Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Does it REALLY matter?

Does it REALLY matter?

That is a question that I sometimes have to ask myself when I begin to get upset by something.

A lot of times we, as humans get upset about things that really, in the long run, DO NOT MATTER.

For example, does it really matter that I put the clothes away for my husband?  NO.  Does this help him?  Probably!  Should I get upset that he is there sitting on the couch while I'm folding clothes (right next to him)?  I really shouldn't. He works just as, if not harder than I do around the house adn at work.  He's a good man and I love him dearly. Besides, in all acutality it doesn't really matter. It's not hurting me (except maybe my selfishness in wanting to just sit and relax also). 

Or does it really matter that someone has a job that I may not agree with?  No, it doesn't. I really don't need to worry about what THEY are doing. I need to concentrate on ME and what I SHOULD BE DOING!  So what if they really don't do their job to my satisfaction. I'm not their supervisor. I'm not the boss.  They have to answer for their own actions, I don't.  So stop getting all upset about it and worry about yourself.

The Lord wants us to show others HIS kind of love.  Would I be showing my dear husband the love that Jesus wants me to show him if I complained about the laundry or dishes?  Not really.  I need to ask myself "In 5 years, will this really matter?"

So if I am called to love others like Jesus has loved them, then I need to stop complaining, stop gossiping, stop the bickering, the backhandedness, stop the back talking, the griping and just uglyness that exists when I do not love. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

ANYTHING

The last 8 weeks, Good Morning Girls has been studying the book "Anything" by Jennie Allen.  I was a bit skeptical of doing a "book" study because I've been thoroughly enjoying going verse by verse through different books of the Bible.  But, our fearless leader of Good Morning Girls has read the book and challenged us, her group leaders to do the same and do the study.  Wow what a challenge!

The one thing that hit me the most in the book was the fact that God can take something that to us seems "bad" and make good out of it. Wow. I look back over my life and I know this to be true but it's still something difficult to grasp for the future.

A lot of people would like for you to believe that when you become a Christian life is all roses and candy. It's NOT.  Living a life following Christ can be lonely. Especially in this world we live in now. Sin, temptation, trying to keep your testimony and show others the love of Christ can prove difficult.  When we live for Christ, the evil one gets mad. That's when the attacks come. That's when the skepticism comes in our friends. When we are under attack from the evil one, life isn't easy. It is hard. VERY HARD. 

I once had a preacher tell me that if you think you are living for Christ and aren't under attack then you are mistaken. 

I'm really looking forward to the next study, picking up in Luke 17.  I know the attacks are coming.  But my God is much bigger than that!  Thank you Lord for loving me enough to send Your Son to die for me. Thank you for forgiving me even when I'm not acting like you want me to act.  And thank you for the family that I have been blessed with...all of them!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Jealousy...it's a bad thing

How many times do we look at other's lives and get jealous? I would say most of us, if we were honest would say ALL the time.

First you have the parent who seems to have it all together while I feel like I am struggling to keep my sanity.  Am I seeing what is real?  Likely not (cause I can hide things too).  Is it hurting me?  NO. Then leave it alone Jess.

What about the girl who is fit and slim and can eat whatever she wants while not working out at all while I'm trying and can't lose an ounce?  Does THIS affect me?  ONLY if I let it.  Then leave it alone Jess. God made you the way you are and HE will direct your paths.

You see, Jealousy is a bad thing.  It can do so much more damage than just about any other emotion in this world. It can tear apart relationships, it can end friendships, it will end marriages.  So what am I to do?

I need to remember WHO I serve? I serve a risen Savior and HE is the answer to everything for me. HE is the one who I need to look to and strive to be like. HE is the one who died on the cross for me.  HE is the one who directs my path and at the end of the day, wraps his arms around me and keeps me safe while I sleep.

You see, I have a pretty good life.  I have a husband who loves me. I have a daughter who is finding her way in this world and making new discoveries on a daily basis. I have a son who is the sweetest thing in the world while at the same time being 150% boy. I even have a dog who would die if I wasn't there (seriously, I think she WOULD die if I left her).  I have friends who are amazing. I have a great Mom, a wonderful sister, a brother who makes me giggle and recently got back in touch with my biological half-brother and he wants to have a relationship with me. I have lots of other family members who I adore. I have friends who are more like family and God has SURELY blessed me.

So there is no room for jealousy in my life.  It is full of blessings and when you choose to see the blessings and concentrate on them, the things that may normally bother you seem small and insignificant.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

I sit, I wait

I sit and I wait.

Currently I'm waiting on my flight. Am I taking the 1pm flight or the 8pm flight?  Waiting for it to get together.  TRUSTING THE LORD that it will all work out.

I am so thankful that the Lord has put me through the things I have been through this week. I've met some great people, our son is feeling better (after ear infection and cold in his eye) and I hopefully will be on my way home later today.

But I'm still waiting....

Friday, May 24, 2013

Remember the Fallen

Memorial Day.

The day to remember those who have given their lives in the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms.

Many people have forgotten what this weekend represents. What Monday is actually for and that is very sad.  People look at it as a 3-day weekend, time for the boat, the lake, lots of picnics and travel.  And although 3-day weekends are nice, that is not what this coming Monday is about.

Monday is Memorial Day. A day this country had set aside to remember those who have given their lives to keep the rest of us free.  A day to reflect. A day to honor those who died for our freedom.

This day is not to honor our veterans.  That time comes in November on Veterans Day.  This day is set aside separately to honor those Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen and Coast Guardsmen (and National Guard Members) who have died defending our freedoms. Those who died defending our country.

So please don't say "Happy Memorial Day".  There is nothing "Happy" about it.  Say "Thank You".  Go to your local cemetary and walk the graves and quietly say thank you to those who have gone before us.  Bow your head and say a prayer for the families who have been left behind.  Reflect.  Reflect on the gift these brave men and women have given to us....FREEDOM.  And don't forget what that FREEDOM is and what it cost.  Defend the FREEDOM. 

The Seal of Honor Facebook Page says it best:
The boots may be empty, but the hearts of those you left behind are full of fond memories. Rest in peace, valiant warriors, for none desires peace so much as one who has known the horrors of battle.
 
 
Click below to watch a very moving video: 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Finality of It...

It has been a little over a year since I received news that my best friend from high school and college had committed suicide.  I was there when his brother was married (wow was that a fun night). He was there for me through some really hard times.  We could go months without seeing each other and it be like only minutes had passed.  To this day, I can still say that I loved Matt.  I will always love him.  There are people who enter your life and no matter what, you can and will always love them.  Matt was/is one of those people...He was one of the "good guys"!

Yesterday, his older brother Marc sent me a picture of his grave stone.  It brought tears to my eyes.  Sitting at my desk at work I cried.  Cried because it makes it so final. 

I hadn't talked to Matt since one day early in 1995 when I called him from Japan to see how he was doing and tell him I would be home later in the year and he informed me that he had gotten married. I was shocked.  I didn't know.  It definitely was not what I expected to hear.  But as much as my heart broke, I was happy for him. He and his wife were expecting their first child later that year.  But I knew at that moment that my best friend was gone.  I had to back away.  I couldn't call him anymore.  Gone was my reason to leave the Navy. So I lost contact with him.  Over the years I thought of him often, thought of his family and wondered how they were all doing.  You see, where I come from, even if you aren't family, you are family.  We were a close community.  With the invention of Facebook, I looked for him every once in a while and asked our mutual friends about him but was never able to find him.  But I was afraid. I was afraid to reach out to this family that I loved so much.  There were times when I wanted to call his Mom and see how he was doing but I didn't want to interrupt his life.  We were close once. Closer than most friends.  We had a very special and unique relationship.

So news that he had ended his life hit me hard.  I wasn't able to get to his funeral service but I prayed for his family, his kids, his brother, his parents.  I still pray for them.  I pray that somehow they find peace that he wasn't able to find in this life.  I pray they know and remember that he DID love them.

