Faith, Kids, Life or Something Like It

I am NOT a Failure

I am NOT a Failure

I am NOT a Failure

Repeat after me:  I am NOT a Failure.  Those words still resonate in me after a late-night chat with one of my closest friends.  After a particularly hard evening, I texted my friend and said: “can you talk?”  She has as many kids as I do and her life is not easy.  My friend is raising these kids from hard places and trying to maintain a farm.  Inspiration.  She is my inspiration.

What’s Going On?

That was all she said. Not even a “hello” just a statement.  In fact, I don’t think we ever say “hello” when we call each other.  It is rare when we get a few minutes, within a month or so, to dedicate to chatting.  Yet, when it comes to me needing her or her needing me…we make time in the chaos.

Last night, she made time.  I am forever grateful to my friend.  She means the world to me.

Tears Flowed

I couldn’t even get words out…all I could do was sob.  There was a sentence I mustered about a life-altering decision that we have to make in regards to one of our children.  Instead of instantly telling me all the things I already know, she sat, silently, and let me cry.  Throwing in phrases, between the sobs, of “I love you.  You love your children.  He is not a failure because of his mental illness that I did not create.  I am not a failure because I did above and beyond what needed to be done in order for him to live a successful, safe life.

You are not a Failure

She said that over and over.  I repeated it and then I let it sink in.  He is not a failure.  I repeated that and it is sinking in.  We are not failures.  He just needs more help then maybe I can give him.  That doesn’t mean I’ve failed him.  It means I have loved him enough to get the help that he needs.  In having to do what we may have to do does not dictate my love for this child.  If I didn’t love him, I wouldn’t fight so hard for him to succeed in life.

Yet…who does what I’m doing?  Who does what he is doing on a constant basis?  Why can’t love just fix everything?  What about God…where are You in the chaos?  I know He is there.  Yet, I can’t hear Him through the storm.

My Support System

Is very small.  I mean, I have my husband.  The love of my children (whom I try to shield from all that swirls in my mind).  I know my mom loves me and supports me.  There is my sister who never waivers, never judges, never gives advice without me asking, faithfully prays for me…what would I do without her?  I simply don’t know.  Also, I have a couple of faithful friends that I can bear my soul with and never be betrayed or judged.

Struggling

There is some serious trust issues that I have always had but have peaked the last few months.  I’m battling with anger (which is fear and/or sadness).  I can easily identify the fear that no one believes me, that I have no self-worth, no confidence, that love comes and goes like the ebbs and flows of the ocean.  Feeling like a failure because my dreams of raising kids is not what reality is.  Honestly, feeling like all the things wrong is my fault and that I can’t fix it.  Sadness because of the loss of what I thought I knew…I’m not sure it is even there.  Maybe it is there but buried deep inside and doesn’t want to appear because of fear.  Such sadness at the choices of a child.  Sadness for an uncertain future.

Emotionally Stagnant

That is what my counselor said that I was.  When we got off the phone, I told my husband and he AGREED.  Then, I called my sister and told her…guess what…she AGREED as well.  I have a hard time expressing my needs, feeling safe, accepting help, and just being vulnerable.

I am not emotionally stagnant.  The emotions are there, I just pick and choose who sees me have a moment.  Emotions, to me, instill weakness and if one is weak, one doesn’t think clearly and can be overtaken.

That’s how I perceived my father growing up.  He is not the emotional kind of guy (forever police officer).  I rarely remember him yielding to emotion. He did, I guess, just not where us kids could see him.

My mom, however, is free with her emotions, for the most part.  I just took more after Pop.

What People Don’t See

Is when I’m alone, in my room, crying my eyes out.  People don’t see me taking long drives down roads I don’t know…crying my eyes out.  Screaming.  The poison gets so intense, inside me, that I just scream.  So, I’m emotional, in a controlled environment.  If I were to say to the people who have hurt me, how badly I feel wounded…they will not respond well.  Many things can be said.  Also, those things that were said cannot be unsaid.  If I did say them, they would no longer love me.

Fear of not being loved or belonging…that’s a big one.

