I was in Walmart one day not too long ago (unfortunately, one of many days I’m there) with my husband when we ran into a friend of ours, Paula. If you haven’t seen someone in a while, just go to Walmart.
Anyway, as we stopped to talk, Markus (my husband) and Paula, both big hunters, got to talking about hunting and such- where have they hunted? Have they seen any big deer? Any big bucks? Etc. As they chatted about the places they had been, Paula made the statement, “Well, you don’t wanna be where it’s not happenin’!” Of course she was talking about places to hunt. If there are quite a bit of deer around, then it’s a happenin’ place for hunters. If there aren’t many deer around, a hunter doesn’t want to waste his/her time there. However, when I heard this statement, it became a spiritual statement for me and I had to quickly make a mental note of it (by ‘Mental Note,’ I mean I made a note on my cell phone so I could check it out later. If I had made an actual mental note, this blog wouldn’t exist—I wouldn’t have remembered….).
Who wants to be where it’s not happenin’? Spiritually speaking. Who wants to stay in a dry, dead, dreary place where the Spirit isn’t moving? Who wants to be far from a growing, thriving, burning, passionate relationship with Jesus? Most of us will read these questions and defensively reply, “Not me!” But let’s take time to really examine ourselves and situations before we answer. No, we may not want to be in a place where “it’s not happenin'”; but the reality is, many of us have allowed things, people, life, etc. to take us to that place and we’ve stayed there, refusing to acknowledge what is going on. Refusing to admit that we have drifted off track. Why? Because we’re stubborn. We think that if we ignore the problem, it will just disappear. Not true. It just causes to fall even further.
I think each and everyone of us, if we take a small moment to seriously examine our lives, will find that we have fallen into a place where “it’s not happenin’.” Maybe not so much that it’s not happenin’ at all, but that it’s not happenin’ like it used to be, or like it should be. Let’s all, myself included, see what we can do to get back to where it is most definitely happenin’ and strive to stay there. I know that I personally, do NOT wanna be where it’s not happenin’!
I’ve been a bit concerned with myself lately. Constantly asking myself, “Am I doing what God wants me to do? Am I where He wants me to be? Am I on the path He wants me to take? What does He want me to do next? Is He disappointed in me?”
Saturday night, this literally kept me up nearly all night long. I prayed, tossed, turned, and worried. By nature, I’m a worry wart. Problem was, I was asking myself all of these questions instead of asking Him. I finally laid there in bed and said “Lord, lead me. Tell me what You want me to hear… I need to know where I stand and where to go next…”
“You’re free, Angie. There is no burden to carry, everything is forgiven. You are FREE…”
I didn’t even realize this was something I had been worrying about! But it made so much sense when I laid there and thought about it. I’m free. I’m listening. And with that simple answer from him I knew where my focus needed to be re-aligned, the next step to take, and that He is still just as happy to call me His daughter as I am to call Him my Father.
To help keep this reminder to myself, I’ve been humming this old song since then. It may not be a favorite style of music for a lot of people, but just listen to the lyrics and let it bless you!
Some of you may be wondering:
How can I have a legacy that carries on when I have such an un-Godly past behind me? Doesn’t that leave me marred somehow?
We’ve all done things. Some of us more so than others. But then we came to know Jesus, and he washed all of those sins away.
Now that you’re on your new found path, you stress. But why?
Um, maybe because my past is troubling me…
I’ve struggled with this myself before. I used to always worried that I was unworthy or incapable of teaching my children the ways of the Lord because I was not always pure. But there are a few things I want to point out to you that helped me…
Nothing in your past has anything to do with the legacy you will pass down unless you allow it to. So stand tall, hold your head high, and teach your children the way they need to be taught. Never hold back or feel insecure. Tell them all about our Father and be confident.
After all, if you’re not confident, why would they want what you have? Be the example!
“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.”
A year after my mother passed away, my daughter married. A few months afterward she was expecting a baby as her husband embarked upon his three-month internship for his college degree. He was to make the 2,000 mile trip and get settled while she stayed with me the first couple of weeks, then she would fly out to join him.
It was bedtime when I wandered into the living room to say good night. As I did she casually told me he had arrived safely and really loved the area. “He would be interested in taking a position and living somewhere out there,” she explained. I don’t believe I flinched, though my heart sank to my toes. I made a graceful exit and headed to the bedroom.
My husband was sound asleep so I felt my way in the dark to find my Bible. I slipped into the bathroom for some light and sat on the step beside the tub to cry. The only way I knew to express myself to the Lord was to be direct and that’s how I proceeded. “God we’ve got a problem,” I candidly prayed. “I need to talk to my mother, but You had this bright idea to call her home. Now what am I supposed to do?”
Mom had a remarkable gift to speak a “word in season” that would calm my troubled spirit. My only daughter and first grandchild could potentially move thousands of miles away and if ever I needed a word in season, this was it.
Then I desperately flipped open my Bible and had one of the most amazing experiences of my life. The Scripture leaped off the page from Mark 8:35. Then, as if we were sitting at the kitchen table, I heard Mother’s voice in my head. I could visualize her leaning in with her hand gently patting the page as she began to explain, “Let me tell you what this Scripture means,” I heard her softly say. “The Lord knows that Kimmy is your life and always has been. But God is a ‘people mover’ and He strategically places them around the world where they can be utilized for the Kingdom.” I heard her continue, “He’s asking you to lay your life down for His sake. But it’s your choice. You can pitch a fit and get a bear hold on her and refuse to let her go. But she could be living on the other side of the wall and not be yours. On the other hand, as long as she is in the will of God, there is no distance that can take her from you.” In those few moments, “I got it.” I allowed myself to cry through the night, but by dawn I washed my face and prepared to lay my life down.
So far, I have been spared… she has lived within a reasonable driving distance. But as a result, it has been a joy to watch first-hand as she has grown and matured in God, standing on her own two feet, becoming what He has called her to be.
I realize from the moment God loaned her to me, she was really His all along. But as a young mother I spent my time cleaning the “sticky fingers” without seeing the big picture. He could see it all along. The sticky fingers were mine to care for, the calling on the one whom those sticky fingers were attached, was His.
I learned a valuable lesson that would serve a young mother well to realize now. Because in order to keep your life, considered it a privilege—for His sake—to lay it down.
To learn more about Lona (pronounced like Donna with an “L”) please visit her website at www.lona.org. She has an amazing testimony that you will be nothing but blessed to read about!
I love to bless people!! Love it! I love to see the reaction of blessing others, especially when it’s done in secret and no one has a clue that it was me. (As it should be done secretly; “don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing”.) It makes me feel good.
Not to brag on myself, but here are some of the things that I do, that you may like to try:
There are several ways to be a blessings to someone and it doesn’t always have to be financial.
You never know what these little things can mean to someone. They could be having a horrible day and you just might be what they need to lift them up! It could also start a chain reaction of niceness to others. It could become an epidemic! Bless out ya’ll!!
As I’m typing this, my 3 year old is jumping off of the love seat onto pillows that he has gathered into a pile on the floor. (My husband hates when he does this, but I let him. Shh… 😉 ) He has no worry, no fear, and is completely enthralled in pure giddiness. (If that’s not a word, I just made it up… Because it perfectly describes him right now!)
I feel as though I could use a lesson from my little guy. Lately, I feel like God is gearing me up for something. Some of it I know already, but I just feel like there is more. I’m amped up and very excited… but also scared. The unknown kind of freaks me out a little. Like when you’re expecting your first child and you have no idea what it would truly be like to be a mother, but you think you do. You feel all that wonder and adoration for someone you’ve never officially met and have only felt growing within you. You worry, “What if I mess this up? What if I fail?” but at the same time “Thank you Lord for this wonderful opportunity, I will be eternally grateful!”
That’s where I am now…
I just glanced over to my little boy again and he is laughing hysterically, jumping into the air, and falling semi-gracefully on his cushions. With each leap he takes I feel God speaking to me… “It’s your turn Angie. I’ll be here for you to land on. Trust me. Jump! Have faith!”
What about you? Is there anything you need to leap into with faith right now? Pray for me, and I’ll pray for you.
1, 2, 3…. JUMP!!!
