Saints of God never leave this world as they arrive. We are sanctified. Tried. Tested. Purified. The idea flows around creating a stable, solid product that will be beautiful and useful. A soul like Jesus.
We are said to be “forged in the fire.” Meaning: to be given form or shape to, especially by means of careful effort, usually under duress… with heat. But why? Why so tested? Why is this so important to God?
Besides the amazing idea that He can see diamonds in the rough, and beauty in a mess – He sees all that in me! He sees all that in you! Given the right heat at the right times in life, we will shine brilliantly:
“Don’t grumble or argue, so that you may be blameless, pure, children of God without blemish -though you live in a crooked and perverse society, in which you shine as lights in the world, by holding on to the Word of life…” Philippians 2:14-16
When we allow God to try us (without arguing or grumbling 😳) and bring us through trials of every sort… trusting His wisdom at timing and temperature, we are working with His plan to mold and shape us into beautiful bright Stars, shining for His Glory!
“For although darkness covers the earth and thick darkness the peoples; on you, ADONAI will rise; over you will be seen His Glory.” Isaiah 60:2 CJB
My friend in Germany messaged me about a man on the plane beside her mildly freaking-out when she sneezed. It’s that kind of hour …that kind of week …heck, that kind of New Year.
We’ve had impeachment hearings, talk of WWIII, a global plague of some sort, and so much crisis news flying through the airwaves since January 1, 2020.
Keeping my focus and grounding -takes purpose. It takes will. I get up and make myself open God’s Word 1st. Then stop and pray, seeking His peace of mind before looking through various news articles … I can only imagine what’s coming.
There’s a lot going on in the world! A lot to pray about… and so many to pray for. Seems even the circles around me have stepped into crisis. I’m honored to lift up names and situations before the Throne, but I must remember it takes a toll.
I have to prioritize getting fed and resting (in my soul). Rejuvenation in the Spirit: singing praises, reading encouraging stories, or speaking with uplifting sisters. I need to breathe and meditate on a psalm. And keep aware of all joy-stealers.
The struggle is real. Therefore, may I never lose sight of Who is fighting the battle. He is our Fortress and strong Deliverer. My Hero❤️
My mom used to say, the best thing about getting older was just being able to say what needed to be said. I think what she relished was having the courage to speak up and the white hair that allowed her to be heard.
I look around and see that precious few are offering any wise words these days. Or possibly, their practical knowledge seems drowned out by the louder, many, foolish voices. Oh, for the godly to speak up and be heard.
Why are we, who know the truth of God’s Word ever quiet… in our own homes… neighborhoods… churches. God has spent a lot of time preparing us for such a time as this. It is with heart-to-heart that the battle for the Kingdom is won.
I ask God daily for wisdom and direction in what to say and when to say it. I don’t want to misuse what He’s poured in so carefully. Timing is important, but I dare not withhold the truth.
Truth: for instance, of God‘s grace, and the blessings of having devoted my life to loving my husband and serving my family. Choosing them over me. Giving myself and money to God’s ministries. Studying His Word. Seeking His face, daily… above all else.
My dear friends 50+ years, we are the Matriarchs! The baton is in our lap. It is for us to accept our crowns of glory and share Wisdom with those coming from behind. With age comes understanding and less concern what others are thinking. Go in the wisdom of God! Speak up!
To me, every flower in my yard is a gift from God – like bouquets from my dancing years He personally wakes me, whispering my name. I know He has new treasures waiting as I hurry to open my bible each morning.
God has taught me that every day is a gift. Every moment with my husband. Each child He graciously gave us. Ones I birthed ❤️ and many I didn’t…
The sweet daughter He sent from Russia, and the fella she introduced us to. Now both married with families of their own. The kids that lived off and on in our house over the years. Even my aging parents that moved in afterwards… all have been gifts.
Each have come like a surprise. A few with panic: “how can we possibly handle this?” But they always left behind treasure. Some we felt, were taken way too early, yet God knew best.
