• May 31, 2015 /  Uncategorized

    The day started as usual….yelling at the kids to get up.  Well, i never start by yelling…i start sweet and then add on from there.

    For example, the other day, during our regular morning routine, my senior kid, who had buried his blonde head under his blanket… came out with a good one.  He informed me in a muffled tone…that it was illegal for me to physical lay my hands upon him during our morning routine.  Yes, that is what he said.  Illegal.
    I believe his exact words were,”It’s illegal for you to touch me when you are waking me up.”
    To which i replied, “Really?”…and of course, shook him all the more.

    Mind you, this is the same kid who breaks out singing Bohemian Rhapsody’s   “Mama Mia, Mama Mia let me go.”…..during a stern talking to.  So i’m pretty used to him.   He don’t scare me much.

    But this morning i shook no one.  We were busy and the kids were running late.  So i bypassed the shaking all together and went straight to threatening.  Saved me some time.

    They got moving and the clock kept ticking.  And i was doing the count down thing.  You know, kinda like the air traffic controller.  “20 minutes to go….11 minutes left….3 minutes and your out the door.”

    A whirlwind passed by me as duffle bags were grabbed….toothbrushes spit out…basketballs were retrieved…and money was pushed into the drivers palm while my eyes narrowed in on his face.  “I expect-every-single-cent-of-that-change.” I spoke through clenched mouth… slowly and deliberately.

    “Yep, yep and yep, got it.”

    “And watch your sister……………..boys……………”   My voice faded over the growling engine.

    I closed the door to the outside world and looked around my quiet house.  It had the look of a well lived in comfortably messy home sweet home.  “Well, i thought…if i can’t go with them…at least i have a beautiful country homestead to live on and rest on…”

    I sat down in an attempt to relieve my dizziness and the mounting pressure in my post-concussioned head.

    My eyes closed as i leaned back into my chair…reviewing the hurried mornings events…feeling very blessed that i have kiddos that enjoy hanging out with one another…even if they don’t use their strategically placed alarm clocks…

    My 30 something son broke the silence by walking through the living room door.  “How did that go?” He asked, “Everybody gone?”

    “Yeah, off to the game.”  I nodded.

    “I only have one regret,”  I spoke quietly to him as my mind wandered off in remembrance, “I’m pretty sure i told them they had to fight for their breakfast.”

    “What?”  Seth said.

    “Yeah, i know i did…it all happened so fast…but i do recall…that Ben asked if there were any pancakes left from yesterday…i said only 4…he said make ’em for me please…and i said…i will put them in the microwave but you guys will have to fight for them.”

    I stopped.

    I turned to my eldest, blinked and continued…”Seth, i just told my kids they had to fight each other for their breakfast.”

    Seth looked at me casually and shrugged his shoulders, “Look at it this way mom…they would have fought over their breakfast anyways…you just beat them to it….you were stating the inevitable…you beat them to the punch line..”

    “Hmmmmmm….I replied, “Good point…”

    “And,”  I added thoughtfully, re considering my words, “I didn’t say, to the death.”

    I leaned back in my chair content.  It really was just another morning.

  • May 30, 2015 /  Uncategorized

    She rises also while it is still night And gives food to her household And portions to her maidens.
    Proverbs 31:15
    night-sky-in-cape-breton1
    So many of us GOD girls wait till it is light out…till we have reached the mountain top…to share the testimony.  I have done it countless times.  I guess we think we have to wait till we make it all the way through before ministry can happen.  We figure if we are such a mess, we have nothing to offer…so we wait till the morning, when the sun is shining again…to share the story.

    The song in the night that the LORD gives us, is usually a personal song…a song of hope that ministers to our individual weary state and aching heart.  Agreed.

    That valley experience is a lonely walk where the LORD leads us to private streams of refreshing in the wilderness.  I got that.

    Our heart surely knows its own sorrow.  It’s our unique suffering…that only we and the LORD understand.  For sure.

    But when i read this simple verse today i was struck to the core.  This Proverbs 31 lady did not wait until the morning.  She did not lay in bed in fear…or cringe in the corner, trembling in the darkness.  She got up, while it was still night and she did something.

    This brave lady rose up in the midst of troubled times and she feed her family with spiritual food.
    And she nourished her maidens with portions of the WORD.

    I’m afraid if i wait till my life is calm…and all the storms have settled…if i tarry till it is only bright and sunny all around me…if i chose to linger while i watch for an intermission to my life’s play…i maybe in for a very loooong wait.

    Instead i will grab on with both hands… to the grace available for me at the CROSS….and i will rise upwhile it is still night…telling my stories…nourishing my children…and supplying meat for my girlfriends.

  • May 30, 2015 /  Uncategorized

    gods-wisdomReady…set….you bet!
    Here is our final blog on the wisdom passage in James chapter 3.  Finally, we get to some good news!

