God is the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords. I am His child. I am His daughter. That makes me a princess! Join me in a year of discovery as I search for what it means to be a princess - how to live as an heir of the most high. Learn with me, write with me, and become part of the process as I write my next book - Livin' Like A Princess - Claiming Our Birthright as Heirs to the King!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Making Room for the Wealth

This month I've been focusing on trusting in God as my provider.  It looks like I might really get some practice in that area.
            My husband got word last week that he might get laid off.  If the government shuts down, he will go without pay for at least 30 days.  That doesn't seem like a long time, but we've spent our savings on medical bills and we are currently living paycheck to paycheck.  With no paycheck coming in, life could get interesting! 
            I've worked diligently this month to get rid of clutter. The house cleaning is going well, but not nearly fast enough.  More difficult, though, is getting rid of the mental clutter.
            I've had a chronic illness for twenty-two years and it occupies a lot of my time as well as a lot of my thoughts.   It's definitely mental clutter.  It's easy to use it as an excuse to focus on myself.  What I want to do more of now and in the future, is focus on others.  
            My pastor and dear friend Bill Moore died last Tuesday.  A lot of people are in mourning.  Over a thousand people to show up at his memorial service today.  He was a humble man, from humble roots, yet he made in impact on his community that will never be forgotten.  He touched so many lives and helped so generously that his death has left a huge hole in our lives.  But what he taught us was how to be better people.  How to be humble, how to laugh, how to seize joy in life and how to love and trust our God in all things.
As I declutter my life, I want to let go of self-pity, of fear, of sadness, of the long-time grieving I've been doing over my health and my losses.   I want to let go of negative thoughts and focus on what I can still do instead of what I can't
            And then I want to do those things.
            A few months before he died, not even knowing he was ill, Bill Moore sat down with his friend and said, "I want to finish well." 
            That's what I want to do.  I want to finish well.  I may have 50 years left, or only a day.  I want to grab hold of that time and live a life that will edify others, strengthen my community, and put my family first. I want to quit nagging, stop worrying, and embrace life.  I want to be filled with a deep, unshakable joy - the kind that only comes from knowing Whose I am.
            I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.  Philippians 4:13.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Decluttering - (Trusting our Rich Father to Meet our Needs When We Need It )

If we are indeed princesses, we are rich by inheritance.  Our father - the heavenly Father - owns everything.  Literally!
            …for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills.  Psalm 50:10
            He tells me not to worry.   He'll take care of me.
            Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Matthew 6:25
            So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'
            For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. Matthew 6:31-32
            So, I've started decluttering.
            I guess what I needed to realize before I started, was that I don't quite trust God to take care of it all.  I hang on to things, thinking I'll need them again someday.  What if?  Seems to be my mantra.  What if that spatula breaks? Then I'll be glad I kept two back-ups.  What if my computer breaks?  I can reboot the old one!           
            But if I'm trusting God to meet my needs, shouldn't I really trust Him?
            I'm not saying that some planning for future emergencies isn't wise - it definitely is.  But there's a difference between planning and hoarding.  And I think I’m a pack rat.
            But this month I've pulled up my shirtsleeves and decided that if I'm going to live like a princess, I need to start by cleaning house.
            I cleaned out my closet first.  It needs another good round of decluttering, but
I got rid of a bunch of clothes. I was hanging onto things that were out of style but still fit, or didn't fit but I thought would one day.  I just had a lot of stuff.
            The little, negative voice in my head kept talking to me:
            What if my husband loses his job?   What then?  I'll need that extra pair of boots when my current pair wears out!  I need to keep all ten sweatshirts and 17 T-shirts because when some wear out, I won't be able to afford new ones!
            Do I hoard things because I fear that God may not meet all of my needs?
            I remind myself that this month I'm walking in faith.  
            I've packed up a lot of my kid's toys to sell either on eBay or in a spring garage sale.  I've given away quite a few of their clothes. Most recently, I bought a large storage tub and am going around the house tossing knick-knacks in.  I may sell some, or give some away later, but for now, I just want them out of my sight. 
            I'm walking in faith that I can let go of things.  I believe that God will provide for my needs when I actually do need things.  He always has in the past.
             I still have a lot of work to do, but what I've found is once you start decluttering, you see more stuff that you want to get rid of!  And it really does feel good to share.  I gave all of my maternity clothes to the pregnancy crisis center, and some of the boys winter coats to my neighbor.  And you know what?  I'm already seeing returns!
            My friend gave me some jeans for my oldest son - in great condition!  We received two free tickets to the movie theater!  And yesterday when I went out to buy some much-needed underwear, the sales clerk gave me a special bonus discount on top of the sale! 
            This is fun!  I'm looking forward to seeing how God blesses me next!
            Remember, He will take care of you.  He may not give us exactly what we want, but He will always give us exactly what we need.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Mental Decluttering

This blog was originally supposed to post on Feb. 9.

