The Impact of Closet Prayers

For most of us, there is one moment- at minimum- that you regret more than any other moment. The reasons for the regret can be multiple, but the key is, it can’t be changed, or deleted. The moment happened. I have that moment stored, and I hold it close, because to expose that moment would break me, and everyone around me. I have allowed that moment to hold me captive for years. I look at it and remember it all the time. I will expose some of that moment now, so that it can’t haunt me any longer, and I will give God glory- because He is faithful and He is light in the darkness.

As I have shared before, I lost my step father in July of 2008 while I was separated from my husband, Tim. It was a difficult time and a horrendous loss of life. Even knowing he is with God, I am unable to find total peace. I desire too, but there is a weight upon me. I heard of Chris’ injury and went to see him, and while I was there I was making plans for my night. I left that day and went to watch my brother play softball, and when I left there I went somewhere else. The problem here is that normally, I am the one who goes to the hospital and stays until someone forces me to leave, unfortunately, my heart was so mixed up I selfishly left Chris and my mom to deal with it. While I was out in places I shouldn’t have been, my step father who I so desperately love, was slipping away and I wasn’t there to catch him. Even after he caught me so many times, and balanced me back out.

The last few weeks have been stressful and what happens to me, may happen to you, I get overwhelmed and I go to a place of darkness and I sit there and think of all of my mistakes, my errors- much like King David. Not that I am a Queen or Royalty, but I can read my own thoughts in the Psalms. Last night I had some worship music on and I felt like I needed to go to my closet to pray. Yes, my closet- I even cleaned it so I would have room on the floor to get on my face before the Lord. I opened my Bible and turned straight to Psalms 51, and I wept; because-there are not coincidences in His word, and the moment that you read it. He has a direct goal to bring you into His presence, to speak to you.

Psalms 51 is David crying out for God’s forgiveness after his sin with Bathsheba. He is asking God to restore his joy, to reunite his spirit with the heart of God. As I read this, I could relate on such a level that I almost felt like I was in the Kings palace, knowing I have everything, but not allowing that to satisfy me, and then carrying the weight of my sin along with all of my armor. The load is heavy, but He- Oh the Lord is faithful. As I was weeping I heard the closet door open, and felt a little body slip in. I didn’t look up, just continued to cry and pray to the Lord, and I heard a sweet voice calling out for God to come- to be with us in mommy’s closet. I looked up and my son-7 has his face on the carpet crying out to the Lord, and I broke.

That is our God. That is His presence and His love. He calls us to a place of brokenness and then He showers us with blessings and favor far beyond what we deserve. My sin deserved death. My God exchanged my sentence and instead gave me life. My heart exalts the Lord, exhorts His Name. He is a faithful, and just God. He is a loving father, and a joyful friend. He is one who mourns with you, and calls you back to joy.

I cannot take back my errors or my decisions, and despite how highly I thought of myself, I could not save my dear step father- I am not God. He allowed the loss, and while I may carry the pain and guilt of that for years to come, I know that I am forgiven and I am loved- beyond measure, against all odds, He calls to me, and says, “My Beloved, come.”

He says that to you today as well, “My Beloved, come.” He wants you to bring Him nothing but yourself, broken, used, devastated, heart broken, hurting, lonely, empty. He wants to take us from paupers, commoners and promote us to Royalty. He says- “For you and You alone, I would send my son to die, a sinner’s death- your death- on a cross- because I so desperately love you, that I had to tear the veil to give you access to my Holy Places.”

Go to Him today- and lay yourself before the Lord- and let your children see a contrite heart before the Lord. Show them the access that Jesus paid for- teach them to pave a way into His presence.

Blessings,

mel

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The Grace of God

jan 18 15 acts 20 24

I have always loved the Jeremiah 29:11 verse, but over the last few months I have adopted a new verse, Acts 20:24.

I am not good at telling the unsaved about Christ. It is my greatest weakness. What I am good at is interjecting into converations who God is , and what He is able to do.

At the end of everyday I can lay my head on my pillow with confidence that He is able and willing to do all things on my behalf, and most importantly, that I am never alone.

Blessings,

mel

Fully Invested Moments

There are defining moments in every persons life. My moments have been like yours, some grab you and you feel completely unable to handle the battle in front of you. You are David and Goliath is standing there, and the stones are slipping from your hands, as the sword is thrust powerfully through your armor and you are completely unprepared for the wound that hides under the armor.