    As human folks we have ample access to “wisdom from below”…we all naturally possess this form of wisdom, and we share this wisdom with the world and demonic figures.  Mankind has been uniquely created in the image of GOD and we are designed to be thinking creatures, with logical brains, that function to make multiple decisions each day….except our wisdom is tainted with our sin problems.

    As CHRIST followers we have full access to “wisdom from above”…which is Kingdom thinking and Heaven’s intelligence designed to help us deal righteously in our daily life happenings, including guiding us in our multiple decisions.

    GOD does not force any of HIS children to “do things HIS way”…or employ HIS Wisdom..but HE does give us the choice, the entry way and the power to trade our thoughts for HIS thoughts, and our ways for HIS ways.

    In the last teaching: 2 Kinds of WISDOM (part 2 wisdom from below)…  we detailed what “wisdom from below”  looks like, feels like, smells like and acts like…pretty much like me, most of the time.

    Now we get the joy of exploring the alternative to “wisdom from below”…which is “WISDOM from above.”
    (and is always, hands-down the better choice!)

    Read with me:
    But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. 

    It should thrill our hearts to know, that as we take these “WISDOM from above” qualities apart and examine them…we have a choice, through CHRIST to exchange our wisdom for GOD’s Wisdom!   And, we possess inside of us, the HOLY SPIRIT power to do so!

    1.  Q. What is purity?
    A. Cleanness, freshness, clarity, possessing no ulterior motives.

    2.  Q  What does peaceable mean?
    A.  peace-loving, nonviolent, non-confrontational, easygoing, gentle, inoffensive, good-natured, even-tempered, friendly.

    3.  Q.  What does gentle look like?
    A.  kind, tender, sympathetic, considerate, understanding, compassionate, benevolent.

    4.  Q.  How about reasonable?
    A. Having sound judgment, fair, sensible, logical, rational, level-headed.

    5.  Q.  Full of mercy?
    A.  To treat others with compassion, disposition to be kind and forgiving.

    6.  Q.  What do good fruits taste like?
    A.  Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.

    7.  Q.  What does unwavering mean?
    A.  Steady, consistent, reliable, not showing partiality or discriminating against.

    8.  Q.  And without hypocrisy?
    A.  Being willing to do what you ask others to do, not living a “double life.”

    GO back and re-read those definitions.
    That is what WISDOM from above looks like.
    And that is what we look like when we are wearing it.

    James 1:5 tells us:
    If any of you lacks wisdom (from above), you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

    “WISDOM from above” won’t come easy.  It isn’t the natural thing to do.  The world will steer us otherwise.  The demons will convey their “wisdom from below” into our struggling brains, every chance they get.  BUT now we know the better way.  Now we see we have a choice.  Now we get the options.

    Any minute, of any day…we can cry out to GOD for HIS WISDOM from above…which HE will give us….and then…..HE turns around and tells us….. how pretty that WISDOM looks…. on us!

  • May 28, 2015 /  Uncategorized

    worldly-wisdom-1-728Welcome back to these short teachings on wisdom.

    If you missed part 1 of this series, it would be helpful to you, to go back and read it, as it sets the stage for the upcoming blogs.  These few lessons, unlike most of my writings, are sequential.

    We found listed in James chapter 3 verses 13-18… two very different kinds of wisdom:
    13 who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. 18 And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

    WISDOM from above.
    Wisdom from below.

    In the last blog, we realized together… that as Blood washed children of the Heavenly KING…we have the choice as to which type of wisdom we will employ in our everyday happenings.

    Let’s now explore the wisdom from below according to James, from the WORD of GOD.

    1.  Q. What does the wisdom from below looks like? (vs 14)…
    A. Jealousy and selfish ambition.

    2.  Q. What does jealousy look like?
    A.  Envy, bitterness, anger, competitiveness, partiality and the like.

    3. Q.  What does selfish ambition look like?
    A.  Selfishness, pride, striving, manipulating, justifying, excuse making, defensiveness and such.

    4.  Q.  Who functions in wisdom from below? (vs 15)…
    A.  The earth (world), our natural selves (sin nature)  and demons.

    5.   Q. Who is the earth (world)?
    A. The lost souls of men who have not accepted JESUS CHRIST as SAVIOR.   They have no choice but to walk in their own worldly wisdom, as they do not know any other.  They have no access to heavenly thinking.  Because heavenly thinking is founded in CHRIST alone.  (1 Corinthians 1:24… CHRIST THE POWER OF GOD AND THE WISDOM OF GOD.)

