Look for the Gifts in the Wait

If you hear anyone screaming joyfully from this little town on the coast of Maine, it’s just me!!!! God has provided!!!

He has guided us to a home to plant our family of nine. His sovereign fingerprints have been all over it as the story of how we discovered this home is amazing! It has obviously been God at work and there has even been so many gifts in the wait.

In the midst of the trial of searching, we have had so much to be thankful for. Details wreathed through each of our nine lives, from great job experiences, to our 16 year old being able to work hard and purchase his very first car in cash. Days together, beach days, cousin days, church vacation bible school days. On the fly, my mom will take our teen daughter out for a coffee. Even little Kezia growing to love her papa so much as we have been in their house has been such a gift!

I am thankful that our Heavenly Father goes before us and with us. He sees the big picture and yet the tiniest detail is His. In His power, He manages to take care of all of us. He is in the midst of each of our lives looking out for us and working things out for His plan and His glory, and we can be joyful and look for His gifts in the wait.

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8).

Looking back at the trial of searching for a home these last 3 months, I have realized it is much better to focus on the blessings rather than the hard things. We can continue to choose joy and count our gifts even in the battles. We can look out for the joyous parts while we wait and see that God meant for it to be the way it has been all along.

Advertisements

His Love is Better than Life

There are some beautiful psalms written by David, “A Man After God’s Own Heart.” No wonder David is called this name! These songs of praise to God depict David’s heart toward His King as they are stuffed full of awe, praise and thankfulness.

Lately, I have spent time praying for a house for our family, for our new homeschooling year, for other needs, for family and friends, but this morning as I read in Psalm 63, I am urged to pray for the souls I love in a different way. My eyes were shifted off the need so much and onto Jesus! I need Him to not just perform an answer to my prayers by meeting the need, but above all that He will reveal Himself even more in our lives.

“You, God, are my God,

earnestly I seek you;

I thirst for you,

my whole being longs for you,

in a dry and parched land

where there is no water.

I have seen you in the sanctuary

and beheld your power and your glory.

Because your love is better than life,

my lips will glorify you.

I will praise you as long as I live,

and in your name I will lift up my hands.

I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;

with singing lips my mouth will praise you. Psalm 63:1-5

We all need more of Jesus. A deeper longing, and a stronger walk with the King Himself. We need Him to be Lord over every area of our lives. More of Jesus!

I pray not just for my prayers to get answered, but I pray they get answered in a way that clearly, quickly and deeply points our souls to the King. In all of our needs, I pray that as God hears and answers our prayers, we would continue to look to the prize, Jesus Himself. His love is better than life.

Death and the Only Thing Worth Chasing

Life seems unfair at times, unpredictable and uncertain. Both the righteous and the wicked have good times, bad times and then end up dead! So, what is the point?

“For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it” (Timothy 6:7).

There are so many things of the world that we can chase for nothing. They will ALWAYS leave us hollow. They are meaningless. Pointless. Senseless. Ineffective. Empty. And, fruitless. My family had a good lesson this week on futility.

My husband and I decided to check on our storage unit as we hadn’t even opened it in a year. So, here we are, he’s passing me boxes and the kids are saying, “Oh my! Look at this toy! See this stuffed animal?” They were thrilled to see their belongings.

Then it happened. One of them reached inside a box and pulled out a mouse nest!!!

A little black mouse jumped out of the box, ran up the four year old’s leg. Our 13 year old girl darted and shimmied up our van. I scooped up the one year old, screamed and ran. The boys laughed hysterically. If anyone was video surveying us, it must have been quite the show. 😂

It looks as though a lot of our belongings are ruined. But, these things do not really matter. What lies after our life on earth is what matters. Eternity is what matters. Loving people, pouring into them and pointing them to Jesus is what matters.

There are a lot of pointless things to chase in this world. We cannot take a nice house, cars, a college degree, toys and trinkets with us. At the end of the day, or our lives, truly there is only One thing worth chasing.

A life chasing after Jesus will never leave us hollow. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life!

Are you Zealous?

Today’s culture is tough to live in! As a mother of two teenagers, I am often reminded of the newest trends that satan has in place to steal, kill, and destroy. It is even very different than when I was a teen. The same sin clouds our paths, I suppose, just different tactics we have to navigate through. There was no cotton candy flavored vaping or iPhone craziness back in the 90’s!

It is very sad to see the struggles so many children have to say yes or no to. I am often in a place among my own teens and other teens and am able to tell them, there’s a better way! Don’t let satan steal, kill, and destroy in your life!

This week I was able to tell one boy who comes from a rough home, you are old enough to make the choice for yourself. Jesus died for you. He has a plan for YOU. It is better than the world’s ways! Even if you are the only member in your family living for Jesus, don’t get discouraged.

Even if we feel alone in the season we are in, whatever season that may be, as a widow, as a foster mom, as a mom of a large family, as a working lady, we are never alone. God is raising up a sanctified Bride, the Church, hearts zealous for Him.

