Finding Joy in Him

Through Every Season

Tag: Dreams

The Storm

Mike called from DC the morning of the storm to tell us that there were tornado warnings in our area.  I replied, “I know the sirens have been going off all morning.”

Trash was out, happy for the rain considering the drought and fires where my parents live, tornado sirens aren’t that out of the ordinary (and I still prefer them to the long drawn out hurricane warnings we had in Florida).

I thought about having James go in late for work.. but Mike talked me into letting him go at his normal time.  Josh was studying for final exams and Joel was on the computer.  Judi was dreaming about tornadoes (no kidding).  Joel and Josh came out and looked around after hearing so many sirens then went back to their room.

I was working in the kitchen a little while later when I saw a wind shear blowing across the lake and called the boys to “Come quick and see.”  Joel noticed a rotation in the clouds just above our yard.  I yelled, “No!”  Then on the far side of the lake we saw what I guess was the beginning of a water spout; water splashing and beginning to spin 20 to 30 feet up into the air.

Josh yelled, “Run!”  Joel said, “Where’s the camera?  Let’s take a video.”  Josh and I yelled in unison, “No!  Run!”  We yelled to sleeping beauty, “Get in the bathroom there’s a tornado!”  The dogs followed and we brought them in with us.  Judi asked, “What about George?”  Joel said, “Forget about her.  Cats are survivors.”  The lights flickered.  We lost power.  A few minutes later it had past.

It just missed our house.  Threw our patio furniture on and broke a neighbor’s fence a little over a block away.  Broke our table into a million pieces and scattered them across the length of our neighbor’s yard.  It abused our screen door.  It’s hard to latch and often gets blown open.  This time it bent out of shape and the screen tore up (most likely by an airborne patio chair).  Knocked the propane tanks to our fireplace off their foundation and bent the pipe to the gauge (I always thought they should be under ground).  We have a little damage to the roof.. mostly from the large hail we got later in the day from the storm that did the worst damage in our area (destroying whole neighborhoods up the road).

The tree near the “water spout” lost a bunch of branches.  And many trees behind it and the frame of a newly constructed house are all down.  Many of our neighbors (including one next door – her flag pole was bent over too) have blue tarps on their roofs now, a few lost their fences, a trampoline dropped on a neighbor’s BMW and a few other small things things were lost, but for the most part we are all happy to be alive and that things were not much worse.

Minutes after our small tornado a friend called from Montgomery to see if we were OK and to tell us that they had spent the morning praying for us.  Wow!  So nice to know.  So blessed.

Jenny

Let Patience Have Her Perfect Work

 James 1:2-4 Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

Several years ago, once a month, I would have suicidal thoughts.  Nothing ever came of them.  They were mostly annoying.  The worst part was after while, I would wonder if I was crazy or something, then I would start my menstural cycle and find relief in thinking they were caused by hormones.  Now I think what was actually going on was that my enemy was taking an opportune time to attack me.  Eventually, I learned to catch on to what was going on at the onslaught, rebuked the thoughts and stopped having them.  Glory to God!

At the beginning of last week, the Lord dropped the verse above into my heart.  The part about “don’t try to get out of anything prematurely” stood out.  I was hurting and wanted out fast.  Over the weekend my heart had begun to break over my diagnosis.  

Saturday Mike and I went to Nashville for a city tour which turned out for me to be the opposite of a “getaway.”  It seemed like everywhere I turned something reminded me that I wasn’t whole; from driving by the Sarah Cannon Cancer Center, to the mannequins in the Country Music Hall of Fame with two perfectly formed breast (really sad, I know).  

The saddest part for me was that the biggest displays for the biggest “stars” were ones who had died of drug overdoses.  The displays talked about how wonderful the person was, then were deafeningly silent on how to avoid their tragic end.  In the gift shop, I found myself under the old, familiar attack of suicidal thoughts.  This time it came through a different open door.  I prayed in the Spirit and it stopped, but my heart was still breaking.  

Wednesday, I spent the day listening to more of the “Healing School” CDs by Katie Souza.  Session 4 was on the healing of your soul.. exactly what I needed.  One of my deepest desires has been to pray for the sick and see them miraculously recover in Jesus’ name (I’ve had just a taste) then early this year the Lord added the desire to see the brokenhearted mended.  What I didn’t know was that my own heart was wounded and needed healing before I could see my desires fulfilled.  

I had a dream Monday morning about Jesus coming and binding my wounds then taking me into an office where He was cleaning up a mess.  I couldn’t understand how an “office” related to me until I heard the CDs where Katie quoted this verse from the AMP 

Luke 11:34 Your eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye (your conscience) is sound and fulfilling its office, your whole body is full of light; but when it is not sound and is not fulfilling its office, your body is full of darkness.  

The eye is the window to our soul and my soul was darkened by the mess it was in.  Wednesday through Friday were spent with the Lord shining His light on and healing different wounds in my soul.  At first, it was extremely painful.  I was not a very good patient.  I was happy to run away to a field trips on Thursday, Friday and Saturday with the kids.  And I think I was trying too hard. Our part is to trust and rest in His lovingkindness.  

He started with the biggest hurts like the death of my Grandmother and worked down to the smaller ones like when I was a kid and these two doberman pinchers chased me from the bus stop to a friend’s house instead of the boy who had thrown rocks at them.  My body escaped unscathed, but my heart hadn’t.  

I’ve since become keenly aware of soul wounds in others.  Seems like everyone I talk to now mentions a wound in their soul without even realizing it.  Katie said to soak the wound in the “glory light of Jesus” though worship and not to focus on the hurt but on the healer.  She used the story of Moses lifting up the serpent in the wilderness as our example.  Our focus has to be on Jesus lifted up not the snake bite (or in my case the near dog bite).  

I knew from experience that when God shows you something in your heart or way of thinking in your mind that shouldn’t be there, it’s because He wants to fix it.  I have learned to see it as an opportunity to repent and rejoice because of the good work He was about to do in me, yet last week I continued to struggle.  Even going to the grocery store was painful.  I dreaded the cashier’s friendly, “How are you today?” because my answer, “Good.  How are you?” came with a cringe in my soul.  

Finally, God reminded me of the part of Psalm 23 that says “He restores my soul.” I repeated it to myself over and over until the pain lessened.  Now I can say “It is well with my soul.” with joy and peace again.  🙂

I am not sure what comes next.  I had a dream that I was sitting at a small, wobbly, primitive table about to be served, but I had no silverware or plate or cup.  Not the way I imagine God preparing a table.  So now I am claiming the rest of Psalm 23.  

 5 You serve me a six-course dinner
      right in front of my enemies.
   You revive my drooping head;
      my cup brims with blessing.

 6 Your beauty and love chase after me
      every day of my life.
   I’m back home in the house of God
      for the rest of my life.

I found this song today and thought it went with my week last week.
We meet with a surgeon, oncologist and radiologist at UAB Thursday morning.
Love,
Jenny

My New Kinnor

I am the proud new owner of a 12 string kinnor.
A harp maker in Austral made it for me.
I picked it out especially because a little over a year ago I had a dream where
an older, mentor type lady brought one to me.  I had no idea what kind of
instrument it was at the time so I drew a picture of it.
A year later I found this one on line.   None else makes one quite like it.
http://www.harpsales.com
It’s my birthday, Christmas and everything else present all wrapped into one.
I am very excited.  I am hoping that like in the dream
 this will be the one instrument that I can learn to play.
It’s very hard to be musically challenged in a family of musicians.
I love to worship.  I love to sing loud.. even when I am out of tune.
A loud church sound system is a must.
I can jump but not dance.  Sometimes, clapping on beat is a challenge.
I’ve never had anyone tell me that I am bad at waving flags,
so I wave them as often as possible.
I am very excited to have a room in our new house that’s big enough
 to worship with flags.  In the past, I’d take them outside occasionally.
When the kids were younger, I spent every evening practicing the guitar
while they were getting ready for bed.  I learned how to play 10 or so cords
just to discover that I am not coordinated enough
to strum and play the cords at the same time.
If I practice a hymn for several days on the piano, I can play it so-so,
but that can be loud and annoying for everyone to hear the same song day after day.
I know how it feels to be on the other side of things and think, “anyone can do ___ if
they just try or give it some time.”  Hope springs eternal.  
I learned that harps are “diatonic” like the Do, Ra, Me scale,
 so no matter what note you play it harmonizes.
I got a chromatic tuner too, so I can tune it.
Here is Mike teaching me how to tune it.
I’ll have to tune it everyday for a while.. new strings and all.

Pray for me not to give up.
Maybe one day I’ll take it to hospitals
and play and pray for the sick and see them recover.
Love,
J

The Steadfast Love of the Lord Never Ceases

The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
His mercies begin afresh each morning.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
therefore, I will hope in Him!”

Lamentations 3:22-24 (NLT)

There is a song based on this verse called the Steadfast Love of the Lord Never Ceases that I love and live by. I can hear it playing deep in my heart.

I love mornings. I love spending time with God. I love meditating on His word. I love knowing that He loves me and that I can live in His mercy and grace.

In the movie Ann of Green Gables one of my favorite quotes is “Each new day is fresh with no mistakes in it.”

Sometimes a new day isn’t soon enough and I need a fresh start before the morning is even up. When my day is going really wrong, I hide in closet and pray. Many times I know the problem is me and I beg for a new attitude; other times I feel like I am loosing a battle and pray for more strength, mercy and grace. Once I’ve poured out my whole heart, I come out determined to have a fresh start on my day and to trust God with the answers to my prayers.

The idea of a “New Year’s Resolution” seems so foreign to me this year. New I understand. Everything is so new for me right now; new house, new city, new Walmart, new community, new way of life, new morning, renewed love for God, new dreams and new visions…

Year – Wow! So much can happen in a year. I need those fresh moments of mercy and grace that never cease to come from our Father’s loving heart!

I had a dream last week that I was putting some things up on a bulletin board. I was praying for help with how to arrange it as I worked. God answered with instructions on where to put a tack. I was taken by surprise. I couldn’t see the big picture of what was ahead (posted on the bulletin board) but I could see exactly where God wanted the little green tack. God is so into details. I know this from experience and it shows forth His glory in His creation. Details so small and complicated that we can see them or comprehend them.

I am still hearing God say “Dream Big”. I don’t know what big dreams He wants me to dream, but I believe He will show me and help me to do all He is calling me to do and be even to the last detail. In the meantime I am going to put that little green tack where He instructed and keep praying for His guidance and help. It’s my first step out into the big dreams of God.

I don’t really have a resolution. I have a determination to keep trusting God in and for each moment. Great is His faithfulness!

Entering in as a child,

Jenny

Making my Home a Temple

One day a few months ago I was praying about what house God wanted us to buy in AL and what His vision was for our new home and life.  He put in my heart an idea about setting up a communion table that has continual supply of crackers and juice and an inspirational painting hanging above inviting us to commune with God so that at any time on any day any one at my house could stop and have a quite moment with alone with God.  
Later that week I got a devotion by Charles Spurgeon in my e-mail that asked “Is there a Church in this house?”  It went on to say, “More is expected of a Church than of an ordinary household; family worship is a must, in such a case, be more devout and hearty; internal love must be more warm and unbroken and external conduct must be more sanctified and Christlike… As a Church let us now draw nigh to the great head of the one Church universal, and let us beseech Him to give us grace to shine before men to the glory of His name.”  I thought it was so inspirational to think of your home in that way.  I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what being temples of the Holy Spirit of God means and I think that your home is a perfect place to express who you are – or want to be.  Early in my career as a home maker, before I even had a desire to for my home to reflect God’s love, I had visitors giving me encouraging words that it did.  Now I want to do it on purpose.  
 About the time all these thoughts were going though my head I had a dream or a vision or something and heard God tell me that I was going to buy a nativity set.  It was the weirdest thing I’ve ever heard God tell me.  I thought, “OK?”  The Christmas decorations in the stores weren’t out yet.  So, I kept praying about it.  
Then a few weeks ago when the stores put out their Christmas stuff I took a day of shopping and visited several to see their nativity sets.  I found a couple that I liked but not the one that said, “This is the one.”  So, I kept praying.  
One day I had some extra time for the computer and decided to do some online shopping for nativity sets.  I looked at some Christian book stores, I looked on e-bay, then finally I felt real strongly that I should look at Craig’s list.  I almost never look on Craig’s list for anything.  When I say I felt strongly that I should look on Craigs list I mean that I thought God was about to yell it in my ear so I looked.  I did a search for nativities in the Tampa area and a large Fontanini set came up.  I couldn’t believe it.  
My MIL had given us a beginner set 19 years ago when we went to Thailand as missionaries.  That Christmas in Thailand our oldest (8 months) threw away baby Jesus.  He loved throwing things away.  By the time I realized it was missing it was too late… so the next year I just took a cotton ball and rapped piece of muslin around it for a baby Jesus and used it for years.  
One year a friend of mine in IL bought me a new baby Jesus – I didn’t know you could do that.  Then I saw her collection.  It was huge, beautiful, a whole village that she placed in niches around her living room with green garland and white Christmas lights.  Ever since then I’ve always wanted to collect them but they are expensive and I have had to use many a Christmas check for groceries instead.  
So here on Craig’s list was my chance.  I knew that was the set God had been talking about.  I prayed. The seller said he would take any offer seriously.  I called Mike in AL and asked if I could offer $200.  I about fainted when he said yes.  When I e-mailed the seller my offer he said he couldn’t possibly take less than $500.  It was worth $900 so I understood but there was no way I could spend that much.  
I prayed some more – I felt like I could go up to $275 and kept watching Craig’s list.  Each week he posted a new lower price.  I thought for sure someone else would snatch it up.  They go for retail prices and up on e-bay.  After a few weeks, the seller contacted me and said that he was lowering his price to $275 and asked me if I was interested.  
Ta da.. Here it is.  Sorry the picture isn’t that great.  

I am not sure why God wanted me to buy it –
 it seems silly spending so much money on little plastic figures – but it’s beauty draws me to Jesus and maybe it will help my home feel more like the temple God is designing it to be and draw people to commune with Him.  And I think I know the perfect place for it in my new home.

© 2018 Finding Joy in Him

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