Thursday, May 31, 2012

Try, try again!

My youngest daughter does not eat a well balanced diet, and to be quite honest, it drives me crazy.  It is constant struggle.  In the beginning quest of finding solid foods she liked, she always had a variety of foods she liked.  Well after turning 18 months old the lists of likes has slowly dwindled.   She will not try anything new and she basically lives on cheese, yogurt, crackers, cheerios and fruit.  She loves all fruit, which is a positive, but no veggies or meat.  She asks for goldfish crackers about 15 times a day and cereal bars about 5 times a day.

I know everyone says she will not starve and she will eat when she is hungry, but it has been a challenging month as I have been limiting her favorites.  

The only veggie she will sometimes eat is corn on the cob, not off the cob, only still on the cob. (I have to laugh because I remember only liking it on the cob myself as a child.)  Even though I know she does not eat other veggies (even though she used to eat them), I still add them to her plate every night.  I read that persistence is key.  You still put it in front of them.  Most nights I pray as I prepare her plate that she will eat something besides the fruit, but it never happens...

Never until last night!!!!

Yes, my little fruit loving child picked up a piece of broccoli (that she use to love but hasn't touched in 8 months) and she studied it.  She looked at it from every angle.  I didn't say a word.  Then she popped it in her mouth.  Then she ate another and another.  She cleaner her plate.  We gave her more.  Then she even ate a few pieces off her sister's plate.  We were ecstatic.  She was eating!!!!!

Stories of failures have crossed my path a lot this week.  I have read an article on famous people who failed.  I heard a story on the morning news of a famous business owner who failed in the beginning.  Failures occur everyday.  I have failed countless times, and I felt like a failure that I couldn't get my child to eat.  

How do we handle a failure?

Instead of trying to handle our failures, what if we "handed" our failures to God.  He can give us the strength and courage to keep trying.  When we hand Him our mistakes, He has the power to turn our failures into triumphs.  I have heard it said that God can take our messes and turn them into miracles that point to His grace and power.  I also heard someone describe it as turning our messes into our message for God.  And lastly, I heard a pastor say He turns our mistakes into our testimonies.

Today's Verse
Psalms 68:35b
"the God of Israel is he that giveth strength and power unto his people.  Blessed be God."

We keep trying and He keeps supplying the strength until we get it right!  We can never fail too many times for God.  As the saying goes, if at first you don't succeed, try, try again.  God looks past our failures and sees His child, whom He loves and wants to help.  We simply must keep trying and relying on Him.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A thief in the night

So, apart from the many obvious reasons that I am glad my husband was not traveling this week, I have an extra big reason today.  I have to rewind to mother's day to really give you the gist of this story.  I received a beautiful yellow balloon that said Happy Mother's Day that my daughters had picked out for me.  I love yellow and the girls love balloons.  Now you might be thinking this balloon should have been in the trash by now, but we still have balloons on the sticks from Valentines Day.  Balloons are loved and held on for dear life in this house.  Well at 12:30 a.m. I groggily rolled over only to see an what appeared to be a person slowly lunging for me.  I jumped up and let out a small yell.  Thankfully my husband was there to rescue for me from the attack of the killer balloon.

You see, and I know you might be laughing right now, but as you can guess, the balloon had finally started loosing its steam.  It had started lowering itself and looked like a huge headed thief in the night standing at the end of our bed.  I was so glad my husband was there to calm me down and take the culprit out of our room to the kitchen.

As I laughed to myself today, the verse from 1 Thessalonians 5:2, "For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night."  Also in 2 Peter 3:10, "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up."

I remember as a little girl often wondering what it would be like when the Lord comes back, but how often do I  think about that now?  Do I explain to my children what it means to be ready for Jesus' return?  Do I live with the sense of urgency to tell others of my faith?

A thief in the night is scary to think about, but Jesus' return is not scary, if you know Him.  Jesus was just simply explaining that His return will be sudden, unexpected, and without warning.