Don’t get discouraged.

The prophet Elijah felt very alone.

“…’I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” (1 Kings 19:14).

Elijah was right, the people had strayed far from God. They were not doing the right thing. Kinda like the world we live in. We might wonder, where are the faithful? Where are the ones who are zealous for living for Jesus? Where are the ones burdened by the sinful state we are in and burdened to care for widows and orphans? Elijah needed some encouragement. But, Elijah was wrong to think he alone was zealous for God.

God told him He was going to send 3 others to him. And On top of that, God said He had reserved 7,000 people who had not bowed down to Baal. It was not just Elijah who was zealous.

Jesus is returning for an unblemished Bride! There are those on earth, zealous for God. In your day to day ministry, in your home, in your church, in your life… whatever that looks like, you are not alone.

My Sin is Sad, My God is Greater

As far back as I can remember I have believed in God. As a teen though, I wanted to do my own thing and have “fun.” But, now that my eyes have been open to Truth, I see that there was no fun in those times, just sadness.

Ezra was a great leader in the Bible who saw the sin of the people as a sad thing. He knew what their sin meant. He knew it meant sad things for them.

God had told them, do not intermarry with the people of the land. There were many reasons why God had this rule, but it wasn’t to ruin their fun. It would cause them to stray from Him and His ways. It was His will for them to be a separate people for Who was to come. It would cause sad things for them, heartache. But, many disobeyed and married them anyway.

Ezra knew too what it would mean for the people he loved and he wept over it. Eventually, the people saw how sad it was and what it meant for them and they wept with him.

“While Ezra was praying and confessing, weeping and throwing himself down before the house of God, a large crowd of Israelites—men, women and children—gathered around him. They too wept bitterly” (Ezra 10:1).

Their sin caused them a lot of deep heartache because they had to separate families. Imagine husbands and wives separating and children being without their families intact. The grief of their sin was huge.

Let us think about the sin around us like God does. It is sad. Even something we might think is small, like a hurtful thought towards someone is sad. People are made in God’s image. All of our sin is sad. Instead, if God’s heart is for His glory, and our goodness and if He is love and light, and there is no darkness in Him, we should want to choose His ways and reap joy, laughter, peace, and love.

Where Can I Bloom?

The term “bloom where you are planted” has been following me the last year as I was in Utah and then here again in Maine. In Utah, as I felt unsure in a “foreign land”, I never felt like I could really plant myself, dig in and dwell. Some think I had in my mind that we would return to Maine soon, which might have a little bit of truth in it, but circumstances and situations kept me from truly dwelling too, because at times I truly tried to bloom and it just never took.

And now, in a way, I feel like “here I am again,” without a place to dwell. We are still looking for a house, not quite sure where we will find one, since from Augusta to Brunswick and all surrounding towns do not have a single 4 bedroom house, or even a three bedroom with a nook for a bed, lol. There is nada. Zip. Zilch. And so where do I bloom?

For now, I am to worry about today. Today, I have a roof over my head. A bed to sleep in. Food in my belly. Water. And plenty more. I have my hubby and my children to love and take care of. The ocean is a half of a mile away. I met a lovely lady who was sending out her man cog shell fishing at the point nearby. She has 6 children and she needs to hear about Jesus. She arrives three hours before the tide, to send him out, every day.

I have things to do today. I can bloom right here in the now. Where we end up tomorrow, well, I can worry about dwelling there then. After all, it is Him who dwells in me that really counts.

Bummer!

I have dealt with some disappointments this week. I can either look at them as setbacks or set ups for something better! Paul tells us we can learn to be content in every situation. That did not come easy for me this week, on more than one occasion!

As many of you know, our family of 9 are on the hunt for a house to live in. There was this house. It was for a great price, and had enough bedrooms and bathrooms for our family. The kitchen had an island in the center, and so much counter space and cupboard space. It even had a pantry and a nice desk built into the kitchen, perfect for homeschooling.

It was located close to our church family, my son’s best friend actually lived on the same street. It had a nice fenced in back yard with a deck and picnic table. There was a clubhouse out back and a swing set. It looked as if this was the place for us, the perfect place to finally settle in and plant our hearts.

The process for us getting into this house was drawn out, but it looked so promising. We went and saw it for a second time. Then, we got the news that it was not for us.

My heart sank. It had looked like it was the one. But, it’s not. It is not God’s best for us. This means that He has something better, because where He plants us, that is where we should be.

“I will rejoice in doing them good and will assuredly plant them in this land with all my heart and soul” (Jeremiah 32:41).

In this verse, God is talking about the Israelites coming out of exile, but it shows His loving heart towards His people. He rejoices in doing them good. He rejoices in doing you and I good.

God’s heart is to rejoice over His children and sometimes we just do not see what is best. Sometimes, there is grief in disappointments, but we have to remember that His ways are not our ways. For now, I am clinging to the promise that He will plant us in a good place, with all of His heart and all of His soul. Clinging to His promises gives us the strength to be content.