Saturday, April 30, 2011

From Running Away to Running Towards

Life goes by so quickly sometimes, changing in a blink of an eye.  So many things have occurred within the last few weeks its amazing, especially within the last few days, and yet-because He is with me-I will be alright.
So my grandmother died 2 weeks ago and having 9 living children (2 deceased) and no set will with a bunch of hearsay makes things interesting to say the least.

I cannot say I have a great deal of memories regarding my grandmother really, whenever we went down she was generally gossiping about one of her children so my sisters and I just went and watched TV most days, unless actual plans were made.  I only have one gift my grandmother gave me, a little bear when I was 9 years old which I still have today. 

It took a while for me to truly grasp the totality of what that meant.  It didn't really effect me too much it seemed and honestly the whole time I was more concerned about my mother because I know how close she was to her mom and I hadn't seen her really grieve. 

After going down to Florida for her memorial (which my mother was the speaker of), we left for a family-remembering type gathering afterwards, and along the way it finally came.  As usual all I wanted was to get away from everyone, to run.  From my feelings, from myself, from family.  But I couldn't this time, I HAD to face them, and I HAD to like it. 

As I walked in my cousin's house, her hug welcoming me was strange and uncomfortable and all I wanted was to hide, but of course that wasn't going to work and after a few minutes I grasped my sister, hid in the bathroom, and clung to her as hard as I could, I was held by her and held her in return and cried icy tears upon her shoulder. For the first time I opened up my full emotions to someone else, allowing someone to help me with the burden of my pain. I released.  Afterwards clearing my face, I managed to recollect wonderful memories with my sister and family of our trips to grandmother's house.

Due to disputes among my 8 aunts and uncles, my grandmother still has yet to be dealt with, she was supposed to be cremated, but only when all 9 living children signed in agreement.  This of course caused dissension among them, which stressed my 'peacemaker' mother out.   Well Easter Sunday was when God allowed her to hit the breaking point.  She ended up losing her short term memory, losing the entire last 2-weeks (her mother's death up till the present). She couldn't remember the month, day, where she got her shirt, her purse and shoes, where we were going, what she or we just said, that her mother died, that we had the memorial, or even that she spoke and sang at it.

This scared the crap out of me, but after looking at my older sister I realized I had to get a grip and get over it.  During church I just kept repeating by His stripes she IS healed. After church it started to get worse so we admitted her to a hospital, Tina staying with her and me taking up the responsibility of talking to everybody and informing until visiting hours.

Course this is the exact moment someone picked to discuss another personal matter, once which isn't worth even discussing now, but at the time, with so much going on already, wasn't quite the funnest thing to add on my quite-filled plate. I wanted to so badly but yet...still I couldn't run away, I had to be strong and face what lay head of me,  the feelings I was starting to crack under the weight of.
He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. ~Matthew 18:2-5 NKJV
So I became like a child again, clutching my sister now as she cried upon the bed wrapped in the quilt my mother made her mother, ate my aunt's homemade brownies and cookies, and cried myself-finally calling out to my heavenly Father, needing him to give me His strength in these present times of trouble.  The next morning I got up and after my shower I read my devotional and just sat with Him alone for about an hour or so, and the peace that goes beyond understanding came.

Long story short, after a 3-day stay at a local hospital and MANY tests, it ended up being TGA, Transient Global Amnesia.  Basically due to the high amount of emotional stress she was under.  We returned home and although the phone calls from Florida still occur daily, we are basically back to normal.  Of course I wanted to workout, it had been far too long for me doing any form of working out but strangely I really didn't feel like running.  I brushed it off and worked out at the gym, assuming I would the next day, but it came and as beautiful as the day was, I didn't really want to run.  Now this was foreign to me, any ONE of those things would have been more than enough to cause me to go on a crazy, wear out my feelings to God run and after all that not wanting to?  As I worked out at the gym He revealed it to me: for once I didn't need to.  He showed me that despite all the psycho events: losing any chance to grow my relationship with my only grandmother, the scare of mentally losing my mother forever, and other issues-all I needed truly was Him, and I had Him all along.  He helped me form an even stronger bond and open up to my sister in a way I haven't allowed myself really to anyone, grow a relationship with my aunt I never had, and through Him find an inner strength I didn't know I had. 

So I decided that Saturday, I was going to run just for the pure enjoyment. And it was awesome, the gentle breeze upon my face bringing the perfume of the honeysuckles and cologne of the evergreens. The bright blue sky, warmth of the sun upon my shoulders, trees standing guard, and flowers dressed in their best awaiting me to pass.  All of God's creation worshiping Him in His glory in their own unique way with me running by trying to absorb it all within me.  Even during my stretch I was amazed as a spider started to weave a beautiful string masterpiece, one tiny piece of delicate clear thread at a time.

And how long will its hard worked creation last?  A few moments, but long enough for me to enjoy. It's amazing how God even gave each creation a talent or hobby.  Mine I'm not sure of really, but I'll keep trying different things, and enjoying every form of art I find, loving Him with each expression.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Wondering what the cheesecake is up?

Just in case if you were wondering, I finally decided to just delete my old blog altogether and repost all my posts from it on here, that way I won't have to deal with deleting spam-mail for the rest of the original writing dates are all typed at the top of each blog.

& sorry for all the posts at once lol

Thank ya kindly :)

Amazing Love, How Can it be?

*Originally written on Sunday, April 3rd, 2011*


Psalm 139 (KJV)

 1O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.
 2Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
 3Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.
 4For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.
 5Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.
 6Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.
 7Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
 8If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
 9If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
 10Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
 11If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.
 12Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.
 13For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.
 14I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
 15My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
 16Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
 17How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!
 18If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.
 19Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.
 20For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.
 21Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?
 22I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.
 23Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
 24And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

 This has to be my favorite psalm, I will look at the others and love them but everytime I read this one, it just reaches in and speaks to me in a way I don’t understand and cannot explain.  I guess its one of those personal things between God and me.  I think its because I feel that I understand the way David felt when he wrote this. I cannot begin to fathom Him thinking of me, especially that much.  I cannot imagine that He loved me enough to write an entire book of just what He planned on accomplishing through me, who He wanted to bless through me.  He wrote about our relationship, His amazing love for me, and every word hand written by Him was written with Christ’s blood redeeming me, allowing me to be held in God’s arms, wrapped in His amazing unsearchable love!  
Picture this, God sitting with a book of blank pages before Him, as He takes His finger and gently places it upon the page. 

