Wednesdays with Beth: Begging for Something pt. 1

Beth was back this week with a new series.  Check it out!

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Take Your Medicine

It’s Sunday night, a night of bittersweets. . .

Most of us have enjoyed a beautiful day alone or with family and friends . . .the house is quieting down, lovers may be cuddling up for a movie, friends may be finishing up conversations . . .preparations for the next day have been made . . .or not.  No matter how we feel about it or how we’ve decided to address it, we have all realized by now that tomorrow is Monday.

Seems like most of us dread Mondays.  Lord knows I’ve had some times where I was downright depressed about Mondays.  I’m not even joking.

But, Frans, I’m trying something new that I wanted to get you in on.  I just discovered that I have a drug that I can take that’ll help me deal with Mondays, Tuesdays, Bluesdays and all the other days too.  Check this out:

20 My son, give attention to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings.
21 Do not let them depart from your sight;
Keep them in the midst of your heart.
22 For they are life to those who find them
And health to all their body. (Proverbs 4:20-22, NASB)

So, are you trying to tell me that reading the word brings me health and life?  Oh yes, chile.  Yes, I am.

No matter what Monday holds for you, or any day for that matter, you can face it with joy, confidence, security, and love by taking your medicine.  Read the word of God, listen to scripture, write it down, memorize His words, soak them in!  Soak them up!  The thing is, unlike any other medication, there is no danger involved in overdosing.  Try and see.  Put the word of God on everything you are facing.  He is so worth it.  You can take Him at His word.  His word is His bond.  He is trustworthy and His word works for our lives, NOW!

19 “God is not a man, that He should lie,
Nor a son of man, that He should repent;
Has He said, and will He not do it?
Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? (Numbers 23:19 NASB)

Not sure what Monday holds for you but you don’t have to bow to it.  You serve a very big God who has put His spirit in you and left His word for you to wield as a mighty sword to combat Satan, call him out as the liar that he is, take over your day and be victorious in all of the things that He will put your hands to!

So, which verse or set of verses will you look up tonight?  All the power you need lies within you through the holy spirit and can be activated by encouraging your faith through the word of God.

Take some time to get into the word then stand up and shout with a voice of triumph, “bring it on Monday!!!”

Tonight I Tripped Over a Barbie Doll

It was pitch black dark in the den.  After a long day, tired and frustrated I was making my way down to the breakfast room for some sense to be talked into me.  For some words of prayer to be spoken over me.  And there she was.  Just a smiling.  All sprawled out on the hardwood floor like that’s where she belonged.  Like I was in her way.  Of course because it was dark, I got a little nervous about what exactly was lying on the floor that sent my feet into an impromptu jig that could have rendered my body bruised and scratched tonight.

Then I realized it was her.  And a funny thing happened.

I didn’t get mad.  I didn’t think about how she got left there or who it was that should have picked her up.  I fought the temptation to use that as a time to run that movie in my mind where I play the thankless mom who cleans up after the girls and cares for the huni and am often overlooked.  Because it’s a reality show that plays on repeat in my head most days.

But not tonight.

My immediate thought was gratitude and thankfulness.  I smiled at that ole barbie.  Because I thought about my little girls and the great joy that they bring me everyday.  I thought about how much fun I have playing with them and how much happiness I receive when they are happy.  And let me tell you, after a day like today when we run out of time for afternoon naps and have to endure each other in our sleepiest, crankiest of states, these were gooooood thoughts to dwell on.  And a sure blessing from God and a sign of His growing me that these were among the first thoughts to spring into my psyche.

This job of being mom and wife is hard.  And everyday carries with it a new challenge, a new opportunity for me to get over myself and enjoy this life I have been given, to see my children and husband as gifts, not burdens and to realize that I am so blessed to have this family of mine.  On the sunny days and the rainy ones.  While the babies are napping and when they’re running off of remnants of last night’s sleep.  Oh, Pamela.  That you would count it all joy.

Tonight I tripped over a barbie doll and instead of wanting to throw her out of the nearest window, I smiled, placed her in her “bed,” and thanked God for the little girls who clamor to play with her each day.

Rock on all you wives and mamas out there.  You are never overlooked.  He longs to be gracious to you and He always sees you.

29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.  Matthew 10:29-31 (NIV)

Wednesdays with Beth: Family Calamity and Restoration pt 7

So, a few months ago I followed this series, Family Calamity, and dealt with some pretty sensitive thoughts concerning my family of origin and how this series helped me.  I posted each part of the series but somehow I missed this past installment!  I’m not sure if this is new, but I am so glad that I had a chance to catch it, honey!  (wipes sweat off brow with great conviction and drama!)

