Sunday, April 19, 2015

Answered Prayer; A Healing Touch

"God is seldom early, but He is never late" ~
 Terry "Mateo" Mattson

I believe in the power of prayer. I am never reluctant to ask someone to pray for me when I am in need, nor am I likely to withhold a prayer for someone else who needs it.  This morning was one of those times where the need for healing prayer was my desperate request.

 I was singing on the Worship Team at our church this morning and in the middle of rehearsal something awful happened. I couldn't open my mouth all the way without experiencing shooting pain through my jaw! Now, it's a little hard to sing if you can't open your mouth, and I'm not trying to be funny. Some notes require a more mouth action than others and as I continued singing along, I found my jaw stubbornly and painfully refusing to cooperate. This was not good! 

I have had TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder) episodes a few times over the years but is has been a long time since it's caused my jaw to lock or refuse to open wider than needed. When rehearsal was done, several of us gathered, as we do every Sunday morning before service, to pray. I made my plea for prayer for myself and explained the reason. My church family quickly gathered around me and prayed specifically for a healing touch, in order that I could sing.  

I didn't feel anything in that moment, nothing to indicate to me that healing had occurred. In fact the pain was still present and my jaw still stubbornly refusing to cooperate. But I was confident. I believed that God could and would take care of this for me. I really felt like I could handle this little painful episode; I just wanted to be able to open my mouth during singing in order to really make the joyful noise I'd been recruited for!  

Our leader for our Worship Team asked me if I was going to be okay and I nodded emphatically and told her I believed God would give me the ability to do what I needed to do, just when I needed it. 

Guess what? HE DID. 

We went into our worship set and I was able to open my mouth, to sing from my heart and there was no pain in my jaw. It cooperated beautifully. 

When we finished singing and I went to find my seat, I experimented a little by forcing some "yawn" action. OOooOh! Pain! And a limited amount of movement. Just as it had happened during rehearsal. 

I was actually somewhat amused that the pain and lack of mobility had departed just long enough to do what had been asked of me that morning. I mean, we did pray specifically for me to be able to sing and sing well and without pain! At the end of the service when we went back up for one last song I grabbed my mic with confidence that I would once again be able to do my part. 

Yep. No problem. 

After church we had potluck and I found it difficult to eat as once again the jaw was being stiff. but I was happy to report to those who had prayed for me that our prayers had been answered! 

As the day went on I did find the pain slowly subsiding and the ability to open my jaw returning.

In my lifetime I have witnessed and experienced God working in our lives.I have learned that He can do things in an instance and He can do things over a period of time. I don't understand it, but I believe that His timing is perfect and there is a reason only He knows as to why things happen the way they do. I don't understand it but I guess that's not my job. My job is to trust.  

(p.s. as an added bonus, this healing prayer episode seems to have also served as a breakthrough in a case of writer's block that's been plaguing me for a few weeks. So, Yay God!! Thank you!!)

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Greatest Day In History

*The Greatest Day in History

Death is beaten, You have rescued me

Sing it out, Jesus is alive

The empty cross, the empty grave

Life eternal, You have won the day

Shout it out, Jesus is alive

He's alive

Oh, happy day, happy day

You washed my sin away

Oh, happy day, happy day

I'll never be the same

Forever I am changed

Blessings upon Blessings 
this glorious Resurrection Sunday 2015! 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Just Jesus

I'll just go ahead and say it. I'm a slow learner. Or, perhaps more correctly, a stubborn one.

You would think that after 40++ years of being a Christian, I'd get it. And, of course, I do. Get it I mean. I get what being a Christ follower means. I get what living a life set apart should look like. I get that living for Jesus demands my whole heart. I get it and I want it and I pursue it. Well, most of the time. I mean, let's be perfectly honest... there are days where living for Jesus is not at the front and center of my heart and mind. More correctly, it's living for Robyn taking His place. And so, I need these constant reminders, these daily checkpoints to stop me in my tracks, keep me in line and help me refocus, renew and recommit.

