Tuesday, December 31, 2013
I look back on this past year with a grateful heart. God gave me such peace. He truly showed me a new way to live and I thank Him.. I asked Him for something big and I believed He would give me something big and He did.
I realized what's going to always work for me - love. I feel so much better about myself when I love God and love others. I spent time focused on scriptures about love and found peace each day when I centered my life on love (God).
I renewed my focus on my blog and God turned it around. He showed me where He wants me to be so He can grow me. He has plans for me.
I really dived into social media this year. I started off strong with YouTube and Blogs. I was super big into blogs and vlogs focused on organizing! I learned a lot about organizing my home, but didn't put much into practice. I realized that I am organized to a certain extent, just not consistent. There are some items in my home that have a place and there are others that are just out of place.
One of my biggest lessons - if something doesn't' t work, try something else. It didn't occur to me that I needed to make changes as needed or that it was okay to try something out first and then decide on a totally different solution. I believed everything would stay in it's place. It didn't.
I have plans for my organizing challenges in 2014...one project at a time. I will schedule weekly projects with a breakout of each task. This will ensure I am not overwhelmed and allow me to see progress with small steps!
I will slowly work my way back into an exercise routine. I'm stuck in a rut and need to move out of it, I need a plan. My first step is my diet. I developed some good habits in 2011 and need to start again...
I love that about a new year, a new day, even a new hour, a chance to start again!
I am excited about the start of a new year. There are endless possibilities for me... I am looking ahead.
I don't know what the next year will bring, but I am ready.
I am ready to read the Verse of the Day from my YouVersion Bible App each morning.
I am ready to receive God's Word as my church goes through the Book of John.
I am ready to start a new Bible Study.
I am ready to wake up to the most beautiful sunrise. I'll even take clouds.
I am ready to listen to Him and follow where He leads.
I am ready!
In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. Psalm 5:3
Saturday, December 14, 2013
I am writing this all down to say, I really did have a great day.
But Today - Saturday, December 14, 2013.....
It's been a long time coming, but I had another good cry today. I am so trying not to be sad. I am just over it and want to get away from it all, but cannot. I have to feel what I feel and then when I am ready, let it all go. But this new life, new way of living, doesn't really let you "let go". You sort of have to figure it out, but it's not truly letting go.
I miss my Granddaddy! I miss our life, the life WE ALL shared for so many years. It's not that I am not thankful for my days, it's just tougher. I thought he'd be here forever. He was the one we all knew would outlive each and every one of us.
The last few weeks have been tough. I ended up with bronchitis. Again. I spent hours waiting to be seen by a doctor. I complained about everything I had to do and all that I didn't get to do...I ran from a little dog. I was genuinely terrified for 2 minutes. I embarrassed myself and my family. To sum it all up, I was tired so I spent my days whining because I just didn't have the strength for it all. It's the time of year when it all runs together.
But you know, God. He knows me and gives me His all. I wouldn't have made it without Him.
Again, I am writing this all down to say, I really did have a great day. I had a great week.
I was able to get a lot accomplished, both at work and at home. I learned that I need to spend time encouraging and building up others in the faith (Romans 14). We really do need one another. My kid laughed at me because I ran from a dog. I laughed too! I slept in today. My hair looks great. I learned that I must practice speaking intelligently because I'll have more opportunities to speak out loud to other people on specific topics. I listened to some of the most beautiful music about my God. I finished my antibiotics.
I lived! I am still here!
The God of peace be with all of you. Amen. Romans 15:33 (HCSB)
Thursday, August 29, 2013
This is a hard one... I decided the title should be small. I don't know that I can make it any smaller or bigger than what it really is..
So if I appear to be happier than I should be or laugh at jokes that aren't really all that funny, it's because I love laughter.
I love the sounds it brings, the giddy feelings, the tears, and the relief. I especially love the light that shines in the eyes of the one who truly laughs.
If I appear distant when you see me, it's not you. It's me. I am remembering and it's taken my thoughts away.
If I appear sad, it's okay. I am having a moment.
If I stare at your family. I am in awe and really miss so much of mine.
Saturday, August 24, 2013
I was pumping gas at a Shell Station a few months ago and I saw an older man sitting just outside the door of the gas station. I thought, no, please don't ask me for anything. For some reason, HE STOOD OUT. I saw people pumping gas and going in and out of the store, but this one figure stood out to me. His appearance was a bit unnerving. He wore tattered clothes, had an overgrown beard, and had a worn out bag that he was using as a cushion to sit on as he sat just outside the door of the gas station.