Other moments, you already have the sling in the air, and the whirring sound of it whizzing around is more deafening than the shaking of an entire armies armor. The stone connects and you didn’t even realize you released it.

stone

I don’t know what moment this is for me. It is a moment, something is changing, something deep within me, that is un-content with the same ole stuff. Dreams are coming back to life that I buried long ago, and they came back bigger. Like a weed does, with those dreams coming back bigger, fears have grown until they tower over me. I am learning that my greatest fear is to be forgotten.

That my  life will have counted-for nothing. I am nothing but a vapor anyway. I don’t know about you, I really don’t. Most of you, if you follow this, I don’t know your names, I haven’t even figured out (despite being quite tech savy) how to figure out who does or doesn’t get a copy of this in their email everyday. I don’t know your life, your story. Your hopes, dreams, failures- epic failures. I just know we are all the same, because we have them. I believe you, like I have hopes that are gigantic, and wonderful and could change so many lives for the better, and I have fears that even if I accomplish those things they will all come crumbling down. My main purpose of this has always been to be real. To not be the one everyone wants to be like. There are some bloggers, and I sit in amazement at their accomplishments, both personally and professionally and I think how much I wish I was like them. But, I am not. I am me, and my life is quite messy and my best guess is, your’s is too. Marriage isn’t easy. Children aren’t easy. Work isn’t easy, both in and out of the home. Recreation isn’t easy, and relationships in general… well… they aren’t easy.

The one thing that is easy: Prayer. Because in the midst of your “I don’t know if I can keep doing this moment”, there is a still small voice. The one that spoke you into existence that says, “my strength is made perfect in your weakness”. It’s true isn’t it? When we can no longer hold our head up, mysteriously and miraculously, it somehow sits up there… and not only is it functional as a hat holder- there is a smile that comes from deep within, that the God of the Universe is FULLY invested in my mess. He isn’t a Jeanie in the bottle— we can’t “rub” Him the right way- He doesn’t work like that, but He is fully capable and incredibly able to make all of your yucky days; well. He can turn the dark skies to sunny in an instant, and He wants too. That’s my favorite part. He wants to hold my hand. He wants to tell me He loves me, and He wants more than anything to be my everything.

No matter where you are in this journey of life, grace and faith; He is there, and He loves you. So much.

Blessings Friends- whose names I do not know,

mel

In the Action!

Hey There!

I have missed you. I wonder sometimes what would happen if I just stopped writing, and then due to a crazy unexpected week, I did, and I realized exactly what would happen… I begin to go… well crazy.

Tim, and the kids don’t deserve crazy me, so if I stop writing- pray for them, they need it! 🙂

We have had a week. I won’t go into details, but hear me when I say, this week could not have been more unexpected. If you are having one of those days, weeks, months or years, my family has been there. We have walked almost every crisis on the planet. Literally- this is not an exaggeration. We have learned one thing in this process. God is Faithful. Always.

He never misses the opportunity to turn your life around. He never is caught unaware of what is coming your way.

He is always able, and always willing to inject Himself into your mess- self created or otherwise.

He is God, He is incredible and His grace is enough for you. No matter what you are walking through, or what you have put someone else through.

If you have a moment- please pray for our family today, or whenever you read this, that God will give us grace to forgive, as He has forgiven us. Don’t believe for a moment that the Lord has forgotten you, or misplaced you. Continue to cry out to Him, His ears are open— does God have ears?

I’ll leave you with that thought!

Blessings,

mel

 

Marriage Truths

Marriage= hard work

no… I mean really= hard work

I heard someone say “when you find the right person- it shouldn’t be hard”.

I wanted to punch them- right in the jaw.

Just my honest reaction- I don’t hide most of my thoughts, or parts of me from you guys- if you read more than 3 posts- you get a pretty good idea that I am; if nothing else-“real”.

Did I punch them- no. They were on a dvd, so I couldn’t get close enough.

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10 Sentences That Gave Me Hope

I found a new site today… imom.com

You should go to it…. go ahead… it’s really great. Good information, reader friendly content- way better stuff than you can find flowing from my brain!

There was one article that caught my attention: “10 Things Boys Want to Hear From Their Moms”

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Moment of Silence

Today we mark our 13th Anniversary. The day that stood still, but moved so fast. The tragedy, the destruction of lives, and the Sunday that followed it, one of the highest in attendance among churches in our Nation.

