Friday, March 26, 2010

She had been feeling overwhelmed lately. Her wk situation seemed hopeless. She felt invisable to everyone. Alone. She was exhausted of taking care of herself all the time. It's too hard to take care of old people all day and then have to care for yourself and your house and health, too. Especially on minimum wage.

She woke up this morning with all of this weighing heavy on her shoulders and heart. She considered skipping a shower and going back to sleep. But, she decided against that. She always has her best thoughts in the shower. Something about the hot water wakes her mind up and comforts her. This morning, As she began to wake up, she had a movie scene flash through the back of her mind. The catterpillar from Alice in Wonderland. "whooooooooo are yooooooooou?!" she chuckled to herself.

All of a sudden-so quickly that she barely had time to see it- the catterpillar
flashed into something else. For a moment, she thought she was imagining things. happened again. "That DID just happen!" Sure enough, it was the face of Aslan. In all it's golden glory. The most beautiful lion she has ever seen.

"well, who else?"
"Oh wow. Okay. So what's up?"
Big grin from Aslan."whooooooooo are yooooooou?"
"Excuse me?"
"you heard me."
"Uh, wrong character. Don't u think?"
smile. "Just answer the question."
"Um, I'm me. I'm the activities director at Orangeburg Manor. I work with high schoolers at church. I'm single(frown), I like art and music, uh....I don't know what you're gettin at. U know all this!"
"You still haven't answered the question."
"Uh, didn't I?"
"No. come on. What has Beth taught u? WHO ARE YOU?!"
"ooooooo! I get it. I'm blessed, chosen, adopted, accepted, redeemed, forgiven, sealed, loved."
"Now you're talkin. We need to wk on believing this."
"Yeah. It's just hard when so much is awry in my life. Things haven't been that great lately, you know".
"Thats true. They haven't. That's what I showed up for today. I just want to remind u of who u are. You are Lucy. This world is not your home. It's OKAY to long for and cry out for Narnia. To miss it. To feel totally "wrong" & out of place here. are!"
At that, she stopped trying to be strong. She wept. She cried. She told Aslan how badly she wanted to get away from here. From all the demands. From the everything. Just when she felt her heart might rip in two, she remembered how often Lucy, Susan, Peter, & Edmund waited and looked for Narnia. For Aslan. She remembered the longing they had for it.
"Okay. I will wait. I will trust that you have something great on the way. And I will be strong as I look forward to it."
Just then, from nowhere, or maybe everywhere, there came a warm breeze right on her face as she heard a magnificant, strong roar that she could swear had a hint of a smile. And then, deep in her spirit, she heard a very familiar voice say "That's my girl!"

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

He gets it

Today's insight is short and sweet. And actually, I have to credit Beth's beautiful daughter Melissa with this piece of wisdom. While sitting with Beth n the doctor's office looking at pamphlets on all kinds of cancer, she suddenly looked up at Beth and exclaimed,"He KNOWS it's hard to be us." Wow. What incredible insight. Thanks to Jesus, He DOES know it's hard to be us. That is incredible to me. It is so comforting! It helps so much! Hebrews tells us that He gets it. That helps me so much!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Following the leader

This is what I learned from our dear friend (Beth) this morning:

Too often, we allow the enemy to mess with our confidence. The confidence that is evident all over and all throughout scripture. Why do we keep doing this- because it's unfortunately too common among Christians? Is that the excuse we're gonna use before the Lord when He asks why we didn't do more?! I don't know about you, but that doesn't set too great with me. (which is why I've been deciding to just be different-even within the body-and just do the thang.)
How often do we take on the attitude of defeat without even realizing it? You know what I'm talking about:
"Face it, this is just my lot. This is just who I am."
"This is where I am. There's no hope of change."
"I'm just stuck here, that is how it is."
unfortunately, I have to admit these thoughts go through my head every single day. And what's worse, they're the beginning in a whole string of destructive thought patterns that I am fighting to recognize and stop in the beginning of their tape hitting "play".

I'm learning that if we TRULY believe what Christ says about us all over scripture, we won't live like that. We won't have thougt patterns the belittle our self esteem or self worth. God has blessed us and called us to more.
To shrink back from fully livin with/in confidence is to CHOOSE not to live in what God has planned for us. Here's the problem I've had lately with that: knowing what scripture says about who I am and feeling it's true are two vastly different things. I am very aware of what the Bible says. The trick is living it out in deep-rooted confidence. How does one do this? Well, thank you Beth, for shedding light on this. She taught me this morning that to live powerfully and accurately, I need to show courage BEFORE I feel it, rather than wait to feel it before I act in it. I may not have the power to change the stressful job and financial situaton I'm in. I may not be able to change an uncomfortable family life. But what I CAN do is look at a situation and ask myself "now, how would courage respond to this?" And then act and respond according to THAT rather than to my emotions. When I do this, I am living out what God thinks & says about me and my emotions will follow. Which is awesome!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Okay. So these are not edited to be polished and to flow smoothly and to have all the correct spelling or grammer. But I scribbled down some things in the throws of today's studying with Beth. I thought I'd put them up here, even in rough-draftish form. I felt to Spirit leading me to swollow my pride of wanting to polish it & just keep it how it was. I actually took notes on my phone, so I'm sorry if it lines up funny......

(Joshua 1:1-9):
-the children of Israel were told to bring physical sacrafices. 
- We, in the same spirit are told to bring spiritual sacrafices.  
(Acts 17: 26):
I'm here right now in this yr for a reason.
God even chose my WORKS for my life. 
*because of God's specific plan, 
He's made specific promises on my life.
- And it is to His glory that I succeed! (John15:7-8)
My promised Land is the place where i'm living effectively in the specific plan and purpose God has for my life.
-it will never be a lack of talent, ability, or the such that will keep us from living n our promised land & being effective.
 It will be FEAR. Always fear. 
(An emotional ourburst of unbelief. ) 
***God said "I have given u this land, now go stand on it!"***
(Keith wouldn't have gotten an affirmation of his calling if he wouldn't have stepped foot in Angola.)
Fear doesn't get to be a factor n my life. 
(I have to be more afraid of missing God than of what is before me to do. )
I need to look at each situation and pull the fear out. 
(am I refraining only because of fear? 
If so, I don't have any choice but to act anyway. 
Fear is not a good enough excuse. )
1.) the past (rooted in)
(Isaiah 43:18-19):
We're projecting an old fear on a new day!
(Joshua 3:3-4):
My temptation is to project an old fear on a new PLACE. 
I need to just go there!!!!
2). Fear of saying "yes"!
-I'm afraid to get out there & learn in front of others,
To make mistakes and not be perfect at first. To look weak. 
(2 Timothy 1:6-7):
Paul is telling Timothy not to shrink back.
 (Joshua 3:15-17):
A NT parralel. God is gonna part some waters & do amazing things. But the priests go in first. They are the only ones getting their feet wet. That is ME. I am gonna have to get my feet wet to be effective & lead others. 
(I WILL mess up. The enemy WILL discourage me. But the way to get back at him is to get up again. And do what I'm called to again. Again. Again. Again.) 
(Micah 7:19):
 I have an "again" kind of God. 
Mercies anew every morning again. Starting over again.  Doing the thing again. Again. Again. Again. 
3.) afraid to say "no".
(1Cor. 16:12):
Is all the responsibility on us really OUR responsibility? 
Or do we do things because we want approval
 (or don't want disaproval) from some very strong personalities?
***Do I refrain from doing things sometimes because I'm afraid I will fail God? Do I realize He already knows this?***
God says "I WILL NOT FAIL Y-O-U!" (Joshua 1:9)   

Saturday, March 13, 2010

More Conversations.

Tired. Oh, so tired!
Everyone needs attention.
Same conversation every 5 minutes.
Alzheimers is EXHAUSTING.
I don't fit in.
Friends dealing with heavy issues.
My mind.
Need healing.
Need hugs more.
Need to cry.
Ministry. Rewarding. But tiring.
Minimum wage is getting hard to live on.
Pressure. I don't know if I have what it takes:
*to be everything I need to at work.
*to be the right daughter & sister.
*to be the right leader at church.
*to be the friend I want to be.
*to be free of my issues. Free of bondage.
Longing to go to Disneyland.
Wishing I could afford to go see Beth Moore.
Need refreshment.
Need adventure.
Really, really need to travel.
But YOU. YOU don't have expectations for me.
YOU don't want me to look and act a certain way.
YOU are crazy about me.
YOU offer relieve.
YOU have it all figured out- I don't have to!
YOU are crazy about me.
YOU are doing something incredible.
YOU are not based on how I feel of how I act.
YOU are amazing, awesome, all-powerful, refreshing, light, healing balm, freedom, comfort, fullfillment.
YOU are the answer.
Praise you!


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Checking all my closets again!

So, let's see how this one turns out.....
In going through breaking free as well as reading this book-So Long Insecurity, I've been in this phase of working through some deep issues that I've had engrained for pretty much my whole life. It is difficult, and I, like many others, am feeling a sense of "rawness" and exhaustion over the thang. But at the same time, praise Jesus, dude. He is on the move and it's awesome, even when I am beat and agitated and, well, anything else. (That, right there is what's so awesome about Him. Neverchanging. Never dependant on our emotions. whew. Anyone else out there utterly thankful for THAT?)

Imagine my surprise, then, when I woke up today with an incredibly overwhelming sense of cabin fever. It came completely unexpected and totally caught me off guard. Where the heck was this coming from? I mean.....I have been diving in deep to my Beth studies and doing some serious and amazing wk with the Lord over all this stuff. And I truly have been loving the realness of truth and the journey. But today, all I can think about is this overwhelming desire to be in an airport. Fly. Ride a train. Anything! (I drove past the Amtrak station and very, very seriously considered just hopping on and going-figure out where to stop and what I'm doing later. I kind of regret that I didn't!) I can't stop craving Disneyland right now. I took a nap this afternoon and dreamed of being in the Tiki Room and singing with Jose. Then I went on the jungle cruise and did the whole speel with the tour guide. (Yes, I know it all by heart. It's sick, I know. Must be some kind of disease.) I even downloaded an app of Disneyland trivia and played for two hrs. And The ache for some sort of adventure keeps growing until now where I'm at the point of feeling like I might just go completely crazy and have to rent a room at my work if I don't have some sort of adventure soon. I mean it. For real. Don't be messing with a hlf crazy person. It's dangerous!

Here's the part that will hopefully mean something to someone.....
I was asking God why i get so incredibly desperate for adventure. What's the big deal with it anyway? And it hit me......I was reminded of something I know well but can forget often because it's not the attitude and understanding I'm surrounded with at wk. This whole feeling that I don't WANT to just stay where I am. Stay comfortable. Something about that just feels, well, off. That would because it's supposed to! Yep, you read that right! We are not supposed to feel comfortable here! The Lord gently reminded me today that I am Lucy, living at the moment in my England. And that is not what I was meant for. I was meant to find Narnia. To stumble into a marvilous and incredible adventure in which I had gifts to offer and a role that could never be filled by anyone but me! A place where my King is a wild-but good-king who is always on the move. A place where I am a real, true queen who rules with valor and justice and bravery. THAT is what I was created for. And since I know my true future is reigning alongside my King someday, it's totally okay to feel something lacking sometimes. The beauty of this is while the world I am in is my fiction, and the Narnia I wait for is actually my reality, I can take comfort in the fact that this isn't as important as so many people feel it is. Which frees me up from a whole world of striving to have certain things and to look a certain way and achieve a certain status. My status has already been given to me. Yipee! And so, I come to the conclusion today that I can ache and ask God for some kind of adventure to ease that longing, and He'll understand completely and be happy that I came to Him and asked! That does my heart some serious good!

With that being said, I hurt my back transfering a resident today and I'm exhausted mentally and physically. So I am off to watch Narnia. Or fly to Neverland. Anyone else wanna go? I hear the Lost Boys have a fun ambush planned for Captain Hook and the crew tonight. Meet me there- second star to the right and strait on 'till morning!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Hello, Security.

"Let me explain. No. There is too much. Let me sum up......"

I've been going through Breaking Free as well as reading So Long Insecurity. (Beth's brand new book that a bunch of us are reading through with her on her blog.)Funny thing: The two are completely and totally intertwined for me. The largest thing I have to break free from is insecurity. To put it all in a nutshell, I have learned how insecurity has ruled the majority of my life. (And most women's lives in our society today. Don't mistake me. I'm not at all saying that this issue has anything whatsoever to do with men. It has to do with the great accuser knowing how important women are to God and trying to demoralize them into defeat.) I have spent the last several weeks beginning to see my thought processes and actions in a completely new light. My social anxieties and awkwardness are rooted in insecurity. The thought patterns I've always known are completely rooted in insecurity. And until those change, not much else will, either. My addiction to sinful behavior that I've had a compulsion toward for at least 22 years is rooted in insecurity of ever being loved. My tendency to overeat is rooted in insecurity over who I am. The beauty and grace of God is this: As I've begun realizing these things, I've been asking the Lord to begin teaching me how to reshape my thinking. My patterns of thought. I know that freedom from where I've been will come from truth. (You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.)

"What is truth?" I asked myself. The answer: God's Word. So, in that knowledge and in the prompting of Beth in my studies, I got myself a spiral. (Thanks, Beth. it works better than anything.) I have to carry it around and take it out and read the verses over and over and over when I catch myself beginning a destructive thought pattern. The awesome thing is the Word of God truly is a double-edged sword. It truly is more powerful than the enemy and the biggest addiction or destructive pattern you can imagine.

Along with all this, The Lord has been truly gracious. His timing is ALWAYS perfect. I just began yet another Beth study. (Yes. I'm insane. I know. But hey, you gotta get tough and kick some demonic butt, and sometimes that means bombarding yourself with truth in a way that speaks your language. For me, that will always be Beth Moore.) So, in the beginnings of The Inheritance, I have already been handed the direct answers to re-thinking who I am. And how I am to think. And what my place is in this world and the Kingdom. It all fits together so very beautifully. The first two telling me where things are "off" and ripping off the skin I've been in my whole life. The new one full of truth, a new "skin", so to speak. (For an amazing word picture of this, read the part of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader where Eustace becomes a dragon and Aslan has to de-dragon him. No really, go read it. It is incredible!)

And there you have it. A very nutshell version of what God's been up to through my friend Beth:)

Ah, Jesus. You continually blow my mind. With increasing intensity, I might add. I'm simply crazy in love with you.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Raw Gems

So there's all this seemingly un-connected stuff that I have scribbled down in the midst of my Beth studies the last few weeks. I have been waiting and waiting for them to connect so I could turn them into some type of incredible blog. But alas, they are failing to do so. So I finally came to the conclusion today that I need to just write it all out. In chunks. And let them be raw. Even unpolished, they are beautiful gems.
Here is a bunch of randomness. I pray you can pick out something that sparkles just for you. Consider it a treasure hunt with Jesus.......

*We will never be able to accomplish what God wants for us without confidence in Him. What I mean is, how much do we believe God? (Not believe IN God, but BELIEVE God?)

*We are always moving. Human beings are never still. Every moment, you are either moving closer toward or further from God. If you feel God is not near, guess who moved?

*If we truly grasp God-I mean REALLY understand that He is so much bigger and greater than our comprehension- we will come to Him Believing Him for such huge things that we are bordering on recklessness. What are we praying for? HOW are we praying? What is your dream right now, at this very moment, for your life? What is your vision for your future? Is it big enough for God? (NOT "is your God big enough for your dream?" If we're wondering that, we are in serious trouble!) It could be argued that if we aren't dreaming HUGE dreams-dreams others will laugh at in their ridiculousness & impossibility-we aren't gasping God's plan for us. Or others. God delights in being the God of the impossible. He wants us to ask Him for impossible things, to have impossible dreams for ourselves & those we love. Most everyone we look up to in the Bible lived that kind of faith: Abraham, Paul, David, Rahab, Mary & Joseph to name a few. We need to dream so big, that when God shows up and shows off on our behalf, people will have no choice but to credit God for what happened!

*We all have secrets, sin, and ugly parts of us.
With these, one of three things can happen:
1.We can try uncovering our junk in order to excuse our self of it.
2.Satan will always try to uncover our junk in order to accuse us with it.
3.Jesus will uncover our junk in order to diffuse us.
(Because He knows with it, we are a bomb waiting to explode.)

*With the story of the woman at the well, we read about an exhausted and hungry Jesus who stops to rest at the well and sends His disciples into town for food. As they are gone, the conversation takes place between Him and the woman. By the time the disciples return, they are confused. Jesus has revived, gotten energy, and been strengthened by His conversation with the woman. By revealing Himself to her and filling her with truth. And He delights to do that for us. When we come to Him, when we ask Him for a filling, it does NOT wear him out to do it. In fact, it makes Him so happy when we ask. It excites Him, and He jumps at the chance to be anything and everything to us. Add to that the fact that it fulfilled prophecy for Jesus to reveal Himself as He did to the woman. What a revolutionary thought......It fulfills Jesus to Fulfill YOU! Let THAT one settle on your heart for a while!

*I can way all day long "God is all-powerful." Well, yes. But do I believe He is all powerful in ME?

*God has called YOU to be exceptional. Not someone else-YOU

*No matter what the issue or how bad, there IS freedom within you.
(For where he Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. Where does the Spirit live? That's right....YOU!)

*Do you want an incredible and wild ride out of life? You can't have that if you try to remain in control. It can't be a ride if YOU'RE driving. It can only be a wild ride if you scoot over into the passenger seat and let somebody else drive!