3 Day Quote Challenge – Day 3

Lord, Your challenge for me has come to its 3rd and final day… at least for this challenge. I pray every quote, every word, every nomination, and every read brought glory to Your Holy Name… and will continue to do so. It’s Your blog. Do whatever You will with whatever You want. And do whatever You want with whatever You will!
It’s all for You!

And please bless our dearest and lovely Anita of Discovering Your Happiness for nominating me for this 3 Day Quote Challenge. Thank you, Miss Lovely! ❤


The Rules Are:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Post a quote for three consecutive days (1 quote for each day).
  3. Share why this quote appeals so much to you.
  4. Nominate 3 different bloggers for each day.

3 Day Quote Challenge – Day 1: “God Loves You!”
(click here to read Day 1)

3 Day Quote Challenge – Day 2:
“Jesus died for you! What more do you want Him to do? – Die Again?”
(click here to read day 2)

3 Day Quote Challenge – Day 3:
(you are reading Day 3)

“He’s like the lightning in the sky each time I feel it near.
The beauty of its pretty color sinks beneath my fear.”

The Lord gave me this quote as a Life Quote for the poetry He has given me through a poem He allowed me to pen several years ago called Frozen Box, just as He has given me John 14:27 as a Life Verse from the Bible. It is posted as the tagline for my poetry blog gaillovesgodspoetry. It really sums up a lot about Me and God (my salvation testimony), as well as the long time struggle with My Fear of God. At the time I wrote it, I was young and just coming out of years of abuse, a lot of dysfunctional years for our family, a dysfunctional school, and was a single mom of the cutest little pair of arms that the Lord blessed me with. So of course my writing was still growing as mentioned in Me and Writing (my writing testimony).
The Lord has allowed me to grow so much, and my fear of Him as well. Recently, He has allowed me the grace to stand and face Him, to enjoy the magnificence of His majestic presence in the midst of a storm cloud, and different scenarios that would normally have me horrified. I am not standing as though to dare Him, nor defy Him, but by His sweet leading to look upon Him in awe! To know the peace and joy of knowing He is with me… for me… and strenghtening me… to trust Him more. It is because of John 14:27 that I can now stand and glory in His beauty in reverent fear.

’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed!
– Amazing Grace,
Stanza 2
hymn lyrics by John Newton


Nominees for Day 3:
Something to Stu Over
Matthew Winters (Comeback Pastor)
Inner Man Theatre


I close with a favorite song that declares,
“I’m no longer a slave to fear.
I am a child of God.”

PRAISE BE TO GOD!

Heaviness Is A Precious Need

For the last few days, I’ve had a hard time being able to blog. Really longer than that, but challenges and prayer needing events give motivation. I’ve actually been struggling with feeling “off” is the word I have used for a couple of months now. I don’t really know what it is, nor why it seems to linger. At times it’s frustrating because it doesn’t seem to go with what I feel or what I want to be happening. But there it is… It is.

I was reading a blog that had been reblogged about depression (Ways to Fight Depression, by Chibueze, reblogged by Make It Ultra), and it was reminding others the feeling of maybe we shouldn’t do this or that adds fuel to depression.

Ugh. If you only understood my tug of war with, “What’s the point?” or “It doesn’t matter anyway?” “What difference does it make?” “I just don’t care, and I don’t feel like trying to care.” And these words somehow get past the numbing feeling to even bother to think. So I thought I might follow the advice to make myself blog anyway. It reminds of Kennedy’s tattoo on her forearm that says, “It’s not about forcing happiness. It’s about not letting sadness win.”

Before I read the blog, our family prayer time had these verses that encouraged my spirit. My first thought was to share them and the whispers God shared with me through them, but then I feared the passage was too long. Again in following God’s whisper to heed this advice of the blog, I will share. Click away now if you don’t wish to read.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.
Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: but as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”
– 1 Peter 1:3-16 KJV

My inheritance in heaven is incorruptible and waiting on me. Wow. It is undefiled, doesn’t fade away, and is reserved for me by the power of God through faith unto salvation that is ready to be revealed when Jesus comes. All of this by a “lively hope.” It doesn’t feel like a lively hope right now… or my brain or body one doesn’t seem to understand what hope means. Yet that is exactly what my faith is… a hope… that God has promised and Christ hath secured… that despite what I may feel… His unchanging word and faithful promises have secured for me an inheritance that I will receive because of what Christ has done, not because of what I can feel today. Even my depression can not defile or it or corrupt it.

But isn’t that what my world tells me should happen? That my lack of zeal or failure to be perfectly optimistic at all times should tarnish my reputation with God, and therefore corrupt my treasure? The word inheritance should no longer apply for the weak in faith… right? Not according to what my God says. According to the next few words my heaviness may be a NEED through many different kinds of temptations to try my faith and make it much more precious than gold! It might be tried with fire, but it is so that it may be found to have praise, honor, and glory when Jesus appears.

And let’s think about that for a minute. I love and believe in a Jesus I have not seen with my own eyes. How is that possible? Through the years many people have asked me that question, and so I have asked myself. How is it that I don’t believe in love (down here), don’t believe in relationships, don’t believe in magic (God made me smarter than that), don’t believe in so many things, and have no desire to, yet I believe in and LOVE a God who took on human flesh for me, a flesh that was beaten and sacrificed to save my soul. If it weren’t for everlasting life, I wouldn’t believe in forever. Praise God I do!

Praise God for Jesus and His resurrection allowing the Holy Spirit to revive my soul with a lively hope. You better believe my soul rejoices with unspeakable joy and full of glory! Whatever seems to lack, my God is well aware of, and is either in the process of refining or is simply nurturing to perfect restoration. He tells me this is the end of my faith and my salvation. That believing my Jesus and taking Him at His word gives me something that the prophets, the saints, and the angels do NOT have, yet seek for, all the while that they are preaching about it to encourage us. That is the incorruptible inheritance. To believe regardless of what I do or don’t do, the blood of Christ has secured my placed in heaven. And it will be there waiting on me! The angels cannot know this feeling or glory because they don’t know what it’s like to NEED hope. They have never been without heaven and the one who made it. They have no need TO hope.

Therefore my God straightforwardly instructs me to gird up my mind, to guard it, and to be sober, aware, and to hope for that grace that is to be brought to me when Christ reveals Himself. I am to discipline my mind as an obedient child, not as when I used to give myself over to former lusts in my ignorance. I am to be holy, even in all my conversations. Because it is written for me to be holy because He is holy.

How can I not be encouraged when the One who even makes hope, love, joy, and eternal life possible, makes it a point to lovingly and honestly instruct me with encouragement? Who else would tell me that my heaviness is more precious than gold, especially when He knows how my heaviness weighs me down? Tonight’s hymn was absolutely fitting because with this message, He Lifted Me.

He called me long before I heard / Before my sinful heart was stirred
But when I took Him at His word / Forgiven, He lifted me.
Chorus: From sinking sand, He lifted Me / With tender hand, He lifted me.
From shades of night, to plains of light / Oh, praise His name; He lifted me.

 

Satisfied Hunger

The Lord delightfully surprised me in a way that might be trivial to share with you, but meant so much to me. For God to be so personal about it! I love how He keeps doing that, even with trivial things! He loves saying, “I’m thinking of you. Even the little things.”

I was taking my son to work by 4 am. After letting him off, I found myself hungry. I mean hungry people. Remember, I hate to chew, get bored with eating, and when I do eat I pick away at my food. But my medicines sometimes eat away at my insides. I was becoming sick, and getting sicker. But there was a new problem.

From midnight to 5 am, it’s hard to eat without being stuck with McDonald’s. They’re not the worst, but it’s only breakfast and SO greasy! Biscuits or griddles mean having to eat bread. I have a bread thing. Cook Out closed at 4 am. Denny’s closed down a few months back. IHOP and Huddle House are open all night on the weekend, but this was midweek. Only place left… Waffle House (aka Awful House). Ugh… the idea of grease… or breakfast!

My stomach kept getting sicker, so I decided Waffle House so I could eat something besides a burger. I did remembered a ham and cheese omelet years before. I was dreading the grease. I was hoping something was on the menu… spaghetti or something.

It was busy, loud, and cold! I had a light jacket on with short sleeves, and am normally hot. I was freezing, but hungry! The menu was all burgers, patty melts, and breakfast. I avoid ham because of my blood pressure. I was trying to avoid meat altogether. I literally pondered for about 30 minutes. They were so busy, only the cook noticed.

Kayla came to ask me what I wanted to drink. Yes, I did soda instead of water or hot chocolate. After talking about the foods, I went with the classic cheeseburger. It was a dollar burger size. No French fries at Waffle House! I was proud of them! But the only side was hash browns. I was so hungry I just yes! No to the sauce.

Wow! My burger was small and seemed grease free (I knew better). There were large pieces of juicy, crisp lettuce. Two pieces of thick fresh tomatoes… also juicy! The bread was small and light! Didn’t bother me a bit! The hash browns were good. I started with my burger but after one bite of those hash browns, I was eating away.

I realized I was eating and was tempted to think too much. I did not care! I was hungry! My burger and hash browns satisfied my hunger! I thought, “Everybody wants me to eat. I’m eating! And good!” I even ate pie! Oh. My. Word! I’ve not eaten pie in forever! Freddie the cook made it warm and delicious! The pecans were soft! I ate away from the crust, but I ate! I even drank half of my drink!

