Emmanuel- God Is With Us

Sometimes it feels like my journey to healing and wholeness has moved at a snails pace. Had I known what I was stepping into that first night I ran away and stepped into a strip club at 15, I would have been running in the other direction. Maybe one day I’ll write about the years of deception that eventually led me into prostitution, but not today. I just wanted to write ‘into working as an escort,’ as if that would somehow defuse the horror that was my reality. The truth is, no matter where or how prostitution happens, it is dangerous, vile, and not at all glamorous.

Monday I crossed paths with this turtle:

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I was wandering if it was an omen of sorts. The turtle is a symbol of peace and wisdom, steady effort and determination. I was thinking yesterday that it was God showing me I am moving forward; slow and steady. I definitely retreat into my shell often, but its okay! It is a powerful form of self-defense. The turtle has longevity because it has so few predators.

I spend a great deal of time alone. I believe my solitude has been God ordained for my protection, even though I have sometimes second-guessed myself about the emotional healthiness of this tendency.

If you receive my blog via email, you know that I posted and erased this yesterday. WordPress was glitchy and kept putting it up 5-6 hours in the past. I finally decided that I wasn’t meant to post it for whatever reason. Within an hour, I realized that the confirmations were still coming in. At someone else’s house I looked down and saw this turtle that I had never noticed before. I noticed it from this angle:

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I was thrilled; picked it up, examined it, and couldn’t stop smiling. God was all, wink, wink, wink.

A bit later, I went back to take a photo of the turtle, and was super thrilled and impressed with God’s communication style for the day when I saw directly behind the turtle the goose. Remember the geese?!

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You can read about the meaning of the geese here: https://desertroseinbloom.wordpress.com/2015/03/25/how-to-be-what-your-heart-longs-for-you-to-be/

God has been going above and beyond to reach me with Himself; love, healing, acceptance, and confirmations of my identity and new beginnings. Just last night, after missing our turn, putting us miles out of the way, my son Forrest and I realized God was having us drive back in the other direction to show us a beautiful full rainbow. This happened right after we saw 8 (number of new beginning) geese.

I often dream ‘as’ another person, assumingly so that God can reveal to me what a person is experiencing from their perspective. Last night in my dream I made a phone call from 3 years in the future to myself. Three in the Bible means divine fullness or completion. I wanted to let the person I was calling (myself in the present) know that, although I was in the future, I was simultaneously here in the now.

After reading the linked devotional (below) yesterday, I now see that I was actually dreaming as God; experiencing thoughts, feelings, and actions in first person. I know how I felt making that phone call. I knew that the person I was calling would believe me, that I was calling from the future, but also in the present now. I felt love and intimacy and trust towards this person. I trusted they would know my voice and believe what I said. “I am here now.’

…The mystery of God is not in what is going to be— it is now, though we look for it to be revealed in the future in some overwhelming, momentous event. We have no reluctance to obey Jesus, but it is highly probable that we are hurting Him by what we ask— “Lord, show us the Father…” (John 14:8). His response immediately comes back to us as He says, “Can’t you see Him? He is always right here or He is nowhere to be found.”

…I have to get to the point of the absolute and unquestionable relationship that takes everything exactly as it comes from Him. God never guides us at some time in the future, but always here and now. Realize that the Lord is here now, and the freedom you receive is immediate.

-Read the complete Utmost for His Highest (short) devotional here: http://utmost.org/don%e2%80%99t-hurt-the-lord/

Earlier this week I joined the porch party of my new neighbor a few houses down on my way home from a walk. Last night, his door was open and as our dogs were barking their greetings to each other we began chit chatting again. We ended up moving the conversation to the kitchen while he prepared his dinner. I couldn’t help but squeal with joy when I looked down on his counter and saw his new turtle bottle opener.

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Without going into too much detail, I explained that the turtle had meaning to me at this time. He insisted that I keep it. Sweet! Not 5 minutes later I noticed his unique cheese grater.

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Too cute.

God presented me with Four turtles. Four, those things that follow the revelation of God, namely His creative works; creation; man in relation to the created world.

I believe that many of the things that have been real to me in my spirit, visions and revelations I have nurtured through the years with prayer, fasting and faith, but that have yet to materialize into material creation, are going to begin manefesting materially.

What are some of the ways and things that God is encouraging you about in your life this week?