    6.  Q. What is our natural selves? ( sin nature)
    A.   That’s us.  The you and me of today.  Always wanting what we want when we want it.  Always demanding our rights and protecting our stuff and making sure no one gets in the way of our goals, dreams and expectations.  That’s who we are, as we live in this world…fighting the daily fight with our flesh….as our redeemed spirit wars against our natural inclinations…our natural wisdom is what pours out of us when our cup is tipped and we don’t like it.  It’s our fleshes tendencies and the way us folks naturally lean without any thought.  It’s sin. Even as Christians…we fight our sin nature daily. (Romans 7:24  Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?)

    7.  Q. Who are the demons?
    A.  They are the fallen angels, led by their commander-in-chief Satan.  They are armed with a hatred and passion to destroy GOD’s greatest creation…HIS children.  The demonic powers come in various forms and ranks  ( Ephesians 6:12  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.)…they are real spirits that mean real business…and their wisdom is from below…they push and they shove.  They fight and they snarl. They argue among themselves and complain about each other… even when on assignment from their master, Satan.   They are greedy and selfish.  They will do anything to promote themselves up through the demonic ranks.  Anything.  They will stab each other in the back.  They will trick each other.   They offer false treaties.  And they do not trust each other….cause they never play nice.

    8.   Q.  What happens when a person chooses to walk in the wisdom from below?  (vs. 16)…
    A. There is disorder and every evil thing.

    9.   Q. What is disorder?
    A.  A state of confusion,  disorderliness, mess, disarray, chaos.

    10.  Q. What is every evil thing?
    A.  Any evil repercussions or happenings you can imagine.

    Whew!  Got all those definitions?

    So based on the meanings of the words just studied we can sum up the “wisdom from below”……….. kinda like this:

    The wisdom from below..is the wisdom natural to us.  We function in this wisdom without much thought or even trying.  Its what we think based on our insights, opinions, gender, prejudices, upbringing, culture and the such.  Wisdom from below always promotes self…and looks out for #1…ME!…the world aids us in our wisdom from below thinking because it is all it knows…and every man continues daily to do what is right in his own sight.  Scarily, the wisdom from below is also the wisdom that the demons posses.  And as a CHRIST follower…there is nothing i want to share with demons.  Nothing. I do not want to function in the same wisdom as the demonic powers.

    Wisdom from below brings strife and discord.  It brings confusion and ultimately division.  This wisdom does not promote peace or reconciliation…it promotes my selfish ambitions and lusts.  This wisdom will bring abut disharmony and every evil thing.  Every evil thing are 3 big, scary words that i care not to ponder.

    I cringe to think how often i function in the wisdom from below.
    It is easy to do when i am not being careful.
    It is simple to do when i am faced with quick decisions.
    It is not hard to do when the dirt hits the road.

    Wisdom from below vs WISDOM from above.

    Next time, let’s look at the better choice.

  • May 27, 2015 /  Uncategorized

    wisdom-large-3I was strolling through the book of James the other day when i landed in James chapter 3 verses 13-18. Landed as in touched down on the run way…stopped the plane…unbuckled…and got off.

    These few verses are all about wisdom.
    What kinds of wisdom there are.
    What they look like.
    And where i can find them.

    Well,hey diddle diddle, I pray for wisdom…all the time!
    Wisdom in my personal affairs.
    Wisdom in my interactions with my kids.
    Wisdom for upcoming appointments.
    Wisdom in ministry.
    Wisdom on how to spend my time, and my money, and my emotions.
    It is no secret to me that i need wisdom on a daily…moment by moment basis.   Neither is it a secret that my  wisdom ain’t cutting it. It’s a pretty well known fact ’round these parts that I am lacking in this department.

    So when i set me down on these verses for a bit i was delighted  to see  some very applicable truth from GODS WORD to aid me in my pursuit of wisdom.

    Let’s take a look.  James 3:13-18
     13 Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic.  16 where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. 18 And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

    Okay, first off, we can see that this passage is explaining 2 different kinds of wisdom.
    Wisdom from above (GODS WISDOM)….
    and wisdom from below (expressing itself through the world, our sin nature, and demonic influences)

    Now, hold on and wait a minute.
    Evidently there is 2 kinds of wisdom i can be walking around in this day.
    I can romp through today employing the WISDOM that GOD offers me as HIS child.
    Or operating in the wisdom that the world, my natural instincts and the demons possess.

    Them’s my choices.  And them’s your choices.  We get to choose whose wisdom we use.

    CHOSE THIS DAY WHOM YOU WILL SERVE… 
                                                                 AS FOR ME AND MY HOUSE…
                                                                                                        WE WILL SERVE THE LORD.

    Come back next time if you would like to read about the wisdom from below that us human folks are all naturally inclined to walk around in…what it looks like…who else is using it…and how come it isn’t such a good idea to let that wisdom be our daily guide.

