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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Dance with my Father



I envision dancing in a large open field. The wind is blowing gently through my hair, there are no trees, only a field, the tall grass is swaying to the sound of the wind in perfect rhythm. The sky is filled with pastels of blues and touch of gray. The earth is warm beneath my feet. The meadow is gleaming in rich golden hues. I spin and twirl, my hands lifted high in great expectation of meeting my Creator, my Lord here in this place.
Shimmers of light break gently through the sky, enveloping me , and I hear Him say, “Dance with me daughter, dance with me”
Just like that, I'm dancing with my Father.
For years I have prayed for Him to be real to me, to be so near that I can feel His breath upon my cheek. For years I have prayed to my Father that He would rescue my father, here, in this time, in this place. I have pleaded , cried out for rescue on his behalf. There is nothing I desire more right now on this earth than to see my Dad find peace, to see the man God created him to be be fullfilled in my life time. To see the hurt vanish from his eyes, to see the guilt of past mistakes erased, to hear him say the words 'I believe'.
I know my Dad loves me, I feel it when he trembles as he hugs me, I see it in the tears that haven't fallen from his eyes when we meet. I feel it in his strong hands as he holds mine in his. I love him. I am proud of him for things he doesn't see in him self that I see in him.
I am dancing with my Father, I feel the breeze as it swirls around us, I can see Him smile, I can feel He loves me, I feel His love. In my vision I hear Him say “look who's here to dance” I know in my heart it's my father, my Dad. I open my eyes and see him walking across the field, I look to my Creator, and He says to go and dance. We run to each other and for the first time I see his freedom, I see his heart is free, the hurt has been erased and I see peace in his eyes and he says ' I believe'.
We dance in the field, the grass sways in perfect harmony as our Lord, our Father unveils the colors of His love over us.
The sky is glistening with hues of orange,pinks and purples. The sun is just on the edge of the earth radiant with color. Reflecting our Fathers love over us.
We dance together in the presence of the One who has given so much. Shimmers of light once again fall from the sky and envelope us , and we dance, the three of us in that field, we dance.
When I think of this my heart is overwhelmed. Filled with excitement for the day I hear him say those words ' I believe' . Filled with anticipation for the answer to so many prayers, so many tears that have fallen from a place of brokenness and a source of desperation.
I can feel it welling within my soul and I will hold onto this verse
2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
As I pray for my Dad, I know The Lord has a great plan for him, and in faith I bought him a birthday card a few years back, it's tucked into my Bible and I pray, ans I wait patiently for that glorious day when I can give it to him and we can dance.

" Bless you Dad, As water reflects a face so a mans heart reflects the man((Prov 27:19) If anyone wants to know the definition of a man who follows his faith with his whole heart,dad they just need to know you"

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Colors of the Lord



 Do you ever feel that feeling that you have bitten off more than you can chew? My head is overloaded with ideas, words, and colors and it's all swirling around faster than I can grab on to. Each one feels disconnected but yet connected.
I asked The Lord to fill my heart with the words and for them to flow effortlessly onto my computer screen and let the art work come easily and to organize it in my brain because I can't.
I see it all .especially the art work, I see the images , the colors and the text. But when I go to create it, it never turns out like in my head, I am not a 'real' artist. It can be so frustrating! Why did The Lord put this desire in me, why did He tell me to pick up the brush and paint, why doesn't He just give me a supernatural talent to know how to use all the different techniques, mediums, and forms?
 
Many years ago when I gave my life to The Lord I was struggling with so much hurt that I didn't know what to do with ( you can read my full story in Secrets of the Soul or hear my story on my web page) The Lord spoke quietly into my heart and told me to paint what I could not say and what I could not feel. I had no idea how to paint or what to paint with. So I bought all the paint in every color and medium! I really thought at first when I got home to paint that I would have had this amazing ability to create world famous works of art and that I would be a famous and wealthy artist! That's not exactly what happened, after many failed attempts at my art, I asked God if I heard Him right, was I crazy , was He crazy? Very calmly in my heart He spoke “paint what you can not say, what you can not feel” but how do you paint that? I put on my favorite worship music, I closed my eyes, prayed, asked Him help me. When I was done, I looked at my canvas and for the first time I saw that my feelings were real, and equally as important was that I did have feelings and they mattered to God, The Creator.
As I ask I hear the answer, "so people will know it's not me, so people can see the colors of The Lord, so it is not me that gets applauded " and it is my time, a special time for me to connect with The Lord, I put on my favorite worship music, I pray, I ask God to guide my hand, to be so close I can feel His breath on my cheek, I ask him to fill my canvas with His beauty.I ask Him to use me to bring hope to the hurting. To open my eyes to what He sees, to have compassion to those around me, to be His hands and feet here on earth .
As I write this this song comes on        All I need is you by Hillsong United

