I like to have a plan. I like rules, I like deadlines, I like knowing exactly what is expected of me. Yep, I am a rule follower (in most instances).
I think my sway to that side came because I spent so much of my life breaking the rules, that now, I see the benefit in simply doing what I am told. Don't get me wrong, I can be stubborn and walk my own way when it suits me, but over all, rules and guidelines make me feel safe and productive.
The other thing that I like is the Word of God, the freedom in brings, it's power over the law and it's pathway to freedom... totally opposite of the rule keeper that I am. It's Grace.
As I sit and take time reading and praying the Word of God over my life, I enjoy the regiment of daily reading as given to me through one of the many apps that I use. Sometimes, as it did today, it gave me 5 passages to read and I fully planed on reading them all, but I couldn't. I simply could not adhere to the plan. Not because of rebellion, but because of freedom.
I had planned to read the first 5 chapters of Job, but after the first chapter, I simply could not go on. I was frozen. Yes, frozen in a chapter that I have read before....many times. Yet, still, there I was frozen in the reality of what I just read and I could process no more.
I found myself asking the question.."Is this guy for real?"..."did this really happen?" and already knowing the answer, hearing my spirit confirm what I already knew to be true. Yes, this is real, Yes, this happened and Yes, I want you to learn from it.
You see, in the first chapter of Job, Satan is allowed, by God, to stretch out his hand against the Lord's faithful servant, Job. And stretch it out, he does. Job in a moments time looses his oxen, donkeys, servants, sheep, camels and his children. Three different survivors from the three different incidents all arrived one after the other to break the news to Job.
I have to imagine if that was me receiving this news, I would be in a state of shock and disbelief. But, what does Job do? He tore his robe, shaved his head and fell down and worshipped God!
WHAT? Where is the fist shaking, where is the "This is not fair, God!" Where is the yelling at God that He got it wrong? No, Job fell down and worshipped God and said "Naked, I came from my mother's womb and naked I shall return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord."
And there I was frozen. Frozen as I tried to imagine what my response would be. I hear so many times people saying, "It's ok to be angry with God, He can handle it. You can yell at Him, He's God, He's tough." Yet, this example of a man who lost all of his possessions and his own children...Yes, his children, was to fall down and worship God and bless His name acknowledging that it was all given and ultimately all allowed to be taken away by the hand of God. And to that, Job then blesses His Holy name.
May I, as I walk through life, through trial and heart wrenching loss, through times when things do not go according to my plan or expectations, be prepared to fall down and worship. And as I fall, may I bless the name of the Lord, His holy name.
I have always loved singing this song, but as I grow closer to the Lord, with each and every breath, the more powerful this song becomes to me. Will you sing along with me as we prepare for that time when we too may have to fall down and worship Him as His outstretched arm returns what He has so graciously given to us on loan unto Himself.
You can listen below or you can buy the whole album on my site.
Blessed Be The Name of The Lord!
I originally posted this on the Deliberate Women blog. Lately God has been leading me to share this same encouragement, so I thought I would re-post.
I am a Wife….I am a Mother…. I am a singer/songwriter.
It has always been very easy for me to say the first two, but for some reason when I first started writing music, I found it hard to say that I was an actual songwriter.
Being a wife was clear, I had legal documentation, and the mother part- well, I have several stretch marks and stress wrinkles I can show you to prove that one. But, the songwriter title was a little harder to chew because I had no credentials, no college degree, no training and I wasn’t even sure if my songs were any good. All I knew is that I liked to make stuff up and sing it. The songwriter and singer in me was chomping at the bit and burning me up inside. I couldn’t stop it.
Over the next few years, God surrounded me with people that would encourage me and spur me on to write more, master my craft and find the freedom to name the pulsating passion in my heart….music!
I dont hesitate anymore to say that I am a singer/songwriter. I love what I do, I'm driven to sing, write (still have to work hard at it) and share music. It’s not just a title, it's my calling and the powerful vehicle God uses for me to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.
You might wonder why I’m telling you this. Well, here’s the why. Maybe you have a passion that drives you, a desire that burns in your heart, but you're hesitant to name it out loud. Maybe the calling you're feeling is a bit scary and you feel completely unqualified. Maybe you think this “thing” you want to do, this title that you only dream of bearing, is way out of your league.
Today, I want to encourage you to dream big, to answer the call and the God-given desire that is running through your veins. I'm asking you to dare to respond to what and to where God is calling you with open arms, open hands and an open heart. You are a child of God and because of that, He has plans for you.
