Mother’s heart

 

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“Thwang.” A giant drum spins and drives its timber into my heart cavity releasing a devastating quake into my mother’s heart.  An agitated, twittering flutter emerges where once a strong steady beat resided. This unnatural vibration of the heart sets into motion frantic thoughts.

            A simple statement of fact regarding a lack of a skill in one of my sons left me deadened for hours.  Dread settles in. The “what ifs?”-emerge.  What if he never improves?  What will he look like as an adult?  All the while, the other side of my heart wants to fully experience the gift of motherhood without undue expectations and worry.  How do you reconcile these two distinctly different realities? How do you operate with a divided heart?

As I struggle to breathe, a prayer escapes me.  “Lord Jesus, I can’t bear this.  I don’t have a clue on what to do to relieve this pain and to make the correct choices not based on fear but on Truth.”

As I let go, I feel the crashing- thudding weapon formed against my mother’s heart begin to dismantle.  I understand that God loves my children more than I do.  That this skill was improving and that if I laid this problem in God’s hand the solution would continue to unfold.  The moment I grab it back, it arrests the work that God is doing.  In the past fear had frozen me, forcing me into a sick dance from in-action to frantic ineffective action.  I cannot find balance alone.  There is no balance in my own mind or heart.  Desperate I release to Jesus and start the road to healing.

(I encourage you to proclaim this prayer out- loud over your life)

Prayer: Great is the glory of the Lord and forever He does reign.  His sovereign hand is on my heart and in my children’s lives.  I cannot save my children or myself my help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.  I proclaim and declare trust in the living God- Jesus Christ.  Have Your way in my life.  Restore my family to their original creation design.  Enlighten the eyes of my heart so that I might hear from You and that I might begin to grow in the knowledge of Your majesty and understand my own standing in Your kingdom.  Thank you, Jesus.  Amen

Ephesians 1:17-20 (NIV)

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit [of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,  and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,

 

The movement of God

God moves in the time between the strike of a question mark and the capitalization of the next sentence in the story of our lives.
When I ask God a question, He often moves in ways far beyond my understanding. Okay so when I say often, I mean always.
It is 2 ½ years ago today when I asked the Lord for someone to disciple me. I was very specific in my request to the Lord. I needed someone who was farther along in their journey with Christ in the gifting of intercession or prayer. When asking God for help we may think that we know what we need or even more laughable we may think we know what we will get. He will always give exceedingly, abundantly more than we can ask or think.

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My petition for a disciple was no exception to the rule of God’s faithfulness and overabundance of love. It was an awkward moment calling a woman that lives across the country, whom I had never met to ask her to be my disciple. She was strangely unfazed by this unexpected phone call. We talked about where I was at in my walk and she in her walk and then we prayed. We have never stopped praying sometimes we pray daily, hourly or sometimes not for weeks.
What we never expected was that two hearts in agreement in prayer under the will of God can transform not only the heart of the person being discipled but the disciple herself. The ripple cast out by our faithful prayers, reached places we would never have dared fathom. There are times during these 2 ½ years where she held me up but just as many times when I held her up. I am eternally grateful that our Great and Glorious God hears not only the words of our prayers but our hearts as well. He knew that I needed a disciple, and whom to give me and he knew that my disciple needed me, our union has been a beautiful blessing in my life. Never think that the quest to come alongside a fellow established our budding Christian is not worth the time or effort.
What Christ grants you when you are in obedience to His Word cannot be measured. Matthew 28:18-20 requires obedience, it is a call to discipleship. But listen to the overflowing God at the end of this scripture, His promises are exceedingly above what we could ask or think. “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. ”
Pray: Lord Jesus help me to not be afraid to ask for someone to be brought into my life to disciple or to be under discipleship with. You are faithful to give us what we need and not what we ask for and for that we are eternally grateful. Hear our hearts Lord even when our words fall short. Provide for us in only the way the great Jehovah-Jireh can. We praise you God. Thank you, Jesus Amen.

Empty vessel

Today I opened up the refrigerator and found this.  My mind flashed into remembrance the feeling of being totally empty.  I must have had a strange look on my face, because my children all came over, to look and see, why the refrigerator was making me smile. (especially this refrigerator)

My husband and I went through a period of intensely painful, betrayal and upheaval that resulted in the complete emptying of ourselves and total reliance on God.  There’s no greater catalyst forward than full surrender.  Few would willing choose this time of upheaval, including myself.  Yet here we are again my husband and I at the edge of everything we are, finding out we are not enough.  Nor can we ever be.

All eyes are on you during that naked and empty period of exposure.  What we choose to fill ourselves with is witnessed. Good or bad.  Everyone is waiting to see.  Some are cheering you on, and some are waiting to witness a good fall.  Either way, you will be responsible for what you choose, no one else.

