Stillness

My dad came to stay with me. Two days after my surgery there he was; sent by my grandma who was thrilled I asked her to send him. You know when you have been on your own for so long that having family over for too long can feel like nails grating on a chalkboard? Well, it never got like that. It was a little bumpy the first couple days, but after that it was amazing.

I laugh in retrospect about how much he hustled to keep the house clean in those first days, asking me how I let it get like that. After about 4 days he realized I don’t and how quickly it looks like you didn’t do anything. He commented once after he got the kitchen clean and said “well that should last an hour or two.” I think we ate out that night and squeezed a few more hours out of it. I miss him. I’m glad I had that 1:1 time with him and wish I wasn’t trying to heal. We would have had a lot more fun.

The three weeks he was here felt too short in one aspect, but in regards to healing it’s felt like an eternity. I have largely survived the first week without any help except the kids and I think we are doing rather well! But am I really only 4 weeks post-op tomorrow? *sigh*

I don’t get to walk again until the 29th and I know that sounds whiny and I should be grateful, but my body is getting impatient. Muscles in my leg are twitching bad and at night I wake myself up trying to stretch my leg and stop myself, concerned I would hurt myself. Being up for too long still causes swelling but at least the super crazy itching has subsided. I gave myself a blister scratching too hard! Showering is hard, I finally figured out how to get in and out of my shower without hopping in on one foot or crawling. I kept having this thought of slipping and falling and calling 911 and wondering how I would get along with stitches up the crack of my tushy. So I put my knee on the toilet seat and pivot around so I can put my “Really Useful Leg” in the shower first and then slowly standing up.

I’m often amazed at how vulnerable we are when we are physically broken. How susceptible we are to accidents and rogue circumstances. Seems like no matter how careful I am things find me! Like just doing my thing and things are falling over on me, or are suddenly in my way…three times Jeremiah left his shirt and sweater in my path in the SAME PLACE all three times. Really dude??

But really, among all of this I feel quiet. People keep reaching out to me and I can’t seem to find anything to say. My normally encouraging self can’t seem to come up with much to say. Quiet. I don’t feel sad (🤔 do I feel sad? Hmm nah) but just quiet. I’ve been reading up on and watching/listening to a bunch of Q stuff, working, playing Skylanders and trying to keep the house semi decent and kids fed. I’m living in stretchy pants and loose T-shirts and it’s a miracle I haven’t gained a bunch of weight.

But still quiet. In the quiet recesses of my mind, I want to fade away. I don’t know why, and I feel bad for the many people I love as well as my dream ministry but, I feel like Cinderella in her room. At the point where she knows she can go to the ball but has just been overloaded with so much work that she knows there’s no way she will get to go because she doesn’t have a dress that’s sufficient. It’s that place where most of us sit there and think…I could try- but what’s the point. And so we sit there trying to make it all pan out in our head and it just doesn’t.

So I’m quiet. Thinking. Lost in thought. Listening for the Lord to speak to me. Pensive.

Forgive me for my silence.

Amanda

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*Warning* Sensitive stomachs steer clear

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*In this post there are pictures that might upset some, cause stomach upheaval, and may not be the most awesome thing for kids to see. And feet. Lot’s of pictures of my feet. Proceed at your own risk. I’m not responsible for lost lunches or dinners…or children’s nightmares*

With that said, this is probably one of the most raw (no pun intended) posts I’ve ever made. We all like to give off the appearance that we have it all together. I personally don’t really care. The Lord has asked me to live authentically…so that means sharing, and ripping apart pretenses, and who you *think* I am, and allow you to see who I really am.

I sat in the doctors office this morning trying to not cry…unsuccessfully of course.  This surgery has been…filled with gross things, like not being able to take a shower for days at a time, greasy hair and wearing clothing longer than I would like simply because I’ve nearly fallen almost every time I have to change my pants. Yeah…TMI, I know. But honestly in this time I’m really feeling the whole “safety first” and with how off balance I’ve felt since this all started, it’s such a short period of time I’ll have to endure it vs if I get hurt and have to go back in for surgery again because I re-injured something.

If you haven’t read my my last post, I’ll save you the read and re-share what happened last Saturday:

We were walking out of a restaurant and I was commenting how the wheels on my scooter get caught on everything. Seriously everything. And in that moment as I described how one wheel catches in the cracks and causes the handlebars to jam and I nearly fall; as if to demonstrate the sort of fall I was describing the wheel got stuck on the left, my left foot was toward the back of the scooter and out of place for a save the scooter then began to tilt to the right where I have no bodily support I then flew to the right over the knee pad, slammed my splinted heel on the concrete and to save myself from more injury to my expensive surgery I lifted my foot up and slammed to the ground on my back and my head followed suit. I just sort of laid there as people flocked out of the restaurant towards me, my dad (who is hard of hearing) walked a few more paces before realizing I was no longer speaking.

