My Life Verse

Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not undo your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Tattered, torn and broken wings.....

God threw a wrench in my family life when he sent my hubby on a job for a extended period of time.  I am in a position that I would not be able to go with him.  Recently, I have moved to a new location to enjoy some time near family which we usually never get with a military lifestyle.  This year is proving to be a rollercoaster ride as there has been up and downs.  In the beginning, I threw myself so many pity parties but then a swift kick in the butt from God reminded me pity parties are okay for a bit but you can't stay there.  There is so much beauty in God's creation but with life circumstances we tend to miss them. I have started to to be intentional and really appreciate the little things around me.

     On my back deck I alway have some beautiful birds, dragon flies and butterflies.  Recently I bought a camera and love playing with it so all these animals give me the chance to learn my settings etc.  A couple days ago I saw this sweet butterfly sitting on my deck...I immediately ran to grab my camera and snap some pictures.  What I love about the camera is the lens allows you to see details that a naked eye can't always see. I have taken pictures of many butterflies on my back deck but as I started taking pictures when it wings were up then when they were down I noticed this butterfly has a piece of its wing missing but even with that how beautiful it still is.  All of the sudden so many thoughts came over me and I wanted to put it to "paper" so to speak.

    In that moment my thought was so clear....I think so many of us can relate to this butterfly.  We all around with our "wings" up so no one can see how broken we can be or are.  We walk around with wings up so people can't see or ask about our hurt, sadness, anger, bitterness, betrayals, and the list goes on.  If we walk around with our wings up that doesn't allow people to come in and add to that list of damage or if we allow them to see the damage we think they won't like us anymore.  I can admit I am so guilty of those walls.  Those walls are our armor, our safety and our comfort zone.  However over the years I have learned that staying in our comfort zone.....that is like holding hands with the devil.  He wants you to be comfortable, he wants you to believe you are truly broken, that you can never be restored and he wants you to walk around with a broken wing.  I don't know about you but I am tired of walking around that way.

The reality is this.....we are all broken.  We are human, we all have had to deal with hurt, sadness, anger, bitterness and betrayals.  It is what we choose to do with those situation that matters.  Every single thing we walk through in life has a story, a emotion and a outcome.  Sometimes that outcome is what we want or maybe not what we want but in the end we know God's plans for us always prevail.  Our stories are our/Gods testimonies.  Some of the stories turn out good and some turn out bad. What I do know is that God uses everything good and bad for his glory.  We may not see that while we live on this earth but they are proof we serve a loving, wonderful, merciful God.  I can look around and see so many people I know (to definitely include myself) that walk around with broken wings...some are missing more on their wings than others.

As our paths cross with new people we keep our wings up until we get comfortable then we slowly let them down.  As they get lower we start to share the story that caused that tear, rip or piece totally missing in that wing.  Other times we let them down but never share that story or the outcome of that story for fear of losing a friend or loved one.  I have been in that situations when I have shared a story and lost friends.  I was crushed at the time but I look back and realize a few things.  Either is was not the time to share that story,  that person was not in a place to receive the story that I thought they could relate to or they truly weren't a friend in the end.  Those reactions from people tend to cause us to put those wings right back up.  My challenge for all of us is to be more transparent and share those stories of our broken wings to help others heals theirs.  My prayer for me in the past few years are that God will lay on my heart when the time is right, the purpose of my sharing truly has a purpose, sharing it to the right person but above all share it so it gives him the glory not gives me self glory.  

I can't help but think if we could see ourselves through Gods eyes we would see a perfectly beautiful butterfly.  He sees the brokenness, hurt, anger, sadness, bitterness, betrayals etc. but he sent his son to make those wings whole again.  People say God never gives us more than we can handle but I strongly disagree with that.  Those broken wings are a reminder that God gives us more than we can handle in this life so that we learn to lean on and trust in him.  If he never gave us more than we could handle we would sit complacent.  In the words of Jimmy Carter "I hate to see complacency prevail in our lives when it's so directly contrary to the teaching of Christ." 

