Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Renewing your relationship......

Have you ever walked so far off the path you were traveling on that you got yourself feeling lost, and closed in on all sides?
Everything was so overgrown, and thick you could barely find your way out?
The situation you'd gotten yourself in was a process that happened over time: complacency.
Gradually your prayer life ended.
You stopped reading your Bible.
Church attendance dropped off.
No more Bible studies.
You cut off your relationship with God.

Your life was falling apart.
You were overwhelmed by circumstances, and had no where, and no one to turn to.
You knew, in your heart, what to do....but were afraid....because you had walked away.
*If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9.
Sometimes it's a matter of pride. We must humble ourselves before the Lord, and proclaim our need for Him.
The knowledge that He is with us keeps us out of the pit of despair.
Confessing our need for God in our lives puts us back on the path that He has chosen for us.

Renewing your relationship with the Lord takes commitment, and time.....nonetheless is the path of Life!!
It is where you encounter God's luminous Presence---radiating Peace that transcends all understanding.

Wait quietly in His presence. Don't rush through prayer, and meditation time. Let His thoughts form silently in the depths of your being. Hurrying keeps your heart earthbound. 
Ask the Holy Spirit to quiet your mind so you can hear Him speak within you.
Let the Creator of the Universe make His home in your heart.
*My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.
*And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7.
Though the journey you are on seems to be one of faltering steps, and ongoing weaknesses.....those steps keep your dependence on God.  They are links to His Presence, and spiritual blessings.
In His Love.  Debbie  xo

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Stay steadfast in prayer.

Have you ever felt you were at the mercy of circumstances that were beyond your control?
Do you find yourself clinging to loved ones, possessions, or even your reputation to no avail?
Where do you go in the midst of life's storms?

There is One that never leaves you, or forsakes you.
*Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
During times of stress, our prayers might not be as eloquent as we might think they should be....as long as we are in constant communication with God...that's what matters. Trusting Him in all of our circumstances, knowing He hears us, we will be able to stay steadfast and patient through the trials.
*Rejoice and exult in hope; be steadfast and patient in suffering and tribulation; be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12.
God doesn't always remove the problems we deal with living in a fallen world, but He will always be with us as we go through them.
Satan continually tempts and tests us to see if we will abandon our faith, and turn from God.
*Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him. James 1:12.
Debbie
xo

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

God's Timing......

This old computer has been down for six months.
We put our house on the market last June, and I honestly thought we would be living far away from this cottage we've been living in for the past 18 years.
I imagined us living downstate, close to my girls, retired, and living our lives different from what they are now.

I have been praying,  for a very long time,  for God to give me a purpose. I have felt depressed, and longing to get back to "My First Love-Jesus" for so long.....years.

Our friends, from back home, moved up here just this past Summer. They started attending the same church that we were attending. Sue had heard, through the church, that the newly opened drug rehabilitation mission needed Bible study teachers.
The mission is solely funded by the community, and volunteers.
I volunteered to teach. It turned out to be twice a week!!!
Also bringing in suppers, and cookies for night time snacks.

Going to the mission has become "church" for me.
The overseer is also the worship leader, along with his wife....both recovering addicts, and trained facilitators. 
When I am there, it feels like a group of disciples gathering together to worship, pray, and learn about Jesus.
The head facilitator is a pastor, and his wife....so rehabilitation is all Bible based.
The people that come in have been incarcerated, sometimes more than once.

I had been sad and depressed that our house wasn't selling, especially when ALL of the other homes in this sub-division sold over the Summer.
I had prayed for a purpose....
Then, God's plan was set in motion...His timing is always right!!!
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philip. 4:6,7.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6,7.
God answers our prayers.....maybe we will move closer to my girls some day....but for now....I have a purpose. I have returned to my First Love.  
We are never to old to learn to place ourselves totally in God's Hands and allow Him to be the ruler of our life.
Debbie
xo

Monday, April 2, 2018

What am I supposed to be doing?

Where does God want me to be?
What am I supposed to be doing?
Do you ever wonder where you are supposed to be serving, or what ministry you should be fulfilling?
Why do others know their place in the church, but I don't?

Other people seem to be so gifted, and they are serving exactly where they belong!!
I don't have talents, or gifts useful for the kingdom!
How can I be of use to the Lord?

