Friday, July 31, 2015

Pregnant with Purpose

I’ve been dreaming strange dreams lately. No, I haven’t eaten anything spicy. I haven’t had ice cream before bed, either.  But I have been expectant. I’m waiting… on God. Maybe that’s why I’m dreaming strange dreams.

You’ve heard of a “pregnant pause?” I feel as if I’m in one right now. Pregnant, expectant, waiting. The excitement is building. This is going to be great!

However, in waiting we often become anxious; “I just can’t wait any longer!” We become like a small child playing hide-and-seek. They can’t wait for you to find them so they giggle, giving away their hiding place, or they jump out before you get there to find them. Sometimes we do that with God – jump out before He wants us to and delay what He was working on in secret for us. Then we ruin our surprise.

God has so many wonderful things in store for us. Sometimes He speaks to us or shows us a hint, like in a dream. We get excited. Then we put our focus on that instead of Him and before long we’re running ahead of Him. We’re “pregnant with purpose” with what God said.

In Genesis, God made a promise to Abram (Abraham). He promised that He would protect him and give him a great reward. Remember, Abram and Sarai (Abraham and Sarah) did not have children. Yet God promised, “Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have!” (Gen. 15:5) And this made Abram “pregnant with purpose.” It made him expectant. It also made him blessed.

“And Abram believed the LORD, and the LORD counted him as righteous because of his faith.” ~Genesis 15:6 NLT

All pregnancies take time. Every expectant mother has to wait at least nine months for her baby to arrive. During this time she enters into a time of preparation; a time to prepare for that baby. She has to get ready not only the nursery where the baby will live, but she also has to prepare herself for the baby’s arrival. Pregnancy is a time of preparation, then expectancy, then blessings.

So much happens in secret inside the womb of an expectant mother. We don’t see or get to watch the cells grow together, the bones form, the organs form, or to watch the baby grow. But an expectant mother can feel her baby moving and growing inside her, which makes her excitement grow in anticipation of meeting that new one in person within a very short time.

In the spiritual realm much activity is also taking place in secret, all concerning God’s promises in our lives. When God plants a seed (His Word) in us we then have to enter into a time of preparation. We enter into a time for that seed to grow and bear fruit. In the season of preparation it’s a time of learning. Preparation equips us (teaches us) to handle whatever God promised to do in, around, or for us, or whatever He promised to give us.

While we’re waiting, we should be expectant. Be excited. But also use that time to prepare. Pray. Read His Word. Study. In due time, He will birth something in you that is not only beautiful, but exciting. It may just surprise you. But we don’t get it overnight. You and I have to wait while God not only prepares our surprise, but also while He prepares us to receive it. And in our time of preparation, we can and often will feel it growing within us, too.

God gave me a Word. He planted a seed and now I too am waiting. He’s been giving me hints along the way, letting me feel in my spirit what He is growing and building, to keep me interested and expectant. My hints have been in many forms, but none more intriguing than the weird dreams I’ve been having. It’s exciting.

I’m going to give God time. Just like He told Abram (Abraham) not to be afraid, I won’t be afraid. And just as He promised Abram that He would protect him, I know He’s protecting me. So I’ll wait on God because I know that whatever it is that He is preparing for me, it will be amazing. I can’t wait to see it!


Blessings!

Shelley

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Looking For What You Need

I'm looking for a mentor. Aren't we all? Someone we can confide in. Someone we can trust with our deepest darkest secrets. We look for someone who will encourage us, build us up, teach us, walk alongside us and help us when we stumble and tell us, "It's okay to stumble. Get back up and keep going." We want someone who is touchable, available, who cares and isn't afraid to get dirty with us in our walk of life. 

I say that at two-thirty in the blessed a m while I'm wide awake, unable to sleep, pondering if I'm having a hot flash or if my husband's body heat from his deeply slumbering body is keeping me awake… or if it's the dog barking at God knows what out there in the dark that awoke me to find myself in need. Because there's definitely a need along with a sweet little tune tinkling away in my mind this very moment:

Lord I need You,

Oh I need You!

Every hour I need You.

My one defense. . .

My righteousness. . .

Oh God, how I need You!

And I hear that still, small voice, ever so quietly whisper into my soul, "I'm your Mentor. It's Me. Yet I'm anything but safe. Follow Me anyway."

It's now that I realize why I'm awake. I also realize Who woke me up. It wasn't a hot flash, or my husband's slumbering body heat, although he's like a furnace when he sleeps. It wasn't the dog barking, although his sharp little bark was helpful in breaking the crazy dream I was having. It was the Lord, waking me and placing the sweet little tune in my soul to remind me how much I need Him and to remind me that He wants to spend time with me. I'm not even angry that He woke me at two in the morning. How could I be?

