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I don't like myself a lot of the time. There are times when I get a glimpse of the true reflections of the nastiness of my heart. I cringe, but I am grateful that The Holy One gives me a clear picture of what needs to change. And, I am grateful that the grace of Jesus is louder than my own heart.

There's been a scenario in my life going on for almost three weeks. This scenario brings an individual into my life that has revealed a spot in my heart that must be removed. So many things this person does & asks is frankly driving me bats! My tolerance levels are dropping along with my kindness & generosity. I'm flat out irritated!

While scrolling through my feed, I see my friend has reposted a give away bringing awareness to a need in the world. A big need. I immediately brighten. I like give aways, especially with all the enticing goodies this one had. I then read the why & the tears come. My heart breaks again for people across the globe, & I jump into action sharing the post as I had been asked. I was asked to give & permission came from Father. My heart was indeed happy for the opportunity & the privilege to give. And then I think about all the things the individual in my current scenario has literally asked me for, not even monetary things, mind you. My heart didn't light up with the opportunity to give to a person who was asking for help & consideration. I was increasingly irritated with each request. I didn't see these requests as opportunities, only annoyances. Forgive me Father. Who am I to choose the value of one request over another? Opportunities were presented to me, and I did give in both situations, but with very different attitudes.

I will be very honest & tell you that I do not have difficulty parting with money. This is a grace that Father poured over me years ago, for which I am deeply grateful. I just don't dwell on it, and I know that I can depend on God's abundance. Father has made it quite clear that with financial matters, I must wait for His invitation & guidance. So, we talk a lot about this topic as there is much financial need in this world. The kicker is that I realized that I do not approach other opportunities to give with the same fervor. I fail to see opportunities sometimes right in front of me with people that God has invited me to pour into. I find more often than not that I'm stingy with my heart. For this I am deeply sorry. I am sorry that I like to choose who I am generous with. That hurts to write.

Sweet LORD,
Please change my heart in this & open my eyes to every opportunity to give, especially the ones in my very own house, my very own circle of people whom You love dearly. Thank You for grace & for Your love. Thank You for forgiveness & restoration.

And wouldn't you know that the very next time I encountered this individual, another request came. I could feel my heart smile a bit at another opportunity to give with a bit of a better attitude.

Thank You, Jesus. ❤️

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I am a mess, a weeping mess overwhelmed with the pain of this world. I scroll through the feeds & come across a beautiful video full of truth. The actor lays out his heart, his whole heart for the world to see. And I pray that he will know that Jesus is real. I read the news that a performer has died, his songs digging up memories from a time I like to keep buried. Tears form with fond memories too; his voice & my own little song that I wrote based off one of his.

A text comes through asking for prayer for a young one. One I only know through a story of all that has happened to her. Her story gets darker & my heart breaks wide open. I cannot contain the weeping. I'm out in my backyard office. What if the neighbors hear me? (It wouldn't be the first time.) What if the painter in my house sees? I weep & in my heart I beg Jesus to help me. My mind goes back to the paintings of Jesus I just saw in the video. His eyes heal. "Jesus, please come heal. Heal the actor's heart, the little one's body & soul, all the ones that broke my heart open in Chicago hiding behind their cardboard signs attempting to explain their lives. Heal my friends & their babies. Heal it all, all the pain that is overwhelming my heart. Please take it away. I don't want to cry anymore."

And all this, it's a drop in the bucket! My brain cannot even go to all the rest of the world. All I can cry is Jesus. My office doesn't have a tissue box, only the vintage table cloth, so I must venture into my house. Can I get by the painter without him seeing my snotty face?

And then Jesus comes softly. I notice the trashes need emptying, so I empty them. The pans from Monday's dinner still need to be cleaned. Baked-on butter & olive oil must be scoured from my glass baking pans. So I scour, and I hear Him whisper, "This you can fix. Keep scrubbing, they will come clean. You know I've already told you that in this world there will be trouble. Take heart, dear one, I HAVE OVERCOME the world. I know part of your heartache is that you know I could have stopped it all & that I can fix it all. You know I'm working through it all too. You do what's in front of you. Keep talking to me. Keep writing. Keep scrubbing. Keep knitting & crocheting. Keep trusting me. I love you & I love them. And never stop weeping for them."

