Thursday, September 6, 2012

Don't loose sight, keep the FAITH!

Someone very dear sent this to me, and it is so true...I just had to share some wise words of wisdom from Charles R. Swindoll.

"We're very fickle in our faith, aren't we? We are inconsistent, ambivalent.

We sing "My faith looks up to Thee". . . until the medicine stops working, until the lights go out, until the bill comes due and we don't have what it takes to pay it. Until our grades slip or our career takes a turn or we lose a mate. . . .

How do we learn consistent faith?

We learn it one day at a time. We learn it through endurance.

James writes: "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance" (James 1:2-3).
He's not talking about a will-o-the-wisp faith that starts out on the 100-meter sprint and, quicker than you can think, is over. Anybody can handle that kind of faith. Anybody can take ten, fifteen, or twenty minutes of a test.

But ten days or fifteen days, or a year, or two or three? Well, that's another matter. That's the enduring faith James is talking about."
Some of us have, are, and will be in a race that we think is just never ending...that the light at the end of the tunnel is no where in sight. That we just can't imagine how we can keep going on any longer.  But let me tell you from experience that He is so faithful, so faithful
That in the moments when we feel like giving up, the times when we feel so lonely, so unsure of what is to come, when the finish seems so far from grasp, that those are the times when we are scooped up into His arms and carried.  It is a time of rest for us.
He knows that this road is hard, that there are times we want to throw in the towel and be done, when enough is enough, but when we are at the end of our rope we are only at the beginning of his never ending support.
I can't even begin to tell you how much my relationship with Him has changed over the last year.  I am sitting here crying as I type, not because I am sad, but because I truly can't put into words how awesome He is.  What a difference He truly makes. 
My race of endurance started over a year ago and my finish line is still far off in the distance, but I am where I am today because of Him.  Because of His love, faithfulness and mercy.  He has truly become my everything....I am nothing without Him.  I don't have the cure for my son, I don't have the money to pay for treatment, I can't make people understand our new life and the decisions we make to keep him safe, but I can say that I know someone who can and who has.  He has the cure, he provides our income, He speaks to so many who have reached out and helped us, He sits and chats with me when I feel so lonely and sad.  I look back over this last year in true amazement.  He has taken care of every little detail, there hasn't been a time when He has let me down.  My God shall supply all my needs.
I write all this to say, we all have our races that build endurance in our ones is bigger then another, the fact of the matter, they are races that we are not capable of doing alone.  I challenge you, if you are in a race now or will be, to look to Him. 
He isn't a mean God, He isn't out to punish or cause pain.  He is our life line to get through the challenges that are put before us on this earth.  Let Him carry your burden, let Him show you His love and goodness.  Trust as if your life depends on it, because believe me it does.  He wont let you down! 
You have to remember though He sees the big picture when we only see a fraction of it.  His timing and ways are always best.  So keep an alert eye out for how He is going to get you through the race that will forever change your life.  All He asks it that we trust in Him, that we take one day at a time, and that we look with anticipation for the good that He brings. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Ribbit, Ribbit, Ribbit!!!

My daughter loves frogs. Me on the other hand would do just fine knowing only that they exist around us somewhere. She likes to catch them, play with them, collect stuffed animals of them, she has even painted two ceramic ones, and lets not forget them being on clothing items.

As much as I am oh so not fond of them, I am glad that she likes them. Secretly they hold a hidden meaning. What other meaning could frog possible hold you are asking yourself? Well lets just take a look. FROG!

First, Rely, On, God = FROG!

What a great reminder to us all. We try to handle, think things through, figure things out, plan on our own, when really what we should do is First Rely On God. He should be the person we turn to, He should be the one we start our day off with, He is the one we should be running things by, He's the one we should be asking for direction from, He's the one who we should call upon for wisdom and strength, He's the one we should ask to walk with us every step of the way.

So let FROG be your daily reminder to put Him first!  "I can do everything through him who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13

Monday, July 2, 2012

"For the battle is not yours, but God's"

July 1, 2011 was a day that changed our lives forever.  It's hard to believe it's already been a year.  I haven't decided yet if it has been the longest year or the fastest year of my life.  For those who many not know our story let me take a moment to fill you in.

Lincoln had been a little pale, had some spots and had two episodes of having a head ache and then throwing up.  We took him in and the Dr immediately sent us to have blood work done.  Of course a little later we received "the call" stating that there was something seriously wrong, and that we need to go to Doernbecher's ASAP.  I remember asking the Dr what he thought might be wrong and his response was, looks like it could be "cancer".  From there everything seemed to be a whirlwind. 