Today's Verses
"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and the trump of God:  and the dead in Christ shall rise first.  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air:  and so shall we ever be with the Lord."
1 Thessalonians 5:16-17

My favorite part of these verses..."so shall we ever be with the Lord."  Yes it is hard to imagine what it will be like.  Will we still be on the earth?  How fast will it occur?  Questions can plague our thoughts, but there is no question about it...Jesus is coming back.  He will not be a thief, but our Savior coming to take us to our heavenly homes.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Worth the hassle!

I hope you had a fabulous Memorial Day weekend.  We do want to thank and pray for all those who are currently serving for our freedom.  We remember those who have served and those who gave their lives so we might live freely.  We are blessed to be able to worship God openly in the USA, and we would not have that blessing and privilege if not for our wonderful servicemen and women!

When we think Memorial Day, other things may come to mind in addition to honoring those who serve our country.  We may think pool, beach, and summer time has arrived.  I know my girls were counting down the days till our community pool opened its gates.  We were so excited to get out there and find a seat on Saturday.  We splashed and played and had a wonderful time.  My youngest daughter thinks any body of water is the beach, and she has asked if we could go to the beach about 20 times today.  We were able to go back for a little while yesterday as well.  We packed a lunch and we had a few new pool toys to try out.  When it was time to head home, we had two very pouty girls.  They were not ready to leave.  Last year my youngest daughter preferred to stay home and play in the sprinkler.  This year it seems she would rather be at the "beach".

I told my husband that occasionally I felt it was too much of a hassle to go out to the pool.  I have to get the towels, pack a cooler, get out all the swimsuits and coverups, and find all pool toys.  Then we drive the ten minutes to have a couple hours of fun, only to have to come home and undo it all.  We put everything up, wash everything, and it seems like so much extra work.  Is it worth the hassle?

While debating the hassle in my head, I thought of another weekly tradition that can seem like a hassle as well...Church.

Church?  A hassle?  Surely not!  But it very well can be, at least for our family in this season of life.  Cook breakfast, get everyone dressed (including hairbows for the girls which is always so difficult to find), gather the Bibles, pack the diaper bag, make snacks and sippy cups to take, and I would like to have on a little makeup and preferably two matching shoes upon leaving the house.  Sometimes there are disagreements and sometimes downright yelling before we make the dash for the car.  We may feel frazzled before we sit down in the pew.  We go for inspiration, encouragement, and worship only to sometimes have to sit out with a little one that refuses to go to Sunday School or Children's church.  We rush home to get lunch on the table, because it is past lunch time and nap time, or we fight a crowd at a restaurant.  Hassle, hassle, hassle!!!  Is the couple of hours of worship and fellowship worth it?

In both absolutely big YES!

The pool...our children are not going to want to hang out with us forever.  Before we know it, they will be asking to go with their friends.  These are the perfect years for memory making, and the "hassle" of making any memory is well worth it.

Church...a must to grow as a follower of Christ.  We can and should worship God everyday, but what better way to start off your week than in the house of the Lord with fellow believers.  The music can lift your spirits, even when you have had a rough morning.  The message can touch your heart when you are going through the toughest trial.  The pat on the back can calm you to know that someone else is praying for you.  And if you are a mother of little ones, what better way to raise them than to know that every Sunday we are in God's house as a family learning about our Creator, no matter what!.

Today's Verse
Acts 20:32 "And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified."

His grace is able to build us up.  I love that part of this verse.  We are not going to receive that building up if we are not learning about His grace that can do the building.  Luke is writing about Paul speaking to Ephesian elders before he left.  He is telling them they will never see his face again (v. 25).  He is warning them of false teachers (vs. 28-31).  He is also showing the kind of relationship we can have with fellow believers (vs. 31-38).  Bellow is what the KJV Life Application Bible has to say about verses 31-38...

