Luke 8:54

"And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid arise." Luke 8:54

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Bushels and Blessings

Spiritual Lessons

Bushels and Blessings

I’ve mentioned before, in previous posts, that I worked at a place called “Bushels”. (A small local Mennonite store with a deli/bakery.) In this post, I’d like to give you just a little bit of back story as to how I actually ended up there and where the Lord took me in it. 

I’ve grown up a very conservative Christian girl, to which I have never once regretted. That being said, my dad has never really been supportive of “women in the workforce”. As young women, our focus should be at home. Being “keepers at home” is one of the things listed to teach young women in Titus 2:4 and 5. It is important. But it also isn’t a sin for women to work outside the home either. My dad has always been very protective of his girls, as any good father should be, and I knew as a young girl growing up, that if I would ever work outside my home someday, it would have to be a very special job that met certain requirements. A safe environment being one of them. And somewhat conservative surroundings another. Because my heart was to both obey and respect my dad’s wishes, and I assumed therefore, that I would probably never have a “real job” anytime soon (other than our local housecleaning business). With a desire to please my dad, I asked the Lord one thing- that if He ever wanted me to get a job outside my normal home environment, that He would open the door in a way that my dad would be more excited about the idea than I even would be. With that being said, I was pretty sure I’d be jobless. J But those were my requirements and I held to them.

In the spring of 2013, I found my life changing unexpectedly, and began to pray about new things. Getting a job was one of them. I mentioned it to my dad and just continued to pray about it. I remember when “Bushels” was first brought to my mind. I thought to myself, “Aw, it is perfect. Conservative and safe.” I remember conniving at one point, to maybe get my dad to have the Mennonite family (who ran the store) over for dinner. Besides we were already somewhat acquainted, and had been meaning to have them over sometime anyways. It would be the perfect way in! But, the Lord never gave me peace to push for it. In fact, He told me to leave it alone and wait for His will and timing, whether that was Bushels or not. So I waited. About 3 months.

Unannounced to me, my dad went into the store early that May and while ordering deli meats & cheeses, had a conversation with the man who would later become my boss. Apparently, the fact that he (Mr. Jeremy) needed extra work here and there came into the conversation, and my dad mentioned that his daughter (which would be me) might be interested. My dad never told me and about a week later, I got a call. “If you are still interested in working part-time, let me know in the next few days.” What? I was never so surprised. So I quickly began to pray about it and consulted my dad. Honestly, at first I was a little nervous about the idea, but my dad had full confidence. And believe it or not, my dad was more excited about it than I was!

 When the Lord told me to wait, I waited, and He dropped the perfect job into my lap.

I asked the Lord that my dad would be supportive and excited about a job that met certain specific requirements, and He answered that request.

The Lord gave me Matthew 14:27- “But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.” And there was peace.

So began my almost 2 year career at Bushels. And I learned so much. And more than just simple things like, how to slice the perfect thickness of a piece of Havarti cheese without it crumbling apart, or getting your pound of sliced meat down to the exact ounce on a deli scale, or how to make the perfect deli sandwich in less than 30 seconds, or how to make food labels and package cinnamon rolls efficiently. There were so many life lessons. Like, learning to be more confident in who I am as an individual person. I’ve always struggled with that. But I was no longer introduced or perceived by others as just “the youngest Bickish girl” – but instead, as “Lynea”. I could no longer hide behind my family. I didn’t have my outgoing and bold older sister leading the way! No, instead, I had to step out of my comfort zone. And while learning to be an individual outside your family circle seems a small thing, it actually made a big difference in how I carried myself as a person.

The Lord also gave me many different opportunities to witness and talk with people. It challenged what I believed and why I believed it; to be able to “give an answer for the hope that lieth within [me]” and to defend my faith for myself. I built relationships with many different people and learned how to reach out to them. It was a blessing and a joy. Although there were hard and lonely lessons too. Such as, realizing and learning to be okay with the fact that you are different than “the average Christian” or professing Mennonite and therefore rejected as the “outcast” of the group. Which, isn’t always fun. J But certainly worth it. (Please consider reading my previous blog post: Outside the Camp.) 

In the fall of 2014, the Lord began to close the door to the Bushels store. His timing, again, was perfect. I was tired and busy beyond belief, and my family was getting ready to move. It was time. And by December I gave my notice. Some things in life are only for a season, and Bushels was one of those. But it certainly was a blessing in many ways and I am thankful for everything the Lord taught me during that time and how He used it in my life.

