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A Lesson in Faith

Today I’m visiting Whole Family Strong with a lesson about Faith. Stop by!!

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Ask – and Ye Shall Receive!

God blew us away with a faith test. My daughter needed funds for a mission trip to Africa. I doubted we would have enough time to raise enough.

God said – Trust me and have faith.
Friends said – Trust and have faith.
I even read a fundraising book. It said – Trust and have faith.

So I gave up “plan B” (the if we don’t raise enough plan also known as the NOT trusting in God plan) and prayed.
I asked for faith and the ability to trust. I laid down my fears and simply asked.

God blew us away!

Not only did that daughter raise ALL the needed funds, someone even offered to pay for a different daughter’s summer camp!

(A huge thanks to those of YOU, my loyal readers, who read and and responded! It touched me greatly that you gave!)
Ask – and ye shall receive!
What do you need to ask for today?

If I can trust God for a loft bed, I can trust Him for bigger things, right?!

A lesson in trust I’m still learning –

In a conversation with my daughter, I asked her what would make her happy with her room. Her room has issues – I guess you can say it’s a work in progress. We turned a dining room into a bedroom, so it doesn’t have a closet. At one point her room didn’t have doors. Now it has doors, but still no closet. I dare you to look inside of most tween girls (in America) closet. No thanks! That’s a dare for sure! Closets are the place where little girl meets teen. Pretend dress up shoes next to the first pair of real heels. Dolls and lip gloss share a shelf. Not having a closet leads to lots of piles and corners stuffed with memories. We were brainstorming solutions. One idea was to change her bed into a loft bed. Right in the middle of a normal, everyday conversation something major slipped out of my mouth.

If you want a loft bed, pray for one. Trust God to provide.

I challenged her to pray. Trust.

Then I quickly wanted to forget the whole conversation because I don’t have the energy to redecorate a room right now.

Later that day, my husband heard of the plans and gave me the “what are you guys up to” look. I assured him I wasn’t blowing our budget and that we were just brainstorming. Then it hit me. Why not pray? Why not seriously pray for a bed? Why did I challenge her to pray for something – was I setting her up for excuses and you just must not have prayed hard enough scenarios? Or was I really going to trust and pray along with her?

Those thought lead me straight to my knees. I simply prayed and trusted.

Two days later I went to a garage sale. I wanted four items. I prayed for God to provide. One of those was a loft bed. No bed. So I prayed again.

The next day, someone in our neighborhood listed a loft bed for $5o. Within an hour I knocked on the door. I prayed again and then offered $40. SOLD!

The bed is now in our daughter’s room. Every time I look at the bed, I thank God for his provisions.

Now it’s two days later. My daughter’s desire to serve God overseas is sprouting wings! The opportunity to go on a mission trip fell into our lap! It’s way out of our budget. Not only that, the date of the trip was moved up several weeks. That left us not much time to raise the needed funds. The night the tickets were purchased, I didn’t sleep. How quickly I forgot the trust and provision of the loft bed.

After two days of worry – I fell before God asking for his forgiveness. I wasn’t trusting. My faith was weak. I trust in the easy, non-life changing things – but when it comes to the major stuff, I worry. I often believe for others, but when it comes right down to it, I don’t always trust the good will come to me.

He forgives and makes things new. My faith is stronger and I trust he will provide. Not only that, I have a new expectancy that great things are going to come from this! My excitement builds each day.

I will tell you that a part of me still struggles. Doubts creep in. Fear seeps into my thoughts and dreams. That fear and doubt is not from God.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith 1 Peter 5:7-9

I trust you, Lord, for loft beds and mission trips. Above that, I trust you with my girls – my heart.

Weak faith builds weak bridges. Faith and trust builds a bridge with a strong foundation!

Please pray for us as we stand strong. Read this for more information about the mission trip!

Do any of you have a trust struggle? Encourage each other in the comment section!

Miracle!

Yesterday I hinted about myBirthday Miracle. This is not that story. That was a miracle beyond miracles. This is a miracle of the every-day sort. But hey, a miracle is a miracle. And miracles all start with faith. After yesterday’s tragedy, I almost decided not to run this story. After yesterday it seems trivial. Then I realized… after watching (and rewatching) the bombing of one of America’s Prides, we need to embrace any miracle we come across. Even those that may seem trivial to some. A miracle is still a miracle. And we need to see as many miracles as we can!

I won’t lie. My food allergies get in the way of a lot of things. A LOT. I’ve said no to things just because of the food issue. I have dreams of taking mission tips and serving God but don’t pursue them due to – yep… food allergies.

What really troubles me is when I say to NO to a ministry opportunity. I do seek God and through prayer ask what HE plans for me. Up until now, it’s been to say no. Remember when I was presented with the opportunity to bridge the gap with some Arab sisters? My heart filled with joy. I really wanted to meet with them. Then I heard it was to be a feast. They were going to cook for us. My heart plummeted. I thought about cancelling. I prayed. I knew I was to go. But what about the food?! I decided to just trust. The day of the festivities, I saw a friend and asked her to pray for me. She stopped RIGHT THERE and Prayed. It wasn’t a “Dear God, Help her to not be sick” prayer. It was filled with words of healing and praise for the ONE who Heals. After the prayer she asked me if I received it. Gulp. Did I? Could I trust. YES! I answered. I will trust.

So I did.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

I filled my plate with food. Someone did ask if any of the dishes had garlic, so I stayed away from just a few. Let me tell you, I ate foods I haven’t eaten since my diagnosis. I ate plates of food that normally would cause serious repercussions – from just a BITE. I ate 4 dishes with dairy. I ate some that even had *gasp* garlic. I’m all for faith, but not a fan of pure stupidity, so I did take a little dose of allergy meds and I used essential oils. I also didn’t pig out. I ate slowly and made sure I wasn’t reacting before taking more bites. Let me be clear – with the foods I ate, there is NO WAY the little bit of meds and oils could’ve curtailed a huge reaction. We’re talking a reaction requiring cancelling all plans and staying in bed for about 3 days. If not more serious. Yet I only had a teeny tiny headache.

I believe it was a miracle. A MIRACLE.

I’m sure you have questions and are thinking what I was… that maybe I really can eat some of those foods, or maybe that God healed me of all allergies! (That would be great!) So let me tell you about today. My husband and I made burger patties. One pan had spices with garlic, one didn’t  We mixed of the spatula and one of my patties had cross reaction with garlic. I also ate 4 potato chips that had a less than 2% ingredient. Guess what? I reacted. Thankfully it wasn’t a big reaction. I had a nice headache for a few hours. That tells me I’m still allergic. There was no long term healing. When the headache first started I heard that little voice that speaks to my heart.

I healed you last night so you could serve me. I wanted to show my power when you trust.

Your ways, God, are holy.
What god is as great as our God?
You are the God who performs miracles;
you display your power among the peoples.
With your mighty arm you redeemed your people          Psalm 77:13-15

Wow.

I am so thankful.

I am so blessed.

I am honored that God chose me use and show His power.

Miracles happen when you build bridges in FAITH.

So that’s my little miracle. What is one of yours?

Happy Easter

Sweeping While Wearing Muddy Shoes

It just took one glance at the floor for me to drop everything and grab the broom. I quickly swept the area near the back door and walked off without bothering to clean up the pile and throw the dirt away. Walking back into the kitchen, I resumed preparations of oatmeal. While the water rose in tempurature, but not yet boiling, I saw more dirt on the floor. I grabbed the broom again (easy to do since I hadn’t bothered to put it away) and swept more dirt into yet another unpicked up pile. Oatmeal making commenced. It didn’t take long (I used super-fast instant-in-a-minute oats) and the oatmeal’s ready. As I called the kids for breakfast, I noticed another pile (in the entryway this time) of dirt waiting to be picked up and thrown away. Coming from the pile were tendrils of pine needles and, you guessed it – DIRT that spread out over the entryway. Our floors just were not staying clean! I felt like I was sweeping while wearing muddy shoes!

Then it hit me. That’s just like my life. I sweep unwanted behaviors, thoughts, and actions into a pile. And I leave it there. Because I don’t take the simple step to scoop it all up and throw it away, the dirt spreads out again creating a messy floor. It’s as effective as sweeping while wearing muddy shoes.

Take the time to dispose of the unwanted dirt (sin) in your life.

Sweep the dirt into a pile by acknowledging the sin (dirt). Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord”— and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Psalm 32:5

Don’t stop there. Scoop it up and throw it away through confession and forgiveness. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

Shake the dust off your hands through a repentant heart. Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord. Acts 3:19

One more thing – To keep dirt out of your house, don’t even bring it in. Take your muddy shoes off at the door so no dirt enters your house. Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil. May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it. 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22

Now excuse me while I sweep up my piles – right after I take off my muddy shoes.

It’s time I take my own advice.

It’s time I take my own advice.

Conviction.

For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. I Thessalonians 1: 4-6

Last week I wrote about MENTORING. While I have mentor/friends in my life and occasional coffee chats – informal accountability – I am not regularly mentoring anyone. I love the idea and am so thankful for my go-to mentors, but I haven’t actively pursued true mentoring. Anytime the topic of mentors comes up, I put it a little higher on my to-do list, but it quickly falls back down the priority list. “I’m comfortable with my walls. What if mentoring challenges me? It is definitely NOT in my comfort zone right now.” Those thoughts keep me from living what I preach.

Until Today.

Conviction stirred in my heart AFTER I posted that message. It’s time I take my own advice.

Today I am meeting with someone to discuss mentoring options for me. Will I be a mentor or a mentoree? Maybe both?

I. Am. So. Nervous.

The butterflies are battling it out deep inside me.

It’s time to live what I preach.

Building bridges often moves you out of your comfort zone.

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