Waiting – What’s it all about? What does it look like for me?


The topic at hand was inspired via this bible study I recently (slowly) started reading. It’s been “waiting” on me to begin it for sometime now! ūüôā I read one chapter then put it down for another week until I awoke super early on vacation. It was staring at me – creating guilt within, even though it was tucked away inside my bag.

Bible study by Sharla Fritz

Ask any of my immediate family members and they will tell you that waiting is not my virtue. That I like to know what is going to happen prior to it even being formed at times. When watching shows or movies I will figure out the next “act” around the corner. This drives my husband crazy because on more than one occasion I am correct.

In my mind though, I like to think that with age I have become a tad more patient. Of course my employer had me take one of those “hiring” tests last week that reflected patience was not my strong suit. ūüôā It did reflect some really good things about me though too! ūüôā

The bible study today was on Anna, it brought about feelings of things I had been keeping in the back of my own mind. Wondering what my next “act” would be myself, what purpose do I have in this life.

For a few years now I have been grampling with a few different things and in the chaos of my mind I’ve let doubt prevail. I’ve always wanted to see myself as a strong woman but in honesty not so much in recent years. The feeling of being proud of myself has lingered. All while jumping from one thing to another wondering why I can not master one thing.

Did I mention waiting isn’t my strong suit? I know I used to heavily be the type of person that had to hurry up and get to the finish line so I could start the next thing to conquer. At least that is what it felt like in my head. Placing my “worth and value” in what I could get done. (This is probably why it drives me nuts to have quilt tops not quilted and ready to present!)

Along the way though and I need to give a shout out to my hubs here because he is not a rushy person. He has brought a sense of slowness to my life and that it is okay to ENJOY the journey so to speak. For instance he always says “it’s not about the killing (insert your favorite animal to hunt), it’s about the hunt.” The time he spends with his friends each year in Colorado. Oh sure he LOVES to snag one for sure and he will share the story, probably more than once, but I know in his heart, it’s about the actual time spent there.

Vacations used to be more stressful and it was probably me who created the turmoil. Thinking we had to have a schedule and keep to it and so on. Although I do believe a “plan” is essential there needs to be room for flexibility. Otherwise I might miss that golden sunset or my daughter and her Dad enjoying a game or memory to etch in my mind. Now, that being said I still must have some sort of plan but I am more lax in it! Baby steps for sure!

But this post isn’t about my vacations, it’s about my journey and the act of waiting to know what my purpose is here on earth. To know that the next act is one that can be doable and if not learning from it will be character building.

While I wait to see what my next act is perhaps I need to take a few clues from Anna in Luke 2:3638. This woman only had a partner for seven years, then lived the rest of her long long long life praying, fasting, and thanking God. As a widow she was alone but in reality she wasn’t. She had God, just as I do and you do.

My journey is happening right now. I need to stop rushing to the next accomplishment and look at what is around me right now. In prayer and quiet asking the Lord to show me what he would have me do now.

The key thing…… I need to WAIT.

Thanks for stopping by and it felt good to be inspired and write once again.

Julie

Advertisements

Relationships


I created this graphic after going through session five of the bible study Sip, Savor, and Drink Deeply by Deb Burma.  You can purchase the study a few different places if you are interested.

Encouragement

Now that I am finished with it I would recommend it to anyone, even if you do not drink coffee.¬†¬†It includes recipes, craft ideas, tidbits about coffee drinks, and a great many other things about God’s Word. Lucky for me I was able to walk through it with a group of other ladies but it could easily be done on your own!

Now back to that graphic and why I created it for myself.¬† I wanted to have easy access for a reminder from areas of the Bible.¬† Some of the relationships in my life are stagnet, not comfortable, flourishing, open, comfortable, or have just gone by the wayside. But today I’d like to talk about one of the most important relationships I have in my life.

The one with my spouse, my husband of 14 years.

When this session was presented before me it was a good thing.¬† At the time I wasn’t so sure because things were stressful in that very important relationship I mentioned before.¬† No need to air my dirty laundry or share more than my hubs is comfortable with.¬† Just know that reading through creating something in me to focus on changing my responses.¬† I’m still a work in progress and so is he.¬† To date, I have not been able to sit down and visit with him about this session.¬† The farmer is too busy and it’s okay, we will when time allows. I have it on the top of our “to do” list! ūüôā But I see the help it has given our relationship already, without him evening knowing what it’s about! ūüôā

When I walked out of the Monday night bible study the night we did this session I saw things differently. One thing I realized is that it’s a duty as a Christian to have those difficult conversations with others.¬† Am I scared?¬† Yep.¬† Will I pray on it?¬† Yep.¬† Have I strayed from my faith before?¬† Yep.¬† Do I still struggle with things today?¬† Yep. Have I repented?¬† Yep. Am I forgiven?¬† Yep.

