Friday, October 28, 2011

Hymns for Him

I do not usually post on Friday's, but I did want to share a few things!  Yay for Fridays!

First, I loved the devotion from Proverbs 31 this morning.  It is entitled "A Divine Interruption" and is by Wendy Blight who is leading the online Bible Study  I talked about earlier in the week.  If you care to read and enjoy the link is

Also, I added a few recipes today so checkout the Leftover Queen tab if you would like!

Finally....I promised to share some of the games and things I prepared for the recent ladies conference I was involved in.  I love old Hymns!  Here is a fill in the blank Old Hymns game.  See how many you can get right!  I will reveal the answers next week!

Have a good weekend!

Hymns about Him
Hymns can be a comfort to us all.  How many can you recall? 
Fill in the blanks!  Try to guess them all!

   1)    At the cross, at the cross, where I first saw the _____________________

   2)    What a day ___________________ day that will be, when my Jesus I shall see…

   3)    I love you Lord, and I lift my ___________________

   4)    Have thine on way Lord, Have thine on way, Thow art the _________________, I am the clay…

   5)    Amazing grace how __________________ the sound, that saved a wretch like me…

   6)    This is my story, this is my ____________, praising my Savior all the day long…

   7)    Just as I am, without one plea, but that Thy ______________ was shed  for me…

   8)    What a ______________ we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear…

   9)    I’ve got a ____________________ just over the hilltop, in that bright land where we’ll never grow old…

   10)                       Do Lord, oh do Lord, oh do remember me, way beyond the _____________

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Hold Me Please

My youngest daughter has learned the phrase "Hold me please".  It can melt my heart anytime she runs up to say that.  My oldest daughter still loves to be held also... and I shutter to think of the day when they will not want to be held.

We have experienced a lot of "Hold me please" times in the last two days.  There was a serious dentist appointment yesterday that involved a shot and nitrous oxide for the oldest, and today included two shots and check-up for the youngest.  Doctors and Dentists can be full of anxiety and pain.

As a mother, I just hurt right along with my girls.  I want to so desperately take the pain and nervousness away.  I wish I could get the shot or have the procedure or be looked over so my children do not have to experience the uncertainty of what is going on.  I stay right by them.  I squeeze their hand.  I whisper to them it is going to be alright.  I let them know that it is almost over.  I hug them, and of course, I hold them when it is all over with.

They feel more at ease as they realize it really is over.  They eventually pull themselves together, and before we know it, they are smiling with a lollipop in hand.

Can you hear God whisper to you when you are going through anxious and painful times?  Is it comforting to read His Word and hear Him whispering to you "It is going to be ok, I am with you"?

Nobody wants their child to go through any pain, but it is a part of growing up.  Just the same, God does not want us to go through painful and anxious times, but it is part of growing as a Christian.  Thankfully He sent the Holy Spirit to whisper calming words of encouragement in our hearts, and we have the Bible to turn to for peace and guidance.

Today's Verses - Very popular and extremely comforting!
"Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."  Phil 4:6-7

"Be careful for nothing" simply means - do not worry about anything!  Not one thing are we to worry over!  We are going to hurt.  We are going to have pain.  We are going to need a hug.  We give all the pain and all the suffering to God.  If we ask, He will give us that peace that passeth all understanding.  It will truly be like He is holding us and walking with us through the pain, if we only ask.

Oh I know there is more pain to come in my little ones lives.  Pains and anxieties that I don't want to even think about.  Our doctor said to be excited that the shots were over for the little one until kindergarten.  Sending my girls off to school makes me have a few pains myself!  There will be betrayals from friends, boys to cry over, hurt feelings, dashed dreams, and so much more.  If the Lord willing, I will be there to hold them through it all.  But, more importantly, I need to make sure they know that our Heavenly Father is there to really get them through the pains of life.  He can heal the physical and emotional pain.  He truly cares about us...His children!

In Psalms 94:18 we read, "When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O Lord, held me up."  Just like we long to hold a little one in pain, He longs to hold us.  His mercy and grace are all we need when we fall and cry out "Hold me please!"

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Do I want to be myself?

Oh, just be yourself!  We've all heard that phrase before.  But, do I want to be "myself"?  Myself is...well... to put it plain and simply...a sinner.  I am a sinner, a big ol' sinner.  I am human...therefore...I am a sinner.

I have written recently about whining and having the blues...and that does happen.  Myself equals so many sinful things.  I am a complainer, a worrier, a negative thinker, a screamer, an over-reactor, and in reality I can just be plain ill somedays.

But, thank goodness there is a but, I am a child of God.  I don't want to be anything but that!  "Myself" is forgiven, loved, cared about, protected, accepted, and yes I am even important to Him!  I am His!

Doesn't that list look so reassuring?  It is so uplifting, and I am so thankful to have that list...and there is so many more positive things we could add.  But all the positives are because of Jesus.  He gave His all so we could have life more abundantly (John  10:10).  We just have to choose to live our life more abundantly.

I am not doing a good job of that lately.  I feel like there have been too many changes.  I feel like I am inadequately handling all that is going on around us right now.  I feel like "myself" can't measure up or even keep up for that matter.  "Myself" cannot do the things I need to do, but thankfully my God can.

Today's Verse
"Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass."  Ps 37:5

We have to commit our lives to Him.  Give Him full control and stop allowing ourselves to try to gain control back.  We have to trust in Him and He will bring it to pass.

