Monday, August 31, 2009
I learned so much! What I love about Beth is that I always see Him in her. She's a lightning rod for His word, and gives me such a deep understanding of it. The most important thing she taught me, was that "wait" is not an idle word, it is a verb. In Hebrew, wait means to be in anxious expectation. Yes Lord! She also said if we are praying, by the word and are not receiving our answer - don't give up! There is Glory or Destiny at stake.
Travis and the worship team brought it. I really have no words. Worshiping God there, in that way... let's just say I wound up on my face at the altar, crying out for mercy and when I rose I knew I had it. God and I met to do business this weekend.When the event was over, I did get to meet Rich, LPL's amazing photographer. He was funny and totally down to earth.Meeting Travis Cottrell was surreal. He's so gifted and so... normal, praise God! It was like hanging out with a friend. Did you know he blogs?I did meet a new friend, Jamie, there too. She was such a blessing to me!Check out the Living Proof schedule; if they're even remotely close to you, GO!
Here's me and one of my best girls, Sara from Interpret Sass. We've only "met" twice but she's already family.(I don't know why we didn't take a picture of ourselves that night Meagan, we were up til 2:00!)
Can't wait to see you again soon!
Thursday, August 27, 2009
I can hardly wait to enter in again. Have you ever worshiped with thousands of women? The authenticity and abandon is second to none. Tell me you know about Travis and the Praise Team! The anointing on the entire Living Proof Live ministry is amazing. And have you read their blog?
I left a comment on their blog this week and about fell of my chair when I got the email inviting me to Green Bay. Just about died y'all. So after the shrieking stopped, the joy has spread through like wildfire. It's downright uncontainable! And I remember, this, is what it's supposed to feel like. This, is what God wants for us.
Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. (Nehemia 8:10)
When the event in Green Bay is over, I'm heading west, to the Twin Cities. Anyone up for a bloggy breakfast (lunch or dinner)? :) I'll be in the Cities through Sunday - do you know what this means?? I get to go back to my church!!
Tonight I remember what it feels like to have my cup overflow. My children are doing great. My new job rocks the party. I got a little sanity and quit one of the part time jobs = I took control of my priorities. I can feel a holy fire bubbling up. I missed this. The Lord has been so faithful to me. Through tears and tantrums, in the darkest night and the brightest dawn, He is good.
Last summer when I was baptized, the feeling of going under and coming up new changed me. Father God, water mark my spirit and take me under this weekend.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
He has a huge heart for Jesus; swing over and welcome him to the blogosphere! Want more? Check out his MySpace.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
My friends at Three Bay B Chicks sent me fun mail last Christmas that I still use and treasure. Sparingly, but I'll have you know, Este Lauder is my war paint. Some days being a single mom of 3 means don't waste your make-up. You're gonna run too hard, move too fast, put out too many fires and barely keep your head above water; the last thing on your mind is an eyelash curler. Really.
But there are days that I pull out my gifted fancy bag of make-up and I remember why they sent it. Because they believe in me, and want me to see what they see. Every morning I stand in front of the mirror and tell my reflection, "you are a good, capable, woman. You will make it through this day, even if by the skin of your teeth, but by God, you will make it, head held high." And at night when I'm facing myself again, I think of something to be grateful for and say it out loud. Honestly at the beginning I was just grateful for teeth to brush. But now I like who I see.
Sure that woman needs to lose some weight and do something about the bags under her eyes. But her shoulders are pulled back, there's light in her eyes and I trust her.
Does it seem funny that something so small can make such a big difference? Not to me. Some people say don't sweat the small stuff, but life is in the details. A friend once told me, "the amount of spiritual warfare you'll encounter is in direct correlation to the impact you're having on the Kingdom." When my feet hit the floor in the morning I want the enemy to say, uh-oh she's up again.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:13-17)
Every gal knows the finishing touch on any outfit is the accessories Mine just happens to be war paint ...made by Este Lauder.*wink*,
Monday, August 17, 2009
Often in the last eight months I have prayed for the destination. But God is about the journey. Beth Moore says, "... God will forever be more interested in you knowing your Healer than experiencing His healing, and knowing your Deliverer than knowing your deliverance."
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path. (Proverbs 3:5)
Do you know what Kyrie Eleison means? In Greek, "Lord Have Mercy." ...down the road that I must travel, through the darkness of the night, where I'm going will you follow... Lord have mercy.
