Sunshinelittleone's Blog

All about my love for the Lord

New Year’s Eve…

Oh the joy of change. I welcome it like an old friend. I have tried to change so very many times…always failing…or rather falling short. I never quite complete the goal I have set before me. I reckon the reason is that I have always tried to do it on my own…or rather alone. Without God is a lonesome state of being. I prefer to “go it” with the Lord.

I have been purging. Spiritually and spatially. I am trying desperately to get an inventory of my possessions. Certainly not for bragging rights, but to prevent me from “needing” anything for a really long time. I have been clearing out the cluttered spaces of my mind and home. I find the most difficult space to purge…keep clean…make peace with is my closet. It holds a lot of what I perceive defines me. It holds all of my clothes, my scale and…my running shoes. Through these things I have been known to measure my self worth. So, I imagine there is a fancy metaphor here about the cleansing of that which haunts me and that fact that I am haunted in my closet. I will clean up the mess that is my shoes and I will pray that I do not judge myself by the contents or confines of my closet, but rather leave the judging to Jesus. I will pray to seek his heart and not Micheal Kors’. I will rest in Him instead of cute new yoga pants. I will commit myself to his Word and not Harper’s Bazaars…although they do have a great feature on what to do with what you have! I will put forth my effort to be clothed in Christ and seek to see myself with His eyes.

I have jokingly (halfway) to Rick that we need to buy everything we want by midnight…for tonight marks the eve of our New Year. Not, 2012, but our year of Living With More. We are embarking on what I feel the Lord is laying out before us.

I started out lastnight to make my first grocery list of the new year and was amazed and blessed to learn that with the exception of produce and dairy…we needed nothing to make dinner for the next several days. Wow…haven’t even started our journey and all ready the Lord has blessed us in abundance. Be obedient and He will bless you. Thank you, Lord!

I offer this prayer…may you receive it in the Spirit it was written…

I pray that you are blessed in the Lord each moment of your day. I pray that you spend time edifying one another, exhorting each other in Christ’s name. I pray that you are constantly in the presence of the Holy Spirit, offering to Him all your worry and anxiety. Giving to Him your words and actions that He may work through you with grace and mercy. I pray that you cling to the Lord during times of want and plenty. That you seek His face and hand. I pray that you give yourself completely as an offering to the Lord for through the sacrifice of His one and only Son we may have eternal life in the light of heaven. Live in the Lord, offering to Him all that you are. I pray that you are blessed in abundance. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Happy New Year from the Ewing family!

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Just breathe….

It has already begun. Yes, the stripping down has started and it’s not comfortable. At. All.
I was met by the devil himself yesterday morning as I was getting the kids and myself ready for the day. I was invited to a prayer group for Max’s school. I was so excited to spend time in communion with the Lord, praying over the needs of my children and their school. Praying for teachers and staff. Praying to make a difference, because prayer always does. Well…the devil met me right where he knew I would be most vulnerable and easily attacked. He met me in my mothering skills. I became a crazy woman as I ushered sweet Max out of the house. The level at which I rose my voice was beyond acceptable. I am sure the look on my face rivaled that of the creepiest monster imagined. I was not in control. Oh what a horrible place to be…out of control and at the hands of the enemy. I repented, asked Max’s and the Lord’s forgiveness and took Caroline to school. As I drove to my mom’s group I wept for the Mom I had been…before I had kids. The mom who was always in control. The mom who was fun. The mom who was firm but gentle. Not the mom who is completely nuts!

Well, I was driving with my girlfriend, the one who had invited me to the prayer group. She assured me that none of us are the moms we thought we would be. She is an encourager and I felt her encouragement.

We settled into our prayer time. Reciting scripture relating to the coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We had time for silent, reflective prayer. I asked forgiveness. I felt renewed. I felt loved. I felt wrapped in the arms of the Lord. I felt like, although I was anything but a good mom to the kids that morning, it was all going to be ok. It’s ok because I am able to ask forgiveness from God. He makes it as though my sins never happened.

I realized, or rather the Lord placed it on my heart that I am constantly under spiritual attack. The attacks are most vicious and cunning when my intentions are to honor and worship the Lord. We must stand firm against these attacks. We must be dressed in the Armor of God. We must start each day fully protected against satan’s lies and deception. He will try to derail you every second of everyday. He can be successful if we don’t clothe ourselves in Christ. If we are living in the flesh; of the world; for ourselves, we give him a foothold. DON’T DO IT! Rebuke him each day…all day.

I came to a startling realization about a year ago. I was sitting in bible study and one of my classmates came in late. She said that the devil had met her in her closet that morning. She said that he does this often, usually on days she goes to bible study and on Sundays. Ahhh…days she is deliberately communing with the Lord….bringing Him glory. Lightbulb moment! Yes, it dawned on me…he meets me there too. So I went home and rebuked the devil from my closet. I stood in there inviting Jesus and banishing the devil. My closet is a happy place now, not a place of self-deprecation and loathing…the way it had been.

That’s what happened yesterday as I was preparing myself and the children for our days. The devil knew that I was headed to worship; praise; seek counsel from the Lord. He got jealous and he got under my skin…and I let him! He met me in my mothering. He evoked in me a fury of anger. That is not of God. So, now I know. I need to be mindful. I need to be aware of the emotions that begin to erupt when I am preparing to be with my God. I need to catch them before they catch, and capture, me.

SO, why has it “already” started. Well…the next year of Living With More is essentially an offering of my entire self to the Lord. A sacrificial offering…a burnt offering…a tithe of sorts. I am preparing my heart that I may seek God fully and not be influenced by the father of lies. I must be adequately armed as any warrior entering war. I need to be completely covered in the Lord. I need to be like David…IN THE LORD. I must trust in HIM fully and be willing to battle the enemy at any moment…battle evil with righteousness.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition wo all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” Ephesians 6:10-18

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Something new and very scary

I have way too much stuff. Many of us do. We spend our time accumulating things. Honestly, it exhausts me. Knowing the time, energy and money I have spent makes me sad. I have recently finished reading and studying the book of James. James reminds us to spend wisely. Be generous. Do not hoard. Do not indulge. I indulge. Too much. I am not a lavish spender…no, I am more of a nickle and dime spender. I like thrift shops, dollar stores and sales at big discount clothiers…TJ MAXX, Target, the like. I feel a rush of excitement when I come across a deal. As though my stomach is a butterfly net and I have caught dozens. Then it ends. After a bit the thrill wears off. I need to stop shopping. I need to make an effort to minimize my spending and maximize my savings. I need to use my resources to further the Kingdom of Heaven, not the vastness of my shoe collection.

Now begins the change.

So, awhile back I came across a particulary unique ‘social’ experiment. A year without buying anything new, or unnecessary. Wow. Now, there’s a thought. I heard about this two years ago. I have been thinking and praying and mulling it over in my mind for that long. Recently with such intense fervor that I just have to do it. I have to spend the next 365 days without anything new or unnecessary. And, if I have to do that…so does my family. We have talked about it some. Rick has kindly entertained my ramblings of how I want to be a more responsible consumer, change my ways, live with less. Well the count down begins.

January 1st 2012 will mark our “Year Without”. Ick, I don’t like that moniker. I need to think of why I am doing this…really, why? Well, as I read in James, we are called to be generous with the Lord’s resources. It’s His money afterall, not mine. So I will re-title our adventure “Living With More”. Ultimately the “MORE” will be the relationship I have with God…More. It needs to be. Our relationship needs to be stonger, I need to come closer. He never moves, just me.

This is going to be one of the greatest tests of my life. I am going to rely on the Lord each day as I learn to live with what I have; below my means; humbly. I have to learn, for myself and my family, that we have a lot and we need nothing more. We need nothing! The challenge lies in the impulsive need to “shop”. Just look! Browse! Kill time! Basically any excuse can draw me to a store and away from God. It’s true and I am ashamed. My time with God is going to be more. Living with Him more…together in constant communion…because He knows I will need Him there every step of the way. It may not seem difficult for many. “Just don’t shop.” True and right, but not easy. No, nothing about this sounds easy. It has a polarity about it. It sounds liberating and freeing all the while lending to an air of suffocation at the idea that I will not be able to shop.

The most difficult part of this new journey is that I am not the best at sticking to my word. Another lesson from Jesus in James…”Let your yes be yes and your no be no.” I will do this. I will make every effort to succeed. I will write. I will be honest. I will live a year with more.

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