Friday, 23 September 2016

The Power of Fear can have so much power in my life.  I guess the reality is, is that I give it that power.  As a child I was always so afraid of the dark and had to sleep with a light on in the hall and my door open a crack.  As a teenager I remember heading out to do chores in the dark knowing I'd have to head up into that dark haymow and it scared me.  I'd hum, sing and do whatever to distract myself from the dark and then get out of there as quickly as I could.  When I finished chores I'd tear back to the house as fast as I could.

I can still feel that same fear when walking alone in the dark and I know the truth, that I don't have to fear because the LORD is with me and I have often thought how amazing it would be to have such a deep faith to be so secure as to not even be afraid in the dark. Can you imagine...any of you who are afraid of being alone in the dark, imagine being able to just calmly and freely stroll in the dark.  It's hard for me to imagine.  I live in the woods and to think of heading out there alone in the dark...well it scares me and yet I so much wish it didn't. There have been many times when I've been walking in the dark alone, telling myself I don't have to be afraid the LORD is with me and yet the fear still remains.  But I so much want to live the "fear not" way.  

I know fear goes way deeper than the literal dark, it's that other dark that can cause even greater fear...the unknown.

what I cannot see

what I don't understand

what I don't think I can do

where I don't think I can go

who I don't think I can face 

Fear rises up in the unknown, when I step out and don't know the outcome.  This fear of the unknown and the fear of being incapable of doing something can paralyze you and render you immovable. Life remains somewhat comfortable and safe but nothing of what it could be.  Fear robs you of the fullness of life and not only you but those you do life with.

Then there's the fear that causes me to run.  What happens when I allow fear to take me out of one place to go another...running from something...avoiding something or someone.  Whatever has caused that fear I actually take with me...a packed carryon so to say.  I may have gotten away from the situation but I haven't dealt with the fear at all.  And I take my suitcase with me wherever I go, kept tightly shut, not realizing that my freedom is in the opening of that case.

Life is always a mixture...

the happy and sad

the pain and joy

the freedom and longing

the easy and hard

It's all in that suitcase we carry, pop it open and it's all in there. You gotta rifle through it all, you have to realize that the treasure...the freedom is all tangled in that mess of things you stuffed in your suitcase. 

It needs to be unraveled...

some needs to be embraced

some needs to be tossed

some needs to be mended

some needs to be untangled and separated

It's your suitcase, you have the key, you're the one carrying it.

Open it.

Your freedom is stuffed right in there along with the things you don't want to look at...the things you thought you'd gotten rid of...the very things you need to look at.

Fear is disarmed when you face it, when you walk through it.  You don't have to do it alone.  Find someone who is good at unpacking "suitcases" and let them help you.  Some cases are just too big to empty on our own.

Things to be thankful for...

2580. Working in the riding ring with Charissa and my husband
2581. Old letters read, memories, laughter with Charissa, Kayla and my husband
2582. Refreshing cool morning
2583. Charissa mowing the lawn
2584. Being the hands and feet of Christ in the midst of broken lives
2585. Beautiful pink early morning sky
2586. Meeting with ideas shared
2587. Walk with my husband out back
2588. Chat with Jocelyne
2589. The sound of rain falling
2590. Words of encouragement for where my husband and I find ourselves in life
2591. Kindness and understanding of our neighbour
2592. Black Jack, a loyal dog to our family
2593. Memories of the kids growing up with BJ

We had Black Jack for 14 years, she was a good loyal dog and will be missed.

2594. Going with Charissa to pick up her dog Cooper
2595. Time spent with friends
2596. Fellowship
2597. My husband
2598. Delicious cupcakes made by Charissa
2599. Matt's wisdom
2600. Cool breezes and the sound of crickets while sitting on the deck having tea
2601. Cooper, one cute and smart dog

2602. Daytona and Elmo can finally go back on the pasture
2603. Early morning on the boardwalk, a magical place with fog, mist and sunshine glistening on hundreds of spiderwebs

2604. Charissa and her cousins away for an over night trip to Toronto
2605. Chat with my sister
2606. Evening sky filled with stars
2607. Chat with Jocelyne
2608. Another beautiful morning on the boardwalk
2609. The beauty and intricacy of the spider web

