A long awaited update…where have I been???

 photo IMG-20160928-WA0040.jpgShabbat Shalom precious sisters!! (LOL this was written LAST Shabbat…now I can say it was written about three weeks ago!..but I just didn’t get a chance to finish it…Sorry I didn’t get it posted then!)

I had to smile when I received a comment from a dear reader asking “Where have you been, and is all ok? I so enjoy reading your blog and I miss your entries! I hope your absence is because you’ve been busy with good things and not because something’s wrong. Please write soon!”

I realized I hadn’t written anything since August!!! Has it really been that long?!?! I’m truly sorry about that…but to answer your questions…

YES, I have been very, very busy, and yes, I am doing alright! ?

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This past year has been, well…a crazy, hard, challenging, joyful, inspiring, “learning to depend upon Yhwh more and more” type of year for sure, not to mention it being just a very full year in many many ways, too!

This summer brought 3.5 years of my caring for my grandfather to an end and found me helping him walk through the last week of his life, as all of you know from previous posts. Then the beginning of August found me making my parents quilt for their anniversary which Yhwh had showed me how to put together just before my grandfather passed away (I had tried figuring it out about 11 years ago and couldn’t and then off and on through the years with still no success!). But Yhwh’s timing is perfect, and He just helped me each step of the way. So once I finished cleaning my grandfathers room out (which took a couple of weeks), as a surprise, I locked myself in my grandfathers old room for a few days, working all day, day after day, to get it done! (For by now I only had a few days until their anniversary!)

Just as I was about done with the top of their quilt, I got called down to help a midwife out of state, for what was supposed to be a couple of days. I struggled with leaving, but really felt Yhwh tell me I needed to go. So I quickly packed up and headed down to her the following morning. (Bringing the quilt with me and finishing it in time for them to get it by the 11th! Whew!!) I finished it a few hours before I needed to meet my brother who was heading back home from visiting his sisters out of state! Yes, it was a close call!

We had one baby the following day (after I arrived) and the other waited for about two weeks. But during that time, I realized why Yhwh had told me to go.

On my way down to NH, a precious older gentleman who is like an adoptive grandfather to me, was in a bad car accident in PA, while visiting friends. (A drunk driver had hit his friends car). A week later he was transported back up to MA to a rehab, where I was then able to be with him every afternoon/evening, since I was down in the local area (about an hr and a half away). It was such an amazing time to share those evenings with him and to give him company as he recovered from his injuries, not to mention all he taught me during those weeks!!

About the time the baby was born, we were given the green-light for him to go home, still needing some care, so I was then able to stay on and help him for another couple of weeks until another couple was able to come take my place.

By this point, I was going to be home in Maine for only a few more weeks before I was to come down here to TN (which I was going to hitch a ride with some friends that Sunday, to help my sister who was due with her baby in three weeks.). But Yhwh had other plans still!!

My phone rang around 1am on Sept 21 and I looked at the number, and knew! She’d never gone early before, not the least at 37 weeks, but when I picked up the phone and heard that giggle and “ummmm…you better think about changing your plans for traveling down here and not wait…my water just broke!” Or something to that extent! I jumped out of bed! No slow waking that morning! I ran to my parents room and woke them up! We were all sooo excited!! Another bundle of joy soon to enter the world! I’d been with her during her last two births (the first being a full-term stillborn), but had felt months earlier that this one would be different and that I wouldn’t be there, as much as we had planned on my attending this one, too. I just felt Yhwh had other plans. Little did we know just what Yhwh was going to do!

My parents discussed my choices, drive or fly, but since I had been working feverishly to get some things done before I left home, I had been going to bed fairly late and thus only had about 2 hrs of sleep under my belt that night. Driving 24-26 hrs alone, with hardly any sleep, wasn’t something I cherished the thought of, and knew I couldn’t make it driving non-stop. So I knew it would take me atleast two days and even that would be hard to do, as I was already so tired before even starting on such a trip! Yeah, I think thats a no-go. ?

But buy a ticket last minute? Oy vy! I prayed and got on my pc…what I found, was nothing short of a miracle and soooo Yhwh! There were flights leaving Boston every couple of hours that day for Nashville and all of them were only about $130-135!! We had paid way more than that having purchased my tickets in advance, on prior trips! Praising Yhwh and figuring out when I could safely get packed and drive down to Boston, I purchased a ticket and called my sister back to let her know when I’d be arriving.

I called. No answer??? She just called me only a short time ago! I packed some more and called again a few minutes later…and they pick up, crying tears of joy, as I heard a newborn crying in the background!! Yes, it took only a couple of hours!!! Oh, how excited we were!!! A precious little bundle of a girl!! But the joyful news didn’t end there!!! There was another surprise in there!!! Yhwh had blessed them with a beautiful, beautiful set of twin little girls, Chavah Shalom at 5lbs 10 oz, and Hoshiana Bat-Tzion at 5lbs 8oz!

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I have been praying for my precious Mama to have twins since I was a young girl…but Yhwh blessed my sister with a set, instead!! Oh! How excited we were!!! TWINS!!!! We had TWINS!!!

Yes, Sept 21 was going to be a day that changed my life! Yhwh had answered my prayers in sooo many, many ways!!

 photo IMG-20161102-WA0001.jpgSome of you may have seen this link circulating through social media: https://www.youcaring.com/clinton-and-sharon-cauthen-657108 . It is a fundraiser that some dear friends set up to help my precious sister and her family with the very unexpected complications which they had after the birth, and thus the unexpected medical bills. The twins were both beautiful, healthy, and strong, but my sister ended up experiencing some issues due to their birth, which resulted in over $9,000 worth of medical bills! ?

Everyone is doing AMAZINGLY wonderful now, but I do pray and ask you to pray and see if Yhwh lays it on your heart to give to help them…every little bit helps! But least of all, please pass the link on so we can bless this amazing, godly couple, in this time of great need!

But back to the story! ? I arrived down that night and wow! Nothing can explain what the miracle of life is, but when you hold two precious little bundles, you can’t help but praise Yhwh for the breath of life and just look at them in complete awe and wonderment! I still look at them in awe!!

Life became extremely busy for this Auntie (or as I am lovingly called in Hebrew, Doda Lolly)! But oh, how I wouldn’t trade it!!!

 photo IMG-20161020-WA0009.jpgBeing raised in a large family, I really took my precious Mama having little ones every year to year and a half, for granted. I LOVE children! Babies were such a HUGE part of my life, and I loved every minute of it! Having a baby on my hip, in my arms, or tugging at my skirt was the norm for me. I loved it! If there was a baby, or even a pregnant mama anywhere nearby, we always knew where to find me! (Yes, even in the stores!)

But sadly I took it for granted that when my Mama would stop having them, I would just be married by then and having my own family, so never dreaming those times would ever come to an end. (Both of my older siblings were expecting their oldest child with my mother when she was expecting my youngest sister, so it wasn’t “way out there”.) But Yhwh had other plans.

One day, we no longer had a little ones in the house. It seemed like it just hit us, without warning. We knew it would end some day, after all Mama couldn’t have little ones forever, but when you’re in the midst of it, you just don’t even think about it. You get to expect the joyful news around a child’s 9th month of “guess what?!?! Yhwh is blessing us with another baby!!” We all absolutely loved children and would long for that joyful news each time!!! But one day turned into two, then one month, into a year, and a year, into over a decade. We waited, and waited, and waited! But we finally had to accept, those beautiful and special years were probably behind us. And it was a very, very sad day for us! It was the first time in 24 years that we didn’t have a baby in diapers! ?

But surely, wouldn’t Yhwh bless me with a husband and large family, too? Its what I longed for with all of my heart! People had often asked me how many children I wanted, and I would always respond “I would be in my glory with 25!!” And I truly would have been!

But I began to realize that unlike my sisters, I had to accept the question of “You say you’ll trust Me with your womb with as many as I long to bless you with, but will you trust me with as few as I choose to bless you with?”

I know for some, having child after child is hard for them to accept. But for me, the challenge didn’t come with trusting Him with child after child, it was in not being able to have children (or atleast not as many as I had longed to have). It was becoming more and more of a reality that I had to work through.

