She Changes Like the Weather in Texas!

SheChangesLiketheWeatherinTexasGood grief! I woke up this morning to find a winter wonderland (ice, not snow, my friends in the north!) in my Texas neighborhood. Just two days before, I was sitting by the lake taking in the fresh air and watching the ducks and pelicans swim by. Well you know what they say about Texas weather…if you don’t like it, stick around a while and it will change for you.

Sitting by my fireplace and looking out the window, I began to think about all these sudden changes, how disconcerting and troubling they can be; a to do list that is no longer applicable, a walkway I can no longer use, and a car that sits in the garage, useless. If I sit here much longer I may find myself depressed!

But if I look on the other side of the room, I see a different picture: my husband peacefully reading and sipping on warm coffee in front of the fireplace, a pot of hot soup simmering on the stove, and Ellie, the dog, grateful to be in her cozy bed under the desk. This is quite a different view from the same seat. Am I in the same house?

Changes in our lives can happen this suddenly, and depending on the direction we look we can find ourselves disconcerted and troubled, or we can choose to look across the room toward faith, believing that God has this change squarely in His control. The wisdom to know the difference between what I can change and what God is changing is my daily prayer. It is this wisdom that gives us freedom to move and act in a peaceful and joy filled life.

Job 36:26-33 puts it this way:
How great is God—beyond our understanding!
    The number of his years is past finding out.
He draws up the drops of water,
    which distill as rain to the streams;
the clouds pour down their moisture
    and abundant showers fall on mankind.
Who can understand how he spreads out the clouds,
    how he thunders from his pavilion?
See how he scatters his lightning about him,
    bathing the depths of the sea.
This is the way he governs the nations
    and provides food in abundance.
He fills his hands with lightning
    and commands it to strike its mark.
His thunder announces the coming storm;
    even the cattle make known its approach.

So now I say, when change comes my way, bring it Lord! For when I see change, I see Your movement in my life, change that has been sifted through Your almighty hand. And I need only to look in Your direction to see that it will be for good.

About the Writer:
Pam Brewer is Director of Women to Women Ministry of First Baptist Dallas, a wife, a mom, a grandmother, and grateful to be included in this great team of Yada Yada bloggers.

Advertisements

Redeeming the Table Take 2

The 2nd blog post ever written for Yada Yada was titled A Call to the Table. It is a beautiful description of the table we all daydream about. Not the one you see masterfully set in the Pottery Barn catalog. Almost anyone can do that. I can hear my 8 year old even now as I type, solving life’s most complicated issues: “Just Google it mom.” No, the table I’m talking about is the one your heart longs for, you’re welcome to go back and read about it (HERE).
I confess, I don’t have that table. I can Pinterest with the best of them, making my table exquisitely adorned. But the table that beckons you, the table that leaves your love tank full to the brim is a struggle, and I’m just not there yet. Table2
Let me tell you what my table looks like. I am about to give you some specifics. Don’t get hung up on MY specifics. There is something in your life that has been touched by the brokenness of this world. My brokenness happens to be (among other places) around the table.
Stress. Do you recognize this quality at your table? Rewind to 2008, my 11 month old was diagnosed with deadly food allergies. At 32 I re-learned how to cook sans dairy, egg, and beef. These foods were not allowed in the house. It was just too frightening. Fear. Do you recognize fear at your table? How about less frightening, 6 and 8 year old picky eaters….can I get a witness?!
Sometimes the table is THE last place I want to be, and yet it is where I am supposed to be. The least lovely places often turn out to be a golden latitude in your heart. Did you know “God ordains restoration” (Oswald Chambers My Upmost for His Highest)? In the hardest of places, historic of screw-ups, to the smallest of hiccups—God ordains restoration. He has known from the beginning we would need it. You can read it in Ezra 1-6 or just about any other place in His word. In my life (specifically 2015 A.D.), the God of all creation has shown me to pray: “LORD, redeem my table!” And why wouldn’t He? Redeemer is one of His names! Redeeming my table starts with me.
The brokenness of this world has touched every one of our hearts in some way. It may not be your dinner table that needs redeeming. Whatever it is, Jesus wants you to bring it to Him.

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3

What is broken that needs to be bound up in your life? Call it out to Him in this moment! He hears you, He sees you, He redeems!

About the Writer:
Mindy Truly is the wife to her patient and much better half – Jeff, and a reluctant (initially) homeschool mom to their 2 sons. She earned her BS in Environmental Design from Texas A&M 8 years prior to being called to leave her safe career to become a stay at home mom – something she had no experience in. For this and several other things the LORD has called her family to do, God has shown Himself faithful to provide for His call. She loves to encourage women with the gospel…the gift that keeps on giving (Colossians 2:6).

