1/29/10

Project: Wilderness


"Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: 'Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians'? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness."
Exodus14:12

Am I so scared of the wilderness that I stay willing to serve the enemy's purpose for my life?

When you leave a place of familiarity, even when that's a place of captivity, you feel alone. When you're stuck in a wrong mindset and break free from it, you feel like you've got nothing left. You feel free in Christ, but at the same time you're not exactly sure what to with yourself or how to react to some of the same situations you faced before. You know you have to walk in freedom or you won't truly be free.

"Take away the dross from the silver and the smith has material for a vessel."
proverbs25:4

"Therefore, behold, I will allure her and bring her into the wilderness, and I will speak tenderly and to her heart. There I will give her her vineyards and make the Valley of Achor [troubling] to be for her a door of hope and expectation. And she shall sing there and respond as in the days of her youth and as at the time when she came up out of the land of Egypt. And I will betroth you to Me forever; yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and justice, in steadfast love, and in mercy.I will even betroth you to Me in stability and in faithfulness, and you shall know (recognize, be acquainted with, appreciate, give heed to, and cherish) the Lord."
hosea2:14,15,19,20

It seems to me that with the wilderness always comes refining and seemingly less desired circumstances. The Israelites were always complaining about being in the wilderness. Honestly they sounded like little kids, "We're hungry, we're tired, are we there yet?"! Seriously people! I laugh about it and easily think that I am way better than that. But I'm the same! So sad! Because of their complaining, the people who experienced freedom never experienced the promise. Only Caleb and Joshua, who trusted God, entered the Promised Land.

The wilderness all throughout the bible is the place in between prophetic vision and the fulfillment of God's promise. King David, Joseph, the people of Israel, Jesus, John the Baptist, Abraham... all of these people spent some time in the wilderness (and by some time, I mean SOME GOOD AMOUNT OF TIME) whether that was the actual physical wilderness or spiritual wilderness. And they encountered these seasons more than once in their lives.

The Wilderness is not a bad place.

"The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the rose and the autumn crocus. It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice even with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the excellency of [Mount] Carmel and [the plain] of Sharon. They shall see the glory of the Lord, the majesty and splendor and excellency of our God. Strengthen the weak hands and make firm the feeble and tottering knees. Say to those who are of a fearful and hasty heart, Be strong, fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance; with the recompense of God He will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap like a hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. And the burning sand and the mirage shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; in the haunt of jackals, where they lay resting, shall be grass with reeds and rushes. And a highway shall be there, and a way; and it shall be called the Holy Way. The unclean shall not pass over it, but it shall be for the redeemed; the wayfaring men, yes, the simple ones and fools, shall not err in it and lose their way. No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it; they shall not be found there. But the redeemed shall walk on it. And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with singing, and everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away."
isaiah35

The wilderness looks scary and unpredictable. That statement is so true!

In my own life, the wilderness has been a place that I have dreaded and I think for that very reason, God has had me there for a very long time. When I read that verse from Exodus, it hit home I think for the very first time. Would I rather serve the enemy in Egypt or be with Jesus in the wilderness?


Contemplating the Wilderness,
and Joy,
and Peace,
and Mystery,
and a "butt load" of other things,
Elyxis


1/24/10

Ah Memories!

Look what I found! Don't worry, I cried too...
video

It's amazing to see where we were and where we are now!



