Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tuesday's Unwrapped

It's Tuesday again...and time for another Tuesday Unwrapped!  Remember you can hop over to Chatting At the Sky and take a peek at other posts!
This Tuesday I am taking a minute to 'Be still and know that (He) is God.'  Psalm 46:10

In my every day life I usually end up relying on my own abilities and resources to make my day turn out the way I planned for it to.  If something comes up that was unexpected I don't take a step back and think, "What is God trying to say to me?"  I immediately go into, "I can fix it by myself" mode.  I am a woman on a mission and NO ONE can stand in my way!

Take yesterday for example.  I went to work at the crack of dawn as usual.  Before I left home I posted yesterday's blog.  No sooner did I get to work that my face and neck started to itch, burn, and swell.  So what did I do?  First, I went to CVS (after driving all over town because nothing was open) and got Benadryl (took 2 of them) and hydrocortisone cream.  I intended to wait it out and call the doctor's office when it opened.  But my manager had different plans...she sent me to the ER.  That opened a whole new can of worms...waiting...waiting...and more waiting.  And then to top it off they weren't gonna let me out of the place until I paid my $100 co-pay.  She even asked me, "What about the wage assignment?"  You've gotta be kidding me.

So anyway, the point to of the story above was that not once did I stop (be still) and know (realize) that He is God (and in control of the situation).  My mother texted me and reminded me of what I had just posted not 2 hours earlier.  Oh Lord, I need all the help that You can give me to 'Be still and know that (YOU) are God.' 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Marvelous Monday!

I don't know about you, but I think the above saying is just...MARVELOUS!  I can trust Him with any problem I may run into today.  Nothing is too big for my God.  Nothing is too small for my God.  If it is over my head it is still under His feet!  Praise Him for that!
Did you also notice that He doesn't need your help?  That may come as a surprise to some of you, but really--He doesn't need our help to fix our problems.  All He needs is for us to be willing and to cooperate with His plan for us.  He doesn't need our resistance, our 'trying to fix things myself' mentalities, our stubborness...He needs nothing for us just to be still and let Him do His job in us!
Are you willing to get out of the way today and let God? 

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!

I'll be back on Monday!!!  Taking a little blogging vacation :-)  Hope everyone has a blessed day tomorrow and for those who dare the shopping on Friday--Good Luck!! 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tuesday's Unwrapped

Good morning!!  For this Tuesday Unwrapped I want to unpack a word:  Discipline.  I went to a women's ministry meeting last night and the topic was about our time with God (or for most of us-the lack of it).  She ended with a challenge for us to intentionally make time for God in our lives every day for 6 weeks and notice the difference in our lives.  The one word that the women's panel kept using was the D word....Discipline.  I so have this problem...in more ways than one.  I lack the discipline that I need to keep a clean house, a schedule for my kids, and most importantly time with my God.  What was said last night hit one of my "Duh, why didn't I see that!" buttons and so I did what any good bible study girl would do--I blew the dust off my study bible and looked up the word discipline. 
Most of the scriptures had to do with God disciplining his children, but I did find one written by Paul that I could unpack.  I was so excited to actually have something jump off the page at me and I understood it!  I guess when He tells us if we seek Him we'll find Him--He really meant that!

'No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.'  1 Corinthians 9:27

At first glance, you may wonder what in the world this has to do with discipline, but on closer examination it has everything to do with it.  In my notes I made today I wrote that Paul meant to live in the Spirit and put to death the misdeeds of the body (from the notes at the bottom of the scripture).  The misdeeds of the body are different for everyone:  laziness, messiness, procrastination, envy, disobedience, and so on.
He beat his body and made it submit to doing the 'right' things, not worldly passions.  By 'right' things I take that as prayer, studying the Word, mission work, loving others, etc.  To discipline yourself to serve Christ is a choice.  It is not automatic once you become a Christian.  He puts the desire in your heart for a relationship with him, but YOU have to act on it (and have the discipline to follow through).
As far as the prize Paul is referring to:  I think it means eternal life (the ultimate prize), but he could also be referring to the fact that if he didn't practice what he preached, he'd be a hypocrite and may lose some of his eternal reward.  Not lose his eternal life, but part of his reward (the bible does say we'll be rewarded for our good works done for His kingdom Matt. 6, 16:27, 1 Cor. 3:8).  So, in other words, practice what you preach.  If you tell someone they need to study the Word and pray daily, then you better make sure you are doing the same!
I have made the commitment to God to give him at least 30 minutes of my day-every day-for...well, until He comes or calls me home to Him.  If I mess up, I'll start over the next day.  He deserves at least that much from me after all He's done for me!  How about you?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Marvelous Monday

