Far Greater than Hearts and Flowers

I know you are about to betray me, but I still love you…..

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You don’t even realize who you are to me, do you?

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Look to me for love – not to others or even yourself, my child.

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Every single thing about you matters to me, and is valuable in my eyes…

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Do you know that I understand, or have you forgotten?

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Did you know that everything’s been paid in full already?

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No one is too far gone to accept the gift of salvation – NO ONE…

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There is no brick wall that can keep my love from you – you only need to receive it…

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I willingly suffered for your sake because of how very much I love you…

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I know that sin has a hold on you but my love for you is far stronger than that…

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It is by and through me that you may accept salvation and live for all eternity…

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I will not force you to love me back…but I pray that you will choose to…

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If you look for me, I will be there…

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Because, in case you still don’t understand….I’m telling you again….

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For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

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There is NO GREATER LOVE than to lay one’s life down for His friends! (John 15:13)

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This life may not be easy, especially if you follow me with all your heart…

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But I will never leave you nor forsake you…

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Search your heart for what you already know to be true…

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Allow me to love you and walk alongside you…

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I will carry you whenever it is needed…just cry out to me, my child…

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I want to bear your burdens and share joy and peace with you…

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Accept my love and offer of salvation, so that… where I am you may be also (John 14:13)

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You don’t have to be able to fully grasp my love – just receive it.

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I’ve already done all the rest.

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Sister Love

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I didn’t grow up with sisters. My brothers are AWESOME dudes and I love them! Yet a part of me still always wondered what it would be like to have a sister.

Then, I found all the things to hang on to that were great about not having one. I didn’t have to share my clothes and makeup. There weren’t two hormonal teenage girls in the house simultaneously. And, I found that I kind of enjoyed being the only girl.

However, as life progressed, I found that I didn’t always get along with women very well. Now, I am not blaming that on the fact that I didn’t have sisters – I think there were many reasons for it. But not knowing how to relate with a girl, live with a girl for years at a time didn’t really help me a whole lot in that area.

Only recently, I have found myself wanting to make closer female friends. God has placed that desire in my heart (and I’m only 47!). Decades ago I figured out how to get along with women, but I still found I couldn’t be close to very many of them. The relationships were just topical, you know? I didn’t know where to start. But God paved the way and it’s just….happened.

Well, I have a couple of women in my life now that I am getting closer and closer to, and I am blessed in new ways by these deeper friendships than I ever thought possible! Truly, these women are my sisters and I am so very grateful for them. What a blessing from the Lord!

One of these very special women is my dear Heather. I have mentioned her before, and I will definitely mention her again. She has enriched my life so very, very much!

I truly feel like God cut us from the same cloth. I always joke that we were supposed to be twins, but God put us in different places for some special reason. We aren’t really twins, but we are very, very similar in heart!

I love my new sister, Heather. You will love her too.  Please go check out her blog and facebook page and see how wonderful she is. Maybe you will get to know her the way I am getting to. If so, I have been a small part of making your life better and that makes me smile!

That Heather – that sister of mine? She is amazing. Here’s a link to get you started on your journey of knowing her better:

http://40yearwanderer.com/

Happy Valentines Day to my dear Sister, Heather. May you know how very much you bless me just by being the beautiful child of God and sister that you are! I thank God for you. You make me know more and more each day of what it is to love like Jesus loves. You help me to feel loved the way that Jesus loves me. I am so glad we get to do this life, and the eternal one together with Jesus!

A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. Proverbs 17:17

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Thrive

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On the days that I slip back, health-wise, I fight it, but still seem to move backward spiritually. emotionally and mentally too. It always causes me to realize (again) that I have forgotten to remember how Great our God really and truly is.

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God…..

I struggle. I drown in self-pity. I cry and wonder “why me?” I want to thrive, Lord. I want to be full of energy and verve and move and walk with joy and enthusiasm among your people. It hurts to smile when I feel this way. What is wrong with my body? Did you make a mistake? Can’t you fix me? I feel like you either don’t understand or you simply don’t care about this seemingly minor, yet so very pervasive problem I am dealing with here.

…Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable…

I am doing everything I am supposed to do. I even tried not doing anything and just turning it all over to You, Lord. Why am I so weak and weary? I just want to enjoy life. I am scared. Just when I think I am growing stronger physically, I am set back and seem to be worse off than when I started. I want to trust in You – that You will heal me, Lord. But if that’s not your will, I just plead with You – please help me to surrender and know what to do. I feel I have no strength left in my body and don’t know what You want for me to do, God!

He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.

I supposed this may be about patience, huh? Okay then – I get that, God. BUT….how am I supposed to do life this way? How can I take care of my family and other responsibilities when I am like this? What can I do? I can’t just stop life, can I? I  mean, I would, but don’t I have to keep going? I can’t just lay down and stay in bed until You  heal me, now can I? Can’t You just tell me how to handle things in the meantime?

Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength….

Clearly, I don’t have the answers. I know that You do. I supposed I haven’t truly learned what You really mean by “waiting.” I am tired, God. I am so very tired. My heart is alive, and so is my mind. My faith is in You, but I still have a degree of unbelief You need to deal with in me. I still put too much stock in myself and my own capabilities. Is that what You might be doing here? Asking me to lay down and be still so that you can make me soar the way You always intended? Not of my own might or power or strength, but in Yours – that Divine and Supernatural God-Kind?

…they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary…  

I’m going to stop trying so hard, God. I submit this temple to You. I pray You decide to heal it. And as long as You equip me to do so, I will continue to walk. I hope to run one day. I hope to soar and fly. But only with YOU.  Help me to endure the pain, God. Help me to keep my heart and mind clean while the physical junk keeps dragging me down. Help me to love in ways I never loved before. Help me not only to keep going, but to walk strong with You, love with You, fly with You and…oh my God…THRIVE with YOU.

….they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:28-31

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Unbelievable Praise and Glory!

Friends,

Won’t you take five minutes today to be blessed and revel in the love of God as you watch this beautiful video of worship? I promise, you will be so glad that you did!

I Still Hear Mama’s Heart

I don’t remember much from my early years. You know? I’m talking about when you are a very small child. But one thing I remember, and I recall it so vividly, is the way it felt when my mama was holding me.

I can remember one of the things that really comforted me was having my ear to her heart. I can still bring back that feeling – it’s some kind of sensory thing – not just a memory in the mind that is faint and fading as the years pass.

Sensory thing? Yes. I can remember that I liked to lay my ear flat upon her chest – right where her heart was. I liked the feel of the warmth there. I liked the sound of her heart beating. I liked the smell of her and the touch. There was a rhythm to it all that resonated for me in a way very little else ever has. It was methodical, yet loving and comforting in so many ways.

How I miss my mama’s heart. How I miss her arms and her reassurance. How I miss her friendship, her leadership, and her joy. How I miss her unconditional and generous love!

Oh, how I miss my dear mama.

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After mama left to go live with Jesus in heaven almost four years ago, my heart felt so very broken. It still does sometimes. There are days where it seems that nothing can fix that. I can remember seeking God and His comfort during the time mama was in hospice and my brothers and I were watching her slip away more and more every day. This lasted for weeks, and it was definitely the worst ride I have ever been on in life.

What would I do without my mama’s chest to lay upon any more? Where’s that unconditional love and support going to come from now? Who in the world could or would ever love me like mama did? Mama gets ripped off and so do I!

Oh, poor ME.

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But the truth is, friends, no one got ripped off. It sucks, sure. If I could have mama and her awesome heart back here with me physically right now, well, selfish me would take it in a heartbeat! Yet, I am so grateful that the Lord continues to bring me back around when I begin to think this way.

It’s not only about you, dear one. I know you are hurting about mama, but she is mine – she is my child, just as you are. She always was. It was time for her to come home. I can and I will fill that space if you continue to allow me to do so. And you will see her again. You will. But you must trust me and focus upon all that you had with her and all that will be. Be happy for your mama, dear one.

