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Author Archives: valyoume

Music Speaks: Just Be Held

Music Speaks: Just Be Held

Just Be Held

by Casting Crowns

“Hold it all together
Everybody needs you strong
But life hits you out of nowhere
And barely leaves you holding onJust Be Held

And when you’re tired of fighting
Chained by your control
There’s freedom in surrender
Lay it down and let it go

When your eyes are on the storm
You’ll wonder if I love you still
But if your eyes are on the cross you’ll know
I always have and I always will

And not a tear is wasted
In time you’ll understand
I’m painting beauty with the ashes
Your life is in my hands

Lift your hands, lift your eyes
In the storm is where you’ll find Me
And where you are, I’ll hold your heart
I’ll hold your heart
Come to me, find your rest
In the arms of the God who won’t let go

 So when you’re on your knees
And answers seem so far away
You’re not alone
Stop holding on
and Just be held
Your world’s not falling apart
It’s falling into place
I’m on the throne
Stop holding on
and Just be held”

Along with a few others that I will likely be writing, I happened across this song during my husbands last hospitalization. Since that day a little over two months ago, these words have been a great encouragement to me. One of the first things that I did when I picked my husband up from the hospital, was share this song with him. I had it all ready to be played when he got off of the bus that brought him back into town. I wanted to share with him this reminder that I think we all need at some point. “You’re not alone.” Perhaps if we weren’t always trying so hard to solve our own problems, we would be more easily able to “stop holding on” and allow God to take over. If we would really rely on Him, and believe that He is able and will help us, what might happen? Good or bad, things happen according to Gods plan. When you’re strong, it is all in Gods plan. When you’re weak, God is still God, and He is still in control.

It has been a tough and constant reminder that I do not have to be everything to everybody. I am not “everything,” nor was I intended to be. I am not supposed to be able to hold everything together all on my own, along with holding everyone else together. I am supposed to rely on God, and He is able to be everything to everybody.

“If your eyes are on the storm you’ll wonder if I love you still But if your eyes are on the cross you’ll know I always have and I always will.”
Oh how true this is, and can only be known by experiencing it. If we are too busy focusing on everything that is going wrong in our lives, we will miss out on so many good things that are happening, amazing things that have happened and the best thing that has yet to happen. If we focus on the cross, and what happened at Calvary, we can be confident that any suffering that we endure has a purpose and that if we remain on the right path, we will be rewarded in ways greater than we can imagine.

“Where you are I’ll hold your heart…”
Again, how absolutely true. This is a fact that I’ve known, but I keep relearning it. It doesn’t matter where we are, good times or bad times, God is there with us. He never leaves us. If we feel that He has abandoned us…the problem is not God, but the problem is with us. If we can’t see Him working, even in the bad times, there is usually a pretty good chance that we aren’t really looking.

I encourage my readers whoever, and wherever you are, to just take a moment to know and to feel that God loves you. You are in His arms. He is surrounding you with love and comfort. No matter what you are going through, He is bigger, and He is in control. This should be a habit. This needs to be something that we never forget. After all, He doesn’t forget about us.

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Posted by on August 18, 2014 in Music Speaks

 

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Conviction from Job

“Have I looked at the sun shining in the skies, or the moon walking down its silver pathway, (‭Job‬ ‭31‬:‭26‬ NLT)

My heart was overwhelmed last night after reading that verse. My little “family” has a nightly Bible study and yesterday we finished Job. Twelve chapters took us around three hours.

I have read the book of Job numerous times, yet many verses have been hidden from me in the past. Last night, God saw that it was time to open my heart to new parts of His Word and verses like Job 31:26-along with many others- convicted me like never before. I had a new understanding of this verse in particular and my heart was suddenly filled–overflowing with the need for God and the hurt of knowing how often the insignificant things of this world get placed in front of God and in turn become our gods.

While our little group always has wonderful discussion in our reading, last night was different. Gods plan prevailed last night and Job 31 really hit hard.

What do you do when a piece of information hits you and convicts you to the point where your mind becomes a haze and you’re spinning? When your heart beats so rapidly, feeling like it is about to explode? With your stomach filled with disgust that it were even possible to somehow forget the majesty of the God whom we serve and essentially replace Him with things of no importance?
I know what I did. I fled to a dark room and prayed. Overwhelmed by my undeserving self, and by Gods unending grace, I prayed. Thanking God and repenting for all of the times when He somehow becomes the background when He truly is the only reason for this life to even exist.

It is easy in this world to “forget” why we are here or who deserves the glory for everything. Take some time to ponder this, and think of the things that we so often think-even momentarily-are so important to us. Remember the real reason that we are here.

Remember that it is not money or possessions that make this life possible, but the very breath of God that carries us along each day.

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2014 in Life in General

 

A Word From A Joyful Heart

A Word From A Joyful Heart

It is with much difficulty that I find myself writing this morning. Difficult because I am at a loss for words.
Since my post last night, I have been overwhelmed by the response that I have gotten from friends and acquaintances whom I never would have guessed would have even read my blog, but not only did they read it, but I have been flooded with messages and responses from these people showing their support and sharing their prayers for my family. I am so grateful to have such people in my life, whether they be people that I see daily, only on occasion, or those who I worship with. Once again, I am overwhelmed by the love of God and the reminder that there are still many good people in the world who will take the time out of their own busy days and lives to pray for others.
Thank you all for your kindness. It means more than you will know. 20140612-102248-37368700.jpg

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2014 in Life in General

 

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Revival

Once again it has been a while since I’ve posted.
Since the time of my last posting, I am pleased to say that my family has found a “home church.” We have found a little place out in the country with a preacher who is not afraid to preach Gods Word and doesn’t care if Gods Truth offends people. We have found a place filled with God fearing people who welcomed us from day one and have been there praying for us through some very difficult times.
Since my last posting, my husband has been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, resulting in lots of doctors appointments, the loss of a job, and a couple of hospitalizations. We have been essentially homeless and living as we have been told by a few people by “couch surfing.” We had 90% of our belongings in a storage unit until we could find a place to live. In the last 2 weeks, we have been back in contact with an old friend who is more like a brother to both my husband and myself. He too has been dealt a less than pleasant hand and he and my husband have been a source of constant support for each other.
This past week, the storage unit that held all of our household items and photos of our daughters first 5 years, and an antique desk that has passed through my family for generations and was given to me by my grandmother and so much more of our lives together, flooded. We lost everything. All of our possessions now fit in the trunk of our car.
Needless to say, life has been a struggle.
We attended church this evening, two weeks after their official “Revival” where it was pointed out that “revival doesn’t only happen during a set time in a certain building, but it can happen anytime and anywhere for Gods people.” Well I believe that I’ve had a revival tonight.
We arrived at church to find out that they would be holding a business meeting for most of the time allotted, and therefore the evenings lesson would only be about 10 minutes long.
One of my favorite things about this church is that Pastor Allen has the ability to deliver a strong, powerful, hit-the-nail-on-the-head message in just a few short minutes.
As he was thinking about what God wanted him to share with his congregation tonight, he heard God telling him to “remind them of how good God is.” That’s exactly what he did and he shared the Word and people shared their testimony and just praised God for all of their blessings.
That’s when it occurred to me that I was dealing with the loss of all of our possessions in an odd way. It occurred to me that I hadn’t been sad at any point. I wasn’t and am not upset about losing my things. I’m not worried about how I’m going to replace them. I’m not mad at God or anyone else for that matter, for what has been taken from me. Over the past 2 weeks, I have been more thankful than I remember being in the last year. Even when bad things are happening, my first instinct is to praise God.
When my husband entered the hospital and I didn’t know how long they would keep him, or how long it
Would be before I could see him or even talk to him, the first thing that I did when I left his side, was get in the car and sing praise to God in the form of Casting Crowns’ “Praise You In This Storm.” Each time. Alone in my car. Uncertain. Afraid. Lost. And singing at the top of my lungs, shouting to God, knowing that He is worthy of praise no matter what is going on.
When we lost all of our things, and didn’t know if we would have a bed or even a home for our daughter by next month, I again sat in my car praying through song, singing “You must think I’m strong to give me what I’m going through…hands of mercy won’t you cover me? Lord, right now I’m asking You to be strong enough for the both of us.”
Today as I drove around to finalize arrangements for housing, I realized as I sang, “Teach me how to love the unlovable. Show me how to reach the I reachable. Help me now to do the impossible. Forgiveness,” that I am the most free that I have ever been in my life. It was then that I told my husband that praying that particular song had helped me to release anger that I had carried toward one person for more years than I can remember.
With everything that has been going on, all of the attacks of the devil that have been striking from every direction, my faith has not only never wavered, but has been revived and grown stronger throughout!
Praise God, for He is GOOD!