What could be marvelous about Monday you may ask?  Any day that we are given is to be celebrated as marvelous!  It's another day that we can glorify our Lord with our lives.
So, in celebration of Monday's I'll be posting something that I find to be marvelous on what can otherwise be described as just a plain old bad day of the week!  You are welcome to chime in with your thoughts also!
For the first marvelous Monday I'd like to share a photo that I think is, well...marvelous. 

Aren't they the sweetest things?!  What a blessing they are to us!  My three boys that are being woven into the tapestry that is life.  Something to find marvelous about this Monday...my Monday's are never mundane with these three in the picture.  God has been so good to me that I want to say:

'I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness; I will sing the praises of the name of the LORD Most High.'  Psalm 7:17

Thank you Father for the goodness that You've given me in my children!  Let me not take them for granted and treasure them as the treasures from You that they are!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thankful Thursday...

It's time for another Thankful Thursday.  I can't believe next week marks the big day of celebration...but time is one thing that you can always be certain will move forward no matter what.  This week I am thankful for the special children that have blessed my life (and the special people that take care of them). 
My niece, Mary Beth, turned 6 yesterday!  A celebration of a life that is not like yours or mine, but is special in His sight (and ours).  You see, sweet Mary Beth was born with a condition called CHARGE syndrome.  In a nutshell, she is deaf/partially blind, has a trach, PEG tube, and cleft palate (among other things).  But she is ours and she is loved.  I don't know why God chose for her to be the way she is, but I do know that He has a purpose for her.  Maybe to teach us humility.  Or maybe compassion.  Or maybe just to astound us with the miracle that is her life and the things that she has accomplished that no one thought she could.
Either way, she is a life and a child of God.  She is our niece, a granddaughter, a sister, and a beloved daughter.
 I am thankful that she has a mama like she does.  My sister-in-law makes it look so easy to take care of her.  When she pulls her trach out it's like when my little one falls and skins his knee.  So calm...I would be frantic (and I'm a nurse)!   Mary Beth knows who her mama is and she adores her.  As our Pastor calls her, Saint Betsy, and I must say that it is a fitting term.
So on this Thankful Thursday I want to thank Him for the miracle that is Mary Beth and the 6 years He has blessed us with her.  We look forward to how He will continue to astound us with her life.
Mary Beth riding the 'bull'
'Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him.' 
 Psalm 127:3

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tuesday's Unwrapped

Unwrapping the extraordinary within the ordinary experiences of everyday life.  That is what Tuesday's Unwrapped is all about.  Hop over to Chatting At the Sky to unwrap some more Tuesday's...

My gift for this Tuesday is the quiteness in my home at 5:00am.  There are no little boy voices, no pattering of feet that belong to an off-kiltered walk, or crying baby noises this early.  It is a reminder of what I do have to be thankful for during the busy parts of the day.  What a gift the voices are...we weren't supposed to have children (according to the 'medical professionals').  And oh the gift of the sound of Sam's walking...we didn't know if he'd even be able to walk.  And the baby?  What a blessing!  Our Charlie....named after his Mimi who left us too soon.
What is your Tuesday gift that can be unwrapped today?  Look around and notice the extraordinary things He has given to you!

'Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.'  James 1:17

Monday, November 15, 2010

It's Way Too Early...

