Thursday, August 30, 2012

His great power for us... 

"I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of His mighty strength, which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at the right hand in the heavenly realms..." Ephesians 1:17-20

One of my favorite scriptures.  Just breath it in today.  Meditate on the richness of promise, hope, and blessing in this one little passage. ~

Be blessed.
Love, Dawn

"Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and He will say: Here am I." Isaiah 58: 8, 9~

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My Anything #2- Fear of Man

This post has been on my heart for sometime.  I have prayed for the right time to share.  I have prayed for the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  It is my desire, my deepest heart's desire that it will ignite a huge flame in the heart of every reader.  Never before, have I shared such an intimate testimony.  To be God the glory, all the honor, all the praise, and all the thankfulness.  All my life.  His touch will forever transform.  I adore Him for that... and so much more.

On December 8th of 2009, I was baptized in the Holy Spirit.  The breath of heaven washed over me in a way I could have only hoped to have known, felt, experienced.  My heart wanted it so badly.  My soul knew it lingered there for a long time...waiting to explode... to ignite a holy fire... to start to refine like never before.  I have been left forever marked... forever changed... forever wanting... more.

We had a small group meeting in our home.  The way the Lord worked all that out is heavenly!  We started the group in hopes of helping/encouraging couples with marriage.  To pray for our marriages, support, hold each other accountable... all that stuff!  Which is great stuff.  Really great stuff.  But God had another idea.

People weren't signing up!  HA HA  Seemed like no one wanted a "marriage" small group.  Our pastor encouraged us to call some people.  Don and I felt strongly that God would send whom He had decided... even if it was two couples.  And so we waited.  People started signing up and we ended up with three dedicated couples, plus ourselves.  We asked them what they wanted to do.  We explained that we didn't want to have a "plan" but wanted the group to meet the needs of everyone there.  Everyone quickly agreed to let the Spirit be in control and guide it.  Excellent decision number one!  We ended up being a prayer life group.  Excellent decision number two!  We ministered to each other and grew in love and friendship and the Holy Spirit was present and amazing.  Each time, people would hear similar things and it would be totally apparent what we needed to do for each other that night.

One of the couples laughed and finally shared that when the Lord told them to sign up for our group, they were disappointed!  LOL  They thought, "marriage"... really???? But they were obedient.  They had experienced the baptism of the Holy Spirit and were the very ones God called to lead us in closer to Him.  I praise Him for that.  B and J... your obedience to the Spirit... excellent decision number three!

Soon, our little group was encountering His presence every time we gathered and it was amazing.  It was Holy.  It was beautiful.  Then one night, another woman started praying in the Spirit for the first time.  At first, I thought she was crying and I reached out and put my hand on her leg.  Suddenly, I could feel power flowing through her like I had my finger in an electrical outlet and I knew what it was.  I knew this woman to be a true, warrior, lover of the LORD and so I knew to trust what was happening.  When you feel, literally feel, the power of the LORD... there is not much else to think it is!

After that night, I was on my face in my room, begging the LORD to touch me like that.  As a believer, I know I am sealed with the Holy Spirit.  And I know that Christ dwells inside me.  I had experienced promptings of the Holy Spirit for years.  And I had experienced two, what I call... "washings" of the Holy Spirit in the deepest darkness of Abby's illness, where I immediately knew God had spoken/answered me in the Spirit.  So I was already hungry for any interaction with the Spirit I could get.  I had no fear.  How could I fear being saturated with the living power of God Almighty that He sent to us in exchange for Jesus returning to heaven?  Christ told the disciples they would be GLAD Jesus was returning BECAUSE THEN God could send the Spirit.  Now the Spirit must be something AMAZING if we are to be GLAD JESUS is back in heaven so we can receive it!

I prayed and prayed.  And waited and waited.  Nothing.  I told the LORD, "That is ok.  I will wait.  I know you have this for me.  And I will wait and love you and seek you... always."

During this time we were invited to go to a Tuesday night house church that worshiped freely in the Spirit.  What I mean by this is this:  The person who "led" the group would feel God put something on his heart to share that night with the group.  He and his wife and others would pray all week for God to show them, guide them to what He wanted then to share and talk about.  Then when we would meet, we would worship.  If the LORD put a scripture on someone's heart, they could stand and share it.  Then someone else might add to it.  Then someone else would share a testimony.  Then two others would share how that was exactly what God had been telling them that week and they would share.  Then we would worship... praising the LORD for hours sometimes.  

They were having a night for healing prayers.  The night was dedicated to crying out to the LORD for healing for ourselves and others.  Of course, Abby was on my heart.  My heart wanted to ask for prayer for the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  But I felt it was selfish to ask.  I wanted Abby's healing before I wanted mine.  I wanted it with everything I had inside me.  THAT was why I was going.