You think I feel guilty for those who believe I’m overweight because they think all I do is eat, and think I’ve been big all my life? Or because of the struggle TO eat because of hating to chew or thinking it’s boring to eat? No ma’am! No sir! God made my morning! He thought of me personally. My hunger was satisfied. My body felt great! Hydrated! Nourished! Thank you, God, for our time! We made 2 new friends… Kayla and Freddie.

30 Posts Challenge: Follow Up

30 Posts Truth Challenge BadgeHi Guys! Just wanted to share with all of you who came along my journey of posting 30 true aspects about myself that you may not know… the AWARD from our dearest Fatima aka Splendor In Embers! Praise the Lord for using her to challenge me… in many ways!! Wanting to encourage someone I love and care about blessed and encouraged me!

By opening up myself to sharing truths with others, we spoke on these things below:
1. Introducing myself
2. Me and God
3. Me and Writing
4. Me and Anthoni
5. Me and Foster Care, part 1
6. Me and Foster Care, part 2
7. Me and My Fireworks
8. Me and Anxiety, part 1
9. Me and Anxiety, part 2
10. Me and Anxiety, part 3
11. Me and Depression
12. Dying to Self
13. Friday the 13th (A Blessed Day)
14. Designed to Follow
15. How a Devo Becomes A Poem
16. The Devo Poem
17. “Crucify him! Crucify Him!”
18. I Mourn, I Grieve (Edited)
19. What Makes Me Happy
20. River Baptism
21. I Love to Sing Hymns
22. God Speaks, I Listen!
23. Bearing One Another’s Burdens (as a Prayer Warrior)
24. A Friend Loveth at All Times
25. I’m a Very Private Person
26. My Fear of God
27. Ripping Your Heart out
28. My 2017 Solar Eclipse Experience
29. One Last Aspect
30. Challenging You

Along this journey, the Lord used His whispers, His nudges, and His many resources for encouraging me! Lovely A and her Self Care Challenge was a part of those resources! There are others I can’t mention, but you know who you are. Thank You for letting God use you to help me “fly” within God’s gift of life. And what would I do without InnerManTheatre… my patient son for his feedback and tech support (and Anita!).

I praise Him for each of you who took to read  (while patiently waiting for me to learn my way), for reaffirming His whispers (with your likes and follows) to be meant for more than just myself. Your comments allowed God to fill my cup with blessings. And the Awards! So unexpected! All crowns to lay at His feet! God bless you, Lovely A!

My Dearest Fatima, How grateful I am to God for you! For your challenge! For your heart. Please know I am praying for you and your precious family as often as God allows. You’ve always been dear to our family! You ARE family! Thank you for my AWARD!

If you are interested about this Challenge, you might be delightfully surprised to know that you do not have to wait for someone to nominate you, as I have read some of you have for quite some time. You only have to accept and post. See for yourself her 3 rules posted here. Praying for each of you! God loves you! ❤

Unfortunately Right (Texas Flooding update #2)

Four days later, and unfortunately the expectations were right in that the death count went up from 9 to 19 (well last I saw on the news late last night). 6 of them were 2 grandparents with 4 great grandchildren in a van together. A son was the sole survivor.

Another loss in that count was an officer who was on h  is way in the early morning hours to help others. Also a well known and loved coach who had been a part of helping to rescue others. 

This devastation continues as the waters are still rising in some areas. Rivers and different waters have to take their course in going downstream, which adds more water to lower areas already flooded.

 I’m not sure why, but the National Guard and other Official Rescue teams coming to help stopped ALL rescues from continuing after dark, regardless of the urgency. I understand the threat. It’s just hard after watching local volunteers save thousands because they still went out after dark (as untrained rescuers).I thought our military trained for such things.

Another unfortunate right is the looting that unfortunately is happening. Some things are down right evil. News reports were warning and reassuring at the same time that individuals were going to homes impersonating immigration officers to enter and rob homes.

The good news is that Harvey is finally moving out of the area, and weakening considerably. There are also several different fundraisers and donations nation wide, including celebrities and major companies putting forth millions. Please continue to pray for Texas, Louisiana, and all those affected by Harvey, and on the way to help.

Calm In The Storm

Lord, what a dark night… a dark and dreadful night… but it was not my dark and dreadful night. I was blessed with warm and dry shelter. Those stranded in the dark and cold muddy waters were living this nightmare, along with their rescuers. Yet I could not leave that screen. I could not leave them. Especially when it was just volunteers left to help. The night was getting late after so many had been waiting for so long, and much more rain was on the way. The reservoirs and levees were going to release water to try to save them from collapse, yet there was no guarantee they wouldn’t anyway.

As I watched this for hours, my heart and blood pressure were up. I could hear voices saying stop worrying, it wasn’t good for me, worrying wasn’t going to help the victims. I prayed as I saw each rescue, and heard each group plea to help those still stranded. And those children, Lord, with little infants! How could I possibly leave that screen knowing children and babies were out there? I tried to reason that rescue efforts would take days. I knew I couldn’t stay awake like that anymore. That made me realize a lot of things.

When I was younger, my anxiety would NOT let me rest if I heard of turmoil. In some ways that was good. Others would ask me to stay with them through tragic times, or ask me to sit with their family or friend. Reliable and strong were the most common words I heard. But that was all you giving me the strength. At other times it seemed like a curse or a heavy weight to carry, that was absolutely taking me under.

Tonight, Lord, I felt calm in the storm. I was not less concerned, but I could feel my anxiousness give way as soon as I even began to worry. It felt so calming. That is the word that comes to mind. There’s nothing wrong with being calm during a storm. If volunteers were not calm they could not rescue. At times a rescuer is challenged by a frantic victim who becomes life-threatening. This made me pray for the volunteers.

Remaining calm allowed me to think… remembering being rescued in storms a couple of times… as a child… as a disabled adult (close to bed ridden)…  watching my mom suffer night and day for months… unable to ease her pain… expected to sleep in my bed right beside her… knowing any time she could pass. How cruel to close my eyes and supposedly my ears to her pain so I could sleep. If it weren’t for your grace and the medicines you allow, I would have not remained calm to do what was being asked of me.

You allowed these medicines to keep me calm, pray, and absolutely trust you. I just grabbed my color journal and calmly waited as I listened and learned. Sometimes to the news. Sometimes to you showing me all kinds of things about myself, and how far you and I have come. At one point, while in prayer you allowed me to fall asleep. In the past I would have felt like a monster, but now I understand I am human. You made the medicine and the calm feel like good friends. It was nice… to have good friends, and to feel good about it instead of feeling guilty.

There are many things I have absolutely no control over. I must choose to trust you. Thank you for the calm in the storm. You remind me of Matthew 8:23-26.

And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.

 

 

30 Posts Challenge: #30, Challenging You

Can you believe it, Guys! We made it to 30! Took me long enough, huh! To be honest… I wasn’t so confident I would finish. I can procrastinate, give up, or feel defeated. As you may have read, I was closed off to the world pretty good. I had become so afraid of it. Afraid of living. Those last words were the strongest truth behind doing the challenge.

I was doing an online bible study when I saw Fatima (Splendors in Embers) post her hospital stay after her suicide attempt. I was so concerned for her because I’ve known her since she was in preschool. At first, I was surprised… not just because we didn’t know each other’s personal life like that… but because I was having my own struggle.

I was not in a hospital, but I could not encourage her with lies I was not believing myself at the time, or not willing to LIVE by. I was afraid someone deep in depression would see through anything I post… be further burdened… more encouraged to leave her babies better off without her. And a very selfish part of me, afraid she could expose me… ruin my plans… or talk me out of them without even knowing they were there.

As I did pray for her privately, the Lord led me to do 2 things… 1. Let Fatima know I was praying for her… 2. Let my own therapist know my struggle. With God’s help, I did both. In my struggle, I was avoiding commitment so nothing could hold me back. I knew my faith would not play yoyo with my peace of mind. I was taking my time to be sure.

I began to do Fatima’s challenge using my WordPress to post. With thoughtful prayer I opened my privacy settings on Facebook and WordPress. I told no one so I could close them if need be. When I finished the aspects, I would close everything back. Yet I found myself curious of a self care blog. After I signed up, I realized commitments! But Lovely A had the Lord whispering in her ear… Don’t think of it as commitment.

Before I knew it I had a new friend in Australia, Staffordshire, and Dublin. God’s whispers were heard around the globe, and responded to, and shared. His whispers were no longer just for me. The same thing was happening on my Facebook, my Group page, when I went to church, when I ran into a friend. God used Fatima’s blog. And the patience of someone who listened and kept me from flying. He too had God on His side.

Having said this long post, I challenge you… to open up… to trust… maybe even take Fatima’s 30 Truth Posts Challenge. You can read here below her 3 rules. https://splendorinembers.wordpress.com/2017/06/03/you-are-challenged-do-the-30-post-truth-challenge/
1. Let her know you’re going to do it.
2. Create 30 Posts in whatever media you choose.
3. Let her know when you finish.

Most importantly I encourage you to open up to someone if you are struggling with your darkness. I know I have been vague with the specific terms, but if you are contemplating giving up you know exactly what I am talking about. There is hope… even if it’s just in another day! The Lord made that one too!