I've been neglecting my time with Him. Oh I didn't think I had been. I thought the little prayer here and there while going about my daily stuff was enough. It wasn't. He demands my full attention. He requires I meet regularly with Him. Yet I was missing our appointments.

How can I possibly be mentored, be taught, if I never step into the classroom? How can I learn if I never open the Textbook? I can't take for granted that my Mentor will automatically pour into me, knowledge, wisdom, that sense of well-being if I never take the time needed to actually LEARN from Him!

I'm humbled.

Is He mad at me? No. Is He disappointed in me? No. He just misses me. He knows how to get my attention. And I know full well why. So here I am; ready, willing, humbled, and ready to begin again. Do I have to start over from the beginning? No. Just pick up where I left off. My assignment is still waiting. It always been there. He's always been there. 

Like a toddler with a short attention span and a parent who patiently waits for her to refocus, so it is with the Lord and I. My squirrel moment gone, in the dead of night when there are no distractions of the day hounding me, vying for my attention, no interruptions, just me...and my Mentor.

"Are you ready to proceed?"

"Yes. I'm sorry I wandered off."

"It's okay. I love you. Shall we continue?"

*Sigh* "Yes. I'm ready."

"Then let's go."

You know, He misses you too. You’ve been wandering long enough. You’ve been putting Him on the back burner long enough. You’re running yourself ragged, making excuses, trying to analyze and debate your way through life, complaining, looking for a mentor too. I know how it is. I’ve done it.

You’re trying to convince yourself that you can figure it out. There must be a better way. The answer is around her somewhere. If you can just do enough, help enough people, give enough, work enough, be kind enough, cook, clean, teach, volunteer… but it isn’t working for you is it.

You’re wearing yourself out when you don’t have to. Jesus is patiently waiting for you to stop running in circles and just give in to Him. He’s not mad at you. He’s not disappointed in you. He loves you dearly and He’s just waiting.

You don’t have to have it all figured out. He’s got it covered. You don’t have to clean up. He’ll do that. You don’t have to get yourself organized. He’s got your plan. Just stand still and say, “Okay. Here I am. I’m tired of running.” One step in His direction is all that’s needed. He’ll do the rest. He will meet you where you are. It’s that simple. It really is.

You’re looking for a mentor. Someone who will listen, who will care. Someone who will encourage you, build you up, teach you, walk alongside you and help you when you stumble and tell you, "It's okay to stumble. Get back up and keep going." You want someone who is touchable, available, who cares and isn't afraid to get dirty with you in your walk of life. 

Yeah, that’s the Lord. He’s anything but safe… and yet He’s the only One Who will keep you safe.

Are you ready? Then let's go!






Monday, July 13, 2015

Look Where You're Going

There are many women today who live by continually looking at where they came from:

I was physically abused.

I was sexually abused.

I was bullied.

I was always told I wasfat, stupid, no good, would never amount to anything, etc..

By hearing these things spoken over us day after day, year after year, we begin to believe them, especially when they are spoken by people we love. Words are powerful. They can make or break a person. When spoken negatively our words can be detrimental. However, when spoken positively our words have the power to heal and build others up.

Often times as adults we continually remember the negative things that were spoken over us and prevent ourselves from living the abundant life that Jesus came so we can have. Jesus wants us to have a full life, an enjoyable life. He wants us to be happy. Yet many refuse because they are too busy looking at where they came from instead of where they’re going.

Sometimes we wonder where we fit in to God’s plan for our lives. It can be overwhelming. We’ve heard for years that we don’t fit in, that we don’t measure up. But we were listening to the wrong people. We weren’t listening to God. Because according to God we are:

A Masterpiece  (Ephesians 2:10)
Chosen!  (Ephesians 1:11)
Wonderfully Made  (Psalms 139:14)
Beautiful (Psalm 45:11)
Called (Jeremiah 1:5)
Forgiven (Psalm 86:5)
Anointed  (1 John 2:27)
and especially… Loved (1 John 3:16, John 3:16)!

With all these promises from God, how can we ever believe anything negative? And these promises aren’t the only ones. There are so many more in God’s Word, straight from Him.

There are also still those who would like nothing more than to remind us of our past, but sadly these are the people who are also living in the past themselves. It’s time to move up and move on and live the happy, abundant life we were meant to live. We need to stand still and let God heal us, anoint us, and affirm us. When we do that, the negative things that once controlled us will crumble and fall. Because God’s Word also says that no weapon formed against us will prosper (Isaiah 54:17)!

Where we came from doesn’t matter in the sight of God. If we belong to Him, our past is forgotten. We need to forget it, too. Stop allowing others to remind us and keep us in the past. We need to stop looking where we came from and look where we’re going. Because where we’re going looks much better.


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