Alive in Me

I love the lyrics of this song. I was listening to it in the car with my daughter today as we were running around doing our errands and it got me thinking – Do I really believe what this song is saying? I know that I am a child of God but I have always been taught that God is something that is out there and that He has control over everything in the universe. It wasn’t until recently have I been going to my current church that my pastor has been really talking about God living in us.

It is totally mind blowing to even think of such a thing. The almighty God, living in me. Wow! I am so not worthy and unfit to be a vessel of His but then I really hit that God – uses only “unfit” vessels because then He is the one who gets all the glory. If it was really up to me to do anything great in my life, I would be in a very bad place right now. Actually, I would probably be dead.

It is only by the grace of God that I have made it this far in life. He is the only reason that I continue to wake up in the morning. It is only through Him that I have the courage to do the things I do. I’ll tell you that writing this blog, publishing a book, and having an Etsy Shop is really scary for me. I have always been a very private person but lately it seems like God has been pushing me to come out of my shell. I am not sure He feels that I need to spill my guts out tho the world, but He does and I know better than to say “No” to Him. It is always easier to just do as the Lord leads than to fight Him.

So the question for me is, do I believe that God is alive in me? Yes I do! He is my rock and my fortress. I can hide in Him and I can stand firm with Him beside me. He has never left or forsaken me. Like a little broken child, I can come to Him and have Him hold me as I cry both tears of pain and celebrate with tears of joy. And, one day, I will get to meet my God face to face. I can’t wait, but, until then, I get to be here and enjoy the life He has given. I get to show other people that God truly is alive. He is alive in everything and He is definitely alive in me.

Feel free to comment 🙂

let them see you
Photo from Metrolyrics.com

Through Simple Eyes

What do you do when you wake up first thing in the morning? Go straight for the coffee pot or maybe you are on of those amazing people who go and grab your running shoes. Me? I lay in bed for a minute and listen to my daughter play in her room and how joyful she is in the simple things in life.

It doesn’t take much for her to be happy. She doesn’t care right now what she wears or how great her toys are. She is just happy to go outside and play in the dirt with me and my husband. As long as she has us, she is the happiest. Is that how we are as adults? I know I’m not most days. I have to fight jealousy and greed on a daily basis while walking through this material world we live in. But right now my daughter is so innocent that she isn’t touched by it. I wish that I can be like that.

Wait! We can! Jesus says in John 16:33

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Now wanting the BMW may not seem like tribulation but it is. Satan gives us tribulation everyday whether it be spiritual or by man. Both will try to take our joy away but the joy of the Lord is our strength. We can be happy in the simple things as well as the affluent things because we are of Jesus and He has already done the work for us. I mean look at this face.
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How can you not see the joy in her eyes? She just loves life and everything in it. I admire her and want to be like her. I would love it if what made me happy was my binki, my monkey and my mommy. In many ways I do. I have my Bible, my Jesus and my family 🙂

How to Say “I’m Sorry”

People have said that to say “I’m sorry” is the biggest act to show how humble you really are. As a kid, I thought they were crazy but then I got married. Now I have only been married for four years to this date but I have already seen how the lack of saying “I’m sorry” can very quickly destroy a marriage.

I have a very “let’s fix right now” attitude and my husband is a “lets see how this rolls” kind of personality. Both are good in their own ways until we get in an argument. Then he shuts down and I don’t shut up. It turns into an ugly mess and we end up going in separate rooms where he is probably thinking I have gone insane and I am thinking that he is the worst husband ever. None of those things are true by the way, but have you ever felt that? They are both lies, actually anything in an argument said in anger is a lie, to get us off track with God and to have Satan get into our heads.

My husband and I one time had this fight where I thought that we might not work out in the long run because it seemed our goals were going in two completely different directions. I thought he was being lazy with life and I wanted to have more out of life. Turns out that wasn’t the case but it still didn’t stop me from mouthing off and not saying some nice things. MY husband was hurt and I was in no mood to apologize because I was in the right after all. If he wanted to “I’m sorry” it would have to come out his mouth.

Well it didn’t because he wasn’t the one who had to say it. If I have been rational, we could have just talked about my feelings of being taken advantage of and so on and the whole argument could have been by passed. He had no idea that was feeling the way I was and he would have been better if he had only known.

So guess what I had to do though before I could find that out? Yup, I had to swallow my pride and go say “I’m sorry”. I didn’t want to but God pricked my heart once I calmed down and point out how I was in the wrong. I needed to make the first step to making things right, not my husband. And when I humbled myself and said the magic words, the tension and anger melted away. So don’t give satan the satisfaction of getting in your head. Because it won’t end up in a good place for anyone.

Now this just doesn’t go for women, but also you men too. My husband has gone off on me for something that had happened at work and he had to be the one to apologize. And sometimes, it is the man who needs to be humbled and brought before God. No one is perfect and that includes men and husbands. Because you guys are the ones that Satan will want to get his foothold in the most. He know that if he can get a wedge between two people (especially a man a wife) then he knows that he can create a whole lot of trouble. He wants to have as much time as possible between apologies because that is where he can have fun.

