Thursday, September 27, 2012

All in a name

I have never really cared for my name... until Tuesday night!

Original Word: שָׁ֫חַר
Part of Speech: Noun Masculine
Transliteration: shachar
Phonetic Spelling: (shakh'-ar)
Short Definition: dawn

 charm away (1), dawn (16), dawn* (1), dawning of the day (1), daybreak (2), morning (2).

 Melissa is Greek for "bee." It has no meaning in Hebrew.

Our small group is going through the process of discovering our "God Shape."  It is a fun and telling process that involves understanding the meanings of our names, identifying our spiritual gifts, our strengths and weaknesses, our personality, talents, hobbies, and our dreams.  Each one of us is created with a purpose for the kingdom of God.  Each one of us has a place, part, and purpose in the body of Christ.  When we all work together in the way God created us to, THEN we are whole... a whole body.  A body that can work the way God created it to work, function, serve, grow, live! (Romans 12:3-8 1 Corinthians 12:4-31)

The first part of the process was looking into the Hebrew meaning of our name.  Don looked them up and when he came to the kitchen to tell me mine meant, "dawning of the day and daybreak" I was disappointed and was like yeah, yeah... "Who knew Dawn meant day break... how boring!"  Another site mentions my name can also mean, "first light".  Taylor's name means, "clothed in salvation" and so I was really jealous when we found that out!  I mean... how cool is THAT!

Names are important and always in scripture, the name of a person is very telling about who they are and what they did.  And God often changes the name of a person when they have a major change in their life.  Abram became Abraham.  Saul became Paul.  There are MANY more examples of the LORD changing someone's name but those are the two that come to mind now.  

So I went to small group less than siked about my name.  LOL  And then this amazing thing happened.  The body of Christ went OFF on me... building me up and bringing "new light" to what I felt was a rip off!  It was humbling.  It was the LORD.  I have never felt so smacked with God really wanting to change my mind on something so sweetly like that.  

As I told them I was disappointed in what I had found, they were very anxious to hear.  So I told them the "no brainer, unfantastic meaning" and all their mouths dropped and immediately everyone started sharing thoughts and insight that really caught me off guard.

Our small group leader was the first to share that this name was amazing, holy, and beautiful.  He went on to explain how important day break is and what the moment of first morning light upon the day looks like, brings and means.  Everyone jumped in and started flooding me with thoughts... "it brings hope of the new day, it starts a chorus of praise among creation as the birds go crazy with song at daybreak (I have noticed and loved this for years), how that light penetrates the darkness and cancels it, it arrives with splendor and beauty and power... warmth and light (truth)."  "That is you... so you," said a friend. 

I sat and let it soak in.  Needless to say, I was humbled, smacked, and changed.  I was so heartbroken that I had been hatin on my name... like... forever.  Kids made fun of me growing up about being greasy and needing "Dawn" to take my grease away and to come help their mom wash dishes!  ROFL  Seriously... that doesn't bother me now... however.... the enemy used that to put a dislike for my name deep in my soul at such a young age.  Amazing.  Crafty.  Stealthy.  

As I was older, I wished I had some "beautiful" name like "Julianna" or even "Elizabeth"... something strong and with more than one syllable!  I thought "Dawn" sounded like... I don't know... some foreign sound.  It was just blah... there.

Then someone shared a scripture.  One of my favorite scriptures in the Bible.  And one I have had on my blog for years.  One I have prayed over Abby for years.  Claimed for her.  Begged for her.  And now... it was shared for me... and I was covered in chills and even more humility.

"Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, and Your righteousness shall go before you.  The glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.  Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; You shall cry, and He will say 'Here I am.'" 
 Isaiah 58:8,9~

I could have cried.  I received it.  The LORD gave me a love for my name and an identity in Him in it!
What a blessed gift.  I felt very loved... by Him.  How sweet for Him to want me to know that... to see that... to be blessed by that... my name.  Wow.

My middle name, that I have totally hated, now is sweet to me too.  Even though there is no Hebrew meaning... it means "bee" or "honey bee" in Greek.  My mom's name also means "the bee" and I doubt she realizes my middle name means it too.  So it was a sweet gift to find out our names mean the same thing.  It reinforced my sweet connection I have with her. :0)  Besides the fact it totally fits me... BUSY as  BEE!!!!!  

