Sunday, January 31, 2010

the bracelet

I have a sweet friend who blesses me with her creations of bracelets. I have a whole collection of them, and am always eager to be blessed with more. They are just so beautiful, a little glimpse of love on my wrist when I look down. You say love? Well, this friend, although she loves me, she loves the gift that the Lord has given her in creating.


She has a beautiful collection of beads, some are big, tiny, colorful, clear, crystal, or wooden. There are many different kinds of beads, and she is like the keeper of the beads.


She loves each bead, but when she places all of them together in just the right way, they just simply shine. I have been there watching her create, and it is not something she does just on a whim, she takes her time, and when one doesn't fit right she removes it and begins again. She sees the color pattern, the size of the beads and with her eyes and her heart she places them together with such amazing talent.


You can hold one stone in your hand, you can feel each one, and know that each stone is special, and unique, but when they are placed altogether, wow, its like a orange blossom coming alive on your wrist.


She prays and seeks God's design over her talent. She finds joy in creating and does not like to be rushed(although I tend to push her a little), and in the right moment she comes alive when she is creating.


Although you can find beauty in each bead, when they are together they make a pattern, they make a circle, they are connected and bound together as one.


Isn't that what Christ has done with us, His children? Each one of us together is special, and unique, but when He places us with our spouse, with friends, with those around us in our path, look at the beauty He creates. God takes His time creating, He isn't going to be rushed no matter how much we want something. He knows exactly when the right time is for His blessings to reach us. In us God is creating something so grand, He can see each step as beauty, although we may not at the time, but when everything comes together for us, it is at that moment we can look back and see with each trial, each step of the way He was creating all the time.
It's funny really, she can take beads that you wouldn't really think go together and make something so rich and at times beyond words. Just as we are. If we do not move outside our circle we may never know the bounds at which Christ wants to take us. We may never see the blessings of others, or even the rich blessings we could have together. God knows exactly how to place together the things which are going to bring Him glory.


As I wear my new bracelet today, I will look upon it and remember God's beauty, and all He is creating in me. I will remember to be still and wait upon Him. God is teaching us through everything that touches our lives, if we can open our eyes to Him He will indeed show us what He is up to, and let me tell ya, He is up to something good!

SONGS OF DELIVERANCE by Marilynn Griffith

Here we see redemption from the past, forgiveness in the present and hope for the future. Everyone needs a teacher who will never give up on them. In this story of Grace, Zeely, Ron, Jerry, and Brian we find Joyce Rogers, the teacher who always inspired and believed in her students. As these characters are brought back to school, they find themselves again and will find what real love is. This story revolves around each of these characters, beginning with their pasts, as each chapter brings us closer into their lives, and brings our hearts to understand the situations and choices they made that not only effected their lives, but those around them. These characters are real and vibrant. They are showing us the struggles in life and how we can overcome with our faith in God. I love how through the story we see God speaking to these hurting souls saying, "For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle, in the secret place of His tent He will hide me, He will lift me upon a rock." Even though their paths separate, God has a way of bringing them together, along with healing their hearts and renewing friendships. I enjoyed this story, the depth of each character, and leaves you with hope. This book was a gift from Revell for its review.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

so much to give

As I was sitting in the doctor's office waiting for my mother I had time to watch those around me. On this day the office was filled with elderly folks, many of which had their daughters or sons bringing them in to help ease the burden for their parents. Some come alone, only to be dropped off by a worker to find all their cards and fill out papers on their own, trying to see with all their might and keep their hands steady.


As my son and I sat talking and watching, our hearts were breaking for the elderly who were being seated only to have to keep getting up. We noticed how different some of the office workers would speak to them. We noticed how many ignore them and turn the other way. My son is always one who loves to talk with older folks. I think he earned this love from spending so much time with his grandpa and hearing his stories. My son says hello and asks how they are doing today. He opens doors for them, helps them through the doors and makes them feel as though they are someone, someone who is special.


Too many times our elderly are treated without respect, without love, and without concern. They are pushed aside, only to wonder why. They are expected to know all the information the office workers are asking, and to understand all they are saying, but they do not. They can get confused easily, they can become afraid and you can see this in their eyes.


The elderly in this world carry with them so much wisdom, so much information and stories that need to be shared. When they are gone, important stories go with them. Stories today that many do not care to hear.


I know as my mom was growing up, she grew up in a poor part of Arkansas, along with my dad. They both had eighth grade educations, and had to quit school only to help out at home. My mom picked cotton since she was a little girl, and my dad helped to fish for his families dinner. They had hard lives, but as they grew it made them stronger, wiser and full of stories to share to help me and others learn and grow from the past.


Yes, the future is important, technology is great, but to a point, the more we move forward the more we are losing. We have become so impersonal now, and in our world if you are not of use many times you are left to feel useless, just as the elderly do. We are leaving behind the very people who helped make us who we are, and paved the way for us to come through.


My daughter works in a nursing home and is going to nursing school. She loves working with the folks there. She shares how many people have no one to visit them, and how alone they feel. Some have families that are too busy to come, some have no families left at all. That is heartbreaking. There are those who are blessed with loving families that are there to surround them, and not only them, but they reach out to others also.


The elderly in our society should be respected, revered, and honored for all they have done for their country, for their families, and for their strength. They should be held high and taken care of, not left to the side.


I see how my mother struggles with medications, with medicare, and how confusing it is for her. I am there along with my children and husband to help my mom. To care for her, but what about those who have no family or are left to care for themselves? Are we not to care for those around us? To love and reach out, helping in anyway we can?


Where is their legacy if it can not be told? If it can not be shared? The elderly have so much to give. They are those who made this country strong, they have given their whole lives, only to be seen as what? A burden to society?


The elderly should not have to struggle, to fend for themselves, nor should they have to decide if they purchase food or medication for the month.


One day, we too will grow old. How do we wish to be treated? For us to spend time with the elderly is not only a gift to them, but a gift to ourselves. When we give, we receive something valuable, something words cannot even express.


We can make the difference in the life of the elderly. We can make them feel important and show them that love they are so desiring. Make today the day you reach out and touch the hand of someone who will forever make an impact on your life.


Leviticus 19:32 "Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the Lord."

Friday, January 29, 2010

new glasses

Today I received my new glasses! I can finally see again. I am blessed to have bi-focals. For the last week I have been without my glasses. This year I did not get new frames, so the eye doctor had to keep mine, that is until today when I walked in like a little girl getting a puppy. You ask why am I excited? Well, I cannot see anything in front of my face, nothing! So, this whole week I have not been able to read the gigantic books I have(3in1 stories), and have been squinting away trying to read one that has bigger writing.