So we went.  And amazingly, two other couples from our small group were there.  Four of them went up for prayer.  When they did, they were asked if we (Don and I) were with them.  They answered yes.  They then asked them to ask us to join them up there.  I was waiting for the LORD to tell me what to do and when and so we went up and joined them.  (*Note* Later, they shared that that week, the Lord told them that 6 people were coming who were in need of healing. That's why they asked if we were with them... we made 6.  It was my first time there.  A couple in our small group had been going for a while and had often asked us to join them.)

One by one, we were asked what we needed.  One by one, we shared.  When they got to me, I was asked what I wanted.  "I am here to pray for healing for my daughter."  This woman looked at me, like she was looking at me for the first time and asked again, "What are "YOU" here for?"  I knew in that moment.  She knew.  She was looking deep into my soul and it cried out... TELL HER!  So I did.  "I want to be baptized in the Holy Spirit."  She asked, have you never been baptized in the Spirit?  "No," I answered.

*I feel I must interrupt the flow here for a moment.  I am not a biblical expert.  But here is what I know.  I was baptized at 11 years of age because I was told that if I died that day I would go to hell because I knew right from wrong and was not a Christian.  I was baptized out of fear.  Later in my life, in my twenties, when I realized that being a christian was about a surrendered and obedient relationship with the Father who loved us SO much that He sent Jesus to take my place in death and judgement, I was re-baptized into Christ out of humble thankfulness and to be buried with Him in my death and risen again in new life.  They were totally different from each other.  But I know, what I know, from what happened to me, that water baptism is symbolic of the washing of my sins, being buried with Him in the tomb, and then risen again into new life.  The baptism of the Holy Spirit is different.  It is a washing of the Spirit.  It was Christ baptizing with fire.  I will share scriptures for this at the end.*

As she layed hands on me, doubt tried to step in and tell me this was a crock.  She simply prayed that I would be washed in the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  She continued to pray and I felt my knees start to slide down.  "What are you doing," I heard myself ask myself?  "Do not go down on the floor," I told myself... or actually... Satan told me.  The battle was raging.  I could feel it.  It was unbelievable.  Then "surrender" came to me over and over and over... "surrender" washed over and me I said, "I surrender."  At that moment my mouth started moving and I was not moving it.  Then waves of power started rolling through me like my finger was in a light socket.  And so I let go... and fell into it.


As my mouth moved and the most beautiful words I have ever heard flowed out... my heart felt as if it would burst.  I was overcome with so much joy I thought I would really explode.  I started laughing as I continued to hear words roll from my mouth that were the Spirit's words.  It felt as if a tiny window in heaven had opened and there was this direct chord from me to God.  I could not believe that God was so gracious to show Himself to me like this.  My laughing then turned to tears as I was overcome with so much humbleness and gratitude... who was I for the LORD to touch me like this.  I am just a girl.  I am just me.  And You are You... God.  And THIS.  You are showing me THIS.  It felt like every prayer I had ever prayed, every emotion I had ever had, every fear, every longing was spilling out in such rapid fashion that I could not even swallow my spit!  And I was afraid to stop long enough to swallow my spit because I wanted it to last forever. I lied there for what I thought was 15 minutes.  My husband told me it was an hour.  The most amazing hour of my entire life.  I no longer just had faith in the Holy Spirit.  I had knowledge.  He was more real than I had ever even tried to fathom.  I was blown away.  Forever, forever changed.  The spiritual had become physical before me.  The two realms were present before me and my eyes were opened.  I can only shake my head as I remember this for the first time.  I thought I would never be able to move again!

The next day, doubt (Satan) came back to tell me that what happened was not real.  So I got back down on my sweet floor... face down, and I asked the LORD to touch me again... to confirm what had happened... that I only wanted Him and ALL of Him I could get... right here on earth.  And it happened again... right there on my sweet floor.


I was like Dorothy in the "Wizard of Oz"!  I felt like I had been living in black and white.  I only knew black and white.  But I felt like there was more.  And then, the door was opened... to a world of color.  Nothing would be the same.  Ever.  It had been right there... right there!

I wondered how I would even be able to grocery shop again.  How could I just do anything "normal" like that again!  LOL  I just wanted to hole up in my room and pray and pray and pray.  I dove into the bible with a hunger like I had never known.  Digging and digging for treasure.  And God answered.  That year was a huge year for us as we discovered our identity in Israel, beauty of treasures hidden in the original language of the Word, and people started coming out of the wood work who were experiencing the same thing.  I began having vivid dreams and was simply addicted to the LORD!  Glory Hallelujah.

