The Stuffed are Starving

As I approach the back of my house there is evidence of creative play ripped, tossed, dug, smeared, gathered and scattered all over the back yard and porch. The cement leading to the back door is different shades of dry mud and small finger smears welcome me as I open the back door. Something pierces and peace leaves places annoyed and desperate, I did not even know what or why. Entering through the threshold of the back door I enter in to the ciaos of my kitchen and now no matter how peaceful I was leaving the garage, I am boiling within…I am not sure why…but it is deep and I want to spatter ugly venom all over the clutter. Its as though entering that door was like jumping into deep water not knowing how to swim. I become desperate….

We have too much to manage.

Are we lazy?

I can not keep up.

We will never be FREE from STUFF….

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I try to stuff desperation with remedies of…its a time management issue…we could higher someone to clean…we just need to de-clutter…I could make and enforce a more chores…I could quit working but only to drawn in finances…NOTHING relieves and I settle for apathy and a bag of skittles…Then I feel my stomach churn uncomfortable and I brainstorm another list of remedies to save me from my sudden physical decline. That desperate feeling returns…more diet restrictions…definitely NO sugar…more rest…more exercise…more supplements…other Doctors…and.the.list.goes.on. There are SO many options, so many resources, I am stuffed yet starving.

I can clean up my clutter and diet. There will always be stuff to manage. Life is messy. These seem to sooth only until I realize that although there will always be stuff and messes in life what do I want to pour MY resources into??? Managing STUFF and DIET leaves me with no energy to feed souls…not even my soul. I could clean up my clutter but it will clutter up again and again in a vicious cycle. I WANT OUT OF THE CYCLE!!! How!?! I no longer want to feel held captive my stuff, money, attaining, retaining…IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE??

Christ came to set me free. His is my ONLY Savior. He is enough. If I truly believe that than why am I still drowning physically? I feel so much freedom emotionally and mentally! I feel peace and joy even in suffering that has relieved so much brain clutter!! Yet the physical symptoms of my too much life must have spiritual roots deep…why else would it bother me so??

Do I hold on to unrealistic expectations?

What is the flesh and what is the spirit prompting??

I analyze to keep my mind from despair.

I want freedom. I want enough to feed my body and spirit. For LOVE to be enough overflowing to give to others. What do others need to actually live?? Others need fed. Others need shelter. Others need water. Others need clothed. That is ALL I should need physical…than why am I still starving and drowning in the unnecessary?? WHY AM I STUFFING MYSELF WITH ALL THIS OTHER STUFF?? …All fleshly bodies have needs to live…AND also each person’s  spirit  has needs live. If only the flesh is fed then when it does die, and it will, there is NO OTHER LIFE if the spirit is dead. When flesh dies and one’s spirit is alive with PRESENCE than it will live ETERNAL in HIS love. Christ made is possible for our spirits to have LIFE eternal. My desire is for my spirit full of His presence that others FEEL IT when in my presence! His Spirit SO FULL in me that others benefit!! That feeding of spirit has NOTHING to do with stuff…in fact trying to feed your spirit with stuff is like trying to feed your physical body with mere dreams of food. It doesn’t feed, leaving the spirit starving to death. I am praying for an uprooting, a pruning and a replanting. For the power that raised Christ from the dead to raise me up out of this bondage

I read this today. I will end with this. Pray for me. Pray for you. Pray for us…to BE FREE. BE FULL. TO HAVE TO GIVE AWAY, ENOUGH.

“We don’t comprehend how much of God’s presence is available to us. Jesus so wants to fill us with His Spirit that there will always be more than enough. Not for us to selfishly consume ourselves, but to give away! Jesus wants to fill us to overflowing so that His presence will touch every single person who crosses our path in life.

Often we are so spiritually malnourished that we have nothing to offer anyone. We are weak vessels because we spend all our resources chasing after that which is not satisfying. But we need the presence of God more than we need anything else in life. IT is only His presence that will truly satisfy us. God is looking  for people who are hungry enough for Him a lone that will be able to feed a nation with His presence.

Anyone who is desperate enough for Jesus will be satisfied! Thank God there is nothing in ourselves that we can do to earn this provision–it has been paid for already! But we need a hungry heart to receive. And when we do, Jesus multiplies whatever He pours into us until we find ourselves feeding others–the spiritually desperate and starving. He wants to Place something of Himself in our hands that will be a provision to many.

We live in a broken world. Jesus wants us to notice and help those around us who are so in need of His presence. He wants us to reach out to them. But we can’t go to them empty-handed. We need the fresh bread of His presence to feed the starving.” – Expecting Miracles by Heidi and Rolland Baker

 

 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:35-40 ESV)

The American Dream or a Hellish Nightmare??

I am typing fast because I do not want these thoughts to drift away into the comfort of my middle class house or lulled to sleep by a giant flat screen TV and fresh popped popcorn. Driving my “monster” truck, as my sweet nieces fondly call our truck, home from a Coach Purse Bingo I was a little jealous that I left empty handed. I was hesitant to even go because honestly I am not REALLY into Coach but it was a great day out with some of my girls and to be completely honest I did not even know the cause we were bingo-ing for. It just happened to be an excellent cause that a local Dr. raises money to perform surgery and care for the poverty stricken country of Madagascar. There were hundreds of woman there with a lot of local support buying the purses that were up for winning. They even FED us and for as little as $20 that was a DEAL if you ask me. SO where am I going with this…back to the my ride home with my thoughts…the ones after the jealousy of not winning.

Just watch this…

 

So now I am sobbing and heart throbbing for those in need. While we American earning 100 times more living pay check to pay check in bondage to debt ungrateful, there are people living on $1 dollar a day thankful in bondage to poverty. Striving after the American dream leaves most of us in bondage in debt of finances and heart. What masquerades as a dream is in reality a nightmare straight from the Deceiver destined for hell.

Which is worse? Poverty or Debt??

Bondage is bondage.

Christ came to OVERCOME and gave us the POWER to OVERCOME!! I firmly believe we need to overcome the greed of the American dream to help those overcome the state of poverty. Greed leads to poverty of spirit…Pray to overcome and to be SET free whether you are in Debt or Poverty.

Zawadis-Feet

 

 

In Sickness and in Health

I lay last night in pain. The kind of pain that medicine does not ease. Raw intense mind messing with pain. That’s when the hissing began.

“And you think you have had healing…now you are here, again…if you had faith your God would be able to heal you.”

Tempted to despair I sifted words through filters of truth and even in the pain I took a stand on the Cornerstone and spoke into the darkness.

“Now WAIT just a hot second Condemner!! God is still God in suffering. He allowed His own SON to suffer physically, emotionally and relationally to ultimately lift Him up in GLORY. I am HIS child and I choose to trust that He is a GOOD God of power despite my weakest moments! I choose trust over despair and condemnation!!”

The pain did not subside and I prayed over and over the breath “YAH-Weh” in and out His name.

Sleep finally came and I woke in pain to start my day knowing I have to push on. I picked up the book I am reading about His Spirit and the work of POWER and although tempted to doubt…I resisted. On its pages I read an account of a woman grieving her daughter’s condition after a severe car accident her junior year of high school. There was a severe fight to overcome…work…a lot of work…pain immense pain…uncertainty…She chose Trust over Despair and wrote these words….

Life brings most of us to places where we realize we simply don’t have the internal resources we need to handle the external pressures weighing on us. We lose confidence in our own efforts and abilities. These are the times when the Spirit of God will wow us with wonders, if we will but turn and say, “I  am so weak. I need YOUR power. I can’t do this on my own. Fill me with your Spirit. Grace me with Your strength. Release You supernatural power in this fragile heart of mine.” Pam Vredevelt

In my time of prayer names and faces flooded my mind and I cried out for power and presence to wrap around them. A power beyond themselves. A peace that surpasses their understanding. Life brings the severe to illuminate the SOVEREIGN. It does not always progress the way we hope BUT there is still GRACE and POWER to endure for the JOY set before them.

Throughout scripture the church, all of us, are compared to His bride. The vows made on the wedding day came to mind….

In sickness and health…

If man can make that vow trying their best to remain faithful…Our GOD in His perfect love and endless resources can REMAIN. We just have to TRUST.

My fleeting pain brought me to a place low to remind myself of how weak I am, how weak I will ALWAYS be. This does not change WHO God is and the healing He has accomplished in ME…in fact it is the only place He chooses to display His most POWERFUL work…IN OUR WEAKNESS.

SO friends allow your pride to crumble under the weight of your insufficient and grasp in faith His incomparable riches.

To the Church, His Bride, who OVERCOMES!! Love, Stephanie

Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weakness, so that the power Christ may rest upon me. “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2Cor. 8-10

 

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Absent while Present

Blaise was busting from the seams to share as he burst through the front door fresh off the bus. He wrote a poem and wanted to tell me it word for word. The words tumbled from his brain and came out all messy like and he ran to get a yellow school lined paper to read the words right. As he read with gusto my heart sank a bit.

My Dad and I play games

and clean up at night.

My sister can be bossy

and we sometimes fight.

My Mom is always cleaning

she never seems to stop.

She comes to school to help out

and she really likes to shop.

My sister loves to play

with all her friends.

She tries to include me

she loves to play with me.

So I clean and shop. For the record I dislike both activities and would much rather be pouring myself into other things but ciaos steals rest from me so I try to keep a little order in our home and clean for a business as a means to contribute to our family financial goals. Would I RATHER be doing other things. UM, yes. I have little tolerance for imperfection of myself, it is annoying really. I felt as though the words on that yellow lined page said more that I was lost or absent in my presence. His poem stems from the perception of his eight years and what ever is in the moment. Yet I sobered to realize that his perception, skewed or not, is his REALITY. His reality of me at this time is…I am cleaning and shopping…yet I wonder if the later is due to HIS love for SHOPPING! ANYWAY.

Dropping my pride and grabbing grace I prayed over my sons reality. What do I want him to feel about me, because I am right now his glimpse of the Father Himself. There are a lot of things, but I want him to know I was PRESENT and ATTENTIVE. His poem depicted neither. Although I am here in this house cleaning and throw a bit of a tantrum when I am overwhelmed by the surmountable task, I am not present with HIM. Also I am aware that when I am overwhelmed, he hurts for me. So that may make it most memorable. Either way…I want to be purposeful about meeting HIS needs.

I become most aware of my Father’s love when I am IN His presence and see His provision over my every day. When I allow life and fear get in the way and loose sight of Him, I loose love and am consumed in fear and loneliness. That is a terrible place to be. Of late I spend deliberate time learning to remain in His presence and He has filled me in ways I did not know were empty. I long to be just a fraction of my heavenly Father to my son, a reflection that Blaise can see the Father’s love for him!!

My heart humbled, I prayed that I would invest the art of presence with my son and daughter. That I would engage and allow my whole person to be there with them. No mind wondering or heart aching for another…leaving tantrums for TRUST and my presence to be peace in our home. As I fill with His presence I pray that I spill it all over this little house birthing love and peace…and ALL the other treasures of PRESENCE dispelling all the darkness and lies of ABSENCE.

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Can I do that? Losing Time.

I read this quote and I have to admit it seems impossible. Yet I am wrestling with the notion that if it is possible, imagine ALL the possibilities!!

“It is essential to put all our time to good purpose. Grace has long since convinced you of this. It is a pleasant thing to come into contact with those who understand this, but there is a tremendous distance between the conviction of the intellect, even combined with the good intention of the heart, and a faithful and exact obedience.”

“There is a time for everything in our lives, but the maxim that governs every moment is that no moment should be useless. Every moment must enter into the order and progress of our salvation. Every moment must be accompanied by duties that God has allotted with his own hand, and of which he will demand and account. For from the first instant of our existence to the last, he has never designed for us a barren moment, nor one that we can consider as given up to our own discretion.” -Fenelon

I could pick this up heavy as a burden of striving to make every moment matter. Honestly though I can barely wrap my mind around it let alone pick it up to live. I confess that a lot of my moments are a means to escape the heavy in my life or the mundane or to keep from being consumed by the dark. So what would happen if I chose not to escape. Then what?! I may not know HOW but I am learning WHY and WHO. How does not reside with me because I am not perfect, light or life. I am not pure and holy. HOW resides with the One who is.

Time will tell.

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Called to Live Small

I had BIG dreams.

I wanted to save the WORLD.

I wanted to share my GIFTS with a LARGE audience.

I WAITED for my calling…My calling started with broken dreams. It has been knitted into my being over the last couple of years beginning with a GREAT humbling. Listen closely, read with your heart because I am going to share my calling with you RIGHT now.

I have been called to live SMALL in a BIG way!!

I have been called to live insignificantly in an extraordinary way.

I have been called to a weak nothing-worth-looking-at life in the POWER that raised CHRIST from the DEAD!!!!

I have been called to live turning-ashes-into-beauty with a LOVE that never ends life!!

And that my friend is a BIGGER-than-ME calling, thankfully I am given moment my moment prompting, moment by moment grace and a love that SO fills me up that I was to burst JOY over every small thing in my life.

YOU have a calling ON YOUR life…what.is.it?

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