Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Newsweek

MSN's homepage this morning caught my eye and made me laugh. It said "Will We Have Our Bodies in Heaven?" I wish I could have replied for all the world to see....

NO! No! No! No, we will NOT! No calorie counting or calculating how much we need to run to go to Rita's or anything else! Just a banquet table spread out in front of us, with rich food by the way - no nonfat lattes there, and a perfect body!!!!

Hallelujah and amen!

Can't get any better than that!

Have a blessed day!



Monday, March 29, 2010

Perfect Peace!

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. ~Isaiah 26:3

Is that just beautiful or what??? This was the verse that started out our homework last week in Breaking Free. This Bible study has been so good and also a bit different for me. Since I have learned so much over the last few years about taking my thoughts captive and about freedom in Christ I am learning to handle things differently. I was also thinking that this is the first study in a long time that I am not in a crisis or is it?

You see I still have things that could send me into fetal position crying my eyes out in some corner but my response lately has been different. I am finding perfect peace. Last week something happened with one of my kids(imagine that) and I was tempted to lose it. I did cry a bit but instead I repeated this verse over and over in my head. So much so that I woke up in the middle of the night saying it. I would say it and emphasize different words each time just letting it soak in deep.

In the past I would have been tempted to say the verse once or twice and when I didn't feel the perfect peace right away I would give up. Not this time. This time I decided to keep my mind steadfast and just trust in Him. The freedom is amazing. I repeated it until it finally stuck!

This is not just something available to a few select people. This my dear sweet friends is available to all of us.

So what's bothering you today and threatening to take your peace? Keep your mind steadfast and trust in Him no matter what you are feeling at the moment. The feelings will eventually come but sometimes we just have to obey no matter what we feel or how hopeless the situation seems to us.

I hope you find some encouragement in this like I did today! Be blessed!



Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Returning Hearts

Just wanted to post a video and let you all see where Carla and I will be headed the end of April. We are looking forward to serving with this ministry. Click here to watch and let me know what you think!

Have a blessed day!



Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday - Monday - Monday

I ran the following post a few months back. I woke up this morning with my mind in a twirl. I needed to listen to my own words and do a little planning instead of feeling overwhelmed. I am happy to say that I have checked quite a few things off my list so far today. I hope this helps you as you plan your week:

I am a procrastinator. Have been as long as I can remember. I was the one who crammed for tests and waited until the night before a paper was due to write it. This has its advantages and disadvantages. I used to look at it only in a negative light but I realized having the ability to put some things aside and just enjoy life has its advantages.

Unfortunately I have been putting too much aside lately and I need to gain some control. I have a few things that need my attention NOW! So today my choice I am making is to:

1. Pray
2. Prioritize
4. Plan
3. Put it into action

I want God to order my "to do" list. I don't want the list to control me but be a guide. If God brings some unexpected thing my way today that is ok too. His word is clear.....

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. ~Proverbs 16:3

In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps. ~Proverbs 16:9


I am also going to make a list but set a goal of doing the top three things today. If I took a list and thought I had to accomplish it all today I would become overwhelmed and would shut down and accomplish nothing. I am going to take baby steps today. A small choice to make life a bit easier.

My list looks like this:

1. Get the house cleaned up.
2. Send some e-mails I have been putting off.
3. Mail a cd to someone who contacted me as a possible retreat speaker.
4. Work on financial aid stuff with Chris.
5. Organize school work for the week.
6. Finish Bible study homework for tomorrow

You get the idea. I have a lot swirling around in my mind and I just need to sit down and get a list going and have God help me to prioritize and get things done. Not everything today but I bet by the end of the week I can have this list gone!

So remember today to choose to Pray, Prioritize, Plan, and Put it into action!

Have a blessed day!




Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Livin' with a rebellious heart....

Struggling. Wrestling. Fighting. That is what I spend most of my time doing with God. I don't want it to be that way. Actually, I hate it. I have been doing a lot of thinking about this lately. I believe the root is being revealed to me.

I am a results oriented person. I like to set high goals. I always say I can endure anything for a time if I know what the result will be in the end. But what happens when we endure and we endure and don't get the result we want? I know what my first reaction is...rebellion! And at the root of that rebellion is my need to control everything including the outcome. Well, in case you haven't noticed you can't control people for sure and often you can't control the circumstances that come your way.

