Monday, December 22, 2014

dry bones

Ezekiel 37 talks about a valley of dry bones, bones who belonged to a fallen army of Israel.  God led Ezekiel, the prophet, to this valley and had him walk among them. Bones filled the valley floor. God said to Ezekiel, "these bones are the whole house of Israel.  They say, 'our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.'" God tells Ezekiel to prophesy to the bones saying that He will bring them back to life, connect tendons to tendons, and breathe His Spirit into them again. Ezekiel does this, and he hears a noise. The bones begin to rattle, coming together, tendons connecting to tendons, breath of God filling them, and what were once dry bones stand before him, a vast army.
This calendar year has been a very long and stressful year. I call this year our year of change. The past semester, Fall 2014 was a particularly rough one for me, and for us. I used to be able to handle a lot of stress, a lot of running around, and very little time to slow down for myself. Not so much anymore. My body has started exhibiting symptoms of the condition of my mind and emotions as I spent most of the semester chronically in pain. Although I study the Bible at school, and truly have many take-aways from this semester in Romans and in Theology 1, I feel distant from God. I don't feel quite cut off, but I do feel close enough to being cut off that it spiritually hurts. Since school has been out for the last week, I have felt worn out, tired, and unsatisfied with where I am right now, especially spiritually. Last Sunday in church, I felt the spirit leading me away from the service to talk to me. And he did talk to me in a few ways that were only done by him. In this past week I have been pondering what I am to do to reconnect with God. Over the weekend it was made very clear to me that I need to retreat for my spiritual health. I need to spend time away from the world. I need to spend time away from what I'm familiar with, away from people, away from buildings, away from everything. In that time away I will be seeking Him.
It is not possible for me to up and leave and go to the wilderness for any amount of time, but there are small ways that I can distance myself from the world so that I can seek God again. Of those ways, taking myself off of Facebook, and not blogging are ways in which I will be able to separate myself from the distractions of this world. I'm not sure how long I will be off of these media outlets but I'm sure that once I am spiritually refilled, coming back to these things will not be the distraction they once were. I can say that I will most likely post something on my blog before I get back on Facebook. So if you are ever wondering how much longer I'll be away you can always check in here. In the meantime, if you need to contact me for any reason you can email me at jessica{dot}brazell{at}mailbox{dot}ciu{dot}edu and I will respond whenever I check.
So while I am away, please be in prayer for me as I seek the Lord's voice again. Pray that I reconnect with him and that I am able to be molded by what he has to teach me. My prayer is to rediscover my identity in Him, and to hear where he is leading me. However, please pray that if I am NOT shown my direction during this time that I still find satisfaction in reconnecting with him. Pray that my pleasure comes from knowing him and not from knowing my calling. Please pray that I find my rest from Him and not from my own strength. And please pray that I have God's strength as my strength to be obedient to him.
As I said at some point in the not so distant future I will post something here on my blog that updates you guys on what is going on with me. I'm not sure how soon that will be but you can save my blog address and be on the lookout, or you don't have to and that's fine with me too. I'm looking forward to this time that I've been given to seek God, to rest, and to heal from the semester.
A passage that the Holy Spirit has given me that I will be meditating on, and that I hope can help you as well, is Psalm 46. It reads: "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the City of God, the holy place where are the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Come and see the works of the Lord, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire. "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress."
~Jess

Monday, December 8, 2014

my week in pictures and gratitude.

This week I am thankful for:
a hubby whose beard is magnificent riding into the sunlight
all the magnificence and glory of God displayed in the skies
the beautiful Broad River during my car rides
awesome drink mix
our new car whom we have chosen to name J√≥nsi
a bouquet of flowers from the man who helped us find the right car
and a festive school library.

One more week until Christmas break. a- 5 days.
Hang in there.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

hallelujah || leonard cohen {remake}


This is the reason that Christmas exists. This is the advent season; the season of preparation for the coming of Christ, God in human form. All Deity of God, but within the realm of the human world.
Hallelujah.