Friday, November 19, 2010

The drama of Anna Belle Alivia Grace....

So I am sitting here doing what I do best- reflecting; on the miracle of another precious baby girl.  There are no words adequate enough to describe what each of them have meant to me.  I am overwhelmed with joy and immense gratitude at the honor of holding their hand and their heart in this journey we call life.  I love them more with each passing day. They each represent the beginning of new chapters in my life.

    I would have to say that the beginning of Annie's life was one of the hardest times of mine.  To say that pregnancy disagreed with me, would be an understatement by all means.  The trips in and out of the hospital, the cup or plastic bag that became my vice and went with me everywhere, the 20-25 lbs that I lost instead of starting to gain, and the ability to take care of 2 other children and a home.  I was doing good to get myself out of the bed, bathe and get dressed without collapsing.  It felt as if something had declared war on my body and was determined to settle for nothing less than destroying the life within me and taking me down as well.

    Everyday was a fight, physically and mentally and emotionally.  The fear of losing this child or the disabilities or problems she might have due to my condition was a private battle that I fought in my heart daily.  Nothing the doctor's tried seemed to work.  No, not even the medication for patients undergoing chemo, to treat the intense nausea they deal with.  The doctors termed it as "Morning Sickness from Hell"  otherwise known as Hyperemesis Gravidarum.  Most cases of this end in hospitalization for the extent of the pregnancy or termination of it.  I wouldn't deem either of these options as being acceptable and so I resolved to create my own.
    Putting on my "big girl panties" had been tried.  "Man-ing up" was not going to get me through it.  Declaring God's word and His promises over my life and the life that He placed inside of me; what did I have to lose?  Some may say I had a lot to lose by trusting in a non existent, man made myth of some sort.  I on the other hand "knew" otherwise.  I knew not to underestimate the power of the the spoken word, especially those of God's promises.  I had experience the power in "declaring" life over someone first hand and will forever be grateful for the wisdom, strength and faith my grandmother had in her declarations over my life.   

    I don't recall being labeled as a strong willed child; stubborn, yes but I like to think of it more as determined.  I was determined enough to declare wholeness and complete health over her life and one declaration built faith for the next.  The principle behind declaring is not that of asking God for something.  It is the realization that His word has already told me that it is mine and I am going after it to lay hold of it.  Does it seem demanding? Yes, but why believe God is capable and not expect him to deliver.  I decided I was through with it all.  No more sickness, no more fear, no room for doubt and unbelief.  Was this easy?  Did it all just disappear?  No.  But I made a conscious choice not to give into any of it and little by little it subsided. (I know that this is not always the case with things in life but there is peace to be had in knowing that I did not prevent something from transpiring because of my lack to fight for it.)

   I began to watch my waistline (and only my waistline) grow as she thrived inside me, always measuring more than was expected.  My excitement rose with each passing month in anticipation of the long days and sleepless nights I would endure for the honor of caring for one of the most precious gifts God was giving to me.   (Call me crazy but ask me to deliver a baby and then care for all their needs for the next year and I will think I have just died and gone to heaven.) My heart was full and overflowing.

On November 19, 2006 it burst and has been overwhelmed ever since.  Almost three weeks early, 8lbs and just over 21 inches with a head full of jet black hair, the cutest little dimples when she makes certain faces, she could not have been any more healthy and whole nor more perfect.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

An Altar...

At this very moment I sit in a room of clutter; with very few possessions of my own to bring me comfort or to make me feel at home.  It also bears little resemblance to the serene, peaceful refuge it once was.  I spend my last wakeful moments and my dawning ones too, in this very room.  So much is and has been contemplated within these four walls.

Today has revealed to me why I am  here in this room once again.  I found myself here once before and it is time to find myself again.

Appearances change.  Circumstances change.  Things can be re-purposed.  However the core, of most things, does not change.

This room was established as an altar more than twenty years ago.  Many prayers and petitions have been uttered here.  But even still many more tears have fallen in this place.

The color of the walls, the furnishings, the fact that it’s partly used as storage for one of my daddy’s prized collections, really has no bearing on what this room is.  Just like our lives,  a lot of the things that are in them really have no bearing on what they were created for; what we were created for, what we were called or established for.

This room was always meant to be an altar for my life; long before this home was constructed or I was ever born.  This was all in the heart of God.  He prepared a place for me to meet with him, to cry out for and to him.  A place I could lay at his feet.  A place no tear would go unnoticed and no wound would go unattended to.

This is the place I found myself in Him and found Him in myself.

How often do you allow Him to lead you back to that place?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

We will never be of any value to the kingdom of God if we can't look past the facade of humanity and see God's divine creation.  The image and likeness in which we were all formed.  Wonderfully and fearfully made.  This is not to be selective but to apply to all.  There is something of worth, value, a treasure within each and everyone.

Its when this is ignored, discounted, devalued, abused or left unnurtured, that we are left to deal with the unlovely and ugly consequences that further undermined the truth.

When God deals with us, looks upon us, does he ridicule, mock, point out our shortcomings and weaknesses?  No, he illuminates the good in which he sees in us and encourages us to shoot for this standard in all aspects of our life.

We all have the same God given assignment, To love this world back to its creator.

Friday, April 9, 2010

I was standing in the kitchen this morning, putting the girls’ lunches together, reflecting on the chaos of my life. Not just hectic schedules and dealing with everyday issues but the mental and spiritual battles that result from the deep things that we like to hide, cover up or just don’t want, have time or make time to face. You know the ones that most of us keep responding to the same way over and over again but expect different results. I’m learning how to face these things this season of my life. 

Every time I chose to hit them head on, I am surprised by what I find, a sense of peace, a sense of power, and an overwhelming sense of his presence all around. I can hear him say my name, sometimes calling me, encouraging me “One more step, a little closer now, you can do this.” There’s a statement I made to myself recently that I think sums up this place I am at today. “I am not looking to be rescued, I already have a savior.” Basically what I meant by this was, I’m not crying out help get me out of this mess. I am instead acknowledging who he is and what he has already done for me.

So this morning I was talking with the Holy Spirit and he kind of challenged my thinking, my perspective a little. (On a side note, even Microsoft Word knows the importance of the Holy Spirit, shows that it should be capitalized.) Let’s just say that I am being tested from every angle these days. I was encouraging myself with the scriptures that we all know and use at these times. For instance, Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,[a] who[b] have been called according to his purpose. A thought popped into my mind or maybe it was whispered in my ear, “Does it always have to be about you?” It wasn’t haughty or judgmental, more like a fleeting thought. But it got my attention. 

 How many times do I choose to praise God because of what his word promises me or because of what “I” will get out of it? How often do I stop and recognize and just acknowledge him for who he is? Praise him for this, nothing more, nothing less, just the very fact that he is God, that he is worthy of all my praise. 

When I do this, I am telling him that my circumstance, my situation, the things that push and pull at me, they are not enough to keep me from him. He “is” all I need, what he has already done is more than enough for me. My love, my faith, my trust, my ability to surrender become limitless when I grasp this understanding, that too often I lose or allow to become overshadowed. My praise becomes selfless, my motives, pure and my heart, light. So what if things don’t go as I’d hoped or don’t change as soon as I would like, He is God and that is more than enough for me.