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"