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

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Brat Attack!

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Brat attack!  These journal entries cry, scream & kick up a tantrum storm.  Much like this picture (click pic to view larger) , where my daughter, Lena, stands center, performing with her dance troupe, Collin Dance Ensemble in 2011, God can take us acting like a total brat.  Sometimes we just have to spew out, “I can’t take it anymore!”  And God can take it.  He knows how we feel.  He allows us to scream from the heart.  A good cry is cathartic to the soul, albeit puffy for the eyes.

I leave these entries without much intro except to say that, much like reading Revelations, know that we win in the end.

Monday, October 14, 2002

Bad news last Friday.  Why.  Why are we constantly so close & then it’s all dashed?!  I feel despair & hope at the same time.  I still believe in Your miracles, but can’t believe we still have to live with the unknown & the monotony for however long now.  All of our prospects seem lost the money only goes out.  Greg is hanging on just above despair.  i am so proud to be his wife & to go through this together with us both looking to You & for setting an example.

Jesus, please work Your miracles.  Depression is creeping all around.  The cheerleader in me is tired.  The concoctions of hope I have been so sure of these past 9 months seem true one minute & then crazed just the next.

Why are our kids put through this continual lingering?  We live on the edge each moment; each phone call; that we may finally release & rejoice & have the festivals You spoke of in Zechariah.

For now…I unload the dishwasher do the endless laundry help & cajole the homework, work on the play–thank You for the play–& YES, HAVE HOPE…LOOK TO YOU.  Praise Your gifts to me…even today…and I pray again to You, dear Jesus.

Today, Jesus, please banish despair in me, in Greg, in the kids (if they’re feeling it).  Today, Jesus, work Your miracles & let me have Your eyes to see them.

Amen

P.S.  In reading past entries, I realize I need to say a praise…for Lena’s ignite of will to learn & succeed.  She got a 98 on a math quiz retake!  You are with her!  Lord, please help us to figure out how we can get Cody involved in something physical.  It is very obvious that he needs to exert energy daily & that his mood desperately needs it.

Thank You!

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

Lord, do You see my out-stretched hand?  Your child is crying!  Hear my prayer!  I need Your miracles!  We need Your miracles.  Desperation is all around.  I can identify with the urgency of the Psalmist, “crying & gnashing of teeth.”  I am like Moses now, grey with a long beard, ready to come off the mountain!  Bless me.  Save me.  Bless me.

Thursday, October 17, 2002

It is difficult not to have hope.  You are here, there is hope.  Frustration tired of not knowing and waiting are beyond done; occasionally, actually often, senile laughter about it all helps, but there is always hope.  Actually hope, concrete, factual hope, No.

No leads, no possible job calls, no interviews.  But a hope in my heart.  Dear Lord, please actualize that heart-filled hope.  Make real the plan I know You have tucked in my heart & in Greg’s heart.  Today, today, today.  Thank You, as always.

2 Corinthians 6:3-10 tells what we have & are going through.  We’ve run the gamut.  Even the “40 Days of Purpose” feels like I’ve ticked off each item on the daily list of soul-seeking questions.

We pray & work, we trust & prepare.

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October 21, 2002

Being completely honest today, Lord.  I’m irritated.  I’ve prayed & focused for so long that I’m tired!!!!  The race is long & the finish line keeps being pulled away!  I’m tired!  i want to get on with the next thing!   I’ve got it!  I’ve learned!  Great!  Now let me make my list, get after accomplishing it & get my family moved!  ENOUGH!!!!

Why test me to my utter exhaustion?  Doesn’t the enemy torture his opponent & grin at his despair!  Take me from under Your thumb!!  Hold me in Your arms…carry me through.  You tell me to pray continually.  Well, are you deaf?!  Are You a child who must be told repeatedly?!

I’m sorry.  I’m sorry.  Please forgive me, oh God!  Give me peace.  Let my prayers ring of praise, praise, praise!  Please.

October 24, 2002

As hard as I try I cannot not love You.  Tear me down  Be silent.  Push my patience to the very edge…I still praise Your Holy Name!  I have loved & praised You always.  I never remember not loving, knowing & believing.  Why should I stop now?

I don’t get all that is going on.  And I know that You weep for me.  But, I trust You & I still know that You have a plan for me & my family; a plan so incredible that I cannot fathom it.  I can’t conjure up images & scenarios of the possibilities–that was my former, young Christian self.  Now that I am speeding (ha ha!) through my teen years, I am maturing & getting closer to You.  I have reactions like a spoiled brat, I kick, scream & storm away, but I really want Your embrace & assurance that everything will be okay.

“Our God is an awesome God.  He reigns from heaven above.  With wisdom, power & love.  Our God is an awesome God!”