    GOD has such great, amazing and life giving instructions for us as we open up HIS WORD and seek HIM

  • May 26, 2015 /  Uncategorized

    basketballI am a re-cycler…a re-user…a make-doer….and when i need something…i first look to see what i “have in my hand”… (i learned that from the LORDS conversation with  MOSES.)
    Basically i look to use what i gots.

    Well, i needed rags…hankies in specific.  And since i do not buy paper towel or kleenex… i cut up t-shirts.
    Cause it works.  It makes perfect sense to me.  I call it frugal.  My kids have other words for it.

    And who has an abundance of t-shirts in my house?   My 3 teenage boys.
    And who doesn’t even know where half of those t-shirts are?  My 3 teenage boys.
    And who will never even notice when i raid their rooms for t-shirts?  My 3 teenage boys.

    Until the day i walked around the house with an ALL LEAGUE logo hanging off of my nose.

    “Mom are you serious? Did you really cut up my ALL LEAGUE shirt to use as a handkerchief?” asked Ben.

    “What this old thing?” I replied.

    “Yes, that old thing.  That old thing that you are blowing your nose on. That says i went to ALL LEAGUE this year.” He answered.

    And before i had a chance to express my very logical and reasonable actions that rude kid continued…

    “Josiah,”  Ben  yelled across the house  “Mom is cutting up our basketball shirts to use as snot rags!”

    “Are you serious?” Josiah shouted back.

    “Now, now boys…I’ve been using your MVP, ALL STAR, ALL LEAGUE, ALL TOURNEY t-shirts as hankies for a few years now…you just haven’t notice.”  I smiled carefully…desperately wanting to believe this would soften the blow.  (get it blow?)

    They just rolled their eyes and walked to the infamous “rag bag”.

    Gulp.

    I considered a quick defense.   Hmmm, I could use the rational argument that they are lucky i buy toilet paper.  But there was no time for that.  The “rag bag” was out.  The evidence was clear.

    “Okay boys you got me.  I ripped up SOME of your basketball t-shirts to use for rags.  They have been recycled.  They have moved on to bigger purposes.  I did not think this was a big deal.  But i can see now it is. I am sorry and I will definitely ask you before tearing apart any of your t-shirts that express an award winning logo.”

    Apology accepted.

    “Rag bag” returned.

    Nose blowing continued.

    And a Scripture verse popped into my little frugal head…..
    We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags.  Isaiah 64:6

    All the good and even great things we do.  Any wonderful awards we may receive.  The honors of this life, even the rightly deserved ones….the hard work…the hours of labor…are nothing but filthy rags before the LORD…no good work we may do will allow us entrance into Heaven…there is only ONE entrance…ONE way…that covers all our sinful impurities…and makes us clean and fit for Heaven….the BLOOD of JESUS!

    Good object lesson…those cut up t-shirts…for my 3 teenage boys…and believe me you…i used it to the hilt!

    To which they replied, “Thou shalt not steal.”

  • May 15, 2015 /  Uncategorized

    guy_reading_cwYears ago when i was a young mama with only half a dozen kids, i sat at the dentist office, on a blustery winters day in deep contemplation.  I was 40 minutes away from home…during a snowstorm…waiting for my children to complete their 6 month check-ups…when my van broke down.  Broke, like broke, like wouldn’t run.  We had made it to the dentists office…but we weren’t getting back.

    I was quietly in thought, debating my options, when a middle aged man, sat down beside me and lifted a magazine to his eyes.  I paid him no mind, other than to glance “hello” as my mind was elsewhere.
    What to do…what to do…about this problem.  My brain cells collided whilst i thunk hard.

    Suddenly i had an idea.  A pretty good one too.  And i broke my thinking silence as i turned to that fella sitting besides me…and exclaimed to him…looking directly into his magazine filled eyes, “I have a thought.”

    This man slowly lowered his reading material…turned to me with a sideways glance…and repeated, “You have a thought?”

    “Yes,”  I replied “I have a thought.”

    We both just looked at one another for a moment.
    Then i dreamily drifted back into my thinking plan… strategizing  in my mind how i was going to get a bunch of hungry kids, 40 minutes home, on a snowy day.  And that man…we’ll, i think he scooted away from me and kept reading his article..being sure to never make eye contact again.

    Since i am kinda random by nature..and pretty much oblivious….i didn’t  realized how “weird” that may have been for the poor fella.  My kids and i still laugh a lot…about the day mom turned to a total stranger…held her finger high up in the air…and declared…”I have a thought.”

    Fast forward several years.   Now i am a  mama who has 9 children, 2 grands…and have a growing ministry.   I work hard at life…and life works hard at me.   I write and speak and preach and pray and praise and prophesy… in addition to my role as single mama…the only parent in our home.  I constantly struggle with the “how to do it all” parts of being me…and never want to leave one job undone for another.

