Tuesday, March 31, 2009

listening... in the silence...

Today my mind raced with questions... where do You want me Lord? Have I learned all that You have wanted me to learn from this hard place? Are You calling me out or am I just looking for the easy way? What do You want me to do? Where are You in the midst of all of this? The only answer I have received was to the last question... Where are You? "I am right here with You."

I went to shadow with the potential new team this afternoon and once I was finished I went to the truck and called my husband. I just want to be where God wants me to be and right now... I'm not really sure where that is. I'm not sure if this opportunity is from God or if it's a distraction. Will it be a blessing or a catastrophe? 

A couple of things have been brought across my path... blogs on waiting and then an article this morning on clutter and chaos... so I'm pondering... on the basics once again.

In the midst of clutter there is chaos. When things are out of order, when we have too much clutter going on in our houses... there is chaos. It's the same in our hearts. When there are too many activities and too much "stuff"... we feel overwhelmed and like things are in turmoil.... chaos. The article discussed "spring cleaning" tips. From a spiritual standpoint though the only way to find peace in the midst of chaos is to be still... to take time to focus on what's really important and He will help You sort out what needs to go.... What things have I allowed to build up that really aren't necessary? What things am I holding on to... things I think are important... which really aren't? 

To borrow the prayer posted by Wendy Blight on her blog... I've changed the we/our's to I/my:

"Heavenly Father, I kneel before Your throne in heaven knowing You are the God of Heaven's Armies, the Great I AM, the Almighty God. I do believe in You. I love You, Lord. But in my place of wait, in my place of sorrow and confusion, I need help with my unbelief. Help me to surrender my questions to You, to really and truly leave them with You. Help me to trust in You with all of my heart, to lean not on my own understanding (or the understanding of others like friends, family, bosses) but in all my ways, help me acknowledge You and believe You when You promise that You will direct my path. Direct my path today, Lord. In clear and obvious ways, reveal that You are at work in the midst of everything. Thank You that You care deeply about every detail of my life. Thank You that You are sovereign over every circumstance. Thank You that You are never surprised. Thank You that You are ABLE. I will wait on Your wisdom, direction and a might work of Your Hand." It just seemed so fitting. 

My own prayer is:
"Dear Father, in the midst of all the chaos raging around me, help me to stop and re-focus my eyes on You. Help me to remember to give thanks to You for you ARE good. Thank You that Your love is faithful and endures forever. Thank You that Your word promises over and over to me that when I am distressed I can pray to You and You will answer me and set me free. Thank You that You are always for me so I really don't have anything to be afraid of. Thank You that You will help me in every situation, every circumstance that comes my way. I know that not everything is for me to understand and that most of the time... I just have to trust You. To lean on and rely on You and not my own understanding. Thank You for reminding me that it is always better to take refuge in You rather than to trust in people to protect me. With all my heart I want Your blessing... please close the doors that You don't want me to go through... close them so no man can open them and open the doors You want me to go through... I will wait for Your wisdom, Your direction... Show me Your ways... Your path.... I will trust in You as I wait for You..."

Friday, March 27, 2009

Work hard. Take a break. Long Weeked...

I am on a long weekend - four days off - due to the encouragement of several people to take some time off from work. One of my work friends talks to me about having some "me" time during my days off... So for the last hour or so I have had some quiet time catching up on some of my favorite blogs. It's been wonderful!

In my reading time... the first one I visited was Felicity's. The first post I read inspired my title of today's post. I love reading her blog because she has such great thoughts... she's really an intelligent woman and has such a busy life with all her little kids! 

The second blog I visited was Serenity's. I love her blog because she talks about her family but then throws in little things about what she loves. On Serenity's blog I was reminded of the song, "Here comes the Sun" and Natasha Richardson... (I always will remember her in Parent Trap too) While reading her post about the song and sunny days coming after the hard days of grief and loss... the Lord gave me this cool version of the title... Here comes the Son... In the midst of our dark days... eventually His light breaks through and reminds us of His goodness and His presence... Here comes the Son! and I smiled... 

Then I went to Kathy's (she's their mom)... I'm so blessed by these women and so very thankful that God brought them into my life. They inspire me because they are excellent writer's and wonderful mother's. They love their children and their God and they tell about... I pray that I can touch people's lives like they have touched mine without even knowing it.

