Even though my feet are back on the ground at home, my spirit is still soaring among the clouds. I have just come home from three phenomenal days in Houston, Texas, where part of time, I had the opportunity to sit under one of the most loved and respected teachers of our day, Beth Moore. She taught Psalm 119 in detail. I have eleven scrawled pages of notes, cross references, a few visuals, a letter of the Hebrew alphabet in my notebook (and I *think* I spelled it correctly!) I tried to write down every detail possible. Of all the profound things sweet Beth conveyed in her study, God encouraged me with a couple very simple truths that have just delighted my heart.
The first one is, that:
I'm happy and I know it!
Just like the song I use to sing in Sunday school in the primary grades. I am happy! If you've been here at By The Lamp Light lately, you know that I've requested more prayer than ever before in the last few months as we felt like the enemy's flame was scorching us. But as Beth taught Psalm 119, I heard the words that it was OK to receive happy moments. I had so many happy moments during this trip, my heart is on overflow!
At Christmas the Salesman blessed me with a trip to the SSMTC. As I prayed about the trip, I felt the LORD was going to use it as a *springboard* on my journey with Him. The LORD delighted me with finding out that a new friend I'd made in the last year, Kelly, was going and we would be able to make our travel arrangements together. As the flight prices were going up and the seat availability on planes was going down, we prayed for direction and waited. After we booked our flights, we found out that several sweet Siesta's were on our same flights and we had a BLAST, even though we got home almost five hours after our scheduled arrival. God is good.
The LORD gave me some sweet encouragement at the airport before we boarded our early morning flight. Kelly handed me a devotional article her mother had given her. There were so many words on the page that just jumped out and spoke to my heart. Reading the devotional I was amazed that the LORD had allowed this new friend, who did not know the thoughts the LORD had laid on my heart, to give me a devotional where most of the words could have been lifted from my journal. The verse on the page was from Isaiah 43:19 "The LORD says, 'See, I am doing a new thing!'" It prompted me to pray right then and there sitting at the gate that He would confirm the *new thing* He wanted me to do and that as it sprang forth, I'd be aware.
The blessings of the LORD were so abundant this weekend, I feel as if my cup is overflowing.
I literally felt like a schoolgirl this weekend when I met one of my most encouraging friends in the blog world, Georgia Jan.
Jan and I were in a small group of ladies and when our eyes met and we realized who the other was, we squealed like school girls! Very loudly, too! (If you're happy and you know it, squeal really loud!) Jan has a mother's heart and has been an encouragement to me like I believe my own mother would have been if she were not alive with Jesus. It was a highlight of my trip to meet Jan and worship side by side on Sunday. It was evident that as a pastor's wife, her sweet heart was missing being on the front row of her own church; but when the praise and worship started...oh my, she was at home. Jan was the first one to meet Beth's pastor after the service and I so wish I had a picture to share of her walking off the stage of FBC Houston with her arm entwined with Pastor Gregg's. I knew she was giving him the same kind of encouraging words I many times find in the comment section of my posts. Jan's words are sincere and they bless to the very depths. If you have not met her yet, please stop by and visit her and prepare to be blessed at Gran Jan's Joy.
The second word of encouragement that just blessed my heart this weekend came in sweet and sincere response Beth gave to a question Lichelle asked on Saturday after teaching and worship. Beth said, (this is loosely quoted - this is what my heart heard) "You can be the one person totally 'eat-up' with Him." I decided then and there - right in the chair - I want to be "eat-up" with Him. The words just struck a chord within my heart and a new request for a prayer to My Father did start. I want to be "eat-up" with Him!
And speaking of eating, we had some good food in Houston. Our first stop was Cyclone Anaya's. I had so much fun catching up with my friends and meeting new Siestas.
