weren't sure if to go.
I got up, got food from the fridge
hopped into the car and went across the bridge.
As we went across the water flooding, I told my brother the flowers were budding.
When we were at school the wind felt quite cool
as we were in class the snow kept coming while my heart was numbing.
The snow piled and piled and no one smiled.
Today was not a pretty sight.  I sure hope it stops tonight.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

New Lesson

So, I learned another lesson this past week.  This time, though, it wasn't painful...it was kind of humorous.  Let me give you some background first.

Michael and I have led a Lifegroup for many years now.  Our Lifegroup has shifted from a couples group talking marriage and relationships to a Lifegroup this year of college students/young adults.  We go with the flow...wherever God wants to use us is fine.  When we started the young adult group we were making dinner for the "kids" every week.  (I say kids because we are just way too old!) We just had a few so it wasn't a problem.  Hot dogs, hamburgers, chili, lasagna...all foods you can make for a lot of people.  No problem.  Well, now our group has grown and Michael is out of a job.  Affording a meal for 20 people every Sunday gets to be a bit of a stretch.  But you know what?  God always provides!

He has provided through food that wasn't eaten at Riverside, my kids' school.  I work in the lunch room on Fridays and if there is food leftover, we get to take it home to feed our college students.  Isn't God cool?  Other weeks we just have enough money in the grocery budget that it's no big deal to feed them all.  We feel God has called us to feed them, physically and spiritually.  We just have to obey, right?  He fed 5,000 with 5 loaves and 2 fish....I think He can feed our Lifegroup! 

So, the funny part of the story comes in now.  When you hear the term potluck what do you think?  It's just a term to bring something, right?  Doesn't necessarily have to be a casserole you made.  Or anything homemade for that matter.  Well, we thought we would skirt around our "feeding the kids" issue and have a potluck.  Let me just say, don't skirt around the things that God has commissioned you to do.  Of our 20 kids in Lifegroup, only 6 showed up to our potluck!  LOL  The word potluck really scared them off!  God has called Michael and Becky to provide the food for them, not put it on themselves to provide for themselves!  So, we all got a good laugh out of it.  But from now on, the foods on me....or should I say it's on God?!  He'll be the one providing it every week.  I think He wants to show not only us that He can do it, but He wants to prove a point to these college kids that He is their ultimate provider! 

I think this week we'll just bring 5 loaves and 2 fish and see what happens.  Our God is an awesome God!  I'm SO glad He loves us!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I'm such a human....

When Satan attacks, he really attacks hard.  It's no coincidence that the lessons I've been teaching in children's church for the past few weeks have been on putting on the FULL armor of God. Ephesians 6:10-17 tells us to put on ALL of God's armor so that we can stand firm against the attacks of evil.  We are told to put on the belt of truth, the body armor of righteousness, the shoes of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit. 
 If the full armor is not put on, Satan can wedge in to an unprotected area.  Attacks come in many forms.  Attacks on your self-confidence, your friendships, your very nature of who you are, your abilities, and the list goes on.  Satan has been attacking me like a ravaged lion lately.  Apparently the closer you get to God, the more of a target you become.  But I've been taught just recently, the importance of putting on every piece of armor for protection.  I think I left off a few pieces lately.  Maybe I forgot to put on the peaceful shoes, or I left that shield of faith sitting on the coffee table.  I left my helmet in the closet and let some things enter my thought process that shouldn't be there. 

It's never good to go out naked.  Especially in a battle.  When you go out naked, you get laughed at, humiliated, and you lose all respect.  So, next time, I'll remember to put on all the armor.  Is this example too vague for you to grasp?  Think about what you have let Satan have access to lately.  Your mind, your emotions, your relationships, your self-esteem, your time, your faith...or lack thereof.  When he gets in and has access to an inch, he takes off with me and runs for miles.

I have spent my whole day letting Satan attack my mind. I have sat and listened to him tell me I have no value, no worth, no special talents.  He has told me I am a horrible friend and should just crawl in a hole and disappear.  Well, God has other opinions of me.  God knows that I am a sinner, and God loves me "as is".  God created me and decided he would purchase me "as is".  God knows my heart and He created my amazing talents.  He gave me the friends I have in my life to grow me in this season.  He gave me the friends I have in my life to teach me to put on all the armor in my closet.  Without the armor, I am human.  With the armor, nothing can penetrate. 

