Hidden Identity

You are of a chosen generation. You are feeling that in-between space which consists of where you once were and where you are going In Him. Look to God’s creation for inspiration here. Is it any wonder that the caterpillar builds a cocoon to hide away from the world during its transformation? The hermit crab buries itself in sand as it molts. But the difference is that they do not stay in the in-between, they press on to NEWNESS as they hear the voice of their Creator calling unto them to TRANSFORM. And so they obey. Is it instinct? Is it more than instinct? What I know is that you are not meant to permanently dwell in this in-between stage you find yourself in; you are not meant to live here. But it is ok that you find yourself there at this moment in time.

SH’ma. Listen for when it is time to arise.

Sh’ma is Hebrew for ‘listen and adjust your life to the Words you hear.’ Listen and allow yourself to BECOME that which He calls you to become. When it is time, Arise! In an act of love and devotion and faith in the One Who gives you His NEWNESS, arise. THIS is your identity; just as much as it is in the Before and in the In-between. Your identity is ‘the one who moves toward his/her God’.

Even if you have turned away from SO MUCH…now it is time to move on with the Lover of your soul. It is in the moving on WITH God, that you find your TRUE IDENTITY, the one He has had for you all along. Hebrit in the Hebrew language is ‘Hebrew’. One who crosses over. You are a Hebrew. And you are loved. And He died for you so that you could BE with Him. That is your identity. Don’t despise the journey, yours may look different from anyone else’s. The prize is in moving closer to God.

Be Blessed,

Gail

The Day of Awakening

People who are over-scheduled, over-worked and over-stressed are lethargic and not able to reach for much beyond the daily grind. I know this by watching people and by experiencing it myself at times. In the West, we’ve taken this to an art form and even consider it a badge of honor to be so busy in life. I wonder where this came from? It is not from God. He regularly scheduled breaks for us, with weekly sabbaths, monthly observances of the new moon, and cyclical feast and observance days in His calendar. By and large Christians are not taking advantage of His Days and so they slumber on, dreaming they are awake. Ok, I’m being dramatic, but I want to set the stage. Christians are a tired, overworked people with a solution right in front of us that we don’t see.

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Identity

The solution is to stop striving for identity in the things that we do. Instead we can look at our identity as the people of God, based on His choosing us, not anything we did.  Identity is about membership in a group and is essentially social. We are who we are in community. We are the children of God, not a collective of individuals. 1 Corinthians 12 talks about how each of us has a vital part to play in the collective Body of Messiah. Fierce independence is a western ideal, not a hebraic one. And really, we are poorer for not taking advantage of the collective identity we have. God’s Word is meant to be lived out in community. So are His holy days marking our son (and daughter)ship.

A great way to integrate your adopted child into your family and bring them identity is through your becoming more identified with God’s family through His holy days. Celebrating these days with others just like you around the globe is a great way to demonstrate belonging. We are in the season of the fall biblical holy days so this is a great time to build traditions in your family that set you apart as family and God’s family. As your child awakens to their identity as your son or daughter and no longer an orphan, take this time to also awaken to your own identity as a child of God and no longer a spiritual orphan. Use God’s identifiers. Be the Body of Messiah.

The Fall Biblical Days

The first of the fall biblical days is addressed in the following scriptures:

Speak to the children of Israel, saying, ‘In the seventh month on the first of the month, you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall not do any laborious work, but you shall present an offering by fire to the LORD'” (Leviticus 23:23-25).

“And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work, For you it is a day of blowing the trumpets.” (Numbers 29:1)

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The set apart day occurs in the seventh month of the Biblical calendar (Not July on our western calendars) so it parallels the Sabbath (7th day of the week) as a special and holy time to seek God. It is as if we have divine permission to set aside the things that distract us from seeking God deeply.

Day of Trumpet Blowing

Interestingly, this holiday has no name given in the scriptures. It’s referred to by several names, one of them being Yom Teruah (the day of the sounding of the shofar or rams horn), so it became known as the Feast of Trumpets.

