Archive | November, 2013

Psalm 139:1

21 Nov

blog-Psalm 1391

I am KNOWN!  Did  you know you are KNOWN?  The Bible tells us We are prized, valued and KNOWN by Him!

What if someone knew every thought you have right now, every future thought, every thing you have done, everything you will do, your good habits and your bad habits? The opening words of Psalm 139 say,“O Lord, you have searched me and know me.” Are those words a little bit scary to you?  They were me when I read them this morning. As I paused to reflect on them, and thought about how much He loves me, even knowing everything about me, the more excited I got and comfort I felt as I thought about how much He loves me just as I am.

He has searched me.  The definition of searched according to  FreeDictionary.Com includes:

       1. To make a thorough examination of; look over carefully in order to find something; explore.
       2. To make a careful examination or investigation of; probe: search one’s conscience for the right solution to the problem.
       3.  To come to know; learn.
He has made a thorough examination, explored, carefully examined, probed in order to KNOW me! WOW! WOW! WOW!

Even before I speak, He knows what I am about to say.  He knows if I will have the power to pause when I need to, but He also knows those thoughts even before I speak. Those thoughts that are pure, those thoughts that are no so pure.

Nothing that I do today goes beyond His knowledge.  REALLY!  He knows what I do, He knows why I do it – out of love, selfishness, fear, joy, concern or other reasons.  He knows my strengths and cares about my weaknesses and struggles.

He knows our secrets.  He knows our hearts.  He knows our thoughts.  He knows our sins.  He knows our fears.  He KNOWS! Oh Lord you KNOW me completely!

He knows when we go to bed.  He knows when we rise up in the morning, and He knows when we take time before bed or rising to spend moments with Him in His Word.  He knows when we pray, He knows when we do not.  He KNOWS everything!

Because He loves each of us no matter what, absolutely nothing happens in our lives without him knowing why, where, what, when or how.

When I start to wallow and sink down in self-pity in that mire and muck, He knows. When I am broken and depressed He knows.  When I am in my lowest, or on top of the world in my highest place, He knows.  When I am in a dark place, a light place, a scary place, a still place He knows.  When you are in a sad place or a happy place – yes, He Knows.

I am an open book to Him.  He knows the hairs on my head.  He knows every tear I cry.  He knows every scar.     He knows every pain I feel.  He knows you and I as individuals.  Does that give you goose bumps?  It does me!

The lesson this week that I have learned is “He KNOWS” and He knows everything about me, and I am treasured and loved.  He knows me completely, lovingly, affectionately, gently, tenderly, patiently, relentlessly, forever and ever and ever!

5-Minute Friday – Trees

15 Nov

It is 5-minute Friday over at lisajobaker.com  (a site I just found looking for organizing ideas).  The word today is Trees, and I could not resist since we have been studying about “oaks of righteousness” at Proverbs31.Org.

Trees invoke many memories to me.  I was born in East Texas some years ago, and we did not have, or were just beginning to get televisions when I was five years old.  But we were not into television.  In the summer we were in to playing with our family and friends outdoors in the sand and trees.  REALLY!  Those were relaxing days in the tress with my cousins and neighbors and our Moms calling us in for dinner.

As I have grown older trees continue to help me build memories, and precious ones they are.

It is Fall and our trees are beginning to change colors.  I have not taken pictures yet this year, waiting for some more cooler days here in Texas, but here are some from several years back.

116 .

And then the snow comes (occasionally here in Texas) and we get this memory:

BlogHopSnow

I enjoy looking out my kitchen window in the summer at the hummingbirds, red birds, doves, blue birds and the list goes on and on.  This picture was last Christmas.  I go from hummingbird feeders to all bird feeders as the temps get colder.  In this picture  a hummingbird feeder was still out (we were remodeling and didn’t get them put up last year) and to the right is a bird feeder (one of several my husband bought me when I retired).  That was a sweet precious gift I never expected and he hung them where I could watch the birds from different areas in the house – the kitchen, out a den door, etc..  Love my man!

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This year we lost my Mom in February.  She always loved our peaches and some of them were starting to look bad and not producing much fruit soooo in March in honor of Mom we went shopping for a couple of new peach trees and while we were there I said why don’t we also buy an oak in honor of our Dads.  Here is my husband planting those memories along with one my son and daughter-in-law gave me for mother’s day:

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And one of my cherished thoughts about trees are oaks – mighty oaks.  This picture was taken in Llano, Texas with two oaks in my life – my son and my husband and I took it and put one of my favorite verses from the Bible.

mighty oak

blog - mighty oaks

#IAmNot

14 Nov

blog - romans 8.1a                                                                                                                                    #IAmNot – One of the topics I chose to blog about this week in our study of  A Confident Heart  at Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies.  At first glance of this hashtag, I thought there is nothing I really can share about feeling like a failure, feeling guilty and condemned, but the more we got into Chapter 7 the more I realized how I have had those feelings.

I remember several years back calling my husband on the phone feeling like a failure at everything and he calmly telling me of all I was currently successful at and how could I even thank that.  Sometimes that is caused by our perfectionism to be the perfect child, the perfect student, the perfect wife, the perfect one at the office.  Some of us can not take criticism well.  I find that especially hard because my parents expected us to do well in school, and that has followed throughout my life –  wanting to do better, wanting to be more, striving to do the very best I can in all areas of life.

