Just Because

I’m lying on my bed, listening to the rain and reflecting on my day.  Well, I won’t be doing that by the time you read this, but that’s what I’m doing at this moment.  🙂

How are you?  I mean really….  How are you?  I feel that when you read that, at least one of you had something specific enter your mind.  If you’re up to it, I’d love for you to share.  Leave me a comment.  If you’re reading this through your email, click on the title to this post.  It will take you over to my blog home.  Then, just beneath the date (located to the left of the post title) is a link for comments.  Click on it and type away.  (If you’re reading this directly from the site, then you’re already halfway there.)  If you have a prayer request, leave me that, too, ok?  Ok!  🙂

I entered this day in excruciating pain and found myself post up outside an urgent care center before the sun took its place in the sky.  Yes, as soon as they unlocked the doors and flipped the “closed” sign to “open”, I was at the counter, signing in!  LOL… Your sister was in pain!!

On the drive over to the center, my thoughts drifted (as they often seem to do on these occasions) to “why”.  You know the routine.  Something bad or challenging is happening in your life, and the first thing you do is, what I like to call, reach for the “Why cry”.  Why is this happening to me?  Why is this happening to me NOW?  Girlfriends, I reached for the “why cry” this morning! LOL..  In mid-whine, I heard calmly, sweetly, and matter-of-factly in my ear, “Because”.

HUH??

“Because.”

Now that’s an interesting concept, isn’t it?  Maybe the Lord allowed my pain, my unwelcome deviation to my schedule, and my unwanted deviation to my BUDGET all just because.

So, thanks to the lesson I learned from the crazy Saturday I told you about last week (if you missed it, you can click here to check it out), I knew just how to re-group, even in the midst of my pain.  I began to think on these things:

1.  Thanks to a back sprain over the summer, a visit to an urgent care center in a totally different state, and a trip to the hair salon a couple of weeks ago, I knew just where to go, this morning, to find an urgent care center in my neighborhood.  Trust me, these components are truly all related, and they made my morning SO much easier than it otherwise may have been.

2.  Knowing exactly where to go this morning (in the midst of great pain, remember) reminded me, again, that God has planned ALL of my days.  He’s not surprised by anything that comes my way.  IF I pay attention, I will be able to follow in the footsteps He’s already ordered for me – whether it’s a good day or a challenging one.  I get so full just thinking about this beautiful truth.

3.  Although I wasn’t expecting to spend a few hundred bucks on a shoulder sprain this week (or any other week, for that matter AND what’s up with all of the muscle sprains, anyway!!! LOL…), I had the money.  PRAISE THE LORD, I had the money!  That’s not the story for some, and it wasn’t the story for me a short while ago.  However, even during that season, the Lord always provided.  The Lord WILL ALWAYS provide!  It’s His word and His part of His essence.

Today, these three tiny little things translated into three tiny little words from my heavenly Father to me.

“I Love You!”

My sweet sisters, let me tell you this.  Hearing “I love you” made hearing “because” just a little bit more bearable.  So the next time you hear “because”, stop, look and listen closely.  “I love you” will be right there in the mix, and I promise it will get you through the day and even through the pain. 🙂

Wise, Virtuous, Valuable,

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What More Could a Girl Ask For?

“The best laid schemes o’ mice and men Gang aft a-gley” ~ Robert Burns

Translation:  The best laid schemes of Mice and Men often go awry.

I recently discovered those “awry” plans not only happen to “mice and men”, but this can also happen to lovely ladies such as ourselves.  If you think you’re shocked, imagine how I felt.  🙂  I mean, we’re fabulous, right?!  Sadly, fabulousNESS can and DOES occasionally go awry.

I greeted the sunrise, two Saturdays ago, with well thought out plans for a jam packed day that I had been looking forward to all week long.  My to-do list was to begin with brownie baking in the morning and end with good food, good friends, and the melodies of smooth jazz serenading me under a beautiful sunset in the evening.  Sprinkled in between were a few errands and some scheduled downtime.  It was definitely going to be a lovely day.  What more could a girl ask for?

Well, it’s a pity I didn’t think to ask for my day to go AS PLANNED.  LOL….  Beginning sometime around 7:30am my plans sprouted wings like eagles and soared, never to be seen again.

I made one teeny tiny mistake that sent my day into a mighty tailspin.  What was the mistake?  Are you ready for this?  I locked my keys in the car.  Oh, it gets better.  The car was running.  Oh yes.  Hey!  If you’re going to go, go all out; that’s what I say!!!  LOL…

My day was derailed by waiting 3 hours for a locksmith, a detour to an auto service center to figure out WHY the car just STOPPED running while it was sitting (yes, I had plenty of gas in it), blah, blah, blah….  So, nix the smell of brownies baking; squelch the sounds of smooth jazz wafting through the air.  Instead, insert a frozen dinner and an early ending to an unexpectedly exhausting day filled with detours and foiled plans.  Say it with me now, “Awwwwww!”  😦

I’ll be honest.  I did question why the Lord didn’t allow my Saturday to go as planned.  I’m not sure I ever got an official answer, but here are a few things I found in the detour:

  • I was reminded to count it all joy when I experience various trials (James 1:2).  For once, instead of unraveling along with my plans, through God’s wisdom (because Monica just is NOT that together on her own), I was able to consider the many things I have to be thankful for and commenced to thanking God for them while waiting for the Locksmith to arrive (did I mention it took him THREE HOURS? LOL).
  • I was reminded that sometimes the detours of our days, of our lives, are God’s maintenance plan.  They are a part of His perfect plan of protection for us.  Although we may not understand, we should receive them as such, trusting that He always knows best.
  • Finally, I was reminded that life happens.  Yet God, my Father, is never removed from the happenings of my life.  So, when (notice I did not use the word “if”) my best laid plans begin to scatter like marbles fallen from a paper bag onto a concrete, I can always find peace in the Order that is His presence right in the thick of it all.