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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

Aside

Led to Lead

Me performing as the head of an orphanage in our church musical, "A Time for Christmas."  That's tiny little Cody in the blue nightgown on the left and Liza on my right.  Lena isn't in this shot, but we all danced and sang with wooden spoons about how God would provide our breakfast--in an English accent, no less:)

Me performing as the head of an orphanage in our church musical, “A Time for Christmas.” That’s tiny little Cody in the blue nightgown on the left and Liza on my right. Lena isn’t in this shot, but we all danced and sang “With a Little Bit of Faith” with wooden spoons about how God would provide our breakfast–in an English accent, no less:)

A verse from my 2002 prayer journal from Joshua 1:6 (below) says, ‘you will be a successful leader of my people.’ I have been honored to teach children and adults of all ages and talent levels that they can dance.  Claiming ‘two left feet’ is not an excuse, merely a challenge.   Thank you, God for leading me to lead.

I hope you are enjoying looking back into MyRedJournals and seeing how God answers prayers and that by learning about His Word, He brings us closer to Him.

Tuesday, September 10, 2002

Today’s Daily Bread is from Romans 5:25:  “For because of our faith, He has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we confidently & joyfully look forward to actually becoming all that God has 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 learn to be patient.  And patience develops strength of character in us & helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope & faith are strong & ready.  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.”

“Don’t be selfish; don’t live to make a good impression on others.  Be humble thinking of others as better than yourself.  Don’t just think about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too & in what they are doing.”    Philippian 2:3-4

I will send a letter to Jill with this verse because it speaks.

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A small in church in Allen displays a mini Arlington Memorial each Independence Day. Photo credit: PorchBaby

September 11, 2002

Dear Jesus, I pray for our country.  Please give us peace.  Please help us as a nation to look to You, Jesus Christ, for understanding and comfort.  I pray for all of the families of the victims that they may find strength through Your goodness.  Carry them gently through.  I pray for President Bush.  Give him courage to say Your name, Jesus!  And to seek Your guidance continually as he leads our country and fights evil.  I pray for our attackers, Jesus.  Impress in their hearts to wash away their evil instincts.  Plant seeds instead that will sprout gardens of love for life & You.  I pray for Isreal, Iraq & Iran & Afghanistan.  Instill love for one another, because out of our faith, hope & love the greatest of these is love.

ingodwetrust

I pray for the spiritual revival that has begun will be the only fires we see in America and across the world!  I pray for the average person to speak boldly of Your name–me included!  I pray that the evil resistance we have towards ‘in God we trust’ & ‘one nation under God’ in our long-standing public documents & pledges will be defeated!  May we always be able to say ‘in God we trust’ and  may we affirmatively, in this nation & the world, claim You, Jesus Christ, as our Lord & Savior!

Jesus, Bless America!

September 13, 2002

Never give up.  Keep the faith…in You & in Your planfor me, Greg, our family & potential companies of employment (& how we can minister & be ministered); for Your ultimate purpose in putting people in certain places & situations.

Lord, please be with Greg’s colleague from EDS who was just in another car accident.  Put Your arms around him, his wife & daughter.  Knock on their hearts so that they know You are there & that You love them.

Lord, I pray for our children.   Please put a drive in Lena for improving her English & Math grades. Be with me as I assist her with her studies and homework; I can be harsh & impatient without Your hands holding me.

I pray for Liza.  May she continue to do well with her grades & compassion.  Thank You for her innate compassion.

Lord, I pray for Cody.  May he also continue to do well in school.  He really listens & takes corrections well.  I pray that his confidence continues to blossom.

Lord, I am so proud of Cody being baptized this Sunday.  he is a smart, sensitive, understanding son with a true heart for You.  May he enjoy his public confession of faith & may this be the beginning of a long life of discipleship & closeness to You.

Monday, September 16, 2002

“Be strong and brave, for you will be a successful leader of my people, and they shall conquer all the land I promised to their ancestors.”  Joshua 1:6

I will continue to pray like the nagging woman in Luke 18:1-8.  Lord, hear my prayer.

Lord, thank you for watching me.  Holding me.  Your power & love is vast for me & so many I care for & know about.  Your plan for me and everyone around the world is exciting to watch You were in the fires & destruction of the WTC.  You are moving the world toward Isreal as You said would be true.  Through hess worldly events & technology, internet, email, advancements in transportation, medicine, You move toward Your goal, all the while meeting our trivial requests for our small ives.  You are the color fuchsia & periwinkle.  You are the vibrancy in little babies’ eyes.  You are all that is good & right & necessary.  And You love me.  You make me feel important, special, unique.  You’ve given me excitement about the gifts You’ve given me that it’s hard to be humble.  I pray to humble.  I feel You leading me to be more humble.

