Sunday, August 31, 2008

Free to Fly Flashback!

Hey everybody! I sure hope you are all enjoying your Sunday evening! I haven't been able to get to the PC to put my thoughts in order, but I am so very much looking forward to doing so and to getting around to visit! Tomorrow I will be doing that.

In the mean time I was working in my journal, and saw some old notes, from last fall. It reminded me of a post I did based on those notes and I felt it was quite timely, really, even more so now that 1 year ago. So, if you feel life is placing you at a crossroads, this one is for YOU!

Much love, and prayers,
Maria

Click here to read this post on choices.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Joy!




Good morning all! Hope Ya'll are hanging in there today! We're hanging in there too! Things are good here at the Ponderosa. But what does that mean when I say good? Does that mean that there are no "issues"? All bills paid? Vehicle (yes, that IS singular) all maintenanced and in hot shape? All projects moving forward, yard perfectly mowed, and no dust bunnies? Have I and each member of my family set and achieved all appropriate spiritual goals? Well, that would be an emphatic NO! This is not the Cleaver household, this IS the planet earth, where we are promised troubles and MORE importantly an answer to them all! Why do I bring this up today?

Because it is my heart to throw a life line of hope, a reminder that all is not lost, all is not topsy-turvey. What keeps us going, what is the characteristic that allows us to enjoy life, in spite of and in defiance of obstacles? Joy. The joy of the promise, the answer, the sufficiency, the abundance, the overflowing, eternal, majestic, overwhelming, life-giving wonder of Jesus. Joy unspeakable and full of glory!

Got bills to pay?
Jesus will give you wisdom, give you time, give you favor, give you opportunity to get it done - maybe a little at a time, but if you will consistently seek Him and do your part, you will look back and see how far you have come....just DON'T STOP!

Got a family issue, with spiritual roots?
Get in the presence of the Lord - get in The Word. You need the strength of it, the life, the wisdom and change of perspective it will give you. Take that Word with you everywhere you go, chew on it, pray it, declare it, sing it (while you drive, mop, clean the shower, pay your bills on-line, travel to a meeting, etc). DON'T STOP! ("This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success. Have not I commanded you? Be strong, vigorous, and very courageous. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:8-9)

Got a habit to kick
or trying to make a new one? Trying to break free of a stronghold in your mindset? Turn your back on a sinful behaviour?
  • Keep your eyes on HIM! He'll keep you in His perfect peace.
  • Acknowledge you can't do it without Him. And don't think too far ahead. Just take it one day at a time, remember - it's "give us THIS day our DAILY bread"! Even the provision in the wilderness was daily manna.
  • Testify of your desire to see His change in you
  • Thank Him for the victory that is yours because of Jesus completed works!
  • Determine to let Him live in and through you TODAY!
  • When you fall, get right back up - be quick to!
  • Then do it all again tomorrow! DON'T STOP!

Got a hurt to heal? A grief to endure? Stay tuned! That's my next post!

Why do we have so much trouble anyway?
"So that [the genuineness] of your faith may be tested, [your faith] which is infinitely more precious than the perishable gold which is tested and purified by fire. [This proving of your faith is intended] to redound to [your] praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) is revealed. Without having seen Him, you love Him; though you do not [even] now see Him, you believe in Him and exult and thrill with inexpressible and glorious (triumphant, heavenly) joy. [At the same time] you receive the result (outcome, consummation) of your faith, the salvation of your souls." 1 Peter 1:7-9

He, most emphatically, IS our JOY!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Rain, Rain Go Away, 1st Day of School, & THANK YOU!


Fay, Fay - go away! Phew! As I type this I just heard the weather woman say that Fay is still bringing the wet stuff, maybe to some of you all. Fortunately, it is not so much now days, and should be gone soon! I have to say, that we were so blessed to only get lots of rain. Not flood porportions here, like in some towns. Not much at all in wind damage, either. And to do without electricity for a day or two, well, that's just an opportunity to be reminded how good we have it in the USA, and how many luxuries we take for granted.

Well, we navigated our way through the paper maze and our youngest, (my home school student for 8 years!) is at school getting his schedule for his first day of 10th grade today! God was in all the details, every step of the way, and that made me so happy as we went along. I was able to be confident that God was handling this. I truly felt like a passenger in a vehicle, with a VERY capable driver! It's my hope that our son will have that same assurance as he goes about his day today, through out this week, and through out this year.

I want to especially say thank you for hanging in there with me, and many of you have had kind comments and prayers for my family. And I can't tell you how much it encouraged me and caused me to draw strength, knowing that God was working and moving through hearts of friends and family all over the place (thanks partially to the internet) to pray for my family. We all thank you!

I will be posting later today, but I didn't want to wait a minute more to tell you all that your prayers matter and so does your friendship!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Transition!

I wanted to take a few minutes to explain my absence. This summer there's Lots of change in the air. Changes in me. Changes in my role in SEVERAL areas. We are all doing well. I guess it would be better termed as transition, rather than simply "change". But, times of transition are precarious, often frought with challenging situations which make you want to give up, when there is truly no going back, and so you must go forward. Paul spoke one time of having an open door of opportunity, and with it many adversaries. And I feel like that's what's ahead of my family, myself, my husband, and both of our sons. Especially our youngest. Opportunity. Lots of it. A wide open world. The thing about opportunity and the transitional state of crossing over the threshold from the previous to the new now is that, we DO have an enemy and we would be wise to remember our enemy is not the people who make us count to ten, turn red in the face, and grind our teeth. Oh, sorry, you've never done that? :) No, when opposition comes, and the opportunity to given in to a defeatist attitude, we must rather remember, the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but MIGHTY through GOD to the pulling down of strongolds. We must train our hearts and minds and mouths to moving forward and letting go of our right to be hurt, or angry or even weary. We must continue to engage in life and faith and love. All the while moving forward.

So, the transitional place I find our family is a good place filled with life threatening challenges. But, God is good, He is at work, He goes before us, He covers us and watches our back. He is our life, our salvation our future and our hope. There are a couple of analogies from when a pregnant mother gives birth to where I am at. First being, I understand (I had c-sections ahead of time so I don't know from experience) that just prior to labor the baby is very still. That fits me, because inside I have felt "very still" and any blogging I have done has been usually with great effort in the last 3 months. I understand it better now, as the stillness is a time of preparation. During birth (the transition period) sometimes something happens to the umbilical cord, which endangers the child, threatening it's life supply of oxygen infused blood. Well, that is a picture of situations I have been facing. When the umbilical cord gets twisted or caught in someway, this has to carefully be treated. This is simply an anology of things, of people needing much prayerful attention and me not being able to multi-task as well as I'd like. I have just only been able to perform my daily tasks, go about daily living in the moment, pray, and pray, keep moving forward and it seems to take ALL of my attention right now. There has been absolutley nothing left in me to visit, comment, or post. But, you are all in my thoughts and prayers. I know there are moves, and not moves, college, jobs, financial challenges, health challenges, and many more things all in between the lines facing you all, and being experienced and you are in my heart. I just wanted you to know.

I can say this: I have several things to accomplish in the next few days. At the end of those things, I believe I will have successfully gotten our youngest enrolled full-time in a local public high school as a sophmore. My heart is excited for him, because I believe that this is part of God's design for him, and I KNOW that he will be blessed and will be a blessing. I am in much prayer for him and his circle of friends. Like Psalms 127, I believe he is like an arrow being sent out to accomplish the great things God has for him. There has been a great struggle for his heart and spirit. It is so hard to witness a loved one or anyone for that matter, struggle with life and death choices of which way they will go in life. Lest you think I am being over dramatic, let me just say the question of which way our lives go IS most defintely a life and death question. And no one can make that choice for you. No one thing anyone says to you, or book they give you, or song they play for you does it. It is a sacred dance between God and us, us as an individual, and there is no one else that can dance your step for you, and no one that you can dance their step for them!

So, if I can succesfully navigate (and I believe I can) the paper hoop to get him in, then next Friday on 22 August, I will no longer be a home school mom, and our "youngun' will be embarking on the next phase of his journey, and I am very excited for him.
I am not sure this post is making sense, but its the best I can do right now. I can assure you I will be able to focus more and post, visit and comment, when that date arrives and we have been successful at making this transition.

Oh, here is a definition of transition:
1.movement, passage, or change from one position, state, stage, subject, concept, etc., to another; change: the transition from adolescence to adulthood.
2.Music. a. a passing from one key to another; modulation. b. a brief modulation; a modulation used in passing. c.a sudden, unprepared modulation.
3. a passage from one scene to another by sound effects, music, etc., as in a television program, theatrical production, or the like. –verb (used without object)
4. to make a transition: He had difficulty transitioning from enlisted man to officer.

Much love and prayers to you all! "See" you 22 August!

What Does it Mean Anyway? "Free to Fly"...

Well, it's like this: Here are some of the Webster's Dictionary definitions of Free: a : having the legal and political rights of a citizen b : enjoying civil and political liberty c : enjoying political independence or freedom from outside domination d : enjoying personal freedom : not subject to the control or domination of another2 a : not determined by anything beyond its own nature or being : choosing or capable of choosing for itself...having a scope not restricted by qualification 7 a : not obstructed, restricted, or impeded ...Now, here are some of the Webster's Dictionary definitions of Fly:1 a : to move in or pass through the air with wings b : to move through the air or before the wind or through outer space c : to float, wave, or soar in the air ... a : to take flight ...6 : to work successfully ...Examples which apply from Websters: fly high : to be elated - fly in the face of or fly in the teeth of : to stand or act forthrightly or brazenly in defiance or contradiction of

What does this mean in my life? This means that in life we are meant to be free. While historically mankind has not always enjoyed the opportunity to fully appreciate what that means, we are so indescribably fortunate as to live in a time of the greatest spiritual, physical, financial and political freedom ever known. Freedom doesn't come cheap, nor does it come easy. But the best things in life don't come that way do they? As I write this I am struck by how this sounds like a political statement, and for me this is much more of a spiritual thing, but, same goes for that (political that is). Freedom doesn't come easy. And it's worth whatever fight you have to make to overcome in your life in order to live a life that succeeds. Now the questions is - what is success for you? What is your standard? In my mind what is needed is a definite target - because you can't hit and maintain a moving target. A stable, rock-solid, anchor with no variable, yet multi-faceted. Something pure, just and worthy. If you look at any web page of news you can see that our society is certainly lacking in this area. What a great time to live as a rebel! Nowadays to be a rebel, all you have to do is be willing to engage in the battle of life, while anchored to Christ!