Friday, November 29, 2013

I am what I am

 “By the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me” (1 Corinthians 15:10NIV).

Oh Father God help me to see that...that I am what I am by your grace...that I am not too great a sinner, to much of slow learner, a repeat offender to be forgiven but more then that, to be your servant and to bring others to you.  

Somedays I feel like I'll never get this, I'll never change, never stop making mistakes over and over again.  I keep thinking that the reason we, our family, Geoff and I, are stuck in the spot we can't seem to get out of is because we just don't change, we just keep making the same mistakes over and over and until we stop you can't bring us out of this.  
But I know this is the enemy tormenting me, making me feel punished.  I also know that You are changing us God.  The last 2 weeks have brought such change, such light, such hope to our lives.  Nothing in our financial situation has changed, none of the stress is really gone but you have brought us to a place where we are working together to change what we can...the chaos, disorganization and clutter in our house and our lives.... and letting what we can't change be something we give to you.  
And it's working Lord, I feel it, I feel you.
Lord we just want to serve you, to be a witness to you.  I am very certain there are many who look at us and shake their heads and wonder how we can call ourselves followers of you... those who have known us for so long and are stuck viewing us for the past we lived, the sins we committed.  But You have brought others to our lives who see each tiny step we take and encourage us, praise us, compliment us...celebrate with us...and moreover, pray with us.  I thank you Jesus for bringing those people to us and for bringing us the hope to push past those who can't see it and focus only you, not on those the enemy wishes us to hear and see.

Please bless all today who are seeking you, needing you.  I pray especially for Geoff today...I am very certain that you have a big change about to happen for him...if not today then very soon.  Please help us to be patient and hopeful and keep our eyes on the prize...YOU!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Give Thanks for a Grateful Heart

Heavenly Father;
Today's devotion spoke of Thanksgiving...obviously American based since it's their Thanksgiving today.  It challenged me to think about how thankful I am, how often I express that as well how gratitude is a powerful witness to you and how I will live that out.
Jesus you have walked a difficult path with me and I am so very thankful that you are there each step of the way.  I could sit here to day and type about all the many things I am thankful for... a faithful, loving husband, amazing children, our home, our food, our health, a wonderful family of parents, brothers, sister in laws, nieces and nephews, the most amazing church and church family, caring friends, a great job I love etc.  But the thing that catches me on this is the question 'how is gratitude a powerful witness to our faith in you?
I don't even have to pause to think...being grateful for all that losing my son has brought to my life is likely the most powerful witness I can imagine.  And truly Lord, I am thankful that my son is with you.  I am thankful for the experiences that loss has taught me.  I am so very blessed by all the people that have come into my life because I lost him.  I am delighted in the things You have motivated me to do through the healing process after losing him.  I am sad, I get angry, I know that I wish, many times over, that he was here.  But I am grateful and I thank you Lord for taking Cole home and giving him an eternity of pain free existence.  Moreover God, I am so very thankful that you saved my life, changed my life, made me more whole, more sympathetic, empathetic and more compassionate through his loss.
God you are ever powerful but you are also ever loving.  I am so blessed and my life is so rich because you choose it to be that way.  You have given me great gifts and I thank you for each and every one...even the ones that others would never wish on anyone!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Groans and Grumbles

Father God;
What a wonderful message you have brought to me today about the complaints Moses received from his people and how the way we respond to trials in life reflects on our character but more importantly, on our faith in you.
Life gives us trials. Some people seem to have more then others...but then maybe that is just the way it seems because we hear more about their problems...because they are always grumbling.  As per my devotion this morning...
We’re right to groan beneath the burdens of a fallen world, for “all creation has been groaning” right along with us. But we groan in hope, believing that one day all will be made right when Jesus returns to set us free “from sin and suffering” (Romans 8:22-23).
Father God help me to grumble no more.  Help me to remember that groaning is okay, that it is expected that I will find the trials of life difficult and will throw my hands to you in a plea for support.  Just remind me God what you said in James 1 2-4...that I need to find joy in trials for trials bring perseverance and perseverance will bring maturity and wisdom to my life.  I can't grow up, can't grow in you, grow towards you, if I don't have trials to bring me to the point that I admit I can't do it alone.  You know, God, just how hard the trials are at times in this house.  But you also have seen how far we've come and how much we know that you have brought us through them and will continue to do so.
Remind of this God, when I forget, when I struggle...when my groaning turns to grumbles.  Remind me God that you are there and you will take me through it. Use me God, use my trials, my life and the faith I put in you through it to show others what you can do in their life.  If that means I need to have obvious trials in all of my life so be it.  I know I can do it through you and I know that others can learn so much by what you do through me.

