RSS

Monthly Archives: December 2011

Faith-full Friday!


I will praise the Lord at all times.
      I will constantly speak his praises.  –Psalm 34:1

It’s FFFrridddaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyy!!!

Just that little phrase tends to bring a smile to my face.  Friday brings the promise of rest, relaxation, and fun.  It just makes you step a little lighter, smile a little brighter, feel a little more cheerful.  The light at the end of the tunnel has shown itself and you realize you are gonna make it.

Around this time of year, everyday is busy.  There just doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day to get things done.  Although it’s a fun time of year, it is also stressful.  For others, the stress comes from trials they are facing.  The holidays can take a toll on those who are dealing with broken relationships, financial problems, or the loss of a loved one.

Last year, my family was dealing with the loss of my step-dad.  We were just happy to survive the holiday season.  Our hearts were too heavy.  The loss was so close to Christmas, we were in shock.  It seemed unreal.  This past year has been so hard.  This year, the reality of the loss is upon us.  And although we ARE excited about the holidays, there still remains a sadness, a cloud that is there.  Our family is incomplete.

This week, it seems tragedy has been all around our small rural area.  Three children perished in a house fire.  A beloved father lost to a heart attack.  Serious illnesses have befallen several families.  I don’t understand all that has happened.  I don’t understand or know why.  But I do know that God is in control.  And He is holding those left behind in his hands.  I know that although I may not ever see the big picture, He does.  He knows the pain we suffer.  After all, His own son died a horrible death…..for me and for you.

I will choose to trust Him.  To lean on Him.  And to praise Him.

Today, I will choose to have faith that He has our best interests at heart.  I will choose to have faith in His plan, even if I do not understand it.  Today, I will choose to have faith in the plan He has for MY life…. faith enough to step out and follow.  Today, I will choose to lean on Him for comfort, peace, and even joy.  Because to know Him is to be loved unconditionally.  To know Him is to be full of faith.  Full of hope.

Today, I will thank Him.  Praise Him!

Advertisements
 
1 Comment

Posted by on December 9, 2011 in Daily Devotions

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Really Randomness


I’m in high gear.  Probably because I’ve had too much coffee.  There’s just nothing like a good cup of coffee.   And I kinda have the shakes.  NO, I do have the shakes.  Probably from the coffee.  Well, definitely from the coffee.  Plus, I have a slight touch of ADHD.  I feel like thoughts are running around wildly in my mind out of control.  Like 10 kids on Christmas morning.  I hope you enjoy the chaos of my mind.

*Why do kids love to run through the house…. nonstop….for indefinite amounts of time…. Yet, when you send them outside, they are suddenly bored?  Is running indoors really that awesome?  Am I really getting that old that I can’t appreciate the sheer joy produced by feet running through the house?

* The cheap HEB shells and cheese (as compared to Velveeta shells and cheese) is really, really good.  I don’t ever eat the Velveeta or any other brand, but I can’t imagine any could taste better.  For real.  Plus, the price was r.i.g.h.t. And that made it taste even better.

* People magazine came out with their sexiest man alive issue.  Bradley Cooper was awarded the honor.  Ok.  I’ll agree…he is  a hottie.  But how can I ever take this list seriously when you consider that Rob Lowe didn’t even make the list AT ALL?  How can that be??  What idiot is responsible for making this list?

* FYI….. it’s kinda weird to take a hot bubble bath while the toilet is stopped up.  To the rim.  But when the plunger has dry rotted, you live in po-dunk nowhere, and you are desperate for a bath, what else do you do??    What’s even creepier is when you just get enough Lysol sprayed to fumigate the bathroom to overcome the stinch of said toilet (actually, it was full of clear toilet water, but it just seems like it should totally stink), you get comfy and cozy in a tub full of bubbles, and suddenly you hear the monstrous sound of the toilet throwing up the stoppage.  It’s like it gagged.  And just like that.  As fast as it threw up, it flushed.  As if it never had a problem.  Super creepy.

Nobody loves me....til they need me.

These two things just shouldn’t be together.  It’s just not right.

