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My Freshly Brewed Life: June 2010

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Angels Watching Over Me

I am having a great time at the Kansas City International House of Prayer.  We arrived about midnight on Tuesday night.  I sat in the Prayer Room during the night watch until about 2:00a.  It was so good and very much needed after a long day of travel.

Yesterday, we were invited to dinner by friends who we all know from when they lived in California.  They have a community pool, so we packed up our kids and headed down there.  However, a thunder and lightening storm had just started so they wouldn't let the kids swim.  They had fun cooling off in the rain though.  Here is my son, loving the rain!  

 (Sorry for the poor picture quality.)

The sky was very dark in places, so I got out my handy iPhone and began to take some pictures.  Okay, you have to seriously take a close look at this one.  Notice the face peering at you through the clouds at the top of the picture.  Do you see the eyes and nose?  Wow, God wanted to let me know that He was watching over me! I believe this was an angel looking down at me from Heaven!

They finally got to swim for about an hour and enjoyed sliding down this water slide.

 Here are a couple of pictures which I took as the sun was setting.

Well friends, I am off to spend my day in the Prayer Room.  I just wanted to do a quick post to remind you that God is watching over you.  He gives His angels charge over you!  He sees you today! May you sense His presence and feel His love fresh and new this very moment.

Have a blessed week!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Times of Refreshing

I will be leaving tomorrow afternoon to spend a week at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, MO.  Me and a few friends are taking our teens to the Fascinate Teen Conference.  We are so excited for this opportunity to have our young ones sit under such dynamic teaching and worship.  I myself am looking forward to spending many hours sitting in the House of Prayer in worship, prayer and meditation.  With everything that is going on in my life right now, I am so looking forward to this time of refreshing in His presence.  I think we all need times away with the Lord and to experience Him on a deeper level. I am grateful for this opportunity.

Please pray for my family while I am away.  My husband and eldest daughter will be holding down the fort.  I just picked up my almost 10-year old girl from a friends house.  She was to be sleeping over but called me in tears because she already misses me.  Oh, and I will miss her 10th birthday, which is on Sunday.  I feel bad about that, but I have left presents and my daughter will be taking her and her friends swimming and for ice cream to celebrate.

I will try and get on line as much as I can to check in with all of you but in case I don't, I didn't want you to think I have run away.  I will be back in town late next Tuesday night.

Have an awesome week my friends!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

It's Monday everyone, and that means it's time to link up with Carissa at lowercase letters for Miscellany Monday.  Keep your posts random and join in the fun!

1.  My husband and I were having a discussion this morning about the roters on my car.  I asked him last night if when he changed the breaks today if he was going to change the "routers" too,  He said, "No honey, that's for the computer".  Then I asked him if he was going to change the "rooters" and he said, "No, that is who you call when the toilet is clogged" (referring to "Roter-Rooter").  Then when he left he said, "I'll be back, I'm off to get your routers, hmm, rooters, oh dang it you know what I mean!"  I think I royally confused him.

2.  I do not have to cook tonight.  Last week a friend of ours said he wanted to bbq some ribs and bring them over to the family.  Ahhh, so nice!

3.  I am leaving for a week-long trip to the Kansas City International House of Prayer tomorrow and I cannot wait.  I am hoping I can fit everything into one suitcase.  Someone told me that I can "roll" my clothes and they will not wrinkle.  Does this really work?

4.  I recently found a Redbox Movie that we've had for like 3 weeks.  I am sure I own it now.  I love the Redbox.  Only paying $1.00 to rent a movie for one night is fabulous.  But they were so smart when they formed this company because most people keep their movies for at least 3 days, and then there are those of us like me who keep it so long it ends up costing $30!

5.  Do you use shaving cream or soap on your legs?  I was just wondering.  I've always used soap, but my oldest daughter insists on using shave cream and I am beginning to love it!

Have  blessed Monday everyone!


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Coffee Lovers - Win A Fabulous Cappucino & Espresso Maker!

Hey friends, if you love coffee as much as I do, I am sure you would love a chance to win this fabulous cappuccino and espresso maker.  My lovely friend Hannah over at Aspire is hosting a giveaway for this awesome beauty.  Why don't you stop over and enter for your chance to win!  Also, if you've never visited Hannah's blog before, you will be truly blessed.  She is an amazing photographer and writer and extremely talented blog designer (yes, I am biased)!

Good luck (although I am secretly hoping that I win.  Shhhh...don't tell anyone)!


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Come Visit Me Today

Hello friends!  I have a devotional over at 5 Minutes for Faith today.  I hope you will stop by for a visit.