The next night, God spoke to me about names yet again.  I LOVE IT when He does this.  HE ROCKS and does that ALL THE TIME!  Oh PRAISE the LORD who shares such sweet intimacy with us right here on this earth... right here in this room... on the bed where I end the day with devotion! 

My devotion for September 26: ONE OF A KIND: "I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it."  Revelation 2:17~

I was almost speechless.  But that is rare for me, of course, so I started laughing and thanking him and shaking my head.  On September 25th, He gives me a sweet love for my name.  On September 26th, He reveals He will have a new name for me in heaven.  FLOORED.  AMAZED.  AWED.  I NEVER HAD READ THAT BEFORE.

My mind started wondering, of course, what will my new name be?  I have just come to love my name here and yet... the LORD has another name waiting for me.  Wow.  And an intimate name... handed to us by the HAND of the LORD on a white stone.  And only to be known by me... Him and me.  How intimate is THAT!?

"Why else were individuals created, but that God, loving all infinitely, should love each differently."   C.S. Lewis

I am so thankful for how much the LORD loves me, pursues me, reveals His love to me in SO many ways, delights in me, wants to be with me, and stays with me. He loves us ALL that way... and shows that love to us in MANY ways!!!!

One website has "spiritual meaning" written next to the meaning and mine was, "Joy and Praise."

I receive it.  I have such delight in PRAISING HIM.  HOW COULD I NOT?  

How can we not?

The LORD wants to be intimate with us.  Really, really intimate with us.  He is not something of the past.  He is not just written on pages of an ancient book.  HE IS LIVING and He IS WITH US... IN US!

Look up your name.  Ask the LORD what He wants to show you about your name.  And be blessed.

So much love,

POST EDIT~  Don found this really beautiful article that goes right along with this post-  You can read it here.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


It is already almost totally the end of September?????

I am amazed, almost daily, at how quickly life seems to be racing by me.  Sometimes I am thrilled to see the arrival of the end of a day and even a week... but woe... the year is almost done.

I hate it seems harder and harder for me to get time to blog.  There is simply not enough time in my day.  And there is so much going on and racing by... I can not even believe how long it has been since my last post.

As the season of Fall gets closer... and seems to be here... kind of,  I feel a shift in the season of my life as well.  It's weird when it happens... or I should say... when you realize it is happening.  I have been going full throttle for years.  And now, I am throttling back.  I am entering into a season of rest and Self.

Self.  Yep.  There is no "ish" on the end of that... but a capital "S" on "Self."  At first, I wrestled with it.  It seemed like the "ish" kept trying to claim she was there but she isn't.  And I am now embracing it... with some excitement and hope and also with some caution.

I know the Lord has some things for Me.  Healing.  Insight.  Rest.  Renewal.  Growth.  Freedom.  Joy.

I have been battling for years and I am simply depleted.  The daily walk with Abby has taken it's toll and I am officially (well have been for a year now but REALLY now) spent.  The push/pull battles have stolen so much of who I am and that is not good for anyone.  Not for her.  Not for me.  Not for my husband.  And not for our other children.  It has been such a ongoing yo-yo/roller coaster/cycle.  Become depleted... try and refill, look for help, no help found, pull up the boots, go for another round, feel hope for a few days/moments, become depleted, cry out for help, look for help, help doesn't work, put the big girl panties on, and go for another round... become depleted, feel like a loser, stew in anger and guilt, think about giving up, reality hits you in the face like a big mud pie, find new big girl panties, don't even bother looking for help, and try again.  All the while I am trying to save the world and CARRY ON.  And also not getting sleep as I am listening to the monitor for seizures all night.

AND the MAJOR SPIRITUAL BATTLE that rages on... "If you were praying enough/the right way/she would get better... fast more... I can't earn anything, it's all up to God... storm the gates and throne and boldly plead your case... get on your face in humility and beg like the broken mother you are... rebuke it, love it, separate from it, spend more time with her, spend more time with Him, spend more time alone... yada yada yada yada.  On and on and on and on.  Over and over and over and over.