Next time you see me, please notice my pretty shoes of peace.  And notice my new, fashionable belt of truth.  I'll be polishing up my body armor of righteousness and sharpening my sword. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Whew!  Here I go again...tons of thoughts jumbling around in this big ol' head of mine that I want to get typed in and see if we can make sense of them!  I had a great night with my girlfriends.  Girlfriends who uplift each other, pray for each other, make each other feel we are valued, talented, and beautiful!  Here are some of my girlfriends who are so special to me!










(Isn't that artwork in the background cool?!  I know the artist and she's great!  )



All of these ladies are my gifts from God.  He has given them all to me for this season in my life to help me make sense of things.  God truly gives fabulous gifts! 

So, I spent a wonderful evening with my friends, then on my way home I was rockin' out to some Mandisa (which I love to crank up loud when I'm in the car alone while pretending I'm on stage in front of all my adoring fans!)  The way I had to take to get home took me right past the townhouse we lived in this time last March.  That townhouse was also a gift from God at a season in our life when we needed it.  As I drive past the townhouse, which dredged up a few bad memories of this time last year (feel free to read old posts in regards to that), Mandisa starts singing "Broken Hallelujah".  She sang it to me, yes to me alone, at Women of Faith in October and at that time I was extremely broken and that song hit a nerve with me.  If you haven't heard it, I'll attach the link at the end of this blog for you to take a listen to.  Beautiful song.  Beautiful message for all us broken souls out there.  The song is about when life falls apart, as it often does, that we can still bring praise.  It may be broken and not so pretty, but bring it anyway!  Choose to look at life through the lens of blessing instead of a curse.  Funny how that song is what happened to come on as I drove past a place that brought some painful memories of brokenness.  God is sneaky like that.  :)

Back to my night with my friends...
My BFF, the one I'm posing with in the purple sweater above, is my strongest encourager.  God tells her to do things for me and she does them.  She is very in tune to how God wants to use her to bless others.  She gives me a gift tonight that brings me closure and finality to a year of brokenness.  She gives me these:



Pretty, aren't they?  But she doesn't just give a gift because it's pretty.  Her gifts are always attached with deep meaning.  She gives me these pearls to cast before God to remind me that I have been brought out of darkness into His glorious light!  John 8:12 says "I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won't have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life."  For a short time, my life was shattered and broken, but is now brought into the light.  I learned a lot in the darkness.  I found God while I was in the darkness.  I no longer fear the darkness.  Now, I am in the light and I will forever walk in the light.  So, I'm trading my sorrows, my pain, and my whining...and laying it down before God. 

Closure.  Healed.  Hallelujah.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

"NO" isn't always negative

So my husband is unemployed.  So what?  So he has been getting way too many rejection letters and denial letters for jobs.  So what?  I have learned that "No" is not always a negative thing.  "No" is not negative when I tell my child she can't have a chocolate bar for dinner.  "No" is not negative when I tell my child he can't ride his bike too far from home.  Sometimes "no" is for our own good.  I'm starting to see that now.  God is saying "No" to some things right now because He has said "Yes" to something we can't see right now.  He is God....I am not, so I'm putting all my eggs in His big ol' basket!  He is forming our future into something exciting and marvelous...we just screw it up on our own.  So, hands off the wheel.  The "no's" are not negative, they are just boundaries making way for the big YES that's coming soon! 

When I need a pick me up, I pull out Hillsong United.  They write their music just for me in case you didn't know.  Well, maybe some of it's for you, too!  Since we are all human and go through the exact same things, I guess it's for all of us.  So, I'm sitting here in the quiet tonight listening to my Hillsong CD.  On comes "Desert Song"...have you heard it?  No?  Well, I'm glad I could let you listen to it with me tonight.  If you are walkin' around in the desert with me tonight, lets realize together that it's for our own good.  There are many lessons here in the dry patches of the desert.  When the breeze of God's love gently blows, we can feel it way more when the desert sands are hot.  I truly feel I could spend the rest of my life in the desert.  Now, I'm not saying I WANT to, but I could.  This song says "All of my life. In every season.  You are still God.  I have a reason to sing.  I have a reason to worship."  He's God in the desert just the same as He's the God on the awesome sunny days filled with lush green grass.  I'm learning to enjoy the desert. 

