He is everywhere

It has been quite some time since I last posted here.  Part of it was life getting in the way,  but ofcourse that is only because I let it.  And though I feel guilty over it,  at the same time it has enabled me to discover something I have never seen before.

When I gave my life over to the Lord,  last November,  I knew it wouldnt be good times and roses all the time. I knew eventually I was going to slide back into old habits and patterns of thinking. It has happened before and ofcourse it would again. Because I am not nearly strong enough to handle what temptation,  sin and pride have waiting for me.

But this time,  it is different.  Because I felt out of place instead of comfortable. Empty instead of happy.  Lonely instead of being held. And reminded of His love instead of abandoned.

Why?

Because over the course of just little over 6 months,  He has worked in me. Changed me from the inside. And that reflects in the very things I used to use as distractions!

I used to frown upon all those religious posts than came along on my social media and raise an eyebrow over the “Blessed Christmas” cards we sometimes got.

But my oh my, things have changed! 

 

I sent out Christmas cards with baby Jesus,  last December.

On my Facebook I find regular posts from “Desiring God”,  I am glad to be member of a group called “People Sharing Jesus”…  And every sunday evening I get the opportunity to follow a live stream of a Vineyard service.

In my e-mail inbox I find several blog updates from fellow WordPress Bloggers who are more loyal in posting regularly than myself, about their journey in faith… and I receive regular emails from pastor Rick and Lifeway for women.

On my Pinterest account, amidst of all the crocheting and cardmaking stuff, there are scripture quotes, Bible journaling examples and those cute little memes from the Little Church Mouse.

And when I turn on music to listen to while I am making cards,  doing household chores or crocheting,  it is worship music from Mercy Me,  Zach Williams or the Casting Crowns instead of the drinking and cheating songs that country music is built upon.

So even when I am not actively searching for God in my life,  He is present. EVERYWHERE !

And tonight I just had to share that with y’all.  Because I never would have believed it,  if anyone would have told me a year ago,  that He would be so present in my life. I still am amazed at how faithful He is,  even when I am not! Even when I don’t visit Him in His House, He wants to live in me.

I know, I am nowhere near an experienced Christian.  I know, I have a lot of work to do, roads to travel.  But that doesnt scare me or discourage me anymore.

Why?

Because I don’t have to work alone. I used too understand the lines Marty Stuart sang…. But now I FEEL it!

“I am a lonesome pilgrim, far from home

And what a journey I have known

I might be tired and weary but I am strong

Because pilgrims walk but not alone….

Marty Stuart – The pilgrim

 

G.

Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

 

 

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Weakness am I

MercyMe201602Weakness “Flawless” am I

MercyMe sings my truth in their song New Lease On Life:

“The enemy knows where I call my home,
but he’s still trying
to mess up my life in the meantime,
so Lord remind me.”

I love listening to MercyMe, because they manage to address the tough patches in life without losing hope. They tell me that being a Christian, and being a “good” one, isn’t always the easiest of choices. But they also tell me that I am never alone, and that no matter what, God loves me, and has always loved me. As I am. Sin and stupidity and vulnerabilities and all. Their entire album ‘Welcome to the new’ is like that. It was the best album I could have bought as a newly reborn child of God.

So whenever I am feeling like a total failure, whenever I realize that I have lost the fight against the enemy again… I need music like theirs. Yes, I read my bible, of course. But one of my personality traits is that I am usually focusing on what I could do better, what I could improve, and what goes wrong. And reading in the Bible of how Jesus was perfect, without sin and strong always, telling us what we need to be or do to be with Him in Heaven, it triggers me to think of myself as ‘insufficient’… ‘not enough’… a ‘loser’ or ‘weak’. And I know I am. It is not because of my own strength that I can be a light on the mountainside, salt of the earth… or anything more than weak. Without God I can never be one of those things.

But through listening to songs like the afore mentioned ‘New Lease On Life’ or ‘Flawless’ or ‘Greater’ I am reminded of the fact that He still loves me. Enough to give his only Son for me, to be saved from all of that, by His blood. MercyMe is one of the ways that God reminds me

“No matter what they say
Or what you think you are
The day you called His name
He made you flawless”

Over here in the Netherlands MercyMe is not widely known, I don’t know about the rest of the world, but if you haven’t heard from them before, you can find MercyMe on their YouTube channel

 

What gives you hope?

G.

God is awesome

These are perfect pictures of how great God is… He is the Masterpainter and in the past few days He has shared all of this beauty with us.

It has helped me remember and realise that He is aware of every little detail,  every little snowcrystal and the way it grows… As much as He is aware of every detail in our life.

If we let Him,  He will make a masterpiece of our life as well…

I pray for the patience,  the courage and the faith to let go of my plans and dreams and let God do what He thinks needs to be done.  He is Awesome!

G.

Journey or Destination

 

I would like to start off with wishing you a very happy and blessed 2017 in this first post of the year!! I know I have been quiet over the past few weeks and it wasn’t just to celebrate the festivities in the end of the year.

I have been writing a story in the past few weeks. A story of how I found my way back to God, long ago. A story of pain, confusion, and worry, but also a story of friendship, faith and Mercy. My dear friend Jack, currently blogging at www.jesuschristexalted.com, helped me in more ways than I imagined possible, and he has now published the first part of my story on to his blog.

I hope you will give his blog a visit, to read Journey or Destination Part 1, The Star. Oh, and while you are there, don’t forget to check out his beautiful poetry!!!

G.

Gratitude

So here I am, miserable and sick with a case of stomach flu and an even worse case of self-pity. In bed, able to keep only a few things down, sleeping most of the day.

But deeply hidden in my heart was a little question-mark that would not shut up.

Aren’t you supposed to give thanks, even now!?
But how!!!? What for!? This hurts and there’s not much I can do!?” I asked.
Since there was no answer that I heard but the question wouldn’t let go of me, I asked my longest online friend on Facebook  “How to be thankful while having a case of the flu 🤔”. His response:

It could be worse“.

It could be worse. Four words that sent my mind spinning and put an end to my self-pity. Yes it could be worse. A lot worse.

Like for my sister in law, who has been feeling like this for over 30 weeks now because of her pregnancy. She has four kids to worry about already, to raise and care for. And still quite some weeks to endure what others think to be a blessing… but to her it comes with a cost. My flu will be gone in a few days. Already I have spent 12 hours without throwing up so the worst is over now. I Thank God!!!

Or…

I could have to do without the support and care of my husband. Without him to look after our daughter, take her to school, feed her, clothe her, take her to a friend to play have fun… and without him making me soup and hot tea or to take over whatever needs to be done in and around the house, what would I have done?! It is because of his care that I get to migrate between couch, toilet and bed undisturbed, that I can rest and let this bug run its course without worry. I Thank God!!!

Or…

I could have to do without my little girl, who is bringing me drawings, kisses and hugs, who crawls in to bed with me and offers to stay the night… if that would make me better. She doesn’t nag or whine, she understands why mommy cant read her a book now, or put her to bed. Thank God!!!

Or…

I could have to still show up at work to either have enough money or even keep my job… But no! First of all, I have a job, and one I love doing. That alone is something to be grateful of! But mine comes with compassionate coworkers and paid sick-days! I Thank God!!!

Or…

I could be homeless and without a bed to hide away in until this is all over. Cold and lonely out on the street, no warm blankets,  no fresh towels, no extra set of clothing when this one gets dirty… Instead I have a warm bed in a safe house with a warm shower, clean towels and new pj’s to wear if I should mess these up. And then another blanket on the soft couch downstairs where I can sit and sip tea and watch my family… I Thank God!!!

For almost two years now, there is a saying on our wall. One that my husband put up there for me, to remind our family of this daily: “Dankbaarheid is de kortste weg naar geluk“, which is Dutch for “Gratitude is the shortest road to happiness“. Yet I needed a friend from an ocean away to remind me today.

I Thank God he did!!

Praise the Lord, who carries our burdens day after day; he is the God who saves us.
Psalms 68:19 GNB
http://bible.com/296/psa.68.19.GNB

G.