During the last period of upheaval and emptying we learned how to strengthen and unify our marriage.  How to surrender daily, to determine every course of action no matter how small. And finally that life has nothing to do with you and everything to do with Him.  That no matter what circumstances we are in, we are still accountable to our Lord in every moment and in every step.

Pray: Thank you Jesus, for teaching me what I so desperately need to learn.  I am your open, empty book, create within me Your redemption story.  I surrender my life to Your will and creative genius.  I know that You can, and will do a better job with my life than I can.  Thank you for caring enough to mold me.  I love you.  Amen.

I wonder what I will be taught during this next phase of threshing.  I pray that the chaff will be blown away, soon, and His masterpiece revealed.  I will write about what My Lord reveals, as He unfolds it.

Sometimes seeing an empty vessel is a good thing.  If you have been there and know this bitter, sweetness, feel free to comment me.  I love to hear what God is transforming in other people’s lives.

How long does one step take?

Every time  God wants to give me a gift I mean a really big blessing, which are then by nature a huge leap of faith. I hesitate. It’s ridiculous, numerous times He has given blessings beyound human comprehension, riches beyound are ability to earn or even fully contain and all He asks from us is obedience.  I hesitate.  Delayed obedience is still rebellion.  There is nothing left to be asked or answered, only a step to be taken.  How long can one step take? 

I stand at the crossroads again.  You have asked me to step out and  I’m hesitating.  Someone once said our faith is one of the only gifts we can give Him, and it can only be given while we are still breathing.   In heaven our faith is our sight.  A gift of faith to our King must be given now or not at all.  

Pray:  Lord Jesus

I surrender to You.  Help me to make the desires of Your heart be the desires of my heart. Grant me the gift of perfect alignment with You.  I lay down my rebellion at your feet.  Give me the first step I will take it, even when You don’t give the step by step plan.  I lay down my will, l will be obedient to You even when I do not comprehend Your purpose for what You have asked me to do.  Whatever God has asked you to do whether that be; to forgive, to unite your marriage to Him or full blown missions work, surrender. Surrender it to Jesus now by name. Thank you Jesus for your blessings already given and for the blessings to come from obedience. I love you thank you for loving me. Amen

God is faithful each and every time I have been obedient to God’s prompting, I have received blessings I never would have imagined. To know your actions are pleasing to the Lord is a high that can not be topped by anything in this plane of exsistance. 

Power prayers!

The best way to add power to your prayers is to use the word of God.  Who else would have more power and truth than the maker of the Universe.  Use His words to transform your prayer life and ultimately your life.  2 Timothy 3:16, All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.  

When I find myself praying for the same things over and over again, I then begin to search for scripture to match my need.  Or to be more honest as I catch myself acting less than righteous in the same area of my life over and over again. To create a prayer I take pieces from the scripture or the whole thing and with the power of the Holy Spirit a prayer is developed.  As the Holy Spirit is at work within me the prayer is often transformed many times. I then pray this before entering a situation that would normally trigger my less than Christ-like behavior. Here is one of my prayers with the scripture listed after it.

My prayer:

Lord, I need you within my life, come to me, hear my voice and my inner heart.  You know what I need while I struggle within my confused mind.  Create within me a clean heart, I am not able to tame my tongue alone, keep watch over the door of my lips.  Do not incline my heart to any evil thing.  Help me to accept the corrections of the righteous people in my life.  Jesus I ask for your transforming power within my life to create in me a clean spirit.  Lord Jesus create a trap within my mind to stop my judgmental heart in its tracks, before out of my heart flows cruel or unnecessary words.  Lord I ask You to govern my tongue in all situations to say the things I should say and to stop me from saying the things I shouldn’t.  Thank you Lord for all the corrections You are doing in my life.  I desire You with all my heart, and I surrender myself entirely to your control Lord Jesus.   I love you, Amen.

Psalm 141:1-5 parts of: Lord, I cry out to You; Make haste to me! Give ear to my voice when I cry out to You.  Let my prayer be set before You as incense, The lifting of my hands as the evening sacrifice.  Set a guard, O Lord over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips.  Do not incline my heart to any evil thing, Let the righteous strike me; it shall be a kindness, and let him rebuke me; (NKJV)

 

Pray? Why?

Pray because you want the maker of the universe to align you with His purpose not for you own short sided laundry list of wants. As you pray God re-aligns your priorities, what you wanted sometimes becomes irrelevant and other times becomes the very fire of your life.

Someone once asked, “Why would I spend time asking God for what I want when He already knows”?  Prayer is about surrender, faith and the transformation of the human involved not the listing of needs for God to carry out.  You need to state your wants and surrender them to Christ.  Confessing your wants to God is a testimony that You believe God could meet your desires.  If you are reluctant to bare yourself, and tell God what you want, it is an admittance you believe God can not help you, so why ask?   

Don’t make the mistake of believing if you are not getting what you asked for it is because God is punishing you.  That is not the case He is the Alpha and the Omega, He is already with you at the end of the race in heaven.  He will only provide for you, what is best for you, not what is easiest.  God is not interested in your comfort, but is interested in your character.  Developing character doesn’t happen during the great times, but does during the refining trials.

For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.” Hebrew 12:6, NLV  We should not count trials as something to be ashamed or fearful of.  When we ask God to transform us, we can expect there will need to be refining fires to accomplish this.  Nobody wants to endure trials,but they are a necessary and a sweet victory when we succeed.  Whenever we choose to surrender to God, while going through a trial we will succeed and gain a story to witness from.  No one wants to hear about how God is so great, when all they see is sunshine in your life, people are only truly impressed when you praise God when the storms of life are crushing you.  When you succeed where others fail, because of your surrender to Christ people see something real and true to seek after.  

Pray: Lord Jesus I ask for Your revelation of truth.  I don’t understand what’s happening and nothing makes sense anymore.  You know all, and have me within Your hand.  Jesus please reveal Your heart to me.  Make Your plan real and concrete for me, so that I can follow Your path.  This is really hard and I need some light, help me to find joy in the little things.  You say Your joy is our strength and I need some.  Please grant me a quiet and gentle heart while I triumph through this.  Show me how I can demonstrate Your kingdom, here on earth.  I surrender my wants to Your needs.  I know You love me.  Thank you for all the blessings You are, and will rain down on me.  Amen. Love your daughter, Heather 

Self Help or Self clutter? (prayer restoration part 1)

repentPrayer can change the very fabric of our existence nothing else can. No self help book/seminar, no new job, new location, promotions or vacation.

We clutter our lives up with things designed to improve us, make us “competitive”.  We strive to give our children “everything”  and spend enormous amounts of time and effort to do what society says we “should”.  All the while spending little to no time on the very thing, the only thing that is eternal and will transform our lives.

How do I know this?  I lived it.  I spent huge amounts of time seeking after the things that society deemed necessary to be a “good” mother and to give my children “everything”.  Driving me crazy and ironically not improving anything.  I only succeeded in the creation of life clutter.

A conversation I over heard sparked my desire to seek after eternal rewards through my surrender.  I heard my pastor say, ” I don’t know who that young man is but, I know he loves the Lord,  you can tell by the way he prays”.  I was immediately convicted.  How did I pray?  Did I even sound like I liked God let alone loved him?  Did I use my prayer time as a laundry list of needs?  These truths lead me on a five year journey to become a prayer warrior.  I’m still on this journey and it has become a consuming passion that energizes me and leaves me constantly seeking more of God.

I’m not sure how long it will take me but, this is Part 1 of “prayer restoration” where I will try to put onto paper what God has revealed to me about prayer.  Some of these truths I have learned through painless revelations I have received from God in prayer and some of the truths I have learned through painful trials, my own or the trials of those I love.

In order to be transformed I had to lay down myself and create space within me for the Lord to fill with His truth.  I could no longer cling to my selfish wants, petty grievances, pride, judgmental tendencies and un-forgiveness.  They were taking up too much space and consuming energy that the Lord wanted to replace with His unfailing love and patient discipline.

My first prayer was simply this.  Lord I know I’m broken and a mess I don’t even know what needs fixing.  Please take what You want and leave the rest.  I love you Jesus.  From then on that became my simple prayer that I prayed for many months as He worked within me. Take what you want and leave the rest and He did.  Psalms 145:13 “The Lord is faithful to all his promises” and he promised us. And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you.  He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8.  Read the scripture again and you will see He is the One, there is no other One who goes before your life.  You can’t know whats coming or even the significance of what has passed.  If we want to improve, allowing the maker of the universe who is all knowing, all powerful and ever present into our lives is mandatory.  The way to do this is through prayer.

Pray:  Lord Jesus I know the only thing that can improve me is You.  The removal of me and the in-filling of You.  The clutter of my life distracts from the purpose of my life.  Broken and vulnerable I lay down my pieces before You not for You to reassemble into a newer better me but, for you to utterly transform me to renew me into the being that You created me to be, into the the very image of God. To do that full surrender is required and I am up to that challenge.  Help me to see the areas of my life that I am clinging to and not allowing Your cleansing fire to transform.  Lord Jesus I believe that You love me and want what is best for me.  I surrender my heart, mind, body, thought life, mothering, parenting, being a wife and being your servant to You Lord Jesus use me for Your kingdom. Thank you Lord Jesus.  Love you, your daughter Heather.