are plenty of times that I have used that word in reference to
situations in my life. I’m sure you have too. There are so many
things that overcome us and we seem to be loaded down from time to
time with the burdens of life. Lately, I have been learning a new
usage of this word. I’ve been experiencing the overwhelming love and
blessings of God. Things in this world are not exactly positive in
this time we live in. We hear so much negative and sad news, it’s
easy to be overwhelmingly depressed. Yet if we stop and look at how
good God is, we can be equally as overwhelmed at how blessed we are.
Last weekend, our family and friends gave us a shower for our new
little one on the way. As I stood back and looked at the multitude
of gifts we had received, I was overwhelmed by the blessings. We
started out with nothing for this child and ended up with every need
met. My family has had a lot of changes in our lives this past year
but with each change, there has been such a blessing attached. God
has protected us from conflict and spared us from things we had no
idea would be coming our way. He removed us from situations that
could have been very bad and he placed us in a safe, loving, and
supportive environment. “He
maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the
still waters.” (Psalm23:2) We didn’t even know we
needed this change, but He did. We have been so blessed by the
support of our families in these times. My husband and I have been
so blessed to have wonderful parents who love and support us in all
we do. We know that they will always be there praying for us and
willing to help in all we do. I have a wonderful group of women that
I meet with weekly that I know I could call on in a moments notice
and I would have any help and prayers that I need without question.
I have a roof over my head, food on my table and clothes on my back.
My family is blessed beyond what I could imagine. We by no means
have an easy life or a perfect life, but we have an amazing God that
walks with us and before us. “Yea,
though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear
no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort
me.” (Psalm 23:4) We have not only one miracle child in our lives,
but we are expecting another. We deserve none of these things. Why
does He love us so much? I don’t think we will ever be able to
fathom the love He has for us. It is too overwhelming for us to
understand. “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I
cannot attain unto it.”(Psalm 139:6) Just count your
blessings, and you too will find yourself overwhelmed by His mercy,
grace and love. We truly are too blessed to be stressed.
Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he
leadeth me beside the still waters.He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of
righteousness for his name’s sake.Yea, though I walk through the
valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with
me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of
mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the
days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.”
As an expectant mother, one of the greatest comforts in knowing your baby is ok, is feeling their little kicks and punches. I get comfort in feeling that movement and I know that movement means life. I thought about this and how it is so similar to the way we can feel the Holy Spirit and know that our God is alive and with us. Where there is movement there is life. What a comfort in knowing each time you feel Him move in your heart and life, He is allowing you to know He’s still there. There are times, we wonder if He’s sleeping, but rest assured, He is always there. He is protecting us from things we never see. He’s leading us through so that we can grow. He’s carrying us through hard times to give us rest. He is challenging us to be more like Him. He is blessing us even though we don’t deserve it. He does it all because He loves us. Sometimes when I want to feel my baby move and make sure he is ok, I relax and stay still and wait for him to move. Maybe you need to stand still and let God move. If we don’t stop and be still, sometimes we miss out on seeing and feeling Him move.
“He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.” (Psalm 121:3-4)
“And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.” (Exodus 14:13)
“Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you.” (2 Chronicles 20:17)
Each time God is at work wanting to reveal himself to those who are lost, Satan is also at work trying to distract them by whatever means possible. Think about that today as you go from place to place and each time you are in God’s house. Don’t allow Satan to use you as a distraction. There are souls at stake.
