Wednesday, December 29, 2010


As another year draws to a close I also find myself at the brink of yet another life season change. This season has, at times, been challenging. However, the blessings have been far greater than any challenge. With many changes there is a bit of sadness mixed with anticipation of what God has in store next. And that is where I find I am parked.

Life is far from perfect. Yet deep within I long for it to be. A longing planted within all of us by our Creator God. Just as His world was intended to be when He created Adam and Eve. And just as it will be again when Christ returns.

But until then...I live season by season, day by day. Lessons learned, heartaches felt and then healed, hurdles overcome, blessings enjoyed. My God is faithful through it all. I pray that I will be faithful as well. I long to hear, once my time here is done, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant.'

On the journey,

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Grandmother - Rewards & Challenges

As soon as my first grandchild entered the world I knew that being a grandmother was going to be a priceless and joyful adventure. Just as we do not truly grasp the grip love has on our hearts with children until we have them, the same I found to be true with grandchildren. My joy and awe at this most treasured relationship has grown with each addition. Just as it has always been with my children, I would gladly lay my life down for any one of my grandchildren.

The rewards are amazing. A smile or hug from them can lift my heart to amazing heights. 

"Mama, I love you to the moon and stars and back." "Mama, you're my hero." "Mama, I love you this much!" (with arms stretched so wide they nearly touch in the back) Each word treasured as I marvel in these wondrous blessings from God.

However, just as with our children, I have found that challenges are mixed in with the rewards. For me, the biggest challenge is wrestling with my desire to make everything alright for them. You know how we moms are! We want to protect our children from the bumps and bruises of life. When someone hurts them, whether it is a physical attack, hurtful words, or actions, we want to come out swinging. It is the same with my grandchildren. I so want to make their lives 'perfect'. To take away the pain that results from the actions and decisions of others.

...and then my Heavenly Father reminds me. My vision of perfect is still flawed. It is blurred by my humanity. If I could make changes in their lives that would somehow magically transform their circumstances into what my mind perceives to be the 'perfect' childhood they would still have issues to face, difficult decisions to make, desires to deal with. For, just like me, they are simply human. There is no perfect in this world.

But we do have access to One who is perfect. Who walked on this earth in human form. Who experienced the same painful challenges that we do. Who felt both physical and heart pain. Who understands my heart and knows how deeply I love my children and grandchildren. Who has their best interest in His heart. Who loves them even more deeply than I could ever comprehend.

And so I choose to let go of my desire to make things perfect for them and simply trust Him to work all things for their good.

Instead of dwelling on what I can not change, I will instead focus on what I can do and that is love them. I pray that I will love them in a way that points them to the love of their Heavenly Father. That my life will be one that shows them the transforming love and power of Jesus and leads them to their own relationship with Him.

And that, my dear friends, will be the greatest reward.

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Coverup?

After a few years of basic dressing I have recently started adding accessories and thinking more about how I put clothes together. Looking at clothing styles with a focus on what will complement my skin tone or camoflauge a fluffy spot. Several years ago when I was working in a professional business office that was an everyday thing. But then my jobs changed and I spent a few years in jeans and polos at a big box retailer. I kind of enjoyed the dressing down aspect. But it also made me more lax in my appearance.

My feminine desire to dress to look good was revived when I read Shari Braendel's book, "Good Girls don't have to Dress Bad". (I highly recommend it, by the way.) So this week when a lingering case of tennis elbow required that I wear an arm brace I was all about how to hide it. Wouldn't work under long sleeves...they were too tight to fit over it. I found myself thinking "Oh, this sure spoils that put together look." Whine, whine.
I wondered if I was more concerned about hiding the affliction or was it a matter of being too prideful about my appearance. Hmmm.

Which made me think about how I can be even more concerned about hiding a spiritual 'affliction', putting on my "Miss Happy Christian" face because I don't want others to know the truth. I fear their rejection or negative opinion. I fear most of us Christians of the female persuasion do that.

My tennis elbow will slowly heal and the brace will be put away. Jesus heals my spiritual afflictions too, but I must remember that He is the brace that I must never put away. Just as important is the truth that I need to be more transparent about my faith journey. When we share what we see as weaknesses and allow others to see how God is healing us, helping us, and making us stronger we are part of His work in them as well. For it is in journeying together that we find strength to keep running the race.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

It is what it is...

Such is life.
This too will pass.
It is what it is.

All phrases I've heard and/or used to describe life. All basically saying that there are some things in life we can't change but simply have to walk through them. Circumstances that are outside our realm of control.

A well known Christian leader talked about this subject in her message this week. It was a timely reminder for me. A reminder to keep my focus on God and not on the circumstance that seems to be a mountain in my path. A reminder to live out the familiar 'Serenity Prayer'.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change...
courage to change the things I can...
and wisdom to know the difference.

To keep on keeping on. To run the race He has set before me and to be faithful. To leave with Him those things that only He can change. To trust Him with my everyday.

...and to be strong and couragous, boldly stepping out to change what I can change.

     Do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord, no matter what happens. Remember the great reward it brings you. Patient endurance is what you need now, so you will continue to do God's will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.  Hebrews 10:35-36  (NLT)


Friday, November 19, 2010

If I only had 30 days...

So much I want to do. So much I need to do. If I allow everything that falls into those two categories to tumble into my mind at the same time it quickly escalates into a "Calgon, take me away!!!" kind of mindset. I can become so mired in a pit of anxiety that I do nothing. Kind of like the children's story where the character is running around yelling "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!" O.K. so I don't run around screaming. But inside it can feel like my spirit is screaming.

This morning as I was sitting on my couch, drinking that first hot cup of coffee while waiting for my brain and body to finish waking up, I had a thought. (That in itself is cause to celebrate, considering the time of day it was!) Of all the hats I wear, of all the roles I fulfill, which ones bring me the most joy? Wife, Mom, Grandmother. Hands contest...that is where my heart and soul are. Sure, there are lots of other things I love to do and many people I love to spend time with and pour my life into. However, I realize that my best energy, my best time, the best of me is to be given to those people God has given me right here in my family.

I confess I don't always do a good job of showing that. It is way too easy for me to say yes to other things and leave little margin in for my family resulting in a Molly who is crabby, short on patience and long on critical. OUCH! Ugly but true.

Knowing that we are coming into a really busy season of the year, I am surrendering my 'want to, need to' thoughts to God. I realize it will be a daily surrender just because that's the way I am wired. I'm a make a list and get it done kind of gal. But I don't want the list to be my focus. I want God to be my focus. He then makes everything else fall into place. His priorities become my priorities.

