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Monday, May 28, 2012

Counted Worthy


Why does this truth get buried underneath the rubble of life?
Why as 20th century Christians do we allow the glitter of this world to blind us to what should be considered the “normal Christian life?”

Why in my counting …do I  forget to count this truth?

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, James 1:2

And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. Acts 5:41

But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 1 Peter 4:13

To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. 1 Peter 2:21

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church. Colossians 1:24

Sitting in the den, my daughter is feeling crushed under the struggle…
my husband, with tears in his eyes, speaks to her…
You have been counted worthy.”
These words pierce my heart…I have been speaking hundreds of words to her…
but these words turn the tide…turn the focus …silence the why’s.

I take these words with me to bed…You have been counted worthy.”
I ponder in the night and I know this work has to be done in my heart first…
I can’t give what I don’t have…I can’t truly speak what I don’t embrace myself.
Can I really cup her face into my hands and gently refocus her from this anxiety…
if I don’t let my Savior gently cup my face and turn me toward the Light?

When I share these truths…
I want them flowing out of a willing heart...a heart that desires to be counted worthy.

This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering. 2 Thessalonians 1:5

Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. Romans 8:17

For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. 2 Corinthians 1:5

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Romans 8:18

And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” Job 1:21

As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job's perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy. James 5:11


My sweet husband picking raspberries with me:)

We are up to the work-out challenge!
It’s been years since I swung one of these...decided not ready for pics yet:)


~2379~2397~

~God’s care

~kind comments from dear bloggers

~nice dinner
~a growing love relationship with God
~more freedom from living with expectations
~seeing God’s ways are not my ways
~God’s wisdom…sometimes very conventional
~hubby’s work schedule slowing down
~ returning to Saturday morning breakfast
~farmers market
~picking raspberries
~hubby and son inviting me to hit golf balls
~run in the hot sun
~hubby’s wisdom
~finalizing menu for graduation party
~grace
~hope
~mercy

Also linking up with Ann,  PlaydatesSoli Deo Gloria,and  On Your Heart Tuesdays,
 Emily @ Imperfect Prose and Jennifer @ God-Bumps.


Friday, May 25, 2012

Apples of Gold


In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. 1 John 1-2

I read this scripture and I wonder…of all the names…
why was God referred to as the Word?
Trust me, I am no theologian and I would not attempt to expound on this…
but I do find it interesting that from the beginning was the Word…
 from the beginning words were present.
 God could have created the universe any way He saw fit…
He chose to use words…to speak what was on His heart.
He saw void…darkness and He spoke light and creation …all His beauty into existence. Words are powerful…they can speak life…or bring death.
“As it is written, I have made you a father of many nations in the presence of Him whom He believed-God, who gives life to the dead, and calls those things which do not exist as though they did” (Romans 4:17).
Every day…every moment…will we take the opportunity to create an environment where words are spoken to heal…where our words can speak to a soul those things that don’t exist yet… words of hope…grace…love…mercy…truth.

Do we really understand the power of words…I think if we did…we would use them more carefully.  Oh, how I have failed and still do in this area. "Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty." Isaiah 6:5

Oh, let’s cry out together…to be cleansed and transformed so…
 the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14

Here are just a few scriptures on the power of our words….

Death and life are in the power of the tongue,…Prov. 18:21

There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. 
Prov. 12:18

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29

I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak… for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
 Matt. 12:36-37

If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless. James 1:26

The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:45

Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense, but a man of understanding remains silent. Prov. 11:12Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. Col. 4:6
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.
Prov. 25:11

Join me today for 5 Minute Friday…always a blessingJ

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

God’s Humor.


I can’t wait to get to heaven to fully experience God’s sense of humor. 
As I have said before…I am a non-writer in this gifted world of blogging. 
School and especially English was never my strong suite.
I almost did not get out of freshman English…when I taught school, a fellow teacher had to read over my reports before they were sent out. (I had a brave principal…she saw past my weaknesses so I could  teach young kids with learning disabilities).

So stepping out into the blog world is a bit…more than a bit of a stretch for me.
 At times, I feel myself wanting to retreat…
and then this non-writer blogger gets asked guest post.

To be honest I wasn’t going to post today…life is very, very busy right now…
since I am not a prolific writer ,
I can’t easily write what might be going on in my heart. 
I can pour it out in my journal…the audience of One...
but here…my heart stirring don’t flow so easily…
and I can’t muster up something to write about.

So back to God’s sense of humor…I wake up and check mail…
There is an email from a dear blogger asking if I would consider guest posting.
 my first response when this happens is “are they kidding?”
Then I get on Google reader…just going to enjoy reading others today.
 Surprise…there I am over at Jen’s place…Finding Heaven.
 I forgot …she is posting one of my blog post today.

I may not be sure of my writing here…but what I do know is…
this blog community is a sweet place to be…
full of kind and amazing ladies…ladies who desire to grow and mature in Christ.
I am encouraged here…challenged here…and loved here. 
For these reasons alone…I want to stay here.

Thank you sweet sisters…join me today @ Jen’s.

Also linking up at Emily @ Imperfect Prose and Jennifer @ God-Bumps.  \

p.s.  excuse the missed errors…most of the time my sweet husband checks for mistakesJ

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Keep Your Dancing Shoes On.




60 years ago my dad was asked to go on a blind date...
On that first encounter, this couple danced to "Stardust" by Nat King Cole.
As crazy as it sounds...that very same evening...
my dad boldly pronounced he would marry this young lady.  
My mom…she laughed…but 6 months later, they married and the rest is history.
If I had to title their story…”They Kept Their Dancing Shoes On.”

Here is a clip of my 87 year old parents dancing to that first song-“Stardust”
on their 60th wedding anniversary celebration...
and then they really put their dancing shoes on.


We celebrated their life together…
a marriage that was preserved through all the trials of life.
A marriage like good wine…got better with age.
Here they renewed their wedding vows...at 87 years old.


My parents where surrounded by their legacy…
Children…grandchildren…great-grandchildren.


Granddaughters dancing with Pop-Pop to 
the song he sang to them when they were young.

 
No dancing for these guys...
Cake cutting... wedding day, 25yrs, 50 yrs and now 60yrs.

This day was a celebration not only of their marriage…but of God’s faithfulness.
We could celebrate together…
not because we had or have today a perfect family…
No…It is only by the Grace of God …the One who teaches us to forgive and to love.



This wonderful weekend was topped off with Amy and Ellie staying an extra 4 days J

Amy got to visit her favorite place.
Oh no!...Ellie likes watching people play Mario Cart.
A sick little one...but oh such sweet snuggles.
May we all keep our dancing shoes on as we count all the gifts given to us!!!
~2321~2342~
~parents who stuck together through it all…60yrs
~God’s faithfulness and kindness to teach perseverance
~our children seeing and reaping the fruit of forgiveness
~pure joy on my mom’s face
~extra days with Amy and Ellie
~holding Ellie while she is sick
~Ellie leaving me with something to remember her by...her cold and runny nose :)
~sweet baby sounds
~smiles and “conversations” with Ellie
~just hanging and relaxing with Amy
~getting a trip in to downtown Franklin.
~all the kids under one roof and sitting around the dining room table
~daughter continuing to practice driving ...less than one month
~seeing God’s kindness being poured out on the hurting
~taking walks with hubby
~breakfast and good conversation
~friends going to Ghana to meet their boys
~God shedding light
~grace for the silence...growing in trust
~God’s is Love
















 










Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Clothed By God.


It’s that time of year again…
stripping away the layers of clothes that cover us in the winter …
warmer summer weather leads to this shedding
And always the struggle…modesty…dresses…shorts…and shirts …
Searching for clothes that will actually cover.

My near sixteen-year-old daughter is in the middle of this war.
How I want to wave a magic wand and transport us to the other side…
Where maturity rules…being fully responsible for choices…
but there is no short cut to maturity…
for either one of us.

So I sit in the Target dressing room… sharing my heart.
Trying not to share in a bullying way(Ann’s wisdom)…not mandating her to conform…
but rather to help her find her own convictions in this area.

“What if God doesn’t give me the same conviction?”
I thought…”Oh, if we really want conviction…
and I am not talking about a rule to follow…
but a conviction growing from a heart of love…
a giving up of ourselves to Him in love…
letting go because we see how much He loves us.
He does bring His conviction…or a better word…His Freedom.

As I sit in the dressing room…I am rethinking my role as a parent…
Is it our job as parents to give our children our convictions…rules to live by?
I no longer think so…
Ours is to help them develop their own Love relationship.
Isn’t it true that love relationships take time to grow and mature into sacrificial love?
When Love is the motive….
a conviction transforms from a negative action…
to a positive love offering.
As parents we need to provide a safe place so this love affair can be cultivated.
And in a garden of Love our children will choose…
They will plant their own convictions.

So by the grace of God…I give room for the Lover of HER soul to come…
Come and woo her as He has me…
And by the grace of God…We walk to the car with only a pair of sandals…
she declares…”Mom, we are getting better at this…you are always telling me when you see changes in me…I just wanted to tell you, I see changes in you too!”

Maybe we did not find the earthly clothes we were searching for…
Oh, but thanks be to God…we became clothed…
clothed with more of His Grace…more of His beauty.

We got in the car and drove home…
Not harboring usual frustrations…
 But with hearts full of thankfulness and joy.J



Join me at Ann’s, Emily @ Imperfect Prose and Jennifer @ God-Bumps.  
I promise you will be blessed!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Dear Mother...

As Mother’s Day drew near and  just becoming a new grandmother (a.k.a.Lolli)...
I pondered what would I say to my daughter who is a new momma...and other young moms. So I tried to put in words some of what is on my heart and decided to join  Amber at ‘My Mother Letter’ link up party.


Dear Mother,

Oh, there’s much in my heart…
so much I wish I could transfer directly from my heart to yours. 
But that would be too easy...it is not the way to growth…
not the way a heart is transformed.

There are so many things I would do differently…
I could name each one for you and maybe you would find some help.  
But I believe the best gift an older mom can give a younger mom is applause.

If you have ever run a marathon…or any long race…
there are people lined along the streets …clapping their hands…
giving words of encouragement…infusing hope into your tired body…
a brief distraction from the pain...instilling faith that you can finish the race.

You my sister are running your race…and I clap my hands…I cheer you on…
”you are doing a good job”…”you will make it”…
”God is faithful to meet you in every season”…
”He never fails to give the wisdom needed”…
”He has Grace for those moments when you fail”…
”Oh, and never forget…it is not about always doing it right,
but how you react when you get it wrong.”

There are times in a race where you “hit the wall”...lose sight of the finish line…
legs too tired to move…lungs no longer finding the oxygen needed...
brain yielding to fatigue.
That is when a runner needs someone to come and just put an arm around them…
walk with them a bit…give them a drink…
speak convincing words that they have enough in them to finish.

As you run through each season of life in motherhood…
here is what I would cheer as you run your race….

As you nurse those babies…wipe those bottoms…fall in bed exhausted…
just remember these days do count…you are planting…you are impacting the world…
what you are doing does matter...your life has value…
 you are a life changer and therefore, a world changer.

When you see those teenage years looming ahead…
I will encourage you like an older, wiser lady did for me. 
These don’t have to be the years where you clinch your teeth and hold your breath,
while just hoping to survive. Yes, these years can be challenging…
but oh, how special they can be…rich and deep and lovely.

My one piece of advice for these years…BE AUTHENTIC…
Teens sniff out hypocrisy like a drug-sniffing dog searching for the hidden. 
And when they find it…they go in for the kill. 
On the other hand, if they know you both are on a journey together…
both learning…both changing…both humans trying to follow after God…
they are more likely to turn their hearts towards home and not away.

As the curtain closes on your parenting act…
when every step they take leads them further from under your roof…
how a momma’s heart tears a bit as each child steps across that threshold.
As they travel out the door…release them fully into God’s love. 
Remember whenever one door closes…a new door will open. 
However, this new door needs to be opened from their direction...voluntarily.
Let them invite you into their new space…a new territory...
  where the transition begins from parent/child to brothers and sisters in Christ.
And when they marry…let them leave and cleave…and watch a new cycle begin.

Each family’s life together is a story in progress….
Each phase is a chapter in this ever unfolding tale.
As one chapter ends…in the turning of the page…a new and exciting chapter starts.
One day a beautiful story will have been written…remember, not a perfect storyline…
but like the plot found in all good books...
filled with adventure, truth, challenges, sorrow, joy and most importantly redemption.
He is the author of your family's stories…each one written uniquely by Him.
The Author is trustworthy…enjoy letting Him write your story.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  
                                                                   Hebrews 12:2




My Daughter’s first Mother’s Day...pure joy!!!
Showered with love...using new lens to take pictures:)

In her own words:)

Honoring his sister and his mom:)


So richly blessed!!!

oh...so much love!!!

 ~2307~2325~

~seeing God’s fingerprints everywhere
~freedom that comes through  letting go
~learning you can work together even with distance between
~more looking in the rear view mirror…seeing God’s faithfulness
~decorating for my parent’s anniversary party
~all the details coming together
~sweet night of celebration
~87 yr. old parents who still danceJ
~all the kids home for the weekend
Amy and Ellie staying for a couple more days
~lots of Ellie time
~sweet words from the kids
~flowers
~new camera lens
~Mother’s Day as a “lolli”
~sharing my daughter’s first Mother’s Day.
~sitting with my daughters just sharing our hearts
~son finishing his last homeschool work on Mother’s Day…Senior year completed…Yeah!!!!