On My Birthday

Today I am 46 and feeling happy in the knowledge that I’m not so self-focused as 20 years ago, and I am not so worried about life these days. I spend my time working, serving, and enjoying life. I spend my time trying to be a good wife to my husband and a good mom to my kids. These things seemingly look like little things but they are big things to the world I contribute to.

I wish I could write that I had some answers to life’s toughest questions, but I realize the older I get the less I know. I was a genius at 18, but somewhere along the road of life, I lost my edge and gained perspective.

There are things weighing heavily on my mind these days. There is an urgency I feel to live out what I believe. 46 years went by quickly, and if this next half goes by half as fast, 92 looms large on the horizon and time is short. I want people to know Jesus. Sometimes I see and hear situations of the mess of people’s lives and think to myself that I wish I had a crash cart to bring them to life. There is so much life to live if we’ll just look out beyond our circumstances.

I’m concerned with my health as I see little things falling apart. I’m a woman who loves a high heeled shoe but these days, my knee hurts when I’m in a pair of 4″ all day, I haven’t stopped wearing the shoes though, I am learning to live through the pain. Then there are wrinkles showing up. I hear there’s an app for that, and I am vain enough to look into it, but not sure if I’m brave enough to follow through with it. Shots in the face kinda scare me a little, but maybe not enough. Tune in to see what transpires.

On my birthday, I always think of my mom. She did all the work to make this day happen then she happily celebrated and gave me all the credit. I hope one day I’m half the woman she is.

Is It My Problem?

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As I am reading through the Old Testament I see that the prophets of old would repent for the people even when they themselves were walking in the ways of the Lord. I read about Moses who throws himself before the mercy of the Lord and begs for mercy for the people and tells the Lord that if he is going to kill the people then to kill him, Moses, as well. 

This past week there was an issue that was happening in our church that was waking me up at night. I was worried about the people who were being caught up and because I am female or maybe just because I am me, I was over-thinking the situation. I felt helpless. 

Then I remembered the prophets of the old testament and their love for God as well as their love for the people. They would repent to the Lord for other’s sin. So I began to pray on their behalf. Isn’t that what intercession is about? Sure, I could say it’s not my problem, but my prayer is that in those areas where I am weak there are people who are praying for me as well. 

Often, I think we come to the Lord with our personal petitions and the petitions of our family and close friends. We throw in some prayers for our internet friends and we move on about our day. Only our maturity in Christ should lead us to pray for the well being of our nation and the nations of our world. It should be prompting us to pray for injustice and also for mercy. I believe that often our own selfishness shines through in the moments of our daily prayer and we miss the opportunity to intercede.

I was reading in Jeremiah where at one point the Lord’s anger is so incensed upon his people that he says to Jeremiah;

Jeremiah 7:16 “Pray no more for these people, Jeremiah. Do not weep or pray for them, and don’t beg me to help them, for I will not listen to you. 17 Do you not see what they are doing throughout the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?

I thought wow, first off, I never want to be “those people” with the Lord. There was something there that struck me as well. The fact that the relationship with Jeremiah and the Lord was so close that the Lord is venting to His friend about what is going on. Notice, that Jeremiah was pestering the Lord not for his own petition, but in the Lord’s own words, Jeremiah was weeping, praying, and begging the Lord to help them. Jeremiah was in good standing with God, yet he took on the problems of his people.

Let’s begin to take on the problems of our people. Not in a personal way as I sometimes do. Sometimes I try to go and fix problems that are none of my business in my own human understanding. Rather, let’s take on the problems in a way that beseeches the Lord for an answer. After all, if we are the body, the right response is not it’s not my problem but rather, I can take it to the Lord in prayer.

We Are Women

Gilbert Caraveo

Greeting my uncle who is in his 80’s, we began talking and somewhere in our conversation I referred to myself as a girl. He scolded me saying, “I hate when women refer to themselves as girls. You go through so much to become a woman and then you refer to yourself as girl.” I laughed and brushed it off in the moment but later I realized that he had a valid point. I’d been mulling it over off and on when I gathered with a group of women for tea yesterday.

I looked around the room. This tea brought 30 women together. We began to speak about the topic at hand that day which was the privilege of being adopted into the family of Christ and what responsibility that carried with it. The women began their stories slowly and softly as is always the case. They began to tell of where the Lord had brought them from and where they thought they were going. These were women who had earned the privilege of being called a WOMAN. Two hours later and a few cups of tea, there were women who were laughing, crying, comforting, counseling and you began to feel the camaraderie of women who had made their way through some STUFF! I realized I was in the company of some strong women, some women who had, as my uncle said, “gone through so much”.

The things that were discussed in that room, stay in that room. Suffice it say that there was breakthrough and prayer and that when women get together and pray SOMETHING HAPPENS. The next day at church, I saw a sparkle in the eyes of those who attended. I saw a look of acceptance and love and knowing, we had opened up our hearts to each other and the payoff was love. One thing I know about women is we can be each other’s biggest enemy but also each other’s biggest ally.

Although we may not have walked in the footsteps of the other, we had walked through things which had hurt us deeply and we had come through. We understood the pain, the trial of overcoming and the triumph. We also understand the gift our God has given us of redemption and restoration and future and a hope.

My uncle is right. We aren’t girls, we’ve come through a lot to be women. Now we need to own it.

Tomorrow is Already Finished In God’s Calendar

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What’s worrying you this week? Finances? Relationship? Health?

I just want to encourage you to put on the mind of Christ and step into your place as a leader in the Kingdom. Leaders don’t panic when adversity hits them. Leaders plan and access and look for avenues to be victorious. You will come out of your circumstance if you are a child of the king. You are not a orphan living on the street. You are a child of God adopted into the kingdom and as such you have certain rights available to you. Begin to think as your Father thinks.

1 Corinthians 2:16 16 “For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

Then remember that tomorrow is already finished in God’s Calendar and he says he has plans for you.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Remind yourself of all the things that God has brought you through then resolve to stop worrying and live like a citizen of a kingdom who doesn’t conform to the world’s way of doing business but goes about the business of the King!