Have a great day!


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Time To Pray

In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait in expectation.

(Psalm 5:3-NIV)
David spent his mornings with the Lord. He would rise up early in the morning, often before daylight (probably always before daylight), petition the throne of God with his requests, always in an attitude of worship, and wait in expectation for what God would say. And then, once he had heard from the Lord, he would go on about his day.  

When I became a Christian, I was always told that mornings were the times to pray.  I was told that I was to give God the first part of my day, which was the best part, untouched by the world.  And I did that.  For a season.  But as I've gotten married, had children and taken up responsibilities of working full-time as well as ministry, mornings don't seem like the best time for me.  I try to make it a point to pray continuously throughout the day, as the Scriptures instruct, and sometimes I find myself praying at night, and telling God about my day.  Yet, when I do this, I often feel guilty that I did not give God that first part of my day and that I lived my day without inviting Him into it.  

I realize I have had a somewhat religious spirit when it comes to "when" and "where" to pray.  I know many young moms who have beautiful and amazing times with the Lord during all hours of the day, in their car, in their prayer closets, sitting in the middle of their floor with a towel over their heads while their children run around, in the bathroom (and all of us with multiple children can say "Amen" to that).  It just doesn't feel right when I don't pray in the morning.  When I pray at night, I feel like God is more of a distant boyfriend who I didn't see all day, who's advice I did not seek for the day, and then I end up complaining to about my day when it's all over.  I would not call this intimacy as God intended it to be.

In my quest to draw closer to God, I have been thinking that it's vitally important to my spiritual growth that I rearrange my priorities so that I can again give God the first part of my day.  I want God to be glorified in all that I do; I don't want Him to simply be an after thought or someone that I complain to about my day.  But why is it so hard for me to rise up early before the kids do?  Normally, I would get up at 6:30a to shower and then wake my kids at 7:00a.  If I wanted to spend quality time with the Lord, getting up at 5:30a, or even 6:00a would be best.  But I sleep through my alarm every time.  Maybe it's because I go to bed too late (I have to catch up with all of you, right?, or you know the laundry has to get done).  When do I do all of the stuff that comes with keeping a home, mothering, and yes, even blogging if I don't use my free hours in the evening to accomplish it.  And then, when the alarm does go off, why don't I get up?  I should be excited to spend time with Jesus.  But rather, I roll over telling myself I will do it tomorrow.  I manage to blurt out a few requests here and there as I am getting ready, or in the car, but it's not the same.  I thank God I have a corporate Prayer Room I can go to during the day when I am at work, but still, it's not the same.

I want intimacy.  I desire for Him to come and share His heart with me.  I long for those times when it's just Him and me.  But if my desire for Him is so strong, why is it so hard?  God is tugging on my heart.  He is calling me to come.  I want to come.  God, break down the barriers, the selfish parts of me that would turn an ear to your calling.  I am here Lord.  Please, keep calling me to come.  I am coming Lord!

How about you? Do you struggle with when to have your quiet time with the Lord?  What works for you?

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters 

I love Mondays.  I love it because I get to post about the randomness of my life and I don't really have to think about it.  The lovely Carissa at lowercase letters
is hosting the Miscellany Monday, so hop on over there and join in!
  1. Today I am taking 10 6-8 year olds bowling this afternoon. My son will celebrate his 7th birthday on Thursday and we are having his party today.  I have asked for "bumper bowling" because the last time I did this we had kids crying all over the place because of their gutter balls.  Should be fun.  I might even join in!
  2. Sunday nights our DVR gets a work out.  Design Star, The Next Food Network Star, Army Wives.  Oh and even though the season is over, I still enjoy watching episodes of Extreme Makeover Home Edition that I missed.  Thankfully there are usually two showings of each show since our DVR will only record two shows at a time.
  3. I am not looking forward to the hot weather.  Yesterday, it was about 87 here.  Our house is not air conditioned and I sat on the couch with sweat dripping down my chest and back.  My hubby went and got me a fan, but I swear I could not breathe.  Midlife and hot weather do not mix!
  4. I miss reading.  I haven't been able to find the time to get through some of the books I've started.  I am going to have to try and restructure my evenings to try and fit that in.
  5. Oops, I forgot to order my son's cake.  I hope Safeway can make one for me this morning.  Yikes!
Happy Monday everyone!


