I'm amazed at how my Savior can take any and every circumstance around me to show me more about him. My prayer has always been that this journey of life I'm on would continually bring honor and glory to him, so by using every opportunity; my mistakes, my successes, and my day-to-day adventures, he teaches me how to use it for his glory. This life he blessed me with is ALL about him! So, these are my thoughts, my heart cries, and my lessons from his glorious Word. These are the teachable moments from my Savior!

Psalm 25:4-5 "Show me your ways, LORD, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long."

Monday, January 26, 2015

Monday Opportunities!

A word of encouragement this Monday morning! I know it's hard to get out of that warm bed on a cold morning and run out the door to crowded schedules. It's hard to say "goodbye" to the weekend and know it is five long days until it returns. But I know that today is before me filled with possibilities to share the love of Christ with someone....anyone! There is a day before me to embrace all that God has for me! I can choose this day to be different, set apart to do the work of my Savior. I have the amazing opportunity, today, to give my life to God as an offering to be used for his glory!
When I look at this day in that light, it makes me excited to head out and experience all that He has for me! I don't want to fit in with the world; I want to stand apart for Christ! I don't want to complain my day away. I want to give praise to God! I don't want to focus on the challenges in front of me. I want to rest in HIS peace. I don't want to live a stagnant life. I want my life to be a pleasing aroma to my God!
That's right..... I want to be ready for all that God has in store for me today!
I love this encouragement from Paul here in Romans. Read and be empowered today in the strength of God Almighty! Blessings on this Monday morning!
"So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you."

Romans 12:1-2 (MSG)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A Morning Tizzy

Caleb “overslept” this morning. By overslept I mean 8 minutes and keep in mind that he is homeschooled so he didn’t have to rush out the door. But it was a big deal to him. He likes to get up at 7:00, when we require it, and immediately come downstairs to eat breakfast with me and do his Bible study. Because he went to bed a little later last night, I gently went to his room to wake him a little after 7:00  (7:08 to be exact) and a few minutes later I heard him barreling downstairs was in the kitchen in teary-eyed because his day had been all messed up already. Bless him!

I hugged him tightly and reminded him that this is not how we start our day. He didn’t have to be in a rush and begin his day in a tizzy. So, I sent him back to his bed to stretch a little more, thank God for another day to praise him, and then he was to walk calmly back downstairs as he took some deep breaths. His return downstairs was much better than the first entrance. Lol!  I gave him another tight hug and we shared some scripture together about being anxious from Philippians 4:6-7.  What a blessing the Word of God is! As I spoke the Word of God over my son, God used it to calm my own heart and bring such encouragement to my soul! That is my God! He takes teachable moments that I meant for my children and uses it also on THIS child! J

I don’t know where you are tonight. Maybe you are in a tizzy about something or feeling anxious yourself. Take a few minutes and pray this scripture out loud and let God’s Word calm your heart and mind! You won’t regret it!

Blessings tonight, sweet friends!

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:6-7

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Best Is Yet To Come!

Happy Monday!
It's raining and nasty outside and I would love to stay in my nice warm bed BUT God has a plan for me today outside my four walls. Today I choose God's plan!
Look for ways to make a difference on this Monday.
Don't be a crowd follower...be a CHRIST follower!
Don't let the rain get you down...praise HIM through the storm!
Don't worry about the day...trust the ONE who holds this day in his hands!
Don't let others pass you by...shine the light of CHRIST to all you encounter today!
Don't miss an opportunity to speak God's praise...lift high the name of JESUS!
Don't let God's Word sit closed on the shelf...open it, read it and let it move in your heart!
Don't feel discouraged today by the chaos around you...remember, in Christ, the BEST is yet to come!
“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him"

1 Corinthians 2:9 (NIV)
"For nothing will be impossible with God.”

Luke 1:37 (HCSB)

Sunday, December 28, 2014

2015...Coming Soon!

Change is part of life....
Days change with each new sunrise...
Our age changes each year as we grow older...
Jobs change as we strive to provide for our families...
Friends change as we gain new or lose old...
Family dynamics change with new life, old life and growing life...
Realities change as death, illness or hardships occur...
Seasons change four times a year as God ordains...
Years change as the old turns to new...
Some changes are the result of our choices and some changes are the natural part of life. But through all the change of life, there is ONE constant that will never change and that is JESUS! He was, and is, and is to come!
As we prepare this week for the change of a new year, I am contemplating and praying over much needed changes in my own life. Changes that bring me closer to the heart of God. Changes that lead me further away from worldly desires and from ungodly chaos. Changes that keep me away from mundane living and lead to more passionate faith. Changes that lead solely to God-honoring, soul-satisfying, Christ-following moments of running this race of life for the glory of my God! It's all about HIM!
Yes, it's going to take more praying and searching the scriptures. It's going to take some uncomfortable moves on my part. It's going to take putting feet to my faith. It's going to take total surrender in all areas of my life. It's going to take understanding that full obedience comes with great cost. And it's going to take understanding that it won't happen overnight.
Am I ready for that?
To be honest, I'm a little scared...but hopeful. Scared of what that change may look like but hopeful that Christ will be glorified in me. If I desire to live fully submitted to Jesus Christ, then I have to be all in...no matter the cost! And because of HIS great love for me, I have tremendous hope!
So, I'm a work in progress. Daily laying down my own desires so that I can be all that God wants me to be. I'm grateful for God's grace and mercy. When I stumble, he forgives me of my sin and accepts me right where I am. He picks me up, brushes me off and sets me on the right path. I'm thankful that he continues to mold me in his hands as he continues this masterpiece. I'm thankful for his love and discipline over my life, how I desperately need it. And lastly, I'm thankful for the opportunities to give him praise on every mountaintop and through every valley! In HIM there is joy evermore!
Coming soon!
"You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore."

Psalms 16:11 NKJV)
"In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps."

Proverbs 16:9 (NIV)
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

Isaiah 30:21 (NIV)
"Yet Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You are our potter; we all are the work of Your hands."

Isaiah 64:8 (HCSB)
"Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the LORD holds them by the hand."

Psalms 37:24 (NLT)
"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever."

Hebrews 13:8 (NKJV)
"The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.”

Isaiah 40:8 (NKJV)
"You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance."
Psalm 65:11 (NIV)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

"Merry Christmas"

When I was a child, I could not wait for Christmas! It was always such a special time and I loved everything about it! My mom made Christmas so special! Even with 5 children and finances being extremely tight, Christmas was always exciting and memorable for each of us. I can’t remember the gifts I received from year to year, but the things I remember are the special times that we experienced as a family. I loved waking up on the days preceding Christmas and hearing the Christmas music playing, smelling the wonderful goodies mom had cooking, and seeing my mom on the couch reading her Bible!
There was one Christmas that will forever me embedded in my heart! This was a particularly hard year financially for our family and we were not able to afford a Christmas tree. Well, my mom still made it so special for us as we were preparing to head to Virginia to be with our family. Just a few days before we left, I went to the grocery store with my mom, and as we left we noticed the leftover Christmas trees that were still out front. There was one that was very small and didn’t have many branches. Most people would have laughed at it, but we noticed that it was only $1.99 and my mom said we could get it! We were so excited! We took it home, propped it up on a table and decorated it so special! We still, to this day, call it our “Charlie Brown Christmas Tree”! A very special Christmas!
When I was 9 years old we moved away from Virginia where all of our extended family was, so at Christmas, we would travel back and stay with my grandparents. We would go to my dad’s parent’s house for Christmas Eve with that group and put on shows with singing and acting with my cousins! Then open presents and enjoy that time with them. Then we would stay at my mom’s parent’s house and all 7 of us slept upstairs. It was a little cramped, but they are memories I will never forget! Lol! My parent’s had one bedroom and the other bedroom consisted of all 5 of us kids! Good thing we all liked each other! Haha! My 3 sisters slept in 3 twin beds, my brother on the floor, and me, well, I slept in the baby crib they had in there! Yes, that’s right! Even at 10 years old, I slept, all cramped up in that baby bed! I used to sleep with a watch and a flashlight because I was so excited to get up early! I couldn’t wait to wake up Christmas morning and see what Santa had left for me! When we all got up, the rule was we couldn’t go downstairs until all 7 of us had gone to the bathroom. What torture! Seven people using one bathroom took an eternity!
After we opened our gifts, my Granny would make breakfast and my Granddaddy would read from the Bible! Even through all the chaos of Christmas get-togethers, we all settled down and listened as my Granddaddy read to us about the meaning of Christmas!
As a child, I would get caught up in the materialism of Christmas but foundations were being set by my mom & grandparents of what Christmas really was all about. Not the gift that was wrapped under the tree, but the Gift that came in the form of a baby! That Gift was the Messiah!
Luke 2:11 “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”
Even before I was born, God knew I needed a Savior and he sent his son!
As an adult, it can be easy to get caught up in the materialism of Christmas. Are there enough presents for everyone?; Did I get what everyone wanted? But, as a parent, I want to set the foundations for my kids as well! I want my children to know what the true meaning of Christmas is!
Oh sweet Lord, forgive me for getting caught up in the chaos! Christmas is all about you! You are the Reason for the season and all glory goes to you and you alone!
My heart is overwhelmed as I sit here this morning and read my Bible! In the quietness of this moment, with the Christmas lights on, I have a love for my Savior that goes beyond any love I could ever have for anyone or anything! He came for me in the form of a baby and walked on this earth and endured death and the cross only for one purpose…for me (and you)!
So on this eve of Christmas, I let go of everything and grasp on to my special Gift…my sweet Savior! He set the standard for giving and receiving and I will focus on him! My prayer for all of you is the same! May you relish this Christmas in the true meaning and find sweet peace in your wonderful Savior!
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I really love this time of year!  I am one of those people who could listen to Christmas music and enjoy the tree lit up all year long!  The older I get, I still feel like a child at Christmas!  I enjoy the Christmas spirit of those around me and I love spending time with family and friends.  I love giving gifts, having “cookie day” with my mom and sisters, and spending hours watching every Christmas movie that was ever made.  Yes, I really am a sap for those cheesy, romantic, Christmas movies!  I love seeing the joy on my children’s faces as they open their gifts and snuggling with my husband by the beautifully lit tree as we listen to Christmas music. For me, it really is the most wonderful time of year!

But today, I sit here with only two weeks left before Christmas and my mind ponders the question,

What was going on in the minds of Mary and Joseph with only two weeks before the birth of their son, the Savior of the world?

Wow!  They didn’t have the comfortable surroundings that most of us had before the births of our children.  They were on bumpy, uncomfortable roads traveling around 70 miles by donkey to a town to pay taxes.  For me, at nine months pregnant, I wasn’t traveling 70 miles anywhere by luxury car much less on a donkey.  But here they were, on the roads alone and I wonder what the conversation was like.  Were they talking about what color to paint the baby’s room or where they were going to send him to preschool?  These are the questions most of us new parents were discussing, right?  Oh no, I cannot even imagine the conversation.  Knowing that they were about to become parents of the Messiah had to be a somewhat overwhelming and humbling experience.  Their thoughts were probably making sure that they were following God’s plan.  Knowing that they were about to give birth to the One that would eventually die for them and all mankind.  What a beautiful lesson in faith and trust!  They weren’t concerned with having the perfect gifts for everyone or were there enough lights on the Christmas tree or that they attended every Christmas party they were invited to. No! They were concerned with carrying out the will of God and making sure that the precious Gift had a place to enter this world and carry out the will of his Father.
I don’t know about you, but this sure puts things in perspective for me!  

Luke 2:1-7

“In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn."

The Messiah made his entrance to this world in a lowly stable surrounded by animals in a non-hygienic manger.  He didn’t have the royal entrance that he deserved but he came in humble surroundings and lived an amazing life serving his purpose that ultimately led him to Calvary nailed to a cross dying for you and me.  But the best part of this story is that he rose again and is preparing a place for us in glory with him!

So, I ask you,

 With only two weeks till Christmas, where will you put your focus?

For me, making sure everything is perfect is not an option.  It is about making sure that Christ is glorified and honored in the way he deserves.  It is about remembering what happened that glorious day that Jesus was born and all he did for me following his birth.  He came for me, he died for me, and he is coming back for me!  Hallelujah!  My thoughts are of making sure that I carry out the will of my Father, to have the faith and trust as Mary and Joseph, and that the real meaning of Christmas is shared with those around me!

The greatest story ever told is right here for us! May we take this beautiful story of love and share with those around us that they may have the hope that we do!  This Christmas, make it your heart’s desire to focus on the real meaning of Christmas.  That when Jesus came, there was hope and everything changed!

"Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord."
Luke 2:11

Saturday, December 6, 2014

A Depleted 'Mom' Tank and A Teachable Moment

There are times as a parent when I am just spent! I'm sure all you parents reading this can understand where I'm coming from. 

During one of those particular weeks not too long ago, God showed me just how blessed I am by those precious children he entrusted me with! The schedule of the week had us home late every night running from activity to activity and, of course, it was a week when my husband was working out of town (or out of the country, I don’t remember. Lol!). But, its just LIFE and you do it! 

Well, one morning as we were about to leave for school I had a “moment”…. a moment where God allows you to see that even in those draining instances of parenthood, everything will be okay.

Caleb had been having tough time that year. School had been very challenging for him and he was becoming more of a daddy's boy, which made it even harder because his dad had been traveling quite a bit. During our bedtime routine the evening before, he was a little weepy because he was missing his dad a little more than normal. Well, me being "mother of the year" kissed him goodnight and told him to go to sleep. It was one of those days when, as a mom, I was completely drained. I had nothing else for the day and I was ready to get in my king-sized bed and go to sleep. My compassion tank was empty!

When we were about to leave for school the next morning, Ben came downstairs looking very tired. I hugged him and asked if he was all right and he just said he was sore and didn't sleep very well. I assumed it was from playing so hard in his game the night before but what he told me next brought me to tears.

He proceeded to tell me that after I left their room that night, Caleb was still crying so he just took his pillow and slept on the floor beside Caleb's bed to comfort him. Wow! Talk about a dagger through my uncompassionate heart! My 6 ft. tall, teenage son, after a long day of school, ball games, and homework, slept on the floor in the tiny space between his bed and his little brother’s bed so he could console him. I was touched by his selfless act of compassion.

God reminded me in that moment what a blessing Ben is! I was so proud and humbled by him and his tender heart! It was a glimpse of the man he is becoming and how God is using him in a mighty way. God used my depleted tank to show me that He will provide the needs of each one of us! He is using my children in mighty ways and I am incredibly blessed by their compassion for others and their obedience to the Holy Spirit's prompting in their lives!

What an amazing God! 

"Don't you see that children are God 's best gift? The fruit of the womb his generous legacy? Like a warrior's fistful of arrows are the children of a vigorous youth. Oh, how blessed are you parents, with your quivers full of children! Your enemies don't stand a chance against you; you'll sweep them right off your doorstep."
Psalm 127:3-5 (MSG)