Friends, Here Is A Must Read!

Okay, so for now this has taken over the top of the reading stack.

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Emily P. Freeman’s new book is a must read for anyone who is tired of the bigger is better, hurry up world we live in, and is longing to see the value, importance and meaning right in front of us in our small, everyday moments.

Her soft spoken words and genuine heart shine through in her writing.  I have already highlighted, dog-eared pages and cried, because she has pierced my heart with words that show exactly how I have thought and felt…and that was only from the introduction!

Her transparency and love for Jesus make me want to stop striving and just let Jesus have more of me….and sit on the bench with a cup of coffee and long chat with her!

I’m sorry, but you can’t borrow my copy.  This one, like Ann Voskamp’s  One Thousand Gifts, is going to stay with me for a long time!

If you haven’t already, order your copy or run out and buy one today.  You will be so glad you did.

I should probably say that this is an unsolicited review…I’m just so excited about it! 🙂

 

Happy reading!

Debbie

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Choosing To See the Miracles

“They who dwell in the ends of the earth stand in awe of Your signs; You make the dawn and the sunset shout for joy.”   Psalm 65:8

DSCN0182     This verse was in my devotional book this morning, along with this small paragraph:

     “How do you respond to the arrival of each new morning?  Are you amazed by each new day you’ve been granted, or do you …. growl at anyone or anything that disturbs you?”

     That’s a good question.  We all have a choice.  Each one of us has our own set of circumstances that we have to deal with.  But when we know Christ as our Savior, our life is so much more than our circumstances.  If we opened our eyes and took a breath this morning, then we get to praise Him!

     When was the last time you were in awe of the glorious sunrise (or in my case, sunset!) that He painted across the sky for you?  Yes.  YOU!  Or maybe the magnificent little hummingbird that shows up to feed on the nectar of your flowers each day?  Those tiny miracles fascinate me.  Have you praised God for those birds outside your bedroom window that wake you with their song each morning…even if you want to sleep?  Maybe it’s the cries of your hungry baby that interrupt what you are doing, but you praise God for those little lungs that can wail!  Or the bleary eyed, tousled hair toddler that comes stumbling out to greet you.

We are surrounded with miracles each and every day.  We just need to stop and notice them.

     That puts things into perspective a little bit, doesn’t it?  We all get our feelings hurt…or heart broken.  We all get disappointed, angry, exhausted and impatient.  But friend, don’t stay parked there.  Don’t waste precious time and energy on emotions that drain and deplete your spirit.  Be thankful for the gift of another day in which you get to praise Him and live for Him.  Don’t let circumstances cloud your eyesight so you fail to see the miracles all around you.

Friends, I’m preaching to myself.  Awhile back, I got my feelings horribly hurt.  I spent two or three days crying my eyes out and begging God to make the pain of my heart go away, and intervene in the situation.  I was praying the Psalms and asking God to protect my mind…you know, how that tape in your head gets stuck on repeat and you just can’t seem to get it to stop?

I was sharing the situation with a friend, and this friend looked right at me and said; “You’re allowing this person to do this to you.”  What?!  But it was true.  I had wasted almost three days allowing that hurtful situation to consume me and cloud my vision…my perspective.  I could:

Choose to see

Choose to be thankful

Choose to praise Him

    That is not denying the situation.  It’s not pretending that we aren’t feeling those very real emotions.  What it is doing is giving God control of the situation.  It is opening our hands and releasing it to Him.  He then can fill our open hands…and hearts with what we so desperately need;

 His peace.

     Speaking of hands, I want to remind you.  I want you to know.  Whatever is happening in your life right now…if you have a relationship with Jesus Christ, God the Father has your name inscribed…engraved…permanently tattooed on the palms of His hands.  He does! (See Isaiah 49:15-16).  That’s how much He loves you!  No matter who has hurt or rejected you, no matter what trial you are in the midst of, God the Father has your name engraved on the palms of His hands.  And not just one hand – both hands!