Bless all those in my life who are struggling, who do have trials.  May they know the love and support I feel from you.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Giving it Up

Heavenly Father;
Today you have the story of Jacob wrestling with you in human form from Genesis in my hands and my heart.  I have to admit, it really makes me think of all that I wrestle with, all that I feel torn about and not wanting to give up.  It's so hard to change God, it's hard to give up the things that I know aren't the best for me, aren't the most honouring to you, take away from my time with you, with your word, with prayer and with my family too. It's so hard to give up the foods I love and the time I have in order to prepare my body to serve you.
 I know what some of those things are and yet I continue to justify why I can't give them up, I continue to fight you on this.  I let the enemy control my time instead letting you control it.  I let myself be selfish instead of remembering the selflessness of your son, Jesus.
God help me to keep my focus on you.  Help me to put you first.  Open my eyes and my heart to the time I can be giving to you to read your word and pray instead focusing on the things that are my selfish wants and needs.
I want to serve you Lord but I am so easily tempted to serve myself.  I want to eat healthy, want to be more active and fit...and yet I give in to sweets, snacks, treats...and give in to thing like facebook instead of working out, spending time with you and with my family.
I am vowing today to make an stronger effort to change.  I vowing to being more dedicated to the things I feel are coming from you.
Thank you Lord for all that you continue to bless me with

Thursday, November 14, 2013


Father God today you have brought words to me that I needed to hear.  In Nahum we learn of the consequences to the people of Ninevah that Jonah had warned...we learned that they didn't learn their lesson and they were punished for their wicked ways.... and we also learned that the victims of Ninevah were pleased with the consequences that you gave the Ninevites.
It struck me that so often we forget that we need correction in order to live a good order to be rewarded with a good life.  When we do not lose our faith through those corrections then we are rewarded even more.
God I want to be corrected.  I know there are many errors in my ways.  I know that I make mistakes daily and believe that you are encouraging me to repent so that you can reward me.  Open my eyes Lord and help me to see what I am doing that is holding you back.  And help me Lord to share this message with others.
All my love to you Lord Jesus, maker of Heaven and Earth and forgiver of all my many mistakes.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Godly Wife

Father God, you are so holy, so full of goodness and grace.  You have forgiven me of so much and yet you continue to keep blessing me with grace.  I just don't seem to get it somedays, ok many days, Lord.  I am so new to turning to you for help and to turning to your word.  I am learning, I am working on it....but some days I just feel stuck, feel like I am just not going anywhere.
God I need your help to understand how to be 'a good Christian wife' in my world.  Not the one of the bible, not the one of those around me but my world...the one I encounter daily, the one that has the setting of my family.  I am struggling in this area a lot and in reading Proverbs 31 I am realizing I am just not cutting it at all.  The biggest area I don't cut it in is being respectful to Geoff, always encouraging him, never undermining his authority, doing things to honour his name (and not cutting him up to others). But most of all I have a hard time in giving up the leadership of the family, in allowing him lead our family in all aspects.  I don't know what this looks like to be honest.  Help me God to understand how to do this.  Help me to see how I can give up control to him even though I see him as out of control at times.  Show me how to not use my success as a working person, my ability to keep employed and being the consistent breadwinner in our family as a way to excuse why I 'need' to be in control of this family.
God I am just searching here so much.  I need your help Lord.  I need to become a better wife and a better person within my household.  I need to manage things better here and have a home that is honouring to you.  Please help me to turn to you for guidance and help  me to find the resources that will  make this happen.
I want to honour you God and I am asking for your forgiveness for the areas that I have not been doing this so far.  I am so very sorry God.
Today I vow to make a change in the wife that I am and I will try hard to honour you in all of this.

Thursday, November 7, 2013


Bless you Lord, oh my soul, worship your holy name!  Oh there are so many reasons why I can sing this song, so many reasons to bless you for blessing me.
Today's devotion rang so true God...that by blessing you for all you have done for me, I am raising you up, bestowing upon you the good things that I can.  I mean you have everything so what could I possibly bless you with except my devotion, my honour, my thanks.  When I raise you up, when I say I bless the Lord, I mean it with all my heart. I love you Father God, above everything.  I want others to see that love so that they, too, will see their blessings and know you.
Today is a gift more then any other day.  Today I thank you for my life...for the 39 years of life I have had.  It's a day to honour the gift my life has been, to honour that you gave me life on this day 39 years ago.  So much has happened in this life and not all of it has been honouring to you.  Even now, as I have been born again to my faith, I continue to do things that are not honouring to you.  God please help me to be an ambassador to your amazing blessings, to your amazing love.  Help me to show others through my actions, my words, my day to day life that I am child of you, that I am your servant.  Help me to show the 10 000 reasons that I bless you....for you have given 10 000 000 million reasons for me to do it, you have blessed me abundantly, I have an abundant life, a life worth living, a life full of so much.  Help me to honour you Father, help me to be the vessel that leads others to you.
Thank you today and every day God, for my life, for your love.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

All That I have

Father God today I am completely convicted of the selfish greed that is in my heart.  As I read in my devotions today about those who have had so little and yet still gave to others, as I read

2 Corinthians 8:1-5

New International Version (NIV)

The Collection for the Lord’s People

And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able,and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us.

I am completely filled with the knowledge of how selfish I am.  
We have so much, we have food to eat (and are so blessed with the places that help to supply us with food when there just isn't enough money to buy all we need), we have a roof over our heads, a warm home on these cool days and we have electricity (and all the gadgets to hook into it).  We have clothes, we have toys, trinkets, pretty things.  You have blessed us over and over again. 
And yet I wandered through Walmart last night wondering how on earth I will be able to buy any Christmas presents last night, wondering where the money will come from to pay the bills so that I can buy something for my kids.  
What does that matter when there are so many who have so little???
God I need help.  I need to be able to put it in perspective.  I need to stop thinking  of what I don't have and be ever thankful for what I do. I need to look at what I have and offer it others.  I need to be generous of spirit.  There has to be ways to make this work.
God you know our financial situation.  You know how hard it's been lately and you know exactly what we need to get through this....and you provide that.  But we don't see that. We see the bills that aren't paid, we see the things we need to buy for the kids or for us, we see the things we wish we had and we just keep worrying about money.  Perhaps if we stopped thinking like that and started looking for ways to help others with what we have, the answers to the problems in our own life would be right in front of our faces, the money we think we need would either no longer be an issue or it would be there in some form or another.
I thank you God for putting Ali Matthews, her ministry and her wish to serve you in our path this weekend.  We have talked long enough about sponsoring a World Vision child...and now we are.  Perhaps this is one step in the right direction.  God help to show us where more steps can be found.  Maybe the secret isn't the money we have to give to those without but the time we do have to help those, to help projects that help those, the talents we have to help.  
God I am so filled with hope right now.  I know that this is you working in me. You are, once again, showing me that I am not hopeless, I am able to help and I am able to provide for those who have less then me.  Help me to stay focused on this Lord.  Help me never to lose focus on the ways I can serve you.
And once again Father God I thank you for placing this new book in my hands and showing me the ways I need to change so that my body can serve you.  I have focused so much on the selfish reasons to lose weight but the fact is that I only have a body because You gave it and I only have one body so I need to honour it, treat it as the temple that it is, treat it in the image it was created...You.  I need to stay focused on being healthier to serve you...for no other reason.  The healthier I am the more I can do for you...the more energy I will have, the more ideas I will come up with, the more focused on you and not on me I will be.... and the longer I will live to be able to do this.
Please help me to learn, to absorb, to appreciate all this book will share with me and then help me to spread this word to others.  There are so many who need to hear the words that you are sharing with me through this book
Thanks God...for everything you give me.  I am so very blessed and I want to bless others, I want to give in your name.  I want to be generous and honouring to you. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Self Control

Father God you are so amazing.  You work in such wonderful ways, such admirable ways.  You place just what we need to hear, need to read in our hands at just the right time.  Your divine ways are so awesome.
You know how I am struggling.  You know how hard it has been for me to continue to be healthier, to lose the weight that has plagued me for years.  And now you have placed a book in my hands that has given me, in just 10 pages, a perspective on why I need to do this that I've never considered.