Lord, here is my request…again.  You’ve heard it, I’ve said many, many ways & time & time again.  Your will be done… with y talents, Greg’s job, our home, our kids, us as a family.  We pray for Greg to have a job by the end of this September.  We pray for a house for us to prosper, in Jesus’ name.  And we pray for Lena & Liza & Cody to be in a school where they, too can learn & work & use their talents for You.

I pray for courage for all of us to accept Your answer & the world’s reaction to our decision.  Oh, the things You have in store for us! I can’t wait to see what You’ve got!

Boredom & Baptism

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Oh the highs & lows of the Christian walk.  Almost 12 months into our no job/no income/job searching/fervently praying journey, boredom took root in 2002.  No matter how chaotic life gets, laundry and the mundane must still be done.  At the same time, my son decides, like a bloom stretching through numbing snow, to be baptized.  He is the rose, the snow is me.

ADORABLE!  Cody wasn't much older than this when he told our pastor, "Jesus is the answer" and was baptized.

ADORABLE! Cody wasn’t much older than this when he told our pastor, “Jesus is the answer” and was baptized.

My True Texan, Summer, 2013

My True Texan, Summer, 2013

Cody & my dad this past summer in Waco at Cody's select game for the McKinney Marshalls.  Big Daddy, as the grandkids call him, is a Godly influence through his daily living.

Cody & my dad this past summer in Waco at Cody’s select game for the McKinney Marshalls. Big Daddy, as the grandkids call him, is a Godly influence through his daily living & witnessed Cody’s baptism & can testify to Cody’s heart & calling.

Cody playing Igor, ala 'Young Frankenstein', in my & my cousin's play, "Clue: Stage Fright Tonight!"

Cody playing Igor, ala ‘Young Frankenstein’, in my & my cousin’s play, “Clue: Stage Fright Tonight!” Hilarity at its funniest!!!!!

Among the drab, monotonous, daily living that can be our faith walk, are the jewels presented as undeserved gifts from God & our children.

My Red Journal continued…..

Monday, September 2, 2002

Boredom as set in.

Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2002

Thank You, Lord for sending us to the Academy of Dance Arts!  You made it very clear, through all other doors being closed, to opening this dance studio up to us!  The girls will get great training there & maybe I’ll get a chance someday.

Lord, I pray more than ever for Greg.  Depression has hit.  We have 15 days until his interview in NYC with Oracle & from hearing the outcome of Perot’s 10th & 11th meeting.  Another 2 weeks to wait!

This apartment has gotten small, one car has become stifling, as well as one cell phone, and not knowing the future has gotten almost unbearable.  Greg and I keep each other cheered up & looking continually to Your face, but there’s nothing left to say now.

We wait.

Please pour Your comfort & blessings on Greg, Lord.  The spiritual cheerleader in me is tired.  Oh how we need You.  Please guard our finances.  And help the kids make it through.

We have no doubts in You, dear Jesus.

Monday, September 9, 2002

Jesus, You answered my prayer & prepared my heart for my trip to NYC with my mom & sisters.  Thank You.  We had a wonderful time!  You also are answering my prayer to become closer to Jill.  I feel a spark of connection & willingness to understand between us.  I no longer have to say that ‘they don’t know who I am.’  I continue to pray for them & their walk with You.

Lord, Your plan surpasses all understanding.  I can’t wait to see how Your plan for our lives will weave into Your ultimate plan.  Jesus, I still pray for courage to accept Your answer.  Please, take away all fear & doubting.  Please, teach me to be humble & not boastful–it’s very hard for me when I’m excited about how You put everything together & that You would use me to do it!

Oh, Jehovah, it is glorious that my son will be baptized in Your name this Sunday.  I know You have special plans for him, Lord; he knows it, too.  May Cody enter his public confession of faith with true understanding of You.  Thank You for the gift of my son.

Lord, I pray that You help me to memorize verses.  It’s very difficult for me.  I suppose I’m lazy.  My favorite verse is, “I can do all things through Jesus Christ, who strengthens me.”  Philippians 4:13

A new one to memorize, “Don’t let others spoil Your faith & joy with their philosophies, their wrong & shallow answers built on men’s thoughts & ideas, instead of on what Christ has said.” Colossians 3:8

Lord, like Peter, I turned away from You @ Ground Zero.  When there was a group gathered & praying I chose to not publicly bow my head to You.  I couldn’t bring myself to do that in front of my sisters & mom.  I am so sorry.  I pray heavily for courage to praise You at all times.  Please help me, Lord, for I am weak.  I am weak.