    I have walked though plenty of life assignments wondering if i were sacrificing home concerns for ministry.  I have entered a great deal of open doors to speaking and teaching opportunities that i had to drag myself through… because the pressures at home that morning were mounting…and how could i be here…instead of there?

    I clearly remember one such morning.  I was on a mission from the LORD to teach at a ladies Bible study. I had said “Yes” to a series of summer teachings…and this was the next stop.  I knew GOD wanted me here.  I knew this was in the plan.  But life doesn’t stop hitting you in the face cause your on assignment from JESUS.  And life had been hitting hard.  I went to the study that morning without anyone knowing the “whats-going-on-in-kim’s-life” version of me….cause that gets old fast…and that wasn’t part of my assignment anyway.  I was there to bring a WORD to those ladies…a WORD of life and hope to the hearers…who all had their own versions of life’s stuff.

    The WORD was good that day..and it was solid…one can’t go wrong when one teaches from the Scriptures…and sticks to what GOD says.  And my life experiences added just the right amount of color that the ladies needed to make it real…from a real JESUS girl…in a real life…with real struggles…and a real hope…for a real world.

    As i was preaching along that morning i was doing fine…lost in my passion for preaching the WORD…i payed no attention to my long list of worries that would meet me once i said “Amen.”….but something different happened that morning that had never happened before.  That long list of earthly concerns for me and my kids appeared suddenly before my eyes.
    And i immediately got stuck.
    Stuck in the moment.
    Stuck in fear.
    I gasped.
    I froze.
    Now on that list were real concerns.  They were happening, not imaginary fears.  Some urgent concerns.
    Some heart breaking concerns.  Some waiting for the doctors (plural) return phone call concerns.
    Some “I-don’t-believe-this-is-actually-my-life-concerns”….

    To me, at least, time stood still… it was like slow motion…i could see all the faces of my beautiful ladies looking up at me…but i could not speak…i was to overwhelmed with my “other” job…my life.

    And at that moment, in my time, and in my space, i heard by the SPIRIT, a voice beside me…that turned to me…with a smile and a laugh…and said “I HAVE A THOUGHT.”

    I knew instantaneously what that meant.  Relief poured down over my head.  Peace encircled me and gave me a big hug.  My JESUS had been sitting next to me all morning long…pondering the difficulties of my life…HE had been arranging the details and making a plan for all the items on my worry list….and HE HAD A THOUGHT!   And if HE was thinking about it…i didn’t have to.  I was free to be and to do what i was called to do…minister, with absolute confidence…to the glory of GOD.  And that is just what i did.

    Not one lovely lady seemed to notice my pause that day.  No one even knew what i was talking about when i mentioned it.  The gap in my teaching went unobserved by all.  Unnoticed by all but me… and my JESUS… who in HIS perfect randomness… that has captured my heart…spoke in a love language that only i would understand….”I HAVE A THOUGHT.”

  • May 13, 2015 /  Uncategorized

    clothespinsI lifted my overflowing basket to the rail, preparing to do one of my favorite household chores…hanging out the laundry.  Spring had shown itself, the sun was shining and i was more than ready to resume my daily habit after a long, harsh winter.

    As  i began to shake and hang…the LORD reminded me of the very first time i called upon HIS name. Many years prior, as a young mama with only 2 babies.  I was a very, very sick girl and lacked the energy or strength to preform even the most basic of household duties.  Laundry hanging, at that time, became a thing of my  past.  Yet, in a brave moment… i determined to “hang out the laundry” if that was the only thing i could do that day.  Being so desperately ill, i had to drag the full laundry basket into the backyard clothes line.  But being too sick to lift my arms to the line…i threw my head back…lifted my face….looked up through the pine needles and cried…”GOD, if YOUR real…if YOUR out there…this would be a good time to show YOURSELF to me…cause i’m sick…and i think i’m dying…and i don’t know what to do.”

    Re-enter 2015.  As i hung my clothes this Spring morning i reminisced with the LORD that memory.  And as i meditated on the thoughts in my head i said, “LORD, YOU have been so faithful.  So wonderful in my life.  Of course, I recall my first time crying out to YOU, LORD….and YOU showed YOURSELF to me…now LORD, 27 years latter at this clothesline i need to ask YOU something else.”

