Monday, 9 November 2015

A Prank?

Last week I had this fun thing happen that was lead by Holy Spirit and afterwards found myself excited to share the story with you.  As I kept thinking about it, I decided that I would just wait because not everything that happens is for sharing. 
However, this morning during my worship time I felt that nudge to share the story from last week even though what I really wanted to write about was how my husband loved me so well this weekend. Maybe more on loving well another time. 
So, last week I was taking my youngest sweetheart out for lunch. Eli wanted to stay at school to play with his buddies. It was no big surprise that Ozias chose Wendy's to go to for lunch. As we walked in I saw there was 3 teenage boys in line. Right away they suggested we go ahead of them which was fine by me. As I walked in front of them I could feel my heart behind them. I can't describe exactly what that feels like. I think normally I would just forget about them the moment I'm in front of them but I didn't. I was fully aware that they were there and as I acknowledged that, I heard that still. small. voice. telling me to buy them lunch. I actually went ahead with finishing my order then the still small voice got much much louder. I was going to do it after hearing the small voice but when His voice got louder I have to say, I got excited to do it.
I settled Ozias into his seat which was pretty much beside the cash then I turned to the boys and said "Hi guys, order whatever you want off the menu. I'm going buy you lunch today." 
I honestly didn't expect them to do much except order and let me pay. Their reaction was so fun to see. One of the boys tried to give me a few dollars - all he had to pay for his meal. Another asked things like"Are you serious?" "For real?"over and over. He even went to order then turned to me and asked if it was a prank. The five of us, including Ozias laughed while I explained to them that I was absolutely serious and there was no practical joke happening. Once they realized that I was serious and began to order their food, there was a seriousness that fell over them and they began to thank me over and over and over and over. Once each of them had ordered and I was paying they were talking to each other and asking why a stranger would want to buy them lunch. The tallest boy was telling the others that it must be Karma and that either they did something good and this is their payback or now they must go do something good. Like a stern but loving mama, I turned to them and explained "This is a gift and I'm giving it to you just for being here in this moment. You didn't earn it and you are not in debt to me or this world for receiving it."
One of the boys just couldn't take it....he asked me "but why are you doing this?" 
The words quickly flew out of my mouth " because it's nice to have someone buy you lunch once in a while."
They continued pouring out thank you's and I smiled then sat to have lunch with my sweet boy who was enjoying his food and not paying much attention to the whole ordeal after the laughing was over. 
I sat there wondering what was God doing. He is always going deeper than we are and He is always doing more than we think when he asks us to do seemingly random things for others. I began to pray into what had just happened. I prayed that what God was doing would sink into their hearts and that they would later, in a quiet time reflect and know that it was their heavenly Father loving on them. Once I had started to think about what God may have been doing, I wondered if one of them or all three maybe needed to feel a mothers love or perhaps that feeling of being provided for. I'm ok with not knowing the details. Just getting to see those three teenagers turn into laughing, grateful boys was enough for me. 
OOOO <<<------- hugs from Sue

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Adventure with Jesus

I want to share an adventure I had with God yesterday but first I want to share a bit of background. K?
I used to do something called striving. I did it a lot and with great intentions. I so deeply desired to be useful to God. I wanted to help change the world with Him. I used to do things like... 

...over think
...worry if it was His voice
...try to create God moments
...beat myself up for not doing enough
...spend more time thinking of how I can show others Jesus instead of loving Him myself