Whether I have 30 days or 30 years left to live in this world, I want to spend them fulfilling the plan and purpose for my life that originated with God. Does it include more than being wife, mom, and grandmother? I suspect it does. But those are the most important relationships He has blessed me with and I believe with all of my heart, that is where He would have me focus.

...and so I plan to savor each and every moment. To allow Him to fill me with creative ideas to show my family how much I love them. How much I enjoy being here with them. To allow Him to use me to show them His love.

I'll be sharing with you some of the ways He does that in my home. I would love to hear how He does that in your home as well. (Ya know that is one of the great things about girlfriends...sharing our ideas, etc.) Leave a comment below -- you'll be a blessing to others and I'll bet you'll get one back!


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Anniversaries, etc.

Today marks a milestone in my husband's life and therefore, also in mine. Thirty-one years ago today he began a new job. A job that we were so sure he wouldn't get when he applied that we didn't even look to see where it was. But God... A phone call, a job offer and we got out the map to see where we were going. In a matter of two weeks we closed out our life in one state, loaded up all of our household goods in a Uhaul, and made a giant leap into the unknown. After spending four years in the Navy, He was experienced at living away from his hometown. On the other hand, I had never lived more than an hour away from my parents. They were deeply attached to our two sons. While I looked forward to this new adventure with my husband and children, a part of my heart broke because I was leaving behind my parents and what had been home for many years.

God's presence during our preparation to move and in those first few months was obvious. Every obstacle to the move was removed, one at a time. Though money was tight and we had adjustment issues with our oldest son, we continued to see Him provide in many different ways. I found a good church home and met a precious woman who became (and still is) my best friend.

And so today, as I do every year on November 4, we celebrate the anniversary of a new beginning in our lives. I pause to remember how God moved in our circumstances to bring us here. How it was obvious this was where He intended us to be.

Anniversaries are time markers. Whether it is a wedding anniversary, a birthday, or anniversary of the death of a loved one. The one common thread weaving through all of them is that it is a time of remembrance. Of the people we've known and places we have been, the things we have done, the places we have visited. But the most important remembrance should always be of what God has done for us. Remembering His faithfulness, His provision, His blessing. It is in remembering that we gain strength and confidence to face the future. Our God's faithfulness never wavers, His love never ceases.

Let's celebrate!


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Simple Blessings

As another weekend draws to a close, I am sitting here thinking about God's simple blessings. In the midst of a challenging life storm, I am choosing daily to look for the rays of sunshine. I find they are always there if I am looking for them. This weekend my sunshine rays included a visit from my WVa family, watching my oldest granddaughter get ready for her senior homecoming dance, sharing candy and taking pics of three grandkids as they had fun with trick 'r treat, and simply enjoying a restful Sunday afternoon with no agenda (no cooking either, it's leftovers tonight!)

Everyday God showers me with simple blessings. But I have to look for them and then take time to savor them. It is easy to let my focus stray to the storm, to hear the wind and see the waves. But just as children's fears and anxiety can be removed by drawing their attention away from the storm, so are my fears, worries, and anxiety removed when I place my attention on God.

If you are in a life storm right now, won't you join me in looking for God's simple blessings every day? Our storms may not go away soon, but we must remember that God is in control of the storm. He wants us to allow Him to complete His work while we rest in His love.

What simple blessings did God bring to you today?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mid-week or "hump day"?

Which of these terms do you use to describe Wednesday? For many years I have viewed it as 'hump day'. My favorite local weatherman describes it as "huuuuuuuuuuump day"! No matter what term we use, most of us look at Wednesday as the halfway point to the weekend. Halfway through our work week and looking forward to time off. Making plans for all that we are going to do once Friday evening rolls around.

Today, however, I had a different thought. I was reminded of what my high school Spanish teacher told us when we seniors could talk about nothing but graduation. He said, "Don't be so focused on something that is months (then weeks) away. Live today. Don't waste your life by focusing on the future so much that you miss today." At the age of seventeen I just didn't grasp what he was telling us. Sure, I listened but I didn't practice the wisdom he was trying to teach us.

As the years passed, I came to realize the magnitude of what he was saying. I do try to live each day in the moment. But I also find myself longing for the weekend. In times past I rationlized it with the excuse of a stressful job, demanding boss, cranky co-workers. But now I don't have any of those excuses. I have a job with little stress, bosses and co-workers who are kind and compassionate. We work as a team. Yet I still fall prey to the habit of marking my week by how many more days until the weekend.

Ouch! Marking days that will never  pass again. Days that are filled with opportunities that may never come around again. Each day closer to the last day, the last breath. None are to be wasted. As long as I draw breath, God has a purpose for me here. And one thing I am sure of...His purpose does not include a 'living for the weekend' mentality.

So today is not 'hump day'. It is a wonderful Wednesday. Blessed by messages from God through His word and through the small group Bible study I am currently participating in. Blessed by morning coffee time with my husband. Blessed by conversations with my son and granddaughter currently living with us. Blessed by an unexpected visit from my grandson who asked his Papa, "Can we go surprise Mama?" Blessed with opportunities to love and to share.

Every day is a gift. May we live our days fully in that truth.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

A New Beginning

After much procrastination, here I am! At least in the beginning stages of a new blog space. If you are new to this blog, welcome! You will see  a few changes as I get the design updated and get used to moving around my new site. Kinda like moving to a new town. It takes a few trips to be able to just drive there without carefully looking at each and every road sign and trying to memorize landmarks.

I am planning on bringing some stuff with me from my old blog but right now it's a matter of figuring out how to box it up, move it, and get it unpacked here. Hey, I never professed to be a technical expert. :-)

But right now, I am sitting here thinking about how nice it is to finally be here. Hoping that some of my old friends will stay connected while also excited about making new friends. A new place, a new adventure. A sense that God is up to something. But, then, isn't He always up to something?!  The adventure part is when we get to join Him.

In part, that is the reasoning behind the new blog title, My unCommon Life.  From the viewpoint of most people observing my life they would, most likely, describe it as a common life. You know, middle class, small town, wife, mother, grandmother, job. But God... God takes the ordinary and makes it extraordinary. He uses the common to produce uncommon results. The Bible is full of stories about common people and their extraordinary lives. I'll bet that many of them lived every day just like you and me, never thinking that God was using them to impact lives thousands of years into the future. 

I believe He still uses common folks today and wants to show His extraordinary power in our lives. The impact can come when we are willing to share our struggles, our challenges, our every day ordinary lives and how He is leading us up, over, around, and through victoriously.

