Awaken

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Revelation 3:2

‘Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God.

 

Awake Awake Awake me O’ Lord 
From my slumber that brings death
Awaken my dreams

Awaken my passions
Awaken my gifts
Awaken my steps
Awaken my heart to hear your call  

Awake Awake Awake me O’ Lord
Awaken my soul so that I may praise you with the things that remain

 

Awaken: To rouse from sleep; cause to stop sleeping.


God  has placed dreams and passions in my own heart, some that I do not even know of yet. I have let my physical limits to allow me to slumber. The work God has for me to do has been limited. I am called to WAKE UP.  

Today I call out to the Father; “Where I am weak, make me strong and where I am lacking show your abundant supply. Wake me up Lord and bring the dreams to completion.” 

How many dreams have you let sit on the back of your mind, not giving them the time and attention that they deserve? Do you realize that our dreams can DIE.
There are dreams and passions that are planted in our hearts and we are called to strengthen them! I dare you, ask the Lord to revive your dreams. Ask the Lord to awaken things that are about to die. I pray your passion is renewed and you are AWAKEN.

 

 

The root of it

27336724_1206660129463955_8519418404983698192_n not my photo

 

Let me start with saying… read this through if you are dealing with a spiritual battle of doubt. While there are definitaly physical battles, there are spiritual and this tackles both directions that I have faced this winter and actually over the last 11 years.

I know I may lose friends with this one, I may lose followers, readers, support, but I have to say at this point and time I WILL NOT FEAR.

Here we go: This is a LONG one- Sorry…. not sorry

This season with Fibromyalgia has been ROUGH. I mean for a bleep there I thought I lost my joy all over again. I spent years walking in the fullness of God’s Joy and then in a moment (it felt like anyway) that joy was gone. I realized how simple all of my writings had made seeking Joy to the full seem. It was not a simple journey. Very contrary, it was a constant examining of my self and my weaknesses.  And I thought once I had the fullness of Joy, I would be able to maintain it without fear of losing it.

BUT….

Think of a beautiful plant with wonderful plumage with a root system growing nice and strong, but nearby there is that pesky weed with even stronger roots. They come in and start taking over until the sophicate the plants healthy root system.  I had been plucking and plucking weeds, but the roots were remaining to keep festering. I had dealt with the cause one by one, but the pesky little root system was hiding underneath the surface and infecting the beautiful plants roots. Leaving healthy roots to began dying off one by one with lack of proper care.

I let my guard down this year and the funny thing is, the darkness came in fast. BUT it was dealt with fast as well, now that I have the past experience of knowing how to identify it.

Thankfully as I cried out to God, He pointed out to me, why this season has been SO hard with fibromyalgia and the darkness swarming in, is a reminder that there are triggers and they must be dealt with swiftly. triggers to me = Weed roots. I am listing my triggers that have FLARED fibromyalgia this year.
Maybe identifying them can help another fibromyalgia sufferrer identify them for themselves as well. Everyone is different and each story is different, but one thing remains the same, our level of pain and symptoms are exasperated by our triggers.

Trigger one: Grief

This year I lost my father and that was a big trigger. Grief is a trigger. But I kept burying the fact that I was grieving. I even buried the fact that He indeed had passed and my body was not taking kindly to me stuffing my emotions, which led to trigger two.

              Trigger two: Emotional eating

To deal with my emotions I began eating everything and anything I wanted. Which lead to me feeling like garbage, which then led to me hitting fast food and packaged food as I didn’t feel well enough to cook. Which of course led to feeling even worse. A vicious, vicious cycle when dealing with food sensitivities. (Most chronic illnesses are triggered with food sensitivities of some kind in my opinion)

                    Trigger three: The dark season of winter

It is no surprise winter is difficult for fibromyalgia sufferers. There must be a plan to take care of yourself in rough seasons and I had absolutely none this year. Just surviving the grief was my only plan.                                                                                                                           I  know winters are hard and usually I take steps to combat that;  more vitamin D supplements, light therapy, self-care of all kinds and this year I gave up my passion as a full-time preschool teacher and didn’t self care at all. I just sat in the house on those days not working with my preschool kids in the guise of ‘recovery’. I have had WAY fewer viruses this year but the fibromyalgia has run rampant… self care is a must.

Trigger four: Hormones

I am in the process of naturally balancing my hormones. Being over 40 has my body in great confusion, enough said on that topic lol.

Trigger five: Midlife hiccups

My hubby and I are in the stage of empty nesting. Or we where until all the birdies flew home again. We were enjoying our quiet little nest and now it is quite busy. We are in the process of best helping the boys seek their futures while at the same time thinking on ours. We want something new and we are ready…but in the waiting. My mind thinks on these things far too much.