Left my fear by the side of the road
Hear You speak
Won't let go
Fall to my knees as I lift my hands to pray
Got every reason to be here again
Father's love that draws me in
And all my eyes wanna see is a glimpse of You
All I need is You
All I need is You Lord
Is you Lord
One more day and it's not the same
Your spirit calls my heart to sing
Drawn to the voice of my Saviour once again
Where would my soul be without Your Son
Gave His life to save the earth
Rest in the thought that You're watching over me
All I need is You
All I need is You Lord
Is You Lord
You hold the universe
You hold everyone on earth
You hold the universe
You hold
You hold
All I need is You
All I need is You Lord
Is You Lord

All I need is you  Lord, it doesn't really matter what I have for talent or ability, when I stop long enough to listen ,to ask You in ,not just to my life but ask you into my art studio, to say "ok this is what I see in my mind, these are the colors I see, place your hand on mine and move the brush, create through me and while you're at it create in me a clean heart that lives only to glorify you" . Then whatever the outcome of that canvas it is ours and that is enough for me.
And these words? These words that are all mixed up inside my head that I feel pressing in my chest, that I see falling off my finger tips, flowing out of my heart faster than I can write, I will trust you to organize them for me . Yes I will trust you. And I am strangely relieved that I have no artistic talent without you there next to me guiding me. All I need is You Lord, You to guide me, You to lead me , You to walk along side of me, All I need is You Lord, to breathe into me the colors of the universe that You hold in Your hands so I can exhale Your unfaded creation.
As you listen to this song, close your eyes, what is the fear that you need to leave by the side of the road? What colors do you see?
There is a quote by William Wordsworth that I love it says simply “ Fill your papers with the breathings of your heart”
As you inhale marvel in the beauty of all that The Lord has created, exhale onto your paper the beauty of His unfaded creation.
Take this time to reflect , let The Creator create through you the breathings of your heart.
Link to song
http://us.yhs4.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?hspart=ironsource&hsimp=yhs-fullyhosted_003&type=dsites0101&p=all+i+need+is+you+hillsong





multi task prayer life

Multi tasking, of course it's my strong point, isn't it for every woman? For me being a Mom, wife, business owner (salon and art studio), hairstylist, artist, writer, and the list goes on! I can prepare a meal, clean the house, fold the clothes, get ready for small group and knit a scarf all at once! I mean seriously who couldn't do that as daily ordinary stuff? So it's no surprise that I have found myself multi tasking very important things, emails on the cell phone at the diner table, returning calls in the car with the kids and so on. I quickly felt convicted and have a no cell phone rule at the table, I do not take calls while driving with the kids, that's my time with them, why was I willing to make them less important? Family diner needs to be a priority, that's the most important communication we can have in our home.
Well, when I thought I had finally taken care of priorites with my multi tasking, I realized I have been doing the same thing in my relationship with God. Praying as I'm reaching for my cell phone, between songs on the radio, or as I'm praying , I'll keep praying and try to talk over the voice of the Spirit, maybe I really don't want to know what God has to say on this issue in my life, or I really don't want to hear His side. I just keep talking and quickly say Amen! That signifies to me 'ok, end of conversation"! I did my part know I just want Him to answer me in a way I see fit.
Do you ever do this?
Lately my new multi tasking prayer life is on the elliptical at the gym, I can easily spend an hour on that, so why is it so hard for me to spend one hour with God?
I put in my headphones, turn on my favorite worship music, hang on to the handles tight, close my eyes, let the words really fill my soul, I start to pray , usually that I won't fall off! As I start to pray I let the words in the music guide my heart in a way I can't explain.
Then I try to listen for His voice.
When I opened my eyes I was sure I had nearly completed my hour, but it was only about ten minutes.
I haven't made it the entire hour yet, but each time I make it longer , each time I pray less selfishly, each time I listen a little more, each time I'm a little more honest with Him. He all ready knows my heart, what I think, but it's another to say it, and admit it. I have said to Him , " okay this is what I'm praying for, this is what I know I'm willing to do right now, and this is what I am not willing to do" I have even tried to 'remind' Him of David, " God you loved David, called him a man after your own heart, am I not like him? Wanting to serve you and do good but constantly messing up? But yet you did show some favor on him" Now I am not a King, not even close to royality, and I can't remind God of anything.
But I do love the Lord, I am not ashamed of the Gospel, even though I stumble over little rocks and fall over large rocks on my journey, I still pick myself up and praise God for what He has done, I still pursue Him, I marvel in His sacrifice , I stand in awe of His love for me.How can I not? I know me. I know how dark my own heart can be and yet The Creator of the entire universe still loves me.
I have prayed like Davids 51st Psalm many times with passion, with tears, with regret, with shame, and have found even before I have lifted my head I have felt the Lords compassion on me.
My sins are my own sins, they are not like Davids. But like David I have let my pride get in the way , I let fear be the ruler in my life. and I have let distractions of this world take my focus off of God and wandered down paths I should of not. Those wrong turns took me the long way back to God, but He was there, waiting not with an iron fist but with mercy.

