Archive for August, 2013

My #YesToGod Prayer

Posted: August 29, 2013 in Uncategorized

I’m already on chapter 6? Seriously? “What Happens When Women Say Yes To God” – they change the world…that’s what!

I’m not sure about you, but my mornings are anything but graceful…or grateful! My evenings are filled with jolted thinking, the lights are “on” and for me, it takes a bit more than a pillow to keep my wheels from turning. In fact, my best writing has been done in the late night – early morning literally looking into the moonlight.

But the morning…regardless of the amount of sleep I get, they are so hard! The boys wake me up…sometimes saying “Cockadoodledoo mommy!” Louder than even the fattest rooster could belch…most likely at a higher pitch too. Other times I’m greeted with one or two flying little Spider-Man mid-air before they make contact…I think they’ve seen mommy run to the bathroom too many times to use that greeting much anymore.

Perhaps mornings are hard because mentally I have a fresh, new list of chores to do, errands to run, businesses to run, calls to make, jobs to start, incompletesd tasks looming from yesterday and shoot…if I don’t even make it out of bed before checking my email and Facebook! Seriously?!

Funny…I realized how self-centered I am from the get-go and how God-centered I can become at night. It’s almost as if a switch in my brain clicks on when my husband heads to bed that I can finally relax in Gods arms!

Why haven’t I allowed myself to START my day in HIS arms? After all, that’s where I started…that’s where I’ve been, that’s where I want to remain.

HIS WORDS to me this week…
Even before He made the world, God loved you, Bethany, and chose you in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. God decided in advance to adopt you into His own family by bringing you to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure. (Ephesians 1:4, 5 NLT)

Wait…

Even before the world came into existence, God LOVED me? Yes.

But I didn’t cross off my “To-Do” list yet…
But I didn’t tell my kids I loved them yet…
But I didn’t have time to really talk to You…
Shoot…You loved me naked, not even able to feed myself?

Yes.

And AFTER planning me and my life, then He started His to-do list…you know…just errands like creating the world, saving the world and making a place for us in Heaven… (and ya thought you had a lot going on today!).

God told me…little, busy, thinking I can take on the world queen ant….the God of the Universe, Creator of live, Author of life, our Abba Father spent time claiming us BEFORE doing anything else! That sets us apart from everything in this world! We are His!

It hit me…ending the day in His arms isn’t enough. Talking with Him during the day, even smiling when I feel His presence…that’s not enough either.
I need to start in Him, with Him so I can live through Him and for Him.

Perhaps my morning prayer would go a bit like this…
Abba Daddy,
You loved me before I loved myself. I give over everything on my list to you right now . I have my selfish agenda for today and I need You to be my calendar, wreck my plans and show Me what I can do with You today. Help me to remind myself when my schedule changes…and it will…that You are in control and to see Your opportunities throughout this day. I don’t want to do life my way today. Please use me today. I am Yours.

Ok…so we will give this a shot here in a few hours…. Team huddle…3-2-1 BREAK!!

Goodnight!

#YesToGod
#StickWithIt

EDIT – Made it out of bed, got the kids to school and THEN realized I forgot this prayer today! Ok…I’m setting a reminder on my phone! I will get this down!!

The Word Is A Weapon

Posted: August 22, 2013 in Uncategorized

This post is a part of the week 3 Blog Hop by Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Study. We are currently going through Lysa’s book – “When Women Say Yes To God.” more info at http://www.proverbs31.org

My question I wanted to TACKLE this week (Can you tell I’m at home with all boys?) – Choose one of the Scriptures found in chapter 4 and share what it means to you.

_____________

God’s Words-

Lord, You have planted me, and I have taken root and prospered. Your name is on my lips, but You are far from my heart. (Jeremiah 12:2 NLT)

Bethany, instead, you must worship Me as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. (1 Peter 3:15 NLT)

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)

I would love to leave my blog post just with His words. In all fairness, anything I even attempt to add at this point cannot touch His words right there. It goes straight to the heart, doesn’t it?

The subtitle of chapter 4 is, “He must be Lord of all if He is to be Lord at all.”

No “buts.”
No “ors”

The God of the Universe, the Creator of your body, the very One that destined you for this moment…the One Who knew you would stumble upon this little blog post…that One wants to be the Number One, the Only One in your life…PERIOD.

Bethany, instead, you must worship Me as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. (1 Peter 3:15 NLT)

I read this verse a few weeks ago and immediately followed it up with the word “but…”. Funny thing, God stopped my tongue and my mind (and if you know me, the tongue often preludes mental activity).

I was sitting in a recliner in the darkness of night, basking in the glow if the moon. I had returned from my latest hospital stay and I was trying to get used to my new surroundings.

In the period of 2 weeks…
I lost the primary function of my legs, unexpectedly (believed to be the vast medications I was on in conjunction with my high stress level)
We sold our house – both my husband and I were looking for jobs
We had no clue where we were moving to – nobody was willing to accept a family with no income
I had been on 6 planes for various ministry interviews (that’s within this time frame only)

In the darkness that night, I sat there beyond confused. I had gone from being a full-time children’s and family minister to un-identified. My circumstances made absolutely no sense to me. I felt as if God tripped somewhere when He was carrying me – no way was I sitting in this chair, up late…again.