As the years grew into over a decade, my arms began to feel emptier by the day. Yes, I had nieces and nephews all around me, but it is totally different having them in and out of your day, vs being with the little ones 24/7. I never knew how void and emptied ones arms could feel. How I wished I had just stopped and enjoyed that little brother or sister in my arms, just a little bit more! Things could have waited! But that story, or play time with them, couldn’t! Soon they would be past that cuddle stage and eventually would become young adults, too! Life wouldn’t and doesn’t stop! Now my youngest sibling is 14 and wearing my clothes!

Since arriving a little over 7 weeks ago (almost 11 now!) I have been blessed above and beyond my wildest dreams!

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 photo IMG-20161206-WA0006.jpgNo, these little ones aren’t mine…but I sure treasure each minute I get with them!!!

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To have a little one run into my arms, tug on my skirt, play and dance with me…climb up into my lap to be read to or just cuddled…or the twins needing to be changed, held, cuddled, rocked…not to mention being able to help my sister with the house, cleaning, and cooking!

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For the first time in years, the ache and void is almost gone. My arms are once again filled, sometimes overflowing ? with little ones! A day doesn’t go by that I don’t have atleast one baby in my arms! Laundry has become a daily activity, as has folding diapers, wiping little faces, and getting to watch these little ones blossom and bloom into who Yhwh has created them to be! Its absolutely incredible and an absolute miracle to be able to watch and be a part of!! Absolutely amazing, to say the least!!

Yes, I long for the day that it is my little one/s I am holding, my family I am serving, and my husband I am cooking for and packing lunches for! But I have to admit, I am thrilled to be blessed to be here!! Its second best, as we lovingly like to say!

So you asked if I have been okay and if I am busy…yes and YES!!! I have been known to laugh and ask my sister “how do you get it all done in 24 hours?!” Running a house with little ones is a lot of work! But it is soooooo soooooo sooooo worth it all!!! Yes, there are nights I just have to say “all well. It will wait until morning” or look at the sink filling with dishes and look at my nephew needing Doda Lolly time, and shrug my shoulders. Dishes will wait. My sister needs me to watch both babies for a little bit? Sure!!!

I told a friend I had laughed and told my precious Mama that I had it really rough!! I mean, I get woken up in the night to…hold and cuddle a baby while my sister uses the bathroom (as with twins they have a VERY keene ability of waking each other up!)! I mean, how much rougher can it get??? ? (and for the record, I LOVE it!! I was teasing my mom as she knew I was in my glory!!)

And in the past couple of weeks we have also moved (my sisters family), so I had been even more busy than usual with packing, cleaning, moving, and unpacking and re-organizing things, on top of the usual things. So know that although I am hardly able to write, it is only because I have been so richly blessed to help my sister with her three little ones, so my usual free time has been filled to brimming with family time!!

Which brings me to ask y’all a question. Do any of you have crockpot meals to share?? I have come to love the crockpot, but having lived off-grid for so many years, I don’t have but a couple of recipes! Helpful crockpot meals, casseroles, etc, would be a delight!! ?

 photo IMG-20161206-WA0007.jpgSo in closing, I want to encourage each of you, cherish those young years!!! They pass soooo quickly!!! Don’t push off reading that little story, or getting on the floor to play that little game! One day you’ll wake up to find they have grown up and are even marrying and starting their own families (as have half of my siblings already!!)! Take time to enjoy them NOW! Don’t wait!

Alright, my little family is needing dinner set out, so I will leave you with a few more pictures. Enjoy and may Yhwh richly bless you all!!!

Until next time,

Samantha

P.S. This morning is a classic example of how filled my life is right now!!! My sister came in my room and handed me my two nieces to snuggle as she showered. I had been gone all day yesterday, needing to run up to KY really quickly yesterday. Oh, how I missed them!!! A short time later I hear pitter patter and glance up as I hear excitement from my nephew! He had just woken up and came to my room and got so excited when he saw me (he was already asleep when I came home last night)! He came running to me for a big hug…and people say children aren’t worth it?! Who could put a price tag on this?!!!!

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Happy Thankgiving!

I wanted to take a minute and just thank Yhwh for all He has blessed me with! My brother said we had the most incredible family, and I can’t agree with him more! Yhwh has truly blessed us beyond anything we could ever come close to deserving! And as I sit here and am so thankful for all He has done, I can’t help but think of my precious parents who have made Him blessing us, a possibility and reality! If it wasn’t for them trusting Yhwh with their womb and asking to be blessed with children after giving their lives to Him, I wouldn’t be here. Neither would my other 12 siblings, precious in-laws, and soon to be 20 other nieces and nephews! Because of their obedience, I have been blessed with 24 siblings (including in-laws), and soon to be 30 nieces and nephews!! Yes, there were challenging times for them…we weren’t and aren’t always the “perfect” children. But they knew what was important! They gave their talents, money, time, and energy to raising us all up in the ways and truths of scripture, showing us a love and passion for serving and loving our Heavenly Father Yhwh and Son Yahshua, and loved us with a love like none other!! We tease them that they grew up with us, and its true! They played with us, sang with us, taught us, worked with us, read to us, memorized scripture with us, and simply loved being with us! They taught us what a family ought to be. They hugged us and comforted us, admonished us, encouraged us, prayed with and for us! The list is endless!!!

And now to see their work of love continuing onto the next generation, is just amazing to behold! To realize “we” wouldn’t be here, if it wasn’t for them, is incredible. Not to mention not being who we are!! 

So more than ever, I am soooo thankful to Yhwh for blessing me with the most incredible parents alive!! If you don’t know them, you ought to!! Their love for each other, for us, and for their God, is outstanding!!! Yes, I love my parents and family soooo much!!!

And I am so thankful for each one of you! Yhwh has blessed my life with such incredible friends and I am truly grateful and thankful for each one of you!! 

Feeling like the richest and most blessed girl alive!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

P.s. Girls, I opologize for not writing more! Life has been extremely full amd extemely blessed lately! I’ve been out of state for a couple of months now, helping my sister with her twins and toddler (YES!! Yhwh blessed them with beautiful surprise twin girls on 9-21-16!) and so writing is a bit more challenging right now.  I have been working on a post for a couple of weeks now, that I hope to get up here soon, and a lot of other posts running through my mind that I simply haven’t gotten typed on my phone yet! ? ? But do be looking for an update real soon!! ?

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Do We Truly KNOW Him?

The below message has so richly blessed me this morning. It never ceases to amaze me just how much my Beloved Abba Yhwh knows what I need to hear!

Girls, we long to KNOW, truly know, our husbands, do we not? We long to know their deepest thoughts and desires, we long to know and become one with/in them, bearing much fruit…not only physical fruit, but most importantly, spiritual fruit for His kingdom!

But my question to you is, do you KNOW Yhwh your God? Or do you just know ABOUT Him? It is one thing to know about our husbands, it is entirely different to actually KNOW them. Do we truly know God? Are we truly ONE in Him?

This past little while has been a time that I have to honestly say, has challenged me in a lot of ways. It hasn’t been easy and I find myself asking Yhwh why life has to be so hard at times? Couldn’t it be just a tad bit easier? :o) But you know what, it is through these trials and storms, that I am truly getting to KNOW my Beloved Yhwh and who He is! He is making Himself known to me in ways that I have never truly known Him before. He is bringing me to such a place where I know I can not walk as He has commanded, without Him! He is teaching me that it is NOT I, but He who lives in me! It has to be ALL about Him! Not some, but ALL!! 

And I don’t know about you, but it has not been when life has sailed ever so smoothly, that I have learned these lessons! Its so easy to think “I” got this, or “I” can do this when life is going on so calmly! But when the waters are troubled, the waves rushing up against us, that I begin to realize the truth…I don’t and I can’t do this on my own or in my own strength! And how sweet it is to get to such a place!!

 I don’t want to know ABOUT my God, I want to KNOW my God! I don’t want to be WITH my God, I want to be IN my God and He IN me!!! And if it takes, like it did in Egypt, Him bringing me through whatever storms He sees fit to bring me through, then so be it! I want to get to such a place with Him, that I can truly say, I KNOW my God and that I am one IN Him! Not just WITH Him! I’m not content to just know about Him. I am not content to have a casual relationship with Him. Just as I will not be, when Yhwh so wills, to be content to simply understand who my husband is. No, we all desire to KNOW our husbands in every sense of the word!! We want that intimate relationship with them, do we not? Then sisters, how much more important is it to get to such a place in our relationship with Yhwh, that we have that same intimate relationship with Him and get to the place that we KNOW Him? Are we truly ONE in Him? Do we honestly love Yhwh our God with ALL of our hearts? May this truly be our goal and become our reality!!