So.  I am in a season of "Self."  I am getting back to some basic truths... take care of myself first so I then can take care of others... well.  In my attempt to keep myself last, I am falling apart... physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

In addition to working out, starting a women's prayer group, and pulling back from overflowing commitments... I am seeking some major healing and renewal.  Don and I are going to be headed to a place where we can get some serious teaching, time, focus, prayer, and hopefully deliverance.  It will be for 5 days.  I am very hopeful.   

I am also looking forward to some nesting/refreshing!  After seeing this on Pinterest today:

I am ready to Fallify my nest and use some creativity!  It feeds my soul.  Makes me happy.  Like dogs.  Dogs are like live little happy pills for my soul.  I just cuddle a dog, walk a dog, play with a dog, talk to a dog, pet a dog... and my soul enhales and exhales joy!

I said earlier that I am walking through this "Self" time with some caution.  There is a quote from Tom Davis, founder of Children's Hope Chest, that has become an anthem of my life.  He said, "We (Christians) live our lives like we are on vacation when we should be living like we are at war."  So so so true.  We are at war.  Daily.  So my caution comes from knowing that this season is temporary and it is to benefit me, my relationship with the LORD and others, everything I pour myself into... I will be a better mother, a better wife, a better friend, a better servant, a better person IF I take the time to refill.  It is a break with purpose.  And that gives me hope.  And I pray when I come out on the other side, I am better at abiding in HIM so I don't get here again.  This is the end of MANY YEARS of wearing down.  I need some mending, some soul healing, some releasing, some rebooting!

I am so thankful for the word of God and the promise, truth, and life that is there for us.  I have been finding comfort in seeing/reading/newly understanding that Christ Himself walked away from crowds needing healing to be alone with the Father.  Several occasions are recorded when He walked away, boated away, slipped away.  The need was still all around Him.  He did not wait until all the need was met... He left when He needed to... to stay in healthy relationship with the Father, to refill, to listen, to speak to, and be with the LORD.  That is what I am doing.  And I trust He will meet me there.  :0)

So do you need a moment away?  Away from the "busy-ness" of life?  Away from the distractions of life?  Away from the demands of life?  Slip away.  Even if it is to your bedroom behind a locked door for an hour here and there... but slip away when you feel the tug.  It is Him... wanting to be with you!

Much love, Dawn

Sunday, September 09, 2012


Today is simply a beautiful day.  The weather is just amazing.  It makes me happy.

Isn't it crazy how the weather can make you happy?  It amazes me every year... as Fall starts to arrive... how something in my spirit... just... feels... happy... by just the way it feels outside.

What makes you "feel" happy?  I have to ask the question to myself and there are several answers that immediately come to mind. Fall weather... white lights... great music... worship... being enveloped in my husband's arms... my children experiencing joy... laughing with friends... being with family... college football... and creating. 

Just the thought of those things can make me "feel" happy.  But in a moment... I can feel bad... angry... heartbroken.

Friday morning, as we went outside to get in the car to take the kids to school, our neighbor walked over and showed us this tiny baby bird he had in a little box.  He found it in the middle of his driveway.  I was overcome with anxiety and sadness.  How in the world could we find the nest this little bird belonged in.  It's feathers were just coming in.  How in the world had it gotten to the middle of the driveway?  It was way too young to fly.  What in the world were we going to do with it?

I suggested he take it by a vet and see if they had some options.  And he did.

Last night, Saturday night, I was awake around 4 a.m.  As I lied there, trying to fall back to sleep, I heard a noise... a constant noise.  Was it an owl?  Over and over and over it called.  At 6:30 a.m. when my alarm went off, it was still calling.  And I realized, it was a dove.  We have two doves that eat beneath our bird feeder... and it was her.

When I walked out to get in the car at 7:30 a.m., there she sat, on the peak of my neighbor's house... calling... calling... calling.  I looked up at her and my heart sank.  "You are looking for your baby aren't you sweet one?"  I got into the car and pushed the thought out of my mind.

Tonight, moments ago, I saw my neighbor's wife and I asked her about the bird.  "Yeah, the vet took it."  I was filled with a tiny bit of hope... that it would live, that it was alive, that it had been saved.  Then she said, "Yeah, they said it was a little dove."