So I write it all out & ponder if I am to share this. Fern, my tattered & torn squirrel sits at the feeder. I can feed her, so I do. And I exhale. I exhale knowing that God doesn't have to explain anything to me. Yet, He meets me every time, each day. He invites me into the pain so I pray. And maybe, somehow, it comforts somebody to know that I am weeping with them. And He gives me things I can do when I feel so very helpless. He meets me – comes to me – every single day. I am grateful.

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I didn’t even know that Katharina Luther existed.  I will admit that I am extremely ignorant of a lot.  I truly can end that sentence right there! However, I’m speaking of the subject of history specifically.  I used to be horrifically ashamed of my lack of knowledge.  It wasn’t because I wasn’t taught it, I just cannot remember tidbits that seem to be on the tip of the general population’s brains.  I live in a home with a man and our oldest daughter who LOVE history and can remember countless facts and have fabulous discussions.  I listen, ask questions, and still feel ill-equipped.  I’m truly not writing this for any other reason that to set the background for how much I do not gravitate towards historical writings that are not fiction.  I know it is just not my thing, and I’m fine with it and not ashamed at all anymore.  This is because I have learned throughout all the years of my teaching that I know how to find information when I need it, and I know how to teach people to find that information. And I am really okay with that.  I have also learned that Father God will bring me to people and information when He wants me to take notice. Late last year, I saw a FB post about applying for a launch team for Michelle DeRusha’s book on the marriage of Martin Luther to Katharina.  I quickly realized that I did not even know that Martin Luther was married.  Kris Camealy was so excited about this author and this book, and I felt the Holy One just kind of nudge me to apply.  I thought this would be good for me to step out of my comfort zone and embrace this historical work and learn more about this Martin Luther character and his wife.  I was thrilled when I received the email telling me I had been chosen for the launch team.  I had no idea all that God would teach me through this author and her words.

To begin with, I was hooked on her writing immediately.  It truly reads more like a story than biography, and I felt an immediate connection to both Katharina and Martin Luther in a way I did not expect.  I wanted to learn more about them and from them.

This experience also took a rather personal turn for me that I did not expect and the timing in our current social environment could not have been more perfect.  From the time I was very young, God has gifted me with the desire to question Him about things that didn’t seem to match His character.  I say that He gave me this gift, because  when I started this questioning of Him, I was not old enough to even truly understand His character and how the events taking place around me didn’t match.  I was in a home where I was taken to church and taught from the Bible and told how much Jesus loved me, but let’s just say that women were not truly cherished the way that Jesus cherishes us.  I remember God telling me in my little heart to hang on to Jesus, and He would teach me the truth.  And you know, in the years to come, every verse that had been used to push women down, God taught me what He truly meant.  He often would use teachers and different Bible studies.  But the one He used the most was my husband.  He brought an 18-year-old man into my life when I was 22 years old and showed me how much Jesus loved women and equipped women.  We are made in His image too.  Therein lies my worth.  Nothing else mattered.  I didn’t have to prove one thing or be one thing.  I just had to look to Jesus and I saw His truth clearly.  I believe with my whole heart after reading Michelle’s words and getting to know both Martin and Katharina, they both knew the truth of who they were very clearly as well.  During a time in our history when a woman’s survival literally depended on men, Katharina took a stand and refused to marry somebody she did not like, a person she knew was not right for her.  I believe with my whole heart she trusted God in that stand and in many others that she took.  Her and Martin’s relationship may not have started romantically, but I get the sense that they knew God was working and building something far bigger than themselves at the time.

Reading their story was a beautiful confirmation of all that Father God has been teaching me since I was a very young girl.  I cannot encourage you enough to get a copy of this treasure for your personal library.  Encourage your young people to read it and get to know this couple who took incredible risks to follow God at His Word.  And learn to sink into His truth and know He will fight for us.  He has never stopped fighting for my me and my heart.  He keeps pouring His love over me even through a history book.  So, thank you, Michelle, for doing this work.

