I am no longer the things of my past...I am the daughter of the Great I AM.

Exodus 3:14
And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'"
2 Corithians 6:18
I will be a Father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.

Monday, December 13, 2010

It's a Choice

Recently, I had someone tell me that one day she hopes to be happy like me. This person is going through a lot right now, and it is very difficult not to sink into depression. Truthfully, I know many people who are like this. The things of this world can weigh heavy on you, and cause you to lose hope.

As a Christian, we know that we do not have to conform to what this world tells us. We instead have to choose to believe what God's word tells us. It is not about how we feel, but rather what God says. Let me acknowledge right now, THIS IS NOT AN EASY CHOICE!!!

The statement that I am happy is true... somedays it is easy ... somedays it is a choice. Today, it is a choice. As a stay at home wife/mom who is married to a self employed man, money can sometimes be a stressful issue for us. (As I imagine it can for many of you). Last night we discovered that a job we were counting on starting today, has been postponed temporarily. In years past I would have easily went into stress/fix it mode. Instead, I have asked God to expedite the paperwork that has caused the delay, and I trust His timing in it. I know He has all our needs taken care of. If I start dwelling on this again, I just say out loud, "Thank you God for having this situation under Your Control. I trust You." Then, I just start praising Him for all the blessings I do have.

Now, I hope that no one believes me to be flippant over anyones problems. I know that some of you reading this have very heavy burdens to bear. Here is the good part, God will bear them for you. Even if it is problems you have created for yourself, turn them over to Him. Praise Him out loud! Seek His guidance from His word! Seek godly counsel! Trust Him! It is not always easy, but it is always the best choice.

What we read in Scripture is, "Abraham entered into what God was doing for him, and that was the turning point. He trusted God to set him right instead of trying to be right on his own." Romans 4:3

“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

Friday, December 10, 2010

I Cry, I Laugh, I Think about a Bullfrog

If you have been following my blog, you probably remember the one titled "The Phone Call." In that blog I shared how I received the news about the death of my 12 year old nephew. Today would have been his 20th birthday.

This morning on facebook, I posted as my status that I was thinking of my nephew Hamp. Immediately, I started receiving posts letting me know people were praying for me today, or were encouraging me today. I appreciate all the thoughts and prayers. Truthfully, I think about Hamp often. Especially the older my son gets. It is amazing to me how much Ethan reminds me of Hamp, from looks to actions.

When I think of Hamp, I sometimes cry, and usually at the oddest moments. On the fourth of July this year, our music minister led a series of old sunday school songs. They were all songs that I had sung with Hamp and his sister Charlie when I used to babysit them. So as everyone is singing, "I've got joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart..." I sat down and cried! Jason knew why, everyone else thought I had lost my mind.

Most of the time when I think of Hamp, I laugh! That boy was full of life! He was fun, loving, and yes, often a pest. His imagination was amazing! He was always up to something, and usually ended with everyone laughing at his antics.

Finally, when I think of Hamp, I think about a bullfrog. You see, from a very early age, Hamp could sing, "Jeremiah was a bullfrog, a very good friend of mine..." He would receive requests to perform this song. Best of all, if he came to the end, but wasn't ready to stop... No problem! In his best "rock'n'roll" voice, He would growl "One more time!"

So, today as I have remembered my nephew, I have cried, I have laughed, and I have thought of a bullfrog. Most of all, I am secure in knowing that Hamp is in heaven, and I will see him again one day! Until that moment, I have no doubt that Hamp is entertaining the rest of the family while he waits for us to join him.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Our Promised Land

Last night, I did not want to go to bed. It was 10 O'clock, and I was sitting on the couch with our sweet dog snuggled next to me. The kids had been in bed for a while, but were not asleep yet. Jason was "watching" DIY. Actually, he was asleep. We had a fire in the fireplace, Christmas lights on, and I was enjoying the peace and beauty of my home. I love my home!

That is when it hit me, we have been in our house for 19 months now! I realize that might not seem like a big deal to you, but to us it is! It is the longest we have lived in any house since our move to Texarkana. In the last five years, we have lived in 5 houses. (I have shared in previous blogs about our struggles with jobs and poor choices when we first moved here, so you can look back if you are a little lost now.)

You know it is bad when your 5 year old daughter sees you packing away everyday decor, and she asks why you are packing. Even after I told her that it was to make room for Christmas decor, she had to confirm with, "We're not moving?" Since we moved here in August of 2006, we have lived in an apartment for 5 months, a house we built (and sold) for 18 months, a rental home (that I lovingly called the Redneck Riveria)for 10 months, and finally our current home for 19 months. Can you see now why it is a big deal?

As I thought back last night, I remembered how God has carried us through out this whole experience. Yes, we made some poor choices, but God is faithful. We have grown ever closer to Him, and trust Him no matter what! I do not know what God has planned for our future. I do know however, that as of right now, we are living in our Promised Land.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Guest Blogger Interview

A friend of mine, in real life as well as the blog world, has a blog called Like Christmas Every Single Day. She recently interviewed me about Christmas. It was a lot of fun!! She has posted that interview today. Copy and Paste this link, and check it out.

http://likechristmaseverysingleday.blogspot.com/2010/12/guest-blogger-kerry-from-daughter-of-i.html

While you're there, check out her blog. She always has a lot of fun, and is a very generous person.

Thank you Mrs. Claus for the opportunity to share on your blog!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Mixture of Regret and Relief

I turned 41 on Saturday, and I spent the day wondering if I were pregnant or not. Not what most 41 year olds are contemplating on their birthday, huh? I was a week late, and that is very uncommon for me. I took a pregnancy test on Friday. There was supposed to be a plus or a minus show up in the result window and a vertical line in the control window. There was a minus in the result window, which means no pregnancy, but there was no line in the control window. This left me wondering if the test was accurate or faulty.

I spent Saturday thinking of all the changes that would take place if I were pregnant. I have a 10 year old, and a 5 year old. I am well past the diaper stage, and I get to sleep all night most nights. I am also well past the being able to cuddle my babies in my arms, rock them, sing to them, just hold them close. A baby would change our routines completely. I could imagine both good and not so good changes. I spent the day trying to figure out how I would manage Ethan's golf tournaments with a baby? How would Erin handle not being the baby of the family any more? Which child would share a room with the baby, and how would I arrange the crib in the room? I started thinking of baby names... I have set a pattern with the initials ELE... Ethan Lane, and Erin Lee. Did I want to continue this, or go completely different?

I am not concerned about my age or my health, but I do know that we do not have maternity insurance. However, I also know that God would provide. Finally, I remembered something God told me several months ago. I had been talking to Him about my children, and told Him that I sometimes regret only having two. He spoke to my spirit, and told me that He hadn't told me I was through. I'm not sure what that means, but I trust His plans.

So, on Sunday it was confirmed that I am not pregnant. I was praising God for having an answer. Then I was left with both regret and relief. I don't know what God has planned for our future, but I do know that He has a plan for me, Jason, and our children ... whether that is two or more.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Birthday Bloggin'

Today is my birthday! I am overwhelmed with the number of calls, texts, and facebook posts I have received today. They are all such blessings to me. As I have celebrated my day, I have thought back over the last 41 years. I have come to a couple of conclusions...

First, I have made a lot of really STUPID decisions in my life.

Second, and most important, God has been loving, protecting, showing favor, and blessing me every step of the way. Even during those times that I didn't know He was there, He was. He is faithful.

Over the last 10 years, I have truly delighted in the Lord, and though not always perfect, I have grown ever closer to my God. I have been able to recognize His hand is every situation. Even those that I created with my stupid choices.

The years prior to that, I was not seeking God first. I was seeking whatever I wanted first. There are a few situations I look back on and realize now that were it not for the grace of God, I would not be here. It is these times that I am most thankful that God has always had a plan for me.

No matter what was done in the past, is being done today, or will be done in the future, God is faithful. He loves you, and has a plan for you. Seek Him first, and everything else will fall into place.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

30 Wise Sayings

Among my other Bible reading, I read one chapter from the Book of Proverbs each day. I have done this for years, so you would think I would have them memorized by now... uh, that answer would be no! Recently, as I was reading Proverbs 22, I discovered a heading that said "30 Sayings of the Wise." I thought really? There are only a few verses left in this chapter. Then I discovered that these carry over into chapters 23 and 24. You see, by only reading one chapter a day, I had missed that this was a continued thought.

Now I realize that some of you reading this blog already had this one figured out, but for those of you like me, here is a list of the 30 sayings... I think you will discover that we should all strive to live by these. (I am going to paraphrase these, so I encourage you to get in God's word and read them for yourself.)

1. Don't walk on the poor just because they're poor, and don't use your position to crush the weak.

2. Don't hang out with angry people; don't keep company with hotheads.

3. Don't gamble on the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, hocking your house against a lucky chance.

4. Don't move back the boundary lines staked out by your ancestors.

5. Observe people who are good at their work.

6. When you go to dinner with an influential person, mind your manners.

7. Don't wear yourself out trying to get rich; restrain yourself!

8. Don't accept a meal from a tightwad.

9. Don't bother talking sense to fools.

10. Don't cheat orphans out of their property.

11. Give yourselves to disciplined instruction.

12. Don't be afraid to correct your young ones; a spanking won't kill them.

13. Children, if you become wise, your parents will be happy.

14. Don't for a minute envy careless rebels, soak yourself in the fear of God - that's where your future lies.

15. Don't drink too much wine and get drunk, and don't eat too much food and get fat.

16. Listen with respect to the father who raised you, and when your mother grows old, don't neglect her.

17. A loose woman can get you in deep trouble fast.

18. Don't judge wine by its label, or its bouquet, or its full-bodied flavor. Judge it rather by the hangover it leaves you with, the splitting headache, and the queasy stomach.

