Seize The Day- NOT!

If you try to seize the day, the day will eventually break you.
Seize the corner of His garment and don’t let go until He blesses you.
He will reshape your day.
~ Paul Little

Well, my head is about to explode and I felt the strong need to share this with the Blogosphere. The fact is I cannot keep up with:

1. All of the blogs I am following (although I am so in awe of the wonderful Christian Community in the Blogosphere!)
2. My housework
3. The ideas that are randomly flying through my brain and desiring to be birthed and blogged!
4. The stack of books on my nightstand
5. Scrapbooking…it’s been MONTHS…(OK, I confess- I did 2 pages during Hurricane Irene before we lost power)
6. Did I mention my housework?
7. My own workouts  (but the dogs have been enjoying more regular walks and are thrilled about this fact)
8. My poor, pedicure-less toes…still lacking some attention and a sassy Fall color
9. Blog “hopping” – apparently I stink at this, but I am still trying!
10. The latest, newest, greatest trend in anything (nor do I seem to care – a sure sign of old age)

So is there anything you feel you cannot “keep up with lately”?

Fill in the blank. Come on, be honest with yourself. It’s OK.

I just cannot keep up with: ____________. Go ahead fill it in AND add another.
Doesn’t it feel good to just say it. My head feels less explosive already! How about you?

Now let’s consider what we ARE doing and keeping up with despite our feeling that we are not able to measure up to our own standard, or the standards of others (both perceived and actual).

By the grace of God I am healed and exercising again. SO WHAT if I am inconsistently consistent. In June, I could barely walk and was in excruciating pain! Praise my Great Physician! By the grace of God, despite a job loss and a 50 percent income reduction we have been able to keep our daughter in her Christian school (thanks to Financial Aid provided from the wonderful school community). Praise Him who is Our Portion and Provider! By the grace of God, I had an interview where I could more clearly articulate my goals. Kinda. Praise the God who is Redefining Me and who is Our Refiner! By the grace of God I am walking by Faith and not by sight and able to share grace and truth with others, as He leads. Praise Him who is is The Light and The Way, The Truth and The Life. By the grace of God, despite a car accident in February which left my neck whip lashed and car totalled, I have a restored neck and a newer model car which accommodates our family nicely (and the dog, of course). I am stylishly mobile AND safe! Praise Him who is the Burden Bearer and the Restorer of the crops the locusts have eaten.

The things God has allowed me to “keep up with”,  that are not burdensome and which bring me joy: The whole Summer shared with my daughter since I was “jobless”, prepping and teaching Sunday School lessons for two, sweet (1st and 2nd grade) boys, One on One time for Bible/Book Study with a Sister in Christ this Summer (and we finished!), The Proverbs Challenge with some of My Bloggy Gal Pals and  Guys too, leading our school Moms In Touch Group weekly, praying and/or fellowshipping with some very faithful friends as we carved out, travelled and squeezed in precious time together. Times of grace and refreshment with my hubby despite a very random work schedule that really keeps us on our toes.

I love that when I am not able – I have a God who is!
Now go and Seize the Day-
NOT
Be still and KNOW that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.
Psalm 46:10
Whoever is wise,
let him heed these things
and
consider
the
great love
of the Lord.
~Psalm 107:43

Cast Down, Armour Up and Walk in the Spirit!

Never doubt in the darkness what God has shown you in the light,”
Raymond Edman
  
   I have just returned home from a *wonderful woman’s retreat in the beautiful mountains of upstate New York. These times can be uplifting and God does reveal himself in wonderful, special ways which remind us of his faithful love and unique call on our lives as women, mothers, daughters, and friends. Returning home is sweet, yet suddenly, what He spoke to us in our solitude, there on the heights, can seem distant, dim and faraway in the present light of our reality. We know He whispered a sweet word to our hungry hearts but the enemy desires to steal it away from each of the Daughters of The King.