I recently participated in a 10-day Optimist challenge written by Tracie Miles (Her website is below).  Thankfully I had a lot of breakthroughs, but sadly I still need a LOT of work.  There are days when I only want to focus on the negatives.  That's just "myself".  There were a few quotes that really stuck out that I would like to share.

First, on day two, she writes "God could change our circumstances at any time, but He is always more interested in changing us through our circumstances."  Ask for wisdom when you are going through a difficult period or trial.  Ask for patience in a time of wait.  Seek to learn and grow when things are just not making sense in our world.  He wants us to learn to trust more in Him with every circumstance He puts us through!

The second thing I would like to share from Tracie comes from day ten in the challenge, "Trying to be who God wants us to be, and who we ourselves want to be, can be exhausting at times, but is certainly well worth the effort."  I am not perfect.  I will never be perfect.  But I have a perfect example to follow, and that is Jesus.  Yes, it is hard to be what He wants us to be.  It is against our sinful nature.  But no matter how exhausting, we have to keep trying.  That is the key...keep can never mess up too much.  The devil will throw his darts of doubt and make us think we are too sinful for God's love, but that is never the case.   He will always love you no matter what!

"Myself" will always fail, but I still have to strive to be my best for Him.  "Myself" will always make mistakes,  but I have pick "myself" up and keep trying to be what He wants me to be.  Yes, "myself" is not perfect, but "myself" is God's child, and that is the best thing there is for me!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Fair, the fair, the unforgettable fair

Oh the fair is over; it is official.  The 2011 NC State Fair is being packed up and moving out.  My husband saw the rides being wheeled down I-40 yesterday on his way to the airport.  We love the fair!  Don't tell my girls, but my husband took me out on a date Friday night. And instead of ordering desert at the restaurant, we went back to the fair.  We ate a fried Snickers bar and watched the fireworks.  We felt like we were in college again walking hand in hand with no strollers to push.  Don't feel too sad for the girls; they had a blast at Beb's.

My uncle Johnny, who is now watching over us in heaven, used to get a livestock pass where we could park inside the gate at the fair.  Everyone in the vehicle got in the fair for free.  When he was finished showing the animals for the week, he would let me have it.  I went to NCSU which is right by the fair grounds, so we put the pass to good use.  We would all pile in my vehicle and go every night.  I have so many wonderful memories from the fair, and we are now starting new ones by taking the girls every year.  I don't know if I have ever missed a year of the State Fair, and I hope I never do.

Not everybody loves the fair.  My mother is the perfect example (I love you mom!).  She will go, but she's not the biggest fan.  The crowds are just not for her!  Even though I am not a big crowd fan myself, I still love the excitement of seeing that ferris-wheel.  I remember studying in the upper levels of the NCSU library in college and looking out as it turned and lit up the sky.  It would always make me smile and get my mind off the big exam for a minute!

I am afraid church can be seen in a similar light as the fair.  It is such a joy for some, but not for others.  Especially for those that have been hurt in church or those who have seen hypocritical behavior from a church goer. Unfortunately church can seem pointless to some.  My prayer is to never grow bitter towards church.  I also do not want our situation to negatively affect anyone around us that does not attend church.  The fair has negatives like lines, crowds, and parking, but the enjoyment outweighs all those other things.  The church may have some things that make us upset on occasion, but being with other Christians and learning God's Word together definitely outweighs the negatives.

Today's Verse
"From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love."  Eph 4:16

That is a mouthful, but it is how the church is to work.  Ephesians 4 is dedicated to the unity of the church and is written by Paul.  We as Christians in the church are suppose to fit together and work for the Lord in the same way our body parts work together to make us move and live.  We are to use our spiritual gifts and work together to help the church reach others for Christ.  Just like our body hurts on occasion, we might feel hurt to by the church.  But we have to keep at it.  We have to heal and move forward.

The Life Application Study Bible says this about the above verse.  "Some Christians fear that any mistake will destroy their witness for the Lord...the Good News is that Jesus forms us into a body - into a group of individuals who are united in their purpose and in their love for one another and for Christ.  If an individual stumbles, the rest of the group is there to pick him up and help him walk with his Lord again...As part of Christ's body, you will reflect part of Christ's character and do part of His work.  As you grow to be more like Him, you will be able to better appreciate your brothers and sisters in Christ, without whom you could not adequately represent the Lord."

I love knowing we are going to be led to a group of believers that will have the same common goal, to reach other's for Christ and help their fellow Christians to grow in their love of Christ.  We wait patiently for the direction to where we can help serve.  Just as there are many facets to the fun at the fair, there are many facets in the fun at church.  We will all work together to make the church experience fun and unforgettable!  And we want to make people to long to come back week after week, just like people long for the fair year after year!

On a side note...I started an online Bible Study yesterday.  I have never taken place in an online study, but I am so looking forward to it.  It is funny how the Lord knew how much I would be needing this right now.  I had no idea we would be prayerfully seeking a new church home when I signed up to do this study.  I loved the Wednesday night Bible studies we participated in and was concerned to be out of that type of lesson atmosphere.  But the Lord, in His infinite knowledge and wisdom, had led me to this study in advance.  It is not too late to sign up.  There are over 3000 women taking part.  It is a study on Hebrews and will teach us to understand even more that Jesus is better than anything that ever has been or ever will be.  It is a 13 week study, but there will be breaks through the holidays.  Oh I just can't tell you how excited I am to do this.  The website is below if you feel led to take part!  It is such a comfort to know...He knew...He knew just how much I would need this kind of thing to be a part of now!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Singing the Blues

There are several movies I could watch over and over again.  "Sweet Home Alabama" is on TV every other day, and I could probably watch it every other day.  Being a child of the 80's, there are several movies from that era that are classics.  I am not talking about "The Breakfast Club" or "Pretty in Pink"; I was a little too young for those movies.  But nothing can top "The Goonies" and "Adventures in Babysitting" in my book.  I could certainly watch those over and over again.