I was concerned, but not overly so. Until a few days ago when I decided to unwrap my ankle.

So here is what I was dealing with to start with:

Since I can remember I’ve not been able to wear proper shoes, I’ve never been able to wear workout shoes or tennis shoes that weren’t Converse, I couldn’t wear those cute heels with the ankle cuff or the buckle. Boots…I love boots but in the years between the pair I had in junior high and the present, the mass had grown to a point where finding boots was nearly impossible. I’m happy to report that in the last 2 years I was able to find a black and a brown pair that would fit my ginormous calf muscles as well as Quasimodo. Yeah…I may have named it. It’s been embarrassing to me and it does catch peoples attention…at least it did. This has caused me to be much less physically active than I want to be, it has limited me in many ways and I knew the Lord was telling me it was transformation time, in order to do so this thing from my past needed to die. He said to me, “What I have done on the inside must also manifest on the outside.” So here we are.

A week post-op…someone said it looked like a cadaver foot lol. So this was 2 days before the fateful fall you read about above.

When I initially fell, I struggled with nerve pain in the top of my foot and big toe and since have realized that I have ice burns, and every time I put ice on, inside 5 minutes it feels like my foot swells and like lightning is shooting off inside of it. This is even through like 5 layers of fabric. Crutches are hard. I have them at the top of my stairs so I can get to and from my bedroom. I knew it would be hard, but no one mentioned the use and strain the rest of your muscles on the other side would experience. I have a friend who calls herself a flamingo after she lost one of  her legs just below the knee and I can COMPLETELY relate to that. The other muscles on the left side of my body have had to compensate extra for balance, I’ve nearly toppled over on crutches a few times by high centering…I killed my ironing board that way. I was sliding on my hardwood flooring in my flip flop while on crutches as I continued to fall over and had nothing but my ironing board to catch my fall. I leaned on it as it slowly bent closer to the ground and I finally shouted to my dad to come help me. Needless to say it went out with the trash on Monday.

I finally decided on Tuesday evening that I was going to unwrap it. The splint was bothering the side of my ankle and I wasn’t certain on the placement of the stitches so I wanted to see how close in proximity they were. When I sat down and unwrapped, that’s what I saw. I was now concerned. Every twitch and twinge, throb, every electrifying feeling fleeting through my foot gave me anxiety. I know, we aren’t supposed to be anxious for anything, but…ya know?? I text messaged my doctor, the nurse wrote the wrong number on the paper. I called the office Wednesday morning telling the girl over the phone what had happened only to get a call back confirming my appointment for this morning.

I get in the doctors office and I tell the story. She unwraps it and my eyes start tearing up, my heart concerned by the possibility that I may have damaged what had been done. She got me over to the x-ray machine and took some pictures and sat me back down in my room. That catch in my throat and chest just sat there. Being a single mom is SO HARD! I’ve been so grateful for the help of my dad since he came, but in 10 days I won’t have him anymore and the thought of having to start over was terrifying. The doctor comes in and the look on his face is of grave concern as I can’t help but cry retelling my fall. He begins to tell me that he believes it will all be okay. No cast, he drains the blood blister and then explains where he actually did the tendon repair…it wasn’t just any tear on a random tendon, it was my Achilles tendon. He said it was far worse than he originally anticipated. The scary part to me is, I had no idea. I had tolerated and forgotten the pain for so long that I didn’t even realize I was in pain until my my second appointment with him when he looked at my MRI scans and asked me if I was sure I wasn’t in pain.

Look at those frankfurters lol, my toes look like tiny Vienna Sausages…

The Lord told me that this is the start of my new beginning, and that there are many more facets to it than I think, like a diamond that sparkles and shines and has many facets, it enables it to take in more light and shine it in more directions. I don’t feel very shiny right now, but thank God it’s not all based on how I feel. Today has been a pretty emotional day for me. The tears I cry now are ones of gratitude.

The really gross picture below is the mass that the doctor removed from my ankle on the day of surgery. He was pretty amazed at how big it was. I’m just grateful it’s a part of my past now, and is not allowed to step into my future. I do however recognize that the surgery was very connected spiritually. It was meant to repair the tendon, so that my walk with the Lord will be fully healed and unhindered, and the mass removed so that I spiritually can “run my race” when before I couldn’t even wear a pair of running shoes.

So, sometime after Christmas I’ll be fully walking again. And that is the greatest gift ever.

