Why BB4TheLord2

Why BB4TheLord2: My first blog, bb4thelord.blogspot.com was began a couple years after I became a young widow. After ten years on that journey of widowhood, I took a break from blogging. Now the time has come to begin again. Writing is a gift God has given me and I must get back into using the gifts God has given me.

Friday, December 23, 2016

The Great Healing

"Grief is very personal and unique to every individual. In my experience as well as working with others, I have learned that there is no specific time table to healing. Losing Jim was like being in a horrific accident where I lost my arm and leg. I felt paralyzed and overwhelmed by pain. Healing came slowly, very slowly. Emotionally, I felt like I was functioning from a hospital bed, and then a wheelchair. There has been specific times that the LORD did significant healing within me over the last almost 11years. Most recently, the LORD has brought a profound healing deep in my heart. I feel as if I have finally graduated from physical therapy with prosthetic limbs and I am able to walk again. I feel that the LORD and I can hike together now toward something special up ahead. I don't know what it is, but I know the LORD is good and He knows best."

I recently share the above in our family newsletter. As I walked in the silent snow this evening, a realized I am waiting. Part of me is anxiously waiting for what the Lord will do next, the other part is fearfully waiting for the pain to return.....am I really healed?

I see couples holding hands, especially elderly couples, and I smile instead of feeling a twinge of pain. I celebrated our anniversary with rejoicing over my adult nephew being baptized, no twinge of pain that day either. More heart checks: Two boys' birthdays....no twinge. Thanksgiving...no twinge.   Christmas is coming.....nothing yet. Hear about some people's loved ones passing on. I pray with understanding, but don't get sucked into a grief wave. I stand amazed and tremble.

Winter is here and that usually means dark clouds come with dread as the cold creeps in. It has been like that for ten years now. That is what I am used. Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb.....each month had certain grief days, some times quiet with silent tears, some times feeling hollow and alone, some times just making myself put one foot in front of the other. Finally March brings spring and as the cold leaves so do the clouds in my soul.

But this year is different, I have felt a inner joy and freedom that I can not explain. I know that my heart is fearful that it won't last. Am I really healed?  I think of all the people Jesus healed and I wonder....did the man with leprosy check his skin every day in the sunlight for weeks just to inspect for signs of its returning? Did the  lame women carefully stretch her legs each morning to make sure they still worked? Did Martha check on Lazarus in the middle of the night to make sure she wasn't dreaming, that he was really alive again?

I know in my head my fearful waiting is a lack of faith, a work of unbelief in my heart. So many years ago, God told me this would happen. Psalm 147:3 "He healeth the broken in heart and bindeth up their wounds." The LORD spoke specifically to my bleeding heart one night, "You won't always hurt like this." At the time, the thought was unbelievable. The pain was so intense I could not believe I wasn't dying from how excruciating it was. But I clung to this verse of hope, that it wasn't always going to hurt like that. The LORD was right. It took time, lots of time. 3 years in I could breathe better, 4 yrs in a painful outpouring followed by significant healing, 5 yrs in the pain dulled some, 6 yrs in He answered some questions, 7 years in a second great outpouring of pain followed by a gentle healing again, the next three years steady steps in healing with occasional set backs. This summer feeling like I was on the rim of an overwhelming canyon. Then this fall...some precious, precious time with my Lord. Just seeking His face in intense prayer and reading His word. Oh, how He spoke to my heart.

He spoke and God created light. Creation was spoken into existence, except man, He was more hands-on with man. But if I can believe He spoke and created this world and universe, why do I stand in doubt of His great healing on my heart?

Another verse God shared with me years ago is Mark 5:36 "Be not afraid, only believe." Jesus spoke these words to a grief-stricken father. Another father who brought Jesus his ailing son was told to believe. The father cried out, "I believe, help mine unbelief."

So that is me tonight. Lord, I believe You have done a great healing in my heart and that the pain isn't going to come back and pounce on me. But please help my unbelief that fearfully waits for the pain to creep up on me when I least expect it and to snatch away the joy I feel in my soul.

With trembling heart, I choose to believe.