~Until next time

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

It started with a baked potato......

So as I started to all started with a baked potato so here is the rest of the story.  Earlier this afternoon I had been out running some errands and a little shopping.  I found myself getting pretty hungry so I pulled into a bbq place and got a baked potato with the toppings to go.  To roll back before the stopping to get a potato (I know it is confusing but just follow me down the path) at that intersection before the place to eat I notice a older homeless gentleman in blue jeans, a very faded purple shirt and a cane.  I think we have all been there and know that he was waiting for someone to help him with money or food.  So I took a mental note then kept on to my destination.  My stomach was growling and I ordered my food.  Was going to sit in the car and eat it but decided to just take it back home.  As I pulled out of the restaurant I heard a voice give the man your food.  I knew it would be challenging to get it to him from where I was but I said okay God you want me to do it then I will.

I have heard that voice many times (I can't explain as it was not audible but more like a gut feeling voice if that makes sense) and know I am to do exactly what that voice says.   I know, as a Christian, that voice is God and I am to obey it.  There have also been many times that I have not listened to it and the result was not pretty.  Either someone needed a friend to just talk to at that moment they were put on my mind and I did not "make the time to text or call, or a loved one needed you to be there but because of "life" it was not a priority.  I could go on all day about things "coincidences" (which I know are not the case because NOTHING with God is a coincidence) that happen in my life but I know they are simply God.

Now back to my I drove past that area I knew I could not get to him to give him the food from that side of the road.  He had started walking off to another location.  I had to go through a light, take a service road for a mile and then take the turn about back down the other side of the service road back the mile I just came from on the other side to get to the area he was at.  I took the turn about under the bridge hoping I would see him.  To my surprise he was standing right there back to me.  I immediately pulled over as far as I could,  put on my hazards, rolled down the window (said a slight prayer that no one would zip around the corner and hit me) and said excuse me sir....he turned around.   I said here is some food for you my friend.  He took the food in one hand and reach over with the other.  He took my hand so firmly and said, "May Jesus Be With You."  He had the most beautiful blue eyes and skin that had seen some rough days.  I said thank you sir and he responded, "May God Bless You."  He (and I am so mad I did not ask him his name) then said I am a vet two times over and I have slit many throats.  All of the sudden a fear came over me that made me second guess being a single female stopping under a bridge and how quickly it have gone a different way.  I told him I hoped this helped him and thanked him for his service.  He just kept saying God Bless You as he turned away.  I rolled up the window and drove off.  As I drove off I was so mad that I let fear overcome me.  I knew God told me to give this man my food and that whatever happened God had a plan.  I wrestled all the way home with that telling myself God did not give us a spirit of fear.  It says that in 2 Timothy 1:7 but in that moment satan took the opportunity to jump in and try to rob something that I was supposed to do.

From that I have sat and thought about this man for a couple of hours....I can see his beautiful eyes and his tattered aged skin.  I can feel his hand shake and I am daunted by the words I am a two time vet and I have slit many throats.  I don't know if that is a true statement or not but I can't help think if it is what this poor man has seen in his lifetime.  What dreams does he have, does he even sleep due to nightmares but more importantly how did he get there.  I can't help but think he could be someone's dad, brother, uncle etc.  I find myself hurting for him.  If he is a vet we as americans have failed him along with so many others. (Now not to start ANY political mud slinging but those are my thoughts....we as americans have failed him/our vets.)  I have recently moved back by my dad and I can't imagine the thought of him going through that, living on the streets, people not given him a second glance or helping him because of him being "fake homeless" and the not knowing what had happened to him.   Maybe the man chooses to be homeless or maybe he doesn't have a choice at all.

I often hear people say that homeless person begging may not be homeless and faking it, they will just use the money on drugs or the money on drinking.  What I say to them is that is it not our place to judge what they do with the money.   If I was a two time vet or that might have nightmares, open sores, abscessed teeth with no way to get dental care, maybe watched a family member get killed (those are just a few examples that I could think about on a list that could go on forever) etc...I would probably be in the same boat of drinking or do drugs to dull the pain both mentally and physically.  Sometimes I think they are put there to see if we obey God's prompting to help others.  Maybe it is a real person or one of his many angels in disguise but either way we are told to help others.  To be the hands and feet of Christ.