One hour later….I have been having a time trying to post this again today. WordPress keeps posting it 5 hours ago and if I try to post it immediately again, it sets it for some future time. I’m not sure if and when this will post but in the mean time I just opened the paper to find turtle number 5! The number of Grace. I know it is by the grace of God only that I will see my dreams materialize.

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Living With Passion: Be Inspired

I am now a part of the Corps de Ballet, a volunteer group serving the Charlotte Ballet. It’s great fun; we raise money, feed the dancers meals on the days when they have more than one show, and host ‘Sneak Peak’ previews of upcoming performances for ballet donors.

Last night, prior to a Sneak Peak performance, as I was adding the brownies I brought to the hors d’oeuvres table, Forrest comes strolling through the lobby with two of his fellow company members. After spotting me, he seemed as eager to rush past me as his friends were to greet me with a hug and accept my brownie offerings. All I got from Forrest was an onligatory return of my hug, and a quick, ‘I’m not done yet. We’re going for food,’ before he rushed out the doors.

(I know these guys because they have come for dinner. Forrest is the only one of his coworkers still living at home, or even in the same city as his mom.

I feel blessed that Forrest has matured to the point of presenting me proudly to a few of his coworkers and asking me to have them over for dinner. I even had the opportunity to pray with one of them when he was devestated after finding out he was not being offered a contract next year here. He said he had no one here to pray with.)

Later, Forrest, when I teased him about his curt response to seeing me in the lobby, confessed that its still a bit of a shock when he has an unexpected encounter with me while he’s at work.

(Typically when I am there, I am waiting in the car to give him a ride home.)

Watching part of the upcoming performance, which was essentially a rehearsal, and hearing the inspiration for the pieces from the choreographers, was amazing!

If you live in Charlotte and haven’t been to the ballet here yet, Contemporary Fusion is the show to see!!!

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Afterwards, Forrest comes into the lobby where the supporters and Corps members are gathered, and I introduced him to a few of my fellow volunteers.

If ever there was a moment of motherly pride, it was last night watching him interact with true ballet enthusiasts.

He’s a superstar to me regardless, but it was cool to watch him get the recognition he deserves for the dedication and hard work he has put forth to develop his talent as a dancer.

Professional dancers in general aren’t as esteemed as athletes, and are certainly not as well paid, even though they can have the same level of talent and train just as hard. It’s nice to see that at least for those that truly appreciate the ballet, they are highly honored for their contribution to the arts.

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To them its obvious, he is a celebrity. 😌

It’s probably best for his spiritual life at 18 that he doesn’t have throngs of adoring fans waiting at the stage door for his exit. I’m thinking that his mom, and a few other middle aged women glowing and complimenting, eager to talk to him after a show, aren’t going to cause his ego to expand to unmanageable measures.

I believe anyone that dives head first into their purpose and gifting deserves to be appreciated and acknowledged for their contribution to the world by someone, even if it is just their mother.

May we all be inspired to press on through injury and pain, (he’s had broken bones, sprained ankles, disc issues in his back, and most recently a backdrop lowered on his head-Lord knows he’s spent way too much time in the ER over ballet related injury) when we feel like it and when we don’t, training diligently, day in and day out, preparing and waiting to offer our talents when the opportunity arises, and becoming the best we can be at whatever God has called us to do.

Let us live our lives with passion and drive; with or without recognition and accolades; doing everything we do with excellence for the glory of God.

Thank you Forrest for the example and inspiration!

I am SO proud of you.

Bitter Or Better? The Choice Is Yours.

Are you being attacked by another person? Is there someone in your life that the enemy is using to tempt you into unforgiveness?

If we are not on our guard, ready to defend the ground in our hearts already won, the root of bitterness in the heart of others can defile our inner sanctuary.

We must fight back. The weapons of our warfare are not merely human weapons.

Prayer and praise are essential!

Prophetic action is often required to sock it to the forces of evil controlling others thoughts, feelings and actions to bring harm to us.

We can not always stop attacks, but we can render the attacks powerless to permanently harm us. God can turn what is meant for evil into something that is good, for ourselves, and for those around us. (You better believe others are watching!)

Do not forget: We overcome evil with good!

Are you despised and hated?

‘Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you’

Pray and anoint the room, car, door, and/or gift. Write a letter of grace and forgiveness-to give, or just for your own heart. Let God show you. The action, led by God, can thwart your enemies thoughts, emotions, words and actions away from you.

Have your open advances for reconciliation or peace been met with resistance? Perhaps an anonymous gift being sent, as unto The Lord, by faith, can break the yoke of bondage that holds your thoughts and emotions bound to the situation.