Sadly, the enemy is never far behind. 
 "The enemy will not see you vanish into God's company without an effort to reclaim you." --C.S. Lewis  

Of course, once you know the door to the world of color is right there... right there for the taking... waiting to be sought, waiting to be knocked on, waiting to be opened... you want to tell everyone.  I was giddy.  Seriously.  I smile just to remember.  But not every one wants to hear it.  And not every one wants to know.  And not every one wants to celebrate with you.  Enter in a new set of spiritual warfare attacks.  I have friends and even family who think I am "that" one.  There are even people we worship with who think I am "that" one.  Now I can laugh.  Praise the LORD.  I AM THAT ONE!  I AM SOLD OUT.  I HAVE BEEN TOUCHED AND I AM THAT ONE.  AND I AM FINALLY FREE TO SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOF TOPS!  

It affected friendships.  It affected my blogging.  It brought on more warfare with the enemy.  It affected my worship.  That was a hard one.  I would feel the Spirit start to ignite/manifest... whatever you want to call it... during worship and I would shut it down for fear of what people would think.  Satan would tell me, "Everyone thinks you just want to be seen." And I would listen, agree with him, and shut down the Spirit.  One day at church, I literally had a napkin in my mouth as the Spirit just went to town!  I was on the praise team and I would feel it coming... and I would shut it down.  You can either surrender and go with it or you can clamp down and shut it down.  I was on stage at church, singing with the praise team, and it arrived.  I had entered the throne room in worship.  Forgotten where I was and really entered in... really was worshiping.  Suddenly, I stood as rigid as I could and clamped my mouth tight and stood there almost in tears.  The word says to use your gifts to encourage one another.  It also says not to quench or grieve the Spirit.  I was telling Him, "No, not here, not now."  My heart was pierced deeply.  I quit praise team and I went home and went to bed and cried and cried and cried.  I promised I would never shut Him down ever ever again.  That if He ever graced me with His presence again like that, I didn't care who I was with or where... He could have His way with me.  I am just the vessel.  And I want to be used and obedient.  And oh how I want His presence!

I launched into a study on the Holy Spirit and became solid in my belief for what had happened... what was happening... and grew in my desire and delight for it.  Slowly I began to realize that I would share when the occasion presented itself... or should I say... God presented the situation.  I also realized I could leave a room if I needed to... but still not shut it down.  I have had the privilege of sharing with several people who have since experienced this and who were seeking for more.  Others are asking and still seeking.  It is a sweet gift to share something so sweet with someone wanting more!  To see people's lives changed from such an encounter is a gift. 

So there it is.  I have prayed about when to share.  I so wanted to share.  But there is this little thing... fear of man... that the enemy likes to taunt me with... about what people will think...say... respond.  But that is not up to me.  Even Christ was accused of being possessed by Satan by the religious leaders when He spoke God's word and performed miracles.  Who am I to also not be accused of what ever man may say?  What is up to me is to be a reflection of Christ.  To share how real He is.  To share about how the Holy Spirit is the agent of His power on earth and it is very alive and active.  To live for Him, to grow in Him, to be used by Him.  And that is what I long to do.  More than anything.

More than anything. 

I am singing again.  I see how Satan attacks my worship with his lies.  I realized that I was giving in to him and not doing what God created me to do... worship Him.  Worship is my passion.  I can not do it enough.  It is a verb.  It is an action.  My favorite way to worship is in song.  I still struggle, hearing Satan's lies and attacks as he strives to quiet me.  But I will keep worshiping as long as I have breath.

This Sunday we are singing, "Awake my Soul" by Chris Tomlin.  You can listen to it at the end.  After listening to it about 20 times in 2 days... I realized I was being called to awaken again.  To get out of the distraction of life and awaken.  And the Spirit said... share.  And I was obedient.  So I am laying down my "anything" of "fear of man".  And I boldly proclaim who He is... in ALL HIS GLORY.  He is my everything.

I pray you are blessed in some way.  And I pray that the flame of the LORD'S heart and Spirit romances each and every one of you!

These scriptures were helpful for me in my journey.  I pray, if you have ever felt, in your Spirit, that there is more... there is.  Please seek it... and you shall find it!

"The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned."  
1 Corinthians 2:14~

1 Corinthians 12- (1)" Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: (3) therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. (4) There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.  There are different ministries, but the same LORD.  And there are diversities of activities, but the same God who works all in all. (7)  But the MANIFESTATION OF THE SPIRIT IS GIVEN TO EACH ONE FOR THE PROFIT OF ALL: (8) for one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another working of miracles, to another prophesy, to another discerning spirits, to another different kinds of tongues. (11) But one and the same Spirit works all these things DISTRIBUTING TO EACH ONE INDIVIDUALLY AS HE WILLS.

Spiritual gifts are there for every believer.  Each one.  The Holy Spirit decides what gifts He wills you to have.  But we are told to "earnestly desire the best gifts" in verse 31. 

All the gifts exist to edify or build up the church as a whole, as well as each individual member/believer.  What better reason for Satan to attack this area in our lives!?