Recently, I was asked to help fill in at Bushels again for several days during the month of April. Due to certain circumstances, they needed extra help. I was a little hesitant, and the long drive and long days certainly didn’t seem that worth it to me. But the Lord not only opened the door, but actually had to end up pushing me through it. I think He knew that He’d have to, because I wouldn’t have walked through it again willingly of my own accord. J And again, He proved faithful in regards to this little work place. He gave me one of the neatest opportunities to talk to one of the young Mennonite girls there that I used to work with. Just being able to share more of my faith with her, and actually watch her listen and consider what I had to say. It thrilled my soul and I came home smiling to myself, because I knew why He had wanted me to go back.

The truth is, waiting on the Lord is a wonderful place to be. As young Christian women, let’s not settle for what the world tells us is normal! Let’s not settle for what even most “Christians” will criticize or shove down our throats! Who says you have to get a job in "the real world" by the time you are 18? Or go to a Christian or secular college? It's okay to be different than the majority. It’s okay to stand alone, if need be. To stand against the strong tide of society. When He sets a standard for us, no matter how impossible it might seem at the time, we can trust Him to provide through it. Is it wrong to get a job as a single young girl? No. Is it wrong to go to college? No, it certainly isn't. But when Christ sets a standard for us, it is wrong to endanger that standard by compromise. We don’t have to compromise! So many young girls I know are choosing to settle. Don’t! Whether that is a job opportunity you just can’t get peace about, or maybe a standard that has been somehow crossed in some way, or a decision that goes against your convictions, or maybe a young man that just isn’t His perfect will for your life and you know it; it isn’t worth settling for.

Psalms 27:14 says- “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.” 

We can wait, because He abides faithful. We can stand against the normality of our modern culture, because He gives us the courage to. We can go on in His perfect will for our lives, because He is our strength. 

This is me (on the far right) with some of the other girls there.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Quote of the Day

"We give thanks often with a tearful, doubtful voice, for our spiritual mercies positive; but what an almost infinite field there is for mercies negative! We cannot even imagine all that God has suffered us not to do, not to be."

F.R. Havergal (Daily Strength for Daily Needs p. 94)

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Support Your Local Crisis Pregnancy Center

One very easy way to support your Local Crisis Pregnancy Center is by shopping. Yes, shopping! 

Here in Sandpoint, Idaho, we have our local Sandpoint Life Choices Pregnancy Center in town and there are several different ways to give your support. Yokes Fresh Market, and also Safeway, both offer percentage reward cards. Find out if your local grocery store offers any "community cards" where you could have a percentage of your grocery money go towards your local Crisis Pregnancy center. 

Here's how it works: 

Stop in at any Yokes's Fresh Market and pick up a card. Use the card every time you shop to earn up to 5% for your favorite school or nonprofit.

Then access your personal reports at to see how much you have earned for your group. It's that easy!

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Sword of His Will

Spiritual Lessons
The Sword of His Will

“Yet more and more this truth doth shine
From failure and from loss,
The will that runs transverse to Thine
Doth thereby make its cross:
Thine upright will
Cuts straight and still
Through pride and dream and dross.”
 W.M.L. Jay

This is something I'd like to call "The Sword of His Will". Which is, to present yourself before the Lord in full surrender and allow Him to tear away from your heart whatever you hold within you that crosses with Himself. It is a painful undertaking, but a worth while one! It bleeds and stings like nothing else, but the result is a sweet savor. It is to be committed all the way. To put place yourself completely in His care. To trust Him with everything. And nothing is more sweet, more precious, or dear to Him. Nothing can compare to the bonding it forms between me and my Saviour. And nothing is worth holding onto that separates that closeness. I hope this is a blessing, dear reader, and that you wouldn't hesitate to open your heart completely to the one who first opened His heart to you. 

I lay myself down on the cold stone
I asked Him to place me here.
But as a once silent prayer becomes my reality,
All I can sense is my own gripping fear.

My heart within me pounding
Like a heavy drum, it beats;
With every part of me shaking in terror,
My Great Physician meets.

“My child, it is time to cut through this dross
So to replace it with the best;
Someday you will yet come to understand the reason,
But for now, be still and rest.”

He knows just where to place the knife,
Cutting deep, the right incision He makes.
Clear through my dearest desires and dreams,
My heart, He deliberately breaks.

The pain within me, overwhelming
How it aches and stings and bleeds!
But still one thought returning,
“Lovest Thou me, more than these?”

How the sorrows of loss compassed me!
My eyes, heavy laden with tears;
Weary and wounded, I cry out to Him-
Only silence; Yet, I could sense His presence near.

