Monday, September 27, 2010

Brennan Manning

He is a recovered alcoholic and a gifted writer. I keep "Abba's Child" by my bathtub and pick it up and reread it over and over. I could quote the whole book, I won't, but if you don't have a copy--buy one!! Reading this, I felt like he was telling my story.

He talks about the life he led before his encounter with Christ in the previous paragraph...
"Suddenly Jesus appeared out of nowhere, and life began anew. From being a nobody who cared about nothing but my own comfort, I became somebody, a beloved disciple, who cared about people and things. His word became "a light unto my path" Ps 119:105. I found a sense of direction and purpose, a reason for bounding out of bed in the morning. Jesus was my Rabbi, my Teacher. With infinite patience He illuminated the meaning of life and refreshed the weariness of my defeated days. I cannot and will not forget the great Rabbi who led me out of darkness into daylight. He is not a refuge from reality but the Way into its depths."

and more..
"The promised peace that the world cannot give is located in being in right relationship with God. Self-acceptance becomes possible only through the radical trust in Jesus' acceptance of me as I am. Befriending the imposter and the pharisee within marks the beginning of reconciliation with myself and the end of spiritual schizophrenia."

That is how I feel "bounding out of bed" that is a miracle that is only done through Jesus.

And one more because THIS has been my day.
"A hard day, yes. Rattled and unglued, yes. Unable to cope, no.
How does the life-giving spirit manifest Himself on days like that? In our willingness to stand fast, our REFUSAL to run away and escape into self-destructive behavior. Resurrection power enables us to engage in the savage confrontation with untamed emotions, to accept the pain, receive it, take it on board, however acute it may be. And in the process we discover we are not alone, that we can stand fast in the awareness of the present risenness and so become fuller, deeper, richer disciples. We know ourselves to be more than we previously imagined. In the process we not only endure but are forced to expand the boundaries of who we think we really are."


Sunday, September 26, 2010

A New Season

Well, things on the homefront are calm and peaceful. We are having to live by faith with the hubby's new job and are short by $500 each month. It is scary, but God is faithful and we take it a day at a time. I am teaching preschool 3 days a week to cover the oldest's school tuition and I am in the car 1.5 hours just one way each day. We are broke, I am a taxi, but I have unexplainable Joy! No other explanation than it is Jesus holding and lifting me up. I am just so glad to be sober during this time. I can't imagine waking up red-faced with a headache and barely making it, I couldn't have done it. Praise Jesus I am sober.
The house is about to go up for sale, again. We don't know where God is leading us or if it will sale, we pray it does so we can regroup financially. No "place" in our town seems to be "the place" to live. We are praying God will make it clear. Maybe it's not even in this city anymore. We just want to be faithful and do His will. Trying to figure that out is not easy nor clear right now, so like everything else we are taking it a day at a time. Who knows where we will wind up!!
One thing, it is a NEW SEASON for our family. I feel like the ounce of hope I had in the darkest days is now bursting forth with light and I have learned what to have faith really means. God has taught me so much and I couldn't imagine life any other way. We have and are learning to communicate in new ways and have those hard, awkward conversations, but they always bring about good when we press on and press through them. Again, none of this could be done without willing hearts- which is grace itself- and God's graciousness. We are blessed and thankful!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Peace and God whispering

I have a peace and joy that can not be explained besides it is all due to God and his redemption of broken dreams and a broken life. I am having more and more clarity about who I am as His child and the black sheep role I have played for all my life is slowly drifting away. I am starting to see myself and others in a much healthier way and being able to pinpoint issues in myself when people act in a certain way to me, has been so freeing. I don't have to jump into their "rabbit holes" nor go into my own. I can live in TRUTH, God's truth and accept that they may not be happy with what I am doing or how I react, but I can relate and react in ways that are healthy and what I know God calling me to do. That is freedom. I do have moments where I long to go back to the old way of acting because the new way can feel really uncomfortable, but God has called me to higher standards and the old ways always were dead ends any way.
God is moving and stirring. Each day is a new exciting day of His mercies and blessings. The worst day is better than the best day of my drinking days. I have ceased fighting everyone and everything, mostly myself. I see my flaws, but I also see redeeming qualities which I was so blind to in active addiction. The shame and guilt drove me to drink and put up my wall of defense and anger. I am able to have humble conversations with my husband, to tell him things that are intimate, and it still feels very awkward, but the more I practice the more I see things this way are so much better. It's amazing we can put our kids to bed together and sleep in the same bed, we sit on the porch together, tell knock knock jokes with the kids, have lots of laughs and lots of joy...He has turned the mourning into joy, He is restoring to us our family, still broken, but on the mend and it all is because of Him and truly a miracle.
I read this on a blog, "The truth will set you free, but it will kill you first" (or almost kill you). Life a year ago was a hard, the truth of my alcoholism and then infidelity almost unbearable, but I had an ounce of hope even in the darkest hours. Today I can actually see the reason for it all. What Satan meant to destroy me with, has been the means of my deliverance. This is not just a "churchy statement" but something I know to be true to the core of my soul. I have walked the valley, climbed the mountain and now I stand with the sun beaming down, the wind whipping my hair, and God whispering "My grace is sufficient for you."

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Under Attack

I was reading tonight "Walking with God" by Elderidge and I seriously think I had a spiritual warfare affect my sleep. I fell asleep on the couch already a little freaked out by a thug I saw walking with a backpack down my sidewalk, I actually saw him twice. I usually do not notice nor get freaked out by diverse people who walk around at all hours in my neighborhood, but for some reason I did by this guy. I actually fell asleep staring at the alarm system we have and it's lights thinking we should get it hooked back up so it actually calls the police when it goes off, not just the screaming alarm. So, I had already bought into fear that was planted earlier on in the day by the enemy.
This is not the first time I have had this experience, "dream", whatever it may be. The first time was back in November, I just found out everything about the affairs and was exhausted. My husband was gone and the kids went to bed super early. Earlier, I had almost decided the pain was to unbearable and I grabbed the keys with plan to get alcohol. God intervened and by His grace I didn't. He used my precious 4 year old's voice saying "mommy, I don't know where my shoes are" and I dropped my keys and came back to my senses. Thank you Jesus! After that I had my most vivid, what felt like a hallucination. I am asleep, but think I'm awake. I dreamt I was climbing a mountain and their were demons that had diamonds for eye's and they would dangle me off the cliff, not let me go, but torture me hanging. I kept trying, or thought so to wake up, but couldn't- and that is the worst part of these dreams.
Tonight, I was fearing the thug who was roaming my streets and was fighting that thought and trusting God to protect. So, I knew with me going to bed my dreams were probably NOT going to be peaceful. I had one of my dreams, let's call them attacks because that is what it feels like. I had an attack...I dreamt this guy was at the door, at the window, didn't actually SEE it in the attack, but heard him trying to get in. I would try to wake up, then think I was awake....while it's happening it is an insane feeling like I can feel my mind swirling/floating, like drug induced or something. This all sounds silly and it's hard to explain, but real. I finally fought to wake up, I felt as though I had tried several times, but was sucked back into it all.
Just wanted to journal about it.
I am putting on the arm of God and will guard against Satan's fiery arrows. I will remember Jesus is my protector and conquerer, there is nothing He can't handle. Help my unbelief dear Jesus.
Anyone who is up for a prayer service over the rooms and my house. Please come and let's pray.

Another note, be in prayer for my sister's niece and nephew, they lost their dad yesterday and my bro-in-laws sister, their mommy, died after being diagnosed with cancer with in 3 mths abt 2 years ago. The children ages are high school and the other college age.
Come quickly Lord Jesus. Come.