A knot the size of a watermelon started up from my gut and was trying to make it's way out of my mouth.  My stomach flipped and my eyes filled with tears.  And I told her what I had heard and seen.  She told me how the same bird had spent hours on her front porch the day before.  How she told her husband she couldn't even look at her.  She, too, knew it was the mother, looking for her baby.

What I feel right now is such disappointment.  Heartbreak.  Yes.  For the bird... for both of them.  Should we have left it in the driveway?  Should we have looked for a nest?  I felt like it was sitting prey for a hawk (that often flies above our yard), or some cat or other creature... we just couldn't leave it there.  But this poor mother... two nights later... still calling... all... all... all night.  It breaks my heart.  And I have not seen her today since this morning.  How I wish I could comfort her somehow.  I will carry this for days.  Bummer.  How long will she carry it?  How long will she look... and call out?  Oh mercy.  If I hear her tonight I may have a mini-breakdown.

Feelings are powerful.  They have the ability to take us from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows in just a moment.  Feelings affect our personality... our mood... our relationships... our very lives.  They can be wonderful and they can be devastating... but the power they have over us is mind blowing when you really think about it.     

But they also require some major attention... and we must be careful with them.  We live in a society saturated with "feelings."  If it feels good... do it.  If it doesn't feel good... leave it.  If it feels right... it must be.  If it feels wrong... it is.  This is one of Satan's playgrounds... driving our "feelings" and intertwining them with lies.  I love what a man I know often says, "Satan will take truth and just sprinkle the tiniest bit of lies it in to get you where he wants you."  95% truth and 5% lies.  Seems like a good ratio.  But it is not.  Not even close.  It only takes the tiniest little bit to get you into his grasp and to destroy you... your family... your marriage... your life.

I was talking to a friend yesterday.  She was saying that she knows what she needs to do but she just doesn't feel like doing it.  How many of us can say that?  I can.  I have fallen victim to that very lie.  Several times.  But praise the Lord, He shows me truth.  And rescues me from the grip of the enemy.  But I remain on guard... because "I don't feel like" can come upon me quickly.

I know marriages ending because one of them didn't "feel" like they should be together anymore.  One of them didn't "feel" like God was going to change the other one.  One of them "felt" they deserved better.  And it is all lies.  And the families have been torn apart.  And sin is abounding.

I know a person living a sinful lifestyle because he "feels" it is the way he is and he "feels" it is ok.  Lies.  All lies.  And his life is being destroyed.  He battles with strongholds the enemy wraps around him, depression, explains away truth, pushes truth away, rolls in rebellion, and is drowning.  Heartbreaking.

And when we are walking in disobedience, the Holy Spirit sits on the peak of a roof... and calls and calls and calls to us.  He sits in distress and calls to us... all night... night after night... looking for His lost child.

The Lord gave me a wonderful example to share with my friend.  I love it when He shows up and just "downloads" words to me like that.  It was powerful.  And it was truth.

In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus Christ did not "feel" like going to the cross.  He cried, wept, and blood dripped from his forehead from the extreme anxiety He was feeling.  We can not even imagine the distress.  He called out... cried out and asked the Father for another way... for the cup to pass.  But yet, He followed it with, "your will be done... not mine."  Jesus knew He was not only going to be brutally murdered... a slow and horrific painful death... but that He would take on the sin of the world... AND BE SEPARATED FROM GOD.  Even Jesus Christ did not "feel" like doing what He was asked to do 
But He was obedient.  But He was obedient.  I will say it again.  BUT HE WAS OBEDIENT.

And praise the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY He was... for our sake.  Can we even grasp that?

Jesus Christ was obedient for our very souls.  And He was obedient for the very example of what we are called to do... be obedient.  He even says, several times, that He is being obedient so that we will see He does the will of the Father and not His own.

If Christ took the brutality of the cross and separation from God... when He didn't "feel" like it... who are we to think that we have the right and even His blessing to not do what we are called to do because we don't "feel" like it?  Who do we think we are?  Really.  

As Christians, when we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and accept His gift... it is not FREE.  It comes with a price we are to pay... daily... our lives.  When we are buried into baptism and immersed into His name, we die.  When we are raised out of the water, we are resurrected with Him and we are new creatures... we are purchased, we belong to Him, and we live for Him.  And we obey.  It is not about us anymore and our "feelings"... it is about Him and about truth.  Period.