But a pair of running shoes might be a close second 😉

 

Amanda

Ponderings

I’m in so much pain…

Today I was out with my dad, and I fell.

HARD

We were walking out of a restaurant and I was commenting how the wheels on my scooter get caught on everything. Seriously everything. And in that moment as I described how one wheel catches in the cracks and causes the handlebars to jam and I nearly fall; as if to demonstrate the sort of fall I was describing the wheel got stuck on the left, my left foot was toward the back of the scooter and out of place for a save the scooter then began to tilt to the right where I have no bodily support I then flew to the right over the knee pad, slammed my splinted heel on the concrete and to save myself from more injury to my expensive surgery I lifted my foot up and slammed to the ground on my back and my head followed suit. I just sort of laid there as people flocked out of the restaurant towards me, my dad (who is hard of hearing) walked a few more paces before realizing I was no longer speaking.

Knot on my head, strangers hugging me and a frightened restaurant owner running out to ensure I was truly okay. Which I was…and was not. Going from fully capable to immobile is not something I’m handling very well. I’m doing too much, I’m seeing things in myself that I don’t like in this space, things I need to fully surrender to Him and ask Him to change these in me. I have been independent, and I’m in this place so I can learn to be dependent again. To share responsibilities and not try to do it all on my own.

I’m struggling and admit that I need prayer in this area. Since my dad has been here, I may have gotten a little excitable (to say it nicely) in the car, possibly expecting too much and feeling frustrated that I can’t just drive places on my own. And for some reason I suddenly can’t tell my left from my right so giving directions has been…complicated. So now I have put Siri in charge of that.

And I’m trying really hard to ask for more help.

To make matters worse I put ice on my foot when I got home and fell asleep for longer than 20 minutes. I have ice burns now on my toes and the top of my foot despite 3-5 layers of gauze and Ace Bandages. It feels like someone is stabbing my foot with a dull darning needle. It hurts worse than my surgery site and pain killers is not helping.

Top that off, my dreams recently and things like this:

Is making containing my heart difficult. It’s that certain beginning I’ve been waiting on. This is my training ground…and I’m trying to stay sane through the pain.

Once this healing is over I’m going for a run…

Amanda

Sheep Herding

This. Is. Hard. Harder than I ever could have expected. The Lord is revealing things to me that I knew I had trouble with, but now is the time to take hold of it and truly heal.

Cressa and I were talking on my way to surgery on Friday. She said that back in Bible times if a sheep ran off, the shepherd would break its legs so that it had no choice but to remain with the Shepherd to build a close relationship with him. How true is this. It’s just like the wilderness the Israelites walked through. They lived in a place of miraculous provision for 40 years. They had manna from Heaven (Jed said that It tasted like Milk and Honey, a “taste” of their promised land), their tents and clothes never wore out, they had water and everything they needed and they were overshadowed by the Shepherd in a pillar of fire and herded like sheep all around the desert.

On my way to her house I was praying and telling the Lord how grateful I was for my friends. Sometimes life keeps us so busy we do pause and wonder who our real friends are. I was on my way to their house that morning and I was talking with God asking for forgiveness for being so stubborn and not opening up more and being receptive to accepting help when I need it. I then was praying and thanking Him for their friendship and I pulled behind a truck with a trailer and there was a sticker on the trailer door that said “When you need em, they’re there” and on the left door it said “Sheep Herding”.

Tears. At dinner I was retelling what the Lord has been speaking to me. Sharing with them my gratefulness of their constant love and hospitality. As I sat there before them the Holy Spirit came over me and the Lord said to me that this surgery was a door. An open door that I chose to walk through, knowing what awaited me on the other side.

I have trouble asking for help. A LOT of trouble. This is rooted in pride- but not for the reasons you think. When I was younger, I went to college. It just wasn’t for me and I hated every moment of it. My grandma paid for it. When I went to trade school and I was ready to pay it off, she offered and I said no. No, because I had wasted her money and paying for my own mistake was the right thing to do. Similar situations have arisen in the years since where the predicament wasn’t necessarily my fault but I was still the one to reach out for help. I pushed back pretty hard when it came up but it made me throw up a wall. To be strong and smart enough to never be in a position where I have to be a burden. And it was then that I somehow labeled myself a burden. It has made this period difficult.

In Song of Solomon at the end it says that the Shulamite Woman was leaning on her beloved on her way out of the desert. Fully relying on Him. How often do we not ask for things that we need? The big things, the small things? How long do we sit and suffer or do without when as His children we have only but to ask? He has so much for us! He wants us to be so reliant on Him that we ask Him for the Big and Small alike.

