The Day the Wall Fell

I’m not one to run to people with my issues. Ask me how I’m doing and I will probably give you my default answer, “Good, yeah I’m good.” It’s not that I want to be false, I’m just not one to lightly bare my soul.

Maybe you can relate?

I remember several years ago hearing Joyce Meyer on the television telling us to “Run to the throne not the phone.” I know she wasn’t suggesting we never talk with a trusted friend or counsellor. It was just that some people either run to the phone only, or they run to the phone first, putting Christ as a last resort.

Are you a phone first or throne first kind of girl?

A few years back I was having some issues. I had gone to the throne and talked about them with my heavenly Father almost on a daily basis. He told me to go talk with one particular lady at church. I thought it odd that the creator of mankind would pass me off to one of His creations. What in the world was a mere mortal going to do that the great I AM couldn’t do?

I didn’t want to take my concerns to that particular lady, so I shelved the idea.

Have you been down that road?

The Lord instructed you to do something and it wasn’t what you had in mind so you either put it off or conveniently forgot about it?

The issue continued and I continued to bring it to the Lord. He reminded me to talk with that particular lady. “Not her Lord. Please not her.” Now let me make something clear, It wasn’t that she was mean, oh no quite the opposite. She was a sweet southern soul, kind and considerate. Gentleness and love poured out of her every word and action. She loved everyone and everyone loved her. But I did not want to talk with her, at least not in a counselling situation.

I brought up several other names before the Lord, each time He brought me back to the sweet southern soul. It was way past time to obey.

Picking up the phone I dialed her number, half hoping she would not answer. At least I could tell the Lord I tried and perhaps then He would say I could talk with someone else.

Have you ever given the Lord alternatives to His plan for you?

When she answered I felt embarrassed and stumbled over my words. I apologized over and over again for bothering her. It was a difficult conversation for me but, she was gracious and we arranged a date to meet.

I didn’t want to bare my issues to anyone, not even the other names I had mentioned to the Lord. Pride kept them locked inside, walled up in their own prison. I didn’t know it was pride that shackled me. I told myself, my issues were just that, My Issues and nobody’s business other than the Lord’s.

My sweet, southern soul lady listened and only spoke to prompt questions. She didn’t give me a five step plan, or pretend to have all the answers. Instead she gave her ear, her heart and her time.

It was a humbling experience for me to ask for help, but one that I will always cherish.

A wall called Pride, cracked and crashed the day I obeyed the Lord and asked for help.

No matter the name of your wall it can come crashing down too. Seek the Lord and follow His instructions and watch your wall or walls fall.

“God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6

Until next week

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance.

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Give From the Inside Out

Generosity comes in all sizes from a large financial gift to an unexpected smile from a stranger. Throughout scripture we read account after account of people giving both out of their abundance and their need.

Red tartan had made a comeback once again and I was glad I had kept my jacket. There was a slight chill in the air making it a perfect day to wear it. Updated jeans and top and who would know the jacket was from the eighties…no shoulder pads for this girl!

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38NIV

I stopped at the Welcome Center in the church foyer to say hi to a dear friend, she too was sporting red tartan only hers was on her purse. I told you it was fashionable.

We talked for awhile, red tartan being part of the conversation, she asked me if I liked her purse?

I did.

As we talked she emptied the contents onto the Welcome Center table. I thought it a little strange but kept on with our conversation thinking she must be looking for something hidden deep in the recesses of her purse.

All of the contents lay on the table and I mean ALL. my friend picked up her purse looked me straight in the eye and told me she would like me to have her red tartan bag. There wasn’t any hesitation on her part, no waiting to get home and change purses before offering. It was straight up lets do it now.

I hesitated to accept.

What was she going to do with the contents from her purse? How was she going to get them home? Here they lay spread out on the table. She on the other hand did not see it as an issue. I wasn’t looking for a purse, though, you know we can always use another one. I accepted because she wanted to bless me and I was not going to deny her the privilege of being a blessing.

This lady, my friend Joelda ,has blessed many people over the years. Sometimes it has been with a particular gift, other times a word of encouragement or a scripture verse. She is the lady you go to if needing to be covered in prayer. The wisdom the Lord has given her is beyond her years, she would be first to say that she is not that wise but really she is. She is humble, she always gives God the glory for what He has done in and through her life.

Giving Joelda Style

Being generous has nothing to do with our bank account or our possessions, it is an attitude of the heart. I think we all could learn from Joelda:

Give without hesitation

Give from the inside out.

Always be thankful for what we have no matter how much or little it is.

Own our possessions but don’t let them own us.

Be generous and bless someone today whether it is with a material or financial gift, a word of encouragement or scripture verse. Be available to cover someone in prayer and always give God all the praise.

