Monday, December 28, 2009

Make a Choice Monday

Good morning all! Hope you had a wonderful holiday. I am now trying to uncover from all the gifts, and instructions, and batteries, and small pieces, and trash, and food, and.....

It was a great Christmas here. Maybe not always what I planned but still good. My husband got me some really nice things and my kids got too much! I don't really have a specific "choice" today but I read a book on Saturday. The best book I have read in a while. I could not put it down. Read it all in one day. I definitely recommend reading it. It is very thought provoking and really challenges the way we see things and what we do with our time. I reflected a lot on my choices.



It is "Same Kind of Different As Me: A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together". Here is a short description:

A dangerous, homeless drifter who grew up picking cotton in virtual slavery.

An upscale art dealer accustomed to the world of Armani and Chanel.

A gutsy woman with a stubborn dream.

A story so incredible no novelist would dare dream it.

It begins outside a burning plantation hut in Louisiana . . . and an East Texas honky-tonk . . . and, without a doubt, in the heart of God. It unfolds in a Hollywood hacienda . . . an upscale New York gallery . . . a downtown dumpster . . . a Texas ranch.

Gritty with pain and betrayal and brutality, this true story also shines with an unexpected, life-changing love.


If you have read it or you do in the near future I would love to hear from you. I will post some pics this week of our weekend and don't forget the whole month of January is going to be dedicated to small choices = big change!

Have a blessed day!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Just wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas! The ham is in the oven and the pies are made! Greg is desperately trying to put together the Zhu Zhu habitat and my heart is very full right now. We read the Christmas story first thing and I don't care how many times I hear it each time I am in awe that He came to earth for me. May your day be blessed as we celebrate the birth of our Savior!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Mary, Mary....

Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: "This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too." ~Luke 2:34-35

Did Mary have any idea the pain she would endure? Did the words of Simeon really sink in at that moment as she held that precious eight day old baby in her arms? I don't know but for some reason I can't stop thinking about it. Maybe its because I know the pain I have felt as a mother has been greater than any other pain I ever endured. Maybe its because lately I have felt some soul piercing pain as one of my children is struggling and yet I know that it doesn't come close to the pain she would endure.

I have read these verses over and over in the last few weeks. I can't seem to get Mary out of my mind. I know that Christmas is a wonderful time and I know, praise Jesus, He had to come. I know without the birth there would have been no cross yet I think of Mary.

Mary your child is destined
Mary He will cause the rising and falling of many
Mary He will be spoken out against
Mary He will reveal the thoughts of many hearts
Oh and by the way Mary He will suffer and because He is your child and you love Him a sword will pierce your own soul too

Whoa....almost seems like too much doesn't it???? But she trusted and she endured and what didn't kill her physically she was given the strength to survive. So what's your "too much to handle" this holiday? He'll get you through it. You will be stronger. You will be changed when its all said and done if you let Him change you. I know NOTHING has brought me to my knees more and NOTHING has changed me more than when I am crying out to God for one of my kids.

I pray I can be like Mary this year. Mary you were one amazing mama. As I ponder these verses it gives new meaning to the song "Mary Did You Know". I will leave you with those lyrics:

"Mary Did You Know"

[Originally written by Mark Lowry and Buddy Greene]

Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy would one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know
that your Baby Boy has come to make you new?
This Child that you delivered will soon deliver you.

Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy will calm the storm with His hand?
Did you know
that your Baby Boy has walked where angels trod?
When you kiss your little Baby you kissed the face of God?

Mary did you know.. Ooo Ooo Ooo

The blind will see.
The deaf will hear.
The dead will live again.
The lame will leap.
The dumb will speak
The praises of The Lamb.

Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy would one day rule the nations?
Did you know
that your Baby Boy is heaven's perfect Lamb?
The sleeping Child you're holding is the Great, I Am.


Have a blessed Christmas Eve!

Holiday Do's and Don't's

Thought I would share some of my limited holiday wisdom that I have learned, of course, the hard way.....

