Monday, December 31, 2012
I've been wondering how to put into words all that has transpired over this past year. Wondering how to frame the words my heart wants to write but is just not there yet. Wondering about the fear mixed with hope that comes with the calendar page turning to reveal an entire new year tomorrow and praying that it will be different in a very big way. And then I have to remind myself all that we have overcome as a family this past year. Along with all that I have walked through and had to overcome personally as well.
If I could sum up my world this past year in one word it would be this one.
And by courage I don't mean just attempting something new or facing our fears or the usual definitions that follow that word.
But the places and spaces of courage that cause our flesh to be pressed like never before and our hearts to offer all the room that the Father needs to work and move and operate and orchestrate in our lives, no matter what we may be walking through.
I'm referring to this.
Preparing Him room. No matter what.
Even in spite of and in the midst of, difficulties and adversity and unanswered prayers.
This type of courage.
We can accept our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ but never prepare Him room in our daily lives.
We can attend church or worship every Sunday but never prepare Him room the rest of the week.
We can go on a mission trip, serve the homeless and give in the offering every week but still hold a death grip on our own life and never offer it up fully to the One who authored it in the first place.
We can hold that grip on life until our knuckles turn blue and our hearts are like stone and our spirits are so bitter with the mountains of disappointment that have come our way and never even realize it.
We serve Him with our lives but we hold our own hearts captive.
We offer Him pieces. But not everything.
We offer Him Sunday morning, but not Monday through Saturday.
We offer Him small places of our pain, but cannot bring ourselves to offer the worst of it.
He still whispers to us, even in our worst state of being.
Give it to me. Trust me. Allow me. Prepare Me room......
It is easy to love God and trust God and praise God when everything is wonderful. When everything is good. Really good. When there are positions and profits and income and increase. And jobs and paychecks and bills are paid in full. And there is success in business. It is so easy to tell the world how good God is when we are kissing a husband who loves us and the checking account is full to overflowing. It is easy to write a blog post about the absolute goodness of God from our new laptop inside the comfort of our very own home. It is easy to talk about the faithfulness of God when our days are spent shopping and cooking and baking and decorating. It is easy to overcome hardship or trials when you can pick up the phone and call an amazing set of loving parents. It is easy to tell another person that they "just need to trust God" or "God doesn't give you more than you can handle" along with a million other little phrases, when you are not in the middle of the fight of your life.
And as well meaning and as wonderful as some of that may be ~ that can't help me.
I know how they made it.
I know how they walked in love and kindness and courage and prepared Him room in their life.
I know how they get to sleep every night.
I know how they keep their marriage full of love and joy and happiness.
This post is for the other folks.
This post is for those who still trust God when none of the aforementioned is happening.
This post is for those who will tell me how good God is when they have lost everything and borrowed a computer to send an email to tell me so.
This post is for those who are staring at the calendar page of the very last day of the year and it didn't work out. Their prayers weren't answered and despair and depression are trying to strike along with midnight on New Year's Eve.
This post is for those who can celebrate and rejoice in others success and prosperity and accomplishments when that hasn't happened in their own life.
This post is for those who can share out of a place of genuine happiness and joy for friends who are having a baby when they cannot seem to get pregnant at all or who have miscarried or lost a baby.
This post is for those who rejoice and celebrate when others find a wonderful spouse in life, even though they may be walking through divorce or have yet to even meet someone worthy of marriage.
This post is for those who can tell others how good God is while they are feeding their children from a food pantry every week.
This post is for those who tell others in one breath that they have cancer and the very next breath tell them this. "I still trust Him."
This post is for those who have walked through a level of betrayal in friendships they never imagined, walked through slander, malicious gossip and judgement, but still long to be a loyal and faithful friend to others in spite of that.
These things and so much more take a special type of courage.
I call it "midnight hour courage."
A depth of courage that can only come when we release our life and say those famous words in the midnight hour ....
Be it unto me Lord. I trust you Lord. I praise you Father.
When we praise Him in advance and trust Him in the midst.
Courage to keep going when the bottom drops out and friends walk away and people slander your family.
Courage to tell your children about the goodness of God when there isn't a shred of security or provision.
Courage to open your heart again after tremendous loss or divorce or a broken heart.
Courage to believe that God heals, when your body still needs healing.
Courage to trust again. Courage to love again. Courage to start again. To begin again.
Courage to refuse not to believe that God is who He says He is in the midst of unanswered prayers, fiery trials and persecution.
Courage to prepare Him room in our lives, while walking through setback after setback.
Courage to believe the best, hope the best, offer our best during the fight of our lives.
And maybe this is you.
Maybe this is the ground on which you stand today, this last day of 2012.
Take off your shoes sweet friend. (Exodus 3:5)
This place where you stand, of sacrifice and persecution and fiery trials is Holy Ground.
I'm writing to you with bare feet from my own Holy Ground today.
I want to encourage you with one thing before the very first day of the new year begins...
Prepare Him room.
Maybe life has been unkind to you this last year. Maybe your heart has been hardened or turned bitter and cold. Maybe you feel that it seems to work out for everyone else and God- but not you.
Would you open your heart to Him today anyway?
Even if you've done this before and then walked away from Him and feel like there is no point in this whole God thing?
Would you open your hands, your heart, your mind, your spirit and soul and give every single heartache, disappointment, unanswered prayer, unmet need and unhealed hurt to Jesus?
He's calling you unto Himself right now....
All you have to do is answer.
There isn't a fancy prayer. You don't have to know all the right words.
You don't have to stand up and declare a specific scripture.
You can just simply say this...
I need you Lord. I repent of my sins. I ask You to come into my heart and be my Lord and Savior. I believe You are the Way and the Truth and the Life and I give my life to You now.
He is near the brokenhearted.
He is hovering over you and calling you and wooing you unto Himself.
He's waiting for you to offer up the year that was 2012 and every year before that where you may have had to fight for your life and fight for it alone.
He wants you to know that you were never alone.
He wants you to know that when we prepare Him room in our lives, He will come in like a flood and begin to shift and organize and remove and straighten and adjust for our good and His glory. And it may be painful at first. And it may be difficult and it may not be what we had envisioned.
The Refiners fire is no easy thing.
But eventually, we will see His hand at work in our lives. We will see that He had our best interest at heart the whole time. We will see when we prepare Him room that He becomes our focus and everything else pales in comparison.
And it will be worth it.
I am praying for those of you who have walked through a difficult year this year. I am praying that a double portion recompense would be yours in 2013. That there would not be room enough to receive all that He has set aside for you and your family.
I know that He is well able.
I would love for you to share how you are planning to prepare Him room in the coming new year. I know it will encourage the hearts of others here as well.
Happy New Year to you beautiful friends. Don't give up. It is not over....
It's just the beginning.
With A Grateful heart by Sibi at 1:11 PM
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Merry Christmas blog friends,
Have you all heard about this beautiful demonstration going on around the country called 26 Acts?
Folks everywhere are beginning to do 26 random acts of kindness to honor the precious lives lost
in the horrific Newtown tragedy. One random act of kindness for each life.
I cannot imagine the depth of heartbreak those mothers and fathers and families are walking through right now.
There are no words big enough to heal the grief, loss and sorrow.
Only prayers and beautiful acts of kindness can offer some light and hope in a time of such darkness.
Only Jesus can comfort their empty arms.
We send our love and prayers to the Newtown community and to the Mothers and Fathers and families who have lost their beautiful babies and family members.
I wanted to share the links to the websites for anyone who would like to participate.
We are blessed to be a blessing.....
With A Grateful heart by Sibi at 9:57 AM