This is a brand new season. We have to change with it. We have to be willing to be vulnerable in Him. He’s not a genie, but He wants us to reach out and ask Him for the little things and the big things. He says to ask Him for anything in Jesus name.

What can we ask Him for that makes us vulnerable in Him. How can we bring others into our circle and allow them to be a part of our lives? We need to live authentic lives and that means taking down our walls.

Metamorphosis

There comes a time in every caterpillars life where they climb inside themselves and they become something different…

Where our heart expands to the point of no longer being able to contain that which is ourselves, the in and the out has become unfamiliar and we long to break out of our seemingly internal prison of stretched recreation until we push and push and we expand our wings like a color-filled sunset. The horizon is too close, we desire a great beyond that is too large for our hearts to completely fathom. The wind blowing rapidly through our being, we rise and take flight at the dusk of our new beginning. We launch ourselves into the beginning of the unknown, as we rest our wings on the breeze and glide towards sunrise.

 

APEX

Psalm 8 The Passion Translation (TPT)

God’s Splendor

For the Pure and Shining One

Set to the melody of “For the Feast of Harvest,”[a] by King David

Lord, your name is so great and powerful!

People everywhere see your splendor.

Your glorious majesty streams from the heavens,

filling the earth with the fame of your name!

You have built a stronghold by the songs of babies.

Strength rises up with the chorus of singing children.

This kind of praise has the power to shut Satan’s mouth.

Childlike worship will silence[b]

the madness of those who oppose you.

Look at the splendor of your skies,

your creative genius glowing in the heavens.

When I gaze at your moon and your stars,

mounted like jewels in their settings,

I know you are the fascinating artist who fashioned it all!

But when I look up and see

such wonder and workmanship above,

I have to ask you this question:

Compared to all this cosmic glory,[c]

why would you bother with puny, mortal man

or be infatuated with Adam’s sons?

Yet what honor you have given to men,

created only a little lower than Elohim,[d]

crowned like kings and queens[e] with glory and magnificence.

You have delegated to them

mastery over all you have made,

making everything subservient to their authority,

placing earth itself under the feet of your image-bearers.[f]

7–8 

All the created order and every living thing

of the earth, sky, and sea—

the wildest beasts and all the sea creatures—

everything is in submission to Adam’s sons.

Lord, your name is so great and powerful.

People everywhere see your majesty!

What glory streams from the heavens,

filling the earth with the fame of your name!

Some of you are fearing that you are going around the mountain again. So tempted to put your head down and drag your feet around as you expect to see the same old scenery but the Lord said to me this morning, “You are at the APEX of your new beginning! Pause and look around you! You are standing on the peak! You have overcome! Ask of Me and I will teach you how to rule from this place as it is your DESTINY! Stay with Me beloved on this mountain top so we can share the view!”

He has so much more for us than we think! We are at the peak of it all! No more striving! It’s all downhill from here! What was hard will be easy! What you fought against in the last season you have overcome! It’s time to rest in Him for there’s a life ahead of you to live and many more mountains to conquer!

He’s also been speaking to me recently about child-likeness. How we have forgotten how to be silly, we have left our imaginations by the wayside! He’s calling us to pick it back up! It is the window into the Spirit! He is inviting us to close our eyes and dream again! To return to innocent thinking, star gazing, looking at shapes in the clouds and listening in the stillness. He knows you have been waiting for things and He sees you have been faithful with what He has given you. He’s saying come play on the playground with me, don’t let people who are adult in their thinking run you off of My playground! I built it for You my beloved! And only those with an innocent heart can find their way into My gardens of joy and laughter! Confined hearts on the outside see nothing but a wall, blank canvases, blank paper and empty pens…turned down lips and hearts. But those who sit in MY presence have inspiration enough to fill the libraries on earth to bursting! To fill empty hearts with new wine and empty pens with My words! They will lead empty hearts into My secret play yard where Joy returns like lost childhood toys finding their way back into empty hands. Come join Me where coloring books, helium balloons and abundant giggles all converge, where clown noses squeak and fear doesn’t exist.

It’s an invitation to His heart. We can find what has been lost and stolen, we can reclaim what was once ours. The Lost things are coming back to find us. Things we thought we missed out on are just waiting to be rediscovered and maybe you’ll find that the things you have been looking for…

…were right in front of you all along.

Restored to Royalty

I’ve been waiting on some things to occur in my life. Some really super amazing things.

But at the same time I’ve been going through some difficult things. The enemy has a way of getting in our head and we allow his lies to wedge in our hearts in our moments of weakness. The last two weeks had been so incredibly hard in many ways and the Lord is always faithful to bring us through but we still have these moments of fear and doubt where we are certain our future is at risk.

And yet His word says He will bring us to an expected end (Jeremiah 29:11). How silly of us to worry when His word has promised us a future of His design.

So, I’m a lover of vintage. I love things that have a history and a story to tell.

Last weekend, as per the norm, I found myself perusing the various thrift stores looking for treasures. I’m redecorating my room in a bit of a Victorian theme and so I was looking for candle holders and silver tea trays for trinkets on my dresser. I found a vintage Avon ring from the 70’s, some beautiful silver tea spoons and a tray and some decorative boxes. $12 later I moved on to the next thrift store. I don’t generally like Savers…they are overpriced. But I wasn’t in a hurry so I wandered around. Finally done (and spending more than I wanted to), I made my way to the jewelry counter.

I look at a few pieces and then I look over at this unusually massive ring with probably a 10 carat sized Amethyst colored stone. I joked with the lady and said, “My goodness, that thing looks like it’s from Wish.com, straight outta China!” She chuckles and I pick up a few more. I for some reason pick up this giant clobber of a ring and look on the inside and see 14k. So my giggling smirk turned serious as I flipped over the tag. $8…

“Um, yeah. I’ll take this,” and walk to go check out. I am laughing all the way to the car and when I sit down I begin to look at this ring. It’s probably going to be the reason for my next black eye but on inspection I begin laughing. Inside the band it says 14k PLAT which is a stamp for Gold as we all know, and Platinum. More valuable than gold. On the inside of the band it reads in script L.W.P 7/25/32.

32.

32?

THIRTY TWO??? OH MY GOSH!

This was someone’s engagement or wedding ring. It’s got minimal wear on the band. It has enamel in the corners and hand made platinum flowers that hold the stone in place. This ring has been well taken care of. I begin researching wedding and engagement rings for the 1930’s and realize they are all silver. The depression began in 1929, and Gold confiscation by the government began in April of 1933. Granted it was gold bullion and coin and certificates, a ring like this would have made the woman wearing it a target on the streets. It was definitely a commission piece and expensive. The man who bought it most certainly loved the woman whose finger it was on as I imagine it lightened his wallet significantly.

Two+ years ago now the Lord gave me three numbers: 66, 88, 111. I knew the 88 was for my new beginning, and the 66 was unity of man. This ring is 86 years old. Well it’s birthday was just this past Wednesday, a mere 4 days after my $8 (new beginnings) purchase.

I honestly have been over the moon over this ring. It’s a monstrous thing fit for a king! Which triggered my dream reflex. I searched for dreams from 7/25/2017:

-Was looking in a pond and found magic, something that restored me to royalty. I kept checking to see if it was real and it was- it wasn’t going away. Saw this three different times in the same way but different places

-kept dreaming about hidden tiaras

And what makes this even more amazing…the cherry on top? The evidence in His word of this promise He has made to me:

2 Samuel 7:25

25 “And now, Lord God, keep forever the promise you have made concerning your servant and his house. Do as you promised,

Yes Lord, do as you promised.

Until then, I praise you for it.

Amanda

The NEW Wineskins

Recently the Lord has been showing me that I have a fear. A fear of releasing His words and instead it being my own words. I have a fear of the backlash I would receive because what He’s been speaking to me isn’t…comfortable. It’s not fluffy and sweet…It’s an exhortation. A correction. It’s funny, correction is something that I struggle with in real life with my children. People say that they are out of hand because I’m not spanking them, when really it’s something else entirely; they aren’t broken and afraid of me. Rather they know they have the freedom to be themselves and learn all while learning (slowly) the right and wrong way to behave.  I’m of the mind that correction isn’t a beating or a yelling or anything like that. The shepherds staff is in the shape of a candy cane. When you “spare the rod, spoil the child” it means when you  fail to use the crook of the staff to draw them in and teach them something in love in those moments where everything is falling apart, you will spoil them because they won’t understand the Fathers love for them. The shepherd never uses his staff to beat his sheep. Otherwise they wouldn’t love him, they would run from him. But he uses the crook to draw them closer and keep them from danger, and the other end to drive off enemies.

Correction in society across many hundreds of years has used this scripture and twisted it terribly to support corporal punishment. Beating our children into submission, causing them to be fearful of us and the pain which we have the power to exert over them, which translates into fearing some wrathful angry God and fearing us as parents, and it breaks the will of the child. Who wants to run to that when they made a mistake or are afraid? Granted, fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, but it is fear of His authority and the things He is VERY capable of doing to teach us His ways. It’s like I tell Jeremiah when I’ve caught him stealing; God’s kids will ALWAYS get caught when they do something wrong. Learn from me here and now before a higher land authority catches you. It may be easier to answer to me, but answering to the Police…not as easy. I also have the authority as a parent to take him to the police should he not learn from me. From a child’s perspective- that’s scary.

