Friday, October 29, 2010

Exodus to the Promised Land

Well you may think I'm just trying to be smart, witty or cute or maybe you may think I'm religious by choosing the title of this post but I promise you that it is none of the above.  It is really how Mike and I feel about our journey this last year, and specifically how we feel about our move back to Abilene.  We have literally felt like the modern day equivalents to the Israelites in the wilderness for 40 years.  I'm certainly grateful that it didn't take us that long to realize God has bigger things in store for us though!! We can identify with them in so many ways.  The entire time they were out there God was trying to do something great for them, but they kept getting in the way!  Unbelief, disobedience, you name it, we've likely done it in sometime in the last year. But you know what? I'm so grateful for the wilderness! I really am.  I am so grateful what He has shown me about mercy, about compassion & forgiveness.  I am so thankful for God teaching me about stewardship, leadership and daily provision.  To not "hoard" his provision for another day,  but to come to Him daily for fresh provision! And mostly what He has taught me about LOVE.

The part of the analogy that people seem to be getting hung up on is that we are equating Abilene with The Promised Land.  Why Abilene?  I keep hearing.  Abilene is dry. It's dirty. Whenever it rains it floods. There's crime and poverty unlike anything I've ever been exposed to in Canada. There is a spirit of religion and racism that is so heavy on the city it feels like you could cut it with a knife.  With characteristics like that it is hard to play Abilene off as a "desirable" city.  I can actually think of many cities in Texas that are more beautiful than Abilene.  But what we've come to discover is that has nothing to do with why we're here.

Obviously Abilene is a city in need of God.  It's not that there's not churches here, because there are LOTS of churches here.  But there are more lost people/souls here than there are churches and that's why we're here. God has blessed Mike with an amazing job and the finances to be a blessing to many.  He has also given us both a heart for Gods people in Abilene.  We want to see the lost saved. We need to see the spirits of poverty and religion broken in this place. Our main focus is to be true BELIEVERS, not just Christians, and to see Jesus lifted high in this city!

My heart is so full of peace being here, I have struggled to find the words to describe it to people.  I can't imagine how the Israelites felt after God had parted the Red Sea for them to cross on dry land and as they first stepped into the land promised to them!  I have perceived in my spirit some of the things that the Lord will be doing in Abilene soon.  It's as if the heavens are about to be ripped open and the glory of God is going to pour out over the city, consuming the bad and refining the good, igniting personal, corporate, and city wide revival.  Abilene will become a well known city for the revival that is about to rage across the land! I am so excited to be here and to be ready to be used mightily by God!

Created for this,


There is so much to tell about our journey down here, but since we just had our internet hooked up today I'm going to wait until I can post tonight in detail about it.  I just wanted y'all to know that we have arrived in Abilene safe and sound.  We have been received with a TON of love and we are loving being back with Gods people at our church!

Sorry this is short.  I will post more tonight! There is SO much to share!

Created for this!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Cleaning House

With all the packing I've been doing you could say that I've been cleaning house.  It's certainly starting to look bare and empty in our rooms.  As I mentioned before, I think this is a good thing.

With the house cleaning, God has been doing some spiritual "house" cleaning along with me.  I mentioned awhile back in a post that there had been some friendships lost and how much it had hurt me.  The whole situation, the way it came about, the way it ended... hurt.  God has healed those wounds and more for me.  It's not that those relationships will ever be replaced, or forgotten.  It is just that I have found healing in forgiveness.  I have let all the harsh, hateful words spoken to me and over me in malice fall away.  I do not receive them because I do not believe that they ever were true.  Most importantly I forgive the person who said them. {I know you still read my blog, so I hope that this message reaches you, so you can find healing too.}

Sometimes it's hard to hold your tongue, I'll be the first to admit that.  The bible warns in so many scriptures the power your words hold over yourself and over others.  When God created the Earth he spoke it into existence. Doesn't that give you a glimpse into how powerful our words are created to be?  

Recently our decision to move has upset a lot of people because they are taking it personally... like we are choosing to move away from them, specifically.  That isn't it at all.  We are making the best decision we know how to make, based on all the information we have right now.  It is important to understand that Mike and I have thought everything through. It is time for us to get back on our own feet, and to move forward with our lives.  Our focus and passion is to serve the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, body, and soul. And we feel the calling to do that in Abilene, TX.  I again offer forgiveness to those who have misunderstood our intentions and reacted harshly.  It is very important to me that you know this.

