Saturday, June 29, 2013

Dating My Children

I hint a lot on here that I have this crazy amount of guilt towards my lack of relationship with my older two during this season we're in. Guilt that comes from not being able to give them the love I want to through snuggles, laughing, going fun places, etc.

Cy and Eisley were my firsts. My first child and boy and then my first girl. I love all my children dearly but there is something about my firsts that have been 'taken away' from me in this season and I kind of hate it.

You also know that I struggle with anger. I hope no one thinks I go around throwing things, breaking walls, pounding my fists. ha! But, I do struggle with anger. It comes out in snapping at my kids to do exactly what I want when I want it. So, control. It comes when they do something wrong and I react in anger/fear that they'll do that terrible thing again and not realize it as a true sin.< ----as if I, myself do not do this to God all the freakin' time.

I do not laugh with them as much as I should or even as much as I want to. I have a hard time knowing when it's okay to laugh at their silliness or if I should nip their "potty words' in the bud because I know they'll never stop. When they're being silly, I have a hard time letting go and being silly with them even though I was the silliest, funniest girl growing up in my family and in my friend circle and I loved it...well, so do my kids. I hate that I take that joy from them.

Today I realized, it's so much easier for me to take Cyrus and Eisley away from our day to day and get them out on dates when it's just me and them. They're such good kids and so I don't feel the need to reprimand them. I don't have the stresses of a needy 20-month-old or Zeke's needs to cause my body at times, almost constant stress...I can just be with them. And it's fun and we laugh and talk and I hope they see this as a way I am showing them love during this season.

I try so hard to work on loving them well in the day to day. But honestly, with the lack of order and control in my life, it's just easier to tell the kids to just stop doing what they're doing because they are fully capable to listen and obey. The problem is, this leaves little time to explain why they have to stop or why I got so angry. There isn't's one thing after another. My brain is fried. I'm tired. I don't think things through well...

So, I have to go back and apologize and remind them that the way I responded wasn't the way God would and that I sinned against them. They are always so forgiving and put on a smile and we hug and cuddle. But like I"ve said before, I need to start being like God, to them. Now.  I can say it all I want but they need to see it.

I have seen redemption. God's brought me a long way but I have a long way to go, still. Maybe I'm being naive but I think of the day when Zeke is healthy again and I am given a second chance. A second chance at a life that I once complained about because I was so tired, wanted a creative outlet and to work somewhere just to 'get away' from the mommy thing once in awhile. And I will look at that life in a new light remembering that every day with these children is a blessing. Every time I'm woke up to puking children or a teething baby is a gift of extra moments with them. Moments to be God to them until they can see Him for themselves someday.

My Prayer:
"God, forgive me for not embracing the gift of motherhood the way you intended, with my everything. For not seeing it as an undeserved gift to have 4 healthy children and sometimes even viewing it as a curse. For not realizing I'm not just raising children, but souls, to point them towards their Creator, the One who loved them first. God, you are good. You are strong. My I always rest in you in my weaknesses and be willing to be molded more into the woman you created me to be, in Your image. May I learn to define grace better for my kids through my actions the way You do for me all the time. I want to be a light to this world and have it reflect You so much that it would be crazy to others not to want to join on this journey with You."

 And, there is grace. I don't know how my kids will turn out but I do know my prayer. That more than any worldly success or popularity, I desire they would continue to seek the Lord in this life they've been given.

I surprised the kids (and myself) and took them to see Monsters University last night. We had a good time. We ate junk food, stayed up late and the only rule was 'have fun!'. It was a really good movie! Highly recommend it!

I also took them to the Farmer's Market this morning. I haven't been able to take them in awhile and I really do love when I can or when I'm not in need of a "stayin' sane Saturday" out by myself ;)

 Eisley requested that we make a funny face. Cy was already doing that so...

This is me reflecting on how much they bless me...

Just keeping it real over here at BreeLoverly!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Power in Prayer and Specifics!

In my previous post, I shared how Zeke doesn't have Dravet Syndrome and how excited we were to hear that. I also shared that we had not received his MRI results.

Until two nights ago, while out with a friend, I hadn't really come to grips with the news. I knew what the results were from the MRI after talking with Zeke's neurologist on Monday. We told only my mom and mother-in-law just to get out the facts to family but couldn't handle any more at that time.

