Go now, a child of God. Choose well the road you take,
And the decisions you make. Keep in mind always that The God you serve continues to call to you, making you more and more every day into the faithful one God wants you to be.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

God's Will Week Thirty- one

  This is what I got for Christmas last year. 
I spent Christmas day with my dad and my brother.  They had not seen each other in over six years.  I was blessed last year to spend the day with the three people I love the most in the world, My dad, my brother, and my daughter (who took the picture)  I was so blessed, with this priceless gift.  If you read this blog, you know I lost my brother in Febuary; this Chistmas he will still be with us, forever joined in love.   

This year I have been blessed with so much. Yes, memories of having my brother home last year make me a little sad, but I get overwhelmed with how much love I still feel when I have those memories.  Christmas day this year will include a handful more of people.  Instead of a feeling of void, I am looking forward to sharing  the day with even more people I love, and in return they love me back. 

Its great to hear the words, "WE are going to get through this." 

Last week I had the trial of having my car not crank. The engine would spin but not crank.  The car is 8 yrs old and has been well taken care of and only had 54,000 miles on it.  I thought it was the starter going bad.  Not risking the car not cranking at home I drove it to the dealership as soon as it started after four tries.  Mid-morning I got a call from the service department and I heard, "You need a new engine."  After I hung up the phone I wanted to lay in the floor for awhile and contemplate my life while I figured out where the money for this engine would come from. I am already working two jobs and my budget is streached beyond what I make.  I was overwhelmed. 

Laying comatose in the floor is what I wanted to do.  What I did was, lock myself in the bathroom at work and got on my knees and prayed.  I must have been in there for 30 min in constant prayer turning it over to God.  I didnt come out until I heard over the PA that I had a call.  It was the dealership again, bracing myself for more bad news, I answered.  The voice on the other end of the phone said, "Mazda is going to replace the engine. You will need to pay for the new spark plugs." 

You can imagine the elation I had!  I said, "Thank you God!" immediately and returned to my knees once again. 

Not only did God provide for a new engine, he also provided me with a carpool to and from work- for both jobs since I am without a car until the first of the year.  When I get the car back it will be like having a new car. 

God does meet our needs.  In this time of gift giving, someone asked me, "What do you want for Christmas?"  This year I do not want for anything.  I have a very blessed life and I know that all of it came from God.  Even in the difficult situations, God is ever present and I am ever present with Him. 

Psalm 119:147
Early in the morning, before the sun is up, I am praying and pointing out how much I trust in you.

I will celebrate the birth of Jesus.  Birthdays are kind of a big deal.  Me and my BFF celebrate our B'days all month long in the month of August.  I celebrate Jesus' birthday with the ones I love through Advent.  I give  my child advent gifts to open; one everyday to remind her of the gift God gave to all of us, JESUS. 
I made three advent package gifts this year, I gave one to my daughter, one to my boyfriend's daughter to share with her sisters, and one to a sweet child of a co-worker.  I know what an impact these can make in a life and children share with their friends. These Advent gifts work as a ministry, sometimes its not about how many people you reach, its about reaching the right lives, the lives who Jesus is seeking and those seeking him.

Santa is cute in his red and white, as a symbol of the season, but what I believe in is not Santa; I believe in Jesus and that he was born. I'm posting this four days before Christmas.  I have been celebrating Jesus' birth for the past 21 days and counting... Merry Christmas to you and yours.   

Thursday, December 15, 2011

God's Will week Thirty

“Let your Haters be Motivators!” I read this quote this morning. I like it. Sometimes confrontations with others can get the best of us. Then all that is left is the worst of us and that “worst” isn’t pretty. I have a co-worker who has little patience for calls from the public. She gets very irritated when people hem and hum and umhhhaam before they get to what they wanted to say. She said it wastes her time. I understand, I take these same calls. I realized that a lot of these people are lonely and can keep someone on the phone for an extended period of time to talk to someone. I have sense of developing relationships with customers, sure I may only see them a short 2-5 minutes, but within that time I have small conversations. I’ve noticed that a lot of people purchase things from us that are solitary activities. There is not a day that goes by that someone gets excited when I ask what they are making. I enjoy seeing pictures of what people make and I am able to appreciate the work that goes into making anything.

I notice that some of my customers are hoarders. They will admit it. They buy things that they will not use, but have to purchase just to have. I’m guilty of it myself. I sometimes get a glimpse into tiny places they don’t let anyone else see. These tiny places are happy places.

How can this bring out the worst in me? I lose my patience. A full day of questions, can really wear someone down. I noticed on the weekly report, I had over 600 people come through my register. Sometimes I lose patience with the volume of items that people purchase. 100 sheets of paper that are sold individually and are all different can take a little time to ring up. Or several hundred Christmas ornaments can make me a little impatient. My attitude can drastically affect the people around me.

The other day I lost my patience. I was short with someone. I had a bad attitude. I said some things I shouldn’t have said. I told someone I couldn’t do what they asked me to do. I lost control. I had to repeat myself over and over. I’m sure I would have been punished if my boss had seen me. It was probably posted all over the social networks what a bad cashier I am, within minutes of the confrontation. “Good manners is measured in how we are able to deal with others who don’t have any manners.” I admit I was a horrible example of anything resembling good manners.
In my position I am to see this in others and intervene. No one intervened in my situation. I was in the wrong. There is a feeling of guilt that I can’t seem to shake. Its knowing that I can’t right the wrong. I don’t get a do over.

Today’s verse:
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”
Colossians 3:23

Remember that Christ is ever present.

I am thankful for God’s mercy and grace, especially the times when I am someone who gives little grace or mercy to others and am not deserving. I don’t like being the person, others hate.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

God's Will Week Twenty- Nine

frightened sad happy surprised angry
anxious jealous joyful annoyed excited
tired proud confused worried scared
afraid bored grumpy nervous cheerful
lonely loving embarrassed guilty shy
silly curious

Above is 27 emotions.
Last week I had every one of these.
Which equaled one big
Thanks Eve.
If you read this blog you noticed I was absent last week. I tried to get a grasp on something, anything to write the blog. I read my bible, I prayed. I had emotions, but I couldn’t get to where I wanted to be to write the blog. I always remind myself, what I write is about recognizing God’s will.

Last week God wanted to search my heart as I searched for Him.

There are times of solitude, but I also know these times are when God is close, ever present, taking care of what we are not able to handle in our moments of being human.
I never got a grasp on what to write last week.
This week I want you to check out the biblical reference to the “12 days of Christmas”


Keep Christ in Christmas.

Monday, November 21, 2011

God's Will - week Twenty- seven

Giving Thanks

If you have been following the past few months, I have been in the bible study of Crazy Love, by Francis Chan. Last week the class finished the study. The final chapter put forth examples of how God changed lives. It posed a question- How is your love for God going to be reflected in your own life and actions?

