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http://www.facebook.com/jodee.akersThe turtle story I read today on a friends facebook page got me thinking…..

It reads” Did you know a box turtle only roams 1 mile it’s whole life? If it is removed from its home then for the rest of its life it will roam aimlessly stressed out…..trying to find “home” until it dies a very sad death.”

This sparked my parallel with us and God.  We are on this earth for a relationship with Him And His instructions are quite simple.. Stick with me. Where ever I am will always be home.  But we get impatient and restless and distracted and life picks us up and puts us on a path far from Him and we roam aimlessly stressed out until we die, or find our way back “Home”.   

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Have you had your cup of Joy this morning?

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As I was driving to clean a house a few days ago, I jumped in my car without spending time with my Abba.  As I drove out of the driveway, my car screamed at me.  I automatically jumped to fear mode.  When you live in the country, our cars are the tool to receive income.  Without them there is no point B from point A.  It made me think….how important it is to spend my time with my Abba.  After watching Bill Winston recently, he instructed on the importance of building our strength in our faith.  Just like our muscles it must be exercised.  No weight- no faith.  So when the car screamed at me, fear appeared.  Was my faith ready?   Well….Sort of…..

I have my agenda.  Wake up, declare over my morning, make my bed, drink my apple cider vinegar and lemon water.  The next step is to spend some time with God.  Get into the Word and pray over my future.  Check them off one by one.   But…..In the hustle and bustle of life, and the distractions that are shot at us, the last one is the biggest challenge for me.

I jet off to do whatever task I am performing.  Producing income or just maintaining life.

But Abba was speaking-Through Bill Winston-through Jerry Savelle, canoeing upstream in a world full of cars screaming and lack calling.

My Hair girl showed me a video of a cup trick.  A dad was playing the cup shift game with his son.  He put a few dollars under a cup and the son followed the cup until it stopped and then chose that cup.  The dad lifted it up and he had chosen the cup of origin.  His eyes were on that particular cup.  But here is the twist….. The other two cups had more money in each of them.  Abba was telling me a story.   keep my eyes on Him, and not the cups, and He will show me which cup to chose.   And in that cup will be my place of joy.

Which brings me to the lesson Abba gave:

This morning God had other plans.   He cleared my schedule and made my appointment for me.  And I am soooo glad He did.

I took a couple of minutes and lifted all that was on my heart and poured myself out to Him.  My situation. Cancellations that should have brought income.

Then as I entered the Word, He unfolded the meaning of Abiding and Joy.  John 15 verse 4.  Abide in Me and I in you.  Definition of abide: Accept, act in accordance with a rule, decision, or recommendation.  Abba can’t make us sit down with Him. He can only recommend it.  It is up to us to place it in importance.  We have to accept that it is a daily decision for us to make because Abba made it a rule that it is the only way to abide with Him.

But- when we do- our joy cup fills up- joy abides.

Precept Austin writes: From Strongs 5479: Joy (Chara) Joy is based on spiritual realities and independent from natural circumstances.  A depth of assurance and confidence in Him that ignites a cheerful heart.  Joy is not an experience that comes from favorable circumstances, but is Gods gift to believers.  Joy is the essence of God Himself and His Holy Spirit manifests it in His children.  Joy is the deep-down sense of well-being that abides in the heart of the person that knows that all is well between himself and the Lord.

So this morning, I drank a cup of joy with my Abba. And it was sweet.

 

The Gift of Release

The Gift of Release

Something quite extraordinary happens when you are given the gift of release.

What you once thought of as the only way your life could go was the direction your nose and feet were headed…. but… what if….

You are given a shove that derails you. The kind of shove that stuns you. The kind of shove that makes you look up and say, “did that just happen?”

I was on the wheel. You’ve seen them. The little spinning ones that the little critters board to chase the non existent cheese that is somewhere beyond the next spin. I was earning the money to pay for the stuff that I couldn’t even enjoy from exhaustion.

I was miserable. I chased after a relationship with God that if I wake up at just the right time and follow just the right plan, I surely could obtain. But didn’t….

I wanted answers.

But built up under all the wheels and time lines and exhaustion…was anger.
The uncontrollable kind. The kind that no matter how cool calm and collected you are, one little touch sets you off.

That’s not me. Where did it come from?

What begins as a rebuttal to a friendly conversation boils up into a snarling monster popping out of me…

So my voice raises and my neck inflames. And it comes out. Anger. Uncontrollable anger.

So I searched. I searched for answers. I brought home every book and watched every youtube and listened to every mentor I could.

Nothing changed.

Until the release.

This wasn’t the first time.

It was the fourth.

The first three were just me stepping off one wheel and hopping on another. Not really finding any answers. Not really fixing anything. But every time crying out to God to make it different.

Jumping back in out of fear. Fear of lack, fear of the quiet. My will to fix it.

Not this time.

This time I let Abba take control. This time I trusted Him with my future. This time I took my hands off. And He did.

It wasn’t easy. Everything inside of me wanted to scream at myself to jump on the wheel again. Every situation had a dollar figure attached to it. And I wanted to return to what I knew to do.

But the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and getting same results.

This time I would do it His way.
Turns out. HE’S TRUSTWORTHY…..

I have seen Him move on my behalf. A job manifesting at just he right time to pay a bill. An article of clothing appearing at the thrift shop that I just happened to need. Ebay items selling when I was about to give up and ditch it.

HE’S TRUSTWORTHY.

I always wanted direction for my purpose in life. I wanted to know – what was the perfect will for my life?

You know what I think my purpose is? Availability……As I get with Him. Get in His Word. Worship like crazy in the songs that bring out the passion in me. Everything melts away and I am at rest. He just wants me to sit down and take a breath. The wheels will still spin around me. But I don’t have to board.