I think it's a common thing since those of us who grew up in the church often heard things like "who are you sharing Jesus with? are you being a good witness? we need to share the gospel." 
It's not that I don't believe in those things, I do. I just didn't know that the best way to do all three things is to know Him, know His ways and to know His heart. Ultimately, love Him.
By doing those things, you can't help but love the Father deeply.
It's all about loving Him.
I did know about Him and had experienced his love, grace and mercy and yet somehow I wasn't fully in love with Him. Now, when I think about my King one of three things happens, my heart beats fast and I need to catch my breath, my eyes fill with tears of joy or a big fat smile comes across my face, one that can't be peeled off easily.
I love Him.
So, yesterday while making some diffuser jewelry for Cedar & Honey, I was watching THIS video by Shawn Bolz. He reminded me of some beautiful truths that God had made very real to me in the last couple years. One of those truths is that we don't need to strive. We don't even need to be "on our game" to be used by God and to show others who He is. He shares some pretty awesome stories....but before you go watch Shawn's awesome video, first read my little story ;)
After getting all orders made I was off to the Post Office, a place where I've already adventured with Jesus. More on that HERE
I was feeling so refreshed and excited to boldly do something with God. Instead of planning a God moment, over thinking it or spending time thinking about how I can share Jesus, I simply told Him 
"I'm listening for you and want to adventure your way God".
Then I got in my car and went about my business.
I got to the post office and the regular woman that processes my orders was there waiting but she was missing her usual smile. I asked her how she was doing and she explained that she has had a debilitating headache for 4 days and is on a lot of meds to be able to be at work. 
I thought, ok good.....something to pray for. Before I said anything out loud about praying, I asked myself if I believed that Jesus could heal her. Then I asked myself if I believed that he wanted to heal her. 
Yes! & Yes!
He can and he wants to was my internal dialogue. I already know this as a fact but to think about it in the moment made it that much more real and personal to the one woman right in front of me. There were a couple people behind me in line and I felt that it wasn't the right moment to ask her if I could pray so once my packages were processed I went to grab something else I needed. I came back and she was standing behind her desk with no customers so I took my chance. 
This is what I did.
I told her that I am a Christian and that sometimes when I pray for people they get healed by God (<--- It's true, I've experienced healings or I would have just said that I believe He can heal her) and that I believe he wants to heal her head. Then I asked her if I could pray for her. I'm not sure I can quite describe her response. She was smiling so big and was clearly feeling the presence of the Lord, as was I. She was almost giddy when she said that she would like me to pray. As soon as I said that I would just pray right then and there, a customer walked up. She was clearly very uncomfortable and said that she better not let me pray while another customer was there. I told her that was ok because I was going to go to my car and pray for her healing. The excitement in her eyes was just beautiful! I would have stuck around but it was time for me to pick the boys up from school.
I walked away and could feel the presence of God so strong. Ha! He had already shown up! I began praying for her head right away and got excited at not only the healing work He wanted to do in this woman's body but also in her heart. I'm so overjoyed about the work that He has begun and can't wait to see this story unfold. 
There it was, right in the middle of my regular life - an adventure with Jesus.
Sometimes we make life with God more complicated than it needs to be. He isn't waiting for perfect moments with the perfect person. I didn't do anything special except tell my King, while in the middle of doing my stuff, that He has my ear and that I want to do things with Him. 
Maybe one day I'll sell all my possessions and move across the country to be a missionary or something super dramatic like that. For now, I'm going to focus on the mission field I'm in. 
OOOO <------- hugs from Sue

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

But first......time with Him.

I didn't want to hang out with God this morning.....I mean, I did but I had a list of other stuff that has to get done and was ready to start checking things off as soon as I dropped the boys off for school. 
For around 7-8 months before I got married I was getting up between 5-6am to spend my time with God. That did not come naturally for me and was something that God laid on my heart to do and when I did it, boy was it good! Spending that quality time with Him in the early morning changed my whole life. Some of the things that shifted and moved into place, I could have never guessed would happen due to my getting up extra early to be with God. He knew though. He always knows the good things that will come from our obedience.
Once I got married everything changed, including the time that I would spend with God. I wanted to continue to get up at 5am to be with the Lord but it just wasn't happening for various reasons so the time I felt on my heart to be with God was after dropping the boys off at school. It makes sense that He would ask for my first available quality time. 
For some reason this morning I woke up excited about the things I wanted to get done today and just kept thinking about it while getting the boys ready and off to school. As I drove home I suddenly remembered that my first available quality time was already reserved for Jesus. My next thought was, oh no, what if He wants me to do something different than what I already have planned for my day. What a silly thought, right? I mean, if the King of Kings who loves me more than anything and always wants what is best for me has a different plan than I do, I should jump for joy and get excited to hear what He has planned for me. 
I didn't feel that way or think those things. I did decide that I would stick to my commitment and start on my 'to do' list after my time with God. 

The sun is shining bright this morning and in our living room we have two huge windows that take up almost the whole wall. So with the glowing sun beaming in, I turned on my worship music starting with Ever Be. Friends, the moment I lifted my hands in praise my own desires began to fall away. I didn't hope for that or even expect it. I actually planned on worshipping, praying then getting on with my day, my well planned day. I wanted to get those things on my list done for two reasons but my motivating reason is that it would feel good. 
As I began to pray and tell the Lord that I want my hearts desires to be one with His, I felt joy and a delightful lightness which I'm sure was better than I would feel after getting my whole list checked off. Isn't God just so good!? 
His plan is always better than our plan. Always. Even when it doesn't make sense. Actually, especially when it doesn't make sense. 
Each morning I come to the Lord asking Him to fill my cup to overflowing. I physically cup my hands together and raise them up, then I wait. Often times I think about how there is only so much room in my hands. If it's filled to overflowing with love, hope, patience, grace, mercy and joy then there isn't much room for anger, spite, frustration and other negative things. I want His goodness to push out all the negative fleshly stuff that might get into my day.  I'm always in need of more grace, patience and understanding for my family and each person I cross paths with in a day. 
I want to encourage you to give some quality time to God in your day, not because it's a rule and as Christians we need to follow the rules but because He is so good and on the other side of that quality time with Him, there is goodness and freedom. 
God did change my day today and as much as I thought I would be frustrated not getting stuff done, I'm sitting here feeling great about sharing my heart with you.  
^^^^^ HE > I ^^^^^
Less of me, more of you God.
Now I'm gonna go make some jewelry!
I love you friends, thanks for reading.
OOOO <----- hugs from Sue

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

The Whisper

First I want to thank you for being here! Thank you for reading the overflow of my heart, I hope it lifts you up today. 
I usually keep this type of thing for just me to know but my heart is truly overflowing and I guess I feel like it’s worth putting it somewhere. 
Time to dive in..... Today before picking the boys up I was working on Cedar & Honey orders and almost had customs forms filled out for our orders to the USA but had to run out to get the boys from school.  I brought orders and the forms with me thinking I would finish in the car then head to the post office. I gathered the boys then we got in the car and of course my little munchkin  announces "I have to go pee". I knew we needed to head home to avoid a mess. Although Ozias has been potty trained for years now, I didn't want to invite a mess or put him in that terrible position of having to hold it....and all the ladies said amen! Anyways, to my delight, husband was home from work which meant I could drop off the boys and be on my way. 
Stick with me friends, I promise I will get to the warm fuzzy giving part. 
I arrived at the post office which is actually in a drug store and as I was walking towards the door to go in a woman and four boys, looking to be between the ages of 6-12 yrs old were also walking up. I found myself looking at her and each boys face and remember folks....I'm on a mission's time to send off orders. So, I know there is something about this crew that I need to pay attention to since normally I would just go on my way. As I walked past them into the store I heard it......

the. still. small. voice.

The voice in my heart was telling me to give her a $20 dollar bill from my wallet. I half smiled because I love it when God does this to me. He catches me right in the middle of my being busy and whispers. While prompting me to do something for this woman, it also felt as if He was asking me if I was listening for Him and at the same time hugging my heart and telling me that He is always with me. 
I told the Lord I would wait on him for perfect timing and went on to get my orders sent off. I did just that then wouldn't you know it, just as I'm reaching the front of the store I see that the woman and her boys (at this point I had heard her refer to them as brothers and sons so I knew they were her kiddos) are just cashing out. I quickly asked Holy Spirit if I should give it now, half wondering if maybe her card would be declined or something. 
I felt that I should wait for her outside the store instead of giving it to her right then. As I walked through the last door to outside I reached inside my wallet and folded up a twenty. Just a few seconds later, there she was standing outside with me although at this point I'm pretty sure she hadn't noticed my being there. Without thinking I turned around, looked at her and reached my hand out saying "this is for you". Looking stunned she took what was hiding in my hand and when she realized what it was she asked me "why are you giving this to me?" to which I replied (wholeheartedly believing it was the words her heavenly Father wanted her to hear) "because you look like a busy mom that could use a break". As the words came out of my mouth I found myself moved by them and I knew giving her the money was just as much about giving her the word that God had for her. I believe He was also telling her "I see you". I'm praying right now that she would reflect back on that moment and those words and know just exactly the message God was giving her. She may never know just exactly how Holy Spirit lined things up so that we would be walking in and out those doors at exactly the right time. Praying she still feels and knows that He did orchestrate all of it. I smiled at her sweet face then went on walking to my car. Oh IS better to give than to receive! I truly felt as if I was the one that was just given way more than twenty dollars. Just as I opened the door to my car I could hear the woman shout "God bless you". Little did she know, He just did. 