We immediately got the car packed and headed to Doernbecher's.  The packing wasn't too difficult beause we were suppose to go away for the 4th of July weekend.  I don't really remember the car ride up.  I do remember wondering what all this meant.  I mean for goodness sakes the Dr said "cancer", what did this mean, was my son dying, what were his chances, what was this journey going to look like.

Long night awaited us.  We spent about 5 hours in the ER at Doernbecher's while they figured out for sure that he had "cancer" and did more testing to find out what kind.  About 10:30 that night they transferred us over to the hematology/oncology floor where we would begin our week long stay.  At about midnight the Dr on call came in to inform us that Lincoln did have "cancer", Leukemia ALL.  All I remember was that I was tired and my mind was on complete overload that I ended up crying myself to sleep that night, as I lay next to my son and husband, wondering what our future held.

Despite those first emotions of shock and confusion, I can say that we had such peace and assurance that everything was going to be ok.  Didn't know exactly what was to come and all that in entailed but knew that God was in control and is still in control.  Don't get me wrong, we still had and have moments when tears come, or the burden seems unbearable, but are always reassured that God is with us and that He's caringing us every step of the way.

The next morning in the hospital was such a hard day as a parent.  Here my son had just been diagnosed with cancer, he was so confused as to why he was there in this new enviornment, he didn't understand why the nurses were constantly checking on him, why he had tubes connected to him, and why he was feeling the way he felt.  All he really wanted to do, was go back home.  The Dr's immediately sprung into action the next day.  He had his pic line placed securely in his arm, had his LP, Spinal Tap and of course started a bunch of meds.  Worst feeling as a parent, is to be holding your child and have them pry your child out of your arms crying and screaming because they have to take them into surgery.

That week was a week like no other.  Thank goodness for wonderful volunteers and an awesome playroom.  Lincoln lived in the playroom that week up there.  It was a nice distraction why mommy and daddy learned more about what our life would look like for the next several years.

We have come upon the year mark of when he was diagnosed.  We are just wrapping up our first year of intense treatment, getting ready to start our maintenance section which will be for the next 2 1/2 years.

It's incredible to look back over this last year and see all that was overcome.  The weekly, somtimes 2 to 3 times a week) appointments, the daily medications, the accessing of his port each visit, the fasting, the steroids, the constant wondering if this is because he doesn't feel good, is it his meds, or just because he is 3.  The effects it has had on my marriage, on my daughters life, my relationship with others, the things we have chosen to sacrifice for my sons health, the days in tears, the days of loneliness, the heavy burden, but I can hoenstly say there probably isn't much we would change.  We do what we have to do to fight for the health of our loved ones.

God is a good God, a loving God and so faithful.  I definitely didn't see this as something I could go through but He did, and I am so thankful that He has been right by my side every step of the way.  I couldn't have done this last year without Him.  You never think these things will happen to you.  We can be so quick to judge those around us going through difficult times, but you truly have no idea until you are placed in those shoes.

I want to remind all of you that God never promised that our lives would be easy.  He never said they would be a piece of cake, a walk in the park, but He did promise that He would be with us everystep of the way.  He knows everything about us and about our lives from start to finish.  Out of every situation, good or bad, there is a nugget of wisdom to glean.  Remember that He is with us always, draw from Him, let Him be your everything.

Please continue to keep our family in your prayers, as our journey is not yet over.  We still have 2 1/2 more years of treatment.  We thank you all for all your love, support, and prayers.  They mean so much to us and have definitely helped us through this new journey in which we are on. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

"Singing in the Rain..."

"When it Rains; it Pours!"

"When it Rains; it Pours!"  I know we have all heard it and probably said it more times then we care to remember.  Life happens!  So my question to you is, how do you respond to the down pour of rain in your life?

I live in Oregon, therefore, it rains more times then the sun decides to grace us with it's presence.  In fact right now I am beginning to wonder if we will have a summer with sun.  Although it is absolutely beautiful out today, so maybe there is wishful hoping.

As I said earlier, life happens.  Things come up that weren't expected or wanted; some can be exciting and wonderful and others sad and discouraging.  Most of the time when sad and discouraging things come up, that is where our phrase comes in "when it rains; it pours".

