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Friday, March 14, 2014

What do you need to trust God with?

       I have so many thoughts in my head.  I do not even know which one to start with.  What I do know is that God is doing a change in me.  He is redirecting my path or at least the path I thought I was on.  It all started on Wednesday.  I knew something was up because the things that normally bother me I was at total peace with.  This is not normal for me!  When I am upset about something, I am very vocal about it.  It is my way of dealing with it. 

       I was excited for Wednesday to come.  I was going to attend a new Life Group.  This group is just what I had been looking for.  A group of women that want a deep relationship with God and with each other.  The Holy Spirit guides them and they let Him have his way.  I knew that in the first 5 minutes this is where God wants me.  I need to be around women who desire God and the Holy Spirit so much that it is the focus of their lives.

       The other reason why I was excited for Wednesday is that is my favorite time to attend church.  Our church has a Praise and Prayer service that is amazing.  Our pastor is always telling us it is the most important service of the week and I have to agree with him.  When God's people come together to just praise Him and to be in prayer together things happen!  Well, this night was no exception.  The Holy Spirit was there and things were happening!  I attend a very large church.  Because of this, our Life Group always sits together.  At the end of the service, the pastor asked us all (everyone who was there) to come down to the alter to pray.  All of our life group who was there went down and prayed as a group.  We know that as a group, God is doing some amazing things and this was no exception.  We prayed together and then worshipped together.  It was awesome! 

       I need to digress...Before the service started I felt lead to go to the bookstore in the lobby of our church to find a book to read.  I do read my bible everyday but I felt the Lord telling me that I needed to go look.  At first, I did not find anything that I wanted to read.  I had not read a book cover to cover in a long time and I use to read three a week.  Between being a wife, mother and business owner I seem to not have time anymore.  Just when I was going to turn away, I caught a glimpse of a book I had not seen there before!  I do not know if it was because it was pink and had a nice white ribbon around it or what but I picked it up and started reading the back of the book.  The more I read the more intrigued I became.  The book is called "Warrior Chicks."  It is about rising strong, being beautiful and confident women to be warriors for God.  The amazing part was it came with two CD's.  One was the testimony of the author Holly Wager and the other was scriptures being read to music that were all about healing.  That is when I understood that I was not only to be a "Warrior" but I needed to be healed in order to do what God has called me to do.  You see, the last thing our pastor said to us on Wednesday night was that next Wednesday we were going to have a healing service at our church.  That is when our Life Group decided to fast and pray for healing. 

       You see, I have chronic renal failure.  I was born with just one working kidney and over the years, my good kidney has taken up the slack for the bad one.  Well, the right kidney is starting to fail.  It only functions at 22%.  When it hits 20%, I will have to go on dialysis.  Well let me tell you that this Warrior Chick is not ever going on dialysis.  I know what God has called me to do (that is for another blog post) and I know I will not be able to do it if I am sick.  I write all of this so that when my healing comes you will know it is a true miracle from God!  I believe that prayer works but I also believe it is all in God's timing.  No matter how hard or how long I pray, God knows when and how I will be healed.  It is all about faith.  Faith to know that God loves me so much that he wants only what is best for me!  Faith to know that I trust and love God so much that I only want His perfect will for my life!

       What do you need to trust God with today?  You marriage, healing, a new job?  Whatever it is, do not give up.  God wants only what is best for you!  He should know what is best He made you!

       Jeremiah 29:11 says

       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

Thursday, March 13, 2014

It has been too long!

It has been a long time since I have posted.  So much has gone on that I am starting fresh and new!  God is moving and I am changing as I draw closer to Him.  I will explain in future posts!  Just know that I am now a warrior for Christ and not just a soldier.  I am fighting for my life as well as those who do not know Christ.  Time is short and there is much work to do. 
God's Warrior

Monday, January 2, 2012

Who is your Nancy??

Who is your Nancy?  Other then God and your spouse who is your Nancy?
What or who is Nancy you ask?  Well for me, Nancy is the person who I can talk to and she will listen!  Nancy is that person in my life who I can tell everything to and I know she will first listen and then either give me words full of wisdom or tell me when I am way off base!  She is the person I can go days without talking to her but when I finally do I am excited to tell her everything that is on my mind! Nancy is the kind of friend who makes you feel like you are the most important person in her life even though you know that God and her family comes first! 

Some of you may be blessed by having more then one Nancy in your life!  I know I have!  God has given me someone like Nancy everytime the Navy moved us.  I have also had a Bonnie, Debbie, Charna,  Belinda, Janie, Melissa, Betty and Suzy!  I know that God put each of these women in my life so that I learned to love unconditionally and to give of myself even when I felt I couldn't trust most women in my life.  They helped me to open my heart after it was broken so bad I though I would never trust again.

The cool thing about hanging with Nancy is that I get to spend eternity with her!  (also with Bonnie, Charna and the rest of my gals)  How exciting is that!  Not sure what heaven will be like but if God lets me live in her culdasac in heaven that would be the about you???  Who is your Nancy???          

Pictured above is Nancy with her son Joey!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

No Resolutions Here!