Do order your holiday ham ahead of time or you might be eating holiday duck(fa-ra-ra-ra)

Don't go into Walmart and ask where the Zhu-zhu pets are

Do expect chaos

Don't expect for things to go as planned

Do play in the snow if you get a chance

Don't expect to be able to move the next day if you do play in the snow

Do enjoy little ones if you still got 'em

Don't be disappointed when things don't turn out the way you thought they would

Do praise God for things just the way they are

I hope that you find some time just to sit at His feet today and tomorrow and especially Christmas day! I was overwhelmed yesterday and just grabbed my Bible. It opened up to Ecclesiastes 3. I have read this a million times but of course He met me there and spoke to me. He is faithful. Verse 6 & 7 says:

"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"

There is a time that we can just give up on the thing that is just wearing us out and give it over to Him. A time to keep holding on to dreams and a time to throw them away and seek the new things He has for our life.

I also flipped over to James. James 1:26 says:

If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.

Yikes! That one hurt because I know I have not been keeping a tight rein on my tongue lately. I have been impatient and too busy. Quick to snap at my family when I think they aren't cooperating with "the plan". Maybe I need to spend sometime being silent today:)

I will leave you with a few pictures from the weekend! Have a blessed day.











Monday, December 21, 2009

No Make A Choice Monday Today

Sorry girls but I don't have a "Make A Choice Devo" today. With only 4 days left to prepare for the big day I still have plenty to do. My count down looks something like this:

4 kids I need to homeschool
3(or is it 13????) gifts left to buy
2(or is it 20????) gifts left to wrap
and........
1 big dinner to prepare for at my house on Friday!

One thing I will say....even if your list is bigger than mine don't miss your time with God first thing each day. He can order our days and smooth out the rough spots in our schedule. I know its hard when there is a lot to do and most of it falls on you but He can be the strength and peace we need this time of year if we will let Him. So many other years I just put Him aside so I could get other things done and it often ended up with everything (mostly myself) coming undone.

I'm not too worried. I read that gift cards are the "new" fruitcake. I really don't care. This is the year of the gift card here. I just always remind myself that there is a season for everything and this is my gift card season!

I will try to post some pics of our sledding yesterday and our Christmas get together with Greg's dad and his brother's family. Not sure what the rest of the week or even next week will look like on the blog but don't miss checking in on January 1st. We are going to have 31 days of small choices in January that can result in big change for 2010! Some of them are things that we have talked about before and some will be new. The focus will be on weight loss and getting healthy but there will be things that can be applied to other areas of our life as well. I'm excited!!!

Have a blessed day!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snow, Snow Go Away.....

I must admit it is beautiful, but to be honest I really don't like when it snows. Not even this time of year but.....its snowing and there ain't nothing I can do about it.



Yesterday I did watch my great-niece and we had a great time last night with Greg's mom and sisters.

*What a beautiful baby!


*My awesome son who calls himself "Uncle Chris"


*Getting kisses from the baby


*Food, Fun, & Gifts...







We are supposed to have lunch with Greg's dad, stepmom, and brother today. We will have to see what happens. I am drinking a new coffee my hubby bought me called "jet fuel" so I guess if we don't go away I will have enough caffeine in me to get a lot done and play outside!

Have a blessed day!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thursday, Thursday.....

Good morning friends. Just another typical Thursday here. I had the wonderful opportunity to speak to some really great ladies at Mountain View Chapel yesterday. I spoke on "Stop Trying To Control the Uncontrollable". I had a great time. Of course on the way home my mind was swirling with the same old stuff like did I forget anything or was I clear enough. But I am learning to just give that all over to God and I just ask Him to make up for my mistakes:)

Cayla has her last day of classes today. I am glad. We have studied all week for a big history exam and I am just as ready as she is for it to be over. I do learn more than I ever learned in school!

Tomorrow night is the first of our Christmas gatherings. We have something Friday night, Saturday, lunch on Sunday, and possibly caroling Sunday night. Tis the season I guess. Tomorrow night is at my house so I really should be getting busy. I still have shopping left to do and food to prepare but it's all good. Catey and Cayla will be a huge help.

I am trying my best to just enjoy it all as it comes this year. Things are not as I imagined they would be but that's ok. God knew and He will get me through it. I just continue to believe He is good and He ALWAYS has my best interest in mind.