May you truly be encouraged by this message.

Shabbat Shalom!

https://www.youtube.com/shared?ci=Vg1LS94YzCE

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Feminine Modesty Red, Black and Tan Outfit

Shalom, Shalom!

Okay, I can’t help but have a little fun with this post! I just have to tease my precious sister, Sarah!! Every time I wear different combination of colors and outfits, her favorite question is “Oh, Can I get pictures of that outfit?!” And…well…as much as I don’t mind pictures, posing is not “my” thing. So I put it off as much as possible, for as long as possible…but with a photographer in the house, that doesn’t last long! I soon get the eye and the “I’m still waiting!!” smile!

Well, one day we were down by the lake just enjoying our walk, when out came the question of the day…”Oh! I haven’t gotten that combination yet!! I should get pictures of that outfit!!” :o}

But then…well…she has a Samsung…do I need to say more? ;o) Yes, probably half of us (myself included) love the Iphones, while the other half love their Samsungs…so as you can imagine, there is a lot of teasing about which one is better around our house! She told me, after a little while of trying, that her Samsung couldn’t get the picture to come out, so I teased her that she ought to try my Iphone, took a selfie, and showed her how the lighting was coming out just fine with the…yep…Iphone!! lol

She laughed, shook her head, accepted my phone, and got the pictures…much to my delight that day! ;o) I thought of only showing you all the nice and serious pictures, but this is kind of what life is like around our house…so…I thought for once, I will give y’all a good real taste of our family life and at the same time, make you laugh! What would life be, if you can’t laugh, have fun with each other, and tease one another? So here you go! I’ll try to dialogue our conversation that day…

Me: “See???”
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Me: “Try the Iphone!”
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She takes the phone…I mean Iphone ;o) and tells me where she wants me…

Me: “Oh!!!! You want me to stand like this???”
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Me: “No??? What about this???” :o)
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Okay, this was a couple of days after my grandfather had passed away and we all needed a good laugh…you should have seen her double over laughing, shaking her head telling me “ummm…not exactly!”

Me: “Oh! I got it now! You want me to pose like this!!!”

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Still laughing and shaking her head “no”!

Me: “I’m getting it now!!!” She liked this one…go figure! ;o)

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And the outfit I am actually wearing today…but these were taken awhile ago…sorry for the delay in posting them! Same shirt, but with my black embroidered skirt. By the way, both the shirts cost about $3-4 total…I’m wearing a long sleeve knit with the cooler cotton one over it. Love, love, love this shirt!

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The black skirt I purchased at our thrift store for I think about $1-2. I loved how dressy it was with the embroidery around the bottom. and you can’t really see my black sandals, but I purchased those for about $30 at our local shoe store. :o)

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The head covering was purchased from Hannah’s Headcovering’s, and the bobby pins are some of my all time favorite, the Princess Teira ones from Lilla Rose!
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Have a wonderful, wonderful evening! Hope I atleast made you gals smile! :o) Life is good, because God is good!!! Remember to smile, relax, and enjoy the life He has given you!

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Where Have I Been?

On a beautiful journey I will forever hold dear to my heart!

Shalom my precious sisters!

I know I have been unusually quiet around here recently, and although I have so much running through my mind that I would love to share, things have kind of taken a turn recently that I wasn’t expecting and yet, didn’t really come as that great of a shock, either. But through it all, there has been a great amount of adjustments that have needed to take place and just a lot surrounding the recent turn of events in my life. This is likely to be a long post, but I pray it will be a blessing, nonetheless.

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Some of you have probably heard, that my precious beloved grandfather, with whom I have been caring for for the past 3+ years, recently passed away. On July 2nd while I was feeding him his lunch, he suffered a bad stroke. That began one of the hardest, and yet one of the most precious, weeks of my life! This post is about our week long journey.

I somehow knew as I laid him down that afternoon, that I was losing him. Little by little. With tears streaming down my face, I lovingly changed him, wondering how many more times I would be gifted with such an ability? I tucked him in, kissed him and told him once again how very much I loved him. I knew he was tired and worn and needed rest, so I left him to take his nap and headed out for a much needed walk (he was stable by this point).

Some wondered if he would recover, as he has when he suffered from strokes in the past, but I just sensed Yhwh telling me that my time with him was coming to an end. By this point, I knew he had lost his entire right side from the stroke. What I didn’t yet realize is, that he had also pretty much lost his ability to swallow.

I went for a walk and just let the tears flow. As much as I had known that my time with him was drawing to an end for a while, and as much as people tried to encourage me to prepare myself for this next season of my life, I thought to myself “how can I?”? There is only so much one can prepare oneself for. As much as you know it is coming, there is almost no way to prepare yourself for such a loss. I loved him more than words could ever say and I have to admit, I felt unable to embrace this next season. I called a precious friend and explained what was going on. At first she tried to encourage me that things may get better, but when I told her I just felt like they wouldn’t, she agreed. We prayed together, cried together, and she just encouraged me to just rest in Yhwh through this time. She shared with me how things were changing not only in his care, but how I needed to help him through this last part of his journey. It’s a beautiful time, as much as it is also a hard time. But she encouraged me to be strong in Yhwh and help him through this time, as he sincerely needed me there by his side.

As I walked that afternoon and just wept, I felt at a loss. I wanted to embrace whatever Yhwh had in store for me, and I knew this chapter would have to close one day, but I honestly did not feel at all ready to accept what was happening. But as Yhwh and I walked, cried, and talked together, I realized He wasn’t asking me to walk this road alone. He was going to be right there beside me. Yes, it was going to be hard. But Yhwh needed me to be faithful and to help my grandfather through this part of his labor here on earth. How could I help him prepare for what was coming? How could I love him through this part of his life, too? I had to lay aside my own longings to hold on, and help him prepare, and eventually, let go. By the time I got back, I felt worlds better. Yes, it was still hard. Yes, the tears still flowed here and there. I’m not trying to minimize how hard it is or was. But Yhwh had given me a strength and a peace that I can only praise Him alone for! And for all those who were praying me through this time, I can not tell you how much I appreciated and needed…and felt them all! Thank you for holding me up through these difficult days! There were times, like in the middle of the night, as I was alone by his side, that I felt surrounded by them. Times when I felt like I couldn’t stay awake any longer, and would then get another surge of strength to press on, that I couldn’t even explain. Never, ever, underestimate the power of prayer! Yhwh does hear and He does answer them! So thank you a million times over!!

Within a short time, everyone soon realized that this chapter of our lives, was closing. Little by little we realized we were losing him.

When I got back and checked in on him that afternoon, I could tell he was trying to understand what was happening. He rubbed his right arm and hand, trying to figure out why it wasn’t working. He couldn’t open his eyes at this point, but he was still very much “there”. I leaned down and kissed him. I picked up his good hand and asked him if he could hear me, and he squeezed my hand in the affirmative. I tried to encourage and comfort him and explain what had happened. I knew he absolutely loved being with the family, and so I asked him if he would like to go out to his recliner to be with everyone? He squeezed my hand and so I began the process of moving him back out to the living room to be with us. I sat beside him and just held his hand. I tried giving him fluids, but could hardly get him to take even a swallow. Tears burned my eyes once more. Each step, although you know what it means, it is still a step of needed acceptance. And sometimes, acceptance, hurts. Being strong and helping them through this, isn’t easy. But I squeezed his hand and let him know, it was alright.

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Each day, brought new changes. I knew the next day, that we had reached another turn in his care. He could no longer get into his daily clothes. Again, I just had to cry. Accepting the fact that I had just dressed him for the last time. Crossing each threshold wasn’t easy. But as he crossed each one, I also had to cross them and embrace each one of them. Being flexible, is a must. Flowing with them, is a must. This wasn’t my journey, it was his. And I had to flow with him, and not fight against each new turn of events. Is it easy? Never. But sisters, it is needed! Like a laboring mom, you have to flow with her and her labor, and help her as her needs change. Yhwh knows just what kind of labor she needs, and the same holds true for our loved ones at their journey’s end.  Their needs are ever shifting, ever changing, and it requires you to be totally tuned into them and help them accept those changes.