I know deep down where mama is right now. And where she’s at, there is no pain, no broken hearts, and the comfort, love, joy and peace that she gets to experience on every level right now is something I know to be true in my soul.

Yes, I still hear that sound of my mama’s heartbeat when I recall those early days of laying upon her chest. I still hear the things she shared with my brothers and myself as she was preparing to meet her Lord and Savior.

I still hear her heart.

I haven’t forgotten the sound. I haven’t forgotten the warmth. I haven’t forgotten the feel of it all. But I don’t need the sensory experience anymore, although I miss it sometimes. Jesus has filled that need beyond what I ever thought possible.

Oh, I do miss her laugh. I miss being able to call her every day. I miss having my mama here physically with me. But God mends broken hearts in divine ways that no bandaid could ever do. Sometimes I need to lay on His chest differently than I am accustomed to in order to receive His healing, but He is always there for me. Always waiting. Patiently.

His ways are truly higher than any awesome experience, sensory or not, that we can have in this life. When we are in true relationship with God, there is no such thing as being an orphan.

I can’t wait until I get to go to heaven to see my Savior. But I am so thankful today that I can hear his heart, as well as my mama’s. I appreciate that the Lord hasn’t needed to cause that beautiful memory to fade in order to help me rely upon Him more than I did my mama.

He sees me through. He renews me. He and the vivid memories of my mama inspire, encourage, and convict me. I hope they hear my heart right now.

Do you miss someone terribly today? Does your heart feel like it is broken into millions of little tiny pieces, never to be recovered again? Seek Jesus in your grief, dear friends. Surrender all of the pieces to Him and trust Him to help you to heal.

KNOW that…..He. Is. God.

He too, hears our hearts. We just have to press our ears into His Mighty and Magnificent chest!

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and  my portion forever. Psalm 73:26

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Gracefully So

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Oh gracefully so…

Of the mercy you bring my way, reminding me of your presence and never-ending goodness.

Amidst the clutching and the scratching and the times of distraction, your light is always here.

Oh gracefully so…

The magnetic light that you are; I carry it with me and you shine – even in the dark where the monsters lurk.

Yes, bugs and monsters, like moths they come – descending to take, destroy, and to blind- they wish to wipe me out.

Yet, oh gracefully so…

You dispel the swarms, permeate the darkness and illuminate the dark and hidden corners of the soul…

Creating another blessed black hole for the evil to be locked away in; and it burns, and yields to your magnificent power.

Oh gracefully so…

Mighty Father divine; you bring rest to the weary child that I am when I ask to stay awake but sleep is what is best.

As I listen for the lessons and the learnings, did I get something right that you said today? Did I hear you, Father?

Oh gracefully so!

You are patient as I pray and you read my heart, even when there are parts that are not submitted to you.

And gloriously instead, you help me sift through the clutter, bring clarity to my fuzzy ears, and whisper your answers in love.

Oh gracefully so…

You know the words of my soul, the longing that I cannot express with words or gestures; and I am your child!

As of late, with all the stutters; whilst I stammer, ears pounding, yearning, and heart and mind grasping for words that will do justice in my relationship with you…

You gracefully – so very gracefully read my heart.

Without a  word…..you just know.

Oh gracefully so!

 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us[a] with groanings which cannot be uttered. Romans 8:26

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The Other Pause in Menopause

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It’s so difficult to think of our bodies as not just our own. After all, we live and breathe in these bodies. We walk in them. We sleep in them. We tell our fingers to move, our legs to bend, and our mouths when to open or close.

But is that really the way it’s supposed to be?

So much that we do is just reflexive…just done automatically. But what happens when we stop and pause a moment – pause to think about what the Lord would have us do?

I haven’t figured out how to move through life that way yet…don’t know if I ever will (fully). But over this last week, I have been making a concentrated effort to tune in more with God physically as well as spiritually.

This came out of the fact that although I have been feeding myself spiritually in prayer and time spent with the Lord, my body has just deteriorated over this last year or two. It took becoming quite desperate for me to wake up and realize that I needed God’s help in this area too.