I would also love to give one of you a copy of this book.  Please leave me a comment here or on my FB or IG account, and I will choose a winner tomorrow morning and send the book directly to you.

 


Today is the last guest post on Kris Camealy’s blog. What a precious privilege it has been to be on her street team for Come, Lord Jesus: the weight of waiting.  I have gotten to know some lovely ladies as well as enjoyed the many blog posts from the team.  More importantly, Jesus has been on the forefront of all of this.  It’s been all about Him all along.  He has invited me each day of this journey to rest and focus on Him.  Life has certainly continued with the brokenness this world so willingly offers, yet I filter it through Him. And my soul finds rest and the ability to exhale sitting right there in Abba’s lap, experiencing just how much I am loved and just how very big my God truly is. A very huge thank you to Kris Camealy for writing this treasure and for inviting us into this journey. And to all of the street team members and guest writers on her blog, thank you for the words of truth and encouragement. I look forward to meeting you all. 

Happy Christmas to all! 


Amy Penderson shares today. 

http://kriscamealy.com/invitation-sit-king/


No sweet well-meaning soul has the heart to look you straight in the eye and tell you that the chaos of daily living can very well eclipse your view of the Savior. 
Another soul stirring guest post is up on Kris Camealy’s blog today. 

http://kriscamealy.com/days-of-distraction/


With my shop-for-joy trip a dismal failure, I headed for the exit as tinny mall Muzak whined Santa-songs over loud-speakers. Racing out the door, I almost ran over a tiny high-school choir caroling in the frosty air. There was poignancy in their presence, simplicity in their song. I, and a young mother holding a beautiful baby boy, were the only shoppers who had stopped to hear the plaintive solo of a young African-American teen singing “Sweet Little Jesus Boy.” His velvety voice floated on the air like soft-falling snow. The baby cooed gently. I listened to the entire song and, with moist eyes, hugged the singer, grateful for his gift of joy, the first I’d experienced all day.

More beautiful words from Lynn Morrissey on Kris’ blog. 

http://kriscamealy.com/presence-over-presents-the-only-way-we-can-be-truly-satisfied-in-the-waiting/

I appreciate this verse. God put it right in my face, in His most loving way, when I needed the reminder that my focus must stay on Him and not my circumstances. This verse stays on a chalkboard in our home as a daily (sometimes hourly) reminder, not because He is not already GREATER, but because I need to keep the truth that HE IS in the forefront of my mind & heart. 

The following quote is from Ally Vermeer’s guest post on Kris Camealy’s blog. 

“John the Baptist was a true man of preparation- he had the right attitude, the right perspective. He knew his mission. And he served to the fullest, even while he was waiting.

This is the guy who said, “The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater; I must become less.” – John 3:29-30”

Enjoy the entire post at http://kriscamealy.com/preparing-the-way/

Another beautiful guest post on Kris Camealy’s blog, enjoy Brandee Shafer’s story.

http://kriscamealy.com/hard-practice-of-waiting/

This guest from Christina Hubbard was exactly what my soul needed this morning. 

“Choose God like Mary did, in faith and praise, no matter the wait or unseen outcome. My life looks different than I imagined. So did Mary’s. While she probably longed for an ordinary Jewish life: a husband, seven kids, and nice Sabbath picnics, she didn’t quite get the life she planned. She got the Son of God. He happens to be all the world we’ll ever need.”

Enjoy the rest of Christina’s post on Kris Camealy’s blog. 

http://kriscamealy.com/god-chooses-you-ready-or-not/

This quote from Come, Lord Jesus: the Weight of Waiting seeps right into my heart this Tuesday morning.  It often, sometimes daily, FEELS as if I’m still captive to my sin and brokenness.  It does today if I may be so transparent.  I scrolled through the quotes from this beautiful Advent book, and Jesus had me rest on this one.  Regardless of my feelings, I am not imprisoned by my sin or my brokenness.  I am captivated by the HOPE of Jesus – of His first coming as a babe in a crèche, of His promised return, and the reality that He walks this present day with me.  Not only does His hope seep deep in the brokenness of my physical body and heart, HE Himself penetrates and surrounds and goes before and brings up the rear.  And I am left to praise Him.

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