Sunday, November 29, 2009

Remarkable Revelation

I'm continually amazed at how God takes heartbreak or disappointment and spins something amazing out of it. Early in 2009, what I once had perceived as a "dream come true" quickly transformed into a nightmare. Surprisingly, pain is an incredible teacher. It's the lessons that hurt that stick. Because of the lessons I learned through the pain of Jonnae's leukemia, I was better able to bounce back from, and embrace, the lessons contained in the pain of this year.

God's creative in the material He uses to teach Some choose to turn a deaf ear to Him. However, me personally...the more I know Him, the more I want to know Him. The more He has to say to me, the more I want to hear Him speak.

I don't imagine God getting frustrated at how long it can take me to get the lessons. Instead, I think He must find me rather amusing. Maybe He's like me and appreciates a good challenge. I don't wish to, but I surely must challenge His patience. (Thank you God for being so patient)

I'm like a child in so many ways (and amuse myself with that analogy often). Children love stories. To help me through the pain and lead me to a place of understanding, God used two stories to better teach me the life lessons I was having such a hard time getting. Although entirely different in their nature, one fiction and one not, finally, I GET IT!

When one is confident and strong it intimidates others. Instead of tapping into the power of greatness they have within themselves, weaker and less confident souls will be meanspirited and try to intimidate and hurt the one(s) they are jealous of. The Wicked Witch did it with Dorothy. Saul did it with David. As God revealed this Truth, He restored my confidence and strength. It wasn't a quick lesson; I questioned God numerous times. Part of me wanting to make sure I was understanding Him and another not wanting to believe what He was saying. As God always is, He was Patient and Loving.

Upon her arrival in Oz, Dorothy was told the Witch would make Dorothy miserable and the sooner she got out the better. It took her a while to figure out how, but eventually she reclaimed the power she had had all along (but had forgotten) and she left. Once David learned Saul did not have a spirit of God, he chose not to follow and left Saul's command. Revenge wasn't necessary, no nasty exchange took place, it was simply a time for both to move on.

I'm in awe of how God continues to mold, teach, hold, and love me. I'm intrigued by how long it can take me to get the lesson and fascinated by the way God finally gets through. This week I was ecstatic to be given the opportunity to speak at a Women in Business Luncheon at The Grand. (the location of Jonnae's Celebration of Life) I was returning to this location for the first time since that amazing day and just knew that showing the 5 minute video of Jonnae's Celebration would be the perfect way to give the Spirit of Christmas. (What I long to do not just this time of year, but every day. The Spirit of Christmas is the Love of God and to turn people on to that is my purpose and calling). Only late Thursday evening I got a call that the committee had met one last time and only wanted me to talk about what I had been up to this year.

I was devestated with the disappointing news. I wanted to give the gift of that day and the powerful inspiration that would surely come from sharing it as captured on video. How would my talking about this year and what I had been up to be a gift to anyone. As I struggled with the disappointment and reminded myself that faith is not needing to understand the reason, but to accept it as God's plan, I heard that Divine inner voice remind me I was like David.

It was then that another miraculous revelation took place. On numerous occassions, because of her battle with the GIANT known as "Leuk" and her defying the odds, I had referred to Jonnae as David (She liked it and told me to call her Davey). I have also said that Jonnae and I had become one. As I realized that we have both been called David, I feel both her and God's embrace. There is more to David's story than that of David and Goliath. I would not have learned about it had it not been presented to me through God's Living Word and the lessons He taught me through it this year. Not only has the time come for me to be strong and move on, the time has also come for me to embrace the rest of the story, not only Jonnae's as a young "David against Goliath", but mine also, as it mirrors much of David's adult life. It's an incredible story of how the test turning into a testimony. It gives the weary sinner hope and the beaten down strength.

Blessed through the pain of 2009 and how God revealed I have a 'heart like His', I can't help but wonder what He has in store for me in 2010. I guess I GET TO wait and see. :0)

Front and center in His Classroom,

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Get Plugged In!

The other day I was trying to upload a picture into my computer. Normally, as soon as I connect my camera to the computer an automatic upload begins. After two hours of turning my camera off and on, checking the menus in both pieces of equipment, and even reinstalling software, I decided something was obviously broken and went to unplug the camera. The cord appeared to be plugged into the camera, but it wasn't all the way. I decided to give an extra push. The "click" happened, the connection was made and the automatic upload began.

One of the many gifts I found, in the center of Jonnae's leukemia, was God's way of communicating to us through "ordinary" circumstances. I pick up on His guidance and offerings of peace, love, and understanding in ways that I never did before.

As I realized the cord appeared to be plugged in, but was not all the way, I heard that inner voice say, "Are you sure you're plugged in?" It is this type of experience that gives birth to an investigation - soul searching if you will. It often gives me clarity, discernment, guidance, and opportunity for new growth if I accept the invitation for it.

With the soul searching that stemmed from the question, "Are you sure you're plugged in?" I realized I've been close, but not all the way. I pray often through the day (I spend a large part of my day in silence conversing with God and try not to "talk" to much, but to listen) I've lacked that connection that's made through spending time IN His Living Word. I speed read through my daily online devotions, but it's been a while since I've sat down and plugged into Scripture. I know from past experience just how loudly God speaks and how much better my day is, when I'm "plugged all the way in".

A few years ago, I had gotten into the habit of following the Catholic calendar of Scripture that is used for daily Mass. I also have embraced, at times, different Bible studies. I've decided that's only one way I'm not plugged all the way in. There are other ways. You can't execute a plan if you've not created one. My daily planning has been less than stellar. My creating a daily plan is what makes my ordinary days extraordinary. I could push myself just a tad more for the "click" to happen and the connections be made.

I've invited my family to join me in a "Last 9 of '09 Taylor Finale". 2 of my kiddos have accepted and are "plugging in" with me. They join me in morning prayer and have taken time to sit down and set short and long term goals, also creating daily plans to make those goals obtainable.
The Gospel reading for today, according to the Catholic calendar is:
Luke 14: 15 - 24
15 When one of those who sat at table with him heard this, he said to him, "Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!"
16 But he said to him, "A man once gave a great banquet, and invited many;
17 and at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, `Come; for all is now ready.'
18 But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, `I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it; I pray you, have me excused.'
19 And another said, `I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them; I pray you, have me excused.'
20 And another said, `I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.'
21 So the servant came and reported this to his master. Then the householder in anger said to his servant, `Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and maimed and blind and lame.'
22 And the servant said, `Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.'
23 And the master said to the servant, `Go out to the highways and hedges, and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled.
24 For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.'"

I have heard the question, "are you sure you're plugged in"? and I've heard God invite me to His table. My soul craves to be nourished by His banquet and I long to keep Him company in His Home. I will not run away from Him, but to Him. I will not ignore His questions or His invitations, I will get plugged in and feel that miraculous connection!

In Gratitude Always, in ALL ways,