Living Life in a Bubble

There are many types of bubbles.

  • Fun, sit on the lawn and blow bubbles into the wind bubbles
  • Work, get the dishes done kind of bubbles
  • Silly, bathtub beard kind of bubbles

As a young mom, my girls and I would sit on the terrace outside our house, and blow bubbles at all the cars going by. There was so much laughter and joy. I was not aware of how fleeting those moments were. Like the bubbles we were blowing, those times disappeared into thin air. The living of life, popped each one, leaving only a sweet memory.

Bubbles in the sink mean that your family got to eat that day. Sometimes, but not always with a grateful heart, you wash rinse, dry and put away those dishes for their repeat performance tomorrow.

Bath time shenanigans included various bubble beards and masks, and hairstyles. We even had a cat who would jump in the tub, only to be covered with bubbles himself and then scatter them through the house upon his remembering that he was a cat and not supposed to like baths and bubbles.

Those days are gone now. I only wish that I had as much joy while they were happening, as I do now remembering them.  Sweet, sweet memories.

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The bubbles I will refer to now, are internal, and not necessarily able to be seen by others.

  • Safety, hiding from what hurts you bubbles
  • Fear, not wanting others to know the real you bubbles
  • Comfort, unwilling to confront the safety and fear issues bubbles

These other kind of bubbles can be insidious and harmful, even though originally they were used to protect us.

As a child, there were people and things that hurt me. I constructed a bubble that would protect me from those pains. Daydreamer. Spacey. Flibbertigibbet. Corny. All names applied to me , all the while, my elaborate bubble protected me from their names and scoldings.

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As an emerging adult, I began to fear that people would really see me for who I was. A  Daydreamer. Spacey. Flibbertigibbet. Corny. That is when I realized that for all the protection I thought I had, all those things still hurt me anyway. The bubble did not work. It was firmly in place though. It was then that that protective bubble I had created for myself as a child, became a prison.

Comfort. This latest bubble gave me comfort. From inside of it, I still didn’t have to deal with the pain or the hurt, or even acknowledge it for that matter. So, in comfort, I decorated my cell. Not letting anyone in. It worked well for a while. Years even.

Then something else began to happen inside that bubble. The Lord who I had been courting from inside my protective bubble began a new work in my heart. Holy Spirit came, and I was visited with discontent. A “Holy discontent” if you will. I could no longer live in hiding from the pain’

This summer has been a very busy summer. I am accustomed to hiding out in my house. Avoiding heat. Avoiding dirt. Avoiding bugs. Venturing out only to my air conditioned car. From there into whatever air conditioned destination had been chosen for the day. This year has been quite different.

That  “holy discontent” has pushed me out of my comfortable bubble. I still love my “Comfort bubble”, but have taken advantage of many opportunities during this season to be involved with heat. And dirt. And bugs. Some of the things I encountered, made me want to run and hide away again, but I was able to resist that urge.

Finding the right “Tribe” is of utmost importance. It does not have to be huge in number, it just needs to be the right one!

While my physical self was trying on the outside of the bubble for size, my inside self began to open up to those around me. My aim, was to encourage them, and in reality, they encouraged me!

That “Holy discontent” pushed me out to where others were trying to walk out of their discontent as well.  We encourage each other. Together we are strong.

There is an old song that says “We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord”.

Hallelujah that it’s true!

This is all for now, even though I do not think that the topic of bubbles is over.

In the mean time, consider your bubble. Is it comfortable? Is it a prison? Do you need to expand it? Or do you need to walk right out of it?

Stories from the 99 County Bible Reading Marathon Muscatine County (10)

The End – The Beginning and What’s Next;

The final day – Sunday – the schedule was full for about half of the morning – Again, I reminded God that the problem was being turned over to Him, and He was fully expected to take care of it. Would we be able to finish? To the mortal eye, the answer was no way. To God’s eyes, the eyes of the Spirit, the answer was yes and amen.

By mid morning we had many, many people checking back in, wanting to help us finish strong, and getting more reading assignments. By 2:00, we were down to the very last chapters. I wanted Heather to have the honors of those last chapters since she had been there at the beginning, standing beside me in faithful uncertainty. Heather read and then insisted that I read the last verse.

We shouted. We prayed that God’s word would do what it was sent to accomplish, and that we would begin o see the fruit of our actions.

Then, it “just happened”, that Sharon’s daughter had a shofar. She blew the shofar in worship and in praise, she blew the shofar in war fare, she blew the shofar for VICTORY.

Read more about it here; The Significance of the ShofarGalaxy Prime Photos 2016 391
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This event was made possible at our County Court House by a proclamation from Governor Brandstad that Iowans should  participate in the 99 County Bible Reading Marathon at their county courthouses in each county, and that Christians should read their Bibles daily until the Lord returns. Well, as you can imagine, that riled up the enemy of our souls, and brought much warfare in the direction of our Governor.

Each reader was encouraged to write a short note of encouragement to Governor

Galaxy Prime Photos 2016 424Brandstad, thanking him in their own words for his stand for both freedom of speech and for his stand for Christ and the Holy Bible. These notebooks were created in each county that participated, and will be forwarded to the Governor to give him something tangible to show that his stand was not in vain.

What’s next? Well, 52 of 99 counties participated in this reading. There is a plan in place to have the other 47 counties have readings around Labor Day. (Could be the weekend or this could be the week before.)

If you are reading this and wish to have a reading in your county, you can contact me and I can get you connected. Since we’ve already done it here in Muscatine County, doing it in other counties will be much easier. I would be happy to help you gather captains to help you and share some short cuts.

One more thing I’d like to share with you. On a prayer call with Iowa intercessors on Saturday morning, some shared “pictures or visions” they believe God showed them.

Here they are. Read them and consider.

Our Bible reading is like throwing a stone in a pond. The stone causes concentric circles, moving out ward.

Even more than that, ripplesit is like MANY pebbles being tossed into the water, (bigger than a pond) and moving outward.

But then, it is more like hailstones breaking violently over the face of the water. Who knows where hose ripples end?

Our prayer was that the reverberations and ripples to increase, that the enemies power be broken by the Word of God, being sent forth to finish all it is sent to accomplish, and not return void. (empty)

 

I want to thank you so much for staying with this blog series. My prayer is that you can be encouraged, and see that even though it is much bigger than you, if GOD asks you to do something, He will always provide.

After all, it’s not your problem any way is it?

Stories from the 99 County Bible Reading Marathon Muscatine County (9)

Intercessors, Leaders, Officials, Strangers, Friends;

On the first day, a lady I did not know, and who was not signed up, came and wanted to read. I placed her, and asked her to read from the New Testament. Well she sat in that chair for a really long time, and then finally asked me if she got to read. I said “Yes, of course, I thought you would be reading already.” “At the same time as him?” as she pointed to the reader reading the Old Testament. (It was the first day, so I guess I didn’t explain myself very well).

Anyway, she, Sharon, began to read aloud,and stayed with us until wrap up time at 10:00. Galaxy Prime Photos 2016 366

Now at 10:00,she stopped reading and pulled me aside. She said that while she wasn’t reading, God had instructed her to quietly pray for me. Then she asked me if she could pray for me now. Of course. It is foolish to say no when a person with the same mind set as yours wants to pray for you. She laid hands on my stomach, and  began to pray. Her prayer was so powerful, and all the people loading the truck stopped to join in. A sweet time of fellowship. Short and sweet, and to the point.

(Photo – Sharon on the left, her daughter on the right)

How sweet of God to send this woman here, and have her sit so quietly,staying on task, and without complaint.

There were several city leaders and pastors present, lending to the recognition of the importance of reading the Bible out loud over our “Sphere of influence”.

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There were also strangers among us. People from other counties who heard about this event, but didn’t find it happening in their home counties. They came as strangers. We only new each other by the Spirit of God. They participate is the readings and gave glory to God. They parted as friends.

 

 

 

Stories from the 99 County Bible Reading Marathon Muscatine County (8)

The People Continued;

On Saturday morning, early, Bruce and Susan came to read. They signed up for multiple readings. After their readings, Susan and I began to contemplate what actions to take should we not finish our readings on Sunday.

Not 20 minutes after Susan left, a truck pulled up, and four guys got out. It was a little startling at first, since only Heather and I were there, until we realized that they were all carrying Bibles. They had heard about this event, and they all wanted to read.
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It was then, that the plans Susan and I had just talked about was put into use. I gave each a section of the Bible to read, and they began to read, all at once.

Meanwhile three others came to read as well. So 7 people, were reading God’s Word, all at once, spread out but still in ear shot of each other.

Now this sounds like it would be crazy making. But as I walked around and listened I realized, and remember thinking, “This must be what Heaven sounds like.” An orchestra of His Word going forth, from every direction, all at once.

Heavenly perfection.

Some time later in the day, Heather went home for lunch and such. She “just happened” to talk to a neighbor, and discussed what was going on at the court house. Now these neighbors had waved before, exchanged greetings, but never really chatted. This neighbor, said she would go down later and check it out.

A little while later, I met Patti, who “just happened” to be the  mom and grand mom to the guys in the truck. Hmmm. What are the chances?

She came back, read much, and now it “just happened” that we became friends.

Divine appointments!

 

 

Stories from the 99 County Bible Reading Marathon Muscatine County (7)

The people;

The people who came to join in the Bible reading were from all different walks of life.

All made an impression with me due to their passion for the word, and their belief that Faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17 and that their words would make a difference in their city their county, and their country. God managed to bring like minded individuals from all around and put them in one place for one purpose.

Each one of the participants, had more than one reason I am sure for reading. From these I’d like to briefly share two of these stories that impacted me greatly.

Meet Charlene. Charlene came to us on the very first day. Her name was not on the sign up
list, so I had her begin to read the New Testament, simultaneously with the reading of the Old Testament.  I expected that she, like the others would read for her 15 -30 minutes and be gone. Imagine my surprise when she stopped reading – AFTER 8 HOURS!
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When asked why she was compelled to read for so long, her Galaxy Prime Photos 2016 414story emerged. She proceeded to tell me that she learned to read not as a child, but as an adult. The Holy Spirit taught her to read, by reading the Holy Bible. She could not read too much, and certainly not too much if the readings were the scriptures.