2610. Refreshing, peaceful walk through the woods with Cooper
2611. Small group - good conversation
2612. Girls had a good time away
2613. Weeding the garden with my husband
2614. Visit with my sister and her family
2615. Morning walk with Charissa and Cooper
2616. Beautiful golden evening light in the pasture
2617. Encouragement from my husband to step out into the dreams that are in my heart
2618. Beautiful star filled sky - practicing some night sky photography

2619. Kayla & Sarah popping by for a visit
2620. Great opportunity for Amy in regards to her business
2621. More night sky photography with Matt

2622. Creativity
2623. Worship
2624. Deck cleaned by my husband
2625. Cooling breezes on a hot and humid day
2626. Chat with Jocelyne
2627. Beautiful wedding rehearsal evening with friends
2628. Time spent with my husband
2629. Time spent with my friend on her daughter's wedding day, capturing some beautiful moments
2630. The skies remained dry for Brittany & Joseph's wedding

2631. A great visit with Will, Amy and Lily in their new home
2632. Lily smiles and sounds of delight on our walk through the woods

2633. Visit with my sister and brother-in-law
2634. Cooler refreshing weather
2635. A chat with strangers who ended up in our backyard while walking through the Frink Centre
2636. Warm sunshine on my face while sitting on the deck
2637. Walking with Cooper
2638. Beautiful morning sunlight through the trees while walking through the Frink Centre
2639. Friendly chats with people in the Frink Centre
2640. Sun glistening on the spiderwebs
2641. Tea with my husband in the woods as he works on a trail
2642. Celebrating Will's 26th birthday
2643. Rain held off for outside wedding pictures

2644. Much needed rain
2645. Beautiful evening for an engagement shoot

2646. My husband's help
2647. Visit with my husband's family
2648. Mom doesn't need a cast on her sprained wrist
2649. My husband's love for our kids
2650. His wisdom in difficult situations
2651. Knowing I serve a God who knows and sees all
2652. Honest hearts
2653. A nice walk in the Frink Centre with Charissa and Cooper
2654. Cooper out fetching sticks in the river
2655. Charissa mowing the lawn
2656. Celebrating Matt's 21st birthday
2657. Peaceful morning walk with a friend
2658. Kind words
2659. Matt's courage
2660. Tea and bible study with friends
2661. Celebrating a friend's birthday
2662. Mart made it safely to Saint John, thankful for a ride with his brother and sister-in-law
2663. Morning walk with a friend, heart's shared

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Refreshing Rains

After many weeks without rain and a land dry and parched we've finally had a number of good rain days and I am so so thankful.  

One night as I was doing chores I was looking at the lawn and pastures so thankful that there was growth again.  I was thinking how in the span of a couple days of a good rain a tinge of green was already noticeable.  And I thought with these refreshing rains the grass can't help but grow and flourish once again, it's so instant. Even when it looked as though there was no life there at all, underneath that dry parched, brown, crispy grass the roots were still alive just waiting for a soaking so they could burst forth with life. 

As I was pondering this in my heart, smiling at the green I was seeing, I thought about my own heart.  Jesus Christ is that LIVING WATER to my dry, parched soul and yet unlike the grass that can't help but grow after being soaked with rain there are many times when He pours into me and I am not refreshed and I do not grow.  I have a choice in what I do with what is poured into me.  And there are times when it's like I get out my umbrella and keep myself out of the "rain." The very thing that would give me life is the very thing I push away or refuse to acknowledge.

It's like this heart of mine works on two planes.  I know what's right and what would be good for me.  Yet there is this pride and self-sufficiency where I choose to do life on my own and by my own rules or ways of self preservation.  If I would only bend and receive, I would be refreshed and life in those dry, parched areas could grow.  

Could you imagine if the grass decided, I know that I'm dry, parched, brown and crispy but I don't want any of this rain, cover me up so I can remain as I am...barren and dead on the surface.  I'll just protect these roots of mine.  Besides there have been many times when I've chosen to let myself be refreshed with these rains and I've grown and I've flourished only to be brought through a time of drought again.  So I'll just remain as I am so I don't have to face the possibility of that again.

Fear and pride...we let them dictate our choices.  