It really taught me one thing…well, a lot, really. But one main thing was, just how short life is and how we can not take things for granted! Do you know how many times I have dressed my grandfather through the years? Yet, I never really thought much about it. I would go into his room with a greeting and smile, ask him how he slept, and we would chat as I did his morning routines. But then one day, I no longer got to see his smiling eyes or got to hear him tell me all about what he had done that night. :o) As I slowly (and sometimes very quickly!) lost things and I realized what a gift each one had been. I began to treasure even the “small” things. When would he stop being able to squeeze my hand? When would I lose one of the only things I had left…his hand? When you start to lose things, you realize just how precious each thing really is! What a gift life is!!!

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My biggest prayers had been his salvation, his comfort and keeping his room as peaceful as I possibly could. I wanted this to be a beautiful journey for him, not a stressful one. I would pray with him, read to him, sing to him. The whole time, he never let go. He wanted to hold someone’s hand the entire time. People would often ask me if I wanted a break? They could take a turn letting him squeeze their hand. As much as I knew some needed that time with him as well, it was hard letting go. He could communicate so much through that hand…and I knew the minutes were exceedingly precious.

I began to put essential oils on his feet (peace and calming, stress away, and panaway) and had the diffuser running pretty much around the clock with Frankincense and Lemon. The lights were dimmed and soft music played in the background on my phone using Pandora. He was so peaceful and calm (as well as comfortable) and I knew my prayers were being answered! When we realized we needed to get hospice on board, each time someone showed up to check in on us, the comments were the same. They walked into his room and exclaimed “whoa!!! wow!!!! It is SOOOO peaceful in here!!! He looks so comfortable and peaceful!!!” I had to thank Yhwh over and over again for this gift! I was so thankful that this hospice team totally allowed me to care for him and call the shots. They were there to help me with what I needed help with and get me the things I needed, not take over. They were such a blessing!!

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At the beginning of our week long journey, I had prayed and asked Yhwh what book I needed to read to him from scripture? Which one did he need to hear from the most? I really felt Yhwh tell me I needed to read Psalms. Psalms???? My thoughts were John or another similar book…but this is why we MUST seek the Father’s wisdom! He knew. So I began reading Psalms each day that I could. And I could tell, Yhwh certainly knew that this was what my grandfather needed to hear.

At one point in the week, I asked him if he was doing alright with it all? He squeezed my hand in a yes, and brought it up to his lips and kissed it, before laying it back down again. There were precious moments like this throughout the week and times I will surely treasure my entire life.

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Another time was when he took my hand in his good one, laid it over his paralyzed one, and covered it again with his good one and just held my hand between his, or just softly rubbing his thumb over my hand. Yeah, he knew how to make me cry that week! It reminded me of a time I was caring for Elizabeth and was just having a hard time because she was having a hard time. physically. As I sat her on the side of her bed one night she just wrapped me in a big hug and held me tight! Here I was supposed to be comforting her in her pain, and here she was comforting me! It was often like this with Papa a lot, too. Yhwh knew I needed these moments with him. It was a gentle letting go for the both of us.

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It amazes me how much Yhwh cares and how He holds us through times like these! Through the week, I had hardly gotten any sleep. As hours became days, I was beginning to become exhausted. You learn to doze in some strange positions (and thanks to laboring moms, I could!), waking as he stirred and needed my full attention. But to actually go lay down for a couple of hours…it was an almost impossibility for me to do after the first couple of days.

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Come Thursday night, I was beyond exhausted and just felt like I couldn’t go on. I just couldn’t stop the tears from flowing. It’s not that I hadn’t tried to sleep. But I knew my grandfather’s que’s and I just couldn’t shut my mind down to sleep. I couldn’t bare the thought of sleeping when he needed me so much. Even at labors, it is exceedingly hard for me to “check out” and rest. I just have an exceedingly hard time doing this. It’s like my mind doesn’t shut down. You stay tuned in…do they need me? Are they doing alright? Well…it was the same way here. When I would try to sleep, I would usually wake a very short time later, with a start, unable to let my body just relax and rest. But by Thursday night, I was reaching a breaking point. As I was being faced with decisions that night (as preparations for his funeral were undergoing), it almost seemed impossible to face them. Mom lovingly looked at me and told me I needed to get some rest, or I would not be strong enough to face what we all knew was coming. I agreed. But I just couldn’t. I had tried earlier to lay down for a little bit, but I just couldn’t sleep. So I left him in my family’s care and went and got a much needed hot shower and just prayed that Yhwh would give me the needed strength I so desperately needed. That night was such an answer to prayer. It proved to be a hard evening until midnight as I battled with making him comfortable again (flowing with his ever changing needs), but after midnight, he finally was resting comfortably again and able to get into a deep sleep. My sister took a turn sitting beside him with a stack of pillows on the edge of his bed to rest on, while still holding his hand, and I stretched out on his floor. For the first time in days, I was able to get a good few hours of sleep in-between checking on him and attending to him, as needed. I laughed as I laid down and told my sister, that I didn’t have to check on his respirations (you can tell a lot by a person’s respirations, especially when they can’t talk to tell you what is going on!), as I could count his respirations from the floor with his snoring! Okay, you girls, snoring IS a gift!!!! It was music to this girl’s ears! After I had worked for hours to get him settled comfortably, he was sleeping the soundest and deepest sleep he had gotten in a long time. And because of this, I was finally able to also sleep.

Somehow I knew that night, that things were about to take a turn. It was like Yhwh was preparing us both and strengthening us for the turn ahead. The next morning, I woke and felt worlds better and worlds stronger! I just had to thank Yhwh for His grace and strength and I never realized how good even a couple of hours of sleep could feel!!! Both my grandfather and sister were sound asleep, so I headed out to the kitchen, grabbed a cup of coffee and some breakfast and sat at the table for the first time. I wasn’t halfway through when I heard my sister call for me. I knew.

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Through this time, as hard as it was, the peace Yhwh had given me, was incredible and I am so thankful for it!! I walked in to hear “he’s not breathing, Lol!”. I came by his side and assured her it was okay. I touched his shoulder gently and called his name. He had been having apnea sessions off and on through the week, but nothing regular, and since nights were usually our harder times, most of the children had never seen him have these episodes (although she had once before). I knew we had now turned the corner when this would become the norm. After a short time, he took a breath. What a heavenly sound! Breathed for a couple of minutes, and stopped again. She looked at me. I assured her, it was alright. I just held his hand and comforted him through it.  Just like with a laboring mom, you hear what we often call labor songs (the mom’s making sounds through their contractions).  I explained this was all apart of the process, but these noises could be hard to listen to and would very likely get louder as the time went on. He was alright, he wasn’t in pain, it was just his tissue relaxing in the back of his throat. But regardless, it isn’t easy to listen to, nor is it easy to watch his breathing come and go. I looked at my precious sister and aunt, who had now come in the room as they just watched on holding their breaths, and lovingly told them they did not have to stay and watch this if they didn’t want to. I wasn’t telling them to leave, but I knew it would only become harder to watch.

It was part of the end of life. It was completely normal. Just as a laboring mom’s breathing patterns change, so do theirs, throughout the entire process. He was nearing the end of his labor here on earth, and once again, his breathing was changing. Think about the pushing stage. A mom’s breathing patterns change throughout her labor, and when it comes to the pushing stage, they will often hold their breaths for a while, and then breathe, do it again, etc. I had learned by this time that the end of life is SO SO SO similar to a mom in labor! It is beautiful and nothing to fear, but just as it is hard for some to go through a labor with others, it is equally hard for them to simply watch at this stage in life, too.

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After a little while, they leaned down and kissed him and left the room. This would become the new norm. People told me this stage could last for quite awhile, but I had no idea how true that statement was. It can and it did. Throughout the day and into the night, people would come and go. Some sitting with us a while, others just to come in and check on us. His apnea became more and more regular, with shorter times between them. But then something strange happened Saturday morning! The apnea stopped! His breathing took on a different pattern, but the apnea completely stopped. I asked if this was normal? No, but then again, Papa had never followed the books, either! :o)

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Also, another amazing praise! We’re not sure if this was because of the oils, or what, but my grandfather’s feet stayed warm and his coloring stayed good! Even after over 24 hours of constant apnea sessions, his feet (which are one of the first to change color), stayed warm and pink! And this is something that made me laugh, and I’m sure it will make you laugh, too! For whatever reason, I am usually cold. I have yet to go swimming this year, as I simply have not been hot enough to convince myself to get in that freezing water! My hands and my feet are well, pretty much cold all the time (I know, I know…). I still wear a sweater on some mornings. My grandfather used to tell me how cold my hands were, and would often warm them up in his, telling me that he would get them warm for me (which he did, as his were usually hot!). But one time as I came back to take my place at his side, I handed him my hand and his reaction was priceless! He quickly pulled his hand away in a gasp and in shock! I laughed and told him I was so sorry! I couldn’t help it, my hands were just cold! I had even tried to warm them up before taking his! He decided once more that he would warm them up for me…but this time he kept the blanket between our hands, as he rubbed my hands to warm them back up! I just laughed and laughed and told him I didn’t blame him one bit for that one! :o)

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As family arrived here and there, we would have to break from reading our Psalms, but as Saturday morning came around, we were only on Psalms chapter 67 or so and I really felt Yhwh tell me I needed to get to Psalms 100! So we read…and read…and read, regardless as to who came in or out, of our room. I could tell he enjoyed it and it not only ministered to him, but to myself, as well. Although he had not been able to squeeze my hand for a couple of days by this point, when I reached Psalms 100, mere hours before he left us, he squeezed my hand one last time. It was as if he was trying to thank me and let me know he appreciated it. I think we both knew the time was drawing closer and closer to the end. I rested my head on his and just thanked him once again for allowing me to be with him through this journey and thanked Yhwh once more for blessing us with him over three years ago! And at 5pm, July 9th, surrounded by family (with more in the other room), he left us, peacefully and comfortably.

All of a sudden, the week seemed to have been a blink of an eye. On one hand, it was long and hard. On the other hand, it seemed to have gone by much, much too quickly. I miss him more than words can say. I still go to the table and look to my left where he always sat. The empty place at the table says it all. The month leading up to his death, he would often ask me “Aren’t you tired of taking care of me?” and I would lovingly tell him I loved caring for him, NO I wasn’t tired of caring for him! But as he began talking more and more about death, I knew he realized his time was drawing to a close.

Through this week, I would often tell him the same and thank him for giving me this immense privilege and blessing of caring for him! I always knew I would miss taking care of him when he left us, and nothing could be truer. Yes, there were some days :o) But sisters, I share all this to share with you, it is an immense privilege to care for our grandparents! Yes, walking through their journey at the end of life is not easy. I’m not going to lie to you. There will be tears. There still are tears. But that’s not a bad thing! I am actually in the middle of writing a smaller book on this very thing. People fear death, like they often fear birth! You talk to people who work in different areas of a hospital and what do you hear? If they get a pregnant mom in their ward, the first thing they want is to get her out of it! Why? Birth is such a precious and beautiful time!! So why this reaction covered in fear?  I have learned a lot of it is simply due to a lack of knowledge. They don’t know what to expect and so they are fearful of the unknown.

You talk to people about sharing this stage in someone’s life (the end of their earthly labor), and once again, people fear it like the plague! They no longer see the beauty of it. They don’t know what to expect and they fear the unknown. They don’t know how to support others through this stage in their life, so they run from it, or they become so filled with fear. It’s like having someone at a labor and birth who have no idea how to support the mom going through it. So instead of it being a peace-filled, beautiful time in their life, it ends up being filled with anxiety and fear. One of the things I am soooo thankful for, is that I had friends who I could call or text and say “okay, this is what’s going on, is it normal, and what should I do about it?”. Like I usually do for my laboring moms, they now did for me. “Yes, this is normal. This is what is happening “_”. You’re doing great…keep it up!” Having people who could answer my questions, was immensely helpful, because that helped me be able to flow with my grandfather’s ever changing needs and helping him to realize that this was alright and nothing to fear!!

It is just as much a part of life, as the birthing process is! It is just another season, but sisters, it is a season we all must go through! Yes, like labors, it may be very quick and fast, at other times, it may be longer and harder. But it doesn’t make one any less normal than another…and like with a labor, no matter how quick or long it is, there is a process that has to take place. There are steps in this process that generally must be crossed by one and all. This is something that I had not realized. But it makes perfect sense! As your body shuts down, there will be things that happen along with that. Just as you must dilate to 10+ to birth your baby, so must we cross certain thresholds in death, too. And this is what I would like to impart to each of you….what I learned through this process.

The one thing I heard time and time and time again was “I didn’t realize death was a process…no one ever talks about it and the movies just proclaim it to be like it happens instantly.” And unless it is death due to unnatural causes, usually, death does not happen instantly. It is a labor and it takes time. But sisters, it is beautiful, too. Sad, hard, but beautiful! We need to desperately change our views on death!! Our views are so wrongly warped and contorted! Yhwh created death, as he created life. The question is, are we prepared for death? It will come. It is only a matter of time. But for each and every single one of us, it will come! But again, the question comes down to, Are you prepared to die?

Job says in Job 7:1, “Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth? are not his days also like the days of an hireling?” Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 goes on to say, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 2 A time to be born, and a time to die…” and again in Hebrews 9:27 we see, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:”

Again, let me ask you, Are.You.Ready.To.Die? Romans 6:23 explains that “...the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Yahshua the anointed our Lord.” 1 John 3:4 goes onto to explain that “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” So we see that if we transgress Yhwh’s law, we sin, and if we sin, the wages of sin is death!!

BUT, Yhwh doesn’t just leave us with no hope! Luke 13:3 says, “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” and we saw in the above verse that Yhwh tells us that the GIFT of eternal life comes through His Son, Yahshua! In Romans 10:13, we read “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Sisters, if we do not repent and turn from our sins, and ask Yahshua to save us (and make Him our Lord…in other words, choose to obey Him and follow His ways), we will die and spend eternity separated from our God! Whom will you serve? But as for me and my house, we will serve Yhwh! HalleluYah!

Posted in Godly Daughterhood | 1 Comment

Joseph’s Incredible Testimony to His Brothers – How Will You View Circumstances?

“…And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence. Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: For God did send me before you to preserve life. And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So no it was not you that send me hither, but God:…” Genesis 45:3b,5,7-8a

Can I shout a huge “Amen!! HalleluYah!!!”??? :o)

Sisters, Joseph understood something profound, that few of us ever do!! Think about it. Joseph’s brothers had just caused him extreme pain and hurt by rejecting him, hating him, and then actually selling him as a slave because of that hatred! They didn’t understand what Yhwh was doing in his life, all they knew was, they wanted him gone! Some wanted to kill him, but it was finally decided that they would simply sell him as a slave, so they did.

Years go by and we see what Joseph was put through. If being a slave wasn’t bad enough, he ended up being sent into the dungeon for years, after once again, getting what he did not deserve! He didn’t do anything and was falsely accused, arrested, and thrown into the dungeon because of that false accusation! As we’ve talked about this before, all this took place between the time that Yhwh showed Joseph in a dream what He was going to do with his life, and actually bringing him to the place where He fulfilled that dream.

After years with no contact from his family, his brothers show up. I can understand their concern. They knew what they had done and they felt guilty because of it. But Joseph, now more than ever, looks back and realizes all that hurt, all that pain that his own precious family caused him, was for a purpose and apart of Yhwh’s plan! IT WAS NEEDED!!! In order for Yhwh to use Joseph to save his family, Yhwh had to send him into Egypt. Yhwh had simply chosen to use his brothers to get him there (for honestly, how else could He get him to Egypt as a slave?). Yhwh understood what had to happen to prepare Joseph and get Joseph to the point where He needed him to be. All that happened, needed to happen…it wasn’t for naught! And more than ever before, Joseph saw the hand of Yhwh in it all. He realized, that although Yhwh may have had to use his own family to carry out what needed to be done, it wasn’t his family doing it. They were just the people Yhwh chose to use, but it was Yhwh being gracious and loving to Joseph’s family by sending Joseph through all that He did, so that He could save his family from the famine!

Sisters, when Yhwh sends us through tough circumstances, even extremely hurtful and painful circumstances, even using the very closest and dearest people to your heart to inflict that pain in your life, how do you react? Do you become angry and bitter towards them? Or do you stand back and choose to view such circumstances through Yhwh’s eyes? The world would say that Joseph had every right to get angry, hurt, and bitter at his brothers for the pain that they had caused him. But Joseph knew better!!! He saw the bigger picture. He knew who was in charge of the circumstances and it wasn’t his brothers. He saw that all this was needed, for Yhwh to accomplish His will in his life, and so for Joseph, there was absolutely no remorse, no hatred, no anger or bitterness, only love, forgiveness, compassion, mercy and grace towards them!

