Gratituesday – My Church Family

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I have told you that we are in the middle of a storm. And it’s a loooooong storm. Sometimes I get tired of asking for prayer and I am pretty sure that everyone is tired of hearing me ask. When the storm goes on and on, it can make one very weary. So on Sunday, I didn’t ask for prayer in my small group. I wrote it on the prayer list, but didn’t speak up during group. At the end of prayer request time, the leader raised his hand, looked at me and said, “Don’t you have something coming up on Tuesday?” So I asked for prayer.

God knew I needed to be helped out that morning. I need the reminder that even when our storms seem like they may last forever, He hasn’t forgotten us and neither has His family. As the person leading the prayer time prayed for us, a murmur of agreement went up from the group. Hearing all of those voices agreeing in prayer for us renews my strength.

As I walked through the church that morning, many people approached me and said they would be praying for us. Some just squeezed my arm as I went by. I can’t even describe how it changes my perspective to know that when I am exhausted and tired of my own voice, they will carry me to the Lord. That’s what He designed the body of Christ to do. That’s how He wanted the church to treat each other. That’s how the world will know that we are His.

And I am immensely grateful that God led me to a church that lives it out.

 

 

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!


Be Strong and Courageous

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Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9

Sometimes, a verse just speaks to me. It’s as if God is saying, “This is the one for you. For Right Now.” And He keeps reminding me, until I get it. Actually, until I laugh because it happens so often.

Last year, I found a calendar I loved. It had beautiful, fun art and wonderful verses. This is the one that grabbed me and wouldn’t let go.

art-tree_2__27375.1314988824.1280.1280It is made by/copyright of Show Offs Art.

I love it. It jumped right off the page and into my heart. Then, a pastor at church used it in a sermon. He told of how when he was little and afraid of storms, his mom would hug him and say Joshua 1:9 to him. He said depending on that verse had shaped his whole life, and I immediately decided to help write it on my daughter’s heart as well.

Then, my mom wrote it in my Christmas card. She chooses a verse to pray over me every year and this is the one she decided to pray for 2013.

And when I picked up the materials for a single moms’ Bible study I am co-leading at church, guess what verse was on the cover of the leader’s case?? You got it. This is the point at which I laughed.

So I have been clinging to this verse. I don’t need to be afraid. I don’t need to be discouraged. The Lord MY God is with me wherever I go. He has already been here. He knows what happened in the past and He knows the future. I can rest in His wisdom and strength. He is with me. Always and everywhere.

If you need some encouragement today, if you feel alone, just remember. The Lord Your God is with you, too.

 

 


Five Minute Friday – Again

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People all over the world blogging on the same topic on the same day for just five minutes and linking up at Lisa Jo’s place. Today’s topic: Again.

Five Minute Friday

 

GO.
It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
Lamentations 3:21-24

It is morning. Again. Another day to try. Another day to do my best. Another day to love my kid and the world with Christ’s love.

By the end of the day, I can be weary. There is so much to do for all of us. And we do our best, but often fall short. I don’t want to get caught in the guilt or sadness of what I could have done better, should have accomplished, failed at. God’s mercy and faithfulness are enough. And they are new every morning. So I get to begin again.

Today, I want to see the world through Christ’s eyes. While cooking and cleaning and working and disciplining, I want to live as Christ wants me to live. I want to be the best version of me I can possibly be. With His help.

I am so grateful for my God who believes in second chances. And third chances. And fourth chances.

STOP.

 

Want to know how Five Minute Friday got started and how to participate? All the details are here.


Dancing Clothes

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Yes. You read that right. Dancing Clothes.

I am not referring to clothes you wear to go dancing. I am referring to the crazy thing I found myself doing this morning.

My kiddo is creative. She has a great imagination and loves to use it. She could just lay in her bed “imaginary-ing” for hours on end sometimes. What she doesn’t have a lot of is motivation. Her teacher referred to her as “pokey”. That is perfect. It’s not that she is trying to be disobedient. (At least not always). She is very busy in her brain, watching other kids, pretending, processing, whatever. But sometimes, I need to get her moving.

Like this morning. She just wanted to lay in bed and stretch. And lay some more. I know from experience that if I tell her I am going to pick out her clothes if she doesn’t, attitudes can deteriorate lightning-fast. So sometimes, I just give her options, to get her thinking about clothes. I had put Mandisa’s Good Morning song on my phone to help us along. I pulled out a shirt and without thinking, was bopping the shirt around to the music. It was on its hanger and looked pretty funny. The kiddo was delighted! She froze for a few seconds, like “what the heck is happening here”, then started laughing and egging me on. “Mom! Mom! Get another shirt to dance with it!”

Yes. I ended up making two shirts dance around in perfect unison. Not easy to have the energy make everything fun, but so worth it to get that reaction from her.

What a great start to our day.


Gratituesday – Abundant Blessings

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As I was trying to figure out what I am especially grateful for today, a bunch of posts started swirling around in my head. One blessing remembered lead me to another blessing remembered. I have found it impossible to choose, so today is a list of some blessings I am grateful for (in no particular order).

1. A very dear friend who has always been The One to show up when I needed her most.

2. My car (parked outside) had no problem starting today, when it was -8° out.

3. My amazing kid who still loves to hug and snuggle.

4. The client that emailed yesterday to make sure I was available for the floodgates of work that will open in March & April. YAY!

5. My church family that is praying for me. Not just putting me on the prayer list, or saying they will pray. I know they are actually praying.

6. The opportunity to do something to help someone else.

7. That God walks with us through every single day. Joyous or hard.

8. Bible study starting up at church again after a break, and us being healthy enough to go.

 

What are you grateful for today?

 

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!



Five-Minute Friday – Cherished

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People all over the world blogging on the same topic on the same day for just five minutes and linking up at Lisa Jo’s place. Today’s topic: Cherished.

Five Minute Friday

 

GO.

Luke 2:19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

Her wonderful giggles.

Her snuggly warm self.

Her tiny tears that I wipe away.

Her whispered stories at bedtime.

I am treasuring these things in my heart. I am cherishing them. I am storing them up and will ponder them for years. Hard to believe I get to be a witness to such wonderful moments. And in the process, I want to always let her know that she is cherished. Completely and utterly cherished by a mom who would do anything for her. Who would move mountains and wipe tears and hug through the hard times and love unconditionally.

When she goes out in the world, I want her to have the absolute solid, immoveable foundation of a mom who totally cherished her. I want her to know that and never question it. I think that is one of the best gifts I can give her. And I pray I will be able to do that for her every day. I pray that she will sense it even when she can’t see me and she will be able to do all her growing up feeling it.

STOP.

 

 

Five-Minute Fridays with Lisa-Jo Baker

Want to know how Five Minute Friday got started and how to participate? All the details are here.


The Privilege of Prayer

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As my divorce was drawing to a close, I emailed my church that I had moved away from after my husband left and asked the staff to pray. I wasn’t yet connected to a new church where I lived and needed to know someone was praying for me. I will never forget the email that came back. The church office manager told me she had passed my request on to the pastors and staff and that they were all praying for us. Then she thanked me for the privilege of joining me in prayer.

I was floored. I had always felt selfish for asking someone to pray for me. I felt I was a burden and that there were so many people worse off than me, that what right did I have to ask for prayer or help. Her response changed my view forever.

What a privilege it is to lift someone up to our merciful God and ask for His help. Sometimes that’s all we can do. And I used to feel it wasn’t much. There should be something bigger I could do. Seriously? Who do I think I am? There is nothing bigger I can do than get on my knees before my Heavenly Father and ask for His intervention. His help. His love and mercy and grace to be poured out over someone’s life.

Wherever you are in life and whatever you need prayer for, take it to God. Take it to your church. Ask your friends and family. Ask ME! God is waiting. He’s waiting for us to approach Him and let Him into our lives. He’s waiting for us to ask.

I still have that email. But I don’t actually need to read it anymore. I know it. God used it to write on my heart how much He loves us and wants to be a part of our lives.

I am praying for you today.


Gratituesday – Baby Steps

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I am feeling rather stuck. Not much work going on, not much progress being made. It is taking all of my energy to do what I am doing. But sometimes it feels like I am getting nowhere.

There are some big heavy things going on in our life. And I am trudging through. Some days the steps are tiny. I don’t seem to get anywhere, but I take another step anyway. I need to remember that I am carrying it all. And that in the hardest days, taking baby steps is probably something worth celebrating. I won’t give up, even when I feel like it. I’ll keep taking these small steps in this knee-deep muck and eventually, my foot will reach solid ground. And the walking will get easier.

And my Savior will be with me the whole way. In the muck, on dry ground, on solid rock. He promised to keep my feet from slipping; He didn’t promise they would stay clean.

 

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!


So Built We the Wall

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So built we the wall, unto the half thereof, for the people had a mind to work. Nehemiah 4:6

I went on a Teen Mission trip when I was 14. We memorized tons of verses that summer. Unfortunately, I remember very few of them. This is the one that really stuck and just comes randomly to my mind. It’s kind of a joke with a few dear friends, that this is the first verse that pops to my mind 9 times out of 10.

I have been trying to figure out why it stuck. And why I love it so much. I believe that every verse in the Bible is intentionally there because God himself put it there. So I needed to figure out why THIS verse is one He keeps bringing up to me.

We studied the feeding of the 5000 in church recently. I had never before thought about each of those verses in such depth. In my small group, I brought up that the disciples needed to trust Christ in order to walk out into the crowd with 5 loaves and 2 fish and believe that Christ could feed everyone with it. My small group leader then mentioned the verses about the disciples having all the people break up into groups of 50-100. Again, before Jesus multiplied the food.

Mark 6:39-40 “Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties.”

I had never thought anything about these verses before. I just skimmed over them. As my teacher spoke, these verses came to life. It took great courage and trust for the disciples to break the people up and prepare them to eat, knowing how little they had to offer. They just followed Jesus’ directions, not knowing what He was going to do, but trusting He would do something.

How often are we faced a very similar situation? We have no idea how God is going to move to solve a problem we are up against. God wants us to be involved in His plan. So He asks us to take a step. And hopefully, we obey and get to work.

We take a step. We work together. We build a wall.

Then we have front row seats to witness His majesty and power.