So, I submit this correction from the Fathers heart with love.

To my unfaithful church,

Why have you closed your doors and not let Me in? Don’t you know how My heart beats for you? I’ve given you the land, I’ve given you good things and yet I AM not invited into the houses of worship and praise. I AM left out on the porch to listen to the songs that you would sing to Me. So I do not hear them. I will not beg you to let Me in. I’ve been patient and now as it is written:  “For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:17)

The Lord says that now is the time that He is cleaning house. He is cleaning out the churches that profess His name but do not allow Him in. He is deposing leadership, making room for the new. Making room for those who are and will remain sensitive to His leading. It is no longer business as usual, buildings will become vacant, and those who really weren’t after my heart will leave and never return.

The Lord is using this to shock some people back to life!! Pastors who once led dead churches will fly in the Spirit like they have never experienced before. They will lose, but OH the heights they will gain! People who once sat in service just doing what they were taught to do will encounter Him like never before. He has saved a place just for them! This is the sifting of the church. The purpose is to weed out those whose hearts don’t and never will respond to His call, and to bring all the Lazarus hearts to life.

This is the call to the dry bones!! The Lord is asking CAN THESE DRY BONES LIVE!!

YES! Yes Lord and they surely will live! They will climb the mountain of the Lord and they will seek His face and be brought into the shelter of His wings! They will sing for him and not have a microphone to sing through, they will play and dance for Him with no one to watch and they won’t care! It’s not a stage they seek, but His heart! This sifting will cause a hole in our society. This is not a light matter. People who are not anointed to do His work will gather the tares and do business as usual.

Not us.

He’s given me a warning to be VERY careful to not take up the ways of old. That once it falls, to not pick it back up again, to not follow it’s mold because we are new wine being poured into New Wineskins, and the old wineskin of the church is no longer good enough. There is a new way, and we need to remain close to His heart in order to hear and be led by Him into this place. Please church, stay prayerful and alert and close to His heart. Lay your head on His chest and listen to His heartbeat for you…and march to it.

Poppa God,

We want and need more of you. There are those in need of awakening and we cry out and declare to them AWAKE! AWAKE! Come alive! There are hearts that have been marked by you and we declare those who have been asleep all this time will rise at the call of Jesus like when he commanded Lazarus to come out. Let new fire run through the veins of your people. Let your fire consume them to walk out the plans of their life that you put in place from before the earth began.  We praise you for everything you are and everything you have done, and we humble ourselves before you. Thank you for loving us, thank you for finding us in the dark of life and breathing your life into us. All to you we owe and surrender. Let Your will be done.

Amen

~Amanda

 

Jeremiah and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Because I’m on the other side of last week, I can now laugh about the tragedy that was the last week of May, 2018.

It was a rather sunny Tuesday and it was Field Day. A day where the school year was almost over and the kids pretty much spent their day outside. They were expecting the fire truck to come and get them wet at the end of the day and my son was so looking forward to that.  That is…until the fire truck didn’t show up due to an emergency fire. Unforeseen circumstances, no one’s fault at all, but when you are 7 and sensitive spiritually to the emotions of those around you and there’s probably 100+ kids or far more disappointed and upset that the part of their day that they were looking forward to most…wasn’t going to happen. So what do you do when you are emotionally overloaded by those around you??

You run away.

Yep.  Jeremiah ran toward the safest and quietest place he knew.

Home.

Unfortunately for him, he nearly got hit by a car as teachers chased after him through the neighborhood, one of which fell. Then he refused to get on the daycare bus and as I spoke with him on the phone all I could hear was “My whole day was ruined because the firetruck never came.” The logic of a 7 year old. He was truly crushed over it and still was struggling to process his disappointment and the disappointment of every other kid’s emotions he could feel. So I went and picked him up and we went home. I was rather upset, not because he ran, but because he nearly killed himself and his choices got someone else hurt.  I’d decided he was going to do chores the remainder of the night because I couldn’t think of a relevant punishment to fit the offense.

We got home and I pulled out my work computer to finish up my hour and a half left in my day. By the time the day was done, it turned into more like 3.5 hours. It was a good diversion after what happened next.

First chore: The litter box. My son has ADHD and sensory processing (but don’t worry, he’s not broken. The Lord told me He created my children this way for a purpose), and I thank God for my cat because his litter box gets emptied and refilled once a week and he never misses. Despite it being on the chore list 4 times in a week. Anyway. Chore 1 gets completed. Great, onto chore number two. Dishes. Empty and load the dishwasher. Sounds easy enough.

