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, May 23, 2016

God's Light for Each Step!

Life can get so busy that sometimes there just aren't enough hours in a day. That is the glamorous but oh-so-special life of "Mom". One particular morning, during a very busy season, I visited my local grocery store after realizing it was time to restock the pantry and refrigerator that had gone extremely bare. The milk had run out a few days before and there were no trash bags left in the house so we had resorted to using plastic shopping bags to throw out our waste. Yes, it sounds wonderful doesn't it? Lol! I had been pretty busy those last couple of weeks so the minor things like food for my family and proper waste disposal got a little behind. Haha! Ok, I am really not that terrible, I had just been in too many directions.

After I made out my shopping list and had it organized by grocery aisles, I grabbed my purse and coupons and headed out the door. “Mom” is my superpower so that grocery-shopping thing had nothing on me. I even went in full Pender County mode by donning a big old t-shirt and yoga pants and wore my hair up with no makeup on. Yes, yes, I was a sight to behold! But surprisingly, I felt a twinge of freedom and went with my head held high. Or that may have just been the large scrunchie on the top of my head. Haha!
I selected my buggy (a.k.a. shopping cart), disinfected with hand sanitizer and made my first stop at the coupon hub for the special coupons just for me! Oh, how special I felt when they printed out with "Jordan Family" at the top! Ok, now I was ready!

I began stocking my buggy and checking off my list. At the same time I was adding up my purchases and shock and awe began to set in. Wow! Those prices! Of course, the budget is the same but the prices have taken a dramatic hike so then I began making adjustments. I'm sure you all understand, well, unless you have an endless supply of money and in this economy, I kind of doubt that. So, the list gets adjusted and some of those previously selected items get the ax and go back on the shelf. But, nonetheless, I press on and come to the end of the list. By this point my mood starts shifting and I get a little discouraged. It was as if the grocery store acted as some sort of kryptonite to my “mom” superpower. Lol! Of course, it was just my human weakness that came to the surface so I asked God to show me how to make the most of out of what He had blessed us with.

I paused in mid-aisle and said a prayer of thanks to God for His constant provision. I praised Him for the many items in my buggy; those items that will nourish our family and even our sweet dog, Louie. Though it may not be everything on my list, it was more than enough, and for that, I was grateful! I needed an attitude adjustment and also to refocus on God's many blessings.

I took my final turn down the frozen foods aisle and as I walked, every light in the freezers began lighting up. The more I walked, the more lights lit up! Oh, how I love it when God sends me teachable moments in these unsuspecting places. Lol! In all my redneck glory of no makeup and yoga pants on the frozen food aisle, God reminded me, in His gentle way, that He will always give me just enough light for each step I'm on. His light will always shine brighter than any disappointment or circumstance I am in and He will guide me every day of my life.

This was not exactly how I had imagined my grocery shopping experience that day. But the longer I walk with the Lord and trust His heart, the more I see His presence in every area of my life. From life’s victories to life’s disappointments, He will always show himself faithful and guide me to His Word for comfort and direction.

Thank you, sweet Father, for your perfect ways of adjusting my focus back on YOU. In my weakness, YOU are strong. It’s not my power but YOUR power within me that I walk in. Thank you for reminding me that YOU are always enough and will provide every need beyond what I could ever imagine. You are so good and YOU are enough!

Take some time on this Monday to see the goodness of God. Through all your frustrations and disappointments, remember that you have a God that loves and adores you. He is for YOU! He will provide your every need and give you just enough light for each step your on! Blessings to YOU this day!

“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.”
Isaiah 26:3-4 (NLT)

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Saturday Morning Ponderings!

There are so many things I love about my home!

I love the people that inhabit it with me. I love the location away from the chaos of city life. I love the view from my front porch. I love the marks in the kitchen doorframe that measure how my precious kiddos have grown. I love the voices I hear going from room to room as my once little kids with little voices are now big kids with teenage voices. I love waiting at the door and seeing my husband pull into the driveway at the end of the day. I love being the first to hug him tightly when he comes in our home. I love my crazy dog and how he gets excited when I grab my coffee and Bible because he knows its front porch time for us. I love the late night Nerf gun fights by the kids (and sometimes their dad) when I'm tired and ready for bed but they are wound up and ready to keep going. I love the prayers I hear lifted throughout each room to our awesome God and the Bibles opened for guidance. I love watching my daughter continually dance and sing around the house or hearing her laugh with her cousin as they constantly FaceTime each other.
I love marveling at Caleb's latest Lego creations and listening to the story behind it. I love seeing Ben and his girlfriend sit on the floor as they work on crafts for their Sunday school class. I love watching Ben and Matt walk down the street with their fishing poles and backpacks headed to the neighborhood pond together. I love hearing the dog start barking out of jealousy when Matt hugs on me in the kitchen. I love our frequent dance breaks in the kitchen because sometimes you just gotta. I love seeing the kids in deep conversations with their dad as he shares wisdom and encouragement with them. I love hearing Ben head out the door in the early mornings headed to work because he's taking responsibility and growing into an incredible young man. I love the sweet notes we all leave for each other whether handwritten or by text. I love walking through the fog of Axe men's body spray from the upstairs boys section then to enter the fog of cotton candy body spray from Callie's bedroom. Yes, yes as crazy as some of it is, I love it all!

The list could go on and on so I won't bore you anymore with my sweet memories of our "glamorous" life. But waking up this morning beside my wonderful husband, God so tenderly reminded me that even though life is hard sometimes (ok, a lot of times. Ha!), it is still amazing! At every turn in this home I see God's blessings. Even though I also see lots of work that needs to be done throughout the "house"...our "home" is a priceless masterpiece that God has been building since Matt and I said "I do" over 24 years ago. Is it perfect? Absolutely not. Some days it is downright imperfect and a big mess. But it is my mess...my home...with my tribe...and together we grow.

Christ has been and will continue to be the center of our home. Through Him we love and live and grow and this morning I am so grateful for each and every part of it. The laundry piles and dust bunnies are just part of its character. Lol! But the main attraction is the awesome work of God that He continues through us all. Living, learning, loving.....

Thank you, Father, for my home and all the dear souls with whom I have the honor to do life with. I am blessed and, today, so eternally grateful! I don't take a second of it for granted. Sweet, sweet blessings!

Look around your home today. Look past the mess and thank God for the blessings that inhabit your home. Hug each loved one tightly and realize that each day is a gift! Tuck the memories inside and continue making new ones and live life to the fullest. Gratitude and praise on this Saturday!

“But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
Joshua 24:15b

“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward.”
Psalms 127:3

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

I Corinthians 13:7

Monday, April 18, 2016

Two Decades...there is HOPE!

Two decades...remembering today...

April 18, 1996, started off beautifully! I woke up that morning excited as I felt my son moving around in my belly. It was a glorious feeling and one that I didn't know if I would ever experience. After years of infertility and the devastating loss of my first child through miscarriage, I had reached five and a half months in my pregnancy with Ben and my dreams of becoming a mom were finally coming true! To top it off, my sister, Stephanie, was also pregnant and due any second! Excitement was in the air and lots of visions of baby booties and rocking chairs were in my head.  

Shortly after I woke up, we received the call that my sister was in labor. I could hardly wait to get to the hospital to welcome my newest niece or nephew. I was finally able to be excited about going to the maternity ward knowing that I would be there soon having my own child. 

That beautiful morning quickly turned to a horrible nightmare as the elevators doors opened and I saw my mom standing there crying. What came out of her mouth, still to this day, crushes my heart. 

"They couldn't detect the baby's heartbeat. The ultrasound shows that the baby has died." 

That phrase entered us into a heart wrenching day of grief and loss. Spending the day in the waiting room of the maternity ward is supposed to be exciting awaiting newborn cries and passing out candy cigars. This waiting room was turned into a room full of mourners questioning how this could happen.

How could the cord that is supposed to provide life in the womb to this precious baby be the very thing that takes this baby's life?

It couldn't be real. It had to be a terrible nightmare.

But it was real and we were thrust right into the middle of the nightmare. 