Saturday, October 15, 2016

God's Provision


My sister-in-law sent me this many weeks ago. The LORD made it so real to me last month.
As the month stretched on, and the budget got tighter, and I looked at the bills due.....I sighed deeply and told the LORD I didn't know how this was going to work out. Three days before the end of the month, I got the call that the men who had talked to me many months ago about harvesting timber were ready. Three days later, they gave me a down payment on the trees they had harvested. The following week, they paid me the rest.  They also gave me a scripture plague.

Ah, LORD God.......there is nothing too hard for Thee. Jeremiah 32:17

Oh, me of little faith!  Why do I worry and fret? My LORD has taken care of us this far, and HE will do so in the future.  I went for a walk in the woods yesterday. Many trees are gone, it looks much different, not even especially beautiful. But I found a stump on the edge of the logging trail and just sat. The sound of the wind through the trees was so calming, and the wind in my hair was refreshing.

"Thou art Mine." 

"There is nothing too hard for ME." 

"Fear not."

The LORD planted those trees many long years ago, knowing at this time this year, this mom was needing the financial blessing they could provide. I never sought anyone to harvest them. The LORD direct to someone to me.  The LORD knows my address. He also sent someone to inquire about buying the wood for firewood that the harvester couldn't take. Ah, LORD God....You see, You know, You care.


Monday, September 5, 2016

Love Letter Part 2

One of my favorite hymns is How Firm A Foundation. Three of its verses are based on scripture:

Verse 3

Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.



Isa 41:10  Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

Verses 4 and 5

When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of woe shall not thee overflow;
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.


When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.



Isa 43:2  When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

I immediately thought of the hymn when I read Isaiah 43:2. In fact, it was already marked in my Bible. As the hymn's words are in 1st person and spoken as they are from the LORD, they just add depth to the personalization of this chapter to me.  The LORD is with me in troubles, and will not let them overtake me. He will actually bless and separate me as special to HIM. "When I see the reflection of my face" is what one gold refiner said, when asked how do you know when the gold is done being refined. Yes, and so it is with me. Until my Lord sees Himself in me, I will need refining to get my dross out.

This Sunday the Lord had my preacher preach on three words: GRACE, BLOOD, & FAITH
I may write a post on this later, but Isa 43:2 hints at grace and the hymn verse speaks of it. Grace, all sufficient. This phrase is spoken of in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

My pastor shared the above scripture. And a key thing he said was God says, "My grace is enough."
This spoke loudly to me because God has spoken a similar phrase to me before and I feel like it is part of my life message: HE is enough. And every morning the Lord knocks on my heart and has a sufficient amount of grace for me specifically for that particular day.

Oh, how personal my LORD is to me!
Image result for grace sufficient for each day

Monday, August 29, 2016

Love Letter-Part 1

Isaiah 43:1 But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name;
thou art mine.

A dear friend shared the above verse with me yesterday. "You are Mine." What a powerful statement from the LORD. I ended up rereading the whole chapter this morning. I am hoping in this post to

express to you all that the LORD shared with me. He personalized it to me. Like a lover letter straight to my heart. For time sake, I might have to type this in parts. Let's just focus on the first verse for now. I highlighted five things the Lord spoke to me about.
  • I created you.
  • I formed you.
  • I redeemed you.
  • I called you.
  • You are Mine.
The LORD created me. He oversaw my growth within my mother's womb. Every birthmark and personality quirk were created by Him. They are His signature marks on me.

The LORD formed me. Not just in the womb, but my molding since then. Every childhood experience, the struggles of youth, the person I am today. All of it was formed and molded by a master potter.

The LORD redeemed me. Not just from my past sins before salvation, but the besetting sins that still make me fall on my face. I am forgiven and redeemed! Oh, what sweet peace and freedom in being redeemed. In my sin and shame, He saw something priceless. He believed I was worth dying for, that I was worth saving.

The LORD called me. He has called me to be His daughter and friend, to work with Him, to walk by His side and be used of Him. Specifically, He has called me to be a single mom, a homeschool parent, a Sunday School teacher, and a witnesses of His love and majesty.

I am His. He reminds me that I am not my own. I am not to be someone or something else's. I belong to the LORD. When the world tries to tell me I am someone else. When the enemy tells me another lie. When I feel like I am being crucified. When I feel misunderstood. When I feel like a stranger in this place. When I stray my eyes from His face. When I feel incomplete and unloved. He calls to my heart, "You are mine. I have chosen you."