"Paul's relationship with these believers is a beautiful examle of Christian fellowship.  He had cared for them and loved them, even cried over their needs.  They responded with love and care for him and sorrow over his leaving.  They had prayed together and comforted one another.  Like Paul, you can build strong relationships with other Christians by sharing, caring, sorrowing, rejoicing, and praying with them.  You will gather others around you only by giving yourself away to them."  

Yes the hassle of getting to church on time is worth it.  How else can we find a family of fellow believers to lean on during the ups and downs of our lives?  I love this picture of how important it is to fellowship with other Christians, but we have to be willing to give of ourselves.  Nothing can be more supportive for a family than to have other faithful families walking with them through the trials and hassles of life!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

All good things must come to an end!

This is a week of endings.  I am kind of sad, kind of excited and really just filled with mixed emotions.  As you know from past posts, my oldest daughter is graduating from preschool (sniff, sniff) and tomorrow is the big day.  She also just had her last meeting in a program we have been involved in for four years (sniff, sniff), and she will be finishing up her gymnastics and dance next week.  Yes, I have my youngest daughter to continue in her stead.  Lord willing, she will form memories with these same programs.  It is not like we will be leaving the programs for good, but I am still sad.

I also had an ending this week with finishing a Bible study that I have thoroughly "Enjoy"ed.  (It was called "Enjoy" in case you were wondering :)  I have so loved spending this time getting to know the ladies in our new church, and getting to know the book of Philippians even better.  It has been exactly what I needed in this stage of our lives.  The material and content could not have been more applicable to the trials we are facing as a family right now...God always knows what we need.  I am going to miss this encouragement, but I look forward to the next study!

The saying is true...All good things must come to an end.

Our lives are filled with endings and new beginnings.  Areas in our lives that come to completion and it is time to move on.  These endings can be happy, sad, frightening, and exciting.  Our emotions can run the gamut when it comes to thinking about endings.  Ending - it is such a final word.

The word ending has been on my mind and heart the past few weeks.  And when I have been thinking about it, I feel a peace come over me.  A peace that can only be described as a peace from God.  You see, no matter what might be ending in my life, He holds the next beginning.  He knows what will be on the other side of the next ending, and it makes me so happy and so full of peace.  Not to mention that when my ending comes on this earth, the beginning we as Christians will experience next in heaven is unimaginably wonderful.

I don't know if you caught something in the post from Monday.  In the devotion I shared, the author Jennifer describes Jesus asking to prepare a place for us.  She imagines Jesus saying to God, '[Candice] will be joining us soon.'  Did you catch that when you read it?  "Soon"  Really???

I kept looking at the quote over and over.  And I began to think about it in realistic terms.  The Bible verse from James 4:14 came to mind.  We are only on this earth but for a brief moment.  Our life is described as a "vapor, that appeareth for a little time".  We will have an ending on this earth, but it is only the beginning...the beginning of eternity.

Eternity is not fathomable for our human brain, but there is no ending there.  I am so glad and thankful that my eternal ending is heaven.  There will be no more tears, no more pain, and no more endings...just an eternity of praising our Creator!

Today's Verse
Revelation 1:8 "I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, saith the Lord, which is, which was, and which is to come, Almighty."

Endings don't have to be frightening when we know the true "Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end" holds our lives in His hands!

Monday, May 21, 2012


On paper, this week looks almost impossible.  As we made our to-do lists last night, the pressure was getting to me.  With my husband being gone the last two weeks, a few must-be-done things have been put off to the last minute.  His home and work to-do lists were both overwhelming.  My lists had already been long because it is the last week of school, graduation and a recital to prepare for.  Then I added three additional things to my plate this weekend.  I love to prepare, plan and organize to get things accomplished, but I have to admit I was a little concerned about us getting everything done.

I woke up feeling panicked and immediately prayed for strength as this day started.  I didn't forgo sitting down for a brief moment to read a very short devotion from "Whispers of Wisdom or Mothers of Preschoolers."  I needed all the encouragement I could get for a busy Monday!!!