When I saw the gravestone, it made his death final.  Like somehow this was just a bad dream and now it's actually true. I cannot imagine what those closest to him must have felt and still feel to this day. His brother. His parents. His kids.  His family.  His friends. I know they ALL miss him terribly.

Matt, you are still loved. You are sorely missed.  And I pray that you have found the peace that elluded you at the end of your time on this earth.  Please know I will never forget you, the band trips, the classes at Conner and NKU, the Ecology class when you had to take me home because I fell in the nasty pond and you were forced to meet my doberman(I told you she wouldn't hurt you).  I will never forget your smile, your laugh and your eyes.  I will always smile at the memory of the day you came through the door of Prime 'n Wine after Marc & Heather's wedding/before the reception in your tuxedo...my prince in a tux...you made me feel like a princess that day...and thinking back to that day, I can still smile at the memory. I was blessed to be a part of your life, even if for a short time. Thank you for giving me your friendship. I will cherish those times forever.

Rest in peace dear friend. Rest in Peace.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Be Still and Know

"Be still and know that I am God". Psalm 46:10

Those 8 simple words mean so much to me these days.  There are times when life can get so chaotic that I long for quieter, simpler times.  In those chaotic times I have to remember to be still...be still and know that my God is in control. HE see's all. HE knows all. HE is all. HE is the great I AM. 

HE IS:

Adonai-Jehovah -- The Lord our Sovereign
El-Elyon -- The Lord Most High
El-Olam -- The Everlasting God
El-Shaddai -- The God Who is Sufficient for the Needs of His People
Jehovah-Elohim -- The Eternal Creator
Jehovah-Jireh -- The Lord our Provider
Jehovah-Nissi -- The Lord our Banner
Jehovah-Ropheka -- The Lord our Healer
Jehovah-Shalom -- The Lord our Peace
Jehovah-Tsidkenu -- The Lord our Righteousness
Jehovah-Mekaddishkem -- The Lord our Sanctifier
Jehovah-Sabaoth -- The Lord of Hosts
Jehovah-Shammah -- The Lord is Present
Jehovah-Rohi -- The Lord our Shepherd
Jehovah-Hoseenu -- The Lord our Maker
Jehovah-Eloheenu -- The Lord our God
(http://www.characterbuildingforfamilies.com/names.html)
So when I worry, I don't trust.  When I fret, I don't believe. When I get upset, I don't rest.  He is my Provider, my Healer, my Peace, my Shepherd, my Maker, MY GOD!

BE STILL AND KNOW THAT HE IS MY GOD, HE HAS THIS ALL UNDER HIS CONTROL!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Still In "Recovery Mode", BUT....

I'm onto another challenge...or two.  The first is to start the 30 day Squat challenge.  I WAS going to start it on May 1 but after the 1/2 Marathon two days prior, I think not. So I am going to start it next Monday May 6. 

The other is a challenge my friend from high school Jessica shared on Facebook and it is to run a marathon this month, 26.2 miles.  Okay, so I won't be doing it all at once but over the next 28 days.  I KNOW I can do this one! 

I have to say that between "Fit Life with Jessica" and "Melody's Boot Camp"  (http://www.melodysbootcampfitness.com/) I SO wish I lived back in KY right now.  These two girls are MO-TI-VA-TING!!!  I'm so proud that I can call them friends and I SO wish I lived closer to them.  If you happen to be reading this and are in the Northern Kentucky area, give one of these two ladies a shout!  THEY are awesome. 

So I'll be "training" along the next month working on losing more of this weight, building my running base, strengthening my quads and glutes via squats and loving on my family while I serve the Lord.

 
RANDOM THOUGHT:  YOU ARE NEVER TOO OLD TO START...GET FIT NOW.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

DIVA 1/2 MARATHON, North Myrtle Beach, April 28, 2013 Race Recap

First of all, let me say I DID NOT prepare properly for this race.  I didn't put in the mileage. I didn't really train much at all for it so going into the race, I KNEW I wasn't going to PR.  But I also knew I could finish it and that I could spend a few hours listening to my music and praying while running and walking.

