Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas Eve Morning

Merry Christmas Eve Morning. :)

We are enjoying a lazy morning together. Chloe is playing Wii and Chad and Emma are playing with Paddington. I'm working on a cup of coffee and cleaning out e-mails from the last few days.

I'm looking forward to being with family later in the weekend and then the arrival of more family next week.

It's going to be a busy week! Chad's shoulder surgery is Tuesday and out of town family arrives Wednesday. I won't lie I'm a little nervous about so much activity in this house with this particular patient, but we'll make it. After yesterday, I'm just thankful we have family that can come visit.

Some friends in Chattanooga can't say that this morning and my heart hurts for them. Death is hard anytime, but at Christmas time it just seems to sting a little more.

I woke up extra early this morning and stared at the ceiling. Thinking of our friends and praying that God, who IS peace would comfort them in huge ways today. As I was praying, I couldn't help but think about several other families we know who are experiencing their first Christmas without a loved one. In particular, the family up the street. The girls and I got to know this couple and their children and grandchildren at the pool this summer.

The sweet wife was fighting cancer but she was LIVING every single minute. She put on her beautiful sun hat and jumped in the pool with her grandchildren. Her family constantly watching her, asking her if she was tired, did she need to go in...but she would smile and say I'm okay.

As we drove in the neighborhood a few nights ago, I saw this husband, standing in his window looking at his beautiful Christmas tree. Alone. My heart ached.

We are so blessed. Yes, we are still in a tight season financially, but God has been faithful and good. He is still in control and I believe with all my heart that I can trust Him.

It makes me so sad that so many Christians measure the "greatness" of their Christmas holiday by the number of gifts under the tree OR the amount of money spent. (Spent personally, or spent ON them.)

This year, we are having a blessed or GREAT Christmas because each person that lives in this house knows Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. What else can a parent ask for?

We are blessed this year to see each and every member of our extended family during Christmas/New Years Week. (Granted, Chad won't remember next week, but I'll take plenty of pictures!)

We are blessed to have TODAY. Today, Christmas Eve 2009 will be spent together. We will worship this afternoon with our church family and then come home to read the Christmas story, eat a non-traditional Christmas eve meal and then....

If I can talk the man into it we will take a drive to see Christmas lights. My ALL TIME FAVORITE THING TO DO ON CHRISTMAS EVE!

I pray today that you my sweet blogging friends are experiencing the Prince of Peace, the Wonderful Counselor, the Everlasting Father like never before. He is good and you can trust Him, I promise.

Merry Christmas,

Monday, December 21, 2009

Siesta Memory Challenge #24

Is it really the last verse of the year?? I should have posted this on the 15th, but life has been B.U.S.Y. I love the Christmas season, but I hate how commercial it is.

This year we have fought hard to keep things simple. We are making every effort to keep our hearts focused on the ultimate Gift Giver: Jesus Christ. His gift was His life. His life for my sin. I will never get over what He did for me.

Okay, Verse Number 24...that is what this post is about!

It's Proverbs 14:26 and it says:

"In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge." (ESV)

For a girl who fights fear and a total lack of confidence this verse is powerful. This is the way I have been meditating on it:

In the fear of the Lord, Stephanie has strong confidence and Chloe and Emma will have a refuge.

Without Him I have nothing. I am weak and scared and lack the ability to look you in the eye. With Him, I am strong, and can hold my head up. THAT is ALL Jesus my friend. And the sweetest thing about this verse is the last part. My children will have a refuge.

Oh the refuge theme continues.

I love it when God does that. :)

Okay my sweet friends, I'm not sure if I'll post again before Christmas....SOOO


Blessings and love

Monday, December 14, 2009


Tonight, we had to make a Target run for a few things. The girls have been working hard lately and have made the effort to "do everything without grumbling or complaining". As a little reward, Chad asked if they would like a hot chocolate from Starbucks. They are my children so they said, "oh yes please!"

Do you remember when I posted here about my Target coffee experience? You know, the one that was so much more than a good cup of coffee?

When we got to the counter tonight I recognized that pretty face. She was the same barrista that waited on me back in September. (I remember faces, conversations, outfits....I'm weird like that! Chad says I should work for the FBI or the CIA. I remember what some of you were wearing the first time we met in San Antonio,a year and half ago!)


