Tag Archive | freedom

Strong Winds

Exodus 10:19

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And the LORD changed the wind to a very strong west wind, which caught up the locusts and carried them into the Red Sea. Not a locust was left anywhere in Egypt. NIV

“And the Lord changed the wind!”

This passage speaks to me. I have a Heavenly Father that knows what the “locusts” have eaten away. He knows and sees what the consequences and storms have damaged. He knows me and sees my enemies, the things threatening me. He brings the wind!

“And not a locust was left”

It’s a promise and a reminder that HE has got this!

I woke up to the wind howling all night. I tossed and turned listening to the trees strain. A strong northwest wind making hurricane like conditions is bringing havoc to the eastern United States. Yet when I woke and the winds still howled the sun is shining so bright! A cold strong wind blows.

I reread the words God has brought me! “A strong west wind … and not a locust was left”

Hear me now! Man might mean harm but I am a child of the living God who’s breath and touch and hand can move mountains, divide seas, scatter locusts and my enemies! My family stands under that umbrella of protection ! The wind might threaten to twist and bend and break but NO!

Today I say BLOW wind BLOWWWWWW

Lord You take all that is wrong and rising against and make it right! ON you IN you I will stand my ground! My hope our hope is in You!

O Lord plays on the radio and today the Nwest wind blows!

Locusts – YOU don’t stand a chance against My God!

West Wind:

In Palestine the west wind is the most common. It comes from the sea and carries the moisture which condenses to form clouds, as it is turned upward by the mountains, to the cooler layers of the atmosphere. If the temperature reached is cool enough the cloud condenses and rain falls. Elijah looked toward the West for the “small cloud,” and soon “the heavens grew black with clouds and wind” (1 Kings 18:44). “When ye see a cloud rising in the west, straightway ye say, There cometh a shower; and so it cometh to pass” (Luke 12:54).

4. North Wind:

The north wind is usually a strong, continuous wind blowing down from the northern hills, and while it is cool it always “drives away rain,” as correctly stated in Proverbs 25:23, the King James Version; yet it is a disagreeable wind, and often causes headache and fever.

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Power

I saw this picture on my friends Facebook page the other day and was moved. Here in the midst of these mighty waves stands the light house.  To me it speaks to the things the Lord has been showing me, to pursue peace by right perspective.  To keep my eyes on Him.  A thousand or more correct choices a day.  Persistent choices.  Purposeful choices. No matter the storms that are ranging around me or just life full of its diversions and distractions.    He is not merely a temporary retreat.  If I take where I am right now and see it through His eyes, knowing that in this place is something I need to learn.  I need to be attentive to keep my focus and perspective.

In this place I find peace regardless of the waves that crash around me.

He is my lighthouse

Psalm 46
1 God is our refuge and strength,
always ready to help in times of trouble.
2 So we will not fear when earthquakes come
and the mountains crumble into the sea.
3 Let the oceans roar and foam.
Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge! Interlude
4 A river brings joy to the city of our God,
the sacred home of the Most High.
5 God dwells in that city; it cannot be destroyed.
From the very break of day, God will protect it.
6 The nations are in chaos,
and their kingdoms crumble!
God’s voice thunders,
and the earth melts!
7 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us;
the God of Israel[b] is our fortress. Interlude
8 Come, see the glorious works of the Lord:
See how he brings destruction upon the world.
9 He causes wars to end throughout the earth.
He breaks the bow and snaps the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
10 “Be still, and know that I am God!
I will be honored by every nation.
I will be honored throughout the world.”
11 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us;
the God of Israel is our fortress.

Negative Focus

focus

He has to renew my mind because I can not.  I am flawed and lack focus.  Well correction.  I can focus on the wrong things. I can focus on the problem not the solution. I can spin in circles draining my joy trying to master the problem, make it make sense, understand it and still find no way to control it.

“A renewed mind is Presence-focused.” That comes from a daily renewing of my mind.

Not every mountain is mine to climb.  Not every problem is mine to solve.  At the last minute there may be a detour and if I am focused too far ahead I have wasted so much time and energy that I fall out of focus on the today, on the now.  He ALWAYS makes provision, I have to seek Him, renew in Him, focus on Him and stay immersed, in Him.

The result is I lose my Joy and I have days like I had yesterday where I allow outside stuff to steal my peace.  I lose my focus.  I think it was last week I read a devotion on Choosing Joy. 

“. Jesus did not come so that we can merely survive life. Pagans can survive life. Jesus came to be our joy…..Joy is not the result of outward circumstances. Joy is an inside job, a deeply rooted confidence that God is in control. Every trial or loss, every defeat or victory measured against this confidence can be counted as joy….The Apostle Paul was a man of great joy. By human terms, he had every right to be angry and even bitter. Instead, he chose joy. Persecuted, imprisoned and facing His own death, Paul says, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:12-12, NIV)…..We cannot avoid pain but we can avoid joy. Our inward perspective does not have to reflect our outward circumstances. The pursuit of joy is a matter of choice…..

