April 2009


Tears: I had to take my contacts out again and go to my glasses. I have been so moved by the Holy Spirit lately and I am leaking all the time. I know it has to be the Holy Spirit because I just had my check up and the hormones are good. Laugh. It is okay! I think I physically represent what scriptures talk about when they say we will overflow with living water! At least, I like to think that is what is happening.

Pursuit: I cannot adequately explain in words what the Lord is doing in my heart but I am compelled to try. I cannot adequately express the depth of the love that I feel washing over me in endless waves. I wish I could just lay down and let it over take me, but the sense of responsibility to my family and friends is in direct competition with the Love of my life. He is pursuing me with an intensity that I have only felt once before. I am aware of His voice tempting me to come away every moment. It is so compelling yet, I sense that there is more to it than what I can comprehend. So I am trying to move cautiously and learn this time, all the while, my heart is on fire. Let me tell you about the first time I felt His presence this way.

Know the WORD: While at my first women’s retreat, I had an amazing experience. I had a private encounter with the Lord who I knew I had met when I was only 8 years old. That reunion was awesome and I was reminded of the call that I had answered so long ago, yet had somehow walked away from and had forgotten about completely. After feeling such joy, I was told to study the Bible for 4-5 hours at a time. His voice in my heart was so clear that I was to KNOW the Word inside and out. Immediately my immature mind raced to figure out how that could be accomplished. I thought I was being called away to Bible college, where else could I study in depth like I knew I must? But I had a family and I could not believe the Lord was calling me away from them. I wrestled with God and the calling I knew He placed in my heart, trying to reconcile it. How could I give up my kids to run away to study, especially since Curtiss wasn’t even a believer yet? I knew of a woman that had done just that and what was said about her scared me to death. I cried and cried as if my heart were splitting in two, but I knew I would chose the Lord regardless of the cost. Later that same day, I heard a woman’s testimony about laying our Isaac down and then I knew the Lord had been asking but never intended to have me go through with it. He just wanted to know, or have me know my heart. Shortly after that, I got a job I didn’t want. Curtiss had asked me to get a job to help with expenses now that Micah was in school. I got the job right after my first interview and it was for a christian man. I was to be the only gal in the office and I had a huge bookkeeping mess to clean up for them. I worked solidly for about 4 months to get everything straightened out and then I had lots of free time on my hands. I had purchased Precept Ministries’ Inductive Study Bible right before I got the job and began to study at work as long as I got my tasks done and answered a phone that rarely rang. My boss seemed to always be out of the office so I was alone there most days. My “free” time that I was being paid for amounted to 4-5 hours a day in intensive Bible study.  God is so good. I pretty much worked my way through that Bible underlining and coloring the key words and filling in the study section at the back of each book. There were only a few Old Testament books that I didn’t cover before things in my life changed and I quit my job. Now, I cannot quote the Bible with ease and most of it isn’t in my conscious memory but I KNOW what God has said and who He is. The Holy Spirit prompts me all the time and it comes out from somewhere, I think it is truly hidden in my heart.

Orbit: I wish I could tell you that that intensity stayed with me, but it didn’t. Shortly after that, I had a long period of emotional instability. I began to deal with the extreme abuse I suffered as a child in a very deliberate way. I was in prayer counseling and my life was completely turned upside down for about 6 years. I felt like a planet with a really out of shape orbit. God was the center of my universe but the distractions of the circumstances of life or my need to please or conntect to other people acted to pull me out, far away, only to fling me back towards the center when I was left empty or hurt by those encounters. I suffered a lot of loss. I almost lost my marriage and more frightening I almost lost myself. I decided the only way to preserve myself and my family was to pull way back and just go through the motions of my christian walk. The orbit became just the way things were.
But Praise God he has not left me to this crazy, unfulfilled way to live. My family has been drawn to Christ, one by one and there is a safety I have now. I have others that are praying and who I can talk to about God and I am less lonely, I was being strengthened. My husband is in the lead and I have a sense of peace that I have never known before.  But . . . I began to feel the wooing and this time I am being encouraged to find the center of my gravity instead of being pulled away. So let me explain what is happening now.

Know the LOVE: The wooing started out first with little presents being given to me; a surprise fabric shower so that I could quilt with my mom, a trip paid for so I could meet some online friends, a pattern so I could sew a birthday present and on and on in almost an embarrassing way. Now, to fully understand, I need to be honest and say that it was very difficult for people to give me presents. I became a taker early on, probably in response to the abuse. I knew how to manipulate to get what I wanted and if that didn’t work, I just took it. But I repented of that a while ago and resigned myself to be content with what I was given, believing in my heart that no one truly wanted to give me anything. I wasn’t worth it and was someone people took from and somehow, I deserved that. With each gift, I could hear God’s voice telling me the desires of my heart mattered to Him and I was moved to tears with these God kisses. He truly desired to give to me and these people also loved giving simply because they loved me. At the same time that knowledge became apparent, I was led back to my home church through some circumstance where I was helping someone else. That first Sunday back, I realized that I was making excuses not to go and I was hiding a bit. Our church is experiencing a revival and I realize I was afraid of the intensity I once felt. So I made excuses and went hit and miss. But, those times, I hit, served to draw me back. I felt a hint of something powerful, something I knew well and I wanted it, afraid as I was. Now, bear with me on this part because although I dont’ completely understand it, I know it to be true. God is a creative person and can use both conventional and unconventional ways to speak to us. A few weeks ago, almost simultaneously, I heard a new worship song that has became firmly stuck in my head and I began reading a new series of books. The worship song is “Where you go, I’ll go” recorded by Brian and Jenn Johnson and the books are the Twilight series. The unusual part is because of my childhood, I stay very far away from anything that even hints at the occult. But several women in our family have read them and said they were really good and Kendal has read them. I trusted them that they would not lead me to read something that would disturb me. I decided to watch the movie with the kids one night and found that the story is very moving. Then I was surprised by my daughter in law who borrowed the books from her sister so I could read them. This song and these books are so compelling. It seems like when I am not reading the books, which have been so hard to put down, I am hearing the song and I am singing the words with my whole heart. When I am reading the books, I am hearing God speak to me about the intensity of the main characters relationships and comparing that with the way the Lord feels about me. The main characters in the story are self sacrificing in their intense need to be with each other.  They cannot fathom being apart and in fact, cannot live without each other. Each character cannot understand why the other feels that way about them. They feel so unworthy of the others love. I began to speak to God and question why He could Love me that way, with such an intensity and with such a need. He seemed to be saying that He could not live without me. That is impossible! He is God and I am just me. But I knew that is exactly what He was saying. This calling back was more intense than I have ever felt. Even that first time. But like that first time, I was being asked to make a sacrifice. I felt as if I was being asked to give up everything that I could possibly hold in my hands and my heart. Even my husband, who is the center of my earthly life even though he may not believe it. This time, mixed with the pain of loss and choice I felt was a peace. My mind had matured some and I asked God for the how, instead of trying to figure it out myself. I felt a sense of complete and utter safety that I have only known that time when I was 8 years old. I know I will do whatever it takes to respond to this intense LOVE. It is overwhelming, irresistible and so undeniable. This LOVE is worth it all. It is yet to be seen How this will come about. What my response will look like.

Excitement: The excitement I feel today is breathtaking and yet there is a calmness about it. I think it is a certainty that great things are happening. It almost feels like I will soon be seeing Jesus face to face. Not in the second coming way, but in a Moses kind of way. To see the lover of my soul and know Him as I am known. The way that will transform me into someone who CAN do His will. Can go where He is going, to say what He is saying and to pray what He is praying. I have wondered How, like the song reminds me, that Jesus only did what He saw the Father do, only spoke what He heard the Father speak. I believe it is all because of LOVE. I MUST be so close, so In LOVE and LOVED that I will be partnering in what He is doing. I believe the Kingdom is at hand and it is in my heart. I believe there is a way to live day by day on this earth but in heaven as well. I think this is the lesson I am being taught and my heart says, “It is about time!” I truly feel that I was compelled by the Lord to share this. I don’t know who is supposed to hear this message, but I pray that you will be blessed. I have an expectation that the message will be received by who it is intended.

With all the Love of Christ that this body can contain,

ariel

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I am having an identity issue. It isn’t really a crisis, but it is a bit of a challenge.

I simply don’t know what to wear or what to do with my hair!