It was perfect.  It was just what I needed.  God always sends the right verse and the right message when I need it!  So of course I had to share.  This is Day 191 and the author is Jennifer Hahn.  I hope you enjoy, and I know after reading you will know why it was so special to me...a mansion mom!  :)

Today's Verse
Mark 10:27b   "With men it is impossible, but not with God:  for with God all things are possible."

Your Special Dwelling Place

John 14:2 "In my Father's house are many mansions;  if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you."  (I chose to use the KJV rather than the NASB version Jennifer uses in her devo.)

Moms spend much of their time maintaining their home:  co0king, cleaning, laundering, organizing...the list is endless.  Because sin entered into the world, work came along as a consequence. Even now you may be multitasking...wondering what to make for dinner and if you should go grab that pack of chicken from the freezer so it has time to thaw.

But take a moment to rest in the promise Jesus gave in John 14:2.  He informs us that there is a place waiting for us that will require nothing on our part.  Jesus tells us that in His Father's house, there are plenty of rooms for everyone - no on has to fight over who gets the "top bunk" - and there will be a place tailor-made for you.  Just imagine Him talking with God, saying "Father, [insert your own name here] will be joining us soon.  I'd like to make a special room just for her."

What a joy to know that He has found time to prepare a place for that you will never have to worry about painting, decoration, or cleaning!

Jesus, please give me the strength to maintain my earthly home, but also help me to remember the special home that You have prepared for me, waiting in heaven.  Amen

As always, just what I needed to help me through my busy day.  And it makes me sing "I've got a Mansion" with even more joy today!!!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Creature of Habit

I am a creature of habit.  I like my schedules.  I like my routines.  When I first started staying at home with my oldest daughter, I formed a schedule.  We would do such and such on Monday, run these errands on Tuesday, and so forth through the week.  It worked well for us.  I got my shower at the same time every day, cooked at the same time, and put her to bed at the same time.  When my second daughter was born, the routine was gone for a while, but we slowly concocted a new plan and a better fitting schedule emerged.

Well with the many changes occurring in our lives recently (mainly my husband's new work schedule), my schedules have once again been thrown out the window.  I used to post around the same time Monday-Thursday, and now it is 11:00 pm and I am just now typing.  I am trying to embrace the schedule set in stone, but it is hard.  New things and new routines just kind of frighten me.  I like the old; I like the familiar.

I realized today my youngest daughter seems to also be a creature of habit.  She will only eat the same certain things.  She refuses to try anything new.  Yes this is partly because she is 2 and that is what most 2 year olds do.  But I wonder if it is also because she has some of my personality.  We have also been going to the park more frequently with the warmer weather.  She has the same routine she likes to do at the park.  She has an order of playing and she doesn't like to veer off track.  There is only one slide she will slide on.  The others are perfectly fine and fun, but she likes her old faithful and familiar slide. Routines comfort 2 year olds.  They also need the familiar, but will she every grow out of this not trying anything new???

I posted recently about having my devotion time at a different time and different location and how uncomfortable that made me feel.  I was thinking about that again today and about my creature of habit tenancies.  It takes 21 days to form a habit, or at least that is what I have read before.  I can vouch and say that is probably the amount of days it took for me to form my habit of reading my Bible daily in the same place at the same time.  But, I don't ever want my time with God to be just a habit.  I want to love my time, cherish my time, and grow during my time with Him.  I don't want to sit down with my Bible and say "It is my scheduled time, let's mark this off my list."  I want my time with God to be a habit, but not in the negative way that habit can sound.

Today's Verse
"And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart."  Jeremiah 29:13

I want to seek God with all my heart everyday.  Not because it is a habit; not because it is a chore, and not because it is on my to-do list.  I want to because I love Him and I know He has my best interest in mind.  I want to ask for that guidance that can only be given in spending time with Him.  It doesn't have to be the same time everyday.  It doesn't have to be the same way everyday.  But it does need to be everyday!