Oceans

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand
And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise, my soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine
Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now
So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise, my soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made…

My Thoughts

In the everyday chaos and uncertainty, He calls me to walk out on the waters, where it is completely unknown and my feet will fail in the deep ocean.  Yet, He says I will stand on my faith.  When I call upon His Name, He is faithful to keep my eyes above the waves.  He is calling me out on the waves to confront, in love, the people that I need to confront.  One of those people is me!!
I need to know that I don’t depend on anyone’s love but His.  My battles are not for me to fight according to Exodus 14:14.  “The Lord will fight my battle.  I just have to be silent.”
I won’t look around at all the things going on around me and the struggles that I am facing.  My job is to step out on the waves, in the deep ocean, where His grace abounds.  I am always loved, always believed, always worthy, in His eyes.

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Faith

I Need a New Narrative

I Need a New Narrative

I Need a New Narrative

Sin.  It sucks.  We are all susceptible to it and all do it.  It isn’t pleasant, it grieves God, and it can be ugly.  Thankfully, as a child of God, He casts our (mine) sin from as far as the east is from the west.  Honestly, that humbles me.  He forgets my transgressions but do I forget others?  I Need a New Narrative.

Life as I Know It

I struggle with bringing up the transgressions of others.  Stewing no it.  Marinating, so to speak.  I know the power of forgiveness and it is a beautiful thing.  Yet, there are some people that I just hold on tightly to the hurt, anger, and pain.  I claim that I have forgiven, yet I know I haven’t.

Dangit.  I am to be like Jesus with skin on.  Yet, here I am harboring the hurt and pain.  I know how to counsel people into the beauty of letting go, but I do not always follow my own wisdom.

Free-will.  It sucks.

Anger

Anger is secondary to fear and/or sadness.  I am angry a lot.  Sadly, more than I should be.  Is it my depression?  Can I use that as a crutch?  Is it unresolved trauma?  Probably.  I’m working on that.  Yet, the “working on” part is HORRIBLE.

What do I fear?  I’m not good enough?  I suck as a wife and parent?  Everything I touch, I screw up?  That my inner human of insecurity is right and what I try to tell myself is a lie?  If I were better, I would have friends and my children wouldn’t struggle with what some of them struggle with.  Sad because I never feel like I am enough and I live in a shame swirl.

Good times, huh.  Welcome to my brain.

Who I Am in Christ

This picture has been floating around for years.  I’m going to post it here.  Mainly to remind myself of what I know is true.  This is what God has to say about me (and you).  As I continue to change my narrative, I’m going to print this out.  I want to read it, have Big Daddy read it, and my children.

During this quarantine time where we have nothing to do but live with our thoughts, I want my thoughts to be going in a different direction.  I need to quit filling my mind with things that are wrong.  Find peace that surpasses all understanding.  I want to stop being angry and enjoy those around me.

My kids need to know that I do my best and I love them.  I want them to be the best they can be despite some of their disabilities.  Their minds and bodies can be healed, in Christ.  I need to try and show that, daily, by my example.

I Need a New Narrative

Read and Reread

Please, print this out.  Buy it.  Write it down.  Read it.  Reread it.  Then, read it again.  The things that you tell yourself are lies.  These are the Truths of what God tells us.  He created me (us) to bring Him joy.  We bring Him joy by simply breathing in and out.  He shows us so much grace, mercy, love, and forgiveness.

I’m going to start by getting back into the Word.  Also, I found great peace when I kept my prayer journal.  Every day, I would date it, write 5 things I was thankful for, and then 5 things that were a prayer concern.  As things were answered…whether the answer I wanted or not…I would highlight/date/write the answer.  Over time, I would be able to flip back through and visually see how the Lord works, even if I don’t “feel” it or “see” it.

Over Time

I would branch out.  You can’t be in the pit of despair, as Anne Shirley would say if you are reaching out and praying for others.  From time to time, I reach out and am able to focus on others instead of myself or my current situation.

So, today I begin.  When will you begin?

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I Am Not Crying

Scripture

Psalm 24 & 25

Psalm 24 & 25

Psalm 24 & 25

Psalm 24

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.
    The world and all its people belong to him.
For he laid the earth’s foundation on the seas
    and built it on the ocean depths.

Who may climb the mountain of the Lord?
Who may stand in his holy place?
Only those whose hands and hearts are pure,
who do not worship idols
and never tell lies.
They will receive the Lord’s blessing
and have a right relationship with God their savior.
Such people may seek you
and worship in your presence, O God of Jacob.

