Wednesday, November 1, 2017

November 1st

It's November 1, 2017.

I am not here.

I am a WriMo.

I'm writing my novel for National Novel Writing Month.

I only have 30 days to get 50,000 words written.

So, I'll see you on the other side!








Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Rest



Today I rest from blogging.

I will print this out and keep it by my bed, in my purse, in my car, at my desk … You can too.

Time to rest.

“By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all this work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” - Genesis 2:2 (NIV)

“It is a day of Sabbath rest for you, and you must deny yourselves.” - Leviticus 23:32 (NIV)

“Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope.” - Psalms 16:9 (NIV)

“So I said, 'Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. Indeed, I would wander far off, And remain in the wilderness.” - Psalms 55:6-7 (NIV)

“The fear of the LORD leads to life, And he who has it will abide in satisfaction; He will not be visited with evil.” - Proverbs 19:23 (NKJV)

“Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse does not come to rest.” - Proverbs 26:2

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” - Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)

“This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence.” - 1 John 3:19

Monday, October 30, 2017

Refine

Refine:
-to remove the unwanted substances in something
-to improve something by making small changes
-to free from impurities or unwanted material (metal, sugar, oil)
-to free from moral imperfection
-to improve or perfect by pruning or polishing like refining poetic style
-to reduce in vigor or intensity
-to free from what is coarse, vulgar, uncouth
-to become pure or perfected
-to make improvement by introducing subtleties or distinctions
-to better, amend, enhance, enrich, help, perfect, improve, upgrade, ameliorate (to make something better, less painful)

Refine your search

Refined by fire

I have constantly refined the plan for my life …

At age 7, I was going to be the best friend my friends ever had, marry the boy in the row next to me with the black hair and play piano.

At age 13, I was going to be a concert pianist and play Carnegie Hall. I was also going to be a college professor.

At age 18, I was going to be a teacher and be one of the fun ones.

At age 24, I was going to be a wife and be the kind where the husband is always happy and the wife never nags.

When I was 25, I realized I was going to be a mother. So I planned to be the best one I could be, creating the smartest kids.

When I was 30, I was going to let God decide how many children I should have and live out in the country like my grandmother did and bake bread every day.

When I was 40, I was going to get a job and pay off all the bills and work up to a position that paid enough so my husband could farm full time.

When I was 44, I went back to work full time and my life got really complicated. Reality set in. I began my journey of letting God call the shots in my life and asked Him if my plans were appropriate or doable.

At age 50, I realized I was calling to God but I wasn't listening to God. I dug into my Bible every day.

At 52, I was offered a job that would be high stress and thankless. I could make more money and pay off bills. I asked for two days to think about it. God told me to take it. I heard Him as if He were sitting next to me by my desk as I read Isaiah 35.

For the next three years I let God lead me. I made decisions with my staff that were unpopular. Things got hot. But I was learning to completely depend on God. I was learning to worry about what He thought. When angry people came at me I stood quietly. I let God refine me.

At 55, stressed out and sick, God told me I could leave.

What happened next was not in my original plan – or any of my refined plans – at all. My life exploded. I came to the end of myself. I was now, officially, completely dependent on God. Some days my head felt like a furnace. I couldn't fix things at all. I saw a counselor. I spend hours in prayer and meditation on passages God was giving me. I wrote. I went to a new church. I stopped doing everything except the most essential.

And I began to heal.

God refined my life.


"Take away the dross from silver, And it will go to the silversmith for jewelry." - Proverbs 25:4 (NIV)

 "He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, And purge them as gold and silver, That they may offer to the LORD An offering of righteousness." - Malachi 3:3 (NIV)




Sunday, October 29, 2017

Follow

http://www.inekekamps.com/photography/follow-the-leader/
Follow me

Follow the leader

Just follow along silently as I read it aloud.

Little brother, don't follow me. I want to be alone.

Copy the following words three times in your notebook.

Who are you following?

Why do you follow that line of thinking?

I don't follow any body. I'm my own leader.

What are you doing? - I'm following you. - I don't think you should follow me. I'm lost.


