The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me...
To comfort all who mourn, To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified."

Isaiah 61:1,2c,3 (New King James Version)

Friday, July 30, 2010

STRAIGHT enough for yah yet?

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
   I say that with my hands covering my head and hoping lightening doesn't strike me. ( Because, we all know that the simple gesture of covering ones head - protects them from a KABILLION volts of electricity - much like covering ones eyes protects them from whatever is hiding in the closet. It just DOES - accept it.)
  So back to this road. It's long, apparently the one one I'm on is rather windy, God apparently, is trying to straighten it with a serious of mudslides, earthquakes, nsumanis, and other various natural disasters.  Now, I say that tongue in cheek I know in my rational mind things could be worse - a lot worse and I thank God for my blessings every day.  I pray that a year from now I might look back on this week and laugh. Thinking THIS was what I couldn't handle - and then by the grace of God it be water under th bridge. For that matter, I pray that I wake up tomorrow - and laugh rather manically - and start new.
So, recently I have been trying to read the bible. I mean REALLY read it. Not just open to the passage that is being covered on that particular Sunday. I've noticed something - if you're in the bible something pretty horrid had to happen to yah! Lions, fire, stones, cliffs, being turned into pillar of salt, oh yah and crucifixion comes to mind.Makes me feels kinds petty to wallow in lack of money, transportation, and a little peice of earth - but it just further convicts me that there is something to look forward to.  I mean there are some pretty tough people up in heaven, who stood by their convictions, who took the leap of faith - who believes in the same God I do. Who took the jump, took the pain, and still praise God for their blessing - not cursing him and asking why for their trials.
These trials have furthered my convictions in Christ, my convictions of the promise of enternal life. It's makes the days easier, the nights shorter.  It's the Grace God provides in his promise that truly makes a peaceful heart.
Life is Good, God is Great.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Good thing that's not Sodom behind me....

     In the Book of Genesis, Lot is told by two angels to leave Sodom the city that he lives in.  He is told not to look back, in fact his whole family is. The city is a place of sin and non believers - not a place a follower of God should look to fellowship and thrive, as they are running to the promised land, Lot's wife turns for one more look and turns into a pillar of Salt.
    I often speak of living in my New Reality, accepting my today as God's plan. However, it seems to be a daily experience that I look back into my "Old Reality" where it seemed any thing I wanted I could have - I also assumed it was on my doing. Daily I wish it was still my old reality - one that I lived in minor discomfort and unhappiness. But, when I truly look at that reality I was a soul unfullfilled. Truly, I was.
In my new reality I have experienced levels of emotions I never thought a soul could endure. Both positive and negative. In my new reality, I have strengthened my level of faith - and pursuing knowledge of religion. In my new reality I value friendships and family more than I ever thought possible. I have learned that the only things I know for sure is that Jesus is my Lord and Savior, that what is done is God's will, and that the slower I go, the more acutely I listen, and the more I am open - the more I see the lessons, love, and acts of God that are around me daily.
I'm sure that I will continue to look for Sodom, for a glimpse of the treasures that it held. The genuine God given gifts I experienced will always be in my heart, and for that I am thankful.
Life is Good. God is Great.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The thing about blessings is...

When yah get em, you risk the pain of losing em! One doesn't miss honey unless they taste it. One doesn't yearn to feel their babies breath on their neck, until they have experienced it. One doesn't ache for that twitterpatter of meeting a special person - until it's gone. When it's gone it HURTS. It hurts BAD. So quickly, one forgets the God they were praising yesterday is still the same God today. Still the same plan, still the same number of days. Yet their assumed clairvoyant perspective is skewed - when it turns out their plan isn't Gods, and that earthly blessings are short lived.
This is my biggest struggle, the valleys Im having to endure. I feel accomplished when I climb a mountain, but the bruises from sliding back down the other side are wearing on me. A girl only has so many cheeks to turn! But, here I am - in a Valley again, but with all these shadows there HAS to be light coming from somewhere right?
I could always turn my perspective, and say that my blessings wouldn't be as sweet if I didn't endure the trials. I could, but today - as my best good friend Crystal so eloquently explained - "Today, my Strong is gone. “Cowgirl up” isn’t in my vocabulary, I dumped out the stupid glass that was half full, and I’m not even going to try to look for my boot straps. Probably couldn’t reach ’em anyways. Today I’m going to wallow."  Just for today though, tomorrow - I have mountains to climb.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Blessings. Lots of them.

I will not mark this year by a tragedy. I could - it would be awfully easy to list the things that went horribly wrong, and made this world how I perceive it shouldn't be. But, I won't. I can't.  I am still here because God has a purpose for me, one of those purposes is to serve him, and in the proccess I am benefited by the many blessings he allows me.
Perhaps one of the biggest blessings is my second chance I have now, I'm done calling it "starting over" and beginning to embrace it in a positive light. Being able to pursue my dream to be a nurse is fantastic, rekindling old friendships, and starting new ones is pretty amazing too. I mean, who ever gets a second chance on life? Especially, at 28. Now, this might seem as a heartless perception on my reality - but it's not. I could wallow on it being that I have to start over, or I can see it as a launch pad for new dreams, renewed and friendships, and refined spirtiuality.
Some of the best times in my life, were during Colts deployment to Okinawa when Cheyenne was a baby. It was just her and I and we were ready to explore the world, and we did! Then life changed, I went back to work and I took my eyes off what was really important and became fixated on the monetary and earthly prizes awarded to those who seek satisfaction from outside sources.Now slowing down, with Chey helped me gain perspective on how I can truly provide for her.
I can't say that my life is one blessing after another - what I will say is the trials are defitnitely making even the smallest more apparent. 

From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.
John 1:16 (NIV)
Life is good. God is Great.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Right Where I Need To Be...

Toughest.Pill.EVER.To. Swallow. Hands down. When I question my faith I see it literally - like when I wonder IF God exist, but then it sneaks in too - when I wonder why I am where I am. Accepting, that God's plan is bigger, better, and far more purposeful than my own ideals has TRULY expedited my spiritual growth from a Sunday Christian to a follower of Christ. Today, I look at my life and see things coming into line. Continually, greatful and thankful to God for all he has given me. Why do I accept his path when my percieved needs are fullfilled, and foresake his love when I feel like I'm falling hard? Ironically, it's an easy answer. I am selfish. I'm stuck in my own little "Me Bubble" as Pastor Matt would say. I WANT OUT. THIS is my prayer. That I can look at my life, then look to my God to bless me with sturdy footing on the narrow road I choose. I also pray, that I learn to balance my blessings on earth with my duty to God and be greatful for both.
   Recently, I have made a new friend. Unexpectedly, this friend has taught me a lot in a short amount of time. I truly believe my friend was handpicked by God, to show me that the world outside my Me Bubble is full of blessings that are untouchable by the monetary and physical losses I have so far recieved in my life. That I can be greatful for today and not overly eager for what to tomorrow will bring. This isn't to say that I have settled. But to take today for what today is, each morning I wake up. Embrace it, live it, and USE it to fulfill my purpose.
God is truly love, let me be a vessel.