    I hesitated for a moment… then I quickly counted the clothespins in the bucket.  Eyeing the remaining clothes to be hung… it seemed to me that i would not have enough clothes pins to finish the task.
    Perfect i thought…the story of me…never enough…or just barely enough….always lack…always just scrapping by…”LORD, YOU are a GOD of abundance.  YOU are a GOD who is extravagant.  YOU are a GOD of overflowing. That is who YOU are.  I hate feeling like i’m not gonna make it.  I hate feeling like i don’t have enough for my kids…for this ministry…i hate the feeling of lack and poverty…and poor little, sick little, broken little Kim…i have a lot to do in the time YOU have given me LORD…i have many very real responsibilities in my family…and in this ministry LORD….and i NEED to know…i NEED to see…that YOU are gonna provide abundance for me..not puny…not almost enough…not ‘whew’ that was close… but abundance…”

    I finished hanging the clothes in silent.  All done.  I looked down to see 3 clothespins left in the bucket.  “That is exactly what i’m talking about LORD!  That is not abundance…that is just enough to get by!”

    Then i threw my head back…lifted my face…looked up through the pine needles (yes, pine needles)…and cried…”GOD, in YOUR goodness…and because YOU love me like crazy…would YOU please give me a sign…and fill my clothespin bucket…abundantly…like tons of clothespins…like more than enough to do the job!…like saying i will not lack in the provision i need to do a great job in my family…and do a great job in my ministry…give me this sign….that YOU are gonna provide EVERYTHING i need…in abundance…GOD give me clothespins!”

    Yes, I prayed for clothespins.  Fervently.  Cause clothespins are so simple, so homey, so get-the-job done, so everyday, so functional, so Mama Squirrel.  I prayed for an abundance of clothes pins. And i didn’t tell anyone, cause i didn’t want anyone to be the answer to my petition….and i wasn’t gonna go buy clothespins…and i would not accept clothespins from usual places, like on a hanger…or clipped to my potato chip bag, cause i can always find them there.   And i wasn’t gonna go searching for clothespins…they would have to turn up on my daily path all by themselves, without me looking for them…..So i prayed…and i cried…and i waited 3 days.  Cause 3 days is often my “rule of thumb”…..and clothespins DID come trickling in…i’d find 1 or 2 by the couch…2 or 3 on the porch….some behind a table, others lost in a dish while i was looking for mascara…a kid brought me 2 or 3 when he was out raking the yard…and my clothespin bucket began to fill up slowly…but it wasn’t abundance.

    After 3 days…i cried out to the LORD, “LORD, YOUR not the problem here…i KNOW YOU are a GOD of abundance…me not having clothespins doesn’t change who YOU are but i asked for more clothespins…”

    That very day in my daily  BIBLE reading i read about dead Lazuras….dead 4 days before JESUS came to resurrect him…even though Mary and Martha sent for JESUS to come heal their brother before he died. JESUS waited till Lazuras was dead, dead  to show up.

    “Okay, LORD…i’ll go 4 more days praying for clothespins.  Four.  Oh LORD, give me clothespins!  Fill the bucket.  Abundance of provision to get the job done!”        I repented.  Read scripture.  Took prayer walks. And one day in anger threw the clothespin bucket down 7 times to see the clothespins scatter to the ground.  I was exhausted praying for clothespins.  But i kept at it.  Cause i NEEDED to see the promise of GOD’s abundance flapping in the wind…hung by the provision of clothespins.

    And over those 4 days…clothespins came…here and there in unusual places…twice i found them in bunches or 10 or 12….weird….but i just smiled to myself and plopped all those clothespins in a large glass container so i could watch them build up.

    After 4 days i dumped all the clothespins together.  My clothespins had easily doubled in 7 days.  Easily. The clothespins filled my basket to more than half full.  At least twice as many as i had started with the week before.  But it wasn’t abundance.  The basket wasn’t overflowing.  My heart sank.  Miraculously many clothespins did appear.  Sadly, it was not what i asked for.

    I struggled for many days with my clothespins request.  I knew GOD is abundant.   I believe HIS WORD. But as a private favor…i really wanted to see everyday clothes pins…as a constant reminder to me of HIS abundant provision for me…. personally.

    I went about my business and kept my clothespin story to myself.  I did life.  And clothespins weren’t the center of it….though i did often wear a clipped clothespin to my shirt, or jeans pocket as a reminder of GOD’s WORD that HE is abundant…even if my prayer wasn’t answered.

    One day my mama was down visiting.  She noticed the clothespin clipped to the hem of my shirt.  And she retold the story of when her baby Kim was a little girl, just taking her first steps, and that baby Kim always needed to have a clothespin in her hand to walk…or she would fall down…baby Kim would not move forward without a clothespin….and for a long, long time…that little girl walked around with a clothespin tucked in her little fist…because she felt secure…and safe…and courageous….as long as she had a clothespin in her hand.

    Several more days past before i broke the silent and shared my clothespin story.  I was relaxing and chatting with 3 hippies, when it all came out….the whole ordeal….the long version.  Being gracious folks, they all listened to me politely…then they shared their thoughts.  All of them were in absolute agreement, right from the start.  It was so clear to all of them…what i could not see.  All i saw was unanswered prayer.  All they saw was abundance.

