Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas Blessings

Written in 12/2015

Just last evening, I was working on a Blog Post, and got almost done with it.  I was going to finish and post tonight, but....I received a true Christmas Blessings today, and I need to write about it! 

My during-the-week job is in a music dept. at a High School. If you've read my Blog before, you know what a large part Music plays in my life! This job is challenging, and exhausting, but it is such a great fit for me! Each year as they graduate, I am sad to see them go, because I have grown to know them, and am so proud to have been a part of their HS experience! 

Sometimes, in the midst of the school year hustle and bustle, it feels like my job is thankless. Sometimes it feels that noone notices the many little things that I take care of "behind-the-scenes"... Today though, that feeling was proven so very wrong! 

I was surprised with a Christmas gift from the Concert Band and Concert Choir kids. This was not just an ordinary Christmas gift though... It was one of the most thoughtful gifts that I have ever received!  

Let's start with all of the food.... It might look like an odd gift to you all, but to me, it is an amazing sign of how much they all care for me! You see, in November, I tested allergic to 24 foods. Most of which are very common! So, the young ladies that chat with me daily, have been listening to me say how "hungry" that I have been, because there is so much that I cannot eat! 

These girls had asked me for a list of those 24 forbidden foods, saying that they would keep their eyes open for things that I could eat...  So, several students took that list to Target, and cross checked ALL ingredients in each one of those items shown above to find out that they were OK for me to eat! When they were given to me, the student said "We don't want to see you 'hungry' any more!" 

Then, the flowers... 

The students went to the trouble of asking other staff members what my favorites were, and they got it right! This is one of the most beautiful and festive arrangements that I have ever received! 

There's more...They also got me a Gift Card to Taco Johns (the only fast food place from which I can eat items off their menu) AND a Gift Card to a Nail Salon, so that I can partake in some pampering. 

Lastly, they signed the card "Thanks for everything you do! We wouldn't be able to do this without you! Love, Concert Band I and Concert Choir".  

Wow, I am feeling so so blessed! The students have given me such an amazing gift; to know that they care, and that they listen, and that they appreciate me. I am almost speechless, with nothing but a grin on my face and so much joy in my heart!!!

Another way that the students touched my heart today, that they aren't even aware of, is this....   Earlier today, I was wrapping, and making grocery lists, and mailing, and cleaning, and more....  And I must admit, this thought actually crossed my mind 'I hate Christmas'. Now, please don't get upset with me; I don't truly hate Christmas, I love it, but the socially acceptable requirements of Christmastime can get really exhausting! That is where I was at, mentally, today. 

All of those feelings melted away instantly, when I received this loving, thoughtful gift! 

I guess this gift was accompanied by some much needed reminders to me: 

1. 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.   Love never fails.   1 Corinthians 13:4-8

2. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.  2 Corinthians 9:7

3. In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”  Acts 20:35 

4. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.  

Colossians 3:14-16 

May you all be deeply Blessed this Christmas, and may you be reminded of the true spirit of Christmas, spreading love and Christmas joy to those around you! 

Sunday, November 29, 2015


Last Sunday, as I was rehearsing before services with the Worship Band, I found myself frantically searching through, and then emptying, my purse, in search of mascara.  You see, it is not uncommon for me to leave the house on any given morning, without having completed that finishing touch.   

I am usually running behind, just that tiny amount of time that it takes to apply mascara....

So, on most days, you could find 2 or 3 tubes of mascara in my purse (waiting to be applied at the first available moment). But last Sunday, there were none. 

I looked at myself in a compact mirror, and thought "Ugghh!  I really need mascara today!"  And, since I had already looked all through my purse and my vehicle, I didn't know what to do....

Well, we finished rehearsal unusually early.   I said to the other ladies "I have time, I am going to run to the grocery store to get some mascara."

I did.   I looked around that store for 5 minutes, and then asked a clerk, who responded "We don't carry any makeup items."   Bummer!   As I walked out to my vehicle, I thought 'There is a convenience store/gas mart nearby.  I will try there'....   So, I drove there.  Looked around for a bit.  Then, asked for help, and the individual replied "we haven't carried mascara for a while." 

Running low on time before the 1st church service at which I needed to sing, I felt it necessary to go back to the church (**sigh**)  without mascara....

Once back at the church, I dug through my purse once more, hoping for a tube of mascara to appear.   It did not.   I then went into the church, and took my normal spot up front.  It was time to sing.  Honestly, I felt somehow naked up there.  I couldn't shake the thought that 'No one here has ever seen me without mascara before.  I must look Ill or tired.  What will people think'....