19. Don't envy bad people; don't even want to be around them.

20. It takes wisdom to build a house, understanding to set it on a firm foundation, and knowledge to furnish its rooms.

21. It is better to be wise than strong; strategic planning is the key to warfare.

22. Wise conversation is way over the head of fools.

23. The person who's always cooking up some evil soon gets a reputation as prince of rogues.

24. If you fall to pieces in a crisis, there wasn't much to you in the first place.

25. Rescue the perishing; don't hesitate to step in and help.

26. Eat honey, it's good for you. Likewise knowledge, and wisdom for your soul.

27. Don't interfere with good people's lives; don't try to get the best of them.

28. Don't laugh when your enemy falls; don't crow over his collapse.

29. Don't bother your head with braggarts or wish you could succeed like the wicked.

30. Fear God, respect your leaders; don't be defiant or mutinous.

Reference: Proverbs 22:16 - 24:22

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Drive Whatever He Gives You the Keys To

This week, Jason bought a "new" used truck. In doing so, we traded in my "grandma Buick". So now, Jason's old work truck is now my truck. The kids and I are enjoying driving the truck. Truthfully, I am more of a truck woman than a "grandma car" woman. Either way, I like the fact that there is no car payment on my ride. That is a great feeling... one that we had to learn the hard way in our early years of marriage.

I have had people ask me when I am going to get a new car, or if I mind driving an older vehicle. My answer is always the same, "I just drive whatever Jason gives me the keys to." Now I am not saying that I don't like new cars, but I know that a car is just a car. If it runs well, and gets me safely where I am going, that is what is important.

Since Jason is a "horse trader," I have learned through the years to not be attached to stuff. You see, if Jason thinks he can sell something and make a profit, it will be sold. Whether it is something small or large. (many of you know our history with building and selling houses.)

I have learned also, that this is the way we should be with God. God is the one who gives us all that we have. He is the one that directs our paths. We should be willing to take "whatever keys He hands us." He has plans for us, better than anything we can have for ourselves. So don't waste time complaining or being envious. Instead, take those keys from God and enjoy the ride.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It's the Little Things

A couple of weeks ago, we watched the movie "How to Train Your Dragon." The kids loved it. A few days later, Jason came home after work with two shields that he had made while at work. They were wood cut in a shield shape, and he added strips of leather from an old belt for handles on the back. The kids were very impressed! They have spent hours training their dragons, or whatever else their imagination thinks up. Jason definitely got bonus Daddy of the Year points that day.

As I have watched the kids playing, I have been reminded of special gifts my mama gave to me growing up. The memories that are the best aren't from big, expensive gifts. Rather, they are from little things that she did. One memory in particular comes to mind every time I hear a Lionel Ritchie song. When I was about 14 I commented to my mama that I liked Lionel Ritchie's song "Hello." The next day when I got home from school, the single was there waiting on me. (And yes, I realize I just dated myself as old!) I liked the song before that, but now it is one of my all time favorite songs.

As Christmas approaches, and the wish lists of those we love grows, we tend to get caught up in the commercialism of the holidays. I encourage you to take time to think of the little things. What can you do just to let someone know you are thinking of them? What can you do that will create a memory?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Glass Coke Bottles

(Let me begin by explaining what I mean by coke... Being from south Arkansas, it can mean coca-cola, however, it can also refer to any carbonated beverage of the soda pop variety.)

A couple of years ago, Jason was telling Ethan about drinking cokes from glass bottles as a child. He explained that the cokes started out colder and stayed colder longer. He described to him the fizz that would come out when you first popped the top on the lid. He was very vivid in his details and Ethan hung on every word.

I am not sure why Jason was telling Ethan about it, but I do know that from that moment Ethan is obsessed with glass bottles. If we have ever been in a convenience store that stocked glass bottles, Ethan remembers where it is. He collects the bottles after he drinks them. He is just as convinced as his dad that cokes are better from a glass bottle. He has even asked for a six pack of glass coke bottles for Christmas.

As I was dusting the bottles in his room yesterday, I thought about what sharing one story about glass bottles has led to. Because of Jason's excitement, Ethan is excited about glass bottles.

I wonder, do I show that much excitement when I relay stories of God to my children? Can they see how exited I am over God that they become obsessed with seeking Him for themselves? Does my love of God shine through so brightly that others want to taste that for themselves?

Psalm 34:8 (Amplified Bible)
O taste and see that the Lord [our God] is good! Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man who trusts and takes refuge in Him.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Making Plans

The kids and I often have to run errands around town, and occasionally out of town, for our family business. Before I leave, I always plot out all my stops. I like to plan my route so that there is no back tracking, and I try to avoid the road construction around Texarkana. (Those of you in T-town know what I am talking about.)I also try to plan my time, though this can be more difficult, I am usually pretty accurate on how long it will take me to do all that I have planned.

Most days everything runs smoothly. However, there are other days that it doesn't work quite the way I've planned. Occasionally, I arrive at a business that has not opened yet, or that has closed early. More than once, I have stopped by an office that is out for lunch. When these events happen, I either have to wait, or I have to come back at another time. Then there are the times when all is going smoothly, and Jason calls needing me to go somewhere else... inevitably through the worst traffic and construction areas. When my schedule does go awry, it is hard not to get frustrated. I have learned that frustration does not help. The only answer is to "go with the flow."

It seems that no matter how well I plot my course, there are times when that course gets re-routed. That is the same with life. We can plan our day, week, or even life in our minds, but it is God who directs our steps. No matter what your plans, watch for God's direction. He is the only One who can make yours steps sure.

A man's mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure. Proverbs 16:9 (Amplified Bible)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

It Feels Comfortable

Each morning, the kids and I go for a walk/bike ride before we start school. Erin has two bikes. One is her "Dora" bike. It is too small for her, but she can still ride it. The other is her "Hello Kitty" bike. She got it for her birthday in April. It is the right size, but she still is a little unsure when riding it. This is because we raised the training wheels in hopes of her learning to balance better, and therefore being able to remove the training wheels altogether.

This morning, she asked if she could ride her "Dora" bike. She hasn't rode it in a long time, so I agreed. As we were going through the neighborhood, Ethan asked her why she was riding her old bike. She said, "It just feels comfortable."

As soon as she said those words, I thought of how often we say the same thing to God. He tells us to do something that requires faith. Instead of trusting Him to provide what we need, we would rather stay where it "feels comfortable." We are willing to stay somewhere we have outgrown, just because of how we feel. When we do this, we miss the blessings and opportunities God has for us.

Is God telling you to do something? Have you been in His word? Have you spent time in prayer? Take that step. It won't feel comfortable. Have faith to know that God will provide all that you need to accomplish this task.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Speak the Truth in Love but Don't Apologize

I have been preparing for a Bible study that I teach on Wednesday nights. As I was thinking through what I am sharing, God laid something on my heart. After praying about this information, I began thinking about how to present it. Each time I would start with something like, "I don't want to offend, but..." Before I would get much further, I would feel something was wrong. So I prayed and studied scripture. I thought maybe I had misunderstood what God wanted me to share. However, the more I studied, the more I knew God wanted this truth spoke. So again I tried to think through how to present this, and again I started with an apology before sharing the truth. God finally got clear with me (As He has to do quite often)... He told me to "Speak the Truth in love, but DON'T apologize."

In today's society, we are so concerned about offending people, hurting their feelings, or making them mad, that we tip-toe around the truth. We apologize and back track. Or worse yet, we don't say anything at all. That is not what God wants. When we see someone doing something they shouldn't, it is our job to restore them.

That does not mean we are to be harsh and hateful. Just the opposite, we are to speak the truth in love. After we share the truth, the other person may still get mad, hurt or offended. If that is the case, all you can do then is walk away and pray for them. It is better to offend them, then to allow them to keep going down the wrong path because you are afraid of the consequences.

Rather, let our lives lovingly express truth [in all things, speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly]. Enfolded in love, let us grow up in every way and in all things into Him Who is the Head, [even] Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). Ephesians 4:15 (Amplified Bible)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Rat Phobia

Before I begin this blog, let me clarify what I mean by the word rat...I mean any rodent type critter. (How is that for a good south Arkansas term?) It does not matter if they are tiny with big round ears and people call them Mickey, or if they are in a cage running endlessly on a wheel going nowhere, or if they are 3 feet long and live on a wharf... they are all rats!!! OK, now on to my blog.

I am scared of rats. I am the typical female in the chair when it comes to them. I blame this on my sister Cindy. When I was about 5 years old, a rat died under the coffee table at our home. I honestly don't know the true size, but in my memory it had to have been at least 18 inches in length. Cindy sent me under the table with a paper towel to get it out. How is that for warping your little sister???

It seems that I have a history with rats. When I was a teenager, I had to open the hot water heater closet. When I opened the door, there were two beady eyes staring at me. It was the biggest rat I had ever seen. I went running and screaming through the house. My uncle assured me that it was probably a baby opossum that had gotten in seeking warmth, but I think it was a rat.

