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Archive for the ‘Obedience’ Category

Guatemalan Getaway

Heavy black exhaust fumes are unwelcome visitors barging in bus windows we have quickly opened to escape the heat.  We are two hours from the Guatemala City airport and there’s no quick way out of here.Getway 6

Not now.

We are officially committed on a nine-day course.

Our tag team of new age missionaries has set out to make monetary modifications; while our first visual encounters threaten to submerge us in a sea of hopelessness.  Poverty has clearly permeated every community in this war-torn country. So, in self-defense, we make jokes about the “chicken bus,” the obnoxious horns, and the extra-large Taco Bell.

Getaway 2

Still, it’s hard to ignore the little tin huts and greasy auto repair shops that are all around us as we head deeper into the abyss. The obnoxiously rude blaring bus horns continue to assault the senses and the smell of blackened filth seems to sit all around us.

Just as the sun is setting low over our arrival in this third world country, we pull into the place that will be our refuge. There is barely enough light to see and a hot shower is considered a luxury. Even when we have hot water, it is so contaminated we are warned not to get it in our eyes or mouth.

The temperature has dropped to a brisk 54 degrees with a noticeably cooler breeze blowing.  The rain started, but quickly stopped, and everything feels just a little damp.  It might dry out in the heat of tomorrow, but more than likely another little cloud will drift in again.

Yet, we feel incredibly blessed.

We were expecting much worse conditions.  

Our guard goes down and we settle in.

 

Morning comes with hot pancakes and coffee.

Our arrival is anticipated in the Guatemalan village of Getaway 31Patzicia where their reactions, and ours, are mixed with apprehension, anticipation, and excitement.  It’s a pleasant place with happy home visits, a few minutes at the market, and a spontaneous soccer match.

We are good to go on.

 

Bland refried black beans for the next breakfast, with grainy unseasoned corn tortillas, signal that the trip is about to change.  Our initial introduction into this mission is finally morphing into the real reason we are here. Happy home visits segue into an introduction to small hidden huts not fit for human habitation.

Getaway 30They are homes for families with five or ten children.  The despair runs deep.  The necessities for their existence are lacking at every level.  Our hearts sink.  Our emotions steel. We take inventory of what we have to give and we get to work.

Prayer is priority as our God sees and He knows and He is able.  We dole out compassion, understanding, encouragement, and love. Getaway 29  We offer up hugs, and smiles, as laughter seeps through the cracks and out into the courtyards.

God is in this place.

And, he has more for us to see.Getaway 33

 

 

Up on a remote mountain, where we experience a million miracles just riding safely in that chicken bus, we see and smell a society so far removed from our own that we are stunned!
Children, under the age of five, are dying here in San Antonio Nejapa on days when the smoke inhalation is more than their Getaway 12little lungs can filter and fight.

We are anxious to help solve this unnecessary situation and we set about installing new
stoves.Getaway 13

The inventors of this quickly assembled contraption should be honored at the city gates, as they have been given the great gift of God’s wisdom.

Getaway 15

We are humbled.

Truly humbled to help.

Our iPhones are pulled out of pockets and backpacks for the sole purpose of taking pictures so this moment of meeting on God’s terms is recorded outside of our hearts for others to see.

Getaway 17We have to share their story.  We have to tell about the stoves.

They are not expensive. In fact, their affordability is astonishing.   Who among us would not give $110 to save the life of a child?

Getaway 16

 

Time is running out.

It’s not the setting of the sun, but thick white clouds coming down on the mountain that send us back to our weeklong refuge.

The revelation of all that we own will be a bit more relevant tonight.  We gather together around a fire to sing praise songs, share stories, and make plans with a new purpose.

It doesn’t have to be us. It can be anybody.  It can be you.  There are volunteers trained in the art of stove assembly.  They just need people who are willing to pay for the life of a child.

 

 

We walk reluctantly back to our rooms.

There is still barely enough light to see.

We know that a hot shower is a luxury they have never had.

 

Getaway 19

“Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD,

and he will reward them for what they have done.” 
 — Proverbs 19:17

http://www.compassion.com

© Copyright 2016, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserve

Trust me Moses!

          Sometimes, trust is the only thing that stands between us, and the life we were meant to live.  Or a stubborn streak keeps us from seeing what God has for us. Even worse, rebellion blocks our view, when what is waiting for us is not only what we need, but what we want.Moses happy herd

          We just fought our way through three days in a desert of distrust…Moses and me…my dad…the owners of Sycamore Valley Ranch, a couple of friends, a new vet, a vet tech, a fellow boarder and then there were the well-wishers and YouTube trainers…and count on it, this “horse tale” will preach!

          It all started with an opportunity to move our horses closer to home. The decision to leave an Moses Ranchamazing ranch was difficult enough, without Moses making the most of every opportunity to stay.  But, divine encounters, are often unexpected…and interruptions, in our normal routines, almost always tell us more about ourselves than our momentary circumstances ever could.

          Moses has never had trailer trouble, as far as we know. When we went to get our foster horse, on a cold and rainy day in March, he was Moses on trailer 2ready for a ride. So it never even occurred to us what we were going to encounter, or how his resistance would cause us to question the bigger message in the mess. Much like his namesake, our Moses did not react the same way twice.

          In Exodus 17, God told the original Moses to “strike” a rock in order to get water. And, he did. But, flip over to Numbers 20 when God tells Moses to “speak” to the rock and, we find out, he didn’t. His willful disobedience was one of the worst things that could have happened to him. Continue into the book of Deuteronomy and we discover that Moses got to see The Promised Land, but he never got to put his foot in it. Forty years in the desert and a lack of trust, stubbornness, or all out rebellion kept his feet firmly planted in the wilderness.


And that brings us back to our Moses. His feet were planted right outside the horse trailer where I threatened many times to leave him. He had watched his brother, Gideon, get on the trailer and head for Moses and trailerhome. Shadow, Star and Judah all jumped right on. But, Moses, well, he was having none of it. If you’re a horse person, I can almost hear you saying, “I’ve never seen a horse I couldn’t load onto a trailer.” We had those same discussions. Pressure/release, endless lunging, Join Up, small trailer, large trailer, withholding and reward, making the wrong thing hard, the right thing easy, and I could keep going. It didn’t work with Moses. His mind was made up. Despite visual signs of depression, due to being separated from his herd, he wouldn’t go.

          I don’t doubt there might have been some fear associated with the situation. My Dad jokes that Moses saw the others leave on the trailer and not come back, so he wasn’t about to get on and go. But, what I saw was an obstinate, determined, rebellious, willful, disobedient horse that is normally gentle, Moses defiantwell-mannered, and the first to meet you in the pasture. So, why would this happen? We all asked ourselves that more than once during the time it took to bring this bad boy back around to our way of thinking.

          And, yes, we prayed. We rebuked. We laid hands on his self-inflicted injuries. Rebellion can be very painful. In the end, God answered our prayers. Moses didn’t have a change of heart and hop on the trailer, like we all hoped. But, God did send a compassionate, caring, veterinarian to help us and to help Moses. How do we know God sent him? Well, maybe it’s because he just happened to be coming to see another horse at the exact time we ran out of strength, energy and determination.  The Doc offered to give Moses a small injection of sleepy meds, like they often use to load race horses, but even then, it still took six of us to hoist Moses’ 835-pound body up into the trailer.

          The medication wore off quickly.  Moses enjoyed a little “Scooby Snack” on his way home and, when Moses herd runninghe stepped off the trailer 35 minutes later… there was his family… his herd…running to meet him.

          So many times, during the stress, the frustration, the 90-degree heat, the “what are we going to do next” mode, we kept trying to tell him, “Moses, if you only knew what was waiting for you, you would go.”

          And, that’s where I think we are most of the time. We’re afraid to trust, so we just go with stubborn.  We put our feet down and refuse to budge when God is trying to lead us.  But, willful disobedience and rebellion have to be dealt with if we really want the best that God has for us. It’s so easy to plant our feet in a comfort zone, or fear what is out of sight, when, what is up ahead is so much better than anything we could ever obtain on our own. I suspect God also says to us, “If you only knew what was waiting for you, you would go.”

          I’ve heard two messages on endurance since all this happened and one message on how I need to trust. So, trust me, Moses, I’m wide-awake and listening!Moses in grass

Is there some area of your life you are refusing to surrender?

Do you feel afraid, stubborn or rebellious?

Moses on back

It’s okay, God is amazingly patient.

But, the sooner you come around to his way of thinking, the better off you will be!!

Just trust Him. 

Some trust in chariots and some in horses,

but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. —Psalm 20:7

 

Trust in the lord and do good;

dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. —Psalm 37:3

 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart

and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways acknowledge him,

and he will make your paths straight.” —Proverbs 3:5-6

© Copyright 2015, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserve

 

 

Worn Out on Words

          The rooster doesn’t seem to know the difference in daylight and dark.  He crows in the morning, he crows at night, and Rooster edgeat high noon, sun shining, or rain clouds forming, he perches somewhere near and wears us out with his cock-a-doodle-doo’ing.  Likewise, his harem of chickens cackle on all day, boasting of their latest egg laying experience, while those of us at the horse barn get caught up in the chaotic cacophony.

            It’s not unlike the commotion of constant chitchat, which seems to ensue at work, home, or any other event where co-workers, family or friends flock together.  Someone doesn’t meet our expectations and we assume justification in trash talking them to anyone willing to listen.  We are overworked, under-appreciated, taken advantage of, and now we feel we have a green light for gossip. chickens at barn edge

         A family member decides to ditch a once-in-a-lifetime event, and we feel we have every right to replay what they’ve done, long after they’ve forgotten it themselves.   A friend makes a foolish choice and they are fodder for tantalizing talk at the dinner table.  Someone is rude to us for no reason and the gloves come all the way off.  A boss places unreasonable demands on us and we just have to let off steam.  Venting is therapeutic.  Or, so it seems.  In reality, it’s one of the easiest traps to slip into, and one of the hardest to escape.  While we are fanning the flames, we’re the ones getting burned.  It wears us down mentally, physically, and anyone with half a conscious begins to feel guilty.  But we continue to convince ourselves it’s our duty to rake the “really guilty ones” over the coals.

 Proverbs 26:20 Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down. 

     The words are right there.  We see.  We know.  We’ve done this before.  After all, there’s nothing quite like the righteous indignation of thinking we are the ones who are right. Even if our self-focused opinions lead to anger, stress and frustration — for some insanely repetitive reason — we keep signing up for the scenic route around the same old mountain. 

          I recently found myself in more than one situation with no shortage of words.  The Holy Spirit reminded me to keep quiet.  My late father-in-law’s wisdom reworked its way through my mind, The less I say, the less I have to give account for.  And yet I ran into the fray, stumbling over everyone else’s words to hurry and get in my own.

          Chicken edgeAnd now, I am worn out on words.  I am worn out on my own words, and I am worn out on the words of others.  I feel frustrated, angry and stressed about all that has been discussed.  I’m certain nothing that was said changed any of the situations.  But every word I spoke contributed to the “dis-ease” of all that was happening.

           In the book of Titus, Chapter 3 verses 1-7, it says: “Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.  

           Trust me, I’m not climbing up on a self-righteous soapbox.  In fact, this is more of a confession.  I’ve been doing a lot of  “fence-sitting” next to that rowdy old rooster.  The more I flap my mouth, the harder it is for me to hear from God.  The louder my voice, the quieter His becomes.  It causes me the greatest stress. It causes me to stop and look around; and when I recognize the same old path I’m on again, I realize it’s time to turn back.  I need His direction.  I need to hear His words, not my own.

           So, I crank up some contemporary Christian music to drown out the sounds of those crazy chickens.  Music can change our moods quicker than most anything.  Then, I stop long enough to sit down and look  for some answers to this age-old problem of talking too much.

           I get more words. 

           But these will never wear us out.

“And the words of the Lord are flawless, like silver purified in a crucible, like gold refined seven times.” Psalm 12:6

The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing Proverbs 12:18

 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  Philippians 4:8

 What are you spending your time thinking about?

Who are you talking about?

Have they done something far worse than the things you have done?

Sometimes it’s so hard to extend our mercy.

But mercy has been given to us, over and over and over again.

Barn edge

© Copyright 2013, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved 

Just Keep Breathing

Keep Breathing 1

The wilderness is dry and dusty

                 The heat almost unbearable…                   

The desire for nourishment insatiable…

For water, unquenchable…

Just Breath 7

 The sun peaks through the clouds.

But just as quickly, it slips back in again.

There is hope.

But not every day…

Just keep breathing 9

 Fear hovers like a repetitive nightmare.

Stealing what little peace sleep might bring.

Worry wears down the defenses and erodes its lifeline.

Guilt begins to guide.

Just Breath 5

 The loneliness is confusing.

The temptations torturing…

The soul wrestles for freedom.

Knowledge knows this won’t last.

Wisdom calls out for rescue.

Faith falls on its face again and again.

Just Breath 6

 The winds pick up.

A storm rolls in.

The rain beats down.

And there is silence.

 Tears leave traces of resisting and submitting.

Laying it down and picking it up…

Choosing…

Choosing again…

The struggle weighs its odds…

And makes one last stand.

 

The weary can go no further.

And there will certainly be no compromise.

But, things have already been worked out.

Prepared in advance…

A plan falls into place.

Keep Breathing 2

 There is no earthquake, fire or flood.

Just a still small voice…

A lamp for the feet…

A light for the path…

Just Breath 8

 And the wanderer is mercifully extradited from the wilderness.

 All that was held so tightly…

Just fades away…

 When eyes that could not see…

 Finally turn toward The Promised Land!

Just Breath 4

   There is something you are going through right now…something you are about to encounter…something you have already experienced.  It may not be as bad as what your friends or family are facing, but it is your burden to bear, your cross to carry, your test to undertake.  No matter what it is, no matter how you hurt, no matter how lost you might feel, our God is still faithful.   Nothing in all creation is hidden from his sight, no matter where your feet are about to walk. 

He will NEVER leave you, nor forsake you. 

Just keep breathing because even when you don’t see it or feel it,  

help is on the way. 

I know this to be true, because I just came out of the wilderness,

and believe me, it wasn’t my first walk.

During the times I thought I could take no more,

this song reminded me just how much I needed Him and still need him NOW!

 “Before you ever get a problem, God has your deliverance planned.”

~Joyce Meyer

 “In the fourteenth chapter of John’s gospel a puzzled Thomas says to Jesus, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going.  How can we know the way?’ Jesus answers him with no small boldness: “I am the way…” (John 14:6)

~Melissa Moore Fitzpatrick

 Happy New Year! 

I hope you are off to a good start and that you will continue to seek the will of God.  Our will and our way often lead us down the wrong road.

  If you would like to get an email when there’s a new post just click the little box at the top of the right column.  There’s no set schedule for publishing so I’m happy to send you a note.  Thanks so  much for everyone’s support and to all the subscribers.

 It’s a journey that often requires another start.

🙂

© Copyright 2013, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved

All Things New

          A new kitchen, a new bathroom, a new den, a new school, and a new church…I could go on and on.  When I look back over the years, since I’ve been married and had children, there have been so many changes.  But when I look close, when I really examine how all these “new” things came about, it seems each one started as some sort of catastrophe, disaster or terribly tragic situation.  At least that’s the way it seemed at the time.  Go with me here for a moment, I promise not to document all of them in detail.  

          Our first remodel was the result of a slow leak under our tub.  As happy new homeowners we had no idea the water wasn’t draining out, but seeping between the floor and the tiny little ceramic tiles.  By the time we discovered the problem it was too late. The insurance company refused to pay for it, and the repairs were going to cost us thousands of dollars we didn’t really have to spend.  It was a real stressful time that only intensified when the contractor took a full YEAR to repair ONE bathroom. When it was finally finished, the contractor’s work didn’t comply with company standards, so after an inspection, our money was refunded.  I’m serious, every penny back in the bank.