I was very self-conscious for those first 4 minutes up front....  But then, the band began to play,  the music filled my heart, and my voice rang out in praise to God.  I was suddenly taken, mind and soul, to the place that I cherish most; the place in my heart where nothing is occurring but lifting up beautiful music to the Lord.   When I am singing with the worship band, I feel more free than anywhere else, and more connected, on a direct line, to the Lord, than any other time. 

I sang through the services.  Greeted many people, and smiled a lot.  I praised my God to the height of my ability; as I LOVE to do! 

It wasn't until I got home, and glanced in the mirror, that I remembered that I did not have mascara on.....   In that moment,  in front of the mirror, I was boldly reminded that God does not care how I appear during worship.  No one else really does either.  What the congregation is used to, and what helps them worship, and what feeds my soul more than any other praise, is singing unto the Lord!  
So why had I wasted even a moment looking for mascara? 

That morning, I had forgotten many things.  I had forgotten the reason I was there; to praise Him.  I had forgotten that the Lord only cares that you come before him and worship, NOT in what state you do so!  There is no requirement, none whatsoever, to appear before God and praise His Holy name!  

Apparently, I was out of sync with God.  I had put emphasis on something material, when the only emphasis having any business being on my heart that day was Praise of my Savior! 

May you be reminded by my story today, to praise God in all places, in all ways, and in all physical appearances.  Because, He loves our praise in every way given! 

Thank you Lord, for helping me see, for reminding me, that you will hear our voice and accept our praise, anytime, any way, and in any form that we offer it to You, mascara or not, ! Amen.

Psalm 27:4 NIV
"One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple."

Sunday, November 15, 2015


Sometimes life can get just plain CRAZY!

For 48 hrs. (well, we did sleep some, of course), I have had many many boys running through my house! Neighborhood boys, of all ages.....seriously ages 4 through maybe 13.....

Nerf wars galore, unbelievable amounts of jerky & Gatorade consumed!  I have never seen a whole pan of rice crispy bars eaten, before they even hardened up.....

This type of FUN makes me smile! I am so very happy that there are tons of kids around, in our neighborhood, to hang out with my boys!   But.....sometimes it is overwhelming..... to try to be cleaning, or Blogging, or cooking, or even just plain thinking through something, with the craziness around.... :)  These boys can get SO loud, and SO energized!!

But, It was all brought into perspective today, when one of my boys spiked a fever, very suddenly, of 104..... I can't get it to go away with meds, he looks so very uncomfortable! :(  The house is much more quiet now.   There are still other boys around, with my youngest, but the noise level is dulled, per my instruction.

So here I sit, in silence, able to put my thoughts together to Blog, but realizing, that I would much rather have the CRAZY laughter and joy of them all, filling my house!  Regarding parenting, people often say "Quiet usually means their up to something", but in this instance, quiet means that one of the 'crew' is not well.  Which is a bummer for everyone! 

As I thought about the vast volume difference in my home, I kept thinking about Psalm 100, Verses 1-2 

      On your feet now—applaud God!

     Bring a gift of laughter,    
     sing yourselves into his presence.

Oh how I wish that my children were always 'on their feet' bringing laughter before God!  It is tough to keep up with them when they are well, but even more tough to watch them lay around, not feeling well!   I feel very blessed to have a home that is welcoming to other children!  I know that I am fortunate to have the opportunity to overhear their laughter.  

I don't really know where I am going with this post.....other than wanting to say....   Thank you God for all the days of running feet on my floor or in my yard.   Thank you Lord for the gift of children, who bring laughter to the World.  Thank you Lord for great friends, and for fun days. May you bless Your children with more healthy days than ill, more laughter than tears, and more time spent singing unto You, than anything else!  Amen. 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Another Year

Well, I had a birthday this past week...  (No, I am not going to share which # ) ;)

Over the past several years, I have really dreaded birthdays.  I had been of the opinion that I was getting 'too old' to accomplish all that I wish to...

But this birthday was different.  This time, I look at all the amazing things that the Lord has done in my life, over just the past month, and I can't help but wonder what is to come in this new year of my life.   God has me very in awe of His work in my life right now!   All of the avenues that keep appearing, unexpectedly, in which I can share my faith stories and minister to others, are perfectly aligning with my internal need to share the good news of Jesus! 