When the power to control you is defused, often the situation dissipates.

Pray. Forgive. Give. Repeat.

“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that.’

Praise God in the midst of what is coming against you, for He is giving you the opportunity to grow in grace by allowing what is coming against you to bring up the dross that is in your heart.

Allow the trial to do its work! Acknowledge God. Acknowledge the truth about yourself and reactions. Acknowledge and obey the truth of His word, it will set you free.

‘Love your enemies, do good to them…’

No one is getting one over on us! That is the lie of pride. God is a God of justice.

‘…Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.’

‘Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

The enemy wants to deplete you. God wants to use enemy plans to replenish you.

Bitter or better? The choice is yours.

Today Is Thursday

The scent of Nag Champa and fresh brewed coffee fill the room. image

The sounds of passing cars only feet from my house, mixed with the chirping of various kinds of birds outside the window, will be the background music to my mornings solitude.
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I’ll browse the already read biographies of Lady Ottoline and Virginia Woolf, and read a few chapters of the novel ‘The Mermaid in the Basement’ for today’s writing inspiration; the Bible for my daily Bread.

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For breakfast I’ll blend water and banana with nutrient rich protein powder to kick start day 1 of an 8 day cleansing fast; carrot juice for dinner.

God help me!

I’ll brainstorm. I’ll write lists. I’ll complete and mark off too few of the items on my list. Reading and writing will take up the largest blocks of time.

Note to self: Blog about your lovely Easter travels.

Do what you love!

Something will get cleaned. I’ll make some effort to exercise. I’ll sit in stillness and quiet with a big, peaceful smile on my face.

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I’ll pet my dogs; give my son a ride to and from work; cook food.

I’m off work on Thursdays.

What does a day off from work look like for you?

God’s Blessing & Personal Way to Fear Deliverance: Part 2

This Easter weekend trip to Asheville was a gift from God to me. He had spoken that it would be ushering in new beginnings and oh how He has delivered on that promise!

(I will be blogging some of the delightful details soon!)

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Many things were birthed, and re-birthed into my spirit. (re-birthed do to past circumstances having aborted new life after idea conception in my heart and mind, but prior to birthing into the world as a completed project)

In addition to personal conversations with God about His plans for me, I knew that, in part, this weekend was about trusting Forrest to God and giving him more freedom.

Part 1 of this blog post can be found here: https://desertroseinbloom.wordpress.com/2015/03/12/gods-blessing-personal-way-to-fear-deliverance/

I have been a helicopter parent, partially due to several harsh experiences growing up and the extremely dangerous path I chose in my youth, in part because he’s growing up without a earthly father, and in part because of my natural tendencies and personality towards extreme mothering.

I am über maternal.

Last night as Forrest and I pulled in the driveway after having gone to eat for our belated family Easter meal…

(I texted Forrest to send me a photo of his ribs for a blog post and got this 😂:

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but yea, here is the real picture; yes, that’s bacon!)

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…one helicopter followed by another thundered over our heads towards the city. Forrest, now accustomed to my hearing from God through natural occurrences commented, ‘I’ve noticed excessive helicopter travel over our house lately. I bet this means something spiritually speaking. Do you know what?’

Without hesitation I told him it was symbolizing my ‘helicopter’ parenting style.

He was satisfied with my assessment, but likely didn’t give it another thought.

I have.

As I snuggled down into bed after a wonderful evening socializing with Forrest, I pondered our conversation. He was telling me how he wanted to be able to more eloquently and thoroughly answer questions about God and Christianity, recalling to me a specific opportunity when a friend of his was openly seeking, asking questions, and although he answered them to the best of his ability at that time, he felt he could have been better prepared to expound on his faith.

I mentioned how CS Lewis explained things amazingly in the book Mere Christianity. He said he would like to read it if I had a copy. I do! I plucked it from the shelf for him.

I love seeing him grow in his faith.

I lay in bed beaming with pride; not only did he attend the Easter service while I was out of town but he brought FOUR of his co-workers/friends from the ballet with him. Even though we have had our struggles through the years, God has proven Himself faithful.

I have clung to the promise that He is a Father to the fatherless; I pray that Forrest’s life is and will be a testimony to this truth.

God is releasing me from the weight brought on my shoulders by my hovering. Each year I have released Forrest more and more. Due to my sordid past and the drama we both lived through as I fought my way out of bondage and applied the Blood and Word over our lives, our little families’ stability has grown slowly.

