Sunday, February 27, 2011

Feeling Pressed?

The Lord will relieve you...
I trust in the Lord. I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul. You have not handed me over to the enemy but have set my feet in a spacious place. Psalm 31:6-8

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bearing His Disgrace

And so Jesus suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. Let us then go to Him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace He bore. For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come. Hebrews 13:12-14

Do you ever feel lonely? Have you endured insults for your convictions? Have you suffered for your obedience? Then there is good news! You are in the company of Jesus.

Jesus endured the rejection of religious leaders; He even endured their scorn, and attempts to trap him. He also was ridiculed by His own family... Have you noticed though that even when He was misunderstood and rejected, He continued to "set His face like a flint" and determined to do the will of His Father?

He told us we, as His followers, would be hated. He told us we would have a cross to carry. We can choose to pick it up daily, or we can choose to ignore His word, and fit in; or go with the flow. Will you set your face like a flint to be obedient to Him? Will you go outside the camp, and bear the disgrace He bore?

Not by might, not by power, but by His Spirit! I pray blessings for you as you walk in obedience out of your love for Jesus.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Spacious Place of Security

“He is wooing you from the jaws of distress to a spacious place free from restriction, to the comfort of your table laden with choice food. Job 36:16

[This is part three of a three part post on my journey through anxiety and depression]
Click here for Part one. and here for Part two.
This photo is from our 26th Anniversary celebration in Stillwater, MN, 2009. Ten years since I spiraled into fearful darkness. By Grace, I am now free!

The Light of the Truth of God's word is so very precious! The love of The Good Shepherd for His sheep is truly the most powerful, transforming force in the universe!

I didn't really lose years when the jaws of distress had a grip on me. I gained a solid footing on the Rock. I got to know the Presence of the Life-Sustainer! I became aware of the true meaning of Grace. The delightful experience of living in His strength when mine was gone.

I now (mostly) walk in the Spirit, lean on the Lord, live by faith, love by dying to myself, display His glory by obedience, and I have the great joy of giving the light of the Word to others.  Teaching to take up the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.

When I was five, and I saw Laura, really I was looking for acceptance and security. A firm footing. A friend. It's just that I was looking in the wrong place. God, in His glorious wisdom has a way of getting His children where they need to be. Often. Probably most times, it involves suffering. It is in suffering that we are most teachable. We remember our lessons well when there is pain.

Isn't it the painful times after-all that one remembers the best? After all, how does a 46 year old woman remember the first day of first grade if there wasn't a painful experience there. I don't remember much more from first grade.

This lesson is one I don't want to have to repeat. I was fearful for a time that I would "go back in" but whenever that fear came, I heard the whisper, "Just keep holding My hand."

Staying in His grip in the spacious place and eating the choice food of His Word that sustains.



1. free from or not exposed to danger or harm; safe.
2. dependable; firm; not liable to fail, yield, become displaced, etc., as a support or a fastening: The building was secure, even in an earthquake.
3. affording safety. as a place: He needed a secure hideout
4. in safe custody or keeping: Here in the vault the necklace was secure.
5. free from care; without anxiety: emotionally secure.
6. firmly established, as a relationship or reputation: He earned a secure place among the baseball immortals.
7. sure; certain; assured: secure of victory; secure in religious belief.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Give a Listen

This song expresses the struggle and the hope...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Power of Words

This is a perfect message to follow my last post~God's Word has the power to set you free from NEGATIVE words spoken over you and received into your heart.

Renee is having a give-away on her blog today! Check it out: Click here.

Rescued From Jaws

This is part two of my story.

I had a happy marriage. (that is Dale's grandma with us)

Dale and I met when I was 15, he had just turned 18. We were each other’s one and only. We got married three years later. His personality was risk-taking, adventure-seeking, confident and decisive. Mine, timid, shy, reserved, sensitive… We were the perfect couple balancing each other well, until we began to disagree on parenting methods. Until he was away at work so much and I was feeling like a single mom.

During that time other legs also fell from my “support” stool. Relationships were strained in several places in my life.

We had made the decision to put our oldest, Kayla in school after homeschooling her through fourth grade. I found myself trying to be the “perfect mom” to her by helping in the classroom, walking her to and from school with Ethan whom I was still homeschooling.

On top of that, I increased craft-production in my little crafting business and held a boutique in my home that fall.

