Monday, May 30, 2011

Breaking Free - The Finale

May 14th was the last time I blogged. This is such a stressful time of the year for me. Did I mention that before? Anyway...these are my three days to sleep in. I have been up before six each day. As I went to bed last night, I was thinking about my Breaking Free class wrapping up, and everything else for the summer. School is wrapping up. Dance is wrapping up. Little League is wrapping up. My job is wrapping up. Relay is approaching. I booked the excursions for Alaska (which took over an hour). I am just tired!

I laid in bed yesterday around 1:30 ready to have a melt-down. I thought, maybe I should call someone. But I couldn't. I started praying "be still and know that I am God. and "for my burden is light and my yoke is perfect." I cried a little. I was frustrated at my family and trying not to let it show. I put the pillow over my head and continued to pray.

I have been in the pit but why? With what? I heard one of the Bible study ladies talk about being a "fixer and people-pleaser". It just clicked. My friend said that being a people-pleaser doesn't have to be a negative thing. I really have been thinking about that statement. I have been asking God to search my heart. This is what the Holy Spirit has taught me in the last two days:

Someone will share a struggle with me. I will naturally want to help and "fix" the problem. I will give a solution, what works for me. Then the person chooses not to take my advise. They continue to do it their way. They continue to struggle. They continue to complain. Then I get frustrated.

I gave them an example. I gave them Jesus.
I offered them help. I offered them Jesus.
There is a better way then their way. Jesus is the way.
Why won't they listen? It's not your voice they need to hear.
Why won't they change? It's not you who can change them, but I.

If everything ran smoothly in life, there would have never been a need for The Cross. An example of that would be my Apples. On Friday, we had twelve compliant three/four year olds. They played so nicely. I was reading to one of them while watching my co-teacher play rubber stamps with others. I thought, man this is almost BORING. Then I thought, no this is peaceful. This is what PEACE feels like but no one ever feels it because we are running crazy ALL THE TIME. I shared that with her, of course. About an hour later, two little girls had a fight over a blanket. We got to sit in the heart center and talk about WWJD (what would Jesus do?). I was so thankful for an explosion. LOL, you can't win with me!

So just now, I pull out my Beth Moore workbook (which I have not completed)and I am reading a paragraph about ministering. Here is what Beth says:

Our motivations for reaching out and serving others aren't always pure. My dear friend Kathy Torccoli, who ministers full-time, asked a critical question. "Am I ministering out of my need or out of the overflow of my own relationship with God?" We would be wise to ask ourselves the same question. Do we crave the affirmation of those we serve, and do they help us feel important? Or do we serve because Jesus has so filled our hearts that we must find a place to pour the overflow? A ministry to the truly oppressed helps purify our serving motives. You see, they don't have much to give back. The satisfied soul is never a more beautiful display of God's splendor than when willing to empty self for the lives of others."

I have that need. I pat myself on the back ALL THE TIME (breaking my arm is actually the catch phrase). I want to "fix" people so they can then turn to me and say "thank you". And...pat me on the back. I have a need. They need to affirm who I am. But God says, NO. I affirm who you are. You are strong through ME. You can do all things through Me. You don't need to please anyone but Me. You are doing this for the wrong reasons.

We were born to crave but what we crave is actually the question here. I crave recognition.

I don't need to "fix" them. I need to love them. Love them. Love them. I need to encourage them. Encourage them. Encourage them. And I need to pray, pray, pray for them. Those are the things that I can do. The Holy Spirit will do the rest. I have to accept that it's not about me and my agenda. It's not about me and my ways. It's all about Him.

Isaiah 55:8-9
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

I told someone last week that I want to be God, or maybe I just want to play God so I can "fix" everyone. Except I would force it on them. I would just do it for them, you know solve their problems. There would be no learning process. And there would be no gentleness. And their certainly wouldn't be any willingness.

I have so much to learn about Love. I think that I am being that mature Christian and then I realize, I have so far to go. But I am not discouraged by that statement. I am all about learning. I know my true ministry is right here in these walls with my own family. But if you want to pray for me, I would love that. Pray that I can recognize the strong-hold that satan has. He is using what is intended to be positive and God-honoring yet I see how damaging it can be. Pray that I have wisdom this summer with my own children. Pray that we can manage our money well without my paycheck for three months. Pray that I can continue to submit to God's authority through obedience. OK, lets start with that.

Thank you, Friend.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Written by Daniel (8 years old)

Black is the color when I go to sleep.
Black is the color when I shut my eyes.
Black is when I go to the movies.
Black smells like fire.
Black tastes like licorice.
Black sounds like monsters in the dark.
Black looks like a cave.
Black feels like Goosebumps.
Black makes me go to sleep.
Black is the color of the sky at night.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Almost Breaking Free

As the Breaking Free Bible study is wrapping up, I am thinking about what I've learned over the last several months. I looked through posts and mostly what I wrote was a summary of Beth Moore's words. Then I came upon a post that I wrote on April 8th. As I read over it, one specific word stuck out...DISAPPOINTMENT. I suffer from this "unbelief" disease. People don't act the way I want them to. People don't respond the way I want them to. I let people down. Then disappointment sets in. I put an awful lot of pressure on myself when I am trying to do God's job. I think I can be Jesus. I think I HAVE to be Jesus. Instead I need to let Jesus be Jesus and I am to just be His grace.

Anyway, I wanted to share this story again with you. My walk with Jesus is a constant one. Many days I take baby steps. Many days I don't take any steps. He just carries me. Do you know my God? Oh I hope you do!

Conversation with God
April 8, 2011

I confess: I was angry. I was complaining. I had hate in my heart. I cried. I wanted someone to feel bad for me. To feel bad for my girl. I was so hurt. Won't anyone love my child? Who will love my child?

That's when JJ Heller's song came to mind, Love Me. "Who will love me for me. Not for what I have done or what I will become?"

Yes, God, you will.

I email Jeannette. I text Denise and my Pastor. Then I email them also. Why am I not praying. Why am I going elsewhere?

Lord, what can I do? I am so frustrated. Who will help my child? Who will help me?

My help comes from the Lord.

I google those words and find Psalm 121. I think there is a song too, but I can't think. I have to take Amanda to dance class. As we get in the car, I said "Panara cookie or Frosty?" She finally decided on a Frosty. As we drove to dance, I had her read Psalm 121. I asked her if she knew what song that was. She started singing it immediately. "Praise You in the Storm" by Casting Crowns.

And I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I've been thinking about something a lot lately. I don't know if I can take credit for this or if I heard it somewhere, but Amanda is a "crack dweller". OK, listen while I explain.

Amanda is that person who falls between the cracks and goes unnoticed. As I explain this to her on the drive to dance, I said "I too am a cracker dweller. And your aunt." Invisible. But we do not go unnoticed by God. He has never taken His eyes off of us.

I continue, "God is the only one who will not ignore you. He will not belittle you. He will not DISAPPOINT you."

It's about a ten minute drive, but we got to read the bible together. We sang a song together. We talked about how much I love her. How I am frustrated with the situation but not her. And we talked about God's love.

Then I went to bible study. I sat and spoke to two of my sisters. They are both so knowledgeable in an area that I am not. They understand 504 plans. I was given websites and encouraged to obtain an advocate for Amanda. I was immediately encouraged. It was brought to my attention that the math teachers homework policy does not apply to a child with a 504 plan. Oh, I have research to do.

Father God,
You are amazing. You know exactly what I need and who to deliver that information through. You have strategically placed the most amazing people in my life.
I confess that I struggled for several hours yesterday with emotions that were not of You, Lord. I had anger, frustration, doubt, and disappointment.
I thank You Lord for taking those from me. Keep providing a way out Lord. Show me how to resist the temptation to complain. Thank you for this storm. How many people are praying for me and my girl?
I ask that you give me the eyes to see and the ears to hear. Please give me the brain to understand what I am reading on the L.I.F.E website.
In Jesus name. AMEN.

Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The LORD watches over you—
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

Nothing has changed with Amanda's 504 plan. But something has changed in me. I know that God will work out all of the details for the remainder of the year. I need to find the message in the mess and most importantly I need to just give Him the glory.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Words of Wisdom on a Tuesday

The longer we walk with Jesus, and the more we seek His truth, the more we’ll recognize His voice and enjoy the freedom found in Him. It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. (Galatians 5:1, NIV)

Father God,
I can't even put in to words the feelings I have for You. Your love for me is amazing to say the least. I am forgiven and loved. How could I doubt this ever when I read the words from John 3:16.
Lord I confess that I like happy endings. I want to fix all the ones I love. I want to be You. Help me to understand that only You can change people. Only you can change me. Help me to accept that this is not a conference call. You will draw each of us closer if it is Your will, Lord.
Lord, I am thankful that I can give that burden to you, for Your yoke is light. I am not responsible for anyone else's growing. I am responsible for myself. Thank you for giving me Your Holy Spirit to prick my heart when it is so often needed.
Lord, please bless anyone reading this. Do a work in their life like You have done in mine. Let them know that they too can be free because they are Forgiven and Loved. In Jesus Name, AMEN