Our daughter came home last week and asked me about September 11th. As she is growing I have to remember that 9/11 is my generations Kennedy Assassination. An event so huge that in a moment, I can go back to it in my mind and literally feel the cold a.c. in the classroom I was working in, see the face of the teacher I worked beside, and the horror on it. I remember at 9 a.m. having a moment of silence each year after in the schools, a time to honor with our hearts and minds those whose lives were lost or altered.

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Created, In Heavenly Places

“The Lord merely spoke, and the heavens were created. He breathed the word, and all the stars were born.” Psalm 33:6
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Take a moment and allow yourself to be captivated by a Glory so incredible that stars were breathed on a word. He, the Lord of the universe, spoke the stars into existence. The Bible Says, He “Merely”, spoke. Can you imagine what a shout would do? What about a loud boisterous laugh? He barely speaks, one word. It doesn’t imply he spoke a sentence, just a word, and He changed the Universe forever. 
I don’t know about you, but there are days when life takes over and I feel like I am struggling for air; and all I want in the world is for the Creator of the Universe to breathe on me. Are you familiar with that song, “This is the air, I breathe…” That song has carried me through some of my greatest and worst days. I can remember singing it with great fervor because I knew with confidence He was the very air in my body, and I can remember singing it on days when I was so beaten down by the world, that it was more of a repetitious reminder to breathe.
What I love, is that when we breathe in, we breathe in Oxygen which is of course the very essence of our being; we can not function without it, but when we breathe out we are removing from within ourselves that which is harmful to our human form. I believe that He shows us in so many easy to understand ways that He is the good in us, without Him, we have nothing, with Him we are able to expel everything corrupted within us. It is my prayer that on days like today, I choose to believe that the God of the Universe, the Creator of every living being, chose to sacrifice His son, to a sinners death on a cross, to raise me with Christ from the dead, to live and breathe and show the love of He who knew no sin.
His love is amazing, there is no comparison, there is no greater feeling, than being wrapped in the arms of grace, or sitting at the feet of Almighty Jesus, proclaiming, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God Almighty”. Would you sit there with me and just love on Him. I have found, that the more I choose to love on Him when my world is upside down, the faster the world turns right side up. I finally  realized I can’t drive from the passenger seat without a mishap or two. 
Make Time to Love on the Star Creator; Your Creator today. 
Blessings,
mel

Distracted

When your eye is off the prize everyone loses. I have noticed that when my eye is on one prize I am able to obtain it. When my eyes wander, (and by eyes I am meaning a mixture of actual eyes and attention), I lose sight of the goal slowly. Your passion for God can be at a 20 one day, and the next day you try to carry the day before’s grace in with you. You assume since I was at 20 yesterday, I am the same of maybe you deceive yourself by believing I’m a 19 today, and look at the people around me… definitely under 5’s… I mean how misguided can you be? When you start comparing yourself and your walk against others-trust me- it’s you who is out of balance with the Lord.

Tim and I have been talking about how easy it is to slip out of routine, practiced and perfected time with the Lord. It happens so quickly. Normally we leave church-PUMPED- raring to go, anxious to get home and go further into the word and researching more of the word of knowledge we received that morning, and instead life invades. It just does. Worries, stresses, children, lunch, schedules, routines, everything you had planned flies out the window.

Don’t deceive yourself by believing that God excuses your busyness. It’s almost like your children going to school; there are absences that are excused and unexcused- there is never a time that God looks at us and says, “your unexcused”. The greatest part is that He doesn’t even judge our time with Him, He simply desires it. When He goes walking in the garden to speak with us, to spend time with us, he doesn’t call out- you are excused, He just says, “Where are you?” Today I ask you and I… “where are we?” When He calls us by name each new day- and we allow life to trample our time with Him, where are we? What were we doing that really would have impacted our future. We are ill prepared for heaven if we don’t even spend time with Him here. When you think the worship service is going too long, just remember… you will spend all of eternity surrounding His throne singing to Him; get good at it here. Get good at time with Him here. Chose Him over anything else that comes your way. Your children will remember the days you chose reading and studying His word over playing a game. How I am preaching to myself… He is desperate for time with us that is filled with more than our requests and pleas.

Seek Him First… Everything else; better scheduling, quicker tasks, will come your way, He will give you time back, in abundance, because He always returns what we give Him, pressed down, shaken together and running over.

