Armed With Duct Tape

…'cause duct tape fixes everything!

It is in whisper of the wind January 9, 2014

Filed under: faith — swedblue @ 2:17 pm

Many times when someone around me says that God spoke to them, I long for that kind of relationship and time to meditate and hear God.  Yet, I have learned that God speaks in many different ways.   I get an idea or pressing on my spirit.

Around Christmas time, I got an idea in my head, and as I researched it that idea became more of a pressing on my spirit.  It would not leave me.  I looked into a couple of things, and the door was closed.  Instead of giving up (which I think my husband would have preferred), I checked one more door.

I found it open and inviting.  I had no idea why I was going this direction or why I felt so sure about it.  Honestly, I did not see the signs of this being God’s doing, until today.  I got confirmation of what I was doing was the right way and found out why I needed to go this way.  I did not know that God was preparing me for a change, and because I was open this change is not painful, but rather pleasant.

I am excited for what is to come, and I’ll share more about this journey as we go.  Don’t be discouraged if you don’t feel God is speaking directly to you.  He is there, and His still quiet voice is talking to you and guiding you, whether you recognize it or not.

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Will the Real Easter Stand Up? March 31, 2013

Filed under: faith — swedblue @ 3:10 pm

When did Easter become a mini Christmas?  Walking the aisles at any store or pursuing the ads for store, I have been bombarded by outsiders telling me that I need to give gifts lavishly to my kids.  Candy, toys, clothes.   Add on that all the ideas flying around Pinterest, with all the little fancy things to do for Easter.  Have we given into a so non-Christian view of Easter?

This morning during worship time for some of our preschoolers, the leader said that Easter was not about candy, eggs, and gifts.  A little voice perked up in the room, and very definitively said, it was all about those things.  My heart was sad to hear the focus of today more about what we physically get than Jesus rising from the grave.

Guess what.  I did squat. Yep. Squat.  No fun little resurrection buns for breakfast, no package of bunny tails to give to our little friends, no easter baskets, we didn’t even do an egg hunt (the boys did have one with Granni last week).  Dreams of a lovely Easter dinner…do PB&J sandwiches and apples slices count? Actually, we are having ham for supper, would have been lunch-but those planes were dashed to the ground this morning as the ham would not fit into my crockpot.  It works out better for us, as Lil’ Bit falls asleep in the car on the way home from church.  He got his sandwich in the car before he crashed.

Easter Notes

What did I do today?  I took time out of my life to go to church.  To worship with my church family and praise God that Jesus didn’t stay in the grave.  To praise Him that He conquered death.  The tomb is empty.  Our Savior lives.  Isn’t that enough for today?

 

Come and let me tell you… February 2, 2013

Filed under: faith — swedblue @ 7:35 am

It is 6:15am on a Saturday morning, and I have been awake since 4:15.  Thanks to a little boy who had a rough night.  I tried going back to sleep, but after a half hour of tossing and turning, I decided to get up.

I could have stayed in bed, waiting for sleep to return, which it normally does.  It is Saturday, after all, I should be able to sleep in, right?  But, I desired to get out of bed, open my Bible and study God’s Word.  I don’t think there has ever been a time where I was driven to get up EARLY and be in the Word.  I have been a Christian for over 30 years (oh my! that is a long time!), and I have always struggled to be consistent in the spending time with God part, especially early in the morning.  But there is something so sweet and lovely to take the time to listen to God speak during the early morning.

Let me take a moment and rewind a few weeks, even days here.  For this is new…and way out of my usual.

I was dry…bone dry…lost in a desert dry…thirsty and looking for satisfaction.

field

All dry and crunchy.

There are a lot of reasons why I was feeling so parched. For almost 2 years, every Sunday I spend the first worship time in our preschool area. While I get to go to our small group time during the second hour, I rarely got a chance to go to worship.  My daily life, spending time in the Word was more of a check box instead of a drink of water and satisfying meal.

I turned other things to fill my soul need, food, TV, facebook…I was looking for rest and renewal.  Instead I wasted time “resting”, because I felt I deserved it-I follow two active boys around, I try to clean the house, I was up a lot the night before, etc.  I thought my problem was that I was tired, and I deserved to take a break while the boys napped to relax and turn off my brain.   I became a person I didn’t recognize.  My attitudes were off, I got frustrated easier.