Do you go through dry spells, when it's difficult to focus on Scripture, or even pray effectively?
You try to be still, and hear from God.....but it's just not happening!!
There seems to be clamour interfering with your devotional time.

Is there a stumbling block in the way?
Unconfessed sin? has the world taken hold of your mind, will and emotions (soul)?
Are you in need of a priority check?


Sit down, and get things right with God. 
Clean house, and you will be surprised how much more focused you will be while fellowshipping with Him!
You will be able to see more clearly where you are as far as His plan for your life.

We aren't all meant to serve in major ministries in the church....up front....preacher, teacher, music, administrator, etc.
Sometimes the most important job is the one "teaching" your very own children the basics: how to pray, who Jesus is, that He loves them, and died for them.
Maybe it's being that example of Christ for others.
How about walking in Love?

My youngest daughter and I discussed this just the other day.
By the middle of the afternoon she realized that praying with her six year old little girl was exactly where God needs her to be!!
Melissa(my daughter) called me and said, Olivia is going to be a prayer warrior!!!
I said....."and you wondered where God needed you to be".....

Sometimes the last place we would think...... ends up being the first, and most important place/job we need to be working in.
We need to stay focused, listen, and follow where He leads us.
I trust you had a Blessed Easter.
Happy Spring to you!
In His Love.
Debbie
xo

Saturday, March 24, 2018

What are you looking for?

What are you looking for?
Peace, love, kindness, understanding, forgiveness, rest, comfort, acceptance?
Anything in particular, or all of the above?

What is it that your relationships with others is lacking?
Honesty, openness, time?

Let's start with being honest.
Do you admit when you are wrong? Have you lied about things in the past? Are you trustworthy? Do you show your true self, or do you wear a mask?

Are you open with your feelings, or do you hold back, pretend, say what other's want to hear?
Are you afraid to truly open your heart, and say what you are feeling?

Do you "make" the time it takes to build relationships? Or do you put it off for another day?

You can pretend, and keep things neat and pretty all you want.....but there is no denying, we all need at least one honest relationship to survive.
A relationship that is honest. You can say what needs to be said, good or bad, big or small, happy or sad. If you need forgiveness....be honest about what you've done, and ask to be forgiven. 1 John 1:9 says: If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

You need a relationship of openness.
You should be able to cry when you are sad, and rejoice when you are happy....without feeling embarrassed, or intimidated. 
You should be able to talk about ANYTHING and everything that is on your mind, and in your heart.
You should also have the freedom of time to communicate these things whenever, and where ever you are!!

The only relationship I have found that gives me the peace that transcends all understanding, unconditional love, hope, forgiveness, rest in this troubled world, and strength is the one I have with Jesus.
His words in Matthew 28:20 are what I trust in....and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. 

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: Not as the world giveth, give I unto you, let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27.
If you are looking for that "someone" to open up to. If you need a relationship that is honest, forgiving, loving, full of peace, and available anytime of night or day.....Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13.  May I suggest Jesus?
In Christ Jesus.
Debbie
xo 

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Be still, and know that He is God.

Be Still, and Know That I Am God. Ps.46:10
Sometimes it's difficult to hear Him with all of the "noise" that's going on around me. 
Finding a place to focus on HIM is a conscious decision for me. A place where there are no distractions....no phone, no t.v., no people; nothing to compete with my time with HIM.
HE speaks to me in different ways.
The waves....a reminder of His majestic creation....puts me in a place of worship, and the realization of His supreme Glory.
The sights and sounds of the waves pounding at the shore is enough to cause tears to well up in my eyes.
 Finding places of quiet...after a storm. Being able to take a minibreak from the world. Turning my ear to His voice. Letting Him soothe my soul(mind, will, and emotions). Refreshing my spirit with His Presence.

 God pours out blessings everyday...but sometimes we have to actively seek them out...like going out to see the sunset. It's there, but we have to make the effort to go out and see it!!! It's the same thing with blessings. They are there....sometimes we have to open our hearts, and seek Him to receive what He has for us. Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Matt.7:7

 The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; He will save, He will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in His love, He will joy over thee with singing. Zeph.3:17  Think about how joyful you are when you hear the voice of a loved one. When one of your family members walks into the room and opens their arms to give you a welcome hug.  Our Father feels that way when we talk to HIM!! HE loves hearing our voice! I LOVE hearing from HIM, as well!! In the quiet, in the waves, in the thunder....in peaceful times, during turbulent times, and storms of life when I seek His face. HE speaks to my heart...my spirit.