Way too early for Christmas music that is!  We haven't even gotten to Thanksgiving yet!  The Halloween candy is still on my counter!  Stop and let me collect myself!!!
OK...I'm over that little rant!  But it really is too early for non-stop, all day long, same songs over and over Christmas music!  I guess hearing it at work and at the shoe store today did kinda put a little spring in my step...but I'm really not ready for it yet!  I better get over it quick because my kids tell me daily---"Mama, it's time to get ready for Christmas!"  I just want to get to Thanksgiving first though...please?
On a more serious note, it is time that we, as Christians, should be looking at how we can share the love of Christ this season.  There are numerous things you can do as a family this year to share the blessings that you have been given.
Zach's boys group at church will be adopting an 'Angel Tree' child as well as ringing the bell at the Salvation Army kettle.  I think that is awesome....show them it's not all about them and the toys they want.
I'm also planning to do a shoebox with the boys for Operation Christmas Child (our local Chick-Fil-A is collecting them November 22 and I think Lifeway is also).
We'll also be giving an extra donation to our World Vision child so the sponsors in the area can go buy what he and his family need for Christmas.  Also, if you head over to Incourage you can send a card to a Compassion International child for $1.99! 
There are numerous Christmas light displays around that collect donations and give the money to charities.
This year why not make Christmas about what it really means?  The birth of Christ and the hope He represents for all mankind.  Give to someone else.  Teach your children to give to others and not to think just about themselves.
Back to the Christmas music-I really do like it-just not so soon.  I'm gonna leave you with one of my favorite songs...

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Night to Remember

I am so excited today.  Jon and I are volunteering at the Show Hope booth at the Steven Curtis Chapman and Family concert at Brookwood Church tonight!!  I know it's going to be a great time.  We love to help out in any way we can when it comes to adoption and promoting it.  We have walked the road of international adoption and are eager and willing to help others find their way to their forever child also!
But Show Hope is about so much more than adoption.  As you probably know, Mary Beth and Steven's youngest adopted daughter, Maria, was killed in a tragic accident a few years ago.  Mary Beth has recently released a book about this time in their lives, Choosing to SEE.  It is a must read...awesome testimony of God's grace and love.

Drawing by Maria found after her death
 The Chapmans and Show Hope have opened Maria's Big House of Hope in China.  It is a 'hospital' of sorts where awaiting children (or those who are dying, sick, or severly disabled) go for healing and help.  They offer sponsorship of these children starting at $35 per month.  If you've been looking for a mission opportunity, check this one out!  What a difference you can make in the life of a child!  You may never know how much until you get to Heaven.  You can also make one time donations.

If you live near Simpsonville, SC come on over to Brookwood and see what I'm sure will be A Night to Remember with the Chapmans!

Written for Maria

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thankful Thursday...

This thankful Thursday I am thankful for handprints.  Tiny, smuged handprints that I see several days a week on the doors to my son's therapy office.  I am thankful for what these handprints signify.  Hope, purpose, accomplishment, and so many other things that go on behind those doors.  Each handprint is that of a boy or girl that has walked, not been carried or wheeled, through those sacred doors...
I am also beyond thankful to the wonderful women that give of their time to my child to help him reach his full potential.  They are angels without realizing they are. 

I thank my God every time I remember you.  Phillipians 1:3

Smudged Handprints

I look out the doors that are so familiar to me,
and there are the tiniest smudged handprints for all to see.

"Clean them up!"  "Wipe them off!"  I hear them say
But wait!  Stop and think what they've meant today-

Boys and girls who've walked and pushed open wide these doors,
and entered into this place where they strive to be more.

More than this world tells them they can be-
Bigger, stronger, harder they will reach and acheive.

Each goal set before them every time they enter in
Is quickly claimed by victory and too soon they'll begin again

So stop, take a minute, sit down and get a good look
Notice the tiny smuged handprints and the effort they have took.

Monday, November 8, 2010

How Great is Our God

Our Galaxy, The Milky Way, Nasa.gov
Can you imagine that you and I exist somewhere in the middle of that?  Does it make you feel small?  Insignificant?  Or this one...