Then I visited Cheri's (who introduced me to these wonderful women) and was touched by the reminder that I am not an orphan... and that God's presence is always with me. I love how God gives us verses to speak so profoundly to our hearts. I love His kindness and goodness towards us in giving us good friends to hug us in the hard times and pray us through when we are struggling. I love how through my friends He gives me little reminders of His love for me... and how He has never left me and will never leave me alone.

I just wanted to share with you these thoughts that have inspired me already this morning. What a blessing to be able to take a break and just BE... to have some "me" time in the quietness of my home.... to just read and ponder... to feel as though I have sat with several of my friends in just a short time... now I will Selah [pause and calmly think of that]! and enjoy some quiet time with my Lord and thank Him for His goodness some more... 

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Changes are taking place all around me...  

Spring is trying to come forth but then... a cold snap has hit. I love spring and yet... I must wait a little longer. 
Three weeks ago I lost a second boss and dear friend at work... 
 a new manager stepped in... and now she is gone as well.
In the same three week time span I have felt a deep grief and now gradually I am beginning to feel a peace which passes all understanding flooding my heart and mind.

This week... 
Monday - I was told about a position in a different department that just opened. I contemplated and began to pray.
Tuesday - I was walking down the steps and had been asking God what to do about this new development and my team (friends) that I am so used to. I was also thinking about the defensiveness I have felt lately at work... suddenly I heard Him say to me, "There is a time to embrace and a time to let go. There was a time to embrace the people and the job you do here but now is the time to let go."  I realized I had been holding so tightly to what I know and the people I know... I had taken it all on as my own... and He was telling me it was time to let go. It is time to let the old things pass away so that new things can begin. With a deep breath I decided to complete the interest form and submit it to my new manager for her review... She left early for the day so I sent it to her after she left. 
Wednesday - Our new manager announced to the team that she had put in her resignation. She had told me the day before as she was leaving but told me she would be happy to review my interest form. We met briefly to discuss her leaving and my interest in this position and she was very encouraging. She told me she thought this would be a good move for me and she would do all she could to help me out. She added her notes to the form and submitted it shortly thereafter.
Today - One of my friends from the new department suggested I come and shadow with them. So I connected with my manager and the manager of the new department... Tuesday next week I'll go and meet the team and will see... I hope it goes well but also... I have a peace that no matter what... even if the door closes and once again I wonder if I really heard Him right... I know that He is in control and that His timing is always perfect. He has a purpose and a plan in ALL things and nothing takes Him by surprise... not even loosing three managers in 6 weeks!

Tonight I begin a much needed four day weekend. I am looking forward to the time away from work to just be able to BE. Tonight... I submit it all into His loving Hands. I cast all of my concerns, thoughts, stress, duties and LIFE in His most capable Hands and as I take a deep breath... I leave it there. Thank you Lord for taking everything and for the peace in know that You will work all things together for my good and for Your glory. I love you!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

encouragement today...

1 Peter 5:7:
Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.

Psalm 55:22
Cast your burden on the Lord [releasing the weight of it] and He will sustain you; He will never allow the [consistently] righteous to be moved (made to slip, fall or fail).

Just verses to remember during the overwhelming times of life. God is so good in bringing these to me this morning. The first was in an email I received a few weeks ago... probably when I wasn't fully ready to receive it... that I re-read this morning. Isn't He so faithful and kind to us?

Monday, March 23, 2009

my thoughts tonight...

So these are my thoughts tonight... right or wrong... it's where I'm at.

I'm taking a basic math class this quarter as a step in the direction of catching up to where I need to be to even consider the Physical Therapy program. One of the first nights the instructor said this is a basic math class because sometimes you have to "go back in order to go forward". Sometimes you have to go back and review the basics before you can move forward into new things. I found it interesting because our church is doing a study on being emotionally healthy and it has referred to "going back in order to go forward" as well. For the study at church it's about going back to things in your past that maybe causing a blockage in your movement forward spiritually.

Now when it comes to everything I've been dealing with at work and how I've felt over the last couple of months... I'm not sure if there is some hidden event that ties into all of this emotion but I have been reflecting a lot lately. I feel like there is a possibility that because of who I am and the times of grief and loss that maybe... some of this emotion might be pent up frustration and anger. However, I haven't gotten any specific "thing" that it's tied to. I have realized that in most of the times of loss I've had to "get through" it and maybe haven't faced things fully.

What I came to today while I was pondering on all of this is that if there isn't an "event" God wants to bring healing to then maybe I just need to go back to the basics... which are:

 ~ God's love towards me is unconditional, never ending and never changing. He loves me and accepts me no matter what the circumstance may say. 
 ~ God has a plan and a purpose for my life and His plans are always good and not for evil.
 ~ Whenever God allows the storms to invade our lives it's because He wants to bring good out of it... for our good and for His glory. The storms of life are to draw us to Him... to help us bring our focus back to Him rather than focusing on the storm.
 ~ I realized maybe for the first time that Jesus was angry and wept at the death and loss of His friend Lazurus... I don't think I ever fully SAW that He was also angry. I think I always felt like anger was a sin and that the only time Jesus was angry was when the money-changers invaded the temple. Jesus felt anger on more than one occasion... anger is a part of experiencing a loss... it's a part of the grieving process. It's okay to be angry... the sin is when we hold onto that anger and let it consume us... anger then takes hold and we become bitter in the process... That's not what God desires. He desires that we bring that anger to Him and allow Him to take it and heal us in the process.
 ~ Loosing my friends at work was extremely difficult... harder than what I had expected. I was angry and wanted to blame anyone.... even God. I couldn't understand the reasoning behind it... I couldn't see how good could come of this when we are in tough times, neither of them have a job and they both have families.... I hear the Lord whisper to my heart... "I will take care of them. I will provide for them." I have to release my anger and grief and sadness.... but I also have to release them into His care. There is a time to embrace.... and a time to let go... now is the time to let go and let God.
 ~ I also have to get back to the basics of holding on to scripture through the storm... I was given Philippians 4:6-9:

"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
And now... fix your thoughts on what is true, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me - everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you."

 ~ Think on good things... so many times it's easy to just focus on the bad stuff.... but that just sucks you into a vortex... because when you only focus on the bad... things just seem to get worse. However, when you focus on the good... even though it's hard at first... the more you do... the more you climb up out of the muck.... and before long... things are looking bright again.

I don't have all the answers and I still don't understand all of the "why's" but I know one of the basics to remember is that God knows and He understands everything... and that's all that really matters.

Sunday in Church the Pastor talked about the two trees in the garden. The tree of Life and the tree of the Knowledge of good and evil.... One tree was to bring Life while the other tree brought death. God didn't intend for us to have the knowledge (or understanding) of good and evil because it leads to death. In trying to understand... in trying to gain more than what God wanted us to have... we tasted death. What I saw was the more I tried to understand the right from wrong in the situation... the more I died inside. The more I wanted to understand and focused on what I thought was good and evil... the more angry and bitter I became. When I choose Life... when I choose to trust God instead of my own understanding.... peace comes and Life begins again. 

I don't want to be angry and bitter about any of the losses I've experienced in my life. I want to instead choose Life... and His peace. I turn over my anger and my own understanding to Him. He knows and understands and I trust that He has a purpose in all of this and.... I'm okay with that! I feel like peace is beginning to return and life is beginning to bloom again...

Lord, please continue to guide me in the process of letting go and letting you take care of everything. Help me to turn over to you ALL of my cares and concerns. I trust you to have my best in mind... even when I don't understand. I love you Lord and just want to trust you more. Forgive me for trying to lean on my own understanding... and help me to lean more on You.

His peace exceeds anything I can understand... 

Monday, March 16, 2009


This was written in my devotional this evening:

"...stopping to surrender to God in trust... Adam and Eve legitimately worked and enjoyed their achievements in the Garden. They were to embrace their limits, however, and not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They were not to try to see and know that which belongs to Almighty God."

I believe this is what the Lord is trying to say to me.... stop trying to see and know all things... stop trying to understand everything that's going on because not everything is yours to understand. Surrender to me in trust... trust Me to have a plan and a purpose that you can't see at this time. Trust Me to take care of you and to protect you in spite of the way things may appear. ...Trust Me.

"Lord, help me to grab hold of You." I lift my hands to You. Pick me up to walk in your footsteps once again. I will trust in You.

One step at a time... following along as You lead me. Trusting.... even when I don't understand. May I trust in YOU rather than what I might think is best.... it's SO hard sometimes! I will trust in You...