A little boy was overheard talking to himself as he strutted through the backyard, a baseball cap on his head, ball and bat in hand. He was muttering, “I’m the greatest hitter in the world!” Then he tossed the ball in the air, swung at it, and missed. “Strike one!” He picked up the ball, threw it into the air and said to himself, “I’m the greatest hitter ever!” He swung at the ball again. “Strike two!” He paused, examined his bat and ball and threw the ball into the air, missing a third time. He cried out, “Wow! I’m the greatest pitcher in the world!”

Yes, the pursuit of joy is a matter of choice and perspective. It is also a matter of obedience. As Christians, one of our spiritual priorities should be joy.

“One ship sails east.

One ship sails west.

Regardless of how the winds blow,

It is the set of the sail

And not the gale

That determines the way we go.”

(Author unknown)

Set your sails for joy, girlfriend! Celebrate! Revel in who God is, in what He has done, is doing and will do in your life when you choose joy.”

 

And there it is.  Perspective.  Choice. A matter of obedience.

Keeping it real….today is a new day.

 

Ok to Choose

goodbetterbest

So if you know me at all you know I love to bake and every single Christmas I bake.  A LOT!  From Frosted sugar cookies to fudge, Santa surprises to chocolate covered pretzels.  Probably about a dozen various special treats and gift them to my family, friends and neighbors (and help my husband need gift exchange because he gained another pant size.)   This past holiday season I did not bake.  Nope. Not one single treat and let me tell you, you would have thought I committed the unpardonable sin.

Let me explain.

The last quarter of 2015 I realized something I have never grasped before (or maybe held so loosely too I let it slip away).  Everything that is good is not profitable.  Everything that I like to do and want to do is not always what is best. I can’t do everything.  Not everything is meant for me to do.

I tried to go full steam ahead, do all the things I think are expected of me and all the things I need to do, all the things other people should be doing and find time for the things I love then I burn myself out.  Add to that being in a desert place spiritually, mentally, physically and emotionally and you have a recipe for a meltdown.  I was at capacity and on empty and realized very clearly that if I added one more thing I would be in trouble.

So I choose wisely.

I realized that the things I had no control over were out of control and the things I could control I needed to reevaluate for importance.  The cookies, a few parties, decorating, projects around the house, extra activities I hoped to do- all made the cut.

The cookies was the biggest thing.  I found myself apologizing. I cried. I felt like I was letting everyone down in falling to make this holiday tradition happen.  I mean as silly as it is now because everyone did survive without Christmas cookies (to hear my husband you would think he lost a limb and was starved to death).  The moment at which I came to the realization that to make the cookies meant sacrificing being able to stand up without excruciating pain in my knee, meant giving up sleep my frazzled mind and body desperately needed, meant letting down my kids and my husband and my poor neighbor who starts asking at Thanksgiving when I will start baking, I realized something.  In that moment I realized growth. Growth in that I put what was best for me before what was good and everyone made it out alive.  I put what was needed before what was wanted.

May not sound like a big deal but to me this is huge. I live in the place of making everyone else happy.  Not because they require it but because I do.  I have always been a Martha and I needed a Mary moment. I need to be still (well as still as I could be) and I needed to catch my breath, to eat someone else’s cookies, to be quiet and boring and rest and miss those parties. I needed to not second guess my saying No and rest in my right to choose.

Too often I get lost in the “must’s” and the “think I should’s”.  Simple answer as to why:  because I lost perspective and peace.  I stopped seeking the plan for my day in a quiet and still moment with my maker. I started borrowing from what could happen and what should happen instead of living in what was happening and allowing it to.  I filled my time with stuff- necessary or not.

Now in setting limits, expressing your needs and making clear boundaries, in choosing, sometimes others are offended. Sometimes they see it as your feelings are more important than theirs.  For me that is not what it was about at all. It was for me and continues to be because I have been to the bottom and I know what it feels like to not choose and loose myself, almost completely and finally.

What a freedom there is in living IN today. Taking moment by moment.  I am sure I sound like a broken record but there is peace and taking it as it comes and trusting and resting that my steps are order, when I have HIS perspective on my day.

choices

 

Mary and Martha
38-40 As they continued their travel, Jesus entered a village. A woman by the name of Martha welcomed him and made him feel quite at home. She had a sister, Mary, who sat before the Master, hanging on every word he said. But Martha was pulled away by all she had to do in the kitchen. Later, she stepped in, interrupting them. “Master, don’t you care that my sister has abandoned the kitchen to me? Tell her to lend me a hand.”
41-42 The Master said, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.”

*Disclaimer:  No innocent husbands were hurt in the process. My sister saved the day and made sure his waist line didn’t miss out on cookies and that there was a plate for Santa*

 

The Lies I Believe

I read a good word this morning!  Nahum 1:12 “From now on I’m taking the yoke from your neck and splitting it up for kindling.
I’m cutting you free from the ropes of your bondage.”

