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Showing posts from 2011

Trust

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And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." (Matthew 1:19-21 ESV)And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end." (Luke 1:30-33 ESV)The house is insanely quiet.  The kids are gone to the grandparents, and Troy still at work.…

Goodbye my friend

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I really don't know where I am going with this post, except to say my heart is broken clean into.  Yesterday, we buried Elvis, Noah's cat that has aways had more personality than his body would hold.  A Pit Bull shook him to death in seconds underneath our trees.  Thankfully none of us were around to hear or see what happened. 
He added so much life to our family.  He belonged to both our son Noah, with whom Elivs fished and swam.  He also belonged to our cocker spaniel Jasmine, who slept by his side.  And yes, I was quite fond of him too.  More than I am willing to admit.
I held my eight-year-old son as he sobbed himself to sleep last night, and I sobbed right along with him.
And in the big scheme of life, this is just one more thing on the pile of disappointments and disasters that I've seemed to fall into lately.  Its seems the harder I try, the harder I fall.  As if I am climing up a hill of solid ice, gaining hold for only a second, then slipping farther down.
Yeah, …

Writer's Block

Writer's Block.  For the past couple of weeks I've been wanting to get a post in this journal of mine, and yet nothing would come.  My posts usually come freely from things God has spoken to my heart.  My anxiety has grown daily because I haven't had that word to share.

Social media guidelines for blogging tell you to post regularly in order to encourage readership.  I've got to admit I watch my viewing numbers.  There's a little pride there to see a "following," but more importantly the opportunity to share my Jesus with others.  So when the posts get far between, I start to panic.  Am I not listening closely enough?

When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour.  Matthew 10:19 ESV

God boldly prepares us for the time to share our message.  Have you ever been afraid to share your faith with someone, afraid you won't have the words to say?  This verse…

Hummers

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I sat mesmerized last night.  A storm blowing in, the breeze tickling my face.  A rare moment with no one around and I could slow down long enough to focus on the beauty around me.  A high-pitched chirp, then a buzz past my ear...a tiny hummingbird.  I call them my humbabies.  Four of them did what appeared to be a well choreographed dance around the feeder, pausing long enough to take a quick drink.  They darted into the trees.  The process repeated itself again and again.

This time of year my humbabies are extremely active.  I can't keep a feeder full of food.  Their tiny bodies tank up on the sweet nectar to help them fuel their nonstop, 18-22 hour journey across the Gulf.  Their main diet is insects, and nectar is the fuel that gives them energy to do their work.

These little creatures buzzed and swirled about, and in my mind all I could think about were how they, weighing less than one ounce,  could cross a great big ocean in the coming weeks.  It seems like such an impossibl…

An amazing journey

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I've tried to not let my work life spill over into my personal blog, but today I am making an exception.  Today marks my four year anniversary with the American Cancer Society.  The past four years have shaped me in so many ways.  This is not a job, its the purpose in my life to which I have been called. Here's just a few of the lessons I have learned.

You can't control everything.  This detailed, type A kind of girl quickly learned that when your great plans don't work, fly by the seat of your pants and pray.  Outdoor events rely more on prayer than plans!  So should the rest of our life. Being up all night can be tremendously rewarding.  Those silly games at 3 a.m. have left tons of memories, and laughing during crazy ice breakers have melted a glacier's worth of stress.  Driving home at 7 a.m. while fighting to say awake have yielded some of my best heart to hearts with God.Cancer doesn't discriminate by race, age, or social status.  Losing volunteers to the d…

Feeling Inadequate

The first week back to school. Maybe its trying to get back into routine. Maybe is the mounting tasks of year end with my job. Maybe its that way-to-deeply ingrained need for perfection. Maybe its just me.

I've just felt so inadequate this week. Unable to get things where I wanted them, insecure about things to come. Not qualified for the challenges I must face.

Sometimes its not learning something new, its being reminded of something you already are. This morning, God took me back to Jeremiah 1, which details a conversation between God and Jeremiah. Jeremiah is feeling inadequate to accomplish the tasks he has been called to do. He makes excuses, and each time, God tells him he has that taken care of and he already has provided. He has called him for great things and has provided the tools Jeremiah needs.

Borrowing from my 1/1 post, here are the three "resolutions" God gave me this year:

1. Trust: If you will listen and follow...I will take care of you.
2.…

Win Free Tickets to Women of Faith Conference, Atlanta, GA, August 12-13

Hey Ladies...how would you like the opportunity to see Laura Story, Angie Smith, Luci Swindoll, Sheila Walsh, Lisa Harper and Natalie Grant live and worship with thousands of other women this weekend in Atlanta? You can win two tickets to the Women of Faith Event this weekend in Atlanta, GA, by simply commenting below on why you would like to attend, and liking this entry on your Facebook page. Winner will be announced Tuesday evening and selected by random number draw. 

If you have never attended an event like this, I can promise it will be one you will never forget. Check out the lineup at http://www.womenoffaith.com/events/2011-events/atlanta/

Tickets are for the event only and do not include hotel or transportation.

A Successful Life

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Twenty years.  It seems almost impossible that time has passed quickly enough to have put 20 years between my high school years and today.   The cover of the yearbook quickly confirms my speculation.  Inside, countless photos of wide-eyed youth ready to tackle the world head on.  This one?  Yes, that's me.  Giles County High School Class of 1991.  Salutatorian, Most Likely to Succeed. It was an honor to be recognized as such by my classmates. 

So as the notice of our upcoming class reunion came, I began to get a bit nervous.  Most Likely to Succeed...what would my classmates say about my life?  I had always looked at that title and thought about rocket scientists or a super star.  I am neither.  Just a small town gal working for a non-profit.  Gardening and playing Mrs. Fixit on our 2.5 acre country "estate".  Frazzled mom and wife who lets the laundry get out of control on a regular basis.

Some view success as a big bank account or the attainment of a successful career…

The Most Important Parenting Book You Will Ever Read

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I didn't do a very good job of holding back the tears as we prayed over our daughter before she left to go on her first mission trip.  My little one going out into the big world.  This week has turned yet another page in the life of our family.

The times of trying to figure out which way to swaddle my babies to comfort them is over, however their need for my comforting words is just beginning.  My time of preparing their food and lovingly placing each bite into their mouth is over, but my ability to feed them and help them grow into adults equipped to handle the great big world is not.  I'm not talking about that huge home cooked meal I fixed to welcome my girl home either.  There will be plenty of those at this house too.

Questions have become harder.  No longer are inquiries as simple as "Why is the sky blue?" but ones requiring more thought, the answers much more important.  This week, my youngest asked me why Christians still do bad things, and are they really a …

A Lost Lamb

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This week marked three months since the day a beautiful young lady disappeared into the woods near her home.  Volunteers numbering the population of the small town in which she lives have fervently combed the area looking for clues to her mysterious disappearance.  Pink ribbons adorn almost every business and home in the community.

A few weeks ago I traveled with her church on a ladies weekend.  The bus was decorated with pink in Holly's honor.  Each woman wore a pink ribbon with an H sticker.  Each time we took a break while traveling, we passed out flyers in the hope someone might recognize her face.  I know each of them prays daily for her safe return.

Their commitment to find this precious child left such an impression on my heart.  No matter how long it takes, they will continue the fight.  Its such an example of our Father God, who seeks his lost lambs with such diligence too.  He never gives up!  No matter how dark of a life we lead, and how far away we travel, he doesn'…

Gardening

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An early summer morning.  The dew is still on the ground, and the sun is peaking over the horizon.  Its time to invest in our summertime hobby, gardening.  There's a great satisfaction that comes from working with your hands and seeing the fruits (vegetables) of your labor. 

Gardening is work.  We invest a great deal of time and energy into our garden each year.  The soil must be fertilized and tilled.  It requires water.  Sometimes we have to remove the pests and diseases that attack our plants.  Then there are the weeds.  But in the end, there is the harvest.

Today, hoe in hand, I was working on the weeds.  One by one I chopped and pulled at each offender.  They had to go.  Why?  Aside from the eyesore they create, they can stress or choke out our good plants so we will have no harvest.

As I stood there, I realized we have weeds in our lives too.  Overindulgence, lack of commitment, a slack prayer life, lying, cheating, the list rolled on. 

What do the weeds do in our lives?  Th…

A goodie for you

Incorage.me has a beautiful wallpaper calendar that I wanted to share with you:

http://www.incourage.me/2011/07/julys-desktop-wallpaper-is-now-available.html

If you aren't familiar with the site, take a look around.  Its a great site full of encouraging words.

Finding your Sabbaths

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I attended the last Deeper Still conference in Louisville, Kentucky, this past weekend.  In two days time my empty, poured out soul was filled to overflowing, and God had spoken directly to my heart.  A coliseum of 8,000 people and an impressive sound system.  God made sure I heard his message, and that I had plenty of witnesses. 

You can expect to hear more about my time with Kay Arthur and Beth Moore.  Today I want to share my session with Priscilla Shirer.  In that huge place of 8,000, God had his finger pointing directly at me.

Priscilla shared a message from Exodus 16 and Deuteronomy 5 about the importance of "sabbaths" in our lives. 

Deuteronomy 5
12 Observe the sabbath day to keep it holy, as the LORD your God commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant or your ox or your donkey …

A Birthday Message

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Philippians 1:18 (The Message)
 And I'm going to keep that celebration going because I know how it's going to turn out. Through your faithful prayers and the generous response of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, everything he wants to do in and through me will be done.

Birthdays, time to celebrate.  Its not about birthday balloons and party hats.  Its not about the cake.  And its certainly not about the wrinkles or gray hairs that magically appear. Its a celebration, because we know how the end of the story turns out.

I had planned to take some time on my birthday to blog the important events in the past year of my life.  My quiet time this morning lead me to Philippians 1 in the Message Bible.  A verse about celebration, and a verse that sums up the work of God in my life the past year.

Attitude is important.  In the midst of great trial, Paul and Timothy take time to reflect on the great work done in Philippi instead of getting eaten up with their current circumstances.  Its rea…

Why God? Seeing A Greater Plan

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A prayer, prayed fervently.
A prayer, prayed consistently.
A prayer prayed daily
A prayer, prayed with faith.
A prayer, seemingly unanswered.  Why?

Why God?  Why, when prayers are prayed with an open heart and a soul poured out with all sincerity, do prayers go unanswered?  Every day we take to our knees to pray fervently, consistently, with faith and determination for lost family members, healing for a special friend, for that much needed answer to the perplexing factor in the middle of our lives.  We stand, waiting for that great lightning strike to fix it in an instant, and yet it comes not or so it seems.


I've been asking the "Why God?" question myself.  Praying for a need, and yet the only answer is "just wait."  I wanted to share with you the words to a song I have been hearing.  Laura Story's "Blessings."  It was a great reminder to me this week that not only does God hear every desire of my heart, he also knows what is best for me.  H…

Parenting Advice from the Cross

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John 3:16 (New International Version, ©2011) For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 6:40 a.m.  Down the driveway they go, gobbled up by the big yellow bus.  I pray each morning as they pull away that God will protect my most precious possessions. No mother forgets what it takes to bring a child into this world, and they certainly don't forget the amazing moment when you meet that precious gift for the first time.

As Easter approaches, we take time to reflect on the sacrifice made for us at the cross.  Seeing that sacrifice from the eyes of a parent has given it new meaning for me.

My oldest is a drama queen to the most literal of terms.  She loves the crowd, and seems as though she never breaks a sweat performing in front of them.  My knees shake thinking about doing something like that!  I think of her in front of the crowd.  Its all I can do to watch, praying she does well and the c…

Rest

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Psalm 62:1-2 NIV

Truly my soul finds rest in God;
   my salvation comes from him.
 Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
   he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.


Matthew 11:28
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.


I'm a busybody.  It is not my nature to sit still.  And waiting...oh...I don't do that very well either.  I've got to be doing something, always.

Today, God reminded me why the Bible is filled with all sorts of references to rest.  Because we are supposed to ACTUALLY DO IT!

Two twelve hour work days (plus mom duties) into the week, my voice was rather froggy, and my spunk withering.  No need to let a little allergy issue slow me down though.  After all, I managed to make the weekend go pretty well thanks to dramamine.  My to do list was made for days 3-5.  Even if it read like a novel, I could do it.

Then I got up today.  Not even a squeak.  No audible sound would come from my mouth.  By the time I got the kids and hubby …

Have Fun

“So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people in this world than to eat, drink, and enjoy life. That way they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work God gives them under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 8:15 NLT

These verses spoke to me so loudly this morning!  18 days.  That's all that are left until its showtime.  Another bout with vertigo in a time when I don't need to slow down has left me in a state of panic.  I can't get sick...I can't function with ringing ears and a dizzy head.  How will it all get done?
My husband can come home after a hard day, flick on the television, and get lost in the screen. He can drop in the middle of a busy day for a 15 minute nap, or go outside and just meander around. It frustrates me! Why...because I am a doer.  If there is a project to complete anywhere in …

Simplify

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No verses to go with this one.  Just a simple request to join me in prayer.  At the beginning of the year, K-Love put out the challenge to listeners to choose one word that you would work on during this next year to improve your life.  I immediately knew the battle I had been called to face, but not the word.  So, three full months into the year, I have my word.  SIMPLIFY

Its not an easy word, and the mere mention of it makes me nervous.  Simplify...You see, I am a type A perfectionist.  And I happen to be one of those people who has many interests and enjoys multitasking. 

So how did I get here in the first place?  I've just not been feeling very useful lately as a Christian, and I had been praying for God to show me where he could use me.  Instead, God has told me enough is enough...in order to live the life He wants me to live, I'm going to have to let go, simplify. Not the answer for which I was seeking.

I started praying January 1 for the revelation of where to simplify.  …

Giving of Our Time

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Galatians 6:9-10
So we must not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don't give up.  Therefore, as we have opportunity, we must work  for the good of all, especially for those who belong to the household of faith.

     My greatest experience with the weariness, and joy of these verses came as a two-year-old Sunday School teacher. The attention span of a preschooler is about one minute per year of age, so trying to figure out if you actually taught anything in those two minutes is a miracle in itself. But there was one Sunday God showed me what a difference my time was making. A young little guy, who came on the church bus, had hardly said anything during the weeks before. As all the toddlers moved about, playing happily, he pointed to a picture on the wall and said "Jesus." My heart jumped inside my chest. JESUS...he knew the man in the picture was JESUS. Weeks of anxiety and the stress of wrestling toddlers, spending more time cleaning up toy…

Prayer Whimp or Prayer Warrior?

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8 (ESV)
A great message from my pastor in his devotional yesterday morning about prayer. These verses tell us that if we ask, it will be given, and if we seek, we shall find.  In his message, he goes on to say if we aren't getting answers, we should pray even harder!  Jesus prayed until he sweated drops of blood. I've been praying about something for an extended period of time.  I know its not a selfish prayer.  But I've prayed and I've prayed, and yet the doors I thought should lead to the path I was seeking keep closing in front of me.  I know its a prayer he will answer in time...but how long?
Reading these verses yesterday, I realized what a prayer whimp I am.  I've asked God to make things happen, but I am afraid if I tell him I REALLY want it, and …

Exodous 33

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Exodous 33
19 The Lord replied, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and I will call out my name, Yahweh,2021 The Lord continued, “Look, stand near me on this rock. 22 As my glorious presence passes by, I will hide you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand and let you see me from behind. But my face will not be seen.before you. For I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose. But you may not look directly at my face, for no one may see me and live.” ”

I had a good laugh reading this chapter.  Moses is preparing to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.  God plainly tells Moses he will not go with them because they are stubborn and rebellious, and he will surely kill them along the way.  Wow!  Its a wonder many of us today are still alive too...

Moses then asks God that if he will not go with them to show his presence.  God tells him to go to a rock and stand, and as he pa…

This is the stuff

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There's a blog coming about God's burden on my heart to "Get it Together."  About six months ago, he revealed me it was time to stop just going through the motions of life and to do a better job of taking care of myself and my family.  Giving my best by taking care of the top priorities with which I have been entrusted at 110 percent and weeding out what doesn't have to be there.  Learning to let him guide me with prioritizing my life and trusting him to help me to let go.

You know, things were going pretty well for a while.  I was seeing progress.  I was less stressed, taking more quality time for me and with my family.  Fast forward to two weeks ago.   My seasonal job (full time all year, overdrive in the spring) has kicked in full force.  So has basketball, 4-H, band, Hee Haw, church activities...Vertigo from a sinus infection, has left me feeling like I'm spinning just a bit faster than everyone else.  I have been just getting through the day, and the res…

Happy New Year!

The Call of Jeremiah4 The word of the LORD came to me:5 I chose you before I formed you in the womb;
    I set you apart before you were born.
    I appointed you a prophet to the nations. 

6 But I protested, "Oh no, Lord GOD ! Look, I don't know how to speak since I am [only] a youth." 
7 Then the LORD said to me:
    Do not say: I am [only] a youth,
    for you will go to everyone I send you to
    and speak whatever I tell you. 

8 Do not be afraid of anyone,
    for I will be with you to deliver you.
          [This is] the LORD's declaration.

9 Then the LORD reached out His hand, touched my mouth, and told me:
    Look, I have filled your mouth with My words.

10 See, today I have set you
    over nations and kingdoms
    to uproot and tear down,
    to destroy and demolish,
    to build and plant.



January 1, 2011...its a new year.  A time when it seems we all take a look at our lives and decide to make a fresh start.  We make "resolutions" to do things d…