Doggy Dreams – Praying in Our Puppy

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Read My Red Journals below and you’ll see that our family prayed for God to send us a puppy back on April 30, 2003.

Quick recap of my family twelve years ago: no job, no money–at all, 3 elementary kids & hubby & I living in a month-to-month ‘apostle John’-style apartment waiting on God to… to… to do something.  Ok, not just something but get us out! Out of debt. Into a job. Out the apartment. Into a home. Out of ‘I have no clue about our future.’ Into ‘Yes, we can commit to that thing on the calendar because we have a glimpse of what is to come.’

With all of our prayer requests and in need of so many basics, we dared to ask our heavenly Father for one more ‘pie in the sky’ thing–A puppy. We wanted a dog for my kids to grow up with and that I wouldn’t be allergic to. In usual God fashion, He delivered big time. Meet Lucy.

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She picked us, honestly. The day our family of five crawled on the floor to visit a puppy I saw online, the breeder also brought another puppy whom she thought would suit our family’s silly style a little better. As I held the chosen online docile pup, Lucy crawled into my lap, looked up, licked my nose and said, ‘Take me home.” Our hearts melted. Lucy adopted herself into our family.

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On the way home I named her Lucy after Lucy Ricardo because, like Lucille Ball’s character, our dog is red-headed and funny. Her kooky character came out more and more througout the years and we have a doghouse full of stories about…

…her mischievous, stealth-like sneakiness,

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…her convulsive appetite for steak (she literally shakes all over in anticipation of eating steak!), and the way she ministers to us daily with snuggles.

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My Red Journals continues

Thursday, April 17, 2003

In Jesus name I pray for our trip to Austin. Please pour Your blessings on our visit. Grant us safe travel. Please hold all tongues from argument. Let there be only joy & play. Introduce something new. Tell us how we can live there.

Our spririts are high & filled with the Holy Spirit & we confidently wait for Your answer to our lives.

Where will You plant us? Will there be a family dog? Will I own a studio? We have faith in You answering our prayers. Hopefully, they will be the answers that we think we want.

Your Servant.

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Thank You, Jesus, for 15 wonderful years of marriage to the man You provided for me. Thank You for our growth together toward You. I pray that our marriage will continue to grow & thrive & that we will always look to You first before anything else.

Lord, Greg received a job offer yesterday with EDS. You do work in mysterious ways! I am first & foremost faithful to Your plan. It’s curious. We have been burned, but we go back armed with Your power to change & advance. Lord, I pray that the leadership at EDS will instill a dramactic plan of integrity & ethics & put the proper treatment of their employees above all greed and economizing. May Greg be a part–a big part of that plan!

We don’t know what kind of offer Steve will give & if they’ll ‘cowboy up’ and own up to their mistakes. I pray for Your voice, Jesus. Let us know if this is where You want us.

Honestly, I am a bit disappointed. I say that without even knowing the full outcome, but the dramatist in me wants the big gasp to catch my breath at the fullest, in one big fell swoop, of Your plan revealed! I want to jump to the sky with excitement! I want to run into the kids’ schools, get them out of class & say, “Our prayers were answered today!” I want to make a memory, spontanuously, of overflowing emotion & praise FOR YOU!

Instead, at the moment, I have the well-trained Wilk reserve…don’t party til the contract is signed.

I’ll PRAISE YOU NOW! You are my God! You have provided for me every day & moment. You taught me in a custom-designed academic class of life & love.

Let’s start making the party arrangements!

Moral authority requires character, sacrifice, time (from “Visioneering”)

Thank You for giving us this right.

Monday, April 28, 2003

Good morning, Lord. Did You get me up this moring? It’s been so long since I’ve woken before everyone else & spent time with You. Need to talk? I’m here to listen.

A party. We’re going to celebrate Your work & blessings & this journey. We’ll have friends & family around just so we can celebrate Your holiness, Your friendship & Your love. We’ll evangelize & realize all together. I pray You use this celebration for Your glory.

Praise You, Jesus. You are the way! You are letting me feel the rhythm inside. You are giving me the fire inside to dance. I can let go of the reigns of this journey. Thank you.

For today I pray for Your blessing & guidance for 1) the job contract–may it include all that You know we need to continue to do work for You; 2) a house; a home–lead us where we can settle & serve; 3) a dog–a new family member who can signify a new beginning & we can all live with allergy free!

Guide us through, Jesus. In Your Heavenly Name I dance!

Amen

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Our family is poised to celebrate! (so are our friends at church & loved ones in Austin & New England!)

We wait on the letter of employment. We step in faith back into EDS. You have told us that if someone slaps one cheek, turn & give them the other…we’re obediant, dear Jesus.

I pray, dear dear Lord, for a dog for our family. I’d like to have a BIG announcement of the end of this journey for the kids. Dear God, please lead me to a dog for our family.

Your plan is holy; Your ways are righteous. We do not understand all, but we accept them with Your blessings.

I pray for Becky & Travis. Please keep Becky healthy through her pregnancy & lead Travis to a great job soon.

I forgot to thank You for leading me to Exodus 40 on Monday. You speak of exiting a journey & preparing, in detail, a big celebration! Wow! Wow! Wow! You are not silent. All glory to You.

My Comforter, My Provider, my Healer, my Teacher, my Father, my Friend, my Redeemer.

My Jesus.

Amen

My Ginger Twin

 

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As I journaled in our month-to-month, sparsely furnished apartment I pined for my things.  Like Mary Kate Danaher in The Quiet Man I wanted my belongings about me.  I wanted our stuff that had been crated and locked away in storage for a year.  My grandmother’s hope chest, my mother’s paintings, my bridal bouquet and photo albums; our china, the patchwork quilt my mother-in-law made, our four-poster bed, and lawyers bookshelves–all locked up, far away and inaccessible without a hefty digging fee.  The image of John Wayne taming the shrew in Maureen O’Hara is much like God wrestling with me many days during our ‘prison term’ in the apartment.  I thrashed about as God held onto me during my desperate prayers and journalings.  I was dragged across the meadow and through town like the brattish Mary Kate who refused to be satisfied with true love and didn’t want to learn a lesson.  My friends may have said that I handled our no-job tenure with grace, but often times inside I was a fiery red-head with a spitting Irish tongue.  Fortunately for me, God was Sean Thornton.  He would grin at me, wait for my silliness to subside and envelop me in a hug as I whimpered apologies.

My last journal entry posted here leaves us in Job, indicating that no job had been granted as of yet.  It happens obviously, and Greg and I eventually live out ten years in a beautiful home in Lucas, raising our three kids to legal completion.  But unlike the previous sentence, the day-t0-day living of the no-job journey is not as easily expressed.  My ginger twin may make an occasional appearance, but God remains my ‘quiet man,’ taming me through the tough times and loving me all the while.

Friday, March 7, 2003

Dear Jesus~

Radical faith.  Am I there?  Have I truly given all to follow You?  Sometimes I don’t know.  I think that my ideas of security with a home, etc. are keeping me from You.  Help me to give that up.  I’m trying to design Your plan.  Help me to let go & completely trust You.  “Trusting & believing God is the number one priority on God’s agenda for my life.” (Holy Ambition)  Trash everything else.  Just follow & trust.

Teach me not to question.  Jump off.  So what, we’re where we’re at?  So what we don’t know of tomorrow?  I’m excited of YOUR plan.

God, I pray for a vision of Your plan.  I pray to be patient to hear from You.

Amen

Saturday, March 8, 2003

Dear Lord~

Again, I pray for YOUR vision.  Help me to let go of all of my inhibitors.  Let Your plan shine over all else.

Thank You for this wonderful weather.  I pray that You send us somewhere today that we may enjoy the sun & be closer to You.

Lord, I pray for Frank & Maria.  If it be Your will, please bless them with a child.  Help her to become pregnant and to have a healthy baby to term.

Lord, some considerations now are to investigate Greg starting his own business or take over an existing one with the support of venture capitalists.  Please lead us in the right direction with this research or close all doors immediately.

We pray for a swift action.