If you belong to a family, take a listen . . .

Check out the rest of the series in the archives here or on www.lifetoday.org

She Reads Truth

SheReadsTruth

And at the risk of sounding like Tamar Braxton,  I proudly say that “she” is me, and I read His truth daily.  Booooom!

I found this site some time ago and wanted to share it with you right away, but I figured I’d give it a run for myself a few times so that I could recommend it with some conviction.  I can!!  When I started reading with the group, they were reading from the bible app YouVersion a plan called “The Surrendered Life.”  It was good; a few verses a day, some commentary from the site’s authors and a forum of other women commenting on how the word touched them that day.  The next plan rolled right in and it was the Proverbs plan.  Honestly, that plan changed my life.  And it’s been a sustaining change in helping me to watch my mouth and my motives.

SO. what is She Reads Truth?  Well, if you visit the site you’ll get the full story but the gist of it is that there were some women who looked at their lives and daily routines and noticed that engaging God through His word on a daily, consistent basis was not happening in their lives and they wanted that to change.  Recognizing the power of community, they decided that they would make a decision to dig into the word daily and look for God to reveal Himself in their lives and use His word to change their lives, but this time they would do it together believing that adding accountability through community would make the difference.  And it has certainly made the difference for me.

So, everyday on the site or on your mobile device, Nook or Kindle–where you can engage through YouVersion if you have the bible app, the ladies pull out verses according to whatever reading plan their engaging at the moment and offer a short commentary/devotional on those verses.  Those of us who read the verses are encouraged to read the word, pray over it, think about it, then respond to it–either by tweeting it, blogging it, writing in a private journal, taking a pic and posting it on Instagram, or sharing in the comments, but always by our actions.  It’s been a really great experience for me and I wanted to share with you thinking that you might enjoy it as well. Right now we have about 2 days left on the current plan, the Ephesians plan.  I figured I’d let you in on my little secret now so that you could prepare to join us for the next plan!  Let me know if you decide to join me!

Marriage Letters: On Transition

Huni, Huni, HUNI!!!

Transition?  Huh!  It’s the story of our lives, right?!?!  We’ve been transitioning since the moment we decided to change almost everything and move our family farther away from our will for our lives and closer to His.  Every conversation had, every decision made, every box packed, every box unpacked, each tear of joy and sorrow, each goodbye and each hello, all have been another part of our transition story.  It’s been bittersweet, but it’s been a journey that both of us are so moved by, daily.

Ironically, I think that’s what has made this transition hardest for me– the “dailyness” of it all.  I haven’t began to feel yet like the transition is over.  Cool thing that happened today was that I started to feel some of my motives changing and, as a result, I gained a bit of new strength accompanied by some new brain juice to fight with.  That was really cool, really, sweet and really, very needed.  For as much as as we can realize that in the center of His will is the safest place, and for as much as we encourage each other on to great works, I am searching for level ground.  I am looking for the waves to rest and the boat to stop rocking with such a rowdy sway.  I don’t know all of what God is trying to do in us, but I do know that He is trying to make us stronger and more effective.

In the meantime, I have needed you and I have needed for our connection to be strong, steady, comforting, joyful.  I have needed you to be a place of comfort and consistency among all of the change.  Thinking about what I need and alllllll of the conversations we’ve had in efforts to make this transition smoother makes me think about what we’ve learned in this process.  Well, what have we learned, Huni?  If the Lord were to send us another couple that was transitioning in anyway, what would our testimony be at this point?  What would we tell them?  How would we encourage them?  Let’s not waste this opportunity.  transition and its tremors are often the demise of many unions.  Let’s begin to get this figured out.  I have a feeling that searching through it and getting an understanding of ourselves in this season will yield fruit not only for others transitioning, but for us.  Right now.  This sounds like a date night conversation!!!  no?  ok, lemme know!!  I love me some you!!!!!

pamela t.

Five Minute Friday: Welcome

Joining Lisa-Jo and the crew for Five Minute Friday today where we write like mad on a given topic for five minutes.  Today the topic was welcome.  Check out my quick thoughts and then scoot over to her site to see what others laid out for us to ponder!

Mother put a yellow bow on the mailbox.  She sang this little song that I had never heard about a soldier coming home.  It was her sweet, simple way of welcoming us.