When I first moved out on my own, I rented a trailer that was in the middle of a field. Every time it rained, field mice would get in. I was told to put out glue traps. Let me tell you right now, there is no worse sound than waking up in the middle of the night to a plastic glue trap scraping across a linoleum floor. After trying to kill the first one I caught, I quickly realized I hated them, but couldn't kill them. So I would open the back door and sweep the rat, trap and all out into the night.

I was convinced that rats would run across my bed while I was sleeping at night. I would not dare place any part of my body out from under the covers. Shortly after getting married, Jason brushed his foot against mine while sleeping, and I sat straight up in the bed screaming. Jason didn't even ask what was wrong, he just quickly assured me that it was only him and not a mouse.

As a teacher, I would allow students to bring their small pets to class to share. I have had birds, fish, spiders, and even snakes sitting on my desk. (In a cage of course) I had one student who begged me to let her bring her hamster. I finally gave in. Not only did she bring the cage, she brought the ball that allowed it to run around the room. At the end of the day during study hall, I allowed her to put it in the ball. I was sitting at my desk grading papers. I knew it was running around. However, when that ball went under my desk and bumped my foot, I was standing in my chair with a room full of laughing students.

I could go on and on with stories, but I think I have made my point ... I am scared of rats! I know that this fear makes no sense. I know that I am much bigger than a rat, and that it can't hurt me. (Although I might hurt myself trying to get away.) I also know that fear is not of the Lord, yet I still keep my self in bondage with this phobia.

Unfortunately, this is true of many areas of our lives. We know the truth, and yet we allow other things to keep us in fear, in guilt, in anger, or in hate. We allow these things to skew the way we view something. It has nothing to do with truth, but only what we perceive to be truth.

God's word tells us that we shall know the truth, and the truth will set us free. Will you receive the truth in your situation, or will you continue to stand on the chair hanging onto your phobia?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Stop Whimpering and Complaining

It has become a morning routine around our house that after Erin eats breakfast, our dog Prissy eats whatever is left over. This morning, Erin finished eating, and placed the rest of her biscuit in Prissy's food dish. Somehow Prissy missed that part of it. She saw that Erin had finished and began whimpering and whining wanting her portion. I had to walk over to her dish and show her that it was already there. Of course, the whimpering stopped immediately.

As I thought about this, I realized that is exactly what we Christians do so often. We spend so much time whimpering, whining, and complaining about what we don't have, that we miss the fact that God has already given us all that we need.

Two verses came to mind as I thought of this...

Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Luke 6:38

The next time you find yourself wanting to moan and groan over your circumstances, STOP! Instead turn that complaining into praising. Look around and thank God for all that you have. Delight yourself in Him. Get close to Him. Follow His directions. You might find that what you have been whimpering about has already been given to you.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My Prayer for Jason

I have always been one to have a quick temper. In my younger years, my anger would lead to me lashing out at whatever or whoever was around. God has worked with me and on me in this area. I still struggle, but am better at how I handle it.

The times I have the most trouble controlling my temper is when someone hurts my husband or my children. My first instinct is to confront the offending party, and tell them exactly what I think. I have learned however, that prayer is the better answer. It took me a while to learn not to pray against the person, but rather to pray for the person. Even more, I have learned to pray specifically for Jason, Ethan or Erin... whoever it was that was hurt.

Today, someone has questioned my husband's integrity. I could give many reasons why this is ludicrous, and wanted to call up this person and do just that. Instead, I have prayed, and continue to pray. I want to share that prayer with you.

Dear Lord,
I ask that the blinders be removed from this person. Help them to see the truth of the situation. I ask that Satan be bound, and no evil forces will be allowed to intervene in this area. I pray that Jason have the discernment and wisdom of Solomon, the heart and courage of David, the favor of Daniel, and the boldness of Paul. I ask this not only for this situation, but for all areas of his life daily. In Jesus name, Amen.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Moment of Truth

Last week, one of my aunts passed away. I spent the latter part of the week surrounded by family. That is a good thing. However, there is one family member that always leaves me a little anxious to be around. You see, this person hurt me when I was a young child. I am past this hurt, rarely share this hurt, have tried to forget this hurt, but have never forgiven the person who hurt me. I didn't think God would care if I didn't forgive this one person, after all, I rarely saw this person.

At one point during the week, I was hugging and offering my sympathy to several people. As I went from one person to the next, I quickly realized I was face to face with the one who hurt me. I immediately knew I had a choice. I could just walk away, or I could pretend like everything was fine and hug this person also.

God had a bigger decision for me however. He spoke to my heart and told me that I could forgive this person, or live with the unforgiveness for the rest of my life. This was my moment of truth. I could chose to forgive, just like God has forgiven me, or I could walk away and continue to carry this burden. I chose to forgive and to hug.

I walked away from that moment overwhelmed with relief and freedom. I had held myself prisoner for years, and hadn't even realized it. It is not for me to decide who is worthy of my forgiveness. Jesus died that we may all be forgiven and set free.

In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can't get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God's part. Matthew 6:14-15 (The Message)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Rotten Meat

The first summer after I graduated high school, I worked as a checker at a grocery store. A common occurrence while working there was to see customers walking in carrying a bag at arms length. Inevitably, they would walk up to the first available employee and ask them to smell what was in the bag. It was always meat that had been purchased recently, but was bad. Not just bad, it was rotten. The smell that came from that bag reeked! Do you have a vision of this? Can you imagine the offensive odor?

As you think of this, read the following verse:
An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, But she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones. Proverbs 12:4 (NKJV)

As I read this verse recently, I immediately thought of that rotten meat from years ago. I also realized that in my seventeen years of marriage I have often missed the mark as the crown to my husband. Instead, I have been the rottenness... I have been like that decaying, stinking, foul meat to my husband.

God designed me to be a helper to my husband. My job is to encourage, advise, work with, serve (yes, ladies, I used that word), build up and bring glory to my husband. When I spend time nagging, whining, demanding, or any other selfish term you can think of, I am not being the crown.

It is my desire to be all that God designed me to be... It is my desire to be the crown of my husband.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Phone Call

I used to wonder why in movies people would sit down before receiving bad news. I always thought it was odd that people thought words would knock them off their feet. Well, I don't think that anymore. I received a phone call seven years ago that literally dropped me to my knees.

It was a Friday, and it was Valentine's day. Jason was working with the youth banquet at church, so I had a date with a very handsome 2 year old. Jason and I had planned on going out the next night. I was teaching at the time, so after school, I picked Ethan up and headed home. Jason was already at the church setting up. As Ethan played and I was getting ready for the evening, the phone rang.

My niece Amanda was calling to tell me that my niece Charlie and nephew Hamp had been in a car wreck on the way home from school. Charlie was being transported to the hospital, but Hamp was dead. He was 12 years old. After a few questions, I hung up the phone. That is when I fell to the ground. I felt like my legs had been swept out from underneath me.

As quickly as I could, I got myself under control and tried calling Jason. He didn't answer his cell phone, so I called the church office. I don't know who answered the phone to begin with, but when I asked for Jason they went to look for him. I thought I had my emotions and voice under control, but I must not have. In just a few moments, one of the deacons, Butch Kee was on the phone. He started his conversation saying, "Kerry, we can't find Jason. What is wrong?" I told him that my niece and nephew had been in a car wreck and that my nephew had died. I never told him their names. He found Jason for me and sent him home. We quickly packed and headed to Camden.

Butch's son Jeff Kee was the band director for my niece and nephew. Butch called his son, and before most people had heard the news, Jeff was at the hospital to check on my family. That weekend, Jeff, his family, and other families from the band ministered to my sister, brother-in-law, niece, and all of us.

I don't have the answer of why Hamp died that day, but I know without a doubt that God was looking out for those of us left behind grieving. I don't believe that it was a coincidence that Jason didn't answer his phone or that Butch Kee was the one I spoke to. God laid the ground work for the team of people that ministered to my family. I would like to thank each person that stepped up that weekend, changed their plans, and just took the time to allow God to use them to help us.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Golf Rules


Golf is a game of many rules. Granted, I personally believe that some of those rules are stupid, but never the less, they are the rules. Unlike most sports, golf is a game that does not have referees or umpires. If you break a rule, you must call it on yourself. That is why golf is also a game of integrity.

Ethan is playing the North Texas Junior PGA tour this summer. Jason acts as his caddy on most events. If Jason is not available, then the job falls to me. Jason is well versed in the rules of golf. Because of this, there have been a couple of occasions where Ethan has broke one of the rules not realizing it. Jason has pointed it out to him, and Ethan has taken the penalty strokes. Even though this is the correct thing, I don't always have good feelings toward Jason for pointing this out while in tournament. I have reasoned, that he could just mention it to him later. That way Ethan would know the rule in the future, but not be penalized. However, that would not be the correct thing to do. After all, we want to instill good character in our son. Jason is doing the right thing.

Earlier this week, Ethan observed another player breaking one of the rules. He recognized it, because it is one of the things he had done in an earlier tournament. I immediately jumped on the "justice bandwagon." You know, what is fair for one is fair for everyone. I wanted that kid to receive penalty strokes. I even went so far as to tell Jason that if that kid didn't receive the strokes, Jason would have to apologize to Ethan for making him take them in another tournament. I know... I think I was missing the point in all this... but it is hard to back a mother hen down when she feels her chick has been harmed.

