Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I Just Came to Talk to You, Lord....

It's been a difficult year. 
Full of challenges and disappointments; 
heart breaks and heart aches. 
There are so many things 
I could talk to God about today.
The list is long
And can be overwhelming.

You see, I still miss my Mom and my Aunt.
Their deaths in January forever changed my life.
I lost two moms that day.

I returned home from their funerals
to discover we were losing our home
bringing uncertainty, insecurity and
phone calls from 
lawyers, landlords and real estate agents.

The next week brought turmoil 
from extended family
Words were used as weapons
Relationships were forever changed
Hearts were broken.

My friend, Lori,
 whom I have known for 40 years,
 has battled cancer for three years
and is now in hospice care.
She needs a miracle.

Then came the news that my sister, Annette
who has fought diabetes for many years
now has new challenges to battle.
The dialysis she undergoes three days a week
is doing irreparable harm to her body.
She needs a miracle.

The list is long
And can be overwhelming.

I woke early this morning, around 4:15am
My husband had left for work 
I heard the furnace running 
and got up to turn it off.
As I returned to bed
I heard the birds chirping.
Daylight was just beginning to creep 
across the eastern horizon.

I lay there in bed and thought to pray.
Because, you see, 
The list is long.
And can be overwhelming.

But as I lay there, 
this song began to play in my mind.

I didn't come here to ask You for anything
I just came to talk with You, Lord
You've answered a million prayers or more,
That I forgot to thank You for
I just came to talk with You Lord.

Maybe tomorrow there'll be trouble and sorrow
And a thousand teardrops may fall
But until I face tomorrow's task
I have no special favor to ask
I just came to talk with You, Lord

How many times, Lord
Have troubles brought me down to my knees
Oh, but I just came to talk with You Lord
You see, I have no selfish motive in mind
I just want to thank You for all the other times
I just came to talk with You Lord

Maybe tomorrow there'll be trouble and sorrow
And a thousand teardrops may fall
But until I face tomorrow's task
I have no special favor to ask
I just came to talk with You, Lord

(Dottie Rambo)

As I lay here, 
I am reminded 
of all the times I come to God 
with my list. 
My needs
My wants
My wishes

So, today, as the birds sing 
their morning song outside my window
I will spend some time just talking with God.
Thanking Him for the birds and their song
Thanking Him for  Momma and Aunt Jo
and all the things they taught me
Thanking Him for the many times He has provided 
Thanking Him for His promise to continue to provide
Thanking Him for my 40 year friendship with Lori
Thanking Him for His sustaining grace for Annette
Thanking Him for His mercies...
New every morning!

You see, He's answered a million prayers or more,
That I forgot to thank Him for
So, I'll just sit and talk with the Lord.

Have you talked with Him today?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Promise of Lilacs...

"I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for."
Jeremiah 29:11 (Message)

In March of last year I wrote a post called "Can I Trust You, God?" in which I told the story of my lilacs. It's the story of having to leave our home and my beloved little lilac tree and moving to another place, only to discover when spring came that this new house had five lilac trees in the back yard. It was a lesson God taught me about how much He loves me and how He knew not only where we would be living, but knew years in advance that I would need those lilac trees. It was a tremendous lesson in trust....a lesson I need to be reminded of often.

Now, nearly three years later, we find ourselves in need of another home, as the landlord is selling this one. This has stressed me out on more than one occasion lately. I have been reminding myself repeatedly that my security is not in the house I live in, but in God and His faithfulness. And yet, the insecurity that I feel in not knowing how long we can stay in this house, where we will be moving and if finances will be available when we need to move overwhelms me at times. 

Today was a rare sunny day in the Northwest. We have had an extremely cold and wet spring as of yet; but today the sun came out and I spent a little while out on the deck. As I sat there, I noticed the lilac trees were beginning to bud out. I could tell the purple blossoms and white blossoms were just beginning to appear and soon will be open and fragrant. It was kind of a bittersweet moment, because while I love these trees and can't wait for them to bloom, once again I will be leaving behind my lilac trees. 

As I stood there, I was reminded of what God had shown me on that spring day in 2009...I can trust Him. Just as He knew before what I would need and when I would need it, He is fully aware of what I need now. 

Tonight at prayer meeting, I gave it to Him again. I surrendered my need to know; my need to be in control; my need to solve the problem. He supplied my need before and gave me more than I asked or imagined by giving me five lilac trees to replace the one I had to leave behind. . I have no reason to doubt Him now. He has a plan....plans to take care of me and my family. 

Once again, when we let go, God can move.....Before I left the church tonight, someone approached me about a house. I don't know if this is the house God has in store for us, but Mark and I will meet with them, look at the house and see what happens. 

I wonder if this house has lilac trees?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Storms Keep Raging...

"...All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he'll never let you be pushed past your limit; he'll always be there to help you come through it."
1 Corinthians 10:13 (Message)

Have you ever been at that place where you feel like you have been pushed to your limit? There is not one more thing that can be put on your plate,or you will drop it. You don't want to answer the phone or open the door because you may not be able to handle what's on the other side...

My husband and I have spent this year in that place. I will be completely frank with you and tell  you that this year has been terrible. Our New Year began with such promise, but my world was shaken on January 3, 2011, and since that day, one thing after another has bombarded us. I told my husband last night that I didn't think I had ever gotten my "sea legs" after my mom died and the storms just keep coming.

Two promises I hang onto...
One, God will never let me be pushed past my limit; and He promises to be there with me all the way to get me through it.

Two, God will use whatever circumstances I find myself in, whatever the enemy throws my way to try to destroy me, God will turn it and use it for my good. 

(Technically, I guess those are three promises...but isn't that just like God, to make His Word alive and grow as we hang onto every syllable?)

We were talking tonight with our son, Ryan, and he was remembering a vision he had a few years ago. One where God showed him the legion of angels that surrounded our house protecting us from the enemy that were wanting to get in. I ponder on that vision often, because I believe they are still there...guarding, protecting and ready to fight on our behalf.

The next few weeks will be challenging ones for Mark and I. We face some very difficult circumstances that will require God's grace and mercy, His provision and direction. We would appreciate your standing with us in prayer. And while we brave the storms we will take shelter in His Word and look expectantly for the good, the growth it will bring, the promise of Sunshine after the storm. 

"...Don't you see, you planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my good..."
Genesis 50:20 (Message)