We arrived home Saturday night, late. Then Sunday we drove our Grand-Anna back to her parents after having her spend the last week with us in Washington DC.
Brochures scatter the couch waiting for me to begin a scrapbook of our adventure with her. Pictures in the camera, physical memories of our adventure, are waiting to be processed and placed in the scrapbook as well.
Piles of laundry are tangling my every step, I try to reorganize our lives by cleaning and tucking away each item in its proper place.
There are remnants of chips all over the floors, along with grass tracked in from the yard. Evidence of an unauthorized “just-a-few-friends” get-together; and the evidence indicates more than just a few! Now cleaning all that up is on my to-do list as well.
Grass growing as tall as my lower calf, wild and straggly, looking as if it is having an unauthorized party as well; and the lawnmower went into the shop right before I left two weeks ago…and is still there.
I’m ready to scream!
“It is just stuff,” I remind myself, “it is not heaven or hell. It is just little stuff.”
Then the weed-eater doesn’t crank and I’m ready to send it straight to the devil, don’t pass go and don’t collect two-hundred dollars!
Doc hears my frustrations and before leaving for work he checks the weed-eater for me. Of course it cranks the first time for him!
Little mice nibbling away at my happy, roughing up my smooth, calm interior. It’s an infestation of little nibbles. All I can see are the little nibbles.
Pausing, I hear the hawk in the woods calling out. More than likely she has caught a mouse in the field and is cheering her own victory. Such a little thing, but it feeds her and the little ones in her nest.
I’m running around crazy wanting to scream at the little things and she cries out over the little things using them to make her life stronger.
How do I turn this frustration into joyful fruition?
Perhaps it is remembering that I am so very blessed to have enough clothes to need to do laundry; that I have a home that needs tending to and children that need discipline and vacations that train the young mind to see beyond our city limits, that brings the joy and eventually fruition of the to-do list for today.
Pausing, I begin count it all joy.
I count it all blessings, and gifts, and treasures.
“ Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” James 1:2-3
Chara, joy. “Thou does make him joyful with gladness in Thy presence.” Ps 21:6
It’s in the little things that we can find joy. But to seek it is the secret; To invite the joy into the job.
It’s when we are in His presence then the joy is there in the labor.
And now, the laundry room is Holy Ground, because He is invited in; the chips on the floor that crunch with each step – Holy Ground, because He is there in the midst.
Joy, Joy, and my burden for little things is lifted, because He is there – Joy.
The She Speaks conference has come and gone like Christmas. Planning for months about the talks I would give, buying the” right” outfits and jewelry trying to make a good impression.
Then you enter into the wind tunnel, running from class to class, slinging business cards left and right, write and rewriting your talk umpteen times trying to make it “perfect”. Hugging dear friends whose writing now has a voice and face.
Finally, you entering into the talk you planned to give as such a cool and together, sophisticated woman, raccoon-eyed from joyful tears, pale-faced from the makeup wearing off, and the cute hair-do you began the day with in now hanging in string beside your ears.
Like Christmas morning, everything begins so neat and orderly, and within a few hours its over, the family is gone and you finally sit down and enjoy looking at the light on the tree and the gifts received.
She Speaks is over, and now I’m sitting down looking at the books and pictures I have received from the weekend.
Thank you Proverbs 31 Ministries for all of your hard work, time, prayers and endless love that you have given to us this weekend. You are a blessing.
Here are a few pictures from my weekend. One person I did not get a picture with, is Susan Stillwell who is beautiful inside and out, and shows her grace and beauty in her blog by praying for others as part of her ministry. But she and I will catch up again sometime and I’ll have my picture with this dear friend!
Renee Swoop Author of A Confident Heart
Luann Prater AKA prayer MAMA
Me and Renee Swoop!Me and Lysa TerKeurst President of Proverbs 31 Ministries and author of the new book Coming Unglued.Laurie Wallin my California Chick friend and Blogger at Living Power
Liz Clark Higgs, speaker, writer and living Joy! I wanted to take her home with me!
Walking to my car feels strange. I’m alone after being with 650 women for three days. The car is quite.
Father in heaven, are you really calling me to speak? Am I just passing time meeting people or is this real? For the second time in two weeks, bursting forth from behind dark clouds, is light. Beams of brilliant light, that reminds of the light Paul described when he encountered Christ for the first time. I don’t know what Christ has in store for me, but like Hagar, I call out, “You are El Roi, the God who sees me.”
A tech at the hospital brought Doc several jars of peach preserves which he had ordered and some plums from the farm she and her husband own.