Blessings,

mel

Two Sparrows in a Hurricane

When I was young, around 12ish, I was at my grandmother’s, more affectionately known as Nannie, and now as an adult- Nan. (More about why the name grandma, or grandmother doesn’t seem affectionate another time) : )

We were in her house either sewing or cleaning- either could have been correct, because that’s what I did there most of the time; and I loved both.  The song Tanya Tucker used to sing came on the radio- Two Sparrows in a Hurricane. If you don’t listen to Country Music then you probably haven’t heard it, but I remember that she stopped what she was doing, and that was odd. She is like me, we don’t sit still. It just doesn’t happen, I would love to sit still, yet I can’t seem to get my body to listen. She closed her eyes and I asked her what was wrong, and she told me, “This was papa’s and my song”. She didn’t sing it, in fact, I don’t know that I have ever heard my Nan sing. I am sure she sings the hymns at her church, but I think it is more Millie Vanilli style. Lips are moving, but sound does not appear.

She sat still for almost the entire song, and I was moved. My grandfather, Papa, died when I was about 8/9 years old. He had a head injury and lived in a coma for 3 years after. When he began to get better, he fell out of his wheelchair at the nursing home. I remember sitting in his lap cuddling him and laying beside him in his bed at the nursing home. I remember when he passed and how sad everyone was. More pleasantly I remember him riding me on his tractor to the mailbox to get mail, and on a fun golf cartish contraption from back in the early 80’s. I remember being called “toot-toot”. A name I have ashamedly lived up too. 🙂 I remember joy when I was around him, and feeling like I mattered. I remember hat he had a scratchy gray, black beard and that my Uncle Steve looked just like him.

What I don’t remember are the years before I was born, the times when my Nan weaped at home, because she lived during a different time. A time where her wants, rights and wishes for her life, mattered very little. Where adultery was a norm, and women must turn a blind eye to it, or live miserable for presenting it as a problem. My Nan was different than most women. She is tough as nails, most of which I am learning is how she protects herself. She hides as I do, behind a very strong exterior. Inside though, there is brokenness and pain. She loved my papa. I mean really loved him. He was not a saint, nor was she. He was not her dream come true everyday, but neither was she. He was full of himself and stingy with his money. He was a good father, and a good friend. From all accounts I have heard as an adult, he was a good man. Who made mistakes, just like you and I. My Nan loved him, and he loved her and they fought the rest of the world to make it. Never believe that your marriage is not a place of attack. The enemy doesn’t care whether you are serving the Lord, or not, he hates marriage. He despises when we value and honor a covenant, because it is something HE does not have the ability to have.  Within every marriage there are hiccups, some are huge, and some are small. Some matter a lot, and others seems little by comparison, but never believe that the mini fights can’t be the last straw. The little fights, normally range around very important things that matter. For my Nan a little say in some things would have made a huge difference to her. Being asked what her opinion is and feeling that it mattered- could have changed everything.

As it is, Nan loved my papa and he loved her, and despite what pain they caused each other in their years together, they brought just as much joy and happiness. The lyrics below tell not just my Nan’s story, but mine as well. She taught me to persevere. To not back down, to value my marriage, to fight for it when everyone else thinks you are crazy. To value the risks with the reward.

 

She’s fifteen and he’s barely driving a car
She’s got his ring and he’s got the keys to her heart
It’s just matter of time
They’ll spread their wings and fly

two sparrows in a hurricane
Trying to find their way
With a head full of dreams
and faith that can move anything
They’ve heard it’s all uphill
But all they know is how they feel
The world says they’ll never make it, love says they will

There’s a baby crying and one more on the way
There’s a wolf at the door with a big stack of bills
They can’t pay
The clouds are dark and the wind is high
But they can see the other side

She’s eighty-three and he’s barely driving a car
She’s got his ring and he’s got the key to her heart
It’s just a matter of time
They’ll spread their wings and fly

Like two sparrows in a hurricane
Trying to find their way
With a head full of dreams
and faith that can move anything
They’ve heard it’s all uphill
But all they know is how they feel
The world says they’ll never make it, love says they will

Love makes a way- where there was no way. On the days I want more than anything to throw in the towel, those tough days where you must dig deep within yourself to find a well of love for your spouse, I remind myself; I fight not for myself and Tim, but for my grandchildren and great grandchildren who will be able to say, the World says, we will never make it; but Love says we will. Love is God, and God is love. He says we will make it. I hold onto His word tight and I believe that He will be faithful to complete every good work He begins.

 

Blessings,

mel