In my life, I can see how Yhwh has allowed me to walk through some tough circumstances too, albeit different from Joseph’s. But they have been hard and painful, nonetheless. But, like Joseph, I saw and see the larger picture. I know what Yhwh has called me to be, where He has called me to serve, and I knew I wasn’t where or who I needed to be, to accomplish what He had called me to accomplish. Yhwh knew what would bring me to that place of preparedness, like nothing else could! I knew He was sending me through the fire, not because He didn’t love me, but because He did, and He needed me to learn to rely fully upon Him, to trust Him to accomplish what He had said He would, to trust Him to lead me alll the way, to understand that He would never ever leave me or forsake me, and to teach me how to pray…really pray (among other things). I knew Who was behind it. Like Joseph, I knew it wasn’t the ones Yhwh chose to use to teach me those needed lessons and bring me to that point of total surrender, trust, love, faith, and prayer! I’m not the least bit angry or bitter, in fact, like Joseph, I think I can heartily say I am truly grateful and thankful for Yhwh loving me enough to send me through those fires, because I see more than ever, how needed those lessons have been!! And I honestly don’t know how He would have taught them to me, had He not used the very people who He did.

Girls, HE KNOWS!

Step back and view Yhwh’s hand in your life! Realize He is in control! He knows what He has called you to, He hasn’t forgotten! But like Joseph, in order for him to be used, Yhwh had to send him through various painful trials! Are you willing to be used by your God? Are you willing to step back and see the larger picture and realize it isn’t the people who He uses, but that it is He alone, trying to lovingly prepare you and bring you to your Egypt so He can use you! He could have chosen a number of other people to do it, but really, would it have had the effect that it had, if He had chosen someone else? Does not our God know above and beyond how to prepare us? Do you not think He knew who to use to teach you those lessons? Don’t become discouraged, despair, distraught, angry, or even bitter over the circumstances in your life. Praise Yhwh that He is in control and that He knows and cares!

For sisters, when you begin to view life through His eyes, you too, will be able to look at them and say, “It wasn’t you! Yhwh simply chose to use you, but it was my God doing “_”! I love you all so very much! Don’t be angry with yourselves or distraught over what happened! I’m certainly not! Can’t you see Yhwh’s hand in it all?! Isn’t it beautiful how He used you, for now I am in the place where I can provide for you all!” I can just imagine how healing that was for his brothers to hear and to see! What a testimony!!

We have got to get passed looking at the small picture of life, and begin looking at the larger picture! Sisters, stop looking at the circumstances, and start looking at your God and His plan! It makes all the difference in the world, as Joseph’s life proclaims!

I’ll leave you with the song, which has been so dear to my heart for as long as I can remember! Remember, you may not understand it all, but He does!

Shabbat Shalom!

Posted in Choices, Godly Daughterhood, Intentional Living, Serving Yahweh, Trusting God | Leave a comment

How Does Our Lives Compare to Scripture?

Shabbat Shalom my precious sisters!

Today I have been meditating and pondering quite a few passages of scripture, with the constant question of “Are we (am I) the pure and spotless Bride of Yahshua that we are supposed to be?” “Do we (am I) comparing ourselves amongs ourselves…or are we comparing ourselves against Yhwh’s standards and against His Word?”

My father preached on the word “feast” this morning and how in scripture the English word is actually multiple Hebrew words, meaning anything from appointed time to a banquet/feast. But there were a couple of verses that really stuck out to me and spoke deeply to me and got me pondering even more indepth the questions that I have had going through my mind lately. “How does my life line up with scripture? Where am I not in obedience? How can I serve my King even moreso? How can I become the Bride that He desires me to be?”

So having had these thoughts already running through my head this week, these verses really made me stop and really meditate upon them, which upon doing, brought more scriptures to my mind which I wanted to share with you. Here are the verses that we read this morning…

Hosea 2:11 I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new months, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts.

Amos 5:21 I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies.

Amos 8:10 And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning of an only son, and the end thereof as a bitter day.

Isaiah 5:12 And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe, and wine, are in their feasts: but they regard not the work of Yhwh, neither consider the operation of his hands.

Why is Yhwh going to cause all the mirth to cease in our feasts and Shabbats? Why will He hate and despise the way we are keeping His feasts? Why will they be turned into mourning and our songs of joy into lamentation? Is it not because we/they are not keeping them the way that He has prescribed? Is it not because we are no longer a spotless Bride and sin rules our lives instead? Is it not because we have left our first Love? Song, dancing, and joy is not what the feasts are about, although they are certainly included within them…but have we replaced the meaning and purpose of the feast days (Shabbat included!) with them?

As I pondered these verses, I had to stop. Is the way that I am keeping His feasts and laws, pleasing in His sight? Or is the way that I keep His holy, set apart times, displeasing in His eyes?

These verses followed the previous ones in my mind…

Nehemiah 9:2-3 And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers. 3 And they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of Yhwh their God one fourth part of the day; and another fourth part they confessed, and worshipped Yhwh their God.

Isaiah 58:13-14 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of Yhwh, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: 14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in Yhwh; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of Yhwh hath spoken it.

The question that keeps coming to my mind is, are we (and this applies to me more than anyone!) keeping His law the way that He intended, or have we filled these set apart days, with our own thoughts, actions, pleasure, words, etc? Yes, I greatly believe that they are supposed to be a time of rejoicing and great gladness! I am NOT against this.

But, have we replaced His days, filled His days, with our own thoughts, doing what pleased us or what we desired to do, during them? Stop and ask yourself this question. Are they pleasing to Him? Put the feasts days aside…does our every day lives, please Him? Who do we live for? Who do we live to please? Do we try to come up with excuses to not obey Him, or do we try to live our lives in obedience to His Word? In light of Him as our Judge, how do we balance out? If He was standing before you, what would He say? How would He Judge? Would we truly hear, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant?” Or would we hear, why have you left and departed from my ways? Why do you try to come up with every excuse possible, to not obey and follow my ways, yet convince yourself that you are honoring and obeying, Me?

Our feasts and Shabbats are filled with wonderful delicious tasting foods, fun times, singing and dancing, even the reading of scripture. But I can’t help but wonder, is it all about Him, or all about us having a good time? Do we use these times to compare ourselves against His word and His standards? We see the people thirsting after righteousness! They are standing reading, confessing, worshiping their Creator! It was a time of drawing into His presence, becoming One with our Bridegroom, cleaning house (getting the spot and wrinkle out of our garments), so to speak. Yet sadly, this isn’t what I see when I look around me or at me.

2 Corinthians 10:12 says, “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.”

Yes, we may look around us and say that we are living a better life than some, and that may be true. But Yhwh tells us that those of us comparing and measuring ourselves among ourselves, ARE NOT WISE! Other people’s standards do not matter one bit. What they do is between them and their God. But how are we living our lives? Are we living a righteous and obedient lifestyle according to His Word?

How many of us, if someone came up to us and talked to us about having a time of prayer and confessing our sins to the Father, would ask, “Confess what?” Are we so hardened and proud that we don’t even acknowledge how far we have strayed from His ways?

Sisters, I plead with you to take some time away from everything and everyone, to be alone with your Maker, your Groom, and your God. Let Him search your heart and see if there be any wicked way in you. Yhwh says, “If MY people, which are called by MY NAME, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14) applies to us! He is talking to His people, not the heathen. It is we who need to humble ourselves, pray, seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways, so that He can forgive our sins and heal our land. It has to start with us!! It isn’t just everyone else that has some confessing to do before the Father, it is us. May we truly become a clean, spotless, and pure Bride for our Bridegroom, Yahshua! May we truly pour out our lives and pour out our hearts in obedience to Him, serving Him and seeking Him with our whole heart!

Many Blessings and Much Love,

Samantha

Posted in Challenges, Convictions, Faith, Godly Daughterhood, Loving God, Serving Yahweh | Leave a comment

Shabbat Shalom and Lessons From the Life of Joseph

Shabbat Shalom!!
I can hardly believe Shabbat is almost gone already and I have to say, each Shabbat I just long to be just a bit longer! To hold onto it as long as I can! They are so precious, so dear! I love those times to spend with Him and learn at His feet!! As much as I spend time with Him throughout the weeks, there is just something really special about Shabbats!! 

