Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! I hope each day is filled with great delight and spiritual significance in this season of new birth. We have much to celebrate, reviving new hope and new paths before us in the coming year. May all your desires, promises, and expectations be fruitful, coming to pass as we live each day with the blessings of Heaven. Lovingly thankful, Annie
Okay, my life is not entirely in my control at this moment. I am totally trusting God for the “whys” right now. I have to say though, that I am so thankful for the miracles He has provided for me and my family. We have a primary home in Santa Rosa, California, and just two weeks ago our neighborhood was burnt to the ground. Without the extraordinary effort of the Berkeley Fire Department, our house would have been part of the 5,000 homes and structures entirely destroyed. Prayer changed everything, the fire stopped short a half a block away from all that devastation. Without the valiant efforts of the fire department hosing our houses down with water, all would have been lost to us, too! The thankfulness that we feel cannot be adequately expressed. We were evacuated in the middle of the night not knowing the fate of our house until thirty-six hours later when satellite pictures showed our house still standing. Praise God! So many of our dear friends and neighbors lost everything and our hearts are so extremely saddened by their loss.
(The following photos are of our neighborhood and personal friend’s homes.)
Though it was a terrifying ordeal, we stayed in peace and found thankfulness in the situation. The area was closed to us for a week because the fires still burned and toxic smoke and fumes made it almost impossible to breathe. We are so thankful for family who took us in and cared for us, and the unbelievable door open to stay at the last hotel room in the area, in Occidental. The air was so clean closer to the ocean. My family is back in our home, dealing with the emotions and feelings of having gone through the “fire”, getting adjusted to new changes and the uncertainty of what lies ahead.
Thank you Lord for Your great mercies and abiding love. You are so good, gracious, and kind.
It will be a long journey for the residents of our town who lost everything…but God is in the restoration business and will provide for needs beyond imagining. Keep praying, this is just the beginning of many days ahead and a new beginning for so many.
Summer transitioning into Fall is a great picture of what’s going on in our lives now; in our spirit, and in our understanding. It is a time of change and renewal, a season of transforming. We are discovering that the change is sometimes hard to articulate…. we just “know” that something is different. I have been experiencing it in my own life; my thoughts are changing, my heart is changing, I want something new, something tangible, something fresh…I am hungry for the season of change in my relationship with God. Are you hungry for the deep things, the lasting things of the Spirit, and His Kingdom, now is the time to turn, turn, turn? Turn to the Lord, turn to the believing for new things, turn to finding your destiny as you wait for Him. This is a beautiful time of the year when God draws close, will you turn aside to engage His heart?
This is a crazy life here on this Earth, one day to the next produces unforeseen difficulties and extreme blessings – sometimes simultaneously!
Having the Holy Spirit living inside my heart is the only thing that grounds and stabilizes all the whacky things that life throws at me. Honestly, I have a hard time comprehending how pre-believers navigate on their best days. My story of the past few months is almost unbeliveable. First, I have to apologized for not posting in quite a while, literally I just was not able to. If you follow me on Instagram you’ll have some clue about my journey. I will try and give you bits and pieces of what has been happening in today’s post, then I will elaborate in more detail later….so this is the bullet point draft of the past two months. I left you on my way to Where in the World was I going, and I’ll start there.
Israel and Jordan
The trip to Israel and Jordan at the end of May was the most fabulous journey ever! Landing in the Holy Land was the beginning of 13 days of awe and wonder! I thought I kind of knew what to expect but there was really no way to have known the fun, glory, and awesomeness our team experienced – for me personally it was transforming. It is quite awesome to have every team member in one mind, one accord, and one spirit. We were all focused on the same purpose there; which primarily was to pray in every part of the country; that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would be known and peace would prevail in every aspect of life. We had some divine encounters, divine appointments, and truly exemplary fellowship with a great commitment to fun. Like I said, I would post next time just on the wonders of that journey.
Heal the Sick (Heal Thyself)
Some of the difficulties that I’ve had in the past two months are issues with my health. Before this, I basically felt invincible because I have never been one to tolerate any sickness in my life, since prayer for the sick has been a focal point of my ministry life. I’ve been in many countries throughout the world and have seen incredible miracles from praying for the sick. God still works in great ways, He is the same yesterday, today, and forever…He is the Great Physician!
Then I began suffering from my own illness, praying diligently trying to reconcile why I suddenly had an electrical problem with my heart, that sent me to the emergency room and a hospital stay four times with Afib, in a month. I have cherished all the prayer from everyone that I’ve gotten, but there was no change.. which led to frustration and sometimes anger at this continual attack. I needed to get at the root of the problem and to understand the triggers for these events and had to reconcile my beliefs with reality.
So now I’m on a journey of another kind. I have begun the change of a mindset many years in the making. Habits are ingrained and have to be pulled like weeds, or you find your consistent effort sabotaged. I had to learn a new way of how to live in the natural to one of a more disciplined life. Benefitting me the most is sitting quietly before the Lord, soaking in His Presence – discovering the whys. “Be still. I will fight for you.” Exodus 14:14. It is interesting that a recent fall at a Christian conference, causing an injury to my knee and possible surgery, has slowed me down even more…however, I am going after that one with lots of prayer. I am definitely listening more to the Lord’s voice now that He has a captive audience – my heart. Just being real here.
Being creative is like breathing, something I live every moment doing. I created a Fourth of July sign, transformed our fireplace with a new mantle, and started landscaping our front yard (which is temporarily on hold).
Revamp – Before and After Fireplace
My house continues to evolve. This week I added a new mantle to the fireplace. Now I can hang all my Christmas stockings there for the first time. That makes me so happy!
I am always in the process of writing and journaling. A new journal is emerging with a combination of writing, art, and bullet entries. I am loving it! Working on a video preview of two months work. This is just a page sample. Another blog post soon.
I’ve got many projects in the works that will change (remember it is inevitable) some of the course of this little blog. Look for it!
This week on Instagram I was posting pictures to guess where I would be going on my next adventure…it seems that the only people who correctly guessed were the ones I already told! Take a look at this collage of some of the pictures that I posted and see if you can find where I’ll be in the world.
If you guessed correctly, I will be going to Israel and Jordan (Indiana Jones and Petra). This has been a “bucket list” item for about forty-five years, a true heart’s desire. I’ve wanted to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, to go where He was, to experience the Holy Land and its tremendous history. I am going with a group that will be touring the sights and also following the Holy Spirit to pray for the nation and hopefully to walk in Matthew 10:8, as the Lord leads*.
Most of the time that I am doing ministry I bring along my artwork; when traveling I make postcards to give personal prayers and words of knowledge for the people I encounter. Here are a few that I’m working on before I go. I pray over the cards to be anointed for the specific person that I meet, to encourage them in God’s great love for them, and it becomes a memory of what the Lord was speaking to them. I’ve run into people that I’ve done “art” for after 25 years and they tell me how much the “words” I gave them were significant to their lives. I want those encounters to be blessed and living for each individual.
Cards in process.
Sometimes I embellish them.
(The two following are just examples to show what a finished card would look like. I may write a scripture or a personal word for a person on the back.)
One Last Thing
To encourage you, my faithful friends, I posted this on Instagram today:
(Even little ol’ me at 4 – God had me in His thoughts.)
Just imagine…you were chosen from the foundation of the world to host the presence of a holy God, to live in such a time as this, and to do incredible things!
Think big and pray bigger!
God is speaking to your heart right now about the dreams, inspiration, and callings on your life.