One of those days

Lord, please just hold me while I cry.

I have to be strong and I can’t show my tears.

I have to get on and must hide the fears.

Please just hang on to me while I cry. On the inside.

Lord, I trust you.

maxresdefault.jpg

Photo taken from song on youtube “Hold me while I cry” by Karen Peck and New River. I have no copyright.

 

The right thing

The greatest battle is to do the right thing“.
How many times have I chosen to do the wrong thing, chickened out, bailed, avoided facts, hidden anger, pretended all is fine etc… I can’t count them.

God called me. He didn’t force me.
God gave me free will. He does not control me.
God gave me Himself. He does not demand but asks for my heart.

Doing the right thing in this world is truly the greatest battle. I may win some, I will loose more, but I can’t loose my first love because His love is unconditional.

Lord, help me to do the right thing every time. Help me to hear and follow your will all the time. Lord, help me to stay close to you and never waver in my faith.
Amen22e8fac1455c3d8c66e90377864ddfdf

Swept off my feet

If I told you the past week had been a ride beyond description it would be just about accurate. The week began with the hospital starting to talk about sending my dad home. Since I’m here and in his house and since the hospice would prioritize people who are cared for at home it sounded like a great idea.

My concerns were many: Could my dad’s home care helpers handle his pains? They come sudden and strong and frequently. Could my daughter handle his groans of pain? Could I? What would it take for me to care for him at home?… As the week progressed and we reached Thursday, the nurse came and sat down asking what kind of helping equipment was present at home etc. I expressed my concerns and very calmly the nurse told me it wasn’t my concern, but the responsibility of the home care team. Well… if you are the person handling daily things in the home, then “not your concern” rings pretty hollow!

I prayed. I asked my prayer warriors around the world to pray. I cried and begged God to do something, to help me through this, give me strength, patience, endurance, peace of heart…
Well, the Lord did more than that! In a Blast from the Heavens I was swept off my feet: I walked into the palliative care unit room where my dad has resided the past month and found him on the phone –  and a nurse who informed that he had been offered a place in the hospice from this Monday! Praise Him!!…

What is impossible with man, is possible with God!
This is beyond a shadow of doubt the work of the Lord and His answer to prayers. So Amazing that I’m still rather shocked and pretty choked up about it.
The Joy is Amazing. Though it’s a sad time in life and it won’t get easy, He is surely here!

6776635-beautiful-sunrise-wallpaper

The day I adopted my doctor

I’m so happy, so thrilled, so amazed – I think I have been exalted!

Yesterday morning the Lord took me to one special Bible verse where Paul writes to the church in Corinth calling the believers there “sons”. Because, he writes, he brought the good news to them he became their father (role model if you will), not leaving out that we only have one Father. I have never before stopped and wondered about that, for everyone I know refers to the body of Christ as one family, brothers and sisters in Christ. But Paul calls them “sons”.
As their father Paul teaches and corrects and loves his sons in Corinth, I’m sure the believers there loved Paul back with an amazing and grateful love.

1 Corinthians 4:15
For even if you have ten thousand guardians in your Christian life, you have only one father. For in your life in union with Christ Jesus I have become your father by bringing the Good News to you.

The Lord brought a father-figure and a sister into my life to draw me closer to Him. The father figure is my doctor (still is – even though we now live quite far from each other) and we still have almost daily contact. There is not one person I admire and possibly adore more than this godly man who loved and prayed me all the way to Jesus – and then loved, taught, corrected and prayed me beyond. Not because I was or am sick as pr. see, but he loves.

So with this verse in mind I asked my doctor if I could adopt him as father.
He said yes – and I’m dancing a happy dance.
I’m pretty sure it won’t change much between us. After all, age wise he could actually be my dad and we already have a wonderful friendship and fellowship and I trust him more than anyone else.
I’m grateful and happy because I know my own dad is suffering and I will loose him within too long, but the Lord once again has provided for me and He did so long before I even knew I would need it.

The Lord may take away, but He provides always what is needed.
In Jesus

4b294a9b82d94fdfdb2682876716e542

Believe and pray – Pray and believe

One of the most amazing gifts God gives His people is the ability to hear Him.
Think about how grand that is… The God who holds the universe, is bigger than the universe, the Creator of the universe, has given you the ability to hear Him speak! Even if you are 100% deaf – God’s voice can be heard!

I have many things to ask the Lord for and I have had for a long time.
Recently, praying for my dad and for my girl has been hard. I don’t really know why but I would pray and mean it – but somewhere inside my heart I was doubting if God would actually do it.
Faith is not knowing that God can, but that He will… “Ask and you shall receive”:

– Mark 11:24 “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

But praying for the incredible miracle it surely will take for my dad to believe left me doubting if God would do that. Praying for my daughter seems like a never ending emotional roller coaster. The struggles she is facing and my own desire to give her a deeper knowledge and trust in Jesus left me wondering if my prayers were selfish, ignorant, possible… But then God spoke:

James 1:6 “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”

– And I immediately realized that He just wanted me to trust that He would answer and do as I prayed He would do. But I was doubting. Not that He could, but if He would.

If I believe in Jesus, then I will pray.
And when I pray, I must believe Him.

So instead of praying and praying and praying, I began praying and believing that God will do as I ask Him.

Since then, despite my dad’s situation is still the same or possibly worsening, my daughter is slowly opening up and showing her emotions more clearly in places and with people whom she would not open up to before. Her counselor being one of them. Her teacher another. Without a doubt; God’s hand is working in her life and just the other morning we had a conversation about love and loving others and as she complained a bit I asked her; “How can I show you that I love you?”
And as she walked through the school doors she turned and said “Pray for me”.
That is something I dare to promise her.

I shall pray and I will believe His hands are working even before “amen”.
Amen.

miracles.

Prayer

I have this amazing friend who has a heart chasing after Jesus like no other racetrack car I have ever met before. The feeling I get around her, is vulnerability. With her I allow myself to become vulnerable without even thinking or deciding to do so. I believe that I can say in all honesty; That doesn’t happen with any other friend the Lord has Blessed me with.
She has a crush on prayer! Yes, I think I can call it a crush… she learned how to pray in various ways and truly it amazes me how close she is to Jesus. In many ways I may be a bit envious of that closeness.

Once I surrendered to Jesus, I have found it much easier to trust Him rather than any human being. Not from a “He is without sin and would never gossip anyway” point of view, but from the sense of complete and perfect love I feel in His omniscient presence.

I surely have no recipe for “feeling His presence”. But I love praying and I do so in a vast variety of ways. I can do the standard prayer, the Lord’s prayer, follow some pattern to pray correctly. But really, I believe that prayer comes down to:
Communication with the Lord. From my heart to His and from His to mine.
– And communication can take many forms.

The standard folded hands and bowed head… yes indeed. But I also enjoy “laundry prayer”, which is another word for “having a conversation with God”. I can do this any time, any place. Doing laundry isn’t quite as daunting when you are talking to and listening for God’s voice, message or whichever way He chooses to speak. Vacuuming, dishwashing, folding laundry, tidy up, washing floors etc suddenly becomes secondary stuff you just do.
Or maybe just “praying-on-the-go”. I enjoy taking a walk and just talk with God as I stroll down the streets and paths. It doesn’t even have to be in beautiful surroundings as on a picture perfect postcard.

I realize that to some it may sound disrespectful to the Lord, perhaps some would even use stronger words for it, but I believe that all God ever really wanted is relationships with His children.
Relationships are based on communication.
Talking with God, e.g. praying, is communication.

Prayer is a two-way communication. I must speak and I must listen.
With or without folded hands. Bowed head or my nose high in the air hoping to smell the sweet fragrance of my Lord. Hands reaching up visually giving my heart to Him or to Praise Him or to hold them up as if waiting for Him to place something in my hands… that will eventually end up in my heart.

Praise-God-through-hard-times

An open heart – A heart cracked open for Jesus. Surrendering all to Him.

I’m just a girl. I write from my heart and I write about what Jesus lays on my heart. That’s it. It’s that simple and that complicated. I’m no theologian. I’m certainly no pastor. I’m not a great leader. But I love God with all my heart. That’s the hardest and easiest thing in the world.

The picture I’m attaching to this post is one of my all time favorite pictures. It’s me – being baptized. How I remember that full week! Sure, I got absolutely soaked – but I also felt the love overflowing from God in ways I had never imagined possible.

Jesus chased me from when I was a teen. I remember His presence a couple of times and how He was urging me to let Him in. I foolishly rejected Him because I was afraid; my family would ridicule people of any religion, my friends probably would stop being my friends, Christians were boring (or so I thought) etc… He went away and I lived a fast life full of loud music, dancing, boys, long nights… no, I never did drugs but I suppose you could say that I saw the better part of the nights during those years. I would leave home Friday evening around 9 pm and return around 5 or 6 am. Sleep most of the day and do the same the following night. And I was miserable. I learned many lessons the hard way. Looking back, I have no idea how I managed to make it through school and even less understanding of why my parents allowed me, but then again, they perhaps would have been unable to stop me anyway.

