#stickwithit ~ To be Alone

Pikes Peak ALONE

Alone

I admit being on vacation has challenged me with continuing my studies.  However, the first thing I did, upon arrival in CO, was to find a church and the local library.  I knew I would want to at least BOG HOP on Thursday.  I continue to struggle with my online bible study committment, as I have so many things planned –  I might just be “OVER BOOKED”.  So, I am taking the time to #stickwithit and blog hop this evening.

The day began ~ 15 minutes late and then traffic was hung up on 470.  My stomach was in knots from the day before.  I am sure my nerves were getting the best of me.  Would I make it to my destination in time: 30 mins prior to train leaving at 10:40.  The only thing I could do was put it in God’s hands – if it was meant to be it was and if not I was going to miss the train ride to Pikes Peak.  I made it with knots, in my tummy and 10 mins to spare, bought a large bottle of water and pretzels, still hoping my stomach would settle.  Those knots just kept getting tighter and tighter.  I am not sure what my thoughts were, I tried to focus on the moment and enjoy but by the time we reached the summit at 14,110. I was ready to get OFF that mountain top.  I don’t know why, I was so up tight but I knew I needed to take as many pictures as possible and head back to my train seat.  The dizziness and churning were playing havoc with me.  I know part of me was longing to share this experience with someone and not ALONE.  I know I long to have someone special in my life to share these experiences with and to say out loud the ooohhh and the aahhh feelings.  Slowly but for sure, we made it back down the mountain to the station.  As I reflect ~ I was not alone – the entire time I was with my heavenly Father.

I proceeded to my next destination The Garden of the Gods.  I was so impressed by the beauty of the rock formation and the serenity that my stomach started to finally ease up.  I managed to make it back to Littleton before dark and without getting lost ~  all ALONE.  Had I not #stickwithit I would have missed out on an amazing experience to be one with the creator of all!

Alone means: being apart from others; solitary

Solitary means: having no companions

Isaiah 41:10 ESV

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. 

For many reason, I believe this trip was God calling me, to be ALONE.  I know he is challenging me to trust him and lean on him.  It’s about trusting him completely, in the midst of my solitary, knowing he has my hand and will NOT let go.  I need to trust God with every fiber of my being and just #stickwithit.

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#Amazed when God used me!

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There was a moment in my life when, I had all the plans ready to move to Colorado.  I found myself wanting to leave NY and escape the life I had here.  I had always wanted to move out west, since I was a little girl.  My dream was to own a horse ranch and ride when the sun came up and then when it went down.

I had met a very dear person while she attended school here in NY, she happened to be from Colorado. She finished her schooling and went back home to her roots, asking me to come out and visit. Finally, I did and I fell in love with the entire state. There was something that pulled at me and made it feel as if I was truly home.  It was then I decided to start on a quest to move there.  I began to network and search for a job.

I met a man and we became the best of friends.  We talked all the time and I went to visit him several times and he me.  I ended up falling in love with him.  The plan was a “year” I would give myself a year to find a job and move out there.  During our friendship, he revealed to me, his father and he had grown very far apart.  He actually did not even like his father any longer.  We would talk for hours about his reasons and I could see he was hurting deeply, he was an only child.

Then one day, I finally met his father on one of my trips out west.  At first, I was scared and nervous.  I had heard so many things about what was wrong with him and how bad of a person he was, that I expected the worse.  Well, I met him and he was nothing of the sort. He was an older gentlemen, who was very much set in his ways.  He was very strong willed and just like his son.  The two were a pair. They clashed and fought so much because they were exactly alike.  It was uncanning to see this and it became very apparent to me, I needed to mend these two souls.  I didn’t know how but I felt God’s calling.   I wanted more than anything to see these two grown men become a father and son relationship.  A son who could look up to his father and a father who could be proud of his son.  Over the year, I spent time listening and encouraging both of them.  I would ease thoughts into their paths which allowed them to view things slightly different, than what was really happening. For so long, they could not see beyond the hurt, they had lost the love of a father and son.  It did take time and God’s strength and love for me to endure the two of them. But I continued to encourage both of them to see the best in the other, instead of the hurt that was felt.  Then at last, my last visit out west and I could see, the bond becoming stronger, the hurt was finally subsiding.  I was thankful and very grateful to have seen this cherished moment between them.

As the year past, I was suddenly taken by surprise a change in my health.  I prayed and prayed about moving to CO, as I finally had landed a job and had plans to leave in only a few weeks.  Finally, I heard God say, “not today and this is not the path, I want you to take”.  I surrendered completely and did not take the job, the man I had fallen in love with and the dream of moving out west.  I stayed in NY.

As time continued the man and I finally rebuilt our lives without the other and pressed forth on new paths.  We talked but less frequent. Then I got a call, a call to tell me, his father had died of a massive heart attack.  During the year of getting to know his father, I was aware of his heart condition.  This was yet another reason, I felt so urgent in getting their relationship repaired.

I know we have no promises of a tomorrow. I know it is about today and to cherish the day.  I was sad and happy too.  I know God used me in their lives to help repair this bond. Now the son, holds dear memories of his father that last year together.

Ecclesiastes 3:1

‘There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.’ (NIV).

Thank you God for allowing me to be used to bring their relationship back to a bond of a father and son. How amazing it is to know I was God’s plan, I was at the right place at the time in my life to be used for such a rewarding experience.  I was and still continue to be be truly #amazed.

Isaiah 30:21

‘Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, This is the way; walk in it.’ 

Listen you will be #AMAZED !!!

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Last week we discussed how to hear God’s voice by using the 5 filter questions:

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I am still being amazed, how I am hearing God so easily these past few days.  He has touched my heart through prayer, Sunday’s sermon, online bible study and a community of sisters who are sharing and pouring out their words of love and faith.

I continue to use my tools and skills: verse mapping, the 5 filter questions, several versions of the bible, daily devotionals and the online community.

As I was reading my daily devotional and reflecting on my life, I realized how my life was not full.  Sure, I was busy and had many activities to keep me busy but something seemed to be lacking and I could not put my finger on it.  I recall one time saying to a friend, this is it, this is all that there is to life.  I had a husband, a daughter, a home and a good job.  Why did I still feel empty inside?  WOW!  Am I amazed at what I had been missing out on all this time.  I had attended church though-out my youth, as a young mother and again as an older adult.  However, it had been good but not *GREAT*.  Why, I was not listening, I was not reading the word of God, I was not leaning on God, I was not searching for a closer relationship with God. And have I been missing out *BIG* time.  For the first time, I am feeling God’s grace and love being poured out on me.  It’s been there all the time but I just wasn’t truly listening.

As I continue my studies I think of the words: joy, happiness and peace.

joy:  Intense and especially ecstatic or exultant happiness.

happiness: Cheerful; willing

peace: Inner contentment; serenity

By listening and hearing God, I am experiencing an intense willingness of serenity.  Praise God!

I searched on: what does the bible say about joy.

Romans 15:13 ESV 

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

I searched on: what does the bible say about happiness.

          John 15:1-27 ESV

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-dresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. …

I searched on: what does the bible say about peace.

Romans 8:6 ESV

For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.

For me Romans 8:6 fills my heart and soul, knowing the longing I wanted has been with me all of this time but I just didn’t truly listen with all my heart and soul.  Praise God!

To know God is the vine-dresser and takes away all my troubles, worries, sadness and fear.  Just as I am the gardener, of the tree, which needs to be pruned of the dead leaves, blossoms and dead branches. The tree will grow  more beautiful and stronger.  Just as I will grow stronger knowing God is my strength, my love, my joy, my happiness and my desire.  Praise God!

And finally to sum it all up so clearly to me is:

Isaiah 58:10-11 ESV 

If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail

Yes, once again, I am truly AMAZED!

Encouragement ~ YOU can do this!

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It’s Thursday and time to BLOG HOP!!!

As I blog hop this morning, I realize, we all are in need of encouragement.  As a community of sisters, we all need to know a sense of belonging, a sense of being understood and a sense of accomplishment.

With my new study tools, I searched: words of encouragement using the bible.  I read several scriptures and then this stood out to share;

1 THESSALONIANS 5:11 ESV 

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

Searched ~ encourage: To inspire with hope, courage, or confidence; hearten.

How as a community of sisters, can we inspire each other and those that touch our lives to “say yes to God”?

Searched ~ build: To increase or strengthen by adding gradually.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 say clearly to me:  Inspire each other gradually just as you (we) are all doing.

What an amazing insight to know God is using each and every one us to inspire each other gradually to say “yes to God”.

Let us hear each other say, “you can do it”, “you are special”, “you belong here” and “you are loved”.

Just as the picture says to me without any words, cross the bridge one step at a time and you can do it.  I (we) and more importantly above all else, God knows “you can do it”.

Want or Need ~ Need or Want ~ Listen to what God is saying

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I find I am the type of person who wants, wants, wants and does not always wait to hear what God is telling me to do.  I am fairly frugal when it comes to my finances but once in awhile, I get struck with “I WANT THIS NOW” attitude.  I can goes months or even years of managing my funds and then BONK over the top; out of no where, I am stuck in the mode of “I WANT THIS NOW”.  On top of it all, once I am in this mode, nothing changes my mind.  BIG mistake as it usually costs me more in the end.  I wonder how many others are like me.  This has really been a struggle and I decided to say, “yes, to God” I am going to listen to you from now on.  So, how am I going to do this, research and use the tools, I now have available.

Research:

need ~ a condition requiring supply or relief

want ~ To desire greatly; wish for

This tells me, a want is a “wish for” and a need is to supply or relief.  This helps some.  I am old enough to know the difference between a wish and to supply my basic needs (food, shelter, warmth, clothes and a form of transportation).  But how do I learn the difference between a wish or want that is not pleasing to God.

More research ~ I used my book understanding the bible from A to Z.  I looked up money, frugal, need, wants and read several scriptures in three different versions of the Bible.  Nothing was giving me the tug needed to say, yes this helps me until I came upon the word ~ prudent.

Proverbs 22:3  A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions.    The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.  (New Living Translation)

This pulled at my heart strings.  I know how to be frugal but prudent is a whole new way of looking at wants or wishes.  Here it is, I am being told clearly by the Word of God ~ if I go blindly on a WISH be prepared to suffer the consequences.  Frankly, I don’t think it could be any clearer.

Thank you, God for the tools, I have to understand what you have intended for me.  Let me listen and hear you, when I need to say “yes to God” and “no, I don’t need this, I only want/wish this”.

May I continue to seek out your word and your ways, as I journey through the life you have designed just for me.