Jesus vs. Santa | The Isaiah 53:5 Project

With Christmas season officially starting yesterday I thought this was definitely worth sharing…

JESUS vs SANTA

Santa lives at the North Pole…
JESUS is everywhere.

Santa rides in a sleigh…
JESUS rides on the wind and walks on the water.

Santa comes but once a year…
JESUS is an ever present help.

Santa fills your stockings with goodies…
JESUS supplies all your needs.

To read the rest please visit: Jesus vs. Santa | The Isaiah 53:5 Project

Clinging to Him as We look to the Light

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Our view of the sunrise over St. Louis from the window this morning © astorybyme.com

 

Death…
So close though I can’t see it I can still feel it lurking…
Standing by the edge of the room ready and waiting, ready to escort anyone through the door who may decide to walk through to the other side today…

As my eyes dart around the room they meet eyes looking back….everyone who is here whether they are sick or not are somehow in some way going through this together.  My eyes meet eyes of fear looking out right next to eyes full of determination and bravery.

This place feels like poison to me with its concoction of poison medicines, hanging from IV poles, dripping into the blood streams of the sick, killing off everything in their bodies to get rid of the real poison.

The unspoken poison…

The C word…

That word is on the mind of everyone here today though nobody says it…

Cancer…

The unspoken yet common bond between everyone who is in this place today.

they all also have another common bond…

That word is Hope

They all commonly hope.

Some hope for a cure and some just hope for one more day…

They all hope to get away from this disease that eats them inside.

Though it’s not me with this disease it still somehow eats at me today too.

I watch as the clear harmless looking medicine drips slowly from the bag into the arm of my friend as I think it seems ironic to me that something so poisonous is used to help someone get well. It poisons the cancer and along with it takes away her strength and makes her sick.

Father God, What is the purpose of all this? Today I feel as if I know nothing about anything anymore I feel so broken hearted inside for the people in this place and most of all for my friend because she has to go through this. I came as her guest today in the hopes of somehow helping yet I have no idea how I’m supposed to do that.  Sometimes life just does not come with instructions so I today I try to feel my way through it, trying my best to follow the lead of you the one who knows best.  I know that no matter how tough it is we can never give up on you.  I know you already know the outcome and the reason for all this I just wish I knew too.

I realized today that this is my friend’s life right now, every 3 weeks she has to come here to this place as do the rest of these people.They all continue to live life no matter how hard it is. They all know that they have to come to this awful place in order to continue living this life.

I wonder how do they view this room? Do they see it as I do?

I know my friend doesn’t like being here yet she keeps her chin up and takes all they do to her so bravely.  She knows this is what she has to do to keep this terrible disease at bay.

As for me I’m just the a person today who at times feels too much uncertainty.
Yet in my uncertainty I do see the reality that the only thing about this whole cancer thing that I am certain of is the fact that God is here.

As I look around I do see him.  I realize that he may seem absent to some of those who are here yet those who do see him are clinging tightly to his life rope.  When we first arrived here I met a lady who had no legs. Her legs were taken away by the cancer and yet she greeted everyone who came into the room with a smile, it was obvious who she clings to. Those people like her who choose to cling to him are the little bursts of light that are shining out in the darkness of this dreary place. They continue to shine on no matter what the outcome because they cling to the one who knows the outcome. They cling because they know He is the peace in this not so peaceful place.  They know that He is the one who will bring end to their suffering. I am so thankful for the light of Jesus that’s shining over this dark and dreary place this morning.

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Our view of the sunrise over St. Louis from the window this morning © astorybyme.com

 

You, God, are my God,

earnestly I seek you;

I thirst for you,

my whole being longs for you,

in a dry and parched land

where there is no water.

I have seen you in the sanctuary

and beheld your power and your glory.

Because your love is better than life,

my lips will glorify you.

I will praise you as long as I live,

and in your name I will lift up my hands.

I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;

with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

On my bed I remember you;

I think of you through the watches of the night.

Because you are my help,

I sing in the shadow of your wings.

I cling to you;

your strong right hand upholds me securely. Psalm 63:1-8

 

Last May a dear friend of mine was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.  She is only 50 years old and her doctor told her there is no cure but that with chemotherapy they can prolong her life so she goes every 3 weeks.  The chemo makes her very sick and she keeps having to have blood transfusions and fluids given to her intravenously almost weekly.  She has hopes that the chemo will work and that she will have a long future and I am asking you all to help with that today by praying for her. She is a fighter and I know with God’s help she can do this. Thank you for reading my blog and also for your prayers.