I have been in a period of "waiting" (see previous post titled "waiting to minister"), but I can feel the beginning of my time to "GO"!  I am so excited for all that is to come! 

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”  
Isaiah 43:18-19

The Lord is doing a new thing in me, and he may be in you too.   Watch for the signs, listen for His voice!  Know that He is capable of making streams in a wasteland, whenever and wherever He wishes! God's timing is not the same as our timing.  The wait is certainly tough, but the start of the mission is so exciting, that it was well worth the wait! 

Blessings to your week! 

Saturday, October 24, 2015


Many times in the Psalms, the word "Selah" is used. 

I am currently leading a Women's Bible Study group that is

learning about letting things go; letting go of our controlling 

nature, and realizing that God is in control.   Last week, we 

came upon the word "Selah", and our books said that it 

means "to pause and listen" or "to stop and think".

When in a part of our study focused on "listening", we 

decided that we wish to know more about this Hebrew 


Below, I share what I learned when I dug deeper, hoping to

find wisdom from this word, "Selah", that was used 71 times 

in the Psalms. 

It appears that Selah was a musical term. This term occurs only in the Psalms, and elsewhere only 3 times in Habakkuk. This Hebrew music term is connected with the use of the temple music.

סֶלָה (çelâh, seh'-law): suspension (of music), i.e. pause

Selah: Rest, silence.This seems to have been a short pause in the singing of the Psalms.

Easton's Bible Dictionary defines it as: as word frequently found in the Book of Psalms, about seventy-four times in all in Scripture. Its meaning is full of doubt. Some interpret it as meaning "silence" or "pause;" others, "end," "a louder strain," "piano," etc. The LXX. render the word by daplasma i.e., "a division."

Well then...That's clear as mud....

For whatever reason, I expected to find a more concrete answer when studying this word.  I was happy to find that it is a musical term, as I am lover of all things music, but honestly, I was hoping for more insight into pausing and listening in life....

It is difficult to pause and listen, whether it be to what your loved ones have to say, or listening for the prompts of God, it is difficult in this fast paced life, to pause to listen!  I noticed that "Selah" is usually at the end of a phrase, in the Psalms.  I can now understand, both musically and spiritually, why the psalmist would want us to "pause" and let the beautiful words of the Psalm 'sink in', so to speak. If the Psalms are read in a hurry, much of the meaning and spirituality of the words is lost. 

Well, now that I think about it, isn't the same true with much of life?  If we don't pause, rest, stop and think, we miss much of the meaning!  The best memories are made in moments of rest, pause, or attention.  In fact, we wouldn't remember the moments at all, if we didn't pause to capture them! 

So, whether you are hoping to be a better listener, wishing for more restful times, or waiting to hear God's instruction for your life, be sure to work "Selah" into your everyday life!   

Pause, and listen to all around you. Don't miss any moments! 

Saturday, October 17, 2015


I feel weak.

The pace of this life that I live, has me exhausted!  This past week, I had so much going on; between my own obligations, my day job, my ministry, my kids' schedules and events.....There were a few days that I didn't get lunch, and I was going full speed, every day, from 6am-10pm, without even sitting down! 

I am willing to bet that many of you have had times like that. Sometimes, when we over-commit ourselves and our family members, and devote much more time to 'perceived obligations', than to taking care of ourselves and our loved ones; we can feel major burn out. 

This past week, I thought I was fighting the burn out well.  I was already 3 very full, busy days into the week, and felt calm and collected, and able to keep on moving forward through this crazy busy life!   Then, it happened..... My son's school called, as I was going about my day job diligently.....to remind me that I was late for a very important meeting!  A meeting that I had asked for, and prayed for, for 4 years.  There were 5 professionals waiting for me, a 20 minute drive away, and I had forgotten all about it! Completely forgot.....

As I ran from my desk to my car, and called in backups; I felt more rushed and exhausted than ever!  I felt panic and I felt powerless.   I felt embarrassed, and like such a failure, for having forgotten about such a very important meeting! 

I jogged into the meeting, short of breath, and profusely apologized from the humbled, embarrassed depth of my heart!  The meeting went well, and thank God that the individuals in attendance all waited for me to arrive!  This meeting truly had been in the making for 4 years....