I also knew what is true of God.  The problem was, I couldn't connect the two. They were separate for a time as I tried to process it all. Our lives are busy, busy. Dr.visits, therapy, tending to the unique needs of the kids all while trying to break up our day with SOMETHING fun...something. It's hard in this season we are in to find time to process.

Wednesday I received a text from a friend who I haven't been able to connect with ever since I had to quit my Thirty-One team as her Director. We originally knew each other from our old church but it was through Thirty-One that we became closer. She asked if I wanted to go and grab a bit to eat! I was starving and it had been a rough two days..."Yes!!!" was my response!

So, we went out and chatted the night away. She is beautiful on the inside and out. She's super fun, real and loves Jesus. A fantastic combination.

What was so great was just being free to finally combine hearing Zeke's results and what is true of God. They were not two separate thoughts or facts anymore. Zeke has a spot in his brain that isn't developing right + God is healer = truth.

We talked about the verse I bring up often on here, "For we fight not against flesh and blood (each other) but against spiritual powers of darkness (the enemy hard at work against The Body of Christ)" We discussed that knowing Zeke's results on the MRI and the specifics give us more power in our prayer.

I know.I know. God already knows Zeke's issues so it's not 'more powerful' to pray for specifics. But, it is!

The things we say out loud are powerful! Whether good or bad! They can bring life or death. (Proverbs 18:21) We speak Jesus' name, is that not powerful? There is power in prayer and praying against things specifically, I believe, is also a wise thing to do when praying for people.

The MRI results were hard to hear. Zeke had an MRI back in June of last year which showed this tiny, millimeter spot of his brain that hadn't developed. They called this "insignificant" and we moved on.

Well, that spot has changed. From what the dr. said, it seems it's gotten bigger.

So the question is, why? There are two possibilities we are looking at. One is that he has some other genetic disorder, giving off a toxic chemical that is causing this part of the brain not to develop which is causing all of his seizures.

Possibility #2 is that the inflammation in his brain is because of his autoimmune disease which  is causing the seizures and the seizures are keeping the spot from developing. Get it?

As I was finally able to talk it out with God, I said something like this, "God, I selfishly want him to have the autoimmune disease because I can actually do something about that. We can get the IVIG once a month (for years, mind you) and I'll change his diet to foods that do not cause inflammation and he will be a-okay!

But, there's this part of me that wants You to be the Healer without a doubt in anyone's mind that it wasn't 'just a physical thing'. I know, I know, you work through the dr.'s, giving them the wisdom but not everyone would agree with that. There's room for so much doubt in people's minds if medicine fixes it. But then, if He is healed supernaturally and there isn't a way that anyone could doubt it was You, that means all of this other stuff is going to have to fail...I don't know how much more I can take.

God, please. I give you this situation, I give you my son. Have your way in his healing...we pray and wait expectantly on You."

Either outcome isn't too big for God. He can wipe away the toxic chemical and the seizures. He can provide us with ways to clear his brain of inflammation. Nothing is too big for Him. So, I rest in that.

Our prayer is that God would either cause the chemical to disappear and allow Zeke's brain to continue to develop or that God would allow the IVIG to work so that Zeke's seizures will stop and his brain has a chance to catch up.

Both are from Him. I really don't care how He does it, it's just the timing of it all. We're ready to celebrate Zeke's full healing. We are given today and we take what we know and pray accordingly, believe and press on and at the end of this (and our lives) be able to say 2 Timothy 4:7 confidently :

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."

Thank you, prayer warriors!

Monday, June 24, 2013

More on Zeke...

The other night I was up and couldn't fall asleep. During these times I try and pray and see what/who is put on my heart. This time, it didn't seem to specific so I lifted Zekey up. Then, I tried to go back to sleep and that wasn't happening. THEN, I did the :gasp:

As I was scrolling, I saw that even though it was 3ish a.m. my time, there was a post from the group I ''liked' "Just Eat Real Food" sharing the very first book ever written about and for those who have an autoimmune disease and want to eat Paleo. I had this rush go over me and thought, "I don't want Zeke to have Dravet Syndrome. I want to clean out his gut and feed him foods that will reduce inflammation. I want God to heal him through food."

