Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Be Still

Be Still (Psalm 46:10)
(c) 2001 Holly L. Schmidtbleicher

BE STILL your anxious thoughts of mind;
BE STILL when answers you fail to find.
BE STILL impatient, questioning heart,
For I've held the answers from the start.

"Be still and KNOW..."
KNOW that every need I will provide;
KNOW that I will never leave your side.
KNOW that your times are in My hands,
As in your life I work to fulfill My plans.

"Be still and know that I AM..."
I AM He who sees your every tear;
I AM He who calms your deepest fear.
I AM He who gives peace within life's storms,
While those tempests I use to strengthen and form.

"Be still and know that I am GOD..."
GOD, who sent My only Son;
GOD Almighty, Omniscient One.
GOD, who loved you enough to die,
So trust Me, my child; stop asking why.

"BE STILL and KNOW that I AM GOD."

This is the desire of my be still, and to see God working everything out before me. I desire that every step I take and decision I make- big or small- would be directed by His Spirit.

Today I was literally out of breath at one point, my heart beating so fast... just running from one thing to another, and thinking about the things I had to do. I was forced to just sit down and do nothing. I felt like God was telling me, "Slow Down- RELAX!". How can I be still with two young boys? Lord, I know there is a way...please show me.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

In Your Presence

I just came back from our women's retreat in Leesburg, Virginia. It was the first time in years I got to get away without the kids for a personal retreat. Our retreat focused on eating the Word of God, receiving Holy Communion, spending time in prayer, and experiencing true fellowship. All of these topics are things I've learned about since I was a child, but as life gets busier and more distracting, my soul feels emptier as I unknowingly neglect feeding myself with these spiritual necessities.

I realized this weekend how much I need God's grace. He is the One who gives us the desire to pray, read His Word, and receive Him, and He is also the one who gives us the strength to do all of it. All of this so we can be in His Presence...the One place where we find fullness of joy. So what's our part? After this weekend, I realized that our part is simply to work on emptying ourselves and our lives so He can have room to come that we can hear Him when we read His word and not have a cluttered mind; so we can really feel the power of His Body and Blood inside of us and not quench its power; so we can feel His presence in our prayers and not be distracted by thinking of what we have to do next; and so we can wait on Him to provide us with true fellowship instead of hurrying to fill up our calenders with events to mask our loneliness.

I'm starting to "clean up". I deleted my Facebook application on my phone (hopefully that lasts!). I am going to resist the urge to busy my days with events for the kids and I. I am going to do all of these things and more, and then I will pray that Your presence finds a place in my heart and in my home.

Monday, August 9, 2010

My Lost Little Lamb

It was a mother's worst nightmare. I lost my baby. It was only for ten minutes, but it was the longest ten minutes of my life, and it taught me several lessons I will never forget.

I was packing the kids into the car as usual. I put Daniel (my oldest) in first, and came back inside to get Timmy (my baby). He wasn't in the usual spot that he is when he's waiting for me to put him in the car, so I thought maybe he had walked upstairs. He's very curious and active so at this point I wasn't worried at all. When I searched the house three times and didn't find him even when I called his name out, I began to panic. I started running back and forth down the street calling his name, but I couldn't hear him. I asked all the neighbors but no one had seen him. At this point, I was crying, out of breath, and begging God to help me. Finally, I heard him crying, but I still couldn't see where he was! My adrenaline was so high at this point, and my thoughts so crazy, that I was ready to barge into my neighbors' homes in case he had been kidnapped. Then, finally, I saw him across the parking lot in a big grass field coming towards me. It seemed as though he had walked out on the other side of the car while I was packing Daniel, and I because he's so short, I couldn't see him. I ran to him as he was running to me open armed. I hugged and kissed him over and over, while tears streamed down my face. He was barefoot and one of his little feet had got caught in something, which is why he was crying. It broke my heart to think that even for just ten minutes, my baby was lost, scared, and hurt.

Those ten minutes shook me more than I've been shaken in a long time. And with the recent drowning death of one of the youth from our church, tragedy was something that was on all of our minds...especially all mothers. That afternoon, I wrote him a letter in his baby book saying how he has been an angel and blessing in our life, even after just 18 months. It also made me realize that life is short, and all that I would want for my two children is that they know and love Jesus. Education, sports, friends, and all the other stuff we worry about for our kids will come- but the most important thing for them is to be a light in this world, reflecting His love and His goodness.

It also made me think of Christ the Good Shepherd, and how He is constantly crying and searching frantically for His lost sheep, just like I was for mine. He not only hears His lost sheep crying (as I did), but He can actually see them stuck in their own pit. I can't fathom that God loves my children more than I do- but He does. So imagine how much more frantic and sad He is when He sees His lost sheep hurting and scared? And the saddest part is that He has His arms wide open, and He desires that we come to Him, but many times we don't. We choose to stay trapped in our misery, either because we are chained to our sin or because we think that He won't want us back. When Timmy came back to me, I didn't yell at him for running away or not wearing his shoes, I didn't even remember any of that. I was just so happy that I had found him. And that's how we should think of our Lord Jesus Christ- the Good Shepherd. He is waiting for us, with open arms to hold us and never let us go. His love is truly unfathomable.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Spirit Understands!

