Thursday, December 13, 2012

Blah, blah, blah...

As I sit here thinking about the past year, my heart is filled with gratefulness for the Lord ALWAYS being present in my life---moment by moment, hour-by-hour, day-by-day.  I cannot imagine my life without His love, His mercies, His forgiveness, His grace, His guidance.

Looking back at how relationships have changed---some were lost through death, some were altered by circumstances, some were ended deliberately.  Even though some of those changes were incredibly hard, I remain enormously blessed.  I am amazed at how God truly does weave people in and out of our lives and ultimately He does work it all even though I may not see or understand why at the time.

What I wrote about "freedom" this past February still rings true and I find such peace and comfort in knowing that the Freedom that God offers will always be true.

I miss "my" Jerry so much, it takes my breath away at times.  I hate not knowing where he is, what he is going through, etc. but I do rest in the promises that God's care for that precious young boy is far greater than mine could ever be.  I miss Betty Sue and Pam and find it hard to believe that have not even been gone for a year because it seems so much longer. 

We lost David close to 4 years ago and his loss seems so far off and yet achingly close-by.  I still find myself in tear when attempting to talk about him.  A type of grief that I don't fully understand much less able to explain.  I think of him every single day and would give anything for one last hug.

I've been home the past 2 days with a debilitating headache accompanied by 'dark moments' but not near as 'dark' as in times past.

I am excited about the road I'm on towards emotional/mental, physical, and spiritual healing.  Tomorrow is my 42nd birthday and marks a new resolve within myself to get further balance in my life.

Jason Gray - I Am New with Lyrics.wmv

Friday, July 13, 2012

For today...

Today I am feeling so thankful for all about my life.  The past and what I've learned from it. The present and how blessed I am IN THIS MOMENT.  The future and all that God has in store.

I met with Dr. D today and found out that she will be leaving at the end of this month.  We were able to talk for about an hour.  I am excited for her and the changes that are taking place in her life and praying God's richest blessings on her and her family during this time of transition.

I am so grateful that God allowed her to come into my life at the time He arranged.  She has been a TREMENDOUS source of encouragement, a place of safety, and offered insights and wisdom that have been incredible in my journey of healing.

I am sad to see her go but am choosing to trust God that He will bring another into my life that can help in the speciality of managing medication.  After the  medicinal screw up a couple of years back, I am keenly aware of important it is to have someone KNOWLEDGEABLE.

I feel like God is truly working on my heart in some deep, meaningful ways right now and I am comforted by His presence, His guidance, His Words yet ashamedly, a lil' scared about what this 'work' may change.  God is good all of the time.  His love and His character never change.  LOVE THAT!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Breathe

People often say that "Time heals all wounds".  I am not finding this to be true.  I know that God is capable of healing all wounds but He has also told us that Heaven is our destination and THERE is where there will be no more pain or loss.

I don't quite as easily shed a tear over the friends I lost over 20+ years ago but a sadness remains knowing they are gone and their loved ones still think of them each and every day.  My friend David passed away over 3 years ago and I still can't speak about him without tears filling my eyes and a heaviness in my heart that I can't explain.  The grief seems to deepen as time goes by.  I miss his humor.  I miss his hugs.  I long for his insight on things that are going on in my life.  Because of his health, I knew that losing him was a reality I'd most likely have to face one day but I never imagined it would be this hard.  When he left, it truly feels like a huge part of my heart went with him. I am amazed at how well his wife and children have continued on with their lives because I can't even imagine the depth of their hurt and grief.

I've heard "Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened"----and I can do both in the same moment.  HATE the hurting. Long to be with God in a place of continual peace but until that time comes, I hold tight to His Words:

Friday, June 8, 2012

Prayerful Reminders


Much-Loved and Dearly-Missed friend, Pam Belflower



Beautiful Stella Rose who stole the hearts of so many, including those of us who were never privileged to meet her face to face.  Look forward to seeing that sweet, michevious girl in heaven one day.

 3 lb. little joy named Bela Rose with her new doggy-brother, Bailey, after she very unexpectedly joined our household after someone left her sick little self at a public shopping place. 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Borrowed Prayer #1

Thought for the Day: Let God take control of your life.

Memory Verse: "...thy will be done." (Matthew 6:10)

Lesson: A key step to overcoming psychological problems is to let God guide and direct your life. You need to "let go" and "let God."


Prayer

Heavenly Father,

I readily acknowledge that I have spent most of my life trying to do things for myself and by myself. I have tried to control my life and steer it in the direction that I felt it should go; the direction that seemed to make perfect logical sense; the direction that seemed so entirely reasonable.

As you know, I have crashed time and time again. And finally I have reached the point that I can no longer drive

Heavenly Father, I think I am finally ready to move over and let you take charge...to take a backseat in life...to trust you completely and let you take total control of my destiny.

But I must confess I'm worried. I know my past history. I know that at some point in time I may be tempted to start driving again...to grab the wheel, to interfere.

As we journey, please please protect me from myself. Keep my hands off the steering wheel, and quiet the nagging voices that lure me to take back control...

...Don't you really think we should be going this way Lord? ...Can't you see that it really makes so much sense that this is the direction I should be going?

Precious Savior, help me to realize how dangerous it is to rely upon my own will, my own skill, my own ability to cope with life. Although I have gained some limited success, relief, and happiness, I now realize how perilous and unwise my journey has been.

I cannot fool myself any more. I can no longer pretend that I know the road...that I know what's best for me...that I can see what perils lie around the next bend. I have been a fool, and I have teetered on disaster time and time again. I have driven recklessly, with very little thought for Thy will.

Dearest Lord, thank you for my depression! I rejoice in my pain and sorrow and in all of the circumstances that have brought me to this point in my life. I have been brought so low I can finally let go.

Over to you Lord! Thy will be done.

Copyright, Dr. Brian Campbell, 2009

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Remaining Amazed

I remain amazed at the true goodness of God.   
These past few months have been incredible!

Incredibly joyful.  
Incredibly peaceful.
Incredibly busy.  
Incredibly hard. 
Incredibly blessed.

The past few months have brought about some important relational changes. Some relieving, some hurtful but God remains in control and I am trusting Him with all things, which includes all relationships. I remain so thankful for God making it so evident to me that He has been with me all along and that He will continue to be a continual present and presence in my life.

I so wanted to take the necessary steps to adopt a young boy that has been entrusted to my care during the school day but apparently, God has other plans.  Strange sense of grief in that area----most likely, because I allowed myself to mentally jump ahead with all sorts of preparations and ideas without waiting to see if this was truly God’s Will.   I am amazed at the sadness I feel yet also amazed by the incredible sense of peace in knowing that God’s love for this boy is bigger and better than mine could ever be. 

Work relationships have been altered.  Necessary changes but not necessarily easy.  I am so blessed to work with so many with whom I love and respect and have the honor of calling them friends; not just co-workers.  I miss the days when our entire campus felt more like a family with a common cause but I suppose that’s just an effect of growth within the district.

The un-expected death of Betty Sue, the un-timely death of Pam and the sadness of Stella Rose passing away broke my heart but such a peace is present in knowing that both these precious ladies and this baby girl are with Jesus. I have always tended to choose to be alone during times of grief and was pleasantly surprised by the consolation in being able to share the pain of loss with those who are also experiencing the grief.  

                               

Our new puppy, Bela Rose (lovingly named in honor of Pam and Stella who were previously mentioned), was an un-planned addition to our household yet has brought so much joy and laughter during a time of change and loss.  I absolutely adore this dog and had never even considered this particular breed as a pet.  Goes to show that all-planned-out isn’t necessarily the way to approach this journey of life.


I am finding it next to impossible to believe that Rhyder has already turned one; that Kaeden will soon be in kindergarten, and that Allen and Elizabeth will be in middle school!!  I am amazed at the passage of time but so proud of these 4 and so thankful that God allowed these precious children to be a part of my family and allowing me the privilege of being their aunt.

Britt and Rob got married!!  I am so proud of Brittney yet was so saddened that her daddy wasn’t here walk her down the aisle nor did he get to know the man with whom his baby girl will be spending the rest of her life.  I am so appreciative that God allowed David to be a part of many lives for any amount of time yet the grief of missing him remains tremendous.

The upcoming graduations for both high school and college along with the usual craze of the end-of-the-school year have these next few weeks looking incredibly challenging.  I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to participate in the state’s TSR! Grant Program and Training.  I’ve been blessed to meet some kindred work-souls but the amount of extra work is feeling a bit like a 2nd job at this point.  Despite the added tasks being way more time consuming than I’d anticipated, I know the effects of such are going to be incredible for my teaching and for the students in my class.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Wonderful Day for a Wedding!

 
Brittney, your family has always held such an important place in my heart.  I cannot even imagine how my life may have been without the blessings of having both your dad and mom as my dearest friends growing up.


On July 20, 1997, I’ll never forget the look of joy on your mom’s face as she lay in the hospital bed after you had FINALLY arrived.  You dad took me to the nursery window and PROUDLY pointed you out.  You lay there with your head full of hair and we could hear you screaming through the glass.  I teased him about how that strong voice would one day be a great asset on the volleyball field. And one day would be smart-mouthing back at his good-witted humor.



When you mom and dad brought you home, I’m pretty sure they thought I was just going to simply move in with ya’ll.  I couldn’t get enough of watching you grow into such a precious and precocious little girl.


I was amazed at what a wonderful big sister you were, from the very beginning.  You could tease and pester Christopher but your protectiveness of him allowed no one else to even try.  You both could always seem to make each other smile.





From the Spanish Trace Apartments in Greenville to the apt in Minnesota, my heart always went with each of you.
                        

 

Your well-deserved self-confidence and silly antics show me the side I so loved in your dad.

  

He was always so proud of you, Chris and your beyond-amazing mother.  Though your dad’s life on earth was entirely too short for all who loved and adored him, I am so grateful that God allowed him to see both of his precious children grow up.


I am so proud of you and the wonderful woman you have become.  You are an amazing Christian woman with so many gifts and an amazing ability to care for others.  I pray that this new journey you are beginning with Rob will continue to fill your heart with warmth and joy and fill your life with wonderfully precious memories.  

Congratulations and God Bless!

Love Always, 
Stacy

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Powerful Book...

Andy Stanley did an amazing job in easy-to-read, self-help book. He writes in a conversational style filled with wit, personal stories, and humor. This book is a helpful guide in all paths of life---relational, career, and spiritual, etc. Stanley challenges the reader to really look at where they are headed and how they are going to get there. The “principal” is easily explained as Stanley encourages the reader to really stop and think how this principal affects our lives. He offers valuable suggestions of how to not become lost in the wrong paths and how to choose the correct paths for each of our lives.


Stanley takes a ‘get-real’ approach this writing. He uses a simple driving analogy to remind the readers that whatever captures your attention will greatly influence you direction, thus ultimately, your destination. Stanley is quick to point out that this is not a book teaching a law or a rule that one follows but rather a predictable journey when we examine our own hearts and our own personal quests.

This book takes the reader on a journey to seek wisdom, integrity, and simple common sense. I highly recommend this book for personal and small group study purposes. The reader will be encouraged to live with an awareness of their choices while offering Godly hope for a change in direction, if needed.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Daily Gratitudes

March 18: the assurances that incessant puppy crying at night will come to an end (!!)

March 17: safe travel and arrival for my mom, my brother and his 2 precious kids

March 16: good bill of health for puppy Bella and some great deal on Little People Toys

March 15: Lunch with 3 treasured gal-pals: Cheryl, Karen, & Tracey

March 14: Successful completion of errands

March 13: Surprise 2.4 lb pkg of cuteness. Welcome to puppy Bella!

March 12: 1st Day of Spring Break!!

March 11: extra hour of daylight; lazy, rainy day that was perfect for an afternoon nap and catching up on household 'stuff'

March 10: Shortened day of a long-scheduled workshop. Great information, wonderful presenters BUT on a Saturday---ugh!

March 9: Sheryl and Rhyder will be in town for the evening!! Having fun with them and my sweet Mom tonight!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

MUST make a choice...

