Monday, July 27, 2009

High Heels, Chocolate and Fear

Three things I have in common with my 92 year old Mamaw.

High Heels, Chocolate and Fear.

One of my oldest memories of this particular grandparent is her love, and somewhat obsessive desire for shoes. Particularly high heels.

Understand, she was a housewife. Mamaw only wore those beloved high heels on Sunday to church. and the funeral home. Those shoes were her prized possessions and she paid a pretty penny for each and every pair. At one point I remember counting 50 shoe boxes in her closet. Who knows how many she had under her bed and in my grandfather's closet. If we asked my grandfather I'm sure he would tell us there were well over 100 boxes scattered in closets throughout their home.

I speak about her having them in past tense because after a broken right hip almost two years ago, her days in the heels were over. She still has a love for them and if truth be told, I bet she has a few pairs stashed in her closet.

She also LOVES chocolate. This woman can put away a Whitman's Sampler box faster than anyone I know, myself included. She doesn't share her chocolate so don't ask. :) Oh I kid...she'll give you one maybe two pieces if you're lucky. I'll share my chocolate with you, just don't ask me for more than a few of these..

I share more than a love for high heels and chocolate with my Mamaw. We both fight fear.

While she has never come out and said "I live in fear", her life screams it.

The dark, the unknown, being sick, being alone and yes, even God. It's as if she has lived in the state of "What If's" in the country of FEAR her entire life. Apparently, the governing authority in this country does not like for you to travel. He is sly and evil and will do whatever it takes to keep you under his authority.

Even after accepting Jesus as her Lord and Savior AT 90, she still allows the enemy to keep her bound by fear.

She has never allowed Jesus to cover her in peace.

She has never experienced the freedom that comes from REALLY living.

Each time I see her, I see fear on her a little more and it makes me uncomfortable.

More than uncomfortable it grieves my heart. The Holy Spirit lives in her she does not have to live this way.

2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Power. My God gives me power. I love this verse:

Deut.33:29 Happy are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the LORD, the shield of your help, and the sword of your triumph! Your enemies shall come fawning to you, and you shall tread upon their backs."

If I was personalizing it for my Mamaw it would go like this: Happy you can be Hazel. You have been saved by the Lord! He is the shield of your help and the sword of your triumph! Your enemy, the one who has fought hard to keep you in this state of fear and what if's, is going to fall at your feet and you are going to walk all over his nasty back.

And I would read this over her and pray that the words would sink into her heart:

Psalm 3:1-6a.
"O LORD, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me; many are saying of my soul, there is no salvation for him in God. Selah But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. I cried aloud to the LORD, and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the LORD sustained me. I will not be afraid"

Tonight as I type this I'm praying for my high heel, chocolate loving Mamaw a little more than normal. She fell and broke her left hip and will have surgery early in the morning.

The next few days are going to be hard. She will once again fight fear. I'm praying that this time, her heart will be soft to her Prince of Peace, her Deliverer, her Shield and the Lifter of her head.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Psalm 131 a Repost

This is a post from February...but it just fits right now..hope it encourages you too.

Psalm 131

1 "O Lord, my heart is not lifted up;
my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvelous for me.

2 But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child is my soul within me.

3 O Israel, hope in the Lord
from this time forth and forevermore."

A lady I deeply admire and respect shared this Psalm last weekend. I have read it everyday since then. Three very short verses that pack quite a punch.

That first line in verse two is the kicker for me. For whatever reason this week I have found it hard to calm and quiet my soul. My mind seems to be running on high this week. So many thoughts, lists, understand don't you?

God woke me up EARLY this morning to force me to quiet my soul for a little while. It was sweet. Normally, if I'm up early Chloe joins me. (regardless of the time) Not today. God let her sleep until a little before seven. I sort of feel like I've been to the woodshed. (You know, had a little bit of a talking to.) BUT...

I have calmed and quieted my soul and I can do this thing called life today knowing, believing that He will give me what I need for today.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

"I have resolved that my mouth will not sin." Psalm 17:3b NIV

This is my verse for the next two weeks. I have been praying for two weeks, asking God to set a guard over my mouth...or better said asking God to keep His holy hand over my mouth to keep me from spewing.

God taught me several years ago that when He says "speak this" I need to speak it. BUT just as important when He says "DO NOT SPEAK" and I's a sin and does not bring good to a situation.

Lately, I have felt like God has lifted the "DO NOT SPEAK" order on a particular situation in my life. Wouldn't you know that the heat has been turned up and the situation has become almost out of control...I do not want to speak because I'm so emotional about the thing! I'm afraid that I will speak out of my hurt, and that the hurt will keep me from speaking in love. Does that makes sense at all? This is all so frustrating and I'm sure makes no sense at all. (Not to mention I'm a walking zombie this morning...AFTER 3 cups of coffee.)

