Thursday, January 20, 2011

Stumbling Blocks into Stepping Stones...

My sister, Renee, had gall bladder surgery yesterday... she is doing pretty good. She says she is just really sore.  It has not been a fun few weeks for her but now once she recovers from the surgery... it will be so much better!

There are so many people having difficulties.  I was thinking how that as we face heartaches in life we need to completely trust God’s goodness and plan so that we can overcome anything that is put in our way.  Those stumbling blocks that could trip us up and knock us down need to be moved in such a way to be used as stepping stones… building blocks of faith.  Our circumstances, both good and not so good, are part of our journey of faith.  We may not understand why things happen or how what has happened can be used for good at the time… we just need to trust that God is in control and will make all things work for His good. And sorry to say, some of the greatest lessons learned are the most painful to go through.  “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.” I John 5:4  We may not be feeling like overcomers today, but I believe that I am because I am born of God, and besides, He told me so.

Wanted to share this wedding card I created for a wedding a couple weeks ago... I think is turned out simple, but elegant. Got to luv the SU (Stampin' Up) punches!
Hope you have a blessed day!
with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

He is Sufficient...

I am starting with something crafty today... as you can see by the banner on my blog I am a customer of "PrintOnIt"... right now they have a great sale going on their vinyl, just click HERE to see the sale. I would so appreciate it if you purchase anything from PrintOnIt that you would go through my link here... they have other crafty items too. This is nothing great but it is vinyl I purchased from PrintOnIt and cut with my Cricut to decorate my laptop.
I woke up this morning determined to seek God’s face and to not let myself stay in this crappy, crabby state of emotions. I am realizing a pattern here that has been occurring over the last 4 or 5 months… the week before my period starts I turn into a blubbering basket case. I hate that! I really have not been a big PMS person… during-MS, yes, but no pre-MS. Why does it have to be this way now? Also, I find it very disturbing and annoying when I hear other women make comments like, “oh you are getting to that age when hot flashes will start and your hormones are a mess.” If that is the case, at that very moment I DON’T WANT TO HEAR THAT!!! I pray that as I move into this next phase in my life that I do not become one of those women… it is almost like they are saying, “AHHA we got another one to add to our little menopausal group.” Don’t get me wrong, since I was 11 once a month, like clock-work, my uterus has shed what it needed to shed, but if my womb (I really don’t like that word, “womb”… it sounds like a little kid trying to say, room) is never gonna be used to carry a precious little baby… I am more than thrilled to stop this monthly “expression of womanhood!” *Ü*
Okay, I guess I have gotten off track here. The point I am trying to get at is that this week every month for the last while has been a bad time for me to deal with the enemy’s attacks… I guess it is a good time for him but not so much for me. I am left feeling not worthy, not a good wife, not a good friend, incapable of doing anything right. Please tell me some of you reading this can relate. I know that these are just feelings and I can’t live my life by these bad emotions, but for the first day or so of this week… I really struggle. I feel sorry for my poor, loving hubby… he just doesn’t know what to do to help.

This morning I came across a verse that really spoke to my “crazy” heart… “Not that I am sufficient of myself to think of anything as being from myself, but my sufficiency is from God." II Corinthians 3:5 I really needed to be reminded this morning that I am made sufficient (enough) through Christ by God… He has written this on my heart which is so much better than just writing it on paper!

He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. II Corinthians 12:9 This is another verse I wanted to share because it has greatly impacted my life. Papa is so good at giving us just what we need when we need it if we are willing to seek Him.

Hope you have a blessed day. with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Word is "All"...

I am trying to memorize Psalm 34 with a verse a day during the first 3 weeks of January. I use to memorize so much out of necessity, not really because I loved to memorize. I had to memorize hundreds of verses when I was on a Bible quiz team as a teenager. Even though most of those verses were memorized for competition I am so thankful today that I have those verses stored in my memory and my heart. At the age of 45 I am finding it not so easy to just memorize… I don’t want to memorize just for the sake of saying I have done it… I want it to be something that sinks down into my soul… I want it to be a very personal, intimate time for soaking up Papa’s Words. It use to be very important for memorizing to be “word perfect”, but now I am finding that just doesn’t work for me. I have had to take this Psalm and make it personal to me… I have to envision these words being spoken by me to God… making it personal has so much more impact.

“I will bless the Lord at ALL times, His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make its boast in the Lord, the humble shall hear of it and be glad.
O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.
I sought the Lord and He heard me, and delivered me from ALL my fears.
I looked to Him and was radiant, and my face was not ashamed.
This poor woman cried out, and the Lord heard me, and saved me out of ALL my troubles.”
Psalm 34:1-6
The word “ALL” really stood out to me in these verses… “all” – the whole amount or quantity is affected; the greatest possible; complete or total.

I have always been an “all or nothing” kind of person… I am sure a lot of that stems from perfectionism… if I couldn’t do something perfectly then I just would not do it at all. Over the last year I have learned to let the perfection thing go, or rather I am working hard on letting that perfection thing go… I’m a work in progress!!! I am learning that not giving my ALL to God is not the best way to live my life. So many times I would choose to hold back small parts of my trust or faith or even love from God… I would choose to put Him in a “box”… I didn’t let Him have ALL of me… I would keep Him limited in my life.  I do believe that God can do whatever He wants to do, but I also believe that He gave us freewill and He will not step into areas we are not willing to give to Him. When I have gotten to know Him more as my Heavenly Father and not a big, scary, untouchable judge… I can see who He is and that He gave It ALL for me…He has not held anything back. “He who did not withhold or spare [even] His own Son but gave Him up for us all, will He not also with Him freely and graciously give us all [other] things?” Romans 8:32 … and ALL He asks is that I give my ALL for Him. It is not a condition of His love… He has already given me All of His love… it is out of my love and awe for Him that I want to give my ALL.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with ALL spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,” Ephesians 1:3

Had to share this snowy scene from our few days spent up to Boyne Mountain... it was a great relaxing time with my hubby... refreshed for the new year!
with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Word is "Overcome"...

I wanted to share a word with you today and the word is "overcome".  I was watching something on tv this morning and they were talking about changing the way your brain thinks, like bitterness, unforgiveness, regret, etc. They were saying how when you dwell on those things it actually changes your brain matter, almost like leaving a “black hole” in your brain. The word, “overcome” kept coming to my mind as I watched this… my thought was, this can only be overcome by the power of faith in God. Then I opened my devotional and the title was “An Overcoming Faith”… so I asked God what He wanted me to see from this. He reminded me everything in my life that I have overcome has been only through my loving Heavenly Father.  

I heard in my heart that a true overcomer is one that keeps going, keeps trusting, keeps being faithful even when things aren’t the way I want or the way I think things should be. It is not being able to change the circumstance… it is just trusting that God knows what He is doing, that He is in control, that He has my best interest in mind to further His Kingdom. I also thought of what Christ went through, He overcame death and the grave, but the circumstance of how that had to happen; a horrible, humiliating death on the cross, was not the way He wanted things to be, as it says in Matthew, “He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, ‘O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.’” Matthew 26:39
The definition of "overcome" is - to conquer a problem, defeat somebody, to win or be successful despite obstacles. I cannot overcome anything in my life without keeping my focus on Christ and the strength that only comes from God.  Are you feeling like you can overcome today?  Seek His face through His Word, through prayer... you have the strength to overcome if you are a child of the One who has overcome the world.  
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

with a grateFUL HEART, carin