She had a totally different countenance tonight. God brings her to my mind often, usually when I'm standing in the Starbucks line waiting on a peppermint mocha. (or raspberry mocha or white chocolate mocha) Tonight, I saw her name tag...and now I have a name to go with the face.

Ann. (my middle name)

I was able to call her by name. She smiled and this time, looked me in the eye with a smile.

There's something about being called by your name isn't there? I couldn't help but think of this verse...

Revelation 2:17 NIV
I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.

So, God knows the name on that stone and then the receiver will know. Two people. That's what I love about our God. He is personal. He is all about knowing each and every cell of our beings.

I have been absorbed in Psalm 139 lately I encourage you to go read it slowly and realize just how precious you are to God. Here are verses 15-18 from this incredible Psalm.

My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.

I hope that you know just how precious you are to God. He loves you so much. He sees exactly what life is throwing your way today and He cares. Verses 1-3 remind us that YES, He does see.

O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.


Monday, December 7, 2009

A Little Serious and a Little Silly

So I'm doing the new Kelly Minter study on Ruth right now. I'm in week 2 and already I have been VERY challenged. Today, she talked about sowing and reaping.

It was the 4th time in 24 hours that concept was placed in front of me. I'm serious.

Obviously, I've spent some time thinking about where I'm sowing. In some places, I am seeing the first signs of harvest. In others, not so much. One particular area I have been sowing often in tears. For almost 13 years. I won't lie, lately I've had to confess my being "over" it to the Lord. Just plain over throwing out the seed with no sign of a harvest. I know that's wrong, just telling you where I've been.

A couple of weeks ago when I was talking to God about this situation, this verse kept coming back to me.

Galatians 6:9 "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."

Kelly wrapped up today's homework with that verse. Thank you God.

Oh, and then I had a devotional e-mail that I have no idea how I get, but anyway...

Guess what the verse was for the day. Yep. Galatians 6:9. Hello God.

The devotion went on to say this:

"For years William Wilberforce pushed Parliament to abolish slavery. Discouraged, he was about to give up when his elderly friend John Wesley heard of it, and from his deathbed called for a pen and paper. With trembling hand Wesley wrote: “Unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of men and of devils. But if God be for you, who can be against you? Are all of them stronger than God? O be not weary in well doing! Go on, in the name of God and in the power of His might, till even American slavery shall vanish away before it.” Wesley died six days later. Wilberforce fought for forty-five more years. Three days before his death, slavery was abolished in Britain. Eventually, it was abolished in America too. Hang in there—what God has in store for you is worth any price you have to pay."

Over forty-five years. That is a long season of sowing isn't it?

I've come to accept that in that one area, I may not see the harvest for a while. But I know it's where God has called me to sow so I can't stop. So I keep doing what God says to do. Because I know He keeps His word, I can read Psalm 126:5-6 and
have a little pre-harvest celebration. :)

Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.

I don't know about you, but I sure needed that reminder that my time table and God's time table are not the same. :) He's moving and working and when it's harvest time, boy oh boy what a party we'll have.

On a very silly note, every time I see the word "sheaves" I think about a "Little House on the Prairie" episode where the town people are singing that old hymn in church! Makes me laugh because they look so bored.

I tried my best to find that clip, but I didn't. However I DID find this one and I'm sorry if my silliness offends you..but this just reminded me of my grandparents and their record player (that looks more like a buffet than a record player). I think this record is in there. I'll look the next time I'm there. :)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Siesta Memory Verse #23 (Finish what you started in me God)

23 verses so far! I can't believe it. What a difference scripture memory makes.

I haven't been very good about posting my verses here on the blog. Mainly because I've been pouting that I'm not going to be in Houston in January for the celebration. I'm still very disappointed about that, but moving on...

I had decided to memorize Psalm 138:7-8 this time around from NIV. But when Beth posted those verses from the message on Tuesday, I fell in love w/ the way it read so I'm memorizing them from the Message. Here you go:

When I walk into the thick of trouble, keep me alive in the angry turmoil. With one hand strike my foes, with your other hand save me. Finish what you started in me, God. Your love is eternal - don't quit on me now.

Finish what you started in me, God. Don't quit on me now.

My favorite parts.

God is faithful to finish what He starts. (Phil. 1:6...being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.)

And He never quits, never stops, never sleeps. Never lets go. That makes me think of this song..

He is so good. Happy Thursday!!!