The world tells us to walk around and live by our feelings.  The word of God says to walk in the Spirit and in obedience.  Even if you don't "feel" like it... you are to obey.  The moment you give Satan a tiny step into telling you otherwise, the truth can be dulled and diluted with lies.  And he has you.

And I know for a fact, God rewards obedience.  His word gives us example after example of that.  And my life is an example of that.  My marriage is an example of that.  My three children are examples of that.  This blog is an example of that.

I beg of you, whatever you are "feeling" that you know to not be truth, not be in line with God's word... make a decision and become obedient despite your feelings.  Confide in a friend and get support and encouragement.  Satan wants you to keep it to yourself more than ever... then he can keep feeding you lies and pull you further and further away.  Speak truth over it and rebuke the lies of the enemy.  Walk it out.  And I promise you... and even more so... the LORD promises you... you will be blessed beyond measure.

Dear Lord, thank you.  Thank you for Jesus Christ.  Thank you for your word.  Thank you for your Holy Spirit.  I plead with you to allow me to see attacks of the enemy when he tries to use my "feelings" to pull me towards sin and away from you.  Please help me be on guard, daily, as he stalks me daily, and give me your strength and your wisdom and your power to rebuke him and stay in your will.  Lord, thank you, thank you, thank you for your mercy... for your love, for your grace, for the way you pursue us and call out to us when we wander from you.  Thank you for your forgiveness and for the cloak of righteousness in Christ Jesus.  Thank you for the life and example of your Son.  Thank you for your Presence and how active you are in our lives.  Thank you, thank you, thank you... for the Shepherd who called me by name.  Oh how I love you and want to be with you.  In your holy Son's name, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Much much love, Dawn

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Keep on Asking

I received a plea yesterday, from a sweet friend.  It broke my heart and I could relate to every word she spoke.  "I am tired of waiting," was what resonated most.  Oh.  How I tire of waiting.  Especially when I feel distanced from the LORD while doing so.  It is what stretches us most.  It's what causes faith to rise the highest.  Silence.

As soon as I read her note, this devotion came to mind.  It is one of my favorites from, "At His Feet," by Chris Tiegreen.  I reference it here often.  It is one of my highest recommendations.  If you love a little daily nugget to ponder, to chew one, to encourage you, challenge you, inspire you... Get it!

So here it is.  It is for my friend.  It is for me.  It is for everyone who has ever knocked on the door and been left waiting.

"Ask and it shall be given to you."   Luke 11:9

IN WORD   Jesus has just finished a curious parable about a man banging persistently at his neighbor's door in the middle of the night, asking for an inordinate amount of bread.  This is prayer, Jesus says.  It doesn't matter if the hour is inappropriate, the request is large, and the initial answer is no. True prayer means desperation outweighs protocol.  

Some translations capture the continuous nature of this verse.  Jesus implied to his disciples they are to keep on asking, keep on seeking, keep on knocking; then they will receive.  We don't know why persistence is required; Jesus doesn't tell us that.  But the fact that it is required is clear. Prayer calls for boldness and relentlessness.

If you are like most people, you pray about a matter for a while.  Then, not having heard from God, you give up, assuming it wasn't His will to answer.  But nowhere in the Bible are we told that God's silence means "no".  In fact, Jesus demonstrates to a Caananite woman that His silence means, "keep on asking." (Matthew 15:22-28)  Scripture never gives us permission to drop a request because we got no immediate answer.  We are to have a no ceasing attitude to our prayers. (I Thessalonians 5:17)  If God wants to show us our prayers are unscriptural or out of line with His will, He will show us.  If He wants to say "no," He will actually say it.  Silence is not "no."

