I Do Declare

Today’s blog is by Kelley Allison. Kelley is a wife and mom of three from Cypress, TX. Kelley was a former elementary teacher. She shares some great insight about her oldest heading off to college. This will encourage you Mom’s & Dad’s facing that same transition soon too.
Enjoy!

I Do Declare

I am really quite comfortable sticking my head in the sand. I don’t have to listen to any distractions or worries around me. It’s actually a happy little place of delusion.
As long as I keep my mouth and eyes closed and focus on the sand and not the matter at hand.

In the real world that we are forced to LIVE in I gotta at least pop up my head and take A looksie around and see that yes indeed it is reality.

My Daughter is Going To College

Okay, I said it!!!
Friends ask me, “How are you doing KNOWING THAT Peyton IS going away to school SOON?”. I reply, “fine” and just like the floppy ostrich dipping it’s head down to get a drink of water……Plop there goes my head down, back into the denial river.

God keeps tapping me ever so gently on my clearly seen shoulder that is sticking up out of my safe little place of refuge. You know, keeping so busy and occupied SO I don’t have to think about her leaving. He asks me when I am going to resurface so He can remind me of a couple tidbits that might bring me some relief.

I figured since I don’t have much time left, I better look UP and see what He has to say. It was getting a little dark and lonely down there!!
Crabs and sand fleas. Itchy and scratchy!!

I am prompted by the Holy Spirit to remember that I never really had any complete control over Peyton. Believe me, I have tried!! I can’t protect her every move and be one step ahead of her to clear the path for her safety and comfort.

I wrote down all my fears and worries in my trusty little journal of aspiring thoughts. This goes beyond the regular list of worries. How do you let your daughter with a seizure disorder go live on her own away from you? That really was the reason for the whole ostrich antics. I wrote it all down one uncertainty at a time.

God wants us to share what’s burdening our hearts. So He heard it ALL!! I asked myself the question:

How does this make me feel?
Caution: High level Risk Feeling

Now what do I do with these feelings of no batteries in my “life remote control”?

News Flash
Commercial Break

I remembered that I am only me, but He is He!!
The Great I Am!!

Since I choose to follow Him and make His Word my map for my life I probably should remind myself who God is to me and what that Map has to say about all this doubt and fear.
I first wrote down all of the amazing provisions He proceeded to put in order before Peyton has stepped ONE foot on campus.
That’s a long glorious list of amazing little details that add up to big blessings!!!
So I poured it all out written and spoken to God and stuck my head back in it’s designated hole in the sand.

Safe and Sound. My favorite Jazzercise song ringing in my muffled ears of uncertainty!!

Since I only have 9 days till D day!!
I thought I would open up my journal today and see what I would do with that dang purple elephant SQUATTING in the corner of my mind.

God keeps taking me back to the “spiritual snapshot” He gave me a couple months ago when Peyton got her acceptance letter to college. He knows I’m visual and will remember pictures over words, actions, thoughts or conversations. He’s actually quite the master teacher. He knows each of us individually and uniquely. He knew how to get my attention and help me remember that He has provided a way for her to go and it was my job to be her #1 cheerleader!!
I hadn’t really deposited it totally in my heart and believed it until today.
I think I just didn’t really want to face the inevitable until I was forced to.

I really don’t want to share with everyone the picture I woke up with that next morning back in April.
You can delete this part if you wish, because you are not too sure God can give you a tangible picture in your mind’s eye to speak to you. I understand totally. I didn’t really know He could work like that until recently.

Fast Forward Here (if desired)

I woke up one morning after the great news of the happy college acceptance. I was pretending to be happy, but deep down I was petrified. God knew my fears and met me in the morning with my own personal news flash.
It’s the moment that one wakes up, but still has their eyes closed. That’s when my little reminder came from God. There was a flash like an old picture showing on a screen that appeared and disappeared as quick as it came in my mind’s eye.
There it was–
a megaphone, black and gold pom poms
setting on a simple table.
Proof it was gone.
I knew it was from God. How? I just knew. It puzzled me because He didn’t give any explanation or script.
I remember that His Word says, “Ask
and it shall be given to you, seek and you shall find.” So I asked and seeked and no find!!!