Dancing Desires

Me teaching at the Mississauga School of Dance in Canada, 2001

Me teaching at the Mississauga School of Dance in Canada, 2001

I have taught dance since high school.  Well, actually I forced my best friend Mandy when we were in the 3rd grade to perform a dance I taught her for her mother in the living room.  Mandy, who is the spitting image of The Pioneer Woman with blonde hair & the same sweet, spicy spirit, was shy, but agreed because, me, forever the encourager, said, ‘You’ll be great!’  And I was right!  And I’ve been right with every other dancer I’ve taught for more than 25 years.  Two left feet??  Pffttt!!  Confidence, practice, perseverance & prayer (on at least my part, but hopefully their part too) is the ticket!

IMG_4747I’ve choreographed & taught hip hop, tap, drillteam, musical theatre, ballroom, jazz for all ages & talent levels in every kind of venue you can think of–stage, studio, gym, basement, Sunday school classroom, foyer & living room of every house I’ve lived in.  And  up until the last 3 years, most has been volunteer or bartered.  The picture above is one of the 4 classes I taught at the Mississauga School of Dance in Canada.  There I taught Elementary, teen, adult recreational hip hop, as well as 2 competitive teams.

My girls, Liza & Lena, in full costume for my junior competitive hip hop team routine to 'Hangin' Up On You'.  Dang, I had those girls, throw, stomp, drag & catapult that doll for 'all of his lies'!!;)

My girls, Liza & Lena, in full costume for my Canadian junior competitive hip hop team routine to ‘Hangin’ Up On You’. Dang, I had those girls, throw, stomp, drag & catapult that doll for ‘all of his lies’!!;)

Me, Lena & Liza with the prop doll I made for their competitive routine from the body of an old Caillou doll.  I ripped the face off & painted on the growling expression.  To set the paint, my mother-in-law suggested that I stick the dolls head in the oven & let its feet hang outside.  When my husband came home & saw a kid hanging out of the oven, he didn't bat an idea--living with a creative is like that!

Me, Lena & Liza with the prop doll I made for their competitive routine from the body of an old Caillou doll. I ripped the face off & painted on the growling expression. To set the paint, my mother-in-law suggested that I stick the doll’s head in the oven & let its feet hang outside. When my husband came home & saw a kid hanging out of the oven, he didn’t bat an eye–living with a creative is like that!

In the August 27th entry below, I cry out to God while sitting in our small month-to-month Texas apartment for a dance studio for me and my girls.  He answered soon after and sent us to Academy of Dance Arts in Allen, where I am now celebrating my 11th year teaching hip hop & musical theatre.

As I read these entries now, I am struck at the revelation that ‘the Old Testament tells of Your truths to unfold & the New Testament tells of the truths fulfilled through Your Word made flesh’ (see entry)….The old journal prayers foretell the new truths.  When I am journaling, God will reveal His wonders through my pen, taking control of my thoughts and actions.  He does the same when we choreograph together; he plays the mind movie, and I execute.  Creating with my Creator is my addiction.

Monday, August 26, 2002

I feel led, Oh, Jehovah, to read & study Jeremiah.  I’ve just begun and his story is desolate.  You told him of warnings to the people of Judah to turn from sin and look to You.  They refused & Jeremiah tried to warn them of Your wrath.  What is the purpose of this study?  First, I am to read Jeremiah 33 & now I am to start at the beginning?  Help me to understand, please.  I’d rather hear of happiness & solutions.

Tuesday, August 27, 2002

I am tired.  How long?  I am bored, but am glad for the time.  Help me, Jehovah, to find a dance studio for the girls & I.  Constantly starting over is old.  Oh to be established.  Oh to have roots!  This apartment is confining, although I am grateful for you abundance.

Lord, protect us financially  Taxes are due–an unexpected amount!  Please provide.

Give me strength today.  Raise my chin.  Make me dance.

Wednesday, August 28, 2002

Lord, I pray for my spirit to be filled with our Holy Spirit.  I am tired & need You to carry me.

“All that is required is that you really believe and have no doubt!  Listen to me! You can pray for anything, and if you believe, you have it; it’s yours!”  Mark 11:23-24 (The Message)

Thursday, August 29, 2002

“Yes, ask anything using my name, and I will do it”  John 14:14

Lord, Jesus, I pray that You be with Wesley.  Protect him with Your Holy Spirit.  Watch him & guide him that he may one day be able to call you ‘Lord’ & know that You kept him during this time.

Jehovah, I also pray for all of the kids.  Please put Your protective presence & Spirit inside of Laney, Kara, Sara, Lexi, Brooke & Jade.  Let them know how wonderful they are & that You are there.  Give them peace through trials & comfort.  Give them strength to combat pressures.  Thank You, oh Holy God, for raising them up to You.