Scripture reveals the prophetic meaning of the Feast of Trumpets with its sounding of the trumpet/horn. This holy day points forward to a time when God’s people will be gathered back to the land (Isaiah 27:13). Gathering implies first identifying. Many of God’s people are already awakening to their identity in Him. Also, this day points to the time when Messiah will return (1 Corinthians 15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18). Other rabbinical traditions teach the blowing of trumpets is a reminder of the ram’s horns blown by Joshua and the Israelites at Jericho (Joshua 6); and also a reminder of the ram that Abraham sacrificed in place of his son Isaac (Gen. 22), pointing to Yeshua/Jesus.

This season asks, ‘will you hear and heed the call of the shofar? Reflection, repentance, and renewing our heart toward God, self, and man are all deep aspects of this day. It’s as if we are being called to awaken from a spiritual sleep by the sound of the shofar.

I think sometimes when we parent hurt children, we get so caught up in what isn’t that we forget the Who Is and we forget that as parents we have His authority to speak health and healing into our child. We can speak God’s life into our children, we can recognize His life in our own being. We are the ones God entrusted our children to raise. This is part of your identity.

 

 

Short term or long term parenting?

For many of us parents of children from hard places, we get overwhelmed with our child’s needs and can only think in the here and now, like changing behavior and avoiding more problems. Who can blame us? Being in the trenches creates understandable desire for easy and  immediate outcomes, doable in the now, for weary bodies and souls.  “I just want this to stop right now.

When we have a breather from today’s chaos, then we’ll think about long term goals for our children’s futures, right? I totally get that. The problem is, we might not get that breather unless we intentionally take a pause in the middle of the chaos, and reassess what our goals are and what they can be to offer the greatest healing for our child. Can we even look long term in the middle of today’s struggles and not be afraid of the future? I think this is a problem common to humanity.

Kingdom Life

Perhaps a starting place is acknowledging that God’s Kingdom life is one with no anxiety about ‘tomorrow’, rather, it involves being focused on the settled work of Jesus. He overcame. We can overcome. We can help our child overcome. End of story. 

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As we seek God’s perspective, we find that worry and anxiety fall away. We begin to focus more on the things that are important to Him and less on the things we think are important but are not. Our long term plans for our children will be most effective when we do not let fear determine our steps. But walking in this is not easy is it? Looking long term with fear and worry is not the answer because it leads to parenting choices in the short turn that can actually work against the security and connection we are trying to create in our homes for our children.

Short term parenting can lead to reactive parenting, which negatively affects our children for the future. Click the link here to read more about long term vs short term parenting, from a blogger back in 2012, which I think gives a good view on this subject. No guilt trip is intended, but rather a hope to get you thinking about long term, even in the midst of short term needs. 

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God is a God of connection and relationship and He created this need in us. When we have this view in mind, even when correcting our child’s behaviors, we are close to the heart of the Father, Who corrects us in love while desiring closeness.

 

Son (and daughter) ship

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I often find myself astounded by the idea that I am a daughter of the Most High God – that I am a full partaker of His Covenant faithfulness (and its responsibilities) as an act of God as Spirit. God breathes life into what is mortal and corrupted and we are brought into God’s family through His choice, not as natural sons and daughters but as chosen ones.

For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”Romans 8:14-15

Because God is the one who chooses to adopt, the process depends solely on Him.  We do not have to earn sonship. Even in our imperfections, He chooses us. There is much freedom in that. That is truth. But what happens when we do not take hold of that truth? What happens when we hold on to our former status?

For me, I act like a spiritual orphan again. I go around looking for love and acceptance in the eyes of humans. I shrink back from my Covenant responsibilities and act like a slave to sin again. I ‘act up’ and do not obey my Heavenly Father. I mistrust Him. And it is not just me, we all do this when we take our thoughts off of the wonderful truth that we are sons and daughters of God. And what is God’s response when we stray? He invites us again to come to Him and remember our identity in Him. In fact, He even created a calendar of activities for us so that we can remember our identity in Him. More on that later.

What identity is your child walking in? Is he or she secure in their place in your family? Or are they still trying to earn a way in? Are they walking in their new status as your son or daughter? Or do they still feel like they are on the outside, looking in? Remember, children who come from loss often carry a spirit of orphanhood with them even when the truth is that they have belonging in your family. Much of the acting out we see in our children is that they are unsure of to whom and to Whom they belong.

