Raise your Ebenezer {Share His Faithfulness}

Lying in the hospital bed. My legs immovable & tingling from the pain medication. An oxygen mask placed over my face. Epinephrine placed in my IV line to increase my heart rate. Listening to the heartbeat of my yet-to-be-born child slow each time I contracted.

Helpless. Fearful. Praying.

As I wondered how this child would be delivered…if an emergency c-section would be necessary…was my child harmed each time his heart rate dropped…

I asked the nurses what I could do. The answer was “nothing.”

I was left with my fears and my projections. I attempted to take my thoughts captive. I reached out to friends via text for prayer.

To turn my heart to hope and away from fear…I thanked God for how He had provided in the past. I thanked Him for giving us this child when 10 months ago I was having endocrine problems & thought pregnancy was impossible. I thanked Him for the jobs he provided when we did not know what we would do next. I thanked Him for bringing friendships each time we moved to a new city. I remembered each child he has safely delivered…each of my healthy, happy, handsome boys.

“Be pleased to save me, LORD;
come quickly, LORD, to help me.” Psalm 40:13

A year ago a friend’s son survived a scary ordeal in the NICU, fighting for his life against RSV. To commemorate God’s faithfulness and deliverance in that situation they placed a large stone in their backyard. She called it their “ebenezer”.

What is an “ebenezer”?

The word “Ebenezer” comes from Hebrew and is actually two words pronounced together: Even Haazer…the Hebrew word for “help” (Ezer) and putting it together with the Hebrew word for “stone” (Even) to create: “Ebenezer.”

Literally speaking, an Ebenezer is a “stone of help,” or a reminder of God’s Real, Holy Presence and Divine aid.

When challenges arise, when tragedies strike, when fear presses in…we need to pick up our ebenezers…our “stones of help” and raise them up. His help in the past reminds us that He is capable to help us in the present trial.

As I lie there in a hospital bed incapable of safely delivering my son in my own ability. I replayed His past faithfulness to give me hope that He would faithfully deliver this child. No matter what damage was done to get that child out…He would be faithful even in that.

I was blessed that Knox David was born perfectly healthy. I did not suffer any physical ‘damage”…a recovery easier than any of my previous children.

I will “raise my ebenezer” because He was my help when I was helpless.

I will share of His faithfulness to everyone so that He will be glorified. We can praise Him together.

“I have told the glad news of deliverance
in the great congregation;
behold, I have not restrained my lips,
as you know, O Lord.
I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart;
I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;
I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness
from the great congregation.” Psalm 40:9-10

What is your story of His faithfulness? Do you keep record of His past provision (an ebenezer journal)? Will you share here in the comments so we can praise Him together?

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If I really “believe” God, I will be patient

I don’t know about the little people in your world, but my little people are persistent. And often impatient.

There are 3 of them right now & one of me. So when a request is made it may not be fulfilled immediately. I’ve often said, “Your request will be answered in the order it was received.”

The other day my younger two were begging for their usual post-nap “juice”. I was literally standing in front of the fridge, the cups already on the counter behind me, when my middle son asked again and again “Where’s my juice? Can I have juice?”

I said, “Wait. Wait! You have to be more patient. Do you trust me? Do you believe that when you ask for something you need that I will get it for you?”

As the words come out of my mouth I hear the Lord talking to me…

“Wait for the Lord; Be strong & let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord.” Psalms 27:14

“I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.'” Lamentations 3:24

“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, & in his Word I put my hope.” Psalms 130:5

“In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” Psalms 5:3

Pregnancy & mothering involve patience. Waiting. I’m counting down days until I meet this newest member of our family. I’m waiting for my boys to learn certain character qualities.

When I respond in frustration when my boys are challenging I’m not believing that God has it under control. IF I believe God is God & that my boys ultimately belong to Him, then I will be more patient. I can wait on the Lord to grow character in them.

I need to trust Him.
I need to wait.
I need to be patient.

Do you struggle with patience? What are you being called to wait for right now? Do you trust God to handle it?

I leave you with a picture of what happened this week when my boys decided to get themselves some cereal instead of waiting a few minutes for me to get it for them.

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Sometimes impatience & taking things into our own hands leads to big messes.

Everything in it’s time…

I came back from my 4-day “mom-cation”/women’s retreat (aka Relevant) at peace and full of joy. Those first few days back I saw my boys with new eyes. My patience was endless, everything they did was wonderful, and I was content being fully present with them.

Fast forward a week…the joy of being with amazing godly women was a distant memory. The heaviness of the mundane was weighing down on me. The constant training and correcting of my boys was sucking the life out of me.

This past Sunday I found myself asking a mentor, “Why can’t I experience the same fulfillment and joy when I’m with my boys that I had when I was at the women’s conference?”. She reminded me that I am in a season that requires a lot of effort and teaching with little reward or feedback. When I’m with those women I am getting immediate approval and encouragement. She said it is only now with grown children that she is seeing the fruit of her labor.