As I left the meeting, pleased with the outcome.....I felt an empowerment come over me.  It was stemming from the realization that I was so mentally weak, from 'life' the days before, that I had "checked out" on the most important event in my week!  At that point, I felt strength and motivation overcome me...... I looked back at all of the 'busy-ness' on my calendar.....all of the 'perceived obligations' that stole my time from me; and I prayed for God to give me the strength to discern the difference between the events on my calendar that are truly "optional" and the events that are non-negotiable. 

Right in that time of weakness and deep embarrassment; the Lord made clear to me, once again, which items on my calendar are worth the "rush" associated with making them happen, and which are not.   The strength within me, to say "No" to the 'perceived obligations', and always an emphatic YES, to love, proud parenting, and God's guidance, was renewed! 

Here I sit, typing with pride, as a woman, renewed with strength and the power to stand up for what's important to me!  

I certainly found strength in the weakness that God put before me this week, and I look forward to using that strength to slow the 'Rush', and focus on what's truly important!

May your upcoming week be full of Strength, and the power to stand up for what is important to you! 

Sunday, October 4, 2015


Patience is a very difficult thing to have!  In this very fast paced life, waiting for something that we want, can be excruciating! 

God tells us in many places in the Bible to "Have Patience".  Here are a few that we are going to look at today: 

Romans 8:25
But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. 

Luke 8:15
But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop. 

Romans 8:25 makes me remember being pregnant. The actual baby could not be seen, but we waited for it with patience.  Conception sometimes takes patience; the act of birth takes patience...   In all of that waiting and hoping, for what we do not see, we are to be patient.   But it's very difficult to wait for the positive on the pregnancy test, or to wait to meet that baby that's growing in a tummy, or to wait to see if the baby is healthy after birth....  These are times when we have no other choice than to be patient.  Nothing that we do can speed up the process in any of these instances, only God himself can make things happen. 

I believe that calm patience is an important factor in the equation of life, and in receiving what we've hoped for! 

Luke 8:15 makes me think of growing a garden and a flower bed. Both take much patience and a lot of time.  You must start the seed, and if it is maintained with all the right "good stuff", it will grow into a beautiful plant full of vegetables or beautiful flowers! 

As I began to think about that scripture, I was first convinced that described my role as a mother.  To plant my children in 'Good Soil', and keep patiently feeding them the right knowledge, love, and Scripture, so that they may grow into prosperous, healthy adults.   

That is certainly true, but I also realized, that even as fully grown adults, we must plant ourselves in 'Good Soil', and maintain our health, both physically and spiritually.  We must continually learn, and seek knowledge.  In order to continue to 'bear fruit', at home, work, in marriage, at church, and in every other avenue of life, we must patiently care for ourselves appropriately.   

In this time of transition in my own life, I am finding graceful patience very important, and  I thank God every moment that I am 'planted' among other healthy, happy, and caring 'flowers', and that I am constantly fed by His word, and by the wonderful people He has placed around me! 

Thank you Lord, for making your 'Good Soil' available to us every day, to keep us growing in faith, and blooming through life! 

Here's a great song, called "Grow"........Enjoy! 

Saturday, September 19, 2015


Acceptance (noun)
the act of taking or receiving something offered.
favorable reception; approval; favor.
the act of assenting or believing:
acceptance of a theory.
the fact or state of being accepted or acceptable.

I was in charge of a large event this past week; the preparation for it was very stressful. The event went wonderfully, but when it was time to bring it to conclusion, as I was closing the event, I gave some very incorrect information to the 400+ people in attendance, by mistake.

A few moments after the event had ended, a group of attendees came to me and questioned the validity of the information shared in the closing; they demanded that I reconsider what I had said...

As I ran through the events of the evening in my mind, I realized that everything did not add up to my statements in the closing of the event.  I began to panic and re-think my conclusions.

By the time that I was certain I had given incorrect information to the group, there were only about 10 attendees still in the building.  I began to cry.  I felt a deep desire to right my wrong, right there, in that very moment.  I wanted to apologize and re-announce correct information immediately, but that was not possible. As I approached the small group of the few people remaining, I could not stop crying.  And as I admitted my mistake to them, and asked for their understanding and forgiveness, the tears kept flowing...

I felt so very defeated; but not by the innocent mistake that I had made in giving out incorrect information, but rather, deeply discouraged by the down-turned faces of the attendees, showing that they were disappointed in me.  I could feel in their voices, the distrust of my words, and I could feel from their looks, the disappointment in me, stemming from my mistake.
I left the event, still in tears. And as I drove home, I began to wonder....Why was I such a wreak about this?  Why couldn't I stop crying? 

Well, there is the fact that I was overtired and overworked from having planned and put on the event, and that certainly can bring on emotions....  But, that wasn't all.... in my thinking and evaluation of the evening, a deep deep desire to be accepted by others was brought to the surface.  By the time I arrived home, I was in awe of the depth of my need to be accepted! I kept thinking, WHY do I feel such a huge need, that other human beings fill?  I cannot control other people, and no matter how hard I try (and I try SO HARD, most of the time), I rationalized.... I cannot make others accept me! 

I stayed up through most of that night, physically exhausted, but mentally ALIVE with this revelation. I wrote down all of my thoughts as I processed this; present and past, and the ways that I strive for acceptance of others, in all that I do.  The last thing that I did before falling asleep, was type out a public apology about that evenings mistake, correcting it.  Then I finally cried myself to sleep. 

The next morning, it was so hard to get out of bed.  I had to return to that place, and face those same people, that were disappointed in me, and fix my mistake. I envisioned arriving to an angry group of dissatisfied people, waiting to give me a piece of their mind.  But, I had to go back, and forced myself to do so. 

As I wearily drove back to that place, God blessed me with the new song, playing on the radio: 

"You Are Loved" by Stars Go Dim

God spoke directly to my heart, through the words of this song..."You don't have to prove yourself!"
"Don't Try to be someone else!" 

Over and over God reminded me, through this song, just how loved and accepted I am by Him! 
And that acceptance is everlasting, all loving, and stronger than any human acceptance that I can obtain! 

As I arrived at my destination, with tears of joy in my eyes, I felt confident that the day ahead would be OK, and that if I needed encouragement, I would simply Look up, and Know that I am Loved

Whenever you need to be reminded, just look up, and know You Are Loved

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Waiting.......to Minister.......

Seasons of waiting..... They are difficult to go through!  We all have different seasons of waiting, both in our personal lives and in our professional lives.

Right now, I am in a season of waiting that encompasses both.......
My very personal passion for sharing my life story and my faith journey with others, and the desire to build a ministry far reaching enough to be a consistent business.

I feel a deep desire, every day, to grow this ministry that I am called to do; but roadblocks keep arising, and efforts to promote my ministry go unanswered....

Over the last couple of weeks, as I've been spending time doing promotional things for my ministry, I have been continually noticing things on Twitter, Devotionals, Facebook, and more, that are all prompting me to "Make sure that I minister right where I am at, First!" 

Thankfully, the re-occurrence of that message, over and over, has caused me to pause, and evaluate why I am being bombarded with it..... 

I had begun putting a bit too much emphasis on the "reach" of my ministry materials (Facebook posts, Blog posts, website, etc.), and lost sight of the people directly within my reach, that I should minister to every single day! 

I love sharing my passion for Christ and for music with my children!  There is no better moment spent than reading devotions with my kids, or answering Biblical/Life questions of theirs, or planning church music, or rehearsing instruments with THEM! 

My children's Faith is blossoming more and more each day; as are their musical abilities!  I am so proud of them, every single day, and I want to continue setting a solid, positive, example for them!

Therefore, what I have learned so far, in this season of waiting, is that I don't have to wait at all to share my stories and my heart.  My loved ones and the other people around me every day can feel my Faith, if I live my days with the outward glow and grace of Faith! They can benefit from me keeping a positive attitude, showing Love, just as Christ did, and Ministering to them, whatever their needs! 

So, to anyone who feels in a season of waiting right now, I say: 
Start Where You Are.  Use What You Have.  
Do What You Can. 

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Blessing to you all! 

Isaiah 40:31 "But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint."

Friday, August 28, 2015

Better is Better than Bitter!

Here is a life lesson that even I needed.....  And it ended with me coming up with this profound saying (lol!) "It is Better to Be Better than Bitter".

One evening, not to long ago, my kids and I were on our way to Dairy Queen.... On a very busy street, we got behind a really s...l...o...w driver.  When I put my blinker on to switch lanes and go around them, the pickup behind me sped up quickly, got beside me, and proceeded to stay right beside me, so that I couldn't move my position on the road.   It was very obvious that the driver was doing this on purpose! 

At first I was infuriated!!  But as we continued on down the road, another spot opened up for me to pass..... I was then in front of that pickup, and we both proceeded to turn into the Dairy Queen Drive through.  Him behind me.

As I sat in the long line at the drive through, with my kids in the vehicle, I couldn't shake the urge to look in the rearview mirror; and every time that I did, I felt this sadness for that man.  Something inside was telling me that he has had a very bad day!

So, I began telling my kids what had happened, and how this vehicle behind us had been "difficult" when we were on the road, and that he was trying to infuriate me.   Then I continued with "And now, he is behind us in line....and I think that he has had a very bad day.....(pause)......And that is why we are going to pay for whatever he ordered, when we get up to the window."  My kids said, "WHAT?  He casued you trouble while driving, and now you are going to buy him something??"  To which I replied, "Yes, I am going to be the better person.  It is better to be better than bitter!"  The kids were satisfied with that answer.

I, however, didn't stop thinking about that encounter all evening.  The way that my heart and mind were told that man had had a very tough day, and the way that the rationalizing of this situation poured from my mouth to my kids, was certainly God sent!

Later that evening, I heard my boys telling some friends about what had happened earlier at Dairy Queen, and they were proud of me.   They certainly RECEIVED the lesson that bitterness gets us nowhere, but love and kindness certainly does!

That is when I realized that I needed to be reminded of that life lesson, just as much as they needed an example of it!  There is no sense to bitterness.  There is nothing good that can come from it!  But forgiveness, love, and kindness changes your own day and someone else's, for the better!

So, the next time that someone "rubs you the wrong way", whether it be on purpose or by accident, try to be "Better rather than Bitter"!

Thank God for this reminder, and for the prompt that day to make someone else's day better!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Day 6 - wrap-up of Friendship week

As I sit here and try to "wrap-up" this week, I wonder...  "What more can I write about Women's friendships?"  Every post this week has been such a blessing to me and gave so much perspective!

 Reading Tara's post (Day 3) again, I feel so thankful for the Christian friendhips that I have made throughout life!  I have met some amazing women through church, starting with my 2 best friends all through growing up, that stuck by me through elementary, we were confirmed together, graduated together, and stayed friends through college and marriages.  There are several women today also, from my church, that have such a positive influence on my life, with everything from parenting to marriage to praying for each other.  Those friendships are cherished!

And then, on Day 4, Mandy's message hit home with me very well!  The reminder to forgive and love friends no matter what, because the reconcilliation of a good friendship, will only make a GREAT friendship!!  I myself needed to hear that.... I needed a prompt to contact a friend that I miss very much, and reconcile our friendship.  You see, she is a Christian friend that has upheld me and stood by me through alot, as I have her; and I truly believe that God placed her and I in each others lives, years ago, to be there for each other through the challenges of this crazy life!

I pray that all of you find yourself in the company of friends who will pour out their one vessel for you, who truly love you, and who help you stay positive and stay faithful to God!

Also, remember that the ultimate friend is God, because He is the only one who can fulfill all our needs, and love us to an extent that no other can!

Thank you for joining me throughout this "Friendship Week" on my Blog!  It would be greatly appreciated if you could leave a comment on this post about what you thought of the week, what touched you, future suggestions, or just whatever you are moved to write!  Thank you!  God's blessings to you all!!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Day 5 - "Covenant Friendship"

Thank you for joining us for Day 5 of "Friendship Week" here @ FromMyLifeToYourHeart.blogspot.com!

 Today we have the 4th, and final, Guest Blogger!  Leeanne Burda from www.prayingthroughlife.com, wrote this original Blog post just for us! 

Covenant Friendship

“Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as himself”
(1 Samuel 18:3)

I love reading 1 Samuel 18:3 out of the English Standard Version of the Bible. It states that Jonathan loved David as if it was his own soul. A recurring principle in scripture is that we are meant to run this race of life with others. We cannot live alone. We were created for fellowship and accountability, and our lives being intertwined with others.  

Jonathan and David’s friendship went beyond special. The fact that scripture says Jonathan made a covenant with David shows the gravity of the promise he made. Jonathan, whose own father, King Saul, was trying to kill David, would honor their friendship even if it meant Jonathan lost his life. Scripture says that their souls were knit together. 

One of our greatest influences will be the friends in our life.  I’m sure David would have rather had one Jonathan than twenty partially devoted friends.  

Pray today that the Lord will surround you with friendship, covenant love, and wise influence.

As I examine my own life I realize that friendship is also something I have to make a priority. I have to be available and commit my time to loving others. I have to be a great listener, encourager, servant, and cheerleader. Friendship is so very sweet when two people sharpen one another with God’s word, but also in rejoicing and weeping, depending on the season of life God has placed them in.

Do you have a friend or friends who hold you accountable and know you intimately?

Thank you, Jesus, for the example of Jonathan and David. I pray, Lord, that I would model their integrity in friendship today and pass those characteristics on to my children. I pray now for the friends you will bring into their lives. May their friendship strengthen their walk with you.  Amen.

Leeanne Burda
Blogger, Praying Through Life
Twitter: @prayingthrulife
FB: www.facebook.com/prayingthroughlife

Thank you LeeAnne!!  This post is a great reminder of how important friends are! Loyal, faithful, understanding girlfriends are priceless! 

May you all be blessed with multiple friendships that feed your soul, lift your heart, and make you smile!!

Tomorrow I will write a "wrap up" of all the sub-topics this week, and ask for some feedback..... So, join me to review the high points and celebrate a week of wonderful Guest Bloggers!!

**REMEMBER, there will be a GIVEAWAY on Saturday!  Anytime throughout this week (Monday-Friday) you can sign up for my GIVEAWAY of TWO custom magnets, made for the Ministry of FromMyLifeToYourHeart Public Speaking, ONE FOR YOU and ONE FOR A FRIEND!!! All you have to do to register to win, is (1) subscribe to follow my Blog (frommylifetoyourheart.blogspot.com), and (2) post anywhere on Social media, using the hashtag #friendshipweek. 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Day 4 - "Friendship: Beauty for Ashes (Part II)"

Today's Guest Blogger is Mandy Lawrence Hill 
Mandy is blessing us with her words, here on this Day 4 of "Friendship Week" at FromMyLifeToYourHeart!

A friend is always loyal, and a {sister} is born to help in time of need. (Proverbs 17:17)

Many of you read my last post and probably thought back to a time or times when you have been burned by friendship in the past. Perhaps a friend betrayed your trust, broke a confidence, perhaps a friend offended you, said something hurtful. One of the main reasons that people are without a good friend is because they have been burned in the past and lack the desire to trust again. 
The word of God speaks of times such as these:
“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
He didn’t say we might have trouble….He said we will.
We will have trouble.
But the incredible thing to remember is the truth that comes next in this verse. “But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Our God is victorious!!! He knows what we need and helps us grow to be more like him through times of trouble.

As I mentioned in my previous post; we need to be a friend to have a friend. “Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them. 

Add up God’s Law and Prophets and this is what you get. (Matthew 7:12)
You see friends, it isn’t our job to worry or condemn those who have hurt us. We must move past the hurt; forgive them even if they don’t ask and The Lord will fill the places where hurt feelings once lived with sweet peace. We must pick up the ashes and let the beauty grow. We need to pray for them and above all else we must love. Love at ALL times. Even when it hurts.
If we cut someone out of our life at the first sign of conflict or adversary we will miss out on the beauty of reconciliation. The best friendships are those that have come up against the storm, they’ve bent and swayed with the wind, but they have stayed rooted in the ground.
Are you holding back on being a friend because you’ve “been burned in the past?!

Heavenly Father, I thank you for my sisters. I pray right now for those that are carrying around past hurts, heal the area of their hearts that are so desperate for peace. I ask that you will give them the strength to exchange beauty for their ashes and move on to the incredible things that you have in store. We know God, that unresolved hurts hold us back from fully experiencing you and so we give them all to you; a wonderful God who has already fought the battle and has won. You are victorious and we trust you and your ways. Thank you God. We love you so much! Amen.

(The above post was originally posted on July 16, 2013 at https://godfearingmama.wordpress.com/2013/07/16/friendship-beauty-for-ashes-part-ii/

Thank you Mandy, for this wonderful post!  We all need to be reminded from time to time that good girlfriends are worth their weight in gold! It is amazing to hear Jesus say that we "WILL have troubles", and to be reminded that we will overcome them through Him!  I have had some troubled occasions with girlfriends in the past, and even as I read your post, know of a relationship that needs mending right now!  Thank you Mandy for sharing your perspective, and reminding us all that hardships in relationships, only make them stronger, and each person involved stronger as well! 

May you all be moved to give thanks for all friends, past and present; and grow the current friendships on Love and Understanding! 