Lord, I have yet to pray about the Hip Hp group I’m forming with the youth at church.  I apologize.  Please forgive me.  I definitely felt You lay it on my heart that I should have no regrets about not having had formed the group in preparation for the opening of The Family Life Center.  Lord, I sense something good there, but some elements don’t seem right.  Every other group I’ve started has taken off immediately.  Please guide me in the right direction to lead these girls to get them excited about us.  We need a name, possibly a place to practice.  I need original ideas , choreography, and energy!  Please pour Your blessings on us.  Help us to dance for You & to praise You in a way that will reach to others.

Thank You for Liza having a friend over today.

“Our father who are in heaven, hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven…”

Amen

Monday March 10, 2003

Dear God in 3 Persons~

I have just finished the book Holy Ambition and I lack only one thing on the list:  a strategic plan.  I have a dislocated heart, about our national and world struggles, about the dance needs in Austin, about wanting & needing to live in Austin.  I have a broken spirit about these things; I definitely have a radical faith & personal commitment & You have given me a courageous soul.  The only thing I’m lacking is a strategic plan.  And I can’t have a strategic plan without Your vision for Your holy plan utilizing me, Greg, our family & our talents.

Lord, I realize that my choreography, staging and design is exactly how I can be successful for You for Your plan.

I must have the final outcome in my mind & then I can work backwards to figure out how to achieve the goal.

I know that when You give me Your vision & plan, that with courage from You, I can strategize a plan with You to accomplish amazing things along the journey to achieve Your divine plan.

I am chompin’ at the bit.  I am fired up!  I am so ready to jump at Your plan–more so than any other opportunities than have come our way yet.

You are an awesome God  And I say ‘WOW!’

Amen

PS–I have been discouraged & weary, but this reminder of Jesus’ struggles feeds me to go on.

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author & perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, & sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary & lose heart.”  Hebrews 12:2-3

Thank you.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Dear Lord Jesus~

I pray in preparation for my time with You today; for focus, intimacy, wisdom and understanding.  Please speak through Your Word to me with clear understanding.

Psalm 26 definitely speaks for me.  Verse 1 says, “Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have led a blameless life.”

My life, in this ‘cave’ has been blameless, aside from the sins You have forgiven me for & I continue to pray for Your power for control.  But the Psalmist says how I feel.  I’ve stayed away from evil, I’ve proclaimed Your name. And as the author, David, writes, “my feet stand on level ground; in the great assembly I will praise the Lord.” (v12)

I praise You now for all that You’re doing & for what You will do for me & our family

Greg & I met with Blair yesterday.  He said & agreed that we’re at that point where all we need is God.  He said that is not a bad place to be.  That is true.  So true.  All we need, can count on & rely on is God.  We know You will provide.  Let us see it coming, O Lord.  Let us be so close to You that we see the answer coming & are not chastised for too little faith.

In 1 Corinthians 15:55-58 You remind me that You have taken care of even my greatest enemy, death (although I actually fear many other things than death itself).  You smacked death by dying on the cross & living again.  I will live again with You!  So it definitely matters what I do on earth.  It is comforting to know I can “…stand firm.  Let nothing move you.  Always give yourselves fully to the world of the Lord, because You know that Your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (v.58)

Amen

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My grandmother’s hope chest that she gave to me and now I have given to Lena. My grandmother had her initials carved onto the right panel; ten years later, my father-in-law carved my initials onto the left panel. I plan to have Lena’s initials carved on the top with room for her daughter’s and future daughters.

Monday, March 24, 2003

To be quite honest, Lord, I really don’t want to be doing this right now.  If it weren’t for Greg, I wouldn’t be.

It’s Monday, the beginning of another week.  We want to go to work.  Lena cried the other day that she has nowhere to go and relax.  We need a home.  We need our things out of storage & around us.  We want & need to celebrate Your victory.

Do You hear me?

I knew You wanted Greg to quit EDS.  You made that very clear & we don’t regret it.  We pray for Your leading and obvious direction for our next move–complete confidence, because we’ll need it in order to be able to ignore the nay-sayers & for us to press forth with Your plan.  Next week will be one year since Greg quit EDS on April 1st.  This can not be an April Fool’s joke.

Hallelujah for the removal of Dick Brown at EDS.  Open doors for Greg, Lord; help him to reinstall the values back in the company.  Let’s go!

Lord, I whole-heartedly pray for Mike & DiAnne.  Their marriage has been strained by their trials.  Why do they have to suffer for so long?  It seems so unfair.  They have been such devout followers for You for so long.  Why punish them?  They need Your intervention immediately.  Please soften their hearts.  They need You so.  I pray that You use me in talking with DiAnne.  She really needs a friend.

This dying moment-to-moment day stuff is very old!  Can’t I just live?!  Yes!  I know there’s a war going on & people overseas & POWs who are yearning for Your attention.  And yes, please hear them all.  Keep them safe.  Save their souls and expand the Christian territory!   Keep the Tabers safe, please.  But help us too.  I am not a life-sufferer; a professional mercenary.  I’m Jodie, a daughter of Christ, trying to do what is right & trying to hang on.

I pray for a miracle today!

Amen

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

I’m here again.  Reading Job.

Laundry–Sorting Sacrifices

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Everyday sacrifice B.C.– Get up, dress, make gruel for family.  Grab a lamb and turtle dove, walk to the temple.  Sacrifice the lamb for having relations with your husband last week and the turtle dove for starting your period this morning.  Earn money by taking in laundry and selling vegetables to pay for next week’s lamb and turtle dove sacrifices.

I couldn’t live like that!  While raising my kids, life was crazy enough feeding the family three times a day, doing laundry, cajoling homework, and wrestling bills.  Add schlepping small livestock to town to atone for my daily living and I would have ended up a mad, beggar woman with a brood hiding under my cloak.  Sex with my husband and menstruation aren’t even sins, but according to the Bible, that was life before Christ.  No thank you!  That’s not living.  God knew that, hence, John 3:16:)

Everyday sacrifice A.D.– Give it up to Jesus when you wake, pray throughout the day for guidance and strength, trust and have courage to follow Him.  And…when you are earnestly waiting for God’s answer about a desperately needed job and ending your financial stresses, you once again sacrifice & just do the laundry.  Read the entries below (2/24/23 & 3/2/13) and this introduction will make sense–God’s sacrifice & my daily pitiful sacrifice of agreeing to His plan, even though it’s not what I like.

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Red silk journal with embroidered scroll heart and key – gifted to me by Greg on Valentines, 2003

MyRedJournals continues with me writing in my second red journal amidst our 1+ year job search and three kids under the age of ten.

Thursday, February 20, 2003

The continuation.

Wholly dependent on You.  Nothing more can be done.  Continual, constant prayer.  Seeking Your face.  Listening desperately for Your voice.  Anticipating.  hanging with my toes on the edge of the line, waiting to exclaim, “All the glory to God!  He did this wonderful miracle for me!  Can’t you see, those of you who don’t believe, that only God could change the course and bring on such sunshowers!?!  Believe, believe!  Believe in Jesus!  He died on the cross to take your sins & to give you a new life!  This is my new life.  Jesus loved me so much that He died for me & He showered me with overflowing fruit!  He wants this for You, too!  Just ask Him.”

We are on the verge with Perot Systems.  It looks bleak.  The other candidate has apparently been given an offer, but the race is still on.  Darcy is doing reference checks; Greg lined that all up.  According to Darcy it is close.

A praise!  We prayed for Darcy’s mind to change to the positive for Greg & You did that!  Thank You, thank You, praise You, Jesus for helping & nurturing.  You change the impossible to possible.

Now, Satan’s final attempt.  An attack of vertigo, swirling questions & doubts, apparent defeat & biases among Brian towards the other candidate.  Cast out all evil, God!  Remove the devil from our presence, Brian’s eyes & ears & the entire decision-making process.  There is no place for evil here!  Only You & peace & assuredness that what You have done before You will do again!

Another praise!  I asked You to move like a freight train & You did.  The interviews came fast & swift.  They were so positive & God-driven.  Thank You for You blessings.  You are my God.

