Making the extra-ordinary, ordinary!

A little while ago the realization hit me that I had a bad case of the Whiny’s and I am sure that I was sounding like a 3 year old who whined nonstop about something they wanted and did not have.

Why was I whining you may be wondering, well it started last August actually with a few statements from me. “Lord what do you have for me to put my hand to this coming season?” That seems innocent enough, but what happened next brought about a time in my life that I really don’t want to have to repeat any time soon.

Instead of seriously seeking the Lord for the answer to that question I jumped right in, I got involved in everything and then some. I never said no to anyone, as I was eager to be of good use to the Lord and to encourage and bless others with all of the gifts that the Lord has put inside of me.

Before long every day was filled with something or someone that I had to be involved with to some degree or another. Now this was not a bad thing, I just hadn’t figured out yet that all that I had gotten myself involved in was not necessarily what God wanted me to be doing.

I plugged away;  working hard, praying, reading my bible, visiting and encouraging people, writing, teaching two bible studies, not to mention having a family with their own set of needs and demands on my time and energy therefore as time went on I started to feel more and more exhausted moment by moment. I should have taken the hint when my doctor said that my health was declining and I needed to have a rest, but in my mind’s eye I couldn’t, I still was working for the Lord.

Then a strange thing started to happen, even though I had not stopped trying to spend time with the Lord daily, it was becoming a bit of a chore and I started to find reasons to do other things. I reasoned that I could always read my bible later, I still prayed when I thought of someone or something during the day, but I know longer was deriving any pleasure and insight and growth from spending time in the word of God, nor was I necessarily hearing anything from the Lord either.

I was falling apart, from the inside out. I was relying on myself and not on the Lord anymore to get me through the day, I was becoming snappy and miserable and I honestly felt like I had an elephant sitting on my chest.

As time went on, I started to feel more and more lost, like a little child standing on the platform of a busy train station, all by herself, unable to find her mother.

I was lost,

 I had been “working so hard for the Lord” that I had lost my first Love. I had lost the wonder and awe and appreciation of all that He had done for me. I had lost out on hearing His sweet voice when He spoke to me, because quite honestly, it was all a big chore now.

I found that when I went to spend time studying his word to get ready for a bible study that I was teaching, I didn’t even want to. The word that I had read a hundred times before no longer had any appeal to me.

This did not shock me at first, but as I asked my friends to pray for me, I started to realize that I was in trouble, something had gone horribly wrong. As I started to cry out to the Lord more and more He started to show me where my ship had gotten off course.

I needed to stop and get a clear perspective of the situation that I found myself in, and then I needed to decide what stayed on my plate and what did not. Oh let me tell you this was so hard to do, because if you stop one thing then you are letting these people down, if you stop that, then you are letting those people down.

I had allowed all of my “busy work” for the Lord rule me and it had gotten out of control. I was drowning in the sea of my own making and felt unable to see a way out. As a result I was overwhelmed and miserable.

I knew I had to trust the Lord and allow him to show me what things I could keep doing and what things I needed to lay aside for this time. There was no easy way, I had to do it.

The Lord graciously started to show me that way back in August when I had asked Him for his input into his plans for me for the fall season, that I did not completely wait on Him to show me what He truly wanted me to put my hand to, instead I had rushed off and assumed I knew what He wanted. I was also so focused on my assumptions that I did not necessarily stop long enough for him to tell me differently either.

I was wrong.

 God had wanted me to put my hand to one thing and that was to truly seek him with my whole heart, remain in awe and wonder of Him, walk in holy Reverence and fear of the Lord, and share that with the people around me.

Instead I traded the Extraordinary of God for the ordinary of my efforts.

 The result was rags, exhaustion, fear, frustration, tears and disappointment. I no longer felt that close relationship I had enjoyed with him before and I no longer heard what he was speaking to my heart, the revelations that I used to receive where a thing of the past as I did not stop long enough to receive them.

Thankfully the Lord does not allow our folly to consume us and he opened my eyes just recently to this phrase, “Brenda, you have traded my Extraordinary glory for your ordinary strength!”

When I realized it, I repented of my folly and slowly but surely I am starting to hear the Lord again. I am enjoying being in the word and it is with much excitement and anticipation that I go to my prayer room now, expecting to receive from the Lord the treasures He has for me.

I know that the Lord has many things that he has yet to teach me and to show me and grow in my character, but I have learnt that the minute the things of the Lord start to become boring and common to me then I need to Stop, Drop to my Knees and Repent.

