In the Middle of the Night

FullSizeRender (7)It is the middle of the night and I’m awake.  Wide awake.

Yesterday I stayed home from work because I’ve been fighting a wicked cold or flu thing and I slept most of the day.  I was actually thinking I might be well-rested for the next day.

No such luck.

Part of the problem is my house got quite warm and I just don’t sleep in warmth.

Secondly, I’m anxious.

…do not be anxious about anything…

Everytime I say the word anxious, those words pop into my head.

And yet, I’m having difficulty letting go of my fear.

It’s this storm coming.

It’s feeling unprepared.

It’s the fact that I delayed something I shouldn’t have.  Been on my to-do list for 3 months.  Since I bought this house.

And I haven’t done it…just kept moving it to the next day.

For three months.

So many things are like that for me…there is just so much to do.  What other really important things have I missed, forgotten, or put too far down the list?

I’m watching the rain drizzle right now, and fearing the deluge that is predicted.

I keep praying…placing my fear in God’s hands…and then picking it back up again…then repeating the process until I can’t sleep.

I have thought about walking around my home praying.  I began my walk and then decided that I want to write some verses down and place them around my house.  I’ve wanted to do that for a while as well.

Why did I buy a house close to water?

Water and me…well, we have a history.  Wet basement over and over again. Wet yard…rivers running through it over and over again. Wet. Wet. Wet.

Even my kids have joked that we will just have to accept that we are destined to own a water park at some point in our lives…I’m just hoping it isn’t my first floor.

…but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving

let your requests be made known to God…

I am praying…now I need to start thanking.

I am so very thankful for this wonderful house.  So thankful for the dreamy yard.  So thankful for the beautiful wood floors.  So thankful for the bedrooms for children.  So thankful for a washer and dryer that work.  So thankful for air conditioning.  So thankful for my relaxing backporch.  So thankful for kind neighbors.  So thankful for my little kitchen.  So thankful for a place to live.

Oh but even as I pray and know know know that I can trust my God who gave this all to me…I’m fearful.

I know it is because sometimes things still go horribly awry.  Sometimes prayers aren’t answered the way I hoped…the way that seemed best.

What if…?

How often have I uttered that phrase, if not aloud at least in my head…and even my heart?

Too many times.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7

Deep breath.

Peace…peace I can’t even understand.

Seems illusive at the moment.

I feel desperate for it.  I can almost taste it, but…why am I struggling?

God says present my request with thanksgiving…let God know what I’m feeling, thinking, worrying about, thanking Him for…and the peace will come.

It doesn’t seem like I have to do anything but give it to Him…and not be anxious.

Is it in the process of praying that the peace comes?  Do I just pray until it pours over me like syrup?  Soft and smooth…stick-to-me peace?

Do I make myself not anxious?

I don’t think so, because if I could I wouldn’t need to pray and it would be my own peace not His.

So…how do I give up this little bit of panic that is clawing at my chest?

Back to my knees…Lord, how do I have peace?

I’m desperate for a few more minute of sleep, but I want to feel that peace that surpasses all understanding…for both my heart and my mind.

Right now it feels like my mind needs it most.

It’s whirling and I’m weary.

How do I grasp it God?

And again…I’m reminded.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances;

 for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Ok…pray.

Father, for me right now, it is the fear of losing my home in a storm.  This precious home you have given to me and my children.  This lovely home that I long to grow old in with people I love nearby.  This dear place you provided my little family with…this house.  Lord, you know me…you know my fears and my anxious thoughts.  And you know that sometimes I worry about dumb stuff, but Lord this feels huge.  This house, in the 3 months we have been here, has had some little hiccups…and even those have felt discouraging to me.  Oh Father, I’m so afraid.  I’m so afraid of losing more.  This past week you have revealed to me that I have an idol of control in my life.  This is definitely not something I can control…at all.  I can’t even begin to control the weather or the water or even the insurance company, but Lord I can trust You.  I know I can.  So why am I so afraid?  I think I know why.  It is because I know sometimes you use difficult things to bring us closer to you…and I do want to be closer to you Lord.  I’m just so afraid of more difficult things.  More struggles.  More heartache.  Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.  I believe you are good.  I believe you love me.  I believe you have a plan.  I believe you will provide.  I believe I can trust you.  I believe you know me and know what is best.  There is not one thing that happens in my life that has not first gone through your hands.  Lord, I trust that your hands hold only good for me and my children.  Lord, I have to grab hold of your peace and say, “your will be done” and rest in that.  Lord, I know you are good and wise and loving and faithful and kind.   Lord, practically speaking, could you allow me to get flood insurance tomorrow?  Please.  If I do, I know it is all you.  If I don’t, I know that it is your plan that I trust you without it.  Either way, I trust that you are working.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

P.S.  I have no insurance until the end of the month, BUT I have peace.  I’ll take that peace any day!  God is so good.  I didn’t believe I could feel peace about all this, but I do.  And that, my dear friends, is totally a Holy Spirit thing!  God is so gracious to me.  I laid it before Him, left it there, and He gave me peace in return!  I’m so thankful!  More than I can say.

Storm is coming, but it’s okay.

A dear friend sent me a passage this morning that TOTALLY blessed me:

Psalm 107:28-32

Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.  He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed.  Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven.  Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!  Let them extol him in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders. 