I pray that I take my focus off waiting on Your answer & 1) be thankful, once again, for all that You’ve done & all that You will do & 2) focus on others & what I can do for You now.

Lord, what can I do for You now?  I pray that You reveal this to me.

Sunday, September 1, 2002

Lord, You truly are a father who lives by example.  The Old Testament tells of Your truths to unfold & the New Testament tells of the truths fulfilled through Your Word made flesh.  You knew that children would need to see, hear, touch & smell the truth to understand it.  And then You love me beyond all understanding.

You bore all of our pain–physical, sorrow, anger, resentment, pride, foolishness, want & greed–on the cross forever.  Therefore, I don’t need to experience all of this You do this for me!  I must be responsible, remorseful & repent, but You take all of my worries!  That is why…You are why.  I can endure this journey & be peaceful & thankful.  I hope You are proud of me.

“Be strong & brave, for you will be a successful leader of my people; and they shall conquer all the land I promised to their ancestors.”  Joshua 1:6

My “Listening” study led me to Joshua 1:7-8, but it’s verse 6 that jumped out to me; Jehovah, I believe You are preparing me for leadership.  I pray that the opportunities leading to that time will present themselves & that if that time is now, that You would give me courage to notice & recognize & accept the challenge.  You are awesome.

I feel I must commit to memory the ten commandments:  1)  You may worship no other God than me; 2) Make no idols; 3) Do not use God’s name in vain; 4) The Sabbath is a holy day; 5) Honor your father & mother; 6) Do not murder; 7) Do not commit adultery; 8) Do not steal; 9) Do not lie; 10) Do not covet neighbor’s house spouse or possessions.  Exodus 20:3-17

Thank You for Your Holy Spirit through all of these years.  Thank You for watching me, guiding me, averting my wrong decision, for making me confident & sure in myself & ultimately in You.

I pray for the Holy Spirit to pray for me.  Only You know what we should pray for.  Tell me what & whom I should pray for & help, dear Jesus.  In the name of Jesus.

Salt, Light & Glory

Salt & Light Photographer: Me:)

Salt & Light
Photographer: Porch Baby

We are to be salt & light to the world.  If you have a talent, especially if that talent comes easily to you, recognize it as a gift from God & use it!  Don’t use it as the world thinks you should (our culture thinks that every talent should be packaged & sold).  Be obedient; do what God wants with your talent/light, even if it seems crazy & let Him sweat the details & how far he’ll take it.  Of course, being a light, means sharing your relationship with Jesus with others & your talents are one God-given way to do that.  If you are a believer & don’t shine your light or use your talent & you know that God has been pushing you to do so…you’ll come to understand what ‘the fear of God’ truly means. Selah:)

Salt–too much & your dish is awful & your health is taxed; too little & your culinary creations are dull.  Such is the Christian life to the world.  Everything in moderation, including our seasonings with seekers. (from my 365 Bible & Journaling album, 2010 on Facebook.com/jodiewilk; also visit Facebook.com/porchbabycreations & Facebook.com/jodiewilkchoreography&design)

This prior introduction leads into today’s journal entries, because I am using my talents & letting God sweat the details and outcome of my pages unfurled.  Honestly, I want to edit my ancient ramblings so that I don’t seem crazy, but my heavenly leading is to ‘go forth.’   To my friends, family and acquaintances along the way, I love and pray for you often through my prayer writings.  I pray that you receive these and future entries with warmth and love in return.

God bless.

Monday, August 19, 2002

The 18th has come and gone…Your will, not mine…Your will, not mine.

Today the kids start school.  Please be with them.  Make them strong, keep them safe.  Please make their time here brief as possible.

Lord, I’d also like to pray for several people at church:  Ken & Angie-please bless them with a beautiful child & help Angie to continue to heal & please bless Ken’s consulting business.  Please bless Mary & Scott with the upcoming adoption of their baby; please be with the birth mother to make a strong, wise decision.  Please bless all the marriages at church.  Please be with the Garners as they struggle with their separation.  Make their kids strong & looking to You.  Bless Ben & Dee, having them look to You & each other as their business struggles  Please help Ron & his wife as Ron continues to look for work, as with us, please bring the right people to them & us that will bring the right job that will ultimately serve You.

Please be with Greg today with his interview with Oracle & his phone call with Perot.  Thank You now for Your incredible healing and answers.

Please prepare hearts & homes for Anthony & Michael, the lost boys of Sudan, that they might find work & homes after their long struggles.  Thank You for keeping me from such evil.

