Wellspring

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Proverbs 4:23

Have You Seen Your Cardiologist Lately?

Cor 13: 1  If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

We’ve almost wrapped up February, but not yet.  Even though Valentine’s Day was about two weeks ago, we are still in the month of love and dealing with matters of the heart.

Have you shown your love?

If you have please share.

You know, sometimes, even though we say we’re about love, we’re not so much.  Sometimes we don’t show the love that was shown to us when we were saved.  Sometimes, the love we don’t show, or withhold, is from those that are closest to us.

Yes?

Don’t even act like you don’t know what I’m talking about.  I bet you haven’t gone 3 days without snapping at a loved one you live with, have you? Well, even if it’s been more than 3 days, what do our words of hurt and bitterness say to them?

Oh how I wish we were all sitting at Starbucks having this conversation and Grande Salted Caramel Mocha!

I’ve learned in my 42 years that when bitterness leaves my mouth, it probably started in my heart.  I come to you today telling you that I have purposely said things that are hurtful to my husband and my children because I felt justified at the time. Yep, on purpose.  I felt justified to hurt them because I had been hurt.  And once in a while, they have simply been in the line of fire of an incident that had absolutely nothing to do with them.  All they heard from me was a clanging and banging of words.

I don’t suppose any of you have found yourselves in a similar situation?

How on earth can I expect for Jesus love to shine through me to others, when I’m not being who he calls me to be at home?  Isn’t that where it starts?  I’m an example for my children and they become examples for their friends.  I show them my love for my husband, then I’m hopefully demonstrating a healthy, Godly relationship that they will want for themselves. It’s a heavy responsibility.

More than it being a responsibility, it’s a calling.  A calling that started with Jesus speaking to my heart.  That’s why the heart IS the heart of the matter. Be careful to not have the beating of it sound like an empty room echoing because home is where the heart is. 🙂

I just love it when it all pulls together!

Well, I’m going to leave you now. 🙂 I need to get my heart checked.

Blessings & Hugs Sisters, Elizabeth

 

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True Love

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! 

I hope it truly is a happy day for you.  Meet everyone where they are at today and don’t try to put them where you want them to be.  That will make you happier – I promise.

Ahhhhhh.  Love  is in the air today. 

True love – everyone has an idea of what they think that means.  Some may think it there is love at first sight that is true love.  Some may think true love is going through life with the same person – the good, the bad & the ugly.  Some may think true love is a feeling.  I could go on and on, (like I’m telling you something you don’t know) but I won’t.

Today I want to share with you a love story.  It’s not your typical boy meets girl love story, but I think you will be touched just the same. 

I often share with you the chaos and craziness that ensues at our house.  It’s about time I share the good things too.  I feel amazingly blessed to have the children God has given me.  So, please, don’t ever think I’m ungrateful.  I know what I’ve been given.

This love story started about 4 years ago.  It’s between Adam and his third grade teacher and God. If you are unaware, Adam is now in 6th grade.  His third grade teacher was really good.  She is reserved, matter of fact and cares deeply for her kids.  Whenever I spoke to her about him, she was always pleased with his work and told me how good she thought he was – not just grade wise.  It makes a mama smile to hear these things.  Adam had a great third grade year.  We were all pleased and blessed to have yet another wonderful teacher in our son’s life.

Because Adam is a people person, he liked to make it a point to say hi to her when he would see her.  I think she appreciated that.  Who doesn’t?

This year she moved from the third grade to librarian.  Adam is one of her library helpers.  He likes a lot.  I think he likes the responsibility and he likes to be useful.  He also enjoys her. 

Last night I was at Walmart gathering a couple of last-minute Valentine items. 

I know your saying to yourself, “I’m so surprised that Elizabeth didn’t have that done already.”  Hard to believe of me, I agree. 

So while I was gathering what I needed, I saw her.  Adam happened to be on the phone with me giving me a list of additional Valentine items he wanted.  I informed him that this was not on the same level as Christmas.  When I got off of the phone, I commented to her something that was a little sarcastic about my boys and what they wanted. 

She turned and looked at me and said, “You have good boys.”

I said I knew.  Then I threw in another “yes, but” comment about them.  We chit chatted just a bit and then we our separate ways. 

After I left her I realized that I had sounded a bit bratty.  I sounded like an ungrateful wretch.  I was sorry for how I presented myself and them. 

We met up again and I made a point to tell her I know I have good boys.  I know I’m blessed. I know they are polite, respectful, thoughtful of others and kind. (Of course this is only to the people who don’t live in our house.  What?  They can’t be perfect. Right? 🙂 ) 

This is where the story has a purpose.  Really. 

She looked at me and said, “Yes they are.  You have been blessed three times.  I can’t tell you what Adam said today because it will make me cry, but you have been blessed.”

I thanked her and my heart swelled.  I even got a lump in my throat and felt teary.

See, her mom passed away a little over a week ago.  I could only imagine what he might have said. 

I asked him this morning.  Adam told me he said, ” I prayed for you.”

I felt like this was an example of true love. It was simple, but so powerful.  He acknowledged her grief and gave her the gift of a child’s prayer.  I can’t think of love any truer than that.  Can you?

Blessings, Hugs and Abundant Love my friends, Elizabeth

PS – I didn’t ask Adam if I could share this……let’s just keep it between us in case I committed a breach of confidence. 🙂 Thank you!

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Weary

I guess it’s my turn to blog.  I appreciate Elizabeth picking up all of my pregnant, nauseous slack for the last month. She’s the best.

Elizabeth often likes to talk about our different “voices” that show through our blog writing. Hers is very light-hearted and takes a fun look at the lessons God is teaching her through the life that happens around her each day. My blogging tends to be a little more serious or introspective.  It’s often just the way I observe how God is teaching me, and I hope that you all don’t mind listening for a minute. If it’s a downer, don’t worry, Elizabeth will be back on the next one. 🙂

So. Here is where I am right now. I will be 11 weeks pregnant on Thursday. As you all pretty much know, in 2008 before I had Sadie, Paul and I experienced two miscarriages.  I always feel now that if I were doing one of those “draw out a timeline with significant moments in your life on it”, that 2008 would be one of those dots that would be bold and black. It would be a way of saying “Life for Amy changed significantly after this.  The way she related to God changed. The way she felt inside changed. She will be….forever….different.” Ominous? Maybe. But true.

In completely, transparent honesty, 2008 was when my soul became tired. When, for the first time, I had trouble truly believing that God wanted the best for my life. I never, through any of this process, doubted that God loved me, or that He is great, or good, or kind, or any of those wonderful attributes that make Him holy.  Really, I never doubted those things, or stopped believing they were true of Him.  But it became very easy to doubt those things as they related to me.  The way I pray is different now.  The way I approach His Word is different now. My soul became weary at that time.

As I trudge my way through this first trimester, I pray every day that God will help me to trust Him. Some days, it’s the only prayer I know how to pray. I want to trust that this baby is growing inside of me, even when I cannot feel anything yet (except nausea). I want to believe that, come late August or early September, I will hold a newborn baby in my arms. But most of all, as hard as these words are to utter, I want personal holiness, even when I don’t know what God may use in my life to get me there. I have so many scriptures hidden in my heart. They are there, I know them….let not my heart be troubled….be strong and courageous…He is the God who sees me…..do not be anxious for anything….lean not on my own understanding….His yoke is easy and His burden is light….He is the God who does wonders.  These scriptures have not left me through any of this, yet the worry is so familiar to me now. The weariness is always there.

This morning, as I was getting ready in the bathroom, I heard this song by JJ Heller called “Have Mercy on Me.” And had I not been applying eye makeup at that very moment, I would have cried.  The words were so real to me.  They made so much sense.

Friend, I don’t know what your “2008” was on your timeline. Maybe it was losing a child. Maybe a spouse.  Perhaps it was a dreaded diagnosis for you or someone you love. Or a marriage ending.  Maybe you haven’t had your “2008” yet. If you want to share how we can pray for you, please do so.  And please, pray for me.  Just because I have my hair done and my make-up on does not mean I am not often a mess on the inside. 🙂

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Looking for Love

Genesis 29:18, 20

18 Jacob was in love with Rachel and said, “I’ll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel.” …….. 20 So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.
 
