Adding Prayer to Lent - Days 23 & 24

The enemy of my soul is still at it. He's doing all he can to keep me from keeping my word to add prayer to Lent. He is not succeeding! Let me give you a rundown of the last two days. Yesterday morning I awoke with a bit of a headache. I am prone to migraines, so I followed my routine for this scenario. Eat, drink lots of water, add medicines and an icepack to my forehead are the usual tactics. But this headache didn't go away. It continued with varying degrees of intensity so I proceeded to sit in front of the TV, dozing as needed, producing no work.

I ran thru my phone address book and asked the Lord to show me what I can do with the state I was in. As I read over some of the names, He impressed on me to pray. I did. Note to self, even when you don't feel like it, God can still use you.

Ok, I knew the enemy stole most of yesterday from me. Today, I woke up with that same groggy feeling, but I knew the enemy would not get a second day. I got up earlier than usual (for me) and proceeded to make out a grocery list to cook a meal for a family in need. It was nothing fancy, but having something to focus on other than poor me worked out great.

And I didn't have a headache all day.

"...the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." 1John 4:4(NIV)

"Been Reading My Head Off" (no, not really)

I haven't been around lately. Partly because it's that time of year, where things seem to keep us super busy with one thing or another. But this is a bit different. I've been reading, no, more like absorbing these 2 books I have. I purchased the first one, "Not Your Parents Marriage", I'm guessing five years ago. I read through it, I think, and left it on the book shelf. At the CLASS writer's conference last month, I met Jerome Daley and purchased his book, "Soul Spaces". Imagine my surprise to see "Not Your Parents Marriage" on the stack at his book table. I never made the connection that it was the same author. Jerome led the workshop, "The Spiritual Journey of a Writer" at the conference and this gave me a more intimate glimpse into the workings of this man's mind and his truly intimate journey with the Lord. I couldn't wait to get home and start re-reading the "Marriage" book; wondering why it had not impacted me when I first read it. I soon discovered a little trick God likes to play with me. I honestly don't remember if I read the book when I first bought it. Here's God's little trick -- if I DID read it, He knew I wasn't ready for the growth that would happen from it -- so He made me not comprehend whatever I read, if indeed I did read it at all.

Knowing some of the background that Jerome and his wife Kellie (Kellie co-wrote the Marriage book with Jerome) had to deal with, I find myself reading the 2 books alternately. There's like a hallowed space I'm visiting in the Marriage book, as this couple is sharing very real experiences and hurts with their readers. Soul Space is allowing me to have these open, raw moments with God -- sometimes to the point to where I need to stop reading, to face the truth He is opening up to me. It's not always painful, it's more like a stretching, a reaching for the edge of the branch where the fruit is, waiting. It's like God is showing me, proof -- "you know this about Me; why wouldn't I want what's best for you? I love you child --trust Me more...."

And then I have to take a breather; I come up gasping for air only to be plunged back down into His Living Water, to have my internal buckets filled to overflowing. I weep at His Goodness; how He cares about my littlest fear! And He does not give up.....

We sang a song in church that had me in tears..."don't give up on God, for He won't give up on you! (italics mine). Step by step He's taking me deeper, higher, giving me the 'more' that I ask for.

God is taking me on a new leg of the journey that is my life. He is undergirding me so that I will not be afraid to go out on the branch. He is showing me the gifts I have, that He has been honing for years. He is allowing my personality strengths to be used for His Glory -- my sanguin-ness is being allowed to 'come out and play' as I dress as a character and read to children and seniors alike-and had a BALL doing it!

Opportunities to minister, play (important to me), encourage, and be of service to HIM for His Kingdom are presenting themselves to me. I had forgotten how much fun playing is -- sculptures are being planned and worked on, things I can make with my hands to bless those around me -- even things as simple as baking for a group meal are taking on that servitude that only comes from His Grace and His indwelling Holy Spirit.

And it all started with my being willing to be used by God for whatEVER He has for me. Allowing Him into EVERYspace in my life because He planned it all while I was still in the womb, unformed, but loved by Him. He has been showing me glimpses of Himself in the journeys of others who have gone on before me; who have walked difficult roads so that I might learn from them. I am willing to be taught; to learn from trusted teachers, whose lives are living testimonies to what God can do , if we only allow Him full access.

So, if I disappear for a short while, it is not that I'm being lazy or forgot to post. I'm studying for a test coming up, a presentation I need to make, or a tutorial position has come up that I am uniquely qualified for. I'm being moved by the Master's Hand and there is a job to do. My work gloves are never far from reach, my Spirit is willing, and my reading glasses are at the ready.

And my head is still firmly attached to my body, absorbing like a Sham-WOW cloth. Keep it coming Lord, as You see fit.

Whirlwind Days...and I Don't Mean the Weather!

There's been alot of activity going on around here lately. God stuff. Forcing me to look at my habits and comfort zones stuff. Besides the writing stuff and the praying stuff and the art stuff. God stuff. Like Him asking me what I'm ready to give Him. What will I die for? How much of me am I willing to let Him use? How much of me am I willing to let Him change? When I pray the Jabez prayer, (1Chronicles 4:10) how much do I truly want Him to enlarge my territory?

How much do I mean it?

I find myself surrounded by people who are truly gifted at intercessory prayer, powerful worship and a sense of God's Holy Spirit down here in my trenches, where it hurts, where it matters most, where the needs are the greatest. And I'm finding I fit. It's like putting on a new sweater that was especially made for me. It feels like an old friend, right out of the box. It's broken in at all the right places; the material is soft, like I've never felt before. It's not a comfort thing. It's more of a marvel, that this was here all the time and I never knew it existed.

And I find myself weeping, with gratitude, that I am allowed to experience this.

My self-imposed Sabbatical was more God stuff. His Will, not mine, was at work. Leading me along these new roads, stretching me out of my comfortable shape into an new mold, all in preparation for the work that's ahead.

And again I weep, not only with gratitude, but in Worship.

Be Still and know I AM God

" Be still, and know that I am God..." - Psalms 46-10 (NIV) I have been guilty of not being still lately. I have not been quieting myself enough to listen for his small, still Voice to direct and guide me to where He needs me to be.

I am a writer, yes. I am also a sculptress, and a storyteller using his truths as my subjects as my themes. I am a visual learner, so having these things right in front of me are a great way to keep them first and foremost in my mind (Phillipians 4:8(NIV) - "...whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think on these things.)

I will be taking a few weeks for a creative Sabbath of my own, digging deeper into what GOD has planned for me to do; exploring art projects that I have been putting off for literally years, to see where God will take me in the journey.

It will indeed be a leap of faith, as I cannot cross a chasm in 2 jumps. Your prayers for my journey will indeed be appreciated more than you will ever know.

Check back soon, for there will be new opportunies on the horizon, not only for me, but for you, dear readers as well.

"May the favor of the LORD our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us - yes, establish the work of our hands." -Psalm 90-:17 NIV