Tuesday, April 30, 2013

1000 gifts: learning from aftershocks

Continuing my list of gifts, blessings that I write down to remember all the wonderful things that God gives me along life's journey. I write these down on my calendar, and when I get a chance I add them here to my blog. These are all blessings from April, 2013.

609. Revelations from God at their brightest when times are the darkest
I wrote a separate post to share more details about this gift. It gives me shivers just thinking what God has shown me in the past two months, even though we've gone through some really rough times.

610. Unleashing the power of love
Not long after the revelation I wrote about in #609, God gave me yet another stunning insight. That day, my pastor preached on 1 Peter 1:22, "Since you were saved, fervently love one another"  - how we can be unbeatable in spirit when we are soaked in God's love and pouring it out on others.

Later in the evening as I was fretting over how hard it is to deal with attitude from my kids, how it brings out the worst in me and worrying about how I will ever be able to manage four girls going through the teenage attitude stage, God answered my thoughts with this: in the face of their attitude, I will pour My love through you, and you will be so full of grace it will conquer any desire to lash back at attitude; indeed it will even conquer their attitude. Instead of pushing my hurt and anger buttons, they will unleash the very love of God upon themselves. What a promise He made me that evening: I will believe that He will fulfill that promise to me!

611. Learning from aftershocks
Beginning with a terrible family blow-up at the end of the March, the next three weeks of April were one of constant emotional turmoil for B. and I. God taught me so much from it (as I've listed in gifts 609 and 610) and another blessing I've learned that when God takes the pressure off - when you sigh with relief - that the lesson isn't over yet! There are aftershocks! They come to remind you to not stop clinging to God when the pressure's off, after He's answered your prayers. This latter half of April, while my emotional turmoil was over, I found myself over-eating again, binging with relief. At first I couldn't figure out, after 3 solid months of good eating habits, life-changing new habits, I'm suddenly stumbling in this area again - not during the hard trials, but after them... but that's often when we are most vulnerable, spiritually, when we sight with relief and let our guard down.

612. Twalkers 
Blaze says "twalkers" are people who walk and text at the same time. Love it! - been guilty of it a time or two!

613. Designing Maps class
My job paid me to take a two day class on Designing Maps, since part of my work this year is making maps for a new educational atlas of Wyoming. The whole time I was taking this class I kept thinking: "I get paid to learn how to make beautiful maps? This is too cool!" My job isn't always roses, but the fact that I'm still learning new things and loving the work even after 18 years is such a blessing.

614. Shopping spree
B. took me down to Ft. Collins to buy some new clothes and take me out to dinner. I don't think he's ever offered to take me on a shopping spree before! Neither one of us are keen on shopping, but just the fact that he offered was so neat. And of course I took him up on it since I've lost 20 pounds, clothes shopping is actually fun again! I may be too old for the teen-style jeans that are covered with bling like the Miss Me brand, but I bought a pair anyway (a brand not quite as pricey as Miss Me) and I love them!

615. In-laws' 50th wedding anniversary
B.'s parents celebrated this big anniversary on April 21st, with their whole family in attendance at a beautiful lodge on Lewis & Clark Lake, South Dakota. Such a wonderful weekend! Especially so since B's mother has been fighting cancer for a year and a half now. The battle is far from over, but this weekend of celebration still felt like a victory. (Our family is on the far right, B. is the tallest handsomest one! smile! I'm wearing the orange shirt, hanging on to my twin girls, my other girls behind me with their Aunt Monica. Grandma and Grandpa are 7th and 8th from the left, back row, overwhelmed by their family!)

616. A secret place alone with God
When I went to Beth Moore's Living Proof blog on April 15 to enter my next round of verses for her scripture memory challenge, I was doubly blessed not only by the scripture but by her testimony of how God delayed her travel plans - to have an evening of undivided attention and time with her:

Our subject matter in Greensboro had revolved strongly around increasing our time in the “secret place” with Jesus. I had told them that I was exhilarated by the challenge and could not wait to get started into a deeper secrecy with Him. Let me just say, Jesus took me up on it.  Immediately. I had all evening with Him then all the next morning with Him.

Don’t you on occasion find it slack-jawing astonishing that this same Jesus seeks us out and wants to be with us? It’s happened to you just like it’s happened to me. If you’ve known Him long, you’ve unexpectedly found yourself alone and lonely only to realize that He has temporarily isolated you just to be with you. And you realize you’ve never been less alone in your life.

“He yearns jealously over the spirit that He has made to dwell in us.” James 4:5

....Sister, Jesus is hemming you in. If He’s backed you into a corner, it’s not to isolate you but to freshly exhilarate you. He loves you. He’s seeking you out. Slow down and let yourself be caught by this holy jealous-for-you love that will not let you go. We are not just tolerated. We didn’t make it in by the skin of our teeth. We have been planned for and pursued. We are the deep desire of Someone’s heart.
 Oh yes God certainly has backed up into a corner last month, and this month too... but it's been worth it. It really has. My memory verses this month:

Isaiah 40: 28-31
Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

617. Lyrics from Cannons, by Phil Wickham
We sang this at church and my heart was so full of joy and worship. Sometimes when I raise my hands Blaze will raise her hand and we hold hands together, high, for the Lord.

 It's falling from the clouds, a strange and lovely sound
I hear it in the thunder and rain
It's ringign in the skies, like cannons in the night
The music of the universe plays

You are holy, great and mighty
The moon and the stars, declare who You are
I'm so unworthy, still You love me
Forever my heart will sing of how great You are

Beautiful and free, song of galaxies
Reaching far beyond the Milky Way
[love this!]
Let's join in with the sound, c'mon lets sing it out
As the music of the universe plays

Singing You are holy, great and mighty
The moon and the stars, declare who You are
I'm so unworthy, still You love me
Forever my heart will sing of You

All glory, honor, power is Yours, Amen
All glory, honor, power is Yours, Amen
All glory, honor, power is Yours, forever Amen

You are holy, great and mighty
The moon and the stars, declare who You are
I'm so unworthy, but still You love me
Forever my heart will sing of You

You are holy, great and mighty
The moon and the stars, declare who You are
I'm so unworthy, still You love me
Forever my heart will sing of how great You are

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed reading this. Congrats on the weight loss!! I don't know that brand of jeans....my girls are into what every female seems to be into here on the East coast: skinny jeans with the legs rolled up a bit. They're cute!! That was great that your hubby offered to take you. Mine would NEVER do that.....!!