Waiting on the Lord

Waiting on the Lord

Kristin J

I am a girl who loves to sit with a cup of coffee and daydream. I am most passionate about Jesus, my family, and family ministry. My husband and I live in Oklahoma with our two precious daughters. I spend my days with my girls, discovering and growing alongside them! You can usually find us either in our sunroom, the park, or taking long walks through Target. :)
Kristin J

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Vivid memories still linger from my childhood of those aching days before something exciting was going to take place. Perhaps it was spring break or a birthday. In my teen years it was summer camps.

Countless times I’d count down the days. Those periods of waiting might have felt unbearable at the time, but they were also exciting because I knew it would come to an end. The activity was marked on the calendar and I knew how long I’d have to wait.

Waiting on the Lord without a Set Date

Oh, but there are many times when what we desire isn’t marked on a schedule or calendar. Recently our 4 year old cashed in $5 worth of allowance quarters for a small Minnie Mouse doll- an item she’d spent months longing for.

Every time we went to the store she’d ask us if she had enough. We counted her money over and over, but without a clear concept of the value of money, she didn’t really understand. To her it felt endless. We were all weary from her waiting and it was a time of rejoicing when the wait came to an end.

Why Is It Taking So Long?

We can so relate to our children in their times of waiting, can’t we? Waiting is a life long experience in one way or another. Sadly, even as adults we don’t always handle it well.

I’ve had a particular request that I’ve been lifting to the Lord for years. At times I’ve been in such distress over it that I’ve found myself in doubt and anger.

“Where are you God? Why is this taking so long?”

“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 (KJV)

The Opportunity in Waiting on the Lord

In the last year I’ve been challenged to consider my desires a little more closely. Could it be that God has withheld this good thing from me because he wanted me to draw closer to Him?

While I can’t know for certain the reasons for my situation, I can (and should) analyze the status of my heart. In the past, I’ve held this request as something that is of the upmost importance for my happiness and worthiness on this earth.

Through this time of waiting, I’ve grown closer to the Lord and found more of the happiness and worth that comes through Jesus. He’s given me comforts and answers in other areas. He has blessed me with the assurance of his presence in my daily life. In this time of waiting I have been able to more fully know the joy that comes from God alone.

God’s Faithfulness While We are Waiting

“Because of the LORD’s faithful love we do not perish, for his mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness! I say, ‘The LORD is my portion, therefore I will put my hope in him.’ The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the person who seeks him. It is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord.” –Lamentations 3:22-26 (CSB)

I’ve always loved this passage from Lamentations 3. It was written in the context of waiting for an earthly deliverance, but it is a reminder for all of us that God is merciful to us and that He is enough. Our joy today is that He offers us salvation through Jesus. We have an eternal deliverance from our sin, and the gift of His Spirit.

My Heart While I’m Waiting on the Lord

I will continue to offer up my request to the Lord. He knows my heart and He tells me I can bring my burdens to Him. I will not complain to Him though, as if he hasn’t already filled me with the greatest joy I could ever know. My happiness and worth do not depend on my unmet desires, my happiness and worth is set in Christ alone. “The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore I will hope in him.” (Lam. 3:24 KJV)

Encouragement for Your Heart

Are you waiting on the Lord in an area of your life?

Sweet one, I know that it is not easy. Waiting never is. I encourage you to draw yourself closer to the Lord when you are tempted to back away and doubt. Open your Bible and read it’s accounts. Start a prayer journal. Fill your soul with songs of praise. Feel His gentle whispers on the other pages of your heart.

What we long for we may never receive. May our true joy come not from our earthly circumstances but from our eternal destination. Praise Him, we are rescued!



Who Am I?

Who Am I?

Jayne M

Jayne Michener has been married for over twenty years to a "son of thunder" and is mother to two adolescent daughters, one delightfully immersed in nature and another humorous, artistic girl who is devoted to cats.The better days are spent developing Christian culture and character with the educational principles of Charlotte Mason in mind.The worse days are spent with lightly held sanity, tightly gripped coffee, and semi-vocalized prayer.She is on a journey depending on the Holy Spirit to guide her into all truth, whether unseen spiritual realms or earthly ventures, such as education, healing arts, nutrition, neuroscience, and art.Oh, and her children would be horrified if she did not mention that they live with two cats, Blacksmith and Beauty.
Jayne M

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I can’t control my mouth.  I’m a cynic.  I’m an addict.  I’m a victim.  I’m fearful.  I can’t change. 

These statements may echo our experiences, but if we allow our experiences and brokenness to define us, then we shut out the possibility that we can be restored to the glorious image of our Creator.