Find your quiet place.....turn your ear to our Father. He longs to speak to you. Be still, and know that HE is GOD!!
In Christ Jesus.
Debbie
xo

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Hope


Good Saturday afternoon.
It's been so long since I've posted here at Seashells and Lavender.
So many changes going on around us.

Some of us have experienced so much in our lives over this past year...health issues, job situations, selling our homes, buying new ones, losing loved ones, welcoming new ones into our lives, weddings, graduations, etc.
Good news, and bad news.

More fierce weather threatens thousands of communities.
Situations bringing us to our knees.

The one "constant" in our lives is HOPE.
What are we hoping for?
Realistically.....

Hope.....fervent expectation.
My "hope" is that I can accept what His plan is for my life.
My "plan" is to enjoy life to the fullest. Realize that each day is a gift....not to be wasted on "what if", and "if only".  When you hear...."I never promised you a rose garden"....plant some of your own!!!  Don't wait for life to come to you.....reach out and grab it for yourself!!!!  
The song at church says...."You are the Potter, I am the clay" He creates us to live, love and be loved.....but He's not going to do all the work for us!  
Yes....there are bumps in the road....some are BIG bumps....but keep going! It might take some time to get over those mounds, but with grace and mercy....it can be done.
I am NOT trying to make light of what is going on with the storms from the hurricane....or any other storm in life. I am trying to encourage you. There is "hope".
Hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Love to you.
Debbie
xo

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Watch and Pray....

It's been a while since I've posted here at Seashells and Lavender.
It's time I pull my head out of the sand, and write down what's been laid on my heart.

I'm not a dooms dayer....but I DO believe in biblical prophecy.
I don't pick and choose parts of the Bible that suit me....I believe the whole book....from beginning to end.
If God does not change, then we've got some splainin' to do real soon.
I live by the sayings of "watch, and pray....no one knows the hour, and know one knows the day."
"He comes as a thief in the night."

The weather patterns have been bizarre, to say the least.
The cloud formations this past summer were amazing! We witnessed wall clouds that were so close to the ground, they were almost super-natural. The lightening storms were scary...and they didn't produce thunder!  When did we ever have such storms in cold weather? Lake Superior just had a huge water spout on Saturday during cold weather!
This past weekend a weatherman joked about the bizarre weather, and said if he sees locust, he knows what's coming next...LOL.

In difficult times, it's easy to become discouraged, and afraid.
What keeps us going?
Why do we push ourselves to get out of bed in the morning?
For me....it's my family.
But what about those overwhelming times when I need someone to lean on?
Who do I have that keeps me going when all seems hopeless?
God.
But He's not a physical being that can hold you, or speak to you...you might say.
His Word is a physical manifestation that I can hold in my two hands. I can read what is written, and receive it into my heart and be comforted and encouraged, and loved.
I am assured of what will be.
No matter what happens here.
There is truth, and power, and light in His Word.
If you want to know what's happening in these days.....read your Bible....it's in there!!!
The weather is just the tip of the iceberg.
then.....watch and pray.....
xoxoxoxoxoxo

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Living life.

I recently read a post written by a dear blogger friend Vera, from Row Homes and Cobblestones.
It was her birthday post.
Vera wrote about her day, and all of the fun things she and her sweet husband did to celebrate.

Not once did Vera mention her age, or did she complain about getting older in her blog post.
It was all about what a joyful day she had experienced.
I loved it!

Age has not bothered me....especially after so many health issues during my lifetime.
I am thrilled to reach each year as a milestone!

Age is not a detriment to be dreaded....it's a triumph...to be celebrated.
Each year is like breaking through that ribbon at the finish line.....another victory!
You are ready for the next marathon of the upcoming year.