* Why don’t they make the light brown M&Ms anymore?  They were absolutely my favorite.  Why?  Oh why?

Such a tragic loss!

* Why is it the laundry never ends?  I mean, seriously, I wash every stinking day of my life.  Yet my laundry room is never void of dirty clothes.  This is why my dream house needs to have its own mini washateria.  Maybe then I could keep up.

* I’m really upset with Hobby Lobby right now.  I bought all this stuff to make snowball-like ornaments.  You know, clear ornaments you fill.  Tons of filler, I bought.  I had BIG plans for these ornaments.  But the openings for the ornaments are so small, the ‘snow’ won’t even go in.  Now I’ve got all this filler stuff, piles of clear ornaments,  and NO beautiful snow-ball ornaments.  When you sell ornaments for the very purpose of filling them with goodies….and you hang the goodies to stuff them with right there next to the ornaments….they should actually fit.  Geeezz!

These are NOT my ornaments. Mine are sad and lonely. All empty inside.

* Oh, I got flipped off last night.  I was going across the parking lot and some guy was coming up the aisle.  I didn’t see him, so I had to stop quickly.  I was NO where NEAR coming close to hitting the guy.  But he leans across the passenger seat of his truck to hang his hand out and flip me off.  Parking lot road rage?  Really?  I seriously considered following him, hoping he would pull into the gas station so I could give him a piece of my mind.  Because you know flipping me the finger really makes you a grown man.  It’s real admirable that you have absolutely NO self-control.  But then, I realized, I might get shot.  Plus, that would mean I had no self-control and would be the idiot myself.  But I’m still steaming about that nonsense!

*Okay, maybe this random list should be called the gripe and moan list.  It seems I’m on a roll with the whining.  I did put my big girl panties on this morning.  I guess they just didn’t do the job.  Or maybe I didn’t.  I can’t remember.  I know!  I just need that fifth cup of coffee!  Yep, that’s it!

* Speaking of M&Ms, I won the ‘Guess how many M&M’s are in the jar’ game at Thanksgiving this year.  We are still working on those M&M’s.  I believe there were 930ish in the jar.  We may have M&M’s until this time next year.

* Alrighty, since I have a touch of OCD, I need to balance my list with happy thoughts.  I just can’t in good conscience do all this griping and complaining without giving you something to smile about.  It will be tough to overcome my Negative Nelly tendencies of the moment, but I’ll do my best.  So here you have it….a list within the list.  Wow.  I impress myself!

* Coffee just makes my life worth living.

* Chocolate makes me happy.

* My Bernie boy is my sweetheart.   He loves me all the time.  No matter how grumpy I am.  He is always happy to see me.  Always loyal.  Always keeps me company.  Oh, and he is going to be in the family Christmas card this year!  I can’t wait!  We take pics tomorrow.  I will have to post for all of you to see my sweet guy.

* Kohls’ Big One throws are the absolute, hands down, the best, most comfy of all throws.  And they ALWAYS put them on sale every single Black Friday for less than $10.  Huge score.  I believe we probably have close to 20 of these now and yes, I bought a new one this year.  They are big HUGE.  SOFT.  WARM.  Best $10 of snuggly goodness you will ever spend.

Love, love, LOVE the zebra print!

Well, maybe it’s not COMPLETELY balanced.  But like Forest Gump would say, “That’s all I have to say about that.”  And at least I’m leaving on a happy note doing my happy dance.  Too much coffee will do that to you.  😉

 
3 Comments

Posted by on December 7, 2011 in It's my life....., Randomocity

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

On His Mind


Have you ever had someone you just couldn’t get off your mind? 

Maybe a crush on a boy or girl in high school.  You wasted vast amounts of time writing their name on paper with hearts and swirls?  You daydream about the moment that this person realizes you are THE ONE for them and you live happily ever after.  You try to focus on schoolwork, spend time with friends, but really all you want to do, all you can do is think about HIM/HER.

Maybe you remember those first months of courtship with your spouse.  The feeling that you need to spend every waking moment with them.  When they are not with you, you feel like something is truly missing.  You spend your time thinking about them.  Looking forward to seeing them again.  Planning that next date, that next moment, and even a future together.

What about the expectation of that baby on the way?  You long to hold it, to cuddle it, rock it.  You spend hours and hours planning the nursery.  Reading and learning how to take the absolute best care of that baby to come.  You are consumed with thoughts about the baby.  Everything revolves around the baby.

Or maybe it’s someone who is going through a trial or a tragedy.  Somehow it touches you so deeply, you actually hurt for them.  You think about what they are going through.  How it could be you or your family.  You worry about how they are coping.  How they are making it.  How you could help them.  No matter how hard you try, they creep their way back to the forefront of your mind.

Although I have experienced all of these things at one time or another, it’s nothing compared to God’s thoughts for us.  The Bible tells us that He thinks precious thoughts about us.  So many they can’t be numbered….even more than the grains of sand.  The God of the universe.  The creator of the heavens and the earth.  Thinks infinite thoughts of ME.  He loves me enough to be concerned with me enough to think of me and be with me always.

How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
      They cannot be numbered!
  I can’t even count them;
      they outnumber the grains of sand!
   And when I wake up,
      you are still with me!   –Psalm 139:17-18

When I really think about the magnitude of this scripture.  The reality of its meaning.  I can’t help but be humbled before God.  All those worries I have, all those thoughts I have, each step I take.  He is there.  When I love Him, He is there.  When I grieve Him, He is there.  Thinking of me.  Knowing the Almighty cares about me enough to think of me over and over and over again, just makes me want to please Him. Serve Him.  Love Him.

Today, as you go about your day, remember that God is thinking of you.  He is there.  He is concerned about you.  He cares about you.  He loves you.  With Him by your side, you can handle anything life throws at you!


Enhanced by Zemanta
 
2 Comments

Posted by on December 6, 2011 in Daily Devotions

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Boldly Live


 

Yesterday was the second candle lighting for Advent at our church.  My boys had been assigned that candle.  So, each member of the family contributed.  The baby boy (almost eleven) was excited.  An eager beaver.  He was going to sing, “Seek Ye First” with his dad.  As the day approached, anxiety set in.  By the eve of the service, he was scared silly.  I was sure he would back out.

He didn’t.   You could see the fear in his little eyes getting up there in front of others.  My older son and I joined them, just to help him get through it.  He braved it.  And made it.

And because of my imprisonment, most of the believers  here have gained confidence and boldly speak God’s message without fear.  — Phillippians 1:14

Last night, before bed, he shared with me about just how frightened he really was.  He said he had been sick at his stomach all week worrying over it.  But on Wednesday at church, the teacher had taught them about boldness.  How even when Paul was imprisoned he still spoke boldly for God.  And how he inspired others to do the same.  He told me he knew he had to do it.  So, he kept reading and re-reading this scripture from Phillippians.  He highlighted it in his Bible.  He prayed every night for the courage to follow through.  He even taped the scripture on the inside of his bedroom door to remind himself.  He said, “I don’t think I did too bad and I don’t think I did too good.  But I know God was proud of me for being bold for him.”

I was amazed.  He had not come to me or his dad until the night before to let us know he was shaky.   This ten year old little boy, just a babe in Christ, was growing in his relationship with the Savior.  He knew he could only draw strength from God.

As the night wore on, I couldn’t get this off my mind.  We all have things that shake us to our very core with fear.  Fear robs us of so many things in life.  Satan does his best to keep that cloud of the unknown, the fear hanging over our heads.  If he can keep us there, frozen in fear, we are of no use to God.

Often what we fear the most is following God in the plans He has for us.  Trusting Him completely.  Our plans, our ways, are much more comfortable.  We can control the plans we have for ourselves.  When we decide in our hearts and minds, God’s plans are too hard, too uncomfortable, too much for us to handle.  We are closing the door for Him to show His power in our lives.  We are closing the door on our ability to grow in our relationship with Him.