Today it’s a BIG, black, furry dog that has come. A “gift” via our neighbors. She’s sweet as can be, other than chasing our cats! 😱 How will this work out? I don’t know, but I’m choosing to count this -one more gift… 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼
Incase we haven’t had coffee together or lunch, you may not know: I’m the 1st to admit, I‘ve had issues. Selfish, pigheaded issues! And so have my kids. They unfortunately inherited my genes- as all humans do- sinful, willful, stubborn genes.
In my eyes, I could not have had cuter children or more precious, but they did not come out obeying, submissive or committed to doing God’s will. Like me, they were bent on their own ideas. It was trial and error that proved them poor Rulers.
When you see us all holding hands, laughing with our grown children, these things came with long suffering and many, many hours of prayer. God in His mercy didn’t make everything easy, but He made it rich and deep.
There are some scars from choices made, and the pain it caused, but oh the joy when love wins out! It’s been worth the wait. Worth the praying, and fasting and humbling. Harder than I’d ever have imagined but so, so worth the wait.
As Believers we have been given such a gift! A hope, a joy, an assurance by grace, a peace, an intimate knowledge of the One True God. How can I not reach out and share this amazing love with any in darkness? To live in this world -at such a time in history and not know the Savior and His Spirit of Truth… I can not fully imagine. He is my light and my power to keep going. More than a crutch, it’s full-on Life Support! Every thought centered on Him, His Words constantly within my reach. This is wealth, this is treasure. I actually have answers …and if questions remain, there’s trust in a Super Highest Power, Who loves me and is out for my good. No floundering around, no aimless, hopeless wandering to endure. There’s a point. There’s a goal. There’s a destination. But even more, there’s a real live relationship with the Lover of my Soul. How can I not speak up and reach out and share the Joy? The thrill of my best decision and sanity-keeper? God is my Rock! I will not be ashamed, and Jesus made it all so very possible.
Life is just a mess. “Like herding cats,” my mom would say. She spoke of children but that pretty much covers life on earth. Unpredictable, shocking, amazing… all in one lifetime.
One gets ideas and sets goals and pretty as a picture they may come about. Or not. Chances are… in a re-directional, round-about way. Not as you planned at all. But sorta, eventually. And usually for the better.
Everyday I pray for “eyes to see” – that God would show me His perspective on life instead of my own. He’s so dog-gone patient! Nothing seems to deter Him, and through His gracious timing He gets so much more accomplished.
If it were just me- I’d push on through. Get it done and miss so many blessings! My life’s course has been changed around so often, I’ve lost count. But I would not go back and deviate one iota in how it played out, because those waiting-times and frustrating moments were where He revealed His bigger plan to me.
God has proven time and again that ultimately, He is out for my good and His Glory… if I will just let Him have His way. Oh, the JOY of serving such an awesome, attentive, thoughtful, loving Creator Who knows me through & through and loves me anyway.
All year I’ve been feeling a push… push to pray, to fast and prepare. I’m not exactly sure what for, other than general growth spiritually… in myself and my family.
I had been fasting previously at-random (whenever I felt it was appropriate), but by April I wanted something regular. Thursday at 4pm to Friday at 4pm seemed to fit the bill. The reward became Clarity: noticing more what God is up to.
That time spent gained the catch-word Freedom Fridays as a lightness of soul took place by Friday… to trust and know that God sees my prayer list and cares far more about everyone on it than I could ever imagine.
Now, nearly 40 weeks later, I can truly say I so look forward to that part of the week. I love the immediate connection and purpose it brings. It’s not always food I fast from, but it is a denial of some kind and a specific focus on prayer.
A new year is staring me in the face and I am excited to see what this preparation of prayer will bring. Vision. Insight. Awareness. More clarity… I’m ready, I’m awake, I want to receive all God has waiting!
I feel so blessed to be trusted with my clients’ memories and keepsakes. You folks are THE BEST! Friends, family and former clients send me the absolute sweetest people… and their shirts 😉 Love you all, Anna