Saturday, January 29, 2011

It's all good.

Every last thing on my calender. Each and every commitment. All are important to me. All have an impact on my life, and the life of my family.

Recently, God has had me looking at my schedule. Each and every thing I am involved in has been evaluated. Questions like, "Why do I do this? Does this line up with the calling God has on my life? Does my involvement in this bring stress to my family?"

Not the easiest thing to be doing.

I was reading through some of Joanne's older posts recently. She was in this same sort of place and she referenced Thanksgiving. All your favorites are crowded on one plate. You know you CAN eat every last bite, but doing that is not the best thing for you.

So, for over a month now this is what has been on my heart. Talking to God and seeking direction. Boy has He given me big old nuggets to chew on. This morning, in Oswald Chambers this is what God gave me:

"Have I been persecuting Jesus by a zealous determination to serve Him in my own way?"


"If I feel I have done my duty and yet have hurt Him in doing it, I may be sure it was not my duty, because it has not fostered the meek and quiet spirit, but the spirit of self-satisfaction. We imagine that whatever is unpleasant is our duty! Is that anything like the spirit of our Lord, 'I delight to do Thy will, O my God.' "

Wednesday night, I shared with my middle school girls that we do not have to do EVERY activity. (And that included church activities.) God is not impressed with how much we do.

When God prompted me to take this evaluation time, I knew it was for a reason. This morning, as I read Chambers I knew the reason. He was reminding me that He wanted me to DELIGHT in doing His will.

His will for my life, not MY will.

Pretty simple isn't it.

I'm quite sure there is another post coming. Maybe it won't be quite as scattered and raw. This is just my heart tonight. Just want to simply do what God wants me to do and nothing else.

I want to say "I delight to do Thy will, O my God." and truly be doing His will.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


I have a word that is on my heart so much right now. It goes along with my theme verse for the year.


Pondering just how blessed we are. Our families, our communities and our country. We really have it good don't we! But at the same time, I'm pondering how crazy we have allowed our lives to become. What are we chasing after?

Spending almost three of the last four weeks confined to our home, I've had some much needed time to just sit and ponder whatever it is God puts on my heart that day. I have loved it.

It's the slower pace and the simpler days that have me thinking. Perhaps God is calling us, all of us, to slow down. To stop filling each empty spot on our calenders with activity.

For me, it started the weekend before Christmas when the girls were sick. All my plans changed. While I was praying for healing and health for my girls, (and that God would protect Chad and I from coming down with the nasty stuff!) I was thankful for the unplanned clearing of our schedule. What a gift.

Now, this week. This crazy, unbelievable week of snow and ice! I really did pay attention to our weatherman last week. We, or I, made storm preparations like never before. I stocked the pantry, had snacks and two sets of meals planned. (One in case we lost power!) I was NOT going to be caught off guard. :) Momma doesn't do cold or hungry well.

My family and my home was ready. I had done everything I could to prepare. We waited. And then it happened. The most beautiful snowfall. Monday morning was nothing but a display of God's handiwork. It was stunning.

Honestly, I feel like God has given me another gift. Another week of pondering His goodness. Seeing His creative hand in the beauty of the snow and ice.

Pondering how simple life has felt having our family together, neighbors out checking on each other, and the laughter of all our kids. Heaven.

Pondering how busy we all are with "life" and wondering why are so intent on filling up all those blank spaces on our daytimers.

I have a strong feeling that the Christmas snow, the snow this week, and other things we would consider interruptions to our life, may be God's way of saying "Hello. SLOW DOWN!"

Maybe He's forcing us to take a good look at our homes, our families. Our hearts.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Iced In and Thankful

Thinking this afternoon about so much, but I wanted to document some of the things I'm thankful for right now.

I'm so thankful for three days (so far) of being snowed/iced in!

I'm thankful that the snow was enough to really shut down our city.

I'm thankful that my husband can still work insurance from home. (He was smart and forwarded the office calls to his cell phone on Sunday afternoon.) AND, we can work AdvoCare anywhere/anytime. That is a blessing.

I'm thankful that Chad had already "detoxed" from soda BEFORE the snow came. (Or I would not be thankful he was at home all week!)

I'm thankful that the four people that live in this house not only love each other, but we actually like each other.

I'm thankful that God has kept our power on and our house warm.

I'm thankful today for the ability to hug my children and husband. To speak to them and to hear their voice.

I'm thankful for that clean spot in my laundry room that in an hour or so will hold wet clothes and shoes. (From the sledding and snowball fights taking place in our yard right now.)

I'm thankful that this morning, God woke me up earlier than normal to turn on the fireplace, have coffee, read His word and pray for Joanne.

I'm thankful that He is still her healer. We are praying and believing that He will wake her up.

I'm thankful to see how many people have come together to pray for her and her family. Amazing. How beautiful the body of Christ is.


Being confined to home isn't a bad thing. I really have enjoyed the somewhat simpler and slower pace this week has brought.

Hmmm....maybe God is trying to teach us all something.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Just God.

This morning in my Bible study the verse Philippians 4:6-7 were referenced. Here it is from The Message.

Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

I love this passage and memorized it a few years ago. It is one of those "go to" verses for me. This morning, it was on my mind before my Bible study, but I was applying it to situations in my life. Kind of reminding myself that despite what I "feel", God commands me not to worry.

Then I got a nudge to check twitter. (Which I have been fasting the last week or so) The nudge was stronger, so I checked my phone.

The verse God had put on my mind and in my Study text was not for the circumstances I thought. They were to prepare me to join so many of my sisters in Christ and pray for our dear sister and friend, Joanne. (She had a stroke while running this morning.)

It has been amazing to watch our community drop everything and get on our face on behalf of Joanne and her family. I'm so honored to be part of it.

Now, I ask you to pray for Joanne. For her total and complete healing. For her husband and children. For her parents and siblings.

Pray that God's glory will be seen in and through this situation.

I can hardly complete a sentence because all I want to do is pray. So that is where I'm headed. I just saw that she is out of surgery and headed to ICU. The next few days will tell more, but we know that:

God knit Joanne together in her mother's womb. He is aware of each and every hair on that beautiful head. Not one second of her life is unknown to Him. We are believing God to heal her and to restore her!

Today, more than ever I am clinging to the last part of Philippians 4:7

"It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life."

Ephesians 3:20-21

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Going on a Treasure Hunt

As I undecorated yesterday, I had to giggle at our eclectic ornament collection. These are just a few of the treasures I wrapped and boxed up.

Our tree has everything from musical instruments to Star Wars characters and battle ships. There are Victorian style collectibles and bedazzled cowboy boots. Each ornament holds a special place in my heart. Some were gifts, others handmade by my girls.

Each one marks a time in our life. Some you would say were good times, others, not so good. As I took my annual trip down memory lane I couldn't help but think of the theme God has given me for 2011.

Back in October, God began to put a theme and a verse in my path.

Habakkuk 1:5

Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told.

The idea of being wonder filled or astounded by the hand of God was what kept coming up. Conversations, sermons, and music worked together to remind me to look for the handiwork of God. For two months I was gently confronted with this theme. Then came December and Deeper Still Birmingham.

On that Saturday afternoon we were given this verse and I knew that it was my verse for 2011.

Isaiah 45:3

I will give you the treasures of darkness and the hoards in secret places, that you may know that it is I, the LORD, the God of Israel, who call you by your name.

Those Christmas ornaments are treasures to me, but some of the memories associated with them not pleasant or easy to think about. (Like the ones we were given or purchased during Chad's sick years.)

Yesterday, I made a point to slow down. To stop and think about what God taught me during those tough years. He reminded me of times when He showed us more of Himself through provision, healing, comfort....

Those memories are the treasures of those dark times. I can honestly say, I wouldn't trade them for anything. It was all worth it.