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Posted on Jul 28, 2014 in Devotional, Love, Spiritual Life, Wisdom | 4 comments

A Prophetic Word?

A Prophetic Word?

 

Sometimes I find it hard to believe my life these days.

 

Charlie - 3 months

Charlie – 3 months

There are times when it seems like every single little thing I ever wanted in life has been handed to me on a silver platter.  I look around in wonder and stop for a minute to lift my hands in praise to God.  I wonder if it’s somehow wrong to be so blessed and happy.

 

Other days I get out of sorts and frustrated with less glamorous aspects of life.  At times children may be impressive little destroyers, husbands may forget to speak tenderly, extended family and friends may disappoint, and there may even be an unrecognizably puffy, middle-aged, graying woman staring back in the mirror – but isn’t that just the stuff of life?  It’s not a perfect life, but the frustrating and difficult days are much fewer than the good ones.

 

I’m a stay-at-home mom whose husband works from home and is also able to be around much of the time.  Rick often works long hours, but he can typically set his own schedule and work around the needs of our family.  God has gifted us with two little blessings who are now 19-months old and 3-months old.  They’re very close in age because we weren’t sure how many years of fertility we had left, so we figured we’d better get it done.  They are light and joy to us.

 

But taking care of two babies, plus trying to keep the house up, cook meals, manage the farm books, volunteer at church, spend time with friends, exercise, shower regularly, and squeeze in time for writing just can’t all be done well by one person.  At least not THIS person…  As helpful as Rick and his parents are, they have other responsibilities too.

 

Our wonderful helper

Our wonderful helper

Thankfully, we were able to bring in someone to help out with the housework and the kids.  She stays with us three nights a week and is a tremendous blessing.  I know I could make it work without her, but having her around means that our household is much more peaceful.  Chores are done, children are nurtured, and we’re all fairly well-rested.  It makes a huge difference – the difference between surviving and thriving!  I’ve been encouraged by the model of a godly woman in Proverbs 31.  Verse 15 says that she has servants.  This amazing woman in the Bible doesn’t do it all herself!

 

As I was puttering around the house this morning, wondering in awe at the beauty of God’s redemptive work in my life during this season, I was reminded of something I still don’t completely understand.  There was a couple who came to our church and ministered to the church staff one day.  They didn’t know us.  Our pastor knew them and trusted them.  When he told us what was going to happen that day, I burred up inside.  I was skeptical and just the tiniest bit hopeful.

 

The couple that came to our staff meeting are prophetic ministers.  Hearing that they were coming to pray over us individually and to give prophetic words to us as they heard God speak filled me with mixed emotions.  I grew up in a Charismatic church and have seen prophecy used to manipulate people’s emotions, have seen those who claim prophetic gifts be completely wrong, and have seen the rare occasion when it raises the hair on the back of my neck and proves true.  I’d often longed to have someone give me a prophetic word from God, some inkling that He knew my situation and wanted to speak to me, but there had been very few.

 

When this couple began to pray and speak over my co-workers, my defenses started to come down.  They seemed to know intimate, personal details about them that couldn’t be fabricated.  How did they know that my co-worker was a potter and an illustration from God about pottery would mean so much to her?  Over and over they accurately spoke about the person they prayed over.

 

When they came to me, I was ready to hear what they had to say, hopeful that they would tell me and all my co-workers that I was going to be mighty in the kingdom of God.  (Yes, I admit that was what I wanted to hear.)  I hoped to hear I’d have a ministry greater than Joyce Meyer or Beth Moore.  God does say “exceedingly, abundantly”, doesn’t He?

 

Instead, they told me my past.  They told me the place in my heart that was aching.  They told me how I thought the things that had gone wrong in the last few years were my fault and that I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what I could’ve done differently.  Then they told me there was nothing I could’ve done differently.  God was working things out in me, making some adjustments, and nothing I’d done was a surprise to Him.  I was exactly where He wanted me to be.