God's glory on an average day

God’s glory on an average day.
The cross–forver the central theme.
Photographer: Porch Baby

Friday, August 23, 2002

You spoke to me in a dream at 5:33 this morning.  In the dream I saw a young guy who said, “Watch this” as if he were going to do something clever.  Then I saw a newspaper headline that read, “Apologies from the city of Habakkuk” and I bugged my eyes & said “Habakkuk?!”  Then, as I slept, my brain was filled with flashing light and You said, “This is for you & only you.”  I lay there waiting for more then got up.  I re-read Habakkuk 2.  But where I opened the Bible was at Jeremiah 33 where You speak of Peace & Prosperity for the cities of Isreal & Judah.  Several times You spoke directly to Jeremiah.

Help me, Jehovah, to understand all of this.  I pray for Greg, Lord, at what You will tell him.

Saturday, August 24, 2002

Thank You for yesterday.  Greg and I had such a great peace all day.

Today, I am beginning a Bible study, “Listening to God” and am praying for spiritual eyes & ears so that I may see & hear Your will.  I pray for new insights into Your Word.  And I pray for courage to accept what You will have me become, say & do.

As I re-read Jeremiah 33:3, “Ask me & I will tell you some remarkable secrets about what is going to happen here,” I see this for the first time.  I skimmed over this yesterday, but now, I pray those exact words to You, if you want to tell me.

The “Listening” study had me read 1Corinthians 2:9-10, which says (10 only) “But we know about these things because God has sent His Spirit to tell us & His Spirit searches out & shows us all of God’s deepest secrets.”  And I say, “Wow!”

I see another reference about rebuilding cities in Isaiah 59: 9-12.  Tell me Lord, what are these connections about rebuilding cities?

Sunday, August 25, 2002

Good morning, Jehovah.  My “Listening” study asks for what the Bible says to me regarding John 3:16.  Repetition always works with me.  Every time I hear ‘the Good News’ my thought process & response is: 1)  “Really?!  Wow!”, 2) “Is that possible & true?”, 3) Of course it’s true”, 4) “Thank You, Lord for dying for my sins & for ME!”

I used to think that going through that process every time meant that my faith was not as strong as I thought, but now I know that my ‘child-like faith’ needs repetition and reminders of how much He loves me & my family. Thank You, Jesus, for saving us all.  Now, I pray for those who are not saved by Your ‘Good News:’ Mom, Mom, Mom.  Lord, please never give up knocking on her heart, pushing Satan away & dispelling all of her secular arguments, letting go of inhibitions, hypocracy & embarrassment & accepting Your love & comfort & gifts.

Job searching..and searching

Rehearsal dinner, 1988

Rehearsal dinner, 1988

Before kids it was us.  We were married in ’88 as my uncle Dalton sang “The Lord’s Prayer” as only he could do with his deep, rich, resonating voice and my cousin Sharla lovingly sang Amy Grant’s “Thy Word.”  These songs set us on a path of living out the lyrics~25 years later we still hold the lamp unto our feet and the light unto His path.  These journalings illustrate the struggle to stay there.
 
Our family~~Liza, Cody & Lena , 1996

Our family~~Liza, Cody & Lena , 1996

This is our little family before we were, as we like to call it, ‘middle class missionaries.’   The girls, Lena & Liza-14 months apart, were born in Connecticut and after we moved to Texas for Greg’s job with EDS, Cody was born.   We began attending church regularly when Cody was still in a baby carrier.  We knew we needed to go to church for the kids, but God got ahold of Greg and I like a shot and we were quickly knee-deep in love with our Lord and His people.
 
Blue Mountain, Ontario, Canada, 2001

Blue Mountain, Ontario, Canada, 2001

Greg is the avid skier in this bunch; he’s a yankee boy, so he should be, right?  We ‘born and bred’ Texans take a little longer to get used to slats underfoot, therefore, the rest of us just have fun on the greens.

It wasn’t long after this ski trip that EDS, despite Greg increasing the organization’s sales by 200%, laid him off (new boss wanted all his old cronies; so out with the old and in with the new–common story).  We had half a year of school left and turned down other EDS offers to move to Japan or Tennessee and sat on our bed praying and committed our lives and this unknown journey completely to God.  We knew there would be no half-ways to go about it.
God allowed the kids to complete their school year in Canada and we moved in July to….we didn’t know where.  My family is from Austin and we lived in Frisco previously near our church we loved so much.   We packed and prayed without knowing our destination.  I told the movers that I would let them know where to stop the truck.  
As of these entries, we are living in Frisco in a month-to-month apartment with a few job prospects.  Kids are attending a different school than they were at when we lived here before; now in 2nd, 4th & 6th grades.
You should know that my husband is a punster and keeps me laughing no matter what’s going on.  And I always say that my son was put on this earth to make me laugh because he can out-do his dad and the original punster, Pap, Greg’s father, with side-splitting results.  I too can sling wit with the best of them and my girls can sure come up with some zingers.  All this to say, although the journal has much longing and searching and occasional gnashing of teeth, we lived, loved and laughed through it all. 
Easter egg decorating in Canada

Easter egg decorating in Canada

 
 
Monday, August 12, 2002

I yearn to be so close to You.  Lord; teach me how to listen to You.  Teach me to use this journal to speak intimately with You without constantly thinking about how someone might read it one day.  Teach me to listen to You, to others.  You have taught me so much so far.  Thank You for bringing me this close.

