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I am a Christ follower who is in love with Jesus.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Attractions and Distractions!

Attractions and Distractions!

Be careful what attracts you; it could distract you!  This statement popped into my head repeatedly the past few weeks.  I have woken up at night with these words on my mind.  I have been walking the dog and the words come to mind.  Initially, I kept relating it to things of the world.  I was thinking about all the things I did that could distract me from the Lord.  My biggest struggles have been related to food, shopping, and obsessive compulsive behaviors (primarily cleaning).  I began evaluating those areas one at a time.

I looked at eating habits first.  Do I get too attracted with food that it is making me unhealthy and being a distraction to time with the Lord?  Yes, I love Ballreich® potato chips and can only get them in certain parts of Ohio.  I was going out of my way to buy them and have gained a good 8 pounds of salty, crunchiness since June.  Hmm, maybe this has distracted me a bit from my new healthy eating life style.   I concluded it was time to focus on eating a little better and to save the chips for special occasions.

I then looked at my spending habits.  Am I spending too much time shopping when I don’t need or really want anything?  Is it taking time away from reading the word and communing with the Lord?  No, I am doing much better in this regard since I got some nasty over spending habits in order.  I readily checked that one off my list and felt a little sigh of relief!

Next I looked at my activities in general.  I am attracted to a well-organized, orderly home and have been guilty of spending hours cleaning drawers in the bathroom to remove every microscopic dust particle I could find.  One box of toothpicks and q-tips later, I would close the drawer with satisfaction of a job well done.  Is the time I spend cleaning and organizing becoming a distraction to the things God has for me to do?  Does my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder get the best of me or is it in proper alignment?  As I reviewed my recent activities, I began to realize that I spend more time some days on cleaning and organizing than in having quality time with the grandkids and just being cheerfully available to them.  I have been distracted with keeping everything in order and have missed out on some precious moments.

Being an extroverted/introvert, I truly enjoy being by myself, undisturbed in the quietness of my surroundings.  As I began to look more closely at my daily activities, I realized I spend too much time alone. My preference for solitude is causing me to lose out on precious times with family, neighbors, friends and strangers.  Yes, I understand I need silence and solitude to help me rejuvenate, but my life needs to be balanced. If I desire to share Christ’s love with others, I need to engage people. It is hard to share Christ’s love with others when I am living in solitary confinement.  I have to force myself to get out and socialize more and be a light to the dark world.  It is too easy and comfortable to distract myself with being alone.

Finally, the biggest “Ah ha” moment for me was this morning.  I finished my morning quiet time and looked at pictures on my phone.  I began pulling up all the pictures of my beloved.  I was reminiscing and laughing when, all of the sudden, I felt a tug at my heart.  It felt like someone was trying to pull me backwards down into a dark tunnel.  My heart began to beat faster; my mind began to race, and deep sorrow tried to grab a hold of me.  I recognized it for what it was for me.  It was a distraction of the enemy trying to reverse the gains I made in my grief journey.  I could literally feel the tug and the pull becoming stronger.  At the very moment when I realized what was happening, I thanked the Lord for my husband and the time we had together.
I immediately thanked Him for the memories and the journey and began to rejoice in how far I have come.  At that very moment, my heart quit racing; my mind calmed down.  I closed the photos thankful I realized what was happening.  The enemy was trying to use the memories of my beloved as a distraction to what the Lord had for me today.  Had I gone back down the long dark tunnel, the rest of the day I would have missed much that the Lord has for me.  I would have missed seeing the robins and cardinals chasing each other around the trees.  I would have closed myself in my room full of grief and sorrow and missed hearing about the great day my grandchildren had at school.  Memories are important and I cherish each one, yet I will not allow them to distract me from the hope and the future I have as I live each day of this new journey in my life.

Jeremiah 29:11-13(NIV)
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. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

I don’t want distractions to get in the way of my service to the Lord, and I do want to seek Him with all of my heart!  This journey is not easy, but it is worth it knowing that my Savior poured out His life on my behalf.  I continue to ask the Lord to reveal areas of my life that have distracted me, and I know He is faithful to answer my plea.  Dear friends, be ever so careful to assess what attracts you to ensure it does not distract you!

His Beloved Warrior Bride,


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Trail of Tears!

As I walk this journey with the Lord, I feel His strength in me. In spite of that strength, there are times, though, that my emotions rise up and tears violently hit me.

Why does this happen? It is because I am human, and I love deeply and feel deeply. Is it wrong?  Does it mean I have gone backwards in my journey?  No, it is good I can feel the emotions. It is part of my inner healing, and it is good that I am learning to embrace these times!

I used to bottle things up inside. I thought it was good to never show emotion. I was a walking robot!

No more!  I have let my guard down and allowed myself to feel and feel deeply as I have grieved. It has been good for me, because it has helped me in my healing process. I will no longer be a robot. I will be balanced and transparent and allow the Holy Spirit to mold me further into the woman He wants me to be.

My journey in life changed when my beloved died, but that does not mean my journey can't be as good or even better.  I want to go forward and continue the journey the Lord has placed before me.  In my own strength, I can’t do this. The only way I am able to do it is with the Lord’s strength and guidance. He is my life line and confidant, and He remains my closest friend. I am thankful for His strength, and His divine plan. For the time I have left on this earth. I will purpose to do His will.

Yes, tears will still flow, and I will continue to grieve, but embracing this new life is one of the best things I could do to honor both my Christ and my beloved.

His Beloved Warrior Bride,


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Simply Blessed!

I am so fortunate!  I have a wonderful family, friends, home, car and clothes.  All the comforts of a middle class US lifestyle are at my fingertips.  I don’t need to worry about the water I drink or where I will get my next meal.  I sleep in a comfortable bed with plenty of blankets, pillows and a lovely Egyptian cotton sheet.  My bed clothes are clean and smell fresh.

The chair I sit in each morning fits me perfectly.  It is cushioned exactly to my taste.  The arms on the chair are the right height, and I have a nice ottoman that I share with my dog, Pebbles.  Next to my chair is a small metal table with a lamp and a coffee warmer.  The table is full of books overflowing onto the floor.

I sit here this morning covered up with just the right size and weight blanket as I begin my morning quiet time.  The temperature in the room is about 65 degrees Fahrenheit, and it is 50 degrees outside with rays of sunlight dancing off the leaves on the plants and trees.  I hear the mating calls of quail and phainopepla.  It is spring in the desert southwest.

All of this is so comforting and so beautiful.  I am truly blessed!

The Lord has put me in this quiet place to reflect, pray and heal.  He has called me to sit quietly while He speaks new promises, new direction and deeper peace to my soul.  I have been given these gifts in preparation for the upcoming season.

As I sit at His feet this year, I have no idea what is in my future.  I only know that He has called me to bask, bathe and drink in everything around me. 

Thank you Lord for these gifts.  Thank you for guiding me in your ways and holding me tight along the way.  I continue to look with longing, wanting to know you more.  Let me continue to walk this new road with joy and peace knowing you have my BEST interests in mind.  Thank you for this time of refreshing as I prepare for my new assignment as your Beloved Warrior Bride!

Psalm 28:7
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him and I am helped.  My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to Him in song.”  NIV

Psalm 27:14
“Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart and wait on the Lord.” NIV