I believe that every so often God lets us empty our hearts, or helps us shake out the skeletons in the closets, not so that we can feel guilt about our mistakes, but so that we can be filled up again with good, wholesome things instead of carrying around ugly, hurtful garbage and lies.  If you've been carrying any heavy burdens around with you lately, today I encourage you to tell God you forgive someone.  You don't necessarily have to jump in and tell that person directly, although you may want to, but forgive them in your heart and see how "clean" it makes you feel. I also encourage you to take a deep breath the next time the urge to lash out against someone sneaks up on you.  It may take some practice, but think of all the wounds you will save.  That in itself should make you smile and feel very good.  Never give up because with God's strength all things are possible!

Walking in the Light,
Momma J

All Packed Up

Same story, different ending.  The BurnettBunch is all packed up... again.  This time however, the move has a very different feel to it.  There is no dread. No worry.  No anxiety.  No confusion.  No emergency.  Surrounding this move is only certainty, peace, closure, hope, joy, freedom... destiny.

I think that the biggest point people have overlooked in reacting to our move is this:  Mike and I would not have moved to Texas hadn't our situation been dire.  Some of you may be thinking that I am over reacting, or over exaggerating but I promise you I'm not.  When you are out of money, cannot secure a job, and can't qualify for social assistance {and you're 8 months pregnant} where do you turn? Do you move in with the only family who can help you? Or do you remain prideful and put your family out on the streets? I pray those are questions you never really have to answer.

God is so amazing.  Just the week before Mike left for work our life account {everything to our name, nothing left to sell etc.} dwindled to less than $500.  Talk about scary. Already the Lord has built us up 10 fold, and I know he will do it again, and again!  The thing is I was more worried and had more anxiety when we still had $10,000 in the bank and no job then when we had only $500.  My eyes and heart have been realigned with Gods purpose for our family and my perspective has been changed in a major way. God is doing a good work in our family and I am excited to see the fruit start popping up!

This week I haven't posted much because I've been busy packing up our bins, deciding what we will need to get by for 3 weeks before Mike can arrive with our big truck load of household goods. Air mattresses, check. Baby supplies, check. I'm sure you get the point. 

 We have been so blessed by a family in our church in Abilene with a wonderful house to call HOME.  I am praying now for our drive there with Harrison (2) and Heidi (10 mo) it should be an adventure!  I have coloring books {with markers that only mark the book}, DVDs, and lots of snacks to pass the time.  Our first night we'll be stopping in Billings, Montana. Then we'll drive all the way through Wyoming and strategically stop in Loveland, Colorado so that I can go outlet shopping for the kiddos, mostly.  Maybe one item for Mommy?  Our third day will take us into Amarillo, Texas and the fourth day we should arrive in Abilene by mid-day with enough time to go to a Fall Festival with Kristen & Carter Vian,  our long lost friends!

I also have a HUGE praise report to share.  My dear friend Jill has now been receiving chemotherapy for Hodgkin's lymphoma for several months.  She was just a little over the half way mark (6 months) and even the thought of going to the hospital again was making her physically sick!  I empathized with her because I don't know what she's feeling or what she's going through, but I did/do know that God is bigger than any challenge out there!  I pulled together some encouraging scriptures for her to speak over herself and emailed them to her and also encouraged her to look up a few passages about anxiety and worry on her own.  Sure enough, she did and focused all her thoughts on reading them, instead of focusing on the pain and side effects of treatments.  I never hear from her the day of treatment because she's usually sleeping or ill.  This week she called me to praise how well she was feeling!! We talked for over an hour!  She described how she was so peaceful she even slept through treatment, which has never happened!! PRAISE THE LORD!! I know that physically the treatments get harder the further along you get, but I know my God is stronger than all of that! I believe He is going to be the one to carry her through until her last treatment, 3 days before Christmas.  What an amazing testimony of His faithfulness!

For those of you wondering, Mike is doing great.  We talk to him on the webcam every night after dinner, before the kids go to bed.  Heidi squeals with delight every time she see him and wants to kiss the monitor!  Harrison is really sweet too; the other night he was pretending to talk to Daddy on the cell phone.  "How was your day Daddy?  I REALLY miss you!"  Sometimes I cannot believe the sentences that come out of his little 2 year old mouth.  He loves talking to Daddy every night, even though it's mostly short.  Sitting still on a chair and talking just isn't too much of a priority when you're 2!