I don’t know about you, but when it comes to physical stuff, I tend to separate that from the Lord sometimes. I tend to get caught up in thinking it’s just a part of living in this flesh that I have to deal with on my own – weight gain, menopausal hormonal symptoms, body aches, injuries – the whole thing. But, although it’s true that our flesh is going to eventually fail us, there is power in asking the Lord to help us to keep our perspective straight in relation to our bodies in the here and the now.

He can help us.

So, I have embarked upon a different way in relation to getting my body straightened out, friends. I thought it fitting to share a few of these things with you as I go along and tell you how the Lord is growing me spiritually in each of these areas.

Week 1 – What’s Happening?

I could tell my body has become just,  “polluted.” All of the hormonal changes, the stress that has built up over the past few years since mama passed away, the sedentary jobs – all of it has just poisoned my body. I have been focusing on my spiritual health, which is good, but my body needed something more extreme than just “eat pretty well, and exercise a few times a week.” I had to surrender to the fact that extreme measures are sometimes the right ones when it comes to fully surrendering something of this magnitude. Here is the first thing the Lord led me to…

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he. Proverbs 23:7

Hmmm. What did I learn as I focused upon this scripture this past week? And what did I think about changing and submitting to as I felt led by the Lord?

Changes I have made:

Detoxify. I have removed all processed (even the “good” ones) stuff from my eating plan. I kept only one little thing, which is a splash of sugar free creamer in my two cups of coffee in the morning. The rest of the day, it’s water, tea, and whole foods. I already feel waaaayyy better!

New Discipline: I have let go of not doing the weight training that is so highly recommended for menopausal women and started to do this two to three times a week along with cardio. I don’t enjoy it, but know it is making me stronger.

Giving up even more of “my” time: I have added stretching/relaxation time in for my muscles and stress levels and used that time to talk with and pray to the Lord – spend the time with Him.

Overall Change: I am really pressing in and thinking on this verse daily….I am trying to focus upon thinking of myself the way the Lord thinks of me, versus the way that I think of me.

Things are going quite well, friends. I feel better physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I feel that the Lord is working on healing me, but that it’s a daily and moment-by-moment process contingent upon my surrender and willingness to accept His gentle, yet loving correction.

He is working on asking me to strike the correct balance between relying upon Him ultimately for all of it, yet be a good student and research things that will help me to meet these goals.

I want to take better care of His temple. But I selfishly find myself thinking of my body still as “mine” too. I haven’t yet figured out if I am supposed to let go of that part of it. It’s hard sometimes to discern whether your driving motivation is self-oriented or God-oriented when it comes to something as all-encompassng as the body you wake  up inside of every day, the mind you are stuck with every second, or anything else that is pervasive and with you all the time.

But hard doesn’t have to be bad. Not when God is on our side.

He is truly made “perfect through my weakness” – He is magnified when I realize I don’t have this all figured out – He is the One who gets all the glory for the success I may experience.

And when I fail, I get the opportunity to search my own heart with the Lord and accept His correction and guidance.

I am excited to share things with you as they develop in this area of my life because I am pretty certain many of you are contending with an area or two in your own lives that you just don’t enjoy very much right now, and I want to encourage you:

For I (we) can do everything through Christ, who gives me (us) strength. Philippians 4:13

Like Proverbs says, we must BELIEVE. Like Philippians says, we must turn to Christ for His strength, and His power!

Won’t you spend some time with the Lord today if there is an area that you know you are struggling with in regard to your belief? Ask Him…tell Him the truth. Tell the Lord and cry out to Him “God, I want to believe, but I don’t and I am asking You to help my unbelief here!”

Take this time to pause and fill the gap with HIM.

Jesus loves that, friends. He loves it when we cry out to Him honestly and ask Him to meet us where we are! He shows up big time and makes His power known to us in new ways when we come to Him in such a manner.

May you be blessed today as you search for faith and complete belief with the Lord. And may what we think in the depths of our  hearts be more and more of Him, and less and less of us!

(Maybe the “less of us” will also translate into weight loss if He decides it would be good for us – hee hee).

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