    They harmonized for 15 minutes on how GOD miraculously made clothespins appear…and how abundance means more than enough….they showed me that i had way more than enough to hang out my laundry on any given day…an that i am able to fill my clothesline to the max…and still have plenty of clothespins left over….they  discussed how i am not even close to lacking in clothespins…and have way more than i need for the job….they also noted that GOD, in the BIBLE, didn’t often provide long term…but met the need of the moment abundantly…and when more was needed HE provided then…not weeks ahead.  One,  knowing me, spoke up and said that i had a problem of being a completer…and that i liked the feeling of a full storehouse…while nothing is wrong with either of those…it can become a problem when you ask for an abundance of clothespins and get an abundance of clothespins for the job at hand….just maybe not enough for next summer…but next summer isn’t here yet…so you don’t need them.

    These kids were beginning to make sense.  But my brain was still stuck… though they themselves all left convinced i had gotten exactly what i had petitioned my GOD for.

    So with BIBLE in hand, i went back to the basics and asked GOD for 3 confirmations from HIS WORD that these hippy kids were right…that i did receive abundance…and that somewhere along the way, these old eyes of mine missed the miracle…that those 3 kids could easily see.

    And i read about the Israelites in the desert…who ate manna…every day…provision from heaven…in abundance…they had plenty…for that day…it didn’t rain down manna for a lifetime, or even a week…but provision in abundance 1 day at a time.   As a matter of fact, if the Israelites tried to store the manna up for the next day, it would spoil and produce stench. (Exodus 16)

    Then i read about the widows flour and oil.  There was a major drought in the land.  The land did not produce.  Famine occurred.  The widow was poor.  Her resources gone.  Starvation was coming, for her and her son.  But according to the word of the prophet Elijah the widow was able to reach into her flour bin… and pour from her oil container…. each day enough to make bread for herself, her son and Elijah. She had plenty for every day…one day at a time…she didn’t bake bread for the week.  She baked daily.
    (1 King 17)

    Finally, i read about the miraculous meal provision for 5,000 men… plus woman and children… from 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish.  Everyone ate their fill that day…being completely satisfied…and the 12 disciples picked up the abundance…12 overflowing baskets of provision….(one for each disciple)…JESUS provided for the need of the moment….He prepared a more than sufficient meal at mealtime….and everyone went home happy.  JESUS did not set up a buffet for a week…HE provided dinner…their daily bread….and it was more than enough.  (Matthew 14)

    Now convinced that the LORD had done exactly what i had asked HIM to do i closed my BIBLE and prayed a prayer of thanksgiving for HIS overflowing provision in my everyday life stuff…from beginning to end…from personal to family to ministry…HE is my abundant provider…HE is my all-sufficient….HE is my extravagant  GOD…He lavishes me with plenty…for whatever tasks i will face in my daily living…i have more than enough…

    My GOD did not have to produce clothespins for this little girl for me to believe it….i already knew it….but a personal GOD does personal things for his  personal children….and HIS overwhelming love for his kids pours out generously… in real-life… everyday things… like clothespins.

  • May 12, 2015 /  Uncategorized

    pregnantIt was supposed to be my last time to see my son before he was sent off to a Federal Prison to fulfill a 15 month sentence.  It was supposed to be a Mothers Day that i would physically have the blessing of hugging all my children.  It was supposed to be.  But making the last turn into the County Complex, my driving son turned to me and said “I will lock the car, you can leave your stuff in here.”  That’s when it hit me.  I had traveled 50 minutes to visit my waiting kid…and i  had forgotten my I.D.

    Having a concussion for 2 months has been a bummer.  One of the inconveniences is that i am unable to drive and must be chauffeured around. One of the fun things is i can pocket my cell phone and grab some cash if needed.  I rarely lug my heavy purse anymore.   And i like it that way.  Until today.

    “Oh Heath,” I wailed, “I forgot my licence!”

    And that was that.  There was no going back.  There was no rescheduling.  There were no other acceptable forms of I.D.  There were no more visits. There was absolutely nothing to be done.  I had made a big mistake. And it was gonna cost me…and my kid.

    Repeatedly i questioned Heath…”Josh is gonna be okay, right?  He will be okay?”

    “Mom..he WILL be okay.  I will go and see him myself.  He will just be glad someone is there.  It will be okay.”

    “Okay, tell him i love him.  And i miss him.  And i am right outside that window praying for him.  And give him this from me.”  I stretched over and hugged the one son within my reach.

    “I will.”

    I drove to the very edge of the parking lot.  As far away as i could from cars and people.  And i bowed my head and cried.  Buckets and buckets of tears.  Through sobs i glanced at the darkened windows where i knew my 2 sons were sitting.  I retraced the steps into the building…through the detectors…past the uninviting policemen at the desk…into the dank waiting area…through the locked door…into the small hall where all guests smushed together…through the next locked door and into the visiting station…where 2 of my 6 sons were sitting on hard metal stools with glass between them.

    I wept openly, sometimes uncontrollably, at the pain of it all.  And that is when i remembered the ageless verse in Genesis that i had thought of many. many times before in my mothering career.
    To the woman HE said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children.”…Genesis 3:16

    There is little about child birthing that is easy…from monthly periods…to pregnancy…to labor and delivery…and then into sleepless nights…childhood illnesses…hormones…grappling for independence…personal choices….and watching your babies struggle into adulthood and beyond.

    If it were not worth it in the long run…we mamas would not keep doing it…over and over again…we do see that the joys of mothering outweigh the heartaches…yet i am convinced that laboring for our children never stops….i am certain that as long as i am alive i will labor for my kids…and labor is pain.

    So…. i sat and i cried and i reflected on my 10 pregnancy labors.  With the exception of one born to early by c-section, i labored long and hard for those babies.  And by my choice i used no medicines or medical interventions…also by choice it was just me and my husband…and an occasional pesky doctor or nurse.

    Between sobs, i remembered what was important to me during those birthings….what helped me get through all the hours of pain…what gave me the most strength.

    My husband was the best labor coach.  He knew me.  He had learned just what to do…and he did it well. He never made light of my pain.  He didn’t try to take the pain.  Or distract me from it.  He knew i was a silent concentrator and he let me do my thing.

    He held my hand and didn’t let go….ever.
    And he told me over and over, quietly  and gently…
    1.”You’re doing great.”
    2. “I am so proud of you,
    3. “Everything is going fine.”
    4. “The baby is fine.”
    5. “You are fine.”
    6. “You are gonna get through this.”
    7. “This is what you were created for!”

    Remembering my laboring strategies made me feel stronger while weeping in my car.  I was feeling birthing pains again today and i knew it.  Birthing my children into their next phase of life (whatever that may be) wasn’t easy for me.  And now i would rely on my many birthing experiences to get me through this hard mommy moment.

    As i sobbed… i reached out and grabbed onto the steering wheel of my car.  “LORD, hold my hand…hold my hand LORD and LORD don’t let go”……and “LORD, talk to me..talk me through.”

    He held my hand and didn’t let go….ever.
    And he told me over and over, quietly  and gently…
    1.”You’re doing great.”
    2. “I am so proud of you,
    3. “Everything is going fine.”
    4. “The baby is fine.”
    5. “You are fine.”
    6. “You are gonna get through this.”
    7. “This is what you were created for!”

    An hour latter my free son emerged.  He had seen Josh.  Josh was fine. They had a nice visit.

    He said to tell you, “He loves you…and he misses you…and Happy Mothers Day.”

    I took a deep, cleansing breathe between contractions…there would be many more coming this week…labor is a long, hard process…..ya gotta breathe and relax when ya can.

  • May 9, 2015 /  Uncategorized

    dscfamilyGOD IS PATIENT WITH MY CHILDREN.

    HE IS KIND TO THEM.

    HE IS NOT JEALOUS, COMPARING THEN TO OTHERS AND DISAPPOINTED WHEN THEY DON’T MEASURE UP.

    HE DOES NOT ALLOW PRIDE TO STAND IN THE WAY OF BUILDING A RELATIONSHIP WITH THEM.

    GOD DOES NOT DEMAND HIS OWN WAY IN MY CHILDREN’S LIVES. HE GIVES THEM A CHOICE.

    GOD IS NOT IRRITABLE OR GROUCHY WITH MY KIDS, NO MATTER HOW IRRITABLE OR GROUCHY THEY ARE TOWARDS HIM.

    GOD DOES NOT KEEP  RECORD OF ALL THE TIMES THEY HAVE WRONGED HIM, HE LOOKS PAST THAT AND SEES EACH OPPORTUNITY TO SMILE AND SHINE.

    HE IS NEVER GLAD ABOUT INJUSTICE OR EVIL, BUT REJOICES WHEREVER THE TRUTH WINS OUT IN THEIR LIVES.

    GOD NEVER GIVES UP ON THEM, EVEN WHEN THEY GIVE UP ON THEMSELVES.

    HE IS ALWAYS HOPEFUL THAT THEY WILL EMBRACE THE TRUTH AND DO THE RIGHTEOUS THING.

    GOD ENDURES THROUGH EVERY CIRCUMSTANCE WITH MY CHILDREN.

    HE SEES IN HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH THEM, NOT WHAT HE CAN GET, BUT WHAT HE CAN GIVE….

    LORD, MAKE ME LIKE YOU.