My two new friends are at the head of the table. Janet is seated (and lives in the town where we worship - what a small world - met her in the airport!) Next to her is Rachel from Beautiful Daughters. Rachel and I had the sweet privilege to meet on the airplane and got a good visit in before we even set foot in Texas! She is a delightful new friend. Seated at the table from left to right is my BFF Nesha (our families have become friends from being Siestas! Love them all.), Georgia (now known to me affectionately as the backseat girl - we shared the backseat in the van as 6 -7 of us would pile in to commute around Houston) and sweet Patty whose fame and hard work is known from the Siesta Fiesta last year. Beside me is my travel friend, Kelly, who is a sweet as a peach, and to her right is another roomie and dear friend, Brittney. I also was blessed to meet Audrey Howie who was instrumental in helping arrange all our festivities for this get together. Thank you Audrey, it was a blessing to meet you in person and hug your neck!
When we arrived at FBC, there were many ladies busy at work at the product tables. It was so much fun to put faces and names together.I was blessed to visit with Beth's assistant, Michelle, who I'd had the sweet opportunity to meet in Greensboro. I met Evangeline who is a doll - as sweet in person as I've heard Beth describe her. Sabrina cracked me up more than one time over the weekend when we talked. I see why Beth enjoys riding to speaking events with her. I had the sweet joy of meeting and visiting with Nancy, the correspondence assistant, as well. I don't know where my picture is of you, dear. You blessed me by looking at EVERY single page in my Scripture memory spiral - oh my, that took some time and you were in no hurry. You appreciated every little detail and commented too. You blessed me Nancy. I praise God for you.
I met so many new friends,like Christian author Marla Taviano; precious, soft spoken Yolanda; and Faran, who was cute-as-a-button in cowboy boots and a dress. I was blessed to spend more time with Judith the jewel and her smiling sister Carolyn. They introduced me to fresh guacamole dip (which I thought I didn't like!). Oh my, thank you! Alexia and I got to catch up on family news and I laughed fit to holler visiting with Melana (also known as Moose Mama). Fuzzytop is one of the most encouraging Siesta's ever to be around. And Twinkle, oh my, if we would have had more time together, I would probably would have had to been pulled off the ceiling like a balloon. I so hope the LORD grants us the opportunity to go to a concert together. I felt like I needed a moment of silence when Melanie (Big Mama) noticed my scarf and said that I'd done good. That was a big accomplishment for me without my teens to give the final stamp of fashion approval. Oh my, I missed my little darlin's. And I know, Victoria Leigh, had you been there, I would not have worn my sunglasses on my head - you would have reminded me to remove them. Love you baby! Melanie has a heart as big as Texas and I love her too, she has been such a blessing to me.
And speaking of love? Have you all met Brittney from Lopsided Halo?Oh my, she is a darlin' young thing. She is living her life boldly for God. At the age of 15 she survived a school shooting and has become a modern day hero for freeing those sold in human trafficking. Now in her 20's, she is the state director for www.notforsalecampaign.org and is one of the most inspiring young women I've been blessed to spend time getting to know. Although we had met before, I really got to hear her heart this trip. Since returning from Houston she has been interviewed on the radio and is planning a trip to Haiti next month. She is a blast to be around and she totally showed me up when we worked out - you are my hero, Brittney! I am blessed to know this young lady. You will be encouraged when you stop and meet Brittney.
