Pithy Prayer July 5th, 2018

Image result for god at work in lifeThank you, Father, for being at work in my life. I confess that at times you seem distant, but looking back over the crucial moments of my life, I can see your fingertips and your grace leading me to where I am today. Dear Father, please make your presence even more powerfully known in my life as I seek your will and commit to live for your glory.

O Great God of heavens, thank you for caring for me when I am such a small part of your great work in the universe. Your love is beyond my comprehension, and yet it thrills me to know that in your grace one day I will see you face to face.

Almighty God, I acknowledge that you are too great for me to comprehend. Yet as marvelous and mighty and majestic as you are, your grace is greater still. Thank you for sending Jesus so I can know you. Thank you for sending Jesus so I could be forgiven. Thank you for sending Jesus so I can go home to you and live forever. Thank you, Jesus, for coming to redeem me and then returning back to the Father, so I can speak to him through you.

Amen.

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Pithy Prayer June 12th, 2018

Image result for in god's hands

I do praise you, Father, for you alone are God. I know that through good times and bad, my praise comes to you by the power of the Holy Spirit who lives in me and intercedes for me. Thank you for saving me and sharing your grace with me.

Dear Father, please make your presence undeniably known in my life and help me see your presence and mercy clearly. I want to honor you dear God, please make your guidance clear so that I can follow you boldly and faithfully in your will.

Father in the quietness of this moment, I consciously relax myself in your presence and place the concerns and cares of my heart before you. I confidently place my soul, my future, and my hope in your hands.

Please help me to know what time it is in my life and the role you want me to play at this stage in my journey. I want my life to be lived glorifying you.

I want to know You more fully and reflect Your character and grace more completely.

Amen.

Prayer Requests for Week of April 8th, 2018

Hey all!

As always, please leave your prayer requests in the comment section below or email them to me at atozmom.wordpress@gmail.com and I’ll get them up asap.

Thank you all for your prayers for the election.  Alas, I lost, but that is okay.  That door God closed and I’ll await the opening of His next one.

Prayer requests for my husband for advancement in his profession and for me to find a career.

Have a blessed and amazing week ahead!

What Do You Do When You Feel Like the Whole World is Against You?

This morning I fell.

Suffice it to say, my back and my mouth hurts.  My lip is swollen and my teeth hurt.  I’d go to the doc/dentist but it’s all so swollen there’s nothing to be determined.  Plus, I’d like to see if it’s all just my overblown imagination that “something’s wrong” before rushing anywhere.

So, I was angry about that.

Then I was working on my novel and I had to chuck the whole first chapter.  And that always gets me thinking, “Is this really worth it?”

I don’t  know about you, but I always am thinking what else I could be doing with my time.  I’d love to lay in bed all day long, sipping coffee, and reading a book.  Never happens.  One day maybe.

When stupid stuff like falling (my fault by the way) happens to me I always wonder, “What’s the point?”

Of being healthy.  Of striving to do my best.  Of working so hard with never seeing results.  Of striving to do God’s will and always feeling at the end of the day that I’ve failed.

It just all seems pointless, meaningless.

I know exactly how the author of Ecclesiastes feels.  Exactly.

You live a life and in the end what do you have to show for it?  Pain, heartache, trials, difficulties, and some joy and triumphs.

But why is it the trials always seem to trump the triumphs?  Funny how the word trump and triumph are so similar.

I pray to God “Why?” and just once I’d wish He’d speak to me like He did the prophets.  Just once.

Yes, I know.  You have God to show for it.  But in the moment it’s easy to believe He’s far away.

I feel like this world is against me.  So what do I do?

The crazy answer is the same thing I always do:  keep at it.  Never giving up.  Keep moving forward.  Taking the hits as best I can when they come and praying for strength through them.  Then relishing the triumphs that always seem lagging when they do show their face.

So, I lay on my dog and shed a few tears on her fur as she sniffs me, wondering what’s wrong with Mommy today.  I pray I can feel my mouth again soon and pray my back is just bruised.  And pray I’m not so stupid the next time around.

Then I pray for strength, courage, and perseverance for this day.

For if I make it through today, I’ll make it through tomorrow.

The Answers I Seek Lie In God’s Word

I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard, “Just open the Bible to any page, start reading, and you’ll find an answer to your problems.”

Lately, for whatever reason, I had been thinking this is hokey.  I mean, if I’m looking for comfort, wouldn’t I turn to the pages on comfort?

But, Day 5 of Lesson 19 in BSF changed all of my thinking, gave me peace in my myriad of minor problems, and turned my thinking around.

I was wallowing in self-pity again when I completed Day 5 and wrote this conclusion: “There is no other Rock.”  This sums it up for me.  If God were my Rock in every situation every day of my life, I’d be a lot happier and much more fulfilled and joyful.  Only God can fill me.  If I am full of God, then there is no room left for miscellaneous ‘idol’ distractions, mini-crises, or unnecessary drama.  God and His blessings would rule.  The Devil would have no place to hide.

