Arise! Shine! Your Time Has Come!

My heart and my spirit are so full with what the Lord is doing I don’t even know how to put it into a post.

So I’m doing something different.

I’m giving you some videos to watch and links to follow.

Rise Up

Register or learn more The Call

Awaken the Dawn! What’s Behind the ‘Holy Spirit Woodstock’ Coming to DC

Awaken The Dawn: The Story

I am traveling from Alaska with my daughters to be part of these events in Washington DC.

The Moral Outcry

If you believe abortion is wrong go to The Moral Outcry and sign the  petition. Share this. I am not condemning women who have had an abortion. I believe they are victim, too. I believe they have been deceived in so many ways. There is grace and forgiveness for everyone, for every sin.

For my sons and daughters, for your sons and daughters.

I will rise up.

What are you seeing God doing?

Will you arise?

Simple Ways to Make An Impact

You say I’m an equipper but how am I doing that? I’m not leading women’s ministry anymore. I didn’t even get a Bible study started. I want to be obedient. I want to be making an impact. I sense I’m supposed to do something big.
I don’t know what it is exactly I want to do or feel I am supposed to do. 

As I was in this place during worship asking God what I was supposed to be doing and feeling I didn’t measure up I watched my son worship with flags and dance. I watched as my son handed his flags off to another young man who had gone up front to worship. I watched as he encouraged this young man to flag, to wave the banners in praise and worship.

You equip equippers. You have taught your son to take what he knows and pass it on to those around him.

Say “Yes” in small things

Serving the Lord, partnering with Him, fulfilling our calling – none of it is as complicated as I often make it. He wants relationship. He wants my yes in small things. Small things add up to big things.

Have the conversation

I just read of a woman who went to Ireland to share the gospel because she felt that’s what God wanted her to do. As far as she could tell it was an unfruitful trip. Years later it was reveal that through a conversation she had with one man he developed a passion for the Lord and was a key figure in a revival in Ireland.

Be faithful

Washing dishes. Doing laundry. Giving your best at the same old job. It may seem a futile effort, certainly not of spiritual much less eternal importance.

How we treat our responsibilities matters. People are watching. They are touched by our example of doing all things to the glory of God. Us loving well, staying faithful, being patient, having peace.

We are all called. That doesn’t mean if we’re not Billy Graham we’re missing our calling. We simply do what God has placed before us for His glory and He is pleased. I’m saying simply, not easily but I think that’s another post.

What has He placed in front of you?
What everyday things you do please the Lord? Ask Him.

Why? is the Wrong Question

There are so many things happening right now that make me want to ask “Why?”

  • Global threat of nuclear war from North Korea
  • National hurricanes and forest fires
  • A family in my community lost their five daughters in a house fire
  • A friend had to put down their beloved dog

All these things and so many more can cause me to look to heaven and ask “WHY?” It’s fine to ask why, it’s almost involuntary.

Why is the wrong question. It’s a distraction. It is disempowering.

Why keeps us stuck when we don’t get an answer. And when we do.

When we don’t get an answer we stay stuck:

  • trying to reason it out
  • in bitterness over not getting an answer
  • using mental energy of continuing to ask

When we do get an answer we can:

  • go back to being comfortable
  • go back to not thinking about it anymore.

While we may feel comfortable we’re still stuck.

God did not design us to stay comfortable. He wants us to be at rest in Him not comfortable in our own reasoning. Resting in Him is always on the move expanding His Kingdom, spreading peace, hope, and love.

I can and do ask why. If there isn’t something I can do different then I move on to the next question.

The better question is “What do I do now?”

  • Pray for North Korea to be saved. God wants none to be lost. Agree with Him that Kim Jong-un can be saved and lead his nation to salvation in Jesus Christ.
  • Pray, give, help. God has different answers for each one according to their gifts and situation.
  • Believe in the goodness of God. Ask for ways to shine His light in the darkness.

Do you ask “why” when hard things come?

Try asking “What do I do now?” How different does it feel?

2 Set-Ups for Failure

I wanted a response. I wanted feedback.

I set myself up for disappointment and failure. Twice.