     So dear one, get up…step outside…look up…take a breath…and Praise Him!  Praise Him for who He is.  Thank Him for all He has given you to richly enjoy (1 Timothy 6:17).  Thank Him for carrying your name…and you…in the palms of His hands.

     Life is too short loved ones, to live it depleted and defeated.  God wants His children to live victoriously through Him.

You are loved

You are blessed

Enjoy all you have, and all you are in Him.

Praying for you Dear Friends.

Love,

Debbie

There IS Hope!

DSCN2696     Things are changing.  The times we live in are changing.  Everything feels chaotic, upside down and inside out.  Murders…of adults, children, police officers, children being molested and sold into sex trafficking, churches being burnt, wildfires raging, water drying up.

On top of all that is going on in this world, we all have our own personal chaos.

Sadness, loneliness, illness, fatigue, trials and troubles, all working together to cloud my perspective and steal my joy.  Overwhelmed  with it all, I start slipping into the pit of self ‘pit’y, and it threatens to crowd out all I know is true.

Can you relate?  When we are in the whirlwind of chaotic circumstances that we have no control over, it can be easy to fall prey to the Deceiver.

But. We. Don’t. Have. To!

So how God?!  How do we go on when our heads are spinning and we feel like we just. can’t. take. any. more?  How do we navigate this life and keep moving – forward – when we feel like our guts are ripped out and our heart lays torn open and bleeding outside of our chest and we can barely breathe?!

JESUS

Yes, JESUS.  Our TRUE NORTH

     I’m not much of a navigator, but I know enough to know that when lost, we are told to find our “true north” to find our way…not “magnetic north” which is what a compass tells us, and will lead us slightly off course.  I don’t know about you, but when it comes to navigating the sometimes treacherous waters of this life, I want to make sure I am not veering off course from my True North…Jesus Christ, and His Living Word.  The Bible points us directly to Him…our True North.

There is so much to worry about,  and stress over in this life.  Discouragement seems to be affecting so many.  We have to know how to climb out of that pit…or not slip into it in the first place.  The Psalmist David had a lot of experience in that pit…and how to get out of it.  He was hunted like a wild animal for many years, and at times he did despair, yet he knew the Source of his strength, security, and comfort.

“When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You.  In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid.  What can mere man do to me?”  Psalm 56:3-4

“Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; like a weaned child rests against his mother, my soul is like a weaned child within me.”  Psalm 131:2

     This is why it is so very important to hide God’s word in our hearts.  Read it over and over again.  Study it.  Because in our chaotic times, when our storms are raging, in our times of discouragement, the Holy Spirit will bring to our minds what we already know.  But He cannot bring it to our minds…if it is not in there in the first place.

   Dear, sweet souls, whatever trial God has allowed in your precious life right now, please know…please remember that His plan is not to harm you, but to give you hope and a future (Jer. 29:11).  Remember, His way is perfect, even when all seems out of control.

As for God, His way is perfect;
The word of the Lord is proven;
He is a shield to all who trust in Him.  Psalm 18:30

     So dear one, set your face like flint and don’t be ashamed (Isaiah 50:7).  Let the Lifter of your head (Psalm 3:3), cup your precious face in His mighty hands so you can…as that wonderful, old chorus says:

“….Look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the Light of His Glory and Grace.”

     You can have peace in the midst of your storm.  Remember when Peter walked on the water?  It is in Matthew 14:22-33.  When he was focusing on Jesus, he was actually walking on top of the water!  But as soon as he took his eyes off Jesus, the storm raging around him became his focus.  He then began to sink and cried to Jesus to save him.  There are times we start to sink.  We are human.  God is always gracious and merciful to His children.  He will grab hold of us and pull us back.  But we could save ourselves so much stress and heartache if we would learn and practice more and more…to keep our focus…TRUE NORTH.

     With Jesus as our focus…the spinning slows.  We can breathe deeper.  We remember that He is in control of it all and He promises to never leave us nor forsake us (Deut. 31:6, Heb. 13:5b).