So the night before the race, we (husband, son and I) went to the Expo, Broadway on the Beach and Hard Rock Cafe for dinner. Luckily we got the LAST plates of pasta they had. (Lots of runners there I suppose).  Back at the hotel, I went down to get ice cream for hubs and LJ and water for me and ran into three girls who were running the race also.  They offered to take me to the race the next morning. I accepted (That way LJ and Hubs wouldn't have to get up so early).

I "went to bed" at a decent hour but well, lets just say I forgot my ear plugs.  So I didn't get much sleep.  Got up at 5am, showered (I know, strange to shower before a race but it wakes me up).  Ate my typical 1/2 bagel with Peanut Butter and a banana.  Got downstairs at 5:40.  I was supposed to meet the ladies at 5:45....

5:45 - no ladies

5:50 - no ladies

5:55 - no ladies...um, I'm going to have to wake up hubs.

6:00 - Brazenly asked a couple other ladies if I could ride with them to the race. And off we went. (NOTE: as we were walking out the door the other ladies showed up...doh).

6:15 - Parked at someone's house and walked to the starting line. Talked a little, went to the bathroom.  Did some more talking and stretching.

6:55 - Heard someone singing and then WAY too late in the song realized it was someone singing the National Anthem.  ACK! I HATE that I wasn't at attention with my hand over my heart but for the last 10 seconds of the song.  THAT burns me up that I didn't know.  What also bothers me is I was surrounded by people who were talking also who didn't realize they were playing the National Anthem.

7:00 - Race starts

7:04 - I cross the starting line.  Not feeling good about this race.  Mentally I am already defeated and this is just the beginning but hey, have to make it count so let's go!

Mile 1 - Okay, this isn't so bad.  I'm running at least and not my slowest but not my fastest either. But mentally I'm still complaining.

Mile 2 - Hum.  Isn't that the lady I was talking to by the porta potties?  Sure is...lets run with her a while.  Hi, I'm Jesse. 'Hi, I'm Katie".  Katie is from Hartsville SC and is training to run the Darlington FULL Marathon(she tried to talk me into doing it also).  We talked a bit so I started walking/running with her.  Three minutes run (at a good pace...close to 11min mile) and two walking.

Mile 3 - Still with Katie. Things aren't so bad right now. Love having someone to run with and talk to.  NEVER thought I would say that.

Mile 4 - Still hanging with Katie (I THINK her last name is Legg).  Things are okay. We are maintaining a 13:30 mile between walking and running.

Mile 5 - Still hanging with Katie although I'm getting tired.

Mile 6 - Okay, at mile six we are at 1hr 22 min...not bad!  WE are doing good.

Mile 7 - Split from Katie...started walking.

Mile 7.5 - Okay, I'm running again.  SLOW but I'm running. Just passed Katie. 

Mile 8 - Ouch that little hill hurt.  But hey, I'm at mile 8...this isn't too bad. Thank you Lord for getting me this far.

Mile 9 - Out on 17...I HATE this part of the race.  Katie just passed me.

Mile 10 - Okay, another hill in the neighborhood...that one hurts also. But Hey, I'm at mile 10!  Three to go! Lord, help me.  Help me to concentrate on the race and finishing. Oh wait, I love this song. SHACKLES by Mary Mary!!

Mile 11 - Oh I can do this...let's run again. I feel good, nah nah nah nah nah nah nah.

Mile 12 - Okay, maybe not...my legs are HURTING!

Mile 12.5 - Nice talking to the girl who is a trainer who had 9 girls running.  I'm beat though. Where is that finish line?  Almost time for Boa's and Tiara's.

Mile 13 - I SEE JON AND LJ!!! MY MEN!  Kisses to LJ and he and Daddy take off running with me!  I'm HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY!

Turn the corner, LOTS of spectators cheering, Husband and son running outside the fencing with me...I LOVE IT!

