Have you ever read Any Andrews “Butterfly Effect”? The story of how one person’s decision made years earlier continues to have a ripple effect into the lives of others. Well! I experienced that this past week. Here’s my blog about how one woman choosing to let the ‘tree of life grow out of the root of her grief’ bloomed over into my story! Who is influencing you? Who are you influencing?
The first post written here is from Feb of 2011. The second one is from today, Oct 27, 2014. Isn’t God amazing!
It happened again today. A sudden welling up of emotion surprising me. I don’t know why since I have always been a complex emotional maze. But this time was different. That tear-filled mountain that picked the moment I was on the phone with the doctor’s office to erupt.
Sucking down hard, I urge myself:
“Pull it together—where is THIS coming from?!”
The words didn’t just embolden and stand out on the page; they reached for me with their long arms, hands grabbing at my collar and pulling me in close while shouting,
Did you know HOPE can become stale? I didn’t! In fact it never crossed my mind to think about it. I understood that sometimes we lose hope- or it wanes in comparison to what it once was even. But stale?
This weekend, at a prayer service I attended, a pastor in attendance prayed over me. Part of his powerful prayer for my life-mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually- spoke into my need for “fresh hope”. I sense your hope has become stale.
I hesitate to write this blog post today- let alone publish it. I have so many intimate emotions still tied to it. As I’ve pondered the passing of Robin Williams last week, I realize that to not share is to not tell my whole story. I want to be authentic in my story. I believe as I share, perhaps someone else will be helped.
This week is the 8th anniversary of our daughter’s death. Leisha died August 16th, 2006. I’ve known it was coming. I’ve shed many tears over the last few weeks feeling different aspects of her absence and celebrating her life as well. Each year has been different when her birthday or anniversary rolls around.
I try not to publish posts that contain all my random thoughts- but I’m processing what they have taught me. Thought they might stir something in you too!
Recently I’ve been doing some observing about my style, energy, walk, closet, makeup, etc. with a program called Dressing Your Truth by Carol Tuttle. I haven’t done the full video program but their free class is very informative. I was intrigued by their interesting tagline: How to be Beautiful Everyday!
Now if you said,
“It’s too hard!
I don’t want to try!” or “I’ve given up!”
– I would understand those answers. I have been there and done that. There are times when that is the most honest answer we can give. I would be sad for you and try to encourage you!
We’re going to meet to pray- as individuals, as couples, as a group. There is no agenda- just a challenge to PRAY!
We may talk some
eat some (we will have some light refreshments- feel free to bring one to share)
But through it all we will pray!
For the NAKED TRUTH Women’s Conference, Oct 3 & 4.
For the women- from speakers to attendees who will be part of the conference
For tickets sales which begin August 1st.
For the lives that will be impacted
For the healing that will result
For the marriages that will be made whole.
For confession, forgiveness, and peace.
For awareness of the consequences of seeking counterfeit intimacy.
For HOPE! GREEN HOPE of course! Hope that grows out of faith and flows into Love.
Bring your own requests- to share- or to speak privately.
If you don’t live close- but feel God stirring your heart to pray for these things as well- Please join us in prayer! Last time we went to the woods, women from Texas to Minnesota, from Pennsylvania to Colorado were praying with us! We would love to hear from you!
Come to the WOODS! God will meet you in this sacred space!
A few days ago, a business woman asked me if I thought I was doing the right thing by focusing so much of my coaching business/ministry these days on someone else’s ministry. She was referring to all the Facebook sharing and blog posts I have written that have to do with Authentic Intimacy. Her concern was that I was building their business and not my own.
At the time, I told her that this was something I have wanted to be part of for a long time and it was worth it for me. But as I’ve thought about it- it is much more than that.
You see, 35 years ago, I was given a book called Creative Counterpart written by Linda Dillow. It was a book I went back to time and again early in my marriage and have reviewed often since.
Through the years I’ve had several opportunities to not only hear her speak – but spend time with Linda. I’ve listened as she lived out in her spoken words what she had written in several books by now, including ‘Calm My Anxious Heart” or Intimate Issues, Intimacy Ignited or more recentlyWhat’s it Like to Be Married to Me, and Passion Pursuit. (See titles below)
In 2002, I was invited to lead a worship team for a women’s ministry retreat in Kiev, Ukraine. I was thrilled when I learned the speaker was none other than Linda Dillow.
Her topic was worship- it was the beginning of her book called “Satisfy My Thirsty Soul”.I was the so-called worship leader- but she was the one who led me in into the Presence of the Blessed Controller.
Just the two of us kneeling at her couch.
Just the two of us sitting on her big rock near her home in the foothills of Colorado.
Then with my team in Ukraine!
Precious, intimate moments with our God!
For me, this opportunity to bring Linda Dillow and Juli Slattery to the Lima area for the NAKED TRUTH conference is an answer to a 20 year long prayer. I told Linda then that someday, I would build a platform for her to speak her voice, God’s message to the people in my world.
It’s not just her books,
or the times she has emailed me
or the times she has cried with me,
prayed with me
worshiped with me
always showing up in my life just when I needed her message.
But that is just the point- for 35 years, she has shown up in my life through her books,
with a consistent message.
A message that pointed me time and time again to see the Lord; lifting my chin to see His face.
That’s a message I want to be part of!