21 days is not very long.  21 days before you are stuck with something in your life, whether good or bad...the habit is there, and it just took a mere three weeks to happen.  But if we take the 21 days to try to get to know God better, the habit will form, and we will be blessed.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Love your neighbor...

I have had some interesting neighbors in my lifetime.  At my parents house where I grew up, every one of my neighbors were related to me...seriously, no joke.  My neighbors consisted of aunts, uncles and cousins from both my mom's side of the family and my dad's side of the family.  So there was no choice but to love my neighbor :) during my childhood.

In college, the first time I moved off Talton Road, my neighbors were complete strangers.  In the dorm, all my neighbors were girls.  In my first apartment, I honestly never met any of my neighbors.  In my first townhouse, my roommate and I met a few of our neighbors, but never formed lasting relationships with anyone.

Then there was the first time I lived on my own, no roommate, just little old me.  Kinda scary.  And once again, I did not really try to get to get to know any of my neighbors.  The couple that lived directly under me did not like me very much.  I had an exercise machine.  (Do you remember the Gazelle thing?)  The first time I used it, I thought the woman was going to come and beat me up.   She came flying up those stairs and was yelling for me to stop.  I had no idea she could hear it.  It was not like it was real loud or even early in the morning.  But, needless to say we did not get off on the best foot.  They got mad at me if I parked in "their space" (FYI spaces were not assigned).  They would cook horrendous smelling food that I would have to smell.  They argued to the point that I could hear them.  The list of offences is pretty long.  I never reached out to them.

When we read in multiple places in the Bible, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." what thoughts come into your mind?  Also, who do you even consider to be your "neighbor"?

The Concise Bible Dictionary has this to say about the word "Neighbor" -

"A neighbor, then is any person we encounter who has any need.  That includes every person we encounter...Loving our neighbor is second in importance only to loving God (Matt. 25;35-39)..."

Did you catch that?  "every person we encounter"  and  "second in importance to loving God".  YIKES!

"Oh surely not that person."  "I can't get along with them."  "But they are so negative." Are these some of your thoughts right now?????

Even as Christians we are going to experience times when people, to put it bluntly, get on our nerves.  There is the rude person at the cash register, the person who cut in front of us in line, the mean customer service rep.  Are we to love these people?

You know the answer just like I do...YES!!!!!

Today's Verse
"Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man."  Colossians 4:6

This verse is referring to witnessing to non-believers, but I believe it can be applied to any situation.  Whether we are answering a question from our children, a rude encounter with a complete stranger, or dealing with a fellow believer that we do not always agree with, we have to love that person and allow our speech to reflect grace.  Every "neighbor" we encounter needs to see God's love through our actions and words.

I am finishing up the Philippians study, and am so excited to be reading/studying chapter 4 this week.  I have to say it is probably my most favorite chapter in the whole Bible (I hope we can discuss this fact later this week.)  But I have to confess that I usually skip the first 3 verses and head to verse 4.  After really reading the first verses I realized after more studying that Paul is telling two ladies in the church to get along.  Phil 4:2 "I beseech Euodias, and I beseech Syntyche, that they be the same mind in the Lord."  These are two Christians, two church going ladies, two sisters in Christ, and they are not getting along.    My Women's Study Bible says they "were at odds with one another over some matter(s)."

We are going to have not-so-nice encounters with friends and family, with Christians and non-Christians, with strangers and acquaintances.  We just have to keep in the back of our minds to "Let (our) speech be always with grace" and with God's strength and guidance we can "love our neighbors as ourselves."

Monday, May 14, 2012

It is already forgotten!

I am admitting there are days when my fuse is short.  It doesn't take much to make me angry on these days.  I pray these days are nonexistent, yet somehow, someway, I tend to have these days pop up when I least expect them...and yes you guessed it, today has been one of those days!!!!!

