Ever feel like you are going under? Here are a few words to lift you back up above the waves.
Wishing you a great weekend! Until next time…
Grab your coffee or tea and join me!
Ever feel like you are going under? Here are a few words to lift you back up above the waves.
Wishing you a great weekend! Until next time…
Today, I was thinking about where I am…oh, not just in the physical sense of where I live or what room I’m in, but where I am in life. Where do I want to be? What is my vision of what I would like my life to look like? What brings me comfort and happiness? I have found that asking questions in my daily life has been one thing that has helped me the most through the years. Why? Because it keeps me honest with myself. We can make ourselves believe almost anything if we allow justification and excuses, or even blame, to enter into our thinking. AND… if we tell ourselves that long enough, we will believe it. Questions keeps me honest with myself if I answer myself with the truth. Of course, I have a great “Truth Agent” in my life who helps me, if I am willing to ask, and sometimes He tells me even if I don’t want to know. We need to face things head on with all honesty if we truly want to be living the way God wants us to live. We need to be following His lead, and not leading our own selves and then asking Him to bless that.
I think in many ways, these times we are living in has made many of us re-evaluate what we want in life and how we want to live. Where do we land with our priorities? We have been forced to slow down; to not get to do things our way. Many of these new guidelines have not been fun at all. Even hurtful to some of us. Changes are good and often times the best for us, but it goes back to our questions. Do we listen to them, or ignore them by justifying why we do the old things in the first place? Are you getting a picture of where I am going with this? Let’s look deeper…
As many of you know if you follow me, I am a BIG proponent of a slower life style. Now… many say, “You can do that because your retired.” However, I have found that retirement doesn’t mean my life stops. I’m very busy. I’m just busy with different things. I also deal with a retired hubby and that in itself makes a difference because they are with you all the time, and it can make it difficult to get done what you need to get done. That said, I had years of going 90 per. I didn’t like it then, and I don’t like it even more now. I would have loved to have been a stay at home mom and wife. But given my circumstances, and yes, my decisions at the time, I allowed outside influences to determine what I should do. But even in that time of my life, I was active with my walk with the Lord and studying. In this day, we have so much information to help us make better decisions, that it comes down to how much we are doing things our way, or God’s way. I have discovered through asking questions of myself, that in those days, I let outside influences determine what I did instead of listening to my heart where God was speaking. I cared about what others thought of me in ways that weren’t healthy for me. That happened in many circumstances. So… it has led me to begin asking myself the hard questions and then answering those as honest as I can. Now when we have different schedules, let’s take the time to ask ourselves the hard questions, as well as the fun questions. Let’s stop living lives that compare ourselves to others in life, homes, cars, clothes, and achievements. It leads us into wrong thinking and decisions.
We often keep ourselves busy so we don’t HAVE to think about where we are and what we are doing. Maybe… we aren’t trusting God to take care of us and since we don’t feel He is, we go about doing something about it oursleves. Boy can THAT get us into trouble!! But God didn’t ask us to be another person’s project manager. He asked us to live has He lived, and love like He loved. We are to be an example for other to watch, so that, they see the way we live and want to live that way. That means, we need to put our priorities in right order and live a life that others see and want to have. We particularly need to do that within our families because our kids will see our way of life and the way we handle things, and most of the time, carry that into their lives and relationships as well. THAT is rather scary to think about, but so true. It is worth us asking ourselves the hard questions and answer them so that we can let others see how living our life this way, can bring about a great life.
So…let’s get back to one of the questions I started with…”What brings comfort into your life?” As an example, I have previously shared of my life, I love a cozy atmosphere in my home. I like soft light of a lamp or candles, I enjoy cozy clothes at home, a loaf of bread baking in the oven, a good book/magazine in my hand with an afghan wrapped around me, and a mocha in my hand. I love to have time to play my instruments and sing along. My favorite place also is my studio area at my desk with a favorite hot or cold drink, my lamp lit on “relax”, a glassybaby lit, and a study that I’m learning from, which is how I am right now today as I write this. I enjoy reading before I go to sleep, so I also make time for that. For you, it may be coffee with a friend.I love to sit outside with my hands warmed to a fire. I know these activities are important for me to keep me on the right track. I know that about myself. It is not just good for me, I choose them because I know I NEED them.