Those who know me, know that I currently only have one child. Those close to me also know that I have been blessed with five pregnancies throughout my marriage of almost fifteen years. My first pregnancy was about six years into our marriage and the second pregnancy came a couple years after that. We live in a world that talks about abortions daily and miscarriages are hush hush. This is yet another example of our broken world. Why do so many keep these tragedies a secret? Our doctors, friends and families use words like, “It must not be God’s will”, “The pregnancy wasn’t viable”, “Some people aren’t built to have babies”…. The list goes on and on of what I have heard. These statements do not help. The only words I wanted to hear was “I’m praying for you”. Most statements neglect to even refer to it as a lost life or child. As if these children that I lost were any less significant than the one that is sleeping on the couch next to me as I write. They were all my children. I love them all. I tried to accept that I wasn’t meant to have a child naturally. I did have peace about it and we had planned to adopt and then God showed us He had other plans. My third pregnancy was eight years into our marriage. I remember being so stressed most of my pregnancy, worrying something would go wrong. I missed out on a lot of the joy I should have had because of fear of loosing him. Five years after giving birth to our son, I found out I was pregnant again. We were very excited. I was excited to have another chance to be able to enjoy my pregnancy and just trust in the Lord to take care of us both. About ten weeks into the pregnancy, there was no heartbeat. I was shocked, devastated, and confused. I remember riding home with my parents and son in the car and I couldn’t say a word. I had no words. Why would this happen to me again? What did I do wrong? Why do so many young girls and women have children with no problem and they don’t even want them? It isn’t fair. This was probably my last chance to have another child. I began to try and accept the fact that I wasn’t “meant” to have another one. The pain never goes away when you loose a child. The love for them starts the moment you know they are growing in you and it never leaves you. About eight months after my last miscarriage, I took an at home pregnancy test on my birthday and it was positive. Then came the excitement merged with fear that anyone who has had miscarriages knows all to well. I went to the first doctors appointment trying be ready for whatever news I got. Then we saw our little baby on the screen. He was healthy and doing just fine. The first time we heard the little heart beat, there was no denying how wonderful God is and what a miracle this baby was. I am now about 8 weeks away from my due date and God has shown how wonderful He is throughout this entire pregnancy. There have been scares and uncertainties and all of them have been taken care of by my Heavenly Father. We can’t wait to meet our second “Rainbow Baby” and share how wonderful God has been through it all. Each time I tell someone about my miscarriages, I always get an “I’m sorry” statement, but I feel so blessed to have been able to see that positive pregnancy test five times because I know there are so many women out there who long to experience that. To those women, keep trusting in the Lord. He does have a plan. I am thankful for the time I had with each baby, no matter how short. I am so blessed. I did get that chance I prayed for to enjoy my pregnancy while just placing it all in the Lord’s hands. When you let go and let God handle it, there is so much peace and joy. He is a Good Father and He hears our cries.
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
I have heard so many things that should not be said about the church from those who say they are christians. For some reason people want to point fingers at others mistakes just the same way as in the story of the woman who was caught in adultery. “…He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” (John 8:7b) It must be easier to look on others sins than it is to confront our own. We seem to want a perfect church than is full of perfect people. We are all sinners saved by grace. None of us are perfect. Christians need each other. “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:25) We live in a world that is becoming more and more anti-christian everyday. It’s a world where anything goes and whatever you want to believe or worship is accepted. That’s not what God’s Word says. We need each other in this mixed up world. “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2) How often do we gossip about others burdens instead of bearing them? “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” (John 15:12) Just think about how God loves you. Does He write you off when you make a mistake? Does He give you what you deserve? Does He go and spread gossip about how you have failed? Do we really follow that scripture? What would it look like if we all loved others as Christ loves us? Wow, I think it would be a different world. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) If he can love us while we are still sinners, can’t we do the same?
The church is a place of worship. It is a place of refuge for believers in Christ to assemble together and worship in spirit and in truth. It should be a safe place of comfort and support. A place where we can seek prayer from other believers. A place where we are not only fed by the word but where we share in praise of what God has done in our lives. We should be able to cry together, laugh together, rejoice together, and grow together. I don’t know where I would be without the church and it’s people. Christ’s people have been there for me through every stage in life. I have been so blessed to grow up in a Godly church with bible teaching and spirit filled preaching and singing. I feel so blessed now to be in yet another church that has taken us all in as family and loved and supported us. If you will let God lead and work in your life, you will never regret it. He knows what we need even when we can’t yet see the need. Let’s all try to get the right view of God’s house and stop trying to make it what we think is should be. Stop trying to be the Holy Spirit and Judge in others life. Take a look at our own relationship with our Lord. Let God be the head of the church and be obedient to his word and Holy Spirit.