Still He continued to tear me
All earthly pleasures severed and crushed;
The hopes once hidden away in my heart,
Like blood from my veins, now rushed.

Such silence disquieted my soul
But His touch was still gentle and sweet.
For no one else knows me like He does,
All my deepest needs, He alone can entreat.

His smile towards me was reassuring
Though His face with anguish seemed worn.
I felt secure in His strong grasp; But still wondered,
Why, with such heaviness of tears, He did mourn?

For behold, He too was standing there bleeding!
All my pain and grief to bear;
And it was then, I knew that He loved me
What great compassion! My death to share!

Lord Jesus, You gave all Your life blood,
“The Man of Sorrows”, became for me;
And so through Your grace and by Thy power,
I'll lie here and bleed for Thee.

Still, He won't leave His helpless victim,
Lying shattered and lifeless and wasted to be;
But He comes in quite different apparel
Jehovah-Rapha- "I am the LORD that healeth thee."

Such peace floods my soul!
He's a healing balm to my open wounds;
What joy overflows me; He mends the broken heart again!
Whatever the losses I feared, my thanksgiving now consumes.

It is good that He did afflict me
For He only is able to fully use;
Those things which are willing to be sacrificed,
And a heart that is broken and bruised.

     -Lynea Bickish   January 2014-

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Quote of the Day

"In the bitter waves of woe,
 Beaten and tossed about
 By the sullen winds that blow
 From the desolate shores of doubt,
 Where the anchors that faith has cast
 Are dragging in the gale,
 I am quietly holding fast
 To the things that cannot fail."

(Washington Gladden, Daily Strength for Daily Needs p. 36)

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Haunted Part II

Spiritual Lessons

Part II

Image result for depression

Recently I shared with you my thoughts on depression (Starless). And even more recently some lessons I have learned from depression (Haunted Part I).   This is the rest of my lessons.  I hope I can reach at least one person and bless your heart. 

Expressing myself.

Image result for writing, old journalsI often cannot even pin-point the cause of my depression. There is closure in understanding what is bothering me. I can do this by writing (Express Yourself to Health). It helps me not to give in to bitter thoughts or condemnation. I can share them with Jesus. And through my sharing with Him in the past I've come to realize that I don't have to be stable. He is. It doesn't matter if I don't feel hope – there IS one. (Joel 3:10) Weeping, vulnerably, exposing my heart to Jesus allows him to be a balm to my heart. It allows Him to defend me. And it also brings me to a place where I can choose to be thankful. I've listed my hurts and now can find things to be thankful for.

Image result for holding a child's handReaching out beyond my own need and finding others to lift up.

In His mercy God has given me others that I can relate to and comfort and share with because He has allowed me to travel the dark path of depression. This is a constant comfort of my soul. When I reach out to others and they can confide in me because I too have been where their soul now sinks I realize my pain wasn't in vain. He may be bringing you through this very same place so you can lift someone else up. That others may be healed. Hebrews 12:12-13. Allowing Him to lift me up is a testimony to those who don't believe in Him. (Ps. 4:6-8)

Knowing I have never regretted my nights and tears.

Image result for tearsSometimes tears are my bread and drink, the dark my table and hopelessness my only company. But how sweet to realize that even in those bitter times He doesn't change and He doesn't forsake. How “normal” it is to cry out “how long Lord?” and “Why Jesus?....Give ear O Shepherd!” How inevitable for Him to come to His child. He knows exactly how long our night will last, even must last. ...My burdens have not been removed but I know that in your mercy you can remove them from my shoulder. I feel like I have been spit out the other side of a grinder. I believe my wounds have definitely left me changed. Scarred yes, but with lessons learned as well. ...Depression doesn't make sense. But I've learned the familiarity of the deep sinking sand of the miry pit and the capability of my Jesus to let me there and rescue me just because He cares.”
– Toni Hutto, March 5th 2015 entry

Not anxiously battling

Facing my giants is quite different than desperately battling for a good result (sleep, happiness, peace). but quietly accepting the negative (insomnia, melancholy, disturbance) and choosing to recognize it and simply move on is facing these giants and brings peace.

Image result for girl in fieldIt is difficult for the unrestored soul to lie down in green pastures as to lie down in barren wastes...Prosperity lies not in the greenness of the pastures, adversity lies not in the barrenness of the wastes; they both lie within. The joyous heart will make all things joyful...the restless heart will make all things unrestful...thou canst extract joy out of sorrow.” ~ George Matheson Moments on the Mount p.69

Seeing guilt as sin, and recognizing the difference between guilt and conviction.

Image result for girl in field

"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father... If God be for us, who can be against us? ...Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect?  It is God that justifieth.  Who is he that condemneth?  It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at he right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?"

