Monday, September 28, 2009

Make A Choice Monday

As I sit here and type this I realize it is already 7pm on Monday night. I guess I should just be happy I'm not trying to post it at 11:59 pm. Life here has been a bit crazy. I had my grandson 3 days last week and I will have him 3 days this week. It has been a big adjustment. I had forgotten what it was like to have a baby around and homeschool. Needless to say I was exhausted this weekend and woke up today to a pile of laundry and housework. At one point I looked around and thought we would probably bring Mr. Clean to tears. Thankfully I was able to get school finished and get the house back under control although this is the first times I sat down all day.

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.
~James 1:19-20

Today I want to talk about our tongues and how our speech affects our kids. I unfortunately had to live this one out this weekend and the pain is still fresh in my mind. From the time I became a mom I swore I would always be quick to admit to my kids when I was wrong and would be quick to ask their forgiveness. I have done this a million times over in the last 18 years. Sometimes it was just a small offense but sometimes they were big.

This weekend we went to the Ephrata Fair. I was trying to get my daughter Cayla on her cell phone. She didn't answer. Little did I know she was trying to answer but her phone was broken. I ended up calling her friends phone and the voice on the other end sounded just like Cayla. I thought it was Cayla. It was NOT Cayla. Needless to say I yelled at this poor unsuspecting girl on the other end only to find out it wasn't Cayla. I was mortified and humiliated. I had just yelled at someone elses child. I was so embarrassed. I apologized a million times over but that wasn't the hard part. The hard part was when I got home and started thinking about what I said and how harsh it was and the fact that I didn't take the time to find out why my daughter wasn't answering her phone.

I thought about the fact that I was more upset that it was someone else's child than the fact that I yelled and I wondered had that been Cayla on the other end would I have even bothered to apologize. I was heart broken. I never want to hurt my kids but I am sure that is exactly what I end up doing often. Way too often. I cried a lot of tears on Saturday night and spent a lot of time thinking about the way I had been responding to my kids lately.

Today I want to choose to ask for their forgiveness when I am wrong but even more importantly to learn to hold my tongue and be quick to listen and slow to speak. I want that to be my new motto. Will you pray for me? I know this will be hard but I figure if God can close the mouth of lions He surely can shut me up.

Cayla and her friend were very gracious and forgiving and her friend's mom was also kind when I told her what happened. I just hope next time I think twice before opening my mouth.

Have a blessed night!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Time is ticking away......

“Time is free, but it's priceless. You can't
own it, but you can use it. You can't keep
it, but you can spend it. Once you've lost it
you can never get it back.”

Interesting quote isn't it????? I was flipping through this years pictures and I realized how quickly time passes and I can't get it back. We keep all our pictures from each particular year together in a box. I saw pictures of softball in the spring and Chris graduating. There were pictures of summer fun at the pool and time spent at the mountains. There were pictures of my grandson being born and pictures of each of my kids.

As I flipped through these "moments in time" I felt tears well up in my eyes. Was I patient? Was I a good mom and grandma? Does my husband know just how much he means to me? Time is free but yes it is priceless. We can't get it back so we need to spend it as wisely as we know how. We were made stewards of our time and I know that sometimes I fail. It is easy to be selfish and waste time. Lately I have wasted a lot of time worrying over things I can't change. So much so that some old health problems are rearing there ugly head. I read Lysa TerKeurst's blog post today about asking God to be your portion when you fall short. I am always amazed at how He always faithfully brings me to a place to read the exact thing I need at the exact moment I need it. God is sooo amazing! I don't need to fret about places I am afraid I fell short or over things that seem out of control I just need to ask for Him to be my portion.

It's been another busy week here at the Groves so I was thankful for a few minutes to look through the pictures. It has bee a great reminder to not get so caught up in being busy and to spend my time wisely.

On another totally unrelated note I spoke on Tuesday at Hanover First Church of God. I took Cayla with me. Right before I spoke Cayla could sense I was getting nervous so she laid her hand on my back and prayed. That was priceless - a moment in time I hope to be forever etched in my mind.

Have a blessed night!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Make a Choice Monday

Good Monday Morning to all my bloggy friends out there! First I just have to share with you all that I won 4 copies of Lysa TerKeurst's new book "Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl". I can not even believe it. I never win anything.....I had just put this book on my "want to get" list. How exciting! What an awesome way to start a Monday morning.

Now to my "choice" for today. Last week I was sharing with you the stress I was feeling about something with one of my children. How it just ate away at me but I was doing my best to ignore it and how when I finally handed it over to God I felt so much better. I was thinking about this again yesterday and how sometimes situations seem so hopeless. Makes me just want to give up. Well, today I am choosing NOT to give up. I happened to be reading in Ezekiel, I know you are wondering how one happens to be in the book of Ezekiel but any way.... I was reading a passage in Chapter 36 and in verse 26 it talks about God giving them a new heart and a new spirit - a heart of flesh and not stone. I started thinking how I feel like this particular child has a heart of stone some days and that scares me to death but instead of once again feeling hopeless I felt invigorated. I wrote out a prayer for my child and decided I need to pray without ceasing(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) and rejoice in the Lord always(no matter the circumstance)!

