Tag Archive | abundant life

Two months in..



How is 2018 unfolding for you? It has been a very interesting year for me so far.. major change is in the air. A new season is unfolding for me and I was more than ready for it. After praying all last year and waiting, we were released from a long hard season. Now.. does that mean everything is perfect? No.. but we are moving ahead and some of the circumstances that were so intensely difficult are suddenly gone.. God released us. He is moving us forward into another leg of the journey and I am excited and a little nervous. Some fears are surfacing.. will the old things reappear in new places? Is this really going to be a season of redemption or will new challenges steal away my joy?

I certainly do not have all the answers.. but I am making choices to move ahead with confidence that the Lord is going to use all the suffering of the past decade to bless others. After all, he promises to do that..to use everything for His good purposes. I want to bear fruit for His kingdom.. to share my story so others can benefit and be encouraged as they live in their own story. He has been providing opportunities to do that and I long for more. One thing I have learned is that we often go through seasons of waiting and they seem to last way too long, but just when we think they will never end, they suddenly do and we are surprised. Another lesson that has been invaluable is to persevere and never give up because just around the corner may be the blessing. If you stop and throw in the towel, you will never receive all the He has for you. We have free will and that enables us to either keep going or to walk away and be discouraged..we make that choice continually throughout our lives.. Choices are so important.

About 20 years ago I was living with a dying man.. my husband. I knew it and he knew it. Someone asked me what I was going to do if he died..I said that I was going to stay on God’s side no matter what happened. The person who asked was upset with my answer and said that I could not know that ahead of time. I told him that I had to know the answer before it happened.. I had to choose life and to choose God in the middle of the suffering. I have lived out that lesson many times since then with no regrets.

Our God is faithful and true. He will continue to come for us in all circumstances and when it is time He will set us free to live more fully. Our part? We choose to stay close to Him and to trust Him in the dark. We believe all His promises and we remember His faithfulness. If this year has been difficult so far.. don’t forecast the future because of what has happened in the last 2 months.. continue to believe that He is at work and trust Him.. otherwise you are throwing in the towel and this is just the beginning of the year.. there is no telling what may happen in the next 10 months. He may surprise you in ways that you never imagined!

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”


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A fresh wind is blowing

About 37 years ago I was called out of the darkness into the light. God revealed Himself to me and I have followed after Him for over three decades. Recently God reminded me of my commitment to Him.. to stay on the path He has prepared for me and to trust Him with everything.. not because I forgot, but because the pull of the world is strong. It is easy to want those things the world says we must have to be content.. so easy to be distracted by the things that pull us away from Him.

I needed the reminder..to be called to a walk in a deeper level of faith.. to admit that I was double minded. He chose me to come into a relationship with Him and I owe Him everything. All the good things in my life come from the hand of the Lord and all the trials passed through Him before they reached me. My life is in His hands and it is His right to give and to take away.. He is the one who knows what is best for me. I want to finish this life with the same level of faith I had over 30 years ago.. trusting in this mysterious God who came close to me and made Himself known to me.

I need to be convicted of wanting things to be easy and wanting to be comfortable.. He never promised me that. He did promise to be with me and to hear my prayers and to come for me when I need to be rescued.. that is more than enough.

Thank you Lord for the fresh wind that blows through our lives.. reminding us of your presence. Thank you for loving us enough to show us when we wander away and long for things that are not important. Thank you that this life is a gift from you and since we belong to you, we want to honor you by being willing to follow you fully… trusting you to take care of us and provide for us.




What happened to summer?

I can’t believe we are in the middle of August already..summer seemed to fly by. Our weather has been surprisingly cool.. Fall seems to be here already. I remember when summers lasted forever..all that has changed. We are busy people with so much to do.. we fill up most of our days with responsibilities and activities. There is a down side to this busyness..we can miss out on the moment. Instead of living fully each day..we rush through life..eager to get to the next thing and then the next thing and after that the next thing. Why are we in such a hurry?

A lot of it is our instant culture. We want everything now and we don’t want to wait.. I find myself the same way. Time can become an enemy and not a friend. Yet life with God is not fast..He is not in time the way we are, so He is never in a hurry. Our lives are not going to be too short for the things that God has prepared for us.. there is no need to fit everything in. It would probably benefit most of us to stop..so we can reflect on what we are doing and how we are spending our time in this life. We won’t be encouraged to this.. either inside or outside the church. There is just so much to do.. For God. Really?

We are here because He created us and gave us life to fulfill His purposes.. not to accomplish things. That accomplishment thing comes from us.. He wants us to receive His love and to love those around us.. to live life fully each day confident that everything that is supposed to happen will happen. When we make mistakes.. He will redeem them. When we choose to be still.. He will find someone else to do what we cannot do.. He has it all under control.