Yesterday I took my mom to Jireh Cafe, a new Christian bakery/coffee shop in the area. Around 7 years ago, my mom started showing signs of some type of Alzheimer's or Dementia. Now, seven years later, she has full blown frontotemporal dementia (Pick's Disease), leaving her with the inability to speak, comprehend, and function at even a basic level. The disease has completely stolen my mom away from us. Although I don't know why, I trust that God has allowed this to happen for a good reason. She was- and is- one of God's saints. She was an incredible, Godly mother. She now lives with her brother and his wife who are serving her as one would serve Christ (I can do an entire entry on how amazing they are!)- and coincidentally (or not so coincidentally!), they live just 25 minutes from me. I usually take the kids to see her once a week, but this week I went by myself so I could have more quality time with her.

Since she can't speak or comprehend, its hard to think of things to do with her. Usually I take her walking somewhere, because she loves to see people and God's nature. But this week, I tried something different when I took her to Jireh Cafe. We ordered smoothies, and then I started reading aloud to her from a book called, "Heaven Awaits". She was pretty quiet while I was reading, and I knew that she didn't understand but I continued reading because the content was great. And then I read the following passage:

"In England I was told of a lady who had been bedridden for years. She was one of those saints whom God polishes up for the kingdom- for I believe that there are a good many saints in this world whom we never hear about. We never see their names heralded through the press. They live very near the Master, very near heaven."

As soon as I finished those words, she enthusiastically looked up and muttered something that sounded like "yes"! I couldn't believe it, it was as though her spirit woke up and was trying to communicate with me. It reminded me of the verse in 1 Corinthians 2 that says, "For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him?" It was so comforting, I felt like God was telling me, "Yes! That's exactly what I'm doing! Don't worry about her, she is close to Me and close to Heaven".

I smiled that God's spirit spoke to me through my mom who can't talk. The flesh may weaken, but the Spirit is so very much alive :)

Brotherly Love :)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Inspired by reading my friend's blog entitled, "freed to live", I decided to start my own blog entitled "freed to love". Though its one of the most basic concepts of Christianity, to have "freedom in Christ" always seemed kind of vague to me.

It was not until recently that God gave me the grace to start understanding and experiencing what this meant. Being the control freak that I am, I have always wanted things around me to be perfect. And for the most part, without even realizing it, I was busy trying to control everything in my life so that things would be just that- "perfect". But out of His love, God started putting things in my life that I just could not control, no matter how hard I tried: two active boys under 3 years old, a mother with severe dementia, a strained relationship with a close family member, and many other circumstances that I just had no control of.

God recently opened my eyes to see that my joy and peace have been depending on my outside circumstances instead of solely on Him. If my kids had a good day, I was happy. If my relationships were where I wanted them to be, I was ok. But if not, I would lose my peace and joy. While reading a verse that I read 1,000 times before, it struck me. "I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." The only place I would find true peace and joy that will never be taken away from me is in Him! He cannot just be one aspect of my life, He has to be EVERYTHING. If that happens, then I am already full and satisfied in Him, and whether or not the situations around me are good or bad, I'll be ok because I am IN HIM. I realized that once I experience His love, and get filled with the love of Christ, instead of the love of people- I will be free to love others, and whether or not they love me back is ok, because I am loving them with the love that Christ put inside of me, not a conditional love that is only satisfied when someone loves me back.

I feel like God has brought me to a new place with this new outlook on things. And I didn't really do anything to get here, I just simply asked Him in prayer and the Holy Spirit did the rest. Now, I am just at the very beginning, but I feel like I have a new freedom to love and to give, without being hesitant because I'm afraid of getting hurt. I realized that God is my all in all and He is more than enough to supply all of my needs.

So what am I doing practically? I'm letting nothing get in the way of my time with Him. When my kids go down for their nap, I usually get to cleaning my house and taking care of the million things I have to do. Now, I force myself to drop everything, grab my Bible and spiritual books and sit with Him. I'm holding on to that promise of "Seek first the kingdom of heaven and His righteousness, and ALL these things shall be added unto you...". I used to be so paranoid about my kids watching any television, but now I will let them watch for half an hour if I didn't get a chance to do my quiet time during the day. I figured its better for my kids to have a mom who is filled with God, rather than no television and an empty mom.

Please pray that God would continue His work in me :) I am a priest's wife, and I feel like this freedom to love will be so important in our service to Him. I've realized that I will face a lot of disappointment if I look around me for love and satisfaction instead of looking to Him.

Park Day!