Here it is January 1, 2012!  Another new year.  Normally I would be making my resolutions.  Resolutions to loose weight, read my bible more or do more.  This year I am not going to make any resolutions I am going to let God be the solution.

In just a few weeks I am heading to India.  When I asked God last year to stretch me and mold me I never thought he would send me to India but then I never know what God is going to ask me to do!  When I told others of God's plan they said "Oh my, they are killing Americans there" or "Don't drink the water or eat the food you will get sick."  I am not afraid of these things or going at all.  What I am afraid of is not going!  Of not answering God's call to go!  I am afraid that if I don't do this I will never be taken out of my comfort zone and stretched like never before! It would be so easy for me to give money to others who go but then I would not be able to see first hand the move of God!  I honestly have no idea of what will happen there but I do know that if I don't go I will stay stuck in  those resolutions I will not keep and life will go on the same!  I don't want to be the same!  I want to live life to the fullest!  To be a servant leader who will do all that God asks of me with love in my heart and a willingness to go and do whatever He has for me!  I also want to learn to say "no" to those things that will get me off track or will enable others not to trust in God or to depend on him.

This year I am turning 50 and I am embracing being a half of century old.  When most cringe at the thought of growing older I am excited for it!  I am excited for what is coming in the future!  I am excited to see my son graduate college and get married!  I am excited to see how homeschooling our youngest is growing him into a fine educated young man.  I am excited to see Briar Creek being built and along with it my husband and I jumping head first into the ministry God has for us!  So, no resolutions just living day to day in the fullness of what God has! 

Happy New Year!  2012 is going to be amazing!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

There Is Power In Our Words

I started reading this book a few days ago and I can honestly say that it has changed me in a way I never expected.  Sticks and stones may break your bones but names will never hurt you...not sure who came up with that little ditty but boy were they wrong!  I think Robert Fulghum got it right when he wrote and I quote "Sticks and stones will break our bones, but words willl brake our hearts"

As I look back over the years I can remember both words that were spoken to me that would shape who I was as a person and what I thought I should be.  Words like boy you sure are fat, short or not very smart hurt to the deepest part of my heart and I carried them round with me clear into my adulthood.  I also have those very special words hidden in my heart that were spoken to me out of love. Gretchen you look great, you have a big heart, you give so much of yourself.  These treasured words come to mind when ever the harsher ones would come to the surface.  I would be amiss if I didn't admit that I too have good and bad words come out of my mouth towards other people as well.

As I was reading in the book this morning, the Holy Spirit prompted me to do something I would of never thought of on my own.  In my contacts list on my phone are some of the most wonderful women  I know.  Each in their own way have been an encouragement to me and I love them all dearly.  What I started to do is to send each and every one of them a text message letting them know that I had been praying for them, that they are a blessing to me and are very much loved.  I meant every word that I texted to these ladies.  I was shocked when I started to receive text messages back.  Most of them said that it was just what they needed to hear and they felt so blessed by the words.....See how powerful words can be!

So, how has this changed me? I am no longer going to be such a negitive person when it comes to my words.  I want to be an encourager not a person who tares others down with hatful words.  I want my love for others to show through my words and my actions.  I want to leave you with a story I read in the book.  You might of already read it but if so, it is worth it t read it again!
A Treasured Keepske
(taken from The Power Of A Woman's Words page 25 - 29)

He was in the first third grade class I taught at Saint Mary’s School in Morris, Minn. All 34 of my students were dear to me, but Mark Eklund was one in a million. Very neat in appearance, but had that happy-to-be-alive attitude that made even his occasional mischievousness delightful.

Mark talked incessantly. I had to remind him again and again that talking without permission was not acceptable. What impressed me so much, though, was his sincere response every time I had to correct him for misbehaving - “Thank you for correcting me, Sister!” I didn’t know what to make of it at first, but before long I became accustomed to hearing it many times a day.

One morning my patience was growing thin when Mark talked once too often, and then I made a novice teacher’s mistake. I looked at Mark and said, If you say one more word, I am going to tape your mouth shut!” It wasn’t ten seconds later when Chuck blurted out, “Mark is talking again.” I hadn’t asked any of the students to help me watch Mark, but since I had stated the punishment in front of the class, I had to act on it. I remember the scene as if it had occurred this morning. I walked to my desk, very deliberately opened my drawer and took out a roll of masking tape. Without saying a word, I proceeded to Mark’s desk, tore off two pieces of tape and made a big X with them over his mouth. I then returned to the front of the room. As I glanced at Mark to see how he was doing, he winked at me. That did it! I started laughing. The class cheered as I walked back to Mark’s desk, removed the tape, and shrugged my shoulders. His first words were, “Thank you for correcting me, Sister.”

At the end of the year, I was asked to teach junior-high math. The years flew by, and before I knew it Mark was in my classroom again. He was more handsome than ever and just as polite. Since he had to listen carefully to my instruction in the “new math,” he did not talk as much in ninth grade as he had in third. One Friday, things just didn’t feel right. We had worked hard on a new concept all week, and I sensed that the students were frowning, frustrated with themselves and edgy with one another. I had to stop this crankiness before it got out of hand. So I asked them to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name. Then I told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down. It took the remainder of the class period to finish their assignment, and as the students left the room, each one handed me the papers. Charlie smiled. Mark said, “Thank you for teaching me, Sister. Have a good weekend.” That Saturday, I wrote down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper, and I listed what everyone else had said about that individual.