Now…..what more could a girl ask for?!

Wise, Virtuous, Valuable,

Freedom

Freedom

February 6th and 7th, 2009, I attended a Going Beyond conference in Marietta, Georgia.  For those of you who don’t know, Going Beyond is the ministry of Author, Speaker and Bible Teacher, Priscilla Shirer.  Mrs. Shirer is one of my favorite speakers, and her books and bible studies are phenomenal, as well!  The first Priscilla Shirer book I read was A Jewel in His Crown. If you’ve never read the book, it’s definitely a good one to put on your Autumn reading list.  I read the book years ago, and I enjoyed it.  Sadly, however, I received only limited pleasure from the book back then,but today I understand why.  I wasn’t ready for the truths contained therein.  My poor little shackled mind could not begin to comprehend how I could be considered as precious as a jewel in the crown of the Holy One.  Hmmm…  Now might be a good time to read the book again.

But I digress….

Back to February 6th and 7th, 2009…

The Going Beyond conference was amazing!  Hundreds, maybe even thousands, of women of all races and stages worshipped together, attentively drinking in the word of God as it was poured out by Mrs. Shirer.  Jonah was her subject that weekend, and I believe some of that teaching is now in the form of a full-length bible study entitled – Jonah: Navigating a Life Interrupted.  I haven’t snagged this study yet, but hear me when I tell you.  An expansion of the teachings she delivered that cold, winter weekend in 2009 can only provide for some very potent study time with God.

The conference was excellent!  I was delighted to be there on many levels.  Women’s ministry events excite me!  In addition to the powerful teaching, I was so inspired by this woman who does, in many aspects, what I SO hope the Lord will bless me to do again one day – teach women the empowering and liberating word of God.

Liberating…

This word fast forwards me to the point of this whole trip down memory lane.  At the end of the conference, Mrs. Shirer hosted a short meet and greet for the women in attendance.  Actually, it was more of an express autograph line, but her effort to greet her guests was greatly appreciated.

Because I was alone and quite emotional for some reason that weekend, I was seated near the rear of the church sanctuary.  My strategic positioning provided for a quick get-away, or in this case, prime positioning in the line to meet Mrs. Shirer.  After hugging their necks and signing conference booklets for the 2 or 3 women ahead of me, I was now face to face with an Author, Speaker, and Bible Teacher I’ve admired from a distance for many years.  I can’t recall what all was said and done during my few moments standing before her, but the simple words she scribbled so swiftly on my conference booklet have changed my life forever.

 

Signed copy of Going Beyond Conference Booklet - Feb 7, 2009

 

Penned on the cover of my Going Beyond Conference booklet, with a black Sharpie no doubt, is the first name “Priscilla” sandwiched between the following words:  “Freedom…Gal.5:1”.

Galatians 5:1 (NASB) reads, “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore, keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.”

Freedom…

I thought I was free.  I live in a free country, right?  I have “free will”.  So why is it that when I inquired of the Lord, “am I free,” He replied to me, “No, babygirl, you are not!”  Ouch!!  To the contrary, I was still in bondage in so many ways.  So to what was I enslaved?

  • Other people’s opinions
  • Insecurity (fancy word for “Fear”)
  • Fear – of not being liked, of not being loved, of being alone, of being myself, of being different
  • Fear – of being wrong, of being right, of being judged
  • Conformity
  • Mediocrity
  • Fear – of failure, of success

If you notice, the list above was rooted in fear of living my true identity in Christ and what the world may think of me as I do.  Fear is the keyword here.  Fear is BONDAGE!  Fear is the yoke of slavery.  Fear is the adversary of freedom.  But thank God for a few words from my favorite speaker written on the cover of a conference booklet.  They were as purposeful as my attendance that weekend, setting me on a path, my path towards true freedom.

Today, I have learned to first look inside – to Christ in me, the One who is Freedom – for my guidance, my permissions, my acceptance, my assignment, and my identity.  Then, to see what freedom looks like on the outside…well these days, I simply look in the mirror.

 

the beauty of FREEDOM

 

And today, Freedom is looking pretty darn cute in her favorite Winnie the Pooh t-shirt and feeling as much joy as little Pooh

 

the joy of POOH!!

 

looks to be feeling, too!!  LOL…

*Sigh*….. Freedom….

Father, it is my heart’s desire to be a vessel of freedom.  Use me, everywhere I go, to pour the foundation for true freedom into the hearts of your daughters, preparing the way for You to re-build them as women of your original design and specifications.  I pray that those who haven’t already will learn to embrace true Freedom on the inside – Christ within – so that the beauty of true Freedom – the glory of God – may be displayed on the outside.  Re-build your daughters today, Lord.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

Wise, Virtuous, Valuable,

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