It was rather late in life when I surrendered to Jesus. I was 38. Not as late as many others when they come to faith, but for someone who has known Jesus calling since teenage years, I was a slow poke! The Lord moved me away from my family. 10.000 kilometers to be more exact. But there He began a slow but gradual work. I’m humbled to the core of my heart when I look back and I can see how God has moved in my life just to reach me. Tearjerking.

I didn’t intend to write my testimony here, but knowing a bit about my background might help understand what surrender means to me. The one who has been forgiven much, loves much – as Jesus pointed out after the woman of ill repute washed His feet with her tears, wiped them with her hair and poured expensive perfume on Him. When it comes to surrender, I feel I strongly relate to that girl.

Now – the surrender part…

I often find myself in the midst of “surrender” conversations with fellow believers and hear how they deal with it and struggle with it and it made me ask the question, if surrender looks the same to each person. As for me, it’s a clear all or nothing surrender. But for many others it’s a small part of themselves they lay at His feet. e.g. their longing to control things or life. The struggle seems to be that whatever was left at His feet, comes back to them. At least most of the time though not all the time. So I suppose my next obvious question would be; was it totally surrendered to Him in the first place. Surely I believe it’s possible to leave parts (e.g. control, pride, gossip) at His feet, as we are all individually created and thus, we have different ways, and – God is in control of it all whether we lay it down for Him or not. But He does ask for a total surrender and surrendering parts have me wondering if that in reality isn’t really more of a repentance (which is good!) than a surrender. I don’t have the answer to that!

I’m not pointing a finger at anyone here, but I am struggling with this subject. I know in my heart that I have totally surrendered and submitted to my Lord. But, if a day comes and my daughter or husband’s life is in danger – can I then honestly say that it’s okay for this is His will? If they are saved then yes, I believe I can. Not claiming I will find it easy because I guarantee you I will not! But if they are not saved, then… ouch.

Do we need to be surrendered for our prayers to be answered? Perhaps not. God is sovereign and He answers prayers according to His will. Does it not require a willingness to surrender for Him to answer a prayer of surrender? Even Jesus when he went off to a solitary place to pray and communicate with our Father would do so to hear the Fathers will. Even in Gethesemane, Jesus prayed “your will, not mine”.

I have a lot to say about prayer and I would love to keep writing – but for now, I will post this and then prepare breakfast for my husband, who is on his way home on the 8 hour long night bus drive, after his first week in Tatsuno as tanshin funin (provider living away from home). He surely deserves a good healthy breakfast and we have missed him!

In Jesus – my Lord I pray blessings into the life of everyone who reads this. May you all surrender to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and mine.

IMG_3172

An hour with the Lord

Okay, I went detox… After this time of experiencing sadness in a way I have never felt before, I did what any sad girl would do: Pray. Well actually, I didn’t at first. My trouble wasn’t that I didn’t want to pray or didn’t have words, but rather that I had no alone time with peace to pray. But then one of those devotionals aimed at women was sent to my inbox and it began with this:

“…you are a chosen [woman], a royal priesthood, a holy [daughter], God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9

It came up in several places like facebook too and even in a book I’m reading. Being God’s special possession – wow, what a privilege! He called me into the light… So in the midst of the holiday ends, school starts, husband sick moments of my day I looked out the window and asked the Lord to give me the time and peace to be alone with Him.

You know what – God answers prayers!!

Sunday morning my daughter woke up too early as it has been a habit of hers lately (unknowingly taking my prayer time) but she fell asleep again and my husband was curled up in his duvet and thus, I snuck out – grabbed my Bible and made myself that cup of coffee and I sat down gazing out of the window as the sun was warming up the blue sky. It was magical – to be alone with my Jesus again. I told Him about all my sadness inside, I cried it out (okay, I sobbed!) and then I asked Him to give me the peace of heart and mind I needed. And He answered that prayer too.

I know I am now back where I am supposed to be. And… then again; Not quite. The Lord isn’t finished with me yet, thankfully and thus the verse that continually comes up for me to read, on facebook, in books, in devotionals, in sermons etc is this:

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience”. – Colossians 3:12 as well as Matthew 25:31-46 where Jesus talks about serving the least of His brothers and sisters. What I went through and may go through is also a call to serve Jesus by serving others. Showing them compassion and gentleness because I might know how they feel inside. It’s a call to turn around and encourage others.