I invite you to come along with me as I share my common life and how He can make it unCommon. I pray that it will be an encouragment to you.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Homemade Butter and Changes

Happy Friday to those of you reading my blog today. I absolutely LOVE Fridays! Especially since January when my work schedule adjusted to allow me to work Mon-Thurs and have each and every Friday off. When I first began this schedule I had grand plans of what to do with my new 'free' time and some of it has actually happened. Being the Type A, plan too much and try to cram it all in kind of gal that I am, there have been more than a few weeks when my fantasy did not match up with reality. However, I am settling into a flow and being more selective in how I spend these days.

For instance, today I thought about all the things I wanted to get done. A 'to-do' list from two weeks ago had some tasks without a checkmark or line through. Meaning I still wanted/needed to do them. Then there is the never ending list of household chores that keep popping back up no matter how many times you do them. This morning as I was ending my quiet time with the Lord and began to think about how my day was going to proceed I was prompted to separate my list of 'want to do's' into two categories. First, what are the things I want to do that either require solitude or are things that I won't do once surrounded by family again. On the other list are those things that can be worked into the normal weekend routine. What a revelation!! 'Cause I can tell you that normally I just jump into the list of household chores first and find myself leaving out the things that are more important.

Here is how that worked for me this morning. After my extended quiet time with the Lord, I worked on my speaking topic for the upcoming women's retreat (Oct. 15-16...get it on your calendar if you are in the Hopkinsville area!), caught up on a couple of emails, ordered a book from Amazon that I want to read, and then made homemade butter.

Yep, homemade butter! I got the recipe from Kelly Hancock at Faithful Provisions. Love, love, love that gal's website and all of her helpful hints on saving money on your grocery shopping and her yummy recipes. If you aren't familiar with Kelly, check out her website at I promise you will love it! (You can find her recipe for homemade butter too...big smile!) It is resting and cooling in the fridge..can't wait to try it on my toast at breakfast tomorrow.

Now I am off to the shower so I can meet my sweet hubby to do some b'day shopping for one of our sons, try to snag some scrapbooking bargains at Hobby Lobby, and then have supper together. As you plan your weekend, I pray that God will help you build in some quality quiet time with Him and some focused time with your family. Chores have to get done sooner or later, but let's ask God to help us keep it all in perspective.

Now about the 'Changes'. In the next few days I will be posting my personal blogs on a new blogspot. Sharing the Journey won't go away but it will become primarily a place for you to keep up with what is going on with the Women's Ministry at Hillcrest. I will put a link here for you to pop over and visit me at my new bloggy world home. (And I do hope you will follow me over there 'cause it surely is precious to a blogger's heart to know that someone is reading what they write.) So stayed tuned...............there is LOTS more to come as we continue our journey toward Home.

Blessings and hugs,

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Back to School..but it's still summer!

Just a few years ago back to school signalled the start of fall. Summer ended with Labor Day weekend and school was back in session the following Tuesday. Temps, though still quite warm in the daytime, began to moderate with cooler evenings. Back to school clothes shopping included jeans and jackets...never shorts.

Slowly our school schedules changed and now we send our children back to the classroom in early August. Temperatures are sweltering and I would guess that most kids plus their parents are nowhere close to being ready for the summer to be over. (Now would be the time for me to step up onto my soapbox and launch into my 'speech' about the misguided folks who come up with the current school calendar and our education system's shortcomings but that would change nothing and is not the direction of this post.)

Regardless of our opinions of when the school year should start, the fact remains - Tuesday our kids will be back at school for a new year. Tomorrow at both morning services, we will honor our teachers and other educators and pray for our children, parents, and teachers as they each face the coming year. For some it will be the first time in the classroom. Others will find themselves in a new school, perhaps in a new town. Some will simply move up a grade with their friends with a new teacher but in familiar surroundings. All need our prayers and support.

My 'kids' graduated long ago and now have children of their own. My grandchildren range from baby to high school senior. I see the challenges facing them from a different perspective than the one I held when my own children were in school. However,one thing is a constant - our community children need our prayers. Their parents need our prayers and their teachers need our prayers. They need our support.

I will pray tomorrow morning along with others gathered at church. May it not be just a one time, one day prayer. May we all make it a priority to daily petition our Heavenly Father on behalf of the precious children in our community, their parents, and the teachers who strive to love and educate them.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Do you know St. Francis?

What came to your mind when you read the title of this post? Do you know anything about St. Francis other than the oft-quoted prayer? I confess I did not until recently. What prompted me to learn more about a man who lived over eight hundred years ago? Answer: an enticement to read a new novel by Ian Morgan Cron, "Chasing Francis". I participate in the Blogger Review program at NavPress Publishers and this particular book was on their list. The brief introduction to the book was enough to whet my appetite. It was definitely a good choice!

Chapter One introduced me to Chase Falson, founding pastor of a mega church in New England. Though successful in the eyes of his church members, his peers, and the town where he lives Chase found himself at a crossroads of faith. Disillusioned with the typical American church culture, he even begins to wonder if his faith is really any kind of faith at all. When this leads to a breakdown of sorts in front of his congregation, he is asked by church leaders to take a leave of absence to 'get his head together.' And so begins his journey back to the roots of his faith. As Cron lead me through Chase's investigation of the life and teachings of St. Francis of Assisi, I was surprised to learn that the culture that St. Francis attempted to serve and teach in was similar to post modern America. Granted, some of his theories and practices were radical then and would still be considered radical today. However, in a society where the church has more often than not blended into the culture instead of standing out from it I believe we have much to learn from the life of St. Francis. Not into history books and dry, textbook-like reading? Then grab a copy of "Chasing Francis". I promise you it will keep you enthralled from the first page to the last with surprises tucked away in unexpected places.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

If you decide to read this book, I would love to hear your stories. Just come back to this post and leave your comments.

Hugs and happy reading,

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Responsibility of Freedom

Yesterday was a day of great celebration through out our country and rightfully so. We celebrated the day that marks our declaration of independence from British rule and the founding of a new country, one founded on Christian principles by God fearing men. Listening to the vocal minority in today's United States, we hear a vastly different message. Guess they don't read history books? It is evident that their message blatantly leaves out the written evidence of our founding fathers' belief in and trust in our God as they determined what would be our governing documents.

Looking at where we are now, one has to wonder how long we will remain a free and thriving nation. In his sermon yesterday, Bro. Greg talked about the sin against America's God. He pointed out that, as a nation, we no longer fear the God we say we trust. For too many in this land, there is no moral compass. Government has gotten too big because we have come to expect our government to fix everything so that we can maintain our comfortable standard of living. Success has become determined by how much money you have, what kind of car you drive, where you live, etc. etc.

