Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Children of the Storm - Part 2

Imagine being on the opposite side of town from where your child is when a tornado warning is issued.  What do you do?  Call your child to issue safety instructions?  Stay put and hope for the best?  Rush to his or her side in spite of the potential danger to yourself?  Or do you pray that God will take care of your child?   

When you see a storm is getting ready to strike in the path of where your child is headed, know that God has already set up a standard against that storm and it won't prosper.

I witnessed that firsthand this past weekend.  Praises be to God for blocking snares.

There is a product called 'The Refuge' that is designed to keep you safe during an actual tornado.

There is a God called spoken of in Psalm 46:1 that will keep you safe during your spiritual storms.

Since we would be considered irresponsible parents if we saw a tornado coming and didn't take ourselves and our children to the place designed to keep us safe until the tornado passes, doesn't it stand to reason that it is also our responsibility to rush to God, our refuge, when a spiritual storm is approaching.

My children know that should a tornado strike, they should go underneath the basement stairs in our home and cover themselves with blankets from the laundry room.  If I am not home, all I can do is pray they will remember.  The same applies to their spiritual storms.  I had to teach my children over and over to go to God when they are being battered by the winds.  I had to let them witness me doing the same.

My children learn to run to God through scripture.  You can call us bible thumpers or Holy Ghost rollers until you can't any longer, but I have relief in knowing they know how to stand on the promises of God and apply them to their lives.

Let us be responsible parents and keep our children as safe as we can by teaching them the Word of God.  What do you think?

Hebrews 4:12 - For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Children of the Storm - Part 1

When it rains in the lives of our children, it rains in our lives.  That is because our children are an extension of us.  As parents, we must make sure our children have the necessary gear to keep the rain from soaking them. 

It is vital that we show our children how to use the umbrella of God's protection.  Psalm 46:1 tells us that God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in our time of trouble.

If our children see us going to God in the midst of a storm, it is very likely he or she will follow our example.  It's never too early to teach them the fundamentals of surviving a storm.

Also, it's never too late.  Start today.

Sunday, December 29, 2013


Floods are composed of many tears
Piled up and collected throughout the years.
Some tears trickle down your face.
Others are stubborn and stay in place...causing a flood.

What I know is that floods occur when the sewers are not capable of holding all the water.  The sewers become backed up.

When our emotional sewers are backed up with hurts that have gone unresolved, emotional floods are bound to occur.  We must deal with the pain that we feel when people injure us.

How do we do that?  The answer is simple:  Have a conversation with God.

I spoke with God this morning and cried my eyes out.  Over the past two weeks, I have been scolded as if I am a child.  I have been accused of being a type of person I am not.  I have been removed from "friends" lists because I dared to go against the grain of what other people think my norm should be and actually spoke my mind.  How dare I?  

When taken alone, these things are not bad; but when piled together (because I never really dealt with the emotional impact of them), they became a flood.  Have you ever been so emotionally clogged that you could barely speak because the pain was so great?  You may have found it difficult to even cry.  That is where I was this morning. 

I am so thankful that I serve a God who allows room for our errors and loves us in spite of them.  I am also grateful to serve a God who listens to our cries and hurts with us.

Am I still hurt?  Yes.  However, I was able to release a little of the pain.  I am no longer backed up.

What I am is resolved.  I will not allow dead leaves (people who are quick to notice my faults and disregard my true character of kindness) to clog my emotional sewer ever again.  This is what God has revealed to me.  My value is legitimate because my value comes from God.  He and He alone knows my true character and gives me validation.

Go ahead and cry a little today.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Rambling out of Hibernation - Keeping it Real

Just me.  Just what I feel.  Just putting it out there and knowing it will set me free - as the truth always will.  I feel like I am finally coming out of my winter cave.  I began this blog in January 2012 and had stopped blogging by February 2012 because the response had not been that great.  Of the two responses I received, one was encouraging while the other gave me guidelines on how to blog.

I then began Facebook gaming.  Boy, was that a day taker.  Sure, I would get tidbits of housework done here and there, but it was "in between" my gaming.  I felt useless and guilty, but I told myself that it was okay to sit at the computer and achieve getting to the next level because I needed the down time.  It was bringing me down alright. 

It didn't get really bad until the end of February when my neighbor lost her husband and the father of her children - I ran deeper into hibernation.  I was running on autopilot.  The pain I was experiencing behind his death was almost unbearable.  I was consumed with a sadness that I couldn't express to anyone, so I burrowed deeper into my cave.

I would see my neighbor pushing through her day and wonder, "How is she doing that?"  I knew that she had to be hurting one hundred times worse than I was, but there she was - out taking care of business, taking care of her children, cleaning the yard, etc.  All I wanted to do was wake up and just sit with her and hold her.  Yet, there she was living - - - living with an incredible support system.

