Monday, December 13, 2010

Book Recommendation - Part 2

A single mom friend asked me to share some quotes and info. from the book I’m reading and have recommended. I’ve pulled lines I underlined, things I think we can all identify with. What I haven’t shared are Linda’s solutions in many cases, or the abundance of Scripture that she relied on during this time. I don’t want to steal all the joy of reading the book for yourself. I just want you to glean enough to make you desire to read it and find out the rest of her story. Now here are some of my favorites from God, I Need Help, by Linda Joyce Heaner:

Ch. 1 – God is My Provider
I hesitated outside the welfare office. College educated, in my thirties,…I never expected to end up here. But I was desperate.

Even close friends don’t know all these things about me!

People I knew looked down on those receiving public assistance. I’d heard them talk about it in the past.
“They’re lazy,” one commented
“They need to work instead of wasting our tax money.”
“They’re just looking for a handout,” a third concluded.
If people knew that I applied for AFDC, they would think that way about me. Suddenly I wanted to crawl into a hole and never come out. I didn’t want anyone to know what I had done. Somehow applying for AFDC meant I was a failure.

“This walfare assistance is part of My provision for you at this time. Receive it that way.”
Part of My provision…God will use the welfare system to provide for some of our needs!
Part of My provision…God will help me. I will not succumb to the “loser” mentality that can accompany welfare. Instead of feeling ashamed that I had applied for public assistance, I began thanking God for how He would provide for us through it.




Ch. 2 – God is Always With Me

Then the quiet voice spoke to my heart. I knew it was Jesus. “Linda, don’t look at your husband. Don’t look at people. Don’t look at circumstances. Look at Me. I am your Abiding Hope.”
Jesus is the only One I can completely depend on.

When we’re overcome by circumstances of life, we can cling to Him. He is our Abiding Hope.

I’m not willing to work full time to get off the system, because that would require long-term day care for my children;

My primary job is mothering my children. Nothing was more important to me.

Work needed to harmonize with nurturing my children, not preempt it.

Ch. 3 – God is For Me
Worry held me hostage.
Suddenly I realized how much time and energy I wasted by worrying.
I longed to provide a peaceful, nurturing atmosphere in my home, but daily life seemed chaotic.
With Jonathan in school, I felt pressured to get a full-time job. Others communicated, directly or indirectly, that I should be providing for my family and that I was irresponsible to turn down any job in my field.





Ch. 4 – God Restores My Hope
I traveled a different path than most of my peers: gladly staying home with my children. This route didn’t fit some people’s expectations. They applied subtle and not-so-subtle pressure, urging me to get a job and not waste my talents at home. I felt isolated and misunderstood.

Father, I deeply desire to help adults cling to You and Your Word. I long to bring hope and healing to those shattered by divorce. I want to encourage those who have no hope.

The responsibility of raising my three children alone crushed my hopes for homeschooling them.

I did not know any single parents who homeschooled.

I believed it was impossible for a single parent to homeschool.
He restored hopes and dreams He had planted in my heart years ago.


Ch. 5 – God Is Trustworthy
I don’t see how God could do it, but we can pray.
During the weekend of waiting my mind became a breeding ground for fear.
To fight my discouragement, I wrote a detailed record of how God had already cared for us in this situation.

Father, I’m going to meditate on impossible situations in Your Word and how You came through.
An hour earlier, I had been inconsolable, now peace permeated my heart.


Forgive me for being quick to complain. Forgive me for sinking in self-pity instead of giving thanks for all You’ve done for me. Rather than endure this season of my life, I want to overflow with gratefulness.

I shopped around and fretted for days about spending that money.

“Jesus had resource His disciples knew nothing about,” I told my children.

Father, forgive me for clinging to my savings account. You are my security, not that money. Forgive me for doubting. Your faithfulness when You demonstrate it repeatedly.

The book has 12 chapters, but I’m not finished yet. I’ll have to share my favorites from the second half of the book in another post.

Blessings, MaggieRaye

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Book Recommendation

Here is a book I would recommend to any and all single mothers. I read it back in 2005 and am rereading it presently.

God, I Need Help by Linda Joyce Heaner.

Friday, December 10, 2010

JOY

The last week has been one of those weeks where I'm away every night during the night for several hours. I guess I don't get quiet long enough during the day for the Lord to speak to me, so it is necessary for me to be woken up during the night to meet with Him.

Last night, after a difficult afternoon at our house -- which was total spiritual attack, because the morning had been good and I'd been seriously working on some areas of spiritual growth -- the Lord showed me that things are out of kilter. JOY is Jesus Others Yourself, the order in which we should approach things. Lately I've had much YOJ, and even some OYJ and maybe even some JYO but I keep missing the mark, I can't quite seem to get it right and it's obvious.

So, today, as we're in the Advent and we're preparing to celebrate the birth of the Messiah it seems a little ridiculous that JOY should be lacking or hard to find.

My effort today is to stop each step of the way and think, What would Jesus do or say? Am I reflecting Him or am I reflecting me? Am I submitting to him or indulging me? I can't promise it will be a success, but I will try my best.

We are so blessed, because of Him, that I have no room for complaint or whining, and yet that seems to be in abundance in our house these days. So I'm also stopping to smell the roses, count the blessings and most importantly to get back to quilting. When I quilt, for whatever reason, I'm so much more able to focus on the Lord and it's been a LONG and DRY spell where quilts and artistic expression have been concerned. So fabric is soaking in the sink (no washer until Dec. 27) and once they are dry and pressed I'll pick a pattern or design and start working. We'll see if that helps to recover some JOY.

What about you? How is your JOY this season? If you've lost it, what can you do to find it again?

Blessings, MaggieRaye

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Season of Giving

It's that time of year again. I am flooded with the "give" requests. Funny, I really have nothing to give, at least not to most of them. They want money and that is something I don't have.

So, this season, may the Lord help me look at those around me and see if I might have something I can give, a word of encouragement, and extra sweater, a meal. May I minister, as Christ did, among the people I meet in my daily walk.

What about you? Where will you be giving of yourself this season? Will it be something easy and without any real sacrifice? Or will you step beyond easy?

Blessings, MaggieRaye

Monday, December 6, 2010

Follow Up to Preparing for the Rains

I've been away from the computer, physical limitations, moving, settling in...it's all been so very different this time. The Lord is stretching me, in very uncomfortable ways.

My last post was about preparing to receive the rain. I've spent a lot of time praying about the how of that. This morning I went to a friend that is a professional farmer and asked...how do you prepare in a draught to receive the rain.

I came away with three interesting points that I think will be helpful, when the rain comes, the crops will flourish...am I prepared to deal with God's blessings when my prayer is answered?

Watch out for weeds and insects during the crisis that can compromise the vulnerable plant...watch for the enemy, distractions, anything that will take my eyes off the Lord and the goal.

So, as a single mom, this means, to me anyway, simplify and cut back anything that is not essential. I'm not sure of the practical application of it, yet but as I figure it all out I'll share.

As I sit in my new home, which is actually a very old home, in the middle of 100 acres, which is far from secluded, and yet is surrounded by woods I realize that this is probably just the beginning of what the Lord has for me. As I've pursued doors, to make a living from home, each door has closed until after the first of the year...I'm not sure why, but I'm waiting, and I'm trying to do it patiently, knowing that the Lord is working.

What about you? Have you prayed for, prepared for and accepted rain from the Lord? Would you be willing to share by leaving a comment?

Blessings, MaggieRaye