I think I go through this a bit each Spring after I start waking up from my winter hibernation in bulky coats and sweaters and jean. I had lost 50 pounds last year, but put 15 of those pounds on during the hibernation. Ugh! I still want to lose a bit more but in the meantime, I have to shed these layers and wear something. But what? To confuse matters worse, I am approaching the big 50! What the heck does a 50 year old wear? I know, I can hear my cute Red Hat ladies saying in unison, “Anything that she wants to wear, (as long as it is purple and red).” But seriously, that just isn’t me.

I tried to get some help on the internet for age appropriate dressing and was even more confused.  I have watched the show, “What not to wear” and have bribed the kids to nominate me, but they haven’t so far.   So I decided to turn to some trusted buddies and again, the general consensus: “ Wear what you want, what makes you feel good”.  That is the problem. I Don’t KNOW What I Want!

I read where at my age I am supposed to know who I am and what I want.  But that so isn’t true of me.  I was stuck for so long and I don’t know who I am: other than I KNOW that I am the daughter of THE KING and I can do anything through Christ who strengthens me.  I am more than a conqueror and so on!  But how does my knowledge of who I am in Christ help me find clothing I feel comfortable in and that is flattering on me?  Like I said, it is kind of an identity thing. I am searching for how to clothe the REAL me.  So I began looking at all kinds of styles, not paying attention to the age or shape of the models So . . .


Okay, here is another confession.  Don’t they say that confession is good for the soul?


I am a wanna be bohemian hippee chick; have been deep down in my heart of hearts.  I would have dreadlocks, a tattoo and bangles up my arms and maybe even a nose ring if I were 20 something.  I am so serious.  I don’t know why I feel this way, I don’t think it is rebellion, but it could be. I have a little bit to rebel against when it comes to how my personality was formed. But since I am not 20 something and I am not sure our Lord would approve, I will settle for a few tiered skirts, a tunic or two, beads and bangles.  Throw in that Boho dress that I was going to make and then was afraid people would think it was a Halloween costume,  a few more tiered skirts,  a few scoop neck embellished Ts and some tanks and I should be good for Spring/Summer at least.  I do know I love skirts and dresses so I will be trying to make several of those. That should satisfy the bohemian in me.

But as soon as I thought that was that, the romantic started swooning and pretending to faint. She wants soft, deep jewel tones, elegant laces, sheer chiffons and rich velvets. Since I do have plenty of heirloom sewing experience, I could satisfy her with a few pieces. So, out of my tote, comes a petticoat skirt with a beautiful fancy band I made and then promptly felt silly in. I can envision a chocolate brown velvet tailored jacket with a ruffly blouse. A few soft chiffon skirts or dresses, and some modest camis should keep her upright for a little while. My hair is pulled up in a soft messy bun with tendrils hanging to frame my face. Yes, I can do that.

Nope, there goes a whoop and holler from the cowgirl. She gets the skirt, after all most cowgirls have a prairie skirt or two, but we need jeans and jeans jackets. I have a few jean or jean style jackets. In fact, I  just finished making a really neat jacket (see something old, something new post). It wasn’t my size but I have enough stuff to do another one, minus the lace skirt and tulle LOL! I love jeans and do need a new dark wash pair. I love the Santa Fe look of pairing jeans and the romantic look together, so that is totally doable.

Now that that is settled and I think I can pull this off, WHAT AM I TO DO WITH THIS HAIR? I know the long, stick straight look is popular and Demi can manage it without looking ancient, but I don’t know. I think it ages me. I am going to do a bit of color and I know what I like with that. But I really want to go short. NO, I mean SHORT. But I am too chicken so I will most likely go with the long and straight. I can try out the romantic updo as a dear friend gave me step by step how to instructions or there is always the Sarah Palin do that I paid $10 bucks to learn how to do. Did I mention that I became a girlie girl at 40+ and didn’t have a clue on hair or make up?  Oh, make up !!!   Well, that will be what that will be or I will be undone if I have to try to deal with that.  Actually, I am cool with my make up routine.    

Thanks to all my friends for their great advice and helping me through this crisis, I mean process. I am feeling much more settled today! Or could it be the bit of sunshine in between the snow flurries? Looks like I will have plenty of time to sew!