Sunday, December 21, 2014

"Safe in My Arms" & Merry Christmas!!

Wow!  As I was driving today, I heard a song on Christian radio (that I didn't catch the name of, Sorry) that touched my heart deeply!  The song was describing many different storms of life, and after the description of each, the Chorus part always repeated "But you will be Safe in My Arms".

Since I was listening to Christain radio, I knew that the Being they were singing about always being safe in the arms of, was our wonderful God; but I couldn't help but relate the words to my own feelings for my children....  I couldn't stop thinking about the unconditional love that a parent feels for their child and the fact that parents will sacrifice ANYTHING to keep their children safe, always!

Once the song was over, I began to think about my part in the Christmas Cantata at my church this year.   I was Mary (what an honor)!   And in one of my songs the lyrics were "You are my child, and also child divine.  I will hold you forever just as your will hold me forever!"  Wow!   That line of lyrics speaks about both God's love for ALL of his children and about a parent's never ending love for their child, all at the same time.   What a powerful way to view what Mary must have felt, knowing that her child would 'care for her' just as much as she for Him!

As I sit here tonight wrapping Christmas presents, and almost lost in the 'craziness' of Christmas busyness, I am so Blessed to be reminded over and over of the amazing Gift that was given to us on that First Christmas!   The tiny baby that would change the world and forever "Hold" us all!

Thank you Lord for Christmas, for my children, for your Child Divine, for Mary, and for the existence of Unconditional Love between a Parent and Child!!   We are so Very Blessed!

Merry Christmas to all!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thankfulness


Yes, what more generic thing to Blog about on Thanksgiving evening than Thankfulness....  I know, not very original. :)  But, I feel moved to share that the thing that I am MOST thankful for throughout this past year is my FAITH!   Thank you Lord, so very much, for molding my faith into something so much more deep and amazing than even before!

It has been a very trying year indeed!  And I am certainly thankful for my wonderful children, and that they are both healthy and happy, as at this time last year, they were not...   I am thankful for my job that I love, even though it drives me crazy some days, it is exactly where I should be!  I am deeply thankful for each and every one of the public speaking opportunities that I have had throughout this past year, and LOVE the growth and wonder that speaking has fueled in my life!! I am thankful for many many wonderful things in my life, but most of all, FAITH and GOD'S INFLUENCE on my life!   I cannot even explain how divine guidance has led me through the past year; it is amazing to me every time that I think back on all the spiritual growth that I have experienced! 

I have been terrified, lost, sometimes on the wrong path; I have realized dreams and chased dreams, I have been given opportunities that were only dreams....this has been a year of change!

The many blessings that the Lord has given to me this past year were unreachable in other years, but He has shown me the right paths to work my way down to pursue my dreams!

I am so blessed with a wonderful church family and worship band and other connections at church, that have brought such positivity into my life!  When I needed it most this past year, there have been hundreds of people sending up prayers for my needs or wants, and that is an amazing feeling!  How blessed I am to have such wonderful, loving, Christian people in my life!!

So, to each and every one of you that has prayed for me, pulled for me, listened to me, helped me, counseled me, and laughed with me this past year, THANK YOU!!!!   And THANK YOU LORD for ALL that I have!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

"The Gambler"

I gain more and more appreciation for Classic Country Music each time that I perform a tune from that era.  This summer I was fortunate enough to get to perform "The Gambler" by Kenny Rogers, in Medora.   What a fun song to sing and perform for others!
 
A few days ago, I woke up with that song in my head first thing.   I hadn't listened to it for months, so I remember thinking that it was strange that this song was so vivid in my mind that morning.  As I got ready for work, the song just stuck with me, and I kept singing it in my mind, over and over, and even caught myself singing it out loud a few times.   As I was singing "The Gambler", I realized for the very first time, that this song is not about the game of Gambling at all.   I had never before caught the depth of these lyrics.
 
Here is the link to listen now, to Kenny Rogers' "The Gambler"
 
These lyrics had such a profound effect on me that morning, and throughout the day.   And I still can't shake the feeling of Divine advice in this tune at that time!   In life, we all need to try to "know when to fold", and give in to what is meant to be.  We also need to know what is worth holding onto and fighting for, no matter what.   We strive to know when to "walk away" from something or someone that is not good for ourselves.  And, well, if we feel the urge to "Run" away from something, then we certainly better listen to that urge!
 