Ethan on the other hand was not out for justice. He instead gave mercy. He pointed out to the other player what he was doing wrong. Then he told him that because he didn't know the rule, he would not call him on it.

Isn't that exactly what God does for us. When the world cries out for justice, God grants mercy. And because of this, we should be willing to grant mercy to others. We always want to receive mercy, but are we ready to grant it? Obviously, I need a little more work in this area.

Ethan has declared since he was 4 years old that he would be a missionary on the golf course. I think he is meeting his call. What do you think?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Lesson Learned from Dog Poo

Two years ago, Ethan's dog Duke was hit by a truck and killed. He was heart broken. We were in the process of selling our house and moving into rental property while we built or bought the next house. Because of this, we waited on getting another dog. When we found a place to rent, we had to sign a no pet policy. I told Ethan that after we had been there for a little while, I would talk to the landlords about us getting a pet.

Two days after moving in, a stray dog wandered up. She was nearly starved to death, and covered with fleas and ticks. I am quite certain that had we not taken pity on her, she would have died shortly. We fed her and cleaned her up. She appears to be a rat terrier, and looked liked someones pet. We called around to see if someone had lost her. I explained the situation with to the landlord, and she said for us to keep the dog if we wanted. God gave us a dog. We have had Prissy Missy for two years now.

At first, we kept her outside. I wasn't thrilled about having a house dog. However, as the weather got cold, I was the one to bring her inside. I have never made her go back to being an outside dog. She is really a precious dog, and a good watch dog. She is quick to alert us when a stranger approaches. And, here is the best part, we never had to house break her. I decided that when God gives you a dog, He takes care of the training as well. She rarely has accidents in the house... please notice I did not say never...

Last night, Erin woke me up to tell me she was going to the bathroom. As I waited in the hall for her, Ethan said something to me. I stepped toward his room to speak to him, and stepped in dog poo!!! Yuck!!!!!

First, I cleaned my foot. Then I cleaned the hall. Then I scrubbed my hands and foot again. Everything was cleaned up before heading back to bed. However, as I was getting back in bed I was thinking, "I hope I don't still have poo on my foot that I am getting on my sheets." Even after getting in bed, I still kept thinking about having poo on my foot. It was grossing me out. (As I am sure this subject is doing to you now!)

As I lay there, I realized that that is exactly what we do with sin in our life. We confess it to God, receive his cleansing, but still dwell on how unclean we are. The truth is we are clean! If we continue to dwell on it, we are allowing Satan to rob us of the gift that God has already given us. So, the next time you are worried about the "poo" of sin still being on you, remember what God's word says in 1 John 1:9. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."

Monday, July 12, 2010

Summer of Frivolous Reading

Several months ago, God put on my heart a desire to learn and to share with other women how to be the women He intends for us to be. I have spent a lot of time researching various Bible studies on this subject. None seemed to be what God was directing me to study. I was quickly becoming burnt out on reading.

As summer began, I realized that I was going to be sitting by the pool with my kids a lot. (I know, a hard life I have!!!!) Now since my skin only has three tones, (white, off white, and red) working on my tan is not a priority. So I decided I would spend my time reading. However, my heart was not into any heavy Bible study reading. So, I decided I would pull out my old Christian fiction novels. I call it my summer of frivolous reading. I have enjoyed it so much! In fact, I have been refreshed because of it.

Besides refreshing my mind, God has used this time to point out something very important to me. (Isn't it funny how God uses even our "down time" to teach us a lesson.) He is the one who has put this desire in my heart, therefore, it is His word where I will find what I am looking for. He has started me at Proverbs 31:10-31.

I am challenging all ladies reading this to read this Proverbs 31:10-31 at least 10 times over the next month. Ask God to open your heart to any insight He may give you. Write down what you learn, and share it with others. I would love for you to share with me. I am sure that I will be sharing more on this in the future. I look forward to seeing all that God is about to do in our lives and the lives of our families.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

"I Trusted God"

As I was folding clothes, Erin ran up to me and said she wanted to show me something. I walked into the living room to see what it was. She sat on the couch, bowed her head in an obvious prayer, stood up, fell back, and did a back roll over. When I asked how she knew how to do that, she looked at me as if I had just asked the dumbest question ever, and responded, "I trusted God."

God's word tells us we are to have the faith of a child. Yet how often do we need direction, and fail to do the one thing needed... Trust God. Right now, as I type this, I have a couple of "back roll overs" that I need to make a decision on. I have prayed, but I have not simply trusted God with them. Instead, I have continued to wrestle with all the what ifs, and tried to come up with reasonable solutions. God doesn't always work with reasonable. As a matter of fact, He specializes in the unpredictable.

So... I have prayed, I am standing on His Word, I am falling back in His protection, and I trust God.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

IT'S JESUS!!!

I have spent this week leading music at Vacation Bible School. It is both a lot of fun and very tiring. As I question of the various age groups about what they have been learning, I always have children that will answer "Jesus." For those of you that have worked with children at church, you know that is a typical answer for every question. As I was thinking of this last night, it reminded me of something that happened while I was teaching first grade a few years ago.

I had a couple of boys in my class that year that were very smart, very loving, and very active. One of the boys was from a Christian family that was very active in their church. The other boy was from a family that rarely attended church. Even though these boys did not play together much at school, the first boy began inviting the second boy to church on Wednesday nights. The first boy's mom was faithful to go pick up the second boy and his sister every week for church.

One Wednesday in December the second boy came in telling me all about a birthday party he was going to that night. He would say, "It is for some man, I don't remember who, but there will be cake." Now I realize, as a Christian school teacher, I should have put two and two together... I should have realized that it is December, it is a birthday party at church, it must be for Jesus... I should have taken that opportunity to talk to this little guy about Jesus... However, I was busy being a teacher with the demand of a room full of kids, and never made the connection.

All day long, this boy would tell me about this birthday party for some unknown man. And all day long, I would say, "that is very nice, now get back to work." I promise, this exchange went on at least 20 times that day. Finally, as the kids were packing up to go home, this little boy said once again, "I am going to a birthday party tonight. It is for some man, I don't remember who, but there will be cake." However before I could answer, the other boy looked up exasperated, and with a voice that sounded like it started at his toes said, "IT'S JESUS!!!! IT IS A BIRTHDAY PARTY FOR JESUS!!!!!"

It never phased the boy excited about the party, however it greatly affected me. You see, I had missed my opportunity to tell this child about Jesus. Jesus is the only answer. He is the way, the truth, and the life. Without Him, you will not get to the Father. So remember, as you go about your day, it is all about Jesus.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

From Bitterness to Restoration

I have always loved the book of Ruth. I have considered it a book about love, and it is. However, as I was reading it a few weeks ago, God showed me this book is also a book about restoration. This blog will focus on God changing Namoi's life from one of bitterness to one restored.

In the beginning of the book we discover that because of a famine, Namoi's husband takes her and their two sons to another land. After arriving there, her husband dies. Her two sons marry and they live for 10 years. Then, they die. This leaves Namoi, and her two daughters-in-law alone. Namoi decides to return home. As they are traveling, Namoi tries to convince the younger women to return to their families. Orpah does return, but Ruth refuses to turn back.

In chapter 1 verse 13, Namoi says "God has dealt me a hard blow." When life gets hard, we made poor decisions, or someone else makes a poor decision that effects us, we often look for someone to blame. Naomi blamed God. She believed that God had forsaken her. As we read, we can see that God had a plan for both Naomi and Ruth.

When they arrived in Bethlehem, other women recognized Naomi, and asked about her. Namoi was quick to tell them that now she was Mara. Mara means bitter. We no longer change our names to match what we are feeling, but the way we behave does change. The name Namoi means beautiful, pleasant, delightful. She was no longer feeling these things... she was BITTER!

Ruth decided to go into the fields to glean among the sheaves. As a foreigner, she knew that she was at the mercy of the land owner. Chapter 2 verse 3 says that "eventually she ended up in the part of the field owned by Boaz..." God had led her to this field. God also caused Boaz to notice Ruth, and to favor her. God uses people to bless and favor you. He also uses you to bless and favor others.

When Ruth returned at the end of the day to Namoi, and told her all that had happened, Naomi recognized that God had indeed not left them. It was at this point that she realized that God was with them in the hard times and in the good. She could have overlooked this, but instead she chose to recognize it as God's hand.

As we know, Boaz marries Ruth, and they have a son. This son is presented to Naomi, and her restoration is complete. She went from being a bitter widow in a foreign land, to the great, great grandmother of David. The woman who believed God had dealt her a hard blow, had instead received great blessing.

There is an old saying that time heals all wounds... this does not apply to bitterness. If you allow bitterness in, it will grow, fester, and consume your life. Guard your heart to not allow discouragement and anger to become bitterness. If bitterness has already set in, you must make a choice to recognize when God is working... Look for His blessings in your life... Thank Him for all that He is doing... and Receive Restoration.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Power Nap

This week, I am tired! I know, it is only Thursday, and it is summer. I should not be tired right? Well, Ethan has had two out of town tournaments this week. That means that I have been awake before 5 a.m. twice this week. I have not made it to bed until after 10 every night... truth be told, it is closer to 11! On top of that, I have had tennis practice, taken Ethan to golf practice, cleaned house, done laundry (yea, that is everyday!), had company one day, and taken Erin to the pool before a storm struck. I have loved every minute, but it has left me tired.