Praise the Lord for bringing back colors to my life!

IMG_6736

A short letter to Jesus.

cropped-in-the-midst-of-the-storm2.jpg

Dear Jesus.

Though I am in awe of your cross. Though I am grateful for your sacrifice. Though I understand you had to suffer to save me.

What brings me to my knees and humbles me the most, is knowing how you pursued me even before I wanted you. It makes me cry to think about the way you wooed me to yourself with a patience that lasted longer than 15 years. You never gave up and left me to the world. You continued to return and kept on calling.

I will be forever thankful for the love, grateful for your patience, but most of all; I will be forever humbled by your enduring everlasting love that brought me to your heart.

Now I am the one in constant pursuit of you my Dear Jesus. I am craving and desiring you to fill my every moment with your presence. Every void in my heart that shows up as the world tramples me down.

Please Jesus, give me more faith to trust you with all the Blessings you have given me. Help my unbelief and keep me close to you.

In your loving Name of Grace and Beauty I pray. Amen.

————–

One thing that busts stress better than anything else, is to “Be still, and know that He is God”. To be humble before the Lord on your knees. Asking Him to help and then trust that He will. Because He will! He does. All the time.

But I find that oftentimes we need to remind ourselves of the “why” we are humble before Him. For me it’s thinking about the personal relationship He wanted to have with me and showing me by pursuing me for so many years (which to Him may have seemed like a second) – before I even wanted Him. For you, it may be something completely different.

Deuteronomy 14:2 – The 3 P’s

morning star rises in your hearts

Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the LORD has chosen you to be his treasured possession.– Deuteronomy 14:2

The 3 P’s (is just a title to this post) stands for the Presence of Jesus, the Protection He provides and the Peace He willingly gives. As His treasured and chosen possession you are infinitely important to Him. When we fight our daily battles of spiritual warfare having Satan knocking down our walls, or our need to control and plan everything out to the smallest detail adding stress to our lives it’s pretty hard to continue to know that each chosen one of God can find; His Presence, His protection and His peace.

Have you ever tried? When your daily life grows over your head and you feel like you drown, have you tried to lay it all down, throwing your hands in the air, calling on Jesus? Well… yeah… we do it all the time, right? What if you could sense His presence all the time? Feel His protection in every moment? Having His peace deeply engraved in your heart at all times?

I believe we can. Because God created us for relationship with Him, I trust that He is willing and more than able to provide the 3 P’s to anyone who asks. To obtain this we must lay down ourselves and spend time with Jesus in peace and quiet moments, asking Him to talk. It may take some time to learn how to do this, but the Lord is faithful and He will answer when He knows you are ready to receive and hear Him. You are more than ready by now… right? I certainly was or so I thought. But it took some time before the Lord answered me and my pleas to feel His presence. I have felt the presence of Jesus very vividly a few times in my life, even before I wanted to believe in Him. Once I did believe in Him He came and showered me with Himself. Today I know He was preparing me for the road of stress, but to deliberately seek Him, learning to “Be still and know that He is God” took time but He answered. He will answer you too.

Ask, Seek, Knock… Those who earnestly seek Him will find Him. It’s a matter of the heart and your willingness or brokenness to receive all that He gives. I was broken and had nothing left in me – But when He answered my unspoken plea for mercy and help, power returned to me and I was filled up. I still struggle daily with the human side of me. Sins committed, unwilling heart, wanting to disobey Him… we all struggle with that and God knows it.

Spiritual warfare – He will give you protection or perhaps allow you to go through it to strengthen and mature you. But do not believe the enemy lie about God not caring or knowing about it!

You find rest for the soul if you can find time for Him. Time… it’s one of the enemy’s favorite things to place on our shoulders: “I do not have time”. Do you love Jesus? He wants to spend time with you. Please, make that cup of tea or coffee and just sit with Him. Learn what it means to “Be still and know that He is God” – Be still can also be translated “relax”, “let go” or “cease striving”.

The Peace of God that surpasses all understanding – will come to you if you can surrender. Lay down all the troubles, heartache, pondering problems and everything in between by His feet and then wait for that Peace to flow into your heart. I am not saying it’s easy, but it’s worth it! Talk to Him.

“He is our God.
We are the people he watches over,
the flock under his care.
If only you would listen to his voice today!”

– Psalm 95:7