After that thought I went directly to prayer. "Oh, God. I liked it so much better when I didn't have an opinion...where I just asked you to do Your thing (bc why would I pick between two bad things, Dravet or an autoimmune disease for my was kinda worse, but they both suck) and I would trust you for Zeke's healing no matter what, even if it was a genetic disorder. I would have just kept praying for You to reverse that damage. Please get my heart right so I will be okay again, if he does in fact, have Dravet Syndrome. God, only you can heal."

I told Andy the next morning (Yes, I actually waited until the sun came up). "Babe, I'm really struggling. I came across this post about autoimmune disease and how it can really reverse a lot of damage and heal a person through illuminating foods that, even though they are extremely healthy for most people, cause inflammation in others. I don't want him to have Dravet Syndrome. I want his brain to be inflamed (I am the worst sinner! haha!) and we change his diet and we watch the seizures slowly drift away, to nothing."

Now I had a request but I didn't want to give it over to God because I was more comfortable when I was okay with whatever happened and giving my request gave room for 'God to 'fail' me (I'm being rediculous...He never fails) and trusting no matter what, God is Healer....but I did.

I did give it to God. What I think is that this whole time, God's been preparing my heart because I'm seeking Him with my everything. I fail, still. Like when I plan out Zeke's healing with details and my timing. That's me making up and living in a future that doesn't exist.

Requests to God are good, encouraged and commanded by God to pray about but making them a reality isn't good. And believing in Zeke's healing is good and God is calling us to it, but I need to live in today. Living with what we've been given today and not trying to worry about tomorrow's 'how' or 'who' or 'what' is so important in this life. Read my previous post for more on this...really I just want you to read the post I's good. ;)

So, today? Is your house a bit messy? Just ask for your pastors to come and pray in your home and THAT will give you motivation you never thought you had, to clean! ha..ha..ha..No, seriously, though. My house is really clean. ;)

Today, we were once again shown the Love of Jesus being displayed by our pastors coming into our home to pray throughout it and to pray over our sweet boy. This wasn't a quick time as a part of their daily schedule. Maybe it was, but it didn't feel like it. They took time to hear our hearts so we all knew what to specifically pray for. We waited for the Holy Spirit to speak. Scripture was read. It was amazing. We are so thankful to be a part of such a church as this.

Later on in the day, we found out that Zekey boy DOESN'T HAVE DRAVET SYNDROME! And we praised Jesus together as a family full of laughter, claps, dancing and prayer. God can heal Dravet. God can heal the blind, the lame. NOTHING is too big for God. And we still have a long road ahead of us. But I'm so thankful he doesn't have this genetic disorder.

We have only been told by the nurse that works with Zeke's neurologist, to get him scheduled at an ophthalmologist and we do not exactly know why. Did the dr. see something in the MRI involving his eyes? I don't 'know but I do know that God is in this...He hasn't left us and if you're reading this He's pursuing you through this blog as you read it. He is always pursuing you, no matter if you know it or feel it. He's a fighter-for-our-hearts because He knows what's best for us...Him.

God's love is perfect and has no end. He wants you to know that and respond to it. He wants you to say 'yes' to Him. He wants to show You who He is because if you really knew and understood His love for you, there's no way you would turn away. So hear Him speak to you through all of this trial we are going you read Zeke's updates and you see how we are responding in our trial, know that it is because of a God that is so good that He'd send His ONE AND ONLY SON to die for your sins and mine, even when Jesus didn't do a thing wrong that makes us respond how we are. God is beyond worth our every ounce of praise.

We are in the valley but we are not alone. With God and all of your prayers and kind words of encouragement, we know this. And this life isn't the end for those who follow Jesus. We get an eternity where all disease, tears and sin are wiped away. Our minds cannot comprehend just how great it will be.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Valley of the Shadow of Death

How's that for a title? I have been talking to my husband about his recent post. You can read it here. I have heard him preach on this at Ember and I loved it then but something about his post rubbed me the wrong way. I felt for others who were reading it and not taking it the way he may have meant it, so I thought. I mean, he couldn't have really meant what he said...I MUST have been reading it wrong and he MUST CHANGE IT!

But, then we talked. I shared my heart. I basically told him how annoyed I was with his blog post that is going 'viral'...not really, but God is using it to really speak truth into peoples' lives...chalk that up for me being even more annoyed.