Blessings,

T

Don’t Look Back

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Most of my childhood life was spent moving around the country. Sometimes our family moved twice a year and one year we moved three times! I was always a bit of on outcast because I never seemed to talk or dress the same as the other kids.  A lot of the time I was picked on and I hated gym class because I was always picked last for the teams or made fun of because I was not really much of an athlete.

Friends where something I did not have a whole lot of and usually if I did make a friend it was with the new kids or the ones like me that nobody else liked. It was really hard moving around and I never really became to close to anyone and I never really had a whole lot of self confidence and I never felt like anything was permanent.  The feeling of nothing being permanent was a good thing though because if I did not like where we were I always could count on that we would be moving again soon.

At the beginning of my 9th grade year of school we finally moved somewhere that we stayed for 3 whole years.  Things started the same way for me in this town as all the rest, nobody wanted to be friends with me so since I had a brother I hung out with him and his friends.  Because I hung out with the boys soon the girls in the neighborhood decided I was chasing after their boyfriends and so one day they decided to send a little boy as their messenger to invite me to come up to a little get together that they had planned… His exact words to me where “Terri, those girls up there are paying me a donut to tell you to come up there and they said they are going to kick you’re ass.”

Like I said earlier I never really had a lot of confidence and a fight was not really something I ever had any practice at either but I think something inside of me snapped that day, because I went up there.  I soon arrived at the top of the street where about 6 girls and most of the neighborhood kids were waiting for me, I remember being petrified but determined not to show it.  Still to this day I can hardly believe I went.

The girls began accusing me of stealing their boyfriends and other things that were not true and I remember telling them, “You all won’t talk to me so I hang out with my brother and his friends, and I don’t want your boyfriends!”  I can’t remember a whole lot more of the conversation but what I do remember is that nobody laid a hand on me that day.  I acted tough, they acted tough and I walked away with my dignity and a new sense of bravery.  The following day I was riding my bike down the street and one of those tough girls called me over and asked me to come to her house and hang out.  I did and from that day on we became friends and I became one of them.  It felt so good to be a part of a group.

I went on to become a real jerk after that day.  It was a time in my life that I figured out that acting tough kept me safe from being picked on. All my years of being a nice person never got me anywhere except shoved around and picked on and now here I was acting like a meany and people “liked” me. Being liked was what I always wanted.   I see it now but did not see it then …I still never really fit in and I am not sure if I was really ‘liked’ it was more like I was just left alone because they were scared to pick on me.  I still never was that popular girl everyone wanted to hang out with first and I usually was still chosen last for most things.

When I was 17 years old I met my husband who I am still married to and began my life as an adult.  Over the years as I grew older I feel as if I did a pretty good job of raising my children but no matter how good I was at  something I never ever had that feeling that I fit in or was good enough.  I had friends but I stayed on guard never letting anyone get to close. I always seemed to have a feeling of insecurity following me around that I could not shake.

In the early 1990’s I was running a very successful Tupperware business.  I had moved up in the company to an Executive manager position, had earned a company car, won many awards and was in the top 10 managers in our region.  On the outside life was good but inside I cringed at my success.  I did not like being on stage in the spotlight.  I really never tried to be successful it just seemed to happen.  I loved Tupperware and told people how much I liked it so they bought it, they booked parties and the people at the parties would decide to join me in the business. I remember at the time just being shocked each week at our sales.  I would be excited at how well it was going but at the same time I would be scared to death because the more successful my business became the more I had to be on stage at our meeting each week which really made me sick with fear.

You would think that success would have given me more confidence but instead I think what happened is I saw myself standing alongside people who I thought were really good, people who I looked up to and I did not feel worthy at all to be standing alongside of them.  Each week I would go on stage with a smile on my face while fear trembled inside of me.

Eventually one day the fear finally caught up to me.  I was standing in front of a group of people at one of my Tupperware demonstrations and my ears began to roar.  I barely remember anything much after that except for me standing in front of everyone telling them about a product, ears roaring, my heart racing and all the sudden feelings terror inside of me so strong that I wanted to run and hide.  Run and Hide is exactly what I did…. I looked at my hostess and said, “I don’t fee so well’ as I excused myself to go into the bathroom where I stayed for the next 30 minutes sitting on the edge of her bathtub trying to pull myself together.  I remember thinking I was going to die in there because I could not breathe, I was sweating and my heart was pounding so hard in fear I thought I would have a heart attack. I did not know it at the time but that was my first panic attack of many more to come in my life. I did eventually come out of the bathroom and I told the guests that I had a stomach bug of some sort and went home.

From that day forward I feared being in front of people because I just knew in my mind that it would happen again, the fear snowballed and eventually I quit selling Tupperware and found a job driving a school bus where I did not have to be in the spot light ever.

I spent about the next 15 years of my life staying away from social occasions.  My panic filtered into many life things like baby showers, weddings and funerals, I still went to what I had to go to but I spent a lot of time hiding in the bathroom and always sat by the door at most events so I could escape easily if I panicked.  It eventually got to where I could not even go with friends shopping unless I was the driver of the car.  I had to be the one in control.  If I was not in control I would panic and end up making up the ‘I am sick lie’ and leave.  Eventually I found myself running out of meetings at work, and avoiding most social occasions It just kept getting worse and worse to the point that I  would get an upset stomach so when I said I was sick I truly was physically sick now too. I lived this nightmare alone, I never told anyone except my husband, one friend and also my doctor who diagnosed me with social anxiety and gave me medicine that did not help.

I went on like this for many years and then….I discovered wine…..

I never was much of a drinker but it just so happened one day I connected that drinking helped take the edge off my panic, actually it took a lot of the edge off.  When I drank I became a social butterfly.  It did not take much just a few sips before I went to the gathering and I would be fine, but the problem was I never could stop at just a few sips.

When I drank I was bold, I was free and did not care what anyone thought about me. It drowned out a lot of things one being my common sense.  What I did not realize at the time is that the drinking did not fix a thing.  It just masked things.  No matter how I tried to cover it I was still the same person I had always been.  I still hurting from all the years of rejection and I was still afraid of people. I had no trust in people or confidence that someone could actually like me for who I was.

It sounds really silly doesn’t it? But that is how I lived for many years. I became a social person I knew lots of people but I just could not attend anything social that I would involve having to sit in a room with other people that would notice me leaving unless I drank or if I did not drink I sat on pins and needles trying hard to keep myself composed. Over the years I was also a Realtor.  I know this makes no sense but I could meet with  strangers to look at homes and actually had moments that others would probably think I was a very outgoing person. Around the office I was friendly with everyone and even managed to teach a website building class at another real estate office but most of the time if you were to put me in a room for a meeting and I would fall apart in seconds and be running out of the room.

Fast forward to 2010….I found Jesus.   You can read about that here  https://astorybyme.wordpress.com/2012/02/04/your-gift-2/

Since 2010 I have been learning to trust again.  I have found confidence in Jesus.  I have gone into meetings and had him take over my fear allowing me to do what he calls me to do.  There is so much more I left out of the story on my journey begins page because it is a crazy story and I will tell you some of it is not very pretty, but the outcome thankfully is pretty.  I am not bold enough to put it out here on my blog yet but what I can tell you is that many times over these past 4 ½ years I have made a lot of huge mistakes that I was sure God would never forgive me for but he did forgive me and I have learned so much about his redeeming love, his mercy and his grace.

Over this past year I have had a lot of health issues and a lot of instances that I felt sad over my mobility issues I felt afraid sometimes and lonely. As I told in another post I kept my sad feelings to myself and my closest friends the ones I had let ‘in’ seemed to be going away.  Let me make it clear that no friends dumped me or anything they just have their own lives going on but because of my past I gradually I began to feel those old feelings of rejection creeping in and my confidence started going down again. that coupled with the pain in my legs just made a recipe of sadness inside.   To top that off one day about 6 months ago I found myself running out of a Bible study class having a panic attack.  After that first attack and it happened again and again until eventually I quit going to Bible study class.  It made no sense at all why I would act this way because I am in a whole church of people who love me and I love that class and wanted to be a part of it really bad.  Oddly I only had panic attacks when I was a participant in class, If I was in teaching a class I never would feel that way. It sounds crazy I know….

I actually worry about hitting the send button on this post because it will let anyone who reads it see the real me… it’s really hard for me sometimes to allow people to see the real me. I am not very brave, I am weak, and I am not always right where God would like me to be.  I know when I am strong that it is only due to his power.

Today at church our pastor gave a very powerful message about forgiveness.   I realized something while he was speaking…I think I have been carrying around feelings of rejection and anger for a very long time.  I realized I had put my hope in people when my hope really belongs in Jesus though I do believe that God puts people in our lives to help him and also sometimes they help hold us accountable to him.  If not for some of the people he put in my life who obeyed him and were there for me holding me accountable to God I am not sure I would have gotten as far as I am now.

I have a friend who is very humble, this friend was one of my biggest cheerleaders when I was trying to quit drinking.  I know that my friend will say that it was all God…My friend will be right because it is all God, I never could do a thing without God’s strength, but I also know that in the beginning, I would have caved so much more easily had I not had a live person to hold me accountable and remind me that God loved me.

I got to thinking today why doesn’t God just wave a magic wand and just fix it all?  After all he is God and he can do anything right??   I think He wants us to help him do his work; He wants our loyalty, our faithfulness to him.  He wants us to be able to give up our own life plans to do his plan.  If we do not take care of what he puts right in front of us we can never be at peace because it’s up to us to show others the HOPE that only he can give… He puts hope right in front of us to give away when he gives us someone who needs him.  He is the hope among all the hurting and suffering people and we have a job to do.  We pass that hope along and I am so very thankful that someone took the time and helped  to show me the hope I have in Jesus.

I started this post talking about my past and how I still get old feelings of rejection inside even when I know in my heart that I am really an okay person.  I think that the enemy knows my weaknesses so he gets to me where he knows he can hurt me the most. Thankfully I now know my weaknesses and by knowing that it makes me stronger.  I also know I am a child of the King and he loves me and guess what!? NOBODY can ever take that away from me.

Today after the sermon my pastor offered the chance for everyone to give their lives to Jesus.  He also offered those who had already given their lives to Jesus a chance to start over again. Today I found all of my past insecurities boiling up to the surface and I found myself forgiving all those past hurts from many years ago, things I never even realized I had been carrying around for 30+ years .  I found myself asking once again for God to make me new and told him I wanted to start over and one more time I asked Jesus to be my savior. I am not sure how many times it will take but if I have to start over every single day for the rest of my life 20 times a day then that is what I will have to do.

I know my blog post today is very long and all over the place If you are still here reading you will be happy to know that it is almost over but not before I tell you that your past does not have to define who you are today.  You can rise above it.  It may try come back once in a while but you can choose not to revisit it. There is no reason to ever look back because you are not going backwards, you are going forward.  Remember most of all that you are loved and worth so much more than you can ever imagine.

Thank you for reading,

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If you have never asked Jesus to be your savior and would like to have him come and help you change your life, all you have to do is ask.  Ask him to forgive you of your past sin and then tell him you would like to live the rest of your life with him leading you.  If you have said that prayer before and need reminding as I did then say it again and again.  If you said it for the first time let me know, I would love to hear about it.  Also don’t ever forget you are loved and adored by the creator of the universe.  That is a pretty awesome feeling isn’t it?   ❤

Here is a really good song by Francesca Battistelli I think you will enjoy.

He knows My Name

 

Life Just Doesn’t Seem Fair Sometimes

Today I woke up wondering, why I woke up in my nice warm house when a father across the ocean wakes in a pile of rubble and mud. Why am I allowed to go on about my day, living and experiencing joy while the man weeps in grief at the thought of everything that he has lost. His home, his wife and his children swept out to sea by the storm. I can’t help but wonder…did they go peacefully?  Did they have time to know what was happening and be frightened or did they just swim right into the open arms of Jesus?

If God is for us why does something like this happen? Why did a friend of mine just get a cancer diagnosis and while another friend suffers from depression? People are hungry, homeless, abused and disasters happen. The list goes on for miles, people are suffering every single day.  Sometimes I just want to scream, “It’s not fair!” But who am I to decide what is fair and what is not?  We all die, it’s inevitable. Wouldn’t it be nice if when we died we just went to sleep in our bed at night and opened our eyes in heaven? No suffering or pain.  What if life was always rosy? How would we behave? Would we turn to God as much?  Would we still pray? Would we still help one another?

I visited a boy in Haiti last March.  He had nothing of monetary value but he had himself and a whole lot of love; and he was ready and willing to give all of himself away.  I also visited a Mother who had aids and a family of 7, she had a one room shack for a home but opened it up to us as if it were a mansion inviting us in offering us a seat.  She gave more in love to us in that short time than I have given in my whole life.  To me their lives seem unfair yet they were thankful and joyful and ready to unselfishly share it all with me.