 

Then they told me about my future.  Their eyes bored into my soul and they saw that I was terrible at receiving, preferring to give to others.  I had no idea how to receive and was often suspicious of those who wanted to give to me.  And while the Bible says it’s more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35), it also says that God will cause us to receive blessings from others – a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over.  (Luke 6:38)

 

The word I was given was that I was going to learn to receive, and that I would find it wasn’t weakness but just openness to God.  They encouraged me to take the time I’d been given in my current season to press into the Lord and get to know Him more.  Without realizing how much I love butterflies, they compared me to a caterpillar in a cocoon, soon to be released as a butterfly.

 

I did as they said.  I pressed into God’s presence, spending time in Scripture, fasting, praying, and ordering my life around Christ.  I received one other prophetic word in the months that followed – received it from several people who had not spoken to one another about it.  They all told me that the answer to my prayers was already there, like it was in the shadows of the room, just waiting to step forward and be seen.  I was told to be still and stop struggling.

 

DSC_0588All my attempts at wrestling my life into the mold I had in mind for myself stopped at that point.  Obediently, I became still and stopped struggling.  Everything seemed to turn upside down, but I waited like I’d been told.  Rick finally stepped out of the shadows of my life and claimed me as his bride.  He became the person God used to provide for me.  Through his love and through the covenant of marriage we made together, blessings from God have poured into my life.  I have become a grateful receiver.

 

My aspirations to become a big deal have melted away as I’ve stepped into my role as wife and mother – a big deal to the three people God has given me to love and nurture.  The experience of waiting in stillness, aware that nothing I was able to do on my own could bring me one step closer to God’s plan for my life, has taught me to relax into what God is doing NOW in me.  If God has other plans for me at a later point in life, it’s His job to bring them about.  Not mine.  I have learned to walk in obedience and to believe that He is working out the details.

 

Sometimes fear tries to creep in, whispering that I shouldn’t get too comfortable because it could all be taken from me in a moment.  Whispering that I’m not doing enough with my education, that I’m supposed to be striving to BECOME SOMEONE.  While I know that nothing is ever guaranteed, I refuse to let fear rule my life.  For the time I have my precious husband and these beautiful children, I will soak up every moment with gratitude and praise.  If everything I’ve been given is ripped from me tomorrow, I will deal with that sorrow then.  During this season of my life, I will joyfully change diapers, wipe noses, sing silly songs, give lots of hugs and kisses, and teach everything I can to these sweet little treasures.

 

For today I choose to wrap my arms around the amazing little loves that call me mama, give all I can back to the gracious man who calls me wife, and shine with all the love I’m receiving.

 

Thank You, God, for the many blessings You’ve given me.  Thank You, thank You, thank You.

 

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Posted on Jan 2, 2014 in Parenting, Spiritual Life | 0 comments

Mommy

Mommy

A little over a year ago, I got a new name.

Mommy.

It’s the best name I’ve ever heard in my life.

When Eliana was not quite six months old, she surprised me by crying out in extreme distress, “mmm-Mom!”  I thought it must be a fluke, but then I heard it again, and again, and again.  It was her first word.

She doesn’t use it often.  The main times I hear it are when she’s very scared, unsure of herself, or upset.  I don’t like for her to be upset, but it feels wonderful to know that when she is, my name is the one she calls.

She’s recently learned to say “Da da” and apply it correctly.  It’s become her favorite word.  She wakes up in the morning calling, “Da, da, da, da, dad-DY!”  She walks around the house calling his name.  Every noise she hears is thought to be him.  My name is still reserved for special occasions.

I don’t think it’ll be much longer before she starts to call me by name regularly.  But I know how I feel when I hear it now.  It’s as if the world stops and all my attention turns to her.  Tunnel-vision.  What does my sweet child need?  How can I relieve her distress?

I wonder if Jesus feels the same way about us calling out His name?  Does He immediately stop and turn toward us, eager to find out what we need?  Is it music in His ears?

From what I can tell from the Bible, Jesus loves to hear us call His name.  Today I’m imagining that when I do, He is filled with joy and ready to meet our need.  Even if He doesn’t meet it in the way we’d like Him to do, like the times when I have to allow Eliana to experience some pain for a greater purpose, I believe He still stands beside us.  He still makes His presence known to us – if only we’ll ask Him to show up and help us.  If only we’ll thank Him and praise Him and give Him our love.

It’s time to sign off now.  My daughter just woke up and is in her bed calling, “Da da da da, dad-DY!”

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Posted on Dec 5, 2013 in Love, Marriage, Parenting, Spiritual Life | 1 comment

GOOD

GOOD

Back in 2008, a couple came to my church and talked to the staff about what they felt God saying to each one of them.  I was suspicious, to say the least.  I trusted my pastor to keep the weirdos away though, so I tried to remain open to their words.

Our sound engineer recorded the couple’s words to me and I looked back at them today.  Among other things, they noted that I was a giver, but had a very difficult time receiving from others.  They said God was changing my heart and would teach me to be open to receiving, to enjoy the richness of His goodness.  At the time, I felt like receiving from others was weakness.  They told me I would come to see it as openness to God.

As I prepare myself and my family for Christmas this year, I’ve been struck by how much I’ve received over the past several years.  I don’t know what to put on my Christmas list.  I’ve been given a home to call my own, children, a husband who loves me and takes pleasure in taking care of his family, clothing, food, and many non-necessities.  What do I ask for beyond that?

The words of the couple came back to me this morning.  The truth of their words struck me.  After a season where nothing seemed to work out for me, where every road I tried turned into a dead-end, today I feel like I’m on an open, easy road.  Sure, I have a hard time with pregnancy and it really stinks to be sick so much.  It’s hard to make friends and I long for the deep friendships I left behind in Nashville.  My mother and her three sisters have all been through terrible struggles with breast cancer in the last few years.  But even with the difficulties, my life is so full and rich that I regularly find myself raising my hands in praise and thanks to God.

He has been good to me.

Last week my daughter had a restless night where she couldn’t quite seem to settle down, so we put her between us in bed.  She was so happy to be right there, quietly wiggling and flopping around from one of us to the other.  In the dark, half-asleep, I felt slobbery wetness on my chin.   Weird.  Then again on my cheek.  Huh?  It occurred to me that she was trying to kiss me.  It was too dark for her to see.  Overcome with love, I reached for her tiny face and kissed her sweet little lips.  Satisfied, she cuddled up next to me and fell fast asleep.

Is there anything better than when your child seeks you out for a spontaneous kiss?

I have learned to receive with gratitude and graciousness.  I don’t live in a mansion, drive a luxury vehicle, or wear designer clothes.  I’ve not yet achieved my desire to become a regularly published author.  But I’ve been given the most priceless, beautiful gifts imaginable.  I open my arms to receive them, recognizing the incredible value they bring.

He has been GOOD to me.

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Posted on Mar 16, 2012 in Spiritual Life | 2 comments

An End and a Beginning

Now that I’ve been married for 2 1/2 months and my new name is Kimberly Wyse, I decided it’s time to start a new blog.  Consequently, this is also my 100th post, which I did not do on purpose.  I hope all of you that subscribe will update your subscription to the new site.  I plan to write all about the transition from single, career-oriented, city-girl to rural farmer’s wife.  The first blog entry on the new site was posted on March 16, 2012.

Check it out here:  www.kimberlyswysewords.com

Thanks for reading!

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Posted on Dec 16, 2011 in Before Marriage Blog, Spiritual Life | 17 comments

You Have Multiplied

You Have Multiplied

 

$97.37.  Ninety-seven dollars and thirty-seven cents.