I am His. What a beautiful beginning to a love letter. I encourage you to read all of Isaiah 43. Read it carefully. Read it with a prayerful heart. The LORD has much to share with you. Linger over the words. Go back and reread it several times in one day. Let His words touch your heart and draw you deeper in love with the Lover of your soul.


Newest Fingerprint

As I finished my transaction at the store, the Lord prompted me to get a certain amount of cash also. I tucked it away. Later that afternoon, I was alerted to a situation that needed prayer. I wasn't too far away so we headed over there. It was a very tense and stressful situation. It surrounded a financial loss. The little cash I had wasn't going to solve the problem, but I felt like it might be encouraging anyway. I gave it. Later that night, I realized I hadn't gotten the mail since Tuesday. We zoomed up to the P.O. As I opened the mail, there was a refund check from my insurance company. It was for the same amount I had given away, with .01 extra just to remind me God's shovel is bigger! It had been mailed long before the day's current situation. That is the LORD, folks. This is how He works in my life. How is He working in yours?  What fingerprints of God are you seeing in your situation?


Friday, August 19, 2016

A Muzzle & A Bulletproof Vest

So lately I have been feeling the need for a muzzle and a bulletproof vest.

A special muzzle for my own mouth. It seems to open and say the wrong things or in the wrong tone or to the wrong person or just at the wrong time.  I keep running back to the Lord for this spiritual muzzle:
  • Psalm 141:3  Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.
  • Psalm 19:14  Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
  • Ephesians 4:29  Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
  • Ecclesiastes 5:2  Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.
  • James 1:19  Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:

Another desired item is a bulletproof vest. My heart seems vulnerable to attacks this month. Words from within and words from without seem to make me bleed quickly. The bulletproof vest I need is again a spiritual one:

  • Exo 28:29  And Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the holy place, for a memorial before the LORD continually.
  • Isa 59:17  For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke.
  • Eph 6:14  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
  • 1Th 5:8  But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
And the heart of the issue is really my heart:
  • Psalm 61:2  From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
  • Psalm 109:22  For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me.
  • Psalm 62:8  Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.
  • Psalm 73:26  My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.
  • Psalm 147:3  He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.
And the Lord tells me to do several things with my heart. Here are a few:
  • Proverbs 4:23  Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
  • Proverbs 23:17  Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long.
  • Proverbs 23:19  Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Battles in the Mind

"The mind is God's classroom, satan's playground, and the Christian's battlefield."

Battles--they are all around us.
People battle one another, they battle diseases, they battle loneliness, they battle injustice...

We battle in our minds.

Satan whispers sweet and low and harsh and accusing.
It can be difficult to decipher it is him.
We blame Eve so quickly when we too fall prey to the enemy's deception and lies.
The scripture doesn't describe the sorrow of Eve after the fall. It doesn't speak of all the tears and sleepless nights that occurred as she continued to listen to the enemy beat her up with accusations.
But I am sure they were there.

I am sure of it because I know what the enemy throws at me.
I know how he tells me lies about myself, my family, and my God.
They come so seemingly innocent some days.
Just a little nudge to indulge myself or procrastinate or be lazy.
A little shadow of doubt on a truth, A little confusion to what God hath said.
A little fear to make me hesitate to step forward in faith.

Then there are times the lies can come fast and pelting like a hail storm.
Making me feel blinded, confused, and overwhelmed.
Most often these are fears that pounce on me like a mountain lion,
going for my jugular and seeking to destroy me.
Unbelief wearing a mask that seeks to be my god and rule my heart.

How does one battle these attacks?
With a sword....with the Word of God.
Seek to get as much of it in your heart as you can.
Seek to read it as much as you can.
Sharpen the blade with truth and promises.

Victory is assured us. Yet victory isn't just handed over.
We must learn to battle. With His Word in prayer
and in our minds.



Friday, July 15, 2016

Because We Can

Some of you may have heard of a state governor who encouraged the reading of God's Word across his whole state. Reading the Bible for 80 hours straight from Genesis to Revelation. The cousins and we made a pajama run to the closest fast food place for ice cream.  (For all of you don't know, a pajama run is when you take the kids in their PJs to a store/restaurant for a treat. I highly recommended it. It keeps my boys on their toes; they call me crazy but I pray they do pajama runs with their children.)