But I was.

But even during my fight with CIDP, brain cancer, a pacemaker and GBS – I still had my calling…or perhaps, a title. I was still “Bethany Boring – Children’s and Family Minister.” I was working for God, helping out a church and finally connected with a real church family. This family sat with me in the hospital, brought me to and from appointments, helped with the kids, helped us move into our first home (and helped us move out too)…I had people to call at 2am that wouldn’t hang-up until I was ready. I was proud to have my title. I was proud to have such an amazing church family.

But finances could not keep my position – my title going. Yes, we still have this amazing church family, but that title that once defined me, my purpose…my foundation…that identity was gone.

Why? Why would God take that away?

But He didn’t stop there…

During my last hospital stay, one of my key doctors – Dr A paid me a visit. There is truly no other place to run when you are literally connected to IV machines. Ill never forget the look on his face when he looked me in the eyes and asked, “Bethany, are you trying to kill yourself?”

I smiled…he has a weird sense of humor.

But then he asked again.

“Of course not – why?” I exclaimed as my heart rate monitor started blaring…

“Because if you don’t stop doing what you are doing you will kill yourself. That’s it…no buts there.”

I wish there were buts…

I could have accepted a few butts even at that moment…

But no, I was greeted with silence. I knew he was being truthful. I knew that the doctors would take away any chance of me returning to a normal job…and I was asked to actually follow their directions this time.

Greeted again in the darkness, in a place that was not my house (my husband had packed our house and moved while I was in the hospital…we were camping out at my parents vacation condo until we figured out where to go). The glow of spit-up running down my arm from our youngest seemed to sum up my reality…

I couldn’t even get up…my legs wouldn’t let me
I can’t even hold my baby
I can’t play with my kids
Every time I feel like I get better, I end up back here
I’m no longer a minister
I’m a wife and mom
I can’t even do those roles right now…

God, why did You take me out of ministry?

I felt His answer that made me feel like a dramatic junior high girl complaining about unfairness…

“Who told you I was taking you out of ministry? Bethany, you need to refocus. I’m simply changing your role.”

But I’m not comfortable…

As if the manger was comfortable.
As if the stormy waters were comfortable.
As if the cross was comfortable.

Yea…I don’t think God is calling me to be comfortable.

Lord, You have planted me, and I have taken root and prospered. Your name is on my lips, but You are far from my heart. (Jeremiah 12:2 NLT)

My identity was in my title. I felt honored to work for the King. I loved seeing my name on the website, in the bulletin…good old’ Bethany, working for Him even when things get rough.

But God saw my heart and realized I needed an identity makeover. For me, that usually means forcing me to stop.

Brain cancer failed to stop me. Hello…it was time to take away my title…and my road to gaining a title like that elsewhere…for this moment.

My heart was broken that night. I felt useless, abandoned, alone.

Yet God whispered a Truth that I needed to hear and accept..

Bethany – you are My Child.

I remember sitting there going…and….?

And…nothing. Bethany, you are My Child.

…And you want me to…..

Bethany, you are My Child.

What?

Bethany…you are My Child.

But I’m not in ministry…I don’t have my title…

Bethany, you are My Child.

But I can’t even lift my own baby…

Bethany, you are My Child.

But I don’t know when I’m going to walk again…

Bethany, you are My Child.

But I don’t know where we are going to live, what I’m going to do…shoot, I can’t walk!

Bethany, you are My Child.

Ok God…you are sounding great…but what is it that You want me to do?

Bethany…you are My Child.

All He wanted me to do was love Him and allow His Word to change my identity. I didn’t need a title. I didn’t need to earn His favor. I just needed to accept His love through His Word. He wanted the real me, not a title, not a role…He wanted His Child to come home once again.

And that night, I did return home…resting in the arms of my Abba Daddy…the One who gave me a second chance. The One Who saw a purpose for my life before I even knew Him.

I went from working for God to craving these amazing, intimate times with Him…

I was smiling again.
I found joy that transcends happiness
I found I really was His Child
I believed He was Who He Said He was through His Word.

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)

…Your roots will grow deep into My love…

I am His.

I am a work in progress, no longer defined by worldly titles.

I’m just trying to follow, one step at a time.

We still don’t have a home. I’m writing my first book and starting a new business (walking out on complete faith here). Steve found a job he is starting in a few weeks.

Funny…almost like God knew what He was doing through all of this…note sarcasm ism here….

During this time of uncertainty, God allowed me to really focus on Him and really wrestle with my true passion. My heart beats for people to grow in an authentic (real…not just a feeling, but a craving for the true, genuine Relationship) with God. I wish there were a way to disguise myself and simply share what He has done for me without everyone looking at me! I started writing my first book. I launched my dream to become a writer and a speaker, sharing this adventure God has called me down. Finally, accepting His call the right way, His way. (I launched a travel business and a make your own stuffed animal business to help get my out of my comfort zone and get connected with our community). God literally placed people, connections and places in my life to literally hold my hand through this process. I’m still shaking in the exposed world of the unknown, yet relieved that I am His…not defined by what I do, but by Who I belong to. How great is that? I have no clue what I’m doing and God loves me! I feel like I am finally defined by Him, putting my life (literally) in His hands and trusting Him to grow my roots, anchor my Trust and make me daily…hourly into His.