My past decisions turned out to have been made at a great costs to us both. The emotional and mental turmoil I have fought through took a toll on young Forrest. Thankfully, as the years wore on, and the healing took hold, God has worked all things for good. We are finding our footing on the firm foundation of Christ.

I am learning to trust Forrest to God more and more every year. I believe I will be ready, as will he, when the time comes for him to move out.

This is a testimony to Gods faithfulness!

Saturday we will be buying his first car for $300. Yes, $300! It needs some work. Plus, his friend is giving him an excellent deal. He likely won’t be driving it until he gets back from the ballet intensive he’s attending in New York City this summer, as we have to raise money to fix it first, but the timing of the purchase is yet another note from God that I am to nudge Forrest a bit more out of the nest.

After a weekend away and no arrests, house fires, or drug overdoses, (My over active imaginings-residual affects of PTS & fear brought on by my hell on earth years) I am breathing deeply, certain that the Blood of Christ and His mercy have blocked the passing of the curses.

I am releasing my grip a bit more.

I’ll be keeping my eyes and ears towards the sky for signs of further encouragement away from my helicopter status.

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A Perspective Shift Changes Everything

Do not allow the divide between what your eyes of faith see that I have prepared for you, and what your physical eyes perceive as your reality, cause you to stumble into an ungrateful attitude of heart that refuses to be comforted in the here and now.

It is My desire for you to enjoy the blessing of peace and joy that flow from an attitude of gratitude.

Your dissatisfaction with what was once considered a blessing is blocking your growth.

You are not yet ready to receive what you long for. I need to be able to trust your motives for desiring greater things. As it is now, your pride is evident in that you truly believe that what you have been given for this day is somehow beneath you.

You tell yourself that it is My reputation that is at stake if you do not step into greater levels of glory and provision. Examine yourself more deeply My child.

Are you sure it is My reputation that you seek to protect?

Your viewpoint on some matters has been tainted by the excesses of your life and culture, yes, even by some of the teachings in the church.

Take pride in your low position.

I am pouring out into your life without restraint the true riches of my Kingdom. Oh how my heart longs for you to know and understand that I am giving you My very best for your life, right in this moment and for this moment. I am Your Father, how do you fail to see this? I know that you at times feel that you lack the ability and resources to give freely. Do not limit Me, and what I am doing, by your own limited mindset and view of yourself and the world around you.

Invest what you have been given completely into the lives of those that I bring to you. You will see how quickly the laws of multiplication, which I have set in motion, begin to manifest both spiritually and physically in your life.

The spirit of fear must be fought with a mouth that is continually filled with praise. Open your eyes and see how the forces of darkness have bound you up by convincing you to believe lies about your current circumstances and Me.

Banish all vain thoughts. Leave behind all pretense by abandoning your faulty systems of measurement.

You have tested My Word and found it to be true; pride comes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. Walk humbly before me every day and allow Me to lift you up when, where, how and with whom I decide is best.

This will be easy for you now.

Remind yourself daily that My thoughts are Higher than your thoughts and My ways are greater than Your ways. I will reward your longsuffering with deep abiding joy; you’ve tasted it, walked in it for seasons at a time, but a time is soon coming when there will be nothing that can shake you.

I am glad that you have held on in faith to my promises. Your faith will be richly rewarded in My time.

Once again, abandon yourself to the process.

Every day, with each new challenge, abandon yourself to Me. Relax your grip. Rest your troubled thoughts.

Repent for the time and life resource you have wasted in petty distractions trying to make this uncomfortable season more comfortable. Embrace the uncomfortable days with the same open arms you embrace the days of comfort and you will be protected from many needless battles.

-Photo by Bob Eden.  ‘This Word is Not My Home’ Copyright 2011 c

 

God’s Personalized Care Plan For Ushering In New Beginnings

The Asheville Hostel is booked for my adventure. My fears are being replaced with the wonder of how God’s fingers have been all in this. I am anticipating God dropping something GRANDE into my spirit this Easter as He leads me on this treasure hunt, complete with prophetic clues all about.

As many of you know from the post,
https://desertroseinbloom.wordpress.com/2015/03/12/gods-blessing-personal-way-to-fear-deliverance/
 God gave me a dream specifically indicating I was to book a hostel and stay overnight on what I had planned to be a day trip to meet a friend at the Biltmore House in Asheville.

