Thursday, March 28, 2013

My Epic Fail

A friend invited my husband and I to a retreat at her church. He and I have never done something like this together before and I was very excited. I mentioned it to Jarrod, he said "let's look into it" - and so I did. Natalie got us preregistered and passed along the dates to me, May 2-5. My birthday is on the 5th of May which was just a bonus to me. What a fantastic way to spend my birthday!

When Jarrod got home from work I very excitedly told him all about it! He shared in my excitement as well. "It is May 2nd through the 5th." I told him. At the sudden look of disappointment that clouded his face I quickly added, "It's okay I would love to be there with you on my birthday." And then I beamed!

"We'll miss Elijah's birthday." He said plainly. And that friends, I am sad to say, is the first moment I realized that our son's birthday, which is the day before mine, would also fall on that weekend.

Perhaps this is a small glimpse into the mind of a diva mom... (palm to forehead).

I'm thinking what you're thinking...
Who could forget this precious thing for 1 second? 

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I'm Content, But Only If...

And A Link Up Party (and featured posts) Below

Let me give you a little piece of advice. Do not ask the Lord what you should write about unless you are prepared for Him to tell you... tweet this

I pride myself on being a very content person. And by pride I do mean the type that cometh before destruction (Proverbs 16:18)

Today was a decent day and then a few hiccups as it went on. A frustration here, a disappointment there and I spent the evening in my kitchen thinking it all through (this seems to be where I do all my deepest thinking). And I had an epiphany followed by a revelation (I know, I'm telling you DEEP thinking goes on in that kitchen. It's a shame really good cooking never goes on in there.) 

I am a daydreamer. I am always looking forward to better things to come! And so it was in the midst of that looking forward tonight that I became very aware, "This is how I keep myself 'content'". By thinking "things are going to get better than this." This was my epiphany

Then the Lord asked me, as clear as if he was standing in my kitchen, "What if it doesn't get any better, what if this is the best there is?" If that were the case, if I knew that that was it would I still be Suzy Sunshine? Can I really keep considering this true contentment? This was lesson number 1.

The next thought was this, “If this was my life, no great riches in our future, if there was not a mansion just waiting for us to move in, if my husband always had to work long hard hours so we could squeak by - and I decided that that was ok, God was still good and I was still blessed - then I would have arrived. I would be somebody who was truly satisfied. 

But that would mean, ball in my court, I had all the power, I was doing it on my own. Though that sounds kind of nice sometimes, I have done things that way before and it never ends pretty. 

Oh but my good Lord has gone ahead and made a way for me to rest and be completely fulfilled - in Him, because of him. tweet this 

It all gets better than this - so much better! Whether here on earth or one day in heaven. This was not the plan. I am blessed, I do have it VERY good. But the best? That’s still coming, riches, mansions... it’s all there! We’ll call this lesson number 2.

I do want to be suzy sunshine. No, I want to be Sarah Sunshine... so much so that they rename it after me! I want to declare that He is still good even if life on earth is just a dingy old waiting room. He has prepared something better than my farthest fetched daydream could ever conjure up. (John 14:1-4). 

In that goodness that only God can portray, He kept right on teaching me. Stay tuned next week for lesson number 3.

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    (I picked only a couple of my favorites, they were all GREAT!)

    • Patsy from HeART Works paints a bible verse every day. Yep, that's right... she PAINTS one, EVERY DAY! Her work is amazing. I LOVE the verse she shared this week, and the beautiful way she illustrated it - both through her words and her art. PLEASE go check it out... Footprints of Faith.

    "Everyone who commits sin, is a slave of sin." John 8:34
     We should strive to be FREE... (read it all here)


    I’m slapping a restraining order on the tooth fairy. She’s trying to steal my baby.
    When our daughter lost her first tooth last fall, we cheered. That bitty gap in her bottom row was new and endearing. The second tooth we viewed as a celebration of courage. It popped out during Sunday school, without Mom or Dad on hand to soothe the trauma. Our girl earned a five-dollar bill under her pillow that night, for bravery.
    But the third tooth. Well, that was different. The third one sank my heart. (continue reading)
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    Thursday, March 21, 2013

    Worth Repeating

    This quote is from the book, Grace for the Good Girl. I have loved this book! It is a very difficult read and I have had to put it down many times because I was so overwhelmed with my need for change. I am only about a quarter of the way through but already I have stumbled upon so many fabulous quotes, this one was among my favorites. I need it to sink deep down in to my soul. If only I could remember the worth God sees in me despite the thoughts that others hold. 