I have a co-worker who is an amazing Christian. She and I have shared how God is at work in her life.
A year ago she was in a very different place, she was without a job and had applied for school. Time passed and she was not accepted into the school, she got a job that only was few hours each week. She still held on to her faith. In the past two months, God put a man of God in her life to love her. She has fallen in love. The man encouraged her to bring her desires to God and to pray without ceasing over what she wanted God to help her with. She desired to go to school. Her boyfriend supported her decision. She had concerns about working and going to school, that would leave little time for their romance. He assured her, that he loved her, wasn’t going anywhere and would be with her to support her any way he could. So they prayed. Within a week, the admissions director found her application and called her, told her she was accepted and eligible for financial aid and would like to meet with her next week to do the paperwork. I love my co-worker and rejoiced with her when she shared with me. I can’t help but get excited about the Lord’s blessing on lives and how He can change everything.

In my own life I do not feel God calling me to do any one thing. I feel like right now we are getting to know each other and strengthening my faith and love in God. There isn’t a day that goes by that I do not thank God for at least one thing in my life. God is faithful. God’s timing is perfect.

Someone asked me the other day about my own romance. Other people feel disheartened when I don’t say, “I can’t live without my boyfriend;” the truth is he lived four hours away and I know I can live without him. I don’t know that I will ever feel that way about another human being.

I do feel that way about God. I feel that God is the one that won’t let me down. God proves his existence in my life daily. I can't live without God.

Even in the little things, I am reminded that God is merciful, loving, and ever present. In all things God deserves my love, my devotion, and my thanksgiving.

This week I give thanks to God, for everything.

Five verses to know God is God.
1. A child of God
Romans  8:16
 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

2. Forgiven
Colossians 1:13-14
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

3. Saved by grace through faith
Ephesians 2:8
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

4. Casting all my cares on Jesus
1 Peter 5:7
 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

5. Filled with laughter and rejoicing
Job 8:21
 Till he fill thy mouth with laughing, and thy lips with rejoicing.

It is my prayer any of you reading this, that will be traveling, will have safe journeys and blessed precious time with your loved ones. If you are like me and working through the retail holiday, know that God will bless the time and give us all opportunity to be missionaries on that day to those who need to know the King we worship.

Blessings and love to you this Thanksgiving. To God be the glory, honor and praise for what is He is at work doing in our lives.

Monday, November 14, 2011

God's Will Week Twenty Six

Belive it!  I am half- way through this year. 

“‘Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keeping all the commandments of God.’ Thomas S. Monson

Monday, November 7, 2011

God's Will week Twenty-Five

The love fern. 
Almost died from the extreme heat in the car, (see the brown?)
from the nursery to home, but with care and attention
It lives!!

Through something terrible, great blessings can come. That is what hope is.

I know that I have shared with you that my brother’s death changed me. I appreciate the people in my life and I try not to take anyone for granted. I say, “I love you.” Every chance I get.

“I’m so glad you are reading this right now because it means you are still alive. I’m really glad.”

Someone said this one statement saved their life. Suicide prevention isn’t something I know how to do. I feel like I failed my brother, who died from suicide.  Friday, I had to share that he had passed with one of his friends. Usually I’m strong, but for some reason, it was harder to talk about. I’m still grieving. I’d love to have him here with me. I know he is with God. That one thought comforts me. Knowing he is with God, restores joy in my life.

We can be in the habit of holding on to the sadness and bitterness grief can bring, or we can dispel Satan to be gone, and not steal our joy, by changing our focus to the things of God.

In our “Crazy Love” Wednesday night study, last week we read stories of people who submitted to God. I would like to be submissive to God. It is my hope that I may be someone God can use. I am still in search of God’s will in my life. I am in constant prayer about God revealing a direction to me for my life.
I am humble to admit, that I fully rely on God. I don’t just take God’s hand, I cling to it, knowing he is leading me to where he wants me to be. There will be times we hesitate. There will be times we move fast, and times to move slow. I want to be a life transformed By God.

I hope you will continue on this journey, as I discover what God will do. I also would like to encourage you to seek God and question what he will do in your own life.

I will tell you that deciding to follow God will be the easiest part of the journey. The rest will be full of removing from your life what is not useful to God, and replacing it with everything that is useful.

This week’s verse is from my morning e-mail devotional: ( I'm sharing the whole devotional)

by David Wilkerson
[May 19, 1931 - April 27, 2011]

God desires that we be so convinced of His tender love, so persuaded He is at
work bringing us into His best, that we will have continual joy and gladness in
our walk with Him! Moses warned Israel, “Because you did not serve the Lord
your God with joy and gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things,
therefore you shall serve your enemies, whom the Lord will send against you, in
hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in need of all things” (Deuteronomy
God is saying to us today, “Be glad and rejoice in what I have already done
for you! If you go around moping, murmuring and complaining, you will forever
be spiritually starved and naked, a prey to your enemies!” God wants us to so
trust in His love for us that we will be testimonies of gladness and good cheer!
He wants preachers who are glad at heart, filled with a gladness that is based
on truth.

His truth produces a wealth of gladness that flows naturally outward from the
heart: “Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with
singing” (Psalm 100:2). “He brought out His people with joy, His chosen
ones with gladness” (Psalm 105:43). “Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you
righteous; and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!” (Psalm 32:11).
“Let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God; yes, let them
rejoice exceedingly” (Psalm 68:3).

You may ask, “How long can I expect to maintain joy in my service to the
Lord?” Many believe that it lasts only as long as seasons of refreshing come
from on high or as long as things go right. No, we are to have joy at all
times! That is exactly what the Bible says: “Oh, satisfy us early with Your
mercy, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days!” (Psalm 90:14). “But
be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem as
a rejoicing, and her people a joy” (Isaiah 65:18). We are “the Jerusalem
from above”—reborn and living for Him with a spirit of gladness and
rejoicing! Trust the Father, believe His Word about Himself, and see His
gladness pour forth from your life.

I am so glad my faith, hope, and joy is of God. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

God's Will Week twenty-four

Don't we like to change things to suit ourselves?

Ever have one of those weeks where stress is high and for every accomplishment you feel you had, something happened and destroyed it?

For me, it has been one of those weeks. My finances stress me out. My outcome is more than my income, and the unexpected things come up and just when I had a dollar, I couldn’t keep it because I had to spend ten more dollars to cover the unexpected thing.

For instance, sickness. Unavoidable. Doctor visit. Pharmacy. Day of no pay.

I had several other personal things come up, that are not in the budget. I stress.

I forget to thank God for the things I do have. I forget to thank God for meeting my needs. Finances are tight, and getting tighter. I forget to rejoice in these things, because I am learning to manage my money better.

I am well. Thank you, God for my health.

I have a home. Thank you God, for my home.

I struggle with saying thank you in all things, to God.
Everyday challenges are renewing my faith that God is in control of all of this.

Thanks to God, I have a lot of other activities that are in ministry, like mentoring a friend going through divorce, being a friend and listening to problems, and rejoicing with my friends in new relationships, sharing the grief of losing a loved one,  and being able to speak on all of these with the word of God directing my thoughts and my words. I feel like my prayer time is stronger, and my focus is not so much on my life, but how I can be used by God in a day.
More and more I am in prayer.