Have you ever stopped long enough to ask yourself what brings you joy and comfort? Because many times we don’t. We just keep pressing on, maybe even afraid to ask oursleves that because we know it will require something of us. Changing something, stopping something, or beginning a new habit. But promise me you will ask yourself, “What brings comfort in my life?” and leave it in the comments. I would love to hear. Each of you will choose so differently. But that is the fun of it! It might be family time over a puzzle or game, or an outting together. Please feel free to share.
It is my prayer that as we have had to slow down, we have learned something about ourselves, become more aware of our thoughts, and take the time to answer the hard questions that I’m sure have also come up for you. Our life is meant to live, not just endure. The way we live today determines our tomorrow. Before your next step, ask yourself as Andy Stanley talks about in his book, Better Decisions, Fewer Regrets, “What is the wise thing to do?” or this one is a real nailer…”Given my past, and my present circumstances, what would be the wise decision to make?”. I have found that to be a great book and made me think again about asking myself the important questions and being honest about my thinking and answers in that process. What I have discovered is, when I answer, I find I have not always been willing to shed the light into all the dark corners of my life’s story. THAT in itself, will lead me to make the wrong decisions because I end up taking it with me into my future again.
Do the things that bring you joy and don’t feel guilty if you aren’t running around doing everything. We were not meant to live such busy lives that lead us to less time for ourselves and family. We WILL pay the price for that some day if you aren’t careful with our daily lives and choices. Pause…have a cup, read something you enjoy, just sit in the chair and listen to your music for a while, call a friend, sending a snail mail note, take some pictures, cuddle up in something warm, lean back and close your eyes for a few mintues and just say “thank you” that you have this moment or two in time. You don’t get them back. We wear busy like a badge and we have seen that come to a hault in many ways, and many have had a hard time knowing what to do with themselves when required to be at home day in and day out. Take away what you can to make this learning time something that changes you for moving forward. Those around you will thank you. Looking forward to your comments!
Living in the moment…
I observed in myself this last week what I can only describe as having my faith sideswiped. If you have ever been sideswiped in a car, or watched it happen, you know that it isn’t expected and it is very hard to avoid the crash that comes with it. That was my experience, or at least, what it felt like to me.
To be honest, I was heart broken. I looked back on it and thought I had led well to the best of my ability, but it appeared in many ways that I had failed. What I hoped would be a good example of faith, was in fact, not very convincing or evident apparently. I had failed the ones I loved the most it seemed. I wasn’t looking for this revelation, didn’t ask for it, and yet it was handed to me.
How do you handle being sideswiped? You have to get the facts straight. What happened? How did it happen? Did I not pay attention? Was it my fault or the fault of someone else? Am I willing to take responsibility if it was me? Or was it no fault of my own? We have to do the work. By doing that, it becomes clear in our minds, as well as those involved, as to the course of the outcome. However, that is hard when you are shook up from the sideswipe. You are shook to your core and not always thinking clearly. You say things and act too much out of emotions. It takes asking yourself the right questions.
That’s what happened to me a couple weeks ago. As believers, we try to navigate our life in terms of being an example of how to live, how to pray over our decisions, how to make good choices, how to love others, and be Jesus hands and feet. We trust God with everything. We may not always like the outcome, but we trust that He knows the end from the beginning, so we can trust the outcome. We try to parent in such a way that our children, family and friends see Jesus in us and thus come to see God. We live with that purpose of showing others what God looks like, and serve God with our lives. But we also know that it doesn’t always go the way we want it to. We, or our family and friends, don’t always stay in the same lanes with the parallels of our lives. We test the boundaries, we go too fast, we get distracted, we miss a road sign, and maybe we are distracted by the life of the very person we have tried to lead. Sometimes this can cause a “crisis of faith” in us. This isn’t just in families, but it can be in friendships, and church families as well.
