What State Are You In?

Tidal wetlands of Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, USA.

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Three years ago my husband and I retired to Georgia. It was a move we wanted; however, we had to sell our house in Maryland in order to make that move happen.  Prior to our move, we had come down on two or three occasions to look for a house.  The process actually involved two contracts on two separate homes.  The first contract was immediately rejected because the sellers wanted an immediate sale.  The second contract was in existence for a year, until someone else bought the house.  We were disappointed but continued waiting on God for the sale of our home in Maryland.  Thirteen months passed and we finally sold our home.  What a relief!

Our prayers were finally answered and we were on our way.  What joy!  We found the perfect ranch style home with a lot of custom features and a basement.  I thought, “We’re finally in our home. Now we can look forward to living the life we’ve always wanted.  You see, Willie and I had been married over thirty years but our lives had been on different schedules.  I had worked from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., while he had worked from 3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.  Moving to Georgia was a blessing, but there were struggles which accompanied the blessing.

First we had to get used to seeing each other 24/7.  While I always wanted us to be on the same schedule, I didn’t realize that would present some challenges.  I forgot that God created us to be unique individuals with totally different personalities, warts and blemishes included.  Some days he discovered or shall I say “re-discovered” my warts, and other days I helped unveil his. Nothing major was ever at the root of our “discussions.” It seemed that every topic involved something as simple as how to pack the dishwasher correctly or how to not put papers in the decorative bowl on the kitchen table.  You can probably guess whose pet peeve belonged to whom.  I remember one day when I was so “ticked off” about something that I had to leave the house for a couple of hours to cool down after one argument.

Secondly, I entered a period of indescribable loneliness.  You see, not only did I leave my family and my church, but I knew absolutely nobody!  For some of you, you might be thinking, “Poor you.”  If you’re a military family, you’ve probably left family and friends more times than you can imagine.  I’m not disregarding your sacrifices.  But for me, this was the first time I’d ever moved out of state.  For six months I was miserable.  I remember one day when Willie was sitting at the kitchen table opening mail (family joke).  I walked over, plopped myself in his lap, and wept on his shoulder.

“What’s wrong, honey?” he asked.

“Willie, I’m so lonely.  I love our new home.  It’s just what we wanted, but I feel so depressed.  I don’t know anybody and I miss the kids.”

After a few trips back home to help remedy my ailments, I decided it was time to take responsibility for my happiness.  After joining a really good church, I decided to join a small group women’s Bible study.  Following that decision, I went on a women’s retreat and stayed in a room with three women from the group.  I also volunteered to host an apartment-warming for a member of our group.  In addition, I attended other social events with ladies from the group and called or e-mailed them from time to time.  That group was key to my successfully transitioning to my new state.  Three years later I still have a special bond with those women.

What state are you in?  Do you feel lonely? Isolated? Depressed? What is God saying to you? You may have a wonderful relationship with Him, but He may be calling you to connect with other women.  Or perhaps you think you’re doing okay by yourself.  The poet John Donne said, “No man is an island unto himself.” God is calling His women to be bridge builders! Who is He showing you? Perhaps it’s a neighbor, someone who doesn’t look like you or talk like you.  What’s your excuse?  Your feeling of isolation may be His push to get you to move outside yourself. Look around. Your mission field might just be your next door neighbor. Don’t be afraid. A kind word goes a long way. While He calls some to go across the seas, He calls others to look next door.

Press pass your insecurities. Philippians 4:13 (NKJV) reads, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

I’m Having Twins!

Monoamniotic-Monochorionic twins

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I have always wondered what it would be like to have twins.  Having reached my early 60’s, I was amazed to find out that I was given twins in this season of my life.  I thought my life was over when I discovered I was given twins at this stage of my life.  Before you faint or pass the news to someone else, let me set the record straight.  I’m not talking about natural twins; I’m talking about twins that come for a season to push you to the next level.  You may have had those twins sometime in the past.  Everyone has them from time to time.  What are they?  I’m sure you know–frustration and disillusionment.

Recently, I found myself going through a valley experience.  You know what that’s like.  One day you’re up on the mountaintop, declaring the wonderous works of the Lord.  You’re a man or woman of God full of faith, standing on His promises, absolutely fearless!  Then you have an experience that comes to test your faith; in fact, you find that all your props, those resources you depended upon, no longer work for you.  You begin to panic.  You run to the Word and grab hold of the verses you’ve rehearsed time and time again.  You know God is saying something directly to you, but you’re so focused on the situation that you forget about His faithfulness.  It’s during this time that you realize you’ve given birth to twins:  frustration and disillusionment.

What do yo do then?  You go into your secret place, lay before the Lord, and cry out to Him for mercy.  He is your Help.  You place your burden at the foot of the cross and give yourself wholly to Him.  You tell Him everything you’re feeling and seek Him with all your heart, soul and mind.  You may not feel anything at that moment, but He is there.  He hears you and promises never to leave you.  You offer your twins to Him, as many times as they try to attach themselves to you.  Our heavenly Father is patient, kind, and loving.  He knows where you are. He will help you.

  God is not surprised by your valley experiences.  He allows us to experience despair from time to time so that we press into His presence even more than before.  He wants to take us to the next level.  When my youngest son Kevin was in 5th or 6th grade, he suffered with growing pains.  He could not sit in a desk in his classroom on some occasions.  He literally had to sit on the floor and listen to his teacher’s lesson.  What about us?  Sometimes we have to get low.  We have to humble ourselves and admit we cannot do (it) by ourselves.  And in the midst of our trial, God brings us closer than before.  He promises strength for the journey.

Are you having twins right now?  Are you experiencing frustration and disillusionment?  Cast your cares upon Him, for He cares for you.  And remember, you don’t have to walk this journey alone.  Who has he given you to help bear your burdens?  Who’s in your circle of trust?  Are you feeling stretched?  You’re not alone!  It’s promotion time! It’s a new season; it’s a new day. Fresh anointing coming your way!  It’s a season of power and prosperity!  It’s a new season, coming for me!  Declare your new season!

“Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you (1 Peter 5:6 – 7).”

Day 141

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I am thankful for many wonderful blessings today:

I am thankful for my salvation through Christ Jesus;

I am thankful for my husband who has loved me for more than 39 years;

I am thankful for my children who show me love daily;

I am thankful for my very busy grandchildren whose smiles bless me;

I am thankful for friends who look beyond my faults and see my needs;

I am thankful for the ability to see, hear, touch, smell, think, and feel;

I am thankful for the home we have which provides warmth and comfort;

I am thankful for food on our table and clothes on our backs;

I am thankful for the ability to smile and to shed tears;

I am thankful that my mother is still living at the age of 84;

I am thankful for my brothers and sisters–all 7 still alive;

I am thankful for the air I breathe;

I am thankful for birds that light on my deck–cardinals and bluejays;

I am thankful for the trials that come to push me into my Father’s arms;

I am thankful for times of frustration–a ministry unto itself;

I am thankful for the losses I’ve experienced in life–

Without them I would not know the fulness of joy!

I am thankful for sleepless nights which cause me to meditate on

God’s Word and stand on His promises;

I am thankful for purpose which lives inside me;

I am reminded that that’s the reason I’m still here;

I am thankful for the ability to give a kind word to someone in need;

I am thankful for each season of my life;

God has designed them to fulfill His purpose in me!

I have so many things to be thankful for!

Sometimes I need to write them down;

This is one of those day!  And for even this day, I am grateful!