From/Towards

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At the beginning of “A Confident Heart” by Renee Swope, she shared about seeing a shadow of herself and how it made her seem bigger and more distorted than she actually was.

Shadows can do that. The picture above is one that I captured of my cat, Minnie.  If I were only to see her shadow, I would have thought she was an aardvark or some other strange creature!

In the past I had  often seen  myself in my shadow and not as God sees me.  I could  tell the difference because I didn’t  like what my  shadow showed me.  It didn’t  give a true picture of who I really am. If I focused  on the shadow I was fooling myself into believing that I was as distorted as it showed. But this is not the true me.

I love living in the light! I can look in the mirror and see the person God created me to be. I may not like my flaws, and attitudes and things that have happened in my past, but hiding in my shadow will not change those things! Looking directly at them, confessing those things and giving them to Jesus who is the Light of my life, will!

I have turned “from” my shadow “towards” who God created me to be and accepting myself as He has accepted me.

No turning back, no turning back.

 

Heart surrendered with dish soap hands

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It was a day like any other day. I was married, had a precious little girl and life was good.

I was doing the dishes one morning while the TV was on in the other room.

As I was washing a dish, a voice from the TV asked, “Are you tired of your life?” Without even a moment’s hesitation I said out loud, “yes.”

What?  I didn’t think I was tired of my life, I liked it just the way it was. Why did I say yes? The man on the television invited me to come and sit while he shared his testimony of living a life of drunkenness and one day after hitting a tree, he sat there and cried out to the Lord for help.

He then shared with me about Jesus Christ, God’s Son.  I had heard about Jesus Christ but honestly didn’t know much about Him. I had learned as a child something about Him dying on a cross but never really considered the meaning of why He did it.

This man shared John 3:16-“For God so loved the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  He explained to me how Jesus came to this earth to walk among us and teach us Truth and to die for our sins.  He explained that a Holy God is separated from sin and only through Him, (John 14:6) could I be united with God the Father and live with Him forever.  Wow. As a child I always loved God. I would go for walks and talk to Him. I had never considered my sin or His Son.  I was humbled.

The man shared that after Christ suffered and died for my sins, He was buried and on the third day arose from the grave! He is alive! I just started crying. He then invited me to surrender my life for a life with Jesus Christ. Yes!  I “was”  tired of my old life! I wanted a new life!

I like to tell people I got saved with dish soap hands because that is exactly what happened. It was just an ordinary day doing ordinary things with an unexpected interruption that changed my life…forever!

Isaiah 49:23

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I am a NE Patriots and Boston Red Sox fan. Sunday, October 13th was quite a day to be one!

The NE Patriots were losing in the 4th quarter with two minutes to go. So many fans turned their TV’s off assuming the game was all but over. Within seconds of the game ending, the NE Patriots scored a touchdown to win the game.

Later that night the Boston Red Sox were losing 5-1 in the top of the 8th inning. Once again fans across New England turned the TV off not able to watch until the end. The Boston Red Sox won the game 6-5 in the bottom of the 9th inning.

Isaiah 49:23 says “…and thou shalt know that I Am the Lord; for they shall not be ashamed that wait for Me.”

Waiting is not always easy. We get anxious and frustrated and often, like a Boston sports fan walk away because we just can’t wait anymore. 

There is reward with the Lord in waiting. Though sports are bound by time and innings and such, God is not. He sees what we can’t. He knows what is ahead. He is a God of perfect timing.

I will wait upon the Lord. I will praise Him while I wait. He alone is #perfectlove.

Been There, Done That Can’t Wait to do it Again!

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I was a part of the study ” What Happens When Women Say Yes to God” by Lysa Terkeurst. I loved it!

Here are some of the highlights from the book and the study group that changed my way of thinking and have changed my life:

– “Radical obedience is not really that radical. It is really biblical obedience but we’ve strayed so far from biblical obedience that it now seems radical.”

-“Obedience is the road that leads to blessing.”

– “Obedience is having the overwhelming desire to walk in the center of God’s will at every moment.”

My favorite of all was:

“Soon, saying yes to God will no longer be a discipline of your heart but rather the delight of your life.”

It wasn’t long after reading this that I had an opportunity to say yes to God. It wasn’t as easy as I thought it might be. I wrestled with it to be honest. But as I said yes to each thing put in front of me, it did get easier and I can’t believe I’m saying this, but actually began to look forward to what was next. 

As I write this in words, it appears that my life is easy and I don’t have difficult situations as others and it would be easier for me to say yes than maybe someone else. I can assure you this isn’t true. I live in a difficult situation where I have learned that the only one I can change is me. I have made a decision to do this as I walk with the Lord, leaning and depending on Him to love, forgive, encourage and guide me in ways no one else could. I am so thankful to have learned that there truly is blessing in obedience. God is so good. 

Saying yes to God has become the delight of my life.

I Said Yes to God!

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Why did I say yes to God and what led to my decision of obedience?

I have been married for thirty years. Alcoholism has been a part of my life for all those years and through my childhood.  I don’t drink.

I have struggled for years with where to draw the line between enabling and submission. As a Christian woman, I want to be obedient to God’s Word but have found at  the same time I have laid myself down to be a doormat to verbal and financial abuse situations.

Through the study “What Happens When Women Say Yest to God” by Lysa Terkeurst, I have learned to be radically obedient to God and let the consequences be where they may.  It wasn’t easy at first. I had anger and frustration in me that I had to deal with and after asking the Lord for the strength and desire, I surrendered those feelings to Him.

I choose to keep my eyes on Him and use Isaiah 41:13 as my verse to cling to. It says: “For I the Lord God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee: ‘Fear not, I will help thee.'” When things get tough, I put my hand up to the Lord and visualize Him taking it and walking me through whatever is going on around me.  The Lord has been faithful every time! Since I started doing this, I have had peace and even joy!

Getting ready for the next study “A Confident Heart” by Renee Swope, I had gone to her site and saw something I could use as a wonderful way to say Yes to God along with being respectful to my husband. Renee said she prays over her husband from head to toe. She showed an example of how she does it. So, I got myself a journal notebook and every day I am doing the same thing. Here is an example of something I wrote:

Head: Lord, I pray for my husband’s thoughts today. I pray that every evil or discouraging thought that enters his mind, that You dear Lord would direct those thoughts towards you.

Eyes: Lord, please open his eyes that he might see that he has a wife that has stood by him for thirty years, for richer, for poorer and in sickness and in health. Cause him to see that I love him and I am right here for him.

Ears: Oh Lord open his ears to hear what I am saying when I am encouraging him that he doesn’t hear it as I am trying to control him.  Have him to hear that I as his wife want the best for him.

Heart: Lord,open his heart to receive You and Your love and forgiveness. There is so much pain in the depths of his heart from his past. Hug him Lord, may He feel your gentle touch on his heart today.

Hands: Lord let his hands no longer desire to hold to the things he is now, a beer or a bottle. Let him see  his hands empty and I pray that he would hold them out to You asking You to fill them with something fulfilling.

Feet:  Lord, guide his steps away from alcohol and into a walk which is wonderful! Lead him out of darkness, into Your marvelous Light!

Lowering My Net…

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Lower Your Nets – Simon Peter had no idea that his obedience to something that seemed so small and insignificant could help him discover his calling in life, but it did! What little thing is God asking of you today? (Blog topic)

It is amazing what you can learn from Scripture. In the book “What Happens When Women Say Yes to God” by Lysa TerKeurst,  shared from:

Luke 5:3-7-” He ( Jesus) got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat. 4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” 5 Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But “BECAUSE YOU SAY SO”, I will let down the nets.” 6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.  7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.”

I have put my nets down into the waters of my marriage many times, only to bring them up empty, hopeless, and no changes.  I have gone back to shore so to speak and sat in my boat with my empty nets.

I believe He is asking me to let my net down again in my marriage. At this point, I have felt there is no hope, there will be no change. I have tried everything and only end up more frustrated and angry. I picture myself sitting in my boat with my net in my arms, empty, and I’m exhausted. And then the Lord says, “Karen, come deeper and let your net down again…”  “Lord, I have tried day and night to make my marriage what it isn’t. But like Peter, I will obey. I will let my net of hopelessness down into the depths of God’s goodness where  I only find it to be a sea of despair.”

I can’t make my empty marriage alive and filled with joy and peace and love, but He can. 🙂 I will trust and obey…

I will say #YestoGod!

Breaking Chains

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Chains. I have found that the things that I am “chained” to keep me  in bondage and imprisoned from freely serving the Lord the way my heart truly desires.

What are chains? For me, they are a  frustration which causes me to make a lot of noise when things happen that I can’t change. It’s not a pretty sound either!

I want so much to break free from trying to make things be the way I think they should be.  Sitting quietly and stop trying to loosen them myself, allowing  the Lord to have His will done and trust in it, even when I just don’t understand.

How are these chains broken? I will keep my eyes on Him when things go wrong, rest in knowing He is in control and sees all.

I will trust the Lord  to unlock these chains and set me free!

John 8:36-“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed!”