There are many lies I have come to believe in my life and thank God I have been set free from the things that threatened to destroy me. I have tasted the freedom that comes when God shines His truth on those lies and I can see clearly the situation, myself, or whatever it is, as He sees.  There are times though when, if I am not guarding my heart and my mind, when if I am not taking every thought captive, I can feel the fiery darts of self-doubt and lies attacking my mind.  It is in those moments, in that 10 second window, where I make a decision to stand my ground.  To make sure the enemy knows I have been set free. The yolk, the chains, the lies no longer have me in bondage.  It is not that I won’t face fears and the lies. They are going to come my way!  The truth is they have lost their power.  And I am set Free!

Probably won’t but I should

rainy dayDay 32 Project 365

Been awhile since I did more than a quick post from my phone. Though I am actually logged in tonight I am not quite in a place where I am ready to really write. I am recovering from feeling like death warmed over and still not myself. I am exhausted and emotionally feel like I have been ran over. I can’t quite explain that either. I mean I can, but, I probably won’t. I am stuck and feeling like I am going through motions. I know what I would like to do, but, I probably won’t. On that note I need to go back to some basics. Some things I know pull me out of this place. I need a new direction. I need ………to catch my breath!

Just a number

scaleDay 15 Project 365

We were moving! Moving in to a 3200 sq ft house. I was excited and exhausted. The previous owners had left a mess. ( HUGE UNDERSTATEMENT!) No part of this house didn’t have to be cleaned, painted or repaired. So after weeks of work we were down to the final steps. We needed to prime and paint every room so we called in the troops. Literally a dozen people on top of the 9 of us, descended upon our house in a paint party to end all paint parties. We had started early in the morning and by lunch time we were a tad punchy. It was about then that we realized that most of the punchiness was due to the fact that for the last hour we had been using the 2nd bucket of primer we had opened and it was oil based and we were all pretty much high. The jokes were flowing and the laughter was too. I remember a friend pulling up in the drive way and hollering in, I can tell you are all high from the fumes out here. We laughed and went back to painting. We were almost done and finishing off the formal dining room. It was me, my oldest son Nik and my friend Mary. The ‘Your MOMMA” jokes had started about 20 minutes earlier. Nik says to Mary your momma is so fat she eats Wheat Thicks instead of Wheat Thins! I think we laughed so hard we cried. Mary called her husband and told him about the paint mistake, the fumes, the wheat thicks. We laughed some more.

My friend is telling me the other day about the show Duck Dynasty and how one of the guys is going mattress shopping. I guess one guy says he doesn’t like to have to shake the sheets to find his woman. He likes that all he has to do is look for the low spot.

Once I was standing in line at the store when this guy says to his friend, “If she needs to eat a sub, I ain’t interested!” Now every time my husband sees a really skinny girl he says, “she needs to eat a sub!”

We have all heard the jokes and funny stories and laughed a little. As someone who struggles with the issue of weight I have laughed and cried my share of tears at the rude comments, hurtful looks, lack of self-esteem and self-confidence. I have been convinced I am not good enough because I don’t look a certain way. I have heard the “your kids will be ashamed of you comments” one too many times. I have tried every fad diet and tried and tried and tried. Some successes and some failures. I have been slave to the number checking and re checking. I have allowed outside sources to determine the number attached to my goal. What would make me beautiful to be defined my things that fade away. I surely wasn’t design for YOUR idea of what looks good on me or what it looks like to be in my skin.

Even my perspective on this issue has to change. A number on a scale doesn’t define me. Your idea of beautiful should not define me. I might never be what you think is skinny enough or pretty enough.

I love the commercials, I think it is for the Dove campaign for real beauty. Real women loving who they are and being comfortable in their skin. Could I do it? Probably not! Not quite there yet!

Being comfortable in my own skin means way more than being okay with what I see when I look in the mirror.

I have lost and gained and lost and gained and though I have been in the mode of losing since my son’s wedding it is quite different this time. I haven’t made a big deal. I haven’t shared my “new number” with many. People have noticed and made comment. I have thanked them. I am trying to not allow a number to be what it is about. To be my focus. I am not a slave to a number. I am not following some crazy set of rules that are destined to fail. (I can say that with complete certainty because I have done this before). As I examine my perspective I know that even this area of my life needs a change of my vision. It will never work if I don’t change my insides. My outlook starts on the inside too. Just like guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Food in and of itself doesn’t make me fat. I know my thoughts have a huge part of what I look like on the outside. As I identify my real feelings I find 95% of the time I am not even remotely hungry. I am finding that as I acknowledge my emotions and my thoughts I can deal with them instead of self medicate with food.

I have a lot of things I am learning right now. Perspectives that are changing and even in this moment I am making an active choice to do just that.

I don’t share the stories above without a point. I laugh differently today then I did back then. I used to laugh with an over whelming sense of guilt and shame. Today, I laugh because it is just a number, a thing. It doesn’t define me nor is it who I am destined to be. I am making strides, huge leaps and bounds above where I used to be. Maybe you can’t see it but, its okay! The biggest change is in me. Is in the things that no longer have the power to pull me.

Continuing to change..

Picture Credit
Resource-
Lose it For Life This book is pretty awesome. They have a little daily devotional/inspirational book too that is great. It really addresses the change in thinking needed. It is a great resource if you have the time to read it.

MORE BEAUTIFUL YOU – Johnny Diaz