Acts 10:44-46, Acts 19:1-6 show that after one receives the baptism of the Holy Spirit, an initial act that follows is the person's ability to speak in tongues, or pray in the Spirit.  Acts 19 shows clearly that they were believers who had not yet been baptized in the Spirit.

"And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus.  And finding some disciples he said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" So they said to him, "We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.  And he said to them, "Into what then were you baptized?  So they said, "Into John's baptism."  Then Paul said, "John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, on Christ Jesus.  When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.  And when Paul laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied."    Acts 19:1-6

"While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word.  And those of circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also.  For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.  "Then Peter answered, "Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?  And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord.  Then they asked him to stay a few days."  Acts 10:44-48~

These scriptures confirmed, for me, that the baptism of the Holy Spirit can be at a different time than water baptism into the name of Jesus Christ.

"And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams.  And on my menservants and on my maidservants I will pour out my Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy."  Acts 2:14~

Belief and doubt affect the power of the Holy Spirit.  Christ was not able to do miracles in His own hometown "because of their unbelief."  Matthew 13:53-58~

Luke shows an account where it is mentioned that Christ was able to heal because the power of the LORD, Holy Spirit, was upon Him. 

"Now it happened on a certain day, as He was teaching, that there were Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting by, who had come out of every town of Galilee, Judea, and Jerusalem.  And the power of the LORD was present to heal them."  Luke 5:17~

"Most assuredly, I say unto you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also: and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father."  John 14:12~

This scripture speaks VOLUMES to what our life should be like as a believer.  And Satan doesn't want us to know... doesn't want us to believe.  He wants to silence the power of God and strives for it daily... moment by moment... person by person.  He wants to keep us from the Presence of God and he strives for it daily... moment by moment... person by person.  He has armies on assignment (Ephesians 6:12) and they attack us... daily.  Their job is to KILL, STEAL, and DESTROY.  They steal our gifts, our blessings, our time, our intimacy, our potential, our testimony, our families, our children, our marriages, our health, our ministries, our focus, our relationships, our hearts.  

They hate us with a passion because Christ loved us to death... and saved us.

There is power in the Holy Spirit and in the name of Jesus Christ.  They are gifts to us from God Himself... to be used here.. now.  The gifts of the Holy Spirit are the bonus prizes of becoming a believer.  

This is a great read if you want more information on the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  You can find it on Amazon and in many book stores.

I will end with part of my devotion from last night, from "At His Feet" by Chris Tiegreen.

"One of the foundational dynamics of the kingdom of God is this principle: faith, then sight.  How often do we reverse the order?  Our natural inclination is, "I'll believe it when I see it."  But throughout Jesus' ministry, He is emphatic that we have it backward.  We'll see the glory of God when we believe!  It's one of the hardest principles for Christians to grasp.  The work of the Almighty is dependent on the level of our faith.  It isn't that we limit Him; it's that He has limited Himself.  His modus operandi in this world is to act in response to faith: the prayers of the faith, the obedience of faith, and the attitude of faith.  As incredible as it seems, the biblical witness is that our belief prompts His intervention.  And without belief, He often does not intervene."

"Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?" 
 John 11:40~
The world tells us to believe in ourselves.  The world tells us to believe in Santa, and the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy.  If we spent half the time people spend trying to convince their children to believe in Santa and such into believing in the Holy Spirit... then there would be a revolution for sure!  The word of God tells us to believe in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  And to believe with the faith of a child.
Christ died for us while we were sinners.  But we are risen with Him as a new creation.  And we are called to walk in the Spirit.  We were given authority over the enemy with the name of Jesus.  It is time we use it and break free from bondage that binds our lives in the physical, even though we are seated at the right hand in the spiritual! 


You can read about my #1 Anything here.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Sweet Moments 

It happened this morning.  I opened the door to let the dogs out (yes... dog with a "s") and it slammed into me like a child running full throttle with the greatest gift in her arms.  Crisp cool morning air.  It caught me so off guard, I caught my breath, my soul did a small back flip and the biggest smile covered my face.  The first kiss of the promise of Fall.  Oh joy.  I just giggled at the thought of it... Fall is on her way.  How it can be so HOT right now is JUST BEYOND me after such a fabulous and lush morning!  Oh delight!  I simply LOVE LOVE LOVE cool mornings!  I threw the kitchen window and made coffee with a slight kick to my step!

This is my Fall banner from last year.  Isn't it yummy?  Doesn't it just make you happy?  Don't you just feel all cozy all over!!??  ME TOO!

Now... on to my "dogs".  We are fostering!  I am so excited.  I have been wanting to save a dog for years now.  Don says "no" every time I beg him to go to the shelter.  If every one just saved ONE... can you imagine all the LOVE shared!  Empty dog cages in shelters instead of dogs being drug down the hallway to be killed.  Oh.  The thought of what happens everyday in MASS QUANTITY just makes me want to scream and stay in bed for a year.  Our world breaks my heart so deeply.  Selfishness of man makes me grieve almost daily.  Whether it is children being turned out onto the street on August 31 from orphanages because they have "aged" out, babies being killed in the womb in mass numbers every hour or massive numbers of animals being abused and killed every day... I just do not know how God can continue to watch His creation be so destructive and heartless.