This was from Isaiah 44, a passage that didn’t seem to have any bearing on my current dilemma or state of mind.  But the universal truths of God as my Rock struck me and made me realize He wasn’t my Rock in this situation.  He wasn’t my Rock in my mind.  In fact, He was dwelling far away.

I sat and meditated on this fact for a while.  I have been stressed lately:  we’re trying to decide where to move and when and the indecision is getting to me.  Hence, minor little things have been blowing up all around me.  And I haven’t been turning to God’s word for the answers.  I’ve been praying but doing little else.

Until I read Isaiah.  Then I realized (again) God was not my center.  He is my Rock.  And if I’d just slow down for a few minutes and remember that, everything else would fall into place around Him.

I must remember to pray before I flip out.  Pray in every situation.  Read His word and find comfort as it speaks to me.  And all of it (the Bible) speaks to me.

Keep God first.  Remember His faithfulness.  He will do the rest.

Refutation

I was just on Nathan Bransford’s post and strongly disagreed with his premise that dreams can turn into unrealistic expectations, which can get out of control and you’ll never be satisfied in life.

My take is this:  Dreams are the cornerstones of this country.  It’s what America is founded on and what makes America great (think post-it notes and other inventions).  For me, dreams are what keeps me going and, yes, dreams are what get me through the tough times.  When you’re losing everything, when you’ve just left the bankruptcy attorney’s office, the dream of one day being a best-selling writer is really all you’ve got.  It’s the one thing that always remains constant in this inconstant world.  And yes I do have great expectations (thank you, Dickens).  If I didn’t expect to get published, why would I keep writing?  If I didn’t expect to make millions, why would I put in countless hours editing?  Or querying for that matter?

Dreams and expectations are one in the same.  Otherwise, you might as well crawl in a hole somewhere and give up on life.

So, keep dreaming and let it guide you.  Follow your God given purpose until you are called.  And never give up.  Dream big.  How else are you going to win big?  Don’t temper your expectations.  Expect a lot and you will be given a lot.

Jesus said it best in Matthew 7:7-8 :

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”

I also pray–A LOT.  I believe I will succeed because God is using me to spread powerful messages to young adults.  If you read further in this passage in Matthew  “…how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”  (Matthew 7:11)

Keep striving, keep fighting, keep expecting, keep living, keep seeking, keep asking, keep praying.  One day, it will come.

Tennyson:  To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Ever.

So, Mr. Bransford, don’t tell me not to dream, don’t tell me not to expect, and don’t warn me about what will happen if I do.  I may lose everything else in life and everything else may get taken away–but not this.  Not my mind.  Not my soul.  And not what comes from those.

Life is too transitory otherwise without dreams and expectations.  It’s what has gotten people through their days for centuries.  It’s what God has given us (free will and inward desire to make life better).  It’s the one thing I hold when everything else is slipping away–my faith, my God, and my dreams.

Time to Pray

I so think my story is done (my YA novel that is).  I don’t want to go back to it.  Yet, I just got more suggestions from an agent who said I was 90% there and said it was too “heavy-handed” with the characters and I needed to eliminate some things.

To be perfectly honest, I really don’t want to.  I have re-written this story so much by now that it’s amazingly pathetic.

My only consideration is, “Is this the story God wants me to do?”  If so, then I need to obviously take her advice and work on it…again.  But, part of me is ready to move on to my next story.  Part of me feels this is just such a waste of my time when there are so many other things I could be doing.  How long does one follow a pipe dream?  How badly do I want to be published?  How badly do I want this?

Yet, if I didn’t feel this story wasn’t worth telling, I’d have moved on long ago.  Yet something about this one–the potential power it holds–keeps me working on it.  At what point do I say, “Enough already?”  I am so torn up over this project that I’m having trouble describing how I feel right now.  I’m very sad and beaten down by it all–the process, the story, the memories, and the hope (fruitless?).

I know there is something here, but do I have the fortitude to keep digging until it is crystal clear to readers?  Part of me wishes someone would just tell me my writing sucks and stop dangling out hope that maybe one day I’ll get it right.  It is so much easier to just give up rather than fight through the pain I feel every time I work on the novel one more time.

All I know is it’s time to pray…some more.  I don’t have the answers.  My characters can’t tell me what to do.  It’s all in my mind and I have to determine how best to reconcile it all.

What do I truly want with this story?  Is it finished?  Is there something more…something missing?

I don’t know anymore–what I want or how badly.  I really don’t know anything right now.  I’m so emotionally drained from this whole process and adverse to re-visiting the world I created that I’m unsure if I can make it any better or if I can emerge from it all.  I don’t know where my heart lies or anything…