Where do the days and hours go?! Oh! my precious Abba, help us make the most of the time you have blessed us with!! Help us keep our focus on you and not allow the distractions of Ha’Satan to get to us or take our eyes off of you!!! Amein!
As I was praying about what to share, Yhwh placed the life of Joseph on my heart and I knew I needed to share what He had shown me this morning. I’ll explain this in a second, but before I go into what Hehas shown me, I want to do some boasting on my Wonderful God, Yhwh Almighty!! My Lover, my friend, my Abba, and my Provider!
Recently, Yhwh blessed my family with a new (for us) living room set! Its beautiful and was so needed, and has been a huge blessing!! 
But we still had one more need. We had a corner chair that had just had it, after so many years of good use! But as much as we kept our eyes open for the right one, nothing came up. Then, on my way out of town to run some errands with mom yesterday, we passed a small yard sale at the end of the main road we live off of…and what did we see?! But a beautiful, dark brown recliner that would be perfect!! So we asked them about it, but they said they had just sold it, and the people were getting a truck to pick it up. So I got back into the car and told mom it “must not be meant to be”. 
But on the way back home after running errands, I had totally forgotten that I had wanted to stop in at the hardware store for some needed dowels for a spice organizer I was going to be making. I had remembered just before reaching town, but then it went right back out of my brain!!! Now girls, don’t laugh!!! This is living proof that NOT remembering is SOMETIMES a blessing from Yhwh!!
So I get home and my brother and I begin this project and…I finally remember!! I had forgotten my dowels!! So after thinking about it, and feeling like I should run back into town for the needed supplies so I could finished, my brother and I head back into town for the second time! :-/

But as we reached the end of the main road, I couldn’t believe my eyes! Hours later and the chair was still there! So I slow down and ask them if it was still available and she yells back “your the girl who asked about it earlier!!! YES!!! The people never showed back up!!” So I pull over and ask them how much? Did I hear them right?! It was only $50!!! Now I know how much these things go for!!! So I quickly call home and get a confirmation, we definitely wanted it! ???? 
Well long story short, Yhwh showed me how had I not forgotten, and had He not had that “bump” in my day, He wouldn’t have been able to provide for us!! And sometimes He just wants to bless us in a round about way!! 

Had I not listened and gone back, we wouldn’t have been blessed with it, because I wouldn’t have been in the place where He needed me to be!

Girls, keep this in mind as I share what Yhwh showed me this morning about Joseph.
How many of us think about Joseph as a man who got into trouble because he didn’t have a second person in the house with his masters wife? Which we can definitely learn from for sure!! We also know Yhwh used Joseph to provide for his family…but again, most focus on the fact that his brethren were jealous because of the favoritism his father showed to him. And again, I can totally see how we can learn from this! ALL scripture is there for our learning.

But what I want to share with you is this…
Joseph was honored and loved greatly by both his earthly father and His heavenly father. His earthly showed his love by honoring him with his robe. Yhwh loved him and gave him dreams and visions of what his future held, telling him for what was about to happen.
But can you imagine what Joseph thought? He knew knew KNEW Yhwh was going to make him a ruler! But his own brothers just sold him into slavery and then he was sent to a dungeon as a later prisoner!! What happened to the dreams and visions Yhwh had given him??? But through all this time, we have not even one account of Joseph ever complaining or doubting Yhwh or what He told him would happen. He bloomed wherever Yhwh had him.

But after all he had been through, Yhwh eventually brought him up from the dungeon and placed him as a leader and ruler…what Yhwh had showed him, did come true! 
So as I pondered this, I wondered why? Why did Yhwh allow him to go through all this BEFORE making him a ruler and leader? The answer made me stop. Yhwh HAD to bring him into slavery and into that dungeon, so he could have Joseph where He needed him to be, so He COULD make him a ruler to save His people!! 
Sisters, has Yhwh showed YOU something, yet you find yourself wondering why it isn’t happening the way you envisioned it? Have you ever thought that Yhwh knows EXACTLY what you need to learn and where you need to be, so He CAN use you??
This is what He showed me. I sat back and thought through my life and realized my God is soooo good and soooo loving!!! Yes, we too, may be sent through some tough times! But atleast for me, I KNOW those times were so needed in my own life!! I know what Yhwh is calling me to, but I also knew I wasn’t strong enough for it. He knew that. Yhwh knew how to prepare me physically and spiritually! He knew how to bring me to His throne, to bring me to my knees, and in complete dependence upon Him in my life! I needed all this and I thank Him from the depths of my heart for all He has taught me!
Is it always wonderful going through? No, I can honestly say it isn’t. I’m sure Joseph didn’t love his dungeon life, either! But through that time, Yhwh brought him to the EXACT place he needed to be, so Yhwh could put him into the place and position he needed, so He could use him the way He needed to!

David was anointed King lonnnngggg before he actually ruled as King! Yhwh had to bring him through some tough things before He got Him to the exact place where He could set him up as King.
And so I realized in my own life. How often does He send us through things and we ask Him “why?!”, yet sisters, instead of doubting His wisdom in it, why not seek Him on our knees? surrendering our all to Him and ask Him how He is trying to prepare us and in which ways He is training us in? 

Do you see the difference? Do you bloom even in the hardest, toughest, of times? Do you thoroughly serve Him, with your whole heart, soul, mind, and strength, and allow Him to bring you where you need to be, so He CAN use you? Only He truly knows how to prepare you!! Sisters, will you trust Him in your preparation? Will you even THANK Him for bringing you to wherever you need to be brought to, so He CAN use you?
I truly thank my God for all His loving ways towards me!!! If it takes Him bringing me to the “dungeon”, to make me who HE needs me to be, so HE can use me to the fullest, oh, how I pray I will be the best dungeon prisoner that dungeon has ever seen!!! A girl who, like Daniel, got down upon her knees and worshipped her God, no matter what the cost was!!! Who, if sent to the lions den, never stops singing her Masters praises, knowing even in those places, He is there with me!! Girls, give Him your all!!!! Serve Him with everything you have!!! Don’t lose your focus!!! Ask Him how you can serve Him where you are and trust Him, girls!!!
Love you girls so much! Keep striving!! Keep running this race and remember, thank Him for whatever He calls you to walk through, knowing He promises to never leave you nor forsake you!! We ARE about to walk through some tough times!! As believers, we know we are!! Are we prepared for those times? Or will we break down because we have not allowed Him to prepare us to stand strong in Him? Girls, we can’t do it alone and we certainly can’t do it if we lose our focus!! We HAVE to have Him by our sides!!! Have you learned to fully lean upon Him and follow Him with all your heart? He deserves our full focus and our full obedience! Never stop seeking the face of your God!! 
May He truly bless each and every single one of you this coming week!

Blessings, Samantha

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Trusting Yhwh Like Our Forefathers Did

Our fathers trusted in thee, they trusted and thou didst deliver them. Psalms 22:4

As I was before my Heavenly Father this morning in prayer, I read this verse and it hit me so strongly! How did our fathers trust Him? I think over all Yhwh brought them through and wonder why I often struggle with something that seems so small in comparison. 

Think about Abraham, with him trusting Yhwh that Isaac was his chosen seed, and thus not doubting Yhwh when He asked Him to sacrifice him, knowing somehow, Yhwh would come through. Would He raise him from the dead? Or provide a lamb instead? But knowing Yhwh doesn’t lie, Abraham knew He could trust Him completely, and so he chose to walk in faith (trust in His God), instead of doubt, fear, and distrust.

Trust in Yhwh with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 emphesis added

So the question remains, will we trust Yhwh like our forefathers did? Will we trust Him in all we go through and face? I think of the parting of the sea. If they dwelled on how vast and deep that sea was, instead of who their God and Abba was and what He was capable of doing, if they had leaned on their own understanding, instead of His, would the priests have ever put their feet in the water? Or would they have stood on the banks praying for Yhwh to do something, instead of trusting Him at His word? 

What if we are a Sarah, waiting for a promised son? When our so-called years of childbearing are past, will we chose to lean on mans understanding, or continue to trust our God, knowing that “he is faithful who has promised” (Hebrews 10:23b), and although we may not see how He will provide, we trust that He will?