This is my payer based on Ezekiel 36:24-29:

Lord gather ____________ and bring him/her back into your land. Sprinkle clean water on him/her and make them clean. Cleanse _________ from all his/her impurities and idols. Give __________ a new heart Lord and put a new spirit in him/her. Remove his/her heart of stone. Move _________ to follow your decrees and help him/her to be careful to keep your laws. Be his/her God and save __________.

Today do NOT give up hope. Pray scripture over your situation. Pray with out ceasing. Pray with a heart of rejoicing knowing that God is in control even when life feels like it is spinning out of control. Philippians 4 tells us that when we pray and stop being anxious a peace that will transcend our understanding will guard our hearts and minds. We don't need to lose our mind over our circumstances! What would our day be like if we did the following:

pray instead of fear
pray instead of worry
pray instead of trying to control the uncontrollable
pray instead of giving up
pray instead of being defeated
pray instead of being angry
pray instead of losing control
pray instead of being anxious
pray instead of____________(you fill in the blank)

How much better life would be??? After I though about this yesterday I read an awesome blog post on prayer by Julie Gillies. She is an awesome lady and very talented writer I met in the airport leaving She Speaks. Reading that was just confirmation that I just need to PRAY!

Have a blessed day!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Something eating away at you or should I say devouring you????

*This picture was actually taken this week in my backyard. Homeschooling at it's best!!!

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

~1 Peter 5:8

I have some things that have been eating away at me. Some things dealing with my kids. You know the stuff that you worry about and it kinda gnaws away at your gut but you keep trying to ignore it instead of deal with it. I was even thinking about how well I was doing with it all this past weekend and then it happened. I was on overload. I was getting hit on all sides by the enemy and I wasn't alert. I fell apart because I wasn't holding up my sword of the Spirit(God's word).

As I was laying on the floor bawling face down(the usual position I succumb to in situations like this) I realized I had been too busy to deal with what was eating away at me and now Satan was having his way trying to devour me like the Praying Mantis above just devouring that poor Cicada.

After a good cry and much prayer I wondered why I wait so long to take this stuff to God. He knows my heart. It is good to have a good cry with Him every once and a while and I need to stop "trying" in my own strength to keep it all together. I needed a reminder that the battle is the Lords and His word tells me He will fight for me(and my kids) and all I need to do is be still(Exodus 14:14). Rest in Him.

I know I am human and I will probably come to this place again in my lifetime(who am I kidding probably in the next few months)and I will need this reminder AGAIN!! I am just so thankful that God is so patient with me.

How about you??? Anything eating away at you lately?? To the point that you feel like your being devoured??? Take it to Him let Him fight for you!

Have a blessed day!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Make a Choice Monday

Good Monday morning! I figure I can still say that because as I type this there is still 5 minutes left to the morning:) Where does the time go???? I am a bit embarrassed to admit that I took a break from school to watch 15 minutes of The View just to see Kate Gosselin as a guest co-host. Now that I feel I have cleared my conscience let's get onto better things because I do still need to finish some school, make applesauce, and do our Monday cleaning.....

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. ~Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

As you know I spoke on friendship on Friday. Today we are going to choose to be a good friend and I am going to share with you some of things I shared on Friday. I used an acrostic(imagine that!)

F - Forgets Wrongs
R - Real and Transparent
I – Initiates Contact
E – Encourages…….Never Envies
N – Never replaces God or Family
D – Devoted

F – Forgets wrongs. They don’t hold grudges and they learn to agree to disagree - always seeking unity. They don’t always need to be right and they can be truthful but not judgmental.

R – Real and transparent. In a true friendship you don’t need to fear being transparent and you don’t need to fear being on the receiving end of that transparency. The relationship is never one sided with one party doing all the sharing and being honest and the other party not. They will laugh with you and cry with you and never feel odd doing so.

I – Initiates contact. They are intentional about the friendship because they know the importance of it and are willing to take time to invest in your life because friendship is a time investment with great returns. Many women I spoke to looked at having to initiate contact as a negative thing. Someone took the time to intiate contact with me one time and now she is my best friend. You never know what someone is going through and why they are not the one contacting you. Instead of pouting - pick up the phone!

E – Encourages you…Never envious. William Barclay once said, “One of the highest of human duties is the duty of encouragement. It is easy to laugh at men’s ideals; it is easy to pour cold water on their enthusiasm; it is easy to discourage others. The world is full of discouragers. We have a Christian duty to encourage one another. Many a time a word of praise, of thanks, of appreciation or cheer has kept a man on his feet. Blessed is the man or woman who speaks such a word". The word encouragement means to give courage to. How often are we afraid of the next steps we need to take and we need a friend to come along and give us courage? I know in all of the crisis I have been through lately I would not have survived if it were not for girlfriends giving me courage. Friends should always be trying to understand and allowing each other to speak our fears even when we can’t fully understand or relate. Knowing that life turns on a dime and it could be us in the blink of an eye. A true friend can often understand the feelings and emotions that come with some situations even if we ourselves have never experienced them this is a gift given to women and many men cannot understand it.

