About Me

Van Walton

Fun Facts about Van Walton

My favorite smell: The way the earth smells after it rains.

My favorite sound: The first notes of a grand symphony.

My favorite way to relax: Sitting anywhere outside - on my front porch, on my deck, or by the lake, early in the morning with my first cup of coffee.

My favorite birthday dessert: a Peach cobbler baked by my husband. He’s my fave chef!

I will not eat: Avocado. They turn my stomach into a volcano that never erupts.

Technology I couldn't live without and why: My laptop - it takes me anywhere I want to go.

One thing that makes me smile: My sons' faces!

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My Resources



My book, From the Pound to the Palace, is available for $10
from Proverbs 31 Ministries.


Pound to Palace


My book, Little Halos, is available for $5.99 from Proverbs
31 Ministries.


Little Halos


Proverbs 31 Ministries












Links




Sponsor a Child in Jesus Name with Compassion

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

THE GREAT EXCHANGE

This is a message of hope and encouragement to the ladies who heard me tell my story this morning.

For those who are simply dropping in to visit me today, let me give you a bit of background. I was a visiting speaker to a small group studying cultivating contentment. I was asked to tell a bit of my own story – how I seek contentment in my life, how I find it, how I live it out. I told the story of my dog and the lessons his devotion toward me taught me to live a life of surrender to the Master. I began by describing the conditions in the dog pound where we found our dog. I compared the life of an abandoned, lost, and neglected puppy to the human life. We too, if we are honest, have our own stories of heartache, sorrow, and fear. I said to the group of women, “How pathetic that I a human live in circumstances so like those of a dog abandoned to live in an animal shelter.”

My story is about my walk with God, how I don’t always walk well, how I listen to lies and let them destroy me, how I wish for my circumstances to change, how emotions often rule me, how I expect people to make me happy…

Then one day, I looked at my dog - - - looking at me. “He never takes his eyes off me. He is never far from me.” I realized that I did not hold my Master in such esteem. I had lots of lessons to learn, life changing lessons, in spiritual devotion.

At the end of our time together, I asked the ladies to write down those situations in their lives that represent despair, discontent, and sadness. Then I encouraged them to place the cries of their heart into the cage (a bird cage in the front of the room) and pick up the King’s battle cry – God’s command to “take up the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.

I reminded them that when I took my dog out of his “cage” and asked him to walk with me, he immediately changed his attitude. He changed because he left his past behind and walked away, focused on a new life, a new future, a master who would claim him as his own. He submitted to me and chose to trust me with his life. My dog exchanged life in a cage with life devoted to me. He exchanged his bad habit of running away with a decision to remain beside me. He exchanged his way for my way.
I have just read and taken to heart the exchanges you long to make. I can relate to EVERY one. Thank you for your honesty. You are not alone. I thought you would like to know what ladies long to leave behind so they can rise to walk in dignity.

Your pain, sorrow, conflict or trouble – what ever it is – is a pearl in the making! God has allowed the irritant to enter your life and around it He is developing a story that will build you, strengthen you, and give you wisdom to encourage another. Meanwhile, take comfort in Lord’s battle cry,
Take up the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God, believing that He will never, ever leave you or forsake you.

I know that to be true. Early this morning I began to share my story with you beginning form a point in time when I was 8. Today 5 decades later – yes that's FIFTY years later, I can stand amazed and say, “Although I have felt rejection and sorrow, experienced life-threatening troubles, cried buckets of tears over every manner of sadness, and hoped for the end to come quickly, my God has never abandoned me.”

Let today's results remind you, you are not alone.


I want to exchange my : heavy heart for joy.
-pride
-marital conflict
-life, that it might be a blessing for others
-my own ideas of life for openness and decotion
-insecurities for peace
-low self confidence for His confirmation
-attachment issues
-negativism
-guilty feelings (2)
-anxiety for trust in God
-insignificance
-feelings that I will be forgotten for God’s guidance
-disappointing relationships (2) forrestoration
-resentment
-anger (3) for His direction
-temptation
-pain for my children for moving forward with God
-fear (6) of failure, baby's death, husband leaving, not being liked, imperfection
-rejection (3) for first love
-laziness for discipline and devotion
-fatique (2)
-selfishness (2)
-discontent for content to live in the present
-doubt (2) for wisdom
-loneliness (3)
-deep family wounds
-busy life for God, family, people
-world
-emptiness
-frustration
-worry

Here is the hope: You have already been given a crown of beauty instead of ashes, oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. (Isaiah 61:3-)

Take up the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God, believing that God will never, ever leave you or forsake you. After all, didn't he leave his throne on high and step into your space, asking, "What can I do for you?"

9 comments:

lexianddaltonsnanna@blogerspot.com said...

Thank you I never related my life as being rescued from the pound. You wrote of several of the ways I have felt in my last almost 5 decades. Once you think about it we have all been rescued.
Your sister in "Christ"
"K"

Laura said...

Oh, Van! How I wish I was there with your group this morning to share in this eye and heart opening exercise! I've got my own cages in life...I'm exchanging the chains now! It always amazes me how we need reminded to examine ourselves on a regular basis and draw strength and encouragement from one another. Thank you for encouraging me!
Laura

Celly B said...

Van,
What a powerful post! "Your pain, sorrow, conflict or trouble – what ever it is – is a pearl in the making! God has allowed the irritant to enter your life and around it He is developing a story that will build you, strengthen you, and give you wisdom to encourage another." I truly believe that the trials we undergo can become experiences that make us stronger and can serve as means to lift up others.
Thank you for such a meaningful and thought-provoking post!

Amy Carroll said...

Van,
Your devotion today was so much for me. I'm raising 2 boys also, and I'm going to adopt your phrase. Thanks for mentoring me along with mothering!

Amy

Rachel said...

Thank you for your devotional post at Proverbs 31. As the mother of one son ( and 3 daughters)I really appreciated your wise words and insight. I particularly liked your suggestion of asking God for a picture of my son as a man and certainly something I shall ask Him for.

Rachel.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Van, I love what you wrote about the pearl and how God has allowed us those circumstances that are painful or uncomfortable, I have experience my own health issues the last 3 months and I find hope in knowing God's plan for me will be revealed in his timing and that I need to find the joy through all this, with all that said I look forward to that pearl, but I look forward most of all the journey that's get's me where he wants me. Thanks, for your inspiring words.
<>< Renee

Laura said...

Van, I just read your devotional on Proverbs 31 and just had to comment on how deeply it touched me. You are such an inspiration for me, as a mother of two young boys! Sometimes it's so hard to do that touch love thing! But I know you are right, and I need to work on this a little more. My guys are a little too dependent on mom to handle a lot of things that they need to "be the man" and handle for themselves! Thank you for this inspiration!
luv,
Laura

Jami said...

Hi Van! Thanks for posting on my blog today. I did go right over and give my Hudson a big hug..said this is from Van...and mommy! :)

How exciting that you've written children's books. Have you ever considered a book on adoption with a latino boy?! :) I would love to have one for Hudson to read someday. There seem to be many with children from China, for ex. but I love a book where the main character looks more like my little man! :)

Just a thought! :)

Melissa said...

Van,

You always inspire me. Your words remind me how much I am loved by my Father! It just takes my breath away!
I missed you at Bible study yesterday. You are amazing my friend!

Much Love,
Melissa