In the "Adventures of Babysitting", the best scene takes place in a Blues Club.  The kids have to sing a blues song before being able to leave.  You might not be as familiar with that movie as with "The Goonies", so with the help of the power of Youtube, I have put the link with that scene below.  Hope you enjoy!

Today, I am singing the Blues myself.  I know I shouldn't be.  I just wrote recently about not whining, but today seems like a Blues kinda day!  Sing along with me...

My husband is in Washington,
that is Washington DC.
I am home alone with the girls,
it is just us three.
On Saturday I went,
and got my hair chopped off.
The girls woke up yesterday,
with stuffy noses and a cough.
And did you even realize,
Christmas is two months away.
I have not done any shopping,
so much to do before the big day.
We just found out our dream house,
is no longer up for sale.
All this just makes me,
 want to moan and wale....

Did you imagine the harmonicas and guitars playing in the background?

How do you get yourself out of a Blues kind of day?  No more whoa is me, but be thankful for your blessings!  Not to sound like a broken record, but we have to be grateful for all we have.  Do not worry about your tomorrows, but be thankful for the One who holds our tomorrows.

My song should be more like...

I am so thankful for my husband's job,
there are so many without.
I am thankful for the hair I have, 
it will grow doubt.
My girls are still healthy,
it's just a little cold.
And Christmas is about our Savior,
not all the presents bought and sold.
The Lord has somewhere better,
for us to move to.
We need to rejoice and sing,
be happy in all you do.

Today's Verse
"In thy name shall they rejoice all the day:"  Psalms 89:16a

That was the girl's memory verse for last week.  All the day we sing in our hearts His praises.  All the day we rejoice because of who He is.  Their memory verse for this week is Phil 4:19a, "But my God shall supply all your need."  

He will provide everything we need.  It might not be everything we think we want, but it will be everything we need.    

On Thursday I saw an interesting quote on Marybeth Whalen's blog... .  
"What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?"

YIKES!  That is a powerful thought!  Let's make a pact together to thank God for everything we have.  Turn your blues into praises of thanksgiving along with me today.  We are certain to have a better outlook on life if we stay away from singing the blues!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

What are you waiting for?

Patience is a virtue that I could use a little more of.  I am simply not patient.  It is something I pray about and work on.  I have learned that grocery store lines are a wonderful place to learn the value of patiently waiting.  I always put a smile on my face and get ready to laugh, because without a doubt, I am going to pick the worst line to get in.  It happens to me and my husband.  We just do not know how to pick the best and fastest line.  There will always be someone in front of us with a question or coupon problem or price check.  We have learned to accept it and laugh it off.

I just cannot stand to be still and be slow.  I am constantly saying, "Hurry it up Macie.  Let's speed things up a bit."  She likes to doddle and browse, and I want to get in and out.

Do you think the Lord is patient with us?  Do you think He is ever saying to us, "Speed it up a bit, I am calling you to do this."?

I have been reading the Book of Joshua recently.  To say the division of the Promised Land can be boring is an understatement.  All those tribes and names and cities can make your eyes cross.  This is also a call to strengthen my patience as I trudge through and find little nuggets hidden in the texts.

 In chapter 18 verse 3 we read, "And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, How long are ye slack to go to possess the land, which the Lord God of your fathers hath given you?"  There were seven tribes who still had not "received their inheritance" because they were simply neglecting to go and survey the land.  They had the Promised Land at their fingertips, but just hadn't taken the time to possess it.  Can you imagine?  They were not even trying to receive the blessing.  They were just putting it off.  This is the Promised Land people, what are you waiting for?

Does the Lord have a calling in your life right now, something you have felt Him nudge you towards?  It can be as simple as starting to read a book that could impact your life or volunteering with a new ministry.  Maybe He is asking you to spend more time in prayer with Him or give a little extra to a missionary He has placed on your heart.  He wants you to just take that step of faith and speed it up.  The blessings are there waiting for you like the Promise Land was waiting for the seven slack tribes.  It is up to you to speed it up and obey.

Today's Verse
"For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding."  Col 1:9

Seek His will today.  Ask Him to show you if there is something He is calling you to do.  He will show you in a miraculous way, you just have to ask for the knowledge and wisdom.  He might be saying "What are you waiting for?  I am here to help you do what I am calling you to do."  He will bless you when you obey His command!

I love to research and write, but I didn't want to share it.  The thought of others reading my stories made me nervous.  I knew the Lord was asking me to share the words He had given me, but like the Israelites, I was being slack.  I finally realized I wasn't doing this for anybody else; only His approval matters.  I am doing what He has called me to do right now.  If there is a gift or calling you are afraid to share, and yes everybody has one that can be used for His glory, share it today.  What are you waiting for?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Burnt Toast

We woke up to dreariness.  The rain and clouds just added to the blah blah feeling already in my mind.  We had a day full of thrills and excitement yesterday at the fair.  There seemed to be nothing to look forward to today.  There was rain outside and tired and cranky children inside.  What were we to do?