Unfortunately, this manner of living and thinking extends into the American church. I confess that I too am guilty of having fallen into the trap of the American dream. Just as our country has drifted away from God, we have drifted into and adapted to the culture around us. If I say I will go wherever God calls me to go, yet I pray that He won't ask me to leave my grandchildren have I really surrendered? I say I care about the poor but I continue to spend on items that most people in the world would consider luxuries instead of giving that money to help someone. I want to be willing to be uncomfortable but my lifestyle speaks otherwise.

God first started stirring my heart about this a few months ago when I read Jen Hatmaker's book, "Interrupted". He is now piercing my heart through the book "Radical" by David Platt. I highly recommend both of these books. I believe it is no coincidence that God placed these books into my hands. For quite sometime now I have had a deep conviction that God is calling His people to throw off the shackles of this world and to be totally committed to serving Him, to telling others about Him, and to be living as He commands us to. We, as His church, must stop thinking the immoral, unsaved masses are the enemy and admit we are the enemy when we have become blinded to God's ways, adapting so closely to the culture that we no longer bear the image of Christ.

As Bro. Greg ended the service yesterday he asked us to gather at the altar to pray for our nation. I prayed that God would be merciful to us, His church. That He will grant us one more opportunity to repent and forsake our sinful ways. Whether He will stay His hand of judgment on our nation is only known to Him. But I believe it is imperative that we who proclaim to be followers of Christ to be about His business. May God have mercy on us all.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Few of my Favorite Things - Summer Style

It is summer time and the living is easy. At least that is what a song or ad...well, I've heard that expression somewhere before! I'm sure the writer was referring to the more casual lifestyle that a lot of us adapt to in the summer months. My schedule and activities don't really change that much as the seasons change. However, I do spend lots more time outdoors. If it isn't dark and I want to settle in with a good book, you will find me out on our patio. If the grandkids are visiting, they are playing outside and I'm right there with them. Which kinda brings me to the title of my post.

Sitting on our patio on Sunday afternoon I realized that I am thankful for outdoor ceiling fans. It was a very hot and humid day but the breeze created by the fan made it comfortable enough to spend some quality reading time there. When I paused to thank God for ceiling fans, I felt a prompting to think about other things I am thankful for. So here is my summer time list:
soft breezes, watching tree branches move in the wind, lightning bugs, watching my grandson catch lightning bugs, sunsets, the smell of freshly mown grass, homemade ice cream, grilled hamburgers, home grown tomatoes & squash & corn & all sorts of veggies, my backyard garden and the farmers' market, heat lightning, the sound of summer bugs, the sound of rain, distant rumbles of thunder, camping, watching the Perseids meteor shower in August, night time starry skies, vacation planning.....

These are all things that bring a smile to my face and a lifting in my spirit. No matter what life storm or circumstance I am in. Taking time to acknowledge those gifts from God and to thank Him for them brings me closer to Him. It takes my focus off the negative and onto the good. It is a surefire cure for the Eve syndrome. (You know that propensity we have to look at what we don't have while ignoring the abundance of what we do have.-)

I hope this inspires you to make your own list of your favorite things - summer style. Want to share? Then just post a comment below. All comments are moderated so it may take a few hours for yours to show up, but please be will!

Happy summer y'all!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Fun & Encouragement

Hey y'all, for lots of fun and even more encouragement check out my friend Lysa's place at

Guaranteed to warm your heart and put a smile on your face. Promise.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Fast or Slow - How Do You Travel?

Recently my husband and I decided to travel to the Smoky Mountains for a long weekend. Although it is absolutely one of our most favorite places to be, it had been five years since we made that drive. Back surgery, moving, changing jobs, knee surgery, new grandchildren to visit....the list is full of reasons why we were away for five years. As soon as we drove into the foothills west of Townsend, we felt as though we had just been away for a few months and not years. After checking into our motel we headed over Wears Valley to Pigeon Forge to eat supper at The Applewood Restaurant - one of those 'must do's' for us when we are in the area. As soon as our tummies were full we headed back to Townsend so we could get a drive through Cades Cove in before dark. And that is when our travel speed finally changed. All day long we were focused on the destination and nothing would deter us from getting there. Pit stop? Well, let's just say it was a contest to see who could get in and out of the restroom faster when we stopped at the rest area! But when we got into the cove....

No longer were we rushing to a destination. We were savoring the view as we drove. Stopping to watch deer, wild turkey, and even a couple of black bears. Stopping to just simply gaze at the beauty of the cove, mountains, and sky. The following day we decided to walk a new (for us) trail near the Tremont Institute. The Middle Prong trail follows the stream from whence it takes its name. It is an easy trail to hike with numerous places to walk down to the stream, find a nice big rock to sit on and simply enjoy the peaceful sound of flowing water. We passed few hikers on this trail. It seemed most people, as usual, had chosen the more popular trails. We felt like we had won a big prize! (We love being alone or nearly alone on the trail. Put us on a crowded trail and we are likely going to head back to the car to find a less traveled path.)

I noticed something about the other hikers we passed that day. Some were on a mission, it seemed. A mission to get to the end of the trail, perhaps. Or maybe it was the mission to walk as far and fast as they could to burn the most calories or to build endurance. Others, like Larry and me, were taking the scenic route. Pausing to enjoy the scenery, to experience God's creation.

At one point, as I sat on a rock listening to the sound of a small cascading waterfall and watching the numerous butterflies that seemed to be following the flow of water, I simply thanked God for His beauty. For the gift He gave me that day to be able to be there, in that spot, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. And you know what He brought to my mind? My life journey can be spent like those I observed hiking. I can stay so focused on the destination, seemingly in a hurry to get there, and consume myself with being busy. Focusing on what I am doing for the Lord...walking, walking, walking. OR, I can choose to break away from the super highway or smooth trail, and instead wander down a different path to view the scenery from a different viewpoint. To pause and simply enjoy His presence for awhile. To allow Him to lead me down a scenic path or perhaps, to lead me on a difficult and strenuous trail to a mountain top experience that could not be gained without the treacherous climb.

When I hike, there are times when I have to walk faster and take few breaks because I have a lot of trail to cover in a limited amount of time. That is when I must keep my focus on the goal, mindful of my progress (or lack of), and keep pushing ahead, knowing that the reward at the end of the trail is worth the effort. I enjoy both the challenge and reward. However, I also crave those slower hikes with no specific destination in mind and no hard & fast time limit. Those are the times I can take time to stop to explore a side road, to rest awhile and enjoy the view/sounds around me, to worship the Creator and be refreshed by His presence.

