Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A New Season

"When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, 
it will become a place of refreshing springs. 
The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings."
Psalms 84:6

My very anointed soul sister, Abby, texted this verse to me and I received it from the Lord.
I have been in the valley of weeping, the valley of TROUBLE, the valley of everything yucky.
I have cried myself to sleep more times than I ever imagined possible.
BUT....the Lord is beginning to refresh me and the autumn rains are bringing blessing.
As I watch the rain fall, I am reminded that it is delivering blessing and refreshment to the valley of weeping.
How awesome is that?
Every rain drop delivering blessing. Poured out from heaven.
I used to think of trendy boots when I thought of the fall season.
Now, I think of raindrop blessings.
Much better than trendy boots!
Autumn rains... how I love autumn rains now.
They will be symbolic to me for the rest of my life.
They symbolize refreshment and blessing at the end of the valley of weeping.

"To everything there is a SEASON
A time for every purpose under heaven..."
Ecc 3:1
I have never been more thankful for a new season as we start FALL. 
I am grateful that God has a "purpose under heaven" for every season of our lives.
There is a purpose for our seasons of being torn down... but then God builds back up.
There are seasons of deep wounds in our lives :( but next God begins the process of HEALING.
"a time to HEAL...
And a time to build up...
A time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance"

Some of those words have seemed foreign to me. Laughing, dancing, healing? I hardly know what those  are anymore.
 I don't know about you but when I laugh these days, I recognize the strangeness of the feeling because I haven't laughed in so long.
This has been a long season of sadness, weeping, and mourning.
A season of LOSS.

God is so merciful to bring new seasons and to bring HOPE.

This verse also (surprisingly) GREATLY encourages me...

"Just as I watched over them to uproot and tear down, and to overthrow, destroy and bring disaster, 
so I will watch over them to build and to plant,” declares the LORD."

Jer 31:28

You may think, well that's not a very encouraging verse! Yikes!
Well, it is to me. 
Because I have been in a season of being uprooted and torn down, so to know that God has been watching over me, brings me comfort AND to know that He is going to watch over me as He begins to build and plant encourages me.
He never left me. Not once. Watching over me the entire journey.
Oh, how I look forward to the building and planting part!!!
And it does come if we hang in there!! 
It will be a battle of survival.

This verse is also now etched into my heart...
“The people who survived the sword
Found grace in the wilderness—"

Jer 31:2

All of us who are dedicated to serving Jesus Christ are going to go through WARFARE.

Intense battles. I honestly did not think I was going to live (spiritually) through the last round of the enemy's sword in my life. There were so many times I wanted to grab onto the weapons offered by the world. But, those won't work. 
In intense battles against our families, the weapons we have are God's Word, prayer, and fasting. Clinging onto Jesus and trusting that He has already won the war.

"The Lord will certainly give you and your family line a kingdom that will last. That's because you fight the Lord's battles. Don't do anything wrong as long as you live.  "Someone may chase you and try to kill you. But the LORD your God will keep your life safe like a treasure that is hidden in a bag. And he'll destroy your enemies. 

1 Sam 25:28-29

"Are they all yours?"
"Are you going to have more?"
"Do you know what causes that?"

My grandfather's 90th birthday. He has shown me the character of God. He has given me a beautiful heritage and inheritance.

Hope at the doctor after 5 days of very high fever. She was first of 5 to get it. That crazy virus was in our house for a MONTH. 
That's Hope in the ER after she had an allergic reaction to a wasp sting. 
I was not happy. I would like to put my kids in bubble wrap.
This was about 45 minutes before we had to leave to go to a wedding.
A wedding that Tim was officiating! We couldn't exactly be late.
I had to leave Tim at the football field where she got stung with the 5 boys and no car while I drove to the ER. 

Tim officiated the wedding of our darling babysitter, Miss Amanda. I love watching God use him in incredible ways. When he speaks, people listen. He prepared for months and wanted to bless Travis and Amanda and present marriage and the gospel clearly. It was incredible. He talked about the power of oneness and HOLDING FAST to one another.

"Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh."
Gen 2:24
Hold fast ( dabaq) means:
 to cling, stick, stay close, cleave, keep close, stick to, stick with, follow closely, join to, overtake, catch

I can honestly say that is where Tim and I are. We are clinging to one another as the storms beat against our marriage and our family. The enemy has unleashed his fury against us. He wants "in" through footholds so he can destroy from the inside out.
The only way we have survived this last year is through God holding us together by His Spirit as we climb up on a rock above the waves that are threatening to drown us... all 8 of us.
If the enemy can take down your marriage, he can take down your kids.
He can take down your ministry.
Tim and I know that left to ourselves and our flesh, we would destroy all the "fortunes" God has given us.  And when I say "fortunes", I am talking about eternal things you can't buy with money.
Oneness, purity, love, holiness, innocence, favor, ministry, passion, etc...
The enemy wants to STEAL. Steal what God has given us... all believers.
The world looks on and desires what only God gives. It can't be fabricated or built by human hands.
This year for us has been hard. The valley of trouble is just that... TROUBLE.
Yet, God is restoring, rebuilding, and replanting.
He has torn down in order to rebuild using eternal and valuable building materials 
(ones that I never knew existed)

“Afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted,
I will rebuild you with stones of turquoise, 
your foundations with lapis lazuli.
                                                    I will make your battlements of rubies,

your gates of sparkling jewels,
and all your walls of precious stones."
Is 54:11-13

Before this type of marriage is built, it has to be leveled. That part isn't fun.
Stripped down to bare bones. You are vulnerable, exposed, and empty-handed.
That is when God is able to start HIS re-building.
You have to realize that your materials are worthless compared to the Lord's.
I told Tim I want a necklace with a lapis lazuli (I just like to say that... it makes me feel fancy) so that I will never forget Who has REbuilt our marriage.
So, if your marriage is "falling apart". Rejoice because God can rebuild it.
I truly believe every Christian marriage will at one point.
Why? Because God wants it to be stronger and because the Lord disciplines those He loves. He HAS to humble us in order to raise us up.

I am WILDLY in love with Tim. He is a DREAMBOAT. He is better than any high school crush ever was. I get butterflies when I look at him. He takes my breath away.
That is what you can't buy or conjure up from reading Cosmopolitan "experts".
We go on "dates" at night after the kids are in bed. 
We wash dishes and pray for the children and talk about the Word.
THAT is rubies and sparkling jewels.
His fingertip touch on my cheeks makes me want to melt.
I'm serious, single girls... the fairytale does exist but you have to let God write it.
Break up with loser guys. 
Stop sinning sexually. Pray that God would give you godly friends.
Pursue holiness and pray for friends who call on the Lord with a pure heart.
"If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.
 Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts."
2 Timothy 2:21,22

You are not cheap. You are an expensive treasure to God. He wants to use your life for special occasions... not common use.
You are fine china... not everyday wear dishes.

Commit your lives to seeking God and ask Him to bless you with a godly man. Until then, 

God is changing both of us at the core.
"Core strengthening"
We aren't who we were when we married.
We aren't who we were yesterday.
By faith, we believe God is using all things together for good.
It sure doesn't feel like that most of the time.
We can't see the big picture.
Especially after someone you love dies and you are grieving.
Grief is blinding.
All the while God is at work. Never for a moment taking His eye off you or giving up on His work in you.
We couldn't be standing apart from God's strength.

God has given me dear friends in this life. I am very grateful for them. These relationships aren't shallow. They have cost each of us as we fight battles together. I am thankful for my friends because I have really isolated myself during the last year. I haven't wanted to be around people who didn't really know me because I have been such a wreck. Nobody needs a Debbie Downer in their lives and I just didn't have much to offer. True friends love you when you have NOTHING to offer.
Paul had nothing to offer Onisephorus. He was just plain needy.
We all need "Onisephorus's" in our lives.
 "May the Lord show special kindness to Onesiphorus and all his family because he often visited and encouraged me. He was never ashamed of me because I was in chains.  
When he came to Rome, he searched everywhere until he found me. May the Lord show him special kindness on the day of Christ’s return. And you know very well how helpful he was in Ephesus."
2 Tim 1:16,17

I want to be that type of friend. Visiting and encouraging believers who are in CHAINS. Searching them out... being intentional and being helpful. Being a refreshment to the thirsty, dying soul.
These girls are that to me.
So, we made a final decision that we are not buying the house we agonized over for months. We are going to turn our porch into indoor living space.
 will become something like this...
I hope it is done in time for the first snow!
Gonna be stressful while it happening but I know we will use it.
We all like to be together and this will be attached to the kitchen.
5 boys plus a husband means we LIVE in the kitchen area.

LIFE around here continues to go on and I love every minute I get with the family God has given me.
I know why God said the woman will be saved through childbirth. I don't know all the theological interpretations of that but these children have truly saved my soul. They have taught me how to love. How to serve. How to lay my life down. How to love something so much more than yourself. How to find your life by losing it. I am going to write more about that soon. 

This detergent smells GOOD....

May God bless you today.
May He watch over you as He tears down and watch over you as He builds and plants.
It is a new season.
There autumn rains are a picture of the END of the valley of weeping.
Blessing comes after you have persevered.
Don't give up.
The valley of weeping will become a place of refreshing streams.
Don't give up.
Don't take shortcuts.
Don't give up.
Don't dull the pain by what the world has to offer. 
Bring your pain to God. Pour your hearts out to Him.
Heal correctly. Don't just numb your emotions through drugs or alcohol.
God is an emotional God. He can handle your tears and turmoil.
He wants to heal you and make you whole.
He wants to rebuild your life with "lapis lazuli".
(Say that out loud :)).
You are worth the best of materials to God.
He will rebuild you with very precious stones and jewels.
Why? Because He loves you and wants your life to be built on HIM.
"Let your roots grow down into him, 
and let your lives be built on him. 
Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, 
and you will overflow with thankfulness."
Col 2:7

Yield to His work in your life.
You will NOT regret it.
Be blessed~

1 comment:

beth said...

this is my favorite post of yours, ever.

and that is saying a whole lot.

thank you.