I knew, like every time I know, I would eventually hear his heart and he'd hear mine and we'd be a-okay. But until then, I am not one to just smile and nod at everything he says (but I will brag on him a bit and say God really does pour wisdom and understanding into this mans heart and he's gracious and it makes it easier to follow and trust him. So these kinds of 'tiffs' if you will, are fewer and farther between...praise, Jesus!). I have to understand it from my own heart and a lot of times this means playing the devil's advocate and fighting for, "Well what about those people! Or is it bad if I...." kind of thing. I want to know what he's saying and understand for my own self so I can apply it into my life and hopefully into others' as well!

He's a pretty smart guy and I describe him as a "fighter-of-the-truth" so I can ask these questions honestly knowing he isn't going to judge me and that his passion to expose who God really is and who Jesus really was as he walked this earth is at the core of what he writes about and the things he preached about at Ember and various other speaking engagements.

So in this particular case, I was annoyed that in his post, there didn't seem to be any redemption other than heaven. And so I immediately went to our epileptic son (who is doing particularly bad today) and said, "Why are you basically telling everyone to embrace our lives, find God there because they only thing we have to look forward to is heaven??! I thought we were in this together, believing for Zeke's healing and praying for a miracle here in THIS LIFE! What about praying for God's kingdom to come down NOW!"

If you read the post, which I strongly urge you do, his point isn't "if your life sucks, it will always suck" or "if you're in a trial or 'in the valley' you always will be so suck it up and find God."

But it's almost what he meant. For my heart, I needed to hear this: If you're in the valley, there isn't a promise that you'll get out of it. We are not promised success in ministry or financially or any other thing you can think of that you're striving for. You can pursue those things but not before you've found God where you are. Because when you've found Him and you get to know God on a deeper level, you'll see that success or fame or a popular ministry (or...not having those things) are just details. They are not what can truly bring you happiness or joy. God doesn't measure out his love for you because of these little details.

If you're in the valley, he isn't on top of the hill looking down and waiting for you to come up and be with Him. No. He's in the valley with you. You will not all of a sudden follow God more by being given success. It's harder when our lives our going well to remember our need for Him. We tend to get these, "I got this" ways of thinking in our heads and forget.

I also needed to hear (as I was advocating, so I thought, for those of you who are not necessarily suffering or in the valley) for those whose life maybe isn't going so bad. For those of you who have a healthy family, you are financially secure and you feel good may not need to be told to find God where you are, although that truth stays the same but maybe you need to hear, "Don't be afraid to loose it." Whatever 'it' is.

The Rich Young Man

17 And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments:‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” 20 And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” 21 And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
23 And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how difficult it is[a] to enter the kingdom of God!25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enterthe kingdom of God.” 26 And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him,[b] “Then who can be saved?” 27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.”

Because Psalm 23:4 "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me."

Andy and I were talking tonight and we've lost so much and yet, we're more content and have more peace than ever before. We truly feel God near. We feel comforted. We feel safe. We do not fear Zeke's death or how we'll pay the next bill. He is constantly taking care of us. Praise be to God!

In the life you've been given right now, that is where you need to find God. He's already there. Where he is NOT is in this ideal life you've drawn out for yourself in some futuristic time that doesn't even exist. Married with 2 kids, a successful business or ministry, a bigger/better home in a nicer neighborhood, more church attenders, a happier marriage. He hasn't promised you that life you've mustered up, HECK, we are NOT promised tomorrow!!!

Find him now. Find him here because we've been given one life to find Him. And when you find this eternal treasure, do not let go. We must not let go when the pressures of life let up and we are not so desperate anymore. Learn to find Him then, too.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Be Still My Soul

Since my last post, I've been still. Still in the sense that I'm not being super proactive in trying to figure out what God's doing, saying or figuring out what's wrong with Zeke (other than the obvious; intractable epilepsy).

I've felt this sense of peace. The same peace a mother has after pushing during a long contraction and getting the few moments to be still, gather her thoughts and focus and prepare for the next one. The contraction is comparable to the fighting to be in constant communion with God through prayer and reading The Word as to not let lies or fear enter into my mind. It's compared to fighting to believe just how big God is and what He wants to do with our son, Zeke.