But if too much times goes by where neither party is willing to say it, then that is where problems start. There’s a void that starts to open and it is not a good thing. Too much void means there will be opportunities for both sides to make bad decisions. I know that I have been presented a few and my husband even more when we are fighting. It is a scary thing to think of would happen to our marriage if one of us slips up just once. I don’t even want to think about it. So I have to remind myself daily to keep up the fight against the right enemy and that is not my husband. So do the easy thing and say “I’m sorry” and see the difference it makes in your life 🙂

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Seriously. How can I be mad a face like this? 🙂

I Am the Church

I had a really heart changing experience happen to me today at the gas station. There I was thinking how I will be so happy that someday I would get to have a different car than I already have while I pumped gas for $1.85/gallon. Mind you, in California, that is lower than the price was when I started driving. So I could honestly say that I have never paid for gas that low. Any way, that wasn’t the heart changing moment.

I was feeling so caught up in my thoughts since my husband’s job is going well and we are thinking about not trying for another baby anymore (that is another post for another time) that I was beginning to think about what my life could be like when Emma would be eighteen and looking to move out on her own. That was when the heart change moment hit.

In my day dreams, I was driving a newer car, my husband and I would be able to get ready for early retirement since we would have been able to save more with only having one child, we would be traveling, and living in our dream house. Sounds pretty good right? That’s when I saw him.

There, digging in the trash for a plastic bottle or aluminum can, was a homeless man literally doing his hard day’s work. My first instinct was just to ignore him and continue on my way. He wasn’t my responsibility any way. I mean I am not for socialism (again another post for another time) so I didn’t think that the state should take care of him. I actually thought “That’s what the church is for”. Bam!!!! It felt like a load of bricks hit me at that moment and I clearly heard God say in my heart “Yes it is and you are the church”.

Talk about a wow moment and shaming moment all at the same time. Here I am thinking that my life had a great outlook on it and it could only get better from. But it could just as easily be me digging through the trash. It could be me not knowing where my next meal was going to come from or where I was going to sleep that night. Who am I to think that it couldn’t all go wrong for me just because things are looking so good now? Because we are the church. Not that place where you attend (if you attend church) but you as a person. We are the walking, earthly hands and feet of Christ and we should be the ones who should be helping people like the man I saw.

But that’s not all. I really stood there and listened to God’s voice and decided that with my change (that I so rarely get now with buying gas) I was going to give it to him. But when I came back out, he was gone. It was like he vanished. And at that moment I knew I failed the test. I believe was there are angels all around us and we don’t even know it. I have encountered people as a little girl and knew that there was something different about them on a higher level. And I think this man was one of them because I looked for him. I went to each side of the corner looking for the man with two trash bags full of bottles and cans, but he was gone. I feel God had put that man in my path to see what I would do and I failed to be His hands and feet. There was an opportunity for me to show the love of God and was stuck in my own little world that hasn’t even happened yet.

Next time, I hope I am not so slow to act and too wrapped up in myself to notice that God might want me to help someone that is right in front of me. I just have to open my eyes and see them.

True Inspiration

This is going to sound odd (actually most of my posts sound odd at first) but I found true inspiration for life the other day. I was sitting by my gym’s pool, reading a good book, and watched out of the corner of my eye the aqua class going on. Now what do you think of when you hear about an aqua class? Old ladies in skin tight hats doing a synchronized swim thing? Close. Mostly old ladies do aqua but I have taken a few classes and it is not as easy as it seems. Anyway, not the point. The point is that, after the class was over, I watched the women (and the one man) who took the class come out of the pool.

I was amazed at what I saw. Most of these women had to be in their late sixties and early seventies and they were still so full of life. All the experience they had acquired seemed to bring joy to them. I heard a couple ladies talk about how love used to be more personal in their day and dogging on the dating web sites we have now. Others were jabbering about politics and how things used to be so much more black and white. Now there seems to be so much more confusion and noise in the world.

Not to sound like a complete stalker, I did really enjoy listening to them. I hope I am like that when I get to be that age, Lord willing. Because I look at the stuff around me and I see only so far ahead. How is this going to turn out for good any fashion? The country is in the toilet and no one seems to care about each other any more. But these women had seen the full cycle of a lot that has gone on in their life times. They know that things may not make sense in the short term but in the long term they will work out vice versa. Somethings looked great in the short term but in the long term they have turned out to be  disaster.

So these ladies made me smile and gave me the push to keep moving forward in my life. Because today might look grim but there is always tomorrow.

When God Tells You to Buy a Chicken Bake

Ok so this might sound like a weird post but stay with me. My daughter and I were getting lunch at Costco and the weirdest thing happened. Normally we spilt a slice of pizza and maybe an ice cream that would come out to around $3.50. (I know I have posted about how I can make pizza cheap at home but when we go out, it is the best price for what you get.)