When I consider my life journey's traveling style, I know I must sometimes choose the slow route. Granted, there are going to be times when fast is necessary. But a continual fast speed will end up robbing me of many experiences to be had only by slowing down to hear God speak, to see Him at work, to feel His presence.

and not feel guilty when doing it!

What is your traveling style?


Monday, May 17, 2010

Of Excess and Structure

Friday night I learned a lot of new info about using coupons and how they can be maximized in order to save the most money. Both Sabrina and Ellen reminded us through God's word of how we are to be good stewards of all that He blesses us with. Using coupons in a wise manner is one way to do just that. I came away both challenged and inspired to take my use of coupons to a new level. I even went out this weekend and purchased a 3-ring binder and some photo/ball card pages to organize my growing stack of coupons! Bought a Sunday paper for more coupons and looked over ads for the two stores I most frequently shop at to plan my strategy for this week's shopping/saving expeditions.

As I've been thinking about why I am energized to actually begin this new way of shopping (my usual way is to be excited at the class/workshop but lose the 'glow' before I even get started), I've concluded that it is because they reminded me of a truth that, in our American culture of excess, we have forgotten. God requires us to be good stewards of all of the blessings He showers upon us and that goes beyond giving the first ten percent.

What do we do with the other 90%? I confess that most of the time I wind up spending it without a lot of thought. Oh, I don't go on huge shopping sprees. I have more stuff than I know what to do with now and that's after downsizing when we last moved over 3 years ago. But I do wind up spending a lot more than I should due to poor planning (lack of structure) on my part. And that is money that I could be using to help others and to further God's kingdom.

And so I begin with my notebook, coupons, and sales fliers. A small step, but a step in the right direction. A step that will, hopefully, lead to another and another and yet another as I learn to be more disciplined in my approach to managing the money that God has provided.

Which goes along with something else God has been nudging me about lately...structure in my use of time. Like a lot of you, I often bemoan the 'fact' that I don't have enough time to do it all. Truth is, I have all the time I need to do the thing(s) God plans for me to do. It is my own haphazard use of time that robs me of fulfilling those plans. Perhaps my step in the right direction in regard to managing my financial resources will also turn into a walk toward time freedom as well!

What things do you do to be a wise steward of the time and other resources given to you by God? Let us know by clicking on comments below and sharing your tips. We benefit from each other's wisdom as we.........share the journey.


Friday, May 7, 2010

Peace Redefined

Webster's Dictionary defines peace as 'a state of tranquility; absence of war; a pact to end a war; freedom from disorderly disturbances; freedom from fears or worries.

Over the past couple of weeks I've asked other women to describe what peace means to them. "Freedom from chaos." "No anxiety." "No stress." "Calm." "Freedom from worrying." These are a few of their answers.

Peace, to me, is all of these and so much more. An ability to float above the chaos and storms of life - kind of like when you are flying high above the clouds, the sun ablaze while a thunderstorm rages below.

We tend to think of peace as being freedom from anything that causes us stress, worry, fear, anxiety, trouble. You know, all those 'negative' things! All those things that interupt our daily lives and rob us of peace as we define it.

When Jesus promised us that He will give us peace, did He mean that He would eliminate all of those peace-robbing circumstances and people from our lives? Of course not!

So how do we let Him redefine peace as it applies to our lives?

We start by remembering that He is always with us, ready to replace our anxiety or fear with His peace. He is only a prayer, a breath, a heartbeat away. I don't know about you, but I allow the peace-robbing circumstances to get an upperhand way too many times. Most of the time when that happens, it is because I have rushed into my day without surrendering it to Him. Sometimes, without even thinking about Him. I wake up and my Type A personality brain kicks in with the 'to-do' list and the next thing I know I am rushing out the door, late for work (again!). Then life happens and the next thing I know I am in the middle of an exasperating situation, reacting with less than a peaceful attitude.

What a difference it makes when I spend a few moments with Him, giving my agenda to Him and asking Him for wisdom to live out His plan for my day. Then when life happens and my natural response would be to rip into a "how can you be so...." speech when someone irritates me, I instead respond to His prompting to respond with love. In her book, "Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl", Lysa Terkeurst writes "When I take the time to meet with Jesus each morning, I am prepared to face life with much more peace than if I just rush into my day without Him. Because God is able to stand in my yesterday, today, and tomorrow, He knows things and sees things for which I need to be prepared." (p. 63, "Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl, copyright 2009 by Lysa TerKeurst, Zondervan
To find out more about Lysa and her ministry, visit her at

And that, my friends, is how God wants to give us the peace He promises. Peace as defined by Him. Not the world's definition, but God's. There is no getting around the fact that in this world we will have troubles. If we wait for a lack of trouble to have peace...well, all I'm saying is we might be waiting a long, long, long time! But if what we seek after with all of our hearts is the peace that God offers, we will have it in abundance, because it is in seeking Him with all of our hearts that we will find it.

It's just a matter of redefining peace.


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Our Best Days

Driving to visit a friend on Friday I heard the new song "My Best Days Are Ahead of Me". Written and sung by 8th season American Idol finalist Danny Gokey, the words speak of how his best days are ahead of him. This coming from a young man who lost his wife to cancer weeks before trying out for American Idol.

Listening to the words and thinking about how God has brought Danny through the grief and pain of his loss into a place where he can truly sing that his best days are ahead, God helped me to see that no matter where we are in life that statement is true.

Focused on this world, when trials come - serious illness, marriages in trouble, unemployment, financial disasters, death of a loved one - we can easily believe the best is behind us. I know this girl has fallen into that mindset before. Looking at the current storm and all the negatives that go along with it, I soon become the torch bearer of gloom and doom.

Don't get me wrong. I know that it is difficult to look for the silver lining in many of life's most painful circumstances. There are a lot of days when we are simply in survival mode, putting one foot in front on the other a step at a time.
I've been there. Even today there are cirmcumstances in lives of family members and friends that threaten to consume me. But through this song, God spoke to me. He reminded me that my best days are yet to be because my best days will be when I am home with Him for eternity. Oh what joy unspeakable and unimaginable will be mine. Today's troubles will truly be momentary...forgotten in the presence of Jesus forever.

At one time a favorite and often used phrase of mine was "This too will pass." A friend I worked with told me she thought it should be engraved on my tombstone because I used it when times were difficult. I thought that would be appropriate as even an empty clay vessel disentegrating back to dust in that grave will only be temporary. For one day, I will be restored with a new body to live forever in heaven.
After God's reminder to me on Friday, I'm thinking maybe that inscription should be changed to 'My Best Days Are Ahead of Me". No truer words could be placed there.

