Monthly Archives: January 2014

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MY HERO AND BEST FRIEND

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As I look back over my marriage to Michael, I think of the laughter and joy, and the times we struggled to stay committed.

We have been in a battle to fight for our marriage from the beginning when we married at the ages of nineteen and twenty-three. Both of us coming from families that were broken up by divorce, the odds were against our marriage. But in the midst of every trial that we’ve endured, my husband has courageously fought for us. He has remained committed to the vows he made to me twenty-eight years ago. In the hardest of times, he has pressed on in loving me. I am grateful for our marriage and look forward to many more decades of sharing love with my hero and best friend.

“Many a man proclaims his own loyalty, but who can find a trustworthy man?” Proverbs 20:6 (NASB)

I’m linking up for Five Minute Friday where Lisa Jo Baker and other awesome people write for five minutes flat with no self critiquing or no striving for perfection. This week’s prompt is: “Hero.”

The photo was taken the day my husband and I renewed our wedding vows.

Five Minute Friday

THE POWER OF PRAYER

Rejoice in Hope

Sometimes it takes darkness to realize how much we need prayer in our lives. I learned this lesson during the lowest of lows in my own life.

It was springtime in 1997. It should’ve been a happy season for me as I had recently given birth to my second child, a son. But instead of feeling joy, I had an overwhelming sense of despair and a case of postpartum depression that I couldn’t shake off without a true, divine intervention. I was in a deep pita place of desperation. I remember wanting to die.

It seemed that everything good in my life had been lost. My marriage was broken, our finances were a complete mess, and my seven-year-old daughter was feeling the stress in our home. The weight of all my struggles caused hopelessness to fill my soul. Because of a busy life of church activities, working tirelessly, and striving to please people, my prayers had become last resort petitions to God instead of daily communion with Him. I felt as though I was surrounded by a thick, dark cloud. My personal journal revealed the desperation in my soul.

May 22, 1997: God, do You hate me? I feel so helpless. Please show me Your love. Please make a way for me out of this.

Deep in my heart, I knew the only answer for me was the power of the resurrected Christ to pull me up out of my desperation and awaken my soul with His healing light. Those desperate prayers were the seeds that eventually grew into a more disciplined life of prayer.

Visit crunchylibrarian.com to read the rest of the story. I’m so honored to have a guest post over at Amy Dane’s awesome blog!


 

FREE E-BOOK UNTIL 1/29/14

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I’m excited to share that my eBook Prayers of a Mother’s Heart is being offered free through January 29th. I hope you’ll grab yourself a copy at Amazon.com.

Lord,

Help us to be filled to overflowing with a desire to pray passionately for our children until we see every promise fulfilled and every prayer answered. Let Christ prepare His chosen generation, His royal priesthood to be a people for His own. Let our children bring forth the praises of the One who has brought them out of the darkness and into His marvelous light. I pray in Christ’s name. Amen.

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own; that you should show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9 (King James 2000 Bible)

THE HANDS AND FEET OF JESUS

 

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It was eight years ago that I experienced the realness of Jesus in a way that changed me forever. One summer morning the Lord woke me, actually He jolted me out of my sleep during an incredible dream.

I dreamed I was a princess and I was running through a beautiful castle, going from room to room in awe of all the beauty of it. Then suddenly for a really brief moment I became afraid and I hid. But as quickly as the fear came, it left.  I burst out of the hiding place and there I stood looking lovelier than ever in a long, flowing dress.

I awakened suddenly with an image in my mind of me standing there looking like Cinderella with a quizzical look on my face and my heart filled with a sense of wonder. When will my Prince rescue me? Then reality hit me. Oh, it was a dream. Hmmm…What exactly is God trying to speak to me through this dream? As the day went on I received the answer so clearly.

A few hours later the telephone rang. It was my sweet friend Lisa calling after unsuccessfully trying to reach me for several weeks. Lisa was a part of a neighborhood Bible study where I cared for the children of moms who met each week during the school year. It was during the summer break and I hadn’t spoken to her in three months.

That morning over the telephone Lisa asked me how things were going in my life and I shared that we were in the midst of a trial. My husband Michael was self-employed at the time and his business had almost come to a halt. He was delivering pizza to support our family. I was a stay-at-home mom earning money by babysitting and working other small jobs on the side. We were barely scraping by. Our refrigerator was nearly empty, we had no money to buy groceries, and some of our bills were overdue. I was teetering on a fence between fear and faith, but choosing to trust the Lord.