Later that day when I was pulling out Peyton’s TLU college folder with all her papers and brochures I noticed that the school colors were black and gold. Immediately, like a flood it came to me!!

It was a soft whisper that sounded like my own thoughts with the answer that I was seeking.

You are to be Peyton’s biggest cheerleader. (TLU Black and gold Pom poms). Use your voice and shout out the declarations I have in My Word for her to hear. (Thus, the megaphone)
Why on a table I thought to myself?
Psalm 23, It came pouring back to my memory, word for word.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He maketh me to lie down in green [1] pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 5 Thou preparest a TABLE before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest [2] my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. [3]

I was there in the pasture with my Shepherd. He had prepared a table just for me with the necessary tools I would need to fight off the fear, worry and anxiety that came every time I thought of her leaving to GO off to college.
God had my back and went ahead of me already, to every day and every minute that Peyton would be at school. I would not be there with her each day, but He would never leave her or forsake her.
The Great I Am!!
There is no time on His clock. He is in the past, present and future. He knows our thoughts before we think them. He knew us in our mother’s womb before we WERE even born. He knows how many strands of hair are on our heads. It’s all in that Book He gave us.
I had memorized Psalm 23 in high school. Today a little past high school, I jumped into the pages and got the revelation that no matter what happens His rod and His staff will comfort me. When I start to feel nervous or worried about her being gone, I just pick up my megaphone and pom poms and remember my routine.

Are you finding yourself with your head stuck in the sand? Or maybe you ARE hiding under a thick shaggy carpet until it is all clear to surface.
Just know that you don’t have to hide anymore. You can resurface and look to God for your help in need.
All it takes is an understanding of who He is for you and the declarations that are prepared for you in His Word. It’s okay if you don’t get it the first time around.

If you are not in relationship with Jesus as your Savior,
you might not quite get the whole Bible is your life map thing.
It’s okay, no worries.
The Holy Spirit actually waits and seeks us out for conversation and relationship.
He would love to meet you where you are and take you through any valleys or shadows of death that may come your way.

D day is coming!!
Hand me the megaphone
Declare Declare Declare

“Peyton will be safe and sound in His arms every minute of the day!”

Psalms 66:16
Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will DECLARE what he hath done for my soul.

Psalms 71:17
O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I DECLARED thy wondrous works.

Psalms 73:28
But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may DECLARE all thy works.

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Choices

Choices. Choices. Choices. God was on me about the simplicity and necessity of looking at my choices a few months ago. I believe He was trying to show me how easy it is to change a moment, the course of a day…my entire life for that matter.
It’s that easy. So why do we make it so hard? I chose to work out today because I love the way it makes me feel, and I get to
chat with my friend. I chose to say I’m sorry to my daughter last night instead of feeling like crap
for acting out in my own frustration. I chose to get vulnerable with my husband last night and open up to him about why I’m upset instead if saying I’m fine. 
What POSITIVE choice can you make today to change your attitude, change the state of a relationship or even make someone else smile?! Let’s DO it…Let’s DO it all day long!!  ~ Stephanie Wanic
GodsBeautySecrets

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Restored Ministries Mission

With the Robin Williams tragedy splashed all over the news, computers, and our twitter and Facebook feeds; I can’t help but feel certain that what the world needs desperately is Jesus Christ. Robin Williams is just one more in the millions of people suffering from addiction and depression that have taken their own life. Our world is full of hurting people living meaningless lives on the brink of death because they are holding on to secrets, sins, or struggles. People don’t need some dead dry religion or sets of rules, they don’t need judgement, they need the real living breathing Spirit of God to blow through their lives and remove all the junk the world tries to throw at us and keep us bound. People need someone to share the Truth of God’s Transforming and Restoring power to change their hearts and lives. Only Jesus breaks every chain! We are not meant to do life alone. It is not a competition. We need to stop playing like we have it all together and share our vulnerability, our hurts, our struggles, our stories. We all have a story that needs to be told. We repair our stories when we begin to share our stories. We are only as sick as our secrets.
We only overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the words of our testimony. #RestoredMinistries wants to see Overcomers rising up! We want to see people begin to #LiveRestored lives.

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We don’t know Jack, but God does!