Or, for the guys, yeah...I got nothing. Just know it's really, really hard to push a baby out of ya. I'll stop there.

At first I was feeling guilty. I wanted to know why there was this overwhelming feeling of exhaustion. I felt a fight up against me and by god there is one! I felt like I had just swam from one side of the lake to the middle and wanted to just lay atop of the water, breath, rest and take it all in. Of course to not stay there forever, but wait until I was ready to swim to the other side.

I pondered it, talked it out with God in the littler amount of energy I could muster up and came to a beautiful realization. This wasn't a bad thing. I needed time to just be still. To not wonder what God was trying to say because, He was silent. I needed to not try and pray the best way I could in order to bring unity between Zeke and the Father as to see His healing hand come upon Zeke, His time wasn't now. I just needed to be still and know that He is God.

This peace that passeth all understanding came to me when I realized The Holy Spirit was interceding for me. I wasn't without communion with The Father. I was just Him. The covet of His wing, if you will.

This peace has been perfect preparation for today's dr. visit at Cincinnati Children's. Today we were supposed to find out if Zeke has Dravet Syndrome. Ever since a month ago at his last visit where we found out about Dravet, I just prayed to God that He'd prepare me no matter what the results were.

I truly believe this overwhelming sense of peace is God's gift to me for such a time as this. Because today we didn't find out whether Zeke has Dravet Syndrom or not but the dr. talked like he is quite certain Zeke does have it.

The symptoms are all there. And he also said that catching it and controlling the seizures early enough would allow for Zeke to catch up to his peers. There is this new medication from France that has done wonders for those with Dravet. He said these words exactly, "I know it's hard to believe but it has, in most cases, completely stopped the seizures."

This is coming from a man who knows all too well just how many seizures Zeke is having. He's seen his EEG. Thousands a day.

I replied, "Okay but what you say doesn't align with anything I have read on Dravet including the pamphlet you had me take home last time."

He nonchalantly said, "Oh, yeah that's because these new treatments are only 1-2  years old."

Oh.Right.Gotcha. That simple, eh?

The downside is that there are some kids who do not respond to these treatments and continue having uncontrolled seizures and in his words, "It's bad. It gets very, very bad."

Zeke also had an MRI. This was to check many things but specifically if there was inflammation due to autoimmune disease which would lead him to be treated with the IVIG. Read here for more information.

The MRI was also to point out if there is any are of the brain that has damage due to the amount of seizure activity.

Here's what I take from all of this. There is earthly hope. God may use this medicine from France or the IVIG to get Zeke's seizures to stop. To give my boy a chance to live life again and be the boy God has made him to be. These treatments will be life-long though and they do not come without a cost.

So, I remain still. I refuse to grab hold of this information and run with it. I've been there and I've done that. If I've learned ANYTHING through all of this it is not to hold on to what is capable of change or can fail me (or Zeke in this case). I must always look up and hold on to God for He is the same yesterday, today and forever. This disease changes, the options for seizure control changes, the dr.'s change. I just can't do it anymore. They keep failing me.

C.S. Lewis puts it so well:
"Do not let your happiness depend on something you may lose, only upon the Beloved who will never pass away."

I'll know when God's hand is in Zeke's healing. It may be through medicine. It may be through a simple prayer and God's timing and healing hand comes down. I just do not know.

But, I told Andy I can't just accept the fact that Zeke may have to take meds for the rest of his life due to this disease. I will rejoice with every step towards complete healing but I won't settle.

I have to work through this thought. I want to be grateful and not foolish but also not settle for meds or the IVIG when God's fully capable in healing him completely. Where meds are not needed anymore!

*You don't need to help me think through this...I have this thing with God. I am honest with him, I wrestle with Him in my heart and He's faithful to bring me peace.

So, for now, we wait. We keep on doing what we're doing. Feeding him the right foods, giving him the right meds and changing them when needed. Pursue new treatments but above all, keep looking to God and wait for His hand to bring our boy back to us. Fully. Whatever that looks like. To pray and continue giving this to God who is fully capable to carry such a load and bring beautiful redemption. And of course, to lift up my sweet boy to his Maker.

Thanks for praying with us! You bless us!!!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

You're Reachable, Wherever You Are.

