Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Covers

Have you ever had one of those days where life just seemed to be piling on and the weight of it all brought you to your knees?  One of those days where you don’t want to get out of bed?  You think that maybe if you just stay there under the covers, all those problems will go away?  Or at least, if you don’t get out of bed, you just won’t have to face them?

That is how I felt this morning.  As I lay in bed after a fitful night of sleep, I just wanted to stay there in the warmth with the covers over my head.  It seemed like a good place to be...drifting in and out of sleep.  No phone calls about my MIL.  No phone calls about the problems going on in our unsold house.  Maybe I could just ignore it all.

But then a song found it’s way into my mind…..this is the day.  This is the day that the Lord hath made.  Let us rejoice.  Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

And God gently reminded me that being under those covers didn’t protect me from my problems and it certainly didn’t take them away.  He lovingly reminded me that HE made every new day and as a follower of Christ, I should not wish it away.  I should consider it precious because God made it. 

So I lifted the covers off and slipped out of bed.  The cold in the room quickly hit my face and woke me up.  I headed down to the kitchen, grabbed my cup of coffee and sat in my chair to spend time with God.  This is what was waiting for me in one of my devotions….

Give up the illusion that you deserve a problem-free life.  Part of you is still hungering for the resolution of all difficulties.  This is false hope!  As I told My disciples, in this world you will have trouble.  Link your hope not to problem solving in this life but to the promise of an eternity of problem-free life in heaven.  Instead of seeking perfection in this fallen world, pour your energy into seeking Me: the Perfect One.  Jesus Calling.

Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man….he will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.  Psalm 112:4,7

What a personal and loving God I have!  He knows my heart and knows ME.  He knew exactly where I would be this morning and what I would need to hear. 

I love Him for that. 


And I can’t imagine facing this life without Him and the hope He brings.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Sitting at a Place I never thought I'd be....

This morning, we moved my sweet Mother-in-Law to hospice.  I guess mentally I knew I would eventually be at this place.  We all know everyone dies.  But all my life it seemed so far away. 

We think so much about living.  We spend many hours planning our days to the minute.  But we rarely think about dying.  In fact, I would venture to say most of us think that topic is taboo. 

But here I am with a hurting heart.  Jumping every time the phone rings wondering if it’s “the call”.  Trying to figure out when to go.  Wishing desperately that I could see her one more time, hear her infectious laugh and tell her I love her. 

I never thought about being here……but here I am.

How do I navigate this.  I have been struggling all night and all this morning with my thoughts.  Do I fly out to see her. Is that the right thing to do? Do I wait until both my husband and I can go.  Is she scared?  Does she understand what is going on? Does she know we desperately want to be there?  Is she wondering where we are?  My mind moved so fast it literally took my breath away.

I lead a bible study on Monday afternoons.  It is a Kay Arthur precept upon precept study and we are working through the gospel of John.  I almost called the study off today.  I didn’t feel like I was in the right frame of mind to lead others, but God gently spoke to me and said “Go”.

Of course, I am so glad I did.

God’s Word is always the place to find peace and Kay Arthur’s video was amazing.  It reminded me again what I already know…that our times are in God’s hands (Ps  31:14-15). That God is in control of the problems and He is also in control of the solutions.  He knows the situation and He knows my heart.  I don’t need to worry or try to figure it out, I just need to listen. 

And as I listened to Kay teach, I realized that my Mother-in-LOVE knows I love her.  I don’t need to tell her that.  And I know she loves me.  And what is more important is that I know she loves Jesus. 

And soon, on God’s time table, she will be done with this broken body that is not working for her and she will walk into the presence of God fully healed.  And because we both have accepted that Jesus is God, He is the Son of God and He died for our sins……this is not good bye.  I will see her again soon…..

 and what a wonderful reunion that will be!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

January:Currents

I haven't done a post on Monthly Currents in a long time and this morning seems a good time to get back into it!

