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A time for giving thanks

November 1st … A time for giving thanks.
For gathering all our precious ones in our heart and saying a ‘heart felt’ prayer for them.
We live in times of stress and worry and often times of danger too.
In saying all that we cannot let the world dictate our hope and safety.
As I look around my home and see the many things that are traditionally enjoyed in this season.
I realize it’s a time for giving thanks.
We have a roof over our heads, a furnace to keep us warm, a refrigerator to keep our food safe, a stove to warm it.
We have hot water whenever we want it, and fresh cold water to drink when we are thirsty.
How blessed are we to see and acknowledge all that we have been given.
I love to put a fire in the fireplace, brew a cup of hot coffee or wind down with a glass of wine.
It is peaceful, and a safety to us, our Home.
The colors of fall will soon leave us and the grey of winter will arrive.
It still gives us many things to be thankful for, grateful for and appreciate.
A time for giving thanks.
For health, and love and family and friends.
I challenge you today, to set aside some time and write down what you are thankful for.
It is a good habit to begin perhaps every day, a time of giving thanks.

Do you trust me

After my last writing for our church it would seem fitting for me to expand a bit about the story and the dream shared.
Within the course of my recovery journey, I was often asked these words, “Do you trust me, and will you?”
When children grow up in non trusting or unsafe environments, trust does not come easy.
As an adult now I am able to discern when trust is safe and healthy and only by listening to my first instinct; have I learned to trust and follow.
The question was asked surrounding the healing process of memory.
It came from the Lord working through the Holy Spirit and also guided by my very trained and gifted counselor.
“Do you trust me enough that I can show you and walk with you into the hard places and allow me to reframe them into something more healing and healthy for you?”
When there is a lot of pain often times we want to hide. I sure did.
I wouldn’t offer anything to anyone about how I felt.
Someone would say to me, “how are you?” I would always say fine.
For I thought in my mind if I said, “not so good,” they might want to know why.
I wasn’t ready to tell them. I wasn’t ready to tell myself.
It was only when I hit a wall, emotionally, physically and in my health, that I felt like I had to submit.
God showed me slowly and carefully that I was not going to be harmed in the process of remembering.
Sometimes when you relive something years later you see it through adult eyes seeing it as the child might have experienced it.
There is power when you see something through the child’s perspective.
Have you ever watched the movie Scrooge, where the spirit of his past shows him the room where tiny Tim was sitting.
How Ebeneezer ‘saw’ him through different eyes; as an observer not as a mean boss.
Recovery from memory is a lot like that. It is re-framing and showing a scene in a new way.
Seeing and observing the child through different and more healing places of perspective.
Remember the scene when he said about tiny Tim, “but I didn’t know.”
Healing comes to us through accepting and allowing the places of memory to be exposed for what it was, what it did and how it made us feel.
These are very hard things to acknowledge. Remember: the only way out is through.
When the question comes to us, “Do you trust me?” It is like the question Jesus asked before healing someone.
“Do you want to be well?”
It arrives with many layers to peel back like an onion.
“Yes I trust you”… peel off…
“Yes I trust you” peel more…but my eyes are burning and my nose is stuffed.
The aroma stings our senses. We get choked up for the oil of the onion is strong.
Memory is very similar.
When we choose to remember the pain from our past, it is the beginning to a new and refreshing beginning.
Remember :The only way out is through.

It was a tear filled heart healing journey

MY BLOG WRITING FOR OUR CHURCH:
When we choose to take the next adventure, it can come with unexpected terrain.
Sharon Osterhoudt writes for the blog again with a deep and personal account of how she navigated an adventure where the Lord became her surgeon – the One to work over her and remove her “tangled and twisted old wounds”.
You all just need to stop by the blog and finish the story. It will leave you reaching for the hope only Jesus can give.