This evening Greg talked with Jay who said a decision has not been made yet.  There are two votes for Greg & two votes for the other candidate and two undecided.  The decision should be Friday or Monday.  You hear our prayers don’t You, God.  My King is Lord of all–even hiring decisions.

We are asking all to pray for us.  Greg asked Nan & Pap to pray, too; a big step.  Thank You.

Amen

Friday, January 21, 2003

Zechariah 4:6-7  “Then he said, ‘This is God’s message to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord Almighty–you will succeed because of my Spirit, though you are few & weak.’  Therefore, no mountain, however high, can stand before Zerubbabel!  For it will flatten out before him!  And Zerubbabel will finish building this Temple with mighty shouts of thanksgiving for God’s mercy, declaring that all was done by grace alone.”

Today I will call Mom & ask her to pray for us.  Please be with me & Mom.  Give her ears to hear and a heart to accept.

We pray again & continually for Your intervention in the meeting at Perot.  Don’t let evil in; let truth prevail & goodness in to what Greg can do at Perot, through You, be apparent.  Cast ALL doubt about Greg’s abilities.

“Anything is possible; in Him all things are possible.  You can have whatever you say; don’t give up ’cause it’s never too late.  Cast your fears away.”  Song by Anointed based on scripture.

Jehovah, King, Friend, the Great I Am, Lord, Jesus.

Amen

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Monday, February 24, 2003

Dear Jesus~

Wonderful counselor.  It always seems necessary to thank You for saving me.  So long ago You made the decision to die for me.  You saved me from my sins & weaknesses, knowing that You’d love me completely, even though I wouldn’t be worthy of Your immense sacrifice.  I ponder this often.  I do a self check–do I believe?  Could You possibly have allowed such humiliation & agonizing pain for Jodie?  You could have left me to this world & our/my feeble attempt at gaining Your glory.  All day long I could bring sacrifices for this and that.  A lamb for this sin, a ram for that sin.  Burning and slaughtering day in and day out.  You could have left my soul to wander along without Your Holy Spirit–oh, how would I exist?  You could have closed off Heaven upon my death…(breathe), but You did not.

What would be required to prove to me You exist?  A glorious, colorful, magical, supernatural poof of proof would have convinced me with starry eyes.  Right here in my living room.

But, a baby.  Sinless.  Leaving behind His Word and teachings and overriding love.  Connecting a moment of His long ago with every moment of mine now, so that I may be comforted.  Blood.  Broken bones.  Wine & bread taken at communion.  A small symbol and reminder of Your sacrifice for my pitiful soul.

Thank You.

Thank You that I matter.

Bring Your Holy Spirit to me.

I could not sleep tonight!  Excitement!  Exhilaration!  What can I do to prepare!  Party preparations?

I am looking forward to the upcoming Bible study “The Heart of an Artist.”  You really know my heart and yearnings.  I have been needing a direction for my study.  Thank You.

Today we start our Family Prayer Journal.  I pray that we pray and express love for one another in those pages & grow closer to You.

Once again, I pray for Your intervention, guidance & Spirit with ‘the decision meeting’ at Perot.  No evil present.  All thoughts towards Greg fulfilling the position of Worldwide Sales Leader/Vice President of Sales.  And as Cody asked of You last night, please provide another job for the other candidate.

In the end…Your will be done ‘on earth as it is in Heaven.’  Courage, please.

In Your Holy name, Jesus.

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Dear God~

I believe You are answering prayers.  Liza and I prayed & discussed Liza needing a best friend; one who is mature, possibly older than she.  This morning she is playing with some girls at the apartments in the 4th & 5th grades.  Thank You for this possibility.

I will sing Your praises! I pray for our Home Group meeting this Friday with the missions.  Prepare our hearts (mine especially) for what we will hear.

Please help me to spread Your Good News to someone who needs to hear it.

Amen

Thursday, February 27, 2003

Dear Lord~

Shall I repeat again all that I keep saying.  Sometimes my emotions feels as frozen as the ice outside.  Flowers ache to bloom from below the frigid surface.  Break the glass.  Let all excitement & celebrations loose and wild.  Let the invitations be mailed.  It’s a party in Your honor!…as soon as we get the job.

That is not to be confused that we haven’t publicly celebrated Your gifts thus far and have said openly that we know You will provide.  Please know my heart.

I want to dance!  For You!  Don’t hold me back anymore!

Do I sound like a whiney child.  Should I cease with this incessant yammer of help, help, help?!

Take the focus off of me, us & our situation.  Let me move on!  Who can I help?

Give me a smile today please.  Let me pass it on.

Jesus, You are incredible to go through such trials & never sin.  Thank You for suffering to show me how to live.

Your eyes in mine.

Your hands control mine.

Your thoughts direct mine.

Your feet guide mine.

All through You.

Amen

Friday, February 28, 2003

Dear God~

In 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, Paul writes about ‘running the race with focus.’  Should I be reminded of my prize in this race?  The prize is not a job, a house, an end…it is my eternal home, it is the victory of salvation of others who observe my faith in trials & it is to hear You say, “Well done good & faithful servant.”

Oh that I may truly feel that in my heart.  To long for eternity and to be rid of the world of suffering.

But, leave me me here to do Your work.

I am faithful.  I am frozen, but faithful.  I pray for overwhelming energy.  I am tired of waiting for the phone to ring!  We just received a wrong number, but just the sound of the ring and the possible ‘answer’ on the other end made my soul leap.

An end, an end!  O hear our prayers.  Hear the prayers of all those praying for us.  Thank You for all those who are praying for us.  How can all of their cries for us be wrong?  What says Your will?

I pray for dancing & cheers & exhalation!  My soul wants to perform for You.  My expressive dance of yearning, of thankfulness and of faith is over.  The next act entitled, “Jubilation,’ is anxious to set stage.  Please bring the lights up…start the music…let me fly!

Amen

Sunday, March 2, 2003

A phone all yesterday.

No parties, just laundry.

Thanks.

 

Mustard Seed into Redwood

 

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Window Painting by my mother. Practical artwork–my dining room windows looked directly into the side of our neighbor’s house. I glued handmade papers to the windows and asked my mother to paint a scene across the three windows to create privacy & beauty. Also, it was an excuse to get my mom to Dallas, have our kids watch her create & have another lasting creation of hers of my own.

 

God plants in each zygote an idea, a desire.  Then we spend the rest of our lives discovering that seed.  Only Jesus can nourish that seed with living water.   If we have the faith of a mustard seed, we can command mountains to move.  So no surprise that this implanted embryonic desire for a specific ‘something’ that starts off small as a mustard seed, can grow into a mighty redwood, with its canopy placed sky high and its roots reaching deep and wide.

Give your life over to God.  Study His word and spend time over coffee with your new friend.  Through conversations, He will woo you and tell you sweet everythings about you.  As you tell Jesus how much you love Him, he tells You how he loves you more.  Then, as with all love relationships, He can’t wait to give you a gift that He has been preparing and planning for a long time.  He hints at, guides, and whispers the gift–your purpose–the implanted desire of your heart.  You clasp your hands in giddy excitement, grinning goofily with shocked amazement at the specific simplicity of it all.  You dive in.  You get to work, which runs through your body like play, and discover that your purpose, the thing that makes your heart sing, makes God smile and serves His kingdom.  Because everything we do is about love and bringing more people, with their tiny mustard seeds, to Him, ready and waiting to water, grow, and present His implanted gift to you.

Thank you for allowing me to attempt a little poetic proselytizing.  It is true.  God wants to give us the desire of our hearts.  In fact, He put those desires there just as He did our lungs, brains, fingers, toes, and brown, blue or hazel eyes.  Give up and give it over to God.  Crawl into His lap like a child and let Him take your worries.  He will smooth your hair, whisper sweet everythings, and water your deep-rooted mustard desire into solid redwoods.

MyRedJournals continues below with me, my family and God journeying through job loss and search…

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Dear Lord,

Everything this journey is about is not for what You will do for me and my family, but how, after growing closer to You & learning to listen more astutely and rely and live on You–FAITH!–this journey is about what I am to do for You.

I am weak & small, but I know You’ll use me whenever, wherever for Your purpose.  I pray for courage to accept Your path & for a mind that never forgets what You have done for me (not like the Israelites–ungrateful babies).

Please Lord, be with Bob now during his back surgery.  Give him, Jill & the kids a peace & a knowing that You are with him.  I pray for a quick, pain-free recovery.

In Romans 5:1-5, You gave me this reminder in order to remain faithful to the lessons of this journey & to You!

“So now, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith in His promises, we can have real peace with Him because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.  For because of our faith, He has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand, & we confidently & joyfully look forward to actually becoming all that God has had in mind for us to be .

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems & trials for we know that they are good for us–they help us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope & faith are strong & steady.  Then, when that happens, we are able to hold our heads high no matter what happens & know that all is well, for we know how dearly God loves us & we feel this warm love everywhere within us because God has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love.”

Friday, January 31st, 2003

You are true to Your Word.  Greg will have an interview with Darcy next Thursday, Feb, 6th!  We know this is Your work.  You are showing Your hand of what You have been planning and the very exciting part of it all is it will  be the beginning of Your continual plan.  Thank You, Jesus!

Believing IS seeing.

Amen

Jan 1, 2010%0D%0AGenesis 1-2-25-the beginning; Adam&Eve%0D%0AMatthew 1-2-12-geneology & birth of Jesus; visit of Magi%0D%0APsalm 1-1-6-blesed by streams of water,  which yields its fruit in season       and whose leaf does not wither.  Whatever he does prospers.

Another portion of the window art triptik, a three panel window covering made with handmade paper, and painted with my mother’s love.

February 3, 2003

“Praise Him from here below, praise Father, Son & Holy Ghost.”

Thank You, Jesus for all You provide–my wonderful marriage, which is centered around You; my amazing children, 3 gifts from You; our health, especially without health or car insurance; & this journey, with its sole purpose to grow closer to You & to discover what I can do for You.

Lord, this morning I pray for Your vision for me.  What will You have me do for You?  I believe that You have begun to make it clear–the beginning.  I pray to know Your vision; Your will.

Amen

Thursday, February 6, 2003

“Everything is possible, in Him all is possible.  Everything you have to do, cast your fears away.”

Peace.  Knowing. Understanding.  Resolution.  Singing birds outside my window.  Faith in you.  My mustard seed has sprouted like a redwood.  Purpose:  to love & serve You.  Wow!

“Yes I will bless the Lord & not forget the glorious things He does for me.” Psalm 103:2

Walk before Greg today at his interview with Perot.  Peace, focus & Your plan unveiling before our eyes.

Thank You now for using the weak.

Amen

Praying in My Husband

 

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Greg & I were married in a church in Austin and held our reception at Willie Nelson’s place. The Alvin Crow band played all night and I taught my new yankee in-laws how to do the Cotton-Eyed Joe & the Schottische.

As I and my two girl friends strutted around the North Forty dance floor looking for one of their boyfriends, I had a God moment.  Just like in the movies, all went hazy around me as I first saw Greg’s blue eyes.  They seemed to come towards me even though his feet did not move.  The sensation radiating from my inner being must be what it’s like to feel the hand of God.  I had written in my prayer journal back in 1985 that God would let me know when He would answer my prayer for a best friend.  As you’ll see in my journal entries, I prayed often for my future husband, with His answer coming ten days after the last post when we met, danced to ‘Footloose’ and I taught my new yankee to kicker dance.

I pause blogging from my journals starting in 2003 when Greg and I journeyed through job loss while raising our three kids (see previous posts).  Today, we celebrate my 26th wedding anniversary and how God answers prayers.

Below is is an entry into my first prayer journal from June 29, 1985.

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Greg and I met in Austin at the North Forty, through friends ten days after this post.  The night before, on August 16th, my friend Becky prayed with me for my best friend.

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I cherish that I can see my heart on these pages.  I know the date that we first said ‘I love you.’

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And I know when we first prayed together.

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Prayed in and prayed through, our marriage is a divine appointment.  Now, I pray for my children’s future marriages that they too will have the honor and joy of living life for Him with their divine someone.

 

 

 

 

HOPE IS A FOUR-LETTER WORD

 

HOPE IS A FOUR LETTER WORD post in MyRedJournals blog--my journals with God since 1983

Liza as Joanie in the musical “Waltzin’ Matilda” at Lucas Christian Academy, 2006.  Joanie is a traveling companion with Matilda, who are both on a journey to leave their familiar, loving homes to discover more about life.  They find out that they need God to protect them and that His love is enough.

Hope is addicting.  It keeps you going.  You look for it everywhere and will accept the tiniest morsel.  You can put your hope in many  things–people, nature–but those do not have an eternal, non-ending supply of hope.  Those will fail and fall short eventually and they don’t have your best interest at heart.  To some, believing in the unknown is any bad four-letter word ready to spew us out like sour milk.  To others, hope is l-o-v-e.  Undying devotion to a divine promise.

I believe I was born with hope.  I don’t have a wiz-bang, up-from-the-ashes conversion testimony.  I’m pretty boring when it comes to that.  I’m more of a day-to-day, one-on-one, live-my-simple-life-as-best-as-I-can-with-Jesus kind of testimony.  I’ve always believed in Jesus–His story, love, hope, and heaven.  And I look for Him and what He’s doing everywhere.  I want to know what He wants my part in His plan to be at that moment.  That is adventurous living in my book.

The journal entries below are me praying to God and Him giving me hope through His Word.  At the time of these entries, it is my family’s one-year anniversary of no job and hope was our only income.  Here, hope is manifested in my new job, Greg’s next interview, and God’s promise for restoration and blessings.  With hope, the outcome is always unknown, but the possibility of what God will do in the process is exciting and endless.

Monday, January, 13, 2003

Another good morning.  Purpose ensues.  I pray for continued awareness of my immediate purpose.

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Thank You, Lord for taking me to Lucas Christian Academy.  I was hired yesterday and it is clear that Your hand is over this.  Thank You.  Please let me let go & let You lead me through to find the right script first of all and then guide through each step that follows.

The sun shines today.  My heart is glad & I can’t wait to tell of Your amazing story with me!

Yes, I continue to pray for Greg & his career opportunity.  Please continue to progress his opportunity with Perot.  Please alter Darcy’s opinion of Greg to a positive.  Open his mind to see Greg’s accomplishments & possibilities.

We pray for swift movement with the Perot job for us.

In Your awesome power all is attainable!

Amen

Friday, Janauary 24, 2003

Could today be the day?  Could today be the beginning of our end & beginning?

Dear Lord–How and what do I pray for now?  I have continually asked & repented & given for over a year.  I have learned considerable patience to the point where everything in life is bland.  No need to get excited if it’s all going to dash–just wait.  That is not me.  I’m a passionate person.

Smiles are frequent usually, dancing unexpectedly is common & expected quite frankly.  I have grown closer to You, but I’ve become a different person.  I’m calm, but boring.  I’m yearning, but not obviously.  I’m here, but mute.  Can we strike a balance?  I want all the changes You’ve made in me, but I need to dance, Jesus.  I need to dance from deep down within.  With an obvious spring well of Your love from You.  I won’t be quiet!  I’ll praise You to everyone at every turn!  Bless me today Lord with all of the blessings that You have been preparing all this time!

I pray that You prepare the hearts & minds of the men &/or women of Perot that who will meet with Greg today at lunch.  PLEASE let them spark at Greg’s opportunities & his potential for positive leadership & growth for Perot.  Move like a freight train, Lord!

A miracle on 24th Jan because…”all has ended now.  The weeping of July, August, October and January have ended…your baskets will overflow.”

So much is riding on You Jesus.  It’s been You only that we’ve relied on, please let everyone know that You are there for them too because You were there for us.

Amen  (continued Jan. 24th)

I am quiet to hear You.  Clear-headed.  Quiet.