Psst….. you can too.¬† Jesus loves you.

Now, feel free to save the graphic or print it off for personal use.  I plan too.

Grace is a gift,

Julie

 

 

Chosen. Helping Others Know That.


the-lord-your-god-has-chosen-you-to-be-a-people-for-his-treasured-possession-out-of-all-the-peoples-who-are-on-the-face-of-the-earth-deuteronomy-7-6
Feel free to save or print for your own personal use only.

Mondays are the day of the week when I meet with other sisters in Christ to hear the word, share the word, learn the word, and fellowship. ¬†I look forward to Mondays because of the opportunity to be with these ladies. ¬†I’ve chosen them and they have chosen me, well that last one may be that they are just stuck with me cause I show up! ūüôā

You may have guessed that the topic for this week’s session was “Chosen”. (Mirror Mirror by Susan Senechal) ¬†We made our way through 1 Samuel by visiting chapters 16, 17, 18 while in Exodus, chapters 4 and 7. ¬†There were others too but Deuteronomy 7:6 is the mirror message for the week and it ¬†reminds us that GOD CHOSE US!

Our Lord chose us although we are sinners.

We tend to ¬†forget Him daily, weekly, and 40 seconds after worship on occasion. ¬†We talk of others, complain about our life, envy the neighbor’s nice things, and forget those in need while we drink our Starbucks coffee.

But still.

The Lord continues to choose us and love us as we ask for forgiveness. Just as He forgave Aaron in the bible.  He sent his Son to die for our sins, even though we were not worthy.  He cares for us even when we do not deserve it.

for-consider-your-calling-brothers-not-many-of-you-were-wise-according-to-worldly-standards-not-many-were-powerful-not-many-were-of-noble-birth-but-god-chose-what-is-foolish-in-the-world-to-shame

Although it’s about our salvation, being chosen is something that brings a good feeling to my life. Whether it’s in bible study group, on the playground, at our workplace, in a club, or even in our own earthly family, it creates a security within us. Who wouldn’t want to feel secure? The ultimate security is the fact that our Lord has provided for us eternal life!

I challenge you (and myself) to extend to another this week the feeling of being chosen. No we can not give what our Lord did but we can lead others to the same rea

Allow the Lord to guide you and bring the Word into someone else’s life. ¬†It can be done casually or structured. ¬†Don’t close the door on feeling chosen. ¬†God chose us, let’s share that with others, shall we?

Grace is a  gift,

Julie

 

Mirror Reflections & What to Remember


When I see my reflection in the bathroom mirror I often wonder about the features of my face that I have. Normally, it takes me on a journey in my mind where I end up  recalling images of my own parents..

I see many physical traits  that came from my father.  The dark brown hair, the eyes, and definitely the nose!   I look less like my mother but I have other attributes that I inherited from her.  They come into play when I use my brain and interact with others or work physically hard.

The reflection in the mirror also gives me ample view of my flaws. ¬†I see them as flaws where others may not even notice them. ¬†We all deal with the image in mirror, don’t we?

The current bible study I attend, “Mirror, Mirror” by Susan Senechal, stated the following. ¬†“we’re seeing our reflections as in a fun house mirror – warped and distorted.”

As I read those words I felt a bit of a weight off my shoulders, then as the following was shared I felt even more of a release.

the-truth-is-that-we-dont-see-ourselves-they-way-god-sees-us-he-is-our-creator-and-redeemer-god-sees-u-through-the-filter-of-the-cross-in-the-reflection-of-his-son-with-the-eyes-of-love

That release is actually more like feeling loved.  Loved in a manner that is hard to wrap my head around because of the sins of this world.  But in the Word I can find the truth that reminds me that Christ loves me and died for my flaws and sins.

fear-not-for-i-have-redeemed-you-i-have-called-you-by-name-you-are-mine-isaiah-43-1

Although I have only read one session of this particular bible study I find it to be helpful and a learning experience. ¬†Not just because I’ve been reminded that I’m beautiful and a creation from God. ¬†I have also been able to learn more about Jacob, Esau, Levi/Matthew, and hit several books of the bible while bonding with other Sisters in Christ.

I wasn’t paid to tell you about this bible study or about God. ¬†I just felt moved to share what I experienced. ¬†If you find yourself needing to be reminded of the love given from Christ you can find your copy of the bible study here, here, and even here.¬† Oh and by the way, they sell bibles at all those places too if you are in need of one!

I hope the reflection in the mirror that you see is one that reminds you of the love you have from Christ.

Feel free to download the Mirror Message for the week!

Grace is a gift,

Julie

fear-not-for-i-have-redeemed-you-i-have-called-you-by-name-you-are-mine-isaiah-43-1-1

 

It’s Been Too Long – The Word


I’m back at spending time in God’s word daily. ¬†I had been away for quite sometime. ¬†The attempts were there to get back to it but it didn’t stick. ¬†I have to admit when I spend some quiet time in God’s word in the morning it helps for me to be calm. ¬†I’m back at actually writing my prayers out and making a short grateful list. ¬†I can feel some of the darkness fall away bit by ever so small bit. ¬†It’s only day 2 but I need to acknowledge the good things more often to retain them in my mind I’ve decided.

The devotion for today was fitting for my life as well. ¬†Luke 8: 22-25¬†, do you know it? If not, click on it and take a gander. ¬†It’s simple but boy did I need that reminder. ¬†My storm has subsided at times but it’s still an ever present rain many days. ¬†So, hearing this simple story of Jesus taking care of things and having faith was a gentle push to the thoughts I need to be having.

That even though our financial situation isn’t great, God will take care of us. ¬†Although I can’t shake the darkness and the new medicine has some really yucky side effects when starting, it will be okay because no matter what He’s got my back. ¬†That even though my faith has been shaken and I wasn’t the true follower I needed to be in the past couple years, HE STILL LOVES ME. ¬†GOD FORGIVES. ¬†He has always and will always have me my back.

devotion

I know there will be days when I falter but I am given the opportunity to start again. ¬†That’s all I can do. ¬†Start again.

Pushing towards the light of grace but it’s freely given,

Julie

 

Only One Post


flowers1.jpg

 

Well folks it’s been fun in 2015 hasn’t it? ¬†I mean we have laughed and shook heads in agreement with Honesty Days, touched base with God in the God’s Grace posts, and walked through grieving another death.

I hope that in my Music to my Ears posts you found yourself dancing while reading, enjoyed some awesome stories about adoption, but most of all I hope my writing inspired you. ¬†Inspired you to do whatever God was leading you to do. ¬†Whether it be through an act of kindness, pray with another, speak of His truth to others, or start a new adventure! ¬†I’m so very glad you have joined me in every aspect of the journey.

I’ve written many times about connecting with others. ¬†I know that between us is some sort of device, but I hope that my words have touched you in a way that has brought you joy. ¬†Writing about my life experiences is a way for me to grow, help others, and deal with whatever is at hand. ¬†I feel fortunate to be able to write in a blog setting.

Does this sound like a good bye? ¬†Well, ¬†don’t worry, I’m not. I’m just taking an extended vacation to focus on family, the holidays, and create a new space for us to meet. ¬†I do have an upcoming very special post in December, just one. ¬†Of course it has to do with #pfwg44thbirthday and you will see if I made my goals!

I pray that your Christmas season is a joyous one and that it holds the true meaning of it all. ¬†Jesus Christ. ¬†May you take time to watch the little ones play, sing, and be silly. ¬†May you see the glimmer in your spouse’s/significant other’s eyes once again, and watch the adult children’s life unfold before you. ¬†Hug and kiss the family too much and eat the good food that has been provided for you, and TAKE PICTURES! ¬†Take moments to be generally kind to the clerk at the store, the elderly one, the ones less fortunate, and the ones alone this holiday season.

May we all encompass Christ’s love and share it too much! ¬†God bless you and I will see you in a few weeks!

Grace is a gift,

Juli

The anniversary and where I spent it.


8/17/2015

One year ago this evening my Dad was struggling to stay alive. ¬†He was riding in an ambulance on his way to a Wichita hospital. He died in it, probably on the side of the road or in the Kingman hospital parking lot. I don’t know. ¬†I only saw him after, in that hospital, laying on the bed. ¬†A life-less being.

This evening I was sitting at my computer. ¬†I had just read the post of the speech I gave at his memorial service. I looked up at the clock. ¬†It’s ironic. ¬†What I just read and the clock showing only minutes before they called his time of death a year ago.

The tears are not falling. ¬†They are not coming. ¬†They are put away. ¬†They are not at the forefront today. ¬†I haven’t shared on Facebook or even mentioned to my spouse the date. ¬†A couple cards came in the mail remembering and my sister text me sending love and I went about my day. ¬†They were very much appreciated and needed. ¬†My emotions were sensitive and I fell apart while vacuuming the bathroom today, feeling overwhelmed with it all.

I think that God had the best plan for me tonight. ¬†I’m not spending it with my family or in bed weeping. ¬†I’m spending it with a group of ladies that bring me joy and support without even knowing it most of the time. ¬†Two or three will be gathered tonight so our Lord will be present for sure. ¬†I will be wrapped in His arms and His love via sisters in Christ.

The Lord knows best what I need today on the anniversary of my Dad’s death. I am grateful.

Before I fall asleep I will close my eyes and remember my Dad’s hugs, his hands, his smile. ¬†I think he would have liked it that way.

 

Dad Collage

Grace is a gift,
Julie

Yes God Made Me, Yes God Loves Me, But….


Yes, God made me in His image.

Genesis 1 26 27

Yes,  God loves me.

John 16 27

I don’t doubt that at all. ¬†I believe that whole-hearted.¬†I am a believer in Christ, that God’s Son died for my sins. ¬†But….

He didn’t make me a sinner. ¬†That was brought on by the actions of Adam and Eve.

Genesis 3 6

My ancestry bestowed upon me this sinful nature that I exhibit each day. ¬†Whether it be an unkind thought or word, fear, doubt, anger, or any type of sin. ¬†It’s here, its daily. ¬†It’s not ok, but there is hope. ¬†There is hope in asking for forgiveness from God and He grants forgiveness.

Matthew 12 31

The hope lies in looking to the day His Son returns.

John 14 1 3

God made me, God loves me, but without being a baptized child of God I would have only death.  My eternal life comes through His Son Jesus Christ.

Romans 5 1

My strength, my refuge.  They come from the sacrifice that was His Son dying on the cross for my sins.  When God sees me there is a filter, and that filter is His Son Jesus Christ.

Today I will take communion and as I drink the wine and take the bread I know in my heart it is truly the body and blood of Christ.

 

Matthew 26 26 29

He will return and He will come to judge the living and the dead. I pray that you will join me, if you have not already, in becoming a child of God through baptism.

Grace is a gift,

Julie

 

Grace is a Gift


cropped-flowers.jpg

Grace is a Gift.  That is the way I sign all my posts.  I decided to make this second to last post about just that.

Grace.

It is a gift from God.

John 1:14

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

I went to Dictionary.com to see what it had to say about grace. I decided I’d just share the link verses put it completely here in the post. ¬†I wanted to focus on what the bible has to say about grace.

To put is plainly……

Ephesians 2:8

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.

We can not earn it.  We can not buy it.  We can not pray for it.  It is a gift from our Father in Heaven.   HE offers this gift to all,  in hopes that every one of us will accept it.  Accept Jesus Christ as our Savior.

I’ve written about my faith and the journey it has taken a few times here on blog. ¬†I wanted to share today that before I even understood what God’s grace was, HE was providing it to me.

I wasn’t alone when I was hurt, I wasn’t alone when I gave birth at 17, and I wasn’t alone when I did any joyous thing in my life prior to understanding this gift. ¬†God provided me with love and protection, with strength and courage, and he offered me HIS grace.

I hope that you will take some time and find your way through the blog to learn more about me and God.  The relationship we have and where it has been and where it might be going.  I have much to learn but I am finding that life here on earth is easier to endure with my ever-growing faith in HIM. That weekly fellowship and worship, plus being in the Word (almost) daily has helped.

In the past when I would get upset for whatever reason, I recall crying out that I felt so alone.  Now, in my midst of tears and heartache, no matter who or what made me cry, I whisper the following to calm myself.

“I am not alone. ¬†God is with me right now. I will never be alone. ¬†I am a sinner but HE loves me. ¬†He cares for me.”

This is the truth. ¬†I am not alone and you are not alone. ¬†God’s gift to you and me is HIS grace.

Grace is a gift,

Julie

Other posts about God you might enjoy

1

2

3

Grateful To Hear


One of the staples in our worship service is the playing of the organ. ¬†Our church is blessed to have not only one, but four very talented women play. ¬†It’s something that you can count on each Sunday and although I enjoy it, I miss the piano. ¬†I missed it a great deal when I changed churches, then the desire was placed in a section of my brain to be forgotten.

Until last Sunday, ¬†it was brought to the forefront of my memory. ¬†I sat in my pew and with joy my ears listened. ¬†They were filled suddenly, unexpectedly, with a beautiful playing of the piano. ¬† It included a singing I can not even put into words. ¬†It was that beautiful. ¬† As I sat there listening to the Psalm being sang tears filled my eyes. ¬†They were not of sadness, they were of joy. ¬†Longing to turn but knew I shouldn’t I just basked in the moment of hearing God’s glory. ¬†I embraced the gift I had been given this moment in time. ¬†I felt my heart flutter, my mind clear, my body relax.

Joy comes in many forms. ¬†God’s glory comes in many forms. ¬†On this day, two young ladies were used by God as instruments to spread His word. ¬†I am so very grateful I could hear and look forward to a future of such blissful times.

Grace is a gift,

Julie

Church