When life throws you a curve ball, when the storms threaten to pull you under, lock your eyes on Jesus and remember your best days are to come as well.

May your heart be comforted with that knowledge.


Sunday, February 28, 2010

Love, etc.

We hear a lot about love during the month of February. Valentine's Day coming right smack dab in the middle of it seems to set the tone for the month. There's a lot of conversation about love, good and bad.

Whether it has been on the radio, in magazine articles, on the internet or television - I've heard a lot of discussion about love. While a lot of it focused on the feeling of being in love, thankfully some went deeper into the true meaning of love.

Last week at our monthly R & R Working Women's lunch we talked about the many faces of love, sharing recent examples in our own lives of what living love out loud looks like. Our reminder of true love came straight from 1 Corinthians 13:1-13. I was encouraged to find that I am not the only one who struggles with loving as God calls us to love. It is definitely NOT at all about the feeling, it is about the choice of how we love. 'Cause frankly, there are lots of times when I do not feel like being patient or kind, when I am easily angered and want to hide away in my heart that feeling of being wronged, when I do not want to trust or hope or persevere. But God calls me to love in a different way - not in the realm of feeling but in the realm of making the choice to love like He does.

Then on Wednesday in Girlfriends & God, there it was again. The subject of love! Brenda asked us to describe love. And you know what?! Not one description centered on romantic love or the feeling of being in love. Every single description was one of sacrificial love. Many compared it to the love a mother has for their child, being willing to give up everything, even life, for their child.

Again, back to the Bible, this time Matthew 22:34-40. Jesus tells us the greatest commandment is to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." and then "Love your neighbor as yourself."

If I truly love God with everything I have, with every part of myself, then I will desire to love others as he does. And if I truly love my neighbor (others) as I love myself, then I will desire to be patient, to be kind, to not be easily angered, to keep no record of wrongs, to always protect, to always trust, to always hope, to always persevere.

Oh, that it was so easy to love that way. I can truthfully say that from deep within my soul, I want to love that way. But the self-centered human side of me can find all kinds of reasons not to. And so it goes - yet another of those battles that Paul described when he said in Romans 7, "For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do." So what's a girl to do? When someone says hurtful things about me. When someone's actions cause pain in my loved ones' lives? When I am treated unfairly?

I wish I could tell you that I immediately go to my Heavenly Father for help. That I never entertain a thought of revenge or wishing they 'get theirs'. I really wish I could. But, girlfriends, that would not be honest. It would be putting on that 'good Christian mask', all the time telling you one thing when I live out something different.

What I can tell you, most honestly, is that while my thoughts may temporarily wander into those mind games of 'what I will tell them when I get a chance'., I do not allow them to stay there. 'Cause I know by staying there, my thinking will become even more 'stinking' and I could find myself going from thinking to doing. What I do is pull my focus back to God, asking Him for the desire, strength, and guts to love that person like He loves them. To help me to see the person through His eyes.

And it works! Not instantly, but over time it works. And during the time it takes to work, He is doing His amazing work in my heart. Which always brings good results.

So I leave the month of love behind, but not love. Love is something I never want to be without, something I want to get better at doing. So that one day I will truly be able to say that I love like Jesus.


"P.S. I shared this post on Heart to Heart with Holley."
(This is the actual hyperlink:

Friday, February 19, 2010

Tragedy to Triumph

Victim…of name calling, neglect, an unsafe home, parents who abused drugs, three divorces which lead to a father whose part-time participation in her life was less than stellar and two step-fathers, one good – the other, not so good, childhood sexual abuse. In her memoir “Thin Places”, Mary DeMuth shares her story, one of tragedy and triumph, of despair yet also of optimism. With gut wrenching glimpses of her childhood and how the impact those circumstances carried into her adulthood, Mary’s story is also one of faith, of healing, of love and forgiveness.

In the beginning chapters I found myself asking again, “Why does God allow such horrible things to happen to children?” That is a question that I don’t think can be satisfactorily answered according to our limited human vision. But as I continued to read, I saw how the loving and powerful touch of our Heavenly Father has healed those painful scars and restored beauty in Mary’s life. Not in a one-time, earth shattering, apocalyptic event but through time. We want the pain to end instantly, but that is not God’s way. Just as our physical body must heal from injuries over time, so must our emotion and mental healing come.

Not all of us experienced everything Mary did as a child. However, we all carry into adulthood things that happened to us as children. We are a composite of our experiences and environment. It is what we do with it that determines who we become. I invite you to read “Thin Places”. I believe you will find the beginning of your own road to healing when you do.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Shoot the groundhog!

O.K., maybe we won't shoot him. At least not yet. But if that pesky little critter really did hold the keys to an early spring or a longer winter...let's just say I would be fighting to be first in line at Walmart to buy a hunting license!

I'm not a huge fan of winter to start with. I love the other three seasons, but winter? For years I've simply endured it so that I could enjoy the rest of the year. Some times endure is really a matter of survival. I know, I know. I should appreciate every season because God created them all. Just like life has seasons. Some are easy to enjoy and others take a lot of work to get through. Learning to have joy in spite of the season, whether it is weather or life, is key to enjoying life.

I'm trying y'all! And I do find that I have a much more positive outlook on most winter days than I once did. I think the biggest reason I don't like winter is all of the dreary days without seeing the sun shine. Granted, I don't like to be cold and I hate to have to bundle up when I go outside. But it is the dreariness of it all that is most disheartening. It can be bitter cold out but if the sun shines, I automatically cheer up. I see a very real improvement in my outlook on life.

Thinking about how the sun can make a difference in my emotional/mental well being, I am reminded about how the Son makes an even bigger difference. No matter the season of life and how many gloomy days I find myself living through, having the Son in my life brings peace and joy.

I can't imagine the dreary hopelessness of life without the Son but I see it in the faces of people all around me. It may be the young woman asking for help with her rent, her sarcastic remarks and belligerent attitude covering up a scared and hurting heart. Or perhaps it is the man in line at Walmart giving the cashier a hard time because his credit card just rejected, wondering how he is going to feed his family. Maybe it is someone I see at church every week, living a 'church lady' life but inside wondering what it is really all about. So instead of dwelling on or grumbling about the latest weather report, I want to choose instead to focus on people. The people that Jesus came to give His abundant life to. The ones that are all around me every week. The ones that Jesus asks me to love and to tell about the hope found in the Son.

Notice I said I want to choose. It is definitely not something that comes naturally to me. My self-centered little self falls too easily into the poor me syndrome. So I am asking God to help me this week to take my eyes off the weather and to keep them focused on Him, wide open to see the people He will have me speak words of hope to.

Spring, with its promise of new life, is coming. Oh, the joy that can burst open in hearts as people are introduced to the Son, with His promise of new life. May we each be His messenger this week!


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Learning to Live Like an Eagle

Eagles have long been a symbol of power and strength. It is easy to understand why our forefathers chose the eagle as a symbol of our great nation. We find many comparisons of eagles and their characteristics to the life of God’s people throughout the Old Testament.

I have heard many such accounts used in sermons and have read even more in articles and other books. Still I was intrigued by the title of the book co-authored by Avery T. Willis Jr. and his grandson, Matt Willis, “Learning to Soar: How to Grow Through Transitions and Trials”. The book did not disappoint. While most of my previous encounters with eagle comparisons focused on their power and related it to the power of the Holy Spirit or the strength of God, the Willis grandfather/grandson team begins where many of us have the hardest struggle – in our hardships, the trying circumstances of life, the times when we simply can’t understand why God has allowed something to happen or is allowing it to continue.

From there, they discuss the ways we learn patience (waiting rooms, anyone?!) and then progress to how our faith grows through stepping out, risking failure but dependent upon God. And then finally, they conclude with a refreshing challenge to live our lives in the power of the Holy Spirit, thereby fulfilling God’s plan and purpose for our life.

By comparing the process of the eagle’s growth from birth to maturity to our own spiritual growth, the authors have captured well the reality that our own maturity comes through various transitions, trials, and steps of obedience. I highly recommend this book, no matter where you currently are in your faith journey with God. You will be challenged and comforted, convicted and set free. As Avery said at the end of the book, “Catch the wind of His Spirit and soar.”

Come soar with me, sweet sisters!


p.s. Look for this book coming soon to the Hillcrest library or purchase your own copy at or

Friday, January 29, 2010

A Red Pen?

Do you remember getting a report back from an instructor with red pen comments and marks all over it? Maybe you spent hours laboring over it and when you turned it in you thought it was a great piece. The reality of the red pen was disappointing.

Don't we use that red pen on ourselves, though? We want to change the story of our life and out comes that red pen.

It could be that we use it in a positive manner with the goal of improving in a certain area. For instance, it may be as simple as striking out 'eat fast food' and changing it to 'cook healthy meals'. When we are looking to the future, a red pen is not always a dangerous tool for us to wield.

What got me to thinking about this? Well, I've been following a series by Holley Gerth ( titled "The Rest of Your Story". In one of her posts she discusses the use of a red pen and how God is really the only One wise enough to accurately utilize it to help us write the rest of our own story. One thing she mentioned in that post that really got my attention was how the same characteristic can be used for benefit or detriment. It depends on who (or Who) is guiding the behavior. Her comparison to the Apostle Paul before and after Christ came into his life almost jumped off the page when I read it.

In the past different jobs required that I take personality tests/surveys. The one that made the most impact was the one that pointed out how the same personality trait can be viewed positively and negatively. Usually people with the same trait will view me positively. Those with the total opposite trait will tend to view me negatively. That knowledge has helped me improve interpersonal communication, especially when it comes to working in teams. However, Holley's example of the same trait before and after Christ made me reconsider how I am to live out the rest of my story.

Instead of trying to control the red pen by second guessing how others perceive me and becoming consumed in that dance, I will instead simply allow the Holy Spirit to guide me and trust God to fully use me just exactly as He created me. I am giving control of the red pen to Him.

Which makes me even more excited about the rest of my story.

What about your story? I encourage you to check out the entire series that Holley has written. I believe you will be both challenged and encouraged by what you read!


Sunday, January 24, 2010

What's moisturizer got to do with it?

Mornings are a challenge for me. As in 'my brain doesn't wake up until after 2 cups of coffee' kind of challenging. And even after that first jolt of caffeine, I'm still not running on all 8 cylinders. So you'll understand how I managed to forget to put on moisturizer. Well, maybe you'll understand. I'm still trying to figure it out myself. I mean, I have my routine down y'all! Shower, lotion up the body and slather moisturizer on my face while it's still damp, dry my hair, brush my teeth, get dressed and then put on makeup. I've followed the same sequence for so long I was beginning to believe I could do it in my sleep. (Now that would be a great way to capture a few more zzz's!)

And morning this week I got to the last step of the routine, putting on makeup, and my foundation was just not cooperating. Instead of gliding over my skin and blending to a natural glow (that's what those beauty magazines tell you it should look like, right!?), it was blotchy - definitely not blending. My skin felt dry and the resulting look was anything but a natural glow. It took only a moment for me to realize I had forgotten to use moisturizer. It was apparent that without the foundation of smooth skin brought about through the use of moisturizer, no amount of makeup was going to make me look any better. I simply would not be able to achieve the look (results)I was used to getting.

My walk with Christ is a lot like that. Just like I must daily prepare my face by using moisturizer, so must I prepare myself spiritually by spending time with Him, reading His Word and taking time to hear from Him. If I don't, my spirit becomes dry and parched. I respond to difficult people and stressful circumstances in ways that do not show Jesus living within me.

Now before you start to think that I am being all preachy here about a daily quiet time and that I must have it all together to be able to do that, let me confess. I do not!! I struggle with being consistent with carving out morning time to be with Jesus. For this girl it is definitely not as simple as the routine I've developed for getting up, dressed, and out the door for work. I am SO a work in progress. But God loves me anyways. And He is all about giving me reminders of how important it is for me to spend time with Him.

Don't you just love it when He speaks to us through the little daily things in our lives?

May He speak to you today, right smack dab in the middle of your day. Keep your eyes open and ears alert. You just never know when He is going to show up. Like early in the morning when you really don't think you are completely awake yet!



Sunday, January 17, 2010

What will you do with Him?

I just finished the book, "Learning to Soar". I highly recommend that you read it. (Check back here in a few days for a complete review.)

In the closing chapters, Avery Willis Jr. tells of learning the difference in having the Holy Spirit and being filled with the Holy Spirit. He reminds the reader that "the Spirit is given to us to teach, guide, empower, and use us for God's glory."

When we repent of our sins and accept Jesus as our Savior, the Holy Spirit moves in. 1 Corinthians 6:19 states "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?" (NIV). And in Ephesians 1:13 we are told "...Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance..." (NIV).