Last week in Bible study we spent the week looking at rebellion. Here are the five characteristics of a rebellious child of God from the study Breaking Free:

1. A rebellious child of God doesn't act like a child of God.

2. A rebellious child of God isn't willing to listen to the Lord's instruction.

3. A rebellious child prefers pleasant illusions over truth.

4. A rebellious child of God relies on oppression.

5. A rebellious child of God depends on deceit.

Wow! Do I do that? Yes, sometimes I have been known to do all five. It has been a lot to think about this week but God is so gracious. He doesn't bring us anything to condemn us but to bring us freedom!

I hope to be posting more often but the reality of it is I have a very busy next few days. Greg, Cayla, Catey and I will be spending the day tomorrow in Hershey. There is a Toby Mac and Skillet concert tomorrow night. We will go help the caterer for breakfast and lunch and then Greg will take the girls back tomorrow night for the concert. I need to stay home and make sure I am all prepared to speak to a MOPS group Friday morning. Greg will be teaching my K/1st grade class again. He cracks me up because he said he doesn't want to be "outdone" by the other teachers so he wants a really cool lesson.

Cayla has her first scrimmage Friday night. I will be at an event with EFCA in New Jersey all day on Saturday. So....if I don't get on again until next week I am sorry! I do think about the blog everyday but I don't always get to post. Hope your day is blessed!


Friday, March 12, 2010

This is where I'm at.....

Haven't been on here for over a week because we have been so busy and somehow with everything going on I have fallen behind on my housework. I feel like the old lady on the commercial, "I've fallen and I can't get up!" So I have been slowly digging my way out this week. I must not be doing to good though because poor Cayla came to me yesterday......



All that was left for her to take her shower was the little monkey towel and the little crab/puppet wash clothe. So maybe I do have a little more catching up to do....

I did have a great girls weekend away last weekend. I am thankful for all my girlfriends and a hubby who let's me go. He had to teach my co-op class and he forgot the book so he said it was no big deal he just improvised. I got a message from the person who helps me and she said he did a good job. What a great guy.

When I got home I originally thought I was going to be away with the EFCA ladies this weekend but that got canceled so it gives me a little more time to get caught up so Greg isn't drying off with the little ducky towel all weekend.

I was putting a mountain, and I mean a mountain, of wash away last night when Carla came over. I told her I needed a vacation and I can't wait to go away the end of April with her. She bust out laughing because the end of April we are going to the Lousiana State Penitentiary(also known as Angola prison). It is the largest maximum security prison in the United States. We are going to do some mission work. You know it's bad when a trip to a maximum security prison is what you are looking forward to as a vacation:)

On a more exciting note Cayla made the high school softball team. We were so excited. The stress of it leading up to Wednesday was almost too much and at the end of practice they handed out envelopes telling you if you made it or not. She was thrilled. I am so proud of her. She has worked hard for this and I can't wait to be sitting in the sun watching her play and yelling my fool head off when she does something great!

The house has been quiet with a little less "traffic" this week because Chris and some of his friends were away all week for spring break. I will be happy to have him back and have a bunch of boys eating us out of house and home tonight. This letting go and "change of seasons" is threatening to nearly kill me.

Bible study has been a bit tough this week. Day one was about rebellion. I do have a rebellious heart and I hate it. I can tell when I am pulling away from God. I am very goal oriented/results oriented and when things don't go my way I pull back. I am going to post more about this in the next few days.

I guess I better go get ready for co-op and stop rambling. Just wanted to give you a quick update on what's going on here. Hope you have a blessed day!



Thursday, March 4, 2010

books, books, books

I love to see words in print. I always have. Nothing more exciting than cracking open a brand new book. I love the smell of it and the sound it makes and nothing sounds better to me than sitting in church or Bible study and listening to the sound of pages in a Bible flipping.

I have a zillion books. Some I have read, some are partially read, and still others I have yet touch. It is almost an obsession really. Some of my best memories are of my grandma taking me to the library and checking out a bunch of books. I would then go to her apartment and spend the afternoon on her red leather recliner getting lost in the words.

I was taken to the little farm in Charlottes Web and the magical world of Narnia. I would be so lost and mesmerized that I wouldn't move the whole afternoon. I loved to write when I was little too. I remember writing a rhyming book and illustrating it all by myself. I was so proud of that book. I think what made it so special is my dad was proud of it. He had a bunch of friends at our house one day and he made me show it to them. I just couldn't believe it. Precious memories.

So here is my fear.....is the printed word going out of style??? Are libraries and used book sales going to be a thing of the past? I hope not. I can't imagine reading everything digitally. I thought about asking for a Kindle for Christmas. Greg thought it would be an excellent idea. The problem is how would I dog ear pages and underline important things??? And what about the books that move me and change me and are stained with my tears?

Today go to the library or book store. Buy a real book. Read. Let your kids see you read. Encourage them to. Read out loud as a family. I love to hear Greg reading to the kids and some of my best school days are spent on the couch curled up reading to the kids. It is something you will never regret. Who knows where it will take you. Books can transport us places we otherwise may never go.

Well I need to go, I am going away for the weekend. I need to pack(books of course)and clean up and help poor Greg with his lesson tomorrow. He is taking my place at our co-op and needs to teach K & 1st grade.

By the way, what do you think of the new blog design??? I would love to hear from you. Have a blessed day!




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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Where's the flu?????

The front page of our local newspaper recently ran an article saying the flu has not "shown up" in our area so far this season. I am sure this is the same newspaper that created a frenzy in the fall warning of how bad the flu season would be this year and that there was a shortage of vaccines.

A frenzy. Doesn't take much to create one does it??? We are a worrying people. We worry if we have enough or if we have too much. We worry about illness, finances, disasters, and if God really does care. We spend our days keeping our self busy in hopes of escaping those dark places of worry but inevitably night comes and we are left with our deepest and darkest fears staring is right in our face.

I heard Tony Evans say that there is a difference between worry and concern. Worry controls you. Concern you have control of. I know that I am often controlled my worry. It effects my health, my relationships, and my reaction to uncontrollable circumstances. We are told many times in the Bible to not be afraid, to not fear, and to not worry.

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life ? "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. ~Matthew 6:25-34

So there we have it. The remedy for worry. Just don't. Seek first the kingdom and everything else will be ok. Easier said than done but not impossible. We can retrain our thought process with God's help. We can be different today than we were yesterday but it is a choice. We need to choose today or even just for this moment to not allow worry to take control of us. Then an amazing thing happens. Moment by moment and day by day we change. Worry isn't what we default to anymore. Faith is. A powerful thing isn't it.....The God of the universe that knows every single hair on our head(and our loved ones by the way)steps in and takes control of our life. No more worry filled life just faith filled abundant living.

Have a blessed and worry-free day!


Monday, March 1, 2010

The Heart of a Mother

I am sitting here having my second cup of coffee. I need to be starting school and getting things moving around here but I couldn't without first jumping on the blog and giving a little update.

I have been up since 5:30. I get up and make sure my son gets off to class. His first one starts at 7:00 on Mondays and Wednesdays and with my mama heart I can't bear the thought of him getting up and leaving alone without someone to say goodbye, I love you, and please be careful. After that I see Greg off to work, saying the same three things.

I guess it doesn't really matter how old they get(kids not husband - him and I are already old:)some things never change.

I have been struck lately watching the Olympics and hearing the stories about the parents of these athletes and the sacrifices they have made to get their kids where they are. I love when they show the parents faces after a medal is won. The look of pride and overflowing love. I almost like that more than seeing the actual athlete.

The funny thing about it is your kid doesn't even need to be an Olympic athlete to feel that way. My heart overflows when I watch my 7 year old make his first basket or my daughters first home run last year in softball. I would have to say that I think I feel their victories and defeats more deeply then I feel my own. Motherhood is an amazing thing.

I am just so blessed to be where I am at right now. Now I do not want to paint a picture of perfection here. This is not a place of b-ball shots always made and home runs all the time. We have disappointments, arguments, and fears for our kids. I spend much of my time just crying out to God over things but at the end of the day I know I would not have had this life any other way. I would not trade it for anything in spite of all the worry, sleepless nights, and gut wrenching crys that I have been privileged to go through. It has made me the woman I am today. God knows the heart of parent. He was one. He witnessed and felt the victories and the pain of His child also.

I am going to talk about worry sometime this week but for now I will leave you with a picture of Coco right before he made his very first basket ever. You could probably hear me cheering two towns over. I know I was as proud as any parent of an Olympian. Have a blessed day!