I made breakfast.  Eggs and bacon for my oldest and me, and grits for my youngest.  (She has grits everyday of her life!)  I decided to make some toast.  I do not do this very often.  For one, I seem to burn it a lot.  Who can remember to constantly keep checking the toast?  And, reason two, I never seem to make it like Bebbie (grandma) makes it!  Well, I burnt it.  Not the "so black you can't eat it" burnt, but the "it's darker than we would like" burnt.  I didn't want a burnt toast day today!  I didn't need a burnt toast day today!  Burnt toast was the last thing I wanted on an already not so great day.  I got ready for the comments, but instead I got excitement.  You see, I had carefully sprayed the butter in a smiley face pattern, and my oldest was soooo excited to see that smiley face.  The darker color only added to the effect.  She still wanted to eat it.  She even said, "Mom just turn it over when you are eating it, and doesn't seem so burnt."  Yay for smiley faces!

Ups and downs are a must.  Our days and weeks are full of ups and downs.  Even on our best of days, we are going to hit a small pot hole.  We had a fantastic time at the fair yesterday.  But just like going up and down on the carousel, our days will have those ups and downs.  There were super fun times of riding rides and eating treats, and then not so fun times of whining because a balloon popped.  Today had the potential of starting out bad with burnt toast and rain, but instead we had smiley faces and reminisced about yesterday!  Since the delightful breakfast, there have been some disagreements and a tantrum here and there, but there has also been laughing over doing laundry and good game of go-fish.  

We can't go up on the carousel unless we go down first.  Up and down, around and around, our days are full of ups and downs.  When you are in a down time, leave it in God's hand and wait for Him to lift you up again.  You have to trust He will!

Verses for today
"It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High:  To show forth thy loving-kindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night."  Ps 92:1-2

If we start our days on the up side by praising Him, and end our days on an up side by praising Him, it will not matter how many downs we face in between.  Rely on Him to get you back to the up.  He knows when you just can't handle anymore downs without at least a small up!  So always be on the look out for smiley faces in your burnt toast!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Are you a pumpkin?

Our family will be headed to the NC State Fair in just a little while.  Our oldest is beyond excited!  I can't help but be a little excited myself.  I feel like a kid again whenever I see that ferris wheel!  I will eat a little something for all of you!  

The following was shared by email.  I loved it so much I wanted to share!  It's perfect for our time of year!

Being a Christian is like being a pumpkin. God lifts you up, takes you in, and washes all the dirt off of you. He opens you up, touches you deep inside and scoops out all the yucky stuff-- including the seeds of doubt, hate, greed, etc.  Then He carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside you to shine for all the world to see.

Today's Verse
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."  Matt 5:16

Make sure you are being a pumpkin today!  Put a smile on your face and let His light shine from within so others will see His love through us.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Picnic Days

We have been having the most beautiful fall weather in NC the past few days.  These are my favorite times to be outside.  Our family needed this sunshine and blue skies to lift our spirits this weekend.

I believe I experienced every emotion one can experience in one week.  There was hurt, sadness, relief, confusion, anger, and even joy.  The joy only came from the beauty of our Lord.  Psalms90:17a says, "And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us..."  His love has shined down on us these last few days.  We felt like we were wrapped in His protection as we felt the warmth of the sun.  The weather was a complete gift from Him.

We not only dealt with the trials of leaving the church, but my husband's place of employment was bought out by another company.  It was official on Friday.  We knew this was coming and the Lord has been preparing our hearts to handle the transitions.  We pray this can only be for the good.  And, we are excited that headquarters will now by in Florida verses Pittsburgh.  Us girls may be going on a lot more business trips with daddy!

As we sought the Lord's guidance with all the changes in one week, I woke up in the not so best of moods on Friday.  I was in the anger stage.  I wasn't mad at God, but just mad in general.  I didn't know if my emotions were going to be able to handle anything else.  I prayed for relief in some form.  That is when the Lord planted the idea to have a picnic.  I announced the idea to the girls and my oldest began the planning.  She got the blanket and picked the perfect spot out in the yard.  She even took out a centerpiece to help stabilize the blanket in the breeze.  We made our lunch and out we went.  It was so much fun.  We ate and laughed and soaked in the warm October sun.

We really saw the beauty of our Lord as He lifted our spirits during the picnic.  My daughter lifted mine a little more when she said, "Mommy even if it had rained, it would have been a perfect picnic.  We could have just moved our picnic in the living room."  It is easy to see the Lord's beauty on a sunny, picture perfect day, but do we look for His beauty through the cloudy, rainy days?

Today's Verse
"Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: so shall I talk of thy wondrous works."  Ps 119:27

I do not see the beauty in all our family is going through right now.  The changes at work are going to be difficult and finding a new church seems so daunting today.  But, even though I don't see the beauty, I can still seek Him through the clouds.  I want to understand His precepts.  I want to catch every ray of sunshine during this trial, so I can talk of His wondrous works.  I believe He will use this trial to be glorified.   I just have to make sure I look for the beauty of the situation so I can glorify Him when it works out the way He intended it to.  I am just so thankful He gives us picnic days, and now I don't mind if they are inside or outside.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Living forward

On my Chemistry teacher's desk was a flip calendar.  It had all sorts of quotes and thoughts for every day of the year.  I would love turning the pages each day and reading what bit of wisdom it held for the day.  I will never forget one, "Life can only be understood backwards, yet must be lived forwards."  How profound!  How True!  It's a favorite, so let's read it again.  "Life can only be understood backwards, yet must be lived forwards."