Consider some activities you can do with your child to help him or her know by experience that they belong. Do you have a regular ‘family time’? Do you have family rituals you can participate in together, things that say ‘we are family’? It could be fun to come up with new rituals – those activities that say WE ARE FAMILY. I think it is in our nature to like to celebrate together, as a showing that we belong. I mean, how many man-made celebrations do we have here in the west? And don’t our children love to participate in them with us, especially when we put our own family ‘spin’ on them? Of course! Did you know that God has His own ‘family rituals’ too, that He invites His children to participate in? They are in the bible and they are for US!

God has family rituals and celebrations that mark us as His!

An often-neglected truth is that God created His divine calendar on the fourth day of creation, to teach us about His plan of redemption through Jesus/Yeshua the Messiah. “And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years”. (Gen.1:14) The word seasons (Hebrew word moed, or moedim in the plural form) isn’t seasons like we think of the words for spring, summer, fall, and winter.  Moed means “an appointed time, a festival.”

Also in Psalm 104:9 “God appointed the moon for seasons”, the word seasons is “moedim”. God appointed the moon to determine the appointed times and festivals. In the ancient times the prophets and the apostles looked to the moon to determine the God-inspired calendar, knowing that the new moon marks the beginning of a month, and a full moon the middle of a month. His set apart days were determined by moon phase. At creation.

It is amazing to realize that these “moadim-appointed times” were set in the earth prior to the creation of any living being. Before man was ever created, before any sin was committed, God had already created a timetable for His children to meet with Him as a sign of belonging. In the Amplified Bible Genesis 1:14 says, “Let them be signs, and tokens (these lights) of God’s provident care”. Provident care points to our son (daughter)ship in Him. These appointed times are signs of God’s agreement with us, that He is our God and we are His people. When we celebrate them together with Him and others, we are saying to the world that WE ARE FAMILY.

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We are coming up on the fall celebrations, starting with the Feast of Trumpets. Maybe this is the year you and your family can celebrate together the wonderful truth that no one can take away from you – YOU BELONG TO GOD.

Be Blessed,

Gail

 

 

 

Letting GO

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Facebook is a source for some great memes. I love this one I saw today, perfect for September 1st! Here in Montana, the leaves are not changing colors yet, but the promise is in the air. Fall is my favorite time of year, perhaps as a throw-back to my southern roots because it gets so hot in Arkansas where I grew up and we all longed for cool relief. Maybe if I was a Montana native I wouldn’t love autumn so much, because it is a reminder of the frigid winters here.

But maybe I love autumn the best of all the seasons because somewhere deep in my spirit I recognize autumn for its themes of a final harvest before the dormant period. There is such rapid growth of life during the spring, development during the summer and first harvests, and then comes those amazing leaves in autumn which change color before falling to the ground. Winter provides a rest and snuggling in.

“The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let things go.”  

What is God asking YOU to let go of this season? Just as tree leaves turn vibrant color as if to say, ‘pay attention to me’, perhaps there are things God is highlighting for you, in your life? God is asking me to let go of guilt and shame for things He has already forgiven me of that I repented of as a younger parent who did not know better. My children are now adults and I still try to carry guilt that is no longer mine to carry. God is highlighting that, and telling me to let it go as an act of honor for what Jesus/Y’shua did for me already with His Resurrection.

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Are you carrying guilt like this? Are there things the enemy whispers to you now that that you know better, about things you did when you didn’t know better? Here me in this, if you have already repented of it, that is not your voice of accusation. That is certainly not God’s voice. His conviction about unrepented sin comes with the promise of restoration and return to relationship with Him. He NEVER accuses you of things you are already forgiven of. We are not designed to look back on past actions we have repented of, and dwell on failures as if we will never rise above.

Is it time to let go of this kind of guilt and shame? Watch the leaves. See them turn bright colors. Watch them fall. And remember to let go.

 

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Father, today I ask forgiveness of all the negative and harmful words I have spoken about myself, all the times I listened to the enemy speak for me and for you. I thank you that you have forgive me of _______, and I will walk in that forgiveness from today forward. Help me experience your Presence in my life, to KNOW that I am forgiven. Let me use my thoughts and actions to honor the Forgiveness you have given me through Your Son.  I ask this in the merit and worth of Jesus/Y’shua, Who did so much for me. Amen.

Be Blessed,

Gail