I would not make eye contact as I walked in the store. I refused to acknowledge he was there. I was like - I don't have any money to give this man. My hours have been cut at work and I cannot help you dude. I thought, I'll just keep walking and pretend I don't see you. (That's another story)
I went into the store and because we were on a road trip, I was getting junk food for the car. I kept thinking, did God send this stranger for me to help? Then, I had a flashback of Beth Moore speaking of her experience with God, an older gentleman, and a hair brush. I was sure this would be an experience I wasn't quite ready for the challenge! On the other hand, I kept thinking, am I ignoring the LORD? I wasn't sure and it stayed with me as I shopped. I couldn't decide what to buy because I was concerned that I was missing out on something that my Lord had for me - Jennifer.
I continued to have my doubts and one of my immediate thoughts was, I cannot give him a ride either. He's a stranger and I really don't feel like I can do anything to help him. Isn't that how we think? We believe in the very core of our being that we cannot help someone, making decisions in our heads before even speaking to a person, not even having a conversation. On the other hand, I also kept thinking, God doesn't leave us ill prepared and I shouldn't be so freaked out about meeting a stranger.
I did it again a few weeks later. I was asked to join a Bible Study and I immediately said I was in a group already and that we're doing that same study. I barely gave this sweet woman a chance to explain or give me information, I stopped it all right there or so I thought. I have this thought that I don't want to add more people in my circle. I can trust My Bible Study Girls and no one else.
In both instances, my thoughts took me to another place as I walked away. Did I just do what I did? Did I ignore God or am I making this situation at this moment bigger than what it's really supposed to be? Are we missing out on blessings, opportunities to share God with others? Does anyone else think they're missing out on opportunities to share? Are we holding back? I have to ask myself, does someone want to add me to their circle? Does God want me to be part of someone else's group? I am sure He does want me to expand my wings just a bit. I don't know and won't know if I stay in my small group, fearing the unknown.
As I've grown in my spiritual journey, I've realized that sharing Him isn't always that awesome Bible verse that someone needs just at that moment. I've realized I don't have to bake the cakes, cook the green beans, or even sing the most spiritually moving song. I am actually not skilled in any of these areas. I know those things are great and special for others, just not me. I've beat myself up enough over the years because of what I thought I lacked.
I finally see that we can all share God with a smile, a simple hello, a hug, or even a kind word. In turn, we are truly blessed by participating! I cannot count the number of times I've been blessed by just being who I am in Him at just that right moment. I can be talking to someone about God and I am hit with chills, the good kind. I am filled with joy.
I am now one of those people. It just fills me up!
Gas Station - I decided that I was making it bigger than it was supposed to be and I relaxed. I walked out of the store and I looked at the older gentleman sitting on his bag just outside the gas station. I looked him in the eyes, as I was taught to do, and I said hello. I was nervous, my stomach in knots, sweat dripping down my back, and a grip on my kid as I spoke. He smiled big, his eyes sparkling in the bright sun light and he said hello. I asked how he was doing and he said fine and asked about me. I was walking and talking, okay I was speed walking to my car. He continued to talk though, gently, softly. He said my baby was getting big and before I blinked, would be even bigger! I smiled and agreed. No worries, he was saying hello. He watched us walk away. I could just feel it and when I sat in my car, I looked him square in the eyes again and I smiled. He smiled too.
And the LORD came and called as before, "Samuel! Samuel!" And Samuel replied "Speak, your servant is listening." (1 Samuel 3:10 NLT)
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
I've often wondered about how and when He speaks and what I can do to facilitate or if I can do anything at all. The study gave me some key points to remember and also gave me some time to reflect on whether or not I listen for God.
Here's what truly has helped me and made me take a closer look at my walk with God:
Being still and letting go of some of the busyness of my life
Being obedient to God's will
Being submissive and respecting His authority in my life
Being a follower and reading His word and understanding how it applies to my life today
I also have to look at myself and whether I trust Him. Do I trust His plans for me or do I sabotage every experience to stay stagnant? Do I really want an experience where He speaks and I listen and follow according to His will?
There's much to reflect on when reading and much to change!
I encourage anyone who is looking for a study to consider He Speaks to Me. I guarantee you'll be blessed!
And the LORD came and called as before, "Samuel! Samuel!" And Samuel replied "Speak, your servant is listening." (1 Samuel 3:10 NLT)
Thursday, August 15, 2013
When I think of a PrayList, my first thought is of the e-mails, pamphlets, and cards that offer scriptures to read during times of need and times of joy. We get to call on God when we need Him and pray specific prayers. They're called emergency cards, devotions, prayer cards, etc. Some of you may have them. I actually own a few..lol what a surprise!
The 23rd Psalm has been a big part of my life. It's the only Psalm I know by memory. It's definitely on my PrayList. It's also something I've taught my kid.