I’m reading a part of The Secret of the Vine today and a woman in there says about You, “We keep each other constant company all day.”  Thank You, Lord, for Your Holy Spirit around me all day that I can say a little something anytime, anywhere.

From Secrets of the Vine, “Nothing pleases God more than when we ask for what He wants to give.  When we spend time with Him and allow His priorities, passions and purposes to motivate us, we will ask for the things that are closest to His heart.”  Lord, I pray to You that I will continue to keep Your plans for me first, constantly checking that I am following Your guidance and plan.

Tuesday, August 13, 2002

Lord, I need your comfort and Holy Spirit today.  Through scripture and a wonderful email from Nan about a great prayer, I feel You speaking to my heart to be more loving like You, more hospitable and neighborly.  I pray that You help me with names and to have a more loving heart for others.  Thank You for Your unending love for me.

Wednesday, August 14, 2002

God, the Father, God, the Holy Spirit, God, the Son, I need you today.  This day will not start and cannot take a step without You.

Thank You for the encouraging message by the CEO.  I asked yesterday for just that and You have been there every day.  I read and skimmed the book of Job yesterday and You told him how powerful You are.

Lord, I have the mind of a simpleton.  Repetition is always necessary for me.  Please forgive my child-like thoughts when I frequently go through an ongoing, awe-struck process.  I continue to first, act as if it is the first time I’ve heard of You dying on the cross, each time I hear or read about it.  Then, I study Your amazing story all over again.  I always question the story and can’t believe something so long ago could have happened.  And, I wonder if I had been there, or if it were to happen today, would I believe.  Then, I bow my head and say, “Of course; He did this for me” and my child-like faith once again brings me to You.  Thank You for not making me Paul.  I wonder if I could sustain and survive in prison.  Or Job, please do not test me and my family.  And yet, I want so much to be so close to You.  To walk daily with my Friend and Counselor.

Oh, Lord, walk with me today.  Give me what You will, because only You know what I need.

Jesus, keep me from temptation.  The prayer of Jabez includes, “Keep me from .”  Therefore, here are the four temptations that I pray you keep me from day by day, moment by moment:  1) tempted to complain, 2) tempted to have negative thoughts, 3) tempted to get angry and lash out, and 4) tempted to yell or lash out at my kids.

You have helped me so much with the last two over the past three years, but I still need Your hand in daily temptations.

Thursday, August 15, 2002

Lord,

It is obvious after Greg’s phone call with Perot yesterday morning that our miracle will not be answered, at least not for now.  Perot will have meetings mid-Sept and then, I’m sure, it will be a couple more months for hires.  Lord, why do our children have to go through changing schools again?  What are we teaching them?  Why put them through this again and again?  It breaks my heart!  And yet, they are still upbeat.  Oh, Lord, please make their time at the schools here brief!  Answer our prayers and transfer the kids quick and lessen their pain!  Please, settle this family!  Haven’t we learned what You want during this journey?!  Can’t we settle and now get down to the business of serving You?  I know we’re serving now in some way and I know that we’ll never stop learning, but to serve and learn from this questionable state is long, frustrating and difficult!  And yet, it’s an honor to be put through this journey with the sole purpose to be closer with You.

Teach me what You will.  Use my talents that You blessed me with as You will.  Advance Your Kingdom through me.  I give all I have to You, Lord.  My daily commitment to You.

Lord, this morning you led me to Genesis 32:24-32.  Jacob wrestled with the angel of God, who broke him and then blessed him.   I see.  It is first necessary to break me so that I can see Your face before You bless me.  Break me, Lord!  Let’s endure the pain!  I want to see, I want to hear!  I want Your blessings!

Friday, August 16, 2002

Encouragement, blessings…ANSWERS!  We don’t understand why we were given everything in Canada—Greg’s leadership position, kids in a great Christian school, my numerous dance teaching opportunities and a big house — and then it was quickly taken away!  Eighteen months from start to finish!   Did we not treat it right?  Did I complain even through that?  Did we not share enough?  Or was it there briefly to have us realize how much we want that all now, that we’ll work for it!  But, we did work for everything up there?!  Lord, help us to understand this!  Kids start school Monday where we don’t want them, we’re in this apartment, Greg’s leads are good, sour, back when this started in December we started living day-to-day having no calendar to fill.  Yes, we’ve enjoyed many things through all this—our time together, learning to live day-by-day, having opportunities to do other things and most of all reaching to be closer to You!  Friend!  The Great I Am!  I am weak!  I’m throwing my head back and yelling HELP!  The End!  Let’s Go!  I need You.