Wiping the sweet ruby juice that runs down his chin, he comments that it is the best plum he has ever had.
She smiles as he finishes the rest of his snack.
“Yea, that is from our best producing tree. It is around that tree that we dump the chicken dung from the chicken coops.”
I laugh as I watch her try to get him riled, but Doc just smiles back and says, “Yep, best chicken fed plum I ever had!”
I began to think about that chicken dung. Something most people try to bury, throw out, or at the very least walk past and make sounds of disgust
I have dung in my life, everyone does. Stuff from the past that I try to bury and throw out as if it never existed. Stuff that I have given to the Lord, stuff I have learned mighty lessons from but I bury it down for fear that if you knew you would make a sound of disgust.
Some people caution me not to tell, “ you will ruin your reputation,” and I am then paralyzed with fear.
Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe. Proverbs 29:25
And fear casts its net in hopes of prey unaware.
We must be aware that our weakness comes forth as strength as it is given to Christ.
Is the greatest fear we all have the fear of dirt; of someone having dirt on us? Do we fear that they will try to bury us in our own dirt long before it is time for us to return to the dirt?
So you will find favor and a good repute in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on you own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverb 3:4-6
So this is where I am – I gave my life to Christ years ago, it is no longer mine but His. If He calls my buried dirt, fertilizer, then so be it. It is no longer my story but His, no longer my dirt and shame, but His story and glory. He can tell my story, dig up my dirt, and spread it under any tree he chooses so that good fruit can come out of the lives of others.
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is not longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and delivered Himself up for me. Galatians 2:20
I am leaving in the morning for She Speaks, then to DC for a vacation with my Grand-Anna and will not be blogging much. But I’ll have plenty of stories and pictures to share when I get back.
You are my girls and guys and I am so very thankful for you in my life.
Positioned for battle – knees on the floor, Bible open, Journal and pen ready to take notes. The enemy has touch my family and I am officially in Mama Warrior Mode!
Then calling out the names of God. Your are my comforter, my provider, you cover me with your love, you put you angles in charge, you are the Lord of Host, Healer, The One for whom nothing is impossible!
Then I begin to recall the times in my life where I have seen God move. When there was no money for gas for the car, we made it. When in the garden, I was covered with ants, there were no bites. When I thought I could go no further, you gave me your strength. I recall everything I can think of from childhood to present that He was with me.
Now I begin to pray and intercede for my family. I don’t pray the problem, though I want to desperately! I follow Him in prayer. I open the Word and repeat back to Him the promises that He has given to me in His Word.
Ending with worship and thanksgiving to the Lord who know all things even before I speak.
Yes, I am officially in Mama Warrior Mode. And I press forward with confidence knowing that Christ has gone before me, because of His love for me, to clear the path, to make my way straight, to remove bolder and gates of iron, to knock down doors of brass!
He is my Bridegroom and He will always go first, he will always go ahead of me. He is the Alpha and Omega, he is in the beginning and the end of every problem I face. He gets the first word and the last word on the subject! There is nothing too difficult for Him. There is no detail or wisdom that escapes His notice.
I am officially in Mama Warrior Mode, following the one who goes before me, whose hair is white and eyes are fire and on whose thigh is written, “King of kings and Lord of lords”
The above pictures were taken at Fort Toulouse in Wetumpka, Alabama during their annual reenactment of the French and Indian Wars.
I cannot even begin to tell you the story of the last few days. Beginning with company visiting, blown out tires, broken legs, debilitating pinched nerve, and a doctors request for multiple vials of blood from a one year old to try to decide if there is a very ugly decease to battle…it has been a week. We seem to be in the cross-hairs of the enemy.
The enemy is attacking me and my family. I should count it joy and an honor that I can concern the enemy by being a contributor to the Kingdom of Heaven. But when it touches my family I begin to pray with sword sharpened. There is no mystery to this story, and he too, is in the cross-hairs of the Leader of the Army of God and me!
In two weeks I will be attending She Speaks. I am sure that the Lord has provided this time and place for me to learn to be a better speaker for Him. And there lies the root of the attack. God is moving me forward and the enemy is trying to distract and block my way.
Would you please consider praying for me for the next two weeks as I prepare and step into the She Speaks conference? Perhaps praying for the other women attending as well. This is a big step for all who attend and I’m sure I’m not the only one whose family is feeling the resistance as the Father presses us forward.
Much of my time for he next two weeks will be practicing a three-minute talk and a five-minute talk I will give to the Proverbs 31 women for an evaluation.
If you would commit to praying for me the next two weeks I would appreciate it.
Here are some pictures from my week. Happy Weekend!
Love You, Di