Romans 8:1+9+15+31+33-35

Recognizing that my pain over haunting evil thoughts are actually proof of purity.

Image result for purityThere is a pain which is the proof of convalescence, the sign that death is not yet. There is a pain which tells that the wound is not yet mortified, that there is life yet left in the mutilated member. There is a pain which is symptomatic of purity, which grows with the progress of purity, which cannot be felt by the impure. No conscience can feel the wound of sin but the tender conscience, no spirit can perceive it's own unrest but the regenerated spirit. Ought not the sight of such pain be dear to thy Father's heart? ...If He shall see thee unsatisfied with the earth, then indeed it is meet that He should be glad, for by the very want which earth cannot fill, He knows assuredly for by the very want which earth cannot fill, He knows assuredly that thou art made for Himself alone.” – George Matheson, Moments on the Mount p.103

Our flesh, or the enemy, will attack you in your imaginations and dreams if you have pledged purity.  He is King of our imaginations and dreams.  He is in control.  He will take them away.  But just as sleep cannot be chased to be obtained, we cannot fret over the evil dream or words and expect them to go away.  If you dwell on guilt and evil then that is what will re-play.  Focus on promises. (Phil 4:7-8; Ps.46:2; Deut. 31:6; 1 John 4:18; Is.30:15)  "Create in me a clean heart oh God and renew a right spirit within me!" (Psalm 51:10) This was cried by David.  A man that struggled with purity.  And yet he was a man after God's own heart. 

It's always a help to me, to remember that Jesus took on himself the seed of Abraham and suffered temptation so he might be able to succour us that are tempted.  (Hebrews 2:16-18).  He understands our temptations.  He desired to be a merciful and faithful priest of our souls.  He desired not only to succour us in salvation, but in our earthly existence as well.   He can relate to your temptation.  He knows how it feels.   


I hope this post was somehow an encouragement to you.  We are in a battle with a fierce enemy.  Flaming darts will come.  Don't feel guilty when they do.  You are only targeted because of your obvious stand.  The enemy often attacks us in places God has chosen to prove strong in.  If your thought life is under attack, and your purity under siege, know that it is because God has a plan for your life.  The enemy sees you as a soldier to take out.  He plays dirty -- he will use guilt.  It's okay to be weak in these areas.  It only means we will rely all the more readily on Someone mightier than we are! 

Related Posts:

Silly Scribble # 3 An Open Door 

Image result for mercy
An Abyss and Mass of Mercies

 Image result for stars

Friday, April 17, 2015

Quote of the Day

"To those who are His, all things are not only easy to be borne, but even to be gladly chosen."

H.E. Manning (Daily Strength for Daily Needs p. 98)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Haunted Part I

Spiritual Lessons 
Part I

Image result for depression

Recently I shared with you my thoughts on depression (Starless). This is not an observation but the lessons I learned from it. I hope this is a blessing to at least one person.

It's not wrong to hurt. It's not giving in to weakness to acknowledge you feel wounded. It's okay to weep until you groan and rock back and forth and let everything flow. It's not something to feel ashamed of and hide from. Depression is real and not just something “in your head”. It's physical, emotional, spiritual. It's a roller coaster. It's dark. It is a vulnerable place to be, but not a sin. Evil thoughts may come to hover over you, but the choice still remains yours whether to dwell on them, believe them and accept them, or not.

Fear is ungodly. But depression isn't necessarily. David cried out “Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself”. Job also cried “ day is my complaint bitter: my stroke is heavier than my groaning. Oh that I might find him! That I might come even to his seat. I would order my cause before him and fill my mouth with arguments.” Job 23:2-5

And God never condemned these men's cries and pleadings.

I'm not sure that everyone deals with depression or evil haunting thoughts. But at least at some point in everyone's life they have cried themselves to sleep, or grasped desperately at peace, or felt alone and hurt. It isn't just me. C.S. Lewis said grief is like “an invisible blanket between the world and me. I find it hard to take in what anyone says. Or perhaps, hard to want to take it in.” – A Grief Observed p. 3
Friends of mine have shared their struggles and hurts, and their private sorrows.

What to do when these plagues come? What helped me find peace?

Acceptance of the roller coaster.
Image result for black and white roller coaster photo
Even before I felt God reaching out to me, I decided I wasn't going to dread the up and down emotions depression inevitably brings. I found an assurance in the predictability of depression. In the familiarity of it. I recognized it when it stole upon me, and I could readily accept it and not fret when it knocked on my heart's door. And surprisingly, it didn't hurt like before. My fear of it was half the pain I was experiencing. And without the fear I could face depression much more objectively and quietly. He is still Jesus when my roller coaster emotions have peaked, and when I'm at the bottom. Whether I'm struggling up the tracks or rushing down them I'll simply trust Him and be faithful.

Having someone hear me out.
Image result for two friends silhouette
One of the worst parts of depression is the discomfort of being alone. Whether it's true or not, you know, that no one cares and could possibly understand. In the midst of it I'm unsure anyone could effectively prove to me otherwise. But, I once had someone listen to me share my experience of hurt and depression. She didn't try to “fix” it. She didn't try to compare her own struggles to mine. She wasn't shocked when I admitted that death seemed comforting, but she didn't just nod and act like it was totally okay and normal. She sincerely empathized and listened, and simply told me she would pray for me. That's it. And from that moment on I was able to move forward. I was even able to see how God had used her to bring me relief...and it proved His love and mercy and allowed me to realize heaven wasn't silent after all.

Realizing joy is my strength and seeking it.
Image result for joy

Joy can sometimes sound unappealing when I'm hurting. I guess some would think it silly that the opposite symptom to pain would be unwelcome, but in the moment it sounds unobtainable and even weaker than the heavy hurt and melancholy of depression. Joy doesn't seem real compared to how I'm feeling. Sometimes there is even a warped sense of gratification in sitting alone in my darkness. But it's then I must remind myself that the joy of the Lord is my strength. That it's there for the asking. And what follows joy is thankfulness. And what follows thankfulness is always peace. It's inevitable. With this sometimes comes a fear that He won't give me joy. And then I will be plunged into deeper depression because I dared to call and He didn't come. But then comes the next helpful thing –

Not expecting deliverance in a miraculous way.

Image result for morningI have come to learn that He decides when joy comes. My night of weeping may last weeks....but my morning of joy will come. Joy is but for the asking. But He gives it in His time and in His way. There will be a sunrise. But there is no protocol to joy. As well as getting out of depression. And without protocol, without any expectations, I'm left completely dependent on Him, and that is a good thing. Joy isn't a pill I can take, but simply a gift that He gives when I ask and want it. He might not come to me in some miraculous epiphany. I might not feel deliverance right away. But He will come. He has promised not to forsake us. We can cling to his promises despite our emotions. He says he understands how we feel. Hebrews 2:16-18. It has always helped me to talk and cry out to God even in defiance to my feelings. He will come.

Accepting silence as an answer.

When I lay these questions before God I get no answer. But a rather special sort of 'No answer'. It is not the locked door. It is more like a silent, certainly not uncompassionate, gaze. As though He shook His head not in refusal but waiving the question. Like, 'Peace, child; you don't understand.'
Image result for two friends on bench silhouetteCan a mortal ask questions which God finds unanswerable? Quite easily, I should think. All nonsense questions are unanswerable. How many hours are there in a mile? Is yellow square or round? Probably half the questions we ask – half our great theological and metaphysical problems – are like that. – C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed, p.69

My asking 'why' is not proof of sin. My grief isn't a lack of love. Crying out in pain is not evil. Neither is His silence. If He is silent it is on purpose...and most likely I'm not willing to hear Him out just yet. He will come. He will comfort. He will answer. It may just be “Peace child, you don't understand.”

Not beating myself up for being an emotional wreck.

Image result for sword of the lordYou are not a pitiful weakling if you struggle with depression or are haunted by your past, or are burdened by your emotions. It's nothing to be guilty about. Forgive yourself. As a child of the King we don't have to stay in depression. If these are your enemies, accept that fact. Others struggle with pride, a hot temper, a critical spirit... these are their “giants”. You happen to struggle with Giant Depression, or doubt, or fear. Hiding the fact won't help you. Giving into doubt and fear is evil, but having them attack you is not your fault and nothing to grieve over. They will come, but Christ knows your personal giants and has already equipped you with armor to fight them –

Image result for girl in fieldNot ignoring the pain, the ache, the fear, the loneliness, the betrayal.

The last thing you feel like is engaging depression when you are depressed. I get that. Depression may seize you without your consent. We still have a choice – give into it and wallow there, or recognize it and give it up to Jesus. Your emotions will eventually follow your choice to give it up. We can choose not to allow it to make us angry. I always have to choose to be hurt rather than to be bitter. To accept it. Not to bottle my emotions and allow them to sit pent up. We can never let go of pain sources until we are willing to face them. Pain loses a lot of it's intimidation when it's not ignored. Brings closure.

Click here for Haunted Part II