It was during that time that I realized I didn't have the kind of friendship I so desperately needed and desired.  I couldn't think of anyone to call and talk to about how I felt because everyone I knew was going through some sort of major ordeal.  I needed a friend who would for once just listen to me about what "I" was feeling or experiencing and then just hang out with that person.  I craved the friendship of godly women who were not too spiritual to bust a rib laughing.  I desired a friend who would mentor me and be an example to me.

So many times, I reached out to people to see how they were doing and the conversation never turned to me or my children (aside from the obligatory, "How are the kids?")  Before I could really answer, the conversation had turned back to her.

I am not bitter.  I am just being openly honest so I can shed these winter clothing...before the real winter sets in.  I don't want to be covered up under layers of movement-restricting emotions and thoughts while I'm inside a closed up house. 

Do you now see why I chose the title, 'Rambling out of Hibernation - Keeping it Real'? 

Some may read this and think, "What does this blog have to do with embracing your storms?  How is this encouraging?"  My answer would be, "It has EVERYTHING to do with it."  By writing this, I am allowing myself to be rid of the dark clouds I have been under for the past few months.  This way, I can get on to writing better things.  It is encouraing to ME.  As the songwriter penned, "Sometimes you've got to encourage yourself."

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Surviving a Storm

Below are some storm survival tips.

1.  Do not panic.   Know that God is in control and He said that He would work this out for good.

2.  Find shelter.  Remember there is safety in God's arms.

3.  Praise God.  This takes the focus off of your storm and places it where it should be.

4.  Listen to God's Navigational Instructions.  You don't have to stay in your storm.  There are times when your obedience will push the storm out faster.

5.  Keep busy.  Some storms are out of your control.  Working on situations you CAN control can give you a sense of purpose.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Singing in the Rain

When you praise God in spite of your circumstances, you confuse the enemy.  I learned ten years ago that the best way to fight the enemy is to praise God until the enemy flees. 

Fear had gripped my heart.  On a Thursday night, I sat in the parking lot of the church I was attending at the time and cried my eyes out.  I was terrified because my doctor suspected I had ovarian cancer.  My children were small (3, 5, 7, and 9), and I had only been married for ten months. 

I was crying so hard that my chest began to hurt.  I told myself I had better calm down because even if I did not have cancer, I would surely die of a heart attack from the panic I was feeling.  I had to get myself out of victim mode and demonstrate my faith.

I went home and posted scriptures all over my bedroom wall...then I began to sing.  I began to sing songs of praise to God.  One minute I was allowing the enemy to attack me and the next minute I was attacking back.  I felt so much better because I was giving credit where credit was due.  The devil had no choice but to flee.  The devil can't stand to be around us when we are ignoring him and praising God.
The bible tells us to submit ourselves to God and resist the devil.  Then he will flee.  It is not enough to just try to fight him alone.  We have to redirect our attention to the One who really deserves it.

When we sing in the rain, we bring sunshine into our storms. 


The Storm is Over Now:

I Told the Storm:

Bow Down

A Song in the Night

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Shelter From the Storm - God's Arms

"When the storms of life are raging, and the billows roll, I'm glad He shall hide me in His arms."
- Safe in His Arms

Safe in the Master's arms is where I want to be when storms break out in my life.  The time to seek shelter is not as the storm is in full force, but before you even know a storm is approaching.  In order to be in position when the storm hits, you must stay in your place and not go outside the shelter.

Whether you are on a mountain top or in a deep valley, the safest place in all the world is in the will of God. 

"When I am in God's arms, the devil can't find me." - Safe in His Arms 

He may know where you are in the building, but his access is cut off when you are wrapped in God's arms.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Dreaming in Storm Mode

Early this morning I had a dream.  In my dream I was in a terrible storm.  I got news from my son Michael that my younger son Jordan had been killed by a driver at The University of Akron.  I did not understand how that could have happened.  He had only been nipped by the car's mirror.

When I got the news, I was so saddened by it that I could not even cry.  In reality, I have never felt a sadness that solid and deep in all my life.  As I called Jordan's grandmother to give her the news, I felt a spirit of calm through my remorse.  Although I was hurting, I felt the comfort of God telling me that I would go on because I could go on.

When I awakened, I felt such a relief that it had only been a dream.  That is when I began to cry from my core.  Try as I might, I could not hold the moan and cries in. 

After calming down, I realized that I should not focus on his dying in the dream.  Instead, I should focus on the promise in the dream.

I used to always say, "If something happened to one of my kids, they would just have to put me away."  I stopped saying that two years ago.  I did not want to give the devil a reason to try to prove me right.
God showed me in my dream that even in the darkest hour and during the darkest storm, there is comfort and hope.

I kissed Jordan as he slept this morning.  I woke him up and kissed him again.  I told him about my dream, cried, hugged him as he hugged me back and kissed him again.

He just sent me a text that reads, "Every time it comes to mind, just remember:  God ain't done with me yet."

I know, Jordan; and "ain't" isn't a word.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Rainbow

Why am I going through this storm? 

Why does my life have to be so difficult? 

Why can't I get out of this situation? 

I always say that there are four reasons God allows us to go through a storm.

*God wants to draw us closer to Him and build our character.

*God knows we can survive the storm.

*God wants us to learn how to handle future storms.

*When we make it through to the other side of a storm, God wants us to share 'the rainbow' with
  someone else.

The rainbow is your testimony of God's greatness and how you made it through.  The rainbow is encouragement for someone else experiencing a storm. 

Once we have experienced the wind, rain, lightning, and thunder, seeing a rainbow should bring us peace.  It lets us know that we have survived the storm and God holds a promise for us.  When we have weathered the storm and come out intact and stronger on the other side, we should never be the same.

"Like the appearance of a RAINBOW in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness all around it.  This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord . . . " (Ezekiel 1:26-28)

At the end of the storm, we should be able to see God in all His glory. 

Be thankful for your storms and all that they entail.  Embrace your storms knowing that they will make you stronger if you let them.  Give a testimony of how God brought you through.  Do not let your storms be for nothing.  You got closer to God.  Your character is stronger.  You learned something about yourself.  You survived!  Now go and tell someone.  Be a source of hope. 

Share the rainbow. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Thunder - Rumblings in the Night

Clouds bumping together, friction in the air, angels bowling in heaven, the voice of God, God laughing.  There are many analogies for thunder.  The analogy I like best is the one that suggests thunder is the voice of God speaking to His children.

Have you ever awakened in the middle of the night and could not go back to sleep because you were not able to see your way out of your storm?  Everything you are experiencing in your storm seems larger than life in the midnight hour.  I suppose it is because there is really nothing you can do about your situation at that hour.

During the night, most people and things are usually shut down.  If you are struggling with your marriage, your spouse is probably asleep.  If you are wondering how you will pay your electric bill, the power company is closed.  If you are having problems on your job, you probably do not have the number for your boss - who you surely would not call at that hour anyhow.

In the midnight hour of your storm, you hear every taunt from the enemy a lot better than you do during the day.  Perhaps this is why God brings the thunder.  The thunder rumbles over you and through you.  Listen.  Do you hear what it is telling you?

I remember my first encounter with the thunder.  I was 30 years old.  I was in an abusive marriage and had four small children (4 months, 2, 5, and 7 years of age at the time).  I was sound asleep when something awakened me at 3:00 in the morning.  A voice in my head said, "Get up and lock the bedroom door." 

Rewind:  Approximately one week before, I had been dreaming that I was in bed and a spider was making its way down its web from the ceiling right above my head.  In my dream, my room was dark, but I could still see the spider.  In reality, I woke up and rolled over to go back to sleep.  A voice in my head said, "Get up and turn on the bedroom light."  I do not know why I listened, but I am glad I did. 

I turned on the light and looked around my bedroom.  Right above where I had been sleeping was a spider just beginning its descent from my ceiling.  I stood there frozen for a moment.  I then killed the spider, scanned the room, turned off the light, and got back into the bed.

As I lay there looking at the clock which read 3:03, I wondered at what had just occurred.  Not long after, I fell asleep again.  That was my training day.

As I was saying, a voice in my head said, "Get up and lock the bedroom door."  I immediately did so.  I had fallen asleep with the light on, so it was easy to find the chain.  No sooner than I had the chain in place did my husband at the time try to bust open the door.  The force was so great that the chain vibrated.  He said, "I hate you!  You ruined my life.  I wish I could kill you!"

My first encounter with 'the voice' came to mind.  I understood at that moment what had happened the prior week.  With a peace I had not felt in a long time, I turned off the light and went back to bed with a subtle smile on my lips.  "I have you," is what God was telling me. 

The rumbling thunder of God's voice inside my spirit gave me a feeling of security.  Ever since then, if I awaken in the 3:00 hour of the morning, I just turn onto my back and ask, "Yes, God?"  Then I listen. 

The thunder can seem pretty scary during a storm.  It makes the storm seem so much worse than it really is - if you do not know its source. 

The next time you are in a storm, allow the thunder to be your friend.  Let it be the friend that sticks closer to you than a (sleeping) brother. 

When you awaken in the midnight hour and everyone else is asleep, listen for the thunder.  It is very likely that the thunder will help to lead you out of your storm.