You will become who you follow.


“Then Miriam the prophet, Aaron's sister, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women followed her, with timbrels and dancing.” - Exodus 15:20 (NIV)

“... giving orders to the people: 'When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the Levitical priests carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it ...'” - Joshua 3:3 (NIV)

“Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” - Psalm 23:6 (NIV)

“I wait for your salvation, LORD, and I follow your commands.” - Psalm 119:166

“Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” - Matthew 4:19 (NKJV) (Mark 1:17; Luke 5:11)

“And the armies in heaven, clothes in fine linen, white and clearn, followed Him on white horses.” - Revelation 19:14




Saturday, October 28, 2017

Connect

Today I will connect

I will connect here on my blog, hoping to encourage one or two, make them think a bit, maybe share a tiny insight

I will connect with the ladies that work out at my church, dancing for Jesus

I will connect with my daughter, always watching for signs of stress, disappointment, happiness, forgetfulness, discovering something new

I will connect with my husband, standing ready to help if I can, if he lets me, if he needs me

I will connect with the needs of my house, dishes, laundry, cleaning

I will connect with my grown children, texting, praying, perhaps a random visit from them ...

I will connect with other bloggers, only one or two, connecting is overwhelming for me

I will connect with friends via Facebook, email, and, hopefully, snail mail

And when I connect I will love them

encourage them

speak what is true, helpful, kind

and today I will ask God to help me because I rarely know the appropriate thing to say in the moment

and maybe today isn't the day to connect with that one certain person

but maybe it is and I will need courage and strength from God

because I just doing feel like connecting

I want to live in my vast cave of wonders in my head

and write interesting things that make people think

and read
and think

and watch a movie I've never seen

I'm being honest. My happy place, my safe place is in my head, alone, thinking about good things, praying, meditating on the Words God gave us, being still and knowing.

But God wants me to stretch myself

so today

I will connect


Friday, October 27, 2017

Overcome

Overcome with grief … Grandma died

Overcome with pain … migraine

Overcome with anxiety … foreclosure


We shall overcome

Greater is He that's in me

When I'm sick I will overcome

When I'm in trouble I will not be afraid, or worry, or wring my hands … I will focus on Him

Everything I go through, Jesus has already experienced and overcome it

And He tells me I can overcome it too

In fact I am encouraged, commanded to overcome

Like a practice, 10,000 hours, daily scales, kata, multiplication facts, exercise routine, 8 glasses of water ...

And it's not by trying harder or steeling myself or copping an attitude or getting angry with my enemy

It's just the opposite – the crazy economy of God – rest

Rest in Him

Trust in Him

Depend on Him that He will bring me through

And the path He leads me through, or pulls me through, or picks me up and carries me through, is not the path I would have chosen

Sometimes when I come out on the other side I can't even see the path we went – where are the footprints in the sand?

It doesn't matter. I would use that information to figure it out for myself the next time I fell into the hole I couldn't get out of.

The mystery of God is that each time I walk into a trial the route through it is different, more defined, a little more rocky and steep.

This is by design, I think.

Each trial I am in has the potential to refine my faith, increase my dependence on God's strength, add to my wisdom in His mysterious working.

I cannot learn this unless I let go, look to Him, run to Him and jump into His lap, feel His warmth like a blanket, and ride out the storm in His arms.

This is how I overcome.


“They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD.” - Jeremiah 1:19 (NIV)

“Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, 'I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!'” - Mark 9:24 (NIV)

“He replied, 'I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.'” - Luke 10:18-20

“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” - 1 John 4:4 (NKJV)


Thursday, October 26, 2017

Change

Change everywhere

I hate change

Embrace change

Is change good or bad?

Ya can't change 'im. Can't teach an ol' dog new tricks.

Are you willing to change?

Vote for me! Vote for change!

Can you change the company without changing its values?

You can't change them; you can only change yourself.

Change is inevitable.


“... and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside ...” - John 2:9 (NIV)

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” - James 1:17 (NIV)

“Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed – in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” - I Corinthians 15:51-52