Do you know that He sees you too? My sweet friend, he does see you and all that you do. You are not alone, you are seen by God and while he sees every little bit of you that makes you uniquely you, He loves what he sees. 
Praying that message sinks deep in your heart and mind and when you feel unseen or alone that these very words would float to the front of your mind and once again sink deep in your heart.

OOO <<<----- hugs, from Sue

Friday, 2 October 2015

The Beautiful Pain Of Stretching

This morning while I knelt down to pray I felt the Lord telling me to stretch my legs...not just stretch them out but to literally stretch as if I was about to work out or go for a run. I'm always curious to know what God is saying and doing so did just what He suggested - I stretched my legs. Ya know that feeling you get in your muscles when you stretch? It's like a good pain, I actually really love that feeling but at the same time it does kinda hurt a bit. They say that's when you should stop cause if you go past the point when it is just starting to hurt, you could really damage your muscles.
As I sit on my living room floor in my prayer time stretching God began to speak to me about the season I'm in.
On August 22nd of this year I got married.

Although we're in the "honeymooning" phase, we have more than celebrating to do. Together we have 3 children and I lived in a different city until we got married. So we're blending our family along with our stuff (lots and lots of stuff) and it is such a beautiful thing but let me tell you, it's not easy. I also know deep in my spirit that God is in it and I would even go as far to say that He orchestrated the whole thing. I have been learning lots this year that when God asks us to do things, it doesn't mean it is going to be a cake walk and right now, I feel God stretching me. I believe he is stretching all 5 of us. As I had breakfast with a friend yesterday morning, she encouraged me when she spoke of how our faith is built in the difficult situations of our lives. I want my faith to be built so I'm choosing to embrace all these challenges that come with blending 5 lives.
As I was doing my spirit lead stretches, almost right away I began to see where God was going with it. I was fully aware that if I did the splits I would not only feel the pain in the moment but would damage my muscles since I can't stretch that far.....yet. ;) If I did damage my muscles it would actually set me back and in the days to come, I wouldn't be able to stretch at all. Most likely I would have to let myself rest until my muscles heal. If I was able to continue to stretch, it would probably be much more painful than necessary due to my overextending my legs. While thinking of this I was seeing how in my life right now there is a delicate balance in how much I should stretch myself. The Lord has already blessed me with a situation where I am being stretched in my parenting, my business, my friendships and with learning to be the wife He made me to be for my husband. I know the Lord was encouraging me to take things one day at a time and not to put anything else on my plate that will cause me to overextend myself and ultimately cause damage that will be a set back in my life. Right now I am choosing to say no to some of my ideas and to some requests for my time and energy. I feel that it's important to be where God wants me to be and doing only the things He has set out for me to do.
I feel such a beautiful grace on my new family and although there are challenges, I am ready and willing to face them because I'm excited to see the beauty my Lord will create from these "stretching pains". I won't be able to do the splits tomorrow but if I keep stretching the right way everyday, I will get there. In the same way, right now I am not taking on all the things on my mind to do but their time will come. 
I believe this is for someone today. 
Maybe you have lots on your plate already, are feeling overextended and need time to heal and gain back your energy. Maybe you're feeling the pressure to take more on and juggle just a few more things like you see your neighbour/friends doing. Maybe you're like me and have idea's of things you want to do but just can't see how you would manage it on top of the other things you have going on. Lastly, maybe you have been saying no to over extending yourself and need to be encouraged to keep on doing just that! No matter where you're at, I want to encourage you to sit back and ask God where He is and what He is doing in your life right now. He is always in our lives saying as well as doing something, so don't be afraid to see where He is and what He is saying to you. Once you know where He is at work in your life, join Him! He wants to restore all things broken, breath fresh life and hope into situations feeling hopeless and He wants you to know that He sees you right where you are and knows what's in your beautiful heart.

I'm praying for you friend. Praying for clarity so that you can see truth and know the Fathers heart for your life right now, I'm believing that seeing His heart will direct your path and give you the boldness you need to walk on it! He loves you so extravagantly and I love you too.

OOO <<<----- hugs from Sue