Archive for July, 2013

Making The Most Of Today

Posted: July 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

Sometimes there are moments in life that we find ourselves questioning Gods role in our life. Those nights we eagerly await resting our head on the pillow for a rest away from the chaos that surrounds us while we are awake. Those mornings that we realize we really don’t want to face the uncertainties that lie ahead.

How do we trust God when we can barely trust our sanity to make the right choices when the storm around us rages?

Steve and I are still camping out in my parents condo. When we first decided to put our house on the market, I was in the middle of a few ministry opportunities – each requiring a move of some sort. Steve had no job leads and it just felt freeing to let the house go so we could obviously respond to Gods lead. Then July 1st hit and we closed on our house while I was lying in the hospital. Suddenly, the opportunities I once thought were so certain, seemed so far away. Suddenly, we felt homeless, confused and in many ways…alone.

Yet, could it be that God is using this time, this day as our defining moment?

What if we choose to believe that He is still in control, even when it is so hard to feel His peace?

What if we not only choose to believe but act daily, regardless of our circumstances that God still loves and delights in His children?

With this, our eyes see life a bit differently.

Suddenly, every second we have together as a family is so precious.
Every meal spent together is memorable.
That television show is so not important anymore.
Realizing your oldest is heading off to kindergarten, you cherish this time God has given you before his life is overtaken by school.
You re-examine your role as a mom
You re-examine what is important to you…and your family
You realize where you call home isn’t as important as who you share your home with.

In the past few days, I’ve been walking great without a cane. In fact, I made it through an unintended 2 mile hike with all 3 boys today! I should have another follow-up next week, but it feels good to be mobile again! I’m still taking it slow, but so grateful for this time God has given me to slow-down, have the freedom to consider other opportunities and simply relax (as much as can be expected) with our family as a whole.

Though I’m still keeping my ministry radar aglow, we are focusing on Steve’s employment opportunities. We will see where God is leading our family, one step at a time.

Yet…I choose to believe He has our family right where He wants us, in this very moment. We will make the most of every day we are given!

No matter where you are today, remember this day, this hour, this minute is a gift for you from Him. He has you exactly where you need to be…keep focused and make the most of this day for Him.
This is the day The Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalms 118:24 NLT)

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Trust Me, Do Not Be Afraid

Posted: July 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

The past few days, I’ve felt the idea of “trust” present itself in so many ways…it’s crazy. I believe God truly believes I have ADD, it seems like when I finally understand the lesson He has been trying to show me, I look back and notice His obvious attempts to get my attention…and my “blazing too fast to care” lifestyle just completely missed the obvious. Ever been there?

I recently completed Tracie Miles book “Stressed-Less Living” and the theme that really resigned with me was our need to fully trust God. It makes sense…

If we fully trust God to be Who He has promised us in His Word that He would be, we would not need to hinge under the added stress of fear.
if we fully trust God to be Who He has promised us in His Word that He would be, we would openly define ourselves as His Child before any other role.
if we fully trust God to be Who He has promised us in His Word that He would be, we would literally live in these promises God has clearly outlined time and time (and time and time and time and time….) again in His Word.

Tracie Miles suggested an activity that I actually made the time to complete! I know…I’m proud of myself too! And guess what? It has helped me build my trust in Him during the chaos of this uncertain time in the life of our family.

Personalize Gods Truth. Believe Gods Promises. Live a life built on trust in HIM.

Here is my Truths so far…

Bethany, I carry your burdens everyday. Psalms 68:19

You can know and depend on the love that I have for you Bethany. 1 John 4:16

You can trust in my faithfulness, Bethany, because My Word is true. Psalms 33:4

If you enter in my rest, Bethany, you will find rest from all you are striving. Hebrews 4:9-10

My spirit will help you in your weakness Bethany. Romans 8:26

You can rest in My love, Bethany, for I have power to save you. Zephaniah 3:17

I will meet your every need, Bethany, through the eternal riches in Jesus Christ. Philippians 4:19