**REMEMBER, there will be a GIVEAWAY on Saturday!  Anytime throughout this week (Monday-Friday) you can sign up for my GIVEAWAY of TWO custom magnets, made for the Ministry of FromMyLifeToYourHeart Public Speaking, ONE FOR YOU and ONE FOR A FRIEND!!! All you have to do to register to win, is (1) subscribe to follow my Blog (frommylifetoyourheart.blogspot.com), and (2) post anywhere on Social media, using the hashtag #friendshipweek. 

Blessed Friendship week (self-proclaimed) to you all! :) 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Day 3 - Guest Blog "Friendship-Story of My Heart"

Thanks for joining me for Day 3 of "Friendship Week"!
I feel confident that you will be very blessed by this post from Guest Blogger, Tara Blake @ storyofmyheart.org


In friendship…we think we have chosen our peers. In reality a few years’ difference in the dates of our births, a few more miles between certain houses, the choice of one university instead of another…the accident of a topic being raised or not raised at a first meeting–any of these chances might have kept us apart. But, for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking no chances. A secret master of ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you,” can truly say to every group of Christian friends, “Ye have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another.” The friendship is not a reward for our discriminating and good taste in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each of us the beauties of others.”
CS Lewis  
I am not good at making friends – never have been.  And I don’t have a lot of friends.
But, before anyone starts to feel sorry for me 😉 I am totally okay with that!
I am SUCH an introvert and I function perfectly well in public and speaking in front of people is no problem for me, but sometimes I find small talk to be absolutely exhausting!  😉
I NEED quiet time and I don’t get much of it these days, surrounded by high school-ers all day and little boys at night.
I can count on one hand my really close friends, and two of those are my sisters.  😉
So, for me, making a new friend, especially as an adult, is a HUGE deal.
I now count Melissa as one of those friends on one hand.  My first new friend in over 20 years.  And one of only 3 friends who isn’t related to me.  😉
So I know that the friendship that I have found with Melissa is from God. From the day I gave my heart to Christ, God was at work developing and strengthening the bonds between the two of us.
The day I gave my heart to Christ was a Wednesday.  I hadn’t been to church in close to 20 years. My sister had been attending church for a little over a year and that evening I went with her.  Melissa was leading a women’s Bible study and I don’t remember much other than at the end of the evening Melissa asked each of us to write down things in our life that we wanted her to pray over.  As leader, she was going to take these anonymous slips of paper and pray over each of our requests.  That evening I remember that I wrote down two things:
1 – that I would continue to grow as a Christian and grow closer to Christ
2 – and I asked for prayer over my marriage 
From the moment I met Melissa she began praying for me.  Since then we have prayed for one another many, many times.  It is hard for the two of us to get together without husbands, kids, and animals, but when we have had the opportunity to meet we have important, heart-felt, Christ centered conversations.
And Melissa offers good advice.  It would be easy for the two of to get together and gripe and complain about our husbands, our kids, our lives, but she always offers an alternative to just complaining. She always brings the focus back to Christ and what He can do.
 As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.
Proverbs 27:17
I believe that one of the clearest ways we can feel and know God’s love is through the people He places in our lives.
He works through us to love and support one another.
If you have a God given friend, and I hope you do, maybe take a moment today to thank God for her and the ways in which He loves you through her.
And tell her – how much she means to you and how thankful you are to have her in your life.
Allow God to use you to share His love.
(This Blog post was originally published on May 26, 2015, at storyofmyheart.org/general/friendship.)

Wonderfully done Tara! I am so happy to feature these wonderful ladies' Blogs this week! 

My favorite line in the above post is "He works through us to love and support one another"!   What a wonderful way to look at God given friendships!  To think that God has strategically placed our births, and every encounter since, to put us in the midst of the people that we need, and the people that need us, is a shear marvel!

Please pray with me: 
Good and Gracious God,  
Thank you so much, for Your plans for our lives! As our eyes are opened about how You have placed wonderful people in our paths, to help us, and to need us both; we feel so very blessed by each and every person You place in our lives!   Thank you for Your plan! 

**REMEMBER, there will be a GIVEAWAY on Saturday!  Anytime throughout this week (Monday-Friday) you can sign up for my GIVEAWAY of TWO custom magnets, made for the Ministry of FromMyLifeToYourHeart Public Speaking, ONE FOR YOU and ONE FOR A FRIEND!!! All you have to do to register to win, is (1) subscribe to follow my Blog (frommylifetoyourheart.blogspot.com), and (2) post anywhere on Social media, using the hashtag #friendshipweek. 

Blessed Friendship week (self-proclaimed) to you all! :)