Some days that's how my life feels especially through this last year.  I have chosen to see the down pour of rain a little differently then most.  Don't get me wrong, there are still some days when I curl up and wonder if the end of this trial is in sight, or days when I just let the tears flow, but most days I choose to "sing in the rain"

I imagine you are singing the song right now from a great classic movie.  Sorry, now it will probably be in your head all day, you can thank me later. 

So I must say, no, I don't break out into song every time the down pour of rain comes in life.  Although it might make it more interesting.  Instead of seeing life trials as a down pour of sadness and discouragement, I see it as an opportunity to go puddle jumping and sing in the rain. 

We have all done it.  Mostly when we were younger, but some of us recently.  Everyone at some point in time has found that huge puddle and just jumped away, and has come out dirty and wet. Of course you know we enjoyed every minute of it.  Some of us now watch our children do it.  Although most of the time we are saying, NO.  We don't want to deal with the mess and wetness of it all.  It's our first instinct as kids, to see that water resting so peacefully.  Thinking it may need to wake up and come to life.  Before we know it we are jumping away, enjoying every minute, not thinking that when it comes to an end we will be wet and dirty.  Instead we see an opportunity in front of us to relax a little and try to find some happiness in a gloomy day.

Sometimes you just have to go with the flow.  We may not want, need, or enjoy the rain that is falling, but the fact of the matter, it is.  So we can either grumble and complain the whole time and sit inside and watch it down pour, or we can go with the flow and enjoy some puddle jumping and singing.

There are times through this trial in which it seems so overwhelming, frustrating, discouraging, etc.  The down pour of rain almost seems to have no mercy, but it was/is in those moments when I had/have to make the I going to be put out by this down pour of rain or am I going to embrace it and make the most of it.  Sometimes all you can do is laugh; sometimes you just have to let loose.

The rain, the puddles, the grey sky might try to bring you down, but there is so much you can grab a hold of in each of those that there is something to be learned from them.  Each moment is a teachable moment.  Are ready to learn something new?

So when life happens, and you find yourself saying "when it rains; it pours", remember that no matter how down the situation is you can choose to sing in the rain.  You have been given an opportunity.  It's up to you whether it will be a good opportunity or not.

"...when their sorrow was turned into joy and their mourning into a day of celebration."  Esther 9:22

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Is the unmistakeable "F" word (FORGIVENESS) knocking at your hearts door?

Forgiveness: to give up resentment against or the desire to punish, pardon
(an offense or offender).

Forgiveness seems to be a topic that I think all of us have, are or will deal with at some point in time in our lives.  It's an action that was done for each and everyone of us, yet for some reason the thing that saved us and freed us, is something that we ourselves are so resistant on giving to others.

"Our Lord bids us to forgive others, even as he asked his Father to forgive his executioners.  Sometimes that seems the most difficult thing in the world, but it's necessary if we're going to find true peace.  Anger and hatred hurt us, not the person we direct them at."  This is so true! 

When we have been hurt, and don't truly forgive, the end result is really only hurting and eating at us.  When we honestly and humbly come before our Father and lay that hurt and pain at his feet, it is no longer ours to carry.  Does that mean it just goes away, never to be heard of or seen again, NO.  What it means is that after you lay the burden down at His feet, the moment it comes back to your mind and begins to burden you again, you immediately place it back in His hands.  The problem is, we can be so quick to pick it back up, to continue to hold on to, something that wasn't meant for us.  Which then brings us back to the simple fact that if we would have forgiven and turned it over to God we wouldn't still be stumbling over all this hurt and resentment now.

There are times when we feel hurt by something someone has said or done, and whether or not they see it for what it is, what we can do and what we should do is offer forgiveness.  Instead I feel like too many of us hold on to it, maybe even stubborn you could say, not backing down, thinking they need to pay for what they have done, why doesn't anyone else see it......come on I know you have thought one of those at some point in time, we are human you know.

In fact, as some of you read this, a person is coming to mind that you have been hurt by.  Forgive, that's what you say I should do?  They haven't even apologized for hurting me, they haven't even made an attempt at making things better, and you want me to forgive them?  People need to know what they have done, people need to see them for who they are.  How come I'm the only one suffering from this, why do they seem to be able to continue on living a normal happy life?   They need to pay!

