Words have power. Written words provide proof. You can read them, and reread them whenever you want. They can speak life to someone who needs encouragement. They can speak death to someone who is being deceived. The choice lies within you. How is it that you want people to remember you? Encourager...that is the gift that God has laid on my heart. To use my written, spoken, and/or sung words to lift people up. To be one link in their road to healing, restoration, joy. I have been without those things, and I claim them to be mine again. If you want me to seek God on a prayer for a specific situation...that is why I am here. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to pray God's Word of Life over you.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Barely Seeing

I am not alone much these days. I took on the HUGE MONUMENTAL TASK of homeschooling my three oldest children this year. I have ONE very independent (self-taught) 4th grader, ONE forever struggling to focus (tender hearted, easily distracted and always rushed) 2nd grader, and ONE intelligent (would rather be Ninja fighting his 4-year old brother) kindergardener that is not at all challenged with the work I find for him and yet surprisingly not confident in his abilities.

What a year it has been so far. Many tears. More laughs. Some Much frustration. And more proud mama moments than I ever saw coming. I LOVE seeing the heart of my children. And I love watching them grow together. I could deal without the fighting some days...but I would hate to miss the love that I get to witness.

My point in telling you that is to say...really...I. Am. NEVER. Alone. Even when I'm showering... questions arise. Questions that clearly can't wait for five minutes. *Moms...can I get an Amen?!* I have to laugh (although sometimes I'll admit that I choose to reply with a snotty and sarcastic tone)  when they come in and ask for help.

"Mom, can you help me get some orange juice?" says child.

"Seriously. SERIOUSLY?! Are. You. Seriously. asking me that right now???!!! Am I the only person that lives here that knows how to pour a drink?! Uh...I'm in the shower. How in the world would you suggest I get you orange juice?!" says frazzled annoyed surprisingly calm Mom. *wink wink*

For those of you that don't know much about me...I live in the snow belt of Pennsylvania. Yes...the snow belt. I willingly live where we get hammered with lake effect snow from Lake Erie. I, on purpose, live where the air gets so cold it not only simultaneously numbs and stings your skin, it freezes your nose hairs and actually hurts to breathe. The only time I am 'alone' as of lately....is when I take the trek, up my hill, in snow literally up to my knees some days...to do chores on our little country farm. No one bothers me there. They stay warm and cozy...and I go out in the bitter cold to throw hay, unfreeze water, fix broken halters, pet our goat, carry firewood etc....

And it is there, when I am finally alone, that God has been speaking to me lately. He's been giving me illustrations to write about. And by the time I make the frigid trip back down, still through snow up to my knees, and to my loud, cozy, question-filled house...they are forgotten. Sigh.... What is wrong with me? How could I be that excited about His inspiration...and then just forget it?! GAH!!

So the other night I had a long phone conversation with my dear, sweet friend, Sheli. I tell her that God has given me several illustrations to write about...and I have forgotten all but one. Her response...why don't you put a notebook and a pencil in your barn coat?

*insert light bulb here*

So simple...and yet completely effective. And so that night after we hung up...I did just that. And a few moments later as I was cutting open bales of hay...God reminded me. 'Walking in dim light.'

A few weeks ago I was in my hay mow after the sun had set. I prefer NOT to do chores in the dark....but the ever busy, squeeze in one more thing before you go, struggling procrastinator in me sometimes wins out. Haha!

I turned on the lights downstairs...and climbed the wooden staircase to the mow. There is one lonely light way at the top of a high ceiling. It is not enough, considering what a HUGE space it is. And to make it even worse...right now there happens to be a half-full wagon of hay blocking most of the light that is cast down from that one. little. far-a-way. bulb.

Dim. I would definitely say the light is dim. So when I came from a barn floor full of lights and walked into the dimly lit mow...it made it all the harder to see. I was a bit taken back, wishing I had remembered to bring my flashlight, but unwilling to go back for it. I knew there were obstacles between me and the hay...and I was not sure how to keep myself from tripping over all of them. I squinted...it did not help. I waited (for a whole 3 seconds)...it did not improve. So I walked.

Gingerly I stepped. Guessing. Remembering what was there in the light. Small steps. Larger steps over whatever obstacle I thought I could see. And then...something happened. The shadows looked, less dark. My vision became more clear. The dim somehow, seemed brighter.

And that is when God spoke. "My child. You may be able to (barely) see in the dark...but you weren't meant to camp and find comfort there."

We are surrounded by darkness. Not necessarily always within...but forever surrounded. Darkness meant to harm us. And darkness seeking out those within our circle of influence. Some days it feels completely overwhelming. Sin that attacks from all angles, from all people, regardless of relationship. Those so broken, that you exhaust yourself to show them truth and prove it realness, only to find they won't accept it. It's as if they feel like it can't possibly be for them. The sadness that camps all around..some days seems to weigh me down.  But why?

Had I been choosing to struggle through the dark with only a poorly lit path...

Is that truly all that God had in mind for me...

                    Psalm 119:105-112 (NIV)

105 "Your word is a lamp for my feet,
    a light on my path.
106 I have taken an oath and confirmed it,
    that I will follow your righteous laws.
107 I have suffered much;
    preserve my life, Lord, according to your word.
108 Accept, Lord, the willing praise of my mouth,
    and teach me your laws.
109 Though I constantly take my life in my hands,
    I will not forget your law.
110 The wicked have set a snare for me,
    but I have not strayed from your precepts.
111 Your statutes are my heritage forever;
    they are the joy of my heart.
112 My heart is set on keeping your decrees
    to the very end."

...or have I simply not been consciously choosing to find light? It is there. Did you catch it? Black letters on the white pages of my Bible. "YOUR WORD is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path." If you find yourself barely able to see past your own circumstance. Or without answers for what the next step is. Start choosing light. Open up the Living Word of God...and gain strength in your faith.

God may choose to smack you with it when you least expect it...but more often He, the gentleman, will nudge instead. 

You pause in the middle of your morning rush when you see your dust-covered Bible. Nudge.
You hear a message on the radio that inquires about your quiet time. Nudge.
You hear a song that stops you in your tracks because it seems the lyrics were written specifically for you. Nudge.

Don't walk around stumbling and yelling at inanimate objects for 'being in your way'. Shed some light in your dark. Choose. Consciously choose...to search not only for a lamp for your feet(your next step), but also a light for your path(what is to come). 

"My child. You may be able to (barely) see in the dark...but you weren't meant to camp and find comfort there."-God