I will be the Voice for you Bethany, guiding you in the way you should go. Isaiah 30:21

Bethany I will give you the power to know the vastness of My immeasurable love. Ephesians 3:17-19

Bethany, I will make My home in your heart as you trust in Me. Your roots will grow down into My love and keep you strong. And Bethany, you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep My love is. May you experience My love, though it is too great to understand fully. Then Bethany you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from Me. (Ephesians 3:17-19 NLT)

Trust in the Lord with all of your heart Bethany, and I will guide you. Proverbs 3:5-6

Come close to me Bethany and I will come close to you. James 4:8

I prepared a Kingdom inheritance for you, Bethany, when I created the world. Matthew 25:34

I am with you Bethany, and I will help you because I am your God Isaiah 41:10

My promise of life is for you and your family Bethany. Acts 2:39

Reach out, and you will touch me, for I am not far from you Bethany. Acts 17:27

Commit all that you do for Me, Bethany, and your plans will be successful. Proverbs 16:3

You can trust in Me, Bethany, for I am your strength and your song. Isaiah 12:2

I will never abandon you Bethany. Hebrews 13:5

If you wait for Me Bethany, I will work on your behalf. Isaiah 64:4

An eternal crown awaits you at the finish line Bethany. 1 Corinthians 9:24-25

I am near to you whenever you cry out Bethany. Deuteronomy 4:7

I will keep watch over you Bethany, and guard you forever. Psalms 12:7

My love will never fail you Bethany. 1 Corinthians 13:8

Call on Me Bethany, when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you. Psalms 91:15

When problems arise, Bethany, call to Me and I will answer you. Psalms 86:7

The good things I have planned for you Bethany are too many to count. Psalms 40:5

For you, Bethany, are honored in My eyes. I, your God, am your strength. Isaiah 49.5

I will protect and carry you Bethany, all the days of your life. Isaiah 46:4

Though the mountains vanish, Bethany, my unending love will never leave you. Isaiah 54:10

Ask me for wisdom Bethany and I will generously give it to you. James 1:5

Bethany, I have a special plan and purpose for your life. Seek hope in Me. Jeremiah 29:11

Bethany, have I not commanded you to be strong and courageous? Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged because Bethany, I the Lord will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9

Bethany love Me – love Me with all of your heart, with all of your soul, with all of your mind and with all of your strength. Mark 12:30

Bethany, I am Your God and you can forever praise me. Seek me in the morning and learn to walk in My ways. Step by step, Bethany, I will guide you so you can follow me all of your days. Psalms 119

Bethany, don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let Me transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know My will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:2 NLT)

Bethany, hold on to the confession of your hope without wavering, because I am the One who made those promises – and I am reliable. (Hebrews 10:23 CEB)

Fearing people is a dangerous trap Bethany, but trusting Me means safety. (Proverbs 29:25 NLT)

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So Bethany, don’t be troubled or afraid. (John 14:27 NLT)

So Bethany, say with confidence, “The L ord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6 NLT)

Bethany, don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For I have said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” (Hebrews 13:5 NLT)

No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For Bethany, I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you. (Joshua 1:5 NLT)

Don’t worry about anything; instead Bethany, pray about everything. Tell Me what you need, and thank Me for all I have done. Then Bethany, you will experience My peace, which exceeds anything you can understand. My peace will guard your heart and mind as you live in Me. (Philippians 4:6, 7 NLT)

Whom have you in heaven, Bethany, but Me? You desire Me more than anything on earth. Bethany, your health may fail, and your spirit may grow weak, but I will remain the strength of your heart; I am yours forever. (Psalms 73:25, 26 NLT)

Your turn…

As-Is To As HIS

Posted: July 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

I’m a very practical person, just ask my husband Steve. I want my time to count, every conversation taking me from somewhere and getting me to an end goal (even if it is getting to know someone better by learning their story). I make shopping lists, to-do lists, lists of book ideas I want to accomplish, lists of places I want to visit…I even use this blog to track where I’ve been and frankly what God is doing in my life.