So, here you are. You’ve gone through all of the steps to make your lemonade & construct your lemonade stand by grieving, forgiving, accepting, and moving on. Now you have reached the point where you set up shop, practice good customer service, and make those sales.
“Huh? What are you even talking about? Stop with the metaphors or at least explain them!”
(If achieving this step is just too much work, consider seeking counseling. There is no shame in asking someone for a little help. Also, depression is a very serious illness that can happen to anyone. It is not something that you can “just snap out of”. Seek help if you need it, please.)
So, what do you do now? Sit back, relax, and drink some lemonade!!!
DISCIPLINE2 obsolete:instruction3: a field of study6: a rule or system of rules governing conduct or activity
1 Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, But he who hates correction is stupid.2 A good man obtains favor from the Lord, But a man of wicked intentions He will condemn.3 A man is not established by wickedness, But the root of the righteous cannot be moved. Proverbs 12:1-3 NKJV
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spiritis in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. 14 Therefore He says:
“ Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light.”
Ephesians 5:8-14 NKJV
Okay, so you’ve done all that you can in the kitchen for now. It is time to grab a hammer, some nails, a couple planks of wood and head outside.
Moving on can be one of the most difficult tasks. Leaving behind something that has been consuming you for some time can be a lot of work. So, why must we move on? Why can’t we just stay where we are? Because if you sit and dwell on what has happened, you will never be happy. It is not God’s will for us to be sad or angry. There is a season for that, yes, but it does come to an end. That is why it is a season, it changes.
Now is the season where things become warm, metaphorically. You began this struggle in the late Autumn. During the Winter you grieved. Late Winter and Spring you forgave and accepted. Now, it is Summer… and people are thirsty and in need of your lemonade. Soon they may be in the late Autumn and will need to remember how wonderful Summertime was and what that Lemonade you made them tasted like.
Will you ever go back to the kitchen? Oh yes. You’re going to have to go back to get sweetener, supplies, and once in awhile you’re going to have to take in more lemons to squeeze them out. But for now, you’re building your stand and preparing for the next step which I’ll be talking about next week when we conclude this series: Setting up shop and customer service.
As tempting as it is to go back inside because the sun is so bright and the air too warm, remember God got you this far… He’ll take you even farther! And if you want to go farther, you can’t live in the past… Put on a smile and a pair of work gloves (Read your Bible and have faith), because it’s time for you to construct (pray for) your shop front (attitude)!
Yesterday afternoon I went out to run some errands with my Mom. I still wasn’t feeling 100%, but I just wanted to get out of the house for a little while. I decided to take Tommy (3 1/2) along and leave Johnny Ben and Molly at home with Daddy.
We had a couple stops, one of them being Target. I was tired, Tommy was tired, my Mom was tired. All I could think of was getting back in her truck and going home. When we came to the register the cashier was just counting in and starting her shift. She greeted us, asked if we found everything okay, and from there stayed silent. The expressions on her face and her mannerisms told me something in her life other than work was bothering her. Her mind and heart were somewhere else, and that somewhere else was not a happy place. Tommy even seemed to notice and asked her to smile, but she pretended not to hear him or was so distracted she did not notice.
I made mental note of the name on her name tag. I was polite but tried not to bother her with idle chit chat. I smiled at her, took the bags, and quietly prayed for her as she continued the process. I did not feel led to ask her why she was unhappy, but did feel a tug telling me to pray.
Since we left the store about 20 hours ago, this woman has come to mind constantly. I have no idea why she has been laid on my heart, but God does. I pray for her, asking God to do what needs to be done and touch her life.
How many times have we been asked by The Lord to do something like this and have ignored it? I know I have before. How many times have strangers done this for us? We many never know until we reach Heaven.
For all we know, when these burdens are laid on our hearts, we could be the only person praying for this individual. We could also be one of hundreds working together. The point is, GOD KNOWS. He really does. He loves that woman just as much as He loves me. He hates seeing her go through pain. He needs someone to hold her up in the spiritual realm just as much as she needs someone in the physical realm. Never ignore the Holy Spirit when he says to pray for someone… For all you know, the next time a burden is laid on a strangers heart… It may be for you!