This afternoon, I decided I needed a power nap. It is a rainy day, and both kids were watching Tom and Jerry. Perfect! So, I settled back in a big comfortable chair and closed my eyes. After the third question from Ethan, I asked him to let me take a quick nap. (Well, probably told more than asked...) After the sixth question from Ethan, I announced to the kids that I was going to lay down in my room for a few minutes. I gave instructions for them to finish their show, and stay out of trouble. I was just dozing off, and Erin had to come ask me a question. I told her that after I had a quick nap, then yes, she could finger paint. She was satisfied and returned to Tom and Jerry. (They really are good friends of mine!) Once again, I am just dozing off, and I receive a text message from Jason. The phone is charging right beside the bed, therefore I can't ignore it. At this point, I had spent 45 minutes trying to take a 15 minute power nap. I was even more tired, and now CRANKY! I gave up, and got up.

My physical body is fatigued and needs rest. My mental well being is cranky and needs rest. The same is true for our spirit. When we do not take the time to "rest in the Lord" our spiritual life can become fatigued and cranky. When we don't spend time daily seeking the Lord, we become depleted. When we allow daily distractions to keep us from fellowship with God and reading His word, we become tired. Just like it is important to provide rest for our bodies, we must also rest with the Lord.

We must walk daily with God, and seek His peace. He has promised to "renew our strength and restore our youth..." We may not always be able to take a power nap, but don't forget to power up by resting in the Lord.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Being 'Momish'

This week Ethan had tryouts for an Elite Golf Team. Being used to following Ethan as he plays in tournaments, I made arrangements to follow him as he played. When we arrived the first morning, I quickly realized that I was the only parent that would be in attendance. I had Erin with me, so I made a point of following at a distance. Close enough that I could see, but far enough back that we would not be a disturbance. In between holes, Ethan would come to our cart to get a drink of water, and of course a little encouragement and/or praise. As the boys were finishing up their round, I asked Ethan if he wanted me to follow again tomorrow since I was the only parent there. He quickly said, "yes, you didn't act 'momish' today."

I know that he meant it as a good thing, and I understood what he was saying. As I thought about his choice of words, it really made me consider how different people raise children. At this point in the lives of our children, it is very important that we be their parents, not their friends. It is good for us to have fun, let them know that we are involved, and enjoy being with each other. It is even more important that they know we are in charge. We are the parents. When they have grown, if we have raised them well, then they will also be our friends. I am standing on God's promise, "Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. "Honor your father and mother"—which is the first commandment with a promise— "that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth."Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:1-4

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Strong Foundation in Marriage

Last night Jason and I watched The Money Pit. (Yes, for all you young ones out there, I do know that is old school!!!) This was actually the first time I have ever watched it all the way through. I have seen bits and pieces of it through the years, and always thought it looked very funny. It did prove to be funny. Although there were parts of it I didn't care for, the end of the movie actually had a good message. As Tom Hanks and Shelly Long were standing in the completed house, the contractor was ready to give them the key. As he was watching the couple that had broke up mid renovation, he began speaking about the house. He said that at first he did not believe that this house could be repaired, but the foundation was good. If the foundation is good, the rest can be fixed.

Within the last year, I know of several Christian couples that are struggling with their marriages. Some of these couples have even discussed divorce. All marriages have rough spots. All married couples will have disagreements. However, if their marriage is built on a sure foundation, the foundation of Jesus Christ, they can repair the rest.

As I consider how to have this sure foundation, I am reminded that God has really been working on me about my priorities. Here is what He has shown me over the last few years ...

First, I am a child of God. I am to spend time in His word, in prayer, and building my relationship with Him. I am to have no other God before Him.

Second, I am a wife. Please note, I did not list family as my second priority. I remember when I got married, my mother-in-law gave me a piece of advice. At the time I did not think much of it, but lately I have discovered the truth in what she had told me. She told me that one day I would have children, and when I did I should never love them more or put them before my husband. This is true. Yes, I love my children dearly, but one day they will have their own families. If I have spent years caring more for them than my husband, what will I do when they are gone? God created me to be Jason's helper, encourager, advisor, lover, partner...

Third, I am a mother. God has given Jason and I the responsibility of raising Ethan and Erin. We are to "train them up in the way they should go."

These are godly priorities. By keeping my focus on them, I am assured that the foundation of my home is strong. When a storm comes (big or small), we can withstand it. If any damage occurs, it can be repaired. Our foundation is Jesus Christ.

We are living in a society where traditional family is no longer a priority. This is because Jesus is no longer a priority. I challenge you to search your marriage, your home, your heart. Do you have the Solid Rock foundation of Jesus Christ?

Monday, May 24, 2010

A Quiet Afternoon at the Park

When I awoke this morning, my day was all planned out. Erin had a dentist appointment, then we had to go to the Library, and finally, we were going to spend a quiet afternoon at the park. This was the first Monday afternoon that Erin did not have dance, and Ethan did not have golf. Therefore, we could spend all afternoon relaxing and playing.

The visit to the dentist went well and a little quicker than expected. Yay! Next, we went to the Library. We had a great time picking out books and even checked out a few movies. As we left the Library, it was only 10:30, and the weather was beautiful. We decided that we would have a picnic at the park. So, we went home to drop off our books, use the restroom (something you don't want to have to do at any park!!!), and gather stuff for the park.

The day was going better than I had planned. The kids were getting along, the sun was shining, there was a little breeze blowing... It was going to be a great afternoon. Then, we arrived at the park...

As I pulled in, I immediately realized that one of the local public schools were on a field trip at the park. I showed the kids that it was very crowded, and asked if they wanted to try a different park. No, this is where they wanted to play today. So we unloaded and attempted to find a spot near the playground. It only took us a couple of moves, before we acquired a prime location for all we wanted to do. Erin could play and Ethan could visit with an older gentleman that was trying to fish among all the chaos.

As a teacher, I have been on many field trips. I know how exhausting it can be for the teacher to keep track of all the kids. There were 2 teachers that were doing a great job, and I commend them for that. However, there were about 5 other teachers that were sitting under a shade tree visiting with one another. Kids were everywhere. This is a large park, and kids were spread out too far for the two teachers that were trying to maintain the group. This alone was unnerving me. I tried not to focus on all the what ifs, and kept an eye on my two kids.

I quickly realized that reading the book I had brought along was not going to happen. My kids were doing OK. Ethan was about the same age as the other kids. This didn't mean that he found friends to play with, instead the two teachers that were patrolling the area kept getting on to him about being too close to the lake. (Which he was not that close, and I was watching.) This was frustrating to him. Erin loves to swing, but all the swings were full. She was trying to climb and slide, but had to weave around the kids just sitting on the equipment. I was very proud that she never fussed at any of the kids. She just waited patiently, or moved on to something else.

After 20 minutes of trying to play, both kids were sitting on the bench with me. We decided to put our stuff in the car, and walk around the lake. To my surprise, some of the kids had wandered to the other side of the lake, completely unsupervised. Being the teacher (and Mom) that I am, I promptly told them to return to the other side where their class was. They promptly ignored me. I told them that I would let their teachers know where they were when I got back to the other side. The kids told me that their teachers wouldn't care, as long as they were not disturbing them. This broke my heart. Sure enough, when I alerted the teachers to kids on the other side, they glanced up, thanked me, and went back to their conversation. This angered me! (I will leave it at that, and not rant like I would like to at this moment.)

I knew that I could not take much more of this "peaceful" afternoon at the park. We did manage to find one swing open, so I pushed Erin for a few minutes. After a total of 40 minutes at the park, I asked the kids if they were ready to go home. Remember, I had promised them an entire afternoon. Both kids were quick to answer yes. As we were loading up, I asked if they wanted to try a different park. Both said no, they had had enough.

As we were driving home, Erin asked me why there were no mamas with all those kids. I told them that there were teachers there, and they were responsible for the kids. Ethan then corrected me. He said, "No Mama, they were THERE, but they were not RESPONSIBLE."

That made me think, how often am I given something to be responsible for ... Do I take responsibility, or am I only there? What has God entrusted you with? I encourage you, don't just be there, be responsible.

... whatever you may do, do all for the honor and glory of God.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

We Do What We See

Earlier this week, I watched as my daughter and one of her friends sat down at the kitchen table. They were leaning in close and talking. The friend said let me tell you about my dream last night. Erin asked her to wait, and ran to her room to get her picture Bible. The friend shared her dream, and Erin opened up to the story of Joseph in her picture Bible. They giggled and chatted for about 10 minutes, and then moved on to the next game.

As I watched this exchange I was struck by two things. First, Erin knew where to find a story about dreams in her Bible. Praise! Second, and possibly more important, Erin was modeling something that she had seen me do. Just a few days prior to this, I had a friend over. We sat at the table to visit. As we were talking, I got my Bible to share a verse that pertained to what we were speaking about. That was a good thing to model. Unfortunately, I don't always model good things for my children to see.

Copying what we see does not just happen with children. It happens with all of us. We tend to mimic what we see and what we hear. I know that I still occasionally use phrases from movies and TV shows that I watched years ago. When I am around someone a lot, I tend to say things the way they say them, or do things they way they do them. This is why it is very important to guard what you see, and to be aware of what we watch.