We take a bad day and let Satan convince us we are failures.  Life can get so busy and when I am not able to do what I think I should be doing, I think I have failed rather than look at all I am accomplishing in life.  Oh yes my friends, the house is not clean and organized like I want it to be, and honestly I don’t think it ever will because there are so many more important things like family and friends and ministry than a clean house.  No I am not having the time to exercise like I should and need to be doing,  but yes, yes, yes look at what is getting done in the Kingdom for Him.  Honestly I know in my heart I am not a failure so why does my mind go in that direction.

One thing that has especially pricked my heart this week is my weight and time management.  God was already speaking to me on this topic of weight for the last few weeks as we made scripture cards for our no-fail tins, and I emptied a candy jar and put my verses in there for my go-to.  Then today Melissa posted her video how she has dealt with this same issue over and over.  I have never felt this type of conviction over weight before and the house is taking a toil on how I feel lately also.  I am tired of clutter and stacks of stuff that I don’t seem to be able to get back to in order to finish.  I think one day at home with no interruptions from outside and I can get the house where I want it to be.  May tomorrow there will not be a call from school, our daughter just left to go back home after a week here and maybe I can have some down time to CLEAN and perhaps even take a walk.

I know that the number on the scale this morning is not tied to my value as a person, but it is tied to my feelings – feelings of failure this morning seeing that I had gained 5 pounds since my excellent visit to my doctor in late July with a good cholesterol number for the first time in years and with no medication and feeling like a failure because I’ve lost 30 pounds and to see the scale move up is disappointing.  I have tossed out clothes and I have dug out clothes I wore several years back so I know I am better than I was two years ago, but not where I want to be.  The doctor did tell me that the few pounds I had gained in July were fine and probably muscle.

This week our chapter was titled “When Doubt Whispers “I’m Such a Failure”.   For me God has been dealing with my shortcomings with my weight.   So what changed recently – life and stress – loss of my Mom, the holidays approaching without her, our grandson born with a horrible skin disease, and life interruptions that cause us to get off the track we were on and fall back instead of continuing forward, and instead of falling on our knees for comfort and peace instead of food.

God is really speaking to me loud and clear this week as I stepped on those scales this morning, and even before with the no-fail tin, and then I opened Melissa’s video this morning at P31, and she was speaking about her weight loss issues.  THANK YOU Jesus for conviction – goodbye Satan with your condemnation.  #IAmNot a failure and you will not win this battle either.  Battle after battle this year, but you know who reigns in my life and I know.

Here are some of my favorite passages that I highlighted in this chapter:

  • “HE wanted her setback to help her step forward.”  I looked at that again this morning. He wanted her setback.  I had a setback this morning, an eye opener on the scales – 5 pounds up since July and 10 this year after losing 30.  Eye opener yes, set back yes – failure no. It is time to step forward with God.  We can do this.  Failure and Satan do not get their way.  #IAmNot a failure.
  • “In your own strength and through your own perspective, you cannot do this. But I am here with you. I will help you.”  I know I can not find the time to exercise in my own strength and I sure can not keep myself out of the kitchen.  I have got to trust because I can not do this alone.
  • Psalm 18:35, “You have given me your shield of victory. Your right hand supports me; your help has made me great” (NLT).  God has brought me to a starting place and He always looks beyond who I am today to what I am becoming.
  • ”God uses conviction lovingly, to show us our sin and lead our hearts to repentance. He does this to draw us away from destructive behavior that hinders our relationship with Him and with others. His desire is to bring us out of the darkness of sin and back into the light, so that we can walk with Him in the freedom of forgiveness and the confidence of His love.”  Oh wow!  Such conviction and affirmation over and over this week.
What about you?  Do you find yourself doing really well and then BAM out of nowhere the old habits start coming back?  It might not be food, but something else that draws the focus from God to something  that does not honor him.  It might be gossiping, watching movies you should not be watching, spending excessively just to be spending, drinking to excess, language that is not Godly, and even exercising to excess.  We can become so focused on any of these things, and all of them are as bad as the other to our health, our families, and those around us.
Today is a new day.  A new day to fall forward with Him!  We were made to consume food, but not let food consume us.  We need to replace the thoughts of food with some God thoughts, and that’s exactly what I have in my no-fail jar now.  I just have to break my habits and walk in the kitchen and open that jar for a treat.  Here are some of those cards I printed and put in my jar made for our on-line Bible study:
scripture cards doubt
I end with two beautiful statements from Renee on page 125 and 132.  “When you acknowledge to Him that you’ve made a mistake-or a big mess called sin – God wants to come to your rescue and give you victory.  He wants to sustain you and show you that with His grace, mercy, and help, you can use your setbacks to help get back on your feet again, and find your confidence in Christ by believing what He says about you.”
My favorite:  “Every time you fail to be the woman God calls you to be, or the woman you expect yourself to be, let God remind you of the progress you’ve made.  Even though you may not be quite who you want to be, you are not who you used to be!  You get that much closer to who you are meant to be every time you fail forward.”