Charlene came back every day to read for as long as we would let her. She was with us on last day as we finished our readings. What a sweet blessing she became to us, as new friends and sisters were made.

Story #2 is not as much a story as it was a HUGE impression.

Meet the family of Brian,and Abigail, with their little ones Joel, Shekinah, and Jaaziah. (With their toddler in tow.)

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Since I didn’t know them before the event, I saw their name on the list and thought it great that an entire family would come and read together. What I was not prepared for, was the Presence that they brought along with them!

When they read, the Word came alive. The biggest surprise was when little Shekinah got up on the stool. She planted her little feet, she planted her little hands on each side of the Bible, and began to read. Loud. Clear. Now I kid you not, I almost fell over. The crowd of listeners fell silent. Whether it was the Holy Spirit coming out of that little body, or the culmination of His Presence being made manifest from every ones combined readings, I don’t know. What I do know is that HIS Presence was huge.

Imagine my surprise when I checked my mail that night, to see that they have signed up yet again the next day.

Join me in the next post for two more stories that I am sure you will love.

Blessings.

 

 

Stories from the 99 County Bible Reading Marathon Muscatine County (6)

The Needs That Were Met;

As I said in a previous post, God saw the holes in the reading schedule, and filled every one. Every time I told Him He had a problem, He fixed it.

We talked once in our small group how God wants to lavish us with not only with grace, but also physical blessings;

Ephesians 1:7-8 (NASB) … according to the riches of His grace 8 which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight…
Isaiah 25:6 (NASB) The Lord of hosts will prepare a lavish banquet for all peoples on this mountain;…

I knew going in that personally, I was in for the long haul, but God had a plan for that beforehand. I am not accustomed to 18 hour days, but the Holy Spirit “lavished” me with strength, He “lavished”me with helpers, and He “lavished” me with new friendships.

This post is primarily about the help that He sent.

The first day, my husband helped me set up stayed on site until every thing was rolling well.

Along came my friend Heather, who for this event (and many others before) came to be by my side. My armor bearer, if you will. My Aaron. She covered a few open reading slots, brought coffee refills, lunch and even breakfast one day. She made sure I drank plenty of water, and got to go on appropriate potty breaks. She put in many hours at my side. She “lavished” me with her love and support. I am grateful.

Then there was Joy, who was there for 3 of the 4 days, always with her smile, her humor, and her hugs. Her smile and her laugh gave me joy and strength.

What can I say about Earl? Who read and read, provided donuts and support when it came time to load the truck. Thank you Earl (and Dana). Your hearts for Jesus and God’s word is contagious!

Last but not least, were Dale, Patty and Brian. They all read a few places where it was needed. However the thing that stuck me most, was how they all showed back up at 10:00 so that loading time would be 5 minutes instead of 30. Whatever they were doing, they dropped and gave of themselves so that I could get another 20 minutes of sleep. Can you spell love? They not only spelled it, but they showed it by their actions.

So you see, the girl who started out pretty alone, ended up not alone in the least, and she was feeling  “Lavished” I tell you “Lavished”.

Stories from the 99 County Bible Reading Marathon Muscatine County (5)

My story.

Back in the spring, my husband and I attended the Iowa Bible Reading Marathon on Des Moines. It was held in the rotunda of the Iowa State capital. We were quite touched and honored to be allowed to do so, because so many Christians in the world do not have that privilege.

After the reading in our state capital, the leaders of that event, and intercessors across the state saw a great many changes not only at the Galaxy Prime Photos 2016 143state level, but on the local level as well.

The dream of reading at each county courthouse in Iowa had begun.

Governor Brandstad signed a proclamation encouraging all Iowans to participate in the Bible reading events, and to read their Bibles every day until Christ returns.

The moment I heard of the 99 County Bible Reading Marathon, I called and signed up to lead the charge in Muscatine County. The moment I hung up the phone, of course, I wondered just what I had gotten myself into.

I was discouraged by some who said that the Board of Supervisors may never let that happen. Faith in place. Check. The call came after their meeting, that the vote was UNANIMOUS to allow the event.

Turns out, that was the easy part. Problems came from every direction. From computer glitches, to nay sayers, to just too, too much on the schedule. Distractions of every kind.

I was sent the names of two who wanted to be co-captains with me. They never answered my calls. How could I possibly go four days without sleep? I ended up captaining the entire event by myself, seemingly and to a point. (More on that later) 13636110_140421523050782_1983488775_n

A group of folks thought they may be able to cover the overnights. They tried, but just could not make it happen. At any rate, the overnight hours just never filled up, so it was decided to scratch them off the list. If you read the other posts, then you already know that GOD had a problem, and HE was going to have to handle it.

And handle it He did. You’ll notice in the posts that there was quite a bit of what  “I” did, but somewhere in there, “I” became “We”. God sent so many people to help along the way. (There will be a separate posts for these people) The only tenacity I can claim, is the faith that God would cover it all. If it failed, it would not be on me.

Our God, Does Not Fail.