Do you ever feel sad, resentful, frazzled, nerved up or downright crazy sometimes? Sometimes I can’t even pin point the reason for feeling unsettled. We could be stuffing down our emotions and not finding our words to express our hurt, loneliness, unmet expectations (anger) or wounding’s.  I have an identical twin so a lot of times I am not sure if it is me feeling unsettled or if she is feeling unsettled.  For days and weeks and months we can give and give and pour out and we have forgotten to get filled back up ourselves.  Sometimes our calendars can be so jammed packed that we just can’t catch our breath and we need to set some boundaries.  I stepped away this Spring from a couple volunteer commitments because I felt the Lord was asking me to focus on some different things, and to invest more time on my main mission field, my husband and kiddos.  So even stepping back from that I still had too many things pulling me a million different ways.  Sometimes I feel that I have enabled everyone around me and I become so worn out and resentful that no one seems to step up and give Mom a break when she needs it the most.

 I simply forget to set the boundaries, release control, and use my big girl words to ask for help.

I start to feel like a Jack in the Box toy; you know the one with the crazy looking clown.  It is tucked tightly into the shiny box.  When you crank that handle, the music plays and then “Wham” “Boom” “Snap” the clown, aka Jack, is out of the box.  It sways back and forth; head is bobbing to and fro with a cheesy expressionless grin.  It is fun and gives everyone a great big laugh and then you cram it back into the box and do it over and over. I feel sometimes like the demands of life and people asking things of me keep the crank winding and me jumping out of the box, like Jack, …over and over.  You know them too; the weight of the demands from our kids, husbands, friends, family, commitments, ministry, jobs, etc. can all become too much when we don’t keep a good balance, or neglect our health, or don’t ask for help.  Just like the neglect of Ole Jack.  Ever run across one of these Jack in the Box at a flea market or antique shop? The paint is smeared and worn off the face and looks more like the Joker than a clown.  The little cloth covering the spring is torn and the old dirty and rusty springs are becoming exposed.  The crank is busted and the music that once sounded so joyful with anticipation of Jack’s appearance is sounding like some creepy ole scary accordion music that gives you the heebie jeebies. The once anticipated timing of Jack is now not so predictable and The Jack that pops out is the kind people jump from and want to run and avoid.  That kind of Jack looks wretched!  That was the Jack I felt like.

So when we start to feel like the wretched neglected and worn out Jack; overwhelmed and frustrated and it does not take much of a crank on that handle to bust you out of the box, what do we do?  

First realize, we don’t know Jack! But God does!

Release control, surrender it to God, set some boundaries, if you don’t have peace you are out of God’s will.  Sometimes you have to say no to some things to be able to say yes to where God wants you.  Make sure you are clinging to God’s Word.  If you have an identical twin, check them too, I realized a lot of my feelings were from my twin sister’s emotions. Make yourself and your health a priority; don’t neglect exercise or eating healthy.  Apologize for being on edge and unsettled with our crazy behavior and memorize this Awesome Promise >

I said, “I am falling”; but Your constant love, O Lord, held me up. 19 Whenever I am anxious and worried,  You comfort me and make me glad.  ~ Psalm 94:18-19 GNB

Relax and let the Great Comforter take over.  Remember He is also the great Restorer and He can take that Ole wretched Jack and make it all shiny and new again.  Only With God, are we able to withstand those endless cranks of life’s demands well.

~ XXOO Michelle Bollom

 

Worthy Words

Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God’s favor) to those who hear it. ~ Ephesians 4:29 AMP

Foul adj.adjective – Morally detestable; wicked. Of a vulgar or obscene nature. Very disagreeable or displeasing; horrid. Bad or unfavorable. Offensive to the senses; revolting

Evil adj.adjective -Morally bad or wrong; wicked. Causing ruin, injury, or pain; harmful. Characterized by or indicating future misfortune; ominous. Bad or blameworthy by report; infamous. Characterized by anger or spite; malicious

Good adj.adjective-Worthy of respect; honorable .Attractive; handsome. Beneficial to health; salutary. Valid or true. Genuine; Pleasant; enjoyable. Of moral excellence; upright. Benevolent; kind .Loyal; staunch. Well-behaved; obedient.

