Thursday, August 9, 2012

Miracle-Exodus 31

I title this miracle, because it truly is a miracle. I have received a handful of "miracles" from God after I gave my life to him, and I cannot wait to share them all soon!
I will not die but live,
and will proclaim what the Lord has done.
The Lord has chastened me severely,
but he has not given me over to death. Psalm 118:17-18

But as for me, it is good to be near God. 
    I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; 
    I will tell of all your deeds. Psalm 73:28

My mouth will tell of your righteous acts, of your deeds of salvation all the day, for their number is past my knowledge. Psalm 71:15

I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders. Psalm 9:1

After losing Evie, I struggled to find purpose in my life. I was in this weird place, because I had prepared for so long to be her mother and to take care of her, and when I lost her...I knew I was still her mother, but she was not here on earth for me to care for anymore. I knew I was called to go deeper into God's Word, and I knew that I enjoyed using my creativity. I had started my business with Premier Designs Jewelry, and I had also begun making what I now call "Jewel Boards." These are framed jewelry organizers. 

It was really on my heart to start making something in wood. I wasn't sure why, but it had become a strong desire of mine. I also knew that I wanted to make something for parents that had lost children. I was feeling very confused for a time about what God really wanted me to do with my life. There were times when I felt He wanted me to give up everything and go to India to work with women and children...and although I do still feel this is in the future for me, I didn't have peace that "now" was the right time. I know that it will be in my future in some way or another, whether it is full-time mission work, a ministry of my own, or short-term missions. I am leaving that up to how God continues to shape it into my life. For now, I am fundraising once a year at Evie's birthday through the "Jewels from Heaven" benefit to benefit ministries in India. This will be our second year. 

But what about the rest of my time? What am I supposed to do? I asked God...I begged Him, actually, to tell me why he created me. I said, "God why did you put me here, what is your purpose for me?" I was crying out from my woundedness, feeling like my purpose in caring for my daughter was stripped from I was desperate for God to respond. I had felt "Exodus" jump out at me for some reason prior to this prayer. It was on something I had near me at that time. After the prayer, I began reading my Jesus Calling devotional, and one of the references was in Exodus. I, now, really felt God was telling me to read in Exodus. So, I opened up to Exodus and just started reading wherever I landed. This is what I read...

Then the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills  to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze,to cut and set jewels, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of crafts. Exodus 31:1-5

AHHH!!!! Really??? This is why I keep talking about this amazing God that has found me! Because He speaks to us in such a personal way, and only by His grace, direction, and favor can we live our lives for His glory...which is the best life available to us. Out of every single verse in the entire Bible...this is like winning the Mega Millions. There is not one verse that is more fitting and perfect for God to speak to me on my purpose...what He created me to do. For those of you that have read, "My Jewel" post, you would also understand how it is even more crazy that the word 'jewel' is used in this verse...of course it would be...

I, then. felt peace about moving forward with my idea for making something in wood. Soon after, God gave me the exact vision for what I now call "Angel Signs." These are wooden wall hangings with a child's name, and a quote on another board, connected by ribbon and hung by ribbon. I had a strong desire for Evelyn's name to still hang on my wall, but in a way that memorialized her and was respectful of the loss. It was painful for me to see the bright, polka-dotted letters that once hung above her crib. So, I make the Angel Signs in a soft gray, with either light pink, blue, or cream lettering and ribbon. I am selling these on Etsy as well as on an online memorial boutique. So far, God has blessed me to touch the homes of 18 families. I hope that one day it will be thousands! God will continue to shape and mold me all for His Glory...and they will know that it is the Lord that has done this.

Check them out here! Angel Name Signs

I will make rivers flow on barren that people may see and know, may consider and understand, that the hand of the LORD has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it. Isaiah 40:16,20.

The Lord is righteous in all his ways
    and faithful in all he does. 
18 The Lord is near to all who call on him, 
    to all who call on him in truth.
19 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him
    he hears their cry and saves them. 
Psalm 145:17-19

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Storing Up Treasure in Heaven

The more I am in tune with eternity and heaven, naturally the more I understand how short life is. There are many scripture passages that speak to this, but why is it so hard for us to let this truth sink deep into our spirits? We rarely think about our death, and that it is imminent...given how short our lives are. He says our life is but a breath...and that we should simply enjoy his presence each moment and rest in the knowledge and joy of our salvation...that we will spend eternity with the Father, and the angels, and our loved ones who are a real, physical place called heaven. God says we should not boast about tomorrow, and that we are just to live and focus on one day at at time...because it has enough trouble of it's own. We are not to worry about tomorrow.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34

Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow. Psalm 144:4

You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man's life is but a breath. Psalm 39:5

I am beyond blessed to have the experience of the sweet girl that changed my life and my eternity, my daughter, Evelyn. What a jewel she is. God took the only thing I ever truly loved, and he brought it to himself...pulling my heart and my attention to Him along with her. He has blessed me with eyes that see and ears that hear...spiritual wisdom through the Holy Spirit and the Word. Eternal pleasures at his right hand, he has bestowed upon me.

But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. Matthew 13:16

Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." John 20:29

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. Psalm 16:11

By his grace, I get it. I know why I'm here...for the most part...and I know in my soul what matters and what doesn't in this world. I know I'm going to heaven...and God has given me such a real experience of what heaven is like through dreams and other's experiences in that I could grasp it...and live in a way to yearn for it, seeking to glorify the Lord with my life, and to want the best there is to have when I get to heaven. We will all give an account of our lives before God...

“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘every knee will bow before me;
every tongue will confess to God.’”
So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.

"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad" 2 Corin 5:10. 

God's word says, "Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys." (Luke 12:33). And in Matthew, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal." (Matthew 6:19). After I lost Evelyn, and by God's grace, He gave me the desire to live this way. And I'm not there yet, but He continues to mold and shape me to align my life with this calling. Possessions became meaningless to me after I lost the precious life of my daughter...all the baby stuff...everything was meaningless, everything was there...but she wasn't. I started giving things away, and I knew in my heart that he had taught me a lesson in his Truth that few are ever blessed to learn. He is preparing me for the most glorious plan He has for glorify living not for myself...and it is the only way. For now, I have been called to create the opportunity for others to build treasure in heaven along with me, through a benefit near my daughter's birthday, "Jewels from Heaven." Last year, God's presence showed up in a big way, and we will continue to pray for him to be glorified this year. Please pray with me over this night, Friday, October 26th, 2012, and I hope some of you will come out to support the cause...TBA. It will be a fun night with good food, live music, silent auction, and raffle in honor of Evelyn and other children in heaven! Thank you to all that supported last year!

God has done so much to grow my faith in Him in the last two years since I lost my the Living God....that speaks and works in a real way, and He has not stopped revealing things to me since I fully gave my life to him. God is faithful! I hope to be writing all these stories soon, since I am a little behind with all the moves and changes God has been making in my life. Thank you all for your prayers over my life as I seek God's will and heal from the greatest loss of my life. Bless you!