Friday, March 4, 2011

No pity party here tonight!

"There is a limit to our affliction. God sends it and then removes it. Do you complain, saying, "When will this end?" May we quietly wait and patiently endure the will of the Lord till He comes. Our Father takes away the rod when His purpose in using it is fully accomplished.   If the affliction is sent to test us so that our words would glorify God, it will only end once He has caused us to testify to His praise and honor. In fact, we would not want the difficulty to depart until God has removed from us all the honor we can yield to Him."  ~Charles Spurgeon

I had a blog written about this, but I just hit delete.  I am in a penchant to complain at the moment, but God is gently reminding me to do everything without complaining (Phil 2:14)  I don't really have anything to complain about.  Just some minor life inconveniences. Instead of complaining and having my pity party, I'll just focus on this quote & understand that everything that causes me inconvenience right now WILL bring glory to God if I keep the right perspective.  "So let's not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up." (Galatians 6:9)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

God's Embroidery

When I was a little boy, my mother used to embroider a great deal. I would sit at her knee and look up from the floor and ask what she was doing. She informed me that she was embroidering. I told her that it looked like a mess from where I was. As from the underside I watched her work within the boundaries of the little round hoop that she held in her hand, I complained to her that it sure looked messy from where I sat.


 She would smile at me, look down and gently say, “My son, you go about your playing for awhile, and when I am finished with my embroidering, I will put you on my knee and let you see it from my side.”


I would wonder why she was using some dark threads along with the bright ones and why they seemed so jumbled from my view. A few minutes would pass and then I would hear Mother’s voice say, “Son, come and sit on my knee.” This I did only to be surprised and thrilled to see a beautiful flower or a sunset. I could not believe it, because from underneath it looked so messy. Then Mother would say to me, “My son, from underneath it did look messy and jumbled, but you did not realize that there was a pre-drawn plan on the top. It was a design. I was only following it. Now look at it from my side and you will see what I was doing.”






Many times through the years I have looked up to my Heavenly Father and said, “Father, what are You doing?” He has answered, “I am embroidering your life.” I say, “But it looks like a mess to me. It seems so jumbled. The threads seem so dark. Why can’t they all be bright?” The Father seems to tell me, “‘My child, you go about your business of doing My business, and one day I will bring you to Heaven and put you on My knee and you will see the plan from My side.”                      ~Author Unknown

Tribute

My dad is the wisest man on the planet.  When I count my blessings in life, he is the first one I count.  The thought of my dad no longer being in my life is one of the most painful thoughts I have.  No one encourages me or gives me perspective quite like my dad.  He's had his share of trials in life and he uses his experiences to uplift me and encourage me through my trials.  He has gained perspective from his trials, and he passes that wisdom along to me.  I know just how much God loves me when I look at my dad.

He sends me the most encouraging emails.  I know I better have a tissue in hand when I'm about to open up his emails.  They are usually "A-ha" moments for me, and I love when I receive clarity!  I am now perfectly clear on my trials of 2010 and the months into 2011, thanks to my dad's wisdom.  I was thinking just this morning that 2010 was a year in which we needed about 75 percent faith.  Michael still had a job and income was flowing, so the only thing we really needed our faith for was trying to determine if he should get out of the Air Force.  2011 thus far, has been 100 percent faith.  The Air Force and the income is gone...now we are living on 100 percent provisions from God.  In all this, I have learned that regardless of the income we are bringing in for ourselves, we should ALWAYS be living on 100 percent faith! 

My dad reminded me that my perspective on my life has changed.  I have always been a good girl.  I was raised in a Christian home.  I married a Christian man.  I have worked hard and raised two wonderful children who walk with the Lord.  I serve God by working in children's ministry at my church.  I show kids the way to Christ.  The only problem with this line of thinking is the primary focus on "I".  I have been blessed to live life this way because of what God has given me and because of what God has done through me and to me.  A year full of trials has drawn me straight into God's big hands...right where I could not get on my own. 