Have mercy on me, O God,
    according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
    blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
    and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
    and my sin is always before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
    and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
    and justified when you judge.
Surely I was sinful at birth,
    sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
    you taught me wisdom in that secret place.
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
    wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins
    and blot out all my iniquity.
10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
    or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
    and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
    so that sinners will turn back to you.
14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
    you who are God my Savior,
    and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
15 Open my lips, Lord,
    and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
    you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
17 My sacrifice, O God, is[b] a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart
    you, God, will not despise.
18 May it please you to prosper Zion,
    to build up the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous,
    in burnt offerings offered whole;
    then bulls will be offered on your altar.

For now I look at the hour long elliptical session not as a chore but as a time to worship, a time to focus my mind, my time to open my heart and listen to what God has to say and to be reminded that He still loves me in spite of all my mistakes









Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Hope- One brick at a Time

Hope is the expectation and desire for something to happen.
Hopeless is feeling of despair.
No one wants to feel hopeless, but sadly the truth is that so many do. Even more devastating is that so many of us are so lost we don't even feel hopeless, we have become numb.
Numb is- deprived of the  power of sensation.
The more I read that definition the deeper it sinks in.
Deprived of the power of sensation.
We have so much hurt that hearts have become numb, unable to feel love, trying to give it. But how when you can't even feel it yourself?
Unable to be filled with joy when you can't even feel it?
Laughter that echos hollowness in the wind.
In the quiet is when it really sinks in, right into your gut.
Wondering how, why, did you end up here.
How much longer.
So many people,so little hope.
A giant brick wall, a fortress seems to be everywhere you turn.
All these bricks calling out to you. Reminding you of all life's cruelty, the unfairness, the hurt, the guilt. Leaving you there at the wall.
What will you do?
Crumble in defeat? Continue to wonder around it?
Will you rise up against it?
Persistence - firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.
Persistence is the only way. Take the smallest chisel and start with just one brick.
It may seem like a daunting task, but continue in the face of difficulty.
Celebrate as you knock each brick down one at a time.
As you continue to take down the wall something powerful happens. Each brick brings you a little freedom, and your heart starts to soften, feeling comes back and before you know, hope is being restored within you.
Close your eyes and imagine what it will feel like when you are standing there with the chisel before the wall. Courageous.
Imagine how it will feel when you strike the wall for the first time. Trembling hands.
The second strike on the wall, the sounds echo through the air.
Imagine as the first brick hits the ground.
Don't stop, you're not a quitter.
You gain momentum. Another brick and another.
You pause long enough to wipe the dust from your eyes, salty tears streak down.
Continue.
Your arm is sore, but you keep going , you feel there's no more strength left, but that doesn't stop you. Strike after strike, the ground is rumbling under your feet.
You collapse to the ground and look over your shoulder, what you see leaves you in wonder, the wall is gone, laying there in ruins. As the dust starts to settle in the midst is a tiny blossom coming up,your heart is coming back to life, you feel hope for the first time in so long.
Imagine that tiny tender blossom, let your tears flow into it's soil. Saturate it and watch it grow. Rejoice.
Open your eyes. Can you start to feel it now?
It's never to late, you are never to far gone.
Hope is here, on the other side of that wall.
Pick up your chisel and start and just keep going.
Psalm 126
A song of ascents.
1When the Lord restored the fortunes ofa Zion,
we were like those who dreamed.b
2Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
3The Lord has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy.
4Restore our fortunes,c Lord,
like streams in the Negev.
5Those who sow with tears
will reap with songs of joy.
6Those who go out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with them.