For me.. telling God daily that I trust Him helps tremendously. When I look around and see so many things I cannot change.. I remind myself that He has a plan and it is unfolding perfectly. When my emotions get the best of me I cry out to Him and let Him see the mess that I am. I make sure there is time in my day for these things even if all the work does not get done!

So.. enjoy the rest of the summer season and know that life is meant to be savored..relax and rest whenever possible. Trust Him with everything.

“Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture”  (psalm 100:3)



Holistic living

I keep coming back to this idea of a balanced life. We have so many demands on us in our culture. There is the culturally acceptable idea that we must always be busy.. that somehow our significance comes from our accomplishments. Then there is the idea among Believers that we must be emotionally available to everyone who needs us. We also have the prevailing cultural view that we need to go to a gym or somewhere daily to be in good physical shape… eat a particular way in order to be healthy. Add to that the ideal of spending time reading the Bible and praying every day and you have a full life.

The question for me is “what does a healthy balanced life look like? ” I’ve arrived at some conclusions over the last year. Too much activity is deadly. Time alone is absolutely necessary. Eating too much and too fast is unhealthy. It is not possible to be emotionally available to everyone who needs something. I don’t need to go anywhere but outside my front door to exercise..by walking. Sometimes I cannot read the Bible or any other book or pray. God understands this and is fine with it. His grace is enough.

So what does a balanced, holistic life look like? Living daily with our Great God, taking care of our bodies, pacing ourselves, and rejoicing in His goodness.

” Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”




The winter season is still with us..

I am always ready for Spring long before it actually appears. The flowering plum trees are blooming here and so are the beautiful bulbs that push their way up through the soggy soil. So..Spring is not far away..in less than a month we will be celebrating the end of Winter. My calendar says the first day of this new season is March 20th.

I’m anxious to be in that season..the last two winters have been very difficult. The winter of 2011 and 2012 were especially challenging ..  overwhelming.. My prayer became a simple ” I trust you Lord” ..there was not much else to say. My heart was heavy and my body seemed to be working against me.. needing rest but unable to sleep. Yesterday I looked back and saw that both winters were rich in lessons that I needed to learn. Both winters brought healing to some very infected wounds that demanded attention. God is faithful to do the deep things in us that will free us up to be the person we were created to be.

When I find myself wishing for an easier road.. I know that the road He has prepared for me is the only way. If I want abundant life and if I choose to follow Him fully..the road is narrow  with just enough light for the next small step. He is holding me and will catch me if I fall. He is guiding me and moving me forward as I trust Him.

So..if you are tired of this winter season.. Trust God for that amazing, abundant Spring that He will unfold in His time!

“If you carefully obey all the commands I am giving you today, and if you love the Lord your God and serve him with all your heart and soul, then he will send the rains in their proper seasons—the early and late rains—so you can bring in your harvests of grain, new wine, and olive oil. He will give you lush pastureland for your livestock, and you yourselves will have all you want to eat.”



The year of the Lord’s favor..Isaiah 61

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,
 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
   and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor. “

Since the beginning of this year.. just a week ago, I have been hearing God say that this is the year of His favor. Immediately I remembered that this phrase is found in Isaiah 61. The same passage that God spoke to me 13 years ago ..here we are in 2013 and I am hearing it again. It is the passage that Jesus quoted in Luke 4.

After the temptation in the wilderness,  Jesus returned to Galilee and by the power of the Spirit He stood up and read from the scroll of Isaiah in the temple. He told everyone that today that scripture was fulfilled. He came to rescue and heal and restore the brokenhearted.  He was revealing His identity to the Jewish community, many of them would fail to believe that He was the Messiah..the one that they were waiting for.

How many of us are failing to recognize who Jesus really is? I’m not talking about people outside the church, but rather those of us who proclaim to be believers..who claim to follow Him. God is speaking to us right now..telling us that He is here among us ready to do great things. He is our both our savior and redeemer. He has come to set us free to live abundantly..to live fully..to restore us..to heal us..and to bless us beyond anything we could ask or imagine. Surely this is truly the year of the Lord’s favor.

He has great things in store for His faithful followers..rewards, blessings, gifts that will come in surprising ways. Keep your eyes open for the work of God in and around you..you will be amazed.

I will bless my people and their homes around my holy hill. And in the proper season I will send the showers they need. There will be showers of blessing.”


We bring a sacrifice of praise..

We bring the sacrifice of praise 
Unto the house of the Lord. 
We bring the sacrifice of praise 
Unto the house of the Lord. 

And we offer up to You 
The sacrifices of thanksgiving; 
And we offer up to You 
The sacrifices of joy.” ♪ ♫ ♪

Sacrifice has been the key word in my life lately. God has been speaking about it over and over.. I found this definition:

“the surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim.”