This month known for the holiday of Thanksgiving.  I would like to encourage you to give thanks to God daily for at least one thing, even if it is breathing and blinking. I know such a simple thing, but sometimes it is the little things we take for granted.

Colossians 2: 6-7
Just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

God's Will week Twenty-three

If every day started off this perfect...
life would be boring!

Psalm 131:2-3
I am quiet now before the Lord, just as a child who is weaned from the breast. Yes, my begging has been stilled. O Israel, you too should quietly trust in the Lord- Now and always.

A few weeks ago I presented the question, "What are you trusting God for today?"
As humans we are subject to take things in our own hands and control the results in our favor. I can tell you over and over again how I handled situations and to my own demise, I made things worse as a result of my actions. The hardest thing for us to do sometimes is to do NOTHING.

Part of being submissive to God’s will is to let Him handle things. Impatient beings that we are, we don’t see the results soon enough and the urge to do something is much stronger than the illogic of waiting on the Lord.

I am a stubborn soul. I am still learning to be patient in the Lord. Spontaneous prayer is my only recourse sometimes to distract my thoughts from being actions.

I truly believe that when your heart is with God, you have a true heart for the needs of others.

This week I have had a full prayer list.

I have on my prayer list my friends, their children, my niece expecting a baby boy, and their young family.

I am in prayer for the loss of a local young soldier killed in Afghanistan, and peace to be with the family during this time of grief.

I pray for new relationships between my friends, not only romantic, but also friendships; that they may grow.

I pray about healing for those who are ill, and the people I know that are facing fatal illnesses.

I pray about everyday trials we are all facing and I lift all these up to God. It is all out of my control, but I lay these things at the feet of the Lord and know he will handle these situations.

I would like to encourage you to realize that this life is not a time for us to be selfish, but to love others the
best we can, with that love coming from God, and let our actions be Godly.

Letting God be God. Peace, hope, thanksgiving and joy to you.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

God's Will Week Twenty- two

Change can effect everyone. We are not struggling alone.
Face changes with God.

I waited to post this until after my Wednesday night bible study group saw the movie “Courageous”
This movie was about how commitments to God can make changes in lives. Our group was touched in one way or another and of the few group members I was able to talk to about the movie, they shared how they saw their lives reflected in one of the story lines. What was remarkable, was even though the plot centered around five men, it was women who saw remarkable things about themselves.

Before I saw the movie, I knew it had a message, and I wanted to really pay attention to how it would relate to me personally. My girlfriends and I seek to have a Godly man in our lives, and we agreed that we would watch with preconceived notions to see characteristics we should look for in a man.

To be honest, I am a single woman, I have a daughter. There is not a man to be the spiritual leader in our home. I take on that role. I do encourage her father to be her father. My mind is fluttering to try to put my thoughts in order, but the impact the movie made on me was a sense of peace that I am a child of God’s and I have the opportunity to not waste a day or time that he has given me on Earth, to make a difference. If that means being different, or making changes, then that’s what it will take and I will have to surrender to it.

The holidays are nearing, and I have thoughts of the approaching time. It is the holidays that are the hardest when you realize that someone important to you is missing. In our Singles Wednesday night group, it is true for each of us. For some, it is divorce, or distance, for others, it is because of a death.

I will miss not having my brother to share the holidays with me, but I can look back at last year and say, Thank you, God. I was given a day, a week. I had a chance to say, “I love you” and my brother said it to me over, and over again. With that peace from God, I will be sad, but I won’t have regret. I will feel love and carry it with me.

For a long time I held on to those words- “IF ONLY…”
‘If only’ I had picked up the phone and called my brother…

I’ve changed my thinking and the order of those two words to “ONLY IF…” and fill in the rest of the sentence. Only if I call him and he hears my voice, will he know I was thinking about him. I want to be more active than passive. Sometimes actions take courage. I wish I knew who said this quote, but “Don’t question what you believe, question what you doubt.”

In my own life I doubt I will remarry. I am seeking answers within God’s will.

I believe in God and marriage, and until I meet the man who has the same belief, we won’t be evenly yoked.

2 Corinthians 6:14
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?

I’m going to keep on track evaluating God’s will vs. my will on my daily journey. I hope I can encourage you to do the same, and each of us finish saying, we were all ‘Courageous,' in God’s will.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

God's Will week Twenty-One

Who is in control of turning these dials?

My question for the week was, “What are you trusting God with today?”
A better question is – What do you have faith in God today?
Finances are one area that is evident in everyone’s life. I know we all can relate to financial trust.

The Six Human Needs Link
Tony Robbins has identified six basic human needs and believes everyone is—or can be—motivated by their desire to fulfill these needs.
You may want to consider these needs when thinking about developing and delivering products and services to people. The question to ask is, "What need or needs does my product fulfill for my customer?"

1. Certainty/Comfort. We all want comfort. And much of this comfort comes from certainty. Of course there is no ABSOLUTE certainty, but we want certainty the car will start, the water will flow from the tap when we turn it on and the currency we use will hold its value.

2. Variety. At the same time we want certainty, we also crave variety. Paradoxically, there needs to be enough UNcertainty to provide spice and adventure in our lives.

3. Significance. Deep down, we all want to be important. We want our life to have meaning and significance. I can imagine no worse a death than to think my life didn't matter.

4. Connection/Love. It would be hard to argue against the need for love. We want to feel part of a community. We want to be cared for and cared about.

5. Growth. There could be some people who say they don't want to grow, but I think they're simply fearful of doing so—or perhaps NOT doing so. To become better, to improve our skills, to stretch and excel may be more evident in some than others, but it's there.

6. Contribution. The desire to contribute something of value—to help others, to make the world a better place than we found it is in all of us.

Action Point
Evaluate this list to better understand your personal motivations and examine which ones seem the most significant to you. Then, look at what you do to fulfill the needs of others. It will likely make a difference in what and how you do what you do. It also should make a difference in the way you describe and explain what you and your product can do.

In these six areas where is God in your life?
Hebrews 11:6
Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Do we look to God for the six human needs above?
If we are not looking to God, then we are self-seeking and worldly seeking .
1 John 2:28
And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.

I am continually thinking of God's question-  Where is your faith?  Is it with me?

Monday, October 3, 2011

God's Will week Twenty

I know that as a parent I have the HUGE responsibility of shaping a life. Sometimes I question if my daughter looks at me with the same wonder I have when I look at her. To make God a visible part of our lives, each month I create a poster and hang it where it can be seen. On one occasion I had made a poster with quotes from the bible study sermon series. It hung in our home before we hosted a youth night sleep over. I was not present, but the poster made an impact on the group leader. A poster of the very subject they were discussing was on our wall and she and the other girls were aware that in our house, God is relevant.