Sunday, March 15, 2009


So in the dark times of my life God has always given me a scripture or a song or CD to carry me through. Yesterday I was at my Bible Study with some new friends and they prayed over me and for me... it was amazing. One woman asked me if I had scriptures that I could tape up to help me through this season... I don't really have any yet. I guess because I'm still wondering what God is doing in this whole deal. I'm filled with questions and answers aren't really coming yet.

After Bible Study my sisters took me for several hours of pampering... the three of us went to get manicures & pedicures done.... it was a really nice surprise. However, the guy had to tell me several times to relax.... evidently I'm a little stressed out?! =) Afterwards we went to lunch and then they took me home so I could take a nap.

After supper out with friends I had my husband take me to the Christian bookstore because I felt I needed to pick up a CD. When I got there, I walked in the door and this bracelet stuck out to me. It has two chains with hearts on them... it's hard to describe but the one of the hearts has the word "Love" written on it. I felt the Lord telling me to get it and that each time I wore it... it would serve as a reminder of His Love for me. It felt like a gift from Him... especially since it was the only one like it. I then went back to the music department and started looking at CD's. I picked out a few with songs that we have been singing lately in church but they didn't seem to be "the one" for this season. I then texted my friend Cheri to ask about a CD she has been listening to... that's the CD I ended up buying. The artist is Kari Jobe.

As I was listening this morning this one song just kept drawing me so I repeated it several times. Later at Church there was an altar call for healing which included people that needed healing in their emotions as well as for physical healing. I went forward and the worship team started to sing.... the very same song I had listened to over and over before Church this morning... I knew God was speaking to me through this song and that I was to begin singing it as a declaration. The song is:

You hold my every moment. You calm my raging seas. You walk with me
through fire and heal all my disease. I trust in You I trust in You

I believe You're my healer. I believe You are all I need.
I believe You're my portion. I believe You're more than enough for me.
Jesus, You're all I need.

Nothing is impossible for You. Nothing is impossible for you.
Nothing is impossible for You.

You hold my world in Your hands.

It's a song that brings me back to the truth that I know... He knows every detail of every moment of every day. He will calm the storm around me. He is walking through this fire with me and I will not be burned and He will heal my heart and my dis-ease. I can trust Him even when I don't understand what He's doing. I believe He's my healer. I believe He is all I need and that He is more than enough for me. I believe that nothing is impossible for Him.

I'm not sure what He's doing right now... maybe it's to heal me of past hurts that I'm not aware of. Maybe it's to reorder things and make things right. Maybe it's just a part of His plan and I just need to trust Him. I'm reminded of the scripture that His ways are not our ways and that His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. I don't understand and I may never understand but He does... and that needs to be enough... it's becoming enough. I'm reminded also of the scripture that says:

Isaiah 43:2
When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.
For I am the Lord, your God.
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

I believe... He will be with me and I believe... He watches over me and will take care of me. I believe... He has a plan... even in all of this. So I will follow Him.... even through the valley.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

whispers in my ear...

So because of the busy-ness of my days... God speaks to me at the funniest times. For example... a little background for you... I get these "blemishes" (as my Mother used to call them) on my chin area. The problem is they aren't like most people's... they get this hard center in them. The other night I was examining one (I get them when I'm really stressed) and trying to get the hard part out (because it gets really sore if I don't) God whispered in my ear... "Your heart is like that center. Inside there is a part that is hard. In order to get it out... there will be pain and soreness. You will bleed and it will hurt but if you don't get it out, it will just return. It will continue to come back and will continue to fester until it's dealt with. I want to deal with this so you can heal. If you don't let me get it out... it will come back again." Tonight as I was in a small group He spoke to me again about the hardness in my heart... He showed me the hardness is anger that I've held in for a long time... Yesterday I looked at my blemish and saw... in the center.... is a little tiny white spot... that will once again fester and get sore.

When He showed me the condition of my heart in such detail... I was deeply saddened... I don't want my heart to be hard. I want to be soft and pliable to His leading. I don't want anger to reside there... festering under the surface. I want Him to deal with my heart... I know it will hurt... it has been hurting.... I know there's more there that He wants to get out... so He can get to the root of the matter. I am laying myself before Him so He can get the hardness of my heart out so healing can come... deep within.

I ask simply for your prayers... that I will be open to the work He's doing and that in that work... freedom will come. 

Sunday, March 8, 2009

the hard place....

