Monday, December 31, 2007

How Do We Succeed? New Year, New Goals, New Dreams!

"Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind
and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.
In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him,
and He will
direct and make straight and plain your paths."
Proverbs 3:5-5, Amplified Bible

It occurs to me as I brace myself to undertake several new projects this year,
that I may have bitten off more than I can chew.
This was really a problem for me in my younger day,
and something we will chat about sometime, but not today! ;)

Today, I thought it appropriate to share my thoughts, hopes, and expectations for success
in the coming year.
Because, I KNOW I am NOT alone in wondering about the coming year,
and what is ahead.
Not alone in comparing and measuring myself to the stack of to-do projects, issues, challenges, hopes and dreams to be tackled.

My hope of course, is NOT in myself , (I know you knew me better than that by now! ;)
But, my hope is in the One who made me, saved me,
protects, provides for and guides me!


As I perused my to-do list, I thought about how I came about taking each of these things on,
and was greatly encouraged.
Because, though in myself, I see much lack towards accomplishing these things,
I did not undertake them lightly,
or without committing them to Christ beforehand.
My hope in Him, as the wind beneath my wings so to speak,
is why I know that success will come.

"For in Him we live and move and have our being; as even some of your [own] poets have said, For we are also His offspring."
Acts 17:28

Success might not look like anything I pictured,
and it very likely will be something richer and more textured
than anything I could design or even imagine!
But, it will come!

"Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors
and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us."
Romans 8:37


Happy, Happy New Years to each of you and your families!
I pray that we and our families will all together
come to know Christ in a fresh and invigorating way this year,
and that we will have fresh desire and strength to pursue our dreams
and to help those in our circle of influence to attain theirs!
Much love and joy to you all, in Jesus' matchless Name!

Great Find!

Every once in a while I just have to share something I come across.
Over the holidays, Heidi asked a great question, which you will find here.
I didn't find it until today, because of the whole holiday activities thing.
But I liked it, and thought you all might like it as well!

Here was her answer to her own question, btw!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Saturday's Song!




I know some of us talk about songs...having lyrics in our head....
I can't play an instrument or sing a note (that sounds good!:) but,
I LOVE music and songs and the whole crazy thing!


Many of us don't get a chance to write posts on the weekend,
but we all like to browse...so,
I have been wanting to start this Saturday's Song thing.


Today's song is (it's corny, Ya'll! but, so am I sometimes!)
You Are My Sunshine!
(As Sung by Ricky Nelson)

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are grey
You'll never know dear how much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away

The other night dear as I lay sleeping
I dreamed I held you in my arms
When I awoke dear I was mistaken
And I held my head and cried

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are grey
You'll never know dear how much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are grey
You'll never know dear how much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away
Please don't take my sunshine away
Please don't take my sunshine away
Please don't take my sunshine away

Friday, December 28, 2007

Randomness and Names!

Do you love names? I do! I love picking names. Names for babies, posts, books, lessons, businesses, pets...You get the picture.

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Recently, while sweeping my kitchen for the 452,937,753 thousandeth time,
right after cleaning the counters and kitchen table for about the same number of times,
I thought to myself...If I didn't already have a blog, I could have one named
The Kitchen Flunky. Nawww, that would not encourage people very much...
but, I really could!
Not long after I started this blog, in a moment of realizing I had goofed and yes, every male in the house knew it, (darn!) I joked that my next blog will be called The Uber Goober!


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Other names that have occurred to me, Chasing Butterflies (inside joke around here for my tendency to get easily distracted while enroute to most any household chore!)
Another one, that I just think is pretty, no special reason for it, Southern Rhapsody.
I could go on...but, let's talk baby names!
About 8 or 9 years ago, while on the way to work, stuck in traffic,
I just started thinking of baby names. How cool it would be to have twin baby girls!
If I had them, I would name them Abigail and Gabriel. I would call them Abby and Gabby,
at least until they were old enough to decide what they prefer.
You would have to just be a fly on the wall to understand how crazy life was at that time.
Twin babies would have sent us all off to the funny farm at that particular time!
When we had each of our two sons, choosing names was so much fun, and really easy. I always am bemused when people struggle with choosing a child's name, because I can't stop thinking of names! Fortunately I keep all my ideas to myself!
I remember when I was pregnant with my first, I was into Irish names, I had names for future children picked out, it was really silly looking back on it,
but at the time, a reason for much satisfaction! I remember I had names picked out for a boy or a girl, then names for about five more boys. Yeah, I was a young mother.
And reality quickly evaporated that name list, let me tell you! I would have loved to have them, if only they didn't have to eat and go to the doctor! :)
When I write, I start by choosing the title. Once I have the general concept in my mind, the very next part for me is the name. That sort of gives me the destination to plot my course for, then its off to the races!
For me the whole name thing, allows you to envision certain qualities and characteristics which are desireable; that you hope for, and can even picture.
It speaks of fresh, new hope and dreams,
and as yet untold and unlived life stories.
In the past when we have gotten pets, I've always had to just bite my tongue not to influence the choosing of the name, because we tried to keep that for the kids. If it was going to be their pet, their responsibility, then let them have that pleasure.
A couple of years ago, a friend was considering changing the name to her hair salon.
We had so much fun trying to think of possible names for it.
I remember my favorite was probably Happy Endings!
Goodnight, Ya'll! Happy Friday!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Restoration and Coming Home!


Looking at that picture you may see lots of different things,
without knowing the stories behind each of these two.
I want to tell you a story ,
I believe it started back in March of this year.
By the time March of 2007 had gotten underway, my childhood best friend had moved
back to town and resumed a job she had held prior to moving to another state,
some 16 or so years previously.
She at one time, thought she could never come back and live in this town safely,
because of the situation she left behind.
At one time she thought she would never be able
to hold her head up in this town again,
without enduring looks and whispers,
and never imagined coming back to her job.
(we are not so small now, Ya'll, but, at the time, we were still small town!)
Well, God made a way for her to come back, and just eased her path in so many ways,
to include being able to go back to her old job, where the people not only welcomed her,
but appreciated her, (and still do).
There are many more details like, she had to walk off from everything
and start over down here. So, what was the place she found to rent?
A place furnished with dishes, furniture and in an attractive, safe setting,
maybe 3/4 - 1 mile from her work.
It put her within easy reach for her co-workers to be able to drop her off
or pick her up for work.
My oldest son (we have two sons) who had married and moved to Jacksonville
(big city 1 hr north of our hometown).
This January he and his wife decided they would make their home
here in his hometown this year.
Towards that end, he got his old job back here and made the commute,
with his eyes towards the time
when he would once again live here in the town he loves.
By the end of March his wife and he decided to divorce,
which was painful for him and still is.
However, they both are certain this is best.
He moved here.
By the beginning of February, my parents had decided
that they would leave their mountain retirement home behind,
and return to their hometown, after being away for 9 years.
They began a herculean effort
to travel back and forth from North Carolina to Florida ,
for numerous doctor appointments, tests and procedures,
while preparing their home for sale, finding a home to buy, taking care of their pets, closing a business, etc, etc.
Their move back here was official 01 June 2007,
(my dm bd btw) Wooooot!


My husband and I each have a friend who moved away and found their true love!
One just got married in November and is quite happy!
The other is engaged and absolutley giddy!
They both had to be in their "right place" for this next step in their lives.

When my youngest was 7 he desired like many young boys to learn to play the drums.
He was really intent on it. He "clicked" with this really nice young man in the Youth Group,
I assisted in. The young man played drums and was a friend of my oldest son at the time.
He said he'd come over and teach him.
We were in the process of buying a new home and we chose a design that would allow our youngest to do this hobby, while still allowing my honey to sleep in the daytime, (he works midnights). We got the drums. We moved in. The young man's family moved away. Another young man in our church learned drums almost overnight, right at this pivotal time, and he really could rock, a natural ability.
There was no place for our youngest to play at church now, and no one to teach. All of this coincided with my stepping down from a full-time professional position in law enforcement for a small part-time job in the same field.
No finances for music lessons. Dream postponed, gone, who knew?

For a while my youngest had served in our Children's Church (he was about 10-11 then). However, due to several circumstances, he let that go,
and no longer served in our Children's Church.
Part of him really missed it.

In December of last year (he was now almost 14),
he signed up to help with a Basketball Clinic for young children on Saturdays
beginning in January and running for 3 months.
It led to him helping in Children's Church again.
During that time, the church offered music lessons to young people,
whoever was willing to try and would be faithful.
The parents would have to invest in the instrument,
so they could practice at home.