Right…and also wrong. He completes the chore and is trying to be helpful so he puts  soap in it.

But not just any soap.
Dawn dish soap.
And not even in the cup for soap.
He opens up the Jet Dry lid and pours it in there.

By now I’m hearing noises that sound like he’s doing something he shouldn’t be and I look over in horror at what he’s doing. I jumped up and was like NOOOOOOOOOOO WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!

For anyone who has done this…knows sadly that the result is a nonstop bubble machine that leaves you cleaning up water and bubbles for hours. That is, if you catch it. If you aren’t home or not in the room it will leave you about $1000 short when you pay your insurance company your deductible for water damage.  So, I grabbed the turkey baster and did my best, with a beveled edge unfortunately, to suck out the soap from the dishwasher. I gave my son a rag with some soap and told him to “Dear God, get OUT of my kitchen and go wash the walls in the stairwell” and shoo’ed him off. I grabbed a straw from the pantry and did what any thrifty mother would do, who didn’t want to spend $1000 for water damage, and proceeded to suck the soap out of the hole through a straw. Desperate times call for desperate measures, no? Well yes…that is until your child comes down with the medicine syringe and suggests connecting it to the straw so I don’t have to get soap in my mouth. Too little, too late. I dilute it with actual Jet Dry and run a cycle with a handful of dishes in it and vow to pay attention. My son proceeds to wash the walls…or so I thought. I open the 5 day old bottle of red wine in the fridge and pour myself a glass. Soap tastes nasty.

I’m walking back to sit down at my computer. And I hear the sink upstairs running. *insert eye roll*

I painted the kids bedrooms only two and three days prior and discovered that the plumbing under the sink is not fitting right and is leaking. I’ve got towels under there until I can get back to adjust that, but J has the water on full blast so I’m shouting up to him “TURN OFF THE WATER! J, TURN OFF THE WATER! It’s LEAKING! I hear some frantic sounds coming from my child as the water turns off and on. I get back up and proceed to walk up the stairs. I get almost half way up and I see his head peek at me from around the corner and I reexplain that the sink is leaking and to turn it off. And he, in the most panic stricken voice I’ve ever heard from him, said, “I’M GETTING IN THE SHOWER!!” and he runs off down the hall.

With a puzzled look on my face, I walk up three more stairs as the scene before me unfolds. Recall I said I had painted that weekend? Yeah, I didn’t have time to get the paint back in the garage. The day before, Jeremiah attempted to open the small quart sized can (that was still mostly full…like 2/3 full) with a pair of fingernail clippers. I caught it and pounded it closed. Apparently not good enough because it looked like he juggled with an open can of blue paint in my hallway.  on the carpet on the stairs, on the wood flooring, on the cabinet in the bathroom on the walls…in the litter box…I stood there with the soap flavor still in my mouth and screamed. I found out later that he shook the can upside down. I’ve never been the greatest at thinking on my feet quickly. I’m very good at problem solving and thinking outside of the box, but I’ve always needed time to think. I could never come up with a sufficient come back if someone was in my face, nor would I make a good medical professional, but surprisingly I moved pretty quickly. I’m good at remaining calm, but not good at taking fast action. I ran downstairs and found the first flat thing I could see to scoop paint up into; my old license plate. I run upstairs, grab a towel I don’t care about and see the trail of blue to my bedroom. He had it running down his entire body, all over his leg, his stomach and his arm. I did a fair amount of yelling, and I’ve worked very hard with the Lord to not be that mom and He’s has done a thing in me for sure. But this…this I was just so dumbfounded and pissed off that many choice words flew out of my mouth. It took me 30 minutes to clean up the paint. It mostly came out of the carpet and nobody died. He didn’t even get a spanking.

I told him to stay in his room and quickly changed my mind. His dad came over and calmly talked to Jeremiah as I’m over on the other side of the room pacing trying to keep my mouth shut. I’d done enough yelling and was trying to calm down that I realized that his dad was oddly calm…which was good cause I was not.

No more chores…good heavens, please no more chores. Staying in his room wasn’t an option because frankly he was on a roll. Nope. He was going to sit on the couch next to me for the remainder of the night and not move. Or touch anything. So I put on How to Train Your Dragon and that is where we sat for the rest of the night. Around 9pm I decided I was done working, Sophia was passed out on the couch and I realized that I had fully consumed the remainder of that bottle of wine…which was unlike me. I’m not a drinker really, unless I’m hanging out with Kim, mom #2 and we’re cooking together. Then we will share a bottle.