    Do you struggle with this? I'd love to hear how you deal with it. 
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    A Promise Is A Promise (Take 2)

    I seem like such a lazy blogger lately. Two reposts in two weeks. But I have another good reason... I really wanted to link up with a fellow blogger today. She does a blog link where she gives us one word and that is what we blog about! I LOVE this idea. The word this week is Strength and I just could not think of a better personal story about strength than this one I posted last year. So here it is again... 

    A Promise Is A Promise

    I was tiny when I was born, 4lb. 11oz. Maybe not by today’s standards. But (ahem) 32 years ago that was pretty small. I had a lot of problems at birth. I am not even sure what all was wrong but the doctors told my parents that I would likely not make it and if I did I would be a vegetable. Obviously grim news. So my dad went to his motel room to pray and God took him to this verse in the bible.

    “By faith Sarah herself also received strength...” Hebrews 11:11 

    He returned to the hospital and assured my mom that I would be okay because of the promise the Lord had given him. And I was!

    In my late teens and early twenties I began seeing a doctor regularly for some medical issues I was having. Every appointment was more of the same bad news. It would be very difficult for me to able to have children if I could even have them at all. It was a huge disappointment. I had spent the past 10+ years day dreaming about someday being a wife and mommy.

    Five years later I was married and two months after that I was pregnant. To be honest I wasn’t all that shocked. Surprised because we did not plan on starting a family that quickly? Yes! Surprised that God had gone ahead and done what he wanted in spite of doctors reports? No, not really. It wasn’t until several months later, as I sat pregnant in the babies room writing an article for the Church’s newsletter that God revealed something to me. I was writing about this very same promise God had given my dad all those years ago and I wanted to get the wording just right. So I opened up my bible to Hebrews 11:11 and here is what I saw...

    “By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive...” 

    Cool, right?! 24 years ago God had given my dad a promise. Little did any of us know that word held more than one promise. And God always keeps His promises. Praise the Lord!

    If you can stand it there is even more awesomeness to this story. One weekend, a few weeks before my wedding my mom, sister-in-law, and I were talking baby names. My mom mentioned a name she had recently heard that she thought was so beautiful. Elyse! I fell in love with it instantly! The next morning at church Jarrod informed me that our friends Paige and Lisa had just given birth to their little girl. This got us talking about baby names. Jarrod said, out of the blue, “you know what name I really like? Elyse.” I told him about the conversation I had had with my mom we thought it was a little crazy. When we found out we were having a girl sometime later we felt confident God had already given us a name for her.

    So as God gave me this new revelation that night as I worked on the newsletter I looked knowingly over at our daughter’s wall. There hung a poster with her name-to-be, the definition printed under the name.

    God’s Oath 

    I mean, WOW! First God gave us the oath and then he literally gave us the oath. 

    And this was not only a promise of strength for me to maintain life or to conceive. I have a promise of strength to sustain life. Strength when I am overwhelmed by my circumstances, strength when I just do not have the energy to hand out one more consequence to one of my children. Strength to trust when I do not know where the money will come from for the next bill. Even better, the promise of strength is not just for me. It’s for all of us. 

    "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

    “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31

    “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

    “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

    Be strong in His perfect strength! 

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    Tuesday, March 19, 2013

    Christianity Is Like A Bowl Of Chex Mix

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    My eight year old daughter taught all of us to play Chess the other day. She was in the chess club at school and really learned a lot. I have to say, I have been impressed with what all she has come home telling me she learned. She bought a Chess set with Christmas money but had not gotten to use it because none of us knew how to play. That all changed on a recent rainy Saturday afternoon. Elyse, of course, won every game she played. Then my five year old son, who lost before he had a chance to use his knight - because he was saving it till last since it's the best piece- wanted to play one more time. Elyse was tired of Chess for the day so I played a round with Elijah. He won!!!! (I'll never tell whether he won fair and square or not) Upon capturing my king he shouted out "Chex Mix!" Tehehe! 