      So this morning, as I reflected on what I heard on the mountain and long to cling to in the valley of my doubts, fears and circumstances called this life, I heard the voice of my Teacher say to me:

“Cast down and armour up, walk in the Spirit”. So I dove into His Word.
 I will share what He shared with me:
First I ask this of the Lord:
Lord, I long to walk in the valley
as if I was alone
with you on the mountaintop.
Always. 
I ask this also for all those who seek you.
In Jesus name,
Amen.
Cast Down:
2 Corinthians 10:5 ~  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.
1 Peter 5:5  ~ Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility; for “God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.”
Armour Up:
Colossians 3:12-13   ~ Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion,kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Colossians 3:14  ~ And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Ephesians: 6:10-13 ~ Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
Ephesians 6:14-18 ~ Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Walk In The Spirit!
1 Peter 4: 1-2 ~ Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.
Colossians 2:6-7 ~ So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him,  rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
Colossians 3:23 -24 ~ Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,  since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
      So are you ready for the battle, my friend?
Are you clothed with humility? Are you dressed in His
mercy? You cannot battle with the Sword of the Spirit without His Righteousness. I am so thankful that the Righteousness I claim is not my own. He took the filthy rags of my righteousness and by His grace clothed me in His Robe of Splendor! He gave His life on a jagged cross, enduring the pain, the shame- so I can live, and walk by Grace and Truth! Rejoice with me and Join in the battle!
Our King is worthy! Fight with me! Get on your knees and commune with our great King and He will prepare your heart for battle! Onward Christian Soldier! Onward. The battle belongs to the Lord! He is Victorious. He is Mighty to Save and BIGGER than all of our fears.
* I will be sharing the details of this retreat in an upcoming post!

ReDefining Me

A birthday card from my West Coast BFF, Sara
This is NOT who I am!

 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:1-2

Well, I guess I didn’t completely blow it. The interview that I went on this week, that is. I mean you’d think that after the phone call, I would have had some kind of epiphany. I would have clarified my “goals”. Are you kidding? My feet have felt like Fred Flinstones as I have been making way around and about in the circles of my life. Yabba – dabba -doo! Yet, my heels have dug in and I have been stopped in my tracks with the possibilities to come. Here is how it looks in list form:
1. Unexpected life event/change
2. Anger
3. Reality knocks
4. Denial
5. Possibility knocks
6. Grief, Denial and Anger mixed= Perceived Injustice
7. Reality Barges In, Possibilities Unseen
8. FEAR @ Future, confidence shaken
9. Faith steps in (about time, where have you been?)
10. Step Out in Faith
11. Fall Flat on Face
12. God sweeps up the mess, sets me back on feet
13. Faith, Peace, God confidence increased

 I have been walking with Him long enough to know,
that when I lose sight of His footprints,
he has not lost sight of mine.

This morning I woke up with the most amazing sense of peace. You know the kind that comes when others have prayed for you, and you know that you know that you know, it is SUPERNATURAL.
What is an END in one sense is a beginning in another.
 NOT the End of the story.
      Redefine -1. To define (as a concept) : REFORMULATE
                          2. a. To reexamine or reevaluate especially with a view to change                          
                                              b. TRANSFORM 
The exciting news is:
He Is Redefining Me
It’s OK, that I do not know what tomorrow will bring,
because I know Him who is the King of Kings!
Wherever He wants me
He will bring it to pass
He directs the hearts of men,
He guides me as I ask
What was meant for my end
will surely bring something new
as I learn to depend
on the one called
 Faithful and True
Why would I doubt Him?
Why should I fear?
What today is unknown
Tomorrow will be clear
Waiting on Him
Seeking His Face
Leaning each day on
His amazing grace
My time is in His hands
each moment, each breath
all of my plans
May I hold on so loosely to who I believe I am
and yield myself freely
To the Great I AM.
May I learn to be who He wants me to be
Not bound by roles
which are temporary
I am His
That’s who I am
May I believe with my whole heart
forever His lamb.
©Dawn Paoletta


He has taken me to the banquet hall and his banner over me is love.
Song of Songs 2:4


Could We Redefine the Question?