What I came to understand as I worked through my thoughts and emotions in prayer, was that I felt like a failture at this point. God is not the author of those kinds of thoughts and feelings. He tells me that I can come to Him with anything, and He will hear me. So I listened after I shared this with Him. I came to understand it in a different way. I know there are times I could of handled things differently. We ALL have that in our lives. The key? I have always asked for forgiveness of those things, and I know God forgives. I have asked of those that I love to forgive me. So it’s done. I have done my very best, I have changed and corrected my future with what I have learned, and I know that the Holy Spirit lives in me to bring correction as I need it.
I was reminded that God has given each person a free will. They use that free will to make choices for their lives. Friendships that they choose, even how much of what their friends believe that they begin to belive. I can’t make the choices for them, nor an I responsible for the choices they make. I can direct, correct, encourage, but as they get older, they are now making their own choices. If they make choices based on their belief ideals, then they must live with the consequences of those choices. We would all love to see them live good lives, and love others, and put God first in their lives. But without the acceptance of God and of the Holy Spirit in their lives, they are living a spiritually blind path where they don’t see it like you or I may see it. Until the time comes in their lives where that becomes real to them, they can’t see it. They also have a tendency to listen to who they spend time with, rather than someone who has imparted into their lives at home. I have had years of experience with God where I can say He has shown Himself faithful every time. I KNOW His provision.
So… it came down to this, I can only keep living my life in a way that shines God’s light to those around me. Even in my messed up ways at times, He can still use me to let others see. If I am honest and open about the way I live, and I ask God to use my life toward guiding others, that is the best way to handle it. What I feel God spoke to me during this experience was this: “You can pray, and keep praying, and never give up praying. That isn’t the last thing you do as if it is your last resort. It’s your first thing you do every day. It’s your priority!”
In otherwords, devil, you aren’t going to drag me down through the ditch for something that God is using to teach me again. It isn’t easy to hear, and it means some more trust and faith on my part, but I will keep shining. That’s what I hope to do. I keep believing, I keep trusting, I keep asking. I keep living. That will be a part of my story.
I will keep my eyes on the road of life, and watch carefully for those times when I know it is the devil trying to discourage me and side swipe my faith. I can better avoid what he tries to hit me with. I won’t give up. My relationship with my people is all good. I just have to leave the ending of their story in the hands of the One Who knows.
Will you give up when hard times hit? Or will you try to live an authentic life for Christ? I hope it is the latter; the former is what satan is after these days. Don’t open that door. Slam it and lock it! Kick that devil to the curb. Then, thank God for leading you, assess the damage, repair what needs to be repaired in prayer, wipe the dust from your sandles and walk on.
Until next time…
If you read the title, then you know the question. So…have you had any curve balls in your life? You know, those times when your road is going along, you are settled on the where its taking you, and then… BOOM! Here it is, and it hits…that unexpected curve ball! That is where I am these last two weeks! God has put a curve ball into my slow moving life. How’s that, you say? Let me share.
One and a half years ago, my husband and I moved into the condo life in a small community. It’s a community at the base of the mountain range with beautiful scenery and farms. I love eagles and we see them often. Let me explain a bit. We made this move based on the fact that there were some questions about the health of my hubby and they were making an impact on his life. So I wanted to be in a position where he didin’t have to worry much about the care of a home and yard all that entails. So here we are about one and three quarter years into our condo life, and just recently, managed to put up things that had been on our to-do list, and lights up, and even re-decorating a bedroom. All of this to make it like we wanted. However, it takes special people to live a condo life, and also a special condo to live it out in. Some love it. Us? Not so much. Oh, we had talked moves, prayed about moves, but decided we would just do what needed to be done to make this more like we wanted. So we started. Then…BOOM! Hubby says, “You know, I have been talking to a few people who have sold their condo here in the complex and they sold pretty quick and at a good price.” “What does that mean?”, I asked him, “Now you are thinking of moving?” That was what he was thinking. Now I would LOVE a bigger kitchen, but just as I was settling into this, now I am taking it all down. Isn’t life just a blast?