I am now just a vessel.  God created me beautiful and useful in the beginning.  Through time, my vessel became broken, cracked, scratched, and not as useful as it could be.  Some of the paint has faded.  But I have now given my vessel over to God 100 percent.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.  All the things that can be accomplished now are because Christ does them through me.  And that's a much better way to live!  I am no longer broken, scratched, and faded.  I am beautiful and new.  And God made me for so much more than I was allowing in the past.  Let go, and let God.  Such a simple phrase with such punch!

Thanks, Daddy, for your wise words in getting me to see what God needed me to see.  What am I going to do when you are gone?  I love you. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

What to say?!

I've been wanting to blog for over a week now, but there are just SO many things God has shown me lately that I can't figure out what to say!  So many things are jumbling around in this brain of mine.  That could mean it's empty and there's tons of room for things to jumble around.  I don't know for sure!  :)

I'm just going to start with something and we'll see where it goes from here....


So, I'm reading this book that I've had on my bookshelf for probably 10 years.  I've never read it, but the other day it just kind of jumped into my hands.  I took that as God telling me to read it.  I love when He does stuff like that.  It's called The Red Sea Rules: 10 God-Given Strategies for Difficult Times, by Robert Morgan.  WOW!  What a great book...at least for me, right now in my life.  If you, too, are in a spot in life where nothing seems to be working out the way you think it should, if life seems a little bit upside down for you, then maybe you would like this book, too. 



When our life went south (at least in the world's eyes) a year ago, God spoke through me the most through the book of Exodus.  Someday when I can gather all those thoughts, I'll blog about them.  But for today, let's stick with this book.  The Red Sea Rules is straight out of Exodus, so apparently God is STILL speaking to me out of the book of Exodus.  I think that's crazy, because what could God possibly have to teach you in Exodus?  Apparently, if you are listening, a lot.

Here are the Red Sea Rules, and they are good:
(1) Realize that God means for you to be where you are.  The Israelites left bondage and then were caught between a mighty sea they had no way of crossing and a fierce army way bigger than them. Why could God have possibly wanted that for them?  Well, we can read on and find out that He was going to make a way for them. I wish the Corsars could "read on" and see what God has planned for our lives.  I'm sure it involves a miracle somewhere along the way!
(2) Be more concerned for God's glory than for your relief.  God brought them to it and He was going to show His glory by bringing them through it.  What is happening in my life right now is all for the glory of God.  So, I'll lay it all down and just let His glory shine through.  Much less stressful that way.
(3) Acknowledge your enemy, but keep your eyes on the Lord.  The enemy was not going to surrender the Israelites without a fight.  But God went before them to make a way for their escape.  What's your enemy?  Oppression? Depression?  Fear?  Worry?  Anger?  Acknowledge it's power, but keep your eyes on your God who is way more powerful than those things and can make a way of escape.
(4) Pray!  The Israelites cried out to God to save them!  I have never prayed more in my life than I have prayed the past year.  And God has not disappointed.  "That's the great secret of those who put their hands in the hand of the One who can part the seas."
(5)Stay calm and confident, and give God time to work.  God was basically saying, "Work your way from fear to faith.  Trust Me, for I'm going to take care of this.  I'm going to fight for you."  God doesn't have a fast gear (which I daily wish He did!), but when He works He's always on time.  Waiting.  Oh, so hard, but in the end...worth the wait.
(6) When unsure, just take the next logical step by faith.  God wouldn't part the seas until the Israelites took that first step into the sea.  Stepping into the sea sometimes seems crazy and illogical, but that's faith for ya!  Nothing about it makes sense!  Faith is to be walked step by step.
(7) Envision God's enveloping presence.  God was with the Israelites in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.  They saw His presence.  No clouds have been following me around, but God continually shows me His presence.  I have blogged about that a few times where He has shown up just to remind me that He's there.  He cares about all those little details and He's IN those details for me.
(8) Trust God to deliver in His own unique way.  Parting the sea and allowing people to walk through on dry ground?  Pretty unique and creative.  God has the most amazing ways of doing things.  Ways to show us that ONLY He is the one who could have done that.  I'm glad I serve such a unique and creative God! 
(9) View your current crisis as a faith builder for the future.  After the Israelites were saved, they were to pass this story down to their children for generations to come.  I've recently started a "provisions journal" writing down every little thing that has been provided for our family during this time of financial crisis.  It will remind me (when this season has passed for us) of God's unfailing love for me, and it will remind Alex and Evan what an awesome God we serve and how HE carried us through the storm.
(10) Don't forget to praise Him.  Good and bad...praise Him.  When He provides for us, we praise Him.  When He helps us through a trial, we praise Him.  But we have also learned to praise Him even if it's hard to see Him at the moment.  When He's taking (what we consider) WAY TOO LONG to bring us a secure job, we praise Him.  When He brings another trial to test us, we praise Him.  When He asks us to give up something else, we praise Him.  It's easy to praise Him in the good times...anyone can do that.  But praising Him when it hurts is where He is truly glorified in our lives.