“I think I’m supposed to lead or organize prayer for the ladies, especially the youth, going to DC from our church.”

I said this to my husband as he was in the final steps of his routine to get out the door. I had chickened out for hours the evening before and a couple more that morning.

As I felt disappointed because I didn’t get a response I thought of a story Cheri Gregory shares in Overwhelmed: How to Quiet the Chaos and Restore Your Sanity where her husband told her he couldn’t read her mind. She realized she could learn to figure out the feedback she wanted so she could ask for it.

Set up #1:

I set myself up by making a statement instead of stating what I wanted.

Set Up #2:

My timing wasn’t good either. Even if I had asked for feedback I would have been disappointed that he didn’t have time to give it to me right then.

We had a full day yesterday and a late night. This morning over coffee – after chickening out a bit more – I told my husband what I realized.

  • I wanted feedback but didn’t ask for it.
  • I was hurt.
  • It wasn’t okay for me to be upset with him for not knowing what I need if I don’t tell him.

This morning when I did ask for feedback I was blessed and encouraged by his belief in me, my gifts, and my calling.

Do you ever set yourself up for failure?

Do you expect key people in your life to read your mind?

4 Steps for Fighting Fear: The Journey

Often when I hear testimonies of overcoming I hear the “everything changed” and miss the journey. Then too often in my own life all I see is the journey and nothing seems to change.

It’s like saying “I went to Germany”. That sounds easy. Short. Simple. However there was a journey required. There was the packing. Before that working to pay for the trip. The hour drive to the airport. The flight to Boston, which from Alaska means two other flights first. There was the 14 hours in the air before landing in Germany.

After reading 4 Steps for Fighting Fear a friend asked me what my process was. My first thought was “You read the post, right? Four steps, that’s the process.” But I asked more questions, she asked more questions, and I pondered my process.
In case you read the 4 Steps for Fighting Fear as a quick and easy route like, “I went to Germany.”, I wanted to flesh it out a bit.

1. Call on Jesus

When fear attacked the first time I had to rely on scriptures I already knew. I wasn’t looking up verses in the dark holding my breathless daughter. I had to pull on what was already inside, what I already believed about the goodness of God. Memorizing and meditating on scripture is SO important.

2. Find God’s promises

Knowing I couldn’t live in fear I spent time praying and remembering verses. In the situation with my daughter I had verses from months before that I returned to.

3. Personalize the verses into declarations

I wrote “She will live and not die. She will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” and hung it where I see it as I nurse her. A friend had Esther 4:14 painted as a gift for us and it hangs as a reminder of God’s purpose and promise for my daughter.

4. Declare the promises of God out loud

As well as saying the verses I often sing No Longer Slaves by Jonathan David & Melissa Helser. Sometimes as a lullaby, sometimes as a roaring declaration “He rescued me so I could stand and sing ‘I am a child of God’.” The first verse for me. The second for her.

When fear attacked I had to choose (still do) if I was going to believe the sensations in my body and the crazy thoughts in my mind or if I was going to believe in God’s love for me. I could choose fear or peace. The choosing is in my mind. I chose peace. This put me in the paradox of peace in my spirit and fear and stress in my mind and body – for a time.

Each time I choose to believe God’s love for me, His faithfulness to keep His promises the sensations fear creates in my mind and body leave faster. Now it is very brief and not very often. Attacks have gone from multiple times a day to every couple weeks or less. (I’m also realizing I have other fears I still am living as a slave to so it’s time to apply the four steps to them as well. They are scary in another way. That just means they are debilitating in another way, too. I’ll share the process soon.)

I would love to hear from you if this helps or raises questions.

Do you hear people’s victories and discount the journey like I often do?

4 Steps for Fighting Fear

Seeing the Goodness of the Lord in the Land of the Living.

You fell asleep while nursing. I nudged you to encourage you to finish. You didn’t respond. A strange heat flooded me in a panic. I couldn’t get out words to pray. Confusion, doubt, and fear were front and center.