When things like the typhoon that hit the Philippines happen we don’t understand, but its also the times like this that God shows the most.  People are coming together from all over the world to give help to their fellow man.  As the broken pick up the broken pieces of their lives, life keeps going on and God keeps going on. Forever His love and strength will show in those who are trying to put the pieces back together again and also in those who come to their aid. Many of us can’t physically go there to help, so we pray. We pray so loud that our voices blend together as one. We pray that God will give strength and healing to those who were hurt.  We pray that nations will come together and in the mighty name of Jesus and that God will show many blessings and miracles in the midst of suffering left from the storm. Most of all we pray that in the center of it all people will come to know Jesus Christ because after all is said and done he is everything that anyone truly needs.

If you would like to help the people of the Philippines Compassion International has set up a donation page to help get emergency relief to children in the effected areas.  This fund will go toward things such as food, clothing, water, and temporary shelter and for providing counseling and spiritual support. Just click the banner below to help.

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Ephesians 3:20-21 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Read these related posts:

Mistake or Plan?

I have been down and defeated, broken and afraid.

Sometimes it feels like life is going to be like this forever, though I know its not.

Every morning I read a devotional by the name of “Jesus Calling” written by Sarah Young. This morning while lying in bed I opened my book and this is what I read…

* Except each day exactly as it comes to you.  By that I mean not only the circumstances of your day but also the condition of your body.  Your assignment is to trust me absolutely, resting in My sovereignty and faithfulness.  On some days, your circumstances and your physical condition feel out of balance.  The demands on you seem far greater than your strength.  Days like the present a choice between two alternatives- giving up or relying on Me.  Even if you wrongly choose the first alternative.  I will not reject you. You can turn to Me at any point and I will help you crawl out of the mire of discouragement.  I will infuse My strength into you moment by moment, giving you all that you need for this day, Trust Me by relying on my empowering presence.

Psalm 42:5 Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

2 Corinthians 13:4 For to be sure, he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God’s power. Likewise, we are weak in him, yet by God’s power we will live with him in our dealing with you.

Jeremiah 31:25 I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint. 

I get the feeling like it or not I was going to have to get my butt out of bed and do my exercises.  They hurt and to be honest I really did not want to do them.  But I could continue to lay there or sit in a chair all day and not feel a bit better or get out of bed, do my exercises and work on healing.

So I did.

I turned on the radio and reluctantly started.  A couple of sets in I realized I was doing much better than yesterday znd oddly the songs that were playing on the radio were perfectly matched to how I was feeling.  The more I moved I felt better and I started singing along with the radio.   I felt empowered and strong and full of thankfulness and I found myself having one of the best God moments I have had in a long time.  A little bit later it dawned on me … I had just attended a worship service.  Who would have thought I would have been sweaty and dirty doing leg lifts and stretches on my living room floor and attending one of the most awesome worship services I have ever attended.   That goes to show we can have worship anywhere anytime.  We don’t need a fancy building or to sit quietly for God to show up.  He is always here and we can worship him anywhere we feel the urge.

I could end this blog here but this was not the end of the story.  What happened next was the coolest thing.

After I was finished exercising I went back to the devotional because I decided I was going to share it on facebook.  But when I opened my book the words were different. What happened??!! Did I dream up this whole thing? Had I lost my mind? Upon further investigation I realized I had read SEPTEMBER 8th instead of October 8th by mistake.

Its times like this that I see God the most.  The times when He swoops in and rescues me. The times he throws Himself right in front of me and shows me that He is the one in charge.  That what I look at as a mistake was really part of His plan.  Mistake I read the wrong devotional?  I think not, God does not make mistakes I truly think He wanted me to read September 8th today.  My mistake, His plan.

This is still not the end of the story today.  Since today really is October 8th I decided to read today’s reading

Here is today’s devotional…

* I LOVE YOU with an everlasting Love.  The human mind cannot comprehend My constancy.  Your emotions flicker and falter in the face of varying circumstances, and you tend to project your fickle feelings onto Me.  Thus, you do not benefit fully from My unfailing Love.  You need to look beyond the flux of circumstance and discover Me gazing lovingly back at you.  This awareness of My presence strengthens you , as you receive and respond to MY Love.  I am the same yesterday, today and forever! Let My Love flow into you continually.  Your need for Me is as constant as the outflow of My Love to you.