Tears of Joy!
Elyxis

1/22/10

New Beginnings


What is it about coming to a point in your life where disappointments and struggles bring you to a moment of complete surrender to God? It seems that life calls for situations to tear you down and rip you apart in order for the one who knows, how you're supposed to be put together, to fix you up right. I find myself in that situation right now. Looking around, I see one set of foot prints in the sand... my own. They are foot prints that have carried (more like drug) my heart around into territory it should never have entered into. Territory that I've seen others walk through that leave them alone and broken and completely hopeless. Why did I think it would be any different for me? One thing I've come to realize this day is that the enemy will trip me up in any way he can find... any sneaky, low, completely crappy way he can. The battle for my joy and peace have never been so real to me before. It's my heart that is on the line here. A war is raging for my affection and attention and devotion. I want to declare that today is day 1 in New Beginnings. My goal is to discover something new about God and myself every single day. That's one thing I love about God, he is the creator of New Beginnings. We have started going to the woman's bible study called Breaking Free by Beth Moore. I know that God has brought me into this season for such a time as this. I'm committing to breaking free and starting over. No longer will the thoughts, words or actions of other people stand between God and I. That's no way to live. It's taken a lot of tough situations for me to realize this. For too long I've let certain things stand between me and the promises and calling of God for my life. NO MORE, I SAY!!!! I spent some time today reflecting on my journal entries from this past summer and fall. I would love to say that I've seen some growth from that time and that I'm not dealing with the same issues anymore, but the truth is that I feel the same. Why? When it comes down to it, it's because I have kept the only one who deserves my heart at an arms distance away. Today I'm putting my arms down. I read this in my journal from July 26, it comes from Isaiah 49:2-7:

"He made my life like a sharpened sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me into a polished arrow and concealed me in his quiver. He said to me, 'You are my servant, Elyxis, in whom I will display my splendor.' But I said, 'I have labored to no purpose; I have spent my strength in vain and for nothing. Yet what is due me is in the Lord's hand, and my reward is with God.' And now the LORD says - he who formed me in the womb to be his servant to bring Jacob back to him and gather Israel for himself, for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD, and my God has become my strength - he says, 'It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light to the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.' This is what the LORD says - the redeemer and holy one of Israel - to him who was despised and abhorred by the nation, to the servants of the rulers: 'Kings will see you and rise up, princes will see and bow down, because of the LORD, who is faithful, the holy one of Israel, who has chosen you.' "

I love Jesus.
I trust Him.
My heart is His.

-and I am confident of this:
that he who began a good work in me will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus -

Relying on Grace,
Elyxis

1/15/10

Winter Part5 ! episode: Ice Skating (again!)

This becoming quite the tradition! And I love it! Hope and I headed up to the inn and enjoyed yet another day of fabulous ice skating!


































So Adorable!






















Probably one of my favorite pictures, ever. :)

Hope has quite the talent when it comes to ice skating! She's teaching me how to NOT fall down :)































































A few videos from the day!









~Elyxis~

1/4/10

Winter Part4 !

So, you can pretty much bake cookies at any time during the year... but we did in winter, so I'm just gonna call it a "winter activity"!
The thing that really made the night was the 3D glasses and this funky apron... lets just say we had a little too much fun.





Stacia singing to David Crowder (you obviously cant hear her, but believe me, she was!)


We will call this one "Stacia looking special." :) ha ha! I love you Stacia!!!


And here I am in the glasses and apron...yeah.


A few thoughts from today:

Today was our first day back to CLC after 2 weeks off for break. Can I just say, G.L.O.R.I.O.U.S. I definitely needed the break! I've been a season of questioning and evaluating myself and where I am. It's almost halfway through my second year of CLC! I would say some evaluating is in order :) God has shown me a lot about my character in the past two weeks that I know I need to change, and I'm thankful that He's revealed it to me. Today during prayer, Jay was talking about God's promises, as we've just read about in Genesis. He was talking about how rainbows can't appear unless there are clouds. It's often in those times when there are storms blowing through our lives that God reminds us of his faithfulness and of his promises. It's in those times that we grow the most and become more like Christ. I have to learn the art of surrender, in some way or another. If that's by the storms, then so be it. Though there are many things about myself I know I need to change, Jay reminded me today of the importance of allowing God to love me and show me myself through His eyes. I am very thankful for Jay :) I'm super tired right now, so I don't know if this really made sense but, oh well :) That's really all for now friends!

Loving Christ and his Freedom,
Elyxis!