THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: JULY 31, 2019

Today is a new day and as I walk into it I’ve reflected on the day of yesterday. I have just reread yesterday’s blog entry and for the most part, the day fit right into what was planned. However, there was one specific item which never materialized and it left me very troubled by the end of the day. As I brought it to my Father this morning asking what I am to know and believe from Him for today, He spoke clearly. “If I am to be of assistance for someone, I must first believe I am bringing Light–God’s Light to the picture. I cannot be a Light carrier if I do not see the Light myself.”

In the situation of last evening I could only see frustration, man’s ways and man’s wants. I could hardly say anything for I could see nothing good attach to in words. Nothing was resolved and yet there were no condemning statements–only that sense of hopelessness. This morning God really awakened me to my role first and foremost. If I am to be a warrior in His Army I am to first of all prepare myself for battle. This means I am to believe He is present and allow Him to shed His Light. He only addresses hopelessness, as in the case of last night, as we put the hopelessness up against His Light. It is then that hopelessness is seen as darkness and the evil intent Satan has for it.

Yesterday was a day where I saw much of God’s Light as I walked through it. However, when I got to last night there was no Light shining. Now I recognize it (my part) and I believe. I believe there is an outcome which God will orchestrate. I will do the part He asks me to do and let His Light so shine!

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: JULY 30, 2019

Today has a number of tasks to get done. Some of them are simply chores like mowing the lawn, cleaning the swimming pool and treating the water; others are ministry things for the forthcoming start of Restoration classes in September and Celebrate Recovery’s kickoff in September. There are two other things which I typically would do with much anxiety for they are confronting issues. When I was talking to God about them this morning He was reminding me that doing things His Way enables people to see His Light which gives them direction. He does not condemn, He shows us how to get out of darkness and into Light. This is what He wants us to do when we need to confront someone–do it as He does–by shedding His Light. I can only do this when I let Him be in the lead and I am His servant. I really needed to hear this today and in so doing, all the anxiety left.

Wrapping up the reunion yesterday with the last of our company leaving, I have to say again just how much I loved this time. I got to know some of our family so much better and also got to know some family I didn’t know at all–only names. As I said yesterday, the thing I enjoyed the most was being myself without all the bondage of self-image I’ve carried all of my life until most recently. Being a new creation takes on a whole new meaning when we finally allow God to take the “stains of our past” and make them tools in His tool chest instead of “our identity”. To God be all Glory! How much I love Him!

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: JULY 29, 2019

This journey of life each one of us lives is a wonderful gift God has given us. I am awakened to so much truth this weekend. I’ve lived so long under the lies of my past abuse. I thought I’d need to earn any credibility with our family. I didn’t want to be a Lewis from my dad’s side of the family. I wanted to be a Wretling from my mom’s side. At least the Wretling’s didn’t show any evidence of abuse and their history showed being kind and good to people. However, I am a Lewis by name and an example of God putting the genes of the two families together to create who I am. God did this on purpose just as He did all of the family members. I found myself rejoicing throughout the weekend to be who I am. It is an amazing thing to finally feel like a genuine, new creation in Christ–not ashamed any longer for being the person I am. Instead, I get to be on assignment to complete God’s purposes for giving me life. I don’t have to prove myself worthy–God gave me worthiness through His creation of me. There is no haughtiness in this as dad would have said, there is simply a passion to be one of God’s kids on assignment for Him doing what He motivates and leads me to do.

I will always look back on this weekend as one to give thanks to God for bringing all of us kids together. To God be all Glory!

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: JULY 28, 2019

Yesterday was a tremendous day. Not only did the event go on with great success, I learned so much about our family I hadn’t known up until this time. I’m so glad this weekend took place!

Yesterday morning the quartet I sing in was to sing for a funeral of a man who had been a wonderful mentor to some of our Celebrate Recovery young men. Two of those young men gave tribute to him during the service. Ahead of the service our senior pastor talked to me briefly about doing a radio interview with Christopher Yuan as we approach his coming mid-September. I love the idea and pray this can materialize. It would assist the advertisement of the weekend tremendously. I love how God works! In my finite mind I envision the things happening which I know about and plan. However, when I take a step away and see what God is planning and that I don’t need to be in charge, I can see a much greater vision of work being done. It is an amazing process learning to let God lead and to know I just need to do my part. I know I’m not done with this big lesson, but I do love seeing how God works and patiently teaches what obedience of Him is all about.

Today we meet one last time as a family unit for a breakfast and send off for all those who came in from afar for this event. It has been a blessing much better and bigger than any of us ever dreamed. God is so GOOD!

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: JULY 27, 2019

I didn’t get yesterday’s post written. I had to be at the airport to pick up my daughter and granddaughter @ 12:45 am the night before and so I didn’t get back home and in bed until 2:00 am. Yesterday morning I was meeting with a superintendent candidate for a district close by. This person is one I’ve worked closely with for several years and she’s in the top 3 for the position. The decision will be made next Tuesday. Thus, by the time I’d finished my devotions I needed to head to our meeting place.

Last night we had a great time with the family present for our dinner and the start of the reunion weekend. Lots of laughter, conversation and teasing. There is something in the Lewis’ blood that keeps this alive. People who are married into the family say they know when they are accepted because the teasing includes them. I’m not sure that is a complimentary trait of our genes. Today will be the big day. There are over 100 who have indicated they are coming to this. I’ve prayed over this event several times now. I pray God will not only be present, but glorified in this day.

I found myself worrying as I awoke several times during the night. The details of the weekend and the coming week are very present in my mind. As I was journaling this morning and asking God what He wanted me to know and believe He reminded me I can choose to worry or I can choose to trust and obey. These details will transpire whether I worry about them or not. If I choose to trust rather than worry I can better see Him at work in the details. I’m going to trust today as we come together. God is God and I simply want to thank Him that I get to be one of His kids along with all the other of the Lewis’ clan which will gather.

the journey continues: july 25, 2019

Yesterday I wrote in part about the family of Harold and Opal. These are the kids, grandkids and great and great grandkids who will be gathering starting tomorrow night. What I didn’t write is that the generation before mom and dad was Grandma and Grandpa Wretling (mom’s parents). Because I’m reading I Chronicles presently I read about the lineage of the Jewish nation starting back with Abraham and Sarah. God made promises to them which we can see the results of as we read the scriptures.

I write this because my lineage and that of all my relatives tie back to the grandparents we have. It was Grandma Wretling who had the sign on her nursing home door which read: Prayer Warrior. I asked grandma on one visit who she prayed for? She told me she prayed for everyone of her grandchildren through all the generations. I knew there were close to a hundred by that time so I asked how she remembered all of their names? She told me, “I don’t remember all of their names but Jesus does and I’m holding Him accountable for each of their salvation!”

Yesterday I was talking with one of my brothers and sis in law about who is coming. I was amazed at the measures some are taking to be here. Yet, I also heard some roadblocks for others. Some of these roadblocks are simply man and his human pride. This morning I tapped into God’s Army (see I Chronicles 12:22) for these issues. There is a wonderful opportunity for Grandma’s prayers to be glorified this weekend. Satan wouldn’t want issues to be addressed lovingly. He wants them to be the roadblocks. Well, God’s Army is going to be tackling these so Satan will have to flee! To God be all Glory for great things He hath done!

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: JULY 24, 2019

Today is my oldest living sister’s birthday and I forgot it until last night. July has a lot going on this year and this is one detail I’ve overlooked. I’m running to the store as soon as I finish typing this, get her the “right” card and mail it. Our reunion will be in just a couple days and she is no longer able to travel and come even though her heart will be present I’m sure. Alice has been instrumental in my recovery and I’ll always thank God for her sensitivity in seeing my need well before I was willing to step out of my denial.

If you haven’t read the first 9 chapters of I Chronicles, do it soon. It is an amazing list of the Jewish lineage. Starting with I Chronicles 1:27 you see Abraham’s name. It is there that God had made the promise of the Jewish nation starting with him. When I paused to think about this I realized for Abraham, it was only a promise. He and Sarah only had one son at that time yet God was telling him his offspring would be like the “sands of the seashore”. By the time you have read the 9 chapters I reference you see clearly the sands God was talking about. God’s promises are true but our limited mind-frame wants it true right now. God, instead of instantly gratifying this trait of flesh, tells us to have faith and then believe. Abraham did this and look at the results today!

This Saturday there will be about 105 Lewis’ gathering for our reunion. There will be at least 1/3 more unable to attend. These are the offspring of Harold and Opal. This morning I was reflecting for a moment about the correlation of I Chronicles and our own “sands of the seashore”. It is not so much that there are many of us, what truly amazes me is that all of them want to come and be here. Family is that important. On the surface, I’ve never believed I was important to our family. I was just an anomaly to be accommodated. Yet, I’ve learned I’m important just as my family is important to me. God is teaching me to believe and have faith just like He kept telling Abraham. God loves family and He wants us loving one another. I’m so glad we have each other to love. God is so GOOD!

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: JULY 23, 2019

Today is Kathy’s birthday. She is holding fast to middle age, I am getting older. Either way, it is a day to celebrate. I’m so grateful God gave her to me and I to her more than 37 years ago now.

I was up early this am, 2:50 to be exact, to get my oldest daughter and my oldest granddaughter to the airport. My granddaughter is looking at colleges for her to attend when she graduates next spring. I love this kind of help especially when it is attached to such worthwhile purpose. Next week we drive to another one. She hopes to choose one of the two. I’m praying God will make the choice abundantly clear to her. She wants to be a special education teacher so this of course thrills my heart!

God is in control of all we do. When I simply take one small step away from the control center I can see this. I tend to get right into the control center before I realize I need to step back so I can let God do what is rightfully His to do–Lead me. I don’t want to be the one seen as in control. I want to be seen as one who obeys the leadership of God. This is truly a day by day surrender too for me. I give myself to Him today.

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: JULY 22, 2019

Today ends the reunion time in Wallowa. One more family member is coming this morning for a visit over coffee and then we head home. At that point we start gearing up for the Lewis reunion this coming weekend.

This morning I finished the book of II Kings. Several hundred years have passed since God set the Israelites up as a nation and now they are no longer that. When I read this I wonder why they had become so blind to living for God? Then, I look at us today and it’s not so difficult to see, because we seem to be on a similar track. All over the world, when a country is grounded in God at its beginning, it seems to slip slowly into serving the ways of man rather than the ways of God. We continue to want to make us the god of our lives. There are numerous examples I could name, but I know each one of us can name our own as well as name ones which our own country is wanting to serve.

I know God is wanting me to keep my eyes on Him and my ears open to hearing His Spirit within. In addition to this He is wanting me to believe Him and His Spirit along with believing “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13. I can get discouraged when I look beyond what God is wanting me to do. I know He wants my eyes on what He shows me is my part in His Kingdom work. Today I want to stay focused only on this. GOD IS SO GOOD!

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: JULY 21, 2019

It is quite remarkable today sitting down to write this blog entry. I had an unexpected gift given to me last night which greatly impacts what I write today. After all the company had left from the reunion, Dwight (Kathy’s younger brother) and I were sitting on the deck at their sister’s. He is the one who got me connected originally with Celebrate Recovery and our present restoration ministry. We talked about the work of the ministries and the impact of them for others’ recovery. I opened up to him regarding the recent discovery I’ve had regarding my need to face the neglect of mom during my childhood with the abuse. I just needed her to check in with me but that never occurred.

As we talked I was able to tell him how I’ve always seen my sin. Even though I know my sins were nailed to the Cross of Christ, personally, I’ve never known what to do with the sins of dad and my brother. They seemed to be nailed to the cross for their sake, but they were still housed in me. It wasn’t until last Spring when I went through the lesson in Mending the Soul facing neglect as an area of abuse that I finally faced fully the impact of mom’s neglect and the damage it did. In so doing this and seeking a few weeks of professional counseling with it, I found myself free of dad and my brother’s sin bondage. I began to see myself as the new creation God said I was (am). I also saw my sins as mine and no longer owned the other sins done to me.

Talking to Dwight last night was the first time I’ve actually articulated this fully to someone. It feels really good today to have done that. God is so amazing! I love how He patiently waits for our readiness to take us to the next step in our own recovery. All the while, He may be using us for someone else’s recovery. This is exactly what He did last night using Dwight for me. How thankful I am.