Mike will be flying back to Calgary on November 7, loading our stuff from the storage room, grabbing our stuff from Jill's, driving to my parents to get the last bit of stuff and then heading south on the same route that we'll be taking just a few short weeks before.  I know the kids will be so excited to see him.  I know I can't wait to see him either.  Six weeks at a time is a long stretch, but a blessing compared to my military friends who have to wait 6 months to a whole year to see their loved ones.  We love you Daddy!

Momma J

Sunday, October 10, 2010

An Attitude of Gratitude

For 43 days I have been challenging myself by reading my daily scripture through youversion.  Judge me if you must, but this is probably the second longest consecutive time in my life where I've made a commitment to read scripture every morning. I had a conviction about reading my bible recently and I asked myself why would I tithe 10% to the Lord but not give him the first fruits of my time every day? Why wouldn't I want His word written in my heart? So I've been faithfully following a reading plan and it continues to be wonderful! I am gaining new understanding from scriptures I have read a dozen times before and I am finding it easier to draw on His strength and steadfastness throughout the day.  Our days have been more peaceful and fulfilling.  God is doing great things in our household!

Along with reading my bible I have also been keeping a daily gratitude journal.  My journal is in point form and I've been listing 5 items {things, people, praise items etc} that I am grateful for on a daily basis.  What an amazing experience it has been for me! There are so many things God has shown me through this discipline.  I have learned that:

  • I have so much more to be grateful for than I ever thought, even in a season when I physically have the least;
  • the more I take my eyes off myself and the circumstances surrounding me at the moment, the better my attitude is;
  • my life is SO much more than my circumstances
  • God is working in my life despite all the "junk"
  • God is good and he is FAITHFUL to do what He says!
  • I don't "need" as much stuff as I thought
I encourage you to start and keep your own gratitude journal.  It is such an awesome way to see that God does hear and answer my prayers, and to literally see with my own eyes that I am so blessed.  I would love to hear about your experiences with your own gratitude journal!

I'm grateful for my readers tonight.  I know many of you come, look, read and don't comment, but I know that you're there. I pray something I've shared has blessed your heart as you've blessed mine.

Walking in the Light,
Momma J

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Steps Towards Home

It's been really, really difficult not to "spill the beans" so to speak until all our family has been notified, but the news is out there now!  Mike and I have found ourselves at yet another crossroads in life.  Trying to discern whether our move to Canada was to be a permanent one, or was it a temporary solution to an emergency situation. Notice I didn't say "decide"... This is because for the first time in our married life we are letting the Spirit lead the way with regards to another move.  This may be hard to grasp without spiritual eyes and ears, but we feel the calling for us to put down roots for our family in a specific place. (drum roll please!!)

Within the next couple of months (before Christmas) The Burnett Bunch will be moving back to Abilene, Texas!  While we will definitely miss The Farm, Grandpa & Grandma, Uncle Blair and Auntie Danielle, and Auntie Jill we know that great things are waiting for us there.  Hopefully our plan will be executed in real life as effectively as it is in my mind, but I am hoping that every summer we can have an extended visit in Alberta (3-4 weeks) and every winter Grandma & Grandpa can come and visit Texas for as long as they like.  This way we are guaranteed to see each other twice a year and not feel too separated.

Our hearts yearn to be part of what God is doing in and through Champions Church, and the Mansion, as well as in the hearts of our church family there!  We are so excited to put down ROOTS and build a HOME and LEGACY for our family.  So look for more updates about our journey soon!  We are praying for a great rental property right now, that will be in close proximity to the church, in a safe neighborhood, affordable, and clean and somewhat updated.  We can't wait to see y'all soon!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Virtuous Woman

This is the third {and final} post of my thoughts/revelations about HOME.  If you haven't read Part 1, or Part 2, please go ahead and do so, or this post may not make entire sense on its own.

I want to start by sharing the values I used to attach to the idea of HOME.  To me home meant:
- owning a house
- never moving
- having nice stuff {for me, and for others to enjoy}
- perfection {everything the way I wanted it... NOW}
- welcoming
- accomodating
- a fun place for people to be

God has made some HUGE adjustments in my heart on how I see HOME now:
- to be clean and organized
- comfortable and welcoming
- useful to God and his purposes {giving people a place to stay if necessary, hosting bible study, raising my children, etc.}
- pleasing to the eye but not perfect
- a place where LOVE abides and freedom reigns

Notice I no longer list owning a house as a value. I do not need a lecture on the financial aspects of owning a house because I understand "own" vs. "rent".  AND I am NOT saying that owning is bad.  But consider whether you own the house, or does the house own you?

Before the idea of owning a house was an idol in my life.  Let me explain.  I recently heard a teaching from Pastor Richard saying that "anything in your life that takes up more of your energy, time, focus, and money than you give to God is an idol."  Woah.  There may be some for whom this idol may be a hobby or sport. For me it was the idea of owning a house.  It consumed me.  God has since then taught me that I don't need to own a house to have a HOME. Are you hearing me?

For me, the biggest revelation is right here.  I used to consider myself a "stay-at-home-mom" {SAHM}, because that's what I did. I was a mom that stayed at home to raise her children.  So that was the title I bore.  The Lord has been teaching me and showing me that he has called me to be SO much more and the label of SAHM was limiting me.  He has shown me in the scriptures 2 specific passages Proverbs 31 and Titus 2, that speaks to the heart of the woman God created; The Virtuous Woman.

He has stirred a DEEP passion in me to become a HOMEMAKER, and to be excellent at it!  I want to be a woman that the following can be said:

- her husband trusts her and she greatly enriches his life
- she gets up early to feed her family and plan their day
- she invests wisely {my time, efforts, talents and money!}
- she is energetic and strong - a hard worker
- she helps the poor and needy.  I love this because one translation says that "she extends her FULL hand to the needy"
- she makes the HOME "ready" for the seasons {not house}
- she laughs without fear of the future {I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THIS VIRTUE}
- she gives instructions with kindness
- she is economical
- she is not lazy, idle, discontent. she does not gossip or have self pity.
- she fears the Lord!

In the Hebrew, a virtuous woman meant "one of power in either mind, body or both".  In contrast to todays "modern woman", being strong does  NOT mean speaking your mind and refusing help, or being equal to a man.  A virtuous woman is capable, intelligent and serves in her HOME, with a servants heart.  Serving at HOME is not a menial task but one of honor and dignity.

I have meditated and have committed to the Lord that this will be my focus for the remainder of 2010, and beyond, if He so leads me. I want to practice being a Virtuous Woman so that I will become a woman who blesses God, her husband, her children and her friends and neighbors.  And through practice I will develop excellence in all these virtues.  In doing so I fully believe that God will re-establish my HOME, and the blessings will fulfill me beyond my comprehension!

Family photo courtesy of Jill Callitz

The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.
Proverbs 14:1

And Ode to Harrison-isms

I plan to write my third part to my thoughts on HOME today, but I need to write a quick post capturing some of the funny things that Harrison has been saying lately.  I love that the Lord has blessed our son with such a sense of humour!! That definitely comes from his Daddy.  I think the only part of me he has is his big brown eyes!

If you see me on facebook, then you likely saw my status update on a few of these but they are definitely worth repeating and recording for future reference:

One day we were sitting at the table finishing breakfast and Harrison was sticking his fingers in his ears.  Out of no where he says "Look Mom.  Ear poops!" Oh my!

Another time at dinner his face was smeared with butter grease from his noodles and I said "Oh Harrison, you silly butter-face".  The next morning he grabbed the closed butter container off the counter and put it on his face and said "Oh Harrison butter-face!"  Such a little joker!

I was rolling out my yoga mat to begin my morning yoga DVD and he asked "Mommy doing yogurts?" HEHEHE, that one still gets me!

The sign that your toddler is watching too much TV.... when I was getting his DVD player ready in the van for a trip to town, he shouted "Coming right up!"  Yikes!  Obviously needing less Disney channel and those crazy monkeys!

*SIGH* Out of the mouths of babes :) I pray he always keeps his joy and sense of humour!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Old Home New Home

This is a continuation of my last post regarding HOME.  It may take me a few more posts to get all my thoughts out in a way that makes sense, but I'm trying!

As I meditated on the word HOME the Lord also brought to mind the Israelites of the Old Testament.  God brought them out of Egypt and promised to establish them in a new HOME-land.  Throughout time they disobeyed God and his Law but the Lord always gave their home back to them. In fact, he expanded their territory! That is exciting! Through the covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob we have the same promise as part of our inheritance.