I knew I needed a change.  Enter in a speaker at one of my MOPS meeting late last fall.  She started talking about finding satisfaction.  As she spoke, I realized I had a lot of work to do to, as she put it, “clean out my pantry”.  I purchased her study, and asked my mom if she would be willing to go through it with me.

We started the study at the beginning of January.  There have been some pretty hard days, where I have had to really think and look at what I am doing, instead of what I need to be doing.  I realized that my biggest soul hunger was renewal and rest.  I decided that if I was really going to be able to spend the time to get in the Word, I needed to get up early (not a thing I enjoy…my bed in the morning is the most comfortable and warm place to be-why do I want to leave it).

Come and hear, all who fear God,
And I will tell of what He has done for my soul. ~ Ps 66:16

Refreshing dew

Refreshing dew

This week, while I didn’t always get up right when my alarm went off, I still got up early enough to have my study time before the boys woke up. The past few days, I felt really exhausted.  So, exhausted that when the boys went down for a nap, I wanted to as well.  But guess what?  I struggled with it and brought it to God.  I told Him how tired I was, and He renewed my soul and my body. I was able to use the time to create.  Things that I have wanted to do, but didn’t because I was too busy trying to fill my soul with other things.  God blessed me refreshment and renewal.  The verse I clung to and I prayed this week was:

Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth,
does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable.
He gives strength to the weary,
and to him who lacks might, He increases power.
Though youths grow weary and tired,and vigorous men stumble badly,
YET those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength.
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.
~Isaiah 40:28-31

God is good! He supplies all our needs.  Even those we don’t realize we have yet.  God blessed me this week, by satisfying my soul.

___________________________________________

If you are interested in the study I mentioned, check out Kay Harms blog.

 

He alone… January 12, 2013

Filed under: faith — swedblue @ 9:34 am
Presence in the fog

Presence in the fog

The fog rolled in this morning.

Unannounced.

On quiet feet.

There is something unworldly about fog. The way it covers everything in a mist, blurring lines, melding them into one another.  I love mornings like this.  I get to look out my kitchen window and see the trees and field shrouded in mystery.

There is something oddly contemplative about mornings like these.

 

          “Be still and know that I am God”

 

IMG_3233

That is what we are to do.  There are no works, no amount of good deeds that will get us closer to God.  We are to know Him…believe in Him. If  He is sufficient for our salvation, the biggest thing in our life, why do we not realize that He is sufficient for all other areas of our life?  He alone is able, sufficient, to fill our needs, our desires, and our hungers.

 

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.

2 Cor. 12:9

 

Depth of Field September 14, 2012

Filed under: faith,Five minute Friday — swedblue @ 1:48 pm

It is 5 Minute Friday and I am hanging out with LisaJo and the circle of bloggers who take 5 minutes of their blogging day to write. To find out more about it go here.

Five Minute Friday

This week’s Five Minute Friday prompt: focus

Start:

Depth of field:

…when a subject is more focus than its surroundings.

Image

I’ll admit it.  I have lost focus.  I have focused in on one thing (and very badly too) to the detriment of things around me.  I have allowed myself to get caught up in the online realm, instead of real life-mine. It is so easy to get wrapped up in what others think is cool.  I keep looking like a peeping tom at all the neat things I see people post.  I enjoy keeping up with what my friends post on facebook.

It grabs my attention so that the important things go out of focus.  I claim I don’t have time, however, if I turned off the TV, logged of facebook and pinterest, I would have time.  Time to really focus my life- that focus which should be on God and becoming more like Jesus Christ.

The boys could use more of my focus- taking the time to dig into books, play with toys and do art.

I think that really soon here, I will be taking a on-line fast of the time and focus suckers in my life.  It will really help me focus on other things, I have let slide.  That time digging deeper into the Word, I can get up earlier and spend 30 minutes studying and praying. Instead of dreaming of a clean house- I can close my laptop and actually clean it (wow-there is an idea)! The clothes that need to be folded and put away- I can teach Pete to help me fold and put them away.

Changing my focus to the blessings I have in front of me, will help me be a better wife, mom, daughter, sister, and friend.

