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Archive for October, 2011

I Call You Blessed

It was a year ago.

I woke up that morning fighting with my thoughts, as I always woke up fighting with them.  

Sometimes I struggled to overcome fears regarding our finances…
sometimes I shrank from the seemingly impossible amount of tasks to accomplish that day…
sometimes there were nightmares to be shaken off…or memories of the past.
That morning it was about one of our children.

I woke up heavy-hearted and fought the concerns and mother-guilt that seemed to have a “season pass” to my soul.

Why?” I cried out loud—loud enough to wake Reb,  (I was in turmoil…maybe he would have the answer.  Certainly he shouldn’t be sleeping through it!).

Why do I wake up fighting every morning? God is amazing, He holds the planets in His hand and sees to the depth of the ocean.  He is good and loving; He sent His Son for me. Why don’t I just wake up with ‘Good morning Father,  I kiss You this morning’.  But no, I wake up battling for the truth every day; pulling up scriptures as a shield to my thoughts.  I roll out of bed to start the day,  wading amidst the sludge of my mind, eventually breaking through to praise and gratefulness.

After all of these years, why I am still fighting this?”

My dear blurry-eyed Reb answered as only was wise to answer, “I don’t know babe, but let’s look at the Word.” So he opened the Bible and it fell to John 20:27-29.

Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands.  Reach out your hand and put it into my side.  Stop doubting and believe.”

Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

As Reb was reading, I sensed the Lord embrace me, saying, “You have never seen Me, and yet you believe”.

My heart responded, “But I falter, and I struggle everyday to remember and to believe.”

His encouragement persisted.  “ You have never seen Me, and yet you believe in Me.  You don’t stop believing in Me.  You fall, but you get up, go on; you believe and won’t stop.  I call you blessed.” 

I was amazed!  Here I was in the throws of my weakness, and Jesus called me blessed!

Seriously, Lord, You are O.K. with this…this train wreck?”

I call you blessed.”

Well then, if I know I am not wounding Your heart, and I have to struggle every day of my life, then O.K., I will fight this as long as I live, and I will believe.”

I call you blessed.”

Tears of relief flooded me.  I could fight this fight as long as I knew I had His smile.

The next morning, before my eyes were open, before I even knew I was awake, I heard the words coming from my mouth, “Good morning Father, I kiss You”.  This has been the response of my soul every morning since then. Why, I wonder, after so many years, is that heaviness finally broken?

As my Reb said, “I don’t know, let’s look at the Word.”

Lamentations 3: 24-26.  I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”  The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD. 

This I know.  I no longer wake up assessing the day to see if I am equal to it. I wake to the truth that I am loved by my Father, and that He calls me blessed. 

Do you believe in Him today?

Have you ever seen Him?

Jesus says of you…

“I call you blessed” 

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The Big Rocks

{40} But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way. {33} For God is not a God of disorder but of peace. 1 Corinthians 14:40,33

I am home this morning after 12 days of traveling. My mind is filled with the people I have met and the places where I have been honored to minister. Three days in St. Louis, Missouri, where Reb and I poured out our hearts to families regarding what it means to enjoy the grace of God in our own lives, so that we may give it to our marriages and our children. There I bonded with several ladies who have invited me back for a women’s retreat in the spring.

A few days later I woke up in the beautiful hills of East Texas, where a hundred women gathered to “Rest in the Lord.” (By the way, the CD’s of this precious weekend are entitled “Rest for Your Soul” and are available at the Family Ministries website:www.familyministries.com

At the retreat there were late night conversations, times of prayer and releasing with many of these sisters; and new friendships were made. While in San Antonio, I was also able to present a one-evening seminar, speak to a homeschool support group, and engage in several one-on-one counseling times. Before I flew out, I met with leaders to plan return visits next year.

So here I sit at my computer this morning, a little jet-lagged and greeted by a hundred thoughts of what I must do to follow-up on these new relationships and commitments. And I am pondering what I must do to reconnect with my family here at home, as well as catch up on a goliath list of things that need my attention. There would have been a time I just crawled back into bed.

But what I want to share with you this morning is a new way of perceiving and walking-out my days. Last month I sat down with a dear friend who helped me prayerfully lay out the values and goals of my life. From there we looked at the reality of a 24-hour day and a 7-day week. The things that were most important to me were placed on the calendar first.

An hour of reading the word, listening to the Lord and writing down here in this Blog the things that He has put on my heart. Time to exercise. Setting up a healthy eating routine and menu. Marking off the three mornings a week that I have for so long “intended “ to help Reb in the Family Ministries office, and making them non-negotiable. Placing on the calendar intentionally spending time with my two teenagers still at home, and not assuming I would connect with them just because they live here. In addition to that, making the spending of time with my four adult children a weekly commitment rather than the “I wish I had time to know what was going on in their lives” lament.

From there the rest fell into place. Certain hours of each day relegated to household chores, working in my garden, appointments, answering e-mails, and so on, rather than cramming these things into whatever holes in my day I could find, and thereby moving to the side, AGAIN, the things that I really held most dear.

Have you ever heard the story about a great reward offered to a certain village? All that was required was that someone fit several large rocks, a dozen smaller rocks, a pile of sand and a bucket of water into a large container given them. Though many tried, no one could make it all fit, until one wise man showed them how. Simply by placing the largest rocks in first, then the smaller ones, then the sand and lastly the water, it all fit. Nothing was left over.

The secret: the largest rocks first.

The large container is this day before you.  What are your rocks?

This may sound very simple, but it is bringing great peace to my life. I have found that so many of the problems that I face, like many of the women I talk to, are rooted in a life out-of-order.

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:5

Blessings,

I’m off to exercise


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Oxygen.

I fly a lot. As a matter of fact, as I speak, I am sitting in the St. Louis airport. I just found out that my Southwest flight is delayed…2 hours! My Reb just boarded his plane heading home and I am waiting for my flight to San Antonio where I will be speaking at a women’s retreat next week. As I watched Reb walk down the walkway, I realized anew how much I love that man and how he is my dearest friend. I thought about the years of busyness and distraction and how often Reb got lost in the shuffle. And sitting here in the airport a thought struck me.

 

Like I said, I fly a lot, and next to the  fascinating  instructions as to how to buckle a seat belt, what I have heard a hundred times is “in the unlikely event of a loss of cabin pressure, masks will drop in front of you. If you are traveling with a child, please fasten your air mask first, be sure you have a steady flow of oxygen and then assist the child you are traveling with. Sounds simple enough.

 

But picture yourself in the scenario.

 

The plane is in chaos, it is getting difficult to breath. Air masks are dropping from the ceiling, your child is crying, and you and your husband are supposed to calmly put on your air masks, be sure you have a steady flow of oxygen, and then turn to take care of your child….Really?

I suppose we could all answer that it is logical that if you didn’t take care of your oxygen supply first, that you and your child and your husband could all end up unconscious.  I suppose we could all agree on that logically…but, really?

And so I pondered. (I did mention I have 2 hours here?) Is this what happened in the early years of my parenting? When things got chaotic and it started getting difficult to breath, did I focus on the children first, to be certain that every detail of their lives were covered and in order? Was my primary goal to instinctively check their “steady flow of oxygen”?  Or did I check to be sure that Reb and I were still breathing?

My dear friends, these children of ours are a gift from God…for a season. (And after watching 4 of my 6 children grow up and leave our home, I am keenly aware of how brief that season actually is). But these husbands of ours are a covenant relationship for a lifetime. Let us be very certain that our ears are attuned to the Captain of this flight, and if in fact we are “traveling with children”, that when the flight gets bumpy we take care to be sure that there is a steady flow of oxygen for our husbands and ourselves, lest we all end up unconscious.

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Praise Report

(This is a precious email that we received recently…)

Hi Beverly!

I don’t know if you remember me or not.  I spoke with you at the home school conference.  I came up to you after one of your workshops and talked to you about some difficulties I was having in my marriage.  You told me that I was “Princess Amanda”

(Bev inserts: Princess Amanda is from In the wonderful children’s books: “Tales of the Kingdom” in which the princess hides a forbidden dragon’s egg because she sees it as safe to harmless”, but in time it grows and turns on her) .

Well… I’ve been wanting to email you for a while now.  I  wanted you to know that I think of you all the time.  I don’t have the words to tell you just how pivotal that day, your workshops in particular and especially the conversation we had afterward, was in my life.

God spoke through you straight to me that day, and rescued me from a very dangerous situation.  I’m ashamed to admit it now, but my plans for those two days at the conference was very different.  I had two days when no one would question my whereabouts, where I didn’t have to check in with anyone… and I had plans to leave the conference.  I praise God, and I’m telling you it was a miracle, that I didn’t go through with that.  I took your advice regarding my husband… and I haven’t looked back.

Since then, God has done some amazing things.  He has been with me every step of the way.  He is changing my heart and my husband’s too… in ways that I never thought I would see.  And the best thing has been… that I can pray again.  For so long, I wanted to pray, I wanted to hear something from Him, anything.  And it just didn’t work.  I was trying to hold on to God with one hand and my sin in the other, and it just wouldn’t work.  Until I got to the point where I was desperate to hear from Him.  I don’t ever want to feel that distance from my Lord and Savior ever again.  It is the absolute worst.

I just wanted you to know that the kindness you showed me that day meant so much to me and was so unexpected.  When I came up to you, my intention was to encourage you and to tell you that your words had pierced my heart.  I never thought you would take the time, with the busy schedule of the day and so much going on, to talk to me and to really care what happened in my life.  Thank you so much.

I have been so looking forward to your new seminar ever since I heard about it.  My husband and I will both be there, and I’m so excited.  I can’t wait to see what God does.  I am praying for you both, that God would protect you and bless you and your family.  And I would love to say hello and give you a hug.  I hope to get a chance.

Well I guess that’s all.  Oh!  One other thing… I have been reading the Tales of the Kingdom series with my kids and we are all loving it!  We’re just about to start book 3.  Thank you for recommending them.  And you were right on the money about Princess Amanda…. I was her.  It starts off small and seemingly harmless… until it becomes something that will destroy you.

Thank you again!  God bless you!  Take care and I hope to talk to you soon.

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