Or what about Noah who had to wait over 200 years for the flood, yet never stopped preparing for what Yhwh told him would surely come? What if after a 100 years he gave up and decided to lean on his own understanding? What if he grew weary of the mocking and the toiling that he faced, year after year after year? If he didn’t keep on persevering and hold fast to the trust of his God, where would we be today?

I sit here and glance to my wall and a reminder I have on it. The word “stumble” in the Greek means to cease trusting the One who is absolutely worthy and deserving of our complete trust and obedience! The word “stumble” comes from the word “skandalizo” (sound familiar?!), in English we would say “scandal”! Its never “what happens” in life that is scandalous. Distrust for Him is the real scandal!

When you think of stumbling in your faith or trust for Yhwh in that light, it makes you stop and say “Whoa!”! At least it does me. It puts the depth to what distrust in our God, really is. Its not cute. Its not funny. Its scandalous. Its huge. Its a big deal.

And I write this to myself as much as to anyone. It was a reminder that my Heavenly Abba gave to me this morning, as I struggled and wrestled in prayer. The past few days have been a struggle. But as I came before my God this morning, once again I found the strength and encouragement that I needed to keep on going…to keep on trusting Him, even though I don’t understand. It reminded me of a time a precious friend and I spent  just replaying all that Yhwh has done in our lives. Looking back over the years, over the history of our forefathers, and seeing Who our God really is and what He really is capable of doing, can only give us hope! For our God changes not! 

So don’t let discouragement take root as you look around at all that is happening in the world and around you. Give your all to your Master and ask Him to lead your every step and girls, trust.your.God! When Satan tries to come in and make you discouraged, overwhelmed, and doubtful, know who he is!!! Be on guard! He is out to steal, kill, and destroy you! His goal in your life is to take you away from trusting and serving your God! Stand strong in the spirit of the living God and don’t take your armor off and drop your sword!!! That’s what he wants more than anything! When you are weary and tired of the battle, you have a Father waiting with open arms to strengthen and uphold you (Isaiah 41:10)! Go to Him in prayer and let Him strengthen and minister to you. For He loves His Bride…He loves YOU!!! 

Yhwh bless!

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Musings from my journey in Israel

Israel, my beloved homeland…

Today I felt an overwhelming longing for my homeland. Its been 2 years, 2 months,    and 12 days since I left…but who’s counting? I picked up my Hebrew Bible and started reading Isaiah once again. It was for a different study I’m working on, but it brought back even more memories of 3 years ago next month when Yhwh had me read it over and over again, revailing His unconditional love for His people to me, and answering my hearts plea for a love like He had for them. 

Three years ago I was so convicted that my heart, having been in Africa since I became a believer, was in the wrong place. I remember crying out to my God, asking Him to forgive me, and give me a love for His people and His country like He had. I remember so clearly Him laying it on my heart that He was bringing me home the following Feb/March. I remember sharing it with my sister and brother in law. I had no idea how it would happen, but I just felt Him tell me it would.

I have to say, I was a half-hearted believer. I had longed to serve Him for 17 years…now that He had my heart in the right place, would He truly bring me there??? After sooooo many years???

I smiled through the tears as I reread my journal entries. Yes, March 25, 2014 Yhwh blessed me with the most amazing journey of my life! For the first time, my restless heart felt at home. I could hardly believe it…I was truly home!! 

As I read one account after another in my journal of the journey Yhwh brought me through while there, I couldn’t help but praise Him all the more!! So much of the trip I felt like I couldn’t soak it in enough! Would I ever tire of walking the beach, looking out over the most beautiful sea, hearing the conversations all around me??? I felt like asking Yhwh to please just pause the moment so I could catch up and just etch each memory deep within my heart! But of course, pausing life wasn’t an option.

I am soooo thankful for my taking the time to journal my thoughts, questions, and prayers through my stay. Yhwh blessed me so much there! And as I recounted all He taught me and showed me, I am once again overwhelmed at His goodness towards me!! 

I’m reminded of the sermons and Bible study I attended, especially the one on the 3 Points of Love and how the pastor shared how it’s God’s love that He sometimes allows trials into our lives, but asked us if we will still trust his love and trust Him through them? He told us to get on our knees and beg Him for His mercy and grace through the pain, but to never doubt His love. He shared with us about David’s love for his son, even tho he tried to kill him, and likened it to Yahshua’s love for us.

I’m then reminded of the Bible study where we young adults were reminded to guard agaist the tsunami that was coming and would kill the believers, spiritually, if we weren’t prepared. How we MUST spend time being strengthened by Yhwh and His Word! He shared scriptures about being in the end times and how Yhwh asks where are those of the faith and how He says we will be weak and few in numbers. He encouraged us to know and understand that hard times ARE coming and that our faith WILL be tested! But will we be taken off guard? Will we be strong in Yhwh until the end?

I felt so challenged by each testimony, study, and sermon. And as I go back over them in my mind, I find myself challenged and encouraged once more! Will we stand strong to the end? Will we love like Yahshua loves us? Will we trust Him?

I was brought back through my walk through Jerusalem and all Yhwh laid on my heart, to the passages in scripture that spoke so deeply to me, as I sat on the roof in my favorite place, to read, study, and pray. It was as if I was brought there once more, as I read on. 

I am so deeply grateful and thankful for that time! I had to smile as I read about my re-entry into the states and the incredibly overwhelming and culture shock that hit. In Israel I felt completely at home. It wasn’t a culture shock at all. But I remember standing outside of the airport as I fought tears of longing and an overwhelmingness and just longed to just hear Hebrew, a language of comfort, once more in all the craziness of Boston! As soon as I had finished my almost plea to Yhwh, out walks a Jewish family, speaking Hebrew!!! Awe, it was such a comfort and balm to this gals heart!

I glance down at my ring. It was a gift Yhwh gave me as a reminder of His abiding love for me, and a promise He’d never leave me nor forsake me, and that He would bring me back again. I remember the almost plea as I walked and conversed with Him in my heart that day. After all these years, He finally had me there, just as I finally felt at home and totally in love with His land and His people, and now He was sending me back? My heart was broken as I dreaded my upcoming departure. I just didn’t understand. Why after all He had done to get me there, after all those years, why did I now have to go back? He had my heart! Why send me back???

But I was gently reminded that I deserved none of this!! It was His gift to me and I needed to be thankful and grateful for it! And be thankful and grateful for wherever He sends me to serve, and for however long He sends me for. 

As I read that, all I could think was “Ouch!”!

It was a reminder that I so desperately needed to be reminded of today! Yes, my heart longs to be back home. It seems with each passing day, the restlessness grows deeper, the longing stronger! But then I hear His still small voice and I know I need to serve joyfully where He has me, for however long He has me, and that it is all a gift. I don’t and I didn’t deserve any of His gifts! Each day was a blessing; a gift. And as much as I know one day He’ll bring me back, I know I need to joyfully serve Him no matter where He has me! 

I glance down our road. My prayer is one for strength, comfort, and peace as I once again dig in and throw myself into where He has me, dreaming of the day He smiles and says “Now go!”! 🙂 I often wonder, what will my reaction be? Tears of joy? Falling down on my knees in thanksgiving and praise at my return? Flying as fast as my feet will take me to a certain Hotel and into a certain lovely sisters embrace? Or up the street and into the house, running to look for another precious sister? I wondered at a sisters eagerness to instantly, upon her arrival to the house, to leave and run back down to the sea, back when I was there each day and took the sight for granted! Now I don’t wonder at her reaction any more and often think “will I even have the patience to drop my bags off before running back down to it?!” 

But even as I muse over my longing to be back, I think of all Yhwh has taught me since my being there, and I am truly grateful! I left with a strong impression and taste of what was to come, but Yhwh telling me my preparation wasn’t done yet. This is love. He never sends us unprepared! And I am thankful for my Saviours abiding love and care! But can I pray that my preparation is soon accomplished so I may return??? 🙂

Ah! May we all give our all to Him, and truly throw ourselves into wherever He has us!! Use this time wisely, sisters! Like the brother said, hard times ARE coming!! You need to be prepared to stand strong in Him!! How can you prepare to stand strong, today? Don’t wait until it is upon you! It will be too late at that point! Thank Yhwh for where He has you, and ask Him how you can prepare for the life He is calling you to live! It may not be at all like mine will be, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to be in His school! Cherish this time and learn all you can! Soak the Word in! 

Shabbat Shalom!

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