Jeremiah 31:3 The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.

Exodus 15:13 In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling.

Hebrews 13:8 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

I had to smile when I read that one 🙂  It’s going to be a great day!

 

Three Things You Should Know About Hope

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Photo by Leslie Ponder

Hope is more than just a wish. 

Hope is knowing there is more to this life than the way we see it now.

Hope is the light at the end of a long and winding tunnel.

Hope is the reason for living.

It’s the reason we get up in the morning.

When we can no longer stand hope is what we hold on to.

Without hope we would all just give up

There is always hope

Hope can be found in a hug from a friend,

Words of encouragement or something as simple as a passing smile from a stranger.

Hope is comfort in knowing that someone loves and cares about you.

Jesus is Hope

Jesus is that light at the end of the tunnel,

He is the one we cling to when we can no longer stand.

He is the one in the words of encouragement, the hug and the smile.

He is the one we put our trust and faith in.

He is the one who gives us comfort.

Without Jesus there is no hope…

Will you share the hope of Jesus with Omerion today?

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Will you give Pacantia hope by telling her she is beautiful?

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Will you give Eventz hope by telling him how much he is worth?

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Your love and words of encouragement will show Wisneck that someone loves and cares about him.

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In a place where it seems like all hope is gone the love and hope you show Ysneyther will help her know there is more to life than the world she knows now.

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There are so many children who need to know someone cares and that they are beautiful children of God. Will you help give a child hope today?  You can click any picture in this post to sponsor a child and show them the love of Jesus.

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Sponsor a child today, give hope. Set a child free from poverty in Jesus name.

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His Time Not Mine

Lately I have been going through a hard time.

Though I wake up each day and set out trying not dwell on my problems  lately I find them starting to get the best of me.  I also find myself being a big crybaby which is not usually my type of behavior.

I also have been doing a lot of thinking, praying and sole searching lately.  Today I think maybe I have realized part of my problem, here lately I have been feeling God calling me to do things that are way out of my comfort zone.  Not that I have never done anything for God out of my comfort zone before but lately he has been asking things that require a lot more braveness and stepping out in faith.

For the last 5 weeks I have been taking a Bible study class called “Discerning the voice of God” coincidence?  There is no such thing as coincidence and I know God put me there in that class for a reason.

While taking that study something has profoundly hit me and as I found out yesterday I am not the only one in the class who has been hit with this… I usually go into my prayer time talking to God.  I pray about a lot things never seeming to be able to shut up, I pray for others, and for his guidance, etc, etc.  My prayer time seems to me to be what I thought was a good amount of time spent with God.  But what has hit me all the sudden is the fact that I spend a lot of time talking and never being quiet to listen.

Would I walk up to a stranger and start asking for stuff?  Well if I never listen to God then how do I get to know him?  Wouldn’t that be like just expecting him to answer all my prayers and never actually taking the time to let him tell me what he wants?

God wants me to want to know him and  I do want to know him, at times I want to know him so bad it hurts.  How can I get to know him if I am flapping my mouth the whole time I am praying and never letting Him have a turn?

Over the course of the past five weeks I have been making a conscious effort to set quietly and keep my mouth shut.  In the beginning of all this I would hear cars go by, the clock ticking and of course for some reason my cat, Bart seems to be disturbed by me sitting quietly which usually turns into him getting right up in my face and meowing as loudly as he can in protest.

Gradually over the past few weeks I have noticed a change.  I am starting to hear God more loud and clear.  Another thing I am finding out is the more I get to know him the more the emotions run.  At times I get so overwhelmed by it all I just don’t know what to do with them so I tend to cry a lot.  Most of the crying is joy, but some is pain at the fact that I do not always do what he asks.  I also cry a lot because I am overwhelmed with the fact that He gives me these little jobs to do that I really feel unqualified to do.

The quiet little nudges I used to feel are now much louder and clearer and I can’t avoid them anymore.   Trusting he will equip me is my newest thing I am learning to do.

So today I got to thinking…I wonder if all the health and family issues that I seem to be bombarded with lately are being used as a tool to distract me from what God is calling me to do?  If I absorb myself in all the stuff going on I don’t have time to do or think about what he asks.   I am not looking for anyone to answer that question, I am just thinking out loud is all.  I am pretty sure God has already shown me the answer…things need to be done in His time not mine and it’s time.