Mile 13.1 - I AM DONE.  3 Hours 17 Minutes 27 Seconds.  I know it's not my best but I am DONE!  Hey, there's those hot men who are giving out medals and THEY DO NOT HAVE SHIRTS ON!  One of them puts my medal around my neck...DAG that thing is heavy!  So I had to ask "Are you going to carry me from here out?"  The hot fireman laughed and said "Sure"....what a doll!

I went through the gates, got my water, my rose, a banana, an apple, some cookies and skipped the picture line (hey, I do not want a pic this year...no thanks).

Met back up with the two of the loves of my life...my hubs and my son.  Only thing missing was the daughter taking pictures. Wish she could have been there. 

Now, there were a lot of things that happened that day that I didn't know about.  LJ got separated from Daddy and both were hysterical.  Thankfully LJ found a lady who had run the race and asked her to help him find his daddy. He was crying.  The wonderful lady took him to the race officials followed pretty quickly by Daddy.  PRAISE GOD LJ WAS OK! 

Back to the hotel for a shower and then Jon took us to the Broadway on the Beach and had us walk the mile and a half loop around it. Yes, I was beat, Yes I was hurting but Yes, I needed to walk it out.  We left there, stopped at Wendy's for my double cheeseburger with catsup, drove two hours home and then at 8pm we made homemade caramel popcorn.

All in all it was a good day. I was mentally defeated at the beginning and more than once I wanted to quit but quickly was reprimanded by my own self for thinking that and I kept going.

RANDOM THOUGHT:  NEVER QUIT!  YOU ARE STRONGER THAN YOU THINK! 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

WHY?

Why?

Why did some sicko have to set five bombs to detonate at the Boston Marathon?  Why?

Now, I've never had it as a goal to run the Boston Marathon (or any marathon since I'm only 1/2 crazy) but I have a lot of friends who have either run it, qualified for it or want to run it someday.  I know at least 4 people who were running on Monday. Thankfully they are all safe however, that doesn't change that there are people who aren't safe and people who won't feel safe running events in the future.  And that is sad!!!  I have a 1/2 Marathon in less than 2 weeks and don't you think I am now concerned! I am!  I'm concerned some sick evil individual is going to try to kill people there. But that will NOT stop me from running. 

I think of the little boy who is now dead because some evil person blew up a bomb next to him.  And his little sister who lost a limb and mother who is in critical condition.  And his daddy who is trying to hold it all together while also mourning.  THAT IS WRONG!!  PLAIN AND SIMPLE WRONG!

Our world definitely needs to find their way back to the Lord.  In HIM is peace.

For those who say the next Boston Marathon should be cancelled, I say NO WAY! It SHOULD be run.  And run gloriously.  If we start cancelling things because wacko's hate us and want to kill us, then THEY WIN.  We are Americans.  We do NOT back down.  EVER!

In the coming days there will be people blaming others, calling for more security, calling for many different things that may or may not be logical. What our leaders REALLY need to be doing is calling for us to get on our knees and pray.  Pray. Pray. PRAY.

Friday, April 12, 2013

I HEAR YOU LORD

Wow, two times this week I KNOW the Lord was speaking to ME.  The first was the sermon on Sunday (see the Blog post from Monday) and today I received an email that contained a link to the following devotion:

Devotion comes from:  http://www.proverbs31.org/devotions/building-your-childs-faith-2013-04/

Daily Devotion for April 12, 2013 Building Your Child's Faith

By Wendy Blight
"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6 (NIV 1984)
As we stood in the parking lot outside my daughter's dorm, waves of grief washed over me. Lauren hugged her daddy and then her brother. Finally, I held her for what seemed an eternity ... no words, just tears.

When we began the drive home, I prayed for her, just as I had every day for the last 18 years. I knew it was time for the next phase of God's plan for her life. But the ache in my heart was deep.

As time passed, I learned to accept, and even embrace, our new normal. I enjoyed the extra time I got to spend with my husband and son.

But I couldn't get used to not encouraging Lauren in her faith face-to-face. We sent her to college with a Bible and a devotional book. But when she lived at home, we did these activities together. In the mornings, we read a devotion and I prayed with her most every day, from the time she was born till the day she packed her bags to move out.