    It was cute! Of course it got me thinking, like I always do when my kids say something that is clever enough to have me giggling over dirty dishes hours later. Elijah had not been at all concerned about following the rules, at least not as strictly as they were intended. He had heard the lingo, and as long as he was close that was good enough for him. He had a goal. He wanted that king, that prize - for the end to turn out well for him. He'd do what had to be done for favorable results. 
    How often do we play at this game we know as "The Christian Walk"? Tweet This or Share on Facebook

    We've learned the rules, we've heard all the catch phrases that go with it. But honestly we are only interested in getting through with as little damage as possible and a few wins to our name would be great.
    • Take for instance that little golden rule. Do to others as you would have them do to you. (Luke 6:31) 

    We all try to follow this one, most of the time. I know I do. I don't like being cut in front of so I try to stay in my own spot and wait my turn. I've got to admit though, I have a much harder time remembering this little piece of scripture just a few verses later where it says, your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. (Luke 6:35

    1. I do not always "do to others what I want them to do to me" out of  love for my heavenly father, certainly not for love of the person, in particular the strangers. I do it because I am dawning my Christian shirt that day, because I know the lady in line in front of me visited my church a few weeks ago and I want to make sure I give my church "a good name". I am polite and thoughtful because I want you to like me. I am not playing fair I am not playing right, I am playing to benefit me! I do want something in return. 
    2. It is a whole other ball game when we are talking about my enemies, those people that just irk me. I might not even consider trying for this group.

    God has given us some pretty simple instructions, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength... Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:30-31) It just doesn't get more straight forward than that. And I do, I love the Lord. I am just not sure I love him more than me, more than my kids, more than my husband. I am not sure If I am willing to give up all I have to follow Him. He isn't even asking me to, He just wants me willing to. But even that I struggle with. I got a few quick lessons in the rules to the Christian walk early on. I learned what to say and am not even always to concerned with getting it right (chex mix anyone?). I want to capture the king and finish with my own still in place. When it's all said and done, if I have a few more pawns than the guy who sits in the pew next to me, bonus! 

    There is so much more to being a child of God than just staying out of trouble, putting in an appearance at church and controlling certain body parts when you are behind the wheel. Certainly the bible is full of suggestions, exhortations and commands. Here are just a few packed into one little passage (1 Thessalonian 5:12-18). It's a pretty good place to start.

    Now we ask you, brothers, to 

    1. respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you... 
    2. Live in peace with each other. 
    3. ...warn those who are idle, 
    4. encourage the timid, 
    5. help the weak, 
    6. be patient with everyone. 
    7. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.
    8. Be joyful always; 
    9. pray continually; 
    10. give thanks in all circumstances
    How about you, do you struggle to live for Christ? Is it easier to keep it all about you? I'd love to hear how you fight this fight and where you have overcome! Click here link to leave a comment.

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     I am linked up atHere it on Sunday, Use it on Monday!Motivating MondayMiscellany MondayHeart + HomeWhat He's Done WednesdayGrace at Home, Faith Filled FridayFriday Favorite Things, and Inspiration Friday
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    I'd also love to hear what God is doing in your life! Share what He is teaching you, a verse, a talent He has given you (crafts, photography, home decor...) Anywhere you can give God glory in the world around you, please link up and share it here. And be sure to check back next week to see if you were featured!! :)Click and comment on somebody else's post I am sure you will be blessed!

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    Tehila at Women Abiding shares humbly and openly about where she is in her walk with the Lord and what she intends to do about it: 

    Encouragement to Christian Women, Encouraging Christian Women, Encourage Christian Women, Encouragement to Women, Encourage WomenI once had a blog, which was more a personal journal for my thoughts than anything else.

    My daughter, Aviel, and I, took some time this morning to read through some blog post entries that I had written about two or three years ago.

    At the risk of sounding proud, the writings were sincere, inspiring, and genuinely encouraging.

    Reading over recent posts that I have written for Women Abiding, Aviel and I tried to analyze why these new entries seemed more stiff, impersonal, and quite frankly, boring at times. While my daughter speculated about the reason, deep down in my heart, I knew. (continue reading)

    Rach @ Diamonds in the Rough wrote about decisions and how they can affect us:


    As we all know, a simple decision can CHANGE, and actually mark us, for the rest of our lives...

    I am not going to camp on this aspect, however NEGATIVE~and sometimes emotionally-led~decisions can often lead to undesirable consequences later on in life...

    On the other side: a RIGHT decision can lead us to a whole new place in life that we could never imagine!

    Yes, there is great power in the choosing of our decisions. 

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