February is the month of LOVE. I guess most of us think of love in the romantic sense, like the scripture above.  Jacob took his love for Rachel seriously.  It was not some fly by night infatuation.   No sir.  He knew in his heart she was the woman for him and he was willing to do what needed to be done to have her in his life. He worked for seven years to get Rachel, but his love was so strong and deep for her, it only seemed like a few days to him.
 
Seven Years!  To me this seems like a long time to work, but he was passionate about his goal so the time flew by.
 
When I read this I was a child in my walk with God.  I fell in love with Jacob.   I was head over heals!  I knew that I wanted to have this very same love and devotion showered on me someday. 
 
And I prayed for it.   I was sure that this kind of love would be mine someday.  There is was – in black and white in the Bible – God’s Word.  I felt a twinge in my heart when I read it and knew with every fiber of my being that this would come to pass. 
 
Bunny Trail Alert:
I’m going to share a little background that many of you know, but some may not.  I am adopted.  I don’t remember ever not knowing I was adopted.  I was adopted at a time where there were no open adoptions, but my parents did a terrific job letting me know that I was loved by all that were in my life, and by the birth mother that was not.  They explained to me that I was not given up because I was not wanted, in fact I was very much wanted.  They were sure that my birth mother loved me so much that she had no other choice to put me up for adoption.  They said she knew she would be unable to care for me, but someone else could.  So instead of keeping me to herself, she allowed them to adopt me because it was the best thing for me.  (See, it was all about me.) And if that wasn’t enough to make my little ego swell, they also told me that I was special because I was chosen.  Yep, those of you that aren’t adopted, your parents were just stuck with you.  Bless your hearts. 
 
It is because of this I was sure I would have a love like no other in my marriage.  That and the fact that I was a Daddy’s girl whose Daddy doted upon her.  (Aaron would say I’m bragging, but I’m just being real.  I was an only brat and I enjoyed it.)
 
Fast forward to my first marriage.  The minute I fell in love, I believed it was for life.  I had preconceived notions of what my marriage would be like, how my husband would treat me and was convinced that Jacob’s devout love for Rachel would be mine for life. 
 
Since I said “first marriage”, I think you know it was not that way.  I was so wrong.  I hadn’t consulted God about any of it.  It was all what I thought, what I wanted …….me, me, me.  It quickly fell apart.  The relationship became emotionally and physically unhealthy. 
 
Part of me was glad to be out of it.  Part of me mourned for what might have been even though I left it.  Part of me resented my dream being dashed.
 
Didn’t God speak to me – promise me?  Didn’t he want for me to be happy?  Didn’t he want me to know love?  Isn’t love what he’s about?  Why would he want to deny me love?
 
He did speak to me.  He did promise me.  I didn’t listen to his message.  
His message to me had nothing to do with my future husband.  It have everything to do with His love for me.  His message was John 3:16. 
 
I could see it all in retrospect.  God loves us wholly and completely.  It is not another person that completes us or fills us up- it is Him.  As the song says, I was looking for love in all the wrong places.  I was looking for a person, clothed in sinful human flesh to fulfill my needs.  It will never happen.  Two wrongs (people with sinful nature) can never make a right.  But one person, with a God bigger than the universe to repair them, can be spectacular! 
 
I challenge you to look up references to God’s love for us in the Bible.  There you will find fulfillment.  You will find that he has plans to give you hope and a future and that he wants to know your every desire.  He wants all of you and He is ALL you will ever need. 
 
You are loved sweet sisters! 
 
Never doubt it for a minute. 
 
Blessings & Hugs, Elizabeth
 
PS – If you want to delve deeper into God’s love, join us for a Girl’s Night Out this Friday!  5:30pm at the church parking lot – be there or be square.  And I better not hear of anyone saying it’s for the “young” people, because it’s not.  It’s for all of us. Got it?  Good. 🙂  And I love you all. 
 
 
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