Lastly, there is nothing in this earthly life that is worth counting and comparing and tracking.  None of our earthly possessions will be able to accompany us to heaven, nor are they worth anything in the long run!
 
So, God placed this Kenny Rogers tune in my mind that morning, to remind me what is most important in this earthly life.  And I received the clear message, that the people that I love most are the only ones that truly matter; they deserve my time and attention, and all the rest is just stuff!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

God's plan

As I continue in my daily tasks, working toward what I believe God's purpose in my life is right now, I keep listening to God's voice in my day-to-day activities, and to this wonderful song...

Ashes Remain - Here For A Reason (Single): http://youtu.be/hmXoLGK0MJg

Just last week I was privileged to speak to a wonderful group of Christian women. Each time that I present my speeches, I am just as blessed and positively influenced by the reminders that God gives me through Scripture, as I hope and pray the other women listening are.

As I was speaking, and driving to and from my speech, the message that kept resonating with me personally last week was that each day is a gift. Over and over I was reminded of how much can be accomplished in each day, of how much love and kindness we can all share, and how we can add a positive influence into others lives each and every day! Right now, a part of my God given purpose is to share my faith and life experiences with others to benefit them and make their days better. I am so so happy to feel that purpose and continue to try to live it every day!

Wishing you all a very blessed week!!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Windows

win·dow -ˈwindō/  noun
1. an opening in the wall or roof of a building or vehicle that is fitted with glass or other transparent material in a frame to admit light or air and allow people to see out.
2. a thing resembling a window in form or function, in particular.
3. an interval or opportunity for action

I caught myself gazing out a window of my home last night.  I had been completely lost in thought and I felt as though I was looking out into a world of vast unknowns...  I was day dreaming about my public speaking, and where it could take me.   I thought of so many places that I would love to see 'beyond MY window', and I silently prayed that someday I experience the views from windows all over the World!
 
Sometimes when I am caught up in the tasks of day to day and the busyness of being a working mom, I feel like all I see of the world around me is the limited view from the inside of my home looking out.   There have been many times that I have felt trapped or stuck inside my home, or my current lifestyle, and dreamed of being 'beyond the window'.  Because, who really know what excitement and opportunities are available on the other side of our own 'windows'!?!?
 
I felt compelled to find the "meaning" of the word, Window, and I share that above.  It is a very interesting meaning indeed.  I reflected on the 'windows of opportunity' that have passed me by in life, and on the many 'windows' that have admitted 'light' into my life, and allowed me to see...
 
I am so very thankful for all of the people around me that act as 'windows' bringing light into my life!  My children, for sure, are the largest light bringers!  They make me laugh every day, and looking at them reminds me of the importance of the side of the "transparent material" that I am on in life right now!  Then there is my pastor, my mother, my dear friends, and so many more!  The 'light bringers' are the special people in our lives who remind us that we are behind a certain 'window' or within a certain 'frame' in life for a God given reason. They motivate us to keep going and to continue to reach forward, through that current window onto bigger horizons.
 
Thank God for all the 'windows' in life, and for all the people who bring 'light' into our lives!! 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Rain

One of my children has been having a very hard time feeling safe at school, and really anywhere that I am not with him.   He has severe food allergies, and only feels completely safe when he is with me.  (Wow, that's a lot of pressure!)

His deep anxiety about his surroundings began the end of July, after a scary incident, and has been very strong ever sense.....

I have tried everything that I can think of, and continue to try every idea that I come across, to help this poor child be able to calm down and trust more...

I recently asked my Pastor for advice, and he borrowed me a video titled "Rain" to watch with my son.  This video is so amazing, and I cannot possibly explain how deeply it touched us, in few words, but the main point was; When we are stuck in the "storms" of our lives and the "rain" keeps coming down, God holds us tight and reminds us that he is with us and that he knows the way to get out of the "Storm".   Trust in him, and he will lead you through all of life's "Storms". 

This was such a beautiful video, and my sons really liked it too!    They didn't grasp all of the concepts until we discussed it after watching, and then, they both really understood!

To watch my boys both think and reflect that "Yea, God is always with us!" and "Wow, he will carry me through anything!" was a very amazing mother moment indeed!

From that discussion, we went on to a related craft.....   I had previously cut out many little rain drops from blue construction paper, and I asked the boys to write a "storm/trial" that they feel they have faced on each raindrop and attach it to construction paper.   We did this together and guess what, mama ended up writing on the most raindrops!    We then shared together, what each of us had written on our own raindrops.   This whole process was very beautiful!   When preparing for this activity, I didn't know if both of my boys would be old enough to fully grasp this concept, but they surprised me, and dug deep!