The First Step of Answering “Who Am I?”

“Who am I?” is the question that haunts us.  This question will tease our minds until we first answer the question that Jesus asked Peter:  “Who do you say that I am?”  Only when we answer with Peter, “You are the Messiah,” meaning our savior and deliverer, will we be able to hear the Lord’s answer to our question, “Who am I?”

Our identity is like clay, molded by experiences, relationships, and our responses to them.  This clay is vulnerable, especially in the impressionable young.  Sometimes, unguarded clay can be malformed or disfigured when touched by the gnarled hands of traumatic experiences, abusive relationships, and inappropriate responses to them both.

Laura Perry’s Transgender Lifestyle

For example, First Stone Ministries recently published the compelling testimony of Laura Perry, who lived a transgender lifestyle for eight years.  Laura grew up in the shadow of her hyper-stressed, “super-Christian” mother.  Her mom communicated the message that Laura was a nuisance, while she doted on Laura’s more quiet, compliant brother.  The intense jealously this bred, combined with being molested at age eight, and female problems in her teens, was enough that Laura threw her female identity into a deep cistern.

Laura began fantasizing about being a boy due to her intense hatred of her own gender.  She began to seek out sexual experiences, became addicted to pornography, and pursued sexual encounters with strangers.  A local transgender group then encouraged her to pursue her new identity, so she received heavy doses of hormonal therapy, a double mastectomy, and surgical remove of all female organs to fully become “Jake.”  Laura’s name and body were changed, but her deep depression and dissatisfaction stayed the same.  She recalled, “The outward cosmetic change had done nothing to ease my identity crisis.”

Transformations & Finding Their Identity

As Laura was transforming, her mother was undergoing a transformation of her own.  Laura’s mom surrendered her self-righteousness for an enticing faith in Jesus.  The two of them began to talk daily about a Bible study her mom was leading.  Then Laura heard a radio broadcast discussing the rising transgender issue.  She wished the host would return to more mundane topics, but instead the words spun her identity around like clay on the potter’s wheel.  She was reeling.

Two questions came to her in a vision from Jesus:  

“If you stood before me tonight, what name would I call?” and “Do you trust me?”

Taking Part in the Death & Resurrection

Laura affirmed her trust in Jesus by letting Jake die, a death that she mourned with deep, anguished sorrow.  In the dark night of her soul, she wept with painful grief for three days.  One can imagine Jesus with her in the tomb, waiting to guide the resurrection that was soon to come.

Leaving Jake’s clothes in the grave, Laura attended a women’s Bible study and encountered a love beyond anything she had experienced through a sexual partner.  Life and freedom were her resurrection inheritance, and in the light of love, her true identity was revealed.

Finding Our True Identity

Instead of gender reassignment surgery, do we let the Word perform identity reassignment surgery?  Do we have courage, like Laura, that allows the Lord to transform every aspect of who we think we are at the deepest level?

All too often, we identity with our sin and brokenness more than we identify with the image of God.  We must look to YHWH, the great “I AM,” to confidently answer the question, “Who am I?”

Our true assignment is to reflect the image of God in Christ.  Love calls us to identity with Him.

Cluttered Home: Cluttered Mind: Cluttered Soul

Cluttered Home: Cluttered Mind: Cluttered Soul

Picture this… a mom, who is trying her best to keep her kids fed and thriving and learning and not fighting and the house clean and the dishes clean and the toys put away and the kids entertained and the clothes put away and the dog fed and the bathrooms wiped down and the kitchen sanitized and the carpet looking as best it can and her husband de-stressed at home and the car vacuumed and the flowers alive

Tired yet?

Yeah, me too.  Sometimes in my day I can’t seem to keep my head above water, or above the clutter.  Some days I have to literally walk around with my head looking up so as not to be burdened by all the stuff collecting in my home.  Please say you can relate!

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my closet, before

I truly believe whether you are a stay a home mom, a working mom, a single mom, or not a mom at all, we all have the struggle with STUFF.  And I believe that the society that we live in has made us obsessed with having more.  Doing more. Being more.  So when my days get heavy with the hard stuff and my house can’t even be a calming, peaceful retreat, I cannot seem to get a grasp on any one thing. 

I am so excited to share this book with you! The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing a.k.a The KonMari Method.

It was recommended by a friend, so I read it as quickly as I could.  Along the way, I shared some ideas with my husband.  He was so quickly on board that he wanted to get started even before I finished reading the book! Ha!

So what did we do?  Called up my parents and asked if they could watch our kids so that we could…CLEAN!  I know.  We are some wild and crazy kids! 

I was drowning so deep in my things that

Once we began, the KonMari rules started to make sense.  For example, the book recommends starting with categories of items instead of rooms. The author suggests touching each piece to truly part with it. We asked ourselves if different items sparked joy in our life, among other rules outlined in the book.  Initially, we mocked the rules, but as we worked through the process, we began to praise them. 

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my closet, mostly done!

 

To be honest, it has been a spiritual experience for me.  The Lord asks the rich ruler to give all of his posessions away — could I do that?  The Lord calls me to be a good steward of what I have been given, and honestly, if I can’t even be joyful in my home, am I being a good steward in it?  Can I serve my kids, husband, friends, and family well?  My problem was that I was drowning so deep in my things that I couldn’t be a good mom or wife or daughter of the King.  I wasn’t a good version of myself. 

I am learning through my imperfections that the Lord wants me as I am.  But I have to make room in my life to hear Him.   I must make room in my life and in my home to learn and worship Him in all areas. This means willingly giving up things that are currently taking up space to make room for more of God.  

Over the next several weeks, maybe even months — because truly this is a process — Creating a Great Day will:

  • Weekly have a “KonMari Spiritual Adventures” thread on Facebook as a way to encourage each other on this journey.  Post what you feel comfortable with.  This is not about embarrassing anyone but truly freeing ourselves from physical stuff so that spiritually we can be ready for any adventure God takes us on.  
  • Every few weeks encourage you to tackle a new area of your house with a Blog post.  Of course, we will be following the KonMari method so we will go in her order but detail it out for you, just in case you don’t know it, sharing our funny stories and our spiritual lessons.
Will you join us on the KonMari Adventure with a Spiritual Twist of freeing ourselves up physically and spiritually to do God’s will?  

Don’t have a copy of the book?  No problem!  Enter to win a copy.

“The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” Book Giveway

This is not a sponsored post.  Creating a Great Day is providing the book for this giveaway because we have found this to be helpful to us.

Although the book itself isn’t spiritual in nature, it does provide a lot of springboard applications that can be used to tidy up our hearts as well as our homes.

Attacking the Closet! {KonMari Spiritual Adventures}

KonMari home, mind, and soul

The Medicine Cabinet of the Heart 

The Medicine Cabinet of the Heart 

Follow Susan

Susan

Susan York Meyers is the author of several children’s books, including the picture book, Grrr…Night! for which she won the Creative Women of Oklahoma Award. If you enjoy Susan’s humor, check out Two Little Old Ladies: It’s all in the Attitude, a humorous inspirational book combining both fiction and devotionals. Susan lives with her hubby and Kira, the dog that thinks she’s people. You can find out more about Susan and her books at susanameyers.com. Sign up for her newsletter which comes out four times a year.
Susan
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A Moment of Panic 

“May I use your other bathroom?” 

A simple question, but one that threw me into a panic. My carefully cleaned hall bath was in use. That left my definitely not-ready-for-guests master bathroom. In one moment, I had to decide whether to graciously say yes, (oh please, help me to have remembered to close the closet door on our dirty laundry) or plead a lack of toilet paper. I’m not sure which scenario would have left me looking worse, but as I mentioned, I was panicking. 

In the end, I let my guest use the bathroom and hoped she ignored the used towels and toothpaste splattered mirror. And please, let her be gracious enough to stay out of my medicine cabinet.  

The Medicine Cabinet of the Heart

Bathrooms are truly the great equalizers of life. Want to know a little secret? Everyone hides scary things in their medicine cabinet. The lady who always looks like the wind wouldn’t dare blow her hair stocks Gas Away medicine by the case.  The lady who makes you feel like nothing ever goes wrong in her life hides hemorrhoid cream behind her moisturizer. And the woman whose kids call every day, twice on Sundays – well, that little mustache razor doesn’t belong to her hubby. 

We often don’t see the ugly in other people’s lives. And unfortunately, that can lead to a type of reverse judging. I see your clean house, supposedly perfect family, and totally put together life and decide my prayers aren’t needed.  Why pray for someone who has no real problems?

But if I could look into the medicine cabinet of your heart, I might see a different story.  

I’d see a Sunday school teacher who struggles with a substance abuse problem. 

A mother whose heart breaks as she prays about the wrong choices her child is making. 

Or the woman who, every morning, prays every prayer she has to fight her pain just to get out of bed.  

And beneath it all, beneath the embarrassing secrets and heartbreaking pain, is a terror of being judged, especially by her fellow Christians. 

I need to start focusing on the heart.

Not because it makes me feel better to know Ms. Perfect also has problems, but because Proverbs 12:25 tells us,

Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up. 

We all have anxiety and pain. I need to look past your carefully crafted-exterior. I need to see the fellow Christian sister who hurts. I need to throw away the judgement and simply approach with love.  I need to be the kind word.  

As for that actual medicine cabinet in the bathroom – if you keep your mouth shut about mine, I promise to keep mine shut about yours! 

Prayer Over our Hearts

Dear Lord, I don’t need to know all You know. But I pray that You help me to see the needs of others. And, Lord, help me be willing to help, love, and comfort, but never judge. In Your Son’s name, Amen  

 

Be encouraged by these posts as well!

AGe is Just a Number Groovy back to Middle Age Common Sense

Pray for Teeth and Talent: Training for the Soul

Pray for Teeth and Talent: Training for the Soul

Jayne M

Jayne Michener has been married for over twenty years to a "son of thunder" and is mother to two adolescent daughters, one delightfully immersed in nature and another humorous, artistic girl who is devoted to cats.The better days are spent developing Christian culture and character with the educational principles of Charlotte Mason in mind.The worse days are spent with lightly held sanity, tightly gripped coffee, and semi-vocalized prayer.She is on a journey depending on the Holy Spirit to guide her into all truth, whether unseen spiritual realms or earthly ventures, such as education, healing arts, nutrition, neuroscience, and art.Oh, and her children would be horrified if she did not mention that they live with two cats, Blacksmith and Beauty.
Jayne M

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Pray for Teeth and Talent

When my oldest child was eleven, we noticed she had developed a small cavity in a baby tooth, perhaps the result of a brief but thorough period of sugar banditry from the pantry.  As this was a baby tooth and causing no discomfort, the dentist advised that we take no measures other than waiting for the loss of the tooth.

Over a year’s time, this small cavity became a cavernous hole, a shell of bone with a troublesome hollow inside that was prone to collect seeds and bits of every snack or meal.  As a result my daughter began eating on only one side of her mouth for months on end, since that little tooth clung to her mouth like an unwelcome barnacle. The wayward tooth was finally lost after more than a year, and afterwards my daughter tentatively began to eat with the neglected side of her mouth.

Now, we do not tend to think of jaw muscles needing development like the focused effort required in the development of six pack abs, but my daughter found that it was difficult to chew, and her jaw muscles hurt because the muscles had atrophied through disuse.

Parenting and life provide ample metaphors for training the soul.

I considered my daughter’s difficulty, need, and pain in the light of how we might respond in other situations.  We might petition in prayer, “Lord, please strengthen her jaw and remove her pain according to your goodness and mercy.”

Or perhaps we might apply oil to her jaw and pray for healing in Jesus’s holy name.  Could we find scriptures related to strength and healing and say these over her?  Yes, we could perform all these worthy actions, and they would not be wrong, but the Lord had already provided all that was needed.

For her jaw to become strong and without pain, she must stop eating on only one side of her mouth, depending on her own limited strength.  Instead, she must follow God’s plan for personal responsibility and development by exercising the other side.  In this action, the object of her faith would be realized.

Faith without Works

Faith without works is dead.  One could say my daughter’s willingness to chew food with a weakened side of her mouth demonstrated her faith that her jaw would be whole again.

Or, she could continue to do what was easy, refuse to develop and strengthen God’s provision, and then blame God for not answering prayer, or perhaps simply decide that a strong jaw was not His will.

In actuality, though, our action is required to release the potential of what God has already generously given.

Miracles still happen, though oftentimes there is a preparation time that makes way for miracles (Prepare the way for the Lord).  However, God’s usual way of provision is through natural means that must go through a period of growth and development.  It is as if the Lord has given us seeds, and we look at the package in puzzlement, wondering why God did not answer our prayers for vegetables.

Everything develops naturally at its own pace, in its own time, if given the right variables for growth.  From muscles and teeth, to character traits and talents, these gifts are realized with use.

Is My Dedication Really to Christ?

Is My Dedication Really to Christ?

Kristi F

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 5 crazy, homeschooling children ages 10 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.
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Is My Dedication Really to Christ?

In essence this is what my 10 year meant when she asked,

“If you had the choice of being killed by a sword or dying for Jesus, which would you choose?”

Me: “I would choose to die for Jesus.” 

10 year old: “But that would really hurt?”

Me: “Yes, but only for a short time. An eternity in hell would hurt a lot more. Remember what Jesus said,So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven,but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven (Matt. 10:32-33). So even if the sword is very painful, I would rather choose Jesus than claiming he isn’t my Savior.”

10 year old: “Oh, yeah. That makes sense. I would rather die in my sleep or of old age than by a sword, but I’d rather have Jesus too.”