  Last night you had stopped breathing. I think it was by God’s grace I couldn’t see your coloring. I had turned off the main lights and turned on the lamp before getting you from your cradle. You were very limp when I picked you up but I didn’t sense anything was wrong until I sat down on the couch to feed you. You were too still – completely unresponsive. Your brother was just heading to bed. Your dad was beside me. I told them to pray. We declared healing in Jesus name and asked for restoration of your breath.

I don’t know if you really stopped breathing this morning or if you were just extra sleepy like you’ve been before. I’m having a hard time not being scared today – a harder time than last night.

 As I walked this out – being attacked by panic and fear – feeling paralyzed and unable to breathe myself – I was reminded (strange that I would need to be) this wasn’t the first time I had feared my baby dying, feared losing her.

See, I have three beautiful, amazing children who had easy uneventful pregnancies. I have a fourth child I will never get to hold alive. I heard his heartbeat twice. Then around 17 weeks there was no more heartbeat.

After coming to terms with being pregnant at 42 when my youngest was 14 (another story for another time) I began the battle to not live in fear of another miscarriage.

1. Call on Jesus

When fear attacks I say the name of Jesus. Sometimes I had more words I could pray, more faith to speak out. Often I just said “Jesus.”

2. Find God’s promises that address the area of fear. 

For me the words of Jesus to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.” (Luke 8:50) were the first to come to mind. Then Psalm 27:13, “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” (NIV) and Esther 4:14 “Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (KJV).

3. Personalize the verses into declarations of what you are believing God is promising you.

My versions:
Luke 8:50 “This child will live and not die.”
Psalm 27:13 “They shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”
Esther 4:14 “They are conceived/born for such a time as this.”

4. Declare God’s promises out loud when fear attacks.

So when I was calm enough I would say the declarations (my versions of the verses) or sing “I’m no longer a slave to fear” and believe it. I sing “Thy Will” by Hillary Scott – which was hard knowing that she wrote this song after losing a child through miscarriage. Believing for life knowing I may have to accept death though I couldn’t see any possible good reason why.

It’s a few months down the road and fear rarely attacks so brazenly. I am seeing the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. So is she.

When have you been attacked by fear?

 How do you fight back?

My Life June: Lessons in a New Land

My Life June: Lessons in a New LandWatch, I will bring you to a new land, an unknown land. I will speak to you, declare over you your song. I will speak in the midst of you, at your very core. I will build you a garden, a place to seek me and feel my embrace. I will take your valley of trouble and open through it an eternal door of hope. You will sing again. Sing your song for me. You are free.
Hosea 2:14,15 My version

Christian:

I have been feeling this new and unknown land is a wilderness, not a very friendly one either.

He has a purpose though. This new land is a training ground for my destiny.
This new land contains a garden, a very special place to me spiritually.
He is speaking His plans for a hope and a future. He is singing my song, like the women of this tribe sing a child’s song. I don’t fully hear it yet. He sings anyway.
My Lighthouse

He is giving me gifts, like my lighthouse.

As I have struggled in this new land I thought the lighthouse was to remind me I was strong, I would endure.

It was. It does.

More than strong and enduring He sent me the lighthouse for another lesson, the one I didn’t receive so well the first time.

Lighthouses have needs.

The salt of the sea, the beating of the wind and waves wears down the strongest of lighthouses. Without maintenance their light would not continue to shine. They can no longer serve their purpose. No longer lead people safely to the shore.

I have been struggling to get in a good routine this summer. I spend quiet time with God almost every morning. I talk to Him throughout my day. We even argue sometimes. I don’t always like what He tells me to do. Sometimes I am slower to obey than others. I miss having a structured group to hold me accountable. I think that may be part of my missing maintenance plan.

Wife:
For Father’s Day I gave Brian the best picture of Josiah I could, like I had seen him.

Josiah Dances
Josiah Dances
I am learning to treasure my husband more with each new phase of our project. I also see in this new land I need to again submit to his training me– not like obedience school.
Hear me out.
He is gifted in ways I am not. He sees people and situations very differently than I do. It is very good.
I have been very happy to appreciate those things in him, even call them out and encourage him to use them more. In this new land God is telling me I need to learn to be like him. And Him.
I certainly don’t see why.
I mean – We’re partnered. Isn’t that so he can use his strengths and I can use mine? 
Sort of, but not when its an excuse for me not to grow, not to lean on my Savior to help me do what I cannot on my own.
For loving to learn I am not always a very willing student. Oh and knowing a lesson is so much easier than living one – but more on that later.
It will make a difference in our future. It will help me fix my broken filters, the ones that always hear condemnation and failure.

