Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Gotta Start Somewhere

Whatever goes up must come down. I've tested that principle a few times. As a child, I learned about gravity by throwing toys at my sister :) As an adult, the concept has taken on a different shape through my experiences with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Actually, now that I think about it, sometimes the principle is what is down must stay down! I hate to admit it, but RA has truly affected my life. I wake up almost every morning to tears stinging my eyes as I realize the pain that has settled in my joints. It often takes me about 2 hours to really get going in the morning. I seem to tire easily and my joints ache at the end of the day, so my days are cut pretty short. Pretty pitiful isn't it? Most women my age have multiple toddlers to care for all day, rock to sleep at night, and to get out of bed in the morning. I can't even manage myself. Most mornings, my husband helps me. Chronic illness has taken a lot from me- most importantly, it has taken away the chance of a "normal life." Whatever that is.

I learned today that the way to go up is to go down. Another principle I've tested a few times, and it too has morphed over the years. To Go Down. I have to think about that for a bit. In my spiritual walk, I recall that my darkest moments have led directly to a new connection or dependence on God. To Go Down. Without the bad times, you will never appreciate the good. To Go Down. Down: A position I currently find physically difficult to get up from! Maybe I should spend less time complaining about my "down time" in the morning and more time taking advantage of my physical position. Use it to my advantage :) Perhaps, while I'm "down" with stiff joints, I could meet my God in prayer. Obviously, what I was meant to learn today was that the way to God is to meet Him on our knees in prayer. I think that is where I'll try to start. I know God will meet me where I am.

Today, I go to the Lord, praising Him for the life He gave me and the life of my husband. Today, I go to the Lord, asking nothing but to KNOW that
I am blessed;
I am loved;
I am a child of God.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Introductory Session

Today I listened to the audio CD of Beth Moore's introduction to "Stepping Up." I can already tell that God has lead me to this study for a very specific purpose. I am excited about starting something new to distract me from every day life and look up to the All- Powerful. Even though I grew up in Sunday School classes, I don't think that I have ever heard of "The Psalms of Ascent." Turns out to be Psalms 120-134.

Fifteen psalms.

Fifteen steps toward something better than where I am now.

Feels like a long journey, but definately one I am ready for.

I am ready to ascend one step at a time.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Strength to be Faithful

I've been thinking a lot about this blog- a place where I would like to leave the tracks of my spiritual journey. It seems that every time I think about "Finding Peace in Faith," the same song comes rushing to my mind, and now I've been humming the tune all day. I don't actually write any songs, but I could have written this song because these lyrics sung by Andrew Peterson are a true reflection of my feelings and life experience.

Give us faith to be strong
Father, we are so weak
Our bodies are fragile and weary
As we stagger and stumble to walk where You lead
Give us faith to be strong

Give us faith to be strong
Give us strength to be faithful
This life is not long, but its hard
Give us grace to go on
Make us willing and able
Lord, give us faith to be strong

Give us peace when we're torn
Mend us up when we break
This flesh can be wounded and shaking
When there's much too much trouble for one heart to take
Give us peace when we're torn

Give us hearts to find hope
Father, we cannot see
How the sorrow we feel can bring freedom
And as hard as we try, Lord, it's hard to believe
So, give us hearts to find hope

Give us faith to be strong
Give us strength to be faithful
This life is not long, but it's hard
Give us grace to go on
Make us willing and able
Lord, give us faith to be strong
Give us peace when we're torn
Give us faith, faith to be strong.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Life Is Hard

This first blog is difficult for me to write because I'm not exactly sure how to get started. I am not eloquent, I am not a writer, I am not an expert. I am a woman who struggles with life's many problems. I am a woman who desires more than anything to depend on my Heavenly Father in good and bad times. I am not sure if this blog will get out to others- I am not sending the link to my family and friends. I am just going to write it and then place it in God's hands. I yield to God's will and pray for Him to "do His thing."

Sometimes, life has it's "inconveniences" that hardly even get our attention. Other times we are being hit hard from every direction; the waves are so overwhelming that all we can do is cling to the cross with all our strength. The waves come crashing around us in the form of temptation, sin, illness, fatigue, infertility, death, and despair (just to name a few). We must cling to Christ and look to God to keep us safe within the throws of the storm. But we must look up!

Personally, I have been affected by all the listed "storms." In fact, I am currently completely overwhelmed. I feel as if I am barely able to keep my head above water, and every time I come up for a breath, I get dunked underwater again.

I have noticed that the one thing that never fails to lift my spirits is every moment I spend with God. So, I have just decided to start a new Beth Moore study (my favorite!) I've chosen "Stepping Up," which is a study about the "Psalms of Ascent." If I need anything right now, it is ascent!!

I will share more of my story as I go along. Please feel free to share your story as well.