Tag Archives: praise

Way Too Long

Well hello there! Remember me? Sorry for it being so long since I last posted. I’ll try to do better in 2013.

So, we got moved to Georgia in mid September of 2012 and the day after – yes, the day after we unloaded the last truck, we got the dreaded call – the contract had fell through. Yep. We loaded one more truck and headed home to Indiana. That was a scary and defeated feeling. I hated those days. Saying goodbye to something that I had no sooner said hello. The thoughts that rushed through me were common; ‘Why?’ Why did we literally pack everything we own and spend $1000’s of dollars just to move right back? My Mom taught me the most valueable lesson of my life in her last days. “There’s always a reason, we just aren’t meant to know why sometimes.”

By the end of October we were back in Indiana. His folks visited us a couple time for the holidays and I was very happy to host my family twice when my sons came to visit. My middle son came first the beginning of December with his wife and my first grandson, Riott. We had 21 family members over for Sunday dinner. It was amazing! Always wanted a place big enough to host my ever-growing family. If you think 21 is large – that was not even half of my immediate family. My nephew and niece-in-law announced their big news: due in July!! Yes, yet another grandchild to add to the family tree. What a joyous moment!

Hosting the family wasn’t near as much stress as I thought it would be and I was glad to do it again in January when my oldest son visited with his new wife. She’s due May 22 – yes, going to be grandma x2! YAY!! Another branch extends forth!! Found out it will be another boy, Noah. Can’t wait to meet him. Sucks that we live so far away. Doesn’t matter if I live in Indiana or Georgia or ‘Timbucktoo’; both my sons live in Missouri. That’s probably the part I don’t like about my life most right now; I can’t just stop over and see my kids/grandkids. Can’t just babysit and spoil my offspring’s offspring…but thank God for modern technology. I can text, call, Skype and keep up on their to-do-n’s on Facebook. I can see progressive baby belly pics and hear all about her craving and emotional boundings. I can still offer my motherly advise and be involved. It’s the little things 🙂

I found a new job – one I love so much. I work from home now. It’s great!! I actually turned down 2 other offers in town. That was scary. I’ve never worked on a contract like this before and after what happened to Dave’s contract last year, I feared the worse. Besides, I cannot recall ever turning down a job offer, but something told me to take this one. I knew it meant I had to disciplined. I knew the risks. It took almost a month before I actually started. I worried if it was real. But my worries were soon layed to rest. When I started working, it was just as I remembered. It was like dusting off a bike and hopping back on – I was a little wobbly the first couple days but before I knew it, I was doing flips and coasting with my hands up in the air! The people I work with are fun, dedicated, understanding and just down right great people. They have faith and that really sold me on them. They weren’t afraid to say it in both my interviews. Know how when you talk to someone, you just click? Well, that’s the way it was with this team. I’m glad I listened to my gut.

And it’s a good thing I took that remote job – we are back in Georgia!! Yep. Last truck is unloaded and no call yet. (And there better not be, God willing! Lol!) I have faith that this time is it. We are here for good. Today marks his first day at his new job. Kinda scary, but in a good way. Dave and I are as strong as ever. He even left me a little note in my office this morning. Love those little moments…don’t think he realizes how much…

So, what’s the moral of this blog? Don’t give up. Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes the best things happen out of the worst circumstances. It is our struggles – our victories and our defeats – that makes us who we are. We can chose to begrudge life and anticipate the next hurdle or we can face each day for what it is, knowing that we have the opportunity to rise above, grow and be grateful. I got to host my family not once, but twice. I got to have my sons over and create some new memories together. I got to spend some quality time with my daugther who is growing into the woman I knew she could be. I got to overcome one of life worst disappointments with the one I love. I am thankful for technology that allows me to stay connected no matter where I am. I am thankful for my faith that continues to see me through – and I am reminded that through God’s strength, we can do anything.

Until next time!