Titus 2:11-13

New International Version (NIV)
11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,

Self Control... not something I have much of many days.  I have good intentions many days but until I began reading Every Body Matters I really gave it no thought as to why I needed to have intentions.  And even as I write this I realize that my intentions really weren't that 'good'...they were honouring to you but instead were honouring to me.  I thought of it only from my perspective.  I wanted to lose weight to look better (totally selfish) but also to feel better.  I cut out some foods from my diet with the hopes of feeling better and that is great...but it's not the right reason.
Jesus you saved me. You came into my life when I was in desperate need of change, of salvation.  You helped me find my way out of a dark pit that as surrounding me.  You gave me hope.
And what have I done for you God.  I know that there are answers.  I have impacted others with my testimony with the purpose of helping others to find you.  But until I began to read this book I really gave no thought to the body I am using to do this with.  As Gary Thomas wrote, 'The reason I get into shape is not to impress others or make them feel inferior, not to demonstrate personal discipline and self control but to become, as Paul writes, instruments for special purposes, made Holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do good work'.  
I was saved to serve... we all were.  
Wow...saved to serve... very powerful idea that I am 100% sure that so many Christians have not fully contemplated...not from this perspective.
How can we be saved to serve if our bodies are healthy enough to serve? 
God I need your help.  I need you to open my eyes and close my mouth. I need you slow down my whirling mind so that I can hear you and reve up my body to become more and more fit.  Help me find the time to fit all of this in.  Help me to see how important this is.  I know that I am meant to do great things...we all says so in Jeremiah 29:11.  You have plans for me and I am getting in your body, my selfishness, my appetite, my laziness...all of these things get in your way.
God I just want to be something great for you.  I want others to be able to see me as a light to you.  But I need to remember that the focus is on you.  I need to get healthy, to lose this weight, to strengthen this body not for me, not for my reasons...but for yours.  So that I am stronger and more able to serve you.
I dream of a day that I can just go on any mission trip you wish me to.  That I am healthy and strong and able to go anywhere you call me to.  I need to be able to survive without the foods I THINK are important.  I need to have the stamina to keep going.  I need to feel healthy and not have a mind that is clouded, fuzzy, foggy...overtaken by the foods that my body never needed in the first place so that I can focus on you and your message to me.

Thank you amazing Father for placing the words in my hands, in my eyes, in my mind and in my heart...the words I needed to hear.
You are so amazing Lord!  I am here to serve you!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Worth it all

Heavenly Father;
What a wondrous thing it is to have yet another day in your presence.  And yet how often do I not rise thinking that way.  Some days I get up with a sense of dread, a sense of worry, a sense of panic.  It's hard not to.  Life is pretty stressful lately.  I wonder how I am to feed this family, provide for this family.  I wonder how I can keep it all together and get everyone out the door (and that rarely happens as you know).  I wonder how I can encourage others when I feel so discouraged at times.
But I only need to look to you and all you have done to realize that it is worth it.  You brought this amazing child into this world.  A child who changed everything.  He changed how people thought and he changed how people acted.  And then his life was brutally taken away...your child, taken away.....oh how I can relate!  But it didn't end there, the pain that you felt, that the world felt was worth it because HE CAME BACK!!!
It's hard to see our trials that way God, as being worth it.  But I know they are.  Our trials strengthen and challenge us.  They bring us closer to you because we get to the point where we realize that there is nothing left to do but to lean on you.  Us humans are stubborn, we're self reliant.  We need to realize we can NEVER do it alone.
I need to realize this.  I need to remember that you are with me every step of the way.  I need to see what those like Apath and Paul saw... that they, in their earthly lives, may never see the results of their efforts here on earth but that doesn't mean they aren't results and it doesn't mean that they would not see them from heaven.
And even better then this is that just because I can't see an end in this tunnel of financial stress and trying times what I will see, if I just open my eyes, is that by enduring these trials with my faith still in tact, with the ability to praise you on my tongue daily, I will change lives too.  Those around me will be changed, will be inspired...they will look to you as I have looked to you because they will see how doing so kept me going.
The sacrifices that Paul made were worth it.  The torture, the imprisonment were worth it as he was given the crown of righteousness...and he was given this because his faith never wavered and he praised you til his dying days.  Jesus sacrifice was worth it...his death changed the world.
Who am I to think that my sacrifice isn't worth it, that the trials I am enduring aren't making a difference somewhere?
God please just remind me that this is not my life, it is yours.  This world is not my home, it's just stopping ground for you to use me to better the world, the change others.  My prize is still coming, I won't know fully what it is til I am in your presence in Heaven.
Guide me Lord to make the choices that will bring me ever closer to  you but also ever closer to the life you want me to live to be a witness for others.  I am your servant Father...even if I do choose to serve myself at times.  Keep me focused Father God and bring me ever closer to you.