As Lisa and I talked, I told her about the question I heard the Lord asking me the night before.  In my heart, I heard the Lord’s still, small voice. Do you really trust me? At 6 a.m. that morning I had written down my answer. Yes I do, I have no reason not to… Jesus has been so good to me!

I asked Lisa to pray for the Lord to guide us and to provide the jobs Michael and I needed. Lisa’s words were soothing to my soul. “Would you like to come over to help me clean out my big freezer? I’ll give you the excess food in return for helping me.” She cheerfully exclaimed.

My heart leapt with excitement over Lisa’s words. I felt so encouraged and thanked her over and over. She said she would be waiting for me to come over later that evening. I was excited, but I had no idea what was in store for me through the divine appointment God was orchestrating that day…

Visit NBS2GO.com to read the rest of the story.

WALKING BY FAITH TO SEE GOD’S POWER

Walk by Faith

As my car was sputtering down the road, barely moving at the speed of twenty-something miles per hour, I felt unsafe driving. My car was an old Honda, nearly twenty years old. It had been acting strangely for weeks. I must have looked crazy as my car jerked down the street while I passionately proclaimed to God my hopes for Him to rescue me. With an assurance in my voice I loudly said, “Jesus, You stated in Your Scriptures that all things work together for good for those who love You and are called according to Your purposes. Well, I need a car. So I am expecting You to work this out for my good and provide another car for me.” As those words rolled off my lips, peace fell all over me and I knew everything would be okay.

Just weeks before my car had started giving me trouble, I’d written a prayer to the Lord professing that I didn’t want to ever doubt Him again. I know that sounds courageous. But I’m not really all that brave. I was simply ready to walk in faith moment-by-moment and see God’s power working in my life in a greater way. For a number of years I’d been following Christ at all costs. During that season, the Lord was taking me to the place of knowing that every good thing in life would be provided by God if I followed Him wholeheartedly and would really, really trust Him.

At the time my car was breaking, my husband Michael was working hard to finish college while I worked several different part-time jobs including very late nights on the weekends for a catering business. Even with the catering job, my cleaning jobs, teaching dance on the side, and cutting all our spending to only necessities, we still barely had enough money to keep food on the table, much less money for car repairs.

After that day I’d found the courage to tell Jesus I needed for Him to provide me a better car, my old Honda continued to sporadically act up. I never knew if I would make it to my job safely or not. But I just kept praying for the Lord to keep my car running and waiting on Him to provide a new one. I truly knew He would. Just a few weeks later, I received a call from my mother with some sweet news.

In her kind voice, she said, “Amy, I want you to know that the Lord put it on my heart to give you our car since we’re purchasing another one.” The timing was impeccable. My mom had no idea that our car was seriously malfunctioning. I had decided not to share those details with her so she wouldn’t be tempted to worry. There wasn’t a reason to tell her because I knew God would handle it. His Holy Spirit whispered in my mother’s ear and shared our need with her at precisely the moment we needed to see God’s hand working in our midst.

God’s timing is perfect. He never fails us when we place our trust in Him alone.

It’s been years since Jesus provided that car for me when I desperately needed it. He has continued to open doors and has blessed my family with everything we’ve needed through the years. Even after undeniably seeing miracles in my life, I can be tempted to doubt Christ at times. Life is challenging. When things aren’t going as I had hoped they would, doubtful thoughts tempt me. But now, after watching God’s faithfulness in my life over and over and over again, I continually choose to push out the negative thoughts by focusing on what the Scriptures say. I continually rejoice over the way Jesus comes through for me every single time I need for Him to work on my behalf.

Doubt and self-pity open the door for disappointments. Faith opens the door for the impossible to be unleashed in our lives. In Mark 11:22-24, Jesus said, “Have faith in God. I assure you that whoever tells this hill to get up and throw itself in the sea and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him…When you pray and ask for something, believe that you have received it, and you will be given whatever you ask for.”

Are you in need of a miracle? Being in need is the perfect position to see God’s power. It’s not until we let go of things, surrender everything to Christ, and release it all into His hands, that we see His power working abundantly.

Walking by faith is not easy. It takes practice. But I have learned that the only way any of us will truly see God’s power in our lives is by leaving doubt behind forever and choosing to walk by faith and not by sight.

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7 (English Standard Version)