For ALL have sinned...He hates the sin but loves the sinner!  We are all guilty of sin.  At some point in time we have hurt someone, made a poor choice, etc.  No sin is greater then  another.  Sin is Sin.  Our Heavenly Father sent His son to come and die for our sins so that we might have life and have it more abundantly.  It's for all who receive Him.  It's for the old, young, not even born, the wife, husband, teacher, abuser, singer, murderer, movie star, molester, grocery store clerk, Dr, government officials, prisoner, the list goes.  We have all sinned, we have all fallen short.  Who are we to say that we are better then another or that their sin is greater then ours.  We are all His children, we are all offered the same love and forgiveness.  "Do not let evil defeat you, but defeat evil by doing good." Romans 12:21

Don't try to judge or place punishment upon those you think deserve it.  "Do not judge, or you too will be judged." Matthew 7:1  Let our Father who is in Heaven who knows everything, every hurt, pain, tear and scar, let Him carry that burden.  Love as He so loved us.  "But I say to you, love your enemies. Pray for those who hurt you." Matthew 5:44

"Do not do wrong to repay a wrong, and do not insult to repay an insult.  But repay with a blessing, because you yourselves were called to do this so that you might receive a blessing.  The scripture says, 'A person must do these things to enjoy life and have many happy days.  He must not say evil things, and he must not tell lies'."  1 Peter 3:9-10

Lord, I pray for all those who have been hurt or who have hurt someone.  Lord I pray for your forgiveness upon their heart and life.  I pray that they would give that pain over to you that so deeply consumes them. I pray that as the person who they feel they have been hurt by appears in their lives that you would give them a heart like yours.  That they would see that person as you see them.  For we are all sinners, we all fall short, but it was by your blood that we have been set free.  That are sins have been once scarlet, now they become white as snow as your forgiveness and love wash over them.  Let us pray for those who have hurt us.  Give us the strength and the peace that we will need to hand it completely over to you and to not pick up the burden another moment.  Amen!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Was your day a "REALLY" day?

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28
I read this on a friends Facebook page and just had to share...
Me: God, can I ask You a question?
God: Sure
Me: Promise You won't get mad
God: I promise
Me: Why did You let so much stuff happen to me today?
God: What do u mean?
 Me: Well, I woke up late
God: Yes
Me: My car took forever to start
God: Okay
Me: at lunch they made my sandwich wrong & I had to wait
God: Hmmmmm
Me: On the way home, my phone went DEAD, just as I picked up a call
God: All right
Me: And on top of it all off, when I got home ~I just want to soak my feet in my new foot massager & relax. BUT it wouldn't work!!! Nothing went right today! Why did You do that?
God: Let me see, the death angel was at your bed this morning & I had to send one
of My Angels to battle him for your life. I let you sleep through that
Me (humbled): OH
God: I didn't let your car start because there was a drunk driver on your route that would have hit you if you were on the road.
Me: (ashamed)
God: The first person who made your sandwich today was sick & I didn't want you to catch what they have, I knew you couldn't afford to miss work.
Me (embarrassed):Okay
God: Your phone went dead because the person that was calling was going to give false witness about what you said on that call, I didn't even let you talk to them so you would be covered.
Me (softly): I see God
God: Oh and that foot massager, it had a short that would knock out all of the power in your house tonight. I didn't think you wanted to be in the dark.
Me: I'm Sorry God
God: Don't be sorry, just learn to Trust Me.... in All things , the Good and the bad.
Me: I will trust You.
God: And don't doubt that My plan for your day is Always Better than your plan.
Me: I won't God. And let me just tell you God, Thank You for Everything today.
God: You're welcome child. It was just another day being your God and I Love looking after My Children...
I think more often then not, we are like the person in this scenario.  We look at our day and say "really God?".  The funny thing is, He's saying "Really!".  It wasn't a surprise to Him, it didn't throw Him off guard, in fact it all played out the way it was suppose to.  We may not see the reasoning behind it, we may not even agree with it,  or even like it for that matter.  But in the end, His ways are always best.  "And we know in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."
So next time your day doesn't turn out how you expected and maybe frustration and disappointment occur, ask God to help you see the positive that took place, to see the many blessings He has bestowed upon your day.  Once you do I think these next two songs might come to mind.
God will make a way, when there seems to be no way...He works in ways, you can not see, He will make a way for me.
Count your blessings name them one by one, count your many blessings see what God has done. 

We serve a BIG God, a LOVING God, a FAITHFUL God, and God who is ALWAYS at work.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Don't leave home without HIM!

I wanted to share something from my devotional book that I thought was so good.  Such a good reminder that it is us who looses sight of him and who can so quickly get caught up in the things of this world, instead of staying focused on him, our first love.

"Are you still in love with Jesus?  Before you remember anything, remember him.  If you forget anything, don't forget him.

Oh, but how quickly we forget.  So much happens through the years.  So many changes within.  So many alterations without.  And, somewhere, back there, we leave him.  We don't turn away from him...we just don't take him with us.  Assignments come.  Promotions come.  Budgets are made.  Kids are born, and the Christ ...the Christ is forgotten.

Has it been awhile since you stared at the heavens in speechless amazement?  Has it been awhile since you realized God's divinity and your carnality?

If it has, then you need to know something.  He is still there, he hasn't left."

-Max Lucado-

May the Lord Jesus Christ himself...encourage you strengthen you in every good thing you do and say.  2 Thessalonians 2:16

He wants to be our first thought, our last thought and every thought in between.  He is the giver of life and everything we have and are.  Don't forget to take Him with you everywhere you go.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Couldn't be me! Then who?

Why is it that we think we are so incapable of doing what God has called us to do.  It seems like we are so quick to put off tomorrow what can be done today.  Isn't there always an excuse?  Either we aren't capable, don't have the materials, assuming someone else will take it on, too busy, doesn't fit into our schedule, etc.

Here are a few people that God was calling to do exceptional things.  Question is, did they believe that The Almighty, All Powerful, All Knowing God could truly make up for what they thought they were lacking in?

"But Moses said to the Lord, 'Please Lord, I have never been a skilled speaker.  Even now, after talking to you, I cannot speak well.  I speak slowly and can't find the best words'."

"Then the Lord said, 'I will certainly return to you about this time a year from now. At that time your wife Sarah will have a son.' ...she laughed to herself, 'My husband and I are too old to have a baby.'"

"The Lord spoke his word to Jonah son of Amittai: 'Get up, go to the great city of Nineveh, and preach against it, because I see the evil things they do.'  But Jonah got up to run away from the Lord by going to Tarshish."

It's amazing what God can accomplish in and through those who are ready and willing.

Moses thought his speech was lacking therefore didn't feel confidant in what God was asking.  "Then the Lord said to him, 'Who made a person's mouth?  And who made someone deaf or not able to speak?  Or who gives a person sight or blindness?  It is I, the Lord.  Now go! I will help you speak, and I will teach you what to say.'"  Do you think that settled it, NO.  Moses went on to still request that the Lord send someone else.  Since Moses wasn't willing to do the part God was asking, God found someone else to help fulfill the need God had.  Don't get me wrong God still used Moses, but just think if he would have just said yes.

Then we have Sarah who was older, well past her child bearing years, laughing at God because HE was going to do a miracle that no one thought possible.  Something that we would think impossible, but sometimes we forget that ALL things are possible with Him.  God kept his promises and saw her through, and she gave birth to a son who was named Isaac.

Let's not forget Jonah.  God was calling him to share and show His love to a town who so desperately needed to hear the good new.  Instead of listening and obeying, he quickly ran the other way, only to be caught.  You can't run from God.  Once Jonah finally listened and obeyed, such rewards came from that.

Is God calling you right now to do something that you are making excuses for.  What excuses are you giving God?  Either your too busy, don't feel like you are capable, doesn't fit into your schedule, pushes you past your comfort zone, assuming someone else will take it on.

God made us each special and unique.  No two of us are alike.  He has called each of us to do something for such a time as this.  The true question is, Are you ready and willing?

God is working out His plan.  All we have to do is trust, follow, obey and watch Him go to work.
He is simply looking for a vessel that is open and ready to be used.  Who is willing to take and step of faith and watch His incredible hand at work.

"Those who try to keep their lives will lose them.  But those who give up their lives will save them."  Luke 17:33

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Encourage One Another Daily!

I love an encouraging word! Doesn't it brighten your day when someone sends you a hand written note, a text message, a FB message, a special little gift, all just to say Hi or thinking of you.  I enjoy those moments when you are at church or listening to the radio and you hear something that makes your heart happy, maybe even brings a tear to your eye because it's just so amazing.

What is it that moves you?

Are you one who is always grumpy, only sees the negative in things, enjoys making ones self glorified so others look less?  Or, are you one who enjoys happiness, wants to make the most of things, likes brightening someone elses day?

