Thursday, March 10, 2011

Psalm 40 - a moment of encouragement

Less than 48 hours until Spring Break officially kids are wound up...I am wound up...we are ready for a break and to have some fun. This has been a good week overall...working, school, exercise, church, dinner, laundry...all the things that go into my week. I have been very proud of myself for sticking with my exercise things are rolling along...until tonight...

I have no idea what happened, but tonight I was hit with a ton of bricks...all my fears, all my self-doubt, all the things that I really HATE about myself, all of it...hit me in the face. I was trucking along, giving the kids showers, getting ready for bed, then I sat down to enjoy a moment of peace and quiet and I was sideswiped by all my own insecurities. There I sat, on my bed...overwhelmed and moved to tears...not knowing how to move on from this point...feeling hopeless...what happened? I was fine and then a moment of reality of my "alone" situation and I was undone. All I could do was reach for my Bible (at least I did that right). And I went to Psalm 40...and found some wonderful encouragement from David. He was a man who knew about overwhelming circumstances...

Psalm 40:1-4
1 I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,

and he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along.
3 He has given me a new song to sing,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
They will put their trust in the Lord."

There is so much in these four verses. So much truth, so much encouragement for those overwhelming moments.

First, David says that God turned toward him and heard his cry. I picture a very busy everywhere. There are moms sitting on the sides talking. All of the sudden one of the moms looks towards the sea of kids, she heard something. She heard her child cry the sea of noise, when she wasn't looking, her child's cry, got her attention. Sometimes I feel so insignificant. So small, so unworthy and unimportant. But David says that God turns towards us and hears our cry to Him. He hears you...he hears me. He heard me tonight cry out to him alone on my bed...he turned his face toward me and heard my cry.

Second, He lifts us out of the pit of despair and sets our feet on solid ground...when we are drowning in our despair, our own failure, our own mistakes...when there is no way we can get out ourselves...He lifts us up. Just picture it...His big, strong, nail pierced hand reaching down into all your junk and lifting you out. Tonight I was drowning in my own weakness. I fall so far short. I make the same mistakes and sometimes it feels completely hopeless...but He reached down and He just lifted me out. But He doesn't stop there...He sets our feet on solid ground. Solid. Secure. Safe. A place where we can get our bearings...take a breath...a firm foundation. Tonight my firm foundation was found in His word...the truth. He reminds me that Satan is a liar and he is seeking to destroy me. But God is Love and He holds me in His hand and that will never change no matter what my circumstances may be...

Third, He gives us a NEW song to sing. This has been the theme of my year...all things new. I just needed another reminder that He is constantly working to make me heart, new desires, new life, new song. He gives us a new song and then we sing...that is important because sometimes I don't feel like singing...sometimes I don't want to sing. I want to wallow...I want to say "poor me." But God wants us to sing. He wants us to dance. He wants us to live. He has given us a new song...

Lastly, and this is the good part, "Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord." God is going to carry us through and people are going to notice. They are going to see all that He has done and they are going to be amazed. His faithfulness through our dark days will turn people to Christ. The fact that we are standing on that solid ground and singing our new song will point people to the one and only living God and they will trust Him. Wow. It is a privilege to walk with God and be a part of drawing people to Him.

I don't where you are...I don't know what overwhelms you when it is just you in the quietness of your spirit. I don't know what you and God are trying to overcome. But He is faithful...He hears your cry, He lifts you up, He gives you a new song, and people will be drawn to Him because of your story. Don't give up...just give it all to Him...He will never let you down.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Conference contest

This is my official entry for the She Speaks conference scholarship

Why I think I need it...for the past five years I have wanted to attend this conference. Last year I registered and then because my life went crazy I could not go...

About me...

My name is Pam West and I am (newly) a single mom of three kids. I have felt called to speak to women's groups and to write for several years. It took me almost two years to say those words out loud to anyone because I thought it sounded look at me...I want to speak to women's groups...

I know that God has gifted me to be in front of people, I just have no idea what that looks like in my life.

As I said before, I am newly divorced. There is a whole, long crazy story there (that probably doesn't belong in this blog quite yet) but just to say...there are a lot of women in my situation in or will be in my situation and I think that the church is still not quite sure how to minister to these wonderful ladies... (we are getting better at this). I do not know if God wants to use this in the speaking arena, but it is my experience that He doesn't allow anyone to go through things without a purpose.

I would LOVE to come to the conference. Last year when I had to give it up, I was heartbroken, but I knew it wasn't right to go in the midst of the chaos. Things are much calmer now and I would love to come. I think what you are all doing is amazing. Love it...

Can't wait until Monday...good luck to everyone.

A moment of thankfulness

Most of you know that my life (our lives) took a very crazy turn over the past few years and even the midst of that I can sometimes find myself focusing on my circumstances...

Our a single mom now, are we going to make it each month? Will I have enough to pay our bills and still buy clothes for the kids? I can easily get overwhelmed by all the responsibilities.

Our is affecting the kids? Are they going to be OK? Are they sharing they feel secure and safe? Am I doing enough as the mom? There are times when I am sure that I totally messed them up for their future relationships.

Our future...a new job? A new relationship...feeling lonely and strange being single? will there be romance and affection in my future? Where are we headed on this new journey? There are days when I feel so scared and alone.

So many many things new. I forget to take a moment and be thankful for where we are and what we have...

Tonight, the four of us sat down to dinner and Katie asked to pray. She prayed the simplest prayer from a little girl's heart.

"God, thank you for my family. I love them so much. Thank for your our house because there are people that don't have a place to live. And thank you for this is so yummy."
What a tonight as the kids are getting into bed and the house is settling down into a peaceful quiet...I am very thankful. Yes, I am scared and nervous about our future...but there is nothing I can do about the whatif's tonight...tonight I can have a heart full of gratitude.

God thank you for this gift of may not always go the way we hope or plan, but I do know that you are always with us along the journey and that is enough. Thank you that nothing surprises are never thrown for a never have to resort to plan B or C or Z...Thank you that, for whatever reason, you see something in me that you love...that is worth your time...Thank you for looking my way...everyday...

God has been so good to us and we are truly thankful!