As so often is the case, when God wants to get a message, He does it repeatedly. It happened that way this morning....

In addition to following a bible reading plan, I receive multiple online devotionals via email. This morning as I sipped my coffee and tried vainly to focus my bleary eyes on the email as viewed through my smartphone, I read the scripture accompanying the devotional. 

From Philippians 4.19: And my God will meet all your needs, according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus. 

The main thrust of the devotional was about running on empty-- forgetting to spend time daily with Jesus, refueling. It was a timely and gentle reminder for me as I had allowed a few days to slip away where starting my day with The Word had been forsaken in exchange for whatever else was clamoring for my attention. 

I laid my phone down and picked up my bible and journal to jot down some thoughts. Satisfied with my pondering, I returned to my phone to finish my email. As I scrolled down through the content of the next email what jumped out at me? Reference to not worrying about our own needs because God will supply them.... and, yes, Philippians 4.19.

Even as my heart thrilled in my chest I wasn't that surprised. It was so clearly NOT coincidence. God had my attention. 

I don't forget to eat. I need food to fuel my body and my brain and when I skip a meal or go too long between eating, I grow cranky, tired and sometimes a little shaky. So why do I allow my spirit to skip feedings? 

It has to be more than just a habit I lock myself into. It has to be the most important source I turn to, daily, minute by minute. 

Just Jesus.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Cherry On Top!

Life is so good! 
My sweetie has been at the new job for over a week now and is doing just fine. There's a lot to learn and he comes home mentally exhausted but it's all good. We're taking it one day at a time and continuing to trust God. He's never failed us.

Life is so good!
Spring is just around the corner and with that comes a special celebration!

The first day of spring is.... (drum roll please) .... this Friday! We've been blessed with an exceptionally tame winter and spring-like weather has been teasing us for weeks now. There are buds and blossoms breaking out all around us and we've even mowed our lawn once! And just like spring, where new things blossom and grow, so it goes with the story of the love-burkes.  Our first date was on the first day of Spring 21 years ago this year! 

If you have been following this blog for any length of time, or if you know me in real life, you know that I LOVE to celebrate! Birthdays, Anniversaries, milestones-- all worthy of a shout out!  When it comes to me n' my sweetie, it's no exception. I make no apologies for loving this man and letting the world know it. So, if you aren't interested in sharing in this celebration, just skip on over to your next favorite blog. No hard feelings.

To mark this years occasion I decided to put together a slideshow of pictures of us over the year as a surprise for my sweetie. It was hard to decide which pictures to include and which ones to pass on, so I ended up with a pretty lengthy presentation! It was a lot of fun to revisit the box of photos though! I found pictures I'd forgotten about (oh those days before we had digital!)

check out these young things!
the 80's called; they want their dress back!
that shaggy haired worker guy

young babes in love
I'm so glad we were able to work past the fear and trepidation we had about dating and risking our hearts for a new relationship. It was all worth it and the fact that we clicked, fell in love and ended up together has been the cherry on top!

Friday, March 6, 2015

gas fumes and bread crumbs

On Monday next, Bruce begins his new job! (and everybody gave a loud cheer!!) 

for the past 30 days he's been working for our church in an interim position and it's been a blessing in many ways. Starting Monday, the tool belt gets hung up until the weekend. He'll be working in contractor sales-- working on the other side of the desk. It's going to be different. It's going to be a challenge. It's going to be interesting... its going to be great! 

I said awhile back that I was longing for some financial stability in our lives. Self employment is wonderful even as it is stressful, because of the independence it offers but our economy has not been kind to the small business owner in the past several years. You've heard my woes over these past many many months about how hard it's been to scratch out a living. We are so very thankful for the way God has provided for us both in the lean times and the plenty. 

Despite the steady pay checks coming, it's going to take some time for us to climb out of the hole we've slipped into. It only takes a few weeks of no income to send you down into that pit but it often takes 2-3 times longer to climb back out. 