Current Read: I have not read a book in MONTHS.  But this last weekend I picked up and finished "Secrets of a Charmed Life".  I have to tell you that being able to read for fun was like having an dear friend visit.  I got lost in the story and realized how much I missed reading!  I am now starting The Nightingale.

Current Playlist: I also haven't had much time to listen to music.  But when I am in my car I am just shuffling through my Christian Music Playlist

Current Color(s): Grey!  I have never worn much grey, but since I have grown my natural hair color out I am finding that I can wear new colors and also can't wear some others!!!  It's really weird.  I'm having to get used to a whole new look!

Current Food: Right now I am loving Roasted Veggies.  ANY veggie roasted tastes so much better!  I just take whatever is in my fridge, add a little EVOO and salt and pepper and throw it in the oven!  I honestly could eat it every day.  Put a fried egg on top and it's heaven!


Current Favorite Favorite: My Fav Fav is my Christmas Onsie my daughter got me!!  I seriously don't usually like onsies, but Alyssa got us these amazing ones for Christmas.  When it is so cold in my house in the morning, I just jump in the onsie and am nice and toasty till we get the fire going!!! It is incredibly comfortable too.  Some days I stay in it all day.  :)


The kids even wore theirs outside....they are that warm!


Current Addiction: Costco dried Cherries.  SO good!

Current Wish List: I really want my own pair of snow shoes. I have been going out with my neighbor and am loving it!  what great exercise and it allows you to go places in the snow you couldn't other wise!!  Thankfully I have good friends that are letting me borrow theirs!



Current Need: I really don't have any "needs" right now, praise God.  However, my husband and I could use a vacation together!!  We haven't had a true vacation in a long time and I can't see that we will any time in the near future. :(

Current Triumph: I finally started the on-line classes to become a certified Precept upon Precept leader!

Current Annoyance: People that come up from the valley to "play in the snow" but have NO idea how to drive in it.

Current Blessing: Great friends.  When you move to a new place, it can be hard to make new friends.  It takes time to build relationships and go deep, beyond the surface.  But God has provided me with some amazing friendships here in Munds Park and I am so grateful!

Current Mood: Happy and content

Current Excitement: My mom received her Diabetic Alert Dog on Friday and all is going well.  Sugar has already alerted mom of highs and lows, even in the middle of the night!  We are so thankful for her!!

Current Project: I am considering taking a class on Craftsy.com.  

Current Plans For The Day: - My bible study starts back up today.  We moved to the afternoons for the winter so it is easier to get around!  Then I have to do a little cleaning and then I plan to sit and read some more!!!

What are your Currents?

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Blessings come from Obedience

This morning, a quote in my devotional made me reflect on the last couple of years of my life.

Oswald Chambers said this morning.....

"Beware of the inclination to dictate to God what consequences you would allow as a condition of your obedience to Him"

That is a heavy thought and one I wrestled with over 2 years ago.

I was studying Ezekiel.  If you have ever studied that book in the Bible you know that Ezekiel was a prophet that was sold out to God.  God called him to prophesy to a rebellious Israel and He called Ezekiel to do some pretty crazy things to try and get Israel to return to Him.

But toward then end of the study, we came to a chapter where God spoke to Ezekiel one morning and told him that in the evening he would lose the delight of his eyes (his wife). And he was not to cry over her or mourn her as an example to Israel, who was about to lose their beloved city, Jerusalem.

The scripture literally just took my breath away and for weeks I wrestled with God over it.

"God, how could you ask him to give up his wife for Israel....who was not even listening!!!  He had done everything you asked him to do....they just turned away. " It just seemed too much to ask.

And yet, Ezekiel accepts it, without argument and keeps on doing what God asks of him.  You see Ezekiel understood the quote above.

When I say "I wrestled with God", I really mean I wrestled with God!!!

You know, He is not afraid of our questions, emotions or doubts.  In fact, He WANTS us to bring those to Him.  And as I did, He revealed to me what the real issue was.....Pride.

At that point in my life, I was willing to follow God...but on my terms.  There were just some consequences I wasn't willing to take on.

that's pride.

Me thinking I know what is best over God.
Me thinking that I know what will bring Him most glory.
Me not being willing to give to Him, when He gave EVERYTHING for me.

Exactly what the quote above is talking about.

I read that quote this morning and smiled.  Because after wrestling with God and realizing my pride, I surrendered EVERYthing to Him.  I came to the point where I told God....

....I am willing to go through ANYthing that will bring you more glory.  I will not put a condition on my obedience to you.

and I meant it.

And guess what?

Right after that, my husband lost his job.  
And we went for a year without one.

I smiled this morning because now I am on the other side of that trial.   I can see that my obedience and trust through that tough time brought Him glory in many ways...too many to count and probably more that I don't even know about.  I can see and feel the amazing trust I developed in Him.  And I can see all the blessings that He poured out on me in the end..though my obedience.

This life is not about me.
It's about Him.

It's about bringing Him glory and drawing others to Him.
It's about allowing Him to mold me each day to be a little more like Him, so that other's see His character through my life.

Those things won't happen if I put conditions on my obedience to God.

So today, once again, I surrender my life to Him and say...

 I am willing to go through ANYthing that will bring You more glory.  I will not put a condition on my obedience to You.

I can do that because I KNOW He is faithful, sovereign, loving and just.  His ways are so much better than mine.

And I have seen first hand that blessings truly do come from obedience.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Santa (sneakily) returns to the Bowyer Christmas

If you've been around my blog in the past, then you know about the Santa..


If you haven't, you can read about him here and here .


Last year, since Jason had gotten married and was starting his own family, I decided it was time to retire the Santa.  He had had a good run in the Bowyer family traditions, but I felt like it was time for him to find a new home and start new traditions.  So, for Christmas I gave him to Jason as a gift.

Several people had asked me about the Santa and where he was going to show up this year and my answer was always "He's retired!!  And now has a new home in Jason's family"

Jason, Kristen and Edris have been here for a few days and this morning, Jason said he wanted to take my picture with Edris.  

It should have been my first clue!!!


He promptly also said "Mom, you should post that, it's so good"

Should have been my 2nd clue!!

Yep, Santa made his way BACK into the Bowyer family Christmas. 
 He's a stubborn little guy!

Now in my defense......

1. He replaced a Santa that had the same colors as him
2.  I am NOT a detail nor observant person
3.  My focus is on EDRIS!!!

But even with that said, He got me!!!

I got on Facebook and saw a post from him I was tagged in.  
The first thing I saw was "gotcha"...

..and I knew.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015 in a Word

2015 has been an amazing year for the Bowyers.
However, life has been a bit busy and overwhelming and I haven't found the time to write down my thoughts.  But, I felt I needed to follow up a post that I did last January.

In this post I wrote about picking one word for 2015 and scriptures to go along with it. After praying about it, the word I felt led to choose was TRUST.

For those that didn't know me then, my husband and I had just had a very tough 2014.  We found ourselves without a job and not having any clue where God would lead us next.  We were feeling pressure from others to just "find a job", change careers.  But we felt in our hearts God leading us to wait on Him...for HIS place for us.  

It was hard.

So, TRUST was the perfect word for me in 2015.

I started finding scriptures relating to trust and started memorizing them.  On nights when I thought fear and doubt would over take me, those scriptures were what kept me focused on Him and kept me holding on to the knowledge that He was in control and had a plan.

Steve and I obediently waited on God....not on His blessings.  We trusted what He spoke to our hearts.  We strove to look at each day and find where He was working.  We chose to be joyful.  And we chose to keep ministering to those He placed in our path.

We trusted and He proved faithful!

Most of you know that in March we accepted a pastorate in Arizona.

I can not begin to tell you how perfect this place is for us or how my heart feels after seeing Him care for us so completely, perfectly and abundantly. 

It is cool to look back and see that TRUST is the word He gave me and then to see how it perfectly describes my year.  

As I think about the word I will choose for 2016, I find myself continually coming back to the word GO

It may seem like a funny word to choose for a theme, however I feel God is calling me to go.....

...reach out to this community
....step out of my comfort zones
.....build relationships that will lead others to Him
....make disciples
....get trained to lead Precept upon Precept
...lead bible studies

So, I will be searching for scriptures that go along with the word GO....and I would love to hear from any of you that have ones you love.

2015 was a banner year for the Bowyers.  
Full of new beginnings, promises fulfilled, faith grown, TRUST deepened and all around pretty perfect.

I can't wait to see what God has for us in 2016....

....but I'm pretty sure it will involve "GOing"

Therefore, [as you go] make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. Matthew 28:19

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Our new home....

This post has been a long time in coming....over 2 months to be exact.

Since our move to Arizona June 1st, I have wanted to post how things are going.  But to be honest, I just haven't been able to find the words to describe how faithful God has been to us.  It has been overwhelming to say the least. 

Plus, so much has happened over those 2 months that it would take me several posts to tell you about it and THAT was overwhelming.....I guess I am easy overwhelmed these days :)

So, today as I sit in my new home on the top of a mountain, relaxing after an amazing worship service this morning, I felt it was the right time to attempt a post.

So many of you prayed us through this last year and I want you to see (or read) what your prayers helped accomplish  :)  Your prayers encouraged us when we were down, they gave us strength to stand firm in our trust in God to take care of us, and many more things that I'm sure I will only know in Heaven.....thank you!!!

First let me share with you a few God moments...

* We moved here the 1st of June and a week later my dad had to have triple bypass surgery.  How wonderful that God moved us here at that time so that I could be there for my mom and dad!!

* When we got here, the main road to our house was under construction.  It was all torn up and just a dirt road full of pot holes.  The bridge was down to one side and was very narrow.  I really didn't think our moving van would be able to make it to our house.  BUT the fantastic driver made it over the bridge with only 3" on each side!!!  The God moment was that had he come even a day later, he would not have made it as they completely closed the road and the van would not have made the turns of the detour!!  

* We have found so many connections with people in our congregation.  It really is a small world!!  


To say that we "fit" in this community and church would in my mind be an understatement.  It has been such a blessing to see how Steve's and my gifts and abilities just completely mesh with the ministry here and how God prepared us for it.

Munds Park is a small, mostly summer community about 17 miles from Flagstaff.  What that means is that many of the people are only here from May to October/November.  Only about 1/3rd of the population are "full timers".  So in the summer we have a full congregation with lots of programs going on and then in the winter we will have a smaller, more intimate group.

We have a wonderful congregation... that seems to be growing each week.  :)  What I love about the people here is that though many of them are "on vacation", so to speak, or retired, they are committed to growing in Christ and committed to walk along side us as we serve Munds Park. They are workers and doers, but mostly they love God and desire to serve Him.  What a blessing!

They have welcomed us and loved on us so well.

I truly wake up each morning, grab my coffee, open the doors to let the cool, crisp air in, grab my bible to spend time with God and first pinch myself to make sure it is real. 
 My heart is so full.  

Over the last year as we waited on God, I never dreamed our obedience would lead to such an amazing ministry where we fit like a dove tailed drawer.  But God is faithful....ALL the time.  And when we wait on Him and walk His way, not our own, it is always best.

Now, after having been in the ministry for over 25 years, I know that no ministry is perfect.....there will be difficult times in the future...that's life.  But I just can not explain to you how it feels to have waited on God for so long, to have taken Him at His word, to have not wavered in trusting that He had a place for us and then to finally be here and have it be more than I could ever have imagined.

God IS faithful.
ALL the time.
Wait on Him!!!

More are the church next post!