Have you ever had one of those "Ah-ha" moments?  Something takes place and you realize, that is why such and such had to happen for me to get here.  I will give an example from my own life.  My transcript got lost before my freshman year in college.  I was so distraught over why this would happen.  I was placed in the wrong English class.  The second week of school I got a call from my adviser saying I could now switch Englishes because it had been found and all was resolved.  The problem was, I didn't want to switch Englishes now.  I loved my professor.  I had already made a really good friend in class, and we actually had two other classes together (that is unheard of at NCSU).  I declined to move, even though my adviser talked about how I would be behind a class.  Fast forward to my sophomore year and I sign up for a 12:00 English 112 class.  And in that class, that I shouldn't have been a part of, I met the love of my life, my wonderful husband.

There is an "Ah-ha" moment.  I had no idea why I had to go through all the strife that my lost transcript caused me.  But, if it had never happened, I might not have ever met my husband.  God had designed a plan that I didn't understand at the time, but looking backwards I see He had me just where I needed to be.

My family is beginning the tedious process of finding a new home church.  It is painful process right now. We know we are in His hands.  We are leaning on the fact that we will look back in a few years and be able to understand why this is happening now.  The pain is deep, but we have to keep it from clouding our judgement.  We have to keep our eyes on the Lord and where He will lead us to serve next.  We must live forwards and know that later on when we look backwards, it will be evident why the changes were necessary.

Today's Verse
"Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer (permit) the righteous to be moved (shaken)."  Ps 55:22

I cannot help but sing "I shall not be moved" right now.  "Jesus is my Savior, I shall not be moved, in His love and favor, I shall not be moved."  Yes, our home church is moving, but our faith is not.  We refuse to let the hurt cloud our judgement.  We insist on moving forward.

As always, the Lord provided a great devotion for me to read yesterday about pain.  It is by Renee Swope from Proverbs 31.  I have put the link below if you would like to read the whole thing.  She says, "When left unresolved, the pain from our yesterdays can creep up in our todays and keep us from experiencing all God has for our tomorrows."   Oh I really like that!  I don't ever want to let this time we are going through to cause unresolved pain.  I don't want it to have anything but a positive affect on my family's tomorrows.  If we continue to live forwards, knowing He has our future, we can be sure we can experience the best He has to offer for our tomorrows.

FYI - I used the leftover cream cheese this week and made a delicious stuffed chicken cutlets recipe.  I have added it to the Leftover Queen Tab.  Hope you enjoy!

To Enjoy Renee's full devotion, "I haven't got time for the pain" visit...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Finding the silver lining

The girls and I went to the bounce house this morning.  It's actually called Kid Blast, and it is full of giant inflatables.  Super Fun!  Wednesdays is $5 bounce from 10-1.  We have only been a few times, but it is always a sure fire way to have a blast.  We are in need of a little fun around here.  The Lord is moving us in a new direction.  We are excited as we wait to see what He has in store for us.  But, it can be a little frightening as well.  It is especially hard for four year olds to comprehend when changes have to occur.  The bounce house was a great distraction.

There are signs and banners hanging up with references to Bible Verses.  It is a very positive atmosphere.  As I was on top of one of the slides waiting for mine and my youngest daughter's turn, I saw a new sign in the eating area.  And, yes I do the slides and bouncing myself, and I don't even have to pay - YAY!  The sign read "God is good...Just look around".

Oh I think I just found a new life slogan!  He is good.  Things in our lives may not always be going like we hope for, but just the fact that we are still going makes life good.  Find the good around you.  Be thankful for the blessings that come to you everyday.  Don't dwell on the negative, because there will always be some.  But as all the sayings say, look for the silver lining to that cloud; look for the rainbow after the rain; make some lemonade with those lemons.  Look around you and you'll see God is good!

I was reading a psalms while I rocked my little one.  It was Psalms 88.  My study Bible refers to it as the "gloomiest psalm".  Great!!!  I do not need any more gloom today.  Although the sun is starting to come out, it has been a gloomy morning.  There are gloomy things happening in our week.  I just don't want a gloomy psalms.  I challenged myself to find something positive.  In verse 13 we read "But unto thee have I cried O Lord; and in the morning shall my prayer prevent (or come before) thee."

Every morning before my feet hit the floor, I can pray to be positive that day.  I can pray God will open my eyes to see the good this day and find the positive in every trial.  He is listening always!  We can pray anytime!  He will hear my cries!  That is a positive right there!  He is a listening and caring God!

Verse for today
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (or calamity), to you an expected end (a future and a hope)."  Jer 29:11

He's got a future and a hope planned just for us.  Even when we don't understand the current trial, we know it will work out for His glory.  If that's not a silver lining, I don't know what is!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


I have often heard that the topic of giving and tithing is the hardest for any preacher to preach.  We were visiting a church this weekend, and "giving" was the topic of the sermon for the day.  The preacher did a wonderful job in my opinion.  As the former bookkeeper of our last church, I can tell you that giving is vital in every church.  A church cannot grow if everyone holds on to their blessings.

Now I am not about to start my own sermon here.  The Lord commanded us to tithe, which means give 10%, and that is what my family believes in.  I just simply want to share a story that I have shared several times.  

My husband and I were in prayer about whether I should become a full time stay-at-home-mom.  I felt the Lord calling me to do so.  Would it be scary financially?  Definitely!  Could He take care of us?  Without a doubt!  Our daughter was about four and half months old.  She was in daycare and had become very sick and was actually taken to the hospital with a spiked fever and difficulty breathing.  It was scary!  Was this the final call to stay at home?  I had gone back to work simply for the insurance purposes.  My husbands job did not have a good insurance plan, and we felt insurance was important to have.  Through many new doors that could have only be opened by God, we were now going to be covered by a great insurance plan through my husband's work.  It was a blessing and a sure sign to begin the process of staying home!

I remember standing outside on my lunch break on the phone with my husband.  I said, "I feel the Lord will bless us if we obey and take this step of faith.  I know if we continue to give He will continue to provide."

The Lord did bless us in an uncountable number of ways!  Just a few months after quitting my job, the topic of Faith Promise was addressed in our church.  This is a way some churches support missionaries to other countries.  This is also considered to be giving above and beyond your tithes.  My husband filled out the slip of paper with our monthly contribution promise.  I was in the nursery and was not part of the discussion.  We got home and I remember saying, you said we would give that a month!!!!  I couldn't believe he would consider doing this with me not working anymore.  It was not a huge amount, but would we be able to give anything on one income?  We had to since we had just made a "promise" to give it.

I came to peace with it later the next day.  Once again, we had to trust.  And, we know the vital work missionaries do have to be supported by us back in the States.  Do you know what happened that week?  We received a small check that was not expected (actually for a small blurb I wrote for a magazine that was published), and we received a gift card to a grocery store.  Two blessings in one week.  I believe it was God's way of telling us to keep giving and He would keep giving to us!

Today's Verse
Luke 6:38a "Give, and it shall be given unto you..."

 My preacher growing up as a child, gave a wonderful example one Sunday night that I will never forget (even though I was only about 8 or 9).  We give the Lord our little spoonful, and He will in turn give us back a shovel full.  I am not saying you are promised riches if you give, but He does reward obedience.  Let's promise to give to our Lord; look at ALL HE GAVE just for us!

Monday, October 10, 2011


I have many book titles floating in my head.  I love to come up with funny ones and serious ones.  I have a whole list.  I am not saying I will ever be called to write a book, but if the Lord does have this in His will for me, I will be prepared.  One of my titles is "It needs batteries...and so do I".  As a mom of little ones with lots of electronic toys and gadgets, I hear the phrase "it needs batteries" about twenty times a week.  We all need new batteries now and then or even just a good old recharging could suffice 

I love rechargeable batteries.  We have some for our camera.  They just recently stopped working after four years of good use.  We also have battery powered 4-wheelers for both girls.  These batteries have to frequently be recharged, but it is well worth it.  The girls love riding in the yard on those things.  Even our neighbor said this morning it looked like the most fun ever.

What can recharge us besides rest?  I need rest and love Sunday naps.  I was not able to get one yesterday, and while the afternoon was fun, I really missed our family after church nap.

Have you ever thought of praise as a way to recharge?  When you get a pat on the back or a "way to go", do you have a little extra spring in your step?

I will let you know that the ladies banquet went splendidly Saturday night.  My mom, nanny, mother-in-law, and cousin were all able to attend.  We all had fun and our speaker was fantastic.  I felt recharged just after hearing her encouraging words.  When we were leaving I had many visitors come up to me to tell me they enjoyed the skit and the games.  I am not patting my own self on the back, but their words of encouragement and praise meant the world to me.  I left feeling like I was on cloud nine all the way home.  It was hard to even sleep after all the excitement and positive comments.  It was so unexpected and completely recharged my spirit beyond measure.

I know we could all use a little more appreciation in our life, but how much appreciation do we give?  Do we recharge and praise our children on a daily basis?  Or, do we simply always point to the negative things they do?  Do you praise your husband every day?  You know he doesn't do everything right, but he deserves an encouraging word or thank you everyday!  How about God?  I know He does not need recharging, but He does deserve and require our praise.  Do you start your prayers with praise to Him or do you immediately tell Him what you need?

Today's Verses - The whole chapter of Psalms 100
"Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.  Serve the Lord with gladness:  come before his presence with singing.  Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves, we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.  Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him and bless his name.  For the Lord is good, his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations."  Ps 100: 1-5

The Lord is good, and we are to come to Him in adoration.  We can make our requests known to Him, but we must show Him our love, respect and praise.  In the model prayer in Matthew 6, we know it begins with "Our Father which are in heaven, Hallowed be thy name".  We are made to praise Him.  We are made to make a joyful noise unto Him.  Read His word; talk to Him daily, and praise Him.  He can recharge us through His word, or He can send someone along in just the right moment to offer us a pat on the back.

So, the next time I hear the words "Mom, it needs batteries" I am going to be reminded to recharge my little ones with a word of praise, and then give my Heavenly Father a BIG THANK YOU for those little ones requesting my assistance and all the blessings He has given us.

When I praise the Lord and thank of all His goodness, it is another way to completely feel recharged!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Over Yonder

I feel like I am wandering a lot right now, and in every sense of the word.  The definitions of "wander" include physically roaming or travelling aimlessly, and mentally not focusing and losing train of thought.  I feel we are roaming this part of our life aimlessly in the unknown.  With our house for sale, and no set course for if it does sale, I would like a big arrow that says "GO HERE".  My thoughts wander about what will happen with moving, with Kindergarten, with jobs, and even with my writing.

I have no way of knowing.  I fell like I am growing in faith and patience as we wait on the Lord, but I really like knowing what's ahead.  Today I said out loud while driving, "Lord, I am growing in this desert, but I am ready to get out." It can be exciting to think of the possibilities, but it can be frightening too, if I let it.

Wander, wander, wander... Which way to go?  What to do?  How do You want us to serve?

Then, just a few moments ago, I was singing to my girls before they went to sleep.  Now, I have said before, I cannot sing.  Not one pretty note comes from my mouth.  But, oh how I love to sing old hymns.  I have my usual list I sing everyday.  I always end with "I've got a mansion".  I've sung it 1000s of times...seriously 1000s.  But, the words in the chorus just jolted my heart.  I stopped rocking.  I stopped singing.  Then, I started the chorus again to make sure I had heard myself right.  "And someday yonder we will never more wander, But walk on streets that are purest gold."

Oh yonder, sounds so... well...heavenly.  I am wandering down here, but we will not be up there.  I know He will show us His purpose for us here, but our main purpose here is to get more people to accept Him so we can all be yonder.

In Luke 17 we read several stories of Jesus' time on earth.  One is telling the coming of the Lord (verses 20-37).  He is coming to take us "yonder".  It will happen when no one expects it, but it will happen.  Another teaching is on faith and forgiveness (verses 1-6).  Jesus tells His disciples in verse 6, "If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted by the sea; and it should obey you."  I want that faith.  One of the side notes in my study Bible says, "One's faith often increases as one steps out in trusting obedience."

We are stepping in trusting obedience as we wander.  We are wandering for Him.  We know He is sending us somewhere.  We trust and our faith increases as we wander this life.

Today's Verse
"Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation." Isaiah 12:2

I am trusting and am not afraid, even though I feel like I am wandering aimlessly.  He is my strength and my song.  And my song will be in my heart and mind as I wait for His arrow.  It will come.  That is part of trusting.  Until then, I can't wait to "never more wander" over yonder "way beyond the blue".

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Whacha thinking?

I've added the first recipe tab!  Yay!  I hope to add recipes frequently.  With the pumpkin bread, I have used the remaining canned pumpkin, but I still have a half of a pack of cream cheese to do something with.  When I figure that out, I will let you know.  Put it on a bagel you might say...way too boring!

I have a ton of thoughts and stories whirling through my brain, but I love the idea of having a Whacha thinking Wednesday.  A chance to share thoughts and prayers on my mind and heart for the day and week.  I am also extremely stuffy and have been sneezing all day.  I am not sure my thoughts would come out like I would hope.  I am praying I will not get sick because our ladies banquet is this Saturday night.  That is really what is on my mind...

I hope everyone has a fun time...
I pray for Mrs. Glenda as she prepares to speak...
I pray the Lord speaks to our hearts through her words...
I pray for Mrs. Jennifer as she prepares the food...
I pray for the ladies singing...
I can't sing a lick...
I hope the ladies think the skit is funny...
I pray the teen girls come with willing hearts as we do the skit...
I have to talk...
I hate to talk...
I hope they enjoy the games...
I hope they understand the games...
Why did I say I would do this...
I am nervous...
I am scared...
Did I mention I hate to talk...
If I would have said no, I would be saying my favorite verse is not Truth...
"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me"
Ahhh that feels better...
I can do this...
He will help me do this...

Thanks for listening.  I do hope you will pray for our function.  I will share our games and other fun things after it is over.  I don't want anyone cheating in advance.  I am including the poem I wrote.  Our theme is "You're Sew Special".

Today's Verse
"And let the peace of God rule in your hearts..." Colossians 3:15a


God created each of us,
With a loving, caring hand.
He gave us each a uniqueness,
You each must understand.

You are fabulous and wonderful!
There is none like you – EVER!
You are completely made by Him,
And your value is beyond measure.

He loves you with your flaws.
He loves you with your fears.
He even loves you when you feel crazy.
And, He will love you through your tears.

You must honor Him and praise Him,
Serve Him with all you’ve got.
He gave each of you a talent,
And all together, we can do a lot.

So let’s shout it from the rooftops,
“I am His and He loves me!”
Share this with everyone around you,
                                                           “You are special”, yes indeed

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Do you pray like the leaves depend on it?

Oh how I love to hear my oldest daughter pray.  It melts my heart.  And, when my youngest daughter squeezes her eyes shut and grabs my finger before we eat, I know she will do the same.  They know we pray before we eat, and they are ready!  Emmie says AAA-den when we say our Amens, and everyone laughs.  I love prayer time.  We also pray every morning before our day begins.  This is Macie's special prayer time.  She prays for everyone and in such detail.  A lot of times she says, "And we love everyone in the world, even those we do not know."  She is so sweet and wants to remember everyone.  She has no way of understanding just how big this world is.  She cannot comprehend the millions upon millions she is proclaiming her love for.  She sincerely means her words, but will she always?  I pray she does always have a heart geared for service to God.  I pray she always wants to love and pray for those she doesn't even know.

How often do you pray?  Do you talk to God like you know He is listening, like He is right there?  Do you pray without ceasing (1 Thes 5:17)?

Some of the next parts are taken from a Wednesday night devotion I wrote last year, about this time, for the ladies in my church   It was entitled the same, "Do you pray like the leaves depend on it?"

I was driving on Thursday and both girls were asleep, which was a miracle, and I was looking at the beautiful leaves changing colors.  I thought about how we don’t have to pray that the Lord will cause the leaves to change.  Every Autumn season it is just part of His plan. It just happens.  The beauty that comes in the fall is a blessing from Him, and we don't even ask for it.  I began thinking, is there anything in my life that I slack on praying about because I just assume He’ll take care of it? He takes care of the leaves' colors and He will take care of what needs to be taken care of?  It is already planned out, and I don’t need to bother Him about it.