Looking at the date of my last post... February 15th... is it possible that it's really been that long since I last wrote on this little blog of mine? So much has happened since then. I had my 43rd birthday and things have gone downhill from there! No, it's not connected but at the same time it's been since then that I have entered into a very hard and painful time.

I had been off for the weekend and had a nice break from the daily stuff of work and then I returned to the announcement being made that layoffs would be taking place. 190 people were about to loose their jobs. Only... we had to wait a week from the time of the announcement until the actual moment the whole process began. It was agonizing! We wondered who would be chosen. In some ways I wanted to be selected... pick me... someone who wants to leave to go back to school rather than choosing someone who maybe the single parent or the sole breadwinner in their household. Pick me rather than someone who has a family member with health issues where this insurance covers them. Pick me... and yet... I knew I had no say in the matter.

The day finally came when the layoffs began. The first day it was in another building... tech people were affected. The next day they came to our building... and my Senior manager was the first to be walked out. I saw him walk by but thought he was going to get something... and then later we received a call from him. He had been chosen. I tried to be strong for my manager who was struggling and afraid for her job. I tried not to fall apart but as the day wore on I grew angrier. Finally as the day was done I walked past his desk on my way to the bathroom and saw someone packing his personal belongings... I went to the bathroom and sobbed....

I've been with this company for almost 9 years. This man hired me, kept my job for me as my son went through Leukemia, fought battles for me, encouraged me, gave me responsibilities because he knew he could trust me to do it right, he was my boss for the majority of my time here. He moved to the Senior Manager role almost 2 years ago and filled those shoes nicely... although the upper level management didn't like the job he did.... and so... they let this man with so much knowledge... this man who cared about his associates... they let this man go and then tried to lie and say the position had been eliminated..... which in fact, they already had the next person lined up to step in. I was mad.

My manager was safe for the time being. We encountered many changes after the layoffs. A new Senior Manager, a process change, our team moved to the other end of the building where we got new phones, smaller desks, new seating arrangement... it was a lot for me to handle and I wasn't doing well. Slowly the dust began to settle and I was beginning to accept that things had to continue and that somehow I had to get my head above water and see a different perspective. Then one day 2 weeks ago... my direct manager and dear friend... was fired. 

As I was packing up her desk (because I didn't want anyone else touching her stuff) I was shaking and grieving. Dan being laid off was like a death and now this... this was 2 in less then a month... it was more than I could handle. The woman who fired my manager (and friend) came and tried to offer... some kind of consolation but I unleashed... I knew what had happened and how they had been set up. I knew the upper level management had an agenda and Dan & Briget didn't fit in any more. Two good people with so much knowledge.... gone.... and our team was a mess.... and the upper level didn't care! "Well, we'll need all of you to pull together and think of our clients now"!! Are you kidding me?!?

Since then... I've been processing... walking the road of grief and loss all over again. They weren't just my bosses... they were my friends... but they were also like family to me. It's true... I haven't been dealing very well with it all and it shows on my face and in my body language. 

Our church is doing this series on being emotionally healthy and it's God's timing that it's going on right now when I'm dealing with so much. I've cried so much in the last 30 days... everyday since the layoffs... I'm tired and weary from my grief and the loss of my friends. I know... just like in death this is probably a good thing for them and I know Dan looks like the guy I knew when I first started working there... his smile is back... but at the same time... I deal daily with their absence. Just like in death you have to figure out how to pick up the pieces and move on in this "new normal" that is hard and a place you don't want to be. I know that at some point I will see God's goodness in all of this but for right now... I'm struggling. I know He's there and I know He wants to hold me but part of me doesn't FEEL Him... doesn't see Him in this. My heart is broken.... I hurt.... and once again I need the warm blanket of His love and grace to surround me.

I know.... He lives. I know... He has a plan and a purpose in everything He causes us to go through. I know... He will use this for my good and His glory. I know... He loves me even in this. I know... He loves me in the midst of my hurt. I know... He's still holding my hands... but for right now... I've fallen on my behind side and I'm crying because it hurts. Jesus please pick me up again and lead me on in your plans and purposes for my life. Please pick me up and show me that you're still there... loving me and holding me. Jesus take care of Dan & Briget and their families. Be their provider and help them to learn to trust You in all of this. Help ME to trust you in the midst of all of this.

Thank you for reading... and for praying for me like I know you will...