Walking into my sister's hospital room seeing the devastation on her face still breaks my heart. The pain and agony she endured through hours of labor only to hold her baby daughter in her arms, lifeless, seems more than anyone should bear. Instead of preparing pink bows and frilly clothes at the end of the day, we were preparing for a funeral. Instead of loading a baby seat in the car,  we were putting it away and grieving the emptiness. Instead of celebrating new life, we were mourning death. 

Hannah Sharon DeHass left this world on the day of her birth, April 18, 1996, and entered the arms of Jesus. 

So here we are, 20 years later and I remember it like it was yesterday. The pain is still there but so is the tremendous hope that I will see my niece again. I think of my sister today and her amazing strength and courage. She didn't give up.  She put her hope in the Lord. She is my hero and I love her so much!

Today, I pause in honor of my sweet niece, Hannah, and picture her twirling around in a beautiful dress on the streets of glory. I see her happy and whole as she runs straight into the arms of her Jesus...her Abba...her Daddy! 

Happy Birthday, sweet girl! Aunt Alli loves you! 

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 
Matthew 19:14

Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Day Before Resurrection...

I was up early this morning. It was early for a Saturday when I could have been sleeping and believe me, I didn't intend to get up that early. Lol! But the Holy Spirit has a way of nudging me out of the bed when there is something I need to see in scripture or prayers that need to be lifted. This morning it was by way of my dog that needed to go out. Usually he doesn't budge until I do but today....not-so-much.

This morning I sat there in my kitchen in complete silence. It was dark from rain that came through our area and I had just the kitchen light on because I didn't want to wake the rest of the family. My loyal dog, Louie, of course was at my feet when he came back in because he follows me from room to room. I sat at the kitchen table that is usually occupied by our sweet family during mealtimes. It's usually covered with food as lots of talk and laughter are going on. Sometimes it's covered with schoolbooks as the kids will spread out to work on academics. But this morning it was empty other than my opened Bible and my cup of coffee, oh and Caleb's "Duck Dynasty" cup half-full of water he apparently left from last night. Ha!

This morning it was quiet and I just soaked in His Word! I sat in the silence to just be still before HIM...my Father! I'm thankful the Holy Spirit disturbed my sleep this morning because reading through the gospels after they rolled the stone in front of the tomb had my mind thinking of the next day. How were they coping on that Sabbath? They just buried their King. Guards secured the location and nothing could be done until the Sabbath was over. Mary Magdalene couldn't even buy her spices to prepare her King's body until Sabbath was over. So what was going on in their hearts and minds that day?

Well, I can only imagine because scripture is silent here. Were they still in shock from the prior events that unfolded? They just saw Jesus stand trial unjustly and be horribly crucified before their eyes. They saw his lifeless body placed in a tomb. Their grief and sadness were probably overwhelming and I'm sure there was fear and uncertainty. Were they overcome with emotion because it was their sin that put him there? Did they realize the depth of love that was crucified for them?

I sit and ponder....

Jesus had told them what would happen! Jesus had been preparing them, before His death, of what would be to come. Grief and sadness, questions and pain could not last long because Sunday was coming! Hope would arise and death would be defeated! Jesus would come forth...JUST AS HE PROMISED! Hallelujah!!

“Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles; and they will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit on Him, and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again.”
Mark 10:33-34 (NKJV)

Today, as we prepare to celebrate the events that DID take place on that glorious resurrection day, my heart is filled with so much gratitude to my Savior. He did ALL of that for ME! He did it ALL for YOU! He conquered death and the grave and paid the ultimate sacrifice for MY sin...for YOUR sin. He marked it PAID IN FULL!

"Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said."
1 Corinthians 15:3b-4 (NLT)

Read the story today! Read it for yourselves! Read the gospels account in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John! The greatest love story of all time is recorded right there in those beautiful pages of scripture. The greatest sacrifice that could ever be made but also the greatest outcome that no Hollywood movie could ever grasp on the big screen. It's the love story of a Savior to YOU! Prepare today!

Read it...grasp it...accept it...celebrate it...and go forth in the will of the Father!

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. "

John 14:6 (NIV)