Hopefully my jumbled thoughts have all made sense.  Let me put a few other thoughts together for another day and we'll see if God can make sense of those, too!  I'm just a vessel.  Broken and sometimes not pretty, but useful and willing to be used in whatever way my vessel needs to be used.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Don't you know who you are?!

This is not about what you've done,
But what's been done FOR you!
This is not about where you've been,
But where your brokenness brings you to.
This is not about what you build, but
what He built to forgive you! And what He
built to make you know

You are more than the choices that you've made.
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes.
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade!!

What a truly AWESOME song!  And the message is spot-on!  The lyrics are so profound to me.  I've been focusing this past week on all the things that God has done for me.  I've been realizing that no matter what I do, God's got me covered!  I'm human and I make mistakes.  I'm pretty sure you do, too!  God never called me to be perfect.  So, I'm just going to relish in His love.  Because it is SO great and awesome.

Last night my son was working on his math.  He has a test today and they have to do 100 addition problems in 5 minutes.  He was practicing last night and could only get 95 problems done in 5 minutes.  He cried and cried and called himself a failure.  He tried again, and this time got 96 problems done, but again he felt as if he was a failure.  My son is a competitive type and wants to be the absolute best at everything.  I understand that, and I applaud his effort, but I still am madly in love with him even if he only gets 96 problems right.  I still love him madly, deeply if he only gets 20 problems right.  He's my son and nothing he does wrong will ever change that or make me love him less.  I love him simply because he's my son.

Sound familiar?  God loves me simply because I'm his daughter.  I can't try to be a better daughter...I'm already perfect in His eyes.  Jesus covers me and makes me absolutely perfect! 

A few nights ago, somewhere deep in the recesses of my mind came a song from back in the 80's!  Some of you might remember Steve Camp.  He had a song that I just loved way back then called "He Covers Me".  In all my thinking about how much God loves me, that song just appears in my brain.  I love when God talks to me like that.  It's super cool.  Then you begin to realize that God has been reaching out to you for your whole entire life!  You may not think that of your own life, but I guarantee you He has!  You just haven't seen Him yet.  Don't you know who you are?!  You are someone worth saving.  God loves you if you get 100 problems correct or just 5 problems correct.  It's not about you and what you've done.  It's about what's been done FOR you!  It's about where your brokenness has brought you, or will bring you very soon. 

He covers you.  He's got your back.  He loves you truly, madly, deeply (more of an 80's theme I've got going on!)  Relish in how much you are loved today!  And enjoy the sound of this 80's throw back:

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Changed Forever

I was listening to something political on the radio this morning.  Of course, I'm not going to get all political on here, but I did find this interesting.  Just about every politician, on both sides of the aisle, talks about bringing CHANGE.  Change means something different to everyone.  Change can be good.  Change can be bad.  But what I heard from the radio host was something I had never thought about before and I LOVE when people make me think about things in a whole new perspective!

He said, "I love Jesus.  I mean, He means more to me than anything in the world.  He's not just a part of my life.  He IS my life.  And He has brought more change than any politician could ever bring.  And the change He brings is the best kind of change." 

I'm on board with that.  Then later I was listening to one of my favorite Toby Mac songs, "Changed Forever".  Two thoughts then converged together.  Jesus is my life.  He has changed me.  Nothing else in life matters anymore! 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

How big is your God? Mine's HUGE!

Michael and I had the most amazing thing happen to us today!  We were laughing out loud in bewilderment and joy.  God shows up in some pretty bizarre and unexpected ways, but this is a way we would have never expected.  I'm pretty sure some of you may not even believe me. 

So, Michael has been out of the Air Force since December 1st.  Finding another job has been a little more difficult than we expected for him.  Here it is almost February and still no job.  We have done a few things to keep us afloat financially, but we finally decided it is important to at least get health care for the kids and get some help financially for food.  Well, talk about the hardest decision ever and definitely a most humbling experience for us.  It's really hard to even write this blog and tell everyone about it because some things you just don't want people to know.  But the amazing-ness of the situation requires that I let you all know about it! 

We are sitting in the lobby waiting to be seen by the social worker doubting as to if we even really need to be there.  Out comes our social worker who is the kindest woman on the planet!  (She was Papa to me, if any of you have read The Shack...if you haven't, never mind)  We go to her office and she made a simple comment about having to pray herself through the day today to be able to work with some of the clients who come in.  Michael says, "I'm so glad you pray.  What church do you go to?"  So, this swings wide open a door that probably is not usually opened in the welfare office. We start talking about our respective churches, then we start talking about ministry, then we start telling her about getting out of the Air Force and feeling a call on our lives to minister in Grand Forks, and really living on faith right now.  She opens up to us about how she and her husband are about to get out of the Air Force in a few months, feel called to minister in Grand Forks, and will soon be stepping out on faith.  She tells us that God totally brought us into her office today to bless her and encourage her with our faith journey.  Michael and I get tears in our eyes as we realize our stories and lives are parallel with this sweet precious woman and her husband.  God has us both on the same track and now He has brought us together in her office.  Seriously? 

I don't know how big the god you serve is, but mine is HUGE!  He is ever-present (even in the welfare office), He cares about every little detail of our lives, He orchestrates the most amazing things.  Our caseworker prayed with us, encouraged us, and just became a good friend to us easing our minds about this humbling experience we are in.  And we were able to bless her life by encouraging her, giving her advice on getting out of the Air Force, and showing her that living on faith isn't so bad!  She went on and on about how great God is and how amazing it was that we were put together today to lift each other up!  I hugged my sister in Christ before we left.  I truly felt that God gave me the biggest bear hug and again provided provision for my family in some awesome ways. 

I blogged the other day about making your work your ministry and doing everything as if doing it for God.  Well, I met a lady today who's work is her ministry.  And she ministered to us in a most amazing way.  Because she was obedient to God, we ALL got a blessing.  She told me to go home and look up a song "Here I Am" by Marvin Sapp.  Enjoy it, as I have this evening relishing in the fact that I spent a few hours in God's presence today in the social services department at the courthouse.  God meets our need wherever we may be.  Jeremiah 29:13 "You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart."

Monday, January 24, 2011

Saving the World

I was reading an article this morning entitled "Finding God's Will for Your Career".  This article intrigued me since my husband is currently at a job interview and I'm in prayer for God's will to come through loud and clear to him.  I've also been praying for God's will to come through loud and clear to myself about what I need to be doing in life.  I have been called by God to minister to children at my church.  A wonderful, awesome job....be it only part time.  I have also been called by God to be a mommy to my own children.  A wonderful, awesome job...be it something I work for free.   I have been called by God to babysit my sweet godson, Charlie.  Another wonderful, awesome job. 

Sometimes I lose focus on my calling and start thinking how much money I could be making if I was out using the degree I went to college for!  But God always brings me back to where He has called me.  Then I read this article, and everything made sense to me!  Maybe it will help make sense to you, too, if you are struggling with what God wants for your life.

Interestingly, it's not all about the money!  Actually, it's NOTHING about the money you can make in life.  For actually, you can't take that with you when you go.  But what you do in life should 100 percent matter for God's Kingdom.  There is Kingdom purpose even in the ordinary, mundane jobs of life.  Colossians 3:23 says "Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people."  It's all about your perspective and seeing that what you do really CAN matter for God if you allow it to. 

A well known Christian thinker once said that our mission in life is not to "save the world", but to just do your part in saving the world.  We are all a part of the whole body of Christ.  The mouth can't be fed unless the hands do their part.  The body can't get where it needs to go unless the feet and legs do their part.  And then all together we can save the world!  Let what you do in life matter knowing that you are doing your part for the Kingdom. 