I could go on and on about our triggers but these are the five that stood out to me as I sought the Lord on what was going on.

Here is the other side of the coin. WHY am I dealing with Fibromyalgia? This is a spiritual aspect and my not make sense to many and that is ok. You can all think I am wacky I still love ya!!!

There is one BIG root of why I believe that I personally deal with fibromyalgia all together.

11 years ago before I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I lived a different life. I would turn on my worship in the morning, dance and sing every single day, homeschool my kids and walk in the Spirit of God. His spirit was evident, His spirit was tangible.  Through a string of events, I won’t list here, I let go of some very foundational things for me of how God created me. From the time I can remember God would visit me in dreams, He would speak to me in songs, and visions and prophetically speak to me of situations. “I could lay out someones laundry piece by piece and they would look at me and say how did you know?”  I would reply,  “I didn’t God did.”

I let go of HOW God worked in me. I walked away from the ‘soaking’ going ‘deeper’, operating in the ‘prophetic’ every single day, to just letting Him move that way once in awhile when I just could not ignore.

Why did I walk away from moving in the way God created me to move?

I walked away, because I was afraid that it was wrong. There are a few reasons but for one, this was a season when mystical stuff began coming into the church (or at least I learned of it), and fingers started pointing saying it was ALL wrong, basically I threw the baby out with the bathwater. Name it and claim it was wrong, prophetic movement was wrong, this pastor and that pastor (all who were fundamental in tremendous growth in my life) were wrong. I began to doubt. I began to doubt the prophetic in me, I began to doubt everything I was taught, I began to doubt the truths ever spoken to me, I began to doubt absolutely anything written in the bible that were not Jesus words themselves. I began to doubt even the Spirit of God that I once was in tune with and knew so so very well. That little seed of doubt grew and grew to the point that I can honestly say, now after identifying it, that I began to doubt a God at all.

Let me be clear, the Spirit was still there. I knew the truth and it would rise up louder than those doubts. But those doubts still had a voice in my head. I still stopped soaking and going deeper and deeper to where God wanted to take me. To put it simply I walked the last 11 years in disobedience out of fear and had NO IDEA I was doing it. I was erring on the side of not wanting to cross God, and wasn’t listening to Him. I got ill. Very very very ill.

The root system in this wall has grown stronger and stronger and stronger on the beautiful plant side BUT the root of doubt was still hovering beneath the surface on the root side. I kept losing my ground because I kept doubting. I would advance and then pull back, afraid that I was tapping into the wrong thing. Even though I am meant to work that way. That is a GIFT the LORD has placed in side of me and I do not need to fear it. I know GODS voice.

We are all different, these words may make no sense to many of you and that is ok. But I do ask you to look at yourself and see where you lost the YOU inside of Fibromyalgia. Where did you lose your identity that you were created to be? It is time to take it back. It is time to kill those roots that are stifling the life out of YOU.

One day at a time, one step at a time. I will regain my life back!

 

 

 

I have lost my self

IMG_0509I wonder if the butterfly misses her many legs and tough skin as a caterpillar or if she misses the covering living amongst the leaves granted her.  She didn’t have to venture to far to survive. While we see the ability to fly and experience life in new ways, maybe she misses her old self. Flying is hard work and she needs to go from flower to flower for each drink, expelling all that energy.

I have maintained the fullness of God’s joy in this walk with fibromyalgia. I am so incredibly blessed God has taught me how to do that, because that is the one gift this illness has given me. I also have learned to have grace and patience in new ways, as it is quite humbling to have such limits physically. But in so many ways I have lost my old self.

With fibromyalgia; I have lost my energy, I have lost my strength and impetuousness. These days I have to evaluate the consequences of being spontaneous. I have all the excitement, thoughts and ideas but the second I stop and think of the outcome of expelling the energy, my bubble is burst and I rest. There are days I wake up ready to face the day, excited with all I will do, and by time I step out of the shower, I need a nap. I again remember that I have lost my old self.

I miss her.  I miss the bubbly, happy, full of life able to take on the world self before fibromyalgia and I am sure my husband really misses her as well.

But these past few months God has awakened in me in new ways. He is showing me all that He has done by losing my old self and I am in the beginning stages of liking the new me. The me that has slowed down and takes the time to evaluate the world around me. The new me that has the wisdom and grace that only suffering and heartache can chisel into the hardened heart that once belonged to me. I see with fresh eyes, the hurting and the lost. I am taking time to paint, write and dabble into gifts that the busy woman of yesteryear didn’t take time for. I appreciate the good moments far more and take don’t take them for granted.

Romans 12:2- Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

I lost the self-seeking me (mostly) and became the God seeking me. He has brought me to my knees in my physical brokenness. Doing a new thing, chiseling away again and again the hardened heart that once was. In my brokenness He has showered a love and presence so amazing and intimate. It is much more taxing these days to do His work, it is so hard to dance and sing, because I grow weary, but then I am spending much more time in the quiet and stillness. Yes, I have lost my old self, but I must remember that is not all a bad thing. I will learn how to fly with these new wings.

 

 

Enough

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I am enough

He makes me enough

I am what He has called me to be

I will accomplish what He lays before me

I have all that I need

He will guide my hands

He will guide my feet

I am enough

He makes me enough

I am what He has called me to be

 

These words came to me in song tonight as we drove home from the Oregon Coast. We had taken a quick day trip and over and over, God showed me His amazing abilities through His creation. If He created such amazement, why do I doubt what He can do in me?

God  gave me the words… An artist thinks with his soul. I don’t think in my natural brain when I am creating. But let me tell you as soon as I am done, all my own flesh natural thoughts come my way. “It is not good enough.” ” I am so embarrassed by showing this side of me.” And on and on my thoughts will come, each time I complete something the Lord lays on my heart, and I doubt the sharing.

His words to me today ring so true; An artist thinks with his soul. I need to let my words of destruction and discouragement  get out of my way. They need to stop plaguing me after the fact.

I will meditate on the words of this song He had given to me, and I will be thankful that I am just as He has created me to be. Who am I to deny that what God has done is good? I am enough in His eyes. I am capable in His view and I will no longer live the lie that I am unable. I will do, what He lays before me and that is enough.

A letter for my sons

Dear Son,

You are kind, loyal, faithful, trusting, and extremely focused on those you love. When you love, you love deeply and carry your heart on your sleeve. You are all in, and want that one special someone until the day you walk down the aisle. You do not desire to ‘search’ around and as you say, “window shopping is not for me.”  So unlike most people at 16 you were looking for a wife. As your mom I was saying, don’t date, slow down,  just wait and this is why…

This is my concern. In this world today, most people believe you need many life experiences, they choose to date many people, and at a young age are taught to follow their hearts. Often times they will for the moment be interested in all the things you offer and play you along that they are just as happy and all in like you and do not express their true feelings until the very last-minute, but instead lead you along on a string. You have to realize that a guy that is marriage minded is what a girl wants….for a moment. But at a young age as this, they begin to start seeing all that they will become and for many the complete and utter focus on you at such a young age is not in their best interest.

Also, because you offer them what they want for a moment, such as the flattery, the loyalty, the commitment and complete devotion, when their world shifts or their interest changes or they were not all in as you once believed, then it is you that is left confused, and hurting and the realization that you were played.

Honestly son, I know you and at times I know you better than you know yourself. My desire for you is that you would maintain friendships until you are ready for the big day that you have a bride. The thing is, when you are young, it is about learning to love and often that young girl is driven by emotion, excitement, hormones, feelings, and still confused about what she wants to do with her own life when she ‘grows up.’

My desire for you, is that one day you will have one that loves you fiercely with a GOD love. Not based on emotions and feelings but based on love that is described in Corinthians. I want someone for you that will stand by your side in the waves of life. But that is a big commitment to ask of a girl not ready for marriage. Heck, I have been married to your father for 18 years and it is still a day-to-day commitment for me.

Sometimes all people are pulled by their desires and they realize that isn’t what God may have for them after all. It is a good thing when someone walks away sooner, rather than later.

For you my son, I don’t believe dating is your calling.  I desire you to focus on building your future, when you are ready to take a bride, it is that time and season that you allow the building process of the friendship around you to take root, or wait for that one to be placed lovingly in your path, by the Father, whom already knows your future. Until this time, a girl is a distraction, she takes your energy, your focus, your time and keeps you from the one that has been quietly tapping on your shoulder, saying… “please recognize me and my presence.”

I know you are young, and you will follow your heart as you always have. I just want to share a bit of wisdom. You are still discovering yourself, becoming the one God created you to be. You are shifting and changing daily and maturing by leaps and bounds, it is not fair to expect others to not be shifting and changing daily in their life process and at times, it takes them down a different road, even if we don’t desire it.
Protect your heart and if I could request it, don’t give it away so freely and completely to anyone except the Lord. Once He holds it, He will give you more than you ever imagined possible.

Mom

 

ps. this is some good advice on the subject 😉

http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/42855-8-women-christian-men-should-never-marry

Green eggs and ham… literally

My father was very active in my life growing up. He took me to Blue Birds, trick or treating and allowed me to dance o his toes. One Saturday morning he made our breakfast like he often did, and he set the plate before me.

He had a huge grin on his face as he waited expectantly for my glee. I looked at that plate and cried. My father in his creative genius and love for me, made me green eggs and ham. I hated the color green and as I looked at the green glob of eggs on my plate, my emotions overwhelmed me, not at his love but the thought that I was hungry and how could I eat these green things.

I look back now as a parent and think with great joy what an awesome father I had to take the time to make something special for me. He knew I loved the story of Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss.

I am reflecting on this gift and wondering… how many times do I look at the gifts the Lord has set before me with disdain or sadness rather than the gratitude and joy that should be in my heart.

How often does He place gifts and I don’t even recognize them for what the are?

I still do this today with my own husband. He will go out of his way to do things for me and I just take them for granted or do not appreciate the way he does them. Instead I am looking at the way  I would do it, or he should do it. What kind of gifts am I throwing away every day?

In the bible, often God would give His people gifts and they would complain, or not see them as they were.

Some of the gifts I have overlooked from the Lord are:

The gift of time: Instead of rejoicing that our basic need was met in layoff time for my husband, I fretted and worried about where the next job would be. Instead of enjoying each moment with my boys I focused on their tomorrows far too often than I should have. Rather than enjoying my moment with loved ones I fretted about their leaving more than just enjoying the moment.

The gift of peace: I overlook the peace in my life often. I have to remind myself that the Lord grants peace to my heart and that anxiety or worry leads to depression. I have to not overlook this gift He has given to me. He causes the calmness in the sea of life that only He can provide.

The gift of needs: Often when I look at our life situation, I have focused on all my wants and they seem to fall short. Yet, when I look at my needs, He truly does meet them. Not in a way I think they should line up but He meets my need nonetheless.

I am so truly thankful that God is a Father that bestows gifts to His children. I want to keep my heart and eyes wide open in thankfulness as I see the work of His hands for what they are. He desires to give me gifts, to do the work ahead of me so that I may  enjoy great things. I do not wish to complain or look at those gifts with disappointment because of my immaturity in Him,  but rather with grown up insight.

These are just a few simple areas that I overlook and I am sure there are so so many more! What gift can you be thankful for that maybe you overlooked?

YES I WILL!

Years ago, and many years after, I began to believe the lie that my gifts were not adequate enough, or the things the Lord has called me into I am ill-equipped.

So I usually, stand in the background, knowing full well that I have something before me but I sit and ignore it. Or others have been used to tear me down, so that when I share my heart, they discouraged rather than encouraged.

I read a book once, about a woman who was ill-equipped in her own eyes. She was asked to lead a small choir and had no ‘formal’ training. She had musical background in her family, but such a task she had never taken on before. She allowed God to use her gift and ability in the moment. This woman went on to lead the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir!

Look at the story of Moses. He was inadequate in his thinking. He asked God to use another and God said, you are the one.

I am not claiming that I will go on to do extraordinary things in such a way, only that I will do what the Lord has laid out for me to accomplish. I am claiming that I am not going to let fear hold me back from stepping out into uncharted territories.

So often we let the assumptions of what we think the outcome will be, stop us from seeing what the outcome really is.

There was a day that I was anxious about driving even to the beach, because my fog and fatigue will take over. The beach for me is about an hour away. Then one day God stirred up in me to take the van and go… to Idaho. This location was a 10 hour drive!
At first I asked the Lord, ” Is this really you? Can you be calling me to do this? I can’t! ”

But the stirring in my spirit would not cease and their was a treasured friend at the end of the long drive waiting. I surprised this friend and I obeyed the Lord. Little did I know the friend had been crying out to God for someone to come.

I shutter to think  that if I would have taken my inadequacy and let that be my leading rather than the Holy Spirit, a need only I could fill would have been unmet. Anyone could have come along and met this friends cry, but God had instilled the gifts that are unique only to me, to show His love.

Not only did she see the miracle of Him answering her cry, but by sending someone to go so far that struggled with driving, we both saw the miracle of Him sustaining me. The joy that greeted the end of the road and the first step to see God’s miracle of healing in my life because of the link to obedience.

God can not do a work within us in a miraculous way, if we allow ourselves to stand in the way of the work. If we tell Him, “no”,  each time He has an opportunity to work through us, we will not see how His strength can be more than enough in our areas of weakness.

Boldly go forth and step out in faith in the areas He has called you!

He is MORE THAN ENOUGH.

I will look to Him for my strength and say YES I WILL!