Brother and sister came home.  Helped us unpack.  Everyone was ready to work.  We went to dinner that night.  Laughed, ate good, laughed.  It was their sweet, simple way of saying, “welcome.”

Other gestures were made, grand and small by people who love and support us.  There were sad goodbyes and sweet hellos, all of it was to send us off into the harvest to be His laborers.  It was all good and it was all needed but I have learned that although there is a part of me that feels like she needs the affirmation and people support– the grandest welcome mat has already been laid out.  He laid it out in the great commission at the end of Matthew.

And He invites us over and over again to do His work, show His love, be a representation of the kingdom in this world.  It doesn’t take as grand a gesture as the one we have made.  It’s a daily life thing, accepting his invitation into the greatest workforce there is–the work of your life because of the life that was laid down for all of us when we had not sense enough to realize or appreciate it.  He wants us all to feel welcome in his love and follow Him and do the work.  When wondering, “Should I help . . .?” pause and realize that He is always looking for us to do his bidding.  You are welcome.  Roll up them sleeves and take up that cross!  Ain’t nobody mad but the devil.

Huni on a Thursday Night

Huni leads a group of men in study of the word on Thursday nights.  It’s been like a mystery to me.  He goes off to the study once I have already left to meet with a certain teen girl.  He comes back much later than I, usually.  But when he comes back, he beams.  He glows.  He’s so humbled that the Lord would choose Him as a lens through which others can see His light reflected more clearly.  He’s so excited about the revelations that ride into the room and rest there on their hearts and minds.  He’s so determined to study harder next week so that God can do more, show more, give more through him.

Tonight was different.  Our timing was all off and rushed and compromised so I needed to drop him off instead of our usual divide and conquer routine.  We pulled up with five minutes to spare and one brother was already there.  Ready.  Patiently waiting.  Huni discovered that he had no keys to get in so we had to jam to the house and get the keys.  We came back and there they were, waiting around the door, dappin’ each other up, laughing.  Joy, expectation and excitement were all present there with them on the sidewalk as they waited to get into the building to meet with God.  I could tell that Huni was so excited.  He was distracted by it all and he too just couldn’t wait to get in there and get it going.  I watched him as he made his way across the street carrying pizza, wings and the word.  I watched them as he approached.  I got so excited at the sight.  I can’t imagine how our Father must have felt.

I don’t know what all happens in that room.  I just know that lives are being changed.  Huni is being changed.  Iron is being sharpened.  God is being glorified.  Our brothers are getting stronger.  And because of that, our world is getting better.  God is just too good.

Wednesdays with Beth: Taking Your Treasure Back pt. 3

I’m not sure how many of you actually take the time to click the link and watch these videos, but if you’ve never taken a chance to do so, you should give it a try.  Beth Moore typically speaks for about 15 (or so) minutes and then James and Betty Robison, the hosts of the show, come back and speak about their missions work and invite viewers to help them change the world by meeting the needs of some of the people who need it most.  In all, it’s about 28 minutes of your day really well spent.  You get an opportunity to grow in your relationship with Christ as Beth Moore teaches and gives fresh perspective on a never changing God aaaaaaannnnnd you are offered an opportunity to change someone’s life.  I almost always enjoy the broadcast and I try not to miss it.  I offer it here on the site because I’m sure there are others out there who’d love it as well.  I would encourage everyone to take a look but especially if you haven’t ever tuned in, try it today.  Click here and see what I mean.

Hey You!

Huni and I have moved and ever since we planned on doing so, it’s been a struggle for me to get myself to this computer and practice discipline, sit down and write!  But it’s been some of the things that have happened as a result of our move that have driven me here with laptop aptly placed in lap . . . writing.  Life can be like that sometimes.

Huni was born and raised in a small town that he has always dearly loved.  There’s not much to this place, but he holds fond, dear memories of his childhood here and it means a great deal to him.  Over the years we have seen it decline.  I used to visit fairly often when we were dating and even I’ve noticed the changes within the last ten years.  And they haven’t been all bad, but it’s been mostly a pretty depressing, slow decline to the quality of life of the people who live there.  Job opportunities have become a “search and find” of sorts, the local schools often get more complaints and poor grades rather support and top performing students, crime is on the rise, drugs are still deeply effecting the youth and it’s not hard to see which ones of them are held firmly in its grasp, the churches are in desperate need of leadership and spirit filled truth tellers and the people just want more altogether.  So Huni decided that we should gather all of our things and move our whole life here.  To help.  (staring off blankly, blinking eyes rapidly)  I’ll save the conversation about all that happened to get us here for another post, but let me just say that no matter how ill-equipped or incompetent I felt in this calling, God’s grace was and is on us for such a time as this.