God is calling me to TRUST HIM in ALL things.
  • all tasks
  • all relationships
  • all of my past
  • all my present
  • all of my future
  • all of my desires
  • all of my disappointments
  • all circumstances
TRUST HIM above:
  • my wanting to understand
  • my own desires
  • the expectations of others
  • what others may think/feel/say
  • ALL circumstances  
  • all people
  • ALL THINGS!
HE is to be:
  • my PROVIDER
  • my SHIELD
  • my GUIDE
  • my SAVIOR
  • my REDEEMER
  • my FRIEND
  • my FATHER 
  • my EVERYTHING
Rely on Him. Worry or trust---IT IS A CHOICE!

Through the power of the Holy Spirit, the name of Jesus, and the goodness of God, I must TRAIN my mind and my emotions to be in alignment with God's Word---HIS plans, HIS purposes.

Though it sometimes remains a struggle, I wouldn't have it any other way.  Tried the controlling all attitude and it simply wasn't pretty, admirable, or Godly.  

God is good ALL THE TIME.  Lord, help my unbelief.  Enable to know You and to love You with total assurance, complete confidence, and absolute trust.

"O LORD of Heaven's Armies, what joy for those who trust in You." 
(Psalm 84:12)




Monday, March 12, 2012

Monday Matters :)

Today didn't go exactly as planned but oh well...

I was so grateful to wake up to such a sunshiny day!  The wind kept things cool enough to spend some time outside taking care of some long-neglected tasks.  I was able to download 1000+ photos for Sheryl onto Walmart.com so that she and any others may have access to having printed copies of pics going all the back to Kaed's newborn pictures.  Spent some relaxing time reading, taking a mid-day nap and watched a cute TV-movie with Wayne.  Nothing too terribly exciting but exactly what I needed.

Wayne ended up taking a sick day and was home most of the day.  He helped me gather items for a Goodwill-donation trip and did a mini-shopping trip to Brookshires.  So thankful that he is the type of guy who doesn't mind helping out around the house and such.  I know that is just one of his many wonderful qualities.

Plans tomorrow include:
  • calling one of my classroom kiddos who is home during his vacation recovering from a tonsillectomy :(
  • donations to Goodwill
  • spray-washing the car (in prep for a hand-washing later this week)
  • catching up on laundry
  • making a trip to the sell some/buy some bookstore
  • catching up the checkbook
  • physical therapy appointment
  • clearing off the porches and the carport
  • calling friends, Nadine & Karen, to hopefully make plans to get together this week
  • actually hand-writing some letters to folks I treasure in my heart
  • Getting caught up on the Beth Moore: James Study 
  • attempting to groom Bailey

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Spring Break 2012 (YAY!!)

I remain amazed with each passing day how powerful the presence of God is.  I cannot imagine ever going back to a time where I didn't allow Him to be a part of each and every moment.

These past few months have been incredibly busy and incredibly blessed.  Thankful for the upcoming week of vacation to rest, reflect, and rejuvenate.  Sending big THANKS to whoever is responsible for "Spring Break"!  Looking forward to re-connecting with some dear friends, visiting with family, cleaning & organizing (yes, I actually do look forward to those kind of things).

Hoping to get caught up on journaling the thoughts from the book Lies Women Believe... .  POWERFUL book with amazing truths.

Thankful for the rainy day that allowed some much needed rest and relaxation.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Lessons Learned from "Junior" (a foster child that will be a forever part of my heart)

  •  There is a time to talk, a time to be silent...but ALWAYS time to love and be loved.
  • Cartoons are cool!
  • The dirtier you get, the more fun you've had.
  • A genuine smile softens all.
  • Some are easily manipulated and a young child is capable of turning on and off the charm.
  • Be so active that a jacket and coat just weighs you down.
  • There is awe in EVERYTHING!
  • God is here.  God is there. And angels are real.
  • Ninjas really do have smooth moves.
  • Smiles are contagious!
  • Easily accept and give forgiveness.
  • Understanding the terminology of another is of utmost importance.
  • You should never make assumptions!
  • Empathy, sympathy, and comfort are gifts that even the youngest can give despite a tragic background.
  • A little love goes a long way.
  • Breathing is literally a gift!
  • Live expectantly and fearlessly!
  • Laughter in its purest form is incredibly healing and always good.
  • Accept counsel from others but only from but only from those who honor God's will above all.
  • Take God at His Word...Ask. Seek. Knock.
  • Love. Give. Serve. Trust. Let go!
  • God is big! God is wise! God is all-knowing and all-powerful. God is far more capable in caring for and loving than I could hope or imagine to be.
  • Colors are amazing but green is the best! After all, grass is green and it's everywhere :)
  • The unknown can be scary so stick with what and whom you know but allow yourself to recognize new goodness and move forward despite the fear.
  • Greet each day with enthusiasm and anticipation.
  • Enjoy food and never take it for granted.
  • Shoes are over-rated and shoestrings are simply a bother.
  • Being alone at times is needed.  Being with others is also needed.
  • Always help when you are able.  Most will respond with gratefulness. Those who don't have their own reasons.
  • Being outside is always a good thing!
  • Sometimes all one needs is to know that someone cares and wants what is best for you.
  • Why sit still when there is so much to do?  Why walk when you can run? Why just talk when laughter and songs are right there?
  • Life is to be lived, regardless of the hardships.
  • Find what you like and stick with it but don't give up on finding new things to like.
  • Friends are important.
  • Challenging others behavior is okay to ensure understanding.
  • Loving without abandon can never be wrong.
  • Tough and tender are both admirable qualities.
  • Each new day is a gift.  Each moment is to be treasured.
  • Learn what is TRUE then trust it.
  • Talk is over-rated.  Communication is more than mere words.  
  • Thunder is just God clapping His hands to remind you He is here.
  • Rain sprinkles, aka "sparkles" feel like kisses from heaven.
  • Trains are the best way to travel.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Free Indeed!

In looking back, August 7, 2011, God began a journey for me that I didn't see coming, didn't feel prepared for, and the majority of the steps were uncomfortable to say the least.  YET, I am so grateful for HIS goodness, HIS preparation, and HIS relentless pursuit.

For the past few years, I have experienced what has been termed "intrusive memories" and "night-terrrors".  On August 7th, I experienced one of those moments that hopefully will be as hard as these things ever get.  For as long as I can remember, I have always desired a deeper relationship with God but hesitated in such because of always questioning deep within my heart where His so-called presence was during times of my past.  On this evening in August, the 'memories' took my breath away and felt as if it could very easily squeeze the life out of me.  A very uncomfortable, unpleasant, horrific few days.  BUT there was a huge a-ha moment in that process.  I realized that God had to have been there in my past.  This realization sunk in hard and deep because I knew without a doubt that I couldn't survive the recalling of these memories without Him by my side much less having had survived the event in reality without Him.  The awareness of that TRUTH was overpowering, overwhelming, and life-changing.  Such clarity in the darkness amazed me.

The next couple of weeks were relatively calm and assuring and God continued to show me things that left me in a state of awe and amazement.  I realized that for far too long, I had allowed myself to view the feelings/reactions of others to be of more importance than what God's views were on the matter.  I turned to other believers far more frequently than I turned to God.  That realization brought me to knees in repentance.

The last week of September was filled with 'intrusive memories', nightmares, and exhaustion which left my immune system wide-open to the routine illnesses involved with spending your days with 4-5 year old students.  I missed work for close to a week due to the illness.  Afterwards, I had an enjoyable weekend filled with rest and relaxation yet woke on Monday with fever and such and ended up missing a couple of more days of work.  UGH!! The upside to the illness was that even though I didn't feel well, I was able to spend a lot of time in prayer, Bible Study, and simply being still before God. Tiresome ordeal for the 1st half of October but began to feel a physical reprieve near the middle of the month.

I had fallen way behind in paperwork with school and ended up spending some time in my classroom over the weekend.  In trying to catch up, I attacked a long list of emails.  One email was from a 'past friend' that I had, obviously, unsuccessfully attempted to close all communication with. I was beyond frustrated that this person had once again appeared in my 'inbox'.  Part of my heart told me to simply press delete yet part of my heart wanted to respond in such a way that would successfully close this relational door once and for all.  I didn't immediately open the email and asked 2 girl-friends who were aware of this issue to pray for me regarding the choice that lay before me. 

In the midst of this personal conflict, professional conflict occurred which resulted in meeting with administration and all sorts of drama.  Not a pleasant time but a time of clear communication, direct confrontations, and a strength  that only could have come from God.  In the process of dealing with the job conflict, God enabled me to clearly, assertively, and honestly communicate with my professional superiors which in turn, gave me the courage to tackle the relational issue.

When the issues at work had subsided, I realized that I had to once and for all put an end to the "past friendship" that I kept allowing to re-surface even though I knew it was ultimately dangerous, harmful and sinful. I realized that my own sinful desires allowed the opening of this evil but I, also, strongly felt that God was willing to enter it with me and give me the words needed to end this emotional game once and for all.  In past attempts to end this damaging relationship, I always felt a sense of guilt because I felt that I owed this person.  God enabled me to be direct enough in this communication so that nothing could be misconstrued or misunderstood  in any way.  ONLY through the strength of God and those whom he allowed to stand by me, I was FINALLY able to say what needed to be said without feeling any guilt, remorse, or fear.  God clearly used this final chapter to strip away the lie(s) that I owed this man anything.

I remain in complete AWE of the Lord and His mercies because there hasn't been even one moment of regret, concern, sadness, guilt, etc.  Allowing myself to accept God at His Word, I now feel and know that I have absolutely been set free from this evil stronghold that I had allowed this situation to have upon for close to 21 years

My husband was so supportive during this process and God allowed communication in my marriage that restored---actually made new--- the commitment that he and I had made to each other and to God nearly 15 years ago.  God also made it abundantly clear for me to see that only because of Christ’s mercies, I was able to truly recognize that Christ's death did mean far more than I’d ever allowed it to mean.

My relationship with God has always seemed to be made up of a path that went up & down or back & forth.  I have continually and repeatedly excused or rationalized my sinful responses and actions as a sort of step in a gradual process of growth. I now realize that my often self-inflicted return to the pit was lessening the power of what Christ has already done in my life.  I finally realized, with certainty and more clarity than ever before that God wanted more for me and from me than my continual choice to wander back and forth between the Light and the Dark. The assurance sunk in that God wants me to be and to stay in the Light---so much so that He insured the permanence of that Light through Christ’s death and resurrection.  God wasn’t turning the Light on and off to see what I would do. I was repeatedly leaving the Light to see if it would still be on when I returned. God wasn’t orchestrating miserable experiences to test my character. I was choosing and even creating the miseries to test His.

The “I GOT IT” moment was devastatingly horrifying and beautiful at the same time. Horrifying that I am, without doubt, a sinful, hurtful, person. Beautiful in that God has always known that to be true and He, alone, made a way to make me ‘beautiful’ in His eyes.

My relationship with Christ isn’t a process of my growth. My relationship with Christ has been completed. The relationship is done, complete, set, and unchanging because of what Christ did and nothing I do, say, etc. can add to or take away the Light that He, mercifully, provided.

I became deeply aware that I was allowing and/or attempting to make relationship with God transitional rather than allowing Him to make it transforming. The burdens I felt lifted at that very moment of awareness were amazing, overpowering and well, transformational.

Because of accepting that TRUTH, I was finally able to allow God to shut and seal that door in regards to several "things" that I had allowed to control me.  "Set Free" has a new, profound, incredible meaning that makes me grateful for each and every moment God allows---regardless of how it feels at the time because I know that He is with  me and will work all out for the good He has planned.

Almost immediately, Satan made it clear that he was not going to give up so easily after having had me in bondage for so many years---additional drama at work, a couple of more "blasts from the past" occurred that I never imagined, a car accident that could have very easily taken my life, and some necessary boundaries had to be established.  Needless to say there have been some awkward and difficult moments yet God remained faithful and I have never felt at such peace.

Along with dealing with the past, some present relationships took a turn that I never saw coming.  Some personal, some familial, and some professional.  Some of the changes hurt far more than others.

My biggest fear in life has been to be totally open and known by a person and that person not finding me worthy.  In some of the recent relational changes that fear became a reality.  Yet God is still God and His mercies are truly new every morning.  I have realized that fear has no part in my life.  Fear does not come from God.  In being forced to face "my biggest fear",  I have been hurt but not devastated. I have been grief-stricken but not immobilized. I have been shaken but not shattered.  God's Words are TRUTH---He has made me new and more than a conqueror.

Each new day brings about different joys and challenges and I am so thankful for each and every momentGod is good and that will always be the same.  I absolutely love living within His presence, turning away from any and all fear, and eagerly anticipating what His plans for me hold.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Lies Women Believe: Book Intro. and Chapter 1




Book Notes
  • When we turn to Scripture, we are reminded that God does not intend for us to live in bondage.
  • It is possbile to walk through the realities of life (rejections, wounds, even death) in freedom and pure joy!
  • The root of most of our struggles is that we have been lied to. We have been deceived.
  • Only a radical adjustment of our way of thiunking will get to the toot of our diseased hearts and make us whole.
Satan’s objective has always been to drive a wedge between God and His creatures.


• Some of Satan’s tools are a clever combination of outright lies, half-truths, and falsehoods.

o Eve as an example

 Caused her to question the goodness, love, and motives of God.

 Lied to her about the consequences of choosing to disobey God

 Flatly contradicted what God had already said.

 Seduced Eve by offering all kinds of benefits.

 Led her to make decisions based on what she could see and on what her emotions and her reason told her to be right, even when it was contrary to what God had already said.

• Anytime we receive input that is not consistent with the Word of God, we can be sure Satan is trying to deceive and destroy us.

• We, as Christians, must open our eyes and begin to evaluate what is going on around them---to wake up to the deceptions.

• People don’t fall into bondage overnight. It is a process. Reminds me of Casting Crown’s song: “Slow Fade”

1. Listening to things that are not true is the 1st step toward ultimate bondage and death.

a. We must carefully monitor what we allow into our minds and hearts.

2. Next step to bondage is dwelling on the lie. Allow yourself to contemplate, to consider, and to engage the Enemy in conversation.

3. After dwelling, we believe despite the contradictions to God’s Word which in time leads to…

4. Acting on the lie. Believing things that aren’t true produces sinful behavior.

EVERY ACT OF SIN IN OUR LIVES BEGINS WITH A LIE!

Moving From Bondage to Freedom:

1. Identify the area(s) of bondage or sinful behavior. Ask God to show you.

2. Once you identify, don’t just try to eliminate them. The only way to permanently get rid of the poisonous fruit is to pull the bush out from the roots.

3. Identify the lie(s) at the root of that bondage or behavior.

4. Replace the lie(s) with the corresponding Truth.

KNOW THE BIBLE. CHOOSE TO BELIEVE. SPEND TIME WITH LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE. CLOTHE SELF IN PRAYER. SEEK EXPECTANTLY FROM GOD AND HIS WORD. EAGERLY RECEIVE WHAT THE LORD SAYS.



Study Guide (personal excerpts )
Jesus said this purpose is to give life in all its fullness.
  • For the longest time, I have lived in the state of survival and simply existing---being in bondage to fear of people, fear of loss, and having a false view of who God is. 
John 8:31-36
  • Freedom: relying on Him above all things and all people.  My identity to be based on Christ and Christ alone.
Through this study, I want to recognize the lies more easily and quickly replace them with God's Truth.
Is there any area of your life where you have given up hope that you can ever be free?
  • There was an inexplicable emotional tie to one I knew was wrong.  I kept falling for the lie that I owed this person something because of all the good that had supposedly come from this relationship at one time.  Over 20 years of angst, confusion, guilt, etc. and the Lord helped me to become free from this by allowing things to be said and done that left absolutely no room for mixed messages or confusion.  Truly amazing to finally be free of this harmful, dangerous relationship.
  • At times, it seems the past will never let go.  Memories and such catch me off guard at the most inopportune moments.  Have begun to realize that the actual events didn't destroy me because of God's provision and care thus the mere memories of such cannot destroy me either.  God has me covered.
How can you discern the difference between Truth and deception? How can you keep from being deceived by Satan's lies?
  • KNOW God's Word; Surround self with Godly people; Clothed in prayer