I have chosen another ride. I call it the rollercoaster of God. I sit down, buckle up, and see where the ride takes me. Because when I let him take the lead, even the crooked places straighten. I don’t have to fear failure. My availability keeps me in the perfect will of God. And if I veer off, His Mercy and Grace are there to clean up my messes.

And as I ride this coaster, the anger is falling away.

Thank you Abba. Thank you for the gift of release.

Black the night in darkness wears .

Black the night in darkness wears.
Like a shroud to cover cares.

What a shell have I become.
To loose the chains yet tightness comes.

As time grows cold and night does fall.
I reach yet I can’t touch at all.

Locked inside this veil of skin.
Holy Spirit and I’m at war with Him.

Who will win only time will tell.
Am I a Heaven bound or destined for Hell?

An Angel to come set me free?
Or a fallen one to mislead me?

How can I know what signs are Just
Is it You or him, how do I trust?

War rages on inside of me.
It’s peace I seek, come set me free

Frugal flying

Frugal Flying

Before the hammer went down on my job, my family and I had a wedding on the calendar.

I had booked a flight to Montana on Frontier airlines. I hadn’t seen my sisters and nieces – nephews in ages, so I was compelled to travel to them. The money was spent and the trip was in motion.

I had booked a one night stay in a hotel due to an overnight layover in Denver. Income changed and I cancelled the room. An extra 120 in my checking account will pay for a cell bill…know what I mean?…..

So I took the trip and along the way used some helpful ways to save money and still have our creature comforts, AND necessities. Here you go:

1. Pack food…airplane food is now purchased, even water on some airlines. No more free peanuts. Carry veggie sticks, trail mix and an empty water bottle. Dehydrated chickpeas are a great source of mobile protein. Once through TSA, you may have any water you want inside the terminals. Feel free to pay 5 dollars for a bottle of water at the kiosks. I for one thought I would keep my money and use my empty Suja bottle. Just fill up at any water fountain. Shout out to the Bozeman airport! They provide a fountain for travelers with a filter to fill your bottle.
Also, pack a contained zipper bag with extra food to replenish your stash. Quart size ziplocks are handy.

-I paid extra for my wheeled carry on for my food to ride in, so if you aren’t carrying a lot in your personal bag, you can save money there.

Most meals at the airport are 7 to 12 dollars. I boiled beans and rice and froze them and ate nearly 3 days off of them. Salsa does the trick so check with the Hispanic cafes for the sides. I found a sweet one that gave it to me free.

Hot tea bags are an easy pack. I found a cool little case that was purposed for something else and I repurposed it for my teabags and supplies (loose tea and steeping wand) Most teabags are individually packaged so you just need the hot water. A sweet young man at Caribou Coffee gave it to me free.

I found a plastic bag that came with hair products that has great handles to carry these snacks on the plane. Spills are okay because they just need a rinse.

My new favorite snack are Figgy Pops. Chia seeds and dates and nuts and fruits made into balls. 2 dollars at Walmart in the fresh foods section next to the dehydrated fruits…yum! And did I mention that Montana is TAX FREE!!! $

2. The airport becomes a huge hostile when the clock strikes midnight. People use their neck pillows (the neck pillow is a must!) and stick their headphones on and conk out. I was blessed to find a chair row without the divider so it became a mini couch (a tip another stranded flyer gave on the way to Montana). You may encounter some crying children, soooo-Bonus tip-bring earplugs! and a sleeping mask. I gained the earplugs when my family took me to the shooting range…(found out I’m a pretty good shot….) There are also outlets to charge your cell which of course will be your alarm clock. If you want to make friends and there is only one outlet, bring a power strip. Not only will it open up charging space at airports, it comes in handy where you are staying….

3. Bring activities. You will not be tempted to buy the overpriced airport gadgets it you are busy doing a self help book or planning your next outing. And along that logic…shop the local thrift stores for the bargain souveneirs. You get the pleasure of the hunt as well as the cheap souvenir. Goodwill is always a staple. We Stone women cut our teeth on it.

Total cost of trip:
Plane ticket, souveneirs, food-less than 500 dollars

Spending time with family- Priceless…..

My Nephew and his new bride are now happily married. Beautiful frugal wedding (for another blog post). My family bucket got replenished. And I now know what is truly important….

(Shout out to my sisters Cyndi Gaustad and Tammy Stone..great food that they lavished on me! And lotsa love!!!! Butt out😉)

Fear not

As I was reflecting today nature became a living parallel to The Word.

You see, I was let go of a job yesterday. Any other time It would have been a crushing blow. To my ego and my bank account. Not now. You have to understand that I was miserable in this position and had differing points of view than the other team members. Every day was a new frustration, and my hours were a roller coaster and I cried out to Abba one morning in the shower. I asked Him for a better life. One with balance and less stress and that I would enjoy. One where I would be celebrated and not tolerated.

So my season there ended.

So begins a new journey.

I’m not sure where Abba is leading or what it will entail. I know it will involve growth and change, as any new endeavor does.

The difference today is that Abba sent me a living picture of His Word to hold on to a promise.

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat and what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?”

“Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns: yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”

“Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature”

“So why worry about clothing? Consider the lillies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;

And yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”

“Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, o you of little faith?”

“Therefore do not worry, saying What shall we eat? Or What shall we drink? Or what shall we wear?”

“For after all these things the gentiles seek. For your Heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.”

“But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you.”

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things, sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6; 25-34.

As I was praying in the Hodego (greek for Holy Spirit- guide), Abba showed this picture to me. And now I rest… and wait.. just like the bird, and the butterfly……