I had read Exodus 16 this morning (I began reading the Bible in  a year) about You feeding the Isrealites with ‘manna from heaven.’  I also continued reading the books of the prophets.  In Haggai 2 (after the previous chapter saying that August was not the right time to rebuild) You said, (3) “October remembers the temple as it was before…beautiful it will be again.  Then, in December (10) You said that what was done before as a ‘service’ to You was wrong, but that it is (15) all is different now, you have begun to rebuild the temple. (16) Whereas before You expected a 20-bushel crop, there were only ten. (18,19) But now note this:  From today, this 24th day of the month, as the foundation of the Lord’s temple is finished & from this day onward, I will bless you.  Notice, I am giving you this promise even before you have begun to rebuild the Temple structure & before you have harvested the grain.”

Then in the next book of Zechariah 3:7-10, “The Lord Almighty declares: ‘If you will follow the paths I set for you and do all I tell you to, then I will put you in charge of my temple, to keep it holy…Don’t you see?–Joshua represents my servant the Branch whom I will send.  He will be the Foundation Stone of the Temple that Joshua is standing beside & I will engrave this inscription seven times: I WILL REMOVE THE SINS OF THIS LAND IN A SINGLE DAY.  And after that, the Lord Almighty declares, ‘You will live in peace & prosperity & each of you will own a home of your own where you can invite your neighbors.'”

The 4th chapter describes visions that angels gave Zecheriah about the (2) ‘gold lamp stand holding 7 lamps & at the top there is a reservoir for the olive oil that feeds the lamps flowing into them from 7 tubes.’ (11) Then Zecheriah asked the angel about the ‘two olive trees on each side of the lamp stand & about the 2 olive branches that emptied oil into gold bowls through 2 gold tubes (13) ‘Don’t you know?’ the angel asked. ‘No sir,” I (Zech) said.  (14) Then he told me, ‘They represent the 2 anointed ones who assist the Lord of all the earth.’

There are more visions in Chapters 5 & 6.  Chpater 7 tells to keep all promises of God; follow His commands exactly or it will all deplete.  And finally, Chapter 8 leads to God being angry at what everyone has done wrong to her (Jeruselum).  The Lord Almighty says, ‘Get on with the job & finish it!  You have been listening long enough!  For since you began laying the foundation of the Temple, the prophets have been telling you about the blessings that await you when its finished.  Before the work began there were no jobs, no wages, no security.’

It ends with the 11-23 verses about the end of fasting & the promised prosperity!!!

So sayeth the Lord to me this morning.  Thank You, Jesus.  I pray to You humbly, excitedly & with great ancipatoon.

I pray for courage with accepting Your answer & for abiding Your commands exactly forever.

I dance for You!

 

I Wish ‘S” was for SuperWoman

Greg & I always said throughout our journey that we walked around with an ‘S’ on our forehead.  We just seemed stupid.  How does a family of five, living month-to-month in an apartment with no jobs keep doing what we were doing?  We were 10+ months into this journey, which started when Greg was laid off from his job in Canada.  We were able to finish the school year there, move back to Frisco, Texas, enroll the kids back into school and keep searching for a job.  We both looked for jobs, believe me.  But we both prayed fervently about what & where God wanted us to go.  Did He ever say ‘Go get a job at Lowe’s or be a waitress’?  No.  Did He ever say, ‘Don’t put the kids into costly activities, such as dance and karate?  No.  Did He ever say, ‘Don’t get that car because of what others might think’?  No.  We asked!  Over and over we asked about each step, each purchase or non-purchase–should we or shouldn’t we.  We followed God’s direction every step of the way.  But His direction, as usual, isn’t typical and surely isn’t what the average Joe would say is right.

Doing life without a job & a family according to the world goes like this–1) take any job you can get; humble yourself completely, degrade yourself, if necessary; work long, menial hours; 2) wear a long face; worry incessantly; turn to other pleasures to get you through; 3) anger and bitterness are allowed because the situation sucks and there’s no end in sight; 4) certainly don’t spend money on anything other than absolute necessities, which of course includes activities for the kids; 5) always have something to tell family of your job search progress.

Ahhhhh!!!  Just typing all that makes me crazy!  It suckers me into the angst and lonely feelings that were always lurking and which I had to pray out constantly.

Peace beyond understanding looks like you’re wearing an ‘S’ on your forehead.  You must be stupid for not worrying.  You must be stupid for spending money you don’t have on that.  Here’s the worst–not being able to plan.

People would ask, ‘What are your plans this summer?”

My response–“I don’t know.”

Or, “Where are the kids going to school next year?”

“I don’t know.”

“Would you like to go on this family trip this fall?”

“I don’t know.”

And I didn’t know.  And I don’t know now.  Only God knows.  We pray and plan as much as we can, but always it’s God who tells us our next steps.  During the journey He would only tells us just prior to taking the step where that step would be…and we had to be okay with that.

So if ‘Stupid is as stupid does,’ then call me stupid in love with my Savior.

My Red Journals continues…

Friday, November 15, 2002

Lord, all details of the job search, the play, school & illnesses are spinning out of control.  My head is swimming and I can’t keep up.  So now, I just stop and breathe and look to You.  Calm, calm.  Breathe.  Try to clear my mind and listen to You.  Lord, simplify, clarify and beautify.  All that I’m doing I think I’m doing ultimately for You.  Please make sure that I am.  Only You can solve all of these details & clear my head to make sense of it all.

Dear Jesus, our main concern right now is Liza.  I discovered two small lumps on the side of her throat on Wednesday morning.  Lord, please send us to a doctor to have Liza seen so that we may dissolve all fear.  Lord, take the lumps away.  Heal our daughter.

Lord, Jesus, I gave my children and Greg up to You back many, many months ago.  I know that they’re a wonderful gift from You and I have the incredible gift of sharing my life with them.  But, oh Lord, help me to know what to say.  DON’T!  STOP! It’s all too much!  I love YOU!  Don’t You see?!  Don’t test me this way!  This journey’s path is reaching into the darkness of the woods!  Turn me back on the path with the sun.  Heal her, heal her, heal her and me.

Thank You for Your word, which says to me right now, “The Lord says, ‘Don’t be afraid!  Don’t be paralyzed by this mighty army!  For the battle is not yours, but God’s!”  2 Chronicles 20:15

Feed my soul with Your words.  Take over my thoughts & actions.  Take this craziness from me & leave only PEACE.  Let me see all obstacles & solutions through Your eyes.  Hold me.  Hold Liza.  Carry us through today.

November 25, 2002

I give thanks today for all that You have made possible for all that You have made possible for the Christmas musical!  The props will be done & the set completed (with a lot more work!) & they look fabulous!  Thank You for all of the help!  Thank You for the vision coming to life!  Thank You for Jenn, Helen & Lisa & the entire cast for being so gun-ho for all of my crazy ideas!

I pray now for all of those seekers that our church members might bring to the pay that they might hear all the good news about Jesus.  Please put the play on the hearts of many to come & be changed!  Your will be done.

Lord, now I pray for this other job opportunity with Oracle.  Please, put Your plan in motion.  Please, put Greg in the minds of the key decision makers with Oracle.  We know that the end of this journey will climax with an unfathomable answer.  We wait, once again, patiently, confidently, and expectantly for You.  Your will be done.

Finally, I pray for grace for each of us in this family.  Grace with one another & towards others.  We should act as You would.

Amen

December 3, 2002

So much to do.  Today I pray for so much:  focus, energy, health, productivity, control of frustrations, but first, I come to You to breathe.  Let me pause in Your presence.  Let me feel Your arms take hold.  I want to relinquish all control to You.  How quickly evil wants to take hold, even with the work that I’m doing for You.  Wash out all evil & down thoughts.  Place Your blessings on me.  “Our God is an awesome God!”

Lord, I pray for all facets of the play. Please prepare hearts for those coming to see the play, especially for those I’ve been asked to pray for, the Waltons & the Harmons.  Please be with these families.  Bring them to the play safely.  Plant seeds of Your message, water unyielding growth & sprout saplings into sturdy plants with deep roots in You.  Thank You for the opportunity for all that You would have me do.

You just gave me an idea for a poem “My Gift.”  You just make me sing!

Please be with Jenn, Helen & Lisa & thank You for them.

