Lemon Custard Pie

I am craving lemon custard pie with a big dollop of whipped cream.  No, I’m not pregnant. Isn’t that question everyone wants to ask when you crave something weird.

We began this summer with a trip unlike any we had every taken before.  A trip with two other families from church and a week long vacation to the beach… both firsts.  Going into it, I was a little nervous.  These are friends who I’m very familiar with, but I’m not fully comfortable in my own skin sometimes, much less letting others in that close to my daily life.  See growing up, the montra was “Conceal.  Don’t feel.  Don’t let them know”.  So after hiding for so many years, God has had me on this journey of letting others in.  In fact, the year began with sharing all the nitty details of my story with a few close female friends.  That was stretching.  And now here I am with two other families.  I felt some comfort from the Holy Spirit.  A friend had given me a word about swinging on a white hammock eating watermelon.  The Lord wanted to show me His goodness this summer.  The place we stayed had a white hammock…

It was a fantastic week.  Not only did we get along really well, but it gave us all freedom to have some alone time with our spouses and with God.  Every morning like clockwork, the Holy Spirit nudged me to roll out of bed, slip on those studded flip flops (the ones they warn you not to wear at the beach in the water, because of attracting sharks), and come watch the sunrise.  He spoke to me so many wonderful things this week about His glory about ready to be shone to being like a bird who is one of the weakest of all creation, yet can fly to the highest heights to taking my fears and tossing them into the sea of His love.

On the last night of our time together, all the adults gathered on the musty screened in porch.  We brought little lanterns out to provide some light.  Each couple took the hot seat, while the others laid hands on them and prayed.  As they got to me and my husband, one friend begins to say, “Did someone burn a candle that has a lemon scent?  I smell lemons, sweet lemons.”  She starts to giggle.  “And I see a lemon custard pie.”  Another friend had said, ” I see a dollop of whipped cream, but I didn’t know what it means.”  So, as she prayed, the words began to flow about how I had had a lot of lemons thrown my way in my life, but my heavenly father was taking those lemons and making me a delicious lemon custard pie.  Not only would I be able to enjoy the deliciousness of it, but when other get around me they would only see and taste of the goodness of that pie.  Well, I just thought that was wonderful.  Sweet lemon flavor is my favorite!

You see, I had been thrown a lot of lemons.  From early childhood, I had experienced horrible abuse, and had hidden it all, until in my thirties when the book of my heart was opened and the Holy Spirit has faithfully, methodically been healing and mending my broken heart.  But I’ve not really seen the full freedom yet.  There have still been some really hard days. Some days I’ve wondered if it would be worth it all.  Some days I have still felt like a dark cloud has sat on my soul, and anxiety has plagued me.  But I know this now, my heavenly father really does love me, and He promises me that He will take all the pain, all the depression, all the crud, and he make something deliciously, mouth-watering good out of it.  I can trust Him, and His promises towards me.  And I don’t have to be strong for that to happen.  I can be as vulnerable and  weak as a little bird that can be crushed in a hand.  But in the hand of my heavenly father,  I just lean back into His wind and I can fly.

By the way, the last morning of our beach adventure, I got up with my husband for our final morning walk with our heavenly father.  As we began our way back, I turned and looked up on a sand dune.  There lay a slice of lemon.

 

 

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Small Town Baptist Church

Well… it’s been a while since I’ve blogged. But I felt the Holy Spirit say it’s time to write again. So, here I sit. I think blogging is really processing. You are trying to process life through the written word. So, I’m processing this upside down ride the Lord has me on at times.

This morning, I sat in a small town First Baptist Church, much like the ones my father might have pastored when I was growing up. The building would’ve been smaller in size, but much the same. Same podium, same high back chairs on stage, two doors to either side of the stage, organ or piano on one side, wooden pews, green carpet, baptismal front and center raised above the stage, and the communion table with the words carved, “Do This in Remembrance of Me”. The only thing missing was the little black attendance board hanging on the side of the stage. Paul smiled as he held the hymnal, and I sang without looking at the words to songs I hadn’t sung in probably 35 years. “At Calvary”, “The Blood Will Never Lose it’s Power”, and on and on echoed back in the memory of the child. I was present, because my baby sister chose to follow after her Savior and leave an existence that almost killed her. In fact, a few more weeks, and her story would’ve have probably been an obituary. When going through her things as she prepared for rehab, I’d found that she’d already written one for herself, and dated it. Instead of death, she chose life, because the choice was laid in front of her in a way she could grasp. God had placed the right people to carry out the rescue plan. Today, my baby sister, was baptized.

The irony of this story is for the past several months, I’ve not been doing so well. Panicky feelings and anxiety have been prevalent again, especially in groups of people, at church, in our fellowship hall, in the middle of worship. It’s been a very frustrating few months for me, for I thought much of this anxiety had been laid to rest so to speak. But I’ve felt the Lord stirring this up, saying look at these fear, face them, and let me take them. He has gently taken me back deeper into memories, I really don’t ever want to look at again. He always meets me in those places, and replaces terror with peace, guilt with love, sorrow with joy. But it is a hard thing. Sometimes those things done to us or things we have done are extremely painful to look at. Sometimes we thing we will die, or at least I have, and yet, in those places I keep finding Him… Life. So, as I sat there today, I realized that one of the hardest memories I have been processing from my childhood these past weeks looked very much like that Baptist Church sanctuary, and the very acts of worship, baptism and communion that we were about to take part in, had been desecrated in my childhood by my father and others. I had been a tool in their hands, and for that I had felt extremely guilty. As I sat there, starting to feel that panic feeling rising, and my head beginning to swim, I heard the voice of the One I Love, Jesus, and He said, “This is very intentional. I am redeeming for you what you have lost and suffered. The very things that caused you the most pain, I am going to turn around to bring you redemption.” My heart began to settle a little as the service continued. As I sat there and watched my sister go under the water, He gently whispered in my ear, “Because you were willing to let me heal you in these painful places, you’ve been able to reach back and let me use you to rescue her. Oh sweet one, this is my redemption for you. This is not like before. This is reversing the damage that was done to you. And this is giving the devil a black eye.” As the service progressed, and it was time for the communion, my anxiety again began to rise, and I heard again the sweet whisper, “This time it’s holy communion. This time it is holy. As you drink and eat this, you drink and eat my life! I am your very substance.” As I took the bread and drank the juice, I saw an image of the face of Jesus and He was crying as He said, “I’m so proud of you for letting me touch you. I know how hard it’s been.” All I can say, is at that moment, I squirmed in my seat a little in disbelief that the Lord had set me up like this. My baby sister sat next to me, my family, then my mom at the far end. It was a surreal moment, but one I want to fully understand.

I don’t know what good He will bring out of this, but I know it’s His story being played out in me. I am so grateful for His Redemption, His grace! Thanks for joining me on the ride!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Saying Hello Again?

In the spring, I took a Bible study that a friend of mine was teaching. At the end, she encouraged everyone to give one word to each person, that they were sensing would be for a particular person. Two words were given to me that I did not understand at all. Boat and wake (as in the wake of the water behind a boat). The teacher said just see what the Lord shows you about those words this summer. So, I did. A couple of weeks later, we get this announcement that our new church was merging with our old church. Shocker indeed! I thought about those words.

A few weeks after that, our new pastor preached a sermon on a crazy helicopter ride he took, how he was terrified, and there was a lot of turbulence. Then, the Lord began in his sermon to download the meaning of those words I had been given. He said to me that He wanted me to get on the boat. The boat was going to a new destination, was going to cut through unchartered, rough waters at times, was going to create a lot of waves, and would create a large wake behind the boat. It was safe in the boat, because HE is there. Don’t look at the waves or behind the boat at the wake, but keep my eyes focused on Him. I would be safe in the boat, and would get to the destination He desired.

A couple of more weeks pass. A friend of mine, emails me a birthday invitation to come out on their new boat on the lake with her and family to celebrate her birthday. I’ve not been on a boat, since I was a teen. I get seasick listening to waves on a cd. Yeah. I laughed out loud. Oh, God has such a sense of humor! He was inviting me to get on the boat, for the physical to represent the spiritual. It was a bit unnerving, because sometimes God asks you do things that are uncomfortable and/or that don’t make any sense. I had a choice. Do I choose what was safe to me, or what God was asking? So… we went boating this summer. I stood up, and kept my eyes on where we were going, on the horizon, and on my heavenly Father, and I was ok. I didn’t get sick. I saw waves for a few days afterwards, but I made it.

SO, in January we finish this merging process with the mother and daughter churches, so to speak. It’s a crazy, stretching ride, that looks like it’s going to be quite an adventure. And yes, it’s making a lot of waves, but it’s not really even started yet. It’s going to make a lot more, and it’s probably going to get rough sometimes. But I know whose in the boat with us. I know we are going to get to our destination. I’m really glad I’m not behind the boat caught in the wake.  I’m really glad we are listening and obeying, and got on the boat.

When I wrote “Saying Goodbye”, the last thought on my mind was “Saying Hello Again”. Yet, that’s exactly where we have found ourselves. We said goodbye to our church home for the last 20 years, last March. We truly believe we were led by the Lord to a new church home. It was very obvious that we were in the right place, with many conformations. And here we are a few short months later saying hello again. AMAZING. AMAZING journey we are on.

PS. Two Sundays ago, our pastor says, “This is a vision of what God has for the new church.” He puts up a picture on the screen of a breaker boat, breaking through ice into new unchartered water.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Sheep’s Tale

IMG_1599

When I was a toddling about, my mom faithfully imparted the Holy Scriptures to my little mind, so much so that by age three I could recite the 23rd Psalm. Little did I know that the Word she implanted in my heart would hold me, and be as a shield about me, for also as young as age three my tiny world fell apart. Abuse began to consume my life, but my heart for the Lord was held safe. I believe part of the reason was because of the Ps. 23.

Here’s the point. Getting the Word of God in a child’s heart when they are little, can preserve a heart, even when faced with the toughest life situations. When my eldest daughter was three, I felt strongly that I was supposed to write Ps. 23 in a engaging way that even a toddler could grasp and understand. Thus the birth of “A Sheep’s Tale”. “A Sheep’s Tale” is a colorful, Suessical-like retelling of the 23rd Psalm, utilizing rhyme, without compromising the written Bible, for included on every page is the Scripture. It’s a hard-bound board book perfect for little hands. Follow me as I take you through Ps. 23.

If you are interested in ordering a copy, please contact me at carolyn.weaver@charter.net. Book cost is $20.00, including shipping and tax. Paypal is appreciated.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Saying Goodbye

Twenty years ago I began a journey with a family, that abruptly came to an end about two months ago.  I’ve been hesitant to write about it, because quite honestly it’s been a painful goodbye.  It was my church family.  I’ve been through the divorce of my biological parents when I was a teen.  It felt similar to that.  Not quite the same, but similar.  Divorce is never non-painful.  It hurts badly.  This week, I went to the children’s ministry department to look through things, to see if I’d left personal belongings and in a way to say goodbye.  When something has been a such a big part of of your life for so many years, you and it just kind assimilate into one.  It was really hard remembering what was mine, because it all just mixed together like what is supposed to happen with family.  It’s not my stuff.  It’s our stuff.  I grabbed out a puppet that my husband had brought to life so many times as Deputy Degun.  He was always messing up the rules, so the kids would tell him what the rules were.  Opening a box, I took out a full body costume of a dog, named Barkalumu, that again my husband brought to life, who was always learning a life lesson.  We worked in children’s ministry for those many years, because we loved it.  We loved the kids.  Even when I could hardly walk from sickness, we were there.  It is still so hard to believe I’m not supposed to show up this Sunday to serve.  With my head hung low, I walked from our classroom, PB and J Club, into the large children’s church room, and pulled the curtains open.  Behind the curtains, is a set that I’d painted scenery in almost 18 years before.  I wanted pictures of it to have a visual reminder of the work I had done.  It had made it through a fire once, a literal one that had happened years before.  Now the fire was different.  Years ago, when I was still single, I remembered laying one evening after everyone had gone on the top step of the stage, and telling God whatever He wanted, whatever He had for me, the answer was yes.  I found, myself wanting to do that again.  I felt God saying, it’s time to lay down what was here, and move into the new place He has for us, to say yes to Him once more. Many times in the recent months, the Lord has gently said to me, and through others, it’s a new season.  It’s a new day.  It’s time to move to a new place.  The best is yet to come!  It’s really hard to say goodbye to people you love, to the familiar places that have grown on you.  But sometimes to grow into all God has, you have to.  Sometimes, it’s forced upon you by others, but even with in that, God has a purpose, and I have to believe, because He says so, it’s a very good purpose.  And ultimately, He knew.  He knew what was to happen, and He made a way.  So, I lift my eyes from the places I’ve been to try to peek into what God has in store in a new place, a new season.  This is a place I’ve not been before, but was created to prosper in.  It’s hard, but it’s time to lay down once again, and let the answer be YES!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Frozen Heart