As noted in my KJV Women’s Study Bible, Jesus emphasized the importance of prayer and that people ought always to pray.  Luke 18:1 says “And he spake a parable unto them to this end that men ought always to pray and not to faint.”  Prayer includes asking and getting answers from God.  But it is more than just asking; it is confession, adoration, thanksgiving and fellowship with God.  By its nature prayer is talking with God.  It is the basis of the successful Christian life, and is so important that not praying is considered a sin.  I Sam 12:23 says “Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you but I will teach you the good and the right way.”  

I have read countless things about assigning prayer days or prayer schedules. In the book, "The Power of a Positive Mom", Karol Ladd suggest that everyday in our prayer time we need to praise God, confess our sins, pray for the needs of our immediate family, pray for the Lord's will to be done, and pray in His name.  Then during the rest of our prayer time we can choose different topics to focus on each day.  I found myself sticking with this, except on the weekends.    In other words, I sometimes seem to take the weekends off on my in depth prayer life.  It’s not that I don’t pray at all on these days, it’s just not as much detail as it should be.  I may give Him a few minutes of my time in the morning and maybe again before bed, but that is it. 

What could your prayer days be?

My Example is ...

Sunday - Missionaries
Monday - Extended Family
Tuesday - Church (workers, growth, and programs)
Wednesday - specific guidance in certain areas of our life (children's school, moving, etc.)
Thursday - Friends
Friday - Activities involved in for the coming week
Saturday - Government and Country

Do you ever find yourself slacking on time with God during Saturdays and Sundays?

God does not take the weekends off, or any day off for that matter.  He is always watching over us and hearing us and guiding us.  He is there for us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and 366 on leap years.  He never takes a break, and we should not feel like it is acceptable to ever take a break from our God. 

Do you like the idea of assigning days?  Have you ever heard of that before?

Today's Verse
"Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice."

Remember Ps 46:1 – “God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in trouble”.  But, we have to seek that help.  We have to acknowledge our need for Him.  When we have that relationship with our Lord we have the greatest resource possible.  Better than anything or anyone.  Let’s make sure we talk to Him today and everyday.

Is He hearing your voice everyday?  Not just when we are in trouble, but everyday about every situation.  He cares about it all.  He listens to it all.  He loves everyone in the whole world, even more than my Macie does. He wants to hear from you.  He wants you to pray about every aspect of your life like the leaves depend on it!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Do you want some cheese?

Have you ever been asked, do you want some cheese with that whine?  Unfortunately, I have.  Yes, while I do not drink fine wine, I am quite a fine whiner!  It is hard to admit, but the more I look at my day to day life, I feel like I am becoming a complainer and yes, even a whiner.  I try not my hardest not to whine and complain to others, but to my husband, I fear I am becoming a whiner.  I whine about my day, my pains, and can have a nice long pitty party with myself as the star.  I can go on and on about what went wrong that day, who disobeyed, who didn't listen, my headaches, and etc. etc. etc.

But, it stops now.  I am giving up whining.  I am giving up complaining.  I am looking forward to each day as a wonderful gift from God.  I do not want to raise complainers and whiners, and therefore, cannot be one myself.

I am an only child, and maybe some of my whine stems from those years of getting all the attention.  Every time I tell my oldest daughter to stop whining, I can still hear my mother say it to me.  What makes us whine and complain?  What can we do to combat the habit?

We all have some complaints in our life.  There are stories of complainers in the Bible, like the Israelites after being rescued from captivity and even Jeremiah one of the major prophets was sited for complaining.  What can we do as whiney complainers, to put a new song in our heart?

In Proverbs 29 we find a verse that can help us keep our complaints quieted.  Verse 11 says, "A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterward."  The translation for "uttereth" is "vents all his feelings" and "keepeth" is "holds it back", so the verse would read, "A fool vents all his feelings: but a wise man holds it back."

Yes, you might have a day when nothing is going right.  You want to tell the world so somebody will feel sorry for you.  It would be nice to have a pat on the back and be told it's all going to be ok.  But, instead of bringing someone else down, what would happen if we "hold it back" and ask the Lord to intervene.  Tell Him sincerely through prayer, what our problems are.  He is there to help, comfort, and listen. He can put a new song in our hearts, songs of gratitude, forgiveness and love.

Today's Verse
"Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers."  Eph 4:29

I know I have to tell my husband about my day, but instead of whining, my hope is to simply state the facts and together we can prayerfully ask for help with the negative aspects.  We are all going to throw a pitty party now and again, but make sure it's not everyday.  Make sure others do not see you as a whiner or complainer, but as a joyful person with God's light shining through.  You want to build those around you up with edifying words, not tear them down with your negativity.

My youngest daughter is tough as nails.  She gets hurt and she may cry for a millisecond, but she is right back up running and playing again.  While holding her this morning after a little fall, I saw she had a splinter in her finger.  It was red and irritated, so it must have been there this weekend.  She never complained.  She never whined.  She was tough.  My prayer is she remains tough, and maybe her toughness will rub off on me and her big sis.

I am pledging to give up complaining and whining for the week.  It is going well so far, but I really haven't talked to anyone older than four and a half!  I want to only be asked if I would like some cheese when I am dining at Olive Garden!

On a side note...
I love to cook and am working to add some recipe tabs to the page.  With the fall season here, that is when I get geared up for holiday cooking.  I already made a new pumpkin bread recipe this weekend that I will share.  My husband has proclaimed me the "Leftover Queen", and I would love to share some of those ideas as well.  Look for the upcoming additions soon!