I saw a saying, “Be different. Act Normal.” On this month’s poster I put those words but with an arrow to the side of “be different”- I wrote CHRISTIAN. And before, “Act normal,” I wrote in God’s Love.
Be different- Christian.
In God’s Love, Act Normal.

In this week’s Crazy Love by Francis Chan chapter 5
1 corr. 13: 4-7
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

I shared with my daughter that we are to know God is love and we can put “God” in the verses and recite it this way:
God is patient, God is kind. God does not envy, God does not boast, God is not proud. God is not rude, God is not self-seeking, God is not easily angered, God keeps no record of wrongs. God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. God always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Then I asked her could she say she has God in her life, and in the blanks where “God” is, can she put her name. L is patient. L is kind. … etc. Immediately she said no, she is not patient, at times she is not kind,… etc.
She said she doesn’t hear the voice of God, like when people say, “God called me to missions.” Or, “God told me to go to build a church.” I told her that there will be times in her life she will know God is leading her. I told her on a daily basis to be aware of the small things God will direct her to do, even if it is something small like saying, “hello,” to someone.

I challenged her to give one day to God. A whole day. A day of silently saying a prayer when she gets up, “I got out of bed today, for God.” And through her day; “I went to school today, for God. I ate today, for God.” And I told her as she acknowledges God in her day, she will begin to feel the presence of God, just by inviting him to be there.

God may never be a loud voice we can hear, but God filled day can be life changing.

 Try it in your own life.

Colossians 3:23
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.

May your life be Changed by God. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

God's Will week Nineteen

My head hurts today. Thinking. About. Nothing. Ever have those days when everything looks a shade of gray and you wonder why you are starved for color? Well, in my life everything is a shade of gray. Literally. I walked outside and there is nothing but gray.
This is where I work. – I do have an office and its boring too, but I did bling a few things.



Today I searched for some inspiration to write about. I have a lot of things on my mind. I keep a notebook and in it there were some daily question to ask myself when considering my relationship with God. I read my bible and I am doing the Crazy Love –by Francis Chan book study. Chan puts it on our hearts to really examine our own Christianity. Are we lukewarm? Are we “in love?” Are we …? so on and so forth…

Tough questions.

“I am praying...your body is as healthy as...your soul." 3 John 2 TLB

We all know how important physical health is; here's a plan for keeping your soul in shape:

(1) Don't question your faith, question your doubts. We spend too much time dwelling on our misgivings, experiencing faith as an occasional flash-in-the-pan. God's promises are for 'believers.'

(2) Don't be a 'lone ranger.' It's no accident that the Old Testament contains the story of God's people, and that the Epistles were written to congregations. We grow as we relate - not isolate!

(3) Guard your thought life. If your "thinking is controlled by the sinful self, there is death. But if [it's] controlled by the Spirit, there is life and peace" (Ro 8:6 NCV). Practice mind management!

(4) Fall asleep and wake up immersed in gratitude. It'll transform your day. "In every thing give thanks!" (1Th 5:18).

(5) Ditch anything that distracts you from God. Toss the junk reading material, and if you've got the guts, throw in the TV!

(6) Always err on the side of mercy. Philip Yancey writes: "I marvel at the humility of a God who descends to live inside...his 'flawed' creatures...Do I show that same attitude towards people of whom I disapprove?"

(7) Be specific and don't revert to generalities when discussing your faith. Paul wasn't "ashamed of the Gospel" (Ro 1:16); neither should you be.

(8) Be gracious to the people who irk you. God chose them too! Sometimes it's easier to be gracious to non-believers than to uptight, moralistic Christians. But that just makes you a different kind of judgmental.

(9 ) Forgive those who've hurt you. Harboring hatred hinders healing, so bring your hurts to God.

(10) Submit to the Lord. Wait on the Lord. Watch for the Lord. Join the Lord.

Be watchful and aware of the shades of Gray in your own life and don't let it be evident in your spiritual life. 
Let gray be a color not a characteristic of virtue. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

God's Will Week Eighteen

What if I’m Goo and never make it to Good?

1 Thessalonians 5: 16-21

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but atest everything; hold fast what is good.

CRAZY Love – Francis Chan Chapter 5

Conditional love. We practice it all the time. I love you if…

I have a new kitten. She is a wild thing. She attacks us. Everyone who enters the house is malled on a daily basis. We look like we have been thrown in a briar patch and barely got out. After we survive her attacks we hug her and try to teach her love. The kitten squirms, growls, hisses and swats at us with claws extended until she gets them inserted deep enough to cause us to screech in pain and release her. Usually we toss her away, just to equally shock her. Do we stop loving her? No, we think she is cute. (vicious, but cute)

I told my daughter I loved her the same way when she was a child. When she was bad, that’s when I held her the closest to me. She would scream at the top of her lungs, kicking and screaming, grabbing hold of anything she thought would anchor her to the inside of the grocery store, while I was trying franticly to escape the eyes of fellow shoppers, while I dealt with my child’s temper tantrum. I couldn’t just walk away. I held her. I would hold her as tight as I could until she settled down. I always told her I loved her as much as she hated to hear it and she didn’t believe it because I had told her she couldn’t have candy in the store. I had a strong willed child. Did I stop loving her? No, I didn’t.

Love isn’t always easy. Love does have conditions. We always want to measure love. Even God gave us a measure of love:

John 3:16

New International Version (NIV)

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

As Christians we are to-

Deuteronomy 10:12

[ Fear the LORD ] And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,

Matthew 22:37-38

New International Version (NIV)

37 Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment.

God does first love us unconditionally. As I read this Crazy Love chapter, I realized I don’t know that much about love or how to love God. I have read a lot of work by Thomas Merton, who was a twentieth-century Catholic monk, writer, and scholar of comparative religion. Through his writing I understood how deeply someone could love God with their whole being.

I realize that when I love God, I look a lot like goo, instead of good.

I want to be good in God’s eyes. Thank You, God for still working in me. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

God's Will week Seventeen

God Loves YOU!

Today I’ m not going to post about Crazy Love by Francis Chan.  Maybe next week .

I have a mother’s heart. God blessed me with one child, of which I have looked at with wonder, since the day she was born. My daughter is going to be 18 yrs old in a few months. She is counting down to the day and reminds me of it all the time. She looks very similar to me and it is hard to mistake her for anyone else’s child, but no matter how much she looks like me, or has the exact same voice, she is not me. I spend every day getting to know her. Even though I’m a mom and still shaping the person she is going to be, she is very much independent. I’m very proud of her. I feel love every time I look at her.

I have on my heart some amazing mothers who are faced with challenges. I have a lot of on-line friends that I only correspond with because we are fellow bloggers. We cannot help but write about our personal lives and in that way it is easy to feel a bond to someone you have never met.

One of my blogging buddies has had ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease," is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.) for over 19 yrs. She was a single mother a lot of those years. In her blog, The Daily Warrior, she wrote to promote ALS awareness and shared her highs and lows. I think she is one amazing person for being so honest about her life and still able to touch my life as well as others, even after her hands were too crippled to type anymore. She stopped blogging over a year ago. I thought of her today, and if I could, I would visit with her and give her some love and thank her for liking me too.

