Monday, October 27, 2014

When the thief comes...

John 10:10 - "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."

The Bible tells us that we have an enemy and that he is out to steal from us, kill our hopes and dreams, and to destroy us.

And lately I feel like the enemy is after us in full force...like never before.

When the thief comes...

There are memories that are permanently etched into my memory and heart and I believe they are for times like these when the enemy is trying his hardest to take us out.

I remember one morning after an all night sleepover while I was holding an upset and exhausted precious child...a little girls slips her arm around mine as she was sitting next to me on the bus and she looks up at me with the sweetest most precious face ever, she squeezes me close and says..."Pastor Tabbie, I think you can make anyone on earth happy."

A moment I'll never forget.

I remember years and years ago during a Christmas play practice on a Sunday a little girl climbed up into my lap and release all the breath she had...as if she had been holding her breath for months...and she wrapped her arms around me and just lays her head against my chest and falls asleep. This young one no long had a mama and for just a moment of her life God allowed me to wrap my arms around her and hold her as peace overtook her so she could just REST.

A moment I'll never forget.

I remember moments when I felt I had absolutely NOTHING to give and God would open a door in a teen's life and allow me to pour Him out into their hearts. Countless hugs, countless conversations, countless altar prayers, countless tears.

Moments that are etched across my heart for eternity.



So when the thief comes along to steal my calling, to kill my dreams, and to destroy all I have these precious memories and moments to anchor me back to the Hope of Jesus Christ and to remind me of the reason I take every breath that I take.

Hebrews 6:19 - "We have this Hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure."

I was born to love people. I was born to pray for, challenge, share, hug, love, teach, pour out all of me into the lives of others so that they can have life abundantly and eternally.

There have been moments lately that I thought the enemy just might have won...and yet I cannot allow that. I cannot allow him to slow me down, time is too precious, lives are too important to God to let that happen.

If I can spend the rest of my life loving and ministering to people then I will reach Heaven fully depleted and poured out then I will have fulfilled my calling.

That is all I want.

I want to pour my life out until there is nothing left to pour.

I don't want to be tricked or deceived. I don't want the thief to steal or kill or destroy.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Rough Waters & Peace that transcends ALL understanding.

You can never really know what lies ahead...

We are in some rough waters right now, waves, winds & debris that we just did not see coming...but my God is not surprised by our storm at all.

In the midst of our storm I still get to teach and preach and it is truly an unbelievable thing...Sunday I taught about Peace and how Jesus stands GUARD of our Heart when we take our struggles and storms to Him in prayer.

I had the picture in my head of Jesus standing guard of my own heart in all of His perfect armor and fighting off the enemy of my heart.

I know that is the only reason that I am even standing at this point. I know that Jesus is indeed standing GUARD of my heart and providing a Peace that truly transcends all understanding.

My lack of emotion in this storm is evidence enough of Jesus standing GUARD! Anyone who knows me at all knows that emotions run STRONG in this woman's heart and so the fact that I have not gotten caught up in this recent storm we are facing is most certainly JESUS!! ALL JESUS!

There are just things that you can't know ahead of time and if you did you would not find yourself learning to STAND and being GUARDED by Jesus himself.

I for one am quite thankful that we could not see ahead as I know that if we could things would likely be different than they are right now and I know that we are standing where we are supposed to be standing. I believe that with all of my heart. I really do.

Standing in the midst of a storm is not easy. Think about hurricane force winds and rain that pelts against you and drenches you. Think about rising waters and large powerful waves. Think about lightning that knocks you right off your feet! Flying debris. No, standing in the midst of a storm can ONLY be done if JESUS IS STANDING GUARD.

I am beyond thankful for my Jesus and His love and protection and strength and wisdom and hope.

I do have Peace. I do have Hope. It doesn't make sense at all that I am able to have these things except that Jesus offers them freely to all who will receive.

Rough waters. Winds. Debris.

Storm.

PEACE.

HOPE.

JESUS.


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Love...

I have been focused on LOVE these days and well let's face it...I have been focused on LOVE for a long long time.

Hence the title of my blog...Love's Journey

Love is what pulled me out of the mire.
Love was my soft place to land.
Love was my cushion during correction and learning.
Love held my hand.
Love became my name.
Love drove me on.
Love held me up.
Love cushioned my falls.

Through it all Love has Never Failed.

I grew up scared and uncertain. I made a lot a lot of really bad choices, choices based off my environment and the things I had learned in that environment. I made choices out of ignorance and blindness. Yet even in those dark years when I did not know or live for God, HE LOVED ME and HIS LOVE protected me.

I was rescued by God in my early early 20's and that is when the serious battles for myself began. I battled addictions, I battled insecurities, I battled ignorance, I battled memories and past hurts - heart shattering hurts. Yet God's Love pulled me through and is what gave me the hope and strength to not give up and to keep fighting even when I could have stopped at good enough. His love and His love through others rescued me from drowning in defeat and brokenness.

When my journey began to shift toward dreams being realized it was Love that paved the way for a brand new road, one that I had never before traveled. Several roads actually that I had never traveled. And when fear and doubts threatened to over take me it was LOVE that held me tight and whispered reassurance into my heart.

And now when I stand in one of the hardest places I have ever before stood (how is it possible to even say that after all I faced - yet it is true) I know it is LOVE that is helping me stand firm and not give up. I know that it will be LOVE that makes the difference here.

LOVE NEVER FAILS.

Love has not failed me. Love will not fail those I am called to give it to. Love Never Fails.

