Women2Nite Study-WELCOME!

I can hardly stand it! Summer is over, Fall is here and that means our bible study is beginning. Yippee!! We are going to have a rip-roaring God-time in His word, I just know it. I have already immersed myself preparing this summer in the book and study by Catherine Martin, Trusting in the Names of God. If you are joining us on Monday nights at the Grove or by cyberworld you are in for a real treat. I promise, promise, promise!

I have created space on my blog for us to dialogue about what we are learning. I have found that I learn best with others along the journey. Post your thoughts, questions and/or comments as we study each week and let’s have a blast growing together. You can find all the posts once we get rolling under the category “Trusting in the Names of God.” on the right side of the web page.

To get a dialogue started, What do you struggle with in trusting God?

Learning to trust Him more

Cynthia

A Tribute to Maggie 1997-2010

Funny how life-altering decisions can ease their way into your day and you find yourself having to let go. Today was an ordinary Saturday, mowing the lawn, cleaning the house and enjoying the simple pleasures of the last weekend of summer. Later in the afternoon, Kevin and I found ourselves in the vets office having to make a decision neither one of us had the courage to make. Our little spit-fire girl Maggie was sick. She has been dramatically sick at times and we have found her to be resilient in bouncing back. She has bounced back from  bumping into screen doors and scratching her eye, seizures and oh yes need I forget, her near death chocolate eating escapades. But today was different. Her injured eye of a few years ago revealed something more serious. She became listless, lethargic and her usual spunk was gone.

It was surreal as we listened to the vet read off our options like a newspaper report. Plain and simple it was a series of issues all connected that at her age of nearly 14 years really only could mean one thing. One thing we weren’t prepared for, one thing we had no idea when we woke up this morning we would have to make a hard choice, to let go. Let go of our little companion. As we both sat in the office  our faces wet with tears we said goodbye. We cried, we told her all the things we loved about her. Yes, even me. For all the times she drove me crazy, she still was a very lovable companion and I will miss her.

Maggie, I will miss your determination to find every scrap of food on the floor, butter on the table, chocolate in hidden places and surveying the room before you jumped up on the table to help yourself to leftovers. I will miss the memories of your cuddles with the boys, laying in Kevin’s lap as he read each morning with his cup of coffee, our walks and yes even yelling at you to get out of my kitchen!

Maggie wiggled her way into the hearts of those she stayed  with as well. She left her mark that is certain. She chewed through little boy’s lunch boxes to eat the corner of a forgotten sandwich. She playfully bit her caretaker’s dog. She became an unexpected visitor to neighbors who left their front doors open. She ran away several times looking for an adventure.  And yes, the most unexpected, her dachshund hunting instincts captured  my nieces bird in the house proudly thinking, “This is what I was born to do.” Unfortunately, my niece didn’t feel the same way. Oh Maggie, you were mischievous, fun-loving and yes sometimes very, very naughty. But we loved you and we will miss you.

Maggie came into our life in a time of transition back in 1997. Jeremy was just finishing highschool and soon would be leaving for college, I had to let go. She left our life today at a season of transition of becoming empty nesters this past year, another time of letting go. Maggie was just  a dog, a really cute dog, but she had a purpose. She was a life companion through moments of letting go.

Life is hard sometimes….

Life is hard sometimes-crazy, mixed up, messed up. And there you are, in the middle of it all, just doing your thing….being strong and brave and beautiful like it’s no big deal. But let me tell you, girl, IT IS! Not everyone can do what you can do. Not everyone can handle things the way you can. While you wonder sometimes if you’re doing ok…the rest of us are just watching in wonder.

I found the above quote in a card (Dayspring) the other day at the bookstore. I bought it. I am saving it for just the right moment. I might even frame it. It triggers something in my heart. I want to be that kind of woman. She is a princess warrior woman. She believes her God. She holds onto her faith and doesn’t let go. She knows God’s promises inside and out, so she can trust Him. When life gets hard she doesn’t collapse. She might cry, have a meltdown, but it is temporary. She brushes the tears away grabs her sword (her bible) and returns to what she knows is true. God never, ever, ever lets us down. He is faithful. He is the center to cling to in the eye of the storm.

That’s what I have been learning lately, Psalm 9:10. In case you aren’t familiar with this small little verse. Here it is, and I warn you it is packed with a punch!

And they who know Your name (who have experience and acquaintance with Your mercy) will lean on and confidently put their trust in You, for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek (inquire of and for) You (on the authority of God’s Word and the right of their necessity). Amplified Bible (don’t you love it?)

I realized after musing over this tiny little verse the power of the truth contained in those words. If I know God’s name, I can trust Him. Can you trust someone you don’t really know? I recognized once again that my problem with trust lies in my own ignorance. You see, I don’t trust deeply or willfully at times for one simple reason. I don’t know God like I could. And whose fault is that? MINE!!

How do we know God anyway? What does it look like? How can you and I get to know a God who is bigger than the universe, who was for a fact our creator. We can’t exactly make a date over coffee, or can we? I am discovering that I can’t know God on my own. I need help. I need spiritual eyes to see what I can’t see on my own. I have also realized that God wants me to know Him just as much or more than I could even conceive. Where do I start? Simply here, simply now with a cry for help to the one who made me and knows my every thought. (Psalm 139)

You know what? God hears me. He sees the secret desires in my heart to know Him more. He is revealing himself to me beyond just a sit-down coffee date with my bible. He is whispering His great love in the picture of the sunset. He is unveiling His truths as I watch the delight of my year old grandson. I see Him as I watch my friends share together. I hear His voice in a song that promises hope when life is unraveling.

Yes, Life is hard sometimes. The latter part of the verse in Psalms promises, God will never turn away if we come to Him with our messy, mixed up and crazy lives!   Are you ready to join me in knowing God’s name and His character more? Let’s do it! So that when we know Him, trust Him with our messiness, others will like the quote on the card said, watch with wonder!

T

Left for Dead in the Wilderness

Desolation, barren, dry; these are words that can all describe an experience in the wilderness. Two things can come out of a wilderness experience; a new journey or death. When I say death, I don’t mean physical death but rather a spiritual and emotional death. It’s when you write your own death certificate. It might say something like this,  ” I couldn’t find my way out of the wilderness so I am destined to pound in my tent pegs deeper in the hard dry soil and just make a go of it. Maybe, just maybe things will change, but I can’t find my way, so I am camping right here!”

That is how I felt at several points throughout much of last year and even some this previous spring. I felt left for dead in the wilderness. Life became so difficult; it was like walking in a sandstorm. It was hard to see and put one foot in front of another. I found myself there with my mouth full gritty sand and my eyes burning with the wind that I learned the greatest truth. I was desperate. I didn’t have to just survive. God actually wanted me to thrive in the wilderness. It was actually God’s will for me to flourish in the wilderness and not be left for dead. Contrary to the lies that were seeking to overcome me, God was there. His presence was real in the midst of the pain. He was my deepest comfort in the wilderness storm and He did provide.

My wilderness was a marriage that had a meltdown. Not meltdowns that you can kind of wade through and brush yourself off after you fall down. But a meltdown that nearly left us for dead. It was all we could do to garner all that we knew up to this point and cry out to God to help us figure out how to not just “make it” but to come out on the other side with new life and a hope for our future. It took humility for us both to realize we were beyond our own leadership skills and experience to emerge from the darkness.  We had to call in reinforcements and let others know that we needed help. Band-Aids were no longer an option. Surgery was needed.

In humility in the wilderness, I fell on my knees. I surrendered. Reinforcements arrived and carried me to the foot of the cross where I found hope and healing.

Today, we are on the backside of that wilderness; we have been bruised and broken. Each day brings new healing and hope and we look forward to our future.

I am a different person. I have emerged stronger with a greater sense of awe and love for my Jesus. I am grateful I didn’t get lost in the storm and just die in the wilderness. God resurrected His truths in my heart.  I know now when I am at the bottom and exhausted from the journey, God desires to give my desperate heart strength because He doesn’t believe in dead carcasses in the wilderness. I am destined to thrive and not just survive.

After almost two years…the blog post is here!

Today I was attempting to set-up a blog. I had my username, email, and it was not available! I couldn’t believe that my own username and email BOTH were not available. The reason why? Apparently in my techie frenzy back in January 09′ I had already set the blog up! Go figure!

I will blame it on the lazy days of summer, becoming a Grandma this past year or just plain forgetting! So here I am, first introductory entry with loads of backlog in the creative department.

I am hoping to use this blog to download some pent-up thoughts, inspirations, creative ventures and lots more. So stay tuned and be. Might be a few days, but I promise it won’t be another year and a half before I post something.

Laugh out loud and Live Ready!

Cynthia