Three of my friends have Autistic children. This makes mothering an enormous challenge, and also at times makes friendships hard. I admire these women for their patience, their love, and forgiveness in others, as their daily life is a relentless pursuit of normalcy.

As I share with my friends, I know we all love our children with our whole hearts, and at times we are not prepared for the people they become. – Or more importantly the people they are and we are still getting to know them. One day it could be a tattoo, another day they might become smokers, or diagnosed with cancer or another life altering health issue, or decide to move far from home and have a different lifestyle, or some other issue that makes us not feel so accomplished as parents, when the person we love, has us look at them with new eyes.

I too, am someone’s child. I can remember one of my ambitions as a child was to not let my parents down. I’m sure they had higher aspirations for me that I have not achieved in my 40 yrs of life. I’m thankful for my parent’s love. I have my own set of challenges my parents wish I would overcome, but being a parent myself, I know the most we want for our children is for them to know we love them, and always want the best for them, even when they do not or are not able to meet a parent’s expectations.

I want to uplift all mothers today in prayer. Some days mothering can almost break us. Lord, let mother's be vulnerable when we admit we can’t do it all. And Lord, please put people in our lives that can hold out a hand that is attached to an arm to give a hug, and love us as they draw us close to their own hearts, and hold us near, until we know everything is going to be alright and we have the strength to not give up on our children. Lord, please meet our needs, strengthen us, and give us hope.

I hope the Heavenly Father has the same love for all of us, to not give up on us and still love us as we do our best, physically and spiritually, becoming the people we are to become to be part of the Kingdom of God.

If you feel like you have landed on your ceiling, don’t worry; hitting the ground hurts more.
(that is supposed to be funny)

To Love and be Loved is to feel the sun on both sides of ourselves – The good and the bad .

“Have faith in the Lord your God, and you will be upheld.” – 2 Chronicles 20:20

My favorite quote of the day is from my blogging friend Kathryn @ From the inside... Out, talking with her son.
Taylor: “Mom. How weird were you last night?”

Me: “Um. I don’t know how to answer that. Was I ‘Mom weird’ or the usual ‘generally weird’?”

Thursday, September 8, 2011

God's Will week Sixteen

Introductions are often the first impression.
Get to know someone, then decide. 

Crazy Love by Francis Chan week four warned us about being lukewarm Christians.

I admit I could be viewed as one of these lukewarm christians.  I'm living in the world and I have a habit of cursing, and I admit to being a social drinker.  The image I project makes me seem much like a lukewarm Christian. 
Jesus asked a lot of people to drop everything and follow him.  He asks the same of all christians. 

There are times in my life when I know that God sent someone to speak to me about my life.  At times even when we hear a sermon that speaks directly about our lives, we can become defensive.  We find ways to justify our actions.  God will use only what is good to him.  I think sometimes this is why I dont recieve God's favor.

I write this blog, exposing I am human.  I believe in God.  I believe in Jesus.  I hope to grow in my relationship as a Christian. 

Hebrews 10: 22-25
22Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

23Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

24And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

25Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

I hope if you are reading this, I encourage your walk with God, instead of hindering it. 
Love and mercy to you, in the name of Jesus our Lord.

Friday, September 2, 2011

God's Will week Fifteen

Clay before firing.

Clay not made by a master is fragile when it is fired. 
Flaws will not allow the piece to come out of the fire whole.
May God be the master of His creation in you.

This Crazy Love week was about GOD the Father and His love for us.
Our group shared our ahhh hhhaa moments of when we first felt the love of God
I always talked to God because when my parents divorced when I was six, she was removed from my life because she couldn’t be a mother and she would always ask me to pray for her. I felt God was like a phone and whenever I wanted to talk to my mom, I would talk to God.

The person I was most removed from was the person who also brought me to have a relationship with God.

My ahh hhha moment was when was at church camp at Ridgecrest, NC, at 15 yrs old and when i was singing i knew i was singing to God. I gave and felt the love of God. Since then, I always consider singing praise and worship a verbal prayer directed to God.

I view my relationship with God the same as any personal relationship I would need to nurture, but right now with my situation I feel like God is someone I have a hard time communicating with because if He wants to use me, He's told me and I can’t agree to it right now, my heart is still very broken. I'm not ready.

I feel like I am in flux of chasing God and running from Him.

Lamentations 3:22-23
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

God is ever present, even when we think he is not.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

God's Will week Fourteen

The Crazy Love chapter 2 is about being prepared for death.
Not in a – do you have a will, or a life insurance policy, but in a
Do you know the Lord? Kind of way.

Women are usually better at relationships than men. Women know the who, what, when, where about a person within a few minutes. Men usually know the right there and then instances. Men associate their friends with activities. Women associate their friends with emotional bonds.
We usually end friendships for the same reasons. Women loose an emotional bond and no longer continue a relationship. Men loose interest in an activity and form new friendships with new activities.
That’s just the way men and women work. It’s a wonder that we ever have male/ female relationships at all.

Where does God fit in? How do we form a relationship with Him?

In previous months I did the study of God’s Will and know that there is no part of my life that God shouldn’t be a part of. This past week, our group leader told us to read our bible. There is no other way to know God, except by reading the bible. He suggested we set aside a designated time each day to spend with God.

I had said that we all belong to God, and when He knows we are straying, something happens that brings us back to Him. For myself, I realize the value of life in every breath I take. I have asthma. I am able to control it, but there are times it controls me. I have been sick this week and congestion in my lungs makes my asthma evident and I am at the mercy of the medications working. My lungs tighten when I’m having an asthma attack and sometimes I have to choose between talking and breathing. I know to calm down and concentrate only on breathing until the medications kick in. I know to travel with my medication. If ever I am without my medication or medical attention, there is the possibility that I could die.

Some of us are not comfortable talking about death or dying. We do not get to know the moment we die ahead of time, to make preparations or to prevent it from happening. There is an urgency to know God, and reading the bible can be a chore, but that makes it no less important. Establishing a relationship with God takes time and effort. Without God, like being without my medication during an asthma attack, there is death.

I choose life. I choose God.

Hebrews 6:18-19
We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

God's Will week Thirteen

Like this egg, With a little work God can shape your heart. 

Tomorrow I am beginning a bible study focused on the book Crazy Love  by Francis Chan.  I've been reading chapter one preparing for tomorrow's group session.  I like the format for the book and I know it is about me and my relationship with God.  I just finished the God's Will bible study and a lot of the same aspects seem to be reflected in the new study.  I am whole heartedly committed to the study and will see how my relationship with God becomes more.  I know there are times in my life where things are only possible because of the will of God.  I truly want to feel His presence in my life on a daily basis. 

Collossians 2:6-7
Just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. 