In moments of patience, I know had He taken me straight to the destination, I would have missed so much. Remember when I put my license plates on by myself for the first time and it felt like reaching the summit? What if I had missed even that one small victory? How could I have built another on the back of it, until my shoulders straightened out, until my eyes finally met yours?
I'm not afraid anymore. That alone, is worth the journey, no matter how high the climb.
Monday, August 10, 2009
I love this video (mute the volume on the youtube link) because it reminds me of my prayers.
See how the seeds start growing right away? But notice the first growth is below the surface! Do not be afraid... since the first day you set your mind to gain understanding and humble yourself before God, your words were heard (and action was taken)... (Daniel 10:12) but remember the Angel with the answer was detained 21 days. I heard this week the Bible says 366 times - Do Not Fear - 1 for every day and an extra in case we forget.
God has been quiet, but I do not believe he has been deaf to my pleas. And even in the quiet, he has been close. My seeds are growing, but they had to put down roots.
Action is being taken on my behalf in the heavenlies. And it is coming together down here. Jobs are coming, child care is set, school is starting, blessings are on their way. I can't write about all the details yet, but things we have prayed for together for months, are starting to break through. Thank you Jesus. And thank you, the walk has been hard but never alone out here.
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:28-31)
I Can See a New Horizon,
Sunday, August 9, 2009
They were a specialty of my Grams. She's been with Jesus for 10 years now. Her loss is still deeply felt. As I was serving my children a dish she served me as a child, the aroma alone brought her to the table and tears to my eyes. I miss her.
She is the reason I named my blog Willow Tree; she was my first sanctuary, the tree in her backyard was the image of it.
On hot summer nights like this we used to sit on her front porch in the swing with our coffee cups. Of course I was eight, mine had water, but she always made me feel special. She would scratch my back or play with my hair while the big band music came through the open windows and I wished even then, to stop the clock, draw it out.
She fostered my love of the theater, with Phantom of the Opera. She taught me how to play solitaire, use liquid rouge and that rubbing fresh mint from her backyard in my hands smelled like heaven. She taught me things I didn't know until she was gone; strength that shone like beauty, love so pure it was potent, and because of her, I know the meaning of Grace.
She suffered at the end, Alzheimer's was an ugly, mean, disease that forced us to watch her go for years before she left. I regret not being there for her enough. I regret fearing her disease.
But oh, how merciful God is to me, that He allows me to dream of her; to put my head on her chest again. I've had the best conversations with Grams under the willow tree in my dreams. I wish my children could have known her. I can't wait to make introductions a lifetime from now, in Heaven. But I have told her of them. She knows. And she waits.
I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life. (John 6:47)
She returns to us here, in dreams and red patent leather shoes I know she would have loved. In meals and memories we still share. And while she took pieces of my family's hearts with her, she left pieces of her own, with us.... and we are better for it.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
My fourth interview (same company) went great, but I wasn't chosen. The recruiter fell all over himself about how perfect I was for the position, but the other candidate knew lawyers in the firm and was chosen because of an established report.
Habitat for Humanity called today, it's a No. For at least two years; I don't meet their financial requirements.
In this economy, I am more qualified to check your groceries or deliver your pizza. Never mind a dozen years of administrative experience, I don't have a degree and the 50 other people applying for the same job, do.
Weeks like this could empower the enemy's words as he laughs in my face and snarls, you never should have left.
The public at large feels entitled to say, why don't they just leave? And this is why. Because not every mother is blessed to have a family waiting with open arms. Because many don't have an education that enables them to stand alone. Because door after door is slammed in her face.
The enemy has been very loud today. Don't you see? You're that girl. That uneducated, white trash, divorced mother of three. ...but I'm not who he says I am.
The enemy can't shame me, he can't touch one hair on my head. He can snarl and hiss, but I can shake the gates of Hell with faith. The night X walked out, I went back to church and even though I sobbed, I raised my hands in praise to the One who knew.
Though the road has been long and hard, though my arms feel like lead from the weight they have borne, I will raise my hands again to Him tonight, and praise Him in the valley. I praise You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:14)
Chosen, Holy and Blameless in His sight (Ephesians 1:4)
God's workmanship (Ephesians 2:10)
and the one that drove me to my knees tonight as I seek Him... But now in Christ Jesus, you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2:13)
His nearness truly is our good.