IN DEED  Often, our prayers are characterized by tentativeness and transience.  They are not confident declarations of His will in a situation and expectant invitations for Him to RSVP in power.  While we should always be open for Him to redirect our prayers, or even to say "no," we should never assume that a slow answer, by our standards, is a non-answer, Jesus never gives us a hint that God is rejecting us in His silence.  Like the farmer who waits for his harvest, we are to wait for His answers.  Jesus is clear: Keep on asking!  (November 9, "At His Feet," by Chris Tiegreen)

It is amazing how this one devotion speaks to me each year.  I have notes on this page/prayer from 2009, 2010, and 2011.  All three of them are about Abby's healing.  I have been praying for her healing since 2003.  This year, I will record my fourth note/prayer on this page, and it, again, will be about Abby's healing.  Nine years of prayers.  Nine years of tears.  Nine years of crying out. Nine years of knocking, seeking, praying, asking, begging, fasting, striving, laying down.... growing... stretching... and nine years of His presence in all of it.  She has been healed in several ways... but we pray for complete healing and we believe He is a God who heals... completely.  And so we pray and we wait... we believe... and we wait.  We praise and we wait.  

November is a stellar month in this devotion.  I believe it was November when I purchased it.  I had several in hand I was trying to decide on.  So I decided to read that days devotion in all of them and see if one spoke to me. Well... it smacked me upside the head!  And it has been doing so since.

There is another one that goes right along with "Keep on Asking," and it is from November 26, "A Place of Insufficiency."  And since they go so hand in hand... and this post is for my sweet friend, as well as a reminder to myself, I have to include it.

"What is impossible with men is possible with God." Luke 18:27

IN WORD   We almost get the impression sometimes that when something is impossible for us but necessary or fruitful for God's kingdom, He'll step in and help us out, perhaps a little reluctantly.  He becomes our "God of the gaps"-- He makes up the difference when we just don't have the strength.  But in the back of our minds, we think He'd prefer that we have the strength.

Nothing can be further from the truth.  God is not reluctant about our impossibilities.  He relishes them.  He sometimes even waits until we arrive at them before He acts.  Just as it was Paul's weakness that allowed God to show His strength (2 Corinthians 12:9), it is our powerlessness that demonstrates His power.  If we were self-sufficient in everything, no one would ever see God.

In today's verse, the disciples were astounded when Jesus says it is difficult for the rich to inherit salvation.  They wonder, who then, can be saved?  But why is it so difficult for the rich to be saved?  Since we are all saved the same way, through faith in Jesus, what makes it harder for the rich?  A sense of self-sufficiency.  It is an obstacle to God's work in any one's life.  In laying down this principle of salvation, Jesus is giving us a principle in any work--- it must be all from God and not all from us.

IN DEED   Are you at a place of insufficiency?  Don't despair.  It may feel as if God wasn't watching or caring for you when you arrived there.  But not only was He watching, He planned it!  He brought you there because it is the only place where He can step in an work and be acknowledged as the power behind your victories.  If you were not completely unable to meet your own needs, you would receive credit for fulfilling them.  He had to bring you face to face with your inabilities in order to bring you face to face with His abilities.  You are exactly where He wants you to be.

Complete weakness and dependence will always be the occasion for the Spirit of God to manifest His power.  Oswald Chambers~

It is so very hard to remove ourselves from the culture that saturates us with the false need and false sense of self-sufficiency.  I am so smacked with this anytime I hear of a healthy, active 30 year old dropping dead.  I have seen it several times and it is always a sober reminder that we are NOT SELF SUFFICIENT in anything!  Our very lives can be gone in a moment.  The stock market can tank tomorrow and fortunes, savings and futures can disappear in a moment. Another terrorist attack can happen and we can be quickly reminded that even our sense of safety can be oh so false.  

We are not in control.  We are not at the steering wheel.  We can do nothing alone.  He has given us the very blessing of awaking today.  He has given us the very breath we breathe.  He has it...all of it.  ALL of it. 

It is so hard to look at life with our spiritual eyes and not our physical.  Satan saturates us with the physical to dull and blind and distract our spiritual vision.  He is the master of that.  I can not tell you how many times something can be explained in the spiritual reality versus the physical reality and someone will say, "I never saw it that way!"  Oh how true that is.

Stay focused sweet friend... friends... myself!  See clearly with spiritual eyes and be discerning with the physical.  Rebuke the lies that Satan yells at you daily and declare truth in their place.  And know that the LORD is your warrior... and He is with you every step of the way in this life!  And the victory is ours through Christ Jesus... because He loves us THAT MUCH!

Much love, Dawn