     Now more than ever it seems that life is hectic.  Life is hard.  So if we want to not only survive, but thrive in this world, we have to keep our focus on Him.  He has promised us rest (Matt.11:28-29).  He promises instruction, direction and guidance (Ps. 32:8).  He tells us not to worry about tomorrow (Matt.6:34).  He has promised that He will calm our fears…when we come to Him.  So whatever you’re doing, stop.  Rest in Him and quiet yourself in His presence.  Cast all your anxiety on Him because He really does care for YOU (1 Peter 5:7).

Love You,

Debbie

Why I’ve Been Missing

It is obvious that I have not written a blog post for quite some time now.  Over seven weeks to be exact.  I figured the few of you who follow me deserve an explanation…one I feel God leading me to share.

By the way, I appreciate you so much.  I seriously do.  For you to take time out of your busy lives to read what God puts on my heart to share….well I am so humbled and blessed.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I don’t like to talk about my Fibromyalgia too much, other than with family.  I have talked a little with my pastor, Sunday School class, and on Facebook asking for prayer, but I hate to appear whiny or wanting sympathy.  As the saying goes; “It doesn’t define who I am”.  But it is a very real and guargantuan part of my life that affects my health, my daily life, my family, relationships, my plans, desires, and my good intentions.  It has stolen much from me.  Most recently it has stolen my voice…my “writer’s voice”.

I am slowly figuring out how to take it back…and not let it get taken again.

I have said for years, rather tongue in cheek, that I can manage this FM just fine as long as I can live at my own pace.  But there is much truth in that.

The hard thing is……life does not wait for us.

It is always marching onward, and either we keep up…or not.

The past few weeks, life has marched, stomped, and stormed its way through the Willsey family.  There has been distance due to jobs, illness, surgeries, more illness, stress and more stress.  I did my best to keep up, to take care of everyone.  And I wasn’t even doing all (I felt) I “should” have been doing…all this mama’s heart wants to do.  My heart still wants to do much more than I am physically capable of doing.  So I crashed & burned.

This is difficult for me to share, because I have scared people off with the unattractive reality of what this illness does to me when I have pushed beyond my limits.  What it does to me when life decides to forge ahead, dragging me along as I’m trying to keep up.  It doesn’t even have to be with trials.  It most definitely can be with very good things as well!

When I have pushed my limits physically, there is pain that is not relieved by anything, utter exhaustion, and lethargy.  But beyond that, I can turn into an emotional wreck as well, with anxiety off the charts.  I think that is the hardest part…the unattractive, ugly part.  The seeming inability to control the floods of emotions and the anxiety.  That is worse than the pain and fatigue.

But I have an Anchor, Who holds me securely.

“This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls.  It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.”    Hebrews 6:19  NLT

Time.  Time in His Presence has held me steady when I thought I was going to completely fall apart.  Reading scripture.  Reading it out loud.  Writing verses out on cards, paper, in journals.  Saturating my mind and heart with His words that breathe life into our very being.  It does not remove the physical symptoms of this illness, but it calms my heart and mind.  It changes my perspective and helps me to see beyond my present circumstance.  It reminds me that He is my Jehovah Jireh who always provides what I need.

I promise, this is not going to turn into a blog about living with chronic illness.  But God has let me know I cannot hide from it either.  He continues to teach me much about myself…and Himself through these times of difficulties, whether it be my health issues or other trials (which will be another post 😉 ).

My desire is to be back posting at least once a week, on Wednesday evening or Thursday.  However, if a Wednesday or Thursday goes by and I have not posted, please…

Just say a prayer for me.

  Because probably life has forged ahead dragging me along again, and I’m too stubborn to just let go and give up!

Breathe in God’s love

Breathe out the sweet smelling fragrance of Christ.

Breathe in God’s grace

Breathe out thankfulness.

Breathe in God’s mercy

Breathe out a joyful heart song.

Still gazing toward the Son,

Love,

Debbie