If we see something often enough, we become immune to the offensiveness of it. I remember hearing a man on the radio tell a story about taking his daughter to shop for a dress. While he was waiting on her to come out of the dressing room, another girl came out in a dress that was very inappropriate. So, when his daughter came out, she looked good in comparison. It was not until they got home, and the son asked him why he allowed her to buy such a dress that he realized that he had based his decision on what the other girl was wearing.

As God's people, we are called to be set aside. We should not do things as the world does them. In order to accomplish this, we must guard our hearts, our eyes, and our ears. We must be careful what we allow in, and we must be cautious of our actions. Just as we model other's behaviors, there is always someone watching and modeling ours.

Proverbs 4:23-27 (The Message)
Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that's where life starts. Don't talk out of both sides of your mouth; avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip. Keep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all sideshow distractions. Watch your step, and the road will stretch out smooth before you. Look neither right nor left; leave evil in the dust.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

It is Just a Hill ... Get Over It!

This morning I got up and drove to Magnolia to walk in the Blossom Festival 5K. My niece and her friend were going to meet me there. However, I received a text yesterday, telling me that they just weren't feeling a 5K. I still planned on going if the weather wasn't bad. Rain was in the forecast, so I checked the weather map before I left. It didn't look bad, so I decided to go. I figured that I had lived in Magnolia for 7 years, surely I could find somebody I knew to walk with.

As I registered, the rain began. I looked around, and did not know many people at all. The few I knew were either running, or already had groups that they were walking with. So I could tell that I would be walking alone... in the rain. The first mile was horrible. When I walk, I usually listen to the radio on my iPhone. The signal was awful. Therefore, the station I was listening to kept going off. So, I was walking in the rain, alone, and with no music! And the rain had not cooled anything off, instead, it was causing steam to rise from the ground. I was miserable!!!! I made it to the first mile, and was still mumbling and complaining in my mind.

As I came to the halfway mark, they had water for us. I grabbed my cup, drank it down, and even threw my cup to the ground like a real racer. I felt refreshed. I thought I am going to make it, and go home. That was when God intervened into my thoughts. He asked me if I wanted to continue mumbling, or if I wanted to change my attitude. Then He told me that I had spent the whole time complaining about being alone when I could have been talking to Him. Yes, it was raining, but He had kept the storms away. I knew that I could change my attitude and finish strong, or I could continuing mumbling and drag over the finish line.

By mile 2 I had changed my attitude. I didn't even mumble once when I realized that the last leg of the race was all up hill, and I was walking into the wind. I even got tickled when I saw a man holding a sign that said "It is just a hill... get over it!"

That is what my grumbling, mumbling, and complaining had been ... a hill. I had to get over it, and I did. I finished strong. As a matter of fact, I had knocked 8 minutes off my previous 5K time. I felt energized, and proud of myself.

This is true not just for walking, but for life. If we spend our time complaining, we miss out on opportunities to finish strong. We can choose to mumble and complain or we can choose to change our attitude.

Do everything readily and cheerfully—no bickering, no second-guessing allowed! Philipians 2:14 (The Message)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Looking Like a Man

Why is it that men can look for something and not find it, and yet a woman can look for the same object and find it quickly. I realize that is not always the case, but it does seem to be a reoccurring theme in many households. I remember a story a friend of mine in college shared about her 4 year old niece. The little girl's dad had lost his keys and couldn't find them anywhere. Then mom found them quickly. The little girl said it was because the dad had been "looking like a man."

This morning, Ethan was mowing the grass in our backyard. He came in and told me that he needed a large trash bag for the clippings. Jason had told him the bags were in the work trailer, and so I sent him out there. He was out there for 30 minutes. He came back in and announced that the bags were not in the trailer. It's not that big of a trailer. I asked him where he looked, and he said everywhere. I put my shoes on and headed out the door. Ethan asked if I was going to text Jason to find out where they were. I told him I wouldn't have to. I was actually thinking, I am a woman, I can find them. Sure enough, I stepped into the trailer, saw the bags, and brought one inside to Ethan. Ethan was in shock that I had found one, and that I found it quickly.

As I thought about this, and admittedly was feeling rather smug about it, God asked me a question. (In case you don't know, whenever God asks you a question as you are feeling prideful, you are about to be humbled!!!) He asked me how many times had He left something for me to find, and I had missed it? How many blessings have I overlooked or took for granted? How many passages of scripture had a message for me, but I was too busy to read it? How often have my eyes been focused on the problems in front of me, instead of keeping them focused on God?

Now it is my prayer that I not look at anything with the eyes of man (meaning all mankind), but rather through the eyes of God. I want to see all that God has for me, and those around me. So I ask you, how are you looking? Are you looking like a man? Or are you looking through the eyes of God?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Being a Good Steward - Part 5 Our Bodies

Okay, so here is the one that I have really been dreading ... why? Because God has really been working overtime on me in this area!!!

5. Our Bodies
1 Corinthians 6:15 (New King James Version) Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not!

My body is an area I have struggled with all my life, at least all my life that I have memory of. Even as a young girl, I can remember a friend pointing out to me that I had more belly rolls than she did. When I was younger, I was always involved in some sort of sporting activity. So yes, I may have been heavier than some of the others, but I was not fat. As I have gotten older, my activity level has greatly decreased.

For several years now, I have known that I need to be healthier. I need to eat right and exercise more. I have attempted many times to diet, or make a "life style change" but always end with the same result ... Defeat. One day not to long ago, I was reading God's word, and the above verse jumped off the page at me. At the time, I had not been considering my health, so I was not pleased for this topic to come up. I read the verse again. I said, "God, yes I know my body is a member with Christ. I know it is a temple. But I am not having anything to do with harlots." He answered me very clearly... He told me that for me food is a harlot. OUCH! I had never considered it like that. I do have an obsession with food. I love to eat. Even as I was sitting down to type this, I was thinking about whether I wanted a strawberry out of the refrigerator or a double stuff Oreo out of the cupboard. I passed on both, because the truth is, I am not even hungry. I have to be very guarded and prayerful about the food I eat and why I am eating.

I am happy to report that I have started exercising regularly. Trying to run some, but mostly I am walking. I am also watching the portion size of what I eat, when I eat, and why I eat. The path I am on is slow, and sometimes discouraging. However, I am developing a healthy body. A body that will reflect what it is, a temple of the Most High God.

For me, food is my harlot. For others, it could be soft drinks, sugar, no exercise, too much exercise, tobacco, alcohol, sex outside of marriage ... the list goes on and on. It is whatever you do that keeps you from being healthy, and therefore keeps you from being a good steward with your body.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Being a Good Steward - Part 4 Gifts/Abilities

I am sorry it has taken me a few days to get back to my series on Being a Good Steward. Hope no one has been on the edge of their seats waiting...

4. Gifts/Abilities
We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. Romans 12:6a

God gives us each gifts and abilities. These are things that we are good at, and that we enjoy doing. God expects us to use these gifts in a manner that will glorify Him.

For me, God has gifted me with the ability to teach. I have a passion to share God's word with others. It thrills me to prepare and present a good lesson. This is my area, and I bask in it. God has grown me in my abilities to teach. When I started, I taught only children. Now, I teach children, youth, and women. I am amazed at how far God has brought me, and where He is taking me.

My son, Ethan, has told me for years that he is going to be a missionary on the golf course. Though this makes me smile, I do not know God's plans for Ethan. I do know that God has gifted him with the ability to play golf, and that he has a passion for Jesus. He is 10 years old, and has been playing since he could walk. Although he is not perfect, he does try to reflect Christ with his behavior. On more than one occasion, he has impressed other players and their parents not only with his golf, but with his honesty on the course. Ethan is using his abilities to glorify God.

What abilities has God given you? Are you using them to glorify God? Are you using them at all?

Friday, April 30, 2010

Being a Good Steward - Part 3 Words

I realize that I had originally planned on 4 parts to this series on being a Good Steward. They were Finances, Time, Gifts/Abilities, and Our Body. However, last night God showed me another area in which we all need to be good stewards. That area is with our Words.

3. Words
Proverbs 29:20 (The Message) Observe the people who always talk before they think— even simpletons are better off than they are.

The Bible tells us that we have power in our words. It is the power of life and death. I know this, and therefore try to guard what words I use. However, God showed me last night that it is the words that we speak without thinking that we need to be the most aware of.

For several nights in a row, my daughter Erin has woke up at 1:43 a.m. (yes exactly, almost like an alarm) and had to "go potty." Last night, as I was tucking her in, I had her get up and go to the bathroom one more time. I told her "to try to potty one more time so we don't have to get up in the middle of the night." Seems harmless right? Well at 2:20 this morning Erin called for me. She was sitting up in her bed crying and told me that she couldn't hold it any longer. Of course, we went to the bathroom. I realized then, that she had been crying, thinking I would be upset that she woke me up again. I don't know how long she sat in her bed before she called out to me. I hugged her as I tucked her back in bed, and assured her that I had not meant that she couldn't get up if she needed to. I then went to bed in tears that I had caused pain for my daughter. I had not intended it, but because I did not consider my words I caused confusion, fear, and pain. When I got her up this morning, I apologized to her. She was quick to forgive.

This really made me stop and think. How often do we say things without thinking? It may seem harmless, but if we don't take into account who we are speaking to, or who is overhearing our words, it can cause misunderstandings or even harm. I often ask God to give me words to speak before teaching or sharing testimony. Now I am asking God to give me words to speak in all situations.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Being a Good Steward - Part 2 Time

As I mentioned in my last blog, God has been dealing with me about being a good steward with my life. This is the second installment of that series.

2. Time
Proverbs 19:15 (New King James Version)Laziness casts one into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger.

Being a good steward with our time, requires us to consider what we are doing during our day. Are we filling our day with good, productive activities? Or are we spending our day loafing? How much time do you spend with God, with family, working, having fun, and resting? All these things are important, just don't let them get out of balance.

I have to be very guarded with my time. It would be real easy for me to sit in front of the computer, read a book, or watch TV all day. I have had days that have simply "got away" from me. These are the days that I start watching one show, and then another, and then another ... or I start reading a good book ... or I am surfing the Internet ... The next thing I know the day is gone, and I have done nothing. On a day like this, I find that I feel terrible by the end of the day. Thankfully, God has helped me in this area, and I have not had a wasted day in a long time. It helps me, if I make a list of things that I need to accomplish during the day. There is just something about marking off an item that I enjoy. I usually put more on my list than I can accomplish. That is not a big deal to me, I just carry it over to the next day. I am not legalistic with my list. It is just something that helps me stay on task. There are days that I purposefully plan as a day of rest or play. The difference is, these are planned days, and I prepare for them ahead of time.

There is an opposite side of being lazy with your time. It is when you spend too much time at work, and not spend time with God or family. This can be just as dangerous. You may be doing a great job building your career, but what are your personal relationships like? Do you ever have any down time or fun for yourself? Anyone driven to this extreme should find a way to limit the time in which they work. I realize that not everyone can work 9-5 Monday through Friday, but you do need to find a limit that works for you.

Being a good steward of your time requires a balance. Are you using your time wisely, or do you need to ask God to show you where you can make improvements?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Being a Good Steward - Part 1 Finances

God has really been putting on my heart the need to be a good steward of my life. Specifically in four areas... Finances, Time, Gifts/Abilities, and Our Bodies. Over the next few days, I will be sharing what God has put on my heart in each of these areas.

1. Finances
Proverbs 3:9-10 (New King James Version)Honor the LORD with your possessions, And with the firstfruits of all your increase; So your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine.

God expects us to give the first 10% of whatever we earn, and He rewards us when we do. However, being a good steward with our finances goes beyond that. We are supposed to be smart with the way we handle our money. We need to seek God before we make a purchase, any purchase. We need to Praise God for the provision he supplies us with. We need to look for opportunities that we can bless others with our finances. We can't do that if we are living beyond our means, and barely making ends meet.

Before we purchase, we need to pray. April is an expensive month for our family. Easter is in April, both of our kids birthdays are in April, our house insurance is due in April, Jason's truck insurance is due in April, and of course, taxes are due in April. As you can probably guess, we are very cautious on what money we spend in April. I homeschool our children, and the curriculum we use always has a 20% off sale in April. I really felt God leading me to take advantage of this opportunity, and order next year's curriculum. Jason and I discussed it, and I told him that there would be other sales during the summer. However, the 20% is only offered in April. Jason felt like it would be wise to make the purchase when we could save the most.

At the end of March, I went online and placed the desired curriculum for both kids in the "cart." I wanted to see just how much we were talking about and figure out what my savings would be. You see, I was still debating the logic of an added expense in a month that already had so many. I got the figure, and just left the items in the cart. I really didn't know if they would save the items, but they did. The next day, I received an email from the company asking if I needed any help with the items I had left in my cart. I just ignored it. The following day, I received an email letting me know they would ship for free if I went ahead and purchased the items in my cart. This was the last day of March. I figured they were trying to get me to purchase before the sale started. Once again, I ignored the email.

On April 1, God impressed upon me the need to make the purchase. He was providing all our needs, and I needed to trust Him with that. So, I made the purchase. Not only did I get the 20% off, they honored the free shipping also. It was a great savings, as a matter of fact, I almost got Erin's curriculum for free. Not only did I save on the curriculum, God took care of our taxes, and our remodeling business had the best month so far this year. I truly believe, that because I was a good steward with the purchase I made, God blessed us beyond measure during what could have been a financially stressed month.

Another way that we can be good stewards with our finances, is to not be wasteful. I use liquid fabric softner in my laundry. The dispenser that came on my machine never worked well, and left a mess, so I never use it. I would try to listen for the rinse cycle to start, and then add the fabric softner. Often, I would miss this cycle, and therefore have to run the rinse cycle twice. God really convicted me on how wasteful this is in the course of a month. So, I simply bought a fabric softner ball that I drop in when I start the wash. I could tell a difference on our water bill the first month. Other little things like turning off lights, eating leftovers, checking the thermostat, eating out less, the list goes on and on ... anything that can be done to eliminate waste is being a good steward with our finances.

Being a good steward with our finances will require us to do things opposite of what the world suggests. Whether you are living on a tight budget, or you are living well within your means, God expects us to be a good steward with our finances.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Safe in His Arms


Check out this picture a good friend of mine recently posted on facebook. It is of her husband with his arms around their daughter. They are sitting on a ride at an amusement park. Someone had commented that the girl was secure and safe in her daddy's arms. My friend responded that her daughter was not so sure of that. It struck me that we are often like that little girl.

That is exactly where we always are, safe and secure in our Father's arms. Yet, we often do not trust that. We spend time worrying and trying to fix things that God already has control of. Even though we are always safe in our Father's arms, we are afraid of what is ahead of us. We are afraid of the known, and we are afraid of the unknown. God has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. No matter what we have done, or what is going on around us, we are secure in our Father's arms.

So, next time you are tempted to be scared, remember where you are. Then, sit back and enjoy the ride.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Take the Time to Think

This morning, I watched my daughter drag her scooter to the top of the slide at the encouragement of her friends. Now had this been my son, it would have called for immediate action! However, since it was my daughter I watched for a few minutes. Sure enough, she had no intention of riding it to the bottom. It did remind me of a couple of events in my own life in which I did not take time to think before following through with what others were encouraging me to do. (There have been many, but I will stick with only two.)

The first event happened when I was about 9 or 10. The house I grew up in had a carport at one end. The roof was low enough that you could climb up on it by using a fence that was beside it. We did this all the time. One day, I was dared to jump off of it. It didn't seem like such a big deal, so I did! As I lay on the ground, with the air completely knocked out of me, I realized that was not such a good idea after all. Thankfully, the only thing injured was my pride.

The second event, was much more dangerous. When I was 16, I worked at a summer camp for children in Louisiana. I was about 5 hours from home, and the only one from Arkansas to work there. I felt like I had something to prove. One weekend between camp sessions, a large group of us rented one hotel room so we could swim, party, and drink. (Yes, I said drink.) The hotel we chose was located right behind a frozen mixed drink stand. The worker at the stand, never asked for an id. So I spent the evening sitting by the pool, sipping my drinks. (Please notice there is an s at the end of the word drink.) When the pool closed at 10:00, the group of about 12 headed to the room. Soon after, another group arrived. They had been to a liquor store. I don't remember what all they had, but one boy had tequila. He challenged me to a drinking competition. (Please keep in mind, this was my first real experience with drinking.) It was a dare, so of course I accepted the challenge. It seemed fun, after all there were three steps to the process, it was a real competition!! I don't remember a whole lot other than the fact that I ate the worm! Ewww!!! The next thing I knew, I was waking up on the end of a bed, still in my bathing suit, with a bunch of strangers passed out around me. Once again, God was looking out for me in my stupidity, and nothing happened to me. I immediately realized how bad the situation could have been, and decided drinking was not for me.

Both of these events could have ended tragically. Thankfully, God looks out for us even when we do not. I chose to do both of these events, and many others, because I wanted to prove to others that I could do anything. I wanted to be just as good or better than everyone else. I was full of pride, and wanted to appear self-confident. When in fact, all I proved was that I was foolish.

Now, after many hard lessons, I try to seek God's guidance before I jump. I remember to do this with the big things, but God also wants us to seek Him with the small things. We should spend our day in constant communication with Him. (1 Thes. 5:17) Then, when we are faced with a challenge, we will know if we should accept or walk away.

Consider and understand, you stupid ones among the people!
And you [self-confident] fools, when will you become wise?
Psalm 94:8 (AMP)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Life Changing Seed

How much of your life is based on the word of God? The word of God is to the Kingdom, what seeds are to the natural world. Not only must you plant in order to reap a harvest, you must also tend to the seeds, ground, and plants as they grow. The same is true when you plant the word of God in your heart and mind. In Mark chapter 4, Jesus shares a parable of seeds being planted on four types of ground.

The first type of ground was hardened. This is someone who hears the word, but does not consider it. They do not take in the word.

The second type has no depth. There is a quick spurt of growth, but no roots. As soon as persecution comes, they get discouraged and no longer have faith in what they have learned.

The third type gets choked out. This is a person who allows the cares of the world to occupy or distract them. It does not have to be sinful things. It can be the everyday things of life. The things that keep you too busy.

The fourth type is fruitful ground. This is where we should all strive to be. The word of God is the core of everything we do.

The word of God is powerful, but to get it, you can't just skim over it. You must spend time understanding, considering, and meditating on it. Slow down and let the word soak in. The word of God will draw you into His will for your life.

Mediate on the Word... It will change your life.

This blog is based on Mark 4:1-20. I encourage you to read it for yourself.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

What is your Purpose in Prayer?

"One of the words in the original language for prayer literally means 'worship.' Another means 'to kiss the face.' Prayer is worship and worship is prayer. Prayer is kissing our Father's face. Prayer is loving and communing with God." -- Andrew Wommack

How much time are you spending worshiping in prayer, and how much time are you asking God for what you need? (or want?) The primary purpose of prayer is to love God, and to grow in your relationship with Him. In Acts 13:2 it tells us that we are to minister to the Lord. We minister to Him by praising Him, thanking Him, loving Him, singing to Him, and worshiping Him.

When your primary focus is loving and worshiping God, you'll find that you won't have to spend much time praying over things. That doesn't mean that you can't petition God. The word tells us, "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." Matthew 21:22 There is a right way to ask, just not all the time, and it must line up with the word of God. James 4:3 says, "When you ask, you do not receive because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures." If you are spending time building your relationship with God, your desires will line up with His will for you.

Finally, don't let prayer become a religion. Don't struggle through an hour of prayer just so you can check off that task. If you are getting bored during your prayer, chances are God is not caring much for it either. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says to "Pray without ceasing." That means that as we go throughout our day we should be in communication with God. If we only spoke to our spouse once a day ... telling them what we wanted, and not listening for a response ... our marriage would not be very good. The same is true with God. We cannot spend a little time each day telling God what to do and expect to have a growing relationship. I love the quote I placed at the top of this. The thought that prayer is kissing my Father's face is overwhelming to me. That is what I want. I want to spend my day, everyday, loving on my heavenly Father.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Here is the Truth

I know from personal experience that when you mess up, whether it is small and private or big and public, Satan will try to use it against you for years. Here is the truth...

1. God has grace enough to cover your sin.
You forgave the iniquity of your people and covered all their sins. Psalm 85:2

2. God still has plans for you.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

3. What you imagine people are saying is always worse than what they are really saying.
(I don't have a verse to back this one. It is just something I have learned from personal experience.)

4. You are the child of the Most High King, NOT whatever Satan is whispering in your ear.
I will be a Father to you, And you shall be my sons and daughters, say the Lord Almighty. 2 Corinthians 6:18

Whatever you have done, God is ready and able to forgive and forget. 1 John 1:9 tell us that If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. I especially like that last part... He will purify us. So the next time Satan is trying to get you down, don't listen. Instead you tell him that he is defeated, and God has plans for you.

Monday, April 12, 2010

How do you Approach God?

Through the years, I have studied the stories of Mary and Martha. There are three events recorded in the Bible that discuss these sisters. You can read them in Luke 10:38-42, John 11:17-44, and John 12:1-3. As I have studied each of these, I have noticed the way each sister approached Jesus each time.

I am going to start with Martha. She always approached Jesus head on. At her house, she was in the kitchen fretting over the meal, and upset with her sister for not helping. She went to Jesus, and told Him what He should do. She said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me." Notice, she did not ask Jesus, she told Jesus. The next event is when Lazarus has died. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet Him. She met Him face to face to tell Him that her brother was dead. The final event, does not record Martha speaking with Jesus. It only says that she was there and she was serving. It is very important to note that Martha believed that Jesus was the Christ(John 11:27), and that Jesus loved her (John 11:5).

Now let's look at Mary. At the house, Mary was at the feet of Jesus worshiping and learning. At this Jesus said that "Mary has chosen the good part, which will not be taken away from her." At the death of her brother, she did not approach Jesus until He called for her, and then she fell at His feet. Seeing her weep caused Jesus to "groan in the spirit and be troubled." Finally, in John 12 we see that it was Mary that annoited Jesus' feet with fragrant oil. You see, Mary always approached Jesus at His feet.

How do you approach Jesus? Are you like Martha? Do you meet Jesus head on with the solutions you have already decided are best? Or are you like Mary? Do you worship at His feet and know that what He has is best?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Check Your Tone

As a mother of two, and owner of a small in-home preschool, I know what a valuable commodity quiet is. So this evening, when the guys were at the golf course, I allowed Erin to watch a movie on the portable DVD player in her room. Thus assuring I would have a few minutes that I could just sit and have quiet... or so I thought.

Normally, Erin loves the treat of watching a movie in her room, not this evening. She kept coming in and out asking questions and needing stuff. After about the sixth time, when she called my name I responded with a very exaggerated/exasperated WHAT? She stopped immediately and said, "Don't you love me anymore?" Wow! Just one word, and the way it was expressed, made her question my feelings for her. I apologized for my reaction and assured her that nothing could make me quit loving her. She is 4 and she rebounds quickly, so after a hug and a smile all was well.

Have you checked your tone? With family? With friends? With strangers? As Christians, we are supposed to be a light for others that they may see Jesus in us. We are supposed to be different than the world, and others should want what we have. If our tone is not right, our light is dim. If we respond like the world, why would anyone want what we have... we look just like they do.

I am reminded of Jesus' earthly ministry. He got tired, hungry, and wanted some time to Himself just like we do. Yet, when he would be interrupted He never responded with a "WHAT?" No, He responded with love. We also should respond in love so that others will see the love of God in us.

By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another John 13:35

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Don't Limit God's Favor

As you all know, it is tax season. This year, Jason and I didn't know what to expect with our taxes. We started a remodeling business in January, and I started a preschool in August. We were expecting to owe, but honestly didn't know how much.

I really hadn't spent a lot of time thinking about it, and no time praying about it. I know that Jason had prayed about it, and he was trusting God to provide what we would need. Last week we turned all of our information over to a CPA, and waited.

Over the weekend, Jason was a little distracted wondering about them. So, yesterday morning I decieded to pray about them. As I was praying, I said, "God, please let them be under ... " Before I could say the amount I was thinking, I felt my spirit tell me not to put a dollar figure on them. So I stopped, and just said, "God take care of it." Then I didn't think anything else about them.

That afternoon Jason sent me a text. He had just spoke to the CPA. Not only do we not owe anything, we are actually getting a refund! As soon as I saw that I texted back, "That is the favor of God!" Jason and I spent a few minutes just praising God right there.

That was not an event that happend over night. God had it planned all along. As a matter of fact He brought to my memory of something He asked me to do back in December. At the time, I thought it odd, but I did it. Now I realize that it was laying the ground work for God to use another person to show us favor in this area.

Psalm 78:41 says "yes, again and again they tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel." I truly believe that had I stated a dollar amount that morning, I would have limited the blessing received that afternoon.

We all need to remember not to put limits on God. How often do we ask God to take care of something, but then tell Him how it should be done. He has a much better plan than we could ever determine. Trust Him, and allow Him to shower you with His favor. Then spend time praising Him for all that He has done.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Desires of Your Heart

What are the desires of your heart? Are you receiving them? Would you like to know how you can? Any one who has heard me teach very often knows that one of my favorite verses in the Bible is Psalm 37:4. It says, "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." God laid this verse on my heart several years ago, and I have truly been living it.

So, how do you delight yourself in the Lord? The Message says it this way, "Keep company with God, and get in on the best." That's it, that is the secret, keep company with God. The more you spend time reading His word, listening to His word, speaking His word, and meditating on His word, the more your relationship will grow with Him. You will find one of two things happen. Either you receive what you desire, or God will change your desire.

As a mother, one of my biggest desires has been to stay at home, raise my children, and to homeschool them. This was my desire even before Ethan was born. However, we did not believe we were financially able for me to stay home, so I worked outside of the home. I simply began praying and delighting myself in God. At first, I was praying for financial windfalls so that we would be stable. God changed my desire. I quit praying for the windfall, and began praying for us to rely on God to provide all our needs. He has, and still does. Now, I am a stay at home/homeschool mom. I am truly living the desires of my heart.

Please understand, God is not some genie in a bottle. You can not just rub the Bible and get your wish. You have to spend time with Him. It is not a matter of changing His mind to give you what you want. Rather, it is Him changing your heart to receive what He wants to give.

Start keeping company with God today. You will be amazed at the blessings He will pour out on you.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Beware of Little Foxes

Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom. Song of Solomon 2:15

This week I have allowed little foxes to sneak in and cause heartache between myself and Jason. My little foxes were those of discontentment. It all started on Monday, when we got a call asking if we would be interested in selling our house. This is something that we had not even thought about yet. (Those of you who know my husband, know this will be a condsideration at some time.) We are really enjoying our house, and it's location. However, this phone call made me start considering the things that I would like changed or wished I had.

When one fox gets in, he will invite friends. By the end of the week, I was unhappy with my car. My car is old, and does have a few issues. This caused me to start pestering Jason about getting a different car. The truth is the car is old, but it is paid for. The things that are wrong, are not serious. As a matter of fact, one of the biggest issues I had with it, I fixed with a can of WD40 this afternoon.

You see, I really am not unhappy with my house or my car. Satan used a couple of little things to create distance between myself and Jason. Thankfully, God opened my eyes to it this morning. I have asked forgiveness for my bad behavior, and have kicked those little foxes right out of my vineyard. I am not only content, I am blessed beyond measure.

Watch out for the little things, don't allow them to build into something bigger than they are. Gaurd your relationships ... all relationships. Check your attitudes and communicate with each other. Little foxes can appear harmless, when in fact they can wreck your relationship ... with your spouse ... with your family ... with your friends ... with God.