Oh, how I love my kid’s questions! This one has allowed us to unpack so much throughout the past couple of days. It has been amazing. It’s like everything that we have been reading in our Bibles over the years is coming together in and understanding is blossoming!  (Happy Dance, Happy Dance!)

Dedication

This question came while we were reading the Hanukkah story. Hanukkah actually means dedication and celebrates the day when the Temple in Jerusalem was once again dedicated to God after being desecrated by the Greeks.

Dedication.

Jesus celebrated this festival of dedication. He knew what it meant to be dedicated. His dedication to redeem our relationship with God that our sin destroyed led him from Heaven to Earth.

Dedication. 

He spent 30 years preparing, so he could live with a fierce focus that would lead to a physically excruciating end on the cross.

Dedication.

He overcame death and destroyed Satan’s hold on us, so that we could live eternally with God.

God sustained Jesus so he could have that kind of dedication.

We have the same choice to live with this kind of dedication. I know it seems out of our reach and if we were trying to do it by ourselves, I would completely agree that it is impossible. But with God all things are possible. With God, Jesus, and the amazing gift of the Holy Spirit, we can overcome. We are called to overcome, not by our own power, but by God’s might!

And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
– Hebrews 12:1b-3

 

Webster defines dedication as:

 

 

The Questions We Must Ask Ourselves

Are we really willing to dedicate ourselves to Christ?

If you are reading this blog, more than likely you at some point in your life decided to follow Jesus. You were overcome by knowing that even if you were the only person that had sinned, Jesus still would have gone to the cross to save you. The truth is we all have sinned and should all be overcome that Jesus dedicated himself to rescuing us from our sin.

Some of us, upon receiving his gift of grace, fall completely into digging into the Bible, learning all we can so that we can follow Christ. While some of us, just talk about how we follow God, but never really understand where he is leading, so we miss following his path, all the while proclaiming that we are on it.

(If you haven’t decided to follow Christ yet, email us, I’d love to chat with you. Honestly, I’d love to chat with you either way!)

So how do we know we are following Christ?

Our dedication to following Christ starts with reading his word. We pick up our Bible and read it. The fact that we have access to God’s word is a miracle in and of itself, but that’s a topic for another post. Don’t waste the miracle sitting in front of you. Take hold of the Bible. Even if it’s confusing now, just read it and pray for wisdom. God will give it to you. Then, prepare your heart.

Dedication Starts with Preparation

We have no idea how to dedicate our lives to God if we don’t prepare ourselves for daily dedication. This daily dedication starts by putting what we read into practice. Yep, it’s difficult. Some days more difficult than others, but it’s something we must do. If we don’t do it, then we are deceiving ourselves into thinking we are following Christ!

Deceiving ourselves?

That’s a bold statement but one James does not shy away from. He wants to make sure that if we say we are followers of Christ, then we actually follow Him.

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.

Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.

 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
– James 1:22-25

Dedication to Christ is a daily choice.

We get to daily choose to:

  • Recognize that Jesus has all Authority on Earth and is our Lord and Savior
  • Recognize that Jesus also has authority over all the details of our lives
  • Trust that He has gifted his followers with the Holy Spirit
  • Believe that his Holy Spirit will be our Counselor and guide us to fuller understanding
  • Lean into His strength and wisdom through prayer
  • Plunge ourselves into His Word like a thirsty soul longing for a sustaining drink
  • Dig into the Bible to find answers to how we should live our lives
  • Live for Jesus no matter what the cost

Another Question that Lead to a Better Answer

Later that day, my daughter had another question in regards to whether or not I would allow her to do something.

Instead of just saying “yes” or “no” and explaining my reasoning, I chose a different option this time. One that takes more time, but will serve her much better in the long run. I asked her,

“What does the Bible says about it? Do you believe Jesus would want you to do it?”

She didn’t know any verses right off that would tell her “yes” or “no,” so the next day we pulled out the Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, our Bibles, and read through many passages to which her question pertained. There are many more she can still read to solidify what God’s will is in regards to her question.

The answer she started to find  in the Bible did not line up with what she wanted to do, so now she has a choice and she gets to choose. Will she continue to dedicate her life to Jesus or will she dedicate it to something else?

Taking a break from playing spin the dreidel to dig into the Bible!

As a parent, I pray that I will take advantage of these opportunities to continue guiding her and our other children in the right direction, helping them sort the truth from the lies, and showing them that even when we fail spiritually, Jesus’ grace is sufficient for us.

As followers of Christ, I realize we each get to decide every day if we will continue in dedication to Christ or if we will choose dedication to self. Just so we don’t get complacent, we should ask ourselves often,

“Is my dedication really to Christ?”

 

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