My dear friend is leaving Arkansas to live in New Mexico, she will be greatly missed not only by me but by all her have known her. Albuquerque is getting a gem, she has certainly been a treasure to us in Central Arkansas.

To the saints in New Mexico concerning Joelda; “I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of his people and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been the benefactor of many people, including me.” Romans 16:2NIV

Do you know someone like Joelda, someone who gives from the inside out? Would love to hear about your friend, leave a comment on this site or on my Facebook page Grace Lace and Polkadots.

Until Next Week

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance

More Than a Diaper Changer

Getting along with people can be a challenge, whether it is in the workplace or in a social setting. It causes unspoken tension which can lead to verbal explosion. The good news is, you get to walk away from the person and go home, shut your door and leave the world outside.

But what if….

…the tension is in the home?

I have been reading about Leah, Rachel and Jacob. Talk about family dynamics! This family had issues to put it mildly.

Leah according to Genesis 29:17A NIV had weak eyes, or as the NLT version puts it “There was no sparkle in Leah’s eyes.” I wonder if she not only had poor physical vision but also a poor self imagine?. Jacob however was not attracted to her, he had eyes for her younger sister Rachel who had a beautiful figure and a lovely face (Genesis 29:17B NLT).

Long story short Jacob worked for their father, Laban, for seven years as payment to marry Rachel. On the wedding night he was tricked and ended up marrying Leah. When he realized what had happened he and Laban exchanged a few words. Laban explained the custom was for the older daughter to marry first. I can’t help but wonder why no one in the seven years Jacob was there didn’t mention this custom to him.

At the end of Leah’s bridal week, Laban gave Rachel to Jacob in exchange for another seven years work. Think about that; Leah gets married to a man who had no intention of marrying her, then one week later she has to share him with the woman he does love, who just happens to be her sister.

Leah give birth to two sons and each time she hoped her husband would now love her (Genesis 29:30 & 31). On the third son she hoped he would feel affection for her (Genesis 29:34), sounds like a downgrade to me. After the fourth child, Judah, she stopped having children, at least for awhile.

In the mean time Rachel was not getting pregnant and became jealous of her sister, so she gave her maid Bilhah to her husband for the sole purpose of producing children. Bilhah and Jacob had two children together and Rachel was delighted. After the second son Rachel declares, “I have struggled hard with my sister, and I am winning!” Talk about sibling rivalry!

Leah then gives her maid Zilpah to Jacob, they have two children together. The sibling rivalry continues, in Genesis 30:15 we read, But Leah angrily replied, “Wasn’t it enough that you stole mu husband? Now will you steal my son’s mandrakes, too?”

Don’t know about you, but I kind of think it was Leah who stole Rachel’s husband. I’m telling you TV soap operas have nothing on this family.

Leah gives birth to another two sons, Genesis 30:20b “God has given me a good reward. Now my husband will treat me with respect, for I have given him six sons.” She has gone from wanting to be loved, to a show of affection, to settling for respect. After six sons Leah gives birth to the only girl in the family; Dinah. Who by the way was raped by a prince who then fell in love with her, but Dinah’s two full brothers, Simeon and Levi revenge slaughtered every male in the town, read for yourself in Genesis 34.

Rachel gives birth to two sons, Joseph and Benjamin but she had a hard delivery with Benjamin and dies just after she named him. Joseph goes on to save Egypt during a seven year famine but that’s another story.

I find the old testament fascinating it is filled with flawed people, yet the Lord chose to use them. Matthew 1 records the genealogy of Jesus and guess who is there? Jacob and his son Judah (vs 2), the same Jacob who married two sisters Leah and Rachel.

Leah and Rachel’s lives revolved around having babies. They did not perform heroic exploits or ruled as judge over a nation but without Leah, Judah would not have been born, remember he is mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus. Without Rachel, Joseph would not have been born and so would not have been able to save not only Egypt but his whole family from starvation, so persevering the family line.

We may long to do great exploits, to be remembered for a special accomplishment and for some that may happen. But the greatest accomplishment as mothers/grandmothers whether we are the biological parent or not is to teach our children about Jesus and to cover them in prayer. Our children are the workers and leaders of tomorrow, only the Lord knows their future and how that will affect generations to come. You are more than a diaper changer!

Family life can be rough on times and raising children is not for the faint of heart, but you can do it. The Lord does not require us to be perfect parents, rather parents who ask Him for wisdom.

To all my friends in the UK, Happy Mother’s Day for March 26th.

Until next week

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance

Do you have a piece of advice to share on parenting or something the Lord has shown you from studying Leah and Rachel? Feel free to share in the comment box.