          A sagging roofline and collapsing floors forced us into our 2nd remodel.  This time it was our kitchen.  Although we were more remodel savvy, we still weren’t prepared for all the things that went wrong.  The day after the new contractor told us it was going to cost much more than we ever imagined, someone sent us a check to cover the expenses.  I know, it sounds unbelievable, but it’s true.

-A late night lightning strike that set our house on fire sealed the deal on a new den.  

-A school that shut down abruptly left us in limbo but sent us searching for the school God had selected.  

-A church that split, not once but twice, turned us toward the wonderful place where we worship now.

          Every situation found us in fear, frustration, anger, tears and turmoil.  But each obstacle left us better prepared to persevere.  

          We’re obviously not “home free” because the journey continues.

          We’re now being tested by new trials.  I’d like to say we are champions of James 1:2 and consider it all joy, but that wouldn’t necessarily be true.  We do laugh, in between the latest thing to go wrong, and the mini-meltdowns that come as a result of having no control.  And we press on.

          Yesterday, as I was admiring the beautiful autumn leaves, it occurred to me that they have to die in order to make way for all things new.  And each time we go through something trying, something tough, something we would rather not experience, we die a little more to ourselves and are forced to rely more faithfully on the hand of God.

          It all sounds sort of simple in a way…something broke…we got it fixed…it all turned out better.  But I’m looking back over 17 years and I can tell you it wasn’t simple, it wasn’t easy and, at times, we saw no end in sight. 

           So, wherever we are headed now, whatever God has planned, as hard as it is to sit still and not try to orchestrate our own solutions, He already has it figured out.  He’s told us not to worry and not to fear.  I need reminding every day, sometimes every hour, often times once or twice a minute.

          In Lamentations, it says each morning His mercies begin anew. 

Where are you right now in your journey?  

 Can you look back and see how God worked things out?  

Are you so covered up that you feel your faith is faltering?  

Each time God brings me through, I think I will never doubt Him again.  

But, then, a new challenge arises, and the battle begins again.  

I’ve read the end of the Book,

I know He wins,

but the battle is still very real.

“I will remain confident of this:

I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”

Psalm 27:13-14

© Copyright 2012, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved

I Saw the Light!

          It was just a passing comment; “I wish Judah’s breast collar had a hook instead of a buckle.   It would be so much easier to attach.”  That was it.  The full extent of a statement made in front of a barn full of other horseback riders.  It wasn’t unique or unusual, I didn’t put any particular emphasis on what I was saying, I just said it.  In fact, I had probably forgotten I said it before I rode Judah out of the barn and toward the trail. 

           The next morning, as I reached under Judah’s belly to attach the leather strap to her girth, there was a hook.  When I looked up in astonishment,  I was told someone I had just met fixed it for me.

          And I saw the light.
  

          A hot ham and cheese sandwich was what everyone wanted when we stopped at a restaurant in a busy part of town.  The waitress was asking a male customer if he needed anything and we were shocked to hear him scold her for sorry service and bad food.  She looked embarrassed when she saw our expressions, but came to our table with a smile on her face.  

          Her demeanor did not change, even when she returned to the man’s table to bring him another glass of tea.  She kept her smile.  She kept her cool.  She kept her customers.

          And I saw the light.

           If I had only looked a little closer, a little longer, at all the words written on the school website, I might have found the answer I needed.  But it was storming outside, and before I drove my son all the way across town, I wanted to make sure the Back to School Bash was still on tap.  As hot summer days gave way to cool August nights, classes were set to begin in just three days.  The phones had to be ringing constantly as new students, parents, teachers and delivery service personnel verified important information.  I knew the administrative assistant would probably be feeling overworked, but I still needed a quick answer to my question.  When she picked up the phone, I could hear in her voice that she was smiling.  She could have been short, stressed and irritated, but she was sweet, kind and helpful.

           And I saw the light.

          Yesterday, I called (weeks later than I should have) to make reservations for an event that almost always sells out.  I already knew the main section was full and I would be lucky if we could still squeeze into a less desirable spot.  The precious woman, who tirelessly coordinates all the visitors and their various requests, told me they were rearranging some things and the owner had reserved our spots…all I needed to do was send a deposit.