I'm raising my children and my godson to be valuable vessels to be used by God.  Raising them to be obedient, rule-followers, strong, and confident children of God.  I'm teaching the children at my church that following God is fun and exciting!  And above all I'm teaching them all to LOVE deeply!  In the grand scheme of things I'm just a small part in the body, but I'm doing my part.  And I'm doing it contently and giving it my all!  I am living in God's will.  Even though I'm not rolling in the dough, God is providing all I need through my obedience. And He even provides me with a little extra to bless others. 

My prayer is that you find joy, peace, and contentment in your job today, whatever your job is.  I pray that you are doing it wholeheartedly as if doing it for God.  Whether you are feeding the poor, cooking for children at a school, teaching, working on a budget, nursing people back to health, being a mommy or a daddy, cutting hair, interviewing for a new job, working on a sermon, or making lunch for a group of friends may you do it all as if doing it for God.  It will make a difference, for everything we do matters to God!

Let your life matter today!  Let's go save the world...together!

Source:
http://www.relevantmagazine.com/life/career-money/features/24168-finding-gods-will-for-your-career

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Manna

So, God gives me things to research when He's trying to teach me something.  A word will just keep cycling through my brain until I really sit down and research it and figure out what it is God is saying to me.  My most recent word has been "manna". 

In Exodus is when this word first came about.  The Israelites had been freed from slavery and were camping out in the wilderness trying to get to their next location when they discovered they had no food!   If God had freed them from slavery was He going to provide for them or were they just sent to the wilderness to starve to death?  Silly Israelites.  Well, I call them silly because I can read on and see all the amazing ways that God provided for them.  I can see that God rained down a white substance (manna) from the sky that was a food provision for them.  He even rained down quail for them for meat.  Later, they begin to complain again and wish for the yummy fish they used to get when they were slaves.  They start complaining and wanting things the way they used to be. 

Well, God is good.  He knows not only what we need, but things we would like as well.  Not only CAN He supply our needs, but He truly wants to! But we can't complain about the manna.  Complaining is a sin of rejection toward God.  We instinctively resist a style of life that requires us to trust in God DAILY for our provisions.  We want to see in advance what we have, what we WILL have, to make sure our needs are being met.  During this time of the manna, God was training His people to live a life of faith.

Well, I could write an entire book about faith!  But I'll just stick to a blog.  Here's my modern day manna story.  From my last blog, I told you all the provisions that God provided for my family in December!  We were blessed beyond our wildest dreams by family and friends sending us gift cards to help us out with our "provisions".  Some of our dearest friends brought us a Christmas ham.  Not just a little ham, but probably the biggest one they could find!  I swear it was 20 pounds or so!  Needless to say, we ate ham for about 2 weeks!  I got creative and found tons of great recipes for making ham.  But after a week and a half we were getting a little tired of ham!  Asking what was for dinner one evening, Michael jokingly asked if it was ham again?  I told him, "Do NOT complain about the manna!"  That is now our little joke about how God brought manna to our household. 

We are still relying daily on God for our provisions.  Unemployment does not pay nearly what we need to make ends meet, but God is still good.  We've learned that after our bills are paid, we really don't "need" much of anything.  We can even swing it to eat out at times...on the 99 cent menu and sharing sodas.  God is providing us opportunities to earn money that is usually just enough for our grocery bill.  It's truly amazing.  We aren't hurting and we definitely aren't poor!  But we are DAILY trusting and living on faith and manna.  There are still a few things we are waiting for God to show us how to manage financially, but we are more than positive that needs will be met.  He was faithful before, He'll be faithful again.  And again.  And again.

I hope you don't have so much in your life that you can't see the manna that God is providing for you.  Everything we have is such a blessing!  We don't take a dime for granted anymore and my prayer is that you will see God's provisions in everything in your life, too!  I'm sure you have a warm house, a warm bed, and food on the table.  You are blessed, loved, and highly favored by the Most High God.  Whether or not you see it, you are.

Thank you God for two weeks of ham.  Ham casserole, Ham and Potato Soup, Ham Sandwiches, Ham and Eggs, etc.  I'm looking forward to the next round of manna!