Section 2

Open up, ancient gates!
Open up, ancient doors,
and let the King of glory enter.
Who is the King of glory?
The Lord, strong and mighty;
the Lord, invincible in battle.
Open up, ancient gates!
Open up, ancient doors,
and let the King of glory enter.
10 Who is the King of glory?
The Lord of Heaven’s Armies—
he is the King of glory.

Psalm 25

Lord, I give my life to you.
    I trust in you, my God!
Do not let me be disgraced,
    or let my enemies rejoice in my defeat.
No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced,
    but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others.

Show me the right path, O Lord;
    point out the road for me to follow.
Lead me by your truth and teach me,
    for you are the God who saves me.
    All day long I put my hope in you.

Section 2

Remember, O Lord, your compassion and unfailing love,
    which you have shown from long ages past.
Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth.
    Remember me in the light of your unfailing love,
    for you are merciful, O Lord.

The Lord is good and does what is right;
    he shows the proper path to those who go astray.
He leads the humble in doing right,
    teaching them his way.
10 The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness
    all who keep his covenant and obey his demands.

11 For the honor of your name, O Lord,
    forgive my many, many sins.

Section 3

12 Who are those who fear the Lord?
    He will show them the path they should choose.
13 They will live in prosperity,
    and their children will inherit the land.
14 The Lord is a friend to those who fear him.
    He teaches them his covenant.
15 My eyes are always on the Lord,
    for he rescues me from the traps of my enemies.

16 Turn to me and have mercy,
    for I am alone and in deep distress.
17 My problems go from bad to worse.
    Oh, save me from them all!
18 Feel my pain and see my trouble.
    Forgive all my sins.
19 See how many enemies I have
    and how viciously they hate me!
20 Protect me! Rescue my life from them!
    Do not let me be disgraced, for in you I take refuge.
21 May integrity and honesty protect me,
    for I put my hope in you.

22 O God, ransom Israel
    from all its troubles.

Thoughts

Well, I made it to the end with Psalm 24 & 25.  I have posted all of Psalm and Proverbs.  Most of the Scripture, I added my thoughts or what they were speaking to me.  I tried to italicize the Scripture part and then post my thoughts in regular font.

This has been a good series for me.  Honestly, I am the only one who goes through and rereads what I write.  This is a therapy for me.  If someone stumbles on my blog, I pray it blesses you!

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Psalm 23

Psalm 23

Psalm 23.  This is a well-known passage of Scripture.  It is well-loved and well-read by many pastors and believers.  May you find beauty and comfort during your dark times that He is with you.  He is with you now and forever until you see Him face to face in heaven!  Oh, what a day that I will be!  Be blessed in all that you do.

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd;
    I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
    he leads me beside peaceful streams.
    He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
    bringing honor to his name.
Even when I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
    for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
    protect and comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
    My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
    all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
    forever.

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Faith

Blessed Assurance

Blessed Assurance

Blessed Assurance

This hymn, Blessed Assurance, was sung yesterday by our praise and worship team, at church.  I love old hymns.  We do not sing them often and when we do, it is played with instrumentation.  My old soul truly loves the piano and the hymn.

I was quite surprised that this one came up to sing.  We had Hunter in the service with us because we are trying to keep him as contained as possible from the cooties that are so freely shared amongst kids his age.  He had been standing by Bart and then wanted me to hold him.

Now, he is almost 50 lbs. so he is a bit heavy for me, yet, I held him for as long as I could.  Then, while we were still singing, I sat down and we rocked while this song permeated my soul.  He had his little head on my shoulder and he was playing with my ponytail.  Such a precious moment that I wanted to soak up.

This Song

I have sung 1005 times over the course of my life.  I know it by heart and I sing it just like I was taught when I was younger, sitting by my mama in “her pew” at church.  However, my season of life has ebbed and flowed since I was a child.  There have been lots of things that have happened throughout the last 40 years.  Honestly, it has been a long time since I have heard this song being sung.

As I Listened…Things Happened Within Me

There was a peace.  Not just any peace.  It was a blessed assurance type of peace.  See, I’ve been so angry over so many things.  I mask my anger with laughter and lightness.  Or, occasionally I mask it with organizing or cleaning.  There was no masking anything right now.  I feel like I see it all so clearly.

Here I am, sitting with my son whom I was told would “succumb” to his illness and there was nothing that could be done for him.  Then next to him, I sat next to my #2 daughter who is struggling with finding herself, finding her truth, and direction.  She is excited and scared and ready for a certain journey.

Next to her sat my #6 son

Who is struggling to fit in because he was born to not fit into any box.  He is deaf with a magnetic in his head.  Sadly, he is perceived as rude or disrespectful, or absentminded because he cannot hear you, yet he doesn’t announce it.  He struggles with wearing his hearing aid because he is made fun of.  To add an element of fun, he has been bullied and had some racist remarks made to him.  Recently, he was diagnosed with narcolepsy which comes with a whole nother set of issues.

Next to him was daughter #3.

She is angry all the time.  There is so much that she wants but does not have the capability to stick with it unless I micromanage her life.  She does not want me doing that, so she is stuck.  Desperately, she wants to be loved and heard and do all the things that kids do her age.  Sadly, her mental capabilities prevents a lot of that dynamic. Everything is one or two steps late but she will eventually catch up, she just wants it all NOW.

Then we have, sitting next to her, our #5 child.

He is struggling with fitting in, being appropriate, remembering anything, confabulation, yielding to peer pressure and getting punished and “earmarked” for that yielding.  He has no clue who he is or the direction he is going in.  Honestly, he just knows that he is angry and jealous.

Behind us was #4 child with his female friend.

Again, he is searching, struggling in areas.  Learning how to grow up and act the age he is.  Wanting more than what he can afford or have.  He is wanting those freedoms but not at the price that is set forth for him to get them.  Trying to find his place in the life choices he is making for his future.  This is tough stuff.

His female friend is getting her feet wet in independence and learning some tricks of the trade.  She is making hard decisions about her future in a month that is very difficult for her and her family.  Sadly, she is missing parts of her family and there is just a lot of layers to unfold with her.

Lest We Not Forget #1 Child and her Male Person

Things are better with them, but still lots of communication growth required.  So much learning in that first year of marriage.  There are some medical issues cropping up and boundary issues that need to be addressed.  Big life decisions that are being discussed.  Just a whole lot of everything.

As I Sat

I realized how angry I was that we were “still” dealing with the things that we deal with on a daily basis.  We have children with special needs (remember that phrase.  It is NOT special needs children…they are CHILDREN first!)  Yet, we have the same issues day in and day out.  It’s like I’m living in the movie Groundhog Day all day long, every day.

Anger is fear and/or sadness.  I am fearful about their futures and what will happen.  Honestly, I am sad that a few of my children may have a limited future due to their specific needs.  It hurts my heart because I cannot eloquently explain all the reasons.  They simply do not understand.

But Today,

Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine…..this is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long….. As  I was holding him, that phrase stopped my singing and before I knew it, tears were streaming down my face.  All of this insanity around me IS my STORY.  It IS my SONG.  This STORY and SONG was written specifically for me before God created anything.  He knew me, my life from beginning to end, the children, the needs, and He perfectly wrote the lyrics to my SONG.

I have been singing my song out of tune for a lot of years but today, I felt myself finally singing in tune with this beautiful hymn because I had a glimpse of understanding.  There was a moment where I thought this is my purpose.

Now

I don’t know what I’m going to do with this knowledge.  Hopefully, the Lord will continue to press this into me and I will glean more from this epiphany that I truly felt like I had had today in church.  Always, I ask for prayers for my children and my husband.  Now, I ask for prayer for me to fully understand and discern this thought that is traveling through my brain.

Lyrics

 

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! O what a foretaste of glory divine! Heir of salvation, purchase of God, Born of his Spirit, washed in his blood. This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long; This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long. Perfect submission, perfect delight, Visions of rapture now burst on my sight; Angels descending bring from above Echoes of mercy, whispers of love. This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long; This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long.

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Scripture

Psalm 22

Psalm 22

Psalm 22

Psalm 22

My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
    Why are you so far away when I groan for help?
Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer.
    Every night I lift my voice, but I find no relief.

Yet you are holy,
enthroned on the praises of Israel.
Our ancestors trusted in you,
and you rescued them.
They cried out to you and were saved.
They trusted in you and were never disgraced.

 

Section 2

But I am a worm and not a man.
    I am scorned and despised by all!
Everyone who sees me mocks me.
    They sneer and shake their heads, saying,
“Is this the one who relies on the Lord?
    Then let the Lord save him!
If the Lord loves him so much,
    let the Lord rescue him!”

Yet you brought me safely from my mother’s womb
    and led me to trust you at my mother’s breast.
10 I was thrust into your arms at my birth.
    You have been my God from the moment I was born.

11 Do not stay so far from me,
for trouble is near,
and no one else can help me.

Section 3

12 My enemies surround me like a herd of bulls;
fierce bulls of Bashan have hemmed me in!
13 Like lions they open their jaws against me,
roaring and tearing into their prey.
14 My life is poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart is like wax,
melting within me.
15 My strength has dried up like sunbaked clay.
My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.
You have laid me in the dust and left me for dead.
16 My enemies surround me like a pack of dogs;
an evil gang closes in on me.
They have piercedmy hands and feet.
17 I can count all my bones.
My enemies stare at me and gloat.
18 They divide my garments among themselves
and throw dicefor my clothing.

 

Section 4

19 Lord, do not stay far away!
    You are my strength; come quickly to my aid!
20 Save me from the sword;
    spare my precious life from these dogs.
21 Snatch me from the lion’s jaws
    and from the horns of these wild oxen.

22 I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters.
I will praise you among your assembled people.
23 Praise the Lord, all you who fear him!
Honor him, all you descendants of Jacob!
Show him reverence, all you descendants of Israel!
24 For he has not ignored or belittled the suffering of the needy.
He has not turned his back on them,
but has listened to their cries for help.

 

Section 5

25 I will praise you in the great assembly.
    I will fulfill my vows in the presence of those who worship you.
26 The poor will eat and be satisfied.
    All who seek the Lord will praise him.
    Their hearts will rejoice with everlasting joy.
27 The whole earth will acknowledge the Lord and return to him.
    All the families of the nations will bow down before him.
28 For royal power belongs to the Lord.
    He rules all the nations.

29 Let the rich of the earth feast and worship.
    Bow before him, all who are mortal,
    all whose lives will end as dust.
30 Our children will also serve him.
    Future generations will hear about the wonders of the Lord.
31 His righteous acts will be told to those not yet born.
    They will hear about everything he has done.

Thoughts

A couple of weeks ago, there was a family that I happened to run across on Instagram.  Apparently, they are a YouTube family, though I have never seen their videos.  Anyway, this mama is a bonus mom of 1 and then she had 4 sons.  Her youngest son was put down for a nap, the day after Christmas (I believe) and when she went to check on him, he was not breathing.

In the next few days, they ask for prayers for their 3 mth old baby.  Sadly, that baby left this Earth and joined our Father, in heaven.  This family, from all accounts, are believers, yet that mama is so angry with God.  Listen, I get it!  I put my son down for a nap and when he woke up, our lives were changed forever.

My heart simply aches.

Like aches to the point of I don’t even know what to pray and “sorry” seems so trivial.  I mean, I don’t even know these people but this is breaking my heart.  Guys, people are being SO mean in the comments.  This family…they are living in a nightmare and they read all these horrible things.

I’m just gonna say this now…I know no one or their family will ever read my blog, but if you ever find yourself looking into someone’s nightmare this is some advice.  Shut the hell up!

Just shut up.

If you can’t be nice, kind, show sympathy or empathy, or are just an asshole, then keep your opinions to your freaking self!  Do not say “well, if you had not vaccinated, if you had done this or that it wouldn’t have happened.”  For real…shut up!  That child is a child of the King.  His life was already written and glory will happen in this story. For the love of all that is good and holy…if you don’t have something nice to say then do not speak.

My prayers, though not eloquent go out to the Leach family in the loss of their sweet Crew.  May the Prince of Peace wrap His arms around you and comfort you all in this horrific time.

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Scripture

Psalm 20 & 21

Psalm 20 & 21

Psalm 20 & 21

Psalm 20

In times of trouble, may the Lord answer your cry.
    May the name of the God of Jacob keep you safe from all harm.
May he send you help from his sanctuary
    and strengthen you from Jerusalem.
May he remember all your gifts
    and look favorably on your burnt offerings. 

May he grant your heart’s desires
    and make all your plans succeed.
May we shout for joy when we hear of your victory
    and raise a victory banner in the name of our God.
May the Lord answer all your prayers.

Now I know that the Lord rescues his anointed king.
    He will answer him from his holy heaven
    and rescue him by his great power.
Some nations boast of their chariots and horses,
    but we boast in the name of the Lord our God.
Those nations will fall down and collapse,
    but we will rise up and stand firm.

Give victory to our king, O Lord!
Answer our cry for help.

Psalm 21

How the king rejoices in your strength, O Lord!
    He shouts with joy because you give him victory.
For you have given him his heart’s desire;
    you have withheld nothing he requested. 

You welcomed him back with success and prosperity.
    You placed a crown of finest gold on his head.
He asked you to preserve his life,
    and you granted his request.
    The days of his life stretch on forever.
Your victory brings him great honor,
    and you have clothed him with splendor and majesty.
You have endowed him with eternal blessings
    and given him the joy of your presence.

Section 2

For the king trusts in the Lord.
    The unfailing love of the Most High will keep him from stumbling.

You will capture all your enemies.
    Your strong right hand will seize all who hate you.
You will throw them in a flaming furnace
    when you appear.
The Lord will consume them in his anger;
    fire will devour them.
10 You will wipe their children from the face of the earth;
    they will never have descendants.
11 Although they plot against you,
    their evil schemes will never succeed.
12 For they will turn and run
    when they see your arrows aimed at them.
13 Rise up, O Lord, in all your power.
    With music and singing we celebrate your mighty acts.

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Scripture

Psalm 19

Psalm 19

Psalm 19

Psalm 19

The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
    The skies display his craftsmanship.
Day after day they continue to speak;
    night after night they make him known.
They speak without a sound or word;
    their voice is never heard.
Yet their message has gone throughout the earth,
    and their words to all the world.

God has made a home in the heavens for the sun.
It bursts forth like a radiant bridegroom after his wedding.
It rejoices like a great athlete eager to run the race.
The sun rises at one end of the heavens
and follows its course to the other end.
Nothing can hide from its heat.

 

Thoughts

I have a sweet friend, Teresa, who loves her hill.  She yearns for the warmth of Florida, yet remains steadfast until the Lord calls her to leave that hill.  In her waiting, she posts the most beautiful pictures of sunrises and sunsets that I have ever seen.  When I read this passage of Scripture…I think of her and her pictures of the skies proclaiming His Name with silence and beauty.

Section 2

The instructions of the Lord are perfect,
    reviving the soul.
The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy,
    making wise the simple.
The commandments of the Lord are right,
    bringing joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are clear,
    giving insight for living.
Reverence for the Lord is pure,
    lasting forever.
The laws of the Lord are true;
    each one is fair.
10 They are more desirable than gold,
    even the finest gold.
They are sweeter than honey,
    even honey dripping from the comb.

Section 3

11 They are a warning to your servant,
    a great reward for those who obey them.

12 How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart?
    Cleanse me from these hidden faults.
13 Keep your servant from deliberate sins!
    Don’t let them control me.
Then I will be free of guilt
    and innocent of great sin.

14 May the words of my mouth
    and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing to you,
    Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

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Psalm 1 & 2

Scripture

Psalm 18

Psalm 18

Psalm 18.  Beautiful.  Just all beautiful.

Psalm 18

I love you, Lord;
you are my strength.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior;
my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.
He is my shield, the power that saves me,
and my place of safety.
I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
and he saved me from my enemies.

 

Section 2

The ropes of death entangled me;
    floods of destruction swept over me.
The grave wrapped its ropes around me;
    death laid a trap in my path.
But in my distress I cried out to the Lord;
    yes, I prayed to my God for help.
He heard me from his sanctuary;
    my cry to him reached his ears.

Then the earth quaked and trembled.
    The foundations of the mountains shook;
    they quaked because of his anger.
Smoke poured from his nostrils;
    fierce flames leaped from his mouth.
    Glowing coals blazed forth from him.

Section 3

He opened the heavens and came down;
    dark storm clouds were beneath his feet.
10 Mounted on a mighty angelic being, he flew,
    soaring on the wings of the wind.
11 He shrouded himself in darkness,
    veiling his approach with dark rain clouds.
12 Thick clouds shielded the brightness around him
    and rained down hail and burning coals.
13 The Lord thundered from heaven;
    the voice of the Most High resounded
    amid the hail and burning coals.
14 He shot his arrows and scattered his enemies;
    great bolts of lightning flashed, and they were confused.
15 Then at your command, O Lord,
    at the blast of your breath,
the bottom of the sea could be seen,
    and the foundations of the earth were laid bare.

16 He reached down from heaven and rescued me;
    he drew me out of deep waters.
17 He rescued me from my powerful enemies,
    from those who hated me and were too strong for me.
18 They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress,
    but the Lord supported me.

Thoughts

Uhm, HECK YES!  If I were the only person on the face of the Earth, He would do this for me!  He would soar down and grab me from the clutches of the depths of the Earth and avenge me!

Heck yes!

Section 4

19 He led me to a place of safety;
    he rescued me because he delights in me.
20 The Lord rewarded me for doing right;
    he restored me because of my innocence.
21 For I have kept the ways of the Lord;
    I have not turned from my God to follow evil.
22 I have followed all his regulations;
    I have never abandoned his decrees.
23 I am blameless before God;
    I have kept myself from sin.
24 The Lord rewarded me for doing right.
    He has seen my innocence.

25 To the faithful you show yourself faithful;
    to those with integrity you show integrity.
26 To the pure you show yourself pure,
    but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd.
27 You rescue the humble,
    but you humiliate the proud.
28 You light a lamp for me.
    The Lord, my God, lights up my darkness.

Thoughts

Gracious…I am OVERWHELMED!  Well, I know you won’t get this, but if my sisters are reading this statement…I AM SHAKING MY TAMBOURINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Section 5

29 In your strength I can crush an army;
    with my God I can scale any wall.

30 God’s way is perfect.
All the Lord’s promises prove true.
He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.
31 For who is God except the Lord?
Who but our God is a solid rock?
32 God arms me with strength,
and he makes my way perfect.
33 He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
enabling me to stand on mountain heights.
34 He trains my hands for battle;
he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow.
35 You have given me your shield of victory.
Your right hand supports me;
your helphas made me great.
36 You have made a wide path for my feet
to keep them from slipping.

 

Section 6

37 I chased my enemies and caught them;
    I did not stop until they were conquered.
38 I struck them down so they could not get up;
    they fell beneath my feet.
39 You have armed me with strength for the battle;
    you have subdued my enemies under my feet.
40 You placed my foot on their necks.
    I have destroyed all who hated me.
41 They called for help, but no one came to their rescue.
    They even cried to the Lord, but he refused to answer.
42 I ground them as fine as dust in the wind.
    I swept them into the gutter like dirt.
43 You gave me victory over my accusers.
    You appointed me ruler over nations;
    people I don’t even know now serve me.
44 As soon as they hear of me, they submit;
    foreign nations cringe before me.

Section 7

45 They all lose their courage
    and come trembling from their strongholds.

46 The Lord lives! Praise to my Rock!
    May the God of my salvation be exalted!
47 He is the God who pays back those who harm me;
    he subdues the nations under me
48     and rescues me from my enemies.
You hold me safe beyond the reach of my enemies;
    you save me from violent opponents.
49 For this, O Lord, I will praise you among the nations;
    I will sing praises to your name.
50 You give great victories to your king;
    you show unfailing love to your anointed,
    to David and all his descendants forever.

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Scripture

Psalm 17

Psalm 17

Psalm 17

Psalm 17

Lord, hear my plea for justice.
    Listen to my cry for help.
Pay attention to my prayer,
    for it comes from honest lips.
Declare me innocent,
    for you see those who do right.

You have tested my thoughts and examined my heart in the night.
    You have scrutinized me and found nothing wrong.
    I am determined not to sin in what I say.
I have followed your commands,
    which keep me from following cruel and evil people.
My steps have stayed on your path;
    I have not wavered from following you.

I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God.
    Bend down and listen as I pray.

Section 2

Show me your unfailing love in wonderful ways.
    By your mighty power you rescue
    those who seek refuge from their enemies.
Guard me as you would guard your own eyes.
    Hide me in the shadow of your wings.
Protect me from wicked people who attack me,
    from murderous enemies who surround me.
10 They are without pity.
    Listen to their boasting!
11 They track me down and surround me,
    watching for the chance to throw me to the ground.
12 They are like hungry lions, eager to tear me apart—
    like young lions hiding in ambush.

13 Arise, O Lord!
    Stand against them, and bring them to their knees!
    Rescue me from the wicked with your sword!
14 By the power of your hand, O Lord,
    destroy those who look to this world for their reward.
But satisfy the hunger of your treasured ones.
    May their children have plenty,
    leaving an inheritance for their descendants.
15 Because I am righteous, I will see you.
    When I awake, I will see you face to face and be satisfied.

Thoughts

From David’s lips to God’s ears, on my behalf.

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