"Encourage someone daily...We should seize every opportunity to give encouragement.  Encouragement is oxygen to the soul. -George M Adams"

We have all had them, those rough days.  Those days when it's like could anything else possibly go wrong, and then it happens.  Something or someones comes along and brightens your gloomy day.  Doesn't it just put a skip to your step, a smile to the once frown, a glimpse of hope to your drought of sorrow.  I know it does for me.

Another good quote I have heard is "be kinder then necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some sort of battle".

We are so quick to let loose if it doesn't go our way.  When really, we aren't the only ones facing something.  We all face something at some point in time whether big or small, and if we could all just remember that we are oxygen to someones soul, what a better place this could be.

Things come up in life that are hard, frustrating, disappointing, unexpected, but when that happens we have to be ready to choose.  We have to remember that it's a choice to live your days in pain, hurt, sorrow, grief, or you could choose live in peace, hope, strength and happiness.  It's a choice!  Hope you are choosing to live each day in His light, which brings peace, hope, strength and happiness.

"I am the way and the truth and the life."  John 14:6

I don't ever want to be the person that deflates someones oxygen source, I want to help supply that source.  Jesus is my everyday oxygen source.  He is the lifter of my soul.  He knows just the right thing to say or do to make my day oh so much brighter, but some of that does depend on me and how I choose to see it and except it.  Let's choose the life He has for us and created us for.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Sleep and Masks, Who Needs Them?

Have you ever had one of those nights when it's late, you know you need to sleep, but you just can't fall asleep?  Instead your mind is on active overdrive, going from one thought to another.  That's me!

Tonight while my mind was on overdrive, I got to thinking about people.  Mainly us ladies.  For the most part I think all of us like to think we have it all together.  Being the wonder wife, incredible loving mother, that our schedules are full with exciting activities, that we have nicely put together homes, that we are fantastic chefs, etc.  Well, at least that's the front we want everyone to believe. 

Why is it we feel we can't be real, we can't be honest?  It seems like no on wants to talk about their everyday struggles.  Things we all face at one point in time or another.   Hopefully we are learning from the things in which we deal if we are learning from them, wouldn't we want to share and help someone else.  Oh that's just it, we don't want to admit that that is something we are or have struggled with therefore we don't talk about it.

Maybe you really struggling with self-image, maybe your marriage is going through a rocky patch, maybe you feel frustrated and discouraged with your kids, maybe your finances are in shambles, maybe you need some accountability or encouragement with your devotionals.  Maybe just maybe you need a FRIEND!  Not an acquaintance, but a FRIEND!  A friend who excepts us for us.  One who is there to laugh with you, cry with you, offer advise to, or just be silent with.  Maybe just maybe we need a FRIEND who we don't have to pretend around.  Who excepts us no matter what is behind the mask.  The one we can call up and say, "Hey, today just sucks", or "I just feel so down about myself and how I look", or "Man, money is tight, I don't know where to begin".  Instead we just carry on as if nothing is wrong and we are just hunky dory.

God is calling us to be real not fake.  Let's put down the masks and open ourselves up to realness.  The realness that we all need help, we all need to vent, we all need an encouraging word.  Whether we want to admit it or not we all need help through the everyday battles that we face. 

Ladies, Jesus is a friend to all.  He is our biggest fan.  He knows our past, present and future.  He knows when we are falling and when we fail, but He is right there to catch us.  He will dust us off, straighten us out, and get us back on course.

I've learned over the years that people will come and go, but "Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever" - Hebrews 13:8.

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Fear Factor!

"Don't be afraid", "Don't be afraid", "Don't be afraid", "Don't be afraid", "Don't be afraid"...

You are probably thinking "what in the world are you afraid of Jenny, that you would need to repeat to yourself not to be afraid".  Well, honestly there are lots of things I could be and am afraid of, but we aren't talking about me today.

My little girls life has been turned, twisted, bumped, thrown all around over the last 7 months and from that has come a lot of fear.  Fear of dying, fear of getting sick, fear of germs, fear of the dark, fear of the unknown, fear of people, fear of things, and the list goes on.  As a mother this breaks my heart.

"Fear not for I am with you...Isaiah 41:10"

Children have such big imaginations, such great faith, such loving spirits.  My princess knows that there is a God, knows that He loves her, knows that He is always with us, but yet right now, fear consumes her. 