That is the amount of change that I’ve been able to save over the last few years.  I began saving it when I was single.  I wanted to be a bride.  When I was engaged before, I didn’t have much money to spend on a wedding dress.  I found a used one online and purchased it for next to nothing.  The dress was beautiful, but it didn’t fit.  It was not the experience I wanted for my wedding dress when I really did get married, so I decided to start saving money before I even had a boyfriend.

That was a couple years ago.  I was embarrassed to tell anyone what the money was for.   It seemed frivolous to save for something like that, but my heart longed for something beautiful.  Saving my change was so small and insignificant.  I knew it wouldn’t amount to much.  The act of faith was the point though.  Every time I put money in the jar, I whispered a prayer that God would multiply it and make it into more than I ever could.

God did multiply it too.  In May I got engaged to my Boaz (see the book of Ruth).  I received some unexpected money right around that time.  I was able to purchase the dress of my dreams and it was significantly less than I had budgeted to spend.  I continued with my small coin collection though, knowing it would be useful at some point in the future.

piggy_bankTonight I was talking to my fiance, Rick, about money.  Getting married is expensive and we are both in shock about how much it costs to have a wedding, set up a new home, and go on a honeymoon.  With two weeks until the wedding, I need to stop working so I can finalize all the wedding plans and celebrate Christmas.  Rick asked me if it was time to cash in my coin collection.  Stunned, my first thought was to tell him no.  I was saving that money!  But then I had to laugh.  I was saving that money for this!

As I gathered up my coins tonight, added up the totals, and put it all into a bag to take to the bank, it hit me hard.  God has answered my prayers.  Every whispered prayer that God would take my small contribution and multiply it has been answered.

I had small faith that I would actually get married.  In two weeks I will become a wife.

I had small faith that I would have the money I needed for the wedding dress of my dreams.  In two weeks I will wear a dress that takes my breath away and leaves me giggling like a little girl every time I put it on.

I had small faith that every bill I had would be paid, that I could continue to have my needs met even though I had lost my job.  In two weeks it will have been 18 months since I lost my salary and I have never had a bill go unpaid or a need unmet.  In fact, I’ve had more than I needed.

My God has provided for my needs.  What have I to fear? 

I waited patiently for the LORD;

he inclined to me and heard my cry.

He drew me up from the pit of destruction,

out of the miry bog,

and set my feet upon a rock,

making my steps secure.

He put a new song in my mouth,

a song of praise to our God.

Many will see and fear,

and put their trust in the LORD.

Blessed is the man who makes

the LORD his trust,

who does not turn to the proud,

to those who go astray after a lie!

            You have multiplied, O LORD my God,

your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;

none can compare with you!

I will proclaim and tell of them,

yet they are more than can be told.

(Psalm 40:1-5 ESV)

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Posted on Dec 2, 2011 in Before Marriage Blog, Love, Spiritual Life | 5 comments

The Countdown

The Countdown

December 2, 2011.  The date isn’t that significant.  But it’s FRIDAY, December 2, 2011.  And that means in just FOUR weeks, 28 days, I will become a married woman.  My heart races a bit just writing that.

This morning I ordered flowers that I’ll carry down the aisle, the only time in my life when it will be appropriate to carry around a beautiful bouquet of flowers.  There are final plans to be made, and so I spent several hours following that going over my schedule, sending emails, making phone calls, and trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together, wondering what I’m forgetting.  How much more money will I need?  How many people will be at this event, that event, and THE event?  When am I going to find time to hang out with my cherished friends in the final weeks of my time in Nashville?

My head is swirling with problems to solve, plans to finalize, and concerns about how it will all get done.  But earlier this week I slipped into my wedding gown and got the last few pins to make the dress fit perfectly.  With that gown on, all the difficulties of planning a huge, life-altering event faded away.  For those few moments, I remembered why I am doing all this stuff.  We are getting married.  We are each putting our best foot forward, hoping for a day that sparkles and crackles with life and joy, to stand before God and our family and friends and make a covenant to be one.  And the two shall become one.

IN FOUR WEEKS!

And then, the honeymoon…

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