On Monday I chatted with another mom of 3 boys who completely identified with my struggle. She simply said, “we go through those challenging seasons too. Those times when the boys require a little more redirection and patience.”

It’s a season.

This isn’t a new concept for me but as I cried out in my bed Monday night longing for a different “season”, I remembered something else that had happened while I was at Relevant.

Traveling to the East Coast in late October I thought I would experience my favorite season, Fall. What I did not anticipate is that I would also get to experience Winter while I was visiting.

That Saturday the sky dumped over 12 inches of snow on us. Although beautiful, snow is not typical for late October. It was out of season.

When the snow fell before the season of Fall had run it’s course, devastation happened. Because the leaves had not fallen, they caught the snow and the weight was too much for the trees to bear. The result was broken limbs…leading to electricity outages, car damage, and deaths.

This week as I prayed for things to get easier, for God to move me out of this hard stage, I realized I can’t rush through the seasons in my life. I can’t wish for the next developmental stage. The challenges and joys I am experiencing now are important for the what God has next. If I try to rush to the next season, devastation happens. Things get broken. People get hurt.

This season of raising three young boys while my belly grows larger and my hormones rage is growing me in so many ways. The next season of having 3 boys and a newborn won’t necessarily be any easier.

I don’t know what season you find yourself in right now but trust that it is preparing you for the next season. Trust the Creator of the universe to know what’s best. Here are words from Daniel as he trusted in God to provide for him while he was in exile:

“Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his.

He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them.

He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.

He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him.

I thank and praise you, O God of my fathers:

You have given me wisdom and power.” {Daniel 2:20-23a}

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Life: Unmasked

feelings lag behind knowledge

The feelings of sadness and the loss of a dream are still raw.

Knowledge & truth are ever present through His Word, a friend’s encouragement, & past experiences of His provision.

Yet there is a disconnect, a valley, between what I know & what I feel.

Some days the feelings win. Tears flow heavy & my heart grieves.

Other days truth dominates & I find peace & joy trusting His plan.

I know that someday there will be a perfect balance of feeling what I know…but not yet.

So I avoid conversations on the topic, because the feelings are brimming & I am unsure of when the emotion will spill out all over innocent bystanders.

I speak truth first to let others know that I know…He is God. He is good. He plans for me to prosper. My dream may be fulfilled in another form in the future.

But I can’t deny that when I see the very thing I long for, I turn away because of the hurt.

When I think too long of the “nevers” my heart breaks, each time anew.

So I wait patiently on the Lord. I wait for feelings to catch up to knowledge.

In His view of time “…weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” Ps 30:5

I don’t know what you are struggling through right now. If you have a dream that is unfulfilled. A loss. A challenge. My prayer is that you will wait patiently on the Lord with me. That you would have the glimmer of hope that what you know is true and what you feel will soon be a matched set.

**Note: I wrote this post a few days ago and Monday morning I picked up my “Abiding Fruit” study. This week’s fruit is JOY.  The scripture we are studying is Psalm 16. These are the words that spoke to my soul and helped my feelings gain ground on knowledge:

Psalm 16

Keep me safe, O God, for in you I take refuge. I said to the Lord, “You are my Lord;  apart from you I have no good thing.”

…Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure.

…I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.  I have set the Lord always before me.  Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.  Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure,

You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”

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Life: Unmasked

SomeGirlsWebsite.com “Thought Provoking Thursday”

just a little

Think about something you are struggling with right now.

the loss of a dream? absent spouse? difficult children? uncertain future?

I’ve shared from my own experience how I needed to trust God’s provision even when I struggled with his calling.

I shared how when I cried out to Him for clarity and a solution…He answered.

What if you don’t feel joy despite God’s goodness? Doubt and sadness are present even though He answered in a tangible way. 

But…there is also a small piece of your heart that believes God loves you and knows what’s best for you.  

God tells us all He needs is just that small piece. That tiny portion of you that goes back to the idea that He is good.

He compares it to a mustard seed.

He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”                      Matthew 17:20

“The mustard seed plants, when not crowded too closely with other plants, can grow to be fifteen feet or higher, and have a thick main stem, with branches strong enough to bear the weight of a bird. The parable of the mustard seed exhibits the smallness of the origin, as well as the greatness of the progress and magnitude of his kingdom.Ken Anderson.net

You may still be grieving the loss of the dream. You may still be saddened about the state of your marriage.  You may still be frustrated that your children are challenging. You may feel hopeless about the future.

No matter what you feel. As long as you have the tiniest bit of faith that God is good. That He loves you. That He sees you in your struggle. That He will provide a way out. A hope. A future. Then in His strength, with that tiny bit of faith, you can do the impossible.

something I know I needed to remember…

find your little bit of faith. plant it in your heart & watch it grow!

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and Mustard Seeds and Thought Provoking Thursdays