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Just Love Me

Today I've been reflecting on my cry for the Lord to empty me so that I may be filled up with more of Him.  I know that I must decrease, so that He may increase.  As I've pondered all of the situations, feelings, thoughts, desires and passions that I am striving to give over to Him, one question remains:
"Is it enough just to love Him?"
Last year I was at a conference and there was an altar call.  The call was to come and ask the Lord for His direction in our lives.  Those who came were crying out to the Lord specifically about ministry, "were they in the right place?", "what had He called them to do?"  I remember standing at the alter, weeping before the Lord.  I was crying out and asking Him to tell me what He wanted me to do.  I didn't feel I was doing enough, and I didn't feel like what I was doing was specifically His plan for my life.  I am a lot like Martha -- busying myself with "good" things, yet I have a heart like Mary's.  I long to sit at His feet and love Him.  I long to hear His heart.  I long to feel His love pouring over me.
As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42, NLT)
So I cried out, expecting to hear from the Lord about a very specific ministry or purpose that He had for me.  But what I heard moved my heart beyond anything I've ever heard Him speak.  In His gentleness, He spoke these words to my heart:
And all I could do was weep.  Those words pierced my heart and I knew then that my love for Him was weak.  As I stood at the altar asking the Lord about what I should be doing, all He wanted me to do was to love Him.  All He wanted was me, and my heart, fully surrendered to Him.

I love the Lord with all of my heart, but so many times I look to other things to fill a void that only He can fill.  
  • I look to a husband to fill my emptiness.
  • I look to a job to provide security.
  • I look to food to provide comfort.
  • I look to children to give unconditional love.
  • I look to friends to provide strength & support.
  • I look to money to provide satisfaction.
As I continue to ask Him for the strength to lay it all down at His feet, I ask myself, "Is loving Him enough?"  Am I willing to give up "doing" and focus on "being"?  I am not sure I've arrived at that place yet, that place where if all else were to be stripped away, that I could be satisfied simply by loving Him. But I want to.  I need to.  My very existence depends on it.  

In this season of change in my life, I am learning to lean into love.  I am learning to sit and wait, to eat of His word, to worship Him, to love Him.  As things are changing and I am being stripped here and there of my securities, I love Him more and allow Him to comfort my heart.  When my heart asks, "Is loving Him enough?", my heart will respond:
"Yes, Lord, Loving You IS enough!"

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Empty Me

Holy Fire burn away,
my desire for anything
that is not of you and is of me.
I want more of you and less of me.

Holy Fire burn away,

my desire for anything
that is not of you and is of me,
I want more of you and less of me, yeah.
Empty me,
Empty me, yeah,
Fill, won't you fill me,
with you, with you, yeah.
(Empty Me - Jeremy Camp

This has been the cry of my heart today.  I have come to realize over the last few days how self-focused I can be.  Yes, I am human and I have human emotions.  But when I give in to those emotions before I seek the council and comfort of my Jesus, then my response is one of self, and not prompted by the Holy Spirit.  And even though life happens and curve balls are thrown, I want to be led and guided by the Spirit of God.  Not just in the decisions I make, but in my reactions, attitudes, speech, desires, parenting, marriage, the list goes on. 

So I am asking the Lord to come and reorganize my internal spiritual house.  I want to be a yielded vessel, completely emptied of self and fully consumed by the Holy Spirit.  I want to wake up each morning and empty myself before His Throne of Grace, allowing Him to inhabit every fiber of my mind, body and spirit.  I must decrease so that He might increase. 
He must become greater and greater,
and I must become less and less.

(John 3:30-NLT)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters
I absolutely love the Miscellany Monday, hosted by the very beautiful and dedicated Carissa at lowercase letters, who, by the way is blogging after just having a baby.  That's how much she loves us!  Come join the randomness!

  • I hate packing.  I've been wandering around my house like a little lost puppy dog not knowing where to begin.  I think I have ADD.  I start in one room, and see something in another, and another and haven't finished what I started in the first room.  Oh, and the dust is flying everywhere and I can't stop sneezing.  Oh the joy!
  • Did you know that you could train a bunny to use a potty in their cage?  Yep, mine is potty trained.  It's pretty amazing!
  • Since when did my floor become a garbage can?  I picked up three empty Capri Sun pouches off my den floor today.  Oh, and I also found some plastic spoons, and toast crumbs.  Did I not train my children well enough?  Maybe I should put a large garbage can in the middle of the den floor to get their attention.
  • I would like to learn to play an instrument.  I just don't know where I would find the time.  My husband and 3 of my children play guitar (all self taught) and my 7 year old son is asking to play.  I feel out numbered and a little jealous.
  • "Leap Year" is at the top of my Netflix cue.  Have you seen it?  Is it any good?
I hope you are all having a great day!


Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Door Of Transition

the process or a period of changing from one
state or condition to another.

This morning as I was getting ready for church the Lord began to speak to me about this next season of my life and the period of transition that we are in as a family.  If you've been reading my blog lately, you know that our family is having to move.  Even though I have been overwhelmed by the magnitude of the tasks that I face each day with packing, looking for a place to live, and selling our current home, the Lord has been so faithful!  Through it all, I am at rest and have so much peace.  This doesn't mean that I don't have moments where I freak out in the flesh.  But my soul is at rest.  Even though this is a very unfortunate situation for our family, I know that God is in it and that it all will work out.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. (Romans 8:28-NLT)
In my quiet time this morning (all 10 minutes of it while I was getting the kids ready for church!), the Lord showed me a picture of a door.  The door was old and it was closed.  But I noticed that the door was surrounded by LIFE.  There were green vines and shrubs growing all around it and on it, as well as bright blossoms. The Lord told me, "This is the door of transition".  Our family is in a period of transition and things as we know it are about to change.  The home that we have lived in for 16 years, raised our children in, and that my husband's handiwork is displayed in, is no longer ours.  I could choose to remain sad and stay stuck in a place of hopelessness.  But rather I will choose to rejoice, knowing that God sees the end from the beginning, and that HIS handiwork will be displayed wherever we go!  

So I welcome this season of transition.  It is no surprise to me that the door that I saw in the picture the Lord gave me was closed.  I have two choices.  I can choose to remain outside the door, gazing at the beauty of life sprouting up all around me, or I can choose to open the door and step through into my season of transition.  The Lord has shown me that there is Life and New Things that await me on the other side.  The Lord promised that I will see His Goodness!  So I am stepping in!

(This is a painting I did a while back called "Stepping In".
I thought it was fitting.)

I will be busy packing this week.  We signed papers to sell our home over the weekend (the very first people who came to look at it made a very generous offer).  Please pray that our lender will accept their offer.  I will also be diligently looking for a place to rent.  We have very few requests - 4 bedroom, two living spaces (living room and family room) and rent below $2,000/month.  Just so you know how to pray!

Blessings my dear friends!


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Filled With Praise Blog Party!

I am so excited to be hooking up with Amy at Filled With Praise to celebrate her one year blog anniversary.  I love parties, I love getting to know new people and besides, she is giving away some fabulous prizes and I love prizes!  To help her celebrate, Amy has asked all who link up to answer the following questions, so here goes: 
  • If you could have dinner with any person (past or present) who would it be?  My grandmother.  She passed away about 7 years ago and I miss her terribly.  She always made me laugh and had so much compassion.
  • What is your most embarrassing moment that you are willing to share with the blogging world?  I have had several embarrassing moments.  One I remember vividly is when I was on a missions trip to Honduras.  We were on the bus headed back to our guest home after ministering all day at a school.  On the side of the road there was a man selling pottery and I remember asking if we could get off the bus so that I could have a look.  As I was stepping off the bus, I tripped and fell, landing on my backside, bum flashing the bus and feet straight up in the air.  I not only had everyone on the bus laughing hysterically, but the locals got quite a kick out of it as well.
  • If you could only use one word to describe yourself, what would it be?  Faithful.  I believe that I am a faithful friend, faithful worker and faithful to my Lord Jesus!
  • You found a machine that allows you to fast forward your life to a moment or to rewind your life to a certain moment, but it can only be used for one moment.  Would you fast forward or rewind and to which moment would you choose?  I would rewind to my wedding day.  It all happened so fast and even though I have some very vivid memories of that day, I think I missed some things.  I can't even remember what centerpieces I had on the tables at the reception.
  • What is your favorite simple blessing in life?  I wanted to answer Popcorn!  My eyesight.  I love that I get to enjoy the beauty of God's creation with my eyes every day.  His beauty is all around me!
Come join the fun over at the Filled With Praise Blog Party!


The Freedom of Surrender

Tonight I realized something.  I've been holding on to my heart.  Not my whole heart, but the core part of my heart.  The part that was created by God in the secret place.  The part that was rejected, told that it was worthless and was not protected.  Tonight I had a revelation.  Even though I've given God my heart, I am still holding on to many of the broken pieces and the pain associated with them.  God has come and brought healing in many areas, yet there is still much healing to be done.  Why do I insist on gripping my heart so tightly and not offering it to the Lord with an open hand?  A closed fist represents a lack of surrender.  An open hand tells God, "Here it is.  Come and take this from me".