Another one that's familiar is Psalm 27. I remember a time during my college years that something bothered me. I just couldn't shake the feelings, the worry. It worried me so that I told my grandmother and my sweet Mother Dear looked at me and told me to read Psalm 27. I took her advice and God's Word brought me peace! I didn't feel like I'd been feeling and I loved that about my grandmother. She knew what to say in all situations.
Psalms 23 and 27 both give me a sense of peace in knowing God's taking care of me. I can see as I move through this life how both relate to one situation and then another and so on. It's amazing to see growth in life and how much He truly loves us and helps us overcome.
Several weeks ago, my Pastor brought a message to us from Psalm 42. On Life Today, Wednesdays with Beth, Beth Moore shared a series - From Cast Down to Ecstatic Joy. She covered Psalms 41 and 42. It's great when I'm learning something new to find a message from two different sources on the very same subject.
I learned that we pant for the living waters that only Jesus can provide just as a deer pants for water when he's thirsty. What a thought, we're panting. I wonder how many times in life we're so down and so overwhelmed and just fall to our knees, sick for a word from Him. We want to find Him, seek Him out. We need God and we know if we can get to Him or hear a word from Him, all is right with the world.
I read Psalm 42 and I can honestly say, this could be me. I can see how different seasons in life would fit here.. mourning, divorce, end of a relationship, loss of ____, etc. Sometimes it's only the faith in our God that can pull us through. In my reading, what I felt more than anything is that it's nothing like a feeling of sadness and how it overshadows it all.
We need God. We must seek Him and find Him in our everyday living. It's not a maybe or sometimes sort of deal. No ma'am and No sir. It's those times when we're down that we need Him and learning and studying His word is how we find Him.
I love how it has all come together in the PrayList! I am learning so much and finding so much of my life, myself in scriptures.
I love how God's Word carries us through, even today!
As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God (Psalm 42:1 NIV)
Monday, July 22, 2013
I cannot say that I had nothing to say, because I've had plenty..
I've talked nonstop I do believe for a few days this year..LOL
The year started out slow. I was sick over Christmas and then again in January. I had a couple sinus infections. I also ended up with what felt like the flu. I was weak and had an awful pain in my back that felt like I was knocking at deaths door. It was horrible. I could barely move for five days. I was just sore all over and only had energy to do the absolute bare minimum each day. I remember thinking, are my kidneys failing? Crazy. I know, I am dramatic in my thinking, writing, and speech at times, but I felt that bad. It started suddenly like the flu does, swift and painful, just waiting to take you down - HARD.
So far, we've had a great year. We were busy, but as always, I am grateful.
We watched The Bible on the History Channel. I must say we enjoyed the beautiful unfolding of The Bible each week. The stories, the people, Jesus, Salvation, all told like it's never been told before. For us, it was absolutely wonderful. The ultimate was Jesus on the Cross, taking on the sins of God's children. Again, I cannot say enough that the story was told like never before. I've had the pleasure of watching many stories of the bible, but none quite like The Bible.
It was a great family experience being able to share knowledge and thoughts. Also, with it fresh on my mind, I was able to relate to the Old Testament as I read through Judges and Joshua. I was not expecting to love this series, but I did. We all did and I thought - God knew! Even if I don't know, He knows. I love that about Him!
We spent Easter at my Parents' House like always! It was so good to relax and think about the goodness of God. He has given us so much! I feel so unworthy at times because He didn't have to do what He did. As I grow in my faith, I am just thankful. I sometimes feel so overwhelmed at the thought of Him and His goodness! AMEN!
Well fast forward to the month of May.
We had Honor's Day, Field Trips, Mother's Day, and not to mention Graduation. We also had Spring Concerts!
Our Church's Spring Musical - Awestruck - was absolutely amazing! God was with us as we praised and worshipped Him! I've never felt such pure joy in my entire life! I was in awe of Him and felt so honored to give praise! I never imagined the depths and heights of joy through praise..
Orbit was in full swing and the kids were awesome as they presented Jonah! There's joy and hope when children praise the Lord. It's so pure and unashamed...Oh to worship everyday without any pretense, just you with your God!
My nephew graduated from high school so we traveled to be with family and celebrate such a joyous occasion. We broke bread and celebrated the hope of a future.
Fast forward to July 4th! I decided to try staying home this year and start traditions here. We had a great day. We should focus more on the celebration of Independence. We wore our shirts and discussed the story of America and how we came to be. We had traditional burgers and hot dogs hot off the grill! I think we need to be part of community experiences so next year, we'll look for other activities!
I have definitely been away. I am feeling so much better just thinking about the Blog and all the things I have to say! I am thinking more about what God has to say and how I can share with all of you!
Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven (Matthew 10:32 NIV)