God is anything but ordinary, he is a loyal friend and companion, He is my rock and strong tower when I feel weak and unable. He is my provider, my deliverer, my peace and comfort, He is my all.

 I can never hope to navigate through this life without Him leading, guiding and directing my steps. I need Him more than I realized and I am so glad that He promises that He will never leave nor forsake us, even when we run around like crazy people.

So my dear friends, if what I have written has struck a chord with you at all, I want to encourage you to stop and ask the Lord what His priorities for you truly are, ask Him what needs to be pruned from your life and what needs to stay, acknowledge that you have neglected the most important thing in a relationship with Him, and that is Him.

I know that if you do those things, He will meet you where you are at and He will reveal to you the truth about your heart and your situation. He loves you and desires to be in a loving, ongoing relationship with you.

Don’t be as foolish as I was and neglect him while busying yourself working for Him, He wants you to nurture the relationship with him above all and then all of the other things that you do, will come from that relationship.

Rekindle your first love for Christ today and allow your ordinary life to be transformed into the Extraordinary one that God has for you today.

                                                                                            

 

 

 

 

 

The bend in the road

Like most young people I too dreamt of my knight in shining armor coming along with his white horse to rescue me from all of the ordinary things in my life. Thankfully for me, a knight did come along and at first I did not recognize him to be my savior but as time went on I was grateful for his love, devotion, and protection and input into my life.

My knight in shining armor’s name was Jesus. He came in, assured me of his love for me, forgave all of my foolish choices, turned my heart towards him and to be honest I have never looked back, or longed for the life I had before he revealed himself to me.

After awhile he sent another, a man who would walk beside me as my companion, best friend, part provider (Jesus provided the rest) and of course life mate. There were many a time where I have to admit I was not always grateful for this companion of mine because he had just as many flaws as I did, but before long we were truly in love with each other and settled into a comfortable life side by side.

 

 

Then last year, tragedy struck, my husband of 20 years had been diagnosed with Non Hodgkins lymphoma (cancer to the rest of us). We could hardly comprehend what this would mean for our family, our marriage, our relationship. The doctors acted quickly and he was operated on and the lump removed.

We then had a one year reprieve, where no other lumps or tumors grew out of control, until now.

What to do, what to think, how to feel, I don’t even have the words, which is strange for me but it is true, it is hard to comprehend that someone that you have loved, encouraged and walked beside for all these years will soon have to undergo treatment that might render him bed ridden, nauseous, and just plain miserable.

I have to admit that with all of this looming I was starting to feel very alone, I even believed it for a while, thinking that I did not want to bother my friends, becoming a burden to them as we struggle through this, I felt that Jesus had left too and I truly had to bear the weight of all of this on my own.

Yes, I was feeling pretty sorry for myself.

But then I prayed, asking the lord for a fresh revelation of himself to me at this time and for him to please lay me and my husband onto the hearts of our friends and family to pray for us. This is one journey I don’t think I am strong enough to walk through alone.

Later that morning, I heard the Lord’s wonderful voice whisper into my heart; “ I will be with you to the end of the age!” (Matthew 28:20)

I nearly jumped up and down with glee. The lord had heard my cry that morning, he came to answer me, assuring that he would be with me until the end, then I started reading in my devotional book that I had been using and it spoke of Immanuel, God with us and again I hear the lord speak to my heart, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” My knight in shining armor, assuring me of his presence, his strength and his rescue. My friends, I cannot even begin to explain to you how I felt at that moment, but I knew from that moment on that, no matter what this cancer journey looks like for us, God will be with us, leading, guiding and strengthening us all of the way. I felt his peace wrap around me like a blanket of reassurance.

It was such an amazing feeling to know without a doubt that I would not have to face these challenges alone.

Not long after this, my spiritual mom called to say that she had been thinking about me and felt that she needed to call and make sure I was ok!!!!!!

I had asked the lord, not two hours previously  to lay me on the heart of my friends and family so that they would pray for me, and I also said to him that I really missed my mom and wished that she was here to help me out with all of this and then He has my spiritual mom call me.

I nearly lost it in tears trust me, the Lord heard, and he answered me swiftly and I was safely in his arms.

All I wanted to do was shout, Yay God!!!!!!

My dear friends, don’t feel sorry for me, pray for us as we walk this road with a bend in it, so that we would be able to mine out the treasures hidden along the road, pray that we will be able to bring the love of God to all whom we encounter, that we will be strengthened and encouraged and have our hearts and minds wholeheartedly fixed on the Lord as he walks through this new phase of our lives.

Thank You

Brenda