“And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18)
God continues to show me how much better His ways are than mine. If you had told me growing up that I would now be a pastor’s wife, I would not have believed you. I did grow up in a loving christian home but I never would have imagined I would be on the journey that I am today. I grew up avoiding people and avoiding all confrontation possible. I met my husband in college and it is only by God’s intervention and grace that we met and are still together. Only He could have orchestrated the meeting of two people coming from different worlds. He placed us where we needed to be even when we weren’t always seeking His plan. He knew the plans He had for us. He knew our faults and struggles and He knew what each of us needed. This past Sunday, my husband was ordained into the ministry. As I reflect on the journey to now, God truly is amazing. My husband has accomplished many things in his life, but I have never been more proud to be his wife than now as I watch how God has and is continuing to use him for the ministry of the Gospel. If you ever want to grow closer to one another in your marriage, first grow closer to God and He will handle the rest. I was blessed to have grown up in a church that helped me see who Christ is and my need for Him. I learned more meaningful lessons there that I ever did in school. I wasn’t always right with God but the church and it’s Pastor were always there to help guide the way back. Not everyone has the privilege to have the same Pastor from childhood to adulthood. I will be forever thankful for the sacrifice and love that he put into my family’s life through the years. He will never know just how much he has helped me and my family grow in Christ. Now, as the season in our life has changed to a new church and the privilege to get to know another group of fellow believers, we feel more blessed than ever. We have been so welcomed and loved by people that we never met. That is God’s love and true christianity. This world is so full of hate and evil, we forget to look at the blessings and how wonderful God still is and always will be. This Sunday as I looked around at those who came to support my husband in this journey, I was so blessed to see how God had orchestrated each relationship that gathered together in the church that day. I was so blessed and honored to see not only my family, my husbands family, but also my church family from all seasons of our journey. Each and every person has played a role in where we both are today. Each has poured into our lives and prayed for our journey and we will never be able to express how grateful and thankful we are to know them all. I wish that someday I could express to each person there and those who were home praying, how much they mean to us. I never was and never will be Pastor’s wife material, but God saw fit to put me here and I know when He does the placing, He does the providing and sustaining. Thank you to all of the people that have been a part of our lives. Keep letting God use you. We pray that God continues to use us as long as He sees fit and that we always seek His will and not our own.
“As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.” Psalm 18:30
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
“The Lord liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted.” Psalm 18:46
The old saying, “It’s gonna hurt me more than it’s gonna hurt you”, is very true when it comes to our children. When I have to discipline my child or watch my husband discipline my child, it hurts. I physically feel pain and sorrow for my child even though the discipline is necessary, I wish there was another way. Just think about how that must feel to our Heavenly Father. It must hurt when He has to discipine us. Just imagine how He felt when He knew the only way to save us was to give His only son. Wow! We need to be thankful! Thankful for His loving discipline and thankful for His overwhelming Grace. He loves us so much even when we fail.
Jesus prayed, “And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” Matthew 26.39
So if your were wondering how the tiny house is going, here is an update. Our original plan was to build during our time off in December, but life happens and things don’t always turn out as planned. We are now finalizing the plans of our home and hoping to start the material shopping soon. I have made many plans in my life and some work out as planned but most change course. You see my plan is not always God’s plan. I think I know what is best for me because I think I know myself. Well sometimes I am reminded that He knows me more than I know myself and He has the best plan for my life. He knows what is best and He wants me to trust Him. I am thankful for all the times God knew a better way for my life even if I had envisioned it differently. His ways are so much better. I never planned to meet my husband in my very first class in my very first day of college. God knew what I needed. I didn’t plan to move from apartment to apartment and eventually to buying a house only to sell is 5 years later. I didn’t plan to wait 8 years to have my first child. I definitely didn’t plan to give away most of my possessions and live in a Tiny House. God is amazing. I have been so blessed. We can plan all we want but life happens and it doesn’t always happened as planned. We need to trust God’s plan, not our own. We are flawed, He is not. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
“How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.”
I was reading in Malachi chapter 1 recently, about the unacceptable sacrifices that the priests where offering. They were giving such gifts as spoiled bread, lame, sick, and blind sacrifices.(Malachi 1:7-8) God said that they had profaned His name and polluted His table. (Malachi 1:11-12) Do we do the same? Do you give God your best or your leftovers? Are we guilty of giving the things we don’t really care about? I thought about the times I have donated food by looking to give the things I didn’t really need anyway. I thought about how sometimes we tithe the minimum out of obligation not the heart of giving. Some only give what they think they can spare. Is that a sacrifice? Jesus was our sacrifice. He gave His life. What are we willing to give to help others? Do you give your all to Jesus or just what your choose to spare? In Malachi 2:17, it states that “ye have wearied the Lord…” I don’t know about you but I don’t want to weary the Lord. I want to serve Him and give Him my all. I know I fall short everyday but I am so thankful for God’s grace and mercy. The best offering we can give is all of ourselves.
“And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” (Mark 12:33)
While walking with Matthias today. He wanted to sit down on the driveway and play with his toys while I walked back and forth. As I kept getting a little further away he kept yelling to me and asking about noises and whether there might be a car coming. Every time I would answer him and start to walk further he would call out to me again and I finally said I’m right here I’m listening and watching, you are ok. Then God reminded me that he is right there too and I don’t need to keep checking to see if he’s there. He’s always listening and watching. Sometimes we start to feel alone at times when things are hard but He doesn’t leave us. We don’t need to trust in feelings, we need to trust in His promises. He is faithful.
“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” (Hebrews 13:8
“: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Hebrews 13:5)