Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thinking Out Loud

Someone said to me that blogging is thinking out loud. So I guess that means sharing thoughts while they're still coming together. I am in the middle of an experience I don't fully understand yet. The last year has been so full of stress and pressure as our business has struggled in this economy. As I have shared in past blogs, I've had to learn how to handle collection calls which is a totally new experience for me. I've learned to be thankful when dinner is cereal. I've had to learn to be a receiver instead of a giver. But in the midst of it all, I've never been closer to the Lord, and I've found peace in the eye of the storm...until now. What changed? Well, I went away for the weekend to a house on the beach with my ministry team which just happens to be five of my very best friends. It was so much fun "just being girls"! We laughed ourselves silly, we shared our hearts, we had uninterrupted quiet time with the Lord for three hours, we prayed together, and we just loved each other as only girlfriends can.
Then came Monday morning and a return to the real world. Now, it seems to me this time away should have renewed, refreshed and restored me. I should have been strengthened to face the challenges. Instead, every little thing seemed bigger than before and I felt almost hopeless and helpless in the face of the challenges. Instead of being away making me stronger, it seemed to make me weaker. I feel like I left my heart at the beach house. I want to be THERE, not HERE. I want to laugh and play and not think about unpaid bills and what the future holds.
I hope you aren't looking for me to have found the answer to share because I'm still seeking the Lord about it. But if you have any comments, I would love to read them. In the meantime, I'll rest in the knowledge that God is still on the throne, He loves me, and "all my days were written in a book before one of them ever came to pass" (Psalm 139:16).


  1. Patty, thank you for your raw emotion. I can only imagine how heavy your shoulders must get from time to time when folks look to you for earthly answers. Thank you for the Psalm 139:16 reminder. He does love you and has an amazing plan for you which you may never know. Tonight I had a couple of extended family members over and we happened to be speaking about you and CBS. Having 2010-2011 being my first Bible study ever, I was a little overwhelmed. Tonight I shared with two ladies, whom I've never felt "comfortable" sharing with, that I've been missing CBS. I miss the ladies, the WORD, YOU!!

    I don't know what God has planned for you; I can only tell you what an amazing impact you've had on my life this past year. Thank you for your sacrifices, time and efforts. They are definitely not lost on anyone!

    I get what you mean about being away seemingly makes you feel weaker. I believe to a degree that it's a little like Heaven. Once we've got a glimpse of "it" the real world pales in comparison. But He does love us, and we have to live by His plan and not ours (much to our discontent so often). I know the struggles I have with my husband, and the conflict between our walks, but again, I have to keep praying, and knowing that it's all God's plan, in His hands and in His timing. <3 you, Leslie Barrett

  2. It seems the Lord gives us times away from the storm. Life here on this earth is growing more stormy all the time. Maybe because He wants us looking to Him every moment, trusting Him completely. Completely is such a big thing. He keeps telling me "Be still and know that I am God". That is it, plain and simple, yet so difficult. Your retreat was joyous, but that doesn't mean you come back stronger in the sense you are looking for. Could it be that He is wanting you to be weak so that He can be strong in you? Don't look to the future. I always do too! I don't have a job and don't have a clue as to what will happen when my unemployment runs out and I don't have a retirement fund to live off of because the equity in the condo I sold is being used to help me live now. Still the Lord tells me to Be still and know that I am God! I say OK! Now what do I do to help myself! Haha! He says Be still and KNOW that I am God! He is in control and I know that He has never failed me. All that I am and have is because of Him. I don't always like the path I am on but He knows what is best. Jesus is coming soon and I desire it more and more each day. I try to live day to day and keep my eyes on Him. He has a purpose for all that I am going thru and I know that He loves me. Knowing that Patty, I spend as much time doing the things that matter to Him and have all the fun I can have with each person I come into contact with. I especially love being with my CBS sisters, my grandkids and my kids sometimes! Haha to the last one! I always try and figure out what the Lord is doing, but then He reminds me that isn't my job. Did you read June 10, Jesus Calling? The Lord was telling me to quit trying to figure out the future. I always love that devotional. Jesus always speaks to me there. Meanwhile, I am waiting for the Lord and sometimes I feel like I am being crushed in a vice! Sounds crazy I know! That being the case, I really enjoy fun times when they come!
    I just shared a lot of my thoughts with you. Sorry if I rambled on and on. Sometimes it just helps being able to relate with someone. I love you and you are in my prayers!! JESUS IS COMING SOON! Hallelujah!