Ironically, lately she has been wanting me to read scripture to her each night and since we have been reading almost every night it is mentioned to not be afraid.  God has approached several people in our reading and he commands them to not be afraid.

God obviously knew way ahead of time that fear is something that we would all struggle with.  It's one of those things that is so much easier said then done sometimes, right?  How many things in our everyday life do we fear?

We fear our kids wont be liked or excepted among their peers, we fear we wont have enough money to cover the bills, we fear we might be in an accident, we fear we wont be excepted, we fear we might lose our job, we fear this or that might happen.  I have news for you, the Lord says "DO NOT BE AFRAID".

He is always with us;  He is there to be our friend when no one else will; He is there to supply all our needs (not wants, needs); He is there to bring peace to our storm; He is there to give wisdom for the decisions we have to make.  He is the I AM, the KING of KING, the ALPHA and OMEGA, the SAVIOR, the STRONG TOWER, the PRINCE of PEACE, He is our EVERYTHING

So do not fear, for He is with you.  Whatever you may be afraid of right now, give it over to Him.  Let Him bring His everlasting peace to your fear.  He will see you through, He brings peace like no other.

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.  John 14:17"

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Did you pass or fail?

Have you ever had one of those times in your life when you were tested?  No, not a test at school, or a driving test, not a test to see what kind of personality you have, or to see if you have an IQ...

I'm talking about those times when your faith is tested. We all have had them.  The moment in time when you either stand firm on the Solid Rock in which you stand, or you fall into the trap of compromise and begin to sink into peer pressure.  I had one awhile ago, and tonight as I was reading scripture it all came together.  "People will hate you, shut you out, insult you, and say you are evil because you follow the Son of Man.  Luke 6:22"

There are times in our life when we have to make tough decisions, and they are even tougher when it involves the ones, family and friends, closest to us.  One thing I have learned though, is that the word of the Lord is true!  It is our manual, hard drive, receipt to life, our 4 wheel drive, our caffeine...I think you get my point.  The word of the Lord does not come back void.

I had to make a decision that effected someone close to me...and all though the answer seemed so clear to me, it wasn't for them and from that I felt the pain of Luke 6:22.  But even though it hurt me as to why they didn't understand my answer, my heart was at peace because I knew I needed to follow the Son of Man and what He has called me to do and be.

So many times we or should I say I, want to please people, we want people to like us, we hate conflict, we just want peace and happiness, but God also made us all different.  We need to remember that the only one who we need to please and follow is Him.  In the end He is who we are accountable to.

Whatever test you are facing or have faced remember that the answer is in the book.  Not everyone might like or agree with your answer, you might get Luke 6 thrown at you for what your answer is, but remember that if you are

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Do you love like Oscar the Grouch or like Elmo?

Oh what a night...I must say it was a rough day yesterday.  Lincoln is off and on steroids and chemo all this month, and boy have I decided that steroids are not fun to deal with.  I have a little monster at times.  Thank goodness he can sometimes be a "grouch" but other times a lovable "elmo". 

I had had enough yesterday...the tantrums, the crying, the yelling when he doesn't get his way.  For him, it can be anything like not getting the right color of spoon, to not fixing him the food he wants right then and there, to not being able to go to grandma's.  Here I thought last night I might have a moment to escape, to find solitude.  Oh wait I think that might only exist in ones dreams.

Most people would like to think that their bedrooms are this place of solitude and rest.  They can go there to escape all that might be going on.  Maybe read quietly, watch a few shows or a good movie, maybe even SLEEP (what's that? It's so over rated, NOT).  Not me!  Right now my daughter has been so afraid and worried that she has been sleeping on our floor for comfort, and the last two nights my son has decided that his room and daddy in it, isn't good enough, so he has joined me in mine. 

Even though it was frustrating dealing with him yesterday and then knowing that sleep would not be good, I was reminded of God's love for us.  His unconditional love.  The love that excepts us for who we are, where we are.  "And from far away the Lord appeared to his people and said, 'I love you people with a love that will last forever...  Jeremiah 31:3''

How many times do we wander off, do our own thing, frustrate Him, disappoint Him, think we can do it on our own.  Does He then turn us away?  Does He hold it over our heads that we let Him down, disappointed Him, hurt Him?  NO...instead He is always there for us with arms wide open.  He wraps us in His arms, brushes the dust off us and sets us back on the right path and gives us another chance.

No matter how frustrated I was, no matter how much I needed my space; when my son came running and wanting to snuggle you better bet these arms were wide open to embrace him.

Monday, January 9, 2012

You Are Heaven Sent!

Like many of you, I have one of those inspirational quote calendars sitting around.   Each day you flip it and it has something uplifting or thought provoking written.  Well, that is if you remember to flip it each day, sometimes it can turn into a 2 year thing if you space flipping it.

Today I flipped to see " There is a difference between living and just breathing.  Choose to live.  Use your gifts and your days wisely, deliberately.  You were put here for a purpose.".

There are days I wonder what my purpose is.  Really, do I do anything, go anywhere or run into anyone that makes a difference?  Especially lately, I have pretty much been captive in my own home.  There is nothing like the feeling that you aren't being or doing what you are suppose to.  Whose to say though that I'm not doing what I was called to do at this time in my life.

What is your calling?  I am learning and trying to put into practice what mine is.  Let me start with this...

"But Jesus said to them, 'I must preach about God's kingdom to other towns too.  This is why I was sent.'  Luke 4:43"

You might be wondering how this applies to you.  Well, we were put on this earth to be His light, to share and show His love.  Does this mean that you have to become a minister, NO.  Does this mean that you have to teach at a Christian school, NO.  Does this mean you need to run off to another country to be a missionary, NO.  Plain simple English here...God is calling us wherever we may be RIGHT NOW.

Which means RIGHT NOW, I am a wife, mother, friend, co-worker, etc.  This means that in every area of my life I should be living an example that would point to Him and share His message of HOPE.  RIGHT NOW as a wife my calling is my husband, to be loving, supporting, encouraging, etc.  To my kids, they are my current mission field.  Every action and word is telling them something, hopefully it's a message of love, hope, faith, endurance,etc.  Friends, to remind them that nothing is too difficult, that above all this love will see us through.  Work place, peace, hope, encouragement, light, etc.

Whether your making your spouse their next meal, or dropping the kids off at school, heading to work, running to the grocery store, going to school, hitting the gym...where we go and who we are around immediately becomes our mission field, our calling.  Each day is a fresh start to be the LIGHT He has called us to be.  Question you know what you were sent for?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

"What Not to Wear"

Why is it when you have the perfect out fit in mind to wear, you get it on and it's nothing like you envisioned it.  The other day I was taking my mom out and I thought I had the prefect out-fit in mind.   I planned out a new shirt, which I though would look great with my skinny pants paired with a nice pair of black boots.  Got it on and thought "NOPE, NOT HAPPENING".  So disappointing.

Did you know that in the beginning God dressed Adam and Eve.  I're thinking WHAT?  Yes, God clothed them and thank goodness he did or we might all be walking around naked to this day.  "The Lord God made clothes from animal skins for the man and his wife and dressed them.  Genesis 3:21"  Go figure God was way ahead of the time in the fashion world, even in the beginning of time animal print was in and that's exactly what He dressed them in .  : )

What do you have in your closet?  What items do you lean towards to put on each day.  I know I have my favorites.  I always seems to lean towards items that are comfy, soft, and easy.

Some of us have items that aren't all that great, whether we want to realize it or not.  You are probably wondering what in the world I am talking about.  I know what you are thinking, "Jenny, I only have items I love and want in my closet".  REALLY?

Why is it then that when we open our closet and get ready for the day we are sometimes clothed in jealousy, judgement, shame, boastfulness, self-centeredness, dislike, blame, money hungry, envy ,etc.  Are you following?  I'm taking it past the actual item of clothing, but I am talking about something that we wear/carry with us through out our days/lives.  Maybe you don't start off with it, but maybe add it later as an accessory.

As I write this, I have to admit that sometimes the item I choose to put on for the day isn't probably the best option.  How many times have we let jealousy, judgement, shame, boastfulness, self-centeredness, dislike, money hunger, envy, etc. take root in our hearts and lives.  When we decided what to put on for the day, we have decided whether or not we are going to allow a foot hold for satan to try to come in and make havoc.  I know it might be something small, but something so small can soon fester into it's own living organism. 

Each morning as we look in our closet and decide what to wear we need to make sure we choose wisely.  Even if you get up and get ready and think you have picked out the perfect out-fit make sure you haven't paired it with the wrong accessories.  Remember an out-fit can either make it or break it. 

"Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth, buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.  With this in mind be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Ephesians 6:13-18"