Your friend,
trusting in God knowing He will touch the hearts of those who belong to Him and they will continually seek God and His will.
- Daily Panic

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

God's will week Twelve

"Perhaps our eyes need to be washed by our tears once in a while so that we can see life with a clearer view again."
- Alex Tan

In all honesty, this quote made me angry today. I have done so much crying, I should have a clear view by now, but I don’t. This month my brother and I would have a birthday to celebrate. Six months ago, he was gone. In my thoughts, he is not gone. In my heart he is not gone. I’m still sad. I have a Guns & Roses song in my head, “Patience.” The lyrics, “Shed a tear 'cause I'm missing you. I'm still alright to smile,” that about sums it up. I miss my brother a lot.

Some days missing him gets me in a funk. Today it got to me a little more, a friend of mine, lost her husband to suicide over the weekend. I know how she might feel, because all the hope and plans for the future are just erased. As a country, a plane went down and 30 Navy Seals lost their lives in a helicopter crash. I pray for those families loss also.

Death makes us pull our loved ones closer. I don’t let my daughter out of my sight until I tell her I love her. I pray about her every day, as well as my other family members. I want to give my daughter 100 plus warnings about how she needs to be safe. I try not to stress her out, and I tell her she is the most important thing to me and I want her to not let anything happen to her. She always tells me she will be safe, and I still hold my breath. I can’t prevent anything bad from happening to her. I trust that God is with her. 

Today’s verse “Continue praying, keeping alert, and always thanking God… Pray that I can speak in a way that will make it clear.”
Colossians 4:2, 4

I hope my words travel with her where she goes. I’m sure as God’s children He wants the same for us. Learn this verse today, and others as often as you can, so that His word will travel with you were you go also.

May grace and mercy be with you today, from God the Father.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Rachel Sauls "Ocean"

God's Will week Eleven

"Champions aren't made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them-a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have the skill, and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill."

-- Muhammad Ali

Today I was reading Parabloa magazine and the theme of the magazine this issue is “Seeing.” I like reading the magazine because of the different spirituality perspectives of the topic.

In Bolivia people celebrate the traditional Alasitas fair, where everything you could possibly wish for is sold in miniature. The belief in Bolivia is that any miniatures you pin on the Ekkekko's poncho will be conceded to you during the coming year.

The Ekkekko is the god of abundance. At Alasitas you can find miniature handmade cars, houses, tools, food items, clothing, university degrees, jewelry, babies, money, suitcases and airline tickets, and even passports and visas. People purchase miniatures of what they wish for this year, pin them on his cloak, and pray for wishes to come true. I do not worship or believe in the power of Ekkekko.

I wish for a symbol I could use to see “God’s will” I know God’s will is not a tangible thing. I cant touch it, feel it or place it in front of me everyday like a knick nack that I can look at. All I can do is surrender to what God has for me and have patience about His timing.

Mark 14: 35-36
35 Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. 36 “Abba,[a] Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”

Surrender was hard, even for Jesus.  Ultimately he could not escape his fate.  He placed his trust in the Lord. God's plan is greater than our immediate situation.  I need to trust in God in all areas of my life, even now when I have financial trials and struggles emotionally and physically.  I admit sometimes I have no idea what I'm doing.  Some days I feel like I don't do anything right. 
It is a daily walk with God that will get me through this valley before I make it to the summit of this large mountain that is blocking the sunshine from my life right now, but my trust in God will carry me through this time. 

"the will must be stronger than the skill."

Be in prayer for surrender.  May God bless you today. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

God's Will week Ten

Is my vision for my life the same as God's? 
Last week I didn’t have a verse to go along with my seeking God’s will post. It is easy to find a verse to support your point of view, but at times it can be a dangerous practice. I put my thoughts here, and that’s all they are- my thoughts.

As I am experiencing God, I am to remind myself that God and I are in a relationship. Relationships take work. I want God to tell me His thoughts, that’s the whole reason I want to know God’s will for my life. God does not see as man sees. God doesn’t see me as I see me. God doesn’t see you as you see you. My bible study this week is about God giving me a vision about what my life should be. A vision is a personal burden that grows into a mental picture of the way things could be one day. I feel like God is going to hold me accountable once He tells me what His will is. I don’t feel like I am prepared. I think about what God’s will might be and I know He knows I am not ready. Am I able? Am I capable? What are my abilities? What is my pattern before this day in how I handle with commitments? I admit pretty lousy, I would give up and just quit.

What is my motivation to have this relationship with God? I know that God has a plan for my life, and I need to become the person that God wants to use.

I am paying attention to how I conduct myself in public. Last weekend I went out to a bar with my friends to celebrate a birthday. There was a live band and a nice crowd. Before I left the house, I considered my behavior, In the past I was the good time girl, I would drink socially to keep up with my friends and let the night happen and have as much fun as possible. I have danced and sang and drank right along with everyone else.

God has been making changes in my life and I have different perspective than I used to. I used to like having a guy come up to me and talk to me and ask me to dance. Now, I percieve situations differently. I was at the bar and I was approached by a guy I knew and he asked me to dance and he put his arms around me, but something about him made me feel uncomfortable. I told him this and my friends helped me get away from him. The old me would’ve chatted with him, danced with him, and had a fun evening. The new me, thought ,do I want to lead this guy on and let him think we could have a fun time together?

The change in me makes me consider my companions and how they reflect to others about who I am. I only knew the guy casually from attending the same fundraisers and I knew very little about him, other than his name. He was attractive, he was within my height requirements, he had a nice smile, and the old me might have found his attention flattering and just went with it. The new me had a thought process, I felt a warning sign.

I’m glad I listened and paid attention to how my behavior reflected my character, I had my reserves about him. Monday morning, I talked to some of my friends about him, and I found out he is married. He did not disclose this to me, nor did he have on a wedding ring. I could have easily been a scandal.

My heart can reflect God’s true desires for my life. My own heart could also decieve me in my own selfishness and sin. I want to know God’s vision for my life.

Proverbs 29:18
When there is no vision, the people perish.

Monday, July 25, 2011

God's Will Week Nine

Sometimes the people we care about the most, hurt us the worst not by what they say, but by what they don’t say. I really value people who communicate with me, even if its about a subject that makes me uncomfortable. I am sensitive when people shut me out.

I admit I am not the best communicator, especially when it comes to my feelings. One emotion I hide a lot is anger. Another I hide is sadness. I am trying to be better at expressing these feelings in healthy ways, by simply saying, “I’m angry,” when I am, without acting out on being angry unless it warrants being action and I know I get very passionate when I am emotional. I would like to think I am someone that at least lets the people in my life know what is going on with me. I am also someone who could talk something to death and not know when to shut up.

This weekend I went to dinner with a friend. She and I both lost a sibling to suicide within a year. It was the first time she and I talked face to face about our loss and the emotions we are having. We both allow our friends to see us grieve and we force ourselves to be social even when we don’t feel much like being social. I can say I am blessed to have amazing friends that love me.