My love for God's Word and my curiosity enticed me to check out this Bible Marathon out while we were in town. We did a quick drive by before getting ice cream. Then as we got our late night treat.  I couldn't get away from the feeling to go and stop at the Bible Marathon tent.  So we headed back to the courthouse lawn. They had a simple tent set up with a pulpit, small table, and chairs for the listeners. It was late at night so they had a light shining on the pulpit. One of the cousins asked why they were doing it. My son replied, "Because we can."

As we pulled up and parked, we were startled by a man who came around the block. He looked suspicious and intimidating. Once he was safely gone, I got out. The children all wanted to just stay in the vehicle. It was dark out and there was a cool breeze. After the man had startled us, I didn't blame them. So I proceeded to the tent. I sat and listened for awhile. Then asked if I could read. They said sure.  I only read two chapters, but I signed my name at the beginning of the chapter I began to read at. Sure there were a couple tricky names of cities I wasn't sure about how to pronounce, but I felt surrounded by God as I read. Oh, I must tell you that the previous reader had read the very chapter my previous Sunday School lesson had been about. God's perfect timing!

The light shining on the pulpit made it difficult to see anything outside of the tent. My thoughts raced to the man that had startled us as we drove up. I thought of the sheriffs office across the street. I thought of brothers and sisters in Christ in North Korea who don't have the freedom to read God's Word as publically as I was. People who had every fear to read the Bible anytime. "Because we can" my son had said. Yes, we have freedoms in America that other citizens in other countries don't have. Freedoms are to be exercised.....if we don't exercise them, we will certainly lose them.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The Canyon

Sometimes the hole seems so big.
As these boys edge closer and closer to manhood,
I realize more and more how ill-equipped I am as a mom.
That day to day lack of influence of a godly man in their lives looms like a canyon in front of us.
I know why women rush into new relationships.
It isn't always because of loneliness.
It may be that the vacuum of not having a man in the home is such a powerful void
that any man seems better for the children than no man.
There is something about a man's voice and his presence that effects a child, especially a teenage boy.
My own ache for my beloved has subsided. But the ache I have for my children's lack of a father is ever mighty in my heart. I feel it even more intense as they are become young men. Sometimes these days seem even harder than the ones right after their dad died.
Evermore, I am running to the LORD, placing them at His feet, pleading with Him to fill in the hole with more of Himself. Praying for the boys to learn to run to Jesus when they would have turned to their father. Pushing them toward the LORD as they pull away from me.

This isn't an encouraging post. It isn't even one testifying about the LORD's fingerprints on our lives. It is just from one real mom who loves Christ very much and is staring at a canyon of manhood and realizing she has got to pray her boys into it. It is a place she can't go. And though their dad isn't there to lead them into it, she has got to stay on the rim, on her knees and believe in what she cannot see. To trust in an everlasting Father who promised to never leave her children alone. Though HE seems silent, though He seems absent, though He seems to not be enough.............she bows her head, and choses to hope and believe, even feebly, as the tears run down her checks and her heart aches for her children.


Jeremiah 49:11 
Leave thy fatherless children, I will preserve them alive;
and let thy widows trust in me.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Lessons

I played a crazy game tonight with my children and niece and nephew. It was a mixture between army, capture the flag, and hide-n-seek. I learned a few things about myself and the children. I learned that as a momma I have more patience then they do. I could hide and just wait them out. I also had more heart to endure. When my son was chasing me, I fled to the woods and then quickly hid. The mosquitoes were horrible bullies, but I stayed hidden till all was clear. I also had courage to ambush two of them at once. The surprised look on their faces was hilarious, so hilarious that I fell to the ground laughing and they tagged me out!

I am glad I played with the children. I also am thankful for the strategies I learned. I needed them in the game and I need them in life:
  • Patience is essential; sometimes I just need to keep my mouth shut and wait trials out.
  • A heart to endure is crucial, for sometimes the safest place is where you have to endure the bullies.
  • Courage is worth it all, even it you fail the mission. At least I faced the adversary.
  • Oh, another lesson it is feels great to fall down laughing, especially when I don't laugh as often as I should.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Powerful Tracts

This morning at church a visiting gentleman gave me a tract, two tracts actually.
Read them here: His Story and Her Story:Shot, But Not Down--Praise God!

What was most touching to me was that these tracts were basically his testimony and his wife's testimony, not only of their salvation through Jesus Christ, but also of God's hand of protection and healing during a family tragedy. I have read many, many tracts through the years. I have given away many of them. But these were different. These were personal. The very person whose life and salvation was summed up on a trifold, glossy pamphlet had handed it to me. The very woman who was shot at a park and survived sat in front of me and we worshipped the Lord together. Powerful testimony. And a powerful challenge to me. 

If my life was put on a tract, what would be my message?

Would it make others look to Jesus and cry out for salvation?

And would  my daily life back up the printed message?

Lord, thank You for challenging my heart. May I be a faithful ambassador for You.


Sunday, May 29, 2016

He Sees, He Knows, He Cares

As the elderly gentleman got back in his truck, I thought, "That is just like God!" and smiled. Let me rewind....the very next morning after my last post, I had an elderly gentleman stop by and talk to me about some trees. As we visited, I told him I was a homeschool mom. He asked me why I was homeschooling the boys. Fair question. But it helped me reaffirm to myself why I do what I do as I explained why. He then asked if I was a Christian. I was delighted to tell him that yes, I am! Long story short, he is a veteran Christian homeschool dad with three grown children living for the Lord! He encouraged me, commended me for what I was doing as widow mom, and I could also testify of God's provision and care through the years. Which of course, encouraged my heart as I look to the future. Less than 24hrs after I sat in discouragement as a mom and homeschool teacher, the Lord sent this man to my door!  Like I typed before, that is just like God!



Thursday, May 26, 2016

Hard Days


I want this blog to be a "real" blog. And I will admit, real life is hard. Some days are overwhelmingly wearisome and stressful.  Recently I read this post of a fellow blogger: A Prayer for You When You Want to Quit. It was exactly what I needed that day. And exactly what I needed to reread again tonight. Life is hard. Jesus never promised it would be easy. He did promise to be with us always though. Long ago I listen to a speaker who emphasized those three phrases: He sees, He knows, He cares. Comforting words to remember.


"From the ends of the earth will I cry unto Thee, when my heart is overwhelmed:
lead me to the Rock that is higher than I. For Thou hast been a shelter for me,
and a strong tower from the enemy." Psalm 61:2-3

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Back To Blogging

At a graduation ceremony, my pastor talked about a man's gifts, to know your gift and operate in it.
I believe writing is a gift my Lord has given me.  It was been a year since I took a break from blogging. It's time to begin again.

It didn't feel right to try to add to my first blog. That blog was a sacred time. A time of God's working on my shattered heart and bringing me to a place of acceptance and healing. God is still working on me. On all of us...but I feel less like a widow and more like one of many single moms in this nation. Just like Snurr's birth started a new chapter in my life as a single mom to three boys, surviving ten years without my beloved Jim seemed like the closing of a chapter to me. So that is why I titled this The Next Chapter.

If any of you are new to my blogging, I encourage you to go to bb4thelord.blogspot.com For years I wrote about the Lord fingerprints on our lives as a young widow with three young sons. Snipp, Snapp, and Snurr are now all in double digits and either are taller than me or will be soon. Oh, there are still days of longing for my best friend, my husband. There are times that tears fall and my heart aches. But I am no longer raw with pain. I have learned to function as half of me. And though I fall many times, the Lord is ever faithful to catch me and help me get back in the game.

There came a day when I took my wedding ring off my left hand....though I felt married, to the world I was not. I had my ring resized and wear it on my right hand. Similarly, this blog will continue to share God's fingerprints on our lives. But not as a limping, staggering young widow clinging to the Lord trying to just breathe, instead as a rehabilitated widow holding Christ's hand walking side by side with just a limp in my step every now and then.

Thank You, Lord, for Your tenderness and mercy to me. Thank You for all the times You hugged me close and caught all my tears, for giving me Your strength and direction every time I fell to my knees weak and wondering what to do. Thank You for calming my fears and teaching me to fight against the enemy of my soul. Please stay close because raising teenage boys without a dad is a whole different ballgame then when they were little. Help me to lay them at Your feet and for them to look to You as their Daddy, their Abba, their Everlasting Father. They are being weaned of me, Lord, I must decrease and You must increase in their lives. You have been there through so much already. May we all keep our eyes fixed on You as we begin the Next Chapter. I love You! Amen.