His Goodness Makes Me Good Enough

7 Nov

vlog - good enough

This week in our study of A Confident Heart, one of our blog topics was to write a letter to ourselves as a reminder that because of Jesus, I am good enough.  It also asked what area of my life as a woman, Mom, wife, friend, daughter, housekeeper, professional, leader, etc. do I currently struggle with most in believing I am good enough.  That was the hard part!  Honestly, some days I believe I am “good enough” and some I don’t.  So I pondered on that.  Why do I feel not “good enough” some days?

Renee shared a letter with us that her friend Gary wrote about how Satan beat him up.  He talked about how when he failed how Satan bullied him and would say, “You are what you do.  If you fail, then that’s who you are.”  He said to admit it and say, “You got that right.  I’m all wrecked up.  You don’t know the half of it.”

We learned we have to get our “good enough from Jesus”  We belong to the King and yes every one of us is “wrecked up.”  Even the Bible speaks to this when it says “no one is good, not even one” (Romans 3:10).  Not even one, we are ALL “wrecked up.”

So what is different.  When do I feel good enough?  I believe it is when I am spending time with Him, when I am reflecting  on Him, when I am trying to please Him and not man, when I am studying (not just reading) my Bible, and when I truly am savoring a verse and learning what it means.

This is my letter using a song that I love.

Dear Debbie,

Today this is a reminder that you are “good enough” and yes you are “wrecked up”, but you are good enough because of Jesus and His grace and redeeming love.  Debbie may you see Him every morning on your knees.  When you are weak or strong meet Him on your knees. May you go to bed at night without worries but rather peace and calm remembering Romans 8:28 “that in all things God works for the good of those who love him”.  May you dwell on the things that are right with you, and not the things that are wrong with you.  May you always remember this song.  May you remember this is your revival song, may you remember this is your legacy,  that it starts with you, and meet Him there on your knees:

#WHOIAM

7 Nov

#WhoIAm ~ Doubt may whisper to you in your own voice, “I am not good enough.” But that’s not what God says. What does God say about #WhoIAm?

confident heart - week 4 - who i am kristy

This is Week 4, Chapter 6 of A Confident Heart by Renee Swope and one of our blog topics and our hashtag this week is #WhoIAm. When I first saw it, I thought it said Who Am I!  But when you change it and ponder on that, well it is kind of scary.  #WHOIAM is what I have been thinking about for a few days now.  The title of the lesson this week is “When Doubt Whispers I Am Not Good Enough!

Do you find yourself doubting each day?  I do many days.  Doubting I am not good enough?  Really – who says?   God says I am good enough.  Doubting is a lie from Satan, and I find myself doubting I will disappoint God, doubting I will disappoint my husband, doubting I will disappoint my kids, my friends, my Bible study sisters and the list goes on and on and on.  I find myself wondering if someone is going to criticize me, worry when I meet someone new what they will think – I too fat,  I too quiet,  I too proud, and on and on and on.

I have learned that my self-doubt is really all about a word called worry.  Do you worry?  I do. For years I worried about being the “perfect” wife, the “perfect” mom, the “perfect” daughter.  You know!  You have been there – captured by those thoughts that are not from God!  WORRY! WORRY! WORRY about things I can do nothing about – that’s me.  But I do find today I am doing much better.  Yes I may worry for a night but I hold true that verse in Psalm 30:5 that sorrow may come at night, but joy comes in the morning.  The next time I go to bed an can’t sleep, I am going to Ps. 30:5.

Who is causing my self-doubt, my worry?  It’s not God.     The only one that I really need to please and attempt to be perfect for is God.  Am I pleasing Him?  Am I being a wife that pleases him, a mother that pleases Him, a daughter that pleases Him?  Oh I have failed so often because the busyness of life overcomes me.  We are saturated with the things of this world, and not saturated in His Word.  Sometimes I want to go back.  I want to have a do-over with my kids, my mom and dad and my husband.  I want to do it all again knowing what I know today – but I can’t and nor can I look back with regrets because again God wants us looking at today and the future, not the past.

Why are we standing in the shadow of doubt?  For me I truly believe that I am good at focusing on ALL the things that are wrong with me, instead of stopping and focusing on all the good and right that is within me.  I am good at looking at the bad that is going on around me, instead of focusing on all the good and all the blessings that are happening right in front of me.

I love the chart that Renee shared from Dr. Neil T. Anderson.  I’ve printed these out to go in my no-fail jar, my scripture jar, my blessing jar so that I can go to them when those doubts, those lies, those firey darts from Satan that knows so well at which ones to choose for me that hits where he knows I am weak, start to fill my head.  Here are some of my favorites from that chart that I know will make me strong in Jesus when Satan attempts to make me weak!

blog - IAM

My life is not based on what I have done, but because of whose I am and because of who He is!  I AM a daughter of the Most High!  I AM a child of the King.  I AM looked upon with love.  I AM a crown of splendor in the Lord’s hand (Is 62:3).

Listen to this song by Jason Castro – We DON’T have to stay this way.  Leave a legacy!

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