He practiced and within 6 weeks was playing on the Chidren's Praise and Worship Team.
We were extremely blessed to be able to first purchase a set of acoustic drums for a great deal. We used those until we were again fortunate to purchase an electric set for a really good deal. We passed the other set on to another boy,
who he shares the drumming spot with on the team.

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There's a WHOLE lot more about that story I could tell,
but, it's just colorful illustrations to how
blessings often come in packages wrapped with adversity!
Your choices matter so much in such times!

On Father's Day of 2006, we rescued a lost and hungry little dog we immediately loved.
He came at a time my youngest really needed a dog, and he fit right into our family.
We just loved him, and in August of this year we lost him.
Really painful and we still don't like thinking about it.
His name was Buddy.

We weren't sure we would ever want to try having another family dog, couldn't imagine that without the painful comparisons we imagined it would bring.

Last week on Wednesday, however we drove to meet a friend of ours from church. Someone had blessed them with an adorable dog who was just too vivacious for their little girl.
Too much puppy in him, too much girly-girl in her!
As little as he is, he is a fireball and at least equal
to her petite size (she's just about 26 months old).

That dog went right to my youngest son, like he'd known him ALL his life!
We have had him for 1 week and 1 day
and he has never once been out of place or misbehaved or in anyway seemed to need us to adjust or him to adjust to us.

My husband had tried to take college a few years ago,
and we just couldn't swing it, we tried several times.
He started again in July, and he will most likely be finishing
by this coming July!


What's the point of all these things?
Well, back in March, when things were just beginning to 'pop',
I felt this impression is all I know to call it.
That this year was a year of Homecoming and Restoration.
It was more like
"Just watch what I do this year. You will see some movement, some restoration of things."
I felt it wasn't just for me, but for anyone would would believe for it.
An opportunity available to people willing to dare.

Several times this year I have reminded myself, and reminded the Lord
that the year is not over,
there is still time.
Time for people to move to what is the right place for them,
in this particular season of life.
Time for old dreams to be dusted off and made new. For dreams to become reality!

My childhood best friend is doing well. Two different friends have found true love at various places in this country. My oldest in starting over. It's not how he pictured it,
but he has faith for his future, and he likes his location a lot more!
My parents are back home (and healthy!)
We celebrated Christmas this week,
as an entire family for the first time since 1997.

My husband will have his college degree by the end of this upcoming year, we believe.

My youngest is a drummer!

This is the newest addition to our family. His name is Twitch!

What do you need restored? Is someone you love far away? Or out of place?
I don't believe we are special. I believe God is though.
What does it hurt to talk with Him about your heart's desires?

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Twas The Day After Christmas


"And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe,
and the Levites who taught the people said to all of them,
This day is holy to the Lord your God; mourn not nor weep.
For all the people wept when they heard the words of the Law.
Then [Ezra] told them,
Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet drink, and send portions to him for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. And be not grieved and depressed, for the joy of the Lord is your strength and stronghold.
So the Levites quieted all the people, saying,
Be still, for the day is holy. And do not be grieved and sad."
Nehemiah 8:9-11 Amplified Bible
Hey, Ya'll! Missed you!
I pray that you have had
and ARE STILL having a wonderful Christmas and New Year Season.
When the above words in Nehemiah transpired, the people had just had the Word of God restored to them, after having, as an entire people, strayed and forgotten the Word.
Once the Word was rediscovered and read to them all, they were stricken and grieved to hear how far they had fallen from God's best for them. True to form, God did not want them to be stricken for too long.
He now wanted them to celebrate Him,
and specifically His word to them.
I thought this a great representation of what His desire to us is at this time...
to not allow depression to creep in.
But, rather savor the moments,
and celebrate Him!
Because Jesus, the Logos, the Word, has come to us!
Rather than give into the routine cares of life,
I believe He would like us to take Him with us in a fresh new way
to face the up coming year!
"for the joy of the Lord is your strength and stronghold."

Maria's Silly Ditty

Twas the day after Christmas
And all through the house
Not a creature was stirring...
Not even a mouse(PC that is)!
The stockings were bulging with goodies galore
A sign that St Nick had been here before!
Gaming was going, music was playing, tummies were sighing...

All parties involved were united in hoping
To snuggle, to munch, to savor and crunch
The memories of happy times and such.
Desiring and hoping
"Let's don't let it end too very quickly"!

