I went all the way back to my Xanga blog for this TBT. I originally published this on March 9, 2011. 

These happen to be challenging days.
God has proven Himself faithful so many times.
I know He’s bigger than the Boogie Man.
And, all the other scary things that threaten me.
It’s just been challenging. 
And, I’m a little weary.

There is good news, though.
As I checked my FB tonight, I happened to see a post from my friend, Q’ene:

“Down? Depressed? Discouraged? Dismayed? Disheartened?

How was that title NOT going to get my attention? Q’ is such an encourager. She knows how to do the heavy-lifting. It’s a rare, and precious gift!

Then, I happened upon DanishDoll on FB. I requested she add me, and she did! When I looked at her Wall, I saw that she had just posted a devo on her Xanga:

Stupid Ideas

Good title! What a good exhortation. Mae does it well, speaking the truth in love, which is just what I needed to hear. (Click title to read.)

The third thing I happened across tonight, in such a roundabout way, was this video:

The testimony that follows is awesome. I really needed to hear David Kyle Foster’s clear and simple teaching. He does that well – shares deep, spiritual truths in a way that penetrates the brain fog of selfishness.

Things are tough right now.
I will spare you the list.
It doesn’t really matter, you know?
Tough times happen to us all.
However, God happens, too.
He happens into our troubles.
He happens into our worries.
He happens into our disobedience.
He happens into our fear.
He happens into our mess.
He happens to love us, despite us.

I’m so glad God happens to love me.
Tomorrow, if God wills, a new day happens.
Hope happens, too.

P.S. Both Qene’s and Mae’s Xangas are retired (though Danish Dolls does have her archive active). If you want to stay in step with these ladies and be blessed by their good words, you can find them on Facebook here and here.

Unraveling Life’s Tangled Kite Strings

The other day. I was trying to repair two kites at the same time—while riding in a car. Admittedly, not a lot of wisdom in that decision, but we were taking our grandbabies to the park and I was trying to fix them before we got there.

Well, I couldn’t be too surprised when their strings got tangled together, but I was frustrated and disappointed in myself. Why did I think I could keep it all straight?

You know, I normally don’t mind a tangle. They’re just a challenging puzzle, a mental break. I like taking the time to focus on that knot and work it out.  I wasn’t enjoying this one, though. Time was not on my side.  This knot was going to spoil my chance to fly kites with the grandbabies. I didn’t want to work this one out; I just wanted to cut it all up and throw it away.

Staring at that tangled mess of string, losing my patience, and wanting to give up on the whole shebang, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart, “This is where some some people are living right now. Their life feels like a tangled mess, and they don’t know how to figure it out.”

Well, I assure you that I did not expect the Holy Spirit to show up in the middle of my trying to figure out that tangle, but I started to think about what He had said. I started to think about that person. I started to think about what it takes to get out of these messes in real life, and about the compassion the Lord has on us in the midst of them. The devil tells us God is mad and has turned away from us, but that’s just a lie. It may have been our own bad choices that got us into that tangle in the first place, but God isn’t expecting us to fix it ourselves. God isn’t a self-help guru, trying to get us to fix our own problems. He is a loving Father, a good Father, promising to help us in our time of need, and receive us back into His arms, tangled mess and all—if we will just turn back to Him and ask for help.

Remember, the prodigal son? Did he get himself all fixed up nice and clean, life back in order first, before leaving that pig pen? Did he restore the inheritance he’d squandered, and pay back his debtors, before humbling himself and returning to his father’s home? Not at all! Yet, his father received him with open arms and celebration.

This is how God will receive anyone who returns to Him like the prodigal, with a repentant and contrite heart. It is a step of faith with a promised conclusion: forgiveness and restoration.

I did figure out that tangle, once I just slowed down and took it one step at a time. In the end, the last tangle was just one string that had gotten wrapped around itself, and it unraveled with one gentle pull. It wasn’t as bad a mess as I’d thought.

Maybe, your mess isn’t as bad as you think, either. Even if it is, though, I know the Holy Spirit will help you. I promise you, He will not reject you. If you come to Him with a sincere repentance, He will take you step by step through that mess, and put it in order for you. He loves you. He wants to help you. He wants to shower you with His love and forgiveness, just like the prodigal’s father did for him. Please, trust the Lord. Take your mess to Him, and let Him work it out.

Have a blessed Sunday, everyone. ❤





It’s Not the Doing

How are you today?

My day started well enough, but as the minutes ticked by I began to feel pretty stressed-out. The thing that sent me over the top was the Saxophone Player’s text asking if I’d like to go to breakfast. Suddenly, my stress shot through the roof.

Well, that’s just not right! Going to breakfast with my husband should not make me stressed, but I was trying to order my day and that was not something I was making time for today. I knew this was wrong, though, so I stopped everything and turned my focus to the Lord.  If I’ve learned anything, I’ve learned that an absence of peace is proof that I’ve been absent from His presence. No matter how much I might be doing for Him, it’s not the doing that brings peace. It’s the being.

So, I set my mind on Him. I turned on the next sermon on my YouTube playlist. When the sermon was over, I turned on my favorite Pandora channel. Since my hands like to be busy, I made a scripture graphic with one of my favorite peony photos—a gift from God.

I didn’t have “time” for any of these luxuries today, but nothing on my scary, monstrous list of things I need to do—and things I’ve failed to do—matters as much as having the peace of God reigning in my heart. I’m no use to the Lord, if I’m sweating and straining to make things happen. Finishing everything on that list won’t bring me God’s peace. Having everything put away on my “desk” might bring a sense of accomplishment, but it cannot bring God’s peace. Only deciding to make time to be in His presence will restore my soul to a right place of resting in Him. And, that’s all I want. I accepted a long time ago that I’m a total failure as a human, but I don’t want to be a failure as a child of God. I don’t want to fail to love Him and glorify Him. He keeps my hands busy, but He does that for my sake. For His sake, He asks me to just sit with Him and know Him and rest.

He asks us all the same thing. My friend, if the pressures of the day are growing, choking your peace and joy in the Lord, I hope you will stop and sit with Him. Just leave all that there is to do, all that is pressing on you, and just be with Him. We delight in doing, but He delights in us, and in our just being with Him.

Isa263 meme

God bless you today. I pray “His peace that passes understanding guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus,” (Philippians 4:7).

Now, I am off to a late breakfast date with my patient husband. ❤

*I felt inspired to change the pronouns. I hope no one is offended.