Amen

Thursday, January 9,2003

Dear Lord Jesus,

I am in awe of Your wondrous power.  I have begun reading the Bible-in-a-year with The Daily Bread & have read the creation in Genesis & am amazed once again.  Dumbfounded that what I take for granted every day was nothing til You breathed it into being.

Now, I am awed at how You are working Your plan for our family.  God, these past few weeks, well, most of December, has been very difficult.  We have cried out ENOUGH!  You know where we stand: no job prospects, all monies due (storage $530, car insurance $1,000, dance costume fees $360, tax prep for 2001 $999 & the list of usuals).

Spring in this apartment would be devastating!  Claustrophobic!  Saying “I don’t know” to every question about our immediate future is excruciatingly OLD!  Greg & I appear as if we are doing nothing!  There is no plan B, as my mom keeps suggesting!  We are solely relying on You!  We know You’ll come through, Lord.

So we’re into the fourth day since the end of the holidays & You are moving.  You are advancing the Perot proposition.  We are praying for Greg’s name to be in the minds of the decision makers at Perot.  That’s #1 of the Miracle 1, 2, 3 prayer.  #2, we pray for the house on St. James in Lucas & #3 allow us to transfer the kids to McKinney or wherever is the right place for them.

Perot is moving along.  Greg received confirmation that he’s in the running again.  Hallelujah.  The Lucas house is still available.  And now, through the Christmas play, You have presented a small opportunity for me at Lucas Christian Academy.  I met with the headmaster Wednesday & observed the class–a production class where I can do anything I want!  Everything sounds great & I’ll get paid for 2 official hours that I’d work at the school.

My main concern is the number of volunteer hours I would put in again for this job.  I don’t want to do this unless I give 100% effort & creativity.  For the past 11 years, I’ve volunteered & donated our money for so many causes.  I’ve always wanted to, gladly, but I’ve been ready for a while now to get paid for my abilities.  That’s the big drawback, but I’m saying ‘yes.’  You have handed this to me on a solver platter, in Lucas, 10 minutes from the Lucas house.  I’m stepping into this with faith, as I should.   So here is my prayer.  Lord, guide me with these kids.  Give me the right show to help them to grow & mature.  Lead through me.  Be my hands, feet & tongue.  Please grow this opportunity into others, bigger, more far-reaching, evangelizing Your name to the masses.  Thank You for leading me to this school & for knitting together all of these details of our lives into the perfect package.  I hold fast to Zecheriah 8:11-23 that our times of mourning from July, August, October & January have ended.”

I have just read parts of the books prior to Zecheriah, which are Habbakuk (which started this journey) then Zephaniah, Haggai & Zecheriah.  In Haggai 2:18-19, You say “From today, this 24th day of the month…I will bless you…From this day I will bless You.”  I know this is Your promise of fruit abundant, that the end has come!  Thank You oh heavenly Father for guiding me all the way!  Through questions & despair, but never questioning You on the final outcome!

You have filled my heart with gladness!

Amen

My Perfect Life in a Red Gift Box

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This is not me, of course. But I daydreamed everyday about how God would save us.

If I were to write the concluding scene depicting my husband being awarded a job, us moving into a house and all that comes with it, it would be dramatic, have sweeping images underlined by grand music, and would bring an audience to tears and amazement.  So many times throughout our 3 years of unemployment, I wrote scenarios in my head of how Greg would get a job after a promising interview.  I imagined the looks on all our faces, the jumping up and down of celebrations, and the heavy sighs of relief.  Then I would quickly make a mental list of all the details that would need to get done–find/buy a house, make arrangements to get stuff out of storage, notify the apartment complex, transfer phone, electric & utilities.  I would even try to figure out how to help the kids adjust to the changes, keeping their schoolwork, dance and karate going without a hitch.  I could doing all that in a quick five minutes of daydreaming after Greg called to say his interview went great.

DO NOT PONTIFICATE.  That was a big lesson for me.  God taught me that we could not pontificate what He would do.  It’s easy to say that God’s plans are always better than our own, but living it day to day is way different.  Especially since God gave me this mind that likes to daydream, organize and loves surprises.  If I were God, I would present long-awaited answers in a big red box with a silk white ribbon; everyone would stand at the gift with hopeful, relieved eyes, inhaling with anticipation, much as a woman does when presented with a Tiffany teal box.  There would be a flash mob of impromptu music and dancing, kids being lifted on shoulders, giddiness, praising, and fireworks.  I had that mental party many, many times.

But God taught Greg and I that He wants everything from us, even our rambling thoughts.  He wants our all of our energies to go to Him, not trying to figure out what we can not figure out.  Pontificating goes both ways, too.  We can not try to figure out how good things will happen, nor can we contemplate all the negatives.  We can not think about where our next meal  will come from, how we will pay for the rent in six months, or what if one of us comes down with an illness without insurance.  Those thoughts are not of God.  God does not instill worry or fear.

Now, of course, we must be wise and plan.  Through daily prayer and study we ask for God’s guidance and He gives it.  And the knowing that you have that a thought is God’s will, and not just a pontification, is very clear.  And if it’s not, pray for confirmation.  If you get confirmation that you should do something, then, by golly, you’d better do it.

Life is easier without pontificating.  Like the birds and flowers, we don’t worry about the necessities of life.  We stick close to God, ask for direction and have courage to follow through with it.

I do dream, however, which is waaaayyyy different than pontificating.  God gives me my dreams–I imagine He puts them in big red boxes with white satin ribbons.  And we act on the dreams together; step by step, verse by verse, prayer by prayer with no uncertainties and a blanket of excited peace.

October 29, 2002

With renewed strength, provided continually by You, I look towards today with great anticipation.  Thank You for the help I’m getting with props for the musical.  Daryla & Becky are great helping out.  I pray for them both.  Please bless their talents You gave them to be used for Your glory & to ignite them inside to in turn do more for You.

Thank You for all of the teacher conferences we’ve had.  I bust with pride how all of their teachers boast how wonderful they are.  It is only through You that they continue to thrive during all of this unknown.

Amen

November 4, 2002

Good morning!  Dear Lord, so may times I could have written incredible scenarios of answers to a job & our future with amazing miracles that would make fabulous stories & testimonies.  Now, after many things not working out, my mind is blank & I believe You want it that way.  You want me to let You do the work.  You have broken this horse & I am submitting.  Whatever Your plans & whenever You enact them (of course, I know it’s in process already) I know it’s the right thing for me, our family & those Christians & non-Christians who are watching.

Thank You for our safe trip to & from Austin.  Thank You for the girls working & learning so hard at the Tremaine dance convention this weekend.  Thank You for the door being opened by Greg to grow the relationship with Jill.  Thank You for finding the karate school for Cody.  He loves it & it’s just what he needs.  You are incredible.

Wednesday, November 6, 2002

Jesus, Holy Spirit, You have lifted my spirit & fed my soul.  I praise You for Your provision in so many ways.  Thank You for the money we put in the bank; overpaid taxes, expense check & EDS paying for our storage through December!

Lord & I pray for Ron Smit & his wife.  Ron has been out of work as long as we have & now his wife just got laid off.  Please comfort them & help them on their journey with You.  Please put them in the minds of others so that they will find work.  Lord, please continue to bless Mimi, John & the kids.  I pray that their talents & passion for You will be used for Your glory & their fulfillment.  I also pray for Wesley as he is making decisions for his future.  Please send him people who will lead him to You & prepare a fruitful future.  Thank You now for what You are doing & will do throughout our church & country with the 40 days campaign.  I pray for memorization of Bible verses, the play, my choreography & Lara’s.

Thank You for the sun today.  The continual rain was adding to any morsel of depression.  It’s off to make props for a show about You!

Amen

Thursday, November 7, 2002

Dear Lord, You have given a realization to me today.  All of these trials & this journey is not for the reward of a job, house & the end & even to be closer to You.  I am to go through this to receive Your rewards in heaven, living eternally with You!  It’s so simple, but difficult for my human heart to absorb.  My pink and beating heart is full for You.  I suffer here to be closer now & in Your arms forever.

Lord, through this journey with You, I pray that I am changing as You want me to change, I am enduring as You want me to endure & I am learning as You want me to learn.