Mother:

Having children 12, 13, and 14 for me means they like to sleep in. I have been trying their entire lives to get them to sleep in, now when I want them up and productive they can sleep the day away. I really enjoy my quiet mornings though. If I don’t have something specific to accomplish they get to sleep. When there’s work to be done they get woke up and usually fed breakfast.
Karissa crossing
In bits of time here and there I am planning school for the fall. We will be studying world history and physical science with two other families. I am hoping the small group will provide fun for the kids and simplicity for me.
IMG_1559

Author:
I am blogging and waiting on direction. This season in the new land will produce things to write about I am sure. So far this is not the season to be producing anything new to market.

I always love to hear if you have read my books or would like to get a copy. I always have books on hand and sign each one I send.
Do you have a personal maintenance plan?
What things do you need to do your life well?

Dream Sketches, Sort of…

I went and overwhelmed my brain and my schedule this week.
Writing something worth your reading seems out of reach.
I’m sharing some sketches instead.
Being filled with courage. Having courage within. Encouragement.
 
Not really a sketch even, a thought in color?
How is your week?
Is there room for dreams? 

Trading Discouragement for Courage

 How appropriate that my journey into the word Dream has brought me to trading discouragement for courage. I have certainly been discouraged – this week even.  I need to focus on trading the discouragement for new courage.
 In the wake of dying dreams I have been disappointed and discouraged-even disillusioned.  I’ve had some really big dreams die. This week however it was a small thing that had me discouraged. I had an event that didn’t turn out like I had hoped. I’m not sure why a few people not coming to an event would make me question everything about my writing. For a while it did though, a failed event meant I was a failure in everything, in every way. That’s discouragement.
DISCOURAGE, v.t. discourage.

1. To extinguish the courage of; to dishearten; to depress the spirits; to deject; to deprive of confidence.

The great trade is that God always has courage to offer – His courage. After a much too long pity party yesterday, today I set out to find new courage. It takes courage to dream again. There are a lot of questions and hurts when a dream dies. In my pity party I was lamenting to my husband about where I should put my time and how much time I should put into marketing my books. Lack of courage reared its head when the most obvious solution was to personally contact churches about my books. “I can’t do that.” “I don’t know what to say.” “What would I present?” I was disappointed and discouraged. Courage had left me. “I’m not good at small talk.” “I hate cold calls.” “I hate feeling like I’m trying to sell myself or push my product.” Somehow the fear makes me forget that I have a valuable tool to offer. 
 I’m in need of courage to revive my dream of selling books. I’m in need of courage to revive dreams for my future. Where do I start?
COURAGE, n. [L., the heart.] Bravery; intrepidity; that quality of mind which enables men to encounter danger and difficulties with firmness, or without fear or depression of spirits; valor; boldness; resolution. It is a constituent part of fortitude; but fortitude implies patience to bear continued suffering.

Courage that grows from constitution, often forsakes a man when he has occasion for it; courage which arises from a sense of duty, acts in a uniform manner.

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary
The explanation after the definition reveals a truth. We can take courage because we will to but how much greater when the courage comes from God. We’ve read His word we’ve heard His voice so we are full of courage.
Courage comes from remembering who I am and who’s I am. I guess dealing with disappointment restores courage too. I have to change my thinking to be courageous. I also need to change some actions. There are skills I can practice and acquire to give me courage. I can put together a presentation and practice it. Being sure I’m putting my time and effort where God wants it to go will give me courage.
 I know I can have courage because scripture repeatedly tells me to have courage. It’s a choice – my choice. I can look at the mountain or I can look at the God who moves mountains. I will learn to be courageous.

What do you do when you lack courage? Are the helpful or hurtful?
Do you have any new ideas to try to gain courage?