This may not make much sense.  Maybe it will.  My family and I just returned home from seeing the new Disney movie, “Frozen”.  I’ve not been able to stop crying yet for long.  I’m not going to go into the movie much.  If you’ve not seen it, you’ll just have too for yourself to understand fully.  As I watched it though, I realized my response to life has been like the Queen.  Hide your heart, don’t let anyone in, so that you don’t hurt anyone.  Protect those you love from you.  I’ve been afraid of fear, of anger, because that could lead to evil.  See, I grew up seeing the worst evils done by my own earthly father.  He said he was good, but there was this evil side of him, and the things he did and made us be apart of were just unspeakably evil.  I grew up feeling like I had to be strong.  I had to hide and pretend everything was ok.  I couldn’t let anyone know about the dark side of my my family.  I had to build lots of walls, layer upon layer of protection around my heart, so know one would ever find out, and even I could forget.  Compartmentalize the pain, the memories, so I could stuff it all deep, deep down inside so far know one would ever find it.  All because I didn’t want anyone else to get hurt.  But God knew.

In the last seven years of my life, I’ve been allowing God to peel back the layers, not so that He could expose me, but so that He could enter those places, and show me that He still loves me, and He was always there.  In that process though, I went very, very low.  Depression, suicidal thoughts, panic attacks…  As I hit the low places, I became frantic to protect my family even more from me, because I knew the depth of the darkness I had been in, and I didn’t feel mentally stable.  I felt like any minute I would crash and take my family down with me.  I had to protect them at all cost from what my father had been.  So, I lived myself frozen in fear.  Fear of fear.

But my Lord is so kind to me.  He is so gentle.  He is so loving.  He continues to call me to love.  In the movie, only sacrificial love could save the princess and the Queen.  Only love could set things right.  As I sat there with tears flowing down my cheeks, watching this simple movie, the Lord began unloading to my heart His truth.  His sacrificial love has been given.  His love is what has changed me.  His love is in me, because He is in me.  He just wants me to be free to live in love.  Love will break the bondages of fear and anger.  Love overcomes evil.  I don’t have to protect myself or others. He just wants me to rest in the love He has for me, and let that love flow through me to others.  Love.

Pray with me that I will really get this deep, deep down into every little part of my heart.

And if you’ve not seen the movie, I think you’ll love it!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Harley’s Salvation

It seems that my blogs usually carry a heavy tone, so here’s some fun.  

Markers.  Paper.  Two friends sharing an afternoon together.  Rachel, my nine year old, proudly displayed a drawing of Harley, her best friend’s dog, with clouds and such.  “It’s doggie heaven, mom!” explained Rachel.  I had no idea there was an underlying motive in drawing these pictures.  The two girls ran off to play, leaving the table littered with the remains of their drawings.  Later that evening, I asked Rachel what she had been up to.  ” Oh, Amanda and I shared the gospel with Harley!”, she replied.  I wish you could’ve seen her lit up face.  “Yeah.  We drew a picture of doggie heaven and doggie hell.”  “We told Harley all about them.  Mom, the funny part was that when we showed Harley the picture of hell, Harley got a sad look on his face, and rested his chin on Amanda’s leg, but then when we told him about doggie heaven and showed him the picture, he looked all relaxed and leaned his head on the porch, like he was happy.”, exclaimed Rachel.  I think that dog may have gotten saved that day, thanks to my little missionary child and her best friend!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment