Rebecca Duvall

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Disappointed To Blessed

Snoopy writingOver a year ago I began the journey of writing a book.  A book about my life & marriage before and after having a relationship with God.  I found a Ghost Writer to help get my words and feelings down in a way that flowed.  As I have stated before, I do not, and probably never will, consider myself to be a writer.  The beginning of the journey was difficult but exciting.  I spent hours at the computer typing away.  I couldn’t get my fingers to move as fast as my brain was going.  Sometimes I had to stop because I couldn’t see past the tears running down my face.  Many sections were very emotional for me to relive.

Several months past and I finally had my story written.  What it now needed was the touch of someone who could fix all of my grammatical errors and help me emphasize the different feelings I was experiencing throughout the story.  The Ghost Writer and I went back and forth.  He would ask for more details and I would tell him as much as I could remember.  The first few months of this process seemed fine.  We talked about the layout of the book and where to begin and end each chapter.

It was early summer and the day finally came!  He had all he needed, a few weeks, maybe a month and it would be done!  I was sitting on the edge of my seat waiting with anticipation!  I couldn’t wait to see my story ready for print.  I began to imagine what it would be like as an author with a book on the shelves in stores.  It made me feel apprehensive.  What if the readers didn’t like my story or thought it was dumb?  That’s how this blog came about.  I’m facing my fears and relying completely on God’s guidance.

Summer comes and goes, and still no book.  There were natural disasters, deaths and so on and so on.  He always had an excuse and a promise to when it would be done.  I think I’m a pretty patient person.  I can tolerate a lot and usually believe what people tell me unless they give me obvious reason not to.  I become discouraged and start to wonder if maybe I misunderstood what God wanted me to do.  Maybe I was to write the book for myself and no one else.  Then I realized, I hadn’t been praying about the book.  Once I finished my part I stopped praying and kinda left it in God’s hands.  Just Pray

I began praying for the creation of my book every day, asking Him to be over all the details. I prayed about my fears & wishes regarding putting my story out for all to read.  I also lifted up the Ghost Writer assigned to my book.  I prayed for God to guide him giving him the time and words to complete my book in a way that was pleasing to Him.

Months go by and my prayers are finally answered, but not in the way I was hoping.  I received an email explaining I would be assigned a new Ghost Writer because the one currently assigned to my book was no longer with the company.  Say what?!?!?!  I felt disappointed and furious.  I was ready to give up.  Why in the world would God put me through such craziness?  I was flustered and had no idea what to do except give up completely.

God recently spoke to me through a friend and my oldest daughter.  Both reminded me how annoyed and disappointed I was time and time again with the original Ghost Writer.  This was a blessing.  I had asked God to be over all the details and He was.  He made the change I desperately wanted but was afraid to ask for.  I’m thankful God knows our inner most thoughts and the Holy Spirit intercedes on our behalf.

….. the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.  And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. ~ Romans 8:26-27

I’m happy to say I’m, again, excited and looking forward to what God is doing and will continue to do with the creating of my book.  I gave this to God a while back, trusting He would guide me through the entire process.  The only reason I’m doing this is because I believe it’s His will.  So I will persevere and trust that His timing and plan is far better than mine.

My prayer for us today ~ Father God, Thank you for the Holy Spirit which brings our inner most desires and fears to you when we cannot. I pray we look to You in the midst of our disappointments knowing You will never disappoint, Amen.

Seeking His Will

Over Here no this wayHave you ever stopped to look around and wonder how in the world you ended up doing what you were doing?  Well, I’ve been doing that a lot over the past few years.  Not in a bad way, a good way.  Actually, in more of an exciting scary kind of way.

A few years ago the Pastor at the church we attend, Covenant Community Church, did a sermon on the Lord’s Prayer. He walked us through each line of the prayer so we would understand what we were praying, saying to God, each time we said it.  The line “Your will be done” hit me hard.  I realized I was asking God for His will to be done in my life, but did I mean it?  How would I know if I was doing God’s will or my will?