  3. My heart hurts for you but I too will trust in the Lord for your future and thank Him for the blessings that he WILL send your way. I am also reminded how you taught us that satan attacks our strengths. We used to think he just hit our weak spots, but no, that's too easy for him. He wants us to fail in our strengths, to turn our backs on Jesus. Keep your armor on because he knows his time is running out!

  4. Oh precious Patty,

    Thank you so much for sharing with transparency your faith journey. We all go through those times in our faith walk where we know we are standing only by the strength of the Lord. Times where we have joy and peace in the midst of trials.

    Then something happens, or we awake one morning and the world seems a little darker and harder to handle. Praise God...He is faithful and will bring you safely through this time.

    God will even use the roller coaster of faith that you are on to strengthen and encourage others. There have been many times when I've felt like a faith failure, but praise God He doesn't leave me there.

    Your experience brought to mind the mountain top experience of when Jesus was transfigured before Peter, James and John. The had to come down off that mountain and face the difficult and unlovely things of life again. Praise His Holy Name...this is for a brief season in light of eternity.

    With each passing day, I long for Jesus soon return. Not to escape the difficulties of this life, but to be free from a world of sin and the consequences of the fall. To live in the presence of God and be able to worship Him with and undivided and pure heart, along with all the saints.

    Thank you for sharing so that I can be praying for you specifically.

  5. Your beach retreat sounds wonderful...the classic mountain-top experience, almost like a bit of heaven. Who would want to come back here after experiencing heaven?! Please let me remind you of something you already know: Here on earth, we go through valleys, but they are not our dwelling places...we're just passing through. I've been through a couple of valley experiences in the past few years. Faith and the word have been my rod and staff. This passage in I Corinthians 13:12-13 has helped me, too: Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. but the greatest of these is love.
    Please know how much you are is the greatest gift.
    Love from your friend, Kathy Prentice

  6. Patty Our lives connect in so many ways. I don't know exactly how you feel because we all have a diffeent way to process, but I have been going through similar regarding finances. We made and spent so much money and then all of a sudden I am shopping at the 99cent store looking at the 2 for 99cent bargains! It feels awful and most of the time unlike you I just don't answer the phone not because I dhoose not to pay my debt because if I had the money I would do that first thing! But I don't and I can't do anything about it because it brings up the anger that I feel about the reasons that I feel created this financial nightmare. When I have gone away these last couple of times on my way home the first time I started sobbing and the next time I got a migrain. I think I can only speak for myself in that I chose to trust that my husband would make sure that our financial needs were taken care of forever becauose that is what he said, and my job was to handle the house and the kids, and when it all came tumbling down it was almost like an out of body experience that I am having a difficult time comeing to grips with. But I must believe that God has a hand in this and for whatever the reason which I truly do not understand there is a reason for this. I believe we grow older with the thinking that these were supposed to be the Golden Years and we were supposed to be enjoying our lives and traveling and being happy like the older couple walking on the beach with thre husband and wife holding hands and hugging on their way to the Ritz Carlton for thier weekend get away! I don't know!However, I can say is that there are a lot of people out there that have been blessed by you, your knowledge and your Love for of God. I know I have! And please with a 100 percent certanity know you are in my prayers. I have a cd book that I put all of my lessons in and it is called the Book of Bivens! You have been there for many and we are here for you. And you have an amazing best friend that I know you can count on and she is there for you to. We love you Patty and you are not alone. If ever you need me I am here for you!

  7. Such precious love and wisdom from each of you. I am truly a BLESSED woman! I believe God gave me a good analogy of what happened to me after time away. I'm going to share it in my next blog. Thank you for loving and encouraging me!