I can remember the day I found out my brother died, I called her. I don’t exactly know why, but when girls share similar situations, we go directly to the person who can relate. If I got a bad haircut, of course I go to the last person who got a bad cut too and we talk about our experience. She didn’t answer her phone that day and when I heard the beep, I realized it was way too sensitive to talk about over the phone, and leaving a voice message was completely wrong. I don’t even know what I would have said, and I hung up.

Talking to her the other night, we both shared we were the ones who were strong when everyone else fell apart. We took care of the details. We made sure everyone else was Ok. Now, in the aftermath, I realized one reason we are still grieving, is because the only person on Earth,- our sibling, is the only one we want to give us peace about what we don’t understand. We are still fighting with the person who would openly fight with us since the day we were born. The only difference now is, they are silent. We are angry because they didn’t share with us the most intimate thing in their lives, with the one person who should have known them better than anyone else on the planet, including our parents; they never shared their feelings of suicide. And now in this silence, more than anything we want to hear their voice and say something, anything- to make sense of what happened.

No, don’t get me wrong, yes, sometimes siblings have secrets from each other, and I admit to keeping my distance with some of the things going on in my brother’s life, especially when it involved his illegal activity, but when it came to us just talking, I felt like we talked. We fought. We had the same sense of humor. We both loved to laugh and have fun. We were so similar in our personalities, people mistook us for twins. We shared our joy and our sorrows. I felt close to my brother. I loved him, and I know he loved me.

In my own life, I struggle with how I might have drawn him closer, could he have lived with me, could he have a different life, could he still be alive, if only… ? If only they would have fought to be a part of our lives as hard as we are fighting to keep them a part of ours, I guess. It is hard for me and my girl friend to accept that our siblings chose suicide, because we, she and I, are both single moms. We know what it’s like to face everyday struggles, defeated and alone; we are not people who have the luxury to escape our lives. And the one person we counted on to be there for us, when we needed someone to know us intimately more than anyone else, is gone. Emotionally, I struggle with separation anxiety, trust, boundaries, and a lot more, including sanity.

I admit God gets a lot of questions from me, and they all start with WHY? I have a pile of devotionals with scriptures and a whole bible to quote from, but today, I don’t want to read about God, or share a verse; today I would like to experience God. I want to know that He is not going to be silent when I need Him the most, and repair this brokenness in me.

It is my hope that you too, will experience God today.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

God's Will week Eight

This past week the question was asked me, “What do you want?” So I’ve been evaluating stuff. Physical stuff, emotional stuff, and making real choices. My best friend told me, I do get to choose what is right for me and I don’t have to get anyone’s approval. Everything we own tells a story about who we are. By the way I have been throwing away stuff, there won’t be much left for someone to know who I am. I realized that the things I’ve been letting go of says who I used to be. I’m going through some changes. I watched a show called "Hoarders" and it is about people who have a real problem with letting go of stuff.

Today I heard a Christian song by Dara Maclean “Suitcases” and the chorus,

“You can't run when you're holding suitcases

It's a new day throw away your mistakes

and open up your heart

Lay down your guard, you don't have to be afraid.”

I am hoping that is what will happen when I get rid of all this baggage, I’ll be able to open up my heart a little more and let down my guard, this past week I feel like I’ve been putting up my guard more and more, but I think it’s because I don’t want anyone to see the mess of “stuff” I’ve been hoarding.

I think this is part of the process of this year without dating. I don’t need to add to my baggage, so staying away from relationships will be really helpful while I sort through the baggage I have from my marriage, and work on who I am.

John 14:3

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also.

Dear Heavenly Father,

While you are busy preparing a place for me, prepare me, as well, for that place. You hold my hope for my tomorrows as I leave the past behind. Thank you for loving me enough to know that one day life won’t be a series of things I don’t choose for my life, but instead be full of what You- God, choose for me. I submit to Your will and the changes you are making in my life and in me. Amen.

Ingrid Michaelson "Giving up"

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

God's Will week Seven

For Sale! 

Oh Recession! My income is much much less than my out-going of finances. I have a web business that I hope will generate some income. I am going to have to be a lot more disiplined with my actions to make things happen.

It seems like lately every time I have a penny, I have to pay out a dollar. It is a struggle to balance what to make more important on the scale of what will be paid with my meager income. I do pray about my finances daily. I pray over every check I write, and thank God for the money to back up the check. Finances are about to get tighter. Baby Girl is starting college classes; books and tuition.

I had two part time jobs and both have completely stopped. The extra income was much needed. I am a single mom. Baby Girl got a job and that will finance her needs for gasoline money, and clothing. Right now there just isnt anything extra spending going to happen.

I need the web business to take off and we get some orders very soon. I had hoped to be more out of debt than I am, but without any extra to pay towards the debt, it has not decreased any significant amount.

I know these are the same stuggles you might be having also. I know that hope and faith go hand in hand. It is easy to loose hope, and when struggles happen, it is also easy to loose faith.

I would like to encourage you not to loose hope or faith in our Heavenly Father, God Almighty. I know that God sees the hardships. I know He has some plan for it all, but we are simple, and not all knowing like our Lord.

We don’t know the big picture.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I want to know your will. Please begin now to give me a vision of your will for my life. I ask this in Jesus’ name. -Amen

I surrender to God for a vision about my web business and if I could envision it for myself I would like to see it grow to generate enough income to support four families and enough for us to be generous to be able to give in the name of Jesus and His will, to help those in need.

Ephesians 2:10
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

I know I struggle because God’s will has not been revealed to me yet. I don’t have a vision for my future. I know that God uses personal vision to reveal His will. I know if He will give me a clear vision, and I will know the decision He has for my life.

I’m in a praying mood- so here is another prayer (from Discovering God’s Will by Andy Stanley ) :

Heavenly Father, once again I am seeking your help as I attempt to discover your will for my life. Inspire me now with a vision for a specific areas of my life as You begin to unfold your desires for me. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Be open with God, pray. Pray continually. Surrender each day to God.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

God's Will week Six

Some days are lemons... 

Psalm 103: 15-16
As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.

I had a meeting with an elderly woman the other day who had been seeking me. She is a member of a group of mystics.
Noun: A person who seeks by contemplation and self-surrender to obtain unity with or absorption into the Deity or the absolute, or who believes in the spiritual apprehension of truths that are beyond the intellect.

She and I had a long conversation and it was very much like seeing an old friend and talking about like subjects. She wanted to give me condolences for my brother’s death. If you follow this blog, I am still grieving the loss of my brother. It is a wonderful thing when God sends the right messenger to give you words that uplift you and let you know you are not alone. It renewed my faith that we are all connected by a common thread and knowing that God hears our prayers. All we did was talk and it renewed me.

In today’s verse it helped me remember that the things here on Earth are temporary. Nothing is going to last. With every living thing there is a cycle, birth, life, death. I feel neurotic at times, and I can be overly dramatic about the events or things that happen in my life, but that is my personality. I exaggerate, mostly for fun.