Monday, November 4, 2002

Right now, I feel much too busy & preoccupied to pray.  Busyness for the play, necessities at home are taking me in all directions.  Please calm my ancie needs.  I can’t accomplish any of the many things today without You!  I could run around like a chicken with my head cut off or I could breathe, talk with You & calmly let US handle the day.

Thank You for the woman at Hancock Fabrics for giving us the 40% discount on fabrics.  You arranged it all!

Lord, I pray that the joy I’m having in helping with the play & in serving You is being perceived as such.  I want to keep my focus on You & others.

Thank You so much for all of my friends at church;  May You give me more opportunities to help them.

Lord, please be with Liza today.  She’s feeling a little under the weather.  Please lift her up to You, taking aches from her back & throat.  And lift her spirits from the monotony she feels with our current surroundings.

In Your powerful name I pray.

Amen

Gemstones in the Wasteland

Liza, senior portrait ala Hollywood glam per her acting career choice.  Her heart for her Savior is exquisite.

Liza, senior portrait ala Hollywood glam per her acting career choice. Her heart for her Savior is exquisite.

Liza's 1st day of 5th grade-same age she gave her heart to Christ.

Liza’s 1st day of 5th grade-same age she gave her heart to Christ.

Liza in a church youth play; she's holding the pot lid that has the boy's lines tape onto them for a little assistance.

Liza in a church youth play; she’s holding the pot lid that has the boy’s lines tape onto them for a little assistance.

Read today’s blog and it seems that God was answering all of our long-awaited prayers.  And according to these journal entries, He was..a job after a year of searching, moving back to Texas from Canada into a month-to-month apartment and now preparing us to move into our dream home & a good school.  But none of this came true.  Not that job, that house or that school.

God had a much better plan.  His plan, always at work, included so much more than the paychecks and mortar (of course, I shouldn’t worry about such things and should do as the flowers and birds and know that God will provide water, food and shelter).  We were by no means hungry, in danger or roofless.  But, come on!  A year!  We had been job hunting, living in a temporary state of the unknown, clinging to God’s every word for so long.  We called our Frisco apartment ‘John’s cell’ where we were dependent on God in a hovel.  And we kept telling our kids ‘God is gonna, God is gonna’.  Ok, so go already!

And then the apparent end is in sight!  All questions answered in a neat package.  The next blog post will show that wasn’t true.  

Now, way on the other side of ‘the journey,’  God’s plan was perfection, as always.  So rich.  Full of gems that couldn’t be unearthed without the wasteland.  Like my Liza’s Jesus moment in 5th grade (see below).  She gave her heart to Jesus while she lay in the bedroom she shared with Lena and their matching butter yellow matellasse coverlets.  That isn’t the only time she committed.  Lena and Liza describe how they went forward (or actually down the multiple flights of stairs and onto the arena floor) at a Billy Graham event at Texas Stadium as grade schoolers and publicly accepted Jesus.  Don’t we honestly accept Him over and over?  Like a child, we say ‘yes’ every time.

Liza’s heart for Jesus now is exquisite.  She has believed since she was little and then her fire blazed strong the summer before college.  So much like Greg, she is a quick study & has taken every nuance God has taught her, internalized it and put it to quick action.   She is what I call ‘a kamikaze prayer warrior.’  She’ll pray with anyone she sees needs prayer, diving in, ready to give of herself completely for the Cause.  Oh Lord, cover her as she does Your bidding.  

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

All that Greg and I could say yesterday was “You are awesome!”  We saw the house on St. James again Monday & Tuesday and it feels right.  The realtor showed us homes that were bigger, more nooks & crannies, more trees, but this house is the one You planned for us.  Our miracle home.  It has a future.  We can create our own style with this land & home.  We feel that settling anywhere else would be going against what You have made clear is what’s right for us.  We want to honor You & do what is asked of us & offered to us.

And then there’s the schools.  After last’s week’s phone call with Lena’s math teacher, many concerns & questions created panic in my heart.  So I checked on all of our options.  Private schools are not around–not Christian without uniforms & not close enough.  I’ve thought through home schooling and still know that it’s not for us.  So McKinney is it.  We were thrilled to find that Lena will be going to a new Jr. High. But the elementary for Liza and Cody is where You worked Your wonders.  The school that we saw was disgusting.  After no other options being available, we went to look again & found the other new, remodeled side.  Wow!  And then we met the Principal.  She is going to be a God-send.  I asked You while in the office of that school to change my heart & You did.  So much so that I am excited.  In fact, we get to pick their teachers!  You are awesome.  Thank You.  Thank You.  Thank You!  I want to tell everyone our testimony about how You worked everything.  We asked the mountain to move with only our faith because You said we could.  Ask in faith, confidence & assuredness.  Ask continually, unwavering & steadfast.  Believe through it all.  Call on the Comforter all the while.  Dismiss all doubt around you.  Cling to you Christian friends.  Read the Word.  Let my Friend guide as He wishes and be awed that even after all of these blessings coming to fruition, all because we asked to serve & believed, that He still has more incredible plans for our lives.  For my life.  “And I say Wow!”

Where’s the highest mountain that I may shout “Hallelujah!”  and spread Your message?!  Oh, that I might bring someone to Christ.  Please.

Monday, September 30, 2002

Lord, tell me what to pray for.  We wait again.  Everything is lined up–the house, mortgage, schools; we just need the contract on the job.

Jesus said, through Paul, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

So we continue to be very thankful for all that You have done & will do.  We will pray over & over for Your will to be done.  We remain steadfast in You.  I am finite, You are infinite.  I am weak and need Your energy to keep going & praying.  I am submissive to Your will.

Lord Jesus, I pray for Your guiding hand over the choreography of the musical today.  I always look so forward to creating for You; spending a Holy Spirit-filled time with You.  The high that I get from You working through me is outstanding & incredible.  This time I need to give more public thanks to You for Your gifts.  I pray for Your presence today.  I pray for focus.  I pray for organization.  I pray for creativity!  Through You I can do anything!

I pray to be an active listener & not a passive listener of You.

In Jesus’ name

Amen

Monday, October 7, 2002

Dear Lord, I have so much to be thankful for this day  What a wonderful weekend full of laughter and celebrations.   First & foremost, a ‘Yea God’ for answered prayer #1: as quoted from Liza about me, “You were a messenger.”  Yesterday You taught Liza a valuable lesson to ‘let go & let God’ and You let me be the messenger of the good news!

For the past two weeks, Liza has been in an awful mood.  Last night was the final straw & I left her in her room to calm down.  Later when I went to check on her, as You told me to instead of unloading the dishwasher, I had a revelation.  you helped me to realize that all the frustrations & struggles Liza was going through these past few weeks was due to Liza trying to solve all of her problems herself & not letting You do it for her.  Wow!  Once I told her all of that, her beautiful big eyes wet with tears, got ‘it’ & truly understood that there is no way without You.  She prayed & gave it all up to You.  Thank You. Now I will pray again that You give Liza peace over what she can’t control & please guide her path of her life & Your purpose for her.  Take her struggles away.  Thank You for teaching her that angst feeling of the devil trying to do it all so that next time she can stop again & pray ‘Let go & let God!”

Then, Lord Jesus, Lena asked to talk because she feels left out.  Liza just had a ‘yea God’, Cody got baptized & Greg & I are walking with You.  Lord, she’s on the edge ready to commit to You.  She said she knows fear is in her way from accepting You in her heart.  Oh, Lord, work on her heart.  Push the devil far away.  Help her to this defining moment that she will give all of herself to You.  Just now, you reminded me of something You have taught me about Lena through those past 11 years; Lena always gives an initial indication that ‘the big step’ is going to happen at any moment & then it doesn’t happen until moths later (such as taking her first step, potty training, reading, learning multiplication, commitment to dance).  You are telling me to be patient…again.  Okay.  I trust You & pray that You take all fear away, far, far away.  And thank You for giving Greg & I the words to talk with Lena about accepting You.  Lord, Greg & I both prayed that we could help bring someone to You , but we didn’t know it would be our own daughter.  Thank You.  On my knees, thank You.