Sunday, August 18, 2002

Be with me.  I know no more to say.

God & Me – August, 2002

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Since 1983 I have kept a red journal–well, actually the last four are red, a theme I continued after my  oldest sister gave me my first red journal as a going away gift when my family & I moved to Canada.  The first journal is blue, given to me by my Rangerette Big Sis in 1983 and the second is a fabric-covered book–a popular crafty item of the late 80’s.

The blue and fabric journals are the yearnings and learnings of my younger self in the midst of college and meeting and falling in love with my now husband of almost 26 years.  Those may be posted at another time–look forward to the prequel:)

The Red Journals begin at a time when God and I got serious.  Prior to my first entry, I had begun my own version of the prayer of Jabez.  Unbeknownst to me, my husband, Greg, was actually praying the Jabez prayer at the same time.  Well, God showed up and expanded our territory and moved us from Texas to Canada and then back to Texas 18 months later into a month-to-month apartment with three grade schoolers and no job.   And that’s where the first red journal begins.

I’ll tell you more about myself as I go along with each entry, but you should know that I’m a fairly private person.  Opening these pages and reliving them as I type seems necessary now that I am empty-nesting.  I won’t be holding anything back–no editing from my early morning scribbling while curled up on our red club chair, with the requisite coffee.  I’m ‘putting it out there’ because of His leading and I hope it resonates.

~jw

August, 2002-Feb, 2003

August, 2002-Feb, 2003

My Red Journals

Journal 1~red felt w/ white stitched heart on cover & tassel book mark

Intro page~ I have learned so much about praying over the last six months during our ‘pruning’ and pathway to ‘yielding more fruit’ as our family looks for another job.

I am humbled, grateful, and in awe of God’s love for me, Greg and our children.  I am amazed that all I need to simply do is ask and God will provide and provide in ways immensely beyond anything I could imagine.  After praying continually for the past five months regarding Greg’s next job, caring for our family, allowing us to stay til the end of the school year and to finish out my opportunities at the studio and the competitive teams, God has answered all.  Now, here are my specific prayers for this month, August, 2002, to always remind me of how good God is to me.  That’s it.

RJ1-August, 2002

Tuesday, August 6, 2002

Lord,

We are praying for a 1,2,3 miracle!  1) please allow Greg to get a job with Perot Systems in a leadership position, where his honesty and integrity and Christian values can have an impact to multitudes; 2) please allow us to purchase the house; and 3) allow us to transfer the kids to McKinney schools by Aug. 18.

Lord, please tell me how to pray this specifically for a miracle while still allowing and understanding Your will and plan.

Daily Bread for Aug.6 is Romans 8:25~”We are saved by trusting.  And trusting means looking forward to getting something we don’t have yet—for a man who already has something, need not to hope and trust that he will get it.  But if we must keep trusting God for something that hasn’t happened yet, it teaches us to wait patiently and confidently.”

Yeah, God!!  I have been praying to be more connected to You and yearning for your Holy Spirit and the next day, there You are!  Thank you so much.

Wednesday, August 7, 2002

Around March 5th I watched the final show of Survivor and the winner said she clung to a verse in Habakkuk to keep her focused on God and her goal.  Curiosity led me to read and find which verse in that book it was.  Habakkuk 2:2-3~”And the Lord said to write my answer on a billboard, large and clear so anyone can read it at a glance and rush to tell the others. But these things I plan won’t happen right away.  Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled.  If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass.  Just be patient!  They will not be overdue a single day!

I have continually clung to this verse during this time.  Now, today, during my Bible study, and time with You, Lord,  am thumbing through God’s Promises, the book given to me by Valerie (Lord, I pray that I may one day be able to thank her for that book and tell her how much I continually refer to it), I looked in the index under ‘waiting on God,’ and there in that section was Habakkuk 2:2-3!  I have been reading that over and over again and now You lead me right back there again!  Now, I’ve read Greg’s Leadership Bible’s version of these verses and they say that the entire book of Habakkuk is about leadership.  Oh, thank You, Lord Jesus, for answering prayers.  I have prayed many times before to be taught to be a good leader as a mother and teacher.  And Greg, of course has prayed the same for home and his career.

I can see through following Your Word and praying daily that You are preparing us for something Big!  Thank You, Lord!  Thank You for Your Abundance even before we know what it is!!