            This month is all about decluttering.  I'm still working on the mental decluttering so don't come over because the house is a mess.
            Last week a very dear friend of mine checked himself into the hospital because he was feeling ill.  In that week in the hospital, his health continued to decline and still no diagnosis.  He was airlifted to the Mayo Clinic on Friday and is now in ICU with kidney and liver malfunction, pain, low platelets, enlarged spleen, and much more.  Last night he was finally diagnosed with an aggressive form of lymphoma.
             This has been on my mind a lot.  While trying to be a parent, edit my manuscript, take kids on field trips, cook dinner - it keeps popping into my mind.  What if? What if?  And worst of all, why can't I help him?  Why can't the doctor's help him?
            I've seen too many close friends and family - including my own father - battle cancer.  I don't want to see it again.  I'm tired.  I'm tired emotionally and physically and it's hard for sleep to come because I wake up and there IT is - on my mind again.
            The church called for a prayer service on Monday night.  Nearly 200 people showed up and we all prayed for Bill.  When I left there, I felt some peace.
            What I managed to finally realize is that God is God - the great I AM - and He is in charge.  He knows exactly what is wrong with Bill, and He heard the pleas from us, His people, to save Bill.  But ultimately, we are helpless in this situation.  God is God and will do what He thinks is best.        
            I have declared my feelings to God - I have gone before the High King, as his daughter, with my request that He heal Bill.  So have countless others, and God promised us if we pray together, He will be in our midst.
            God was there Monday night.  God heard our prayers.  By putting it into God's hands, I now realize that either way, God will have the victory.  Neither death nor the enemy can get their hands on Bill's soul - that belongs to God. 
            I may not like the outcome, I still have the "what-ifs" and the fear and the feeling of helplessness.   But the victory is God's.  Either way - whether God chooses to let Bill live, or bring him home to Heaven, the victory is God's.   It is His choice.
            I have trusted Him in so much else.  If I trust Him in this, peace comes in.  My mind clears out for a while and I can focus on other things. 
            Package some of your fears up and give them to God. Mentally declutter. He'll take them and do what's best. Sometimes, that's all we can do - just give it up to God. 

I will try to post a follow-up on Bill on my website.  Once you reach the home page, click on The Columns. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Making A Plan

Today started out poorly.  When it's barely 8:00 a.m. and you're already having a bad day, it seems inevitable that it can only get worse.
            I won’t go into all the soggy details but after the alarm went off I came downstairs to face the dirty dishes I was too tired to do last night.  I washed a frying pan, and then looked for bread.  I was out of bread.  When you have food allergies, like I do, you can't simply go out and buy a loaf -  you have to make it - and I hadn't had time to do that this week and had let myself run out.  What's worse, the kids were out of their bread too, and only had three slices left and we have a huge snow storm heading our way.
            I made a slice for each of us. Problem is, their bread has milk in it and I'm allergic to it.  I'm supposed to be trying to incorporate new foods back into my diet (doctor's orders) so I figured why not today? 
            By the time we left for school, my throat was starting to tingle and swell.  The kids were fighting.  I grabbed the Benedryl and my Epi pen, loaded the squabbling kids into the car and drove them to school.
            By the time I dropped them off, my lips were swelling too.  My girlfriend motioned me over in the parking lot to tell me her grandma had passed away.  Then she prayed for me.
            On the way home, I turned on the radio and a praise song was blasting out about how our God has the power to overcome.  I started praising God - I may feel like I was dying but I was able to get of bed, cook breakfast and drive my kids to school.  It could be worse.
            I didn't die, obviously (I'm here, writing this), so God has granted me a little bit more time.  The allergy resolved itself, I baked my bread, and now I've got a few minutes to  type before I go pick up the kindergartener.  Bearing that in mind, realize this is not a polished piece.  But I was able to rejoice despite the bad start to my morning.  That's the power of our God.
            Back to the Princess Project.  I've been in prayer about how to proceed, and I've come up with several categories I want to work on this year.  I'll list them now:
            These are the privileges I think we have as part of being an Heir of God, a "Princess":  (I'm going to try to work on one new one each month in my own life)
            For February:  Riches
            Where are mine? J    
            Is one reason that my house is cluttered is because I hoard?  Is that because I don't trust God to meet my needs when I have them? (Or am I just too busy??)  I have been greatly blessed in times of dire need.  I want to explore this.  I'm hoping February will be a month of decluttering both mentally and physically (starting with the house clutter!)

            March:  Beauty, inner and outer
            April:  Power (over the enemy)
            May:  Wisdom
            June:  Grace
            July:  Our Prince
            August:  Our Castle

            Here are some of the responsibilities I think we have as part of our birthright:
            September: Helping others
            October:  Sharing  knowledge
            November:  Not abusing our power
            December: Respecting the King (knowing my place)

I hope you can join me in my journey!  God Bless.