So as I write this, I am into a week and a half of packing. And all my moving boxes have long since gone to recycling. I will have had to get those all over again. A storage unit for larger pieces of furniture to be stored in so we can stage the condo. Get it listed right away to be able to make an offer on something we find that we like. Prep the house and stage it for best pictures and best sale. That is not to mention all the paper work required for mortgage and all of that. I do dislike that part because I’m usually responsible for putting all that together. Moving is just not fun!! When I think about it all, I would rather fast pitch that ball right back! But in order to do a move, I must just take one step at a time and take each day as it comes and do all I can to accomplish what needs to be done. I am so fortunate and blessed to have our grandson here this weekend and Monday to help us move things around. Such a great young man to help out his grandparents. Love that boy. We even found time to play the piano together, which delights this heart of mine. Take time for the Pause.
I guess what I’m still learning is that there will always be curve balls. Life is like that. Sometimes we don’t like what we have been given. Some of it requires a lot of work. A lot of energy, and a lot of focus. A good attitude. It is kind of like our faith walk. It too, is requires work, diligence, focus, tenacity, and dependence on His leading. We press on knowing God is walking the road with us. We have to do the same process with the curve ball. Pray for guidance and wisdom to make the right choice of what to purchase, where He wants us to be, and rest in Him for the process of it all. I have to believe He will guide me and help me do get what needs to be done completed. If I fret and get all stressed over it all, it takes the fun out of the adventure. It certainly is an adventure! We have to have this listed to make an offer on another home, and then hope the right home comes along. I know God is able and knows my heart and hubby’s heart to lead us to the home that is our LAST home. I say that with tongue in cheek because I said that last time. So I will pray for the right place, with the items I most desire, just the right buyer for the condo, and a quick sale. Because you see, there are no mistakes with God. He knows all about it. So a curve ball isn’t something that just happens, it is for a purpose. Just as my skin cancer journey is. I always ask Him what I am to learn and give me His purpose for me through it. Isn’t it marvelous that we have God to count on? Most certainly.
So already the Bungalow is looking less and less “JoAnn”. That is good thing because then the new buyer can see how it can fit their needs. A lot of work = a win win for both buyer and us. It is the same in our lives. If we have less and less of “us”, then we can have more and more of Jesus. Isn’t that what we want…to be more like Jesus? It is for me. I hope it is for you!
So over the next couple of weeks if I come to mind, please be praying for the right buyer for the Bungalow, and that the home we are considering will still be available for us and that our offer is accepted. I was a pretty good ball player in school, so I’m throwing the ball back to Jesus, and He is a great Catcher!
Until next time…
Time…Life doesn’t usually go as planned. At least from our perspective. Ever noticed that? What do you do when things don’t go as planned? Do you fight it? Get angry about it? Complain to others, or take it out on those around you? Do you talk to others about it more than you pray to God about it? I have had quite a few of those not so timely interruptions over the last year. Strange health issues, falls, and the repercussions of all of them. But… when I think about this last year, my life isn’t really any different from anyone else. We all have them…those times we wish we didn’t have to experience.
Just this week, after some hard weeks have passed, I got some good news and some not so good news. I had some swelling in my left hand from a fall where my left side and my nose took the hit. The swelling caused me to need my wedding ring cut off. I have worked in jewelry and it is hard to see a beautiful ring have to go through a cutting process. You see, if you don’t have the right people doing that work, you can cause damage to the ring and to the diamonds it holds. What will happen? It will loosen the settings as the ring is stretched in order to go over the finger after being cut off. So it worried me a little to have it done. But I found a great jeweler locally, and he did a great job!
I then went into the Doctor to go over my hand X-ray. That good and bad news? The X-ray showed no broken bones. The good news. The bad news, other than not being able to wear my ring, was that it was a pulled ligament between my ring finger and my middle finger. That type of injury is a very long healing process; six months to be exact. That’s a long time. It is best to elevate the hand when possible, and I can ice it if I want to, should it be painful. Wow! Six months! He told me I have to be patient. If I try to hurry the process, then I will just cause more problems and my healing will take even longer.