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2014 in Life in General

 

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Quote

There’s a girl in the corner, with tear stains on her eyes. From the places she’s wandered and the shame she can’t hide. She says, “How did I get here? I’m not who I once was, and I’m crippled by the fear that I’ve fallen too far to love.”
Don’t you know who you are? What has been done for you? Don’t you know who you are?
You are more than the choices that you’ve made. You are more than the sum of your past mistakes. You are more than the problems you create. You’ve been remade.
Well she tries to believe that, that she’s been given new life. But she can’t shake the feeling that it’s not true tonight. She knows all the answers, and she’s rehearsed all the lines. And so she’ll try to feel better, then she’s too weak to try. Don’t you know who you are?
You are more than the choices that you’ve made. You are more than the sum of your past mistakes. You are more than the problems you create. You’ve been remade.
You are more than the choices that you’ve made. You are more than the sum of your past mistakes. You are more than the problems you create. You’ve been remade.
This is not about what you’ve done, but what’s been done for you. This is not about where you’ve been, but where your brokenness brings you to. This is not about what you did but what He did to forgive you. This is not about what you feel but what He felt to forgive you and what He felt to make you new.
You are more than the choices that you’ve made. You are more than the sum of your past mistakes. You are more than the problems you create. You’ve been remade.
You are more than the choices that you’ve made. You are more than the sum of your past mistakes. You are more than the problems you create. You’ve been remade.
You’ve been remade.
You’ve been remade.
You’ve been remade.
You’ve been remade.

You Are More by Tenth Avenue North

There’s a girl …

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2014 in Life in General

 

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New Year 2014

Leave it to me to be late to the party…

I was thinking on New Years Eve about the year that has just passed. It seems as if the year flew by. 2013 was quite busy/hectic for my family and myself. It was a year filled with love and loss, joy and sorrow (cliche, though that may sound). Around the middle of the year is when things really took off, though that is not to say the the first half was by any means dull. In July there was a bit of a family reunion for my husbands side of the family. The brother living the farthest from the rest grouped up with the wives and planned a surprise trip for a reunion after twelve years since the last time they had all be together. Old bonds were rekindled, and new bonds were formed.

The year also brought many disappointments and tragedies, as is often the case. I can comfortably say that the negatives nearly outweigh the positives of the year. While that may sound a bit gloomy to say the least, I can also say that in each negative event through the year, I saw God working just as strongly if not more so. Through the difficult times, family ties grew stronger in some cases. Some family members turned from God, and some found or rediscovered Him. 

Needless to say, family was a big focal point of my year. That being said, family has been on my heart especially since the end of the last year and the start of the new year. It seems only natural that this would get me thinking about the common place New Years tradition of the “New Years Resolution.” 

I am not the person who frequently sets a New Years Resolution, although I have at times in the past. This year however, seemed different for whatever reason. This year, I wanted to resolve to be better.
Due to the circumstances of a particular situation within the family, my heart is and was especially set on my daughter and the role that God has given me as her mother. 

My Resolution

For the year of 2014, I resolve not to be the kind of mother who can take her child for granted. I am positively blessed to have been given this treasure that God has entrusted to me. Words cannot express my feelings of joy from this gift. 
God has given me a duty to raise her and care for her and most importantly to teach her. My biggest “job” is to teach my daughter about the One who made her, to teach her of the love that He has for us, and what that means for the way she (and all of His creation) lives the life He has given.
I consider this to be a huge responsibility, and I know that there have been times when I have not lived up to the task. I pray to the Father that He may grant me the strength and wisdom to raise this child He has given me, so that she may be prepared when it is time for her to return to her Maker.

Wishing you all blessings in the New Year.
Cayla

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2014 in Life in General

 

A Line In The Sand/An Open (anonymous) Letter

 

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
– Psalms 34:18

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
– Psalms 147:3

“…My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”
– 2 Corinthians 12:9

God is “close to the brokenhearted”… That is a promise. “It’s not a feeling, it is a fact,” as a friend of mine put it.

How does one exercise faith? Having faith in God means believing that He is who He is, and that He has done what He has done. But what about when having faith means letting go and trusting God? I know, from both experience as well as observation that this step can often seem more difficult than initially accepting God to begin with.

In my experience, it has been similar to a line in the sand; On one side, I have my faith in God in the sense of saying, “I believe.” On the other side of the line is my faith on a whole different level where suddenly that line becomes a canyon. It requires so much more of me. It requires–well–a leap of faith. I have to not only work up the courage to know that I am making the right choice and know that when I land, God will be there to catch me, whether is be at the bottom of the canyon or at the other side of the line… I also have to be able to deny myself and my wants and my earthly needs, which can be a completely separate task in itself. But what did Jesus tell us? In Mark 8:34, he said…Line

“If anyone wants to follow me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.”

The thing that often prevents us from doing that very thing is fear. Often that fear is that things won’t turn out the way that we want or “need” them to turn out. But…

“…God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.”
– 2 Timothy 1:7

That line in the sand can be complicated, and once you make that jump, odds are that you will land with another just ahead of you.

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me.
Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.
But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
– John 16:33

When facing another line in the sand, I am always reminded of the words of 2 Corinthians 12:9 (above) and 10

“That is why I take pleasure in my weakness, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ.
For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2013 in Building Blocks for Life, Life in General

 

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