I would love to hear the new thing God is doing in our life. Would you dare to share?
" 'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord,
'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.' ' Jeremiah 29:11
Love you in the Lord, Mia
“Dream big and plan for how God might use you, but submit to God’s will and seek His blessing in the outworking of your plans.” ~ Steven J. Cole
Last week I shared with you about trust and my struggle with heights, the same story I had just shared with a group of women in Pittsburgh, PA at a women's conference.
The day after I returned home from Pennsylvania, I took an exhilarating hike up one of Phoenix, Arizona's greatest peaks and was ready to start my day when my son said his friend was on her way over and they were going skydiving. Before I knew it, I was in the car, had a jump reservation, I was harnessed up and in a plane cruising at 13,000 feet before my instructor pushed me out and I was falling at 120 mph straight towards the earth.
I know I was talking about conquering our fears, but this was not what I originally had in mind. But somehow, I did it. I don't think I really thought it through, but maybe that was to my benefit. If I had analyzed everything that could have happened, all that could go wrong and every possible scenario, I would still be the ground and I would have missed this.....one of the most exhilarating things I have ever done....and will be doing again!
So in faith and in life...Refuse to stand firm in fear. Don't be afraid to jump...literally.
Enjoy the video below which chronicles my first jump!
Love you in the Lord, Mia
I struggle with heights, especially when there is nothing beneath me. I would definitely not make it as a tight rope walker.
So, it is quite ironic that a few weekends past, I found myself 50 feet in the air on a wire looking down at the people below me. It was terrifying and thrilling at the same time
I somehow found myself signing up for the Ropes Course at the camp I was leading worship at. Once it began, the first thing I had to do was scramble up a tree, then walk across a wire bridge and step sideways across another wire with the aid of the hanging ropes. Apparently, I was doing a little to well, so the instructor had my put one hand behind my back and grab the ropes with only my right hand. I was tempted to reach with the other hand, but the challenge fired me up and I did it.
I was feeling great....until I got the the swinging bridge. I took a step down...it wasn't steady. I put my arms out to balance myself. With each step, I could feel the distance between me and the ground, as the bridge wobbled just enough to unsettle my heart and stir up my fear. Then it happened, I froze. I froze and the thoughts and pictures in my head of the moment where it all ends and I fail and go crawling back down, a failure, flooded my mind.
The instructor coached me. She said I could do it. She gave me tips, saying that if I just keep moving, the bridge would be steady, especially when I have to go over the single six foot plank in the center. I didn't believe her. I knew what I felt. I knew that with each step, the bridge seemed to swing more. Yet, I made the decision to believe what she was saying and I moved forward quickly, flying across the plank (with my eyes closed) and I made it to the next tree. I could breath again!
After that the swings were a breeze and I ended by sailing down on the zipline.
I made it. I felt invigorated. I faced my fear and I conquered it.
But, here is the reality. At no point was I actually in any danger of falling to the ground. I was safely harnessed to a secure line that would catch me if I fell. Yet, the fear was still there, the hesitation was real. Did I actually trust that the harness would catch me? At the time, no!
That's life. And that's life in Christ. How many times have I gone through trials and I look down and all I see is how far I could fall instead of looking up and remembering the harness that will catch me when I do.
When I am wrapped in my fear and trials come, it is more difficult to hear and trust the voice that says, "Keep moving. If you trust me the way will be sure and you will make it to the end. You will not fall." All I can see during that time is how far down I could fall.
In our fear, our vision can get blurry, but we also have the ability to choose to trust Truth. We can choose to trust those who see more clearly than we do and heed their wisdom. We can choose to take our thoughts captive and put them in obedience to the truth of Jesus Christ.
Friends, when you are on the wire and you look down, may I encourage you to look up, remember that you are secure and harnessed to the anchor of your soul, Jesus Christ. It's true. Trust me, because I can see clearly now.
Where are you struggling to trust? Today, try to take a tiny step forward in faith in that area and see if He is faithful.
I loe you in the Lord, Mia
We are now on the fourth and final week of our journey with Mary. Feel free to catch up by reading the previous three entries, Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3. They are pretty quick reads.
Last week we were given the encouragement and reminder that we are not alone in the tasks that God has for us. He is with us, Father , Son and Spirit. That's good news.
This week we wrap up with verse 38. Just as a reminder, let's re-read the entire passage.
"In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
A collection of writings from a life based on the truth that about midnight anything can happen.
As an imperfect servant of the Lord, I often feel I am fumbling my way through life, looking upward for guidance and outward to love. So, I write about it, to break up the noise in my head.