Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Finding Joy

This last week has been a busy one. I have not felt up to the so called "normal" activities of daily life so pardon the brief lack of posting. Between a new nephew being born (Luke Brian Luehrs to Mike & Sundae), my mother-in law having surgery and pipes bursting on the farm...well life just happens. Add the fact that chemo drugs just tend to linger in your body causing various energy depleting side effects. Things seem to be getting back on track and life continues to roll. Thank you for praying and upholding our family!

Some thoughts from my journal...

It's not depression but oppression. I am convinced. My heart and mind belong to the Father. Yet it seems that the little things around me blow up into huge obstacles. Testing and trying my patience. Like irrigation pipes bursting! Like my truck in the shop for the second time. My character is being refined by the fire. Through the flames I march once again. My plea is this: help me believe you are a good God, remind me that your love endures forever. I cast my cares upon Him and I begin to trust again in your faithfulness, step by step, little by little I regain my strength for battle.

You say I am blessed because of this
You get the glory in the midst of this
I choose to believe
As I carry this cross - you'll carry me
You love is an ocean wide
By Audresy Assuad

I can't see through the circumstances I face. I am floating along in a haze. Wondering across the desert. Just like those stubborn Israelite's. I cling to the only thing I can: Manna. It feeds my hungry soul. It sustains my frame and fills my heart with hope and prepares my feet for what lies ahead. I don't have all the answers to the questions I ask myself in the secret place. What is it about this Manna? What is it? That is the name the Israelite's gave to Manna - what is it? It is the WORD that provides hope, joy, clarity and wisdom. I am overwhelmed with the burdens of this life. Each day seems to bring more trouble. Didn't Jesus say this would happen? Yet in the midst of these so called troubles I remain vigilant to stand my ground. Arming myself with the weapons for spiritual battle. I will not be moved. I ask for grace again. Forgiveness only comes when I am willing to be broken - letting go of self, my pride, my ways. Yes the obstacles are present and they could stand in the way of my growth process. But I know better. This is the opportunity for elusive joy to make its grand entrance. Through the difficulties of deflecting flaming arrows my shield gets a work out. My belt gets tightened a notch tighter, my helmet is on and yes that sword is drawn and I stand tall and strong. Bring it on I say, waiting for the next sly and sneaky attack. It is the Devil's plan to steal, kill and destroy my joy. But not today. I will come out of the flames refined, better than before. He is doing a new thing (Isaiah 43:19). So I ask again the see the blessing in the compost of my crazy wonderful life. Compost is just here, there and everywhere. I love how Tri Robinson says it "Somehow God is able to do his best work in the depths of the compost of our lives. I am thankful for the compost in my life - not for the making, but for the growth that comes out of it." I am hopeful for an abundant crop of joy. In the murky waters surrounding my life I can choose my attitude. I can choose joy, embrace joy and be joy - only self kills joy.

"Fear not for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be withe you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze." Isaiah 43:1-3

These have come so that your faith- of greater worth than gold, which perished even though refined by fire - may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:7-9

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