But has this blog ever answered the obvious question – “How does one get from a life that is “as-is” to a life living as His?

Am I the author living a life truly as HIS? Well, I try, but by no means would I ever declare, “I’ve arrived! I am fully living a complete life as HIS Child…no more trouble over here!” Even reading that back to myself is kinda ridiculous. Yet, I do feel like God has taken me from a life concerned completely about how others saw my life and purpose and has transformed my life definition to being His child – living up to His expectations and coming to an understanding of His immeasurable love.

What would your life look like through His eyes? Can you imagine? Can you just stop, right now and ask yourself…what does God see when He looks at me?

Have you ever bought anything “as-is”? Our family makes frequent stops to our local Goodwill…especially for the boys play clothes that never seem to last too long without literally coming back in shreds. Recently, I’ve been astounded at the clothes I’ve found with tags still attached! Excitedly, I throw my few dollars down, take these amazing finds home and share my wise shoppers glee with my kids. And then they actually try them on…buyers remorse. The shirt is too short, the pants are too long, a button is missing, a zipper won’t zip, the butt shows too much junk in the trunk, a pocket is missing, a hole is found, a thread is unraveling, the logo is mis-spelled, the logo is selling something not appropriate for my kid or best of all…my kid hates my sense of taste.

So, I take these amazing finds back to the store and demand that these imperfections be corrected, pronto.

Ummmm….no.

Why?

Because I agree to purchase these items “as-is” – meaning “Buyer beware. There is something wrong here somewhere. You might not find it right away, but we guarantee one thing for sure…you will find that imperfection when you least expect it! Oh and by the way, when you do find that hole, missing pocket, broken zipper…yea, don’t come crying back to us! You’ve been warned! But we will gladly trade you for another item of equal or lesser value “as-is” applies.”

What items have you purchased “as-is”? We trade cars in “as-is.” (Just ask the dealerships!). We just sold our house “as-is” (for a reason too). My husband amazes me at his bargaining power at retail stores, purchasing the floor model “as-is” but includes the warranty (hence our grill and my fire pit birthday gift a few years ago).

When buying these “as-is” items, we, the buyer, take a huge risk, don’t we? We chance the reality of the item not working correctly or functioning as long as expected. We know our hard earned money is going out on a chance for something that could leave us in a loss in the end…but we take that chance anyway. Want proof? Just ask EBay, Craig’s-List and the millions of people that invade our yard sales here in Florida…

Yet, not a million years ago, but just over 2000 years ago, God looked at you my friend and saw an investment He was willing to take to offer His hand in a relationship that could change your life. He saw your imperfections a mile away…He made you after all. He saw the bruises your self-esteem had endured, the lies you had been told, the jobs you lost, the friendships you broke, the lies you told, the waste of time you spent, the darkness of your thoughts and the sharpness of your words. In fact, He knew full well the cost of that “as-is” tag flapping in the aroma of our sin…yet, you were worth the cost to Him. You were worth the cost of Jesus’ journey to this earth, climb to the cross, wounds of death and a glorified resurrection. You, “as-is” we’re worth that to Him.

And here’s the best part…

Not only did He purchase us “as-is” – He actually wants to use us, through our imperfections, to be a part of His amazing story. Hence, through Him every mess is a Message…every test truly becomes a testimony to His grace and power.

Thus, all together now…

“Bought As-Is And Used As His.

A really amazing passage that I have adapted as my life message, basically walks us through this “As-Is To As HIS” transformation…

Bethany, I will make My home in your heart AS you trust in Me. Your roots WILL grow down into My love and keep you strong. And Bethany, you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep My love is. May you experience My love, though it is too great to understand fully. THEN Bethany you WILL BE MADE complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from Me. (Ephesians 3:17-19 NLT)

Did you catch the wording??
AS you trust (an active process)
WILL grow down (not immediately, but through time)
God knows we have flaws. Becoming His is a process…but steps we are taking slowly with Him…with all of our “as-is” flapping in the breeze…

When we accept His love and view ourselves through His love, defining our role as His child…

THEN you WILL BE MADE complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from Me. AKA Then God can fully use you as His…and watch out world!!