So as I sit here the morning after a really really hard Wednesday night with our kids, the kids we were called here to shepherd. As I sit here at the end of another month that has been difficult, another month that I stand confused and crying out to God begging Him to help me as I have no idea how to stand here, how to change the direction that these kids are going in, no idea how to fight what we are fighting, no idea how to make them care, no idea how to get to where I want to be with them...I do know one thing...LOVE NEVER FAILS...for it has been proved in my life and in so many other lives around me.

I was loved when I was so very unlovable. I was changed by that love. I was not given up on even when I know it was so incredibly hard and I know my family wanted to give up on me because it definitely would have been the easiest thing to do. God loved me every time I turned my back on Him and every time I tried to take matters back into my own hands. God loved me when I did not care. He has NEVER stopped loving me and He calls me to love the same way.

We are facing a battle that we have never faced before. We are standing in a place that we have never stood before.

God is calling us to STAND FIRM and LOVE.

We WILL NOT be perfect. But we WILL stand. We WILL love. We will seek God and continue to follow Him and let Him guide us. WE CANNOT DO THIS WITHOUT HIM!

We know that we are exactly where God has called us. No we did not know that it would be this hard and that we would face what we are facing now. BUT WE WILL STAND AND WE WILL LOVE. We will not give up. We will not back down. We will not run away. We will not take the easy road.

Father, I need you like never before. You are all we need and all we have. I do not want to fail these kids Lord. I do not want to let them down. I do not want to get weary or give up. I have no idea what to do but I know that I have you and I know that you've asked me to stand and to love unconditionally. Help us Lord, help us to stand and to LOVE bigger than we ever have before even WHEN it hurts so bad that I can't even breathe. Help us to love bigger even when it is not received or even cared about. Help us to love without expecting anything in return. Help us to LOVE LIKE YOU LOVE. I beg you Father for YOUR Wisdom and your Guidance. Father you have ALWAYS ALWAYS been faithful to us and I know with all my heart that you will continue to be faithful to us. Help us to bring You glory in all that we do, even when we mess up. I love you Lord and I trust You. In Jesus strong name. Amen.

Monday, July 28, 2014

NEW NEW NEW

So the newest new thing is....I have an official part-time job!!

You know when you are just cruising along in life and all seems to be going well and then the bottom drops out of something and it is completely outside of your control.  Well I had that moment back in May the weekend of Mother's Day when I lost the job I had been working since February.  It was one of the most unfun and heartbreaking things I have experienced since we moved back home to Bama.  However it happened and we handled it the best way we knew how praying all the while that we did it in love and God was glorified to the best of our ability.

So since then I have been at home a little down but loving getting to be at home. However as much as I love getting to be at home, our financial plan to pay off debt and save for a house was abruptly interrupted just as we were getting started so we knew that I could not just continue to stay at home. Yet with our job at the church and our calling to be pastors we knew that I could not work full-time. So we began the search for what seemed to be the impossible to find perfect job, with great pay and perfect hours.

I began to seek the Lord and tell Him the things that we needed and desired and day by day I gave it over to him. Every time I found nothing listed on craigslist or the many job finding sites I was searching I would stop pray and give it to him. Now keep in mind that we were doing alright financially we were just making ends meet and I loved being at home, so that all helped in the not panicking and worrying department, trust me I am normally NOT that patient and easily redirected!

Then one day I got a call and had an interview. The interview went great but the job just wasn't right. The hours were long and the pay was uncertain and as much as we wanted it to work it just wasn't going to. We were both pretty bummed.

Then the search kicked into high gear and still came up empty.

Then over the 4th of July weekend I got a call from the great interview job and they had decided to change up the hours and wondered if I could come back in for a second meeting to discuss the new details to see if they would better fit for all of us!  They now wanted me part-time! I went back in and almost immediately knew that God was working things out.  I was allow to basically choose the hours that I wanted to work and they had increased the pay for my position and I found out that I would get to wear scrubs, which is something that I prayed for when I knew I was going in to talk about part-time hours. It was just one of those things that I felt would be such a cool and comfy bonus!!

I left the meeting and drove straight to hubby's work and could not wait to fill him in!! God had specifically answered our prayers. Perfect hours, great pay and the bonus of SCRUBS (that the company pays for)!!!

Less than an hour after the meeting I accepted the job and I am loving it. There is alot to remember but there is so much potential for human interaction which I desperately need and advancement and joy and there are so many benefits for me having this job!!

I was pretty much on my own today and it went great!! It was so busy and I had so much fun interacting with patients and learning to do the job on my own. I challenged myself to do as much as I could without asking questions and it went really well!!

I love the people I work with and the patients I get to see everyday and the scrubs I get to wear and the hours that I get to work!

God always comes through.  I had some really great recovery time at home and now I have a really great job that is going to be more and more wonderful as the days go by!!

God is faithful. He just really is so thoughtful and loving and takes care of our needs and wants!

Thank you Lord. Thank you. May I bring you Glory in all I do!

Monday, July 07, 2014

Refighting Battles

Let's face it...in our lives we have battles to fight. Personal battles, family battles, all kinds of battles!

And I find that there are times when you just have to re-fight some battles.

I am currently re-fighting and relearning a battle. I find that I pour absolutely all of me out to others and I tend to have these expectations of what the receipt of that will be and I find that I am disappointed. And it truly is silly silly things that I expect and desire and don't get.

So within myself I am re-fighting that battle and fighting to get back to the place where I can pour out and not expect ANYTHING in return.

In my head I know that the reason to pour out my love is not to receive something in return but I am human and I do find myself getting caught in that trap of disappointment and heartbreak.

I suppose I just want to re-learn and win this battle again!

Such is life...re-learning and re-fighting battles.

Lord, I give you this battle that I am currently re-fighting and I ask you to help me to learn what You want to teach me in this. Help me to love unconditionally. I truly desire a greater capacity to love! In Jesus name. Amen.