Thursday, September 24, 2009

Season of Change

Our family is currently going through a Season of Change. It's not official or complete yet, so I won't share details until it is, but life in the Lockwood house has had it's ups and downs. Ed and I have been reflecting on this past year, Sept 08 through Sept 09, and discussing the journey our lives have taken in Georgia.

There have been many blessings along the way: friendships started, relationships strengthened, health restored, a new baby girl on the way kicking me as I type, and so much more. There have also been tests and trials on this journey, times of brokenness, desert times, and feelings of loneliness.

Since we have now passed the "year" mark of living in GA, we have once again needed to refocus our attention on God and what HE wants from us. Unfortunately, I can tell you from personal experience, that when things were going "good" I tended to put God on a shelf, but when things were hard, and uncertain is when I would cry out to God for help. This is not something I am proud of, and it's something that I had to confess to God. See, God is a jealous God, and HE wants me to place HIM first in my life.

I recently joined an online Bible Study called Bloom. For our first book, we are reading Francis Chan's, "Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God". We have only went through the first two chapters, but it has REALLY opened up my eyes to so many things. One of them being how holy and majestic our God is. Another thing is how in the Bible, it says, "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! (Phil 4:4) Chan follows this verse with the following paragraph:
"You'll notice that it doesn't end with "...unless you're doing something extremely important." No, it's a command for all of us, and it follows with the charge, "Do not be anxious about anything." (v. 6). That came as a pretty staggering realization. But what I realized next was even more staggering. When I am consumed by my problems - stressed out about my life, my family, and my job - I actually convey the belief that I think the circumstances are more important than God's command to always rejoice. In other words, that I have a "right" to disobey God because of the magnitude of my responsiblities."
So, this whole year, when things have been hard, and rough, and uncertain...I have been commanded to rejoice, and by NOT doing so, it's like me saying that I know what's better for me than God. I got stopped on this page for a day or two, and then picked up the book and finished the chapter. So many times I feel like I am just going through the motions of everyday life. I want my life to be intentionally focused on God...I want to have such a relationship with HIM, that I don't need to "wait until my quiet time" to have a conversation with my Saviour. To be able to stop what I am doing and PRAY when I am prompted to pray, to be able to release all my cares on HIM and let go, not holding anything trust FULLY on the ONE who already knows what the outcome of this "CHANGE" will be.

Last night in my quiet time, I picked up the Our Daily Bread devotional book and turned to September 23rd. The verses assigned for that day were just what I needed to hear in that moment, "John 14:12-14 - Truly, truly I say to you, whoever belives in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this will I do, that the Father may be glorified in this Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it." Then, this morning, I turned to September 24th, and the title is Contentment and the verses are Matthew 6:24-34 when it talks about do not be anxious, about God clothing the lilies of the field, take no thought for what you shall eat, what you shall wear, etc. SEEK FIRST HIS KINGDOM and ALL THESE THINGS shall be added unto you.

I must share a blessing that happened recently in my life that supports these verses I read today concerning, "What shall I wear?". Ed and I have recently made new friends who go to our church and live just down the road from our house. They have 2 small boys, a 20 month old, and a 8 month old. A couple of weeks ago, we were hanging out with them at the their house when the subject of "maternity clothes" came up. Ed and I are extremely tight with our money right now, so buying me maternity clothes for the winter is way down on the list of priorities. Well, out of the blue, my friend goes, "Elizabeth....hold on...I'll be right back." She leaves the room and comes back down the stairs carrying two VERY large tubs guessed it...maternity clothes! There are SO many clothes in these tubs that it's like Christmas morning every time I need to pick out something to wear. I was so BLESSED by this amazing gesture. Now, I am totally set when it comes to winter maternity clothes. This just proved to me that GOD IS watching over us and HE does CARE about the little things in our life.

Please continue to pray for our family as we are in this season of change that God's peace and direction would be so real to us. I will try to update the blog more regularly...if there is even anyone reading this blog really does help me to put my thoughts on "computer".

God Bless each of you!


Nikki said...

I read it... and I am praying for you, Sis!

Christine said...

It is hard at times to rejoice when we're going through the struggles, but God is so faithful! Bless you on this journey!

A Warrior's Heart said...

Awesome stuff, Liz. I bought Crazy Love and its next on my list to read.

Can't believe you guys have been gone ONLY a year. Seems like you all have been gone forever...

Lynnette Kraft said...

Surprise! :) We're all getting to know YOU today. You signed up a long time ago - did you think I forgot about you?

Enjoy your visits - I know you'll love all these ladies - I do!

I appreciated this blog post. I love to read testimonies of people fully trusting the Lord to get them through all situations - and being willing to admit that it takes effort.

I enjoyed visiting.
Have a beautiful day.
Dancing Barefoot on Weathered Ground

Kelly said...

I'm just stopping by from Lynnette's blog. Congrats on your baby girl!! Our first baby (a girl too) is due December 28th! We're going to name her Lily Grace...Emma Grace was another choice very close to the top of our list!

Happy Friday!

The Tolf family said...

HI I stopped by from Lynnette's. Very good reminder that we need to be seeking God all the time and not just in the hard times. Congratulations on your baby girl! What a blessing!

the Spocks said...

Visiting from Lynnette's blog. Congrats on have a girl. You have a beautiful family.

Mrs. McFadden said...

Headed over from Lynette's blog. thank you for the reminder that we are to rejoice in our Lord always!

midRae said...

Hi and Congrats on being the featured one this great day. What a wonderful post and a lot for each of us to take in and think about and to act upon. I'm glad Lynnette featured you. Oh, and congratulations on the little blessing. I'm sure it will be a new and wonderful experience.

Karen said...

Stopping by from Lynnette's to say Hi.Congratulations on being featured today! Congratulations on your baby girl too! Babies are such a Blessing!

I have just started a pregnancy prayer list on my blog, so I would love to have you on the list if you would like. Just come over and leave me a comment.


Angela said...

Hi! Stopping by to Get to Know You! Congrats on the baby girl! You seem like a neat person. :-) Enjoy your day!

In Christ,

Wendi @ Every Day Miracles said...

Hi Liz! I came over form Lynette's blog - and I am so glad I did. What an encouraging post! I just love your perspectives, and your heart for God. I can so relate with the maternity clothes thing too. :) I only have a month left in my pregnancy, but a few months back a friend also gave me a tub full of great maternity clothes that fit really well. -It was such a God thing!

Lela Paden said...

Stopin by from GTKY... It is so encougaging to hear how you are trusting in God's plan for your family. Congrats on the baby GIRL! I had my girl first and then 5 boys. Girls are special so enjoy every moment.

God Bless

Lilyofthevalley - Tanya said...

Stopping by from Lynnette's blog. Congrats on your baby girl. Won't be long and you will be holding her in your arms. :)

Congrats for being the featured blogger as well!

May the Lord abundantly bless you in this season.

Sherrie said...

Hi! Just stopping by from Lynette's and getting to know you. And I am sure glad I did. I enjoyed reading your thoughtful, inspiring post. What a great reminder for all of us to keep God with us at all times, good or bad. Thanks so much! Congratulations on your baby Girl! Beautiful name choice.

One of us Dragonfryes said...

Hi! I am stopping over from Lynnette's blog. What cute boys you have! Congratulations on little Emma Grace. I love that name.


Holly said...

Here from Lynnette's!! I pray that God blesses you during your season of change. Sometimes change can be hard and we don't always know the answers but we do know that God is good!! I think it is wonderful that you were blessed with all those maternity clothes!!

Amy Genn said...

Hi! Just stopping by from Lynette's blog. Glad to meet you!

Danielle Holsapple said...

Hi! I am here from lynette's blog as well!
And I have to tell you that I too seem to look to God when things aren't going well...and not as much when I think it is well. But I think it is important that we can recognize it and talk to Him about it!!!!

The Runge Family said...

Stopping in from Lynnette's blog! I send you God's love and hope and blessing through your Season of Change.

3 Blessings said...

Visiting from Lynette's blog. Congrats on the little girl. What a beautiful blessing and a beautiful family.

mom2LEAA said...

Just jumper over from Lynette's blog, what a wonderful post. Thank you for reminding me to to rejoice always. The past three months have been very challenging. My husband was laid off and I had previously been blessed to only work part time. Roles are now reversed and I am working full time, while he is at home. Our income is greatly reduced and jobs that should be have been a perfect fit,have fallen away. We are struggling to see God's plan and nerves are fraying as money is getting scarce. All to often I forget to give thanks in all things. I am working on it and your post is just another reminder that God is present, even in the littlest things. Thank you.
God bless your family and newest little one.
Cindy in Connecticut

Tina Fisher said...

Hi! I am stopping over from Lynette's blog! I am so glad you signed up to be featured on her site!

Your words are inpiring to me! I am also trying to be better about "shelving" until MY time of need.

I was already to pack up my maternity clothing for you too! I am guessing you are set now?

My birthday is 1-15 so I'll be checking back.....

God Bless you and your family!

Kelci said...

Liz, I stopped by from Lynnette's Getting To Know You!
What an awesome post! I struggle with "giving" it to God only to "take" it back. I'm thankful he's a forgiving God full of grace!
I will pray for your season of change. And prayers for your new blessing! I'm a mother of 3 girls & 1 that was to early to tell, but guessing it might have been a girl as well! I LOVE my girls!!! I would have liked to have tried for a boy, but things just didn't turn out that way. Must not have been HIS plan!

Kelci @ My Journey.....