I started praying for God to show me His will for my life, give me the desire to do His will and to see the opportunities when they came.  Since doing this my world has changed, dramatically.  I have discovered that God’s will for me is way outside of my comfort zone.

God usually gives me the desire, a heads up, to do something before the opportunity comes up.  Probably because I always bring up the The will of Godfollowing points with God why He’s nuts to think I could do such a thing.  As I’m sure you can imagine, this creates some interesting conversations with God.

  • I’m not important/popular enough
  • I’m not smart enough
  • I don’t have enough experience
  • I’m to weird/spazy
  • I’m to busy
  • No one wants ME to do it

Once I get through all of the above points and God is still pointing me in His direction and the opportunity comes about, I’m usually ready to move forward with His will.  Sometimes this takes longer than others, depending on what God is putting in front of me.

Recently, I was telling a friend about my experience being a BSF Group Leader (Bible Study Fellowship).  I was trying to express how much I enjoyed it and especially how I was blessed by the ladies in my leaders group and the ladies in the group I facilitated. The more I talked the more she seemed confused and displeased.  By her comments I got the impression she thought it was a group with too many rules and no place for God.  I began to get frustrated but determined to help her understand that was not the case.  After a quick silent prayer I told her about the compliments I had received since becoming a BSF leader.  She now had a confused look on her face and said “Rebecca, you are one of the spaziest people I know.”  I smiled, looked at her and said “I know”.  After a few moments she said “It’s the Holy Spirit”.  Yes indeed, it was the Holy Spirit!  I am a complete spaz just as my friend had said.BSF-logo

Before I was asked to be a BSF leader God put the idea in my head.  I of course went through the above listed discussion points with God and then dismissed the idea.  A few weeks later I was asked to consider, pray about, being a BSF leader.  I knew then this was Gods will for me. Over the summer as I continued to pray about it I told God I had no idea why He picked me for this or how I would accomplish the task.  I also told Him I completely trusted He knew what was needed to be a BSF leader and wouldn’t let me mess anyone up.  I believed with all my heart God would give me all I needed each and every time to accomplish the task He had put before me.  I have to admit, it is a lot of work, but God provides the time, the understanding family and blesses me for being willing to do His work.

With each new desire God puts on my heart I know I do not have what it takes to do it on my own.  I also know God will work with me and through me, with the Holy Spirit, to accomplish everything He desires of me.

To do listWhen you pray, do you give God a list of things you wish He would do?  Or do you ask God to show you what He would like you to do and how to do it?  Ask God to fill your heart with the desires He has for you.  I promise you will find yourself accomplishing some wonderful things if you do.

My prayer for us today ~ Lord, thank you for the example of Jesus, the Holy Spirit which guides us and your never ending love. I pray we see the opportunities to do Your will and have the courage to act on them, AmenLords Prayer

Do You Exercise?

GymAbout two years ago it seemed like EVERYONE I knew went to the gym, ran, biked or all of the above…..REGULARLY!  It made me feel so lazy.  I feel awkward at the gym.  I feel like everyone is judging what I can and cannot do and how I look while doing it.  I know in reality no one cares, it’s my lack of self confidence.

I can’t run, well, yes I can.  I guess it would be more honest for me to say I don’t want to run.  When I was a freshman in High School our PE teacher made us run every day.  I didn’t enjoy it but did it because I wanted an A.  In the Spring I was told I should join the track or cross country team.  I remember thinking they were off their rocker.  I think I laughed and said something like “Why in the world would I do that?”.  I was told I was fast and kept good pace while running.  I never did join either team.  I couldn’t imagine myself doing something I didn’t like.  It just didn’t make sense.  I was a teenager after all.  I didn’t have much in the way of reasoning due to all my Frontal Lobe issues.  😛 brain-functions

Biking isn’t my thing either.  I know quite a few people who bike in groups.  It seems fun, kinda, and it is a great way to exercise.  I think I would be worried about getting hit by a car or falling.  Everyone I see out riding their bike seems to know what they’re doing.  I wouldn’t have a clue how to get started or what to do.  Oh, and I look like a dork wearing a helmet.  There it goes again, my lack of confidence.  I know no one cares. Everyone else wears a helmet and I think they look fine.  I really need to work on that confidence thing.