The family woke up in good moods.  We had made to do lists last night and had the day planned out.  Everyone had things that needed to get done before the day was over, and we set out to start our tasks.  But before I knew it both girls had disobeyed; they were fighting with each other; they were both whining about the worksheets we were working on, and after a couple of hours I had lost my temper.  I was short with my husband and had snapped at him and my kids :(

We had just had the most wonderful of mother's days.  (I hope yours was fabulous too.)  I had plenty of surprises, one of which my oldest daughter had picked out and had been dying to give me.  There were cards and crafts and a rose and a balloon.  There was singing and sweet kisses and hugs.  We had a wonderful day at church and were even able to become official members after the service.  We ate the most delicious meal at one of our local favorites.  We took a nap - YAY for Sunday naps. We played outside; we played games, and we even watched some of American Funniest Home Videos.  My perfect day!!!!!

And now this......

Beating myself up is what I do best, and today I was a pro!  I felt horrible for my short fuse, but what kept ringing in the back of my mind was the Bible verses I had read just a few hours before.  I have been doing a Bible study on Philippians (which is one of my most favorite books of the Bible), and I had completed one of the chapters right before bed last night.  As an assignment, I had to look up commentary of Philippians  3:16, "Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing."  My findings for that verse plus verses 13-15 were just what I needed at this very moment.  Here is what the KJV Life Application Bible had to say about verses 13-16 of Phil 3.

"Paul had reason to feel sorrow about the past...We have all done things for which we are ashamed, and we all live in the tension of what we have been and what we want to be.  Because our hope is in Christ, however, we can let go of the past guilt and look forward to what he will help us become.  Don't dwell on your past.  Instead, grow in the knowledge of God by concentrating on your relationship with him now.  Realize you are forgiven, and then move on to a life of faith and obedience...Sometimes striving for Christian perfection can be so difficult that it leaves us drained and discouraged.  We may feel so far from perfect that we think we can never please God with our lives.  Paul used 'perfect' to mean mature or complete, not flawless in every detail..."

I am not perfect!  No this does not mean I was off the hook for my anger, but it does mean I can ask forgiveness and move on.  I do not have to beat myself up.  I messed up and I thankfully I have a forgiving God and a forgiving family.  I am striving to "mature" in my knowledge and faith in Christ.

After I said I was sorry, my husband said, "It is already forgotten."  I smiled to myself and realized my Heavenly Father has said the same thing to me.  No I don't deserve it, but He thankfully offers me the grace of forgiveness every single day of my life.

Today's Verses
Isaiah 38:17c "for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back."
Isaiah 43:25 "I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins."
Isaiah 44:22a "I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions."
Isaiah 55:7b "and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon."

I think I may have used some of these verses recently, but I really needed them today!  I hope if you are beating yourself up about a past sin or a sin that happened just a few minutes ago, you will remember that our God is the ONE TRUE GOD of mercy and grace and forgiveness!  He has already forgotten as soon as you ask Him to.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Happy Mother's Day


A mother's work is never done.
Her day begins before the sun's.
And even when the sun goes down,
She's still working with a smile, never a frown.

She goes through different seasons of life.
Each one has their own glories and strife.
The baby so tiny and innocent, but oh how they cry.
The toddler so sweet, but they keep asking why.

The preschooler so independent, yet selfish sometimes.
The kindergartner growing up with ABCs and rhymes.
The seasons move on with each new year,
And each day may come with both laughter and tears.

She will always be the best Mommy she can be.
Giving endless hugs and kisses and some advice for free.
She falls into bed each night after working hard all day.
Never forgetting to take the time to thank God and to pray.

So to every Mommy out there, no matter your season.
I know your children love you and they have every reason,
To thank God for you, pray for you, and thank you in every way.
So today I wish every mom a HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

I do wish every mother a very happy mother's day!!!!
Thank you for your hard work and dedication to raising your children.  Thank you for the sacrifices you make everyday for the betterment of your children.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!
I especially wish the best mom in the world, my mom of course :), a very happy mother's day!!!!  I love you lots!!!!

Today's Verse
Proverbs 31:28a "Her children arise up, and call her blessed;"

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


We have had company this week.  It has been fun and exciting, especially for my two little ones, but there are some adjustments when hosting.  Our daily routine was a little off.  We didn't eat at our normal times or even our normal meals.  There were a few more snacks around than usual and a lot of extra curricular activities to be enjoyed.  Even with the changes, it is still fun to share your home, and we are told in the Bible in a number of place to show hospitality. (Romans 12:13 - " Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.")

All that said, I don't want you to think my title of "Uncomfortable" has any thing to do with how it felt to show a little hospitality this week.  Noway!  "Uncomfortable" has to do with how I was feeling this morning during my devotion.

I got out my Bible.  I got out the book I have been studying in a Tuesday Bible study class.  I found a spot.  I prayed.  I laid the books out in front of me.  I had everything I needed, but I just couldn't get comfortable.  I moved and wiggled.  I rearranged.  I huffed and I puffed.  I didn't want to whine, but this just wasn't comfortable to me.  You see, with our company, I couldn't do my quiet time during my normal time nor in my normal location.  I have a certain spot and a specific time of day when I spend my time with God.  But with company here, everything had to be shifted a little, and to put it simply I was out of my comfort zone.  Not emotionally out of the zone, but I physically could not get comfortable and focused like I knew I should be...not like in my old spot that was calling my name.

I had to sit back and laugh for a second.  God was using this as a major teaching moment.  Being physically uncomfortable had caused me to think of some times in just the past week when I had felt the need to step out of my emotional comfort zone but had failed to do so.  I will not go into all the details, but there were two instances flashing through my mind that I knew the Holy Spirit had tugged at my heart, and I had ignored it.

Our comfort zone is such a nice, friendly and familiar area.  It is cozy.  It is safe.  There is no stress in our comfort zone.  There is no cause for our hearts to beat out of our chest in our zone.  There is no "What if I mess up?", or "What if I say the wrong thing?" thoughts flashing in our minds in our zone.

I had a thought during my mental debate on whether to move for my devotion time.  My comfort zone is right where Satan wants me.  He doesn't want me to step out of my safe zone.  If I am stepping out of it, I am surely stepping out for God.  I am truly stepping out on faith.  I am stepping out because of obedience.  The devil doesn't want that, but that is exactly what God is calling us to do.  God wants us to show our love, trust, faith and obedience in Him by taking that step and doing what He has called us to do.  He will be there if we stumble as we take those wobbly steps into a new area in life.  He will hold our hand (Is 41:10) and He will guide us with His eye (Ps 32:8) when we attempt to do something new.  God will be right there through any step He has asked us to take!

Today's Verses
Psalms 37 verses 5 and 24
"Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass."
"Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down:  for the LORD upholdeth him with is hand."

Do you have a tug at your heart?  Is God calling you to do something that you know will require you to step out of your comfort zone? We can commit our ways to Him, trust Him, and He will "bring it to pass".  He will help us if we do stumble and fall our way through the new task.  He will be proud of us and comfort us through every little baby step we take.

Am I going to do what I am suppose to do?  If I get the opportunity, I am praying I will.  He is holding my hand and He will make me comfortable in my uncomfortable places.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Answered Prayer

We had a wonderful impromptu trip to the beach last week.  There was definitely a blessing behind my husbands recent job change.  With the added travel comes added free hotel stays!  YAY!  We are finding more and more blessings through the changes.  We began the job transition with only looking at the bad, but God has been showing us He knows best as always.  We are seeing the good in the changes more and more everyday.  Beyond anything, we are truly thankful for the job.

That said, after a restful time away, we had a whirlwind of a weekend with lots of activities.  I am truly tired today.  It was a blue blue Monday.  The weather is gorgeous outside, but my day has felt a little foggy.  So I am trying to get excited about something...anything.  So I started thinking of answered prayers.  When you check those prayer requests off your prayer list, doesn't it make your heart leap for joy?  Since I am in need of some joy today, why not look at what God has answered?  As our preacher said yesterday..."Your worst day as a Christian is far better than our best day without Christ!"  Even when things are foggy, we are to be joyful for the simple fact our God is the only God and He has saved us!

So I guess you may have caught the first check.  I made a reference to "our pastor".  We have found a church home.  We have been attending for a few months.  We are starting to feel more and more at home and hope to join next week.  So right there is one of our biggest prayers answered!

Also we have decided on where our oldest daughter will go to school.  We feel God has led us to the right place, and we are super thrilled that she will be an official Kindergarten student on August 14th (sniff, sniff).  I just got the final paperwork together to take tonight.  Her dad and I will be attending a parent orientation and we are excited about meeting other parents that will be on this journey with us.  So YAY for another check!

There are so many more, but I won't bore you.  Event the smallest check is a cause for celebration and a comfort to know God is always working in our lives.  His plan is the best plan and we are so thankful for that comfort.  Now if we could just possibly sale this house and move closer to our church and school????  Still praying, but the contentment and peace we are feeling about staying here can only be coming from God.  We just continue to wait patiently for this prayer to be answered with a yes or a keep waiting something greater than you can imagine will happen.

Today's Verse
"And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive."  Matthew 21:22

Prayer has been a topic of discussion in our house this week and in our trips in the car.  (We were on the road a lot this week.)  We have to know God is going to answer.  This verse says "believing".  I am guilty of praying some times and the skeptic in me says "This will never happen."  We can never have that attitude.  We have to believe He is going to answer us.  No it might not always be the exact answer we had hoped for, but it will be for the best.  God will help us check off those things that are important to us, we just have to believe!

This week I am challenging myself to pray more intently, make more lists so nothing is forgotten, and pray with the faith of a mustard seed.  I hope to have excitement as I pray knowing He will answer.  I also hope to pray with thanks in my heart, being already thankful for the answer I know He will give. I pray that you will join me.  Think of the things you can check off today because He has graciously answered your prayer.  And pray with a glad heart today because Our God does listen and He does answers when we pray!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Because the Bible tells me so!

I love singing Jesus Loves Me!  We sing it at bedtime and all throughout the day.  When my girls sing about God and His love, it can melt away any stress or concerns I may be carrying.  We have a children's Bible book that poses the question, "How do we know?" at the end of each Bible story.  My girls love to scream out, "Because the Bible tells me so!"  We laugh every time!  Today as we were singing before nap time, I just kept thinking of everything I should remember throughout my day.  All the promises that are made in the Bible, all the encouragement that is offered, all the hope and grace provided in the contents...all the LOVE that is there in the pages!  If I am having a bad moment and instead of wallowing in my pitty, what if I decided to reflect on a promise from the Bible?   I simply might not have so many bad moments.

So first here is a video of "Jesus Loves Me" in case you need a reminder of His love and this joyful song...

Now here is just a small list of promises about Jesus that we have from the Bible...

1- Jesus loves me. - 1 John 4:19 "We love him, because he first loved us."
2- Jesus died for me. - Romans 5:8 "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
3- Jesus forgave me. - 1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
4- Jesus cares for me. - 1 Peter 5:7 "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you."
5- Jesus strengthens me. - Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
6- Jesus answers me. - John 14:14 "If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it."
7- Jesus provides for me. - Matthew 6:31-32 "Therefore take no thought saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink?, or Wherewithal shall we be clothed?...for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things."
8- Jesus is there for me when I need Him. -  Hebrews 4:16 "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."
9- Jesus offers peace to me. - Philippians 4:6-7 "Be careful for nothing; but in everything 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."
10- Jesus knows everything about me. - Luke 12:7a "But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered..."

Jesus does all these things for you and for me. He know everything about us...yet He still loves us!!!!

How do we know?


Today's Verse (A repeat that should be said throughout our day!)
"Rejoice in the Lord always:  and again I say, Rejoice"  Philippians 4:4