Isn’t that like our lives sometimes? We want to hurry through uncomfortable times in our lives, so we can get back to life as we want it to be. But when we don’t have patience for the process, we can take short cuts, hurry the process, or even get angry about it, and then we do more harm to the situation than if we are patient. If we DO trust God with the process, then our faith can grow, be stretched and strengthened. We don’t have to stand on our strengthen at all, but we stand on His strength. He is the rock on which we stand. I have to take care of my hand or I will see permanent damage and pain that will go up my wrist and arm. In the last couple of days, it has gone down significantly because I am doing what the Doctor told me to do. The same thing will happen when we lean on God for our needs in those hard times. We do what He wants for us to do, we will see right changes.
So when it comes to my life, will I allow God the time to work on the issues going on in my life? Or, will I get impatient and try to do something myself? The latter is never good. I need to depend on God to lead. If I had tried to cut the ring off myself, I could have caused more damage to the ring. If I didn’t cut the ring off, I could have done some nerve damage in my hand. If I don’t listen to what I need to do to heal, I will cause further damage to my hand. Our lives can be like that. If we aren’t willing to surrender those hard times to the only person who has the answers, then we just struggle along trying to fix it ourselves. I have come to know that God is big enough for anything I have going on. He already knows. There may be a lesson in the midst of it that I need to learn. Ok. I’m willing. I trust Him. I will do what is necessary and be patient with my process, knowing I will come out the other side with much better understanding and a healthy life. I will trust the process.
Until next time…
Have you ever found yourself under attack in the same area over and over again? Have you ever wondered WHY that seems to be an area of vulnerability for you? You know it… that one thing that can bring immediate doubts to mind. That place where you say, “Oh great! Here we go again!” Or maybe was, “Victory!!! It’s done! I did it! It’s paid for!” And then…life happens. Your victory dance slows, and a stomp ensues. Shoot! What IS the issue?!? You are more likely to be saying things that are not edifying to anyone at this point! Negative statements or thoughts of defeat. Have you EVER said, “I will NEVER get this taken care of! It seems to happen again and again!” No! You have NEVER said anything like THAT have you???? Yah…me either…as my nose grew a bit longer…
I lived through many of my parents struggles in this very area for me; the area of finances. I watched them work hard to provide for us, give us a good life, and one of enjoyment. But somewhere in the back of my mind I have always wanted my life to be more stable in that area. Ever thought that way? Now, I have lived differently in that area of my life than they did, not that the way they did it was particularly bad. But, I feel sometimes when life hits, that I am no differently positioned than they were. Oh how the devil likes to play in our mind’s sand box! However, God provided for my parents and me, as well as my siblings. I was not without. I loved my childhood. When I was quite young, I began working. I had to work hard, but I had what I needed and contributed in ways that I could to help my parents with the burden. Even through hard times as a parent myself, my kids didn’t have a lot, but we had what we needed. It wasn’t without hard times, but it taught them to be hard workers, as well as being resourceful. They saw God’s provision in our lives over and over again on a daily basis. I know there were times when they didn’t have things they wanted, but they tried their best to understand. What we had plenty of was a love for each other, and that was our mainstay.
So what is it about those vulnerabilities in our life’s journey, that trip us up? I have become more and more aware that my thinking has SO much to do with my action. What do I do when those times hit? Do I succumb to the negative thoughts that things won’t ever change, or do I put God’s Word into action in my life and change what I say? I’m choosing the latter for my life any more. I am replacing those things with statements that are scriptural to me. What lifts me up. What brings back my joy. Replace my thinking and changing the channel. When I think I can’t go on, I push a little bit harder. I pray more often. I inch my way through and push back against those things that try to run me over. If I’m going to stomp my feet, then let it be against the devil. Let the dance be in praise!
We took action in the area of vulnerability for us. We have found God to be very faithful as we trusted Him and put Him first. Maybe your button isn’t finances, but something else. It works the same way. God cares about all things, and that means ALL. So, if you find yourself dealing with the same issue again and again, begin to be aware of how you are thinking about that area of your life. Do you want to continue the way you are? Or, do you want change and have victory over that particular area? Are you willing to make the changes necessary to gain victory in that area of your life? We can’t keep hoping for the change without taking action toward the change. So many times, we keep doing the same thing again and again, hoping something different will happen. It doesn’t work. A feeling of defeat is the result.
What if you HAVE made changes and you still don’t see it yet? Are you in prayer about it? Are you asking God what you need to do? Are you being obedient to what He tells you? We can be stubborn sometimes. I mean, I know a few people who took a lot of years to take an 11 day trip!!! Now, if you change, don’t think that you won’t have to tests to go through to make sure how committed you are to it. Oh yes, that’s a given! But don’t give up because He cares about you AND your situation.
I have a dear friend who at this writing is going into surgery Wednesday for another bout with cancer. She is 90 years young. She has had 48 procedures in her life. When I expressed my concerns over yet another test in life, she told me, “JoAnn, after 90 years of living, one thing I have learned. We NEVER outgrow the tests in life. I can tell you from experience that they keep coming.” I told her what a great attitude that she has. Her comment back? “What else can you do?” I don’t think it’s that simple because we CAN do a lot of different things. What is different for her? She trusts God to get her through, and she has lived it well. She has struggled, wiggled out from underneath the burdens, pushed back, fought the evil one, but in all of that, she hasn’t given up. She has faith. She trusts Him. Period.
So, where am I at with this? I will choose to praise Him in the hard times. I may “feel” the worry come, but I quickly take it to God and thank Him for what is good, and what He IS doing in my life. I then thank Him for His answers, even the ones I don’t see yet! However, answer He will! He always answers, but not always how we think it should go, or in our timing. Don’t live in defeat! Live in victory instead!
But, in my case, I don’t give up and I don’t give in. I’m doing a lot more dancing these days than stomping! We are all on a journey of progress and learning. Just stay in school!
Walking the journey with you…
Warning: Some pictures are graphic.
I am back among the living…at least I think I am. I have been gone from my blog and normal life for almost six weeks as I underwent surgery. I had bilateral knee replacement, and for a simpler version of that statement, I had total knee replacement on both knees at the same time. Many people ask me if I would recommend it. In fact, that is the first question they usually ask me. My answer is still out on that. I know for me, I did it because I don’t like hospitals and all that goes with it, so I knew I wouldn’t want to come back again to get the second one done. I will tell you it’s not easy and one of the hardest journeys I have taken in a long while.
When you are in this situation, you really have to learn to live with yourself. You have only yourself, your brain, and what you are thinking all the time. I was most fortunate to have a husband that stood by me the whole time. He took time off of work to be with me in the hospital everyday, then when we got home, he took care of me in the day and through the night; eventually doing that and working too. He was a great house husband too! God knows what we need. However, as you know you talk to yourself non-stop all day long and I found that what I was saying certainly didn’t line up with what I was praying. Oops!! Not good. You see, I also had a lot of blood loss, and so I had to have transfusions to even get me to a place that I had enough energy to get myself up out of the bed. And then I had to have it a second time, and I got a reaction so the last half was not administered. So my recovery was very slow. I remember one time thinking that people would say of me, “She came in for knee replacements, but didn’t come home.” Now WHERE did THAT thought come from? To give even a second thought to that was to allow the devil free rein in my thinking, and that just wasn’t going to happen. I may FEEL like I’m going nowhere fast, but I wasn’t going to give in to it. The night hours were the worst when you can’t sleep and satan tries to fill your mind with defeat. I would call the nurse and get up! I would walk to the bathroom and walk back to the bed. I would tell myself, “I was making progress, no matter how slow it may look, I wasn’t destined to be this way forever. It will change.” I was blessed to have my sweetie there all day telling me that I could do it. To say that it was a humbling experience, it to put it mildly. He became my nurse. I believe with all my heart, that I am where I am today because of the prayers of faithful friends and family who covered me daily in prayer. I had circles upon circles prayed around me! Does that mean that I still don’t have times of discouragement? Nope. I still can have that feeling at times when I want to do something that just doesn’t work too well for me right now. But, then I have to remember where I came FROM, and then I am thankful I have come this far.