         And, I’m telling you,

                    I SAW THE LIGHT!

           Every day, we get a chance to be light in the darkness.  It’s a chance and it’s a choice.  Too often, I add to the darkness with my bad mood or attitude.  But we are called to step up higher…to lift each other up…encourage each other…to overlook offenses…to give anonymously…to choose kindness over criticism…to choose patience over anger…to choose to do something nice and kind just because it’s the right thing to do.  

           I’m sure I could find bigger examples, more impressive ways I’ve seen the light lately.  But after each of these things happened, I stopped and thought about the fact that the people had made a conscious choice to be kind. It’s usually not those in great positions of wealth and power who impact our every day lives…it’s often the people we meet in traffic…at school…at work…at home. 

 We are light.  We don’t have to be, but we can choose to be. 

And then we get to be!

 “You are the light of the world.”

Matthew 5:14

 “Let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”  

Matthew 5:16

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.

Live as children of light.”

Ephesians 5:8

 

“This little light of mine I’m gonna let it shine…”

Ha ha just kidding you can stop singing now. 😉

 

© Copyright 2012, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved 

 

An “A” Student

     There’s probably no one who gets in the way of what God wants to do in our lives more than we do.  We get in a hurry. We want what we want when we want it.  And when we have a need that isn’t resolved on our schedule, we lose faith and start to fret.

     Since this is so often the case, I am determined to be an “A” student in the study of Psalm 46:10I would love for you to join me, but, I will warn you in advance, I keep taking this class over and over again.

 He says, Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.

     There are endless examples of times when I got in a hurry and made huge mistakes.  Times when what I wanted was the worst thing I could have requested.  And opportunities to be sure of what I hoped for and certain of what I could not see that ended up with me striving instead.  As much as I continuously try to tell myself I am not as hardheaded as the Israelites in the desert, I’ve been around this mountain more than a few times.  I want to pass the test.  I want to graduate from slipping down the slope of things that don’t go my way.

      And, there seems to be some progress, if only a little.

        In June, I was tentatively scheduled for a working vacation that was beyond anything I could have asked for or imagined.  The idea was pitched to me on a normal day when I was just doing what I do.  Factor in the concept of getting paid for doing what you love and it was almost unbelievable.  I was afraid to think about it for fear it might not happen.  And then it didn’t.  There were scheduling conflicts, endless phone tag, an injury, and it just didn’t work out.  The former “C” student in me would have behaved in a bit of a spoiled rotten way.  The aspiring “A” student sat back and analyzed the possibility that our timing wasn’t necessarily God’s timing.

     As it turned out, something happened that week that really required me to be at home.   I am so grateful God knew more about it than I did.

     In July, the trip came up again and His timing was PERFECT!  The trip was AMAZING!  And our lives were forever changed by many of the people we met…good, godly people who poured much wisdom into our hearts and souls.

     Last week, I had a similar experience.  My dad and I have been looking for a cheap horse trailer.  We found one, but couldn’t go look at it on the seller’s schedule.  When we could go, it was gone.  We found another one and it was so far away we debated the wisdom of it.  We looked at a few more and shared the laughter of What were those people thinking?  Then we found a beautiful trailer right in our hometown.  Everyone loaded up and off we went, thoroughly convinced we would be pulling that trailer home.  But, it wasn’t at all like the photos had depicted it.  I didn’t flinch.  I didn’t get upset.  I never even felt disappointed.  I was a little shocked that it was so different from what I thought it might be, but it was clearly not the one.  Instead of allowing it to mess up our evening, as I might have done in the past, I was relieved when my dad agreed we should walk away.

     We had a nice dinner, shared some laughs, enjoyed being together as a family and looked forward to our next opportunity.  Until then, I will remain a student of Psalm 46:10 and I will be still.

     Please don’t misunderstand, I don’t believe God is putting all things on hold in heaven to make sure our plans pan out, or we get something we want and think we need.  I do believe His eye is on the sparrow and His eye is on us.  I also believe He cares enough to use whatever matters in our lives to grow us and bring us closer to Him and closer to our completion.