Last week, a woman backed into the front of my car. When telling me she hit my car, she kept saying, “I hit the back of it.” I looked at the back of my car and said, “there was no damage.” She didn’t bother to take my hand and direct me to the front of my car, she meant she hit the back of her’s. I thought she was a little intellectually challenged, and I didn’t think any damaged was done, so I thanked her for telling me and got in my car and drove away. Looking back, she must have thought I was intellectually challenged too. Later in the day I approached my car from the front and saw the damage that was done. The grill had a big hole in it and there was a dent. Between me and my friends I was livid, I told the tale and felt a bit dumb for not getting it when she said, “I hit the back of it.”

I am wondering if the woman had 100 bad things going on in her life and she didn’t pay attention because of the stress she was under. I’m sure it took a lot of courage for her to tell me half of the truth, and for that half she got forgiveness. In all honesty, aside from the drama of telling the story, I wasn’t that bothered. I pulled the damaged part of the grill back out to fill back in the hole and the dent I will live with. The car is still drivable and the damage is small. I’m not usually someone with a quick temper, I absorb things then I react later. About the car incident I didn’t seek revenge or go back to see if there were witnesses, it really didn’t matter.

There are times in life when you have to go above your situation to not let it get to you, or cause you to do damage to someone else, or worse damage to yourself.

I know if the woman had taken my hand to the front of my car, I might have reacted the same way, just pulled the part of the grill out and told her no real damage was done. Sometimes people deserve mercy instead of anger. I’ve been trying to practice mercy and really mean it when I say, no real harm was done.
I would like to think God gives us the same mercy when we mess up. I want to know that God is slow to anger, and that he doesn’t sweat the small stuff. I hope that people will be able to see God in my actions. I am thankful that He is at work in my life teaching me to live in His will.

I don’t want to forget to tell God each day, thank you for letting me live this life and loving the people I share it with.

Grace and mercy to you, from God our Father.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

God's Will week Five

I admit I’m neurotic at times. I admit I have random thoughts and say them out loud at the worst times. I admit I’m not a cookie cut gingerbread girl. I admit not everyone likes me or if they are jealous of me, they misjudge me.

If you looked at my calendar you would say, “wow, you are busy!”
Monday, Writers Group; Tuesday, Runners Club; Wednesday, Dance lessons; Thursday Wine tasting & live music; Friday, Karaoke at my friend Lisa’s house; Saturday local dancing with the Stars, Sunday, BBQ with my bible study group. I am one lucky girl!

But here is where I struggled this week, I’m lonely. I’m still grieving the loss of my brother. I’m sad. No one wants to be around you when you are sad. I’m lucky that when my private grief shows in public and I feel like crying all day and the emotions are out of my control, there are people around who will just give me a hug and not say anything. I am fortunate that I have had my job for a long time and the people I work with are my friends. I’m lucky too that my BFF noticed I am not myself, and she said I smile, but I’m not happy.

The guy I date, when he is in town (he lives 4 hrs away) doesn’t know me well enough to be supportive. He’s too self centered to see my socializing and not being alone is a need I have to get through this funk. So he and I don’t talk because of his insecurity, and this is no help to me.

Relationships take work, and when you invest in one, and it ends abruptly, it leaves a scar. My divorce this past year was difficult. My brother’s death left a deep scar. I invested in a relationship with him during his six years of incarceration, I had so much hope for our family to mend when he got out, and we had so much joy when we were together. His daughter, my niece, is pregnant and she is hoping for a boy so she can name him, Jason.  I am praying it will be a girl, not to dishonor my brother, but my heart is broken. My heart hurts to say my brother’s name. We will know next month the sex of the baby.  Either sex will be loved by me, and if it is a boy, I will be happy, and I'll give him a nickname. 

I was told I need an outlet for my emotions, a time each day to grieve alone, and do something physical to work all this out. I used to attend MMA live fights to scream my head off and that made me happy. There hasn’t been a live fight in a while, but I am doing physical activity and most importantly, I am leaving the house and getting away from the lonely sadness. I’m celebrating each day with my friends. I’m glad they notice I’m still a little sad, but it’s not about them, and this funk will pass. To my friends, thanks for being here and I love you, and thanks for loving me too. God always puts the right people in your life, and the wrong people too are a blessing in their own way. I’m really blessed.

Today’s verse tells me it’s ok to have a time to cry.

Psalm 84: 6-7
“When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of springs where pools of blessing and refreshment collect after rains! They will grow constantly in strength.”

Thank God for the sorry and grief, I don’t know what He has planned for my future, but I want His will for my life. If that means I have some bad days, I will have to let them happen and hold on to the promise that tomorrow will not be today. Sometimes my solitary life is my choice, and I think God is gracious to fill my life with people when I choose not to be alone.  I want to live the life God wants for me. 

Love and silent hugs to you.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

God's Will week Four

I got to spend a whirl-wind week with my dad recently. We were busy everyday and the week flew by. Dads are great when they come over because since I am single, my dad is the guy who fixes things when he is visiting. Before he came up from Florida, he had made his own list of things to do and made sure he accomplished them before he left. My father is great to make sure that my home is secure and my handyman needs are taken care of.

I am very fortunate to be close to my father, we have a very loving and sharing kind of relationship. We talk on the phone at least once a week and there isn’t much that he can’t know about my life. Since Father’s Day is this weekend, I have my dad on my mind a lot more than usual.

I prepared him a snack box for father’s day and he is the kind of guy that is easy to shop for because he loves anything. This year I gave my gift to him some thought. He is always so busy thinking of what he can do for other’s he forgets to do for himself sometimes. He likes to make out like he enjoys all the chores he does, like yard work, or taking care of the house and the cars along with his full time daily job. I don’t doubt his sincerity, but when he was visiting he mentioned that he would like to begin to sketch again. So for Father’s Day I got him a few sketch pencils and a sketch book for him to get started. I didn’t bother with a card, I’m a writer so I usually write my own sentiments in a blank card. This year to my dad I wrote, “One of the best things I inherited from my dad is my imagination. My dad taught me that if I could imagine something, then there was no reason it couldn’t be real. If I could imagine, I could create and make my world what I wanted it to be. I love my daddy.

Happy Father’s Day!

My dad and I have created a lot of things together and along with creating things, if we were building something, drawing or painting, or putting together a puzzle, nothing ever was completed without it’s own set of trials. Maybe our perspective was off and lines were not perfect, but with everything there was learning, and acceptance if things came out differently than we expected.

I have a verse that applies to adversity and how my dad shared it with me,
Romans 5: 3-4
We also have joy with our troubles, because we know that these troubles produce patience. And patience produces character, and character produces hope.

I’m glad I had a great role model to help me with life situations and how to deal with almost any adversity- have a little hope and patience, and when you have a lot of it, be sure to share it.
Wishing you love of your Earthly father and letting you know that Our Heavenly Father is crazy about you too and delights in what you delight in and has sorrow for what you have sorrow for and will always be near with patience and hope.

Love to you.