Stop

 

Perfect? Where? August 23, 2012

Filed under: faith — swedblue @ 6:43 pm

Over the last few weeks I have be chewing over and meditating on what I heard at the MOPS convention.  The Lord knew what I needed to hear and what encouragement I needed to receive.

One of the biggest things, I think, we as women do, is compare and judge.  We are harder on ourselves, but we also compare ourselves and life to those around us too.  The biggest thing I heard was:

                   ……………..Stop COMPARING!

When I compare myself to others, I don’t always add up, and it starts to bring me down.  I see the baby weight I haven’t lost yet, a house with floors scattered with toys in every room, the things I want but can’t have etc.  I spend so much time on it, I become dissatisfied and discontent with my life.

The scene in my living room on pretty much any given day…and one of the precious reasons it is that way.

I love wandering around Pinterest. You know what I find? A picture of what the world says is perfect.  The perfect lunch, the perfect body, the perfect room arrangement, the perfect outfit or the perfect party. Our parents used to call it “Keeping up with the Joneses”, we now have the electronic version of it.   This perfectionary line/life- we imagine everyone else has that we should too- has a cost-monetarily, physically, and spiritually.

Another point I came away with is:

“Spend time doing things that inspire you, not tires you”- LisaJo Baker.

She went on to explain- where you feel the most inspired-stay there.  Relish in it.  But where you feel discontent-LEAVE.  It is not a competition.  Nothing is a perfect is it is made out to be.  (That is why make up was invented and for some of us a necessity!) Again it comes back to don’t allow things in your life that make you stoop down to the level of discontent.

That is where the sin lies…being discontent.  If I remember correctly, one of the 10 commandments is “Do not covet.”   Discontentment is just another skin for covetousness.  You want what someone else has.

The Apostle Paul said, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” – Phil 4:11-15

The key to a happy life is learning to be content.  That is why I have challenged myself to do the Joy Dare.  Every day, find 3 things you are thankful for.  It is not just the little things like: I am thankful for a house over my head (which I am!).  But also for the hard things of life-places where we can see God and His work.  One of those areas for me was when Josh had his seizure, it was really hard to see past no driving, uncertainty of another seizure coming and bills to be thankful that God is in control-no matter what.

 

 

Holy Underwear, Aaron! June 6, 2012

Filed under: faith — swedblue @ 3:41 am

There are many days, when getting a chance to be in the Word is really hard to do. One of the things I decided I was going to do, was pull out our Bible on CD and listen to it in the car as I am driving around town.  I started this a couple weeks ago and have made it through mid Exodus.  Driving down 75, my ears did a double take on one of the verses.

It takes place on Mt. Sinai, Moses has been up on the mountain a while and is getting the instructions, details and plans for the priesthood, tabernacle, and laws of the land.  God is walking him through how He wants His “transportable” house to be, how the priests should act and what they should wear.  He has just finished describing the ephod that Aaron is to wear, in its beauty and significance.  Then at the end of Exodus 28, He throws this little tidbit in:

42 “Make linen undergarments as a covering for the body, reaching from the waist to the thigh. 43 Aaron and his sons must wear them whenever they enter the tent of meeting or approach the altar to minister in the Holy Place, so that they will not incur guilt and die.“This is to be a lasting ordinance for Aaron and his descendants.

Whoa, what did I just hear?  God telling Moses, that priests were to wear underwear? This is not the first place in Exodus that God told Moses that certain parts of the body should not be visible when doing priestly duties.  The alter could not have steps, so as the private parts would not be exposed.

Bet you haven’t ever thought about those verses before, eh?  What is it about our nakedness that is a disgrace? Or is it more of our nakedness not showing the proper reverence towards God?  In the garden Adam and Eve were naked, and it wasn’t till they ate the fruit did they realize they were naked and God covered their nakedness.  Could it be a throw back to the fact that we are a sinful people and our nakedness is a reminder of our sin?

I am sure this could be so taken out of context and used to beat people over the head with how we dress when we come to the house of the Lord.  There is a tendency to address it from a human stand point throw out there the words, “stumbling block”. What if we did relate it back to are we being reverent to God in how we dress?

Something to think about.