Jesus came to set the captives free.  If I hold onto my pain, then I live in a place of captivity in my mind and will be forever bound by that pain.  And even though I know this, there is a part of me that is fearful. You see, in many ways, I've identified myself with my brokenness.  This deep rooted pain has become such a part of me.  I've carried it with me, like an old, trusted friend, for many years.  And as odd as it may sound, I am afraid that if I surrender it all to God, I won't know who I am.

But God knows who I am.  He called me by name.  He has given me a new identity.  One that is not marked by brokenness, but one that has been marked by the very hand of God and forever changed by His love!  I am no longer a prisoner to pain, but I am free to live in the fullness of all that God has planned for me!  I want to surrender it all to Him so that He can reveal to me my true identity.  Not the superficial one, who masks her pain and silently grieves, but the core of who I am.  The one that He knit together in the secret place.  The one whom He loved and thought of even before I was born.  
I knew you before
I formed you in your mother's womb.

(Jeremiah 1:5a-NLT)
My pain is not mine to own.  He paid the price for it on the cross.  He owns it now. Christ came to set me free, therefore I am free!  I am choosing to surrender my heart, to release my grip, and allow God to come in and heal my brokenness so that I may walk in freedom.
So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.
(John 8:36-NLT)


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Teenage Boys - So Random!

 (My son, Ryan, is the one on the right!)

So I have been sitting here thinking about what to blog about for tomorrow.  I am so tired and can barely keep my eyes open and have pretty much decided that I wouldn't get a post up tonight (for Wednesday).  However, I have gotten a kick out of listening and watching a couple of teenage boys (one being my 16 year old son, Ryan), make and discuss food.  I even got involved.  Here is how our culinary evening has gone:

10:30 PM
Ryan:  Hey, Jordan, you want some toast with butter?
Jordan:  Sure.
*They both slam down the toast, but my son wins. 
I think he consumed it in about 3 seconds.

Me:  Hey son, can you make my popcorn? 
(My son makes my popcorn every night).
Ryan:  Sure mom.
*I eat my popcorn while reading my lovely blogs!

11:15 PM
I hear my son in the refrigerator.
Me:  Son, what are you getting now?
Ryan:  A Tamale
Me:  But son, you already had a couple of those today. 
Don't eat them all
Ryan:  I only had one.
*He proceeds to make his Tamale

Jordan:  Hey, I've never had a Tamale, can I try it?
Ryan:  Sure
Jordan:  That's pretty good.
*Ryan proceeds to slam down his Tamale.

I hear a ruckus in the kitchen. 
Jordan is attempting to make Mac N Cheese
(yes, out of the box).
Jordan:  How much water do I put in the pan?
Ryan:  Mom, which pan do I use?

More ruckus in the kitchen
Jordan:  How do I measure 4 Tbsps of butter?
Ryan:  Mom, how do we measure the butter,
we don't have any cubes?
Me:  Ummmm, fill the measuring spoon 4x with butter!

11:45 PM
Me:  Hey son, can you get me a bowl of vanilla ice cream
with chocolate syrup?
Ryan:  Sure mom.
*He kindly brings me the ice cream

Me:  Son, thank you, but there is not enough
chocolate syrup on it.  Can I have some more please?
Ryan:  Okay mom.

12:00 AM
Jordan:  Hey Ryan, do you have any wieners
(those would be hot dogs) I can put in my Mac N Cheese?
*I laugh hysterically!
Jordan:  Should I just eyeball it or measure it
(speaking of the butter/milk for the Mac N Cheese)?
Ryan:  It looks green
Jordan:  This is even better than Alyssa's (my daughter
who is the QUEEN of Mac N Cheese making)!
Jordan:  Ryan, do you have any spoons that are clean?
*Oops, I forgot to wash the dishes again.

I am sure they will continue their culinary talk and partaking of anything they can find long after I have gone to bed, as they are both now downing a Snapple!  How is it teenage boys never seem to get full?  Where does all the food go?

By the way, this has got to be the most random post I have ever done on my blog.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

He Holds My Tears

 (Photo Credit:  Laura DeLeon)

I am in need of God's strength today.  
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. 
(Psalm 73:26)
Have you ever had a day when it feels like your heart has been violently ripped from your chest?  Today has been one of those for me.  I need His strength and I need Him to hold my heart.  The Word says that He holds all of my tears.  
You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. (Psalm 56:8)
I think I filled the bottle to overflowing today.  I know that God is with me in this, but it still hurts.
He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. 
(Psalm 147:3)