Thus the verse for the next two weeks. I need God to consume my thoughts and words and show me when to speak so that it is HIS plan and not my own.

Okay...enough rambling we are off to the pool for a little while. These kiddos need to burn off some energy!!! (Aunt Steffie needs a nap this afternoon!)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

More Cousin Fun

I'm so proud of my girls and my nieces and nephew. They are all working hard to get along and help each other. Don't get me wrong, we've had a few moments and at one point I was ready to have the three oldest start copying Romans 12! BUT, we are all loving this time together.

After lunch today, ZuZu left to go back home to Granddaddy. The kids were NOT happy about that. They have missed her terribly this afternoon and tonight P. (4 years) asked me if Zuzu could just come back and tuck her in.

She (P.) is having a bit of a hard time settling down tonight. It's the first time she has asked me to hold her and sing. I asked her what she wanted to sing and she said "move the mountain", I asked her if it was "Mighty to Save" and she said, "Yes, but not the long one please." We sang the chorus. Then she wanted "Seek Ye First" and then the tomato song she made up and sang to me while we swept the kitchen after lunch this afternoon.

B.(4)told me during bathtime that he "LOVES CHRIS TOMLIN CAUSE HE SINGS GOD OF THIS CITY AND I LOVE THAT SONG SO MUCH AND MY BELLY TINGLES WHEN I SING IT." This child has kept me in stitches. As Emma says, that boy is a living exclamation point!

The four oldest girls, Zuzu and I sat around the kitchen table yesterday had Smores and talked for almost 3 hours. The girls were talking about what they wanted to be, where they wanted to attend college...just life in general. We laughed until our sides hurt. What a sweet time we had.

I'm once again uploading photos for sis and brother in law. I know they miss their babies.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Cousin Fun

A couple of weeks ago my sister in law called and said that they needed some help. She and her husband were scheduled to leave for Turkey on a mission trip and they needed childcare...for about 12 days.

We are tickled pink to have our 3 nieces and 1 nephew here for the next few days.
They live in Virginia and we haven't seen them in over a year. My oldest nieces (12) are now as tall as I am and can no longer wear my shoes. The youngest set of twins are 4 and are just in love with life. Surprisingly, NO ONE has been homesick for mommy or daddy...yet. I'm sure it will hit at some point, but for now we are doing just great!!

They arrived late Friday afternoon, followed soon by ZuZu. This weekend we have just been settling into a routine and playing in the pool. This morning we opted to have a lazy morning and spend some time at a local park. I'm posting a few of my favorite pictures in hopes that my sister and brother in law can see them.

Emma, P. and B. playing "Spy Kids".

B. has loved watching the Tour de France with Uncle Chad and is wearing one of his cycling shirts as his costume.

Celebrating Uncle Chad's Birthday....

B. and Zuzu walking at the park...

My favorite group shot so far.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Just really trying to figure out....

How in the world to post. So much has gone on in the last week and I have been in awe of what God has done. How He went before me to prepare my heart and my mind for the week He knew would exhaust me. I wasn't surprised just totally amazed at the way scripture, sermons, Bible study and music all came together to prepare me for the battle that we would be in.

I have repeatedly had the words Be Still put in front of me. Because I talk with my hands as much as my mouth, be still also means be quiet. :)So this week when my human gut reaction was to speak, my heart felt the Spirit tug and say be still and quiet. THAT my friend was and is hard.

Very hard.

I will defend my family and friends with everything in me and when one of them is hurt,I become a 5'1" pit bull.

God taught me several years ago that He doesn't always need me to vocally defend my loved ones to another person...He wants me to fight that battle on my knees. I can already see God's hand and even though there are still unresolved issues, Light has been brought to a dark corner.

If I have learned anything in my life, it's that when you start shining Light in the dark corners, you see all the filth you have worked so hard to hide. Some of that dirt and grime can be old and it may be hard work to get a deep clean. That process can't be accomplished on your own. It takes getting real honest with God and allowing Him to show you all the cobwebs, the dirt, all that junk that is keeping you stuck in that dark corner. For me, it meant I had to own up and admit that my choices had affected others. That my friend can be the hardest thing, however...

Submitting to that process and allowing God to clean out my dark corners was the most freeing experience.

Not easy to talk about, not easy to walk through but worth every tear. We are letting God clean out another corner in our life right now and it hurts. It is hard, BUT.....

There is freedom when you live in the Light. We know this and are already thanking God for the process. Only He can clean out this corner. So we are being still (and quiet in my case!) and looking forward to the day when this dark corner is clean and we can say look at what happened when we added Light in this corner.