There have been days when life has felt so overwhelmingly difficult. Unpaid bills, creditors calling to demand what is rightfully theirs to demand, getting by on gas fumes and bread crumbs, physical challenges and emotional stress adding to the already fragile morale.... those are the days I need these reminders:
i am not alone. 
God has not forgotten or forsaken me. 
he gives strength to the weary.
he gives hope to the hopeless.
he offers a yoke that is easy, a burden that is light.
he offers a future filled with hope.
he sends me reminders and it gives me the courage and strength i need to face one more day. 

Learning to trust in Him regardless of my circumstances, remembering that trust is a choice, remembering that my source of security and stability is never in a job or a paycheck or any circumstance of life, but in Him and Him alone; that is what allows me to rise up on wings like eagles, to walk and not grow weary, to run and not faint. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Life is a Treasure

The sun is shining, there's not a cloud in the sky. The wind that charmed my wind chimes yesterday has died down and the temperature has come up. I've gotten in my walk, swiped some blossoms off a neighbor's tree and put them in a vase on my table. I've got laundry going and have sucked down my 3rd cup of coffee for the morning. I've cleaned out my junk mailbox, caught up on facebook and checked out craigslist.

It's just a day in the life of.

I've got no complaints, I feel content  and I am grateful for all my blessings. I am fully aware of how precious each moment of our lives is, perhaps today more than ever.

You see, today there are 2 memorials taking place. I'm not planning to attend, as I didn't really know either of them. But I do know the people who are grieving their passing so today, in my own way, I will take some time to honor their memory and hold my friends up in prayer.

One of the memorials is for the mother-in-law of a friend of mine. I met her once or twice many years ago. She lived a long vibrant life but the past couple years has been rough on the family as they watched her take that agonizing decline into dementia. And I would surmise that as much as saying good bye hurts, they are also rejoicing over her graduation to heaven.
I'm not there today my sweet friend but know I'm thinking of you and sending you hugs and prayers.

The other memorial is going to be much, much harder I am sure. This friend is saying good bye to her husband who passed away unexpectedly after brain surgery. I did not know her husband at all, except by name. And truthfully my friendship with D. is one of those kept alive only by the powers of facebook. She was a year behind me in school and we didn't hang out together but there was a short period in my life where we shared office space as we worked at our respective jobs. Being women, being wives, we shared more than office space, as over a period of months we revealed our hearts through our conversations. I know her as a sincere and gentle-hearted person  and my heart aches for her and what she is going through.
I'm not there today lovely lady, but you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Thinking about those kinds of losses makes me somber and thoughtful. I lost my dad about 8 years ago and I know the day is coming when Mom will go home too.

I don't even want to think about what life would be like if my husband was gone.

We just celebrated the 19th engage-aversary of when he proposed and every minute we have together is precious and treasured.(Yes, even when you snore and I have to elbow you honey- it's precious)

So, yes the sun is shining and there is not a cloud in the sky. I'm taking some time today to lift up those who have lost a loved one by embracing the moment and being grateful for those special people in my life.


Monday, February 23, 2015

this thing called monday

i love mondays.
said no one ever.
except for me.
because i'm a little funny that way.
i don't work outside of the home.
I am an 'old fashioned' wife;
i get up each morning and
make his breakfast, pack his lunch
and send him on his way to work
with a kiss and a smile.
and i love that.
i love that "this" is my job.

i love the weekends.
said everybody.
including me.
because it means time with hubby
and chores and church
and couple stuff.
projects to work on, maybe some playtime.
weekend get aways
even if they happen in the backyard.
gathering with friends, social time.
but...draining my battery,
even as i laugh and love and live.

but come monday
i am happy to have my house back
under my domain.
my time to recharge from the weekend
happens on mondays.
bye-bye honey,
come to me you big beautiful cup of coffee.
let's sit here awhile
there is plenty of time
to start the laundry and
wash the dishes.
i love this solo time.

come monday.