Questions filled my mind. Without me, who would do this for her? Would she do it on her own? What if she turned away from her faith we'd been building for so long?

My questions prompted me to pray very specifically. I prayed for Lauren to make her faith her own, as I'd been training her to do all these years. I asked the Lord to work in her life in very real and personal ways, just like the times I'd pointed out for her to notice in her childhood. I prayed for His Spirit to stir her heart to read her devotional book each day, and I pleaded with Him to meet her in the pages of His Word.

God answered my prayers in a way only He can do. Lauren had been studying for her economics exam for days. She was worried she would fail because she'd been struggling with some of the concepts. My daughter texted me and a few good friends to pray. I wrote her back my prayer and a verse the Lord laid on my heart, Proverbs 3:5-6, "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths" (ESV). As it was sending, I prayed for Him to use this verse to encourage her and give her confidence as she walked into her exam.

I woke up the next morning to find this text from my girl:

"I opened my devotional and today's truth was Proverbs 3:5, exactly the verse you gave me!! ENCOURAGEMENT."

God taught me such a powerful lesson that morning. My role as a parent is to pray for and with my children and to model, to the best of my ability, what it means to be a godly woman. I was not perfect and often missed the mark. But when we do those two things, God fills in the rest. I only have them at home to teach, guide and train in God's Word for a short 18 years. But they are His for all their lives.

God showed me through a few minutes of texting that Lauren's faith was still building. On her own, she asked for prayer (which meant she too was praying), and she was reading her devotional book with no prompting from home.

If you have kids at home, pray for them, read God's Word with them and rest in knowing God is with them. You are building a firm foundation. You are paving a pathway that will lead them in the direction they should go.

Dear Lord, help me to train my children in the way they should go. Through the power of Your Holy Spirit, lead me as I lead them. Draw each of us closer to You as we walk together in faith. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Thank you Lord for the encouragement.  I didn't have a full 18 years with my stepdaughter but I hope to have that long with my son. I will train him up. I pray EACH of my kids learns from their faith, makes it their own and remembers that they can do ALL things through the Lord who gives them strength.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

New Kind of Life

To say my life has changed dramatically over the last year would be an understatement.

My husband has a new job which requires travel.

My step-daughter is away at college.

My son is in Kindergarten.

My travel for work has been cut exponentially.

Now, these may not seem like big changes. But when you are accustomed to a way of life, and having people always around you (and you being the only one in the marriage who routinely travels) it is a big change when these four combine.

Take for instance the last three months.  Hubs has been gone on 2-week trips on more than one occasion and this is different for me.  Only having one other person to take care of makes my evenings different.  I only have to cook for 2(and yeah right, like I "cook" on those nights). I only have to do laundry for 2. I actually can sit down and watch TV(albeit since little guy is usually in my LAP I have to watch SPONGEBOB). 

BUT I DO NOT LIKE THIS! 

I MISS my chaotic life(sorta).

I MISS having people always calling my name, asking for things(sometimes).  Even when it's just the three of us (plus the dog) it's not the same.  That same chaos isn't there anymore.  At least, its not AS chaotic.

I also miss my ability to just go for a run....by myself. I mean, I can't just leave the 6 year old home alone. I might come back to either no home, a yard full of police officers or a fatter dog, or all three.

So LJ and I have started taking our dog Molly on LONG walks.  And on short bike rides with her running beside us.

Only one problem with that...I am supposed to be training for the DIVA 1/2 Marathon (in three weeks - April 28) and instead I'm going on long walks and short bike rides with my son and dog. But I find I'm enjoying this...I really am enjoying it but I need SOME running involved.

Okay, so I COULD have trained more and ran more when hubs is home. I was just a bit on the lazy side too...

I have to believe and trust that I will be okay for the 1/2 Marathon and will at least cross the finish line in the allotted time and get my medal(LOL).  I won't be setting any PR's but I will be getting a lot of Mother/Son bonding time in...and maybe drop a few pounds off the dog(and myself). 

