If You Return

If you return, I will restore you. . . . God

On August 3, 2011, I was listening to Revive our Hearts by Nancy Leigh DeMoss (now Wolgemuth) while on a run in the morning. I can even remember the street I was on when the Lord began to whisper to my heart. The program was a recounting of a conference message Nancy had given to Campus Crusade for Christ.

https://www.reviveourhearts.com/radio/revive-our-hearts/fallen-rock/

The message had sparked a revival in the ministry and the conference attendees were recounting what happened that day . I got chills as I listened.

Out of that message, Nancy wrote a series of books.

Ultimately, this series of books was turned into a Bible Study workbook called Seeking Him. And a passion for personal revival was born in me.

I have been through this workbook at least four times since that initial first study in 2011. i am currently going through it again. I have very distinct memories of my first time through though. One particular memory was being locked in my room, alone, so that I could deal with some sin before that Lord that I didn’t even realize was part of my history. That ultimately led me to contact several people whom the Lord brought to mind that I had once sinned against and never knew it. I hurt them. It killed me to know that. It needed to be confessed and repented of. One of those incidents went all the way back to my high school years in youth group. We are not just talking about sin that is current and blatant. We are talking about sin from years past; deeply rooted sin that I had been blinded to. I was finally seeing myself as Isaiah saw when he stood before the Lord in his vision.

And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”

Isaiah 6:5 ESV

I am forever changed because of this message and this study that followed. I am also very passionate about revival now. I believe the pride we all carry with us is one of the greatest issues we face in the church today. What I observe so much, especially in myself, is a willingnes to critique other’s tiny splitters without ever truly and deeply examining the depth of our own log. I just wonder if we don’t see revival in our land because the church itself is not broken nor is it in a place to be.

I have been trying to determine my niche for my blog. I thought it was going to be primarily a “homeschool mother of large family” blog. I will include flavors of that for the sake of living out my walk with the Lord in the area He’s placed me. But after a great deal of prayer and returning to the Lord, I reazlie that the last seven years of seeking to understanding personal revival for my own walk before God have brought me here. . . . .to be Beautifully Broken before the Lord. And I believe He wants me leading women. . . .all women to this place. Repentence is not just a message for the lost. It is a requirement of us as believers too. Continually. The call to repentance and be restore is God’s siren call to be loved by Him.

photo credit: unashamedofjesus.org

Brave

Photo Credit: The Foodie Eats

Mr. Tryon took me to on a date night the day after Christmas.  We had missed our usual time with the holidays, so he felt this was a good idea.  He wanted me to try Vietnamese Pho.  Now, when he described it to me, my initial response for “why would I pay good money for a bowl of broth?”  Seriously. Who does that?  BUT. . . . .I am attempting to learn to be brave so I changed my mind (because I love him), died to my desires, and had him take me to get some Pho. 

It was awful!! 

It was a bowl of broth. Broth!! 

Ok.  So, I’m exaggerating.  It wasn’t totally bad.  But, apparently, I was in a bad mood.  First of all, Mr. Tryon had announced to our waiter that this was the first time I’d ever eaten Pho, let alone Vietnamese food.  That didn’t sit well with me.  I was embarrassed.  I think it’s just that I’m private.  I don’t need everyone to know that I am a really boring person.  I’m perfectly content to be boring in private. 

But also, it really was just broth with chicken (which wasn’t bad).  But I couldn’t eat it.  Traditionally you use chop sticks.  Um, my hands don’t work!!  Arthritis. So, he suggested a fork.  It’s SOUP!!!!  You don’t eat soup with a fork.  Besides, when I pulled out the Italian in me, I wrapped the noodles around the fork like spaghetti and they slipped right off. 

Mr. Tryon also told me that I had permission to slurp.  I kept wondering if my mom was going to come around the corner and yell at me for bad manners.  I would yell at me for bad manners! I am too refined for slurping.  

Mr. Tryon was kind to offer to take me for a burger instead.  All I could think about was the money, so I painfully ate my way through the bowl and pouted my way through it.  Then we went to our local family bar/restaurant to play a few rounds of pool.  That didn’t help my mood much.  He beat me decidedly in all four games we played.  It was a disgrace to my record.  And even though I wanted to get a bowl of chips and salsa to return to my Tex-Mex Roots and forgot the Pho I had eaten, I didn’t. 

This is why I don’t try new things.  I stink at it.  And when I do try new things, I get bored very quickly.  But I’m trying to turn over a new leaf.  I prefer to try new things that seem a little safe and comfortable to me.  That’s why I’m attempting to blog.

On a serious note, this blog is my brave for the year.  I’ve never really been brave.  I am a coward. I am so fearful of moving sometimes. And I’ve truly grown tired of that. How can I truly experience Jesus when He calls us to courage in Him?  He helps us.  Isaiah 41:13 says “For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.”  What a precious promise that He will walk me through things that are scary to me.  Why am I sitting at home being boring when I could be living my life fully walking with my hand in His?  What’s been even worse is watching one of my children struggle with these same fears she learned from me. . .only they are probably worse. They paralyze both of us.  I don’t want to be that way anymore.  She needs to learn to live and I think she’s looking at me to show her how.  So that’s what my 2019 is going to be about.  I guess my word for the year is BRAVE. 

What are you going to be brave about this year? 

The Beginning

How do you start your very first blog post? That is a question I have pondered for many years. As of right now, I have five other blogs with various names; all attempts to be obedient. Each time I attempted to obey His call only to become scared and full of anxiety. I suppose it just wasn’t time yet. This time, it seems different.

On December 22, my children hosted their annual Capture the Flag party. The deal with hosting a party that close to Christmas was that there would be no work involved for me. I actually enjoy preparing for Christmas festivities and I needed the time to work.  They agreed. For various different reasons I’d rather keep to myself, I ended up never getting to the work I had to do.  And I wasn’t happy about it.

When I woke up the next morning, something was different. I was still thinking about the events of the previous day, still disturbed by them. But there was something else on my mind: the Spirit was leading me into something I just simply did not want to do.

This is real, folks.  Obedience was the farthest thing from my heart.

For several weeks this past fall, I have been working with a Christian Life Coach. Ana was wonderful and helped me so much. I worked through different goals I had and accomplished much. But I avoided discussing the one thing I believed the Lord wanted me to discuss as a goal….blogging. I’ve always wanted to. I have no writing skills and absolutely no courage though. My anxiety goes through the roof. But that morning when I woke up, the nag was something I couldn’t ignore anymore.

I use several different color pens in my Bible journal. That morning was no different. In fact, I used two: one for my negative, arguing prayers and one for my more positive, praise-like prayers. I went back and forth between “I am an absolute failure with no voice or writing ability” to “You are a great God who has done many great things in my life the past 20 years. It is YOU who has sanctified me!!!” I’ve never wrestled before God like that before.

He worked on some deeper sins in my heart. And He continually spoke to me.  I always wonder if those “words” I hear are actually God speaking to me. This morning is was all His word. Words I didn’t know were stored up in my heart. It’s been a very long time since I have felt the healing touch of God to the point were I was completely broken at the end of it. It was healing.  And ultimately, I knew.  I no longer had any other choice but to say “Yes, Lord”.

So I am here.