Once we each had our own "Sky" full of Raindrops (on paper), we held them above our heads and we said "Here God....Please hold me and show me the way through these storms!" "We trust in You!"   And then, we each put our storms away in a drawer in our rooms, and moved on, because we had just given our worries to God, and they are no longer in our hands! (both literally and figuratively) :)

Scriptures that we read included:

"Is Anyone Crying for Help?  God is listening, ready to rescue you."  Psalm 34:17

"O Lord, the God who saves me, day and night I cry out before you." Psalm 88:1

"There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place."  Deuteronomy 1:31

This powerful lesson with my boys touched each of us very deeply, and I am so grateful for the way in which it touched me, and the way that we opened up and bonded over this experience!

What an amazing work God did in each of us just today, by bringing us that video and his word and reminding us, convincing us all, that we are NEVER alone, and that He will carry and care for us always!

I write this hoping, that each of you may be reminded also, that God is with you in every "Storm" of life, and that He will show you the way through it!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Missing Someone

Every day over the past 4 work days, I have arrived at work, pulled into my assigned parking spot, and stepped into the empty spot beside me....    Before, I may have not even noticed whether there was a car next to me or not, but now, after the untimely and unexpected death of my coworker, I notice every day that her parking spot next to mine is empty.  I feel confused each morning as I step unto that empty spot and into a feeling of loss....
 
She was not a large part of my life, but I think of her every day nonetheless.  She always brought a smile to my face and laughter to my heart with her joyous demeanor!
 
How are we to overcome unexpected tragedies?  Certain things that happen in life can be so very confusing.  It is often difficult to even begin to make sense of it all...
 
Luckily, the scripture of Isaiah 41:10 crossed my path today, and I was reminded that I do not need to know the answers or the reasons why.   The Lord will help us all through this and other times of confusion.  There is nothing to fear!
 
I am thankful for having known her.   She complemented my fashion sense often and brightened my day many times!  Because I remember her fondly, I have chosen today to use that empty parking spot that I notice each day as a reminder to smile at others, be kind, and bring joy to someone else's day, as she did to mine.
 
Thank you Lord, for providing me with your word, once again, to bring me through confusion and into the brightness of Your plan!   May we all seek strength from on High and remember fondly the people who have made us smile!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Challenges & Blessings

Last week was 11 years since my wedding day. I found myself thinking about all the challenges my family has overcome in a short 11 years. I thought about huge health issues, hospitalizations, moves, loss of loved ones, career changes, business ventures, and more...   I started thinking wow, a lot of trials were thrown at us during those 11 years!
But then I thought about how we overcame them all. 

I thought about the many many blessings we've been given in those 11 years. I began to think about the blessings that came directly from the challenges...
Isn't it amazing the way that God has our whole lives planned? 

He knows that each challenge is going to lead us in a new, right direction. He plans out how he is going to get us to listen to His will for our lives.  Even when we don't see the signs he sends, or don't stop long enough to get his message, God finds a way, through our trials, to lead us to our blessings!
Click to Tweet
Here is one of my all-time favorite songs that reflects this idea of blessings coming through challenges:
"Blessings" by Laura Story
I am constantly amazed at all the wonderful things God has provided for me in the last 11 years, & I really look forward to all that is to come! Thank You God!!


Monday, September 8, 2014

Over planned

My type A personality is really draining my energy lately!  My need to plan ahead for everything has me running around nonstop, about 18 hours a day, to cover all the bases.
 
I keep asking myself "Why am I so exhausted?". But if I step back and look at my life, there are many obvious answers to that question...
 
Here's a scene from last week; I made a special trip to the store late one night to purchase Lunchables for my children's crazy evening the following day; then I forgot to take them with the next morning, and went back home to get them, making me late for work; I then put them in the fridge at work, and FORGOT them there that afternoon!!!!   ARRGGHHH!!!
 
But, guess what....my kids survived!  We made it through our appointments right after work on suckers from my purse & poweraide from the vending machine.  The kids didn't know the difference.   They were fine!
 
This little experience and all the stress I caused myself to try to be completely in control of the situation, made me begin thinking about other, non detrimental, areas of my mommy life that I may be "overdoing it"....and wow were there a lot!   So I began writing down the things that I should 'ease up' on a bit, like: monitoring time spent on Minecraft (sure, I wouldn't want them to spend all day on this, but it is a harmless game), checking their teeth EVERY morning to make sure they brushed ok (I mean come on, give the kids a break. :) ), and the list keeps growing.....
 
This then led to me noticing little things that I was trying to control in other aspects of my life too.   It felt really good to notice these things, and begin to reconsider the amount of energy I was spending on trying to prepare fully for every little thing!  As I realized more and more areas of my life that I just need to RELAX on a bit,  I remembered a tattoo I once admired that said "Let Go & Let God", so I searched for a graphic related to that.  
 
Below is what I found.   It is now my cell phone background, and the background on both of my laptops, so that I am constantly remind to breathe, pray, relax, and let God handle it!
 
 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Tears

Yesterday was a very tough day!  In the 3 1/2 yrs. I have worked at my current job, today was only the 2nd time that I have cried at work.  I don't cry often, and it generally takes a lot to get my emotions to come to the surface...

Yesterday though, I was put down and accused in front of coworkers, and for whatever reason, it embarrassed me enough to cause the tears to flow freely.

As I tried to put my thoughts and feelings into words for my Blog last night, I found myself unable to.  So, I sought a scripture reading that would help, and I was led to this one:

Matthew 15:10-11
After Jesus called the crowd to Him, He said to them, "Hear and understand. "It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man."

So, with this short post, I hope to encourage my readers to remember how much words and accusations can hurt others, and that generally the person who appears worst to others, is the one spouting off.

I am on my lunch break now, and as I hit "publish", I am closing the book on this experience (thank God). Here's to a great rest of the week for me and all of you!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Bleeeeep

Just this week, my boys & I were walking up a friend's driveway to go visit them, when my older son turned to me, out of the blue and said "Mom, is **** a swear word?"
 
I froze in my tracks, with what must have been a completely terrified look on my face.  He then said, "MOM!! Are you OK?".  His face relayed the level of shock that must have been displayed on mine....
 
I replied "YES! that is the most horrible swear word that exists!  And don't you ever say it again, now that you know how awwful it is!"
 
He seemed satisfied with that answer, and turned and kept walking...
 
I felt frozen in time though...   Why was I so terrified that my child knows this word???  Well, it is a dirty, terrible word, and I found myself praying, "Lord, please let my words today sink in to my child's heart & mind more than ever before!  Please help me teach him acceptable, respectful words! Amen."
 
As I continued to think about that moment over the next day or so, I became more & more comfortable with the way it played out.
 
Isaiah 54:13 
All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.
 

 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

We're Not Meant to be Alone

In a World that can often be very lonely, it is hard to remember that God has never meant for us to be alone.  So much communication takes place these days via electronics, that some days we don't even actually speak to another human being.   This can lead to a feeling of isolation and loneliness.
 
I had a day today where I felt very alone.  I reached out for help and no one was there to listen.  I tried to connect with people, but only felt pushed away.  In many ways today was a "lonely" feeling day for me.
 
On my drive home though, I was blessed to hear this amazing new song from Tenth Avenue North, called "No Man Is An Island"
 
Listen, and enjoy the amazing encouragement given to all "lonely" people, through this song, and by the Lord.....
 
The Lord will STAY with us!  We were not meant to be alone, and God has never left us alone!
 
We are NOT alone!

Psalm 34:17-19 When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.

John 16:32-33 Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.  These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Today, join me in finding Peace in the reminder that You are NOT alone!
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Anxious

Today a dear friend was confiding in me about how anxious she is about what lies ahead in her life.... I felt a deep desire to help her through this, to have the right words to say.....but, I kept thinking to myself, "How can I possibly give advice on beating anxiety, when most of my own days are filled with it?"


I sought an answer from scripture.

Romans 8:26-28 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

What a powerful verse! 
Even when we don't know what to pray for, the Spirit does it for us. Even when we can't explain our anxieties, the Spirit prays for us.
My friend is overwhelmed with anxiety, but she does not need to figure it out herself, because she is not alone! The Lord will just wrap her in his arms and take care of the burden!  
When we cry out and ask God to take away a burden, he does!   He covers our fears with his love.

Sometimes when we are anxious, we neglect to hear the voice of God..... The small, calm voice that tells us everything will be ok. "I've got this, child."

Faith should allow us to END anxiety.  We all need to try harder to turn things over to God.  He does, in fact, make all of the decisions anyway!