So what do I do for exercise you ask?  Well, I use to walk, a lot.  About 5 days a week for maybe an hour and a half each time.  I would usually listen to music while walking.  Although sometimes I would chat with God and marvel at His creation while I walked.  I usually felt so peaceful and calm after walking.  The time I spent walking was the glue that kept me together during some difficult times.trees along a path

I no longer have the desire or time to walk like I use to.  I’ve learned to talk to God throughout my day, so I don’t need to be on a walk to chat with Him.  Walking doesn’t seem to be enough for my body either.  It doesn’t get my blood pumping.

I feel like God has been speaking to me the last few months about taking better care, physically, of myself.  He’s given me the desire to get physically fit.  I haven’t figured out what that looks like yet.  It’s a work in progress.  I know I am not physically fit or even close to it.  I may be thin, but I’m weak and not flexible at all.  I have a stair-stepper at home I now do for about 30 minutes 4 days a week.  I usually hold weights while working out.  When I’m done I’m weak, sweaty and my blood is definitely pumping!  I’ve been feeling like I need more exercise.  Please pray for me to figure out what that is.  I’m lazy when it comes to being physically fit, so I could use prayers for less laziness for more determination.

music notesMy favorite part, and what keeps me going, is listening to music (MercyMe, Jamie Grace, Lincoln Brewster, Mandisa, Britt Nicole, etc).  Listening to the words helps me put my focus on God while exercising.  After all, He did give me this body and the Holy Spirit dwells within.  I would like to have a healthy and fit body for the Holy Spirit to dwell in.

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;  you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. ~ 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

How do you exercise?  Please share, I would love to hear and would appreciate the ideas.

My prayer for us today ~ Lord, thank you for the body You have given each of us and how beautifully it works. I pray You give us each the desire to take proper care of our body, Amen

Reflecting

reflectionThe last few days I’ve been looking back over the year.  At first I thought I hadn’t done anything worth remembering.  Since the previous year I gave my husband a kidney, I thought it would be kind of hard to follow that.  I had to pull out the calendar to help me remember the past year.  This has truly been a year filled with many blessings.

This is my 2013 in a nutshell:

  • January ~ I started writing a book & Robert started the Chaplain academy
  • February ~ I attended a Women’s Retreat at Bayside Church in Granite Bay
  • March ~ I was the speaker for our local MOMSnext group
  • April ~ I attended the Revolve Tour with my daughters
  • May ~ I became a BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) Group Leader
  • June ~ Our oldest daughter graduated High School and we took a family trip to Disneyland
  • July ~ I helped teach the songs & dances for VBS (Vacation Bible Study) & went to Reno with Robert, alone
  • August ~ We had our annual family trip to Tahoe & I started blogging
  • September ~ Robert graduated from the Chaplain academy and my daughter & I walked in the Avon Walk, San Francisco
  • October ~ A friend and I volunteered at the Women of Faith, Sacramento
  • November ~ Robert and I had another trip, alone, to San Diego
  • December ~ it’s been a wonderful relaxing time with family & friends2 timothy 1 7 blue

Many of the things listed above I would never have guessed I would have done this year, or any year.  I was always afraid to try new things.  I was afraid I wouldn’t do it well, or I would some how or another make someone upset for not doing it the way they thought it should be done.  My fear was holding me prisoner.  My fear was keeping me from doing the things I wanted to do.

Through prayer, I turned all my fears, and desires, to God.  I continue to do this regularly too.  I make sure God knows my desires and my fears behind them.  This way, when an opportunity or situation comes my way, I believe it’s from God.  I have faith God will be there with me.love greater than fear

The past few summers I thought the person jumping up and down to the VBS music, teaching the kids the dance moves was the luckiest person there.  It looked so fun and I wished I could do it.  So when I had the opportunity to help with it last summer I couldn’t say no.  I have to tell you, I cannot sing and I do not pick up on dance moves quickly, but I sure did have fun! I’m looking forward to doing it again next year too!

Every week the Pastor of our church recites John 15:5 ‘I am the vine, you are the branches.  If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.’

I love hearing this each week.  It reminds me God doesn’t expect, or want, me to do anything without Him.  He wants to be a part of every detail of our life & everything, anything, is possible with God.vine branches

So I encourage you.  No…..I double dog dare you!  Spend some time with God, telling Him your desires and fears.  Maybe even write them down.  Then pay attention, because next year is going to be an amazing year with God by your side!

My prayer for us today ~ Lord, I thank you for the Holy Spirit which dwells within us. I pray you reveal to each of us your will for the coming year.  I pray we each take more quiet time to hear your will and act quickly when we do, Amen

Invite HIM

Over the past few years I’ve heard different people say “Isn’t it wonderful when God shows up?” and my answer use to always be “Yes, God is good!”.   Well, a few weeks ago I heard it again.  “Isn’t it wonderful when God shows up?”  This time my normal response, “Yes, God is good” didn’t seem right.  All I could do was smile.

As I walked away, I asked myself why that question seemed so wrong.  I mean, it’s wonderful when we see God working throughout our day, right?  Wasn’t that what was being expressed?  I use to think that’s all it was. Simply expressing how excited you were to see God working.  But, that’s not what that statement says.  It says ….when God shows up.  As if He wasn’t already there.  Like He decided to be there and suddenly reveal Himself to you.

Deuteronomy 31:6 says ‘….., for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.’ 

So it’s not correct to say ‘God showed up’ because he’s always there.  The Holy Spirit is always with us and in us.  God goes with us and will never leave us.  God is with you while driving to work, taking the kids to school, sleeping, grocery shopping and even when arguing with someone.

That got me thinking.  Why do we sense God more at different times of our day, week, month or life?  Then I remembered something my dear friend Martha use to always ask me, “Did you invite God in?”

pray continuallyHow do we continually invite God in?  1 Thessalonians 5:17 says “pray continually”

As we go through each day we need to remember God is there with us and He is waiting for us to invite Him in.  God loves us and desires to help us through our circumstances.

Last week my oldest daughter, Ashley, came up to me upset.  She had a rough couple of weeks at school.  She just started college and was thinking she might have made the wrong choice in schools and programs.  I tried to reassure her and tell her she was in the best place because I saw God’s hand in all the planning and timing of her getting where she was.  Unfortunately, I’m mom, and don’t know what I’m talking about.  I tried to think of what else I could do to reassure her, but knew nothing I did or said would help the situation.  I then quietly, in my head, asked God for help.  I prayed for God to help Ashley realized she was exactly where she belonged.

I then suggested she go to her school to talk with her counselor and explain what she was unsure of and why.  She asked me to go so I did, but just for support.  I continued to pray during the drive that God would help Ashley understand she was in the right place.  When we arrived we were able to sit down with a counselor right away.  Ashley asked me to go in with her.  I know she was nervous.  The conversation between Ashley and the counselor was amazing.  I knew God was leading it.  Every word the counselor said was exactly what Ashley needed to hear and exactly how she needed to hear it.  I Praised and thanked God continually during the conversation.  I invited God in, instead of trying to figure out how to make Ashley happy myself.  Ashley is now at peace with where she is and what she’s doing.

Isn’t it amazing when we invite God in?your invited

My prayer for us today ~ Lord, we thank you for walking along side us and pray we learn to invite You in to all our circumstances, Amen

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