So.  I often try to "do what I can" and "do my part" knowing/reminding myself daily that I can not save the world.  It is small things.  But it is SOMETHING.  And HOPEFULLY I am teaching my children to be loving, thoughtful, giving, compassionate, and aware.  I stumbled across Angels Among Us Pet Rescue on facebook.  You can see their website here.  They do an AMAZING job finding and rescuing animals from high kill shelters in the ATL area!  Right here in my back yard.  I went through a process.  The posts had me depressed for two weeks.  I really thought I was going to have to "unlike" them because I was depressed like every other day.  No.  Really.  I would see a picture of 6 dogs on the "kill list" for the day and would just want to vomit.  I would cry.  I'd cry on facebook.  I'd cry in the shower.  And then I'd cry in the car.  And I could not shake them.  So I started wondering... could I be a foster?  Would Don let me?  Would I be able to part with a precious baby I had saved?  How would it affect my kids?  How would it affect my dog?  How would it affect our life?  And I prayed.  In a bad, depressed mood, for two weeks.  I waited.  It was SO hard to wait.  I would see more and more dogs and more and more pleas for help/fosters/adoptions.  So then one day last week, I was talking to Don about it.  One dog had captured my heart with week before and there she was again.  I showed him.  And he said, call them... get it!  That was my "go".  That was what I needed.  I had the foster application in that day and we had our home visit the next.  For some reason, I am trusting in God in the details, we did not get THE dog that propelled us forward.  It was weird... the way the whole thing went down... but I had peace.  Friday morning, I saw four dogs on the "PLEASE help us NOW" list and I volunteered to foster any of them.  This is who we got on Saturday morning...

Sassperilla is/was her name.  On the way home, she told Taylor and I that she would love the name Chloe.  So... that is what we are calling her.  She is very much a Chloe.  When they brought her to me and placed her in my arms, she was trembling like a leaf.  Then she pressed her body into mine, snuggled up to my face, and starting licking me like crazy.  She knew.  We were there for her.  And I started bawling.  It was so sweet.  Her ears were down and her tail was tucked.  The kids were in the car waiting... along with our furry little man, Dusty.  She met them all with kisses.  We were all smitten.  Her crate was in the back of the van and Abby sat back there and read books and talked to her on the way home.  Abby has become her biggest fan.  They love each other a lot.  

 She sits in Abby's lap and sleeps with Abby.  She stayed by Abby's side last night and did not move.  Abby talks to her and says, "It's ok little baby.  I am here for you," and "It's ok little girl.  I will take care of you."  It has awakened a very sweet compassion inside of her.  Precious.

 Yes.  The thought has crossed my mind.  Keeping her.  Oh yeah.  I have to battle it daily.  And THIS is what gets me through it:  By finding her a great family and letting her go... we can save another one.  And then another one.  Until God closes that door.  I will have made the smallest difference in the horror that befalls so many of these loving and voiceless animals.  THAT makes me smile.  THAT gives me strength.  THAT is such a blessing to my soul.

So here is what I have made for this precious little one.

 Isn't it a great little poster!

She has just started giving me eye contact on a regular basis.  The first day, I would get down on the floor and lie in front of her and talk to her in my smoopy lovey dovey precious doggy voice.  On several occasions, she would cover her little eye with her paw.  Tears.  So much sadness.  Just made my heart ache.  But I loved and loved and loved and loved her.  And last night... her tail came out from her hiding place and was waving high behind her like a happy little flag!  What joy!  She looked at me when I talked to her and wagged her precious little tail.  S-W-E-E-T.  Just three days with her and she is already healing and trusting.  I don't deserve such a precious gift!

So we are searching and praying for this little one to have a family soon.  I know it will be someone special!  Could be you... :0)

Much love...

POST EDIT:  She has stolen my heart even more.  Last night, she played for the first time.  I put on my shoes to run an errand and she ran towards my feet and popped them with her feet and then spun around in a little circle and crouched down in the "pounce" position.  It was precious!!  So I bought a small ball at the store and brought it home to her and she immediately started popping it around on the floor and chasing it like a little cat!  What a sweet surprise to see such a sweet playful personality!  I got down to try and get her ball and she gave the "growl" all the while wagging her tail and then dropped the ball into my hand.  LOVE.  She is going to be such a wonderful addition to a very blessed family!  I will miss her like crazy.  She brings the sweetest purest joy to my heart!  :0) 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Count your blessings... name the one by one...
      count your blessings see what God has done...

I have another "Anything" post to write but it will take some time I just haven't had.  It has been a rough few days with Abster.  Heart breaking.  We need help.  So I can only recount some blessings before I go to bed and try to let the last thoughts of my day be thankful ones.  God is here.  In the midst of the storm.  And He asks me to get out of my boat and walk on water.  I must, I must, I must keep my eyes on HIM and only HIM and not the storm around me.  Or I will sink.

* yellow birds on my bird feeder
* sweet words from my mother
* encouraging words from a friend's daughter, totally blew me away and I am deeply grateful
* encouraging words from a stranger, the LORD using her to again lift my heart
* pink clouds across the sky
* family fun, laughter and joy at a $2 movie
* the surprise of Abby's well timed sense of humor
* a night of sleep without one interruption... a rare delight
* cold glass of pink lemonade while children play in the sprinkler
* books arriving in the mail
* scripture that calls my name and feeds my soul
* daughter excited about scripture used in her school classes, hearts delight
* the hope of Saturday
* the luxury of a washing machine
* my fluffy one greeting me with ball in mouth and excited to play fetch outside
* a little boy's delight in building a tall tower with blocks
* music to the Lord playing through the house on Pandora
* sudden moments of peace
* a moment of realization- perfection does not need to be my goal- and that is ok
* the coolness of night... tiny glimmer of a coming fall... my totally favorite time of year

How many thankfuls do you have for today?

Be blessed.
Much love, Dawn

Monday, August 13, 2012

Every Moment As If

Once again, the beautiful and anointed Ann Voskamp has shared something that causes the core of my soul to sit up and evaluate.  Evaluate my thoughts.  Evaluate my priorities.  Evaluate my heart.  Evaluate my motivation.  Evaluate my focus.  Evaluate my days.  Evaluate my life.  She is so very good at that.  I simply adore her.

I won't go into all the detail of her post but you can read it here.  And I so encourage you to read it.  It will leave a fingerprint on your heart.  One worth having there.  

How would my life look if I were about to be murdered?  If I were standing there with a gun pointed to my head?  A knife at my throat?  A knife moments away from piercing me many times?  What would be going through my head?  What would be my final plea?

Now what would I do if someone, a stranger, a friend, a relative, stepped before me and said, "Take me," and it was granted.  I was released to live and that person was murdered.  How would that moment... that sacrifice change my every moment of living?  How would every thing from that moment on look with that sacrifice as the backdrop.  Ann's post left me wondering.

Gratitude does not even begin to seem like a big enough word that would bathe every moment of my life from that moment of pardon/freedom/salvation.  Every day I would be overcome with the presence of life and the beauty she shares.  I doubt I would not waste many moments.  I think I might feel there was purpose to my life now.  The sacrifice would probably replay before me many times... flooding me with gratitude over and over.

Yet, THIS is the VERY thing that Christ did for me. Sacrifice.  Taking my place, taking the death that I deserve. Why can that slip my mind as often as it does... that sacrifice He did for me?  The realness of it.  The personal-ness of it.  The rawness and desperate deep love of it.  How is it that every day I am not bathed in the gratitude that causes me to take every moment I am given for the gift it really, really is?  Why do I so let the enemy come in with lies and attacks and steal and rob from me the very life that Christ so sweetly gave me in those moments?  It breaks my heart.  Is it because I was not there to witness it with my eyes?  Does it seem that removed?  I was there... on his heart... on his lips as he spoke my name.  I was there with my sin and my selfishness.  I am here, now, because He was there then.  And I will be with Him forever in eternity because He was there... on that cross... in those moments of sacrifice... for me... instead of me.  For you.  For every man, woman and child.

My prayer today is that I/we can come to live a life that is saturated with the complete awareness of what Christ did for me/us, as if it were just as hour ago, and not thousands of years.  As if I were in parking lot about to meet my end and He stepped forward and took my place.  Oh the joy that should come from knowing that Jesus Christ came to earth to bring me life and salvation.  Oh the joy that should come with knowing He is with me now, every moment, interceding on my behalf, and living in me.  Gratitude is just not a big enough word.  But it is wonderful place to start.

I have been working on my gratitude list.  I let life distract me and can go many days without writing them down... even though I see them.  I must get back to it.  The writing of them, remembering them, counting them and embracing them as the sweet love notes from the LORD that they are... and be transformed by them.

* One single daisy reaching for the warmth of the sun
* Laughter from children playing with clothes
* Wind blowing our hair as storm approaches
* Lack of time schedule today
* Sleeping in
* Three little fish jumping with excitement for their food
* Long talks with my girl about the world and her open heart to receive truth
* Connecting with my husband
* A friend asking our family to help another family walk through a hard time with child's illness
* Extra vitamins to share with those in need
* Being touched by a stranger's wisdom
* Love notes from friends
* Peace with saying "no"
* Clean kitchen sinks :0)
* Children happy to do chores
*  Excitement for school to start
* Sincere and constant doggy love
* Baby birds on the bird feeder
* Chipmunk with STUFFED cheeks
* Tomatoes on the vine against all odds
* Fresh cut grass
* Unfolding of  peach roses
* Crickets, grasshoppers, and locusts starting their evening song of praise to the LORD
* Comfortable beds awaiting us for rest
* Frozen yogurt with several toppings
* Facebook note from "daughter" in Latvia... calling me MOM
* Sweet phone conversation with my dad

And I am sure I missed several!

Much love, Dawn~

Thursday, August 09, 2012


I first want to thank so many of you who reached out to me after my last post about my first "anything".  I am so humbled sometimes with how the LORD Himself reaches out to me through you.  From precious sisters at church to sweet friends on facebook, I received notes and personal confessions of... "that is so me," and "I could have signed my name to that post."  I am always encouraged to continue to share my heart here when I hear that.  So many of us mothers can struggle with letting our kids go and really trusting them to the LORD.  Whether it is our first born going off to college, our baby around the world on a missions trip, our daughter choosing the wrong friends, or health issues... remembering the LORD of the universe holds them and is in control is sometimes very hard to remember and even harder to find rest in.

I was also given sweet words of love and encouragement and I say "thank you."  The emotional roller coaster can really wear you out and love is one of the greatest forms of refreshing!

I ordered my book today... along with several others!  I can not wait for them to get here... but will have to! :0)  I am so encouraged by what the LORD has shown me in my effort to identify and lay down my first "anything".  It always inspires me and amazes me how when you really dig in, the LORD will reveal things to you.  You think I would not forget so often but sadly, the distraction of life, especially one running in fast forward all the time, will cause me to become distant and then suddenly I am dog paddling in a rolling sea of lies... and drowning.  That is where I have been... drowning.  As long as I keep struggling and trying to stay afloat and trying to decide where shore is and which one to swim towards, I am wearing myself OUT and the enemy pulls harder and harder to drag me under.  I have to STOP, look above, focus my eyes on Him, cry out to Him, and He reaches down and simply pulls me out.  He doesn't tell me which shore to swim to and then watch me struggle to get there.  He shows me truth that literally plucks me out of the abyss.  How thankful I am for a LIVING GOD that is so intimate with us!

The truth can be so simple yet so profound.  How can I so often miss it?  This past Sunday, I spent the entire day in bed.  We also worship on Saturday night and we did not get home from that worship until midnight.  Sunday, I just wanted to be still and quiet and soak in the LORD.  I spent the day resting in Him.  I read several books of the New Testament in two different versions.  I praised Him in song.  I journaled what He revealed to me and scriptures that really spoke to me.  I sat and listened.  I read a book a friend has loaned me that spoke to me greatly.  It was a time of refilling, refocusing, and refreshing.  I so needed it and was so blessed.

One of the simplest convictions came quickly and pricked me deeply.  I love how the Holy Spirit will do that.  I can say, "I am not trusting the Lord with Abby," and feel like... yeah... I should trust Him with her and am just having a hard time with it.  It doesn't seem "that" bad.  Kind of normal.  Understandable.  But when it is presented like what follows, it convicts and I am led to repent.

Saying I don't trust the LORD is calling Him a liar.  Ouch. Woe.  Wait.  That's not what I meant!
Really?  Anything that opposes the word of God, His promises, His truth, His words... is a lie.  Period.
When the LORD tells me He is in control, that He has our days planned, that He will meet our needs, that He is our healer, that He is our refuge, that He is our strength, that all things work together for good for those who love the LORD, not to worry, (I could go on and on) and I say I don't trust Him... I am saying I do not believe what He says and that He is a liar and His word is not truth.  Doesn't sound so innocent anymore.  Wow.  

I had to let that soak in a little bit.  Isn't it just like satan to make us think our sin, our opposition to the LORD, is not offensive.  That is almost... ok.  It took seeing my "mistrust" in the above light to really see how offensive it is to God and I was heartbroken. 

Then I was given an example.  The example of Job.  In the first few chapter of Job, we can see that Job's children are not living in a manner that is pleasing to the LORD.  They are partying fool biscuits... satisfying and being led by the lust of the flesh.  And what does Job do?  He worries about them.  He offers sacrifices for them and tries to make them right before God.  And he fears.  Fear opens the door to satan... opens it wide.  And Job's fears come true, he loses his children to satan.  WOW.  Job did not let his children go and he didn't trust them to the LORD.  HE held onto them and tried to be in control... he tried to become their god.  Is that what we do when we think we are in control of our children/try to control our children?  We think we are their god?  WOW.