God knows what is next in our lives. Any amount of worrying that we do is useless, and will not change His beautiful plan for us. Click to Tweet
He knows what is best for us!  



So, I close tonight with this thought:

God IS going to be up all night 'worrying' for us, planning for us, lining things up for our days to play out as He plans. So, don't go to bed with any anxiety tonight; turn it all over to God!

Wishing you all a peaceful night's sleep, and many to come!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Today's theme = Love

Today's theme was first formed in the middle of the night, while up with my son; and he said "Mommy, I love the way you love us".    Awwww.  My heart was mush right then! 
 
Next, while eating breakfast, my daily devotion was titled "The Definition of Love". It cited
1 Corinthians 13, the best Bible verse about love (of course I think that, because that is what was read at my wedding!).
 
Then, all throughout my day at work, there were little tidbits of caring, sharing, & smiles that made my day great!  In the morning I had a conversation with a coworker about the motiviational speaker that spoke to our staff just yesterday...  We discussed his stressed importance of "community" within the workplace, and how we both felt that the information learned yesterday could help us move forward into a great, new atmosphere with our coworkers! Then, I had lunch with a group of coworkers that I do not get to hang out with very often, and it was very pleasant and refreshing!
 
So, I found myself thinking, as I drove home this evening "Today I have received a strong message of love of fellow man and of friendship!"  The importance of encouraging each other and holding each other up is not something to be taken lightly!  It felt so good for me to feel a sense of team, belonging, and importance today in my family and my workplace, that I vow to try and continue spreading that feeling on to others, to make their days as bright as mine was today!
 
Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
 
And after finding the above verse, I also came across the following and thought, wow, isn't that the truth!  If more people of this world were focused on "team" success rather than "self" success, and we were all 'helping one another up' every day, what a difference that would make in the World!
 
Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another

Monday, August 18, 2014

Tired!

Wow!  Yesterday was a very tough day of motherhood for me! My boys did not listen to a single rule or a single word out of my mouth (or so it seemed)! They made me 20 minutes late for work while throwing fits, they physically hurt the babysitter (by accident, but doing something against rules), they refused to school shop with me and gave me a snotty "we don't care" when I said I would just pick all of their school supplies myself....wow, this day was not one of my finest! 

Last night I felt so very defeated.  So exhausted and wondering what I have done wrong to raise such rude children.....

Parenting can be really really hard sometimes. There are days when you wake up in the morning already tired, and this is how I felt today, after a day like yesterday.
Thankfully, we can always look to God's word for help in tough times. I searched my online Bible last night for keyword, "tired". And this is the first verse that was on top:

"Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." Hebrews 12:3

Wow! Thank you for speaking to me so clearly Lord! I have been receiving great opposition from little men. Ha!  But not even comparable, not even mentionable, to the opposition our  Savior Jesus faced on earth!  This verse spoke to me and  told me to "buck up, stay strong, and not lose heart", which is exactly what I needed to hear!  

Oh, and by the way, I bought all gray notebooks, black pencil bags and folders, and plain tan pencils. Those boys will just have to deal with it!  Darn kids! :-) ha!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Beginning

As I Sat on a little bench on top of this hill, I decided that today is the day to start my blog. I have wanted to start blogging, but the time has not felt right until this moment...after a completely sleepless night, due to thunderstorms and 5 inches of rain.

I began my hike this morning under many dark clouds. I wondered as I climbed this hill, "why does it have to be so gloomy today, why must I hike when its cold out, poor poor me" (feeling cranky)...

But once on top of the hill, I was immediately struck by the awesome beauty of the sun shining on the horizon. Just on the other side of the lake, the sun was shining brightly. I realized then that my day was about to turn around.

So there I sat cold, on this wet bench, thinking to myself, "isn't that how all of life works... God gives us all challenges, or hills to climb, but there is always a brighter horizon on the other side. The challenges that we face, no matter the size, always have a reason. God leads us through the hills and valleys of life, so that we can enjoy the sunnier, other side."

When in the midst of climbing the many hills that I have thus far in life, I don't usually understand the reason that God has given me a particular challenge, until I reach the top and see the beauty on the other side. God knows, and has always known, what he wants for each of our lives. His plan is carefully laid out. So, the next time that I stand at the bottom of the hill, facing a new challenge, I am going to try my best to face it with wonder and excitement to see the beauty that God has planned for me on the other side.

Always remember the beauty of God's Plan!   Have a Blessed Week!