Last night my husband and I sat on the couch and talked.
I love talking to him.
Our conversations are usually me talking and him listening and in the end he gives amazing words of wisdom. I don't know how he does it. It's like he should be a counselor or something, even though I want him to be a chiropractor.
He puts things into perspective with one sentence.
He rubbed my feet and listened. The boys were noisy and wouldn't settle down to sleep.
We were distracted often but he sat and listened because he knew he needed to.
My heart was so full it was pouring out of me in the form of tears.
I first gave God all the credit..
See, years ago I started praying that God empty me. I was sick of "me" and what the world wanted me to be. My heart was selfish and ungrateful. I asked that He empty me and feel me up with Him. I wanted to be a vessel full of His goodness that I could pour out onto others. I wanted to be different. Maybe even weird. I was okay with that.
Then I wanted to be a light, I wanted Him to clean up my dirty, soot covered, dusty lamp. I wanted him to light His flame in my heart and I wanted it to shine. I wanted all of the dirty washed away so others could see Him. I imagined my light looking dim like one in a dirty oil lamp. I prayed for this cleansing.
On day in my private place that I spend time with Him, in a hot bath, I prayed. Tearfully prayed for God to show me the more that He needed me to see. I knew there was more, something I was missing. I closed my eyes and just spent time seeking Him. When it was all done my bathwater looked so dirty, like mud. I was shocked. Was I that dirty? Or had my perspective changed? Was I that dirty everyday?
After what seems like years of feeling dirty of the world I finally got it. Everyday, I go out into the world and get dirty with the world. So, everyday I feel the need to shower and wash to get clean and rest. My spiritual self needed the same thing. Everyday my spirit, my soul, goes out into the world and gets dirtied up by it. Everyday I need it to be cleansed away. Only He can do that. So I spend time with Him.
My conversation with my husband required that background information.
Then, last night as I sat at a little church service as a guest with a friend I had the privilege of hearing her testimony. The whole experience was like watching a flower unfold. It felt orchestrated for me by Him. For the last few months I have felt like I was wandering around a bit. Not completely in the dark but just not being able to see very far ahead. My purpose feels as though it is hiding in a fog.
It started with the pastor speaking. I had never laid eyes on the man before but I knew his voice. I spent the entire time he was talking trying to figure out where I knew him...my mind said "radio". Okay, but from what I wondered.
Then a lady I had recently met, we will call her Jane, stood up and shared a bit of a testimony leading up to my sweet friend. She shared that my friend had given her a devotion and then she came along with her to a Bible study that had changed her. My eyes widened.
Then my friend, we will call her Beth, was introduced and she showed her video testimony but there was more. As she started speaking and opening up God's word I started feeling like a beam of light was on me. This wasn't my night to shine, to share, this wasn't for me. Or was it? Beth spoke of a friend who told her about the devotion she shared with her friend Jane. She told of a friend that had told her given her a Psalm to read at a moment of confusion and frustration. She told of how that Psalm changed her and her experience was so beautifully orchestrated by God. As a result she has been abundantly blessed beyond her dreams.
Later Beth's friend Jane told a few ladies that her friend, we will call Joelle, who had attended the Bible study with her had started the same study at her church. Joelle had 15 women in that study who were being greatly blessed. Jane was going to start it at hers too.
Then Jane, pointed at me.
There's that spotlight shining right on my heart.
She said..."Because of you."
No, no, no! Not because of me...because of HIM!
See, last night was a gift my Lord Father knew I needed.
To see the fruits of His Spirit.
To see that His light was shining through me to grow others out of darkness.
Like seeds of fruit planted in the dark earth, we need sunshine to grow.
He wanted me to see fruit.
I quickly told of how the book from the Bible study came into my possession. I told of how when I opened it I felt as though the author wrote it for me for that particular time in my life. I started reading it the day before my Granny passed away. The first chapter discussed death and the gaping tear in our hearts it causes. The first chapter held my name...Aimee. The first chapter was for me at that very moment and my Father knew I would need it because the next morning I learned my Granny had passed away.
That book turned into THAT Bible study in my living room. I was in awe of the variety of sweet souls that attended. It was all Him! He brought us together.
I had been reading the devotion I recommended for my friend Beth that she shared with Jane.
I had been reading Psalms that morning she text me with her frustrations...I prayed because I had no answer but God did. So, I simple text Psalms 51. She found Psalms 51:7 and God made it personally hers.
As my friend Beth unfolded her very private story of her relationship with Christ, I saw that God had been using me as a vessel like I had asked Him to, as a lamp like I had asked Him to,. He knew what she'd need. He knows what we all need.
As I sat on the couch telling my husband all of this he said...God showed you the fruits.
Yes! That's exactly right.
I almost feel like sharing this my squelch what God has going on by revealing it because it seems so secret until it's seen. I pray not. I pray that He continue with His blessings. I pray that He continues to find ways to use me.
I shared with my husband that for so long...
my only desire, ever, was to be a mother.
It's so deep within me.
Nothing could take or change that feeling for me.
It's not a "job", it's a deep, deep desire.
So, then I shared that I don't think God is done with me as a mother.
Unlike many other mothers, their babies get older and they continue to pursue a life passion, a career, or something other than mothering that stirs them. A different passion. For me, that is not the case.
I became a teacher because it was the closest thing I could thing of to "mothering" to do as a career.
I prayed for my babies before I was even old enough to have babies.
So, God is lifting the fog.
My purpose will come into focus.
God is going to help me fulfill my purpose.
He has a plan.
I have a purpose until I take my last breath.
I am a mother.
My purpose is to mother mine...and others.
Little ones need a mother.
I am a mother.
There are lost children who feel unloved.
There are children who don't have a mother.
I am a mother.
I have lots of prayer and guidance to seek.
Adoption is still on the table.
Foster care is now on the table.
It goes without saying...
I am a mother.
See, all these things are just seeds and fruits.
Seeds and fruits.
My purpose is to plant the seeds and see the fruits.
Where I plant and what I plant is up to Him.
How I plant and when I plant is up to Him.
The Spirit leads!
I can go back and see the fruits now from the seeds of then.
There is not instant gratification.
The gratification comes...my soul is purposeful.
So is yours.
You call me out upon the waters (Psalm 29:3, Matthew 14:28-29)
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery (Colossians 2:2-3)
In oceans deep my faith will stand (Matthew 14:30-31)
I will call upon Your Name (Psalm 116:2, 4, 13, 17, Lamentations 3:55-57, Joel 2:32, Matthew 14:30, Romans 10:13)
And keep my eyes above the waves (Matthew 14:30)
When oceans rise (Genesis 7, Psalm 46:1-3)
My soul will rest in Your embrace (Jeremiah 6:16, Matthew 11:29, Luke 15:18-24)
For I am Yours and You are mine (Song of Solomon 6:3, Song of Solomon 7:10)
Your grace abounds in deepest waters (Psalm 42:7, Romans 5:20, 2 Corinthians 9:8)
Your sovereign hand will be my guide (1 Chronicles 29:11-12, Job 42:2, Psalm 31:3, Psalm 73:24, Proverbs 16:9, Philippians 1:6)
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me (Matthew 14:30)
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now (Joshua 23:14)
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders (Matthew 4:1, John 14:16-17, John 16:13,Romans 8:14, Galatians 5:16-18)
Let me walk upon the waters (Matthew 14:28)
Wherever You would call me (Genesis 12:1, 1 Corinthians 7:17)
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander (Exodus 14:21-22, Ezekiel 47:1-9)
And my faith will be made stronger (Romans 4:19-20)
In the presence of my Savior
I am not sufficient.
I look at the perfectly blue, cloudless sky and feel so small.
I'm looking up with tears on my face, looking for an answer.
I am not sufficient.
I have sat at my desk today balancing budgets, paying bills, telling my money were to go and frustrated. There is a number on my sheet that I wish wasn't there. There is a number that will move from my budget to my check register and I wish I didn't have to have it. I know many, many parents who feel the same way.
Our children are our responsibility and years ago before my middle son was conceived I prayed for another baby. I wanted a big family and we tried for years to have number 2. One night I laid prostrate out on the bed, not in tears for a new baby but in tears of worry.
That night I gave my first son back to God and saying "I am not sufficient but You are. Watch over my son when I can not, he is Yours not mine. I am just his caretaker while he needs me to be." A month later we were in awe to find that I was pregnant with our second baby. That is not a coincidence. I believe these two events in my life are connected by an eternal Father who was waiting on me to give back to Him and trust Him fully.
This baby boy was born and all circumstances surrounding his birth can be traced back to complete miracles. Nothing was left out of the miracle touch, not his name, not the date, not the year, second, or even the room number he was born in. Everything about this child was a miracle.
Around 2 years old he was still not talking and and participated in at home speech therapy. By age 3 he was riding a little school bus to speech therapy locally and by 5 he was starting Pre-K and had graduated out of speech. Then 1st grade...struggles started and in 2nd grade we found out he was legally blind in one eye and now in 3rd grade his attention and focus are so bad that I'm hurting for him.
So much makes sense now and my intuition always directed me towards a processing disorder... in 3rd grade it was revealed through testing that he indeed had a processing disorder...but which one?
Auditory Processing Disorder
It felt good to finally put a name with what it might be but we need an official diagnosis.
In the meantime...I am not sufficient.
So sitting in my figures of bills and expenses is this number that is looming...it's the price for a prescription. It breaks my heart. I know it will help him focus. He's had it before.
God will provide an answer but in the meantime...
Homework is a struggle.
School work is incomplete.
He doesn't understand directions.
Focus is nonexistent at school
I get calls from the school.
Emails go back and forth from me to the teacher
Meetings are scheduled
Phone calls to doctors for help.
Trips back to doctors offices.
Compared to others who I know are grieving for their children's health this is not a big deal.
But comparison is not an option.
Comparison is inevitable.
Compassion is next.
"And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them." Mark 10:16
The little children and Jesus have a special bond.
My son does not worry unless we worry him. He walks blindly through his struggles, knowing they are there but trusting it will all be okay.
That each day will continue to turn over into the next.
That he will still be a child.
He comes home to a safe place were this problem is not seen.
That sweet boy plays with his toys in full concentration, building and exploring, creating and experimenting. It's only when we enter his world and bring our expectations that he is different.
I stand in awe when I am near him. He is a genius in his own mind. His world makes perfect sense to him.
Ours does not.
He can't understand our expectations and is frustrated when he can't meet them.
We work quietly together.
I start the laundry, put everyone else in the bed, and we work.
We work close together to make sure he is understanding.
A piece at a time, a little at a time he understands and remembers or gets it as new.
When he gets it, he gets it in his own way.
“But she came and worshiped him, saying, Lord, help me” Mark 15:25
I am at His complete mercy when it comes to my children.
I was given these sweet souls to raise up.
He gives and He takes away.
Two words: "Help me."
Many times lately before entering a conversation or situation I find that these two little words precede the moment. I know I am not sufficient that I will not say or do the right thing without His guidance.
"Help me, O Lord, my God..." Psalms 109:26
Everything inside of me is trusting God through this.
My sons plight will not define him.
God's love and grace and mercy will.
I am not sufficient.
Thank you, Lord.
I choke all the time.
I choke on my words.
I catch myself trying to say something out loud and shake my head and the words don't come.
Give me a pen and a piece of paper and I can "speak".
It wasn't much to long ago, about a year, that I began praying about my words. They never seem to come out right. Someone asks me a question and a choke. I try to explain something and I choke. I can not for the life of me figure out why it's so hard to speak out loud.
I don't have any problem talking to my kids or husband but still, sometimes, things don't come out right.
I feel like the less I say, the better off I am. My words seem to twist in the air as the come out and by the time they reach someones ears that don't seem right. I don't know what is happening or why or if I just noticed and it's always been this way.
If I'm going to speak it needs to be well thought out and planned. Words don't seem to work for me if it's not been thought about, pondered over, or regurgitated before. If that's the case, they come out beautifully.
I have found that I am in much more deep thought lately about my purpose and life.
We all have a purpose...that means I have a purpose, my husband has a purpose, my kids have a purpose and not one single part of me believes our purpose is just to exist but that we have a job to do.
Lately, I have been struggling with what job that is for myself. Maybe it's because my kids are growing up and they need me in different ways and maybe a little less than the previous year. Maybe it's because I have noticed a shift in those people who I call friends over the years. Maybe it is because what I thought was my purpose turned out to be someone else's but definitely not mine.
If there is one thing that has been a secret passion of mine, it is that from time to time I find a connection that pricks my heart strings and resonates through my soul. That connection is usually in something I read. What that means is that an author, somewhere at sometime in this world was writing and had something on the heart. They put it down and out for the world and let a piece of themselves float around from person to person in hopes that it pricks their hearts and eventually someone like myself discovers that piece and a connection is made.
I believe that an author and a reader have a special connection but two things need to happen for the connection to ever exist...the author has to write
& the reader has to read.
While waiting for the Lord, write. Be strong and take heart, and keep writing for the Lord. — Psalm 27:14
I'm learning and as I learn new things something inside me swells and I want to share what I discover but I don't know how and then I question, is it worth sharing, and then as time passes, I feel it must not be important for someone else, and eventually it is forgotten.
Oh that my words were written with an iron pen on a granite tablet so my story could be read forever. — Job 19:23–24
OH, is that it! Is it my responsibility to sit and write? Is it my responsibility to share? Do I have anything inside me that the world wants to hear? As I sit here in a corner home office with the sunset streaming through the window as my only light source I am typing on a screen. It is peaceful in my house, the kids are helping themselves to dinner prepared. I wonder, is this my happy place? Is this were God intends for me to express my words. Not from my mouth but through my finger tips. Am I to take what I have written in journals and studied in books and move them to a place were others can read...where others can connect.
God’s word is a lamp that lights my writing journey. — Psalm 119:105
Then I ask...me? Really, me? Who am I?
Just like you, I was created.
I am loved.
I am thought of.
I am cherished.
The great I AM resides within me, provides for me, loves me, thinks of me, cherishes me, and He inspires me.
So, I will write what is in me. Not for anyone in particular, just because it's in me. It's there. It's brimming and ready to pour out but if I don't pour it out, God will not continue to fill. I have to be willing to pour out what He is pouring in and willing to let it flow beyond the brimming. I asked Him years ago to let me be a vessel, an empty basin that is hollow and void to be filled and used until I was brimming over.
I write honestly from my heart, seeking to make the truth known. — Job 33:3
If God is our helper when we write, the stories we build cannot be in vain. — Psalm 127:1
When I ponder what to write about, I remember the plights of my past and why I now give you praise. Then I reveal your glory by showing how you've worked in my life. — Psalm 143:5
Before now I have been in complete awe of people that say they can hear our Lord speak to them. Whenever people would say they could hear His Voice my head would cock a little to the side and I would wonder "how?". Then one day it happened. After asking for that experience and the desire or closeness, I found His Voice. It was subtle, clear, and could only be heard in the stillness and quietness of the moment I was in.
In order to hear His Voice I had to want to hear Him. I had a desire so deep inside me to hear my Father's Voice that I had begun to seek it. For days and days it seemed like I was trying to "unlock" a secret phone line to God. I wanted to be able to talk to Him and hear His Voice but what I found suddenly was that I heard Him.
I was laying in my bathtub one night trying to relax but was distressed about a few things. I can't even remember what they were now but I'll never forget when I became perfectly still and all the noise had faded away, then I heard Him. It was a small voice kind of like if you were to think thoughts to yourself. Only, it's not your voice. It's personal to you because He calls you by name, He begins to clear your mind and make the chaos go away in your head so that as He speaks, all the pieces come together. It always feels like He takes all the pieces, gifts, signs, words, everything and puts them together for me. What He reveals is a bigger picture. One I would not have thought of or seen had I not asked for Him to show me what He needs of me.
The day I first heard Him I was overjoyed, I had love flowing all through me, clarity, ideas, and excitement. The things He had placed in me, had spoken to me could only have come from Him. The next day a girlfriend came over and I shared with her what had happened. She felt it was absolutely necessary I call our pastor and share with Him. I did and I explained to Him that I had been wondering for a long time what it was like to hear Him speak. Once I found His Voice I had a desire for more.
The more I hear the more I desire to hear. There is so much to my spiritual journey and so many personal revelations that I may not remember them all. I believe with every ounce of me that is why He is calling me to write out everything He reveals. They are gifts but they are to be shared. They are not just for me, they are for all my sisters. I don't know what He wants to do with the revelations and writings but I have promised to do my best to reveal in such a way that it is clear. I want nothing more than each of my fellow Christians to be able to hear His Voice.
I no longer feel "weird" when I talk about how He speaks to me. I have found that it is more common that we realize. The more I surround myself with others that hear, the more I realize I am not alone and that it is something we all have a desire to experience. We can all experience it. Then again, it's okay if people think I'm weird.
He listens and...