I was so pierced.  I have been trying to be/become Abby's savior.  Without really realizing it, I was trying to become her god.  I was not releasing her fully to the living God.  I was looking/striving for answers.  I was trying to pray the right way... enough.  I was trying to change her.  I was trying to change the situation.  I was trying to grab control of something that seems SO out of control.  But it is NOT OUT OF CONTROL.  It is in God's control.  And suddenly, that precious, precious, precious peace that surpasses all understanding flooded me and I felt rest for the first time in a long long long time.  I sank into it.  And I smiled.  GOD is SO FAITHFUL and SO LOVING to want us to find HIM and experience HIM like this.  I felt as if an iron coat has been lifted off my shoulders and pulled from soul.  It was good.  The LORD is good. (I am not saying, in any way, not to care about what happens to your children, look for medical help, advice, answers or pray for them!  But it can not consume you, become your focus, idol, identity.  You can do those things while trusting the LORD with all of it.)

"Love her."  That is what I hear from the LORD when I ask what I can do for her.  Two words.  Two simple words that hold SO much. "Love her."  In my efforts to change her, rescue her, heal her, help her... I have not loved her the way I can/should/was created to do so.  You see, satan knew if he could keep me wrestling with all the above in my flesh, I would not be able to do what God had created me to do/wanted me to do/needed me to do... love her.  When you are frustrated, wrung out, exhausted, depressed, stressed out, and empty... you do not love very well.

How simple can it really get.  "Love her." Whether she is behaving like I would like her to behave, "Love her."  Whether she is responding like I want her to respond, "Love her."  Whether she is treating others like I want her to treat others, "Love her."  Whatever the circumstances "look like" with my physical eyes, "Love her."  Those two words... over and over.  "Love her."

And so that is what I am clinging to.  Those two words, along with His word.  And my faith in Him and His words.  And I will trust Him to do the rest.  Whatever that may be.  And I may slip back into that ocean of lies, but I hopefully will remember to lift my eyes up to Him much quicker than this last time.  And I will be strengthened with what He reveals to me in the process.

Thank you LORD.

* One of my most favorite ways the LORD speaks to me is to give me scripture.  It humbles me and builds me up and draws me so close when He is that intimate.  Last Saturday, I was on my bedroom floor in tears crying out to Him.  Begging for Him to speak to me, begging Him to let me feel His presence.  There are times when He feels so close and there are times when He seems so far away.  I find comfort in reading the Psalms to see that I am not the only one who experiences these feelings.  Even though I "feel" He is distant, His word tells me He is with me... always.  So I was begging Him to just show me that He was.  I so needed to see Him/feel Him/hear Him.  And He came... "Psalm 118:5,6"  When scriptures pop into my head from "nowhere"... I run to my Bible... knowing they are from the Holy Spirit.  Sometimes a 56 is 5,6 and sometimes 56.  In this case, the five six, was 5,6 as there is no 56 in Psalm 118.

"I called on the Lord in distress; The LORD answered me and set me in a broad place.  The LORD is on my side; I will not fear.  What can man do to me?" 

I was flooded with emotion.  I cried to see the LORD clearly acknowledged my distress and He clearly reminded me... "I am here.  I am on your side.  Do not fear."  I then soared in joy because He answered my begging to see Him/hear Him/feel Him.  My faith was so encouraged... He was there... right there... in that moment with me.  On the floor, with me.  I started praising Him and thanking Him and "Psalm 117" popped into my head.  So I looked it up.

"Praise the LORD, all you Gentiles! Laud Him all you peoples!  For His merciful kindness is great toward us, and the truth of the LORD endures forever.  Praise the LORD!"

I found it remarkable I had only gotten "Psalm 117" with no verses.  The entire chapter is 2 verses.  In the midst of my praising Him, He gave me this scripture on praising Him.  It was almost too much! (never enough!) After this precious, precious gift... I cranked the praise music and sang to Him with all my heart.  Worship that night was very intimate and blessed and all this is what prompted me to spend the day with Him Sunday.

Some may think I share "too much" or "intimate moments" that should be left private.  For those who think that, I am sorry.  But the reason I share is this: THIS kind of intimacy with the living God is what God wants with all His children and is available to all His children!  How can I contain that?  I can't.  My spirit leaps now as I write this as I know at least ONE will be encouraged to seek and find Him in this way!  So I share so that another woman, in her exhaustion and striving, can be encouraged to fall on her face before Him and ask to see Him/hear Him/feel Him and that she will be encouraged to wait... be still and know that He is God.  Because He will come!  He is there!  And I will shout that from the roof tops! (or this blog!)

We are starting a new medication with Abby.  And I have such peace.  Whatever happens, there is this peace.  That is a gift.  That is a promise.  That is a blessing.  That is the Holy Spirit alive inside me and doing "His thing".  Oh how so very thankful I am for that!

Oh my prayer is that you are encouraged!  And that you are maybe led to start identifying your "anythings" and lay them down!  There is freedom in the word of God.  We just have to remain in it and focused on it.

Much love...