And He starts to write…   

As He writes the first few letters, then a word or two, and it begins…

Excitement starts to shine from His face just thinking of you, just you as you are, just as he made you,  good and bad…

Love flows as Christ’s blood forms words, words of Your future through Christ that your heavenly Father plans for you! Just for you, only for you. He ends the book with a single tear of love falling upon the page, blending with the blood and forming His signature.

As I finished my study this morning, ending with just looking over this Psalm, soaking it in, I folded myself upon my bed and layed all before Him.  And I just loved Him.  I can’t offer Him anything, do anything for Him, all I can do honestly is LOVE Him and allow Him to use me, work through me.  I want to be a dry sponge and absorb as much of God as I can!  I want to drip of His being so others can experience at least a taste of who I have loving me, thinking of me nonstop, watching over me.

“ 9Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away. 10Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”     Isaiah 41:9-10

 Just laying before Him, letting Him have me, being silent and thinking of all the aspects of God my physical mind will allow…there is just something about it.  As I slowly, grudgingly, began to rise I saw the Sun shine brilliantly through my window, through my bamboo blinds, stronger than ever before.  His love shone through my room and touched me…warmed me…let me know that although I am not seeking His presence, His presence is still there, loving me no matter what, and always will be…

“For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
         The LORD will give grace and glory;
         No good thing will He withhold
         From those who walk uprightly.”
Psalm 84:10-12 (NKJV)
“2 Blessed be the name of the LORD
         From this time forth and forevermore!
 3 From the rising of the sun to its going down
         The LORD’s name is to be praised.
 4 The LORD is high above all nations,
         His glory above the heavens.”
Psalm  113:2-4 (NKJV)
2 Praise Him, all His angels;
         Praise Him, all His hosts!
 3 Praise Him, sun and moon;
         Praise Him, all you stars of light!
 4 Praise Him, you heavens of heavens,
         And you waters above the heavens!”
Psalm 142:2-4 (NKJV)
“But the path of the just is like the shining sun,
      That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.”
Proverbs 4:18 (NKJV)

The Embrace

*Originally written on March17th, 2011*

I almost didn't post this. It is going to be a personal, more intimate, blog-harder for me even than the last...which trust me was a stepping out. The only reason I have the strength to type this, besides God who inspired me in the first place, was a friend who helped me realize, although painful, open rejection is worth it if you can help just one soul. For isn't that exactly what Christ came and did, for each and every individual.  This subject came at random Tuesday morning on my way to work after a nice hour and a half oversleeping.

It all started with a song, but not one on the radio, not on my car CD player, not on my iPod or iPhone, but it played in my mind.

Natalie Imbruglia "Torn"
I thought I saw a man brought to life
He was warm
He came around
And he was dignified
He showed me what it was to cry
Well you couldn't be that man I adored
You don't seem to know
Or seem to care
What your heart is for
I don't know him anymore
There's nothin' where he used to lie
My conversation has run dry
That's what's going on
Nothings right
I'm torn
I'm all out of faith
This is how I feel
I'm cold and I am shamed
Lying naked on the floor
Illusion never changed
Into something real
I'm wide awake and I can see the perfect sky is torn
You're a little late
I'm already torn
So I guess the fortune tellers right
I should have seen just what was there and not some holy light
But you crawled beneath my veins
And now, I don't care
I have no luck
I don't miss it all that much
There's just so many things
That I can't touch
I'm torn
There's nothin' he used to lie
My inspiration has run dry
That's what's going on
Nothing's right
I'm torn

The chorus is what played continuously in my head.  Why on earth was I thinking of this song?  I've not heard its overplayed lyrics in years...and it came to me.

It's how the world leaves us and how we first embrace God. 

We start by seeking this spouse, beautiful looking, seeming to we stray from God and instead pour out ourselves-our souls, revealing ourselves and all to be fooled and left alone bound and broken on the floor.  The 'perfect' sky, perfect idealistic life is torn slowly before our eyes. Like that famous emperor we are all promised by the world such a beautiful set of clothing, when really we are too prideful to realize how naked and foolish we really are.

"Bound, naked, ashamed".  We just want to hide, but it is this state that God wants to embrace us, comfort us...and its in this state we finally surrender all of ourselves to him, revealing our more sacred, tender side.

Our intimate parts.

I think this is a major part of why our relationship with Christ is compared to a marriage, there is just something about a newlywed couple...the wedding night, and the first time she undresses before Him-before anyone.  The first time she makes herself vulnerable to someone, to touch and to be touched.  For me, its something I fear-and yet-excitedly await.  As a girl who's waiting till she's married in a society where sex is something you do with anyone when your bored.

I have a horrible fear of being vulnerable.  I try to hide my true inner feelings, oh so many to hide it hurts so badly as they bleed forth from my heart, my eyes, and my knees as my legs collapse because I'd rather run then reveal who I really am to the world.  The pain of being ashamed that you feel makes the idea of any kind of intimacy difficult to grasp, especially that kind.  I can't even stare at some people in the eyes when I can tell they see through who I am (which is why cute shoes are always important) much less having that same person stare at me, undressed inside and out.

But there must be something to this, for Solomon wrote an entire book of the bible about the relationship between a man and a women. A relationship that, at least as a girl, is what I've been awaiting my heavenly Father to bring me. My soul mate, the one who I complete, that I can unite with and create one being with. A Song of Solomon is book too often skipped and overlooked, under-read, its become the scarlet letter of the bible. Ashamed, people often try to make excuses about how it 'accidently' got inserted...But I find it to be one of the most intriguing and beautiful books within the bible. 

Now I'm not saying I believe that it represents our relationship with God, but to me it reveals why God creates sex as such an important event.  It was the first command God gave Adam and Eve. To multiply-well there is only one way to really do that. And I'm not trying to glamorize sex.  It is a very physical event between two people and not the fairytale they make little girls believe to keep them a virgin as long as possible. I realize this, but I guess as someone on the outside of things, and very inexperienced in this area (OBVIOUSLY), its what I see and feel.

Since we are the bride of Christ, we begin our marriage when we come to Him naked and broken...awaiting His touch to heal our hearts as we then lovingly embrace each other.  There is something about being in the arms of Christ that I think cannot be compared to anything earthly and yet...every true believer that has a deep relationship with the Lord understands, in their own personal way; a way no other being does. 
Not to get on this again, but we would never understand the deep meaningful intimate embrace of our Lord Jesus Christ if it wasn't for the painful rejection of the world. 

*Comment from original post:

Love it love! Thanks for being so raw and open. I LOVE reading your writings! It inspires me to want to write in my blog… if I could only bring myself to do it haha

Feelings...nothing more than feelings...

*Originally written on March 14th, 2011*

I hate that I have such strong feelings, strong emotions, & a strong soul sometimes...One of the hardest things for me to do is express how I feel, I feel so much with such a passion it feels like I'm cracking into pieces...every tear is so loaded with more than any person I can imagine.  I know God doesn't give us more than we can bear, but this is such a heavy burden to carry sometimes...

so I Forrest Gump I run with all I am, I harden myself, grab some sneakers and run till I'm numb or my legs won't carry me any further...why express things nobody else really is concerned or even knows exist.  Who would listen anyhoo, and why would they care to?  Part of me wonders why I'm even writing this blog.

I had planned on only running 6 miles, but you KNOW it's God when the Floyd Road Silver Comet trail light changes right when you reach it, its such a rarity, that I changed directions to my longer route and went up to 8.4 miles, but ended up running 10.5 instead.  While it wasn't enough to run away completely from myself-not even a corner really-I did connect with God by the end.

The blue sky and warmth from the sun, or for me the Son, powered me...cheered me up and on and even helped me bless others on the trail He brought along my path.  And the end, I felt heavy, but instead of it being from all the hurt and feelings and inner pain within my soul, it was heavy from the blessed weight of His unmerited favor and love, the weight of all that He is!

The more I know and experience Him the more I want to know and experience! And yet, the harder it is to really handle...I'm sure we don't even grasp an atom of the being and essence of God the Father, God the Son, or God the Holy Spirit.  At one point I almost wanted to collapse, but not from my own tears but from the glory of God upon me, it was like He was drawing me to Him, comforting me but in the act of His embrace, the closer I got the harder it was to bear the fullness of who He is...yet like a drug I still crave more!  It may overwhelm me, and the more it happens on my runs I wonder if my body will be able to handle it, but I want another hit of Christ, I want another dose but a bigger one!  Give me oh God as much as I can handle of You, and then even more!  If it kills me it would just draw me even closer to You!  And what a way to die, to die from the embrace of the LORD!

Not that I'm wanting to die or anything, just a thought.

On the way home a song came on that always reaches me, Beautiful by Mercy Me.

The days will come when you don't have the strength
When all you hear is you're not worth anything
Wondering if you ever could be loved
And if they truly saw your heart they'd see too much
You're beautiful
You're beautiful
You are made so much more than all of this
You're beautiful
You're beautiful
You are treasured, You are sacred, You are His
You're beautiful
I'm praying that you have the heart to find
Cause you are more than what is hurting you tonight
For all the lies you've held inside so long
And they are nothing in the shadow of the cross
You're beautiful
You're beautiful
You are made so much more than all of this
You're beautiful
You're beautiful
You are treasured, You are sacred, You are His
You're beautiful
Before you ever took a breath
Long before the world began
Of all the wonders He possessed
There was one more precious
Of all the earth and skys above
You're the one He madly loves
Enough to die
You're beautiful
You're beautiful
In His eyes
You're beautiful
You were meant for so much more than all of this
You're beautiful
You are treasured, You are sacred, You are His
You're beautiful
You're beautiful
You're meant for so much more than all of this
You're beautiful
You're beautiful
You are treasured, You are sacred, You are His

A friend once posted this for me (and others) and it really does reach out to me...I just sat in the car, crying out to my Father, tears I cannot explain, for feelings I cannot explain.  My soul is tired, I'm tired of caring so much.  Wishing they would just leave me, but knowing He's given them to me for some reason and purpose I cannot fathom at this point in my life.

In all of this life, at least I'm beautiful to Him, at least I know that God desires me, loves me, understands me and accepts me just as I am, just as He created me to be. Knowing all the mistakes I would make, He loves me.  Knowing I would let Him down He loved me.  Knowing I would doubt Him, knowing my lack of faith, knowing how many times I would cry to Him over the same silly things that in the end, don't seem to matter much to anyone but me...He loved me.  He even made me to care about those silly little things...I may not be able to express my feelings, not even well to God, but I can cry with all my heart to Him, and He understands it all, the unspoken inexpressible feelings, emotions, the pain, the tears...He strengthens my Spirit and through it-my soul is nourished

and I carry on.

Through Him, and by Him and Him alone...despite He's lack of answers He has for my pain-filled questions, He carries me on with a joy amidst the storm of my life.  For the joy of the Lord is my strength and stronghold in times of trouble.  We don't have to understand, in fact I think that is when we receive His true peace, is when we let go and let God...

it just took me 10.5 miles and a cry on the Lord's shoulder to get there

My Joshua Tree

*Originally written on March 12th, 2011*

I'm currently reading a new book, The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls, A Memoir...and although the beginning was kinda slow, I've really started to enjoy it.  Before I even hit 50 pages, I've already had a few lines speak to me.

It wasn't just any tree. It was an ancient Joshua tree. It stood in a crease of land where the desert ended and the mountain began, forming a wind tunnel. From the time the Joshua tree was a tiny sapling, it had been so beaten down by the whipping wind that, rather than trying to grow skyward, it had grown in the direction that the wind pushed it. It existed now in a permanent state of windblownness, leaning over so far that it seemed ready to topple, although, in fact, its roots held it firmly in place...One time I saw a tiny Joshua tree sapling growing not too far from the old tree, I wanted to dig it up and replant it near our house. I told Mom that I would protect it from the wind and water it every day so that it could grow nice and tall and straight.
Mom frowned at me. "You'd be destroying what makes it special," she said. "It's the Joshua tree's struggle that gives it its beauty."

 Now I know we've all heard variations of this type of story, I remember Joyce Meyer's using a version with a baby eagle, but there are so many elements to this one that make it reach me even deeper.  First off I love the name of the tree, it reminds me of Joshua in the bible, like the tree standing strong he was one of the only two Israelites who left Egypt to get to see the promise land after 40 years in the dessert.  Because he had faith in his God and knew that God kept His word.

 "No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.  This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:5-9

"No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it." 1 Corinthians 10:13

All those who have accepted Christ are children of God, we are sons and daughters! Heirs of the King!  But we, just as the Joshua tree was made to withstand the wind and dessert weather, are made to withstand.

"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,[c] against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." Ephesians 6:10-13

Its our struggle against all the opposing forces that shape us into who we are. If we never had any battles, we would never learn how strong our heavenly Father is, how much He loves us, adores any relationship its the hard times that help the relationship blossom and the two people together even more.  We learn more of God's character, and more of the character He created us with. 

A friend of mine on facebook put up two statuses that God spoke to me though at around the same time:

"When you believe in Jesus you are saved, when you realize that Jesus believes in you, it will radically mess you up!!!!"

and "Jesus came to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable"

The more you learn and trust in Jesus and His unmerited favor (grace) that He blesses us with if we choose to accept it, the more battles we will have to endure to truly grasp even a fraction of the love Christ really has for us.  Until you have a hard battle, you never know you could endure that battle through His strength.  Until Peter stepped out of the boat to walk on the water, He never knew that through Christ, he could.  Before Job lost everything he had built around himself, he never knew-or would have probably believed-that he even could endure so much hardship though our Father. He never understood or grasped a fraction of the full power and love of the amazing YAH. I never knew I would be able to endure a Father with a tumor for 15 years, an eating disorder, running 13.1 miles, or even my biggest battle I'm currently undergoing~myself, until He brought me though all of them (and still is) with His peace and love. Holding me the whole way, cradling me, embracing me and capturing all my tears, crying some of His own while watching me go though these battles.  We have to be afflicted to find the true comfort that comes from Jesus. 

On a date, hiking Sweet Water Creek, Ga., after our picnic walking back we passed a tree covered in knotts and while my date thought it was hidious, I found it strangly intreguing, beautiful.  I think this is how the world sees us, our battles look ugly and they don't understand. They are outside of His peace, they are looking down at the problem and down at themselves. But through the eyes of God, when we keep our focus on things above, on Christ, on our Father above who guides us through His love, we are beautiful! 
We, like the little girl, try to protect ourselves, hide from the hardships, from the wind of the world that tries to tear out our roots, but that will just kill us, destroy our beauty. We cannot grow strong without something (or someone) to fight against. 

When we are planted in Christ...having done all, we WILL STAND no matter how the wind pulls at us. No matter how the battle is perceived from the outside world.  

And while we feel ugly, forgotten and alone in the cold dessert night, all the time God stands beside us, painting our lives into a personal and unique masterpiece, beautiful and unlike any other on earth.
my next painting, I think I too want to paint a Joshua Joshua tree...

(Jump in de line, rock your body in time) OK, I believe you!

*Originally written on March 4th, 2011*

"Mister!" he said with a sawdusty sneeze,
"I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees.
I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues...."

The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss, had to be my absolute favorite Dr. Seuss book/movie ever...and still is actually.  I'm not sure why, or what exactly it is about that story, but it spoke to me at a very young age, & gets me still today.  March 2nd was celebrated as Dr. Seuss day in honor of Theodor Seuss Geisel, more popularly known as the beloved Dr. Seuss, who celebrated his 107th birthday.  In honor of this, Life University had a reading day where we could volunteer to read to the BrightLife daycare children one of his books.  They provided some but mine wasn't listed so I brought it and read it to the preschoolers.  Reading the story to them really brought back memories, and made me realize that it was this very book, this very movie, that first sparked the inner tree-hugger.  It is what made me an environmentalist and nature-lover.  I remember every earth day I would get so excited because I knew they were going to play the movie! 

It's funny how such little, insignificant things can speak such volumes into lives.  Things you don't think twice on like a tired teacher popping in The Lorax movie for earth day so she can take a break and get some things done. Never realizing the life she just changed by that one movie.

I was reminded of this again today when at work I was emotionally about to just crack, all I could do at that second to keep my sanity and try to hide from my coworkers that I was about to cry was just think on how I really wanted a hug (...maybe I'd facebook that, or facebooka particular friend who I knew gave awesome hugs...) and justas I was thinking that as I stared at my computer screen trying not to cry, guess who surprised me with a hello?  It would be the one friend I wanted a hug from, I needed a hug from!  I'm sure when he came into the library that morning he didn't know that his normal stopping by the reference desk to greet me would end up answering my silent prayer.  But it did, it kept me together the rest of the day...and all it was, was a really good true hug.

How we live our lives, even in the small steps of our days, impact so many others it gets me thinking, how do I live my life?  How do I live the aspects of my life that I don't think about?  How do I live out the details?  

As the Switchfoot song, This is Your Life song goes:

"Yesterday is a wrinkle on your forehead
Yesterday is a promise that you’ve broken
Don’t close your eyes, don’t close your eyes
This is your life and today is all you’ve got now
Yeah, and today is all you’ll ever have
Don’t close your eyes
Don’t close your eyes

This is your life, are you who you want to be
This is your life, are you who you want to be
This is your life, is it everything you dreamed that it would be
When the world was younger and you had everything to lose
Yesterday is a kid in the corner
Yesterday is dead and over
This is your life, are you who you want to be
This is your life, are you who you want to be
This is your life, is it everything you dreamed that it would be
When the world was younger and you had everything to lose..."

 When running today, I kept trying so hard to not think on all the emotional things going on in my head, & focus on God and what's funny is first God had my ipod play a song that was about trying to escape from your own thoughts and fears, and then He played

Harry Belafonte (Herold George Belafonte)'s Jump in the Line (Shake., Senora)

I couldn't help but think back on the movie Bettlejuice where Winona Ryder floats & dances to this song & couldn't help but being amused.  I looked at the sun that was softly shining upon me through a light, perfect cloud covering, I could just see God smiling at me I telling me plainly to lighten up, not to take life so seriously.

Then of course I spent the next few seconds 'dancing' while running to this song, & it had to be the highlight of my run!   But it also revealed to me that I'm not truly who God intended me to me unless I am relaxed in Him.  When we are stressed, worried, fearful, angry, etc. we lose a part of ourselves.

When we are experiencing these emotions, what kind of impact are we going to leave?  Small or large, just the lack of a smile on your face can make or break someones day (which I have honestly experienced at work multiple times with stressed students).

How to fix this?  I don't know honestly, but I know this, by keeping my eyes on Christ, through His death on the cross and by God's unmerited, unearned favor (grace), I come closer to the answer. I learn to love as Christ loved, to live a life just a bit more like He lived, to walk in such a way and shine my light in such a way as to bring glory and honor to His name and use the best of myself to impact others-to impact the world, one small touch at a time.

I just finished reading Unmerited Favor by Joseph Prince which I highlyrecommend by-the-way, and in the last chapter he talks about Jesus with the leper-where the leper, while believing that God could heal & had the ability to heal him, wondered if God was willing to heal him.  And how did Jesus heal him?  "Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, 'I am willing; be cleansed'" Matthew 8:3...that one small thing, a single touch meant more to this leper than anything else. Someone who NEVER gets touched. Here is Joseph Prince's writings on this:

He did not touch every person that He healed. At times, He simply spoke and the sick were healed.  But in this case, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched the leper tenderly. I believe that Jesus did this to heal him not just of his leprosy, but also of the emotional scars that he had received from years of rejection.

You never know what a mere touch can do for someone...that's what I experienced this morning.  You never know what a silly time-wasting cartoon movie can do for a child, but I learned it can shape that child into who they grow up to become...I bet Dr. Seuss never knew that just by writing his silly thoughts & ides down, his silly stories and make believe world, he would havesuch an impact on children around the world to this day and will continue.  As little read as this blog is, who knows what random person I may reach out there who I'll never meet or even know exists...

"And all that the Lorax left here in this mess
was a small pile of rocks, with one word...
Whatever that meant, well, I just couldn't guess...

"But now," says the Once-ler,
"Now that you're here,
the word of the Lorax seems perfectly clear...


running here until you make me move

*Originally written on March 2nd, 2011*

Thanks for the Lord blessing us with such glorious weather today I went for a trail run today, a God run...something I've missed for quite some time.  I went with nothing, no gear-just Him, me, hair down, running shoes, the Silver Comet Trail, & nature. No music, no heart rate monitor, no water belt, just me.

At first it was difficult to get into, which bothered me, God has really been speaking to me about seeking Him and Him FIRST in my life, so since I was out there, running for Him, where was He? Where was the magic?  I kept going anyhoo, and finally started hearing Him in little pieces. He wanted me to enjoy the nature...that was afterall why I left my music at home and yet, I was, too concerned about whether I was going to go 6 or 8 miles to even really listen to it. Where was my passion for the run itself?  Where did it go? I was more concerned with how much I was going to accomplish, how far, and when it would all be over...

Then it hit me, that's my problem, and that's a great deal of the world's problem.

It reminds me of a book I read (imagine that lol) by Kurt Vonnegut called Slaughterhouse Five.  In the book Billy Pilgrim, an American soldier during WWII, becomes 'unstuck' in time and instead of having time exsist for him in a linear form, it is more like a spot, a period, a sphere in which past, present, and future all coexsist.  Whenever he wishes, he can 'jump' from his present situation into a previous time or future time in his life.

I think too many of us are living our lives this way today. We spend the now either 'jumping' back into our past sins or in the tomorrows planning on after God finally comes through and does this, when this happens-too many 'one days' and never fully enjoying the mere seconds we are wasting away living in moments that don't exsist.

Each of us has our own yellow brick road we travel upon, and as children of our heavenly Father, every brick that we step beyond slowly falls away and vanishes.  Our purpose upon this road isn't the emerald city (or golden city for us) that awaits us, its the follow the yellow brick road, follow the yellow brick road, follow follow follow follow follow the yellow brick road. Its the act of the traveling that matters most, how we travel, and who we meet and minister to along the way, who we bring along with us on this journey to meet a God much more mightier than any false wizard.

As I listened to the birds singing and gazed upon the sun settling down behind the trees and hills, God's glory began to be revealed as little drops of gold speckling the path in front of me. He broung a song to mind, one I've not put much thought into for quite some time.

Lifehouse - Hanging By A Moment lyrics
Desperate for changing
Starving for truth
I'm closer to where I started
Chasing after you
I'm falling even more in love with you
Letting go of all I've held onto
I'm standing here until you make me move
I'm hanging by a moment here with you

Forgetting all I'm lacking
Completely incomplete
I'll take your invitation
You take all of me now...

I'm falling even more in love with you
Letting go of all I've held onto
I'm standing here until you make me move
I'm hanging by a moment here with you
I'm living for the only thing I know
I'm running and not quite sure where to go
And I don't know what I'm diving into
Just hanging by a moment here with you

There's nothing else to lose
There's nothing else to find
There's nothing in the world
That can change my mind
There is nothing else
There is nothing else
There is nothing else
Desperate for changing
Starving for truth
I'm closer to where I started
Chasing after you....