*Just heard an AMAZING sermon that, in some ways goes along with what I wrote here (but you should listen to it b/c it's 10X better, here tomorrow a.k.a. Monday) and when this happens, this blogger is like," YEAH, GOD! WHOOT WHOOT! I hear ya! I gots to go an apply it..."

In this lifetime, each day is a gift. Heard that before? It hits home when someone we care about looses their life in an instant. They were there and then they weren't. I believe this thought, 'each day is a gift' can go even deeper than that. Each day is a gift and we can choose to grow closer or grow further from Jesus. A gift to take the faith you have, whatever that looks like, whether great or small and go deeper and see what this God thing is all about, or learn to trust Him like you've never before.

Being a Christian for 23 years now, I can say, I still have this choice. Every time I respond to my child's whining, someone is hurtful towards me (or my baby...momma bear!), willingness to confess sin to a friend and forgiveness when you've been hurt, etc., etc., etc. I am not opted out because I said, "yes" to Jesus once. I take the faith I have and I can choose to stay here and be stagnant, turn away in the midst of trial or push my faith deeper into Him.

We have all been given the best gift of all, the gift of salvation. Salvation is for all but it says in the bible, not all will accept it. This is where I am saddened...I have people in my life or people I come in contact with and I just want salvation for them so bad! Ya know who else thinks like that? God himself. He wants us to accept His gift because in His gift is eternal life and it's not just 'life', it's going to be freaking amazing! Like, your best day X's 1000000000000. Right? Right? Yeah.

God can reach you just as you are today. If you are exhausted from life, overjoyed with the amount of blessing you've received, angry or sad and wondering 'why, God?', caught up in sin even though you know it's slowly killing you and those around you. You.Are.Reachable. God has been pursuing you since the day you were born (and before that, as you were uniquely created in HIS image!)...okay and even before that through Jesus...but I'll stop. You get the idea that you are very pursue-able ;)

"We bear God’s image in that we are free moral agents. God intentionally created us with the freedom to choose to obey him or disobey him. This is remarkable! God had every right to create intelligent beings without freedom; beings who would always choose to obey him no matter the circumstances. Instead, he created us: intelligent beings who could freely use their powers for evil—people who would set themselves up as rivals to God. God knew this would happen, and yet he showed such unconcern for his own unique majesty that he created free moral beings, a little lower than himself, and gave them the charge of ruling creation. In this he has revealed not simply his all-surpassing power, but the infinite well of humility out of which all else that is true of him flows." -The Sometimes Preacher

You can read more on his post here.

Where you are right now, you can ask God to show you more of Him. If you've never asked Jesus into your life in a way that states you want to live for Him and learn what it's like to do so (we are all learning...I'm not even close to 'getting it' yet). He will show you. But, you have to take that step...don't be afraid, don't let the voices around you keep you from making the most important decision of your life. Being a Christ-follower doesn't make this world 'safe' but it does enter you into a world with a whole new meaning of 'safe'. You're safe because death can no longer hold you...there will be a much better place for you coming. < ---that's another post ;)

As I continue to press into God, He continues to humble me, showing Himself more and more. He keeps calling me to love those who are not easily loveable (for me, at least) and sometimes, I get these random "ah ha!" moments and they bless me. This is available to all. To you, your aunt, and that person that reminds you of Matthew 5:44 " But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you," Thankfully, God doesn't play favorites. Just because so and so goes to church weekly doesn't make them more reachable than, let's say, someone who hasn't been there in years. Your sin isn't too much for God to love you through it. He sees you as if Jesus is a lens standing in front of you. You are seen through the perfect life lived, unfair death and resurrection of Jesus. Now, that's beautiful. You're beautiful (or handsome...details ;) )

God also tells us to ask for wisdom and we'll get it.James 1:5 "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him." I will say, although these nuggets (I don't like that word but I can't think of anything reminds me of McDonald's) of wisdom or "ah-ha!" moments seem "random" to me,  but they are not random to Him. He has his timing and I have to be at a place to receive, to hear Him, if you will. And this kind of thing takes time and perseverance.

So, be encouraged to start where you are right now. Pray that prayer if you haven't. Ask questions to a friend or co-worker that you trust in finding out more of what living a life for Jesus is supposed to look like. Go back to church. Start believing God for the unbelievable (Zeke's healing, for instance) or start loving more in line with the way Jesus loves...whatever the next step, take it in faith. God's already there and He's excited for you to get to know Him better because, then, you'll get to know who you really are...the way He orignally created you to be, in the beautiful image of God.

Be blessed, friends!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

God Can Use Us All While He Makes All Things New

I have been dealing with some spiritual warfare as I feel God calling me to something that is challenging (to say the least), requires much reflection and quietness (ha!...aintnobodygottimeforthat) and constant steps of faith moving forward. And I'm excited and I think, "God...really? Is this from you?" Ya see, for 2 years the sense is getting stronger. I have quite the obstacle in front of me, but obstacles are laughable when we're letting God lead.

I had this great conversation with Andy and we are sensing God bringing us together in a new way, through ministry and it excites us both.  Not the same ministry..."Breena, the sometimes preacher." Yeah, no. ;)

I had to go and see Andy for lunch yesterday because I was on the verge of tears for 3 days in a row and I couldn't figure out why...then I did. It is obvious God's doing something and the enemy isn't a fan. He's working hard against my spirit. 

I cried saying, "This isn't from God! I'm so sad! It's coming out of nowhere!" 

Andy so sweetly grabbed my phone, looked up Ephesians 3 and read verses 14-31. A peace rushed over me but it is quickly taken away when I am not in the word or communicating to The Father through prayer. This is spiritual warfare, y'all.

Andy has always (since I have known him) known the way in which he was called and gifted as it was confirmed time and time again by highly respected people. Me? Well, I wanted to be a momma and support him as much as possible.

With my creative/artistic side, I found that being a momma may have been my first and most important dream, but I had other God-given gifts that I felt so starved from as I stayed at home with my little blessings. I still sometimes wish I had more time to paint, draw, play guitar and sing but it's a season that doesn't give much time for that. I'm learning to bring it in whenever I can and be content with however little or much time I get. 

The wisdom is: there will be a isn't right now but do not rush the season you are in. Instead grab ahold of it and soak up everything you can will not last forever. 

Side note : Yes, I disagree with all of the popular posts floating out there who are crankily telling us they don't like being told this difficult season of being a parent in the early years goes so quickly and we need to stop wishing it away, etc., etc., etc. I'm over that trend. I could write a whole post on how over I am with cranky parent posts about I'll zip it.

Thankfully, I feel more at peace with who I am now than ever. I struggle sometimes, of course when I sense who I am in Christ doesn't sit well with those around me. Feeling God call me to something that isn't the nature of those watching isn't easy, but I do it anyhow.

Why? To pridefully say, "I don't care what you think...this is me. Take it or leave it?" No. I kind of hate these kinds of attitudes. I do it because when God calls me to something, I want to follow. I want to take steps of faith that require pushing aside fears, any worldly desires to be 'liked' and just plain not feeling worthy to be used by The Creator of the universe. The gospel is real and alive and I don't know how God's going to use me, but to be used is what I desire. And in the end, I answer to Him. 

On our wedding day, almost 8 years ago in August, I chose to walk down the isle to, "I don't want to go" by Avalon. It was meant to speak to God, of course, and to Andy. Wherever they were, I wanted to be there, too.

You changed my world,
When you came to me,
You drove a passion,
In my soul down deep.
Lord, to follow you in everything,

I don't want to go somewhere,
If I know that your not there,
Cause I know that me without you,
Is a lie.
I don't want to walk that road,
Be a million miles from home,
Cause my heart needs to be,
Where you are,
So I don't want to go.

So come whatever,
I'll stick with you,
I'll walk, you lead me,
Call me crazy or a fool.
For forever I promise you that:


Without your touch,
Without your love,
Filling me like an ocean,
For your grace is enough,
Enough for me,
To never want to go somewhere,
If I know that your not there.

Who knew these lyrics would be so much more true today than 8 years ago? I sure didn't marry Andy thinking it'd be such a difficult journey, but who marries anyone thinking that? I always tell him, though, that I wouldn't want to do this life with anyone else. He really is perfect for me.

Enough with the mushy, eros-love stuff. ;) 

For now, I take what I sense from God and I try to 'perfect it', if you will. How? By taking away more of me and inhaling more of Him. Apart from Him, I'm dirty and gritty and in much need of redemption. I rest in knowing, He is making all things new.