See, I started out with 10/10 vision. I was blessed with sight for the most part of my life. Its when you hear a doctor say, "You are getting to that age", well, that makes a person feel grand. I have had glasses for about six years now, so that age for me was not old at all! I could see things in the mountains that my husband would say, "How in the world can you see that moose from here?" I could read for hours and at times all night long to finish a great book, but lately, well, my vision is much worse. I had been struggling to see with the glasses I had, so I knew it was time to go for new ones.


Some of us are near sighted, far sighted, and then those like me who happen to be both. As people, we can tend to be near sighted anyway. Only seeing us, or what is right in front of our faces, our little box. As Christians we should in fact be far sighted, seeing others before ourselves. Taking time to look outside our box. (I know being near sighted you cannot see far images and far sighted you cannot see close up, so in my little picture here I am using the opposites)


We try to see things as we think are right. We want others to see from our view. And for those things we cannot see clearly, we have a hard time focusing.


The amazing thing with God is that He always sees with 20/20 vision. He can see our past, our present and our future. He never looks through tainted glasses. He only sees truth. He wants us to see things through His eyes and not with our fleshly vision. He wants us to see with love, grace and forgiveness. He wants us to be focused on Him. When we focus on Him and Him alone, our vision is right where it needs to be. We are neither just focused upon us, and our needs, but looking to God for His will. If we can not focus in on Him, then our vision needs to change. Isn't it great as our vision changes, as we begin to lose sight, we have a God who is never changing!
When we go in for our eye exam, the doctor has us look through many lenses, showing us one or two, he is looking at the front of our eyes, and in the back. He is giving us an exam that will change our sight for the better. He is going to write us out a script to correct our vision. That is exactly what God does for us when He knows our vision is off. Our vision can be off just a little, but it is still off of what He vision is for us. With His word, with His love and at times His correcting hand He can bring our sight into focus, having us see things we have never seen before.


Many times we have been looking through clouded vision for so long, we have to allow God some time to do adjusting on our eyes. That point of adjustment can be hard.


As I placed on my glasses today, I was amazed at how clear I could see. I was thinking, "I can't wait to go home and grab that book!" But as I placed them on, I realized it is going to take awhile to adjust to the new lenses. I feel a bit wobbly, a bit on shaky ground as I am walking. But the more I keep them on, the better focus I am coming into.


The more we look to God, the more we stay in His word, the better our vision will be. It may be harder at first getting into the swing of things, taking that close up glance at ourselves and seeing for the first time the changes that need to be made as God shows them to us.


He can correct our vision, He can make things clear when we are having a hard time focusing. But aren't you glad we have the greatest Eye Doctor ever? What we cannot see He shows us clearly, and what we are seeing, He can bring truth into focus.


I am thankful for my glasses today. I am thankful for my vision and even more so with the One who can correct it with love.
2 Corinthians 5:7 " We live by faith and not by sight."

Thursday, January 28, 2010

could we take the fast lane?

I have been finding myself thinking, "Lord, could we please hurry up these lessons I need to learn". This past year and a half has been so hard, and today is one of those hard days I find myself asking question after question to God and what is that I hear? I continue to hear Him telling me to be still. Do you know how hard it is to be still when all you want to do is move forward? I feel as though we are in this pit and we continue to dig our way out(with our shovels), but the hole is too deep. But within this deep pit, I can look up and see the light. I am learning that with Christ there is no "Hurrying". Each step is for a purpose to make our life complete in His glory. I am learning that in my faith, I must keep looking to Him and not the situations around me. I can honestly say that with my husband not working it is beginning to take a toll. The stress is so strong at times I just want to go to sleep and wake up when its all better. But that is not how God is moving, and if I were to sleep through it all, would I really learn everything He is showing me? If I were to just sleep through the trials I would miss out on so many blessings in the hardest of times. I am finding that with each new trial that comes He gives me His grace. I am so undeserving of His grace, yet He gives it because He simply loves me. I have His grace and still yet, I want more. He is providing for us, He is meeting our dire needs, but I find myself wanting more. I find my flesh calling out and crying for more like a spoiled child. When I look around and see the hurting people, those who are at a loss in many different ways, my heart aches for them. I know I am blessed beyond words, so why is my flesh so strong, why do I continue to be in want? I want things to be perfect, I want things to be within my reach, and no struggle to get them. What kind of life would that really be? I have always taught my children that anything in life worth having takes hard work, so why am wanting it easy now? Jesus did not have it easy, so why should I expect anymore than my Savior had here on this earth? My emotions are a train wreck right now. I can go from smiling and seeing God's blessings, to crying and asking why? So what does it all come down to really? My insecurities! I have learned through reading Beth Moore's book "So long Insecurity", that I cannot find my security in the "Things or comforts" of this world. My only security comes from God and Him alone. I cannot live by the things or comforts I desire. They are not lasting, but God is. I feel like a young child who wants to be 13, then comes 16, then comes 18, then 21, and with each age, once we get there, it still isn't enough, what we thought was going to be great isn't what we expected. But it is those very things unexpected that bring the most joy! It is those blessings that God brings in the smallest of packages that fill us and remind us just who He is. I know He has created all and nothing touches me that hasn't first touched Him. I am so glad He is in control of my life and not me. If I was in control my life would be a wreck, one giant car crash. I am learning to let go, and with each thing I let go of, with open hands, He can bless me. It is when I try to keep my hands closed and hang on to all that I choke out all He is trying to do in my life. So even though my flesh is wanting Him to hurry this ride up, cause this girl wants off, I know this is a ride I have to take to get me to where He wants me to be. I am constantly at war with my flesh and my faith. But with the grace of God He is bringing me through. I am not going to stay in this pit, it is not going to cover me, for I am already covered by God's grace and love. Nothing can touch my security in God, and nothing in this world can take it away. When this trial passes I know without a doubt another will come, but with each struggle I am becoming stronger in Christ. I am learning not to over react, but to simply trust Him through it all. On this ride we might go off road, we might hit a few big bumps, we might even go on one of those curvy roads that make you feel like your going to barf, but I know I am in good hands because God is at the wheel of my ride, and in the end, I know its this very ride thats gonna take me home!


My friend if you too are finding yourself in a place you are wanting to hurry and get out of, don't hurry God. Take your time, be still and know that through it all He is there. Tomorrow is a new day, and the light is always shining when we are looking up!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

books

When you make a connection with a great book, an inspiring story, or a great article you are adding to your collection of wisdom. I love books. I love the smell, the feel, and to look at the cover. I absorb the words as they seem to flow into my heart. I love a great mystery, a thriller, a love story, anything that adds to my life. To read history, to grasp an other's feelings as they have placed them before me is almost unexplainable. I could spend hours in a book store. I have been known to spend much time in the library, only to come out with nine books that I am now puzzled as to which one to begin first. It is a rich blessing in life when you can connect with another person who loves to read, loves to discuss books and their thoughts about them. To share books and to pass them on to others so they too can be blessed as I was is a treat. Books come in all different shapes, sizes and colors. They each have a different cover, one that seems to give clues as to whats inside, but we really never know until we begin reading. Once we open those pages then the truth of what is inside begins to show. The words come through and touch us like no other. Some send us on a ride of joy, while others hit the spot of tears, and some will send us leaping over the couch in fear at the first unknown sound. Reading books is something I began early with my children. I read to them while I was pregnant, and my oldest could read when she was only one. I have read to my children at night, and throughout their lives, laughing, looking at the bright colors and imagining the places we can only dream of going. Reading gives us something so bright, and fulfilling. Its how we learn, we grow, and we open our eyes to ideas we never thought of before. To hold a book from the library, knowing it has been held by many different people for many different reasons is amazing to me. To know each one was probably touched in a different way by reading the book than I is what an author hopes for. For someone to read and be changed, to make a difference in their lives and those around them just by something they have read. I never leave my house without a book. You never know when you might just have a few minutes to steal away and drift off to another time or place. Books give us a gift of escaping the stress of the day. I have many favorites, I could never just pick one, but there is one that is the most important book I have ever read, one in which it changed my life forever. That is the bible, God's Holy Word. There is nothing like it,nor will there ever be again. You cannot add to it, or take away from it, but it can add treasure to your life. To read the bible is to read God's love letter to me. What a special moment to share in His words and allow them to touch my heart like nothing ever will again. The bible contains everything we will ever need to know. It is our guide to life, it is our encyclopedia and history of the world from the beginning to the end. It is a love story, a story of redemption, of grace and peace. It holds in it mystery, along with thrilling portions that will grip your heart. You can begin from the very first page or start at the end, and you will find what you have been seeking for all your life. Some people are readers who enjoy a moment alone with just a book. I know it was a rich blessing for me to teach my children how to read, for it opened their eyes to a new world in front of them. You want a blessing today? Pick up a great read and open the pages to a whole new world.

if 40 is the new 20 why do I feel 60?

Wow, what a statement! If 40 is the new 20 why do I feel 60? I have to say I love my 40's much more than my 20's, I would just like to have the energy I had then. I see friends who are my age now and they are raising their children with such energy and gusto, and I find myself thinking, "How are they doing all that?" But then I face reality and know that I already have. After raising five children, coming and going, I think it just might be time for my body to settle down. I seem to watch people now and admire their strength and energy, when mine seems to fade within each day. I can see all the tasks at hand I need to accomplish, then after looking, I am exhausted just thinking about what I must do. It isn't laziness, it is the fibromalgia effecting my body. I find myself sleeping a lot less. Up at night tossing and turning. Although my body is so tired, it just doesn't want to lay there, it wants to get up and go for a run. As I wake in the mornings, I wake early just so I can get out of bed on time. At times it may take me over an hour to be able to move enough to get up and slowly start my day. When I do find those days where my pain is less, I feel blessed beyond words, so I take off and do all the things I hadn't done in the past few days, only to find myself moving like a sloth. I have to say it hard when friends call and ask you to go shopping, to go movies and you find yourself saying no, not because you don't want to, but simply because you are to tired. The zoo and art museum are both favorites for me to visit. I could walk those places all day and still have energy to burn, now, well, I see those benches and find myself taking a seat. A few years ago our church group took our teens to teen conference. We ended up visiting the City Museum in St. Louis,(which is a really amazing place). As the kids all took off on their adventure, my friends were also excited to see all. I was pretty excited to check out all the cool things too, but I found myself as they were saying, "Come on, lets go upstairs!", thinking I am not going to make it up these stairs, and I didn't. I found myself really sitting on a bench with my crochet needle and yarn, wishing I could keep up to experience what the others were doing. Although I love the Winter, the cold makes the pain at times to deep to endure. When Summer hits I love to lay in the sun, not just to get a tan, but to feel the warmth of the sun move through my body. Please, do not misunderstand me. I am not having a pity party, I know how blessed I am, I am just simply sharing so you too know that your not alone. Too many times we think we are the only going through something. We find ourselves not sharing with others, because who wants to hear about how we really feel. But I have found many great groups who share with one another, who give ideas, advice and are there just to listen. When we surround ourselves with those groups we can find a new strength, not just to make it through each day, but to live each day. To live whether we are in bed in our Jammies moving slowly, or at work struggling through. For me I am blessed to not have to work outside my home. Being disabled is not something I take pride in, but then again, with fibromyalgia your pride soon goes out the window and your humbleness grows. We have a church league for softball. I have loved, and played softball since I was a little girl. On our church league, I still play, at least as of last year I did. I haven't shared with anyone, until now. As I would go out on the field and play, I would feel like a kid again. Loving the feeling of being with others who love to play also. But as the game was over, I would ease my way into my car, only for the tears to begin falling soon. The pain would be so bad I would have to take meds before I reached home. Once home, I would often fall apart as the pain just kept setting in. But me, I would leave that game with a smile on my face, and show up at the next one smiling just as big. When we are hurting we often just keep it inside, but what if we all began to share the truth of things? If we did, others would see our pain and know they were not alone. Now, back to that 20,40,6o thing. We can't have everything as it once was. Gosh, if I could pick and chose a few from each age, now that would be something. I would choose my energy from 20, my vision at 40, and have the wisdom that comes with 60. At each age, there are blessings and struggles, but we make it through, we make it through stronger and wiser. With each day of the illness' I have, I learn something new. I try to challenge myself to grow even though my body feels as though it is moving backwards. Even when we take three steps forward, and two steps back, we are still making progress with one step at a time. At times I feel like there is a mountain in front of me daily, and I will never make it over. But with the grace of God, with His strength I know I don't have to face that mountain climb alone. He is there to lead me, over and across each path in my life. This one just happens to be another stepping stone moving closer to Him.
Psalm 125:1-2 "Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds His people both now and forevermore."

little hands

Remember the first time as a mom you placed that little ones hand in yours? You counted all the fingers and toes, cried knowing she or he was finally here. You keep that little hand in yours, holding them, loving them, comforting them, and watching them grow. You watch them through the night, praying for them, making sure they are covered and warm. You watch those little fingers grow into your hand. You hold their hand as they take those first steps, wobbling from side to side. You hold their hand when they skin their knee, when they are going up steps, and down, keeping them from falling. You take their hand to swing them, as they want to go higher. You help them up the big slide, watching that grin from ear to ear, knowing that one day they will take that big step all by themselves. You hold their hand while crossing the street, while strangers are standing by, while being in the store, and being in line getting that hamburger and fries. Soon, before we know, that little hand is not so little anymore. That once little hand, is off and trying to do things on their own. As a mom you just want to hold on as long as you can, but in your heart you know you need to step back and allow them room to grow. Those little hands are forever imprinted on your heart. As a mom, we hope our heart is forever imprinted on their hands. We hope that when they are no longer in reach, they know that our hand is there. We teach those little hands to pray, to reach out, to have mercy, to show forgiveness, and to be wise in all things they touch. We pray as mothers that our children will grow in faith, and walk with the Lord in all their days. Many times it is not until our children have children of their own that they know just how special it is to hold the hand of your precious one, and how hard is it to let go and let them grow. I still love the touch of my mothers hand. Now, my hand is reaching for her hand, holding on to her to make sure she doesn't stumble and fall. I take her hand to help her see, and to keep her steady. I take her hand to help her into the car so she can settle in safe. My mothers once big, strong hand that took mine in hers is now small and weak. Now, that hand means more to me each day. Her hand print will forever be embellished on my heart. It is a beautiful circle in which our hands come together. Just the reach of a hand, the touch of the fingers in yours says, "I love you".


Lord, I praise and thank You for the little hands of my children I have been blessed to hold. For the hands that once held mine so tight when I was afraid in the night. And for allowing my hands to be stronger now for the ones who need mine so much. Lord Jesus, thank You for Your hands, for their strength, their comfort and love.

Monday, January 25, 2010

overcoming illness

I remember when my children were young and I had all the energy of the world. We would play outside for hours , only to come inside for more play. I was the mom who was doing it all, not just at home but at church.
One day I awoke and I was feeling as though the bed and I were one. As my migraines entered I found my energy levels drop and my days in bed longer. When the panic attacks began I had added insecurities of health and peace. After several trips to the E.R, and visits with many specialists I began finding out very slowly all of my health problems. Each one coming in on a different day, a different time in my life, but all coming with a fierceness I was not ready for.
My activities with my children began to slow down. I remember them asking me, "Mommy, what is wrong?" I remember feeling as though I was not the mother or wife I should be. I was not able to do the things I once had done so well, and I was not having that same joy each day.
With my migraines, and panic attacks, they not only effected me, but my family, my friendships and all around me. Each day was the toss of a coin. The plans you made a week ago, soon, turned into staying in bed while your family went on ahead. When chronic illness effects our lives, it effects every aspect in our lives, and we do not always have those around us who understand.
Many think you can just overcome each day, take an aspirin, take some vitamins and move on. I heard many times, "Just pull yourself up by your bootstraps and get moving!" The problem was, I couldn't, I didn't have the energy, and at times depression would set in. I was questioning God about why all this was happening, and I was not hearing the answers I wanted to hear.
Over time as my children were growing, I was also homeschooling them. There were many days we were in my bed, learning and reading together. My children were helping to take care of me. They would bring me my meds and keep my glass of tea filled, but the most amazing part was the hugs, the kisses, and the prayers they were saying for their mom. I was very thankful my children and husband were there by my side to lift my spirits, releasing me from the pity parties that affected my whole being. As each day brought about new challenges, things began to slowly get better.
Today my migraines are less severe. My panic attacks are under control with medication.Since having thyroid surgery, my levels are now under control. I still fight the days of migraines, I still fight the fibromyalgia, which has become my biggest battle now. My children grew knowing life was not perfect, there were glitches in our daily routines. They saw me struggle first hand, and they too saw how the Lord worked in my life, giving me the strength to overcome and keep moving forward, knowing He is with me each step of the way.
There are days I still do not get out of bed, but in those times I have sweet moments with the Lord. It is in those times I hear His voice and listen to Him as He calms my spirit and brings peace.
Being a mother is the hardest job in the world, but one that gives the greatest joy.When you have an added illness on top of being a mother, it adds a heavy burden to each day. It was so hard for me to tell my children no, after we had planned on going to the zoo. It was hard not to be able to make everyday perfect. With each day we learn that nothing is perfect.
We can make the most out of each day we are given. We may not be able to change our circumstances, but we can change the way we react to each one.For me, making these changes did not come easy. Accepting my illness' did not bring a smile. With each day it became easier than the first. When I allowed everything to pass through my hand unto the Lord's hands took the control away from me, and placed my faith and trust in Him.
When I learned to let go of my pride and allowed humbleness to enter it took a heavy weight off my shoulders that I was carrying.I no longer had to prove myself worthy to those around me. When illness strikes, we must take in everything and be honest. When we are honest and share our struggles with others, they know our needs and can help in the areas needed.Being surrounded by a support group,along with prayer brings a great joy.
As moms we want to think we can do it all, but we simply cannot and its okay. With each day as we give our best, some days it may be 100%, some 70% and others we may sitting at 30%, but we are giving to our best ability, and that is what Christ calls us to do. When my children were allowed to see my deepest struggles they were seeing truth.In seeing their mother struggle it taught them to be more compassionate and merciful to others.
Each day brings something new, new changes for us to face, but in the midst of all this we have a never changing God who is with us all the way, giving us all we need to not just get through the day, but to excel in every area of our lives.
Today as I write this article, I am weak, I am low on energy, but I am facing my challenges of today with the grace that Christ has given me. I may have to rest more this evening, may even have to take a nap, but I know that is okay. I have to be willing to let some things go and as I do, the Lord will bring other blessings in my life.
I am not Superwoman, I am me, the girl God is creating to be the woman of God He is desiring. I know as my migraines hit, I find myself in bed at times, but I found that if I try to take my focus off of me, it helps me through the situation effecting me. A wonderful friend of mine makes beautiful cards, and had given me a box for Christmas one year. While a migraine had hit, I found myself bringing that box up on my bed, and writing cards to others I knew who were hurting, and in sending hugs to others I knew God was at work in me. I may not be the same woman I was when my children were small, but I know without a doubt, I am becoming the woman God has called me to be.
When we face chronic illness, we don't have to allow that illness to define who we are, but we can allow God to define Himself through us and our struggles, reaching others through the very things that change our lives daily. Others do not want to seek fake smiles, they want us to be real, so may we show the world who Jesus is through our honesty about real life, real struggles and how God can change us through the worst of circumstances.
Isaiah 40:28-31 " Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth, He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

we are made new with Jesus

Ephesians 2:4-10 "But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages He might show the incomparable riches of His grace, expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

In all these places in this verse where we find the words us and you, place in your name and reread the verse and allow the words to sink into your heart. Let those sweet words of grace and mercy fall upon you today. To read God's word is so special, but we at times forget that it is His love letter to us. Instead of reading as it was for someone else, read the words He has placed in scripture as if He were speaking straight to you. For me at times I often find it hard to believe He loves me this much, for who am I for Him to give His life? But He did. He gave His life so you and I could have life today, tomorrow and forever with Him. We too often get tied up into thinking Jesus would not love us for the pasts we have lived, for things in which we have done, but that is wrong thinking. He died on the cross just for those very things. There is nothing that can separate us from Him. There is nothing we can do for Him to love us. We can not work our way to heaven. When we place our self in that position we are taking away what Jesus has done. It doesn't matter what we have done, all that matters is what He has done for us and is still doing today. There is no greater gift we can receive than His gift of love. He has ready for you, it is wrapped with His love and sacrifice. He isn't asking of anything, but to just accept Him for who He is, to believe in Him and allow Him to live within us.


With my children, nothing could make me love them more or less. Nothing they do can change the way I feel for them. If I based my love for them on the things in which they have done for me, or will do, that cancels out my love all together and just bases it on the things they do. That is not love, for with our children we have unconditional love. The same is with Jesus. His love never changes for me. Nothing I do will make Him love me more or less. It is not my works, my gifts, or anything I do that makes Him love me. He loves me because I am His child.


If our love was based on the things we did, we would boast about the very things we were doing. Jesus takes all that away, and just says, love me, that's all. I am so thankful for His grace and mercy that He has freely given. I know I mess up daily in my walk, in my life, and I could in no way begin to earn my way to heaven. We can get so caught up in the things in that we do, the gifts we give to others and all we seem to be doing for Jesus. We can get so busy being busy for Jesus that we lose sight of Him. We tend to take the spotlight off Him and place it on us. It is not about us and the things we are doing. It is all about Him. I know everything I have, every blessing, every gift in my life is from Him. They are things He has placed in my life and He knew ahead of time just when to place them there for His glory.


One day I hope to hear the words, well done, from Jesus when I see Him face to face, but in hoping to hear those words I know today it is nothing I can ever do. It will be my faith in Him, my belief in Him and my trust. It will be for seeking Him daily and following His will.


There is nothing comparable to His love. We seek to find love, we seek to receive love from others, but there is no love greater than the One who died for you and me. Once we realize just how great His love is, we can stop seeking in this world for the kind of love to fill us, for there is no love like His.

have you quenched your thrist yet?

One of the beauties I cannot wait for is the Spring. I love this season for the simpleness in its beauty. I love watching birds out my window as I write. I love sitting on the deck in the sun with a big glass of tea and having the birds come up close, even flying by as if they are finding out just what I am. One of my favorite birds is the hummingbird. It is so tiny, so colorful and unique. As its wings are flapping faster than any other, it can remain still in one place as it drinks from the sweet nectar. If you are a lover of birds you probably have a bird feeder of some kind in your back yard. One gift my oldest daughter had given me for Mothers Day is a bird feeder. It is still hanging from the tree in the front yard. We often have birds of all kinds coming up to feed, but when the hummingbird comes up, it gives a smile just watching. This little bird drinks from the nectar we supply in the feeders many times a day. They seem to go from each spot to another seeking out a supply of nectar to quench their thirst. As it seems also, they share with all their little buddies where they too can come to get full of this sweet drink. It makes me think of me and my Christian life. I know Jesus is my Living Water. It is He and only He that can quench my thirst. But as He quenches my thirst am I like these sweet little hummingbirds, going and sharing with others how and where to find this sweet drink that will forever quench their thirst? A life in which they will never thirst again? A place in which they can find a peace, a safety, and a presence of our God that will never leave us? If such a little bird can seek out a sweet nectar, and share with others how to find it, I should be doing the same each day of my life. I have found the One who will quench that thirst, for He has forever changed my life. For God to set before us such beauty, we can learn from even the smallest of creatures, the biggest of mountains and the widest of oceans just how much He loves us. We have such thirsts and we spend our lifetime looking for things of only emptiness to fill us. They may fill us for a moment, but soon that thirst will return and again we are off looking for something else. Nothing in this life can satisfy like the Living Water Jesus has for us. Try it today, seek Him today and find yourself never thirsting again.
Matthew 5:6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled."
John 4:13:-14 "Jesus answered, Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

TEA WITH HEZBOLLAHs by Ted Dekker and Carl Medearis

Would you like to sit at a table with your enemies having tea? Maybe speak about the Good Samaritan and loving your enemies? Jesus calls us to love our enemies and this is where Tea with Hezbollah takes us, right across the table from our enemies. Ted Dekker and Carl Medearis take us on a ride to the Middle East, facing fears, asking questions about life and the beliefs of others. There are many misconceptions about the people of the Middle East, just as they too have misconceptions about us. This book reveals the true feelings of others and how much we are all really alike and desire the same things. If we could all just face one another, love as Jesus commands, we would find truth in all people. If we seek the truth we too can find beauty in others, and that is what these two men have done on their trip to the Middle East. They sat with enemies, some we know and many who are not the headliners and asked these men questions about Jesus, about the Samaritan, their faith, how they feel about us in America, what their favorites are, what their hobbies are and what their hopes are. In the midst of their conversations we find the heart of the story, Nicole. Although the book takes us through the streets of the Middle East, it includes a heartfelt story about this woman and her life. Ted and Carl take this trip which began as just a thought, and after years of planning, they find themselves in the Middle East looking into the eyes of those very people we seem to fear the most. Can you imagine sitting down with those from Hezbollah, Hamas, the Muftis, the Sheiks and Ayatollahs? To have have with someone is a closeness we do not often do with our enemies. But what if we really did? What if we let all the preconceived ideas go, opened our hearts to one another and sought real peace? This book opened my eyes to many new ideas, to seeing a new light through the lives of those people countries away that have many untrue thoughts about you and I. This book takes you right into the turmoil of the Middle East, and shares things you would least expect. This book does not share the gospel in the hopes that I thought it would. But it does give us a look into the hearts of others and how misconceptions lead us to travel in wrong directions. I have enjoyed reading this book as it gives us all a picture of just being honest and sharing can take us a long way to living as Jesus would have us. This book was a gift from Multnomah WaterBrook Press for its review. This book will be released Feb. 15, 2010.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

BRIDES OF GALLATIN COUNTY by Tracie Peterson

Here we find from Tracie Peterson a trilogy, 3 in 1 series gathered together in a complete set. This story is set in Montana Territory in the 1800's. We meet Gwen, the oldest sister, Beth, the middle sister, and Lacy, the youngest of the Gallitin sisters. Life in the Montana Territory is hard, and in the beginning of the books, their father is killed by gun shots in the middle of town. They are left to run the roadhouse together. As they struggle with the loss of their father, Gwen also has struggled with the loss of her husband, only married a short time. Their mother died when they were young, so they have clung to each other, giving strength to one another. In the first book "A Promise To Believe In", the story builds around Gwen. A man comes into town by coach and wants to find the woman who married his brother, and why she allowed him to die. Gwen finds out her first husband was not an honest man, and the man who has come into town is his brother, Hank. As the story unfolds, Gwen and Hank begin to form a relationship, and Gwen lets her guard down, after all these years of hiding her heart. In the second book, "A Love To Last Forever", we find the story wraps around the life of Beth. Beth takes after her father in many ways, and we see her struggles as she dreams of being a wife and mother one day. She dreams of settling down, and Beth finds love with Nick, whom she has known for years. But his past comes into play and we find forgiveness and trust beginning to grow. In the last book, "A Dream To Call Her Own", we find the youngest sister, Lacy, who is after the killer of her father. She is beautiful just as her sisters, but she tends to wear pants and has a way with her words. She is a spit fire, and not afraid to confront anyone. She harbors anger over the death of her father and will not let it go until she finds the truth, but in finding the truth, she also finds love with Dave Shepard, the Sheriff. Dave has always had a heart for Lacy and she will fall for him also. This set of books will take you back in time to a place that seems forever away. It will show us the struggles and blessings that these ladies and men faced during that time. Love, forgiveness and redemption are themes here. You will love picking up this set, just as I did. It was a blessing to read. This set was a gift from Bethany House for its review.

rewind

Have you ever felt like you had the same film going through your mind over and over? Not just the same movie, but the same scene. You can see each part, each word, each action, and see it as though it was yesterday. This film keeps repeating itself, and during this time, you wish you could just fast forward the movie.

Have you ever sat in a movie theater and watched a film with parts that made you close your eyes? You just didn't want to close your eyes, but cover your ears too. You are sitting there wishing you could press the fast forward button and get on with it. Moving forward to another scene and another time.

We can look at this in a different way too. Have you ever wanted to press that rewind button, just move back a little bit? Not even, just hit it all the way, but just keep going back slowly, going over each part as it brought so many wonderful memories back of the past.

Maybe you would just like to hit the pause button, and remain right there in a scene forever. Holding on to what was and what meant so much.

How do you want to play the film of your life? For me, each day is different. For today, I would love to hit the fast forward button, and move this scene along a little faster. Really, I would like to move it as fast as possible.

We read books to take us to another place and time. We see movies to inspire us, and to give us hope. We seem to keep our minds busy with all around us, trying to ignore at times what is right there in front of us. It is nice to escape at times. To leave the scene in hopes of coming back to a new one.

Even though I may not like the scene in my movie right now. There is a Director in charge of every scene. He holds up the Take One and even the Take Two signs. He keeps going until its right. Never leaving the scene and never leaving me there alone to finish it or figure out each scene alone. He begins each scene and brings each one to an end by His voice and His command. When I mess up the lines, when I trip over the opening, He is there, bringing me through.

I am not sure how my movie is going to play out. I don't get a script ahead of time, I am just filled with faith to carry me through each scene. I am given hope in each act and strength through each tough act to follow.

When the credits roll by, the One name that will be there is God's name. Jesus Christ is the Director, and the Producer of my film. He brings in many who fill in the holes, and bridge the gap.

When I think the scene is about to get worse, He brings in the light and shows a new scene, giving hope in the ending. When I think the scenes are taking too long, He gets me through.

With each scene in this script He has given, He knows exactly how each course is going to end. He knows how each scene is building for another. He is at the beginning, the middle and the end.

Even when the lines are given to me and I make a mistake, He knows how to change that around, and use it for the scene to bring Him glory. There is no part that goes untouched by His hand.

Wherever you are in your scene, however your film is moving today, know that He is there directing and leading each part to bring the performance to the highest magnificence it can be. With Him leading, do we really have anything to worry about?

When we are following under His direction, He is making a blockbuster. There is nothing to compare. Each of our scenes somehow come together to make the greatest movie of all times, and He is the Star.

Don't get lost in the what if's and if only's. Don't get bogged down in the lost scenes, because in the end it will all come together. We may think there are missing pieces, but there are not. All those pieces will come together making a beautiful scene fit for a King.

JENNA'S COWBOY by Sharon Gillenwater

Enter into Callahan Country in Texas with a bigger than life love story. You will meet Jenna Callahan, a red headed beauty, along with her son, Zach, who fills the pages with sweetness. As she is back home and starting over again on the family ranch, in walks Nate Langley, home from the Army. Nate is beginning a new life also. He is trying to leave the horror of the war behind. They loved one another when they were teens, and they find themselves still carrying a torch. This is a love story that will grab your heart. We see how Nate is going through emotions from the war. He has tried to hide his fears but they won't leave his dreams. No longer able to fight them off, he seeks help. Healing begins as he discovers he is suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. He does not find himself alone, the Callahans sur round him with love and lift him up. As he is working on the Callahan Ranch with Jenna, they find their feelings have only gained strength. This is a timeless story of love, redemption and new beginnings. Leaving the past behind and finding new life, with a strengthened love in the Lord. You will have a few tears fall, and many smiles on your face spending time with the the Callahan family. We such genuine love between Jenna and Zach. We find what family is really all about here in the midst of these wonderful characters. I was captivated by this story within the first pages. It is a treasure. A story that just warms your heart with a delightful feeling. This book was given to me by Revell for its review. Jenna's Cowboy will be released January 2010.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

whats real?

When we turn the news on and see young women having ten plastic surgeries in one day we can know something is wrong with the way we view ourselves and want others to view us. When did it all begin? Who was the first woman to look in the mirror and think to herself,"I am not good enough"? Did it begin right after the fall of man when Adam and Eve left the garden? What happened to women after that? Sadly, today nothing has changed. Women all across this world look to themselves as not being beautiful, not being thin enough, not being pretty, and wishing they could change themselves. But now it has gone even further than just thinking I am not pretty enough. It has gone to looking at others and wishing we looked like them. Maybe if we had a different nose, different lips, if our thighs were smaller, if our waist was tinier, if our bottom was a little fuller we would be prettier. Where does it all begin and where does it all end?
We can pick up magazines and look at the cover, seeing beautiful women. We can open the pages and find even more. Their hair is perfect, they are thin as a bone, and have the latest styles on. We find ourselves thinking, "I wish I looked like that". We choose clothing from these magazines, we choose hairstyles in hopes they will make us look like the latest celebrity in the headlines. Why do we see such fault in ourselves when we can look to others and see beauty? We always seem to want what we do not have. In that thinking, we think if we only had those traits, those styles, those looks, things would be better.

Not just young girls, but women are overwhelmed with thinking they are not good enough as is, but we need to improve ourselves to be special. We have young girls thinking the less they wear the more attractive they are. We have women encouraging this behavior in their daughters, and not even realizing it. The sad thing is that most of the women encouraging their daughters in this behavior it is just a reflection of the pattern we are teaching. Every time we say things like," We are fat, we need to lose weight, look at this big zit on my face, I hate cellulite, I want to have bigger breasts, if only I had blond hair, or these shoes make my feet look fat, we are adding to their insecurity about how they look. We ask our daughters,"Do these jeans make my butt look big?" We are teaching our daughters right there that beauty is one certain way, one certain look, and we don't have it. What do we really think we are teaching them?

We may tell our daughters they are beautiful, we may point out all the beautiful things about them, but are we showing them that truth in our own lives? We often contradict ourselves in our speech and our actions. I remember always sharing with my girls how beautiful they are and I still share with them just how gorgeous they are today, but I don't really think I gave them that security in my actions. Just where do I think they learned that insecurity? From me. I have been one of those women who have thought at times, "I am not good enough, I am not pretty enough, and I wish these jeans fit me a different way." If we are honest, we can admit that we all have insecurities within our bodies.

Too often we see ourselves much different than others see us. I look at other women, friends of mine and women I see on the street and think they are so beautiful, but can turn around and look in the mirror only to think I am not. Why? I am not sure why. My husband tells me daily how beautiful I am. My family tells me that very fact, along with friends. I do not think that is our problem. Just as I would tell my daughters they are beautiful. I think our problem lies with television, movies, magazines, the cat walk, and billboards constantly bombing us with the details of just how we can make ourselves better, just how we can lose 20 pounds without exercise and healthy food, but to fit in that dress for the party. We see the ads for make up, for glamorous details to help make our eyes look bigger, our lashes thicker, our lips pout, and to cover all those unsightly blemishes! That is the beginning of our problem, the next step in our problem is that we listen! We actually believe and allow these ads to brainwash us into thinking we are not good enough like we are, but once we make these improvements we will be. Who says? Who says, when enough is enough? Just like this young actress allowing ten plastic surgeries in one day. She was already beautiful, but why did she feel as though she had to look a certain way?

What happens when this girl begins to age? More surgery? Or dare we ask how long this look will make her happy. Age is something that will happen no matter what. We cannot stop time. We must change our attitudes, and begin to see ourselves as the beautiful women God created us to be. Why not dare to be different than all trying to look the same?

God made all of us different and unique in our own way. God doesn't make junk, He doesn't make mistakes, and He creates with love. If we are all created in His image, why are so wanting to change what He has given? Why not be pleased with His work and stop looking to others for how we wished we looked?

No matter how much I try I will never look like Julia Roberts, I will never have long legs, and my hair will never grow to my hips, hips in which I do not have. I will never be 5'9 and will never have long eye lashes. I will never get rid of my cellulite, nor will I see the freckles on my body go away. No hair cut, no style, no amount of make up is going to make me look like someone else in an ad or in a movie.

I am ME, the one God created to bring glory and honor to His name through my life. I have blue eyes on the days in which I feel great, and they turn green on those in which I feel bad. I have red hair, and no matter how much I try with all my might to change the color, that red is never leaving. I am 5'4 and will never have legs to my neck. My pants will forever be too long and Capri's will always be short pants for me. I have a birthmark on my lower leg that always gets brighter in the summer. I have scars on my chest from a burn, and scars from surgeries that each tell a story.

I need to be able to look in the mirror and say, "Thank You, Lord, for all You have given me." Beauty begins in the heart of a woman, and when her heart is overflowing with beauty it will shine like nothing before on the outside. Why are we so afraid just to be us?

When we are humble, full of grace and mercy, when we give, when we reach out to others, when we open our hearts to love, beauty is there. When we sacrifice for our families, when we are on our knees in prayer, when we are lifting up a friend, when we are holding a babe, when we are giving all we have, that is beauty. Let all that God has given shine forth through us.

We are not eggs in a carton. When we open the carton of eggs, we make sure all are perfect, no cracks, nor breaks. If there are some that are different, we place that carton right back on the shelf. God does not have us placed in an egg carton. He is not looking to see if we are all the same, in fact He wants us to stand out and be unique. He wants us to allow Him to move through those cracks and breaks to let the light shine through. He uses every part of us for His glory. Those very things we may think are defective, He sees as beauty and way to reach our hearts and others.

I pray today can be a new day for us girls. May we learn we may not be perfect in man's eyes, we may have blemishes, but in God's eyes, we are made perfect in Him. May we begin to see the beauty He sees in us, and stop looking to the world for its opinion of what beauty is.


Psalm 139:14 "I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well." (NIV)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

LEAVING YESTERDAY by Kathryn Cushman

Leaving yesterday behind is not so easy. We all have pasts, but sometimes it is those very pasts holding us back from moving forward. Alisa is the mother of three children. She has lost a son who has been murdered on a missionary trip, a young daughter at home, and a son who after the death of his brother, lost his way. This young man, Kurt, has become an addict. He has been away from home for a while now. The tragedy of her son's death has brought tremendous grief in many ways. Alisa is now separated from her husband, a husband who believed in tough love. A husband who blames himself just as much as Alisa blames herself. Alisa is involved in the church as a teacher and speaker. She reaches thousands with her stories of healing, anger, and honesty about her feelings of the death of her son. The murder of a drug dealer comes to Alisa's door, with the police now asking the whereabouts of her son, who is wanted for questioning. What is a mother to do? How far will a mother go to protect her son? We find redemption of the prodigal who left home, and has returned. We find forgiveness and healing in this family. This book takes a turn, a twist if you will. It leaves you guessing and hoping for this family to return as it once was. We find that through their trials, the church family surrounds them with support, but will they now as the truth is coming out? We hear again that wise saying," The truth shall set you free", and indeed it does. I enjoyed picking up this one. For the mother of prodigals, it gives great hope. This book was a gift from Bethany House for its review.

lemons?

Have you heard the saying,"If life gives you lemons, make lemonade?" Have you ever tried making lemonade? That is a hard task. Squeezing all those lemons that make only a small amount of lemonade. It takes a lot of lemons to make a gallon of lemonade! Unless you are like me and purchase the big can of lemonade, to only add a few scoops to make a summertime treat ready for your family. Well, fresh lemonade is always better. For me, the hardest things I have had to do make for the best blessings. For me, when things are easy, there is no challenge, there is no learning there for me to grow. It is as if you stayed in the same history book all through school, would you really be growing in history, making history, or would you just be stuck in the same old same old? I am a hands on learner. When I wanted to learn how to crochet, I could not just learn by looking at a book, I called a friend, who came over and showed me stitch by stitch, and by learning that, I was able to teach myself more stitches. Some lessons in life I have had to repeat many times, to really learn the meaning, and those are some of the hardest lessons so far, but they have taken me the farthest on my walk with Christ. Life has thrown me some lemons, and I am sure I could make much lemonade to go around. When life throws those hard things at us, the first thing we want to do is curl up in the fetal position and pull the covers over our head. I have done that on many a days. But that is not what I need to keep repeating, I need not to focus on the lemon, but what is coming from the lemon. It takes a lot to grow one lemon tree, but that one tree will produce many lemons. What a blessing that one tree is. What if we look at our lemons that way? God doesn't create junk, and there are reasons He allows things to touch our lives. Why not look upon that lemon as a challenge, as another stepping stone in our life that takes us across that path the Lord is leading. Have you ever seen a mosaic? They are simply beautiful. Little pieces of glass or tiles all put together to create something beautiful. Just that one piece of glass or tile may catch your eye, but when all of them are placed together, wow, what magnificent beauty. All those trials, all those struggles, all those hard times in our lives are being weaved together, glued together, piece by piece, to make a beautiful creation. When we see a lemon tree, we see the beauty, we see the bright color, we see what it produces. May the lemons in our lives be seen the same way with the same beauty. I know its hard, believe me, I am on a journey same as you. But we can take those lemons and we can change the way we forever look at lemonade. Each squeeze, each drop, each taste, makes for something so delicious. When we go to a car lot, there are those we can take a look at and see a lemon, something not worth working with, better left alone right there where it is, but another can see that lemon and see progress, they can see that with great work, hard work, a new creation can be made. Which eyes are you looking through today? A lemon is a lemon, but its what we learn to do with it that counts!


Philippians 4:13 " I can do everything through Him who gives me strength" NIV

just a little change

Isn't it funny how just a little change in something gives it a whole new outlook? If we change a piece of furniture in our home, when others enter they notice something different. It isn't an out of place change, it is a change that brings a new beauty. When I change my hair(which is quite often) or just get a little trim, my husband notices. Change is something people around us notice. To have change in our lives, we don't have to have something drastic, but we can change subtle things that make a huge difference. When we come to know the Lord, He doesn't change us completely over night, that is a process that will last for the rest of our days here. When we come to Him, we don't have to make a lot of changes first, He will make those through us little by little. Change is something good when we are moving closer to Him. If we are moving farther away from Him, that change is not the kind of change that is leading us to who He wants us to become. Change is also scary, some like things just the way they are and when change comes they are fearful of what they do not know or understand. But change effects us all daily. The change of jobs or lack of, the changes of health we encounter daily, the change that comes with teaching our children and them getting older not needing so much of our time while they are finding their own path. Having a baby brings change to a marriage, the loss of a child brings forth change that at times is over bearing. When we lose someone in our lives, family, friendships, that brings a change in us. Change is something normal, its not abnormal. The thing with change to always remember is that we cannot change other people, many times we cannot even change our circumstances, but we can bring change to ourselves, how we react to change and to others. As a butterfly or a dragonfly change, they become more beautiful. When the change happens they receive their set of wings and they can fly, not only fly but soar. Going through a metamorphosis is part of the Christian walk. Although we may not be ready for change, change is ready for us. Through change we come closer to the Lord, we call upon His name more. The changing of the seasons is something amazing. To me it is just amazing how each one is important, each one brings forth a different beauty and also through those seasons different aspects of the weather come into play. Some are Summer lovers, others Fall, Spring brings forth a beauty all of its own when things come to life again, but this girl is a Winter girl. I love to see everything covered in white. There is just a peace in that moment for me. But through all of those changes, that is exactly what our earth needs to keep alive, and we too, whether we like it or not, change is something we need in our lives to make us grow. From the time we are born to the time of growing old, our bodies change completely, and our emotions change along with them. As we grow older we are wiser, we tend to leave those childish ways behind us. There is a time and a place for everything under the sun. For me, just changing the way our furniture is in our home is a change that brings a smile, but all change does not bring a smile. When changes came in my health, I did not smile, when changes came with our girls, I was not smiling, and when my husband lost his job, there was no amount of smiling. But through those changes, God has not moved, He is still right there, and He is moving in us. He has brought about good and marvelous change through those changes. He has brought amazing people into my life, dreams that I thought was just a passing idea. I have learned God uses every change for His glory and honor. I am learning not to be afraid of change, but to embrace it. Although this is not hard, what else is there to do? We cannot fight change, it is coming and staring us right in the face daily. So why not embrace everything and just believe that the Lord is at work in the areas we are not able to see? Nothing ever stays the same, all things change, so may we change the way we look at change and come with new thoughts, and when those new challenges come, may we learn to face them with knowing God is right there, and with Him, we know something wonderful is going to come from the change we are seeing. When we learn to embrace change instead of fighting it, we are allowing God to move and work in our lives. We have to start somewhere, so why not start today with a new challenge, a new idea, a new mindset? Embrace today with everything you have and watch God at work in your life through that change!





Lord, as change comes into my life daily, give me the strength to embrace it, not to fight it. Give me the passion for life, for whatever may come, knowing You are here with me. Make changes in me Lord, make the change that will bring me closer to You, for that is where this girl wants to be.



2 Corinthians 3:16-18 "But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. and the Lord-who is the Spirit-makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image."

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