Monday, March 10, 2014

Labels

Labels.
We see them every day,every where on everything.
It's no wonder that they kind of fade into the background. We see them on our clothes, our towels, on the back of cars, in an organized pantry. I remember when the label was just a little tag on the inside of the garment, now they cover the entire front. we look for specific labels for different reasons, some we need, some we want and some we want to stay far away from.
People are labeled too. We run around slapping labels on everyone all over town, so fast that we are off to the next person before we really look at them. Just gotta get that label on.
I see when I close my eyes a video I wish I could create, and maybe some one allready has, but I see this person sticking labels on everyone on the street, it looks like this.
*Young girl on the city bus looks tired and her hair is a mess- labeled with 'up all night partying'
*Teen Mom buying diapers-labeled 'slut'
*Professionally dressed woman in line at the coffee shop talking loudly on her cell, closing a deal, looks at you like you are nothing compared to her- labeled ' shrewd, rude and arrogant'
*The 'soccer' Mom with her brand new SUV,designer clothes, handbags perfect hair, always happy, well I'd be happy to if I had her life, I heard about her expensive home, her wealthy husband and her well behaved kids- labeled ' lap of luxury'
*Rowdy kids getting in trouble at the park, thinking they are up to no good, probably using- labeled " wothless kids, hoodlums'
*Man sleeping on the street - labeled 'seriously? get a job'
The list goes on, I see cars racing by, people without faces wearing signs that say,
SCANDAL, CHEATER, LIAR, FRAUD, GUILTY,
and if I look through those words I see these words on top of those,
HELPLESS, HOPELESS, SCARED, LONELY, UNLOVED, UNWANTED, UNWORTHY, SHAME,

Can we look through the labels and see the storys?

I see the same people as before, the young girl on the bus, she's tired because her parents are addicts, and the fighting went to far last night. she just a wants a place to find rest.
The teen Mom, she made the choice of choosing life when she went to the abortion clinic, and now where are the people to support her? She is just trying to do her best.
Lady at the coffee shop is rude and arrogant , all her life she was told she would never amount to much, now she takes control to prove them and herself she can be successful,  she just didn't realize it would isolate her and she'd be lonely.
The soccer Mom is suffocating inside, they are in debt and her husband is never home, her smile is fake and she dosen't know how much longer she can go on.
The rowdy kids at the park, that's all they know. There is no one at home to guide them , teach them and show them love. Parents are busy, working , working, working. Or one of the parents have just up and left, leaving them feeling abandoned and unloved.
Man on the street, maybe he is an addict, but why? What led him to that point? Do you care to know? Does it matter? Maybe he just lost his wife and everything in his life. Maybe he is mentally ill and is lost in more ways than we know possible. Does it matter as to why?

If we stopped for just a moment and saw ourselves in a mirror for who we really are what would we see? What labels are we wearing? Be honest. Would they saw JUDGEMENT, CONDEMN, RIDICULE, SLANDER, HARSH, ANGER?

Can we look past the labels we create? See the storys. Replace the labels with words of kindness.
Then take these words of KINDNESS and turn them into ACTIONS of LOVE.
Because when it comes right down to it, we all want the same thing, we all want to feel apart of something, we all want to be loved and actually feel that love, and if you're like me, you just want to have a hug.
Seems pretty easy to me so why is it so hard?
Jesus calls us to love and to even entertain strangers. Here's a verse verses to ponder.
Luke 6:35 
But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.
Proverbs 16:7 
When a man's ways please the LORD,
he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.


Colossians 3:12 
Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,

Hebrews 13:2

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.
Let us have new eyes and see people in a new way, remove the labels , and just love, simply love.









Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Walls I have Built

Music doesn't just play idle in the background, it doesn't just fade into noise, it ministers to my heart, it has a way of reaching into my soul with truth that I didn't know how to put to words.
There is a song by Eddie Kirkland, Forever Changed, and it has forever changed me in a way that I have only been able to feel while singing, my heart  has been washed by the tears that have flowed down my cheeks, I realized even though I was living in freedom with Christ, that I still had some walls built, and not the healthy ones. So was I really living in freedom? I felt freer than I ever have, and I am learning that freedom in my heart , freedom in my life depends alot on me. Every day I am confronted with choices and situations, and I can chose to be free in it or I can chose to build walls, enslave my self to that situation. I never realized that I could keep going back and forth.
I know this is a journey, and until I'm home in Heaven I will never be completely free.
Know that I know I chose freedom, I never have to question if I've allowed Christ into my heart, or into my life. He is always there, even when I find myself back to that place building walls, He's there, waiting patiently for me to work it out, waiting for me to ask Him to help me break the walls down, standing there with His hand out so I can give him the brick and He can drop it to the ground for me.
The first lyrics of the song say " I have built with my hands all the walls that hold me in".
In my mind I see all these different kinds of walls,
brick,,stone,glass,bars,chain link fence,picket fence.
Why so many kinds?
Brick walls are sturdy and unpenetrable , they create a fortress, no one in and no one out. I have become a master brick layer in my life. I can have a fortress built within moments, and that scares me, how many good things have I kept out because I'm so quick to build?

Stone walls are sturdy, but are known to crumble over time. I look back in my life and I see all these stone walls in a desert, dry parched ground, standing there in ruins, crumbling. There are so many, I had no idea...

Glass walls. In my mind I see glass block, I'm putting them carefully in place, one block at a time. I can see you, you can see me, I can't hear you. You can't speak to me, you can't touch me, only see me. You may think you know me, but you don't.

Bars are a prison, and although I have never  been in prison, I have been a prisoner to my own mind, I have been a prisoner in my heart. Inside me was iron clad, and I was rotting away there in that cell behind those bars, no one could here my cries or set me free. No one had the key to unlock me from the prison I built within. I had the key and I threw it away, thankfully God knew my heart, He heard my cries, He saw the tears, He saw the tears I couldn't cry. He unlocked the prison and waited for me to come out.

Chain link fences are a wall that act like a barrier, I can have you come right up to my fence line, I don't have to let you in, I can keep you where I need you so I feel safe. I can have you just close enough. If I'm honest with my own heart, I can have you close enough to get to know you for  personal gain, for manipulation or because I really long to be in relationship.What is the motive with the chain link fence? I love people and I love relationships, but if I am completely honest in my life many years ago, I invited people up to the fence for selfish gain, and made it easy to retreat into the safety of my fence. How terrible and I am sorry for those fractured broken relationships. I had alot of excuses, 'well this person did this, so I did this,well they had it coming, and on ad on..' Excuses no more!
Lastly the white picket fence. This fence looks inviting. It has always created the illusion of the perfect family and the perfect life. When I was a child I always dreamed of this fence and what it would feel like to live this kind of life.
I never had an actually white picket fence but I lived like I did. Everyone thought I did. Through the midst of my suffering and all the pain I was going through, dealing with my childhood and broken relationships, I created this white picket fence. I learned to wear this mask ,create this false persona, and convince others around me that I was living this fabulous life, for a short time I even convinced myself. Untill the day at a Bible study a woman was sharing her brokeness yelled at me across the table that I could never understand pain like hers with my perfectly placed blonde hair, matching high heals and dresses, designer handbags and a sports car. I was insulted and embarrased. My reply was " you have no idea who I really am, what I have been through, this is all a mask, the clothes were on clearance, the designer bags are knockoffs" That was the first of a few people calling me out in a way. Then in the quiet I cried out to God, " how much longer can I live like this? These masks are cracking off faster than I can out another one on!"
Slowly the masks started falling off and I became more real, more transparent. Was it easy? Absolutley not! Would I change it? No, not in a second.
These walls and fences, I needed for a time , I needed some for survial, but they weren't meant to keep up and to keep building. My experiences have shaped who I am today and they are all aprt of this journey I'm on.
I'm sure I missed out on many blessings and friendships and good things as a result of all these walls that I built, I chose not to dwell on that, but to move forward, building.
I have built with my hands
All the walls that hold me in
I have wandered my way in the desert
I have struggled against
All the blessings You have sent
And I'm back to the place of surrender
Lord, You meet me here
In my darkest hour
And You stir my heart with Your love
Forever, I am changed by mercy
Forever, my heart is alive
Forever, I am Yours my Savior
Forever, my hope is Christ
Tears are sweet as they fall

Mercy rushes through my soul
Bowing low as You wash me with healing
Lord, You've sealed me with grace
Life eternally sustained
By the hope in my soul, You're revealing
Lord, You meet me here
In my darkest hour
And You stir my heart with Your love
Repeat Chorus
The power of sin is broken, I have been set free
For I have died and Jesus is alive in me

My tears are now sweet not bitter as they fall, because Gods mercy has changed me, washed me , healed me. He was there in my darkest most desperate hours, and He's here now, praise Him for breaking the power of sin and praise him for breaking these walls down with me!
The lyrics are above and I have posted the link to the song below. Won't you listen to the words and let the Lord stir your heart and bring you to a new place of freedom on your journey?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTMiZGew-i0