 

“The humble will see their God at work and be glad. Let all who seek God’s help be encouraged.”  ~ Psalm 69:32

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”  ~ Romans 12:2

“Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”  ~ 1 Corinthians 13:7

YEOWCH! Avoiding Life’s Stingers

"Delight yourself in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass ... Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him." Psalm 37:4-7

"Delight yourself in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass ... Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him." Psalm 37:4-7

Campus is beautiful with acres and acres of flowers, shrubbery and trees. As a result, there is a lot of wildlife activity every where you turn. On my walk back to my office earlier this week I spotted a butterfly fluttering amongst the flowers etching the side of the building. My heart was immediately lifted and I caught myself smiling. No sooner did I see the butterfly, I noticed a bumble bee. My smile quickly faded and I quickly stiffened up and stepped away to avoid it. That day I knew God was trying to tell me something. Yesterday while walking the same path it came to me: here are two very similar things, they both fly and are beautiful creatures but, as a result of experience and/or the experience of others, you don’t befriend the bee because of its’ stinger. It may look attractive and you may want to pursue it, but it’s bad for you. That’s what God is showing me…He wants to help me to discern those who have stingers and those who do not. Those who are good for me and those who are not…

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not bad to believe in people, but for someone like me, believing in the wrong people can be draining. I can look back and see how it has lead me away from the teachings God has in store for me, from the blessings God wants to pour into my life. I want to believe so bad that I ignore the signs. Like a spoiled child, I want love right now! {Insert foot stomp here} I have so much love inside of me that I believe it’s enough for two…but I’m only cheating myself to think that a bee won’t sting me at some point. He may not sting the first hour – which only helps create soul ties – but he might the second or the third. It’s inevitable; a high risk venture. No wonder I keep losing bits of myself. I need to stop sacrificing myself in hopes of miraculously uncovering a true kind of love. Someone should love me for who I am today and who I want to be tomorrow – not just for who I am to them and what I do for them. The love God has in store for me doesn’t need to be polished…I’m the one who needs to be polished. Love is waiting for me yet I’ve been fooling around with too many damn bees. I’m the one who’s not ready yet.

There are consequences for choosing things that are bad for us. While we can safely admire a bee from a distance it is crazy to try and pick him up. On the same end, it is nearly impossible to catch a butterfly without a net, however that’s another thing I’ve noticed; there have been several times that a butterfly has hovered around me as I’ve walked around campus. One Tuesday a butterfly followed me all the way from my car to the front entrance of the library. I thought it was cool, and strange, but I think it was a continuation of His message to me. Love is here…and love will find me but only when I am ready. I don’t need to search for it. I just need to work on myself and let God work in me. Love will happen…naturally, and it will be a love like nothing I’ve ever experienced because God’s hand will be all over it, polished to perfection. Praise You, Lord.

“He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it.” ~ 1 Peter 3:11  

“Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God.” ~ 3 John 1:11  

The Parable of the Weeds Explained  

He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.” ~ Matthew 13:37-43

How My Garden Grows

I laid in bed this morning with a blog forming in my mind. I had no idea that God had other plans for me. Ready to capture the day, I planted my feet on the floor, made me a delicious soy latte and headed outside to tend to my garden. I find a sense of comfort in the early morning hours, and I always find enjoyment as I witness the beauty forming in my garden. The realization of what a tiny seed can turn into when it is nurtured and loved…amazes me. While I hadn’t ignored it completely, my garden did plummet on my priority list, along with other things, during the time I was dealing with the reality of my special friend. Joyfully, from the moment God armed me with the truth, I have been equipped and ready to get my life and my priorities back in order. I’m thankful it didn’t take long and I accept the consequences of my actions. I refuse to look at anything in a negative light. That would get me nowhere. I would rather see the good. It was what I had to do, it was what I had to experience in order to grow; I don’t see it as a tragedy. I learned a valuable lesson in the midst of it and I am no longer in the grips of the despairing darkness. I can forgive and move forward, knowing who I want to be…who God wants me to be. Praise God! As watered and plucked vegetables today I discovered a special appreciation for God and all He does, for all He is. I saw myself, I saw us, God’s children, in that garden today.

Living in the heart of the city, I have a very small backyard and a big country heart. For years my garden consisted primarily of container plants inside an abandoned kennel with a few planted around its’ perimeter. Not content with this small venture, I created a raised garden bed over the course of two years on top of what use to be an unused gravel driveway behind my enclosed carport. Working with the used potting soil after each growing season and leaves from the Fall, the soil became alive with large worms and nutrients. I loved the feeling of soil in my hands as I worked with it, step by step, season to season. This is the first year I actually planted a full garden in it. Edged with concrete blocks and full of young plants, I enjoyed sitting out back looking in awe at what my hands had created – it must be how God feels about each of us.

Unfortunately, there is a mature tree stretching from my neighbor’s yard that towers over my garden. I didn’t see a problem with it at first, but now, I do. The squash and tomatoes planted towards the front, receiving the most sun, flourish. I have so many that I don’t know what to do with them and I often give them away to friends. However, the tomatoes planted towards the back of the garden have yet to produce any fruit. They are green and some appear healthy, yet with the lack of sun, they are unable to produce as they should – like us. When we are not in God’s light, our ability to produce as we should is hindered. My heart goes out to these plants. I continue to water them and tend to them – like God does us when we aren’t planted where we should be. I’m not sure they will produce as they should but I will not give up on them.

On the other hand, there is one tomato plant that sits in full sun. It looked so promising as it matured: several strong branches eagerly formed, so many that I had to devise a way to support the weight of them as they expanded well beyond the capacity of its’ container. I have always had great luck with planting tomatoes in containers so I was surprised when it took so long to actually bear fruit: today was the first time I picked any tomatoes from it. I decided to pluck a couple which weren’t fully red; I placed them on the window sill so that they could reap the full benefits of the sun, less the unbearable heat and humidity. Kind of what God does for us. He sees us trying so hard, He sees our determination and faith in following Him. He gently places us where we can better flourish. He gives us the opportunity to remove the elements crippling our growth no matter where we are. It’s up to us to see that…it’s up to us to move, to listen, to hope, to have faith in His words, to believe in His ability to help us grow. (Proverbs 3:5, Isaiah 48:17, Psalm 32:8, Psalm 48:18, Isaiah 58:11.)

Remember the sweet potato blog? The day I returned home from confronting him with his girlfriend, I immediately planted them. That felt so good. Today, four days later, sprouts are emerging from the ground. Beautiful, dark reddish green shoots springing up from the soil. I smiled. That’s me! I’m where I should be: emerged in God’s love, forgiveness, peace, mercy, hope. There is fruit forming underground. Even if I can’t see it, I know it’s there. God is tending to my needs; He heard my call, He’s seen my commitment. He is healing me from the inside out. I want to share this growth with the world. Praise God!

As I picked my bounty this morning, I often caught myself smiling. They did it! And so did I. That must be just a fraction of how God feels when we succeed; when we follow His will, when we rise above our circumstances and flourish. It’s not easy, and it’s not over. I’ve only just begun.

“The LORD will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” ~ Isaiah 58:11

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” ~ Proverbs 3:5

This is what the LORD says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.” ~ Isaiah 48:17

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.” ~ Psalm 32:8

“For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end.” ~ Psalm 48:18

I Smile

Love this song. Let’s list some things we are happy for today:

  • People who read my post, leave comments, email me encouraging messages or prayer requests 🙂
  • People who trust me (love me, think about me, etc.) 🙂
  • People at my church when they sing and pray 🙂
  • People who tell me to write a book (But…where do I start?!) 😀
  • People who use or repeat my FB postings 😀
  • My children – when they need me (even at 21), when they smile, when they are who they are 🙂 😀
  • When other people smile 🙂
  • When I get flowers delivered to my work (and I didn’t pay for them) 😀
  • When it’s pay day! 😉
  • When I think about how far I’ve come 🙂
  • When I think about my special friend 😀
  • Knowing the best is yet to come! 😀
  • When I think of everything God has seen me through 🙂
  • When I think of my parents love for me 🙂
  • When it’s Saturday! 😉
  • When I think of my future 🙂
  • When I look at my past and can walk away with a lesson 🙂
  • When I think about the direction I am going 🙂
  • Laughter! 😛

I could go on and on but you get the idea. Enjoy this bubbly song and think about all the things you have to be happy for – things that make you smile! Even if your day sucks, give happy 10 minutes…it could change your day!

Amen! Who knew Kid has it in him…

Yep, for this lunch hour we have good ole’ Kid Rock rockin’ some praise! Ok, ok…in his own unique way, of course. But hey, at least he’s praising! The images in this video are a smack of reality. When you get down because of bills, just think of these people who are starving. They can’t afford food let alone a house payment, car payment, insurance, etc. Can you imagine the joy on their faces if they could just order from the $1 menu at McDonalds?? We are free!! We aren’t any where near starving, yet if we are we have churches and organizations ready and willing to help. We just complain too much!!! 

If you didn’t know it, Kid is actually very supportive of our troops. He may have a big mouth but he has a big heart, too. I think the thing I love most about this song is how real it is. He’s telling everyone he sees it too, and he’s sick of it. He’s reminding us that we should judge less and love more. We have to love each other more if we want it to get better.  We cannot give up. “There’s someone out who unconditional, religiously loves you so, just hold on, cuz you know it’s true!” If you agree with some of the points in this song, let’s hear some AMENs!!

Every knee shall bow…

Praise You in this Storm

Some days I really need to hear this song. Maybe you do, too. We wonder why God allows certain hurts, pains…but there’s always a reason. Reminds me of a story I heard or read a long time ago. Jesus and a man were traveling together. Of course, no one knew He was Jesus. He appeared as a regular man down on his luck. The pair go to a wealthy couple’s house and ask if they could stay the night to get out of the weather and possibly have something to eat because they had been traveling for some time without food or drink. The wealth couple reluctantly agrees but only allows them to stay in the delapidated outbuidling and only gives them some molded bread and water to eat and drink. Once they settled in these surroundings, Jesus started patching holes in the wall and repairing bad planks in the floor. The man, not understanding why He would do this for the wealthy, didn’t question Him at that point. The next night, they come across a poor farm couple who had been working his fields all day in the hot sun. They gladly welcomed them in and the husband and wife joyfully shared what little food the wife had prepared. The wife got out extra blankets for them and set them up in a spare bedroom just off from theirs. That morning, the husband woke up and began weaping deeply after discovering his price bull dead lay in the fields.

The man is totally confused now and he turns to Jesus and says, “Jesus, why would you help the rich couple who were so rude to us but these fine people, you allow their one source of income to die? I don’t understand.” Jesus smiles and turns to him and answers, “I patched the holes and the floor boards because their was money hidden in them and they were already consumed with greed. I sealed the walls and floor so the treasure would not be found. As for the kind couple, his wife was to die, so instead I had them take his bull.”

Sometimes, things feel horrible and we can’t see the good, but it’s there. Maybe I didn’t tell this story exactly as I heard it, but I hope it impacts you just the same. God never said there would not be trials, but He did say He would never leave nor forsake us.

Lord, even through my trials and tribulations I will praise Your holy name. I know it is in these times that the most growth occurs. Allow it to let me draw closer to You. You are a Lord who gives and takes away, yet nothing is mine to claim. No matter where I am, let me never forget You, as I know You will never leave me. Even when I feel I cannot carry on, it is You that I turn to. Whisper to me God as I raise my hands and praise your name. Wipe my tears and hold me in Your everloving arms. I love you Jesus. I praise Your glorious name for I know You only have plans for me to prosper. Help me stay in Your light, and let me never stray from You. Thank you Jesus. Amen

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” ~ Deuteronomy 31:6

“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” ~ Deuteronomy 31:8

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,” ~ James 1:2

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.” ~ 1 Peter 1:6