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Showing posts from January, 2008
For the first time this week I made it to the Y. The Ick has been in our house between AJ, Ryan and I so I have felt like a slug for a few days. It was good to be back, but I am feeling it. Can the same thing be said about our spiritual life? There are days I am sure we all can say we just don't have the time, don't feel like doing our quiet time. Some of you are thinking, "What? I can't imagine missing a moment!", others of you are saying, "Okay, I slip from time to time", and still others of you might actually admit, "I don't have the time, find it a struggle to get into the Word daily". We all have our reasons, but none of them are good. Whether we feel like it or not, we must make time for God daily. It should be like taking our vitamins, eating a meal, brushing your teeth, etc.; in other words, a habit. But in addition, it should be as fresh as a cool breeze on a hot summer day. We need to do it, but it should be invigorati…
I guess it is my turn to get sick. I woke up today with scratchy throat, runny nose and just not feeling all that great. Mom's turn to get the stuff! I suppose if we could pick when we got sick it would never happen, cause who wants to be sick? Well, life goes on and somehow we muddle through even when we are a bit under the weather. I was reading in my quiet time today in Matthew. Jesus is telling the disciples the story of the man who hired workers and paid the same wage regardless of how many hours they labored. He wanted them to get that when kindness is shown, we are doing what Christ did for us. He didn't come to be served, He came to serve and to save. How different would our lives be if we chose to be a servant to others rather than expect our needs to be met first? In every area of our lives this should be the model we live by: with our husbands, our children, friends, coworkers, acquaintances, everyone who crosses our path. Serving is not easy, especially…
I read Psalm 24 this morning in my quiet time and it is such a powerful, wonderful picture of our God. Who is this King of Glory? The Lord, strong and mighty! Chris Tomlin's song is going through my mind, what an awesome vision of our Lord in His rightful place. I wonder how many people in the world truly embrace and celebrate that? I wonder how many people in the world have turned from Him, found somehow their circumstances in life are His fault, written Him off as a cruel God. How many of them really know Him for who He is? I want them to know, I want them all to know His truth, His promises, His love and the true reason for why He allows this world to keep on spinning, existing, spiraling out of control. If we read the Scriptures we know why. He waits so that more may come to know Him, choose His promise of salvation. He waits because truly man is corrupt, the world is an imperfect place and it will naturally continue to get worse. There cannot be peace on earth, not…
I am having a rather groggy Monday. One child and a husband sick with a cold, so it kind of makes everyone move a little slower. I was moving about the house this morning wondering what I could let go, just didn't feel like doing it all today. Somehow I got enough umph in my gut to get moving, get the ball rolling on my list of to-do's. I was reading in my quiet time today about the goodness and mercy God provides for us. Psalm 23:6 says, "Surely goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever." I love the use of the word pursue in the New Living Translation. Do you know this truth in your own life? I think if mentally I prepared myself better each day by telling myself, "God's goodness and unfailing love is pursuing me today!" I would have a better outlook. Can the same thing be said for you? What is in the forefront of our minds when our eyes open and our minds first becom…
I am fasting today in preparation for our life insurance exam in the morning. I am hungry, I would love to eat something but I won't cause it will help them get a clearer result on our tests. So I will fill my mind and heart with things to distract from my physical hunger today. I read in my quiet time today about Jesus' provision to the crowds when the disciples thought there would not be enough. He took what they had, blessed it and by the time everyone was fed there was still so much left over. Isn't that what he promises to do for us in all things? Abundance is ours if we will trust in Him, lean upon His understanding, know His provision is true. The scripture says some trust in men and horses, but we trust in the name of our God! How true is that of our world today? Our society says to trust in so many things that man has created for his own comfort, prosperity, success in this life; but what about what God can do? None of that matters unless we have a lovin…
The headline this morning on the news was about the death of a young actor, Heath Ledger. He was found dead yesterday morning in his New York apartment, the cause yet to be determined. Speculation is flying of course, but the autopsy will reveal the true nature of his death. I immediately felt a great sadness for this young man. We have enjoyed several films he has starred in, such a great actor. I was sad more than anything for his young daughter, how she will never really know or remember her father. She will most likely only have images in her mind of who he was in her life. 28 years old....what kind of impression did his life make upon those he knew best, those he loved, worked with, those who surrounded him throughout his life. I was reading in my quiet time this morning about Jacob and when he and his family moved to Egypt to be reunited with Joseph. It is a story we have known and loved about how Joseph, despite how his brothers treated him, sold him into slavery in Eg…
This morning I woke up to see a snowy white blanket covering everything outside my window. I wished I could have crawled back under the covers and stayed snuggled up in bed for a little longer. Reality check--life goes on, too much to do today! The winter weather, lack of sunshine and the daily routine makes it all too easy to become depressed and generally unhappy about facing another day. I have always been the type to push forward, not become bogged down and give up, throw in the towel. I may have a lot of moments where I trudge through my day in a grumpy mood, but at some point something I read or hear, something someone says to me snaps me out of it. I am sure I am not the first to admit I don't start my day at the exact same time in the exact same way everyday. My day starts and stops within a time fluctuation of about 15 minutes to half an hour. I know it is a terrible excuse, but I am sorry--having children should come with the expectation that we are not going to …
Another Monday is upon me, and I find I am dragging a bit today. It was a fun weekend celebrating my birthday. I am 36, 40 is not that far away--uggh! We went to Indianapolis Saturday and did some shopping, ate some good food, caught just a glimpse of downtown before heading home to Brazil. There is so much there to see and do so we can't wait to go back. I enjoy seeking out the big bargain sales and I found several this weekend. I was amazed at the people who were coming out of the specialty stores with bags over the arms, no doubt they had spent a whole lot more money than I did. One particular store is a favorite among women who desire a great handbag. Rylee and I walked in to browse for fun, and I made the mistake of asking the sales associate if they had a sale going on that day. She smiled politely and told me that they didn't really have sales in this store. I smiled politely back and thanked her as we walked on and looked at a few things that I knew we couldn…
Matthew 12:33 A tree is identified by its fruit. Make a tree good, and its fruit will be good. Make a tree bad, and its fruit will be bad.

What kind of fruit are you producing? I would like to think that I have produced something positive from each day I am blessed to live on this earth. Jesus had a lesson to teach each person He encountered whether it was a Pharisee, a person who needed healing, one of His disciples or an ordinary person passing him by on the street. Live a life that reflects God: be kind, humble, loving and compassionate. How are you living the life God has blessed you with? Do you see it as a blessing or a curse? Is your answer based on your circumstances or can you change your view to see the bigger picture of what God may have for your life? Life will always have its ups and downs, worries and fears will come and go, our faith will most certainly waiver, but God never changes. I want to stand before the Lord one day and although I don't deserve it h…
Matthew 11:28-30 Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light."
How willing are we to give up everything and trust God with our lives? I will be one of the first to admit I struggle with it daily. I am a bit of a control freak, Ryan will confirm that if you ask him I am sure. I run a pretty tight ship at home, like things done a certain way and if they aren't, my world begins to spiral out of control. I get testy, stressed, a bit angry and very impatient. When I was pregnant and had nesting periods I would go on cleaning frenzies late at night. With three children you can imagine how full my day is. I am up at 6:30 and if I am lucky I will have an hour of my day to myself. I usually collapse in bed by 11:30 or midnight because m…
In Matthew 10 Jesus was teaching His disciples about priorities. He emphasized in several examples throughout this chapter how important it is to deny all and follow Him. Nothing in this life is lasting nor perfect, not our marriages, not our families, not our jobs, not our churches, not our lifestyles, not our social circles or clubs.....so, what's your priority? It should be Christ, and Christ alone. Drop it all, follow Me. That's all He wants. It is hard to swallow in my heart and mind, and I know I am not the only one, that life as I know it could change in a split second. Something horrific could occur, and what would I have then? How would I go on? Jesus has the answer. He is always there, and God is always on His throne. In our human minds we cannot fully comprehend the depths of His love, but when I stand before the Father I want Him to say He saw Himself in me. Jesus told his disciples, deny your family, let go of your grip on relationships, places, things…
Proverbs 3 tells us that gaining wisdom and understanding is far greater than any treasure on this earth, any accumulation of wealth whether it be in jewels or precious metals--nothing compares. God is funny. I go through these stages as I endure difficult circumstances---anger, frustration, fear, despair, doubt, joy, peace. At some point between fear and joy I find it very therapeutic to laugh! God provides that, I am sure of it. I would like to think at some point dealing with the Pharisees and all those who doubted and ridiculed him in his time on this earth, he must have laughed. God's timing is perfect, I have seen the evidence of it in several moments of my life. Whether we like it or not, ready or not, he has a plan and a reason for every single thing we go through. I got to thinking about the car again today. We still don't know what we are going to do, waiting to hear if the dealership will work out a payment arrangement with us. I was talking to God today, …
I love reading about the miracles Jesus did. In Matthew 8 I read today about how he calmed the sea amidst a great storm. The disciples were so afraid, and yet he just slept. After the calming of the storm, he asked why they were so afraid? Why didn't they have faith in him? Then later I read about the deliverance of two men from demon possession. The images both situations bring to my mind: watching the waves and winds immediately cease at his word, seeing the men delivered and watching as Jesus cast the demons into a herd of pigs that then plunged themselves over a hillside to their death in the water below. The sounds, the feeling in the air must have been breathtaking. How incredible to be a disciple of Christ in that day, standing at his side, knowing him in his time here on this earth, not just following him in the spirit but in person. I can only imagine. I find it interesting that the disciples struggled to recognize Him and His power as the Son of God, and yet th…
Since we have moved and for that matter any move we have undertaken, I have the same feeling of dread about one thing....meeting new people. It sounds odd, I know, but I honestly find it difficult to meet and get to know, build new relationships with other people. The older I get, the more difficult it seems to be. I cannot claim to have any childhood best friends, and I have only kept in touch with a handful of friends from college. Life happens, we move away, families begin and grow, the responsibilities and activities of our lives make it challenging to keep those relationships going. I have over the years been so thankful for those I have managed to stay in touch with. Though there are many miles between us, sometimes the brightest part of my day is receiving an email from one of my dear friends. I have already made some very sweet friends in the few weeks we have been in Brazil, Indiana. Although my humanity cries out for seclusion at times and just doesn't feel like…
I read in my quiet time this morning in Psalm 9:9 that God is my refuge. Refuge is defined as shelter or protection from danger. No matter what I go through each day, I know without a doubt my God is there for me. That is awesome. I will never tire of that fact, I am so thankful for it. I didn't want to go to work today. Despite what my body and my mind were saying, I got up when my alarm went off, I got ready, I had my coffee and ate some breakfast and I enjoyed time with God. There is no better way to start the day. It made my day! I had joy in my heart and mind as I went throughout my day because I chose it. God was there for me in my time of need, my bad mood this morning. Because I chose to seek Him in the first moments of my day, He lovingly provided just what I needed.

Keep on keepin' on!

Life doesn't slow down for anything or anyone, so how do we keep up? Put one foot in front of the other and go, go, go! I have always been the temperament of one who needs to be somewhat busy, engaged in something worthwhile, not standing still for very long. I don't like to wait, I don't like to be stuck in one place with nothing to do. I will often seek out what I can do by asking, seeking, searching, digging, just doing. In my quiet time today I read in Matthew 6:7-10 a reminder to keep asking, seeking and knocking because it is there for us to find, to do, to be blessed. God wants us to have the desires and dreams within our hearts so what is holding us back? For years I have found myself doing a job that is okay, but nothing to rejoice about. Retail work may be easy and busy, but it is quite honestly boring. I have been exploring spiritually and professionally something more for my life for about three years now. It probably started after I had AJ. I knew I…
Another Monday, ready or not here we go! It has been a good Monday, I have gotten a good bit of my to do list done. I started a membership at the Y today, felt good to commit to something for my health. I know what I need to do with this body God has given me to take care of so I am doing it. I was thinking over the weekend about what matters most. Reflecting on what I have endured so far in this life I am immediately thankful to still be here. We have seen so many people we know go through extraordinary circumstances, it is enough to make your head spin. I am amazed what the human mind and body can take. I have watched friends and family go through life with such heavy burdens, and I have watched with such great joy when they have made it through triumphantly. I don't know how anyone could without Jesus. How do we survive great tragedy, extraordinary circumstances without having a God we can turn to for comfort, healing, peace that passes all understanding? We couldn&#…
I am still not used to the time change here. We are now Eastern time instead of Central time, so it gets dark earlier and it is dark much later in the morning. Winter is more harsh in Indiana than anywhere we have lived. It isn't much different from Missouri or Tennessee, but it is much colder, and being in a small town the pace is that much slower. Saturdays are meant for being lazy, sleeping late and enjoying time with the family. My job makes that challenging since I have to work on the weekends. I would much rather be home enjoying time with my family. I wonder how many other people share my "pain"? Don't get me wrong, it is a good job and I like it but it is by no means a "dream" job. Perhaps once again God is prompting me to consider what else I could be doing with my life professionally to find a greater sense of fulfillment. I have considered going back to school, but the timing would not be right for that now. I know God hears my heart, …

Friday, blessed Friday

Another early day, errands to run and a day at work in the retail world for me. It was good, most Fridays are and I can't recall many bad Fridays in my life so far. I was reading in my quiet time this evening about Abram, who God later named Abraham. God called him to leave everyone and everything he knew and go to the land He would show him. Hmmm...not such an easy thing for many of us. Leave what you know, go where I lead you. God didn't give Abraham an itinerary, an agenda or a planner of any kind--He just said, "Go and I will show it to you." I love this story, reading about how God will bless him and his family, for many, many generations. Abraham left us an incredible legacy, a hard act to follow. How would any one of us feel about giving up all we know, particularly our comforts and our comfort zone in which we live to simply follow where God leads? I can think of several times in my life when Ryan and I faced criticism and skepticism about a decisio…

Sacrifice

Okay, I am sore. They warned me in the class this morning and they were right. My body is wondering what the heck I did to it. I am glad I went, but I have got to stick with it so I don't hurt so much! Once again, I am feeling how much harder it is to get back into a routine the older I get. I say it every year but hopefully I will really stick with it this time! I have my goals, and they are realistic not something crazy like trying to fit into a size 2 by swimsuit season. I was reading today in my quiet time about sacrifice. In Genesis I read about how Noah watched God's promises unfold and how he must have felt such peace knowing the sacrifice was worth it. I read in Matthew when Jesus approached his disciples and called them to follow him; what a sacrifice that must have been to leave everything they knew, and leave their families wondering what on earth they were doing. Finally I read in Psalm 4 about God's provision for His children, the peace, the blessing…

Where do we go now?

I think it was a Guns and Roses song, Sweet Child of Mine, with the lyric, "Where do we go now?" I don't know why that came to mind today other than it is a new year, time to take Christmas stuff down and pack it away so I am wondering amidst all there is to do...where do I go now? I wish I could take off for a week to just vacation, unwind, relax, catch a great concert, eat some incredible food and spend some romantic time with my man--that's where I'd like to go! Anyway, back to reality. Today is the beginning of some new resolutions for me I hope to make lifelong habits. In my quiet time this morning I was reading in Genesis about Noah, chapter 6 verse 22: He did everything exactly as God commanded him. He was the only man, found blameless and righteous, consistently sharing a close relationship with God. If only my life could be such an example. That is great motivation, what an example Noah is to us all. I would hope today as I seek to find my direct…

Happy New Year

Is it really 2008? Every year that goes by I am amazed how much faster it goes and to look back at what I have been through. Some are worth remembering more than others-can I get an amen?! Yeah, well, 2007 would at first glance be one to forget for us. But looking again I'd say, heck yeah, let's do it again cause something good is going to come of it! It ended so well with God bringing us to Brazil, Indiana. What a ride this will be! I haven't had my quiet time today yet, but I made a new year's resolution and began it already yesterday. I am going to read through the Bible utilizing a Bible I got several years ago after attending a conference. My health resolution starts tomorrow with eating more healthy, getting the exercise I need to both lose weight and maintain it as well as just taking the steps to live a healthier life. With the history on my side of the family and seeing what my parents are facing with their health it is a great motivator for me to do…