My heart is so full and there is so much more to share! And speaking of more - there were more Moore women than I'd ever had the pleasure to meet at one time! It was a pleasure to meet Melissa for the first time this trip and see her eyelashes up close- she's beautiful and reminds me of our youngest, Victoria. (Side note: I did crop myself out of the picture with Melissa because it was taken after worship and teaching on Saturday and by that time, I had NO makeup left on my face. Remember her eyelashes? You could not tell I had any in the picture...I left my ear and earring in the picture close to her head!) Amanda makes me think of Audra in oh so many ways, and I am so thankful these young women allow their mother to share stories of their childhood because it encourages my heart as the mother of teen daughters. And speaking of daughters - I L-O-V-E the picture of the Moore women loving on darlin' little Dailey Ray - their hands-on love blessed my heart. And when I had the blessed opportunity to meet them, I felt the same attention and affection. Thank you ladies for your evident love! (If you are happy and you know it - let someone know!)Beth Moore is a blessing to my heart because on the pages of one of her Bible studies, I fell in love with Jesus and His Word. I had never turned so many pages in my Bible and searched for answers as I did in my first study: Living Beyond Yourself. I have never been the same since I did that lone study at home and without the DVD's. And I never want to go back to who I use to be - never. And anyone who knew me before 2001 would heartily agree. I was blessed to visit with sweet Beth for a brief moment and ask about her back. Her precious response started with, "Thank you so much for asking." LOVE her. LOVE the Spirit I see in her. Friday night, she opened the Word and poured out her heart for us to soak in her teaching the precious Word of God. I was floating Friday night. Floating. The whole time, I thought that if I pinched myself, I might wake up.
The few winks I got Friday night at the luxurious Omni (I am so thankful the teens showed me how to use Picnik because I wanted to share every ounce of beauty I saw at the Omni - it was nearly overwhelming.)helped me to relax Saturday and remember that God had a purpose and a reason for me being in Houston and it was personal. It was beyond all the excitement, the cloud like euphoria of hanging out with sweet Siestas and the darlin' behind-the-scenes ladies at Living Proof and the precious Moore women. I so wanted to know where my new journey was *springing* to. By faith, and the realization that I wanted to know and live out my purpose for Him (even if it included *new things* that were daunting to me), helped me to feel a relaxing in my spirit Saturday.
The excitement of the celebration, of taking pictures with the Moore ladies, meeting new friends and catching up with old ones seemed to fade to the peripheral as Saturday morning,
Beth opened with prayer.
On Saturday, I could feel the Spirit fall
As Beth knelt, and on our Saviour did call
Travis' worship opened the gate to the throne room door
And my make-up, washed in my tears, puddled toward the floor
Though I can't sing a note or remotely even carry a tune
God's Spirit invaded Beth's former Sunday school room
There are times you just know HE is there
The worship is free and other's opinions, aren't a worry or care
Because in those moments it is God alone
Receiving our hearts worship before HIS throne
It was then I heard with a child like heart
Wisdom call and God impart
LORD, as Your Words to my heart, press in
I am ready for Your *new things* to begin
But as I leave the wonder of Big City life
And head back home to the country, my title: a home school mother and wife
My heart, to You, LORD, is full of thanksgiving
You allowed, You favored this weekend with abundant living
I want to be one person totally "eat up" with Him
Totally surrendered, God focused, unfettered from sin
I want to be a bright light in a very dark world
Your goodness, Your story to herald
Let my heart be a sanctuary for You alone to dwell
Your story in Me, bravely and boldly, may I tell
Thank You for opening a torrent and that Your Words fell with power and in a sweet hush
As my pen and paper could hardly keep up as the Spirit, to my heart, said much
LORD, I've taken in so much encouragement and Truth filled notes
My mind, my being, like a cloud or balloon, above this world, seems to float
Help me LORD, as soon as I walk through my home's door
To put to use all I learned from You and Your servant, Beth Moore
Let new *things* in me bloom and grow
More of You LORD, I long to intimately know
Let it be evident LORD that I've heard from You
In my words, my thoughts, my actions - all that I do
Don't let me discard what has been deposited into the depths of my soul
Use it all LORD, not in part, but the whole
LORD, you know I've arrived home today and I'm sleep deprived
And for Audra's appointment, we have a three plus hour drive
Describes the state of my heart LORD, and I pause to give YOU alone, I give thanksLet the river of Your Spirit keep rising in me
With reckless abandon LORD, "eat-up" only to You,
As the river rises, happily in response, *new things* I will do.
With thanksgiving to Worshipping One for capturing and graciously sharing the worship photo. Nesha, your picture out the plane window describes exactly how I feel.
If you desire to read *Moore* on the great adventure in Houston: