Friday, April 30, 2010

where can you be found?

"A woman's heart should be so close to the Lord that a man would have to seek Him to find her."
I saw this statement today and I let the words before me soak in deep. I have seen this before and thought, "Oh, how true." But today I just realized, if my husband wants to find me, he should find me in the presence of Jesus.

My life should just be saturated with the Lord so when my husband is looking for me, He finds Jesus. Too many times when he is seeking me he finds a monster, coming out of a closet screaming craziness. Ever been doing something important and hear your husband call your name and instead of turning and saying, "Yes, sweetie whatcha need?" They instead hear, "What, what do you want? I am busy!" I don't think love growls.

As a sweet friend reminded me long ago that a soft answer turns away wrath, I think upon my answers to my husband. My day is not all about me. My day is about Jesus and through Jesus I find who I need to be as a wife and mother. When we are so tuned into God, there is nothing else others will see but His love and acceptance.

I have wondered, "What if a video camera played and I had to sit and watch myself before it?" What would it say? What would I think? We can look to others and see things that are wrong and even say, "Don't talk to me like that." But how in fact are we talking to others?

We can walk in church,hold our husbands hand, smiling ear to ear and leave, removing his hand and telling him all he needs to do that day. We seem to find all the wrongs our husbands do, and ladies, we can keep score. Yes, I have a score pad of my own that I have recently thrown away. In a disagreement I wouldn't only talk of right then, but I knew all the goofy stuff he did for the last ten years and could easily bring it up.

What does that prove? That I can count? It also shows that those "other things" have not yet been forgiven. When we really forgive, we forgive all wrongs, and we do not keep a score card. When Jesus forgives us He never brings up that sin again. It is gone. Our sins are forgiven from the east to the west. I love that, so how can I keep score when Jesus doesn't?

I want to be like the Proverbs 31 woman. I want to seek Jesus early in the morning and late in the evening. I want to know Him more and on a deeper level. For me to do that I must seek Him, pray, and stay in His word.

I find that when I stay close to His word, my words reflect His. When I am away from His word, my words reflect this world.

So where can you be found today? May we be found in Jesus, so that our husbands find love when they come to us. When we make ourselves complete in Jesus we are not looking for our husbands to complete us, but to add to who we are in Jesus.
Psalm 139:23-24 "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."
Psalm 103:12 "As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us."
Proverbs 15:1 " A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."
Proverbs 31:10 "A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies."

Hearing Voices?

I walk through the house talking to myself. My husband will ask,"Who are you talking to?" And I will turn to him, with a look and say, "Um, myself." I always tell him no worries, but if I start answering myself let me know.

We can begin to hear voices around us. You those voices don't you? "Your not good enough, your not pretty, your not nice, your not going to succeed, your not going to win, your not going to do that right, so why don't you just give up now?" There are lots of voices aren't there? I am sure I have heard a few you haven't and you have heard the ones I have not. That's how Satan works. He knows just what each of our struggles are and just what to whisper and just the right time to get us down. Satan loves whispering in our ears. He can only whisper all the bad things, but he too can tell us all we are doing is right. He can confuse us so that we are mixed up when we hear the voice of God calling us to Him.

God doesn't whisper, "Your no good", He whispers," I love you". God never whispers, "You won't be able to do that". He whispers, You can do that with my strength."

We should be so in tune to God's voice that we know it is Him speaking. So, how do we do that? We find ourselves in His word. We draw close to Him. We learn His ways and hold on tight to His hand.

We can hear whispers not only from Satan but from those around us with well intentions, but not the intentions God has for us. A friend may be calling me out to have a beer with them just to relax and get together. Well, coming from a alcoholic family, and having roots they go deep in addiction I know that would not be a good idea. I know that is not what God would have for me. He wants so much more for me. That doesn't mean the friend had bad thoughts, nor were his intentions crooked, but if I listened to Satan, I could easily hear, "You go ahead, you know you would like one, and one won't hurt at all." One would hurt, it would take me to a road I don't want to be on.

I remember in high school when that first friend asked me, "Hey, you want to try one of these little pills, it'll help you make it through the day?" I knew it was wrong, but I took it anyway, and before long, I was hooked. That led to a life of more destruction, and I don't ever want to go back to that.

It's easy to listen to others when something is not right within ourselves. It's easy to stumble and fall when we are not focused on Christ. See, when I was in high school, I didn't know Jesus as my Savior. I knew who God was, but never knew there was more.

Without Jesus life was difficult and it seemed there were no answers. My life with Christ as the center, has changed dramatically. I do know there is more. Jesus gives us a way out and has given us the Holy Spirit to guide us away from temptation.

Whether you struggle with drugs, drinking, shopping, smoking, anger, lying, gossip, you place in your biggest temptation, there is a better way. Satan knows our biggest temptations and he feeds on them. He feeds on watching us, whispering to us, and setting traps for us.

Jesus offers a different way. There are no traps. He calls, but it is our own free will if we answer. He never forces Himself on anyone. With Jesus we feel love and protection. Along with that love and protection we also have correction. When we are wrong He tells us. When we are in tune with Him, we will hear His voice say, "Um, girl, don't go that way." (Only in His voice and He probably wouldn't say, um) Jesus puts up signs for us. He puts them up so we can see them, its just sometimes we ignore the detour sign and end up on a one way road to no where.

Whatever voices you are hearing, learn them, decipher them and tune Satan out, and turn up Jesus so you can hear Him loud and clear.

Have you ever watched a rabbit out in the yard? They don't have big ears for nothing. They can hear everything and they are always on the watch. They might have their head in the grass before them, chewing to fill them up, but they are not doing so unaware. They are aware of all around them. They listen for others approaching and they know if its good or bad. If the sound they hear spooks them, what do they do? They take off running as fast as they can. They don't stick around to see what's going to happen. They run to safety.

We need to know what is around us. We need to be aware and have our ears up. When we learn God's voice, we will know when to run into His safety.

2 Timothy 1:13-14 "What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you-guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us."

Romans 10:17 "Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ."

favorite spot

Is there a favorite spot you love to be? A spot where you just want to go all the time? A place where you just get giddy when you know your going? A place that makes you feel special and warm?
I have a few of those spots, but one place is the library. (I can now hear one of my friends shaking her head, thinking, ugh, that's the last place I want to be.Lol) But we are all different aren't we? She would get just as giddy going into a craft store as I would walking down the aisle of purses.

I love how God made us all different and unique. He cut each of us by a different cloth, but we all have the same brand name. "Made by God". Don't you just love that?

As we each have that favorite spot to go and relax, laugh or just explore, it makes us feel something special inside.

I can go to the library and smell the books and think I am in heaven. I love just feeling the pages and running my fingers over the cover and author's name. I know much work and creativity went into producing that work I now hold in my hands. So that means something special to me. I might be the only one in the world that loves the library that much, but if I am God placed that spot within me. Just as He placed His God Spot in me. That spot where only God can go. That spot where only God can fill it up.

Just as if your sitting down and the waitress brings you a cup of coffee and she says, "Fill it up?" As you relax you want more, you need more. The same should be with God. We should want to be filled up by Him and only Him.

Oh, and that giddy feeling? Well, every time we think about spending time with Him we should feel giddy inside. We should feel home, excited, and it should be a place we want to be. The more time we spend there, the more we love it. The more we want to pick things up and look at them, examine them, and run our fingers over the cover, soaking in each word, for we know what went into placing together these beautiful words to fill us up.

Meeting with God should be a time that we love so much we want to tell others to go there. When others look at us, they should already know we are headed some place exciting. Others should see a glimmer in our eyes as we are heading there.

Too many times we can be on the highway and look across and see a family who is so unhappy. You can see it in the looks upon their faces, the way they are reacting and talking shows if they are happy to be in that car or not. I have been going places where I really didn't want to go and it showed.

Our God Spot is that place we go just to be washed by God. I love that spot and I love even more that God gives me that spot and He is willing to spend time with me. What a joy to know we have a Savior who wants to spend time with us, and when we do, what a blessing it is.

I also love the zoo, the art museum, and The Muny. I just get down right giddy inside when I know I am going. If I am honest, I am not always so excited to be spending time with God when my flesh is calling me. Oh, cause my flesh knows my number and just when to call. It tends to call just when God is and which one do you think I pick up first? Too many times I head to my flesh instead of heading straight for that God Spot.

Although we struggle day to day with our flesh, we can make a choice to push it away and move in the direction of God instead. So where is that place you love? Where is that place that just brings a smile? I hope one of those places is your God Spot, cause that's the best place to be.
Psalm 100:4 "Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name."

Thursday, April 29, 2010

so many blessings

I must say I am one blessed woman. As Mother's Day nears I find myself over joyed, simply over joyed. My husband is working, and not just working but at a company he loves and they love him. My youngest daughter is planning her wedding for August, and preparing to earn her Nursing Degree. My son has graduated and we will be planning a celebration for him. My oldest daughter is about to find out if her little one is a boy or girl, and is moving into a new home, as is my daughter Whitney is building her dream home. My mom is feeling better and my health seems to be improving. Lets just say I am having more "Feeling Good Days" than "Feeling Bad Days".
For the last two years as we have moved through our trials of unemployment, the Lord never ceases to provide our needs. He is forever right where we are loving us through everything. Just as today we were about to run out of everything He supplies a check. A check that we were waiting for, but He knew just when we needed it the most.

Through Face book I have come back into contact with my sweet cousin, and our relationship has just blossomed like we never lost contact. She is an amazing blessing added to my life. We have shared stories and find that we are just so much alike.

I have been surrounded by new friends I have met that seem like we have known one another forever. I have met them in the most unexpected places and the the Lord knew exactly when and where our paths would cross. When you can connect with another who shares the same passions as you, the Lord has something spectacular intended. There are no consequences in this life. God has everything timed perfectly for His gain and His glory.

I have Daisy, who lights up my life daily. I never knew a little dog could add so much to one's life, and she certainly has mine.

My husband is now walking with his head up, his spirits are high, and there is laughter again where stress had taken control of it before.

Life is certainly not perfect, but God is always perfect in life. I am learning whether things are going the way I would like, or the way God has chosen for my life, I can smile, I can know without a doubt that He is always there through those times that are easy and a breeze of fun and He too is there when the road seems too long and I am weary for the ride.

Some of my new friends and I will probably never meet in person, but when two Christians come in contact to say hello, there is no good bye, for one day we will meet face to face right along with our Savior to introduce us. Does that just not make you smile?

Can you imagine as we live each day we really don't know who or how many people we impact for Christ, but one day we will get to meet all those who have been blessed my our lives and we by their lives. That will be like the biggest serendipity day ever!!

So today, yes, I find myself excited about life. I find myself more in love with my Savior today than yesterday. For each day I see more and more of His blessings. It is through those times our family has experienced trial that I see God at work in more than just our circumstances, but our lives. For He is more concerned about us than the circumstances we are in. Circumstances change from day to day, sometimes moment by moment, but our faith should remain strong, for we have a Savior who loves us.

When I get down all I must do now is say, "I am Robin Prater, daughter of the King of kings, Lord of lords. I am a Royal Blue Blood." When you repeat that over in your head all else falls into place right under Jesus. Even when we have seemed to lost all we have Jesus and He is all we need. I am so thankful I am at the place in my life right now that I fully understand being content in Him. Knowing that He alone completes my life makes each day more meaningful. Knowing that each day is a gift makes them brighter. When we wake, its like we are unwrapping a gift from Him. A gift of life filled with grace.

So, this Mother's Day means more to me than others because I have witnessed the Lord at work not only in me, but my entire family, and for that I am forever grateful to the Lord. God is good, and on this day all glory goes to Him.

Lord, I thank You, for my husband, my children, my family, my friendships, and for everything that has come in our lives. For with everything that has come I have never ceased to see You right there in the midst of things, showing Yourself, and blessing those You love.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

where is home?

Home is where your heart is. Home is where love is. Home is where you can be you. Home is being comfortable. Home is wherever the Lord is calling you to be.
We all have this image of home as a quaint little house with a white picket fence. We have children running and skipping about. The yard is filled with laughter as the children chase the dog and your husband in laying in the hammock after a hard days work as you are bringing out tea for everyone.

But are our homes really like that or is that just a vision in every woman's mind from their childhood dreams? Where did that idea come from?

When I was a little girl we would go to Arkansas to my grandmother's house. Her house had a white picket fence around it and anything but love inside. I hated going there and feeling the emptiness of her home. It just wasn't home to me.

Home doesn't have to be that huge house upon the hill, filled with everything you can imagine. Its not the stuff that fills a house that makes it a home, its the house filled with love that makes a home.

In some homes there is not a lot. There is barely enough food to go around in some homes. In some they are missing those who have left, as their daddy took out the driveway never to return. You have your homes where the momma would rather beat her child than look upon her precious face. In some you can find the little boy hiding in the closet afraid of what his daddy will do next.

See, it doesn't matter if your house is filled with much or very little. If your home is missing love is it really a home?

Somewhere there is a home where the children are coming home to an empty house while their momma is out working three jobs to care for them. Although the children are coming home alone, that is a home filled with love and sacrifice to make a better way for her children than what she had.

Somewhere there is a home where the daddy is laid off and there is not a lot of food or anything, but there in that home is his smiling face to his children, promising never to give up.

Out there are millions of homes turning away from this world and living right. They are filling their homes with Christ and reaping His blessings from obeying His will. But is it those homes we see on television? No, we see those homes that are torn apart from anger, rage, and emptiness. We see those homes that are filled with pretty things, and the only things that are pretty are those hanging on the walls.

When my husband was younger he would clean pools in very well to do areas. He shared with me that in most of these homes, there was nothing, not even furniture. It was all a charade to make others think they had much, when in fact they had very little. Why do we try so hard to impress others, when all we need to do is be ourselves?

What if we stopped concerning ourselves with the stuff and sought out the Lord? What if stopped looking just at our self and helped the woman next door with her children while she was working to care for them? What if we stopped being so concerned with the outside trimming, and turned our hearts to those inside?

We hear of neighbors being murdered, children being abused, and elderly going hungry. What do we say when we hear these things? We say, "I never knew there was a problem." Maybe if we reached out and showed love to others we could know before that problem came. Too often we do see and we just turn our heads thinking, "Its none of our business." We are to help those who cannot help themselves. We are to reach out and share the same love the Lord gives us.

Some of those white picket fences of yesterday are still standing. They are aged and missing paint, but they are grounded in the foundation and were meant to last. We can see those picket fences and think of the home we wish we had or we can look at those picket fences and change the home we have. If we will not work on it who will? If we are not willing to help others who will help us?

Home is wherever you are surrounded by love. If your in the jungles of Nigeria caring for the sick you are home. Wherever God has called you to be is where home is. And for most of us, it is right there in our living room.

Whether you have a white picket fence around your home or not, you don't have to keep desiring something that can be real if we just allow Jesus in our homes.
Wherever your home on this earth is there is one greater in heaven waiting for those who choose Christ. For those who accept Jesus, we have a home He is preparing for us, and believe me, we won't care if there is a white picket fence, for we will be surrounded by love, a love that lasts forever.
John 14:2 "In My Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you."
1 Corinthians 13:13 "And now these three remain: Faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."

what's up?

We can get so engaged with whats going on down here that we forget all about whats going on up there! We can begin to look around and nothing seems to make sense. We can get so caught up in us that we forget all about God.
We look at our situations and define ourselves by them instead of defining ourselves as children of God, to which with Him nothing is impossible. Losers look down all the time. Ever walk away from a game you lost and have your head down? Can't see much with your head down all the time. Winners keep their heads up, just as soldiers do. They know they have a strength that can overcome all. That strength is given by God. Soldiers keep their heads up to look out for danger, to watch out for others around them that are not able to do so, and they are equipped with all they need to protect and conquer.

Losers focus on what they are going through as winners are focused on what they are going to do. I don't mean your a loser with a big "L". I am speaking of losers as in not winning the game, always looking at the cup as half empty, always finding the closest pity party, and wallowing in our self doubt. Winners look to God for all they need. When we have followed every instruction of Him, even if we lost the game we can still walk off the field with our heads held high knowing we did all we could do to our best ability.

You don't even have to send out invites to a pity party, everyone knows when your having one. You look down instead of up, and you are counting all the losses instead of seeing the gain.

What's up? God is up. God is right where we need to be focused. When all else begins to cloud our view of Him, we begin to lose sight of what is real and right. When we are wallowing in wrong, we don't realize just how wrong we have been until all we can see is ourselves.

God is here with us and He wants to make a difference in our lives, but until we totally look up to Him and stop looking down at ourselves its not going to happen. When our eyes are just on what we want, we miss out on what He wants. And who am I to stand in line with my order placed to say, "Um, I take this, and I want this, and could you please hurry and help me." How can I go to God and ask Him for anything when I am not willing to give of myself to Him?

Too many times I have looked down, I have focused on me, and wallowed in what is wrong. Too many times I have missed His blessings because I am not focused on Him. I need printed on my forehead, "ITS NOT ABOUT ME".

We tend to be fixers, or I should say I do. I cannot even fix me, only God can do that. It is when I choose to follow Him that I can see the path clearly before me. Ever walk through a path in the woods? If you are not looking up you will soon get slapped with a branch to knock you off your feet. Now, once your down there, its a good time to move to your knees and stay there a while. Its on our knees that we find our forever North.

Just as a soldier must keep his eyes open at all times and be on guard, we too must do the same, watching out for the attacks, and those forces that will cause us to stumble.

Whatever is going on in your life today my friend, look up. Don't get so mixed up in whats going on down here that we lose track of all God is doing up there. For in the midst of our lives God is always at work. And what a work He does indeed! Its when we look up that we will see the Son shining through the clouds.
John 8:12 "When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

one stroke at a time

There are nights I fall asleep to watching the great Bob Ross paint. This man amazes me with his talent, but he never fails to give all credit and honor to God, who has given him great blessings.
As I watch him make those first few strokes I am thinking, "What is he doing with that color?" Then he will make a few more, and it begins to come together before my eyes, and then out of no where we will add something that looks like it doesn't need to be there, but wow, did it ever. It needed to be there to bring this work of art together.

As I watch him, it looks so easy. He makes graceful strokes, and uses this huge brush to make delicate changes that I can not seem to understand how he does it.

Just when I think he is all finished, he adds a little more. He always shares how you can keep adding, and with each stroke added it only gets better. He shares how when he makes a mistake, he can still create beauty from it.

Our lives are the same. They are like a giant pallet before God and He has the brush. As He adds, sometimes we don't understand why He has placed something there we obviously think shouldn't be, but He uses it to bring more glory to the portrait. With each brush stroke He creates in us a masterpiece. It is always an original, none other like it.

With each new color, each different brush needed, each new stroke, we see the beauty come together and one day we will see the whole portrait before us and understand why each piece was added. It was needed to bring it all together.

Only God can take our mistakes and us them for His glory. He erases our sin and castes it away never to be seen of or heard again. With one mistake, He can take the brush and cover it with His creative hand.

He can take a dry canvas and create something beautiful. We are that canvas, and He has the brush in His hand. Ever try to paint when someone is trying to remove the brush from your hand? It's not easy, and strokes become harder and paint seems to fly everywhere out of order. If we give the Lord control over our lives and stop trying to take the brush out of His hands, He won't have to make so many corrections. And that painting will have the right color, the right texture, and volume. When we allow Him to paint before us we will sit back and only see the beauty before us. We will look at each piece just as I do with Bob Ross. At first I may not understand where he is going with the design, but in the end it all comes together like nothing I have ever seen.

I have seen those sit before artists as they are painting their portrait. Ever try to sit still for that long while all you want to do is get up and move about, doing your own thing? When God is calling us to sit still before Him, it is not always easy, but in being still we are obeying Him. Through obeying Him, the blessing will follow. He knows when we need to sit and when we need to move. He knows when things need removed from our lives to bring more glory to Him.

As I look at my canvas before me I can see some of the strokes I didn't think were going anywhere,have only brought blessings before me that I didn't see coming. I can see my mistakes that the Lord has corrected and created something new. I can see clearly where I tried removing the brush from His hands and placing it in mine. And too I can see where I was to be still and only thrashed about. But through all God can create beauty. There is no canvas that is a lost cause. There is hope in every stroke before us.

I am sure one day we will come to see that all of our canvases fit together like pieces of a puzzle. How we are all connected together through Him only adds more beauty to the heavens above.

Ephesians 2:10 "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

Psalm 139:13-14 "For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother's womb. I will praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well."

its all in the presentation

Ever hear a chef say, "It's all in the presentation"? When he brings that plate out to us and sets it before us, we immediately look upon the plate before anything else. Most of the time as we look before us we say, "Wow, that looks really good!" As we take that first bite, we feel a magic inside and we begin to bubble as our taste buds are shouting, "Hallelujah!!"
That chef worked his gift as he put everything together. He knew just where to place things, just how much and indeed he had the right recipe for delight. He didn't just walk into the kitchen one day and say, "Um, can I just kind of see what I could put together for someone?" His talent took time to form, to mold, and to grow. He used the gift before him with all that has been given. He didn't wasted what was before him. I am sure he studied, he learned more than he could ever imagine. And most likely, when he made that first dish, it needed improvement, but a good chef doesn't give up. He continues until it is just right. I can see the look upon his face as he brought out that once in a lifetime dish as he thought, "Wow, this is awesome, how did this happen?"

The Lord gives us all we need to bring glory and honor to Him. Nothing is added later, we are made complete in Him. It is through Him that we present ourselves pure and holy. It is through Him that those gifts shine before others. It is through Him that we look upon ourselves and say, "Wow, that is good, thank You Lord."

As we taste upon the delicious bounty before us we can forever give thanks to God for all He does. There is nothing that touches us that is not prepared by Him first. He is the Great Presenter. He is the Original Designer. When He brings something out before us, we look upon it with amazement. He gives us a dish we do not deserve to take part in. His amazing grace. Oh, how sweet it is. Have you tasted it? I have, and it is the most amazing thing I have ever tasted and there is nothing else like it. Nothing can compare to all God has before us.

He gives us the great presentation, and we, as His children, have the gift of presenting it to others. As others see this great gift before them, their eyes will first look out at what is before them, they will thirst no more, nor will they hunger again, for all Jesus has is enough for everyone to feast upon!

1 Peter 2:2-3 "Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good."

Psalm 34:8 "Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him."

Romans 12:1 "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service."

Monday, April 26, 2010

the journey of "Faithful Feet"

A while back I discovered the Max Lucado Community. You can find it also at
I joined a group headed by Nathan Haddock called "Blog Blog Blog". As I began to know more about this group I began connecting with them more and more. It is a group where bloggers can get together, join in prayer, conversation and growth about blogs and life.

I was asked to join in on "Faithful Feet" and become a writer along with others to bring glory and honor to the Lord. I can share with you in just this short time this site has been such a blessing to me. I am not only sharing, but learning more each time I read a post. With each post you not only get a glimpse of who that person is, but you see Jesus clearly through them. You can find "Faithful Feet" at:

There are nine of us writing as of right now and I would love to share their names and the current blogs they too write at. I find many blessings within these gifted writers blogs and I know you will too.

Haelie Pellegrin Heard

Jim Pokorny

Nathan Haddock

living for God

Mimi B.

Peter McMurray

Lisa Pilewski

Ron Heasley

You can find our LIKE page on facebook and join in with us for this awesome ride the Lord is giving. I am so excited to see where He is taking us!

I just wanted to share these amazing people with you who are on fire for the Lord, who are willing vessels for Him and are making a difference in my life also. I just want to say, "Thank you all for adding blessings to my day and making new friendships to last forever.

So come on over and share with us your thoughts, your heart and join us in for the ride.

wow that grass is growing

As I look out my window this morning our grass needs mowed very badly. Grass grows quickly doesn't it? If we do not take care of it, mow, weed eat, and keep everything trimmed we will quickly have a forest filled with many trees overshadowing all else.
There are many who love to work in the garden, the yard and just being outdoors in the sunshine makes them smile. We have about two acres that we keep mowed, and yes, it is a chore to stay with it. Many sweaty hours and work on those Saturdays when we would rather be doing something else.

If we are not careful our walk with Jesus can become the same. We no longer are excited to be in the Son, and enjoy the work before us. Our walk and work now feels like a chore more than anything else. The Lord wants us to enjoy all that is before us. Is there sweat? Yep. Is there hard work? Yep. Are there attacks from satan and the world? Yep and Yep!

If we don't keep up with Jesus in our walk soon our walk is over shadowed with all those big worldly things trying to push Him out the way so they can soon take over and root in our lives. We can find ourselves walking along another path alone and lost before we really know we are. Soon we have lost the warmth of the Light as we have cast it away, so we could go off the trail on our own, only discovering how much needed to stay the Light.

Corrie Ten Boom said: "When a Christian shuns fellowship with other Christians, the devil smiles. When he stops studying the Bible, the devil laughs. When he stops praying, the devil shouts for joy."

What a wonderfully, blessed woman we have before us to share her wisdom. Look at the life of Corrie Ten Boom and the time she spent during the Holocaust. The evils of the this world tried to steal everything from her. Satan tried, but he could not steal her faith. And her life has been a living testimony to thousands upon thousands. She kept her eyes upon her Savior.

We need to surround ourselves with other Christians who are lifting us up.We need to keep the weeds out, so all before us is getting the Light it needs. We need to be in God's word and study all He has before us. The more we study, the more we find Him. We need to be in prayer before Him, humbly upon our knees. The more we pray, the closer we will find oursleves to Him. We need to live in such a way the world sees Jesus through us. Our lives should be living testimony just as Ms. Boom's life is. We should be rooted in Jesus in such a way that our blooms only point upward and blossom with only the beauty He can add.

We often put so much more before God, and just take Him out when we need Him. Corrie Ten Boom also shared: "Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?" Are we allowing God to lead us through everything in life or do we just get Him out when we are have a flat? When all else has failed is that when we get Jesus out? Our lives should be lived before God as though we are a relection of Him. We should be allowing Him to steer our lives and we should be sitting in the back seat, learning the way, focusing in on the road before us. Too many times we fall asleep and we have missed all the beauty before us.

I have heard others say including myself, "All we can do is pray now." No, prayer should always be our first move. Our conversation with Jesus should be one lasting all throughout the day. He should not be there after all else has failed. He should be called upon before we move to anything else.

Our bibles can get dusty. Those lessons we intended to do get half way finished. That prayer time becomes prayer after I have done all else I want to do. Jesus gave so much for us and most of the time we are not willing to do for Him. He gave all, and I must look at my life and ask myself, "What am I giving?"

Not only should I be giving, but I should be giving up much. Including my past, my worries, and all those things before me causing me to stumble and move away from Him. I need to put those temptations away, keep sin far my life, and keep Jesus at the center.

As my Pastor has often said, "Check yourself, if you are not closer to Christ today than yesterday, there is a problem." Can you relate to this? I can. Too often I catch myself living for me, and not living for the One who came for me.

Just as I look at to my grass this morning, growing and needing attention. I too can look into my heart, my walk with Jesus and see it needs my attention. The more attention I give to Him the more I will grow. The more I grow, the more attention I will give to Him.
Matthew 6:33-34 "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
2 Corinthians 9:7-8 "Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly, or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work."
Psalm 25:4-5 "Show me Your ways, O Lord, teach me Your paths; Guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long."

Sunshine Award

Wow, as I come to my blog this morning I see a comment left by a sweet friend who has given me the Sunshine Award. What an honor, and privledge it is to accept this award very humbly.
This gift was given by Susan Hollaway who writes "Journeys of love..Inspired By Faith". You can get a direct link to Susan's blog by clicking on the award to your left or in my blogs followed list.

This award is traditionally passed on to those bloggers that inspire others and show positivity and creativity. So, I would love to pass this award on to some bloggers who inspire, cheer, encourage, and lift me up.

The rules for accepting the award are:1) Put the logo within my blog or on my post
2) Pass the award onto 10 fellow bloggers
3) Link the nominees within my post
4) Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog
5) Share the love and link to the person whom you received this award from.
Here are my nominees, please visit them and check out their blogs! If you feel so led, please leave a comment. It's always so encouraging to receive comments on your blog. These are in no particular order:

Julie Gorman

Lisa Buffaloe

Haelie Pellegrin Heard

Kelly Bonta Willie

Shawna Kail Williams

Melissa Mashburn

Jim Pokorny

Nathan Haddock

Mary E. Demuth

Krista Phillips

Thank you all for being such encouraging examples to me daily. You add such a blessing to my life as you are all willing vessels for the Lord's kingdom. Thank you for sharing your hearts and all the Lord has shown you. Again, thank you Susan for giving me such an honor I can only give praise to the Lord for.

Praise Jesus for this day, and all His goodness before us.


I would love for you to check out all these blogs that richly bless my life, for they too will bless yours.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

feeling a bit under the weather?

When you home school your children you continue to learn right along with them, and for each year I have taught my children, I think I have learned more than I did my whole school years put together.
I remember learning about weathering. The elements of this earth can be changed or effected by chemical or physical weathering. Just as a storm brews along the ocean's coast line, its still a coast line, but because of the beating and rushing waves that coast line has changed. When the trees blow in the gust of the winds coming across the land, branches may fall, leaves may wither, but that tree is still a tree. The bark of that tree protects it from danger. It is a layer of love the Lord has placed around it to give it all the protection it needs.

Just as weathering hits upon us, changes may come, but we are still the same inside no matter what is changing outward, and the Lord has placed His covering of protection around us.

Weathering: "The action of the weather conditions in altering the color, texture, composition, or form of exposed objects; the physical disintegration and chemical decomposition of the earth materials at or near the earth's surface."

The things of this world can try to alter us, change us and beat down upon us. We must be careful what we expose ourselves to, for that exposure can at times do more harm than good.

Weatherize: "To make better protected against winter weather."

For that effects us daily, the Lord weatherizes His children. He gives us His word and wisdom. He gives us His protection and holds His hand near to us. For us to be better protected we need to move closer to Him, and we need to put in action our faith. Just as before a hurricane hits, you see families coming together, helping one another place up boards around the windows, and sand bags to help protect their home. We cannot just lay down and expect God to do all the work. We must place His word in our heart and wash ourselves with Him and all He has for us.

Weather-wise: Skillful in forecasting changes in the weather. Skillful in forecasting changes in opinion or feeling."

My Father in law can tell when the weather is changing. He can look at the skies, the cows, the animals and all around. He can tell you when its going to snow and if its going to be a bad storm. God knows the storms that are coming. Our best place to be safe is beneath His arms, wrapped up tight, and close to Him. Ever go for one of those long walks through the woods or a swim and only have a storm pop out of no where? You must try to find shelter, seek safety from the harm approaching. God is our weather-wise. He knows where we need to be, and on what path.

Weatherproof: "Able to withstand exposure to weather without damage or loss of function."

In order for us to make our lives weatherproof, we must allow Christ to have control of our lives. God allows some of those storms to blow in and when they do they create change if we are focused on Him, and not the situation at hand. There is not a storm that brews that God does not have His hand in. He can calm you in the storm or calm the storm around you. Whatever it may be, He is there with us. Never leaving us to walk on our own or to seek our own shelter.

Wherever you are today my friend, know that God is there with you. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He is forever the same. Nothing can change Him or take away who He is. Believe in Him, trust in Him, and place your faith in Him. Next to Him is the safest place to be.
Pslam 18:1-2 "I love You, O Lord, my Strength. The Lord is my Rock, and my Fortress and my Deliverer; my God is my Rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my Shield and the Horn of my Salvation, my Stronghold."

what does today mean to you?

Lately I have found myself in the midst of others wisdom through their quotes. These words of wisdom not only fill us with knowledge, but they leave behind a legacy of those who spoke them. Here is one I found today that really shouted out to me.
"This is the beginning of a new day. God has given me this day to use as I will. I can waste it or use it for good. What I do today is important, because I'm exchanging a day of my life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever, leaving in its place something that I have traded for it. I want it to be gain, not loss; good, not evil; success, not failure; in order that I shall not regret the price I paid for it." Anonymous

God doesn't force us to live for Him. He gave us freewill. For each day is for us to do what we wish, but in doing so what are we giving up to make our day all about us? When we make our day all about us, we are leaving God in the backseat.

If yesterday is gone, and we have no idea about the future, all we have is this moment right now. So what do we do with our moment? Do we examine our lives and say, "I worked hard, and I deserve this"? Most of the things we think we deserve are not things God would have for us. I am learning this in my own life. If I really think about Him and all He is, I must come to the conclusion that I deserve nothing, and all I do have are blessings from Him.

When we choose to live for ourselves, we are accepting failure. When we choose to live for God we are accepting greatness. When I look at my past I clearly see how much time I have wasted, even yesterday I can see time wasted, so today is a new day that I can change all that. I don't have to look back, but if I choose to look at right now I am not going to miss out on anything God has for me. If I continue to live in the past or even wish for the future, I am missing the life He has for me now.

We watch our children grow and see how fast time really moves. We can look to our parents and wish we had more time left with them. We spend too much time looking back and forward. That is where all those, "What if's and If Only's", come in. If we just concentrate on today we will not miss out on anything.

I don't want to live in regret any longer. I look at my past and see regret, see time wasted, and time spent on me. I want to see Jesus in my life today. I want to make each moment all about Him, and too often than not I make it about me and my wants, not His will for me.

I love history. I love looking back at the wisdom of those who have come before us. If we can take in wisdom we will gain a better understanding of our lives today. No one know what the future will hold, what tomorrow will bring, or if there will be a tomorrow. So why do we find ourselves so caught up in what we are doing for the weekend, what our summer plans are, and what vacation site are we going to? Yes, its great to plan, but if we are not careful we get lost in those plans, only living for the weekend, or that girls night out, and we forget those little blessings we have right before us.

Life is precious and life is sweet. No matter what today is bringing forth we make sure of one thing. The Lord will be in it, and that is something I do not want to miss.

Friday, April 23, 2010

its moving day

Ever think about moving? We have, and its a hard decision to move, to leave behind all that is near, knowing what to take and what to leave can be heartbreaking. I think of the disciples when Christ called them to join Him, they left behind everything! They didn't take one thing with them. They didn't take their favorite books, their favorite clothes, or pack up all they had in a u-haul and take it with them. They trusted in Christ enough to know who He was, and that following Him is all that mattered.

When God changes us, and asks us to move, it doesn't mean others are going to follow us. We place our faith and trust in Him and Him alone. People will let us down, but the Lord will never leave our sides. When He calls us to move He is the One who does the packing. What of the disciples family, their friends, those who knew them well? Did they understand their moving? Did they follow too? When we change and grow closer to Christ we always want others to be there with us, and that doesn't happen.

We are all on different levels of knowing Him. It takes great faith to follow Christ knowing you are going to leave other things behind, but Christ always knows what we need, and what we need to leave behind.One of those things He calls us to leave behind is our past. Our pasts are forgiven, and He doesn't want us to go backward, He wants us to forever be going forward with Him. If there is something holding us back, we need to let it go, and trust in the Lord.

Today, I look back at my past, and praise the Lord He has removed those desires I once had. He has replaced them with His desires. It is my greatest hope to follow Him and not look back anymore. I want to keep all those desires I once had in the past, but Satan is always there trying to dig them up and bring them with me as I travel each day with the Lord.

As the Lord forgives my sins, I know by His promises they are remembered no more, so is it that I still remember and carry them with me? If I still have my head in the past, I can't move forward as the Lord is calling, I must let go of all the past. If there was a stumbling block there yesterday, today I must remove it.When we walk with the Lord there are always changes, even when He is asking us to be still, He is working behind the scenes to bring new things to the forefront.

As we all go through different trials, they change us. It's like each trial was the right dose of medicine we needed to overcome, to strive for more, to be healed, and in some cases to learn to let go and let God.Acts 20:24-"But none of these things move me;nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God."Nothing here on this earth is more important than our relationship with Christ. Nothing can separate us from our Savior, and those things that are pulling us, tugging us to go a different way must be let go of.

Moving is hard for us because we like comfort. We like things a certain way, and when they change we are not sure of what to do. Things of this world will come and go. One day you may have much and another you may find yourself with little. But with God, little is much. I need to find myself content with only Him. I need to live my life to please only Him. Before I can please my husband, my children and those around me, I must please the Lord first. Even then we will have others walk away from us that do not understand. Jesus Himself had brothers and sisters who did not agree with Him.

As the disciples walked with the Lord there were those who mocked them and criticized them for all they did. Who did they think they were anyway, following Jesus? Did they think they were better? As a Christian we can't allow the voices of this world to get us down. Family and friends will not always understand the changes you are making. When we leave the past behind, we must also leave behind every stumbling block that will cause us to lose step with Christ. Let moving day be the day you see Him more clearly and the path He has before you.

Don't just leave all those boxes full of your stuff and past on your lap, allow Jesus to take it for you. Just wait and see all the new exciting things He has in store for you!As we are on this walk, do not grow weary if you do not have others standing by your side, for you have Jesus and in Him you will find all you need.

feel like giving up today?

If I could count the days I felt like giving up, I would see just how much time I wasted on unbelief. That is exactly what it is when we feel like giving up, unbelief. If we don't believe in ourselves no one will. If we don't love ourselves, no one will. We have a great and mighty God who is at work in us. Even through those days we see nothing happening, God is still working. As we are a work in progress so are the tasks before us.
Thomas Edison said: "Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up." You feel like giving up today? don't give up just because things are hard or you see nothing happening. God is at work in us, and only great things can come from His work!!

We must be careful not to compare our success to the world's view of success. It is not about power and prestige, its about following our Savior and be willing vessels for Him, for Him to complete His work through us. His work is not easy, but He will equip us with all we need. We may be standing in front of thousands sharing His word, or we may be concentrating on raising our children right now, teaching a Sunday School class, or reaching out to our co-workers. We may have one who has been laid upon our heart to reach out to.

I am a person with an addictive personality. I can begin three things at once and never finish any. I can tire of doing the same thing over and over again when I feel its not going anywhere. If we are not focusing on our call, we too can tire of doing God's work, for there are times we feel it is not going anywhere, but we cannot see the full, wide width view, only God can. What seems small to us, is big to Him. And what seems big to us, God will supply all we need to keep going if we just stay focused on the real purpose.

Success has nothing to do with us. If we are battling for this world's success we will only see failure in all the work we have put forth. But if we focus on God and make all we do for Him and Him alone, we will see success in a whole new light. For we will soon learn, that without Him we are nothing, but with Him, we are everything.

We cannot define success in numbers, in friends, in popularity, in money, in things, or in what our last name brings. Success is giving. It is serving with a joyful heart. It is waking up each morning and asking, "God, what do You have before me today, and diving in with faith, knowing all things are possible through Him."

I have seen people with big dreams only to give them up when things were a little hard, or not going as they planned. If we follow God's plan, see His vision for us, and put in the time, we will reap His reward and find blessings in all that sweat and tears.

When He is our foundation, there is nothing that can shake us. Giving up is not His plan. Jesus never gave up on us, His children, is there any reason why we should give up so quickly when things get a little hard?

Satan will always be there to say, "Stop. Your nothing. You can't do this. What are you thinking?" Are you hearing his words today? I have noticed the more I am giving of myself for Christ, the closer I am to Him, and when I am sharing in His work, Satan strikes, trying to destroy all before me. But Satan has no power over you or I. When he begins to whisper about our pasts, about our present, we need to remind him of his future. God can make good from anything Satan has to throw at you.

As my migraine beats down on me today, I feel like pulling the cover over my head, but I know the Lord has more for me to do today than feel pity for myself. In doing His will and way I find comfort and peace just being in His presence. God is our biggest cheerleader my friends. Even if there is no one else cheering you on, God is standing there shouting praise for your willingness to continue in His work.

In the bible God uses the little ants to show us they never give up, they have order, and they are the hardest little workers for being so small. Just another of God's wonders for us to see and look at the power He beholds. If He can bring such energy, such devotion to these little ants, just think what He can do through us, His children.

Keep pushing forward today. God sees all your doing and He will fill in the gap for all those who are telling you, you cannot. He knows your passion, for He is the One who placed it there. Don't give up today. Make today the day you place all your trust in God and watch Him to wonders through each step you take for Him!

Proverbs 6:6-8 "Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores up its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest."

Proverbs 30:25 "Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer."
Proverbs 16:3 "Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed."

He will cover you

Whether it storming out today or all is calm before the storm, Jesus will be there for you. He will calm the storm and the crashing waves as He stays near you through all or He will remove you from the storm as the winds blow.How sweet it is to have Jesus to wipe our tears away. What a feeling of comfort to feel His strength we ourselves have none. To feel Him carry us when we can no longer walk, and to find Him there when are on our knees brings grace that is sufficient.When the tears are falling hard, our hearts are hurting, and we see no end in sight, Jesus is there to wipe each tear away, to bring healing to our hearts and to be the light in the darkness we feel.

Have you been there in the storms of life that seem to threaten your sanity? Have things been so hard for so long that you now cover all up with a smile, only to say things are great? I know those smiles and "I'm Greats" really well. When the pain is so deep, its like it becomes part of you. You feel nothing else, but empty and lost. You are so tired of crying, the tears seem to dry up, and you become numb to all around you. Are you there today?My friend there is nothing in this world that can take Jesus away from you. Though the evils of this world attack none stop, Jesus is here to stay. Although we may not understand each storm, why the rains seem to pour, or why the winds blow, we have a mighty God who does. Some of those storms come out of no where, when the sun has been shining and all is grand, but then they hit hard from behind knocking us over in defeat. Some we can see coming, we know the speed and we know they are going to reach us, but can we really prepare for that storm even though we see it coming?Just as in the middle of the night when powerful storms come we take shelter. We pick ourselves up, grab our family and we run to safety. Those storms seem to come in the darkest of night when all is quiet and calm. But there is safety in His arms. In the day when the sun is shining bright, as we see the clouds forming above, we know whats coming. We may hear a little thunder and see the crackling of lighting up ahead, and in that moment as our eyes see the storm approaching, we find shelter while there is time, we cover ourselves, and as those rains pour down, although we may find ourselves weak and tired, we may be a little soaked, but Jesus will not allow the rain to take over, or the winds to blow so severely we cannot recover.

I have been there in those nights of emptiness and loneliness. I have felt the rain beat down, and thought the rains would drown me, but they never did. Jesus is more powerful than any storm. He has more might than any wind. With His hand upon us we find our way through the night. He will be our light, and our stronghold in the depths of our fear.With Jesus little is much. Just His presence castes the darkness away. Just His touch brings comfort and just one whisper of His voice can calm the storm. We must learn to run to Him in those storms and try to heed them alone. With each storm we see His strength, we see His love as He reaches down and grasps us up before the waters take control. There is nothing too big for God my friend.

Today whatever is at your back door, you don't have to face it alone. You never have to stand alone as those enemies are surrounding. Reach out to Him, feel His presence and trust Him. Believe in Him, knowing He is in control. Just your faith is all you need, and in that faith He will do the rest.Don't fear the storms that come any longer. Release your hurt, your pain, and allow God to bring healing through just His touch.

Psalm 91:1-2 "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."

Psalm 61:3-4 "For You have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in Your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of Your wings."

Psalm 62:1-2 "My soul finds rest in God alone; my Salvation comes from Him. He alone is my Rock and my Salvation; He is my Fortress, I will never be shaken."

Thursday, April 22, 2010

one sweet son

If there was one word to describe my son I would have to say giver. He has been a giver all his seventeen years. From the moment he was born he gave joy to this mother and to his daddy. He was our child that almost did not make it. But God had bigger plans for him. My son was three months early. I was barely seven months pregnant when he came. Although they had tried to stop his early birth three other times, this fourth time I went into labor there was nothing they could do. As my heart rate was dropping so was his, and things were getting dangerous very quickly. He had taken a bowel movement while in the womb, and this is not a good sign. Our room was filled with ICU doctors and nurses. As soon as he was born he was swept away in a rush. As tears soaked my cheeks, my husband ran to be with our son, which is just where I wanted him. I didn't get to see our son until the next day. Those few hours were frightening hours I pray I must never endure again. The feelings of fear wash over you in the midst of not knowing, and it was a waiting game. Praise Jesus our son was okay. He was as green as a cucumber, but he was safe. Even at barely seven months he was almost eight pounds.
Today he stands at 6'4, blond hair, and blue eyes and is the most giving young man I know. I have been a blessed mother of two beautiful daughters who have enriched my life and the mother of a son who has brought an amount of joy to my life that will continue to bless me for years.

Our son is the son who gave all his toys away. He would share without being asked. He would give anyone anything he had, and still yet today he is a giver and a servant. Most boys his age back talk their mother. He never does. Most boys his age are only concerned with themselves. He isn't. He is more concerned about those around him than himself. He is the young man who would give his life for another without thinking twice.

These two years that my husband has been laid off were not only hard on us, but hard upon our son. He too felt the pain of loss. Many weekends he stayed home because he didn't have money to go and do things his friends were doing. My son has never been to a party. Has been on one date and he will graduate this month. He is the young man who is never late, and always calls to let us know just where he is. He is the son who is full of respect for his parents who raised him and gave him love. He is there to help his father cut wood, to do the outdoor work and when I ask him to do chores inside, he is there with a helping hand. When I am sick and too tired to move out of bed, that is where we did our school, all wrapped up, surrounded by books. He is that friend you want by your side. He is that young man who stands for what is right. I love to see him hold a door for a woman or man. This once little boy who shared his trucks, now shares all he has. Whether he is coming in or going out he forever carries a smile, and what a smile it is. Someday, some young woman will be blessed to call him her own, but for now I pray he continues to find his way and keeps growing in the Lord.

For those who think my son is a flirt, they don't know how wrong they are, for he is only being himself. He grew up in home full of girls. Three sisters and all their friends. He grew up treating young women like young women, with respect and honor. My son loves to laugh, and chat. He has never gone anywhere where he did not have a friend. He can have a conversation with anyone, young or old alike. He loves history and loves to hear his grandfather tell stories of the old when he was a boy.

He cares for his grandparents. He does shopping for them, cleans for them, mows their yards, anything they need done, he is there to help in anyway he can. He is a giver.

When hard times hit we often think of the things we do not have, but Jake is here to remind us of what we do have, and that is a home filled with love. He knows hard times, and has been through much. When his brother and sisters moved on to their own lives he had to adjust. Being the baby is not always easy, and for him, he has missed his brother and sisters more than anyone really knows. I think he would just about give anything to have them right down the hall again.

He loves church, Sunday School and Awana. On those days when I didn't want to go to church, he was the one to say, "Come on Mom, you might miss out on a blessing." He fishes like his grandfather, until he runs out of bait. Oh, he would be so very proud. I am sure they would be inseparable.

I have had the honor of teaching my son since kindergarten. Wow, what a ride that has been. To see him go from writing, "Jo Jo" on the back of my headboard learning to write his name, with his little blond head bobbing up and down, to writing me a card on Mother's Day to share his love for me has forever filled my heart until my cup is running over.He still brings me flowers to fill my vases full. We never realize just how fast these years go by until our son is looking down at us as we look up to say hello. He once sat in my lap every night reading his favorite book until he whispered,"Love you mommy" and fell asleep. Now as I lay in bed reading my favorite book, he never fails to say, "Good night Mom, I love you" as I close my eyes to sleep.

He has always been a hugger. He still wraps his arms around me, only now he picks me up as I scream for him to put me down. He fills our home with laughter and love. He is a son I could not be more proud of. This month I will hand him his diploma with tears streaming down my face. I could keep sharing about this extraordinary young man, this young man who is my son, but just saying he is a giver explains so much more. His heart is filled with mercy, and his arms are wide with love. The Lord did good when he made my son, wrapped him with love and care, placed him in my arms, and forever changed my life. I praise You Lord for my son. I thank You Lord for giving me a gift of love. For as I have watched him grow, You Lord, have grown me up. As I try to be his example, he has been mine on more than one occasion.

I don't know what the Lord has in store for him, but I do know its something great.

I can't do that, are you kidding?

I am such a wimp. Really I am. I like things to be easy with no stress attached. But life is not like that at all is it? We can just keep rolling through life just doing the easy stuff, but is that really living? Be all you can be, you can do it, just do it, are all sayings to let us know we can. If you are like me something big comes along and you look at and say, "Um, no, not this girl." But when we say no, we are missing out on opportunities to see just how big God is.
When something big comes along we can either close our eyes to it, pass it on to someone else or we can grab it and watch God run with it! He doesn't call upon us so we can do it all and wear a crown of glory saying, "Look at what I did." He calls us knowing we cannot do it alone. He calls us knowing with Him we can do anything. Phil. 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." Nothing is too big for God.

When we are willing, open vessels for Him big things will happen. We will not only get to see Him work, but be involved in His work. What a blessing to be called to help God bring others into His kingdom.

God can move through us at any time or point in our lives. He moves in ways others see His strength. I remember being in the hospital for my second surgery on my wrist. (Softball injury) Yes, this girl was pumped full of drugs, but I knew how bad the first one hurt, and how I hated therapy. I said to my husband, "I can't do this." He looks at me and says, "Yes you can." I did, I made it through the surgery and went through six months of therapy. Painful therapy where they pushed me to the limit. As I sat there pushing through the tears, I found a strength I didn't know I had. It wasn't my own, it was all from God.

I can share many circumstances where I have gone through much pain, and know it was the Lord who brought me through. He not only calls us to do His work, but through our lives He calls us to show others who He is. When I was going through therapy three times a week I got to know those who worked with me, and I was able to share my faith. They knew there was something different and I knew it was all God.

When He called to begin writing, I cannot tell you how many times I told Him I cannot do that. And I couldn't, but wow, has He moved through me. I sit back at times with tears, looking at the words before me, and think, "Wow, that's awesome God." My words are not my own, they all come from Him. And may He always forever gain glory from my writing.

Whether He has called us out to the fields to do missionary work in Africa, or to be a witness to those right here in our area, to be in children's ministry, to work in a field we have no experience in, to write, to reach out, or to live through a trial, He will equip us with all we need and more. Once the project is finished or the trial has passed we will be able to give testimony to God for all He has done and is doing.

He will call us to do the impossible, for in our own flesh it may be, but with Him, nothing is impossible. Have faith, trust in Him and believe. He is God and there is nothing too big for Him!

she said what?

Did you over hear someone talking about another? What did you do? Join in, walk on by ignoring the conversation or step in and say, "We shouldn't be sharing things that do not concern us and it's not nice to talk about her when she isn't even hear to defend herself"? If we all could only step in and say the truth, but too many times we just walk on by or stop and listen, only to pass on what we hear later to another.
My wise Pastor shares, "If your not part of the problem or the solution do not talk about it." When it comes down to it isn't that true? If we are not in the problem and solution should we really be talking about something we really know nothing about? We can over hear a few comments made by another and think we have the truth and the whole story down. What happens is that as that story is passed on to others it changes, its added on to, and people are hurt for no good reason other than people love to talk.

If we spent more time thinking about ourselves and our own mistakes instead of pointing out all others and thinking we know how to correct them we would be the Christians we are called to be. Like my mom use to say, "You need to sweep off your own porch before you begin sweeping off another."

I remember when my girls left home, boy did the gossip train begin. I heard all kinds of things others were saying, and it hurt. It hurt for one because I was already hurting and those talking made it worse. It hurt because those talking had no idea of the truth of the matter. And they didn't stick around to see the pain they were causing themselves.

It's easy to add in, "Did you hear about Sherrie? Can you believe he did that? Oh my, they aren't even married!" Why do we feel the need to share about others? Does it make us feel more important? Does it make us feel righteous? What we are really saying is, "I have never made mistakes and I would never do such a thing." We are also forgetting the grace and mercy of the God of heaven. When we stand before Him, we will not be there for what others did or did not do, we will stand before Him for the lives WE lived. If it doesn't have to do with eternity does it really matter all that much? Is it really worth hurting another by talking about them?

I wouldn't want another to have to walk in the shoes I have walked in through pain and hurt. No one knows the real story of our lives unless they have lived it with us. So, it comes down to, "Does it really matter what others say and think?" There is no courage in gossip. But there is courage in standing tall against that gossip being said. There is courage in living our lives and not paying attention to those who love to talk and add so much more to our lives by just their words.

Our tongues are evil and we can all get caught up in gossip. We gossip about others, but when its about us, we get angry and think, "How could they?" For all those who have gossiped about me, I am learning not to care. I am learning their words mean nothing to me. When I take my last breath I will not be standing in front of the people here on this earth who choose to judge me. I will stand before a Holy God who will judge my life.

On either side of gossip it is hurtful, when your gossiping you just don't realize the hurt your causing to yourself until its too late. Gossip is sinful and its in our nature to wag our tongues about others, but we can overcome. We can be better than the ugly words we love to share. We can be the Christians God has called us to be. We can love our neighbors as He loves us. We can reach out in love to those who have made mistakes or are hurting instead of stomping them further into the ground. Isn't the hurt we are feeling bad enough? Who are we to pick up a stone and throw it at another?

As my mom use to say, "I would rather someone just spit on me than say mean words to me." You can wash that spit off, but those words? Those words are there to stay deep within our hearts.

If today you are having a problem with another go to that person in private and speak to them in love. Don't go to your friends and others speaking of them about all that is going wrong or what that person did. Two people can solve a problem, three can spread gossip like wild fire and do more damage and harm to the heart than ever intended. We don't really intend to hurt others with our words, but we do sometimes without meaning to. As Christians we like to say, "We aren't gossiping, we are just sharing prayer requests." God knows our requests before they are spoken, He doesn't need others to share what He already knows.

Proverbs 11:13 "A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret."

Proverbs 16:28 "A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends."

Proverbs 26:20 "Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down."

Sadly just as I have been gossiped about I too have been on the gossip train that takes us no where but to shame.

But for the grace of God there go I. Never point at another things you do not understand and never try to understand things you are not part of. The first step in overcoming gossip is asking yourself, "Would I want others to say these things about me?"


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