Maybe, just maybe this is God's way of slowing me down (temporarily) and giving me a chance to "smell the roses"(or whatever flower LJ decides to pick for me, just have to watch for the bee's). 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Choices, Choices, Choices

The sermon was on Choices. We had a guest speaker at our church this Sunday. Bro. Ted Wright, who is the pastor for the Brazillian services held at our church was speaking on Choices.  Now, mind you, our pastor is going to start a series on Choices next week but this week, our guest speaker is speaking on Choices.

How appropriate!

Have you ever sat in church and REALLY thought the preacher was talking to YOU!  Like he must have had a wire tap on you and known what you REALLY needed to hear?  Well, if there ever was a case, Sunday April 7, 2013 at Crowfield Baptist Church is evidence that God speaks to us when we need to hear!

So CHOICES!  What is this all about? Well, God created us right?  Okay, so when Eve CHOSE to eat of the fruit in the midst of the garden, thereby disobeying what God told her to NOT eat, she CHOSE to sin. See, God gave her free will.  Adam CHOSE to sin by eating of the apple also.

David CHOSE to sin with Bathsheeba.  Now, lets stop right there. Wasn't David,  THE King David mightily used by God? Wasn't he the one who slew the giant with just a stone?  Wasn't he the King of the Israelites?  Sure he was. 

But he sinned? 

Yup! 

But God still forgave him and used him? 

Yuppers! 

So if we CHOOSE to go against our beliefs, can God still use us?  Sure He can. Sure He will.  See, God chooses to use people.  He uses people who aren't perfect (cause really, only one person ever walked this earth who was perfect and that was Jesus).

So now, here we are in 2013 and we have many choices before us.  What songs to put on our mp3 player of our choice, what to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner, who to hang out with, what pictures to like on facebook, whether we want to work out or not.  All of these things that we choose EVERY DAY.  Some of these choices we may not even realize we are making them when we do make them.

For example, do I hit the snooze?  Do I get up? Do I wash the dishes now or later? Do I go work out now or suffer the consequenses later when I'm in a race and paying the price for not being prepared (um, uh-oh, DIVA 1/2 coming up and I am NOT prepared...and that is no ones fault but MINE).

Each of these things are choices. 

Twelve years ago I married a man who had a daughter.  I CHOSE to love her.  A lot of step-parents have a hard time loving their step-children as their own but I was blessed with an example in my mother and step-father loving each of us like we were their own.  I CHOSE at that point to love her like my own child.  I didn't HAVE to, I CHOSE to.  Do I regret that choice?  NOT IN A MILLION YEARS!  Have I been perfect in raising her?  Nope...no parent is perfect. But have I raised her and our son in a way that I feel is the best?  Yes.

Forty-three years ago a young woman chose to give me up for adoption and another young lady chose to take me as her child and love me, nurture me and guide me as a child. Was she always right?  No.  Was she a perfect mom?  No.  Did she love me and raise me the best she knew how? YES.  Do I think she did a good job with us?  YES.  Do I love that lady? MOST DEFINITELY.  And that's what I've tried to do with my kids. I'm not perfect and my kids aren't perfect either.  But I've chosen the path I am taking for my life and I will never regret it.

You see, 2000 years ago a man chose to love me enough to die for me. And I choose to follow THAT man.  See, Jesus paid the price for our sin. Jesus did His Father's will, not His own. Did Jesus WANT to die on the cross? Probably not. Did Jesus know that at any point He could have come down off that cross? Sure He did. He is God's Son. He sacrificed himself for our sin.  So I CHOOSE to follow Him.

Thank you Bro. Ted Wright for the sermon yesterday. It's what I needed!  And I'm looking forward to hearing Pastor David's series.  But one thing, I do believe that playdoh girl was just a bit wider than the playdoh boy you made...At least that's what Elaine Henderson and I thought!  lol. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

INVISIBLE

Have you ever thought you were invisible?  Maybe not in the literal sense but just invisible to those around you?  To those who you love and care for?  I have to admit, sometimes I do feel invisible.  Sometimes I feel like those around me don't see the struggles, see the triumphs, see ME.  Oh, they notice when I'm NOT there.  But when I'm there, do they SEE me?