So, where are you in this scenario? Sometimes I feel like I’m suffering from an identity crisis because I forget who I am first…before all of my other worldly titles. Sometimes those dang “as-is” tags blind my view of that “Paid In Full” receipt. Sometimes, I don’t feel used by Him, but simply used up by the world.

That’s when I head back to Ephesians 3:17-19 and other amazing Truths God has brought into my life.

So…in case you need reminded…God loves you. You truly were purchased with an ultimate price so that you can have a relationship with Him. If you have accepted this relationship, you are His and nothing can ever change that…but only you have the choice to allow Him to use you for His story.

That’s why this blog is here…it’s a way I feel God has called me to be used as His. I know my life is a mess…He transforms it into a message. Most of the time I’m simply along for the ride…holding tight to Him through the twists and turns. I have my share of “as-is” moments…wondering “Where is God and what is He doing?” Then He shows me, I’m blown away and we do it all over again.

Thanks for sharing in my journey and sharing your stories with me.

…and here we go!

Thank You

Posted: July 5, 2013 in Uncategorized
Perhaps I should continue my #blessed post here…I’m just floored with the outpouring of love for our family right now!
But before I get to that, a quick update – I got home around 4pm yesterday. We are still living out of boxes here in many ways! I was able to borrow a walker from the church and my electric scooter will soon be getting repaired at Brownings…if not today, by Monday. We went driving in search of fireworks last night and I’ve got to admit, it was a blast! Steve piled the boys up in the van, I wobbled out and off we went. As we drove the boys were pointing out fireworks from every angle in the van. The humor increased when Steve parked and it seemed like the fireworks would stop or go behind a tree. The boys only somewhat cared…nothing a YouTube video of fireworks couldn’t cure :). It was so much fun…un-planned, so-not-perfect family fun. I made it to bed around 11pm “ish” and got up this morning around 11am. As I write, I believe everyone but Steve are still sporting their pajamas! 
I also wanted to say THANKS to…
Rich Plew – For helping to coordinate our move out of the house, helping Steve clean the house after the move, checking on me at the hospital…seriously, you need a break! You mean so much to our family…thank you!! 
Sean Messer, the Nash Family, Conway Huie – You all were a lifesaver helping Steve move all of our stuff into storage and to the condo. I can’t thank you enough for simply giving of your time and energy to help get everything moved and organized. 
Terri Messer – thanks for taking on all three boys for Friday through Sunday so that Steve could focus on moving and cleaning! You even brought the boys by the hospital to see me which meant SO much!!! Josh won’t stop talking about all the fun he had with you! THANKS!!!
Beth and McCall Martin and Julie Wattwood – Beth got me to the hospital while McCall was along for the ride! They stayed with me most of Thursday…about 8 hours!!! Julie brought by dinner for them and got me smiling. Love you all! Thanks for being there! 
Kay Plew – you helped me get to my doctors to try to determine what was going on. You also are the “un-official” smoothie delivery service! Thanks for helping Steve pack-up the house!!! You were a HUGE help and encouragement!!
Rich and Kay Plew, Terri Messer, the Nash Family, Lynn Ozment, Melissa Harmon, Pam Plymale, Dana Lusardi, Dorrinda Schultz, Beth Martin, McCall Martin, Morgan Hallett, Cheryl Smith – I think I got everyone who came down to visit me in the hospital! My nurse staff actually had a running joke on where my next smoothie would come from! By the end of my stay I had a plant, 5 smoothies from 3 different places and a grilled chicken wrap! :). It never seemed to fail, the second I started to feel discouraged, people…my friends, would show-up and just renew my strength. You all are amazing! 
Lynn Ozment – you gave me a ride home and waited forever for my wheelchair assist to get going at the hospital! Thank you for the fun drive!! 
So now comes the fun part of physical therapy, adjusting to life in a new place and cranking-up the prayers for Steve to get a job. Right now the only “to-do” on my list is rest and recover. I have a feeling with our amazing friends and family surrounding us, the future almost predicts itself! 
Here we go! 

Bethany, I have a special plan and purpose for your life. Seek hope in Me.  Jeremiah 29:11

Happy 4th

Posted: July 4, 2013 in Uncategorized
Well congrats to me…today marks my 1 week anniversary of entering the hospital. Coincidentally, it’s also the 4th of July. It’s still early here, breakfast rounds are still out…oh joy…
I’ve made tremendous progress over the last day or so. Yesterday, by far, was my greatest day of improvement. I made it 400 steps using my walker…100 steps each before taking a break! I’m starting to build my self confidence back-up, allowing my to try new things. My fluids were finally ordered to stop yesterday…I was on a constant IV fluid drip since I was admitted. This means I now, finally, have the ability to maintain my own fluid level again! After a week, I’m glad to see all of these steps moving forward. I refuse to just be in one place…I strive for goals and I have to feel like I’m going somewhere. 
I have my primary care agreeing to send me home. Physical therapy (though slightly reluctant) is ok with my heading home (working on getting a walker and my power scooter fixed). Because my health insurance loves me so much, they are making me meet my deductible before they will help cover any PT. in other words, I’m trying to make other arrangements. Praying something works quickly. 
I’m simply waiting on neurology to let me go home. Praying they will say yes and let me roll (literally). I’d love to be back home tonight in time to go outside with the boys and look for the fireworks in the sky. Our lives are so much like fireworks you know…we get blasted into existence, we get a short time to make life into what we can and then we fade away. With God, we stand out from the duds that think they can make a boom on their own. Funny thing is, God has the greatest Grand Finale of them all…don’t miss it!! 
Happy 4th!! 
A THOUGHT ABOUT FREEDOM:

“Addressing the issue of inside chatter will lead us to freedom. Not just freedom from negative things like doubt and insecurities, confusion and suspicion. But freedom to pour out love on others. Freedom to think clearly. Freedom to obey God’s call on our lives no matter what others think. Our thoughts really matter.” ~ Unglued, by Lysa TerKeurst

If you enter in my rest, Bethany, you will find rest from all you are striving.  Hebrews 4:9-10

Update

Posted: July 3, 2013 in Uncategorized

I’ve been getting a lot of emails and calls, so I thought I would just post what’s going on in one place.

I’ve been in the hospital since Thursday, but Im feeling better now. I was brought in because I was so sick, I was not very responsive. I’d not been feeling well and after a few doctor visits, I was told it was a bad stomach bug, with an ear-infection and just being stressed. I still didn’t feel right and to the ER I went Thursday.

I was pretty much drained of energy and struggling to keep fluids down Thursday through Saturday. I literally ate and slept. I didn’t know where my phone was…AND I DIDN’T CARE! (Yes, it was that bad).

When the team tried getting me up to walk, my legs continued to be weak. I’ve been working with physical therapy here in the hospital, but will continue after I get released (tomorrow hopefully). I told them I would stay today to investigate steroid treatment.

Drs are saying cyst rupture and CSF leak started an infection which escalated my headaches. With my added travel, stress and constant going…my body wasn’t able to battle it off. I also had a severe dehydration, severe middle ear infection (Mis-diagnosed twice) and a stomach bug. Combined with the rapid introduction of an intense beta blocker, sleeping aides and amoxicillin as a very poor antibiotic – my body went into a bit of shock. It was a crazy week I choose not to relive.

So.. We are doing ok. Steve and an amazing crew got us moved out of the house and we closed right here in the hospital. Steve has been taking the last few days to just find things and reorganize our temporary “home.” We are staying at my parents condo until we can figure out next steps.

Many have asked how they can help. I ask you to ask Steve right now until I am released. Once I get “home” Im sure our needs will be made known quickly. In other words, we love you – keep asking!!

This is the promise I’ve been clinging to over these past few days…
Call on Me Bethany, when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you. Psalms 91:15

Praying for Him to bring peace and guide our steps.