Beneficial adj.adjective-Producing or promoting a favorable result; advantageous. Enhance wellbeing

Last year I tweeted up twitter world with #MarchMouthMonth. I was convicted that I and my family needed to speak Worthier Words. I used this verse above as our kick off verse for that challenge. I had never given much thought to my words. I used to cuss like a sailor and to be honest, I still can easily pick up a word a little too colorful to describe something and sometimes the words “Oh Snap”, just don’t fully describe the situation or make me feel better so I just let the old cuss words fly. I feel better only momentarily, than I realize, my kiddos or others have had a front row seat to my unworthy words. I grew up with a grandmother that saw everything with a critical and judgmental eye and she wasn’t afraid to tell you what she thought. She was a big time screamer and would rage with lots of harsh words. I thought that was normal behavior growing up. I wanted so desperately for my kiddos to unlearn some of the bad habits that the broken, pre-transformed me had displayed to them. I am so thankful that God so lovingly works with us transforming, renewing, renovating, and restoring us and when we do fall short His grace covers us along our imperfect journeys. With God’s help we all made big improvements with our mouths. I was almost finished with this Devotion for you on Worthy Words when just this past week I heard an awesome message on Words by Melody Barker. God used her and that message to take my challenge on words even deeper. She referenced the verse Matthew 12:36 “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the Day of Judgment.” OUCH! Then I looked it up in the message translation…“It’s your heart, not the dictionary that gives meaning to your words. A good person produces good deeds and words season after season. An evil person is a blight on the orchard. Let me tell you something: Every one of these careless words is going to come back to haunt you. There will be a time of Reckoning. Words are powerful; take them seriously. Words can be your salvation. Words can also be your damnation.”            DOUBLE OUCH!

Idle – of no real worth, importance, or significance. Empty, trifling, vain, useless. Rumors or Gossip.

Think of that definition of Idle. On a given day how many idle words do we speak that are not building anyone or anything up?

My back hurts, idiot drivers, turds, I am tired, I hate when this or that happens, I hate the car rider line, traffic stinks, you never listen, did you hear about so and so, I dread the grocery store, I don’t want to wake up, the weather is too hot, too cold, I hate my job, is it the weekend yet, Ugh, I don’t want to exercise, Weirdo, this is so slow…

Words make deposits into our souls. The words we speak to ourselves and the words spoken by others to us; make huge deposits into our soul. Unfortunately we too can make lots of bad deposits into people’s souls by the words we speak. It is not just those self- defeating demeaning words, the curse words, the negative critical or judgmental words, but all unworthy or idle words can wither a soul up quick. God knew the importance of choosing our words wisely. God knew that the tongue had the power of life or death. He knows a truly transformed mouth must be exercised Season after Season, not just for a month.

May we all be challenged to speak Worthier Words.   ~   XXOO   Michelle Bollom

Still not convinced our words are powerful?  Click here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIOx7i7MkY8

Coming up short?

Sometimes do you feel that you are coming up short every where you turn?

Short on time, patience, Grace, health, finances, love, energy…

When your mind is spinning and you are stressing on how to meet deadlines, meet needs, meet obligations, or whatever it seems to be, has you overwhelmed and burdened and you just can’t seem to stretch anymore and have no idea how you will be able to fill in those spaces of lack?

Well it is time to throw those hands up and reach up to God and His promise. A promise that leaves no room for lack and doubt that you will come up short.

“And God is able to make ALL grace abound to you, so that in ALL things at ALL times, having ALL that you need, you will abound in every good work.” ~ 2 Corinthians 9:8

WOW- I love this promise that When I can’t quite get there and I am coming up short that God is Able!

So sit back and relax for His Promise is not for a little … Nope -He promises ALL. No stretching, stressing, worrying or doubt… He is the One that works it ALL out! XXOO ~ Michelle Bollom

Are you suffering?

Are you suffering right now?

Hold On!

Cling to this awesome Promise! Write it down, post it on your mirror and start to declare this Promise over your life and see how God begins to Restore Empower Strengthen & Establish you!
Be encouraged today! #LiveRestored
#RestoredMinistries
~ XXOO Michelle Bollom

After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, the One who called you into His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will Himself restore, empower, strengthen, and establish you. (‭1 Peter‬ ‭5‬:‭10‬ CEB)