Now, I know they do.  But sometimes I think those around us just may not know WHAT to do when they see us struggle.  Maybe just maybe the desire for them to help is squashed by my desire to be independent.

No fear.  I know I have a God who loves me.  I have a Savior who died for me.  And I have the hope of eternal life thru Jesus Christ.  I have a family that I love and who loves me too.  I have friends, near and far who care and who I care about greatly.  Overall I am one blessed lady.  Besides, my dog loves me...

Random thought:  even when you feel invisible, know that you aren't. Someone loves you and is praying for you at this very moment. And most of all God is waiting for you to reach out and calm your heart.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

"When you are tired, you go to sleep"

So, last night, my husband and I were waiting for the Duck Dynasty new season to begin and he found a movie on TV that we like.  We started watching it, I then put our son to bed and went to the bedroom to cozy up in to bed and wait it out.  While watching the movie, he crawls into bed, waits a few minutes and then says "Goodnight".  It was 9:37 (yes, I looked at the clock).  I was yawning but "Hey, Jack!", Duck Dynasty season premiere was coming on in 25 minutes.  What in the world did he think he was doing?  So I asked as much.  He said:  "When you are tired, you go to sleep". 

WOW!  THAT hit me hard.  What a concept. I have always marveled at how easily he can fall asleep while I lay there mind racing trying to shut it down and end up tossing and turning for over an hour before I fall asleep. 

I thought about his statement for a few minutes. I argued with myself over whether to stay up and watch Duck Dynasty.  Then I kept thinking of his statement: When you are tired, you go to sleep.  So I turned off the TV, silenced my cell phone and went to sleep.  Of course, it still took me a little while to go to sleep but that's mainly because I kept thinking of his statement and what I was going to write this morning.

I need to be more like my husband.  When I am tired, I need to go to sleep.  When he travels, I'm usually in bed by 9:30.  WHY do I stay up later when he is home? Is it to spend a few more minutes with him? Is it to watch TV?  WHY?

So I'm going to try to take his statement to heart and during the week, when I am tired, I'm going to sleep.  I know it bothers him that I take a nap every weekend so maybe this will cure my inability to sleep. I need to shut it down as soon as I feel tired because I know that if I don't listen to my body, I will push it and be over-tired and not be able to sleep.

So what happened last night when I did what he did?  Well, I DID go to sleep faster.  Maybe he's onto something there.  Honey, you amaze me!  I love you!

RANDOM THOUGHT:  Well, not so random, but learn to shut it down when you are feeling tired, don't push yourself so late at night that you cannot sleep!
 
p.s.  IF you haven't seen Duck Dynasty, you need to watch it.  It is funny, it's family friendly and they end each show with the family at the dinner table and prayer being said thanking our Lord.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Another Year, lots of changs

I can't believe it is 2013.  So many changes. 

With the daughter off at college things should have slowed down. No more swim practices, no more swim meets (at least not once a week), less laundry, less dishes, less ...oh wait, what am I saying.  Things have NOT slowed down.

Now our son is swimming, 3-4 times a week, there's homework for a 6 year old, there's just as much laundry and dishes.  Um, what happened?  Well, what happened is life.  We are virtually starting over raising another child.  I miss our daughter. She brings so much light to the house.  So much laughter. I miss her chasing her brother and playing hide and seek.

With the new year, comes a lot of changes.  More travel for the husband, more swim practice for the son, more calls from the college student (which I LOVE).  Training for another 1/2 Marathon, trying to eat healthy, training at work, leading a Bible Study online, doing another at home, teaching Sunday School and AWANA.  WOW.  God is SO good!!!

So what's my plan for this year?  ENJOY IT! EMBRACE the craziness.  EMBRACE the chaos.  LOVE my family. SERVE my LORD.