The purposes and plans of God are higher and have a more pressing claim on our lives than our own comfort or own agenda. God is unfolding a more perfect way. It requires sacrifice because we do not think His thoughts or understand His ways. As we say yes to Him and surrender our own good ideas and our own solutions to  life’s problems, He reveals the path that we are to take.. the sacrifices that we are to make.

The wonder of all this is that once we take the narrow way, we begin to sing praises to our GREAT GOD. We are filled to overflowing with thankfulness for all that He is doing and all that we have been given. It is life with God.. abundant life..life that we cannot get any other way.

Lord, as we approach this Thanksgiving Day, let us lift our hands in praise to you, Our Creator who has given us every good thing. Without you we would not exist and without you are existence is meaningless. Fill us to overflowing with praises this day and every day!

It is easier than we think..

I am beginning to realize that life with God is easier than we think. That’s part of the reason we find it difficult. We make it more difficult by relying on our own minds and hearts to guide us. Our minds can take us anywhere if we aren’t careful..so many of our own thoughts are contrary to the mind of God.

And of course there are our feelings..they may be even worse. If we allow our feelings to direct our steps..we are in big trouble. The only safe road is the one where we realize that God is in total control ..as we step out, He guides us to the next step. Our own thoughts and feelings are incidental. Now this doesn’t mean they aren’t important.. they are , but they are not the way we discover the abundant life.

We are made to feel deeply and to think through things.. God can work through our thoughts and feelings to give us wisdom and insights. Ultimately we need to bring these to Him and allow Him to show us which are valuable and which lead to destruction. It sounds complicated but it isn’t. The key is continually turning to Him with all of it.. all the time. Asking for wisdom, asking for guidance, releasing our cares and worries and trusting in His goodness. He is not hidden and His plan for us is not impossible to discover. He wants to lead us, to guide us, and to bless us.

His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not ours..we were created to need Him every minute of every day. He is our Father in Heaven who desires to come close to us and fill our days with His presence. He waits for us to seek Him, to depend on Him, and to trust that He will always be there for us.

My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
    “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so my ways are higher than your ways
    and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”



False evidence appearing real. I found this to be very helpful in conquering fear. In fact I had it on my wall for a while.. to remind myself of that truth. We often choose to stay in fear because it seems to be so real and so threatening. It keeps us from taking risks.. from moving forward into unknown territory. It is a good tool of the enemy to keep us in bondage.

If you remember the story of the Israelites in the wilderness.. it was fear that kept many of them out of the land of Canaan..fear and unbelief made them wander for another 40 years before they could enter the land. In fact all the spies that gave a bad report..those who failed to trust that God was their defender.. never lived to see the land of milk and honey again. God blessed Joshua and Caleb (the only two spies who believed Him) with a wonderful assignment. They were to enter the promised land claim it for the glory of God.

Nothing much has changed since that time. We still encounter giants in the land..we still refuse to believe God.. and some of us die without receiving the blessings God has prepared for us.

So..remember what fear really is. Don’t look at the giants and don’t believe bad reports that say God will not or cannot do what He says He will do. Take risks with Him..go forward with Him..trust in His goodness. Let’s enter that promised land that He has prepared for us.. the land of milk and honey. In that land we are sure to find both the abundant life and streams of living water. What more could we want?

“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”

Renewal, Restoration, Refreshment, Rest

That’s what it says at the top of my blog..the subtitle and underlying theme of this site. Sometimes I forget that I put it there.. then all of a sudden I realize that I am longing for all of those. Tomorrow is the first day of summer..what a perfect time to ask for a season when those four Rs will all become real.

My husband was telling me that what he misses most about being a child are the summers. No school, no work.. just a great big time out..to play..rest..enjoy. I miss it too. We need that feeling even more as adults. Being the super serious type.. I realize that if I don’t have that feeling once in a while, life starts to feel like a chore.. a job.. a responsibility. Jesus said He came to give us life.. abundant life..does that sound like a job? He also said that His yoke was easy and His burden was light..does that sound like being worn out and weary?

In the psalms God says “Be still and know that I am God.” That really sounds like rest to me..and peace. So..as we enter the summer season let is be like little children and enter the kingdom of heaven in a new way…faith filled children who trust fully in the goodness of God. We can also be like the birds who know that they will have all they need from the hand of their heavenly Father..they never go without and neither will  we.

I pray that God will bless you with the four things I mentioned at the beginning of this post and renew your faith as you trust Him. I’m asking Him to meet you as you walk with Him..filling you with His Spirit and guiding you into the future.

“You will live in joy and peace.
    The mountains and hills will burst into song,
    and the trees of the field will clap their hands!”