     When I finished writing this I wasn’t at all sure if I should even share it.  So, I decided to put it aside and spend some time doing my Bible study.   It included a comment that sounded a whole lot like confirmation.  

God is always teaching me something because I have so much to learn. About the time I think I learned it, somehow I un-learned it. And here we go again.  The same lesson again.  Because God is going to make sure we get an A.  So we keep having the same test. ~Beth Moore Faithful Abundant True

      I guess I could have taken the title An A Student from Beth Moore’s quote but I had already written it.  Things like that just seem way cool.  Maybe I focus too much on the little things.  But I know He’s got all the big things covered, so why not the little things too?

 Is God asking you to be still and trust him?

Are you the one standing in Gods way when He just wants to bless you? 

We all do it.

We all want what we want when we want it.

But His timing, His economy, His favor, His gifts are always perfect!

Just watch and wait.

Keep your eyes on Jesus.  At least TRY 🙂

He really does care about every little detail of your life!

     We finally found an old trailer and wouldn’t you know it, it was HALF the price of all the others.  I love what happens when I wait.  But today, tomorrow, or next week, I’ll probably get in a hurry again and loop around the base of that mountain one more time!

What about you?  Do you ever find yourself on this journey?  

Are you also trying for an A in this class? 🙂

© Copyright 2012, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved

I Wish I Had Known

     It wouldn’t have done any good for someone to tell me the things I wish I had known in my 20’s.  I was headstrong, determined and still a little bit angry.  Looking back on life sure brings things into a different point of view.

     I wish I had known in my 20’s that my body was about as perfect as it was ever going to be. 

     I wish I had known kindness would get me further than competition.

     Could someone have told me that trying to control everything would hurt more than help?

     Would I have listened?

     I wish I had known some of my most prized possessions would be those that took thought and not money.

    Could someone have told me a career was going to be fun but not necessarily fulfilling?

    In my 20’s, I still thought prayer was part of my duty and not an incredible privilege.

    I wish I had known God truly is the source of all good things and the quicker I put my own agenda aside, the better off I would be.

    I wish I had known then that I really did have a soul mate so I could have avoided all that angst.

    It might have been amusing to know one day my son would say the day I spent playing a Jimmy Neutron video game with him still ranks as one of the best days of his life.

    If I had known some of these things, I would have worried less, quit trying to change things and relaxed a little. 

    Stress, anxiety and worry only make you old, even in your 20’s.

    The Bible says:

“In the day of prosperity be

happy,

But in the day of adversity

consider-

God has made the one as

well as the other”

     I’ve always seen adversity as something gone wrong…but when God is growing us… it can only be right. 

     Adversity does send me to my knees far more than prosperity. 

He never leaves me there.

He always brings me through.

I was wild and free

And no one could have told me

But my how the years have flown

I really wish I had known.

What do you wish someone would have told you?

Would you have listened?

If only I had known… all I had to do was lose one pound a year and I could have lost the 20 pounds I’ve been trying to lose for the last 20 years. 🙂

Before I get any older, somebody please tell me something else I should probably know!!!

© Copyright 2012, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved

A Message in the Mailbox

     On our first official weekend away from the rest of the world, I noticed my husband favoring his left knee.  It was early fall, the leaves were just beginning to turn, the sun was shining and it was warm.  He’s a basketball fanatic, and so early in our relationship, I was more than willing to play along.  So was our dog.

     We had discovered a quiet outdoor basketball court near a lake and we were just shooting some hoops.  Each time he would run toward the basket, I saw him give a little to the left, before he went up for the shot.  He told me it wasn’t a big deal, just an old basketball injury and that he was fine.

     Over the next 17 years, it became progressively worse.  The first surgeon we saw said a knee replacement would only last him ten years.  We walked out.  The second surgeon said he should start thinking about living the life of a much older man.  We walked out.  The third surgeon, a young, healthy, active, energetic, top-of-his-field kind of guy, said he saw no reason my husband wouldn’t be able to play basketball again with our teenage son.  He da man!