Out of This Whirl: the Whirlpool Galaxy (M51) and Companion Galaxy
The Whirlpool Galaxy, Nasa.gov
 Just one of the innumerable other galaxies in the universe.  These images speak to the awesomeness of our God!  All of creation bows before Him.  It says in Genesis 1:16 simply that, 'He made the stars'.  That's it...He spoke and there they were.  There are billions upon billions of stars...
Psalm 147:4 says, 'He determines the number of the stars and knows them by name.'  All of them!
If you get the chance, check out Louie Giglio's How Great is Our God or Indescribable DVD's.  He shows the universe and how it relates to little ole us...it will blow your mind!  The greatness of our God!
Something to think about this Monday morning...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sleepless Sunday...

It is 6am and I am wide awake...time change!  You love it or you hate it.  I have a little of both for it.  I like it when I get used to it then we change all over again.  Who made this rule anyway...makes no sense whatsoever!  Anywhoo, since I was up the beautiful Sunday morning I thought I'd share something else I'm thankful for--time :-)
We either have too much of it on our hands or not enough of it.  Either way, we always get 24 hours of it every day.  How do you spend yours?  Working?  Cleaning?  Sleeping?  Playing?  You can have too much of a good thing!  If you spend all of your time working to make that extra buck, then you neglect your family.  If you spend too much time playing, then you may not have enough money to pay the bills for your family.  It is a balancing act...but where do you put God in the span of your 24 hour day?  At the beginning?  The end?  In the car?  He is the most important part of our day...He gave us the day and we should thank Him for it!  I am thankful for the time He gives me every day.  No matter how I spend it, I know it is a gift from Him.  *Time to allow me to benefit His kingdom work. 
*Time for me to worship Him for all He has done for me. 
*Time for me to fellowship with other believers.
*Time to teach our children about Him.
*Time to glorify Him with the work we do.
He blessed us with the gift of time and it's not something you think about being thankful for...especially when you don't seem to have enough of it!  But, He gave it and as it says in Ecclesiates 3:1
There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under the heavens
So, will you thank Him for the gift of time today?  And more importantly, take a look at how you spend your time He's given you!
Time is running away...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thankful Thursday...

It's the official month of Thanksgiving!  We should be thankful at all times, but November is the month that it's offcially celebrated.  So I thought that each Thursday until Thanksgiving, I'd share something I'm thankful for.  Not the run of the mill "my family, my health, God, etc." stuff, but something new and different that I didn't think I'd be thankful for (or something that is not what you'd normally feel thankful for).  Paul says to:

'pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.'  1 Thessalonians 5:17-18

So on this thankful Thursday I am thanking Him for allowing me to go back to work.  I didn't want to after 3 months of maternity leave, but I realize that I am not made to be at home 100% of the time.  It makes me irritable and I was starting to go just a little crazy.  I am thankful that I just work three days:  Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday 630am-3pm.  I can't complain.  I have afternoons, weekends, and holiday's with my family.  My nurse manager is awesome!  My co-workers are terrific and the doctor's aren't too bad either. 
I am thankful that God allowed me to switch jobs 5 years ago to a no weekend, no holiday position.  I am thankful that I have health insurance for my family.  I am thankful that the few days I am at work makes me appreciate the time I am home with my kids.
So, He turned what I was dreading into something that I can appreciate and be thankful for.  He is good to me and He loves me.  He is my Provider and my Sustainer.
Thank you Father!!
What about you?  What are you thankful for on this Thursday?

I couldn't help but include a little colonoscopy humor
(I'm an endoscopy/colonoscopy nurse)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Finally....Election Day!

I am so glad that today is Election Day!  Not because I love politics, but I am so ready for all of the TV ads to be gone!  How much negativity can people dig up...really.  However, I must say that I think it is our duty as Christians and Americans to take advantage of the opportunity that we've been given to excercise our rights by voting.  If you don't vote, then you can't complain about the state of things.  So get out and vote...and remember that if who you wanted to win doesn't-God chooses leaders and He takes them down!  He has appointed who He wants, where He wants, and when He wants them there!

'Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.'  Titus 3:1-2

'Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.'  Romans 13:1