God is good all the time…with floods and no floods.  All the time God is good!

Can I Really Control the Weather?

cloudy sky with field

“Mommy, it’s all your fault.”

It was raining and although we had on all our pool attire, we were not heading to the pool.  It wasn’t just raining, it was pouring buckets.  And my five year old was spittin’ mad…spittin’ mad at me!    

Lately I’ve been feeling like I have absolutely no control over ANYTHING!  But apparently I CAN control the weather!  Who knew? All these years I could’ve been making sure the days were perfect when they needed to be, or rainy to fit my mood. 

But seriously, I can’t tell you how many times I wish I had a bit more control over things in my life, including me.

You know I just glanced back at that word lately and I want to revise it.  I don’t think this is a recent phenomenon for me.  I believe that even when I think I’m in control of things I’m actually not really.  And what I am realizing is that both my wanting to be in control and feeling out of control are really issues of trust for me.

It seems like most if not all of my struggles come back to trust…or a lack of trust.

I absolutely believe God is trustworthy.  I know that He loves me.  And I know that He sees everything and knows what the very best thing is for me…it’s just that…well, sometimes I don’t like how the path to His best makes me feel.

Feel.  I’ve tried to think rather than just feel.  I want to base things on what I know rather than what I feel.  But sometimes it’s tough. Especially when thinking about everything leaves me feeling dazed and overwhelmed.

I often pray about the fruit of the Spirit:  love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22)  I used to pray that God would fill me to over-flowing with the fruit of the Spirit, but then I realized that I already am filled with the Holy Spirit. I must already be filled with His fruit.  So all those beautiful words describe me already…in theory…well, in reality.  But am I choosing to live in that reality? 

When I’m easily frustrated by things or people, I often pray that God will give me the ability to be gentler, kinder, more loving and patient, to have more control over my tongue and my tone, and to be peaceful in my approach to things.   And when I don’t seem to be moving in that direction, I tend to get frustrated with God because I want Him to do just make me into the godly woman I want to be. I guess I want the proverbial 2×4 to just change me…a 2×4 made of foam not hard wood.

As with most things in my life, I want the quick fix not the “growth and change through process” fix.  Ugh.  Can’t He just make me a better woman, mom, friend, daughter, etc.?

I know that He can, but I believe the process is the best thing for me.  Dang it.

And part of the process is me being in His word…being transformed by the renewing of my mind (Romans 12:2), being content in whatever circumstances I find myself (Philippians 4:11), trusting that He who began a good work in me will indeed carry it through to completion (Philippians 1:6), and knowing without a doubt that He can and will do more than I ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).  Trusting Him is something I live out…I can’t just know it, I gotta believe it, live it, breath it. 

I’m finding that the more I study His word, relinquish control by calming and quieting my heart and mind before Him, rest in His presence, the more I long to be in His care, not my own…to give my life to Him to handle.  I know that His path is not always easy…boy do I know that!…but I also know that He will not leave me to walk it alone.  And just being in His company is worth the journey.

I trust Him that through the process He will indeed make me into the woman I want to be…the beautiful work of art He designed me to be.  (Ephesians 2:10) 

I know that I can’t control the weather because if I could I’d most certainly change the forecast for today…more severe thunderstorms. But I do trust the One, who with one word, can calm the storm and me.

Prayer and My Best Friend

boat on the water picI’ve been wanting to write about prayer for several days now.

Yesterday was the National Day of Prayer and I didn’t realize it until I checked Facebook. I love it when a plan comes together!

Prayer. There is something about that word…it’s peaceful to me. It’s like a sigh.

My prayers have been many things though….sighs, sobs, rants, complaints, praises, thanks, and everything in between.

And honestly, sometimes my prayers have been quite lame. By that I mean, they’ve been few and far between or just, what I call, “hail mary” prayers…thrown up in a time of need or exasperation. Those are never pretty.

Pondering prayer brings to mind all those friends I enjoy talking to, the friends who are willing to listen, help, comfort, guide, hold me accountable, advise, and be part of my life. I’m so thankful for them. And I long to bless them…to talk to them, encourage them, thank them, share the good things with them, share my concerns with them, and love them well.

And thinking about their willingness to be part of my life reminds me of how much my Lord enjoys being a part of my life.

It makes my day to get a letter, call or text from someone I love. I imagine God is the same way when we take the time to think of Him, talk to Him, or share with Him. He loves us so much.

And I know that He desires a relationship with me. I think to some degree…or maybe mostly…that relationship is very much up to me. He’s always willing and waiting every moment of every day…I just need to make the time.

The great people of the earth are the people who pray. I do not mean those who talk about prayer; not those who say they believe in prayer; nor yet those who can explain about prayer; but I mean those people who take time and pray. They have not time. It must be taken from something else. This something else is important – very important and pressing, but still less important and pressing than prayer.” SD Gordon

I found that quote in a little brochure about praying for my children. It’s so convicting to me – I talk a lot about praying, but I could stand to talk less and pray A LOT more.

Just like when we think of our friends and reach out to them, I know the Lord is happy when I think of Him and reach out to Him. I’m determined when I think of Him I’m gonna talk to Him.

Just like my friends, I want to bless Him however I can. And any time in His presence absolutely blesses me.

Prayer…my sweet peace is with Him. I think it’s time to talk to my Best Friend.