I do not believe that the Lord set out to make times difficult for Mike and I, because those thoughts do not line up with his Truth.  He wants to prosper us, not harm us!  Mike and I obviously made some decisions along the way that brought us out from the covering of the covenant and I do believe that God can use our disobedience to teach us, using all things for his good.

I truly believe that God has allowed us be broken down and HOMEless, so that our pride could give way to humility, so that we will now have compassion and empathy for those who are struggling like we have struggled. The struggle also allows for perspective to be adjusted.  For my heart to be softened and then to be molded by my Creator for his glory and purpose.

It makes me excited to know that our God is the God of Restoration.  He will replace all that the enemy has stolen from us, and more!   

John 10:10  says "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." 

And Leviticus 6:4-5 says "4 then it shall be, because he has sinned and is guilty, that he shall restore what he has stolen, or the thing which he has extorted, or what was delivered to him for safekeeping, or the lost thing which he found, 5 or all that about which he has sworn falsely. He shall restore its full value, add one-fifth more to it, and give it to whomever it belongs..."

God is our Restorer today not just of our wealth and prosperity, but also of our health, our emotions, souls and will, our freedom, and of the joy of our salvation!

All of this to say that I am already experiencing the joy of His restoration over our lives, specifically in regards to the HOME which we have lost.

In my mind, I always associated having a HOME with never moving.  I was blessed to grow up in the same house my entire life and the comfort of having those permanent roots helped shape who I am today.  I desired to give the same experience to our children. I wanted it so much that I didn't wait for God's blessing and pursued it in my own timing.  This time around we are going to wait for the Lord! [Psalm 27:14 Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.]  I'm finding that the more I wait and the longer I listen for Him, the more He speaks to me, and the more details he gives me about the future He has planned for us.

I am looking forward to my joy and my HOME being restored to me and my family!

Walking with Him,
Momma J

To be continued...

Friday, October 1, 2010


Have you ever had sort of a nagging thought that just wouldn't go away? Like the ones that keep you awake into the wee hours of the night when you know you should be sound asleep? My general interpretation of that situation is that if a thought just won't "go away" it's likely the Holy Spirit trying to communicate something to you.  And if you're anything like me, sometimes it takes a little while until I get the message!

Ever since I was a young woman, just out college I was always passionate about having a "nice" home, whether it was rented or owned, just something nice that I could be proud of.  A place filled with "things" that made me and others feel comfortable.  Somewhere I could invite friends and family over for an afternoon or evening of fun. Since about that time I've also been drawn more and more to home decorating through shows, books, and magazines.

Since I was a fairly new Christian at that point in my life, I did not really know much about spiritual gifts.  I did not know that God gives them to every believer, and I did not know that one of my strongest giftings is in hospitality.  Of course today that all makes perfect sense! Just as strong is my gift for administration, and if you know me at all, that should make perfect sense, too! My husbands strongest gift is giving, just FYI.  [If you'd like to find out what your spiritual gifts are, click here to take a simple test that will help you.]

Since my encounter with the Lord last Sunday when I was driving home from Great Falls until now the Holy Spirit has been stirring inside me. Almost constantly. Not nagging, just gently and tenderly rearranging what I've known has been inside all along.  Sort of like sorting out the puzzle pieces. There has been one word resounding with me for days now...

HOME.  Initially I pondered/meditated on this for a few days before I said anything to anyone because I actually found it quite funny since we are essentially HOME-less, or without a home.  Yes, we have a roof over our head with our family that has been so generous to us, but we are still without a place to call our own.  Finally last night I was able to have some 1-on-1 conversation with Mike (with the babes) and to share what has been going on inside my hear the last few days.

While I was meditating the song by Carrie Underwood, Temporary HOME came to my mind, too.  I really love this song and what it stands for.  I hope you will give it a listen or maybe even take a few extra minutes to watch the video.

The chorus goes: 
"This is my temporary Home
It's not where I belong
Windows and rooms that I'm passin' through
This was just a stop,on the way To where I'm going
I'm not afraid because I know this was
My temporary home."

The song really stirs something in my Spirit, because it is a great perspective on our time here on Earth. This is just our Temporary Home.  My Permanent Home is still waiting for me, Praise God!

I'm just now realizing that this may be a very long post, so I think I will try to break it up into a few separate posts to keep the reading light and easy.  This is probably a good place to stop for tonight. I promise I will do my best to make all these thoughts make sense, in due time!

Draw near to Jesus,
Momma J