N - This is a very important one. NEVER replaces God or family relationships. A true friend understands that there are healthy boundaries. And this is where it gets a little sticky but you’re closes friends should share you’re belief in Jesus Christ because when you are struggling you need someone to point you straight to the Savior and to truth not someone who will fill your mind with the lies the world wants to feed you. Please don’t misunderstand me and write me a letter telling me how wrong I was when I said we should never be friends with unbelievers. That is not what I am saying. I will tell you when you and your friend’s relationship is right with God it is much easier to maintain those boundaries. I read somewhere a very important statement: Our greatest friends were never meant to replace our greatest need to be in relationship. That is an empty place that only Jesus can fill. When I go God first go from being a taker to being a giver. Awesome advice!

D – Devoted. Friends are devoted. They don’t bail as soon as the going gets tough. They don’t give up on you when you’re having a bad day. They know you and know all about you’re junk and love you anyway.

Hope this gives you something to think about today when it comes to your friendships. If you want to read some awesome stories on the does and don'ts of friendship read about Job and his friends. If you want a story about loyalty beyond our imagination read about David and Jonathan. Read about Mary and Elizabeth to see a true story of encouragement and read about Ruth and Naomi to see an unselfish devotion.

Have a blessed day!

Friday, September 11, 2009

New Beginnings

Today was the official start of a few things. Our co-op started for the year. MOPS at Mt. Calvary kicked off and they graciously asked me to speak on friendship. I had a blast by the way. They are one of the most precious, kind, and warm groups. So today also kicked off a speaking season for me. My schedule is filling up as much as I feel I can allow although after today I would love to do it every week:)

This week also marked another milestone. My 18 year old son got a motorcycle. Add this to the list of things I am sure I won't survive. The funny thing about that list is I have survived it all so far. Pray, pray, pray for him if you think of it. Letting go is a hard thing to do.

Cayla decided to take drum lessons from a friend of ours and he found her an awesome drum kit. He came over and set it up last night and very early this morning I heard her on it with her music playing. Just thankful she has the attic bedroom now!

Now, I sit here in my old black sweatpants and sweatshirt trying to keep warm and getting ready to clean an office I clean once a month. From speaker to janitor all in the same day. I love how God keeps me humble. We are going to go apple picking tomorrow if the rain stops and Cayla has a game on Sunday! The first of the season. Another official start this fall.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

~Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

So here's to new seasons! Have a blessed weekend!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Metamorpho - what???

I remember the first time we collected monarch caterpillars with my kids so we could watch them change into beautiful butterflies. I have been obsessed with monarchs ever since. I also remember sitting my kids down and making books about the changes the caterpillar would go through. I told them this change was called metamorphosis and they would always ask me later what it was called again. They would say metamorpho - what??? I loved doing this with my kids and we have learned so many valuable lessons from these beautiful creatures.

When they are changing from caterpillar to the next stage it looks very painful as they hang upside down and wriggle around to shed their skin. My life has been very much like that. Much of the pain that I went through is the very thing that revealed Christ's beauty within me.

I also know if I ain't changin' I ain't livin'. Life is full of change. If I resist that I miss out on the next stage of my personal metamorphosis.

How about you??? Doing any changing lately? Yield to God and His plan for your life even if that means that you have a little wriggling around to do!

Sorry there wasn't a Make a Choice Monday yesterday. We were traveling home from the mountains(where we found 24 cterpillars by the way - I will post pictures later this week). Yesterday was also a very special day. I have been married to my best friend for 18 years. I love ya Greg - can't wait to spend the next 18 with you by my side!

Have a blessed day!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Posted - Keep Out!

We are headed to the mountains for the weekend. When we go up there is always certain things that the guys do. They mow grass, fill deer feeders, clean up brush that has grown over the four wheeler paths, etc...As hunting season nears they will often check the signs that surround our property telling others that it is private property. You know the signs telling others to KEEP OUT!

The last time we were up I looked at those signs and thought about my own life. I often guard my heart against those that I should allow into my life and I guard against God and doing the thing that He wants me to do all because I have allowed Satan in. Ironic isn't it???? We keep out what we should let in and we let in what we should keep out.

I should bring others in to help me and encourage me but instead I FEAR what they will think. I should go forward with the things that God wants me to do but instead I DOUBT I am capable.

So this weekend when I look at those signs I want to be reminded that I need to be alert and guard against Satan's schemes and I need to keep out doubt and fear that are his tools he uses to get me off track. I need to remember to let others in and step out and do the thing that God has for me. I have been battling doubt big time in the last two weeks. I started school and I have been doubted that I am qualified to homeschool my kids. I am speaking twice this month and I doubt I have anything important to say. I haven't brought others in on this because I fear what they will think of me and I have been holding back on what God is calling me to because of this.

1 Peter 5:8 tells us, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

Today I am going to be on alert and hang a posted - private property sign against Satan. I am going to stop buying into his lies and schemes. Instead of letting him in I am going to let God and others in. I hope you do too!

Have a blessed day!