My trophies are more gray hairs in my crown, and a few more wrinkles around my smile.....every one of them earned!
The eyelids are sagging more each year, and my upper arms resemble a worn down hammock.....but that's all a part of life being lived.
I shall never wear a bikini again for fear of being accused of forgetting to wear the bottoms....that, my friends, is a matter of gravity, and too many Klondike bars.
Blue jeans are becoming a thing of the past.  Muffin tops are turning into bread dough that was left to raise far too long!   I blame the wine.
God Bless the designer's of tunic tops!!! can I get an Amen?!
I may be a little guilty of enjoying life "in excess" sometimes.....it seems I am always going from a diet to binge eating...at 61 years old, you'd think I would realize how things work!!!
I've been skinny, fat, and somewhere in between. Consequently, my body is left with the results of bad choices over the years...but I'm okay with it...I have no choice. I'm old now. 
I'm not trying to reach a goal....just living life. Seeking joy. Looking for the cloud with the silver lining, and ready to rip it open to see what's inside! The road has not always been easy....there have been ruts along the way.....detours, and road closed signs. Those are the times when you seek out a rest area.....those are found strategically placed along the way of life's journey. 
So when you hit another year....don't dread it!!!! Rejoice!!!! Look how far you've come!!!  Reflect on the many accomplishments in those years!! Sit down, and look around you.....are you happy with what surrounds you?   Me?  Yes....I am.
My beloved niece Michele died last night at 7:00. she was only 38 years old, and left Brayden, five, and Layla, three.  Michele loved life. She loved her children, and fought hard against multiple cancers for more time with her children. She was a sweet spirit that never gave up. Michele's fight made me open my eyes to the appreciation of "time". Always thinking about "age" boarders on vanity....there was NOTHING pretty about cancer....but there was something beautiful about how much my niece loved spending time with her children, and the people that took the time to be with her while she was here, living life. I will miss her so.
xo 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

"Spending" time.

My niece has cancer.
Not just one form of cancer.
Michele has colon cancer, it's in her liver, spine, and hip.
She's been dealing with all of it for two years.
Michele has a five year old son, and three year old daughter.

There have been chemo treatments, radiation beads, failed treatments, and more chemo......all to give Michele more "time" with her children.
Most of her time has been spent dealing with side effects from medications.  Some of the effects have been devastating.
All Michele wanted was more time.
Time for holding hands, giving hugs, reading books, riding bikes, chasing butterflies, and hearing the laughter of her children.
Her days have been filled with doctor appointments, tests, treatments, feeling sick, tired, and waiting for results.
Michele has cherished the precious, few moments she has been able to spend time with Brayden and Layla.
She has never complained. Never asked, "why me?"
Everything Michele has endured has been for her beloved babies. 
She is a remarkable young woman.

The cancer has spread......from the hip, down her leg.
Around the liver, and into the lymph nodes.
In the esophagus, and chest.
Further down the spine.
Michele is losing fluid through the skin, and has lesions on the outside of the body.
Her blood pressure drops dangerously low, and also her heart-rate.
She receives blood because of low counts.
We went to see her on Friday.
Not one time did she complain.
She drifted in and out....but was as sweet as ever when she did speak.
Her children were there.....just being normal kids. 
Filling up her "time".
What is it that you need to fill up your time with?
You never know how much you have left....so really think before you answer.
Debbie
xoxoxoxoxoxo

Monday, August 17, 2015

Transcending Tranquility

Dusk.
The time between light, and darkness.
When the sun has set, but night has not yet taken over the day.

The time of the evening when the cooing of the dove stops.
The birds take refuge in the trees for the night.
For a brief period, there is silence.

That's the time my ears, and heart listen for God's voice.

It's when the heaviness of the day is lifted.
All of the reports of people around us that are dealing with illness, with all the questions, and despair..... are given to God.
With thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts. Philippians 4:6-7HCSB.

This peace is beyond our comprehension-and is better than understanding why something is happening to so many around us.
I pray for peace amid the confusion, and commotion for those dealing with the illness.
It is my hope that their heart may be kept calm.
Not only the people that are ill, but their caretakers, as well.

In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You, Lord, alone make me dwell in safety and confident trust.
Psalm 4:8 AMP
When you feel that peace within your spirit, and you are not worrying....that's the evidence that God is doing a transcending work.
It's the tranquility that results from constant communion with God~the assurance that He will thoroughly tame the chaos and bring order to it.
In Christ Jesus.
Debbie
xoxoxo