My experience is not your experience so if you are looking to this in YOUR future, I would say, have a GREAT doctor (do your research), and prepare yourself ahead of time for what you need to do. He is faithful. I walked from the very beginning with a walker, but only for a couple of weeks. Then it was a cane, and the last couple of weeks, I have walked on my own without assistance from either. I would say that is a good track record, and my healing WILL be complete. Is it over? No. I still have pain and discomfort. But I can now do other things to help with that. I am even down to my last three visits of PT. Yay! But I still have to discipline myself to do it on my own. See? We are required to do our part.
This is only one snap shot of my life. I will likely have many more, and maybe some that will be harder than this to make it through. But I know where my strength comes from, so I can look to the future with hope! I’m happy to answer any questions if you leave them in the comments.
Walking, yes walking…the journey with you.
This morning, as I was walking by my desk, I saw my string of amber beads hanging from my desk organizer and this question came to mind: “What do those beads remind you of?” I immediately thought of Fall and Harvest, and colors and pictures that go with it. What came next was this question: “Did you know that prayer is like a harvest?” By now, I know I need to take the time and really think about this because there is a lesson right here in my office over a string of amber beads. So… here is what my thoughts are about what God laid on my heart today.
When we think of harvest, we think of receiving the benefits of what we have planted. We believe that if we plant seeds, water them properly, fertilize them properly, keep the weeds at bay, we will get results; a harvest of what we have planted.
I sensed God saying our prayer life is just like that. If we want answers (harvest) to our prayers, we must plant our prayers in faith, fertilize them with the Word and ask the Holy Spirit to water them, and ask God to keep us full of Him, so we will receive the harvest God has for us. We can’t get a harvest by standing in the field and wishing for one. For example: “I wish God would answer this prayer. Or, I have been praying about that for a long time, maybe I should just quit.” Prayer is like being out and tilling the field. You are preparing your soil for harvest. Prayer is like a muscle that you have to exercise. You have to do it consistently, with commitment and faith if you expect a good harvest/result.
Next, He led me to Matthew 12:43 where evil comes into a man and then he decides to turn His life over to Christ and he is made clean. But then God talks about the man needing to ask to be filled up with Him because otherwise, Satan will come along with seven more demons to fill that space. We need to be asking God to fill us daily so we have no room for doubt, negative feelings or discouragement or a sliver of space for satan to get in.
We need to:
If we do these things, our prayers will yield a great harvest. We don’t want to throw a prayer out in the air and hope it comes to pass. If the farmer goes out and throws out the seed with no plan or reason, he will find it very difficult to cultivate his harvest. So it is with our prayers. We need to filled with God, operate in faith in our asking, pray through with God’s Word, and expect a great harvest reward. If we, as Beth Moore shared in a study, BELIEVE GOD and not just believe IN God, then we know He wants nothing more then to answer your prayers. Just keep in mind that YOUR idea of an answer might be different from His. That’s the faith part; you have to trust Him for your best no matter how it make look in the physical!
So, I asked myself today, “Is there anything JoAnn that you have been praying for that is lacking in faith in order for God to answer it? Do you believe that God is the God of A Great Harvest? Are you in the Word consistently so that you are built up in your faith? Do you ask to be filled with God daily?” Now, I ask you those same questions. Hummm…be honest with yourself and with God right now, and listen carefully.
God spoke to me today about a very important subject matter over a string of amber beads! Amazing! If our harvest is plenty within us, so will our light shine so that we are equipped for the harvest “out there”.
P.S. ~ I bought this string of beads from a little thrift shop with the idea of doing a craft with them. None of these ideas came to me at the time. I just liked how clear and beautiful they were. But you see, I think God places things or people or circumstances in our lives, SO THAT (my favorite words), at just the right time, for just the right reason, He has something to say to us. I love that about Him!
I am watching… listening… for His leading, and as always…walking the journey with you.