Any way, that isn’t the point. The point is that I was about to order my normal order, when I felt the Holy Spirit told me to get a chicken bake for me and slice of pizza for Emma. I thought it was ridiculous since that would make it over $5.00 and I was on my way home so I could have a snack then if I got hungry. Also they are high in calories and fat, but once again I heard that I needed to get a chicken bake too.

I fought it a little more, but, when I ordered guess what came out, “One combo pizza slice and a chicken bake”. I couldn’t believe it. But that is what I ordered so I paid for it and took it to our table. That was at 11:30am.

Fast forward, I then get a call from my mom saying that she was having stroke symptoms and that she needed me to get to the hospital to meet her. I tried to stay calm and find a sitter for Emma. My wonderful friend came and watched Emma and I headed off to meet my mom at the hospital.

All the way to the hospital, I prayed that God would heal my mom and that this was just a false alarm. When I got the hospital, it looked like it wasn’t a false alarm. She was barely able to talk or think straight, and I was honestly really scared. And doctors were really thinking she was about to have a stroke for might have even had one on her way to the hospital. They did some tests and we waited. All the tests were coming back clean but she was still not in the best shape. They had no idea what was wrong with her.

Then four hours in, she suddenly turned around. She was able to say a full sentence, she knew the date, and her mind was becoming clear. It was an answer to prayer.

All we needed was a clean MRI report and she would be able to be discharged. There was a long wait but she finally got it and it came back perfectly normal. So she didn’t have a stroke and the Dr. said that it looked like it was a reaction from a migraine even though my mom has never had a migraine in her life. But at least it wasn’t a stroke.

But why was that chicken bake so important? She wasn’t discharged until 7:15pm. So if I had only ate a pizza slice, I would have been starving, but, since I had that bake, I was able to survive until the next time I ate with my mom at our favorite restaurant.

God knew exactly where I was going to end up that day and knew exactly how to take care of me. I didn’t know that was going to be spending six hours in a ER room with my mom, but He did and He wanted me to be prepared. And I was thankful for it since the moment we just went through was scary and I was thankful to be prepared.

The whole episode with my mom was one that could have gone wrong but God chose to bless. This wasn’t about a chicken bake, it was about listening to God’s voice and being there for my mom. I don’t know what I would have done if something had happened to my mom. She is my closest friends and my biggest fan. To have seen how easy it could have been to lose her was a reality check.

So to everyone who has lost their mother, I can now imagine the pain of that loss. My mom was spared and I am grateful for that.

 

Worshipping No Matter What

I went to church last night and had a great time of worship. (Our church is on the big side so we have Saturday night and Sunday morning services.) Last week I was sitting in my seat in pain both physically and emotionally. I didn’t really want to go to church but my husband thought that we needed to so I went. I did take my latest crochet project to keep my hands busy and to keep me from crying the whole time. Any way, we went and I had to sit through a worship service praising God for His goodness and His love.

You can imagine how I must have felt at that moment. How could I say God was good and that He loved me when I was losing the third baby He had given me? All I wanted to scream was “IF You love me, then why am I hurting so bad?” I felt a stir in my heart with the feeling that God was right next me. He didn’t say anything but I knew He was there and that He would work with me.

I did end up crying for the majority of the worship service but was able to pull myself together to listen to the message which was about Jesus’ resurrection and the women finding the tomb empty. They loved Jesus so much that they were willing to risk their lives to go bless His body with oils even though there was no way that they would be able to move the stone or the flak they would get from the temple guards. Did I love Jesus that much that I would go and do something like that? Then when the angel told them that He wasn’t there but risen they went right away and told the disciples but they didn’t believe them.

Which would I be? The women who believed what the angels said or the disciples who didn’t? The disciples were still mourning and hiding to be honest. They didn’t know what was next for them. Their Jesus was gone and that was all they knew. But Peter and John believed the women and went to look for themselves. (I thought it was funny that our Pastor pointed out that John wrote in John that Peter was slow and he won the race.) Then they believed.

The point is that I had a choice right there. Was I going to believe that God has his best out for me or was I going to believe that He was putting me through this just because He could?

At the end of the service, our Pastor, Lance Hahn, wanted to do a prayer over anyone in the congregation that felt like they needed something to be completed in their lives by God. That we felt God doing something in us but we needed Him to finish it. Of course I didn’t want to stand up but my husband pulled me up and we stood there and let our Pastor pray. We both want an answer when it comes to our wanting another baby and we want God let us know whether or not His work is already completed with us just having Emma or that we will have more children.

I went the rest of the week trying to make worshipping and praying a thing that was more dominate in my daily life. I still had those feelings that God had let me down and was torturing me but I refused to believe them. Slowly they started getting smaller. And, after my full week of bleeding was done, it was right back to church. This time, I was able to actually stand and worship. I still needed to hold my husband’s hand, and I cried the whole time, but I was worshipping the Lord and not letting Satan’s lies win.

It still hurts but with God on my side I know we will work through this time in our lives. We may always be a family of three but I am OK with that because I have my Jesus and He loves me, this I know.