My prayer for you my reader is that you find your still quite place and seek His face. I pray that you begin to see the things that are unseen and that God reveals to you the world through His lens.
I haven't always been a seeker of my Fathers face. I have not always been a listener. I doubt my story is much different than many. It could be your story. You could be now, where I was...I was a prayer. I did pray but seeking His face and being a listener for His Voice puts you on a whole other playing field. For the next few days, I am going to share with you my personal journey. My prayer is that you will catch that you can become a seeker and a listener too.
I had a pastor friend from my childhood ask me before my husband and I were married, "How is your walk?" I stuttered for a second and then said, "I'm sorry, what do you mean?" He reply, "Your walk with Jesus, how is your walk?" My heart pounded and I turned red, my walk...what walk? I replied, "Oh, good. Its good!" With that response, he knew it was not good. He encouraged me to find a church home and to keep in touch and let him know more about my journey. We talked for a few minutes, he had to decline to come to Georgia from where ever he was then and marry us.
When I began to raise my family, I remember trying to take my babies and husband to church. I remember the struggle all to well. My sweat husband just did as I wanted and got ready for church, we got the baby ready and we went to the same church my grandmother and family had gone to for years. The baby would cry each time in the nursery so after a while we stopped going because knowing my baby was crying out weighed my desire to be in the church pew.
Years past and my husband and I had been trying for baby number 2. It was the longest I had ever tried for anything. My desire to have another baby was bigger than my desire to give up on all the treatments and disappointment. So, we kept trying. Eventually a night came in January where I laid out on my bed with the hottest tears in my eyes I think I'd ever had and I did something I had never done before. I gave my first baby back to God. We had never dedicated him to a church and that night I dedicated him back to God. It wasn't because I thought I should, it was simply because I felt so helpless trying to raise that sweat child of mine and I worried all the time. I worried about everything and even things that weren't things at all, things that would never happen but they were all in my head and I just could not worry anymore. My worry was becoming bigger than me, my desire to be a good mother out weighed my desire to do it alone. My prayer was...
"God I can not do it anymore! I think I will always be afraid of not being able to protect him from everything in this life. I have got to have You be in my place where I can not be. I need You God to step in be sufficient in this boys life where I am not. He is yours. You trusted me with Him but I can not do it alone."
even when you don't.
My prayer for you is that you give all your worry to Him. Even if you can't hear Him, he wants to take away what is burdening you and free you from that weight. If you can do that then He will take it and in doing so you will trust Him more and more. He is listening. He is waiting on you.
Eve, oh Eve! You were so powerful and didn't even know it. Your words dripped from your mouth like honey and enticed your man to take a bite of sin. You Eve, have more power than you would ever know. 1000's of generations of women think of you and imagine your beauty, your simple beauty, as the first woman made by the hand of God. However Eve, your power has cursed the generations of women that came after you. We now raise our babies in a world of sin, try to love our husbands in a world of sin, we try to love our friends in a world of sing, all thanks to your. There is one thing we cannot do, we cannot look at you and say we would never do such a thing.
A while ago I spent some time with a few girl friends. It can get so raw when girls get together and talk about their marriages. We all have such deep issues that we are either dealing with or have dealt with. We are either in the midst of trails or have been through them. No one that is married is immune to that. We can be head over hills in love with our husbands or not. Sometimes we are in a place where we want to get as far from them as we can for awhile or we want to run right into their arms. What I have found is that every marriage, every single one, requires work.
What I think we sometimes miss is our power as women. We have the power in us to change our marriage for the better every single day. We have the power in us and sometimes we don't even realize it. I found myself telling a friend over and over that she was powerful, one of the most powerful girls I know. She didn't believe me. I have seen her influence women, bring tears to their eyes with hope, she's talked strength into me and into others but she didn't see herself as the pillar of strength that she is.
Holy Spirit Power...
What we can do is usher our families to the throne of Christ Jesus with the singing of our voices, with our daily love, we can offer up our bodies as worship, and we can change the face of our nation with love. As mothers, sisters, and daughters we are the gatekeepers of of our faith. We are taught that our husbands are the spiritual leaders of our homes, that is true. However, with the Holy Spirit a woman has the power to usher in generations to God.
I am birth mom to my 3 boys, foster mom to 2 sweet babies, wife to my high school sweet heart, and daughter to my King. I love to write. I am no scholar but I love my Lord and He helps me.