Maybe this weekend I will post some pictures of our gatherings. I hope you have a blessed day!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Make A Choice Monday

I love to make bargains with God. You know what I mean. I say to Him if I do “this” then you will do “that” and then I will be happy. It is a lame attempt to be in control of things. I think the root of this control issue is fear. I believe if we can get to the root of something with God then change can happen. I have been digging down deep to uncover this control thing and it hasn’t been easy.

It can be especially difficult this time of year. We need to control all sorts of things. We were talking about this in Sunday school yesterday. We want to control our holiday schedules and gift giving. We want to control how our house is decorated and how well we seem to appear to have it all together. We definitely want to control our emotions even though this time of year can be very difficult for many people.

If we just maintain control then we know the outcome. Right??? WRONG! No matter what we do we can’t predict the outcome. Life happens. Kids get sick. Loved ones make bad choices. There are layoffs and recessions. Heartaches and heartbreaks. Death. These things happen and we are left holding the shattered pieces of our heart because we thought we were in control.

Mary had no control. She was pregnant, unmarried, and left to give birth in a stable. She was told from the beginning what her son was destined to become and that a sword would pierce her own soul(Luke2:34-35). Talk about being helpless and having no control but the funny thing is nowhere do we read that she falls apart and can’t go on. No. Instead we read she is highly favored and blessed and most importantly we are told she treasures it all up in her heart. No whining and complaining just quiet obedience and total trust in God and His plan.

This Christmas let’s choose to be like Mary and relinquish control of it all. We really can’t control anything anyway . It is our choice. I guess choosing is the one thing we do have control over. Will you turn it all over to Him or will you hang on and keep futilely trying on your own only to come up empty and exhausted?

Have a blessed day!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sitting in Starbucks....

Haven't been able to type that one in a while. I do believe this is one of my favorite places. There is something about being totally alone yet surrounded by sounds of conversations and the smells of all kinds of delicious things that just makes me smile. I am waiting for my daughter. I have two precious hours to sit here.

I am supposed to be working. As usual. I am speaking on Wednesday. It is the last time for this year. 2009 has been full of so many new things and I am trying to reflect on it all and I can barely take it all in. My heart is overflowing right now. God has given me a wonderful ministry. I have had the opportunity to meet and serve so many different women. I close my eyes and I can see their sweet faces. Sometimes I would look over a group and there would be laughter and sometimes there would be tears. I know the pain they feel and my heart breaks for them.

Also after many, many, MANY wrestling matches this year over some things He has taught me so much. I have shed a lot of tears myself as I have learned to relinquish control of my kids and hand them over to Him. I have let go of some dreams and also learned to give Him my disappointment. Life is so full of uncertainty. Pain is inevitable and the constant attempt to control it all is exhausting. He has taught me over the last year to just sit and wait on Him. To not give up. And to realize His ways will ALWAYS be better than my ways even when I don't get it at first.

I am feeling sadness for those women who are struggling right now. Especially this time of year. I am so sure that Satan loves the opportunity to take the focus off the real meaning of Christmas by convincing us to focus on the hurts and losses we have faced. Don't let him have it dear one. God knows it all and He is GOOD!

Tomorrow I am going to talk a bit about giving up control. Especially this time of year!

Have a blessed night!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Getting Old Isn't So Bad....

I was getting my hair done the other day and it had been a while since I had been there. I decided a few months back to go blonder but then you have the whole "root" thing to deal with. I was long over due for some hair color. I sat down in her chair and she said that my roots really aren't that noticeable. I was surprised. Then she went on to say that the gray hair really blends well with the blonde and she thinks that since I have gotten much grayer in the last year that is what makes it not look so bad.

So, I guess getting older really isn't that bad:)

On a brighter and less "grayer" note Nathan is home and seems to be doing well. I went to a volunteer appreciation breakfast this morning with SVPS and had a great time. Tonight we are headed to movie night/food drive at church.

Hope your weekend is blessed!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thanks!

Thanks to all who prayed. Nathan had his surgery and it was a success. He is awake and eating. He will come home tomorrow!

Have a blessed night!