Adventure: Rugged Terrain

In the 1980’s this song came out and it has always been a part of my journey.
“You are my hiding place, you always heal my heart with songs of deliverance whenever I am afraid, I will trust in you,let the weak say I am strong in the strength of the Lord.” (psalm 37:2)
when I was asked to write about my life with the Lord as an adventure.
I was not sure what to say. so I prayed and ‘you are my hiding place’ came to me.
My husband and I often like to take a drive with no idea where we might end up.
It’s a bit unsettling for me as I like to know the end result, he likes the adventure of not knowing.
In my early thirties and forties, I went through a very rough stage with health issues.
The doctors were unsure of why I was very ill, they thought it might be lupus, as I had a positive reading for a connective tissue disease. They said it could be an auto immune disorder or chronic fatigue, they just didn’t know.
At that time we had our two children and also I did full time day care.
When I look back now it amazes me how much was going on.
The adventure/journey began when Jesus alongside the Holy Spirit showed up in a dream, a very intense one.
He told me I would go through an emotional ‘surgery’ guided by the Spirit and I would be healed when it was over.
It scared me. You know those kind of dreams that seem very real?
In this ‘vision’ I saw (The Lord) working over me slowly removing tangled and twisted old wounds;
and as He did the surgery, He would sing over me.
[The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.] Zephaniah 3:17
It was a tear filled heart searching intensifying series of songs.
As I began to slowly heal; the Spirit showed me I had to not only deal with the physical issues but my emotional issues too.
Depression and pain, followed me like a crutch on each side walking with me as I took each step.
When memories of childhood flooded my daily walk often times I would sing, “you are my hiding place, you always fill my heart with songs of deliverance.” It was gentle and healing to my heart.
I needed the assurance that throughout the years of working with a skilled therapist and with the guiding of the Holy Spirit; I would remain protected and safe.
Any time trauma comes to the surface it is stored not only in memory but also within cells.
So my body was remembering what my mind tried to hide but couldn’t forget.
As the uncovering took place God continued to work with me and strengthen me, taking away old ‘lies and replacing them’ with words of truth and affirmation.
Memories flooded me, and truth exposed the ugliness and as we walked through the hard places it was very much like a back packing adventure.
The journey would be rough, I would say, “I can’t do this” and the Spirit would encourage me, and whisper;
‘YES you can, I am guiding you.’
During this time I was lead to read a little book called, “Hinds feet on High Places” by Hannah Hurnard.
It touched me in such a deep and profound way I knew it was meant for me.
It took years to heal both physically and emotionally.
It took trust to form for myself towards my counselor, and for me to understand the ‘little girl’ who had a hurt heart, and it was up to me, the adult to change/heal her story.
The journey took a long time but it was worth each and every step along the way.
I also learned and came to understand, it was never ‘the little girls fault’.
The journey of healing was from the inside out and I was healed on every level.
The connective tissue disease not only went into remission but was not visible through any test.
I know without a shadow of doubt, God healed me.
It has been a journey filled with hope, healing, truth telling and powerful love.

To infuse and inspire one another

In my last writing there was a description that said, to infuse or belong to, and it was speaking about a friendship.
Looking up the word infuse: Dictionary.com says it is to ingrain, pour in, cause to penetrate; instill and inspire; as if by pouring; to steep or soak as to extract; to undergo infusion.
I looked up the word friendship and it said that it is to value the state of being a friend or association with friends.
When we choose to invest in others we choose to pour into their lives and infuse our caring, our encouragement and our prayers towards them.
I like the thought of infusion because it is a steeping like a hot cup of water with a tea bag, slowly allowing the contents of the bag to pour into the clear water, merging and changing itself.Friendships are like that too, they are a reflection of ourselves.
We choose to inspire them with words of affirmation that says, “you can do it I believe in you; or I have thought about you and want you to know it.”
We ingrain and pour into them with our hopes, our prayers, our compassions and concerns.
To instill and inspire someone; is giving them a belief in themselves maybe they can’t see.
I see it as an internal process from an external source.
Infusion could be similar to a change within like that tea cup.
Hope fills within and removes doubt. Peace removes confusion and belief removes disbelief.
Oh that we may see and take seriously our choices in who we invest in.
I personally do not want to waste time in a relationship or friendship that is not mutual.
We can pray for others from a distance and let them know, but if it’s not a good healthy relationship for us to be involved in; then we need to let it go.
Choosing wisely who we invest in and how often is a choice we all have to make.
To infuse in one another is not a ‘light thought’.
It’s a challenge, and a determination for us to make good choices to infuse and inspire one another.
Let us be encouraged as we go through this process.

What do we choose to invest in

When I search the word ‘invest’ and it’s meaning; I am challenged by what I need to do to make it more real.
Dictionary.com says: to use, give, or devote (time, talent, etc.), as for a purpose or to achieve something:
to endow with a quality or characteristic: to invest a friend with every virtue.
to infuse or belong to, as a quality or characteristic: Goodness invests his every action.

It takes intentionality and thought to invest in something.
If I have an investment in something it is has to be what I believe in, have hope in and find a future within it; whether that be a cause or a relationship.
Relationships are like that.
To say “I believe in you” to someone; is making a choice to invest in their character, their spirit and the world that surrounds them. Building up who they are.
We have six grandchildren and each one have the promise from us that we will invest in them to the best of our ability and resources.
Our friendships require intentional phone calls and dates set on the calendar to continue our caring and relationship.
Family too, putting it down and setting it aside as a sacred day not to be changed or modified for something else less important.
Our anniversary is coming up soon and we will invest in it as a day for us to remember ‘us’ and our life shared together.
What we choose to invest in tells us a lot about our personality.
We have three little girls in Haiti that we invest our money for their schooling and health care, my husband has been in Haiti and knows the need is great.
We have a local soft ball team we invest our time and our funds so they can become who we believe they can be, and of course our grand daughter plays on the team.
What do we choose to invest in? It’s a great question to ask ourselves.
Perhaps every January we can set this question on a calendar and plan around it, as the new year begins.
I know I am taking this challenge very seriously.