…And He still loves me the same…and He will never let me go.

I’m still working for Him, just a different role, One that comes from a heart that has been transformed, feet that were stopped and avenues blocked. I have no clue what tomorrow will bring, yet, I am finally excited to think about the future. God will meet our needs. If we are truthful…He already has met our needs.

For so many years, I kept God nicely in my little, comfortable, makes sense with my life box. I believed Him, but my life was not His. I defined my role using His name, but deep down, Indisnt trust Him to meet all of my needs. I was scared to crack that box…yet what I was doing wasn’t working. It was time to plant His Word in my heart.

His Word is black and white. You either believe it or you don’t.
Believing without acting it out in life is not believing…it’s just playing safe in your religion.
Gods Word requires action. It requires life change.
God wants more, deserves more than just a moment that makes us “feel good.”
He wants our life, our heart, our dreams, our family, our marriage, our family…
He wants to meet all of our needs and more, once we give it entirely to Him.

So…who is He? Have you spent time in His Word letting it really define Who He is? Have you allowed His Word to really speak to you? I had not…conveniently, God used this time to really knock this reality into practice.

I’m not going back to the way things were…there is nothing better than authentically trusting Him, knowing my identity is found in Him, by Him, for Him.

I am not defined by my job, my husband, my kids, my church, my dreams or my goals. I want others to really see the relief and the peace that comes when you really give everything to Him…your circumstances no longer defines you, your joy is not caught-up in your happiness, your nights are not consumed by worry, but resting on Trust (trust in the only One worth trusting by the way).

I go through these verses so many times, repeating, memorizing, adding to emails and defining my life, my value and my significance on these promises from Him.

I don’t know how my life will turn out…but my dream is for people out there who see me to see His Word in me.

Here is a few verses I go to daily to give me strength, a purpose…they are His breath of life in me. Period.

Feel free to copy, add your name and start thinking, believing, trusting and living differently. Quit doing life the same way you always have expecting a different result. You are loved. You are His. Be His Child.

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

Praise Me as your Lord; praise Me as your Savior! For each day I carry you in My arms. (Psalms 68:19 NLT)

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, if you need wisdom, ask Me – I Am generous and will give it to you. I will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask Me, be sure that your faith is in Me alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Me. Their loyalty is divided between Me and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do. Bethany, believers who are poor have something to boast about, for I have honored them. (James 1:5-9 NLT)

Dear Bethany, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. (James 1:2-4 NLT)

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, I AM your refuge and your shield; My Word is your source of hope. (Psalms 119:114 NLT)

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)

Bethany, can anything ever separate you from My love? Does it mean I no longer love you if you have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is yours through Me, I love you. (Romans 8:35, 37 NLT)

For the I AM the Spirit, Bethany, and wherever the Spirit is, there is freedom. (2 Corinthians 3:17 NLT)

Give your burdens to Me, Bethany, and I will take care of you. I will not permit those who love Me to slip and fall. (Psalms 55:22 NLT)

“But as for you, Bethany, you know that your Redeemer lives, and I will stand upon the earth at last. (Job 19:25 NLT). **Take note this is from JOB!

For I AM God, Bethany -O Sovereign L ord . My words are truth, and I have promised these good things to you, Bethany. You are My servant. (2 Samuel 7:28 NLT)

Bethany, seek My Kingdom above all else, and live righteously, and I will give you everything you need. (Matthew 6:33 NLT)

Bethany, I AM your refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So do not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. (Psalms 46:1, 2 NLT)

I will instruct you Bethany, and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. (Psalm 32:8 NIV)

Bethany, I never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone. I did not retaliate when I was insulted, nor threaten revenge when I suffered. I left My case in the hands of God, Who always judges fairly. I personally carried your sins, Bethany, in My body on the cross so that you can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By My wounds you are healed Bethany. Once you were like sheep who wandered away. But now you have turned to your Shepherd, the Guardian of your soul. (1 Peter 2:22-25 NLT)

Bethany, you are My masterpiece. I have created you anew in Christ Jesus so you can do the good things I planned for you long ago. (Ephesians 2:10 NLT)

Bethany, have you never heard? Have you never understood? I, the Lord, am the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. I never grow weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of My understanding. I give power to the weak and strength to the powerless. But Bethany, those who trust in Me will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:28, 29, 31 NLT)

MY PRAISE TO HIM – I love you, L ord ; you are my strength. The L ord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. (Psalms 18:1, 2 NLT)

Bethany, I have not given you a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7 NLT)

Obviously Bethany, you are not trying to win the approval of people, but of Me. If pleasing people were your goal, you would not be My servant. (Galatians 1:10 NLT)

If you keep yourself pure, Bethany, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work. (2 Timothy 2:21 NLT)

Bethany, study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. (Joshua 1:8 NLT)