Please Pray

Got a call last night that my daughter was at the hospital with my grandson. He has had some issues since birth but nothing was ever found. After a check up yesterday they finally sent him for some tests and he has pyloric stenosis. He will have surgery today. It is a simple procedure where they cut the muscle that has become unusually large and is preventing food from entering the intestine. It is typically found around two months. He is almost five months. I feel so bad for the little guy because he has struggled for so long. I will post an update tonight.

Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Make a Choice Monday - On Tuesday!

Monday came and went like a flash before my eyes. I hit the ground running from the time I got up. School, dentist, Christmas shopping, looking at cameras with my daughter so she can decide which one she wants, babysit the little grand baby, cook dinner, clean up dinner, decorate tree, and fall into bed watching a holiday movie with the kiddos. Whew! Some days I can hardly breathe let alone blog. Sorry that it's Tuesday instead of Monday. I can't believe a whole week has gone by and I haven't posted a thing.

The thing that has been on my heart lately is Christmas and my expectations. I have been feeling very nostalgic and I feel as though I have had a visit from the ghost of Christmas past. I have replayed in my mind all the Christmas celebrations and traditions in the past and my heart is a bit saddened. I always had grand expectations on how the tree should look and the way the house should stay clean for visitors. I was angry when I would give the tree one last look before I went to bed and all the decorations were in one spot or the bottom half had no decorations at all because I had babies and toddlers.

I should have embraced those moments. They were moments in time NEVER to be done again. Last night my three youngest decorated the tree all by themselves. It is beautiful. I just sat back and watched. I was at a crossroad. I had a choice to make. I could have taken over and done it my way or I could let them do it. I also could have been sad because my husband was working and my daughter was busy. Who knows where Chris was and the other two don't live at home anymore. I am in a season of change. Another crossroad where I have a choice. I can embrace the ones who are here and excited about decorating or I could feel bitter and angry because the others aren't here.

I am glad I made some good choices last night. I am sure there will be days this holiday season where I make some not so good ones. Thankfully God is gracious. I will leave you with the lyrics to "O Come All Ye Faithful". We sang it today at Bible study and I just let the words fall fresh on me. I hope you let them fall fresh on you. He invites us to come and behold Him. That is the real meaning of this holiday. It is not about the tree or the decorations. It is not about a clean house or the perfect present. Just sit back and grasp that His birth meant our salvation!

Have a blessed day!

O Come All Ye Faithful
Joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him,
Born the King of Angels;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

O Sing, choirs of angels,
Sing in exultation,
Sing all that hear in heaven God's holy word.
Give to our Father glory in the Highest;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

All Hail! Lord, we greet Thee,
Born this happy morning,
O Jesus! for evermore be Thy name adored.
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Did I forget anything????

Today I had the privilege of speaking to some beautiful ladies at Chiques Church. I had a great time. I still need to pinch myself because I can't believe God would allow me to serve women in this way. I still start shaking in my shoes before I stand up. My palms get all sweaty and I feel like I could get sick at any moment and to top things off today my stomach was growling so loudly before I got up that I am sure it could be heard in the next room. I love how God keeps me humble:)

Anyway, on my way home I immediately started in on my routine of giving myself the "third degree". Questions roll around in my mind like "did I miss anything?" or "did I explain it clearly"???? I go through this each and every time and then I just need to stop myself. I know Satan would love for me to question and to doubt. I just need to remember that just as I told the ladies today....If I am called then I am capable. I also need to remember I prayed for my words to be those that God wanted me to speak and I need to trust that He answered that prayer.

If anyone is reading this from today I guess the only thing that I would want to add to what I said would be this:

*I have fully forgiven my dad and that will be key in moving forward and sharing your story. Forgiving doesn't make what happened ok but it does make you ok.

*When working through the things that happened in your life just prayerfully ask God each day to make you aware of who He wants you to reach out to.

*I may have had and abortion but it is NOT my identity. No matter what has happened to you in the past you are not defined by that. You are defined by the truth of Jesus Christ. His Word defines you - not your mistakes.

I don't know. I guess that's all! I hope you know how precious each one of you are. You are called for a purpose and therefor YOU ARE CAPABLE!

Have a blessed night!