I truly pray that I see that man again because if I have the opportunity when I am around, each time I will make sure he at least has food for his belly to be full and liquid to keep him hydrated.   I wished I had something to drink in my car to offer him.  It is hot here in Texas but thankfully today it was overcast and it rained.  I hope he stayed cool, fully belly and dry under that bridge.

Lesson learned today.....always follow that voice (gut intuition) if you are told to do something.  You plant a seed.......a seed you may never see the harvest on but you know you were being Jesus's hands and feet in that moment.  Never let fear stop you if God is leading you.  If he brings you to it.....he will bring you through it.   God did not give us a spirit of fear.

Until next time...........

Thursday, March 5, 2015

When paths cross they are never on accident.

In July of 2014 I took a trip to Abilene to visit my dad.  I was able to meet a very sweet couple that was their neighbors at the time.  You see, if you know me you know I am a thrift store, garage sale kind of girl so when my stepmom said the neighbor is having a garage sale while you are here you know who was there...yep this girl.  Upon going over my normal fashion I start talking to them, helped them move some things out to the driveway for the sale.  We had a great convo and then I went back to my dads.  The next morning everyone in the house was still sleeping so I peeked out to see if the neighbors were out and they were.  So this girl walked over and chatted with them.  We sat down for a while and had some really great convo that ranged from my family, trading cards and God.  I thoroughly enjoyed meeting and chatting with them.  Little did I know six months later how our paths would cross again.  Most of you know that it is time for us to move this summer and as the Air Force's fashion we never know where we will end up next....true to its word we were thrown a curve ball.  Jay will be going to a location for a year (we will not disclose this openly on the internet) and I will not be going with him.  As this is our lifestyle and we know what we signed up for it doesn't always make it easy.  What we do is we press on and move forth.  During this transition we were trying to figure out what I will I stay here or do I move by family.  Many days and nights my thoughts were consumed by this.  We took a vacation on the KLOVE cruise and for four days I was able to not think about it constantly but the minute we hit land again.....the thoughts over took my brain.  We got back home and that night and Lysa TerKeurst post this  on her fb page and it was profound.  It was like God was speaking directly to me via her.  I quickly did a screen shot and kept reading it.  At that very moment I knew I was to lay it as his feet and not pick it up again.

I started praying God whatever you want me to be I will be.  I drifted off to sleep and the very next morning the name Ben came flooding my brain.  At that moment I had my answer...I knew in that very moment why six months earlier why God had my dad's neighbors paths cross mine.  You see they have rental properties (I learned that in that convo months earlier) and I knew that God had chose them to be my landlord for the year my hubby was gone.   So as I could feel my heart finally come to some peace about this entire situation.  I then made some phone calls and got in touch with Ben.  As we talked I told him about our current situation and he has a house coming available in my time frame.  Wouldn't you know it not just any house but a 1941 cottage style home.  It has been fully redone inside and has the best character....seriously could God pick out a better place to call home for a year.  I was blown away...although it doesn't take away that half of my heart will be leaving for a year I am thankful to have a roof over my head with a landlord that God cared enough to hand pick for me.   So as things have is signed, I have the sweetest landlords that I am blessed to call my friends and now my sweet boy will come to stay with me until his venture starts as a AF Airman.  I am constantly in awe of what God chooses for me.  Now my family has some peace of mind knowing that I am going to be right where I am supposed to as of mid June...this girl and her two dogs in tow.....Abilene, Texas will be my home for a year.  So thankful for Ben and Louise but even more grateful God crossed our paths knowing six months later we would need each other.   I needed a great place to stay and they would need a good tenant to rent their house while treating and respecting it as it was my very own.  Completely grateful.

~until next time....