He’s COMING!

We visited the zoo yesterday as a family. I do believe I had the greatest joy watching the little children more than looking at the variety of animals. I now have almost grown boys and to see the delight in the young faces was such a blessing.

One particular little boy had his faced pressed against the glass waiting for the sea-lion. His mama had been waiting with him for a while, watching the flipping pattern the sea-lion was enjoying as he communicated through the glass with the toddler.

With her hand held out, the mama asked the little boy ” are you ready to go to the polar bears now?”
The little boy said, “no I am waiting for the otter!” In a sweet expectant voice and he turns to the glass and exclaims, “He is coming!”

When the sea-lion pressed his nose to the glass face to face with the boy he gasped in awe, then as the sea-lion moved above the surface, his tail made a swoosh in front of the boys face as he moved on up to the top of the water and the boy giggled with glee. This continued a few times and each time the boy shouted and giggled, “HE’s COMING!” Each visit left the boy with joy.

 

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Mama held out her hand and told him it was time to move on to the polar bears. This moment of joy stuck with me as we moved along as well. We walked on and the polar bears were sleeping, at a distant. Nothing to see. No glee from the youngster. Just the knowledge that this was a polar bear. Then as the mama was walking ahead to the next animal, while her head was turned for just a second, she did not see the boy look back towards the sea lions and sigh.

How many times do I have an opportunity to examine the joys in my life, only to move on to the ‘next’ things? Do I engage in my moments of joy taking each moment at its full or do I press on and miss them altogether?

On Sunday at church we sang a song that I grew up singing as a child.  It was an old song and while my children’s generation may roll their eyes at the style… I was just bouncing with glee of the truths of the words and the great memory of myself as a child singing at church with a parent on each side. I was joyful in that moment, but my mind wanted to wander on the next thing. My parents were no longer together. How quickly I could have allowed my rejoicing in the Lord to evaporate.

This is the song we sang and this week I will continue to let it be alive in my heart. I will stop and declare just as that little one … HE IS COMING. I know my God will greet me each morning and walk every step with me throughout the day.

I will enter his courts with thanksgiving in my heart

I will enter his courts with praise

I will say this is the day that the LORD HAS MADE

I will rejoice and be glad in it

Before the storm and in it

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A few months before our first storm, in our everything is finally going smoothly again season, I had painted a picture. Now clearly I am not a great artist, but this picture represented praising God through the storms of life. I had decided I was going to praise Him through anything.

I had no idea how much I would need to remember those words and that initial feeling when the painting was complete that praise was my offering, no matter what.

I have learned that the praise from my lips brings me joy. I have learned focusing my eyes on greatness rather than the destruction around me brings me joy.

I have found that a God that cares enough to keep me in a home when income was cut by 2/3 for over six months now,  cares enough that my husband crashed a car and survived, cares enough that there are days of strength in the midst of illness,  cares enough that my children bringing me laughter after days that they make me want to pull out my hair, is a God that cares ENOUGH.

Life is not JUST what you see in front of your face or in your moment. There is a whole world going on around you despite that storm. There is ALWAYS something to find to praise.

When I was consumed with depression and despair, all I spoke out of my mouth was anger, frustration, hopelessness and turmoil that was inside me. It was bringing about death and destruction.

I decided it was time for a heart change when I sat in the shower dreaming of my blood pouring down the drain. I was awakened by the Spirit of the Lord stirring in me… “This is NOT what I have for you!”

The strange thing is, my despondent depressing days surrounding mostly my illness. Nothing tragically frustrating had happened in our life for  a few years at my darkest time. Things were quiet and mostly good, except I was physically sick and felt miserable. The pain was blinding and living in a fog had broken me…for a moment.

It is now that I can look back and see God was saying, you are stronger than this. He had a testimony for me to share, and the work had only just begun.

I decided at my worst that it was time to get my heart right. Out of the heart your mouth will speak. I had aloud despair to consume me and to be my heart condition and I would not settle for  it!

It was after that shower that I had looked up and saw the painting I had painted. I painted this painting by ‘accident’ I had no intention of a tree, or a storm or hands raised, I was painting and it took shape.

I decided looking at this picture that I wanted to WALK in a heart of praise. I wanted praise to consume me, I wanted praise to pour from my lips continually.

I have had these moments before, I have always been a worshiper, but God was doing something even deeper than I could imagine!

I had no idea the battle front I would be facing when I made that decision all those months ago to praise Him in every storm. But praise Him I have, and praise Him I will. I know that He has awesome plans for us, and while I blog and learn new joys every morning, you watch and see, He is going to do GREAT things in the midst of these storms. I mean my lands, look at what He already had done through my last blogs.

Challenge this day my friends: It is time for a starting place, I do not care how small it seems, praise Him this day for something. Praise Him for a sunrise, for a hope, for a moment, or for the simple fact that

He is GOOD.

Psalm 30:12

That I might sing praises to you and not be silent. OH LORD MY GOD, I will give you thanks forever!

(NLT)