I'm falling even more in love with you
Letting go of all I've held onto
I'm standing here until you make me move
I'm hanging by a moment here with you
I'm living for the only thing I know
I'm running and not quite sure where to go
And I don't know what I'm diving into
Just hanging by a moment here with you

Just hanging by a moment (here with you)
Hanging by a moment (here with you)
Hanging by a moment here with you

This song really speaks to me, exactly what the Lord was trying to convey...I sang it to Him with all I could, hanging on every step I took.  And in response He told me to cherish Him, cherish who He is, cherish His amazing love, His amazing grace-how sweet the sound that saved a rech like me and you.
LORD, help me to live in the moment, for that is all we are promised.  Help me to live in the now, guide me blindly forward Lord, I want to see with Your eyes and not my own!  Reveal to me the true depths of how inifinte Your love really is-as much as humanly possible at least.  I want more of You, all of You!  I want to soak You in as I do the sunshine and drip of Your Spirit like a pouring rain gently falling upon every fiber of who I am.

Just be with me and be with me always, O LORD! Love me oh my Abba, Father!  Guide me Holy Spirit!

Comment from original posting:

I love your insight! This is something that God has been dealing with me for a while, and it’s so hard to just live in the moment sometimes and just bask in His presence! But what matters most is that we love Him and others with all our hearts, and like you said, ministering to others along the way :)

Cleansing Your Temple Through Christ

*Originally written on January 12th, 2011*

With this time of the year comes diets, diet pills, weight loss surgeries, healthy eating shows, 'magical' weightless clothing, reattempted new year's resolutions, crazy-packed gyms, & probably the highest profit scales make all year...its a constant reminder to me of a mindset I have to battle with, feeling like I'm a fat tub of lard of a failure and need to go crazy on cutting out everything unhealthy I eat and redesign my eating habits, eat less, workout more, push myself harder and try to achieve more and make myself actually feel proud of myself for once.  But God is gracious enough to remind me every time that there is no amount of my mental 'law' I can achieve, I can accomplish that will bring true joy. It's only through Christ, His sacrifice and grace, His unmerited favor upon my life that gives me anything, any joy or peace.  So let's refocus this health craze into proper perspective...lets go biblical!

Abraham: lived before the law was ever made & was the man God made a covenant with.  He gave Him health and the world, & that was before the law was ever even established!  This alone should show us that there is no power in the law with taking care of yourself. 

Joseph Prince mentioned that there are only 2 people in the bible that Jesus Christ calls having strong faith:  the Centurion and the Canaanite women.  Now what do these 2 people have in common?  That they are both gentiles and were never taught about the law!  All they knew was Jesus and His power and glory, no law telling them how they failed and what they didn’t achieve…This is the kind of faith we need to have!  Faith that Christ can do all and that through Him, so can we as long as it is in His will!

Next some bible verses!
Jesus Cleanses the Temple 
Matthew 21:
12 Then Jesus went into the temple of God[f] and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. 13 And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’[g] but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’[h]
14 Then the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant 16 and said to Him, “Do You hear what these are saying?”
And Jesus said to them, “Yes. Have you never read,
      ‘ Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants
      You have perfected praise’?[i]

I would also like John's perspective on this:

John 2:

13 Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. 15 When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. 16 And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” 17 Then His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house has eaten[a] Me up.”[b]
18 So the Jews answered and said to Him, “What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?”
19 Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
20 Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”
21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body. 22 Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them;[c] and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said.

Paul said:

 1 Corinthians 3:

9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. 10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
16" Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are." Glorify God in Body and Spirit. 

1 Corinthians 6:

12 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. 13 Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.
15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.”[b] 17 But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.
18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body[c] and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Ephesians 2:

14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. 18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.
Christ Our Cornerstone
19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. 

I think its clear that we are indeed the temple of God.  When Christ died for our sins, tearing down the old temple and He was resurrected and brought up a new temple within each of us, within our hearts.  How we care for our temple is obviously important!  Christ is living within YOU!  His clensing blood, His redemptive blood that brings grace and washes us flows continuously through us once we accept Him into our hearts!  That is quite an important job, that is a very important reason to take care of your temple, if there even is a better one. And not because its by YOUR power or YOUR ability or awesomeness or law or whatever, for nothing is done by you, but by Christ within you!  He is the reason to and the way to!

An important way to look at taking care of your temple is to see how Christ cleaned up the earthly temple. In Matthew it reports Christ comparing the temple to a den of thieves, that's powerful.  How do you steal from your temple?  What are you buying and selling within your temple?  Instead of giving a true sacrifice of yourself to God, what is it that is taking the place, what selfish and perhaps unhealthy habit are you giving into?  And this does not remain within the physical boundaries, what selfish habits or things do you have that you know you should stop that you keep putting before God?  That's taking place before could even be some sort of religious act, remember the doves were for sacrifices! 

What did Christ say the temple was supposed to be…a house of prayer!  This just shows even more how it’s not by our own strength but God's that we can truly care for our temple in the way He intended!  It first and foremost is about our communication, love, affection, and relationship with God our Heavenly Father-which we do though Jesus Christ, His son and His sacrifice that allows us to be called sons and heirs!
Right after all that, Jesus began to heal those who needed it...this shows me that once you get your temple in proper order, then and only then will you see miracles and healings. Then you will have true health and wealth. First comes cleansing and then comes healing and miracles but you limit Christ by the condition of your temple.

After that, we shall sing praises to Christ and our Heavenly Father for all His mercy, grace, & love and this will bring the last of the trio: happiness. For true happiness comes when you stop looking at yourself, your limits, and what you can and cannot do and begin to keep your eyes on the prize, on the light, on the Son of God Jesus Christ and the Father Almighty!  Then His amazing overpowering joy will come over you!

One part that John brings up also is that this was during Passover.  Passover is a time of remembrance of the story of Exodus...and the creation of the law. Christ was showing that none of their sacrifices were good enough for their sins, and their heart behind them, the most important aspect, was also totally wrong!  It took His death upon the cross to completely 'cleanse' the temple, and tear the veil of separation between God and man so that He could afterwards always have a connection to keep the temple clean!  Jesus will do all the work!  Through His awesome glory and power, through His amazing love I cannot begin to fathom, He not only cleans our temple and makes a way for us to reach the Father and be called His son, AND He'll help to keep the temple clean! 

The Son of God became the Son of Man and died for all our sins and transgressions, our sicknesses, our pains, our that we can change from being just a son of man into a son of God and spend eternity with the Father and Him!  Now that's love!

So how do we keep our temple clean?  Not by our works but by His work! Does this mean I can do whatever in the heck I want and Christ will just act like a maid and clean it all up?  Not so much people. Christ still expected them to try and keep the temple clean, keep their hearts in the right place.  And when Christ lives in your heart, He’ll guide you and keep your heart in the right place if you truly listen to Him through prayer, meditation, and a relationship with Him.

Paul mentions that how we build our temple, what it’s made of, is very important so that when we are tested we can withstand.  This applies spiritually and physically. We need to be strong in all 3 of ourselves, Physical body, Soul (emotions and mind) body, and Spirit body.  When we are tested by fire, when the world throws things at you, what we are made of will show! Remember we represent Him!  He also mentions while he can do all things, that doesn't mean he should do all things. Yes, there is a difference. He then names food and sexual sins, physical sins!  And then reminds us that we are not our own and were bought at a price, and that price was the cross!  Let’s make sure we are worth the purchase! 

Through Christ we have a peace between the law and grace, He achieves the law which we could not for us, and brings peace between us and the Father! And we are all in this together!  We are all, as Christians, the temple of God-singularly and collectively-and we should help lift each other up! We are His body!  Be a blessing to one another and inspire one another to keep taking care of themselves, reminding each other of who we are, of our identity in Christ and strengthen each other...With Christ and as a team we can achieve a true health and happiness!

*Comments from old blog:

Yet again thank you! (me)

Becca, this is really good! I really needed to read this :) It is always a good reminder of how important it is to take care of our bodies God’s way rather than “our” way, and how we don’t need to live by the law. I wonder when I’ll ever truly get that through my head! Love you :)

Letting my hair down

*Originally written on January 8th, 2011*

Underneath the crystal ice sky the glorious sun envelops, His magnificent warmth embracing me, as He gently carasses my skin.  I begin to move quicker now, getting energized by His power with each step I take down the road well traveled.  Trees guide me along and I begin to lose myself within the anointing falling upon me; the wind pushes me farther into His presence.  For the first time, I raise my hand and slowly release the pressure that holds me back, reminding me of all that I need to attain, to strive for to ever be considered worthy for anyone...for the first time I run with my hair down.

At first, it stays down, not sure of what happened, it quietly lays upon my back but as I keep striving toward Him, it begins to loosen up and soon enough catches the breeze and sways with the world.  I hit a sunny patch and begin to feel as if my hair smiles behind me as it seems to absorb every begins to dance, dance to its own unique rhythm, its own beat. Reminded of the divine purpose, its reason for being.  It's my crowning glory, my stand of faith-a sign to my Almighty Heavenly Father of my stand in faith, my trust in Him, His power, His decision, and His guidance.  Each strand of hair has a number that God has given it, its very own number, and not one that falls isn't noticed.  

A confidence grows within my heart, my spirit...I am a daughter of God, made in His image, His likeness, shining His light to the world...this run has re-powered me, reminding me of something the world tries to make me forget, but my love for Him I shall never forget.

Proverbs Lady

*Originally written on January 7th, 2011*

A friend recently posted her goals for the new year on her blog, and while I have some, I never thought about typing them out anywhere, but since I have some free time at work I decided why the heck not.  Writing (or typing currently) is supposed to help anyhoo.
  • Work on being a 'Proverbs Woman' and all that it entitles. Study this chapter more intensely and let the Lord guide me.
  • Take my workout routine and make it livable, I want to live for the Lord and take care of myself for Him, not before Him.  Keep my life centered around Him, His love and plans for live and have my being centered around 'being about HIS business' and I think that health and fitness are a huge component of that, and He wouldn't have given me such a passion for it if it wasn't. We are His temple, His dwelling place-we shine His light & bear His image!  He hand crafted each and every one of us and how we take care of His temple, how we show it respect (or a lack there of) shows our love and respect toward Him and His gift and sacrifice.  He has become the primary reason for and a major component of my workout routine, and I want to keep that up also, I always feel such an amazing bond with Him during my workout times, it's a time I use to reflect upon Him and absorb as much of  Him in as possible! I don't want ANYTHING to hinder that, I don't want ANYTHING before Him so I want to just recheck myself this year and make sure everything remains in the proper order!
  • Also, I want to help my Mother get back into fitness. We eat crazy healthy enough, but after some injuries she's had a hard time getting back into the routine, so I am giving myself a goal to help!  She's done and does so much for me it's the least I can do! I love her so much and want her to be around a long time! She already wants to herself so I just want to help!
  • I've recently gotten into sewing and I would like to continue to grow my skills at it, I hope God continues to provide people to make quilts for so my talent can blossom!  I have gotten bitten by the quilt-giving bug lol, its all my Mom's fault, thank you so much Mom!
  • Start a granny square afghan, complete my 'joy' collage, & would like to get back into drawing & painting (including pottery)...and maybe if I'm lucky, scrapbook sometime this year :p
  • Make a mosaic & a batik, learn to knit.
  • Continue with my goal to get out of debt and complete it within the 3 years I originally planned!
  • Increase my distance run by 2 miles. A friend has bugged me about not making any major fitness goals so besides the one previously mentioned...this will be it.
  • Work on my handwriting, I love writing letters, but I feel for the poor soul that is reading them!  My handwriting gets pretty bad at the end, especially when I am writing about some strange thought or idea the Lord gave me, or a bible verse He showed Me I excitedly wanted to share, and my thoughts are going faster than I can comprehend, and that's way faster than I can write!  While they've never said anything, I still would like to have a handwriting that wasn't described as what a serial killers would look like.
  • Don't take life too seriously, or myself!  Work on keeping joy of the Lord in every and all situations, keeping an optimistic attitude always, continuously loving and laughing, and learning to continue to see myself though His eyes!
God has really been dealing with me regarding the 'law' I set for myself and my I need to let go and let God.  Embrace His sacrifice and unmerited favor, His amazing grace that saved a retch like me. Joseph Prince, in his book Unmerited Favor, has been discussing Christ's success, and that even before the 10 commandments were created, Joseph obeyed them (think on the Potiphar's wife situation).  He had the guidance, grace, and righteousness of Christ, before Moses ever created the law, Before Christ came upon the earth.  This confuses me a bit and is something I want to think on and study more intensively so I find it ironic that without trying I managed to create 10 goals...this speaks of something but what I'm not sure lol.

According to Christian Resources Today

Ten : 10 - Biblical Meaning of Number: deals with completeness that happens in a divine order or completed during a course of time. There's nothing that is left wanting within the complete cycle the number "ten" has just completed.
(In today's society this number is looked at mostly when referring to some kind of ranking or describing something that's close to perfection)

YOUR power running through me

*Originally written on December 31st, 2010*

Yesterday I traded my run outside for some gym time, wondered as silly as it is, if reworking my schedule was a good idea but brushed it aside after blessing a few people, and being blessed, with some laughter and such on the way out of the gym. God always has you where you are for a reason.

Today I was rewarded with beautiful weather, partly cloudy turned to bright blue cloudless sky. Perfect for my run with the Lord to end the old year and begin a new one...I started out with some music, but soon ditched it for sounds of nature and to get closer to God.

I began having issues keeping myself concentrated on Him of course, since this is  supposed to be my quiet time with the Lord. As I continued though-I told myself I ran with HIS strength, the glory of the sun empowering me, inspiring me.  So finally I went for it!  Went for not an 8 mile run, not my planned 10 mile run, but a 14 mile run, ending the year with a nice long quiet run with God.  As we went, I just had to keep praying for His strength, His power.  Him to be my joints, Him to be my muscles, my lungs, my heart...The desires of the righteous WILL be granted and He put this desire within me.  As the run continued I became more and more focused on Him for He was the only reason I was still going!

When I finally was reaching the end, He actually gave me enough energy to sprint to the end!  I was amazed!  And I KNEW it had to be Him because when I finally reached the end of my 14.7 strength and energy just-left! All of the sudden I FELT like I had ran over 14 miles lol.  It is just so awesome to know that He cares about our runs, our quiet moments we spend together!

Its a small way the Lord shows His love, but powerful!  It reminds me of how He always has my automatic locks work in my car.  They stopped for a long time, but one day I asked Him to have them work (more to myself than really Him) and He had them work! Now everytime they do I KNOW its Him, His little 'I love you' and 'your in my thoughts' messages for the day.  I cannot wait for this next year and all the many ways my love relationship with the Lord will grow!

Wildflower, by Elena Wrevhn

*Originally written on December 29th, 2010*

my sister wrote this poem for me and it has meant so much to me that I wanted to re-post it on this blog...I'm starting an art project my psychologist suggested, to make a joy collage.  The first two things that came to mind was this poem and GIR.  I don't think I could ever find words to express how much this poem has meant to me, that she, anybody really but especially my sister, would think of me that way, would be inspired to write something like this to me.  I think it was her first poem about someone-to someone.

By Elena Wright Wrevhn
She is no rose,
With vicious thorns,
Nor common daisy,
Far to quaint,
They call her wildflower,
They call her beauty,
They call her heaven-sent,
I call her angel,
She is a lady,
With silken petals,
Her blossom dreams,
In every color,
They call her wildflower,
They call her beauty,
They call her heaven-sent,
I call her friend,
She is so sweet,
With whispering perfume,
That forever kisses,
Your fondest memory,
They call her wildflower,
They call her beauty,
They call her heaven-sent,
I call her sister,
She is of strength,
With soil so pure,
And roots so deep,
She cannot be moved,
They call her wildflower,
They call her beauty,
They call her heaven-sent,
I call her Rebecca

This fits with what Joyce Myers just preached on this morning, identity theft.  She preached on Ephesians Chapter 1
Redemption in Christ
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, 9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, 10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both[a] which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. 11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, 12 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.
13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who[b] is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

This also goes along with the book I've started by Joseph Prince, Unmerited Favor. The first chapter he mentions Joseph and how:

"God's definition of success is contrary to the world's definition...From Genesis 39:2, it is clear that success is not what you have, but rather who you have! Joseph literally had nothing materially, but at the same time, he had everything because the Lord was with him...We need to learn to stop pursuing things and start pursuing Him. God sees your relationship with Him as the only thing that you need for every success in your life."

Genesis 39:1-2
"1Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. And Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him down there. 2 The LORD was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian."

Every morning and as I've ran on the trail recently with the Lord, He has brought to mind how everything about me, everything about life, within life, everything that has breath speaks of Him and His majesty and grace and redemption.  All that I do, all that I am becomes and shows more and more of Him rather than me as I grow closer to him. Every powered stride I take on my runs, every mile I manage to go with Him, by Him, through Him, every quilt I make, every loop I crochet, every stroke I paint, every tree and piece of nature, and every piece of me that finds joy within nature. He lives within my heart and His cleansing blood is constantly washing over me.  His light shines from me, His joy radiates out of me.  All that I am, truly am, is really Him.  That is what makes me and all that I am so amazing, is its not me!  Its what gives me a true confidence.  The love that Christ has for me is truly amazing and I cannot wait to learn more and gain a deeper true understanding of His amazing grace that saved a retch like me!