Grounded

Change — I both love and fear it. In many ways I structure my life in such a way to control the presence of what I fear. I avoid getting my hair cut, I workout faithfully, I never dated as a teenager, I have struggled with disordered eating over the years — I daily fight the desire to control “my” world. In spite of this (or perhaps proceeding this), my life up to this point has pushed me in extreme ways to run into the unknown, unpredictable and risky. I wish I could just look back on all the many times God has without fail led me, protected me, comforted me; and rest in the security of His presence and purposes. However, I still find that I fight to rest.Grounded

Psalm 139 is, to me, one of the most grounding portions of scripture.

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will lay hold of me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me,
And the light around me will be night,”
Even the darkness is not dark to You,
And the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are alike to You. (verses 7-12)

When changes in life leave me feeling anxious, instead of exploding over the day-to-day stimuli and instead of making reckless, headstrong decisions; I find it helpful to focus on God’s love and His provision. Change is simply a veil to look through as I look to what lies beyond — an unchanging God who is eternally victorious and loving.

Change leads me to challenge the authenticity of my faith. When life is good, will I still passionately pursue Him? When life is disappointing, will I remain joyful? When life is overwhelming, can I experience His peace? When life is unpleasant, will I listen to His voice? Is there a change that can shake me so much that my faith wavers and my heart is swayed? Yes, no doubt. But the one holding on to me can never be shaken.

If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is.
2 Timothy 2:13

In every life-change, God is revealing Himself. How has God revealed Himself to you lately?

About the Writer:
Lyndsay has been many things in her past, but no career, experience, or calling define her more than the desire to follow after Christ. At present, she teaches movement classes and works as a wellness consultant in addition to raising her daughter to know and love the Lord.

Lyndsay has a blog dedicated to sharing and celebrating the work of Christ through her experiences as a missionary, world traveler, knowledge seeker, and recipient of God’s lavish grace.

Winds of Change

It’s 2015—a new year, new resolutions and new opportunities to make a change. Whatever the day, month or season may bring, changes will most certainly come. But this begs the question: do you want to change? And if so, will you be ready to accept the change?Winds of Change
Let’s face it, letting go of what’s familiar is tough. Changing careers, schools, or moving to a new location can drain us. Health changes (and challenges) can certainly be tough. It’s even harder to leave behind old habits, attitudes and behaviors.
Ever had a destructive habit? For me, it’s the battle of the bulge. Every new year I make the same resolution. I think this year will be different as I hope for a newer, sleeker me. And each year, about three weeks in, I cave and go back to my old habits. Maybe you’ve experienced a loved one’s downward spiral desperately attempting to rescue them time and time again until finally God finally laid on your heart, “Stop. Let go.”
Do you want to see a transformation in your life? Maybe you have tried to overcome a particular problem or a habit and have failed. But this isn’t about you trying now. This is about God giving you the strength to do it. Jesus said, “With God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). Jesus, the Son of God, is alive and still changing lives. He is ready and more than able to change yours. He has called us to move on to new life by letting go of our old worldly lives, our old habits, our old dreams. He has called us to boldly move forward without looking back because He is in the transforming business.
I love acronyms. It helps me remember things as I “mature.” I wrote this acronym for CHANGES in my Bible a long time ago and now I’d like to share it with you:

Christ
Has
A
New
Gift
Each

Second

This blows me away! To think Jesus Christ, who gave me the greatest gift of all when He died for my sins, continues to heap more gifts on me every second of every minute of every hour of every day. When I stop looking at me and focus more on Him, the excitement keeps building. Gifts can be as simple as a card from a friend, a smile from a co-worker, an encouraging phone call. The list goes on forever. What’s especially comforting to me is God’s promise in Malachi 3:6, “For I am the Lord, I change not.” Let’s face it, the whole world is changing around us, but our one constant is GOD and His great love for us.
Changes? Let ‘em come! Change can be our friend. In 2015 and beyond, let’s not walk in fear, but in faith—trusting God with all the changes, knowing that He is more than able to help us and has plans to bless us.

About the Writer:
Debby Efurd has facilitated post-abortion recovery groups in the North Texas area for the past three years and is a certified trainer with Life Impact Network. She is co-founder of Initiative 180 and Peace After the Storm. As a speaker and author, Debby shares her story to women of all ages with compassion, humor, wisdom, and courage. Her life journey is one of victory in Christ and amazing recovery from a past abortion. On Debby’s blog, “The Second Mile,” she shares her perspectives on what really matters in life—a relationship with Jesus Christ. Wife, mother, and grandmother, she is a life advocate, active member of First Baptist Dallas, and involved participant of her community.