We have some pretty huge goals for this town, some things that we are believing God to use us to initiate–whether He uses us to actually do the work or to encourage and assist others in doing it.  So far we’ve started three small group bible studies; Huni meets with a group of men and I meet with a group of women and a “group” of teen girls (more on that “group” of teen girls later!).  I know that ministry is no joke, but I never knew that it was going to be this blasted hard!!  And right now, as we prepare to transition into our space, we are living with Huni’s parents.  (swallows hard, takes deep breath, then stares off blankly, blinking eyes rapidly)  :0)  I have to say, since I got married, I have always been one of the most blessed married women I know because of the man God gave me, his family of origin, and my relationship with them.  It’s the real deal.  I love them as if they are my own and we, honestly, have no issues.  But even as much as I love my mommy, the one whose womb nurtured me for some months and who raised me and helped shape me into the woman I am today–I am in no hurry to return to her home as my temporary residence!!   And I do dearly love my parents that my Huni gave to me, buuuuuut. . . .you get the picture . . .  :0)

SO, I’ve been stretched, changed, and gone through the whole gamut of emotions.  And I’ve only been here a month and a half.  And I know that it’s only just begun.  (staring . . .blinking . . .)

But there is just a sweetness to belonging to God.  He just knows me, and He takes the time to let me know that I am known and seen and loved and watched over and cared for.  He’s using Huni, my children, my parents, my circle of sister-frans and the women in this community to reinforce that just when I need it.

This week has been a hard one.  I know, it’s only Tuesday.  But that’s what I’m saying.  It’s only Tuesday and already I’m like WHOA.  But I got a really sweet email from one of the women in the women’s group named Michelle.  I wanted to share part of my response to her to give you a glimpse of what’s already happening here.  Hope it blesses you and glorifies Him.

Miss meeting with you here in this space.  But I think I’ve found my groove again ;0)

Michelle,

     I don’t even know how to start this email!  I’m a very emotional girl.  Always have been.  My mom says that when she was pregnant with me, she spent most of her time crying and going through.  I’ve used that to help explain why I cry so much now and why I spent the better part of my first 16 years of life being so tenderhearted, and crying at the drop of a hat!  All of that to say, it doesn’t take much to get my tears to fall.  They lie in wait at the first chance to release themselves.  They used to be a permanent part of my face but I am truly, so very grateful that I now understand what it means to have the JOY of the Lord as my strength.  That doesn’t mean that I don’t cry, it just means that I receive His joy as I understand His purposes for my WHOLE life, not just the parts I like and am proud of.  But you’re right, I have experienced a great deal of pain and it is still present with me.
     I recently had the privilege of going through some counseling at the church E and I were members of when we lived in Raleigh.  Michelle.  It changed my life.  But it opened up some wounds that, for the longest time, I didn’t even want to admit were there.  Our childhoods, most often, shape our lives.  Through the power of God, who trades beauty for ashes, all of those things that happened to us in our youth, no matter how ugly or destructive they seemed, show up beautifully on us.  Just like we discussed last night when we talked about the long obedience in the same direction–being able to say yes however many times it takes, and say no however many times it takes–I have had to work consistently to change my thoughts in order to believe that everything that has happened to me is showing up beautifully on me.  I ran away from it for so long because of the shame attached to it. And the “it” that I am referring to is so many things, including but not exclusive to most of the things you mentioned that you’ve dealt with.  I’m still gaining the strength and wisdom to tell my whole story and not allow Satan to pull me back into the shame that kept me hidden and afraid for so many years.  It’s women like you who put their whole selves forward that God uses to really encourage and strengthen me to do the same.  
     This study is just as much for me, as it is for all of you.  I know that the Lord called me to it, but He called me not just to use me, but continue to make me whole and holy.  It’s like I told you before, every email you send me, and every text, they make me braver and strengthen me just a little bit more every time.
     What I want in this season of my life is to attain true freedom in Christ.  I want to understand His word in such a way that it frees me up and gives me power to walk like a woman who is free, understands the word of God and the role it plays in her life, and who understands her purpose.  All of the pieces are coming together–the hurt, the pain, the laughs, the joy, the sadness, the accomplishments, the mistakes, the downfalls, the slip-ups . .  all of it . . . and it’s all showing up beautifully on me.  In Jesus’s name. 
 
pamela t.