     So we went forward to schedule the surgery.  A problem with insurance put it on hold.  A new policy with a larger deductible made us hesitant.  Time off work was a fear factor.  And another two years went by.  The favoring of his left knee became a noticeable limp, and then an obvious limp and finally strangers were walking up to ask about it.  We ganged up on him…his family, and friends…then his co-workers, and finally his boss.  If he wasn’t already convinced, the pain became so intense, money and time no longer mattered.

      But my husband’s knee surgery is not what this is about, not really.

      As I write this post, it is March 2012.  In September 2011 my husband attended a men’s retreat organized by our church.  It’s not the sort of thing that is in his comfort zone, but he felt like he should be there.  During the weekend, the men were asked to write letters about what God had impressed upon their hearts.   They were told the letter would be mailed to them later as a reminder and a means of encouragement.  (I can sort of see my husband rolling his eyes at the very idea, but he complied.)

      The knee was replaced on Monday morning March 5th and he was walking Monday afternoon.  We came home from the hospital two days later and stopped at the mailbox.

      The letter had arrived. 

      As I opened the letter and prepared to read it, I asked him what he had written. 

      He didn’t remember. 

      But God did.

“It’s time to stay on my knees more than I complain about them.  I feel physically spent…painful to walk…and I must dig deeper into my faith as well as my resolve for recovery…leaving fear of knee surgery and it’s cost behind me.

     Call it coincidence, good timing or just a chance occurrence.  But what are the odds of that letter being delivered on the very day he returned home from doing what he was so afraid to do for 17 years?

     Prayers answered.  Fears gone.  Bills paid.  And in the mailbox, a reminder, a means of encouragement, a simple little message.

 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6


 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;

I will be exalted among the nations,

I will be exalted in the earth.”

Psalm 46:10

 

 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Romans 12:12

 

God knows your needs.

He hears your prayers.

Trust Him.

Lay it down.

Let it go.

And wait!

(I know, easy to say, hard to do.  But try it.  It’s not your only option.  But it’s your best!)

© Copyright 2012, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved

Who Needs Love?

300 Maple Street, USA.

Late summer.

Exactly 6:43 PM.

A roaring sound followed by a flash of light.

All communication cut off.

It’s an old episode of

The Twilight Zone.

At first, neighbors congregate, wanting to be close to each other, and looking for answers.  But fear and suspicion soon lead to accusations and before the show is over, they turn and attack each other.

 “The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” (Galatians 5:14-15)

We woke up one morning, several years ago; to find my husband being bashed on the front page of the paper and morning radio talk shows.  He hadn’t committed a crime, but he had said some things that didn’t sit well with people in power.

Co-workers and friends scattered, and a lynch mob mentality took over, as people called for his firing.

This past week a prominent person in our community was accused of doing something, that in an instant, took his freedom, cost him his job, and threatened the stability of his family.

In my husband’s situation, only one man had the courage to speak up and put things back in perspective.  He is a man who loves God more than he loves himself.  He is a man who knows what it means to love his neighbor as himself.  His support helped save my husband’s reputation.  My husband kept his job and has lived to give God the glory many times.

In this more recent case, when the man’s actions were reported to the public, some of the very people he had hurt were asking for prayer and compassion…not for themselves…but for him and his family.

          Who Needs Love?

Jesus showed us by example.

He loved the people who were broken, the people who had sinned, the people who had been slow to listen but quick to speak, the people who had made complete messes out of their lives, the people who were shamed, humiliated and ostracized.

When someone else’s sin seems worse than our own we tend to distance ourselves…shake our heads…point our fingers…and offer up our opinions.

But on this Valentine’s Day, if we live by the command that sums up the entire law, we may find those who need love the most, are the ones we think don’t deserve it.

In The Twilight Zone people from another planet caused the conflict between neighbors on Maple Street.

But in the real world, all it takes is someone who is different from us, to breed fear, suspicion and hate.

Jesus’s instructions were clear, love our neighbors as we love ourselves.

Who Needs Love?

We all do!

Happy Valentine’s Day

© Copyright 2012, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved

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