Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Naomi, Ruth or Orpah?

In the time of tragedy are you Naomi, Ruth or Orpah? I went to a conference this summer and heard Kelly Minter who spoke on the book of Ruth. She asked us that question. 

Naomi, Ruth and Orpah lost their husbands.  Naomi went back to Bethlehem to seek God's blessing and favor.  Orpah ran from God to her other Gods, and Ruth ran with abandonment to God himself.  My answer to the question is I am Ruth.  I am running, seeking and searching after Him. 

Brokenness  and pain was what I felt this time last year.  Pat had been gone two months and the pain was so unbearable at times.  I would find myself just laying in my closet floor rocking and crying with no sound.  That closet was my retreat for two years as that was where I felt I could safely hide whether it be to cry or pray on my knees.  My desire was to be strong for Pat and my kids.   I certainly got a grip in that closet, but my strength, peace and hope came from spending time in God's word and in prayer.  

In Sarah Young's devotional, Jesus Lives, she says it much better than me.  Jesus: "Nothing is wasted when it is shared with me.  I can bring beauty out of the ashes of lost dreams; I can glean Joy out of sorrow, Peace out of adversity.  I take great delight in transforming My precious children. Give Me your broken dreams!  Release them into My care and keeping.  I will not only heal the brokenness, I will give you a new dream--one that is in harmony with My plans for you."

I am still waiting on the new dream, but that deep pain is gone.  Sadness still appears, but my heart is being mended.  It feels wonderful to say that my days are brighter and filled with hope.  I am so thankful for His word that I crave and the ultimate gift of His presence and peace. 

In His Grip,

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Tree

As I transferred my photos from my phone to my laptop, I saw the picture of the tree.  It was taken on the 26th of November of this past year when I made a trip to our former ranch in Hico. It was the anniversary of Pat's death, and  I needed something to do to keep me busy on that day.  I wanted to be by myself, but where should I go? Then I thought. Hico. 

While driving around the ranch I came upon what we called the "Old Pond".  It was the first pond that we fished when we bought the place and it was the boys' favorite place to camp.  I stopped the car to walk down to the pond as the brush was so high on the road that I could barely see it. As I approached the pond I realized that I was walking in the area that the water usually covered.  This was a sad sight.   I had grabbed an old pink towel I had in my car and my journal thinking I might write. Writing wasn't what I wanted to do, so I just sat there. Before I got up to leave I got on my knees to pray.  

As I walking back to my car I asked God, "What will my life be like one year from now?"   I felt him answer me, "purpose".  "The 'P' on your necklace now stands for purpose."  I looked to the right and there was a tree.  As I looked at it's leafless branches, I saw a branch at the top that was in a cursive "P" shape.  I kept staring at it.  I walked up close to check it out. Yes, it looked just like a "P".  I stepped back and saw another one.  It looked as if it was leaning into the tree, but it was a very plain "P".   I took the picture because no one would believe me.  I probably wouldn't believe it myself the next day. I felt His spirit say, "That plain P is you now, but the cursive P will be you in the future." Hmmm....  I start looking around at the other trees as I am sure to see more of the alphabet right?   No. All of the branches are straight.

It is time to leave and I see a white rock lying a few feet from me.  I pick it up. The rock seemed to have an imaginary line drawn through the middle. The left side is very smooth, but the right side is rough.  I felt God say to me, "Paige, your life resembles the rough side, but I like it best."  I picked up the rock, put it in my car and it now displayed in the flower bed of my new home.

The cursive P is up high in the center and the plain P is on the right which
looks to be leaning against the tree.

While driving off from my little retreat, this scripture comes to mind, "Seek me and you shall find me."  The actual scripture, Jeremiah 29:13 says, "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart."


In His Grip,

Friday, January 25, 2013

Basketball Season

It is basketball season and it is not like me to not post some pictures. 
My Favorite Spartan

Our family received such a huge honor when they renamed the Spartan Men's Basketball Team to the Pat Easterling Memorial Classic.  What a tribute and we are so thankful!

Yes, that is a blown up picture of G's Head thanks to Paxton
Love This Team!


One word keeps showing up in my life lately. God keeps showing me "rescue".  He has done this In the past with other words such as trust, faith, and last year he showed me a lot about "abide".   He has to continue showing me because I don't get it the first time.  I just know He shakes His head at me.   

The word "rescue" was in a prayer that my friend, Rick, kept praying over and over Sunday night in a group study.  "Jesus, is my rescuer."  Monday morning I open my Bible (365 day) to the selected Psalm for the day's reading. Psalm 18:16-19, "He reached down from heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemies, from those who hated me and were too strong for me.  They attached me at a moment when I was in distress, but the Lord supported me.  He led me to a place of safety; he rescued me because he delights in me." 

On January 22nd, I read Psalm 18:47-18, "The Lord lives! Praise to my Rock! May the God of my salvation be exalted! He is the God who pays back those who harm me; he subdues the nations under me and rescues me from my enemies. You hold me safe beyond the reach of my enemies; you save me from violent opponents."

Yesterday, I read "Psalm 20:6, "Now I know that the Lord rescues his anointed King. He will answer him from his holy heaven and rescue him by his great power."

Do I need rescued?  Yes!  Is it coincidence that I continue to read about the subject rescue. No!  I am so thankful that His word is alive each and every day.

Not only has God been telling me about rescue, I keep hearing and reading about Joseph.  Yes, the Joseph with the coat of many colors.  Just since Sunday, I have heard it in Sundays' sermons, read about it in my daily Bible reading, and on a podcast that I listen to regularly (another sermon).  Oh, and I am reading about Joseph in the book, "From Dream to Destiny: The Ten Tests You Must Go Through to Fulfill God's Purpose for Your Life." by Robert Morris. The book is centered on the story of Joseph.  It is clear He is teaching me something and I praying to hear Him clearly. I read about a few of the tests...I flunked! 

Keep teaching me, Jesus!  Don't leave me where I am.

In His Grip!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

He Has Never Failed Me

Be assured, if you walk with Him, look to Him, and expect help from Him, He will never fail you.  George Mueller, "God has never failed me. Even in my greatest difficulties, heaviest trials, and deepest poverty and need, He has never failed me. because I was enabled by God's grace to trust Him.  He has always come to my aid.  I delight in speaking well of His name."

A great word this morning from Streams in the Desert.  I am now reading this great devotional for the third year now.  This book is becoming a little worn and has many different colors highlighted on its pages, but what a perfect reminder of God's faithfulness.  I can look back at what I noted in the margins and see where I have been and how far I have come...only by His grace and love.

I know when I turn to the first page of 2014 I will see that 2013 has come and gone with its prayers noted in the margins.  That easily written, I still have 2013 in front of me.  My window company is my major challenge right now.  We have come a long way with Brian's help and we will work hard in the months to become profitable.  While Brian is running the company, my job is to network and market, which is a new experience for me.  I am being stretched out of my comfort zone again. Those days when I am anxious or fearful, I turn to the list of promises jotted in the front of my Bible that God gave me this past year and claim them over and over. 

As for now I will continue to thank him.  My life is sweet and my blessings are long.

In His Grip!

Monday, January 14, 2013

I Remember

I feel anxious this morning.  Old feelings feel my heart which brings tears to my eyes.  I have a friend who is facing the unknown.  She waits while her husband is in surgery.  She does not know what the outcome will be. That takes me back to 2008 when Pat had surgery with his esophageal cancer and 2011 when we found out we were dealing with pancreatic cancer.  Your world can be rocked in one phone call. My prayer is that she will feel the peace that surpasses all understanding.  A feeling that is so foreign that you do not feel normal.

What I read this  morning in my devotional, Streams in the Desert said, "Now God is out in front. He is in our tomorrows, and it is tomorrow that fills  people with fear. Yet God is already there. All the tomorrows of our life have to pass through Him before they can get to us."~~F. B. Meyer

So, He knows the trials we will face. They have filtered through His hands; therefore, I will trust Him to equip me day by day, moment by moment, or minute by minute.

Praying that His peace covers you like a blanket.

In His Grip!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Rigorous Training

"Trust me here and now. You are in rigorous training---on an adventurous trail designed for you alone. This path is not of your choosing but it is My way for you.  I am doing things you can't understand. That is why I say, "Trust Me!" The jungle is thick and you cannot clearly see what is before you, behind you, or beside you. Cling to My hand as you follow this trail in shadowy darkness."~~Jesus Today

That was a word I needed this morning.  I have read it over again several times.  My verse God gave me in 2008 was John 13:7, "Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will."  I guess I will keep claiming that verse as my life verse as it has held some prophecy ever since. In order for me to not understand my life, I am going to have to trust Him.  

I received additional encouragement this morning after reading from the book, "Lord, I Need Answers" by Kay & David Arthur. 

1 Peter 1:6-7, "In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed."

 "Every trial has a beginning and an end. To gain the full benefit from the trial--all that God in His grace and goodness intends for me--endure! It will have an end. God thinks that particular trial is necessary for me to be all I should be or to be more effective in my service and ministry to others. I can rest assured, then, that no trial, no matter what it is, is without purpose. It's been filtered through God's sovereign fingers of love, and it is the very thing I need in order to become what He wants me to become."

I know that my life will not be full of mountain top days, but that is okay as long as I have peace. I crave His peace the most right now as I try to trust him in every phase of my  life whether it be big or small and I have many of both. 

As I reflect on 2012 which was full of pain, change and challenges, I know that God carried me the whole year. I also know of His provision, faithfulness and goodness.  2013 has now arrived and my prayer is to surrender to the desires of His heart.  I feel God wants me to know Him in a different way now and He has shown me that He has some new plans for me that I will not understand either.

In His Grip,