On Monday I gave each student his or her list Before long, entire class was smiling. Really?” I heard whispered. “I never knew that meant anything to anyone!” I didn’t know others liked me so much.” No one ever mentioned those papers in class again. I never knew if they discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn’t matter. The exercise had accomplished its purpose. The students were happy with themselves and one another again.

That group of students moved on. Several years later, after I returned from vacation, my parents met me at the airport. As we were driving home, Mother asked me the usual questions about the trip, the weather, my experiences in general. There was a lull in the conversation. Mother gave Dad a sideways glance and simply says, “Dad?” My father cleared his throat as he usually did before something important. “The Eklunds called last night,” he began “Really?” I said. “I haven’t heard from them in years. I wonder how Mark is.” Dad responded quietly. “Mark was killed in Vietnam,” he said. “The funeral is tomorrow, and his parents would like it if you could attend.” To this day I can still point to the exact spot on I-494 where Dad told me about Mark.

I had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before. Mark looked so handsome, so mature. All I could think at that moment was, “Mark, I would give all the masking tape in the world if only you would talk to me.” The church was packed with Mark’s friends Chuck’s sister sang “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Why did it have to rain on the day of the funeral? It was difficult enough at the graveside. The pastor said the usual prayers, and the bugler played taps. One by one those who loved Mark took a last walk by the coffin and sprinkled it with holy water. I was the last one to bless the coffin. As I stood there, one of the soldiers who acted as pallbearer came up to me. Were you Mark’s math teacher?” he asked. I nodded as I continued to stare at the coffin. “Mark talked about you a lot,” he said.

After the funeral, most of Mark’s former classmates headed to Chuck’s farmhouse for lunch. Mark’s mother and father were there, obviously waiting for me. “We want to show you something, his father said, taking a wallet out of his pocket. “They found this on Mark when he was killed. We thought you might recognize it.” Opening the billfold, he carefully removed two worn pieces of notebook paper that had obviously been taped, folded and refolded many times. I knew without looking that the papers were the ones on which I had listed all the good things each of Mark’s classmates had said about him. “Thank you so much for doing that,” Mark’s mother said. “As you can see, Mark treasured it.” Mark’s classmates started to gather around us. Charlie smiled rather sheepishly and said, “I still have my list. I keep it in the top drawer of my desk at home.” Chuck’s wife said, “Chuck asked me to put his in our wedding album.””I have mine too,” Marilyn said. “It’s in my diary.” Then Vicki, another classmate, reached into her pocketbook, took out her wallet and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group. I carry this with me at all times,” Vicki said without batting an eyelash. “I think we all saved our lists.” That’s when I finally sat down and cried. I cried for Mark and for all his friends who would never see him again.

The density of people in society is so thick that we forget that life will end one day. And we don’t know when that one day will be. So please, tell the people you love and care for, that they are special and important. Tell them, before it is too late.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

God is Calling...

I have had a stirring in my heart for sometime now.  I wasn't sure what it was with so much going on spiritually speaking I just thought it was the changes that I along with the other people that I know were going through!  Well this is where my story begins.  I am not sure how it will all turn out!  What I do know is that I must answer God's call....

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Mike and I were sitting in church waiting for the service to start.  I told Mike my heart felt heavy and I didn't know why!  I knew that Pastor Joe was going to make an announcement after the service that would upset some people but I also knew that wasn't it.

As worship wound down, Pastor called the team who just got back from India to come up front and talk about their trip!  It was amazing.  These four guys where there for three weeks and in that small amount of time they were blessed to lead over 700 men, women and children to Christ!  It  wasn't until they showed a video of the people they had met that my heart just seemed to come out of my chest!  I started to shake and tears just poured out of my eyes.  As I looked into the faces of these women and children I knew that God was speaking to me in a powerful way.  They were holding a meeting right after service to see who God was calling to go on the next trip to India.  I told God no way.....I am going to Jamaica for missions not India!

As I  fought with God I told Him I would go to the meeting to be obedient but that was all!  So I went and was amazed at what the team told us!  One of the things that will stick in my mind until the day I die is men from India would rather be a dog in America then a man in India.  Dogs in America are treated better!  As I sat and listened two things happened.....First God has put a love in my heart for the people of India.....Second God said to me "Jamaica is too easy for you.  You need to be in India"

As I left the meeting I still had a hundred questions and and I wrestlde with them all night!  After a long night of asking God what I should do I feel asleep in the early dawn!  When our alarm went off I woke with peace in my heart that only God could put there!  So with all this said I will be board a plane for India on November 2nd and will return on November 13th.  I have no idea as to what God has in store but I am so up for the journey!

I am going to use this blog to write what God is doing in my life!  Not so much for me but to testify to His wonderful love, grace and mercy as He takes me to places I could never imagine going!  I am so excited to see where it will all end up!

To God be the glory!