What I didn’t realize at the time of my last post was that the trip was on Easter weekend.

Yikes!

God wants me to leave my son, home alone, in a city with none of our family, on Easter? I too will likely be alone that day, as the plan is to meet my dear friend at the Biltmore on Saturday before going our separate ways, for separate adventures; she says she sees what God has planned as ‘two sides of the same coin.’

The Biltmore tours filling up quickly, so we planned to preorder our tickets and reserve a tour slot. Over a week ago my friend texted she was going to go ahead and buy her ticket that day and gave me the tour time so I could reserve mine as well. Several hours later, after I came to a lull in my work and was ordering my ticket, literally seconds before I hit the confirm button, I got a text from her stating that she was going to hold off on buying hers because God had restrained her and she felt He was going to have someone buy our tickets for us.

Yay! I was excited. She operates in the prophetic too and I have known her to predict things with accuracy, plus there was the fact that the text came in right before I hit ‘order,’ bolstering my faith for the expected miracle even higher.

As I often do when I first get a promise from God, I started to rack my brain for who He would use to provide this much needed blessing (Tickets are $50!!!). She said she wasn’t sure where it was coming from, maybe when we got there, but that as soon as I had told her I was coming weeks prior she had immediately felt someone would buy our tickets, but had suppressed it until it came up again and restrained her purchasing.

All the way home from work I wondered who would buy our tickets? Who even knows we are going?

When I arrived home, I immediately remembered a card I had written to my friend in January with a $40 check that I felt God had spoken to me to send. It was never sent. I ended up leaning towards buying her three small things God pointed out instead and sending those; the cost, even with shipping, was less than half the amount of the check. God used the items to confirm some things for her. I felt closure and tucked the letter with check away in my desk.

As this was being brought to my remembrance I start scrambling through my desk, looking for that unsent card for a clue; some words that would confirm what was starting to build in my heart. Within a few minutes I remembered having torn the check while cleaning out my desk the prior week and throwing away the card.

Why was God reminding me of the check right at this time?

I started getting excited! ‘Really God? You want me to buy her ticket?’

It started to make sense.

Why would God speak to me to send her that $40, and then let me off about it, if it wasn’t that the check was a ‘holder’ blessing- to let me know I was to purchase her ticket?

“Yes Lord, I will do it!’

I opened the door and retrieved the day’s mail immediately after saying yes to God. Lo and behold there was a “Thank You’ card from my friend. On the inside it read: ‘See you at the Biltmore!’

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Double Whammy Confirmation!

Perfect prophetic timing. Moments after saying yes to God, I opened a lovely thank you card.

How cool is that?

I asked her what she was thinking she was thanking me for and she said she just felt drawn to the card. It had been a couple months since I had sent her the trinkets, and she had already thanked me for those, so this was definitely a pre-thank you.

I am not sure what God has planned for my Easter day. I will be alone in Asheville; alone with Jesus. I think I am supposed to go back to the Biltmore that day, its only $10 for the second day. My Sunday plans seem a little wobbly still, having realized that I am to be there on Easter, alone, and that I will be leaving Forrest here, alone. (With Jesus. Remember Emily! Alone WITH Jesus.)

I’m trying to let go and trust God. I think He wants to meet me in a special way; in a special place. I’m thinking a second day at Biltmore because it makes sense to my mind that He would want to bring me to a beautiful, magnificent ‘palace’ and gardens in full bloom to celebrate His resurrection. But I am keeping an open heart to whatever He has planned.

I know He is arranging every step to maximize my level of trust in Him. He’s making sure I am in prime position to receive from Him.

Pray for traveling mercies. Pray for my deliverance from fear of lack (Traveling, even staying in a hostel, cost money). Pray that I will have a time of deep intimacy with the Lord. Pray for any possible divine appointments to be unhindered. Pray that I will be able to transition into the season ahead which will require me to allow Forrest more freedom.- Leaving him for a holiday like this requires A Lot of faith for me.

Pray for Forrest’s protection; that God will send mighty angels and that he will not be led into temptation.

I am excited. This couldn’t have come at a better time. God knows I need this.

I have been given a sign from God that points to new beginnings. The best is yet to come!

 

Photo By <a target=’_blank’ href=’http://www.flickr.com/photos/73416633@N00/15598949258/’>Sandra Cohen-Rose and   Colin Rose</a> via <a href=”http://public-domain.pictures/&#8221; target=”_blank”>http://public-domain.pictures/</a&gt;

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