But what we do from that point on is, in many ways, up to us. I fear that many of us, this writer included, accept His Spirit as a deposit and only tap into a very minute portion of the power available to us. We under utilize that power partly because of our human self-focus. We ask for His wisdom when we want to know how to handle something. We ask for His comfort when we are in need. We ask for His guidance when we have a decision to make. And just as He promised, He is faithful to give us what is needed.

But what about the untapped power? The potential of what we can do or who we can become for God? When we change our motivation for seeking the Holy Spirit from what we think we need at the moment to opening ourselves to Him and His power to accomplish whatever He wants to through us, then I believe we will begin to see the outpouring of the Spirit.

In this morning's service the choir sung the song, "Holy Spirit Rain Down". As I listened to the words, it was like God was sending a holy echo from what I just finished reading. (You know God is speaking to you when He repeats himself. He knows just how many times He must do that for each of us!)

We are living in treacherous and desperate times. Lost and hurting people surround us, searching for significance and meaning that we know can only be found through Jesus Christ. I believe God is shouting from heaven for us to open the doors in our hearts that we have selfishly protected from a full indwelling of the Holy Spirit and to commit to do whatever God tells us to do.

We all have God given talents and potential that He wants to use for His glory. I don't know about you, but I don't want to stand before Him one day and find that I left untapped the power that was available and did not fulfill all that He prepared me to do. However, I confess that I am a work in progress. I wish I could say that when He speaks I immediately do an about face. But I don't. This faith walk is a step at a time, a day at a time.

But I am looking forward with anticipation to see what God is going to do in and through me as I daily ask anew to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

I pray that you will join me in this adventure with God. And I'm looking forward to hearing your stories of the great & mighty things that God is going to accomplish through your sold out heart.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Soar or Stay in the Nest?

I am currently reading the book "Learning to Soar: How to Grow Through Transitions and Trials" by Avery T. Willis Jr. & his grandson, Matt Willis. Using the example of a mother eagle who stirs the nest where her eaglets have hatched in order to force them to fly, the Willis' draw a correlation to how God "stirs our nests" to nudge (or shove when necessary) us toward growth in spiritual maturity.

I'll be the first to tell you that in my own journey I have thought of myself as a slow learner. There are lessons I thought that God would probably have preferred that I learned the first time He tried to teach me. But one of the things the Willis' point out in their book is that many times when we think 'O.K., here I am again. What is it that I still haven't learned?", what is really happening is just another step in our growth from newly born Christian to fully matured Christian. I don't know about you, but I tend to think if I can just learn the lesson that God wants to teach me in and through a trying circumstance, then life will improve and I won't have to face that trial again. With that mentality, it is easy to slide right on over to the belief that I can somehow have a life of comfort with no trials, difficulties, or tragedies. But that is wishful thinking.

In fact, God tells us in His word to expect trials. "In this world you will have trouble..." "...when you pass through the waters..." However, He also tells us He will never abandon us or forsake us in the midst of those trials. He tells us that He is refining us as silver which requires heat. Lots of heat. And He promises that "all things work together for good to them that love God; to them who are the called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28 KJV

When I look back at the difficulties that God has brought me through I see how He used each to increase my faith, to help me learn to trust Him more, and to change me into a vessel He can use. The shape of that vessel changes with each faith stretching circumstance as does how and where He chooses to use me.

I can't say that this means that I now look forward with excitement to the next challenging cirucumstance or difficult trial that will come my way. I don't know that I will ever grow to the point of being able to say "I'm loving this trial 'cause I'm growing more mature." But I can tell you with complete and open honesty that I look at those seasons of life through different eyes now. With a heart that trusts that my God is right there with me and that He is in the process of bringing about good in my life. Allowing Him to define that good. Trusting that He will reveal it to me in His perfect timing.

If you are in the middle of a storm in your life right now, I pray that you will remember that He is with you and that He will never, never, no never let you go. He will lead you through these days, in and through and over the pain, the discouragement, the despair.

If you, like me, find yourself between storms let us not become complacent or let down our guard. Through the storms and through the calm of life, we need to keep our eyes on Jesus. If you know someone who is going through a storm, then be on your knees in intercessory prayer for her.

Speaking of prayer, as I end today's post I want to remind you of our women's Praise & Prayer Gathering next Saturday (16th) at 9:30am. If you are in the Hopkinsville area we invite you to join us as we begin the new year with a first fruits offering of praise to God and a time to join together in prayer. If you live elsewhere, join us where you are. Simply turn on your favorite praise music and then follow it up with a time of prayer for your Christian sisters in your church, your city, and around the world.

Looking forward to a mighty movement of God in 2010!


Monday, January 4, 2010

Back to the 'Real' World

Shortly after my last post I came to the realization that in order for me to enjoy the simpler celebration of Christmas that I yearned for, I was going to have to cut some things out of my to-do list. One of those things was regular posting here. (I've heard that you lose readers by not posting regularly but hopefully, there are a few left!)

Creating time in my days during the month of December allowed me to:

* Finish Christmas shopping without being totally stressed out. (However, I still found myself shopping the morning of Christmas Eve! I think that is just part of my way of doing it so I will accept that and not fret because I'm a down to the last minute type person.)

* Actually wrote notes in family and friend Christmas cards and got them in the mail by Dec. 20. (There have been years when they were mailed after Christmas!)

* Enjoy time with my family. I mean, REALLY enjoy it, savoring each precious moment.

* Spend a couple of pajama days during the long holiday weekends, complete with afternoon naps and time to snuggle under my fave fleece throw with a good book.

And time of R & R is past and it is time to get back to what I call the 'real' world. The world of a regular work schedule. The world that forces me to be disciplined in setting aside time to spend with the Lord. To schedule time to write and read. It is important for me to schedule those things so that they don't either get shoved aside and left behind or, worse, take away time spent with my family.

You see, I can easily swing from one extreme to the other. At the end of one far swing I am the queen of procrastination, doing absolutely nothing but vegging out in front of the tv for hours and eating out of boredom. Nothing accomplished except gaining weight, damaging my health, and feeling guilty. At the opposite side of the swing I am totally cramming doing something into every moment of my day, falling into bed exhausted at the end of the day. In this extreme mode, I may accomplish quite a few tasks, however, it is at the expense of relationships. My relationship with Christ, my husband, my family, friends - they all suffer. And I still feel guilty.

So my goal is to establish a schedule that makes room for relationship strengthening, completing tasks, and a bit of R & R. Notice I didn't say resolution! I'm just not into the whole making a new year's resolution thing. I smacks too much of here today and gone in a couple of months type thing. I'm looking for more of a long term, life style changing, good habit forming type of change.

What has the turn of the calendar inspired you to do? Let's share!

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