Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Vision For Life

If you have been reading my blog, then you know that this year I have set out to really start focusing on God in everything I do. It has already meant making some really tough decisions. That being said, it's not easy. Earlier this week, I was praying about one of these tough decisions and asked God, "When does it start getting easier? When will I get "there"?" ("there" meaning that point where you trust God without even a hint of doubt, where everything you do is Christlike and you would honestly have to work harder at sinning than being Christlike). I wanted to know, when will I know if I have gotten "there", so I asked my question and here is what happened:

Immediately after asking, I was given a vision that I am going to do my best to describe to you -

A man was standing next to me. He had long gray hair held back in a low ponytail. He also had a long gray mustache and beard. He was dressed in a light blue and purple robe-like gown. I knew this man represented the Holy Spirit. He spoke to me as if directly answering my previous question. I could hear his voice, but it was not coming from the man's mouth. As I heard him speaking, we turned to look behind us and he stretched out his arm to show me myself in the past. I was dirty and wearing rags. I was hunched over and a long thick chain was attached to my heart. The chain hung down to somewhere I could not see, but I could see that it went through fire. Both the chain and me had been blackened by the smoke of the fire. The man was saying, "Your heart was bound by sin to the pit of hell." As he continued to speak, we turned back around, and we were standing in the front entrance of a castle. I had been cleaned and given new clothes. "You were bought by the King to serve Him. I was given to you to help prepare your heart. Until...". While the man spoke these words I saw he and I working to serve the King together. It had been years and we had grown close. He was my most trusted friend. At one point we stopped and were looking at my heart. It looked like the actual organ in our bodies. Most of it looked like new healthy tissue, but some of it, while now clean, still remained damaged. We were assessing which of the damaged areas we were now going to begin working to prepare (the new healthy parts, had been changed over those many years). "...He determines that you are ready." This time the words were coming directly out of the man's mouth and he was speaking directly to me. I was ushered into the throne room. The room was long with a very high ceiling. The walls were ornate with paintings of His Creation. There were six marble pillars, three on each side that stood floor to ceiling. At first my view was from behind the throne, which sat up on a sort of stage with steps leading up to it. It was very tall and made out of gold. Then my viewpoint went around the room to where I was standing, as if seeing it through my eyes. As I looked toward the throne all I could see was the brightest, whitest, purest light I had ever seen. I knew I was looking upon God's holy face. In that brief flash of light, the vision was over.

Although it may seem like it was very long, It probably did not last more than a minute.

I immediately understood that God was answering the question I had asked. The answer was that like He promises in Philippians 1:6 that "He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of completion." That day of completion is the day that we are called home to be with Him.

But just as I had looked at my heart in the vision and could see that there were still parts that were damaged, yet He had determined it was time; when He calls us home, there may still be areas of our lives that are damaged by sin and still need to be renewed in Christ, but all of our heart has been washed clean by Christ's blood.

We will not reach Christlike perfection here on this earth, but as we live to serve our King we need to be working with the Holy Spirit to allow Him to prepare our hearts for the day we stand face to face with Holiness.

Basically, the answer to my question was that when I get "there", I will not longer be on this earth. Which means that my whole life will be spent becoming more and more Christlike because He promised to continue the work He started. That may seem daunting to some, but I had such great relief!
I'm not sure if it was relief that I don't have to hold myself up in comparison to someone else who I may have thought has made it "there" (because really they haven't) and be overwhelmed by the areas of my heart that I know still need renewed. Or if it was the refreshing hope that as I continue to work closely with the Holy Spirit, allowing Him to assess the areas of damage and guide me, and walk in obedience, serving my King, He will continue to renew those damaged places until the day He calls me home.

I know the road ahead will be long and tough. But I continue on with fervent zeal and eyes fixed on Christ alone!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Miracles DO Happen!

This has been a tough week for me. Well, I guess a more accurate statement would be that this would normally have been a tough week for me.