There are days that parenting is downright HARD. Throw in some extra-sensory spiritual stuff from both kids (that you have no idea how to teach them to harness) and some days it’s a perfect storm as was this day. But you know what, at the end of the day I apologized to Jeremiah for how much I yelled at him. I told him that I’m human and I’m okay with being wrong sometimes and that I loved him so much. I’m not proud of how I responded but I can look back on last week and laugh now. It’s just stuff. Yeah stuff costs money but really God is our provider and if we really truly trust in Him as such, then why do we let the little…and seemingly big things get under our skin? Selfishness. It’s our sin nature coming out when we take offense over someone causing us trouble, or a mess. I usually navigate big things like this fairly well, but not this day.

But we bounced back, I still love my child and he loves me.

But I can guarantee you, he won’t ever do either of those things again…

Oh and remember the dishwasher I vowed to pay attention to?

Yeah, it was okay.

 

~Amanda

Going up; Going down

If you’re around my age you might recall a show from your childhood called Mr. Belvedere. This morning and around this time last year I woke up with the song in my head which prompted me to google some lyrics (again):

Streaks on the china,
never mattered before,
who cares.When you dropped kicked your jacket
As you came through the door,
No one glared.But sometimes things get turned around
And no one’s spared.

All hands look out below
There’s a change in the status quo.
Gonna need all the help that we can get.

According to our new arrival
Life is more than mere survival
We just might live the good life yet.

I took it last year to mean that life as we know it is changing before our very eyes. The turn around is here! The New Wine is here! I seem to be on a turnaround time of a year for recent dreams and words that He’s given me. He’s reconfirming things He said a year ago.
This morning He gave me “Real Estate” and “Building Value” and He’s speaking to new things inside of you and how He’s building value inside of ourselves and our lives. He is doubling our return, building our faith and we have to keep holding on to the things He has promised us.  He’s bringing us into our places for those of us who are with Him and in relationship with Him.
However…
There’s a sifting coming to the church.
I’ve been sitting on a dream for a week or so. I woke up grieved again in the Spirit. There’s a division happening right now in the Body of Christ where the Lord is drawing a line of separation between His true Church and the pretenders.
I was on an airplane. There were two of them side by side and they were both a maroon color sitting on the ground in a parking lot with ramps in front of them. Mrs Grieve, my son’s special needs resource teacher was on that plane and I thought it would be good to be over there for my son. As I was on the phone to see about switching planes, both planes took off and I watched out the window as the other plane hit the ramp and one set of tires missed the ramp and it launched into the air at an angle, broke apart and the tail end crashed to the ground, and the part that was holding the people came down after it and landed face down and I didn’t hear anything- no plane crash noises…except I heard and saw the blood splatter. It was the loudest thing I’d heard and I knew that every body on that plane, every person who has suppressed and grieved the Holy Spirit by keeping God’s people from flying higher would be dealt with.
There are a few ways we can grieve the Holy Spirit. Acts 7:51 speaks about resisting the Spirit, 1 Thessalonians 5:19 is about quenching the Spirit and Ephesians 4:30 is about grieving the Spirit. It all means we aren’t allowing Him to lead our services and our lives. Have a predictable church service? Sing 3-4 songs and then you’re on to the message? Is it all pretty well structured, or unpredictable. A Spirit led service is unpredictable and the message you get from it will pierce your heart. Are you encountering God? Being convicted? Being fed milk? Or meat? Does your pastor open his Bible? Does he pause in an effort to listen to the leading of the Spirit? I’ve been in services where the music goes on and on, He’s speaking through people and there are people huddled around others as they cry out…all without human prompting. And I’ve been through services where no one sings but the people on stage.  It also means that we aren’t allowing the Lord to mold us and shape us. We are pushing back on the things we know we need to change rather than surrendering these things to Him and allowing Him to move through us.
This dividing line is meant to do two things; separate the wheat from the chaff and cause those who recognize that the line has been drawn and He’s calling to turn and seek Him. He will restore all who seek His restoration if they find themselves on the wrong side of the plumb line, just like Peter when he denied Jesus 3 times. Sifted and restored.  He’s set a standard and He will lift up men and women to meet that standard in His Body, those who will go out and do great things for Him. This is His way of calling those who have slipped into complacency back to His heart. He has a desire for you, a burning desire and He will use this to chase after you. Because He wants you.
You catch that? He wants you. YOU.
It’s time to rise to the occasion. New beginnings, new wineskins and new wine. It’s all NEW and He wants to shape you and mold you and expand you, stretch your canvas to contain it, move your tent pegs outward so your arms can contain the more He has for you.
Aren’t you hungry for more? Isn’t this life absolutely BORING without Him? He is your greatest adventure. And if He’s not…
…You’re certainly missing out.
Amanda