This past week I celebrated my birthday! Since I was little a traditional birthday celebration was going to the stockshow. I love the western country culture and have always loved the stockshow. The last couple of decades (can’t believe I am saying that) our tradition has been to go to the stockshow and meet family at our favorite Mexican Restaurant afterwards. Thankful this year we were able to do that. So, I celebrated this week with 2 trips to the stockshow and rodeo and having some family together for Mexican food. A great week in my opinion😊
Sometimes birthdays are good times to think about the last year and make new goals or re-adjust some things. Since mine is at the beginning of the year it is easy for me to take time to think of the last year and how far I have come in my goals, visions and dreams and where I want to go this next year. I spent some time this week seeking the Lord to show me what He has for me this next year.
My life is full. I am so blessed. I have a wonderful, sweet, loving, dedicated husband, amazing children and their spouses, who are my children, who are all following the Lord. Then I have twenty-five grandchildren, some still young, and others older, starting their lives and desiring to follow Jesus and one sweet great granddaughter. I am so blessed to still have my Mom and spend everyday with her, I have my siblings and families, cousins who are like sisters and my extended family. My family is the harvest of my grandparents seeds sown and now I am wanting to be an example to these next generations. We are so blessed with our ministry, our church of almost 28 years and fabulous church family. We have friends and precious relationships around the world. I love my home on our beautiful mountain that is our shelter and quiet place of refreshing.
I’m so thankful for everything I have and all He has blessed me with the last 67 years. My greatest desire now is to be able to enjoy to the fullest every blessing I have. I want to spend more time with family and friends. I long to minister more and take the Good News Gospel and love of Jesus to hurting people everywhere. I wouldn’t have made it through year 67 without my Jesus. Not just knowing Him in a causal way but KNOWING Him, having a personal, intimate relationship with Him. My quiet time in my Garden room or on the porch are the most healing moments and hours of my day. To cry out to Him, hear Him, worship Him, call upon Him and bow before Him in thanksgiving every day brought the healing I needed in my life.
Losing our grandson, Caleb, has been such a heart-breaking season. I’m healing but in those quiet times with Him He’s shown me I’ve put up walls to protect myself from more hurt or just to survive my busy life. That doesn’t work for long. I cannot protect me. He’s my shield and Protector. I had times of anger and unforgiveness. That ruins every relationship and ministry. In my quiet place He showed me I was headed down the wrong path. This past year’s hurts have made it easy to become a victim, to be selfish and have expectations on others. There was so much loneliness and feeling alone in my hard times. So much uncertainty and unanswered questions. My life changed drastically and I cried hours seeking His wisdom and direction. My “Garden” time with Him was so precious those days. He never condemned, never judged, didn’t scold me but told me I was headed for more pain. I was on a self-pity path and nothing good comes from a pity party.
What I learned the most this year was the absolute necessity for intimate time with Him EVERY day. The time spent with Him saves hours of confusion, strife and hurt the rest of the day. This is what He created us for. He created us to spend time with Him. The world’s craziness, hurts, and distractions that steal our time should actually cause us to run into His arms even more. I go to my heart and meet Him there. He holds me close sometimes. Sometimes we dance, sometimes He holds my hands and He directs me. “And He walks with me, and He talks with me, And He tells me I am His own; And the joy we share as we tarry there, None other has ever known.” These is the chorus to the hymn In The Garden. I love the words to that song. Is this how it feels to you? Are your times with Him so sweet, precious and intimate that you feel no one can even understand? That’s what He wants. The wounds of this past year had me making a choice to get bitter or get better. I’m thankful I chose better!
This 68th year of my life my desire is to fulfill what I have, finish what I have started and what He has called me to do. I will enjoy every blessing I already have and know there will be more precious people come into my life to love. My greatest frustration is having expectations so I daily give those over to Him. I know I am healed physically and emotionally in Him. He is daily showing me the balance between all the ministries and relationships He has put in my life. That’s a biggie for me, balance. Find His balance through the leading of the Holy Spirit and the spirit of wisdom. I will break through the paper-thin walls I have built to protect myself and let myself freely worship, dance, and sing. I desire to come into proper alignment as I let the spirit lead instead of my mind and hurts. I never want my precious moments with Him to be gone when I leave my garden room but they often are. Instead of getting hurt or offended I need to take every word and thought captive to His obedience. I don’t want to let my mind focus and dwell on lies any longer. If conversations and words are causing strife and division, they are not of Him. My thoughts need to be full of peace and truth. When they stray I can lay them at His feet.
“Since we are approaching the end of all things, be intentional, purposeful, and self-controlled so that you can be given to prayer.” 1 Peter 4:7 This is the verse He gave me last September and it still is so precious to me. He is telling me to be intentional, purposeful and self-controlled. Here’s a few more life changing promises.
“Yes, feast on all the treasures of the heavenly realm and fill your thoughts with heavenly realities, and not with the distractions of the natural realm.” Colossians 3:2
"We can demolish every deceptive fantasy that opposes God and break through every arrogant attitude that is raised up in defiance of the true knowledge of God. We capture, like prisoners of war, every thought and insist that it bow in obedience to the Anointed One.” 2 Corinthians 10:5
“Not one promise from God is empty of power. Nothing is impossible with God!”
“So, what does all this mean? If God has determined to stand with us, tell me, who then could ever stand against us? For God has proved his love by giving us his greatest treasure, the gift of his Son. And since God freely offered him up as the sacrifice for us all, he certainly won’t withhold from us anything else he has to give.” Romans 8:31-32
I’m looking forward to year 68😊. There’s so much to do for His Kingdom and I know He is calling me to be a part. He is telling me to stand, to be a voice, to share, to love, to teach, to write. I have the greatest desire to teach children the truths of His Word as they HAVE TO KNOW HIS TRUTHS to make a difference in the next generation and survive the ways of the world. I know that some pain will probably come in some way and I will learn even more of His precious love and grace. Yet, I’m believing that what I’ve learned in the last year will continue to guide me forward and I hope I can help someone else going through the same pain.
To sum it all up, the greatest joy, the greatest peace, the greatest hope and faith can only come when you go to your quiet place with the Lord and let Him love on you. May you be able to say,
He walks with me, and He talks with me, And He tells me I am His own; And the joy we share as we tarry there, None other has ever known! I am thankful and blessed and ready for the greatest year of my life!!!!