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