It’s an act I want to be known for!
It’s a voice I want to not only have- but build a platform for when I hear others speaking that same message.
This isn’t about my ‘business’ – or even Linda’s ministry.
It’s about what God is saying and doing in the heart of women all over the world.
for our marriages and the health of marriages in our world.
for our intimacy with our Lord and the depth of our relationship with Him.
Will you meet me there? I invite you to wear shoes you don’t mind getting dirty and bring your bug spray. There is a mile long hiking trail that ends where it begins. And there are cabins with comfortable seating and even beds if you need to find rest physically.
I probably won’t get there much before 9:00am. But you are welcome to come earlier to walk the trails or use the prayer stations along the way. I’m planning on staying till noon.
If you let me know your coming ahead of time, I can be sure I’ve reserved enough cabins if we need them because of the weather. But if you forget to let me know- just come! Your presence is welcome.
God is at work! I see it! I feel it every day! I want to be sure I’m listening well, seeking him daily so that I can be in right partnership with him.
Join me in the DEEP WOODS- any time between 9:00am -12:00 noon -rain or shine. Behind Crossroads Church 775 S Thayer Road, Lima, Oh 45806.
If you can’t come- but still want to join me in prayer- or if you have questions? email email@example.com or text/call me at 419-306-8311.
Currently I am leading a study called PASSION PURSUIT with a group of women. I have been glad that the group has been small and intimate. The issues we have addressed have been transformational, not just for the others, but specifically for me. Often it has been in the community with these women that I have been changed-
Through their authentic sharing
Through the caring for one another’s deepest aches
Through the Holy Spirit illuminating our hearts and our longings
In one of the chapters, we have talked about the fact that God wants us to experience pure pleasure.
John 10:10 says
NIV: I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
NLT: My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
MSG: I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.
But I have wrestled with John’s words a lot over the past 4 weeks. I struggle to FEEL all of those other words that make me think of LIFE.
Several observations I have noted:
This does not just refer to eternal life- meaning what’s yet to come, thought that is a significant part of the LIFE described.
This means NOW-
Right now have LIFE
Right now experience a rich and satisfying life
Right now have a better life than you ever dreamed of.
What do you think of when you read about that kind of LIFE?
Get up and go
That kind of LIFE impacts
My spiritual health
My relationship with my girls and their husbands
My physical health
My relationships with friends and my community
My influence on my world
However, through a series our Pastor has led us through at church called the PATH Of DESCENT, I have uncovered questions I have found myself asking- or hearing others ask are:
Why would God- who wants us to have a rich and satisfying life, allow us to experience such pain such as losing a job, or dream, or a child?
How can you experience PURE pleasure when our hearts and minds are tainted with death and loss and abuse?
How do you experience PURE anything when you know yourself- and the choices you made that you intentionally acted on that were sinful, not to mention those times we slip into sin when we aren’t alert?
How do we reckon some of those questions with what we read in God’s word? How do we balance the path of descent with abundant life?
Now- I know all my theologically thinking friends (and husband) already have some terrific answers. Thank you for being willing to correct my thinking- but don’t! Not yet anyway! You see these questions and the emotions that go with them are a huge part of the conversation that the Lord and I are having together. From the conversations I have had with others, I know I’m not alone in the dialog.
Those who are honest enough to ask the hard questions directly of our Heavenly Father who makes the promises in His word, need to hear His answers. As we consider Holy Week, it seems like the perfect time to consider the journey to the grave and then resurrection.
I’m still listening for the answers! I promise I’ll share mine with you. I’d love to hear yours too. But in the mean time, what are some of the questions you find yourself asking this Holy week?
Maybe identifying the questions will help us hear the answers with greater clarity.
I’d love to hear yours!
So…during this HOLY week, what have your thoughts, questions, comments been on LIFE! or life? (my last post)
I’ve had a kazillion thoughts this week- I won’t bore you with them here, but I’ve included a few in private post so I can remember some of them. For those who want to know more- click here to read.
For a list of scripture that speak of LIFE, click here to read.
Have you noticed lately how challenging these days are?
You know the ones. You are so very ready for Spring to get here.
You get a glimpse of it, a hint of warmth and then…
And then it snows again!
Cold returns – not just a little
With it comes the wind
And rain – not a beautiful spring rain but the cold, ice rain yet of winter. It is snowing hard enough that it blinds you from seeing what’s ahead. Gray days stifle & drain the hope from your day.
These are the days we must pay attention.
See, these are days we don’t realize how unsettled we feel. We just know we don’t like it any more. We don’t notice our deep sighs and continual complaining. We don’t understand how we are compounding the ache that those around us might be feeling.
These are the days when it feels like it’s always winter, never Easter.
Pay attention friends!
This is the time for you and for me to be intentional:
to remember God is doing a different kind of miracle.
to appreciate the work Christ did out of love -out of obedience.
To embrace the moments of grieving, of burying the dead places of our heart.
to anticipate the resurrection.
Easter is coming!
The resurrection in nature will reveal itself to us in time.
But we have the privilege of preparing for it.
And as we do, actually living out the power of the resurrection of Christ now. The resurrection of our very lives.
What can you do to embrace this moment?
What do you do to keep hope alive in you during days like this?
Share your comments below.
You never know when something you say would be an encouragement to someone who is really struggling.