On Sunday morning during praise and worship we were encouraged to kneel if we felt led to.  And this heart of mine wanted to, I wanted to kneel before my Saviour whom I love with as much of me that I can, but I couldn't or it was I wouldn't.  Fear had set in and if I'm honest I would also have to say pride.  It's not only the fear of what others would think, what goes with that is pride, how will I be seen and that becomes about me.  So I let that rob my Saviour of this heart surrendered before Him.  I felt guilty, I felt shame and I felt like a disappointment and that's when the only thing I can do is go to Him with it.  Repent for allowing fear and pride to dictate my actions towards Him, forgive myself and hope to make a better choice next time.

Again I think about the grass and how it just grows so quickly after a soaking rain even when you'd think there is nothing left of it.  If I could only receive and accept all He puts before me and tries to pour into me...

A choice to kneel in the presence of others

To accept the Encouragement from another into my heart

The choice to stand for truth, when I could be the only one standing

The discipline of a God who loves me even when that discipline is brought through a fellow believer

Correction when I'm in the wrong

A choice to be vulnerable so I can find healing in areas where all I've done is protected myself

The choice to stay and not run

There are many more things I could add to this list.  This God I serve wants all my heart...every last piece of it.  If my heart is surrendered to Him He will continue to search for it and to expose those areas where His life must pour in so I can be made more and more like Christ and live in all the freedom that He has for me. 

May this heart of mine die to pride and fear open wide and receive what the LORD has for me and let that LIVING WATER refresh my soul for His glory and His purposes.

Things to be thankful for...

2510. Good conversation with a young woman
2511. Project finished
2512. Good conversation with friends and a delicious meal
2513. The sound of crickets in the night
2514. Hilarious video made by Matt, laughter

2515. Encouraging words
2516. Bible study with friends
2517. The stream is still running in the woods despite the lack of rain
2518. Small group fellowship
2519. Morning chat with Jocelyne
2520. An unexpected gift in the mail

2521. Beautiful clouds in the evening sky
2522. The Body of Christ working as the Body
2523. Encouragement and a hug
2524. Quiet day with my husband
2525. Refreshing cool morning
2526. Tea with a friend
2527. Chat with Charissa
2528. Sitting on the deck with my husband chatting in the cool of night
2529. Cool night for sleeping
2530. Peaceful morning doing chores
2531. Animals, the joy they bring
2532. Quiet night
2533. Nice afternoon and evening with Will, Amy & Lily
2534. Lily's smiles and babbling

2535. A cute baby donkey named Zoe

2536. Sitting outside on the patio with Lily as the sun goes down
2537. The moon & stars through our bedroom window
2538. Working things out, hearing each other
2539. Time spend with friends
2540. Engaging speakers, words of wisdom
2541. Power back on
2542. Night spent with Charissa
2543. Pizza dinner from Charissa
2544. Walk by the Hamilton waterfront
2545. Successful day in moving Will & Amy and Charissa
2546. Charissa's love for Yael and her family
2547. Home
2548. A good dumping of rain
2549. Church community
2550. Pinks, orange, blue and grey in the evening sky
2551. Game of cards and tea on the deck
2552. Movie night with my husband
2553. The rain has come - a full rain day!

2554. Visit with Jessica
2555. Sunlight shimmering through the rain soaked trees

2556. Strong winds and fast moving clouds
2557. A tinge of green on the pastures
2558. Oscar, one cute and entertaining kitten

2559. Delicious zucchini/cheese pizza made by Charissa
2560. Cooler nights for sleeping
2561. My husband and son passed their motorcycle test
2562. Charissa and Alexandrea taking a roadtrip
2563. Tea and conversation with a friend
2564. Our small group
2565. God's Word...wisdom
2566. Charissa got a dog named Cooper
2567. Beautiful beauty and detail in the dew up-close

2568. Charissa out for a quiet morning ride on Daytona

2569. Relaxing drive with my husband
2570. Beautiful country
2571. Dinner out at a lakeside restaurant
2572. Full moon, low in the sky
2573. Laughter with the girls
2574. Refreshing rain
2575. God calls us to fullness of life
2576. Visit with my cousin and her family
2577. My husband's love
2578. A cool night, 12 degrees!
2579. Sunshine through my bedroom window