“The will of God is not something you add to your life.
It’s a course you choose. You either line yourself up with the Son of God…
or you capitulate to the principle which governs the rest of the world.”
Elisabeth Elliot

The first time she asked, I was caught off guard. After all, I had only put my resume out two hours earlier. As I was simultaneously preparing dinner, chatting with my hubby, and  monitoring homework/after school time with my daughter, I nonchalantly picked up the phone, not quite sure about the wisdom in that decision. SO imagine my amazement when I heard this statement, point blank being shot at me, “What are your goals?”  Imagine my relief that she could not see the stupefied expression on my face. Goals? Oh, like for the position I applied for recently? Or, like for the next 45 minutes? I am pretty sure the goal of getting my family dinner and daughter focused on homework and not the latest Apple “app” is probably my “immediate short term goal”. Oh, that’s probably not the right answer. How about the goal of having hair roots that are actually a color on the color chart as opposed to the “steely grey” look that is peaking out of my crown. Or my toes, which have been woefully neglected, and are strongly desiring at the very least a fabulous Fall coat and a good sloughing  as well. Oh, maybe you should know that the ceiling fans are well overdue for the little broom “thingamagiggy” my mom bestowed upon me to address the “work” left, by the very active dust producing fairies that live in our humble abode. Yes, that would be a goal filed under: Immediate Action Required. Goal.
A word I used to cling to like a Holy Grail of sorts. A few years back I went through The Purpose Driven Life   by Rick Warren with a small group (actually two small groups and two separate times). I came up with a mission statement which reads:

“My life purpose is to know God, love Him with passion, trust Him completely, grow in His grace, minister His truth and serve Him wholeheartedly wherever I am, whomever I am with at all times, forever. Amen.”

So, what are my “goals” ? is the question.

1. Goal: (noun) the result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end. 2. Finish.
A goal can be long or short term. I have a short term goal of writing a blog, but the long term goal is to author a book. I had a goal of making a career in Fitness and competing in Bodybuilding and Power lifting. I am finished with those goals. I guess the reason I felt so like the deer in the headlights is that I am currently “goal-less” when I think of the Fitness field. It has always been my passion to help others sort out fact from fiction, with regard to fitness and bring a balanced approach in an otherwise “extreme” and potentially out of balance environment. That approach has always fueled my fire. As of late, extreme is all the rage. I find myself in a challenging position. I know I need to press on. I feel as though I am in the process of being REDEFINED. I am not sure of the direction my faithful, Leader is pointing me.
You see it’s not as if I don’t want to have an answer to the question,
it’s just that my answer is wrapped up in Him.
He is free to DEFINE me anyway He desires.

Many are the plans in a man’s heart,
but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
Proverbs 19:21

Yearning

Wherever we go, God, we’re trying so hard to make every place
 feel like home left behind…
Yearning
One of my very favorite all time songs is called “Yearning” by
Basia Trzetrzelewska , although this song is not “Christian” by definition, it is a song which has always resonated within me. I believe this song accurately describes the longing of our restlessness as unbelievers or as believers seeking that which can only be satisfied by God, through temporal things. In this beautiful song, Basia describes a deep longing to belong, which I think so clearly speaks to the condition of us all, before our hearts belong to Him who is our Forever Home.
I know it is one of my sincerest love songs to my Savior in it’s raw honesty, beauty and truth.  
The song reminds me, how all that we pursue ultimately is a longing of the soul, a yearning, to rest in the everlasting arms of the only one, in whom our heart can ever completely be at home.
I have attached the video so you can hear this beautiful song, however although it is a Rated G video, you may not appreciate the video director’s artistic expression. Hope you still can hear the beauty of this worshipful (to me) song, anyway! It always makes my soul sing along!
2 Corinthians 5:1-5
1 For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. 2 Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, 3 because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. 4 For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
“But I’m yearning no more
’cause I found my home in you
and now it’s where I belong
I gave up the world to be with you”
Words by Basia Trzetrzelewska
Have a wonderfully worshipful weekend, dear friends!
For more worshipful music check out here:

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