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!

 

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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

2007_enchanted_006

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