Daily Gratitude # 10

I keep a sidebar for my "Daily Gratitude". I enjoy having these moments of appreciation. I couldn't, possibly, list all that I am grateful for each day but having the simple reminder to keep an "attitude of gratitude" is proving to be worthwhile. I keep the sidebar posts going but 'cut and paste' that list when it gets lengthy. 
  • February 6: Hot Cocoa with Caramel from McDonalds at 6:30 a.m. and below 40 degrees. YUM!
  • February 5: for the funny antics of my dog, Bailey who truly does bring joy to every day.
  • February 4: friends and family who pray, advise, and encourage when uncertainites of life creep in
  • February 3: Today is Friday!! :)
  • February 2: life-long friendships with Becky Agee that bless me in more ways than I could ever express.
  • February 1: access to capable, helpful doctors. Thank you, Dr. Bassett with Arrosti!
  • January 31: Good books that encourage and inspire
  • January 30: children who find such delight in the simplest of things. Happy 100th Day of School!
  • January 29: a day of quiet, rest, and peace
  • January 28: my "baby sister" whose strength, perseverance, and patience continually astounds me
  • January 27: Having the opportunity to spend the evening with my amazing mom
  • January 26: Christian music that lifts my spirit and helps me focus on God
  • January 25: Supportive classroom parents in regards to the care and discipline of their children
  • January 24: A kind-hearted, gentle husband who comforts, advises, supports and prays for me regularly.
  • January 23: A group of fun-loving co-workers who bring a smile to my heart even on the craziest of days
  • January 22: A enjoyable, relaxing weekend safe at home with my husband

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Lies Women Believe Intro


I am participating in the above online study at Bible Cafe for Women.  I've participated in online studies before but not in this format.  Seems that the way this study is done is through responding to posted questions on their site in forms of a comment.  I will be using my site for book notes, personal observations and for following the book-related study guide.  Prayerfully, looking forward to this study and all that God will reveal. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Fill-Ins

And...here we go.
http://fridayfillins.blogspot.com/



1. When I looked out the window this morning I was so thankful to NOT see frost on the ground.
2. Politics doesn't make sense to me.
3. Remind me that I can do ALL things through Christ....
4. Spending time with my niece and nephews is something I love to do.
5. TP is always being misplaced in my house.  Buy it. Place it. Store the backup.  Forget about the backup.  Rebuy...
6. I cleaned the refrigerator recently and I found a York Peppermint Pattie.  YUM.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to hanging out with hubby and just relaxing at home, tomorrow my plans include putting the Christmas Decorations AWAY and catching up the checkbook and Sunday, I want to attend worship services, cook for the upcoming week and spend some time with my mom.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Loss

Feeling confused and a little lost.

Once again considering what a true friendship may cost.



Wasn’t expecting the anger or the shut-out.

Though God is my anchor ;  there remains a bit of doubt.



'I will always accept.

My love for you is secure.

I am your given.

A safe place to endure.'



'Nothing you can say, do, or expose

Will cause me to walk away.

Words that no one other than God

Should really say.'



We, as humans, are weak and frail.

Can’t be counted on 100% to never fail.



Broken promises.

Unkind words said.

A “forever relationship”

Now seems as nothing but dead.



Tears of grief, wrapped in anger, hurt, and loss.

But knowing that God redeemed ALL at the cross.



I may not know the answers to all of His ways.

But I will love and obey Him no matter what every day.



I will never regret those who have been a piece of my heart.

I will hold on to the wisdom, God through each, did impart.



Though I may never understand where relationships are bound.

I know, with certainty, where REAL LOVE can be found.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

A new year. 
A fresh start. 
Beginning again. 

A date that signifies hope.
Hope for reformation.
Hope for restoration.

A date that signifies remembrance.
Regrets, relinquisment, rejoicing.
Thankful that because of God,
each day is a fresh start.
His mercies are new every morning.
Thankful that because of God, 
restoration is possible.
Thankful that transformation is made possible 
with each new day.
Praying that these TRUTHS will remain in my heart 
and on my mind
for each and every day of 2012.