THE CHRISTMAS POST, 2002 set Greg built & I partially designed.  There's a revolving door to Herzog's Department store & the 2 side pieces rotate for other scenes.

THE CHRISTMAS POST, 2002 set Greg built & I partially designed. There’s a revolving door to Herzog’s Department store & the 2-sided pieces rotate for other scenes.

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Half pouffe for the store lobby & half fountain for outdoor scenes, with working water:)

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This half is the Sporting Goods Dept.; the other side is a Christmas tree (see in the full set pic). So much love & time given to all the sets Greg & I did together for our church at the private school.  We would do it all over again.

Finally, thank You for all that You gave me for the musical.  We are cooking!  You were all over the weekend, & prior, to put together some awesome stuff for the play.  And we had a blast learning, as usual.  Laugh, laugh, laugh!  You are awesome! Amen.

Today’s Dailey Bread led me here to Zechariah 8:11-23.  It’s a long one, but here are Your main points:  12 “For I am sowing peace & prosperity among you.  Your crops will prosper, the grapevines will be weighted down with fruit; 13…For now ‘Judah’ is a word of blessing, not a curse.  ‘May you be as prosperous as Judah is,’ they’ll say.  14,15 …I did what I said I would…16 Here is your part:  Tell the truth.  Be fair.  Live at peace with everyone.  18 Here is another message that came to me from the Lord Almighty: 19The traditional fasts & times of mourning you have kept in July, August, October and January are ended  They will be changed to joyous festivals if you love truth & peace!”

The rest of the scripture talks of people from around the world going to Jerusalem to attend theses celebrations.  I feel You are telling me to replace ‘your house’ with ‘Jerusalem.’  That we will be immensely blessed and will bless others.  Thank You, thank You.  Praise You, oh heavenly Father!  You woke me up at 5:30am “Get up!  There is so much to be thankful for!  Let’s go!

“And I say, Wow!”

LOOKS LIKE WE MADE IT (cue 80s song now)

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Next to raising our three children, I am most proud of my marriage.  Greg and I have been married for almost 26 years and we know that God is the answer.  Throughout our journey of numerous job losses, setbacks, financial struggles and the teenage years WE MADE IT!  Now, empty-nesting in our town home, out of debt and, as Greg says, ‘On a date every day,’ we constantly look at each other, fist bump & say, WE MADE IT!  We raised three beautiful children who know and follow Jesus and we made it through IT ALL stronger and victorious!  How?  What’s the secret to marriage success?  Jesus.  Ask Him into your marriage.  Pray out loud with each other often~ our hearts speak differently while in prayer and with the one we love (you think sex is intimate, wait til you pray together).  Warning–you must have courage to obey when God answers.

MyRedJournals is my day-to-day invitation to God to control my life.  It’s not always pretty.  I do gnash teeth.  But now, I sit on this side & say WE MADE IT!  Lord, I pray for my marriage’s next 26 years.  Your will and protection always, dear Lord.

MyRedJournals continued…(please refer to first blog post & read to most current post to follow chronologically).

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

Oh dear Jesus, I pray with my whole heart that You be with Greg right now during his interview in NYC with Oracle.  Lord, put Your presence throughout that office.  Be with Greg’s thoughts, actions & words.  Open doors.  Create opportunities.  Discover potential! Thank You for Your peace right now.  Thank You for excitement of the future that You will put us in.

Please give Greg a sense of peace & calm & confidence directly from You.  Amen.  (Cody & I learned Sunday, after he received his new Bible from Big Daddy & Velma, that ‘Amen’ means ‘it is true.’)

What You say, what You do, what You set up now to be true in the future ‘is true’–Amen!

“Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”  Psalm 119:105.  Sung at our wedding & never more true.

Thank You, Jesus, for letting Greg and I grow closer to You together and with our children during this journey.

Greg just called.   Oracle is going to give him a job offer!  “Our God is an awesome God, He reigns from heaven above, with wisdom, power & love our God is an awesome God!”

Thank You.  Praise You.  Exalt Your Holy Name, Jesus!  Shout from the rooftops!

Friday, September 20, 2002

Lord, I should be so excited thankful, relieved & happy because our prayers are almost answered.  Instead I’m scared, nervous & weepy.  The overriding problem is the absolute desperation & loneliness I feel about Lena & her struggles with math.  Lord, after all that we have been praying for over the past 8 months, I now lay more problems at Your feet.  Please send an angel to help my daughter.  Please ignite the desire to learn without excuses inside of her.  Help her to form her thoughts, focus, have opinions, work with excellence.  We need You so much now!

I am handling everything all wrong.  Control me, my tongue & actions.  Give me the methods to help her, please.

That's the look Lena, on the right, would give when working on Math.  I'm sure actually what's happening here is that Liza, on the left, is gloating a bit, thinking that she's the one who soothed her crying brother.

That’s the look Lena, on the right, would give when working on Math. I’m sure actually what’s happening here is that Liza, on the left, is gloating a bit, thinking that she’s the one who soothed her crying brother.

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Lena, Greg & I can say WE MADE IT too!!  Lena passed her very last & final math course of her life last semester in college.  She will graduate next December from Texas State with a Dance Major & Business Minor!!  Take that -ZAP, POW-Arithmatic!!*#@!!

Lena, Greg & I can say WE MADE IT too!! Lena passed her very last & final math course of her life last semester in college. She will graduate next December from Texas State with a Dance Major & Business Minor!! Take that Math-ZAP, POW!!*#@!!

Soon we will move to a house, maybe the house on St. James, and we will transfer schools.  Lead us again, Lord.  Send us to the right place, the right teachers.  Settle us.  Plant us.  Grow us.  Don’t uproot us.  Give us the courage to accept Your answers.

My soul is unsettled.  I feel the devil trying to take hold.  You will banish Him.  Because we are so near to You, because we want to be so close to You, because we are about to take the big step of accepting Your wishes, evil is trying to put doubt & hate in the picture.  Shut the door on doubt & fear.  Hold me close & lead me to Your path for me & my family.

I love my family so very much, Jesus.  Thank You for Your Holy Spirit.  I need Your Holy Spirit every minute today.  Paint a clear picture for us.  Make each aspect of all upcoming decisions crystal clear;  job, salary package, house & school.  Leave nothing to chance.  Send us confirmation.  It is in Your Holy name I pray & it is with Your Holy Spirit that I continue.

Sunday, September 22, 2002

Dear Lord, last Thursday & Friday have been so strange.  Lord, I repent that I have sinned.  I am ashamed that I let worry & fear rule me & not You.  How could I doubt that I would be given peace about all of the final decisions just as you’ve given all this time.  I guess it’s the permanence of these decision.   No longer are we leasing or temporary.

Thank You for giving us, me time those past few months to know where we want to be & where You want us.  You knew that I would need time to circle about, research, discover, ponder everything about living in Lucas.  You are so amazing for me!

Lord, I pray for Your Holy Spirit over me this week as we look into the house (wow, that’s exciting to say!).  Banish all fear, leave only peace & happiness.  Lord, lead us to the right schools.  We pray for teachers, administrators, systems & the full package for the kids, all 3!

I have looked into several possibilities (private, a little of home schooling, Frisco system) & know that none of these choices are for us.  What I don’t know is if the McKinney schools are the right place.  Lord, answer with confirmation if these schools are right for our family.  Will the middle and high school be right?  Only You can help us & lead us.  Please take all worry away, far away.  I can’t solve these worries, believe me, I’ve been trying.  I need You, as always.

Forgive me of my sinful ways (how quickly I can turn) and grant me Your grace.  Turn Your face to me.  Hold me steadfast, push me in the right direction.  Be my feet & hands & definitely control my thoughts, mouth & actions.

I am Your servant, dear Jesus, what will You have me do?

Yeah God!  Thank You for granting a baby girl for Ken & Angie!  I pray that the adoption & time in Oklahoma goes smooth.  I pray for the birth mom.  Give her peace & a face turned towards You.  Please, surround Your presence over Ken & Angie & their baby, Zoe.

Amen