In my youth group, I see this all the time.  Kids are devoted to everything.  But God.  They can attend functions only if it doesn’t interferre with basketball, football, cheer, FFA, showing animals, band, rodeos, parties, hunting, boyfriends, girlfriends.  The list goes on.  And they think they are admirable for being devoted to those things.  They put their 100% into doing their best, being prepared to the best of their ability for all these things.  And they have nothing left for God.  They have no time for Him.  And they think that’s ok.  It’s easy to do.  It’s expected.  Their teachers, their friends, and even their parents do not expect or encourage them to live boldly for Christ.  Making a stand for God is scary.  It’s hard.  And it’s unexpected.

We adults are no different.   Our kids see us putting everything else before God so why shouldn’t they do the same?  Serving God, praising God, following God are afterthoughts.  Something to do when we have time or feel like it.  Do we actually live a life of boldness for Christ?  Do we actually face those fears satan plants in our hearts, step out of our comfort zone, and follow Him?  Oh, how our lives would be different if we did.  Every day.   We could change our world.

As I reflect on my own life, I don’t want to say, I chose to live in fear.  I chose to follow my own plans for my life.  I know better than God.

I want to choose to live boldly for God.  And that means putting Him first.  Following Him, no matter how scary the path.  As I reflect on my relationship with God, I hope to have the boldness of a ten year old boy who could have easily said NO to God.  No one would blame him.  But instead, he chose God.  To follow Him.  To be obedient to Him.   If you are a Christian, you must be bold.  You must step out and do something for God.  Stop making excuses.  Stop putting it off.  Stop putting everything else before God.  Stop letting the fear of following Him with all you have keep you stagnant.

It’s time to grow.

The time is now.

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 5, 2011 in Daily Devotions

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Don’t be a Hater!


Hate is thrown around today like a hot potato.  We have a fan club of haters.  Haters hate.

Someone talks about you behind their back.  You hate them.  Someone wrongs you.  You hate them.  Your teacher is grumpy.  You hate him.  Your mom grounds you.  You hate her.  Your girlfriend breaks up with you.  You hate her.  Your husband won’t do anything around the house.  You hate him.  The President does things that don’t make sense.  You hate him.  The bank won’t give you a loan.  You hate big business.  People of a different race move in next door.  You hate them.  Some people are too goody-two shoes.  You hate them.  Hypocrites.  You hate them.

We often joke about our haters.  They make us famous.  Let’s give em something to hate.

The Bible says HATE is a very serious thing.  It’s not a joking matter.  In fact, the Bible says that anyone who says they love God but hates someone is a liar.  It goes as far to say if you hate someone, you cannot love God.  We are commanded to LOVE our brothers and sisters in Christ.  Not encouraged to do so.  Not asked to do so.  It’s not optional.  We are commanded to LOVE one another.

I know exactly what you are thinking.  People can hurt you.  Some can take your heart and stomp on it, spit on it, and walk away.  Often times, people give you little to love.  You are likely at some time in your life, to run across someone who seems to be on a mission to destroy you.  How do you NOT hate someone who has so horribly wronged you or someone you love?

I have been there.  And all I know is that you have to hand your feelings, your hatred to God.  Go to Him, spill your heart.  Seek His help.  Forgiveness is important for YOU.  Not for that person.  One of the greatest acts of love is forgiveness.  That does not mean this person has to be a part of your life.  It doesn’t mean you have to be friends or ever will be.  But don’t allow hatred for this person to build up and eat at you.  Generally speaking, all that hatred only destroys YOU.  You need justice?  I understand.  I need some myself.  But it’s not my place.  It’s God’s.  And He knows not only that I need justice for those who have wronged me, but also the justice that should be handed to me for my sins.

We are called to love.  Everyone.  Even those who annoy us.  Even those who wrong us.  Even those who destroy our hearts.

Today, think about hate.  What in your life do you need to stop hating and hand over to God?  Who do you need to love enough to forgive?

My job.  My calling is to follow Him.  I simply cannot do that while hating others.  I cannot love God while hating others.  It’s a choice I must make in order to be obedient to Him.  And I choose God.

We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.  And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.  –1 John 4:19-21

 

Enhanced by Zemanta
 
3 Comments

Posted by on December 1, 2011 in Daily Devotions

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: