Tuesday, May 9, 2017

When the Problem is the Answer

During Anna's first year of life, we knew something was wrong.    

It's been said, that sometimes knowing the problem, is getting near the answer.

In my case, accepting that there was a problem - was my answer.  It was time to go on in my walk with God.

One of the first lessons of letting go, that went deeper for me, was having Anna.  Her special needs bought me to places, that left me speechless - without having any answers.  This was good for me.

  I needed to be quiet, 
because He had some things to tell me. 

Words only have power, when the plow has prepared the soil for the seed.  If at any one point, we resent the "plow"... we will lose the lessons that pain was sent to teach us.

I do believe children are a blessing to do this for us all.  

Not just special needs children - all children!   Why?  

They anchor us to earth and are daily reminders of our need for Heaven's help!  

Children will bring us to the place where having answers is not nearly as important as taking the next step by faith.  And I do believe that some of the greatest lessons our own children learned came simply from watching us...not merely seeing us fall, but more importantly watching us get back up...

....Not from seeing what was done to us, but from observing how we responded to it.

Life is too short!

Receive whatever comes...as a gift; this will allow limitations to liberate you - from the inside out.

“It is God to whom and with whom we travel, and while He is the end of our journey, He is also at every stopping place.” — Elisabeth Elliot

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Default or Devotion

We can easily default to an acquired habit and let our base line of operation rule, instead of being RULED by His spirit. 

This is why it is so important to renew our hearts and minds, and not live by “automatic” settings. It might seem easier to live by this mode of operation, but we will miss out on so much when we do. There have been several ways which default has replaced devotion in my own life. 

One way has been when Convenience comes before CHRIST. We are tempted to allow those issues that we COUNT dear to us (like "MY" time) lead us...instead of simple consecration to Christ (HIS time always). His yoke is where we want to be ("Calvary" take me away). It's a yoke that fits and will always take us where He calls us to go.  Calgon only leads to having to clean the bathtub when you're done.

Hannah Whitall Smith expresses what this is like...
“I have noticed that wherever there has been a faithful following of the Lord in a consecrated soul, several things have inevitably followed, sooner or later. Meekness and quietness of spirit become in time the characteristics of the daily life. A submissive acceptance of the will of God as it comes in the hourly events of each day; pliability in the hands of God to do or to suffer all the good pleasure of His will; sweetness under provocation; calmness in the midst of turmoil and bustle; yieldingness to the wishes of others, and an insensibility to slights and affronts; absence of worry or anxiety; deliverance from care and fear;---all these, and many similar graces, are invariably found to be the natural outward development of that inward life which is hid with Christ in God.”

Another default is Doing rather than Being. Our agenda and plans can give us a false sense of security when all the externals are taken care of. It's easy to find fulfillment in the doing, rather than in the Being. Character before Charts. Charts are a great idea for keeping records and bringing order to a home, BUT they can be done totally void of heart. If our curriculum does not first include the heart issues of our children and ourselves, then all we are doing is providing Head knowledge. We are simply teaching our children how to live externally acceptable lives before men, without any fear of God. The reason the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, is because it is dealing with His all seeing eyes on all that we are in the hidden places. 

Knowledge might take them far in the world, but KNOWING HIM will prepare them for eternity. He sees the hidden things of the heart. Devotion may lead us to change up the charts, and deal with hearts.

Last but not least, Limiting Him.

It's one thing to be limited, 
its another to limit. 

The one who is giving or taking, is the one who has control. In a subtle way we can seek to control even while being limited, by discontentment or jumping over set boundaries. 

Devotion here looks like 
contentment rather than control.

“It is not the multitude of hard duties, it is not constraint and contention that advance us in our Christian course. On the contrary it is the yielding of our wills without choice, to tread cheerfully every day in the path in which Providence leads us, to seek nothing, to be discouraged by nothing, to see our duty in the present moment, to trust all else without reserve to the will and power of God. ~Fenelon

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Hidden Places of Hard

It has been one of those weeks, months...where it seems that the wave of needs, company, and commitments take you up so high

...that you wonder where your feet will land when “normal” returns. 

Anna called me back down recently.
It was time for a Blessed Moment 
(our term for her Bowel Movement).  

Those who have special needs children commonly share in this difficulty.   Side effects of their condition and/or medication, weigh heavily on their weaker frames and makes many normal aspects of life slower.

It was not even until the next day that I realized how long it had been.  This explained the pain I saw. 

I waited, and told her by my presence, that it had to come NOW --- because she was not leaving THERE, until it did.

It came, and I worshiped ---and Anna again became my reality check, reminding me that sometimes it is these hard places where we understand our purpose the most.

Our needs anchor us to this earth, 
and from this place 
where heaven’s hope
 graces earth’s pain, 
we find true worship.

My needs do not Define me – they Refine me!

There is a big difference between the two.  

Daily duties, opportunities to serve others, and the simple challenges, are all easy when there is order and convenience.  But how am I in the “hard spots” – when it’s uncomfortable and I don’t FEEL like worshipping.  

The hindrances to worship are nothing more than evidence that I am looking in the wrong places, and often at the wrong faces.  

The truth is worship can happen in every place – especially in the hidden places of hard.

Worship in the “hard spots” proves love is no mere theory, it’s power and grace. It is a maturity that knows how to land, stand... and worship, when He is the only One looking.

"The full acting out of the self's surrender to God therefore demands pain:  this action, to be perfect, must be done from the pure will to obey, in the absence, or in the teeth, of inclination"  
~C.S. Lewis

"I've learned real beauty lies in the good that comes out of the hard." ~Jill Lynn Buteyn