Somehow to not savor this moment,
would seem ungrateful...
Tis a gift that's been given...
A gift of knowing and sharing
Through love shown to others...
Another season...
Of beautiful memories
And overcome impossibilities!
Tell one, tell all
Of the great things He has done!
Don't let Him be forgotten!
Jesus Christ, His Son!


There is so much to do in preparation of this particular holiday.
Such a temptation to give in to the crassness of measuring
'who is giving what to who and how will we keep up'?
(who asked us to? No one! Why do we do this?)

Then somehow it all works out,
it's all beautiful, tasty and good!
People love, laugh, give, receive and eat...
well, maybe a bit too much!

Somehow, I have always been wired with a need
to savor the triumphs
of love over money, mercy over bitterness, abundance over lack,
'plenty of time after all'

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over
'Oh, no, I don't know how I can do it all!',
that the days after Christams and all the way up to New Year's Day provide.
Yes, work must get done,
sometimes we even have to go there. (silly bosses!)
We must answer mail, pay bills and clean the kitchen.
But there is just such an atmosphere of leisure, grace and contentment
that seems available to allow us to consider all this year's Christmas Season provided.

It's truly unique to this time of year. And I really believe it is Heaven sent.
Nothing in us, in our natural self, lends itself to grace like this!
So, just like I enjoy seeing our children, nieces and nephews enjoying their presents,
I KNOW Our Father and Our Saviour desire that we enjoy the gifts
they have provided to us again this year.

I woke up grateful and telling the Lord Thank you! I LOVE you, Lord!

Thank you so much for another beautiful Christmas!
Beautiful in family, friends, memories and much love shown!
I know it was all You, God!

With man it's impossible, but with YOU its ALL possible!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Glory To God in the Highest, and on Earth Peace, Good Will Towards Men! Merry Christmas!



"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men"
Luke 2:14, KJV.
From our home to yours, the Merriest of Christmases, and most hopeful of New Years! We pray you will find
true Joy, Peace and Hope this unique Holiday Season!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ba-Da-Boom!!

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"Two are better than one, because they have a good [more satisfying] reward for their labor;
For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!"
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
It's our anniversary!
24 years!
I met my honey March 5th 1982!
Yikes!
We've been making sparks for over 25 years! :)
At least 1 person that I consider a friend on here was about 6 & in 1st grade then!
Yeah, now you got it!
A l-o-n-g time ago!
We got married December 19th, 1983.
When we were dating, we broke up Thanksgiving weekend (of 1982)
(what an awful hollow feeling that was)
and we got back together December 23rd 1982 (month later).
I remember he called me and I was listening to Dolly Parton's new Christmas song,
which had just been released 'Hard Candy Christmas'.
When we got back together we knew it was for keeps.
Really cool for us because Christmas is like our fav so...
You know, when I started blogging (3 months ago) I NEVER intended to do a post like this.
In fact I was strongly, emphatically against it...
And look...here I am...I had to do it!


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I have to say, when I was younger there was a saying (you don't hear so much now)
"What doesn't break you makes you"
Oh so true! Since we have had LOTS of opportunity to be broken...and instead...
We are stronger!
As a matter of fact - we just might be BIONIC
(not to be confused with invincible! Just tough!),
I'm not sure...definitely put a down payment on it!

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You know I am a pondering sort...as I prayed and pondered in the shower
(yes, this is my bestest time alone!),
I was inspired to make this the year...
(really, Ya'll TRY not to guffaw tooo loudly, I might become crestfallen!)
The Year of Romance!
I know, I am like the LEAST romantic person I can think of right now.
(Yup-in our family my honey and my youngest got the romance gene,
my oldest and I - we got zilch!).
But, I am definitely inspired to focus on chiseling out,
at least one adventure per month,
over the next 12 months.

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Now, this does not mean we will be taking long weekend getaways,
that is not our budget/lifestyle right now...
But, we have always known how to have cheap,
(I'm sorry, should that have been economical?) easy fun.
Thank the Good Lord!
But, since we've always known how,
we also take it for granted.
I perceive we are at a transitional time.
(Aren't we always?)
And this is the right thing, the fun thing to do for us,
and for our kids.
They NEED to see us make this effort.

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Anywhooo, towards that end, I am going to be doing a monthly post about
The Romance Challenge.
(whatchya' think abou the name It Takes two to Tango? Or Bionic Marriages?)
AND, I am hoping some of you will join me, in gifting ourselves and our spouses
with more of us.
More of us tuned in to each other,
just a wee bit,
instead of the teen-angst,
instead of the teething, potty-training, and homework.
Because life DOES challenge us to give this time and energy up,
its about the first thing to go.
Hopefully I can figure out how to do a Mister Linky, I think that's what this calls for.
Anyone who has words of wisdom on Linky, please-DO tell!
The intent is to inspire each other, even if you don't sign up.
Like everything else our Bloggy Community does,
It's just a little inspiring, a little laughter, a little cathartic! That's all!
Well, the only reason I am bloggin' right now,
is he just got off work at 6:00 am...so he's sleeping, but he'll be up soon...
so, I gotta run!

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Babe, you SOOOO ARE MY Six Million Dollar Man!
:)
BONUS ALERT! You can't make this stuff up! I LOVE THIS!
Today I found this article on the web...
(Not too hip with the solo thang, but the rest is coolness!)
P.S. I will post later with other details & ideas for buttons, and let you all vote, because if you decide to participate - you should be able to like your button!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Broken Dishes, Peer Pressure & Christmas Cheer!


Hey, Ya'll!
Hope this post finds everyone in bloggyland enjoying
the approach of the holidays...
Ooops!
They're here!

Just In Case
In case like me, real life is pressing in on you...
{the nerve}
I thought I would trudge along with you and share some thoughts...
I have a hodge-podge of thoughts bubbling around...
I am going to attempt to arrange them in a useful manner...
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You may relate to some.
If you don't, well,
thanks for being a good sport?
DON'T Worry!
By the end, I hope to have us all
looking up, looking ahead, and enjoying today!

Recently, when helping me in the kitchen,
my honey dropped and broke my youngest's plate.
It was from a set made for a child.
He had been given this as a small child, maybe 1 1/2 yrs old.
He is almost 15 now.


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STOP!
Because I have been VERY aware he is growing up (which is a good thing),
and I have been just a tad bit moody of late,
no, mmm... emotional is a better word
{is this a 40s thing or something? I do NOT like it!:) }
I cried...Booo-hoo!
why?
That plate respresented his childhood,
the last vestiges dist-appearing!
Right before my very eyes!
STOP!
And like Lot's wife (whom I have never had ANY patience for btw),
{In case you don't remember her claim to fame, she was given an opportunity to miraculously escape from destruction, complete with visible, tangible angelic assistance,
The catch...Don't look back!
What did she do?
You guessed it!
"But Lot's wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt." Genesis 19:26.}
I find myself looking backward a lot lately.
Not healthy!
Second guessing choices.
Wondering...


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For instance...
Remember my post about Christmas Trees?
Well, this is the first year,
NO children wanted to come put on ornaments...
Yikes!
I actually saved 4 colored bells for the youngest
to place on the tree at his convenience...


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Ever so winsomely explaining how
he had never not wanted to initiate the whole process...
And it just wouldn't be the same without him putting something up
*sniff*
He very cordially and galantly accepted them.
They are laying next to his computer...
Some 4 days later!


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In the midst of it all, {and really the biggest catalyst}...
is much teen angst...


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My heart aches for the world that young people have to navigate through nowdays.
Being in that state of transition...
leaving the security of childhood behind,
going through the period of akwardness
which we can all fondly {not} remember,
is now fraught with so many more potholes and pitfalls
than we had to deal with.


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It's a lot trickier.
As a young person today, you don't just have voices asking you
what you want to be when you get older
{I NEVER could answer that},
but you have lots more voices telling you what you are,
what you can't be,
that you are a "wannabe" this or that...
trying to pigeon-hole you into a suitable category,
until you finally yield and pick one...
{how limiting...how frustrating to behold}.
Being a think-and-live-outside-the-box-girl myself,
this is probably my biggest concern...
NO PIGEON-HOLING
FOR MY KIDS, PLEASE!
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What you greatly desire,
is that the young people you hold dear,
will tune out the static from the media,
the crowds on line,
and surrounding them...
and listen to the still, small voice of the Lord...


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And
it would also be nice if they did not have that mmm...
"loverly" attitude of...
talking to the hand...
It reallllllly would!
I'm just saying, Ya'll!


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What I love about the broken plate,
{we already know what I hate about it}
is that it also reminds me of how there IS beauty
which comes from the broken pieces,
it's the only way you can make stained glass.
Think about it.
As adults, parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, teachers, we know by now,
that some of the best stuff came from our mistakes.
Thank you, LORD! :)
Give the regrets, the broken pieces, the lost innocence to God.
Trust Him to make beauty out of it all.
It's Christmas, Ya'll!
Don't get stuck looking backwards!


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Don't cry over spilt milk {or broken plates!}.
Rejoice once again in the hope we have as we trust, as we pray, as we dance!

A Great Way to Think!

A very sweet friend of mine, sent out an e-mail about prayer this morning.
I love the sentiment behind it...
I thought I would share it with you all.

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Heavenly Father, help us remember that
the jerk who cut us off in traffic last night
is a single mother who worked nine hours that day
and is rushing home to cook dinner, help with homework, do the laundry
and spend a few precious moments with her children.


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Help us to remember that the pierced, tattooed, disinterested young man
who can't make change correctly, is a worried 19-year-old college student,
balancing his apprehension over final exams,
with his fear of not getting his student loans for next semester.
Remind us, Lord, that the scary looking bum, begging for money in the same spot every day
is a slave to addictions that we can only imagine in our worst nightmares.

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Help us to remember that the old couple walking annoyingly slow through the store aisles,
and blocking our shopping progress are savoring this moment,
knowing that, based on the biopsy report she got back last week,
this will be the last year that they go shopping together.


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Heavenly Father, remind us each day that, of all the gifts you give us,
the greatest gift is love.
It is not enough to share that love with those we hold dear.
Open our hearts not to just those who are close to us, but to ALL.
Let us be slow to judge and quick to forgive, show patience, empathy and love.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Finishing Strong - The Inheritance!

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Hi, Ya'll! I probably won't be posting until Monday.
Just have time for quick browses at your places & comments and such.
We still have to put our tree up and I have got to seriously clean and bake!
It's my Honey's weekend off! Woot!
However, I have been working on a Bible Study called Finishing Strong - The Inheritance. So if you are in the mood, just click here and check it out.
Happy Weekend, Ya'll!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Princesses of Power & Chocolate Fountains


On Friday Night, 30 November, my church Family Worship Center hosted our young ladies for a night of pampering, elegance and a little teaching to boot.

The person who organized and was responsible for bringing it all together was Pastor Mary Foust. She is such an awesome lady! She loves those kids and has such a heart for them to know all they can be in Christ, and to help equip them for a successful life of faith and service. She is retired Army (can you say hoo-uh!) & we call her SGT Mary sometimes. Let me tell you, I know the devil gets a migraine everytime she puts her foot over the side of the bed...

Anywhooo, the night was called Princesses of Power and it was all about pampering them and loving on them. Getting them to appreciate what it means to be a lady, and to know it is important to place value on yourself, because God does. And begin to teach them what that translates to in "real life".



They got facials, pedicures, their nails done, and someone from our church was kind enough to bring his equipment and take glamour shots of them. We even had a chocolate fountain for them to enjoy! Everything was done by valunteers from our church. It was so much fun!

I was so honored to be asked to come speak to these wonderful young women about Queen Esther. It had to be short and sweet, but make an impact. Let me just say that God is sooo good to make such things possible! I could tell you how extremely unlikely such an event would have been at various points in my life. But, that is another story.

The girls were absolutely fabulous! So attentive and respectful, as excited as they were. I wish I had pics to post, I hope to have some in a few days, I have asked for some to be e-mailed to me...

Here's the deal. I have started blog for them called Princesses of Power. We want to give them a place to go and have what we teach them on Sunday's and Thursdays be reinforced. Also, since this is the digital generation, they are on the PC anyway, so we want to be there also, giving them a place to create a healthy and truth filled sense of community. I hope to get lots of participation from them.

What I am hoping for from you all is, I am truly not so net-savvy as many of you. I also am a mother of sons only. How ironic that I would be drawn to this, I know! LOL! Many of you are more net savvy, and also many have daughters and granddaughters. I would so welcome ideas for good places I should link to for them, educational sites, entertainment and fun sites, etc. The age group is 6-12.

Thanks so much, prayer would be good too!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Memory Verse Monday


"Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you. [Live in Me, and I will live in you.] Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me.
I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing."
John 15:4-5 Amplified Bible.

Well, this will be short ( one hopes, I can really tend to be too wordy!). Once again, in Sunday Service, minding my own business, a verse popped up. I knew it was for me & it was for MVM!


For me it speaks to the thing which has been very much on my heart lately, which is to ensure that I stay fresh in Christ. That I do not become stale. I never want to be living off of day old, or two day old bread. I want to live off of fresh hot bread and not only do I want to, I want to have it to offer at all times. I want my life to be fragrant with that aroma of fresh bread, manna from heaven, so people will know where they can go to get some fresh baked bread.


This is my secret recipe and I just want to share it with you. Because I perceive I am so blessed to have made lots of bloggy friends, who are interested in the same secret recipe. In all different styles and flavors!




If you liked this Memory Verse Monday, please pop over to Karen's for some more. You can even sign up for your very own!

What Makes You a Good Friend?




I found this cute little test, over at Mel's Place...love her site. I just am forever amazed at how many unique and wonderful people are out and about in bloggyville!


Anywhooooo, this is a quiz that assesses the strengths that you bring to a friendship.


A very wise woman (my mom) has told me, and I have since found it to be true
(through much trial and error), that one of the best things we can each do,
is to find our strengths and focus on building and developing them...
rather than spend much time and frustration fussing with our weaknesses.
Somehow in that process, our strengths overcome our weaknesses.
Anyway that's what Mom said, and I'm sticking to it!

Here was how mine turned out, be sure and tell me if you do one, and I will make sure I pop over!




You Are a Good Friend Because You're Loyal



You stick with your friends no matter what, even if you feel like they're doing the wrong thing.

You believe in letting people figure out their own path in life. It's not your place to interfere.



And part of your loyalty means that you'll do a lot for your friends. You definitely go the extra mile.

You'll even do great things for friends without them asking. After all, that's what friendship is all about.



You are truly a friend for life. And you have friends you've known since you were a kid.

Your friends can count on you to do a favor, remember a birthday, or just be there to listen.



Your friends need you most when: They can't turn to anyone else



You really can't be friends with: Fickle people who change friends quickly



Your friendship quote: "Friendship doubles your joys, and divides your sorrows."

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Three Legged Race

Three-legged races! Remember those? I remember field days every May when I went to private school. Those were big deals. No uniform on those days!

Lots of fun to be had outside! Cheers!

We left off Monday talking about who would throw us a rope when we need it. We spoke of how to get out of the pit. In this case, the pit is that place where your faith, your 'hoper' is bruised, battered, a little over-worked in a certain part of your life. I have a place like that. And I wouldn't be putting this out, if I wasn't sure as shootin' that each of us have a place like this. Maybe even more than one.

I wanted to share with you what keeps me going while in the pit,
(while not planning on staying in the pit).

The first step is knowing "Ooops, I've gone and stumbled into it!".
Then clinging to the rope, and being sure of what I know,
more than focusing on what I don't know.

What is the rope? The rope is ALWAYS The Word.

Being a word person (I really do like words) I LOVE that The Word became flesh
and dwelt among us, and He lived like us, showed us how it was done.


Focusing on what I DO know about The One who throws me the rope,
assures me that my hope is not in vain, that I have a sure thing
when my hope, my faith, my love is anchored in My Lord.
Psalm 121:1-3 "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.
He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber
."


And Hebrews 6:19 (really the whole chapter) has this great word picture
of where we secure our hope...
"Now we have this hope as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul"

Remember that Three-legged race?
Well, I did some studying this summer on waiting on the Lord and being weary.
It was so enlightening!

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What I learned was that in most of the pivotal scriptures that talk about waiting on the Lord, the Hebrew meaning of the word wait means to bind.
Like so:

Psalm 27:13-14 "What would have become of me had I not believed that I would see the Lord's goodness in the land of the living!
Wait and hope for and expect the Lord;
be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord."

Amplified Bible.

And

Isaiah 40:31 "But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired." Amplified Bible.


What these words say to us is, when we will wait on the Lord,

we will bind oursleves to Him....like in that Three-Legged Race.


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In the time and culture which Jesus was born in,

the Rabbis taught by asking questions.

If you notice in the Gospels, Job and other places, you will see that

God and Jesus commonly ask questions.

Lately I have been realizing, that the Lord teaches US the same way.

He allows us to have questions, because questions help us discover the truth.

No, I am NOT saying He brings us trouble. He's a good, good God, and He would prefer we never have to suffer.

We get trouble because its a crazy, mixed up world.

In teaching my son, I have realized the things he looks up during his studies are the things he remembers, and assimilates best. It's the process of obtaining the answers, that engrains it in his memory, his charachter. The process. But, I watch him carefully, to make sure he is not getting overloaded. Because then he will blow-out, or blow up. And that is not the goal!

As a homeschool mom, it is more important to me that he be equipped to find the answers than to get every little sweaty detail right.

As a child of God, a joint-heir with Christ, it is more important that I KNOW Him, His charachter, His ways, than to "get" all the hoped for answers in life I want. Yes, some of the things we want, just don't make sense not to have them and I truly do not intend to let go praying/seeking for any of those things which I feel please Him as well.

But, in the end, what matters most, is that I KNOW HIM!

The questions, the darkness, and the droughts of life, cause us to seek, to grow roots and to help us be fully persuaded of what we know.

See the goal is that - that we KNOW HIM. That we can't be shaken in our knowing of Him. Eve was shaken, so was Adam. But Abraham, he was fully persuaded. That is our goal!

We need those roots that the questions of life teach us to grow. So the winds of life can't blow us over!
Deep roots.

When we bind ourselves to Him, we can endure, withstand and overcome all that life brings us.

I might not like the length of time it takes to see the results I want. But, I trust God, I trust His Word is alive and at work in my life and the lives of those I intercede for. At ALL times.

Keeping hold of that faith and expectation for a good outcome allows me to drink of His presence.



The tougher the question, the more desert like the circumstances, the more we must allow Him to pour out refreshing promises of what we can know.

Proverbs 17:22 gives us a terrific picture of our choice, we can dry up because we don't do the work (it IS work) or we can have pleasure, joy, even happiness. THAT is our reward for the hard work of climbing out of the pit...

"A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones."

Go to the waterpot! Bask in the promises of Him, who is in all things, (the painful things, the impossible to understand things, in all these things and more) - He is MORE THAN ENOUGH!

In case you are wondering about me getting out of that pit, well it's a moment to moment thing...right now I am living out in the open, I can see the skies and breathe the clean salt air!


Circumstances are the same, but my viewpoint is different! I just needed to tighten up!

I had forgotten it was a Three-Legged Race!

Oh, by the way, the alternative to waiting on the Lord (which means to bind - remember) is to grow weary or faint, in several verses (Isaiah 40, Galatians 6). One of the meanings of those words is to get slack or loose. I do not want to be slack!

Here's what it looks coming up out of the pit, more light, more skies, less walls...


Then it's all wide open skies!

What Does it Mean Anyway? "Free to Fly"...

Well, it's like this: Here are some of the Webster's Dictionary definitions of Free: a : having the legal and political rights of a citizen b : enjoying civil and political liberty c : enjoying political independence or freedom from outside domination d : enjoying personal freedom : not subject to the control or domination of another2 a : not determined by anything beyond its own nature or being : choosing or capable of choosing for itself...having a scope not restricted by qualification 7 a : not obstructed, restricted, or impeded ...Now, here are some of the Webster's Dictionary definitions of Fly:1 a : to move in or pass through the air with wings b : to move through the air or before the wind or through outer space c : to float, wave, or soar in the air ... a : to take flight ...6 : to work successfully ...Examples which apply from Websters: fly high : to be elated - fly in the face of or fly in the teeth of : to stand or act forthrightly or brazenly in defiance or contradiction of

What does this mean in my life? This means that in life we are meant to be free. While historically mankind has not always enjoyed the opportunity to fully appreciate what that means, we are so indescribably fortunate as to live in a time of the greatest spiritual, physical, financial and political freedom ever known. Freedom doesn't come cheap, nor does it come easy. But the best things in life don't come that way do they? As I write this I am struck by how this sounds like a political statement, and for me this is much more of a spiritual thing, but, same goes for that (political that is). Freedom doesn't come easy. And it's worth whatever fight you have to make to overcome in your life in order to live a life that succeeds. Now the questions is - what is success for you? What is your standard? In my mind what is needed is a definite target - because you can't hit and maintain a moving target. A stable, rock-solid, anchor with no variable, yet multi-faceted. Something pure, just and worthy. If you look at any web page of news you can see that our society is certainly lacking in this area. What a great time to live as a rebel! Nowadays to be a rebel, all you have to do is be willing to engage in the battle of life, while anchored to Christ!