At the beginning of this week, I finally agreed with God that there was something I need to talk about to someone, anyone. It was a sin I had been holding back, wanting to keep it a secret, even though God has really been working on me about his throughout the years, it had gotten to the point where it's only hold on me was the fact that I wouldn't talk about it. Well like I said, I agreed that I would talk about it this week, so I made a date with someone to talk about it. That didn't work out, because of the next thing I'm going to talk about, but anyway, since I knew I couldn't meet up with that person this week, I made a last minute decision to tell one of the women at Bible study Tuesday night.

I was scared, but had an amazing peace as I just opened up and let her in to that place only God, my husband, and I knew about.

Josh and I made a commitment to really get our finances in order this year and be better at sticking to a budget, something that is difficult for both of us. So Sunday night we sat down and went over our budget. We thought we had it all figured out. We were wrong. I'm still not really sure where we went wrong but by Tuesday our bank account was so messed up and we were left with not even enough money to put gas in the car and Josh had an interview this week and I have to work this weekend.

Let me tell you, my first reaction was to be riddled with anxiety. What was I going to do? I had no idea how to fix this. We had some money in our paypal account, but that takes days to transfer. We got the process started, but then we had to sit and wait. I'm not really good at waiting, but what choice did I have?

The more I thought about what was happening, I realized that God was putting me in a position where I had to trust Him. See, I'm a "I'll take care of it" kind of person, but this time there was just nothing I could do, and honestly I'm thankful. Realizing that I could do nothing but trust God, really lifted the burden off of my shoulders and again I had peace. No, we weren't out of the woods yet, but I had peace.

A gracious friend allowed us to borrow a can of gas, thank you so very much! But here's the miracle: Josh put that gas in the car before he went all the way out to Westlake for his job interview. Now I work every weekend in Olmsted Falls, so we know that to drive there and back takes about 1/8 of tank of gas, but when I got in the car this morning to take the kids to school we had exactly the same amount of gas as we did when he put the gas in the car! It was like we hadn't used any. And yes, I know for SURE that my gas gauge works.

It was a miracle! You may think that's small, but it was huge for us. It was confirmation to me that God fulfills His promises:

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:6-7

Maybe we can't figure out what we did wrong because it was just something God allowed to happen to test our resolve to trust Him. I don't know, but whatever it is I am glad it happened. Yes GLAD it happened, because it forced me to lay it all down before God and trust Him. And not only did He come through on His promise to give peace, but He game much more!

Thursday, January 3, 2013


I often get distracted: I get distracted by my thoughts and forget where I'm going, I get distracted by my kids and forget what I'm doing, I get distracted by my laziness and forget what I need to do, I get distracted by enjoyment of what I'm doing and forget I'm supposed to be somewhere, but most often I get distracted by my feelings and forget truth.

I don't want to be so distracted anymore. So this year, 2013, my word for the year is


"Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God; arise, therefore, and build the sanctuary of the LORD God..." 1 Chronicles 22:19a

I want to set my heart, my soul, my mind, my footsteps, the work of my hands on seeking the Lord, glorifying His name and nothing else. This year, I want to have ultimate purpose in all that I do. For too long I have allowed myself to get distracted and because like the hymn I am "prone to wander". The problem is the Bible calls the way I've been living foolish (read Proverbs). 

Who wants to be called a fool? Not me. So I'm done with foolishness. 

Ok, now I'm going to get crafty on you again, haha! 

To help me get focused for 2013 I made one of these pictures for each member of my family: 
It's not much, but each one has their first initial and a Scripture that I am committing to pray for them throughout the year. The artwork should help me reset my focus when I look at it.

Now before you start thinking I'm really artistic, let me tell you the fun way I was able to do these and get my kids involved having fun with it too.

I printed out color-by-numbers for each letter from this site:

Then, I taped a piece of cardstock over the printed out color-by-number on the window (I don't have a lighted desk, so the window was the only was to see it through the cardstock clearly). My kids thought this was cool, so I let them do some on regular paper - imagine what our neighbors thought as they walked by and at least four of us were sitting in the front picture window with paper taped to it coloring, haha).

I chose my own colors for each one and voila! I know you are all impressed ; )

Anyway, here's to getting focused this year on what really matters!