That was when the dizziness from the anxiety began. I knew I needed to “not be anxious about anything, but with prayer somehow drop my burden on the Lord and I’d have His peace. I just didn’t know how to do it. I began to drown in guilt and shame, self-condemnation and spiraled downward to insomnia the following fall. Insomnia lead to depression and oppression, near to despair.

I reached for people, but none had a hand that could lift me. God wanted it that way…He wanted me to know the futility of flesh. My own and others that I tended to lean on in affirming my worth, or leading me to answers…

Continually I held a thin thread of hope at every place of hopelessness, and was upheld from going under. That is what my faith amounted to during those days. A thin thread.

My heart heard a whisper of truth from God’s Word in the darkest times; His living, wonderful, comforting, guiding, correcting, freeing Word. That LOVE was my sustenance. Though His love seemed elusive to me, and I scarce believed it at the time. In my mind, yes, but in my heart, no.

Accusation was constant, and when it came, I knew it to be true. I was a worthless, faithless failure and I believed I was possibly ruining my kids… Outside of Christ I would have been...

However, I was in Christ, therefore, I had to learn the lesson about putting on my new nature. (2 Corinthians 5:17) I had to remember it was no longer I who lived, but it was Christ Jesus who lived inside of me. (Galatians 2:20) I had to learn that it is by GRACE that I stand by faith (Romans 5:2). Not by MY ability, or strength. (Philippians 3:3)

The very first Truth God gave me to start me on the path to freedom was the dawning that I was NOT a VICTIM of my thoughts. I had a choice. It had gotten to the point that all thoughts that came to my head were received in my heart if they were negative. It just made sense to me…I had no doubt my flesh (my self) was dross.

But we (believers) have the mind of Christ! (1 Corinthians 2:16b)

Accusation: “you have NO faith!” Answer: “when we are faithless, He will remain faithful, for He cannot disown Himself.” 2 Timothy 2:13 (GRACE)

Accusation: “you are ruining your kids.” Answer: “He will restore what the locusts have eaten.” Joel 2:25 (GRACE)

Accusation: “you will not be free of this.” Answer: “I [God] will deliver you and bring you into a spacious place.” 2 Samuel 22:20 (GRACE)

Accusation: “you are worth nothing.” Answer: “you will lead women in triumphal procession in Christ.” (not me but Christ in and through me~a personal promise given to me that day) 2 Corinthians 2:14,15 (GRACE)

In those years, Jesus sustained me as he refined me from the impurities of my SELF-reliance. I had been a Christian for ten years prior. I had grown in love with Jesus and knowledgeable about scripture. I was leading Bible study and teaching Sunday school when I fell. (FROM GRACE and RELIED on mySELF again).

“He is wooing you from the jaws of distress to a spacious place free from restriction, to the comfort of your table laden with choice food. Job 36:16

Tomorrow I will talk about the Spacious Place

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Break From To-Do and Need-To

This is the air I breathe. Cold air. Frosty likes it, but I find after Christmas I don't so much. I call myself a cold-weather-wimp. But not today! No, I had a date with a friend to go snowshoeing! We made the date long before we knew it was going to be only five degrees outside.

BUT I LOVED it! The sun was brilliant, the air was crisp, the trees held snow from yesterday's powder fall. Not only that, it was pristine listening to the chirp of a chickadee, the whisper of snow letting loose from a branch, falling and then a stop-and-gaze at the bare branches overhead with the sun peeking through.

Stephanie and I went single file through the trail, through the woods, but then walked side by side on the lake allowing us to chat. Girltalk warms my heart and my body was getting plenty warm by this time too! I could feel the working of my legs, I love that feeling. The one you have when you've completed a workout. It's a sweet strain. The feeling of having accomplished. Satisfying.

We climbed into the truck an hour and a half later, continuing our girltalk for another 30 minutes. Two hours away from "to do" and "need to" was a bit of an awakening for me. It seems that I have been lost in that to-do-need-to world since the turn of the year. I have taken small breaks, going to the coffee w/ friends. Visiting my grandbaby. But there was something about being outside. It was different. Somehow the list seems lighter now!

You know what I think it is? I have been missing a fuller revelation of the glory of God! I have been longing for the proclaimation, the voice of the heavens! After having just memorized Psalm 19, much of it while I was running in the autumn air, I have been missing the oneness with His handiwork. It's true!

Verses 1-4 :

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.
There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.

Recharged! Refueled! Renewed!
Now I need to go find myself a pair of snowshoes!